Friday, 22 February 2019

Timing it Right

If I go and collect my prescription meds from the pharmacy at my doctors in a nearby village on the right day at the right time, I can treat myself. Because twice a week the fish and chip shop in the same village does a cheap Pensioners lunch for £3.50.

It's probably a good thing that I only pick up tablets once a month!
 Plaice and chips last week.

Thanks for comments over the last few days especially the ones found late, sorry I've not had a chance to reply.

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Thursday, 21 February 2019

St Mary the Virgin Church at Earl Stonham

Apart from it's mention in the 100 treasures book this church has a claim to fame as being the church featured in AKENFIELD, the 1974 film made by Sir Peter Hall and based on the book by Ronald Blythe.

It's a large church for a small village

This church is all about the roof, the carvings and the angels, but being right up high 'twas a bit difficult to photograph.

The book says that with binoculars you can see an albatross,a fox with a goose in its mouth, an owl and a terrier. Apologies for my dreadful photos, trying and failing to hold the camera steady pointing up in the air.

One stained glass window over the altar
View down the nave. This church is cross shaped and has two projecting 'arms' known as transepts.
The remains of a medieval Doom painting of the 'Last Judgement' on the chancel arch
The bench ends feature some unusual carvings, they date from C15
As always there are lovely stitched kneelers, green this time

The font has interesting carvings

 More about this church HERE on the Suffolk Churches website

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Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Back to the WI in February

No WI meetings for me in January, it's Big WI's month off and small WI just go and watch a DVD in someones house - pretty pointless and not my idea of a WI meeting. (I was glad I didn't go because the film was long and they didn't finish until 10.30 and I want to be home and in bed by then!)

The speaker at Big WI for February was Bob Harding Jones who had come all the way from Hertfordshire (although he once lived in Suffolk) and is a retired farmer. His subject was "Funny Stories from a speaker".

confessions cover final.jpg
He has written books of humourous tales and poems

He had a folder full of notes gleaned from his years travelling round to speak to WI's and other groups.
Two I remember were letters he received with instructions.........
One said " there is very little parking so please drive slowly passed the hall and someone will be there to show you where to park. If there is no one waiting drive round again and slow down as if you were looking for someone to pick up!"
Another " A chair will mark your parking space, but please move the chair before parking!"

He had lots of other tales like this and old country stories and also read bits from Sheila Stewart's  book "Lifting the Latch" and some of his poems.

Coffee and Cakes of course. It was a bit misty in places on my drive there so I was pleased to find that it hadn't turned foggy when I drove home....hate fog in the dark.

Small WI hadn't had a proper meeting since November because they had a Christmas meal instead of a meeting in December as well as the DVD thing mentioned already. I didn't go to the meal because it was quite expensive and I was having the free village Christmas meal the same week anyway. (This is one of the things I don't like about WI, it's expensive enough without all the extra costs.)

This week the meeting was a speaker from Suffolk Prickles Hedgehog Rescue. They are a voluntary self funded organisation. She told us all about how the rescue centre had started, taking in just a few sick, injured or underweight hedgehogs until up to date when they can have up to 200 hedgehogs being cared for in two centres.
The reason for the increase in calls for help to the charity seems to be warmer winters which has stopped hedgehogs "Hibernating" ( strictly speaking they don't hibernate) but then there isn't enough food for them. Warmer winters and wetter summers has also increased problems with internal parasites like Fluke worms.
From being one of the most common creatures their numbers have dropped to critical.
The decrease in towns and villages may be because gardens are too tidy and fenced so the hogs can't range, they like a big area to move round for food and to make daytime nests. In the countryside it has been the large fields without hedges that have seen numbers decrease.
She explained how they care for the hogs and try and release them back where they have come from once they've been treated and put on weight.

 We had a bring and buy sale to raise a little extra money for the charity as well as their fee. Coffee and cakes again. I've put my name down for the Suffolk East Federation Spring Quiz in March which will be fun.

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Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Looking For............

Thought I'd better make a list of what I'm looking for at boot sales this year................

  • For Willow...............  young children's classic books like  Very Hungry caterpillar
  • For Willow...............Wooden fit-the-shapes-in puzzles
  • For Florence..........winter clothes aged  3 - 4 .....ready for next winter
  • For Jacob's birthday ? (must ask eldest what Jacob needs)
  • For me..............vest tops in light colours
  • Things that would make Christmas gifts
  • Printer cartridges - Epson with a cheetah picture - vain hope!
  • A lemon balm plant 
  • Kilner or similar bottles (Not jars -have plenty of them) for flavoured vinegar gifts 
  • There is something else but I can't think what at the moment!
Christmas cards and craft stuff.

So what did I find at my first boot-sale of the season..............................

There were lots of car boots with tons of stuff, many big vans with boxes full of house clearance rubbish and it looked hopeful. real treasure...... however I did tick wooden puzzles off the list.

The small batteries fit the doorbell and I've been carrying an old one around for ages trying to remember to find some new spares = £1. The puzzles for Willow, one 50p and the other £1.50, book 50p (I've picked up Margery Allingham books before and then resold on Ziffit and this one is worth 79p to them at the moment, so I shall read and sell, a 29p profit is not to be sniffed at!) The chocolates? - they are my Brexit store!  = 50p each with 5 mini things in each pack.

So one car boot sale down and many more to come - I hope

Thank you for all the Magpie comments yesterday. Amazing that two people saw eightand boys were born. Don't think I've seen more than 3 or 4 at once, usually two.

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Monday, 18 February 2019


Above is the February page from An Illustrated Country Year by Celia Lewis. Instead of using it for the 1st of the month post I decided to find out more about magpie folklore for a separate post, but apart from the well known rhyme for spotting the number of birds seen, all I could find in my books was just one country saying  for weather......

         Magpies flying three or four together and uttering harsh cries predict windy weather.

and one for fishermen

For anglers in spring it is always unlucky to see single magpies; but two may always be regarded as a favourable omen. The reason is, that in cold and stormy spring weather one magpie alone leaves the nest in search of food, the other remaining sitting with eggs or the young ones; but two go out together only when the weather is mild and warm, which is favourable for fishing.

The magpie rhyme that I know must be the one from from the children's TV programme  back in the 1970's

One for sorrow
Two for joy
Three for a girl
Four for a boy 
Five for silver 
Six for gold
Seven for a secret 
Never to be told 
Because in my book they are different

One for sorrow
Two for mirth
Three for a wedding
Four for a birth

One sign of anger
Two, sign of mirth
Three sign of wedding day
Four sign of death
Five sign of sorrow
Six sign of joy
Seven sign of maid
Eight sign of boy. 

Growing up in the country there is one thing I do know about magpies.......... they are pests, taking the eggs and even the chicks of other birds. There are certainly more around now than in the past and it's rare to drive out anywhere in the country without seeing one or more.
There's more about magpies and superstition HERE and the birds themselves HERE

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Saturday, 16 February 2019

The February Library Book Photo + Halfway Through the Month

Here we are heading into the second half of February and I came out of hibernation on the 11th. It's always a worry in November, December and January because I begin to wonder if my gardening mojo has gone forever but there will be a day when the sun comes out, the wind drops and it's dry underfoot and I find that the pull of the hoe gets me outside. I started with the cutting garden and then  found lots of brambles growing over one of the shrubs so the secateurs came out too.  After an hour several odd jobs were done and that was enough for one day. Another hour on Wednesday and  the Hollyhocks were planted out and a small bed weeded. On Thursday  the raspberry and strawberry beds were weeded and I started cutting back last years dead stuff from the flower garden.Yesterday I cleared the big soft fruit bed of weeds and finished cutting back the dead stuff in the quarter circle.  I really have to take care of my back early in the season but just an hour at a time makes a difference . Got lots of tidying done in the garage too which felt good.

Another month and another heap of books collected from the library van, all books I've requested.

From the bottom of the pile...........first Jack Monroes latest cookery book.
Then four other non-fiction to read or just browse. I asked the library about getting some of the Dean Street Press Furrowed Middlebrow reprints. Lots more have  been published this year but they just ordered 2  by D.E.Stevenson- which  I shall be grateful for as I can't afford to buy them. There is another British Library Crime Classic reprint and also another George Bellairs has also been reprinted from the 1960's.Top of the pile is by Chris Nickson, the second in a series about one of the first WPCs.

A big pile of books went back to the library van and the ones I've read during the last four weeks have been  added to the separate page and of course a whole post about Tombland.
A few from last time went back unread for various had tiny print, one was from earlier in a series............... I'd read a later one and decided not to go back to the beginning to read.
I've still got the 3 in 1 book by Ngaio Marsh, must read it as it's been renewed  a couple of times already.

I don't add factual books like cookery books to my books read page but the Creative Kitchen was an interesting sounding book, and has some lovely ideas for possible presents. The photo-copier bit of my printer has packed up so I'll take this into the library and photo copy some pages to keep.

This week I have been thankful for
  • Lunch with son and daughter in law and cuddles with Willow
  • Books from the library....all for free
  • Sunny days to start gardening
  • A letter from a penfriend
  • A visit from my cousin

Have a lovely weekend whatever you are doing. I spotted signs for another Jumble Sale, so that's my plan.

Back Monday

Friday, 15 February 2019

2019 Superfoods (Allegedly!)

According to a list in the free magazine (Ipswich 24) I picked up recently these are THE things that people will be buying this year.....they are the new super-foods! 

Watermelon Seeds
Cassava Flour
Swiss Chard
Cottage Cheese
Dark Chocolate
Green Tea

OK.........  I can see that Sardines, Swiss Chard, Cottage Cheese,Seaweed, Dark Chocolate, Garlic, Mango, Green Tea and Blackberries are probably all good for you and I'll take their word about Watermelon Seeds, Cassava Flour, Lucuma, Sauerkraut and Kefir...........
................ but Pork Scratchings?

Hairy Pork Scratching DSCN9570 | Hairy Pork Scratching ...

I'll pass thank you

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Thursday, 14 February 2019

St. Valentine

There was probably more than one St Valentine, but one of them was a 3C martyr and not much is known about him but there is an undisputed history of people celebrating on this day going back 600 years. Chaucer wrote, sometime between 1376 and 1382, a poem telling how birds choose their mates on St Valentines Day each year and this day was supposed to be the first day of spring in many places. Later the link was made to people choosing a mate on this day too but  no real connection with  St Valentine.
Valentine cards appeared in the 19C and were elaborate or romantic, comic or rude. Rude ones sent as a joke among the working classes were the cause of the celebration of this day going out of fashion through Victorian times, coming back into popular fashion in the second half of the 20th century. Now  the cards are in the shops just after Christmas and everything is sold, from teddies to cakes, with a heart featuring on it and every shop has a Valentine window and florists charge a fortune for roses (cynical ........ moi?).

I found just a couple of weather sayings in my books

To Saint Valentine the spring is a neighbour

Valentine's Day breaks the back of winter 

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PS. Thank you to all new followers, what a nice surprise.

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Mmmmmmmm Cake

Found a recipe to use up some of the jars of home made marmalade that have been stored since 2017. I don't eat it often because of eating less bread.
Also need to make use of the loaf tin liners that I won at the Bacton Produce show last year.

Sticky Marmalade Tealoaf

140g or approx third of a jar of marmalade
175g softened butter
175g light muscovado (brown) sugar
3 eggs, beaten
225g SR Flour
1tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground ginger ( I just used one as I was using orange and ginger marmalade)
1tsp mixed spice
100g chopped pecan nuts (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 180C/Gas4/Fanoven160C
Set aside 1 tablespoon of the marmalade in a cup or saucepan
Mix everything else together and  tip into prepared 2lb/1kg loaf tin and smooth the top.
Bake for  1 - 1¼ hours until a skewer comes out clean......... cover the top with foil for the last 15 minutes.
Warm the remaining marmalade in a microwave or on the hob until its soft then brush over the cake while it's still hot.

I'll add the recipe to the separate recipe page

This might be a good cake to make when I have to take cakes to WI.

Many thanks for comments about Thornham Parva church. It's not far from home yet on a road that I would never have used so wouldn't have found it except for this blog. It was such a welcoming little church and the movement sensor lights are an easy idea that other churches could copy.

Welcome to another person clicking the follower button, I'm hoping for 500 by the end of the year!

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Tuesday, 12 February 2019

St Mary's Church, Thornham Parva

This Norman church is small but perfectly formed. It is a thatched church in a tiny parish to the north of the Thornham Estate, home of Lord Henniker. The other side of Thornham estate is Thornham Magna which has it's own church.

Stepping inside, unusually there is no porch, on a cold snowy day in January and lights came on automatically, what a good idea.
This is the reason for this church being in the 100 treasures book  (and more lights came on as I walked towards it)

Behind the altar is a painted oak panel or retable dating all the way back  over six and a half centuries to the 1330s.It is part of a work that was probably originally made for the Dominican Priory in Thetford. It was lost for decades until an ancestor of Lord Henniker bought it at the sale of a farm in Stradbrooke in 1778 it was then forgotten again and found in a stable loft at Thornham Hall in 1927 when it was given to the church. It was during restoration in 1998 that the age of the panel was confirmed. There is another part of this panel in the Musee de Cluny.

But it's not just this panel that people come to see because on the walls are the remains of C14 wall paintings

These show the early years of Christ and the Martyrdom of King Edmund..

The view down the nave
The pulpit is small and neat to suit the church
And looking back from the altar, the font is also small. There is a little gallery from C18 overhead with a round Saxon window, now just looking into the tower which was added in the 1480's
Lovely kneelers  showing buildings in the parish
I wonder if this chest dates all the way back to the beginnings of the church
A board shows how the panels would have looked together with more information

Hope you can read from my photo who all the Saints are

More description of this special little church on the Suffolk Churches Website  HERE

Many Thanks for comments yesterday, apologies for not replying and I also didn't get round to commenting anywhere else either.......sorry

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Monday, 11 February 2019

East Anglian Potato Day 2019

An old picture from their website.

Now in it's 24th year it's the longest running potato day in the country. It's held every February at Stonham Barns (the place not too far from home where I go for the local boot-sale.). Jointly organised by 3 groups............ Ipswich Organic Gardeners; Suffolk Organic Gardeners and Norfolk Organic Gardeners group.
It's quite a tradition now to go and wait in the long queue for the doors to open and then jostling round the tables to find the varieties of choice, which are all laid out in alphabetical order.

I joined the queue quite late for me and only had to stand in the gusty wind for 10 minutes, but at least the sun was shining and discussing it with a lady standing behind me in the queue we decided that there had never been a Potato Day in pouring rain, snow yes but never anything needing an umbrella. There seemed to be a lot more people there than recent years I reckon it's the Brexit Effect!!

This year the tubers were 17p each and  I bought 6 each of 4 different varieties. 2 first earlies........ Swift and Accord, and 2 second earlies Nadine and Charlotte. 6 is enough for the width of the bed I'm using this year. Not bothering with maincrop as I don't eat many potatoes, so I'll just buy a few at a time the rest of the year. I know nothing about Accord so that will be an interesting trial. The others are all ones we've grown often before.

I've put the first earlies out to chit ready for planting next month and the second earlies in the cold porch so they don't start producing shoots too soon.

I spoke to two people I knew, one had heard about Colin but the other hadn't. It's always difficult because I never know what to say when people didn't know he had died, they are always embarrassed when they don't need to be which makes me feel embarrassed too!

Anyway, Mid Suffolk District Council had their usual stall and I asked about their free bags and had one of the very last. No money now for giving anything away, they used to be sturdy jute, last year and this year- cloth, - next year nothing!

I'd  thought about  doing other stuff on Saturday morning while out but the wind was so strong all I fancied doing was getting home into the warm and watching the rugby. So that's what I did.

Finished a book, started another,  watched rugby and listened to the wind whistling around the chimney.

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Saturday, 9 February 2019

Sunday Through to Friday

Notes from my week..............

It's been an age since I made bread.  I eat very little so buy a farmhouse loaf or a multigrain loaf from the in-store bakery and get it sliced by them and pop it in the freezer, taking out just 2 or 3 slices at a time.
But the tomato and herb rolls I used to make are rather good eaten with lots of meals and it was about time to make a batch to freeze.
It was only after the dough had been pummeled by the dough hook that I thought to look at the dates on both flour and yeast.....the flour was BBE April 18 and the Doves yeast which is kept in the fridge was Nov16..........Ooops. Luckily I don't worry to much about dates! The yeast still made the dough rise and the rolls taste fine.

This photo, and you will have to believe me as they were too far away to photograph properly, is  5 hares on the field beside the house. I opened the curtains and saw them straight away so went down for the camera hoping the zoom would be good enough.....but just a bit too far. There were two more off to one side as well.  I was so pleased to see them because there has been a lot of illegal hare-coursing on the other side of the village. Hoped I would see them doing the boxing thing but they just ran around as if they were playing chase.

At last we had a bit of sunshine and a few degrees of warmth on Wednesday, it was a treat but still too wet for any garden work. After coming home from visiting Youngest and Florence I washed the car which was filthy from all the mud of the sugar-beet lorries and tractors on all the lanes around about. One problem with driving on narrow lanes is you often have to pull over when you meet something, which usually means into a muddy field gateway, full of huge muddy puddles which spread themselves all over the car. 

On Thursday I mixed up a batch of pastry and made 5 chicken and leek pasties (one chicken breast plus  leeks from the garden in a thick white to eat and 4  into the freezer). Also made a pastry case and six mince pies.

 Very strong winds on Friday, I think they said it was Storm Eric. I sorted through some books for the charity shop, Ziffit won't take them because they are too old for bar codes or ISBN numbers. Also looked at the craft papers.........I have too many.......filling a tall chest of drawers. I put some in the car boot box but it really needs a huge sort out. As it wasn't too cold I did some more clearing up in the workshop.Also remembered to check what compost I had in the greenhouse and there is still half a bag of ericasious  left from the Camellia so I don't need to get any for the blueberries.

This week I have been thankful for
  • Warmth, with oil for the boiler and wood for the wood-burner after hearing one of the shop volunteers talking about waiting 3 days for the Housing Association to get her boiler repaired, over the coldest days and with two young children and all they lent her were two fan heaters.
  • BBC i player so I could watch the episode of Silent Witness that I missed before watching part two.
  • a quiet swimming pool to swim up and down easily
  • a really good book
  • choosing the right day to do some washing and getting it dry on the washing line

Hope you all have a good weekend

Back Monday

Friday, 8 February 2019

A Fruity Temptation

Every Wednesday the email from Money Saving Experts arrives in the inbox, sometimes I open it to have a look, often I don't bother.
Last week I looked and spotted something that looked interesting .....................

£18 Berry Plants Bargain

And this was the bargain

If you go via this MSE Blagged Thompson and Morgan link you can get a bundle of 23 berry plants plus some vegetable seeds for £17.94 delivered (normally £56.95). You'll also get 200g of Incredicrop fertiliser. 
The offer ends at 11.59pm on Sun 3 Feb, or when 4,000 plant bundles have gone, which ever is sooner – so go quick if it’s something you want.
The bundle includes:
  • 12 Strawberry bare root runners
  • Six Raspberry bare root canes
  • Three Gooseberry bare root bushes
  • Two Blueberry potted bushes
  • £10ish worth of vegetable seeds, in at least 3 different varieties
  • 200g Incredicrop fertiliser

Now this IS a bargain that appealed. The raspberry canes will replace some that didn't survive last summers dry weather. The strawberry runners can be potted and kept in the cold frame for an early crop. If  the seeds are ones I won't use they will go in the car-boot box. There's room for the gooseberry bushes in the middle of the fruit bed and the blueberries will be a real treat as it's many years since I owned a blueberry bush.

I now need to stay here for at least 2 more summers to get the benefit of this bargain buy!

Hopefully they will arrive in good condition very soon and I can get them potted up. Just need some ericaseous compost for the blueberries.

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Thursday, 7 February 2019

Tombland by C.J.Sansom

Finished reading Tombland by C.J Sansom at last, it's a massive book.......800 pages and like all the others in the series it's taught me more about the period. This is the 7th in the series about lawyer Matthew Shardlake who is now working for Henry VIII's daughter Lady Elizabeth.

The year is 1549, two years after the death of Henry VIII and England is slipping into chaos. 11 year old Edward is king with his uncle Edward Seymour as Protector ruling the country. Matthew Shardlake travels to Norfolk to find out about the death of Edith Boleyn, a distant relative of Elizabeth. But while there East Anglia becomes the hub of the rebellions against the rich landowners who are enclosing land for sheep. The rebels led by William Kett take over  England's second largest city of  Norwich (Tombland is an area of Norwich between the Cathedral and Castle) and soon Matthew and his assistant Nicholas are caught up in the battles. Meeting up with Jack Barak, Mathews former assistant they have to decide which side to take to survive.

At the end of the book are several pages about the historical sources he uses for this book and information of where his book uses authors invention to fill the gaps where nothing is known.

A really good story and because there has always been a big gap between each of his books (the first was written in 2001) I've collected them as they've turned up secondhand and  read the last one to remind me of the story before the next one comes to me from the library. So it was a pleasant surprise to find Tombland sitting on the shelves in one of the Stowmarket charity shops for £1.50 (sadly not our charity shop so no volunteers discount!). I hope he writes number 8 in the next few years. And now I have them all I can read them all again one day....if I ever run out of library books.

Thank you to everyone for shoe cleaning memories after yesterdays mundane post. It was interesting to see that it was often the Dad of the house who cleaned shoes in the past. That was true in our house too when I was young, but it always ended up being my job once Col and I married! I'd forgotten that I used to have a shoe cleaning caddy - bright orange, like the brush set, with a carrying handle. So funny that even shoe brushes and caddy matched my first 1970's orange kitchen!

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Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Shoe Cleaning

Not the most riveting post you will ever see in blogland!

I got fed up with the applicators always falling to bits long before the thing was empty, on those 'modern' shoe polish bottles, so went back to a tin of the old fashioned proper stuff . But why is it called  Kiwi?

I googled..................

Kiwi is the brand name of a shoe polish, first launched and sold in Australia in 1906 and as of 2005 sold in almost 180 countries. Previously owned by the Sara Lee Corporation since 1984, it was sold in 2011 S.C.Johnson. It is the dominant shoe polish in some countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States, where it has about two-thirds of the market. In Malaysia Kiwi has become such a household brand for shoe polish that the word "kiwi" has been genericized  into a verb in the Malay Language, meaning "to polish one's shoes".
The polish was developed in Australia by William Ramsey  who named it Kiwi after the flightless bird endemic to New Zealand, the home country of his wife, Annie Elizabeth Meek Ramsay. Its success in Australia expanded overseas when it was adopted by both the British and American armies in World War I.

My Hotter shoes are doing well, this is their third winter, the kiwi should help. I have very few pairs of shoes compared to most of the people I see in those fitted wardrobe ads on TV! 2 pairs of black shoes, 1 pair of summer shoes and an old pair for here, wellies, walking boots, crocs and my Hotter slip-ons for indoors.
The shoe polishing brush, helpfully labelled "I polish"  is doing well too it was one of the things I acquired for my "bottom drawer" way back in 1974. Wish I knew where in the last 45 years I lost the handy stiff brush that said "I remove mud".

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Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Jolly Jumble

Before charity shops were the norm jumble sales were the only place for finding secondhand children's books and clothes, so bringing up 2 and then 3 children on a low income I was always in the queue at all the jumble sales around Cotton and Bacton where we used to live.

Now a jolly old jumble sale is a rare treat, so I was very excited to see the signs for a Scout Jumble Sale because our Scout jumbles when I was a Cub Scout leader were always some of the best.

There was a good queue waiting and we all rushed in to look when the doors opened.

I found another House Of Puzzles jigsaw. This will be the last one I do at the moment because the gardening and growing season is fast approaching.

There were loads of books at 3 for  £1 and I got several for the grandchildren and also picked up a few  non fiction in the hope they would be wanted by Ziffit and luckily one was wanted for £1.62 and another for £1.82. Another they didn't want but I'll keep it for a while. Also spotted this Shirley Hughes book which I knew about but hadn't  seen before.
I didn't plough through the tons of clothes, no need to find clothes for grandchildren as they get given loads. I cast an eye over the china and other household stuff but nothing caught my eye.

Hope Eye Scout Group have a Jumble sale in January every year.

Hello and welcome to some more new followers, I still love to see the numbers creeping up and thank you for comments yesterday.

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Monday, 4 February 2019

A Doughnut in Diss

Having been all round the 10 charity shops in Stowmarket without finding a single jigsaw puzzle that appealed to me, a trip elsewhere was needed. (And here I need to apologise to two people who have given me jigsaw puzzles recently that were just too complicated for me to consider in my present "lack of patience" mode)
So a trip North to Diss which has just as many charity shops as Stowmarket and maybe even more. I know Diss fairly well - even though it's in Norfolk! because whenever Col was inspecting bridges in the villages of north Suffolk he would drop me off there for a look round and pick me up later.
Into every charity shop  - even found one I didn't know about before -  and at last found a puzzle that looked OK, another by House of Puzzles but not a spot the difference .

But there was a problem, because while searching for a puzzle I needed a coffee and snack in Greggs

 looking out over The Mere. People feed the ducks which attracts every pigeon for miles!

I hadn't ever wondered how the Mere got there so thought I'd better look it up and this is what I found...............

"The six acre mere - or lake - is a favourite destination for anglers fishing for carp, crucian carp and tench. It was once used as a reservoir and drain by the residents of the market town, but today it's a pleasant place to feed the ducks.
The mere is up to 60 feet deep in places, with forty feet of mud. This natural water feature dates back about 12,000 years to the end of the Ice Age."

And while searching for a puzzle I kept getting side tracked and came home with a haul

 OK, OK...... yes there is another jug (99p) but I haven't bought a jug for months and I said no more craft stuff (25p)but this is a bloke card kit and cards for men are the hardest and of course there are always grandchildren books(3 for £1) and a Bertie Bus (£1)....Willow needs some boys toys I reckon. But why oh why was I tempted by that book.(2.99) Just because of reading C.J. Sansom's Tombland and getting interested in the period again. What I should have done was noted down the title and borrowed it from the library. The only totally sensible buys were another good length tunic top for £3.75 and the jigsaw for £2

Ho Hum

It WAS a good morning out until I got within 2 miles from home and might have been going too fast past a B* speed detector van AGAIN. The B* thing was facing the wrong way(checking cars heading out of the 30 mph limit rather than those coming in) just a few metres inside the bit where 50mph goes down to 30mph while going downhill, where it's difficult to slow down without jamming on the brakes. I shall await the postman with fear AGAIN for another 2 weeks.

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PS  Took a jug I like less than the new one and 2 books to the charity shop...... See the halo! 😇

Saturday, 2 February 2019

Another Week

Some weeks are good, I get through without thinking too much about the great big hole in my life, other weeks are not so good, everything is hard work and the future just looks lonely and never ending. The beginning of the week just gone was like that, I don't know why because I went swimming as usual, did my stint at the charity shop as usual, read a lot, planned some blog posts, watched TV as usual, started a new jigsaw, got out for a short walk, shopped, did some housework ...... but then by Friday I was OK again so there is no rhyme nor reason to sadness hitting for a few days.

The only plan is to grit teeth and just get on with life and with car boots starting and spring somewhere around the corner perhaps all of next week will seem better.

I'll be there most weeks now, But not at 7am! walking round, searching for interesting things...... unless it rains, snows or something else happens to put me off....or until I get fed up with seeing the same old stuff!

Better think about what I'm looking out for and what's NOT needed this year.......must make a list, always a list!
The Six Nations Rugby, which I enjoy watching on TV and is a signal of spring arriving  has started too and  I have got through the worst month of the year all on my own. It was a test this winter to see how I would manage up the end of a lane - would I feel the need to move into a village? (or heaven help me, a town!) but No, it's OK. I don't mind coming home in the dark to an empty house - although Polly is always pleased to see me and I've kept warm, coping with lugging wood about etc etc.
 Of course there's still the chance of getting snowed in but I have food enough and plenty of split wood for the fire. Earlier this winter I bought a re-chargable lantern to go with my wind-up radio in case of electric going off and I always have a stock of candles.  Touch wood it's been OK so far this winter. I also keep some bottled water in the freezer because there have been lots of burst pipes locally.
 Think I have it all covered 😊

Many thanks for comments this week and the ones I found late which I've now replied to and hello to new followers, hope you enjoy reading.

Have a good weekend
Back Monday

Friday, 1 February 2019

Ist February ....Imbolc and tomorrow the 2nd........ Candlemas

Imbolc (pronounced imulk) was a Gaelic festival promising the change from winter to spring. Halfway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox celebrating  a stirring of life after winter and fertility at the beginning of the season.
The word Imbolc may derive from old Irish meaning 'in the belly' referring to the pregnancy of the ewes and the beginning of lambing. The celebration  was presided over by the Goddess of youth and fertility -Bride

Later came the Christian festival of Candlemas the popular name for the feast of the Purification of Saint Mary the Virgin. Forty days after the birth of a baby mothers had to go to the temple to be ritually cleansed.

Both celebrated with the lighting of candles and fires. People would visit holy wells and ask for good health and water would be taken to bless the home and family.

Below is a February page from The Nature Notes of an Edwardian Lady

 February has more weather folklore than any other month and even though it's the last month of winter, there could still be lots of bad weather to come

In the barn on Candlemas Day should be half the straw and half the hay

When gnats dance in February, the husbandman becomes a beggar

A February spring is not worth a pin

Fogs in February mean frosts in May

If Candlemas day be cloudy and black
T'will carry cold winter away on its back;
But if Candlemas Day be fine and clear,
Then half the winter's  to come this year.

Which will be correct this year? - If any!

I'm not keen on January but February is usually a bit more hopeful and although only 3 days shorter than January it seems to go more quickly. There are often some good days although snow is just as likely, but the sunny days can have a touch of spring about them. It's also the time I get started with some seed sowing.........indoors only - needs to be much warmer for me to venture into the greenhouse.

Back Tomorrow