Friday 30 September 2022

4 Men, A Screwdriver and an Unnecessary Sign

 Here's the latest idea/initiative  to come from someone in an office somewhere. These signs are popping up around Suffolk at the request of Parish Councils. I went out the front to get the bin in a few weeks ago and saw 4 men - 3 Parish Councillors and the Local History Recorder just finishing fixing up the sign and posing for a photograph.

The sign is on a small lane that loops round the village, it's the one I walk along to take the photos of the view over the village. In the lane there's a farm, a couple of small businesses and less than a dozen houses so is used by some traffic but not many as it's narrow and annoying to drive if you meet another vehicle- definitely not a short cut.

Now the sign is up it doesn't stop traffic driving round the lane or making them go even more slowly than they have to go already and  if a person is walking and a car comes you still have to squeeze up on the side of the road or climb up onto the field edge. There's no room for a car to get past a bike so anyone cycling has to get off and stand on the side anyway. 

That's what I mean by a unnecessary sign, it really makes no difference to what happens already.

On well - I suppose it keeps the Parish Council busy.

(On the other side is the same picture with a red line through it and "Quiet Lane Ends". Hope people don't start being too noisy as they exit the lane and go past my bungalow!)

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Thursday 29 September 2022


 This is the photo of Rose-hips that was taken on my walk up the lane a couple of weeks ago, there are so many this year, bright orangey-red and huge and full of Vitamin C.

During World War II the sea blockade cut off imports and soon there was a lack of citrus fruit and the threat of the disease Scurvy, well known to sailors, could have quickly become a National problem. Rosehips were know to contain 20 times the amount of Vitamin C than oranges and in 1941 The Ministry of Health started a scheme for the collection of Rosehips for processing into a syrup. 120 tons were gathered by volunteers. The next year the scheme was transferred to the Vegetable Drugs Committee of the Ministry of Supply and 344 tons collected. For the next 3 years collection averaged 350 tons a year. The syrup was sold at a controlled price of 1s 9d (one shilling and ninepence or 9 new pence decimal) for a 6oz bottle.

I'll not be making any - although I might buy a bottle just to remind me of it's taste as I'm sure it was something we were dosed up with as children (although that was years after the war and I might be imagining it).

Here is Cecily Mary Barkers lovely painting of the Rose-Hip fairy and her song from her Flower Fairy books.

Searching through my folklore books I failed to find any associated folklore for Rose-hips except for the mention of many Hips and Haws foretelling  a hard winter - which is rarely true as the amount of fruit in Autumn is usually a reflection of the spring and summer weather.

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Wednesday 28 September 2022

Ready for the Building Work

 The bedroom is ready, even if I'm not!

 I'm actually dreading having workmen here for 3 weeks. Wish I could offer to do the labouring just to get it done quicker! after all whenever Col did all the building work at all our previous homes it was me who did the "go and get" jobs and the clearing up. 
Brother in Law came to help me shift mattress off spare bed to stand it up in small bedroom/toyroom and my mattress onto spare bed. My clothes are still in their drawers but now stacked on top of the cupboard in the spare room and clothes that I'll need from wardrobe are hanging on the mattress in small bedroom. I've sealed up the big built in wardrobe/cupboard with plastic and covered the bedframe with big dust sheet. That's about as much as I can do to protect things. The builders will protect the hall floor for going in and out.

The new en-suite is going to be built in the front far corner, (that end of the room was once one of the garages before the previous owners extended the bedroom into it) the glass in the window there will be changed to frosted. The toilet and basin will be under the window and of course all the drains will now be able to go out the front of the bungalow and into mains drains, without an electric pump!

The light fitting you can see is another of the strange things here. Just like the living room there are two light fittings in the room with a total of 10 bulbs that are both on one switch. Who needs 10 light bulbs on all at once!! It will be changed to a couple of inset lights in the en-suite.

Below is the current en-suite, built at the back of what was the garage. It looks OK doesn't it BUT the walls are just plywood inside a single brick wall, one reason it's so cold.  The waste from basin, shower and loo run into the macerator behind the toilet which pumps out......... using electric and with a limited lifespan......... through a small pipe and into the drain that runs off the roof of the garage.

The other reason it's freezing in here in winter is because of this roof-light high up with a vent that can't be closed.

Hope they turn up today to start................ pity it's just as the weather turns cold, wet and windy the front door will be open all the time! But never mind - I will survive and I've teabags, coffee and milk ready!.
Thankfully they are putting a porta-loo outside so they won't need to use my bathroom. I've been and bought a bucket to use for flushing the bathroom loo when the water is turned off, which I'm sure it will be sometimes while they sort out the pipework. They also install a key safe so I don't have to be at home all the time when different trades  are coming and going.


Did you watch the new police drama "Karen Pirie" set in St Andrews, Scotland and based on a book by Val McDermid  written in 2003.It was very good.  I thought how strange that another author I'd read recently is also setting books there and searched through the Books Read page to find that it is Marion Todd, whose 6th book I read in August. Her series started in 2019. Wonder  what  Ms McDermid thought when another author also featuring a female detective starting setting her books in the town?

Also I keep meaning to say Hello and Welcome to more followers who have clicked the follower button and made 749, which it had sat at for a while, up to 754 in a week!

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Tuesday 27 September 2022

Orford Village and St. Bartholomew's Church

 It was an age since I visited one of the churches in the 100 Treasures in 100 Suffolk Churches Book. 

So after visiting the Rural Bygones sale at Campsea Ash I carried on to the coast at Orford,a popular Suffolk tourist village that really is at the end of a road.

 Orford is  almost on the coast beside the River Ore (which starts out as the River Alde further north) as it twists and turns between ever shifting shingle banks  to the sea at Shingle Streeet. It's well known for it's castle built in the 1160's, Pinneys smokehouse, RSPB Havergate Island and the old Radar Station on Orford Ness - now a nature reserve owned by the National Trust.

This is the view across the river to the Ness and the old buildings used during and after WWII. 

Both Orford Ness Nature Reserve and Havergate Island are only reached by ferries which don't run all the time but have to be booked.

The river is a favourite place for yachting and fishing

There are lots of  fishermen's huts along the quay

A map of the village

Pinneys Of Orford  restaurant and posh food shop

The church sits on a small rise ¼ mile from the river. The tower was rebuilt very recently in the 1960/70s after it fell in 1830

The reason for the church getting a mention in the 100 Suffolk Churches book is because of the ruins of the Norman chancel built quite early in the Norman era and then rebuilt during the C12 at the same time as the castle . The  nave of the church was rebuilt again in C14 and the chancel was still attached then but the village declined and the older part fell into disrepair and was abandoned and walled off sometime in the 1700s.

Buttresses prop up the end of the church which was built after the old chancel fell apart

As usual the font is the first thing to see as you step into the church, this has several carved panels some not seen anywhere else

Since about 1710 the nave and aisles have been the whole church  and makes the church  almost square

The C19 rood screen is still intact

As there is no chancel the altar is in the main church and seems very large 

In the Lady Chapel is a lamp in the shape of the Crown of thorns. A recent bronze sculpture by Orford artist Tim Fargher

Dedication to the donor of the organ

There are still some brasses on the floor tombs - often they've been stolen in the distant past or removed for safe keeping

Pieces of medieval floor tiles found during the restoration of the tower in 1971

 Looks as if whoever this Saint is he is holding the old church . This is over the porch and I should have asked more about it.
The castle built by Henry 2nd in the 1160's is a few 100 yards from the church and is completely wrapped in scaffolding and plastic at the moment.  I would have gone to have a closer look but just as I took this photo it started raining out of a mainly blue sky so as I'd got no jacket and no umbrella and didn't fancy a soggy 45 minute journey home I hurried back to the carpark.

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Monday 26 September 2022

Another Rural Bygones Sale

 The 3rd and final Rural Bygones Auction of 2022 took place a couple of weeks ago and as usual I went to have a look on viewing day just to see what rusty junk  interesting items were for sale this time.

These are 4 out of the 8 old  prints that  were for sale. They used to hang in railway carriages back in the hey day of train travel. One was Norfolk and the others much further away. They were in a much poorer condition than my two Suffolk ones that hang in the hallway here.

A Cannon or two anyone?

Very early washing machine!

And another - slightly posher?

Nice rocking horse.

The tattiest collection of taxidermy ever - think they should have gone in a bin years ago!

A gift for the House Maid in your life?

I would love to have looked through all these old postcards

Seaside saucy postcards that were so popular in the 50s and 60s

An idea for turning old stone hot water bottles into toilet roll stands. 

Very large glass bottle, could have sworn I'd taken a photo of a lovely Victorian glass bell shaped cloche which standing near the bottle, but I hadn't.

The biggest ever collection of old irons  (can't imagine anything more boring than an iron collection!)

This is a child size pine dresser - some lucky chid will have this to play with.

Just a few of the 1,000 lots on offer. If you want to see what they sold for you can search through HERE

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Saturday 24 September 2022

All Sorts From My Week

Last years compost has now been spread over the front border, hopefully some worms will mix it in with the rock hard clay soil once we get rain. And I turned over this years compost into the other bin. Got the grass cut last weekend to tidy up the tatty bits that had grown and it's gradually turning green again. Next job will be to remove the bean tripods, harvest the squash and clear the plants. My Kale and Brussels Sprout plants were completely decimated by everything - flea beetle, white fly, caterpillars and that's despite being covered. They've all gone in the garden waste bin - an expensive and annoying fail. All that will be left in the garden for winter are a couple of dozen small leeks.

This weeks WI speaker showed us Origami - not the Japanese sort where you fold one sheet of paper into animals and birds but Chinese Origami where 3D models are built up from triangles that have been folded from oblong bits of paper. The history of it is HERE. We made flowers, which are supposed to be the most basic thing to do - a very fiddly craft - I nearly gave up before I started!

The speaker and his two daughters had everything prepared for us so we didn't have to fold the 24 triangles or roll up the paper to make a stalk, before we started. He brought lots of very clever models he had made to sell.... penguins, swans, owls etc. Priced from £5 up. I didn't buy one - looked too much like another dust collector!

The picture below is from the internet but he had some just like this. The only glue used is to stick on the eyes.

Reading this week has been "Where the Crawdads Sing". It's a good story, a mix of mystery, coming of age, romance and a way of life forgotten.  I enjoyed it except when it made me cry but  I couldn't see what the fuss was all about. When the film gets round to being on TV I'll try and watch it. 

When you try and join a main road and there is a long line of stationary traffic and the lorry drivers have all got out of their trucks to chat, you know it's time to take a detour - I was heading to swimming and luckily know the back roads to get there. Found out later the air ambulance had been called after a serious crash between three vehicles. Drivers taken to hospital - but no serious injuries. The road was blocked for several hours so I'm glad I found a different way home too, crossing over to my side of the A140 in a different place. How a 3 vehicle accident happens in a 30mph limit is a puzzle.

Yippee do, series 20 of ' Strictly' has started - who knew I would ever say that! But it certainly cheers up an evening when you are on your own and you imagine everyone else is out having fun, partying or at the pub! The launch show was last night after it was delayed a week and the first live show tonight.....another sign of Autumn with Winter on the way.

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Friday 23 September 2022

The September Library Book Photo

 A nice collection this month, all are books I'd reserved. Some by authors I know and the others are books I must have seen mentioned somewhere.

I know I'll enjoy the book by Nicola Upson and the children's book by Noel Streatfield. The one by Robert Harris is rather large and about people fleeing to America in 1660 - not sure about that although he always writes well. I've not read any by Helen Cox, Sally Page or Stephanie Austin so hope they are readable. Phillip on his smallholding asked me if I'd ever read any books about Norfolk by Mary Mann and I hadn't so will try this one.

Hope there's enough good reading there for 4 weeks.

In August I brought home this lot and those I've read have been added to the Books Read 2022 page. Still have 3 here

I sent back unread.......... The Lamplighters by Emma Stonex it didn't appeal after I'd read a bit of it and also the British Library Crime Classic by John Dickson Carr - must remember I've never been able to get into his books. Plus The Sound of Being Human - it didn't look very interesting.

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Thursday 22 September 2022

The Lost Town of Dunwich

 Dunwich is a tiny village on the Suffolk coast between the two popular tourist towns of Southwold and Aldeburgh but once it was a town bigger than both of them.

The yellow dotted line is where the coast line is now, all that below is long gone

When the shingle moved during storms and blocked the harbour the town became unimportant and not worth defending and further storms over centuries encroached on the village and all six churches, the streets and homes were gradually washed away.

The beach is shingle and to the north you can see Southwold ..................

To the South just a few miles further along past the cliffs are the domes of Sizewell B Nuclear power Station and the place where Sizewell C will be built............On a coast that disappears into the sea!

An onshore strong wind and the waves were huge, the sun was bright and I hadn't a clue what I was taking a photo of - hence the leaning  horizon!

Just a few local fishing boats are all that remains of the once great trading port

And just a few ruins are all that remains of the once important Greyfriars Priory

Dunwich has a fascinating little museum

This collection of  drawings and photos show how the last of the 6 churches disappeared into the sea

A new church for the village was built in 1832 - although I didn't go to look at it this time.
I hadn't been to Dunwich for several years so it was a nice day out. I parked on the car park behind the shingle beach, no sea view sadly, and it gradually filled during the day with crowds of people having the famous huge plates of fish and chips from the café.
Treated myself to a sausage roll with a side salad and sat outside, which was a mistake, as it was so windy the lettuce kept blowing off my plate!

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