Friday 29 June 2018

A Welcome of Sorts!

Just a brief one today as I'm suffering from brain drain. I was rather tickled by this highly unusual welcome to this year's Bloodstone Morris's rally on the IOW a couple of weeks ago.

Rest assured there was no hospitality lacking in the Hostility Tent...marvellous homemade cakes and a most welcome cuppa!

We're off up the country to retrieve TYM as he winds up his first year at uni. All has gone well and he's had a ball. This summer I [or should I say we] will make sure his cooking skills are up to speed so that he's well prepped when he goes into a house with three of his mates in September. Hope you all have a fantastic weekend


Thursday 28 June 2018

My fifteen minutes [or thereabouts] of "fame"

For those who care to take a gander this is the wild flower walk we made with The Bald Explorer earlier this month

Well now I'm famous I shall demand a dressing room full of purple roses and white kittens where ever I go😆


Wednesday 27 June 2018

Blooming lovely!

We managed a leisurely four mile stroll every day last week on holiday. No impressive distances achieved for we were there to drink it all in and take our time to appreciate what we saw. Much as I love seeing the wildlife it's the flowers which always call to me. Oh yes and flowers stay still so not only can Mr GBT take some photos there's also at least a fighting chance that we might be able to identify them when we return to the homestead. We did this a lot in the early days, but it lapsed during our active parenting years....small kidlets don't do patience. After many years break we have returned to one of our shared loves and are gradually catching up with old friends as well as discovering new ones. Sadly my retention for the names of many is just as lousy as it always was and I have to start afresh at the start of every season! I haven't looked all these up yet so please forgive me....just photos, but no names this time.

These weren't all of them by all means!


Tuesday 26 June 2018

Jack and Jill

Jack and Jill go on the wheel
To fetch a pail of water....

Well sometimes they do if they can be bovvered...they each have contract to say that they will do six minutes of work a day with the added clause "if they are willing". Actually it's much more fun when Jack opens the field gate and lets them, plus their fellow donkey conspirators, Jimbob, Jigsaw and Juno, escape into the now dry Carisbrooke Castle moat for indeed the grass is always greener on the other side!

Carisbrooke Castle used donkeys to drive the well wheel for centuries. The well has an enormous drop [you could fit Nelson's column down it] and it would have been backbreaking work for these poor beasts of burden. Thankfully piped water was introduced in the last century and the donkeys only remain in the capacity of pampered pets. A couple of times a day [on a strict rota] they are brought out to demonstrate how they would have turned this huge 431 year old wooden wheel. Quite often they don't play ball and Jill was having none of it on our visit!! Donkeys are not people pleasers and that's why I love these spirited animals.

There was much to enjoy on our visit here, but this was my favourite bit. As for the moat escapades- once they're out the staff have the hell's own job of trying to catch them and return them to their stables.


Monday 25 June 2018

Holystoning the deck.

Only the tower of the old church at St Helens Duvar [IOW] remains these days. The hostile weather conditions, lashing tides and lack of investment took its toll over the many years it stood. In the end the seaward facing side was bricked over and painted white in 1719 to provide a distinctive landmark for the passing Navy ships. Tradition has it that seafaring folk were some of the most superstitious with many rituals and rules to maximise their chances of survival at sea. Many of the stones of church were taken by the sailors and used to scour and whiten the decks. The stones were believed to bestow spiritual protection upon the vessels in a practice known as holystoning.


Saturday 23 June 2018


Mr GBT and I are now back on The Big Island, having spent a fun and frolicsome week kicking our heels on the Isle of Wight. It's only the second time I've ever been and last time we were accompanied by the toddler version of TYM and all the tut you have to cart around with you when you have a child of that age. This time it's been a much simpler affair. Lots of dancing [it was a Morris weekend, but we rented a cottage and stayed on], lots of walking and the odd glass of whichever poison took my fancy. Has certainly been a good week.

Normally I'd mark the Summer Solstice here, but this time I was able to visit the Longstone in person. It's the remains of a Neolithic long barrow. As ever I got chatting to a lovely local chap who'd been up at the stones since 4am with his dog....we exchanged notes on other sacred sites we'd visited on our travels.....all perfectly normal in my strange little world!


Thursday 14 June 2018

The cafe has gone on holiday.

The A board informs me that one of the local cafes in town has taken itself off for a few days on holiday. I, for one, didn't know cafes could do such a thing, but apparently it's a thing.

It sounds like a mighty fine idea and I might just take a leaf out its book myself. See you all soon and remember to be naughty!


Wednesday 13 June 2018


It's always an added bonus when I spot these on the thatched roofs. Frustratingly I have very few photos of them as we're either in the car or I haven't got a camera with me. Thankfully Mr GBT was able to oblige in Singleton with a long distance shot. Had I been reliant on eyesight alone I'd never have seen the extra painted detail.

These lovelies are known as corn dollies and originated on the hayricks. They were lashed to an ash pole and the secured to the rick as both a means of identifying the owner and keeping both birds and witches at bay. Many forms were seen including boats, birds and crosses. Nowadays the fox or pheasant tends to predominate, but others are increasing in popularity. Just need to track a few down now! Another thing to add to the list of things to look out for eh!


Tuesday 12 June 2018


So when the bully boys came and smashed your beautiful stained glass windows what were you to do? Weep and wail, throw your hands up in the air or roll up your sleeves and create new beauty out of ugliness? It's clear from this image taken at St Mary's in Singleton, West Sussex which path those facing that very dilemma took.


Monday 11 June 2018

All in a day's work!

Before I give you the wrong impression entirely one of us was working on Saturday, but it most definitely wasn't me!

This friendly chap is called Richard Vobes or The Bald Explorer as he's more commonly known. He makes delightful short video walks from different parts of the country [more from the South where he lives] and then puts them out on his Youtube channel. I first encountered him last year when he featured one of our town and then started to follow what he was up to. His work is intended as just a taster, nothing too indepth, but a chance to see some places you might never visit or have even heard about.

Through online contact I met him a couple of months ago and when I shared some wild flower shots he asked me if we could make a film. I agreed before I had a chance to find a reason not as experience has taught me that my anxiety will always stop me from taking the risk of doing anything new if I let it get a tight hold again. Admittedly I was very nervous beforehand and normally shy away from being anywhere near cameras [I'm always posing for photos when out dancing, but I am hidden behind my mask so it's not quite the same], but he was very good at putting us both at our ease. We shall see how it's turned out once he's edited the rushes [see I learnt some lingo yesterday!]. I did stress beforehand that I am very much in the category of very keen yet fairly rank amateur when it comes to all things growing wild. Thankfully we went back to Levin Down where I've been before so I was able to mug up beforehand. Between filming Mr GBT took a handful of photos to remind us of our day.

It always intrigues me how much colour variation you can get in a single type of flower. These tiny pink and blue flowers are both Milkwort.

Foxgloves. I know they're common, but what stunners.

A new one for us. Hop Trefoil

Marjoram I do believe.

Back to where we amongst all Milkwort look at what Mr GBT spotted.

If I haven't made a complete twerp of myself I might share the final version of the video here once Richard's released it in a few weeks time. I'll have to see how I feel about it!


Friday 8 June 2018

End of the working week.

Let the weekend beGin- tomorrow is World Gin Day apparently!
Have a good couple of days and I look forwards to hearing all your tales.


Thursday 7 June 2018

Tying the knot.

The phrase comes from a time when the clothing threads of the bride and groom literally were knotted together as a symbolic gesture of their union. Whether you're a fan of the whole business of getting married or not, hopefully you might enjoy the photos of some of the different styles of dress brides have donned over the years which I saw earlier this week. For me personally it was the chance to view the historical costumes and the workmanship which went into some of the gowns that I loved.

Regrettably I don't have any idea of the dates for any of this set. The hours they must have taken to make!

This very understated one is more to my liking. It's a Quaker one and dates from 1775-1810. The front panel is missing.

Turning to the modern examples I actually remember this 1920s one with pearl detailing coming into the museum when I worked as a volunteer there, so I can actually say I've handled this one [carefully I hasten to add!]



1970s and all the accessories. This has reminded me of when I was a bridesmaid in the mid 1970s. It was a winter wedding and my Mum made me a dress in a very similar pink with some kind of lace trim just below the bust line. Typically I had just lost my two top teeth so I could only smile in the photos!

This little lot bring us up to date. A couple of handmade bouquets with a difference and a rather striking uchikake which is a Japanese bridal kimono.

There were lots of information boards up about the history of marriage including the recent legalisation of gay marriage. This rather pithy quote tickled my fancy and seems a good note
on which to end!


Not going to the art gallery.

 Mr GBT didn't really want to visit an art gallery whilst we were in the Midlands last month....he's a clever fellow though and dist...