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Perhaps better known to you as hazelnuts or filberts. Kent cobnuts are a particular cultivar, and are often picked and sold (and eaten!) with their green husks still on. They taste totally different green and they’re awfully good for you.

We have two cobnut trees (you need two, for the tree sex). Every year, they produce a crop and then, before we harvest, every damn nut vanishes.

We got a fine crop this year, though. And I think I’ve worked it out – we were waiting too long. The green nuts ripen, fall off, and beasties eat them off the ground.

I love cobnuts. How the hell are we going to eat so many cobnuts?

September 25, 2019 — 8:17 pm
Comments: 9

No, that’s not sinister at all…

Yipe! This appeared along my daily commute near a park. It was signed by the local county council.

Subtle. Polite. Not at all heavy-handed.

Happy to say, it wasn’t up more than a day or so. And no, local owners are not particularly bad about cleaning up after their doggoes. I hope one of them took it down, indignantly.

Good weekend, everyone. This may be our last weekend of summer-ish weather 🙁

September 20, 2019 — 8:41 pm
Comments: 6

Man makes trug

The Sussex trug, Wikipedia tells me

is a wooden basket. It is made from a handle and rim of coppiced sweet chestnut wood which is hand-cleft then shaved using a drawknife. The body of the trug is made of five or seven thin boards of cricket bat willow, also hand-shaved with a drawknife. They may have originated in Sussex because of the abundance of chestnut coppice and willows found on the marshes. Nails or pins used are usually copper, to avoid rust.

Shapes and sizes became standardised, the most well-known shape being the “common or garden” trug ranging in volume from one pint to a bushel. However, there is a diverse range of traditional trugs from garden and oval trugs to the more specialised “large log” and “walking stick” trugs.

There is written evidence of trug making locally going back to the 15th C, so who knows how long it’s been going on really.

We haven’t got one — they’re frightfully expensive — but I’m told a good trug can hold water. There are at least two shops still making them. We know because we pass them occasionally; they’re a couple of miles apart.

I don’t know if this guy is a freelance trug monger, but it’s a shot from one of the country fairs earlier this month. I didn’t look at his prices.

September 18, 2019 — 8:06 pm
Comments: 4

lol england

Things spotted in back gardens that border footpaths.

This is no random assembly of cement chunks and garden sculpture. Oh, no. This here is art, friends. This is a thing here.

There used to be a house near us with a roof lined by concrete garden animals of one kind or another. They’re gone now. I have a sad feeling it was a house owned by some old coot who is no longer with us.

Hello, Monday. How was your weekend?

September 16, 2019 — 8:40 pm
Comments: 12

And your little dog, too!

A lady who makes things out of wheat sheaves sold us this. She said it was a ‘kitchen witch’ — a good luck symbol.

Turns out, she weren’t lying:

In England

Although largely unknown in modern England, the Kitchen Witch was known in England during Tudor times.

The will of John Crudgington, from Newton, Worfield, Shropshire in England, dated 1599, divides his belongings amongst his wife and three children, “except the cubbard in the halle the witche in the kytchyn which I gyve and bequeathe to Roger my sonne.”

So it’s period for the house. I’ll let you know if I stop dropping cans of soup on my toe or cutting myself.

Nota bene: yes! New Dead Pool today, 6WBT. Sorry about Mugabe, y’all. I mean, not sorry, obviously.

September 5, 2019 — 8:23 pm
Comments: 12

Steam tractor

Her name is Titaness, since you probably can’t read it spelled out in gold leaf on the side. I don’t know if she took her turn plowing. Seems like a machine like this would mash down more soil than it tore up.

And with that, I’m off for a book and a gin. I think I have a little bug; I’ve been dragging tail for a few days.

September 4, 2019 — 9:05 pm
Comments: 7

Spotted in the wild…

What’s an agricultural show without a spotted dick stand? I ask you?

I don’t think people were eating them on the spot. I mean, that would be weird.

September 3, 2019 — 7:20 pm
Comments: 12

I’m in love

When did these happen? Comfy seat, armrests, accelerator pedal and two control arms. It’s even got a beer holder! Now I just need to get a big enough lawn for it.

We went to an agricultural show this weekend. Weird thing happened. It was a pretty breezy day, but nothing out of the ordinary. We were talking to the lady at the Woodland Trust booth when an intense blast of wind swept across the field. Uncle B grabbed one leg of the marquee and she grabbed the other while I flung my body across her table of pamphlets. It lasted about thirty seconds, and then was gone.

The exhibitors spent the next ten minutes picking up their stuff from each other, where it had all blown. Didn’t happen again.

Happy Labor Day, everyone! Known here as Monday.

September 2, 2019 — 8:36 pm
Comments: 8

And that’s the end of that…

The circus. It’s the last thing on our social calendar every Summer, and every year we’re not sure if they’ll come.

It’s a little circus and barely squeaks by year to year. They don’t publicize their appearance near us until just before it happens, maybe because they’re not sure they’ll make it this far. And then one day the big top blooms out of the mown field like a gaudy mushroom.

It’s pretty good. They source their acts from Eastern Europe, for the most part, where circus is still a thing. They have a Mongolian acrobat I’m particularly fond of who always does several acts for them. And all the performers have to put on a jacket and sell popcorn and programs during intermission.

There may be a few little events after this, but the circus is always the end for us. I am so not ready for Winter.

August 29, 2019 — 8:20 pm
Comments: 5

Speaking, as we were, of favorite tombstones

Well, this one’s a whole tomb, but it is a favorite. It’s “Mad Jack” Fuller’s pyramid. He’s supposedly in there in fancy dress, including tophat and bottle of wine.

I read an article today that his pyramid is in need of restoration. It’s frustrating, but none of the articles I’ve read say exactly what’s wrong with it. (Pff! It’s not even 200 years old. The ones in Egypt are a bzillion years older).

And worryingly, all the articles I’ve read mention that he was opposed to the abolition of slavery. I hope he doesn’t get caught in the “judging people in the past by 2019 standards” trap, because he was a great English eccentric and philanthropist.

We visited his tomb when this was a brand new baby blog, way back in 2007. That’s when I took that picture. And here’s the post with more on Mad Jack.

The pyramid looked fine to me. A little lichen-y. I’m guessing they just want to open it up and steal his bottle of wine.

August 27, 2019 — 8:02 pm
Comments: 17