Thursday, June 25, 2020

Colourful Days

The garden is looking yellow at the moment.

Rose of Sharon



Lady's Mantle or Alchemilla Mollis

Vegetables from a local farm shop, we also got bananas and potatoes.  I had to go out in the car on Tuesday the first time since 23rd March, exactly three months.  The surgery finally caught up with me for my annual check up and asked me to fetch both blood test and blood pressure forms. I had to knock at the door and wait and the receptionist brought my forms to me.  We decided to give the car a little run around and popped into the farm shop which had a good one way system, hand sanitisers and only two people allowed in the shop at a time.  I have to visit the blood clinic on Monday so have my mask and gloves ready.

Herbs - Thyme and Sage in a pot outside the kitchen door.

Basil in a pot on the kitchen window sill.

Strawberries - we just had too many so I decided to make jam.

Trouble is I decided to make the jam on the hottest day of this week if not this month.

I used up most of the Strawberries and the last pack of last year's frozen apples from the freezer.

Red Fox - we have three cubs visit with their parents.  Usually this cub comes with Dad.  It's a curious little thing.  I've no idea if it is male or female but we can recognise it as it is the only one of the three cubs to have a white tip to its tail.

All for now, have a good weekend everyone and stay safe and well.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

In and Out of the Garden

In the garden strange things are happening.  In the top corner the Rhododendron which started to flower last month and then suddenly stopped has started to flower again. 

When we had the warm spell at the end of May (I think!) we noticed that the flowers weren't opening and gave the shrub a good water but still the flowers didn't fully open and some dropped off. 
 Since we've had all the rain over the last week it has come into flower and with more flowers than I have ever seen on it before.
The white flowered shrub which is in the same corner has done exactly the same thing.  I mentioned the plant a few weeks ago when I said we'd bought it at Clumber Park and couldn't remember what it was called.

I later found out that it was a Deutzia Magnifica and it has just come into full flower after slowing down at it's first attempt. 

Meanwhile in the kitchen I had a few strawberries, a nectarine and an orange that needed using up.  We also had some apple pieces in the freezer left over from last year.

I cooked the apples and added sliced nectarine and chopped strawberries into the mix.  I then made some sponge mixture and placed a small amount on top of the fruit to make an Eve's pudding.

This went in the oven whilst I grated the zest of the orange and then juiced it.  I added a bit of juice and the grated zest to the rest of the sponge mixture and placed it in a loaf tin.  When it was cool I used the rest of the juice with some icing sugar to make an icing for the top.  Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of the final cake.  Both were delicious.

On my Kindle

I have Maggie O'Farrell's book Hamnet.  I'm looking forward to reading it when I've finished reading Lucy Worsley's book on Queen Victoria.  

Sunshine and showers today and it's too wet to work in the garden. Perhaps if it dries up later we may go for a walk.

Friday, June 19, 2020

What to do on a Rainy Day

I’ve been looking at some old photos that were sent to me from Canada, many years ago, by my mother’s cousin Violet Marsh who lived in Ottawa, Ontario.   Many of the photos are of the Stubbs family of Hose and Long Clawson in Leicestershire.    There were eight children, six girls and two boys born to William Stubbs and his wife Martha (nee Matthews.)  According to the 1891 census William was a farmer of 63 acres.   Violet’s mother Gertrude Ellen always known as Nell emigrated to Canada with her husband  and twin daughters about 1912, certainly before WWI.  One of the other sisters, the eldest, intrigued me.  My Mum often used to talk about her aunts and cousins and once said that her Aunt Edith used to work in a restaurant at the House of Commons.  I’ve often wondered about this and over the years have found little snippets about Mum’s Aunt, Edith Emma Stubbs. 
From five on-line documents I’ve found the following information:-

She was born in Hose, Leicestershire in 1875 and died on 1st January 1922 at Pembridge Square, Paddington.  At that time she was, according to her will, living at 20 Crowndale Road, in the St Pancras area of London.   She never married and her estate of £896. 6s 10d was left between her brother George Edward Stubbs and Edward Allen her brother-in-law.

I found her listed on the Electoral Register for 1921 living at 20 Crowndale Road with her brother George Edward Stubbs (always known as Ted), his wife Mary Ellen and two others, Thomas and Rose Valiant. 

I went back to the 1901 census and found Edith living in a boarding house at 73 Portland Road, Nottingham.  The head of the household Jane Sagebiel age 52 was the boarding house keeper and she has one other boarder Amelia Lydall who worked as a telephone operator.  Edith’s occupation is waitress.   This ties in with the restaurant work later in her life.  I wonder what kind of establishment she worked for in Nottingham?  Perhaps a tea shop, restaurant or hotel?  Portland Road in Nottingham is quite central and runs from the Arboretum behind what is now the Trent University building and past the Nottingham Cemetery.

At the time of the 1911 Census Edith is visiting her sister Catherine Anne, always known as Annie and her brother-in-law Edward Allen a farmer at Gibsmere, Bleasby in Nottinghamshire.  Also in the household are Edward and Annie’s four children, their 16 year old housemaid and another family visitor Harriet Allen.  Again Edith gives her occupation as waitress.  I wonder if she was still working in Nottingham then or if she had already moved to London.

I found another reference to Edith dated 1921   She had sailed to Canada to visit her sister Nell in August 1921 and she left a couple of months later to return to England.  She left  Montreal, Quebec on a Canadian Pacific Line ship called the Minnedosa and arrived in Liverpool on 5th November 1921. She had only a couple of months left to live.  Did she know she was ill when  she travelled all that way?  Had she intended to stay longer but came home because she was ill? Did she take a last chance to see her sister?  We will never know. 

Edith Emma Stubbs

Edith Emma Stubbs taken October 1921 in Canada.

George Edward Stubbs with his wife Mary Ellen and two children

Edward and Annie Allen at Bleasby, Nottinghamshire with their four children.

Gertrude Ellen (Nell) Marsh (nee Stubbs) with twins Violet and Olive.

Just as a matter of interest and to add flesh to the bones the Prime Ministers at the time Edith probably worked at the House of Commons were David Lloyd George and before him Herbert H Asquith.  I've no idea what years she worked at the House of Commons but she was certainly living in London in 1918 with her brother and sister-in-law.  She may have been there during the years of WW1, the Spanish flu epidemic which followed and been aware of the 1918 Act of Representation of the People which gave property owning women over the age of thirty the vote and also to all men over the age of twenty one.

I've found this little journey quite fascinating and a good way to pass the time on a very wet day.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Monday Musings

My brain has seemed to slow down over the last few weeks. Equally it has started to race too, especially at around 4a.m. I find it hard sometimes to 'take things in'  as easily as I used to.  I think the slight hearing loss plus the tinnitus and hypercusis don't help.  Also not going out, other than for a walk, isn't really helping either as I find I'm anxious about being outside. 

Anyway, onwards and upwards.  I've been testing the new blogger.  Has anyone else tried it?  I know from some of your blog posts that one or two of you have.  I'm sort of working it out but I do hate change, it makes me feel inept.   Anyway I found a few issues with the new blogger which confused for a while but the main one is the Reading List on the dashboard not the sidebar.  If you click on a blog post you want to read it takes you to a redirection page first before being taken to the actual blog.  Two clicks instead of one.  Very irritating.  I wonder if this will be ironed out soon or if it is a permanent thing.

On Saturday night we watched the film 'Goodbye Christopher Robin' just as it finished the heavens opened, it thundered and lightened and outside there was a rainbow.

 This was the best photo I could get of the strange light and the rainbow without getting soaked through.

 On Saurday morning we walked across the fields and I took my camera so I could photograph the foxgloves for 30 Days Wild so some of you will have seen this and those below before.

 It was warm yesterday so the butterflies came out to play.

As did the foxes and badgers which were picked up by the wildlife camera overnight.

It's sunny today and I have washing drying outside.  It's got to be a good day.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Five for a Friday in June

1. Reading
I've not long since finished reading a lovely book by Gill Hornby.

Miss Austen covers a visit to Kintbury Vicarage in Berkshire in 1840 by Jane Austen's sister Cassandra.  For Cassandra it is a poignant visit as it was the home of her fiance Tom Fowle who died at sea in 1797.  Cassandra, now an elderly lady,  is seeking out old family letters sent by herself and by Jane to their friend Eliza who married Tom's brother Fulwar, the last of the Fowle family to be incumbent at Kintbury church.  As Cassandra reads the old letters the story drifts back in time to when Jane was alive and past and present are brought together as Cassandra remembers the past but deals with the present and future too and comes to terms with her losses over the years.

 2. In and From the Garden

There are loads of plums on the plum tree this year.

I hope some of them survive to be picked and eaten.

The first potatoes and below lettuce from the caged raised beds.

3.  Cooking and Baking

Mixed vegetables like peppers, courgettes, beans, potatoes and sweet potatoes cooked in a pan and served with crusty bread.

Banana bread.  It is supposed to cook for one and a quarter hours at 180°c.  Knowing that our oven can burn at that temperature I timed it for fifty five minutes at 170°c but it still caught on top.  It is just right inside though and tastes delicious.

4.  Detecting

Bats.  I sent for a bat detector from the RSPB ready for Paul's birthday at the end of the month.  As he knew about it we decided to try it out.  The frequencies we picked up from the bats we saw swooping over the garden about 10.30p.m. in the evening indicated that we have long eared bats flying over the garden, following the line of the hedge. According to what we have read they will be brown long eared bats as the grey ones are only seen along the south coast.

5. Spotted in the garden


 Grey Squirrel

 Pink Rose



It was Ladies Day in the garden today as all the cats that visited were female ones.  I couldn't catch them all on camera though.  Pip and Pumpkin obliged but Dolly and Mabel didn't,  perhaps I'll catch them next time they visit.

Monday, June 08, 2020

Scenes from this Morning's Walk

This morning was cool but thankfully dryer than the last couple of days which have been far too wet and windy for walking.  The rain storms occasionally turned to hail storms, branches came off the trees.  The weather patterns seem all awry with Summer heat in May and April showers in June.

It was good to take a walk this morning after a couple of days inside.  I had a letter to post along the way.

Across Six Crowns wood and by Sammie's Pool.

 Over Fenpark and along the back lane towards Berryhill Fields.  We went the long way round this morning.

 Next door's dog was enjoying his walk and was eager to spend as much time as possible outside.  Every scent was investigated.

 Pony surrounded by Starlings

 It was damp underfoot but the air felt warm and dry. Robins were singing in the bushes and the elderflowers were out and scenting the air.

A notice from the Save Berryhill Fields campaign in support of the NHS and Careworks and a note about social distancing.  Someone had placed a painted stone on top of the post.

 As we joined the walk at Berryhill fields and made our way across them we saw two Skylarks, six Swallows and a wren as well as the usual Wood Pigeons, Crows and Starlings.

It was time to turn towards home.

It felt good to be out in the fresh air and also to have been out walking again.