Thursday 30 June 2022

June Moths

 We haven't put the trap out at all this month, so I only have one offering to share...however, I hope you agree that it's rather a stunner. This is the Scarlet Tiger Moth and is one of the daytime moths. We saw it when we were away.

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend. I'll be back next week with some tales of my recent travels.


Tuesday 28 June 2022

Oops I did it again!

If you point out to your wife that "there's the "Green Man Ceramics over here" when you're out walking there's only ever going to be one outcome💚 The owner told me that he had based his design on a medieval one that he'd seen in Paris. As for that book...there's no point calling yourself a bibliophile unless you always take the opportunity to have a nose around any second hand bookshop the National Trust has. Normally I come away empty handed, but this one was standing proud on top of a pile of other titles. I reckoned that the universe was dropping a large hint that it was sitting waiting patiently for me...I try not to ignore those little nudges these days. This is my personal take on the traditional holiday souvenir!



Friday 17 June 2022

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 with all it has to offer. As for many of us the lockdowns forced her to find new ways of coping. Until that point she'd only visited Bushy Park if she'd been taken there, but in a bid to escape the crowds she worked out one day that she could walk there from her home. She's never looked back since and this has become a special sanctuary for her with all the wildlife to see. Often she's amazed to find that she's been out for six hours enjoying all its delights and I've loved all the photos and videos she's shared with me of what she's seen. On this trip I was lucky enough to be able to accompany her and I now completely understand why she's fallen in love with it.

Bushy Park is the second largest of the Royal Parks and was "given" [I use that word in its loosest sense] to Henry VIII by Cardinal Wolsey in 1529 [probably because he rightly feared for his life] and it has at various times been farmed [Medieval], been a Tudor deer park, a 17th century water garden and a WWII American airbase called Camp Griffiss. Nowadays it's a welcome refuge from the hubbub of the streets around Hampton Court and you really can get away from it all.

I hope everyone has a good weekend. I shall be taking a short blog break and then returning on a 2-3 times a week posting. It will keep me off the pc and free up more time for my beloved reading. 


Wednesday 15 June 2022

Nine Years

 Can you believe it....I have nattering away for nine whole years on this old blog of mine. Back then my son was just finishing year 10 and here we are now with him having moved into digs and working fulltime in his chosen career field. He was 24 recently👀😲 In the days prior to his leaving [he'll be coming back to catch up with friends etc regularly] he disgorged the contents of his bedroom...who knew so much stuff could be stuffed into such a small space. I've reached the conclusion that the walls must bow outwards in there to have fitted it all all. The recycling bin was rather full last week and various things have come my way because he knows how much I loathe how perfectly serviceable things are just tossed thoughtlessly into a hole in the ground. Like me he's not very sentimental about many possessions and he's got rid of lots of uni notes....I have done the thrifty thing and gone through the pile retrieving any blank sided sheets to add to our scrap paper box. I said a couple of weeks ago I was going to bringing in changes and eliminating waste/being as thrifty as possible is right up there. The pile of pencils have been accumulated over the years as he studied Geography. Mr GBT bought me my own smart set as a present a couple of years ago, but I've found a friend's daughter who is stationery mad and is very keen to have these slightly scruffy ones and put them to good use.

Over the past month I've been monitoring my spending patterns to see where I can nip and tuck the budget. The first thing I discovered is just how often I meet friends for coffee and cake. Now I "knew" that I had a cafe habit, but I hadn't realised quite how much I'd been spending. I shan't be stopping completely, but shall be more mindful. On the last couple of times I've taken food with me so I haven't needed to buy stuff when I've been out which oddly is something I always do if we're travelling or walking, but not if I'm just pottering about locally. It made a big difference when I went to London at the weekend! With a client on holiday yesterday I had time to go into town and see if I could purchase the eco products for less. The excellent news is that Wilko do their own brand green toilet cleaner and I can get the Dri pak products I use in Savers all for significantly less. We did go a little wild in M&S with a £25 spree for treats for our upcoming trip away, but I'd saved a voucher a very generous client had given me for Christmas😁

I'd also said that I'd be trying some new small things to get me on my way. For the first time I made a lemon cheesecake type pud [usually I do the base and then bail out so Mr GBT finishes it off] in lieu of a cake for TYM's birthday [he doesn't eat much cake]. I've frozen the leftover cream/condensed milk lemon topping as a type of icecream for another time. I've been diligently using up any leftovers and the sweet potatoes my Mum passed over got turned into a mash with carrots thrown in and some leftover sour a bid to only use the one pan I've finally got round to using the steamer to cook the remaining veg on top....why has it taken me so long I ask myself!! We've been enjoying homegrown lettuce for lunches and Mr GBT is just about to embark on a new batch of elderflower wine [making not drinking that is!]. The mending pile is slowly reducing and Mr GBT's tatty work jeans now have one of the back pockets removed and repurposed as a patch over the rip in the knee.  A pair of mine are next, but inspired by a mend Nancy Birtwhistle did recently I'm going to go down the route of visible mending and consign them to homewear only. In a bid to get more ideas and inspiration I've signed up to a few thrifty youtube channels and decided to order Nancy's green book from the library. I've been most impressed with her thrifty approach to the green issues and all her ideas for making do and mending. The flowers below are from my parents front garden where they have left a patch to grow wild. It was buzzing with insects and looked so pretty I couldn't resist taking a photo of it.

Many thanks for stopping by and reading all my wafflings. As ever I appreciate every comment and how the things people share with me add to my personal knowledge and lead me down all sorts of new and fascinating avenues to explore.


Monday 13 June 2022

Not stopping

 One of those glorious moments at Clapham Junction when the train is late and the wires have got crossed between the driver and the station. The information board said the first stop would be soon as the doors had slammed shut the information on the train said first stop would be Woking. Umm...ah well get off at Woking and go back up the line. Just as well I'm an old bird who likes to be punctual and always leaves herself a big old chunk of spare time [anxiety does have its pluses]. Besides had I not had my unexpected little travel add on I'd never have seen this sculpure "Seated Man" by Sean Henry on the platform. I really rather like it.


Friday 10 June 2022

Terry Dactyl

 Referring back to a post from earlier this week here we have a very young looking Jona Lewie with our friend Keef Trouble on the monkey stick [now in the Okee Dokee band] when they played together in the Terry Dactyl and the Dinosaurs. They got to number 2 in the charts in 1972 with another of their songs the "Seaside Shuffle" which I regret to say I'd never heard of! Have a good weekend....TYM is moving out to the badlands of Surrey so he's nearer to London for work. However, I suspect he'll still be putting in a regular appearance at GBT. Just so long as he doesn't arrive with all his washing he's always welcome!


Thursday 9 June 2022

Well, well, well

 "How do you fancy popping out to see if we can find that well you texted me about last week?" asked my friend WW on Saturday. As a Druid I have a love of sacred places like stone circles and wells. We have some good examples of burial mounds up in the South Downs, but I long ago accepted that we don't have the stone monuments [Sussex is not known for its sarsen stones!] and any holy wells there might have once been round here have long since disappeared. The one in Horsham is now under a private carpark I do believe😢

Flummoxed is the only word I can think to describe my feelings when a chap put up photos of a sacred well within 7 miles of here on the local FB group. Never have I read anything about it or heard a whisper of its existence until then. Even my friend M says that he's only read the briefest mention of it in a couple of books and he's a chap who's written and published books on the county. It seems very few others knew of it either if it's rather neglected state was anything to go by. I can't tell you a great deal about it save it's very old and is thought to have been dedicated to a saint once. Now it's named after an erstwhile water diviner from many years back. With a rough idea of its whereabouts [it sits quietly just off the verge of a country lane] we set off to see what we could turn up. 

As ever if you're on foot you see so much more....these are my little finds in a very short space of time before we'd even stumbled across our quarry.

Despite the well being so near the road it doesn't exactly leap out at you. It's a great deal easier to spot if you're on foot and can see the little brick wall which stands in front of it. Round the back is where the magic happens once you've lifted off the manhole cover lid which sits on top of it. I had no expectations [in fact I'd warned WW that it would probably be a bit underwhelming], but how wrong we both were. It's a beautiful liminal space with a gentle energy. The water trickling down from the nearby spring is clear and cold. Its temperature never rises and nor does it ever run dry. It was so special to visit a place in my adopted home county which wasn't desecrated by the tat of spent nightlights and plastic accoutrements. It's obviously somebody else's sacred space too judging by the votive offerings carefully placed on top. It's the sort of thing I expect to come across in the West country, not in these parts!

With a need to calm ourselves naturally it would have been rude not to have paid a visit to hostelry before we returned home. This place has quite a tale to tell Mrs Budd, the erstwhile landlady and mother of tragic Walter, continues to haunt the pub staff to this day. She is known for her antics and is not someone you would want to displease either in her lifetime or now. We were chatting to the lady working behind the bar when I looked up at the beams above this very day people are still cramming the nooks and crannies in them with coins. It seems in many ways we are not so distant from some of our ancestors in their practices and the leaving of offerings.....


Wednesday 8 June 2022

Platy Jubes

 TYM informed me with a hearty chuckle that the hip way to refer to the events of last weekend was the "Platy Jubes".....I feel so much better for knowing that I'm now down with the cool kids😆 Despite having allowed all the celebrations to pass me by [bar the paper Union Jack flag that my Republican son erm "liberated" from a pub in Surrey😉 having enjoyed a few sherbets out with his mates] I did want to capture the flavour of some of it as we'll never experience the like of it again in my lifetime and these historic moments are so fleeting. Having decided to walk across the town to see my friend WW rather than driving as I usually would it seemed to present the perfect opportunity to take a few images. I've included a range of the things I found. One of the town centre pubs went as far as to have its whole ceiling repainted in red, white and blue! Many went for the traditional decorations, but I secretly rather enjoyed those that injected a dollop of humour....mad eyed Royals is much more my thing!

There had been plans to come home a different way and see a few more things, but WW is always good for coming up with things on the spur of the moment so we went out for a spot of unplanned exploring instead. More tomorrow!


Tuesday 7 June 2022

Avail Yourself of the Ale

 Whilst I didn't cancel working over the Jubilee I ended up with Thursday off so completed the "joyful" task of defrosting the freezer and dutifully listing all the contents. Although that's given me a snapshot of what we've got in there and made the weekly menu plan a heck of a lot easier it hardly makes for a lifeaffirming, gripping sort of morning, so Mr GBT and I hatched a plan which would reward us for our diligence😆 It would be a disappointment to many I'm sure were you to discover that our plotting didn't involve a local hostelry [within walking distance of GBT] and a pint of locally brewed ale. Besides with such a tempting invitation as this on the A board outside who was I to refuse😀

In truth the pair of us don't do spontaneity so we'd prearranged to meet up with a friend to listen to this local lot of reprobates. The Okee Dokee band are hilarious. Songs which generally take the rise out of the irritations and quirks of of everyday life [like always getting stuck behind the slowest person in the queue at the supermarket, our obsession with exercise during the lockdown, the mancave] they are not terribly pc in our current cancel culture so you need a sense of humour. We all got given a free badge with the line of washing on that you can see strung out behind them. They played for two hours and if you were to ask me to describe their music style I'd have to say that it would be Ian Drury meets Ska with a goodly dollop of blues and reggae thrown in for good measure. What a great act. The fellow playing the monkey stick [aka mendozer, zob stick or lager phone] used to be in the same band as Jona Lewie [he of "Don't stop the cavalry" fame] and he co-wrote Lewie's other hit ""You will always find me in the kitchen at parties." So now you know....


Friday 3 June 2022

70 years

Enjoying a bit more woolly craft on my way home from work last week. I've seen a couple of toppers locally with her Majesty, corgis etc in wool, but the randomness of this Jubilee one was rather curious. Lovely to discover that it's been done by the village "Learn to knit/crochet" club who meet once a week in a room in the pub. I'm not an ardent Monarchist [not anti either], but hope you have a fabulous weekend whatever you're up to.


Thursday 2 June 2022

Going back over old ground.

 It's some four years ago since E and I paid our first visit to the local Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden. E's suggestion of paying a return visit was a mighty fine one and it was just as magical as last time. I think it's the way that the pieces are blended so carefully into their garden surround which makes for a successful display, but still leaves space for all the borders and landscaping to shine through. No one element dominates or jars. These were the ones which appealed to me.

The garden limits the number of visitors on any one day [it's prebooking only] which keeps it as a very serene place to spend time in. Thanks to E having a card we were both able to benefit from a discounted entry price.


Back to the town of painted doors and alleycats

 💕Ah Tewkesbury💕 Do you know what...I flipping love this town with all its curios and layers of history. It is entirely down to Mythago an...