A Craven diary: when to turn on the heater and Poppy the cat in cat heaven



HOW the nights fall and the temperature begins to drop, the question arises every year: When should the heating be switched on?

Well, some households may agree on this and are not the lucky ones; But in my house it is a source of great conflict and not just when to turn on the heating, but what temperature should the thermostat be set to? Below 20 degrees or more? I like a perfectly adequate 18 degrees now, but the other person in the house would prefer the ridiculously mild 24 degrees or more. Nobody is satisfied with the “compromise” of 21 degrees, and the thermostat is sealed to prevent manipulation. I can only hope that the rise in oil prices means efficiency gains and a cooler house.

A colleague who has already turned on the heating in her house, terrifyingly, has a very, very cat. Poppy, pictured below in her own seat, is clearly in cat heaven.

It was interesting to follow the route Cancer Research UK supporters took last weekend on the 40 mile Big Hike from Horton-in-Ribblesdale.

Hikers set out from Horton, bypassed the summit of Penyghent and joined the Pennine Way, across the Fell Fountains to Malham Tarn, Settle and Stainforth and back to Horton. It wasn’t an easy task, especially given the sudden summer that must have hit a lot of people.

My route was only a few miles shorter and for much of it I used the same trails, it was interesting to see footprints where normally there are none.

I’m happy to say I’ve seen very little rubbish, only two or three places where people appear to have used the “outdoor facilities” and scattered scraps of paper. Most amusing of all were the pink and blue portable toilets at the base of Fell Fountain – which looked gorgeous in the sun.

Caution: do not put your bank card in the phone case. It was dark by the time I got home after my 21 miles, and I used my phone’s flashlight – annoyingly, my card had fallen out along the way – I retraced my steps the next day where I guessed I was starting the torch, however no luck.

SHOPPERS at Morrisons Supermarket in Skipton were recently invited to try their hand at a rowing machine or spin bike, all for a good cause.

Jett’s 24 Hour Fitness teamed up with the grocery store for Get Active for SELFA to raise money for the Skipton children’s charity.

About 45 people, including the grocery store’s own community champion Clare Reed, paid £ 1 each to either row 500 yards on the rowing machine or ride a bike for two minutes.

The fastest on the bike were John, who covered 1.45 km in two minutes, and Phil, who completed his 500-meter series in just one minute and 27 seconds – both men were rewarded with a six-month membership at Jetts Fitness in Skipton .

Gym owner Josh White said, “Since we’re a community based gym in Skipton, I’ve always heard what a good charity SELFA is and what they do for the community.

“When I walked into the store and saw all the community work that Morrisons was doing, I wanted to know how we as a gym can help since we’re just across the street. The event turned out to be a success and it was great to encourage the local community to take action and donate to SELFA. ”

Clare Reed, Morrisons Community Champion, added, “It was so nice to see two companies support a Skipton charity. It was a great event in which everyone could contribute – including our employees. I hope that this is the beginning of a long-term partnership between the three of us and that we are already planning the next fundraiser! ”

Nathan Smith of SELFA was also delighted: “It was incredible that two big organizations are supporting SELFA after the pandemic and we hope that this is only the beginning of big fundraising drives in our community as we are always looking for more people to serve SELFA can collect donations to keep our services running longer.

“The fundraising campaign was a great success to raise SELFA’s profile and to collect donations for our vital services.”

While the Morrisons-themed supermarket just launched “It’s Good To Grow” – a campaign to donate gardening tools to school children in hopes of educating children about where their food is coming from.

The program provides that for every £ 10 spent in-store or online, customers will receive an “It’s Good to Grow” token in their My Morrisons account through the app and website, which can then be donated to each school to redeem tools like gardening tools, compost bins and seeds to grow.

Morrisons hopes the initiative will help build a connection between children and healthy eating by making school children aware of the journey of eating from the field to the table.

Download the My Morrisons app from the App Store and Google Play to earn ‘It’s Good To Grow’ tokens that can be donated to schools for redeeming garden tools.

MANY people will remember Skipton-born writer Ann E Brockbank, who now lives in Cornwall with artist partner Robert W Floyd.

Ann has written seven Cornish novels – five historical and two contemporary – and all of them are available in paperback and eBook on Amazon. Her stories are full of friendship, love, and family secrets with an air of suspense and shuddering intrigue.

Ann says: “My parents were well known in Skipton – my father Thomas Baxter was the owner of Cox’s Taxis – once the only taxi company in Skipton. My mother, Margaret – Peggy for her friends – was one of Skipton’s first post ladies and a fine seamstress who made numerous gala queen and companion and bridal gowns for countless Skipton brides.

“As much as I loved my hometown, the surrounding Dales and my Yorkshire roots, Cornwall’s beautiful coastline, beachside cafes and a relaxed lifestyle drew my late husband Peter Brockbank and me here in 2001.

“We settled on the banks of the Helford on the Lizard River, where Daphne du Maurier played her novel Frenchman’s Creek. I also found the river and its surroundings really inspiring and started writing my first novel. Unfortunately, I lost my beloved husband 18 months after moving to Cornwall, but since he always believed in me as a writer, I continued to write my novels. ”

Ann recently completed her seventh book and the third in the Cornish Chronicle series. My song from the sea follows ‘A Gift from the Sea’ and ‘Waiting for the Harvest Moon’.

She says, “The Cornish Chronicles are set in and around The Lizard, Cornwall at the turn of the twentieth century by the sea. ”

She adds, “I’ve found that writing novels is the perfect balm during this terrible pandemic – it certainly kept me sane during the lockdown. There is nothing better than getting lost in a book that transports you to another time and place – regardless of whether you are writing or reading it. Books are something I think we all need right now. ”

Ann, whose other books are set in Yorkshire and Devon, is currently working on her eighth novel, the fourth book in the Cornish Chronicles. Ann can be found on Facebook under AnnEBrockbank. Author



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