Showing posts from January, 2023

What's There Then?

Perhaps like me you see the names of places on the road signs time after time as you pass by and wonder what's there, but never stop. The small village of Mickleham in Surrey is one of those places. It's set back from the dual carriageway upon which the traffic rushes past from Dorking up towards Leatherhead and sits at the bottom of Box Hill which is always busy with people coming out of London, cyclists and a meeting place for bikers. Somehow it gets missed out and so it remains surprisingly quiet for this part of the world. One Thursday afternoon a couple of weeks ago we decided to remedy this situation and finally find out for ourselves what was there.  St Michael and All Angels is yet another Norman church which the Victorians set about restoring in 1840. The result is a hotch-potch of styles, but a great deal better than some of the hatchet jobs I've seen. I mustn't be too sniffy though, because had there not been this 19th zeal for "improvement" many ch


 Another Winter Sunday walk in another small Sussex village. I know that January has its critics and I understand why, but when the weather is dry[ish!] I do enjoy the quiet stillness to this part of the year after the frantic rush of the festivities. We met our friend H in Ebernoe this time to take a spin round the common which is now owned by the Sussex Wildlife Trust. It's really only used by locals and it's very familiar to H because she often walks her two dogs up there. However, I've only been the once and that was with her when our sons were of an age to have muddy knees and be permanently running ahead of us with huge sticks in their hands. Back in the day both were dirt magnets and virtually needed hosing down at the end of it all! Whilst there might not have been a huge amount to see the birds are beginning to find their voices once again and the woods were humming with their song. Love is most definitely in the air. Today was still and cold with white cloudy skie

Oops I did it again!

 Not for the first time I managed to schedule today's intended post for the wrong date so it's already gone live before the event so to's here ๐Ÿ˜†  Eccentric Amblings and Ramblings From Gnat Bottomed Towers: Reasons to be cheerful part 4 Arilx

A sweet question.

I stumbled across this intriguing gravestone in the aisle of St Michael and All Angels [Mickleham, Surrey] last week. It was the reference to his "Majesties Confectionary Office" which made me stop and give it a second look. Once I had established that the monarch we're talking about was Charles II it sent  me down a bit of a rabbit hole. History can be frustrating sometimes because it simply doesn't offer up the answers to the questions you have. I don't really know where I could gain a better understanding of what role Peter Delahay played, but what I have established is that there was a street named after him in London [ceased to exist in 1915]  and the house he owned is still standing [incredibly it's only had 5 owners]. With what little information I have managed to turn up he was a Groom of the Confectionary in 1668 so one assumes that he must have done well and progressed upwards to the post of yeoman. There seem to have been many different yeomans for

Sunny Sunday

 During this past week I've been watching the weather forecast on my phone like a hawk. It's paid dividends because we've been able to have two small outings. These are from yesterday's amble starting from the small Sussex village of Plaistow [or Plasto as we pronounce it round here]. I did look to see if there were any juicy tidbits to share. The only small crumb I could winkle out was that at one time there was a small hill with a tree on top which was known as Nell Ball's tree. Who Nell might have been remains obscured by folkloric tales, but the rumours have here as either it having been Nell Gwynne who planted the tree when she stayed at Plaistow Place [possibly] or a local lady called Ellen Ball who died by her own hand on the hill. Again highly unlikely, but it all makes for a good story doesn't it. Nowadays the memory is preserved in one of the road names. The route I'd chosen promised farms, woodland, glimpses of Blackdown Hill [the highest point in

Reasons to be cheerful part 4

It made me chuckle...I'm not entirely sure that I quite trust that smiling beastie of a letterbox though! Hope everyone has a great weekend. Arilx 

Reasons to be cheerful part 3

Coming across that forgotten skirt in the wardrobe that you bought in the charity shop in late September which you had marked down for wearing in the warmer months. It got missed when I put my summer clothes away in the loft so I hung it in there to get it out of the way. Better still more digging unearthed the perfect necklace to finish the outfit off.  Have a great weekend...more wassailing here! After this weekend I shall be able to get out and do some more non morris adventuring! Arilx

"No longer abused"

"The fighting fairy woman" Joan Wytte was born in Bodmin c1775. During her lifetime she earnt a reputation as a clairvoyant and healer with many people seeking her help. In times of very limited medical services on offer [and for those you would have had to pay dearly] the local "wisewoman" would have been known to many locally and played an important role in the community. Joan suffered from extreme pain from a tooth abscess in later life which made her cantankerous and violent. She was known to brawl and at such times displayed such levels of strength that some whispered she must be possessed by the devil. It was her fighting which landed her in Bodmin jail where she died from bronchial pneumonia aged only 38 in 1813. In death she was not allowed to rest in peace. Her skeleton ended up as a medical specimen until it was passed onto the founder of the Museum of Witchcraft, Cecil Williamson, in the 1960s. It continued to be displayed as a curio until 1996 when the n

Dancing shenanigans

 Friday evening and with the jukebox and glitterball spinning it was the January Blues disco mark II. Such was the success of last year's trial run my friend S and I have decided to make it an annual event...some might think it's rather tragic two middle aged dames whirling around her front room to cheesy tracks from their teenage years with a break midway for some high calorie snacks. The intention was to laugh a lot and raise our serotonin levels at what can be a difficult time of year..both of which we managed in spades and as an added extra I have finally mastered the actions for YMCA. You are being spared photos๐Ÿ˜† [this image is from Pixabay] In other weekend news a fair proportion of Saturday was spent in Dorking at the invitation of Boxhill Bedlam to help them celebrate their wassail in the community orchard. Morris dancers at ease....spending a Saturday afternoon in the company of others attired like this is perfectly normal in my world. It was another great success and

Reasons to be cheerful part 2.

 With a bit of Christmas money from my lovely clients setting my pockets ablaze and burning a big hole in them I found out by chance that a Horsham born and bred author, Tony Wales [sadly no longer with us] had written these books which weren't on my radar. I have a couple of well thumbed titles by him already on my shelf, but that naughty preloved marketplace on that site which shares its name with a famous South American river drew me in with all its wickedly tempting offers. I have already finished the folklore one and learnt new things about my adopted home county. Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend. Arilx

Rock the frock

 I'm in need of another injection of beauty today, so unashamedly I am returning to the beautiful costume gallery in Worthing Museum and plundering the photos I took. Unfortunately I can't provide you with the specifics as I spent my time looking at the beautiful details [and gabbing with my friend๐Ÿ˜ quite possibly], but I hope you enjoy some of the exhibits I saw. Stunning to look at, but I am extremely grateful that corsets are not part of my daily attire. I adore that royal purple one. Arilx