Thursday, 13 August 2020

My Passion Bears Fruit

When I was busy running Grandma's Nursery School, I noticed the plant outside my bedroom window was smothered in passionflowers. But I never took a photo. Now it is covered in fruits. Some are still green, but many are ripened to a deep apricot shade and just beginning to shrivel. (this variety has yellow fruits - different from the purple ones sold in the market, they are smaller and less fleshy) Now is the time to harvest them, and carefully slice them open. The vivid red seeds come away easily from the surrounding membrane. They make a jewel like garnish for desserts. A dozen fruits yielded about 2 tablespoons of ruby seeds. 

The seeds are alleged to have health benefits, but one is advised not to eat the yellow skins. I think the seeds would look gorgeous with a creamy pannacotta. My neighbour said he fancied the idea of an indulgent spoonful on top of peanut butter on toast! 

Have you ever used passionfruit seeds in your cooking? 

The story of how the passionflower got its name is HERE

Wednesday, 12 August 2020

We Will Remember Them

Last weekend, we looked at a couple of very different Norfolk war memorials. The first was on Friday - we were visiting an elderly relative at Downham Market. She's got a very positive attitude and is coping remarkably well with all the lockdown restrictions. But just as we got to the town I noticed a little sign "RAF Victoria Cross Memorial" pointing down a side road. So on our way back, we detoured briefly to have a look at this.

During WW2, Downham Market Airfield was a strategic base for the pathfinder crews. The airfield, due east of the town was close to the village of Bexwell [officers stayed in the Rectory] Over 700 men who flew from here never returned- and two of them earned the Victoria Cross, posthumously for their bravery.

Arthur Louis Aaron  from Leeds was only 21 - he was seriously injured in a raid on Turin in 1943, with dreadful facial injuries. The bomb aimer took control of the aircraft, and Arthur, unable to speak, managed to convey the instructions for safely landing the plane. He died nine hours later from exhaustion. In millennium year, the people of Leeds voted for a new statue in the city to mark a great citizen - Arthur won the poll. The statue represents Arthur standing at the foot of the tree as children climb towards the freedom he helped win for them. The girl at the top is releasing the dove of peace.

The second VC recipient was Ian Willoughby Bazalgette [a great grandson of Joseph, the civil engineer famed for building the London sewers] He was from Canada, in the Royal Canadian Air Force. In a 1944 raid on Trossy St Maximin in France, his plane was badly damaged. He ordered all crew to bale out, apart from two men critically injured. He flew the plane back,but on landing it exploded killing all three men inside. Ian was just 25. A new Canadian Air Force Memorial is being developed at the National Memorial Arboretum and there will be a statue of Ian there soon

Here's the memorial to these two brave young men, outside the little parish church in Bexwell. I was concerned about weather damage - Bob said the wooden casing made that inevitable. But I was pleased when researching the story later to discover a new memorial is under way- to commemorate all those airmen who died flying from Downham Market.This one will be carved in black granite by a local stone mason.

Our second memorial was spotted as we walked round the Swanton Morley Yard Sales on Saturday [total spend £3 on programmes, a jigsaw, a book for Rosie and a pipe wrench!]

At the end of the road opposite the church is a new housing development. It was built four years ago. The roads are named for seven young men who left the camp in the village for the war in Afghanistan.[It began as a WW2 RAF base, now owned by the Army] 

There is an attractive memorial at the entrance - with all the details. These soldiers were from REME and attached to the light Dragoons, whose Latin motto vivet in aeternum- merebimur means it flourishes forever- we shall be worthy.

The info board says "May they always be remembered by the community in which they were stationed" I do hope that is true. Building homes for future generations to live in peace seems a good way to honour their sacrifice.

I stood quietly in the blazing sunshine reading these memorials - and then came home to read news reports of people complaining that they felt restricted by lockdown and 'needed' to get onto the beach and into the bars, and they resented giving up their freedom...I felt sad.

Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Please And Thank You...

Firstly a please.  Pumpkin and Pauline have won the draw to receive the Goode Books. Please can you email me with your snail mail addresses so I can pop them in the post to you?

Secondly a thank-you to Tom and Jane in Valparaiso, Indiana. I confess I hadn't heard of your city [I've checked it out now- it looks beautiful] It is around 50 miles south east of Chicago, at the base of Lake Michigan.
I did 
know about Indiana Jones, but not the Indiana Smiths! It was really lovely to hear from you. I am so glad you're enjoying the blog, and our weekly YouTube church services. God bless you both.

Friends are so precious - both the ones close by, and those we only know through the internet. I'm truly grateful for all the friends I have. 

PS Don't forget the Perseids meteor shower tomorrow - between midnight Wednesday and 5.30am Thursday is supposed to be the best time

Monday, 10 August 2020

A Bit Vague...

Our Saturday night viewing of late has been la dernière vague - the French supernatural mystery drama on BBC4. As it was shown in two episode chunks - starting at 9pm, we tended to record the second and watch it on the Sunday 

I kept falling asleep mid-episode, which is frustrating.   The biggest mystery for me was the title - which means "The Last Wave" - when actually the main focus was not the waves on the ocean, but the huge barrel shaped cloud which appeared in the sky.

These roll clouds [technical name arcus volutus] really do exist - appearing in Queensland, Australia around October - and they have also been seen in the USA, the English Channel and the Shetland Islands.

The story is basically that this amazing cloud appears over the ocean on the day of a Surfing Event - and eleven surfers are temporarily lost in freak weather conditions.

How the small community [ a resort in southern France on the Atlantic coast] copes with the aftermath is intriguing and surprisingly relevant to the current pandemic situation. Some people suffer greatly, some make great sacrifices, and everyone is affected in some way. Life changes - and will never be quite the same for those who have been through the experience.

You do need to be able to cope with subtitles [unless,like Mags, Barbara, Jean, and other followers of this blog, you are fluent in French] but the acting is good - my favourite was the little boy, Gael Raes, playing Thomas [on the right of the picture at the top] He was brilliant - and can't be more than about 9.

The series has six 45 minute episodes, and is currently available on BBC i-player. There were one or two odd, inexplicable plot holes [yes, plot holes, not pot holes] But on the whole I found it clever and intriguing even though it isn't my usual preferred genre.The filming was excellent [all done around the resort of Contis, St Julien en Born]

An intriguing tale, well told, set in a hot summer, when everything seems strange. 

What are you waiting for? I rate it *****

Sunday, 9 August 2020

God Is With Us

Click here to view this encouraging story. Go on praying for Beirut

Rest In The Lord

 Apologies, I've had problems with UCF worship link today. The theme is Rest. Update link Here

Worship In Ferndown

Link for the morning service is  Here

Friday, 7 August 2020

Don't Get Into A Flap!

Why have I never known this trick before? So many cardboard boxes come with tuck in flaps which don't stay shut, or the slit tears or they generally fail on me. A clever daughter showed me this and it's so obvious that most of you are probably doing it already...
  1. Here are two packets with their flaps
  2. Now tuck in three sides and leave one long one up
  3. Fold in the sides firmly for the top inch or so
  4. Press the sides together, tuck in remaining flap to hold everything tidy.
[please do not judge me for buying the Nestle product - in 'normal times' I would usually avoid them...] Thank you Steph