Saturday, September 29, 2012

Four Blogs Into One

Hi folks,

As you might already be aware I have four blogs, this one Lil Bit Brit, then Lil Bit Brit Lit my book review blog, Teatime Musing a tea related blog and Two Sisters One Skye a blog on my trip to the Isle of Skye.

I have decided to amalgamate them all into one blog this one Lil Bit Brit.  The other blogs were rather becoming orphans and yet they were fun and had good content.

You will be able to find these posts within this blog because one of the labels on the posts will contain the original blog name.  So for instance all my Teatime Musing posts from that blog will have one label Teatime Musing, click on that and it will pull all those posts up.

It's going to take me a while to do this, but will be good to have everything under one roof so to speak and not to spread oneself too thin.


Brits Love Bouquets

Flowers in my sister's town.

Flowers in my cousin's town.

British people love their flowers and gardens and I found the summer displays of flowers in so many of the towns and villages I visited quite a delight.  I asked my cousin if they were just for the celebrations this year, but she said no every summer the flowers in town are like this.

I usually visit in Spring time, I don't think I've been in Britain in August for positively decades, so it was a different prospective, they are a joy to behold.

I have many photos from my first visit to the UK this year, let alone my second visit, still there is all winter to catch up with posts on some of these.  If I'm not boring you all.  I do hope not.

May your weekend be good. Filled with family and friends.


Friday, September 28, 2012

Grandma and Great Uncles

Hello everyone,  the weekend is here, thank goodness.  Pretty tough week at work, I think my brain is fried.

I made a copy of this happy snap shot in time.  A family wedding, my great uncle Harry, behind him great uncle Alf and my grandma Kitty far right.  Elsie is Harry's wife but I don't know anyone else in the photo, probably on Elsie's side of the family or friends.  I'm not quite  sure when he got married, but I'd say somewhere around 1925.  This is my mum's mum.

My grandma grew up in London, living at Golders Green, great grandad was a detective in the Metropolitan Police, being a policeman he retired quite early and moved to the country, not sure if that was really best for the family, because London offered so much as opposed to the country.

Before moving down to the country grandma had learned how to be a milliner and she very well may have made her hat.  She made me a hat, when I was a teenager and showed me how to do it. I wish I still had it, how to cut it, shape it and even wire it if need be.

My gran was very artistic and all her letters would have little sketches, somewhat like Beatrix Potter.  She would write short stories accompanied with water color paintings or drawings, I still have some of her journals of stories and pictures.

Lil Bit Brit

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wallander Swedish Verses BBC Version

Wallander is both a Swedish TV series and a BBC TV series adapted from Henning Mankell's Kurt Wallander a police detective, set in Sweden.

I first saw Wallander on PBS and enjoyed it although it can be intense, with Kenneth Branagh playing Wallander.  Recently I ran across the Swedish version on Netflix with subtitles and I think I like it even more, staring Krister Henriksson as Wallander.

In any case if you have Netflix, take a look, I think there are 13 episodes.  Great to find something good to watch although I'm working through them quite quickly.

There's a good write up in The Guardian on Wallander


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Covered Bridge, Pennsylvania

Day in the Amish Country

We spent a pleasant hour just looking and taking photos of this lovely bridge on the Conestoga River, in Lancaster County.  It made me think of the movie The Bridges of Madison County, as here I was with my camera just taking all sorts of shots.

I must say that covered bridges have always fascinated me from when I first came to the States and Pennsylvania is the state to see them.

There is a space between the edge of the road and the side walls of the bridge and here I am looking down.

Scenic and romantic, numerous covered bridges still link Pennsylvania to a nearly forgotten past. At one point, the Keystone state had at least 1,500 covered bridges, and today over 200 have stood the test of time. Found in 40 of Pennsylvania's 67 counties, more covered bridges exist in Pennsylvania than in any other state - highlighting its designation as 'Covered Bridge Capital of the World.' There is even a covered bridge located on the way to Paradise -- Paradise, Lancaster County, that is.
A reminder of a young nation carved out of the wilderness, covered bridges are charming, yet practical. Timothy Palmer built the first American covered bridge over the Schuylkill River at 30th Street in Philadelphia in 1800. The investors asked to have it covered in the hopes of extending the life of the bridge, and Palmer reluctantly agreed. The value of the covered bridge design was quickly recognized, as it greatly extended the life of the wooden bridges by protecting the side supporting timbers (not necessarily the floorboards) from exposure to the weather, thus lowering maintenance costs. There are several wife's tales which present alternate views as to why these bridges were built with a cover, including safeguarding livestock when crossing water, or scaring off evil spirits, but the true reason the bridges were covered was to preserve them from the environment. As a result, many of these wonderful wooden structures have survived for over a century.

While covering the bridges was a practical way to protect them from snow and rain, it also had a downside. During pre-automobile days, when sleds were the primary method of winter transportation, snow actually had to be shoveled back onto the bridges to provide a snowy surface for the sled runners.

Covered bridges dot all regions of Pennsylvania and they are a treat, regardless of the season. Wherever you plan to visit in the state, there is probably at least one covered bridge nearby. So bring your sweetheart and discover why these timeless treasures were also known as "kissing bridges."

Listing of Pennsylvania Covered Bridges 

There is a cut out in the middle of the bridge either side to let in the light.

Just spending time at the bridge took you back to a slower pace, and I just love all that wood, struts, tresses and huge bolts.  Two pigeons kept flying down to the road pecking around and when ever a car came, leaving it to the last minute to fly up.  Yes we had our day in "Madison County."


Monday, September 24, 2012

What's On My Desk

This is a little sketch of my idea for the purple mohair cardigan.  It's a little hard to see, but I'm taking the sleeves which are the right length for me, then I'm cutting the bottom off.  I'm going to buy a matching fabric for the bodice top piece and then I will attach the mohair sleeves and mohair bottom, gathering the bottom and sewing it onto the bodice.

I have to come up with an idea to stop the bottom piece from unravelling, but I know you can.

These are my inkwells, the dragon one I mentioned in a previous post, and the the other one is an old souvenir from Paris which I bought on Ebay, I'm sure inkwells from Paris are not sold as souvenirs anymore.

Also this is the lovely glass dip ink pen my friend gave me along with the little bottle of ink, so delightful and I found an old nib pen in my leather writing case, I can write quite well with that.  Well I had years of practice at school, and yes we did use dip ink pens, and it was at the regular school.

This is the lovely little planner that I won on Tea With Friends, Anglea McRae.  

She has a lovely website all things Tea related, and you know us Brits love our Tea, Teatime and participating in that most tranquil tradition.

Thank you Angela.

Must go, have to get ready for work.


P.S.  I made a decision on the cell phone, no just don't use them.

Friday, September 21, 2012

A Day In The Amish Country

Part One

We spent a lovely day out in the Amish county.  It's about an hours drive from us.  On a Sunday it is very quiet there as it is the Sabbath a day of rest.  We wanted to go up and have one of their famous brunches, but of course finding a place that was open was not so easy, in the end we found out that Yoder's did a brunch on Sundays.  It is buffet style and very good.  

Many years ago my mum and dad came over for a visit and we took them up to the Amish Country and we had dinner.  Dad said it was one of the best dinners he ever had.  Not that mum and dad ate out a lot, but the down to earth country style suited my dad.

The expanse of farmlands and the open countryside is beautiful.  I'm partial to open vistas as opposed to being hemmed in by too much woodland.  Not that I don't like the woods, but I like to see the sky.

Amish families seem to be meeting here for their Sunday worship.  Quite a grouping of buggies and bicycles.  Bikes are quite interesting because some Amish will ride bikes and some will not, they have these kind of foot scooters, like I had when I was a kid.

This is a very sweet family with the children waving.

This Amish man was quite dapper out on his Sunday ride.  Most Amish seem to have the enclosed buggies, I guess if you have to have one vehicle it must suit family and all weather conditions.  Like having a family car as opposed to a sports car.

 I love this shot it seems so contradictory.

 This little family standing at the light with the buggy crossing was such a snapshot in time.

Coffee on the go Amish style, notice they have their travel mugs of I'm sure coffee.

I will continue Part 2 another day.  I'll give you a hint Bridges of Madison County.

Last day of the work week, it's been very hectic, deadlines to be met so I'm ready for the weekend.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Poignant 35th Anniversary

We were invited to a very special 35th Anniversary Party.  It was a wonderful occasion and very poignant as the husband has cancer and was only just released from hospital that very morning, so that he was able to attend their 35th Anniversary. 

Different ones stood up and spoke about special occasions and memories, warm, funny and being with friends, that's what it's about really sharing and caring with ones you love.

So here am I, there's a little story to my star fish and coral necklace.

When mum died the undertaker asked my sister what emblem she would like on the coffin and she asked what do you mean?  He said well something that represents your mum or what she liked.  So my sister chose the thistle of Scotland as mum always enjoyed our Scottish holidays and time in Scotland and a shell, as mum always enjoyed time at the seaside.

Each of us said we would get something connected to the seaside to remember mum and this is what I got; which I just love.  So it was a joy to wear it at an occasion of friends and family.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

How Nice! The Making of A Marshioness and Autumn Is Coming

Mr Bit Brit and I were sitting in the Simla room when I saw a florist van pull up and he looked like he was looking for a number. the position of our house is hard to figure out.  And I said I bet that's from Bob and Don our company owners and it was, so that was a lovely surprise and to be honest just right timing because now I am back home I can get to enjoy the plant.  Actually I took it into my office to enjoy there.

Then later on in the week I received a lovely Omaha Steak dinner for the family from my office, that's still in the freezer waiting for the right time to cook it up and enjoy it.

Kindness is always appreciated.

Thank you!

I like to write in the morning, letters or my journal, I like the morning because I am not tired, it's a fresh new start and the day stretches ahead with possibilities, by the late afternoon and evening , I'm tired and my opportunities to accomplish things are closing down.

I just finished reading The Making of A Marchioness by H. Burnett, the writer of Secret Garden one of her best known books.  I must have started it well over a year ago, read Part 1; which I totally enjoyed but could see that Part 2 was darker and put it down.  Now I've finished it would not rate as one of my best reads, but it is a good read.  It's one on the Persephone list.  When I read a little bit about her life , I could see how it did play into her writing.  An abusive husband her wish to live a certain life style, moving up in the world, her details in what was worn.

The mornings are quite dark, but i still wish we didn't change the clocks.  The feel of Autumn is here  and under the oak tree we have wood all over, neat stacks of wood and piles of it, two cords have been delivered; which needs stacking, there isn't too much more space.

I had a lovely meeting with my friend C. the other Saturday, what a joy just to sit and chat and share.  Things don't change but our prospective is refreshed.  I was given two boxes of tea, a lovely note-book and a very beautiful glass dip ink pen, but I have tried using it and I'm not much good at it, although I did break out a couple of old metal dip pens which I used along with the lovely little pots of inks given to me and this has worked well for me.  I even broke out my old dragon inkwell given to me by my mum's cousin Marjory, who died very young.  I don't know how I came to be the inheritor of this double inkwell but I've had it since I was a child.  All is sitting on my little Eastlake desk and makes me feel good just to look at it.

Our side by side fridge/freezer went on the fritz, a man came out and said we needed a new compressor a very expensive job.  So we shopped around and found in the Sears Overstock Store a fridge that fit the bill, for less than having the repair done.  A side by side in bisque color; which we were told was an outdated color, but that's the colour of all the appliances in our kitchen so we're not changing out for the stainless steel look. Yes is has a couple of minor dings, but not bad.  We went in on Saturday and it was half price, we left it and hubby went in Monday morning and the guy was marking things down and he said what about this so he scanned the bar code thing on his list of knock downs and it went down $150, yippee, so that decided us.  Our old fridge was ten years old and that's about their life span.

Today was very Autumnal and it is raining and quite windy.  Driving to work something fell with a big bang on my car roof, I'm sure there will be a ding, then on the way home something else fell on my windshield and made me jump, there is a ding in my windshield now.  I'm a little paranoid about things falling as one time I had an entire tree fall on my car while I was driving and could have been killed.  My car was in the repair shop for two months.

On the way home many roads were blocked off by the police, I thought because of the bad weather, but then I went past a sign that said funeral and realized it must be the funeral for the Police officer who was shot in the line of duty when he stopped a hit and run driver.

People are full of rage on the roads, I had a horrible experience last Wednesday coming home.  There's a traffic light where I always make a left hand turn, the left lane is never backed up, but the lane to go straight always is.  There is a center lane that can be used by traffic going either way, if there's no traffic in it you can use it down to the light and make the left hand turn.  Well I guess a guy took exception and just pulled right out in front of me,  from the lane that was lined up for the light. I had to slam my brakes on so I did not hit him, then he proceeds to park his car across the lane, jumps out and starts swearing and shouting at me.  I did exclaim, I just want to turn left,  but then I shut my mouth, just sat there and said nothing, you never know what people will do.  Some fruitages of the spirit need to be applied one being self-control.


Friday, September 14, 2012

I Have A Cell Phone Dilemma

Good Morning Dear Readers of Lil Bit Brit,

I have a dilemma, to acquire a Cell Phone or to stay where I am, Cell Phone less.

Yes I know I must be one of the last people to not have a cell phone, in fact I don't know of anyone who does not have a cell phone, but I have never felt the need for one and being very frugal have never wanted to spend the money on one.

Of course The Boy has one and he mostly texts and of course has the Internet, he pays for his own plan which is $25.99 per month, gran-fathered in I think that plan is now $35.99 per month, he has a pretty good deal.

A dear friend made me an offer, would I like to go on her service plan as a second person.  You see her husband died over a year ago and the phone company offered that to her, did she have a friend who would like to be on the service.  Well of course the only person she could think of was me, as the only hold out in town who does not have a cell phone.  It would be $15.00 a month for 400 mins, plus unlimited on weekends, after 8:00 PM and including long distance, but no Internet, some texting.

I'm not quite sure what to do, the idea of of phone is nice, but I lean towards Internet as well, but as my son says that is the cheapest deal in town.  So do I jump into the waters or not?  That is my dilemma, I've been quite happy without one. Just occasionally I wish I had one.

And this is the dilemma of someone who positively knows she will get an iPad when she gets her pennies together.

Decisions, Decisions.

Lil Bit Brit

A Night On The Town, Kylie Girls and Jesse J.


Great Big Tribute Night Too
Market Square, Haverhill Town Council present another free pop concert based on the King and
Queens of Pop featuring The Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute and Boutique’s tributes to Madonna, Kylie, Girls Aloud and Jessie J. Bring all the family for a night of great entertainment from the best of the world of pop.

This was my night out on the Town literally, as the town gave a free concert unfortunately my sister was not able to go as she was working a gig at another Festival, but Trev and I decided that we would go down for the concert, we got there at about 8:45 PM and it was a lot of fun.  We ran into friends and stayed to the end dancing and singing along.

Part way through we decided a beer would be nice, so went over to one of the pubs on the Market Square and got a beer, sat there and listened to the music.  The weather was just right and it was a lovely family evening, as all ages were there.  I love when something just spontaneous comes together and it is so enjoyable.

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