Showing posts from February, 2017

Flippin' Eck!

This bell sits on top of Grange Court in Leominster. When the building was the Market House it was used to signal major events. On Shrove Tuesday apparently it was rung to remind the housewives to light their ovens in preparation for making pancakes. I'm afraid if you did that anywhere near me I would not be held responsible for my certainly wouldn't be getting any pancakes unless you made them yourself! For the past few years our town has held its own pancake race. It's organised by the Rotary club and raises a goodly few pounds for local good causes. When I was working [pre redundancy] our company entered a team in the inaugural one back in 2009. It was a hoot, but we certainly didn't win! Now it's a much bigger affair with lots more competitors. I've not seen it since, but it's certainly stirred up a few memories. This time it was held earlier than usual to coincide with half term. For anyone with children of a certain age the


So buoyed up the success of producing a lemon/orange curd in the slow cooker earlier this month, I decided to try my hand at making a batch of citrus biscuits for my February recipe. The result was unremarkable, even dull and although they are being eaten up, I have to say it's without much enthusiasm. The upshot of the was I was left with two zested lemons and an orange glaring accusingly at me. Thinking cap on....... Trifle or "triffle" as it's known in our sillier moments here at GBT is first mentioned in Thomas Dawson's "The Good Huswifes Jewell" [1585] [thank you dear Wikipedia]. Now I like a goodly portion of trifle and because I take cheaty shortcuts, this pud is a breeze to make! Patting myself on the back for having come up with what I believed to be an original recipe [a later Google search disproved this] this is my version of a citrus trifle. Layer sponge fingers on the base of your chosen dish and soak in Limoncello or a citrusy liqueur


[Image from pixabay] I do so like that word "crabby" and other synonyms of a similar ilk....crotchety, cantankerous, testy, curmudgeonly, scratchy, waspish and a new one to me, peppery. Yes they all describe me at various points over the past few days! Outwardly smiling but inwardly seething I, for one, am very grateful that truth bubbles do not appear next to my head because I think I might have got myself into a spot of bother as I stomped around the town thinking murderous and uncharitable thoughts about some of my fellow shoppers on Tuesday. Realising just how big a grump I was in I decided to reward my bad behaviour [well nobody else was going to give me a treat were they!] with a bag of liquorice allsorts from the pick 'n' mix. Understanding the "crisis" I found myself in there was no time to faff about with an unopened bag....speed was of the essence....find a quiet corner away from prying eyes and dive straight would be surprised


Blimey must be time to share a thoughtful film designed to raise the spirits. Arilx

Watch The Birdie

Perhaps you need to be of a certain vintage to recognise the phrase "watch the birdie". With the advent of the selfie even "say cheese" might be be gloriously outdated for all I know. Originally photographers used to have bird shaped props with moving wings to hold the attention of the small people who had to sit for interminably long periods. During our reserve trip where we saw the wren we literally did just sit and watch the birdie[s]...patience paid off for in amongst all the blurred ones and feathered backsides Mr GBT took these. Hope you like them. Female dunnock Long tailed tit...they don't tarry at the feeders! Arilx

For Folklore Lovers!

It won't come as any surprise to learn that I am most keen on folklore in all its many different forms and how it played a part in the lives of  some of the ordinary folk who generally leave little mark on the historical records. For anyone equally passionate about this subject and wanting to find out more, this site might be of interest. It's packed full of articles and there's a weekly live feed over on Twitter #FolkloreThursday with even more info coming in. I, meanwhile, must not buy any more books until I have read the titles already in my collection. It might look like a relatively modest pile, but don't be fooled. I have another six volumes of the Man, Myth and Magic to add to that. They were my main pressie from Mr GBT for my 50th. I was lucky to get them for an incredibly reasonable price after a friend tipped me the wink. Arilx

Sunday Lunch

Having worked yesterday with Mr GBT at a show I wanted to make sure that we spent at least a bit of today doing something we enjoyed which would give us a bit of a break. Thankfully we have a couple of options locally which we fall back on in such circumstances. We had the luxury of time today, so we spent longer than usual just enjoying watching the birds in the hides at the nature reserve near here. There are two birds I would love to get photos of [Mr GBT's camera is needed for this]- one is a jay which I do see from time to time, but never when I have anything to take a decent shot with and the other a wren. I love their plump little bodies and stubby tails. It always pleases me when I do glimpse one, but it's only ever fleetingly because they are so shy and secretive. I was amazed when I first discovered that they are the commonest breeding bird in the UK. Our luck changed today though! Arriving without ceremony...well camouflaged against the brown leaf, covered flo

Greenman Watch 2017

Yes it's been officially launched...if you're not a greenman fan look away now! The Monday afternoon trek into town wasn't all about massive brussel sprouts you know....during a fevered moment on our way back from the riverside walk earlier in the month I thought I might have spotted yet another new greenman looking down at me from the roofline of a Victorian row of shops. Seeing as Mr GBT was having a mare with one of his orders a breather was in order....might as well go out with a goal in mind. Mission successfully completed and can now confirm that I have successfully spotted not one, but three new-to-me greenmen and two dragons. Huzzah and thrice times huzzah. I shall forward these images to the Company of the Green Man in due course, but thought for any fellow foliate head fans out there you might appreciate a sneak preview! Arilx

Coming Unscrewed

[image from pixabay] Warning- this post is coming to you as a minor moan and in the category of "First World Problem" so it's not to be taken too seriously. Jars....aargh...or to be more precise new jars which haven't been opened and have decided that I, sure as hell, ain't going to be the first one to open them either. I am reaching the conclusion that maybe I don't have as much strength in my hands as some, but I don't like to be defeated by a piddling glass container which sits and refuses to budge when I try to unscrew its lid. Over time I've tried various tricks....wearing a rubber glove to give me extra grip, tapping round the edge of the lid with a knife, running the top under hot water [that one always makes me nervous in case the glass shatters] and using one of those lid opener things with the different sized rings [OK until you get a sloped lid when it just spins round uselessly]. In desperation I go and hunt down Mr GBT or the tee

Left Field

1. Valentine's outfits πŸ’ Check I have to say Mr GBT has been rather difficult shall we say at the prospect of wearing the chest wig as he fears it might sting when he has to remove it and I shall need a vest so I don't catch a chill when we sally forth and paint the town red. 2. Valentine Gift πŸ’˜ Check Saw the perfect item today...sadly it was too big to bring home. This was our local hospice's idea of a suitable contender for their romantically themed window yesterday. A curious choice....I would love to know the story behind this donation. Sadly we shall never know. Thankfully there is no room in my life for a massive brussel sprout done up like a Christmas pudding. 3. Valentine mealπŸ’“πŸ’•πŸ’–πŸ’žπŸ’ŸπŸ’™πŸ’šπŸ’›πŸ’œ Yeah right....this is Gnat Bottomed Towers. For the first time in a good few years I have actually made a purchase....two small packets of McVities chocolate digestives for Mr GBT [they're cheaper than a bigger pack?!] for which I had to gird my loins

My cup runneth over.

Selham- small village, small pub and even tinier church. Dull? No! Pub- opened in 1872 under the rather unimaginative name of The Railway Inn. Due to the sheer number of hostelries already called that it was relaunched in 1873. Just as well seeing as the village lost its station. Now called The Three Moles...this is taken from the Mitford family crest [yes one and the same as the notorious Mitford sisters] who own it. It's won awards and anywhere which holds a sloe gin tasting competition gets my vote. On our visit there were two fellows booming across the table at one another name dropping for all they were worth, whilst guffawing and revealing various salacious details about various members of the upper echelons of society they had mingled with in professional and social capacities. Naturally I rose above it all and didn't earwig in the slightest. Let's just say that it was a good thing that they had a good fire going as otherwise we'd all have been chilled from th

Monochrome with a splash of colour!

Bleeding heck it was Baltic out there yesterday....I could have sworn even the pheasants in Sussex were wearing appropriate headgear. Perhaps I should have been a little suspicious that this old bird [not me!] was propping up the bar at 10am on a Saturday morning....ah well. Naturally taking into account the said conditions it was the perfect day for a bone freezingly cold stroll in the woods around Graffam,West Sussex. Another walk organised by the Sussex Wildlife Trust...these are free and always brilliant. Lots of pairs of eyes spot lots of different things and there's no patronising comments when peasants such as I have no idea what it is we're looking at despite the number of very knowledgeable people within the group. It might be February, but we weren't short of things to see. Hazel catkins,  fungi on a tree branch, lichen on the forest floor and droplets inside the husk of a mosaic puffball...yes that's snow it's sitting on. One of the