Friday 29 October 2010


Billericay, the place I now call home....this is St Mary's church and it is right in the middle of the High St.
It is a small town but as it is only 25 mins train journey to London, it has a population of 40,000. And it is pretty town with small shops and lots of restaurants and pavement cafes. Just the place and sit and see friends passing by, who stop for a chat.
A bit of the history...........
Some of the earliest records of human occupation of Billericay are the burial mounds in Norsey Wood: evidence of occupation in the Bronze and Iron Ages. Evidence of Roman occupation has been found at a number of locations in the town and there may have been a small cavalry fort at Blunts Wall.

The Saxons did not settle in the centre of Billericay. They established themselves two miles south, at Great Burstead. In the late 10th century it was known as 'Burhstede'. Billericay was not mentioned in the Domesday Book, as it lay within Great Burstead. At this time the parish church for Billericay was at Great Burstead. In 1291 the name 'Byllyrica' is first recorded. This is believed to be from a medieval Latin word, bellerīca, meaning 'dyehouse or tanhouse'.

In the 13th and 14th centuries some pilgrims to Canterbury journeyed via Billericay. Some of them may have spent the night in Billericay before crossing the River Thames at Tilbury. This may account for the large number of inns in the town.

Billericay's most notable historical episode was on the 28th June 1381, when King Richard II's soldiers defeated Essex rebels at Norsey Wood. About 500 rebels were killed in the battle, which ended the Peasants' Revolt.

The Wycliffe preachers influenced the town. Four local people (Thomas Watts, Joan Hornes, Elizabeth Thackwell, and Margaret Ellis) were burnt at the stake. Two other residents (Joan Potter and James Harris) were tortured for their faith during the reign of Queen Mary
A meeting of the Pilgrim Fathers prior to their sailing in the Mayflower is said to have taken place in Billericay, and many local names and much historical imagery reflect this: Mayflower House, Morris Men, Taxis, School, Hall. Sunnymede School's houses were called Mayflower, Pilgrim, Chantry and Martin (after Christopher Martin, a Billericay merchant who travelled on the Mayflower as Ship's Governor).

Four people from Billericay were on board, including Christopher Martin. He and his wife Marie, along with Solomon Prowe and John Langemore, perished shortly after their arrival at Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
The unfortunate fate of the would-be pioneers did not deter other inhabitants of Billericay from setting sail for the New World. The town of Billerica, Massachusetts was established in 1655 to commemorate the origins of some of the first settlers

And this is where we're off to today... for ten whole days, Yeh!!!!

ps I am struggling to finish my ABC by Sunday to keep to my pledge of finishing one UFO each month...before I can start anything new.... trouble is I am crocheting a scarf for my friend's birthday!! Its all Hazel's fault for showing her crochet blanket!!

Thursday 21 October 2010

New chart and a pledge! And do you fancy a SAL?

Rosewood Manor Quakers Spring... my next project. I have fallen in love with this design and have ordered it with valdani floss. Although I have made a pledge to get one UFO finished each month until all are completed... but it will be in a rotation so I can stitch this as well! I only have a little more back stitching to do on my Golden Gate Houses and have nearly finished myABC... So watch this space. I might .....erum have a couple of more UFOs to finish as well.. I shall dig down deep in my stash basket!  LOL
If any one fancies a SAL with this design get in touch.

Thank you for all your lovely commiserations I feel loads better and will be blog hopping your way as soon I as can get myself sorted.

We have spent the week in Essex and left beautiful sunshine to arrive home to a very cold house! So with the heating turned up and the gas fire on we have camped out in out lounge.
Lots to do here in the garden so no stitching for me during the day as that's what I am inclined to do. We always leave both houses clean and tidy, as after years of tenants who leave without really cleaning, its our joke that the last people to leave (us!!) did clean well.

Sunday 17 October 2010

Proper poorly!

I’ve had difficulty putting on my hip hip happy Pollyanna head today because I can't tell you about the cross stitch Meet Up at Nuneaton yesterday because I did‘t go!

Thursday I did nothing and by the evening knew why. I felt washed out as I was starting a horrible cold! The only place I can think of where I have been in contact with people was my slimming group on Wednesday morning so that fits the time for it to develop. I had hoped it would just be a 48 hour thing as I was supposed to be going to the Stitch and Stash cross stitch get together in Nuneaton yesterday. But by Saturday morning I felt really rotten and a lot worse , as well as a sore throat and cough I was aching all over. So annoying not to feel well! Grrrrrr! I feel a lot better today, that awful itching ache at the back of my throat has gone and my nose has stopped running!! Still got a sore throat but at least I don't feel so ill in myself.

I didn’t even go to church today, the thought of getting cold there filled me with dread. I don’t know where I’ve got this cold from because I keep myself warm, eat two oranges a day plus two yoghurts. I think I am getting paranoid in my old age because I am coddling myself and avoid getting cold etc!! I hate being ill, although yesterday Mike waited on me hand and foot and we even joked about me taking a walking stick upstairs to bang on the floor if I needed anything, when I went to lie down in the afternoon, but I said I ‘d take my phone instead!! But didn’t need it. I dozed most of the afternoon and then stayed up watching TV with Mike until quite late but we were still awake at 5 this morning drinking tea! My chicken Sunday dinner has bucked me up so I think I will be fit and raring to go tomorrow, only two days too late for the cross stitch meet up. Boo hoo, still I have had some fun this afternoon doing this collage pic of Autumn..

Friday 15 October 2010

Such a busy bee!

Once I started this wavy crochet blanket I couldn't stop!!
Its for one of the cane chairs in my house in Essex. I absolutely love it and have been madly crocheting most evenings.
And I have stitched quite a bit of my ABC too,  I took this with me to stitch when I went to the Get Together of the Sampler's Guild group on Canvey Island. It was just 17 miles from my house and near where I used to work. The very tiny bit of stitching which is a corner of the next set of letters  is all I did there the whole day!!! We just chatted and laughed and it was a wonderful day. This group meets weekly so I shall certainly join them once we are there permanently.
And my Golden Gate Houses has had a little bit of  the back stitching done but not a lot, been too busy doing other things, I need more hours in the day!
And here is my Round Robin back. Its been to various places in England and to America and doesn't it look great. I am going to put a title on it and everyones names and then frame it.
So a very big thank you to Clare, Lynn, Jaclyn, Dusty and Tina. I love it!
I am off tomorrow to the Stitch and Stash Get Together at Nuneaton so I wonder will I get more done than I did at Canvey!
Hope you all have some thing nice to look forward to at the weekend too!

Sunday 10 October 2010

Is it really Autumn???

Today the temperature soared to 21°C, it was so warm we drove with the windows open to see Mike's son and his wife Zena and little Carter who live in Surry.
We had a very tasty carvery meal at a pub, my pud which was cherry cheese cake was delicious. Diet out the window again.
Then we went to a local park for Carter to play on the swings and climbing frames. They are expecting a new arrival in April so that was some surprising good  news.
We had a lovely day, Nell was very good, poor love was left in her cage at their house and then only had a short time loose before she was back in her cage to drive back here to Billericay. 
We are back to Coventry tomorrow, its going to be very hard to leave here, but we will soon be back for Mike'a birthday as we have the show  Chicago booked in London.
I will be top stitching the border on my autumn throw as soon as we get back and I have lots of stitching to show!
Hope you all had this brilliant weather too over the weekend, trouble is if it goes cold now it will seem worse.

Friday 8 October 2010

Will you pass this on?

The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.

My confession: I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are, Christmas trees.

It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, 'Merry Christmas' to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu . If people want a creche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.
I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.
Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.
Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her 'How could God let something like this happen?' (regarding Hurricane Katrina). Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, 'I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?'

In light of recent events..... terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK.
Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says 'Thou shalt not kill'; 'Thou shalt not steal,' and 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' And we said OK.
Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said okay. (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide.)
Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.
Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with 'WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.!
Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing yet? Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.
Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.
Pass it on if you think it has merit. If not, then just discard it . .. no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don't sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.
My best regards, honestly and respectfully,

Ben Stein

Tuesday 5 October 2010

Home and what I have been up to!

I am here in my house in Essex all alone and have been since thursday! Although it has been raining and the grass needs cutting I love this garden, the leaves are starting to turn Autumn colours and the crab apples are turning red too.  My friend Yvonne came thursday evening as she had two days teaching here. She and her partner have moved down south to Worthing and the invite to go to stay is very tempting. Saturday I went to a Cross Stitch meet up through the Sampler Guild of which I am a member and loved the whole day. I met some super women and wonderful stitchers. Their work was inspirational.   I can't wait till the next one in  April next year and this group meet each week so I will definitely join that.
This is my swish front door, it was a special design and I had forgotten how lovely it was. Not a very good photo perhaps I should have taken it from outside? It is irises, with dragon flies in the two bottom corners and butterflies in the two top ones.
And this picture is in the hall, it is my favourite I bought it in Brixham on a family holiday many years ago and it has survived three moves and suits this hall. I think this hall sold me the house, because for a three bedroom semi , it is quite spacious. The rest of the house was awful when I first looked around back in 2001. But I could see the potential and of course with the old concrete garage pulled down it opened up the garden and thats a nice size too, not too big and not small. To those friends who say it will be too big when I am older??? Poofff I shall spend my pensions on a gardener!
And what have I been doing all this time by myself? Well..... I ordered this yarn and had it delivered here!
to do this.......

A wavy ribbly throw for this old chair in the kitchen! I have three of these old cane chairs all waiting for me to do them up! All different, my son got them for me when he had his furniture shop. When he delivered new beds he always took the customers old one away and sometimes they asked could he dump other furniture as well, ( I think for the price of  a pint!! LOL) And the chairs came to me.
This chair is in my kitchen as it is such a lovely room, I had it all built and done in 2005. It is beautiful and I love it. I had forgotten how much I loved this house. It took three years to get it straight, I had it stripped and completely re-plastered, new windows, new doors, and decorated  and then when all that was finished I had the kitchen and down stairs loo built so more mess but all worth it... and a soon as it was done. I had a new bathroom.... so even though it has been leased out for four years it still looks good. Some carpets have had to be replaced and my raspberry pink one which is all down stairs and hall, stairs and landing looks good after its professional clean.
So I feel at home.. and very, very happy.
I have missed Mike and Nell as well.  In the past each day when I came home, I always had a dog to greet me, so a bit strange walking into an empty house. Mike is arriving this evening so I best get my party frock on and rustle up some thing good for dinner; I have planned coq-au-vin, which I haven't cooked for a while, so hope it goes ok!
I shall post stitchy pics next time, they have all made progress.
Happy days everyone, and thank you for all the lovely comments onmy autumn leaves throw, I am trying to catch up on blog visiting.