Thursday 31 May 2018

Under the weather.

We met our friends last night for a drink and to catch up with tales of their recent two week jaunt abroad. At some point P picked up a bug and had to stay confined to barracks whilst she recovered. As soon as she said it had been a couple of days before she stopped feeling "under the weather" TWANG went the nosey bone as I suddenly thought why do we all say that and where has it come from?

Now I had always assumed that these three little words simply referenced the effect bad weather can have upon our emotions, but this apparently is not so. The full phrase is "under the weather bow" and originates from when people were travelling by sea and were on the weather bow side of the ship...this is the side which receives the full force of any bad weather. Makes a little more sense now.

More useless trivia for all ye good folks!


Wednesday 30 May 2018

Cupboard Love

When we were working at the Kensington Dollshouse Show a couple of weeks ago this rather large cabinet was standing in the foyer. It's the one which starred in the BBC's adaptation of Jessie Burton's "The Miniaturist". For anyone who wants to see it in all its true splendour I've popped up a short clip which features it below. If anyone fancies owning it it's now for sale, but I'm afraid I didn't see a price.

I myself was marvellously disciplined and only spend a tenner on these very realistic fungi [my photo does not do them justice]. They're for my housekeeper [if I had yet bought her that is!] who comes from a long line of cunning women and leads a double life. She has a trunk fulled of all sorts to do with the magical arts hidden away in her attic room! Perhaps in the name of honesty I should admit that many other weeny treasures came home with me....Mr GBT went off and bought me various goodies which will make up the next couple of years worth of birthday and Chrimble gifts. I chose them at the time, but will have long since forgotten what they are before they are given to me.

Incredibly there have been some teeny steps forward with my own house. Accompanied by much cussing I finally finished this teeny bell pull. 40 stitches to the inch has driven me stir crazy and I've needed to wear Mr GBT's head magnifiers just to be able to see the canvas. It still needs to be sewn up and I have sworn I'll never do another one. However, I still have a firescreen kit in the same scale to do and I know that I will in the end. It will drive me bat sh*t crazy, but I'm very determined once I decide to do something.

The little book in the left hand corner is proof that I have made small inroads into my stockpile of kits. It helps having a friend like Ice Badger [a fellow Mythago dancer] who shares your dollshouse hobby. She not only has her own unfinished projects, but she sadly inherited all her Mum's too when she died. For several years now we have been talking about spending an evening together to get our houses going again and a few weeks back we finally got going. It was a delightful session and so much yapping that more than once we both stuck our books the wrong way up and hastily had to undo our handiwork before the glue stuck them for good! Ah yes kits...did I mention that I might have a few lurking....

And er I might have found another one lurking when I was trying to track down my next needlework project.....

So clearly it makes perfect sense that I've just ordered several more from this company because clearly I need more😉 especially factoring in all the ones I've yet to do. I hold Ice Badger wholly responsible...if she hadn't have texted me to say she'd put in an order I'd never have looked....looks like it's just as well that we are planning to get together this coming Monday!


PS On another note entirely please send positive vibes to TYM...the poor devil has got to do his first uni exam at 5.30 today and it's his 20th birthday [teenogre no more]. At least his girlfriend is planning a surprise for him so he's got something to look forward to once he's finished!

Tuesday 29 May 2018

Bee-ing Friendly

At long last we've been able to start making our garden more wild life friendly. Having done a spot of research I narrowed down a few good bee friendly plants for our small patch, so very early yesterday morning we hotfooted it into a couple of local garden centres. Apart from one ahem spontaneous purchase I did manage to stay on track, but the credit card is now weeping....😊

So despite the fact that I am not a keen gardener I've been a busy bee today weeding and have fallen in love with my hoe....a much better experience rather than trying to pull the wretched things out by hand which have probably regrown in the time that I've turned my back and cleared the next area. At one point I got the fright of my life when something jumped out in front of me....when I further investigated I discovered a rather disgruntled frog hunkered down....needless to say I left it in peace. Mr GBT kindly dug appropriate holes and these beauties below are now in the borders.

It's good to have got the project underway. Next on the list is to put up the bug hotel which is currently in our garage. Hopefully we will have a gorgeous nature filled plot over the coming months.


Monday 28 May 2018

The "art" of photography.

"Photography is [a means by which we]...learn to see the ordinary."
David Bailey

We enjoyed a fabulous day of dance in Winchester last weekend. A programme of stands kept us busy and on the move, but with a few minutes to spare before the next one started, this combination of signs kept us naughty Mythago peeps amused as we came up with increasingly ridiculous and smutty ideas of how we could commit a nuisance in Hammond's Passage. For my own amusement and a with a personal liking for old signs I snapped the photo. As you well know I am no David Bailey, but had I not picked up my idiot proof press and point camera then I would never have spotted the ugly mug above it peering down at us. 

Nobody else had noticed it either until I pointed it out. Having my camera gives me a chance to spot extra things and details which would otherwise pass me by. Often I don't appreciate the extent of what I might have otherwise missed until I edit them. The decision to buy my own camera a few years ago was one of my best has brought me endless pleasure.


Friday 25 May 2018

Oxford comma

[Image from Pixabay]

Way back when dinosaurs still roamed the earth this dame learnt how to use commas. Now I am very aware that I quite often miss them out here [my proofreading skills are rather slap dash and a little lacking at times these days], but technically I do know how to use them correctly and for many years, I taught others how to do so. Surely rule number one was always

Never use a comma after the word "and" in a sentence.

However, I have just been told of a thing called an Oxford comma which apparently turns this rule on its head. You can use a comma after the word "and" after all and still be correct. Generally it's not used, but it derives its name from the printers, readers and editors of the Oxford University Press who traditionally used it. Seeing as I'm a bit of an old fossil who's rather stuck in her ways I shall be studiously ignoring it.


Thursday 24 May 2018

Tuk Tuk Tours

If you'd like to hop on I'll give you a quick tour of Arundel in the sunshine. Just on your left is the remains of the Dominican Priory and in the distance you can just glimpse the turrets of Arundel Castle. Our driver has danced in these ruins....lovely acoustics and a crowd materialising out of nowhere as they heard the insistent beat of the drums.

Up the hill here we have the epitome of quaint Britishness tea and biscuits. I will make a stop on the way down for anyone who cares to look further.

At the summit on our right we have the 14th century parish church of St Nicholas. Most unusually the far end is separated by a metal grille and denotes the Roman Catholic Fitzalan Chapel belonging the the Duke of Norfolk which can only be viewed by those who have paid to see the castle. The CofE end holds many surprises. Exotic bench ends with a rhino and a hippo, carved hexfoils described by some as demon traps, the purpose is not documented, but the likelihood is that they were there to deflect evil spirits and the "There but not there" installation. Twelve young men from the church lost their lives in WWI and their great sacrifice is marked by the clear perspex seated figures in the pews accompanied by a poppy and the name of the deceased.

Turning round now and heading back down the hill I am just turning into Maltravers Street. Notice on your right hand side the decorated front doors. These are the handiwork of local artist Amy Fathers.

Just before we reach the end of the tour please allow me to finish with a small diversion along Surrey Street to show you a final view of the extraordinary wall seen here yesterday.

That brings your tour to an end....I hope you have enjoyed the sights. Your driver is off for a most welcome scoop of rhubarb crumble icecream.


Wednesday 23 May 2018

Walls have ears.

Actually no this one doesn't. What it does have is several pairs of false teeth, a cannonball, a padlock, shoe lasts and yes that's the base of an iron you can see. Don't ask me....I have absolutely no idea either and an online search has left me none the wiser. It's to be found in the charming Sussex town of Arundel....I was meant to be going with W after I'd finished work, but due to family matters she had to pull out. I quite enjoy an outing on my tod sometimes...I behave quite differently when I'm alone and can please myself!

Here's the photographic evidence of this very different piece of brickwork. I should point out in all honesty that I already knew of its existence and had quite deliberately gone to seek it out. It certainly is a novel way of reusing all those old bits we've all got hanging around in our homes which we don't really know what to do with eh!


Tuesday 22 May 2018

The Wrong Direction.

Chum E and I not only managed to get our wires completely crossed last week....they were that tangled we could have knitted a garment with them!! We knew we had made an arrangement to have a jolly and it was agreed that it involved sculptures. However, she thought we were going to Surrey and I thought we were going stay in West Sussex. That's the problem when you're both keen sticky many places so little time😊 No problemo....sorted. West Sussex sculptures next time....

This time we spent a gloriously sunny afternoon at the Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden which is set within a beautiful woodland glade. The works of art are exhibited within this setting and there is something to suit a myriad of tastes. I enjoyed seeing E's reaction to the stained glass sculptures and her explanations of how the quality of light affects the medium so differently. Each piece is for sale, but being short of space and funds [they are unsurprisingly in the thousands] none came home with me!

Hope you enjoy the taster of what we saw.

Seats for weary souls

This head is shoulder height.

The pencils could be lifted out of the pot....rather like holding a colourful javelin!

As the wind catches the individual leaves they make different notes.

The slate ammonite puts me in mind of the type of work Andy Goldsworthy creates which I love.

To finish we both enjoying dinging all these bicycle you pinged one it created a ripple effect and kept two middle aged dames very amused!

Lovely afternoon.


Monday 21 May 2018

Lining up your.....


By juggling my work hours on Thursday I managed to fit in a jolly with E in the afternoon. We spotted the proud parents herding up their fluffy bundles of joy beneath a gunnera. The gander hissed at us as soon as we got too close, but then they swam past us proudly all in a rather pleasing line. The black circle you can just make out underneath the front bird was a mass of tadpoles.

I love this time of year with all the babies.


Friday 18 May 2018

Mental Health Awareness Week

"Don't give in" by Snow Patrol. Aside from loving the track it carries a powerful message.


Thursday 17 May 2018

Look who's here!

Our regular squabble of starlings brought their fledglings with them yesterday morning for their first mealworm breakfast. Despite them being the same size as their parents there was still a lot of wing fluttering and opening of beaks going on so they've got a way to go yet before they fend for themselves fully. It was a joy to watch their antics.


Wednesday 16 May 2018

A Sunday Stroll

With Saturday spent working in The Big Smoke it was good to get out and stretch out the little hobbit legs on Sunday. We didn't venture far...just up the road from GBT, but it's been yonks since we last followed this route. Only three miles, but far enough for tired souls to be revived and sufficient time for me to winkle out the goodies I like😊

Warnham is a pretty little Sussex village with lots of classic Wealden houses. There were lots I could have chosen, but this one with the tiny window and the vase full of green alkanet won me over.

This rather huge pottery chap hangs high up on a wall. Although I work here every week and drive through I've never noticed it before. At first glance I had high hopes that it might be a greenman, but I think the crab and seaweed locks rather points more towards a Poseidon type chap.

Being generally of the long pockets and short armed disposition I made sure I closed the bleeding gate for I had not forty shillings about my person. [The owner was there and kindly let me take a photo]

Continuing away from the village it took us along a picturesque green lane which runs above the main road. Along the embankments the next wave of wild flowers are starting to appear and the trees are donning their Spring mantels.  Yellow Archangel [one of the ancient woodland indicators], Ground Ivy, May blossom, Sycamore [I'm pretty rubbish at identifying trees at the moment, but hopefully I should be able to recognise this one again when I next see it] and the gorgeous curly-wurly unfurling of Bracken fronds.

Then we took a hanger right through the local deer park with a quick nose through the farm gate to take a gander at the ancient crooked barn.

This is what Mr GBT quite accurately referred to as a Stag Party....except quite literally this time. We couldn't see any does or fauns so assume they are being kept elsewhere on the estate. The gate at the far end of the park used to be called a Cuckoo gate in Sussex, but most of us would know it by its more familiar Kissingate name. Not telling whether I puckered up for the Old Man or not😉

Back along the final stretch the parish church appears above the tree line. As we cut through the churchyard I noticed this unusual brick grave. Given that there's a brickworks nearby a little bit of digging has confirmed that the deceased was the Managing Director. As for the wooden, engraved headstone...I've never seen the like. Presumably it was down to it being a cheaper option than stone. Sadly Emma Holden was only 39 when she died.

This huge chunk of Horsham stone sits out the front of the church and is the old tithe stone. I couldn't for the life of me work out how it would have been used, but my Dad explained that the tithe was a tenth of your income or what you produced. I'm guessing it could have been anything from actual money to bushels of wheat. It must have had a hugely negative impact upon those who were barely making ends meet.  Unsurprisingly the system was very unpopular and eventually withdrawn.

Aside from yesterday's discovery of St Margaret of Antioch carelessly standing on a dragon, my other main find was this rather OTT memorial to the Caryll family who were 15th century Squires and paid for one of the chapels. I have often wondered why the children are depicted rather gruesomely carrying skulls. Only recently did I read that it signifies that the child died in infancy. This family lost more than half of their little ones.

Let's not finish on a gloomy note though. Hard not to fall in love with these fallow deer!

All done ramble and ramblings complete!


Peace and Love

 Peace and love...two things the world needs more than ever. I saw the painted house when I was away recently and came across these two beau...