Friday, 28 February 2014

Shhh....

but my sources have provided with a juicy snippet.....coming soon to a TV screen near you.......

BUMFUZZLE......yes I feel such a glorious word needs to be hollered loudly!

Originating from Southern America it means to confuse and by now you should be totally bumfuzzled. Just keep an eye out for its debut in the UK media world of advertising and don't forget you heard it first!

Arilx


Friday Funding Fun



A frugal tiplet- The Works do lovely sets of 10 notelets for the princely sum of £1.99 plus another pack free. I've found them to be lovely designs and suitable for birthday cards. It's also worth checking in the charity shops to see if they have a box of assorted donated ones. Guaranteed a few dodgy 1980s geometric patterned ones and  sugar candy pink ones with thatched cottages and bluebirds only suitable for Great Great Aunt Nelly, but I've struck gold on many an occasion!
Arilx

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

And the sun shone....Part Three

Last part promise!

Midhurst is a delightful Sussex market town famous for its polo. It's full to bursting with attractive buildings and cheery street names like Duck Lane and Knockhundred Row. Despite the promise of Wool Lane and Sheep Lane disappointingly there was a distinct lack of an ovine presence!

The local library housed in a rather splendid building. I do so hope that one day I might be able to attempt those steep steps with an armful of Mills and Boons whilst slightly squiffy, having had a Martini or two too many. I can hear the bleeding Health and Safety Elf having fifty fits from here!



St Magdalene and St Deny's church [it's not known why it is dedicated to two saints as opposed to the usual one] sports this rather natty checkerboard pattern across its front.


If the lighting is right this cheeky little face shows up on one of the corbels tucked away in a corner inside- apart from another one with a carved date all the others are plain.


And finally these two teensy lancet windows caught my eye.


Every evening at 8pm the Curfew Bell is rung. Tradition has it that centuries ago a London rider was benighted on North Heath and couldn't find a road through the forest. The bell guided him safely through and by way of thanks he gave the church a piece of land on the provisio that the bell be rung daily at 8pm.

Thanks for joining me on my latest sortie!

Arilx




Tuesday, 25 February 2014

And the sun shone...Part Two

We decided, as it was such a stunner of a day and all the more welcome after the heavy downpours of these past few weeks, we would walk from Easebourne to Midhurst [not as grand as it sounds...it really is no distance even for our little hobbit length legs!]

Without the distraction of the leaves and with a blue sky backlighting it I was rather taken with the view of the mistletoe.


This route takes you past the beautiful ruins of Cowdray Park. This was a significant early Tudor house visited by both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. It was damaged by a fire in 1793. During the summer months it is open to the public but even at this time of year it's possible to get a real feel for the place




A surviving detail of the interior.


It is a path both popular with families and dog walkers as this fellow ably demonstrates! Full of the joys of Spring I would say!

Last part to follow....

Arilx

Monday, 24 February 2014

And the sun shone....Part One

So rather than see just how awful my windows looked in the bright sunlight we grabbed our coats and headed out of the door with indecent haste for a jolly [somehow that sounds slightly cheeky but it was all chaste and above board honest guv!]

On this occasion we travelled in the metal box with a wheel at each corner to have a snout around Easebourne [pronounced Essbourne] and Midhurst. They are places that I usually whizz through en route to other destinations but they've always looked potentially interesting.

I rather like this somewhat forlorn looking byepass bridge- it is no longer fit for its original purpose sitting isolated next to the road


And an oddly named road- a quick bit of research on google has left me none the wiser as to the origin of the name!


As you are no doubt aware by now if there's a church nearby I want to go in it [funny really as I'm a pagan but hey ho] so a whizz around St Mary's it was.



This is the Montague Memorial and a pretty garish tomb it must have been too in its heyday. I apologise for the lack of photos of the top- that's what happens when something is tall and you've got hobbit sized humans photographing it! It still retains a fair hit of colour but it was much admired for its former vibrancy right up until 1851 when it was moved from the church in Midhurst, Sadly it was left outside for six months which didn't do it a whole heap of good. Sigh!

It's not a place of worship with much to catch my eye to be honest but I really did admire these- they were stunning when they caught the light. They form the backdrop behind the altar.



And I, for one, cannot resist the charm of a bunch of crocuses in the churchyard with all their promise of Spring.


To prevent this being too photo heavy more to follow....

Arilx

Merrie Monday

Mr Erroll Brown sporting a rather fine pair of humbug striped trousers and a mega medallion with Hot Chocolate and "You sexy thing"


Arilx

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Goodness gracious me!

There I was innocently performing my sparkling duties as a house fairy upstairs in my client's home when I happened to glance up briefly to be met with that glorious sight of a rather prominent builder's bottom on full display courtesy of the roofer working opposite. Now I don't have an issue with people going commando, letting it all hang out or whatever the current lingo is for overexposed flesh is on a cold February day. My only gripe is that ladies and gentlemen I don't really feel the need for you to share it with me- short of dusting with my eyes shut [not a technique that would be particularly popular with my clients I feel] it was right in my eye line and kind of difficult to ignore. May I politely suggest with a good dash of bare faced cheek if you trews are only held in place by the full circumference of your rump perhaps a new pair in a different size is required. Shew me your posterior again and I shall be forced to knit you a string vest and matching y fronts because I don't want you getting poorly from your over exposed goose flesh.....you have been warned.

I know it's cheeky but I hope Mr Hislop looks kindly upon my admiration of an appropriate Private Eye image by Ken Pyne which sums up this vision of loveliness that we are all forced to endure once in a while!


Arilx

Friday, 21 February 2014

Spotty Botties!


Spotted these two having an absolute ball at the weekend.

Arilx

Friday Funding Fun

We [I say "we" it's only we if I can't get out of the cooking which is my daily goal!] cook mostly from scratch. I say mostly because I am not above using an appropriate short cut method if it means I can spend less time in the kitchen! One such "cheat" is condensed soup but it now costs 95p per can. By buying a can of ordinary soup and adding some cornflour to thicken it you have the same end result but for less wonga. Huzzah!

Arilx

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Vin Extraordinaire!

Care for a glass of one of our lastest Hobbity Booze specials.....You will need to double click the picture to enlarge the labels so that you can choose properly.......


....Oh you'd prefer a cup of tea. Oh where pray is your spirit of adventure....!!!

Being a classy kind of bird I have decided to rebrand our range [bit like Sainsburys who are updating their basics range except with more flair!]. These are the first of our efforts....no doubt more lovelies to come!

Arilx

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Tottering and Pottering Part Two.

Our local museum has the most fantastic cabinet of curiosities. As a child the only thing I can remember seeing is this which I found fascinating [my photos were rubbish so I've referred to them from here http://www.middlestreet.org/cabinet/othercabs.htm]


This mummified cat was found behind a fireplace in a farm. The cat would have been bricked up whilst it was still alive and it was believed that the cat's cries were the evil spirits leaving the house.




From the info boards the cabinet contains deformed creatures which made the belief in monsters seem credible along with a merman which is actually a monkey head stitched onto a fish tail. The "unicorn" horn was deemed to have magical healing powers but actually comes from a narwhal- Royalty had drinking horns made from them in the belief that they would protect them from poisoning. The ammonite resembled the horn on Jupiter's helmet and the displayed flint axes were interpreted as being thunderbolts that had buried themselves only to return to the surface after seven years of rain. 

There is an ever changing range of exhibitions on a wide variety of topics. These next few photos were made by an adult ed class. They are obviously a hugely talented bunch.




And finally most marvellously there were new dragon discoveries to be had,


These rather fine fellows are made by Andy Stevenson and this chap answers to the name of Willoth and he is, as you will see, a rather magnificent chap.


Thank you for joining me on my toddle!

Arilx

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Tottering and Pottering Part One.

Last week I was lucky enough to have a free day so I tottered into town and took the opportunity to potter aound our local museum. It's a free one and I have visited countless times over the years, but this time I was sans enfant and without a deadline to meet so had the chance to have a really good poke about. My little foray has turned up a few interesting snippets methinks.




These are sheep bells. The shepherd was able to tell how the flock was faring from the noise the bells made- he could take appropriate action if the sound indicated that the sheep were distressed.



The round pottery dish in the first photo is a bee feeder. It would have been filled with sugar water and the metal contraption in the second is a sparrow roaster. You must have needed to catch a lot of spadgers to get a decent meal I would imagine.


This rather erm "lovely" figure [I'd call it monstrous myself] is called the Coal Christ and was made by Edward Bainbridge Copnall from coal and resin. Until a few years ago it graced the front of a local church but has now been replaced by this. I think this looks far more welcoming.


More to follow....

Arilx

Sunday, 16 February 2014

A Childhood Tale.

'Twas in times shortly after the war when the country was still reeling and suffering shortages. Clothing was rationed and if you had new clothes they were a valuable commodity to be looked after with great care.

Once upon a time there was a little boy with his even littler sister. They were dressed in their finest new apparel ready for a Sunday drive with their parents. Now this small chap, tired of waiting, decided that an adventure was needed to stifle the tedium and where else could be better than his Daddy's sheds. Dragging along his younger sibling they began to explore the caverns of naughtiness normally out of reach to their inquistive minds. First to catch the little chap's eye were some sealed metal barrels....to sate his curiousity as to their contents he hit one of them with a sharp stone that dented the metal....through this hole gushed a cascade of black, shiny loveliness. Marvellous stuff to dunk your hands into except when you want to wipe it off when you are ready to move on to another exploit. For it is tar and it is sticky and it doesn't just come off when you wipe your hands on your new outfit. So what's to be done......a quick look around reveals a rather marvellous pile of chicken feathers left over from the birds' recent dispatch. Perhaps this would provide a solution- the only way to find out is for you and with your encouragement, your little sister to roll in them...or perhaps not for this is the time your Mother is calling for you.....

 Let's just say upon viewing the state of her children Mother was incandescent with rage. How can I be so sure of my facts....why this naughty little boy is now a naughty 69 year old chap and he is my Daddy!

Arilx


Saturday, 15 February 2014

Changing the Change.


On this date in 1971 decimalisation was brought in. Now I am middling aged sort of dame but only had pocket money in the current denominations with which we are all familiar. I do however, have vague recollections of the old money from whence I was a wee nipper when it was referred to as Lsd. Why this particular combination of letters I idly wondered from time to time.....

Thankfully the dear people at the Lincoln Museum of Life kindly furnished me with the answers last summer.
L= pounds. An abbreviation of librae. Roman word for weight derived from the Latin word meaning scales.
S = shillings. S is from the first letter of the Latin word solidus which was a Roman coin.
D = penny. From the Latin word denarius which was another Roman coin.

There you go- yet more useless information with which to amaze your chums [or not as the case maybe!]

Arilx





Friday, 14 February 2014

Friday Funding Fun.

Dregs or, perhaps to put it a little bit more politely, using them up.  In my humble opinion the best tools for the trade for this are spatulas, teaspoons, scissors etc.

I cut tubes in half and keep the bottom half over the top half to stop the contents drying out. Teaspoons reach the parts of jars not accessible that knives can't [I was going to say corners but jars don't generally have corners I am led to believe] and spatulas are fab for scraping bowls out properly. Bottles are turned upside down or showergels have a little water added to them to get the last bit out. Even tins are swooshed with hot water to make sure that any lurkers are added to the stock pot. My latest wheeze this week has been to use a rolling pin to squeeze the last bit of tomato puree out of the tube.

Maybe this all seems a little too gnat bottomed for some but I don't frankly give a fiddler's flute. I've paid for it and it's all part of my campaign to stop as much of my leftovers unnecessarily going to landfill. I don't reside at Gnat Bottomed Towers for no reason you know!!

Arilx

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Valentine's Day.


As you can see I take it all terribly seriously! Finding that Mr GBT has done all my ironing as a surprise is my idea of a romantic gesture! I know, I know there's no hope for some and even less for me. Anyway if you do celebrate I hope you have a lovely day.
Arilx

Thursday Chuckle

Smile!



Arilx

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Street Art

So it might not be up to the standards of Banksey but, I'm sure you'll agree it's a bit of fun. Certainly put a smile on my face!


Arilx

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Just Peeking Over The Parapet.

Wandering around at the weekend I got my first real sense that Spring is just beginning to stretch and yawn as she awakens from her slumber. I spotted a little clump of Forget-Me-Nots in a sheltered sunny spot and lots of these.


Hazel catkins [only found out what type they were today]. Catkins come from the obsolete Dutch word katteken meaning kitten because of their resemblance to kitten tails. They are acknowledged as one of the first signs of Spring.

Rootling around today I came across this poem by Margaret Fairless Barber [1869-1901] who wrote under the pseudonym of Michael Fairless. Hope you enjoy it.

Spring

Hark how the merry daffodils
Fling golden music to the hills!
And how the hills send echoing down,
Through wind-swept turf and moorland brown, 
The murmurs of a thousand rills
That mock the song-birds' liquid trills!
The hedge released from Winter's frown
Shews jewelled branch and willow crown;
While all the earth with pleasure trills
And 'dances with the daffodils'.

Out, out ye flowers! Up and shout!
Staid Winter's past and Spring's about
To lead your ranks in joyous rout;
To string the hawthorn's milky pearls,
And gild the grass with celandine;
To dress the catkins' tasselled curls,
To twist the tendrils of the vine.
She wakes the wind-flower from her sleep,
And lights the woods with April's moon;
The violets lift their heads to peep,
The daisies brave the sun at noon.

The gentle wind from out the west
Toys with the lilac pretty maids;
Ruffles the meadow's verdant-vest,
And rings the bluebells in the glades;
The ash buds change their sombre suit,
The orchards blossom white and red-
Promise of Autumn's brighter fruit,
When Spring's voluptuousness had fled.
Awake! awake, O throstle sweet!
And haste with all your choir to greet
This Queen who comes with wakening feet.

Persephone with grateful eyes
Salutes the Sun- 'tis Paradise:
Then hastens down the dewy meads,
Past where the herd contented feeds,
Past where the furrows hide the grain,
For harvesting of sun and rain;
To where Demeter patient stands
With longing lips and outstretched hands,
Until the dawning of one face
Across the void of time and space
Shall bring again her day of grace.
Rejoice, O Earth! Rejoice and sing!
This is the promise of the Spring
And this is the world's remembering.

Arilx



Monday, 10 February 2014

Merrie Monday

Dig out your big blond wig and these that you've stowed away in the loft....


and now you're appropriately attired for this!


Little ole Dolly jus' doin' her thang!

Arilx

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Weather watching.

As is often said, the Brits find the topic of weather to be endlessly fascinating. Sadly this is all too apparent at the present time for those poor souls suffering from the current floods. What is always certain is that whatever the weather is doing it probably won't be doing the right thing if it has the temerity to do it for more than three days! Many of us like a moan that it's too hot, too cold, too windy, too wet and so forth. It truly is a national obsession and one that we all can relate to! As a general rule I enjoy the way our weather is always changing although that statement goes out of the window if it's not dry and I am meant to be dancing out fickle creature that I am.  My personal penchant for the weather has developed into an affection for weather vanes even though there are not nearly enough of them in my humble opinion. My own lack of one was remedied at Christmas by the purchase of the one below- even if it is in twelfth scale and sits upon the roof of my dollshouse!



The others are a few I have spotted over the last year or so. If I see more I share gladly share them you lucky, lucky people!





Arilx

Saturday, 8 February 2014

The Art Of The Displacement Activity.

It is most definitely an art form I would say and one I have finely honed over the years. Some may cruelly call it procrastinating or twonking about as it is affectionately known here at GBT. Below is a rather fine example to encourage you to waste further time. For some reason they are known as Easter Eggs!


Ho hum s'pose I'd better go and change into my painting clothes as that's what I actually should be getting on with....

Arilx

Friday, 7 February 2014

A Monthly Review.

At the beginning of January I set myself some modest targets rather than resolutions and I am pleased to say that I have made some progress huzzah!

The first new veggie meal has been devoured- my carnivorous chaps seem to suffer a strange adversity to chickpeas but my falafel disappeared in a flash. Lots of seasoning seems to be the trick to get those under the radar successfully. This time I fried them next time [there will be a next time] I am going to brush them with oil and bake them. I have put out a polite request on freecycle for Ronald Hutton books so shall have to see on that one.

Finally the seasonal shelf...well ......ta dah!


A sort of Imbolc/early spring display. The wren ornament is the first present Mr GBT ever bought me and I still love it to this day 24 years on. The handmade wreath in the background was bought at the weekend at the fabulous Anderida Druid Conference where I was dancing. I also brought this beautiful little hand painted wren pendant home with me which doesn't show up properly so Mr GBT has very kindly taken a close up shot for me to share.


So headway is being made. I am making my first ever jam suet pud in the slow cooker this weekend which will count as the first new dessert of 2014.

Arilx

Friday Funding Fun

I have come across this initiative via Jen's brilliant blog at My Make Do and Mend Year. It's called the Buy Nothing Project. It's come over from across the pond and I shall be interested to see if it will roll out across here. More info below
http://buynothingproject.org/

Arilx

Thursday, 6 February 2014

The Ancient Watchers

I saw this at the entrance to Kingley Vale many moons ago and simply loved the words. A wattle is a rough wooden wall.


Arilx

A Tale of Two Villages

Mr GBT and I do our best to do something if we find we have a day without any commitments at the weekend. What we do varies according to tim...