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Sunday, 11 November 2018

We Will Remember Them

You will all know that it is100 years ago today at 11am that the guns ceased at the end of World War 1. There are many different ceremonies and events happening which mark this event. Many churches have some kind of remembrance for their own parishioners lost and a common way of depicting this is through perspex outlines placed in the pews to represent each soldier that never returned.This is one photo that I took in Alfriston church.

Many church communities have also made hundreds of poppies creating amazing installations inside and outside of their churches. This week I went to see a local one at St Andrew's Church, Blagdon.

Made mainly from knitted poppies.

A lot of work has been spent on these displays.

Alongside these there are the silhouettes to represent each of the lost soldiers of Blagdon. Each with information of their short lives. Sadly some such as the family described below had more than one loss.

One of the soldiers had been a member of the choir. His memorial is paced in the choir stalls.

One young soldier died only days before the ceasefire. Imagine how that must have been for his family. Some of these young men are buried back in their own churchyards although obviously thousands remained on the battlefields.

Both of my grandfathers were on active service in World War 1 something they were unable to speak of afterwards. My paternal grandfather is in the front row far right. He was injured but the only survivor when the pill box he was in was hit. 

They were both also active as home guards and air raid wardens during World War 2. This is my maternal grandfather in his home guard uniform. He had been a wireless operator in WW1 in France.

We all have a lot to be grateful to all these young men who either gave up their lives for us or lived with the memories of their experiences for the rest of their lives. It is so important that we never forget them.

Friday, 9 November 2018

Looking Ahead

My walk with Poppy yesterday incorporated walking out to check the ewes.

They are looking fit and ready to start on the next step in the farming calendar. 

On the 1st November the rams were put in the ewes and have been having a busy time since. 

They will stay with the ewes now until the end of March when we keep our fingers crossed for a good lambing season.

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Take Three Thursday: Keeping in Touch

I am taking you back to Cranmore today to the East Somerset Railway. I spotted something on the platform which I thought would be just right to join Mary Lou with her Take Three Thursday.

The busy scene above looks like it could be something out of a film set. Have you spotted the telephone box on the left? There is something rather special about it. It was made in 1926 and incorporates not only a telephone box but also a stamp machine and a post box. There were only 50 of these combined boxes made and this particular one was once on a street in Bristol. When bought from the GPO it cost the heady sum of £10!

1. The post side of the box.

2. The stamp machine and letter box. Note the initials GR which signify that the box is from the time of King George V. The post box is still in use. 

3. Inside the box there is an early type of pay phone with A and B buttons. The coins would be preloaded before the call. The minimum charge was 2d (2 old pennies). When the call was answered button A was pressed to allow the money to drop in. Should there be no answer then button B was depressed to get your coins back. I recall these phones but was too young to use one. I do remember being very worried that if I had to use one I wouldn't be able to sort out the buttons!

Pay phones were a big part of our growing up. Ringing home just once a week, queuing to use the phone as a student with your 10p at the ready. Getting your parents to ring you back to save money. Those were the days!
Can you remember when you last used a pay phone?

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

A Close Shave

This year we had two bonfire parties. The first was on Friday with all the family in one of our fields away from all the animals. We had a good bonfire to keep us all warm.

There was hot soup, sausages and baked potatoes. It always tastes better when you are outside.

The little boy above sat in the Landrover was not happy at all. He was not keen to join in. It turns out he was upset about burning the guy which he and his sister made. When you think about it the tradition is pretty gruesome.

There was toasting of marshmallows on sticks. Quite tricky with such a hot fire.

The next evening we had another bonfire at a neighbouring friend's farm. 

We were lucky to have another clear dry night.

We had a few fireworks.

It's always a bit worrying setting off your own fireworks. This time we had what could have been a very nasty accident. A firework tipped and sent a stray flame straight at us. Luckily it missed everyone but shot into the trailer where we had served the food. Hitting the back wall (leaving a substantial mark) it fell down onto the bales of straw. It luckily dropped onto a bag which with some quick reaction from one of our friends who managed to throw it outside. A very nasty fire was fortunately averted.
It took everyone a while to settle down again. A few sparklers were seen as a safer option.

Certainly a memorable evening.

Monday, 5 November 2018

5 in 5 : Full Steam Ahead

 The Farmer Husband and I finally got round to trying out one of our Christmas presents from last year. Wednesday was in fact the last day we could use it before it expired so we had a bit of a day out.
This also seemed a good opportunity for November's 5 in  5. This is a monthly meme run by Sandie at Itchifingers where you take as many pictures as you can in 5 minutes and then choose 5. 
 Our present was a steam train ride so we headed to the East Somerset Railway at Cranmore near Shepton Mallet. I am pretty well practised at steam locomotives because my father was a real steam  enthusiast. Many of our holidays and days out were based around visiting preserved railways. I therefore felt quite nostalgic with the whole atmosphere of smell, sound and sights.
The track is simply 2.5 miles long so after a trip in an old carriage that reminded me of World War 2 films and thrillers we arrived at the end of the track. We then had an opportunity to get out and watch while the engine shunted back to the other end of the carriages for the return journey. 
A chance for photos!
So here are the 5 of the best of my 5 minutes.

1. The engine arrives at the terminus.

2. Shunting forward to manoeuvre onto the other track.

3. Reversing back to the other end.

4. A sign of how times have changed where ladies could choose to travel separated from men.

5. Inviting signs to exciting places.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Take Three Thursday: Scarecrow with a Message

This Thursday I have chosen 3 scarecrows to join in with Mary Lou showing 3 photos with a connection. Several of the entries this year in the Harvey Hext Scarecrow Trail are aimed at delivering a message as well as being part of the overall theme Wonders of the World.
1. This entry is done by the primary school. It presumably portrays The Great Barrier Reef but alongside that they have picked up on the very topical issue of plastic waste in our seas. I would imagine that many different year groups were involved in making this. There are fish drawings and some great little painted stones at the bottom.

2. Organ transplants are definitely the subject here. Alongside the scarecrow there are laminated pages of information on transplantation. I don't know if this is a subject close to the creator's heart for personal reasons. (Excuse the pun).

3. I apologise for the quality of my photo. This one's message is clear to see. Save the rainforest.

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

A Sunny Start

Sunday morning gave us all an extra hour in bed unless of course you were a night shift worker like the niece who is a nurse and then the night was an hour longer! Our clocks have 'fallen' back and we have dark evenings ahead of us.
The temperatures have dropped dramatically but fortunately it was lovely and sunny. I took Poppy for a walk mid morning in between cooking Sunday lunch. Everywhere had a crisp autumnal feel. Many of the leaves are now on the ground and were good and crunchy underfoot.

Some trees are still looking colourful.

We took one of my favourite short routes.

Some of the old ewes are in the field with the lambs. The latter are of course pretty big now and have been separate from their mums since August. The old ewes are very friendly because they are used to following a bag of food. They come right up when you walk through the field. This is not ideal when you have a dog because they have a tendency to butt when there is a dog around. Luckily Poppy is pretty good off the lead amongst them and tends to wander nonchalantly through them.

The hens are another matter. She is still strictly on a lead when walking through them.

The horses were all out grazing in the sunshine enjoying their last few days of being outside all the time if their owners so wish. 

Around the second week of November we will start restricting the horses to being out only during the day. When the weather turns very wet they will have to spend days entirely in their stables apart from when their owners are exercising them.

There is no doubt that winter is on it's way.