Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Pass the bucket ...

14 punters merrily ate winter vegetable soup and picked at the cheese and paid for the privilege. Only about 6 servings left over, so that worked quite well.

Kitchen madness

It's the day of our first Lent Lunch, and so my home has been turned upside-down to arrange tables and chairs, and I will be able to seat 19 with an overflow into the sitting room with bowls on trays. The soup is bubbling away almost ready to be "blitzed", the rolls ready to warm in the oven, soup kettle on and coffee machine filled. Cheese sliced up, biscuits in bowls, sandwich pickle also on the tables along with salt & pepper, sugar and milk for the tea or coffee. Sliced ham is in the fridge for the one person I expect to come along who doesn't eat cheese.

This year I have cut down from doing this every week for 6 weeks to fortnightly, so there's only 3 to sort out. I have always given them a choice of two soups as well, but this year there's only one. The trouble with doing two is that one is always more popular than the other and I get left with several pints which I have to freeze. Then when it comes out again it's the least popular once more, so it ends up being chucked, which is a waste. So now its a "soup de jour" and like it or lump it.

There have been a few comments from parishioners that it's not happening every week, but I note that no-one else has volunteered to host and cook for the 3 blank Wednesdays ......

Sunday, 26 February 2012

On the beach

It has been pointed out to me that this Blog has gone silent for a couple of weeks, so I thought I'd better post something.

I've been going through some old slides of my father's and transferring them onto the computer, and I came across a series of shots of the MS Athina B which ran aground on Brighton beach on January 21st 1980. Along with thousands of others, including myself, my father grabbed his 35mm camera and headed off to the seafront to take photographs of the grounded ship.

The Wikipedia entry for the event reads thus:
The Athina B left the Azores on 11 December 1979 laden with 3,000 tonnes of pumice. Her destination was Shoreham-by-Sea. During the voyage, she had problems with her generator, gyro compass and radar, and put in to La Rochelle in France for repairs. On arrival at Shoreham on 20 January, force 7 or 8 winds meant she was unable to enter harbour. This was not helped by a loss of power from the engines, and a Mayday call was issued. The Shoreham Lifeboat Dorothy and Philip Constance took off half the crew and the captain's family, with the rest being rescued on the morning of 21 January. A total of four attempts were needed to rescue all those on board. The ship drifted eastwards and eventually ran aground to the east of the Palace Pier. The ship broke her back and was declared a write-off.

In a cupboard I have, in an old shaving stick container, some of that pumice cargo, labelled for posterity. I also have some photos which I took the following stormy weekend showing waves crashing over the side of the ship as it lay at an angle on the beach. My father obviously walked along the Palace Pier (now re-named Brighton Pier) and took this shot which shows just how close the boat came to demolishing that structure.

It was all rather fun while it lasted.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Nice ice

Thankfully I haven't had to venture out today - the snow and ice hasn't melted at all and the pavements and roads are treacherous in places. The birds swoop down for the food I put out and the fresh water in the bird bath, which begins to freeze over almost immediately. Over the past week I've seen Dunnock, Long-tailed tits, Blue tits, Great tits, a Green Woodpecker, Collared Doves, Wood pigeons, pheasant, Blackbirds, Rooks, Starlings, House sparrows and Robins. A Muntjac has also made a fleeting appearance. I haven't seen that many parishioners! That's rural living for you!

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Snow Day

Saturday 4th February, and the overnight snow arrived as forecast. I woke to a white world.

Managing to negotiate the snowy country lanes I drove to the first service at Rumburgh where there were 5 of us. We celebrated on a card table in the tower room as it was warmer!

At the second service at St Peter South Elmham there were 2 of us, and as the other person doesn't receive communion we said a shortened BCP Morning Prayer and headed home.