Friday 30 September 2016

Busy Old Week.

The last week in September is always quite a busy one for me. In the past five days I have celebrated my 23rd wedding anniversary and passed another milestone birthday wise [more of that in postlets to come].

Whilst I catch up with myself, I shall take a bit of a breather here and leave you with this I found amongst my notebooks of scribblings. I hasten to add the GBT marriage is not run along these lines..."Yes Sir, no Sir, three bags full Sir" might be closer to the mark!!

"A wise woman will always let her husband have her way."
Rose Henniker Heaton.


Wednesday 28 September 2016

In The Spirit of Worzel Gummidge

Best laid plans of mice and men and all accidental double booking left me with an unexpectedly free Saturday. Sure I could have stayed holed up at GBT all day, but no doubt I'd have spent far too much time doing chores....a morning's worth of grunt work was sufficient so I dropped the drawbridge, saddled up the grubby white charger and headed 10 minutes up the road.

The next village's annual scarecrow trail. All the participants had gone to a great deal of effort with their haymen and I thought they were really fantastic. Hope you enjoy this small selection.


Tuesday 27 September 2016

You're An Embarrassment.

Once upon a time when I was a Bright Young Thing my musical tastes were very much focused upon Ska and 2 Tone. The Beat, Bad Manners, The Specials and most of all Madness. For weeks I would sneak downstairs early before school and put my much prized single "Embarrassment" on the record player. This was played on repeat for three or four times back to back, whilst I perfected my dance moves for Friday Night at the local Youth Club. Eventually I mastered the dotty boppings of the Madness boys to quite a credible level. That was in the early 1980s.....

Last Saturday I came across the recent recording of Madness at Radio Two's Hyde Park Concert. Deciding to relive a bit of my past I settled down to watch Suggs do his thang....except unbeknown to me I evidently started to reproduce all the old dance moves completely forgetting that the teenogre was sitting across the other side of the room plugged into his phone watching the footie [except the ample rump had remained firmly planted on the sofa this time round]. I soon was made aware though as the dear boy guffawed hysterically as he asked me "God what ARE you doing?"  Perhaps this is the Ska equivalent of muscle memory...the subconscious is a funny old beast isn't it even if I am mildly surprised to find that I still remember it after all this time.

In celebration of my personal Embarrassment here's the original.....


Monday 26 September 2016

Better Late Than Never.

Last week I discovered a scribbled list of jobs to do for January. The first one said "finish mask". Naturally I ignored my planned timescale and finally finished it this week. I didn't much enjoy making the first one and this one proved just as much of a challenge [I am no artist believe you me], so I am frankly just relieved to have got the thing done at last. I won't be making another one [she says hopefully keeping everything crossed!] but am looking forwards to dancing out in it for the first time. All the fabric has been recycled from jumble sale finds.


Sunday 25 September 2016

Nee- Naw

"Nee-naw" was the sound my son made everytime he saw and heard one of these-

[copyright free image taken from]. He was big on watching "Fireman Sam" back in the day and always very enthusiastic if we passed the fire station.

Yesterday in the library I overheard a small boy asking his Mum if they could visit the fire station after they had finished choosing their books. When she pressed him further he patiently explained it was so that he could borrow one. The last thing I heard was her replying that as far as she was aware they didn't lend the engines out. A child's logic is second to none at times!


Saturday 24 September 2016


This is the apple harvest from GBT...yes every single one of them in all their glory. It's a tiny little tree and the branches have been at breaking point with this lot dangling off them. Actually I lied...this was the harvest except the marauding masses have eaten some since this photo was taken yesterday. It matters not...I am delighted to have our own fruit even on this modest scale.

Earlier this week one of my clients was telling me that she'd had the press gang in from the village who had relieved her of her crop of windfalls. Thankfully it's all in a good cause though. Annually the village come together to collect all the fruit which would otherwise go to waste. Volunteers then chop, scrat and press the apples into juice and hold some back for cider. Not only is it a great community building project, but some of the income raised from the sales has been donated towards a local children's hospice and contributions made to the village Book Exchange. 

Recently I read the folkloric belief is that the taste of cider can be improved if a dead rat is incorporated into the brew [thanks to the Farnham Rural Life museum for that little gem]. Having tasted the village cider myself I can only politely describe it as an "acquired" taste. Not an experience I am planning on repeating anytime soon. Cheers!


Friday 23 September 2016

Just Because..

Showing this piccie just because I liked the way the street artist used the vents for the fox's eyes. Nowt else to say about it really.


Thursday 22 September 2016


If I have ever been on trend it has only been as the result of a happy accident. This leaves me at times without a clue what people are talking about and when I first encountered the acronym G.O.T I had to google it! However, even I, in my little bubble, can't have failed to have heard of Game of Thrones, although I haven't watched it. What I can say now is that I have officially visited one of the sites which features in the programme [only for about 40 seconds granted]....not as part of the GOT tours I hasten to add, but because I knew of this natural beauty from other sources. This magical tunnel of beech trees is called the Dark Hedges and is magnificent.


Wednesday 21 September 2016

Window Dresses

We are about to undertake a couple of redecorating projects here at GBT which has meant in effect that I've spent the last few weeks seeing what's on the market. Having learnt the hard way when the chosen paint at our old flat turned out to be a dead ringer for a tub of mint choc chip icecream [not the intended effect and nothing like the colour chart], nowadays I carefully check using tester pots and send for a small selection of wallpaper samples before I part with my groats. Thankfully it's been a fairly painless process as I know instantly when I've found the right thing. Had this not been the case it would seem that wallpaper is perfect for possibly the most impractical dresses in the world....I thoroughly enjoyed the original artistry of the window dresser though when I saw these in Belfast and can honestly say I've never seen the like before.


Tuesday 20 September 2016

Witch Child

A book bought on impulse for 50 pennies from a local charity shop. Having been to Salem years ago and studied Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" for the American studies element of my degree, anything to do with the witch trials is of enormous interest.

Without giving too much away, it's a diary  of a young girl who has been raised by her wisewoman grandmother. She falls victim to the fate suffered by those who came to the attention of the witch finders and so to stop history from repeating itself, Mary takes on the guise of a Puritan pilgrim and escapes to America to start her new life.

Although, I wasn't familiar with the book it is cleverly crafted and very absorbing. I particularly like the double bluff Celia Rees creates to keep you guessing about whether you are reading a fiction or fact based book.


Monday 19 September 2016

I'm late, I'm late.

The teenogre casually mentioned in passing that there was "a weird clock with figures that you'll like in Belfast" a few weeks ago and then showed me the link on his phone. A little further investigation showed it to be the Alice Clock. Well once I knew it was there how could I resist...he knows his Aged Parent's taste too well!

The clock was put up in 2000 and is the only automata clock in Northern Ireland. It has religious figures every three hours and the Wonderland ones on the other two. They whip round fairly speedily and the White Rabbit was the only one which eluded Mr GBT.

As for the teenogre....definitely not his thing, but he was quite happy to chill for a moment having being left to his own devices earlier in one of the shopping centres and bought some new threads. He has not inherited his Mother's slightly off beam genes !!


Sunday 18 September 2016

The Paralympics 2016.

I was blown away by the Olympics. I thought it couldn't be topped....The Paralympics has done just that. Today is the final day and for me, it has completely embodied the spirit of the Games. This tribute paid by Alex Brooker to Alex Zanardi sums it up for me.


Saturday 17 September 2016

Small Scale.

It's not often that I can show a finished project, but as it's one of those rare as hen's teeth days, best get out the flags...ta-dah. One dollshouse carpet. They always take so much longer than I remember. Lots of stitches to the inch and much cursing when I have to undo bits and start again. However, I finally got there and so much easier since I've got new glasses and can see to sew again. Huzzah. I've popped the two teeny christening gowns my Mum knitted for me. Again hours of work...they are exquisite.


Friday 16 September 2016

Enjoying The Craic

I am excellent at pottering about places. I don't need to spend a groat to keep me happy provided that there are lots of little things a-plenty for me to spot. Mr GBT, with his fancy camera, takes all the grown up photos of the landscapes and sensible things. I, meanwhile, take shots such as these.....amusing A boards outside the bars and hostelries in Belfast.

Rest assured I did not abandon either my son nor my husband in the Morning Star creche. Instead I led them astray round the corner by insisting that we stopped for a late morning Irish coffee....


Thursday 15 September 2016

"The Times They Are A-Changin'"

"A nation that keeps one eye on the past is wise.
A nation that keeps two eyes on the past is blind"

This quote is painted on the wall on the side of The Garrick in Belfast. It was a city I never expected to be safe enough for me to visit. We have just enjoyed a short stay there with our son as a joint 18th and 50th birthday celebration.


Monday 12 September 2016


Findon in West Sussex has held a fair charter since 1261. The sheep fair is held every year and really is only just up the road yet I'd never heard of it. Mythago opens all sorts of doors for me and this was the chance to dip my toe into a world of which I know nothing.

Heavy rain was forecast and the side was gloomy about the prospects of being able to do any dancing, but I'm pleased to say that the wet stuff held off until later, so we were able to complete one stand and there was a sufficient gap to take in some of the sights before it hammered down.

The fair fulfils its promise. There are 32 varieties of sheep....judging, sheep dog trials and demos of shearing. Fleeces for sale and spinning. Some of the rams are soppy date had his head stretched out on the owner's lap, whilst she stroked him like a pet pooch!

However, there is much to tickle the tastebuds and amuse the senses beyond the ovine attractions. As I wasn't driving, I thought it would be rude not to sample one of the local brews. The "we wun't be druv" is a reference to the local proverb "Sussex won't be druv" meaning we're an obstinate lot in this county!

Facilities. If you've got to make use of a portaloo this is as good as any.

As ever, the beautiful birds of prey.

And for me a quick turn on the's been years since I've been on one and I thoroughly enjoyed my little trip down memory lane.


Sunday 11 September 2016

The Many Faces of Leominster

A quirky place with a good atmosphere and a plethora of free things to keep one old bird with a short attention span and a low boredom threshold happy is always going to get my vote.

Besides a good quality local museum with tales of its own to tell we popped into Grange Court.

It was built as a market hall in 1633 by John Abel [the ground floor would originally have been open plan] and is now used for civic functions. If you want a quick run down on the history of the town then the exhibition and the embroidered panels [no photos allowed] bring you quickly up to speed. For me of course it's the kooky characters on the outside which gaze down at you which I spotted. There's definitely a prototype for Darth Vader up there and a couple who look like they've had a major spat amongst the glories.

The place was moved to its present location at the edge of the park in 1859 and looks across to this rather strange fellow pushing a roller in the flower bed. The dog owners were just across the way. The figure is a stone's throw from the war memorial and my final glimpse of this bench next to it I thought was a moving final touch.

Phew that's me caught up now.....can I lie down in a darkened room with a small sweet sherry now please!!


Saturday 10 September 2016

Leominster Priory

Another catch-up post. Still sorting out those photos. Thought though that Leominster Priory [home of the ducking stool amongst other delights] was just too good to bypass. 

A couple of years ago I was lucky to get to see the extraordinary Norman carvings on the church at Kilpeck. These fall under the umbrella of the Hereford School of Carving. From the photos below you can see that this is another one in the group. Most probably the handiwork of the same folks these are around the Romanesque door and there are more green men capitals inside.

There are many more treats instore. A foliate head high up with hop leaves emerging from his mouth.

Or a touching personalised reminder of a loved one now passed on.

Blocks of colour provided by a patchwork stained glass window- the work of the Borderers Quilting Group.

An incredibly rare painted Medieval Wall of Life. You can only glimpse the original behind a screen and it is difficult to decipher but the modern rendition gives an impression of how vibrant it once would have been.

The end on a flourish. The restored embroidered wall hanging behind the Prayer Circle. These roundels have been repaired and updated to reflect recent events including the centenary of WWI. I took many photos but the pansies are my personal favourite.

It was my first visit to the town and I was very taken with it. A few more shots to follow.


Shropshire Church Crawling Gems

Sifting through all the photos from my annual holiday church crawl, I've picked out these which I hope people find to be of interest. It...