Tuesday 30 August 2022


I woke up twice in the early hours of Monday morning feeling very chilly, so after many weeks of sleeping under just the duvet cover decided it was time to put the duvet back inside it.

Quizzy Mondays with Only Connect and University Challenge are back on TV  and when I walked up the street to the bottle bank and post box before 9am and there was a touch of Autumn in the air.

I'd love the warmth to carry on for all of September and October if possible but the seasons will change regardless.

Back Soon

Monday 29 August 2022


Took a trip to Crowfield Church on Saturday (Info from the Suffolk churches website HERE ) for the Flower Festival but more for the books!

This marquee is the book stall - full of boxes  - nearly all were fiction this year

The theme of the flower festival was 'The Beauty Around Us". I'm afraid the photos are poor due to the bright sun outside and it being so much darker inside or maybe my new phone camera is not as good as I hoped it would be and the photographer is certainly not as good as I'd like to be!

and the books bought were these, they were 50p each. Might have seen the Green Man one before and the Agatha Christie was first read way back in the 70's. The others are all new to me and I picked up the Chalet School one because it's a series that I never read as a chid so thought it was about time to catch up. 

I had a cup of coffee there and spent £1 on the tombola which won me a bag of chewy sweets - better save them for the children who do trick or treating at Halloween.

The next second-hand book sale is the big NSPCC sale near Colchester in October - I shall be there!

Back Soon

Saturday 27 August 2022

Saturday 27th

My Week..............

While over in the west of the country they have had rain and cooler weather, here it was hot and humid nearly all week. I need to get on with some clearing outside but it's been too hot - especially in the greenhouse. Even on Thursday when thunderstorms were forecast and there was a 90% chance of rain for several hours, what  we had here wasn't even enough to run off the roof! In Bury St Edmunds which is only about 20 miles away, they had a months worth of rain in a few hours.

Took me half the week to recover from having the nearly 6 year old  Eldest Granddaughter to stay overnight last weekend! Lovely to spend time with her, as now she's at school I don't get to visit so often but she has a lot more energy than I have!

I got a good batch of Red Relish made during the week. I labelled it Not-So-Hot relish because when I went to Asda for chilli peppers they only had some of the milder sort and I couldn't be bothered to go anywhere else. I used 4lb of the huge tomatoes, 2 large red pointy peppers, 1lb red onions and 3 small mild chillies + White sugar and 1 pint red wine vinegar. I'm planning another similar sized batch but I'll make sure to get proper hot chillies for that. Also made 3 pastry flan cases for the freezer ready for quiches.

From the garden this week I've been eating the corn cobs - they are just so good. I've got some butternut squash ready to harvest but the are very small - tennis ball size - there are some slightly larger that I hope will ripen before too long. I was hoping for runner beans but no flowers appeared until the plants were 3 foot tall and then not a single flower has set - that's something that's never happened before. Brother-in Law said he's had two meals from his but it looks as if that will be it. Must be the heat I guess.

Then there was the lovely load of library books which made for a good week all in all, until on Friday morning there was no hot water. I took the front cover off  the boiler and the low pressure light was flashing - Oh Bother! I could see a drip of water too from somewhere in the bottom corner so left a message with my friendly heating engineer and he called in on his way by and quickly fixed it.

After watching all of the Luther series' on the catch up channel last winter and deciding to replace Kevin Costner with Idris Elba as my new favourite actor (sorry Kevin!) and after getting the weekly email from the cinema in Stowmarket,  I'm debating if I should go to watch I.E.'s new film..... 'The Beast' - The story of a lion stalking a "recently widowed ordinary father " and his two teenage daughters who are on a visit to a South African game reserve.............. or maybe not!

Instead, as I've not been to a car boot sale for weeks, that's what I shall be doing this weekend plus there is the regular Flower Festival at Crowfield church, which obviously hasn't been held since 2019. Although I like the flowers I'm really going for the large second-hand book stall they always have!

Enjoy the Bank Holiday weekend whatever you have planned.

Back Next Week

Friday 26 August 2022

Library Book Photo

 Did the Mobile library turn up for the first time since May?


Were there many books that I'd reserved to pick up from the van

Yes........... 14

I'm a very happy bunny 😀

From left to right

Ponies at the Edge of the World; A Story of Hope and Belonging in Shetland by Catherine Munro (not sure where I saw this mentioned)
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. (Didn't see this at the cinema so decided to borrow the book.)
High Street by J.M Richards and Eric Ravillious (Couldn't get to see the Eric Ravillious film but found the library had this to look at)
The Barn by Sally Coulthard
Then There was One by Joyce Dennys ( I've read her wartime fiction short stories which were good)
The Seat of the Scornful by John Dickson Carr - another British Library Crime Classic
Give Unto Others by Donna Leon. Her most recent crime set in Venice
Old London Bridge by Patricia Pierce. (borrowing this after the London Bridge talk at Over 60's in June)
The Lamplighters by Emma Stonex -(think I saw this on a blog)
Old Bones Lie by Marion Todd ( next in the series that I'm reading)

On the right at the bottom
Our Wild Farming Life by Lynn Casseells and Sandi Baer - (From the TV programme)
The Sentence is Death by Anthony Horowitz - (The second in the series where he puts himself in the story)
The Sound of Being Human; How Music Shapes Our Lives by Jude Rogers (not sure why I ordered this)
The Book Woman's Daughter by Kim Michele Richardson (set in the Appalachians and about delivering books- saw it on a blog I think)

The last lot?
Seems an age since early July when the mobile library manager kindly delivered this lot because the van had already missed two visits

Those that I read (11) are on the separate Books Read 2022 page and there were  4 I didn't read - The D.E.Stevenson was really light rubbish, The Adam Nicholson book had whole chapters about the various creatures found on the beach - which didn't really interest me. Unsettled Ground didn't appeal and neither did 12 Birds to Save your Life when I had a closer look at it although it's so long ago that I can't remember why.

Back Soon

Thursday 25 August 2022

Recent Reading

 A library book and one from my shelves.

The Edinburgh Mystery and Other Tales of Scottish Crime is another British Library Crime Classic and has 17 short stories from Robert Louis Stevenson in 1885 to Jennie Melville in 1974.

As always the book is edited by Martin Edwards and each story has details of the author, what and when they wrote and where the story first appeared. Most of the stories were good but some were positively weird - not surprising they were not re-published for years!

After reading two more of the Alexander McCall Smith Isobel Dalhousie series from my shelves and putting them out into the car ready for the next charity shop visit, I picked a book off my World War II Home Front shelves.

Carry on Coping; Diary of a Doctor 1942-1945 by Joan F Hickson was a really good read giving a fascinating insight into the world of  GP's before the NHS came along. Joan Hickson had specialised as an Eye doctor and worked in various locations. Her husband Eric was a traditional GP and they worked from their home in Chippenham, Wiltshire.( I'm old enough to remember when all doctors had their surgery, office and dispensary adjoining their home, seems so odd now). Back in the 40's doctors were often called out during the night and Eric delivers lots of babies during the 3 years covered by the diary. Eric and Joan had 3 children and also had live in help both for the doctors practice and for the house.

The diary starts after the Blitz in Bath and continues most days with details of her work, home life, the daily trials and tribulations that even affected a "fortunate" family.
There was an interesting chapter about the holiday they had taking a punt down part of the Thames. 
Joan had one strange side to her - she hated anything to do with the church, especially Catholics, with a vengence. She wouldn't go to weddings or funerals in churches. Her daughter Ruth who writes a final few pages about Joan's later life said they never really knew the reason for this. 

This book isn't going to a charity shop but back on my shelves with my other WWII Diaries.

Still no rain here this week and it's been very hot and humid - especially Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons although thunderstorms are forecast for us today - Thursday.

Back soon

Tuesday 23 August 2022

All About Beetroot

First of all must say a big Thank you to new followers who have clicked the follower button -even though it's just as I'm starting to write a bit less often.  Have to say it's quite strange not writing a post every day although it certainly leaves a bit more time for other things.

Now the main subject......................

 Despite my beetroot being far too closely sown and not thining them, I've being pulling a bunch like this every week. I don't want them too big as they take too long to cook.


Thought I'd look in that new little vegetable book to find the history of these roots vegetables that we always called Red Beet to differentiate from  'Beet' grown in so many fields when I was young when Suffolk had two Sugar Beet factories.

From the illustration, dating from the mid C19, seems there were different colours even then - but traditional colour is my choice. 
According to the book apparently the place and date of origin of Beetroot is not definite but they possible came from the Nile region around 2,000 BCE. There was a wild beet growing in Mediterranian coastal regions which may have derived from Chard (or vice-versa). Greeks ate the leaves and the Romans cultivated the root which is maybe why in Tudor England it was called 'Romaine beete'.

Beetroot is rich in iron,calcium,carotene,magnesium, phosphorus, vitamim A and B complex. So very Good For You!

Mangolds, Mangle or mangle-wurzels used for cattle feed are a hybrid of beetroot and chard.

Over the last 40 years I've tried many different ways to preserve them for winter but they always seem too vinegary for my taste. Someone once suggested bottling them in a jelly made using vinegar instead of water - that didn't work either. Years ago we kept them for many months in a box of sand but I don't really have anywhere suitable to do that now - or the sand. So now I just eat them through the months they are available fresh. 

Back in a while

Saturday 20 August 2022

Saturday 20th

It's been a busy week ............... 

The weather has carried on being dry and humid here - still no rain to speak of (and I was very glad they cancelled the fireworks at the Patronal Celebration at the church over the road) so it's still a nightly round of watering whatever I have the energy to do.......always the greenhouse but outside has to take it's turn. Was very annoyed to find that despite the enviromesh over the Brassica plants, there are holes in leaves, caterpillars and white-fly. The plants are looking very sad - not worth the effort at all I think.

Eldest Daughter and the two boys were here from Surrey and we packed in lots of trips including a meet up with the two Suffolk families on the beach in Felixstowe on Sunday. This was quite eventful because the children found a live .303 rifle bullet amongst the rock breakwaters. Youngest Granddaughter thought it was a pen and tried to write with it! The Archaeologist son was very calm and thought it safest to call police which is what they have to do if they find live ammunition during a dig. It was duly collected and taken away - just in case.

The August WI meeting in this village takes the form of a 'Grow, Cook and Sew  Show' but due to the family visit I didn't bake (and there are no vegetable classes) so just entered Strawberry Jam, Mango and Pepper Chutney and a Photograph of an Historic Building. Surprised to find I got 3 x 2nd places but, unlike Bacton Fayre, there are no prizes for individual classes at this show only cups or trophies for points overall.
(The cards are folded and paperclipped to start with so the judges don't see the names)
The show is open to villagers to have a look in the evening and there's a draw, tombola and other fund raising stalls too. There's never been anything like this at any other WI's I've belonged to so it was interesting to find out how it all worked. 

On Wednesday a man from Essex and Suffolk Water Company came to fit me a water meter which I hope will save me about £100 a year and the same saving for the sewerage charges which are paid to a different company but will now be based on water usage rather than on Council Tax Banding.

Thursday was hair-cut day - they've put their prices up yet again, even though it only takes her 15 minutes to do a quick clipper cut and trim the edges....Oh well - anywhere else would probably cost the same and require driving so I'll stick with them.
Once home I used the last two aubergines plus some of my onions, two tins of tomatoes and a courgette to make yet another batch of pasta sauce, which were soon portioned up and frozen. There's now plenty in the freezer to make a meal a week almost until Christmas! 

On Friday a man came from the building company to have a more detailed look at the work that is to be done in making me a new en-suite with drains into the mains and a radiator so I will no longer freeze in winter and worry about the Saniflo macerator system packing up. They hope to start around the middle of September and take about 3 weeks. I choose to go with a bigger building company who employ all the trades so in theory there won't be any hold ups. 
He wasn't sure about turning the old en-suite into a store room accessed from outside due to changed regulations with regard to the proximity of the heating oil tank. But I've known right from the start that the oil tank will need replacing and moving sometime so may need to get that done before a door is put in the back wall.

Apart from that I've been enjoying the European Multi-sport Championships on TV. So good to see GB getting medals in all sorts of sports - very different to the past when a medal was a rare thing. 

Another bit of Nanna stuff later today as it's Eldest Granddaughter's turn to visit and to stay overnight - on her own -  better find some craft things for her to do.

Have a good weekend whatever the weather
I shall be back one day next week

Friday 19 August 2022


 We are lucky to have a place locally that stocks all sorts of packaging things plus a ton of other stuff for flower arranging/parties/cake making/ and all sorts of other bits and bobs and I went there a couple of weeks ago for some 12oz jars ready for making my Red Hot-as-you-like Relish and Red Onion Chutney and more Marrow/Apricot and Ginger Jam - all things I want to do soon, some for me and some for Christmas Gifts.

Then a week later I found these 8oz jars at a boot sale for £2.50. The lady also had some half packs of smaller jars too but they were really too small for jam or chutney.

(The other bits were small Lego kits for oldest Grandson who was about to visit and 3 bigger vehicles to add to the car box...............that's despite me saying I had enough already!)

Back Soon

Thursday 18 August 2022

The Huge Tomatoes

I said the Super Mama tomatoes were Huge and this is how big Huge is. 4 tomatoes on the scales and  over a kilo/2½ lb. Four in a bag in the freezer is enough for one batch of my Red Hot-as-you-like Chutney

and I've put two bags in - one skinned before and one to test out that they are easier to skin after freezing, which someone claimed. 

Just need the peppers to turn to a proper red and buy some red onions and red chillies and a day with nothing happening to get it made.

Back Tomorrow

Wednesday 17 August 2022

Ogham Tree Alphabet, August into September

Back again.
 On the new laptop and after a busy few days with visitors....Eldest Daughter, Eldest Grandson (6 and a bit) and Youngest Grandson (10 months).
Yes, the Computer shop set up the computer with a new search engine and I took my camera disc so they loaded that too as this lap top has nowhere for a CD - apparently they don't anymore. My old laptop had separate right/left click buttons - this one doesn't which confused me for a minute.
Then I had to track down passwords to put all my favourite things back for easy finding. It's nice to be able to type a row of words and actually having a space bar that makes a space between them - which recently my old laptop didn't always do.

Eldest daughter managed to find a way of loading photos from my new phone to this laptop, I'd tried everything to do it on the old laptop without success.

So all is well until the time comes that I need a new camera!

One of the months and letters of the alphabet that got missed when I had a year writing about the trees in the Ogham Tree Alphabet    through 2020/21 was The Hazel - standing for the letter C, the number 9 and ruling the 9th month from August into September.

In Irish Legend, Connla's well  was overhung by nine Hazel trees which contained all the knowledge of the arts and sciences to those who ate them (Connla was one of the Celtic Dieties in Irish Mythology).
 When nine nuts fell into the well they were eaten by a salmon, which developed nine spots as a symbol of the knowledge. The salmon was then cooked by Fionn, the son of the chief Druid's daughter for the Chief Druid to eat . Fionn was forbidden to eat the fish but when he burnt his thumb on the hot fish, he sucked it to ease the pain and stole the wisdom by accident.

From the book 'Discovering the Folklore of Plants' by Margaret Baker..............
The Celtic world treated hazel as a holy tree. Its nuts were connected with poetry, knowledge, love, fertility and childbirth. In the Scottish Highlands hazel was one of the nine sacred woods used in kindling needfire at Beltane. (Need-fire, or Wild-fire, a fire caused by friction is a term used in folklore to denote a superstition which survived in the Scottish Highlands until a recent date.)
Hazel Dowsing rods have long been used to find underground water. This was something that worked for Colin easily - yet never for me. 

I've been watering my new Red Hazel tree regularly but it still looks sad from lack of rain but too much heat. One day I hope it will be as huge as the one in BiL's garden. I gave a squirrel-sown seedling to Mum in Law way back in the late 90's and now the tree is a giant which Brother in Law moans about each year when he has to trim it back!

 Despite enjoying writing it was quite nice to have a short blogging break, posting 6 days every week can get quite time consuming. I've decided to cut down a little on blog time so sometimes I might say "Back Tomorrow" or I might say "Back in a While". 

This time I have something in drafts so.....................................

Back Tomorrow


Sunday 14 August 2022

New Lap Top

 The new lap top is up and running but I'm still busy with visitors so will post properly in a day or two.


Thursday 11 August 2022

Using Up Odd Bits of Vegetables

 A couple of weeks ago I used a Morrison's Red Thai Curry Kit (£2) to make a big pan of good looking vegetable curry to go in the freezer. The Kit has a sachet of curry paste, a sachet of coconut milk and a sachet of dried spices.

 I used up various vegetables from the garden. Starting with 2 onions and two medium sized aubergines,

then a green pepper that had a hole in it, four red tomatoes - cutting off the blossom end rot bits and the last of the green beans. I cooked the beans in water in the microwave for a few minutes first.

It looked very good (better in real life than the photo!)and divided up into several portions which are in the freezer. They will make a change from my usual batch-made curries which I make using curry powder. I'm waiting for the butternut squash to be ready to do that.

Today I'm being brave and buying a new lap top - they will transfer some things from the old one onto the new. I shall be lap top less  (hopefully not all weekend!). It will be good to have a keyboard with all the keys still there and a space bar that doesn't stick and to be able to do things that this old clogged up machine won't do because I'm "unsupported". Oh how I wish I knew more about computers.

I've got another busy week coming up so I shall be back sometime but I know not when! Apologies in advance for not commenting anywhere or replying to comments here.

(I've added the Cheese Straws recipe to the recipe page for CLM and anyone interested)

Wednesday 10 August 2022

Recent Reading - The Old and The New

 Two of the library books read recently were quite different


Adrian Bell -  Sunrise to Sunset. 
Adrian Bell was born in 1901 and became a farmer and then a rural journalist. He was also the compiler of the first Times crossword.Many of his books are loosely based on farms that he worked on and where he lived in Suffolk
The library copy of Sunrise to Sunset that I borrowed was published in 1944 during the war on austerity paper and is kept in the Local Interest section of the Library reserve.
In May 1940 during the  fear of invasion on the East Coast of England,  Nora Bell took her three children to a rented home in the Westmorland village where her sister was a teacher. This little book is about Adrian Bell's visits from Suffolk up to Westmorland and his tales of helping on the farm there, which he was able to do as the harvests were about 4 weeks earlier in the South. The differences between a small stoney farm in the Cumbrian Fells and the flat fertile lands of Suffolk are many. A fascinating insight to how hard those farming families worked to earn a living on sloping, poor land through the war. 
It's funny to think that Martin, his son just little boy in the book became a war correspondent and an MP and is now a very old man himself .
John Bevis - An English Library Journey. "One man's eccentric quest to obtain a membership card from every library authority in England". . John Bevis started  this tour of libraries when, unable to continue his job after an operation, he began driving his wife around the country for her work. While waiting for her he found he would have to  join the library in the town to be able to use the computers for his writing and editing work (a sideline to his main job). So in 2009 the quest began in Shropshire. I was most disappointed to see that his visit to Suffolk was to Sudbury library, when apart from the architecture (one of his main interests in each library) all he talks about were the people having trouble using the computers.
 In his 2010 visit to Norfolk he went to the Norfolk and Norwich Millennium  library in the Forum in Norwich - the most used library in the country. But he fails to mention this library sprung from the fire that destroyed 1000's of books in the previous library and this is despite  his story of helping to rescue books from a library at Guildford Grammar School when there was a fire then in 1962.
An interesting little book if you want to know about the library tickets, the buildings, the changing use of libraries and the people using a few of the countries libraries.
 Unfortunately after the Brexit referendum in 2016 he gets into politics a bit too much!

Back Tomorrow


Tuesday 9 August 2022

Haughley Hoofers and a Mystery Morris

 I wandered up the road to the pub one evening last week to take a couple of photos of the Haughley Hoofers and a Morris team (Were they East Suffolk Morris?although on a map of Dance Sides in Suffolk they don't exist and are  men rather than a mixed group).

Or another possibility is they could be the Hageneth Morris re-started (Hageneth was an old name for Haughley) but last I heard they had disbanded in 2019 although this group were wearing a similar costume as Hageneth used to. 
I should have asked!  but it was only when writing this post that I discovered all the information!

Whoever they were, they were nowhere near as colourful and exuberant as some Morris sides - like Arils (Eccentric Amblings and Ramblings) blog.

It was only by chance that I knew they'd be there, having noticed a Facebook post on the local village page a few weeks ago, there were no posters up and no mention of them being here on their own websites.

Haughley Hoofers are a women's clog dancing side and The Morris side were also nearly all ladies too


Accompanied by a type of bag pipes, bells on a stick, a penny whistle and accordion.

Back Tomorrow

Monday 8 August 2022

Fun at The Fayre

 A busy day on Saturday at Bacton Fayre with the Flower and Produce Show. On the Thursday before I baked cheese straws to sell on the WI stall and on Friday baked a few things to enter in the show.

All entries had to be in the Marquee between 9am and  10.45 and then I'd been persuaded to be a steward to help the lady judging the cookery entries. That meant being back at just after 10.45 to help. Plus I'd volunteered myself to help on the WI stall for a couple of hours in the afternoon, and had to be there to collect up the entries at 5pm- so it was quite a day out!

Saturday was a beautiful day and it  was jolly hot in the marquee so I  soon discovered stewarding is quite hard work as it involves taking the cakes etc one at a time to where the judge is sitting doing the cutting and tasting, then entering up the judges decisions of 1st,2nd,3rd on a chart and making sure the correct entry cards are labelled with the right stickers - very pressurized in a small way -although you can imagine the fuss there would be if something went wrong!

I had entered 11 different classes -should have been 12 but the courgettes grew too much so that there weren't 3 matching on Saturday!

Just a few photos from the day - it was too hot to wander round for long and after finishing my stewarding job I spent most of the afternoon under the shade of the WI gazebo.


In the Vegetable classes I entered tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and aubergines (in the 'any other vegetable' class.) Strawberry Jam, Suffolk Rusks, Wartime vinegar cake and Chocolate crackle cookies in the Cookery classes. Plus 2 photographs and some cross stitch in the craft classes.

Out of my 11 entries I won 2 firsts, 3 seconds and 2 third prizes - very pleased with that. The cash prizes are HUGE! ..........£1.50 for a first, £1 for a second and 50p for a 3rd !!  No one enters for the prize money...........it's all about the taking part .......er....... NO....... it's all about getting a sticker on your card!

Back Tomorrow

Thursday 4 August 2022

Autumn Approaching ?

 A walk up the road this week really showed how Autumn is approaching even though Summer hasn't gone......it's been in the high 20's this week and still no rain.

Zooming into the village from the top of the 'hill'.

 Not sure what the Sugar Beet harvest will be like if we don't get more rain

IF it rains there might be blackberries.


A Bridleway goes off this back road but it only goes to the main  A140 road, so no way to do a circular horse or bike ride.

Rose Hips appearing

Lots of small Sloes

Huge crop of Haws turning red already - a bird feast later

The wheat has been cut and the bales carted away

The field beans look ready for harvest - a very poor harvest I think

This was ahead of me hopping down onto the road and then disappearing into the hedge every time I took a step nearer, and popping out again and  despite the camera zooming in these were the 'best' photos! I think it's just a young  Yellow Hammer?

It's a good year for acorns

There are several clumps of Horseradish on a rough bit of a field entrance but I'm not going to bother to dig up the roots!


 I've got some busy days coming up so taking a short blogging break. I'll be back Monday or Tuesday.