Long term readers might remember Mrs Gnomepants V1.0 was a multitalented artist, but if you are new, this will probably be news.
This is the Green Man, taken today in 2007, which Mrs Gnomepants V1.0 sculpted out of clay for our second house, the one in Barnsley. It is a hollow plant pot holder with an entry on the top which you can’t see from this angle. We coated him in yogurt before putting him outside so that the moss would grow over his face.The idea was that he would age through time and become greener and greener with the moss and his ivy hair would add to the effect.
I don’t know what he looks like now but I’m sure he’s doing well.
If I fell through a hole in time and travelled back 45 years. If I then looked out of my bedroom window across the field behind the lane with no name and beyond the field behind the field behind the lane with no name, not only would I have upset Mrs Edson’s daughter, but I would have seen the winch wheel of a pit stack.
While rambling through Howell Woods yesterday I mused on how trees are natures factories. This time of year they are beginning their annual processes spurting forth green shoots in preparation for the busy summer months of photosynthesising. Then in October/November they begin cut backs and shed jobs (leaves) before becoming derelict and barren in the dark winter months.
I also mused on the number of very happy squirrels lolloping about in the undergrowth. They seemed so peaceful and happy, probably because they are mostly left undisturbed by man. My detective skills got a touch of virtual WD40 too as I noticed little tell tale signs of badgers. Such a lovely woods. So peaceful.
The woods come under the control of Doncaster Council. Doncaster Council are notorious for being lazy money embezzelling wasters, apparent from the poor state of the signage littered about the woods. Most of this signage looks like it last saw glory days in the early 90’s. The faded and vandalised information posts detail local historical facts. I was unaware that South Kirkby has an iron age hill fort. I knew that Brierley has a stone circle of sorts. It seems this region of South Yorkshire is a veritable mine of ancient historical monuments. Now mostly crumbling away. Uncared for by the governing council bodies and forgotten about by the locals. A shame really.
The only indication that the woods were there was a tiny little damaged brown sign on Common Road gesturing that I cut across fields rather than take the purpose built access road. Potholes and tractor damaged hedges illustrate the need for more money and affection from governing bodies. Indeed the car park had seen better days too. Resembling a litter strewn crater, the car park is obviously a favourite night time haunt of local youths complete with burnt remnants (possibly of vehicles) and broken glass.
Sawn and naturally fallen trees indicated that some forestry had gone on at some point. Though it was possible that the sawn trees were just kids messing about with stolen chainsaws. Furthermore, there was indication that the area is used for other purposes. Yesterday’s picture showed the “Archery Area” warning, but I also witnessed signs telling the casual visitor that the discharging of firearms was forbidden. Probably ignored judging by the tell tale dimples in the sad and sorry metallic sign. Likewise, the sign forbidding the use of off road motorcycles was similarly ignored by the helmetless youth who noisily sped past it bound for his one day fatal date with a head on collision.
But beyond the shabbiness the woods were tranquil. The woods were haunting. The woods teemed with wildlife and promise of better days. Maybe this is the wood’s winter. It certainly looks like it once had a burgeoning spring and a busy summer visitor wise. But I hope it survives it’s current winter of mismanagement.
Sometimes I thrive on being unprepared for situations. I like to think on my feet. I find that the adrenaline helps me think sharper, but not necessarily clearer. Though since being on adrenaline suppressants I’m not always as sharp as I used to be. A case in point occurred on Monday of this week.
It’s kicking off in the Lane with no name (Lwnn). For those who don’t remember the Lane with no name is the lane that runs along the back of Gnomepants manor and connects the other 4 houses to the outside world without having to use the front steps which nobody uses which are steep. In times past it was also used as access for brewery vehicles to the Village Club but they don’t use it any more as they have better vehicles these days.
What was that?
Fireworks dear go back to sleep
Are you sure?
So I got out of bed, put on my jeans and slippers and went into the lane-with-no-name. Flames, at least 10 foot high were licking the trees on the boundary of the Brierley Social Club and Mr Pritchards garden. Behind which 3 or 4 cars were parked! All of which were on fire and going POP with frightening regularity.
“What can you see?”
“Call the fire brigade!”
4am in the morning. The fire brigade are there now, the lane blocked at the top by a car, their access not thwarted because of the nature of hoses.
This is the fourth fire in as many weeks. Looks like Brierley has an arsonist.