Monday 30 May 2016

A Monday Laugh

Sunday 29 May 2016


I have been sorting through some of my artwork and decided to show you some folk I drew / painted in days gone by.

Arthur Miller

Charles Bronson

Kathe Kollwitz 



Friday 27 May 2016

Annabel and Mac

Our son looked after Annabel and Mac while we were away last week.  On previous occasions when we have come back from holiday they have largely ignored us (and in Annabel's case sulked) for a day or so.  This time they were most welcoming an Annabel miaowed her welcome for quite a while

Thursday 26 May 2016

What is it?

Do you know what this is?  

We bought it in a charity shop or at an antique stall a long time ago.  Why did we buy it?  Because we didn’t know what it was and we like curious things.  We saw another one in an antique shop earlier this year and were told what it was (though given inaccurate detail as to how to use it).

This photo shows its size compared to that of a teaspoon.  (The initials on the teaspoon are AY, for Anne Young, the maiden name of my Great-great-grandmother.)

The answer is in the first comment. 

Wednesday 25 May 2016

Some more Inn Signs

A couple more inn signs and the stories behind them...

The Who'd a Thought it?

There are a few inns around the country with this name - this one is in Glastonbury.  There are said to be two potential origins to the name.  One suggests that the inn is in an unlikely place whilst the other implies the landlord was not expected to be granted a licence!

The Blue Boar

Like many animal signs the blue boar has its origins in heraldry.  The White Boar was the symbol of Richard III, the last Yorkist king of England.  The Blue Boar was, inter alia, the symbol of the Earls of Oxford who were Lancastrian supporters.  When Richard was defeated at the Battle of Bosworth it is said that a lot of White Boar inns were hurriedly painted blue!  This Blue Boar is at Hay-on-Wye.

Perkin Warbeck

At Taunton in Devon is an inn named after Perkin Warbeck.  Warbeck was a fifteenth century Flemish pretender to the English throne. Claimng to be Richard, brother of Edward V, he led a rising against Henry VII.
On 7 September 1497, Warbeck landed at Whitesand Bay, 2 miles north of Land's End, in Cornwall hoping to capitalise on the Cornish people's resentment in the aftermath of their uprising only three months earlier. Warbeck proclaimed that he could put a stop to extortionate taxes levied to help fight a war against Scotland and was warmly welcomed. He was declared "Richard IV" on Bodmin Moor and his Cornish army some 6000 strong entered Exeter before advancing on Taunton.  Henry VII sent his chief general, Giles Daubeney, 1st Baron Daubeney, to attack the Cornish and when Warbeck heard that the King's scouts were at Glastonbury he panicked and deserted his army. Warbeck was captured at Beaulieu Abbey in Hampshire where he surrendered. Henry VII reached Taunton on 4 October 1497, where he received the surrender of the remaining Cornish army. The ringleaders were executed and others fined. Warbeck was imprisoned, first at Taunton, then at the Tower of London, where he was "paraded through the streets on horseback amid much hooting and derision of the citizens". 

The Talbot

I have previously mentioned the Talbot,   I suggested that the inn sign with the pure white dog was wrongly coloured and that it should have black spots.  Either my information was incorrect and it could also be white or another sign writer has got it wrong; this one in Crickhowell.

Tuesday 24 May 2016

Some last odds and ends from the holiday

Another bright and sunny morning from the cottage front door.

Wales’s oldest cinema, in Bryn Mawr.

Just one of the many wooded lanes.

In addition to the woodlands there are areas of parkland around Crickhowell with individual trees growing to perfection.

Where we had morning coffee at Crickhowell.

A silver and amber ring bought for a snip in the Abergavenny flea market.

A silver and aquamarine ring from Abergavenny market to thank P-w-l-t not only for all her usual driving but also, this holiday, for loading and unlading all the cases, etc. because I'm not allowed to lift weights as yet.

And from a nearby stall, some fresh bread, for home.

 And a cruet from the flea market.

An unusual sign over a solicitor's door.

An abstract foreground in the Brccon Beacons (caused by the car's speed).

And another view of the mountains.

At  Church Stretton we stopped for a cup of tea at Jemima’s.  I had one of their lovely cheese scones to go with it while Partner-who-loves-tea had ice cream to ease her throat which had been hurt by a bout of food poisoning on Thursday night.

A trip to Hay-on-Wye and one of our favourite crystal and jewellery shops where Jo got a silver ring with spinning inner rings of silver, copper and brass.

There was a memorable piece of Labradorite in the shop.

We also had an ice cream at Hay-on-Wye but escaped without buying any books.

We left Hay along the road with the toll bridge which we have never been over before.

Monday 23 May 2016

The Bridge and Bullpit Meadow, Crickhowell

A settlement has existed at Crickhowell at least since the Iron Age when settlers built a fort on the top of Crug Hywel, also called Table Mountain after its flat top. In the town a motte and bailey castle, remains of which still exist, was built by the Normans.

A well known feature of Crickhowell is the bridge spanning the River Usk. 

Built in 1706, it was modified in 1828/30 resulting in thirteen arches on the upstream side, with twelve on the downstream side. 

It is the longest stone arch bridge in Wales.

The Bridge End Inn.

Next to the bridge, opposite the Bridge End Inn,  is Bullpit meadow

It is an ideal place to sit and watch the wildlife on the river.

The flowers included White Dead-nettle.


The Sallow catkins were losing their seeds to the slightest of breezes.

There were plenty of House Sparrows, Pied Wagtails and Grey Wagtails bobbing around near our feet.  P-w-l-t saw a kingfisher but the chances of photographing one are similar to those of winning the lottery.  

Much more sedate were the Mallards and the Swans.

Mrs Mallard was keeping an eye on her duckling.

A Merganser led its tribe of Merganserlings (or whatever baby mergansers are called) along the river.

And a Heron stopped to digest its fishy breakfast.

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