Thursday, 31 July 2014

New To Me Song.

I housesparkle for a dear chum every other week. She has four gorgeous hounds for whom she leaves the radio on so that they have company whilst she's at work. Normally her channel of choice is Radio 4 but today she had it tuned to Planet Rock. Hand on heart this is a station I would not naturally gravitate to but I am grateful I listened to it today because I discovered this track by Nickelback. I enjoyed the song but the lyrics really touched me. If you have time do take a peek- they are very sensible and a timely reminder for all of us.


Arilx

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Out of the mouths of babes....

I met a rather smashing little fellow today at the surgery called Jamie. He toddled over to show me Jess, his toy black and white cat. However, it was the type of highly original introduction that only a small person could give- he lifted the cat's tail and informed me that it was the "cat's bottom". Anatomically correct! It put me in mind of my own small person when he was 2 not the 16 year old version of today.

On one occasion we were sitting on a bench in our high street taking a breather when a man built like a giant haystack sat down next to us to have a fag. Now we're non smokers so this was new territory to be explored. "What dat man doin' mummy?" was the first rather plaintive request from the pushchair. I tried fobbing him off but he was on to me so he repeated his request only several decibels louder in case I and the rest of the town hadn't heard him. Once again I attempted to distract him but he was having none of it....a few moments of silence ensued before he announced to all and sundry...."look dat man is putting a firework in his mouth"....I can move quite speedily when needs must.

At one point in his junior career the small person was most keen on buses so I promised him we'd use the park and ride in Brighton. We got ourselves settled when a couple of let's just say rather well upholstered ladies followed us on. Watching them he shouted..."look Mummy backside ladies!". They looked a little startled until I explained to them that what he actually meant were they were ladies who were sitting at the back and the side of the bus. He was not making any observation upon the size of their rumps!

The final classic I need to set the scene for. 'Twas the evening before the said event and I was making jam which at started to boil up whilst at the same time I whipped round and managed to send a bowl of defrosted tomatoes flying everywhere. Let's just say I was a little stressed and uttered the F word rather loudly...that wouldn't have been an issue had I not then realised that to my horror the small person was the other side of the stair gate across the kitchen door. However, he showed no reaction so I thought I'd got away with it. Fast forward to the next morning when he was huffing and puffing trying to pull his trousers up over the enormous cloth nappy he wore in those days. "What on earth's the matter?" I asked him rather testily only for him to reply "I can't get my f**ing trousers on". I beat a hasty exit where I guffawed silently until the tears rolled down my cheeks. Thankfully I he didn't repeat it again. Phew!

Arilx

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

A Hotch Potch Postlet

I joined the book of the face at the beginning of last year primarily because that was one of the main ways that Mythago communicates. I find it a good and easy way to keep in touch but I keep my settings private. It can be the most fantastic time waster so since coming back from holiday I've cut back on the amount of time I'm on there. I enjoy the repartee but what I don't do is share anything of a private nature [same as here]. I think this image serves as a good reminder


From time to time I encounter information or quotes that really resonate with me. Today has been one of those days and so I record and share them here and hope you enjoy them too.




Arilx

Monday, 28 July 2014

Eastbourne

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside. Oh I do like to be beside the sea......


Oh I do like to walk along the prom prom prom.....


Where the scary drummers play tiddly pom pom pom...



The annual Lammas event at Eastbourne which raises funds for the RNLI. We were dancing again but I shall spare you endless piccies of us all as I covered it last year here
http://gnatbottomedtowers.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/lammas-fest-2013.html

However, it is the law that I include this year's picture of the fabulous John Barleycorn!


And this rather scrummy lady who was here with her owner once again. She is the soppiest hound and gives a lovely cuddle.Most of the day she was to be seen stretched out in the shade whilst everyone tickled her tummy. She's a Siberian husky I believe. Just look at those ice blue eyes.

Arilx

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Hot Beds!

I regret we are talking nothing more thrilling than the floral variety...it's far too warm to even dwell on any topic verging on the 50 shades of grey variety!

Some of the stunners seen on recent meanderings. Summer in full bloom.










Arilx

Saturday, 26 July 2014

A Novel Way To Protest.

In the small pocket of West Sussex where I live people are up in arms about many issues. I pass placards that say "Frack Off" and "No To The Gatwick Runway" along with various more localised protests against all the new house building going on. Folks try various methods to get their voices heard- marches, public meetings, social media and there have been some successes and some failures. I have oft said and will no doubt say again intrinsically people don't change that much...even back in the middle ages people were concerned about similar issues. I love the way the residents of Gotham went about deterring King John from building a hunting lodge near Nottingham in 1200 when they realised that this would result in them having to pay new taxes because he would pass through the village en route and this would then make it a king's highway.

"The entire village pretended to be mad. It is said that the villagers built a fence around a cuckoo bush to prevent the cuckoo escaping, tried to drown an eel, set about pulling the moon out of a pond with a rake and rolled cheeses down a hill to make them round. Since madness was considered contagious the idea of a whole village of lunatics was perfectly feasible and apparently the ploy worked."

Terry Jones "Medieval Lives"

Arilx

Friday, 25 July 2014

Ebernoe Horn Fair

This horn fair is a rare survival on an ancient custom. It was revived in the small West Sussex village of Ebernoe in 1864 and nowadays comprises of a cricket match played on the village green between the villagers and another local team. The highest scorer receives the horns from the sheep which has been roasting all day. It is always held on St James's day ie 25th July.

Various bits of folklore are attached to the fair. The horns are believed to represent cuckoldry [derived from the idea of the cuckoo laying its eggs in another's nest] and it was believed that if there was a storm on the day that was a sign of a good harvest. It was also a reminder for gardeners to sow their cabbages. There is no doubt in its original form it would have been some what more ribald with much singing and dancing. This traditional horn fair song is performed by Spiers and Boden.


Arilx

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Restorative.

Yesterday I shed a few tears but I am happy in the knowledge that I gave the naughty tortie a good life in the time she was with me [she was a rescue cat and not in a good way when she came here] and a good death. She leaves behind a cat shaped hole which I will fill again once the summer holidays are over with another adult cat needing love and a new home.

Last night we needed to drop the small person off in Falmer for the last part of his National Citizenship Service induction [he starts next week ....exciting times!] so Mr GBT suggested a quick whizz over to Rottingdean which is not far whilst we were down there. Normally I go dancing on Wednesday night but had decided to cancel. It was the right thing to do...the sound of the waves breaking was amazingly calming and helped me to regain some emotional balance. We stopped for a quick jar and raised a glass to the little furry lady. The only time I had to catch my breath was when I saw this road sign. Twitten is a Sussex name for an alley but the timing was ironic somehow.





 The view across the village pond. You can see the windmill in the background.


There is a lovely row of Tudor houses with the most fantastic carved detailing over the doors and windows. I realise that they are not Tudor in age but I loved some of the whacky creatures and faces peering out nevertheless.





Finally this little fellow is set into the wall that runs alongside "The Elm"s which is where Rudyard Kipling lived for five years. The story goes that you should rub his nose with the forefinger of your right hand to make a wish then turn round three times to make the wish come true. However, I don't suggest you try it as there's a busy road running in front of it and you are more likely to end up doing an impression of a strawberry yogurt smeared across the tarmac!

Arilx

May I gently recommend......

...the following two books which are gloriously eccentric yet full of pathos and comic moments. The first I think may be familiar to many. The second one is a very recent chance discovery.



Arilx

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Twitten


This wasn't the post I had planned for today but I am sad to say that Twitten aka Psychocat has now crossed the rainbow bridge. No doubt she will live up to her reputation and wreak havoc there. I meanwhile will miss her terribly.

Arilx

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Lead Me Into Temptation!

Aha yes the Tintern surprise....having toddled around in the heat Mr GBT had nipped off to look at a waterwheel whilst I patiently waited having highbrow thoughts such as "where's my next icecream coming from?!" when he beckoned me over.

I anticipated 150 "fun facts about waterwheels" [snore] but what I got was this...


and this....


Absolutely not my cup of tea you understand which is why this has come home with me whoop, whoop and thrice times whoop!


To stem the flow of unbridled shopping I assuaged my guilt by buying dear chums a purple and silver pagan wall plaque [not my thing but very much them]. These are the friends with whom I celebrate the wheel of the year. It was rather jolly watching them open it last night and then A [he of the handmade pottery hare fame] immediately hang it up. They tell me they absolutely "love it"

For those who are interested this is the lady's website http://www.spiritofthegreenman.co.uk/
Since getting home I've found that it was from her that I bought a very unusual stag necklace that people often admire when I wear it. Small world.

Arilx

Monday, 21 July 2014

An Amble Along The Angidy Trail

A final smug holiday post! This walk takes you along Tintern's Angidy Trail. Usually you say the name "Tintern" and most people would think of this:


We broke with tradition though and didn't visit the abbey. Instead we followed a path that showed us various ruins associated with the area's famous wire working industry which started in the 17th century and ended in the 19th.

This is one of the furnaces. The men would heat iron ore and charcoal and then be left with cast iron once it had cooled.


Many of the processes were powered by water and various workings remain.


However, as we climbed up and down the valley I was as enchanted with the wild flowers we discovered. Shown here are the orange hawkweed, green alkantet and comfrey.




The church ruin is called St Mary's and is Victorian. It was the wireworkers' church but was sadly destroyed by fire in 1977.




The shapes of these gravestones rather tickled my fancy- the winecooler shaped one has recently been restored.




Our walk threw up a rather lovely surprise at the end. I shall explain more tomorrow when I have uploaded the photos!

Arilx

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Fun Run Done!



Today my stout little hobbit legs have served me well and I have managed to slog for 5k without stopping and raised funds for a local children's hospice into the bargain. Mr GBT and the small person achieved the same except the latter was Speedy Gonzales and lapped us.

Throughout my "training" these past few weeks by our local river I have got up to all sorts of antics.....initially the naughty little imp on my shoulder had no problem in persuading me to go home early because I was bored then I tried music but got grumpy with that...eventually repeating the mantra "running is forward dancing" got me through. I've had the support of a running morris dancing chum and Mr GBT to trot along with sometimes- somehow being able to have a natter which distracts me makes it so much better. Am I in love with running....nope will I continue yes. My legs are stronger which in turn have helped my dancing, it's free [after the initial outlay for the shoes and the sports over the boulder shoulder holder] and will be good in the winter [the chances of me ever entering a gym are frankly nil] and it dissipates my anxiety which in turn helps keep the black dog in his kennel.

The greatest thing I will take away from today's experience is the bonhomie shared between all of us. There were whole families from grandparents down to squally bawlies in prams chugging along. Many of us were raising money for different charities and in remembrance of loved ones lost. The most moving part was the group of family and friends who ran wearing white angel wings with a picture of a prem baby called Max who died at 52 days. A little girl was running with them and on her back was a note that identified her as Grace, Max's three year old sister. Oh boy am I counting my blessings today!

Arilx

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Cardiff Bay Capers

What's one to do when you've got one trendy teen and two wrinkly parents stuck in the dark ages and you're all away together. After a bit of huffing and puffing from all parties concerned the final solution seemed to be that we all chose a couple of things to do during the week. The small person chose shopping in Cardiff with the added frisson of seeing the football stadium. I was overly delighted at the prospect with low expectations of both.....I anticipated that the bay might be deadly like Gunwharf Keys [I really don't like conventional shopping...apologies to all those who are fans of the place] but this grumpy old baggage was proved gloriously wrong. Cardiff Bay is inspirational showing how fabulous modern architecture and art work can be...there was something different to see at every turn and no I'm not going to put up any pictures of the stadium despite having photos of said son posing next to it!

This quilt I came across by chance when looking for the "washroom" as our chums across the pond so delicately call it.


Wales Millenium Centre. Designed by Jonathan Adams and opened in 2004 it is built from 1200 tonnes of Welsh slate and uses 4500 tonnes of steel which has been prepainted with a champagne coloured oxide [so the leaflet the lady in the shop gave me tells me!] The inscription translates as "Creating Truth Like Glass from Inspiration's Furnace" which is a poem by Gwyneth Lewis. If you do have time I heartily recommend poking about inside as its design and attention to detail is very pleasing. We found the orrery hiding away in a corner- it was used in a performance of Holst's Planets given by the Welsh BBC orchestra and featured in an episode of Dr Who.




There are sculptures at every turn.



Finally this is the Norwegian church which once served the Norwegian seamen who sailed from the bay.


We took many more photos but I hope this is enough to whet your appetite.

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...