Blog
  • Five Years (what a surprise) (my brain hurts a lot) Posted on October 10, 2017 A guest recently said to Paul, ‘I follow you on Instagram. You lead such interesting lives.’ Well for your information… that’s just our Instagram lives…our real lives are mainly watching Game of Thrones and eating curry. On reflection though, ‘interesting’…
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  • Dogs and Beaches Posted on August 23, 2017 You can tell a lot about a person from their Instagram feed (beware anyone who only has pouting selfies.) My feed is mainly dogs and beaches. This is very strange as I never really liked dogs much and hate sitting…
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  • It’s Like Riding a Bike Posted on July 25, 2017 As we approach our 5 year anniversary at Dale Farm I decided it was about time we started having a day off every week. In this business you could be answering emails and folding towels 24/7 so you do have…
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  • Where there’s Muck Posted on June 7, 2017 Rough plough in October Allow the frosty (fingers crossed) weather to break down the soil Bring in 5 huge machines to work in unison for 3 consecutive 12 hour days – double plough, grade, griddle, furrow, plant etc Agronomist visit…
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  • ‘‘ear all, see all, say nowt’ Posted on May 4, 2017 You won’t often hear a farmer bragging about how well he’s doing.  Farming is the oldest profession and no other group of individuals is more aware that the light at the end of the tunnel is probably an oncoming train;…
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  • The Trials and Tribulations of a Vegcentric Flexitarian or dining out in the English countryside Posted on April 4, 2017 We had a guest at the weekend who told us that she stopped breathing if she came in to contact with dairy products. Luckily we had some dairy free Flora left over from the vegan catering for the retreat weekend…
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  • Tangled up in Toiletries Posted on February 28, 2017 When we opened the B&B I spent a lot of time exploring complimentary toiletries for the bathrooms. You know those tiny bottles of shower gels, shampoos and body lotions and individual soaps, shower caps and so on. I sent off…
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  • He’s a Good Boy (and he knows it!) Posted on February 15, 2017 One of our reviews last year advised people not to visit Dale Farm unless they liked dogs as Jack (our Lab) liked to come and say hello to guests and was a very friendly boy. This person totally misunderstood Jack.…
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  • Nail Gun Man Posted on December 15, 2016 I’m not saying Paul is a Superhero but I did recently see a magazine article about a treehouse which had a lovely photo of the team that had built it.  There were around a dozen people in that photo. Well…
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  • Time and Tide Posted on November 23, 2016 When we moved to Hunmanby the stretch of coastline between Scarborough and Bridlington was relatively unknown to me.  Although we are Yorkshire people, most of our family holidays had been spent north of Scarborough in places like Runswick Bay, Sandsend…
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  • Four Legs Good Posted on October 19, 2016 Jack is a happy dog.  He doesn’t much like being on his own but apart from that, as Roger Daltrey says, ‘you couldn’t prevent Jack from feeling happy.’ His absolute favourite thing to do though is have a trip to…
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  • It’s All About the Pests (The Horror, The Horror) Posted on October 5, 2016 And speaking of moles…I was chatting to the mole man at the weekend (a true multi-tasker – he was on his way to a ratting job and had a van full of eager terriers but was setting a mole trap…
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  • The Mole Man Cometh Posted on August 30, 2016 It’s a truth universally acknowledged that mole infestations can drive a grown man to madness. One thing we are not short of here on the farm is moles.  When we first arrived we had a mole lady living down the…
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  • Second Best Bed Posted on July 13, 2016 When we moved to Dale Farm and decided to open a holiday business I spent a lot of time researching and testing beds – after all, in a bed and breakfast you really only need a good bed, a scrumptious…
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  • Woodwood Woodwood Posted on May 19, 2016 Wood is important on this farm – it keeps us all warm (and clean) and provides free building materials.  We look after the trees and they look after us.  The wood stores are not ornamental (note to brides) but part…
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  • Is Eggs Eggs? Posted on April 26, 2016 I have just returned from a few days in Liguria where I have eaten some glorious pasta, superlative anchovies and the worst scrambled eggs ever. Pale, hard, tasteless and stringy you could not have guessed they were even remotely related…
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  • Simply Miles from the Nearest Lemon Posted on April 6, 2016 Clergyman Sidney Smith, on being sent to a parish in deepest Yorkshire in 1809 complained that it was “12 miles from the nearest lemon”, in other words, gastronomically beyond the pale. 200 years later this can still be the case…
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  • Rhubarb Rhubarb Posted on February 22, 2016 We moved to the Yorkshire Wolds from Wakefied West Yorkshire, the epicentre of the famous rhubarb triangle. The conditions in that region are said to be perfect for the cultivation of rhubarb but all I can say to that is…
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  • Namaste, bitches Posted on January 19, 2016 We ran our first retreat in November.  We have a yoga teacher, a mindfulness instructor and some brilliant cooks in the family so it was inevitable really. We also have a great yoga space in the barn so we offered…
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  • Hygge Posted on December 15, 2015 November is the cruellest month for the owners of UK holiday businesses.  After October half term, bang on 1 November, business more or less dies until New Year.  We quite enjoy the ebb and flow and have finally learned to…
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  • Build it and they will come Posted on November 11, 2015 Sometimes when we are doing stuff – building, improving, changing – around the farm we don’t have a specific purpose in mind. It has been a very organic process and the intentions we started with have changed considerably as we…
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  • Safely Gathered In Posted on September 22, 2015 The end of August and early September can be an anxious time for farmers. Getting the harvest in at the right time and in the right conditions is crucial. Imagine if you had spent the best part of a year…
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  • Life’s a Gas (I hope it’s gonna last) Posted on August 18, 2015 A couple of years ago I wrote a blog about Bertha the Biomass Boiler. I said it had been something of a ‘journey’ choosing and installing this expensive, labour intensive and untested technology (Bertha was the third model in as…
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  • Ley Lady Ley Posted on June 22, 2015 Dale Farm is a palpably peaceful place.  People arrive, guests, family, friends from the city, and by the time they leave say they can feel it seeping in to their veins.  Even I, usually rushing round like a maniac, take…
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  • Our Daily Bread Posted on May 28, 2015 Professor Tim Spector, a leading genetics expert at King’s College London and Author of The Diet Myth: The Real Science Behind What We Eat believes that our gut microbes are responsible for our health and mental wellbeing.  With the right…
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  • They called me Jacky Posted on May 5, 2015 In the same week that HRH Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana of Cambridge entered the world we had a new addition to our own family in the shape of a 16 week old black Labrador puppy. He seems to be an…
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  • The Rhythm of Life Posted on March 12, 2015 The ducks are back! We already know from Sammy Davis Jr that the rhythm of life is a powerful beat and as we enter our third spring at Dale Farm, without doubt the most astonishing thing about living in the…
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  • Daddy was a Steampunk Posted on January 15, 2015 We’ve just discovered Steampunk.  We drove up to Whitby for Goth Weekend on Hallowe’en last year and were told (by a family of Steampunks sitting next to us in Green’s Fish Restaurant) that most of the people there were not…
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  • Good for the Penis Posted on December 16, 2014 We decided to follow our swallows down to Southern India this year and have just returned from a fortnight in Kerala. It is always a bit of a busman’s holiday when you are in the business and you can’t help…
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  • Is it a Bird? Is it a Plane? Posted on October 22, 2014 So Paul’s friend Alex came to stay for a few days to dig up tree stumps. While carrying out this lovely job he discovered the top of a smooth rock sticking out of the ground.  Dig it up says Paul.…
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  • The Canine Equation Posted on September 30, 2014 Do 2 small dogs equal 1 large dog?  Do 4 tiny dogs equal 1 massive dog?  A lot of people think so…mainly those who have 2 small or 4 tiny dogs. When we started trading as a holiday business we…
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  • Pearls before Swine Posted on August 12, 2014 We moved to Dale Farm from West Yorkshire exactly 2 years ago today.  Our favourite phrase has become ‘it’s a farmhouse’ –  translation – this is a very old rural property with a lot of idiosyncrasies  and nothing is ever…
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  • Rise of the Machines Posted on June 24, 2014 When Dale Farm was a working farm it was known as a 7 horse farm; this meant that the size of the farm needed 7 horses to work it – hence our stable which accommodates 7 horses. Times have changed;…
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  • Mind the Gap Posted on May 20, 2014 Our nearest village, Hunmanby, is known as the Gateway to the Wolds. Once the largest village in Great Britain, the name originates with the Danes. It is recorded in the Doomsday Book in 1086, as ‘Hundemanbi’ meaning ‘farmstead of the…
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  • Macerator 2: Judgement Day Posted on May 8, 2014 In the 10 things B&B owners hate list, macerator toilets have to be near the top. Everyone wants their own bathroom now and sometimes a macerator is the only way…in an insane world it was the sanest choice. On bank…
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  • Wharram Percy Posted on March 19, 2014 My current favourite walk is an 8 mile ‘figure of eight’ walk from Thixendale to the deserted medieval village of Wharram Percy. The route passes through typical Wolds scenery including parts of the Wolds Way and the Centenary Way (see…
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  • The Genius of Crows Posted on February 4, 2014 You can get quite blasé about the wildlife trekking through the garden at Dale Farm; badgers, pheasants, owls, house martins, chiffchaffs, swallows and swifts galore and hundreds of hares and rabbits.  We also have our fair share of pesky moles,…
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  • Any Old Iron? Posted on November 5, 2013 Visitors and guests of Dale Farm will have noticed Paul’s fondness for all things metal.  As we have carried out repairs and renewals around the farm, ancient wagon wheels and parts of old farm equipment have been carefully rescued and…
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  • Just the Two of Us Posted on October 2, 2013 So your children are gone and it’s just the two of you…what do you do? a) Downsize, enjoy the time, the extra cash in your pocket, the freedom, the long country walks, mini breaks in Ile de Re, wine at…
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  • Starry Starry Night Posted on August 22, 2013 Dale Farm is very dark at night.  Because of this and its rural location it is a great place for star gazing, especially on clear, cold nights.  There is no local light pollution and the sky is big.  The Milky…
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  • There are three of us in this marriage… Posted on August 21, 2013 Meet Bertha the Biomass Boiler. Probably an understatement to say that choosing and installing Bertha was something of a journey.  Biomass Boilers are not cheap by anyone’s standards.  They are also a pretty new technology for the UK.  Bertha is…
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  • In an English Country Garden Posted on June 20, 2013 If you enjoy visiting gardens there are many to choose from in this area. We can recommend Burton Agnes and Sledmere; both have beautiful gardens and offer guided tours. Scampston Walled Garden is a stunningly beautiful contemporary garden, designed by…
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  • History in the Attic Posted on March 27, 2013 Carrier bag found in attic during renovations containing a wonderful snapshot of the life of a farming family 1916-1957: A pair of wire  rimmed spectacles A  tin of menthol and eucalyptus  pastilles from Timothy Whites A tin of cork tipped…
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