Thursday 31 August 2017

The Lane on the Last Day of August

Another month has flown by. What's changed during this last month of summer?

 Rose Hips and Ivy Flowers are new this month, and things that were flowering last month are now just seed heads for the birds

Here's why we probably won't get to enjoy any Hazelnuts. I looked up to see what was singing merrily in the trees above - a blackbird - and spotted this fella watching me.

 The birds have stripped most of the Elder berries. I had plans to make Elderberry syrup but
never got round to it.

 Pity Hawthorn berries aren't useful as they are always plentiful until the birds take them during late Autumn.
 Always something different each month down our little lane.

Some much needed rain here yesterday. I went over to Leiston to babysit Florence for a couple of hours while Col stayed home for the Septic Tank pump out lorry which cost £80, making it  much cheaper than mains sewer. It should be OK for a couple of years now.
I went to the Co-op while in Leiston as they had sent me a voucher for £2 off a £20 shop and one for a free box of Celebrations - no idea why. I stocked up on Locally Produced chicken thighs....on offer at 2 packs for £4 -  and sausages  and each pack of sausages came with a free pack of bread rolls. So a good day to pop in there for shopping ......£28.50 worth of food for just under £19.
The Celebrations were hidden in the cupboard and will be part of a Christmas Present and the freezer is full.

Thank you for comments on the car boot bargains.

Back Tomorrow

Wednesday 30 August 2017

Flower Seeds and Other Bargains

 Some boot sale treasures have already be mentioned but there were a few more during the month

At a small Sunday boot sale early in August I spent only 30p. The postcard book of Country Diary cards was 20p and the card kit 10p.
From another small Sunday boot sale that was actually bigger than usual I found a Gi-normous plant pot for £2 and the pretty Blackcurrant sage also £2.
 Plus some nappies of the size Florence now needs for 50p and 3 big mugs including a modern Denby which were also 50p each.I like to get a couple of big mugs each summer in case we break any during the winter when there are no boot sales happening. I was very good and walked by lots of lovely baskets that I really didn't need, masses of toys and a load of cross stitch kits.
 From the big boot sale in early August..............
Huge box of brio type railway for the grandchildren. I now have enough for Jacob to take some home when he is a bit older and some to keep here too. I paid £4 for this lot. The Hungry Caterpillar Card game was 50p.

4 new flannels for 20p each. A very large ziplock plastic folder was 50p, Some hand-cream without perfume 20p. And 10 packets of flower seeds for 10p each.
I never used to grow flowers from seed at the smallholding because it took all my time and space to grow enough vegetable plants. Now I don't need to grow so much veg I'd like to have  more flowers and some of these will be grown for the new cutting garden. These packets are ones that would have been free with a magazine so don't have many seeds in each  but that doesn't matter. There's a packet of really dark- almost black- Sweet William,some Sweet Peas, Cornflower and Corn Cockle, Sunflowers,Nasturtiums and Edelweiss.

Can you say Edelweiss without breaking into song?!

Thank you for comments about Bank Holidays and Books

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Tuesday 29 August 2017

Bank Holiday Weekend -Days 2 and 3

Not the normal thing to do on Bank holiday Sunday......................but it needed doing..................
The first thing that went wrong after we moved in was the flush on the upstairs toilet. Colin managed to replace it but after a month the stupid thing got jammed, so the water wouldn't stop running into the loo. We had to lift off the cistern lid and give it a nudge. So he got another fitting and cleaned out the cistern completely in-case it was a piece of grit causing the problem and guess what...... after another month the same thing happened again. The third go at it was with a completely different sort of flushing thingy but the handle wouldn't fit through the cistern. So eventually, 5 months after moving in and after altering the handle bit and finding a different spindle thingy among his plumbing-bits-that-might-come-in-handy, this morning........ success!

After all that we went off to a BBQ at our son and daughter-in-laws house! A very hot and sunny afternoon and quite a crowd squashed into their little back garden............Me and Colin, Cols' sister, husband and their two children and partners. Col's brother. Our youngest and Florence. As the sun moved round we all shuffled our chairs around the garden finding a bit of shade.

Florence decided to eat Grandad's watch - better than all the leaves and grass she nearly tried out while doing her commando crawl around the garden!

 Home again for an evening reading an odd sort of book that I picked up yesterday - mainly because it was a Virago re-print and I was curious. Is it fiction or semi-autobiographical?

book cover of 

Sisters by a River
or both? because the novel is told through the eyes (and spelling) of a young Barbara.

 On the banks of the River Avon, five sisters are born. The seasons come and go, the girls take their lessons under the ash tree, and always there is the sound of water swirling through the weir. Then, unexpectedly, an air of decay descends upon the house: ivy grows unchecked over the windows, angry shouts split the summer air, the milk sours in the larder and their father takes out his gun. Tragedy strikes the family, and before long the furniture is being auctioned off and the sisters dispersed among relatives. In her daring first novel, originally published in 1947, Barbara Comyns' unique young heroine relates the vivid, funny and bittersweet story of a childhood.

 That's the twelfth book  I've read this month! Proving how little there is on TV - Thank heavens Strictly Come Dancing is back soon.

Bank Holiday Monday was spent being quiet
Looking at this....................................The sky and trees above from the comfort of a recliner in the garden

and reading another book bought from the church sale - co-incidentally also told through the eyes of a child and brought home because of the cover which looked intriguing and much more interesting
than a more recent edition............ If I'd have seen it with this cover I wouldn't even have picked it up.
Product Details

"A rags-to-riches story with a deeply original spin, NOT ALL TARTS ARE APPLE is narrated by seven-year-old Rosie who grows up in a cafe in 1950s Soho, watched over by her eagle-eyed Auntie Maggie and Uncle Bert, and visited on occasions by her mother, the mysterious, and often drunk, Perfumed Lady. But it soon transpires that the Perfumed Lady's family - landed gentry who hail from a country estate near Bath - are desperate to get their hands on Rosie, and will stop at nothing - even kidnap - to acquire her.

Peopled with a wonderful cast of eccentric subsidiary characters - Great Aunt Dodie, Madame Zelda and Paulette, Sharky, the Campini Family who run an Italian delicatessan in Old Compton Street, and Maltese Joe - all of whom live in a Soho so atmospherically evoked that you can smell and taste it."

It reminded me of Up The Junction

 Back Soon

Monday 28 August 2017

Bank Holiday Weekend........... Day 1

We didn't get a bank holiday rest when we were at the smallholding because Bank Holidays were always the busiest time for the campsite. Then last year in town Colin was stuck in hospital all through late May Bank Holiday and again right through August, and surprise! late May this year he was............................. stuck in hospital again.
That means it's quite nice to have a Bank Holiday weekend together even though  Bank Holidays are much the same as any other weekend except for more traffic on the roads. Best to stay close to home where the roads are quiet.
So on Saturday we went to Crowfield Church for the  Flower Festival and book/jigsaw puzzle sale.
 I went on my own last year, a fascinating little church tucked away. But what is that great lump of wood laying beside the church? They had a tree cut down because of disease and turned bits of it into benches for the churchyard, but I do wish they hadn't put one right by the church wall, spoiling this ancient place  - in my opinion!  By all means put them in other spots for folk to sit on but it just looks wrong - I felt oddly aggrieved - daft really.

Nursery Rhymes was the theme, this one Cock-a-doodle-do. Even this tiny church has a magnificent stained glass window
On the stalls outside I found 3 interesting looking books and two very old wooden jigsaw puzzles.

I had several plywood jigsaws when I was little - hope all the bits are there for these two. £1 for the books and another £1 for the jigsaws. We had coffee and sausage rolls and bought some plums to bring home.
A lovely morning out and then home to cut the grass after lunch. Rugby on TV and a book to read.

Thank you for all the comments on water meters and water costs. Our next aim will be to use less than they reckon.

Back Tomorrow

Saturday 26 August 2017

Cheaper Water

The water companies reckon if you have less people living in a house than the number of bedrooms, it's usually cheaper to have a water meter.
Mrs F the previous owner was paying for water based on the old system where it was estimated using Council Tax bands. She was paying £340 a year for water - JUST for water ( septic tank sewer here).
We had a water meter fitted at the end of May  and had the first bill last week and Essex and Suffolk Water Company now estimate the water we use will cost us about £170 a year - half as much for double the people!
A good saving

Have a good weekend folks.
Back Monday 

Friday 25 August 2017

Baps, rolls or buns

Whatever you call them where you live, they are easy enough to make

Large white floury ones sell for around 65p for 4 in the supermarkets. The cost for 4 large home made is around 30p + cooking. So, as long as you put them in when you are cooking something else, that's half the price.

The recipe I use comes from an issue of The Penny Pincher Paper (more about that HERE) - but with alterations

(Edited in to say I use strong bread flour) I don't use as much yeast,salt,sugar or butter as the recipe, and I use my Kenwood chef with it's dough hook to mix,but do make sure the dough is really soft and when shaping into rolls I try not to handle too much. I don't brush the tops with anything but do sprinkle flour.

I've got a newly concocted  recipe for Veggie Burgers which go rather well in these rolls. I'll put that on here sometime soon.

Back Soon

Thursday 24 August 2017

24th August - St Bartholomew's Day and The Job List


One of my favourite books to look in for folklore information is Cattern Cakes and Lace.
It's an old book now, published in 1987 but I like it  because of the pictures and the old traditional recipes
One of the recipes under August is Saffron Cakes now traditionally made in Cornwall. And that's when I realised that somewhere between the smallholding and the cottage, my little box of Saffron had vanished. It was brought back from India (or maybe Egypt or perhaps Spain) for me by a neighbour many years ago but I'd kept it and used a few strands now and again. I wonder where it was lost? I'd always thought it was quite exotic but seems you can get some for £2.50 in Tesco!

According to this book, as well as being the patron saint of Beekeepers. St Bartholomew is patron saint of butchers and tanners because he was reputedly flayed alive. Those Saints certainly had a rough time of things back in the day!

One of the weather rhymes I mentioned at the beginning of the month said  "Dry August and warm doth harvest no harm". It wasn't very dry or warm at first but last week the weather was good enough for the wheat field beside us to be combined and baled. Col noticed that in the corner right by our garden was a large pile of straw the baler had missed so he collected it up in the wheelbarrow and it's now in a bag in the shed ready for putting round the strawberries next summer. Useful.

Thank you all for comments yesterday, we don't see the Long-Tailed Tits every day on the feeders but they are around in the hedges quite a lot. What we do have here  that we rarely saw in Knodishall are Sparrows - by the dozen. House sparrows mainly and Tree sparrows too. The House sparrows live in next door's roof and congregate noisily in our hedges.

Three more jobs from the to-do list have been organised...........  both the new oil tank installation and pumping out of septic tank will be done in the next week. Then we've had someone round to look at the huge Ash trees at the end of the garden. There are several big branches over our veg. patch and fruit trees which need taking down plus the willows behind the workshop need cutting back so they don't sit on the workshop roof. That's going to be a big job that will be done sometime during the Autumn. We are using a local company but they are behind on work due to having a lot of their machinery stolen recently. It will be expensive but will give us enough wood  for the wood-burner for a couple of years, let more light into the garden and make everywhere safer.

Back Tomorrow

Wednesday 23 August 2017

Reading My Own Books and Other Stuff

 I'm getting through books at a great rate at the moment, there's nothing on TV in the evenings so I've had my nose in a book for hours, and ran out of library books 2 weeks before the van is round again but not a problem with all the books I own!

Here are four off my shelves
Left to right................. Chris Nickson - Modern Crimes. This man turns out lots of historical crime fiction and this is the first in a series set in 1924 about one of the first women PC's in Leeds. (Most of his books are set in Leeds). It was OK, not outstanding. The second in the series is due out next month but jumps forward 20 years to 1944.
Meg Elizabeth Atkins..........Death out of Season. Picked up off the library For Sale shelf ages ago,this is an ex-library book by an author I've never heard of. There are  couple of her other books in Large Print in the library stock and I've reserved them as it was a reasonably good read.
 I've enjoyed several of D.E Stevenson's books in the past but this one......Summerhills...... is dreadful. I didn't finish it............ It's tacky 1970's cover doesn't help.
Much better than all the others was Mary Wesley's book The Camomile Lawn. It's been reprinted many times since it was first published in 1984  and made for TV too. The Library summary says.....................
'The Camomile Lawn' presents a vivid and lively picture of wartime London and Cornwall as seen through the eyes of five cousins.
I really enjoyed this and will look out for more of her books from the library.

Four books now off to new homes via charity shops.......................making space for four more!

And the Other Stuff

 Our bird-feeders  are busy even though there are plenty of berries and seed-heads about. Col glanced out and said - 4 Long Tailed Tits - then a few seconds later after I picked up the camera there were even more

 We had the garage doors repaired yesterday, another thing we didn't know needed doing until we got here. They are up and over doors but wouldn't stay up which could be a problem! Now we'll be able to put the cars - or at least one of them away through the winter and both if we re-organise other things.

 Thank you for all the comments about flowers for cutting. Sarah suggested Bells of Ireland which was a new one to me - so I looked them up and Sarah Raven (expert on cut flowers) rates them so the seeds will go on my list. Although I don't want too many annuals. There are loads of paving slabs all over the place here so we've used 3 small ones to make a mini path to the centre of the bed to make it easier for weeding and picking.

Back Soon

Tuesday 22 August 2017

Flowers for Cutting

After making the two new beds there were 4 posts leftover from the
 eyesore at the end of the garden
A bit of garden for cut flowers would be nice I said, as there are not many flowers for cutting in the quarter circle flower bed
and not many in the purple bed beside the conservatory either

No sooner said than done. On day one he cut bits off the ends of the posts so they were interlocking.
On day two he used our ancient tiller to cut up the grass surface

 Scooped off all the loose grassy bits, forked through the soil underneath and rotovated again.
Dug out round the sides so that the wooden post-frame fitted in at soil level so we can run the mower over them and raked in the soil.

And how brilliant............ we have a new bed. I did make him sit down in between the various jobs  and kept saying it didn't need doing all at once but it's done now.

What shall I plant?

I have Tulip bulbs called "Florists favourites" on order. Shan't bother with Daffodils as bunches are for sale everywhere in the spring. Must find good value Alstromeria or Peruvian Lily as I grew them to sell at the smallholding and they last really well as cut flowers. I have some seeds for Sweetpeas too.

I've borrowed a book from the library which is full of ideas, but I won't have room for everything.

 Love a new plan!

Back Tomorrow

PS Many thanks for comments on car boot stuff, dirty British coasters and John Constable!

Monday 21 August 2017

Last Week Without Hospital Visits

We visited gorgeous granddaughter.......................... and her mummy.

and went to a car boot sale of course!
(Basket of Body Shop stuff £1.50,Christmas cake cases 50p, Kilner spice/diffuser bags 50p, jar 50p)

Then down to Felixstowe and the beach hut, surprisingly quiet there for a Saturday in August
"Dirty British Coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack" probably not, but it was anchored there all day
 Mummy(or daddy) and baby Herring  Gull

 Col gave the funny little shed a coat of wood preserver so it can go to youngest's home.

(That blob must be the sun reflecting on a smudge on the lens)

Co put up the fence as previously mentioned and made a cut flower bed..........details tomorrow.

And he went and saw some friends from 'up north' who used to stay on our campsite and were visiting Suffolk

We had an unexpected visit from some other friends who used to live in the village near the smallholding but now live on the south coast.

I made bread, bread rolls and cakes and cooked from scratch. Did some cleaning and lots of reading.

Back to normal this week - two hospital appointments.

Did you watch the Fake or Fortune programme on TV last night where they were authenticating a painting by John  Constable? Well here's a thing you didn't know - I (and about 500 other people at Stowmarket Grammar School in the 1960's) were taught art for a while by John Constable's Great Great (not sure how many greats) Grandson also called John, I think it was in between two other art teachers. This is his obituary it says 

In 1964 he completed his National Diploma and began teaching at schools in Suffolk, as well as at Ipswich School of Art.
................... and I can't remember much about him except he smelled really strongly of cigarettes!

Returning Forthwith

Saturday 19 August 2017

Charity Shop Finds Put to Good Use

Last week Colin, his brother and sister were in town sorting solicitor regarding his Dad's will so I popped into a couple of charity shops and found these. Couldn't believe my eyes...a Persephone Book that I hadn't got and just £1, I think I was so excited at all the books being £1 that I got carried away and bought Corpus which I've already read but it was so good I want to re-read before he does the next in the series and Elizabeth Luard - A Cook's Year in a Welsh Farmhouse and I have a feeling I've had that from the library years ago. I now pick up any cheap preserving jars as they are so expensive new and these two little ones were 99p each.

 At home I looked through the Welsh Farmhouse cookery book and yes, I had seen it before but I've found a new home for it as another  blogger mentioned they we looking out for a copy. The jars are already in use holding the home grown chili peppers that were dried in the dehydrator - they'll be presents for the hampers. The Persephone book (It was Marghanita Laski -Little Boy Lost) has joined the others on their special shelf and, before I re-read it, Corpus will probably be loaned to a friend who reads much the same as I do.

Thank you for plum comments yesterday, haven't had a chance to try out the new sheltered area yet - we had sunshine and showers all day yesterday and very, very windy.

Back Monday

Friday 18 August 2017

A Few Plums Are Better Than No Plums

Our plum tree with delicious eating plums is just a small tree and plums are notorious for being good one year and not the next. As we weren't here last year I have no idea if they were plentiful or not.
But this year this is more or less all we have
Just a cereal bowlful the other day, then these 11 and a few more from the shady side of the tree still to come.

Hope next year is a better plum year.

Thank you one and all for comments yesterday. The fence is now finished and looking good. Pictures will follow when I get plants for the pots

Back Tomorrow

Thursday 17 August 2017

Me and My Bright Ideas

Between our back door and the garage is a large paved patio area, quite a sunny spot but  windy and totally useless except for the few slabs needed to make a path 'tween back door and small garage door.

Colin decided he was well enough to do the concreting for the new oil tank hard standing so I said (and after 37 years  he's used to me coming up with ideas for things he could "just" do while doing something else).......... "while you're mixing cement how about we put a couple of bits of fencing up from the side of the garage, that would give a sheltered spot in the sun for sitting out and then I could also grow lots of things in tubs around  that corner".

"Just" involved lifting two slabs, digging down deep enough for posts, concreting in the posts,cutting the slabs to fit back around the posts and fixing up the fence.

By doing a little at a time over the space of 3 weeks he has managed to get it all nearly done.
Here is work in progress and also lifting another slab that was cracked, lifting a slab from over by the wall to use where the cracked one was and then we'll use the space by the wall to put in the fig tree which will soon be too big for it's pot.
 Poor Fella, I've promised not to come up with any more ideas for a while.

(And I've had a on-line splurge to buy some interesting plants that will go in pots in the corner- all due to a spend £25 and save £5 enticement from Thompson and Morgan............they are a local company after all!)


 Back Soon

Wednesday 16 August 2017

A 'Why?' moment

The older I get the more I have these 'Why?' moments.

The most recent one was due to the ad on the back of the latest Asda magazine
So why do Nescafe think it a good idea to bring out lots of different packs of coffee in designer packaging.
Are there really gullible people out there who will buy it because of the colours on the tin? Or maybe they want people to buy one of each?

Who knows.

Many thanks for duck comments, they are made from bamboo and apparently they do still come with names and two is enough............ I'm not that keen on dusting!

Back Soon

Tuesday 15 August 2017

Duck Rescue

Last week I  rescued this little fella from a charity shop.

 He was very sad as he had a cracked foot so no one wanted him.
But I brought him home and Col mended him by tapping his foot back on with a little hammer and then I filled the crack with some glue so that it was hardly noticeable and he went to join a bigger friend on the landing windowsill. His big friend has lived with us for a very long time, so long in fact that when he was made the company were still giving each duck a name.
He has a label proudly tells everyone that his name is Merlin.
They are both much happier now they have some company.
Made from bamboo these original unadorned ducks are from the The Duck Company UK. They now make all sorts of ducks in different colours and with wellies plus they make penguins too. All hand made in Devon and now costing a lot more than Merlin did 10 years ago! and much more than the £1.50 I paid for small duck, who I think will have to be called Arthur.

Just editing in to say just in case ......... obviously the company haven't sponsored this post!

Back very shortly

Monday 14 August 2017

Saying it Quietly.............. I don't want to tempt fate, but there are No hospital visits this week. The first week without for months and months.
Col has had umpteen tests - lungs, heart, kidneys, ENT - you name it and it's been checked.  Now all we have to do is wait for news of when the donor stem cell treatment will happen. Maybe a bit later than we thought due to the donor having the stem cells taken under general aneasthetic from the spine rather than from the blood.
Next week it's back to what is now normal with two trips to hospital -  Addenbrookes and then Ipswich or it might be the other way round.
What shall we do with our week "off?"
 Definitely visit gorgeous granddaughter, Col wants to get the concrete sorted for the new hard standing for the oil tank and perhaps we'll actually get to the beach hut.

Meanwhile here's another book review. The Song Collector by Natasha Solomons.
 Front Cover
  This was  an author I knew nothing about.

 3 Brothers and their Father return to Hartgrove Hall Estate after the war. The house had been requisitioned and left in a poor state. There's no money for repairs and The General wants to demolish it. The 3 sons come up with a plan to farm the land themselves which means that Harry - the youngest will have to leave university and abandon his musical career. Jack, the eldest son, arrives at Hartgrove with Edie Rose, a singer who has become famous for her patriotic songs during the war. Harry is instantly in love with Edie - their joint love of music being the connection.
The story moves between the 1940's/ 50's and 50 years later when Harry - as an old man, has to find a way through grief.
Music and musicians............ playing, writing, listening and singing is the theme of this book along with love, betrayal,guilt and forgiveness.
 I enjoyed it hugely and have ordered another of her books from the library.

Thank you for so many comments on Saturday's post, I didn't realise it would generate such an interesting discussion.
 The conclusion seems to be that if couples can find a way to organise their money so that it doesn't cause arguments or resentment then that has to be good for them both.

Back  Tomorrow

Saturday 12 August 2017

Personal Spending

When we got married I'd already been running a home for 3 years. Col had been living with his parents. He moved into my house and we pooled our income. I carried on sorting the finances and worked out what we could afford, he had what money he needed for his expenses and I looked after the rest. We changed our bank account to joint names and put the house in joint names too. That's what marriage was back then - something shared.
It wasn't long before our eldest daughter arrived on the scene and we had one wage. There was no question of it being "his" money just because he was the only one working. We managed on a council road-man's wages because we had to. The only way to manage was to keep close check on spending, do things to earn extra or to save money. The most important things were to pay the mortgage, pay the household bills and have enough to eat. Nothing was left for "personal spending". I don't think the words had been invented!

It worries me now to see young couples arguing over their spending - "his money does this" or "her money pays for that". or "you're not paying your share".  And NOT just young couples, lot's of older people still keep their money completely separate. Sometimes one doesn't know what the other earns.
It sound almost Victorian and wouldn't have worked for us as I didn't earn anything!
 Twenty years on and the campsite was in my name but I never thought of it as my money. I had to keep accounts for the tax man - so I knew what the campsite made, but it wasn't kept separate just for me, that would have been silly. We wanted to pay off the mortgage - the JOINT mortgage so that Col could retire early. Fast forward to 2009 and my Dad left me some money but I didn't think of it as my money it went into joint savings and to build the extension on the house. Now once again all the money coming in is in Colin's name - his County Council pension and his Employment and Support allowance, but it's still our money - going into a joint account and coming out again for whatever we need.

So I've never really had any personal spending money, I've never needed to have any separate money just for me. It's still OUR house and OUR bills. As long as I have a few pounds to take to car boot sales I'm a happy bunny!

Maybe we are odd, but it worked for us. 

Back Soon


Friday 11 August 2017

Pleased With These Cards

Three more cards made recently. I have to admit the idea isn't mine, it was something I saw in an old copy of Craft Creations Magazine but all the bits were in my stash including those owls which I'd had for Years without finding a use for them.

A space has been left at the bottom under the owl for adding a peel off greeting. I'm quite pleased with them.
I'm much better at card making if I have an idea to other words I'm not very arty!

Had a re-arrangement of the craft room so that when the Surrey family come to stay we can put Jacob's cot in there - then he won't disturb  H and J and vice versa. Made a good space in the middle of craft room then discovered the cot won't come out of the bedroom without taking it to pieces! Duh! Means when they come to stay we shall have to put the cot back together in craft room each time - how annoying.

Thanks for comments about everything over the last few days. Thank heavens the weather was better yesterday. I did some clearing in the greenhouse and garden and washed pots. 

Back Soon

Thursday 10 August 2017

A New W.I. or Rather............................

........................ an old one re-visited.

The little WI group I joined doesn't have a meeting in August but the big WI that I used to go to nearly 30 years ago does, and it's only 20 minutes away. I thought I'd go and visit and see if anyone who was there all those years ago was still going.  There were two people I knew and some others I recognised.  I was made very welcome as someone came to speak to me as soon as I went in and when I explained and said who I knew there she asked that person to "look after me".

The speaker was  Angela Lawrence, who had researched and written a book about something that happened at the beginning of WWI in Suffolk that very few people knew about.

 This is her book, written as fiction but based on fact.

In 1914 The Headmaster of a village school in north Suffolk and his wife had been teaching there for 30 years. They had a son who was interested in languages and they had saved up to pay for him to spend time in Germany in the early 1900's to learn German, by 1914 he was a teacher in South America. Sometime around 1910 two of the girls from the village in Germany where he had lodged came to stay with the headmaster to learn English and after they had returned home they wrote to invite the couple to visit them in Germany whenever they liked.
Then came the outbreak of war and the Chief Constable  of Suffolk became paranoid about spies.The son of the teachers had returned from South America to Suffolk to answer the call to fight for his country but as he had previously been in Germany he was suspected of spying and when the teachers home was searched and the letter from Germany found they too were thought to be spies and were told to leave the County.

Mrs Lawrence had slides illustrating lots of aspects of the Great War in Suffolk and had used the East Anglian Daily Times of the period for much of her research so had copies of cuttings from that too.

She didn't tell us the end of the story but hinted that it wasn't a happy one!

Something I remember from past membership is that often a subject which doesn't sound promising can actually turn out to be really interesting and this one certainly was.

I can be a member of one WI and then also another WI for an extra £19 a year but the year runs from January to December and there is no pro-rata for the second WI. So I can go as a visitor twice more (?)this year at £3 a time and then pay up for both next January. The big WI also have a craft group which I was interested in but it turns out it's just a few people meeting at various houses and knitting!
But they do have a book group which might be worth finding out about.

All the jam I've made will come in handy to donate for draw prizes or bring and buy sales, especially if I go to both WIs next year.

Thanks for comments yesterday, the weather was horrible here, I stayed indoors and made a little Red Hot and Sweet Relish. Not as much as I would have liked to have made but the grotty weather has slowed down the ripening of the tomatoes so it was a case of use what was there rather than wait as the ripe ones would have gone to squashy. None for the hampers - sorry sisters!

Here is a yesterday evening in "summer". Yes that is the wood burner alight and Polly keeping warm
 and outside the rain lashed down and we didn't bother to go and look for the Barn Owl!

Back Soon