I couldn’t help it!

Yesterday was spent on and around the North York Moors and even my daughter agreed it was a very good day out!

The idea for the day had started with finding a star-gazing event at Sutton Bank. So, it seemed logical to find another event in the vicinity beforehand……. which turned out to be an Apple Day at Helmsley Walled Garden, where I had hoped to identify a new apple tree for my own garden.

As it turned out, the ‘Dark Skies’ event at Sutton was a bit of an anticlimax after the initial talk about the universe, because the moon was too bright and the clouds were too many to view the stars. The Apple Day was also a slight letdown, as there were only a few varieties of apple to try out instead of the many I had expected.

However, I did identify an apple which appeals

I am told these are hard to get hold of in spite of being a Yorkshire apple

and the walled garden was itself a pleasure to walk round.

whilst in the orchard, we bumped into the head gardener, who was explaining about pruning apple trees

in case anyone is wondering, this isn’t the head gardener

Another plus for the day was discovering the government has changed the rules on Gift Aid. Now, in return for 25% of the entrance fee being added by government to what the visitor pays, the benefactor of this gift has to offer something to the visitor. Thus, we now have free entry to the garden for the next twelve months.

The trip up to Sutton Bank was also made more worthwhile, this time by what I found near the car park before the talk started. We arrived early, so went for an exploratory walk and guess what I found?


About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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11 Responses to I couldn’t help it!

  1. Kalamain says:

    Many local apples are not easy to get hold of. Were they selling the fruit at all? Maybe you could buy it direct from them.

    And, yes… Dark Sky events can be very hit and miss. We did one in the highlands of Scotland and the one day it was cloudy that week… Guess when it was? >.>

    • Helen says:

      To my knowledge they weren’t selling the fruit, just juice. However, I’ve checked that R.V. Roger in Pickering have the tree, so now I know where to go if I decide this is the tree I want 😊.

  2. Helen says:

    I hope you enjoyed your time in the Highlands, anyway πŸ˜‰

  3. I didn’t realise that gift aid had changed – thanks for this.

  4. So, a bit of a mixed bag, eh? I’m glad you took away a few positives. Is your daughter at that age when she wants to come along less and less? That was a hard transition for me: the day the boys no longer want to be read to, the day they stopped holding my hand. And now: I’ve got this, mom. Sigh. They grow up. If you’re doing it right, they’re supposed to gain independence. But man it’s hard.

    • Helen says:

      It’s in my daughter’s nature to say no rather than yes, but usually she finds out that she enjoys it. I was pleased that she got so much from the outing on Saturday, though – probably enjoyed the apple juice tasting and the talk more than me lol.

      I can understand why she doesn’t want to go to committee meetings – for example – but at ten I feel she is too young to be left for more than a short while home alone. Besides, I think she will gain a lot from being in different situations and she might as well be with me as opposed to playing on the iPad in her room.

      There will come a point, won’t there though, when you can’t reasonably make your child come with you. And where you need to let them do things without you. We’ve been past the no more reading, which to be honest was a bit of a relief, and I am pleased that I’ve got her past the stage where she won’t publicly say goodbye to me.

      I think your boys will come back again as adults, won’t they? But I’m not looking forward to the stage you’re at with yours now, Alys, and I feel for you!

      • Ten is pretty young to be left alone. And you’re so right: kids often assume they’ll be bored, only to find otherwise. Further, we learn from being bored to a certain extent, something this next generation is less familiar with.

        The boys will definitely come around. I already see it with my older son, who returns from each few weeks away at college, more self aware, more thoughtful and a delight to be around. I love both boys and can’t imagine not having them in my life.

        • Helen says:

          Children are such an amazing addition to our lives. Good to hear your elder son is coming round 😊.

          And there is definitely a merit in learning to cope with boredom!

  5. Awesome update thank you for sharing have a blessed day

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