Ravenstonedale Kirkby Stephen Cumbria

Millennium Map Project. Green Bell

Contributor: Laurie and Rosalie Mansbridge
The Chantry, Ravenstonedale, Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria

Green Bell

Snow still on Green Bell, Wild Boar and Mallerstang too. The lapwings arrive, dipping and weaving across the fell. Their acrobatic dance punctuated by the call of the curlew. It must be nesting time as the jackdaws descend into our chimney pots and, occasionally, the dining room.

Lambs appear, such a short life, such a sweet meat. Daffodils, already over in the soft underbelly of England's south, begin to wave in the breeze. Time to cut The Chantry lawns.

The beck disappears underground. Tourists peer over the bridge scratching their heads. There are hot days, but nearly always a light south-westerly to cool you in the deckchair. The allotment needs watering.

Then comes Autumn, the very best time of year. Beautiful swallows on ugly telegraph poles. A nights frost and then the most wonderful sunny days. Red squirrels running along the wall, up the beech trees to crack a few nuts. Endless leaves to rake up.

Rain lashes the windows, slates tumble from the roof. "Brighter tomorrow", say the weatherman. Wrong again, it's always in for two days. Long nights. Another log goes on the fire. Must order more coal. Wake up to ice on the inside of the windows but look through for the real numbing beauty.

Visiting friends say in winter "It's a little Switzerland", and in summer "A million dollar view." A neighbour once said, "There's no finer place to live on God's earth." He was right, and don't we all know it.