White Horse Hill and Makings

Thank you all so much for your kind wishes about Angel. She is still missed but we celebrated her life yesterday on what would’ve been her 12 birthday. Humans and hounds sat on a picnic rug with a Chinese and tuna cake in the living room. We were blessed that she made her wishes clear and that she went downhill so rapidly but gave us a chance to say goodbye to her properly. She was one in a million a real Great Aunt Agatha to Precious’s dim Bertie Wooster character. She’s probably already ordered the sofas pillows and duvets for a corner of Rainbow Bridge so she has somewhere very comfy after a glorious run.
Now let me share a little of Oxfordshire last weekend.

Sorry about the lack of a view. It was so misty out. For Terry Pratchett fans these are the chalk hills of Tiffany Aching fame. The table shows you what you should be able to see on a clear day.

 Dragon Hill. Legend has it that St George killed the dragon here. There are a couple of grassless bits on the top which is where the dragon was said to have scorched the turf with its blood.

 This is the White Horse. You can see it best (in clear weather) from the A420 main road in the valley. My theory is that it was a marker designed to be seen showing that this was the territory of the Dobunni tribe. They produced pre-Roman coins with the same symbol on.
 Below is a quick panorama. Sorry about the lack of views.


 Here I am at the White Horse. It is about 3000 years old. It was constructed by digging out the shape and inserting chalk white blocks in. Every 7 years is is “scoured” -cleaned up so it can be seen for miles.
Closer view of Dragon Hill
 The horse’s head right way up. There is a tradition of standing on the eye turning clockwise 3 x and making a wish. These days though it is best not to stand actually on the horse. It feels like an honour to be able to get so close to it at all. It is such a shame that people can’t with Stonehenge anymore.
 The Manger. The Giant’s Stairs on the left are caused by the retreating Ice Age. From the valley it is a unique shape that fits the running horse shape very well. I think the shape would make it an ideal location for gathering horses or hunted animals.
 It isn’t all quiet though- the helicopter is on its way to Brize Norton airfield.
 The horse’s head points to an Iron Age Hillfort. Years ago the scouring was a bit of a fair and a lot of the events took place within it- bit of protection from the wind. The dip in the above profile is the ditch which was created when they made the bank walls. There would’ve been a wooden pallisade on top of the bank making it defendable. Obviously though time and bits falling in the profile is less impressive than it originally was.
 The sheep are used to it though. The area got prosperous in the Middle Ages thanks to the good quality of the wool. As a kid I thought all sheep looked like this. We didn’t have exotic things like the pink faced ones. I hope you enjoyed a brief glimpse of the chalk hills.
 A few miles away is Lew Barrow a round hill shape rising above the valley. I used to walk there as a kid in my wellies. In Summer I would still be in my wellies in the cob corn fields. My knees would be full of scratches but my shins were protected by the wellies and my thighs by my shorts. Isn’t it strange what you remember from childhood? The fields are full of bits of ploughed up oyster shell so I suspect the Romans walked around here too although no nearby villa has yet been found.
 Here are my current fav teas. I’ve loved Lady Grey for years and now Twinings are doing a limited edition of Rose Garden and Blossom. Rose Garden used tea bags could be used as pot pourri they smell so good. The blossom one is like Jasmine- you don’t steep it too long or it goes bitter. I wish they would make the rose one permanent. 
I’ve invented the Caffeine Cookie! Well they were going to be chocolate  chip cookies but we had no chocolate so I added some instant coffee instead. They were a hit with the family so I was lucky to get a pic.
This is Block 5 (middle) of Tiny Town BOM which I am making with Anne Marie
 I heat and bonded the chairs dragonfly and heart plant, but needleturned the houses. I think I will stick to heat and bond as I dont lose pieces that way and they go on straighter. Which one shall we make next Anne Marie?
Below is a mat made from the left overs from the cupcake mats I sent to those who commented on my first post. It is now with its new owner Ulla. Below that is an early picture of what will become a sewing machine cover. It is sewn now but not put together. I am having trouble adding text to a picture after I have put them in the proper order. Is there a knack I am missing?

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