Monday, 31 December 2018

The Non Bleak Mid Winter

Overcast, windy and a touch nippy were the conditions that met us when we went up onto the South Downs on Saturday for a blast of fresh air. A fairly typical December day then....there's always beauty to be had though. A small patch of vermilion berries set against egg yoke yellow gorse flowers.

A Happy New Year's Eve to one and all. Unlike TYM we won't be out on the razzle clubbing. Instead I shall be glad to quietly pull up the drawbridge and enjoy an evening in. It's been amazing seeing lots of friends and family, but at heart I'm a sociable introvert and ready to take some time out.


Friday, 28 December 2018

Festive Friday

Hope everyone has had a good break...have only had time to dash in and out of Blogland, so am behind with all the shenanigans. We have feasted and been a little merry....but the latter is soon to stop as, being a pair of rather foolhardy souls, we have signed up to do dry January. TYM is vice captain of his uni athletics club and they're doing it for charity. It seemed like a good idea after a couple of cheeky glasses of matter I have a bottle of non alcoholic ginger wine which I love so that will fill in any gaps or temptation. It makes me sound like an old soak, but I am a moderate imbiber really.

Humphrey has had his usual traumatic time of it. He loathes the disruption and people coming and going. Seeing packed cases on Christmas day [we spent the night with my parents] he headed for the hills as in his head it means only one thing...the dreaded V.E.T. He had also not taken kindly to the tinsel cummerbund TYM has decorated him with....the shame, the shame. TYM was definitely off his Christmas list for a while!

Ah well as we move forwards how about a spot of silly humour to end on....

It made me titter...speak soonx


Monday, 24 December 2018

Season's Greetings

It didn't take His Plumpness long to claim my festive jumper for himself. Now it's been given the paw of approval I have snatched it back! 

A very Happy Christmas to everyone and thank you so much for taking the time to drop by. All your smashing comments are always greatly appreciatedxx

Arilx, Mr GBT, TYM and Humphrey

Friday, 21 December 2018

Alban Arthan 2018

I was supposed to be searching for gifts for other people on Etsy....I utterly failed in my quest, but was exceedingly successful in finding this gorgeous glass Stonehenge artwork for me. As ever Christmas shopping becomes an expensive business because I end up on all sorts of sites I avoid for the rest of the year. You can now see why!

Yule greetings to all those who celebrate the old ways.


Thursday, 20 December 2018

Als I Lay On Yoolis Night

Tomorrow it is Yule. Something a little different to the usual Christmas musical offering...instead a rather gorgeous 14th century English Medieval carol. 


Wednesday, 19 December 2018


This is The Fox Inn in Bucks Green, West Sussex. It's a lovely example of a country pub, which for 364 days of the year remains exactly that. However, on Christmas day at midday a horse is walked through the bar. Nobody seems to know the why and the when of the whole affair these days, but there is a vague notion that once it was done to mark an ancient right of way. It has been known on occasion to substitute a motorbike, a sheep and even a lord when there's been no suitable horse available!


Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Street Advent

As threatened I've been back to see how the windows have been coming along.....

Rest assured I will return! I can see that somehow we have managed to miss number 9. I shall try to track it down on my next visit!!


Monday, 17 December 2018

Rest a wee while.

After many grey days I was cheered to find this new bench in a small spinney just off the road on one of my local routes home from work. Cheering on a gin clear, but raw December day.

I couldn't help but think it would make a marvellous spot to tarry a wee while and watch the world go by.


Friday, 14 December 2018

The London Pantomime Race

This coming Sunday [16th] it's the London Pantomime Race. If you want a taster of what it's all about here's a clip from last year.

Hope everyone has a fab weekend.


Thursday, 13 December 2018

The Snowdog

In 2012, 30 years after the original Snowman film, based on the book written by Raymond Briggs was released, the animated Snowman and Snowdog was released. I'm old school and still prefer the original. Even to this day the ending makes me tearful, but then I always was hopeless with goodbyes! E.T. has the same effect!

Our local NT gardens, Nymans, has come up trumps once again and created a yarnbombing and Snowdog extravaganza for the little ones over Christmas. My days of having my own small person might be long past [TYM is home this weekend...haven't seen him since the 8th September so am really looking forwards to having him back. We're very close], but it didn't prevent Mr GBT and I going along to enjoy the fun too!

When the light levels are low and the days are short at this time of year it seems imperative to go out and really take advantage of those fewer bright days we do have to top up sunshine and be better prepared mentally to cope with the higher number of grey ones.


Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Jack of Hilton

Let me introduce you to Jack of Hilton. This rather elderly brass fellow dates from 1300 and was still with the Vernon family at Hilton Hall, Staffs until 2013. He now resides at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford and erm rather caught my eye when I was waiting for Lovely Grey!

I now find that this is called an aeolipile [from the Greek God of air and wind Aeolus]. What be one of those I hear you cry! He would be filled with 4 pints of water and then left near the fire to heat up. The steam this created then forced air out through holes in his mouth and back which would fan the flames whilst all the time emitting a wheezing sound.

According to "The Natural History of Staffordshire" by Robert Plot [1686] every year the Manor of Essingham had to give a goose to the nearby Manor of Hilton [they were the tenant]. The bird had to be driven round the Hilton fire three times with Jack of Hilton doing his thing in the background. The poor fowl was then taken to the cook in the kitchen to be dispatched and brought back on a plate by the tenant for this lord's delectation. Strangely then the custom was for Hilton to repay this by giving him one of his own geese in return. More info here

And that folks is why I love blogging....I never know what I am going to turn up next. Taking into account his prominent protuberance my fevered imagination came up with many theories, but hearth blower was not one of them!


Tuesday, 11 December 2018


[Image from Pixabay]

Don't know about you, but I have reached the conclusion that what the world needs right now is innovators and those who power forward with brave new solutions to the problems we face. A whole sea change is needed. Amongst all the doom and gloom we hear all day there are those already out there doing precisely that. I came across this quote by Alan Turing recently. Most apt I thought.

"Sometimes it's the people no one can imagine anything of who do the things no one can imagine."


Monday, 10 December 2018

Festively sluggish.

Did you get wind of these illuminated leopard slugs which are currently lighting up the outside of The Tate?

These are the work of Monster Chetwynds and you can see them until 25th February.

However, if mighty molluscs aren't to your taste how about this teeny weeny finger nail sized snail which I saw for the first time last week on a sculpture which has stood in the town centre since 1994 [and only then because the local society flagged it up]. This denotes the work of sculptor Terrence Clark and is tucked away out of sight.

Perhaps not quite as cute as the work of Robert Thompson aka the Mouseman of Kilburn, York🐭, but I liked it.🐌


Thursday, 6 December 2018

S-naff-LING a bargain.

At 52 years old am I allowed to admit that I've harboured a secret wish to own a naff Christmas jumper for some time now? Lord only knows why as it's a million miles away from my normal taste, but once in a while I like to go rogue. On my brief forays into retail outlets I've seen some examples which are rather classy and upmarket [with a price tag to match], but surely that misses the point? By it's very nature shouldn't the intention behind it to be as non serious and naff as possible?

As you might imagine I'm too mean to squander my hard earnt wonga on a new I have just quietly bided my time waiting for another soul to tire of theirs or want a different one. I dug deep today and parted with three hundred pennies in order to purchase this lovely...I am sure TYM will delighted to accompany his aged parent sporting this ensemble during the festive period!! Perhaps a visit to him at work will not be on the cards👿


Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Getting the chimney swept.

If you live in an older property and are expecting a rather plump fellow in a red jacket to climb down it later in the month, you might just want to get it swept before the big day.

Why might you ask? Well it could be harbouring a little secret like this....

A row of three cottages in East Sussex were found to be hiding a huge cache of worn out boots and shoes in and around the chimney space. It seems that at one time [if Wikipedia is to be believed!] witches were drawn to the human scent of the footwear and once they'd had a nose they'd be trapped inside the boots with no means of escape forever more. The practice died out in the nineteenth century. [seen at the Weald and Downland Museum]


Tuesday, 4 December 2018

A Street Calendar

When the TYM was a small person I bought him a few of those chocolate filled advent calendars to start with, but soon opted for a fabric one with pockets that I could fill for him instead. Mind you the little toad used to scarfe down all the sweeties at high speed....there was never any spreading them out over the 24 days as intended! In a perpetual bid to keep my buying down I have streamlined my festive consumption year on year and this one of the first things I culled.

How delighted I am then to discover that in the classiest road in the town centre the homeowners have all come together and co-ordinated an advent window for each day for everyone passing by to enjoy. These are the first four days....I shall return to photograph more in a few days time. Just to clarify day one was inside our local museum. I haven't been trespassing! Father Christmas was built by the volunteers and he posts the letters.

As you might imagine this is right up my street!


Monday, 3 December 2018

The Magic Faraway Tree

Sitting quietly at the top hill away from the main thorough fares and adult eyes this sits quietly.

The innately curious little people, who still believe in the magic of the world, may explore further and discover its secret....

For hidden within its bole this sits waiting to be found.....

Who knows where it might lead you if, like Alice in Wonderland, you could shrink yourself down and go through the fairy portal at the base....

This utterly gorgeous tree is part of the children's play area at the top of the Weald and Downland Museum in West Sussex. I took great delight in photographing the dragons there last year, but walked past this totally oblivious. We were back dancing at the annual Tree Dressing event.



"Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision." Salvador Dali This is the ...