1 January 2021

Hope

The Druid Stone

Ah well, here we are in 2021. Is there anybody on this planet who does not dream that humanity will, in the year ahead,  get on top of  the invisible virus that wrought so much distress in the past twelve months? Personally, I doubt it. And surely, with these various vaccines coming on stream, 2021 will  be  better.

On Wednesday,  I was in Robin Hood country south of Mansfield in Nottinghamshire. I parked Clint on Field Lane in Blidworth. According to legend, this is the village where Maid Marian lived - in a cottage opposite the churchyard  where it is further alleged that Will Scarlett - one of the merry men - was buried.

Later I walked through Fountain Dale where Robin Hood is said to have first encountered the truculent monk we now know as Friar Tuck. The story goes that they fought and then became friends.

Field Lane, Blidworth

How I wish that I had been one of  Robin's merry men. In my tights of Lincoln green and my feathered felt hat, I would have delighted in robbing from the rich for the benefit of the poor. That's just how I am. Another Allan-a-Dale. Another Much The Miller's Son.

And so I walked in that cold winter's day. Another big circle. Over three hours of plodding.

Want a ride mister?

I saw The Forest Stone where nobles and landowners gathered in the mists of time to meet with commoners and settle disputes, agreeing rents for the months ahead. Sherwood Forest was much more extensive back then. And I saw The Druid Stone - a large glacial erratic - that would have once occupied a clearing in  the forest. If it could talk - who knows what stories it might tell?

It's eight thirty in the morning. I have just seared a large joint of beef and put it in our slow cooker ready for dinner this evening. In a little while I shall return to bed for I didn't  climb the stairs until three this same morning as 2021 crept across The Atlantic Ocean to Nova Scotia before continuing its unstoppable journey to the west coast of North America.

The Forest Stone

42 comments:

  1. I love your last sentence.....the thought of the new year travelling across the sea to my friends in Nova Scotia and US touched something in me!
    Happy/Better New year to you all up north Mr Pud. x

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    1. And Happy New Year to you too Frances Senior!

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  2. Nova Scotia? 2021 hit Fiji first, not as our national broadcaster said, New Zealand. There is an independent Pacific island, another country that saw 2021 before Fiji. (Gotta stand up for the Southern Hemisphere at times)

    Mr Ed seems nicely rugged up and hopefully cosy in a field of snow.

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    1. You misunderstand me Andrew. As I went upstairs at 3am, 2021 had already arrived in England but not yet in Nova Scotia where Jenny O'Hara dwells. She was The Blogger of the Year in 2019. The first islands to greet 2021 were The Line Islands east of Kiribati.

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  3. Three o'clock? My goodness. I barely made it to midnight!
    Can you serve my beef medium rare please YP?

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    1. No. Because it has been in the slow cooker for four hours now! Happy New Year to you and Lord Scrooge too JayCee!

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  4. Smashing photos YP. Shouldn't that horse be wearing a mask? Happy New Year to you and yours.

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    1. Yes. He should have been wearing a mask and practising social distancing too. Never mind - he'll be dog meat one day.

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    2. He's not the brown horse that gives people the wrong directions is he?

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  5. You seem to be in a ponderous mood today, or at least were when you were writing your post. The walk included places steeped in legend and history; where does one end and the other begin?
    Reg. the virus, throughout last year there were articles in my weekly paper saying that we are to expect more pandemics with new viruses making the transition from animal to human, what with our species further and further encroaching on their lives and habitats, and people’s mobile lifestyles as well as the constant flow of emigration and immigration. I have read somewhere that this one could be considered a test run for more to come in the future.

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    1. I have heard that too. Quite depressing really. What kind of world will our grandchild know? Hope you had a good New Year's Eve.

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  6. I am trying to erase the thought of you in green tights from my mind. Here's hoping 2021 will be a much better year for us all. Happy New Year.

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    1. I have very muscular legs ADDY and if I might say, shapely too! Happy New Year ADDY! Let's keep on keeping on. We can do it.

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  7. Mmm...Lincoln green tights and a feather in your hat - is that why you really wanted to join Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men?
    Excellent photos YP, and very seasonal with the smattering of snow.
    I, too, have read the depressing news that we can expect more pandemics in the future. Those living through the era of the Spanish Flu must have thought the same, yet we are still here and still battling through.

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    1. I wonder why you seem suspicious of my motives with regard to becoming a merry man in the greenwood. You could be Maid Marian with your coquettish glances and your rosy cheeks. Bring me another flagon of wine wench!

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    2. Well, my middle name is Marion, but I'm a bit too long in the tooth to pass as a Maid!

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    3. Okay - you can be Robin Hood's granny. (Tee-hee! Only kidding!)

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  8. I love the look on that horse's face. One could give it any number of captions...especially if it caught you in a pair of green tights. :)

    On a less pleasant note - Given the chaotic and very slow distribution of vaccines in the US, I am not terribly hopeful that this side of the Pond will be in decent shape anytime soon. Basically every state has to come up with their own plan for distribution with little or no help from the government--even the promised number of vaccine doses have been withheld. The incoming administration is already being hamstrung by those in the current administration who are sabotaging efforts--deliberately trying to ensure that nothing will work well after January 20th. Despicable.

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    1. "Despicable" is the right word. Trump cares more for his big beautiful wall than he does for his COVID haunted people.

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  9. The sun may or may not have made it this far. There is a thick layer of gray clouds this morning and the wind comes and it goes, swirling downed leaves and ringing the wind chimes as it dances through again. Rain soon. And hopefully 2020 will be purely washed and whisked away to wherever it is that old years go.
    I love your Druid stone.
    Now. Stay warm, stay safe, and please keep us informed as to the status of the tiny new maid to come.
    Best wishes to you all.

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    1. Mama to be is sitting in our front room as I write. She is feeling uncomfortable now as the babe settles in her belly ahead of his/her birthday.

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  10. That forest stone looks so sad and lonely. I wonder how long ago the forest was all cleared for agriculture. Northern Alberta has a lot of bog so less agricultural land, more sloughs and scrub bush. I wonder what the area will look like in another 700 years.

    Men in tights, yikes. Have you ever seen a bicycle team lined up in their shorts? Leaves nothing to the imagination.

    Hope your roast was excellent and happy new year.

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    1. The roast turned out well Lily. The beef was in the slow cooker for eight hours. Most people look at the English landscape as it is today without realising that once most of our land was forested. A lot of deforestation happened in the fifteenth century as the wool trade grew in significance.

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  11. I've noticed an undercurrent of....something...on your blog in the past several weeks, Neil. Sadness? Depression? Worry? Yes, I know we're in the middle of a pandemic and maybe that's all it is but I can't help feeling that it's more than that. Is everything okay? I hope so.

    Sending you and your family all good wishes for the new year!

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    1. It's kind of you to ask. The only thing I can think of is the upset I felt over unwelcome, superior comments. Even as I write this I am aware of those now silent onlookers. I do not like it one bit.

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    2. It is not nice to feel like you are being judged by 'silent' onlookers. Do not let their judgments and nasty comments ruin something you love doing.

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    3. Thanks for your kind support Carol. I guess the new school term will start real soon?

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  12. You have a longing for a Robin Hood experience. I once saw a van in Nottingham advertising The Robin Hood Experience which was then based in (it said on the van) Maid "Marion" Way.

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    1. Yes, I do have that longing. Could you play the part of The Sheriff of Nottingham so that I can knock you off your steed with a stout staff?

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  13. Thanks for the walk, I needed that. I haven't been outside today, too icy underfoot early this morning. Paul took Rick out and slipped over twice! Kat did the afternoon walk. Happy New Year Mr Pudding.

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    1. I hope that Paul didn't injure himself when falling down. How many small dry sherries did he guzzle down on New Year's Eve? Happy New Year Sue!

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  14. Oh, dear. I hope I do not count as a silent onlooker. I simply do not comment here when I cannot. Happy new year to you and Yorkshire.

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    1. I was not thinking of nice people like you Joanne but of those whose first instinct is to be accusatory.

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  15. It was cold here yesterday as well, Lucy (spaniel) was falling flat on her face every time she went out for a pee, had to carry her back a couple of times. The coldest place today in Britain is Eskdalemuir at minus five degrees. Been there, so that useless piece of news struck a chord!

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    1. Who will pick you up when you have been outside for a pee Thelma?

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    2. Luckily there are three loos in the house!

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    3. Three? Hell - that's not a house it's a friggin' palace!

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  16. I loved this post. I've often wanted to visit Robin Hood country. There's still a segment of Sherwood Forest (allegedly) in Nottinghamshire that's an RSPB nature reserve, I believe. It's on my list of places to visit, but now I need to check out these villages, too!

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    1. Between Edwinstowe and Worksop there's a big section of "forest" but it's not virgin forest, it's managed woodland. The grave of Little John is in Hathersage churchyard. Robin was Robin of Loxley which is now one of Sheffield's suburban villages. On Stanage Edge there is a cave called Robin Hood's Cave. The guy got everywhere!

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    2. There's a Robin Hood Bay too, isn't there?

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  17. Okay. I am recognizing a theme here. Robin Hood, green tights, Friar Tuck...you were over at Northsider's challenging HIM to a fight today. You've got a secret longing to join up with a band of Merry Men.

    As far as the superior ones? Let it be. Don't give them a second thought. Your blog is a comical one, and I enjoy reading it. I don't consider myself a sycophant but I know a psycho when she comments.

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    1. It's good to look for the goodness in other people and not to focus on their mistakes, oversights or contradictions. Thanks for your active support Debby and if I have not said it already - HAPPY NEW YEAR! Happy New Year to you too Ursula and Rachel! We know you are watching taking notes.

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.

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