About Me

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here I am in a little cottage that evokes the energies of my ancestral lands - a cottage on the moors of Cornwall, or on the cliff tops of Ireland or Scotland. It has a hearth. I am a hedge witch {of sorts}. I wear upcycled clothes, patchouli oil and Redback boots. I am a gypsy; an eccentric and a mystic [I often live with a foot in two worlds]. I serve my guests, tea from an old silver teapot. I love Vervain, yarrow, chamomile & mint. Star watcher and Moon gazer. story cloth weaver. keeper of family dreams and wishes. good friend and creator of life. herbal tea drinker and potion maker.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

3 days of musings. exploring Reeth, a trip to Richmond, a Saturday drive & Remembrance Day

make yourself a cup of tea. in a pot. and sit and enjoy my thoughts.. a long post, as internet access is non existent here in Reeth..[I think this post may be in the running for the longest blog post ever! hope it is not boring.

November 9th

farmers markets on the green this morning!

 we bought some bacon & cumberland sausage from the butcher [5 pounds]. I know that butchers are world wide, but somehow, buying from a local at a farmers market makes it more real.

 and from the green grocer: carrot, sweet potato, raspberries, apples and bananas [7 pounds], the green grocer was quite a character telling us his woes with the government tax.. and the locals swarmed to us yet again when they heard our accent. lovely, friendly people. then across the green to the post office and a cup of tea at Ivy Cottage tea rooms..  with yet another scone.. but this time, a cheese scone, served with wensleydale cheese and chutney. gawd...my hips are becoming voluptuous as are my thighs.

so a stroll was in order.. around the village and back lanes..

where Joe made friends with an old local behind the fence.. an old border collie who was whimpering like only border collies do.]

then a trip to the market town of Richmond. delightful. after purchasing our pay and display token, we toddled of to find a pub for lunch, where I could sit and do my blog.. internet access at Reeth is almost non existent.. Joe and I shared fish and chips..

after lunch, we walked around the town.. up and down laneways and stairways,

it was a maze, as we are finding most of these towns are.. hidden treasures. I love this!!

I love Reeth, the views, the countryside, the village itself. I feel as if I could live here and that is why the self-contained cottages suit us so well. I get to play house, wherever I am visiting. always different and by choosing old cottages, I can absorb it all into my very being.

the gardens here are delightful. walking around, I notice vegie plots and rambling cottage gardens.. and once again, my soul is touched. this is how my garden back in Katoomba, must be. the hydrangeas are a deep pink.. mine are usually blue..and I remember my grandmas hydrangeas, pink as well as blue, and I remember her watering each plant separately with a mix of something or other.. alkaline or acidic for different colours.

Moor View is a quaint, quirky little cottage that reminds me in a way of my grandma's home in Windsor NSW. a small two story building. with 2 bedrooms up very steep stairs, with a very narrow, crooked hallway leading to the main bedroom

which overlooks similar cottages and distant views to the moors. downstairs is a lounge room, kitchen and bathroom.. like I said, I could live here.

[things that i have learned since being here: wifi or internet access is not as important as a good bathroom. wifi is available at most pubs or one can drive to a bigger town, where the dongle works. some cottages I enquired about had no shower, just a bath.. fine for me.. but Joe loves his shower. non-smoking is preferable as is a pet free cottage. because although I don't mind dogs, I am allergic dreadfully to cats.. and dog smells inside a damp cottage aren't nice.]

November 10
from my journal:
"I am so overwhelmed with all the history of England, at times. I cannot fathom it. so ancient, beyond my comprehension.. roman, norman, medieval.. Australian colonisation, being a very young country in comparison with England. a very toucy subject is all of this, I know that the land mass and our indigenous people are one of the oldest on Earth, the land mass being one of the first, but it is not part of my genetic memory, for some peculiar reason, does not resonate with my being, with my soul. as gorgeous as Australia is, I don't feel as if it is part of me. I hope to change that while I am here, by laying to rest all that ancestral memory that I carry within me, so strongly. there is nothing worse than yearning for a place that cannot be"

where we are staying, in the Yorkshire National Park, Swaledale area, is "like a time capsule, hidden from 20th century change" [something I read here, in a book]

and it is.

walking around the streets of Reeth, we feel as if we are in a time warp. and I am so, so happy that we stumbled upon the area to stay in, having the opportunity to actually live, for a short time in the Yorkshire Dales. of course, I think it would be like the mountains.. you have to be about 6th generation to be classed as a local, so there goes my chance of anyone thinking i was a local here.. that and the accent of course! although, I do keep telling them that I don't have an accent.

after breakfast cooked by ourselves.. eggs & bacon [the bacon is different here, it is not as dry and takes longer to cook, but oh so delicious!!]
we go for a morning walk around the village.. with more oohing and aahhhing...send some more postcards

and then, we were off for a Saturday drive - round trip through the country side.. driving through villages with names such as Bedale, Constable Burton and Leyburn.. all very pretty but none of the allure that Reeth has. I think I have found yet another soul home. how many can one have?

as we drive along, pheasant and grouse run out, autumn leaves flutter down and the sun shines for us. Moors turn to English pastures and we both acknowledge once again how fortunate we are to be here.

stopping at Leyburn for morning tea.. choices.. Victorian sponge, another scone or a ginger teacake?...we go for the Victorian sponge which has orange jam instead of the usual strawberry. of course, delicious. [note to self: must learn how to bake these treats..]

we get talking to a retired soldier selling red poppies on the footpath.. he tells us, that some of his brothers and sisters were sent to Australia in the 1930's - as war children.. he was left here in England, because he was only 6.. they didn't see each other for years.. and have only just had a family reunion a few years ago.

sometimes, I wish my family had not emigrated to Australia.. but then, of course, I would not be who I am anyhow.. so...that is my life. I am Australian of English ancestry and have to be happy with that. *sigh*...
[and of course, I am beginning to realize that Australia is unique.. car parking is available, organic produce is readily available and reasonably priced, I can buy rooibos in supermarkets... and many other things that we take for granted]

then through some more towns.. North Allerton [not impressed..I really think we have been spoilt with Reeth].. and then onto Thirsk. Home of James Herriot... a nice market town.

a look through the Herriot Museum - this was wonderful as Joe & I are big fans of the books and tv series.

and Joe is having some memories stirred of his mother and her love for the series.. in his words: 'it was the highlight of her day, we would sit and watch it together'

and then lunch... and the ever. ongoing saga of dongles and wifi.

back home to our little cottage for the night.. cooking our own dinner of the sausages and vegies and dining in front of the fire.. then a short walk to the Black Bull for treacle pudding with custard and a glass of wine.
Another difference to home is that dogs are allowed in most pubs and tea rooms. not all, but most. at the pub was a gorgeous border collie who Joe made friends with immediately. they are just such beautiful dogs.. and remind us both of Sydney, our dog at Warrimoo.

and as Joe put the key in the lock to our cottage door, we were both thinking how difficult it is going to equal this as we continue our travels

November 11 - Remembrance Day

a day where we go exploring the Dales for our last day here because tomorrow, we are off to York.

[for my own records: Moor View, Reeth. 4 nights 150 pounds]


  1. Such wonderful photos.
    The first time we saw a pheasant in England,(just like on the crockery!) husband screeched on the brakes and reversed and we chased it around endlessly for a photo. We figured out why passing motorists were giving us strange looks when we rounded a corner in the car and there were heaps of them around the tea room and fields beyond.
    Enjoying your adventures so much Robyn to so many places I have never been - can't wait for more!

  2. I too felt the tremendous weight of history in England -- settled Canada is a very young country just like Australia. In the city where I live, an "old" building is 100 years old. That's a new one in England, LOL!

    And I thought it was so funny that the Yorkshire people commented on your accents, when the Yorkshire accent is one of the most impenetrable accents in the world! It's all in one's perspective, eh?

  3. Robyn, I'm so enjoying your travels around England. I almost feel as if I'm there with you. I'm sure I'd weigh a ton after all those scones and victorian sponges!

  4. really enjoying your photos and posts Robyn what beautiful countryside, Lynne.

  5. Cottage sounds lovely, and that's exactly what we do. Self catering is much more fun, and we like our own company. Then a walk to the pub if we feel like it.
    Aren't those sheep dogs the most intelligent animals ever!

  6. Robyn, your stories and how you tell them, make me feel like i am with you, i am so glad that you are enjoying your trip so much. xxxxx

  7. Really enjoyed this post. You take me home with everything you write and almost make me wish I hadn't come here to live. Trouble is if you never leave England, you never appreciate what you've left.