The alphabet adventurers

The Strid, near Bolton Abbey (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

The time is near for Baggins Bottom to pack itself away. It has served me well, since 2005, across Blogger and WordPress. But things change, move on. And so have we.

I have two new blogs that will probably cover everything that Baggins Bottom used to. One of these is a joint venture with the poet, the alphabet adventurers, which is a project whereby we visit as many places of interest as we can, from A to Z, and starting in Yorkshire. This blog will also showcase some of the poet’s wonderful photography, and there’s a YouTube channel to match.

We’ve decided to include other travel, days out, walks, etc, on the alphabet adventurers’ blog, which reduces the amount of content that would otherwise appear on Tales from Baggins Bottom.

Please consider following the alphabet adventurers if you enjoy tales of our travels, please subscribe to the YouTube channel, and please like and follow our Facebook page. And please do consider changing your links and bookmarks.

Here are the links to our alphabet adventures so far:

A is for … Aysgarth Falls

B is for … Bolton Abbey

C is for … Cayton Bay

D is for … Danby Castle

Thank you so much for sticking with Baggins Bottom for this long – you know who you are. 🙂

This post will also appear on Words Worth Writing.

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We’ve not been idle …

Peacocks through glass

We may still be on our Easter holiday at the moment, but we’ve not been idle. Please pop on over to see where the Alphabet Adventurers have been, and then have a look to see what I’ve been up to in my writing life.

We had heavy snow again on Monday, and the first lambs arrived. They’re gradually being moved into the nursery field next to our gate. There are still a lot more to come, though. The weather has been so bad, we’ve not had chance to take any pictures yet – the ground has been ankle-deep with mud.

On the farm, two of the chicks they rescued have turned out to be cockerels, so it’s quite noisy here now – all day, not just at the crack of dawn. All of the pea-chicks are growing well, too, and they’re not the quietest of birds either.

We’ve had a new office delivered too (you can see more of this over on Words Worth Writing), and now the office is the warmest room in the house and we never want to leave it!

Hope you had a good Easter. We’re both back to work on Monday.

Snow pretty …

The River Don (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

For the second time in 3 weeks we were snowed in.

The first time, we were snowed in for 5 days. The snow came on Tuesday, blocking us in from Wednesday until Sunday.

On the Friday, we did make it to the end of our (private) lane and we caught a bus into the nearest town to do some shopping, as the main roads were fairly clear.

We would have walked to the main road, but the farmer saw us and ran us up there in his van, which has snow tyres on. We caught a bus back but walked to the house from the road.

The poet started a new job in January and for the first 6 months his *company* car is a hire car. When the snow came the first time, he had a Ford Galaxy, a people carrier – or the *bus*, as he called it. And it was terrible in the snow.

Icicles on the River Don (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

On the Sunday, after being stranded since the previous Wednesday, he dug the bus out and then made his way carefully down our drive to leave the bus on the farm.

He thought he’d have more chance of getting out the next day.

He did get out the next day, but coming home again he got stuck. Fortunately, the farmer, his friend and the farmer’s son were on hand to help give him a push.

Mid-week the week before last, we had another very isolated snow dump. At around 4am or 5am, we had around 3 inches (7½cm) in just one hour.

He was able to make it out and off the farm, as he was parked at the bottom again. But getting to work was a struggle. As soon as he got to the motorway, though, the snow was gone.

Viaduct over the River Don (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

Later that week, on the Friday, the poet picked up his new hire company car … and this time it’s a Jaguar 4×4. Top of the range. (He won’t be allowed to keep this one for very long!)

It took him a week or so to get used to where everything was. But by last weekend, he’d sussed it.

On Saturday, we had another snow dump. Another very deep one. This time we were in fact able to get out because he has this very posh, top of the range 4-wheel drive.

We didn’t go far, though, as more snow was forecast … and after we got back, more snow did indeed come.

Yesterday morning, the poet decided to take a few pictures to show how there are worse places to be stranded.

We live very close to the River Don. It’s only a short stroll across one of the farmer’s fields.

Our house is the yellow one slightly up the hill. The farmhouse is just below ours. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

The river actually comes much closer to us, but we’d have to cut through the farm to get to it.

The main farm field is like a pond at the moment. It means the farmer hasn’t been able to let his cows out yet this year.

There’s a drain in there somewhere, and they usually leave a slab over the top of it so they can find it and open it to let more water out.

It’s just not doing the job at the moment and, in fact, most of the farm is muddy or full of puddles.

Yesterday morning, I didn’t let the chickens out of their coop because they’re a bit stupid and don’t realise it could give them hypothermia. (They stand out in the rain too until they’re absolutely drenched.)

The snow was so bad, though, that it had drifted inside the coop. I opened the chicken house but put food in the coop, then closed the gate to keep the peacocks, the guinea fowl and the ducks out.

Another view of the farm. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

I did give them some food too, but if they get inside the coop, they bully the chickens out and then the chickens have to go and find somewhere else to shelter.

We’ve not taken the dog out either while it’s been snowy. He has lots of fun in the garden already, but to take him on a several-mile walk when he’s already quite close to the ground is, in our opinion, a little cruel. And he would have disappeared in some of our snowdrifts.

So long as we have food and milk and plenty of pet and chicken food, we don’t mind the snow at all.

Yes, the poet has to get to work, but if he doesn’t have any appointments or if the meetings can be postponed, it really isn’t an issue.

When we were snowed in for 5 days, he even had a Skype meeting with several of his colleagues.

We weren’t able to go out and do our letter “C” for the Alphabet Adventurers at the weekend, but perhaps we can do it this coming weekend. We’re in Birmingham on Sunday, though, so it will have to be Saturday.

The Beast from the East is supposed to be back in time for Easter, when we’re planning on having a week’s “stay-cation”. We hope to do some more work for the Alphabet Adventurers while we’re off, but if he still has the Jag, we’ll probably be okay.

I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Our house and the farm from the edge of the River Don. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)