This Too Shall Pass

An early English citation of ‘this too shall pass’ appears in 1848:

When an Eastern sage was desired by his sultan to inscribe on a ring the sentiment which, amidst the perpetual change of human affairs, was most descriptive of their real tendency, he engraved on it the words: – ‘And this, too, shall pass away.’

(cited by Julia Samuel, 2020)

I’ve just started reading  Julia Samuel’s ‘This Too Shall Pass’ – Stories of Change, Crisis and Hopeful Beginnings which is newly published with commendably appropriate timing.

Here we are in week four of our crisis – I hope you are all doing ok.

Hareheugh Crags – the view from our house

Yesterday we went for a short walk up to Hareheugh Crags, it was not a bad day here, cold wind but some sunshine as well. We can see the Crags from the house – they are a ‘prime example of a volcanic plug with an unusual rock composition’ and a Site of Special Scientific Interest and the rare Northern Brown Argos Butterfly can be seen there. Plenty of butterflies about on our walk but not that one. There are also some quite ‘locally important fauna’ if you go at the right time, which is around now. The only wild flowers we found apart from buttercups and dandelions were these which I think are Wild Pansy………

Sarah Raven says the Wild Pansy has declined due to the use of herbicide and fertilisers.

On the way to the Crags we spotted a Pied Wagtail and I managed to get some photos.


This one was alone as far as I could see but we often see a pair on the hedges and field near the house. Now – Pied Wagtails apparently roost in communes of up to 3,000 – 4,000! I’ve only ever seen one or two at a time – but when they are together they are called a Volery of Wagtails. I looked up volery – it means ‘a flock of birds’!! Haha!!

We sat for a few minutes and looked across to Sweethope Hill and watched the cows grazing before heading home.


This morning I headed out for a very early morning walk. It’s not just that I love walking in the early mornings, its that if you don’t go straight out once you are up, Mojo gives you no peace! She won’t go out on her own at the moment because the blackbirds are nesting in the holly hedge and if they spot her alone, they dive bomb her and she’s such a scaredy cat!  So we have to take her out, if I walk along the road she’ll have a run along with me but she gets nervous if I go too far so she goes home and sits on the wall waiting:

You can see that the mist descended pretty quickly….

There was a lovely light and low lying mist which was just a white cloud in the distance when I started out but soon completely enveloped me so that I turned back. Not that I was worried about getting lost – there’s only one road – but I had been hoping to spot a trio of deer that Mr RR saw yesterday and the mist put paid to that.


By the time I’d got home and had a cup of tea it had cleared!  Anyway I saw one of the wagtails,


a pair of jackdaw which are, I’m fairly sure, nesting in a hole in a tree and I took some pictures of the trees in the mist.

The Jackdaws have been visiting our garden this year as well, I’ve been watching them feeding from the plate of seed and hanging on for dear life to the feeder.

We’ve had some excitement in the field this week as more and more new lambs arrive. Number 20 is proving particularly troublesome, he’s a good climber and has managed on a couple of occasions to climb over the wall and been unable to get back – leaving his mother bleating consistently on the other side while he runs up and down looking for the way back in. Have  you ever tried to catch a lamb? It takes some skill I can tell you – and we don’t have it!  After a couple of attempts  a neighbour opened the field gate and reunited the pair.  Actually talking about trying to catch the lamb reminded me of the time that we were walking on Dartmoor with our lovely friends Mr and Mrs B – when we spotted a sheep with its head stuck in a bucket! Mr RR and Mr B spent a hilarious half hour trying to catch it before we had to give up! I tried to find some photos of that but we have hundreds, if not thousands of photos all over the place!  That might be a project one day!

What else for this week?

Finished a little outfit for the youngest member of the family.


Sorted out my herb garden – I might actually grow some herbs in it this year!

We actually sat in the garden with a glass of wine one evening this week – a rare event requiring a blanket for me!

Made a slide show of a children’s story book so that I can read to little Master RR online tonight and he can see the pictures. I’m not telling you which book in case I’ve breached some sort of copywrite law – but it involves a famous park keeper.

I’m rereading The Malice of Waves by Mark Douglas-Home, a Scottish author. I’ve read all three of his books and really like his writing – I’m sure its time he published a fourth.

I must tell you that as well as all this other stuff – I am working from home which is much more time consuming and exhausting than you might imagine! I have had to learn to zoom, chat online and host virtual drop-ins, and this week I’m apparently going to learn how to use a graphic design app! 🙈

Here are some more of todays early morning photos – from our wildflower patch – a wild teasel loved by our Charm of Goldfinches and Lily of the Valley, named from the Song of Solomon ‘I am a flower of the field and a lily of the valley’.

Anyway – Mr and Ms RR have gone out for a cycle ride so I’m off for a quiet sit in the garden with a cup of tea, a piece of freshly made chocolate flapjack and my book!


Keep well, stay safe and remember – This Too Shall Pass.

Thanks for reading.

J xx