Sunday, November 18, 2018

The Cleaners Who Are They?

Hi Dear Folk,

Photo taken at Longwood Gardens.

I enjoy Blogging and the little circle rated "G" that I run around in on the Internet. All the creative and interesting folk that I view and share a world with.  But as we all know there is a terrible dark side on the Internet. So who are The Cleaners?  And it's not the little old ladies who come out in the early hours of the morning with their curlers in, hair tied up in a scarfs, saggy stockings and wielding mops with dirty buckets of water.  I say that because I worked with a group of such ladies up in Paisley back in the seventies, when I needed a part time job and all I could get was cleaning a big old department store early in the morning, they did a commendable job, and I couldn't have worked with a more sharing kinder group of women.  I think the image has changed since then.

The cleaners are people hired by big media platforms to troll through all the really bad things that are out there, I don't think I have to state what they are, it runs the gamut.  These people located in the Philippians have to go through a quota of 25,000 images per day, either deleting them or ignoring them.  These are the cleaners, cleaning up the Internet.

Obviously viewing such things day in and day out effects them.  Also they are making huge decisions in just eight seconds of time.  Ignore or delete.  As one said it could effect a person's life or incite a war. A huge responsibility.  Over a period of time it does take it's toll on them and many just have to give the job up.

When you think about it, even cleaning the Internet is given to a third world country to clean the mess up.

Is this all too deep for a Sunday evening?


Friday, November 16, 2018

Meltdown, Netflix Movies, the African Doctor and Scent.

Hi Dear Folk,

Hope your day is good.

Above photo taken at Longwood Gardens.

Today is the day after the snow storm and I think we got more than they said, but it's gradually melting away.

I feel I am being harassed by spam phone calls, my phone rings more at home than it ever did at work, about every fifteen minutes for at least twelve hours of the day.  I heard there was meant to be a new law in PA to address this, I do hope so, because it's causing stress.

Another thing causing stress is the very thing that's meant to help us, is sorting out what health care plan we will get for next year and what we can afford, great stress there.  I said to my friend just sorting this out is causing me to have stress related physical symptoms.

On a lighter note a couple of movies I watched on Netflix this week and would recommend are "The African Doctor" a French movie, so you have to be alright reading the text, which for me stifles my creativity, because I can't crochet and read subtitles, but you don't mind on a good film.

It's set in the early seventies about a doctor and his family from Zaire, who settle in a little out of the way French village in Picardy I think, where they have never seen a black person, or culture, or music.  It's based on true events and is a light, endearing fun movie.  Especially when the visiting family who live in Belgium, come over Christmas and start to sing Silent Night in the church.

I also like it because he drives the exact same car I had, my first car a white Citroen with red cloth seats, mine was in much better condition.  That car was so comfortable and had wonderful suspension.  So you have to watch the movie just to see my old car, it's a classic.

The other movie I watched on Netflix is "Scent" a documentary style movie.  About what is in the products we use, from cleaners to expensive perfumes, anywhere it says fragrance.  What is covered on the list of ingredients under the word "Fragrance?"  This covers a cocktail of chemicals which companies do not have to disclose.  The very fact that over 1,000 of these chemicals are banned from use in the EEC and only 10 are banned from use in the USA, should raise course for concern.  What are the long term residual effects of just a little bit?

Now must settle down to some writing, I'm feeling antsy, do you get like that?  Just can't settle down to what you should get done.  Have a great weekend.


Thursday, November 15, 2018

30th August 2018 An Evening Walk Around Little Barningham, Norfolk

Hi Dear Folk,

Today is our first snow.  Mr. B. and I are home watching Jurassic Park, eating Florentine soup, cherry pie with butter brickle ice cream and popcorn.  Can't quite take all that action so decided to do a little blogging as well.

An evening walk around Little Barningham, Norfolk  in a most special light, evening light.  Wild hops growing in the hedgerow.

The abundance of an English hedgerow, wild blackberries.

Country village lanes and houses, cottages and bungalows.

Neighbors being friendly and sharing their produce.

Walking up to the village church.

World War One memorial.

A flint wall of the church, I just love these walls and to see them up close.

I would say some barn conversions.

This person has been most creative with these little fence post toppers.

Every, even the smallest of villages had and has a village hall.

Back up the lane.

An abandoned Land Rover.

Walking home to Dog Cottage.

Our view across the fields.

Our last evening there was beautiful.


Tuesday, November 13, 2018

30th August 2018 Drive From Village to Entrance of Holkham Hall

Hi Dear Folk,

Just want to say thank you to everyone who comments on my blog I do enjoy reading them.

How is your day?  Here it is raining again.  I must get going, one thing I need to do is figure out some window treatment for my bedroom windows.  Not sure if I want curtains or maybe blinds I know something will present itself.  Should have got to this before now, and then you get into that feeling guilty mode for not having addressed it before now, then I think does it really matter?  Thing is I took one curtain down and washed it, then it didn't look so good after that so at the moment one curtain is up and the other down.  Mr. B. says there's a tree there and no one can see in.  Still it needs addressing, so I guess it does matter.

Can you imagine over the last three hundred years who has passed along this road.  Horses and carriages, Kings and Queens and now us.

This is the drive from Holkham Village up to the gates to the estate.  All this including the houses is owned by the estate.

Old flint walls.


Monday, November 12, 2018

Bread and Butter Pickles Refrigerator No Canning

Hi Dear Folk,

Here is the recipe I referred to on my Instagram.

Refrigerator Bread and Butter Pickles

  • 5½ cups (about 1½ pounds) thinly sliced (about ¼-inch) pickling cucumbers
  • 1½ tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup thinly sliced sweet onion
  • 1 cup (198 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (240 ml) white vinegar or red wine vinegar (use what you have)
  • ½ cup (120 ml) apple cider vinegar can add a little balsamic if like
  • ¼ cup (50 grams) light brown sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon celery seeds or coriander seeds or pickling spices (use what you have)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric or cumin or tandoori spice or any combination (use what you have)
  • Combine cucumbers and salt in large shallow dish, cover and chill 1 1/2 hours.  Rinse under cold water in a colander.  Drain well and return to dish, toss with onions.
  • Combine all the other ingredients in a saucepan, bring to simmering heat until sugar is dissolved.
  • Pour the mixture over the cucumbers and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.  Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.  Store in airtight container up to one month in the refrigerator.
Hope you like these, I love them.  Don't be afraid to experiment with the spices.  A nice easy recipe to use up a few left over cucumbers.


My World Today and Healthcare Government Subsidies Cut

Hi Dear Folk,

Above photo taken at Longwood Gardens.

When it gets to about four PM, dinner is in the oven and I'm sitting in the Simla room, with the stove on, Tuppy basking in heat and doing a little crochet, watching Acorn TV or listening to a Podcast, then it sets in how good retirement is.  At four PM I still would be at the office with another three hours to go before I'd be home and this time of year all in the dark.

Mr. B. cleaned the Virginia creeper off the garage roof and cleaned out all the gutters.  I stood and held the ladder and cleared up the debris.  My goodness so much to clean up out there when the leaves fall.  I dusted the studio room now needs vacuuming but at least I'll be able to sit in there without a guilty conscience.  Made dinner, chicken, carrots sweet potatoes, with onion cooked with a little olive oil and baked in the oven.  Sprinkled with cheese at the end.  Was good.

Also made bread and butter pickles today, with some left over cucumbers I had that I didn't want to go to waste.  This is the type you can just keep in the fridge for a month.

I phoned about the health insurance for next year.  We've been on Obama since I left work and it was not too expensive, now for the coming year because the government subsidies have been cut back will now cost $550 for the same plan, so needless to say we'll have to cut down to an even lesser plan.

Now get this, because I'm 65 and can go on medicare next year, part way through the year, but Mr. B. is three years younger, and will have to stay on it, the health insurance that we are looking at for next year would actually more than double when I come off it, and yet they will be insuring one less person, now go figure that?  There is no figuring the health care system in the USA.

Yes I know we no longer will be penalized for not having healthcare, heaven forbid you should actually be ill, and not have health insurance, it's expensive enough when you do, but were we told subsidies would be cut so much?  Or did I miss that one?

Sunday we were invited out to a late lunch and watched Victoria and Abdul, a very good movie with Judy Dench playing the queen.


Sunday, November 11, 2018

30th August 2018 For King and Country from Holkham Hall WWI

Hi Dear Folk,

It seemed appropriate to post this on 11-11-2018 a hundred years today WWI ended, Armistice Day. Have you been following along on the Letters From the Front at the top of my blog?  Captain J. D. Hills, and the Berryman family letters?

The last train, called Holkham Hall ran on 28th August 1952.  Lady Ann daughter of the 5th Earl of Leicester was there to meet the train.  If you can enlarge the pictures you can read what was said.

Some of the men who went off to war.  The letter was from a young man expecting his job back in the laundry, it seems that it had been promised to him, but was not forth coming after he came back from the war.  He's asking if he can't have that position could he have a position working in the gardens.  I'm sure that was a plight of many young men who came back.


Saturday, November 10, 2018

30th August 2018 Coke Hat or Bowler Hat?

Hi Dear Folk,

Today was our first, what I would call real day of winter.  Bright blue clear skies with white fluffy clouds, but very windy and quite cold.  I was out this morning on my volunteer work and got invited by Barb and John to go out for lunch with them to Amedeo's, a well priced down to earth Italian based restaurant.  I had a mushroom burger and fries, but took half of each home and had that for dinner, it was good.

Yesterday I drove over to Trader Joe's, I like their bread and a few other bits and pieces's.  It's a run I'll probably make about once a month since it's a little off my beaten track.  I also popped into the wine store and got a bottle of South African Pinotage, which is from a grape developed in South Africa back in the mid twenties.  I thought I'd give it a go.  Along with a bottle of Irish Cream.  Need a few goodies for those winter nights.

I was glad that I bought my mandevilla in yesterday, even though it was pouring with rain.   It is now located in my sitting room in front of one set of French doors.  I do hope it will get enough light.  The eternal problem of where to winter over the plants.

You might think that's a London Bowler businessmen's hat, but actually it's the hat that was designed for the gamekeepers at Holkham Hall.  When I was a child every city gent wore one, but not so much or really hardly at all now.  I think you will enjoy the history of this hat.

The plaid is a special plaid designed for Holkham Hall.

There are many theories as to why Holkham’s gamekeepers first came to wear ‘Bowler’ or ‘Coke’ hats, as they were commonly known in Norfolk. The original story is that in August 1849, William Coke, a nephew of the first Earl of Leicester of the second creation, commissioned his hatter James Lock, to design a close-fitting, low crowned hat. William stressed that the hat must be extra strong; in order to protect his gamekeepers’ heads from low hanging branches, while out horse riding. It was clear that the tall top-hats often worn by the keepers were easily knocked off and damaged; and a completely new style was called for. It is believed that William also hoped the new hat would protect his keepers from attacks by poachers.

A prototype of the hat was duly made by Lock’s chief hatter, Thomas Bowler, and when William visited Locks to inspect the design, he was presented with a very hard hat with a round, low crown and small brim, covered in a rough finished felt. As the story goes, William then took the hat outside on to the pavement and promptly jumped up and down on it to determine its durability. Happily, the hat withstood the test and in accordance with Locks’ usual practice, was called the ‘Coke’ hat, after the customer for whom it was made. This is probably why the hat soon became known as the ‘Billy Coke’ or ‘Billycock’ hat in Norfolk.
In later years, the hat was more generally known as the Bowler, after the Bowler Brothers, who went on to manufacture it. Although very fashionable in shooting parties of the time, the hat was also adopted by city stockbrokers and barristers and soon became uniform headwear. Nowadays, judges and officials at equestrian shows commonly wear Bowler hats. However, recent research has cast some doubt over this story. It is now believed that it was Edward Coke, younger brother of the second Earl of Leicester, who actually ordered the hat.

Friday, November 9, 2018

30th August 2018 Down To The Basement Kitchens Holkham Hall

Hi Dear Folk,

And now to my favorite place to visit in these grand mansions, the kitchens.  My mum had an older friend Edith who had been in service as a young girl.  She was quite a feisty character and I remember one time she babysat for the very well to do family that I used to babysit for, the Bedingfelds who lived in our area, before he inherited Oxburgh Hall, also in Norfolk.

In any case to get to the point, one day one of the little girls caller her Glover.  Well Glover was her surname and that's what all servants were called when in service, just by their last name.  Well Edith soon set them right about that, "I am Mrs Glover to you and you are not to call me just by my last name."  Which was only right.  It's good we have moved on from those times.

What hard work it must have been, just look at those roasting spits.

Polishing all that copper.

Stopping for a gelato would have been a highlight for the Grand Tour Party, as they travelled through Italy during the hot dusty summer months.

In the early 18th century Naples was at the centre of the ice cream trade.  Street vendors sold ices from buckets to the ordinary people on the street, while the upper classes ate their's from dainty dishes in the ice cream shops.

Although ice cream had been known in England since the 1670's it wasn't until Italian confectioners such as Domenico Negri, set up a shop in the mid-eighteenth century that it became a popular treat amongst the wealthy.  Negri's shop in London's Berkley Square the "Pot and Pine Apple", which opened in 1757 evolved into the famous Gunter's Tea Shop.  Some 100 years later another Italian entrepreneur Carlo Gatti brought the delight of an ice-cream "penny lick" to the masses from his business in London's Little Italy.

A historic name to name an ice cream shop would be the Pot and Pine Apple, of course one would have to add a plaque with the significance of the name.

Not sure how healthy a penny lick would have been.


Thursday, November 8, 2018

30th August Within Holkham Hall

Hi Dear Folk,

I honestly can't say that Holkham Hall is my favourite stately home, but you can't deny it's grandeur.  Here are a sampling of the rooms.

The Parrot Room.  This room in Stranger’s Wing forms part of the principal guest accommodation area in one of the private wings of the Hall.
The room takes its name from the painting by Frans Snyders, of parrots and macaws, which hangs by the bed.
Guests of the Earl and Countess of Leicester often stay in this bedroom and it is therefore not always open to the public.
Jeremy Musson, the presenter of the BBC’s ‘Curious House Guest’ slept in this room while filming the programme on Holkham, which was broadcast in March 2006.

The bathroom, goes without saying but I don't know anymore about it.

The Grade II listed fountain to the south of the Hall depicts Perseus and Andromeda, a Greek legend where Perseus rescued Andromeda from being sacrificed to a monster to appease Poseidon, the Sea God. The fountain was created by Charles Raymond Smith and was built circa 1850.
The fountain ceased operating in 2009 when the iron pipe work, to and from it across the south lawn became so corroded that it could no longer hold the water pressure and burst in multiple places. The water was originally supplied by a reservoir at the top of the deer park, which was fed by a borehole located under the former stable block in the courtyard adjacent to the Hall. From here the water was pumped uphill and then allowed to flow back to the fountain. It would use 400 gallons (1818 litres) of water per minute and as a result, the fountain could only be run for 20 minutes at a time, before the water source ran out. 
An alternative solution needed to be found and in autumn 2015 work started on a restoration programme to return the fountain to working order. The 7 month project costing in excess of £200,000 was carried out by Suffolk-based, Miles Water Engineering Ltd. The restoration incorporated a new underground pump room in the park. This houses the pumping and filtration equipment used to recirculate water from the bowl of the fountain through the twenty-five water jets secluded in the sculpture. Filtration keeps the water clear and clean. In addition to the fountain’s mechanisms, important repairs were carried out to the various fountain spouts and pipework. Repairs to the various statues were sensitively carried out to by Messenger Conservation Ltd of Stamford in Lincolnshire, specialists in stone work. 
The new system now allows the fountain to be run for longer periods of time and can be controlled from within the Hall. The result has been that as from April 2016 the fountain is back in full operation and has once again become a focal point for visitors to the Hall and park. Viewed from the south state rooms.

The Libraries form half the area of the first floor of Family Wing and are known as the Manuscript, Classical and Long Library.
Until the early 19th century, the Manuscript Library was the principal bedroom, which gave Thomas William Coke, convenient access to his library at any time of the day or night. However, by 1816, knowledgeable friends convinced Coke of Norfolk that he should retrieve the valuable manuscripts stored in one of the tower rooms - that were at risk from damp and neglect - and turn the bedroom into a library. Some of the manuscripts are from Sir Edward Coke’s original library.
The Classical Library was once the ante room to Coke of Norfolk’s bedroom, but when he converted it into a library, this room became home to a number of early printed books.
The Long Library is most used by the family for entertaining. It occupies the entire west front of Family Wing, and is 54ft long by 18ft wide.
The room was designed by William Kent and a concealed door to the right of the fireplace leads to the main staircase of Family Wing, which would have allowed servants access to the room, without disturbing people in any of the other rooms on either side.

The Landscape Room.  This room contains 22 Old Master pictures hung in the 18th century manner, one above the other. It is likely that Thomas Coke, 1st Earl of Leicester of 1st creation and the builder of the house, had settled the picture hang by the time he died in 1759, and as such, the detail is recorded in the inventory of 1760. The 7th Earl of Leicester recreated the hang and also had a new crimson damask woven for the walls and sofas using a favourite pattern of the William Kent period.
As the name of the room suggests, all the paintings are technically landscapes, although in fact a number of them use landscape as the setting for biblical or mythological stories. The outstanding feature of this room is the collection of seven paintings by Claude Lorrain (1600-1682), the great French landscape painter.
Claude was most probably the most sought after by English collectors, not least because his idyllic views provided the models which many patrons attempted to emulate in the creation of their own parks and gardens. Thomas Coke bought at least two Claudes on his Grand Tour, another two in 1749/50 and Matthew Brettingham acquired two more from Cardinal Albani’s collection in Rome in 1752 when he also authorised Brettingham to spend what was necessary to secure the two paintings by Claude-Joesph Vernet which now hang in this room.

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