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The last week has been a major disappointment. It started with a trek to Eastbourne to see a consultant about the worsening of a nagging pain in my shoulder, a relatively minor ailment for years morphing into something more serious as ageing sets in. Our wonderful NHS managed to X-ray the wrong area whilst also losing my MRI scan so the consultant was forced to deduction and injection. The result was a ban on working in the studio for a week, nor was I to do anything that might put strain on the shoulder.

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These pines gradually making way for new broadleaf woodland

Fortunately I had an invitation to Yorkshire – a weekend with my brother followed by a stay in an hotel. Alright so the hotel was work, but at least the trip would take me out of myself and into a different landscape.

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Painted Lady butterfly making a picture

Indeed the whole trip was a reminder of what a cobblers our government has made of our road system whilst reminding me of just how beautiful England is. I must say England now  as the break up of the UK seems inevitable as the Scots make their desire for independence evident (whilst denying the 800,000 Scots working in England the right to have a say).

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Sunrise looking towards the Yorkshire Moors

Yorkshire looked lovely, still showing signs of having been used for some cycle race or other. The villages in their local stone showed local produce, better cheese than anything from France. You haven’t lived until you have tried a Yorkshire tea. Not cream and scones, that’s a Devon tea, but rich fruit cake and Wensleydale cheese together, reet gradely.

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The fairy castle that is the Swinton Park hotel – fantastic food, local produce, local beers

The views we had at dawn were wonderful, but seeing weasels hunting a field of cut hay was fascinating and the proliferation of butterflies and birds to was wondrous to behold as were the albino deer in the Swinton Park, a revisualised Victorian country house that was our magical enchanted castle to stay in.

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Bit like our aristocracy, the deer herd needs fresh blood,its albino quality being due to inbreeding apparently

Am I refreshed and ready to go in the studio, shoulder cured? Nope, of course not. Tired after driving 650 miles, but yes, back in the studio later, shoulder no different. Isn’t our NHS wonderful? Seemingly condemned to increasing pain as I get older, not a great prospect, and so much still to achieve…

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The selfie shows I can at least still hold a camera