Thursday, February 28

UNADULTERATED UNTIDYNESS to celebrate 300th post

 I 'fess up to being guilty of VERY serious editing
when it comes to photos around the house-
you never get to see the grubby kitchen floor, grimy windows,
un-vacuumed carpet, the dust, the damp patches (lots of both)
or grease on the Rayburn and teastains in the stone sink. . .
to mark the occasion of my 300th post
here's a picture of how we REALLY live-
coats strewn all over the stand
paint spattered crocs
muddy wellies
muddy carpet
smeary windows
damp walls (painted black to hide it)
cobwebs in the corner
half eaten cat food
and paw-prints down the dresser!
after 300 posts I think I know you well enough
to say
welcome to my world. . .

Tuesday, February 26


The Corn Exchange in Devizes
I've been sorting out boxes of newly acquired vintage textiles,
clothes, homewares and whatnots for my stall at the fair
SATURDAY 2nd MARCH 9.30 - 3.30
There's still lots of sifting and sorting to be done until it all feels
"right" and no more tweaking is needed
and then there's the pricing and packing, loading. . .and
last-minute additions to sneak into any left-over space!
I'm really looking forward to going "back" to The Corn Exchange in Devizes
which was the venue of the first ever antique fair I sold at
. . .in 1978!
It would be lovely to see you. . .


Thursday, February 21

fences & gates

The old country estate where I live is now owned by the National Trust.
There are lots of public tours and footpaths but for my
early morning walk I choose the hidden trails
where wildflowers and ferns grow without restraint
and badgers turn the banks into a quarry-scape of deeply dug setts
which the NT consider too hazardous for the general public.
On my walk this morning I was noticing
fences that keep us out and gates that let us in
(or is it the other way round?) 
from natural barricades cut and laid, as they have been for centuries
to stout holly hedges neatly shorn- no longer by an army
of estate workers but by tractor and flail.
Fences hastily erected
using whatever comes to hand
and fences double constructed- the old with the new.
Fences to keep people out
keep trees in. . .
keep posh trees in. . .
and gates to welcome people in
even if they're a bit hard to find!
this (my most favourite hidden place) is Lady Gate
where the Lady of The Big House used to walk through the woods to church.
The symmetry of barbed wire
straining at it's posts
and rusty old iron railings that gave up the fight a long long time ago!
And the grandest?
these gates erected in 1879, through which carriages once swept
on their way to the Big House.
Standing as silent witness to society's comings-&-goings
 until road access was altered in the early 1970s.
When the Gentleman of the Big House died in 1981 it was the largest bequest
the National Trust had ever received.
Walls hung with priceless paintings, library shelves lined with rare manuscripts,
inherited Grand Tour artifacts shipped from the mysterious East,
 vast houses, endless acres of fields and woods, beaches and cliffs-
even a real life ruined castle.
He fell out of love with it all, became a recluse and shut himself away
in two rooms with just a housekeeper for company.
I think of him sometimes when I'm walking; admire the trees he planted,
the vistas he viewed, the land he squired, the herd of pedigree cattle
in which he took such interest
and wonder how he could've been so unhappy?

Monday, February 18


ok, so this is what I want to tell you. . .
You remember this post with Love-me-Ted, well now he needs your help.
The very talented, and very lovely, Gretel Parker is having a really hard time
as those of you who follow her blog Middle of Nowhere will already know.
 Marina's post at Vintage Jane and many more in blogland
twitter and facebook have highlighted her plight,
 but for those of you who don't know and would like to help
once you've read the circumstances,
Donna Flower and Woo Gilchrist are running a raffle
with soooooo many amazing prizes it would be silly not to enter-
all raffle tickets are entered for the draw
and prize contributors are many of those talented artists
and needlewomen whose wares we have all coveted!
 Spending £10 or more on tickets enters you for the grand 1st prize
As an alternative to the raffle, Gretel's American friends
are running the Gretel Parker Project
which has now passed the £10,000 mark, and would greatly
appreciate contributions in the 14 days it has left to run.

"What would you do if the person you loved and relied on most in all the world suddenly died?
Most of us would turn to our support systems -- parents, siblings, church groups, fraternal organizations.  But what if you didn't have those sources of support?  Then, I think, you would turn to your friends.
Gretel Parker is a talented artist, illustrator and artisan needlefelter who lives in the county of Shropshire in the United Kingdom.  She's also my friend.  Perhaps she's your friend too.  And right now she needs some financial support.
On 21 January, Andy Macauley -- Gretel's sweetheart and life partner of 21 years -- died.  The two had just moved to Shropshire and had bought their first house together, a place they christened "Bodge Cottage." Andy died without a will, and it will likely take many months for lawyers to determine what, if anything, is left for his sweetheart.  Meanwhile, life does go on and there are still bills to be paid -- funeral expenses, mortgage payments, electric bills, trips to the grocery store, and all the other costs of daily life.
Andy's job helped pay for things, but now he is gone and Gretel's situation is financially precarious. Although Andy's family is dear to her, Gretel has no living parents, no siblings, no one from the usual support system to help her get through this.
But she does have us. We can help her.
As mentioned, Gretel is very talented.  She has written and published several books, has been featured in the British craft magazine Mollie Makes, and has held several seminars to teach others the craft of needlefelting.  Her blog, "Middle of Nowhere," is a window into everyday life in rural Britain and has helped her meet and befriend many people around the world.  I have absolute faith that Gretel will get back on her feet when the time is right, and that she will be able to keep Bodge Cottage.  In the short term, she could use some financial assistance.
Any amount you could donate would be welcome -- and if you can't donate, you can still help by spreading the word about the Gretel Parker Project on Facebook, Twitter and other social media.  Tell your friends and family.  Let as many people know as possible.  Please, help us to help Gretel."
. . .oh, and I nearly forgot to mention that Love-me-Ted is one of the raffle prizes!


Friday, February 15

they're here!!

So pleased I took my camera with me on this morning's walk!
flowering in the bank, petals open to the early morning sunshine
(yes, you heard right. . .SUNSHINE)

the first primroses of the year. . oh how welcome they are!
and then,
when I got home I found this iris sheltering against the chimney breast
gathering enough warmth to flower!
Spring is just around the corner. . .
not long now

Thursday, February 14

a bit out of step?

do you ever get that feeling you're out of step with the rest of the world?
I think I've been like it forever.

I can't remember a time when what I did or thought or liked or said
was the same as what everyone else did or thought or liked or said.

I laugh at the wrong bits in films (laugh at the wrong bits in life)
don't watch soaps, don't read Hello! so don't know the names of celebrities,
I like being older, don't mind holes in clothes, don't see the point of Primark,
don't light candles, don't have anything Cath Kidston and
although I don't smoke I LOVE the smell of a cigarette.

I like chilled sherry, warm ice cream and melted Mars bars (not necessarily together!)
and think it's ok to wear a mini skirt
and tell a waitress you won't leave a tip because the service was apalling.
I'm no good at gardening and I don't care.
My memory is awful (can't remember if I care about that).
I don't want an Iphone- in fact I don't want any of the latest must-haves.
Is it just me?


Monday, February 11

SATURDAY 16TH. . .Vintage Bazaar Rag & Rummage Sale

Doors open at 9.30 and the fair will end at 2 pm
Admission is £1.00
 free parking in front of the hall
I'm having a stall- hope to see you there!

Early Valentines xxs from Love Me Ted

dear Ted, looking for luuuuuurve. . .

hope he finds it in time for Thursday. . .

Friday, February 8


Its ok, I'm still here!

(although she made me go out in the snow
and I did feel like Frozen Findus. . .)
(for overseas readers, Findus frozen lasagne has been found
to contain 100% horsemeat instead of any beef. . .)


Monday, February 4

THAT time of year again. . .

I've hoovered out the cutlery drawer
spring-cleaned the chicken house (why DO they all sleep in one nesting box?)
groomed Bruce until he shone
made a casserole, a sundried tomato flan and minestrone soup
emptied my handbag- and put it all back again
crocheted another owl
replaced two missing buttons
eaten two bowls of porridge
drunk three cuppas
and polished my glasses (I actually thought I had cataracts!)


what inevitable fate am I desperate to postpone?

yes, it's that time again. . .

End of Year Accounts
oh the joy of being self employed

and I may be gone some time. . .


Friday, February 1

(t-wit t-) woo hoo!!!!!

I feel VERY proud of myself today!

never before having crocheted anything that was vaguely recognisable
(my granny squares could only be called "organic")
I followed the owl tutorial from the lovely Jacqui at Bunny Mummy
and after several false starts and some rather furious unpicking
the result looks. . .just like an owl!
woo hoo, next stop cushion covers- I'm hooked!
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