Tuesday 29 September 2020

Home Produce

Brain is refusing to play ball this evening and has gone off for a wander in search of fun. As I'm not firing on any cylinders I'll stick to our domestic doings instead which doesn't require much thinking about if you don't mind!!

During lockdown our lovely neighbours gifted us some spare pepper and tomato plants that they'd grown from the seeds they'd saved from the veg they'd bought from the supermarket. We tried this ourselves several years ago and didn't have any joy. F1 hybrid was the reason apparently, so I had little hope of any greater success this time round. However, sometimes it is excellent news to be proved wrong.....we've had modest sized peppers and masses of red tomatoes.

With the weather having changed the tomato plants were dying back so Mr GBT salvaged a further 3lb of green tomatoes. Realistically they were unlikely to ripen, but we're both on the same page when it comes to waste and we like a challenge....

Mr GBT doesn't like raw tomatoes, so what to do with them. We toyed with the idea of doing some fried green tomatoes, but in the end chutney won out as we had all the ingredients in. I knew there was a reason why I couldn't resist bringing some of the windfall apples I found in the free box near work a few days ago!

With himself being so productive I thought perhaps I should hasten on with a few things of my own. All the rosemary bush cuttings have now been dried and stripped so shan't need to buy anymore for a few more years and best of all two bottles of sloe gin are now gently steeping. Cheers😋


Monday 28 September 2020

The Bower Bird

To walk past a bower of trees with a path inviting me into its centre is beyond temptation for me. In Hope Valley last week the hawthorn called to me....I felt I was justly rewarded with these delightful tree dwellers.

Hand on heart I can say these little hidden gems make me happier than anything you can buy. For once I managed to not pull one of my infamous gargoyle expressions for this snap of one contented bower bird. We were out celebrating our 27th wedding anniversary.


Friday 25 September 2020

Honouring Your Inner Four Year Old

 I went into the shop fully intending to come out with a Vienetta for pud for a simple supper we were doing this week for a friend. After a full day for both of us working I reckoned a cheat was perfectly in order, but somehow I came out with this instead....

Just how do these things happen eh🦄🦄 Have a great weekend!


Thursday 24 September 2020

Going into Battle.

I'll spare you the history lesson as anyone reading only has to hear the date 1066 and you'll know that it's the Battle of Hastings. Unusually accompanied by TYM [his choice], we recently enjoyed visiting the supposed battle site [it's exact position is now thought to have been elsewhere in the town]. Just a handful of shots to give you a flavour.

The rather magnificent gatehouse now acts as the entrance [this is the view from inside] and from here you're able to take a walk around where the course of English history was radically altered in a brutal  and bloody few hours.  All along the route there are a series of rather fabulous carvings representing the Norman and Saxon sides. 

The Abbey was founded in 1070 by William I to assuage his guilt at the bloodloss caused by his invasion, but following its dissolution in 1538 only the ruins remain. Some have been incorporated into the main fabric of the Battle Abbey School building which stands nextdoor.

Before it passed into public ownership in 1976 this was a country estate for many years. Apparently this is an early 19th century icehouse. I have my doubts....surely I can't be the only one that can see it's a hobbit hole can I?!😉

A few areas have been closed off due to safety issues. However, there were a few cases of items on display in one of the towers. This broken piece of slate started out life as a teaching aid for the choristers to learn how to sing polyphony [a way of singing with lots of harmonies I understand], but when it broke it became a note for some 15th century accounting reminders including the repair price for a pair of boots. 

Seeing as all things gargoyle/grotesque have been severely lacking this year on my blog may I please leave you with this fellow who seemed to watching on at our antics with some amusement! When I get my act together I'll pop up some photos of the town too next week.


Tuesday 22 September 2020

Monday 21 September 2020

Meeting the brief.

 The request was "please make a yarn bomb to decorate the town centre".  Nailed it!

Seen on one of last week's wanderings.


Friday 18 September 2020


 It was all the rage a few years ago to make your own version of a takeaway classic at home for a fraction of the price. I wonder if people still do that? Personally I enjoy a takeaway as an occasional treat, but it's usually only for a special occasion or in lieu of a dinner with friends so that we can all enjoy each other's company without anyone having to cook [we had fish and chips in the garden with friends one evening this week]. One thing I do baulk at is pizzas....maybe it's me, but they always seem a very expensive option to me [perhaps I'm just too tight!]. Instead we stick to supermarket ones or quick ones using pitta breads as the base.

Until last weekend I had never tried my hand at making my own pizza bases. I strongly suspected they were going to be a complete faff with hours spent knocking back the dough and kneading [quite where I'm getting some of my information from lord only knows!] I confessed my avoidance of this to a friend who laughed and said it was dead easy. Spurred on with a modicum of enthusiasm I parted with some real groats [you know it's serious when I spend money😆] for strong bread flour and yeast sachets. It's still taken me two months to get on with it, but 2020 is all about trying new things and learning different skills so here's the proof.

I'm sure everybody else will have done it yonks ago, but I was a bit chuffed and it tasted as good as the ones we normally enjoy. It was a walk in the park and I have promised to make more. Hope you all have a good weekend folks.


Thursday 17 September 2020

St Christopher

This wall painting of St Christopher is in the church in Shorwell on the Isle of Wight. The Medieval belief of the time was that you if you caught a glimpse of this particular saint in the morning you would have a safe day. I interpreted "safe" as being kept generally safe from harm, but somebody explained that it was actually from suffering a sudden death [mors improvisa]. It was the greatest fear that you would die without being able to confess your sins and be absolved of them. I believe that unshriven is the term used for this scenario. Definitely not that far removed from all the folkloric ideas around death and how to avoid it over the years that I've read.



Wednesday 16 September 2020

What caught my eye.

Our first holi"day" found us on a visit to the Amberley Chalk Pits museum which is fairly local to us. Despite its proximity we've only been here with a small galloping infant in tow or when I've danced there at their beer festival. Definitely no time to stand and stare.

It started out life as a lime making company and the hewn out former site now houses all sorts of vehicles and themed displays of yesterday. I'm not one for reading long spiels or knowing how things work. Instead I take an intuitive approach and mentally log whatever catches my eye and captures my fancy. This is my personal take on what I enjoyed the most.

I loved this charming Scottie Dog heater for a child's room. It hails from a time when people weren't obsessed with health and safety, but I think it could probably have been improved with a safety guard that said!

This rather odd looking structure was an air raid shelter for two people from Brighton. It was designed to withstand falling masonry and blast damage for the workers at the power station.

Sinclair C5. Remember them? Sadly we do, but for all the wrong reasons.

Sometimes it seems there is no such thing as new technology....just the tweaking of old tech. This is an electric car that dates from 1975. The battery only held its charge for 70 miles and after working out it cost several times more than a petrol driven car to run it was put to one side.

If you have ever wondered what a phone looks like when it's been struck by lightning here you go! Rather like a Salvador Dali surrealist masterpiece.

This grey and unremarkable truck was used to transport London's art treasures to the safety of the Welsh slate mines during WWII.

A fire hook from before the days when there was any type of organised fire service. This type of tool has been around since 11th century and was used to pull the thatch and beams from burning roofs to create a fire break.

Cats Eyes...first time I've ever seen them close up to as usually I only ever get to drive over them. I had no idea they were self cleaning. Such a clever invention and truly world changing.

WWI streamer messages. You put the message in the little white pouch and dropped the streamer from a plane over friendly lines. They were weighted with lead so that they couldn't go too far off course and fall into enemy lines.

The ceramic parrot cover was a marketing ploy supposedly to make the then "new" tech acceptable to the lady of the house....thought up by the same brain who thinks us girls need everything to be in girlie pink for it to appeal to us perhaps!

The windpump dates from 1910 and was used in both domestic and agricultural settings. It, along with the green skip, made an appearance in the James Bond film "View to a Kill."

One of the volunteers has been busy...this bin is much more groovy than my boring old grey kitchen swing bin! 

It made a very agreeable start to our September break from work.


Monday 14 September 2020

Give me a ring

In these days we have a multitude of options available to us when we want to contact somebody. I don't think my son could imagine having to hand write a letter to someone and then wait several days for a reply! If my memory serves me right it was many years before my parents got an ansafone, so if you missed a call or there was nobody in to take a message it was just tough luck. Back when we got our flat in 1990 it came with a really old fashioned dumpy little grey phone with a dial [am guessing it was from the early 1960s when the place was built]...it was so quaint that BT used to give us a discount on our bills, but heck if we had a call I should think the whole block must have known. It certainly had a lusty bellowing bell and served us well in the time we lived there. I quite missed it in a funny sort of way.

These phones we saw on display last week stirred some memories....how could I have forgotten about Buzby and I was reminded of my friend's Tasmanian devil phone she had. Modern phones definitely seem to be lacking in imagination and soul. Do any of these tickle your fancy.....think I'd personally pass on that Barbara Cartland pink velvet jobbie!


Friday 11 September 2020

Mystery Object

One of those occasional posts I do....answers on a postcard please😁 I was completely flummoxed when I came across these yesterday and wouldn't have had a clue what they were for had I not been told. They're called bobbins, but am not sure that will be of any help.

I'll put the answer up later. Have a great weekend. 


PS Eileen is right. They were used to bend lead pipes for plumbing!

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...