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Showing posts from December, 2020

2020 Tick

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"You normally have to be bashed about a bit by life to see the point of daffodils, sunsets and uneventful nice days." Alain de Botton It's stating the bleeding obvious that we've all been "bashed about a bit" these past few months. I have spend a princely £1.50 [naturally reduced from a tenner] on a Attitude of Gratitude diary. The cynical part of me thinks it's a bit naff, but by writing down three good things a day it does make me live more in the moment and gives me a record to read back over when I'm in a towering grump. The jolly little artwork was found brightening up some sort of utilities box on my walk with a friend yesterday.  Wishing you all a Happy New Year! Arilx

Prior at the Priory

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We trundled across to East Sussex earlier in the month after Michelham Priory had reopened the parts it could to visitors. Firstly a brief potted history.... It was established as an Augustinian priory in 1229 and disbanded in 1537 [cheers Henry VIII] and spent the next several hundred years with different owners operating as a farm with tenant farmers in residence. By 1896 it was in a sorry state, but the then owner James Gwynne restored it. During WWII it housed evacuees at one point and then was used by both British and Canadian troops at various points. Its time as a farm came to an end in 1957 and in 1959 Stella Hotblack [the final owner] gave it the Sussex Archaelogical Society which brings us up to the present. Look I even remembered to take a couple of photos outside which I thought most noble as it tiddling down at the time.... you can still see the undercroft and there are some details remaining which tell of its earlier religious origins. Throughout the property all the room

Sock it to us.

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 Pure joy....I couldn't help but laugh at the lady's reaction to her sock mask! Arilx

Not Down But Out And About

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The glorious tier 4 has put paid to further afield adventuring, but the first thing I do everytime things change is immediately see what I can safely do and then start scheming. It has its advantages being a bluddy minded old bird with a very strong Sussex stubborn streak. Usually Boxing Day would involve dancing and then a music session at the pub with an alcoholic accompaniment....this year we walked out from ours to explore a newly opened bridle path which has replaced a series of footpaths....a series of signs made it abundantly clear that they were now closed, but I was curious by the use of the word "extinguished". Legal term I presume.   It was a joy to end up in the local village of Warnham's churchyard [nothing new there I hear you cry] and to be greeted by this row of decorated trees. This is what I'd been hoping to see and I have to say that a bit of colourful bling on a cold, cloudy day is a welcome sight indeed. Whilst Mr GBT sorted out the mulled squash

Festive Highlights

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 Just a small handful of photos which capture the essence of the last couple of days.  Back in mid October, with my tongue firmly in the side of my cheek, I jested with our friends P and C how we could always have mulled wine and mince pies sat on the logs in the secluded little spot we always have our walking coffee at hidden away from prying eyes. How those words have come back to haunt me.....thankfully the weather was sunny for our annual Christmas Eve jaunt. We followed it with homemade soup in their garden....if you had told me this was the mad sort of thing we'd be getting up to a year ago I'd have laughed at the ridiculousness of it😁 A most splendid Christmas day spent with my folks. This rather wonderful candelabra puts me in mind of the ones seen in the Great Hall in Hogwarts.....it's inspired me to dedicate every Saturday night during January and February to the viewing of the Harry Potter films in sequence. We've already got them and I never tire of them. A

Christmas 2020

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  This rather gorgeous stoop in a 12th century Italian marble one mounted upon a 19th century Portland stone plinth from Michelham Priory. Am signing off a little earlier this year, but may I take this opportunity to wish everyone a peaceful Christmas and a relaxing New Year. Thank you so much for reading my blog....I am so grateful that people take the time to stop by. Love from Aril, Mr GBT, TYM and Humphreyxxx

Christmas Windows

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 A lovely evening's wander with Mr GBT and TYM to see this year's festive offerings. The good townsfolk did not disappoint with their advent windows and I think 4 year old Harry Botting who won  this year's competition to design a Christmas decoration has smashed it with his lovely rainbow tree.πŸŽ„ Whatever else might be going on right now it's hard not to feel uplifted by the colours and sparkles of the season when seeing this type of thing. Arilx

Wreath

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"Wreath" comes from the old English writhen meaning to twist apparently. I was rather curious about why we hang these things on our doors, but their origins seem a little fluid. There's talk of the Romans having a version to signify victory [they weren't ones to let their conquests go unnoticed!] and others speak of the 16th century Lutherans in Germany have some type of Advent version. Common sense tells me that humans have always had a penchant for feathering their bower with whatever they could find to add that individual touch and long may it continue! We've got a very simple gold twiggy star here at GBT, but this splendid one is to be found in the conservation area in the town. Hope you all have a good weekend. Arilx

Hare today...not gone tomorrow.

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This rather fine fellow arrived at GBT a couple of weeks ago. He is supposed to be living in the garden, but I am a soft-hearted nid nod and couldn't bear the thought of him getting cold or worse still covered in bird poo. Mr GBT just raised his eyebrows at me when I confessed that this hare is staying inside with us. He's well used to the ways of the dotty dame he married. So there I was just taking a shot when who should muscle in.....the four legged poseur himself. Somebody feared that the interloper might have been stealing the limelight and he wasn't having it. Typical feline!   Arilx

Shades of russet

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My son asked me what colour russet was last night.....Autumn browns with copper tints I said or like these sculptures we saw on Sunday. Despite the heavy rain they looked perfect offset by the foliage colour in the background. We actually paid real money to go on an outing last weekend....the weather wasn't great, but we were  allowed to go inside for once.....who knew this would become such a novelty! More details tomorrow. Arilx

Base

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  I got chatting to a lovely lady over the weekend who explained to me why the base of some columns in churches are shiny. Originally there wouldn't have been any seats for the congregation and people would perch whereever they could find a suitable spot. Over time the lanolin from their woollen clothes leached into the stones of the columns producing the shiny effect. Having been absorbed over many years into the stone it can't then be removed. I do so love a snippet of social history. Arilx

Seeing double

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Sunshine on Saturday meant walking plans could go ahead with friends P & C. We'd had to put our meet-ups on hold for a few weeks, but now that we're allowed out to play again..... Frankly I spent most of the walk gassing and not paying that much attention to my surroundings.....even this tangerine coloured fungus only came onto the radar when one of the others pointed it out to me! Not exactly easy to miss now is it!! However, this double bridge was just about obvious enough for me to notice.  It was decided by the Board of Trade that the original brick one left too steep a gradient for the train to have to ascend to the nearby station. Before the railway could open it insisted that the embankments were raised to give a gentler incline and the iron girder bridge was built above it. This apparently makes it a unique example of Victorian engineering and I'm sure the change must have averted some potentially tragic accidents. The railway line was axed by Beeching in 1966 a

Misc

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  Another of my scribblings....this time a copy of a Medieval figure that looks remarkably like this fellow..... [Image from Pixabay]. I wonder where Star Wars drew its inspiration from!! Have a good weekend folks. Arilx

Winter in the aboretum

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A mud free adventure was the order of the day for Saturday's spot of adventuring with Ice Badger. We both welcomed the prospect of a weekend off from boot cleaning, so I cast around for something for us to do locally. The little local arboretum I thought would tick all the boxes as it's midway between our two homes. I first blogged about it here  http://gnatbottomedtowers.blogspot.com/2017/05/julia-and-emmas-arboretum.html  but haven't been back since. It's not heavily used and we had it to ourselves. As you can see it still had quite a lot of colour hanging on which was a lovely surprise. Since I last was there they've added some benches which look across to the South Downs beyond. On the days when IB has to work from home she reckons this would be the perfect place to come to for a lunchtime break as it's only 10 minutes from her doorstep. Naturally a decent get together with a chum should involve a coffee and cake at some point. As the government has just kin