Archive | May 2016

May 19th | Visit to Tattingstone Garden Centre

Tattingstone Garden Centre visit - May 2016 010

Jacky and Di choosing plants

Jacky and Di choosing plants

Fourteen of us went to Tattingstone Garden Centre on a cool but dry evening in May. We had come to create our own planted hanging basket or tub, choosing and using some of the wide selection of bedding plants available there.

First of all Lorraine and Brandon between them gave us a demonstration whilst telling us about the different plant foods, irrigation systems and types of compost available. Then we were set free to do our own thing, and we enjoyed filling our own containers to produce both colourful and attractive results.

Teas, coffees and cake were served, and after some more informal questions and answers we paid for our trophies and left.

Thank you to Lorraine and Brandon for a most enjoyable and productive evening! Tattingstone Garden Centre is well worth a visit!

Beryl finishing her window box

Beryl finishing her window box

Wendy adds the final plant to her basket

Shirley’s finished basket


May 16th/18th | Badger Watching

In addition to our scheduled outing this week, we booked two evenings with the Suffolk Wildlife Trust to go Badger Watching at a secret location on the outskirts of Ipswich, and both groups were very lucky in that they both saw badgers!

The first group of 8 went on Monday 16th May, and this is what they wrote:

As predicted we arrived at the car park about 6.45pm , collected the key and a bowl of peanuts and walked to the hide arriving there about 7pm. Steve threw peanuts (to which badgers are apparently rather partial) down the bank  in front of the hide window and we all took our places. There were several information sheets to read around the inside of the hide which was at the top of a bank overlooking some very large holes and a stream, with lots of leafy trees and roots.

Three great tits, a few rats and almost an hour later the first badger appeared up the bank in front of us. She, and I am sure it was a she, was quickly followed by three very cute youngsters and we all sat in an enthralled silence for the best part of half an hour while they rooted around for the strewn peanuts. Just before we thought we might leave, the boar put in a brief appearance but unfortunately he didn’t stay long.

I am sure we all left feeling very privileged.

The second group went on Wednesday 18th May, here is their report:

We took our places just after 7.00 p.m., having scattered the peanuts   around the front of the hide at the top of the bank. Just after 7.20 the first badger appeared. Not a cub, but we thought a juvenile as he or she was not very large. He spent about 25 minutes seeking out and devouring more than half of all our peanuts – to our dismay! But we needn’t have worried! Soon after he had shuffled off, a larger badger arrived. He appeared to have a plaited string collar around his neck, perhaps for identification? He had a kinked tailed so he was easy to distinguish from the other badgers, and he was larger so we presumed he was a male. He managed to find a few peanuts overlooked by the first badger, and then another badger joined him in the search. They completely ignored one another and eventually shuffled off one by one along their track and into the undergrowth. After a few more minutes a fourth badger arrived, who also seemed to have a collar round his neck, and had slightly different markings (pale patches) on his shoulders. He (or she) stayed quite a while hoovering up the final peanuts and generally sniffing around the area before leaving. We stayed for another half an hour but apart from a rat and great tits no sign of any more creatures, so we decided to leave – still in daylight – at 9.40 p.m., feeling, like the others, very privileged.

May 5th | ‘Frock Horror’ – talk by Pauline Baker

Our speaker in May was Pauline Baker, a dress designer who had gained her qualifications at Leicester College of Art. With her love of the performing arts she got a job at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, where to begin with she was a “finisher”, working on ballet costumes as part of a team. Here, she sometimes got to see some of the rehearsals in between sewing tasks, including at one time Rudolph Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn!

After this she worked as a maintenance wardrobe master, responsible for supervising all wardrobe-related activities during the course of a theatrical run including the care and proper maintenance of all costumes, shoes, undergarments, hats and personal props such as gloves, jewellery, boots and wigs.

She became a dresser again and was back to sewing costumes, working at the BBC Studios at Shepherds Bush as well as at Ealing Studios. After a break in her career to have her family she decided to go freelance and worked for different television companies on various drama series in a number of locations.

Pauline recounted several anecdotes about her experiences. She told how she once had to go with a female impersonator to buy him a pair of stilettos, much to the embarrassment of the girl in the shop. On another occasion one of the actors went home with the costume earrings on and lost one. Pauline went out and tried without success to buy a similar pair, which meant all the camera angles for the next day’s filming had to be changed so that only one side of the actor’s face could be seen at a time, or else the actor had to have their hand up to cover the naked ear! She once had to borrow an item from one of the guests staying in a hotel where they were filming, and keep her fingers crossed that all the takes filmed that day were good ones that didn’t need re-doing, in case the guest left with the item before the end of filming!

Continuity was very important and sometimes difficult to maintain, as the limited use of a particular location meant that all the parts of the story in that location had to be filmed at the same time, even though it might be months apart in the narrative. Thus the costumes had to be fresh in some scenes and the worse for wear in others. When the costumes involved had to appear old or crumpled, Pauline had to “break them down”, sometimes by putting them in a bin liner and jumping up and down on them. Once she asked the mechanics at a garage near the studios to “wear-in” some overalls needed for the filming, so she often had to use her own initiative to come up with what was required. Altogether it was an amusing and interesting talk which opened our eyes to some of what goes on behind the scenes in the world of entertainment!

Future entertaining activities for Capel Ladies include our Summer Social, Fun Day Stall, evening river cruise and a walk at Felixstowe. See anything you like? Then join us!