9 March 2019

Our four-weekly home-haircut. We were joined this time by Yvonne, our great-niece Lotte (3), and our great-nephew, Melle (8 months). Three-year-olds turn out to be exhausting. But after having played ‘knights’ in the garden with Lotte (she with a five-foot-long bamboo sword; me with a one-foot-long bamboo sword), I am officially her new best friend. I shouldn’t let it go to my head: Lotte’s best friend changes with each new encounter, apparently.

Took Pat’s dog Rosie for a walk along the canal in the afternoon. Bitterly cold.

To the Farm for a birthday party in the evening. We forgot the mustard we’d been asked to bring, so I popped back down the hill to fetch it. As I walked back up the hill, from about 250 yards away, I saw a large, white bird circling around the eaves of the Farm’s ‘big mistal’ (Yorkshire for cow-shed). My immediate thought was BARN OWL! But, before I could hurry up the hill to investigate, a van pulled up alongside me, and the passenger asked for directions. By the time I’d managed to fob him off with a (perfectly true) never heard of the place, the bird had disappeared.

Bloody hell, perhaps the barn owl I’ve spotted a couple of times over recent months really is roosting in one of the Farm’s buildings, as I’d hoped!

Richard Carter is a writer and photo­grapher living in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.WebsiteFacebookTwitterNewsletterBooks
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…wonderful. Science and history and geography and evolution and culture all tangled up in musings while walking about the moors around Hebden Bridge.”—PZ Myers
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