Quick Drop Off

Charity Book shelf

Hope you find it xx

Secret Messages

I’ve been reading ‘Big Magic’ by Elizabeth Gilbert. It’s a book about living a creative life. Something that I have neglected over the past three years or so.

I could put it down to the pressure of a more senior role, additional responsibilities at home, low mood or just slowing down (I’m at a difficult age, but aren’t we all?). The truth is I haven’t recently enjoyed good creative pastimes. It’s been too long.

Gilbert writes about just doing what you can. And what you want to do. Right now I’m not sure, so I looked for the closest things to hand and found my tile set and colouring pencils.

For now I’m going to indulge myself with some low effort and basic art. I mean really basic. I was advised not to take art in my junior school and I can’t say that my drawing skills have improved since…

But what do I do with the finished article? Pin it on the wall? Give it to a friend or family member?

Remember, I’m doing what I want. I don’t feel the need to adorn my walls with my masterpieces. I don’t want to witness the disappointment on the face of a loved one at the thought of yet another hand-made card.

I want to pass this onto a stranger. They can keep it for fun for as long as they like. They can pass it on. They can throw it in the bin. But they will see it. However briefly.

With this in mind my first tile (and possibly many more) will be left within the pages of a book in a charity shop.

I had a song playing in head at the time.

And here it is. In all it’s childish glory:

“Ambition and love wearing boxing gloves and singing hearts and flowers” Somewhere In My Heart (Aztec Camera)

For now this will do. I can return to the dressmaking, silk painting, piano playing, song writing, etc soon enough.

I’ve added my wordpress page link since taking the photos. If you find it, please let me know.


Back on Track

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Happy Place.”

I am blessed to live in an area criss-crossed with public footpaths and bridleways.

Perfect for that week-end recharge.

Here are three instagram edited snapshots taken close to home. Not masterpieces but they sum up some of my happy places.


Which Way Now

Which Way Now

Towards The Light

Towards The Light

A Bright Spot On A Cloudy Day

A Bright Spot On A Cloudy Day

On The Prime Merdian, Day Six : Missed Chances

It’s taken me several months to get round to finishing this….

The sky was looking decidedly overcast when we set off for Donnington-On-Bain, but that didn’t deter us. We had ‘an appointment’ with the Feline Frolics trail laid by geocaching heroes “Waring and Bain” (names of Lincolnshire rivers in case you are wondering). The trail is another example of straightforward caches, aimed at children. Whilst we are not big on completing trails in one fell swoop, it could be a while before we are back again and the feline connection decided it for us.

Donnington-on-Bain is not far from the Belmont Mast (encountered on Day 1) and the Stenigot radar tower. This had been used as part of the Chain Home early warning system, used in World War Two. Nowadays, my learned friend informs me that the RAF send trainee communications engineers to climb the 360 foot tower to test their head for heights. We fortunately only had a minor incline to address along the side of the amusingly-named Horsebottom Plantation (Horseshoe Plantation is on the other side of the track, but what’s funny about that?).

At the top of the hill we wandered slightly off route to take a closer look at what is left of Stenigot.

Stenigot Mast and Dishes

Stenigot Mast and Dishes

It was hard to believe that this unassuming site was part of the defence of Great Britain. Lincolnshire is littered with so many relatively small scale operations which collectively proved so effective.

Twelve caches later we were back in Donnington-On-Bain village and returned to the car after purchasing lunch supplies from the general stores, where we I think we narrowly avoided being enrolled into a lottery syndicate.

More food supplies were required for later in the day, so we headed for The Willows, a garden centre with the (almost) obligatory food hall and delicatessen. When we reached the tills, the assistant asked if I could take advantage of the Thursday offer, whilst pointing to a sign promising 10% off for over 55s. “OVER 55!!” I screamed internally. I should point out that I have recently stopped dyeing my hair which is now grey with charming highlights of silver. I declined (I was “only” 47 at the time and it would have been dishonest). Needless to say, himself was stood behind me stifling a giggle. Had my pride not hijacked my usually quick-wit humour, I would have said “Oh you must mean him” and accepted on his behalf only (he was only 52 at the time).

When I told my boss this story he said that I should have accepted the saving without further comment. He is an accountant.

Pride wounded and full-price provisions secured, we headed to a lay-by in Kirton in Lindsey, for lunch and a potential 13th cache of the day. After dining, I stepped out of the car and strode out to the expected cache hide, only to be cut off by a car pulling in and parking at the right next to the tree that I was going to investigate. I sloped back. We made a coffee and waited for the muggle to move on. And waited. And waited. Eventually we decided that it wasn’t worth wasting any more of our precious holiday time on an already cache-rich day.

Next stop Hemswell, a major antiques emporium, where we did not buy anything, but imagined a lottery win allowing us space and funding for the finer items. We also came across a basket identical to one referred to in Happy Saturday.

Just like I had as a child

Just like I had as a child

For the rest of the day I wondered if I should have bought that basket. Now, I know that it was the right thing to do. It wouldn’t smell of home, or fish and chips. I cannot bring back the past. The memories are enough.

We return to base via RAF Wickenby and talk ourselves out of using the BBQ, again.

It will be our last full day ahead tomorrow. Hrumph.


Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vertigo

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “ROY G. BIV.”

Unlike my much beloved, I had not heard of Roy G Biv as a method of remembering the colours of the rainbow. In our school, we learned:








I’d enjoyed looking at several responses to this prompt and had been stuck for a suitable shot until this morning, when I saw the spines of the unwatched films in a Hitchcock box-set. Ok, so there’s one extra shade in there, but I was struck by the coincidence of the seven other spine colours.

Like most of the films so far, to good to miss.

ROYGBIV - Hitchcock Style



Nice is a Four Letter Word

In an early English Language class we were told that marks would be deducted from our composition exercises if we used the word nice.

Nice wasn’t singled out for this dubious honour, other innocent assemblies of letters were also in the firing line. Lovely knew that its days were numbered.

It was made clear to us. Nice wasn’t nice. Nice was bad, and so was bad. Bad and nice should be put into a plastic bag and drowned. Happy should be pleased with that. Although I suspect that he, along with other the dwarf-adjectives could be next in line, except for Bashful and Doc, and possibly Sneezy.

I’m posting today because I haven’t had the words to complete posts relating to our recent holiday in the Lincolnshire Wolds. I became tired of describing the sky. It was getting ‘samey’  (not a friend of Snow White). I don’t like that word but it fits. I’m no great wordsmith. I have wit and I use puns well, but I shall not be appearing on ‘The Verb’ any time soon. I suppose that I am writing a journal which you are welcome to read and I appreciate your input, but it is, essentially it is for me.

I am reminded of a post from a blog that I follow where Quilt Musings searches for a wider vocabulary. Oh the dangers of reaching for the Thesaurus and stepping outside of your natural style.

Anyway, for the time being, I am lost for words for days six and seven.

More later

(I hope)


On The Prime Merdian, Day Five : Step Back In Time

Warning : Geocache Spoiler

The course of a Roman Road runs through the neighbouring of Tetford and has remained in public access as a bridleway to the west, and a footpath to the east. We had already walked a small distance along the bridleway at sunset (see Day Three). The lure of a couple of caches placed along the way was a bonus, but it was the pull of seeing those magical words “Roman Road” on the OS Map that put this on the tick list when planning our visit weeks ago. Not that we expected to be accosted by a Centurian demanding that we paid our dues to Hadrian before being allowed to proceed, there is just something alluring about taking steps along ancient ways. We do it all the time (I drive through Chester ten times a week), but we rarely notice. Hmm… maybe another project?

The weather is fine, blue skies and a slightly chilly breeze to take the heat out of the sun. We boot up and set off on our way.

Heading West Along The Roman Road

There’s a deserted farm house which is marked on the OS Map and which we can see from the outskirts of Tetford and the Blue Stone Ridge. It is named as Glebe Farm and is in a state of ruin. We remember it as appearing deserted on our previous holiday in the area seven years ago but not how far it had declined at that time. Now it has no roof and soulless light peeps through the windows. We had hoped that the route would bring us closer, but we respect the Private sign on the track to Glebe and I record its current state today.

No Public Access to Glebe Farm

Noticeably the track up to the farm appears constantly used. Maybe the nearby working farm uses it for storage, or maybe the track provides useful access to the tops of fields, but the buildings are still deserted. Perhaps there are plans to re-occupy Glebe Farm?

We later pondered the meaning of Glebe as it features in the names of several farms in the area. Its name means a piece of land allocated to a church office. An alternate name is the church furlong. Church Furlong Farm doesn’t really trip off the tongue. Oddly there was another Glebe farm close by, and arguably closer to a church. Simon has suggested that the farm’s downfall might have been caused by a leaky roof left unrepaired, as the builder ended up at the wrong Glebe farm and left confused. I somehow doubt this.

Our search for caches is successful and whilst we are sat on a bridge signing the log of a novelty duck cache, we are ambushed by a couple who are walking a dog. When I say ambushed, I mean that they accidentally stumbled across two grown adults laughing hysterically at a duck made up like William Shakespeare sitting on an English Dictionary. I bet that will be discussed in the snug tonight, “You’ll never believe what Jim and I saw this morning…”. Needless to say they returned our greeting a little hesitantly and left rather hastily.

To quack or not to quack...

To quack or not to quack…

After a return trip past derelict Glebe, we head back to the cottage to de-boot before setting off for Belton House and Gardens. This is a fine-looking stately home (we’ve never been inside) with picturesque formal gardens and  a woodland walk.

View of The House

View of Belton House

It makes for a gentle day, strolling around the grounds, dodging the school parties. The property is a fine example of the National Trust in action. We are greeted by a friendly but not overbearing admissions clerk, who scans our membership badges, checks that the new ones have arrived (ours are expiring this month) and asks if we’ve visited before. We tell him that we have and he wishes us an enjoyable day. The gardens and paths are smartly presented. The café and shop are well stocked and attended, and there is a nod away from the corporate towards to self-sufficiency with a second-hand book shop and plant sales. It is NT-clean without being without its own personality.

We visit the church which has an interesting door – saving that picture for a WP challenge.

Belton Pond

The formal gardens are rather fine.

Belton Orangery

The Orangery

The wash of forget-me-nots in front of the orangery were close to losing their colour, but we were just in time.

Belton Path

Neat and Tidy

But our favourite part of the visit is the woodland walk.

Sadly not native Bluebells

Sadly not native Bluebells

Even though the car park was fairly full, there is space here, not quite far from the madding crowd, but enough for us. After our wanders, there is the obligatory trip to the gift shop and we have an ice-cream before leaving.

Yet again, we’re on the search for food. This time heading for “The Boston Sausage” company. Lincolnshire has its own style of sausage. Well its more of a filling than a style, with an abundance of sage and other savoury herbs in the mix. But mainly sage. According to our local food rag, the Boston Sausage Company have opened a butchers in a local farm shop and we have a voucher! We have rough directions and feel sure that we’ve visited it two years ago when it was disappointing. Sausage signs start to appear as we near our destination and it is the same venue.

The butchers have a wide selection of prepared meats (we’re on holiday and don’t want to work too hard) and we leave with sausage pie and duck breasts in a mystery marinade.  The veg in farm shop is still disappointing and we hurry out before anyone can attempt to serve us.

The duck breasts are so tender (cooked with care) and we partner them with fresh local asparagus and a store cupboard favourite, cannellini bean mash.

We couldn’t agree on the likely marinade ingredients, so it remains a mystery. To be honest, I prefer it that way.