"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Sunday, 26 March 2023

This and That


I am sorry for lack of blog posts recently but I still haven't been anywhere so have had little to blog about. I am afraid this post is basically very similar to other recent ones. I can't believe its the end of March and I have hardly been out not even to Herefordshire.

Recent Reading

I have been doing plenty of reading though! I bought this book second hand at Aardvark Books in Brampton Bryan and its brilliant. Its given me even more ideas of Herefordshire churches to visit.  I already had the Shropshire version of this book which I must read even if I only concentrate on South Shropshire.

I've read two more of the Faith Martin books and am really really enjoying this series so thanks again to Billy Blue Eyes.

I've loved every single John Lewis Stempel book I have read and this was again excellent.  Its the story of a farm through the ages and even better the farm is not far from Tenbury Wells so I may well go and have a look at the church mentioned in the book.

The next DCI Banks novel was good too.

I made some Grantham Gingerbread Biscuits yesterday and very good they are too.  The recipe is one by Mrs Simkins and was featured in The Countryman magazine. She has also written a book of recipes which I have hidden away in the pantry.

The original recipe (not the one I mention above) is probably the oldest biscuit recipe in Britain.  It is called "white gingerbread" as it uses white sugar rather than the usual dark brown sugar used in gingerbread. They were first baked by a Grantham Baker called William Eggleston.

We went to Coleshill last weekend as the bookshop was holding a tombola and raffle to try and raise more funds to reach their target of £30,000 for shop repairs.  The good news is that last week they exceeded the target a week ahead of schedule. 

Violets, daffodils and a singing blackbird by Coleshill Parish Church.

We popped into the Town Hall as there was an Antiques and Vintage Fair in progress.  I did buy a few old British First Day Stamp Covers.

Hopefully, I'll have managed to go somewhere before the next blog post although at the moment a swollen foot and ankle, as a side effect of perishing blood pressure tablets, is making walking difficult!

I hope everyone is staying safe and well.

Sunday, 12 March 2023

Coleshill and Books


D and I popped to the market town of Coleshill yesterday. To be honest I have hardly ventured out recently partly due to the dire weather and partly because B has been using the car a lot to visit E's flat to decorate.  With the weather as it is at the moment I can't see us going to Herefordshire either for a while :(

Pillory and Whipping Post

The main purpose of the trip was a visit to the second hand bookshop "Books Revisited". As many of you know it was announced a few weeks ago that it would be closing.  There is a fund raising event to try and raise the 30k needed for repairs so it can continue in the future. In a few weeks they have raised over 17k and the shop has been mentioned on regional tv news (both channels).  The hard part is going to be raising the extra 13k they need and they only have until April to do this.

The lychgate to the town entrance to the churchyard was erected in 1929.

I have no idea what species this tree is but I love the dangly catkins.  The crocuses by the church now seem to have finished.

St Peter and St Paul Parish Church dates back to the 14th/15th centuries.

I am really chuffed with these two books found in the bookshop. Temple Balsall which is steeped in history is one of my favourite local places.

Recent Reading

Being at home so much I am still reading a lot!

The next in the Cooper and Fry series. The ending was a "turn up for the books" although to be honest I have suspected for some time that something like this would happen. I shan't say any more in case any of you read this series and haven't yet read this book.

I do enjoy Peter Marren's books and this was no exception.  It covers Earth's mass extinctions in the past and in far greater detail the current Sixth Mass Extinction.

A new author and series for me and I will certainly read more in this series.

The next in the Dorset Crime books which I thoroughly enjoyed.

The next Mitchell and Markby mystery again very enjoyable.

I hope everyone is staying safe and well.

Tuesday, 28 February 2023

Spring Flowers and Recent Reading


I popped into a fairly local churchyard at Castle Bromwich last weekend to check on the snowdrops there and there was a good display of the flowers.

There were a few Primroses starting to flower and loads of purple crocuses.

There are lots of buds on Daffodils and I did find a few in flower.

I also spotted this lovely weather vane at a pub that used to be called the Coach and Horses.  I am not sure if it has changed its name now but it is these days a Hickory Smokehouse.

There was also a lovely sundial on the wall.

Cherry Plum blossom is now starting to appear.


I think I mentioned in the last post that our favourite second hand bookshop is closing at the beginning of April. So we popped in there recently to make a few purchases. This book on Architecture was a good buy.

The volunteers are trying to raise funds for essential repairs to the shop. They need £30,000 but already have raised about £10,000. I do hope they succeed.

I've been reading the book below for ages!  It is a lovely idea where the author delves into the stories behind the names on gravestones in churchyards.  I did enjoy it but I don't know East Anglia where the book is set that well apart from a few short breaks in Norfolk. I think I would have enjoyed it more if it had been set in an area I know well.

Another brilliant book in the Jackman and  Evans series.

This is another book I read over the course of the last year - each chapter covers a different month with details of folklore around certain dates such as Bonfire Night, Pancake Day, Christmas, etc etc.  Highly recommended.

I hope everyone is staying safe and well.