Monday, 20 October 2014

God moves in a mysterious way ......

..... his wonders to perform
which is why, on my first surreptitious visit to the Church of
St Edmund King & Martyr in Acle
that I made a rather spectacular entrance through the
North door (yes, I know, the one usually reserved for the Devil!)

The North Door
I was so busy sticky-beaking everything at once that I failed
to miss one vital, and rather important, piece of information.
The rather tiny and partially obscured sign which
read "Mind the steps".

Consequently my first view was captured laying flat
on my back at the foot of said steps whilst
uttering foul oaths and blasphemies for which I
expect to pay heavily on the Day of Judgement.
Good job the Vicar wasn't about.
15th century font
 The font is one of the church treasures and was dedicated
in 1410 AD, so eat your hearts out my colonial readers,
we're talking real history here!
It has eight panels containing the symbols of the four evangelists
alternated with angels all doing angelic things.
No Alice dear, not making Angel Delight, whatever next?
Some of the faces had been smashed during the Reformation
only to suffer further vandalism at the hands of the Victorians
when they attempted to restore them!
Talking of faces, there is also a rather moving memorial to the men from
Acle who fell during the Great War which is somehow made all the
more poignant by the fact that it bears fading sepia photographs
instead of simply a list of names carved in stone.
There's a great deal of interest in St Ed's which could turn
into a mini-series if I'm not too careful but for the moment
I'm off to find something soothing for all my bruises
which are springing up like mushrooms as I type.
And - yes, Camilla, I've tried turning the other cheek
but it doesn't help.


Saturday, 18 October 2014

In the grip of a new passion

Sad to say it's nothing physical and steamy like a close
encounter with Sean Bean or even a "phantom affair"
with the late Oliver Reed - I wonder if that's
what causes "phantom pregnancies"?
Gone potty in my dotage.
No, it's much more down to earth than that
or Coral Bells as they're sometimes known.
You can't smoke them, you can't eat them but they
are a true feast to the eye with colours that change with
the seasons and leaves that stay put all year round.
They are of the family Saxifragaceae and hail from North America.
Mine hail from much closer to home, from the nursery
of Jooles and Sean aptly named Heucheraholics.
They are regular exhibitors and prizewinners at Chelsea Flower Show,
which speaks volumes in itself.  Their service is speedy,
their attention to detail superb and their knowledge priceless.
(That should get me a couple of freebies next time I order!)
The theme at Chelsea this year was the commemoration
of the First World War where they excelled themselves with
a garden called Warhorse complete with sandbags and soldiers helmets.
Here at the Lock-Up things are done on a much smaller scale,
nevertheless I think the Long Dog warhorse tribute display shows
the enthusiasm of a novice heucheraholic
and the promise of colourful things to come in my
herbacaous flower pots once I've got them all planted.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

I seem to have become flavour of the month around here ....

..... if only for one brief, fleeting moment in time
having just donated a huge bagfull of knitting wool,
which was surplus to my requirements, to the
local ladies knitting circle.

Home alone.

This august body of women meet regularly to
upcycle mounds of multi-coloured wools into
cuddly toys for sale in aid of various charities
throughout the year.


My husband used to puff himself up like a toad
from time to time and pronounce that women only
knit and sew to give their hands something to do
while they talk incessantly.
It's a wonder he lived as long as he did really.
The expression "male chauvinist pig" comes to mind
and come to think of it the term seems to have
fallen out of vogue of late.
I'm sure it can't be for want of candidates.
I'll take nominations should you wish.

These were made by an affiliated group up at Sandringham.

However, I digress.
These ladies may well all knit like the true angels
that they are but whether taken one at a time
or collectively (in their skein)
a sense of humour is one attribute they certainly
don't possess.

Camilla, where did you put the two balls that were left over?

So after a chance and rather flippant request for
a knitted "toy boy" I fell extremely swiftly from grace
and am no longer the rum and raisin delight on the
block but merely the new, and slightly odd, lady from No 5.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

If you go down to the woods today .....

.... there's a couple of things you need to check out first.
Arthur is in charge of the bear's "hedge" fund
1.  Has the venue already been booked by the local bears?
Arthur is a giant bear who lives out in all weathers in a gap in
his owners front hedge.  He is seldom if ever noticed
by people who pass at speed in their cars
but to pedestrians like me he brings a little smile every
time I go by.  He had nothing planned
in the woods today but next week they're definately off limits.
2.  Are you wearing suitable footwear?
And this is the hurdle at which I fell and so decided to take
the footpath up to the bridge instead.
There were still some mad sods about holidaymaking in their
little tupperware boats.  A fate which I used to regularly
suffer when my husband was alive.
But not any more!
I can think of nothing more miserable now than sitting in a chilly,
damp, confined space watching the rain pouring down
the windows (inside and out) and being asked if I would fancy
a game of Scrabble - no, I bloody wouldn't.
Now what words can I make with these tiles - CFFFKOU - I wonder?
The pub's not open yet, although people are starting to
gather in anticipation of the "all week Sunday roast"
but I don't think I shall hang about on this occasion
as my feet are starting to complain in these silly shoes
and I could do with a cup of tea.
Not so much the last rose of summer, more like the
final sunflowert of fall!
Anyway it gave me another reason to smile
-they always do.  I shall call him Michael.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Try anything once post script

If you've read the comments on yesterday's post
you will see that Erica has pointed me in the direction
of another artist who's "done" bowlers.
The late Lindsay Crooks of Dunedin, NZ.
In his particular case at Brighton.
Recreational Fisherman
I was unable to find a picture which I could reproduce for you all
to see so you'll just have to content yourselves with his jolly fisherman
instead unless of course you'd like to follow this link:

Thanks for introducing me to his work Erica,
albeit posthumously!

Sunday, 12 October 2014

I'll try anything once ....

.... and yesterday was no exception.
Actually it all started earlier in the week when a
cheery Scotswoman sitting next to me in the doctor's waiting
room posed the question, "Do you bowl?"

Good old Beryl Cook.  I love her work.
Not something I had ever thought about really
but she assured me that even if I didn't fancy
bowling the Social Club in Acle is very
lively and I would soon get to make new friends.
So with my misgivings put to one side and
just the merest touch of blusher on my cheeks
I sallied forth to see what fate had in store for me.

I must have been very wicked in a former life, that's all I can think.
I lasted all of half an hour!
Everyone was very friendly and welcoming,
I could find no fault there.
Everyone was also a good fifteen years my senior,
clad in white with their names machine stitched just
above their left breasts.  Whether for ease of identification
or in case they forgot I'm still not sure.

Beryl strikes again.
I watched the first "rubber" or "chukka" or whatever it is
they call a game played out in total, intense silence
as they waved their arms aloft trying to send kinetic, directional
messages to their woods and rolled their eyes when the
particular wood in question took not a blind bit of notice
and hurtled on to land with a thump in the gulley.
They came equipped with towels to keep their hands
free from moisture, personalised bags to carry
their bowls from A to B, specialist lifting devices for
those unable to bend but what really freaked me out
was when an elderly gentleman took a small aerosal spray
from his pocket and proceeded to squirt his woods.

I'm a cross stitcher - get me out of here!

Friday, 10 October 2014

It's been raining .... quite a lot .....

..... inside and out!
The chewing gum trick didn't stop the problem for long.
It might work at that.
If it had carried on much longer I was seriously contemplating
turning the conservatory into a giant acquarium.
It would have been rather cool to sit in my one comfy chair
watching creatures of the deep swim past my patio doors.
It still might happen ......
But then the sun came out from behind the clouds
and I telephoned the local builder to come
and survey the damage.
Sideways of course.
With perfect timing the door bell rang just as I had put the last
Bourbon biscuit in my mouth - whole.
An awquard silence ensued as I tried not to dislodge
my false teeth in my haste to deal with the offending object.
"I'll wander through and take a look shall I?", he said,
like a true gentleman, leaving me to regain my composure
and empty my mouth at the same time.
It was just as I caught up with him standing on tiptoes in the
middle of the conservatory with the old blinds draped around
his shoulders like some oversized military sash, that a sound
like a pistol shot rang out leaving my ears ringing and my
heart beating a tad faster than usual.
"Thought so," he said, sucking on his teeth "Hear that?
(Of course I bloody did, they heard it in the village).
The roof's gone brittle, happens all the time.
I'll measure up and let you have an estimate for a
replacement.  Should be able to get you sorted next spring
if we get some decent weather."
A fine example of "brittle roof syndrome"
I thought that selling the Chateau meant leaving these sort of
problems far behind me in France for someone else to deal with.
It seems I was mistaken - I've inherited some new ones.
Fasten your seatbelts - here we go again!