I am sitting on top of the hill looking down three valleys and watching Dave metal detecting. I spot a small VW camper van winding its way through the village and smile. It belongs to friends of ours and is called Florence, they are setting off on holiday. I cannot sit here forever alas, Dave’s finds are coming in thick and fast – buttons, pennies, halfpennies, buckles and a lovely token with ‘Oxenhope ??? Company Ltd – 3d’ and I go to help. The memory of the Wedding is still fresh in my mind, they loved the harp music and the bands were brilliant. All in all a fabulous day and all my love and best wishes for health and happiness go to Luke and Susan.
The grass was wet and my long dress was getting heavier and heavier as the water soaked upwards leaving a line of mud at the top. It had reached my knees before we came through ‘The Orchid Field’ and back onto the cut lawns by the ‘Temple’ where the ceremony was taking place! I had started by tucking my dress into my knickers and had put my shoes in my satchel (harp bag) on my back. The dress wouldn’t stay put, I was pushing the harp, precariously balanced on an old pram base and I put my shoes on very quickly when I accidently trod on a slimy frog. Me and frogs don’t really get on. There is a huge one living in an old bucket in the garden. I wanted to clear it up and started to move the bucket but there was a slight movement at the bottom and the huge frog stared back at me challenging my actions so I thought better of it. At a private lunch once HRH Prince Charles was a guest – still single in those days – he asked me to carry on playing the harp whilst he walked round the garden. He disappeared behind a huge line of bushes and a frog jumped out into the middle of the lawn. Five security guards appeared and urged me to kiss it. I hesitated and much to my embarrassment Prince Charles appeared back laughing questioning why I had hesitated.
were cart horses when I was a child in our village. I’m not that old but when all the other farms had tractors the Tinkler sisters kept theirs just as it had always been. They must have been in their eighties with buns, longish dresses and they wore pinnies most of the time. It was one of the biggest farms in the district and I loved watching those horses work. Their farm hand was called Tommy and he kept frogs in the bath of his farm cottage, bought 7 lots of fish and chips every week for his suppers and only washed his feet after hay timing to get rid of all the seeds which irritated him. He always chatted to us kids when a big group of us walked back and forth to school. There was an old lady who lived opposite him who was very old and stooped, she actually still wore a long dress and black shawl and picked dandelions every single day to eat. She never spoke to us but half smiled, it was very difficult for her to move her head as it was permanently facing down. They are cutting the grass here in this valley tonight as I write – two and three massive tractors side by side – so different – the Tinkler sisters would be upset I suspect. I played the harp at Ribchester last night and have only just realised I never even advertised it! It sold out almost immediately. I prepared the harp ‘Chorus’ polishing her till she shone and then she broke a string so last minute I loaded ‘Mystical’ into the car and did a quick dust with the inside of my dress before I started to play.
To my Wife
Your smile is radiant your heart is as warm as the sun
You fill me with joy and make me feel number 1
Your energy , your tenderness , your ingenious and your warm caress.
Your youthfulness, playfulness , to me you are simply the best.
The talent you possess the way you work things out with your cleverness .
To me you are my everything whatever life may bring
Scarlets ribbons emblazoned against a bright blue sky.
I think back to the time that we first met
And I smile as we shook hands how could I forget?
You took me home and loved me and you fed me too
You put me back together without using glue.
You filled my heart with love so earnest
And that spark of love became a raging furnace.
Before I met you I was broken unfixable and so I thought
But with your patience , a great love you taught
A love so special that I am so grateful for
I love each day more and more
I do not feel worthy of the love you give
You are so special and it is for you that I live.
We have been married 8 years now
Gosh the time has passed “Holy Cow”
As I take your hand in mine again today
I will think back to our wedding day
Where a garland of flowers filled you hair
And it was our special day and we did not have a care
I love you my mad harpist , joiner , farmer , friend
My love for you I could not pretend .
I love you freely , and you make me the happiest man ever
To me you are my everything whatever life might bring
Scarlet ribbons emblazoned on a bright blue sky.
Really enjoyed the reception and venue last night – thank you Black Dyke Mills. They weren’t joking – it was cold, but there were settees and comfy chairs where people were snuggled up under blankets with hot water bottles. Lots of wine bottles and picnics at the chairs and tables. Luckily they had a pa system as the space was vast and my expensive microphone decided to break alas … I have another one but it needs a mic stand which at the moment is being used as a ‘gibbet’ to dry a batch of hands for some more puppets we are making! One of our parrots, Bennie, is still very sweetly saying ‘hello’ to the rabbits who now live opposite her! She is absolutely fascinated and spends here time watching them from her low perch. In the summer last year when we moved the parrots outside in the sunshine they were all quite happily chatting away to the hens who came to peck at any seeds thrown from the cages.
Dave was unwell and had picked up a bit of a bug. Normally this would not have held him back but his immunity is not as good as it should be and he laid on the sofa for most of the morning in front of the fire . After a light lunch , Dave and I decided that we would head off to Hebden Bridge which is a small mill town located just over the moors from ourselves. I purchased some hooks to hang clothing from over the wood burner and we went for a cup of tea in the famous “waterwheel” cafe
Dave just had a cup of tea and I joined him but had a small bun
Dave was fascinated as just outside is a river and the cafe owner has made the most of it as the cafe has a archimedes screw which is computer controlled.
Dave also noticed the picture on the wall of a skeleton playing the harp and just had to get a photo of it as he found it highly amusing
Many of you might know that sometimes when I come down for breakfast I am quite often met with a harp been laid right across the kitchen table having new strings or been patched up.
This is what happens when you are married to a harp mad woman who has played with Led Zeppelin , Guns and Roses and is friends with Fleetwood Mac.
Fiona Katie spend hours and hours making her harps look old and one year she did too much of a good job as it just so happened where she was playing the antiques road show was on.
Spotting Fiona katie with the harp one of the professionals dashed over and before he could even open his mouth a crowd had gathered around .
“Ha Ha” “Thats a Beauty” then he said this is a rare 17th Century italian triple harp he declared in excellent condition look at the patina where it has aged he declared. “Can you play it he asked “? Yes replied Fiona Katie
Then he looked again
“Tell me where did you get it he enquired “? in front of a crowd of about 40 people which had now gathered
“I made it n the kitchen table two weeks ago” she said grinning and the triple down the middle is a chocolate box ribbon to cover up my bad joinery. The crowd laughed and he took a big swig of his wine and walked off very quickly indeed. We never did see that bit aired n the television program but Fiona Katie did get a call from Mick Fleetwood couple of weeks later to see how she ws and to wish her a happy christmas.
I have put a link to Fiona Katies last interview with out local journalist
We live on a small farm in Haworth West Yorkshire
Fiona Katie my wife designs, plays , and builds harps.
Many people think that farming is a easy job and that a idyllic life but the truth of the matter is that is is incredibly hard work and life and death can occur quite quickly.I remember when I started in farming a few years ago and was told the first thing to remember is that wherever their is livestock there is also deadstock .
Today I was reminded of those words I had heard when I found out I had lost one of my closest companions Dennis,. even though I am hardened to death and I do not fear it in many ways this has nevertheless upset me.
Dennis was not a person he was in fact our pet goat (named after a person called Dennis who is the Illustrator for “The Book of Caris )but nevertheless I loved him like many love a pet dog or pet cat and he always seemed to have a lovely smile on his face.
Fiona Katie my wife was very wary of Dennis especially when he would stand on his hind legs and said that he smelt (which he did) and I have to admit he was incredibly strong.
Dennis would often at one time torment the neighbours .
Dennis would walk out of the farm gate along the track down into the manor house at the end of the track and would feast on the rose gardens. He would then walk back to the farm and sit at the side of his wooden shed and pretend he had never left the farm.
His actions infuriated my neighbours and cost me many bottles of wine as recompense for his actions.
Seeing the chap next door red faced with anger moaning that Dennis had eaten his prize rose bush called Oscar nearly caused me to choke as I tried to stifle my laughter inside (Yes naughty I know but you had to be there to appreciate the situation)
Fiona Katie found Dennis on his bed this morning and thought he was just asleep.
Sadly he had passed away in his sleep .
Dennis you will be very sadly missed by me for sure . But maybe not by our neighbour .
Sleep well my friend .
here is a quote about Fiona Katie from another website
Fiona Katie Roberts
Fiona-Katie started her musical career at the age of 11 years old and went on to achieve prize winning performances at both concerts and festivals.
After following her dream to research and resurrect the rare 16th C Italianate tripleharp, Fiona-Katie now designs and makes her own exquisite harps and has a collection of over 26 historical and modern harps, with many period costumes to add extra special ambience to any event.
Fiona-Katie has memorised many hours of music and has a highly impressive repertoire which remains timeless and covers many different cultures.Fiona-Katie continues to deliver time after time giving show stopping, foot tapping performances at both concerts and festivals and has worked alongside top bands whilst on tour in America.