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 )
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.
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.
Yours imagining Samson could probably execute a mean press-up before horrid Delilah went & cut off his hair,Read More
A Cautionary Tale
Just in case any of you are thinking of Spring Cleaning in the near future, I thought I should post this cautionary tale so that you may take an informed decision as to whether or not it’s a good idea…
What happens when Martha Stewart cleans her windows:
Miss Martha Stewart, America’s legendary home-making guru, instructs:
Dirty panes are no problem when you use rubber-edged squeegees, which are quicker and more effective than cloth or newspaper. They come in a variety of sizes — and a screw-on extension will let you reach high spots.
To start, dip a sponge into a bucket of warm water and a few drops of mild dish soap. Wet window; rub dirt away. Dampen squeegee; starting at an upper corner, draw it down pane from top to bottom. Repeat, overlapping strokes and wiping rubber edge with sponge after each stroke. (For large windows, ”snake” squeegee back and forth; then touch up edges.) Dry windowsills with a cloth.
What happens when I clean my windows:
Feeling inspired, I decided to clean the insides of my windows a while ago. I don’t have a rubber-edged squeegee but I equipped myself with a proper glass cleaner and an e-cloth so I could feel pleasantly like Ms. Stewart.
While I was rubbing a few dirty spots away, I happened to notice a small cobweb just at the top of the window, under the curtain pelmet.
While I was de-cobwebbing the curtain, I realised that actually there were dreadful cobwebs all over the house so I had to spend ages wobbling about on top of a ladder while wafting around the vacuum cleaner with all its extension tubes attached.
I ended up wearing several cobwebs which is not a great look. The washing machine had to go into overdrive and there was no hot water left for my emergency bath.
Once the walls were de-cobwebbed successfully, I suddenly noticed that they could do with a paint.
While I was painting the kitchen, I saw that the skirting boards were horribly scuffed and needed a good sanding down.
After I’d finished with the sander, I discovered I’d been a bit over-enthusiastic and had to apply 2 tubes of wood filler to fill in the dents I’d made.
Having filled up all the holes and sanded everything down again, I then had to remove all the cupboard doors from their hinges and take off the handles
so that I could paint all the woodwork.
When I took the cupboard doors off to be painted,
I had to tidy up everything in the cupboard before it all fell out onto the floor.
After I had re-hung the doors on their hinges, I found some un-nerving left-overs which I don’t know what to do with.
I also found some paint splodges on the floor and had to steam clean it. As I had the steam cleaner out, I decided to whizz it over the curtains and discovered the lining in one pair had torn and needed replacing. Mending the curtains took up all a weekend I had been carefully saving for better things. When I re-hung the curtains, I noticed that the windows needed cleaning.
I believe Messrs Flanders and Swann once suffered a similar problem and were inspired to write a song called, ‘The Gas Man cometh’ … www.youtube.com
And the moral of this cautionary tale is…
Before you decide to embark on anything rash, do please decide whether you resemble Martha Stewart or me most closely so that you can plan the forseeable future accordingly.
Yours vigorously querying the assertion that, ‘Dirty panes are no problem’,
Brown Owl’s Rallying Cry – Caveat Emptor!
Good gracious! Look who I have just found in my inbox!
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.
Ad Astra per Aspera!
Rally to the cause!
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,
Not in Castle Coop’s Back Yard!
This morning, just when I was in the middle of rescuing a pillowcase while busy sorting the laundry, the door bell rang.
I was hoping it would be dear Lady Egality coming round for a cup of coffee. The Agent and I have been bemoaning the loss of our raspberry canes which have given up the ghost and she very kindly said she had some spares. Having struggled out of the inside of a duvet cover to open the door, I found it wasn’t Lady E after all; it was Brown Owl. She immediately informed me I looked exactly like a birch broom having a fit backwards.
7,000 proposed new homes – help!
Brown Owl is spearheading Castle Coop’s campaign to oppose a threat posed by the District Council. The D.C. is currently basing its Local Plan on the assumption that over 7,000 new homes will need to be built in the area. We are all horrified.
- The schools are full to capacity.
- The surgeries are full.
- The hospital is already too busy.
- The High Street has no room for extra shops and parking.
- The commuter trains are jam-packed.
None of us can imagine how all the families who are to live in the 7,000 new homes can possibly be absorbed; with the best will in the world, there isn’t enough room!
Both the Agent & I will rally to the cause immediately.
Brown Owl gave me a strongly worded pamphlet called The Not In Castle Coop’s Back Yard Campaign which we are all very impressed by.
Yours extremely glad that Castle Coop has a resident force to be reckoned with – although I could do without personal remarks about birch brooms…Read More
Burns Night at The Ox and Moose!
The Ox and Moose is celebrating Burns Night tonight.
Sir Plym is to pipe in The Haggis. He will look absolutely splendid!
Colonel Pyncheon has been roped in to ‘address The Haggis’. The Agent and Sir Burford Brown have promised us all that they will heckle him during the recitation which is awfully mean as getting through eight verses of stuff like
…Ye Pow’rs, wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o‘ fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies;
But, if ye wish her grateful‘ prayer
Gie her a haggis!To a Haggis
with a straight face will be quite hard enough without them being a distracting presence at the back.
Yours knowing in advance that I won’t be ordering haggis,
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.
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 the Foyle’s War photograph placed in position for the last time,
(photo source: www.foyleswar.com )
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you,
Yours with the ‘Michael Kitchen strumming the Foyle’s War theme’ clip playing us out (& I’ve turned the volume right up high),
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…‘
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…!
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.
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.
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.
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: (photo source: www.foyleswar.com )
Elise: the last ever episode:
Tonight we shall be watching: Episode 3 , Series 9: ‘Elise’
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.
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 (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,Read More
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
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.
Saturday Night Entertainment in Castle Coop!
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.
On Saturday nights, Lady Egality & I stay in.
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!Read More
Pedal2Paris Sponsors & Supporters – A Big Thank you!
Oh wow! Justgiving.com have just sent me this email:
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:
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,
How your sponsorship money is distributed by The Royal British Legion:
Yours wondering if The British Legion will send some families on a good holiday in 2015 or maybe buy some mobility vehicles !
A Prototype Display for the Ceramic Poppies:
Since the 5 ceramic poppies arrived from The Tower of London, we have been trying to come up with a way to put them on display in the Village Hall so that they can be used to commemorate the 5 soldiers from Castle Coop who were killed in WW1.
Arranging the Poppies for Display:
The poppies arrived on quite long steel stalks – about 14″ or so and we’ve been trying to think of a way to arrange them so that they can all be seen together in a way that doesn’t look too stiff or formal.
Here is what we’ve come up with!
Amazingly, the Chairman of the Village Hall has an original WW1 barbed wire screw picket. It was found on a Somme field as part of the annual ‘Iron Harvest‘ and he’s very kindly donated it so that the ceramic poppies can be displayed against it.
During the First World War, screw pickets were used for the installation of wire obstacles; these were metal rods with eyelets for holding strands of wire, and a corkscrew-like end that could literally be screwed into the ground rather than hammered, so that wiring parties could work at night near enemy soldiers and not reveal their position by the sound of hammers.
It still has a bit of (modern) Somme mud on it.
We thought we’d try entwining the poppies around it, bending the steel stems so that the flower heads face upwards as if growing towards the sun.
The Castle Coop gamekeeper then produced a bit of barbed wire which the Chairman of the V. H. wound around the whole thing, having bent the stems a bit more:
If other villagers give the arrangement the thumbs up, we’ll need to encase it inside a box frame. Then it can be put on permanent display inside the Village Hall next to or near the Rolls of Honour on which the names of the 5 soldiers are written.
What do you think?
Do you think it will look appropriate?
We are all very anxious to show the Poppies off to best advantage.
Yours absolutely thrilled to think that our 5 poor soldiers will now each have their own poppy by their names in their own Village Hall,Read More
Foyle’s War is Back! Part One
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!
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:
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.
Yours thrilled to be reaching for the fedora once again,
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.
There were no responses.
A more realistic approach is adopted:
Sir 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……
Dance to our very own Village playlist!
Celebrate the New Year with Fizz!
See you tomorrow, Sir Plymouth Travolta
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.
Just before everyone started arriving at 9.00p.m. Lady Egality lit the candles:
None of us even attempted to celebrate in a sober and sensible fashion:
Actually, we danced our heads off!
Yours having twisted the night away,