Slaithwaite Moonraking Festival 2015

This was the sound hub. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

We finally made it to the Slaithwaite Moonraking Festival. It’s only taken me 9 years to get there, the poet only 2. It’s a festival started in the 1980s, bringing to life a very old tale of smugglers and how they tried to evade capture. You can read all about it by following the link.

We had a very busy weekend starting with finishing work early on Friday to go and collect the poet’s new car. There were almost fisticuffs on the forecourt when we realised they’d forgotten something, but the car’s booked in on Thursday to have that remedied.

Diane looking slightly started outside the media tent. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

After collecting the car, we came home via the supermarket. The fruit and veg boxes were delivered at about 12 noon, so we were able to buy food to complement what came in those.

On Saturday we had a bit of a lazy start, but then headed over to Slaithwaite (pronounced Slauwit) via Dewsbury. It’s the poet’s birthday this coming Thursday and, amongst other things,  I’d promised him a new walking coat. We came away from the outdoor shop with new walking trousers for me too, a collapsible water bowl for the dog, and a slab of Kendal mint cake – white.

Ian looking pinched by the cold – and it really was very cold. (Picture: Diane Parkin)

When we arrived at Slaithwaite we were very lucky to park in our usual spot – this is the third time we’ve been to the town, but only the first time to the festival. We were able to eat our picnic before going down to see what was going on.

By the time the procession started, the town was rammed. We found a very nice spot right next to the canal, and the media tent, and a waste bin … And we had a very good view of both the start of the procession and the end. We were also well-placed for the actual moonraking. It was very, very cold, though. Next time we’ll be wearing our thermal underwear!

The women of the village and the gnomes raking the moon out of the canal. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

Rufus wasn’t entirely happy. There were so many people and only a few took any notice of him! He also felt the cold too. He’s not a dog to wear a dog coat, but he’s small enough for us to pick up and hug to us, although he does get quite heavy.

We stayed to watch the raking of the moon, one of the bands and the start of the procession of lanterns. But then we headed home via Golcar and Huddersfield, just to miss the traffic in and around Slaithwaite.

The procession of “landmark” lanterns for the 2015 festival. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

Saturday night was a late evening (by the time we got home) in front of the telly, and Sunday it was off to see my parents in Birmingham. We had another lazy evening in front of the telly.

Today, after work, we’re off to say happy first birthday to the poet’s grand-daughter, and that will give us chance to see his parents too, and his daughter.

Meanwhile, I’m quite busy shifting a big edit that finally arrived last week, filling in paperwork for the wedding, and uploading and editing photographs from the weekend. I also have the next module of the writing course to read, and the next assignment to write. And there are 2 short stories awaiting proofreading so they can go off on their merry way.

Enjoy the colourful pictures. There are more to see if you’re on our Facebook.

One of the bands, all pretty and bright. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

Raking the moon (and a mini rant)

More of the skating mallards on Wormy’s Lake. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

We feel very privileged to live where we do, and we’re very happy to pay for that privilege – and pay well. As with everything else in the history of this blog, I’ve used nicknames of people or places in my life to maintain some privacy. I’m generally very open, but not when it concerns others whose blog this isn’t, unless I’ve already asked their permission. And I’m the same on Facebook, on Twitter, on LinkedIn, the lot.

This is why we call the lake at the end of our lane “Wormy’s Lake”. It’s a privately owned lake that Leeds & District Amalgamated Society of Anglers owns the angling rights to, and the poet has a Leeds & District ASA fishing licence that entitles him to fish there – along with about 2 or 3 other anglers on a busy day. But the actual lake is private property and has trespassing warnings all over it. They don’t even hold matches there. And it’s a bit too close to where we actually live for me to be revealing any map co-ordinates to the world and his wife. Oh yes, and we call it “our lane” because it’s the lane where we live. Isn’t that normal?

Someone has not only felt the need to go out of their way to find out where we live (when all they had to do was ask, as others have done privately), but they’ve also gone to the liberty of trying to tell others where we live too. This is all very odd to us and, actually, smacks of either stalking or sour grapes – and many people we’ve told agree. We made a very conscious decision to move to where we live now, for many, many reasons that are not really anyone else’s business. And – actually – we made sure we got it. We’re also very proud that we did get it. We’ve had a pretty nasty slog to get here and we’re bloody pleased that we did. If that makes us smug, then so be it.

We will continue to enjoy our new surroundings and I will continue to bore folk with tales and pictures of our surroundings. If anyone doesn’t like it, they know what to do – or what not to do. DON’T come here; DON’T watch; DO press the hide or delete button. But reveal our private details to anyone and we WILL take it further.

*** end of mini rant ***

We’ve had another very busy week with the poet away in Germany for most of it. Then yesterday he was “over the hill” in Manchester again, and this morning he’s on his way to Sheffield. This afternoon we go to pick up his new car, which we spent a couple of hours last Saturday deliberating over. And this evening, we’ll do the shopping.

There’s a busy weekend on the horizon too. Tomorrow it’s the Slaithwaite Moonraking Festival. I have been going to this biennial event so many times since I found out about it and tomorrow – I hope – we’re going to finally make it. On Sunday we’re off to Birmingham to see my parents, and Monday we’re off to Doncaster to see the poet’s parents and his daughter, and to celebrate his grand-daughter’s first birthday.

Our fruit and veg boxes are due today. They weren’t there when we got up this morning, but I think they were early last time because of the snow. When we do the shopping, we’ll buy stuff to complement what we get. And that means we may also squeeze in a trip to a farm shop over the weekend.

Workwise, I have to get my head down now as I have some very pressing deadlines all coming in at once and one of them is a very big job.

What are you up to this weekend?

I thought it was Saturday

I was convinced today was Saturday for some reason and was just in the process of beating myself up for forgetting to post again when I realised it was still Friday. That was quite nice, knowing I still have a whole weekend ahead.

On Wednesday evening we went to listen to Judith Barrow talk about her latest book Changing Patterns, in Slaithwaite Library. We got there early so had fish and chips for tea alongside the canal. It was a lovely evening, nice and mild, and it was nice to finally meet Judith, who is a fellow Seriously Serious Scribe on Facebook. We also met up with my friend Carol, who you’ll often see in the comments here.

nc largeWhile there we asked if they had any copies of my large print book, Night Crawler, as there wasn’t one on the shelf. I was delighted to learn that Kirklees has 2 whole copies of the book, but I was over the moon when they said one had been out twice and the other had been out 8 times. I was so deliriously happy it bordered on the childish. But I didn’t care.

People are borrowing my book! If I’m lucky, I might also get plr. 😀

(Incidentally, this isn’t the cover I chose for the book, it was the one I was given by the publisher, but I wasn’t going to argue.)

So after I calmed down, we settled down to listen to Judith speak and it was nice to be in another actual, physical writerly environment. I’m always interested in the process of writing, from idea to finished product, and I also like to know how much research has been done and how it’s applied to the work in progress.

Yesterday was pretty much more of the same. I pitched for more work and I did computer-based work, and I’m doing that today too. I’m just finishing up one job, another has arrived in the post, and I’m negotiating another with a potentially new client that should lead to regular work. There’s another job I pitched for last week, re-pitched this week, and I want to send out a hard-copy pitch in case my emails went into their spam. That would also be a nice little regular contract if it comes in.

I’m not going out this weekend. I’m off to see the parents on Sunday, or maybe Saturday, I haven’t decided yet, and the rest of the time will be chilling in front of the telly or working. We’ve had more hot weather forecast so it will be too warm to take the dog out during the day.

Y’all have a good one. 🙂

Flu packs bags

blog thumbnail Following a second drug-free night, although granted another unscheduled lie-in, I’m finally starting to feel better. I can breathe. I’m not drowning. And the fog has left the cavity between my ears. Here’s hoping the flu is packing its bags and will soon be gone.

Yesterday turned into quite the admin day, a steady plod getting me back into the swing of work. I didn’t clear any jobs, but I re-set the body clock (nearly) and made several inroads.

Today I want to edit a manuscript and get it sent back to the author so he can see my suggested changes.

I’ve already done this week’s walks report and filed it, with 6 newspapers. I’m not seeing these papers but other members of the group are and we’re apparently getting some good coverage with quite a few walkers turning up after reading about us. Listing the walks for the next 2 weeks has reminded me that it’s Moonraker Festival time at Slaithwaite and we have a walk on the 23rd. It’s a 6-mile walk but an easy one, and the dog can come with me. I’m fancying joining that one …

I also have an appointment in town today at 2:30pm, which will cut the day in half but at least I’ll have some fresh air.

On the way home I want to get some lemon juice so I can have a go at pancakes this evening. I forgot to get the lemon juice when I surfaced at the weekend and went to do shopping. I’m not very good at pancakes, I have to concentrate really hard, do everything by the book, then close my eyes and cross my fingers. I love pancakes with sugar and lemon and would eat them all year round if I had the knack.

The dog will also need a walk at some point and I’d like to make a dent in the next job.

Happy Pancake Day. 🙂