Friday 30 August 2019

Frou Frou Friday

I went into a pet shop and asked for 12 bees. The shopkeeper counted out 13 and handed them over.

"You've given me one too many,"

"That one is a freebie"

And on that high note hope you all have a good weekend.


Thursday 29 August 2019


Aah a lovely thatched cottage....doesn't that just make you think romantically of chocolate box villages. Even better if it's got a "something" on this case a squirrel on the Isle of Wight.

Historically this type of roofing posed a great fire risk, especially in areas of high population density and it was banned completely in London in 1212 for this very reason. There is however, a rather famous building with a thatched roof.

When The Globe was rebuilt it took them eight years to get permission to build it with this roof and even then it was only on the proviso that they had a water sprinkling system fitted within it. Probably sensible, as our tour guide told us that the original one burnt down after a rather over enthusiastic prop man let off a canon during a performance of "The Merry Wives of Windsor"....the roof caught alight and the rest is history as they say!


Tuesday 27 August 2019

Following the wildlife trail.

2019 is the "year of culture" in the Horsham District, so there's been a plethora of events and unveiling of new projects. The sound of a new wildlife trail in Pulborough particularly appealed so I invited Ice Badger along to give it a whirl.

The walk is linear with waymarkers each marked with information about a specific animal or bird. The only thing I would say is you need a decent phone because all the info is on a free app you need to download and it's very power hungry. It wouldn't have been possible if we'd had to rely on my stone age mobile!

That said it's a mine of wonderful dragonfly nymphs breathe through their bottoms and you get the beautiful views across the RSPB wild brooks. That's the river Adur which goes down to Chichester.

To be frank we didn't spend a lot of our time wild life watching per se [there was important things to do like Gossiping and Eating Cake!], but we did spot a few bits in passing. Tansy [featured last week] was a new flower along with this Gipsywort.

This sculpture is by a local chap called Jon Edgar. It's called Trisantonis meaning The Trespassor and records the Roman invasion of the area [there are various remains nearby and the whole village runs along a Roman road called Stane Street]. The female figure represents a river goddess. Since seeing an all rounder sculpture in Christchurch I've found I'm rather partial to these ones which have different details running all round the sides.

The last few images are things that I enjoyed en route. After I got home I discovered that the chap with the glasses was commissioned by his widow who was the erstwhile owner of the house. They were not connected to the now defunct Allfrey Builders company.


Monday 26 August 2019

By order of the Peaky Blinders

It's been one of those weekends of odds and jobs. Painting, raspberry picking, runner bean processing, cat food pouch sorting [7500 sent off at the last count with proceeds to a local school] mixed in with a recycling meeting of the three of us who now coordinate the Sussex Green Living schemes [its popularity has gone through the roof]...we've called ourselves the Horsham Wombles and a BBQ thrown in for good measure. In between whiles I've snatched a snooze or seven.

What this leaves me with is naff all in terms of blog material, but heck when has that ever stopped me! This beautiful little moth was sitting on our car. It was only the size of my fingernail and I think it's what's known as a micro moth [that said I'm no expert]. Looking at photos online it might be a mint moth.

Ah yes and Peaky Blinders. This premiered on 12th September 2013 and I watched my first episode on Saturday 24th August. Loved it, but am going to have some serious watching to catch up just as they're about to start showing series 5. Always late to the party and no I haven't yet watched any GOT either!


Friday 23 August 2019

As if by magic.

Somebody commented on social media about how they were returning to using a fountain pen and ink and it really stirred something deep inside me. Now I'm of an age where we were expected to write with ink pens at school. Granted not always ideal.....those inky fingers and smudging. For my poor left handed sister I know they were a nightmare, but I really did prefer writing with one despite the convenience of the Bic biro. Confiding in Mr GBT of my desire to have my own pen once again I returned from work to find this......

Bless him...Mr GBT had rummaged around in his man drawer and found his old Parker pen which he hasn't used since he was a teen. Bearing in mind he's now 60 I filled it with my newly purchased ink and it wrote first time. Quality! The intention is to use this along side more modern writing implements and as another small way of decreasing our reliance on single use plastics.

Anyway hope your weekend isn't a write off!


Thursday 22 August 2019

Fairy Buttons

You probably recognise this flower by its more common name of Tansy and my friend IceBadger and I came across it on our recent walk [more on that in a future post]. It's also called Bitter Buttons and this alludes to its taste....tansy was added to Lenten cakes to remind people of the suffering of Christ in the run up to Easter.

Since Grecian times this distinctive disc shaped flower has been associated with immortality. It was used to embalm bodies and the seeds were mixed with caraway in biscuits served at funerals in Yorkshire.

One its primary uses right up until modern times has been as a repellent. It was dried and strewn in the Middle Ages to deter insects and used specifically in public places such as churches in times of plague. During the 1940s it was mixed with pennyroyal, fleabane and alcohol to stop you from being bitten by mosquitoes.

As for me....I was just pleased to see it!


Wednesday 21 August 2019

Pearl Barley

We stayed with one of my old school friends a couple of months ago and she made us the most delicious chicken and pearl barley casserole for supper. Pearly barley has never really been on the radar before, but I have now invested 50 of my hard earned groats in a bag of my own.

Now what to use it for? Over the weekend I made my first ever batch of lemon barley water. In a bid to cut out unnecessary plastic from our lives I stopped buying cordial some time ago. Using this recipe it was deemed a success by the family board of testers here at GBT. It's on the sharp side, but that suits my personal taste and gives me another product I can make for myself.

Next I think I shall be trying out a risotto recipe and then who knows I might go wild and venture into the realms of trying a pearl barley soup when the weather is a little cooler. The world really is my oyster😁 It makes a good addition to my thrifty larder.

If you have any favourite ways of using this stuff I'd love to hear your from you.


Tuesday 20 August 2019

One Tuesday Morning.

Day off...long overdue trip into town needed...lots of errands to run. Heck why not do my best to enjoy the sunshine and inject a bit of fun in between the grunt work by snapping a few shots in passing. Nothing special, but just capturing the ever changing face of the town centre.

Temporary Horsham. There's currently a selection of hearts in the town which is part of a larger trail which goes across parts of Sussex and into Surrey. They're in aid of the local hospice and will be auctioned off to raise funds. Likewise our bandstand has been yarnbombed as part of a campaign highlighting the problem of plastic in our oceans. All the knitting was done by the Sussex Green Living volunteers. This sort of thing is so fleeting that I have to capture the images before it all disappears again.

Old Horsham. It's easy to miss this delicate decoration high up above the shop fronts in our main street. It looks rather like a piece of Wedgwood Jasperware with the blue and elegant white detailing. The Scotch Wool sign has just reappeared as this particular building is being refitted before a new business moves in. The company stopped trading in the town in the early 1970s and it's remarkable how well it's survived. It won't be long before it is covered up once again.

New Horsham.  A couple of rather stylish new notice boards have appeared and we have just gained one of these amazing living walls. There have been some rumblings locally about the cost of this, but I feel it must be a positive to help our beleaguered insects.

Random Horsham. This object is currently on show in our local museum as part of the exhibition they're holding. I presumed it was some sort of pub game....indeed it is and is called toad in the hole!🐸

I thought that I had better round off my little trip with a pot of tea and teacake. Well it's important that we support the independent cafes isn't it now. That was my excuse anyway!


Monday 19 August 2019

Tales from beyond the grave.

One of the absolute best things about blogging for me is taking photos of things that I don't necessarily either understand or know anything about at the time, but then unravelling the stories or the history behind them when I get home. These were my favourite snippets when I popped into Steyning as part of my day out with chum E recently.

I have seen these type of graves all over the place or more precisely I have seen them and then dismissed them as not of interest. Probably just represented a style which was fashionable for a time I guessed.

It wasn't until somebody commented online that they're called body stones that I looked into them a bit more. Now I know that they were another deterrent to stop the body snatchers. They were an expensive option and thus sadly only available to those with the financial means to afford them.

Now I don't know about you, but if I was the local master stone mason I'd blooming well want the swankiest gravestone in the place. It seems Daniel Easton who died in 1791 had the very same thought and no expense was spared. Even over 200 years on after his headstone has suffered from weather he still has the most magnificently carved example. One wonders whether it might even have been carved by his own fair hand before he shuffled off his mortal coil. If he did indeed go down that path it would at least be guaranteed that he got exactly what he wanted! Please do double click on the image if you want to see the carvings in more detail.


Friday 16 August 2019


"When somebody does something wrong don't forget all the things they did right."

I saw this recently on a postcard and it made me ponder.

Have a good weekend!


Thursday 15 August 2019

Hotch potch.

High winds, threatened deluges and a bathroom to be painted.....naturally I was disciplined and picked up the paintbrush...did I heck.....I went out "gallivanting" with my chum E as she calls it. The bathroom got done the following day😇

We went out without a plan. E likes to go with the flow and see what turns up....lots as a matter of fact. This caught our eye as we were driving along the marvellously named Spithandle Lane. It's a back road in our district, but not one I know. She's driven along it many times, but this was new to her too, so she turned round so we could take a closer look.

This fountain marks Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, but it seems to have either been built from or repaired using a marvellous muddle of different bits of masonry with its lopsided Horsham stone cap. It sits quietly on the roadside and I have discovered that it's sited upon a natural spring. Rather unimaginatively it's called the Lion's Mouth Fountain

More tales to follow in due course....I must get back to wielding that dratted paintbrush!


Wednesday 14 August 2019


I don't know about you, but whenever I've seen photos or footage of Dungeness it's looked wild and the end of the earth. What I didn't expect to find was that it was buzzing with people pottering around enjoying the delights of the pub/cafes or the art studios. I guess that's down to it being the clement time of year and only being a few miles away from Lydd and Camber Sands! Return in November and I'm sure it would be bleak. This was the final part of what Mr GBT chose to do for his 60th birthday weekend.

For this set of photos Mr GBT had to be my eyes...there was no way I was climbing the old lighthouse. This one was opened in 1904 by the Prince of Wales. Its replacement can be seen in the second image which was put into service in 1961 and fully automated in 1991.

Some of the views from the top- am rather partial to those snazzy red chimneys on top of the white houses.

For anybody who likes a geeky fact or three [me!] this is the great lens which weighs about 3 tons. Its light shone out  at 20 million candle-power and it could be seen 20 miles away.

Some of the homes. On that particular Sunday the pub car park was full of vintage cars. I quite like the effect of the colour of the cars picking up the colours nearby. Purely accidental of course!

What struck me the most though was the abandoned rusting metal objects and the boats just quietly disintegrating. I found it strangely moving

Although my natural inclination is always to head inland, I really relished this unusual coastal landscape.


The Knight of the Garter Stitch

 In my time I've come across knights made from stone and wood, but this is my first encounter with a knitted knight. We came upon this f...