Thursday 31 August 2017

Wall to wall.

Not quite there...Mr GBT should finish the last bit of wallpapering over the weekend and then we can get the flags out. Snapped a quick shot to share here whilst I remembered. The design is based on a fragment of 17th embossed and painted leather which is held in the English Heritage wallpaper archive [or so the website tells me!]. The panels would have been sewn together and then hung on the wall. Paid a pretty penny [even with 20% off], but what the heck eh. I love it and the money has come from an inheritance.


Wednesday 30 August 2017

He Haw.

I was saddened to hear of the loss of a former client of mine late last week. It wasn't unexpected as I knew she was seriously ill, but I had always enjoyed her company and only stopped when her Alzheimers got a serious hold and she needed to go into care.

Socially I'd known this lady for years. She and I shared a dry sense of humour and a shared love of donkeys. When she was growing up her Father had looked after the donkeys who worked on the beaches in Sussex over the winter months and when I first met her she herself had a rescue jenny and foal which she kept in the field behind her home.

These two were stars in their own right. They had the leading roles in the Palm Sunday and Christmas Eve services in the village church and when we visited they really didn't care to be ignored. On one occasion I made this very faux pas and turned my back on them. The Mother popped her head over the low field fence, under my skirt and pushed me forward from behind my knees. It's quite a forceful shove I can tell you... I took the hint and she got her cuddle! D always maintained that they were much misunderstood creatures..their reputation for stubbornness was undeserved. They were only awkward if they were fearful or unhappy. Mr GBT took this photo on our recent holiday in Clovelly. D would have enjoyed this and I shall miss her.


Tuesday 29 August 2017

Unrecyclables...three down!

Aargh the bane of my life....blooming rubbish which apparently you can't recycle. Honest guv I try to be proactive by not bringing the dratted stuff in over the drawbridge, but I experience Epic Fails on a thuddingly regular basis. Thankfully, slip ups aside, progress is being made and both the landfill/recycling bins are needing to be put out far less frequently now.

Three things which really get my goat are disposable coffee cups....millions of them about and no plan in place for what to do with the things. Basking in the reflection of my own smugness I invested the GBT pennies in one of these earlier this year.

Now I have to confess that I have taken it out of its wrapping, but has it seen active service? Has it heck! I rarely buy takeaway drinks [I'm a gal with a cafe habit to support don't you know!], but even if I did I would never have had it with me. Fortunately Ice Badger [a lady who will freely admit is not to be approached before her first caffeine hit of the day] told me that she keeps hers in the car. A little strategy I shall adopt....I will be able to practise when I'm marooned at the NEC working in a few weeks time. Yesterday I found out that Costa now are running a scheme whereby they will take any brand of coffee cup in all their stores and send them off to be recycled.

Another thing which sets the little hobbit legs a-stamping are those foil pouches which the pet food comes in. However, the technology now exists to deal with them in the right way rather than them having to end up in a big hole. Although you have to stump up for post and packaging you can send your clean pouches along with various other plastic/foil laminates [I've emailed them for a more specific breakdown] to An email has already gone off to the waste department in our local council to ask them to investigate this option further. The recycling level in the county is still well below the target it's been set so something needs doing.

Finally, plastic bottle tops. The milk bottle ones are collected for a local charity. Like a terrier after a rat, I was not to be deterred and a bit of bloody mindedness on my part has led to the finding that Lush are still taking them in all their stores. They send them back to their HQ and they are then chipped and made into new containers for their products.

Getting there!


Monday 28 August 2017

All Around My Hat to keep this under your hat....I'm a closet folkie. Somehow, knowing what you've already read about me, that little revelation will come as no great surprise. I have enjoyed the music of many varied acts over the centuries, but it always comes back down to Steeleye Span for me. With a catalogue like theirs I'd be hard pressed to pick any one favourite so instead I'm putting up the one most people know along with a piccie of a rather marvellous piece of head wear I asked Mr GBT to sneak a photo of in Wimbourne. Now I know what to do with all those googly eyes!

We are hoping to finish the seemingly never ending task of decorating...I am sincerely hoping to have some slightly more thrilling blogging material to cover in the coming weeks! Please bear with me!


Friday 25 August 2017

No Brownie Points

Sadly not the right way to go about burning calories!

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend.


Wednesday 23 August 2017

One of my five a day?

I confess this was bought in a moment of looks like Sarah Raven's cutting garden in a box and I just couldn't resist! For some reason it had never occurred to me that it was actually possible to buy edible flowers...

So today I have practised my mantra of "waste not want not" and dutifully chowed them down.....evil tasting they were so I hope to goodness that they count towards one of my five a day! Then I did know that they're intended to be artfully scattered across a beautiful salad or cake so it's my own fault. N'er mind...panic ye not for I'm not quite yet as silly as a rook....they didn't exactly bust the budget.

It's always good to have a new eating experience...even if I wouldn't care to repeat this particular one!


Tuesday 22 August 2017

Welcome to my world!

Rather than writing shed loads I thought I'd just pick up my camera at a couple of points during the day to capture a flavour of my Tuesday. I tend not to see the recycled/thrifty aspect to my life, but these images are true to what is typical for me. Evidently I live the gnat bottomed side more to the full than I'd realised!

With no tumble drier and a fine day I was always going to dash out and shove the washing on the line...I have spared you the sight of TYM's undercrackers by turning the drier round!

We have had a succession of coffee makers and cafetieres courtesy of a local charity shop over the years [I buy my ground coffee from £land and we enjoy a cup with our breakfast and supper]. In the end either the glass pot breaks or like last time the machine started to leak. It went into the appropriate recycling skip at the tip, but I was left with the filter which was now surplus to requirement. Eventually I sussed that it was perfect for capturing the used grounds from the new- to -us cafetiere to add to the compost heap.

Today's gleanings. Apples, raspberries and another courgette. I think the courgettes are beginning to slow down now. I've made four batches of pasta sauce and a friend has given me this recipe for courgette and lemon cake so that's in the pipeline I've read that you can make wine from them, but am not overly keen if I'm being honest. What I have instead is a fantastically keen courgette eater next door...our lovely neighbour has made it very clear that she'll happily take as many as we've got spare...three lots have gone her way already!

Foraged blackberries are now bubbling away in the demijohn on the right hand side. The other two contain parsnip and ginger. All our gear has come either as gifts, freecycle or from a bootsale. As you can see it's seen some heavy use over the last few seasons!

Normally I'm to be found rummaging about on the shelves, fridges or green plastic crates in the supermarket sniffing out yellow stickered goodies. Of late though there has been not even a square inch in which to stash my treasure in our three drawer freezer. Further investigation has revealed that we had 10lb of home grown raspberries in there [and still they come!]. Mr GBT couldn't resist the lure of a hot date with his wife...both sweating over the preserving pan making jam😋 I've sneakily turned round the jars so you can't see the ratty old labels which I can't be bothered to remove. Such a slattern....I'm never going to be the next Martha Stewart am I now! We're now left with 5lb of fruit, so it's been earmarked for our first foray into raspberry vino making.

Despite this lack of space fear not for I have still struck gold....I could have paid £2.85 for these or the £1.43 I did pay. The packaging on these had been damaged so they were not allowed to be sold separately. I invested in 5 lots as tuna is a regular on our menu. It's curried tuna puffs for tea tonight!

What else has kept me entertained beyond paid employment then? Sorting of the latest lot of Terracycle bits...the boxes I had kept from previous occasions and they will be sent off later on in the week to raise money for charity. TYM has mucked out the room of doom and produced this heap of clothes. Those that are only good for ragging have been dealt with appropriately, buttons removed and surplus fabric will go to be recycled. The remaining stuff has been laundered and is being dropped off with a friend who collects for a small charity. I am rather disillusioned by the big business approach of some of the more well known High Street charity shops and prefer to donate where I'm sure that good quality stuff will really help those who need it most.

Finally I am starting another craft project. The table legs I hope to make a frame from and the stars and hearts some sort of folk art mobile/hanging. Ideas are swirling  in my head and it's emerging slowly from the mist. All materials have been culled from ex clothes which would have come to me via the used channels.

I have, of course, completely failed and as usual written shed loads!


Monday 21 August 2017

Red & Blue Monday

Unusually for me I haven't strayed far from home this weekend. Other than out to the village up the road for supper with friends on Saturday, everything's been done on good old Shank's Pony. However, as is usual for me, I didn't stay in the whole time...instead I decided to see what delights our little town had to offer us for my favourite price of free! A walk led by the Horsham Society allowed me to make some new historical discoveries [photos in a later post basically when I go back out and take 'em!] yesterday and a nose around our museum on Saturday.

Horsham Museum is a good 'un. It's like a looks small from the outside, but goes back a loooong way once you get inside. It has an imaginative rolling programme of up to three exhibitions running at any time and many of them are of personal interest to me. They might be only single room jobbies, but they are packed with info.

Downstairs they're currently showing antique bears. There's something just so much more endearing about the older ones. There's a charm to them I don't find in their brasher, cutsier modern day counterparts.

I took lots of images, but this one stood out especially because of the colour. From the info provided a red ted is unusual.

My other intended quarry was the current "Blue Moon" clothing's a personal favourite colour of mine and I really appreciated the gorgeous hit of it in all its variations. I was fascinated to learn that "feeling blue" derives from the sailing ships. When a captain died at sea a blue flag was flown on the return to port.


Sunday 20 August 2017


This young man was busking in our town yesterday. Besides playing the didgeridoo those drum things are called handpans. According to his blurb they were first made in 2001 in Switzerland. Initially it was the melodic sound which drew me in...I find it very calming in short bursts.

I've put up a Youtube clip of other musicians to give you a flavour.


Friday 18 August 2017

The price is right.

It has come to my attention of that I appear to be unable to grasp the basic tenet of Marie Kondo. I totally get the concept of decluttering...I am rather splendid at it I must confess [says she blowing her ego horn rather loudly] and have rehomed much stuff over the years. I've been doing this since before it became a national hobby. What I am frankly hopeless at though is resisting the lure of recluttering....I get such a thrill when people give me stuff and an adrenaline rush from Freecycle like others get in the closing seconds of an Ebay auction. So am I going to address this shortcoming of mine? Am I heck. I bleedin' well love it...both receiving and seeing the pleasure which giving to others creates.

During the latest purge I very proudly stood back to admire my efforts....all our CDs now fit into one cabinet thereby making the ugly extra storage thingy which I hid down the side of the sofa redundant. The collection has been thinned...scratched discs recycled and some howlers dismissed. If you've never heard a whole CD of the hurdy-gurdy being played dare I suggest that you don't bother...let's just say it was a bad purchase from many years a bumble bee with toothache!

All went swimmingly with the newly created space in my front room....that was until we went to put our cuppas down...I had not factored in that we had used the top of our ugly storage thingy as a table for years. Back to the drawing board....our new space is now filled with this slightly shabby piecrust table. I don't mind things looking homely...GBT has been unintentionally shabby chic for years! I am pleased to confirm that my need to replace/repurchase/reclutter set me back a princely £3 in the half price sale at the local charity shop. Not bad eh and another chance for me to add yet more recycled goodies to the homestead.


Thursday 17 August 2017

Rescuing a bad day.

I could, of course, be completely wrong in assuming that whoever carved the wording on this rather charming box in Lurgashall church might have been a tad miffed when they realised that they hadn't left enough space for the year.

That sort of frustration can set the tone for the rest of the day. Thankfully it doesn't always need to be the case. I have the poet Robert Frost to thank for putting this so much better than I ever could in his poem "Dust of Snow"

The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow 
From a hemlock tree

Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.


Wednesday 16 August 2017

It's a tatty old thing.

I'm sure you'll be with me when I say that our wild flowers book is looking very dog eared and like it's seen better days. I don't put much store by things as a general rule, but I realised with some surprise recently that this is something I do treasure. By and large it sits largely forgotten on our book shelf only to be hauled out when I'm trying to identify a new flower or check a name. Nowadays with the age of the digital camera upon us I can take photo first rather than having to take it out with me, but it nearly always comes up trumps and then I can double check on Google if I'm still not sure.

It's seen its fair share of trials and tribulations...dropped in at least one stream, muddy puddles, squashed in under soggy clothes and handled with grubby mits. Yet it continues to soldier on valiantly......why am I fond of it? 27 years ago it was the first birthday present I ever bought Mr GBT. We have shared a love of wild flowers since our first outing together and since 1990 we've marked where and when we have seen the different types. In monetary terms it's worth nowt, but for me and the memories it stirs it remains priceless.


Tuesday 15 August 2017

An Artist In Residence

Yesterday I shared this rather lovely picture of an A board in Lurgashall which I spied on Saturday. Having looked at it closely I was delighted to see that it was handpainted and said as much in the original post.

Before I pressed the publish button I looked more closely and saw the famous name of Jacquie Lawson at the bottom [she of the charming e-cards] What a nit I thought making assumptions like was obviously a copy so I altered the wording.

Today I thought I would just double turns out I'm not such a nit after all for this is her original handiwork. For some reason I had believed she was she's English and lives in Lurgashall. That little bit of detective work has left me feeling rather chuffed.


Monday 14 August 2017

A Late Summer Stroll

It's been a fair few months since I've made it out on one of the Sussex Wildlife Trust walks [something to do with dancing and TYM's Bangladeshi adventures methinks]. Mythago were dancing, but we all miss a gig once in a while.

If you were to describe the archetypal West Sussex village Lurgashall would be it....a small village store, cricket on the green, a pub and a church.

Yes your eyes are not deceiving you...those skies really are blue and after some of the shockers we've had this past week, it remained sunny and pleasantly warm I am delighted to report. Just as well for I am but a fairweather walker....heavy persistent rain and Aril...never the twain shall mix...well at least not if I have anything to do with it. I should think the farmers were heaving a sigh of relief....there was much activity going on in the surrounding fields as we pressed on.

I so hope that this is their farm...I would love to know how it got its name. The explanation is probably a great deal more mundane than the theories my febrile imagination has come up with so far!

Crossing a couple of yards this little lot seemed equally pleased with the return to Summer.

The subtle changeover between the seasons is now there in the ripening berries and the flowers going to seed. There was though still much to see and enjoy including Red Kites flying overhead and dragonflies and hawkers on the wing skimming the tops of the hedge line. Many evaded our photographic attempts, but we did capture a few images to share. The ones which I've detailed are a first identification for me.

I can't tell you how long I was trying to work out what the difference between a Large White and a Cabbage White was...I now know it's one and the same!

Brimstone wasn't going to stop with its wings open for anyone!

Blue Tailed Damselfly

Traveller's Rest...had you shown me this in the Winter I could have told you it was Old Man's Beard, but I've never noticed the flowers before.

Hemp Agrimony.

All rounded off by a most welcome pint in the pub!


Saturday 12 August 2017

A Silly for Saturday!

Off out walking in a mo' . A small thing to tickle the old chuckle muscle one hopes!


Thursday 10 August 2017

Wolf Whistling

Back in the day I can distinctly remember the dread I felt if I knew I had to walk past a building site....invariably some smart alec would holler some wise crack or wolf whistle. It was never anything offensive, but as a young teen it made me feel embarrassed and self conscious. On one occasion I had to undergo the ordeal whilst teetering in my one and only pair of stilettos.....I caught my heel and the wretched shoe fell off...this was followed by a round of applause from my unwelcome audience.

Looking back now it was harmless if just a tad annoying. My days of cars beeping their horns at me and cat calls are long since past....I have had a few wolf whistles though, but not from who you might expect.

Until recently my Druid chum S had a budgie called Vinny. Her Mum also had a bird and they used to look after it for her when she was going away.....he produced the most perfect wolf whistle....usually half way through one of our rituals which caused us to fall about the place howling. His timing was perfect! The strange thing is though that S's Mum has always maintained that she didn't teach him how to do this so it remains a mystery as to where he learnt the art. Perhaps he shared the same teacher as this parrot!


Wednesday 9 August 2017

A Rubbish Day!

I do hereby solemnly swear not to litter this post with puns.....😁 Enough of this silliness.

Yesterday I spent the perfect afternoon with fellow Sussex Green Living friends having a tour around the Leatherhead Community Recycling Site and Re-Use shop. Now this might not sound like the average person's idea of a fun day out, but believe me when I say I was in my element! I mentioned in a recent post that we met one of the managers of the site by chance at an unrelated event last month where we had our stand [he lives in my home town]. He was very interested in what we're trying to do despite the whole thing being run on a voluntary basis and extremely enthusiastic about green issues. He invited us along and we took him up on his offer.

Now I'm no business woman, but there's no point being too idealistic and naive under these circumstances. Money talks and if we can get a similar venture, such as the Re-Use shop off the ground here, it needs to be financially viable both in what it makes sales wise and in terms of the amount of tonnage it could divert from landfill. Thankfully we were able to bring a representative from our council along with us to gather the pertinent information. West Sussex officially needs to increase its recycling rate to meet the targets it's been set and they have a big meeting next week to decide what steps they're going to take to bring this improvement about. The Leatherhead shop has been a huge success on all the necessary fronts so here's hoping.

I loved poking about in the shop and they've requisitioned a redundant shipping container, put carpet down and are using it for additional storage. The staff have been trained on what to look for in the skips and gradually more of the public are bringing their stuff to the shop first to see if it's suitable for sale before just chucking it in. In the time we were there it was a constant flow of new stock and people buying other things. It's clearly well supported. I took a few candid shots

Prices are very reasonable. In fact everyone of us went home with our own personal treasure. The lady from the council bought the orange stool below for a thrifty £2 as she is a keen upcycler. As for moi....seeing as I'd been kindly given a lift space was at a premium. I wrenched open the GBT purse and parted with a princely 20 pennies for the two lovely little baskets which will make the perfect addition to my dollshouse!


Back to the town of painted doors and alleycats

 💕Ah Tewkesbury💕 Do you know what...I flipping love this town with all its curios and layers of history. It is entirely down to Mythago an...