Monday, 11 November 2019

Life

This end of the year always seem to fly by at twice the normal speed.    Admittedly I have put in quite a lot of time in making chutneyand so on as I try to deal with the glut of green tomatoes(!), making some bottles of Christmas Pudding Vodka, Bramble Gin, mincemeat and assorted tasty treats.     The pantry shelves are groaning with delights, most of which will be making their way to the church sale this weekend.

I have also helped and encouraged the grandchildren to put some time and effort into making pine cone bird feeders, twiggy stars, natural fire lighters, and so on.   I have just about run out of steam now and that mad and seasonal need to craft and create has almost ended!   I inflict this madness on myself each year, I both love it and hate it.



This afternoon I attended the monthly meeting at the village hall.     Our wonderful local historian brought this marvellous photograph in to show us.    Our tiny village hall, way back in 1915, when the ladies were gathered to sew and make things for the men who were away fighting in the First World War.

There we were in our denims, sweatshirts and boots, all so casually dressed for warmth and practicality - no doubt the women in the photograph would have been shocked.       They all look so smart in their hats and beautiful white blouses.   

The hall looks nothing like the photograph now.   The oil lamps have gone, the panelling, balcony, coat rack and staircase have all been removed and what was a very characterful hall was remodelled and updated thirty or forty years ago and has become a small, bland and anonymous building.

We chatted about some local history and then Miss Read handed out some worksheets which I had typed up for her.     Once a teacher, always a teacher.   She had written a short story, which was really a bit of a quiz, with about two dozen town and city names/part names hidden among the story.  It sometimes took quite a bit of lateral thinking, but it was great fun.

Then we played dominoes which was much more fun than it sounds.    After we had locked the hall, I went out with a friend to deliver the parish magazines around the three local villages/hamlets.   Then had to race home to cook tea for the grandchildren; thank goodness for beans on toast.

Yesterday we decided not to attend the usual Remembrance Parade in one of the local towns.  We had decided to visit a tiny church which is no longer used as a church but has been sold on.


This was why we made the trek.   It is the only Commonwealth War Grave in the old churchyard and it marks the grave of an unknown sailor who was washed ashore and buried here during the war.  Eventually they established his identity - the uncle of a Scottish friend of ours.   Our friend has never been able to make a visit to his uncle's grave.

It was nice to see that someone else had visited.    Possibly a representative of the Merchant Navy Association, given the markings on the wooden cross they had left.     As I stood up and looked out across the fields I could see another of my favourite redundant churches.   Three of his shipmates were buried in that churchyard, so he has company not too far away.

I suppose that now I have all the craft work and preserving out of the way I will just have to knuckle down and do some housework. 

Noooo-o, so boring!

Wishing you all a happy week.





16 comments:

  1. A very busy girl. All sounds so productive and fun. Seem to think you have posted before about the pine cone bird feeders, do you dip them in molten suet and roll them in seeds? I’d love to know because I have just erected a twig tree in the wrenery and I plan to have it festooned with bird treats.
    Love the old photo, a far cry from today’s casual dress, not sure which I prefer?
    Lx

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    1. It really is a wonderful image, Linda. It is a real shame that it has become such a dull, bland, soulless place, not that anyone other than our group uses the place. Having said that, it should be in use for Polling Day, though I never see anyone else in there voting!

      The pine cone treats were made exactly as you said. I tied string around the base (feeding it under and around the 'petals') then dunked them in melted suet, then a good smothering of birdseed. I have had to bag them up, don't want the church mice eating them before the sale.

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  2. I must know what Christmas pudding vodka is, it sounds delish!! The old photo is great, not sure I would have enjoyed wearing a dress with all the trimmings everyday, I'm very much a jeans and tshirt kinda gal.
    Sheri

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    1. So am I, Sheri, much more comfortable for day-to-day chores.
      The Christmas Pudding vodka is a mix of spices, sugar, dried fruit, zest of lemon/orange, plus vodka. I don't drink alcohol (it gives me very bad migraines) but my daughter requested it; I made it for her several years ago and she loved it. Fingers crossed that this brew is up to standard.

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  3. Look at all the sewing machines! I wonder if they were stored at the hall, or transported to every meeting. The charming and pensive young lass seems the apple of her mother's eye, and made ever trip back and forth, I'm sure.

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    1. Good question, Joanne! I hope they either left them there for the duration of their sewing bee, or else had some strong men to do the carting.

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  4. Lovely to see old photos and find how buildings have changed and well done Miss Read (and you) for doing handouts with a quiz - that's the sort of thing I would enjoy.

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    1. Miss Read really does do her very best to keep us on our toes, Sue. In truth, most of us only attend because it is such an important part of her social life. If we were to lose her for any reason, I fear that the glue which binds the group would disappear and the monthly meetings would fizzle out. Her quizzes are legendary, you would have fun.

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  5. You certainly have been busy, I hope the love part of business rather than the hated gave you some joy. Sad to say I never did anything for Christmas, hubby always wanted to eat out.

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    1. You are absolutely right, Valerie. I shouldn't have chosen that particular word, my excuse is that I was tired. I do enjoy the craft work, and filling the pantry shelves is very satisfying! Well at least you didn't end up with mountains of dirty dishes/pans/leftovers!!

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  6. When you say the "church was sold on", does that mean it has been repurposed or is now a dwelling? Looks like the grave is well tended. We celebrate Veterans Day on the 11th to honor all who have served living or dead.

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    1. Hi Marcia, The church was made redundant, then it became an art gallery/craft workshop. Since then, it seems to have changed hands again, the graveyard is filled with huge amounts of building detritus and stores, security cameras, etc have been fitted all around the place. Goodness knows what is going on with it now.

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  7. Your foodie delights sound really yummy, you have been busy. It´s lovely to see old yesteryear photos, they don´t look very relaxed and comfy do they, wouldn´t it be interesting to listen to their conversations now. Would certainly be very different to now xcx

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    1. I love the way they look, but I imagine they were wearing corsets, stockings, etc - nightmare! Oh for a little time machine to go back and eavesdrop! Hope all is well with you, Chrissie.

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  8. A couple of the halls in our village were demolished and one made into the Telephone exchange the other had houses built on it. The latter was the scout hall and was replaced with a new building near the local pub, the other never replaced. To my knowlage no photo of them servives though I do hav ea photo of a wedding party inside one.
    You been bust then making vodka and Gin drinks though I'm affraid I find the stuff discusting no doubt after getting so blotto on it when I was young. I dring very little acohol now prefering a Coffee or tea.
    I like how you remembered to visit a commonwelath war grave of that seaman

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    1. I hope that one day some photographs resurface and you get to see your old halls, Billy. I have often tried to imagine what our hall was like, but the photograph shows how my imagination failed, it was so much better!
      The family like those fancy drinks, they are easy enough to make, so I indulge them. I am not able to drink any alcohol these days (even a sip gives me a really bad headache - the joys of getting older) so I am a tea/coffee drinker, too.

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Lovely to hear from you!