Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Miss. Christie's Friends

I know I know more dolls, last ones, promise. But truly aren't you glad I did?

Captain Hastings, Hercule Poirot, Miss. Lemon & Inspector Japp.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Torchy the Battery Boy

Gerry Anderson with Parker and Lady Penelope
The Mister was reading the obituaries in his This Week magazine when he pipes up, "do you remember Twizzle?" Well says I perhaps, but I seem to get him a bit confused with Jiffy the broom stick man, an easy mistake to make and there again wasn't there someone else in the frame called Torchy the battery boy? The Mister is a mite younger than me so often has to ask me important historical facts.

All of this was at least 50 years ago, so forgive me for my lack of clarity says I. Next thing you know the Mister is 'talking' to his phone, which strangely often seems to sort out these little mix ups.

Gerry Anderson was the brains behind all these super sweet uncomplicated children's marionette tv shows. A brain which the dear man has donated to research into dementia, he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's a year before his death, last boxing day. What a good old boy, just like Mr.Bumbledrop.

Friday, 25 January 2013

All Dolled Up

This is the cutie that must be blamed for starting my most recent collectable fixation. That and the other cutie that sold her to me.

I still have a place in my heart for Sindy. But my first grown up dolly purchase was Christmas 2011, well not mine exactly, the Mister bought me Barbie's Joanie from Mad Men.

Isn't she just perfection?

With that 1960s eye liner flick up.

Christmas just gone was one of the two Elizabeth Taylor commemorative dolls issued recently by Mattel. The dolls were reviewed and approved by the icon herself, I think Mattel have done a grand job.

Now they are all having a lovely time in my art deco blond oak cabinet with 'engagement'  Kate Middleton.

I keep thinking to myself they are a good investment for the future, and they are, but actually I just really like looking at them. 

This week oh dear, I have made another discovery - Roldan dolls. Fi posted a great piece about them on her blog, she collects dolls too, so it's not an ole lady thing or anything huh? Nip over and take a squiz they're absolutely adorable. 
I was straight onto ebay obvs, bad move, so many pretties.

Roldan doll.

Lenci Doll
Chad valley 1930s.

Still, no treats for the next few months, as I'm saving up for a little holiday and a girl can't have everything at once, where's the fun in that?

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Something to Tickle Your Fancy?

I bought this card for a friend's birthday it made me chuckle so I thought I would share.

Original illustration: Illustrated London News

Perhaps its the next malady after the menopause. Isn't it jolly how we always have something to look forward too.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Some Jolly Good Tips

I have just finished reading a fascinating book about an old school Australian housewife extraordinaire. Marjorie Bligh " domestic goddess, pioneer recycler, author. Queen of the household scene, near unbeatable in an agricultural show, and no slouch in the matrimonial department. The inspiration, it is widely rumoured, for Dame Edna Everidge". Well that's the billing anyway. The book is filled with her recipes, wisdom and verse.

So far she has led a long and very interesting life and appears to still be going strong, this book was published in 2011 when she was 94.

Looking at her life and her near obsession with frugality is a wonder. She has an answer for every problem. 

Is your goldfish constipated? Feed it Epsom Salts. If you accidentally crush your ball whilst playing ping pong, fear ye not, restore it by putting it in a pan of boiling water for a few minutes.

Not all of her tips and hints sound quite as barmy. I really love the idea of sewing a little bell into your toddler's slippers so you can hear where s/he is. And don't ever leave behind a free hotel shower cap, great for covering up bowls of food in the fridge, nifty eh? She even tells you how to sort out your thick ankle problem, and has a recipe for calming your nerves. No doubt very handy when that bell sewn into your child's slipper starts to drive you mad.

If you're decorating anytime soon I have a really good couple of tips, not gleaned from Marjorie world, that actually may be of use.

When painting ceilings with a brush, cut a slit in the centre of a sponge and insert the brush handle, it should catch most of those annoying drips.

Before painting doors rub a little vaseline over any door hinges or handles you haven't removed, then any paint splashes can be wiped off really easily.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Bloomsbury or Bondi, Which Floats your Boat?

This new fabric design from Charleston is so soft and yet vibrant at the same time.

image P.Fewster
Whereas these bad boys just knock your socks off.

Creative upholstery by antipodean Suzie Stanford.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Unravel at Farnham Maltings

Unravel , the show dedicated to everything knitty and crafty is on at Farnham Maltings Saturday 23rd & Sunday 24th February. I'm gonna mooch along because I want to see Deryn Relph's work. 

And maybe make a purchase or two.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Save Pounds and Drop Pounds.

Morning bloggers, you may already know this but I thought it worth a mention. Up to 50% off at Cath Kidston and there are still a few bargains left.

I don't often shop with her but I have just picked up a rather nice blue angle poise lamp for £12.00, no red ones left though sorry.

Plus this adorable treats tin. I spotted it before Christmas but couldn't justify paying £8.00 for it.

And talking of reductions, Waitrose have a great 3 for 2 offer on their 'Love Life' range, cheapest item free.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Don't Wait Do It Now.

artist Bette Jaedicke
They are not long, the days of wine and roses:
Out of a misty dream
Our path emerges for a while then closes
Within a dream

Ernest Dowson

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Heavenly African Faces

If you love these amazing images as much as me read the whole article here.

The Wrong Direction.

Well yesterday was the first weigh in for my get healthy and lose weight challenge, but all did not go according to plan.

image of Tupac Shakur found @

I ate tremendously well and did loads of exercise but when I hopped on the scales, can you believe it? 1 Ib heavier.

I'm gonna carry on but reduce my portions down and see if I can get the formula right. I'm determined to shift my excess weight. I'll keep you posted folks.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Get Fit Keep Fit

Very good start to my new healthier regime. I've made time for 7 lots of exercise in the last 9 days. (Although my weight loss challenge started properly on January 1st).

image courtesy of

Mainly swimming and power walking but also gym work. I already belong to a gym but now I'm actually making proper use of it.

I cooked a vegetarian lasagne last night served with a winter slaw of grated carrot, red cabbage and cubed avocado and beetroot, really yum.

In the mornings I'm having Champneys soaked muesli, which is very tasty and filling. It's a good base to add different fruits, seeds and nuts to.

Champneys Soaked Muesli (8 portions)

1 lb porridge rolled oats
4 oz Raisins
1 Apple grated
1 Pear grated


Soak all the ingredients in 1 pint of soya milk overnight then add orange and lime zest, plus natural yoghurt to achieve desired consistency.

Dried fruits such as pineapple can also be added in when soaking overnight for extra flavour. 

I actually used skimmed milk and just used the oats and raisins, adding additional bits and bobs in the morning.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Right, everyone out there determined to get fit, healthy and lose weight in 2013 put your hands up. Ok everyone out there who has made the same resolution before put your hand up.

Just as I thought it's a draw. Yes, my hand was up both times as well, so you're not on your own. I spent a great deal of time over the Christmas holidays thinking and making plans to increase my enjoyment of life, which I obviously hope will make me a better person too, ha ha.

My first and most important priority is to lose the two stone I have been carrying around for a few years now. Yes I want to learn Italian, do more craft, increase business and do more things and meet new people, but weight loss is numero uno.

No tittering at the back, this is serious THIS time.

I have just taken advantage of a free well woman check offered by my GP. So everything is ok, but some things are borderline, sugar levels and blood pressure. I'm not the sort of gal to take medicines so I'm determined to be healthier and fitter by reducing my food intake, tweaking my diet and exercising more.

I started properly on January 1st and my goal is to lose 1 lb a week, which I think is firstly do able and secondly sensible.

My allies in this new world order are two bargain books purchased at my local chazza shop. Cost of books £4.00.

This cookbook is just the ticket, as it lists all the information you need to eat a balanced low fat diet, and supplies you with the recipes that will make losing weight a lot easier.

Last night we had pork stroganoff. The recipe called for sour cream and broccoli but we substituted natural yogurt and red cabbage. Delicious.
I should also add we didn't do the brandy thing, no no, too risky.

The evening before I cooked the Hairy Bikers low fat sweet and sour prawns, which we ate with the smallest amount of noodles you can imagine. 



This other small book has some simple guidelines to help make the right food choices and the correct portions and quantities to eat in order to lose weight and maximise the health benefits.                                                            

I'm also taking two supplements and drinking a Benecol yogurt drink daily.

Last night's dinner.

I'm hoping you will be able to click on the recipe to enlarge and read it, let me know if you can't and want the details.