Tuesday, December 31

old/new



 
happy new year ahead,
hope the old one wasn’t too bad either. . .
xx
 

Monday, December 23

wishing you happiness. . .




wishing you all a lovely, happy peaceful Christmas xx


 

Tuesday, December 17

absent due to unforseen crochet. . .



I know I've been a tad absent of late
and It's not that I don't love blogging
cos I do
 
but
 
you see,
I've learnt to crochet
 
and I love that too
 
and I felt my heart's desire
was to make a sampler blanket,
 
square
 
 
by
square
 
 
by
square
 
 
by square
 
 
so
 
I may be gone for some while. . .
 
 
but I'm still thinking of you!
xx
 

Monday, December 9

wowser!




 
sunset at home last week-
so totally glorious I just HAD to use it as my header
 

Wednesday, December 4

Bruce's Passion!





The nettle patch growing in the fenced-off
end of Bruce's field.

Nettles are his favourite, so I moved the electric fence. . .



and he dived in. . .


and didn't come up for air. . .


until the end of the day


when the patch was bare.

A cob in nettles- like a pig in clover!







Monday, November 25

Karen Shapley. . .take a peek, you'll LOVE what you see!



 
I've been rather intrigued of late by the fabulous creations
that keep appearing on Karen Shapley's blog. . .
so I think it's time you took a look for yourselves!
 
Karen is a ceramic/ textile artist inspired by vintage bits and pieces
and historic objects, all put together with 
an element of Heath Robinson inventiveness!
 
 
Karen also has a stunning
so do look, you'll LOVE what she creates!
xx
 

Saturday, November 23

crispy start


 
crisp
 
 
cold
 
 
beautiful
 
 
bright
 
 
"What good is the warmth of summer
without the cold of winter to give it sweetness"
 Author Unknown
 

Tuesday, November 19

leftovers are always the best!



 
I love leftovers!
 
oven fishcakes-
mashed potato mixed with a can of tuna,
chopped spring onions and celery, grated carrot and cheese,
beaten egg, parsley and seasoning.
I top these with grated parmesan and bake
on the highest shelf of the Rayburn for 20 minutes
 


Chicken Soup like my mum made it. . .

celery carrot onion, peppercorns, bayleaf, pearl barley
and the weekend's roast chicken carcass brought to the boil
and simmered for a couple of hours.

I save "soup water" water from boiled parsnips, carrots and spuds
or you could use stock or Marigold powder.

Remove the chicken bones and add
fine noodles or rice noodles to serve
(we always had Kneidlach which are
boiled dumplings made from matzo meal)

Well that's lunch and tea sorted-
what's your favourite leftovers meal?

Saturday, November 16

upon closer examination. . .



 
hmmmmmm. . .
 
 
it might be edible. . .

 
 

 

Tuesday, November 12

the chimney sweep cometh



 
time today for Mark to sweep the woodburner chimney. . .
all the ash emptied, the fire bricks removed

 
and the entire room covered with sheets
to protect against soot

 
(of course, the sweep has his little helper!)
 
 
the brush goes right up through the chimney-
you can just see the point of the brush top-
it can't come out the chimney because of the metal cowl
 
 
and after everything is dusted down
 the room is put back together again, fire lit,
and sweep's little helper can reap the rewards of her busy day
 

Monday, November 11

lao tzu



Always we hope

someone else has the answer.

some other place will be better,

some other time it will all turn out.

 

This is it.

no one else has the answer.

no other place will be better,

and it has already turned out.

Sunday, November 10

I can't think of a title that conveys how I feel



I had a phonecall a while back from a lady who wanted to sell some
vintage fabrics, curtains and a Stockman mannequin.

I called at the house on a warm summer's day-
a Georgian beauty covered in wisteria.
Two little blonde girls playing in the front garden
nursed their dolls with a solemnity beyond their years.
They didn't meet my smile.

The lady was pleasant but not friendly, dressed head-to-toe in Boden
she had impeccable taste in furnishings and furniture.
With a brief explanation they were moving
nearer her family, she showed me the pieces for sale.
I declined the offered coffee- the house felt uncomfortably cold
and I was anxious to buy and be gone.

We agreed a price, she helped me carry the bags to my car
where we shook hands rather formally.
 I called "goodbye" to the girls who hugged their dolls tighter
and looked away.

Later that year, before Remembrance Day, our county paper
published the roll call of local soldiers killed in Afghanistan.
The name of the officer at the top of the list caught my eye,
it was the same as the lady who had contacted me.

He had been awarded a posthumous bravery medal.

The faces of those two little girls still haunts me.
 

Friday, November 8

by hook or by crook?






yesterday morning I went to my
next-step-up-from-beginners Crochet Class
with Ali Campbell which was great fun-
we began on little Christmas stockings,
and if I can master the seasonal version
I might have a go at making
some human size crocheted socks.


I took Ali a present of this little antique bone
crochet hook with a different size hook
at each end and she said it was called a "crook"


Halfway through the stocking heel
I suddenly realised-

"by hook or by crook. . ."


Do you think that's where
the saying comes from?

Wednesday, November 6

Brooke Hospital for Horses, remembering



 
The role of horses in ww1 and 2 breaks my heart.
Horses of Bruce's size and type would've been the first requisitions.
 
The government promised to return the survivors but then reneged
saying it was too expensive, and sold them to the middle east instead.
 
Knowing the treatment they'd receive,
many cavalry officers shot their own horses at the docks
rather that let them board the ships.
Those unlucky enough to have got through the hell of war
were then sent to a living hell as beasts of burden.

 
On arrival in Egypt in 1930, Dorothy Brooke was horrified to see
hundreds of emaciated horses being used on the streets of Cairo.

The wife of a British army major general,
Dorothy Brooke was appalled to learn that these walking skeletons
were ex-warhorses of the British, Australian and American forces.

Dorothy set up the Brooke Hospital for Horses,
click the link to find out more about this charity,
and click this link if you'd like to make a donation.

I'm going to sell some things on ebay this month
and donate the money directly to Brooke Hospital,
I'll give you the link when they're listed.


 

Thursday, October 31

60 hours off-grid



 
At 2 minutes past 5 on Monday morning a gust of wind howled through,
sounding like a train roaring up the tracks.
 
Our bedroom is tucked into the roof and with no loft or lagging
we listened as the slates lifted,
spent a split-second considering their options and then thankfully
dropped back into place.

 
Then an almighty crash as a tree next to the garden bore the brunt
of the storm and came down
bringing with it our electricity and phone lines.

 
And so we spent Monday Tuesday and Wednesday
without phone, internet and electricity.
 
No-one died (except the food in the freezer) so it wasn't
a catastrophe and in a way it did have some advantages.
 
I was amazed how much more you get done
when you only have daylight hours, because the light
from oil lamps might be romantic but it makes
close work a trial and I now have far greater respect for
those neatly hand-stitched embroideries created in
centuries past.
 
The Rayburn was a blessing, supplying us with
constant hot water for cuppas, and it even managed
to fill a shallow candlelit bath.
 
The woodburner burned brightly throughout the evening
keeping us cosy as we sat
"listening-in to the wireless", playing cards and
wondering about the people who lived in our house
before electricity, where they sat, what they talked about. . .
 
 
On Wednesday evening BT managed a temporary repair
on the phone line
and after 4 hours working (much of it in the dark) the electricity
linesmen got the power back on- they promised me they wouldn't
leave until we were connected, they were my heroes!
 
For better or worse, we're back in the Real World!

 
ps
in the 1990 hurricane our chimney toppled
across the roof, and the house was without
power for 9 days, so all things considered. . .

Sunday, October 27

first man down




 
First tree down at lunchtime-
a huge old oak at the side of the garden lost his entire top.
The sound was deafening as it came crashing down
and the smell, like fresh mown grass.

 He must've been 40-45 feet tall and probably planted in the early 1800s
but was still in full leaf and just too top-heavy to withstand
the absolute howler that blew through.
 

 
Of course the good news is firewood for next year
but the sight and sound of a fallen tree always saddens me.
 

Thursday, October 24

Ravenous Butterflies



 
 
“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
 
Some things I love about facebook, some things I hate, but one of the nicest pleasures is finding pages on which people take time to post beautiful photos and beautiful quotes.
 
This morning I found just such a page shared by Minerva Black- she of Mrs Black's This and That over here in blogland.

If you "do" fb, pop over and have a look at Ravenous Butterflies

 
 
“You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eye...s drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby.
But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
Margery Williams - The Velveteen Rabbit
 

Monday, October 21

sanity savers




this month has been (is being) a bit mad so not much time for blogging, but I have been keeping my sanity with a little crochet. . .sit down, breathe, hookedy-hook away for a short while and somehow the world becomes a calmer place once again.

Normal life will hopefully be resumed next month, meanwhile I've been reading all your blogs, laughing and crying with you. . .and then crocheting a bit more.

lotsa love xx

Wednesday, October 16

inspiration, shared with love



two little lines I want to share. . .

"Your present circumstances don't determine where you can go;
they merely determine where you start."
Nido Qubein
 

Saturday, October 12

macmillan cake raffle



 
 
 
 
this fabulous vintage market stall speciality cake
handmade by Jo and Ann will be raffled on
Monday Oct 14th at Vintage at the Village Hall
 to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Research


 

Friday, October 4

busy month ahead



October's going to be a busy month for me. . .

First stop is
Vintage at the Village Hall
the fair I'm running in Blandford Forum
on Monday October 14th 10am-4pm

 
on Saturday October 19th I'm off to
the Cheese & Grain in Frome to sell at
9am-3pm
 
 
Saturday 26th October.
Trull Memorial Hall Taunton TA3 7JZ
9 am to 2 pm
 
 
You'll have to forgive me if blogging
is a little sparse over the next few weeks.
 
Catch up with you all later
xx
 
 
 

 
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