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Feb. 26th, 2011

The Cinema is not your Sitting Room

Unusually for me I am going to have a bit of a rant. It is about how awful it is visiting the cinema. I don't like the small screens which we now have so I'm already off to a bad start. Combine that with the cost of a ticket and, I know, it is a recipe for a moan.

The fact that people want to eat the disgusting stuff the cinema's pass off for food is bad enough but that some of it comes in noisy wrappings tucked into throughout the film and that most of it is spilled and left all over the cinema floor is more cause for angst.

Is the cinema a sitting room where you spread out your coats, bags etc all into the space of the poor person sitting next to you? Taking off your boots because you feel more comfortable - well ok. Talking before film starts - well ok.

Talking as the film has begun and spoiling the atmosphere that is trying to be built up on the screen - well not ok actually.

Keeping your mobile phone on so you can see what you are doing - no not ok.

Talking throughout the film - no not ok. Several people giving a blow by blow commentary whilst the film is showing - please!

Shouting out what you think of as humorous asides - mind bogglingly annoying.

Doing all the above when you are clearly middle-aged is twice as worrying.

Then again perhaps I could try looking at it as part of cinema going's rich experience both on and around the 'not quite' big screen. It's just life - but not as we'd like to know it;-)

Feb. 14th, 2011


I like the thought that St Valentine is also the Patron Saint of bee keepers. We seem to be getting more sentimental as we get older in this house - or perhaps my loved one sent me this knowing I won't be able to manage the chocolate and sparkly wine on my own. Tut, tut, now there's no call for that kind of scepticism, love is after all meant to be share.

Well I might be tempted to do a little dance around the house when no one is looking but that will be the only nod to the old Roman celebration of Lupercalia which may or may not be the origins of today's celebrations - except, of course, to hope that evil spirits are averted and good health comes to us all.

Jan. 4th, 2011

Friday enjoys his Christmas Present

Dec. 1st, 2010


A quick glimpse of Friday as he hears a pheasant in the spinney next door.

Nov. 3rd, 2010


As soon as possible I like to add to my collection of Christmas themed decorations so that they begin to start filling the house with little hints of the celebrations to come.

Here is a small collection of Christmas Cards made by the lovely
Leafy Dumas who has a beautiful eye for all things nautical and is donating a percentage of her profits to the RNLI and do have a look at her blog which has a delightful entry all about her Scow. 


Then today in the post I had the most beautifully wrapped package

with this amazing little character. It is a tiny Scottish Hare made by the talented Annette who you can find here.
Just for now though it is time to enjoy the incredible Autumn leaf colour.

Oct. 2nd, 2010

(no subject)

One of the great things about living here on Mersea Island is how close we are to other lovely places such as London, Norfolk, Cambridge and one of my most favourite Counties Suffolk.
Over the past week I have been beyond the borders of Essex enjoying the delights to be found along the coastline of Suffolk.
On Saturday I went to the
Vintage and Contemporary market at Woodbridge where there were some wonderful crafts and trendy fifties textiles and other treasures to tempt. The Church is magnificent and we were delighted to have a look round whilst a small family group were welcoming a child into the faith all gathered round the font for a baptism.
There was a very wet Sunday spent at the
Aldeburgh Food Festival in Snape where there were all sorts of tasty local foods to be sampled and having grabbed a cup of Paddy & Scott's delicious coffee I headed into a marquee to listen to Valentine Warner talk about and demonstrate cooking Ling which is not a very commonly used fish. There were so many local producers and I now have a pile of literature to tell me how and where to find their delicious food products.
After the Food Festival we enjoyed a relaxing late Sunday lunch at the
British Larder just outside Woodbridge.
Later in the week I went to
The Brewery Tap to enjoy Mike, the chef's tasty tapas menu before going to a Beth Nielson Chapman concert at The Corn Exchange.
It was wonderful to enjoy all these things just a stone's throw away but just in case you think I'm forgetting all the goodies to be found closer to home, here are a few of the things I've enjoyed locally:
There was a reception party for the photographer Joanna King who is artist in residence at
Jardine's in Wivenhoe hosted by the charming Christian who has created a very chic cafe & bistro which I am certain will become a favourite for lots of local people.
I also enjoyed a treat at my neighbour Amanda's
Mersea Island Cookery School where we learnt all about preparing mackerel and rabbit and a chocolate tart under the expert tuition of Chris Gillard of St John's restaurant. The best part was sitting down to enjoy the morning's labours in convivial company enjoying a couple of bottles of English wine produced by one of the students from a couple of rows of vines he had bought which his son very kindly dropped off to the kitchen. The fish and rabbits were from Amanda's husband Ben whose business is just next door - Ben's Fish.
I should also mention
The Art Cafe which is a regular haunt for meeting up with friends for a coffee or their delicious snacks and the handy Cake Hole next door which reminds me I have some wonderful American Rye bread from there which is going to make a lovely lunch today. I think I deserve a break after that very full week and a mammoth blogging session.

Sep. 15th, 2010

Man Friday

What an amazing place Mersea Island is. This morning my 'Man Friday' and I went for a walk for three hours and we hardly met anyone on the beaches and no-one on this stretch save for a couple of bait diggers who were too far out into the mud flats to count. It was a little windy but very warm and sunny and an absolute delight. Oh we did meet a solitary swallow preening himself whilst perched on a fallen branch on the beach. He only roused himself as we passed to swoop over us in acknowledgement of  enjoying as we were what is turning out to be a perfect Autumn.

Aug. 28th, 2010

Hunter Gathering

Having made myself a knitted market bag I couldn't wait to use it so I set off this morning to do some hunter/gathering (sorry shopping) down in West Mersea.

My first stop was at R & A Cycles where Paul kindly replaced the valve on my back tyre and pumped it up and I left with a promise that he would collect the lovely Princess later in the week for a proper service and probably a new set of tyres.

Next to The Cake Hole where I bought a loaf of walnut bread, some olives, a slice of lemon and poppyseed cake and a cup of take out coffee. Holding the coffee very carefully I stowed the rest of the goodies in my new bag and made off for the The Oyster Bar where I bought some cockles and fish pate. Then I bagged a bench and enjoyed my coffee and cake while watching the crabbers on the jetty and lots of activity on the very busy waterfront.

Feeling very full of fresh air and cake I cycled home to enjoy a lunch of the spoils of my shopping. Much nicer than a trip to the supermarket.

Aug. 13th, 2010

Messing About In Boats

We're in the middle of Regatta week here on Mersea and this is a picture of a race I captured with my mobile when out walking with Friday. The boats were storming along and it was clear that everyone was taking their competition seriously. All sorts of boats are out on the water this week and the culmination will be on Saturday when there will be fun at the fair, music, prize-giving and a spectacular firework finale.

Talking of music I ventured down to The Coast Inn on Juliet's recommendation here on her very useful and informative new site which lists musical events on and around the island. We enjoyed lots of sea related songs as well as some lively jigs and other musical delights. It was a great way to celebrate life on an island and its symbiosis with the sea.

Lots of high tides this week and a new moon which means beautiful star filled night skies - a delight of living somewhere not affected by light pollution.

Jul. 10th, 2010

Return Journey

It was back to Devon recently and a visit to Dartmouth. An absolutely beautiful part of the County. Perfect for walking, cycling, riding (another lovely ride across the moor on Gypsy) or just sitting on a beach watching the fish dry.


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