Friday, 29 June 2018

Beautiful Lingerie for the Woman at Home




The cover of this book is what initially got my attention, but the real treasure is what lies between the covers.      Six issues of   'The Woman at Home'  magazine, 1912-13 - five hundred and seventy-six pages of delight.



There are articles on dainty lingerie - illustrated above is the New American Corset Cover and Knickers in Nainsook with Valenciennes Butterfly Lace, of course.    Buy them now at your local M&S store.

There is a wonderful article with advice on what to take on the average two to three week holiday - don't forget to take a costume suitable for a fancy-dress dance and as for hats, just remember that velour hats do not occupy much space.

I am tempted to write that there is also a footnote on the virtues of Eau de Cologne - "as, no matter how careful one is, the feet are inclined to be 'troublesome' in the warm weather, no apology is necessary for stating that every evening they should be lightly bathed with 4711 Eau de Cologne."      

Midges may be troublesome, so add a little Scrubb's Cloudy Ammonia to your morning bath.




Here is a suggestion of what to wear on the beach.


Skegness, here I come!


A word of caution, shops often sell vulgar and coarse postcards, which continually offend women.    Do not let your children see them because they are unable to realise the coarseness of them.

Not to worry too much though, a censorship committee has now been formed.

With all the talk about child obesity, it was interesting to find an article which begins with the question "Is the modern school child over-fed, or under-fed, or badly-fed?"   An argument is made that school refectories are often to blame because they have no flowers or silver, and the food is served on ugly china, and dressed in an uninviting manner.       Food, if not nicely served, will be bolted by children because there is nothing to tempt them to linger long enough to chew the food correctly.

They conclude with "If more sweets were used in children's diet and their food was better cooked and served, there would be no need to hold conferences on the subject".

Enough of all that though.

    


The warm weather is parching the fields, everywhere is beginning to look faded, apart from the poppies - I must remember to go back to this field to gather some of the seeds - the church with the crusader's effigy (previous post) lies just beyond the trees on the left.



I gathered a few more elderflowers and made an elderflower and almond cake.      The flavour is wonderful, the jury is still out on the texture though.



Have a lovely weekend.
















Thursday, 28 June 2018

Several Naughty Nuns and a Knight


Some of you may recall the torn, repaired, and faded sheets of paper which were found tucked away in a dusty attic, where they had lain for almost two hundred years.    

It was my job to try to decipher the words so beautifully handwritten in ink, which has faded over time.    The pages had been throughly torn to pieces and then someone had stuck them back together with sellotape.  

Since that time I have been trying to get into the church to take a photograph of the crusader in question.




the final page
This morning, I found the church door was open, so I tied Toby to the boot scraper and went inside to take a couple of quick photographs.


The person (unknown) who wrote the poem was appalled at the way the crusader's effigy had been left damaged and dusty, popped in a corner and forgotten about for a couple of hundred years.




This is him, snapped this morning.     Still lying in a corner (no idea whether it is the same corner, probably not) dusty, but not forgotten.  He is a late C13 effigy of a knight wearing chain mail and a surcoat, angels at his head, a lion at his feet.

It is believed that he was brought to the church when a nearby Priory was dissolved in 1536.   Nothing remains of the priory, other than some records and documents, the site of it is now in the middle of a farm and not accessible.

Little is known about the priory, other than that it was founded around 1153 and that it was a small and unimportant one.   

In 1298 a nun was sent there to do penance, she was of a quarrelsome disposition and the Bishop ordered that as long as she remained 'incorrigible' she should be kept in solitary confinement until she learned to comply with the rules of the order, then she could live within the community again.

It seems that the bishop had visited the priory four years earlier and had offered her the chance of resigning, to save herself from this disgrace...  Four years later he had lost patience with her.

Her successor was no more successful, she abandoned the house of nuns for two years and it fell into a state of serious decline.   She eventually resigned and the impoverished nuns at the priory were allowed to keep their tithes instead of paying them to the bishop.

After that there is little of interest recorded - a little disobedience, but nothing more of note.    At the time the priory was dissolved, their income was £63 and there were ten nuns living there.   The prioress received a pension of £10 a year and the sisters were paid off with 20s each.    This was in 1536 - Henry VIII's reign and the time of the dissolution of the monasteries.

Why the crusader effigy was at the priory is not known, nor is it known who he was.    The effigy was carted the two miles from the priory to the church, then it seems that it was hidden away and forgotten, perhaps for its own protection, given the times.

Whoever wrote the poem in 1837 was incensed and wrote these lines:


Hero Warrior of ages past, and is a buried shrine thine?
A broken statue all that tells of daring deeds like thine?
No record lives, for minstrel play, to make thy triumph known
Thy glory is a matchless thing, thy fame a battered stone.

Yet thou hast played a lofty part, the battlefield thy stage

And others less worthy have their place on Fame’s historic page...

and on, and on....

Yet are there none, thou knight of old, none left who hear they want?
Whose pride of ancestry should guard thy resting place from shame?
The heroic Crusader now perchance of thy truly honoured time
Can hope a place be found anew to place thy valiant shrine...etc

I won't type out the whole thing, but you get the gist.

My next task must be to find out which vicar was incumbent at the time.






Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Frugal Sunshade - an old Parachute


The conservatory/sun room faces south, east and west, so summers, such as the one we are enjoying right now, mean that we get a little too much sun in there.    

The glass has been treated so that the UV light is screened out and all the windows are fitted with Venetian blinds, and the ones which open have fly screens, but that still leaves the glass roof.  That room gets hot, no need for us to go abroad for a sunshine holiday!

We should really have roof blinds fitted, but I always wince at the cost - so we came up with a fun and frugal solution - an old parachute!

It cost something like £30.    We simply made one cut along the side of a panel, to open it out, sewed a few tapes to the edges, to correspond with some large cup hooks which we screwed into the window frames - marry them up - and you have a tented and draped sunshade.      

Unconventional, but I love the effect.     


The parachute goes up for the summer and then stays up until September/October, depending on the weather.     

Then we simply take it down, shake it off and store it in the loft until next year.

The chair which you can see in the first photograph is where I normally sit and type my blogs - not this particular post though, grandson no. 1.  is watching an episode of his favourite television programme right now, so I am sitting in the chair which you can just see in the lower right edge of the second photograph, the dog's chair.  (I bet you feel a whole lot better for knowing that!)    


Monday, 25 June 2018

Midsummer Magic with the Neighbours

This weekend we enjoyed a little midsummer magic, an open air production of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' on Midsummer Day, early evening.   Warm weather, beautiful setting, excellent acting.



Our wonderful cast, not a great photograph but this was the cast taking a final bow.

A cast of eight put on a magical and entertaining performance for an audience of at least two hundred people, including a couple of dozen local people.    

Each actor played at least two roles, most had three, so you can imagine the number of costume changes they had to make - all done in a little gazebo erected between the back of the stage and the bird enclosures at the back.    The peacocks, confined for the night, found it very entertaining and put on a display of their own.

My six year-old granddaughter led the laughter, she was spellbound for the whole time - and not by the peacocks.    She created a little magic for the company,  her completely honest reaction to the buffoonery within the play seemed to give some adults permission to relax and enjoy things, too.   

Her ten year old brother was more restrained, though he delighted in some of the slightly more risque jokes.      

Well done to the cast and well done to our friends at the watermill.  It was their first venture into offering some evening entertainment and it was brilliant - helped by this unusually fine spell of warm weather.         

Many people opted to take food with them, but even more took advantage of the watermill's new pizza oven - orders were being delivered at a rate of knots.      Their investment seems to be paying off and I am delighted for them.    

The couple took the place over four or five years ago and they have worked tirelessly since then.  Investing so much of themselves into the place, trying to be creative and yet not tread on the toes of the village pub.

They have invested in an outdoor cinema set-up so, if the good weather continues through the summer, we can look forward to some very nice evenings out.   The next theatre production is 'Alice in Wonderland', not a great favourite of mine, but I will be there.

At the end of the evening we were able to just pick up and fold our chairs then walk the couple of hundred yards down the lane to home.   Perfect!      




I am way behind on replying to comments, visiting blogs - sorry.    A pesky and persistent headache has kept me resting; I was determined not to let it grow into a full-blown migraine, I didn't want to miss the theatre production. 


Saturday, 23 June 2018

Midsummer at the Watermill



Our strawberries are still green, perhaps they will ripen in time for Wimbledon, or maybe not.     Luckily we have a fabulous fruit farm just a mile or so down the lane.   These are my first strawberries of the year, freshly picked on the farm - I refuse to buy them from supermarkets, they nearly always seem to lack flavour, as well as being expensive.

Finally, a chance to use my beautiful little berry bowls.       They were made by potter and blogger 'gz', her blog can be found here.      




I haven't been sleeping too well lately - this morning I got up at 4am and watched the sun rising over the railway line - an hour after I got up!        

After drinking a strong cup of coffee I decided not to waste the 'extra' hours, so I got on with doing a little typing for Miss Read.    Many of you know her quite well by now but, for new readers, she lives in our tiny village and is a long-retired primary schoolteacher.      She has always kept herself involved with community life, the WI, the Village Hall Committee, craft work, local events, painting groups.

Once a month we host a meeting in our village hall, to enable older people to come together to have a cup of tea and a natter.    Often we have small projects to keep everyone interested, local history, cooking, flower arranging, etc.      Last meeting was wonderful, we had some new people, as well as several others who only rarely attend.   Luckily we had a fairly packed agenda, so they were well entertained.

What to do next month?      We were short of ideas, but Miss Read, ever the schoolteacher, rang me yesterday to say that she had written a little story about a cycle ride around some local villages.   A fun quiz for the group.   Her story gives cryptic clues as to the names of the villages visited... would it be possible for me to type it up?

Of course!   

So that was how I spent the next hour of my 'bonus' time - being very careful to check the spelling and punctuation!    I will be taking it round to her on Monday, I don't want to feel like an anxious schoolgirl, waiting to have my homework marked.

After that it all fell apart, my computer went into meltdown, going round in circles, the touchpad mouse ran away, I couldn't get it to do anything at all, most of all I feared that I had lost my work.         I removed the battery, restarted things, twiddled with some settings and gave it a severe talking-to.   So far, so good and the work is still safe.

Other than that the day has been spent catching up on some ironing, gardening, a little housework and dog walks. 
     




More strawberries for tea.      

Tomorrow teatime I will be going to the watermill, they are staging an outdoor performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream - on midsummer night.




The weather forecast is for a mild and dry evening - fingers crossed!



Enjoy your weekend.
x





Friday, 22 June 2018

A Victorian Public Loo or a Turkish Bath

A couple of weeks ago, as I drove along the main road, I could see that the 'OPEN' sign was out.   Great!   I decided to call in on my way home.




I have visited this place many times, I keep visiting in the hope that on my next visit I will find that it isn't as bad as I remembered, although I know that many people love it, and that is fine.



Errands completed, I drove back.   The sign was still there. 




To set the scene, I should tell you that this is set in a minute hamlet of no more than six or seven houses, all ranged along one side of a lane which leads to nowhere else.


The central tower of the church is Anglo-Saxon and dates to the 10th century.

In the 1860's it was 'restored' in a very unusual way.

I was hoping to be able to show you the interior.   Once seen, never forgotten.   But no, despite the sign, the church was locked.    




The exterior is fine, with a very tall medieval churchyard cross which is a listed monument in its own right.           

The Victorian restoration involved Minton tiles, lots of them.   I hadn't read about it when I first visited and I can still feel the shock of that first sighting.

Can you tell that I don't like the look?   

I am glad to say that I am not alone.    Sir John Betjeman was Poet Laureate from 1972-84, he was also passionate about churches.     He described the interior as resembling a Victorian public loo, on account of the encaustic tiles used to decorate the chancel apse.

These interior shots of the apse were taken several years ago, luckily I was able to find them on one of my old blogs.   


An old photograph which I took years ago.


Another church enthusiast - Rev. Henry Thorold  (I will write a post on him another day) described it as "all shining and polychromatic like a Turkish Bath."  





Hundreds of tiles, banded brick walls, tiled floor...




It is busy, I find it too 'noisy', it screeches around my head and assaults my eyes with too many shapes and colours.     When I have an occular migraine, the shape which dances through my sight is exactly like the arched shape of those windows.   It is like a migraine waiting to happen.




The story goes that the tower was practically all that remained of the church when a wealthy landed man decided to have it restored and made in part a mausoleum for his family.    He did it as a tribute to his parents, they had loved the place.

It does make me wonder what they would have thought to his efforts, but I try to remember that it was done with love and the best of intentions...

He even went so far as to have the remains of several members of his family moved there from Harrogate.    By the 2000's it had fallen into disrepair again, it was in a terrible condition.    £350,000 was spent on restoring it.


What do you think - the Victorian public loo, or a Turkish bath?  😐



Thursday, 21 June 2018

No Poppies, No Opium, No Morphine

Snippet of newspaper found tucked into one of my old recipe books:

Sunshine and Sleep

No syrup of poppies, no tincture of opium, no powders of morphine can compare in sleep-inducing power with sunshine.   Let sleepless people court the sun.   The very worst soporific is laudanum, and the very best is sunshine.    Therefore it is very easily understood that poor sleepers should pass as many hours in the sunshine as possible.

Many women are martyrs and do not know it.   They shut the sunshine out of their houses, they wear veils, they carry sunshades they do all that is possible to keep off the subtlest and yet most potent influence which is intended to give them strength and beauty and cheerfulness.     Is it not time to change all this, and so get roses and colour in your pale cheeks, strength in you weak backs?    The sunlight would be a potent influence in the transformation.


*      *      *



A way to clean black and coloured ribbons is to rub them well with common brown packing paper.   It is astonishing how well this cleans dark silks, and takes all grease spots from them, and nothing can be more easily done wherever you may be.


The newspaper is undated, alas.    You could, however, travel steerage from Liverpool to Montreal or Quebec for the sum of £4.00.      There was also the offer of a free land grant of 160 acres and a £3.00 bonus to settlers...   Any takers?


I must stop playing and get on with the baking.
x

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

A Fire in the Kitchen

Don't panic, it is the title of a book.   

A Fire in the Kitchen, subtitled:  The Autobiography of a Cook,  by Florence White.    Not a fast-paced, scintillating book, but definitely interesting -  I will be reading it through again, and I don't do that very often.     


Florence White

Florence White was born on 20th June 1863, which would make today her 155th birthday.   

When Florence was almost six years old, her mother died.    Before long, her father re-married, but the young woman was not kind to the little girl and she lived a sad and lonely childhood,  often confined to her bedroom, away from the family.  

One day someone was playing with a spinning top on the dining-room table, when a wire flew out of it, and hit her in the eye.    She was not taken for treatment and would have become totally blind, had it not been for her friend's mother, who insisted that Florence's father take her to see an eye specialist, he confirmed that the sight was gone in the injured eye and the other eye was badly infected and in danger of being lost.   He ordered drops to be put in and both eyes to be bandaged for six months, six months of blindness.


The friend, Ida, was to prove to be "the best friend a girl and woman ever had."     She was an artist and Florence often used to visit her in her studio, spending hours with her friend.    I have tried to find some of the paintings which Florence lists as being among her favourites, without success.  

I found this one  (thank you, artchive.com) and can't help but wonder whether the cook is based on Florence - the hairstyle is similar.




Florence had to work for a  living, she wasn't trained for anything, but she was intelligent and fairly well educated.  She got work as a journalist, a cook, housekeeper, social worker,  even writing books on dressmaking for Singer Sewing Machines, for which she was paid £50 down on delivery of the complete manuscript and then £50 on the publication of each edition of 20,000 books.  

Because the damaged eye had been left in her head, instead of being removed, she suffered from almost continual neuralgic headaches and pains at the back of her neck, her strength was sapped, her heart affected.

She spent some time in France, gave English lessons, studied French cooking, travelled and worked.    

However, her remaining eye was under a lot of strain, and she had debilitating heart problems, so  there were times when she was forced to rest in bed.  During these times she studied, did research, wrote articles, if she was well enough.    Then when her heart had recovered sufficiently, she would find another job, to earn her daily crust.

Throughout her life she was fascinated by food, especially the food of England.   She felt very strongly that it was wrong that French food was so highly regarded, while our own rich food heritage was neglected.   She believed they were both equally good in their different ways and wrote articles about cookery, collected recipes from people throughout the country and was responsible for founding the English Folk Cookery Association.


The aim of the association was to promote and preserve traditional English recipes and food.



Prolonged periods of poor health meant that things moved slowly.   Her lack of funds hindered her progress and she had to sell her library of old cookery books to a friend, who immediately loaned them back to her.   Florence continued slowly gathering information, recipes, and writing her books.



She finally managed to get her book "Good Things in England" published, then "Flowers as Food", as well as some publications  for the English Folk Association.    Then in 1938 her autobiography was published.

My copy was signed by Florence, dedicated to a Mrs Vallance.     When I first saw the writing, I was perplexed at the rambling lines and the way the ink kept running out, the writing faded.       Of course there is a very good reason, by the time she her autobiography was published, she was almost blind in her remaining eye, so she wouldn't have been able to see her own handwriting. 

There is much more to her story, but right now I am busy following an intriguing thread.  Florence mentioned that throughout her life as a writer and journalist, she often found that her original research and recipes had been 'lifted' and then presented by other people as their work.  

One small incident was when she presented a completely fresh family recipe to a newspaper (a previously unpublished one from an old family friend) in reducing the quantities, to make them more manageable, Florence made a mistake with one of the calculations.  When she saw it in the publication she tried to have it corrected, but it was not done.    A while later the same recipe, with the error, was published by another writer, presented as an original.

Her most famous publication was Good Things in England, a vast collection of old recipes, garnered from around the country, following many years of dedicated research, slowed by her poor health and lack of funds.    Before she managed to get it published, someone she had trusted, and with whom she had shared information, beat her to it and had their own version published.

There are lots of recipe books but not too many big collections of old English recipes...   I am digging and delving, trying to find out who it was.    Could it be May Byrons, Mildred Blakelock, or ...?    I need to investigate, browse my shelves, trawl through bibliographies.  I enjoy a good mystery, so I could be some time.






Sunday, 17 June 2018

Owl Wood Fun



I had today mapped out in a certain way - it didn't happen.    

Instead, the little flower fairy, who lives next door, asked whether the pressed flower pages she had done would be ready yet...so of course we had to take a peek.   




Needless to say, we were both pretty pleased with the results.   




Her next job will be to label some of them, when her writing has become just a little smaller.   




Now she understands what pressed flowers are, and the pitfalls of not placing them carefully enough, but I think she made a very good job of them.







Of course she had to look through the rest of the book and became engrossed in this old painting, which tells some of the very many stories and games we used to make up, or played, in Owl Wood.

Even her older brother became engrossed, which was pleasing, because the journal was started purely to remind them of the good times we have shared in that little woodland.





Little moments which would otherwise have been lost forever - the very young deer which came to visit, one magical year when we actually had a red squirrel in the wood, worried pheasants taking refuge from the guns, the owls, the fairy picnics...








There are lots of maps and plans - reminders of how things change and evolve over the years.  Sheds get moved, garages built, shrubs moved, fruit gardens resited, hen houses sometimes here, other times there...





One map made to look a bit like an old map fit for a pirate on a treasure hunt - because that was the phase our grandson was going through at the time.   Fun, fun, fun.      So often I have felt apologetic about my work, but now I am pleased with it.   





The basic shape of the village houses all came about because at the time this next one was drawn, we were caught up in playing seemingly endless games of Monopoly.    As the person entrusted to be Banker, I seemed to dole out endless houses and hotels for other people, too busy counting out money and keeping the game fair, to concentrate on my own properties.   Thank goodness that phase has moved on - for now.





So what if the arty types get sniffy, their opinions really don't matter.      

This is a journal for my grandchildren, they understand it and enjoy trawling through it.  

I will stop here - apart from anything else I have to get the tea ready!




Saturday, 16 June 2018

Walking and Dreaming



I took a completely different walking route from normal, yesterday.     This one has wide grass verges on either side of a very quiet country lane.    There used to be a very large and grand old country house, complete with enormous walled kitchen garden and ponds, along there.  The big ponds and the huge walls of the old garden remain, but the house was demolished decades ago.

The house may have gone and yet this stretch of the lane is so different from others in the area that it is easy to imagine horse-drawn coaches filled with smartly dressed people arriving for grand balls, or hunting/shooting/fishing parties.    

Lost in my daydreams, my ears detected the sound of horses hooves - a daydream with sound?




No, this high-stepping and very beautiful pair were out for a training run.
They made my walk very special.




They trotted off along the road, past the old walled garden and then turned off to go through 'Wild Garlic Woods', before heading home.




Here is part of the the old walled garden, a massive one, those walls are about ten foot tall.    It faces south and gets a lot of sun and heat on that back wall, which I imagine was filled with espaliered fruit trees and other delights.     Goodness knows how many gardeners and under-gardeners must have worked there.   I love walking past, trying to imagine how it must have been in the old days.  

Over the wall, to either side, are large ponds, so water would have been readily available.

This photograph shows what remains of a two-storey house, built into the north-east corner of the garden which fronts onto the lane - it is there, covered in ivy.





The walk was filled with other small delights - dancing damsel flies, the occasional enormous dragon fly, wonderful wildflowers among the grass and the air was filled with birdsong.   I turned into the driveway to the house, to look across the water and was thrilled to see two muntjac deer ambling along on the other side.   They didn't see or smell me, or the dog, so I spent several minutes watching them. 

It was a shame to have to leave, but I had to return this little chap to his home - Bill, remember him?  The little terrier who swallowed a rat - whole?      No rats yesterday. 







Friday, 15 June 2018

A Tale of Two Blacksmiths

The traditional image of a blacksmith is that of a big brawny man, muscles bulging as he makes and fits shoes on a huge and patient cart horse.    Imagine the heat from the fiery furnace,  the smell of burning hoof and the deafening sound of the hammer on metal...


I don't know who created this wonderful image, sorry
I found it on pinterest

Meet the man who was blacksmith to this little village - a tiny man, not much over five foot tall yet he was the village smith for over seventy years, his name was John.     


He especially loved shoeing horses and would regularly make and fit over a hundred shoes a week -  as well as repairing farm machinery, etc.   although he slowed down a little when he reached his mid-sixties.    Not bad for a man who was told that he was not heavy or strong enough to be a blacksmith.

John left school at the age of nine as he could read, write, and do arithmetic by then!    (This would be back in the late nineteenth century.)   Upon leaving school he worked on a farm, with his father.   He loved horses and they responded to him, so one of his jobs was to take the farm horses to the blacksmith to be shod.     That was when he decided that he wanted to become a blacksmith. 


Another image from the internet. 
Sorry, I don't know who to credit.

At the age of fourteen he asked the blacksmith if he would take him on as an apprentice - which is when he got the refusal, based upon his diminutive stature.    He persisted and eventually the blacksmith gave him a trial and took him on for training.      After ten years of learning on the job John left to set up his own business a few miles away, this would have been around 1908.



It was then that he met the woman who was to become his wife, Alice.      They had three children and were married for over fifty years.    Alice was a founder member of the local Women's Institute and did service as president of the branch.     In later life, when he was 84,  he described her as being "80, but still getting about". 






John would tell people that he was interested only in smithying, never took an interest in anything else.    However, he was on the parish council and he was, at one time, a special constable, so he did his bit for the community.      He worked on until well into his 80's.


His son Eric, also became a blacksmith and worked alongside his father.    He continued to work the forge in this village until only a few years ago.      They worked well together, one liked working with horses, the other with machinery, making gates, fences, etc. 





This is one of the old designs he worked from, it was rescued, along with a lot of other papers, from a skip.   Eric and his wife had no family to leave the business to, everything went to a nephew, I believe.  The house was cleared, the smithy goods were auctioned, the house sold.  The end of an era.


As you can see by this photograph, Eric took after his father in stature.










Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Monday Afternoon in the Village Hall





We should have got the best teacups and saucers out, boiled plenty of water in the urn and provided lots of cake.   
We would have done, too - had we known ...






Perhaps  the brilliant sunshine and wonderfully warm weather had something   to do with it but, our monthly group has just four or five regular attendees, today we had people we haven't seen since
 last year.      

A charming  92 year old (who used to run a large and handsome house, which was open to the public several days a week), two women in their 80's and three in their 70's, the remainder were in their 60's   -  we also had three brave men with us, a rare happening.

I think they all had a good time.





The sun was still shining when the meeting broke up.   
No one wanted to leave,  but stayed chatting outside the hall afterwards. 
Eventually I had to bid them farewell to dash home and cook a meal for the grandchildren.
I hope we have a similar turn out next month.
I won't hold my breath though.
    

Later, I took Toby for a good long walk and reluctantly turned for home when it got a little warm for him.    

The verges and field margins are filled with wildflowers, including these pretty orchids, masses of them.






As I walked through the barley fields I was accompanied for much of the way by brilliant turquoise blue damsel flies, it was almost like walking with fairies flitting around me.   Very beautiful.

I couldn't snatch a photograph, so I found this old one of a dragonfly... ugly to some, but look at those wings!






Today is like a completely different season.   Heavy grey skies and very chilly indeed.    
Normal for Lincolnshire.   ðŸ˜ž





My little flower fairy reminded me that last year we had made plates of food for the fairies...
could we do it again?




Of course we can!
The idea is to wander around the garden picking tiny flowers and offerings
then she leaves them out for the fairies to enjoy.  
The only rules being that the flowers must be
 small enough to fit onto a leaf
and they must not be
 her father's prize blooms,
my flowers are all fair game.


It won't be long now until midsummer eve,
less than a fortnight.
Fingers crossed for a fine evening because we are attending an open air performance
of  A Midsummer Night's Dream
at the local watermill.
Quite excited to have that on our doorstep.
They have some wonderful ideas for the rest of the summer, too.
Open air screenings of some choice films
being just one of them.
Exciting times for our village!