Locked down …

… but, fortunately, so far, not locked in.  We are very lucky, living in the wilds of Northumberland.  For the most part it just feels like an extended winter without the temptation to take a motorcycle out on salty roads nor play golf on water-logged courses  In some ways, life is almost simpler.  Lacking other inspiration, here are some images of the neighbours who don’t seem to have got the hang of social distancing:

Ewe mucky kid …

Here’s lookin’ at ewe kid

Ewe don’t have to say you love me …

Don’t look back …

The local longhorn …

Same walk, different light

Travel theme: Tempting.  These photographs were taken on the same route as an earlier post but in a completely different light.  There is a ground frost in the mornings but the skies are clear, the air tingles and there is optimism.  I was tempted out. I was tempted to find the nearest outdoor jacuzzi and take a dip.  I was tempted to call in on the neighbours and get to know them better. I could not resist:Across the fieldBack road

JacuzziNo BullDefinitely no BullTop raod

(click on the images to enlarge)

Red Bull

I am fond of this Longhorn – he has appeared in this blog before but he is such a handsome beast that he deserves more exposure.  He seems quite docile but you would not want to stand within the arc of those horns – a sudden turn of the head could have dire consequences; impaled by innocent curiosity.

Red Bull

Red BullHe does not have a name that I am aware of but I am sure he has a number.  I was once involved in the development of a common identity set for migrant workers, a surprisingly difficult if dry subject.  In a long ago presentation to the European Commission I concluded that as our colleagues in agriculture had developed such a reliable system for the transportation of livestock across borders, we should give every migrant worker a cow – my attempt to lighten the proceedings did not go down well in all quarters; it is more than CAP and the UK rebate that divides us.

Red Bull

Red Bull

Red Bull

Apologies to all those who were expecting a post on motor racing – perhaps he is called Sebastian or more likely Mark (@AussieGrit).


Now that snow is falling on my blog until 4th January 2013, falling faintly through the universe, I have posted some seasonal photographs.

Before I get onto the main subject I thought I would share this rejected Christmas card.  At some stage in the Photoshop editing process I became bored with the image; it was taken down one of the local lanes but in the end I thought it looked too much like something from the top of a biscuit tin.  Returning to it a few weeks later I am loath to discard it altogether.  The fine words from James Joyce did survive onto a different version.

2012 Christmas Card - RejectedI have been blogging (horrible word) for a few months and now seems an appropriate time to introduce the neighbours.  We live in the wilds of Northumberland but we are still part of a modern multicultural society – near neighbours include Highland Cattle, Longhorns and Llamas (or are they Alapacas, I am never sure):

LonghornHighland bullockSmaller Highland bullockOr maybe Alpacas...or AlpacaIt is perhaps unkind to be rude about the neighbours but these Llamas don’t look to be the sharpest knives in the cutlery drawer, but then again, looks can be deceptive.  This final picture contains the inevitable sheep, looking unusually grubby against the white, white snow.  This is facing southwest across the Tyne Valley; the river is on the right, shining brightly as it temporarily changes course before heading into Newcastle, the Shields, Tynemouth and the North Sea.  The picture was taken just down the road from where these poor unfortunates suffer the rigours of a northeast winter.

Across the Tyne Valley