1 November 2023


November 1st and a short walk seemed in order - just to get out of the house. Stretch my legs. A five minute drive up to Ringinglow. I parked Clint in the car park where I met up with my quizzing chums on several occasions during The Time of COVID when all pubs were closed. There was a picnic table where we sat and joked and drank some cold beers at what we called "The Alpaca Arms". Those were the days.

2020 was a bit like our wartime. Currently, down in London, the official COVID Inquiry is well under way. There will be no charges - it's not that kind of inquiry. But what is being revealed is the disorganised but "macho"culture that existed in 10 Downing Street under our clown prime minister - Boris Johnson. When it came to facing up to the COVID challenge, he was in denial - like a rabbit caught in the headlights.

He thought that COVID was Nature's way of dealing with old people and that they should accept their fate for he wanted to focus upon the young and getting the economy going again. It seems both callous and incredible... and this was the guy who led us into the continuing disaster that is Brexit. How could anyone have  believed him?

See the top picture... just as I set off on my walk, I spotted the old beech tree in a clearing, nicely illuminated with a carpet of fallen beech leaves surrounding it. I think that image speaks quite eloquently of November here in northern England.
Viewed from Greenhouse Lane, a small herd of cattle above The Mayfield Valley. I think that misty light also speaks of November. And so does the western sky above Greenhouse Farm. It's 3.50 in the afternoon but all too soon, night will fall. 

Last weekend we put the clocks back an hour - quite why I have no idea but doing that always seems to hurry on the wintertime with its long black nights and its very short days. Next spring seems so far away.

The old beech spreads its limbs
Above a coppery carpet.
Curious cattle stare at me 
Above The Mayfield Valley
And I turn to see the sky
Above Greenhead Farm -
Heavenly whorls and swirls 
Of watercolour light
In the radiance of a white sun
Lamenting the death 
Of another day.
And I suddenly remember
We have reached November.


  1. Boris is a sociopath, I would expect no less of him. A child with power.

    Your walk looks lovely and the poem is well done.

  2. That last picture and those words are just stunning. You are a very talented Mr Pudding.

  3. You had Boris, we had Thing 45.
    I don't think you'll have Boris ever again, but let's hope we don't have our horrid leader again.

  4. A very novemberish post indeed. Your poem matches the pictures perfectly.
    The beech and the copper carpet are very much what our a walk in the Black Forest (which was actually a colour forest that day) was like last Saturday.

  5. Beautiful photos and a lovely poem. As for Boris.......!

  6. You are so good at poetry. I love that beech tree surrounded by leaves. And the little farm sheltered by trees.

  7. Excellent photos and a lovely poem to welcome in November.

  8. So strange that your country and ours had such bizarre baby men as heads of the government during such a very hard time when we needed real intelligence to help us through.

  9. Boris would have left the old to their fate for the sake of the economy. How many members of his party still think like that? I thought the Laura Kuenssberg State of Chaos series was astonishing, but the enquiry statements go even further.

  10. I need to get out for a walk, when duty allows.

  11. Setting back our clocks is this coming Sunday for us. I'm not looking forward to it.

  12. The colors in that first photo are almost unreal. Terrific job, Neil.
    I enjoyed your poem. You have a nice way with words!

  13. Great Autumn photos. Will you be getting a hairdryer to kill the Covid germs? I they will get their come uppance at the next General Election.

  14. For a country with allegedly a well developed pandemic plan in around 2018, the government response to COVID was to abandon all prior planning and precedent and commit to a lemming-like slavish copying of China. The social, medical and economic consequences will reverberate for many years to come. All that one can say is that the elites will ensure that the Hallett enquiry will reach its whitewash conclusion, those responsible will get their gongs and payoffs, and the poor sods in the wider country will be ignored as usual.


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