Thursday, 21 March 2019

The Fourth Drawer Down

The fourth drawer down of my "dresser" was very heavy to open. Time to have a sort out.

Blimey, its a wonder the bottom of the drawer hadn't fallen out

 I unpacked the drawer and in it I found
  • Nearly a dozen various screwdrivers
  • A huge box full of various screws and other bits
  • A Huge adjustable spanner - too heavy to hold let alone use!
  • A small adjustable spanner
  • A couple of small spanners
  • 2 penknives
  • 3 tape measures
  • A tin full of drill bits
  • 2 rolls of parcel tape
  • A roll of duct tape
  • 3 rolls of some sort of other tape - electrical?
  • A sat nav given to me ages ago that I've still not used
  • 9 hooks that fit on a picture rail -  but there is no picture rail here
  • A roll of sellotape
  • A box full of keys - for what?
  • 4 padlocks with keys attached
  • A padlock with no keys
  • Some pads that go on the bottom of chair legs
  • Odd electrical bits supposedly for the conservatory heater
  • A heavy thing that I think is a towing loop?
  • My little hammer that I used to use with the corking tool when I made wine
  • PLUS random other odds and ends

It's tidier and weighs less now............ quite a few things went into the bin including the Phillips screwdriver that's lost its point! The massive spanner is in the garage and lots of things have gone into the car-boot box. And I will learn how the sat-nav works sometime soon.

Back Tomorrow

Wednesday, 20 March 2019


In the Northern Hemisphere the Vernal or  Spring Equinox happens today and at 21.58, according to my diary, astronomically Spring begins. The word vernal comes from the Latin vernare, meaning to bloom.
This book was donated to the charity shop this week and I snapped it up because of the illustrations.

This is the page for the Spring Equinox, showing the wheel of the year

 Ostara  was the pagan festival celebrating Eostre, a Saxon goddess and gives us the words East and Easter. She is often depicted as having a hare's head on a human body.

The Year's at the spring,
And day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hill-side's dew-pearl'd;
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn;
God's in His heaven.......
All's right with the world!

Robert Browning 

To welcome spring I have these lovely tulips....................... a draw prize win at small WI.

If you choose  the flowers and vase (a horrible metal thing.....ooops controversial! - prefer my jug!) for your draw prize there is a catch, as I now have to take the vase back with flowers for a draw prize at next months meeting!

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Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Treasure in Debenham?

The National Trust Anglo Saxon Burial Ship site at Sutton Hoo near Woodbridge has been shut all winter for "an exciting transformation". It was  certainly needed because how things were arranged before was pretty boring considering the uniqueness of this site.

Over the last month volunteers from Sutton Hoo have been touring Suffolk  with some of the artifacts (actually copies as the originals are in the British Museum) and information about how the new displays will look when it re-opens.


As they were just down the road in Debenham Primary School on Saturday I thought I would pop down to have a look and to find out if they would be open again before my Membership runs out in July!

They didn't really have a lot to look at.........a few craft activities for children and some boards with artists impressions of the new entrance.
 The large metal representation of the helmet that was previously up high over the doorway will be down at eye-level........... much better. On the right of this artists impression you can see what will be a huge metal sculpture copying the remains of wooden ship which the archaeologists found in the original dig.

Below is the artists impression of the viewing tower which will be built to give a fantastic view of the whole burial site. I wondered how they would blend this in but is to be timber clad on three sides.

These are the copies of the treasures that were found in the ship burial, the amazing helmet

The solid gold belt buckle

And this beautiful shoulder clasp

All this skill and wealth in what we know as The Dark Ages!

This is what The British Museum says about the ship burial

In 1939 Mrs Edith Pretty, a landowner at Sutton Hoo, Suffolk, asked archaeologist Basil Brown to investigate the largest of several Anglo-Saxon burial mounds on her property. Inside, he made one of the most spectacular archaeological discoveries of all time.
Beneath the mound was the imprint of a 27-metre-long ship. At its centre was a ruined burial chamber packed with treasures: Byzantine silverware, sumptuous gold jewellery, a lavish feasting set, and most famously, an ornate iron helmet. Dating to the early AD 600s, this outstanding burial clearly commemorated a leading figure of East Anglia, the local Anglo-Saxon kingdom. It may even have belonged to a king.
The Sutton Hoo ship burial provides remarkable insights into early Anglo-Saxon England. It reveals a place of exquisite craftsmanship and extensive international connections, spanning Europe and beyond. It also shows that the world of great halls, glittering treasures and formidable warriors described in Anglo-Saxon poetry was not a myth.

They are going to be open in the summer but not all the work will be finished. I'll  go and have a look before my membership runs out but the Grand Re-opening is not until September.

Back Tomorrow

PS. Did you know there is only one factory in the whole country making dried pasta? No I didn't either until yesterdays local's in Norwich. They are making more than usual...... Just In Case, but their flour comes from the France but don't have a pasta panic as they have 6 months of flour in storage in Gt Yarmouth.

Monday, 18 March 2019

Never Before Seen on This Blog............

All Is True.jpg

...............A Film Review!

I took myself down to Stowmarket Regal to see All is True.

In 1613 a cannon used in the Shakespeare play Henry VIII at his Globe Theatre misfires and the Theatre burns to the ground. Devastated, Shakespeare returns to Stratford where his family have been much neglected by him.

The film imagines the last 3 years of his life, including the truth of his son Hamnet's death at the age of 11; the reason for leaving his "second best bed" to Anne; who his sonnets were really written for and about and the reason for his death in 1616.

It isn't filmed in black and white, or foreign with subtitles and the subject is certainly unfashionable
but as Kenneth Brannagh directs and stars as Shakespeare (with large false nose!) and Judy Dench is Anne and these two can surely pick and choose whatever they want to do they must have thought it better than some of the reviews it has had.

It is written by Ben Elton and there are several little reminders of his brilliant TV series Upstart Crow.

I enjoyed it in a quiet sort of way and also enjoyed being back in The Regal. Apart from going there with small WI last year to see Mamma Mia, Here We Go Again I think the last time I went to the cinema was to see Crocodile Dundee in 1986!.......... Colin wasn't a great film fan and there was no spare money anyway.
Back in the day........when I was 14 and 15............... I used to go to The Regal every Saturday night (3 shillings down the front!)with friends or whichever boyfriend, no one bothered what the film was, it was all about being out and about and being seen out and about! I'll be a bit more choosy now and you won't find me there watching anything weird, arty or nasty.

The weather forecast for IP14  looks much better this week - less wind and dryer too. The BBC online forecast says " gentle/moderate breeze" rather than "strong winds".......... thank goodness. I was getting quite fed up with the continuous blowing and having to prop the garage door up to keep it open to get the car out.

Back Tomorrow

Saturday, 16 March 2019

All of a Sudden We Are..................

...........................halfway through March

When I was out last Sunday a little orange spanner symbol appeared on the dashboard- Bother. I rang the repair place and took the car round on Monday and luckily it was nothing, or rather nothing to worry about, just something to do with settings from new, showing when it's due for service......which has already been done. NOTE TO SELF..........when this happens in March next year I have to hold down throttle and brake pedals together for 20 seconds to clear the prompt signal.

It was so cold and windy this week that I wimped out of swimming, stayed at home and sorted through some more craft bits instead. And, on a whim, decided to make some Easter cards. The only Easter-ish bits I had were some small "Happy Easter" peel off stickers.But what I did have - from the 2018 car boot haul -were some big square peel offs that I'd kept even though I wasn't sure when I'd use them.

 Inspired by stained glass in all the churches that I've been visiting I got out the fine-line felt-pens

Colouring in all the little spaces was quite therapeutic.

This week I am grateful for
  • My wonderful children and grandchildren
  • The ease of printing out photos to keep 
  • An invitation to  roast dinner with my brother in law and sister in law
  • The car problem that wasn't a problem after all
  • Letters from penfriends
  • Finding out that if I knock 1mm of car wing mirror on the garage door and it falls to bits then I can click it back together again! Another  NOTE TO SELF.... probably not a good idea to try this again!
Thank you to everyone for comments over the week, I just don't seem to have time to get around to replying, which must be annoying for everyone - sorry.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend, wherever you are and what ever the weather.........the forecast is awful more windy weather, rain and snow in some places.

Back Monday

Friday, 15 March 2019

The March Library Book Haul

4 weeks and it's library van visit again...........time flies when you have good book to read. Trouble is I've got rather too many!

This month I collected this lot, all ordered online and by chance all arriving at the same time.

The book at the bottom of the heap is something I saw mentioned well over a year ago, it must have been published late to have taken this long to arrive. There are as always lots of crime fiction including Yippee Do! the new Rory Clements, the new Kate Ellis and best of all the new Elly Griffiths. There are a few here by authors I've not read before. Also a couple more non fiction including the intriguingly named "The Real Witches Garden" and "Red Rag to a Bull" subtitled Rural life in an urban age.
I'll let you know how I get on with them all.

I took back some of the fiction and  non fiction from last month's haul.
I've read Mrs Tim of the Regiment, Toll the Bell for Murder and Spring Magic. Currently reading The Year of the Gun. After just glancing at the Economical Environmentalist, and Better than Before I knew I wouldn't bother to read. I've kept the rest with every intention of actually getting into them.
Books I've read have been added to the separate Books Read 2019 page.

Which means I have  22  library books here at the moment! This is quite an achievement because we are only supposed to have 20 at a time..........good thing the library man can over ride the system.

If I disappear it will be because I've been buried under a heap of falling library books.........just like something out of  one of the crime novels!

Back Tomorrow............. I hope

Thursday, 14 March 2019

More from Bury St Edmunds

More of storm Gareth passing by made the weather very rough yesterday. A car ahead of me had to swerve to avoid a man on a little moped or scooter as he was blown sideways out into the road. At home I found  a small pollarded willow down across the ditch. I'll need to try and haul all the branches back to my side of the ditch - although that's a job that will have to wait until things calm down a bit. It means more wood for cutting when Col's brother brings his chainsaw round.

A few more photos from Bury St Edmunds..............last week when the weather was so much better.

In the Abbey Gardens there are  a few bits of the huge Abbey that once stood here.

The River Lark runs along the edge of the Abbey Gardens and a Little Egret was padding about in the shallows under

the Abbots bridge

and a close up

Amazing to think the River was once naviagable all the way from The Wash in Norfolk right into Bury St Edmunds..... Information HERE

Now it's just a shallow stream

In the town I remembered to take a photo of this building, The Grade 1, 17th Century Cupula House. Recently rebuilt after a huge fire swept through the building in 2012

  The Cupula on top is quite unusual and the rebuild is beautiful. It's now available To Let and was used before the fire as a restaurant and before that as a hotel.

After charity shops and before the walk down to the church just had to stop for refreshment in Greggs and tried the vegan 'sausage' roll which has had good reviews - a bit tasteless I thought. I'll stick to chocolate doughnuts in future ;-)

Thank you for lots of comments yesterday. It's fun to be known as the Nanna who brings books and cakes, although madam was in quite a grumpy mood when I saw her and didn't even want the new book read........... The terrible twos!

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Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Wednesday and it's That Sparrowhawk Again

There I was one day last week........ feet up on the settee, lap top on my knees, camera by my side, plugged into the laptop loading up photos of a church for a post, when I spotted something sitting on the front hedge.

Moving very slowly I unplugged the camera, zoomed in and snapped

Not surprisingly there were no birds on the feeders!

Was it the same one I saw last  October?

The weather here was just horrible yesterday........ another named storm passing through. Had to put the windscreen wipers on extra fast when driving home. I got soaked unloading the shopping from the car and lit the wood-burner pretty quickly to warm up the living room.
While I was in town I got some photos from the weekend printed out  to pass on to the family, they came out rather well. At Christmas Son and DIL gave me a frame that holds 3 photos. The grandchildren have all grown since then so I can replace the photos and keep replacing them as they grow up.

The other day I said I needed for the grandchildren to know me as they will be missing a grandad so it was good when Youngest Daughter sent me a text message saying she'd been putting Florence to bed and had said "Nanna is coming to visit tomorrow" and Florence had replied " will Nanna bring a book and cakes?" So she does know who I am already!

Thank to everyone for comments about the church visit. I'm learning so much about churches while doing this.

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Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Back to Bury St. Edmunds

Last year I went to Bury St Edmunds  to visit the Cathedral and St Johns church (HERE). But there is another church in Bury in the 100 churches book so I went back last week.
This photo of the outside is from internet
St Mary's is a huge church, the original parish church for Bury St Edmunds, and one of the largest parish churches in England. It's situated on the corner of the old Abbey site.

Stepping inside all is light and bright, there were several people there cleaning and they always have a steward on duty for information.  I spoke to a lady who had also been visiting all the churches in the 100 churches book until she had to give up driving. We both agreed that Thornham Parva is The most perfect small church and Blythburgh is amazing for it's original features.

The reason this church gets it's place in the book is because of the tomb of Mary Tudor, Queen of France and Duchess of Suffolk. The favourite sister of Henry VIII. Mary became queen of France after her marriage to Louis XII and on his death married Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk. She died in 1533 and was buried in the Abbey in Bury. When the Abbey was dissolved in 1539 during the Reformation her body was transferred along the road to St Mary's.

More info about Mary is displayed by her tomb

As befits this big church there are some fantastic stained glass windows. This one below tells the story of Mary Tudor and was paid for by Queen Victoria.

Incredible colours and bosses on the chancel roof over the altar

This window above the chancel arch depicts the martyrdom of St Edmund and is based on a medieval pilgrims badge

The 15C roof with the large angels.

 One of 3 paintings showing scenes from the past. This is The Friday Dole - bread for the poor

There is so much more about this church on the Suffolk Churches website HERE.

Thank you for all the lovely comments about the grandchildren.

Back tomorrow

Monday, 11 March 2019

Growing Up So Fast

Today would have been Colin's 62nd birthday and I said when he died that the saddest thing is his grandchildren won't remember him. So I have to make sure they know me.

I go and visit youngest daughter and  eldest granddaughter in Leiston most weeks but when I miss a week she seems to suddenly grow up.

Florence aged 2 years 4 months................ and she rarely sits still!

Son, DIL and  youngest granddaughter are much closer for visiting. Willow, who I share a birthday with, will be 1 in April and I'll be .....a bit older! She's crawling now and pulling herself up. Time to move everything off the coffee tables before she arrives! She's very like her Daddy when he was little which is fine as long as she doesn't grow to be 6 foot 3 inches tall with a beard!

Don't get to see grandson so often, he's the oldest grandchild and will be 3 at the end of May. But Eldest daughter came to stay for a couple of nights so Jacob had fun with all of the cars and other toys at Nana's house
This is my favourite photo of him from the weekend

On Saturday afternoon all grandchildren were together and with a bit of persuasion we managed to get them to sit them still for a few seconds

Colin would have been a such a lovely and loving Grandad.

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Saturday, 9 March 2019

A Week In March

March came in like a lion on Sunday as the wind got stronger and storm Freya crossed the county. So no visiting the first-of-the-season car boot at Stonham Barns........... I doubt it even happened. The wind continued to blow through the rest of the week although we didn't get much rain until Thursday afternoon. I was pleased to see rain - the vegetable beds need it.

We've got new helpers now at the charity shop which makes it more interesting. I'm still doing the till most of the time as well as pricing up stuff that's been checked upstairs and brought down ready to go out. Last week some single duvet covers, pillowcases and matching curtains, suitable for little girls, went out for sale . I asked youngest daughter if they would be useful and she said yes, then I forgot to message the shop to save them for me so it was lucky they were still there this week. I also brought home another book to put away for the future for the Grandchildren's advent parcels and another Little Grey Rabbit book which I somehow seem to be collecting.

I headed west on Thursday to Bury St Edmunds  to visit another church and  the charity shops of course, where I picked up..............a bottle that I'll use for this years Christmas Hampers......Limoncello Liquer? One of the 2019 British Library Crime Classics and a £1's worth of tat for the spring mantel-shelf! which was looking a bit bare.
(Very annoying about the book........the library didn't have this when I looked earlier this year.......and now they do....damn! At least it's wanted by Ziffit so I can get some of my wasted spending back after I read it)

I also went to Poundland while I was in Bury and found their hanging basket liners at 2 for £1. Perfect for the baskets I got from the boot sale a couple of weeks ago ready to do the tumbling tomatoes.

This week I am grateful for
  • An invitation to a delicious lunch with Son, DIL, Willow and DIL's sister.
  • Much needed rain for the fruit and vegetable beds
  • The first rhubarb from the garden
  • Safe arrival of Eldest Daughter and (nearly 3 year old) Jacob for a weekend visit.

Many thanks for comments this week. And to everyone in the States who has rhubarb somewhere under snow...............hang on in there!

Have a lovely weekend everyone

Back Monday

Friday, 8 March 2019

I Just Couldn't Do It!

I was fascinated by the challenge Sue in North Wales did last week. The complete opposite of frugal and yellow sticker and £1 a day. She had a  fun week finding interesting and useful things.

All my married life I've had to watch the pennies. Low income and then our quest for a smallholding, 3 children and a mortgage all meant there was never a lot of spare money for anything. I like to think we managed well, the children didn't  notice how little we were living on. Although the reason eldest daughter had wild hair when she was about 4 was probably because we couldn't afford to get her hair cut and when son reminded me of how swimming pool water used to make his eyes sore it was probably because we managed to afford the swimming but not the little bit extra to buy goggles!

All those years of just about managing has made it difficult for me to spend on the un-necessary. My brain won't compute spending on new things.  I have no problem at car boot sales or charity shops - as you can tell from the number of posts about boot sale bargains! but even then almost everything is something for the grandchildren or things to save money later  and most things are pence rather than pounds.

But when I go into shops that sell new things the mental wall goes up. If I see something nice I'm not able to buy it because I know whatever it is will appear sometime in a charity shop or car boot sale if I wait a while.
Clothes are the worst thing, apart from shoes, leggings and underwear almost everything I own is secondhand. New is so expensive and I know most was made by people being paid pennies and has travelled through Suffolk on the back of the hundreds of lorries, in containers that come in through Britain's biggest container port.

Anyway going back to the beginning of this post...........Sue's challenge to spend £10 in different shops gave me an idea for doing a challenge, now that penny pinching isn't such a huge necessity. I thought about traveling to different towns to spend in charity/antique shops on nice things that I would perhaps not have spent money on normally. OR to visit shops that I don't usually go in and give myself permission to buy whatever I fancy.

But so far I've not been able to do it!

So far all I've spent is £2 on these

Must try harder!

Back Tomorrow

PS Please remember not to take everything I write too seriously!

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Mmmmmm More Cake!

As before, my excuse is............ I won the loaf pan liners and now I need to use them!

This one is from The WI cook book....Best Kept Secrets of the W.I. Cakes and Biscuits

Chocolate Brownie Loaf Cake

150g butter
50g plain chocolate
200g brown sugar
2 eggs
vanilla essence
50g plain flour + 1 tsp baking powder
150g milk chocolate chopped (optional)

Melt the butter and dark chocolate in a bowl over simmering hot water.
Put the sugar, eggs and a few drops of vanilla essence in a bowl and whisk them really well together until foamy. Fold in the flour and baking powder carefully. Then stir in the melted butter and chocolate mixture (optional stir in the chopped chocolate).
Pour mixture into lined 2lb loaf tin.
Bake at Gas 4/180C/160C fan oven for 40 - 55 minutes until the cake is firm and skewer comes out clean (cover with foil for the last 15 minutes if it starts to burn).
Remove from oven and leave in tin for 10 minutes before cooling on wire rack.

This is very delicious and is firm enough to be cut into very thin slices......but why would you!

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Wednesday, 6 March 2019

First Harvest

Best thing about having a garden and growing things to eat?

It's harvesting the first of the year.

Delicious pink forced rhubarb.............I made a crumble.

(Writing this has made me a remember a long ago friend who wouldn't cover rhubarb to force it because it was "unnatural"!)

Many thanks for comments yesterday. Blogger was playing up when I tried to reply to some comments. Internet connection kept disconnecting too. If I vanish that will be why.

Back Tomorrow

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

On Track

Last week I heard the noise of big machinery across the field and guessed it was things to do with the Heritage Railway Track Extension and as the weather on Saturday was better than the forecast  I took my new walking shoes to have a look.

Sure enough here is the new  end of the Middy Railway. Its just quarter of a mile from home. They wanted to put a big turntable in here to turn the trains round to run back to the station. But with this new ending to the railway being just  50 metres from houses and as the railway didn't own the land they needed, they couldn't get permission, which I'm quite pleased about for the sake of the people who live there. Because it would have meant lots of people getting off the train to watch the turntable going round and probably wandering about the lane by their houses which would be quite a change from how their lane is at present.

This "new destination" 1km from the museum is to be called Aspal Halt. Heavens knows why as the village of Aspal is several miles away! The railway museum has an open day on the 21st April then their Middy in the War Years weekend on 5th and 6th May. I expect they are hoping to have the sleepers and  rails laid by then - depends on the weather I guess.

  This is where we picked loads of blackberries in 2017, now all cleared for the railway extension
Here's what was making all the noise

 I don't know how I feel about this, it was a lovely path (although not an official footpath)down the old track-bed, now its stones ready for sleepers and rails
There is a footpath crossing the railway here not sure how that will be sorted out
This is where the railway used to end

And the other way shows where it will be going - up hill a little, so I expect to hear the little trains huffing and puffing up the slope every Sunday through the summer.

Other machinery I might have been hearing was this, it's a willow cutter
 And here are the bundles ready to be collected

 I'm glad they haven't removed the cherry-plum tree -  blossom just beginning to appear.

 Heading home...........this is the footpath where  boots get caked in mud after rain, and that cream house is my cottage at the end of a lane.

Lovely lot of primroses this year on my meadow, among the new trees.

Thank you for all the comments about the random odd blog yesterday.

Back Tomorrow