Wednesday 31 May 2023

And back again.

 Nymans I simply cannot resist you....I took my friend IceBadger there for her first visit. She's lived in the area for a long time and been an NT member for some considerable period yet never got here. It's got all the elements she loves...a ruin, old doors, gates, beautiful ironwork. Despite it being our closest property it turns out that she had convinced herself it was another garden quite a distance away so had never made it here. I am guessing she was rather taken with it as she was already planning a return visit😁 If you are wondering why she's holding up a Mog onesie they're currently running a delightful themed display for the's only a shame that the outfit didn't come in an adult size😸

The garden always delivers on its promise of something new and at the moment it does seem that its plantings are in their blue and shades of yellow/orange phase. I have never seen a peony that apricot colour and rarely do I see the brown iris which I adore. The shade makes me think of old velvet. It's six months since I was last here. Where does the time go?!!


Monday 29 May 2023

One Enchanted Day

A beautiful day of nomadic folkloric wanderings within a very small patch of West Sussex. I hope that you enjoy a little of the magic my friend and I experienced on our wanderings on Saturday as I showed her a few of my special places. We travelled between the Sussex villages of Shipley and Storrington. Many of the places I have shared here before, but the Moon Bridge is a new one for me. It's tiny and is part of a series of three Fairy Bridges in Sandgate Park. They were once part of the ornamental grounds of Sandgate House [now demolished]

Sunshine, a pub lunch and some free books outside a cottage on a sleepy country lane and there you have my perfect day. This is the first time I've met this delightful lady for a spot of adventuring. We "met" via Insta and for real at a couple of Mythago events she's come to. She's on her own personal folkloric journey and takes the most stunning photos of her travels. She's at Elena of the Ways over on IG if you want to see where she's been so far.


Friday 26 May 2023

Lego bricks

Hot after finishing our final set of dancing in Winchester, Mr GBT and I set off in pursuit of a cold drink. This is up one of the side streets in Winchester and is by the anonymous street artist Hendog. I love it.

Hope you have a fabulous weekend.


Wednesday 24 May 2023

An interesting interview technique!


[Image from Pixabay]

Last week TYM went for an internal job, which if successful, would see him move across from the two year graduate scheme he's currently on over to the permanent [as permanent as anything is in this day and age] management team. The interviewers were spread between London and beyond so it was an online version from his room where he now lives. For reasons I'm not party to he has never had a chair, so in lieu he sat on a plastic box covered with a duvet. All was going well until the box broke and he disappeared from view. He said there were two rather worried faces looking at him from his laptop screen when he popped up again, but he assured them there was no damage done and went on to complete his interview kneeling down. Apparently it worked in his favour because he gave the perfect example of how he reacts under pressure and I'm pleased to say that he has got his promotion. I might suggest that he asks his landlord if he can have a chair now though!


Monday 22 May 2023

Dancing on the tables

Two weekends of dancing in different places combined with two very old tables. Firstly Rochester and then this one in Winchester....

Legend has it that it was King Arthur's Round Table. Alas that is but mere fable, but the idea of equality for all those who sat round it being brought in by its circular form filtered down into the ideals of the Medieval chivalric code. Such was the popularity of the Arthurian legacy that Round Table Tournaments were held round the country at which the participants would have enjoyed feasting and jousting. This table is 5.5m across and is made of oak. Dendrochronology dates it to the mid to late 13th century and one theory is that it was made for Edward I's celebration of his daughter's bethrothal on 20th April 1290. He was known to have held this near Winchester and to have attended five Round Table tournaments such was his level of enthusiasm for all things King Arthur.
During its early years it was plain, but a certain Henry VIII [always known for his modesty😏] had it painted for his visit to the city in 1516. Surprise, surprise that's the Tudor Rose in the centre and a depiction of himself above it. I first saw this as a newly arrived student back in 1985 and my first thought was that it bore more than a passing resemblance to a darts board. Here I am many years later with exactly the same thought. What a philistine. For anyone wanting to see this gem for themselves it's housed in the Great Hall. There is an entry fee, but we got in for free because we were dancing beneath it not on it!


Friday 19 May 2023

Hands Up

 These two from the church in Winchcombe immediately reminded me of 'Hands up baby hands up' by Ottawan. My brain does make some bizarre connections sometimes, but hey it's Friday so let's just go with it shall we. Have a great weekend!


Wednesday 17 May 2023

Away from the hubbub

 Kensington High Street on a Saturday morning is a noisy place...sirens wailing, horns blaring, crowds of people. I've always been quite sensitive to loud noises and the busyness of those around me and to stop myself becoming overwhelmed I need to be able to escape for a few minutes to recalibrate. London is an amazing city for this with all its quiet side street and intimate green spaces. 10 steps away from the main thoroughfare and I came across all this...two small public gardens, a row of very exclusive real shops where one could purchase a beautiful bridal tiara or a new handmade cravat and a row of imagined shops with a black cat. For ten minutes I was able to sit and then gently explore where I was before rejoining the throngs and making my way up to Kensington Gardens in pursuit of the Elfin Oak.

It is often the unexpected discoveries I make between my planned finds which bring me the greatest pleasure.


PS The artwork was commissioned by a resident who lived in the street in the 1960s. That's his daughter at the window and his pet cat!

Monday 15 May 2023

The Little Folk

 If there are wombles on Wimbledon Common surely you know that there must be elves in Kensington Gardens?🧝 I can vouch that I spent my Saturday morning looking for them and am pleased to say that my search proved fruitful [only phone quality photos this time] and here's the proof.

I'd left Mr GBT to fend by himself for an hour or so at the show [he doesn't really need me once he's set up] and made good my escape. The Elfin Oak is an 800 year old storm damaged trunk which came from Richmond Park and was donated by Lady Fortescue as part of the drive to improve the London parks. In 1930 she commissioned the illustrator Ivor Innes to carve little people into it in scenes of them going about their days living there. Amongst the many characters there's Wookey the Witch with her three jars of health, wealth and happiness, Huckleberry the Gnome with the bag of berries and Grumples and Groodles the Elves. I have no idea who I've got here as I was fighting a fence round it and shaky hands. Over time the tree became rather neglected, but it was always a favourite of Spike Milligan's and he raised the funds to get it repaired and protected. It's now Grade II listed and if anyone has Pink Floyd's album Ummagumma you'll see it on the inside cover.

Last weekend was the end of a chapter in our lives as it's the final show Mr GBT will do. He has decided to retire whilst he's still at the top of his game. He has two years worth of orders to complete, but will enjoy being able to return to the bit he always enjoyed the most which is the design and making of one off pieces for my house. We have no regrets....the hobby has been good to us, but the time is right.


Friday 12 May 2023

Peter's Pence


Whilst I was waiting for the local Morris dancers to start in the church in nearby Rusper on May Day, I thought I'd have a quick mosey about. Hidden in plain sight was this unadorned plain looking 13th century oak chest. I admired the handmade ironmongery, but then noticed that it had this rather beautiful naive carved decoration on one of the ends with the linen fold panelling at the bottom. Murphy's Law dictates that I only had my basic phone camera with me as I wasn't expecting to take any photos that day. In the top there was a small slot for the "Peter's Pence". This was the money which every church had to cough up for the Pope in the pre Reformation days. I hope everyone enjoys their weekend. We're working, but am hoping to have a small adventure during my lunchbreak. I'll  keep you posted!


Wednesday 10 May 2023

Swine's snout

 You might not recognise the name Swine's Snout, but you'd be hardpressed to not recognise this very common flower which is the bane of many a gardener's life with its long tap root and ability to grow just about anywhere, but I'm here to champion the overlooked and the ordinary. Maybe if we reframe the humble dandelion perhaps we might view it a little more kindly.

A few weeks back I was rushing back from the dentist's before I had to start work when suddenly I noticed the verges swathed in a carpet of gold. After so many weeks of sludgey colours and many grey skies, their brilliant yellow really made a marked impression upon me. I vaguely knew that people make wine with them and that the leaves can be eaten, but some of the wildfood pages I follow are now showing cakes and biscuits with the flowers in...there are many recipes on this link if you're interested in having a go

There are many different aspects to the dandelion [from the French dent de lion meaning tooth of the lion because of the indented edge to the leaves]. It's a member of the daisy family and despite yellow being its primary colour they also come in pink and white. For me they mark the end of the winter and are a bright reminder of the delights which come with the warmer months. They are seen as a symbol of hope, growth and tenacity [they do seem to thrive in all sorts of difficult conditions] and for some they represent the celestial symbols of the sun, the moon [the globe seed head] and the stars which are the individual seeds. Those seeds are its mature fruit and are called cypsela. It's not really surprising that they grow so far and wide when you consider a single one of those can travel up to five miles!

The joy for me as a child was simply blowing on the seedhead. This stage of its life has given rise to the names of Telltime and Blowballs. Other country names are cankerwort [canker is an old term for a tumour], priest's crown, milkwitch [from the white liquid which comes from the stem and was used to treat warts and corns] and in Tudor times they were rather unattractively known as pissabed because they are a potent diuretic. Here at GBT I tend to leave a few to grow in our garden [so long as we don't get overrun with them] because it's all part of our drive to make our it as wildlife friendly as possible and attract the pollinators. Nothing whatsoever to do with the fact I will do almost anything to get out of having to do any gardening😂💛🌻


Monday 8 May 2023

The Mini Drummer

Evening.....hope everyone has enjoyed the break ♚ whether you chose to watch the coronation or not. Our town council arranged a programme of events using local performers for a free afternoon of entertainment yesterday in the town centre. They invited us along with another Morris side [there was all sorts on offer] and I literally haven't seen so many people out in years. It was buzzing and the audiences were amazing. I'm sure that the 🌞 helped, but there's been some really positive feedback on social media and requests for more. It was just really good to see everyone there enjoying themselves. We repeated our dragon story...our new dragon is supposed to look menacing...despite our best efforts though it seems like we've failed to achieve the effect we were looking for. All the kinderlings were queuing up to get their photo taken with it😆

Enough of that....I'm going for the easy post tonight so am sharing the new Mythago mascot. Below is our drummer Pete in all his glory [if anyone ever sees us perform it's always Pete they want to have their photo taken with 💀]

One of our newer members secretly made this for us and presented it on one of our recent meals out.

It's right even down to the details on the drum [I've included the actual one for comparison]. Pete was dead chuffed and this mini-me now accompanies us on trips out!


Shropshire Church Crawling Gems

Sifting through all the photos from my annual holiday church crawl, I've picked out these which I hope people find to be of interest. It...