Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Pictures From Across the Pond.

Oh dear reader this post was supposed to come hot on the heels of the last one, what happened I hear you cry?
Stuff, I cry!
I have been following this lovely gal's blog for the longest time. It used to be a vehicle for her vintage on line shop, but she has been developing slowly into an absolute ace photographer. Unfortunately the post I most wanted to share about the deep south, seems to have been deleted, or am I just going nuts?
Anyhoo please take a squiz, her images are really amazing.
Oh and the other thing is she loves cats.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

What a Picture.

You know how some people just have an eye for a good shot? Well I know just such a person.
                     Some of her images are obviously composed and are more pleasing because of it.
                                                                Others not    
Go find her on Flickr under the moniker of penwren. But leave plenty of time, so many wonderful images to see.

Sunday, 20 November 2011


I am as you know dear reader, an old fashioned girl. It took me the longest time to buy a microwave oven, I still don't cook anything in it but I do use it to heat things up, all well and good. I held off for as long as possible before I succumbed to a mobile phone, and yes of course it is very useful and yes I feel odd if I go out without it now. But I hate texting and only really use my phone to make calls. A fact which totally bemuses my call provider when I tell them I don't want to upgrade my phone. So there is no way I would want to get involved with facebook or twitter or any other 'social networking site'. Less is always more for me. And in my mind nothing can or should replace dealing with people, acquaintences and friends face to face. Liking/loving people and sharing time and space with them is a very important part of what gives meaning to 'quality of life'.
                                                                   Sharing Interests
                                                                  Loving the same fashions
Just yesterday I took myself off to an Antiques event in Lewes town hall, where I set up my Shrimpton and Perfect stall and spent the day talking to the public and selling them top notch vintage accoutrements. It was the best fun, seeing and meeting all different types of people, and talking to them about what they love about vintage.
I also met two new fabulous women who were also there on their own selling their wares. Margaret and Pepita.
Two women more unlike you couldn't possibly imagine, but both lovely bright energised people with a love for life. What a great day. Now I suspect our paths may cross again but if they don't it doesn't really matter, the day was perfect as it was.
I do have a good circle of friends, some close friends and one special friend, I know how lucky I am and what friendships mean to me. And yes I have 'friends' in the blogging world but that is on a different level. Valued but different.
These two ladies have been great friends since they met at primary school over nine decades ago, they are both 101. They have stayed close throughout their lives and have had many shared experiences. Real life experiences not virtual ones. Times are very tough, we can help each other through it, family, friends and community. 

1&2 Beryl Cook
3 Don Pasquale Glyndebourne

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Anyone Seen a Wabbit?

If you have a pet you love you'll know what I mean when I say although our cat does have a 'proper' name,  we do call her so many other things, depending on our mood but let's be honest mostly dependent on hers.
Sometimes she just is a rabbit.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

He's Gonna Find Out Who's Naughty or Nice

It's on it's way folks, Christmas that is, hopefully not the snow, I think that should be reserved for Christmas day only. Most efficiently I've started my present shopping and it's all going rather well at the moment. I've ordered some 'things' for Mr. S&P and I'm rather pleased with myself because not only did I get free delivery but I used an online discount code (for the first time ever) and also got 10% off the order too. So they really do work. Who'd of thought?

I have put in a small request to Santa for myself, Mr. Buble's Christmas album. I've just been on to Amazon to check out the tracks, they are all super smooth and very festive, with the added bonus of guests The Puppini Sisters and Shania Twain. I wish I could also have some reindeer in my garden, look at these beauties, any chance Santa?

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Downton Abbey No More.

I'm missing Downton Abbey already. I used to wake up Sunday mornings and think oh good Downton tonight. I've enjoyed it so much and I'm also a little bit in love with Carson the butler played by Jim Carter, I think it's his voice, but strangely it's also his furrowed brow and austere demeanour. A man in control.............lovely.

I don't watch huge amounts of tv but when I find something I do like (especially a series) I really hate it when it finishes. Good drama, great locations, fantastic costumes and pretty perfect casting too, Downton has it all.

Michelle Dockery aka Lady Mary has played the part brilliantly, so sensitive, reserved and well spoken. But the fact that she speaks soooo slowly made me wonder if she is as upper class as she sounds. Well no actually, she is an Essex girl and her Mum hails from Stepney. Well done girl.

So now we'll all just have to wait until the Christmas special to hear more of the delightfully acerbic comments from Violet Dowager Duchess of Grantham.
Cora " I might send Mary over to visit my aunt. She could get to know New York"
VDD of G " I don't think things are that desperate"

VDD of G "What is a weekend?"

VDD of  G on entering a room " I do hope I'm interrupting something"

all images via Daily mail

Friday, 11 November 2011

11 11 11

Driving to the gallery today with my chum we pulled over and sat silently together for the 2 minutes silence. I wish I had seen more people observing this and showing their respect.

Watts Gallery

I went off to Compton in Surrey today on a little bit of business that turned out to be a whole lot of pleasure.
I visited the Watts gallery there which has recently reopened after a very expensive renovation project. The small gallery is full of the work of "The greatest painter of the Victorian age" George Frederic Watts.
Close by is the most extraordinary chapel built by his wife Mary, heavily decorated in a celtic art nouveau hybrid style. A strangely eerie and moving place, with exquisite internal decoration. I don't want to be over descriptive about it, as I hope you might be interested enough to find out more and maybe visit.
Many of the paintings were moving and beautiful, but my favourite was quite ethereal and peaceful, and quite appropriate for the difficult times we are all facing at the moment.
                                          On loan from a private collection but only for a short while. 

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Happy Birthday

Pssst, Shrimpton and Perfect blog is one month old today, I think I'm gonna become a follower to celebrate, what about you?
                                                           image via

Charleston Farmhouse

Charleston farmhouse is now closed for the season, but the shop will be opening for weekend shopping every weekend until December 18th between 12-4pm.
The gallery space attached to the shop has selected local crafters and makers plying their wares and Shrimpton and Perfect is in attendance. So if you live locally come and see us, enjoy some complimentary mulled wine and festive nibbles, and buy the most wonderfully original presents for the people you love.
It's not snowing there yet so hurry, hurry, hurry.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Marzipan Fruit Cake

There's always one person I turn to when I need a reliable baking recipe, and she has never let me down. Mind you I don't bake as often as I would like otherwise I'd be scoffing cake all the time, and that really isn't very good for my battle against the flobbage around my middle. Which MUST GO.
But Christmas is on it's way and I thought I would make a cake for the family, usually my husband eats most of what I make so a slice or two is in order for me over the festive season.
I chose this cake because I had half a bag of mixed fruit and a pack of marzipan that have been kicking around the pantry for a while. And because if I ever eat fruit cake it has to be home made otherwise it normally tastes like candied cardboard, dry, dry, dry.
This is Nigella's recipe, I did substitute the type of fruit I used for something cheaper and instead of white rum I have used Malibu and left out the orange flower water, because nice as that sounds I wasn't gonna buy it for one teaspoon in a cake. Kirstie Allsopp made a caribbean fruit cake on her tv programme last week so I'm thinking I'm in good company.


150g sultanas
100g natural-coloured glace cherries, halved
150g dried pears, chopped
100ml white rum
250g marzipan diced and frozen overnight
50g ground almonds
zest of 1 lemon
175g plain flour
100g caster sugar
100g butter
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon orange-flower water
20cm springform cake tin, buttered and lined bottom and sides, so that the parchment comes a good 10cms above the rim.

You start by soaking the dried fruits in the rum overnight in a large bowl, and dicing and freezing the marzipan.

When you come to make the cake next day, preheat the oven to 140C/gas mark 1.
Beat together almonds, lemon zest, flour, sugar, butter and eggs. Add dried drained fruit, orange- flower water and frozen marzipan. Put cake mix in tin, levelling surface and making a slight dent in the middle to get an even surface when cooked. Bake for 2-2+half hours or until a cake tester comes out clean. Don't overcook as it will continue to cook in it's own warmth as it cools.
Allow the cake to cool in the tin before rewrapping in parchment and foil to store for a week. Feed with little more rum before you wrap for a richer taste. Just puncture top of cake a few times and slowly dribble a few spoons of rum over.

Because I didn't add the flower water I didn't drain off my fruit as there didn't seem to be much excess rum in the bowl.
Here is my cake having a little drop of Malibu for it's lunch today. It actually looks a lot lighter than this picture, rather like a blonde cake, and it smells divine.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Glamorous Blondes

I am a blonde myself, not quite still in the flush of youth, more in the first flush of the perimenopause. But that's ok I think, we can't stay young forever, and I suspect it would get boring ev-en-tu-ally, of course it would. But glamour is seductive and I must confess to having some favourite blondes.
                                                                       lovely Diana Dors
                                           Scrummy Scarlett,  image via

And I'm eagerly awaiting the release of the new Monroe film 'My Week With Marilyn'. Who doesn't love her?

I'm also looking forward to my new Nelly slippers that I have tucked away until Christmas, I love 'granny' almost as much as glamour.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Jules, Constance and Phoebe

I'm thinking these little old ladies with their pretty needle felted faces are quite amazing.
They were just hanging around at the textile exhibition at Lewes town hall last week. Made by Julie O'Brien who described them as 'older women who meet for coffee once a week'.