Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Email Explanation

 This is what I got from my solicitor yesterday, part of the email from the bungalow owner's solicitor

Dear Sue

 Extract of email which I have received from the sellers’ conveyancers:-

 Good morning

 It is very much down to the lenders solicitors giving final sign off – it is taking a ridiculously long time for them to do so, I cannot disagree with that, but I’m afraid we all have to wait for them to get the job done.

 My client is calling me every few days, so please reassure your client that the delay is not down to any reluctance to proceed on my clients part.


So I carry on twiddling my thumbs and waiting.




Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Another Thing Back to Nearly Normal

 Last week an email popped up to tell me about the first Rural and Domestic Bygones sale for this year. Brilliant -  a chance to get out and look round at last.

The online catalogue listed over 1,000 lots, including many rusty farm type things but some more interesting items so I went to the preview to have a look, taking my camera of course. It was such a treat to have a reason to be driving through the Suffolk countryside after so long.

There were 4 huge dolls houses, which were described at "electrified" which amused me. I thought I'd taken pictures of all four but for some reason the camera didn't. They were estimated at £200 - £300 each - so not childrens toys. Along with the dolls houses were everything you could possible need for fitting them out, all divided into separate lots and estimated at £30 - £50 for each lot. So think £1,000 easily!



Who on earth had a huge collection of weighing scales? From kitchen to butchers and from postal to baby weighing, every sort of scales were here. Who will buy them all. I can see one or two sets might be interesting but 100?


This would look magnificent in a big garden and there is a smaller one too

I loved this toy theatre in a display case

No keen on stuffed birds but they sell well in good condition - the roof-lights are the reflection

And finally two handsome carts

Nothing I would want to buy this time.

They've got two more of these sales later in the year to look forward.

Back Sometime


Monday, 19 April 2021

First Car Boot Sale

 I strolled across the Stonham Barns Leisure and Retail Centre site from my temporary caravan home to the car boot sale and despite going straight there after getting up and dressed it was already really busy.......and very cold. Like last year the cars were spread out with a one-way walking round system. 
There was tons of 'stuff' but  all I found were 3 pretty birthday cards for £1.
 Then I went back to the caravan for breakfast and as it was still only 9.15 decided to stroll back for another look round and by the time everywhere had been searched again the ice-cream van had arrived so I treated myself to the first of the year whippy 99. Felt a bit early in the day for an ice cream but it was very good.

Back Sometime

Saturday, 17 April 2021

Another Year Older...........

..................... but not necessarily wiser and thankfully not deeper in debt as one old song says. 

Thank you to everyone who wished me Happy Birthday yesterday. I was trying to keep it a secret!

As I share my birthday with my youngest granddaughter....she's 3........ I'm ancient.......yesterday morning we met up for cake and present opening.

By the time my next birthday comes round I will have gained another grandchild as Eldest Daughter in Surrey is due to produce a little brother or sister for 5 year old Jacob in September. Something else to look forward to. That will be five Grandchildren under 6 years old - what fun! I can imagine chaos when they are all between 6 and 12 and visit all at once.

With all those birthday and Christmas presents I'm glad I'm now old enough for my State Pension! According to the website everyone should get a letter but I didn't and with all the moving and address changes it didn't seem to worth chasing up beforehand so that will be on the job list if ever I get moved.

Talking of which, at one point during the week - Monday-  I thought it was actually going to happen by the end of next week. Then on Tuesday I got a copy of the email from the sellers solicitor which said it would be at least 14 working days from this week - so not counting weekends that goes right into May! (7 days for the Equity Release company to stamp forms ? and 7 more days for money draw-down?). So guess what, I've booked another 2 weeks in limbo after the next week  here in the caravan.....I'm going back to the bungalow where I was before - luckily it wasn't booked. (By the way, the sellers solicitors are going to be reported to someone(ombudsman/governing body?) for failing to respond properly to phone calls and messages).
Wish I'd have known how long it was going to take when I first thought about selling before the buying date was agreed - never dreamed it would be 9 weeks - with even that not being a definite.

Would you believe sometimes I feel I'm slowly losing the will to live!

But making an effort to look on the bright side.........................................

This week I have been grateful for

  • Somewhere to live until May 10th
  • 2 swimming sessions - so good to get back in the pool.
  • Lovely birthday presents and cards from the family
  • Some fine weather even though it's been a tad chilly
Back Sometime

Friday, 16 April 2021

Thank you...................

...........for so many comments yesterday and apologies for not replying.

Bit busy today so I'll be back tomorrow.


Thursday, 15 April 2021

Where I Am Now?

 As mentioned last week I'm now staying in a caravan on a Leisure and Retail Village Complex at Stonham Barns. The caravan is................just a caravan........very beige and plasticy. The double bed is squeezed into a Very Small bedroom which involves siddling in and out carefully to avoid stubbing toes on the frame but the heating is warm - thank goodness - as there have been some minus temperatures in the mornings and frost on the car windscreen.

 I'm just across the road from the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary and Nature Centre............. do you know what some owls do at night?..they hoot............a lot!

Also on site are 2 fishing lakes, surrounded by wooden holiday lodges, a campsite, a children's indoor play centre (not allowed to open yet), A Wedding Barn (where they hold the Potato Day each February) a golf complex with everything except an 18 hole course, a showground (where we used to hold the Suffolk Smallholders Show) The Teapot Pottery, several shop units including the village Post Office, a small theatre,  a garden centre, a hot tub show-room........brrrrr! and several other attractions including a hairdresser's where I shall get a much needed hair cut next week.

And all this above began way back in the very early 80s with a company who started to make and sell their own jams from fruit grown on the site........just a small farm shop then it has grown and grown. The orchards have long gone and all through the last 40 years the local people have moaned about how the place has grown and taken over so much land that was once farm land although everyone was glad when the Post Office moved there.

But the thing here that I like best of all is it's the site of the car-boot sale that I used to visit every Sunday from the cottage. Then I was 4 miles away, when I move to the bungalow it will be 4½ miles but when boot-sales start again  this Sunday  I shall be just a few minutes walk away....what a treat!.

Back Soon

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

1871 Explosion in Stowmarket

Spotted this plaque when I walked round the old cemetery in Stowmarket , it's a fairly new addition so I looked on line and found it was placed herein 2013....142 years after the event.

Look at the ages of some of those killed, presumably young factory workers.

Googling further.......this good report was on a site called "Burials and Beyond" . I'm sure they won't mind me copying it here.

Seemingly every town has a public plaque or memorial to an old industrial tragedy or huge loss of life, the likes of which would have been prevented today. Large-scale industrial accidents were commonplace in the 19thcentury. In an environment with few safety laws (for protecting the workers, not the product), the use of child labour and little understanding of long-term health effects, being working-class was a deadly profession in itself.

In 1898, in the cotton textile industry alone, there were a recorded 7 explosions, 279 falls, 530 burns or injuries from hand tools and over 2,300 non-specified injuries from machines.[1]

In cotton factories, a humid atmosphere was necessary to make the fibres pliable enough to twist into thread, but also resulted in clouds of dust and airborne particles that seriously affected the lungs of workers, but also proved to be dangerously flammable. In the newly-industrialised cotton factories, the – primarily female – workforce often lost fingers, broke bones and crushed limbs. Due to low-hanging belts of machinery, many women had their hair pulled into the mechanisms, scalping them instantly. 

Image courtesy of the Stowmarket Local History Group

Guncotton is a mild explosive, used in a variety of ways, from usage in rockets to leather finishing, ink bases and early plastics. To create guncotton, clean cotton is broken down and mixed with nitric and sulfuric acid. Understandably, Victorian guncotton factories were accidents waiting to happen.

The Stowmarket Guncotton Explosion occurred on a Friday afternoon, on 11thAugust 1871. The explosion killed 28 and injured a further 70. Many of the victims were young people and nine of the dead were children:

‘12-year-olds Alfred Bloom, Mary Mount, Alice Mutimer and Susan Wilding; 13-year-olds Amy Hare and John Girling; 14-year-olds Francis Mayhew and William Parker and 15-year-old James Thomas.’[2]

At the time, the death toll was played down and the true cause (whether accidental or intentional) of the explosion, has never been established. The victims of the explosion and their families never received the closure or acknowledgement they deserved. It took until 2013, 142 years later, for 23 of the deceased to be commemorated on a cemetery plaque. The memorial only records the 23 people buried within Stowmarket Old Cemetery, not the 5 other fatalities who were buried in their respective parishes. While we can be appreciative of the fundraising and efforts of Stowmarket History Group, to (presumably, accidentally) exclude others on the basis of the location of their remains seems a great shame and does a disservice to the suffering of so many in the industrial workhouse. A problem facing such memorials could be seen to apply to the Stowmarket tragedy – both Director Edward Henry Prentice (33) and William Ridley Prentice (23) were killed in the blast. Although no culpability was officially found in the Prentice family, their status in relation to the workers, the working conditions they provided and their family’s lack of recompense to the survivors and victims’ families presents a moral quandary; especially in terms of public memorialisation.

The ‘Stowmarket Guncotton Explosion’ was in fact two large explosions, that ripped through the Prentice’s Guncotton Factory in Stowmarket, Suffolk. The explosions were so incredibly loud that the sound rattled the windows of houses thirty miles away. The nearby railway line was completely ripped from the ground and over 188 cases of deafness were reported.

The first explosion was recorded at 2.05pm when three magazines containing 14 tonnes of guncotton exploded, killing twelve people. Subverting the ‘heartless factory owner’ trope, Edward and William rushed to rescue workers who were trapped in burning buildings but were subsequently killed in the second explosion.

The cause of the explosions remains a point of contention. They may have been sulphuric acid willingly added to the product, the combustion of several tonnes of guncotton due to the summer heat or simply a tragic result of poor health and safety. Whether it was a wilful or accidental act was unclear at the time and suspicions were rife. The British Government issued a reward for £100 for any information, yet no leads came forwards and the reward is still unclaimed.

Suffolk chief constable Heigham issued a notice that:

“The reward (of £100) will be paid by Her Majesty’s Government to any person who shall give such information as shall lead to the Discovery and Conviction of the Perpetrator or Perpetrators of this Outrage.

“A FREE PARDON will be granted to any Accomplice, not being the actual Offender, who shall give such information as shall lead to a like result.”[3] 

Guncotton was intended as a safer and more efficiently-produced alternative to gunpowder, yet its production methods proved to be far more dangerous than its competitors. In October 1914, another Stowmarket building (used for processing raw cotton) caught fire and illuminated the town, yet thankfully there were no fatalities. The business of guncotton proved lucrative well into the 20thcentury, produced in Stowmarket alone well into 1942. Prentice’s Guncotton Factory rebranded twice before landing on New Explosives Ltd and were successful until the introduction of foreign imports forced them to merge with other companies.

The inquest for the 1871 explosions lasted almost a month, with the jury verdict reading that.

“We find the explosion was produced by some person or persons unknown adding sulphuric acid to the gun cotton subsequent to its passing all tests required by Government.”

Although I knew about the tragedy, I didn't know about the memorial so it was good to discover it and find out more.

Also interesting to see that the surnames on the plaque are all names that are still common in the area now.

 Back Soon


Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Searching in the Cemetery

 Filled an hour last week looking around the cemeteries in Stowmarket.  I decided go and have another search for my Grandad and Grandma's grave (on Mum's side of family) . My Grandad died in around 1967 and Grandma in 1988 and I know I went to Grandmas burial. In 2017 Col and I went there when we first moved back to Mid Suffolk to look for the grave but despite walking up and down then and again last week I still couldn't find it but I do now have the phone number of someone from the council who has records of where people are buried so will try again sometime.

I had no trouble finding this little grave of the Uncle  I never knew as he  died in 1949 at aged just 4, six years before I was born. His name was also Colin and he had Leukemia, no treatments for that in those days. When I was little we often walked here from my Grandmas house to put flowers on the grave.

And at the same time we would put flowers on the grave of the Dad I never knew, killed in a motorcycle accident months before I was born.

Just a little way from my Dad's grave is the grave of his mother, my Gran who died in 1956 when I was only a few months old. So it really is a cemetery with many family graves.

The old cemetery  is across the road from the part where my relatives are buried but we used to take a short cut through it on the way to the newer bit. This older part was opened in 1855 but abandoned and closed in 1901 and I'd not been for 60 years at a guess. It's now maintained by the town council as a urban wildlife area. There was no one about when I looked round except several robins and blackbirds

 I knew there was one old chapel in the grounds but surprised to find there are two.... wonder why?

This plaque is on one of the chapels.
Virtually identical chapels
The biggest, most elaborate grave, now almost hidden under ivy. It's for members of the Prentice family, who get another mention in tomorrows post.

More Tomorrow


Monday, 12 April 2021

Yet More Library Books..........

..................I really need to get reading!

I'm blaming my new obsession with Inspector Montalabano  and then his younger version. There's no way I can read a book and subtitles on the TV too.

These reservations were ready at Debenham library for me to pick up on Saturday.

Mike Hollow is an author I discovered at the end of last year when I read The Blitz Detective, the first in a series that were originally published in 2015/6 but then reprinted with new jackets in 2020. The two above are numbers 3 and 4 in the series as oddly the library don't have the 2nd. I don't think it will matter as they are individual stories. From Fantastic Fiction I found that he has two more being published this year.

The book by Julie Wassmer is the 7th in the Whitstable Pearl series set in that town on the north Kent coast. Pearl splits her time between her sea-food restaurant and being a private investigator.

At the bottom of the pile is another book about sustainability with ideas for ditching plastic etc, etc. I found I'd borrowed it before. It's quite basic, it will go straight back.

Back Tomorrow 

Saturday, 10 April 2021

Another Saturday in Limbo.........................

 ...................but two swimming sessions have been booked for next week.

I must have had a premonition that I wouldn't be settled in the bungalow by the time swimming pools re-opened because luckily I chucked my swimming cossie in the bag to bring with me. 
The same protocols will be in place as when the pool was last open - which means going in swimming costume and undressing top layers by pool (thankfully we are allowed in the changing rooms to dry and dress!!), lane swimming round and round and 50 minute  sessions - although I'll probably only manage about 20 minutes for the first time back.

As there was still no news about exchange and completion by yesterday, I booked a second week in the caravan. At least charity shops will have re-opened so I can have some trips out to nearby towns for a bit of treasure hunting to fill some waiting time. I walked by two charity shops in Stowmarket last week. In the RSPCA shop there were staff in getting ready to open on Monday. In the Oxfam shop next door they still have all their Christmas decorations up and in the window. Surprising that they hadn't organised someone to go and take them down to prepare for re-opening at sometime over the last 3 months I thought to myself.

Sad to hear about the death of Prince Phillip yesterday, but 99 is a good age, more than a lot of other people are lucky to get! 

It's the Grand National on TV today, each year it brings back a tiny memory of watching it once with my Grandad (Dad's side of family) and him drawing pictures of horses for me. I don't know what else he could draw but he was very good at houses and horses. We weren't a family who had close relationships with Grandparents which is probably why I remember this. Hope no horses or jockeys are injured or worse during the race, with a field of 40 horses and all those jumps it's always a fear.

 This week I am grateful for
  • Swimming sessions booked
  • Somewhere to live until the 26th April - just in case
  • Still plenty of books to read 
Have a good weekend, I'll be back sometime next week.

Friday, 9 April 2021


Anyone who's lived in Suffolk for many years will recognise those initials straight away. Anyone who's lived in Norfolk for a long time will boo and hiss!

There has always been a rivalry between the Tractor Boys and the Canaries or Ipswich Town Football Club and Norwich City probably because they are the only professional football teams in each County. People who live in Suffolk  "have" to support Ipswich even if they've never been to a match in their lives - like Col's Grandad who used to listen avidly to the radio for every match. Admittedly there are a few people who live in North Suffolk who blatantly cross the border and travel to Norwich matches at Carrow Road. Maybe there are people in Norfolk who come down to Portman Road although probably not at the moment as Norwich are about to be promoted from the Championship  back to the Premiership (Top tier of English football) while Ipswich are struggling around the middle of League 1 (3rd tier) and nearly everyone has forgotten that once they won the FA Cup, the E.U.F.A Cup and were among the best in the country. 

For the last 14 years Ipswich  Town have been owned by a bloke who wouldn't even give an interview for TV or the press and they've struggled with umpteen managers and useless players. But they've now been bought by some Americans who own some Soccer clubs in the US.

There is great excitement in Suffolk! Hope they have plenty of money to buy some players who can actually score some goals.

Ipswich Town F.C. Logo

Why am I bothered? Well once upon a time (Before Colin) I used to go to all the home matches and cheer and shout with 1000's of others and about 10 years before that I had a year or two of cutting all the match reports out of the paper to make a scrapbook after meeting the players one summer when they did a tour of villages.

 And anyway I'm born and bred here so obliged to be a supporter!

Back Soon


Wednesday, 7 April 2021

Still Waiting

 I'm still waiting for a moving date. My next holiday let for the week beginning 12th is a caravan on a small Holiday and Leisure site in Mid Suffolk where I go for car boot sales. 

It was a toss up between there and Felixstowe but I decided it would be better to stay close to everything rather than 25+ miles away, although being by the sea is more appealing.

Neither my solicitor or Mr and Mrs B (current owners of the bungalow) know what the hold-up is. I'm just hoping the chain hasn't been broken somewhere.

If things are still not sorted by the 19th then I shall be throwing myself off a cliff in despair!..........which will be difficult as we don't have many high cliffs in Suffolk. You have to laugh.

Back sometime


Monday, 5 April 2021

My First Blog Post was 8 Years Ago

Yesterday was  a Blogging Anniversary and this is a lazy way to fill a post!

 4 April 2013

New blog on blogspot 

  Well, here I am on blogspot trying to write a new blog about a frugal and simple life in Suffolk and getting very annoyed when I can't work out how to do things right. 

 I obviously got the hang of it because a year later......2014..... I was writing about the smallholding and the things I wanted to look out for at car-boot sales   HERE

Then on the 4th of April 2015, my post was about seedlings, Easter baking and opening the campsite HERE

I didn't do a post on the 4/4/16 but on the 6th HERE I wrote about being home alone in the small bungalow and going with youngest for her scan......the first sight of Florence!

  In 2017 we were at the cottage and the post was all about BOXES OF BOOKS. 25 boxes of books stacked in the corner of the living room for several months while I dithered over spending hard-earned savings on bookshelves.

This is my post from 4th April 2018

  Because yesterday we had a rare rain, a bit of sun and not too much wind so for 15 minutes I opened the doors wide to let the fresh air blow through. It felt lovely.

Then Col came in from outside and said "why are you letting all the heat out?" and shut them!

On the 4th April 2019 my post was one of the Suffolk Church visits HERE

 It was Strange Times Week 3 for my 2020 Post  See it Here

 That's it for looking back onto my 9th year of blogging.

I'll be back when I have some news - not this week for sure.

(Editing in to say........ I have no idea why this post looks strange. It didn't in drafts)




Saturday, 3 April 2021

Saturday 3rd + Book Giveaway Winner

 Running out of days to stay at the holiday let and still no definite news of a completion on my purchase. Ho Hum.

It was a wasted journey to The Range on Thursday, hardly any curtains at all and what they did have were nearly all eye-let ones, made  for going on a curtain pole. Isn't it funny how there are  fashions in the way curtains are hung up. I remember something called Tab-Top...........not that I had any, but they don't exist at all now. I'll either have to order something online, wait until other shops open or maybe end up with several nights with no curtains at my bedroom windows, depending if I get in before or after April 12th.
I didn't bother to look around the whole shop so ended up being too early for a KFC.
The names that went in the 'hat' for the Richard Osman book were
Mrs G
Bovey Belle
Happy Hooker
Kathleen W
Julie King
Hazel C 
Apologies to Barbara Woods who asked to go in the draw but lives in the US and I had said UK only.

I wrote the names on slips of paper, shut my eyes and out came...............potty!

I've switched comments to hidden so you can send your address
This week I'm grateful for
  • One hot day to enjoy the sunshine
  • Puzzle pages from the local paper to keep my brain busy
  • Time with grandchildren

Have a good time over the rest of the  Easter Weekend

I'll be back on Monday if there is something to write about


Friday, 2 April 2021

Turning Into a Book Blog?

With not a lot to do here this blog is threatening to turn into a book blog. Books and TV are my time fillers at the moment and it's very frustrating!

But it is what it is and won't be forever.

 Anyway back to Debenham library last Saturday to pick up some more requested books.

I shall take the cookery book back fairly quickly -  because each recipe has about 15 ingredients and feeds 4+!

The other 3 all look good - crime fiction of course!

From those picked up the week before - pictured below. 'Solo' was another cookery book that's gone back already. But my favourite read out of the rest was V2 by Robert Harris.
The story covers just five days at the end of November 1944 and as Harris says " the framework is factual" although the main characters are fictional.

The book begins on the Dutch coast, in an area still held by the Germans. It's from this spot in the forest that they have been firing the lethal V2 rockets to destroy London. The story is mainly about Rudi Graf a young German scientist  whose interests in rockets for space travel means he is soon involved in the building, testing and firing of the V2 rockets.
In London an officer in the WAAF - Kay Caton-Walsh - finds herself surviving one of the rocket attacks while in the home of her lover. Almost immediately she joins a small team of WAAFs sent out to Belgium to help work out from where the V2 rockets are being fired.
The last part of the jacket blurb says "But for every action on one side there is an equal and opposite reaction on the other. As the death toll soars, the separate stories of Graf and Kay ricochet off one another until,in a final explosion of violence, their destinies are forced together"
Both find they have been lied too by those in charge.
There are some awful facts in the acknowledgements ....20,000 slave labourers died building the V2 rockets and manufacturing sites. While about 2,700 people died in London, 1,700 in Antwerp and around 600,000 homes were destroyed or damaged.
The V-weapons programme has been described as 'by a distance the greatest waste of resources by any combatant country' 
Such a good writer - this is the third of his books I've read. 

Back Tomorrow

Thursday, 1 April 2021

April Fools Day

The first of April, some might say,
Is set apart for All Fool's Day,
But why people call it so'
Nor I nor they themselves do know
From Poor Richard's Almanack (1760)

One book I have says that perhaps 1st April became April Fool's Day because it was the last day of the festivities when the New Year began on 25th March or maybe it was a protest from moving the New Year.
(and some might say I was a fool even thinking about moving during a pandemic - they might be right!)
The Romans called this month Aprilis from the verb aperire (to open). The Anglo-Saxons named this month after a goddess - Eosturmonath, the month of Eostre, goddess of the dawn.
One of the April pages from The Diary of an Edwardian Lady

I've got the measurements for the two front bedroom windows which have curtain rails at the bungalow (My old ones had the rings in for poles and one set wasn't deep enough anyway so I left poles and curtains behind) so I'm going on an adventure to The Range today to see what I can find - They've been open compared to Dunelm who've had to stay closed.
 While I'm out might as well go in the nearby Asda and get some bits for Easter - not that there is much planned but I should get to see the 3 Suffolk grandchildren at sometime........ not buying chocolate eggs though. They always get loads.
Perhaps then a KFC (which will send a shiver of horror through some people!) but at one a year I'm sure I'll survive.
(Still time to leave a comment for the Richard Osman Book giveaway. I'll sort it over the weekend)

Back Tomorrow


Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Last Day of the Month

 The last day of the month has always been my round up of frugal things, ways of saving money on the mundane and boring  to be able to spend on things more exciting and I'll get back to that eventually.
In the meantime March spending was mostly related to moving.......not cheap..... and the car full service and MOT test - it passed with no problems. 
There were two electric bills, the regular quarterly and the final meter reading and I had one pair of my living-room curtains cleaned. The initial plan was to get all three pairs cleaned until I found out how much it was going to cost - almost cheaper to buy new curtains. When the others are unpacked they'll get washed very gently on a cool wash without spin dry.
I spent out on a cycle helmet and some fleece ear warmer  bands to wear under it as it's impossible to wear a hat under the helmet and when my ears get cold in windy weather I always end up with a headache.
Usual expenses of direct debits for phones - Home phone and broadband D/D will start again £5 cheaper when I move. I've only been buying food to eat straight away and eating the frozen stuff I brought with me so not much spent there.
Then I bought a book - don't know what came over me as I never buy cookery books - maybe it was all due to the frustration about the hold up with the bungalow purchase. It kept coming up on my recommended list is my only excuse! I'll let you know in due course if it was worth the purchase

How lovely the sun was yesterday and luckily I discovered a pair of shorts tucked away with the clothes I'd brought so was able to enjoy the mini March heatwave (and forecast today too). There is one of those tables with the rattan chairs tucked underneath on the patio here which was handy.  What a shame the Easter weekend is forecast cold again.
Don't forget to leave a comment on yesterdays post if you would like to go in the hat for a chance to get sent the Richard Osman book The Thursday Murder Club.

Back Tomorrow

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

A Good Read and a Giveaway

Thank you to everyone for comments about the remaining Debenham photos. Interesting to hear about another area called The Butts in Brentford.


 It's a strange but true happening that sometimes I read a book about a certain subject and then the same subject pops up in another book only a little while later.

I wrote about Richard Osman's book, The Thursday Murder Club just over a week ago HERE  It's about a group of friends in a Retirement Village who set out to solve old murders. 

Next up was The Postscript Murders by Elly Griffiths.

Thumbnail for The postscript murders 

It's the second of a series featuring DS Harbinder Kaur who sees nothing to concern her when an elderly lady dies in a block of retirement flats in Shoreham-on-Sea. But Peggy's carer Natalka tells Harbider that Peggy was sure someone had been following her and how is it that Peggy has business cards that refer to her as a 'Murder Consultant' and so many crime novels that thank her in the acknowledgements? Soon Harbinder, Natalka and two more of Peggy's friends are involved with several of the crime writers and end up travelling to Scotland for a Crime Book Festival.

Now here's a paragraph from the end of the book 
" Actually" says Harbinder, "Pippa Sinclair Lewis told me that Seventh Seal are publishing Lance Foster's posthumous novel. It's called 'The Bow Window Set' and it's about a group of old ladies in a care home who solve crimes"
There you go - coincidence or what!

I've now got a cardboard posting  folder so I can send off the copy of Richard Osman's  "The Thursday Murder Club". I promised to pass it on to someone else as it was so kindly donated to me by a blog reader.

Leave a comment if you would like it. I'll do a draw and then sort out address later. It would be nice if whoever gets it could also pass it on. 
(Just editing to say UK only please as anywhere else is just very expensive nowadays - sorry)

Back Tomorrow

Monday, 29 March 2021

More of Debenham

Lots of lovely comments after my first post of Debenham photos - Thank you. 

So here are a few more photos of this old picturesque village

 Another very old property with an interesting frontage. It always looks empty, not sure if anyone lives there. Going by the size of the windows it was probably once a shop


Who knew there was a website called WET ROADS  which has details of all the fords in the country.

This ford in Debenham is part of the Deben

The River Deben is a river in Suffolk rising to the west of Debenham. The river passes through Woodbridge, turning into a tidal estuary before entering the North Sea at Felixstowe Ferry 34 miles from it's sourceBoth the river-name and the name of the village of Debenham are of uncertain origin and relationship, but one theory (of several on offer) is that the river's name was originally Dēope meaning 'the deep one'.The river-name, however, is not recorded in the form Deben before 1735, when it appears thus in Kirby's Suffolk Traveller. The river, though still little more than a stream, is forded twice in the village, with one ford claimed to be among the longest in England

A few weeks ago, after all the heavy rain we had, the water here was a couple of feet deep. 


And from the other end showing the ford is nearly 100+ yards long when the water is high.



No surprise on the name of the road here

The Angel pub was still open a few years ago but now closed

Before Covid there were signs on the front wanting support for it to become a community owned pub

Does this road name below date from 100's of years ago, when The Butts was the area on the edge of a village or town where archery was practiced? Archery practice was compulsory for village men back in around the 15C. They could be called up anytime to go to war.

The Derrybrook is one of the small streams that joins to make the Deben


I think this large building was turned into a house a few years ago.

I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't even know this area of woodland was here. It's further along the lane where the ford is, somewhere you wouldn't know about without actually going along the road. Wish I'd known about it for my Tree Alphabet photos. It looks very well used by village dog walkers
And finally a view up the village street, catching it for a moment without it jammed with traffic trying to get passed all the parked cars.

Back Tomorrow

Saturday, 27 March 2021

Saturday 27th

It's the last Saturday in March and completion on the bungalow  purchase isn't going to happen next week after all. My solicitor has been offered a "tentative" date of 7th April. This is pushing things toward the last day I can be here on the 12th - 😟. I've contacted the removal company with this "tentative" date and they only have the 8th available  until the following week...... yikes......It's been "tentatively" booked. The hold up now is caused by the equity release company's (who are lenders to the bungalow owners) solicitors having to look through all the legal searches of the place they are buying in Kent.

So what have I been doing to fill yet another week pretending to be on holiday? 
Brother in Law brought my bike round for me once the weather was fine, hadn't cycled for 3 weeks so did the smallest loop for practice which is about 2½ miles. Then a bigger loop of 4½ miles which involved some up-hill bits and walks, just as I got about halfway it started to rain - which wasn't in the weather forecast - soaked me through! Glad the holiday let has effective heating and radiators to dry things. I've bought a cycle helmet as the roads are busier around here......been cycling for 55 years and have never bothered before ...but age is creeping up! I've only ever fell off a few times as far as I can remember. Once braking on a downhill black ice morning - nasty, once when out with family cycling and one of them touched my back wheel and once - unexplained - while just stopping and getting off!
On Thursday, seeings as there is loads of time to kill, I did a wander round Lidl in Stowmarket - I'd not been there for ages as it's not my favourite shop, before doing the same around the usual Asda - filled most of the morning!  
It's quite good to be able to walk to  a small shop from the holiday let although their fruit and veg is abysmal and their other things expensive - but I've been treating myself to a copy of the Radio Times each week. There's quite a lot of reading in it as well as all the TV schedules. Once I'm settled it will be a plan to take out a subscription to get it cheaper. That makes 3 treats to enjoy in my new smaller and cheaper home.............A regular bunch of flowers, a Radio Times and book purchasing without guilt! I'll probably share some of the house sale profits with the children too! 
Another benefit of walking in a village is spotting things out for sale at peoples gates - like this rhubarb at 50p a bundle.
 It was only after getting back with it I realised I don't have custard powder to make a Rhubarb fool or an oven dish and flour etc to make a crumble (In boxes somewhere in store!) I'll see what an egg custard is like without cornflour or vanilla!

There's a Silver Birch tree here, just over back fence by the road. I've been watching it slowly coming into leaf and there's often a couple of Blue Tits or a Robin sitting in it. I'm still thinking about some Silver Birch out the front of the bungalow even though my cousin said "don't do it!" due to the mess they make with their pollen and catkins later in the year.........Lovely bark set against the grey sky yesterday morning.

This week I've been grateful for
  • Getting out on my bike
  • Seeing the two nearest grandchildren
  • Being warm and comfortable while waiting for my new home
Have a good weekend, I'll be back Monday

Friday, 26 March 2021


Last week after picking up my library books I walked up and down the village street to take some photos of several of the old houses in Debenham. I've lived 4 miles from Debenham for the last 3 years but haven't mentioned it much on the blog so some photos before I move a wee bit further away (only a couple of miles further but on the other side of the main A road).

 Debenham calls itself  "a rural idyll in the heart of Mid Suffolk" . It's a large village now - population around 2,400 and had 69 households back in1086 which was large for then too.

It's on a B road and busy with traffic (not so idyllic when you are trying to drive through and everywhere is jammed up with parked cars)  but in the past still a busy place as it's on the old road that goes from Ipswich to Diss, several of the pubs would have been coaching Inns. 

I've not included photos of the church as that can be seen here when I visited HERE    back in July 2018 (and looking back to find Debenham Church I realised how much I'm looking forward to visiting some of the other 50 Suffolk Churches that were featured in Treasures In Suffolk Churches book , my last church visit was just before lock-down in March 2020)

This is in the side window of the Pharmacy and chemist shop. The sign looks very old but the shop is still up and running.


So many half timbered houses in this large village


This house is fascinating. Difficult to get a good photo as the road junction is busy. It has herringbone brickwork between the timber frame and is 3 stories as well as an area underneath.

An interesting passageway passing underneath another timber frame house


The Woolpack is now the only pub in the village, there were two open just a couple of years ago and three in the not very distant past. The pub called The Cherry Tree is now occupied by the vets.

The Grade II Listed, late 14C house below was for sale for £400,000 , The description says "The property is situated in the historic part of the village and is of timber frame with rendered elevations and exposed studding to the front. This Wealden house has a later addition with an early-mid C16 wing to the rear, and is located in a prominent position overlooking the medieval Cross Green and former village pump."

And this is the former village pump mentioned above

Below is the large United Reformed Church in the centre of the village Another Grade II Listed building

 I've got some more photos to share on Monday.

Back Tomorrow

Thursday, 25 March 2021

25th Lady Day

Last year on the 25th my blog post featured some photos of the flowers on the meadow to cheer us up after just starting the Strange Times of lockdown - never thinking that a year later we would still be  stuck at home and I'd have sold the house! It is a relief to know I've not got to take care of so much garden this year but worrying to note that I've not labelled any posts "Strange Times" since 20th February - no longer strange just a resigned sort of normal now.

And once again it's Lady Day, the Christian festival remembering the Annunciation of Mary and the Immaculate Conception and my sister is another year older again!

 Lady Day was the day when servants and farm workers made an agreement with their employers that they wouldn't change their jobs in the next year and until the mid 18C it was the first day of the year for official purposes.

According to Chambers Book of Days it was once thought to be unlucky for Easter Day to fall on 25th March

                     "When Our Lord falls in Our Lady's lap, then let England beware a rap"

The book then goes on to say that over history this has been proved to be false (bit like most of the weather sayings!)

Two paintings of The Annunciation from my book of Saints Days. The top is by Roger A d'Hulst and the bottom one by Leonardo da Vinci.

Back Tomorrow

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Even More Answers to Fill Another Blog Post

Susan asked ........................ I'm coming in late with a question but I wondered what you thought of "The Dig" Netflix film. I was nervous about how the Suffolk dialect would be presented. I thought Ralph Fiennes managed well.

ANSWER - Don't have Netflix so haven't seen it although I didn't rate the book at all. RF had tuition from a real Suffolk speaker for this film. I've been to Sutton Hoo a few times as we lived not far away.

Betty asked ............which room in any/all of your homes (past or future) will be the most important to you and make you feel the most that it is 'home'.

ANSWER - Once I get my things into the kitchen and living room then I soon feel at home everywhere I've lived

 Jeannie and Pauline asked.........If one was coming to visit Suffolk, what would be some of the places or things we'd be sure to see? 

ANSWER - Bury St Edmunds for the Cathedral and remains of the Abbey. The large church at Blythburgh- one of the favourites I've visited so far along with the tiny church at Thornham Parva. Framlingham Castle. RSPB reserve at Minsmere. Thorpeness for the quirky houses and the mere. Christchurch Mansion and park in Ipswich........ that's just for a start!

FB asked.......I have some questions, hope it’s OK to ask. 1. What are you most looking forward to in your new home?  2. Do you have any plans for changes/alterations to the new place? 3. Will you have time to grow some fruit and veg for the new season?


1. Just getting in and getting unpacked to start with, I seem to have been twiddling my thumbs for weeks.

2.Probably yes - There are some patio doors that would be better as a window. And perhaps a door put in somewhere else. Might have a new kitchen too at some time 

3.The first thing I want to do is to get a greenhouse, then find someone to make me some vegetable beds, so not sure about this year. But anyway I need to work out the best places for the veg.beds.

EM Griffith asked .........Will I have a cutting garden?  

Quick Answer- No..........No spare room........... but I've decided to treat myself to a bunch of flowers much more often.

Back Tomorrow if I can think of something to write now all the questions are answered


Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Library Book Photo

 This was a nice surprise. When I transferred my book pick up point to Debenham library I wasn't expecting so many to arrive all at once.

From the top
Solo - a cooking-for-one book.....but a bit fancy and faffy for me and it includes how to roast a chicken - which didn't really seem like something that ought to feature in a solo cooking book.
Elly Griffiths - The Postscript Murders. This is the second of a new series and I can't remember a thing about the first so will need to look up the blurb to remind myself.
William Shaw - Salt Lane. A new to me author, mentioned on someones blog I think. I've had a quick flip through and it looks pretty violent - not sure I'll get into it.
Alexander McCall Smith - How to Raise an Elephant. A quick read - I've finished it already. This is the 21st in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series set in sunny Botswana. A lovely gentle read - no violent crime and in this one no crime at all.
Robert Harris- V2. I've read a few of his books - always a meaty read.
Cora Harrison - Death of a Prominent Citizen. The 7th in a series set in Ireland in the 1920's during the first troubles.

These should see me through a week or two before moving and after I got home there were emails for two more that must have been in the bottom of the crate the library lady was unpacking.
 Speaking of moving ......the last of the legal searches for the place that the people in 'my' bungalow are buying in Kent was due to be with their solicitor last Friday. So as long as there aren't too many queries and questions and with fingers tightly crossed exchange and completion should happen during the last week of March. AND thank goodness I've been able to pay for the week after Easter here so I can stay a bit longer in case the removal company are too busy to move me on the day I get the key. All extra expense but better than being homeless and it should make moving in less stressful.
Back Tomorrow