Saturday 29 February 2020

This Week and This Month........................

THIS WEEK....................3 Firsts

  1. First seeds sown at last. I plugged the propagator  in to check it still worked and it did, so that's set up in the conservatory with aubergine, peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, basil and parsley.
  2. First rhubarb pulled and cooked............... lovely.


3.First daffodils brought in from the garden

On Tuesday I met Rachel-from-Norfolk for coffee in Morrisons and succumbed to a jam doughnut (deliciously light and fluffy) so just had fruit for my lunch later. It's donkeys years since I counted calories and stuck to a diet  as I've been the same amount of over-weight-ness for about 10 years. Not sure I'm good at it losing weight anymore, I like my food too much but as I've signed up for the Free 12 week course I'd better at least make an effort. (Promise not to bore you with all the details of diet and food!)
 Although I might mention the course. The girl running the course (young and slender!) said she doesn't tell everyone the weekly subjects as she doesn't want people to cherry pick which sessions they attend but as I have the leaflet given out by the OneLife Suffolk speaker at WI last year and they are listed online I know what they are - but will try to get there every week if I can.

Week 1 was Welcome to OneLife Suffolk  - why are you here? what do they do
Week 2, yesterday, was How to lose weight......(no need to tell me = Eat less/different + Move more!)
After the 12 weeks there are monthly maintenance sessions for one year.............if the course continues as there were 9 people on the first week and only 5 in week two.

I was quite surprised Wednesday evening when BBC Look East news said that the doctors surgery in Bacton (Big WI village and the other half of the doctors practice where I go) had closed for deep cleaning after someone went to the surgery after coming back from somewhere where the virus has been found .........despite all the instructions to stay at home and ring up.  I've not heard any more about what happened next.

Wet snow Thursday, it didn't lay and just added to the amount of water. The septic tank was pumped out but clean water from the high water table just ran straight back in from the soak-aways - Big problem. Shall I have to spend about £8,000 on a proper sewer treatment thing?
Electric went off  on Thursday again. I dialed the UK Power networks number which recognised my phone and knew my postcode and told me they were aware of the problem in the area and engineers were on the way. I'm quite happy with this sort of big brother technology - very useful. It was only off for an hour so no hassle.

This week I'm grateful for .........
  • Living in Suffolk
  • A quiet swimming pool
  • A few hours of sunshine
  • Seeds  sown

THIS MONTH................
Was February Frugal?...........................No, of course not!

Spending in February started straight away with an unexpected expense of a new tyre for the car. I noticed a small bulge in the tyre, so ran the car round to my friends at the repair workshops and asked if I should be worried about it. Yes, slightly, was the answer and they ordered a new tyre and fitted it later the same day. Tom the boss said I'd probably gone hard into a pothole...........there are certainly plenty of them about. On the little back road between home and Eye there was a pothole so deep that it had a traffic cone stood in it and you could only see the top half of the cone! - thankfully it's been filled in now but there are plenty more.

The biggest but predicted expense was the house insurance. For some reason Saga wanted £80 more than last year, when I rang them the bloke said it had already been queried as an unexpected price rise but had come back the same. So I said I'd swap to a local broker who were offering a £50 shopping voucher for new insurances. Their price was only £5 more than I paid with Saga last year - plus the voucher (which I've not had yet, although she did say it would take a few  weeks and it's not been two weeks yet).

All the usual spending............. food for me and the cat, diesel for the car, direct debits for the phones/broadband and charity.  My 20 swim ticket needed renewing - a bargain at £37. There was the follow up loo-roll delivery from 'The Who Gives a Crap' company. (I've delayed the next delivery of 48 until December).
Also purchased were my seed potatoes and compost, a new peanut feeder for the birds, gifts and all the usual bits and pieces for keeping a house and home going. Then the sewer pump out added £99 to the Out column right at the end of the month

 Thrifty bits
  • The half year water bill arrived  and was £6 less than same time last year.
  • A charity shop coat for £3
  • Bulk purchase tub of  Bicarb for cleaning
  • New bra reduced by £3 in a closing down sale
  • A few leeks from the garden
  • Still making bread
  • Still catching the cold water before it gets hot enough for washing up to use elsewhere
  • Free 12 week weight-loss management course 
  • First rhubarb from the garden
  • Picking the right days to do the washing and hang it out - only used tumble dryer once

Still Clearing out..............
Old coat to clothes bank
Few more bits of craft stuff to charity shop
Few tea-cloths  to Youngest Daughter.

In March there is an electric bill due, car MOT and of course council tax.

Well done if you've read right through this rather wordy post! And welcome to new followers who've boosted my numbers this week.

Have a good weekend
I'll be back Monday

Friday 28 February 2020

Favourite Song of the Moment

Sometimes a bit of music heard on Radio 2 just makes me stop and think "that's good, what is it?"

This is my favourite at the moment..............If the world was ending...........

Didn't feel the same about this years Eurovision Song Contest entry played for the first time yesterday - just OK not amazing and we won't win anyway due to the Brexit thing!

Back Tomorrow

Thursday 27 February 2020

Where Do I Find the Books I Read?

A while back on one of the library book photo posts someone asked me where/how I found out about the books I request and read.

There are 5 places I track them down

1.  My Book of Books Read . It's old - as in  40+ years and  has a list of books I've read under authors - so I can flick through, find an author and check to see what else they have written.

Pages of "H" authors

Poor old tatty book


2.The Fantastic Fiction Website. A good place to find out the right order to read books if they are in a series and when new books are due out from my favourite authors

3. My Amazon account. Comes up with suggestions - frequently and repetitively!

4.The Library website. Has a brilliant feature where they list new books bought into stock

5. Blogs. If someone mentions reading something that sounds interesting I usually hop over to the library website to see if it's in stock and reserve it if it is and suggest it if it isn't.

I'm never short of something to read.

Back Tomorrow

Wednesday 26 February 2020

A Long Running Swap

This isn't a new swap  for a smaller footprint/greener life but something I've been doing for ages.

This is what I use for cleaning the sinks, basins, oven and down the drains, it works a treat and no nasty chemicals into the septic tank. This new big ol' tub is a cheap way of buying it and as it's a Food Grade Bicarb it can be used if needed for cooking too. I can't remember when I last bought a tub so this amount must last  about 6 or 7  years. The pot I store it in on the kitchen window sill is one of my favourite bits of old kitchenalia.

Back Tomorrow

Tuesday 25 February 2020

The First Week of Lent + Thankyou

 First of all thank you to everyone for comments yesterday. As everyone said - they grow so quickly so getting photos at this age when we are all together is a good idea.
No, we didn't have snow just another lot of rain lasting half the night and all morning - it has to stop soon - Right?
(Thankfully Not as much as other parts of the country when people are still getting their homes ruined again and again, I can't imagine the distress it causes.)


We know about Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday but according to my little almanac book each day of this week has a name..................

Collop Monday
This was the last day for eating meat. Any fresh meat still available would be sliced and salted to preserve it until after Lent. = A Collop - a Scandinavian word, means a slice of meat.

Shrove Tuesday
The last day before Lent when it was customary to make confession. In the past it was a day for merrymaking and fun and feasting on the last of the eggs and butter before Lent fasting

Pancake Tuesday is a very happy day,
If we don't have a holiday we'll all run away,
Where shall we run,up High Lane,
And here comes the teacher with a great big cane.

(a children's rhyme from the past taken from the Cattern Cakes and Lace book)

Lacemakers had to stop using candles on this day, no matter the date or the weather conditions.

Ash Wednesday
The first of the 40 days of  abstinence. The word Lent comes from Anglo-Saxon 'lengentide' which means spring or lengthening of the days. Originally only 1 meal a day was eaten during Lent.

Fritter Thursday
Maybe because of the dough fritters that were often eaten in meatless Lent or perhaps using the last of the stored apples dipped in batter?

Kissing Friday
Once this was the day when boys had the right to kiss girls without being told off !

Who Knew!

Back Tomorrow

Monday 24 February 2020

4 Under 4

Four grandchildren under four years old in the house on Saturday with 3 mummies and one daddy and a nanna.

Crazy family time

Giggling 3 year olds

Small temper tantrums and a touch of the grumps

Youngest granddaughter wanting to do the same as her two older cousins 

Two week old not such a happy bunny

Lots of toy car crashes and book reading and play-dough and colouring

Then all round the table for lunch

Later............ trying to get a photo of Nanna plus Four


Back to normal today


Saturday 22 February 2020

Another Good Week in Suffolk

Walking on Monday morning was lovely - cold but not too cold with blue sky and sunshine.

Cycling a couple of miles on Tuesday morning was chilly but sunny although the wind  and rain got going later. Just after 10pm there was a torrential hailstorm - on the back of the house, yet the rain earlier in the day had hit the front of the house.....weird.

Wednesday the electric was supposed to be off - a planned outage for tree cutting near wires  somewhere, cancelled from before Christmas, so I decided to have a day shops and churches (and a very strange meal in Dobies Garden Centre where a salad consisted of  2 cherry tomatoes and 3 slices of cucumber!) There I bought some bulbs for colourful Gladioli

 for my mini cutting garden to replace some of the Hollyhocks - which turned out to not be good for cutting as they have to have the stalks filled with water to stop them from collapsing in the vase. When I got home I found the electric hadn't been off at all. Which means we'll probably get another note through the door again sometime in the future......

Thursday I went to help at a 'Soup and Puds' WI fundraiser. This is at big WI, they've been doing them twice a year for years but I'd not gone and helped before mainly because I didn't really know what it was. So I volunteered to help with washing up.....safely in the kitchen - out of the way, while I discovered exactly how the event worked. I ended up not doing much washing up but generally helping in the kitchen and then dishing up some of the desserts. People have to buy a ticket in advance  for £6, turn up at the village hall at 12 noon and then  get a choice of 3 soups with bread rolls, they can come back for second helpings. Then a choice of about 9 different yummy desserts, followed by coffee and  a mint. I can quite see why Colin's Dad used to like going to this event before he died. There is a Bring and Buy stall and a Draw (of course). There was enough soup and desserts for all of us in the kitchen to have some too.
 I began to think I wouldn't get there as two roads were closed in two different directions, which I didn't know until I got to the 'Road Closed' signs, and I ended up taking nearly 45 minutes to do what usually takes  under 20 minutes!

On Friday I started a 12 week course run by OneSuffolk - " Lose weight with your FREE  local weight management service"............I'm not hopeful.
But  more importantly I welcomed Eldest Daughter with Eldest Grandson (heavens above he's nearly 4!) here from Surrey to stay for a couple of nights, mainly for Auntie H to meet her new nephew and for J to meet his new cousin - although he probably wasn't that fussed as he's got boy cousins big enough to play with on his Daddies side of family already and near enough to see often.
I decided not to bother with organising the picking up of my library books at a different place, so will just wait until the van's round again and carry on reading from my own shelves in the meantime.

My Being Grateful thoughts this week were easy
  • Walking
  • Cycling
  • Helping
  • Family

By this time last year I had done lots of garden clearing, the weather had been warm and I had seeds sown in the propogator ..............This year it's just been wet and virtually nothing has been done.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend
Back Monday

Friday 21 February 2020

Ufford Church - St Mary of the Assumption

This huge font cover is the reason this church gets a mention in the 100 treasures in Suffolk churches book,
It's 18 foot tall and is telescopic. It was made around 1450 and restored to full glory and working order in the 1980's. It was so amazing that in 1643 the man tasked with destroying icons in churches spared it, perhaps because he found it so ridiculously OTT. ( Find out more on the website link below)

There have been fancy font covers in several churches I've been to but I've never seen an egg timer before! Right beside the pulpit, presumably to time the sermon.

The rather grand porch has lots of knapped flint and dates from about 1475

Although it's a village church  for a small village it has Anglo-Catholic features more often seen in larger town churches.

 There are some large carved angels on the roof supports

Very fancy pew ends, carved from top to bottom, inside and out.

St Leonards chapel on the side aisle was made into a war memorial in 1919 with an east window showing a British soldier and sailor helping Jesus carry his cross

Very fine carved stations of the cross

I had hoped to find out about this picture below from the Suffolk Churches website HERE 
but it gets no mention

Stained glass and large candles on the altar

Difficult to get a good photo as this church is tucked away in a Lower Ufford - a part of the village surrounded by old cottages and tiny lanes.

 I opened the door and stepped into the church and nearly jumped a mile as there  were two people just inside gazing up at the font...........  I rarely find other people in these small Suffolk churches. They were visitors to Suffolk from Buckinghamshire and were wondering why they had left visiting Suffolk until they were in their 70's! I was able to sing the praises of my beautiful county.....very easy to do.

Back Tomorrow

Thursday 20 February 2020

What's a Groop?................

................I'm sure that's what I asked Colin in about 1979. He was working as a County Council roadman and would come home from work after digging out "groops" all day.

Back then all these roadside drainage channels - for that's what a Groop is - were dug by hand. Now they are done in quarter the time by a tractor with a small digger shovel. They've all recently been dug out where I was walking the other day.

I thought it was a word the blokes who dug them had made up and it certainly doesn't appear in the Shorter Oxford Dictionary but it is in my little book of Suffolk words.

I've written about Suffolk dialect once before on this blog HERE, and on the old blog too a long time ago when I found people didn't 'get' the ironic sense of humour Suffolk people often use and our way of using language not quite as intended.

I wrote this 

 So a "bit windy" means blowing a gale and if  someone asked me how many people were at a a big event and I said "quite a few". That means lots, even hundreds!
We use the word 'stuff' too much. For instance we would say I got some stuff from the doctor, instead of medicine.
 If I said to two people " have a good Christmas together" it wouldn't mean "have a good Christmas TOGETHER" but "have a good Christmas both of you".
The word " daft" doesn't really mean stupid but is just slightly silly or even a term of endearment!
"Funny"  doesn't always mean hilarious or even slightly amusing and "Owd" (old) doesn't necessarily refer to age. We say "Thus a funny owd day today int'it?" ( it is a funny old day today isn't it?) Which means that the weather is a bit odd or odd things have happened.
We say "Ours" or "mine" to mean our home and "yours" is your home.
We say "shew" instead of showed. The word "that " often replaces "it" and if we say " clever" it probably has nothing to do with intelligence. So "he in't too clever" means he is at deaths door!

We're proud to be a bit odd over here in East Anglia!

What's a 'groop' called in your part of the world?

Back Tomorrow

Wednesday 19 February 2020

A Possible Swap

I'm will be trialing another swap for a smaller footprint as soon as I've used the last of the sponge scourers. Although it might not work how I need it . I use hand knitted cotton dishcloths for washing up.

I was hoping this thing will replace sponge scourers but will it be rough enough?, also it might be a difficult swap because of the price...............

8 cheap scourers are 40p, they last me many months. They go into the rubbish sack so are incinerated in Suffolk's big incinerator producing electric for the National Grid. So it's the making of them that's the main problem............. where? and using how much water and energy?

On the other hand the loofah was £2.95 from a fairly new company (I think) called LoofCo.They are a natural plant, a member of the cucumber family, produced in Egypt by small producers and fairly traded. Described as Long Lasting, Non Scratch, Flexible, Durable and Compost-able.

I'll let you know how I get on in due course.

Hello and welcome to more new followers and thank you for lots of comments over the last few days

Back Tomorrow

Tuesday 18 February 2020

Fresh Air and Exercise

After spending Saturday and Sunday venturing no further than the garage and the wood shed, I needed some fresh air so had a walk round the lanes - away from the muddy fields.

The morning was lovely - sunshine and blue sky through this old Oak tree.

The fields have standing water everywhere

The drainage ditches around the fields are all full. Here the water is running out of the ditch on one side of the road, across the road and into a ditch on the other side.

It's unusual to see water draining from the fields this fast. These ditches will be dry for most of the year.

Perhaps this road will be re-surfaced this year. I've biked along it and it's like biking over cobbles.

A grumpy farmer who owns some of the fields around about home has applied for outline planning permission to build a house on this area. It's been a concrete hard standing for sugar-beet and is on a corner of the narrow road.

There is only a farmhouse further down the road on this side of the road although there are properties opposite. The Parish Council have objected  as have quite a lot of us who live close by. It's outside any area designated for building and would set a precedent for farmers to use concrete hard standings - and they are everywhere in this arable area- to build houses. We will see what happens. This is the farmer who reported my neighbours for fly-tipping when they planted some bulbs and primroses on the opposite side of our lane. He said he wanted "His" weeds put back! The council came and looked and dismissed it as ridiculous. There is always a debate about who owns ditches but he certainly doesn't own the land on the lane side of the ditch!

Back Tomorrow

Monday 17 February 2020

30 Q & A's

When I first started blogging these Q & A things used to do the rounds quite often, haven't seen one lately so when Joy found this set of questions and posted her answers I thought I would pinch the idea for filling a post this week.

This was done Saturday lunchtime

1. Who are you named after?
No one in the family but Susan was a very common name in the 1950's. The Queens favourite corgi was called Susan!

2. Last time you cried?
Don't know - sometimes TV programmes set me off - I hate crying 

3. Do you like your handwriting?
No - too loopy

4. What is your favorite meat?
Don't really have one - Least favourite is beef and I'd usually choose vegetarian given a choice

5. Longest relationship?
38 years should have been more

6. Do you still have your tonsils?
7. Would you bungee jump?
No way

8. What is your favourite cereal?
? Breakfast cereal or crop growing in the field?!

9. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?
Only if they are lace up shoes!

10. Do you think you're strong?
Physically not particularly, mentally yes
11. Favorite ice cream?
A whippy one in a cone with a chocolate flake. 

12. What is the first thing you notice about a person?
I don't know, I shall have to find out next time I meet someone 

13. Football or Rugby?
Rugby by far.
14. What colour trousers are you wearing?
Black leggings

15. Last thing you ate?
Baked fish in breadcrumbs with purple sprouting broccoli and some reduced price mushrooms

16. What are you listening to?
BBC news on TV

17. If you were a crayon, what colour would you be ?
I wouldn't be a crayon ! Too bland - I'd be a bright purple felt pen!

18. What is your favourite smell?
Someone else cooking my dinner

19. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?
Youngest Daughter I think

20. Hair colour?
Once black, now greyish/whiteish with a bit of black still left in places

21. Eye colour?

22. Favourite foods to eat?
Anything that someone else has cooked for me

23. Scary movies or happy endings?
Neither really as I prefer a crime story

24. Last movie you watched?
I watched some weird rubbishy Christmas things in December

25. What colour shirt are you wearing?
Navy Blue with flowers tunic top

26. What is your favourite holiday?
Had many happy holidays in Sandown on the Isle of Wight

27. Beer or wine?
I don't really drink but  a bitter shandy is OK - so beer I guess

28. Night Owl or Morning Person?
Used to be Morning Person - now neither!

29.  If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
Exactly where I am

30. Favorite day of the week?
In summer it's Saturday and Sunday for boot sales, in winter they are all the same.

Back Tomorrow

Saturday 15 February 2020

Saturday Allsorts

  • Before I forget, hello to some new followers - welcome hope you enjoy hearing about life in Suffolk.

  • How strange it is that a blog post about a knitting book suddenly had more page views than anything else this month - I'm glad it gave an idea for a gift for knitters. Thank you to Thelma who mentioned a book called The Golden Thread which is a history of sewing - I've ordered it from the library. (I'm not much good at sewing either) Hello also to Leslie who's been reading the blog from the beginning  - goodness me that's a long read - especially if you went back to the start of the old blog in 2013!

  •  Storm Ciara hit Suffolk last Sunday, the same as almost everywhere else in the country, but thankfully without the massive rainfall. I stayed at home expecting the electric to go off - but it didn't, which was a surprise. This was the damage here, very annoying as it has broken my almost new willow roll fencing in half and now the bits don't reach the posts - a bodge job will be needed to mend it - I need some long cable ties.

  • Then on Wednesday night a small half-dead tree covered with ivy came down, part blocking the footpath gate onto the meadow. I've contacted County Council Rights of Way although BiL will sort it in due course if I ask him nicely and if the council don't get around to it.

 I took the loppers out and cut off some thin bits so that people can get round it to the gate. I'm glad the tree wasn't taller or it would have landed on another bit of the willow-roll fencing. It's sometimes quite a responsibility owning land, trees etc etc

  •  Earlier in the week swimming was good and not too busy, schools half term next week so just the one hour over 50's sessions available (unless I can get there before 9am - unlikely at this time of the year) and they are only twice in the week. Might be very busy.
  • There was a few hours of dry and not too windy weather one day, giving just enough time to clear and fork over the place where the potatoes will go and cut back a couple of shrubs.
  • Shopping in Stowmarket and a tour round the charity shops of course and at last I've found a coat to replace the  last charity shop coat which I bought quite a few years ago. Found it in a coat sale at the Hospice charity shop for just £3 (it looks better than the photo makes it look!)                       
    Just needs a really good go at it with a clothes brush. I hate paying full price for coats.
  •  Another weekend at home is planned due to the next storm - Dennis - which is going to arrive and hang around for a couple of days. Dennis is a name for boys that hasn't come back yet, no doubt it will sometime.

This week I'm Grateful for
  1. Being close enough to part of the family to help out in an emergency ( I'd love to be close enough to all of them but would need to split myself into 3!)
  2. My home to stay inside, out of the rough weather .
  3. Double Choc Mocha Frothy Coffee!

Hope everyone has a good weekend
Back Monday

Friday 14 February 2020

Where Are My February Library Books?

Not where they should be!

The Mobile library was off the road for it's MOT and service and then the spare mobile which is shared around the county, broke down too. Andrew the library van driver rang me to tell me - I said "aaaaaaggghhhh NO books! Disaster! "

I've had a search online for the library routes and if I give him a ring and ask him to put them on the van for Friday of next week I should be able to pick them up from a village not too far away.

Meanwhile I'm not exactly short of books at home..........this is my living room 'waiting to be read' heap and some have been sat here for a Very long time. And on the shelves upstairs are many, many more.

Yesterday I took Youngest Granddaughter (YGD)to a Toddler group - long time since I went to one of those..............about 30 years! Then brought her  home for her tea.
Today I need to go shopping and then it looks like a weekend at home again with storm Dennis blowing it's way across the country.

It was lovely to see so many comments about the Golden Fleece knitting book - thank you to everyone, apologies for not commenting anywhere - bit busy with YGD and before that clearing up a bit of fallen tree!.......Picture tomorrow.

Back Tomorrow

Thursday 13 February 2020

A Book About Knitting.

As a person who can only knit dishcloths it might seem odd that I read and enjoyed a book about knitting.

 Esther Rutter was born on a Suffolk sheep farm and learned to spin, weave and knit as a child. In this book she travels the length and breadth of the UK - from Shetland to the Channel Islands unearthing the history of all thing knitted, the wool they are made from and the communities that earned their living with wool.

Esther spent a year researching this book and knitting many of the garments that are traditional in different parts of the country. It started with a gift of Shetland wool and while staying in Cumbria and searching online for a glove pattern to use the black and white wool she is reminded about a collection of gloves housed in the Wordsworth Museum and made in the C19 and C20. So Dentdale Gloves are the first things she knits.

Between knitting all the Ganseys, Guernseys, Jerseys, scarves, socks and a Monmouth cap she traces the history of knitting back to the vikings and through all the parts of the country where sheep and wool have been so important. Finishing her journey by knitting a lace shawl ready for her first-born.

Even though I didn't understand all the knitting terms, this was a fascinating book as it was so well written.

Back Tomorrow

Wednesday 12 February 2020

Fruit and Veg Bags

I'd already bought a pack of three of these re-usable vegetable and fruit bags from Asda (£1)and then had 3 more bigger ones from a pen-friend for Christmas.

I keep some in my bag and try to use them - not always possible as many supermarkets are still selling pre-packed in plastic bags.

I've passed a couple onto other people.

There isn't much I miss from the year in Ipswich except for the brilliant fruit and vegetable shop that was not far from home with fresh stuff in everyday and hardly anything pre-packed.

Guess what I did after writing this post a couple of weeks ago? ..........Instead of putting 2 of these veg bags back in my handbag after taking this photo, I put them all in the drawer, so when I went to Morrisons the next day..................I hadn't got them to use!!...........Duh!

Many thanks for lots of tea-towel/tea cloth comments yesterday and hello to a new follower - welcome.

Back Tomorrow

Tuesday 11 February 2020

The Unintentional Tea-Towel Collection................

................... consists of 26 Brand New tea-towels - and 7 or 8 in use for wiping-up plus two or three older ones which I use in the salad drawer and the milk bottle bit of the fridge.

I have NEVER bought a new tea-towel from a shop, yet there they are..................

Irish coffee, gardening and Welsh love spoon tea-towels

Christmas tea towels, one from Lake Como? and cats

 Derbyshire and the Tucktonia model village in Dorset  and an Australian tea towel....who went there?

I think some came from Mum's house because it was a tradition in our family years ago for people to bring back a tea-towel from holidays. A few are more recent gifts and  because we never had a dishwasher and 5 people in the family tea towels got a lot of use and 3 or 4 would be turned into cleaning rags each year so I used to pick up any new ones that I saw at boot-sales if they were going for 50p.

Now it's just me and although I still don't have a dishwasher I only wash the dishes once or twice a day and often leave them to dry so maybe 26 new tea-towels is a few too many?

Think I'll pass them on to the children - although they all have dishwashers and probably don't use many - maybe I'll just put them back in the cupboard and leave them for someone else to clear out!

 Back Tomorrow

Monday 10 February 2020

Potato Day Again

On Saturday I went to the 25th Annual East Anglian Potato Day - the longest running event of it's kind in the country! Organised by  Ipswich Organic Gardeners; Suffolk Organic Gardeners and Norfolk Organic Gardeners groups and held at Stonham Barns (the place not too far from home where I go for the local boot-sale.).

I got there earlier than last year so was very near the front of the queue, only a dozen people in front of me and 100 behind
As it was the 25th anniversary they had invited Bob Flowerdew, organic gardener extraordinaire, who's often on Gardeners Question Time on radio and used to appear on TV too, to open the event.
 Blimey he looks older - he used to always have a long plait down his back, but now just a top-knot and beard.
 Here's a blurry photo of him with microphone, encouraging everyone to grow more spuds. He says the secret for Norfolk and Suffolk potatoes is as much watering  as possible, which is all very well, but I have enough watering to do with the greenhouse stuff plus the beans, squash and courgettes.

I just bought a few Home Guard and Foremost and  more of Charlotte - my favourite. No point taking up my limited space with too many as I don't eat a lot of potatoes nowadays, but it would feel strange to grow none at all.

As well as about 80 varieties of potatoes there are other stalls too and I managed to nab another free jute bag from the Local Councils Recycling Stand- even though they said last year they wouldn't have them again.

I was tempted by tempted that I bought it...............a small pottery bowl from a lady called The Vegan Potter, mostly she does one-off unique pieces. This bowl has a lovely glaze - a beautiful colour. Not sure what to use it for though. Sure I'll think of something.

I also loved this bigger bowl below and took a (poor) photo of it especially for Joy. It's made from small squares of clay all overlapping slightly and shaped in a mould (a bowl lined with something - newspaper? can't remember what she said), It looks amazingly complicated.

This is a better photo of it from her web site below
No photo description available. 

So now I have my seed potatoes and my seed packets and called into a garden centre after Stonham  for my compost.............I'm ready for growing - just need the right weather.

Back Tomorrow

Saturday 8 February 2020

The First Week of February Was a Bit Different

Are Camellias usually in flower in Suffolk in the first week of February?
The flowers are slightly pinker than they look on the photo and never seem to last long before turning brown and falling off.
It's tucked in a corner between garage wall and fence but I was still surprised to see flowers. It's only my second spring with a Camellia and I can't remember when it flowered last year.

The swimming pool was open again after their 3 weeks shut due to the power surge. So it was good to get back in. My knee is still a bit painful doing breast stroke legs and I mentioned it to Clare the physio lady when I went for the follow-up. I'm signed off now but with it all being self referral and free I can go back anytime.

Willow was here one night and some days while Son and DiL were at hospital having Arthur. It's a joy to spend time with her as she's a happy and easy going little girl but Oh My! I'm left completely shattered afterwards.

How did Colin's Mum manage when she looked after Eldest daughter (aged 17 months) for several days when I produced son?..............6 days in hospital was the norm back then and Colin had to be at work .
Thinking about it..................she was only in her late 40's, she had Col's Dad and Brother in the house some of the time too and she was a natural born Nanna..... which I'm sure I'm not!
Oh how we all miss Colin.

This week I am grateful for
  • Safe arrival of a new grandson.
  • Precious time with youngest granddaughter
  • Back to swimming

Hope you all have a lovely weekend.
I think everyone knows about the windy weather due on  Sunday, so stay safe. I plan to actually get around to reading and commenting on blogs while staying safe indoors - unless the gales take the electric off again!

Back Monday

Friday 7 February 2020

St Mary's Church Swilland

First of all Many Thanks to everyone for the best wishes and congratulations  yesterday for little Arthur, he is now home safe and sound with his Mummy, Daddy and Willow. 4 grandchildren in under 4 years - what fun they will have at family gatherings as they get bigger!....Chaos!

On my way home from the visit to Burgh church a couple of weeks ago I called in at Swilland to see if the church was open because when I visited there last year it was locked up.

Yes it was open, and this is the reason for the church getting a mention in the 100 treasures book. A huge and impressive altar screen or reredos. Many churches would have had these before the reformation but this one dates from 1894 when the Victorians were doing much prettying up of old churches.

The niches are filled with Apostles and Saints around a central Crucifixion with six winged angels along the bottom row. Lot's of  gold and a colour called Marion blue - associated with the Virgin Mary (never heard of this colour before,looked it up = a tone of the colour Celeste or sky blue)

The oddest thing about this small church is the very strange Victorian belfry which sits on top of the C16 brick tower, looking like a little house with gabled roof and small copper covered spire

The doorway dates back to the 1100's

Apart from the huge altar screen the rest of the church is the usual small plain Suffolk church

The font is a bit different, being painted rather than carved, with a tall carved wooden cover.

One memorial is elaborate

Saint Felix and Saint Edmund in stained glass in one of the windows

Lots more about Anglo-Catholic traditions and the priests involved with this church is HERE On the Suffolk Churches website
Back Tomorrow