Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Long Live Great Bardfield - Review

Thanks to Persephone for sending me a copy of this book to review.

Eileen 'Tirzah' Garwood was born in 1908 and from  1925-8 she went to the Eastbourne School of Art where she was taught wood engraving by Eric Ravilious who she married in 1930.
She began this biography whilst recovering from breast cancer, looking back at her childhood and teenage years and then their life among some of the artists of the time who gravitated away from cities to live in Great Bardfield, and neighbouring Essex villages. Much of the book focuses on the love life of the various couples who seem to fall in and out of love with other members of the group all the time.
Her descriptions of all the people - friends, family, villagers are so good, as are the details of the places she visits with Eric when he is commissioned to paint landscapes or murals. Of Morecombe she writes" We should have to wait a whole week in this sad town that was only meant for visitors in the proper seasons; now it lay like a sluttish prostitute who hadn't yet bothered to get out of bed and paint her face". 
Eric and Tirzah had their first son - John- in 1935 and from that time Tirzah did very little in the way of wood prints or painting as she struggled to look after the children, James arrived in 1939 and Anne in 1941 and to keep house - often in very primitive conditions.
When war broke out Eric became an official war artist and was lost presumed dead while on a plane journey over Iceland in 1942. At the same time she was diagnosed with breast cancer and began an informal biography for her future grandchildren while recovering. The biography finishes in 1943 and the story of the rest of her life is told through letters and memories by her daughter Anne. Tirzah married Henry Swanzy, a BBC producer in 1946 and died when her cancer spread in 1951
The book is illustrated with black and white photos and Tirzah's engravings.

I enjoyed this book although there are so many people mentioned throughout  that I sometimes took a while to work out who was who!

It was only previously published in a limited edition hardback in 2012, so well done to Persephone Books for bringing it to a wider audience.

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Sunday, 23 October 2016

Mushrooms and Apples

Colin decided he felt well enough to walk around a boot sale so we popped along to a regular Sunday one a few miles out of town - It will be our nearest once we move.
Everybody wanted silly prices for the few things I asked about so all I left with was a box of mushrooms for £1. We came back a different way and passed through a village with lots of orchards and bought  a big bag of Cox apples for 50p. Then home for a coffee.
 Mushroom soup anyone?

Thank you for all the comments last time and for the many new followers

If it was a follower competition then I think Sue at Our New Life in the Country won with John at Going Gently second and I rolled in a miserable 3rd. But as it wasn't a competition I'm not bitter!!

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Thursday, 20 October 2016

Sunday to Thursday

Thank you for so many comments about our move back to the country. We can't wait.
 I've done the maths several times to check we can afford it and yes ...........just. Things will be pretty tight until we sell the bungalow. Unfortunately there are several properties for sale in Ipswich for much the same price at the moment and if it doesn't sell quickly we will be living on Fresh Air until Col can get his County Council pension in March. (Someone asked if we could rent it out instead of selling but I think the rental income would only be about £650 - £700 a month, then agency fees to come off so not really enough to live on).
I'm looking on it as a challenge to live on a very low budget for the rest of the year, although Christmas may have to be postponed until we sell!

 On Sunday we popped over to visit our new granddaughter, 5 days old - still haven't seen her awake.

 Florence refused to breast feed once they got home so A is expressing. She's determined to try and avoid the high cost of formula milk. She was also planning to use the re-usable nappies but Florence is too tiny for them so it was lucky I found a few more newborn disposables  at a car boot sale.

Monday - Our son reached the grand old age of 35 today. Doesn't seem five minutes since he was Florence's size, although come to think of it he was never as small and grew into the 6 foot something he is now by the time he was 15.
We went down to the beach hut as the weather promised a decent day with an offshore wind, but they were wrong and by 2pm it was really chilly and started to rain. It was very quiet down there, only dog walkers and joggers. Col sat behind our windbreak while I kept inside out of the wind. I've now brought home the things that will get damp over winter

 We treated ourselves to a whippy ice cream - with flake of course - the last of the season before the kiosk closes.
 Over the weekend I sorted through more books and delivered another box full to be collected to go off to Ziffit.com - another £24 worth. Most of my books they don't want and some of the ones they will accept are ones I want to keep so I haven't emptied many boxes so far.

Tuesday - More book sorting, it's getting quite addictive. I found £27 worth and boxed up. That's a total of nearly £80 of income which is handy amount. Will I regret selling some of them later - probably but not many and anyway we really need the cash.

I did 10 minutes more garden clearing but my back started complaining so I soon stopped, I'm just so out of condition.

Wednesday -
Made the Baby Jacob page in my new scrapbook. I didn't look on-line to get ideas, nor did I rush out to buy any more bits and pieces, just used what I had, this is how it ended up
After lunch we had to take our ID and filled in forms into town for our solicitor.

 Thursday - I went with Col to hospital for his regular weekly blood test and Great Joy his platelets are starting to climb, from very, very, very,VERY low to just very, very,very low. Perhaps that's the start of an improvement. He also had to have a monthly lung thing where they give him an antibiotic by inhalation. He hopes they'll stop it soon as it gives him terrible indigestion.
The weather was cold and miserable today so I decided it was time to start making soup for daily lunches. First soup of the Autumn was Leek and Potato as leeks are one of the Aldi cheap vegetables at the moment. We have salad and something for lunch through spring and summer so by soup season I've always forgotten how delicious and warming it is.
After lunch off to the Estate Agents to take ID  and to find out one or two more details about the cottage.

I have the dentists tomorrow for a filling ..............

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