Thursday 31 December 2015

Happy New Year

You are all wished a Happy New Year from

Annabel -

Mac -

as depicted so accurately by Simon Tofield in "Simon's Cat".  (With thanks to Susanne who sent me it for Christmas).

Wednesday 30 December 2015

The Hairy Bikers

The Hairy Bikers - Simon "Si" King (born 20 October 1966)  and Dave Myers (born 8 September 1957) - are British television presenters who have fronted a number of cookery/travel series including The Hairy Bikers' Food Tour of Britain.    The BBC is now showing  Hairy Bikers' Northern Exposure which takes them around the Baltic.  It is a brilliant show and sadly the last one (Southern Sweden) is on TV this morning - I shall miss watching the series. 

I may have some difficulty hearing this morning's programme because I am deaf - both ears are waxed up because I couldn't get a nurse's appointment before Christmas due to an ear infection which had to be cured before she would syringe them.  I think Partner-who-loves-tea is working (she even worked the Bank Holiday this week!) in which case I might put the TV up to full volume and hope the neighbours don't complain. 

Monday 28 December 2015

Hush - I'm reading...

Sunday 27 December 2015

Boxing Day 1949

This was a while ago!

Friday 25 December 2015

Happy Christmas

Saturday 19 December 2015

Merry Christmas

 Relatives have called round or are expected soon. The house is filled with the smell of fruit.  The nutcrackers have been brought out of hibernation (or æstivation ) and nuts are spread around.  Cards and postcards have been sent and many that have been received are hanging on strings. There is a decoration-covered tree in the conservatory. Presents are wrapped.  The cats are enjoying chucking new things onto the floor.  So this is Christmas.

May you all have a super holiday and we wish you all the best for 2016

Thursday 10 December 2015

Do you keep a diary?

Do you keep a diary?  Have you ever kept a diary?

I think my first diary was begun when I was about eight or nine years old.  I kept it going, on and off for about six years but sadly I destroyed it when I was about 17 on the basis that it might incriminate me (and at least one other person).  I expect it was in a manner I would consider pretty trivial nowadays.
My second serious diary was begun when I was at college but that was more a work of fiction because I had the sense to leave out anything that could be harmful or hurtful to others.  Nevertheless, as a reminder to myself it works quite well. 

From then on the camera became my ‘diary’ and I tended to rely on pictures to tell the story of my life.  Occasionally interspersed would be little bits of diary but anyone trying to piece it all together in order would have a fun time – not!

Quite often recently Partner-who-loves-tea and I have tried to recall when we did such-and-such a thing and have had great difficulty working it out.  So we have decided to create a brief but indexed diary of our years together.  

I have also decided to make a great effort to keep a diary in the future.  One which doesn’t just cover the main events - like where we holiday - but also all the little bits of trivia like local shops closing down.  News of friends, both home and abroad, will also go in it.  It is the sort of resolution I have made on many a January 1st in the past.  I wonder how long it will last? 

Tuesday 8 December 2015


Holnicote (pronounced "Hunnicutt") in the parish of Selworthy, West Somerset, England, is a historic estate consisting of 12,420 acres (5,026 hectares) of land, much situated within the Exmoor National Park.  We visited it in October.

This is the village of Selworthy.

Allerford is one of a number of hamlets within Selworthy.  One of the hamlet's main attractions is the much-photographed packhorse bridge. 

Built as a crossing over the River Aller (from which the village gets its name), it is thought to be medieval in origin.   Originally the bridge was 12 feet (3.7 m) wide but another 6 feet (1.8 m) was added in 1866.  The packhorse bridge is an Ancient monument and has been added to the Heritage at Risk register.

A sight that is getting increasingly rare is that of a forge but Allerford has a most active one.   Whilst we were there we replaced our much abused poker.  Other traditional sights in the village include thatched cottages and an old-fashioned red telephone box.  The nearby hamlet of Lynch also had one.

One of the thatched cottages at Allerford operated as the local Primary School between 1821 and 1981 and is now a museum containing the West Somerset Rural Life Museum and Victorian School. The museum houses the West Somerset Photographic Archive.

This area, around Porlock, and the town of Porlock itself, are well worth a visit.

Friday 4 December 2015

Post Boxes

Whenever we go away I am always on the look-out for unusual post-boxes.  They may be old ones like this Victorian fluted one we came across in Malvern.
On our October holiday we also came across a range of ‘Ludlow’ boxes.  These are boxes which were made of rustic pine with a cast iron beading and enamel plate baring the cypher of the reigning monarch at the time of supply.  They were supplied from the time of Queen Victoria to the early reign of Queen Elizabeth II.

Ludlow boxes were introduced because, until 1910, sub-postmasters were responsible for the provision of secure posting facilities in their post offices. As the traditional cast iron boxes were heavy and expensive, James Ludlow & Son introduced a range of much cheaper boxes which they could supply at a competitive price to sub-postmasters. 

They were also to be seen in large country houses, public buildings and hotels.  James Ludlow manufactured the boxes in various styles and produced colour leaflets describing the boxes.

At their height, it is estimated that there were some 5,000–7,000 Ludlow boxes in use in the UK. As the network of post offices has contracted, many of these have been withdrawn from service and removed until today there are around 450 left.

Inside large country houses one can often find a post box in the hall or reception area.  This one is at Attingham Park, Shropshire and is certainly a cut above something made by James Ludlow out of rustic pine.    

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