Whistling in the dark


The other morning I ended up getting up earlier than usual start. I had to be in Penrith for not long after 9am. So this meant that I was doing various things an hour before I normally do them. So 6am found me feeding a small group of three heifers. They’re still outside so I take some dairy cake to them to supplement the last of the grass. As I floundered through the mud of the gateway, in the dark and driving rain, I suddenly realised I was whistling. So I metaphorically at least stopped to listen. For reasons I do not understand I was whistling, ‘I’m dreaming of a White Christmas.’

It has to be admitted that everything is distinctly un-Christmassy. Everything is sodden. Even Sal looks askance when I venture into a field. She picks her way rather daintily, heading in roughly the same direction, but ostentatiously avoiding the worst of the mud and trying to keep to the bits under barbed wire fences that only she can walk on. Admittedly it’s not as bad as the photo. Still we’re getting there.

Still, I’m inside now, there’s a good fire going, and it’s not long to coffee arrives. So I thought I’d write my blog. Which is handy because I can mention in passing that I’ve been put forward for Blogger Recognition Award. This has rules, but then everything has rules. As far as I’m concerned it’s a way of letting people discover new blogs.




  1. Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.


Well that’s easy, it was Stevie at https://steviet3.wordpress.com/ who nominated me.


  1. Write a post to show your award.


Yep, doing that one.


  1. Give a brief story of how your blog started.


Well I wrote a book. And once you write a book, you’re doomed to a lifetime of trying to convince people to buy it. So I had to do facebook. I tried doing twitter but because I only access the internet on a desktop computer, twitter doesn’t work because I wasn’t looking at it often enough. Now I just set the automatics to post stuff to twitter and don’t look at it every month. If anybody asks me about it, I merely reply, “I have my people to do twitter.” You have to admit this is one up on just saying, “Life is too short to spend my life chained to my computer.”
But at the same time, back in 2012, I realised I had to have a blog, to tell people how wonderful my book was.
But frankly it’s a very limited subject. At the end of the first blog post I’d got bored of the topic, and I suspect the readers had given up on it before I did. So I just started blogging about what I know, which is why cattle, sheep, Border Collies and quadbikes make regular appearances.




  1. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.


Try and stick to one blog post a week. Any less and people will forget you. Any more often and you’ll never get anything else done.


Write about life, what you know, and stuff that interests you. Then at least you’re enjoying it. If you enjoy your blog, there’s at least half a chance that others might as well.


  1. Select up to fifteen bloggers you want to give this award to.


In no particular order, I’d mention

Sue Vincent   https://scvincent.com/

M T Mcguire   https://mtmcguire.co.uk/

Robbie Cheadle   https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

The writers’ Co-op   https://writercoop.wordpress.com/

Colleen Chesebro   https://colleenchesebro.com/

Chris Graham    https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/

Ashlynn Waterstone   https://waterstoneway.wordpress.com/

Ken Gierke   https://rivrvlogr.wordpress.com/

Willow Willers    https://willowdot21.wordpress.com/

Ritu Bhathal    https://butismileanyway.com/

Anita and Jaye      https://jenanita01.com/

I’d advise anybody to check these blogs out. I’ve just done a blog tour with them, during which I released a novella, and each blog had one chapter. It was a lot of fun and I hope they enjoyed it as much as I did.


  1. Comment (or pingback) on each blog to let them know that you’ve nominated them and provide a link to the post you’ve created.


Must remember to do this one.


And if you were wondering about the novella we published together, it’s available here


Life for a jobbing poet is difficult. You have to be flexible with regard to your art. One day you’re organising an elegant soiree, the next a pie eating contest. Yet all the while you are striving to raise the tone and to ensure that decency, dignity, and an appreciation of the fine arts prevails.
And sadly it appears that the more honest your attempts, the more noble your endeavours, the more likely it is that you end up making enemies. Tallis helps out the family of an old friend, obliges a patron, and does his best to aid the authorities in the administration of justice. Each time he merely manages to upset the powerful, the petty, and the vindictive.

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39 thoughts on “Whistling in the dark

  1. Sue Vincent December 14, 2019 at 11:45 am Reply

    Thanks for the mention, Jim.
    I will Ani would avoid mud, but she seeks it out as conscientiously as Sale avoids it…she likes to share.

    • jwebster2 December 14, 2019 at 11:53 am Reply

      A dog who is all heart

      and muddy paws 🙂

      • Sue Vincent December 14, 2019 at 12:32 pm

        with an insatiable appetite for chicken 😉

      • jwebster2 December 14, 2019 at 1:20 pm

        Seems not unreasonable 🙂

      • Sue Vincent December 14, 2019 at 1:49 pm

        She would agree 😉

      • jwebster2 December 14, 2019 at 2:27 pm

        undoubtedly, proving we a both wise beyond our years 🙂

      • Sue Vincent December 14, 2019 at 2:31 pm


  2. M T McGuire December 14, 2019 at 11:49 am Reply

    Cheers for the shout out Jim! I might witter on about that next week! If I remember. 😉

    • jwebster2 December 14, 2019 at 11:53 am Reply

      I suspect there’s no great hurry 🙂

  3. Stevie Turner December 14, 2019 at 12:49 pm Reply

    Lol, Jim, thanks for your answers. I have a mental image of you in mud up to the top of your Wellington boots, just like I was at the Download festival a few years back. I had to have help to walk as my boots kept getting stuck in the mud!

    • jwebster2 December 14, 2019 at 1:20 pm Reply

      I’ve got broad feet, it makes keeping my wellies on easier 🙂

  4. Colleen M. Chesebro December 14, 2019 at 2:42 pm Reply

    Thanks so much for the kind mention, Jim. You’re a star! ❤️

    • jwebster2 December 14, 2019 at 3:17 pm Reply

      a large ball of hot gas a long way away 🙂

  5. simplywendi December 14, 2019 at 4:36 pm Reply

    I laughed when I read your comment that once you write a book you are forever trying to sell it! isn’t that the truth……..wishing you the very best 🙂

    • jwebster2 December 14, 2019 at 4:58 pm Reply

      we’re doomed I tell you, doomed 🙂

      • simplywendi December 14, 2019 at 4:58 pm

        LOL……..yes! yes we are! 🙂

      • jwebster2 December 14, 2019 at 5:09 pm


  6. curtisbausse December 14, 2019 at 6:27 pm Reply

    Thanks for the mention, Jim. All the best in braving the mud to enjoy a well deserved fireside Christmas.

    • jwebster2 December 14, 2019 at 9:00 pm Reply

      Fireside sounds good 🙂

  7. Ashlynn Waterstone December 14, 2019 at 7:02 pm Reply

    Thanks, Mr. Jim for the kind mention of me and my blog. Some great advice on here.

    It has been snowy here the past couple of days. The cow and sheep owners make sure to give them hay on a regular basis. The deer and antelope munch the grass that peeks up on our property. Whether it will be a white Christmas is anybody’s guess though.

    • jwebster2 December 14, 2019 at 8:59 pm Reply

      We rarely get a White Christmas
      Strangely in this country our picture of Christmas is formed by Charles Dickens and pictures of New England 🙂

  8. Widdershins December 14, 2019 at 10:55 pm Reply

    Ankle-deep in mud here too … wait, I think I see a bit of blue sk … no, it’s gone.

    • jwebster2 December 15, 2019 at 6:28 am Reply

      I did see a star or two last night so the cloud must, in theory at least, have broken 🙂

  9. rivrvlogr December 15, 2019 at 4:26 am Reply

    Thanks, Jim. I’m traveling at the moment, but I’ll try to work on it when I return this coming week.

    • jwebster2 December 15, 2019 at 6:26 am Reply

      I don’t think it’s time critical.
      It’s not as if we had to get our hotels booked for the reward ceremony 🙂

  10. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt December 15, 2019 at 4:52 am Reply

    I haven’t had a usable brain for writing for about a month now, so I’m pretty sure I have been completely forgotten. Today, the wandering mind came back. I actually noticed – and immediately set to the exact same spot where it turned off. I keep detailed and copious notes, so that part’s not hard.

    As a bonus, I immediately reread the previous scene which was bothering me somehow, and recognized why.

    Woo hoo!

    • jwebster2 December 15, 2019 at 6:25 am Reply

      we do what we do when we can do it. Nobody can do any more

      • Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt December 15, 2019 at 7:07 am

        It feels so bad to know it’s physical – if I were lazy or blocked, I hope I would have avenues I could pursue. The gift of a day of ‘feeling like myself’ is much appreciated – and many prayers of thanks were said.

      • jwebster2 December 15, 2019 at 9:46 am

        we all live one day at a time, so I’m glad you had a good one 🙂

  11. robbiesinspiration December 15, 2019 at 11:04 am Reply

    Hello, Jim. thank you for your nomination. You can read my post here: https://robertawrites235681907.wordpress.com/2019/12/14/blogger-recognition-award/

  12. Blogger recognition award – Roberta Writes December 15, 2019 at 11:12 am Reply

    […] Thank you to the lovely Stevie Turner and Jim Webster for nominating me for this lovely award. You can read Stevie’s post here: https://steviet3.wordpress.com/2019/12/11/blogger-recognition-award/ and Jim’s post here: https://jandbvwebster.wordpress.com/2019/12/14/whistling-in-the-dark/ […]

  13. willowdot21 December 17, 2019 at 8:38 am Reply

    Hi Jim I don’t do awards anymore but also I do not ignore them so I shall be thanking you and passing on this one. I am grateful to you for nominating me . Congratulations on you getting yours too💜

    • jwebster2 December 17, 2019 at 8:52 am Reply

      I’m not sure how much of a formal award it is, and how much it’s just a way of getting blogs shared
      Certainly I’m not booking any accommodation for an award ceremony 😉

      • willowdot21 December 17, 2019 at 9:02 am

        Lol Jim I am with you on that 💜

  14. […] for a very long time. But this time? Well, it’s Christmas… and both Roberta Eaton and Jim Webster included me in their lists, for which I am very […]

  15. Blogger Recognition Award | rivrvlogr December 19, 2019 at 6:08 pm Reply

    […] Jim Webster is a farmer and an author who writes about his books and about farm life in Britain, as well as about his community of South Cumbria and Britain, at large, often providing insightful observations of human character. Speaking of human character, Jim also has a site where he tells the tales of Tallis Steelyard, a poet with the highest of standards, sometimes exercised in the lowest of places. Tallis has appeared here many times as a guest blogger while on book tours, telling tales of Port Naain society, as seen through the eyes of a jobbing poet. […]

  16. […] of all let’s say thank you to Jim Webster and Roberta Eaton and Sue Vincent and also Mary Smith for three of them nominating me. All of them […]

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