Belle rolling by Soulby Bridge
Rainbow near Hawes 17th September
Tough journey up past Mallerstang to the Moorcock Inn, 14 miles into strong wind and heavy driving rain. I neglected to put my waterproof trousers on and my Wellington boots literally filled up with water. I didn't mind and my feet were nice and clean. I had the stove stoked up with wood before l set off, so it was soon nice and hot in the wagon and I got changed into some dry clothes and warmed up. Later on l went in the pub, had a pint and sat in a comfy armchair and fell asleep reading a book. The next few days l headed along Wensleydale with the wind behind me, which makes it much easier for the horses. Since leaving Cornwall in April I've done 1400 miles. The horses are in good condition. The days are getting shorter and I'm mentally preparing for the winter. I stopped down Tinkers Bottom, near Great Ouseburn, many people have stopped here over the years. My friend Clare sent me this picture of her stopped in the same place about 15 years ago in the snow.
Solar shower Yorkshire 22nd September
View from window
Practicing Tin Whistle
Sunday 22nd of September, woke up at 6.30am, read until 7am. Had breakfast, put new hind shoe on Belle, soon had it on, she'd worn the other one out, had horses yoked up and on my way by 8am. Beautiful morning. Sold two clothes pegs as lucky charms to a lady on the way, 50pence each, it all helps. Walked about 5miles, trotted about 5miles, watered horses on the way, got two pails of water from a lady who was in her garden, horses thirsty, hot day. Walked the next 5miles, did shopping in Howden and stopped in my normal stop almost under the M62 where it crosses the river Ouse. Got more water for the horses from a lake nearby, although l'm next to the river Ouse it's much to dangerous and difficult to get water from and it's tidal. I pegged out the horses, made a meal then lay on the bed and slept for an hour. After I'd rested I collected firewood, brushed the horses and made a lovely pot of tea. Then I enjoyed taking photos and played my pipes under the bridge. Lovely sound!
Lincolnshire, September 23rd
A misty start, no good going anywhere in the mist, so l gave the wagon a good sweep out and tidy. By half past nine the sun was out and l went into Goole. On the way l saw a grass snake about 3 feet [1metre] long. It had just been hit by a car and was dead. I stopped and took a photo. Every day l see lots of creatures that have been killed. They often have interesting expressions on their faces, sometimes angry or sad. I pulled the wagon into Goole high street and stopped for an hour and played my pipes. While l play, the horses just stand and go to sleep. They don't need to be tied up, they know the routine, they like the towns as there are no flies. After busking l head down beside the river Trent for 15 miles to Amcotts. I stopped in one village and chatted to an old lady of 86, l tried to sell her my spotted pony and we had a laugh . She enjoyed feeding the horses an apple. On the way a kind lady gave me a homemade steak pie and a can of cold Guinness to wash it down. I was glad as it was a hot sunny day. The pie was lovely. I was also given some courgettes , tomatoes , spinach and some apple's. l thanked the lady and gave her a few clothes pegs. A bit further on the postwoman stopped and gave me an ice-lolly , we'd stopped and chatted 3 years before. I collected some branches of dead elm for my fire. That evening l cooked some Basmati rice, flavoured with Star Anise, and l fried the courgettes and tomatoes in olive oil and steamed the spinach. A nice simple meal. Later on an old farmer came and sat by the fire and shared some cans of beer he'd brought.