Thursday 30 April 2015

Creative Complaining.

Once upon a time I bought a multipack of Walkers crisps on offer [naturally squeak squeak]. All was well until I got to the last packet which was full but sadly only full of air. Hardly important on a world stage but they had a freefone number on the back so I decided to just cheekily give them a ring and let them know. I thought it would be difficult to prove that the packet was empty but apparently every once in a while one of their packing machines goes into overdrive and zealously seals the odd empty packet. From the codes on the back that I read out to the lady from Walkers she was able to tell not only which factory had produced them but also which line and the specific machine. Normally they hoick them out but occasionally one slips through. I received a very pleasant letter from them and vouchers and they meanwhile were able to run a check on said faulty machine.

Last night I was chatting to a gentleman who in a similar vein made a light hearted observation. When he goes to the cinema he likes to buy himself a box of Smarties. On this occasion there were no orange ones which are the only flavoured ones these days apparently. He bought a second box which he emptied out at home to carry out his own research which resulted in a two page letter of formulae listing the probability of there not being a single orange Smartie in the box [he's a teacher]. Having sent if off to Rowntree [as they were then] he heard nothing. He drew that conclusion that the company perhaps hadn't seen the funny side....several weeks later the postman delivered a big parcel to him. There was no accompanying note just a big box full of orange Smarties! I like those sort of tales!


Wednesday 29 April 2015

Fizzy Busy!

Lemonade scones made from this recipe here Mine took about 15 mins to cook at 200C. They are very light but I think taste wise they would benefit from a small pinch of salt. A first for me because I've never managed to make round scones before as I overhandle the dough- all previous attempts have been done as a big round and cut into pieces. Rather chuffed at my little personal success!


Tuesday 28 April 2015

Signing the Way

As a self confessed sticky beak with a reputation to maintain old signs fascinate me both for the information they contain and the glimpse they give me back into yesteryear. On Saturday we travelled over to Alton to catch up with my bridesmaid chum and after lunch a quick stroll was in order. I snapped these as we were out and about.

A good old fashioned copper plate script. Makes the sign very attractive and rather quaint.

Only a fiver....sounds like a bargain to me! Wonder what the going rate is if you get caught? Anything up to £500 smackers good old Google informs me!

Recycling at its sign need...nope just paint over the defunct letters. Indeed the whole sign is now out of's the Watercress line these days.


Monday 27 April 2015

Magical Monday

One from the book of the face. Just lovely. Thanks to K for highlighting it last week.


Sunday 26 April 2015

Mompesson House

Mompesson House built for Charles Mompesson in 1701- glorious Queen Anne interiors and my adored style of furniture which Mr GBT creates for me in glorious miniature for my dollshouse. Another of our quarries seen during our recent time spent in Salisbury and National Trust so free entry. Even better!

Colourful borders with people enjoying the sunshine and playing croquet.

Views from the dining room. The 18th century drinking glasses are from the Turnbull collection.

My kind of cupboard.....

Stumpwork pictures. The hours it must have taken and the skill required to produce these beautiful items is mind blowing.

This piece is known as the Rudd's toilet table and opens out with mirrors on either side [as shown in the link]. Designed by Hepplewhite the Rudd to whom it refers may be Margaret Caroline Rudd who was a famous courtesan of the time. I have my eye on this as a potential piece for my dollshouse. Mr GBT looked a little startled but he's made the most amazing convertible pieces before so given time he may well be persuaded. I think though that it will be a one off just for me.

A few more random images to whet your appetite.

The house was used to film the London scenes at Mrs Jennings' house in the film adaptation of "Sense and Sensibility". It's now twenty years since it was released and there is a small exhibition about it together with a collection of some of the costumes on display.

Some of the NT properties I visit I never really warm to but this one had an intimate feel and was my taste to a tee.


Saturday 25 April 2015

Salisbury Sights and Sounds.

Last Saturday saw sunshine and us meeting Mr GBT's bro and wife for a jolly- the date had already been booked in our diaries weeks ago but it was good to catch up under more normal circumstances on the back of the recent funeral.

Now when one says Salisbury chances are the first thing you think of is the cathedral so we broke with tradition and wandered round the cloisters but didn't go in this time.

 I liked the sentiment of this piece.

More shots from inside St Thomas's [the church with the amazing doom picture]. It's only a stone's throw away from the cathedral. It has three well preserved Medieval paintings on the North wall.

This wooden panel was made by Humphrey Beckham. He was a Master Joiner and several examples of his carvings survive. As he tells us this is all "his own worke".

Rather liked the juxtaposition of old and new in this shot.

I can heartily recommend a visit to the church to see its wonders but I must admit that I found it very oppressive with quite a malevolent undercurrent to it. I think that it was partly down to the fact that it's very tall with a lot of dark wood and is strikingly unfamiliar. Perhaps back in the day when it was brightly adorned with colours it may have felt different, but certainly the doom picture was meant to impress and I suspect intimidate the masses! Interestingly we all separately picked up the atmosphere.

Turning to other observations. How about this for a fine example of a recycled floor from The India shop? On four floors, this retail outlet specialises in Fairtrade and has some gorgeous wares for sale.

Music to entertain the masses- they were rather good!! Always love a double bass and the player may have just caught my eye too. Snigger.... It makes a change from being surrounded by lots of hairy and bearded Morris dancers!

As for this final one I just smiled wryly to myself....I wonder how much of my life I have spent queueing to powder my nose, whilst a whole gang of chaps sail in and out of their facilities. When I rule the world I am going to put in twice as many loos for us ladies as it seems to escape the notice of the planners that, due to certain design constraints, the whole business simply has to take longer. Aargh!!


Friday 24 April 2015

Difference and Change.

I read an article earlier this week, which made reference to the artist Andy Goldsworthy's view that if you want to see differences you should travel, but if you want to see change you should stay in the same place. It made a good point I thought and seemed appropriate with seeing our little apple tree, which we planted last November, come into bloom this week. I've never had a fruit tree before so, for me, this is one of those thrilling moments that make up the patchwork of my everyday life. Others might be fatigued by the familiar but not me because if you really look even the most mundane is always in flux.


And now


Thursday 23 April 2015

St George's Day

Happy St George's Day

In true Morris dancer style I am off to jangle some bells and slake my thirst with a pint of good English ale at a local inn. The window is in St Mary's at Capel-Le-Ferne and was seen on our recent trip away to Kent. I've got some piccies from our day out to Salisbury to put up but life is busy right now so please bear with me whilst I attempt to get myself organised.


Wednesday 22 April 2015

A Mix Up

What do you get if you cross a 16 year old boy [nearly 17] with a party and a whole stack of booze?....why a raging Mother reading the riot act at 1.30 am at a still very drunk teenager who's issuing slurred apologies just having technicoloured yawned across his bedding. Now there's a reason why I know the words to this particular Parental Act as my own Mother read the self same one to me following a similar incident at a similar age. Walloping hypocrite moi?!!

That was a few days ago and despite me threatening that he was going to work the next morning hangover or no hangover he has inherited my genes in that respect and woke up bright as a button having apparently suffered no ill effects. As for me I would like to shake the hand of the washing machine inventor- pure genius.

Fast forward to earlier this week and we were chatting about this particular "incident" whilst he was helping me with the drying up. Now I am fully aware that he will no doubt down the odd alcoholic beverage or three in the not too distant future and as a damage limitation exercise I suggested that perhaps eating a bit more to line his stomach [previously all such advice had fallen on deaf ears...there's a reason why we know these things!] and perhaps he should be a bit more mindful about mixing his drinks. He looked at me askance and informed me that he'd only mixed his drinks once that night and that was when someone put a shot of vodka in with his beer. A tad confused I asked him about all the other vodka and pear schnapps he'd consumed alongside the I didn't mix them he told me...they were all drunk out of separate glasses. Bless 'im I think something had got lost in translation...I've now clarified what I meant. Realistically it's unlikely to make a difference but hey you live and learn....eventually!


PS Back in the day the teenogre was a member of the Beano fan club and Dennis was his hero! This is a shot from Brighton.

Tuesday 21 April 2015

Election Fever.

You may be vaguely aware that there is going to be a General Election on 7th May....the media has made the odd mention of it in passing these past few weeks. This rather acerbic yet amusing quote therefore seems particularly apt and of the moment.

"Too bad that all the people who know how to run the country are busy driving taxis and cutting hair."
George Burns


Monday 20 April 2015


In the words of Private Frazer "We're all doomed" but turning to Lance Corporal Jones "Don't Panic" for we're not talking any end of the world scenarios here [leave that for the more pessimisstic souls place for gloom on this blog!] instead I am talking about this.....the doom painting in St Thomas's Salisbury.

Finished in 1475 it was in thanksgiving for the safe return of a pilgrim. They were a common feature of the time but it was whitewashed over to hide it and protect it from Henry VIII's vandals who destroyed everything of a "papist" nature. It was rediscovered in 1814 and then fully restored in 1953. The message is clear on the Day of Judgement anyone irrespective of rank can go to Hell. I have to say the Bishop looks quite cheery at the prospect! Look for the faces on the devil's knees.....I love the Medieval mind and how they portrayed the religious messages through art.


Sunday 19 April 2015

The Company Of Shadows.

This is the new dance that Mythago have been learning for the last few months. We already have a fairly extensive repertoire so it has been really exciting to have been in at the beginning of something new. Set to the tune Orinoco composed by Georgia Nettleton, it is a very measured dance for us...steady and silent. We are renowned for our mad dancing and shouting. Stepped to a slow drum beat it still takes my breath has a spine tingling feel to it. It had its first dance out at the Weald and Downland museum on Easter Monday [I watched as I'd only decided at the last minute that I was going] Mr GBT kindly took the shots. The masks and cowls are designed specially for it and add to the spooky feel. I think danced on a gloomy day or even at night time will only serve to increase its atmosphere.


Saturday 18 April 2015

A Spot of Silliness.

After yesterday's more thoughtful post I think it's high time to return with a spot of fun! Seen on the Book of the Face.

And for those who grew up in the 1970s here's a trip down Memory Lane. We always watched The Wombles just before we had our tea. Eating school lunches tea was always a sandwiches and cake affair. I hold them entirely responsible for my addiction to recycling!


Friday 17 April 2015

Quiet Reflection

These past few weeks have been unsettling for us. We have had a bereavement within Mr GBT's family which has brought many difficult things to the surface for him and it's been an odd period of waiting in limbo until the funeral happened last week. The whole affair has raised a whole gamut of emotions for him without any of the usual mourning for the damage stretched back many years and the point of conciliation has long since past. The burial was a perfunctory affair with due dignity shown. I think that there will be a reaction for him and his siblings but a grieving for what should have been but never was. It has left me in a reflective mood these past few days.

Tuesday was my day off and I was badly in need of somewhere quiet to ponder. My anxiety ever lurking in the wings has returned recently but I am being proactive in returning to my CBT basics to help me as it passes. It may mean a return to a low dosage of the meds...I don't know I shall watch how things pan out over the next few weeks. I don't have a problem with that solution per se but there are other strategies I want to try and it won't be used as a knee jerk reaction.

Within our town we have a series of graveyards that have been used as previous ones have filled up. This one was the replacement for the main parish church one but now sits quietly as another has come in its place. Wild flowers bloom and it's an oasis of calm within the town centre. I had it to myself along with a couple of robins. Part of me is saddened by the unkempt graves but there is a haunting beauty to the ivy clad Victorian headstones.

I wondered if these two were a married couple and why they died so close to one another.

Having come to the far end of the site I discovered a peace garden of which I had previously been unaware. There is blossom on the trees but shrubs later on in the season will flesh out the bare bones.

This post conveys the same message in different languages on all four sides.

Turning round to head home I cut through the memorial garden in our local church. This seemed to sum up the whole feel to my afternoon's wanderings and wonderings.

For myself I have reached the conclusion that this will be how I choose to be dispatched when I shuffle off my mortal coil. Very much in keeping with my personal outlook and Druidic beliefs.



 Bowlderise- verb meaning to omit or change parts of text [usually in literature] considered vulgar. Yes it's a new-to-me word alert and...