The word Zenith is not a word I've used in general conversation............as far as I can remember.
Wednesday, 30 November 2022
Z in amaZing and for Zenith
Tuesday, 29 November 2022
Y is for You
I think someone suggested this for Y
Y is for You
Who are You and where are You ? (County or Country -not your actual address!)
Monday, 28 November 2022
X is for Xercise!
The over 60's Exercise/Wellbeing group run by SPOT Wellbeing has almost finished the 6 week course. The village hall is booked for 12 more weeks but without anyone to run a group, so not sure what will happen. I'll find out tomorrow. Apparently there is cake tomorrow after the exercise - sounds good..
There are more people going now than at the beginning - which is better than the other way round.
I still don't get the mindfulness bit, sitting with my eyes closed and thinking about the feeling of my feet on the floor or counting my breathing does absolutely nothing for me..............it's supposed to be relaxing, but my idea of relaxing is sitting in the sun on a sunny day or laying on the settee reading a book!
Sadly there are some Old Men who tend to dominate any conversation (just like at the village Over 60's group!)
The half hour of fairly gentle exercise - standing or sitting- has given me ideas for keeping joints, muscles and balance in good condition. I've been doing a few at home when I remember, along with going up and down my exercise step bought months ago when I started to feel "bungalow knees"!
For exercise I still prefer swimming but the lane swimming sessions are fewer now the schools are using the pool. Some days only very early morning or late evenings - neither suit me and one of the days with late morning lane swimming is the same day as the exercise group. Much to my surprise, yesterday I discovered they'd got a lane swimming session on a Sunday morning, I'd not even thought about looking on the Sunday timetable, assuming it would be all family swim sessions. It was good to get a swim in as I didn't manage one last week and won't during this week either.
Saturday, 26 November 2022
W for Watching
What have you been watching on TV now we have the dark evenings back again?.
I'm still watching my way through NCIS on the 5USA channel. It's up to series 14 now and Mark Harmon is still aging well. They've been showing 3 episodes each weekday evening from 6 until 9pm (or 7 - 10 on 5+1).
No NCIS on weekend evenings but I came across a new foreign language crime drama on All 4 called Artic Circle. Blimey it's cold up there in Lapland! The interesting thing is that when Russians, Finns and German characters are talking to each other they speak in English. And perhaps that explains why so many people in this country don't bother to learn another language! I watched all of series 1 but will have to wait for series 2 to appear on a free channel sometime.
Now I've found 'Murder in the First' on the 5 Catch Up channel which is a police drama from the US. Seems to have more than one series.
I'm watching Strictly Come Dancing as usual, although not really getting into it so much this year. Because of watching NCIS I'm missing quizzie Mondays but catch up with Only Connect and University Challenge on iplayer.
There was a good programme a few weeks ago - Ed Sheran at the BBC. Showing all the times he has appeared on TV - he looked so young at the beginning.- he WAS so young! and still is of course.
An then we have the World Cup Football. The Radio Times had a helpful wall chart to fill in with scores etc if I was so inclined - I'm not. Like many people I don't think Qatar should have been given the tournament - hopefully FIFA will have learned a lesson but it's all about the money, so probably not.
Do you watch Taskmaster? For umpteen years I assumed it was something that I wouldn't want to watch but I caught some of the last series and it is very funny - I think it depends on who's taking part but I should have watched earlier - I think Col would have enjoyed it too. Sara Millican has been very smart in this recent series.
There's a new police drama starting Friday - set in Aberdeen and I must make a note to watch series 20 of QI on iplayer sometime. It's on at 10pm - too late for me!
And as I mentioned the other week Countdown is now watchable again after the Ann Robinson interlude. They've been having temporary presenters after a couple of weeks of Colin Murray - who is good but probably busy with Football stuff on the radio at the moment - one of the temps was Rev Richard Coles and they could easily take him on as a full time presenter - he was excellent, someone had written to the Radio Times to say the same thing.
|Countdown title sequence from internet HERE if the picture doesn't appear for you|
Friday, 25 November 2022
V is Village Halls
What would villages do without their village halls?
Thursday, 24 November 2022
U is for Underwear (You Weren't Expecting That!)
If you are over 65 you might remember Liberty Bodices, Suspender belts, Roll-Ons and Panty Girdles.
They all seem such strange items of underwear, now that we are used to briefs that can be very brief and bras that can be strapless or backless. Or maybe they are not so odd and you are wearing them now!
It was thanks to the Lunchtime TV programme Bargain Hunt that I found out where Liberty Bodices were made when the presenter visited Market Harborough Museum.
From the internet..........................
Symingtons Liberty Bodices
Until then most middle and upper class children wore supporting re-enforced corsets that were supposed to help ‘train’ their developing bodies. The Liberty Bodice was a softer, less restricting garment that allowed children to move around and play, at a time when playing and being active were viewed as an important parts of childhood.
Fred Cox’s daughter, Freda wore the bodice in an original advertising photograph. She appeared as the ‘Liberty Bodice Girl’ in much of the early marketing. The Liberty Bodice was produced in its millions and continued to be made until the 1960s. Loved or hated by three generations of children it remains one of Leicestershire’s most interesting products.
|A child's Utility Liberty Bodice 1943|
Wednesday, 23 November 2022
T is for Treasure
Tuesday, 22 November 2022
S is for So Many Things
Susan ........my Mum wanted to call me Jane, but apparently Grandma said I would get called "Plain Jane" so I was named Susan Jane instead. When I got to Grammar school there were 5 Susan's in my year - which was annoying for everyone. There was one Jane but she left after a term or two. Mum shouldn't have listened to her Mother! I'm only Susan now to my cousins and to myself if I tell myself off!
Stowmarket.............main town in Mid Suffolk, the place where I was at Grammar school, went to Youth Club, and the cinema, hung around with friends and went shopping for all the years before we moved East to the smallholding, and now I'm back shopping there again. Asda is just off the town centre and Aldi, Lidl and Tesco all have their own carparks a little further out from the centre. Not many empty shops in town either. People moan about how many smaller independent shops have closed in the last 20 years, but that's the same everywhere. There will be one more empty shop next month as I noticed the Cancer Research Charity shop is closing - you know things are bad when even the charity shops who don't pay full business rates can't afford to stay open.
Seeds.................. nearly time to investigate what seeds I need for next year's vegetable growing.
Shopping....... I'm one of those strange people who don't mind going food shopping, specially now I'm not in a hurry. I've always done it on my own- it's not a chore. But clothes shopping is a completely different thing - don't like that or shoe shopping at all. Life is so much easier with supermarkets having clothes as I can look at what they have when I'm there for food. I've only ever done grocery shopping online once and found it a real faff!
Sea and Sky............
On a November day the sea and sky in Suffolk looked like this. We have plenty of sky here, you can see the weather coming from all directions.
Monday, 21 November 2022
R is for Reading
Just as B had to be for Books so R has to be for Reading.
I'm always reading something - usually library books
These are 13 that I had reserved and collected last week from the library van. (Apologies for poor photo, it was a wet and gloomy afternoon).
|November Library Book Photo|
These were the 16 books I'd ordered which I picked up from the library van last month and although there were many I thought were going to be good, it didn't turn out that way.
|October Library Book Photo|
All the crime were read and enjoyed.Judi Daykin - Into Deadly Storms and An Artful Murder.
Christianna Brand - Death of Jezebel.
Alexander McCall Smith - A Song of Comfortable Chairs.
Mel Starr - Suppression and Suspicion
Anthony Horowitz - A Line to Kill..
Sebastian Farr - Death on the Down Beat.
Martin Edwards -Editor. - Final Acts, Theatrical Mysteries.
Saturday, 19 November 2022
Q is for Questions
I'm getting lazy with this A-Z thing, so for Q........................
Ask me a Question.................... (not the sort that are on University Challenge or Mastermind please!)
I'll come back later and answer them ..............if I can.
Friday, 18 November 2022
P is for Positivity
What do you say when someone asks "How are you?"
I started a new way of answering a while ago. I now say "I'm really, really well thank you".
And the best thing is that the more often I say "I'm really well" then the better I feel. I realise how lucky I am to have no serious health issues and no family or money problems, but I could spend my time feeling cheated out of all the things Colin and I had planned to do in his retirement, but negativity has been chucked out!
Positivity is the way forward, long may it last.
Thursday, 17 November 2022
O is for Owls
Along with postcards, stamps, thimbles and probably other things I don't remember, I once collected owls.
Not the real, obviously, or the stuffed specimens like the tatty ones I photographed at the Rural Bygones Auction in September.
Wednesday, 16 November 2022
N is for .................................
Not much begins with N - or not much that I could think of to blog about - hardly anything in the labels and I certainly didn't want to write about Non Hodgkins Lymphoma.
So I asked for suggestions and these were what were given to me..................
November, New, Neighbours, Neighbourhood, Nanny, Norfolk, Notebooks, Not for me, Nature, Nuts, NIMBY, Novels, Nattering,
Thought I would do all of them!
NOVEMBER ........I could repeat the gloomy November poem by Thomas Hood but even that isn't correct for this year as the weather has been unseasonably warm and there are plenty of birds on the feeders and we don't have smog anymore.
NEW............the newest thing in the house is the en-suite shower room and I have actually bought something new for it. It's rare for me to buy something without much thinking, looking and pondering and finding second-hand but car-boot sales have finished and I needed some small storage to fit under the basin and found a little drawer stack. I decided to have an old fashioned basin rather than one of those all-in-one fitted unit cupboard things and I like proper taps and a plug on a chain to fit the plughole.
NEIGHBOURS..........I have a couple in their late 30s on one side they have 2 children, the eldest has just started secondary school and the youngest is 8. A and A both work - the husband was a wedding photographer who had to think of something else to do in Covid so now also runs his own specialist baking business. He works very odd hours and is often out at farmers markets and foodie events at weekends. They are friendly - thankfully - as we share a driveway entrance.
On the other side are a retired couple, my age . Also friendly. I've just cut my horrible Yew hedge between our front gardens and did both sides as T has been a bit poorly. There's one area I couldn't reach, so hope they don't mind the sticky-up bits I had to leave!
Over the back are a young family with 3 daughters - they both work, and are hardly ever there except in summer when the eldest daughter spends a lot of time practising tennis against the back wall of their house, which would drive me nuts if I lived there!
NEIGHBOURHOOD..........Neighbourhood isn't a term we use so much here. I looked up the actual meaning and it says "part of a town or city". But I'm edge of a friendly village, which is a good place to be, everyone says hello around the village and I don't feel too enclosed with the graveyard over the road.
NANNY...........I'm a Nanna. My Mum was a Grandma and neither me or my sister wanted to be called Grandma so we are both Nannas.
NORFOLK................is that County over the border! divided from Suffolk by the River Waveney. They have a football team that Suffolk people never mention! I cross the border every time I go to Morrisons in Diss.
NOTEBOOKS..........the only one I have is where I write ideas for books to borrow from the library although I do have an accounts book and a diary for reminders. My blog is my biggest notebook.
NOT FOR ME..............?
NATURE.......... gets mentioned on here under The Natural World label
NUTS...........Just stocked up on 2 large bags of mixed nuts to make Spiced Nuts for Christmas - me and the hampers and then me again!.
NIMBY...........Never had to worry about anything happening in My Back Yard
NOVELS...........due to working in a library these are called Fiction. I read a lot of Fiction!
Don't think I've missed any ideas - thank you to everyone who helped fill this post.
(Thank you for comments yesterday - apologies for not replying. Also hello to some new followers, hope you enjoy reading)
Tuesday, 15 November 2022
M is for Mistletoe
In the Ogham Tree Alphabet Mistletoe has no number or letter but instead represents the "day" of "a year and a day".
The Celtic Lunar calendar had the year as being 13 months of 28 days = 364 days, so to complete the year an extra day was added. This was always December 23rd because the year started and ended on the Winter Solstice, which was counted twice. (Information from the book "Ogham Sketchbook" by Karen Cater and I don't quite get that statement either!)
The Druids believed Mistletoe was too sacred to be given a name or a symbol but they called it "Allheal" due to it's medicinal use. It has always been a magical plant, not of the earth but growing in the meeting place between earth and sky. The Celts considered all these meeting places as sacred where magic could happen. Dawn and Dusk, Earth and Sea , Gateways and Thresholds.
By Walter De La Mare 1873 - 1956
In early November I saw a poster for a craft fair with free coffee and cakes in a nearby village - (the FREE was the attraction!) a lady had some small stained glass pieces and I spotted this for the Christmas tree................it looks better with a light behind it.
Monday, 14 November 2022
L is for Leaves
|Autumn Leaves by John Buxton Knight 1842-1908|
John William Buxton Knight RBA (1843 – 2 January 1908), English landscape painter, was born in Sevenoaks, Kent.
He started as a schoolmaster, but painting was his hobby, and he subsequently devoted himself to it. In 1861 he had his first picture hung at the Royal Academy. He was essentially an open-air painter, constantly going on sketching tours in the most picturesque spots of England, and all his pictures were painted out of doors. He died at Dover on 2 January 1908
Saturday, 12 November 2022
K is for Kitchens
How many kitchens have I cooked in? I counted and made 13, which is more than the number of houses I've lived in and more than the number of gardens I've grown in!
How can that be?
I've counted the caravan we lived in for a year in the early 80's while renovating the very old cottage, then two kitchens at the smallholding - the original from 1992 until 2011 and the new one after we did the big extension plus the stripped out small caravan I used as a kitchen all summer 2011 while the extension was being built.
I've had two large kitchens but the rest have all been much smaller and almost every house we owned had a kitchen that needed replacing or modernising while we were living in it and I've had all sorts of colours and finishing touches - from orange in the late 70's, red in the mid 80's and back to red in 2011
Below is my kitchen here, and I've not done anything to change it........yet! not very big, but very easy to work in, with cupboards in every available space. The cupboard doors are glossy grey and the work-tops are wood - neither of which I would chose. I always wanted a Butler sink but Colin always did the washing up and he didn't want one - too deep he said, and now I have one I can quite see why - it's a pain, especially as there is no proper draining board - which is still needed I think even with a dishwasher.
I like to have everything easily available to use so the bread-maker and food-mixer are stood out and I like the storage drawers on the right.
To take the photo I'm standing right against the back wall of the kitchen. The double oven cooker is just on the right of the photo and to the right of the oven is a pull out narrow larder cupboard and the fridge/freezer.
Friday, 11 November 2022
J is for Jam (plus Marmalade and Chutney)
This was my last batch of 2022 chutney made a couple of weeks ago. A pan of sliced red onions, red wine vinegar and sugar,
which made jars of Sweet Onion Marmalade Chutney.....................
Which were added to my "Jam Cupboard" out in the garage........ looking much healthier this year after the very sparse moving house year last year.
Chutneys and relishes on the top shelf and jams and marmalades on the second. Too many just for me so I'll be giving some away (as well as the small jars at the back of the bottom shelf which are for this years Christmas hampers.)
Also on the bottom shelf is the 'wine cellar'!. I don't drink and never buy wine so these must have been wins from a raffle but probably from years ago................. does that make them vintage? Doubt it.
Wrapped in bubble wrap on the bottom are a couple of tins of prepared Lemon mix for making Lemon Marmalade. Had to send for those, nowhere to buy them locally anymore.
Preserve making is finished for 2022. What will I do in 2023?
Thursday, 10 November 2022
I is for Ipswich
County town of Suffolk, population roughly 134,000, one of the oldest established towns in England and somewhere I've been going for shopping a few times a year since I was small. We always took the bus there with Mum in the school holidays and it was once full of department stores and really busy all the time.
Now like so many other towns it has many, many empty shops. This was the Co-op, huge store over two floors but has now been empty for many years.
On the way home I called in to the out of town shopping centre to look for some lampshades for the bedroom. The Range, Dunelm and B&M all had nothing suitable.
I wonder which shops will still be open next time I venture to town.
Wednesday, 9 November 2022
H is Hampers for Christmas
A few weeks ago, when I wrote about Rose-Hip syrup, I said it was difficult to find except for the Lakeland company having it - and I mentioned liking the look of one of their Christmas hampers. Only problem was that it costs £129.99!.
Here's what was in the £130 hamper on the Lakeland website that looked so good.............at first sight!
- Antonio Facchin Dalla Balla Prosecco (750ml)
- Condado de Artola Rioja (750ml) – .
- Donelli Red Sparkling Grape Juice (750ml)
- Simon Weaver Cotswold Brie (140g) –
- Godminster Star Vintage Organic Cheddar (200g) –
- The Ribblesdale Cheese Company Superior Goat’s Cheese (150g) –
- Cropwell Bishop Blue Shropshire Wedge (200g) –.
- Grants Smokehouse Rope-Hung Smoked Scottish Salmon (100g) – .
- Great Glen Charcuterie Venison & Pork Salami (60g) –
- Roger Vidal Terrine Fine Champagne (180g) –
- Made For Drink Chorizo Thins (18g) –
- Ballancourt Lobster Terrine Pâté (90g) –
- Fosters Sobrasada Pâté (110g) –
- Duncan’s of Deeside Wheat-Free Scottish Oatcakes (200g) – .
- Olina's Cranberry & Pumpkin Seed Toasted Crackers (200g) – .
- Drivers Real Ale Chutney (350g) –
- Mrs Darlington Christmas Chutney (130g) –
- Fosters Savoury Gouda Cheese Straws (150g)
Tuesday, 8 November 2022
G is for Gardens and Greenfinches
I grew up in a house with a big builders yard all round, there were a couple of bits of garden although my Mum hardly ventured into either as far as I remember. The vegetable garden for many years was accessed off a little lane that went to fields behind the house. It seemed a long way from the house when I was little but actually only about 30 yards. I vaguely remember Dad grew potatoes. Looking back with the experience of years the soil there was black and probably very good. The house dated from the C16 and I reckon had been used for growing for centuries.
And finally garden number 11, here at the bungalow - one of the smallest I've ever had, but enough for me to manage and grow a little to eat in my greenhouse, 3 vegetable beds and a few new fruit trees.
And why Greenfinches?
Up until a few years ago they were common visitors to bird tables and feeders but then came this..........
How serious is Trichomonosis?
In Britain, the size of the greenfinch breeding population has declined markedly, from a peak of approximately 4.3 million in 2006 (just before the onset of the epidemic) to approximately 1.5 million individuals in 2016 (66%, or an average reduction of around 280 000 birds every year).
and I'd not seen any for several years until last week when there was a pair on the seed feeder.
It was thought the disease might have been cause by mouldy birdfeed left in feeders, which, if it's true, is sad.
Monday, 7 November 2022
F is for Figs
Desperately searching for something relevant for the letter F and in the labels was........ Figs and the last time that Figs got a mention was at Christmas 2020 when a Fig tree in a pot was delivered at Clay Cottage ready for me to plant it here when I eventually got here.
I must have forgotten to label the post when I planted it, which would have been early June last year but thanks to the search function I found this picture of what it looked like when it was brought here. It's that small "stick with a leaf" second pot from the left.
|The plants I brought with me in May last year.|
I lifted a half slab on the patio and cut away the weed suppressant material from underneath to make a small space to plant it last summer. Books always say that figs like having their roots restricted and I know the fig tree we had at the smallholding which had loads of room to spread didn't produce as many figs as I would have expected from a huge tree.
This is how it looks now, it's 5 feet tall after a year and 5 months! which is pretty good going considering the original growing tip caught the frost last winter and then this summers dry weather - but it is one of the things I watered regularly.
There are some figs starting to grow, but they may fall off over winter. In hot countries they have two crops a year.
HERE is a post about Figs written in August 2020
It's odd to think that I'd never even eaten a fresh fig until the tree produced some at the smallholding.