Monday 31 August 2020

You are stronger than you think.

 "In the midst of strife, I found there was, within me, an invincible love.
In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile.
In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm.
In the depth of Winter, I finally learned that within me, there lay an invincible Summer.
And that makes me happy, for it says, that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there's something stronger."

Albert Camus

I took the photo of this late rose yesterday when we were out exploring.



Friday 28 August 2020



Lots of my friends [both Morris dancing and otherwise] have now bought camper vans and are pinging up all over the country. I am well known for my aversion to anything canvas/camping related [or any non flushing type of loo too for that matter] and have been on the receiving end of much teasing about this over the years. I enjoyed many camping holidays as a child, but it doesn't float my boat these days as they say!

We had a holiday booked for June this year, but it's been pushed forwards to next summer. I've been pondering how we might be able to give ourselves a break without travelling too far away. If we took a week off and had a staycation I think we'd probably end up trying to catch up with jobs at home, so I dismissed that option. However, I floated the idea with Mr GBT of taking a week's worth of days off spread throughout September to give us time to come up with some ideas depending on weather etc. He's given it the thumbs up so let the planning begin! We joined English Heritage last weekend [with a 15% discount....gnat bottomed to the last!] which will give us lots of new places to explore or even revisit without a small, bouncy person in tow as on previous occasions many years ago.

Have a good weekend folks. Having said I wouldn't have a camper van I could be tempted by this little sculpture of one that was at the Farnham Sculpture Park a few weeks ago!!


Thursday 27 August 2020

Churches Conservation Trust


This is another of the shots we took at Waverley Abbey. This one is in the care of English Heritage. Several redundant churches are now preserved for all of us to enjoy including the Friends of Friendless Churches and the Churches Conservation Trust. If you have an interest in different aspects of churches [not just religious] the CCT have been running a very informative series of free lectures. Although, they are transmitted live they put the recording up on their Youtube channel for those who wish to watch at a later date. I'm down to watch one on Medieval Graffiti in Winchester Cathedral in a few days time.


Wednesday 26 August 2020

The Ten Native American Commandments


I attended a very moving earth honouring ceremony on Saturday afternoon as part of the first real Sussex Green Living get together in months. Many of the elements were familiar to me from the Druidic rituals I do with friends. The following was read spoke to me.

The Ten Native American Commandments

1. Treat the Earth and all that dwell thereon with respect.

2.Remain close to the Great Spirit, in all that you do.

3.Show great respect for your fellow beings [Especially Respect yourself.
4.Work together for the benefit of all Mankind,

5.Give assistance and kindness where ever needed.

6.Do what you know to be right [but be careful not to fall into self-righteousness.

7.Look after the well being of mind and body.

8.Dedicate a share of your efforts to the greater good.

9.Be truthful and honest at all times [especially be truthful and honest with yourself]

10.Take full responsibility for all your actions.

[The image is from Pixabay]

Tuesday 25 August 2020

Houdini and Cut Knees

 After several months of not seeing one another [save for the odd long distance wave when I work up near her],my friend H dropped in for a cuppa and a natter on Sunday. Mr GBT made a big batch of raspberry jam recently, so a jam themed bake was in order for her visit. He made jam tarts [pastry refuses to behave for me] and I made a batch of these that I call Sticky Blobs. That's not my choice of name, but the one given in my Be-Ro Recipe book. However, I gather in some quarters they're called Cut Knees....maybe next time I make them I'll use apricot jam, lime marmalade or lemon curd because I can't now unsee that image in my head!!  I kept that little nugget to myself when I offered them to H😃

H has the friendliest little dog called Misty. She's a rescue one and part whippet. In time H has learnt the hard way that she's a most excellent escape artist and having made many successful bids for freedom she has broken into the neighbour's garden or got out into the fields behind. Obviously this is far from ideal and they have had to block every potential exit in their garden [their other dog has never tried to get out] to keep her in. This was working until recently when she resurrected her Houdini act. The family were perplexed because nothing had changed and they knew even she couldn't jump over the high fence. Last week she got caught in the act and her tricks were revealed.....she has discovered how to climb up the fence like a cat. Let's just say she's now on a long lead when she's outside until suitable adjustments have been made to prevent any further unplanned wanderings!!


Monday 24 August 2020

Slow Stitching

My name is Aril and I am a slow stitcher....unlike others this was not a conscious decision on my part just down to my aversion to using sewing machines. I have to say for me I find, as an anxious soul, hand sewing very soothing and absorbing. It relaxes me yet I am still being productive, whilst enjoying the process. After several weeks of gently chipping away and letting the piece evolve as I went along I have completed my bathroom blind. It will have batons across the back so that it hangs straight and I'll paint the pole [former cot bar!] white shortly. Bar the hooks from which it hangs there has been no outlay....all recycled and upcycled.

Out of curiosity I asked TYM how he felt about living in a home where his parents are always making stuff. He chuckled and said he didn't know any better!!


Friday 21 August 2020

In need of a gardener?

 Apparently one of our local beauticians is now offering gardening alongside some of the more conventional options you might expect😉

This lot are the masters of the cheeky A board and they have brought me much mirth over the past few years. Have a good weekend!


Thursday 20 August 2020

A Local History Walk

Seeing as the temperatures had reached much more manageable levels by Sunday it seemed the ideal time to sally forth and follow one of the history walks for the nearby village of Pulborough. I know parts of the district, but not over on this side, so with our flask and packet of biscuits packed we headed out for a spot of local adventuring. 

Knowing my obsession with anything book related you know that spotting something book shaped in the far off distant corner of the carpark was always going to pique my curiosity. It turned out to be a small garden with this Book of Remembrance memorial at the centre. The newer ones seem to take many more forms than the older styles that are familiar from my childhood.

Talking all things war related this WWII gun emplacement was put up in 1941 as part of chain of defence to protect a nearby armaments factory and to stop the enemy reaching London via the roads or railway network. It housed a Hotchkiss anti-tank gun which would have been light, easy to manoeuvre and highly effective. Thankfully the invasion never came. The graffiti inside seemed rather poignant and out of place. I wonder if Suzanne ever saw it and how long it's been there? Sadly we shall never know, but there must have been a story behind it.

Along the side of the Park Mount earthwork [details on last Monday's post] we arrived at the stunning Stopham has to be one of my favourites in the county and it's a bit of a local landmark. It was built in 1309 to give travellers a safe passage across the River Arun on their route from Winchester to Canterbury. One of the arches was raised at a much later date to allow higher boats to get under it safely in the days when the waterway formed part of the local canal network. These days people are able to hire canoes further upstream and while away a couple of relaxing hours meandering down to the bridge and then stopping off at the White Hart inn which stands adjacent to it. 

A little further on you come to the outwardly unassuming whitewashed church of St Botolph's in the hamlet of Hardham. It sits just off the very busy A29, but frankly I think even locally many people have no idea it's there. I've featured it before for it houses the most stunning collection of near complete 12th century wall paintings, but it was closed after the morning service. I thought the exposed bits of Roman tile left in the walls were rather eye-catching.

Moving on and just across the way we were sent down a now bypassed part of the old A283 which sits just off the A29. Along there hidden in the undergrowth is this largely forgotten memorial to Reverend Masefield who was the rector at Hardham. On 4th October 1940 a German plane was trying to strafe a group of children in the road. Masefield bravely got them to the safety of a nearby ditch, but tragically got shot himself. It was sad to see such an act of bravery and courage not being given greater prominence, but its position in the countryside now means it rather out of sight and out of mind. 

After all our exertions it seemed only fair and right that we should fortify ourselves with a light lunch at a local cafe....I needed something to build up my strength [and enthusiasm] to tackle all the blooming ironing upon my return!


Wednesday 19 August 2020

A wide mouthed frog


Please excuse the poor photo flash on a dull February day back in 2017 was always going to have its challenges. A pile of National Trust magazines were given to me a weeks ago and reading through last night this turquoise ceramic frog was featured. As it's from at Standen House which is a regular haunt of mine I  wondered whether I had taken any photos of it on one of my visits. Turns out Lady Luck was on my side and there it was lurking at the back of one [I was actually photographing something else at the time].

The purpose of this rather unusual piece was to keep spoons/ladles warm. Filled with warm water to heat them through this would thus prevent the sauces/ gravies being spoilt by coming into contact with cold cutlery when the staff were serving the family members during meal times. It's Victorian in date.


Tuesday 18 August 2020

Left to my own devices.

The time had Saturday I could put it off no longer....a trip into town to pay in my wages and top up on a few items we were running low on had to be done. It might have been a tad on the grey and damp side, but I really couldn't have given a fiddler's flute as it allowed me to potter around in comfort whilst unearthing new treasures. That's what Arils like best!! Despite all my photos of Horsham this is all new stuff so hang on to your's my latest offering.

We are lucky to have a couple of fantastic independent delis in the town centre. This one is run by an Italian family and they always have innovative window displays. Even their hand sanitising station is done with humour and panache.

Meanwhile next door our local branch of Ask has decided to illustrate the 2m rule using lemons. It beats the boring old decal stickers most of the businesses have used.

This rather charming hand painted picture is on one of the glass panes in one of the front doors.

Even with it beginning to drizzle this little corner tucked round the side of the church managed to look very cheery....thank goodness for editing as there's a black wheelie bin just out of sight!!

The road that runs up near here is now called Middle Street, but the sign says that it was once called Butchers Row. This butcher's hook remains high up on one of the buildings as evidence of its past.

The upper storey of another relatively new business. This is one of those places where you take your children to paint pottery.

However, this would not be a typical Aril post without a bit of darkness thrown in to balance it all out. Recently I've developed a bit of an interest in Memento Mori on gravestones. There are some magnificently exuberant examples in Northern England and Scotland, but it doesn't seem to be such a thing down here in the South or maybe the gravestones have simply not survived as well. I was curious to see if there was anything in our oldest churchyard and was pleasantly surprised. Most 18th century stones are too badly eroded to be legible, but some still showed lovely naively carved winged angels. However, this one was the star find....deep within the evergreen coverage this one has escaped the ravages of time and weather. The skull is a very common motif and would have been familiar at the time. They are known as deathheads and I was delighted to find one on my home patch.


Monday 17 August 2020

A Fairy's Final Resting Place


This is Park Mount in Pulborough....on a dark night you might find the hidden treasure or witness another fairy funeral as one 18th century rector is reported to have done.

If you don't want to end up in trouble for trespassing might I suggest you don't undertake either of these activities as it's a scheduled monument on private land [the barbed wire fence rather gives it away]. It's a well preserved small 11th century Norman motte [the mound bit] and bailey [the courtyard area] castle. It may very well be that it's size is the very reason behind it having remained unaltered and abandoned in its original state. Despite some damage from quarrying this has made it one of the best surviving examples in the South East. 

Much as I would have loved to have seen it closer up to this was the view from the public footpath.


Friday 14 August 2020

Blue Friday

It seems that there are far fewer blue flowers than other colours, so I greeted this one with great enthusiasm when I came across it on my recent visit to the Prairie Garden. We've enjoyed eating our first ever home grown tomatoes this week [seedlings from our neighbour] and welcomed the rain after a warm few days.

Hope you all have a good weekend. Not sure what our plans are at present bar a takeaway which TYM is treating us to as he's received a large and unexpected tax rebate!


Thursday 13 August 2020

Night time robbery!

With the high temperatures at night we're currently experiencing there's no thieving of the duvet here at GBT at present. Under normal circumstances I am a horror for this....reeling the duvet in a like a fishing line and then when I overheat [I am a woman of that marvellous age who can change temperature every five minutes for no apparent reason!] then hurling it off. This is all done in my sleep, but I do feel for Mr GBT who, bless him, does his very best to retrieve his share without disturbing me!! Thought this funny cartoon might be familiar to some!!


Wednesday 12 August 2020

The Old Lady


I think it's fair to say that I was much happier to discover this beautiful moth hiding in my client's sunroom on Monday than it was being disturbed by me wielding a feather duster! Rather disgruntled it settled for long enough for me to be able to grab my phone. With so many more species of moths than butterflies in this country and factoring is that many are brown it's a bit of a nightmare for a novice like me to identify them easily. Thankfully on this occasion I was about to ask for help on a suitable FB group when the first post on the feed came up with an identical image. It goes by the rather charming name of the Old Lady Moth and is another new one to me.

Many people seem happy to spot butterflies, but have a real aversion to moths. Perhaps it's because many are night flying. Folkloric associations tend to bear this prejudice out with certain white moths being interpreted as ghosts or ancestors returning. At St Non's well near Looe heaven help you if you didn't leave a bent pin for the fairies for you would be followed home by a mass of Pisgey moths. Certain colours also pertain to future events...a white one in your home meant an imminent death, brown one foretold of an important letter winging its way to you and a black one was a deceased soul reincarnated and just dropping by for a visit! 

Would it surprise you to learn that I really rather fancy having a go at doing a bit of moth trapping [and releasing safely afterwards!]...when I looked into it though I found it was quite an expensive thing to do so a pipe-dream it remains. Meanwhile I shall content myself with the occasional discovery such as this!



Tuesday 11 August 2020

Fourth Generation's been a bit of a scorcher these past 24 hours hasn't it. Hope you're all bearing up. Personally I'm not a natural lover of heat, but by planning what I do and working at a measured pace I get by.

We deliberately didn't go hell for leather over the weekend...just a gentle stroll into town early on Saturday to run a few errands with a thoroughly enjoyable poke around the oldest graveyard in the town, before heading home before the mercury soared too high. A gentle session of hand sewing to make some progress on the bathroom blind and a splendid evening spent in our friends' garden and joined by another couple who we haven't seen in several months. It was topped off by their young hedgehog doing its rounds before we left....sadly an increasingly rare sight these days. Sunday followed much the same pattern.

In between enjoying the odd pint of ale or cider we've all been drinking far more water than our more normal choice of tea and coffee. As of this week this has been TYM's vessel of choice. He came home from uni as a reformed character.....gone are the fruit flavoured ciders and now his sup of choice is real beer...he must be my son after all if he is a bitter drinker like his Mother and Grandfather. His Dad most definitely is not!! He mentioned in passing a few weeks ago that my Dad has a pewter tankard that had belonged to his Dad from the days when you would leave it at your local pub and they would hang it above the bar in anticipation of your next visit. He was delighted when said tankard was gifted to him a few days ago and it's been pressed into action with immediate effect. The thought that this family heirloom is now owned by the fourth generation has really tickled him I really hope that my Grandfather [who died before I was born] would be pleased to see it being used and enjoyed. Methinks that a trip to a local brewery within walking distance for all three of us to taste their wares might be on the cards very soon🧉


Monday 10 August 2020


After several years of looking on and off I have finally found an awen pendant that is to my liking. For those wondering the awen symbol is a Druidic one and has much personal meaning for me. Not being much of a jewellery wearer I wanted something discreet and on a silver chain rather than a leather thong so that I can wear it all the time. Until now nothing has been quite right.  Randomly I'd been watching a TV programme whilst ploughing through a big pile of ironing and spotted a Druid on Anglesey wearing one which reminded me. Serendipity worked its magic and I found my perfect one within moments of finally deciding to go for it.This one is 2cm across and made from recycled silver.


Friday 7 August 2020

Stand well back!

Mythago has switched from a weekly Zoom session to a weekly meet-up at our adopted pub [where we always dance on Boxing Day] on what would normally be our practice night. Zoom was useful when we were in lock-down, but it's just smashing to be able to meet in the flesh now restrictions have eased a bit. This is the sign on the bar....on point when reminding punters to observe social distancing when queuing for drinks😀

Hope you have a good weekend....we'll be lying low and staying here as it's due to be hot!


Thursday 6 August 2020


"Pellucid"...what on earth does that mean I wondered when I read the unfamiliar word in an article last week. It means clear and is often used in the context of water which would make sense as it was referring to a river. 

That little revelation got me thinking....I am a terror for just skim reading over unfamiliar words these days or making an educated guess. For a couple of days I wrote down every new one I encountered....these are they culled from various books, magazines and crosswords that I dipped my nose into.....scut, asinine,funambulist, kismet, conflagration, ulna, erse, coruscations. Some I have heard of, but never used.

So the new word for today is axilla.....that's armpit to you and me. Perhaps if I paid a little more attention some of these new findings might stick around in my noggin for a little longer!!


Wednesday 5 August 2020

Third Time Lucky

I have been attempting to visit the Prairie Gardens in West Sussex for a couple of years, but every time I made plans they didn't come to fruition. However, I like a challenge and a mere obstacle or three wasn't going to stop me trying. This year it was going to happen come hell or high water! Finally made it with Nurse still was a case of third time lucky though as rain and then work shifts stopped play. Hopefully from the photos below you can see it was well worth the wait....huge borders filled with big, blousy blooms in hot colours interspersed with quirky wooden wonders and all on a perfect, warm summer's day.  No need to prebook, but all very well set out with regards to the current situation in which we find ourselves.


Tuesday 4 August 2020

The bright side of life

Saw all these at a garden I visited with friend Nurse L on Sunday's hard not to be a little more cheered when I see such bright spots of colour. Hope you have a fabulous Tuesday!!


Peace and Love

 Peace and love...two things the world needs more than ever. I saw the painted house when I was away recently and came across these two beau...