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CITY HIGHLIGHTS WALK

Are you looking for a Guided Walk around London next weekend?

Why not join Jack Yeomanson, a Qualified London Tour Guide on Sunday 15th May at 11am outside the City Information Centre facing St. Paul’s Cathedral in London for a fascinating walk lasting one and a half to two hours.

You will see the top ten high lights in the City of London.

Cost is £12 per person. Book on Event Brite or via http://www.cityoflondonguides.com

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CRAFTING AND ME

One of my great loves is crafting. It always has been. My son will probably say it’s very dangerous obsession. Only dangerous in the respect that he tends to go head first over bags of my crafting materials, and maybe gets stabbed by the odd knitting needle or twenty. If there’s a craft around I will have a go at it.

But – and here is my confession – there is one that I can’t manage and believe me I have tried and failed so many times. It’s socks. Yes, the humble sock. I have tried knitting them, I’ve tried to crochet them, and somehow I can’t manage them.

The frustrating thing is I don’t know why I can’t manage them. Anyway I’ve joined a Textile Group in someone’s house and she says you can do anything you like. YES – anything. You can knit, sew, quilt, make rugs, tapestry, I’ve never heard a list so long. I did make a rug many years ago with one of the rug hooks. I would like to learn to do Black Work the kind of Embroidery, but with my family I’ll be on pain of death with anything else.

Oh well – the Tunisian Crochet is calling and I’ve got some Jewellery that needs to be finished.

I’ve got a shop on Folksy which I’m starting to build up.

It’s http://www.folksy.com/shops/violetsandlacecrafts

Maybe that will shut the family up lol

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JACK YEOMANSON – TOUR GUIDE

I would love to introduce you to Jack Yeomanson, London Tour Guide.

That’s right, Jack’s my son as you can probably tell by the name, but Jack is an exceptional Tour Guide and no, I’m not just saying that because I’m his Mum. If he was a rotten Tour Guide I wouldn’t be giving him space on my blog believe me.

Jack left school at 18 years old with a burning desire to be a Tour Guide because of his love of History, but no ADT College in Putney where he was educated wouldn’t support that. They wanted him to follow a path to something else that he wasn’t interested in so he left and got a job in an office but still that desire burned. After a year of so his Dad and I looked into the possibility of his training privately and getting the necessary qualification. Three qualifications in three areas mean’t that he would be a fully qualified London tour guide. Clerkenwell, Westminster and the City of London. He studied like you wouldn’t believe and to qualify as a Guide is more than difficult especially if your’e keeping a day job down as well. However, he did it. He got his Green Badge. Yes I know all about the Blue Badgers, but believe me, in my opinion Green Badgers are just as good.

Anyway I’m running away with things. Jack is now back guiding. He is guiding in all three areas and at the moment he is doing some CIC walks In other words City Information Centre walks.

At the moment he is starting up his own Tour Guiding Business which will be called Blue Umbrella. The Website isn’t finished yet but once it is he’ll be putting walks up on there which will be his own walks written by himself.

So what can you do until then? Jack has got many walks already written and ready to go. In all three Boroughs. The list is endless. His main ability is in Bespoke Walks. What do I mean by that?

Is there a particular part of London you would like to see? Have you got a reason for seeing it? Is there a part of London that’s part of your past for some reason? Do you have a special interest? Would you like to give someone a walk as a gift? He once wrote a walk for a man to give to his wife for their Silver Wedding Anniversay which was around the area they did their courting in.

I know that just some of the walks he has done are Royal Walks, War Walks, River Walks, Theatre Area Walks, Spy Walks. I could go on forever.

If you would like Jack to take you on a walk in London, why not contact him and talk to him. Children and dogs are welcome. His only rule is that if you are on his walk and you are taking medication he asks that you let him know. He is happy to lead group walks as well.

If you would like to contact him his e mail address is

jhyeomanson@aol.com

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OLD ENGLISH RECIPES

As you know I love to cook. I think it goes back to my childhood because I’ve never made any secret of the fact that my Mother was the worst cook ever created. My Dad used to say that when food saw her coming, it used to beg for mercy. Even tinned food used to climb back in the tin when she took the top off ! Anyway, as I grew up we used to have these classes at school called Housecraft which in other words were cookery and I always remember my teacher. Mrs. Gernooie. I might have that spelling wrong after all these years but that’s the way you pronounced it and Heaven help you if you pronounced it the wrong way. Going back to my childhood memories we had to wear aprons that we’d made in Sewing which had a bit with our name on that we had to embroider especially. Mine was blue and pink – strange the things you remember isn’t it.

Anyway for some reason my love of cooking grew and I started to look into historic recipes more and found a wonderful book by the late Michael Barry so I thought I’d share some of his recipes with you which do still work if you tinker with them. I know that for a fact because I’ve tried them and I haven’t killed anyone yet!

PETS FROM 1630

6 Egg Whites

1/2 lb Caster Sugar

1/2 oz Butter

1 teaspoon lightly crushed Coriander Seeds

1 teaspoon lightly crushed Aniseeds

Method

  1. Beat egg whites until really stiff. Add all but two tablespoons of the sugar until the meringue is really stiff.
  2. Mix the Coriander and Aniseed with the remaining sugar and crush gently and fold it into the meringue.
  3. Spread it on a large baking sheet covered with baking parchment.
  4. Place a large spoonful onto the baking sheet with space between and allow to dry out on Reg. 1.
  5. These meringues can also be cooked in an Aga successfully.

SODA WATER – 1808

1 pint fresh water (You can use bottled if you want to)

1 oz cream of tartar

1 oz bicarbonate of soda.

Method

1.In a jug that allows for frothing up, pour in the water, then add the cream of tartar.

2. Stir until thoroughly dissolved.

3. Add the bicarbonate of soda and stir.

4. It will immediately fizz up.

5. Pour instantly into a screw top bottle, and seal hard to keep the fizz.

OX KIDNEY SAUTE 1675 – 1750

1 1/2 lb Ox Kidney

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp black pepper

1 large onion roughly chopped

1 desertspoon marjoram, thyme

2 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon cornflour mixed with a little water.

METHOD

  1. Remove any fat from the kidneys and cut into slices the size of a walnut.
  2. Season generously with the salt and pepper and fry in the butter until browned.
  3. Add the onion and herbs and add just enough water to cover. Simmer gently for 45 minutes.
  4. Stir in the Cornflour bringing the sauce to a light boil until it is thickened.
  5. Serve with anything you wish.

These a just a few of the many historic recipes in my collection. I hope you will try them and enjoy them. I’ll be posting more in the future. I don’t have a problem with the food we eat today. Please don’t think that but I think that sometimes we neglect our past and forget how good the food was then.

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SUFFER LITTLE CHILDREN

This is my latest book available now on Amazon Kindle.

A retired Captain of a Nuclear Submarine and a disgraced Captain of a Cruise ship move to a quiet Scottish village and find themselves living next door to each other. Or at least they think it’s a quiet village until they meet a more than unusual mix of other villagers. Then three innocent little children die. They aren’t murdered – so how did they die? Someone must have killed them? But did they? And if they did how did they?. Suffer Little Children is definitely a novel with a difference.

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Anyone for Glass of Bubbly

I know there had always been an argument about when a glass of Champagne isn’t a glass of Champagne and it can only be called real Champagne if it come from the Champagne region of France. A bit like Prosecco really only coming from a certain region of Italy. Well I see a brilliant wine suppliers have come up with a rival to the French and their Champagne and it’s now actually being known as English Champagne.

These brilliant people are called the Hambledon Vineyard. The bubbly I’ve looked at is the Hambledon Classic Cuvee. I am wrong – it’s classic sparkly wine. Lovers of this have actually nicknamed it English Champagne amongst themselves and as long as the Vineyard don’t market it as Champagne, we’re good to go.

The Vineyard is online and you can go and visit them and buy from the shop. Postage is free.

So if you fancy some excellent sparkling wine, known under our breath as English Champagne why not type Hambledon Vineyard into the search bar and take a look at what they have to offer.

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ISOLATION AND ME

So it’s no secret that my son and I have had Covid. Having Covid has been bad enough. It’s been weird rather than bad but I’ve not going to talk about that because a lot of people have been worse than me.

It’s being in Isolation. It’s driven me Insane and I mean Insane. At the start I thought, fine. I can live with being in isolation. I can catch up on all the things I’ve neglected. I’ve got books to write. Plenty of knitting and crochet to do. All the things I’d got lined up you wouldn’t believe.

My son was in the ‘Plague Pit’ as he nicknamed it. First day, no problem. Second day, not too bad. Third day I started to get tetchy. I got stupid calls on my mobile phone which annoyed me. Where did I buy the Paper for my Printer? Did my Gardener go and get it for me? Pardon. I started to panic for some stupid reason. Than another one. Did I know the insurance for my Fire Extinguishers at my business premises was due to be renewed? Another panic. I’ve got an on-line craft shop. Why did they want to ask me that question. Who were these people. Panic again.

I found I had no appetite. I’d still got my taste but I couldn’t be bothered to eat. My concentration was muddled. I decided to go and sit in the garden and what did I do? Sit down in the cold and before I knew it, I was talking to a bird that had perched out there.

“Hello” I said gently “You alright?” Now I’m talking to a bird!

Then I thought I need to do something a bit more exciting. So – I got it. I changed to ring tone on my mobile phone. I hadn’t done that for a long time. So I did that. I’d watched every episode of Upstairs Downstairs. Other box sets. For some reason I couldn’t concentrate on reading anything on my Kindle.

Anyway, I did a lateral flow test this morning and I’m still positive, so with the weather still being like winter, I shall – good question – send everyone who is in isolation my good wishes and hope we’re all released from this prison soon.

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ANCESTRY AND ME

Some years ago, after some thought, I decided to find out who I really was. Mainly because I thought Curiosity Killed the Cat suited me down to the ground, so I filled in all the relevant questions. My name, Parents, Grandparents, so on and so forth, and did the DNA test and waited patiently. Back it came, and now I’ve been working on it a few years. I’m connected by my DNA to the Duke of Monmouth and Charles 1st and so on and so forth via my Grandmother on my Dads side, but it’s honestly not things like this which fascinate me so much. It’s finding out the history of what a lot of my Ancestors went through that I had no idea happened in this world of ours. I knew all about the Slave Trade. I have one Ancestor who was one of the first English immigrants to set foot in the U.S… On my Mother’s side I had, and still have some family who lived on Jersey during World War 2 and were caught and put sent to Concentration Camps. Some survived and some didn’t. Thanks to Ancestry I was able to see their ‘cards’ they had to carry. Thanks? In a strange kind of way I was pleased to be able to see them even if it did break my heart. Break my heart over people that I didn’t know or had never heard of? Yes, because with Ancestry they tell you how you are connected to to these people. Even if it is your Grand Mother twenty four times removed from your second cousin! Well, we’re all family aren’t we and believe it or not I’ve had some e mails from people saying I think we may be family and we’re still in touch.

A while ago I was contacted by a young man. My Uncle George had a brother. His brother left home many years ago, aged 15 years old and was never heard of ago. This young man was the Grandson of my Uncle George’s lost brother and he’d been able to trace Uncle George through me and Ancestry. Sadly Uncle George had been dead many years, but we were able to lay some ghosts for each other.

The fact that Acadian families were deported from from Canada in 1767 was also something I learned. They are also connected to me by our DNA. There is a Deportation Cross to their memory at Horton’s Landing in Grand Pre.

I was also surprised at the jobs some of my Ancestors did. My Auntie Em was a Seamstress which, I suppose is why I love to sew, but I’ve managed to get back to the 1200’s in some cases and I really love some of the names. I’m connected to someone called Muk and his wife was Mistress Muk. Wasn’t that lovely???

And then of course, there’s always that feeling of – well I’d never have thought that – I always thought my Auntie so and so was such a nice person – when she ran off with the Baker’s husband. Not that my Auntie so and so did run off with the Baker’s husband!

So I shall continue with Ancestry for as long as there are records about my family and there always seems to be something new to find out. Oh yes and I’m connected by my DNA to Mary, Queen of Scots but then I’m also connected to someone on my Mum’s side to who ran a Fish and Chip Shop at the seaside!

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COOKING AND DIETING

I confess, two chocolate biscuits, and my bathroom scales start to beg for mercy but I have found a couple of ways of enjoying near normal food and not having to worry two much.

TASTY CRISPS

Take as many wraps as you want and cut them into triangles. Place them on a baking sheet and spray with low calorie oil. Put them in the oven at around Gas Mark for but PLEASE watch them carefully as they burn easily as I know to my cost. When they start to crisp turn them over and spray again but cover with dried herbs, or curry powder or something like that, its your choice. Don’t let them get crisp. Take out of the oven put on the baking tray, and the fresh air will crisp them up. Eat as many as you want.

ROAST POTATOES,

Peel and part boil your potatoes having cut them into shape ready to roast. Place on a baking tray, then spray with low calorie oil. Watch carefully, turning as they brown and spraying again until they are soft and ready to eat.

Do exactly the same with chips. Cut potatoes into the shape of chips. Keep spraying with the oil. Keep turning, until done and I promise you will never know the difference,

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BLUE UMBRELLA TOURS

I’d like to introduce you to a new Tour Guide who will be guiding shortly in London. His name is Jack Yeomanson and this will be his own Tour Guiding business. It’s called Blue Umbrella Tours and his Logo will be just that. A Blue Umbrella. He’s been a Professional Tour Guide for many years now and has Guided in most places in London. Everywhere except around the inside of St. Jame’s Palace, Parliament, St. Pauls, Westminster Abbey. Parliament have their own Guides.

You’ll be able to book his walks via Event Brite on line by filling in a form. Dogs and children are very welcome. You don’t have to wear a mask now, but if you feel safer wearing one, you are very welcome.

You will be able to find him very soon on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and of course he’ll have a permanent place on my blog, and as soon as his website is set up I’ll let you know.