Friday, 31 December 2021

Christmas at Standen

 Yesterday's family shindig with some of Mr GBT's siblings [he's one of six] sadly had to be postponed. We could have spent a day at home, but that would have ended up being spent doing jobs. I'd done a spot of research to see what was going on incase of such a scenario and it really didn't take any persuasion whatsoever to tempt Mr GBT out to visit Standen. It was either that or clear the u-bend on the kitchen sink😀

Even against a backdrop of much reduced income the National Trust knows how to "do" Christmas to perfection.  Taking the 1930s as their starting point a different Christmas scene had been set up within each room of Standen alongside snippets about how the Beale family celebrated.

Although entry is no longer timed on a busy day it's still necessary to queue so that the house doesn't become overcrowded. It's no hardship though when there's a beautiful Morris inspired tree [it's an Arts and Crafts property] to admire. The felted wild animals have been made by the talented volunteers.





The Beale children used to play a game called "shipwrecks". Behind the billiard table up some steps there's a sofa. You had to launch yourself from the sofa and see how far you could slide under the table. Grazed knees much have been the order of the day I would imagine!



This amazing paper cut tree was suspended from the bannister above and was an absolute devil to snap because it's constantly rotating. It's based on the Morris & Co "Forest" tapestry which is now in the V&A. The animals were designed by Philip Webb who was Standen's architect.



Normally one would expect the Trust to present an impeccably laid Christmas dinner. It had me scratching my head at first when I saw the apparent realism with the stains on the cloth. The children had a food fight one year😆 Just as well one had staff to clear up after one's little darlings eh! And if you're wondering what's on the tree it's all those teeny little coffee cups that were all the rage once, but ending up collecting dust in the back of everyone's cupboards. They had to be useful for something....certainly not for drinking coffee out of !




Finally as we "moo"ve into 2022 I'll leave you with these bovine decorations. Helen Beale took a great personal interest in their herd of Jersey cows and named them all. 


With that may I wish everyone a Happy New Year. TYM will be out celebrating with a few friends whilst his aged parents will do what they always do....stay in, go to bed early and then get woken up by the fireworks at midnight. Wine will feature at some point of the evening though before we retire!!

Arilx




Monday, 27 December 2021

'Tis a gift

 Morning🎄 Am sneaking in for a quick poke about and to see what everyone's been up to. Do hope that there have been good Christmases all round. Ours so far has been a mix of catching up with friends [more arriving for a late lunch shortly] and family with more to come later on in the week [that's the plan anyway, but could be "subject to change"]. Lovely time all round and our traditional Boxing Day dancing went ahead despite the forecast predicting 70% heavy showers. With me being Mythago's weather witch it didn't dare rain on us, although dodging the big puddles in the pub carpark with a mask on required some last second nifty footwork to avoid getting our feet wet!!

Once again I have been spoilt rotten and the standard of weird/unusual gifts has been amply met. Alongside a goodly pile of choccies and other treats I have been lucky enough to have been treated to these....people definitely know my taste by now!!

I did put a special request in for this one as I had thoroughly enjoyed the first volume that I got for my birthday. When everything quietens down again I'm looking forwards to getting my nose stuck into it.


These are courtesy of TYM and Mr GBT. TYM bought me the ents or in his words "something weird which make a change from the bathbombs I usually get you😀"


These beautiful metal hares will go out in the garden once we've decided where. They're not attached to the pole so they swing round all the time. 


In other news I am now married to a Lord. Yes you read that right....Mr GBT is now Lord.....of Sealand. This gives him absolutely no rights or privileges whatsoever, but he has been wondering about having a new red carpet laid here at GBT😂 If you have never heard of Sealand [who has for that matter?!!] its history is here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principality_of_Sealand It's completely bonkers that people have actually tried to take it over...some members of the human race really do have too much time on their hands one feels! This is another quirky present from our son. I cannot for the life of me think where he gets this streak from! 

Until next time.

Arilx

Friday, 24 December 2021

Christmas Tidings

 


One household has mixed it up completely by throwing various Star Wars' characters in with the more traditional Christmas decorations in their window display. The yoda rather stole my heart. Here at GBT we'd like to wish you all a most merry of Christmases and look forwards to catching up with all of you on the other side.

Arilx, Mr GBT, TYM & Humphrey

Thursday, 23 December 2021

Noche de Rabanos


 [Image from Pixabay]

You might well be wondering why on earth I have put up a picture of a load of radishes. Tonight in Oaxaca in Mexica it is the Night of the Radishes. People will carve oversized radishes into all sorts of forms and compete to be voted the best. Usually it attracts about 100 entrants and many more visitors. Radishes are not long lived so the whole thing is over within a matter of hours.

Arilx

Wednesday, 22 December 2021

A December Meander

 I fancied a bit of time out a few days back and is my wont at such times, took my ownsome out for a wander. It's always a personal pleasure to ramble around with my little camera without much of a plan. I never know what I might turn up, but I'm always pretty confident that something will turn up. That's all part of the fun.....here we go for the results of this latest wander round my home town.

This set of carved initials is on what was the former town hall, but is these days a popular restaurant. Whilst there's nothing unusual in what's there I'd never noticed that it was upside down before...recycling dressed stone from elsewhere one assumes.


Although these faux blue plaques are possibly veering towards a tad naff, this one is in the conservation area of the town. I'm rather pleased that the homeowners have just gone for it and put it up for those passing to enjoy. The house has an official blue plaque too which is dedicated to Neville Duke who was a test pilot and held the air speed record in 1953. 


Part of the annual advent calendar they have in this same area. I've featured it in previous years and am not fond of constantly repeating material here, so just the one image this time.


Now this thing I have rather rudely called the "Spring Onion" for years. It's perforated with 24000 holes and is supposed to have a bulb in the middle so that the light shines through the pin pricks when it's dark. Sadly I've never seen it working, but I do rather like its form. Only recently have I found out that its real name is the "Tree of Light" and it's the work of Steve Geliot.


As an enthusiastic church crawler nothing pleases me more than to find that I can legitimately go in somewhere that is usually shut. Trinity Church was where we had our marriage banns read many moons ago and I haven't been in it since. Can I say it's a rather austere Victorian red brick jobbie and I've seen many that I prefer more, but it did have some interesting details and I was most taken with the sorbet colours of the stained glass windows.




Let's finish with a personal favourite...the old VW Camper van complete with appropriately coloured flowers on the dashboard. There is just something about them that pleases me everytime I spot one....not that I have any aspirations to own one mind you. I'll leave camping and all that it entails to the hardier folks amongst you. I remain an ensuite bathroom kind of girl!!


Arilx




Tuesday, 21 December 2021

[Morris] Sticks and Stones

With everything back up in the air again I never know whether plans we've made will come to fruition or not. Thankfully the invitation from the Cotswold Order of Druids asking Mythago to perform at their annual Alban Arthan [winter solstice] ceremony in the circle at Stonehenge came good.

It's been two years since our last trip and boy have I missed it. What an absolute privilege to experience that subtle change in atmosphere as I crossed the threshold and entered the liminal space. Previous trips have taught me to wrap up warm as it's bitterly cold with the wind whipping across, but it was calmer on Sunday. The all day fog really did add to the ethereal quality of the celebration. Normally we take the bus out, but with no amps allowed and dry conditions, we all decided to walk it instead. It added another dimension to the experience being surrounded in that huge sacred landscape peppered with ancient burial mounds. As ever, spirituality aside, the cafe did very well out of us....despite our scary black kit [someone called us the Mordor of Morris recently!] Mythago peeps do love a cuppa and a big slab of cake. It's an important part of the wind-down process once we've finished [or that's what I tell myself!]

Having got there with plenty of time to spare I was able to take a few shots to share here. For obvious reasons we're not allowed to take photos in the stones whilst the ceremony is on, but there are a few minutes at the end which we all take full advantage of. It's not often that we get to pose in quite such a magnificent setting. I might not be at ease with  the commercialisation of the site, but you cannot strip away the magic of the place or the awe at the sheer size and human effort that drove our ancestors on to build this magnificent monument.











Solstice blessings to all those who celebrate the Old Ways.

Arilx



Monday, 20 December 2021

Rush job

 


Just a silly from me today as we've been dashing around chasing our tails these past few days. Will be back with a proper post tomorrow.

Arilx

Friday, 17 December 2021

Christmas Post

 As you might have noticed, I like to kick back on a Friday with an easy "woolly" sort of post that I don't have to spend too much time pondering the content of. This week I can literally offer you a woolly post. More appropriately themed postbox toppers which are popping up all over the town [apart from a handful that have mysteriously disappeared😠]. Indeed there are so many that the regional BBC news programme did a feature about them this week.

Whilst I know they're not for everyone, I love spotting them and they have brought a lot of joy to many at what is already a difficult time of year for some without the extra stresses of the ongoing situation we all find ourselves in. This time we have one of the local WI's to thank who have pitched in and are using the crocheted decorations to highlight the invaluable work of a locally run charity who organise the homeless night shelter and the food bank. These are very popular this year, but I suspect that they are very "of the moment" and the phase will pass. Therefore, I shall be enjoying them whilst I can.









Have a great weekend one and allxx

Arilx


 

Thursday, 16 December 2021

Gifted

 Friends [they of the Halloween wedding fame] mentioned that they had "stuff in the boot" for us after the Mythago Christmas meal last night. Now this is a regular occurrence in my life and usually that translates as "I've got a load of recycling for you." so I didn't give it much thought. This is what came out of the boot....


An enormous wreath hand made by S with bits he'd cut from the woods that back onto their house. I can't ever remember having one made from natural materials before. Usually we put a gold twiggy star that we've been recycling for at least as long as TYM has been born. What a lovely surprise it was and as you can see Mr GBT has already hung it on the front door. 

Arilx

Tuesday, 14 December 2021

The guardian of Hell's Corner


I'm not in the mood for glitter and sparkles today so this is my rather darker offering instead. She is hidden away in a corner where not many would tread [I had been told about her beforehand] otherwise I think she'd have been removed long ago. Behind her lies the unconsecrated area of our churchyard where the likes of executed criminals lie in unmarked graves. It's known locally as Hell's Corner💀😈❤

Back to a more twinkly service tomorrow!!

Arilx

Monday, 13 December 2021

Sky Watcher

For most of the year I miss any spectacular sunrises and sunsets. However, my luck changes at this time because of the hours I work I'm on the road making my way home in the later afternoon. Usually it's just a case of admiring the fleeting colours through the windscreen, but I was on foot last week and after many hours of torrential rain I was treated to these beautiful tinted salmon clouds.


Up at stupid o'clock having just done the weekly shop the skies were ablaze with a palette of fiery colours again on Saturday.....I just grabbed my phone and snapped quickly before it all cleared. No filters or upping the vibrancy. Just as it was....scout's honour!





Arilx


Bushy Park

 My friend Arty L has spent most of her adult life in London and prior to Covid she was a nature lover, but preferred living in the city wit...