Showing posts from March, 2015

Ably Assisted.

Now cats believe themselves to be superior creatures and expert in many fields. From time to time they care to demonstrate to those in their enslavement how a job should be carried out correctly so that us mere minions may have the privilege of watching and learning. On Friday Humphrey observed me packing for the show with increasing exasperation. In the end he elbowed me out of the way to show me the proper way to do it..... "Righty- oh now I've finished where are you taking me?"  he asked. Upon being informed that the destination was the NEC...home of that ratty little dogs show called Crufts he sniffily beat a hasty exit and sought refuge elsewhere to recover from his exertions. Arilx


Hellooooooooooooooooo! Did you miss all my witterings? I've spent the weekend being a grown up and ably "assisting" [fetching coffees when our flask was empty, minding the stall on rest breaks etc] Mr GBT at a dollshouse show at the NEC. It's a 4am start for us and then work both days before getting home last night at 7.30 which was a lot earlier than some previous occasions when we've staggered through the door at 10. Thank goodness for caffeine is all I can say! The event itself was well attended and as ever we were surrounded by a lovely bunch of fellow makers who regaled us with show and non show tales [not divulging any here!].All the craftsmen and women spend huge swathes of time ensconced in their workshops working under their own steam. It's good to get together and catch up every few months at shows. I am pleased to report that some jolly good sports were kind enough to place orders with us so Mr GBT's waiting list remains at 18 months. I pa


What links this to this? Why don't forget that the clocks go "a head" [or several in this case] by one hour today! Normal blogging will resume next week! Arilx

Yoohoo It's The Weekend!

Morning! A couple of cheery faces and a tune to make your weekend go with a swing...I myself am working all weekend so will be kept out of mischief bah humbug! Kick your heels and enjoy! Arilx

Making Your Voice Heard.

I enjoy hearing the opinions and views of others on many wide ranging subjects and I do think Voltaire had it cracked when he uttered the now famous lines:  "I might disagree with your opinion, but I am willing to give my life for your right to express it." Opinions are sharply divided at the moment over what constituted appropriate action in the light of the latest Jeremy Clarkson debacle. On this particular one my own view is that forget the ratings, the celebrity status....a fellow doing his job was hurt and the perpetrator if found guilty must take both responsibility and the consequences of his actions. End of. Many though take a different line. Fair enough. Let's be grateful for living in a democracy where we can... This quote along similar lines caught my liking the sentiment. "A lion doesn't lose sleep over the opinion of a sheep." Arilx

Downland Poddle Part Two

Continuing on from yesterday's ramble......Coates is a tiny village only a mile or so away. It too has a little gem of a Downland church called St Agatha's. This type has a charm of its own- an unadorned elegance with white washed walls and clear glass lancet windows. There are a couple of patches of medieval wall paintings left in situ. More unusually the church has its door on the North side. I'm not sure that this applies in this particular case but there are a few medieval Sussex churches which have bricked up doors in the North wall. These are known as devil's doors and the belief was that because unbaptised children brought the devil in with them he needed his own portal to make good his escape. Some are far too small to have been of any practical use. Coates itself enjoys a SSI status as it has the only non introduced cluster of the very rare Field Cricket. The skies were full of birds collecting nesting material. I never cease to be joyful when s

Downland Poddle Part One.

As many are aware by now I love living in Sussex being surrounded by the woods and the Downs. The more I explore the more I discover and the more I discover the more I find there is for me to explore. On Sunday we took a stroll out with a couple who have been very dear friends of ours for many years. Our children are now in their teens/early twenties so we are beginning to enjoy each others company sans enfants once more. It's always a pleasure to be in the company of H&C as they know a great deal about this area and furnish me with many snippets. We started out with a quick trip to the church of St Mary's in Fittleworth. This is an interesting church because for a long time only the chancel and the tower stood with a gap betwixt the two where the nave originally stood. This was remedied in 1871 with a Victorian restoration jobbie. The church itself is attractive but doesn't stand out particularly. H tells me though that it has a broach spire albeit a rather dumpier o

A Simple Delight in Early Spring.

Common Dog Violet. The dog part refers to the fact that the flower is scentless unlike the Sweet Violet. Seen at the weekend these are the first ones I've spotted this year. Such delights bring me the greatest pleasure. Arilx

Fossil Hunting.

Firstly apologies for the extremely poor quality of this shot...I have a newish phone and never either having owned a phone with a camera nor slide screens frankly I am currently like a learner driver behind the wheel of a car the first time! My old faithful Nokia had buttons...Stoneage technology...perfect for a Luddite like me but occasionally I allow myself to be dragged forward by a few years...kicking and screaming mind you! This little lovely is a fossilised sea urchin or an echinoid to give it its proper name. Sadly not mine but spied on a recent visit to see chums. Another one was spotted yesterday belonging to chum H. I had heard of people finding them in the  chalk on the Downs and others at Bracklesham Bay. Aha I thought well I've not been to the beach for a long time and never knowingly visited this one so we shall grace it with our presence. Now it pays to do your research when the last time you collected fossils was with your Dad down at Lyme you m

The Hoard

The Hoard When the moon was new and the sun was young of silver and gold the gods sung: in the green grass they silver spilled, and the white waters they with gold filled. Ere the pit was dug or Hell yawned, ere dwarf was bred or dragon spawned, there were Elves of old, and strong spells under green hills in hollow dells they sang as they wrought many fair things, and the bright crowns of the Elf-kings. But their doom fell, and their song waned, by iron hewn and by steel chained. Greed that sang not, nor with mouth smiled, in dark holes their wealth piled, graven silver and carven gold; over Elvenhome the shadow rolled. There was an old dwarf in a dark cave, to silver and gold his fingers clave; with hammer and tongs and anvil-stone he worked his hands to the hard bone, and coins he made, and strings of rings,  and thought to buy the power of kings. But his eyes grew dim and his ears dull and the skin yellow on his old skull; thr

Springtime Blessings

To all who celebrate the old ways Alban Eiler blessings. Arilx PS This is the cake I am inflicting upon the chums I'm celebrating with tonight. Hardly a bucolic scene more Shaun the Sheep I would say!

Alice In Wonderland.

This year is the 150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland. An extraordinarily eccentric tale beloved of many generations. I am extremely fortunate to own this copy which came from my grandmother and has the most beautiful colour illustrations by Bessie Pease. This is the front plate and quite unusual to see Alice depicted as a brunette.  So in the spirit of all things celebratory it gives me the perfect excuse to repeat the Jabberwocky poem [note I am blatantly ignoring that this is found in "Alice Through The Looking Glass"!] Jabberwocky 'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the wabe; All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe. 'Beware the Jabberwock, my son! The jaws that bite, the claws that catch! Beware the Jujub bird, and shun The frumious Bandersnatch!' He took his vorpal sword in hand: Long time the manxome foe he sought So rested he by the Tumtum tree, And stood awhi

At Sixes And Sevens.

In the 960s King Edgar granted a group of young men the right to use a piece of wasteland in London in return for their services. From this point the Guilds,based on key trades and areas, gradually evolved. Over time they were allowed to check their own weights and measures, prices, wages and who could join their profession. You could only become a "freeman" once you had served your seven years apprenticeship.  Naturally rivalries arose between the different Guilds and traditionally the Great Twelve marched in order of importance in the London show. Every year at Easter the Taylors and Skinners swap their sixth and seventh positions for the forthcoming season. More useless info to baffle your nearest and dearest with! Arilx

Stoneage Humour.


Old Lady's Poem

These past three years I have come into contact with many more third age ladies and gentlemen for whom I housesparkle. As I get to know them and hear their stories, I am inspired for they have done and seen much and continue to lead full and varied lives. It has saddened me greatly both times illness has taken them and I miss them. This poem was found amongst the few belongings of an elderly lady who died on a geriatric ward in Dundee. What do you see nurses, what do you see? What are you thinking when you're looking at me? A crabby old woman, not very wise? Uncertain of habit, with faraway eyes? Who dribbles her food and makes no reply When you say in a loud voice "I do wish you'd try" Who seems not to notice the things that you do, And forever is losing a stocking or a shoe... Who resisting or not lets you do as you will With bathing and feeding, a long day to fill... Is that what you're thinking? Is that what you see? Then open your eye

The Indiscriminate Collector.

Much is being made of the "Marie Kondo" method of tidying up at the moment...of course being a contrary soul I am totally ignoring it but hey each to their own. I see lots of people very happy with the results of their efforts so good on 'em. I am by nature a tidy person so tidying up and sorting gets done on a daily basis. I have places for things and don't let things sit around unless I know they need dealing with as leaving it in my eye line will annoy me so I sort it out pronto. However, I am a person who could easily take it too far left to my own devices and it's unfair to inflict this upon the others with whom I share our home. We have designated areas like the spare room cum office cum workshop that I clean but leave more cluttered. It's not on show so what the heck eh! Decluttering is an ongoing process here at GBT. Even though I sort through paperwork and put the recycling out every day stuff still accumulates. I love receiving items but if it

Dover Museum.

As threatened ta-da part two! Dover Museum is a very manageable size but they have managed to pack in a lot of fascinating artifacts. Always of interest to me are pre Christian burials. I still have really mixed feelings about whether we should be putting our ancestors out on display in glass cases but then I'm one of the ones viewing them so hands up I'm totally hypocritical on that score. Ah well moving on.... Some of the glorious grave goods and other pieces of Saxon jewellery that have been found in and around the Dover area. You can view both the Buckland burial which is the remains of a 6' Saxon male and this one the Wolverton burial which is a highly unusual double burial of two males. It's been laid out as it was found and had used an even older grave site. Interestingly bones and a skull had been brought in from elsewhere to embellish the top grave. This is an Anglo Saxon gravestone which was found in Dover. Dated pre 650 AD it show