Friday, 11 May 2012

Country notes

I have just been looking in my greenhouse where my seed potatoes are looking very wizened and sickly.  It just never seems to stop raining at the moment. The plot where the potatoes are going is rotovated and ready for them but we never seem to get a dry spell which coincides with my having a bit of spare time.

At least we now have plenty of logs to keep us warm in this miserable weather. Robert came last weekend and sawed down  two dead elms and some elder bushes. Locally they are always referred to as 'bottery' bushes or 'blummin ole bottery' and grow like weeds. They take their dialect name from the phrase 'bore tree' as when they are dried out the centre becomes hollow and in country areas the smaller trunks were sometimes used as simple water pipes.

As I was outside looking at the trees I heard the cuckoo - once so common but now quite rare. My mother always quoted the rhyme,

 'The cuckoo comes in April and sings its song in May.
 In the middle of June it changes its tune and in July it flies away'.

This is a very old rhyme but possibly less popular today as fewer people hear this evocative sound and thus have no opportunity to quote the verse.

In the meantime I am working on making DVDs of some of my old photographs so that even those without computers can look at old pictures of Goole, Howden and the surrounding areas. They will be for sale at £5 each, initially at the family history day at the Goole Waterways museum on Sunday [13th May].

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