Sunday, 29 January 2012

I Love Fruity Metcalfe

Not the real one you understand, no, he was Edward VIII's equerry. It's this one I'm talking about.
He was a Christmas present from my lovely husband, who doesn't really understand my fixation with wire fox terriers, or the need for me to own small models of them. ( Until I can get the real thing.)
Despite all that he indulges me. This really cute hand made mohair dog was purchased from a very clever lady
who makes all sorts of creatures. Her rabbits are something else.
These boys are my china wire fox terriers.
And this of course is the real thing, sometime in the future he will be mine.
But not until our much loved and adored grumpy puss has lived a long and happy life with us, she wouldn't understand you see.

Thursday, 26 January 2012


I revisted my thrifty tuna spaghetti recipe tonight, totes delicious. I added a small amount of white wine that I took straight from the freezer.
Don't throw away that last inch of wine in the bottle, freeze it. Then it's ready to melt away into any sauce you choose to throw it in.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Sensational Silent Film

Have you been yet? have you? No? you must, you must. It is quite extraordinary. 
My only proviso would be you must be in love with the whole era, otherwise I don't think you will 'get it'.
The exquisite visuals stand only, and make this film very special, that's without the unique silent treatment. The story is sweetness itself, and such a change from the usual. Last week I went to see Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, OMG how crushing was that?
The director is terribly clever and employs some fantastic visual trickery, and the humour of the script is great too. No, I can't tell you anything more it will spoil it for you. 
Did I mention the dog yet? Too cute for words. A bit like the leading man...........
What a smile, what a guy, does his name really mean Johnny in the Garden?

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Good Friends

One of my lovely chums Pennie Dreadful has taken a leap of faith and has bought a really sweet house on the Isle of Mull.
The day she arrived with her hubby there was a rainbow, but unfortunately the weather has taken a definite turn for the worst ever since. They still have their main home quite close to where I live, as they are really testing out whether or not they would enjoy living up there full time.......very sensible indeed. Because she will be away for a short while we decided to keep in touch by snail mail. She loves texting but doesn't like talking on the phone, I hate texting but love a chinwag on the phone = small problem. Answer writing to each other. My first letter will be winging it's way to her soon, with a couple of little things for her new home. One of which is this really funny tea towel. 

Join The Club

Just a line to say I'm living, 
That I'm not amongst the dead.
Though I'm getting more forgetful
And mixed up in the head.
I've got used to my arthritis,
To my dentures I'm resigned.
I can cope with my bi-focals,
But - ye gods - I miss my mind.

Sometimes I can't remember
When I'm standing by the stairs,
If I'm going up for something,
Or have just come down from there.
And before the fridge so often
My mind is full of doubt;
Now did I put some food away
Or come to take some out?

If it's not my turn to write dear
I hope you won't get sore.
I think I might have written
And don't want to be a bore,
But remember I do love you,
And wished that you lived near,
But now it's time to mail this
And say "goodbye my dear".

I'm standing by the mailbox
And my face - it sure is red,
Instead of posting this to you
I've opened it instead!

(Just to set the record straight, neither of us wear dentures.)

Wednesday, 11 January 2012


As always I'm mindful of the money I spend as much as the money I earn, "a penny saved is a penny earned", as they say. But and this is an important but, I don't want to live a life eating cheap food and I don't want to fill my life with cheap products. In an ideal world I like to eat good quality food at reasonable/reduced prices, and I try not to buy anything unless it is a considered purchase. Frankly 99% of the stuff I buy is second hand, and there is soooooo much stuff about, you can cherry pick the best. Just today I have bought two items from a local charity shop, both still in their original wrappers but way under half the commercial price. I have been following this course for a few years now and I find it very satisfying. It means I'm not buying stuff I really have no need of, I'm not putting lots of debt onto credit cards, and the best feeling in the world .... getting a bargain. It also means that I can save up for large items or for very nice holidays.
I have only made a couple of purchases in 'the sales', because I do feel things are only a bargain if you really wanted them in the first place, before they were reduced.
Lots of my chums have been telling me about the merits of a slow cooker, so I have been considering buying one for a couple of months now. Last week on Huge Furry -Wintercoat's show he showed us how to use up left overs and how to cook up some delicious stews. Prompted by this I finally took the plunge and bought a rather sexy black slow cooker from the Co op. I used to shop with them regularly when they were our local store, because although they only stocked the basics, they are very ethical, especially where animal husbandry is concerned. I had £7.00 in loyalty vouchers and they had the cooker on sale at £19.99 reduced from £29.99. Whey hey was I happy. Now I can buy good quality cheaper cuts of meat and it will be slow cooked into wonderfulness. I'm going to try Hugh's recipe for sausage stew to start with. I haven't tried a sauage stew before because it sounds like it would be full of fat and not have a great taste. But I bought some Duchy of Cornwall chipolatas, mightily reduced at Waitrose, and I have a bottle of pear cider somebody brought round to ours sometime ago, so I'm now thinking , this could turn into a family favourite.
Looking forward to lots of tasty stews, with leftovers for lunch and of course more money left in my purse.
He's a good ole boy.

(image of Hugh via

Friday, 6 January 2012

Peculiar Cats

I think it's true that we love cats because of their indifference. Certainly true of my cat Pendragon. Any attention she gives us we are over the moon, and feel so privileged.
I spotted this cartoon by Hilary B Price on an American blog, so proof , if indeed it were needed, that cats are universally independent.
I particularly love the spot just up by the pillows 'heaving spot', right in yer face 'cat owner'.
Grumpiness is a speciality of my cat.
Shared by Bronte, who surely must be some relation to my cat even though she lives in Australia.
If only she was a snuggly type of puss, we wouldn't love her any less. Just like these super cute cats over at henhouse, taking advantage whilst their mistress is away.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Sharing the Do-Gooder Vibe

The inspirational and all round Queen of do-gooding Pip, has launched a very thoughtful and productive initiative. Although a basic idea it has the promise of unlimited wonderfulness. Simple premise........... just try and do something nice for someone else each day of 2012. I know we all do that already, but just thinking about it as a concept will surely make us all do just a little more. Cracking idea methinks.
So I'm in with it. I wont blog about everything extra I feel I have done, nobody likes a smug goody two shoes, but I might mention one or two things.
So first day back at work yesterday, and decided to make a gorgeous calendar for two of my favourite work chums.
This adorable very old calendar was my starting point....
These are the materials I used ....
And these are the finished article ....
I found the vintage postcard in a flea market in Florence a few years ago now, and what a simple process to scan, enlarge and print it on to photographic paper. The small tear off calendars were only about 25p each at Hobbycraft, so quite a thrifty gift too. I was super pleased with them, and one of the recipients has framed the image to put on her wall at home, so that's defo 'something nice for someone else'. Anyone else out there fancy joining in?

Sunday, 1 January 2012

The Roaring Twelvies

We all reflect on the way we live our lives at this time of year. Blessed with good health (touch wood), I have decided, not necessarily in this order, to increase my fitness levels, learn Italian, to help others more where I can, to live in the moment more and to travel as much as possible.
Miss. Melrose's 1919 interpretation of the Black Bottom, pretty much sums up how I feel about 2012.