The conditions haven't always played ball for the trap this month and so we've only put it out a couple of times. With being rank amateurs we're still learning what might work best so there has needed to be some tweaking and rethinking. It is also still quite early in the season. However, I have now seen my first Chestnut Moth.
Tuesday, 30 March 2021
Isn't it amazing how you can redo recent walks, but with a friend this time and be shown completely different stuff. A fresh pair of eyes and all that. Friend E joined me for this seven miler [plus a couple of coffee breaks] and was raring to go out and explore. Although she lives nearby she hasn't been into the town in yonks and basically she said anything we did would be fine. She was just so excited to be out of her village😆 So without further ado and with no repeats here's another selection unearthed by the pair of us.
I pass these wonderfully patterned chimneys at least once a week if not more, but I haven't paid them a huge amount of attention until now. It was quite a pleasant surprise to find that each one is differently patterned. Naturally I couldn't stop at just the one photo.....they are on a rather magnificent building that now stands in the middle of a rather up market housing estate. Originally Tan Bridge House was a family home for the Olivers with its own estate and built in 1887. It was one of the earliest homes to have electricity in the town and stood on the site on an earlier 17th century place. I understand that a couple of the fireplaces were retained and reused here. After a while it was sold on and became the Girls High School for many years, but in 1994 the school relocated [it was mixed by then] to a new modern site. It was earmarked for demolition, but one of the former teachers campaigned to have it saved and nowadays it has been converted into exclusive apartments. It's very near the town centre so the location adds to their desirability.
Monday, 29 March 2021
From another stroll with my friend H last weekend along the disused railway line which used to run from Horsham to Guildford [axed by Beeching in June 1965]. Nowadays it's been converted into a locally popular public path called The Downs Link. I've walked along different stretches in the past few few months, but this route was a new one for me.
This amble started out from the village of Rudgwick [yes my second visit this month....still doin' that local yokel thang until I can travel freely again😄] and took us out to Baynards where the original station and platforms are still standing. It's now privately owned and has been sensitively restored. You can see the platforms from the path, but there is a notice asking people not to share photos of it online as it their home. It has featured in different films and if you've ever seen the Poirot episode "The Hollow" it's apparently in that.
There are however, other remnants in the public domain that I can share. Back in the 1970s H and her brother used to be able to climb inside this ventilator which originally came out from the tunnel below. Since then the entrance has been concreted over. The tunnel is home to a bat colony.
Once back at GBT I was able to zoom in on it to find out more and I can now tell you that it is for an artist and sculptor called Glyn Philpot who lived here from 1927-1935. Being very unfamiliar with many artists really I looked him up online. He was most well known for the portraits he painted during the 1920s of the well known figures of the day including Siegfried Sassoon. He was a founder member of the National Portrait Gallery in 1911. Over time his success gave him the financial means to travel and a growing interest in less mainstream subject matter. He had converted to Catholicism in 1905 and this, alongside his acceptance of his sexuality, saw him creating work in a far more modernist style and a rejection of some of his pieces by the Royal Academy because of the imagery they showed. Sadly he fell out of favour and died suddenly in 1937. His longterm partner took his life on the day of Philpot's funeral. Nowadays I am pleased to say that his work has seen a revival of interest and he is celebrated as an early LGBTQ painter. One of his murals can be seen in St Stephen's Hall, Westminster.
Friday, 26 March 2021
Thursday, 25 March 2021
You would think that as a fellow who spends his working hours making things out of wood the last thing Mr GBT would want to do in his spare time is do more of the same. Ah well there you'd be wrong...in the 30+ years we've been partners he has always been busy designing and/or making something and more often than not it's out of wood.
Somebody has cut back several of the bushes near us on the main road and left a tempting pile of logs....somebody else might have bought one or two home with him from his daily meander. Now we have scattered as part of some informal log piles we've created for the wee beasties and these ones he's drilled holes into to make some more bee hotels. They're attached to the new trellis he made a week or so ago.
More recently I caught him with a piece of paper and pencil in his hand secretly sketching. He disappeared into the workshop and then reappeared muttering darkly about how he needed more wood [we've got loads, but it's all antique mahogany for his business so definitely NOT fit for purpose😆] and where he normally buys from is currently doing trade only because of Covid. There was a brief hiatus and then he resumed his shed shenanigans. Now I have this.....my very own hedgehog house. It's all made from the wood from our son's old cot and a spare kitchen door that we had left over when we replaced our old ones [there's still an entrance tunnel to be added]. We've considered taking it to the recycling centre on several occasions, but we both felt that maybe one day we might find a purpose for it so it's had a stay of execution.
I can only now hope that we might just get some prickly visitors come to stay. I haven't seen any hogs around, but we if don't try we'll never know eh!
Wednesday, 24 March 2021
When I was working yesterday I happened to look up and see a blue tit tugging for all its worth at what looked to be a worm from where I was standing. This rather puzzled me as I didn't think I'd seen this behaviour before. Looking again I could see that what it was actually doing was tugging away at a particularly stubborn thread of moss in the lawn. Intrigued I watched it for a moment as it quickly gathered a beakful of downy material and flew away. I carried on and within a minute or so it was back again, repeating the same process. This time I stopped to track where it was going and to my delight saw it fly into my client's nestbox that she has on the back wall by her kitchen window.
As my client came through I commented in passing about enjoying watching the little bird and how hard it was working. She was so excited as she hadn't known and said how much she will enjoy being able to watch their antics. She is 92 years young with an incredible zest for life. I hope that I have her same joy if I ever reach that age!
Tuesday, 23 March 2021
Monday, 22 March 2021
Someone just couldn't resist the temptation of adding their stamp to the wet mortar could they! It did make me and my friend chuckle when we went past. She walks that route regularly, but because it's on the end of a low wall, she hadn't seen it before. All the best for a terrific Monday.
Friday, 19 March 2021
Thursday, 18 March 2021
Shots from my last two Friday doorstep wanders around different parts of my local town of Horsham. As ever many are just the random extra details that make my explorations just that bit more special and give me a greater appreciation of what's on my home turf. Much as I am looking forwards to go further afield these trips have been enriching and enlightening.
This is one of several pargetting panels on the outside of an Indian restaurant. The seahorses are rather glorious. One day I'll ask Mr GBT to take some better close-ups so that I can really take in the detail.
Wednesday, 17 March 2021
Sadly I can't tell you much about this old chair apart from it was carved in 1600 and is in St Edmundsbury Cathedral in Bury St Edmunds...
I don't know about others, but for me the travelling to and from a holiday destination forms part of the experience and unless it's ...
As a change from my holiday chunterings I thought I'd share the recipe that one of the ladies I housesparkle for gave me yesterday. I...