Friday 12 April 2024

What Aloicious Did Next

 After laying low for a few months Horsham's spoof artist Aloicious Shaftspole has been up to his tricks again. A 'what three words' hint appeared on his social media, so I downloaded the app to see what mayhem he's been creating this time. Having found the spot it took some hunting down to solve the mystery. Fortunately being an avid reader of signs on benches and a snouty old bird stood me in good stead👀😁

Hidden away on a tatty bench in a dark corner of the park was my quarry....there has been much talk of the rodent problem🐀 People keep chucking their food in the bushes and littering despite all the best efforts of an amazing team of volunteers who give up their time to try and keep on top of it all. I enjoy the way he gently pokes fun at the residents of the town. 



Hope everyone has a good weekend. This will be my last post for a few days as we're breaking free from Sussex and are off for a spot of adventuring in another part of the country.

Arilx


Tuesday 9 April 2024

Crossing the Gulch

 'What on earth is a gulch?' I asked Mr GBT as we diligently followed the instructions for our latest waddle. Turns out it's a deep narrow ditch with a stream at the bottom.....in fact exactly what we'd just crossed over. Not that exciting perhaps, but it's another new word to add to my repertoire along with 'fenny' which was last weekend's walking revelation. There are many things you can learn, see and discover on any new walk it seems. Last Sunday I wanted to enjoy the dry weather, but not travel far....the quickest solution was to pick the new Fancy Free walk a scant three miles up the road. It's surrounded by new housing estates yet somehow we found ourselves within a few minutes in the middle of the countryside and hardly saw a soul. It might not be far from GBT, but it was all completely new to me [bar the pub that is😁] so perhaps you'd like to join me on my ramble whilst I ramble about it.

This first one of the garage door was a tad disturbing....one had to wonder what an earth was in there. 👀 I have my own personal theory.


Unexpected things often turn up in woods. This is the PArk Road Trails community who run the BMX/MTB [just had to look that one up....I'm not a cyclist and didn't know that mountain bike was shortened to this] dirt track. What a great place for people to let off steam and enjoy themselves. It's run by volunteers. It was the hand made gate I saw first.


Round here there are many pot holes. The council is filling them in gradually, but whilst they remain a hazard sticking a cone in them seems to have become an unofficial way of alerting road users to them. One local has taken it to another level and if they fill with water they've been adding rubber ducks to them. Sadly I haven't seen this yet with my own eyes.


A few woodland shots. Currently the floor is covered in a glorious carpet of flowers and the new leaves are the most gorgeous chartreuse green. We're just starting to see the bluebells and the one of the stream is the underwhelming gulch!





Is it just me or does there seem to be an endless amount of old pieces of farm machinery lying around in fields quietly rusting away. We guessed this was a harrow, but it is very likely that we are wrong so do please enlighten us if you know the correct answer. It was made very clear to us that the sheep were not to be fed...this fellow had other ideas and immediately rushed over to negotiate for a little soupson of something. Despite the pleading eyes I remained steadfast.



There are so many things that I like and this is yet another one. Stiles especially ones with a twist. My first ever turn stile which Mr GBT kindly agreed to demonstrate for me so that I could get appropriate blog images. Having been sensible he then decided that he wasn't going to obey the blue sign by cantering off down the path ahead of me guffawing as he went😈




I clocked the house name on the gate first. Being me I had to check that the property lived up to its name. Thankfully I wasn't disappointed. However, it's not as good a name as the pub which is now 'The Frog and Nightgown. It started out as two cottages which were knocked into one and was turned into a pub called the Royal Oak. It was so small inside that they could only have 10 drinkers there at any one time. When I first went there as a teen it had already had its name changed by the couple who ran it as the Royal Oak was the name of their favourite local. It was still tiny inside with frog ornaments everywhere and a pink chaise lounge in the corner for you to perch on. You'd walk in and there would be deadly silence as the other three punters with their dogs would turn and look at you. The 'bar' was a hatch across the kitchen and the snacks were a couple of packets of crisps in a small wicker bowl. If the landlady took a dislike to you then she'd just ignore you. Despite of all its quirks I flipping loved it and missed it when it closed down. Thank goodness here we are a few years on with it open again with new owners and a refurb which has retained its former history. Our boots were caked in mud so we didn't stop, but it looked busy and hopefully is thriving once again. 







As you can see from the sign we were in Faygate and its surrounds. This sign is opposite that garage door. I missed it on the way out, but I have to ask myself perhaps it's a big bear he's got stored in there in which case it would be very dangerous. I sincerely hope that I am wrong🐻🤯 Please excuse my brain....my wiring does mean that I make some weird connections sometimes😉



With that we headed home for a brew and crumpets. 

Arilx


Friday 5 April 2024

The Fam

 There's little in the way of what I would call vaguely interesting shareable news this week so instead here's 'The Fam' as TYM calls us. Most unusually for us we were all free at lunchtime on Easter Saturday and it was such lovely warm weather it seemed a shame to stay inside. I needed to pick up something which one of the less local dancers had left behind at the farm we'd danced at recently, so we combined the trips. A delicious pint of cider and one of their veggie burgers was greatly appreciated by me. The cows have got their calves with the, but are currently still in the barns because we've had 110% above the average rainfall in Sussex and the fields are too wet for them to go out to pasture yet. They were mooing loudly at the farmer and telling him exactly what they thought of the new hay he'd had to buy in for them. Unlike us they were not enjoying their victuals!


Hope you have a great weekend.

Arilx

Tuesday 2 April 2024

Holi-day on a Holy Day

 'Long may the Spring quietly as a sleeping infant's breath send up cold water to the traveller with soft and even pulse'.

S T Coleridge


As we sat in the garden of the Duke of Cumberland Arms [known locally as the Duke] in the small Sussex hamlet of Henley enjoying a swift half I commented to Mr GBT that I was at my happiest. This is an old inn which still has gas lighting and has not been gentrified. It's not a spit and sawdust pub, but it hasn't been turned into one of those very expensive gastro pubs which are really restaurants by any other name. The customer behind me in the queue was reliving the drinks of his youth and was ordering a Black Velvet or poor man's Guinness as the barman joked. Yesterday he laughed as he revealed that he'd had his first Snake Bite in years. This place is built into the side of the Downs and has a series of pools dotted around the garden which are fed all year round by a natural spring which never dries up. Whilst we supped the chef appeared and threw bread into the ponds for all the koi carp in them. Being nosy I asked how he'd come about having so many and he told me that people keep giving them to him as they get too big for their ponds. He's got his very own orphanage now. Noticing that there was no netting I was curious about whether the heron took them. They are too heavy apparently, but he received loads of goldfish recently which are no longer there...the heron tucked in merrily treated the fish supply as his own personal sushi bar. I guess we all have to eat something! It's fascinating some of the unexpected tales people tell you when you have time to stop and chat awhile.

We were enjoying a fancy free walk from Easebourne to make the most of the good weather on Sunday and this was our midway break. You'll see below that we saw some sights on the way round and got some great views. Everything's greening up wonderfully. The artwork is by a chainsaw artist called Nathan Blatherwick and there were several examples of his work in the park. We got there just before a couple of sets of parents released their very excited small children on an Easter egg hunt. The vehicle has to be the coolest ever horse box I've seen. It was a lovely six mile waddle and good to escape GBT for a change of scene.










Arilx


Saturday 30 March 2024

Ticked off


 [Image from Pixabay]

The 200 good folks of Ebernoe in Sussex didn't take kindly to being told every year that they had to change their clocks because of British Summer Time. Actually they pretty much ignored it. The sexton had to change the church clock because that was the law, but he and his nine siblings were adamant that their clocks at home would stay unchanged. The only compromise this chap was willing to make was to bring the milking time of his cows forward by half an hour to meet his customers' orders. This little gem is from the Sussex County Magazine in 1938. I suspect that times have literally changed now!

Arilx

Friday 29 March 2024

Good Friday

 Hope everyone has a good Easter break. I saw this massive pug shaped egg on one of my recent forays and the utter ridiculousness of it just made me chuckle. I love pugs and for many years our old neighbours had a pair....they had a lovely temperament, but were incredibly stubborn🤣


Arilx

Wednesday 27 March 2024

Marching on

 Well March is being a bit of a madam isn't she. One minute she's teasing us with blue skies and a sun with some warmth in it and the next she flouncing out with rain and stormy skies. It certainly feels like we're getting a range of seasons in a single day sometimes.

That certainly was the case last Saturday which was the day Mythago was due to be hosting its first ever public wassail at a local cider farm. Having never organised such a thing in my life [I did have some help] it's been a sharp learning curve. Just as you think you've got it all sorted something else comes along to bite you on the bum and this time it was the ongoing rainfall which had left the ground in the orchard too sodden to be safe. Quick plan B had to be devised which I am delighted to say rolled out smoothly on the day and it seemed to go well. I'd invited a couple of other Morris sides we're good friends with to spread the load a little [three hours is quite a long time to fill when the mainstay of it has had to be cancelled], but we've had great feedback from everyone including the farm who did really well on the cider and burger selling front [they do their own wagyu beef].

It's probably always risky putting on an outdoors event in this country even if it's technically Spring. So did the weather play ball? Before we left the forecast was showing lightning, but we had beautiful sun when we got there followed by an ongoing cycle of heavy showers, hail and back to sunshine. However, it wasn't quite as madcap as you might at first imagine because thankfully the farm has cover for us and the audience to swap to. It was pretty nippy too, but incredibly far more people came than we had anticipated and moreover stayed. I think the barrels full of burning wood might have helped! There were many photos, but alas none by me.....as the secretary I spent most of the time dashing around chatting to people. We did manage to buy these before we left though 😁

I am rather tickled that it gets its name from the fact that the cows get rather silly when they're given the apple pomace to eat after it's been pressed🐮🍎🍏 😋 We're already planning a return visit, but with TYM and no bells/sticks!

Arilx


 

Monday 25 March 2024

Oh Gawd!

 It seems that the Spring weather of Wednesday was but a brief flirtation and we are back to the nippy range of temperatures again. Maybe not such a shame as I've been able to wear my latest charity shop acquisition today. A complete impulse buy, but I've never seen one on the rails before and I know how much the second hand ones are on auction sites. I've got a couple already by this company which I bought new when we both earning a decent wage...more than twenty years later they're still going strong. I broke the news gently to Mr GBT by showing him the front first.....


Before revealing the pixie hood on the reverse....'oh gawd' was his only comment😂


I look forward to accompanying him wearing the latest addition to my natty knitwear collection. He's used to me by now!

Arilx


Thursday 21 March 2024

Paddington

 Just popping in to wish all you lovely people a great weekend. I didn't have a photo for today, but spotted this on my way home. The lady who knits the toppers for the little children to see on their walk past to the nearby school has been busy with her needles again🐻


Arilx

Wednesday 20 March 2024

On the wing

 Last night we went to a fascinating talk given by a local expert all about the butterflies you can find in Sussex. One of the earlier ones you're likely to see is the Brimstone. Lo and behold look what I saw today at Nymans🦋💛 My usual Wednesday afternoon client is away so I thought it best to take full advantage of the first day which has felt truly Spring like. There was a beautiful warmth in the sunshine today and many trees festooned in marshmallow pink and white blossom. One hour out felt like an entire day. Time well spent.








Alban Eiler/ Spring Equinox greetings to all.

Arilx

Monday 18 March 2024

All work and no plays makes for a very dull day.....

Grey Monday and I'm up for a spot of fun...after I'd finished work I carried on driving to the nearby village of Billingshurst. Former corn fields have now been built upon, but many of the trees and hedgerows have been retained as part of the new estate. At the centre of it all is a big green public space with ponds and public works of art by Helena Roden. The triangular one represents one of the types of stooks which would have been seen in the area and all of them are covered in wild plants which are to be found here. There were masses of birds to be seen and a funny little sign which I passed on my way in from the car🐾 










Arilx

What Aloicious Did Next

 After laying low for a few months Horsham's spoof artist Aloicious Shaftspole has been up to his tricks again. A 'what three words&...