20 January 2020

Deal Castle


Deal castle was built by order of King Henry VIII as part of the King's defence programme to protect against invasion from France and the Roman Empire. It was a purpose built fort equipped with big guns, a keep, inner and outer bastions and a moat. Although it remained armed, during the 18th and 19th centuries it was adapted to form a private house for the castle's captain, which was by now an honorary position.


In 1904 the War Office concluded that the castle no longer had any value either as a defensive site or as a barracks and it was opened to the public when the captain was not in residence. Early in the Second World War the captain's quarters were destroyed by German bombing forcing Deal's then-captain, William Birdwood to move to Hampton Court Palace, and the castle became an observation post for an artillery battery placed along the shore line. The castle was not brought back into use as a residence and was restored by the government during the 1950s to form a tourist attraction. It is now operated by English Heritage.
There wasn't as much to see as in previous castles, we were a tiny bit disappointed.

We finished the day with a stroll along the cliffs.

Be well ~ 
Polly x

17 January 2020

Downton Abbey


Went to see the Downton Abbey film last night. The cast was the same as the TV series, with the addition of Geraldine James as Queen Mary and Simon Jones as King George V, and as usual they all put in stellar performances. I know it received some bad reviews but I loved it. I think you had to be a fan of the TV series to enjoy it. 
The film had the Crawley household preparing for a royal visit. The family and staff were swept along on a tide of excitement and a flurry of activity with smaller stories running alongside. As well as a good story it also tied up story lines from the TV series to a satisfactory conclusion. 
And as usual the sets and costumes were stunning. 

Be warm and well ~ 
Polly x

13 January 2020

A Tedious Read

Swing Time by Zadie Smith
Having read and thoroughly enjoyed White Teeth I had high hopes for this. The prologue hinted of a good story. The opening line reads “It was the first day of my humiliation. Put on a plane, sent back home to England". And towards the end of the prologue a sentence which read  "Now everyone knows who you really are” Ooh I thought, this is going to be good.

The narrator and Tracey dream of becoming dancers. They meet at a junior dance class and instantly become friends in that they are the only brown girls in the class and they share a passion for old musicals. Tracey has talent, our narrator doesn’t, but she does have a beautiful singing voice. A good start which I thought would move on to a story about a lasting friendship and the ups and downs of their joint struggles to achieve their goals. WRONG, it was 453 pages of nothing. The narrator is not given a name because she isn’t much of a character in her own right, she seems content to be what those around her want her to be, subservient to her mother, a doormat for the bitchy Tracey and Tracey’s horrible mother and just another name on the payroll for Aimee (Who I think was based on Madonna).

I ploughed on thinking "The prologue hinted of something good, when is it going to start?" It didn't, it was disjointed and confusing in places with obscure time jumps. The constant toing and froing to Africa and the narrator’s thoughts whilst there became boring - unless you're interested in the economic and political history of Africa. Some parts of the book were interesting: the narrator’s mothers’ determination to make a niche for herself as a black woman in politics in the 70’s; and the author's exploration of how rich people throw money at causes with little thought to if and how it helps.

Very disappointing.

Be warm and well ~ 

Polly x

8 January 2020

Dolls House No. 2 The Dining Room

I'm very pleased with this room, it all went together with ease. The cabinet at the back, the table and chairs and all the ornaments came from dolls house No. 1 before I sold it on ebay. The sideboard is a new purchase. The wallpaper was from a company in Spain. I prefer to see things before buying
so I was a little concerned about the colours,

I needn't have worried though, I love it.

I made the curtains from material in my stash, the floor and window sill from spatulas,
and bought the lovely rug from a nearby dolls house shop.
The chandelier was a bargain from an online store with a 25% discount.

I'm currently working on the lounge. I've made a sofa, chaise longue and a chair, I have a 
television to finish and then will attempt to make a unit for the TV and  some occasional tables,
using my new Dremel :-)

🏡 Be warm and well  🏡
Polly x

4 January 2020

Power To Me

Most women would get excited about receiving a gift of perfume, jewellery or a heavily loaded John Lewis voucher card, me I got excited about the fantastic gift my darling daughter and son-in-law gave me, something that I have been looking at online for a while now ............... wait for it .................





A Dremel

with loads of attachments

My daughter and son-in-law know how much I enjoy my miniature work and picked up on how I've struggled with ordinary tools. It was my son-in-laws idea after asking him recently if he had any idea how I could remove a floor in number 3 house.


I've done a lot of work furnishing dolls house number 2, most of it was ready made, some in kit form, and the rest was DIY, struggling with a craft knife or saw cutting small sizes of wood for the en-suite in Miss Teens room. Then I bought dolls house number 3 - Lake View which is going to need a lot of work to turn it into the grand design I have in mind, work that I won't be able to do with a saw or craft knife. I also have another project waiting in the wings which will also need some wood work.

More recently I have made a sofa, chaise and chair using foamboard. Now I'm keen to make a TV unit and occasional tables, but foamboard won't look as good as wood.

I can't wait to get started. But I need to head over to Youtube for a few tutorials. I will need to do some practice pieces first, then see what I can produce!!




Be warm and well ~ 
Polly x


1 January 2020

Bad Habits

So, I woke up this morning with a headache, blocked sinuses and that pulsing seashore sound in in my right ear. I felt hungover but .... I only had one small glass of alcohol last night so it wasn't that. I think I know the cause -  a week of over indulgence, eating way too much rich food and chocolate finally catching up with me. I met my friend M in town yesterday for coffee and a catch up. I felt uncomfortable, my trousers were tight, even my coat felt tight! 
On the plus side though my back is finally recovering from a week of pain after tweaking a muscle as I was leaning over brushing the dogs!
I don't usually make New Year resolutions, but I must ditch the bad habits and revert to sensible eating and drinking more water.
Be warm and well ~ 
Polly x

31 December 2019

Happy New Year


Here's wishing you dear reader a Happy and Healthy 2020
x Polly x

23 December 2019

Merry Christmas

Seasons Greetings dear reader.
I hope Santa brings you something nice 

Maybe a lovely red train

A cute reindeer and sleigh

Santa on a scooter

A Pink Gnome

Or a magical unicorn

This is most appropriate for me!!


However you're spending Christmas, I hope it will be full of love, fun and happiness.

✨ Be warm and well 
Polly x

21 December 2019

My Great Mince Pie Survey

Oh my word, another year on, time for my mince pie survey.
It's where I get to eat lots of mince pies and let you dear reader
know what I think of them.

Asda
Filled with vine fruits, spices and a splash of ruby port, all encased in shortcrust pastry.
Nice pastry holds well, not crumbly. Good tasty filling. 8/10

Waitrose
All butter with a rich mincemeat filling containing
apricot, glacé cherries, almonds and brandy. Nice firm pastry and tasty filling. 8/10

Waitrose mini mince pie selection. 3 Amaretto frangipane pies, 3 orange and juniper pies and 3 caramelised hazelnut topped baklava pies. These are delicious, especially the orange and juniper ones, they leave a lovely lingering taste in the mouth. 9/10 


Tesco all butter with Courvoisier. Delicious.
Firm pastry and a lovely tasty filling 9/10

Co-op all butter pastry with brandy and port.
The pastry is a bit crumbly, the filling is nice and I could definitely taste the alcohol! 8/10

Greggs sweet crumbly mince pies. Delicious pastry and tasty filling but no alcohol! 7/10 

Tesco festive pastry tarts. 2 iced topped, 2 brandy buttercream and 2 pecan and maple. 
When Rufus did his diary a week or so ago he mentioned that I was eating lots of mince pies, he hastened to add "lots of different brands not the whole box full! family eat them as well".
But let me tell you dear reader, family won't get anywhere near these beauties!
They are delicious 10/10

However my daughter informs me that the best mince pie she has ever tasted is Starbucks.
I haven't had time to go into town to try one, so I will just have to take her word for it :-)

 Be warm and well  
Polly x

18 December 2019

Christmas or Xmas

Do you say Christmas or Xmas? My mother hated the abbreviation to Xmas and so do I. My mother's reason for doing so was a deeply religious one but I think my dislike of it was conditioning from her.

The word “Christmas” originated in the 14th century from the Old English word “Cristes maesse” or “Christ’s mass”, written to form one word. It was derived from the Greek word “Christos” (Christ) and the Latin word “missa” (mass).

The word “Xmas,” comes from the letter “X” being the Greek letter “chi,” the first letter in the Greek word for “Christ,” and “maesse” from the Old English word for “mass.” It has been in use for hundreds of years written as “Xpes maesse.” evolving into “Xmas” during the middle of the 18th century. Many Christians consider the use of Xmas blasphemous because it removes “Christ” from the word.

Xmas is more associated with the commercialisation of the holiday, with businesses and advertisers using it because it is more compact, brief, and concise. 

Whichever one you use I hope your festive season is happy.

Best Wishes
Polly

15 December 2019

Rochester Museum & Cathedral

We sort of stumbled on the great little Guildhall Museum whilst walking around the town.
A brilliant mock up of prison hulks. Prison hulks were decommissioned ships that authorities used as floating prisons. They were not the same as convict ships which were seaworthy vessels transporting felons from their place of conviction to their place of banishment. 

Cavalier soldiers

The castle

Mock ship's cabin.
I was doing ok steering the ship until coming in to dock, then I crashed into the harbour wall!

Beautiful Guildhall

It was thought this ceremonial robe was lost but someone found it in a box in an attic!
It was laid out to celebrate the first (and last) time it was worn, which I think was about 50 years ago. 

I was a bit confused by this. The card read "This is a model of Queen Victoria having one of her many portraits painted" but I couldn't see anything that looked like Queen Victoria. There was much more to see in this lovely museum but I didn't take anymore photos because we were running out of time.


Next stop the Cathedral
It's huge with lots of different areas, but it's quite austere


The old Corn Exchange and Clock

I hope you have enjoyed this tour of Rochester


Be warm and well ~ 
Polly x


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