Friday, 3 February 2023
Tuesday, 31 January 2023
Perhaps like me you see the names of places on the road signs time after time as you pass by and wonder what's there, but never stop. The small village of Mickleham in Surrey is one of those places. It's set back from the dual carriageway upon which the traffic rushes past from Dorking up towards Leatherhead and sits at the bottom of Box Hill which is always busy with people coming out of London, cyclists and a meeting place for bikers. Somehow it gets missed out and so it remains surprisingly quiet for this part of the world. One Thursday afternoon a couple of weeks ago we decided to remedy this situation and finally find out for ourselves what was there.
St Michael and All Angels is yet another Norman church which the Victorians set about restoring in 1840. The result is a hotch-potch of styles, but a great deal better than some of the hatchet jobs I've seen. I mustn't be too sniffy though, because had there not been this 19th zeal for "improvement" many churches would simply not have survived such was their dire state of disrepair. The funny little conical tower added in this phase of its life is very charming.
Sunday, 29 January 2023
Another Winter Sunday walk in another small Sussex village. I know that January has its critics and I understand why, but when the weather is dry[ish!] I do enjoy the quiet stillness to this part of the year after the frantic rush of the festivities. We met our friend H in Ebernoe this time to take a spin round the common which is now owned by the Sussex Wildlife Trust. It's really only used by locals and it's very familiar to H because she often walks her two dogs up there. However, I've only been the once and that was with her when our sons were of an age to have muddy knees and be permanently running ahead of us with huge sticks in their hands. Back in the day both were dirt magnets and virtually needed hosing down at the end of it all!
Whilst there might not have been a huge amount to see the birds are beginning to find their voices once again and the woods were humming with their song. Love is most definitely in the air. Today was still and cold with white cloudy skies, but H tells me that there will be carpets of bluebells in the Spring. I'm sure it will look beautiful, but for today it had an ethereal beauty to it with its muted shades and soft edges.
Passing the church it seemed a shame not to have a quick look in passing. It was built in 1868 and its brickwork detailing is most pleasing.
Friday, 27 January 2023
Not for the first time I managed to schedule today's intended post for the wrong date so it's already gone live before the event so to speak...it's here 😆 Eccentric Amblings and Ramblings From Gnat Bottomed Towers: Reasons to be cheerful part 4
Wednesday, 25 January 2023
Monday, 23 January 2023
During this past week I've been watching the weather forecast on my phone like a hawk. It's paid dividends because we've been able to have two small outings. These are from yesterday's amble starting from the small Sussex village of Plaistow [or Plasto as we pronounce it round here]. I did look to see if there were any juicy tidbits to share. The only small crumb I could winkle out was that at one time there was a small hill with a tree on top which was known as Nell Ball's tree. Who Nell might have been remains obscured by folkloric tales, but the rumours have here as either it having been Nell Gwynne who planted the tree when she stayed at Plaistow Place [possibly] or a local lady called Ellen Ball who died by her own hand on the hill. Again highly unlikely, but it all makes for a good story doesn't it. Nowadays the memory is preserved in one of the road names.
The route I'd chosen promised farms, woodland, glimpses of Blackdown Hill [the highest point in the South Downs] and a series of 12 meadows. I would say it delivered on all fronts and what we got was a series of quintessentially and very familiar Sussex sights. In a bid to make his weekends back as different as possible from his working week in London TYM joined us once again [motivated by a step challenge he's doing at work] as now he's older he's really enjoying the landscapes he's grown up with. He often joins my Dad on hikes too so probably has a better working knowledge of the local countryside than either of us!
Plaistow is a place where time has stood still. It's remained small and has retained both its pub and its rather quaint shop [the church is Victorian and didn't float my boat] shown below. There is something rather appealing about the mysterious black door next to it with the peeling paint.
Friday, 20 January 2023
Coming across that forgotten skirt in the wardrobe that you bought in the charity shop in late September which you had marked down for wearing in the warmer months. It got missed when I put my summer clothes away in the loft so I hung it in there to get it out of the way. Better still more digging unearthed the perfect necklace to finish the outfit off.
Have a great weekend...more wassailing here! After this weekend I shall be able to get out and do some more non morris adventuring!
Wednesday, 18 January 2023
Monday, 16 January 2023
Friday, 13 January 2023
With a bit of Christmas money from my lovely clients setting my pockets ablaze and burning a big hole in them I found out by chance that a Horsham born and bred author, Tony Wales [sadly no longer with us] had written these books which weren't on my radar. I have a couple of well thumbed titles by him already on my shelf, but that naughty preloved marketplace on that site which shares its name with a famous South American river drew me in with all its wickedly tempting offers. I have already finished the folklore one and learnt new things about my adopted home county.
I asked my friend Lovely Grey if she might be able to make me an outdoor plaque with a triple hare on it one day. A couple of years later an...
Food storage and thrifty ways to achieve it. I haven't bought clingfilm or freezer bags for more than 20 years. The only times I'v...
With the current energy price rises looming I see much talk of buying air fryers, heated airers and other things to help people to save...