Friday 29 May 2020

If this time.

My lovely friend Arty L sent me this...I haven't been able to meet up with her because she's up in London, but we have enjoyed long weekly chats on Whatsapp about all sorts. This is "If this time" by Kevin McCormack. Powerful words and beautiful images


PS I saw this rose in someone's front garden...I just couldn't resist taking a photo of it!

Thursday 28 May 2020

The Thrifty Times Issue Nine

Well these posts are getting a little shorter I'm afraid as my spare time starts to lessen. For the first time I have been able to meet a friend....we took a drink each and sat in the churchyard up the road from her house socially distancing. It was a bit weird, but did feel like a tiny hopeful green shoot.

The garden is blooming away. Our orange pom pom buddleia is literally buzzing with life as it's smothered in all sorts of bees and other nectar loving insects. Mr GBT tells me that we now have kale seedlings and we have now sussed why the the two bird feeders have ended up on the ground again with their contents liberally scattered. The first time we thought it was due to high winds, but this time I caught a naughty crow [I love corvids, but they are a bit thuggish sometimes!] crashing into the feeding station sideways which sent it all flying. Two wooden pegs are now secured over the hanging hooks so that can't happen again!

Lots more wine making here...Mr GBT went a-wandering on a couple of evenings to pick some of the local elderflowers which are now nicely bubbling away in the demijohn and he's just bottled the contents of a couple of other ones. TYM has developed a taste for our home made wine and happily helps us to slurp though a bottle on a Friday night. The takings from his delivery job have increased steadily and now he's finished uni he's got more time to do it...he's promised to buy his aged parents a bottle of vino now he's more flush. Shall look forwards to that one then!

Still plugging away at cleaning the kitchen cupboards....have got a whole bag of dried chickpeas still in date which comes under the category "daft purchase". I don't have a pressure cooker so when you do the maths it's going to cost me more in fuel than buying the tins of them....enter stage left one very good veggie friend with a pressure cooker.....guess where they're being rehomed. Have also been the lucky recipient of another of my Mum's declutterings....really enjoyed wearing this new-to-me necklace over the weekend. She's also spoilt me by giving me a copy of Jack Monroe's "Tin Can Cook" book which I look forwards to dipping into and trying out some of her recipes over the coming weeks.

Much to my joy look what turned up this week from Superdrug.....

In the flesh it's actually the colour of a pink highlighter pen, but fear not I'm not walking around looking like a luminous nightmare from the 1980s. A little goes a very long way and I've found that the smallest blob when combed through gives a much darker shade close to the normal pink foils I have. The beauty of this is it just washes out and all for the princely sum of £3.99. It's going to last me ages at this rate. I've always fancied having a bit of green or blue in my hair, but not the hassle of getting it bleached first. Maybe I might go wild and invest in a pot of green later on down the line😆 If all fails there's always this option....perhaps not!!

For a final freebie....lots of films there. Can't comment on what's there as am just the messenger

Until next time!


Wednesday 27 May 2020

Green spending.

Yes literally leftover Christmas money from my lovely clients spent on this rather splendid collection of green things...the little green things came free with my order. More fabulous greenmen to adorn the walls of GBT and yet another chance to support a local Sussex company.

Now I might have had a major splurge [I went a massive 75 pennies over on the amount I'd been given😈], but I'm not going to pay £15 post and packaging if they trade within a short journey of my home and offer the opportunity to go and pick your items up by prearranged appointment. It was in a lovely setting and with their permission I was allowed to take these photos.

The company were very efficient and their prices were very competitive. For anyone interested in what else they make their details are here

Both TYM and Mr GBT are delighted to be welcoming a new crop of oddities to GBT!!


Tuesday 26 May 2020

Made in Sussex.

We were just out of area on Saturday morning running An Exciting Errand [more tomorrow!], so whilst in the neighbourhood I thought it would be rather rude not to pay another visit to St Mary Magdalene's Church in Bolney. Since the last time I paid a flying visit as part of an organised walk I have learnt a little more history about its rather impressive double width lychgate which was built in 1905.

The entire thing is built of Sussex materials from its oak frame through to its Sussex "marble" [not really marble, but called so because of how well it polishes up] aka winklestone and that Horsham Stone promised in yesterday's post!!

However, of most interest to me is the reputed reuse of the timber from the village smockmill that once stood on the common. Certainly its millstones have been put to excellent decorative effect either side of the gate. The local vineyard now makes a wine called "Lychgate" in honour of this local landmark.

Whilst nosing around I noticed lots of these rather odd diamond shaped stone finials on the corners of lots of the graves. They rang a bell and being sure I'd read some juicy snippet about them quite recently, I took a photo of them to remind me to look it up.

As it turns out I had taken a photo of something noteworthy, but for all the wrong reasons! These oh so exciting stones turned out to be unique to the churchyard and are very imaginatively called "Bolney stones". Had I been a good explorer and done my research beforehand I would have understood that what I was looking at was actually one of several examples of a barrel gravestone. Although this type of grave appears in many places, these ones are especially significant because they are so early. They date from the 1600s and it is suspected that they may have been for the then local dignitaries. Had I been au fait with this information I might have taken a group shot!! However, it is highly unlikely that I will change the way I do things because it strips away some of the spontaneity and fun of finding things!


Monday 25 May 2020

Keeping it local.

We decided to be brave and venture out for a walk in the local countryside on Sunday. Although we saw some other people, everyone was observing social distancing and we had deliberately avoided the places which would attract large groups of people. For us it was a new route and really rather delightful. I stood drinking in the views greedily and taking photos of all the beautiful things I saw so that I could continue to enjoy them when I got home.

Across the fields and into the woods.

Due to us having stayed within the town for the past two months I have made the most of the wild flowers that I have glimpsed in the verges, but it was such a joy to see the hedgerows bursting forth. There was a whole bank of comfrey literally buzzing with bees and the most welcome saffron and tangerine coloured Chicken of the Woods fungi.

We circumnavigated several farms or former farm buildings. The grain store was rather splendid I thought!

However, my building of the day prize has to go to this one.....beautiful stonework and what is that hole and shelf under the eave for....I am guessing either bats or an owl maybe all perfectly topped off with a steam engine themed weather vane.

The final part of our walk took us back past the Horsham Stone Quarry. This has been used since Roman times and one of its enduring qualities is that it can be split into tiles. For that reason many local churches and older houses have Horsham Stone roofs....tomorrow I will show you a smaller example of its use.

This might sound slightly odd, but because none of this walk was familiar to me it rather felt like I was away on holiday exploring....a rather delicious feeling to enjoy for a couple of hours!


Friday 22 May 2020

Floral Friday

"I'd rather have flowers in my hair than diamonds round my neck."

All these beautiful blooms were in the churchyard that we visited last weekend. Cultivated sat cheek by jowl with their wild companions and many areas of the grass have been left unmown to allow them to thrive.


Thursday 21 May 2020

The Thrifty Times Issue Eight

A return to work for me has slowed down our doings a little, but still lots of ideas and projects underway or in the pipeline.

At the start of all this business I had visions of totally deep cleaning the house and really sorting out every nook and cranny which normally escapes my notice. I have found a couple of things I have apparently never cleaned [not part of your everyday cleaning in my defence], but here we are and I've still not finished. Am gradually going through the kitchen a cupboard at a time. The other thing I thought was that I would be reading masses...that hasn't happened either. However, I have pottered slowly through a few books when I go to bed. Now you know me and my bleeding can never have enough and kind souls keep tempting me with boxes full of free ones they're putting out on the kerbside. Last week I succumbed....bag and gloves at the ready these came home with me and then were left in the garage for 72 hours+ before I brought them over the threshold. Think I might start with the Dawn French one as am rather fond of her.

More excitement came to us in the form of the new veg seeds that arrived. Mr GBT got to work on Sunday planting them out....this was my view of him from the kitchen window.

Meanwhile I was cooking to get the oven shelves full again....this week it was a Monday Pie and chocolate brownies made with a tin of all honesty they're surprisingly pleasant. I didn't really have very high expectations [taking an open minded approach just wasn't happening!], but the taste is good. They are more fragile than traditional brownies, but I've frozen them and we shall probably have them as a pudding. Non flour alternatives for sweet treats are very welcome at the moment and they made a good change. Recipe here

This week I've run out of blusher....did that throw for I was a teenage reader of "Jackie" and that magazine taught me all sorts of ways of getting yourself out of a tight spot. I trawled my memory for a suitable alternative and remembered the one about digging out the last dregs of an apparently near "empty" lippy and mixing it with one that I never wear as it turned out to be too pale for me. A quick blast in the microwave to soften it all and a mix with a cocktail stick and voila...this will keep me going for months. Not pretty....but then you already knew that you photos of my real life here not some photoshoppped alternative!

It's been home haircut time again this week. Every time Mr GBT trims my barnet for me a little more pink disappears. However, all is not lost....I don't want to risk a permanent colour [too lazy to deal with roots if the truth be told] so I have taken a leaf out of Vix's book and put an order in with Superdrug for toiletries we were getting low on. Part of that is a very reasonably priced pot of pink stuff you comb through your can be washed out, but will provide a suitable stopgap temporary measure until I can get it done professionally again. Phew!


Wednesday 20 May 2020

The White Lion Barn update!

Please see today's earlier post if you're wondering what the mad woman is bleating about!! A very kind lady has contacted the museum and has shared that the building dates from 1840-60 and is thought to be named after the burbage plot upon which it was built. It was used as a grain store and there's a wooden wheel and winding mechanism in the neighbouring smaller building [just out of shot]. Now I know that this is hardly earth shattering on a world stage, but right now when the media are having a field day sharing as much bad and frightening news as possible I'll take it!! It adds a layer of richness when I am able to understand what I'm looking at in my locality.


Last week's Finds

Another round up of the evening walks...we have begun to nose around a few more streets now to keep me amused!

Many of the photos were taken up with my recording of the recent celebrations of VE day 75 years ago. TYM couldn't for the life of him understand why I was so interested, but to my mind it's history and these sort of displays are so ephemeral....nothing quite says British than a line of approriately coloured laundry for a make do and mend bunting, a straw boater or two Union Jack brollies! Some of the houses along one of the town centre's hidden alleys or twittens as we call them in these 'ere parts had really gone the whole hog and put up WWII posters all the way along.

How about this for an interesting alternative planter...old piano anyone?

This lovely old building is called "White Lion Barn". I had imagined there might be some thrilling history behind the name. All I knew was that it is owned by the local council and has been used as a store for artefacts by the museum which is directly behind it. There been some mutterings that maybe it is linked to an old pub of the same name, but the more boring explanation appears to be that the white lion is simply linked to the lion rampant on the council's heraldry. If anything more exciting comes to light I will amend the details about it! Whichever way you look at it though it's a rather attractive building hidden in plain view that normally all of us bustle past without giving it so much as a second glance.

Finally a rather novel way of getting the lockdown message across.....a homemade version of Jar Jar Binks I do believe seen lounging in somebody's front garden!


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...