29 April 2020

A Good Read

Finders Keepers by Stephen King is the second in the Bill Hodges trilogy.

The story starts in 1978 when petty criminal Morris Bellamy robs and murders acclaimed iconic author John Rothstein. Bellamy is a huge fan of Rothstein and obsessed with his most famous creation, a rebel without a cause named Jimmy Gold, but Bellamy thinks that Rothstein ruined the character in the final book of a trilogy by having him become just another suburbanite working in advertising.

After killing Rothsteim, Bellamy empties the safe of cash, but the real treasure is a stash of notebooks containing at least one more Gold novel. Fearing arrest and imprisonment he buries the money and notebooks. 
Bellamy is a nasty piece of work, he was never arrested for the murder but he was jailed on a rape charge.

Decades later a boy named Peter Saubers finds the trunk that Morris buried. The Saubers family have fallen on hard times since Peter’s father was injured. Young Peter sees a way to heal the tension building between his parents by using the money to send regular instalments to his parents under the guise of a well wisher.

During his 35 years in prison all Bellamy has dreamed of is getting out and reading the notebooks that he hid. After his release he sets about retrieving what he feels is his and nothing is going to stand in his way.

Another excellent story from King building the tension to the end.
I like the detecting trio of Hodges, Holly and Jerome.

~Happy Reading ~

Polly x

24 April 2020

Orford Castle

I hope you're all keeping well and safe.
Since my fall the other day I have been taking it easy doing sit down things, dolls house work, reading, and sorting out hundreds of photos, remembering pre covid days when we were out and about without a care in the world.
I think this was last Sep/Oct, I know it was Autumn because the light faded very early and this was the last English Heritage castle we visited before they all closed for winter.

The unique polygonal tower keep of Orford Castle is one of England’s most complete and unusual keeps.Built in the 12th century for Henry II, it was intended to curtail the power of the turbulent East Anglian barons, such as Hugh Bigod of nearby Framlingham Castle. 

The unconventional design is matched by an unusual history, marked by drama of all kinds. Well what else would we expect from squabbling monarchs, lords and noblemen!!

Robert Malet was a Norman nobleman and important landowner in the late 11th century. Around 1100, he founded the town of Orford on the Suffolk coast near a projecting stretch of land now called Orford Ness. This piece of land created a naturally sheltered harbour, and Orford flourished as a port.

When Malet died in 1105 his lands passed to King Henry I, who in turn gave them to his nephew Stephen de Blois in 1113. Stephen declared himself king in 1135 when Henry I died, and the country descended into civil war. The Earl of Suffolk, Hugh Bigod, sided with Matilda, Henry I’s only surviving legitimate child, and tried to use the war to bolster his already considerable power in East Anglia.

Stephen declared his own son, William, Earl of Suffolk, and gave him land in the county including the Honour of Eye (a large collection of estates) which contained Orford. Though the war ended in 1153 with Stephen remaining king but recognising Matilda’s son as his successor, the two groups in East Anglia remained at loggerheads.

In the reign of King John, Orford Castle was taken by Prince Louis leader of the rebellious barons fighting against the King. But with the death of John in 1216 and the reversal of military fortunes for the French led rebellion, it petered out and Orford was taken back into Royal ownership. The castle was garrisoned again during the reign of the weak and ineffectual Edward II, but thereafter Royal requirements for it reduced and Edward III sold it 1336 to the Earl of Suffolk. Although used as a residence it fell into disuse until opened to the public in the 1930s.

The Lower Hall was one of the most important rooms in the castle. The large fireplace provided warmth and the tall windows let in plenty of light. Visitors gathered here to feast. The highest ranking person sat at the high table with the most important guests. 

The Upper Hall and the rooms off it were reserved for the most important people staying at the castle, such as the sheriff or the constable in charge.

Bread was served with every meal: white bread for the social elite and brown for everyone else. Inside are the remains of the oven lined with roof and floor tiles that were considered to be 'seconds', not good enough to be used elsewhere in the castle.

Given its age the castle is impressively intact from the basement, through the lower and upper halls to the roof where there are magnificent views seaward to Orford Ness. Around the rooms is a maze of passages leading to the chapel, kitchen and other chambers in the turrets.

Orford is a tiny pretty village.
The light was fading so we had a drive round before leaving for home.

Be safe and well ~ 
Polly x

21 April 2020

A Tearful Episode

I fell over yesterday, not badly and thank goodness I didn't do any serious damage. I had been watering the hanging baskets at the front of the house and turned round to go back in through the open front door. I think I misjudged the distance to the step and tripped, I vividly remember falling into the lobby, against the door, and onto the floor, and not being able to do anything to stop falling. I bumped the side of my knee and grazed my elbow on the coire matting. It wasn't overly painful and I wasn't bleeding but I cried and cried and couldn't stop, it was real sobbing. I felt old, and when I told my daughter she kindly said "You're not old mum, just older, you need to slow down a bit". She was right because when I thought about it I had walked the dogs, done Joe Wicks 10 minute exercise for seniors and a lot of gardening, the watering of the hanging baskets was an afterthought. I was tired and probably shouldn't have done them. It's not like I have to get everything done by a certain time.

All through the decades I didn't think I would be old, silly really because we all age. But this is the nub of getting older, having to accept that energy diminishes. It's the acceptance bit, that for me, is difficult to come to terms with.

So today I have done some sit down work for my dolls house, a small amount of plant watering, and some reading, and that's it. And when I do go back into the garden I will wear my watch and pace myself.

Be safe and well ~ 
Polly x

18 April 2020

Taurus April 20 – May 20

Miss Claire Voyant's horoscope for Taurus has arrived. 

You share your Taurus birthday with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, William Shakespeare, Jack Nicholson, Barbra Streisand, George Clooney and a few million others.

A bit about the personality
Taureans are considered to be the anchor of the zodiac, think stable and grounded. Often viewed as set in their ways Taureans are down to earth, practical, and methodical, almost to the point of being painfully intransigent. They have finely-tuned senses, an eye for beauty, and hedonistic tendencies, which can lead to outright laziness and procrastination, which is never a good image! 
Bulls are usually kind, gentle, hardworking souls who are loyal, steadfast and, although known to be somewhat frugal, they will generously lend a helping hand to family, friends, or even strangers. 

Your Prediction
Spring travel is on hold for the planet, but 
as a waning quarter moon in Capricorn activates your “anywhere but home” desire you may experience an overwhelming urge of wanderlust.  So, Taurus, how to temper that urge while staying safe at home?
Well season 3 of "Killing Eve" has just started, you could organize a Netflix binge-watch party with friends, or host a virtual dinner party on Zoom. Or for an interesting way to pass some time, and maybe pick up a few ideas of where to go when the lockdown ends click here.
Finally when the sun moves into Taurus on Sunday it could encourage nurturing and self-care. Why not pamper yourself with a luxury facial or a manicure. And don't forget your feet, treat them to a pedicure. You too guys, there's nothing wrong with having pampered feet, our feet work hard, look after them. 

Be safe and well ~ 
Polly x

17 April 2020

Coffee Morning

2020 was going to be a bumper year for village activities, some have been postponed, and some cancelled. Our April WI meeting was cancelled and our May one will be too, so one of the girls suggested we have a virtual coffee morning. There are only 11 of us and not everyone has email or even a mobile phone. I tried to get the rest of us onto Zoom without success, so we had to make do with What's App and texts. We managed though, and raised a cup to toast to keeping well and healthy.

I made a cake and left slices in tupperware containers on a couple of doorsteps.

It was a Betty Crocker packet mix, just as good (if not better) than I could make.

Rufus has to get in on the act, eyeing up the cake! That's my finger in the way on the left!

Our Chair was pleased to see I was maintaining WI standards with the china, 
even in isolation one has to maintain standards ☺️

  Be safe and well ~ 
Polly x

13 April 2020

Reasons To Be Cheerful

gorgeous sunshine
beautiful countryside
darling birds singing their little hearts out, it lifts my soul
my family, friends, acquaintances and myself are healthy
I have a lovely garden to sit in
I am warm and safe in my home with enough food 
I don't have any mental or physical health problems

I'm longing to go out again though, for a day trip, a trip to my favourite garden centre, to meander around town, meet up with friends for a coffee or lunch. To dress up, wear make-up and perfume, style my hair.
I'm not bothering about my appearance much at the moment, but I'm not sitting around in my pyjamas all day, mind you that could change if the weather turns to cold and rain!

I've been making lots of quilts, gardening, cleaning windows, a week ago we cleared out a load of rubbish from one shed, then last week we demolished another and last Friday morning put it all in a skip which was collected in the afternoon. Job done. New patio furniture will be here this week.

Last November I decided to stop dyeing my hair and to embrace the grey.
The theory behind this momentous decision was the hope that it would look foxy..........mmm we'll see how that turns out!
I managed to get it cut just before lockdown, and went for short to cut out as much of the dyed brown as possible. I'm hoping that all the dyed hair will be gone by the time the lockdown is over. And when I do emerge my friends may not recognise me!!

Be safe and well ~ 
Polly x

8 April 2020

Rufus' Diary

Well I don't know what's going on, this is the third week that Polly has been at home all day long. She's been cleaning windows, emptying the shed of lots of rubbish, gardening,  and making lots of quilts. Usually at this time of year, and especially as the weather is so glorious, she is out and about with her friend M.

Anyway life is much the same for Buster and myself, walk, sleep, play and eat.

The weather has been gorgeous, Polly isn't even wearing a coat when we go out for our walks! She went from coat to gilet then just a long sleeve T-shirt.

The horses don't need their coats either

They're enjoying the lovely weather

Dear Busty is still limping. He was due to have a biopsy taken just before this staying indoors thing started but the vet then closed except for emergencies. He's still taking a painkiller, and he never yelps or whines when he stands, walks or runs. He's a lovely stoic old boy.

We were washed the other day, we weren't best pleased but we did need it, and we look much better. 

The bluebells are starting to bloom
Spring is here

Be warm and well ~ 
Rufus 🐾

4 April 2020

Puppies at the Aquarium

If you like dogs you will love this. I hope it cheers you up a bit on this glorious sunny day in lockdown.

Be safe and well ~ 
Polly x

1 April 2020


Miss Claire Voyant, my personal astrologer, predicts that when this crisis is over we will see:

An increase in obesity
A baby boom
An increase in divorce
A stampede to gyms
A lot of pristine homes and gardens

Netflix crashes and burns out due to huge demand
A film made about The Lockdown of 2020

On a more serious note what about those unfortunate souls trapped in abusive and controlling relationships, and children in those environments, life could be hell for them right now. As I said previously, this lockdown is a high price to pay.

People are worried about losing their jobs.

My grandson is 16 so he understands the situation. But how do parents explain to young children, without frightening them, why they're not at school or play school, why they can't see nanny and grandad, or why they can't invite their friends over, or play with them at the park?

Whilst I'm not in agreement with the lockdown I have to accept that it's happening. I take the dogs out for our morning walk, and I go to the supermarket when I need provisions, or my daughter gets them for me. Most of what I consume has a long shelf life, I like to have fresh fruit and veg though.

I have three more quilts to make then I will continue working on dolls house number 2. I have cleaned the outside windows and will do the inside ones this week and some gardening if the weather is good.

We don't consciously take things for granted, another day starts and we go about our various duties, but at times like this we realise just how valuable and fantastic our NHS staff are. We must all do everything we can to ensure greedy private enterprise doesn't take control of it. We also value the other unsung heroes, the people who keep the country working - the farmers, the factory and warehouse workers manufacturing and delivering our food,  the postmen and women, refuse collectors, delivery staff, corner shops and supermarket staff.

To finish on a lighter note I have Miss Claire Voyant's horoscope for Aries: Mar 21st to April 19th.
You share your birthday with, among a few million others, Lady Gaga, Jackie Chan, Robert Downey Jnr, Rees Witherspoon and Vincent van Gogh.

A bit about the personality An Aries will always tell you what they're thinking, with a frankness that can occasionally border on rudeness, but that's only because Rams value honesty. They can have a short fuse and definitely don't suffer fools. Smart, ambitious, hard working and fiercely independent they will never give up. The rest of us mere mortals may have difficulty keeping up with them.

Your Prediction

You may have a strong urge to be out and about Aries, but you know that you should stay at home. You might be torn between feeling you should do some exercise and wanting to curl up on the sofa to binge watch Netflix. But there's no reason why you can't do both. Go for a brisk walk or a bike ride, then reach for the remote when you return. You know how good you will feel. You won't have given up on one, rather attained a balance between the two.

Be safe and well ~ 
Polly x

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