Saturday 30 May 2009

Last Day of the Holiday

Up early, did lots of washing then once it was pegged on the line, we went off to enjoy the sunshine in Norwich [after a trip to use Christine’s PC]


The view from the top of the carpark – the cathedral and other churches. They used to say the city has “A church for every Sunday of the year and a pub for every other day” Don’t know if that’s still true.

We walked up through the market to St Peter Mancroft.


In 1978, we went into H Samuel opposite and bought a diamond ring, then went and sat in the church together, and Bob put the engagement ring on my finger where it has been ever since.

Outside is a statue of Sir Thomas Browne, the scientist and philosopher – with stranger sculptures of a brain, and the names of all his books…


Bob – my very brainy Top man!











This one says “Vulgar Errors!”




We listened to a great busker playing “Moon River”


M&S were celebrating their birthday


The Maddermarket Theatre is a great building, near where Will Kemp,the Tudor Actor began his famous Morris Dance to London in 1600 [why would anybody do that?]




And we came home in the afternoon – the washing was dry and we sat outside for a cuppa



A very satisfactory end to a wonderful week. We both feel really rested and grateful for the chance to switch off and relax together.

Saturday will be back to work…

Getting Cornerstones Ready

After our Bank Holiday relaxation, we spent some time working on redecoration of Cornerstones. Tuesday we did some gloss painting and ripping out of old smelly carpets – and lots of sitting about reading and eating fruitcake. Wednesday, Bob fetched a van load of stuff from home, whilst I painted the dining room and bedroom #2 [and also myself- he called me “Ol’ Blue Hair” on his return!] Thursday was “flat-pack day” and also the man came to fit the carpets.


Bob had purchased a little tool in Homebase called a “Bonsai” and rapidly became very fond of it.


I thought bonsai meant “pretty little trees” but we now wonder if it means something like “Small but strong”

The dining room was previously a child’s bedroom, and was in serious need of repainting. You think it is only going to be a quick ‘slap on a coat of emulsion’ task – then you realise the one room has paint in shades of cream, green, yellow, lilac, orange and white. Not to mention the scribbles.


I got a bit bored at one point


But in the end we got all the tasks on our list done, and Marion, Lucy, Madison and Chris called round to admire it all and drink tea with us.





We brought a picture from home – Liz was given this on her 11th birthday [so it is exactly 16 years old this week]


Noah is saying to his son “And whose idea was it to put the termites below decks?” It looks good against the blue paint.

Friends who have visited our home will recognise this blue – from the lounge, hallway, stairs and landing there. I am very fond of this shade – and we got a job-lot in B&Q Sale years ago! I became even more fond of it when a visitor [who knows lots about interior decor, but less about my parsimonious habits] asked “Is this blue paint ‘Farrow and Ball’ ?”

Do you think I can persuade people that the dining room is not Homebase magnolia, but is in fact the highly expensive F&B shade known as 'string’?


Other pictures are just leaning against walls, waiting to be hung properly



However, on Monday Bob found a set of three prints in a shop in Wells which fit the Cornerstones theme beautifully – and they are now along the wall of the hallway – so all our visitors will know what matters to us…


Friends continue to give us housewarming gifts -



We have used the tableware lots this week! Meals are still being prepared with camping stove and microwave, as Belling have somehow ‘mislaid’ the cooker which was ordered and paid for in April.

Full marks though to Goff Heating Oils who came very promptly and filled the tank, the Council for sorting out a Garden Refuse Bin within 48 hours, and the lady from TV licensing, who believed me when I said we had no TV or Internet access here yet. I was expecting a struggle on that one!

Thank you too, to Chris, who let me use her PC to sort out some Internet banking though. Friends and family have been incredibly helpful this week.

War and Peace

Sign at one end of the village…


and at the other…DSCF0058

Wednesday 27 May 2009

Happy Birthday Liz!!

A few months ago, Liz sent me a Fat Quarter of cute 'tape measure' fabric. I have finally found a use for it -


I have made a case for the camera Bob bought me just after my birthday [the ancient HP, held together with gaffer tape, really was not working properly any more] Here is the new camera - picture off the Internet, because I cannot take a photo of it using it, other than doing complex things with mirrors!

fujiA100 It is a Fuji A100

We got a very good deal in Jacobs Camera Shop. the man did try to sell me a case for it, but I am not wasting money on that sort of thing [mortgage to pay etc etc] when I can sew my own in 10 minutes!


The HP now feels like a housebrick in comparison - this is so neat and tiny, and I am very pleased with the results. I love the case too - thanks Liz for the cool fabric.

It is Liz's birthday this week, so at last I can blog about another of my craft makes. I think it is important at sewing Club to make exemplars for the girls. So earlier in the year, I got some very pretty butterfly print fabric in John Lewis



And I used it to make a pair of pjs like the ones the girls were going to make.

I got a white vest in M&S for the top and embellished that. So that's going to be part of L's birthday gift.




Hope she likes them and hope they fit!

Sorry Liz, the other part is not post-able, and will have to wait.



Here's a picture of my lovely daughter taken in Budapest 4 years ago.



Hope I can get down to London again before too long - I miss my kids!




A Proper Bank Holiday Monday

The day dawned bright and cheerful, so after bacon and eggs cooked on the camping stove [Cornerstones will have a proper cooker soon!] we set off for Wells-Next-The-Sea.  Our first stop was at the Station DSCF0036 Bookshop and Pottery. A wonderful treasure trove – full of every kind of book under the sun [and some surprisingly decent theology stuff, said Bob] I bought “Not Buying It” for 50p. I shall review this later when I’ve finished it!


In the field opposite were some llamas. Just like Linda Snell’s in Ambridge.DSCF0037

The one ‘l’ lama, he’s a priest

The two ‘l’ llama, he’s a beast

But I will bet a silk pyjama

There isn’t any three ‘l’ lllama!

It was about 11am. We asked an old gentleman on the bench the quickest way to the beach - “Straight up there” he said.We ambled along gently, enjoying the sun and looking in a few shops en route. There was a boot fair in the pub car park and Bob splashed out 50p on some wire cutters. By the quay was a shop selling crab buckets and lines, spades, postcards, sandcastle flags…and plastic Crusader swords. So I bought one for a quid [Richard the Lionheart is in the school play] Felt very smug with my bargain, till I realised I would have to carry the weapon with me all day! Found a ponytail band in my bag, looped it through the scabbard and hung it from my belt and continued strolling nonchalantly past the holiday makers. I got some odd glances and a few funny comments!

You can walk to the beach – or pay to take the little train.DSCF0040

We walked! It was lovely, and the place was full of families with buggies and buckets-n-spades and kites and picnic blankets and coolboxes. Just how a good Bank Holiday Monday should be.

There are some great beach huts at the edge of the sand


I adore beach huts. My uncle had one at Southend, and as a child I thought it was wonderful that they could go there and make tea right by the beach on their little primus stove, or sit inside to read a book, or close the door and change into their swimming cossies  in private [none of that faffing about with Mum trying ineffectually to hold a towel and protect my modesty!]

After sitting for a while and phoning the girls, we walked back. Liz tells me they filmed “Pirates of the Caribbean” here –so if Keira Knightley turns up, I can defend myself with my sword!DSCF0043

DSCF0045Back to the quay and lunch on “The Albatross” – a lovely dutch boat where they serve omelettes and salads and and pancakes and more. The weather had turned a bit windy and chilly, so we had enamel bowls of steaming Dutch Split Pea Soup and Ham Rolls.

Shared a table with a very friendly Norfolk couple and talked about holidays – and their forthcoming Mediterranean cruise.




Back to the car again, passing some other shops – some with excellent namesDSCF0047!






All this strolling and stuff took ages. It was 3pm when we got back to the car. Old gentleman still on the seat! He said he had been home for his lunch in between times, but we weren’t convinced.

Back to Cornerstones, then a quick trip to Dereham to Argos [lamps, and ladder] Homebase [weedkiller] Carpetland [bedroom carpet] Lidl [random inexpensive foodstuffs] and The Cash Machine [in order to pay the Carpet Fitter on Thursday]

In the late afternoon, we strimmed and mowed and then continued with our relaxing day – reading quietly and eating the fruitcake I made on Saturday!

Tuesday will be a decorating day.

Thank you to good friend Sarah for allowing me WiFi Access to post this blog! We really must get Cornerstones connected.

Sunday 24 May 2009

Psalm 119v105

Here is the vintage street lamp round the corner from the village school where I was teaching on Tuesday. It is so picturesque, I feel it ought to be in Narnia!


By your words I can see where I'm going;
      they throw a beam of light on my dark path.
   I've committed myself and I'll never turn back
      from living by your righteous order.
   Everything's falling apart on me, God;
      put me together again with your Word

Yesterday was dark and difficult, but being at Church this morning, with all my friends, worshipping together, really helped. Even though it is a Bank Holiday weekend and lots of folk are away, the news about Charlie has got round incredibly quickly- we had sympathetic text messages from friends on holiday in four different parts of the country and emails from friends abroad!

Looking forward for a few days away at 'Cornerstones' now!!

Saturday 23 May 2009

Green and Pleasant Land

The weather is lovely so some hard work in the garden will take our minds off losing Charlie. Perhaps...



"There's rosemary, that's for remembrance.

Pray, love, remember"

[Ophelia, in Hamlet]


Blossom where you're planted


The red berries are beginning to appear on the skimmia


There is white blossom in next door's trees


And the ceanothus is a startling shade of bright blue.


All very patriotic!

On a more prosaic note, my attempts at growing vegetables are having mixed results.


The greenery in the pots of potatoes is flourishing.

When am I supposed to harvest these?

The greenery on the garlic went limp and yellow, and a friend advised that it was time to dig it up.

So I did that today...



In retrospect, I think she may have been wrong. I should have waited a bit longer. I was hoping for fat juicy bulbs, not these glorified spring onions!

They smell good though, and Bob suggested they might be nice in salads.


The adjective for the gardening is definitely "burgeoning" today, I think. But realistically I have to admit that all this growth is down to the Good Lord - because I am no good at this game at all. Not disciplined enough. I am the same with houseplants - I take the Baptist approach of immersing them once and then forgetting them!



I am hoping that the Gardening Gene, which is incredibly strong in Bob's family, will be more in evidence as he gets older. His siblings only have to look at a plant for it to burst forth into blossom!


I struggle with growing cress on a flannel!

Crazy Signage


But I don't want to BUY a doorstep!!