Friday Again……. I think?


It is Friday again……  there are occasions in these troubled times, when normal is far from normal, that the days of the week blend seamlessly together and even merge with the weekend.

I am though, pretty sure that the Blacksmith and his assistant ( probably have been some young lad who should have been at school),   would know when the working week was coming to its close (probably Saturday lunchtime if they were lucky).  The Blacksmiths Shop above has long since stood idle…gone is the noise, heat and smells from hot coals and the metal  being shaped with the thud of a hammer.

Just for the record…it is Friday…I think

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

28th August

(C) David Oakes 2020


A Pleasant Reminder……. Up High


Every so often Facebook throws out an image to remind me of previous events.  The pic above is of Grandson Ewan.  It was taken back in August 2014 (boy he has grown since then).  It is the helicopter that is the other significant reminder.

For it was this weekend 6 years ago that I had a treat of a Helicopter flight.  In truth it should have happened a year previous, and on various other occasions, but as is often the way with pre booked flights the weather has other ideas.


But this time I was off up and away and Ewan was there to wave me off.  This was not just any flight, this was to replicate the Dam Buster Run up the Derwent Valley, the flight those RAF Pilots took on their training missions prior to the German Dam raids.

The Upper Derwent Valley is a real favourite location of mine, but it is extra special in August when the Heather on the moorlands is in full flower.  At ground level you find it fantastic, from above it does rise to a higher level of fantastic. Sorry the images are not pin sharp or as bright as they could be, but in a moving chopper and through a Perspex window it the best I could do….

Hellic--09911qqq-sharpen-sharpen The water level is low but in 2014 it was soon back to full level.  But also notice how steep and enclosed these valleys are.  The dams are hard to find, just think of the skill those Lancaster Pilots had to execute, just to fly even the training missions.

As a bonus for having to wait nearly a year for the flight, our pilot took a detour.  The detour was over another of my favourite places Chatsworth House…..  always spectacular, but from up here you get to appreciate the true size of the House and its Gardens…. The Palace in the Peak.

Now that really was an added bonus…

So Thank You Facebook for the memory reminder….was it really 6 years ago!

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

17th August

(C) David Oakes 2020

Summer along a Woodland Path…..


A Derbyshire Woodland Path

A walk along a woodland path takes some beating at any time of the year.  But at this time of the year, when in the middle of August, signs of autumn start to appear….. it is extra special.  Only small signs now, but a reminder that we are heading for the season of ” mellow fruitfulness” .

Not everyone looks forward to autumn.  I have mixed feelings.  Autumn itself is a wonder of nature, packed with colour and rich smells.  But it also a sign that the darker days, often the wilder weather, is only a short breath away.

So enjoy what remains of August……  and also lets hope we get an ‘Indian summer’, that would be a big bonus in this strange year.

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

15th August

(C) David Oakes 2020

Market Day…


Market Day…….  slowly some of the activities we all took for granted are getting back to normal…..maybe not the normal we knew and took for granted, but what is now referred to as the ‘new norm’.  Trouble is the boundaries of the new norm seem to change quickly and frequently….nor that user friendly.

This was Market Day in Ludlow, Shropshire a couple of years ago, full of bustle and socialising, popping into shops just for the fun of it.  I wonder if and when we will get to a better norm rather than this new norm


Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

14th August

(C) David Oakes 2020

and so it continues…… Hot and Humid


Lakeside, one spot we can usually rely upon for a breath of cool air.  Not today.  We certainly had the shade, but it was just as hot and the humidity now becoming stifling.  Here in the UK , whilst not noted for its hot summer days (there are in fact many more than folk give us credit for),  it is the  high humidity which is the most taxing aspect of this current mini heatwave.  I say mini as it cannot last for that long.  So we don’t have AC as standard in our homes.

So we make the most of shade in the woods and down along the lake….. hot, humid but still not a bad place to be….

Taking advantage of the shade ,Buster found some friends and a chance to socialise, owners of course at a safe distance, dogs not so !


It appeared as if it was also too hot for this Goose to even go for a swim.  Standing with a sorry look upon its face, not moving ….. but there is a sad story to tell…


This Goose came to my attention in October last year.  For some reason it became attached to two Canada Geese.  All winter they were a threesome, what ever the weather you would find the 3 happily swimming, sheltering, sliding on the ice, or just simply as they say “hanging out” together.  Then The Canada’s started nesting,  and I though that would be that.  But no, as the female sat on eggs, the male Canada and the White Goose kept guard, no one dared venture near.  Then the eggs hatched and for many weeks, six goslings , mum and dad Canada’s and the White Goose cruised the waters. Again the Goose played its part in protecting and  rounding up the chicks.  The chicks grew as they do, then last week this troop of Canada’s have flown…  leaving the Goose on its own.   There are a few other White Geese on the Lake, but this one has kept itself to itself, and looking rather lost and sad.

It has been a strange year in so many ways for wildlife, flora and habitat.  The Lilly pond has taken  up until now to produce anything like real Lilies.  Buds have formed, but never matured into a flower….  this week we see some progress…


Who knows what else this strange year will have instore for us all….  So….

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

12th August

(C) David Oakes 2020