Saturday 31 August 2019

Another Saturday Round-up

I found this junk computer-generated comment on an old post

it said.......... I should assert barely that its astounding! The blog is informational also always fabricate amazing entitys

Er?.............. No Idea - I just deleted.

 The problem with making  really good that I'm too lazy and it's too much like hard work to do it properly AND with lots of grass to cut there are too many grass cuttings. I've been mowing down the meadow footpath without the box on the ride-on mower, just a bit less to tip out but even so I need three big heaps on the meadow to empty all the summer grass cuttings and several other small bins for all the garden/kitchen and small mower grass. Imagine how difficult it would be to turn and aerate all that!

Anyway, last week one of the hexagonal compost bins was full of new stuff and the other still had some old semi-decent compost in the bottom so early one morning before it got too hot I emptied all the good stuff into the wheelbarrow and then pondered on where to put it as my garden is still more or less full of plants. Eventually  I used it to fill two huge pots and topped them up with multi purpose and they will become extra strawberry planters for the plants that have been in smaller pots since I got them in that "Bargain Offer" in the spring. Back in February the strawberry bed was looking sad and I thought the new plants would be needed there but this years summer weather has been perfect for strawberries and the two year old plants are still looking good and have grown and multiplied.

Car booting over Bank Holiday weekend didn't cost me much. I just found these.....a Summer Chintz bowl, an engine and trucks to add to the Brio box, one of the Cars vehicles for Jacob's next visit plus a wooden cooker/sink unit + a bag of play food etc  ready for Willows 2nd birthday. (Gone into the loft at their house already, forgot to photograph it after I cleaned it up)

I borrowed "What Vegans Eat" from the library earlier this summer and had to return it before I got round to copying some of the recipes. £2.00 paid in total for things pictured above. The cooker unit was a big bargain at £10. Saving so much on big presents leaves money for small things for my little people.

To make up for these purchases......out to  a charity shop has gone a pyrex pie plate that I've not used for ages,  and 3 cookery books ditto.

As well as the sweetcorn (for better or worse) this week  I've also........ put peppers in the freezer, pumped up the wheelbarrow tyre in the hope that it hasn't got a puncture, swam and had a visit from Son, DiL and Willow one day and Youngest, her OH and Florence on another day.

Also enjoyed the surprise of  a few bowls of late summer raspberries. There's just one cane of yellow
raspberries in amongst the jumble of canes and much pruning will need doing when the weather cools down a bit and still some autumn raspberries to come later too.

When I dropped some bits into the Oxfam shop I noticed they were running Secondhand September, looked it up when I got home..........This is an easy-peasy pledge for me............No new clothes in September, well that's no problem!  It would be a bit like me getting sponsored for the "Go sober for October"! ............simple!

This week I'm grateful for................
The unexpected raspberries
Lovely library books
The fun of searching car boot sales
Gorgeous grandchildren

Have a lovely weekend folks.
Back Monday

Friday 30 August 2019

The Second August Library Book Photo

Another collection of books ordered on line.

The one I'm most looking forward to is the 'City of Pearl' by Alys Clare  - I love her mixture of history, mystery and a touch of magic.

 Rachel Ferguson 'Footman for the Peacock'. The only other Dean Street Press Furrowed Middlebrow book the library has in stock. I have tried and failed with a book by her before but will try again.
Then a couple of recent British Library Crime Classic reprints. I can't remember why I ordered the Willa Cather - I'll try it anyway. Melissa Harrison has written several non-fiction on countryside subjects but this one is fiction and as it's set in Suffolk I thought I'd better try it.
The teeny book on the top was a surprise. I wasn't expecting such a small book, it's this
and is just a few pages about the joy of giving and receiving books as gifts. 

 Frances Evesham is a new to me author. 'Death in a Desert Land' is Andrew Wilson's 3rd story using Agatha Christie as the main character. The book by Joy Ellis is in a different series to her Fenland crime stories - hope it will be as good and finally a light Erica James book for a change. 

Should keep me busy for the next 4 weeks

These were what I collected 4 weeks ago. The ones I read have been added to the Books Read 2019 page,

some went back unread as I couldn't get into them. The Jack Monroe - Tin Can Cook was mainly aimed at families so would leave me with half-a-tin of this and that to use. It would certainly be excellent for giving to people using food banks. Some recipes sounded OK, some a bit weird but as I'm lucky enough to have access to fresh food - often from the garden. I'll stick to fresh while I can.

Back Tomorrow

Thursday 29 August 2019

Seed Heads

Not long after Christmas I bought myself a copy of  this book.......

 It's written as a monthly diary and I've been reading it bit by bit as the months have passed. I can't draw like Emma but I could collect some seed heads to enjoy their shape and form.

Poppies, aquiligia, hogweed and knapweed. I tried to do arty things with gold spray - but it just turned into a mess! 

 Thank you everyone for comments about the mini corn cobs. We used to always grow the full size cobs when the children were all at home - butter dripping down the chin and all that. But I think I've let these mini ones get too big, I should have taken a cob off the plant much earlier to have a look and studied the ones in shops as a comparison as I've never bought them. The joy of gardening is trying new things and learning from mistakes, so I'll definitely try them again next year.

And finally, isn't it exciting when we all have a new word to learn..........proroguing .....well it was new to me anyway! What fun we shall all have between now and October!

Back Tomorrow

Wednesday 28 August 2019

Mini Corn Cobs

The other week I said my sweetcorn plants were tall, in fact over six feet tall, but with few cobs

But just a while later and the rain seems to have fattened up more cobs. These were seeds I had to send for specially as I wanted them for mini-cobs for stir frying as none of the seed catalogues or shops that I looked in had any for sale.  I've never grown this sort before so it was a bit of guesswork as to when to start harvesting. It's easier with the full size corn as you just wait for the tassels to dry and start turning brown. Anyway I squeezed a few cobs and decided to pick a few.

They were soon blanched and popped in the freezer.

I put more into the freezer yesterday making the weight up to 2¾ pound

 There are still a few more to pick and freeze or eat as they grow, so better results than I thought.

 I looked on My Supermarket and found Tesco baby corn at £1.20 for 130g, Morrisons £1 for 125g, but Asda don't have them at all.  Even with buying the seeds and cheap peat pots from QD to start them off as they don't like being moved from normal pots to the ground, I'll still have saved some money and got extra things for winter stir-fries.


I tried some fresh last night but they were a bit tough, oh dear hope the ones I've blanched and frozen will be better or I've wasted a heck of a lot of time. Maybe they need picking much earlier and smaller than I thought.

Many thanks for comments about the Art Exhibition yesterday. 

Back Tomorrow

Tuesday 27 August 2019

Art in Eye

13 minutes is what it takes me to get to Eye from my house as long as I don't have to pull over too often for cars on the narrow back roads. I forgot to ask Rachel-in-Norfolk how long it takes her, quite a while longer I think - depends how busy the A140 is too.

Anyway we met up outside the church to visit their annual Art Exhibition, it's quite a large exhibition compared to the others I've been to this year. Some interesting art in all sorts of medium, some I wouldn't let into the house at any price. It was good to look round with someone who has done lots of art things - we mostly have  quite different taste in what we like.

I was feeling extravagant and spent out for these two. Now I need to find some frames, and decide where to hang them, somewhere where I can add other little pictures as I find them. They are .....Original lino prints, hand printed on Japanese Hosho paper using vegetable oil based ink, then hand painted with acrylic.
Also bought a card, taken from one of the pictures exhibited, it's Walsham le-Willows - another village visited on my church hunt.

Last year I took lots of photos, but this time photos except general ones were Not Allowed, shame. Makes life difficult for bloggers.

 The church puts on a good refreshment stall with home made cakes which have to be tried .........then home.................. I was glad I'd parked in the shade, even hotter yesterday than Sunday.

All through the spring I'd been watching the thatching being done on an old house that I pass on my way through Eye when I go swimming.
Now being on foot I got a photo  of how good the new thatch looks. That's EYE CASTLE - or what's left of it on the mound or motte behind and the church tower on the right.

A good way to spend a Bank Holiday Monday morning, thank you Rachel for the idea.

Thank you to everyone for comments yesterday about the flower festival and jigsaws. The charity idea for arrangements was certainly different and some lovely colours used in the arrangements. A jigsaw puzzle has been started already - with 6 to do I thought I'd better get going.

Back Tomorrow

Monday 26 August 2019

Flowers, Books and Puzzles

The Flower Festival at Crowfield church had a very unusual but clever theme......Charities. With most of the arrangements were leaflets or information about each charity.....what a good idea.

This is the paper with the charities and the flower arrangers, too small to read - apologies, the organisers haven't made the print big enough for strange people who take photos and share things on their blog!
Some of the charities named are RNIB, Cancer Research, British Lung Foundation, M.S. Alzheimers Society, Cats Protection and lots more.

Stupidly I forgot my camera so had to resort to the phone  - never as good and some were too blurred to share.

The gazebo full of second hand books didn't turn up any exciting finds.... I just picked up author often heard about but never read.

But the jigsaw puzzle stall resulted in me getting carried away with how many puzzles I might do this autumn and winter. I'm sticking to jigsaws from the House of Puzzles as their pictures are specially done for jigsaws and easier than some other companies (can't be bothered to struggle!)

Autumn and winter puzzles.............................

 Plus 2 for in between

And I had two already to do................will I really do 6 puzzles?

And even though I could have been home in 15 minutes I decided on a coffee and cake, it would have been rude not to!

 Home again and the rest of Saturday was spent in the cool of the living room with windows open and curtains closed. It's funny that in May if the sun is shining then I'm straight outside to enjoy it but by August I've finished with sitting out and prefer to keep indoors.

Change of plan for Sunday as it was too hot for a trek all the way down to Clare to spend a couple of hours walking around........ especially too hot for a pregnant mum, a toddler and a Nana! So Son, DiL and Willow came to mine instead and I went and collected a Chinese takeaway. Willow has discovered she likes noodles!

Back Tomorrow

Saturday 24 August 2019

August 24th...St Bartholomews Day

If August 24th be fair and clear,
Then hope for a prosperous autumn that year.

August 24th is Saint Bartholomew's Day. Bar-Tolmai (son of Tolmai) lived and died in 1st century Palestine. It is thought he was flayed alive so becoming the patron saint of butchers and tanners. He was also the patron saint of bee keepers and it was traditional for the honey to be taken from the bees on this day.

In London a St Bartholomew's Day fair was held to raise funds for St Bartholomew's hospital.

(image from Wiki)

The fair was first held in 1133 but was banned in 1855 because of offences against public dignity and morals!
The first "toffee apples" were traditional at this fair, they were windfall apples, skewered on sticks and dipped in honey.

St. Bartholomew's mantle wipe's dry all the tears St. Swithin can cry

As St. Bart's Day, so the autumn 

Other celebrations took place around the country. In Sandwich, Kent the children still run around St Bart's Chapel and are rewarded with a Bart's Bun.

Have a Happy St Bartholomew's Day and a good weekend 

Back Monday

Friday 23 August 2019

Looking Forward to Bank Holiday Weekend

First.......... sometime today you will notice a change of name at the top of the blog - just to confuse everyone! I started this new blog when we moved here as it seemed like a good idea at the time, but  I won't always be up the end of a lane and this place isn't really a cottage - even though it's called **** Cottage. I'd like to get Suffolk back into the title and  I could quite easily have carried on with the same name for the blog which had already changed from Frugal in Suffolk to A Quiet Life in Suffolk and I still have a quiet life so it's going to be My Quiet Life in Suffolk from now on.

Secondly I must apologise for lack of replies to comments and lack of commenting on other blogs this week. It's been a busy week and when I haven't been busy I've been weeding, grass cutting and trying to get on with some reading. It's library van day next week and I've still got a big pile un-read.
Also hello and welcome to some more followers, happy to have you along and I hope you enjoy my ramblings about life in Suffolk.

And now the proper blog post............

The late August Bank Holiday was the second busiest time of the year when we owned the campsite and it would either be hot and sunny with tents turning up without booking or wet and nasty so people who had booked didn't turn up.
I'm glad I no longer have to worry about either event! And after 4 years I really should stop harping on about the campsite!

God willing and as long as all things go as planned  my bank holiday weekend will involve a visit to a church flower festival

All Saints Church, Crowfield © Adrian Cable :: Geograph ...
Crowfield Church

  where they have a good book and jigsaw puzzle sale (and coffee and cake!), some time out with Son, DiL and Willow to visit a small South Suffolk town to check out where he'll be supervising volunteers on an Archaeological dig next month.
Clare, Suffolk - Wikipedia
A Small South Suffolk Town!

 and a meet up with fellow blogger Rachel-in-Norfolk for a coffee and a look around the Eye Art show.

 I also have a pile of ironing that I've been avoiding all week, there are quite a few "cellar" spiders to hoover up (heavens knows why they are called cellar spiders as they live anywhere) and probably 100 other jobs to do if I look.

Plus of course there are 3 car boot sales that I could visit - somehow I don't think I'll get to all three!

And if none of these plans come to fruition then I'll just be happy living My Quiet  Life in Suffolk 
Back Tomorrow

Thursday 22 August 2019

Carnival Time

Everything in Aldeburgh stops for the carnival. It's been held on the 3rd Monday in August almost forever!

Despite living just 6 miles from Aldeburgh for 23 years we rarely went to see the procession - it's an event more for the second-homers and  the holiday makers rather than local people. Although we sometimes went down there in the evening for the fireworks on the beach. If we did go we never parked on the official car-parks where they are now charging £10 to park!

Youngest and her OH both had a day off work so they could take Florence and I thought I'd go too. We parked a mile out of town and walked down to the sea front and after fighting through the crowds to buy an ice cream we found a space  to wait for the procession.

 The band were entertaining everyone before the procession started

Florence with her unicorn headband before the procession started!
 This year the theme was  "Lights, Camera, Action!"celebrating the centenary of  Aldeburgh cinema. 100 years of continuously showing films - one of the oldest cinemas in the country.

Loads of people in fancy dress started the procession. Terrible photos as we were in the narrow road just after the beginning of the procession, not the best position for photos.

 A trailer load of Minions

 Think this was Mad Max?

This was  "Some Like It Hot!"

 Suffolk School of Samba

 Not as many floats as there used to be, although Florence enjoyed waving at everyone. I'll have to go to Stowmarket Carnival next year to see how big that is nowadays. Stowmarket was the carnival we went to every year when I was a teenager and it used to be huge.

The family stayed in Aldeburgh  and got a ride home with friends but I headed home after the procession.

 Back Tomorrow

Wednesday 21 August 2019

The Bay Tree

The page below is from The Calendar of Garden Lore by Julia Jones

 The Romans brought the Sweet Bay......Laurus Nobilis........Noble Laurel to Britain. Leaves from the Bay had traditionally been made into wreaths and given to successful warriors and worn as a symbol of high achievement. The Romans had borrowed this idea from the ancient Greeks who awarded their poets and artists with a similar wreath.

The Romans called the Bay 'the plant of the good angels' and it was thought to give protection against lightening, storms, witchcraft, snakebite and disease and  a Bay tree planted by the house door would keep away the plague. Shepherds would always wear a sprig of Bay in their hats in case of being caught out on the open meadows during a thunderstorm.
It was used as a decoration for the Roman feast of Saturnalia and brought into the house at Christmas when Christianity arrived along with holly, ivy and mistletoe.

My first Bay tree was taken to the smallholding in a pot in 1992. We planted it in the centre of a big triangular herb garden and it grew and grew until it was blocking all the light from the kitchen and taking all the moisture from the herb garden. Colin cut it back several times but in the end we took it right out. By then it had produced seedlings all over the place which I would dig up and grow on to sell, I also had some success with cuttings from it to pot up and sell.

I kept one of the seedlings to take when we left the smallholding and it stayed in a pot for the year in Ipswich. When we got here I planted it on the edge of a ditch in a spot where it wouldn't matter how big it got and actually the bigger the better to keep some of the wind off the house. Because of last years dry summer it's taken a while to get going but it's nearly as tall as me now.
Which means it will be too big to move whenever I decide this place is too remote and too big. And that's why I picked up a small Bay at a boot sale a few weeks ago.

I don't get to use it as much as in the past but I still wouldn't want to be without one in the garden somewhere.

Back Tomorrow

Tuesday 20 August 2019

Up Very Early............... go and help at the small WI car boot sale. Just like last year I wondered why on earth I volunteered to get up so blinkin' early!

The lady who collects all the stuff is a keen car-booter herself and she ropes in her lodger to tow a small box trailer for our once-a-year boot sale.  I got down to Needham Market by 6.30 and Barbara and her lodger had nearly finished setting up already - although in my defence she does live about 5 miles closer to Needham than I do!

This year not many other members turned up to help and the three who did didn't stay long so I only got a quick dash round where I found, for 20p each, 4 children's cards - two birthday and two Get Well that include lots of things to do in with the card - they will come in handy for the Grandchildren in due course. Also got the animals and a Halloween cape. Then I found the Very Hungry Caterpillar for Willow at last. The little box with garden twine, row markers and a small pot was just 50p and will be part of a Christmas present.

Then, among a box of empty picture/photo frames in a box on our stall, I spotted the little embroidered picture of girl and geese in the snow, it's very old and so well stitched that I couldn't leave it.
I loved the look of  Going Gently John Gray's wall of pictures and although I've got plenty of paintings/prints/needlework, they are bigger and spread out around the house. So I'm hoping to gather some smaller pictures together somewhere.

My total spend on Saturday was £2.80 (and a pound of that was for our WI) and as always I made sure to take a flask and snack so I didn't have to go and buy anything.

Thanks everyone for comments about recycling yesterday. A topical and controversial subject and made even more complicated by so many systems in different areas.

Back Tomorrow

Monday 19 August 2019

Plastic for Recycling or into the Rubbish Bin?

Our September meeting at small WI will be a lady from Suffolk County Council telling us everything we need to know about recycling. I think we will be asking her pointed questions about where our plastic we put into the recycling bins actually ends up. Then there is all the news about plastic in the sea and now getting into animal feed, and the increase in people in this country trying to cut down on single-use plastics so I thought it would be interesting to record what plastic went into my bins (both recycling bin and rubbish bin) in a week. Hopefully by doing this I can then see about looking for alternatives and reducing in future.

I started on Monday 12th

Fruit punnet is PET1 so recyclable but its plastic film cover isn't . One piece of cling film there that I needn't have used.Stir fry sauce pouch. I bought the plastic Red Wine Vinegar for making tomato relish from Morrisons  as that's where I was shopping a few weeks ago. I've now found a glass replacement. (see end of post). Wrapping from hot cross buns ( shared with Florence and Youngest daughter - Florence loves Nana bringing hot cross buns!

 Tuesday 13th
Not much today
Top wrapper from pack of ham. The bottom bit went in the bin when it was opened. I always put the ham in a container but keep the top plastic film for the date.
Wednesday 14th
I'm now buying the cat food in foil containers as foil is recyclable but still have lots of pouches to use up.  My frothy coffee sachets.(Ooops forgot the coffee sachets off Monday and Tuesday photos).
  The seal from a jar and a few other bits. (I was interested to see Aldi doing wonky strawberries - they were cheap but needed eating very quickly).
Plastic fruit punnet.PET1 into recycling.

Thursday 15th
The net from a fruit punnet, a bag from supermarket veg; The backing from double sided sticky tape and labels; wrapper from milk bottle; coffee sachet.
Milk bottle and fruit punnet into recycling

Friday 16th and Saturday 17th
Cat food wrappers, coffee sachet, rice packet (is there any other way to buy rice other than in a plastic pack?) quavers crisp packet (took these to eat at the car boot I was helping at, with a sandwich, as I had to go so early before breakfast!).
Into recycling was a plastic cappuccino  coffee 'jar' . Saw this in Lidl, a while back as a one-off although I worked out afterwards that it cost more than the Asda coffee sachets - typical!

Sunday 18th
Not much yesterday

I researched what  Suffolk County Council  will RECYCLE A-Z

And this is what happens to my bag of general non-recyclable rubbish (I don't have a wheely bin - as it's too far to drag it down the lane)

"Every single bag of general refuse from households and businesses in the county is going to a £180million incinerator plant in Great Blakenham, near Ipswich – preventing any rubbish going to landfill.
The burning process creates enough energy for electricity to be pumped to 30,000 homes and saves taxpayers £8million a year through cutting landfill taxes, according to Suffolk County Council."

Replacements found so far.
Aldi do Red Wine Vinegar in Glass. Well done Aldi AND they have peanut butter with no salt,sugar or oil added, - in glass - Well done again.  (better value too than the Meridian in Plastic tub which I was buying)

I eat lots of fresh fruit so ought to look for fruit punnet replacements? What fruit is sold loose in Supermarkets? bananas, apples sometimes, melon?  At the fruit shop near where we lived on the edge of Ipswich they still use paper bags for their loose fruit but driving there would use twice as much fuel - a silly idea.

If only all fruit I love was like this - fresh from the garden. The plums, which I'm picking a few at a time,  have wasp and plum moth maggot damage so need cutting open and bits cut out before eating and the few late summer raspberries were a surprise - But NO packaging!

I have no idea if this was a typical week, and also no idea how this compares to other single person(+cat) households, it would be interesting to find out.

Back Tomorrow

Saturday 17 August 2019

The Third Saturday in August

First of all must say thank you to everyone for comments about the book yesterday, I like sharing good reads with everyone.

Now Odds and Ends from the my week..........

Today August 17th, would have been my Mum's 93rd birthday - born in the same year as the Queen, except that Mum died 20 years ago and HRH is still going strong.

This is interesting........

The Museum in Stowmarket which for years has been the East Anglian Museum of Rural Life (or words to that effect, it's changed it's title a couple of times of the last 40+ years) is to become the.....

 We don't have any other National Museums of anything in Suffolk as far as I know.
It says "over the next 10 years we will transform Stowmarket's Museum of East Anglian Life into a leading attraction".

I went out to fetch the washing in on Monday and noticed the big Standard Lavender was absolutely buzzing with bees, at least twenty at once, I fetched the camera and tried to get a good photo but they wouldn't sit still, here's just one, they were all the same sort.

Detoured on my way home from town to visit a church............It was locked, so just a photo of the outside.

Swilland St Marys with its strange Victorian belfry on the top of the tower. Only the second village church that I've found locked. I searched the notices in the porch for a phone number for who had the key - but found nothing.

There was a bump at the living-room window and I turned to find a baby pheasant sitting on the window sill,  outside I could hear its mother shouting "get down from there before you fall!"

Not a lot else happened this week........I swam, shopped, went and got a new gas cylinder  for the cooker, called in on my sister for a coffee and that's about it.

This week I'm grateful for
  • Interesting library books
  • My homegrown fruit and veg
  • Wildlife in the garden

Have a good weekend, I'll be back Monday