Showing posts from June, 2014

Pimms O' Clock

Now it's tennis time again Pimms is back in vogue. Originally it was invented by James Pimm in 1840. He was the owner of an oyster bar in Poultry Street, London. It was intended as an aid to digestion and contained both gin and quinine. The No 1 cup derives from when it was sold in a small tankard known as a No 1 cup. There were other cups available as well- no 2 was Scotch, no 3 was brandy [now known as Winter], no 4 rum, no 5 rye and no 6 vodka. Reading around on the internet these days the accompaniments are slices of orange, lemon, strawberry, apple, cucumber and a few sprigs of mint. All or a combination of some will suffice apparently. When it was first served it wasn't such a colourful affair- simply lemon and borage. It would seem our ancestors knew a thing or two about borage long before the invention of Pimms for it's been known since Roman times for its cheering properties. Read recently at Michelham Priory the information board has the following little ge

Tsk the youth of today!

"Harumph I am most put out by the antics of the younger generation today. I mean just look...dancing owls...whatever next.... I blame all this Harry Potter nonsense myself!" Amber the rather disgruntled European Eagle Owlx

So true!

"Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone's lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means that you agree with everything that they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don't have to comprise convictions to be compassionate." Rick Warren

Care for a Chair?

Chairs...I am surprised to find that I hold strident views on chairs...surely a chair is something just there for you to sit on...but apparently not in my little world here at GBT. I have a set of miniature chairs that Mr GBT has made me for my dollshouse. Of these I am most fond. A very functional office chair not worthy of a photo which was rescued from a skip when the office next door to where I used to work pre redundancy decided to have a refit and we were all offered first dibs. There are others around my home which are comfortable and then this little gem which I adore and remains in my living room. I have claimed it for myself as it's original owner is now sixteen and 5'10"! We tend to think of the use of bright painted colours as a modern phenomen...erm no not if these examples from the Great Tower at  Dover castle are anything to go by. The interior has been recreated to show what the medieval interior looked like at the time of Henry II Th


Enjoy...I did! Arilx

...And Out.

Continuing my whistle stop tour of Michelham. The priory lays claim to having the longest moat in the country. This time of year it's full of lovely water lilies and abundant with wild life. This is the common damsel fly. It is also home to some stunning flower beds and a physic garden. Alium. Marigolds An unusual aquilegia And a massive chair which was just perfect for housing my ample rump. Fear not though for I will not inflict the one of me posing in it whilst pulling one of my special gargoyle expressions that I keep exclusively for when I have my photo taken! Arilx

A Totter Around Michelham Priory Inside.....

It'll come as no great surprise to anyone who drops by from time to time that I've been out scaring the natives with all my shouting and stick waving recently. This time I got across the moat at Michelham Priory unscathed. This Augustinian priory was set up in 1229 and as my Dad wryly remarked, these religious houses were never built in an ugly setting.This proved to be no exception. It was dissolved in 1537 and then spent most of the following years as a farm firstly owned by the Sackville family who rented it out and then by James Gwynne in 1896. It housed evacuees during the war and was used as a base for the Canadian troops preparing for the Dieppe raid during the winter of 1941-1942. Eventually it was given to the Sussex Archaeological Trust in 1959. Just a few snaps to give you a taster. It's worth going when they're holding one of their events to make it a fuller trip and get better value for your precious pennies. This is the medieval banquet - it

Qu'est que c'est?

A mystery object for you to identify spotted on my travels at the weekend. Are you impressed with my franglais?! Back in Arthurian times I do believe that somehow I managed to get a 'B' in my French O level. Now all I can recall is "le singe est dans l'arbre" which I feel might be fabulously helpful should I find myself in France at any time in the future! Arilx PS This is a 17th century costrel. It was a flask used by workers and would usually have contained beer. It was sealed with a wooden stopper and they were often decorated with the owner's initials. Otherwise known as bombards they were made from leather covered in pitch.

Ferreting Around

I featured a different shot of this young lady that we encountered at a local nature reserve a couple of years ago in a recent postlet. The place is a dog walker's paradise and it took me a moment to work out that the breed of dog on the lead was not one that I recognised because it was a ferret instead! I've always been a ferret fan, but having enjoyed her antics that day I was immediately smitten. She was very taken with Mr GBT's red socks! Ferrets are bright, sparky creatures who enjoy company. They are part of the same family as mink but have been domesticated for the last two thousand years. The name is derived from the latin "furonem" meaning thief and apparently they are renown for stealing and hiding things whenever the opportunity arises! As pets ferrets can be house trained to use a litter tray. They are fussy eaters and unafraid of humans. They sleep 18 hours a day and can be picked up without waking them...erm this is sounding more and more like

Merrie Monday

Morning stir your stumps! This is "Tiny" the Little Owl! Arilx

Snug As A Bug In A....

..ropey old Hawkweed! Gloriously iridescent Rose Chafer beetles. Arilx


As ever my funny old brain has been roaming around freely and for some strange reason it has presented these two to be put together in a postlet. No I don't know why either but hey let's go with it! I heard this on the radio the other day when I was driving the metal box with a wheel at each corner. I had forgotten about this track and just how much I miss the talent that was Ian Dury and "Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick" so for old times sake here he is doing what he did so well And there are these sticks which have recently joined my ever increasingly eclectic range of possessions. I have a thing for twisted sticks and decorated staffs [it's a pagan cum morris thing I think!]. These were being discarded by the chap who made them due to an imminent house move so his friends rescued them and brought them to our morris dancing practice to see if they could have a new home. They have now joined my curious oorner of different sticks in my hall way! Arilx

Alban Hefin Blessings

To all those who follow the old ways Solstice blessings to you Arilx

Pass the monkey!

That little phrase "pass the monkey" was one I learnt within a work environment many years ago and it often proved a timely reminder when I was being pressurised into taking the stress or responsibility for a situation that simply wasn't part of my remit. It's one that applies in my personal life too...having had so called "friends" a few years ago who did not observe boundaries but constantly heaped the stress of their continuing dramas upon me in the end it nearly broke me. Nowadays I have removed those toxic relationships from my doubt those particular people are repeating the pattern with someone else. Don't get me wrong I'm there 100% for my chums and genuine difficulties it's just that I can differentiate far better these days. These two little snippets came up on my Book of the Face this week which seem to be conveying the very same message. This piece of advice was apparently given by a psychologist as a tool for dealing

Flaming June

Some of the natural beauties we beheld when we out on our weekend jolly. Nature is so amazing. Common Rock Rose Common Milkwort Black Medick Salad Burnet Viper's Bugloss Eyebright Dark Mullein I love the middles of the Dark Mullein flowers...fuzzy purple and orange how funky is that! Finally Crosswort Do hope you enjoy Mr GBT's piccies! Arilx

Box Hill

A jolly caper to the summit of Box Hill in Surrey was on the agenda for Sunday's outing. It was bequeathed to the National Trust in 1914 [they own 230 acres] by Leopold Salomons and it gets its name from the ancient box woodland on the west facing chalk slopes. It's always busy up there and a popular spot with walkers and cyclists alike who all congregate at the cafe at the top. The riders seem to be able to ascend the very steep roads with indecent speed and it now enjoys a fantastic road surface following its inclusion in the 2012 Olympics road race. You may know from a previous post that I love a weather vane. When I saw this one I noticed the wheel but closer inspection once home revealed the saddle and the gears. I heartily approve! Whilst there Mr GBT and I took advantage of the short waymarked stroll to take in some of the sights. We passed by Peter Labilliere's grave which I've blogged about on a previous occasion