Tuesday, 21 March 2023

Words they Devon volk knew

Longing for summer.  One of the trees taken down this weekend can be seen just below the chimney.

HERE are two lovely Devon ladies, telling a naughty tale(not too naughty, don't worry).  I just love their Devon accent.

Here' s another one - this time, farmers . . . Click on the writing to get the link each time.

I got led astray this afternoon, from family history to words and expressions some of my ancestors would have used.    These are  from the Report an Transactions of the Devon Association in 1878:

This comes from Teignmouth, but I know it (probably mentioned by dad) and I am sure it's still in common use: "You'm lookin' better than you did."

"Ax" for ask, as in, on an omnibus, "Jack run back and ax en ef es gwain" (of an old slow person) meaning run back and ask him if he's going by the omnibus.  "Gwain" is going. This Torquay.

"Bide where you be" - stay where you are. Teignmouth.

Love this one "Between the lights" - Teignmouth again, as in "Yesterday I was sitting between the lights" - e.g. at twilight.

Near Kingsbridge (my great uncle plied the ferry across the river there), they only knew Valerian as "Bouncing Bess".

A native of Ashburton (I have several in the family tree), might say, when speaking of a book, "If you let that child have it, twill soon be "dabberdashed" - e.g. made dirty.

"Drownded"  rather than drowned, was a common expression in many places - just like you hear today "Spayded" instead of "spayed" as of dogs or cats.

In Widdicombe (again a family area), they might speak of "Flour-milk" (we used to put this thin paste on a branch of gorse at Christmas, as we couldn't afford a tree) - anyway, it was used when cleaning out a muddy ditch by an old boy born in 1811 or so: "Maister it would make flour-milk" - meaning gruel made with flour instead of oatmeal.

Higher up in the county, around Hatherleigh, shingles was known as "girding".

They were way ahead of Wokery down in Devon, and even something like an appetite became genderised:  "He is not very good sir, I feel sick to everything."

Likewise males and females were interchanged:  "He's with pup, Sir".

Whilst my generations of Totnes ancestors would have used "Hole in the ballet" of someone who spent too freely:  "I fear there will be a hole in the ballet before too long."

"God will learn us what to do" (as in teach).  Yup, had this one in Hampshire too.  We also used "He'll l(e)arn him" - meaning someone was going to get a walloping.

This sounds like it ought to be in general use: "Offering for rain"  - as in 'It's been offering for rain all day' - meaning threatening to rain.

"He was that drunk" was also a (scandalized!) Hampshire expression.

Finally, I love this one.  Hope I can remember it to use it:  "I sim they watercresses  are all wangery" - meaning withered.  This one from Torrington, in the north of the county.

Hope this has kept you all amused.

I have managed to get some jobs done in the garden today.  A Montana clematis which had been languishing in a planter (they really don't care for that) is now in a thinner bit of hedge, between the two tree stumps, and around it are some transplanted Welsh poppies which had been keeping it company.

In the planter it was in, there are tulip bulbs, discovered in the stables where I put them to "dry out" last year, and which wanted to grow again.

In two other big planters out front, emptied of Lily-family contents which were poisonous to cats, are now a nice selection from Tesco - a £5 box of Gladioli corms, a Dahlia, some Freesias, and seeds of Cosmos, Pot Marigolds and Cornflowers.  It made up two planters, and I bought a lovely lime-green and white Dahlia from down the town to put in the centre of the 2nd planter.

I felt better for doing that.

Monday, 20 March 2023

Mollyblobs and Moorhens and a recipe for Apple & Cinnamon Muffins

These are fabulous and come from this book:

 When I go to Llandod to do any shopping now, I always go for a walk around the lake first.  I like to see the birdlife and it's a pleasant short 20 minute walk around the perimeter.  Today I met this Moorhen determined to keep his/her (green!) feet dry.  Looking closely, I could just see he/she had scarlet tops to his/her legs.

Other birdlife were Canada Geese, Swans and Mallards.  No Muscovy Ducks this time (there were a pair of them last week) and no Grebes either.

Here are the Marsh Marigolds/Kingcups which have the lovely country name of Mollyblobs.  I had some around the wildlife pond  at our old house.

After sleeping so badly last week my brain is just in resting mode, though I have forced it to do some more family history research (310 family members in the tree now - that's about a week's work).  I don't copy from other trees, but like to do my own research to make sure I have things linking up properly.  I have piles and folders of notes from the past few decades so that helps current research.  Still stuck finding the "9 children, 7 dead" family of my g. grandmother.  Poor lady.  She was married twice but had her earlier family between censuses.  

The farmers came back yesterday and took the other damaged Sycamore down so the view is much improved and I won't have to be mowing a Sycamore forest out of the lawn again.  It will be bad enough removing the hundreds which are putting out leaves all across the yard.

I hope I feel a bit more with it tomorrow - I am struggling to function.

Saturday, 18 March 2023

When family history can occasionally be more than just names and dates


Pippi playing pat-a-paw with Ghengis!

I have been working hard on my Ancestry family tree input this week, and the last day or so concentrating on the Hobbs.  Normally all you find are names and dates - trying to find stories about folk is more difficult, though you can get the gist of some stories from the census listings and parish births (some vicars kindly put "b.b." - base born - others though go for the jugular and write "bastard" or "illegitimate" - when your parishioners are illiterate, it matters not if they are judgemental.) Or you can tell from the time between the marriage and the first baby's birth that the couple "had" to get married, but not much more from parish records than that, unless the vicar has given a specific house when they aren't just "village". 

     Anyway, some time ago I came across a snippit which related to a relative of mine - not direct ancestry as he was the nephew of my 4 x g. grandfather, but let's say perhaps his horsey genes were in the family and that's where I got them from!

    From Raffaty's Chats (I have High Wycombe Society org.uk written beside it but can't find the internal link now)

    "At No.64 resided quaint Sam Hobbs, horse dealer, dairyman and a noted hunting man, a shrewd original witty character, who would rise at 3 o'clock to milk his cows so as to turn out for the meet at 11 o'clock.  Describing his noted cream, he recommended it as an excellent substitute for skim milk (!)"

In the 1841 census he was noted as being a Baker, and his son George was a Sawyer.  Both names appear as family names in my family tree and the Victorian ones all seem to be Sawyers, so a family trade.  Another son of Sam's, Frank, worked as a Job Master at the Three Tuns pub in the town, which hired out horses for carriage and riding, and he clearly had plenty of experience of horses from his dad's dealer's yard.  

Our neighbouring farmer kindly offered to take down a diseased and half-dead Sycamore tree for us this afternoon - he gets plenty of firewood in return.  The neighbours are very kind.

    Unfortunately, he confirmed that the alternative but less desirable Pylon route is even closer than I feared - barely 50 yards away and in front of the stables.  Whilst the bungalow next door and a period house down the hill will be closer, I don't know how they can plan it so close to properties, especially when they could avoid them entirely (especially if they went across the edge of the Eppynts).  Praying a) they won't use this route and b) they will be forced to bury it anyway.

Friday, 17 March 2023

A Lark Ascending


Well, the planned walk didn't work out as apparently they are doing Ash Die-back felling and so you can't reach the waterfall.  Ah well, another time.  So we went up to Pant y Llyn instead and had a lovely walk around the lake.  The sun came out in glimpses and there were Skylarks singing above us all the way round.  Pure magic.  Natural remedy for lowering Blood Pressure too!

One of the 8 or so ponies out on the moorland, this one heavily in foal.

A couple more from the group.  The little dirty "grey" in the background is actually palomino in a grubby winter coat, and is the stallion (Section A Welsh).

There were a few sheep about but no mountain lambs yet.

One of those sunshine glimpses I mentioned, popping through the clouds over the other side of the Eppynt range.

 A rocky crag overlooking the lake.

Another sun-spot.  This is Moelfre hill, just up the road from us.  I must try and walk up there this summer (out the door here, and up the track.)

I love the Mohican haircut look of those Army plantings of Conifers. Coming back along the Llandovery road, we see those and know we are nearly home.

I am having an easy day of things today.  Last day of Cheltenham, and the long-awaited Gold Cup race.  I will try and fit in a little more family history research too.  This morning I was working on a line from mum's side of the family -  the Paytons in Somerset.  I have been fortunate in inheriting my g.g. granny Payton's complexion and not too many lines!  I've been doing Hobbs and Battams too, and need to pinpoint which of g.g?granny's siblings moved to Sheffield and had a famous g.g?grandson (Jarvis Cocker).  We're something like 2nd cousins once removed .. . I think!

The walk has made me feel wonderful - all we could hear was Larksong and the occasional sheep baa.  

Kittens are busy "catching" the spots of light cast by my mirror light catcher by the door!

Have a good weekend all.

Thursday, 16 March 2023

Struggling. ..

Whilst it was lovely to have Tam here, it led to me overdoing things workwise with the decorating as I wanted to do all along that end wall before she went, as I needed her help to put the furniture back in place.  (A glazed front bookcase on top of a chest of drawers was the awkward bit.)

I need a bit of green tonight!

Anyway, I got myself in a bit of a state, as there were two pipes jutting right out of the wall (to the guest sink in the next bedroom).  Plus a bit of defunct piping sticking out on the bend in the wall.  As you can imagine, working out how to paper round/over etc this area was a challenge.  Tam had one idea, I had another and my poor brain ended up spinning.  I made a right 2 and 8 of it and all I can say is thank heavens there's a chest of drawers hiding that area!

    Then when I came downstairs, totally frazzled, the renewal of a plan was put to me by K & T, which involved me doing the sorting out.  It was the straw that broke the camel's back and I had a meltdown.  I can liken it to just coming to the surface after falling in a pond, and then having a wardrobe land on your head . . .  not what I needed.

Then K woke me at 2.30 a.m., looking for his watch, and in doing so hit the torch against his glass of water - like the sound of a spoon on a glass for a speech at a wedding.  That was IT for several hours (every other night - 3rd time this week).  I came down and did some more of my family tree on Ancestry, but feel absolutely whacked this evening.  I have decided to get a much-needed new mattress for the single bed, so I can go in there if he's sleeping badly.  I've ordered a new summer duvet set for it too as I'm short on single bedding (got rid of some when we moved). Just plain white with a Mandela design  stitched on it, as I  don't want anything too busy clashing with the wallpaper.

Anyway, tomorrow I'm going to Waterbreakitsneck with my friend Pam, so that's something to look forward to and much-needed.  Photos to follow.

Wednesday, 15 March 2023

Paradise lost


Progress has been made in the pink bedroom.  The wallpaper STILL looks much darker than it is, due to the vagaries of the camera, but I  love it and the paper is lovely to work with and hardly any loss with the pattern repeat for these short drops.  I had to start at the "wrong end" of the wall because of the furniture at the other end.

    However, the first thing to hit my stomach this morning were two Ibuprofen as my arthritic neck is complaining and running down across my shoulder from all the flat-out painting I've done.  Tam arrived yesterday evening, for a 24 hour visit (working from home today) and I need to finish that end of the room before she leaves so she can help me put the furniture back in place.

    We had roast lamb for tea last night - rarely do we have a roast and lamb is our favourite, so it was a treat.

    I had to see the GP yesterday morning and have been put on blood pressure tablets (no surprise).  I am hoping that I won't need to be on them forever, and that worry levels over Keith's health might calm down a bit.  I have to have more blood tests taken in a fortnight too, including a fasting one for Cholesterol as mine's not been done for 3 years and it's meant to be done annually.

Pylons would look so good marching across the landscape don't you think?

    Another hit to the Blood Pressure was the arrival of a map from Green Gen Towy Usk mapping out the proposed route of PYLONS to take wind power from Radnor Forest to Pont Abraham, near Carmarthen.  Blardy hell - the proposed route bad enough - clearly in sight across neighbouring farmland but the alternative route (the one not running right beside the holiday chalets at Caer Beris) would be within spitting distance of our house!  There has been one meeting on the showground already.  I shall be going to the next one, have signed the petition and everyone is up in arms about it - wherever it goes it would bean eyesore and a ruination of beautiful Welsh scenery.  In this day and age, underground is the only way to go.  They mention delivering "clean green energy" - but at what cost to the landscape and inhabitants?  Of course they want pylons at a tenth of the cost of burying cable.  There is already great opposition and the Countryside Alliance is against it, and the Campaign to Protect Rural Wales, and our MP will be hearing from me this week.  Billy Blue Eyes - check the route, as it goes down through Hundred House too . . .

The alternative route appears to be not far behind the stables . . .  This is the view from our bathroom window . . .

    Anyway, one good thing is I have taken my DNA sample and it's in the post to Ancestry now.  I have to wait 6 - 8 weeks for the results.  I'm not good at waiting!  Meanwhile, I am going great guns with my tree on Ancestry and have over 200 rellies on there now.

Monday, 13 March 2023

Wild, Wet and Very Windy


I've braved the weather and done the grocery shop this morning.  I nearly got blown across the Tesco car park in Llandod!  It's become a habit to take a walk around the Lake there, but this morning's weather deterred me today.  Above and below Pippy has a new game (well they both do, but it was Pippi who was most determined this morning). She scrabbles at and bites the "cord" for the kitchen blind.  It is discouraged, needless to say . . .

Saturday was an interesting day - Alfie caught a well-grown baby rabbit and brought it in to show the kittens - and eat in the warm.  This was discouraged, but he came in again behind my back and I found him under the table in the Library, excited kittens at his elbow.  I chucked it out again, and he and Ghengis went to scoff it.  Mind you, as Ghengis has no teefs, it was more sucking it for him.  Half an hour later I went into the living room and thought, what's that pong (Keith hadn't noticed a thing!)  Ghengis had been spectacularly sick all over the sofa - managed to get all three throws covered in rabbit insides (I'll spare you the details), so I had to clear all that up and then chuck the remains of the rabbit outside, over the paddock fence into the woods.  Yeesh.  Can do without that.

On Sunday, Keith wanted to go to Carmarthen Fleamarket.  I wasn't bothered tbh as it is getting worse and worse - not advertised, just one board on the A40 roadside to say it's on, and no customers and very few dealers.  I set the alarm - then of course woke up at 2.30 and couldn't sleep after that.  Keith was breathing heavily, which didn't help.  Well, we went down there - just 25 dealers or so, as the weather a little rainy and the forecast hadn't been good.  I just bought one thing - and debated about that, as I was so tired.  We got a tenner off the asking price, but research has shown it is pretty rare.  It is a French wrought iron ship's candle holder.  The little cap at the top swivels round so you can change the candle.  It's probably 150 - 180 years old and "has the look" . . .

I did some more of the family tree but now have to go back and change one whole branch as somehow I missed a generation filling in the details on mum's side.  Aries don't like to go back and do things again, but it must be done. However, as Tam is coming to stay overnight tomorrow and work from home on Wednesday, I need to finish the end wall in the hot pink bedroom, which means moving furniture (on my own as Keith can't possibly help, bless him).

Keith has gone backwards again, as the new patch which gives him benefit around the clock, has also given him VERY low blood pressure, so he struggles to walk far because of THAT.  We can't seem to win.  Anyway, we're still a bit forwards as he can walk round here without a stick but has to be careful when his blood pressure makes him dizzy. 

Hope it's not blowing a hooley where you are.  I baked some Cheese Scones for our friends P&D who we met up with yesterday at the Fair, and also made a small batch (too small, they are LOVELY!) of Apple & Cinnamon Scones.  I will put the recipe up tomorrow.  Sadly no photos, as Keith loved them too and the half dozen are gone now.