Saturday 30 October 2021

The Ins, Outs and Frugal Bits of October

 The Income was as usual with no extras.............. My state pension and the County Council spouses pension and small bits of interest. I got notification of the Winter Fuel Payment (to be paid sometime before the end of January) - which is new to me as I now get my state pension. £200 will go a good way towards the next heating oil top up.

Regular outgoings were as usual......Food, Diesel for the car, the 4 weekly electric bill, charity and phones direct debits. I also bought myself a hoodie to replace a baggy cardigan and a huge plastic pot to re-pot my Olive tree and a couple of bags of compost.
A few bits of Christmas shopping for the grandchildren were done online and birthday gifts for son and granddaughter and some odds and ends for grandchildren from boot-sales. Plus a couple of food things for the hampers.
Then there were the usual small  household things - like postage stamps and  a couple of new pillows (why is it now difficult or maybe impossible to buy 1 pillow?) and a couple of secondhand books - now without guilt!

 Spending could have stopped right there.........
 BUT.................... then  I decided to crack on with the things I can do in the garden including ordering 3 Minarette Apple trees. Even with a 10% discount for early season ordering they weren't cheap. I then also bought a Pear Tree from a boot-sale for £12.
(I got a quote for a new path up the side of the bungalow and a few other small jobs = £2090!! That will be a "no thank you at the moment " then.)
The new tyres for my bike were quite expensive because I went for some that were very tough and sturdy instead of the soft and floppy at half the price. I figured these sturdy tyres should see me out!
The Suffolk Agricultural Association are doing an early-bird on-line discount on tickets for the Suffolk Show next year so I've bought mine and the printer co-operated to print it out, just have to keep it safe until 31st of  May.
The bill arrived for the replacement of the two kitchen lights that kept going on and off and I bought the last two saucepans I needed for my induction hob.
Finally I bit the bullet and ordered a smallish chest freezer for the garage. I was fed up with having to wiggle things around to fit it all in the current freezer storage. I'm used to having a back up of things that I'm currently using NOT having to wait until whatever it is is completely finished before I have room for another. Only problem is there's not a chest freezer of the size I need anywhere - so a 4 - 8 week delay.............will it be here by Christmas..............that is the question.
Frugal bits............
  • Mended tiny holes in 3 pairs of leggings....moths?washing machine? or just old age?
  • Bought a big bag of cooking apples for £1 from the Fundraiser coffee morning
  • Harvested the last of the peppers from the greenhouse and popped (squeezed) into freezer
  • Used the last 2 very small aubergines for  an aubergine and pasta bake that fed me for 2 days
  • One Pensioners discount Fish and Chip meal £3.50
  • Reading library books for free. 
  • Mixing whole milk half and half with water
  • Morrisons actually had their bags of "wonky" fruit and veg- pears and carrots(although none of their Suffolk tomatoes for ages).
  • Home made bread
  • Bargain pack of 4 ink cartridges for the printer were £1 from a boot sale. I keep saying I'll replace my very old printer as soon as I run out of ink cartridges but then I find some cheap and hang onto it for a bit longer!
  • Picked the right days to do the washing and avoided using the tumble dryer
  • Gift of cooking apples from DiL who was gifted a huge bag full and didn't need them all.

It's really been obvious how prices are rising this month. Moving here should have meant less spent on diesel for the car but with a 15p a litre price rise in just a few weeks I seem to be spending almost as much as before. The price of fresh fruit has been steadily rising all year and most supermarkets no longer do a "value" range - or if they do it's on a very limited amount of things. I've more-or-less restocked cupboards that had been run down prior to moving and have started to build up a small store of extras. The kitchen wall cupboards go right up to the ceiling which means the top shelf is beyond reach except with the steps so that's a good place for an emergency can store and Christmas things.

 There was another expenditure in October, but I don't mind buying a present for this one at all!

I'll return next month which happens to be Monday - Yes - November already. Clocks back Sunday - I refuse to be glum!

 (Apologies for not reply to many comments this week)

Saturday............ editing in to say I almost forgot that November will be, as always, No Spend November, when only food and Christmas things are bought...... (and bills are paid....of course)

Hope you have a good weekend and the parts of the country that are soggy get a chance to dry out.
Back Monday


Friday 29 October 2021

Halloween Pumpkins

First of all - thank you to everyone for comments about the church visit.

Then apologies, I know it's  a couple of days early for a Halloween post  but  I don't post on Sundays and tomorrow is my end of the month frugal bits post but  I've added my Halloween things to the seasonal display shelf for a few days. Bats, pumpkin  lights and the ceramic pumpkin.

For a few years.... when I was around 10 years old .....we had a piano. Someone gave me a beginners teach yourself piano book and I learned to play a little tune called Halloween Pumpkins. It started "Halloween Pumpkins are blinking, their candle lights are twinkling..............." can't remember any more!. Even though I could play the tune it wasn't because I'd learned to read music. Try as I might my brain wouldn't compute between the page and the notes on the piano so it was just learned off by heart with the names of the notes stuck on the keys. 

No idea what happened to the piano.

Last time I had a hair cut Kirsty, my hairdresser, who lives just up the road  told me that children around the village are keen on Halloween Trick or Treating so I'd better be prepared.

The origin of trick-or-treat is thought to be related to the Christian practice of Soul-Caking which was held on All Soul's Day on November 2nd. It's written about in the C17 but thought to be much older. Soul caking involved children going around the village asking for cakes in return for praying for the souls of departed loved ones. Soul-Caking often took place after the All Souls Day carnival or parade so the participants would be wearing costumes.

 I've bought a bag of sweets to hand out and carved my very small bargain Aldi 59p pumpkin for outside the front door and will fix up my Halloween banner which came from a car-boot sale years ago. (Probably got it to give to Eldest Granddaughter but they moved to almost the end of a close so no one would see it outside now).

 There's the boot-sale buys of the  witches hat to put on when I open the door and the witches broom to shoo away the children!! I kept looking for a witches mask at boot sales but no luck. Some would say I don't need one!

I'm ready!

 Back Tomorrow

Thursday 28 October 2021

The Church of All Saints,Hollesley.

 Another  church visit after a tour of the charity shops in Woodbridge (where I found nothing). I intended to visit two churches but it was just so cold that I decided to head for home after this one.

Hollesley (pronounced Hoze-ley) is a village almost at the end of a road before the coast. To get there from Woodbridge you have to go through part of Tunstall Forset and pass the old USA airbases with their cold-war bunkers still visible from the road.

Sometimes it's difficult to get a photo of the church that doesn't make the tower look like the leaning one at Pisa!


Most unusual for there to be no porch. My book says "Ancient South doorway dating from about 1300 but moved eastwards when Herbert J Green restored the church in 1886. Before this it was surrounded by a dilapidated porch where the nave and tower join."

Below is the reason the church gets a mention in the 100 treasures in Suffolk Churches book. There are some amazing bench end carvings. These are a mix of the original from C15 and C20 replicas carved by Harry Brown, an Ipswich craftsman between 1949 and 1966. 

The carving below is the mythical sciapod with his enormous feet that protect him from the heat of the sun. This is copied from the only know medieval version at  Dennington Church (visited almost exactly 3 years ago)


The altar and East window


Beautiful colours


There were 3 ladies in the church taking down the Harvest Festival flowers and cleaning (spot Henry Hoover later!) ready for a wedding at the weekend and one of  them showed  me these old carvings just about visible below. These were often done in churches.


The lady also showed me this tomb in the church floor holding the body of William Geyton who was Prior of Butley Priory which once stood about 4 miles away.. and moved here instead of Butley church for some reason.

The font


I forgot find out about this carved picture of Noah's Ark

This is a much more recent stained glass window.......

 Meg Lawrence's 1984 glass of Holy Family set at the end of the north aisle. It remembers two young people, Clare Butler and Andrew Benning, who were killed in a car crash just before Christmas 1983


When this north aisle was added in 1886 they discovered an early C13 arcade - showing where an earlier aisle had been.


View down the nave with one of the ladies cleaning!


I could have taken photos of all the bench ends but just one more

Back Tomorrow

Wednesday 27 October 2021

On My Bike

 I haven't done an "On My Bike " post since moving in even though I've done this short bike ride for exercise quite often. It's only a tad over 3 miles and goes out of the village on one road and back in again on a back road and then out of the village on a different road, along a lane in a loop and back into the village again  close to home.

Out of the village past the doctors surgery. The front door has been boarded up since July. There's building work going on - although it's all come to a halt -there were rumours it was closing completely.

But it will re-open properly when the materials arrive for the builders to finish. The Pharmacy are dishing out prescription medications from a window!

Quite unusual to see old farm buildings falling down and unused. Usually they are turned into new homes and barn conversions.

This is the farmhouse that owns the buildings

 I was trying to zoom in on the weather-vane, first a couple walking their dog stopped to ask me what I was doing, then I had to leap out of the way when a huge lorry turned into the lane where I was standing and finally a Suffolk County Council Highways van stopped to take a photo of a road sign. It's all excitement around here!
These are the red and yellow cherry plum trees where I picked up some fruit to add to my fruit syrup earlier in the year.I'll remember to look again next year.
What is this?. The bottom of an early lamp post perhaps.
An old pub, closed sometime around 25 years ago maybe, it was popular when we lived around this way before. There is still one pub hanging on in the village.
This little lane is called Wash Lane. I think many villages had a Wash Lane where a stream would have crossed the road, perhaps they would have dipped sheep or washed down the heavy horses here. The stream is now just a small ditch and goes under the road.

The small dots on the wires are a gathering of starlings. Are they gathering to leave or have they just arrived or just having a chat?
A view of part of the village from one of the "high" bits on the lane
Every year I think about making rose-hip syrup. There are loads along the hedges in the lane here. Perhaps next year I will. It's a bit of a fiddly job due to the irritant hairs in the hips. Elderberry syrup is much easier.
Then down the bit of a hill and home.

Back Tomorrow


Tuesday 26 October 2021

Group Photos

It was the mention of St Audrey's Day last week that reminded me of my stay in a private girls boarding school of that name many years ago.
I searched out the photo, from the summer holidays of 1971. This is a photo of everyone who stayed at St Audrie's school on a Baptist Chapel Fellowship of Youth House Party. The school was in West Quantoxhead in Somerset. People came from all parts of the country.
We had two weeks of visits out around the area and a chapel service each evening, quizzes and walks . It was a good fun. I wonder where everyone is now.
That got me thinking of other group photos from the past.............
This one below is from about 1976 . It's me and lots of other Cub Scout Leaders on a weekend training course somewhere near Norwich. I had to do the course in Norfolk because Suffolk Scouts weren't running that course that year and I needed to do it before finishing the third and final part of training.

Slightly more recently, the group photo below is of a school reunion I helped to organise in 1988. These are some of the people who started at Stowmarket Grammar School in 1966. Plus some of the staff from the time. It was difficult to track down everyone (this was before the internet got going) - so many had gone to university and headed off to work abroad. Quite a few had been living at RAF Wattisham where their fathers worked - no way of finding them 20 years later.Some people we found refused to come to the reunion because they'd hated school! I found that really sad.  There were about 80 people in our year from all parts of East Suffolk except Ipswich - where they had their own Grammar Schools.

I'm third from the left sitting at the front. 3 of us got together to organise the reunion which we held at the school. It was such a surreal evening. The school became a comprehensive in 1971 and has just been knocked down with a new school built in much the same place. Sadly I know at least two of these in the photo the same age as me passed away within the last two years.
 Below is  group photo from about 1990. It's Stowmarket District Cub-Scout Camp held at Old Buckenham Hall (OBH), a boarding Prep School in Brettenham near Stowmarket. Our Son was a cub at the time and the girls sitting down the front are our girls.....back then girls couldn't join a Cub Scout Group - unlike now - (and Youngest Daughter is only about 3 years old )but we always took them with us to everything except the weekly pack meetings. I'm standing at the back but Colin isn't in the photo - we could never think why and actually now I look closely I'm not sure our son is in the photo either!
The cubs and the leaders are from packs in Haughley, Bacton, 1st and 3rd Stowmarket, Combs, Mendlesham and Needham Market. I think this was the last Cub Camp held here as the Headmaster - a lovely man called Don Sewell retired and the new head didn't want anything to do with Scouting. We also held Cub Scout District Football Tournaments here. I've got a photo of "my"cubs being awarded the trophy one year.

Happy memories
The new  TV series based on Ann Cleeves Book The Long Call started promisingly last night. From what I can remember it's really close to the story. For some reason ITV are showing all four parts of the story at 9pm this week. I wondered if they planned it to clash with Shetland at 9pm on BBC on Wednesday. Although with catch-up on all channels there doesn't seem any point.
Back Tomorrow

Monday 25 October 2021

The October Library Book Photo

Regarding Friday's post which had over 2,000 page views and lots of comments and may have forced two people to stop following, I'd just like to say that I don't see comments simply disagreeing with mine or other points of view as trolling. Ilona warned me about "Boris" who apparently has been trolling her by commenting on her blog 2 or 3 times a day. I don't know what "Boris" has been saying to Ilona as the comments are not published.  I've been told that  "Boris" is someone who was once called "Traveler" and has changed their name. But I have no idea who "Traveler" is/was anyway. I will delete comments that I consider are rude/nasty/abusive to me or to other people who comment. I also delete those computer generated comments that, for instance, want me to contact a doctor to save me from something, to improve my love life or enlarge my penis!!

 So back to normal life with the normal monthly book post...........

 These are the books that came home with me from the Mobile Library last week. All are books that I'd requested on line.

From the top............

Leo Walmsley - Love in the Sun ....this isn't a romance (at least, I hope it isn't) It's fiction from 1939 and I've borrowed it thanks to blogland.............Simon at Stuck in a Book mentioned it which made Miki at Farms On My Bookshelf want to read it and when she wrote about it I wanted to read it too.
Laura Dodsworth - A State of Fear. This should give me one version  about the government at the start of the pandemic. Whether is the truth or not is another matter and I may not read it all.
K.J Maitland - A Drowned City - I don't know this author  and not sure where I got the idea from to order it.It's histrical crime fiction.
Alexander McCall Smith - this is the latest in the Botswana Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency series
Lin Anderson - The Killing Tide. Another new to me author and I've already finished it. It's the most recent in a series, not sure I want to read the earlier ones.
Helen Hoover - The Long-Shadowed Forest another book borrowed thanks to Miki - I bought the first of her books about her life in the forest which the library didn't have.
Ann Cleeves - The Heron's Cry. The second in her new series set in North Devon - now on TV

Last months selection? Below were the books collected in September. Of these 4 went back unread for various reasons (mostly tried to read and failed). 2 are still here waiting.The rest are listed on the separate Books Read 2021 page.

Back Tomorrow

Saturday 23 October 2021

A Week Is A Short Time In Suffolk

A Week Is A Short Time In other words ............. Saturday comes around far too quickly.
Thank you for comments yesterday, all interesting views - even from someone called Boris! (surely not?) I'm no further forward in understanding how my life is being completely destroyed as it certainly doesn't feel like it. 
My favourite comment was from Jane! 
 Last Saturday's car boot sale was busy with buyers and lots of the sellers had Christmas decorations and other seasonal bits for sale.
The small things I found weren't a big spend.......2 cards, 1 book for Middle Grandson (he used to be Youngest Grandson but has now been promoted!) , a book about Suffolk that I'd not looked at properly before, some crocus bulbs and a Candlestick Press instead-of-a-card booklet......  total spend £3.20.

But then I bought a pear tree for £12. A pot-grown Conference pear tree from a boot-sale is a bit of a risk  but at half the price of something similar from a tree suppliers catalogue it's worth a try. In the past we had success even with the cheap supermarket trees. This one was a good size and probably a reject from a nursery as it was a bit wonky in the pot.

I got it planted the same day, straightening it up as I planted. It could really do with staking before windy weather. Another bit of my plan to fit in as many productive things as possible into my small garden.

This week has been another week of mixed weather - typical Autumn. I went shopping on Tuesday and got really warm walking through town and even Morrisons felt warm, when I got back to the car I found out why.............. I was dressed for Autumn but the temperature was 20℃. There were some spells of heavy rain too during the week - I choose to go for a walk through the woods one morning after heavy rain - t'was a bit muddy, which must have put people off, as there wasn't a soul about. The new header photo is of the colours on the edge of the wood.

At the WI......where I've now joined properly,  most people had a Fish and Chips meal (a celebration of being back to normal meetings) but I opted out as I don't like eating a big meal as late as 7.45pm. Then we had a man from the village talking about how he's now self published 4 children's books and one of the committee members talking (going on and on actually!) about the large sack of daffodil bulbs which she has bought for members to plant around the village.(Just hope she never becomes President as no one else would get a word in !)

Thursday was library van day - book photo coming Monday. Friday was blinkin' chilly, very different to Tuesday. 

I picked up a free newspaper when I was out, there was a page about pensions and the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association. Apparently there are three standards that are constructed to give people an idea of the lifestyle they want at retirement and therefore how much they should be paying into a pension .
"Of course most of us would want to slot contentedly into the comfortable retirement living standard, the threshold for which is £33,600 for a single person and £49,700 for a couple. At this level of income retirees can expect to enjoy some luxuries like regular beauty treatments, theatre trips and three weeks holidaying in Europe each year".
Ha! Sadly I don't quite slot into this "comfortable" living standard - Thank Goodness!!

This week I am grateful for......
  • Freedom of speech in Blogland
  • A quiet week
  • Some good reading matter
Have a good weekend.
I shall be back Monday

Friday 22 October 2021

I Really Don't Understand

 I really need some help to understand what some folk are saying. I'm being completely serious here (hard for me I know) but I just don't get it.

This is what I read  "Life as we know it is being completely destroyed". and I really want to know how, in what way is my life being destroyed?

 2 years ago, before the pandemic my life was like this .............................

                            I lived alone following the death of my husband of 38 years in 2018
I tried to be positive and enjoyed life as much as possible 
My children and grandchildren visited me and I visited them
I requested lots of lovely library books and enjoyed reading  them all for free
I listened to whatever I wanted to on the radio and ignored all the rubbish news and didn't believe all I heard
I watched all sorts of interesting programmes on TV and didn't watch things that didn't look interesting and didn't believe all I saw
I didn't  have time to read any newspapers
I rode my bike or walked whenever and where ever
I drove my car whenever I wanted to go further
I went to lots of car-boot sales
and haunted charity shops
My Brother in Law helped out sometimes
I grew some food in my garden and greenhouse
I went shopping in supermarkets and other shops and bought all the food I needed easily
I had a warm and comfortable home
Electricity and water came to my home without problems
Heating oil was easily available
I went swimming once a week
I went to WI and listened to interesting speakers
I visited and enjoyed all sorts of local events
I got my prescription medications for free and easily from the local doctor
I wrote letters to a couple of pen friends and they wrote to me
I used the internet for communication and some shopping.
and my favourite indoor hobby was blogging 
I was never bored

Now, two years on and a house move - downsizing and releasing equity to make life easier...................

I live alone following the death of my husband of 38 years in 2018
I try to be positive and enjoy life as much as possible 
My children and grandchildren visit me and I visit them
I request lots of lovely library books and enjoy reading  them all for free
I listen to whatever I want  on the radio and ignore all the rubbish news and don't believe all I hear
I watch all sorts of interesting programmes on TV and don't watch things that don't look interesting and don't believe all I see
I don't have time to read any newspapers
I ride my bike or walk whenever and where ever
I drive my car whenever I want to go further
I go to lots of car-boot sales
and haunt charity shops
My Brother in Law helps out sometimes
I will be growing some food in my new garden and greenhouse next year
I go shopping in supermarkets and other shops and buy all the food I need easily
I have a warm and comfortable home
Electricity and water come to my home without problems
Heating oil is easily available
I go to WI and listen to interesting speakers
I visit and enjoy all sorts of local events
I get my prescription medications for free and easily from the local doctor
I write letters to a couple of pen friends and they write to me
I use the internet for communication and some shopping
and my favourite indoor hobby is blogging.
I am never bored 
Please can somebody tell me in what way my life is being destroyed or tell me in what way it will be destroyed in the next few years. I can see no point in worrying about the more distant future ........I can't change it. Perhaps I shouldn't have had children and they shouldn't have had children..... bit late for that now. So I can only do what I can do.

(The only difference in the two lists?.........swimming. Which has been abandoned for the time being as the pool has cut the times for lane swimming, increased costs and since moving I'm now a bit further away. I'm doing more walking instead)
Although I don't understand how my life is being destroyed there are a few things I know for definite
  • World distribution networks are under pressure due to many reasons that are out of our control
  • No government are ever brave enough to make major changes because they are scared of being voted out next time round........... therefore............
  • We've not paid the proper amount for food to cover the cost of good production for many years
  • and we've not paid enough for the services we now all expect with an aging population
  • Europe is still in a hissy-fit because we were brave/mad (take your pick) enough to leave
  • There's no such thing as "fair" and never has been
  • Too many people rely on "them" for everything and blame "them" for everything wrong
  • It's all the fault of us "baby boomers" ( might be being facetious here! I can never be completely serious)

 Discuss ...................
Back Tomorrow

Thursday 21 October 2021

Eric Ravilious

A few weeks ago I mentioned finding someones scrapbook at a boot-sale which fell open on a page with postcards featuring work by Eric Ravilious. 
This was my favourite
I'm not sure If I knew about him before but it was the publication or rather re-printing, of the book "Long Live Great Bardfield: The Autobiography of Tirzah Garwood" by Persephone books in 2016 that really brought him to my attention. Details Here

From t'internet..............................

Artist - Eric Ravilious - Biography

Ravilious, born in 1903, studied on a scholarship at the RCA where his tutors included William Rothenstein and Paul Nash and he first met life-long friend Edward Bawden.He married Tirzah Garwood in 1930. She was also an artist and engraver and the couple met at Eastbourne College when he was teaching there. In the 1920s he made his early reputation with wood-engravings but by 1936 had started making lithographs with the Curwen Press and taking commissions for illustration and book jacket design whilst continuing to paint the southern English countryside. Ravilious was later assigned to the Royal Navy as one of the first Official War Artists in 1941, being transferred the year after to the Air Ministry. On service to Iceland in August of that year, he died whilst accompanying an air sea rescue mission. 

When Ravilious and Bawden graduated from the RCA they began exploring the Essex countryside in search of rural subjects to paint. Bawden rented Brick House in Great Bardfield as a base and when he married Charlotte Epton, his father bought it for him as a wedding present. Ravilious and Garwood lodged in Brick House with the Bawdens until 1934 when they purchased Bank House at Castle Hedingham  which is now also marked by a blue plaque. There were eventually several other Great Bardfield Artists.

  These are the other postcards of his paintings that were in the scrapbook

"Geraniums and Carnations"

"Hull's Mill, Sible Hedingham, Essex"

"White Horse and Train"

 Once I saw these I had to buy the scrapbook! I've taken out some of the cards in the scrapbook but I'm going to add in other bits to make it my own. These Eric Ravilious cards are definitely keepers and there are also a few postcards featuring paintings by his friend Edward Bawden.

Back Tomorrow


Wednesday 20 October 2021

War Diaries

 I've just finished this library book - such an interesting read

 Margaret Kennedy was already a well known novelist before she wrote this during the 6 months in 1940 between the evacuation of Dunkirk and the start of the Blitz.
This book was never published in this country although she added a few amendments  in 1941 and sent it off to the US for safe keeping and for publishing there. It has just been reprinted by Handheld Press with additional notes on the text, biographical notes and a good list of further reading.
It's a journal of her thoughts and experiences as she moves her children from Surrey to the relative safety of Cornwall. At the time things were very tense as an invasion was expected at any time so she writes about what the government and the people are saying . Because she writes so well and right in the moment, the fear and uncertainty really come through.
In Greek tragedy there is a character called Talthybius whose role it is to break bad news to the Protagonists.................he makes a fine art of it.........................keeping everybody in suspense.............he is deliberately cryptic.............
Our modern Talthybius, the BBC announcer, has something of the same technique.................significant items of news are often artfully concealed. 
This is the BBC Home Service. Here is the news. The butter ration is to be increased. The Prime Minister has spoken on War Savings. Amiens and Arras have been occupied by the enemy. There is good news for pig farmers. Fifteen French Generals have been relieved of their commands. At the end of the news MrX will speak about the prospects of homegrown sugar beet.

...............................Among millions the first reaction to such a bulletin would be "Good! More butter".

I still cannot sleep so I went to Dr Middleton to ask for a bromide ...........
He asked "Are ye worrying about anything?"  .
 I said I was worrying about Hitler coming....................................................
he said "I suppose you've been reading the newspapers?"
 I pleaded guilty. 
"What d'ye want to do that for?"  
"I like to know what's happening"
 "Aw! The newspapers don't know."....................................................................................................
 He asked how often I listened to the wireless. "Four times a day".
"And that's three times too often....................Ye aren't responsible.................Ye can't stop it, Why think about it? Go home and fly kites with your children"
"How many other patients have you said all this to?"
"You're only the twenty-seventh this week"
I really enjoyed this book and emailed the publishers to say so - cheekily asking for a copy if they had a spare! - They replied saying "Glad you enjoyed it" but no mention of a freebie. 
That's a pity.............I would have added it to my collection of other WWII Diaries! And I have more than I thought............

Back Tomorrow

Tuesday 19 October 2021

Taste Test

 I'm not vegetarian but I rarely eat meat now, I just don't like it much anymore.( Plus after nearly 20 years of producing our own, nothing bought can compare). So I've been trying out some different frozen vegetarian things that I can pop in the oven and then eat with a big heap of fresh veg.

The Co-op Goats Cheese and Vegetable Lattices.........bottom right.......... are delicious, I've been buying these for several years. They are full of flavour and are (I think) £1.79 for the pack of two - so 90p for my meal. I eat these with a big heap of steamed or quickly boiled vegetables but NOT potatoes, mainly because the Lattices are pastry so spuds are not needed but also because after cooking potatoes for Colin for 38 years (he loved potatoes mashed ((shudder)) and whole plain boiled ) I just don't buy them or eat them often. (Except when I have pensioners fish and chips!)

A few weeks ago  when I went to the Co-op they didn't have the Lattices so I bought the Quorn Garlic and Mushroom Escalopes instead. I think of  Quorn as  "artificial meat", it's OK but not wonderfully tasty and I  avoid eating it very often . My verdict on these is.............. Edible but not outstanding and they need something  really tasty served with them to give a bit of flavour. I ate the second with some sweet onion chutney(marmalade) on top and that improved it immensely. I think they were a bit more expensive than the Lattices.

Next time I went to Morrisons and saw The Spinach, Leek and West Country Cheddar Parcels I thought they would perhaps be a bit similar to the Co-op bakes but they weren't. Instead I found the first one Totally Tasteless, and  I'm not sure where the cheddar was. So when cooking the second I added some grated cheese on top for the last few minutes in the oven which improved things a bit but they won't be bought again. They are £2 for the pack of two at the moment.

Back Tomorrow


Monday 18 October 2021

St Audrey's Day ? or Not ?

Son was 40 yesterday and it's a good job we didn't name him after his Saint's day because according to my book  Cattern Cakes and Lace by  Julia Jones and Barbara Deer October 17th is St Audrey's day, the day her remains were moved from a common cemetery to a special marble coffin within the church.   The Chambers Book of Days agrees with the date (BUT other sources say her real feast day is 23rd June. Depends if I'm following the calendar from England or Rome!)

St Audrey was also known as Saint Etheldreda and was the daughter of a king of East Anglia. She was known for her piety and good works and she founded a convent and church in Ely where the cathedral was later built. She became abbess of the convent and died from a tumour of the neck in 679. From my Saint's Days book I found Bede says that when her body was exhumed and the coffin opened 16 years later the tumour had healed so she became the patron saint of those with neck and throat ailments.

According to Cattern Cakes and Lace and Chambers book of Days........In Medieval times a fair was held in Ely on the 17th of October where things like necklaces, silk ribbons and cheap lace  were sold. The cheap bobbin lace was known as St Audrey's lace which was shortened to "t'awdry laces" Later it was cheap imitations of these ornaments that gave rise to the use of 'tawdry' to describe anything that is showy but without quality.

Scenes from the life of St Etheldreda, 15th century altarpiece

 One time I gave thee a paper of pins
 Another time a tawdry lace
And  if thou wilt not grant me love
In truth I'll die before thy face.

We celebrated son's 40th with a family get together at their house. I always used to think that people who had children who were 40 must be really old - now I have two who are 40+  I've changed my mind!

Back Tomorrow

Saturday 16 October 2021

It's Saturday Once More

I've not had flowers on the table for a while but after the first frost on the car windscreen on Wednesday I brought in the last of the roses to enjoy for a few more days.
 The weather was good for gardening on Monday and Tuesday and I was able to get all sorts of jobs done. So the sand that was under the slabs where I'm putting the 3 Minarette Apple trees has been put on the veg beds to be raked in later and  the weed suppressant membrane has gone.  Someone commented that the space half prepared for the trees isn't big enough, but the trees on order can be planted just 2 feet apart as they grow straight up with hardly any side branches. 
 The pepper plants and aubergine are now all finished so the pots from the greenhouse have also been emptied onto the veg beds  and behind the shed there was a heap of small bits of turf which had rotted down so that soil has also been put on the veg beds too. (I'm glad I didn't order two builders bags of top soil as BiL reckoned were needed, because one was plenty with all the other additions)
Then I got busy out the front cutting back some of perennials.
There has been much talk of the Government "saving Christmas" this week.............Christmas πŸŽ„comes in a truck apparently, trouble is there's no one to drive them. (This isn't a sudden problem - for years there have been warnings about aging drivers (like aging farmers - the average age of a farmer is already around 60).
This reminded me so much of the famous Christmas πŸŽ„episode of  The Good Life. Margo's Christmas πŸŽ„ is delivered in a van on Christmas Eve but when the Christmas tree πŸŽ„ is 6 inches too short she sends the whole lot back. There are (shock horror!) no deliveries on Christmas Day πŸŽ„ so Margo and Jerry end up next door spending their day with Tom and Barbara.πŸŽ„ Here the Christmas crackers are made from newspapers and have no snap so they have to shout Bang! instead, but the company is so much better than their usual Christmas πŸŽ„and it all ends happily........of course.
 I'm just so thankful that my Christmas πŸŽ„ isn't waiting to be delivered in a truck and I don't need anyone to save Christmas πŸŽ„ for me.

Friday was another good day for getting things done as Brother -in -Law came over to put new tyres on my bike. When he was looking after it while I was moving between holiday lets he'd pointed out that the tyres looked pretty bad so I'd eventually got around to buying new and he was able to get them sorted. While he was here he also drilled some holes in the bottom of a huge plastic pot so I could re-pot my Olive tree and then he managed to get the wooden shuttering out from around the greenhouse concrete base. I'm pleased about getting that done as now the wood can be used for edging a new raspberry bed. Lots of work needed to make it........removing turf and digging etc but I'll get there eventually.

This week I'm grateful for.............
  • New Grandson arriving safely
  • Being able to help out with some Nanna duty at short notice
  • Getting some gardening done 
  • New tyres on my bike
  • Help from BiL

I do love it when something unusual happens. I glanced up Friday afternoon just at the sun was sinking behind the houses out the back and spotted...............

 Not a common sight for Mid-Suffolk.

So the weekend is here again......... starting with the car boot sale of course, not many left now before they finish for the winter.

Have a good weekend

I'll be back Monday