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  • Nicholas Rhea's Diary
    knocked into the river is said to have occurred near Fountains Abbey Friar Tuck also hailed from Fountains there s a lovely story of Robin s first meeting with the curtal fryar in the grounds of the abbey In one of his battles with the king s men however Robin Hood was severely injured and taken to his cousin s convent at Kirklees near Huddersfield in West Yorkshire She was Elizabeth Stainton a noted physician and prioress of the convent and as his supporters waited in the woods she treated her ailing cousin But she allowed him to bleed to death for reasons which are not clear The dying Robin shot an arrow from the room in which he lay and said he wished to be buried where the arrow fell That grave is in the grounds of the present Kirklees Priory but there is no public access If these facts are true it means Robin Hood was a Yorkshireman a suggestion that is akin to treason in Nottingham There are other references to him in Yorkshire but did he really come to Robin Hood s Bay when the King s men were hunting for him These stories perpetuate the mystery of Robin Hood but we still don t know whether his life was one of pure fiction or whether the man of this enduring legend actually lived Posted by Peter N Walker 08 04 PM GMT Link Monday March 17 2003 Next Friday is officially the first day of spring and we sense a feeling of cheerfulness at the prospect of the forthcoming season It brings a promise of milder weather fresh flowers and foliage in our gardens and in the countryside bird song and new life all around us There is little wonder the poets went into raptures about spring Wordsworth s lakeside host of golden daffodils are too well known for his verse to be repeated here but he also wrote about the cuckoo W H Davies wrote about singing skylarks Edmund Spenser featured the sweete violet the pincke and purple cullambine as well as cowslips kingcups and daffadowndillies Browning delighted in the chaffinch singing in the orchard while Gray spoke of the warbler and John Clare liked peewits rooks lady smocks and horse blobs but one poet has left us with a puzzle What is the sea blue bird of March that Alfred Lord Tennyson 1809 1892 mentions in his poem In Memoriam When rosy plumelets tuft the larch And rarely pipes the mounted thrush Or underneath the barren bush Flits by the sea blue bird of March He might be thinking of the swallow which can arrive in some parts of the country in the early days of March although we would expect to see our swallows later in the month or even well into April The nuthatch has a greyish blue back but its colouring can hardly be called sea blue and not even the blue tit fits that description It follows that not

    Original URL path: http://www.nicholasrhea.co.uk/author/archives/archive-032003.html (2016-02-17)
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  • Nicholas Rhea's Diary
    art thou a monk swimming Later there was the wonderful one in which Sir Anthony Eden was brought down by the Sewage Crisis I am sure there were and still are lots more similar joys But back to the wood anemone This is one of the most delightful plants of the new spring and it seems to favour deciduous woodlands where it flourishes among the fallen leaves of the past autumn It is a relation of the buttercup but produces tall flowers with white petals which can vary between five and nine in number It can grow up to a foot in height but is usually six or seven inches 15 18cm although it can rise to only a couple of inches or so Half way up the stem there is a ring of three leaves each with three toothed leaflets The single flower rises from the centre of those leaves and the entire plant has a somewhat delicate appearance In spite of its rather fragile appearance however it is a tough plant which is well able to withstand the rigours of late winter or early spring but if you pick one of these flowers it will wilt and die very quickly The wood anemone loves sunshine and on a fine day the flowers will open on firm stems where they will cheerfully nod in the breeze to present a very attractive sight But the moment night falls or the day becomes dull the flowers will close and their heads will droop in what can only be described as a very graceful manner This will reveal a slight pink tinge to the undersides of the petals Not surprisingly the Greek writer Pliny called them windflowers but he believed they only bloomed when the winds rose Perhaps they do in Greece

    Original URL path: http://www.nicholasrhea.co.uk/author/archives/archive-022003.html (2016-02-17)
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  • Nicholas Rhea's Diary
    a real turn for the worse in mid or late February From the weather aspect an old verse is very well known If Candlemas be fair and bright Winter will have another flight If Candlemas be full of rain Winter will not come again But if we look in our gardens parks or woodland we might see an early sign of spring the snowdrop Sometimes called the snow piercer it

    Original URL path: http://www.nicholasrhea.co.uk/author/archives/archive-012003.html (2016-02-17)
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  • Archived Weblog Entry - 01/15/2014: "55th Wedding Anniversary"
    the village However our photographer managed to dig his way through it all and fortunately was able to rescue the Registrar whose car had become marooned in a snowdrift The marriage was a Catholic ceremony and in those days one had to have a Registrar in attendance I arrived at the church to see Rhoda s father and brothers clearing a path and was particularly interested to observe the Registrar also wielding a shovel He was a retired police inspector who had been my boss when I was a raw young police cadet I recalled with amusement another wintry day during that time when he had instructed me to clear the snow from the paths around the police station I did so and reported back to him when I d finished expecting to be congratulated on my work But no he definitely wasn t pleased with my efforts and berated me Walker You ve not finished yet you haven t cleared the path to my front door I didn t think clearing the path to his home was part of my duty but I daren t object and back I went to do as he commanded So to see him

    Original URL path: http://www.nicholasrhea.co.uk/author/archives/00000089.html (2016-02-17)
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  • Archived Weblog Entry - 11/27/2013: "Dorset Trip"
    were very keen to go My eldest daughter Janet suggested we rent a cottage as a base and offered her services as chauffeur for the 300 mile drive to the south coast She has a splendid new car with Satnav and all mod cons so I didn t need asking twice So last Friday saw us motoring through the New Forest on a beautiful crisp and sunny day the trees magnificent in their autumn colours When we arrived at the rather swish Rhinefield Hotel there was a buzz of excitement about the place with photographers clicking and flashing their cameras at all and sundry After some introductions and preliminary drinks we were ushered to our table on the balcony of a huge Jacobean dining hall all a glitter with chandeliers and sparkling crystal The proceedings were much like any other awards event but we were immensely proud to be there to see Tricia receive her much deserved trophy The filming of Benedict s Brother is due to start in October next year some of it in York and some in Thailand Can t wait for it As you may have seen on my front page Murder at Maddleskirk Abbey is now available as both a hardback and an ebook Apologies to anyone who had to wait for their hardback this was because it sold out very quickly catching the publishers unawares However it is now back in print and I am anxiously waiting to see how this follow up to the Constable series is received If it goes well I ll get cracking on a second one I have a Pluke novel with my agent and fingers crossed that should see the light of day next year As they say Watch this space I m still writing my column for

    Original URL path: http://www.nicholasrhea.co.uk/author/archives/00000088.html (2016-02-17)
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  • Archived Weblog Entry - 02/14/2013: "Whitby Abbey & Valentine's Day"
    leave coins on the top of the cross for the benefit of poor people In no time at all we reached Sandsend and let the boys loose to scamper along the beach They were like puppies off the lead When they tired of racing around we scooped them up and went on to Whitby for a bite to eat at the charming Vineyard Restaurant in Silver Street After that I took them through the old snickleways which meander down from the West Cliff to the harbourside As a young bobby stationed in Whitby I got to know all the hidden passages away from the tourist trail I showed the boys where the smugglers used to land their illicit goods from boats and transport them via a secret tunnel to an ancient pub higher in the town From the harbour we made our way over the old swing bridge along Sandgate where the boys bought their mum a little glass lucky duck from a craft shop There was a lively market in the square as we made our way to the bottom of the famous 199 steps After a bit of huffing and puffing from the grandparents we all made it to the top of the East Cliff the boys counting to make sure there were exactly 199 There s an elaborately carved cross at the top of the steps It is dedicated to Caedmon who was an uneducated cowman living and working at the abbey when Hilda was Abbess He is said to have had a vision where someone appeared in his sleep and asked him to sing to the praise of God Caedmon had always been extremely shy about singing but the vision gave him strength and he began to sing about the Creation From then on Caedmon composed

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  • Archived Weblog Entry - 11/27/2012: "November update"
    towards getting her book made into a film and is looking for more development investment It would seem it takes even longer to get a film underway than it does to get a book into print However she remains steadfastly confident it will happen We have been a bit concerned recently about our eldest grand daughter Eleanor I mentioned earlier that she is at university in Louisiana on a tennis scholarship She sustained a shin splint injury which unfortunately developed into a stress fracture and she is off tennis for 6 weeks However she is not one to dwell on adversity and last weekend she hobbled off to celebrate Thanksgiving at the home of an American friend in Lafayette She s also had the opportunity to see some of the best American football players in action at the famous New Orleans superdome All new and exciting experiences that she will remember for the rest of her life Back at home in England her sister Anna is busy sorting out her own university applications and has received a couple of offers so far She is interested in pharmacy and is working hard on her A levels to get the necessary grades She has just had her first driving lesson I have briefly mentioned the girls brother Angus in a previous diary entry He is also a very keen and talented tennis player and took up a scholarship at Millfield School in Somerset in September He d never been away from home before but settled into boarding life remarkably well and loves it He s always been a very active boy and was often bored at school but now he says he actually enjoys going into lessons When he is not in class he is playing tennis all over south west England

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  • Archived Weblog Entry - 09/27/2012: "Homecation"
    the Old Moor Nature Reserve near Barnsley This is an RSPB site and even though it is bordered by a busy main road it is very tranquil and peaceful in the grounds There are several hides around the water so we had the opportunity to observe all the wildlife at close quarters Over the next few days we went to other nature reserves but also visited Sledmere House and walled garden did several walks along the east coast cliffs including Bridlington found a fascinating nature reserve at Nosterfield near Masham and even managed to fit in a theatre matinee at Scarborough Observing our rule not to do any cooking we treated ourselves to dinner at a Michelin starred restaurant expensive followed next night by a cosy supper at a country pub at half the price On the way home from the theatre we found a marvellous fish and chip restaurant and on the Thursday we had an excellent pub lunch at Sandsend By the end of the week we were getting a bit tired of the formality of restaurants and settled for a Dine In Meal from M S I can thoroughly recommend a homecation once in a while I d say the advantages are coming home to your own bed each night not having to keep to hotel routine where rooms have to be cleared by 11 and chambermaids always seem to turn up when you re half dressed The downsides Well I couldn t really think of any I mentioned in my last diary entry that our eldest granddaughter Eleanor was due to go to America on a sports scholarship It was a wrench to see her fly off but she has settled in very well and loves it The regime is pretty intense but she has been

    Original URL path: http://www.nicholasrhea.co.uk/author/archives/00000085.html (2016-02-17)
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web-archive-uk.com, 2016-12-06