Monday 28 February 2022

February, Forward Planning and Food

I've kept detailed accounts of spending for many, many, years. (Can even tell you how much I spend on fresh fruit and veg each month for instance!) Now and again I think about stopping but then remember how handy it is to look back to previous years to see what was spent or to see whats coming up. That's how I know March and April are two Very Expensive months. Car service and MOT for one thing and already the water bill has arrived. It will have to be paid as I intended to get all the water butts installed  for garden watering before getting a water meter but haven't got that organised yet. The sewage bill and the Council Tax bill will turn up in March and my TV Licence is due in April.

Anyway, looking back..............................

All the usual expenses though the month.......... 4 weekly electric bill, 2 x diesel for the car, charity donation, phone bills. Extra expense were the visit to Anglesey Abbey and snowdrops plus the apple tree, compost and then plants from the catalogue. I bought shoes and batteries and postage stamps and then a new standard lamp for reading after the one that we'd had for years, gradually getting wobblier, finally fell apart. The window cleaner came and then all the usual small bits and bobs needed to run a home  - and that great big lump of £338  for heating oil.

And mentioning postage stamps reminds me that a penfriend told me that from January 2023 we are not going to be able to use any postage stamps that we still have as they are changing to bar coded stamps during this year and 31st December is the last date to use any without a bar code. It seems the Post Office might operate a swap system for a while but there will be no point stockpiling stamps before price increases anymore............. the bar code will know!

Sometimes I seem to spend too much on food and I'd like to spend less. Not because I have back in the 80's and 90's  when we had 3 children, big mortgage and one very average income............... but I'd like not to have to use more of the savings (that I'm thankful to have because of downsizing) and from much experience I know that food spending is one of those things that can be managed (unlike expenses such as the Council Tax where there is no option)

This is a shortened look at my account for February Food which was a good month as I'm still using things that were in the freezer from before Christmas (luckily I didn't have to abandon many things after the electric being off for 24 hours, - annoying but not too costly)

1st Feb Aldi                   £ 22.00
            Morrisons           £  3.80
10th      Aldi                   £  6.57
            Asda                   £11.50
Village Shop                  £  2.49
            Aldi                    £  3.80 
                                        50. 16
Village shop                      1. 49
Eggs from stall                  1.00
24th Aldi                         19.20
and that included fruit for making chutney(a post for next week) and as I was in Aldi at the end of the month I bought a new big tub of peanut butter while it was there and 3 x 2 pints of milk to restock the freezer.    Outside of home made I had coffee and scone at Anglesey Abbey, 1 Pensioners fish and chips, a breakfast bacon roll and coffee at Morrisons when the electric was off and a coffee and sausage roll at an event I went to last week which I'll write about  soon.
The main meals I ate with the food bought in my Aldi/Morrisons comparison shop at the start of the month and items from the freezer and cupboards were........................

Home made quiche x 4 with various accompaniments
2 x Stir fry vegetables plus noodles with Chinese party food from freezer (2 each of mini veg spring rolls, prawn toasts and tempura prawns) 
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 Love these but they don't stock them all the time
3 x Warm pasta salad with sardines, toms, cuc,olives,peas or with feta etc.
2 x 2 Cheese and onion "saus" rolls with veg
Roast Chicken Thigh Joints with veg  and then again with salad
Nut burger in bun with salad
Pensioners Discount Fish and chips
2 x Corned Beef with veg and then again with salad
2 x Vegetable and Panaar curry with rice and Naan
Co-op goats cheese and veg lattice withvegetables
Omelette with salad
Pasta, salmon and broccoli bake
Pizza and salad
Sausages and roast mini potatoes and veg
(and must have been a few other things that I can't remember)

My breakfast is always coffee and toast and marmalade and my other meal will be something like cheese and crackers and fruit or something similar and sometimes I just have another piece of toast. Preparing one meal each day is enough for me, I'm not very adventurous anymore, just can't be bothered. 
Now I just need to keep the food spending as low as this month even when I run out of the pre-Christmas stockpile

Back Tomorrow

Saturday 26 February 2022

Saturday Round Up

What a week - war in Europe is so frightening. Just 3 hours away by air. What can we do? I have no idea but I might start praying................... not waiting until next week.

  A few crocuses have popped up in the garden, looks like tulips on the way too. Everything is a surprise after moving home.

Unfortunately the few (I'm sure there were a dozen originally) that were planted in the little trough out in the front porch are struggling. They came through but have been sitting there looking the same for about a month - and there are less there than a few weeks ago too - the mystery of the disappearing crocuses! (croci?)

I'll move whats left of them into the garden later.

On Wednesday I looked after Youngest Granddaughter (almost 4) for several hours. As they get older I'm feeling more confident at Nanna Duty for longer periods. Which sounds ridiculous but it's a very, very long time since my lot were that age.  These are the times I miss Colin most as he would have had a great time with them. Between me and granddaughter we did a very good job of clearing up all the leaves that had gathered all around the front porch, step, path and pots. So I'm hoping there are no more storms to blow a fresh lot in. It was surprising how many were live green Laurel leaves which must have been ripped off a hedge 2 houses away from me.

 Thursday I started the car only to have the Low Tyre Pressure alarm bleep and warning light come on. The tyres all looked OK but I dragged the compressor  out of the garage and although it was working the gauge wasn't so I put some air in all the tyres and then went and got them checked with another gauge at BiLs house and they seemed OK but the warning light was still on, so after doing the shopping I took it round to see my mates at the repair place. Ashley checked them again and then reset something so the warning light went out. All very odd. I do wish cars and boilers weren't prone to faults!

I'm now going to have a weekend staying at home........weeding the front garden,  doing some ironing, writing a shopping list, sorting some blog posts and watching the rugby while reading at the same time, as  I'm way behind on the library books and worrying about something that's happening not so far away.

Then I'll return on Monday
Have a good weekend

Friday 25 February 2022

Well, Who Knew?

 Came across this online after following a link from Smol ( the company who send me eco Dishwasher tabs by post on a very handy standing order) to a company called Matter Industries

Love Your Lint

To support our microfibre recycling research we’re calling for households to send us their tumble dryer lint. The lint will be used to assess the potential for cellulose extraction and test various recycling applications for sustainable packaging.

How to contribute

Remove all the lint from your tumble dryer first

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Place the lint into an envelope or cardboard box

Please don’t wrap your lint in plastic or put it in a plastic bag

Please don’t put anything other than tumble dryer lint in the package

Please send us any lint you have collected before April 2022 to the following address:

Love your Lint, PO Box 3503, Bristol, BS2 2FP


Wonder what use they will find for it?

Back Tomorrow
(I've not mentioned the horror happening in the Ukraine - just so I awful I don't know what to say)
(Yesterday's post struck a nerve - so apologies - I didn't think I was condemning people who were still worried, I thought I was just saying that we have  to live with this virus, being careful and using common sense and I couldn't imagine being fearful for the rest of my life )

Thursday 24 February 2022

The End of Restrictions?

 I think all legal covid restrictions have finished today. The virus hasn't gone and will probably re-emerge again in different guises for many years, especially during the winter.  We will learn to live with the virus as we live with 'flu and be careful as necessary. Common sense reigns. 
But some people are still scared and not mixing or visiting others - when will they decide they have to be braver or will their fear never go away?
I don't think I could live in fear for the rest of my life - it wouldn't be worth living.

The second tin I needed for Christmas Hamper cakes was found in a charity shop in Diss when I went for breakfast and to warm up in Morrisons, when the electric was off on Saturday............... Of course I did a tour of the charity shops first! 

 Also charged the phone, filled up with diesel and bought a copy of the East Anglian Daily Times to read while I waited for my bacon bap............and it was a long wait.....I reckon everyone whose electric was off had had the same idea!

A few years ago I wouldn't even have thought of going out  for breakfast, because back then I had an LPG hob and a wood-burner. 

Things always change for better or worse. We just have to do our best to live our lives. 

(This will definitely be the last post that has Strange Times as a label!)

Back Tomorrow


Wednesday 23 February 2022

Living On A Little Land

 I've owned these two books for as long as I can remember, so long that I've no idea where they came from, but it was way before Amazon.

 Living Better on Less was published in 1977 and Living On A Little Land in 1978 and before that he'd written Politics By Pressure; The Restless Generation and  The Survivalists and in 1982 he wrote Diet For A Small Island. 

Patrick Rivers was a journalist in his 50's when with his wife Shirley they moved to an old cottage on ridiculously sloping land in the Wye Valley. 
It was not the first time they had left London for the countryside because after WWII he had done the Government training scheme for new farmers but after running a Jersey herd for a few years they'd moved back to London when a farm purchase fell through. Then after losing his job for the second time in 10 years they decided to make one final move and to be as self sufficient as possible.  


He says they really purchased land that was too difficult for a couple in their 50's but luckily help often turned up unexpectedly just when it was needed. He called it "The Flow".

I thought I'd written about this before and thanks to the new search facility I found it on the old blog in 2014

When Patrick and Shirley Rivers  moved to an almost derelict house on steep overgrown land in the Wye valley, they were already nearly 60 years old and found some of the work really hard. Often just as they were on the verge of despair something or someone would turn up to help. Later, when he researched the other book, he spoke to many people who had also found that if they had faith in themselves and the way they were living simply, things often happened at just the right time. He called it The Flow.

That's how it's been for us. We've never sat back and waited for something to happen but when we've worked hard and trusted in ourselves to manage, everything usually turns out OK. All the house moves we did to work our way towards a smallholding always went well, we never lost out but we had to work hard to improve the properties.

When C had the heart problems last Autumn
(2013) he wasn't able to do the 3 day-a-month council job but then the unexpected extra council work when he was well again in December and January filled a gap which would have meant dipping into savings.
When Council cuts in this new tax year brought his work with them to an end our income  fell but   our neighbours'  gardener  has now retired so C will fill that gap to do her grass cutting  for her, which means a regular job with no traveling.
With Easter being late this year our April income from the campsite has been a bit more than usual, which will help us through until we start to sell our produce again.
Last year the irrigation work didn't start until June but we had the Sizewell Outage men on the campsite early in the year before our opening time, which was an unexpected bonus that saw us through.

There are a few photos,lots of good drawings, plans and maps in this book (lots by Sally Seymour the then wife of Self Sufficiency Guru John Seymour)

 Showing how steep the land was Patrick says that from the road at the top only the roof of the house was visible.


They had to practically rebuild the house at the same time as clearing the land  

There was a huge heap of rubble and rubbish in one area that they had to clear and needed help, but much they did was by hand.

Love this drawing of Shirley milking, on a stand similar to what I had - although mine had a bucket loop so the goats had their food while being milked and was narrower so I had a chair to sit on beside the stand. Wonder why she's milking one handed only - two handed is the way to do it. It's odd that with all my years of goat milking I have no photos of me doing it. I've got lots of goat photos but of course I wasn't blogging then so hardly used the camera. I loved leaning against a warm goat on a cold morning - it wasn't so good on a hot evening - especially as I had a window right behind me with the evening sun shining through. We walled in the little milking room, which was in the corner of one of the big buildings, with a door to get in and keep shut to keep flies out. So I was often sweltering by the time I'd finished.

Taken by a photographer for a piece in the East Anglian Daily Times promoting the Suffolk Smallholders Society in about 1994. How young we were!


Back Tomorrow

Tuesday 22 February 2022

Gt.Livermere St Peter


One of the few thatched churches in Suffolk but the reason this church gets a mention in the 100 treasures book is because of a gravestone.

It dates from 1689 and marks the burial of William Sakings, Forkner or Falconer to Charles 1st who survived  Oliver Cromwell's Commonwealth to serve Charles 2nd and James 2nd .The job of Falconer was an important post at the time and records show that in 1683 Sakings was paid £25 1s 10¾d for half a year - a wealthy man.

Gt.Livermere seems a remote village, although really it's not too far from Bury St Edmunds, with flat open fields all round. The village was once part of the manor of The Duke of Grafton.
It's a very plain, but well cared for church with no stained glass.


This board which looks as if it should be outside a pub shows William Sakings with one of his birds (apologies for some poor photos - the sun was lovely but just in the wrong place!)

One of the remains of C14 wall paintings, thought to be part of a Three Living and Three Dead sequence - common in many churches as a reminder to the majority of the congregation who couldn't read. It's very faded now
Most churches have a niche for the Piscina but this church has little niches and alcoves all round the church

In two places in the church there are these wall paintings -  very faded. These are consecration crosses, where a bishop would have used holy oil to consecrate the church (if I'm understanding the description correctly)

The three decker  pulpit is very unusual. The top level for the sermon, middle level for the bible reading and the lower level for the parish clerk.

The view from the altar rail back down the church, showing the rood screen

One of the more modern things in the church is this memorial to Montague Rhodes James, better known as M.R.James and best known for writing the first ghost stories. His father was Rector here.

Simon Knott on the Suffolk Churches website.   wonders if the tower was perhaps unfinished, but now it's topped by a quite unusual wooden belfry

Back Tomorrow

Monday 21 February 2022

The Weekend and Last Week at WI

I 'spoke' too soon!!
 On Friday afternoon when I scheduled Saturdays post to appear at 6am as usual the electric was on and it looked as if the village had escaped any cuts, but at 4.30pm as the wind was dropping it went off flicked on and off and off again.. I rang the UK Power Network and got registered for text messages and at first it said Midnight Friday/Saturday then later it said 4pm SUNDAY.(Yikes, that would have been 48 hours!).
 I put on layers, filled a hot water bottle from one of the flasks of hot water and a hot drink from the other, lit several candles and snuggled for the evening. Saturday morning I got the little camping gas stove going but the silly thing would only work on low and slow, so a hot drink eventually!
 Thank goodness the electric came back on Saturday, 24 hours earlier than they said, except the boiler didn't! At least I could use the convector heater and boil the kettle for hot water bottles.
I don't think I like this "everything needs electric" home so much! Next door neighbour said it's the longest he has known it off in the 10 years they have been there.
On Sunday morning a surprise phone call from Brother-in-Law saying he would come over and sort the greenhouse idea how the huge panes didn't break......... before we got more wind that was forecast. When I told him the boiler hadn't come back on when the electric did and the Low Pressure light was on, he said he would ask a friend who had a combi boiler what needed to be done to reset it (The Owners Instruction Manual said if the Low Pressure light was on it needed resetting - but didn't say how to do it!). And Thank Heavens he sorted both the glass and the boiler- I don't know what I do without him!

 Last week at WI there was birthday cake (96 years for this WI) and sherry (ugh) or orange juice. We've been taking our own mugs due to covid so as I was on kitchen duty I went and made a coffee. "We're not having coffees or teas this week"one  lady in the kitchen said, and when I said I don't like sherry and don't drink orange juice she gave me an odd look and sort of sniffed at me disapprovingly. As it happens a couple of other members joined me in the kitchen to make a tea or coffee.But that is one of the things I don't like about WI - you sometimes feel you have to fit in or else!

After saying I never win anything in the raffle, I won a box of biscuits. If you are on kitchen duty you also take a raffle prize and I'd taken a boxed set with a re-usable cup with lid and matching fold up bag  that I found at a car boot sale sometime so was pleased I didn't have to win it back!


This WI has it's own Flower and produce show in August and we got the schedule . No classes for vegetables though. Apparently the village once had 3 different Produce shows  organised by the - WI, Over 60's Group and the Community Council.

who all vied with each other to be the best show! which resulted in things getting nasty so that only the WI one continues - for members only. This is different to Bacton, (my other WI village when I eventually get back to going) where they have the big Fayre and Produce/Flower show every year, that I've written about before. I need to look out for information about that one, it will be on the first Saturday in August. The WI show is on normal WI evening in mid August.

We didn't have a speaker for the February meeting but were asked to move round the hall talking about ourselves to people we didn't know - like speed dating someone said! The idea was to get to know different people, but it felt a bit odd.

No meeting here next month as there is a birthday meal out - not something I will do as it means eating late and quite expensive too. So I really must get back to Bacton WI next month.

Back Tomorrow

Saturday 19 February 2022

Odds and Ends From a Week in Suffolk

I like bullet points!
  • Energy Regulator Ofgem may  have capped the unit price that gas and electric companies can charge but I am one of 1.7 million people who have no gas supply and have to buy oil and have no choice but to pay up whatever it costs. I've just ordered a top up of 500 litres and paid just over £338. Last November it was £300 and in June £225. Hope we get a mild spring! Buying more than 500 litres to get it cheaper is not an option as that would mean running the tank to empty - never a good plan.
  • Inflation is at it highest rate for over 30 years. There is no good news anywhere with regards to prices.
  • Had a letter to say my basic pension is going up by £4 a week, won't make a lot of difference as they'll just take more in tax from the County Council Spouses Pension. I am in the 'happy' position to receive just a fraction over the amount of income we are allowed before tax which is currently £12,570 a year.(and will be for the next 4 years - annoying)
  • When I don't sleep well I turn on the radio and listen to the World Service - it usually sends me off again quite quickly but this week I heard a "fact" about the USA - did you know that 25% of the population there think the last election was fixed by satanic pedophiles! Really?
  • Storm Dudley missed Mid Suffolk during the day on Wednesday and it was lovely and mild and sunny for much of the day, if only we'd not had lots of rain earlier in the week it would have made a good day for weeding but the clay soil is soggy and the weeds would have come up with a great clump of mud attached.
  • When I wrote about The Hovel in the Hills and Elizabeth West's other books on the 11th Feb., I said I would email the publishers of Patch in the Hills (as Miki had already done) to ask if they would re-print it . This was the reply............................
Sat 12/02/2022 10:01

Dear Sue,

Many thanks for contacting us, and your request to reprint A Patch in the Forest by Elizabeth West. We are currently reviewing the manuscript files and images and will let you know if we’re able to bring out a new edition.

With all best wishes,

 So you never know, we might be able to purchase a copy for less than £55 sometime in the future.

  • Have you ever woken up in the night thinking that the shoes you've just bought are the wrong size? I expect not.                                                                                                                               I sent for some Earth Spirit shoes, 

Cleveland Womens Navy Leather Shoethey're what I've worn all summer every summer for the last many years, really good for wearing without socks and very comfortable  and no shoe shop visit needed and if I can get them online at this time of the year, they are always much cheaper. So when they arrived I didn't even try them on, just checked they were the size ordered and put them in the cupboard. Then woke up wondering if they really were the size I needed. ( I have annoying feet- one bigger than the other and wide).  I even had to get out of bed and try them 3am! (They were the right size and then I went back to sleep)


  • Storm Eunice yesterday -one of the biggest storms in decades 65 - 80mph winds - heck. I got as prepared as possible and felt glad I didn't still live at the cottage with the responsibilities of trees liable to fall. The worst of the storm arrived just after noon. Over went the Olive tree in it's pot and 2 large panes from the greenhouse flew out and somehow landed without breaking. The trellis was going back and forwards in an alarming way - tried to prop it up to no avail. Then  I noticed the trellis arch at the corner of the house was leaning more than ever - it's been propped up since I moved in- if it fell it could land on the satellite dish wire or the fence or the newly planted apple tree. So I pulled it down. Texted Brother-in-Law to tell him I had a new collection of jobs for him!

This week I am grateful for

  1. Not needing to go out during the stormy weather 
  2. A cosy safe home
  3. Shoes for summer
  4. Not too much damage in the wind
 Have a good weekend.
 I shall be back on Monday 

Friday 18 February 2022

Winter Olympics and Other Stuff on TV

Not much to write about today and if you are reading this it means you've survived the start of storm Eunice, which is supposed to be worst in the South West of England and Wales.
Yesterday I moved a few things into the shed just in case but  this bungalow feels quite sheltered with houses each side and behind. Before I went to bed last night I will have put the torch handy and filled up a flask with boiling water and remembered where I'd put the re-chargable lantern and wind-up radio. That's about as much as I can do. If the electric and heating fails for any length of time I shall have to venture 3 miles to Brother-in-Law's house for keeping warm by his wood burner!

 The Winter Olympics have nearly finished. It's been interesting to watch - first with fake snow, then too much real snow with temperatures of minus 20C. 
There's been controversy as there always is - made worse by Covid tests and tales of drug test fails, but you have to admire the bravery of people who leap off jumps on skis or boards, twist  round in the air upside down and manage to land without breaking any bones.
I've preferred the Curling - the tactics are clever and no one gets hurt doing it!
 I wonder if anyone got  up early to watch it all live? - with Beijing 8 hours ahead, the TV coverage here has started at midnight. I'm not that keen and 8am seems a better time to get up, that's about the time any sun appears through any gap I've left in the curtains.
 As I write this on Thursday afternoon the men's team have been assured of at least a Silver Medal in the curling but otherwise no other medals - I expect that will cause much discussion, but without building ice-rinks and ski slopes and persuading the weather gods to send us more snow every year, I can't really see how more people will get the skills without funding to live and train abroad. After all, we're not really a winter sports country.

One TV programme this week made for horrible viewing - it was all about the treatment of cows in one of the huge milk producing "factories" - no longer should they be called farms. We need to be paying the proper price for milk so all farmers can produce it without the cows suffering.

Last February I was living among boxes waiting to move and got into watching the crime dramas from various countries that are shown on the 4 catch-up channel thanks to 'Walter Presents'. I thought I'd seen all of the ones that weren't too weird.......... I don't do psychological thrillers in books or TV. But last week on a very rainy afternoon I found a new one called The Team, in which the police of various European counties work together to solve crimes committed across borders. Very similar to Crossing Lines which I found at this time last year.

I shall schedule this to publish at 6am as usual and hope there is electric for the wifi connection!
Stay safe
Weather permitting I'll be back tomorrow

Thursday 17 February 2022

More Home Front World War II Diaries



Back in October I wrote about this book which I'd borrowed from the library, read and enjoyed

 and I said that it would be good to have a copy to add to my other Home Front WWII diaries - and I had more than I realised!


What I forgot about were these other two which were on another shelf with books that I was hoping to read soon. Both had been around for several years waiting to be read.

And I've read both since the start of the year

Esther Rowley - Dogs, Goats, Bulbs and Bombs;Wartime Diaries of Exmouth and Exeter. Edited by John Folkes. and published in 2010.These diaries were found in an auction by the editor and thanks to a letter found among the pages could be attributed to Esther, a single woman who was in her 30's and lived with her mother in a large house in Exmouth. It's a fascinating look at the life of those who had money at the time and were able to purchase things that many found difficult to find. Esther is in the ATS at the beginning of the diaries in 1940 but later has to leave to take care of her elderly mother. She spends lots of time out and about walking her dogs, visiting neighbours and friends for tea, playing tennis, swimming in summer and having picnics.Gardening is her main pleasure and there are good details of all the plants she buys - things I didn't think were available during the war. A completely different war experience to people living in London or other cities. 

Joan Strange - Despatches From the Home Front; The War Diaries. Non Fiction. Edited by Chris McCooey. Published originally in 1989.  From January 1st 1939 to the end of the War, Joan Stange kept a diary. From the dramatic happening in other parts of the world to the local problems in Worthing. The book also includes a few newspaper  cuttings which are interesting.

I found this about her online 

Papers of Joan Strange (1902-1994)

Joan Colebrook Strange was born at Worthing in 1902. Her parents were George, a local draper, and Emily, and she had two sisters, Mollie and Kathleen, and a brother, Ken. She attended Worthing High School for Girls from 1913 to 1920, and subsequently trained and worked as a physiotherapist. Shortly before the Second War, she became involved in running the Worthing Refugee Committee, which was established in January 1939 to help people, mainly Jews, escaping from central Europe. During the war she kept a diary, which has been published as Despatches from the Home Front (1989). After the war, her work on behalf of refugees continued, raising money for displaced persons in Europe and fugitives from the Eastern Block countries. She made several visits to camps in Germany, which are recorded in detail in the scrapbooks and diaries listed below, regularly gave talks, and appeared on the popular radio show Woman's Hour in 1952. Some of the individuals and families she helped built new lives in England, and the Europeans of the 1940s and 1950s were later joined by Vietnamese and Ugandans in the 1960s and 70s. Many of them leave their mark among these records, in photographs and letters of thanks. Joan Strange died in 1994

 And then I still have this to read, another that's been around a while....waiting for the right mood.

It won't be read this month as I have all the library books to enjoy, but I will get to it eventually.

 Some other WWII diaries that I've read over the last 20 years but don't own are these.............

The View from the Corner Shop: Diary of a Wartime Shop Assistant: The Diary of a Yorkshire Shop Assistant in Wartime

 These Wonderful Rumours!: A Young Schoolteacher's Wartime Diaries 1939-1945

Love & War in London: The Mass Observation Wartime Diary of Olivia Cockett

The Milk Lady at New Park Farm: The Wartime Diary of Anne McEntegart June 1943 - February 1945

 Dorset in Wartime: v. 15: The Diary of Phyllis Walther 1941-1942 (Dorset in Wartime: The Diary of Phyllis Walther 1941-1942)


Sand In My Shoes: Coming of Age in the Second World War: A WAAF’s Diary 

I reckon there aren't many more to be read unless other diaries are found in attics, or discovered in the Mass Observation never know.

Back Tomorrow

Wednesday 16 February 2022

More Things for the Garden

 I decided to go and get another couple of bags of multi purpose compost on Saturday and popped into a few charity shops (nothing found) in my circular trip round avoiding road closures. The Age Concern charity shop just out of Stowmarket has a Poundstretcher store next door  and out the front was a load of fruit trees for sale and somehow I found myself buying a good sized Bramley Apple for £8.99. Worth a go at fitting it in somewhere at that price.
The garden centre had primroses at 99p each - so I got 3 of those (primroses and primula are another plant nearly absent from the garden) and a couple of packets of bee-friendly wild flower seeds too. Never had any luck with growing wildflowers from seed before but I'm ever hopeful. I've also got some that came with the bee identification chart from Friends Of The Earth last year. I'm thinking to sow all these seeds in the bare earth under the Minarette apple trees. They won't take a lot of nutrients from the apple trees and I'll know exactly where I've sown them.
From the garden catalogue, which I've been happily perusing, I'm not going to get Alstromeria after all
  but instead ordering the annual Osteospermum "Berries and Cream" and perennial  Achillia "Summer Berries"  both variations on pinks and reds for the front border which is the sunniest spot. The back garden border gets the sun in the mornings but then in shade for much of the day. Think I'll wait to see what comes back along there from last year and then pick up some cheaper things to fill the spaces from car boot sales later in the year.
The sunniest border in the back garden is the bit under the living room window which is still full of Hebe-geebies. Next year I'll concentrate on replacing at least two of the three with something I like better.

Garden catalogues are a disaster on the bank balance - what a good thing I'm not also addicted to clothes, make up, handbags and house furnishings.................but"only" books and plants!

Back Tomorrow

Tuesday 15 February 2022

East Bergholt St.Mary

It's a few weeks since I drove down to the Suffolk/Essex border to visit this church that I knew would feature in the 100 treasures in 100 Suffolk Churches book even before opening it.

It's unique because of this....the C16 Bell Cage.

The information board explains it all.

Inside - the bells are huge.

Here's a youtube clip of them being rung

This is as far as they got with the tower in the 1520's

Enter through the double height porch, with it's lovely sundial

 Then through some more modern oak doors

Into this wide, light and much visited church


Almost all the windows are stained glass and beautiful

The pulpit is well carved


and the lectern is just as interesting


One of several war memorials


A model of both the church and the bell-cage are there for visitors to see in close up

There are side chapels at each side of the church

Several large brick tombs in the churchyard show the wealth of those who attended the church in previous years......with a good show of early aconites.

View across the churchyard

Lots more information and photos of the things I forgot are on Simon Knott's Suffolk Churches Website

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