Thursday 31 October 2019

The Last Day of October..............

...............Financial Ins and Outs..................and pumpkin pictures.

All Hallows Eve or Halloween as we say nowadays, a night of pumpkins and ghosts, witches and spooks. It's Samhain if you follow the Old Ways and The Night of the Dead - the most unpredictable night of the year - so if you are out and about with children trick or treating - take care!

This time last year I wrote about the year we grew giant  pumpkins at the smallholding. 

This photo that shows how big they were.....Col sitting on the biggest of all the giants.

This is the photo I put on the blog last year with all five giant pumpkins, taken the year before Colin was diagnosed with Lymphoma. It was much easier growing normal sized ones, they didn't need shifting with tractor and trailer!

A load of normal sized pumpkins from several years before the photo above when we still had a grey Fergie tractor and  older trailer

 Anyway............back to this year and October whizzed by as all months seem to do nowadays. There was some pretty grotty weather on several days, but luckily the weekend when Eldest Daughter and Jacob were staying was perfect for getting out and about.
I got a few outside jobs done including cleaning the greenhouse glass, inside and outside. Weeding the asparagus bed, cutting back the  holly hocks and Alstromeria in the Cutting garden (and at last after three tries the Alstromeria (Peruvian lilies) have taken hold and spread). Unfortunately they are all the same colour - pink - unlike the patch I grew for selling at the smallholding which were mixed oranges and shades of red. I've never seen similar plants for sale since then.

In October there was the usual income....... County Council Spouses pension, bits of interest on savings, repayments from family  plus £10 for books sent to Ziffit

The expenses during the month included
  • All the usual things - food for me and the cat, diesel for the car, phones and charity direct debits
  • Chimney sweep £60 - and he put the new fire bricks inside the wood burner for me.
  • I went slightly mad and bought clothes (new and secondhand) and boots. The boots were from Hotter and were a special offer reduced by a few pounds......and how annoying is it that on the day after I ordered them another email popped up with a "extra 10% off on top of the previous reduced price - this weekend only"! Now I've got one pair of boots and one pair of shoes for winter it should make them last that how it works?
  • Bought some new even lower energy candle bulbs for my living room lights after one went pop.
  • Treated the family to lunch out - my favourite thing to do when we are all together.
  • Son's Birthday present
  • A sheepskin cover for my bike seat
  • New jars and lids for more hamper presents
  • My regular once-a-month-pick-up-prescription-on -the-same-day-as-the-pensioners-fish-and- chip-cheap-lunch treat for £3.50
  • Septic tank emptying - £99 this year.
  • Paying for the labour for gate fixing.(Gate pictures to follow)

Still Clearing Out...................
Lots of old plastic clothes hangers into the bin
Old pair of slip on sandals into bin
Emptied out some various bottles of spray things that were in the greenhouse, left here by Mrs F and put bottles into recycling.
Craft bits to charity shop
Odd children's books and few toys ditto
Some reference books that I've not needed to charity shop

Frugal things?
Hardly any boot sales due to wet weather!
Last of the tomatoes and final cucumber during the first week of October
Using breadmaker for bread and malt loaf
Made a hanger for my "fishing float" using cheap jute string
Mixing milk with water.
A few  pears from the garden
Cheap apples from boot sale.
Gift of a book from publishers

At one time there was a blog thing of No-Spend November which I've tried but something always happens to put the kibosh on it so this November I'll not bother.
There are no regular bills due but I'd better get 500 litres of heating oil and there are Christmas things to organise. I try to spread the buying through the year but November and December are the spendiest months.

Thanks to everyone for comments yesterday - there were so many on what I thought was a dull post about LPG!
Replying here
  • As Colin was in and out of hospital when we moved here, it was left up to me to choose and organise the cooker. When I found one that fitted in exactly - so saving me having to think about a  cupboard of some sort to fill the space. I decided to ignore the cost and get the double oven range! I didn't regret it!
  • The cooker stands in what was once the fireplace in the old part of the house. Although the wood beam isn't the original as that was lower and the previous owners cut it out and put a new beam above. The old beam is now the mantel shelf  in the living room.
  • The LPG cylinders last longer than they used to  because of having the bread maker and my lack of enthusiasm for cooking much for myself. I think I use  3 a year now.
  • I've been changing over cylinders for years, although not shifting the 45kg ones that we had everywhere before here!
  • The grill is the top right door and bottom left is a drawer. I don't use the grill much because I hate washing it up as it's so large.
  • I do try and reply to comments but some days just don't have time and that's the same reason for not leaving comments on every blog I read which would be just as difficult - actually impossible as it would leave no time for writing my blog! 
  • The hob has four normal burners - 1 large, 2 medium and 1 small  plus a double wok burner. Which is really good for stirfries.
  • The Nan's Kitchen sign was a lovely Mothers Day present from Son and DiL last year

Back Tomorrow


Wednesday 30 October 2019

Cooking on Gas

First of all many thanks for comments yesterday, sorry for not replying, I had a day trying to catch up on jobs outside and then had to catch up on jobs inside.

Warning.................This is a really boring post but I'm sometimes short of ideas!

 All the best cooks use gas! and that was my reason for having an LPG cooker installed as soon as I could after moving here. Towns and  a few villages in Suffolk have natural piped gas but I'm much too out in the sticks.
I've used a gas cooker for all except just a few years since moving into my first home in 1975, mostly LPG  and it makes no difference to the cooking whether its mains or cylinders. Of course I have to organise delivery or fetch the cylinders myself, which I don't mind because they are available in lots of places.

They are only small cylinders so I just wiggle the empty one onto the sack barrow and then shove it in the car. I always keep a spare and that's easy to move using the sack barrow again from the workshop around the house to where they stand. My spanner that fits the cylinder connection is in the garage and has a bit of tape on it so  I always know which one it is and all that needs doing is shutting off the gas and connecting up the new cylinder and then turning the gas back on.

Then next time I'm out in the car it's easy to call in to the hardware place or a garage and pick up a refill. They cost about £36 now. Using gas like this is much easier than it once was because years ago there was no automatic switch over device which meant that the gas would run out in the middle of cooking and often I wouldn't notice,  resulting in flat sponge cakes or very late meals. Now the switch over device starts using gas from the new cylinder as soon as one is empty. Its also easy to see when a cylinder gets close to empty as the little window under the pointer gradually turns red with a dial moving round in it.

 Nowadays even these little 19kg cylinders have to be chained to the wall and the emergency shut off sign is obligatory too. The black pointer above the window is turned to whichever cylinder is being used. So you can see that the right hand one is the one being used and it's nowhere near empty as there's no sign of the red dial appearing in the window.

And this is where the gas ends up

I'm using the new-to-me chopping block to sit on the end of the cooker as a big pan stand. I never use the electric warmer thing at that end of the cooker anyway and it fits perfectly.

Leaving this cooker behind when it's gets round to moving house time will be a wrench, maybe I'll take it with me but it's not an easy thing to shift, not heavy but big.

Back Tomorrow

Tuesday 29 October 2019

Two Meetings at Small WI

The September meeting of small WI was all about recycling and I forgot to write about it. The lady was a representative of the company who run the public recycling centres in Suffolk on behalf of the County Council. She was able to explain all about what we can recycle in our bins and where our rubbish goes.

 In Suffolk we are very lucky in that our general rubbish, that is everything that isn't reclaimed, recycled or composted, goes to be incinerated to produce electricity.

SUEZ recycling and recovery UK works with Suffolk County Council to manage the household waste that's generated across the county every day. The County Council is part of the Suffolk Waste Partnership working together with the seven district and borough councils who collect waste.
By diverting waste from landfill, recovering valuable energy from the waste left after recycling and reducing the county’s dependence on fossil fuels, the facility also supports SUEZ’s aim to live in a society where there is no more waste and Suffolk County Council’s ambition to make Suffolk the greenest county.

She said that despite the fact that hardly anything in Suffolk is wasted it would still be better if less new stuff was bought in the first place which would save even more power and water
It was a fascinating meeting and we  asked lots of questions.

Followed by coffee and cakes of course


Had to have a change of venue for Octobers meeting, I hadn't seen the email telling me (later found it had gone into junk) so drove to the village hall, only to find the car park all dug up, a digger standing among heaps of dirt and no meeting. I hadn't got a phone number on my phone for anyone except SiL who was away on holiday anyway so started back home but as I passed the secretaries house I saw her about to come out of her drive so did a quick turn round and followed her down the road to the treasurers house and found everyone squashed into her Breakfast room ( it's a B&B in a farmhouse).
The meeting was all about "The Night Sky", and given by an amateur photographer who only got interested in Astronomy 6 years ago, but now runs courses and is involved with several astronomy societies.
 He had some fantastic photos and started by telling us that we didn't need to spend a fortune on a telescope as so many things can be seen with a normal pair of binoculars.
Then he went through all the planets and constellations, telling us when we could see them and giving us an idea of just how far away everything is. We heard about comets and meteors too.
He said that you needed the darkest place - often on the coast, and needed to be out in the dark for 30 minutes to get your eyes acclimatised. Then the best thing to do was to lay back on a recliner with a telescope or binoculars and start looking. Now of course things are easier as there are apps on phones that can tell you what you are looking at.

Another interesting meeting with coffee and cakes again.

Back Tomorrow

Monday 28 October 2019

Rugby Semi-final V Giant Secondhand Book Sale

Having to make a decision between staying at home and watching the England/New Zealand Rugby World Cup Semi-Final and going to the Giant NSPCC second-hand book sale took me about 5 seconds! The book sale won..........of course.

For the umpteenth year I  travelled down the A12 to Holmwood prep-school on the outskirts of Colchester and joined the queue and came away later with these. A couple of children's books and a game of Chinese Chequers. (They had masses of jigsaws, loads of games and 100's of children's book so I think I was quite restrained)

 Before I got into the room where they have all the above I'd already had fun looking through the 1000's of adult books in the prep-school gym.

I don't know why I picked up the top book as I knew I'd read it already but as it's fairly new and he has just published another book I thought it might be worth a bit  more to sell and it is. Seems I can't get the buying and selling of books out of my system! Thank goodness that very few of the books for sale cost more than £1 each and children's books are 50p or less.

Damian Le Bas is the author I went to listen to at the 2018 Felixstowe book festival. I borrowed the book from the library but didn't read it for some reason so now it's on the shelves for me to try again.
As for the Witches Spell-a-day book - just curious to see what it was. The crossword book isn't really what I thought so it will be passed on. All the rest are books I've not read and will enjoy before they go off for sale or charity shops.

 So once again I've added to the shelves, although temporarily,  when I was supposed to be decreasing my book stock.

Wonder if there is any help for book-a-holics?

Hello, My name is Sue and I'm addicted to books!

Back Tomorrow

Saturday 26 October 2019

How Does a Week go so Fast?

It's amazing how the days fly by as you get older, someone explained this odd phenomenon to me once ..........something to do with percentages of days lived I think..............all I know is that we seem to be speeding to the end of October before I'm ready for November.

Anyway a week has gone so it's another Saturday review. The weather this last week was a bit better than for quite a while, although Monday and Thursday were damp and grey here in Suffolk.

I had a rude awakening on Monday night sometime between 1 and 2 a.m when I heard a vehicle on the driveway beside the house and under my bedroom window, and as you know I'm up the end of an unmade lane so there shouldn't be anyone driving up the lane unless they are coming to my house and definitely not at that time of the night. I leapt (staggered) out of bed and peered out the window and there was a very large van trying to turn round. I watched it inching round back and forwards getting rather close to the conservatory and I could see the registration number, (which I then forgot after going straight back to sleep) and the fact that it was a van hired from Sixt. It eventually turned round and went off down the lane back to the road without stopping anywhere.Very Strange. Think I'll ask my next door but one neighbour to get the other gates done ASAP. At least I know that the stones of the driveway crunch enough to wake me up. Once the gates are done anyone driving up the lane has to reverse all the way back again or try and turn round in next door's gate way. That should put people off coming back!

I got out on the bike on Tuesday - just a couple of miles but every little helps.

I got out on the bike on Wednesday too, biked down to the village church for their regular Wednesday coffee morning, I've been meaning to go ever since we moved here. The lady who used to live in my house still runs it and makes lovely cakes. Got all the way there and found roadworks outside with the water company digging things up and a notice on the fence "Sorry coffee morning cancelled due to roadworks and water being turned off"  Ho Hum! Biked home again (after walking up the steep hill).

Before biking to the village I'd already driven to the Wednesday boot-sale (and back obviously!) - it was blinkin' chilly, the coldest morning of the autumn so far.
Didn't buy much just some apples for £1, eggs the same,  new gloves also £1 and a huge chunky wooden block chopping board/pan stand for £2. I've sanded it down and scrubbed it with salt. Looks really good.

No swimming this week due to it being half term, and I've not been visiting family either but I have got lots of odd jobs done at home instead, letters written, birthday cards sorted. Tidying the toys in the conservatory and a wee bit of cleaning. I went shopping and printed out some photos from last weekend to share round the family, and in Adsa I discovered the lightweight muslin/nylon bags for sale, right beside the loose vegetables - clever marketing! at 3 for £1 they seem good value. They'll fold small enough to keep in my bag so I too can avoid buying plastic wrapping when loose veg or fruit are available.

Picked up this little book of poems in a charity shop, divided into the seasons, I'm planning to use a few on the blog.

Friday should have meant going to Diss to meet up with Norfolk Blogger Rachel but her septic tank problems have put off our meet up for a little while - Septic Tank Problems are one of the Joys of country living! and need sorting sooner rather than later.
Instead I made marmalade for the hampers and me. This time using a tin of the cheats ready prepared oranges with a tin of chopped pineapple, from an idea in the WI book of preserving. I've done orange and grapefruit, orange and whiskey and lemon and grapefruit but pineapple is a new one on me - I thought pineapple stops things setting but it seemed to be OK, and nice to try a different flavour. I know that some people would throw up their hands in horror at the thought of using the ready prepared tin but it's a darn sight easier than chopping all those Seville oranges........ I'd rather be doing something else.
Before it rained and got really windy I also cleaned the greenhouse glass, both inside and out, couldn't reach the top very well but the long handled car wash brush has loosened all the green muck outside, hopefully the rain then cleaned it even more.There is just one tomato plant left inside with a few small green tomatoes hanging on.

One problem with this weekend, and that's the clocks going back. I wrote about why we change the clocks  HERE  so won't repeat myself, still don't like it even after knowing why.  Thankfully there should be something  interesting book-wise, another giant second hand book sale.................. I'll write about it next week.

Hope your weekend is interesting too
Back Monday
PS Thank you for some comments I'd not noticed on some old posts from several days ago.

Friday 25 October 2019

Library Books and A.N.Other

A great ol' heap collected yesterday - thank goodness.

So what will I be reading in November? From the top down. First is a tiny book "Why You Should Read Childrens Books Even Though You Are Old". Shouldn't take long to read this Very Small book. Then another Neil Ansell, which I'm sure I've tried before. Thought I would try again after re reading his book "Deep Country- Five Years in the Welsh Hills". Every now and again I order one of Ronald Blythe's books for a change, they are taken from his writings for a church magazine. He writes about the countryside and people around his home on the Suffolk/Essex border.
The Hocus Girl by Chris Nickson is the second in a series set in Regency Leeds.
The book by Ann Cleeves isn't a Vera or a Shetland - hope it's just as good as they were. There are 3 non-Fiction below that .......Dancing with Bees by Bridgit Strawbridge. The Hare and the Moon by Catherine Hyde is a book of paintings. A book for looking at rather than reading, and A Modern Herbal is just that.
On the right another crime book by Ann Granger who has been very prolific over the years. Short crime stories on a scientific theme in the  British Library Crime Classic series and finally All Clear by Connie Willis something I saw mentioned somewhere but have no idea where or anything about it.

I didn't get on very well with the few books I collected in September

National Provincial was too much like hard work, before I'd got to page 40 so many people had been introduced that I was already lost on who was who. I cheated and looked at the end - and just couldn't be bothered for all the 100s of pages in between!

The Offing was good - already written about that.

Small Wonder by Barbara Kingsolver wasn't a novel but essays - and I didn't find it interesting enough to read - sadly - as I've enjoyed some of her other books (but not all)

Even the one crime didn't get finished, it was just a bit too silly for my liking.

I started reading the book left from August - the new Erica James - Swallowtail Summer but that was about un-happy marriages which I didn't feel like hearing about.

That left H is for Hawk which I'd borrowed to try again after failing when it first came out and won prizes. Have to say I failed again.

If you look at my Books Read 2019 page you'll see that I've read fewer?/less? books than in any other month this year ..............or maybe ever! Why?..... Due to starting several and not finishing them, having visitors and too much time spent fiddling about on the lap top. I've been transferring the story of Colin's illness from the blog to Word so I can print out. I thought it might be interesting for children and grandchildren in the future to see the story of those 2½ years and the way their Dad/Grandad fought his way through it all. I'd already forgotten how much time was spent traveling to and waiting at hospitals.Once you get caught up with the cancer treatment there's hardly any time left for real life.
I've also been transferring all my frugal bits and some diary pieces onto Word ready for printing out for a Penny Pincher Paper letter. Our group of letter writers has more or less come to a halt so I'm doing it more for me than anyone else.

I also have....... Many, Many Thanks to Dean Street Press........ a copy of this.
After writing HERE about the two other books by Ursula Orange that I'd read both reprinted by them under the Furrowed Middlebrow name, I had an email from DSP offering me a copy of the book by her that I hadn't read. Scott at FM had passed on the book review to them. What a treat.
Thank you so much to Victoria at Dean Street Press. I shall look forward to reading it after I've got through all those library books.

Back Tomorrow

Thursday 24 October 2019

Snag Tights

PLEASE NOTE - this post is NOT sponsored and I'm not expecting anything in return!

I try to avoid wearing dresses  because I hate wearing tights - for one reason - they NEVER fit, anything big enough for thighs has meant a gigantic top that comes up right over my bra and then falling down to wrinkly at the ankles like Nora Batty..........Not a pretty sight.

 I wear leggings and tunics (shorts in summer) most of the time and only possess three dresses - one black and white dressy  cotton for summer weddings or funerals, one simple cornflower blue long dress for summer BBQs or similar occasions and one navy and sparkly bought for Son's winter wedding.

When the new WI  Life magazine arrived (that's the national magazine for WI members) it had an advert page for  Snag Tights................Tights that finally fit!

I had a look on line and they have photos of real people wearing their TIGHTS with their height and what size they are wearing  plus a chart where you decide what body shape you need for your height. So I thought I'd send for a pair, more in hope than expectation. They are not cheap like you could pick up in a supermarket if you are a "normal" shape, but on the other hand if they fitted it could open up a whole new world of things I can wear.

They do all sorts of colours (takes me back to the 1980s when I was thinner and often wore green or red tights)I decided to go for the thicker tights for winter, in navy blue. They arrive promptly and  came in a thick paper envelope and inside wrapped in tissue paper, no plastic  anywhere.

 And they falling down............and the waist is where the waist should be.

Yippee do!

Now I need more dresses!

Back Tomorrow

Wednesday 23 October 2019

Our WI is 100 Years Old

 At Big WI the October meeting was our 100th Birthday Party. It was held in the Village Hall where WI meetings have been held for years.
The tables were laid ready for our arrival and several past presidents and invited guests from Federation HQ all sat down to a lovely meal provided by a really good catering company.
(The man on the stage was there to take a few photos)

I forgot to take any photos until the end! This was all that was left after the Trio of  Desserts (Chocolate Brownie, Strawberry Meringue and Lemon Cheesecake)

Everything was delicious and much quicker service than the 99th Birthday Party at the local pub last year.
Our entertainment after the meal was The Kettle Girls, a trio of ladies singing acapella, songs both well know and others written themselves.

As a memento of the occasion  we all had  a shopping bag with a 100 birthday logo.
and those of us who don't live in the 3 villages got a copy of the July Parish Magazine which had several pages about the history of WI.

We also had a rather good piece in the East Anglian Daily Times Newspaper with a photo of some of the original members of Bacton WI...............looking rather formidable

and now, the photo taken earlier this year...........31 of us out of 37 membership

                                    (must do something about the bags under my eyes!)

(Thank you to everyone for comments yesterday about my gorgeous grandchildren - I'm so lucky)

Back Tomorrow

Tuesday 22 October 2019

Walking with the Grandchildren

We all met up not far from home at THORNHAM WALKS. Me, 2 daughters, 1 daughter-in-Law, 1 son and 3 little people.
We walked around the family friendly walk close to the car park and playground

Willow wanted to join in with her bigger cousins, climbing up an earth mound

All around the walk there are carved tree trunks for climbing on

By the time we walked at Willow pace around most of the walk we were all hungry and it was lunchtime so we stopped at The Coach House Cafe.

The food was delicious and included small portions for small people. I had a cranberry and brie sandwich which comes with some salad and some chips

 Then home to play with the toys at Nana's house. ( no shortage of toys thanks to all the boot sales!)
We persuaded them to sit still for a quick photo.......... Jacob now 3 years 5 months, Willow now 1½ and Florence 3 last week
                               Beautiful happy children - such a joy to be a Nana of these three


Then chaos and Jacob was so patient when his little cousin climbed all over him!

Hopefully one more get together before Christmas

Back Tomorrow

Monday 21 October 2019

On Narrow Roads

The roads are quiet around where I live, if I'm cycling it's easy to stop for photos. This is North from home, small lanes with grass growing down the middle in some places.

The leaves on this Ash were already yellow

We have Big Skies and Flat Fields in this bit of Suffolk

This is the holly where I've stopped (in the car) to cut some for the Winter Solstice. This year I shall go by bike - only problem - very few berries.

There are some HUGE and ancient oaks beside this road.

Don't be fooled by these mushrooms. They look lovely BUT they are Yellow Staining fungi. We had them at the smallholding at the top of the field under the hedge and trees, these are in the same sort of situation - under hedges  - not out in the open.They're not seriously poisonous but could make you sick. If you scratch the white it quickly turns yellow.

Then home again

Back Tomorrow

Saturday 19 October 2019

Monday to Friday

I needed to use the pressure washer to clean the green slippy-slimy paving patio slabs  between the back door and garage, the back door and drive way, the back door and greenhouse and the back door and washing other words everywhere I walk! I looked at the washer a few weeks ago but there was no way to connect the hose to the machine. Colin bought this washer when our old one packed up just after we moved here and only used it once but somewhere in the last 2 years something had gone missing. I'd got 4 various hosepipe connectors - nothing fitted. Put thinking cap on and come up with a a short length of hose to the bit that sticking out of the washer with one of those circular clip things that screws up tight, then use a normal hosepipe connection to fit that little bit of pipe to the hosepipe on the tap.  After a couple of tries I got it sorted and cleaned about half the slabs.

I found this wonderful pedantic comment on my Monday post.

For me "eating out" means a formal sit down meal of at least two courses. Snacks are quite different, which is what you had. Roderick

Have no idea if Roderick is being serious or not but it made me smile.

My bodged connections on the pressure washer aren't perfect as they keep coming apart but I got the job  finished,  then had to find my wrist support thingy because clutching the trigger on the gun bit of the washer  had really made it ache.

Down the A14 to Felixstowe to visit my cousin and her husband who live in a  high spot that overlooks the sea. I just have to stand at the big window in their flat and stare out at the sea for the first 5 minutes of visiting!.......... I would never get any work done if I lived there. Although on Wednesday there was nothing much to see as it was a bit grey and misty.
After my visit I went round the charity shops in town and found a long black hanki-hem cardigan, which seemed a bit pricey at £9.99, but as it was from M&S  and looked virtually new I bought it, then splashed out on a new long sleeved tunic top from a proper shop! Bright burnt orange - one of this autumns  IN colours I think. Felixstowe has some good clothes shops and cheap parking - think I should go more often.

Shopping - not very exciting except for the fact that I was buying a few bits because of having visitors - and that is  exciting as it's the Surrey family - or 2 out of 3 of them.

Eldest daughter and Jacob arrived early afternoon,  he has shot up several centimetres since he was last measured on the pirate ship height chart.  So good to see them again and hear all about what they've been up to.  Nana's home made play dough was soon found and spread around the room!
 Nearly 3½ now. Eldest says they have to put sort out schools soon - used to be so simple when children went to the nearest primary, now it's all about choice! and complicated.
  All the family here today - cousins together - I  love it. 😊

This week I'm grateful for
  • Finding a way to use the pressure washer
  • Wonderful children and gorgeous grandchildren

Have a good weekend
Back Monday

Friday 18 October 2019

Cancer Screening

As I mentioned back in June - one of the WI resolutions for 2019/20 was...............

Don’t fear the smear
Cervical screening saves around 5,000 lives a year, yet attendance is currently at its lowest for a decade. The NFWI urges WI members to attend routine screening, to take action to raise awareness of the importance of cervical screening and address barriers to attendance to help eradicate cervical cancer.

Going for the screening is something that seems obvious to me, I've always been for all breast cancer screening, feeling lucky to live in an area where the mobile breast screening team come to the small towns to save people having to travel to Ipswich hospital,  and I've also had my regular cervical smears at the doctors.
We were quite surprised when one WI member admitted that she'd never been to breast screening and never would. The rest of us all went regularly.

Cancer has always been 'just round the corner' in our family. My Mum was one of 6 children and all but one had some form of cancer which shortened their lives. My Aunt on my Dads side of family had cancer before passing away. Then I met Colin and just after our eldest daughter was born his Mum was diagnosed with breast cancer, which she battled with for many years before passing away much too soon. Her brother also had cancer and died quite young too. So when our youngest daughter was diagnosed with ovarian cancer when she was just 18  it was a horrible shock but not a surprise. Thankfully she was caught in time and she's 32, fit and well and the arrival of Florence was just the icing on the cake. Then of course came Col's diagnoses of Mantle Cell Non Hodgkin Lymphoma which is a blood cancer and again a huge and horrible shock but somehow not a surprise.

And then you get to age 60 and a letter arrives telling you that every two years you are going to be sent a kit to screen for bowel cancer. And you have to send your poo off in the post - which always seems so Very Weird!
When my testing kit arrived two weeks ago I couldn't believe two years had passed, the test was much simpler this time, just one sample needed instead of 3. The letter telling me all was OK arrived Wednesday - good news indeed.
There's no way I would miss out on any sort of screening, it's a simple way of keeping a look-out for that dreadful but oh-so common disease.

Back Tomorrow

Thursday 17 October 2019

Hinderclay St Mary

Before the church photos I must say thank you to everyone for comments yesterday and hello and welcome to more followers.

It's all about the stained glass in this small church close to the Norfolk border.

The church is tucked away at the end of an avenue of large oak trees

The porch is also special as it's timber framed which is quite unusual.  The outer frame dates right back to the C14. The baskets of fuchsias were huge and colourful .  

The C20 stained glass is the work of the artist Rosemary Rutherford who was the sister of the vicar at nearby Walsham Le Willows,  a church I visited in April . Its certainly striking and so different to old stained glass. They are her designs but weren't made and installed until many years after her death, probably when parishes were combined so that her brother John became vicar of this parish as well as Walsham .

Here is her history


1912 - 1972
Rosemary Ellen Rutherford, was born at The Parsonage, Bartley Green Lane, Northfield, Kings Norton, Worcester on 1 September 1912, daughter of Revd John Finlay Rutherford . Rosemary studied at the Slade School of Fine Art and in 1939 an artist and part-time teacher at St Cedds School, Chelmsford, living at The Vicarage, Broomfield, Chelmsford with her parents. On the outbreak of the Second World War, Rosemary joined the Red Cross as a volunteer when she performed a variety of jobs, including driving a mobile canteen round gun batteries on the east coast and working as a nurse in hospitals and convalescent homes for servicemen. She was given permission by the War Artists Advisory Committee (W.A.A.C) to record her work. She studied art and painting with Cedric Morris [q.v.] at Benton End, Hadleigh, Suffolk but is principally known as a stained glass artist. Her work is in the Suffolk churches at Boxford, Walsham le Willows and in Hinderclay, where her brother, John Allarton Edge Rutherford (1910-2005), was the incumbent, she also completed stained glass windows in several Essex churches and as distant as West Heslerton All Saints, Yorkshire in 1964. She was of The Priory, Walsham le Willows, when she died  suddenly at Lambeth, London on 20 June 1972 aged just 60.

 Many of the pew ends have these carved rosettes, some have Fleur-de-lys and some have initials thought to be the churchwardens at the time.

So many of the churches I've visited have beautiful stitched kneelers, but usually they have one main colour. Here at Hinderclay they were multi-coloured which looked really colourful and beautifully stitched.

I noticed the decorated  organ pipes

A few of the pews are old box pews to keep out the draughts

If or when I get to the churches on the Suffolk/Essex border I will see her other designs at Boxford church as that also features in the 100 treasures book.

Suffolk Churches Website info HERE

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