Saturday 30 June 2018

Last Week of June

What a week.

Dentist - expensive
Back there in 4 weeks
The antibiotics make me feel queasy.
Missed a WI quiz night.
Grand daughter in hospital, 4 nights in because although she was
OK during the day, her Oxygen levels keep dropping at night
Daughter had to cope there on her own
Her OH away working for 2 weeks - not even home for the weekend.
Friends take her clothes, walk her dog and help out
I took new clothes and nappies for Florence after the plumber had gone

Very Hot
No Rain
Fruit and veg looking sad
Plumber sorting bathroom, fitting walk in shower to replace huge ugly bath
A leak somewhere in bathroom
Puddle on floor in kitchen
Water travels downhill, hidden behind boxed-in pipes
Ants invading the kitchen again
  Stuck at home because of the plumber. plumber - waiting for delivery of the shower wall, wish they'd let me know
No swimming all week

Missed Colin so much this week.
Everyone else is back to normal
I'm not


How lucky there were some spare tiles in the garage to match those in the bathroom
Made 3 tiny jars of redcurrant jelly from ¾lb redcurrants
Put some courgettes and mange-tout peas in the freezer
An abundance of cucumbers
Lovely green beans
Got the washing dry easily
Watched some of the Wimbledon tennis qualifying games
Read lots more crime fiction
Watched some football
Brother in law fixed up chain fly curtain
I cut the grass down the footpath with the ride-on mower and round the garden too, it might not need doing again for a while if it stays dry.
Made some buns and a sponge to pop in the freezer.
Lovely colours in the corner
My view from the kitchen window

Onward into July
And Wimbledon starts Monday

Thank you everyone for kind comments

Back Monday
Have a great weekend

Friday 29 June 2018

In Memory

This is what Eldest daughter did between Colin passing away and the funeral.

She took all the photo albums and a big box of photos and scanned some into her computer, printed out  and arranged them on free standing boards to display after the funeral.

A wonderful tribute, but I'm not quite sure what to do with them now, I have all the original photos but they look so good displayed, just a bit big to keep easily.

Something else I have done is to get a Memory Box for photos and the cards people sent and other bits and pieces for the Grandchildren to look at in the future. This was suggested to me by husband of friend who was a Cruse bereavement counselor. It will keep everything together.

We had immediate family flowers only so there were 4 wreaths on Col's coffin. One was later put on his Mum's grave, one on his Nanna and Grandad's grave and I took one to my real dad's grave in the old part of Stowmarket cemetery.
My Dad was killed in a road accident just a few months before I was born. His grave is neglected and so is that area of the cemetery. The flowers were already looking very sad, and I pulled out some dead ones. I don't think there are many people left who would remember my dad. I ought to look after the grave now I'm back in the area.

The final wreath of roses is still here........... fading away.

Back Tomorrow

Thursday 28 June 2018

St Mary's Church Battisford

Went shopping in Stowmarket and took a detour home to visit another church from the book  (100 treasures in 100 Suffolk churches)

  Another tiny church from the 12th Century tucked away in a very quiet village a few miles from Stowmarket. This part of Suffolk is close to where my Dad, Step Dad and Auntie were brought up and where their uncle and cousin lived. We were often taken to visit Great Uncle George and Aunt Nellie, somewhere in the village but not sure where. Age 7, I was a bridesmaid to their daughter when she married but I don't think it was at this church.

 This porch was full of leaves and the door had no handle so I thought I wasn't going to be able to get in but found a small back door unlocked.

The main point of interest in the church is the 18th Century musicians gallery across the west end of the church.

 The book says

 " it is one of few remaining that sprung up after many pipe organs were destroyed by Cromwell's Puritans and there was little to relieve the tedium of long services and sermons. 
The West Gallery Music Association claims this tradition came out of of a desire of parishioneers around the late 17th century to do more than sit in dull silence at the point where the psalm may be sung or said and soon great hymn writers such as thee Wesleys were inspiring village musicians all over the country, The locals would lead the congregation and, at Battisford, Fredd Mudd made stringed instruments using local wood and homemade tools. A wind instrument known as a Serpent was also played here and is now housed in the museum at Christchurch Mansion in Ipswich. 

There is a small organ in the church now

 The font cover was presented to the church in 1967  to commemorate the presence of the Knights Hospitallers of the Order of St John of Jerusalem in the village.

The knights held a half interest in the church in the 12th Century ( info from the book, not sure exactly what that means).

Most of the windows are stained glass, but very pale patterns rather than pictures and they don't show up at all on my photos.

More details HERE on the Suffolk Churches website and if I'd read this first I would have found the way in easier and would have looked out for the other things mentioned.

Back Tomorrow

Wednesday 27 June 2018

A Very Small First Harvest

First raspberries
First Mange-Tout Peas

For a bigger harvest with enough to eat and freeze the garden needs rain. According to the weather lady on local TV June rainfall is under 10% of average, almost a drought. I can't remember when it last rained here.

Back Tomorrow

Tuesday 26 June 2018


The plan was ................the plumbers would be here, taking the bath out of the bathroom and preparing to replace it with a shower. I would be busy doing something, then later I would be out at the East Suffolk  WI Summer Quiz evening.

What actually happened...................The filling that I had 4 weeks ago suddenly caused pain on Sunday and before very long I had a swollen jaw so I rang dentist first thing and arranged to go in between other patients for the dentist to look. The plumbers were late arriving so I had to organise them before I could get to the dentist.
After 3 injections to numb the gum he managed to take out the filling without me yelling and packed in some anti-biotics and gave me tablets too. I have to go back in 4 weeks for root canal/nerve thingy, Very Expensive but no choice.

Home again, feeling as though I'd been kicked in the teeth by something large and a phone call from youngest daughter who is in hospital with Florence -  taken to hospital early hours of morning when she (Florence) was struggling to breathe. She has been admitted - seems to be asthma - although they don't call it that for small children apparently. Terrible phone connection so I didn't find out how youngest and Florence will get home tomorrow or if they need me there to help as Youngest's OH is supposed to be working away all week. ( Florence is OK with help from nebulizer)

Meanwhile the plumbers are making a channel for the pipes down the wall with something that sounds like a Extra Large Dentist drill!

Ring sister-in-law and apologise  to say that I can't do quiz as I don't know how much pain I shall be in when anesthetic wears off and swollen jaw is affecting talking and I may need to go to Ipswich Hospital to help Youngest Daughter. WI were already one short for the quiz team as one lady has gone off to Wales to see a brand new grandchild. Oh dear.

Why does everything happen all at once?

Back Tomorrow

(PS. I'm sure I should have commission from Amazon with everyone pre-ordering that new Shirley Hughes book!)

Monday 25 June 2018

Haughley Open Gardens

Son and DIL moved to this village in February and it's a village I know well having spent many evenings here either at youth club or hanging around in the bus shelter - as you do - aged 14!

I drove over so we could walk around the Open Gardens, many tucked away behind houses and not often seen.There were 14 gardens open and Willow slept her way around 9 so after 10 we went home for her feed.

Just a few photos. Colourful corner
Garden behind one of the Big Houses of the village
Lovely little pond in another garden

Son asked about this porch on the front of a house, (sorry I had sunglasses on so didn't realise I'd caught the sun in the photo)
it has very old carvings and the owner said the story is that it came to this house in the 18th century when a manor house in nearby village of Westhorpe  was destroyed. Looking online for more details of the history of Westhorpe Hall I found the following.

Westhorpe Hall was a manor house in Westhorpe, Suffolk, England.
Westhorpe Hall was the residence of Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk and of Princess Mary Tudor (daughter of King Henry VII and sister of King Henry VIII), a love match and second marriage for Mary and third marriage for Charles. He was previously married to the wealthy widow Margaret Neville, and then Anne Browne, mother to Charles's two eldest daughters, Anne Brandon and Mary Brandon. There, they raised their children, Frances (mother of Lady Jane Grey), Eleanor, and Henry Brandon, 1st Earl of Lincoln. Princess Mary Tudor died at Westhorpe Hall where her body was embalmed and held in state for three weeks.[1]
When the house was being demolished in the late 1760s, the site was visited by the antiquarian Thomas Martin of Palgrave:
"I went to see the dismal ruins of Westhorpe Hall, formerly the seat of Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk. The workmen are now pulling it down as fast as may be, in a very careless and injudicious manner. The coping bricks, battlements and many other ornamental pieces, are made of earth, and burnt hard, as fresh as when first built. They might, with care, have been taken down whole, but all the fine chimnies, and ornaments were pulled down with ropes, and crushed to pieces in a most shameful manner. There was a monstrous figure of Hercules sitting cross legged with his club, and a lion beside him, but all shattered in pieces. The painted glass is likely to share the same fate. The timber is fresh and sound, and the building, which was very lofty, stood as when it was first built. It is a pity that care is not taken to preserve some few of our ancient fabrics."[2]

So maybe this little bit was rescued and brought the 5 miles to Haughley to add to the front of this ordinary house in the street and who knows how many Lord, Ladies or Queens have walked through it!

On our way round we managed to call in at the village hall where the WI were serving tea and huge slices of chocolate cake or scones and jam, and very nice it was too.

I forgot to take a photo of sleeping Willow on Saturday but  managed to snap Florence with her Daddy when the family called in for a quick visit. She just Loves books, preferably 2 or 3 at a time, she likes  turning the pages and looking for dogs, cats, ducks or babies. Always plenty to look at in these lovely Shirley Hughes books which her Mummy liked too all those years ago.

This post was going to finish here, but then I got sidetracked into googling Shirley Hughes, she's still alive - aged 90! She has written and illustrated more than 50 books which have  sold 11.5 million copies - Amazing. As well as that she has also illustrated many books by other authors.

 I can't think  how it happened (!) but I seem to have pre-ordered a new book coming out in October,

Back Tomorrow
Thank you to everyone for all the interesting and lovely comments on Saturday's post, apologies for not replying to them all. Also Many Many Thanks to everyone who clicked the follower button and made the numbers go up and up. Big welcome to you all. Margaret asked why be a follower and what being a follower means and why is it important? And I have to say  it isn't important at all and I have no idea what it means apart from it showing up when someone goes into a profile.
But I get childishly excited by seeing the numbers creep up.......

Saturday 23 June 2018

Another Week Passes

I found 2lb of last years strawberries in the freezer and Brother-in-law brought more from his garden at the weekend (and I have enough of my own to have some everyday for a few more days) so I made some strawberry jam, chucked in the half pound of gooseberries that were all I rescued from the 2 new gooseberry bushes (ruined by ants I think) to help it set and a packet of pectin too, just to be sure. I don't eat much jam, brother-in-law is now diabetic so can't eat it - I'll take some with me when I go anywhere and give it all away.

Then swimming. 4 lengths straight off (it's a small pool so that's only 80 metres!) and then about another 15 lengths with rests quite often. The 32 lengths without stopping I used to do years ago will be 40 lengths here and a long time away I think.

Home again and the first thing I noticed at the end of the lane was some cardboard boxes and a bin bag near the workshop door. "Surely not fly-tipping right up here!" was my first thought and then saw they were full of wood-off cuts, some bits my sister and BIL didn't want to store for winter. They were quickly chucked on the massive heap in the wood-shed. Winter alone but warm!

Time for lunch and the week of Queens Club Tennis started at 1pm on BBC2. The signal for me to get out some  cross-stitch and settle down to watch.

England Football in the evening. Whoop! they played until the end and won.

Tuesday -
A drive from Mid Suffolk to near the coast to see youngest and Florence. Took strawberries and jam. We had a walk round the charity shops. Lots of shops closing or moving in Leiston. The town needs Sizewell C Power Station to be built but from the health and safety point of view the people don't need it. Youngest said the last Building Society in the town - which closed a year ago will be opening as a charity shop soon. Just Barclays Bank left for all the businesses to use.
I had a Co-op voucher for Subway BOGOF so we had one each for lunch. I don't really get's just  a bread roll with a choose-you-own filling! but almost every Co-op in Suffolk has a Subway concession in it now, so perhaps it's a way to keep the East of England Co-ops running and young people seem to like them. (That makes me sound old!)

Home and a card through the door "We tried to deliver a parcel, you can collect from Debenham Post Office" - Bother, just drove through there on the way home.

Sat out in the sun and read for a while then it clouded up so in to watch tennis. Andy Murray back after a year off for hip surgery. He looked good for two sets but faded at the end. Britain's new number one - Kyle Edmund won his match, he has come on well over the last two years.

Decided to have a fight with the front path. The slabs are two feet wide but the grass had overgrown them so much that there was only a few inches of slab to be seen in places. Didn't take too long with the lawn edger spade and a bit of tugging to clear the path. One slab was a bit on the huh (as we say in Suffolk) potential "Trip Hazard", so I levered it up with a draining shovel  (the only bit of school physics that has come in useful in life was learning about levers!) and found big roots of something underneath, got rid of them and it still wasn't flat, repeat two or three times until it's level but a bit rocky. Oh well - best I can do, at least there's nothing for the postman to trip over.
The darker bit down the middle was all that was visible before I got busy with the edger spade

Afternoon to the dreaded dentist, for a big filling to rebuild the tooth that broke. It might not work for long and I've still got toothache from the filling he did a month ago although he said it looked OK, I may have to go back for a root canal thing on it if it doesn't stop aching. Oh Joy Unbounded!

Picked up the parcel - it's a fly screen for the back door, made of chains but I seem to have bought industrial quality as it weighs a ton so I'm going to need help with the fixings -Bother. I need to master the art of using a drill, I'm OK with using it as a screwdriver but never got the chance to try drilling holes.

Longest day or to be precise longest daylight hours. Forgot to do a Summer Solstice post - must remember - Next Year.
Absolutely Freezing cold North wind this morning. Had to get out of bed and pull in the windows during the night. It doesn't seem like June at all, I put a hat on when I went out early to fill the bird feeders - woolly hat in June - ridiculous!
At home all day, the on and off toothache was worse, probably aggravated due to the scale and polish he did, at least I hope that's the reason.

Vegetable Garden Harvest today

First French climbing beans and  courgettes. It's always best to cut the first courgettes when they are very small as that helps the plant to grow stronger - same with cucumbers, in fact I always pinch off the very tiny cucs when they first appear and don't let any grow to full size until the plant has really got going. Although saying that, I have 3 plants this year so did the above with 2 but let the third keep going with it's first fruit.

 I needed CAKE! Preferably with cream and the new strawberry jam so made a mini sponge as I only had 2 eggs left.

Rang to check the work in bathroom will start next week....... taking out bath to replace with shower. That's the first part. Then they'll take the grotty shower out of the bedroom and I'll see what's underneath it. May need new carpet, may put a small bath in the bedroom instead, might not!

Rang a local man who advertises in the Parish Magazine to get him to come  for ideas and quote for new kitchen units.They are 1970's or 80's mock wood, kick boards missing, a draw front missing and generally old and tired.

Tennis again, Oh dear Kyle Edmund knocked out by the same bloke who knocked out Andy M. The commentators keep saying how entertaining Australian Nick Kyrgios  is but although he played brilliantly today with loads of un-returnable first serves, I find his on-court antics a bit childish and his swearing isn't necessary either, and I know that's sounds like I'm too prim and proper but I really don't understand the need for constant efffffing!

 First cucumber and last of the strawberries - due to lack of rain the plants have flagged. It's too far down the garden to water them and with a water meter I'm wary of using the hosepipe too often.

Out shopping to Stowmarket. Quite quiet in town for a Friday morning..........except in the bank........always a long queue there. Bought myself a new pair of shorts AND trousers in M&Co - a very, very rare event. Some of my shorts are so old they are falling apart- despite mending. Now I can ditch the worst and I needed a pair of lightweight trousers, now that I'm out at things like WI in the summer months.

A gloriously sunny afternoon but the wind from the North is keeping temperatures down here so no good for sitting out ............. Tennis on TV instead  and Nick Kyrgios again,( serving aces like crazy and not so much mucking about) and more stitching but with so much time fiddling about on the blog it's not growing very quickly .................."it" being a Christmas card for a small person.

 So that's another week  gone, and that's what I did to fill my time, sometimes I feel I'm still waiting for Col to come home other times I'm OK........mostly OK.

Many thanks to everyone who clicked the follower button. I'm so easily made happy by seeing the numbers go up! and thanks for comments too.

Back Monday - Have a Good Weekend.


Friday 22 June 2018

Throwing My Money Around at a Car-Boot Sale............


Yes,  I went on another boot-sale spree, this was  a couple of weeks ago before the Surrey part of the family came for the funeral.

3 new shower scrunchy things -I'm sure they have a proper name, were 20p each. Book and cars for grandchildren ( mainly Jacob this time as he was coming to stay) £4.50
2 packets of Lettuce seeds - my favourite sort including one lot for winter growing 50p each. Best bargain was a HUGE bundle of peel-off labels for card making, I gave up counting them when I got to 40! There must be over 100. These were £5 for the lot.

Blimey, big spend day of £11.10p!

I put all the cars in a row on the coffee table, ready for Jacob arriving and you should have seen his eyes light up when he came in and saw them! Very excited car-mad 2 year old!

Sorted through the peel off labels and put them in my concertina file with the rest. I really have no excuse for not making more cards...... a job for the winter.

I see I have lost two followers, bother, I was hoping to get to the 400+ that I had on the old blog by the end of the year. Numbers going backwards is no help at all 😏 !

Thank you to everyone for comments about the little church, I really must do some more visits to churches that are featured in my book while the weather is good. Can't say I fancy poking about churches in the middle of winter, they are never the warmest of places.

Back Tomorrow

Thursday 21 June 2018

Gipping Church

Yet another post that's been in drafts for ages.....there was still blossom on the trees when I took this photo!

In one of the quietest parts of Mid Suffolk is a church that was built as a private chapel back in 1474/80 for Sir James Tyrrell the then Lord of the Manor at Gipping Hall which was demolished in the 1850s. Sir James Tyrrell was supposedly responsible for murdering the Princes in the tower under Richard III. Tyrrell was executed in 1502 for treason

Gipping itself is a tiny village, population under 100, that gives it name to the river that rises there and flows through Stowmarket and to Ipswich and the River Orwell and then out into the North sea.
The church was never a Parish church but has been cared for by trustees since 1743.

 I just took a couple of quick photos as I was passing through the little hamlet
The outside

The walls are a chequer -board of knapped flint limestone and septaria, which is................................

a concretionary nodule or mass, usually of calcium carbonate or of argillaceous carbonate of iron, traversed within by a network of cracks filled with calcite and other minerals
Who knew?

According to my book it is regarded as the finest in Suffolk.

The very plain tower was added in the 17th Century by a Tyrrell of the time and looks quite out of place compared to the rest of the church.

Inside is simple.

 There is only one stained glass window and that is made up of fragments of medieval glass. There are much better photos and information on the Suffolk Churches Website .
From the notice board I could see they have a service here once a month as part of a neighbouring parish.

Back Tomorrow

Wednesday 20 June 2018

Look What I Spotted

Friends came to visit and I was showing them the disaster that is the Alstroemeria quarter of the Cutting Garden when I spotted something, right by the wire netting fence.

Wow! A Bee Orchid................just one and difficult to photograph being so close to the netting.

Here is what it says on Wiki............
In the UK, it has a distinct southeastern preference, being more common in England. Recently it has been found in the southwest of England in Butleigh near Glastonbury in Somerset; whereas it is only to be found in coastal regions of Wales as well as the Hodbarrow Nature Reserve in Millom, Cumbria,[13] and some parts of Northern Ireland. It is relatively common in the northeast of England and in recent years large numbers have appeared in the grass verges surrounding the Metro Centre in Gateshead.[14] In Scotland, it was thought to be extinct, but was rediscovered in Ayrshire in 2003. In some countries the plants have protected status. They are unusual in that in some years they appear in great numbers, then sometimes only reappear after an absence of many years.

 and from The Wildlife Trusts Website..........

The Bee Orchid is a sneaky mimic - the flower’s velvety lip looks like a female bee. Males fly in to try to mate with it and end up pollinating the flower. Sadly, the right bee species doesn’t live here, so this orchid is self-pollinated in the UK

I found this information on the Norfolk Wildlife Trust website.....................

How can I encourage bee orchids to stay in the garden?

Bee orchids can be really unpredictable and may disappear from an area where they have been flowering successfully. They are usually found where there is drained base rich soil in areas such as scrubland, coastal sand dunes, chalk grassland and occasionally un-mown lawns.

It is best to leave an area of bare ground for the seeds to settle on as this is a colonising plant, however only those seeds which gain nutrients from fungal hyphae will begin to develop. Cutting should be avoided.

It sounds as if I may never see another

 But the Pyramidal Orchids are back on the meadow again, there are even more than last year so they must be here to stay.

 Isn't nature wonderful?

Back Tomorrow

Tuesday 19 June 2018

People Watching and People Going

(Another post that's been in drafts for several weeks).

Time it was let out.

About 6 weeks before Colin passed away I hauled the boxes of car-boot stuff out from under the stairs. We were going to take them on a good weather Sunday. They stood in the hall just inside the front door and I added a few more bits to the boxes but of course I didn't actually get to do the sale as it was either wet or too hot and then he was poorly.

I didn't want to put the boxes back under the stairs as that is more difficult than getting them out and I soon got fed up with walking round them, so a few weeks ago I decided to load up and take them to the local Sunday boot sale at Stonham Barns. It's much more civilized than the huge Saturday one at Needham-Market, which means you don't have to get there at silly-o-clock. I arrived at 7.15 and was in good time to unpack. There aren't masses of dealers crowding round the car....... thank goodness!

I've never done a boot sale on my own before but loads of people do, so I wasn't worried. Son and Daughter in law plus Willow of course came to see me and found some more clothes for Willow, she's growing so quickly.When I needed to nip to the loo I "borrowed" the son of a lady who was selling stuff opposite me to just to keep an eye on everything. (Another benefit of this car boot sale........enough proper toilets and no queueing for a scruffy portaloo)

I spent the time people watching......some very strange shapes were seen as it was warm and much flesh was on view! But something happened that made me, the lady opposite and a lady on the next car boot look at each other in horror. A family....Mum, perhaps Dad- not sure, and two children - boy and girl of about 8 or 9. The boy was just a few steps ahead at the next lady's table with the other 3 in front of my stall. When suddenly the man shouted at the boy " come back here" (all of 12 feet) "you must stay where we can see you, there are bad people who could take you away and we wouldn't know". The man carried on like this, in a voice loud enough for everyone to hear, for several minutes, it was so frightening to hear this at a rural car-boot sale when the boy was only a few feet away and no crowds of people anywhere.  I don't know about the boy, but the man frightened me! Are things really so bad? I don't believe they are, not in this part of the world, no wonder children suffer from stress.

I didn't have anything worth much to sell so it went for 50p, £1 or £2. My best sale was a whole load of crafting stuff that I knew I'd never use for £10 for the lot.

Came home with over £50, well pleased.

Left over = Two bags of stuff went to charity shops and a couple of things into the rubbish bin and one or two things back into the house but Nothing back under the stairs except the books. (Until a couple of days ago when I began to sort through some things from the garage and started a new box-under-the-stairs for next year!)

Traveling along country roads early in the morning has it's compensations. That Sunday morning I saw 2 muntjac deer crossing the road, 3 hares ran across the road ahead of me and numerous rabbits were out and about.

The bit below hasn't been in's brand new.

Oh Bother, a blog that I read has vanished................again. Thank you to everyone who doesn't disappear, everyone who keeps writing something for me ( and others)  to read and enjoy.

And many thanks for comments, I find them very supportive.

Back Soon

Monday 18 June 2018

Charity Shop Persephone and a Jug Photo

I just had time to pop  into one charity shop the other day and much to my surprise found another Persephone Book for my collection
Just 75p .... what luck, and it's one of my favourite reads. Now I have it to keep and read again, although I've lent it to a friend to read first before I add it to my Persephone shelf.

For everyone who asked, here is a better picture of the small jug along side it's bigger brother, which also came from a car boot sale but sometime last year.

The cottage is a Lilliput Lane cottage called Summer Haze, I found it on ebay for a few £ when I was looking for something for my summer mantel shelf. I now have two Lilliput Lane cottages but family please note, I'm NOT starting a collection!

Had a strange weekend, things caught up with me and even though Col's brother spent Sunday morning here helping me by strimming round the new trees and hedge cutting I felt even worse when he had gone and I was on my own again. This grief thing is very strange.

Back Soon

Saturday 16 June 2018

How Important are Pieces of Paper?

Do you remember when computers first arrived and people said we were moving towards a paperless society?

When Colin's Dad died last year his house was left jointly to Colin, his sister and brother (who actually lives in the house and was left the main share and is buying out the other two shares). Obviously Col passing away has complicated things but what caused another worry was the solicitor saying they hadn't got the deeds to the house and the deeds certainly weren't among the paperwork left by Father in Law either.
That rather threw everyone into a bit of a panic!
The house hadn't changed hands since Col's Dad inherited it from His Mother way back in the 1970's and hadn't been registered with the Land Registry so the deeds were the only thing to prove who owned it. Very Luckily there was a letter among Father-in-Laws paperwork from the solicitor and dated mid 1980s that said they had added the information about the purchase of a small strip of the field behind the house to the deeds IN THEIR KEEPING.

Just to add to the fun the solicitors had moved premises from one part of town to another!

Sister in law spent ages sorting through papers again just in case  and finally after a couple of weeks there was a call from the solicitors to say they had found the deeds. Filed under the wrong name! Phew.

I've now got to go into the solicitors with Col's will  (on paper)to prove Colin left everything to me, plus his death certificate (paper) and ID for me (More paper) and our marriage certificate(another bit of paper). I'll make sure they take Paper photo-copies and give the Paper originals straight back to me!

The moral of this tale.............. in this "paperless age"...............
Keep every bit of paper to do with anything that proves who owns anything and for goodness sake make a will!

Apologies............I forgot to say thank you for all the comments about getting back to swimming. I would like to go twice a week if I can once I get past  blinkin' dentist appointments and the company coming to swap the bath for a shower (and then more work later).

Back Soon

Friday 15 June 2018

Finding (More) Things for the Grandchildren

(Another post that's been sat in drafts for  nearly 8 weeks.)

My list of things to look for for myself at car boot sales is very short, but somehow there are always things to find for the grandchildren. Welly boots can be passed between them as they grow, just as we did with our children - we had a whole box of boots, usually from Jumble sales, just waiting for feet to be the right size.

Toys and summer clothes for Willow, books for Florence........Her mummy and daddy said they still feel a bit self conscience with books that have to be sung so I keep finding more just to tease them! "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and lots of Teddy Bears  doing "If You're Happy and you Know It".

Anyone spotted what's hiding in the middle?
Afraid its another jug...... and it says 'England' on the bottom rather than 'Made in England' I think that makes it older.......someone will know.
I also got a pot of parsley seedlings for 50p - twice mine failed  to germinate ( Now the parsley is big enough to use) plus some petunias for the Shabby Chic Ladder. (  Now, Weeks later they are looking very colourful)
Total spend £10.70

Can't say Petunia without remembering that Public Information ad that used to be on  about the coastguards...........

Back Soon

Thursday 14 June 2018

Getting Into The Swim

Thank you to everyone for lovely comments about the funeral post. Some made me cry but in a good way.  I had a very down day on the day after, and it didn't help that the weather was really cold and wet but have climbed back on the surviving road now.

About 3 months ago I said to Col that I really wanted to get back to swimming........... I prefer swimming to any other sort of exercise. There is a pool 11 miles away but I'd never driven there and had only been to the pool once and that was about 30 years ago...................and I hadn't been swimming at all for about 15 years maybe even more.
Colin said we would go that way sometime so I could see where it was. But we didn't get there.

So I put on my grown-up head and drove cross country to their 50+ swimming session. Filled in a form for an active fitness card which takes £1 off each swim so only £2.10 a time. The lady showed me where everything was and I found I hadn't forgotten how to swim!

Might take me a while to get back to doing the half mile I used to do in Leiston pool way back in the late '90s but at least I've got started again.

I loved the comment by Lisa R on the last post I did when she said I might be able to fit in a new hobby between gardening, baking, reading, car-booting, grandchildren cuddling, sports watching and blogging. Now I can add swimming to the list because I'm determined to keep going.

 Back Soon

Tuesday 12 June 2018

Lots of Tears............

.......................but we got through.

Yes, it was  Colin's funeral yesterday .

He knew what he wanted and, when we heard there was no more treatment available, he  had written things down so I knew too, although having been married for 38 years I had a pretty good idea of his wishes.
So it was  a cremation with the service led by the lovely hospital chaplain and words spoken that Colin had written and a few words from his friend and ex-boss at the County Council. A hymn chosen by him "There is a Green Hill Far Away" and one chosen by me "Lord of all Hopefulness" and the reading from Ecclesiastes 3 versus 1 - 8.

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:
   a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot, 
     a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance, 
     a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, 
     a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away, 
     a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak, 
     a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

A short simple service and just white flowers from immediate family on a cardboard coffin with  pictures of bluebell woods around the sides.

We left the crematorium chapel to one of his favourite bits of music..............The Sound of Silence by Disturbed

There were crowds of people at the funeral, his ex work colleagues from early days at the council as well as more recently, friends from where we lived at the smallholding, and from where we lived before that, even old friends from his school days, plus friends of our children as well as all the family.

Now to find a new normal


Monday 11 June 2018

June Flowers Make Me Smile

There was a time in my life, several years ago now, when I never brought flowers indoors, I really hated people buying me flowers.
Because it was just One More Thing that needed caring for, looking after, sorting out.

That's one way I knew I was suffering from depression. Not the very BLACK sort  but more dark grey, up and down, when anything would make me panic, feel I couldn't cope and sink into a dark hole, which took days to get out of again .

Thank goodness doctors understood that I needed a small dose of anti-depressants all year round and all the time. It's a lack of a chemical in the brain and since then, with that small dose I've been fine.
Now I don't suffer from depression. I just feel  normal - if there is such a thing!.
There is nothing wrong with taking anti-depressants - either in the short term or long term it's just the same as a person with diabetes needing insulin - always.

 Mental Health needs talking about. It's this years W.I. Resolution to be put forward at the National AGM and campaigned for all year.......... MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS

Now I love to bring flowers in.......................... Even if I do just plonk them in a vase!
I like to know what flowers are called and have learned the names of so many over the years. These are
Delphiniums, Golden Feverfew, Nigella and Veronica.

Back Soon

Sunday 10 June 2018

The June Library Book Photo

Oh heck it's all crime again! I promise I'm not using these as reference for planning a murder.

  I've requested all of them and will enjoy reading them all but I really ought to be having a bit more variety.
Sorry seem to have chopped off half the authors. Really should put my glasses on when I take photos

Three favourite authors all at once - Elly Griffiths, Jaqueline Winspear and Anne Perry.............which to read first........... decisions, decisions!

As always books read last month have been added to the Books Read 2018 page.

Back Soon

Saturday 9 June 2018

How Does My Garden Grow

The patio between back of house and garage and the corner with pots and the shabby chic ladder which after 4 years is looking much more shabby than chic. I'll need to give it a coat of colour stain sometime

The Greenhouse with tomatoes on the right, cucumbers straight ahead and peppers and aubergines on the staging on the left. Also in there are pots of Basil, a pot of parsley, French Marigolds to attract in the hoverflies that eat greenfly, some small Heuchera that will go out when they are a bit bigger. There is also an Abelia which I got last year, it says it's slow growing and that's certainly right as it's taken a year to get from 3 inches tall to 6 inches tall and I bought it to go in a pot on the patio as it's a shrub - Ha! Might have to wait another 3 years until it's shrub size!

The Vegetable beds on the part of the garden behind the garage. Colin sowed a whole bed of beetroot, so there should be enough! I have mangetout peas in the next bed plus climbing French beans, with canes up ready for the runners.The next bed is courgettes and leeks plus the last couple of spring cabbage. I need to take down the frame work of netting that's round it. The fourth bed is potatoes with rhubarb at the end and in the distance the bigger soft fruit bed.
The House is next door neighbours, almost all their land is in front of their house beside my garden. They want to buy part of the field behind the house but other neighbours in the lane have tried to buy a bit of field without success. Apparently the farmer who owns it is a grumpy bloke who won't even discuss it!

The old raspberry canes that were here when we came, they are covered in fruit this year, I'll need to chuck a net over the top in a few weeks time, that's what the stakes are there for.

Orchard and Polly. These trees were here when we came. A family apple, another apple, 2 pear and a plum. We added 3 more various apple and 2 apricots - one of which is looking very sorry for itself.

Looking back at the veg beds from the soft fruit bed, with the garage on the right and the back of the house. The oval rose garden and my cutting garden are on  the other side of the greenhouse.
There are sun flowers surrounded by canes and string in the middle of the fruit bed because I couldn't find anywhere else to put them

There are also lots of shrubs over the other side of the orchard and mustn't forget the meadow and new trees. The tall poplar trees in the centre of the picture with Polly in the orchard are down the right hand side of the meadow. Our land is L shaped with the house in the corner where the two bits of the L join. The garden is the bottom of the L and the meadow is the upright of the L. I'll draw a map one day!

Back Tomorrow

Friday 8 June 2018


Weeks and weeks ago when I was lamenting lack of ideas for blog posts, someone asked if we had any pets I could write about so I wrote most of this post and it's been sat in drafts ever since.......

I have a cat, she's about 5 years old although we don't really know as she came from Cat's Protection and they weren't sure. She's small and black,  sleeps upstairs all morning, appears downstairs in the afternoon, likes to know there is always something in her food dish - just in case - (maybe she was often hungry in the place she lived before we got her), hates doors that are shut, disappears outside every now and again but never for very long, especially if it's chilly or wet, and likes to keep very warm!

Photo taken in March I think when the log burner was alight.
She moved from the country to the town and back out to the country again and, like me, managed to survive the moves without problems.

Now she is keeping me company and I'm sure also missing Colin. She's a dear little cat except at the moment at 4.30 in the morning which is the time she seems to think I ought to get's daylight after all! She stands on her back legs beside the bed and pats me on the face if I'm laying on my side or jumps on top of me if she can't reach my face. I push her off and  eventually she'll give up and go away only to come back and repeat it all every half hour until I give in to the nagging and get up.

I turned round yesterday to see her chasing a mouse around the living room......... is this the mouse that she brought in to me at 3am the other morning and lost under the wardrobe or is it the mouse she brought in at the weekend and lost under the range cooker or more likely is this a new mouse and how many mice have I got hiding round the house now?!

I'm so sorry I'm not commenting much on  bloggy friends blogs at the moment. Still having problems with a"Insecure Connection" coming up all the time. Sometimes it takes me an age and half a dozen tries to get Into my blog to do anything and then on other blogs I try and comment and get a box saying insecure connection again. Have no idea why.  If I vanish that will be why!

Back Tomorrow if I can get into the blinkin' blog to publish a post! They are there in drafts waiting.

Thursday 7 June 2018

A Post....Early for Christmas! ( and other stuff)

 A partridge in and a pear tree.

A Partridge

And a Pear Tree!

What a fantastic sunny day we had yesterday although the forecast was for grey cloud all day it was really hot. I wanted to go into Stowmarket for shopping and to get photos printed before I forgot and before Eldest etc are back for the funeral. Decided as I was out I might as well go to the Wednesday Car Boot sale, and was jolly glad I'd not worn clothes for chilly weather (which we had Tuesday) because it was sweltering at the boot sale. So warm that I was tempted to my first whippy ice cream  of the year......with chocolate flake of course.
I didn't spend a lot except £5 for 3 good size purple Pentstemon plants for my purple garden. The Hosta I put there last year has been virtually demolished by slugs so that will come out and what remains will be put in a pot.....with slug pellets!

Otherwise just found these 3 things among the tons of junk and house clearance debris.
Bag of Christmas wrapping paper 50p, tiddlywinks game 50p and the 3 jars which are just the size I needed to replace jam jars on the herb and spice shelf. They were £2. The basket they are in might have been useful but it was revoltingly filthy.

Got home to find a letter in the post telling me I'm now officially "on benefits!". I had no idea that because Colin died whilst on Employment and Support allowance due to the cancer, I was entitled to a grant towards funeral costs and £100 a month for a year. Very useful. I filled in the form more in hope than expectation but they seem to have dealt with it remarkably quickly.

Many Thanks for lots of comments yesterday. 

Back Tomorrow

Wednesday 6 June 2018


These make me think of that word, used in a derogatory way for women in the past, but perfect for my peonies.

They lasted well inside and out this year

Next door neighbour asked if I needed anything doing in the garden, I said just strimming the edges so he came round with an electric  strimmer and I found an extension lead and he went quite a way round the garden doing the tatty bits that I can't get with either big or little mower. The trouble is I'm not used to relying on someone else to do something. Our way of life had been so self-sufficient for nearly 40 years but I can't work the huge petrol pull-start strimmer (I think they have a different name in the States so readers there might not know what I'm wittering on about!) so either I have to give in gracefully or get something I can use myself.

In other was serviced and passed it's MOT ....good.It needed a couple of new bits on the suspension and new brake pipe and a new tyre - I await the bill! I know I'm not getting ripped off as the people who own and work at the garage are friends of Brother in Law.

 I'm eating strawberries from the garden - a handful everyday at the moment, lettuces too. Leeks have been planted out and the French climbing beans are heading up the canes. Not too many jobs left to do apart from weeding, successional salad sowing, planting out runner beans and then harvesting all the goodies.......raspberries are looking very good but we need rain for them - most of it has missed us

Still dealing with officialdom regarding money stuff.......... phone calls, forms and letters. I think I've sorted something then get a letter wanting another bit of information. I expect it will all get organised in the end.

Went to Big WI, we had a speaker talking about wool felting. There is conflicting history of how someone found that wool would knit itself together if wetted, heated and bashed about. She had some lovely books and had travelled to Turkey and countries in Asia to find out more about a craft that dates back at least 4,000 years. She had made all sorts of interesting colourful things, but it's not a craft I would ever have the patience to try.

(Edited in later to say.......I've just done what I should have done earlier and looked this word up in the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary.......seems it doesn't exist in the way I thought! Just means like a blouse? There is another word from the 1500's.....Blowze which means "A Wench" or "Slatternly".
So where did I get my word from? No idea!)

Back Tomorrow