Castle Coop News

Stop Press! Read about all sorts of sleepy village news from Barbecues and Clear-up Parties to a Police Chase down The Street!

The Straight and Narrow

Posted by in Castle Coop News | 0 comments

The Straight and Narrow:

Today is the first Sunday in Advent. The Reverend Rosecombe lit the first candle in the advent ring of 4 symbolising Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. Every year at this time, he expresses his hope that his congregation will stay on the straight and narrow.

The Straight and Narrow

History suggests this sermon is an example of the perennial triumph of hope over experience.

Yours unfortunately from the bendy and wide,

Read More

Happy Thanksgiving America!

Posted by in Castle Coop News | 0 comments

Happy Thanksgiving America!

 

Sir Plym has been busy organising a Thanksgiving Supper at the Ox and Moose. 2 weeks ago, this invitation appeared in all of our inboxes

 

 

Dear Castle Coopians,

It’s time for our Castle Coop Thanksgiving party!

Thursday 28th November in the Ox & Moose 

6pm until late.

Help us raise money for the Village Hall upkeep while we party!

Tickets £10 in advance, £15 on the door. 

All volunteers for decorating the Ox & Moose and helping serve out, please contact Sir Plym or Lady Egality

 

 

Supper party at The Ox and Moose in Castle Coop to celebrate Thanksgiving

A toast to the Pilgrim Fathers & the Sweet Land of Liberty!

 

Yours hoping no-one noticed me eating an awful lot of  brownies,

 

Read More

What I know

Posted by in Castle Coop News | 0 comments

  1. If Brown Owl organises me, I feel cross. If I organise myself, I feel pleased
  2. The Agent isn’t fond of stew for supper.
  3. Watching an episode of Foyles War helps several of us Castle Coopians cope with Brexit distress.
  4. I feel better when I can touch my toes
  5. Wearing trousers with elasticated waists makes me feel old.
  6. Lady Egality wears clothes beautifully.
  7. My efforts to improve my self-discipline aren’t often successful.
  8. I like New Year Resolutions and must start thinking of good ones for 2020.
  9. Living in Castle Coop produces all sorts of unexpected feelings in me. I think I long for the hustle and bustle & anonymity of city life but actually, so long as I’m not being ticked off by Brown Owl, I usually remember that being a little cog in a little wheel has a fair number of plus points to mark up in the ‘pro’ column.

 

 

Yours thoughtfully,

Read More

Wasps versus Mojitos? No contest!

Posted by in Castle Coop News | 8 comments

Wasps versus Mojitos? No contest!

Of late, I have been distracted from doing all sorts of things that I shouldn’t allow myself to be distracted from doing. The summer sun has gone to my head.

Unfortunately, while I’ve been busy making the most of the blissful recent heat wave…just look at what’s been growing in our flower beds.

Weeds!

In my absence the garden has joyfully let rip.

Today I fully intended to spend a virtuous afternoon mowing, digging, cutting & raking…

Liberty Hen gardening

but then suddenly a vicious wasp flew in out of nowhere and launched an unprovoked attack on my forehead.

Is Discretion the better part of valour?

What would you have done in the circumstances? I made an executive decision to retire gracefully.

Catching rays

making the most of the summer sun with a magazine & a mojito near to hand 

IMO, wasps versus mojitos? No contest!

Yours warmly recommending the combination of sun + deck chair + magazine + mojito,

Read More

Stir Up Sunday & The Week in Focus

Posted by in Castle Coop News | 4 comments

Large byline photo Lady Liberty Hen, News Editor

 TAH 11/20-16

It has been another busy week here in Castle Coop…

Monday:

The Awesome Hen is proud to report that Castle Coop was well represented at our local Remembrance Ceremony yesterday. Those there all agree that the sight and sound of the Chinook flying over the War Memorial and the length of the Street to mark the end of the 2 Minute Silence was very moving.

Chinook fly past

 

The Dickin Medal: They also served…

Lady Egality, editor portrait

Lady Egality Maran writes: On behalf of the many dearly loved pets in our  village, Castle Coop is proud to remember the many animals who have served their countries.

 

As of April 2016, the  Dickin medal, instituted by Maria Dickin to honour any animal displaying conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty whilst serving with British Empire armed forces or civil emergency services has been awarded 67 times.

http://theawesomehen.com/?attachment_id=14947

A dog receiving a medal while surrounded by a number of men in military uniform

Rob the Collie, receiving his medal

Certificate and medal for Pigeon Royal Blue

Dickin Medal and Certificate for the pigeon Royal Blue

In recognition of all animals who have served in times of conflict, Lady Sebright, Lady Lohmann-Brown, Lady Egality Maran and Lady Liberty Hen put poppies on their dogs’ collars.

martha-and-poppy

 Photograph: Martha wearing her poppy proudly ( she is not very brave & likes her home comforts & she is very aware that those who are brave & self-sacrificing should be honoured).

Source: Liberty Hen

 Tuesday:

Sir-Plym headshot round

A message from Sir Plymouth Rock:

Dear Castle Coopian, 
 
I am writing on behalf of our local Member of Parliament, Sir Hans Welsummer, to invite you to a Public Meeting with him on Friday 18th November at 7pm in the Village Hall. Sir Hans was elected last year to represent the Coop Constituency. He will make a short opening address at which he will talk about life in Westminster as an MP and some of the causes he particularly supports but he wishes specifically to listen to villagers about any concerns that you may have locally or indeed nationally. 
Best wishes, 
 
Sir Plym

Wednesday:

Brown Owl visited several houses in Castle Coop to canvas support for the Advent Church Clean up. She wishes to tell anyone who was out when she came round, that she Will Be Calling Back.

Liberty Hen & Brown Owl

Thursday:

During a spell of bright autumnal sunshine, the Agent and Liberty Hen spent several hours collecting leaves in their garden.

raking-up-the-autumn-leaves

 Friday:

TAH Newsletter is pleased to have been asked by our tireless New Year’s Eve Party Committee to reassure all Castle Coopians that plans for the traditional celebratory ceilidh are well underway.

Lady Sebright writes:

A few of us have met to discuss the arrangements already. Our format this year will be very similar to last year but there are slight changes to how jobs will the allocated, the menu & cost per head.
This year we’re suggesting we make a Swaddles Pie for the main course, this is a slightly spicy shepherd’s pie. This will allow us to reduce the cost per head to £6 which is plenty to cover the cost of the hall plus a couple of glasses of prosecco for everyone.

Swaddles shepherd’s pie (Serves 6-8 )

  • 1 large onion
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • Sunflower oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • 2in fresh grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 900g/2 lb minced lamb
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • Fresh coriander
  • Mashed potato made with 900g/2 lb potatoes, and extra butter for the top

Preheat oven to 190C/370F/Gas 5. Peel, chop and saute¿ the onion and garlic gently until softened in a couple of tablespoons of sunflower oil, sprinkling a bit of salt on. Add the chopped chilli and ginger and the spices, then add the meat and brown it. Add the tomato pureé, lemon and thyme and simmer gently for about 40 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, throw in a couple of tablespoons of chopped fresh coriander, cover with mounds of mash, dot with butter and bake in the oven for about 30-40 minutes. You want a bubbling, crustily browned top. Serve with cumin-spiced carrots.

Source: Tamsin Day Lewis at The Telegraph

 

TAH Newsletter is also delighted to report that the Public Meeting in which villagers discussed important issues of the day with Sir Hans Welsummer (MP) & aired their concerns in a lively Q&A session, was extremely well attended. All agreed that it was a most interesting opportunity to meet our constituency representative in Parliament & the evening was a great success. TAH has been asked to thank Sir Plym formally on everyone’s behalf for all the hard work he undertook to arrange the event as it is very much appreciated by us all.

Saturday:

Lost Cat:  A lost cat has taken up residence in the Ox and Moose. It is black with a white underside. It is being well looked after but if anyone knows where it lives please let the O&M know.

Stir Up Sunday:

Stop Press: A big thank you to our readership from TAH editorial team for all the detective work; the cat has been reunited with its owners & is now safely back home.

 

 

Trev-the-Rev headshot

Rev. T Rosecombe sig

Trev the Rev delivered the traditional Stir-Up Sunday Sermon from the pulpit in St. Mary’s Church with his usual vim & vigour.

stir-up-sunday

Having taken note of the date, Liberty Hen has been tackling her Christmas pudding

cooking-the-christmas-puddingand is keeping her fingers crossed that, although cooking is not a Liberty Hen strong point, the pudding will turn out to be both edible & festive. The Agent was pleased that quite a bit of brandy was added to help it along.

Christmas Pudding

 

 

Yours on behalf of our crack Editorial Team here at The Awesome Hen,

LLH signature

Read More

Stop the World: I want to get off!

Posted by in Castle Coop News | 10 comments

reaction to 2016 presidential-elections

 

 

Yours knowing this time, smelling salts won’t be enough…

Liberty Hen signature

Read More

Our Anniversary!

Posted by in Castle Coop News | 4 comments

 

Our Anniversary!

 

Today The Agent & I have been married for 32 years!

Sir Burford Brown came by and seeing our Anniversary cards, kindly wished us a happy celebration. Then he asked if we’d realised that these days, you get less time for murder & roared with laughter.

 

Happy Anniversary faint

We were married at 2.30 in the afternoon and The Agent was late as he went to the wrong church first by mistake. Without realising he was at St. Francis’ church instead of St. Michael’s, he walked all the way up the aisle with his Best Man, only to find another Groom in morning dress already seated in the front pew glowering at him.

 

10 reasons why I’m glad the Agent realised his mistake & didn’t marry the other bride

(who apparently was extremely pretty) instead of me :

  1. I like remembering him singing ‘Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer’ at our wedding.
  2. I don’t think my life would be much fun without either him or the Chicks major, minor and minimus in it.
  3. He always brings me a cup of tea in bed on Saturday & Sunday mornings.
  4. He doesn’t get cross when I wake him up in the night to tell him something I’ve just thought of.
  5. He doesn’t mind when I burn the supper. I hope that he doesn’t anyway.
  6. He makes me laugh.
  7. He showed me how to use the gears on my bike and then showed me again.
  8. He gives me flowers.
  9. He didn’t get cross with me when I pranged his car.
  10. He shows me where the constellations are in the night sky and tells me what the stars are called.

 

1 reason why the Agent might be glad he married me:

  1. There are many, many skills which alas, I don’t possess but I do happen to be an excellent remover of spiders. As it turned out, this has come in very handy during our marriage for while the Agent turns pale if he spots anything moving with more than 4 legs, I remain calm. Isn’t that lucky?  And…perhaps the other bride might have hesitated at the altar if asked to sign up to 32 years’ worth of arachnid disposal.

 

loveheart

 

Yours hoping that he really didn’t mind too much when I dented the car,

LLH signature

 

Read More

#FridayFitness: the Press-up

Posted by in Health & Fitness Efforts | 0 comments

#FridayFitness: the Press-up

 

 

 

Castle Coop’s #FridayFitness Class: Exercise of the week:

 

 

 

Exercise and physical activity are a great way to feel better.

Winded by grocery shopping or household chores? Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance. Exercise and physical activity deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and help your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. And when your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you have more energy to go about your daily chores.

(Source:  Mayo Clinic )

The Press-up:

Today’s #FridayFitness exercise is the Press-up which is designed to build muscle strength and boost endurance. Apparently of all the exercises one can do, the press-up is one of the most effective: should you wish to improve your  pectoralis major, anterior deltoids and triceps, there is nothing that tops it. Those who are skilled at performing press-ups can further improve themselves with a brisk rendition of the Military Press-up.

To do regular pushups, you bend your arms and lower your chest until it breaks the plane of your elbows. Military pushups require a full range of motion: Marines must touch their chests to the floor for every pushup.

Source: www.ehow.com

To enjoy the many benefits of the Press-up however, you may be glad to know that you don’t need to be a Marine or even to join the Army.

 

 The Press-up

 

 

Yours imagining Samson’s press-ups were probably a bit more successful than mine, before horrid Delilah went & cut off his hair,

LLH signature

 

 

 

If you would like to become a virtual member of our Castle Coop fitness classes, do sign up in the comment box below – we should all be delighted to welcome you.

So as you know what we are doing, so far we have practiced:

The Russian Twist

The Lunge

The Squat

The Toe-touch

Our class is held at 10.30am in the Village Hall – we all drink coffee together after the class and eat Brownies kindly cooked by Lady Sebright. They are delicious and immediately undo all the good work of our class.

 

Read More

Caveat Emptor!

Posted by in Castle Coop News | 2 comments

Caveat Emptor!

Brown Owl’s Rallying Cry – Caveat Emptor!

 

 

 

Good gracious! Look who I have just found in my inbox!

Brown Owl and Ld. Kitchener

 

Lord K has been roped in to spearhead a firm email from Brown Owl. Determined not to let any grass grow under our feet, she is clearly wasting no time in mustering the support of The Big Guns.

 

OPEN IMMEDIATELY: THIS EMAIL MEANS BUSINESS!

To ALL Upper, Lower & Castle Coopians,

With the General Election seemingly in full swing, albeit still many weeks away, I have asked our local candidate for the constituency of which we form a part, to join us in Castle Coop Village Hall at 7pm to listen to me make a short address.

I shall inform our local candidate that the District Council is currently basing its Local Plan on the assumption that over 7,000 new homes will need to be built in the area. I shall then ask our local candidate to mingle with us with us so that we can all discuss before the election everything that makes this constituency tick, what the big issues are and how we should like to be represented. 


 Please turn out in force.

Ensure our local candidate understands what The Coops stand for.

 

The doors will open at 6.30pm  There will be a cash bar and the Brownies will be handing round refreshments so that they may earn points for their Hostess, Community Spirit and Civic Duty Badges.

Carpe Diem!

Ad Astra per Aspera!

Caveat Emptor!

Rally to the cause!

Brown Owl signature

 

 

Caveat emptor? Is Brown Owl getting a little carried away?

Yours, hoping that no disasters (such as nearly happened to the Agent’s birthday raspberry tartlet) occur to the Brownies’ refreshments,

Martha eyeing up fruit tartlet

LLH signature

 

Read More

RIP Foyle’s War

Posted by in The International Friday Night Foyle's War Club | 0 comments

RIP Foyle’s War

 

RIP Foyle’s War

 

Despite 1) Lady Sebright’s sound advice that we should celebrate the pleasure that Foyle’s War has given the Friday Night Club rather than mourn its demise and 2) the absolutely delicious festive fizz which Colonel Pyncheon kindly opened for us to sip while watching ‘Elise’ the final episode of Foyle’s War,  I can’t help feeling sad. Tonight as the closing credits went up on the screen, I felt they were marking the end of a most convivial era.

 

 Valedictions:

 

One of the best ever  youtube clips – actually I could put this on a permanent loop; I’ll never get tired of it: www.youtube.com

The Globetrotting Guitarist: The End of an Era

Telegraph: Is this really goodbye?

ITV.com: Final Foyle’s War episode

Digital spy: Foyle’s War to end

What’s on tv.com: Last episode of Foyle’s War

& for a great last look at Foyle walking out of our lives for ever…  British Detectives

 

Message to all Actual and Virtual Members:

As Secretary to The International Friday Night Foyle’s War Club, it is my sad duty to inform you all that owing to the unhappy fact that Foyle’s War is officially a defunct series, our happy meetings are now at an end.

On behalf of the Friday Night Foyle’s War Committee, I should like to take the opportunity of thanking each of you for many happy meetings and your supportive and interesting comments. Here from the sofa in Castle Coop, we have greatly enjoyed watching:

  • DCS Christopher Foyle’s sleuthing, hat-wearing and general total fabness skills,
  • Sergeant Milner’s unflappable stoicism at (almost) all times
  • Sam Stewart’s terrific stiff-upper-lip at all times (presumably honed on the hockey pitch), cut-glass-vowels & unbounding enthusiasm in the face of every sort of looming disaster.

Being able to share our enjoyment not only with each other but with all the Virtual Members of the International Friday Night Foyle’s War Club has made our meetings the icing on the end of the week cake for me!

 

I should like to invite you to join The Graf (Chairman), Lady Egality (Treasurer), Lady Sebright, Colonel Pyncheon and me in raising a glass to all those involved in the making of every episode in the 9 series which have given us such pleasure.

With a framed Foyle’s War photograph of my 3 favourite TV characters – DCS Foyle, Sergeant Milner & Sam Stewart placed in position for the last time,

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you,

 

The Hat!

 

 

Yours with the ‘Michael Kitchen strumming the Foyle’s War theme’ clip playing us out (& I’ve turned the volume right up high),

Signature The Graf grey

 

 

 

lady E's sig2.png

 

 

Lady Sebright

 

 

Col Pyncheon sig

 

 

LLH signature

 

 

 

P.S. I have received a revivifying suggestion from Miss Peppermint who writes,

Why not start a re-run club? It’s always better the second time around…

HURRAH!

What a stroke of genius! OR…perhaps we should think of a new series for us to watch?

If you have any ideas, please let me know. The Friday Night Club could rise from the ashes like the Phoenix…!

 

 

Read More

The International Friday Night Foyle’s War Club: Elise

Posted by in The International Friday Night Foyle's War Club | 4 comments

The International Friday Night Foyle’s War Club: Elise

The Friday Night Foyle’s War Club: Elise!

 

 

 

 

 

Club notes: Tonight The Friday Night Foyle’s War Club will be watching the very last episode in the ‘Foyle’s War, Although actually it was shown on ITV last Sunday, we taped it so that we could hold one last Friday night session.

 

 

Tonight therefore marks the permanent suspension of our International Friday Night Foyle’s War Club.

Club Minutes:

Apologies: Digby D. Digby D came over from America to attend the last meeting in person. Unfortunately unforeseen circumstances have intervened which will prevent him from attending tonight as planned. Instead, he  watched the last episode as it aired last Sunday with The Agent. Bearing in mind his consistent support for the Club whilst a Virtual Member, and his much appreciated gesture of flying over to join us all in Castle Coop for the final episode (even though we are to be denied the pleasure of his company tonight), the Committee are pleased to grant him Actual Member status in absentia.

Foyle's War Club Award

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Otherwise we are to be a Full House!

Attendees: (Actual): Lady Egality (Club Treasurer), Lady Liberty (Club Secretary) Lady Sebright, Colonel  Pyncheon. Incredibly, given the pathos of the occasion, The Agent and Sir Plym have elected to spend tonight at The Ox and Moose. Lady Egality reported that Sir P, like Digby D and The Agent, watched the episode last Sunday.

Venue:  Castle Coop.

Announcements:

1. As we shall be watching the last episode of the Foyle’s War, the Committee considered whether or not black armbands would be appropriate. Lady Sebright pointed out that since the series has given us all so many hours of pleasure and interest, a celebratory atmosphere would be far more fitting than a funereal one and we were all delighted to concur. To this end, Colonel Pyncheon will be pouring out the fizz for one last time.

2. Here is our  Foyle’s War picture for tonight:

Celebrate Foyle's War

 

 

 

 

Elise: the last ever episode:

Tonight we shall be watching: Episode 3 , Series 9: ‘Elise’

Plot:

A young man tries to kill Hilda Pierce, saying “This is for Elise.” Visiting her in hospital Foyle meets over-bearing Sir Ian Woodhead, now head of MI6, who, during the war, ran SOE with Hilda, sending undercover agents into occupied France. Foyle learns that Elise was the codename of Sophie Corrigan, an agent killed by the Nazis and that the young man is her brother Miles, out to take revenge on those who sent her to die. At the same time Foyle’s department is investigating high powered black marketer Damian White, who has dealings with a Russian diplomat and has corrupt policemen on his payroll. A recovering Hilda tells Foyle that nine agents died in France and the SOE believed that a spy, code-named Plato, was responsible. There are three suspects – one of whom is being blackmailed by White into giving him government papers that he sells to the Soviets. Together Foyle and Hilda make a terrible discovery – with terrible consequences for two people.

Source: www.imdb.com

 

As Hilda Pierce is a V.I.P. in this episode, here is a quick low-down on her, (courtesy of www.foyleswar.com)

Hilda Pierce:

 

Hilda Pierce (Ellie Haddington) makes her first appearance in the Series 2 episode “War Games.” During the war, Pierce ran the Special Operations Executive, where her path crosses with Foyle in Series 3 and 5 in the episodes “The French Drop” and “All Clear.” After the end of the war, Pierce joined MI5. Although officially under the command of Sir Alec Myerson, Pierce wields considerable influence at the agency.

Smart, tough, ambitious, and secretive, Pierce is adept at using backhanded and sometimes amoral means to achieve her ends. She has what Foyle calls “the requisite capacity for deceit” to work for MI5. Although Piece and Foyle use different means, they are on the same side and generally get along. Pierce and Foyle had a disagreement in “Sunflower” (Series 8) regarding a former Nazi officer now working for the British against the Soviets.

 

Yours sure that a glass of bubbly near to hand will help us all to bear up manfully tonight,

LLH signature

Read More

Foyle’s War: Trespass!

Posted by in The International Friday Night Foyle's War Club | 0 comments

Foyle’s War: Trespass!

 

 

The Friday Night Foyle’s War Club: Trespass!

 

‘Trespass’, the second episode of series 9 was shown on Sunday night, here in the UK.  The Friday Night Club (virtual members) met up at Lady Egality and Sir Plym’s house for our Foyle’s War session. However, this particular episode is rather brutal watching.  For any virtual member who hasn’t been able to view it, here are 2 of Anthony Horowitz’s tweets which explain why we found it harrowing . While sitting on the sofa cosily looking at a TV drama, suddenly one gets to see what can happen all too easily, when extreme views are taken too far.

 

.

 

ITV did consider postponing last night’s Foyle’s War. Brave – and right – of them not to (12/01/15)

 

Quite shocking – and moving – watching Foyle tonight in the light of events in Paris. (11/01/15)

 

 

Series 9, Episode 2

Trespass!

 

The son of a high-profile Jewish businessman is attacked in the grounds of a university, leaving Foyle to consider the possibility that the attack was racially motivated…

…At one point in this story, Foyle is called on to resign. And being Foyle, he does so with all the pomp and melodrama of someone announcing they’re popping out to buy a pint of milk. It’s a marvellous scene and typical of the show, which every now and then captures a clipped decency and general stiffness of lip that feels thoroughly 1940s.

Then again, decency is in short supply as an assortment of storylines branch off from an attack on a Jewish student. He’s the son of a shipping magnate, who for some reason doesn’t want Foyle to interfere. There’s a slippery fish at the FO (Alex Jennings); a rabble-rousing politician in Peckham whose rallying cry is “Britain for the British!” (Ukip, basically); and Sam takes pity on a sick boy for whom the NHS can’t arrive soon enough. The complex circuitry of the plot needs a bit more voltage early on, but it builds to a tense climax.

Source: Radio Times:
Yours feeling anxious,
LLH signature
Read More

Going Out versus Staying In!

Posted by in Castle Coop News | 0 comments

Going Out versus Staying In!

Saturday Night Entertainment in Castle Coop!

 

 

 Going out:

On Saturday nights, the Agent, Sir Plym, the Chairman of the Village Hall, Colonel Pyncheon, the Graf and Sir Burford Brown go out. Propping up the bar at the Ox and Moose, they have weighty discussions & a thoroughly enjoyable evening putting the world to rights.

Propping up the bar at the Ox and Moose

 

 

 Staying in:

On Saturday nights, Lady Egality & I stay in.

playing cards together

 

Playing vingt-et-un in front of a log fire, we have a cozy tête à tête & a thoroughly enjoyable evening putting the world to rights.

 

 

Where is your favourite port of call for putting the world to rights? Do you prefer to go out or stay in?

Yours looking for some matches to use as my stake during my Saturday night’s entertainment!

LLH signature

Read More

Pedal2Paris Sponsors & Supporters – A Big Thank you!

Posted by in Cycling from London to Paris for WLS & the Royal British Legion | 2 comments

Pedal2Paris Sponsors & Supporters – A Big Thank you!

 

 

 

 

 

Pedal2Paris Sponsors & Supporters – A Big Thank you!

Oh wow! Justgiving.com have just sent me this email:

 

You were in the top 1% of fundraisers for 2014

 

JustGiving
Congratulations
Liberty, you were in the top 1% of fundraisers for 2014
Get your friends involved
YourJustGiving page was one of the most successful of 2014. Well done on raising so much for your cause!Share this achievement with your friends. 

Share
Tweet
JustGiving JustGiving JustGiving
Giving.com Limited trading as JustGiving.com
Registered in England No. 3871904
Registered office:
The Blue Fin Building, 110 Southwark Street,
2nd Floor, London, SE1 0TA

I am so grateful to everyone who sponsored my Pedal to Paris fundraising efforts.

You helped me raise £6000 for The Royal British Legion in memory of WLS. Hurrah!

Thank you so much!

 

Kind Graham from The Royal British Legion also emailed me just before Christmas:

Dear Liberty,

We wanted to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the whole team at The Royal British Legion.

We’ve had an incredible year with bike rides raising just under £600,000 to support the charity’s essential welfare work helping Service men and women, veterans, and their families. We wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for all your support in raising this record amount.

Have a wonderful festive season,

Best wishes,

Graham sig

 

 

 

How your sponsorship money is distributed by The Royal British Legion:

British Legion sponsorship money

Yours wondering if The British Legion will send some families on a good holiday in 2015 or maybe buy some mobility vehicles !

 

LLH signature

Read More

Foyle’s War is Back! Part 2

Posted by in The International Friday Night Foyle's War Club | 8 comments

Foyle’s War is Back! Part 2
Read More

Foyle’s War is Back! Part One

Posted by in The International Friday Night Foyle's War Club | 4 comments

Foyle’s War is Back! Part One

 

 

 

Foyle’s War is Back! Part One

 

 

 

 

It’s true!

Hurrah!

 

Foyle's War is back!

 

The most fab detective ever will be back on screen tomorrow (Sunday, Jan.4th, 8.00pm ITV) with a brand new series! As our Foyle’s War Friday Night Club Secretary, I am absolutely delighted to announce that there will be a meeting for all club members tomorrow night, 8.00pm here at my house, Castle Coop. Virtual members will of course be most warmly welcomed.

We shall be watching High Castle, the first episode of the new series. A bottle of fizz will definitely be opened to celebrate!

Over the Moon - Foyle's War!

High Castle:

Plot:
 High Castle, focuses on the American oil companies who worked closely with IG Farben (Germany’s biggest oil company) to provide fuel essential for Hitler’s War Machine.

This episode touches on the Nuremberg trials and the lesser known story of thirty executives from IG Farben who built their own concentration camp near Auschwitz called Monowitz.

Foyle is drawn into their world when a London University Professor, William Knowles, is found dead in a park after working as a translator in Germany.

It looks like he may have taken a bribe to carry information back to England for a suspected Nazi war criminal; Herman Linz. When the Nazi war criminal is found dead, Foyle is under no illusion that foul play is behind the academic’s murder.

Sam decides to step up her role at work and volunteers for a risky undercover job and Foyle, unaware of her pregnancy, agrees.

Source: TV Guide.co.uk

Below is a link to the youtube trailer:

http://t.co/npOjfEbyH5

In an interview with The Telegraph, Anthony Horowitz says:

…The fact that we have managed to continue so long I put down to the really extraordinary, true stories that we have found, working from the start with the Imperial War Museum. This year, those include the industrialists’ trials in Nuremberg, a secret plot by the British government to limit the number of Jews emigrating to Israel, and a scandal within Churchill’s secret army.

It’s strange that we would never have been able to tell these stories to a mass audience if we were not seen and promoted as a “murder mystery” show. Certainly, I’ve lost count of the number of dead bodies and red herrings that have mounted up over the years. But the greatest pleasure, for me, has been not the crimes but the way we have been able to explore this extraordinary period in British history. These are stories that deserve to be told and I’m proud that we have told so many of them – often for the first time – in Foyle’s War.

The Friday Night Club reconvenes!

Yours thrilled to be reaching for the fedora once again,

LLH signature

Read More

Happy New Year!

Posted by in Celebrations in Castle Coop! | 0 comments

Happy New Year!

 

 

 

 

Why do I never seem to learn?

 

 

 

 

Happy New Year - Moscow Mule anyone

 

Yours very gingerly indeed,

LLH signature

Read More

Home » Celebrations in Castle Coop! » Dancing The New Year In!

Posted by in Celebrations in Castle Coop! | 0 comments

Home » Celebrations in Castle Coop! » Dancing The New Year In!

 

 

 

 

Dancing the New Year in!

 

An exploratory email was sent around Castle Coop inboxes asking if everyone would like to celebrate the New Year in a sober and sensible fashion.

As there were no responsesSir Plym quickly posted out a revised email.

Just wanted to reassure you that everything is set for our party tomorrow night.  The supper is being prepared, playlists are being fine tuned, fizz is chilling and party poppers are ready……

Canapes, Supper, Cheese & Biscuits, Bar!

Dance to our very own Village playlist!

Celebrate the New Year with Fizz!

Looking forward to seeing you all at 9pm so we can get the Hogmanay celebrations going.  Remember to bring your dancing shoes, Sir Plymouth Rock
 
 
 
 

The Village Hall is decorated!

It took hardly any time at all to set the Village Hall up for the party as all the Christmas decorations already made everything look festive.

 

New Year's Eve Party - Before

 

Just before everyone started arriving at 9.00p.m. Lady Egality lit the candles:

New Year's Eve Party - ready to start!

 

None of us even attempted to celebrate in a sober and sensible fashion:

New Year's Eve Party after 2

 

Actually, we danced our heads off!

2015 NEW YEAR PARTY

 

 

Yours having twisted the night away,

 

LLH signature

 

Read More

Reflections and Resolutions!

Posted by in Castle Coop News, Health & Fitness Efforts | 0 comments

Reflections and Resolutions!

 

 

 

 

Reflections and Resolutions!

 

 

I do hope you have all had a very Merry Christmas!

There has been such a lot of wining, dining and quaffing that has gone on here in Castle Coop recently that my belt now longer fits comfortably. I need to get a grip.

Luckily I was given a ‘Get a Grip’ FitBit for Christmas – it is awesome!

My one is exactly like this:

Black Flex Fitbit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The strapline for the fitbit says:

Set a goal and go

Flex allows you to set a goal and uses LED lights to show how you’re stacking up. Each light represents 20% of your goal. You choose which one — steps, calories, or distance. It lights up like a scoreboard, challenging you to be more active day after day.

I love the idea of a scoreboard and look!! As well as all the LED lights which I keep admiring as they sparkle, the kind people at Fitbit have already sent me a badge to cut out and keep!

 

My Badge!

badge image

Whoa!
Your step count is heating up!
You’ve earned the Urban Boot badge.

The Urban Boot Badge … how exciting is that! I’m totally on board for badges and an urban boot badge sounds pretty edgy. I shall cut my badge out and wear it power walking whilst out and about in Castle Coop.

Liberty Hen power-walking

Resolutions for 2015:

Have you made any? If you have any good ideas, I should be delighted if you’d give me some inspiration as I have been getting depressed considering all the scope for self-improvement. Perhaps I could simply focus on accumulating edgy badges.

Should Hope triumph over Experience?

Should I or should I not put chocolate on the list? To date I haven’t done so as the idea of editing chocolate out of my life isn’t very realistic . On the other hand, there is the belt issue.  On reflection, I think chocolate had better go on the list.

Oh no!

Happy New Year!

Yours fatly,

LLH signature

Read More

A Christmas Carol Service!

Posted by in Castle Coop News, Celebrations in Castle Coop! | 6 comments

A Christmas Carol Service!

 

A Christmas Carol Service!

 

If you had been in Castle Coop tonight, we would have loved it if you could have joined us all as we walked to the Christmas Carol Service down the little lantern-lit path which leads from The Street to St. Mary’s. The church bell was ringing and some tiny pinpricks of light bobbing about in the field meant that Sir Plym, Lady Egality and Sir Burford & Lady Brown, guided by their torches, were taking the shortcut. Reverend Rosecombe stood at the door to welcome us all into St. Mary’s and the Graf showed us all to our pews.

Christmas Carols Service 1

 

Confession:

(Artistic license (also known as dramatic license, historical license, poetic license, narrative license, licentia poetica, or simply license) is a colloquial term, sometimes euphemism, used to denote the distortion of fact, alteration of the conventions of grammar or language, or rewording of pre-existing text made by an artist in the name of art. (Wikipedia)

(In the above picture, the snowman is ‘licentia poetica‘ as there isn’t a flake of snow in Castle Coop at the moment.)

St Mary’s is decorated ready for Christmas!

St. Mary’s looked so pretty, decorated with holly and red berries.

Church font

The rood screen was covered  with little fairy lights entwined through silver birch twigs and the ledges under the windows were glowing with tiny tea lights.

 

Christmas Church window

The stained glass window above the altar shows the Nativity Christmas scene

The window above the Altar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

& every year during Christmas, a tree is placed just infront of the altar.

Christmas tree in St. Mary's

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you look carefully, you can see several labels which Trev the Rev has tied onto its branches. They bear the names of those dear to us in Castle Coop, who are no longer with us.

Christmas tree labels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was lovely to be sitting in our own little church, singing all the old familiar carols.

Christmas is almost here! Hurrah!

 

Yours humming the descant to ‘Adeste Fideles’ (although the Agent – who is musical – says he doesn’t recognise it as such),

LLH signature

 

Read More

The Ceramic Poppies have arrived!

Posted by in Castle Coop News, World War 1 Centenary | 4 comments

The Ceramic Poppies have arrived!

 

 

 

 

The Ceramic Poppies have arrived…

 

 

& they’re so beautiful!

 

Ceramic Poppy Booklet

The 5 ceramic poppies – bought in honour of the 5 soldiers who enlisted from Castle Coop and who were killed in WW1 – have arrived safely.

Poppy with certificate

 

 

Here they all are:

 

5 ceramic poppies

 

Just as each soldier was an individual so each of the ceramic poppies is different from all the others.

ceramic poppy 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ceramic Poppy 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ceramic Poppy 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ceramic Poppy 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ceramic Poppy 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can’t get my head round holding these poppies here in Castle Coop,  knowing that they were part of that incredible display at the Tower of London. It is amazing to think that those poor 5 soldiers who were killed, all have their own poppies now, right here in the village they once lived in…

poppies 1

 

What a thrill!

Yours feeling rather awestruck,

LLH signature

 

Read More

Christmas Presents!

Posted by in Castle Coop News, Celebrations in Castle Coop! | 6 comments

Christmas Presents!

 

 

Christmas Presents!

 

 

 

Yesterday I went on a Christmas present buying spree…

christmas shopping '14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The shops are absolutely crammed with all sorts of simply gorgeous things at the moment and I think it was an extremely successful day… I hope so anyway. How is your shopping getting on?

 

It’s a wrap!

As it is so cold, the Agent has lit a fire and I’m ensconced right next to it, armed with sellotape, scissors & enough paper to wrap up Windsor Castle.

Wrapping up stocking presents!

 

 

Yours sitting in the middle of rather a muddle…

LLH signature

Read More

Sofa Cycling !

Posted by in Castle Coop News, Health & Fitness Efforts | 0 comments

Sofa Cycling !

Sofa Cycling!

 

 

 

 

 

For ages now it has been miserable weather here in Castle Coop. Weeks ago, I decided to combat the winter cold by lying on the sofa under several layers of eiderdown with a cup of tea. This strategy has been a great success and is one I can thoroughly recommend. I knew it would make me feel warm & cozy but it has turned out to be educational as well!

The only snag I found was a (very) small worry of mine about not having taken my bike out and about for ages but look! Someone has already thought up the perfect solution…

Sofa Cycling!

 

 

 

video credit:  Cornelia IndoorCyclingVideo

Isn’t this a brilliant idea!

It really is the most marvellous feeling being able to put all this dreary weather to good use.  Sofa cycling is a simply wonderful discovery. If you watch Cornelia’s fab video, you will be taken on a cycle tour  through a beautiful bit of Germany with the added bonus of a wonderful sunrise thrown in for free. Germany looks very scenic and tranquil; viewing it from Cornelia’s bicycle when she is doing all the leg-work while one is actually snuggled up on the sofa with a cup of tea is most enjoyable.

Learning from Cornelia’s film, small, rural villages in Germany seem quite different from Castle Coop; the houses are like mountain chalets and the roads are far emptier than they are in the UK. Fields stretch right up to the roadsides whereas ours are surrounded by hedges which you can’t see over the top of. German wheelie bins however are exactly the same as ours which I didn’t know before.

 

On You tube, I’ve discovered loads of other cycling videos which have been filmed all over the world. So you see –  sofa cycling is excellent for improving both geography and general knowledge.

Isn’t sofa cycling great!

 

The Agent takes me in hand:

Unfortunately the Agent caught me sofa cycling alongside a beach in Mallorca last week & I failed to convince him of its merits. In no time at all, he’d arranged for an enormous parcel to arrive.

 indoor cycling

Behold the Beast!

 

I am now the proud owner of a high-tech dashboard which monitors distance travelled and calories burnt (& not burnt ) and there are also little buttons which flash to remind me to change gear. However, neither eiderdowns nor cups of tea feature in any of its programmes which IMO, is a bit of a downside.

Yours, astonished that the Agent remains impervious to the joys of sofa cycling but getting to grips with all the newly installed flashing technology,

LLH signature

Read More

Christmas Crackers at the Ox and Moose!

Posted by in Castle Coop News, Celebrations in Castle Coop! | 6 comments

Christmas Crackers at the Ox and Moose!

Christmas Crackers at the Ox and Moose!

 

Way back in November, Sir Plym emailed all Castle Coopians asking if we’d like to sign up for a Christmas get-together supper at the Ox and Moose.

 

Dear All,

Egality and I would like to invite you to join us for an early Christmas dinner in the Ox and Moose. We have provisionally reserved the whole of the main dining room and are seeking to attract between 25 (the minimum) and 40 (the maximum) villagers.

Together with St Mary’s and the Village Hall, the O&M is one of Castle Coop’s major plus points;  we are keen to support Lady Langshan behind the bar especially as at the same time we can have fun and enjoy some good food and drinkable wine. (Hurrah!)

Lady Langshan from behind the Ox and Moose bar  has offered us a special O and M deal on both the food and the wines with a three course Christmas Fayre meal and a small reduction in the normal prices of the listed wines. 

We are suggesting dinner on  Saturday 6th December at 7.30pm. Please advise us if you’d like to join in by this coming Sunday, 2nd November:

 
 
Best wishes,
Plym and Egality
 
 
The Agent signed us up toute de suite!

A Box of Crackers!

On Saturday morning, Lady Langshan from behind the Ox and Moose bar, was rushing here, there & everywhere getting everything ready for hosting the Castle Coop Christmas supper. By lunch time she thought she had finished laying up the tables; the Ox and Moose was festooned with ‘Welcome’ bunting and a huge Ox and Moose Christmas Party banner, held up by strategically placed standard lamps was managing to stay put. Completely unexpectedly Sir Burford Brown turned up saying he and Lady Brown wanted their first Christmas in Castle Coop to be “a Cracker”!

 

A box of crackers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lady Langshan  added the crackers to the tables immediately and we all thought the room looked extremely festive – don’t you agree?

 

Ox and Moose Christmas party 1

 

 

Later that night we all had a simply splendid time!

 

The Graf read his cracker joke out to us

Q. Why is milk fast?

A. because it’s pasturised before you see it!

and then Sir Burford Brown stood up and enacted his joke, walking backwards down the length of the welcome banner saying, “oh, Oh OH!), Apparently he was being Father Christmas on rewind.

We all laughed our heads off (possibly encouraged by the ‘small reduction in the normal prices of the listed wines’).

On finding a whistle in his cracker, Sir Plym immediately brought into play a rule that at every blast of the whistle all the men had to move 2 places clockwise round the tables. Conversation became extremely lively as a result.

Christmas Party at the Ox and Moose

Yours beginning to feel swept up by the Christmas spirit,

LLH signature

Read More

The Castle Coop Smoke-Off Coup!

Posted by in Castle Coop News | 2 comments

The Castle Coop Smoke-Off Coup!

 

The Castle Coop Smoke-Off Coup!

 

 

 

 

 

Précis of Events leading up to the Castle Coop Barbecue Smoke-Off:

  •  Sir Plym organises an Autumn Clear-Up to take place in Castle Coop.
  • Apart from Lord and Lady Nudge (absent on a motor -tour in Bavaria), all the villagers promise to help.

              N.B. Thanks to Sir Plym’s magnificent organisation co-ordinating rakes, hedge-cutters and  wheelbarrows, Castle Coop now looks like a model village.

  • Sir Burford Brown & Sir Plym hold forth on the merits of the gas barbecue in the Ox and Moose.
  • The Agent and the Chairman of the Village Hall in the Ox and Moose hold forth on the merits of the charcoal barbecue in the Ox and Moose.
  • Sir Burford Brown & Sir Plym throw down the gauntlet to the Agent and the Chairman of the Village Hall  who pick it up immediately.
  • Lady Egality buys a magnificent Smoke-off Trophy to be presented by Trev the Rev to the winning team.
  •  The Blue team (Sir Burford Brown and Sir Plym) & the Red team (the Agent and the Chairman of the Village Hall) both conduct a fiercely fought campaign publicising the merits of their chosen fuels.

 

 

 

Quiz:

Please read the following questions and tick a) b) or c) to complete this quiz:

 

The Castle Coop Barbecue Smoke -Off: What Happens Next?

a) In carefully monitored conditions, Sir Burford Brown and Sir Plym cooking on gas in the Blue Corner are voted to have barbecued the most delicious sausages and burgers.

Trev the Rev presesents them with the Castle Coop Smoke -Off Trophy.

Smoke Off trophy blue

 

b) In carefully monitored conditions, the Agent and the Chairman of the Village Hall cooking on charcoal in the Red Corner are voted to have barbecued the most delicious sausages and burgers.

Trev the Rev presesents them with the Castle Coop Smoke -Off Trophy.

Smoke Off trophy RED

c) Neither of the above.

 

To all those who are on the verge of ticking either a) or b), here is a clue as to the correct answer:

Brown-owl-cropped-for-sidebar 1

 

 

Brown Owl orchestrated a Barbecue Smoke-Off Coup!

Yes she really did … it was a totally brilliant surprise coup!

 

Brown Owl’s Wild Card entry – the Brownies toasting marshmallows  for us all on a bonfire – made toast of both the Blue team and the Red team.

Declaring the Brownies victorious, Trev the Rev presented them each with a Camp Fire Badge and Brown Owl who was blushing with pride, held the Castle Coop BBQ Smoke-Off Trophy aloft.  As our dear vicar pronounced, there are times at a barbecue when nothing ” tastes quite so good as a well toasted marshmallow!”

Mmm, yum – ambrosia!

toasting marshmallows2

 

Yours wondering if any other village has a Brown Owl quite like ours…

LLH signature

 

Read More