Friday 31 May 2019


Ouch that's got to hurt! Seen in the Temple church London. Have a fabulous weekend.

Thursday 30 May 2019

Recharging your batteries.

[Image from Pixabay]

Over the years we've moved over to rechargeable batteries wherever possible. Less recycling, more reuse etc. We had some more arrive yesterday as Mr GBT has tweaked his amp for his mandolin so that he can use them rather than the standard ones. After he'd opened his parcel he pottered downstairs brandishing a scrap of paper with some teensy, tiny writing on it.

"Put your heart, mind and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success."
Swami Sivananda

I've popped it into my glasses case for safekeeping. Not what I was expecting, but a charming surprise.


Wednesday 29 May 2019


Frankly it's not everyday my friend tells me that I've just been "gongoozling"! And there was I thinking I was just innocently watching a narrow boat in the lock on the local Wey and Arun Canal. There really is a verb for every lovely chum Ice Badger and I were enjoying a couple of hours gently strolling along the banks drinking in the beauty of this local green spot near us.

At the moment IB is in training for a charity walk she's undertaking later in the year. This route has been one she's done on a near weekly basis since January and she's been amazed at just how much more you notice when you're revisiting the same spot on a regular basis. It's particularly been the changing seasons she's enjoyed with every month offering something different. Now the banks have burst forth with an abundance of wild flowers.

There's no other word for it...these young bullocks were definitely posing for us over the fence! We obliged and captured their best side for posterity.

Unable to resist the temptation we took a diversion from the tow path to investigate this mill. Nosiness pays...we'd have missed this enamelled sign otherwise. It will come as no surprise that I immediately picked up the smaller details running along the top and bottom edges!

However, we didn't stop and relax on this bench this time despite its kind invitation to do so. The pub garden was calling us too loudly on this occasion I am afraid!

The canal, along with its locks and bridges, has been undergoing a restoration by volunteers since 1970. The project is ongoing and ultimately the aim is to reopen the whole length.


Tuesday 28 May 2019

Buzzing in,

If you are a bee or a bug who is lucky enough to reside at Charlecote Park you get the chance to move into a des res like this one.

If you are a bee or bug who resides at GBT accommodation is available, but a little more on the modest side.

Mr GBT put this up on Saturday and I am really genuinely excited to say I saw a bee in it by Monday morning! I think we'll put more up as we go along as space permits. As I've mentioned before, we aim to garden organically with as many insect friendly plants as possible. Despite it being a very small garden there's lots of little critters and the bees have been busy working their magic. Our tiny apple tree is absolutely laden and the flowers are putting on a lovely show.


Monday 27 May 2019

Word of the week.


I have learnt that it means a symbol of a pointing hand highlighting information. There really is a word for everything isn't there! This sign is in Chester.


Friday 24 May 2019

Thank You Mr Betjeman!

We happened to come across this pub by chance on our trip up into London earlier this week. It's the Black Friar and stands on the site of a former Dominican priory. Designed by the architect H Fuller-Clark and the artist Henry Poole, I've now read that it is famous for its quirky Art Nouveau exterior and interior. During the 1960s during a period of expansion and changing tastes the building faced demolition. Thankfully Sir John Betjeman stepped forward and led a successful campaign to save it. Another time perhaps I'll have time to pop in for a pint now I know it's there. Just a few snaps to give you a taster.

Hope you all have a good weekend. Am planning a walk with Ice Badger and I sincerely hope to include wine drinking in my activities at some point!


Thursday 23 May 2019

Resistance is futile.

Actually if you're asking me [which you're probably not] I think I prefer this version which I came across last week!

"Resistance is fertile"


Wednesday 22 May 2019

Everyday Heroes

Postman's Park was opened in the City of London in 1880. It's one of those little green oases that you stumble upon when you wander off the beaten track. It was sunny and people were quietly sitting on the grass and benches relaxing. It gets it name because it used to be a popular lunch spot with the employees of the old General Post Office nearby.

Off to one side is a shelter with the back wall lined with glazed Doulton plaques commemorating everyday heroic acts of bravery and sacrifice which would otherwise have faded from memory. The scheme was the brainchild of the artist G F Watts [he of the Watts Memorial Chapel] and his ceramicist wife Mary. Watt was a well known socialist and a champion of the ordinary person. In his lifetime 13 memorials were put up and his widow added a further 34. There was a hiatus until 2009 when one dedicated to the selfless Leigh Pitt who saved a drowning boy, but tragically lost his own life on 7th June 2007 joined them. 

The whole gallery of tablets makes for sobering reading, but its very understated nature adds to the dignity of recording the actions of these incredible people.


Tuesday 21 May 2019

Feeling devilish!

I was on a break between dance sets, so set off at a fast pace to see if I could track down the water fountain behind the cathedral in Winchester and take a few shots....of course, I didn't find it because it was at the Great Hall! What a ninny....however, as I headed back to the others I overheard a woman rather sniffily say to her friend "Wherever I go today all I hear is bells!"....well that's kind of what you have to expect if it's the city's annual day of Morris dance. Her friend's reply made me feel quite devilish....

"Yes I know. It's SO annoying isn't it!" I simply couldn't resist giving the bells round my ankles an extra vigorous shake as I walked past👿

Despite all that we were privileged to be able to perform in the Great Hall. It's an incredible space with fabulous acoustics. It's not often that we don't need to amp up to make our big, noisy presence known. We were in our element. A few photos....not the best quality I'm afraid, but my dear little camera was struggling.

Details from the incredible huge gates built to mark Charles and Diana's wedding and the famous round table. It dates to the late 13th century, but was painted in the reign of Henry VIII...naturally he has ensured that he's been placed right at the centre. Being a bit of a heathen, I can help but be slightly reminded of a huge dartboard. I guess that's scotched any chance of me working for the Hampshire tourist board then!


Monday 20 May 2019

Queen Eleanor's Garden

There is only the Great Hall and these few walls remaining of Winchester Castle.

Not a lot to go on really when the decision was taken to construct an accurate 13th century garden in memory of Queen Eleanor of Provence and wife of Henry III and her daughter-in-law Queen Eleanor of Castile, wife of Edward I. Both Queens lived at the castle. The specialists turned to the manuscripts and descriptions of the other contemporary Royal castles for inspiration and detail.

The garden is built on the original front of the Great Hall and uses the plants of the time which are mainly grown in this country. The holly, ivy and bay represent the Medieval virtue of faithfulness and the rosemary, columbine and strawberry aspects of the Christian spirituality

Although tiny, it has a wonderful ambiance and fits in perfectly with the ancient building which stands next to it. The seats are copies of ones within the Hall, there's a wall turf seat which would have been a common feature of the time and this wonderful fountain has details based upon a tomb and carvings from within Winchester Cathedral and the nearby Hospital of St Cross.

Had somebody not flagged this up very recently on FB I'd have missed this little gem on our fleeting visit on Saturday. That would not have been the first time was opened by the Queen in 1986 as part of the 900 year old anniversary celebrations of the Domesday Book. Back then I was studying in the city and I remember being taken to the exhibition in the Great Hall by my parents, but I have no memory of this at all. Typical student eh!


Shropshire Church Crawling Gems

Sifting through all the photos from my annual holiday church crawl, I've picked out these which I hope people find to be of interest. It...