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Herons Above!

Herons above the River Breamish

Went out on my once-a-day exercise a bit later yesterday afternoon, as our home school video lesson for our granddaughters was scheduled for later in the day. The girls had to do a virtual egg hunt in the garden (using Google Duo on an iPad) and when they found an egg there was a sum on it. They had to work out the sum and an associated clue – which basically spelled out ‘Simon Says’ – and then we played that. So lucky to have all this helpful modern technology.

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My Old Oak

Old oak near Branton

Everyone’s got a favourite place, right? A favourite place to be? A favourite place to just look and see what you can see?

As I enjoy photography as a hobby, I have a favourite location that I like to keep returning to and to keep taking the same photograph. Yes, over and over…and over. It’s an old oak tree in a field opposite the Branton Lakes Nature Reserve, just before the Branton footbridge. I love the solidity of it, the way it stands out from the Cheviots in the background, the wide expanse of the field in front, the coming and going of sheep and people. I say the ‘same’ image but, of course, that’s the point – it never is the same image. The world changes, conditions change. More sun yesterday, more cloud today. More calm yesterday, more blustery today.

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My Green Dene

Green Dene – Crawley Dene

Too windy to ride my bike for my once-a-day exercise yesterday, so off I went to the Crawley Dene out from Powburn, heading south and loosely following the Shawdon Burn. The day before, I’d concentrated on looking up and saw a Breamish buzzard. Yesterday, however, I focused on looking down – and what a sight! Crawley Dene becoming green so quickly after the vernal equinox:

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Home School

Home School resources

Many thousands of parents and carers throughout the UK are now having to home school their children. Bit of a shock to the system, eh? We can feel ill-equipped to carry out tasks that we usually leave to the professionals – our teachers, teaching assistants and other educators. But – in addition to the worksheets and learning packs that schools have prepared for their pupils, both on and off line – there are lots and lots of resources online to make use of. Many are already set out into mini lesson plans, so this reduces the amount of time required for preparation.

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Empty Spaces

Empty spaces in the valley

It can’t go unnoticed that the spaces around us are predominantly empty of people at the moment. While it’s somewhat strange, it is heartening to see that the majority of people are heading the UK Government’s stay at home policy.

For my daily exercise yesterday (Saturday 28 March 2020), I walked around the Hedgeley Lakes and back home following the path along the A697. In the seven-and-a-half years that I’ve lived in Powburn, I’ve never seen the A697 without a single vehicle on it on a Saturday: extraordinary times!

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Empty Valley

First exercise in empty valley

The Government’s current response to the coronavirus pandemic is quite clear that we should stay at home except for one of four reasons:

  • shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
  • one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household.
  • any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
  • travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.
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