Wednesday, October 31, 2018

28th August 2018 Langham Dome Norfolk

Hi Dear Folk,

I have most of my pots that were out in the garden stored away for winter, on the outside steps leading down to the basement, most precarious, along with furniture in the garage and basement that would not weather out the winter.  Another job crossed off my list.

East Anglia had so many airfields in WWII.  It was the place to fly out from over to Germany.  I have several American friends who either did service in England in this area, or were there in their childhood.

But I must tell you of my neighbour George, who died several years ago and I still think of.  One day we were talking about his WWII service time and he said he was in England, stationed at Wethersfield and remembers frequenting a pub in Sible Hedingham, where my mum grew up, she was in High School at that time. Isn't that bizarre that my mum and my American next door neighbour could have passed each other in the street back in the early forties.

Langham Dome sits right in the middle of the country side.  We passed by it and said what is that?  On the way back we thought let's stop and see what it is.  It is an anti aircraft training dome and is now a little museum.


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

28th August 2018 Wells-next-the Sea In Town

Hi Dear Folk,

This must be a one down, one up, with a little side garden.  I wonder what that sold for.

And next door this cottage, that looks like it might have been two cottages, but made into one.

So many buildings built with flint and brick.

I wandered up this street, looking for a charity shop.  I did find one, and although I saw a couple of nice things, I decided that maybe they wouldn't pack so well.


Monday, October 29, 2018

28th August 2018 Wells-next-the-Sea, People Watching

Hi Dear Folk,

On Sunday Mr. B. and I were unexpectedly invited to a friends house for lunch, there were six of us.  It was very nice, just a little happy time.  We were talking about voices and how you know a person sometimes more by their voice, than their looks.  Recently I got together with some friends in England and some I had not seen in over forty years and yet I knew them more by their voice than anything.

Mr. B. spoke about being there alone with his mum when she died, he was four.  His dad had to go out to work to pay the medical bills, this would have been early sixties. They lived in an upstairs apartment of a big house, people lived in the downstairs apartment and often stopped in on them, but really there was no one else to help.  She died of ovarian cancer in her early forties.

He remembers her saying I'm tired and will just get into bed and that was it, she died there.  Life can be very sad.

I finished my shrug, you can see the pictures here on lilbitbrit007 Instagram.  My sister gave me the yarn and I started it while in England. Here I am on the cruise working on it. It's very cosy and the colours are vibrant.  I might make some more for gifts, as I do love that stitch combination.  I think it would also make a nice lined skirt.

On another note what a weekend of sadness yet again.  My heart goes out to all those families in Pittsburgh.

My husband was listening on the radio, a mass shooting is designated as four people or more shot, not including the shooter and in the USA there have been 1,624 people shot in 1,870 days.  Nine out of every ten days on an average.  There are an estimated 265 million guns in the USA more than one gun for every adult.  Those statistics do not include all the individual people shot.  In Philadelphia in 2018 so far, there have been 1,142 victims of shootings, about one shooting every six hours.

Come back with me to Wells-next-the Sea, a beautiful Norfolk coastal town.

We sat right here and ate our packed lunch while looking at this view.

This is The Life Boat Horse, by Rachael Long honoring the history and life saving work of the life boat horses in British seaside towns.  A team of horses could be up to at least ten to pull the lifeboat out and back in.

It does make you think of how horses have worked for mankind down through the millenniums.

I do enjoy a thistle.

The little narrow gauge railway.  If I still had children would definitely have taken a ride.


Sunday, October 28, 2018

28th August 2018 Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk In Landscape

Hi Dear Folk,

Tuesday we decided to go to Wells-next-the-Sea, again we didn't know exactly where we were going in town, but we headed towards the waterfront and again were very fortunate with a parking space right on the front, could not have been a better location.

I was excited to visit Wells-next-the Sea as the program Kingdom some of which was filmed here, with the lead character of Peter Kingdom a small town solicitor in Market Shipborough, Norfolk, a fictitious town.  All filmed in East Anglia, around Norfolk, staring Stephen Fry. It is a great series and ran for three terms.  I should see if I can find it anywhere and watch it again, just looking at the scenery is fun.

The old granary building in the background to the right.

Watching the crabbers.  The children love it along here.

This is like a land dike between the water and the narrow gauge railway line and flat lands.  You can walk along here to the beach, with all the huts.


Saturday, October 27, 2018

Iron Skillet Apple Bake

Hi Dear Folk,

Today is raining and windy, quite cold too, as I took the trash out.  Being lazy last night I just put the bags outside the back door and an animal had got into one of them, so needed to pick all that up.  We use plastic grocery bags that we get at the store and I have an IKEA bin in the kitchen, that they fit in well, saves buying bags and then it goes out to the big trash cans given out by the borough.

Of course you could not do this in the UK as you never get given any bags at all when you shop, you have to take your own or buy them.  I do understand that with the huge global plastic problem.  In fact I took a little nylon fold up bag with me and used it so much while I was in England.  I was glad I had remembered.

It was the type of day today to bake.  I had found two of our old cast iron skillets while routing around in the basement.  I think one was from Bob's dad, not sure where the other came from, but I do like iron skillets, something very pioneer and out on the range about them.  I cleaned them both up one needs some more cleaning, but the other Mr. B. oiled, added salt and cured in the oven.  It seals the cast iron and makes it very smooth for use.  Of course they should not have been put down in the basement because of the dampness, but it's hard when your kitchen is small.  Still resurrected now.

I decided on an apple bake all cooked in the skillet.  You can see my photos here on lilbitbrit007 Instagram, as I have maxed out my storage space on this computer and need to do some photo file storing.  So at this point I only have half my vacation photos on this computer, the rest are still on my camera card, plus anything I have taken photos of since then, including our anniversary trip to Longwood Gardens.

While looking for a skillet apple bake recipe, I somehow locked myself out of my iPad, which will now need serious attention as it's asking for passwords, which I have not had to use for years.  Please at this point just put a chip in my arm to scan and forget all these darn passwords.

I wanted to listen to Tea and Tattle podcast, but got shut out in the middle.

I did come across a recipe which I adapted and would make some more changes on, but this is it.

Iron Skillet Apple Bake
1 3/4 sticks of butter (I would cut this down to one stick of butter)
3/4 cup suger
4 to 5 whole Granny Smith Apples, peeled and cut into 1/8 pieces (I used five apples that I had)
For The Cake 
1 stick of butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tea sps vanilla
2 whole large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tea sps baking powder
1 tea sp salt
1/2 tea sp cinnamon
1/2 tea sp allspice (I added this as I like allspice, cloves might be a nice substitute too)
1 whole granny smith peeled diced in very small pieces
Preheat oven to 375f
  • In a nine to ten inch cast iron skillet melt the 1 3/4 sticks of butter over a low heat.  Add 3/4 cup of sugar to the pan and stir.  Place apple slices curved side down in the pan.  Do not pack them tightly, but do not leave too large a gap.  Cook over low/medium heat on top of stove about 15 mins, while making the batter.
  • In a bowl beat together one stick of butter and 2/3 cup sugar, until creamed, mix in vanilla, eggs and sour cream
  • Add sifted flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and allspice, mix.  Fold in diced apple.
  • Remove skillet from heat, spoon batter over top in dollops and spread evenly as possible.  
  • Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes

(Recipe called for cooling and then turning out on a serving plate, but I had too many diced apples and added these to the apples at the bottom of the pan and knew there was no way we were going to turn this out, so spooned out and served warm with vanilla ice-cream)

When I make this again I will increase the batter by half as much as I have a ten inch skillet and I think it would take that.  Would decrease the melted butter in the skillet to one stick.


27th August 2018 Sheringham Norfolk

Hi Dear Folk,

Oh! I do like to be beside the seaside! 
I do like to be beside the sea! 
I do like to stroll along the Prom, Prom, Prom! 
Where the brass bands play, "Tiddely-om-pom-pom!"

Isn't there something wonderful about the seaside?  Even on a dull cloudy day on a holiday weekend there is such a vibe of excitement.

We drove up to Norfolk from where my sister lives in Suffolk, so only a two hour drive.  We checked into our AirBnB which was a beautiful flint cottage all to ourselves, Dog Cottage and here, here, here, and here; which I would totally recommend.  I thought I had photos, but they all must be on my Instagram lilbitbrit007, you can take a look there.  I would stay here again in a heart beat.  Welcomed with chocolates, biscuits and a bottle of wine.  I loved the tin a scene of the market along the Seine in Paris, with Notre Dame in the background.  It did make my very overweight luggage for the trip home.

The fridge was stocked with butter and milk, there was coffee and tea and so much more, most generous of the home owners.  A sitting room with a stove, darling dining room, brand new kitchen and bathroom, with old twisting staircase up to two bedrooms, one with a double bed and the other with two singles.

I was feeling disappointed that I hadn't bought the hot water bottle from my sister's house and there in the chest of draws in my bedroom was a hot water bottle.  I thought this is a person who thinks extensively of all ones needs.  I was so delighted and warm on chilly nights.  Not that there wasn't central heating, but I am chilly in bed.  Who likes a hot water bottle?  I know it's very old fashioned.

After we unpacked and had lunch we headed off to Sheringham.  It was a Monday and a holiday weekend and was packed.  My sister cannot walk too far at all, we had never been there before, so drove on down through town to the water front, some how we came to a small car park, beside a pub and right on the seafront here and it had a space, yay! Great for my sister as she was able to sit outside at the pub get a nice glass of wine and enjoy the view with Trev.

A dear little museum sits to the right on the above picture.  I bought a little cookbook there with the most delightful pictures.  I do love it so and got one for BB.

Sheringham is the type of seaside town that you can just imagine people in the Edwardian era, catching the train and spending a week here.  You might enjoy these old photos.

Flint is most popular in Norfolk, and here you can see it on a terrace town house.  Do go over to my Instagram lilbitbrit007 and look at Dog Cottage.


Friday, October 26, 2018

Lagom and Hygge

Hi Dear Folk,

I think we have all heard the Danish word Hygge pronounced "hoo-ga" a momentary bliss and cosines, but aims for contentment at specific moments.  If with a friend or friends you actually might say "we're having a hygge moment." There is much more to this word and that's why recently there have been an abundance of books published on this.

But a less known Scandinavian word which I ran across is Lagom pronounced "laaaw-gum."  The basic definition is not too much, not too little.  Lagom derives from the old Norse word for law and also team.  Culturally the word goes back to Viking times, when they gathered around the fire passed around the horns filled with mead and a honey fermented beverage.  Everyone was expected to sip just their fair share, so others would have enough to drink as well, this "laget-om" "sitting around the team" has been shortened to "lagom" over the centuries.

In Scandinavian countries percentage wise they have larger middle class populations than many other western countries, the thought of not too rich, not too poor, put into action on a social bases.

Lagom in its most powerful form means that whatever contextual decision you make is the very best one for you or for the group you find yourself in.

You could say the Goldilocks principal, not too much and not too little.  But also to be considered would be papa and mama bears consideration of what is lagom, optimal for them.

It could mean 'appropriate' in social settings, 'moderation' in food, 'less is more' in interior decor, 'mindfulness' in well being, 'sustainability' in lifestyle choices and 'logic' in business dealings.  All these carry a connotation of 'optimal' decision-making.

Rather than just being a median blasé state it actually lends itself to an optimum more holistic view of choices we make in life.

"Lagom teaches us how to avoid both excess and extreme limitation, allowing us to better understand what makes us happy and what works for our own, unique, mental well being,"  Eek said.  "By adopting a lagoon mindset, we teach ourselves to avoid extremes of mood or feeling."

I do like this word and want to put it into practice in so very many aspects of my life.  Not too much and not too little.

So when someone asks me how much milk in my coffee I will say" Lagom."


24th August 2018 Thaxted No Sprawl

Hi Dear Folk,

Here you can see some newly built houses on the edge of Thaxted.  What I like in the UK is the lake of sprawl.  Not that fields at the edge of villages aren't being bitten of for new housing estates, it's just that there is a true delineation between the edge of a village and the countryside.

Must have caught a plane flying into Stansted Airport.  I tried to get a flight into that airport from the USA, but I couldn't.  Would be so much closer to my sister's.

In the States you tend to have what I call building sprawl.  Move on, build a new strip mall, don't renovate the old existing one.


Thursday, October 25, 2018

24th August Jean D's Bungalow

Hi Dear Folk,

I thought you might like to see a social semi detached council bungalow, my grandma lived in one almost identical in Halstead.  This was a certain style that they would build a few of, I think there are six in this little close in a country village.

Jean loves her garden and has planted almost everything from cuttings which she put in root grow, which I'm going to look into, because it's an inexpensive way of expanding ones garden.

Jean has two bedrooms, one at the front and one at the back, kitchen, sitting room, bathroom and central hallway.  It is most cosy and a lovely little place to live when you're older, almost all costs picked up by the government.

Jean is very spry and in her eighties.  A lot of fun to be with.


Wednesday, October 24, 2018

24th August 2018 Finchingfield, Church and Guildhall

Hi Dear Folk,

It's quite windy today and my long chimes are going all the time, I love that low resonant chime.  My leg is gradually getting better.  I picked up compression stocking knee highs, at the pharmacy, on prescription from the doctor, but I'm sure they've given me a size too large, $48.00 so hope they change them, you never know with things like that.

After lunch in Finchingfield (take a look at this website, you might enjoy all the old photos) we took a walk around the village.  Up to the post mill, then over to the church.  The church was not locked as it so often is, people steal anything these days. The earliest part of St. John the Baptist church, the west tower dates back to c1170, with various changes and additions from then on, with a restoration in 1865-66.

 The ladies of the village were preparing flowers for the weekend.  Not a religious festival but 99 Top of the Pops.

This represents the song Great Balls of Fire.

This is Paper Back Writer.  I did like the light coming through the window and tried to capture this.

The Guild Hall, you can walk through the gateway from one of the major streets in the village and walk up to the church.  I do love those old gateways through buildings.

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