About Me

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antrim, antrim, Ireland
Hello and welcome to my blog. If you like flowers and gardens, housey stuff, food and banter, then this is the place for you. I am a decorative artist, florist and maker of things. I sell painted furniture, plants and crafts, through a local retail shop, in my native Ireland, and wedding flowers from home. I am married to a lovely patient man and have a smashing little girl. I blog for the fun of it. Thank you for listening.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

John Brown's Cottage

I am feeling a little bit nostalgic and emotional about my past, these last few days. I have been harking  back to when I was aged nineteen. My mum and Dad loved each other, of that I have no doubt, but they couldn't live together. They spent 20 years coming together and then splitting apart. One of these splits, involved us , (the kids) and my mum, moving lock , stock and barrel, away from Ireland, away from my Dad, to the Yorkshire Dales. My Mum had a friend in her church who had a cottage we could rent. So it was we set off, with trepidation and a little excitement to find 'John Brown's Cottage'!

It seemed like we would never get there as we went more and more into the back country roads of the Dales. Here it is, I do apologise for the quality of my photo...

My sister sits on the step a little overawed I think, my brother in the doorway. It was a shock, we came from a city, to the middle of nowhere. As I looked around, and took in the old doors and windows, the wooden floorboards, an old Aga in the kitchen, and an old ball and claw bath in a bathroom that had no curtains, but looked out over fields of green with nothing but trees and cows, I thought that I had died and gone to heaven. This was the life for me....I was in love. The rest of my family took a little longer to come around to the idea of country life, but I embraced it wholeheartedly.

Neighbours came to our door, not straight away, they kindly gave us time to settle, but they came and brought us gifts, apples from their trees, tomatoes from their greenhouses, flowers from their gardens. They made us things too, cakes and pies and bread. We were overwelmed.

We were invited to a Harvest Festival at Kirkby Malham Church. Never having been to such a thing we weren't quite sure what to expect. Here's the beautiful old church.....

The church was full of flowers and food, even tins of food I remember. Two things stand out in my memory, the first, a man stood up and started to aution off the food. He must have been an auctioneer of livestock. I remember we all got the giggles, we were having difficulty enough with the accents, but when he started going,' thert y fave, for ty fave '
at a rate of notts, we just couldn't believe our ears.

The second, I shall never forget as long as I live. A little girl stood up, she must have only been 5 or 6, and she began to recite a poem about a lamb. She had such a lovely little voice with a Yorkshire accent and she didn't falter at all. I now know the poem was by William Blake.....

'Little  Lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?
Gave thee life, and bid thee feed,
By the stream and o'er the mead,
Gave thee clothing, wolly bright,
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the Vales rejoice?
Little Lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made me?

 I ended up staying in Yorkshire when I met my first husband , and my family returned to Ireland. I will always love it, and the people in it.

I hope you don't mind me indulging in a little trip down memory lane, and I wish you all a.....
Love Linda x                             Images...my own, Pinterest, Google and Tumblr.


  1. Hello Linda:
    We have very much enjoyed tripping down memory lane with you and reliving your past. The Yorkshire Dales are indeed spectacularly beautiful and so, although the circumstances were difficult, we can easily see how you would have been beguiled by this lovely countryside. We have relatives from Yorkshire and can well imagine how they would have generously welcomed you and your family into their midst.

    And, we wish you too a very Happy September as autumn creeps silently in...!!!

  2. Such a beautiful post, Linda. The country is such a gentle, healing place.
    Big hugs,

  3. Happy September to you, Linda!
    Thank you for the beautiful journey!
    I'll be doing the artichoke post soon with a link back to you!

  4. Thanks for sharing such an amazing story of your family and the kindness of others - it really warmed my heart xo

  5. What a lovely if not a bit sad post Linda.

    I am sure everything must have seemed very strange to you when you moved away from your home and the surroundings that you knew so well
    but thankfully everything worked out well.

    I loved the poem about the little lamb and also the fact that you were made so welcome by everyone in your new corner of the world.

    I enjoyed your trip down memory lane.

    Happy, healthy September to you too.

    x Fiona

  6. Hi Linda
    Such a beautiful post and the images are superb.
    What was, perhaps not ideal at the time, moving to Yorkshire, no doubt has left a major and memorable impression. You articulate your memories so beautifully and I thought I was with you in church giggling at the auctioneer. Don't get me giggling in church! ha ha - it is impossible to stop.
    Wishing you a great week
    Helen xx

  7. Hi Linda. I thought I had posted my comment but it hasn't shown up, so you might get two comments from me! First of all, I love the header photo. That was a beautiful post, and I was really quite touched by it. I'm so glad that the people were kind to you at that time of big change in your life. Hugs.

  8. What a lovely post Linda. You made me laugh at your description of the auctioneer. The man that sells the livestock in Northumberland also does the antique auction. People from outside the area can never understand him, it always makes me smile.
    Beautiful pictures as always, thank you for sharing :)
    Love, Abby xx
    ps. Thanks for your comments, I will let you know when the book arrives. x

  9. September seems to be a nostalgic time . Maybe because it is a time of new beginnings usually. Pretty images and a sweet view of your memories.

  10. Lovely post, hearing about your past. Sounds like a magical setting for a childhood & the warmth of the neighbors is inspiring. XoL

  11. Great post Linda, love it so much!!!
    my parents splitted after almost 30 years, and though I was an adult it still hurts... SOmetimes we need to go back with our memories, no matter if they are good or sad feelings, we just need it.
    A big kiss

  12. Lovely, lovely post Linda, so nice to read the praises of Yorkshire, the county of my birth - and proud of it I am too. Thank you for sharing some of your childhood memories. I haven't been near the county for twenty years probably now, but have very fond memories. Chief of which always involve my favourite Uncle Alan, his wife Aunty Moo (she was called Muriel) and my cousins. Memories of my first fish and chips, eaten at Harry Ramsden's (the original and the best) and picnics on the moors, the only blight on these being the seed cake Auntie Moo made, which I loathed, but which the sheep seemed to like - I threw it behind me when nobody was looking! So thank you for sharing and bringing back some memories for me.

  13. I smiled a little sad smile throughout this post Linda.
    I'm sorry it wasn't the happiest of circumstances that took you to Yorkshire, but I'm glad that it was a place that eventually gave you some good memories.
    I too have very very fond memories of the dales and know the little church at Kirkby Malham....even remember to pronounce it Kirby Malam!
    Glad you indulged in a trip down memory lane - you took me with you!
    Ps i bet the auctioneer was called Simon Smith!

  14. Dear Linda,

    Thank you for sharing part of your childhood with us. It sounds like a sad time, but a happy time as well! I hope your parents get on well nowadays. You did get back to Ireland in the end......for love?

    Wish you a happy evening!

    Madelief x

  15. Hello again Linda! I am so grateful for your reply as I had no idea that Philip Serrell had written a book. I was on the pilot programme for bargain hunt with him and he is such a genuine and lovely man. It must be over ten years ago now, but have not forgotten what a great time I had in his company. Well, that is another book you have recommended to me this week :) thank you!
    I hope Lois is continuing to enjoy her dancing lessons and her new term at school too. I expect it will be half term holiday soon... where has the time gone?!
    Lots of love, Abby xx

  16. Hello Linda, I really enjoyed your lovely nostalgic post, it just fitted in with how I am feeling at the moment. Thank you! Jane x

  17. This is such a beautifully written, evocative post about part of your childhood. The choice of illustrations is just perfect to accompany the text too. So nostalgic, and so autumnal. Thank you for sharing your memories, Linda.
    Enjoy your weekend.
    Helen x


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