Thursday 29 November 2012

"Good afternoon". Smile. "I'll just say a little about this leaflet "

Part 1.
"Good afternoon".
"I'll just say a little about this leaflet I'm  putting through your door."
 I unfold the A6 size folded sheet to reveal an A4 sheet with 4 rectangular miniposters on each side..
First posterlet "We have a coffee morning at St John's Methodist across on the main road every Tuesday but THIS Tuesday it's in Aid of the Rainforest Fund. I'll be selling my photo greetings cards."
 This post is about efforts to encourage people to come to several events at St John's Church and elsewhere, and it is also maybe  a sociological record of our corner of the world.

Second posterlet: "And this Sunday afternoon in the Church hall we have a special service for Advent - Café service - with refreshments and more lively than usual services:. for families. 4pm"
Third posterlet - "And look at this one - next Wednesday we have a talk on Moths in China at Townhead Court - That's a Craven Conservation Group event.. Don't often get that as a subject do we!..."
Fourth posterlet  "And here is a list of all the Settle Churches Together  Christmas services - You'd be welcome at any of them. This list will come out in Settle Community News too."
Fifth  Posterlet - "And here if you know anyone of any age by themselves at Christmas they'd be welcome at the Settle Community Christmas meal.."
Smile. "Thank you"

And in some cases I listen for a whatever the recipient wants to talk about.

The Café Service that our church holds once every two months (in the church hall) is very interactive, informal, includes a couple of families with children  and starts of with nice food and chatting to people (or maybe even attempting the  quizzes or word-searches that have been placed on the tables on the upcoming theme of the meeting) - It is more - yes- interactive is the word  and fun,  than an ordinary Sunday Morning Service.

But how can we get extra people there when no-one except ordinary church members ever come.?

So I decide to try leaflets - and having about four other things to advertise at the same time seems a good proposition.

Wednesday 28th finds me in a small estate (two roads) near the church in Settle putting leaflets through doors, with the aim of talking to people where possible. It is a bright frosty day with brilliant blue sky, and the green fields and light grey cliffs and rocks above the town reflect the sun's light.

I set off.  I know four old people in this estate and two middle aged households. At least I could maybe talk to them... though I am not sure exactly which houses. And maybe I will find more people I know - Settle is a small friendly place.

First problem: Many of the front doors have "No Callers, No Doorstep Tradesmen" signs. What am I to do? Did this include no "leaflet dropping"?."Pretty unsociable." I am thinking.

Second problem:  I can not remember exactly which bungalows two of the friends/acquaintances live in. I asked a potential neighbour - but she does not know either. I approach the adjacent bungalow where a window-cleaner is (yes) cleaning windows. The neighbour calls "Don't knock there, she is too old to come to the door". Meanwhile the window cleaner has knocked at the window and the elderly lady comes across slowly, very slowly,  with her zimmer frame to pay the window cleaner. I have a chat with her.

I see now why some of these bungalows have "No callers" stickers on the door.

So much for my bright idea of livening up housebound old people's days by calling I as I walk round.

This idea is reinforced as I greet a carer I know who is visiting two more  houses.

but I do have chats with some  people and passers by.

And what do they say to me?

One lady
"I went inside your church to sit and be quiet and remember my relative who died several years ago.. but someone was playing this loud awful music on the organ...."
"Maybe he was practising" we agreed..

One elderly gentleman (who I do know slightly) :

"Don't talk, I'm deaf (ish) - let me read it - Coffee morning?"
He gives me some money for the Coffee morning - and I give him a photo greeting card of wildflowers on Pen y Ghent.
Bless him. It cheers me up far beyond the value of the money he gave me for the Rainforest Fund.. 
"I've walked up all these hills, Pen y Ghent , Whernside," he said, looking at my cards of views.  "but I miss my wife.. She was younger than me."

The third in depth conversation is with a decorator - the second decorator  working in the 100 houses that I have visited. He is painting someone's second home. He and his wife have lived in a village 5 miles away for 8 years but had moved into Settle this year.

Hmmm. - analysing this article so far...
I should have explained  Why it is important to save the rainforests (or asked them if they thought it is important) .. and have been more emphatic about the welcome they would get at the church and the quality of the cakes.

One only has a minute to say something so as not to take up too much of people's time.

Part 2.

That's for another day.

Wild Flowers on the Edge - The Story of North Yorkshire's Road Verges

I recommend this book

Whether you are a beginner who does not want to be overpowered by plants that do not grow in North Yorkshire, or by too much detail and botanical names, or an expert who just likes looking at pictures of old friends. (There is an appendix of Latin names in the back)

May be I will rename this post

"Ten Reasons to buy Wildflowers on the Edge"

Authors: Margaret Atherden and Nan Sykes Publication date: 2012  ISBN:978-1-906604

I bought this book last week. I attended the AGM of the YNU held at Harlow Carr Gardens in Harrogate and one of the authors Margaret Atherdon was selling them. You can buy them online here.

I would recommend this book as a 2012 Christmas Present for many people in North Yorkshire and the north of England, because they are unlikely to have got a copy  yet and:-.

  1. It has about 10 plants and photos per page.
  2. They are arranged by habitat of by season or by "look alikes"
  3. The text for each picture is a few highlighted key points - the equivalent of one sentence or One and a half tweets (210 characters) - e.g. tips for distinguishing between look-alikes
  4. Road verges are where one often botanises  - A walk often starts from a car which is on a road. they are accessible for people who cannot walk far.
  5. In many parts of Yorkshire, much of the fields in between roads have been reseeded or heavily fertilised so now contain no (well hardly any) wild flowers: - the verge can host a relict flora from bygone days.
  6. It only includes plants from North Yorkshire - so one is not sidetracked by a plethora of other plants that only occur in different parts of Britain. This makes it much easier for beginners
  7. North Yorkshire stretches right across England from the North Sea on the east to within about 12 miles of Morecambe Bay on the West. It includes in the NW some high land mountainous habitats representing North West Britain. And it includes South East Agricultural Land. N Yorkshire has a great variety of geology -roads cut through limestone and chalk grassland, though acid moorland and bog as well as lowland arable land and places with hedgerows- so there is a good variety of plants in the book.
  8. This book has only just been published - so your friend is unlikely to have a copy yet
  9. Non botanist naturalists -  bid watchers, butterfly people(i.e. Ornithologists , Lepidopterists) might like and easily accessible book to read about what their organisms are eating or living on
  10. Experienced botanists like reading about plants they know - old friends.

If due to space problems I had to thin down books in my house, I would keep two other floras rather than this - Stace and a flora of my choice with pictures (I could recommend several).

I have not read all "Wild flowers on the edge" yet but it stays on the cupboard top and I enjoy dipping into it (when I should be doing other jobs) - looking at pictures of flowers that are "old friends", and using it as a grown up "I spy" book to see which hedgerow flowers I have not yet seen.

Monday 26 November 2012

Coffee Morning - Rainforest Fund Tue 4 Dec 10am

More details at
Only a week to go till the coffee morning.
I must put some more posters out.

Here are pictures of three previous Coffee Mornings:

Sunday 25 November 2012

Settle Community Christmas Lunch Pictures 2011

Join us for Settle Community Christmas Day Dinner in 2012. - So far by 26 November 24 people have booked (including helpers).

Here are some pictures from our Settle Community Christmas Day Dinner & Tea 2011

(Join us in 2012)

Bring in the Turkey

Carving the Turkey


Enjoying the meal

Enjoying the meal

2010 (St John's Church Hall)

Saturday 10 November 2012

Settle Community Christmas Day Dinner and Tea 2012

Settle Community Christmas Day Dinner & Tea - 12 Mid-day - 5pm on 25th December 2012 Townhead Court

If you have no plans for Christmas Day, then why not consider coming along to Anchor’s Townhead Court, BD24 9HY for dinner? A full Christmas lunch with all the trimmings, plus light tea, will be provided for only £10 a head. It is open to all ages. We are also looking for volunteers to help with the meal and transport. Phone 01729 822138 for details or to book.

This is a follow on from the same event we have held previously at St John's Church Hall .

Links to previous events:-
2010 (St John's Church Hall
Suggested programme:
9.00. Sleep in/ Go to church in near Settle/ Go for long walk
11.40 - those who have asked for lefts get lifts to Townhead Court
11.45 Drinks at Townhead Court
12.30ish Christmas Dinner
2.30  A Few light party games
4pm - (Light) Christmas Tea
5pm according to interest -depart (Lifts offered)

Recommended walk on Boxing Day at Fountains Abbey, 35 miles away:

Friday 2 November 2012

CCG Fungus Foray at Settle 2012 with Archie McAdam

Jane Blinkhorn and Archie McAdam were scheduled to run CCG's 2012 Foray on 31 October.
BUT.. we had had a wet cold summer and autumn - and rainy weather was forecast on the 31st October.  Would we be able to find enough fungi?

Jane and I made independent walks on the Saturday to look at some of the plantations at and near Wildshare to look for fungi - and had found very very few..

On the Monday we went together and looked at two sets of fields that Jane said were good for waxcaps. One had virtually none. But  in the other set of fields, even though the slippery wet grass looked grey through my misty, rain-splattered spectacles, we found some waxcaps and it looked much more promising. And Jane said she had found some good plants at Scaleber Foss - a tiny area of beech woodland with dangerous steep slopes at one side..

I booked St John's Church Hall so we could go back early after the foray on the Wednesday and look at specimens.
Setting off

Well, the morning itself stayed fine. And just over 20 stalwart Settle people and visitors turned up.

A romantic setting - but beware of the bi drop 
at the waterfall and the steep sided banks.

Archie examines a specimen found by our youngest 

What is this?

And this?
The PBA contingent

Plenty for all to see

Spectacular Rustgill - ... Gymnopilus junonius

Taking photographs

Our second site was grassland near Mitchell Lane. We had permission from the farmer to wander off the path..

Here is some Klebsormidium crenulatum (flamentous alga)
on the branches of the hawthorn tree above.

On the more positive side - It is exciting on a foray when someone finds
Cordyceps militaris (Well done Liz) growing in the grassland.
This will be growing out of the dead body of a
caterpillar or pupa that it has colonised.

Closer up of the Cordyceps militaris

Now back to the hall

Back at the hall we spread our trophies on the table

And Archie gave an excellent introduction to fungi

Hygrophorus hypothejus from the woodland

"Here is one brought in earlier" from near Watery Lane
 -  a huge tuft of Velvet Shank - Flammulina velutipes.
his can withstand the frost well and is edible

Can you see the difference between Clitybe geotropa (Trouping Funnel) and Clitocybe nebularis (Cloud Funnel cap)?

These pictures are all Trametes gibbosa - Lumpy bracket - (gibbous means hunchbacked or lumpy or like a gibbous moon)

With local Products display behind

 Archie is a Methodist Local Preacher - so I was proud that the Settle Methodist Church Hall could house us for the splendid informative session he ran.

On the board behind him is my "LOAF and Local Products display"

There is space on the green paper to write down local products.

Archie told us about the book he has written to help people work out which genus of fungus they have found..  He gets it printed by a firm in Burnley. So I think this justifies it going on that list: - you can get it from Summerfields: (£5-00 plus postage)

Thank you to Jane for planning it, to Archie for his expert knowledge and for taking home more difficult specimens to examine under the microscope.
And to everyone for coming.