Tuesday, 18 May 2021

FIDDLEHEADS ..........






For the uninitiated { of which, there are probably none } , Fiddleheads are the furled fronds of a new fern. Left on the plant, each fiddlehead will unroll into a new frond but, many people harvest them before they unfurl and eat them as a vegetable. I have yet to do this and wondered if any of you out there have eaten them ? Fiddleheads are antioxidant and are a source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and are high in iron and fibre. They are called fiddleheads as they resemble the end of a stringed instrument. The taste of fiddleheads is unique and has been described as grassy and spring-like with a hint of nuttiness, or as a cross between asparagus and young spinach ..... some say it has a flavour similar to an artichoke, maybe with a whiff of mushroom ! Sounds really delicious but, I have yet to find out ! Can anyone tell me if they have eaten them and can you eat any fern fiddleheads ? 



In other news from my boring, Covid-limited life, I did stop drinking for a while. I often do that ..... don't know why but I do. I have started again and am going through a bottle of Sauvignon Gris that my brother-in-law bought us when they visited last. It is very nice .... delicious, in fact. I am in no way a wine connoisseur but, apparently, not much Sauvignon Gris grape is planted ..... out of all the white grapes used for the production of Bordeaux wine, only 2%are devoted to Sauvignon Gris. I would think it would go rather well with a plateful of Fiddleheads ! 



Our son and his family have just got a new kitten. They were going to get a dog but they seem to be thin on the ground at the moment so they will get one later. The kitten is a British Shorthair who has been named Cloudy by our grandchildren ! He will eventually grow to be like a big cuddly bear .....






That's all for now ..... I shall be back soon { ish } with more excitement { !!! } from my fun-filled life ! 

XXXX











photographs 1-4: via me, photographs 5 & 6: via Google. 


Jackie

Monday, 10 May 2021

ADVICE ? ..........





We have the above bench and, as much as I love the distressed look, it is so rusty now, which comes off on our clothes so, it needs painting. I have been told to paint it black, which makes it recede but I'm not so sure about that ..... I'm usually pretty confident with my choices but, this time, I'm not sure ..........





Our other painted bench is cream ....... should we go with cream again ....... or grey, or green or black or sky blue pink !!!

THOUGHTS PLEASE .

XXXX




photos via me

Jackie

Saturday, 24 April 2021

IT'S A BEAUTIFUL DAY ..........


We are very lucky to have miles and miles of riverside walks on our doorstep, with acres of countryside and lakes to enjoy.



As we have been having the most glorious weather in the last few days, I went for a walk with friends yesterday..... there are acres of fields, the river, babbling brooks and wood carvings along the way. 




As we are only in Spring, the flora is only just bursting into life so it's not at its best yet. Very soon, the May blossom will burst forth, wild flowers will push their way through the greenery and the water lilies will cover the lakes ..... After a few miles of lakes, locks, colourful barges, wildlife and lovliness .....



..... we arrive at the White Water Centre that was used for the 2012 Olympics.






You can sit and watch the British team and members of the public battle the rapids whilst drinking coffee or wine in the sunshine or enjoying a nice lunch. We have been walking here since it was first built, long before the Olympics when there was only a hole in the wall where all you could get was an insipid tea or coffee !!! Because of Covid, its just sandwiches and drinks at the moment but they do a brilliant coffee and I had a prawn and lemon mayonnaise sandwich yesterday ! If we walk in the opposite direction, we pass the rowing club and watch the rowers and end up at the pub so there are drinks and food whatever direction we choose to go ! ..... Nature, sunshine, food and drink ..... what more do you need on a beautiful day ?


XXXX





all photos via me


Jackie

Monday, 29 March 2021

HOUSE HISTORY ..........


All I've ever known about our house is what were in the deeds and what our local historian could tell me which was quite sketchy. Most of the deeds had got lost during the 100 odd years of buying and selling of the house. I knew it was built by Walter Waller and his profession.



I did Google him but there wasn't any information about him until I found the above advert. When I re read the advert a couple of weeks ago, I noticed it said that his wigs, costumes etc could be hired by Bro. Waller, Stanhope Lodge which meant he was a mason. { I knew that as my Dad was a mason } I looked up Stanhope Lodge and they had a page of their history and, to my delight ..........


..... there was a photograph of him when he was Worshipful Brother in 1889. It's a bit blurry but it's lovely to see the person who built our house.







Stanhope Lodge used to meet in The Thicket Hotel, Anerley in the London Borough of Bromley. This is where Walter would have gone to his Masonic meetings in the 1880's.


 
Walter lived with his wife, Elizabeth Rendell Quick who was originally from Somerset, in Paradise House { above } I don't know if they had any children but could find out more by looking at the 1911 census. I always find it difficult to navigate the census sight and then they ask me for money to see anything ! I think that Walter had done very well in life to have built and lived in such a house ..... it must be worth around £4,000,000 today if not more.



This is the back of Paradise House ..... it's in the woods about a mile from our house.




Now, on a slightly more modest scale 😂🤣😂, this is our house { in the snow ..... the only one I can find at the moment } but, you can see some similarities ..... I think he built ours and two others either side of ours at the same time that he built his. The brick work is very similar and the ridge tiles. He probably got a good deal on a job lot of bricks & tiles etc !!! There are some photographs of the inside of Paradise House and, I have to say, I prefer much that he did in our house.
I did have a page of the 1911 census which showed who was living in our house but I can't put my hands on it at the moment ..... I remember that the man of the house was a tennis player !   
Well, there we are ..... that's all I know about the history of my house. I would love to find out more but I often come to a dead end but it was lovely to find a photograph of Walter.
Oh, I did email the secretary of Stanhope Lodge about three weeks ago to see if they had any more information on Walter but they haven't replied  ..... they probably think my email is a scam 🤣.

XXXX









all photographs via Google apart from the last one of my house

Jackie

Sunday, 28 February 2021

MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL ..........





My lovely friends Lucy and Steve gave me this mirror for my birthday ..... how wonderful was that !!!! There is a little story about it that I thought I would relate ! About 35 years ago, I saw this mirror in an antique shop in Hertford ..... I loved it because it had the art nouveau copper inserts which would go well in our house as we have lots of original art nouveau fireplaces. Slightly ' off piste ' to give you a bit of background, our house was built by a theatrical costumier, wig maker and hairdresser named Walter Waller in 1890. 



He lived in Paradise House which was beautiful and way out of our league. He was obviously into building property and built three houses, one of which is ours ..... The Laurels, The Briars and The Ivies. Obviously artistic, he had a flair for interiors. I was told by our local historian that, when building a house in the late Victorian/early Edwardian era, you  just popped to the local fireplace shop and chose your fireplaces .... well, he really chose well in our house { well, I think so } .....


..... anyway, I digress, back to the mirror ..... where was I ? .... Oh yes, I saw this overmantle mirror so, measured it, went home and checked it would fit and thought that I would go back and get it a couple of days later only , when I went back, the mirror had gone. A few weeks later we went to see our friends Lucy and Steve and, low and behold, the mirror I coveted was hanging on her wall !!!! Her Mum lived in Hertford and had bought it for her ...... fast forward thirty odd years and they gave it to me. I told them that I would cherish it ..... I was obviously meant to have it ..... eventually. 


XXXX




Jackie

Monday, 1 February 2021

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME ..... & it's a big one !!! ..........


It's February 1st and it's my birthday !

..... my 70th !!






..... a milestone & I'm very happy to have made it !

Because of   ' you know what '  😷 , there won't be a big party or family celebrations but there will be presents, cards, good food and drink and much FaceTime .


HAPPY LOCKDOWN 70th TO ME !!! 


{ Do you think that I have a very long neck ? !!!!! }





XXXX














Jackie

Friday, 1 January 2021

A NEW YEAR BEGINS ..........






Happy New Year everyone. Thank you all so much for all of your support throughout 2020 ..... here's to a wonderful 2021 for us all.

XXXX




Jackie