Friday 31 March 2023

It's so quiet here - and kitten op. update

 . . . the kittens are at the vet's, being spayed.  I had to fill in a form before their op and the wording is scary - dreading the phone ringing in case something has gone wrong in the ops.  Lulu has an umbilical hernia, so she is definitely going to feel rough for a couple of days.  Plus they are being microchipped and have to have cones on to stop them pulling at stitches, but I bought a 2nd soft doughnut one so hopefully they will be more comfortable in those.

I managed to keep it together when I was at the vet's, and was SO relieved to see it was BOTH the vets I trust and know to be kind and gentle with cats.  Pippi didn't mind going into her travelling box but Lulu obviously has a longer memory and had to be bundled in - yet SHE wasn't the one to have such a painful jab last time - it was Pippi.

I collect them at 4 p.m.  Will do an update later.

I've been doing some decorating to take my mind off it, but couldn't have Audible on in case I missed the phone.  I will keep them up in the yellow bedroom for a few days as if they try and get in their kitten hammocks under the sofa with collars on, they may get stuck.

Well, I have them home but they have already both shed their doughnuts.  I put Lulu's back on 3 times, only to have her do a backflip to get rid of it again, and I thought that might damage her internal stitches, so have left it off.  Turned my back, and Pippi's shed hers too . . .  They are both SO PLEASED to be home.  They have to go in on Monday for a checkup.

Just for a special outing on Sunday, Keith has to go to Hereford for an MRI scan of his middle back . . .  Glad it's not a 9 a.m. appt. this time!

Tuesday 28 March 2023

Around Ludlow


There are so many wonderful period buildings in Ludlow - Ye Olde Bull Ring Tavern c. 1365 (in its original format anyway which was likely to have been low-ceilinged and thatched.)

One end of the Buttercross Market Hall. It dates from around 1743/44.

I was stood close to the entrance to St Laurence's church and noticed this splendid building - it is pretty big and was originally Hoysers Almshouses with some Rococo styling.

A close-up of the central building in the photograph below.

Shopping here is a delight.  These buildings date to around 1404.

Now, I don't know if any of my UK followers saw a Priceless Antiques Roadshow recently where they showed Lars Tharp playing a wonderful cello which had belonged to Queen Charlotte (wife of George III).  Anyway, this one is in an almost identical case and I imagine it is a similar age.

A modern take on a Medieval puzzle jug - Romeo and Juliet.

Lovely cheese dishes and modern take on a Bellarmine jug behind them.

The castle which I will visit on my next trip to Ludlow. It's late 11th C.

A lovely touch of spring, and a bit of the original town wall behind it.

I love the way the walls dip and out!

The wonky house in the photo above this is in Market street, and in a moment, I will show you Raven Lane:

HERE 1 is a link to the listed buildings of Ludlow (south) and HERE 2 is for the North side of town.  They are worth checking out as they show lots of photos and short descriptions of ages etc.


Above and to the side were both from the same building; and the piece below from Nat West Bank.

I had a busy weekend, and went to Carmarthen on a fruitless trip to look at beds at Dunelm (they only sell them on line it seems) but I went and had my lunch at the beach at Llansteffan.  The visit to the beach was to cheer me up after I had booked the kittens in to be spayed on Friday.  I have talked this up out of all proportion in my head and am DREADING IT.  I spent the afternoon with a friend who I hadn't seen for over a year, and we talked the hind legs off several donkeys (hers were hiding in the stables !!)

Over the weekend I got some more painting and papering done, and lot of Family History - this time heading to the Isle of Man, where Keith's family hail from.  I FINALLY got a breakthrough - after 25 years + of checking and found them in the neighbouring parish and NOT, as oral family history told us, in Kirk German (though they are doubtless there too but not the link I wanted for the parents/grandparents of K's g. grandfather who came to England with his wife. That was very satisfying, and backed up by the Wills I have been checking out too. 

Finally, Pippi has found a new naughty trick, counting the eggs!!!

Then the pair of them, up to no good!

Now, I really MUST go for a walk, before it begins to rain again.

Saturday 25 March 2023

Manx family history

HERE is a link to a gigantic relative on the Isle of Man of my slim 5'8" husband . . .  The Caleys married into his Quayle line, hence he's related, though fairly distantly.  I've not dug into that properly yet, but it's one of the bits of oral family history handed down through the family.  I'm working on the Manx lines at the moment.  Still hoping to find the "four brothers" which is also a snippet passed down.

I was good and didn't allow myself to be tempted.

One line which is a complete dead end from the start, back in Manchester, is the marriage to a "Mary Evans from Wales." Yeah sure, there are thousands of those out there, and not even a date of birth!

I have a few bits of William Morris design pottery at home, gifts from the girls.  Some tempting things here too but I walked on by.

Anyway, I need to gird my loins and do some painting.  I'll try and add a few photos of the town later.

Friday 24 March 2023

Slow progress


Yesterday, being in a bad mood and up for things to make me crosser, I answered the challenge of papering around the corner and under the window, with a double socket thrown in for good measure.  It turned out well.  I love how it's turned out.

    Next (tomorrow) I have to move some furniture and paint the tall top wall, and then the dado rail, and should be able to start papering below it on Sunday.

    I am shattered from another night where I was awake as much as I was asleep.  I have only done family history research today, and taken Keith out for a drive to Caerfagu to get the replacement UV light and glass sleeve for the water system.  I may just have gone to the garden centre and treated myself to two rubber tree ties for the latest fruit trees and a LOVELY American Pillar climbing rose to go in the gap by the Sycamore stumps and clamber through the Rhododendrons.  

    Have a nice weekend everyone.  

Thursday 23 March 2023

A five star Church - Part 1 - St Laurence's Church, Ludlow

 When I am planning my little "escapes", the parameters are places within an hour's travel of home.  Ludlow falls into that category and it was last year - winter I think - when we last went.  Keith was a bit more mobile then and we went to a couple of monthly Antiques Markets held in the Market Place.  We had to get there early though, and tbh, not much there to interest us although a Windsor "grandfather" chair we bought is in the kitchen here with us still.  Anyway, I wanted to visit the church (St Laurence's) again as I remembered it had amazing Misericords and good stained glass.  I wasn't disappointed.

The hexagonal south porch (I should have taken an internal photo as it had a fabulous ceiling) is shared only with Chipping Norton in in Oxon and St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol.

The church is in Simon Jenkins' "England's Thousand Best Churches" and gets a five star rating from him.  Hardly surprising as it is stunning.  Also known locally as the Cathedral of the Marches.

Poor Alice was a long way from home - Lymington is in Hampshire and I know it well.  Interesting that they say it's in the county of Southampton.

St Catherine's Chapel.  The reclining figure remembers Dame Mary Eure, late wife to the Right Honourable Raiphe, Lord Eure, Baron of Malton, Lord President of the Principalities and Marches of Wales.  A shame she has to share her eternity with stacks of chairs!

Fragments of Medieval glass in the same side chapel - the Restoration had much to answer for - made up into a window.

The beautiful rood screen and loft leading into the Lady Chapel, which had a beautiful atmosphere.

This is the stunning Jesse Window, which dates to c. 1330 (restored 1890).  Jesse windows were designed to show the lineage of Christ and there is one of a similar date at Dorchester Abbey,  Oxfordshire.

Lots of bequests to help the poor of the town.

The West Window.  The glass is by T Williment and was fittred during the 1859-69 restoration of the church.  He was an heraldic painter to Queen Victoria.  The stone tracery is from the Perpendicular period.  The figures in the window are, top row:

Roger de Montgomery, Early of Shrewsbury

Joce de Dinan

Fulk Fitzwarine

Peter de Geneville

Roger  Mortimer

Richard, Duke of Cambridge

Bottom row, kneeling:

Richard Plantagenet

King Edward IV

King Edward V

Arthur, Prince of Wales

One of the beautiful poppy-headed bench ends - that carving is superb - as it is throughout.

Klein suggests that "the central figure is the warder of the Palmers' Guild, whose money paid for the enlargement of the choir stalls in 1447, although this misericord is somewhat earlier.  The central figure is certainly the image of the successful man in his prime, perhaps a wealthy mercer or tradesman, dressed in a fine coat with a silver or gold collar, and backed with tools and objects of various trades and the source of his Prosperity; they include a barrel, a pair of clogs or pattens, a pair of bellows, and a hammer.  The figure on the left is now mutilated but leans forward with its left arm originally pointing across the misericord towards the right hand side.  Here we find all the symbols of the grave - a tomb, bones, skulls, spades, and the arm of the sexton holding his aspergillum or holy water pot.  The message is simple - that despite material wealth and success in this life, all eventually ends in death and the grave."

This is an interesting one - "a porter or peddler draws on his right boot and prepared for the road.  The pack, strapped to his back, could be a consignment of cloth, and it is worth noting that bales of good quality white woollen material known as "Ludlow Whytes" were well known in London and fetched good prices there.  An almost identical misericord from the same design is to be found on the north side of the choir-stalls in the chapel of All Souls College, Oxford."  (Many thanks to Peter Klein's booklet on the Misericords, which I brought back as a present for Keith).

This probably shows the "ideal of womanhood" - this is an attractive face.  See below for opposite!!

This reminds me of a Medieval painting which has been in my newsfeeds recently - was it a man, some pundits were asking?  Do go to the link - the resemblance is uncanny!!

Today life is back to normal.  I have SO much to do - I need cloning.  I started the day off by rescuing a (very grateful) baby bunny who was brought in completely alive and unharmed by L. Whale, who promptly went under the settle with it.  I was alerted to its presence by the kittens suddenly homing in on it, and L. Whale growling at them!  I managed to gently remove it from his mouth and let it go in the yard.  It sprinted out of the front gate so he'd obviously caught it along the lane.

There will be ironing, bed changing, wallpapering, gardening and Ancestry family treeing - hopefully I can fit it all in . . .  Yesterday's outing bucked me up no end.  It was Market day (photos tomorrow) and I had a lovely lunch from one of the stalls - a little Indian open tart, spicy with Onion Bhaji and chickpea filling.  Yum.

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 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.