Quiet days

We have had some sunny days, including these ones when the Santa specials were running just before Christmas. The plumes of smoke and steam look very dramatic against the cold blue winter skies.
We have had some more snow too. These sheep seemed quite content with very unappetising looking lumps of fodder in the late afternoon sunshine. We saw the tips of some snowdrops peeping through the snow on one of our walks; spring is coming.


White over and flat white


Of course, it doesn't snow every day in Grosmont in the winter. When it does we feel justified in settling back and enjoying toasting our toes in front of the log burner, grateful for our break from making coffee for visitors; and recharging our batteries for the next season.


When it's not snowing we venture out and let other people make us a coffee for a change. We enjoyed this view of the Minster amid the roofs of York. We saw it while sipping a flat white in the bistro attached to York Art Gallery. Before the coffee, we took in the Paul Nash exhibition there. More recharging of batteries.

Wed, read and redder


We had a busy 'railway in wartime' weekend which this year coincided with a wedding in St Matthew's, next door. The bride had been in the coffee shop last month for her hen party. When they booked the ceremony they hadn't realised she would be a war bride. The photo shows a couple of our regular war weekend customers - the pipe is a prop, the moustache is real. The flag in the photo is that of Bill's father's unit in WW2: Royal Marines 40 Commando.


Lots of young visitors came to the coffee shop during half term. This group enjoyed reading and being read to, sitting comfortably next to the log burner.


We haven't had a real frost yet, but most of the leaves have gone from our grape vine. These last three look amazing in the late autumn sunshine.

Hens, rains, pawns and dawns


We hosted a hen party in the coffee shop this month. The bride-to-be had been a pupil at school here and will be getting married in St Matthew's, next door, in a couple of weeks. They were a very happy group of hens; quite peckish but not raucous at all


The Murk Esk which runs below us - about 30 feet below us thankfully - was swollen with heavy rain earlier in the month. It is normally between six inches and eighteen inches deep but had risen to about five feet after 24 hours of heavy rain. This photo shows the ford at the bottom of the village. Fortunately for us there's a footbridge to the left of it so we don't have to wade across.

Our chess set in the coffee shop has become increasingly popular with customers. Some fairly intense games have been lost and won over coffee and cake while waiting for trains. We have a draughts set outside for people who prefer a quicker contest.


We have had some beautiful sunny mornings in between the rainy grey days. Definitely autumnal though, with the sun lower in the sky and the dew heavy on the grass. Inexorably the dawn is creeping later as the days shorten. It's good we've got our supply of logs in for the winter. Customers have appreciated our log burner being lit on chillier days.

Sunshine and rain


Emily's sunflowers are in bloom at the moment and looking good despite the very variable weather in August so far. We have had some sunny days but quite a few showers and some cooler cloudy days. The bees love the sunflowers though and they seem to attract customers into the coffee shop too.


We have seen this Southern region engine (Repton) back on the line after a major refurbishment. It looks amazing in its gleaming green livery. It has joined the more workaday regular locomotives in hauling trains up and down the line to Pickering.


Bill's savoury tarts continue to be popular. He bakes three different sets of fillings each time: goats' cheese and red onion marmalade; asparagus, stilton and walnut; and beetroot, feta and hazelnut. Our staff have tears in their eyes if they're around when Bill is making the red onion marmalade.