Monday, December 31

it's today. . .

No raucous fanfares to herald the new year,
no lists of achievements achieved
or opportunities missed,
just quiet contentment that another 365 days have passed
safely and softly.

We're no further forward
but we're no further back.
Dreams are still dreams
hopes stay hopeful
health is healthy
and you know what? that's enough for me.

Some years have been rollercoasters
some years have been tainted
but now. . .
I'm content with my lot,
lucky with my lot
and blessed beyond measure.

Thankyou all for your support
and comments and emails
and hugs.
For listening and laughing
and sharing snippets of your lives.

Wishing you everything you wish for yourselves in 2013

Saturday, December 29


this wonderful old oak tree has stood for very many years
in the parkland outside our house,
but the exceptional rainfall and strong winds
this year are gradually felling it "au naturel"
when I come home at dusk the rooks are roosting in its
finger-like branches before nesting for the night,
 creating quite a surreal scene-
 backlit by grey skies and a hint of moonlight its like
something from Edgar Allan Poe!
The wood inside is quite dead and the tree has only been allowed to stand
in its decaying state, as a haven for wildlife, because its far away from
any area where the general public might stray

Nature looks after her own, but its nevertheless a sad sight
to see such a grand monument of the English countryside
gradually crumble back to the earth
I didn't hear it crash to the ground- there's an old saying that
trees don't make a sound unless there's someone to listen

beautiful textures of weathered old bark against the fresh wound
and beautiful patterns as the water cascades down the trunk

I suspect this weighty branch will be the next "casualty" to fall
hopefully it'll stand for another few days and achieve another notch-
I know rings appear in the wood so you can calculate age,
and had a funny thought that perhaps they magically appear
 at the stroke of midnight like an automatic calendar change?!

Sunday, December 23

Dead People's Stuff

Selling vintage treats with its air of gentle appreciation
is the best part of my Ted and Bunny business
because the "other side" is a lot more hard edged.

For many years we've done complete House Clearances-
collecting keys from solicitors or estate agents
and literally clearing a house and outbuildings of contents
and in doing so removing all traces of someones life.

The upside is that I never quite know what treasures
will be unearthed, hence my somewhat eclectic stock.

Being conscious that this was someones home
we've perfected an organised system
of sorting and disposing to ensure the days run smoothly
and the clearance is carried out in a respectful manner,
leaving a clean house on completion.

I'm ok with Dead People's Stuff
because call it recycling or upcyling or vintage or whatever,
 that's basically what the secondhand market contains.
When sorting through a house to clear in a business-like manner,
sentiment is an emotion that must be kept in check
and over the years I've learnt to do just that
until I find
the box of Christmas decorations in the loft.

Quietly they lay there.
A dusty cardboard box marked "DECS"
home to a million unknown memories.
Glass baubles, ancient tinsel and tattered paper chains
that served this family year in year out,
put away once again before twelfth night
with no knowledge that it would be the very last time,
and THAT is what gets to me
on every single clearance.

I yearn for a colour themed tree; something posh
something designer-ish, something serene.
In reality I have an homage to mis-matched kitsch
because from every box of decorations on every clearance
someone else's baubles still live on.
We didn't actually know Rita or Abe or Mrs Vinney
we never met the Harrises who went within days of eachother
or Miss Bush or Tom Baines or Jess and Jim
or a myriad of people who's names only remain on invoices,
but every year I feel they come together and collectively smile
because when their decorations were put away,
it actually wasn't for the very last time. . .

Wishing you all a peaceful, sentimental Christmas
with love

Thursday, December 20

a little bit un-ho-ho-ho around the edges

I've bought the presents, I've wrapped them, I've unwrapped some of them
and wrapped them again because I didn't put the labels on
and forgot who they were for.
I've bought more presents because after wrapping I decided I didn't
really like the first lot very much at all.

I've given the front door wreath a makeover,
rescued it from the puddle in the front drive where the
wind gusted it, dried it with the hairdryer
and tied it back on the knocker with baler twine,
a look rather more rustic than festive but hey. . .

I've got plastic wreaths for my in-laws at the crematorium
because otherwise the rabbits eat them
and spent some quiet time with my own parents
and decided it does get at bit easier as the years pass.

I've baked and cooked and baked some more
and eaten lots "just to test it you know. . ."
I've found a new recipe for boiled ham
even though everyone will say
"but we like it how you always do it"

I've decorated, found room for 5 sets of lights on the tree
(I do like a good twinkle)
revived Mark's childhood tree topper angel
for yet another year (she'll need radical surgery soon)
and hung multicolour baubles whilst wishing for
a serene, classy, co-ordinated designer look.

I've written cards (even to people who I pencilled out)
queued for the obligatory hour in the Post Office
bit the bullet at the price of stamps
and sent them with love.

I've dusted and polished and vacuumed (yes, I did behind the sofa)
and cleaned the cutlery drawer,
I've swept the front path so visitors can tread easily
and trimmed the climbing rose
so Santa of can find the chimney.

I've looked at everyone else's blogs
to admire pretty house ideas and crafty inspiration
and done mine same-old-same-old.

I know what I'm wearing to the parties
-something warm and something vintage
is my default outfit- and this year it'll
need to be blue to match my funky fringe.

There's enough chammy in the larder to toast Christmas morning,
Boxing Day lunch
(bubble-&-squeak with champagne is non-negotiable!)
our wedding anniversary, New Year and my birthday
plus a bottle left over "just because"

I'm  as ready as can be.
My trusty Christmas List says nothing to do last minute.
So why don't I feel in the least bit Christmassy?
No ho-ho-ho.
Where is it???

Monday, December 17

the Vintage Bazaar was fabulous!

"Where are the other teds?"

"They got sold at the Vintage Bazaar. . ."

". . .whats "sold"??"

Another great Vintage Bazaar day Lizzie and Clare
thankyou so much as always, for all your hard work,
and thankyou to ALL the lovely customers who came
and saw, and bought
and all the lovely people who came and chatted.

It gives me a lot of pleasure to make people happy
with something I've made or sourced
and of course its always uplifting to have a good day
financially (means I can go out and find more!)
so all the boxes got ticked for my last fair this year.

Looking forward to next year,
doing more fairs, meeting more people,
selling some more treasures
learning new crafts
a few new business ideas
and hopefully organising another
Vintage at the Village Hall.
2013? Can't wait!


Friday, December 14

wet wet wet

I got wet today
then I got wetter
then I got wetter still
then I ran out of waterproof coats
and got wetter than I thought it was possible to be while vertical.

Now I've dried off, I'm about to get in the shower.

Where's the sense in that?

Sunday, December 9

Christmas Vintage Bazaar...Saturday December 15th

I had such a lot of suitable stock set aside for the
so I thought I'd better do a quick set-up to make sure
everything fitted on the stall!
Once again the shelves are heaving and even though I had meant to create
an artistic, spaciously displayed yuletide array

it looks more like a Christmas themed jumble sale!

hey-ho, you can only do what you can do and hopefully
people will be pleased with the pieces and prices!

I re-covered this dressing table mirror with a patchwork of vintage fabrics
but then of course, everything else got heaped-up in front including the
hug of bears I was supposed to sell last year (or was it the one before?)
but couldn't quite "bear" to part with them at the time. . .

and I also re-covered some old-but-plain vintage hat boxes
which are great for storage.
The Hermes gift box is also for sale. . .well, having a Hermes box
is better than no Hermes at all!
Of course, once the mock-up was dismantled and boxes packed
ready to load at the end of the week, somebody found another use for
the bag of Christmas fabrics!
Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, December 5

bye bye wisdom. . .

boo blimmin' hoo
I had my last wisdom tooth out.

No escaping the fact; I feel a bit sorry for myself
I wanted to stay wise, but 'twas not to be.

Last year I had a course of medication that
didn't help my bone density one iota.
I realise now that unless you ask very direct questions
there are many things in the medical profession
that remain untold, because until it happens
you don't actually KNOW what questions
you should've asked-

but I guess that's one of the conundrums of life.

The dentist was gentle and the nurse held my hand
which is the simplest act of kindness
known to anyone.
She asked "would you like to take it home?"
 which threw me a bit because I don't know
how much the Tooth Fairy pays these days
and I couldn't figure out do you bury a tooth
or cremate it, or choose matchbox mummification,
or turn it into wall art. . .
but my mouth was so numb all I could do was
shake my head (sending the safety goggles flying across the room)
and look forlornly at my solitary friend
led in the dish, reverently covered with a pink tissue.

So today, I begin the rest of my life wisdom-less.
I might say the wrong thing
or do the wrong thing
or eat the wrong thing
or forget every thing. . .

no major changes so far then!!
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