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!

Saturday, November 23

crispy start

"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.


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