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Showing posts from October, 2017

Punkie Night

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Have you carved your jack o'lantern from your pumpkin then? Afraid I haven't bought one...my one and only attempt at pumpkin soup was hideous and ended up on the compost heap! I have put out all the ancient Hallows decs yet again and Mr GBT recycled the Grim Reaper fancy dress costume which TYM has left here. Me meanwhile.....I invested 85 groats in some "Halloween" makeup in the hallowed halls of Tesco.....as I made up my eyes and lips in a dramatic red/black combo I was channelling my inner Marilyn Manson. I'm not entirely sure that I created quite the look I was going for, as within a couple of minutes of me arriving at the Halloween party on Saturday night, two friends separately said I looked just like Clare Grogan from Altered Images...erm! Definitely back to the drawing board methinks. At the said party I got chatting to a fellow guest who revealed that she was going to have a go at carving swedes and turnips as they seemed more authentic and predate

Practise makes purrfect!

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With his big night coming up I caught Humphrey polishing up his broom riding technique..... What he gets up to at night time is strictly cat business and nothing to do with his nosey humans. Clearly from the photos he did not welcome the intrusion....look at those creepy eyes!! N'er mind it will all be over by Wednesday and he'll be able to spend the next 364 days recovering and recharging his batteries! Arilx

Ear Worm

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A short one from me....it's been a rather busy weekend celebrating all things Halloween­čĹ╗ We were larking about last night, so I added my own little soupson of fun to the mix....one little word..."manamana".....please feel free to carry on­čĹ┐ Arilx

Round and Round

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Morning....am most delighted to be able to report that the circular economy is alive and well in this little part of the world. For many years I've lived with a full length mirror which has been cracked across the bottom corner. Maybe most people would have long since chucked it, I don't know, but it was still fit for purpose so there it stayed. Since the revamp of the bedroom has been completed we've finally got round to replacing the glass, but have kept the same frame. There was a bit of head scratching as to what to do with the original piece.....within a couple of days though a Freecycle message popped into my inbox asking for this very same thing....I explained to the lady about its condition, but she was delighted as she was going to break it up for a mosaic project anyway. Do so love to hear a good reuse story! Now with the buzz of the Christmas retail spirit really ramping up and the pages in the diary turning quicker than I would like really I've rediscov

Saffron Walden

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My birth county of Essex has a bit of an undeserved reputation at times for being the sort of place you should just pass through to get to wherever you're headed as soon as possible. Certainly it has its grotty areas which are the ones which seem to attract all the attention, but that's par for the course pretty much where there is any type of development. I may not live there, but I have visited family many times and the truth is the further north you go the more gorgeous it becomes. The medieval town of Saffron Walden is a case in point. Built upon the fortunes of the saffron trade, the Crocus Sativus was grown locally until the 18th century when it saw a sharp decline. There are several references to this part of the town's history in the local church. Later on brewing saw a revival in its fortunes. It's a place which is delightful to just spend a couple of hours in just mooching around and seeing what you come across. The centre is very attractive, but I thi

Mother's Ruin

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I lay the blame at the door of certain friends [yes Lovely Grey you're one of the culprits­čść] for my head being turned and me being led astray into a spot of alcoholic experimentation. Various souls around me have been making flavoured gins...I've heard mention of rhubarb from at least three, E has done grapefruit and then raspberry was thrown in the mix....before you can say jack robinson, there I was on mysupermarket checking gin prices. Aldi was the cheapest and if, on a day of dance down in Lewes a fortnight ago, we found ourselves parked opposite [cheapest all day parking in the town] then who am I to ignore a sign of providence­čśü Currently with a bumper batch of raspberries in the freezer still [despite jam and wine making and a bag donated to my courgette glut eating neighbour] we still have loads to use. As you can see from the photos below I got my rump into gear on Sunday and got busy....... I think I might need to road test it before the year's end. This

A Garden With a Difference.

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These weirdly shaped contraptions form a whole circle, but my little press and point camera couldn't cope with snapping the whole vista so I can only show you half I'm afraid. They had me scratching my head as to their purpose when I first encountered them, looking, to all intents and purposes, as they do like a modern art installation. They are, in fact, supports designed to allow you to sky watch without getting a crick in your neck and are in the Skylight Garden at Anglesey Abbey [National Trust]. The weather wasn't spectacular on the day we chose to visit, but I did rather enjoy the brief cloudscape when the sun peeped through. Arilx

Amazing!

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Going round and round..... not in circles as you might imagine, but a mile of loops if you want to get to the middle of this maze. Now you know me by now....if I'm away on a little holiday I like to squeeze as much out of my time whilst I'm there as possible...anything without an outlay is always a bonus and one of the ways I achieve this is to schedule in something to see/do on both the outward and inward journeys. This little joy is the oldest publicly owned turf cut maze in the country and is in Saffron Walden. Nobody knows when it was first created, but the documents show that fifteen shillings was handed over in 1699 for it to be recut. It's a joy...there's something very meditative about following the loops....I'm afraid though that time wasn't on my side so I cheated and cut through to the middle in the end when I realised how long it was! Oops! If labyrinths are your thing then Saffron Walden has a whole range on offer. There's a modern on

Bedtime Battles.

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Humphrey keeps, what I would term, teenage hours....he's asleep all day and out on the razz all night. By about 8am he's ready to settle down for his daytime snooze on one of our beds. Generally as a rule that fits in fine with my routine.... When it comes to changing the bed linen he doesn't see why anything should change and that's when the battlelines are drawn. I turf him off the bed, turn round to pick up the clean item in which time he's whipped back on and is sitting tight in his original position. We repeat this scenario several times over except yesterday, after going through several bouts, I'd had enough so I left him on the sheet and pulled the duvet cover over him [not his head]....."that'll learn yer you little s*d" I thought triumphantly imagining that he would shift his plump rump. As you can see though the victory was not mine. I have retired to lick my war wounds and prepare myself for the next round. Arilx

Look no hands!

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Isn't it amazing how sometimes you will notice a theme running through what you see....for me it's been clocks and not just any ordinary clocks, but clocks with no hands. I didn't set out to intentionally to hunt them down, but find me they did so best just go with it. This is the Ely Analemmatic Sundial which was designed by Quin Hollick for the Millennium. Rather than try and explain how to use it I've popped up the instructions below. We couldn't resist trying it out and I can confirm that, as the sun was playing ball and shining, it was spot on. This rather unusual looking timepiece is the Corpus Clock in Cambridge. It was designed by John C Taylor in 2008. It's exact every five minutes apparently....not exactly handy then! The malevolent looking grasshopper thing perched on top is a chronophage which translates as "timeeater". It operates via three L.E.D rings which mark the hours, minutes and seconds and it marks the hour ap

Batty

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You may or may not be delighted to hear that the Old Bat has returned from her short sojourn in East Anglia. This Medieval interpretation of a bat resides in King's College Chapel Cambridge. Arilx

Taking a breather.

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I'm just taking a couple of days off from blogging to give myself a chance to recharge my batteries. Will be back very shortly....promise. In my absence...be naughty! Arilx

Well Heeled

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At Guiding J's suggestion, we met earlier this week at our local museum for a nose around the latest free exhibition....right from the outset there was a certain novelty factor to our get together as she rolled up with a rather plump cuddly owl under her arm. Sheepishly she explained that as a Guider, it's her turn this week to take this owl with her and she has to take photos of what she's been up to...I noted that she did not opt for a photo in the pub afterwards mwhahah! Shoes, or more precisely, the shoes designed by Dan Sullivan and sold through his company Irregular Choice. Now shoes are just not my thing really. I buy them [virtually all charity shop these days] when I need them,but these ones held my attention. They've been virtually catapulted into pieces of art.  I found them endlessly fascinating and took masses of photos. Definitely not all to my taste and I preferred the ones which were not part of the Disney collaboration, but certainly if you bought a

Which camp would you be in?

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I am slap bang in the middle....one day I might don my black crow tshirt and another day my rainbow jumper. Typical Libran...neither one nor t'other­čść or as I would argue...I get to enjoy the best of both worlds or go off at a tangent whenever the urge takes me. Arilx

Heart Burial

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I happened across this fragment of something I didn't recognise recently and was intrigued to read that it is part of a late medieval heart burial. In times of warfare or trauma related death I can understand that partial burial may occur if you do not have a complete cadaver, but a heart burial is apparently something quite different. Scurrying off to see what the internet had to say on the matter I now know that this was quite the fashion, particularly in the times of the Crusades. Knights often died abroad and it would have been very difficult to transport a whole corpse home. Instead the heart was embalmed in spices and returned to the loved ones in a lead or ivory box for interring here. One of the most famous is that of Richard I in 1199 whose heart in buried in Rouen Cathedral. It was examined in 2012 and found to have been preserved in frankincense [traces of other materials remained too]. For those who might like to see this for themselves  St Michael's church in

The First Repair Cafe in West Sussex

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Our little Sussex Green Living posse sat around earlier this year and just casually chatted about how we would like a sustainable community to look and what steps we could realistically take with the resources available to us with zero funding. Nothing that could be termed New Age Fluff just stuff everyday folks might get behind. The Reuse Shop at our local recycling centre was one...we've explored that and are still prodding and challenging the obstacles put before us, especially in the light of discovering that all the surrounding counties already have them. Dear old West Sussex has to get its recycling targets up from 44% to 50% by 2020 somehow so this is beginning to look increasingly like a viable option...at least worthy of further investigation at this stage. The other project we had in mind was setting up a Repair Cafe. Now I'm not going to take any credit for sorting this one out....I stick to the Terracycle schemes and FB page moderation, but I guess this has freed

Ooh err missus!

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I met our local Conservative MP on Saturday. Our town is what is considered a "safe seat"....let's rephrase that shall we....it usually returns one of the highest, if not the highest, Tory majority at the General Election. I don't share our MP's political views, but as an individual, he's a pleasant, jovial chap [and a huge improvement on the one before.] Doing his civic duty, saying a few words, eating cake and opening our new Repair Cafe I suspect was a relatively easy and non demanding appearance...a celebratory moment with no awkward questions or nasty heckling. For some reason I donned my devilment cap and decided therefore, to be slightly naughty­čśł Whilst posing for photos with the cafe banner in front of him so he couldn't read it, he commented "I've no idea what this banner says!"...."Vote Labour" I replied. He smiled and then when we were cutting the cake he said "This feels like we're getting married"

Losing Pounds

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Just a quick heads up for those of us of a thrifty bent. The old pound coins cease to be legal tender from 15th October. However, if you do find any lurking after that date [gah!] you can still put them to good use. Arilx