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 Ceramic Poppies have arrived!

Posted by on Dec 19, 2014 in Castle Coop News, World War 1 Centenary | 2 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,

poppies 1


What a thrill!

Yours feeling rather awestruck,

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Christmas Presents!

Posted by on Dec 16, 2014 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…

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Sofa Cycling !

Posted by on Dec 12, 2014 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,

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Christmas Crackers at the Ox and Moose!

Posted by on Dec 10, 2014 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,

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Stir-up Sunday

Posted by on Nov 24, 2014 in Castle Coop News | 0 comments

Stir-up Sunday

Stir-up Sunday


Stir-up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people;
that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works,
may of thee be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Trev the Rev reminded us all that today, the last Sunday before Advent,  is ‘Stir-up Sunday’, the traditional day for everyone in the family to take a turn at stirring the Christmas pudding, whilst making a wish.

Stir-up Sunday

image: icon Christmas Pudding Traditions

A Christmas pudding is traditionally made with 13 ingredients to represent Christ and His Disciples.

A proper Christmas pudding is always stirred from East to West in honour of the three Wise Men who visited the baby Jesus.

Every member of the family must give the pudding a stir and make a secret wish.

A coin was traditionally added to the ingredients and cooked in the pudding. It was supposedly to bring wealth to whoever found it on their plate on Christmas Day. The traditional coin was an old silver sixpence or threepenny bit.

Other traditional additions to the pudding included a ring, to foretell a marriage, and a thimble for a lucky life.

(source: Project Britain)

Christmas Pudding Anxieties:

I’m afraid Trev the Rev’s on a highway to nowhere.  We’ve all been told already that nothing we can make at home will have a hope of tasting as good as Morrison’s Signature Jewelled Fruit Christmas Pudding on sale at £3.99. Apparently it is ”simply majestic” . (Source: Telegraph: Best Christmas Pudding Poll)

Fortnum and Mason’s Christmas pudding is reported by the Telegraph to taste like ” a citrus bathroom cleaner ” so Lady Eftie Nudge might have a problem this year.

Christmas pudding dilemma



No-one in our family will eat Christmas pudding -either majestic or bathroom-cleaner style- except for the Agent who might have a tiny bit for breakfast on Boxing Day so long as it’s cold. I hope he doesn’t get the Bachelor’s Button, even if it is meant to be lucky. I think I’ll make sure he get’s the Ring.

Yours beginning to feel anxious about all the Christmas worries that sneak up on one at this time of year,

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Cinema Society Outing: Mr Turner

Posted by on Nov 13, 2014 in Castle Coop News | 2 comments

Cinema Society Outing: Mr Turner




Cinema Society Outing: Mr Turner

(from our Film and TV correspondent, The Graf von Blommenhön)




There was an excellent turn-out from the Castle Coop Cinema Society members for November’s cinema outing; three cars were needed to transport us all to Basingstoke to see Mike Leigh’s Mr Turner, last Sunday afternoon.

Mr Turner











Image credit:

Mr. Turner explores the last quarter century of the great if eccentric British painter J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851). Profoundly affected by the death of his father, loved by a housekeeper he takes for granted and occasionally exploits sexually, he forms a close relationship with a seaside landlady with whom he eventually lives incognito in Chelsea, where he dies. Throughout this, he travels, paints, stays with the country aristocracy, visits brothels, is a popular if anarchic member of the Royal Academy of Arts, has himself strapped to the mast of a ship so that he can paint a snowstorm, and is both celebrated and reviled by the public and by royalty.( – written by Entertainment One.)

In this YouTube video posted below,  Mike Lean describes his take on Turner and the excitement he’s derived as a director from making the film.

YouTube video posted by The Tate.


Colonel Pyncheon was especially keen to see how the film depicts Turner painting ‘The Fighting Temeraire’ which the artist bequeathed to the nation in 1851. Having helped the picture be recognised as the UK’s favourite painting by voting in the poll organised by BBC Radio 4  in 2005, Col. P periodically goes up to London to the National Gallery where it is hanging.

Most of our group greatly enjoyed the film and would recommend it to others but it was noticed that unfortunately both Lady Egality and Lady Liberty fell fast asleep fairly early on.

Cinema outing

Next Castle Coop Film Society Outing:

Suggestions are welcome for our next cinema outing. Possible choices are:

N.B. The Imitation Game, Testament of Youth and Suite Française are earmarked as films the Castle Coop Cinema Society might wish to go and see when they are released.

Yours faithfully,


Signature The Graf grey




Film and TV Correspondent: Although the Graf always summers in Scandinavia, he is back in Castle Coop and as Chairman of our Cinema Society would like to extend a warm welcome to anyone who wishes to become a virtual member.






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