Friday, 23 July 2021

The Olympics

 A week after the end of Le Tour we now have the return of the Summer of Sport 2021 for those of us who enjoy watching sport

Today we can see  the opening ceremony which usually goes on far too long but the sport started Wednesday with ladies football and the GB team won their first match.
 The time difference might make watching some events difficult because I'm not that keen to stay up late or get up extra early but BBC have gone Olympics crazy and somehow have something on all day and the  Radio Times (one of my down-sizing treats that I'm loving) has helpfully provided a special edition with all the times of all the sports right through the whole 16 days.

Thinking about why I couldn't remember much about the 2016 Olympics I searched the old blog and of course it was while we were in the Very Small Ipswich Bungalow and Colin was in and out of Ipswich hospital when all the early parts of the treatment for the Lymphoma caused  so many problems. 4 years earlier the  Olympics of 2012 and we were still at the smallholding . It was the first year that Col went from full-time work to part time and working for ourselves with growing and selling more. We cycled to Saxmundham to see the Olympic Torch going through but were working so hard through the summer that I can't remember much about what we watched.

This year I can enjoy watching all the different sports that are not usually seen on TV as well as favourite things like the tennis, cycling and athletics.

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Thursday, 22 July 2021

After 3 Days of "Freedom"..........................

..................... what exciting things have I done?

Well I went shopping without a mask, other than that ........nothing. Surprisingly I wasn't in a queue for a Nightclub to open at Midnight and also haven't waited to be served at a pub bar either. 
And I've not been "pinged" as I didn't fall for that temptation to add the app to my phone! Apps? what are they?
Unlike those people waiting for clarification for their foreign holiday booking  or for things to "open up" I'm no longer waiting for anything. I've come to the conclusion that everything I want to do is already available to me.
What else do I need except my family, a home, a garden, access to all the books I want, lots of hobbies and a TV to keep me company. Life is Very Good.

So................. the only things I'm waiting for are the 15 books I have on order from the library .
Here's what I'm waiting for...............a  Good List to fill a blog post..................!
The Eastermost Sky by Juliet Blaxland
The Widow of Bath by Margot Bennett
Till Death us do Part by John Dickson Carr
Murder by the Book - Edited by Martin Edwards
A State of Fear  by Laura Dodsworth
These Names Make Clues by E C R Lorac
Loved Clothes Last by Orsola De Castro
Clutch of Constables by Ngaio Marsh
The Comfort book by Matt Haig
The Heron's Cry by Ann Cleves
The Joy and Light Bus Company by Alexander McCall Smith
Woodston - Biography of a Farm by John Lewis Stempel
Transient Desires by Donna Leon
The Stone Chamber by Kate Ellis
Easy Vegan by Brett Cobley 

and that's not including the 9 books that will be on the van for me when it comes next week. Yes, life really is VERY good  especially with the warmth and sunshine.

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Wednesday, 21 July 2021

The House Clearance People Are Back

 Needham Market boot sale at the weekend was much bigger than previous Saturdays but still not as busy as pre-covid days. There were several large vans there full of all the miscellaneous bits and bobs from houses they've cleared. Furniture and bigger household items etc probably go off to auction or sold elsewhere so what they bring to boot-sales is stuff just hauled out of cupboards and piled into boxes.
If my back and knees didn't object to rummaging through boxes on the ground then I'd probably look for longer so all I just picked up the two part-used boxes of  baking paper for 20p.
From a different seller the childrens doodle pad was 50p which is pretty good considering the label on the back saying it was bought from Heffers big bookshop in Cambridge for £5.99. It will be something  for Eldest Grandson to do when they visit next month. The only other things bought were the plants and pot on yesterdays post, a bunch of big  beetroot and a punnet of local strawberries...........

and I was still home in time for breakfast!
When I searched for a picture to see what plants I'd displayed on the old shabby chic ladder at the smallholding and the cottage I couldn't find one. But yesterday looked again and found this

That was the sort of thing I'd planned for the plant stand............... but I'm liking my new idea better.
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Tuesday, 20 July 2021

I Seem to Have Decided........................

.............................what I'm going to display on the plant stand...........without really thinking about it.

 Because at Saturday's boot sale I bought these 3 small plants for £5, Thrift, a Succulent and a trailing thing that I've forgotten the name of

 and found this old pot and saucer for £1

So it's going to become a sort-of rockery/cacti/succulent display stand.  There are plenty of stones from the veg beds to put in the bottom of the pots and lots of small shingle from the front drive to top them so hopefully all good for drainage.

Just one more pot and one more plant needed. Completely different plants to my first idea but that doesn't matter.


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Monday, 19 July 2021

The Village Churchyard

 Not far from my home is a gate into the lower, newer part of the churchyard. I walked round with my camera (not yesterday, which was too HOT to go wandering anywhere!) Mostly it's overgrown with long grass.

The most recent burials


These two below mark the graves of two of my distant relatives from long ago. One, the same name as my grandad died in the year my Grandad was born  so two or three generations earlier?


A monument for a family called Hendry with names from 1922 right up to the 2000's


These 5 below are all from one family, with daughters dying in their teens and twenties. They  have a familiar surname but as far as we know not relations, as Col's Dad's family came from Yorkshire.


Below is a monument remembering the members of the 34th American Airmen stationed on the airfield not far away during the latter years of the WWII. This monument was once closer to the airfield but right beside a main road where no one could visit. It was moved across to the church sometime in the last few years

Around the end of the church to the other side and heap of old gravestones, piled in a corner and forgotten.
The area that was used for burials more recently

Below is the side of a gravestone only visible from the road. I waded through the long grass to look at the other side


and it turns out to be the grave of a Minister of the United Reformed Church who died in 2003.


And finally a 22 year old who died in the Military Hospital in Felixstowe in 1918

 Just when his light was brightest,
Just when his hopes were best
His country called, he answered
With God he's gone. To rest.

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Saturday, 17 July 2021

This Week.................3rd Saturday in July

Many Thanks for comments yesterday.  The greenhouse looks good, I was a bit worried that it would stick out like a sore thumb in the garden but because its at the side by the shed it fits in well. 

Such awful devastation caused by floods in Germany and neighbouring countries and so many people dead. I joked about the yellow weather warning for rain here the other day but it looks as if those poor people could have done with some serious weather warnings over there. Although how they would have prepared for 3 months worth of rain falling in just a few hours I don't know.....It's frightening.

Flowers on the table this week are a cheap bunch of  Alstromeria from Morrisons padded out with bits from one of Hydrangeas........... the one that looked badly damaged by frost in early May.

I've now gone two weeks without swimming. Tut tut! although I'm only 2½ miles further away from the pool than I was at the cottage it feels much further and the amount of lane swimming sessions were cut  plus the price has gone up so I just seemed to go off it all. School holidays start next week so they will have more family sessions and fewer lane swimming opportunities. Despite the ending of regulations they are carrying on the same with booking for swimming at set time slots and restrictions on the changing rooms. Looks like they have no intention of getting back to pre-covid normal.
I've read a couple of books this week but given up on  more. Someone commented on the library book photo post that they had just read .........The Lip by Charlie Carroll and enjoyed it but I found it was about a young girl who had watched her mother jump off a cliff not long after her father died (at least I think that was the story - I might be wrong!). Decided I didn't want to read about her hiding and watching people even if the book brings attention to the difficulty of living in Cornwall when houses are so expensive caused by the incomers. Also gave up on Elizabeth Gifford - The Lost Lights of St Kilda and Rose Macaulay - Crewe Train.
On the other hand I enjoyed a book that wasn't in the library book photo because I picked it off the shelves in Stowmarket library after a blog post by new blogger Hilary (Trips, Books and Hedgehogs).
The book was  by Ruth Hogan - The Keeper of Lost Things. Fiction published in 2017.  Anthony Peardew was once a well know author of short stories and has spent half his life collecting and lovingly caring for things other people have lost. As he approaches his last days he leaves his house and the collection to his assistant Laura - giving her the task of finding the owners of all the Lost Things. This is a gentle story of co-incidence and serendipity which I enjoyed.
The other book I've read was one of Donna Leon's crime fiction books set in Venice......Falling In Love. I came late to this series and have only read about 8 out of 30, the library have lots more in stock and I tend to request one when I'm short of ideas for crime to read.
Now I'm reading quite a fat non-fiction book(unusual for me) it's called 'Islands of Abandonment' by  Cal Flyn.about................. abandoned places:ghost towns and exclusion zones, no man's lands and fortress islands - and what happens when nature is allowed to reclaim its place.
It's always good to find people who like similar reading matter so I'm enjoying Miki's Blog "Farms on my Bookshelf"  She's written about Copsford, the book I thought was a lost treasure when I  found a copy  (it wasn't a lost treasure at all!) Here is where I wrote about the reprint.

It's handy being 3 minutes walk from the hairdressers as I can wash my hair before I go and then Kirsty can cut it wet which is so much better and costs me less than having it washed there. It needed cutting especially if the weather really is going to get warmer at last. I asked her what were their plans for next week when things could perhaps get a bit more normal, she said they've had no advice and really don't know what to do for the best and will probably go with whatever their customers want.

This week I am grateful for
  • No problems with the greenhouse
  • Enough fine weather to get the patio weeded
  • Good books to read

Have a good weekend..............a heat wave is  forecast  for Suffolk (that's 3 consecutive days over 27℃ apparently)  I shall go to boot-sales early then stay at home, slap on the Factor 50 and return bronzed and tanned on Monday! 


Friday, 16 July 2021

The Greenhouse

My neighbours at the cottage struggled for a week when they got their greenhouse and it nearly ended in divorce  but on Tuesday a man came and, all by himself, put up my greenhouse in just under 5 hours.

He said he'd been doing the job for 25 years so knew all the possible problems.

I've moved in the small bit of metal staging I brought with me, the 2 Pepper plants that aren't looking too bad, the 1 Aubergine which hasn't grown much, the straggly tomato and the Very Small cucumber plant that obviously didn't like being outside.
Next year I'll be all ready for getting started much earlier and the concrete base won't look quite so stark.
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Thursday, 15 July 2021

Recent Car-Boot Finds

 Recent boot sales involved lots of looking but not much buying (good!) Firstly Needham Market on Saturday - not many people selling as rain was forecast yet again.

 I found a pretty silver Saxifrage for £2 which will go into one of the bowl shaped pots on the plant stand and the cheese grater (50p) I needed for grating the wax blocks to make some wax-wraps


The Sunday Car Boot at Stonham Barns was busier than it's been for several Sundays, there was bright sunshine early which must have drawn out the sellers. I bought this big new holdall to replace something similar that I used for clothes during the weeks in holiday lets as I don't possess a suitcase. I crammed so much weight in the old one that the handles broke.The old one had been Col's hospital bag - always half-packed right ready for all the trips he had in ambulances - so it had been around for several years.

Also bought a small punnet of gooseberries for £1 (mourned the smallholding days when I picked lbs and lbs of gooseberries to sell!) to go in the freezer to add to the strawberries for better setting jam. I found a small oblong terracotta planter - meant for the plant stand but it looked all wrong beside the round pots so maybe not.

(must do something about the weeds on the patio!)

Finally (said I couldn't resist craft bits!)  I picked up these for 50p each. Each page in the pad of Hunkydory has die-cut card toppers and extra bits that fit just right on the pack of 20 cards - which are an unusual size.

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Wednesday, 14 July 2021

All Hung Up

 There were quite a lot of picture hooks in the rooms here so I took advantage of them to hang most of my cross stitch, tapestries, paintings and prints. Some are a bit high but easier than drilling even more holes in the walls.

Then I had to ask  Brother-in-Law to come and drill some holes for hanging up the big painting and the big mirror. I'd tried but couldn't get the holes deep enough for big screws. He also helped hang the pirate boat measuring chart - which was awkward as it needed to be just the right height off the floor. Now the grandchildren can get measured again.
This is the big picture,  my favourite painting by Eldest Daughter when she was at school. She took my pots with plants off to school for several weeks and this was the result.
After this she only did strange paintings of broken dolls and then in her Art Foundation Course decided that textile print design was what she liked best and that's what she did at Uni and continues with now.

In the small bedroom the previous owners used as an office, one wall is covered with little hooks, the sort that are hammered in with three tiny nails. They had so many family photos here.
If I try to take them off the wall the plaster will probably come off too!
This is now the bedroom for visiting Grandson and I wish I'd bought the box of Ladybird book cover postcards that I saw at a boot sale years ago but seemed too expensive for me. They could have been fixed into clip frames and used here.

Thanks to everyone for comments about the church. I always feel sad that so many are only used for an hour on a Sunday.
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Tuesday, 13 July 2021

A Visit to Hopton Church

 Hopton is a small village right on the Suffolk/Norfolk border. Last time I came here would have been in about 1977 when I was working on the mobile library and this was our most far-flung village from our base in Stowmarket.

The reason this church is included in the 100 treasures book is because of the Late Tudor red brick clerestory and the hammerbeam roof

The ermine-collared figures of kings on the hammer-beams are all holding books,chalice and the patens used to hold the bread for the Eucharist. They were repainted by the vicar's daughters in the late C19


View down the nave to the altar with  what seems quite a modern font. There are parts of this church that date from every century from the Twelfth to the Twentieth.

This amazingly old metal bound chest which would have held all the registers and the Churches riches.


I think the Treasure in this church should be this Medieval door to the tower with original ironwork, locks and hinge.

Painted alcoves each side of the chancel

Unusual to see an empty altar table, usually there are candles
A small door opens off the pulpit going where?

Up to that opening above the pulpit? Perhaps something to do with a rood screen loft separating nave from chancel that was once there 100's of years ago?
There are only 2 stained-glass windows. This is the East window above the altar and dates from the 1890's. The faces are said to all resemble real people from that time.


This marble tablet is in memory of Thomas Raymond who died in 1680 and was keeper of the state papers for Charles II " He lived and died very religiously"

This is my 51st church visit finding the things mentioned in a small book "100 Years, 100 Treasures: A Celebration of Suffolk Churches" Published to mark the centenary of the Diocese in 2014. Someone once pointed out that many of the other churches are worth a visit too but as there are well over 600 churches in Suffolk I had to start somewhere!

I'd intended to visit another church on the way back cross country but it had taken me extra time to get to Hopton due to a road closure (they are mending potholes everywhere at the moment) then another road closure and diversion and I knew of yet another I had to avoid on the way home too . So only got to 'do' one church after all................plenty of time for the other 49. 

There was NO sport yesterday - I was bereft (that is,of course, a big exaggeration!). A rest day for the cyclists in France and tennis and football all over BUT joy unbounded, it's back to quizzy Mondays on the Beeb with Only Connect and University Challenge both beginning new series.
Instead of sport I met up with Rachel-in-Norfolk for a coffee in Diss and came home to a lovely sunny afternoon ..........despite the Yellow Weather Warning for rain - why the heck we need a weather warning for rain in the UK I have no idea. I suppose Nanny is afraid we might get wet! 

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Monday, 12 July 2021

Things To Make and Do

 Why am I always tempted by craft things?

On the shelves "to do" I have 

  • Terracotta self hardening clay ( found at a car boot sale) to make myself some plant labels like I made for the Hampers last year
  • Some acrylic paints to paint pebbles(last years 12 days of Christmas  presents )
  • A kit to make tiny books (ditto)
  • Everything needed to make wax food wraps for gifts  (wax was bought about 2 years ago)
  • Still lots of card- making bits
  • Plenty of cross stitching materials

and then I found this in a charity shop in Ipswich for £2 and couldn't resist, better make them for this years Christmas Hampers.................

................and all the time my main hobbies are reading, writing this blog and  gardening, which ought to be enough anyway.

I think I must be afraid of  waking up one day and having Nothing To Do!

Update on the Summer of Sport - Super Sunday. The men's final result at Wimbledon was predictable although Matteo Berrettini tried hard,  Djokovic went up a gear after losing the first set.
Only watched the beginning of Le Tour before the tennis. The frequent  repeated adverts on ITV4 are beginning to drive me nuts anyway. Then THAT football match ...............I was a minute late coming back from the kitchen with my cuppa and missed the first goal - duh!- a goal after 2 minutes is a pretty good start and during the first half everything looked hopeful. Then the second half and the inevitable goal by a much improved Italy and everybody knew where this was heading.
I went to bed and listened to the end on the radio. ............A penalty shoot out.
Oh well it's the World Cup sometime next year,

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