Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Strawberries and more ...

I love strawberries ..... and our friends the MacIntoshes have the most wonderful strawberry patch ... full of the juiciest, sweetest berries. And, like all old-fashioned varieties, the fruiting season is relatively short, and once picked the berries don't keep .... but ahhh, the flavour! We've been picking loads and gorging ourselves till we just can't eat any more.. so I painted some (not very well) and then I made some jam ....

Last month I mentioned the old letter concealed in the chimney breast that the builders found when renovations were in hand. Here it is ...

It's hard to read in the picture, but what it actually says is

"Fryday 15 Septr 1837

Enclosed in a cupboard being part of an old chimney built time out of mind lately belonging to and rebuilt in all its parts this House (save this Chimney) in the Year of our Lord Jesus Christ 1812 by the late James Torring Esq and now altered improved & beautifyed by me the Owner a newspaper being enclosed with it describing among other things the Funeral of our late King Wm 4th it now being the first year of the reign of Victoria a young Lady of great promise.

Robt Webb"

And that's it. I haven't been able to find out anything about Robert Webb, but do know that the back part of the house where the cobb walls are 2 feet or more thick dates back to at least Tudor times, whilst the front is definitely Georgian. I think Robert must have been the gentleman who laid our wonderful hall floor and I think of him every time I sweep and mop it (rather more often than I would like thanks to those newfies!)

And having mentioned the newfies ... it was our village fete last weekend. Sadly it rained and rained and rained and we had to hold the event in the hall. Having made all our preparations though, we carried on and it was a great success. Our most important task here at Coombe Leigh was to create a special harness for Amy to wear on her big day - for of course Amy was a competition in her own right!

She loved it!! She preened and posed, delighted to be the centre of attention - and raised £21.45 - which is a lot of 20 pences!! (No, I'm not sure where the 5p came from either!)

Amy was trained to do water rescue work before I adopted her following her accident. Interestingly, when I put the harness on her she puffed out her not insubstantial chest, and became very serious and important - I don't know if she thought she was going to be working again. She did actually save a little girl once, bringing her in from the sea at Looe, and was in the local press. But she's been resting on her ever more substantial laurels ever since. In fact she weighed in at 10 stone 11 lbs!!

As usual, Ben gets the final laugh!! (He's simply impossible to ignore)


Preseli Mags said...

How fascinating to find that letter in your chimney. Lovely to be able to read someone's words from so long ago. When we renovated our cottage we found a wooden clog and a pipe (which we put back with the gift of an orange for the house spirits).

And gosh your Amy's a bonny lass! What a brilliant idea for fund-raising. I'm glad she enjoyed it. Ben is adorable too!

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

Love the letter - what a shame you can't find anymore about it.

Ah I am new to your blog - what accident did Amy have? Hope you don't mind me asking.


Oh I love those dogs the Breton fishermen brought them back form New Foundland ( so big I suspect as ballast ranter than company!) and they are still very popular here adn are traindein teh sea and lakes. Try going to your local history archive you should find your man on the census returns or if he is too early for htose then the local archive office may have some ideas.

Lovely blog and very yummy strawberries by the way!

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