"The AWESOME HEN "

In Castle Coop, a tiny English village where nothing happens, what does everyone do? Read on and meet amongst others, the Agent and the Chairman of the Village Hall who barbecue, Bossy Brown Owl, Sir Plym and Lady Egality who throw fabulous parties, Trev the Rev who cares faithfully for all his parishioners, gardening guru, Lady Lohmann Brown, Col Pyncheon and Lady Sebright who love watching Foyle's War and Lady Liberty who is aiming to cycle to Paris..

Total Panic!

Posted by on Aug 22, 2014 in Castle Coop Life, Pedal to Paris! | 0 comments

Total Panic!

Total Panic!

 

 

 

 

Today I found this picture on the Royal British Legion’s Facebook page:

 

pedal2paris1

 

then I found this:

Hi All, just thought I’d introduce myself. I’m one of the Paramedics who will be riding with you to Paris. See you soon. Wiggy

and then this:

pedal2paris 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All these riders from the Pedal2Paris 2013 ride, seem to be on stretcher tables although the girl in the foreground looks quite jolly which is something…

I am not very brave. I don’t mean to be ungrateful or rude, but I don’t want to see a Paramedic soon, even though Wiggy sounds absolutely charming.  Do you think I am over-reacting?

In just 2 weeks, I’ll find out if I’m a feckless grasshopper instead of a worthy ant…

Oh no!

Yours thinking I should find a paper bag to start hyperventilating into,

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It’s Time to Put the Pressure On!

Posted by on Aug 20, 2014 in Castle Coop Life, Pedal to Paris! | 2 comments

It’s Time to Put the Pressure On!

It’s Time to Put the Pressure On!

 

I’m in a panic. Look what’s been posted on the Royal British Legion’s Facebook page:

Less than three weeks to the starting pistol, how’s the training going?

Are you working on your average speed, long distances, uphill slogging (we’ve heard the approach to Dover is tough) – or are you putting your feet up and preserving your energy?

pedal2Paris week 3

That word ‘slogging’ sounds dubious; don’t you think the RBL gurus are trying to tell me something? I sense the bit about putting my feet up and preserving my energy is code for LOL.

The comments that other Pedal2Paris riders are leaving on the RBL Facebook page are also giving me pause for thought. Several mention 100 mile + training rides which ‘help to get saddle time’.

 Oh no…. And now the Agent has kitted me out so beautifully, I can’t even blame my tools.

panic attack1

Yours feeling quite sick about that approach to Dover,

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The Princess and the Pea formula

Posted by on Aug 19, 2014 in Castle Coop Life, Pedal to Paris! | 2 comments

The Princess and the Pea formula

The Princess and the Pea formula

When I went up to London last week on my officially sanctioned shopping trip to buy things to cycle to Paris with, my mind was pretty focused. Not only had I been studying advice on cycling web-sites but I had also found a new email waiting for me from kind Graham, the Events Manager for the Royal British Legion. He recommended I should give an eye to Social Media.

 

Dear Liberty Hen

Pedal to Paris on Social Media

We’d like to invite you to like our RBL Bike Rides Facebook page and join our Pedal to Paris Event group where you can talk to fellow cyclists about anything and everything related to cycling! This is a great way to get to know other cyclists before the ride and share your experiences on the ride with your friends and family.

On Facebook and Twitter, the voice of experience drops pearls of wisdom for Pedal to Paris newbies such as myself to pick up.

With only 140 characters to play with on  Twitter, no-one pulls any punches.

Q: What should one expect on a Long Distance Ride?

A: A sore butt.

Oh no…not again ..I’ve already been there  when I couldn’t sit down for ages! How thankful am I that the Agent is a firm believer in the great Scouting Motto, ‘Be Prepared’ & took me shopping!

Don’t you agree that even prosaic items look alluring when arranged in their neat rows on these display stands?

bicycle nirvana

 

 

 I am thoroughly kitted out:

When the Agent & I  stepped into Pedalling Nirvana in Spitalfields, he decided – with my total support - to tackle the sore butt hazard first.

Bearing in mind the approved mathematical Princess and the Pea formula ( pea hardness < comfort of princess lying on top of millions of mattresses), I came home with not only a gel saddle cover but also with some very, very heavily padded leggings (saddle hardness < total comfort of Liberty Hen sitting on equivalent of masses of heavy-duty cushions).

 

In addition, I am now dashingly kitted up with a co-ordinating jacket to wear over my yellow vest & some cycling gloves. Here is my new wardrobe (which might not be making the cover of Vogue magazine any time soon):

2014-08-18 15.19.44

I am also the proud owner of an accessory stash.

bike stuff

 

 

 

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that my fluorescent dayglo hue doesn’t startle learner drivers. The Agent says that it is quite likely a fellow cyclist will mistake me for a wasp.

Yours hoping no-one swats me,

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Spam comments

Posted by on Aug 18, 2014 in Castle Coop Life | 0 comments

Spam comments

 

Spam comments

 

I am curious –  do spammers really feel they get a pay back after all the bother they go to leaving me fake comments left, right & centre? WordPress says the need to raise page ranking in search engines gives rise to the need to create a lot of links to a web page so the search engine thinks that page is important.  Most of my spammers’ links are for fake football jerseys; I worry they’re targeting the wrong person as actually, I don’t often need a  fake football jersey.

 

 

My spammers seem to be a pretty friendly lot. Mostly they say nice things in extraordinary English & don’t bear a grudge when I press the delete zapper. As a polite gesture, I preserve a few of their inventive & extravagant comments before they end up in the trash bin forever.

 

trashcan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Be good!/be a man/be cool!  (I’m ready to try although there is a gender difficulty.)

 

2. Cheerleaders uniforms, are actually large role way to indicate to class internal as oneness. 

 

3. You are the savior of my life.

 

4. I intended to send you a bit of remark to say thanks again with your magnificent opinions you’ve discussed above. It’s certainly unbelievably open-handed .

 

5. almost certainly he decided he can get travel world wide suggesting to his hypothetically experience at murder. almost for example joining confession void of any penance. yet, as any happy client might well have expected, this valuable backfired availa…

 

6. Thank you for your site post. Brown and I have already been saving to get a new guide on this matter and your writing has made us all to save the money. Your ideas really solved all our questions. In fact, in excess of what we had recognized ahead of t…

I’m very glad to have saved No. 3′s life &  I love the idea of telling the Agent that my opinions are ‘magnificent’  but who is Brown  (No. 6) and on what matter do the two of them need guidance? How have I helped save them money?

If you know who Brown is, do, please tell me..

Yours interestedly,

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Paris is only 4 weeks away!

Posted by on Aug 12, 2014 in Castle Coop Life, Pedal to Paris! | 12 comments

Paris is only 4 weeks away!

 

Paris is only 4 weeks away!

The final countdown for the Poppy Bike ride has begun.

 

 

The Royal British Legion has just published this message on its facebook page:

 

There's less than one month to go before Pedal 2 Paris and we hope you're all looking forward to it. </p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Before you get together for the first time on 4 September, we'd like you to introduce yourselves – who you are, where you're based and why you've decided to ride for the Legion…
I’m not sure whether to be excited or alarmed.  
Do you think this reminder is intended to be encouraging or unnerving?

After months and months of thinking about the ‘Pedal to Paris ride’, suddenly, it’s almost upon me.  I don’t know whether I will have trained enough or not. I do hope I will have done so but …I have qualms.

 

What should my priorities be for my last-minute ‘Pedal to Paris’ preparations?

Given that I’ve only a month left for last-minute tweaks to my training schedule, I googled the web last weekend to find out what the well-prepared cyclist prioritizes. What would you make of these bits of advice?
  •  …cyclists training for long-distance rides should push themselves to the limits to prepare. You should reach your VO2 max, or maximum oxygen consumption capabilities, during training to evaluate your ability to successfully complete a long bike ride. (Ms. Linda Ray)

Oh no! I can’t say that I’ve exactly pushed myself ‘to the limits’ during my carefree whizzes through the country lanes around Castle Coop – I’ve never even heard of ‘VO2 max’ before and I still walk rather than ride my bike up some of the hills.

  • One thing that some cyclists do are longer bike rides. These might be multi day trips or one really long ride of a hundred miles or more. ( Ms. Ava Connor)

100 miles or more? HA HA LOL . Like that’s going to happen….

  • Long distance cycling is more mental than physical…. it’s the mind and the desire to persevere that forces a cyclist onwards. Having a positive attitude keeps a person going forward and over the next hill. (Articlesbase)
…more mental than physical – what???? I’ve less than a month to go and now they tell me that all this time I should have been training my brain to pedal to Paris….

 

Now that sounds much more do-able…. An officially sanctioned shopping trip – yay, I can manage that!

A Trip to London:

No sooner had I read  that I should get my gear together for the Pedal to Paris ride (as a priority) than I found myself nipping onto a train to go to a bicycle shop in the City, near Liverpool Street.

 

south west trains

I thought a day shopping in London would be fun and it was! I love the people in their amazing clothes, the shop window displays, the buses, the bustle and all the colour & noise. It’s such an exciting city to be in!

Guess which shopper is me!

London shoppers 2

Nirvana!

Yours having come home completely laden with exciting bags full of things to pedal to Paris with,

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August 4th: 1914 – 2014

Posted by on Aug 4, 2014 in Castle Coop Life | 0 comments

August 4th: 1914 – 2014

August 4th: 1914 – 2014

 

‘The lamps are going out all over Europe…’

(Sir Edward Grey, Britain’s Foreign Minister, August 4th 1914)

To commemorate the centenary of the Declaration of WW1 August 4th, 1914, tonight the lights went turned off in London. The Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge and St. Paul’s Cathedral were all in darkness from 10.00pm. In Westminster Abbey, candles were snuffed out one by one until the only gleam of light came from a burning oil lamp by the Grave of the Unknown Warrior.

Having gathered together around the village flag pole to watch the Union Jack lowered as the Last Post played, villagers here in Castle Coop also switched off all the lights in our homes bar one between 10.00 and 11.00. so that we could join in the nation-wide tribute to those who died.

one lit window

 

 

Yours, thinking about everything that happened one hundred years ago,

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#ThisBook Results update

Posted by on Jul 31, 2014 in Castle Coop Life | 12 comments

#ThisBook Results update

#ThisBook Results update

The results of the social media campaign #ThisBook have been announced by the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, to identify which novels written by women, have inspired readers from all over the UK and beyond. I  first wrote about #ThisBook here and now the results have been published, I’m thinking about the inspirational role great fiction plays all over again!

 

 

The full list of the #ThisBook top 20 titles is as follows:

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  2. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
  3. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
  4. Harry Potter – J.K Rowling
  5. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
  6. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  7. Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
  8. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
  9. The Secret History – Donna Tartt
  10. I Capture The Castle – Dodie Smith
  11. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
  12. Beloved – Toni Morrison
  13. Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
  14. We Need To Talk About Kevin – Lionel Shriver
  15. The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
  16. Middlemarch – George Eliot
  17. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
  18. The Golden Notebook – Doris Lessing
  19. The Colour Purple – Alice Walker
  20. The Women’s Room – Marilyn French

(source:http://www.womensprizeforfiction.co.uk)

I can’t understand why ‘Miss Buncle’s Book’ by D. E. Stevenson isn’t on the list – it’s absolutely brilliant & highly inspirational.

 

 

Did you vote and if so, did your favourite book make the cut into the #ThisBook top 20?

Yours with a new reading list for the rest of the summer,

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Because I’m Happy…!

Posted by on Jul 30, 2014 in Brown Owl, Castle Coop Life, Colonel Pyncheon, Lady Egality, Lady Liberty Hen, Lady Lohmann-Brown, Lady Sebright, Sir Plym, The Agent, The Chairman of the Village Hall, The Reverend Rosecombe | 6 comments

Because I’m Happy…!

 

Because I’m Happy…!

Pharrell Williams’ song has gone viral in Castle Coop since the sun’s been out…

Why don’t you turn it up high & clap along with us!

 

 

It might seem crazy what I’m about to say
Sunshine she’s here, you can take a break


LLH & Mrs Chick Ma Happy3.jpg


Because I’m happy


Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof  
Brown Owl singing.1.jpg

Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do

the Agent & Cof VH singing 2.jpg



Well, I should probably warn you I’ll be just fine, yeah,

No offence to you, don’t waste your time.
Here’s why
[ Lyrics from: http://www.lyricsty.com/pharrell-williams-happy-lyrics.html ]

Because I’m happy

picnic 2.jpg    
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth

Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you

Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do

Hey, come on


(happy)
Bring me down
Can’t nothing bring me down
My level’s too high
Bring me down
Can’t nothing bring me down
I said (let me tell you now)
Bring me down
Lady S and Col P singing.jpg
Can’t nothing bring me down
My level’s too high
Bring me down
Can’t nothing bring me down
I said


Because I’m happy
 
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Lady E and Sir Plym singing.1.jpg
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth

Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy

Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do

Because I’m happy

Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof 

Lady Lohmann Brown singing.jpg.jpg

Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth

Because I’m happy

Clap along if you know what happiness is to you

Because I’m happy

Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do
Hey, come on

(happy)
Bring me down… can’t nothing…
Bring me down… my level’s too high…


Bring me down… can’t nothing…
Bring me down, I said (let me tell you now)

Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof


Because I’m happy

Trev the Rev Happy!1.jpg

 

 

Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you


Because I’m happy


Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do

Because I’m happy

Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof


Because I’m happy

Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth

Because I’m happy


Clap along if you know what happiness is to you

 

Lady LH singing.jpg


Come on

 

 

Yours, singing & clapping happily along to

 

Pharrell Williams lyrics |with  help from  Lyricsty

and hoping you feel happy too!

 

 

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Friday Night Foyle’s War Club: Sunflower!

Posted by on Jul 25, 2014 in Castle Coop Life, Foyle's War | 0 comments

Friday Night Foyle’s War Club: Sunflower!

Friday Night Foyle’s War Club: Sunflower!

Club notes: Tonight we’re watching the very last episode in the ‘Foyle’s War: The Complete Collection’ set of DVDs which I was given for my birthday last year by the Agent.

 

 

During our Friday Night Club meetings, we have watched:

The German Woman

The White Feather

A lesson in Murdaer

Eagle Day

Fifty Ships

Among the Few

War Games

The Funk Hole

The French Drop

Enemy Fire

They Fought in the Fields

A War of Nerves

Invasion

Bad Blood

Bleak Midwinter

Casualties of War

Plan of Attack

Broken Souls

All Clear

The Russian House

Killing Time

The Hide

The Eternity Ring

The Cage

& Sunflower (tonight’s episode)

 

Tonight therefore marks the temporary suspension of our International Friday Night Foyle’s War Club until the next 3 episodes of Foyle’s War are aired.

Club Minutes:

Apologies: The Graf  (Club Chairman) who is summering in Sweden.

Attendees: (Virtual): Martha from America, MohairMK, Kitchentease, C. Nelson, Digby D, ayresorchids, Miss Peppermint and British Detectives from America.  (Actual): Lady Egality (Club Treasurer), Lady Liberty (Club Secretary) Lady Sebright, Colonel  Pyncheon.

Venue:  Castle Coop and various international locations.

Announcements:

1. As we are watching the last episode of the Foyle’s War Collection, we are all trying to decide which has been our absolute top favourite episode so far and why.

2.Tonight the Actual Members will be drinking tea with a whiskey shot (in honour of DCS C Foyle) and eating Flapjacks (which we all like and Lady Sebright has made a huge tinful – yum!).

3. A reminder to all Club Members - don’t forget to place a Foyle’s War picture in the room where you are attending the meeting. Here is our one for tonight: (photo source: www.foyleswar.com )  I know Sergeant Milner has been written out but for tonight, I wanted a picture of the original three!

all 3 in Foyles-War1.jpg

Sunflower:

Tonight we will be watching: Episode 3 , Series 7*: ‘Sunflower”

Plot:

Foyle investigates a former Nazi SS officer Strasser (Lars Eidinger), now protected by MI5 in exchange for providing Russian intelligence. Threats, a bullet and sunflower refer to Operation Sunflower 1944 in France, where Strasser ordered 26 surrendered American soldiers shot, but claims he was elsewhere at a desk. American officials want him turned over as a war criminal. Meanwhile, Sam orders a phone tap after Adam suspects a government minister of illegal land speculation when a complainant is viciously assaulted. (source: Wikipedia)

 

A Slip-up:

The U.S. Flag flying outside the Embassy has the wrong configuration of stars. In 1946 the 48 stars were in a block formation (even rows) The flag shown had staggered rows.(Source: www.imdb.com)

 

 

Memorable Dialogue (given its context at the end of the series):

 

Samantha Stewart: Where to, sir?

Christopher Foyle: Good question.

 

What a relief that we know now that the answer to Sam’s question turned out to be ...towards 3 more episodes which are in the can!

 

tweet2.jpg.jpg

Having thought about it, I’ve decided that ‘Bleak Midwinter’ is the episode I’d take to a desert island.  Some of it was filmed in Odiham  where I go nearly every day & it’s so exciting to walk about knowing that DCS Foyle, Sergeant Milner and Sam Stewart were all actually there!

Which episode would you take if you were marooned?

Yours, keenly awaitng the next installment in 2015 and thanking all our virtual members -Martha from America, MohairMK, Kitchentease, C. Nelson, Digby D, ayresorchids, Miss Peppermint and British Detectives from America – for their loyal virtual attendance  and informative comments (eg. about why men stopped wearing the fabulous Fedora).

On behalf of the Friday Night Foyle’s War Club Committee, I should like raise a mug of tea and a shot glass to wish you all ‘Au Revoir until 2015 & Good Health’ and to say we all feel we’ve made some wonderful new friendships!

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A Busy Day!

Posted by on Jul 24, 2014 in Castle Coop Life | 2 comments

A Busy Day!

 

 

A Busy Day!

 

 

Today I had a really busy day planned.

There were all sorts of things I needed to do.

  • shopping
  • sorting
  • tidying
  • cleaning
  • planning
  • weeding
  • dead-heading
  • planting
  • cooking
  • visiting
  • ironing
  • painting
  • polishing
  • re-arranging
  • admin organising
  • bike riding
  • letter writing

 

But then the sunshine & a copy of Hello magazine got in the way…

Sunbathing.1.jpg

Yours lazily,

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