This Christmas I took a very big risk. I bought my darling wife a top of the range, induction hob friendly Paella pan. Made in Spain with Spanish instructions translated into hilarious English but that's by the by (or should that be bye the bye?).
I also bought a Paella pan for our darling daughter and son-in-law. Also risky as a present.
I compounded my crime by getting some paella rice and some saffron. I wrapped them as mysterious presents. Hints don't get much heavier.
-click to enlarge
-scratch screen for a whiff of the Mediterranean
Have to say that the hints went down better with daughter than with wife so I sought wise counsel from daughter. Her legal advice was 'Leave it a few days'. So I did.
Yesterday I could stand it no longer but how best to raise the matter?
Then I caught sight of local supermarket Booths' Christmas catalogue in the kitchen. Before I could take time to reflect I blurted out "I wonder if Booths sell frozen seafood?" Subtle as a 3kg bagful of rice.
I got one of those looks which experienced husbands recognise on the instant. The usual wisdom in cases like this is 'when in hole stop digging' but, unable to stand the silence, I filled it with "I could go along and see" which did little to improve things. "If they do, I'll make it" I added pathetically.
That did at least provoke a response. Eyes, rolled towards the kitchen ceiling and with teeth clenched my darling wife hissed "Wait 'til tomorrow evening".
That was yesterday. Today is tomorrow. I shall report further. If I survive.
The water tower is high and dry by a very long way. If we ever flood the country is in serious trouble. Nonetheless the Christmas of 2015 has been disastrous for many people in the North West of England as Atlantic storm Desmond was followed by storm Eva on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Many communities have been flooded for the third time in the month of December.
Settle has, so far, escaped the worst of it. Here is the river Ribble at Queen's Rock in normal times:
Queen's Rock is the massive glacial boulder centre left. It doesn't look like it but it is the size of a house. This Boxing Day the water was right over the top of it and the trees a little higher up the river were awash, as was the riverside footpath:
With the camera on a different setting, this is a side view of Queen's Rock:
And looking downstream from the Millennium footbridge:
What the pictures do not convey is the sound and speed of the river. All this water, and much more, is destined for the historic Roman town of Ribchester, many miles downstream, which was inundated by floodwater.
Our rooftop weather station recorded 117.8mm (4.65 inches) of rain during the last 7 days.
Full screen, sound on - enjoy. (I bet I know where this is leading)
It is clear that this is a no-expense-spared costume drama of the very highest quality which, if successful, will do wonders for the numbers of visitors to the Settle-Carlisle railway in general - and Ribblehead in particular.
All five apartments have been sold and we look forward to meeting our new neighbours.
Stationside was designed by Stephen Craven who did detailed design work on the water tower and the navvy hut so he was well able to consider the three buildings in the context of one another. I reckon he has achieved an excellent result.
Settle is really looking up so far as its large old buildings are concerned - ours included, in all modesty.
The latest is the former police station - once a very up-market mansion complete with its own ballroom. It was sold for a song quite recently and is presently being converted into up-market apartments. Here's the front - facing Duke Street, the main road through Settle:
click to enlarge
And the back:
Other places to have had the treatment are Marshfield House on Kirkgate:
and Settle Town Hall, simply too big for an adequate picture:
Sutcliffe Buildings, next to The Folly, are being restored and made into affordable apartments:
Meanwhile, right alongside the water tower new apartments are almost finished. I have posted some part completed pictures which looked promising but it can only be a matter of a week or two before they are finished. Watch this space and prepare to be amazed.
A weekend of disastrous flooding in Cumbria and Carlisle especially after the heaviest UK rainfall on record. All railway lines into Carlisle were closed including The Leeds-Settle-Carlisle, unusually.
But this morning our remarkably robust railway line re-opened to traffic. And to prove it here is the destination display on the rather weather beaten but bang-on-time 1348 train for Carlisle:
click to enlarge
The sun is shining and the outdoor temperature is 14C - very warm for December. The flags on the water tower are flying as our little gesture to the flood hit areas further north - Cumbria and Scotland.
Sorry for Blog-silence for a while, but happy to report that I am back home after re-admission to hospital because of a wound infection which seems to have been well and truly hammered with 'aggressive antibiotics'. I cannot speak too highly about the care and attention I have received at #Airedale Hospital - and at the #Townhead Medical Practice in Settle.
I was sent home with a pack of 28 injections, being administered daily by Pat with the utmost skill - hence the title of this post.
I shall spare you the details of my hospital stay, though I could write a book about it, be assured. Just two though:
1. Post anaesthetic / morphine hallucinations are frighteningly real. More power to the police for efforts on drug driving.
2. A gem from a fellow patient who had spent much time as a guest of Her Majesty. "It's easier to get out of prison than it is to get out of hospital". Smashing chap - the sort who would come to anybody's aid if in serious trouble.
I shall always remember one night in Bradford CID when I was with my detective sergeant at a night club 'cultivating informants'. Things got ugly and DS Harvey* removed his watch - always a danger sign. A renowned Bradford villain, built like the proverbial brick thingy-house, but with a sense of right and wrong joined us. "Don't worry Mr Harvey. I'm here with you".
Funny old world.
* Think Beverley Hill Cop. DS Gordon Harvey was the spitting image of DS John Taggart (left), alongside whom I was most definitely DC Billy Rosewood.
Gordon Harvey was a hard bitten detective but with a heart of gold. His hobby was breeding budgerigars.