Life and Thyme!

End of the tunnel!

There is I hope light at the end of the tunnel for some of the issues that have been bothering me for over a year. Easter was a time of mixed emotions, Mr J and Master H were here, but it was tinged with memories of my Dad who loved having my family at Easter, and worry over other matters. But today with the sun shining and some promising news there is light at the end of the tunnel. So here is Easter.

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A walk with a son

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and a grandson

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and a train

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a walk with wild daffodils

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a drink in the cafe during the daffodil walk

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and rolling eggs down the hill on Easter Monday.

Back sometime next week , with I hope some more light.

Hoping all your troubles are little ones and you have  a good weekend full of fun and laughter.

Sensory Thoughts- Taste!

Ah Taste. Such a personal sense, what one person likes another loathes. Are you a Marmite lover or hater. I love Marmite as does one of my boys. The other two hate it.

Does food really not taste as good as it used too or is it age changing our taste buds? Certainly children find flavours  stronger than do older people. But I think there is something to be said for food not tasting as it did, certainly in my childhood. Has anyone been watching the BBC programme about food and changing diets since the war? The children in this programme complained that the food was bland in the 50s, no spices , or added chemicals and very little sugar. But does all that added flavouring just mask poor quality food? I think food may well have been blander then but it tasted of what it was supposed to be and not what some food scientist thought it should be.

Last year on holiday I ate chicken which had been reared by the restauranteur on his farm. And oh MY did it taste good. It tasted of chicken. Like it used too!

And who can deny that food from the garden or allotment just tastes , well better, more of itself. Warm tomatoes straight from the greenhouse, bliss. Blackberries, strawberries, raspberries or bilberries from the wild,  or the garden, just can’t be beaten by the commercial equivalent flown in from abroad in an unripen state.

Proper Butter, not some horrible spread. Mmmmmmm. On toast or jacket potato.

Homemade lemon curd, I know I have eulogized about this before, but it is divine. And it reminds me of my Granny.

Homemade lemonade. On a hot summers day. DElicious.

Proper Pork Crackling! Need I say more.

Happy times are also remembered in the food we eat.

Holidays in Greece don’t begin till I have had my first iced coffee overlooking a fishing harbour. Then I relax.

My sons tell me one of the things they best remember from our camping holidays , were the chocolate Penguin biscuits they had with an early drink on the first morning, when we needed to decamp and get on the road again. The South of France is a long way for little boys in a car!

And do you find that as you eat something it starts off conversations of the “Do you remember the best… we ever had was…” The conversation we have year after year regards fish and chips. The best ones we ever had was in Hayfield in the Peak District. We had gone for a walk. It was WET and very very windy. We got about 1/5 th along the way before we gave up. Soaked to the skin and miserable we had over an hour to wait for the bus home. So we retired to a cafe. That fish and chip lunch and pot of tea has never been surpassed. Was it the food or the weather? I don’t know but we have never forgotten how good it was.

Children eat the weirdest things as they try to find out the edible from the inedible. In my case I apparently had a penchant for coal. But as I can’t remember it I deny it.

And in pregnancy our tastes change.Mr T was all about tinned peaches , the other two had me craving fudge. I don’t like tinned peaches much! Now fudge is a different matter.

My best weird taste of all has to be salt water. Not any salt water. But that lovely saltiness of the sea on your skin after a day on the beach.

What do you think? Does food taste better with added flavourings? Which is your favourite herb- mine has to be tarragon, or maybe dill, or then there is oregano.  Do you have a favourite food memory? Or what weird taste do you like?

Thank you for reading. Hot cross bun day today. With real butter mmmmmm!


Yarn Along!

YES YES YES! Finished Master H’s jumper for his birthday , two days before he comes to visit. I have to say it was the most tedious and boring thing I have knitted in a long while, but hopefully plain enough for the little chap not minding he is wearing a Nana knit. Yarn is Sirdar Country Style, Village Green, pattern is an old one Sirdar 8293 and it took about 75 more grams than the pattern said.

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I also worry it is a bit itchy as it has a wool content. So I have a shirt and trousers to go with it. The colour is green and I’d personally call it army green, not village green.

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Now I am crocheting again the lap blanket for my Mum. How big should a lap blanket be I wonder. Colours are Heather and moorland themed.

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I found this book at my Dad’s when I finally got round last month to clearing more if the stuff from his house. It is The Northern Light by A J Cronin. It’s set in the 50’s when the world moved  from the post war period to the swinging 60s as values and morals changed. It is  well written and I find myself really caring for the staff of the newspaper Northern Light as it comes up against tabloid mentality. A J Cronin is best known for Dr Finley’s Casebook, but don’t let that put you off. Here’s a link for you. The Northern Light

Happy Easter reading.

Linking with Ginny for Yarn Along


15 for 2015-March

How the months are passing. Hard to believe we are a quarter of the year gone already. Winter has passed to Spring, and March winds are oh so true today. The dustbins have blown over and a bird feeder broke overnight.

So how have I got on with my 15 for 2015. Slowly!

15 minutes walk x 4 times a  week. Yes, accomplished again this month. I should have set the bar higher I think.

14 bags to a charity shop. I took four today, whoopee. That makes 5 in total.

13 animal photos. OH MY! Now I know why one should never work with children or animals. Animals look very photogenic one moment and the next , well blow me down they move!! But there have been a few good occasions for animal photos.

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The hunt exercising the hounds in the snow.

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I took about 20 shots of chickens this month and this is the best one!!!

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I love this dog keeping guard, and he does have a big woof! I think I may have alarmed him?

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One farm cat! There were three but all I got of the other two was tails or empty spaces. I think this one sat still to get rid of me!

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Horse eating hay. It would not turn round and even when I went the other side of it , it turned its back on me. OK I can take the hint.

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Never try taking white geese in snow, this is what you get. Look closely.

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Now he is my best shot this month. I am only counting four of these pictures towards my total. That makes 6, but could do better.

12 meetings with friends. I met my lovely blogging friend Rachel

11 Savoury recipes. Now this has been a revelation to me this month. I have made two new Jamie Oliver  recipes. A pasta and pepper dish and a chicken korma. Both scrummy and added to my repertoire. And Mushrooms  in a Stilton and garlic  cream.  I made two portions in  ramekin dishes and served with homemade bread. We had it for lunch but it would make a super starter. Now this is so delicious that here is a link to the recipes from the  BBC.

In looking for new recipes I have had out all my cookery books and found recipes I tried once, liked but not tried again. So I have cooked lots of dinners from my once only recipes. And in spending more time choosing, researching, shopping for ingredients and cooking the dinners, I have really started to enjoy cooking our evening meal. When I worked it was a real chore night after night, what shall we have, what have we got etc etc. I have now actually found myself looking forward to 5pm when I start to make dinner.

Anyway total of new recipes tried this year 5. And mushrooms consumed in Stilton sauce- three lunches!

10 handwritten letters. Still just one. When I have some cheerful news it will be easier to put pen to paper.

9 Handmade cards. Two birthday cards and a mothers day card. 7 altogether. I think this will be the first of my 15 ticked off.

8 Sewing or embroidery projects.

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I finally completed this cross stitch picture, called “As far as we go”. A DMC kit, began more than a little while ago. ( Maybe 6 years!!)

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And a little ribbon embroidery kit. Purchased from Crafty Ribbons more years ago than I care to own up too. (2003!!!)

That makes three.

7 new yarns. No just the one still.

6 Trips to museums, art galleries, theatres, etc.  I went to the local craft show which was surprisingly good and even bought a birthday present for Ms G, but this was not what I had in mind when I began this list, so doesn’t count.

5 Projects for charity. Well I volunteered for another charity project via the blog world, but no-one came back to me. Second time I offered my skills to no avail. Struggling with this one.

4 new walks- still just the one

3 craft workshops- no

2 New cities- just Salisbury last month

1 railway journey- no

0 impulse purchases- so far so good!

Love to hear if you have made progress on any goals you set yourself this year.

Easter is just round the corner, hoping for better things and some good news next month.

Thanks for reading.



Salisbury Cathedral

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The most magnificent of the churches we visited in February was Salisbury cathedral. No wonder John Constable painted it 25 times!

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This is the North Nave.

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I love the ceiling.

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And this is the font designed by William Pye and installed in 2008 for the 750th anniversary. It’s at times like this I wish I could take better pictures, but I will keep trying.

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This is the window in the North Transept.

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Now the cathedral was preparing for a big Magna Carta exhibition later in the year and I was disappointed not to have been there at the right time. However there was this replica on show, and according to the guide I spoke too she can’t tell the replica from the original!

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And these are the clasps which held it.

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the windows are magnificent throughout, I just love the blues in this one.

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This is the tomb of William Longespee 1226, the first person to be buried in the cathedral. He was half brother to King John and advised him during the drawing up of the Magna Carta.

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Outside there are still cloisters, a lovely place to stroll and think.

More information on the cathedral here and on John Constable here

Linking with Inspired Sunday

Sensory Thoughts- Sound

I find that certain sounds awaken memories and , or, tug at the emotions. I have been thinking about the sounds that have meaning for  me, and I wonder how they would compare to your internal sound archive!

Spring  is heralded by the sound of frogs returning to our pond and swopping  news! What sounds to me like ribbit ribbit, is probably ” Hey up lad, did tha spend a good winter? Seen the missus yet?” Clearly Yorkshire frogs!

This then is followed by the first Cuckoo, should be any day soon.

Birdsong is getting louder each day, the blackbirds in particular seem to be the nosiest in claiming their territory.

Summer has to be the sound of lawnmowers cutting the grass. If I hear one in the evening I am transported back to my childhood laying in bed trying to sleep when it is still light.

Tennis balls on a grass court- Wimbledon or to me the sound of summer lessons at school trying not to go to sleep after lunch on a hot day in a classroom of bored girls.

Autumn sounds are bonfires and  fire works whilst Winter is Christmas carols.

Then there are the sounds that spell comfort, probably not  obvious ones…

Domestic machinery- the washing machine and hoover, heard from upstairs, is the sound of home when you are in bed feeling poorly and Mum is downstairs and all is well with the world.

Church bells, the sound of Sunday.

A sound from my childhood, a cowbell, with which we were summoned home from the fields and woods for mealtimes by Mum. I retrieved this from Dads’ house last year and my friend Jane can’t resist ringing it every time she visits, as much part of her childhood as mine.

Dr Who- the theme tune- still sends tingles down my spine, for the Saturday night scary encounter from behind the sofa or the safe confines inside a jumper.

Holidays have their own sounds too. Greek islands are  evening sounds, crickets, dogs barking in the hills, motos leaving town at night heading for the mountain villages, and the early morning cock crows.

My brother and I have fond memories of boating holidays on the Thames. The sound I loved best was the pattering of bird feet on the roof as I woke up.

We took our boys camping and caravaning. Our favourite sound was in the caravan, when we were snug inside and the rain patters on the window.

Ferry boats, taking us to France, the sound of the hooter.

Mr E and I have loved our holidays to California, and the sound that takes me straight back there- the trains! They sound so different to our trains and are so LONG.

And three completely miscellaneous sounds. Led Zep, A Whole lot of Love- I am 18 and in a dorm at school ,the music we listened to send us to sleep. Sometimes it worked!

Brass Bands- a cliche, but they always without fail make me weepy!

And most inexplicable of all. Saxaphones, heard through windows, just move me !

So, please leave a comment and let me know the sounds of your life.





Yarn Along!

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I love the cover on this book! It’s an easy read thriller and just what I need at the moment. Nothing serious.

Finishing Master H’s birthday jumper. I had decided that I hadn’t got enough wool so had to order extra wool last week. When I started on the new ball last night I was jolly glad I had bought one more. Hats off to my suppliers Knitwell who matched the Lot number for me and dispatched it post free. That’s customer service. So it’s just stitching it up and knitting the neckband and blocking, in time for seeing him over Easter. This is one excited Nana.

Linking with Ginny for Yarn Along

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