Sunday, 29 April 2012


There's been such strong winds overnight that there's been some damage to other people's property, luckily, though it affects my garden. This first photo, looking down the garden, shows next door's fence panels flopped over. They are a good few years old and the posts were put in concrete rather than Metposts so have rotted through. The lilac tree is just coming into bud, I noticed earlier from upstairs.
This is looking back towards the house and you can see that three panels and several posts will need  replacing.  The shrub in the front with nice, new foliage is my hydrangea. The bushy plant sort of behind it is a delphinium clump already a couple of feet high but bent over at the moment. I'm glad the panels fell that way.

I carried on down the garden checking to see which would go next time there's a strong wind then came to the bottom on my way to the compost heap and found this greenery blocking the way. It's the last (almost) branch left on the willow tree in the house next door-but-one in the other direction.. Thank goodness he decided to have it very well pruned when I had my sycamore cut down in the autumn or there'd have been a lot of damage to two sheds.
Luckily it seems to have missed both of them and not damaged the Christmas tree either, from first glance. Just have to wait now for the neighbours to 'do something'. The tree branch's owner is about 84 so might take some time to organise help to shift it.

It could have been a lot worse, and must be, in other places.

Thursday, 26 April 2012


Ever since I retired in 1980 whatever it was I've worn trousers and so have needed socks. I love snazzy socks, since I can't get snazzy shoes, and these arrived yesterday, ordered on line from Sockshop. Guess what my favourite colour is? The yellow ones at the bottom are the ones I pulled out of the envelope this morning so that's what I'm wearing. I thought they were all cotton but the two sets (on the left) with small labels on the toe (one round and the other rectangular) say they are made from bamboo fibre. Perhaps Kath could use some of her nettles to make socks???
I'd got a bit fed-up with having to darn the holes under the heels before I could wear my current lot - still, they have done a whole year without getting sloppy round the top or a hard texture when washed, like the white terry socks I wore for years. At least there's no struggle getting your foot into the tops!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012


Some more wildlife which turned up this afternoon about quarter to four. The cat is the pest from next door, the pedigree Bengal cat, which is so curious it might just come to a sticky end.... I had had a jacket potato for a quick lunch and had already put out the skins, which would have smelled of butter and cheese, ready for part of the badger's supper later on. There was some peel from a pear which I'd had for 'afters', too.  I had seen the fox on the patio for a few nights this last week or so but a fox is much more wary that the badger. The slightest movement and it's gone  so I hadn't been able to take a photo. It's obligingly turned up in real daylight, how kind of it! I think the badger might be missing his supper as this fox also eats all the peanuts I scatter on the patio! (The blurry portion on the left is because it's my cream sofa's reflection in the patio door.)

I wondered if this is a vixen with cubs somewhere nearby when I saw this photo on the computer screen - and is that mange as well?
I wonder what will turn up next - it'll have to be l-o-t warmer for the grass snake to reappear.

Monday, 23 April 2012


Yesterday I went to a small Yard Sale in the garden of Haddenham's Abbeyfield Residential Home. I saw this and knew how useful they are, especially in holding steady a large piece of material when it's draped on your cutting table! It's about 3" tall, of clear plastic (I suppose) and has these transparent bubbles in clear and also in amethyst. I didn't need it but couldn't resist it. I also bought a few Country Living mags which I've found useful in the past as a source of advertising photos to paint in 1 1/2 hours - if I ever get back to it.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012


There was a letter in last week's edition of the Bucks Herald from a man giving a local address bemoaning the fact that there was no information about various bits of wartime history in the village. As I read the paper in the library I couldn't remember his Christian name so phoned the newspaper who came back with a phone number for him.
I spoke to him and yesterday went to see him in Aylesbury (not at the address in the paper) taking copies of all the information and photos I have. When I was secretary of the newly formed Stone Local History Group more than 10 years ago I begged and borrowed all the photos I could possibly get so I have all kinds of information about local goings-on.
He mentioned that his father had been in the Home Guard but the only photo he had was a poor copy from the Herald and his father had been cut off as he was standing at the end of a row. He was over the moon that he now had a copy on photographic paper and I was able to supply him with a numbered chart of the men and the names I'd been given for each man. Some he could remember but I hope he'll be able to fill in the 4 or 5 blanks on the list. I had one of his father in the local sandpits where he worked and of his black and white collie dog. That started off a spate of reminiscences of when he was a child (he's younger than me), the rabbits, pigeons, going round talking to the troops, a horse they had and dung spreading from the cart, which he had to tread into the furrows on the allotment before the plough turned them over...he said he was losing his memory but all we really need is a few prompts!
He queried twins, one of whom died in battle and the other lost his leg, but he got the regiment wrong so I was able to look that up for him and take photos of them.
There was a POW camp in Hartwell during the war which housed German and Italian prisoners at different times. It's now a housing estate, of course. This is the only photo I know of and I was able to find the daughter of one of the prisoners in this photo. She took me to see her father who was much happier speaking Italian so she translated his information for me. Captured in Benghazi, he was brought to Britain via Egypt and South Africa. This started more memories flooding out. Strangely enough, when I sold my house in Prestwood it was to someone of the same name as one of the prisoners so was, I think, most likely to have been a descendant.
We have to make notes of things we remember from childhood as - once we're gone so are all our memories...
Isn't life strange?

Thursday, 12 April 2012


An image which Kath posted a few days ago reminded me that I have collected lots of blue-and-white china over several years. Some of it came from car boots, as you might have guessed, but there are a few pieces which I bought in Holland, so it's real Delft!
Most of it is packed away in the roof but I do have a few bits and pieces on top of a bookcase, though mostly jugs (twelve all told) because I like the different shapes they're made in. The little jug on the first step up, on the left hand end, that's Delft. The sauce boat in the centre at the bottom holds the electricity and gas meter box keys so they're readily at hand if I need them. There are more plates stashed away but it's a long time since I've looked at them.
The photo was taken in 2005 or 6 when I was taking a writing course and one of the assignments must have been to get a letter published in a magazine; this one was.

Thursday, 5 April 2012


On Tuesday, granddaughter Sarah took me to Oxford to buy shoes in a Schuh shop - being the usual Sod's Law, they didn't have my size. Being the thoughtful girl she is, and knowing how slowly I walk these days, she borrowed a folding wheelchair from a friend of the family's mother and took that for me to ride in. It's interesting to see how the crowds part as you approach...
It wasn't a very warm day before we started and I can now understand why people in a chair have a blanket round their knees - you certainly need one! It was f-r-e-e-z-i-n-g!
The car in the background is there deliberately. Sarah owns it now, an old Honda Civic which has done plenty of miles in the last three years hacking up and down to Southampton Uni. It has a nice big boot and is so easy to drive. You can't see it but it's plastered with stickers from Newquay - surfing - car adverts and anything else that was on offer. It was mine for quite a few years before Sarah acquired it and has carried plenty of things from car boots back home to sort out. Before that - and when it was brand new - it was owned by Sarah's other Grandma. 'Three careful lady owners' or words to that effect!

Wednesday, 4 April 2012


I haven't blogged recently because I've been unwell with a coughing-type cold, which seems to be going round at the moment and drains all your energy but I'm getting over it now, touch wood.
As Ashley isn't around any more I thought I'd make use of his old carrying cage in the garden, to see if I can protect the half coconut shells I buy for the birds, which are filled with suet plus mealworms, peanuts or berries. Starlings are such gannets, they hack away at anything and clear the food in a matter of minutes, it seems. So I thought I would try this and it seems to work (so far) as I've only seen a single starling a couple of times. It's hanging on two butchers' hooks connected to the feeder pole and the cage.
I've put the plywood 'floor' back in, too, so that I can put mealworms in there as well. The only downside, at the moment, is that the great spotted woodpecker can't get to the food, either.
I've been trying to add another photo but can't get it to move down so will finish this here and do another one. It's only taken me about two days so far.....