Monday, 6 March 2017

Old Books from a Very Dear Friend


It was a busy weekend here at Parsonage Cottage.      There was a surprise party for my son-in-law's 40th birthday (held at the local pub),  we had two of the grandchildren for a sleep-over, and we also had a surprise early morning visitor for breakfast.   It was busy, but fun.

Things quietened down after lunch on Sunday; the sun came out and I felt the sudden need to do some spring cleaning, but not in the house, I wanted fresh air.  

I got my trusty litter-picker gadget and a large black bin liner,   then set off to pick up the rubbish  from along the lane.      I really do  know how to have fun!!  I found lots of vodka bottles, polystyrene coffee cups, soft drink cans, rubber gloves, sweetie and chocolate wrappers, you name it, I found it.    The bag grew very heavy.   People are so darned lazy.

I worked my way down to the old railway bridge, then back up to Oscar's old place, where I got chatting to Oscar's son and daughter-in-law who were busy clearing some more things out of the house.




I don't know a great deal about this old house but I do know that it has belonged to a farmer, a butcher, and has also been a doctor's surgery.      It has lovely gardens and two very large paddocks with outbuildings.



I wandered over to the old barn and, much to my delight, the Barn Owl flew out.   I was sorry to have disturbed his slumber, but thrilled to have found that he is safe and well, just wish I'd been faster with my camera.


We have lived in this village for 11 years now and nights have always been brought to life with the sound of Tawny Owls.     In the last few weeks I have been straining my ears to hear them.   There are no Tawnies calling.     I don't know what has happened to them.   I hope they haven't been poisoned, or succumbed to bird flu.

This is a photograph which I was lucky enough to snatch (from a long way off) of the Barn Owl.   It was back in the days when I wrote a different blog.     He is a beautiful creature, I hope he survives.



While I was chatting to Oscar's family they very kindly offered me his old cookery books, if I would like them.  

Anyone who reads my other blog Parsonage Cottage Kitchen will know that old recipe books are a passion of mine.      I generally prefer them to date from the 1920's or earlier,  but in this case the fact that Oscar and his wife used them makes them more than acceptable.  

How I miss having this lovely old man drop by for a chat and a cup of tea.


They are a wonderful addition to my library of books and I am thrilled and delighted to have them.   One of them has the perfect recipe for my next cookery project.     The book may only date from the early 1960's, but that still makes it about 55 years old.

This is a photograph of Oscar back in the 1970's
when he was playing the part of Compo
in a play at our Village Hall.


Oscar's family mentioned that the new people have a couple of horses and some sheep, so perhaps the place won't change too much.

I picked up my two heavy bags, one filled with treasure, the other with other people's rubbish, and continued my way home, picking up more litter as I went.    My arms had stretched by six inches by the time I reached home.
x






23 comments:

  1. What a lovely surprise for you, Elaine. Those books will always be treasured coming from such a nice couple. I love the photo of him sitting so content at your table. Aren't these photos so precious to have.
    I lost a good friend 7 years ago and my favorite photo of her is her sitting across from me at the table of a mutual friend after a wonderful lunch holding up a glass of white wine and smiling. It's a memory/day I will always hold close to my heart. I also wanted to say that I love your header photo. What an inviting kitchen only enhanced by two fabulous felines. Deb

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    1. Hello Deb, I am truly thrilled and delighted to have them, especially as they have been thoroughly used. He would sit and tell us tales about farming, and life, almost a century ago, stories of his beekeeping days. including the day he was introduced to Princess Anne!
      The cats always manage to get themselves into photographs - unless I want to take a close-up, then they scatter to the winds. Little minxes.

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  2. How good of you, to pick up road side trash. How vile of people, to leave it. :-(

    And you were rewarded wonderfully, weren't you? With that precious load of old cookbooks, from the home of your dear old friend.

    And with good news, about the new owners. Hope they are lovely people!

    My but that was a big house, for one old man, to maintain. He probably only used a few rooms, by the end. Beautiful, beautiful old home! I hope the new owners love it.

    Gentle hugs,
    Luna Crone

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    1. Hello Luna, That is exactly how it felt to me - a kind of reward, unexpected and really lovely. This morning, when I walked the dog, I noticed that yet more rubbish has been thrown out along the lane... Grrr.
      I do sometimes think it would be quite fun to dress up in some overalls and a high vis jacket, people would probably think I had done something 'naughty' and was serving community time, being made to pick litter! Imagine the speculation in the village!

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  3. We live within a two mile radius of several well known fast food restaurants & inevitably their packaging is tossed along our road so I fully agree with you about the laziness of some. You were very good to lift it!
    Wonderful to spot the barn owl & I do hope the tawny owls are still safe.
    Lovely to have those cook books! Oscar must have been quite a character!

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    1. Hello Christine, Not good, just a cross-patch who would rather take action than just grouch about it!
      You would love that beautiful barn owl, swift and silent. Long may he stay safe. I don't sleep well so I notice the night sounds, I particularly notice the lack of tawny owls. I used to hear them on the bedroom chimney or the fence in the front, softly calling to one another.
      Even though he was then in his mid nineties, Oscar was still climbing ladders just three or four years ago. An amazing man!

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  4. Was up in Whitby two weeks ago and had lunch out with friends. I got seafood chowder....it was ABSOLUTELY THE BEST!!! Would you know of a recipe? It had potatoes, corn carrots, smoked salmon and some kind of whitefish in a cream base...have not found a recipe on line, but maybe in your old Yorkshire cookbooks??? Thanks so much! Email lkling48@ icloud.com

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    1. Hello Lynda, I have checked through the Yorkshire WI books but there was nothing that came even close to your chowder. It sounds very good, my mouth is watering at the thought of it - but then it is lunchtime! If I find a recipe I'll scan it, and post it here. Other than that, could you find a really good chowder, but make it using the ingredients which you listed? Regards, elaine

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    2. That's what I am going to have to do! I can't even remember the name of the place in Whitby where I ate....but it was THE BEST!

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  5. I haven't seen an owl here in a half-dozen years, and I WANT TO! Oscar's cookbooks couldn't have found a better home. They are your reward for getting out and picking up trash! I do that, too!

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    1. Hello Chip, It's the only way - just talking about it, or grumbling, doesn't get rid of the litter! Luckily I did it the day before our rubbish was collected and we had space in the bin. Sad to say there are more wrappers out there now. :(

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  6. You are very community minded, it's not the sort of thing I'd do round this village although they do have blitzes now and then

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    1. Hello Bill, I just do what I am comfortable doing, if you know what I mean. I fear I have become Mrs Grumpy of Little Bunting. Heaven help the person I see chucking rubbish out of a car window.

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  7. What a wonderful photo reminder of a man that was a real treasure in your community. We have all followed your post about him and his horse. I wish I could have met him.

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    1. Hello dear Meggie, It would have been wonderful to have you and Oscar around that kitchen table at the same time! There would have been a lot of laughter and fun, no shortage of interesting conversation.

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  8. Oh to see that majestic Owl. What a wonderful sighting.
    Wouldn't you think you could at least have a day of a rubbish free verge for a pleasant stroll down the lane. How dare they?
    What a reward though to get those cookery books. Good reading and cooking

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    1. Hello Linda, It is very disheartening, I must wear my blinkers for a few days, otherwise I could get a teensy bit cross. They do it without thinking. Just as well I don't have the power to fine them!
      The old horse and the owl shared that barn, each quite happy with the others company. On hot summers days, the horse would retreat into the barn to get away from flies and he would stand directly below the rafter where the owl roosts. He could have stood anywhere, but he chose to always stand in that spot!

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  9. What an interesting day you had, and how very nice of you to pick up the litter. My husband and I did the same thing a while back except he drove the truck and we filled bags and loaded them on the back. Nine large trash bags we filled. You are right. People are so lazy! and all the trash along the road is so ugly. Glad you got the old cookbooks. I love that house!

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    1. Hello Henny Penny, Litter-pickers of the world unite!
      It is a really handsome house, no nonsense, sturdy. I like that, too. The other side is much more cottage-style with additional quirky additions. You would really love the gardens which are private and peaceful with lots of trees and drifts of spring flowers. No beautiful stepping stones though!

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  10. Since Council cut-backs we have found that there is simply more litter around. And also I think the actual refuse lorries are much to blame, the ones that collect the recycling stuff, as they have open sides and the stuff can fly out onto the roads, especially when the lorries are full.
    There used to be the Keep Britain Tidy campaign. About time this was brought back.
    Love the photo of your friend dressed as Compo! I thought it was Compo to start with!
    Margaret P

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    1. Hello Margaret, Didn't he look splendid! Oscar was on the Village Hall Committee for many years, they worked very hard and staged a lot of events at that time. He would often regale me with stories about village characters and events, always finding the humour in situations.
      Our lanes are used by quite a lot of very heavy farm tractors, so the sides of the roads become deep gully's filled with mud and very unpleasant. Still, spring is coming and snowdrops are fading and giving way to more spring flowers, the birds all sound much chirpier and we are even having the occasional burst of sunshine. Life is good!

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  11. What a handsome man Oscar is! He sounds like he was the perfect neighbor. You are wonderful for collecting all that trash. The winter winds always seem to leave so much garbage behind when spring gets here, don't they? Sounds like a lot of partying going on in your neighborhood!! : ) Have a beautiful rest of your week. xo

    ~ Wendy
    http://Crickleberrycottage.blogspot.com/

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    1. Hello Wendy, I like to keep the rubbish down along our lane, partly because I walk along it so often so I see more of it than most people. The local pub is at the far side of the village and there's definitely a lot of merriment there at times, although it is a family-friendly pub, too. We are very fortunate, we may not have any shops, church, or school these days, but at least we still have a pub! Oscar is a dear man!

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