Tag Archives: squirrel

When no one locked their doors on my street

This is a history of my street, from 1931-2011. It’s a firsthand account. So it’s not written by me. Guess that makes it a guest post.

One of my neighbours, Pam, wrote it to share with the rest of us on the street. I typed it up and printed off copies to hand out at our recent royal wedding street party (here, here and here).

I’ve slightly edited it for this blog. And I’ll give you a little context too.

The street is on the edge of a village in the south of England. Population less than five thousand people. Used to be mainly farm workers. Now a lot of people commute to the nearest city.

Pam was born on the street and has lived here most of her life.  She has some good tales. One of them features an odd woman in a beret. (Apologies. In the previous post I promised you a flat cap. Turns out it’s a beret.)

So here’s Pam’s story.

I was born at no.22, lived there for a year, then moved to no.18 for a year, then to no.17 for the next thirty years, until my husband and I bought an allotment and orchard from the owners at no.19 and built our own bungalow no.21.

Many of the houses were built in the late 1920s and 1930s by two local builders. They were mostly rented. It was only after World War II that people began to buy homes outright. Most houses have altered almost out of recognition with rooms added up and out.

I do not know if our home came with gas at first, but I do remember the excitement of just touching a switch and the light coming on when electricity was installed. Before then, one had a bracket with two gas mantles which had a chain to operate the gas flow. One then lit the mantles carefully with a match. That was only downstairs. Electricity came to the street around 1937 I think. Before then we went to bed by candlelight.

Everyone had a flower garden, a vegetable patch and a few greenhouses – fruit trees and bushes and strawberries. Everyone in those days grew most of their vegetables and shared them with neighbours.

A few chickens at the bottom of the garden and rabbits in hutches provided extra meat – especially during the war years and eggs were precious. During the war we had a retriever who when told to “catch a rabbit” over the fields, did just that and made the meat ration go further. The large oak tree (now listed) at the rear of no.17 was home to a family of red squirrels until the grey squirrels moved in.

1. It's not a woman in a beret. 2. It's the wrong type of rabbit. 3. It's a pipe not a cigarette. 4. Who cares.

Also to the rear of no.17 in the corner of the field was a reclusive lady who Continue reading

7 Comments

Filed under Guest Posts, In the village

These are what you were looking for

from FickleInPink, the Dark SideI’m thinking of getting one of these gadgets. Any advice or lessons learned from people out there?

RIP Robert Degen: You put your left leg in… The man who wrote the Hokey Pokey is dead. (Or should that be the Hokey Cokey?)

Here’s a very capable communicator with a wealth of life experience who is looking for a job. He has an interesting blog too.

Think before you make a placard

And lots of fascinating stuff from the Uni Sociology Club at the University of Northern Iowa.

Like the top tip for making a placard: Think first.

A stun gun shaped like tampons – in case you’d be embarrassed to be discovered with a weapon in your handbag.   And how to make your eyes look bigger with LED eyelashes.

from Strange Maps

"Some squirrel nibbled the continent of South America on one of my pumpkins," reported Seth Masket. "It's freaking me out."

Finally, Strange Maps is the place to discover stains, bite marks, rust and clouds in the shape of countries, states and continents. It’s called Accidental Geography. Or more poshly –  cartocacoethes – which means the uncontrollable urge to see maps in everyday, non-cartography-related objects. However, Cacoethes is a Greek word used to express uncontrollable urge or desire, especially for something harmful. Strange Maps thinks seeing maps everywhere is harmless, if not downright beneficial. It prefers the friendlier term, cartococcygia, for the condition. Cartococcygia literally means maps built by cuckoos – analogous to nephelococcygia (a term for seeing shapes in clouds, from The Birds by Aristophanes , literally: clouds built by cuckoos).

2 Comments

Filed under blogs