the bird table, a starling picks up piece after piece
of bacon rind wiping each piece back and forth a few times on the feeder,
in a way that reminded me of the action of a blackbird or thrush wiping
the slime off a small slug before eating it.
A wintry day in the park, with bare trees against an afternoon sky of
high banks of silvery grey stratus.
Christmas approaches the traffic in town is slowing to a crawl as people
converge on the centre. We park a mile or so out of town and enjoy a walk
alongside Thornes Park.
I'm not sure what the large red berries were; the leaves reminded me
of holm oak, the trunk of hawthorn. The tree grows at the Denby Dale Road
entrance to Clarence Park.
Dales Way Launch
we get to the Ridings Centre I'm surprised to hear my name in a public
address announcement; I'm here to sign copies of my latest Sushi Sketchbook
in Ottakar's bookshop.
It goes well; several people who've walked the Dales Way ask me to sign
copies. One or two of them emphasise that they started from Leeds,
adding almost 20 miles to the 82 Barbara and I walked from Ilkley to Windermere.
The final couple to call for a book tell me they'd just heard the announcement
as they were about to leave the Ridings Centre. When they heard the words
'Dales Way Diary' the husband said; 'That'll be Luke Casey!'
(the presenter of the long running Dales Diary on Yorkshire Television).
One man told me that he was sending the booklet to a friend of his in
South Africa with whom he walked the Dales Way (from Leeds, need
I add) fifteen years ago.
'We took tents but on a couple of nights we booked a bunk barn as we
felt in need of a shower,' he told me.
Barbara and I appreciated the comforts of the excellent bed and breakfasts
we booked along the way.
oak at the Offwell
Woodland and Wildlife Trust
Richard Bell, email@example.com