Thursday, April 29, 2010

Fulfilling a dream

Last year we went  on a Parish outing to visit  the gardens and Brewery of Hunmanby Grange, home of award winning Wold Top Beer. 
I have known these gardens since they were first opened to the public , and to my gardening mind they are an absolute joy and inspiration. Archdruid Eileen would feel at home in them , as the landscape around them is pure first farmers , and the gardens are as up to date as Eileens apps were.
Now you all know I yearn for an iphone3GS, an iMac  or even the latest iphoto app but you do not know that I have dreamt of having some mushroom compost, as my children yearned for every Smurf, Pokeman and My Little Pony. I have not dreamed of having Processed Mushroom compost from a Garden Centre , sterile and clean in a neat plastic sack with air holes and advertised on Band Q flyers, or praised by Alys Fowler.  I have yearned for spent compost ,because it is not really spent at all just tired , wanting a rest in my garden before it pays out for its final fling.
I have kept this thought  . I keep bringing it  to my mind, I mulch the thought with my dreams of perfect peonies, of  Echiums 17'high again, and of our mushroom , Paneer and pea curry.

Today was the DAY.  Yes! said Colin , I will come with you-if we go now! That was after the phonecall revelation that it was 50 p a bag , bring your own sacks and shovels. Easy!
My best trip  this year so far, 3km From home as the crow flies . Another lane, I do lanes rather well now.
And the newly planted Potato fields-that's another Post............

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The road across the Wolds


2nd attempt at this post-due to using less than signs and mucking up the html.

View Larger Map

Travelling to Beverley to visit aged parent I have been James Bond today. The  journey from Hutton Cranswick to Watton takes a couple of minutes on the A164, so I was glad that finding the road blocked ,Police cars, ambulances ,Oh dear hope they are all right accident ahead ,I had the OS map to hand and found a neat by- pass. I love the potential of a  by-pass. 

You can play around with the Google Map as long as you like. I love it .
Let the reader understand: Country lanes leading off the A164 are just that. My Os map told me that I would be using a less than B road, with no fences , and acute bends looking like bird beaks From the air.
I cannot believe that travelling in the Watton to Hutton Cranswick direction  Sat Nav sent Juggernauts , White vans, and all the local tradesmen to avoid the Accident on the main road. 
At one place I had to reverse around what looks on the Sat maplike the bill of a bird, whilst coming towards me were about 20 lost cars, and behind me 20 more also having to reverse. My James Bond bit came later , as a vast lorry realised that the impasse of  narrowness would necessitate a tilt of 20 degrees from the vertical , up a bank to pass me.  I was not having any. I did the best reversing of my whole life.
I am now  brilliant at reversing, even round the bills of birds, that I am not an extra in a James Bond Movie, BUT I have managed to act the star role , plot the Script , Direct and take all the Credits. 
By complete contrast my Drive home across the Wolds  from Driffield to Hunmanby was an interlude . I was able in empty lanes to watch
the progress of the Rape Fields.
This time next week will do it

My Favourite tree , THE ASH the last to secombe, the first to leave Summer behind , the best to burn, the ancient and mythical, lines the route . David Hockney has been here with his Hand and  Eye and Heart.
I see the froth of the Blackthorn for miles and miles of laciest delight. I enjoy the Wolds farms proud in their shelter belts, names like Howe Farm and Refuge Farm. I am just in time for the Wolds Rush half hour, as the Farm children are picked up from Kilham school and Wold Newton School and wonder what red Volvo is doing  pulled into the road end of their drive. They cannot know that one  careful lady owner  already has History in the country lanes.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Is this typical?

It made me laugh, I think he ought to do this again with another random selection of people.
And again,
and again
-much better than the Election broadcasts!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

We shop they drop

Sutton in Holderness  had at least 3 village Grocery  shops in the 50s and 60s. We always used Myers in Church Street. Nellie and Steve Myers were a vital part of  our family  network. Once a week one of us dropped the Order in . Mr Myers brought the boxed order in his car, to the back door of course. Cornflakes, sugar, cheese, butter,Stork, flour,Omo,  and biscuits every week. I have started to recall other essential commodities, and I am going to note them here for posterity and children doing projects on Postwar Childhood.

Lard, bacon, matches, firelighters, bundles of  kindling, oats, Surprise Peas,tinned spaghetti, 

A million housewives every day
pick up a tin of beans and say,
“Beanz meanz Heinz!”

Gibbs Dentifrice, Vim, Brillo Pads, Bisto, Oxo cubes, Birdalls Gravy Salt, Brown and Polsons  Cornflour,tinned Carrots, tinned Marrowfat Peas, Fray Bentos ,Corned Beef, (except the year of the scare), Tinned Pilchards, Tinned Sardines, Heinz salad cream, Tinned Stewed Steak, Carnation evaporated Milk,Instant Whip, Pudding Rice, Bournville Cocoa Powder,
Camp Coffee--on the bottle of Camp on tray, you could see the bottle of Camp on the tray, you could see the bottle of Camp on the tray-I love the notion of infinity of this idea.

For several weeks running my mother was perplexed by the biscuits that had arrived in the Order. One week it was Bourbon Chocolate Creams, another week Custard Creams , another Gypsy creams. We children were delighted.  Usually we had Marie or Malted Milk or Digestives.  Mother questioned Mr Myers, where are my Nice (pronounced to rhyme with Fleece) biscuits.?  Mr Myers said Oh , I thought you just meant Nice (pronounced to rhyme with ice) biscuits !

Of course the weekly order didnt last a week always. We children would be sent shopping down to the village for extra staples (which were then put in the Book-for the monthly account).We were sent with the Paraffin can  for a gallon of Pink Paraffin,sent for a Farmhouse white or a loaf of Procea. Mr and Mrs Myers knew us but were not familiar , they did not ask questions  or gossip, and we were schooled by our mother 'not to tell the village our business'. 
Shopping for our aunt in the village was more fun. We took her dog Tammy, then Bonny to Myers for her, tied them on the metal pole for the awning and bought fascinating products-Cydrax fizzy apple juice, crab paste, danish butter and Hovis. (Best of all was going to Fanthorpes the chemist to change the Soda Syphon over. )
We were not allowed to shop anywhere but Myers for groceries, and we children always wanted to know why we couldn't get stuff at Turners which was much nearer, and Mr and Mrs Turner were very nice too and more friendly.

So I have come full circle. I have just placed an order, paid for it and it has been delivered. I feel a bit guilty.  I dont want my small local shops in Filey to shut down.  So I have only bought staples, and things I can't get here,tins of shrimps, extra low Flora and Hellmans, frozen baby broad beans and oats milled in Congleton. 
In 1967, my mother discovered that by shopping at Frank Dees supermarket along Holderness Road Hull, taking the car, she could buy shopping much cheaper, and she discovered unusual and exciting items like Caramel wafers, Twix Bars and Blue Cheese, Jogurts and Knorr soup. Within 5 years most of the village shops ceased to trade, their livelihood had been killed by Supermarkets.

For 20 years I have bought and still will ,my meat from  the likes of a local butcher as Adrian , my fruit and veg from Angela the greengrocer, and my Groceries from the same supermarket which has been Presto, Safeway, and now Mills. I have been doing a trial run.only of online Grocery shopping. I now know that I can do an order for my Aged Parent 30 miles away in Beverley, My Aged Cousin 200 miles away in London. I will be able to shop for them 
It is perfectly easy to do, and carried right in to the kitchen at 8pm in the evening by appointment. Spouse and I had a lovely time ordering it, sitting side by side looking at the sheer range, what option excess.As the dust settles in my conscience and I work out whether I will ever shop this way again, I need to take serious stock of the ethics versus the convenience of Food Shopping online.  I hope that now that my other local Supermarket has become the Co-op , more of the fairly traded products I buy , and basics unavailable in Filey like Golden Granulated Sugar and organic apples (so I can eat the skin) will hit the shelves . My AGED ones , however , CAN  now be SORTED.

Friday, April 09, 2010

A day at the seaside.

You will know that Bridteacher taught  in Bridlington , East Yorkshire for 15 years. I have known Bridlington all my life, as it is an easy car ride from my birthplace in Hull. I have had a fondness always for beaches of clean sand, and for me a summer day is always profitably spent sitting on one, near one,or  above one on a cliff with a book. I  love the sound  of the sea, the smell of the brine laden air, the prospect of the changing skies, the continually moving landscape afforded by the tides.
My  nurturing and childhood were informed and moulded by all that a seaside resort offered a post war childhood, and indeed a post war parent. My parents had not been able to enjoy a beach from 1939 until 1945 because of the defences, barbed wire, pill-boxes and mines that protected an island nation. I don't know whether the thrill of the Piers of places like Southend,Brighton and Cromer were viable during the war, but I do know that in Yorkshire today only that  Saltburn -by -the -Sea  remains. Post war trips to the coast for this child of austerity were magical , delicious and risque. Here is why
  • Fairgrounds
  • smell of Hot dogs
  • smell of fish and chips
  • loud music
  • crowds
  • 'cheap jack' shops
  • boat-trips round the bay
It seemed to me that fun though sitting on a beach was, it was the  vulgar stuff that appealed to the base nature of the child. Everything about Bridlington in the 50's, and 60's that I loved is still there now. That is why my parents only took seaside Holidays in select twee resorts like Sutton on Sea or Hornsea. They always said it was for the clean beaches, but I now know it was for the absence of 'kiss -me- quick'.
I remember when I was about 14 being terrified in case my mother found out the I had sampled 'Candy Floss' at Withernsea one afternoon.  

So to Easter 2010. Tastes change as maturity brings honesty. A trip on the bus(with pass) to Bridlington for Bridteacher, spouse and two small boys beckoned as a way to spend the day that grandparents are privileged to offer.
 View from Bay View Cafe on Boyes 2nd Floor

 Ill work backwards now.Spouse and I slept soundly for a long time last night. The Microwaveable Chinese meal for our dinner at 6pm last night was as much as I could have prepared.  Thank -you Imogen for supplying it when we agreed to have the boys for a night and day.The bus-ride back from Bridlington to Filey was very successful thanks to the benefit of hindsight, knowing where to sit. 
The boys sat on the front seat on the top of the 121 Double Decker bus and loved every minute.  They entertained all the pass holders out for a ride, the caravanners going  back to Primrose valley and the shoppers  for every minute of the 45 min journey home.  The running commentary  3 and 5 yr old boys perform effortlessly ,and  'whats that Grandma?', and to each other about what they were going to do in the next fast bit, and especially the next hill could have been recorded for an essay on Child Development. It is a great ride. The hill from the Hunmanby brow down to Muston is as good as a fairground ride to a small boy. 
I regress further. 
For several hundred yards along the traffic free promenade at Bridlington ,  you may worship at the Fairground shrines .Spouse and I recalled once again our austere childhoods where 'Common' was not done, but longed for by our inner children. So we did it with the boys, just a walk past it, with one ride worth every penny.It seemed a totally foreign place to us now we may have it but don't want it.
Before our stroll amongst the Las Vegas by the sea, where I had spotted several children I had taught over the years working the rides, we had a lunch at 11.45am.  We had been up since 5am , breakfast had been at 6 ish and the boys had been saying 'are we going to have a snack for 2 hours?'
BOYES for Good Value .
Never has the advert been so true.
The cafe on the 2nd floor of the Bridlington Shop (once Hammonds of Hull) is the perfect refined place for cheap lunch with 2 small boys.  Great chips, Tea in shiny pot , good china, perfect and attentive staff  and spotless loos-we customers of the North thank you. 

I am back at 11am now, waiting for 11.30 start to slow walk to lunch in Boyes. Spouse and I are tired already, after a disturbed night ,even tho the boys only woke a couple of times on their sleepover. We have been good grandparents, answered every question, been firm but kind, have remembered to offer frequent loo stops, have supplied very modest and tiny sweets.  We have realised that Bridlington harbour is fascinating to us but boring for Scarborian boys.We need a safe sit down.
Never have I been more grateful for remembering  Victorian Ironwork, seaside benches and Shelters in front of the landmark Ebor Flats. We managed 15 mins here with the boys having race after race after race, and never tiring of them . Safe , empty, lovely view of the sea and harbour and right next to the Public WCs (very clean). Years of working in Brid were paying off.

The Journey to Brid had been frought with danger, and stress. The back seat of the 121 bus did not work. The boys were too hot, too talkative,'why are their no seatbelts?, 'why cant we sit somewhere else?', 'when will we get there?'.  I stupidly said the elder one could ring the bell to get off. Younger one was cross.The driver did the journey at 50mph all the way,10mls  over the potholes, down the hills, up the hills, round the corners or so it seemed.

We live in a more sedate Seaside Resort.

Yesterday I  was gobsmacked when the owner of one of our  specialist small shops here in Filey was less than discreet. She was not racist but Londonist if that will suffice for the word which means running down Londoners who spend a small fortune in your shop. I hope she is the only small minded trader here. I did tell her that personally I liked London,  and was married to a Londoner. It is good in  these days when children do gap years in Oz, honeymoon in Cuba, whalespot in the southern Atlantic and settle back down in Yorkshire that seeing the world gives a broad view of life . We took our little boys only on a bus trip for 10 miles. They need to start to understand the world they live in does not revolve around the one small place where they spend most of their time.

Filey has not got much in the way of Fairground delights, it has excellent fish and chip shops and small cafes like Bridlington. In fact, Filey is in a little time warp really, in that you can not buy fish and chips after about 6.30pm, it doesn't at present have any large shops or supermarkets. For some people that is its charm. It depends for its economy, like Bridlington on the purses of Day visitors and Holidaymakers, many staying on nearby Caravan Parks. Bridlington is much more worldly than Filey, has many more empty shops, even in fairly recent malls. It needs an economic boost . A good summer will really help.   We have not only miles of golden sand, but oh, ROCK POOLS, we too need a sun filled summer , to boost trade, fill the holiday accommodation, and revive that sheer joy which is a day at the seaside.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Archdruid Eileen

How very clever -to know when to go.  Just when dependency has linked us.
My friend @wilbaric thought I was following a dubious site at first, so clever were her wheels within wheels.  I persuaded him she was as clever as Monty Python, as subtle as Piltdown Man, as well as being more popular amongst the discerning blog readers than The Churchmouse or Cranmer who are clever but not funny , and Deep Church who is so clever I don't understand it, and Bible in Broad Strokes who is clever and funny but hasn't done a post since January.(  I hope he is OK , we have enjoyed his take on the OT, in Filey)
So a fond farewell. I am lighting a tea light outside the back door, and showing you all a photo of the landscape inhabited by a Class 2 henge called Maidens Bower near Burton Fleming , just up the road from here. Nothing , like the Archdruid , is to be seen. It unlike her has been ploughed out.  She no doubt will reappear like the fantastic new Dr Who and we will all recognise it is SHE.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Showing Nick Blogger

This is how you do it Nick
Link to Fresh Expressions

I was going to delete this post as it was only  a demonstration of Blogger  for my highly educated son in law the computer whiz kid. He reciprocally showed me the new Fronter system that North Riding EA are trialling now. I'm going to leave this post however for my daughter Alice . These are the flowers you sent Grandma last week for her 90th birthday Alice. 

Now perhaps someone will show me Joomla.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

We had a lovely day today

 Last years Flower Spikes of my Echiums, saved to use as supports for Morning Glories or Canary Creepers

It has been too cold to Garden recently on the days when we have had the inclination and time.  I say WE because that is how it works here in our Kiaora Garden. We garden together, Colin and I. He is the arty one , arranging , moving around, buying BOLD , putting audacious plants alongside each other.  I am the ruthless getter ridder, the scientific gardener, messy , careless and haphazard. We make a perfect team. Just like the Easter Triduum.The days all go together and give the significance to the others.
Today is an in between sort of day. It was warm enough to start the onslaught on the garden. We have great rows (rhymes with cows) in the garden. Today it was Colin putting too many wrong hard sticks and lumps of cardboard in the Compost bin.  When I emptied it , to fill my Sweet Pea trench it was like opening a giant 100 L bottle of Brown Slime complete with those huge yellow slugs. It will be all right , will soon rot down properly, and the Sweet Peas will never know .Tomorrow, or Monday it will be me bringing clods of soil all over the newly swept paths or digging up Colin's Lily Bulbs. We had a great time. It was a day of knowing that something is about to happen.No family tomorrow, they are coming on Monday.
  It will be the first Easter Sunday without a family Occasion. Gardening doesn't usually happen on Holy Saturday.  I am cleaning the house , scraping Jersey Royals, making a Simnel Cake, a trifle, buying the Spring Lamb, doing the Mirrors, cleaning the best cutlery and so on. SO today was a real in between day. By Yesterday all the Easter grocery Shopping had been done.  I don't shop on Good Friday.Today just gardening.
We have made what they call a GOOD START.
Mostly we have had to remove the many dead shrubs. All my overwintering  Chard is dead. The first year I have had no Purple to sprout. I don't know how the October sown salad greens have all survived.  Maybe because they are some Japanese variety that last appeared in a painting of  a snow capped Mt Fuji by Hokusai.
Tomorrow we will be going on the Cliff Top above Filey Brigg at 7am for the 'Sunrise' service to greet Easter Morn.
I know that My Echiums are truly DEAD. The overwintering ones though covered with fleece did not survive. They were promising to be as magnificent as the ones in the picture. I have had to put them in the Brown Bin. 
I have told my Facebook Group 'I got an Echium Through the Winter 'that I didnt.

But this in between day is just that. I have remembered that I will have hundreds of seedings soon appearing all over the garden, easily recognised with the spots on the second leaves. I will get them through the winter for their 2+ years growth before astounding passers by again.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Guilt , Excuses or get it in preportion and wash the net curtain.

Some people must spend all their time cleaning, dusting and putting the Dyson round. Or, they can afford to pay a Treasure to do it.
I love Spring . I love all the seasons. Spring brings a lifting of the moods of those I live with.There are some downsides to Spring though , and I have known them all this week.
Firstly, the improved bright light shines up the finger marks on the doors in the sitting room, dining room , kitchen door , kitchen cupboards and front of the cooker.
Secondly the North wind doth blow and we shall have an awful mess in the garden. Such a lot to do!
Today is a very busy day ,I sit for three hours ,I sit for three hours and do nothing. I am supposed to sit for three hours and meditate on the events that are remembered today. Last year I sat and thought about Easter Sunday lunch, what time to put the Lamb in to time around Church,all very Passover but very much Sabbath Work. Then I thought through all the Good Fridays of my long ago Childhood still as yesterday.
  • The crosses at St James Sutton in Holderness all covered with purple velvet bag things
  • The altar frontals removed
  • Exciting breakfast of Hot Cross buns
  • one hour of the three hours with Mother ,on and on and on silence, boring
  • Fish Pie for Dinner
  • Jesus of Nazareth  on BBC
  • Shops all closed after mid-day
  • Father home from the Office
  •  no having fun
Then I thought of our trips to Israel March 08, March 09.  Like Phil Ritchie in his blog 'Phils Treehouse'  a trip to Israel informs all you write ever afterwards. All I think about Holy Week has taken on a new twist.  It is not the visits to endless basilicas and churches in  that special land.  They only for me have acted as windows to the Bible narratives.  It is the LAND. To have walked in the land where Jesus walked, died and rose again in a place where strife and bigotry , politics, evil , good, and the Love of God are still tangible is the most powerful aid to Good Friday thinking that I know.

After the 3 hour service of Quiet Meditation today I am still busy. I might wash my net curtain in the sitting room tomorrow, I might make a Simnel cake , I might dig my trench for my Sweet Peas. I will be helping to decorate the church for Easter, the greenery is cut, and conditioning outside the back door in a bucket  and drinking up the water (from the lamb covered  chalk hills of the Yorkshire Wolds). I am already thinking about whether I will listen to 'St Johns Passion' on Radio 3 tonight.

Busy , Busy , Busy mind.
Here is the challenge

I am going to sit for 3 hours, quietly and prayerfully, stay awake (I dropped off at Filey Methodists Meditation in Song last Sunday), How will I do it? God Knows .