pear tree log: I started this blog to keep my younger son, Jonny, in touch with life in Lincolnshire, while he spent a year working in China. That year turned into five! Now he is home and training to become a physics teacher. This is simply a patchwork quilt of some of the things I enjoy - life in rural Lincolnshire, our animals, friends, architecture, books, the gardens, and things of passing interest.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

New Girls in the Owl Wood

Snow, sleet, hailstones, heavy rain, biting northerly winds.  

Hardly the ideal way to welcome four semi-plucked ex battery hens to the big wide world of Owl Wood.

We collected them from a farm on the far side of Lincolnshire.   When we arrived there were some two hundred blonde and balding hens taking their first breaths of freedom in the bitterly cold yard of the farm.    One of the assistants caught four hens for us, and as we put them into the cardboard boxes two characters immediately shone through.

The one who has most of her feathers is definitely a feisty one, she decided that she didn't want to be in the box and made to escape, I had to restrain her.    The other one which came to our attention was plonked in the box and immediately fell flat on her face.. and stayed that way.   Once we had assisted her to the upright position she was fine.  Bewildered, confused, hen-pecked - she has a bald neck and few feathers.

The feisty one to the left, the confused one is to the right.
It distresses me to see them looking like this, but they are in far better condition than the first batch we had, and they went on to enjoy several happy years with us.  

These girls will soon settle in and get their cosy feather duvets to keep them warm.

Welcome to our little woodland, girls.  
You are about to have the time of your lives.  
You will be pampered and loved - and you will have your freedom to roam and do "hen things".

Sunday, 21 October 2012

For Jonny

Happy Birthday Jonny!

Growing up in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Holidays in Scotland...

...tackling the Loch Ness monster with your water pistol!

Happy memories of long ago.

Now you are in Shanghai with the girl of your dreams!

Jonny and beautiful Mingming


with oooodles of love,


Mum and Dad


Saturday, 20 October 2012


It looks a little like an old fashioned sweet shop, but this is the interior of the wonderful herb shop at Candlesby.

Just click to enlarge!

Herbs and spices, pot pourri, sweet treats and delights, star anise, cinnamon sticks..

Bunches of herbs hang from the rafters, the whole effect is a visual delight.

Click to enlarge!

The gardens are packed with herbs of every imaginable variety, all beautifully tended.

If plants, herbs and spices are not your thing, perhaps you would like a glimpse of the welcoming committee.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Happy Families & Awaiting New Arrivals

This is for my sons, Tim and Jonny, both of whom have lamented my lack of posts.    

Sorry, boys.   Time is in short supply at the moment.   One reason being that I have been busy making things for the church craft sale next month, at South Thoresby, and I still have a way to go.   However, now that I know you really do still read my blog I will try to fit in a few posts to keep you in touch with life back home.  Love, Mum xx

Thank you to everyone for your lovely comments on previous posts, my apologies if I haven't answered your comment yet.

Whenever I take Toby out for a walk we call in to visit old Arnold,  give him a few treats and a bit of attention.    

The other day we had a stalker - Bennie.

Can you see her?   

It seems that Bennie and Arnold are well acquainted for she strolled up to him, through his legs and then sat down and had a wash.   Arnold bent his head to her and blew softly through his nose; Bennie calmly carried on washing, looking for all the world as though she belongs there.

Moments before, Arnold and Toby had been 'nose to nose' having a little exchange of old gentlemanly conversation - restrained,  dignified,  amiable.

I had a chat with the wonderful John.   He is keeping busy, despite having had a fall earlier in the week.   Luckily he doesn't seem to have done anything more than bruise himself.  Thank goodness.
I was admiring the Chinese Lanterns in his garden, their glorious orange and pumpkin colours are such a delightful sight on an autumnal day.
Chinese Lanterns (Physalis franchetii).jpg
I was privileged enough to be shown his greenhouse.
I was struck with tomato envy!
They are big and very prolific, great heavy clusters draped all around.
Despite his modesty, his vegetable garden was making a good show too.
Runner beans, carrots, beetroot, outdoor tomatoes, etc, etc.

John always has something to chat about, some helpful advice, or an interesting story.
Ninety-five years old and going strong.
A truly wonderful man.

Toby and I bade John farewell, left Bennie with Arnold, and continued our walk to the fishponds.       Some of you may remember that there were two families of geese raised together on the fish pond, earlier this year,  here they are - all grown up.

Toby sauntered over, acting for all the world as though he couldn't see them, he got pretty close and then whoosh, up they flew, over my head and back onto the pond.

All their care and caution seems to have paid dividends.
Now I am wondering, will they stay or will they go?

A bit further on I passed another family, I think they could be related to Triffids...

They were about eight feet tall and pretty large, I'm so pleased I took this quick photograph of them because they have been cut down now.

 I know I have shown you this family before, but they seem to be the most relaxed and contented group.
They won't be outdoors enjoying sunshine on their backs for much longer,
so I made the most of the opportunity to photograph them again.

On the homeward stretch we were met by Bennie sauntering along the road, her tail up in greeting.
I am going to have to run through the road safety code with that little cat.  

I had hoped to be able to bring you news of some new additions to our family,  they were due in September, but they haven't arrived, as yet.

We are expecting another little group of rescue hens.  
Poor little things will arrive 'ready plucked' and bewildered, but before too long they will feather up and then we'll gradually introduce them to the woodland and freedom to roam during the day.

Exciting times.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

The Vicar's Dressing Room

I thought that today I would show you a couple of Vicars Dressing Rooms...oh all right then, vestries.

In many of the country churches I visit they are simply screened by a bit of curtain, others have doors, and some churches don't appear to have a vestry at all.

This particular church was built in 1363, but was badly damaged during the Civil War, the small portion which remains was restored in 1889.

I have a healthy curiosity so I needed to know what lay beyond the curtained door,  I took a peep... and I am so pleased that I did.   This is the most interesting vestry I have seen.

A small fireplace, for the vicar to warm himself by, a mirror to check his appearance, and a holy statue.   It all seems so right, so well used.   There was even an old kettle - necessary for making that reviving cup of tea.

A lot of junk was in there too, bits and pieces used throughout the church year.
I took my photograph and left, but this small room was the nicest part of the church, it had a wonderful atmosphere.   The main part of the church was beautifully furnished, sumptuous even,  but it felt empty

I also enjoy exploring right around the churchyards -  this little door leads directly into the vestry, what a beauty.

Moving on...

This next vestry is in another small country church located on a hill, just above a tiny hamlet and adjacent to a fine country estate.   Outside, the churchyard monuments show just how wealthy some of the parishioners were.

Hidden behind a curtain ... two safes...perhaps one was for the Parish Registers and the other for church plate.   It was a junked up, messy kind of area again and that is exactly how it felt.     The interior of the main church shows that lots of money has been spent on it - and yet it does not have the feel of a  well-loved church.

This monument is in the vestry - hidden, forgotten, dirty, dusty and covered in cobwebs.  So sad.

The chancel of the church dates from before 1384, with many additions over the years.

Regrettably, the church was "restored" by the Victorians.

Perhaps that accounts for the loss of atmosphere.

My prowl around outside revealed a couple of treasures.

How about this cute, if somewhat dangerous, little staircase  which  leads to the bell tower.

This wonderful Norman arch reputedly comes from the ruins of nearby Calceby church - a recycled archway!

I still haven't found a church which can match All Saints' Church at Saltfleetby - but I shall continue looking.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Experiments with Time


I seem to keep misplacing time...
Why does it go so quickly?

Where does it go?

Has it speeded up?
Days seem to whizz by in a blur of activity and yet the list of outstanding jobs grows ever longer.
Of course we still have the same number of hours in a day, they tick by in the same way as they have always done...
Maybe I am filling my days up with too much time wasting...
A timetable is what I need.
Something simple.
Borrowed image.
For a start, the darker mornings mean that I don't wake as early as I used to do,  and as daylight fades so does my energy.

So, I must timetable the hours from 8am until 6pm, Monday to Friday, try to fit things into time slots - although, of course, life rarely works that way.

Weather plays a big part in what jobs get done outdoors.
Grandparenting commitments mean that we are as tied to fixed points in the school day as we were when our own children were young.
It is an immense pleasure, but it is also a time anchor.
Everything else must fit around those fixed time slots.

Somehow I need to snatch back an extra hour or two to fit in all the jobs.
I can't extend the hours in a day, but I can try to reduce my time-wasting activities.

Tea-breaks must be reduced both in number and in the length of time we take.
Computer 'work' must be curtailed.
Reading must be done in the bath...except that baths should become showers - saving time and water.


I thought retirement meant that life slowed down, endless days stretched ahead with time for hobbies, fun, outings, reading...

I'd love to write more, but unfortunately this time slot ended five minutes ago...

Monday, 1 October 2012

Lincolnshire Day!

October 1st is Lincolnshire Day, a great opportunity to celebrate some of the wonderful things about Lincolnshire.   

I am a Lincolnshire Yellowbelly and I love my county.

I could talk about the delicious food,  the beauty of the county, the culture, history, or traditions...

but I won't.

Instead I'm going to show you some lovely Lincolnshire cottages.  

They can speak for themselves.

I know I have posted this one before, but I love it!