Wednesday 31 August 2022

Thrifty Wednesday.

 [Image from Pixabay]

Something in the back of my noggin reminded me that the Eventbrite website is often the source of some good free events both online and in real time. For starters it's the annual Heritage Open Days week from 9-18th September when all sorts of places open up for free or you can nose around others which aren't normally accessible to the public. I've booked us free tickets for a local event for which you'd normally pay £15pp. Maybe it's a cut down version of the usual one, but it's something new for us and I'm not worried. It's good to have something to look forwards to especially if you're having to work to a tight budget. If you think a weekly post about some aspect of thrifty simple living [minus the pity party or the wearing of hair shirts] would be useful please let me know and I'll see what I can come up with. Other posts will remain of the normal random nature you've come to expect from me.


Monday 29 August 2022

Working from home

 The August bank holiday weekend is one I enjoy, but perhaps not in the way most folk do. As lots of people head out of the door in search of entertainment I use it as the perfect time to pull up the drawbridge and spend some time here at GBT. We've been beavering away slinging meals in the haybox [now even more improved since we pressed TYM's old Deliveroo bag into service as the outer casing] and even me, the reluctant cook, has batch cooked so we only need to put the oven on once this week. Energy price rises are forcing my hand and adopt new habits....if it saves us money then I'm willing to do it. Am hanging around thrift forums like a bad smell and learning loads of tips even though I consider myself a fairly old hand at this gnat bottomed business...I now know that if I run out of custard powder I can make my own with cornflour, sugar and a dash of vanilla for one. The more I can do for myself the more empowered I feel...jars of raspberry jam and peanut butter have now been added to the pantry shelf and I've been altering a second hand skirt I bought last year.

Obviously this makes me sound extremely virtuous.....I promise you that I haven't been holed up here slaving away the entire time. I nipped over to see my friend WW for a cuppa and a high calorific snack. The world has once again been put to rights whilst we sat and pulled the hair off several dolls....yes you read that right. She's been making dead fairies for a while [you could never accuse me of having dull friends could you!], but she's now branched out into making creepy dolls too. She buys tatty old dolls for a song and then goes about remodelling them into something very different. With 30 to deal with it can be devilishly difficult to get their original hair off and take a lot of time. It was surprisingly cathartic! I'll spare you a photo of the dewigged ones sitting on her sofa­čśł

Another friend was singing in our local John Lewis on Saturday with her rock choir. Always liking the chance to see and experience something new we popped down to support her and have a listen. It's a treat to hear a live performance, but being me I had other plans to make the most of my time in hand I scooted off once they'd finished to do what I love goes! 

I am guessing that the glorious stairs in JL are pride related, but I really hope that they keep the colours there permanently­čîł

After a few months off, the local WI behind these toppers have been busy again. This time they're promoting the Midnight Walk being held soon by our local hospice.

The late colours of summer are now really beginning to show in our local park. After a naughty councillor tried to pull some strings and get a hotel built there a few years ago a group of local volunteers and supporters was rapidly formed to stop such shenanigans from being attempted again. Its value as a green space within the centre of the town has now been recognised and the team of helpers do a tremendous job. The huge bench [seats 8] is a recent addition and is intended to encourage people to sit and chat and the hedgehog higthway is new too.

I've said it before and no doubt I will say it a hundred times more, but I really am blessed to live here.


Friday 26 August 2022

The Common Stinkhorn

I'm hoping that is a Common Stinkhorn. It's also known as Phallus Impudicus....naturally­čśë 

Have a great weekend.


Wednesday 24 August 2022

A bit of a curate's egg.

 Hastings...Mr GBT's choice for his birthday before the school holidays began. I call it a curate's egg because the new town is rather run down and you could be on any high street anywhere in the country. The old town is quirky and a delight to prizes for guessing where we spent the day. We visited all the free museums, but I'd much prefer just to give you a small selection and a taster should you ever choose to head that way. Here is my humble offering of the historical, the interesting, the whimsical and the downright answer to the question I don't know what Elvis would do either­čść

This is one of the pieces of work by Leigh Dyer. There were several dotted around the square where people were sitting and enjoying the sunshine.

This fabulous shop with its original Victorian frontage still intact is a maker of artificial flowers. There is a small museum on site too. It doesn't open on a Monday, but apparently it's quite often closed even when it's supposedly open so it's down to luck whether you pick the right day!

The iconic Victorian netting sheds are one of the most commonly photographed images of the area. The old nets were made of natural materials so were prone to rotting if left exposed. Nowadays of course they're all made of plastic....


Monday 22 August 2022

What you appreciate appreciates.

At exactly the right moment Youtube put the following talk up on my is very timely and puts into words many of my personal feelings and views about our society. "Freedom from the money culture" talk given by Lynne Twiste.

If you think it may be of interest please do take a look.


Friday 19 August 2022

The Winkle Club

 The Winkle Club [titter ye not!] was established in 1900 by a group of fishermen in Hastings who drank at the same pub and wanted to do their bit to raise money and ease the grinding poverty suffered by some of the town's local children. They took as their symbol the winkle which is found all over the beach there and each member had to carry his own shell [now filled with sealing wax]. Upon being told to "winkle up"everyone had to produce their shell with those who couldn't paying a fine which would go towards their fund raising efforts. The same rules apply today

Some of the early members sounded proper characters. The King Winkle suit adorned in silver painted  shells was made and worn by Walter 'Slogger"' Hoad and then we have Alfred 'Biddy' Stonham who was not only a fisherman, but also a member of the lifeboat crew. However, he was most well known for the acrobatics he performed on his tub near the pier to amuse all the holiday makers. The most exclusive of members are those who receive the "golden winkle"...amongst those are Prince Phillip and Sir Winston Churchill.

The club continues to the present day organising events and raising money. There is now a designated area near the old town aptly named Winkle Island. At its centre it has the most stylish collection box I've ever set eyes on. Isn't it fabulous!

Am very slowly catching up on the backlog of posts I've got in mind. In the meantime have a great weekend. We're having friends over for a BBQ and to celebrate B's 60th birthday.


Wednesday 17 August 2022

Put the kettle on!

I'm offering up a general chit-chat sort of of those which gently meanders from one thing to another. Tuesday morning is usually the one slot I am work free and I often use it to catch up. Last week I needed a much overdue trip into town so with list in hand I gadded about as quickly as possible with my mind on other things. All of a sudden I was aware that I was worrying away and not paying any attention to what was going on around me. I took my phone out and challenged myself to find some thing of colour and something to amuse me on what was a beautiful sunny day with clear blue skies overhead. Five minutes later I had calmed right down.....

Yesterday morning was rather a contrast as we got some much needed showers. Humphrey wasn't a happy boy though because he's terrified of thunder and cowers inside. In fact he's not been a happy boy for a few days. TYM commented how grumpy he was...he bit him and it's virtually unheard of as he's usually one big furry cuddle. We hardly saw him either as he was rushing in to eat and then clearing off again to a secret place. I guessed that maybe it was the heat, but one evening he ventured back in and was far more his normal affectionate self. I then noticed a nasty wound on his neck....yes at the grand old age of 10 he has apparently taken up street fighting­čśżI suspect that there's a new feline around and he's been defending his territory. One expensive trip to the vet later and he's now on the mend. He won over everyone at the practice because he flirted outrageously and purred throughout his much so that the nurses have renamed him Champ! His owner would prefer that he kept his nose clean and out of trouble thank you. Here he is looking like butter wouldn't melt...we're supposed to be keeping his neck clean...naturally he's had other ideas and has taken every opportunity to roll in every bit of dust he can find whilst napping on the border!

If you've had enough of me nattering I can go and put on my new red kettle. Our old one died, but fortunately for us I'd just received some vouchers by way of payment for a shopping scheme I participated in until recently so there was no outlay for either this shiny addition to the GBT kitchen nor the green toaster that I also splashed out on. If you fancy a piece of cake to go with your cuppa I have been baking.....jaffa drizzle cake for my friend's birthday at the weekend

To end many thanks for all your comments about our new hay box. We've roadtested it with a casserole I put together. Mr GBT has added in some more insulation and we've swapped to a metal pot...early signs look promising and it had kept our supper nice and warm. There'll probably be a few more tweaks along the way, but so far so good!


Monday 15 August 2022

Making hay boxes while the sun shines.

As we continue to review our life and budget choices we have been looking at many different options and ideas. Some things we instantly disregard, some we price up and again reject because there are no savings to be made or are more expensive than what we're already doing and others just prove to be impractical. However, I'm a person who deals with things by coming up with workable's part of who I am and setbacks don't set me back they just set me off in another direction. Ways of saving fuel is very topical right now and I have often wondered about the viability of a wonderbag or having a haybox. The first option would take a relatively long time to pay off for the savings you would make so I soon discarded that, but I mentioned the latter to Mr GBT. He did the maths and said that it would be worth experimenting with a haybox if we could make one for free.

Whilst I might not a great keeper of everything that might come in useful one day, I do recognise the value of having a modest stash of bits and bobs. Two big cardboard boxes, one old cushion pad, a bag of unused hay we originally bought for the hedgehog house, leftover styrofoam and a stand made from wood we had anyway and legs from our son's old cot bars....ta-dah!

We filled our casserole dish with boiling water and left it for 7 hours. When we came back he measured the temperature and said it would be safe to use for cooking. I wouldn't use it for things like chicken or pork though as don't want to risk food poisoning It's got to be worth a punt!


Friday 12 August 2022

Friday smile

 It's hot so it's just a quick offering from me today­čî×

Have a great weekend.


Wednesday 10 August 2022

Ten Minutes

 Last month we travelled over to Hampshire to have lunch with Mr GBT's sister. On our last visit I'd discovered that we passed a church with some items of note that I quite fancied having a quick look at. Whilst I wouldn't make a special trip across it seems daft not to just drop in as we were over that way anyway...I promised I'd be no more than ten minutes.

Corhampton church is one without dedication, but what is definitely known is that it's Saxon in origin. It also has some rather fine medieval paintings, but I'm sparing you those.

One Saxon sundial set into the outside wall. It's made of sandstone which differs from the main fabric of the current building so it's known to predate it. Those leaf shaped motifs on the end of the spokes denote eight "tides" rather than the the twelve hours we're more accustomed to in the modern versions and the hole in the middle would have taken a gnomon.

This is a Saxon [or possibly medieval] Sanctuary chair or fridstol [meaning chair of peace] as the Saxons would have called it. Once seated in it you could claim sanctuary and not be arrested within the church. Other churches round the country have sanctuary knockers mounted on their front door which served the same purpose. I wonder how often people used them in this way?

I stuck to my agreed time limit and have to say it was most definitely worth breaking the journey for.


Monday 8 August 2022

Festival season

 We have many friends who love music festivals, so through them I have become familiar with the names of some despite never having been to one. This year though Mythago, along with other dance sides, was invited to perform during the day at the Wickham Festival. Many of the side have attended in previous years so were keen to attend [some have stayed the whole weekend], but for us it was perfect because it's within easy reach of home for a day. Time to enjoy the sights and sounds of something new....

In terms of festival scale this one is a little 'un but it's won its fair share of awards in the under 15k festival categories. Being one that really not keen on big peopley events this was perfectly manageable for me. Loved the vibe, watching everyone in their finery and the friendliness of all we met. The final photo is the Marching Skaletons,,,the trombonist even has bones down his trousers. Always had a soft spot for Ska since I was a young teen and this lot were sensational. We were well received too I'm pleased to report!


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...