Friday 31 January 2020

On the A Board

Just love it when businesses use humour to entice you in. On a grey Saturday this amused me outside one of our local cafes!

Have a good weekend!


Thursday 30 January 2020

Millennium Art

Two stained glass windows in different churches by different artists, but both celebrating the Millennium. Both deserve closer inspection because when I got home and looked at my photos carefully I discovered both had unexpected details I missed when I was there. It seems the art of the church window is more deserving of my attention.

"The River of Life" by R J Lloyd is in All Hallows, Tillington. I am very taken with the restricted colours he's used by omitting the reds etc and particularly love all those little hidden extras which pay homage to the surrounding South Downs. The seedheads stole my heart.

"St Laurence" by P M Martin is in the church of the same name in Lurgashall. This one is set up really high and I couldn't make out much with the naked eye. I took a photo in the hopes that it might come out.

Imagine my delight later on when I found that the left hand panel has a squirrel, rabbit, a rather oversized duck, chaps playing cricket and a young boy who's a dead spit for a young Daniel Radcliffe playing Harry Potter. Such a shame that its treasures go many unnoticed. If you double click the picture below you can see the content more easily.

This is the final post from my little Sussex exploration with E a couple of weeks ago.


Wednesday 29 January 2020

A change of plan.

Yesterday I completely changed my mind about what I was going to do on my day off and decided to go down to visit Nurse L.  She's been having a bit a time of it lately and I thought perhaps a trip out to a place of her choosing might at least give her a break from everything that's been going on.

With the promise of beautiful weather Nurse L opted for a bracing walk along the beach at Climping. Left to my own devices I would naturally always head inland as I'm a bit of a landlubber at heart, but there's something absolutely magical about having the beach to ourselves all bar the local dogwalkers. We stopped and chatted to various canines and their owners, but my favourite by a country mile was a huge 22 month old Irish wolfhound called Conor. The lady said that it's her 9th one and his name means "lover of hounds". He was absolutely gorgeous, but thought he was Pekingese size which is a bit of problem when he comes bounding over to make friends. Apparently he's currently going through the terrible twos.

I just snapped a few shots as we wandered along. The little beach hut library was just behind the sea wall in a Golden Jubilee garden in Elmer. We happened across it when we were nosing about for a sheltered spot to have our coffee.

It was good to blow away the cobwebs and leave any troubles behind for a while.


Tuesday 28 January 2020


Tillington is a small village off the A272 which is a route I take regularly. Every time I see the Scots Crown spire [it's the most southerly example apparently] of the parish church as I whizz past I think to myself that one day I will make a detour and look to see what's there.

Friend E and I have now rectified the situation and added to our Sussex explorations a few days ago. I'm so glad we did as it was well worth the pitstop. It's full of charming buildings and little quirky bits and bobs.

An excellent upcycle of a wheelbarrow and Singer Sewing machine treadle table all nicely rounded off with deer skull 

Now I've heard of zebra, pelican and puffin crossings, but one for cats is a new one on me. Let's hope the drivers heed the warning and that the moggies get across the road safely.

This poor chap to one side of the church door has lost his snout. This could be down to wear and tear, but I have heard tales of noses being eroded over time as people rubbed them for good luck before getting hitched.

There is a rather wonderful selection of old tombstones now propped up all around the perimeter of the churchyard and a wavy bench which records the walks Jack and Dorothy Holloway undertook to raised money for the Poppy Appeal. It's rather touching that their efforts have been permanently marked in such a way.

Now the photos belie the weather....clear and bright 'twas indeed, but flipping freezing too I might add with the only street acting as a very effective and rather nippy wind tunnel. To defrost ourselves it seemed only apt to pay a visit to the local hostelry. Sadly only a cuppa was imbibed this time, but I enjoyed rounding it all off with my first ever taxidermy boar's head and a man cave. Mr GBT needn't be getting any ideas above his station when it comes to the latter!!

Hope you enjoyed our quick twirl...I'll add a bit more meat to the bones of our little adventure tomorrow.


Monday 27 January 2020


This time of year it's traditionally the quiet time in the world of Morris....a time to review all aspects of what we do. Whilst others in Mythago are updating the dances and music I and others have got together to replace the element kits in our Greenman story. The originals have done very well, but they are 20+ years old and unlikely to last another season.

Last Sunday four of us came together to share ideas and discuss how we could move our project forward. The bottom line was that the four kits needed to work together as a whole, but there should be room left within that for individual artistic expression. As the organiser of the meeting I was a little apprehensive, but incredibly we all had similar ideas and we made fabulous progress. Emerging with a clear plan everyone has got busy this week tracking down suitable fabrics and trimmings [I'd already bought the masks and caps to start us off]. This is us coming together this Sunday with a whole heap of oohing and aahing over what we'd found. There's sparkly things, sequins, different textures, iridescent paints, threads, notions, buttons and wools of many hues. Such a lovely thing to be doing on a wet grey day and all ably assisted by Clover, Fudge and Misty the cats!

Having coveted many beautiful things the others took up their paintbrushes and have now completed the masks. This really isn't my department so I made drinks and wielded scissors prepping and sewing for the next stage. We've all been set our homework for the week and then next Sunday we should be starting to make the tatter fronts and attaching tatters to the heads....exciting times. I'm sworn to secrecy until the big reveal is done in front of the side all at the same time, but I promise I'll share once protocol has been observed!


Friday 24 January 2020

The Magpie

You might have watched the recent remake of Worzel Gummidge [I loved the original and this version equally] and enjoyed the soundtrack. I now know it to be the Unthanks band who are new to me. This is their haunting rendition of "Magpie".

Hope you have a relaxing weekend.

Thursday 23 January 2020

Mystery object

One in a very occasional series. Anyone want to hazard a guess? Answer tomorrow!


PS It's an egg whisk and icecream freezer from 1927.

Wednesday 22 January 2020

The Resurrection Stone

This rather oversized stone sits quietly in the porch of St Laurence's Lurgashall [the one on top is part of an old font]. You might think it was just a bit of leftover masonry or part of a gravestone. It has a somewhat darker history though. For a fee you could hire this stone to be placed upon the freshly dug grave of your loved ones. It would prevent the resurrectionists from snatching the corpse and selling it for dissection. There's a lot to be learnt about social history as well as religion within our churches.


Tuesday 21 January 2020

"Arthur Rackham trees"

That's how my friend E described the ancient and magnificent trees we came across at Benbow Pond in West Sussex when we were out on our latest adventure. This is what we saw.......

One of two very venerable old sessile oaks. As a child I would have loved to have been able to go right through the middle of this one.

This one however, is its more famous sibling and was recognised as one of the fifty "Great British Trees" by the Tree Council as part of the Queen's Golden Jubilee Celebration. It's called the Elizabeth I oak because legend has it that her Majesty stood next to it, bow and arrow at the ready to shoot a stag as it was driven towards her. She missed! It's estimated that it's between 800 and 1000 years old and the third oldest sessile oak in the country.

Here's one of Arthur Rackham's tree illustrations [one of the few copyright free ones I could find online] for comparison.

Interestingly Rackham lived in West Sussex for several years and not a million miles away from here. I wonder if he ever came across these and used them for inspiration?


Monday 20 January 2020

Burger Queen

The words "I'm going to make burgers" is enough to send Mr GBT running for the hills. Judging by my past explosions when undertaking such ventures he probably never wanted to hear the combination of "burgers" and my name in the same sentence again, but I saw this one through. No tantrums and they tasted rather good.

 As you can see I made 6 burgers and added extra flour to make the mix easier to handle. They definitely didn't need any extra water. This is one of Jack Monroe's recipes. I bought one of her books from the charity shop for £1.49 several months ago, but hadn't used it. Thought I should at least attempt something before I passed it on and am now converted. As ever I am late to the party and her blog wasn't on the radar, but here's the recipe


Friday 17 January 2020

Dry January

In 2019 Mr GBT and I undertook another "Dry January". Our motivation was to support TYM who was doing it alongside the other members of his uni running club. We soldiered on and made it through only to discover a few days ago our son had fallen off the wagon within three days. No staying power!! Anyway there's none of that nonsense going on this year. This is my new type of "Dry January" 😀

This rather dry humoured take on the whole affair is currently to be seen on the outside of one of the town centre pubs!


Thursday 16 January 2020

Appreciate a dragon day.

So were you aware that today is "Appreciate a dragon day" today? No me neither until very recently.  There are various suggestions to how you can celebrate our fire breathing friend.....reading appropriate books, drawing them, watching films. I thought I might have to go back through the archives to find a suitable image, but thankfully the powers that be were looking kindly upon me and introduced me to this new fellow only last weekend.

There's no great age to him, but I was tickled pink to find him [so nearly missed him!] in the small Sussex village of Lurgashall.  Occasionally I get wind of these rather odd themed days or even weeks. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to them, but should you have a burning desire to see which special day it is on any given date you can now check for yourself here It could be a godsend on a slow blogging day!


Wednesday 15 January 2020

The weather outside is frightful....

...But the light of the lamp delightful...yes we may not have a roaring fire here at GBT, but we do have this new light that my parents bought us for Christmas which casts the most beautiful sunset coloured glow in our dark, north facing room.

There is little doubt that the weather was veering towards the hideous yesterday, but it was my day off and I needed to get the barnet neatened up. Having checked the forecast, I set off dressed for the expected conditions and despite having caught the rain managed to miss the wind that blew in later.  For my own wellbeing I am doing my best not to write off days just because it's grim outside, so I carried out a little test to see if I could still come home feeling upbeat if I donned my home tourist head.

This Millennium mosaic is in one of the underpasses [done by Jane Sybilla Fordham and Lisa Finch] and hand on heart all I ever do is walk past it. Today I thought perhaps I should actually take a sec and look at or two people who passed me gave me a rather strange look at this rather weird woman taking photos on a wet Tuesday morning! A welcome splash of colour in amongst all that grey.

Once again I sought shelter in the museum [a favourite haunt of mine] and have apparently managed to walk straight past this rather large exhibit without seeing it. It's a sweet making machine and belonged to a local Victorian confectioner called Alfred Potter.

This is one of a set of earthenware figurines depicting the Sussex tradition of trug making. Little is known about the maker Alan Lainchbury. It dates from the 1970s

These two fellows were local pie sellers [painted by F Burstow in 1850]. The chap on the right is John Hamilton Smith and the one in the smock is Charley Price aka "Patch Price".

Let's just say Price was rather a notorious chap in our town back in the day. He spent his time flogging his wares alongside Charlotte Venn aka "Cherry Ripe" [her son was an infamous murderer] at the local fairs. The two of them spent much of their time drunk and he was the last person to be put in the stocks. According to a book of reminiscences by Henry Burstow Price would cause trouble for his well-to-do sister when he'd run out of funds by shouting drunken obscenities outside her house using words "hot enough to make Satan jump." She'd fling money out of the bedroom window just to get rid of the old devil. Not someone I'd want to meet on a dark night.

I think I was pretty successful in enjoying my day despite the wet stuff!


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...