Monday 30 September 2013

Merrie Monday

Last week the small person decided that his poor Mother needed dragging into the 21st century- thereby passed a torturous few minutes of him playing various tracks by Skrillex and Deadmau5 and then cackling wildly as his Mother recoiled in horror. I can tell you that sent me scuttling off as fast as my fat little legs would carry me in search of my trusty Steeleye Span collection. Aah peace restored!

This week he has come up with a musical offering far more to my liking. Now even I, old fossil that I am, cannot have failed to have heard of Lady Gaga- she does, after all, have all the subtlety of a badger in a pink bikini but I would have been quite convinced that I didn't know a single track by her. Nobody is more surprised than me to find that I do actually recognise one...this version is done by the Bottle Boys.


Sunday 29 September 2013

Devil Spits Day

Michaelmas daisies
A favourite of mine, although the ones in my garden are still huffing and puffing about having been moved a few weeks ago so are sulkily refusing to bloom right now!

The Michaelmas Daisies among dede wedes,
Bloom for St Michael's valorous deeds.
And seems the last of the flowers that stood
Till the feast of St Simon and St Jude [28th October]

I stumbled across a lovely sounding menu to celebrate Michaelmas today
Stuffed Michaelmas Goose with Roast Apples
Fragrant Spiced Red Cabbage
Goose Fat Roasties
Hot Baked Wardens [baked pears]
Michaelmas Dumplings
Further details are here

I myself will not be eating goose nor will I be eating blackberries [not if the rumours are to be believed that the devil has spat on them or even worse....!] I shall however, be wearing a birthday suit- the origin of this is from the time when courtiers had to wear special clothes to mark the sovereign's birthday.....beneath my tatters and mask. Yes I am doing what I love best- dancing today :-). The only definite in today's proceedings is that I shall be a year older but not a year wiser!


P.S. I am a little disconcerted to find that Google has wished me a Happy Birthday today- I think it must be linked to my google account!

Saturday 28 September 2013

Weaving its magic

If you don't like spiders I think it's probably best to look away now. For that reason I'll include the photo at the end!

Mr GBT has been watching the hive of activity over the last few days as the spider has spun her web [from the size I think it is a she as they are bigger than the males and she is probably full of eggs right now] but either she has has been hidden under the eave of the shed or when she has come out it has been too dark! Today though he was in luck.

This is one of our most common spiders- imaginatively called the Garden Spider. It's also known as the Cross Spider.  It weaves orb webs which are the spiral ones familiar to most of us and when it is in view it will always be on the underside of its web. It is harmless to humans. Colour varies from pale to very dark but all have the distinctive cross formed by white dots on its back.


Friday 27 September 2013


..most definitely not granted. Well honest to goodness just look at it- a testament to bad taste. And her "choice" of colours- absolutely humongous. They've been giving me a blinding headache for months! A complete CATastrophe. I hear rumours via the Naughty Tortie club membership [most specifically from Scruffy who owns Frugaldom Towers] that other staff members are considering making such monstrosities for themselves- indeed if the tails are to be believed poor Scruffy is already suffering. Those blessed pointy things competing for my heatpad just skimming across the top of my head clacking away irritatingly and disturbing my peace. It's small wonder how she's missed my eye on occasion- it's been a close shave at times I can tell you! I have, however, discovered that if you embed your claws in the yarn and tug sneakily you can get some quite pretty loopy effects- talking of loopy effects it was worth it just to see her running up and down on the spot, steam coming out of her ears like Puffing Billy ;-) The daft old bat seems to have missed the point entirely- I am simply adding some of my own artistic interpretation to the thing- it's hardly lacking in hideous, fluffy yarns that tickle my nose is it. This is me below last week- I am looking particularly huffy because this [unlike most of the photos she puts up here] is not a posed shot- I sat on the thing in disgust and then got a little warm and a little sleepy. I was most cross to get caught in the act....till next time.


Thursday 26 September 2013

Today's small pleasure

As I've oft said I am delighted by the little details that make up our everyday lives- yes I love the highs and loathe the lows [yes and I know which one I learn from groan!] but I, for one, would be totally exhausted if it were like that all the time. I prefer things to be on an even keel thank ye.

Today I had the greatest pleasure watching a couple of these going about their business whilst I sat in the car eating my lunch unobserved.

They are of course nuthatches and I always experience a little frisson of excitement when I glimpse one because I rarely see them and they are such stunning little fellows. When food is scarce they venture into the garden and hang upside down on the feeder but for the first time today I was able to see why they've earned their name. Both birds were industriously tucking hazelnuts into the crevices in the bark of the oak tree, using it to hold them in place and then hammering at them madly with their beaks from every which way to break off pieces to eat. I could have watched them for hours if time had been on my side. Alas work beckoned but hopefully another time!


Wednesday 25 September 2013

Wedding Anniversary

Today I am a little startled to find that I have been married for twenty years- I am not quite sure how two decades have passed by quite that quickly. A quick look in the mirror at the natural grey highlights and the ridges and furrows on my forehead confirm that it must be true though.

As ever I bounded in enthusiastically from work demanding to know whether my long service medal had arrived- it appears that I have longer to wait before I am rewarded for my contribution to the institution of marriage. Naturally it has been a day of romantic celebrations.....not. I'm afraid that I was in the queue for an alcoholic tipple and a savoury snack when they were handing out romance. I suspect Mr GBT would have been a more romantic soul if he hadn't met me and had it knocked out of him! I did make him a card though and I have just gone wild and paid out for him to have a doughnut!
Intensive research [called that a quick flit around google] reveals that this is our China anniversary. There appears to be a distinct lack of valuable pieces of Meissen round the house today- more than by luck than design we are going on a" hot"  date tomorrow night [I am dancing tonight so have got my priorities all right!]
to a local Chinese restaurant. Something however, seems to have got lost in the translation of "hot date" as we're taking our son with us. Oh dear there's no hope for some and even less for others.......


Tuesday 24 September 2013

Cemetery Tour Part 2

The guide on Saturday spoke at length about the importance of our local cemetery being a relatively undisturbed green space within a built up area. I had heard about how graveyards provide a sanctuary  for wildlife but I suppose I had never really given it much thought in connection to the sites near me.

Normally I, as would many others, associate churches and places of rest with evergreen trees. Certainly they have got the familiar range of those planted but more unusually these sit along side less expected specimens.
This is a Manna Ash- the patterns on the trunk are due to its grafting

Fabulous copper beeches.
A cork tree
The team have great plans to expand their wildlife friendly policy but need volunteers to do so as not unexpectedly there are no funds available for such projects. They currently work with the probation service but hope to set up a Friends association to take it further. At the current time they have a multitude of bird and bat boxes mounted on the trees and green woodpeckers are frequently sighted. They deliberately plant low maintenance perennials such as sedums and geraniums on neglected plots which only need strimming once a year and attract the insects. Even late in the season the area is still awash with pretty self seeded calendula
which gives it a glorious patchwork of colour. Next year they are leaving an area to grow wild in the hopes of creating a bee friendly environment so I shall hopefully return and see how it is developing.

Chatting to others on the tour some were already volunteers in a now redundant cemetery in Worthing- they had actually come up to gain inspiration for the wild life ground maintenance aspect for their own area. If you do get the chance to attend one of these it's certainly worth considering.


Cemetery Tour Part 1

Now Mr GBT has kindly replaced the elastic band in the pc we are up and running again!

Saturday morning and I espy a free tour of our local cemetery- huzzah I thought right up my street and so it proved to be.

The cemetery is still in use and was built in the 1890s after its predecessor became full. Originally it had two chapels- one for C of E and the other for Catholic burials. Thankfully such a setup is no longer necessary and the differing Christian outlooks sit side by side. The site really does reflect the multicultural society we live in as there is a separate area for Muslim burials which allow for the bodies to be buried facing Mecca nor is it just restricted burials now. The internment or scattering of ashes is also welcomed- the latter is in a designated area within the memorial garden and families are able to buy a plaque and a rose bush in remembrance of their loved ones if they so wish.

The tour really was quite fascinating. Historically as we moved around the grounds we were able to see the more familiar standardised Victorian headstones moving towards the vast range of modern headstones in varying materials available today. Indeed the stamp of individuality within reason is not discouraged and there are many special touches which make each grave personal to the loved ones left behind. Some examples below to give you an idea of some of the range there

The stories we were told as walked round provoked quite a range of emotions. The lives cut short by the two world wars all marked by identical graves and the Germans shot down whose ashes were first buried here and then re interred over in Guildford. This gentleman won the Victoria Cross in active service and unusually lived to tell the tale
This I found to be personally very poignant- a memorial to all those babies who are lost before birth. It affects many women but is not spoken of openly- I certainly would have drawn great solace from it if such a place had been available to me when I was coming to terms with my own personal loss many years ago.
Then there were the humorous tales- the dilemma of the retired doctor wondering what to do with the John Doe skeleton he had had since his student days- in answer to that one they buried him. As well as the curious- I would love to ask the family why on one gravestone it simply said "I won" or this on another. The description frankly doesn't really tell you a lot about the man- I mused whether he was actually liked by his family or not!

To stop this becoming too photo heavy I shall put up part two which concentrates on the other aspect of the cemetery as a valued green space within an urban area.


Monday 23 September 2013

Merrie Monday

You will simply have to indulge me on this Merrie Monday for this track is the first one I can remember from my childhood- it sparks memories of spinning like a whirling dervish around my parents's front room when I was a wee nipper. I cared not for the rather sad subject matter of the song and to this day it remains my all time favourite. I should like this to be played at my passing out parade!


Sunday 22 September 2013

Happy or Right?

This was not quite the post I had in mind for today but our darling pc decided to throw a hissy fit the moment Mr GBT went away this weekend for work. I am unclear at this precise moment [precise instructions from Mr GBT have been do not fiddle with it!] whether it is a temporary affair or whether she really has turned up her toes. The upshot is the same though- no photos of the cemetery tour I went on yesterday. Don't worry [as if you were!!!] I shall be back with the evidence at a later date. So for now something entirely different.....

On the matter of opinions I totally in total agreement with Voltaire:
"I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."

I would not say that generally I am  a stridently opinionated person, certainly not one who will shout their views from the rooftops in order to make them heard above all others but nor do I automatically agree with what others have to say. I enjoy hearing others ideas because often it raises angles I had not previously considered but I loathe confrontation and am most uncomfortable in the presence of others whose sole aim it seems is to turn every conversation into a bunfight. Any possibility of an unwelcome heated exchange and I will probably take the coward's way out and keep my trap shut and my head down! However, on some issues I will always speak out and defend my corner- I just try to choose my fights carefully. I came across this passage written by Sally Brampton in Being Happy. She really resonates with me and how I view certain issues.

"I've been thinking a lot about anger recently, mainly because it's been hammering hard at my door. Someone is very, very angry with me for not being the person they want me to be, or the person they think I ought to be . They want me to fall into line or, rather, fall into their line.
I am angry with them for precisely the same reasons. After a few toxic exchanges, when I spat from my corner like a cat, I thought, what's the point of all this? All I was doing was defending my need to be right, what at the same time I knew there was nothing I could do to persuade them they were wrong and I was right, just as there was nothing they could do to persuade me they were right and I was wrong.
Sure, we could have won a few battles and landed verbal bullets like sniper fire, but in the end both of us would have lost the war, If someone is that angry and you are that furious in your resistance, it's a fight to the death of such things are bitter divorces and custody battles made.
I've never really believed in the rightness of being right [although it's sometimes intensely difficult not to clamber onto that particular high horse] because right can only ever be subjective, just as there is no such thing as the truth. Truth is not a fact, it's an interpretation so what we are actually fighting about is our right to inflict our version of the truth on each other.
The bedfellows of anger are resentment and self righteousness. Both are corrosive, eating away at us to the exclusion of everything else. As the Buddha put it, rather more elegantly, his voice resounding down the centuries, 'you will not be punished for you anger, you will be punished by your anger.' To put the Buddha's words into neat, modern shorthand is to say 'I'd rather be happy than right'. Meet anger with civility and suddenly the war is over. It's not capitulation, compromise or even an emotional decision. It's an intellectual choice and the reward is peace of mind. It may sound very zen but actually it is plain common sense. If you keep hitting your head against a brick wall you get brain damage. If you walk around the wall, you are free to go your own sweet way.
The most dangerous word in the language of self-justification is 'but'- a small word that carries a powerful punch. When it comes to anger the moment you say 'but' you're on a losing streak. I would forgive him....but he said this. I would let it go ....but she did that. Long after an argument is finished we keep it alive by playing it over and over, encouraging indignant resentment to settle on our shoulder like a pack of monkeys, chattering so loudly in our ear we are deaf to any body else's point of view. Where, in truth, is the argument now? Nowhere, except in our heads. Where is our happiness and peace of mind? It's lying in ruins at our feet.
It takes a conscious decision to let go of righteous indignation to issue a sharp rebuke to the chattering monkeys and send them scampering off into the trees. It's not easy and they will come back, but patient determination will force them to loosen their grip. Right or happy? When it comes down to it , and it always does, I know which one I'd rather be.


Saturday 21 September 2013

Autumn Equinox

A very happy Alban Elfed to all who celebrate- I shall mark the turning of the wheel quietly with close chums tonight.

Bright blessings

Friday 20 September 2013

Grandma Moses

At about the same time as the square wheel went out of fashion I was studying for my degree. My secondary subject was American Studies which I preferred by a long chalk to the English- it covered lots of different subjects and one of my discoveries along the way was The Fall in New England. Once I'd seen photos of the stunning foliage I was completely smitten and pledged that one day I would see it for myself....and I did. We went and spent a fortnight on our honeymoon and it exceeded all expectations. Sights like this greeted us every day when we were up in Vermont.

Day after day I drank in one glorious vista after another- I never tired of it nor the charming white clapboard buildings set against it. We took countless photos but sadly they couldn't capture the sheer luminosity of the colours. That was 20 years ago and even now I still wish I was back there at this time of year as I just completely fell in love with the area.

Alongside the sheer beauty of the  region I also saw my first examples of American Folk Art. Already a confirmed Beryl Cook fan and a lover of patchwork and naive crafts it suited my tastes to a tee- so much so that our bedroom is decorated in a folk art style. Grandma Moses [1860-1961]  who I came across in later years of research was a renowned American folk art- what could be better for me her paintings combined with an autumnal theme!

There's lots more of her work online if you want to sneak a peek!


Thursday 19 September 2013

Flying the nest.

A couple of my friends have had or are having their children leave home imminently to start a new phase of their young lives at university. The small person's turn will come all too quickly in 3 years time. For my dear chums this is for you and anyone else facing the roller coaster of emotions that crashes in with such a massive sea change.

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the hours of tomorrow,
Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
But seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not back nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The Archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
And He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the Archer's hand be for gladness.
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Kahlil Gibran


Wednesday 18 September 2013

A Damp Jolly

Rarely do I get an afternoon off these days now that I am self employed so when the opportunity arises I'm not going to turn down the chance to go out on an outing irrespective of what the weather is proposing!

Today dear chum E joined me for a sortie to Henfield. One of the places on my hit list to visit was The Cat House, which is one of the village's famous landmarks. It was owned by George or Robert [my research shows both names] Ward who had a canary. Unfortunately the little bird met an ignominious end when it was killed by the Canon, Nathaniel Woodard's, cat. Ward did not take the news well it could be said- instead he sought revenge by decorating his house with cats holding birds to remind Woodard of his feline's misdemeanour. He also strung up strings of sea shells to rattle and a black figure would appear at the zulu hole when the Canon was seen approaching [I have no idea what a zulu hole is either! Later on I discovered that Ward used to blow a horn out of it. The Zulu reference maybe because he fought in the Zulu wars]

As we were just round the corner from St Peter's we thought it would be rude not to pay it a quick visit. I really liked the way all the kneelers were piled up against the screen so you could see all the beautiful needlepoint. Being a committed corvid fan I was most pleased to see the magpie one!

And finally this rather charming little door- to my eyes it looks more to be built for a gnome. I am always surprised by just how small people were in years gone by.

By this time everything was becoming rather wet and squelchy so we retired disgracefully for a cuppa and snack- mission accomplished!



Tuesday 17 September 2013

What a load of old.......

...fill in as appropriate. Some choices that you might like to consider are listed below :-) You may of course have some perfectly good suggestions of your own!


The origin of this wonderful word is unknown but it was certainly in use by the time of Shakespeare. At the time it meant froth or a frothy liquid or even a jumble of liquids e.g. milk and beer. Only in the latter part of the 17th century did it become known for its current meaning.


This is an Americanism from the early 20th century and comes from baloney the sausage. The implication that this food type of possibly iffy origins was junk had came to mean a generalised term for junk by the 1930s- a bit like we use spam in connection with junk emails today.


The first use of the word was as theatre slang in the 18th century when a line or speech in a play was designed to elicit ["trap"] applause ["claps"] from the audience. Our usage of it comes from the 19th century.


Taken from Lock, Stock and Barrel the term may come from a newly invented soft drink from the 19th century. The story goes [it is not proven] that a novel type of mineral water bottle was invented by by Hiram Codd which had a marble in its neck that was held in place by the pressure of the gas inside the bottle as a stopper. At that time Wallop was a slang term for beer so Codd's Wallop was the rather rude term given by drinkers to Mr Codd's mineral waters and soft drinks


From the wash [swill] given to the swine [hog]. In 1440 it was spelt as hoggyswasch! The first written record of the modern meaning is seen in 1712.


Derived from twattle meaning to talk foolishly. A twattle basket was a chatter box.

I myself plump for poppycock- this now I find means soft dung in Dutch so I might as well have said bullsh*t all along!


Monday 16 September 2013

Merrie Monday

This high energy track gets my carcase moving from sloth speed to wallaby in roughly 3 minutes on a Monday morning. It is, of course, the rather splendid Mr Paul Weller and his Style Council


Sunday 15 September 2013

The diva is back!

I want some of these and I WANT THEM NOW!

The stunningly beautiful glass gem corn


Morris Dancing Kit and Caboodle

Huzzah the Morris Dancing outfit is now complete! I did not paint the mask- someone else on the side very kindly did that for me. This is the standard outfit we have- the ladies wear red and silver to represent the moon and the men wear yellow for the sun. When telling the myths there are a whole host of additional costumes eg the greenman and then we also have our own kit and mask that can be any colour or design. As far as I can tell that is a fairly random affair as to when we wear those- I could be wrong on that point though. I have an idea for mine in mind but think I might take a tatters break for a few weeks before starting that one. I am not the fastest stitcher in the world!


Friday 13 September 2013

The Quiet Revolution

" The trouble with being in the rat race is that even if you win, you are still a rat."
Lily Tomlin

"Normal is getting dressed in the clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you're still paying for in order to get to the job you need so you can pay for the clothes, cars and the house that you leave empty all day in order to afford to live in it.
Ellen Goodman

No doubt the sentiments expressed in the second quote are familiar to many of us. Some people face this dilemma straight on and take action to change it. Mark Boyle, the moneyless man is one such individual. He has gone off at a tangent to live the life he wants.  He is  undoubtedly a trail blazer and I admire him for it but I am simply not that radical a person- I like my home comforts. Additionally, as far as I can fathom, others of us still have to earn money and buy things in order for him to make his lifestyle choice viable. I borrowed his first book from the library and found some useful pointers in it. His second book "The Moneyless Manifesto" is available online free to read [you'll need to copy and paste the link] from here

My approach has been more one of gradual downshifting as we adapt to an ever changing set of circumstances- looking back the process started in 1993 when we decided that we wanted to buy a house but not increase our then mortgage. This we achieved by saving a 25% deposit in three years and moving to our modest mud hut in 1996. We paid off our mortgage in full in 2011. Our incomes have plummeted from the days when Mr GBT paid top whack tax [both our jobs came to an end via redundancy] but so too have our needs. My life probably looks rather dull from the outside but I feel I live a very rich life now it's pared back to the things that really matter to me. I am by nature a tinkerer so love making a few pots of home preserves, a spot of knitting, recycling items for craft projects, waste not want not, make do and mend- that's me. What I don't hanker after is keeping chickens or the self sufficiency approach- I know my limitations too well!. That's what's so fab about the quiet revolution- there's room for everyone to change their lives in their own personal ways so it reflects their aspirations. My personal approach is to enjoy myself as much as possible and not to be hairshirted. No one likes a martyr!

The following tale "Revolution" sums it all up for me!

A rich businessman while on holiday in a foreign land approaches a local fisherman who is relaxing next to his boat watching the waves gently rustle up the shore.

"Why aren't you out there working?" he asks the man.

"Because I have already caught enough fish for the day" the fisherman replies.

"But if you were out there fishing now you could sell all the fish you catch and make extra money" urges the foreign businessman. "You could save up the extra money you earn and buy another boat. Keep on working like that and soon you could own a whole fleet of boats and start up a business in international trade."

"And why would I want to do that?" asked the fisherman, barely looking up from the brim of his straw hat.

"So that you could become rich enough like me to be able to sit back and enjoy life."

"But what" replied the fisherman "do you think I am doing now?"


Thursday 12 September 2013

Confessions from a failed diva!

Yesterday was let's just say a "challenging" sort of day with events currently going in real life but I felt in in the circumstances I dealt with those with a modicum of dignity....that however, was not to last. I really should have put myself to bed with a mug of cocoa and a packet of hobnobs when I got in at 4pm then all would have been well in my gnat bottomed world. Unfortunately it was not to be.....

I hate cooking and I especially hate cooking if it involves the rolling out of any sort of pastry- there it sat on the side looking accusingly at me, the bleeding packet of puff pastry [I cannot for the life of me make any kind of pastry other than suet] and the crosser I am the more the damned stuff plays up. Now I had girded my loins for the effort involved in creating last night's delicacy of curried tuna puffs only to find that we had Run Out Of Onions. I am the one who does the bulk of the shopping but obviously I was not to blame in any way...I managed to contain my rage by not throwing anything on this occasion [did you know just how far a big box of opened bran flakes goes when hurled hard enough- we were finding the bleeding things for months!] and instead vented my spleen by announcing Importantly up the stairs that plans for supper were cancelled and that we were going to have fish and chips instead. In total fear of my potential for having the screaming abdabs the small person let forth a small whoop- I am still unclear as to whether this was at the prospect of having an unexpected takeaway or at avoiding my culinary offering.

Disaster averted until...10 minutes before I am due to be picked up for Morris dancing practice and I have managed to spill copious quantities of hand cream both on the floor and down my trousers. A second pair of trousers is pulled out of the wardrobe in haste only to find I have not wiped my hands thoroughly enough and they too are now sporting a rather fine set of greasy finger prints right on the front of the thigh. Emergency measures are called for- I cannot go out not wearing a colour coordinated outfit so ah-ha I think- wear the new to me Monsoon skirt. I now find it is not a good idea to dance in a skirt that you have never worn before- Monsoon have a funny idea of what a size 10 constitutes as I find to my cost as I start spinning and the skirt heads southwards at an alarming rate. At this point I am supposed to be counting for my Bedlam stepping but I am trying desperately to calculate whether my ample rump is big enough [eat your heart out J Lo] to stop the dratted thing falling to my ankles and if, or when, disaster strikes what is the etiquette in such situations- my Debretts is very quiet on such matters.....

You will be pleased to hear that I did not suffer a wardrobe malfunction but on arriving home I managed to fall up the stairs and stub my toe. I retired to bed with a bruised toe and a bruised ego....the prospects for today are, so far, looking much finer!!


Wednesday 11 September 2013

Wordsworth The Alternative Version

Possibly not quite what you were expecting......

Why Dorothy Wordsworth is not as famous as her brother

" I wandered lonely as a...
They're in the top drawer, William
Under your socks -
I wandered lonely as a -
No not that drawer. The top one.
I wandered by myself-
Well wear the ones you can find.
No dear don't get overwrought my dear, I'm coming.

"I wandered lonely as a -
Lonely as a cloud when-
Soft boiled egg, yes my dear,
As usual, three minutes-
As a cloud which floats-
Look I said, I'll cook it,

Just hold on will you-
All right, I'm coming.

"One day I was out for a walk
When I saw this flock-
It can't be too hard, it had three minutes,
Well put some butter in it-
This host of golden daffodils
As I was out for a stroll one-
"Oh you fancy a stroll do you?
Yes all right, William, I'm coming
It's on the peg. Under your hat.
I'll bring my pad, shall I, in case
You want to jot something down?"

Lynn Peters


Tuesday 10 September 2013

Terrific Tuesday

It's harvest time- it's all right to join in [I know you know the words] I won't tell if you don't- I shall most certainly be yowling along tunelessly!

And to quench your thirst I hope you have a flagon of scrumpy in your paw so you feel the part when joining in with  yet another offering from the same chaps!

 This will resume it's normal Merrie Monday spot next week!


Monday 9 September 2013

Abbots Bromley Horn Dance

This event takes place today and is first recorded at the Barthelmy Fair in August 1226 so is our longest surviving English folk dance. It always occurs on Wakes Monday[between 6 and 12 September depending on when Wakes Sunday which is first Sunday after 4th September falls] although it was originally held over 3 days.

The Horns are actually a set of 6 reindeer antlers which have been carbon dated to the 11th century but there seems to be some debate as to how long they have actually been in this country. The White Horns are known as Whites with the leader of the dancers carrying the biggest set and the Brown Horns are called Blues.

The side itself comprises of 6 deer men, a fool, a Hobby Horse, Bowman and Maid Marian all in medieval costume and they are accompanied by a melodian player as they perform at different stands around the village during the day. The day starts with a short service at St Nicholas's where the Horns are stored during the year and then they are returned to their resting place at 8pm. It is an event I definitely want to be at in the not too near's on the list!


Sunday 8 September 2013

Gordon Bennett!

She's only bleedin' well gone and finished her rainbow knitten. Evidence below- it is not meant to be a thing of beauty but a rustic item for our domestic use only. All the wool has either come from the charity shop, freecycle, friends [this type of project can use up all those part balls people have left over] and from cheapie shops like Wilkos and Pound shops. It has been a good exercise for me- no rules other than each length has 42 stitches and it is all garter stitch. I have simply knitted scarves and changed colour whenever the fancy has taken me. I shall blanket stitch them together but not until I have finished my Morris mask.  Predictably Psychocat sat in the middle of it and then showed her low opinion of it by stomping off!

This is the second one I have done- the first one, again being sat upon by Psychocat in disgust, was for the small person. My friend has asked me to do an all blue one for her which should keep me out of mischief over the winter!

Saturday 7 September 2013

Autumn Glory

Mr GBT and I sallied forth today into town for a cuppa and a cheese scone. Everywhere is glorious right now so thought you might like a peek at the gorgeous berries we saw en route.


Friday 6 September 2013

My Little World

I am a perfectionist- I mistakenly thought up until recently that it was a good trait to have because it meant I drove myself hard and tried to be the best I could be at everything I tried. I now understand that it's a classic characteristic of people, like me, who have had very low self esteem and in reality this meant that I never thought anything I did was good enough. I will always have a tendency towards it but it is a bad habit I am trying to leave behind as I start to cut myself a little slack. However, I do still need an outlet for my perfectionism and for me personally that is my dollshouse- ridiculous though it may seem to some it is my little kingdom over which I have total control. Only I decide what goes in there and where it is put and when very anxious I can tinker about in there to my heart's content. Mr GBT built it for me from scratch in 1994 and it is still very much a work in progress although not so much progress these days as working, having a family etc have rudely got in the way!! Anyway a few shots of Holten House.

The kitchen

The unfinished parlour
The study
The hall
And finally the dining room

Mr GBT makes the furniture as well. How lucky am I!!


The Knight of the Garter Stitch

 In my time I've come across knights made from stone and wood, but this is my first encounter with a knitted knight. We came upon this f...