Monday, 31 August 2009

Bank Holiday Monday

Regular bloggers such as OCICBW may be away for the day, but others of us are still here at the interface.

The day started grey and cool over here in "The Saints", but from early afternoon it has turned into hot brilliant sunshine and cloudless blue skies. All in all a very untypical English Bank Holiday Monday.

One activity I have held to be traditional on such a day is the watching of a good movie on television. In my youth (and in black and white!) it used to be "Disneytime" with extracts from Walt's greatest movies. However, that show disappeared from our screens a long time ago, and so I have to come up with my own filmatic amusement, as what is being broadcast today is fairly trite. So at lunchtime I slide my dvd of "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" into the player and sat down with a cup of coffe and a small dish of cheese biscuits and cubed cheddar cheese, and snacked my way through the story. I only pressed "fast-forward" during one song, and thoroughly enjoyed it. With Dick van Dyck, Gert Frobe and Benny Hill, what could go wrong?

And there was even the wonderful Stanley Unwin - "super performance-lode in partiful character" - as he might have said.

The sun is now over the yard-arm (somewhere in the world, anyway), so I think it's time to fill a glass with something pleasant.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Shelter from the storm

As it happens, we were invited into the home of our supper host rather than sitting out in the garden by the lake, freezing our whotsits off, and it was warm, comfortable and very enjoyable. And I've had a glass too much red wine ....... but it was a very nice evening, with good food and company.

A late summer in England

Hot sunshine, violent squalls, thunder, rain ... and there's an open-air Shared Supper in the Benefice this evening! Oh joy!

Thinking of others

There I was on a short visit to a well-known supermarket this morning. There were plenty of spaces available, and yet, as I walked to the store, a lady decided that she needed to be as close as possible and parked as the picture shows, not caring that her positioning made it difficult for other vehicles to negotiate the corner. The striped white lines are there for a purpose, but she was oblivious to their meaning. That's her, in the blue, walking down to the shop entrance.

Daft bat.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

The sunlight this evening was just superb ...

All quiet on the rural front

Several people have commented to me that it's about time I updated my posting as they're tired of seeing our athletic young gentleman flying through the air and crashing itno the table of judges. Personally I can never get enough of short video clips of people falling over, but only if there's no physical and enduring damage done to themselves or others. But if everything is quiet and just plodding along in these warm August days, what is there to Blog about that's of any interest to readers near and far?

However, this picture was posted on a slightly befuddled priest's blog (who could of course be wrong - let the reader understand), and even a few days later it still makes me chuckle.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Magazine is in the post ..

... for better or for worse. Now for Sunday's sermon .... and the hymns for September ... and a PCC meeting tonight .... and it's hot and sticky (and that's just the weather!)

Intermittent blogging ...

... as I'm busy at the Editor's desk compiling the September magazine for the Benefice. Almost done.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Strip field system

With reference to the previous entry, in this aerial view, with the "island" village to the top of the picture, the remnants of the old mediaeval strip system of farming can clearly be seen in the long narrow fields that still exist.

(Image from Google Earth)

Friday, 14 August 2009

Living on an island

At least, that's what it looks like from above. Photo of our village from Google Earth.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Monday off

Well, I didn't paint the bathroom yesterday - I made a beef moussaka instead, and very nice it was too! Two portions left over and now in the freezer.

But now it's Monday, and this morning I HAVE painted the bathroom. Taking off the wall cabinet I found that it hadn't been removed when the room was last decorated (just before I moved in 8 years ago), and there was a vile pink oblong underneath. Neither had the painters taken down the towel rail, so that was all covered in old paint at both ends.

Why do decorators do this? It's sloppy and bad craftsmanship. Mind you, that bunch of cowboy builders were sacked by the Diocese after my experiences with them. They were crap. A one-armed blind chimpanzee could have done a better job than they did. As an example ... who the hell drills holes through the shelf in the cupboard under the kitchen sink in order to fit the pipes through it? Last Wednesday the plumber who came in to fix the hot tap had to carve great lumps out of the shelf with a keyhole saw in order to remove it and gain access.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Ahhhh (deep sigh of contentment)

A Sunday off .... the first this year ..... what the heck am I going to do? I could paint the bathroom I suppose ....

Saturday, 8 August 2009

And I missed it ...

At 5 minutes and 6 seconds after 4 a.m. yesterday, the 7th of August, the time and date was: 04:05:06 07-08-09

This will not happen again until the year 3009!

Mind you, I didn't miss the last sequence in 1978, when at 12.34 a.m. on the 5th June the date and time was 12.34 5/6/78. I even got that small piece of trivia published in a national magazine.

Busy and productive day

It's been a travelling day today ... this morning I drove over to near Huntingdon for a Postcard fair where I found this superb card of my grand-uncle to add to my collection, and it only cost £1.50, which is a bargain! Basil Gill was an actor well-known for his commanding voice, active on the stage and screen through the first half of the 20th century. I have a large collection of images and ephemera from his plays and films, but this card was unknown to me. It shows him as Shakespeare's "Richard II" in 1904. (I've not inherited his looks!)

Then I drove back and headed up to Norwich for my Friday evening session at the gym. By the time I got home I had driven 194 miles! Phew! I rewarded myself with two fried eggs on toast and a slice of Tarte aux fruits" (which needs eating as the strawberries on it are going soft!)

Ten postcards bought in all, along with a couple of new albums and the proper insert sheets. I was sorely tempted with a series of wonderful and unique photo and postcard albums of a person's holidays in France in the early 1930's, complete with typed narrative and sketches, and they were not over expensive at £100, but I kept a tight hold on my wallet and headed for the car!

I shall now be up into the early hours sorting out my collection of Carte de Visite and Cabinet cards.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Mmmm, refreshing

A humid evening, made better with a bowl of cold water prawns in a marie rose sauce, served on a bed of romaine lettuce and avocado, dressed with sliced plum tomato and dusted with cayenne pepper.

Ahhhhh ....

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

But what is that amongst so many?

Sunday 2nd August, and the Bread & Cheese Lammas Lunch at my home was quite succesful. The variety of cheese on offer, and the home-made bread, was appreciated and consumed heartily. I gathered up a little less than 12 basketfuls afterwards ... and put another £70 into Benefice funds.

Down to the coast

Later on Sunday afternoon I drove down to the south coast for a get-together on Monday with the ex-Off-Licence crew with whom I used to work (in another lifetime!). As posted before on this blog, I usually break my journey for a meal at "The Ship" pub near Ringmer, but this time I drove a mile further south and stopped off at "The Cock", where a small menu selection was on offer!

At just before 9.00 p.m. I had an excellent "pub standard" of scampi, chips and peas. Great nosh for late evening, washed down with two glasses of fruit juice.

Monday, and a barbecue in the sunshine at a friend's home in Worthing. Good food, a never-ending supply of cool Pims, and a nice selection of desserts, plus a birthday cake for me! Another year older ... but who's counting?

The sight of the South Downs always make me feel happy. (And I took this photo whilst ridng in the back seat of a car, which explains why the fence posts are all leaning. They were actually upright, but it's the speed of travel that has made them appear as if they are all at an angle!)

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Lammas Sunday

After the monthly Coffee Morning this morning which raised £90, I spent the afternoon cooking in preparation for the Lammas Sunday "Bread & Cheese Lunch" which I am hosting tomorrow - a simple lunch of different breads, a selection of cheese and some pickle, and coffee or tea. On the sideboard are some granary plait loaves, a large parmesan and sun-dried tomato loaf, and a rosemary and foccacia loaf, all made and baked today. There are a dozen or so cheeses, some of my brother's "lively" pickled onions, and some rhubarb chutney. There will be a jug of elderflower cordial made from the blossom on the tree in my garden.

A proper Lammas marking the start of the harvest and giving thanks to God whatever its outcome, rather than the new-age development of the Celtic/druidic sabbat.

Quite ironic that as we celebrate the new loaf, the directions from our Bishop say that we should be only offering communion in one element due to swine flu. I haven't yet decided whether to follow this directive, or to use the bread which we usually have at the particular church where the service is being held tomorrow, and the chalice. I will see how the Spirit moves.