25 January 2021

Circuit

Brooding shadow of the author by an old stone trough - this morning

This sunny Monday morning saw your intrepid reporter tootling north west of the city back to Damflask Reservoir.  I was intent on walking round it. According to signage, the circuit is 3.5 miles in length but somehow I doubt that. I managed the whole thing at ambling pace in  an hour and ten minutes.

"Oh you're back then!" said Clint as he saw me approaching along the side of Loxley Road. "Come on! Get that ignition key in - I'm bloody freezing."

"Yes master!" I replied somewhat ironically.

Valve houses on the reservoir dam

Now that Baby Phoebe is with us, Shirley and I  along with Stewart and Frances have formed what COVID regulations call a "support bubble". We can officially be in each other's houses and of course grandparent involvement invariably eases pressure on any new parents.

Mind you, Frances and Stewart seem to be taking to their parenting role like ducks to water. The newly discovered love they feel for Phoebe is palpable. You can see it in their eyes. What they are experiencing is joy, not hassle or unwelcome inconvenience. After all, they wanted her and now she is here - to enhance their lives, not to diminish them.

Reclining angler by Damflask Reservoir

Yesterday I prepared another Michelin star quality Sunday dinner. I had purchased a nice joint of beef topside which we had with savoy cabbage, roasted squash, green beans, roasted potatoes, horseradish sauce, homemade beef gravy and last but not least - the food of the gods - golden Yorkshire puddings. For dessert, Shirley had baked a light chocolate sponge which we ate with vanilla custard. That was also a tastebud hit.

Over dinner, Frances and Stewart ribbed me about my lockdown hairstyle - another  brown mop of unruly hair with a fringe like an Old English sheepdog. I was unable to get an appointment with my favoured barber before the latest lockdown pulled down the shutters upon all of our nation's hairdressers. It looks like Shirley will have to get out the kitchen scissors again.

After dinner, Little Phoebe listened as I sang "Lavender's Blue" to her. I have learnt the song by heart now and of course she was mesmerised - even more than she would have been if Elvis Presley had been cradling her. She is the most beautiful granddaughter any man has ever had and she is developing nicely on mother's milk and around eighteen hours sleep a day. How wonderful it will be to watch her grow.

Stone cottage and sheep near the end of the reservoir

33 comments:

  1. Super photos YP. Especially the reclining Angler.

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  2. Phoebe is indeed a beautiful baby. She escaped the, usually, squashed (boxer's) nose of the newborn. Congratulations to both her parents and her grandparents. May all the fairies around her cradle bestow the best on her. Obviously there is always the one. Let's hope outweighed by the others.

    Glad to hear that you have formed a "bubble". What of the other set of grandparents? And Uncle Ian?

    If Phoebe will love her grandfather as much as I did mine both of you will be very lucky, and happy, indeed. To this day I walk through many a meadow of my early childhood, past waterfalls, in memory of a wonderful man.

    U

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  3. And grow she will! How wonderful that you and Shirley can be part of her life. I'm about to go kayaking on a local river with Mr. Moon, Vergil, and our boys. I doubt I'd even go but I asked the boys if they wanted me to and they said yes, so...Go I will.

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    1. Make sure you are wearing an inflatable life vest.

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    2. We did and there is a story there that I did not relate on the blog. Suffice it to say, those things absolutely DO inflate when they hit the water.

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    3. Oh dear! You were unexpectedly baptised.

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  4. I truly believe that I never knew love (although I tried a lot) until I held my son. He (and she, later) was the definition of heart-felt love. And I can say I love the picture of the cottage with the sheep. Have a lovely week with your queen and your princess.

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    1. Love between a parent and a newly born child is, I think, a different kind of love from romantic love or marital love. Somehow it is purer.

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  5. Is Phoebe not eating yorkshire puddings yet?

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    Replies
    1. Not yet but I have used some ribbon and an uneaten Yorkshire pudding to make her a nice bonnet.

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  6. Does Phoebe have a middle name? I've been meaning to ask!

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    1. I wanted it to be Jennifer... but alas, no - it's Harriet. Stewart chose the name but secretly Frances approved of it in memory of Harriet Tubman.

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  7. I love the blue in the reservoir and the stone cottage is a timeless picture. You are blessed to be able to spend time with Phoebe. There is nothing like watching a new life learn about the world. I love the way babies will fix their eyes on faces and study them. She is growing and learning every day and will never stop bringing you joy.

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    1. In the womb, eyes are redundant but once outside a baby has the incredible challenge of interpreting images. It's an amazing learning process.

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  8. Are you sure the reclining angler isn't Phoebe's dad catching up on sleep after being kept awake all night?

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    1. It may have been a fellow from West Yorkshire who got lost looking for Hole Bottom.

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  9. The reservoir looks terrific. Having a new baby who sleeps 18 hours a day is to be envied by most parents I think.

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    1. Actually, nearly all new borns sleeo for eighteen hours a day but that time is interspersed with milk demands and nappy incidents. Can't you remember when you were a new born baby Andrew?

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  10. Your grey shadow looks like Gerard Depardieu, playing Danton.
    My gaunt shadow looks more like Robespierre, signing your arrest warrant.
    *Les dieux ont soif,* in the words of Anatole France.

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    1. My nose does not resemble Gerard Depardieu's snout in any way apart from the fact that I also have two nostrils.

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  11. The critical mass of your shadow is a comforting presence.
    Look up Anatole France and click on images. He is like an old cavalier.
    Along with Zola he supported Dreyfus against the anti-Semitic fascists.

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    1. I look nothing like Anatole France! I look more like Clint Eastwood in his prime but with very different political views.

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  12. Enjoy the grand daughter as they grow up very quickly.

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    Replies
    1. I shall take your advice most happily Red.

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  13. Frances and Stewart may have taken to parenting like ducks to water, but you, YP, appear to have taken to grandparenting like that same duck to the same water. They are delightful, aren't they. They fit so perfectly into your arms!

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    Replies
    1. I am even dressing like a grandfather now and singing songs from World War Two.

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  14. Besotted by your little granddaughter, joy has entered your world.
    I was tackling Lucy the dog's untidy coat yesterday, can't send her to the groomer as she will probably have another stroke, used my sewing scissors - a terrible crime in the world of quilters.

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    1. Oh dear - The Quilting Police will be after you!

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  15. It looks like a very nice circuit, and you had great weather for it. Apart from the angler, were there no other people about, walking their dogs or their children (or both)?
    Little Phoebe is surrounded by so much love! And wait until she will be big enough to take part properly in your star quality Sunday meals, she will love what her grandparents put on the table for her.

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    1. There were other people around - but not so many. By the way the cottage in the last picture is on the very edge of Low Bradfield where I believe you have been. It is just down the hill from High Bradfield.

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    2. Yep, I have walked there years ago on a fine summer Sunday with my sister, Aunt Jean and Uncle Brian who live in Chapeltown.

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    3. They took you to a lovely corner of Yorkshire.

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