25 November 2020


Back in August my friend M and I visited Rye, a pretty town on the East Sussex coast

Rye has witnessed it all: invasions, smuggling, flooding, ghosts, shipwrecks and a few more invasions. Situated on the south coast of England, and where the English Channel is at its narrowest, Rye was often the first port of call for invaders approaching from north west Europe. The French regularly attacked or raided Rye, and occasionally the Spanish did. Some attacks were devastating. In 1377, a French assault resulted in the complete desolation of the town by fire. The bells from St Mary’s Church were also stolen, but the men of Rye and the neighbouring settlement of Winchelsea sought revenge and set sail for France. The retaliation was fruitful as they returned with the bells and an assortment of other goods that had been stolen on a previous French attack!
Smuggling was rife along all coasts, and Rye, with its narrow streets and dark headlands, was an ideal place for the storage of illegal booty. The smuggling industry began when Edward I introduced the customs system in the 13th Century. The response was to smuggle goods like wool, cloth, hides, gold and silver out of the country. Further restrictions made towards the 17th Century made smuggling much more lucrative as even commonly used products like candles or beer had new tariffs forced on them. 

In 1336 in recognition of Rye’s role in defence on the south coast, the town was made a Cinque Port. This meant it became one of a group of ports on the south coast which received privileges, including exemption from tax, in return for maintaining ships for defence, a scheme originally introduced by Edward the Confessor in the 11th Century.

The Ypres tower. The view of the bustling harbour (now farmland) and then out to sea would have been a distinct advantage. The building was thought to have been intended as part of a defensive castle that never materialised. Unlike the walls, the tower survived time and further attacks from the French.

Mermaid Street, one of the prettiest (and steepest) in the town.

Most of the houses are medieval, half-timbered houses,
one of which was once owned by writer Henry James.

These days the only invaders are tourists.

Be warm and well~
Polly x

19 November 2020

A Good Read

After Anna by Alex Lake

Five year old Anna disappears from outside her school, she has vanished, no one saw anything, the police are at a loss, her parents are beyond grief - their daughter is lost, perhaps dead, perhaps enslaved. One week after she was abducted, Anna returns home. She has no memory of where she has been,  and this, for her mother, is just the beginning of the nightmare.

The kidnapping takes up quite a bit of the beginning of the story. It’s written in the third person and we learn that Anna is going to be returned home unharmed. But why take her in the first place?

On the day of Anna’s disappearance her mother Julia was running late at work, her phone had no charge. But why did  the teachers at the fee paying school just let her wander off without checking that her mother was there to collect her? Julia is roasted by the press for being a bad mother. At the beginning of the story she seemed cold, referring to the breakdown of her marriage in an almost “oh well that’s that” matter of fact way. But as the story progressed we saw a warm person and a strong, loving mother.

In theory a missing child should unite parents but Julia’s weak husband offers no support and his domineering mother, Edna, never misses an opportunity to interfere and undermine Julia.

As Anna started to remember small details I picked up on one of them and started to figure it out.

It is an excellent chilling psychological thriller, well written with well crafted complex characters, a unique plot and plenty of suspense. My only criticism is I thought a small part of the ending was ridiculous.

∼ Happy Reading ∼

Polly x

16 November 2020

Sagittarius November 22 - December 21

Miss Claire Voyant's horoscope for Sagittarius

Sharing your Sagittarius birthday with Brad Pitt, Taylor Swift, Tina Turner, Bette Midler, Jeff Bridges and a few million others.

The Personality
Fueled by wanderlust, these archers can be found traversing all corners of the globe on thrill-seeking expeditions.
Sagittarians are optimistic, lovers of freedom, hilarious, fair-minded, honest and intellectual. They are spontaneous and fun, usually with lots of friends, and are perhaps the best conversationalists in the zodiac. Whilst they know a lot they don't know everything, and if they're not careful they can come across as pretentious or arrogant. Sagittarians get bored easily and move on, earning them the reputation for being the biggest commitment-phobes in the zodiac. If you want someone to stir the pot and then walk away, call a Sagittarius. 

Sagittarius prediction
Unprecedented events have made life difficult, stressful and frustrating. You might find it hard to relax, but with the sun in Scorpio and your twelfth house of rest and healing it's time to slow down and take care of yourself. Boost your immune system and treat yourself to some serious pampering. 
If you’ve had a hard time thinking clearly or making an important decision lately, take heart, everything will improve soon. There is real momentum rolling now, and things seem to be falling into place. Clear the decks, get ready for things to flow again.
Be safe and well ~
Polly x

14 November 2020


"Maybe we can dodge the showers" I said to Buster and Rufus
"Really" they replied, "we don't do rain".
It was very light rain and very mild, I wanted to get out for some exercise and fresh air.
We didn't get very far. After only about half an hour this happened.

They both stopped, refusing to move another step. Now and again Rufus does this even if the weather is good but he soon catches up, but Buster never stops, so when he did I knew it was mutiny. 

"What do you think Buster? I'm fed up with walking in this miserable rain, even if it is light rain"

"Me too" said Buster, "I want to go home".
We came home.

Be warm and well ~
Polly x

6 November 2020

A Good Read

End of Watch by Stephen King the last of the Bill Hodges trilogy.

Bill Hodges is still running Finders Keepers agency with partner Holly Gibney. One day his old cop partner and friend Pete Huntley asks him to take a look at a crime scene knowing that Bill and Holly often have a ‘nose’ for something that isn’t immediately obvious. Hodges is intrigued by the letter Z written with a marker at the scene.

When similar cases occur Hodges is stunned to discover that evidence points to Brady Hartsfield, the evil psychopathic ‘Mercedes killer’. But it can’t be, Hartsfield is confined to a hospital bed in an unresponsive state after Holly knocked him out to prevent him blowing up a stadium and killing hundreds of teenagers. But Hartsfield has new lethal powers, and still full of hatred he is planning revenge, not just on Hodges and his friends, but on the entire city.

Another excellent page turner from Stephen King. 

I will miss Hodges and Holly.

∼ Happy Reading ∼

Polly x

2 November 2020

Buster's Diary

It's 4 months since my operation. I went to sleep at the vets with four legs and woke up with three and adapted straight away (well you have to don't you), and have coped admirably ever since.

Here I am just a few days after the op wearing a rather fetching blue waistcoat. Polly sewed up the leg hole I didn't need to stop me getting to the wound. The stitches were internal but I might have licked or nibbled it. The wound healed really well and my hair is growing back nicely.

I enjoy life, our walks, running around, playing with other dogs, sniffing everything, and I enjoy the attention. We met a group of young boys a couple of weeks ago who initially said "Oh poor dog, he's only got three legs" they came over and made a big fuss of me and Polly explained that I was perfectly happy. 

Polly hasn't coped as well as me, she gets slightly anxious when I walk on the tiled kitchen floor until I get to the runner on the door side of the kitchen, I slip sometimes. She put a large rug down but that freaked me out (I am easily spooked). I'm getting better at it though, I'm better if I just do it without thinking about it. The kitchen floor is worse than the wooden floors. And sometimes I stumble when walking and turn too quickly.

Elsewhere at home everything is pretty much the same. Rufus started to look  as if he was putting on weight so Polly gave him slightly less dinner and he is looking much better.

This is an area of set aside. Previously it was given over to a few wild flowers and a lot of weeds.
This year though it was full of lovely wild flowers.  Aren't they pretty?

This pretty marigold is growing out of the concrete.

This is how well I am doing, I can still run very fast. I had seen something in the distance, probably a squirrel, it was a bit late in the morning for rabbits to be out. Polly wasn't paying attention properly, she was slow to follow through!

Last May it was just the car on the roof, it's joined by a scooter now! 

The fields have been ploughed

I used to go in this stream regularly but I'm not sure I can manage it now. Polly says she loves me but she's not sure she wants to scramble down a 4 foot vertical bank if I get into difficulty!

Checking out one of the Badger extensions.

We've  had lots of rain and the level of the stream that we usually go through is super high 

That's how it usually is on the left, just a few inches deep, 
and this is how it was a couple of days ago on the right.

I like drinking from muddy puddles!

We've had some very windy weather

Look at Rufus, he doesn't look very comfortable!

Polly is making more quilts, she's made a Christmas one for her daughter in Australia. 
She was hoping to deliver it in person but she will have to post it now.

That's all for now

Be warm and well ~
Buster 🐾

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