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    We are making progress. More and more of us are walking and cycling. Perhaps because of this, a new Countryside Code has been published this year. `From what I remember about the old Code there was an emphasis on taking your litter home, keeping dogs on leads, remembering to shut gates, and not starting a fire. Now, we are being asked to ‘Be nice, say hello and share the space’. Although, I am walking outside a little more, I do not think I will go near enough anyone to say ‘Hello’ just yet, but I am keen to be nice and share. Another emphasis of the new code is to keep to marked footpaths, to protect crops and wildlife. Farmers have found that we walkers are straying off footpaths, especially if they are muddy. Perhaps the code should have mentioned sensible footwear? We have a footpath here, from a wooden stile, on to a field of corn. The footpath goes diagonally across the field to a stile opposite – leading onto the A5 if you are brave enough to dart across such a busy

It's Not A Boy! Chapter 5, Aunty Cecily and the lamb - Part 1

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Here is the first part of my chapter about my Aunty Cecily from London and how I got my pet lamb

Having a quacking good time

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  I have done it! I have been cycling for the first time in a year. And I noticed many others had the same idea too. We are all suddenly taking to the road on our bikes. Admittedly, it was only a short ride but oh, how fantastic it was to be there on the open road. So different from being in a vehicle. I felt part of the countryside on our little lane. There were lots of wildflowers I had not noticed before when I drove past in the car. They are growing so fast, like a centimetre a second! Especially the huge hollow stemmed hemlock, it seemed that it was taller when I cycled back. We used to call it rabbit meat , but rabbits do not eat it (they eat our vegetables). The only thing that stops hemlock in its tracks is the farmer’s cutter. Something stopped me in my cycling tracks though, and that was the potholes. I had to steer round them and if a car was coming behind me, I had to stop and wait. The driver behind would not know why I was steering into the middle of the road so unexp

It's Not A Boy! Chapter 4, Helen in Pink - Part 3

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This is the story of how I tried to make a new posh friend. It is about how (not) to get on in the world!

Still lolling about in lockdown

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  Balloons sailed over our 'paradise'. They are back! They must have crept in when we were away on holiday. Yesterday morning a baby rabbit was on the lawn, boldly eating the grass. There are three fields to choose from but somehow our lawn is better. I know it will not stay at that. If there is one young one, then there will be more, experience tells us. Mr T (acting as Mr McGregor) searched the perimeter and found a hole in the wire fencing. The rabbits had dug a tunnel about three feet under the wire (which was buried in the soil) and then they came up on our garden side. We have blocked the hole. But are the rabbits now stuck in our garden? Yes, they are still here, I saw two on the rockery this morning. This is disastrous they will eat our vegetables. It is a worry, as they indiscriminately nip off tops of nearly anything, even if they do not want to eat it. I remember rabbits in great numbers on our farm in the 1950s and then came myxomatosis which was deadly to them.

All the fun of the fair!

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   The gannets have started nest building I took this photo at Bempton cliffs East Yorkshire Two unusual and exciting things have happened to me this week. The first thing that happened was my self-catering holiday. You are allowed that in the new COVID easing of rules. However, everyone must have had the same idea because there were queues on the motorway over to the seaside. People who have been shielding can go out now, but we must take extra care. I did not go in the shops or walk on the prom or even go on the temptingly sandy beach. I did not stand in the fish and chip queue, where people spread out, leaning against the wall prodding their mobiles, until it was their turn. I did not sit outside the unisex hairdressers on jaunty red plastic seats alongside the people, with unruly hair, hoping for miracles. My hair is still waiting for that transformation after the cruel cut of the kitchen scissors. I did not join queues here. Instead, I watched the fun fair with its blow-

It's Not A Boy! Chapter 4, Helen in Pink - Part 2

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In this second part of Chapter 4, you can hear about how I got on when I first went to school in 1950 - how different it was then!