Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Best In Show

I have finished knitting the winsome whippet for my friend. He was super pleased and now he has a lovely reminder of Dogen, his much loved dog.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Liebster Award

Well it is a privilege to receive a friendly, I kinda like your stuff and you kinda like mine blog award. But there is some work involved and part of the deal is I pass it on. I don't have the required number of low key bloggers on my roll call to pass it on to, but I don't want to pluck people out of the stratosphere, so I have forwarded the award to only 6 bloggers. And my dears although I love your blogs please don't feel you have to spend a load of time on forwarding the award on if you don't want to. I will still love you. Although it is a sweet idea.

My newest follower Sweet Auburn Life is the gal who sent me the award. She lives in Ireland in an eco house and we have VERY similar Loves. Pop over and take a squiz at her blog, she would be delighted to see you.

So the rules of the game:
The award should be given to 11 of your favourite bloggers but they must have less than 200 followers.
Each recipient should post 11 random facts about themselves.
Answer the questions the 'tagger' has set for you, and then create 11 new questions for the bloggers you pass the award to.
Choose your 11 recipients and link them to your blog
Go to their blogs and let them know you have given them an award.
No tag backs.

Random Facts About Me

1 I often have very strange dreams, and I really do mean strange. But I have also been known to correctly predict future events.

2 I can't drink more than a couple of alcoholic drinks without feeling ill, but for some reason can drink quite a bit of Champagne.

3 I'm Sagittarius as was, Emily Dickenson, Toulouse Lautrec, Frank Sinatra, J.F.Kennedy, Maria Callas and Woody Allen who still is obvs.

4 When I die I don't want to be buried but am not that keen on cremation, I would rather just lay in a tastefully decorated cool dark room maybe on a shelf and just dry out like a nice piece of Parma ham.

5 I am a member of Compassion in World Farming.

6 I learnt to swim as an adult and only swam in the sea out of my depth for the first time 6 years ago.

7 Chatsworth is my favourite building.

8 I absolutely adore British Eccentrics.

9 I have a certificate in Indian head massage and am also a trained Barista.

10 I got married in the Brighton Pavilion and arrived 30 minutes late. He waited :)

11 My 29th Great Grand father is William The Conqueror, and so can count as my direct ancestors amongst others good girl Jane Seymour and bad girl Mary Boleyn.

Questions Asked by Sweet Auburn Life.

1 What was your first thought when you got this award?

Dead chuffed.

2 Tell us something about your corner of the world?

I live in a parkland which was used as a military camp during WW1. And coincidentally I have two majors who live opposite me, they are husband and wife.

3 Have you ever been to Ireland?

Yes many times and I love it.

4 Why do you blog?
To connect with people and to share and learn.

5 What is your favourite cuisine?
Anything that uses fresh, tasty and good quality ingredients.

6  What are you most afraid of?

7 What are you most grateful for?
My family's health.

8 What is your favourite time of year?
Early Summer.

9 Are you introverted or extroverted?
Extroverted and then some.

10 What is the worst job you have ever had?
Working in the offices of London Transport whilst studying for A levels at night school to apply for Uni.

11 What have you learned today?
I cording and mattress stitching.

My nominations for the Liebster Award 

My questions for my nominees

1 Are you an early bird or a night owl?

2 Who has been your greatest influence?

3 When did you last learn a new skill and what was it?

4 What 'change' would make you most happy?

5 What is your secret vice?

6 If you could be anyone in history who would it be and why?

7 What would be your dream job?

8 What is your most treasured possession?

9 Where are you going on your next holiday?

10 What song is your desert island disc must have?

11  What do you most dislike about yourself?


Friday, 22 February 2013

Afternoon Tea at The Palace

Whilst I'm waiting for The Lord Chamberlain to be commanded by the Queen to invite me to a garden party at The Palace, I'm going to make do with popping along to the Coronation Festival.

I'll still be picnicing on the lawn and enjoying the sights, although tres shame all the Gala evening tickets are sold out. Still mustn't grumble.

via Telegraph

Get your ticket quick. I predict they won't last long.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Grand Day at Ardingly

Tescos did not want us
Had a cracking day out at the Ardingly antiques fair yesterday. Perfect weather, loads of sunshine but not too hot, and loads of (mostly) smiling faces. I went to buy some china for the cafe at work, we need lots so the mister came to help me carry it all. He's a good ole boy.

We covered every inch of the site and it took just under 5 hours to do it. I'm hoping that I burned up a million calories in my search for the perfect teacup.

I saw about a zillion things I would have liked to take home but only made one purchase and I couldn't be more thrilled. LOOK....................

A beautiful servant's bell board. It must have been in a very grand house as it has 9 bedrooms, a studio, music room, drawing room and a study. 
I'm delighting in all the names of the rooms, blue bedroom, pink bedroom and not forgetting Mr. Cook's bedroom, he must have been quite an important member of the household. I do hope he looked a little like Carson, even though he was probably head of this household.

How fabulous would it be to find out who Mr.Cook was and where the house is, if it still exists, of course.

Monday, 18 February 2013

First Meeting of the Year

I've been a member of The East Sussex Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers for a couple of years now, although truth be told, I haven't learnt to weave, spin or dye yarn...... yet. But the nice thing about the guild is that they don't mind. I'm a knitter and have crocheted a few things and am really keen on all craft and so are they.
Everyone is welcome at their monthly meetings, and every member of the guild has different skills and they are all keen as mustard to share their knowledge. Such a wide range of people attend although the majority of members are retired. The youngest person at the meeting on Saturday looked to be about 12, and I think I sat next to one of the eldest members, Ruth who I believe is 97.

Poster for Guild Exhibition 2011

Most meetings they invite guest speakers, last Saturday it was Alison Crosthwaite whose work in all it's varying forms is like a huge eyegasmic explosion of colour and textiles.
She's got me all fired up, I want to create, upcyle and dye my own hand spun yarn.
Fortunately the Chairwoman of the guild is also a friend of mine and she's gonna teach me to spin and dye. I'm not sure how I'm going to fit time in to go to work :)

Water colour by Alison Crosthwaite.
But first things first, I have a rather important knitty project to finish before I can expand my crafty horizons.

I'm knitting a winsome whippet for a dear work friend whose much loved pooch died last Summer. (He's not a whizz on computers so I'm pretty sure he won't catch on to what I'm doing for him). I made the dog's legs at the weekend so it seems quick to knit, but I am having to concentrate as it's fiddly. I'll take some pics when he's finished.

I've also been collecting some nice textiles to help with my crafty upcycling ideas. I want to make more time to be creative this year, it always seems to come last on my agenda, after housework and shopping etc. I just need to plan it in and it will happen, or so the theory goes.

Look at these lovelies.

They've all been recycled once, that's how I got my mitts on them, but they are destined to go on to bigger and better things. Most satisfying. 

Thursday, 14 February 2013

True Love

My old mate Desmond Carrington broadcasting live from his home in Perthshire, (Radio 2 friday nights) quite often tells me things of great interest.

For instance this love song made famous by Roberta Flack was actually a poem written by Ewan MacColl for his wife Peggy Seeger, ah me, imagine that.

The first time ever I saw your face 
I thought the sun rose in your eyes
And the moon and the stars were the gifts you gave 
To the dark and endless skies my love..............  


Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Joanne Harris at the Charleston Festival

I'm super excited as one of my favourite authors is going to be at the Charleston Festival in May.

She is going to be discussing 'Peaches for Monsieur Le Cure' published at the end of last year. It is a return to the world that she made famous in Chocolat. Can't wait.

This is the first book I read of hers and I've been hooked ever since.

Anyway must dash as Chocolat the movie is on the box later on today and I rather fancy making a pot of tea, grabbing some knitting and a wagon wheel and settling down to watch it. (For my overseas visitors a wagon wheel is a rather scrummy chocolate biscuit, which incidentally is nothing like a wheel it's just a round shape like most other biscuits).

Toodle pip.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

The Allure of Vinyl and Brubeck

The mister and I moved house a few times with our joint LP collection in boxes. Sentimental value you see. Eventually their condition began to deteriorate and we faced the fact we should really pass them on or sell them, by this point we didn't even own a record player and frankly had no intention of ever buying another one.
We gave them to our boy Jack, records were a revelation to him and uber cool.

But after watching the recent BBC2 Arena Dave Brubeck special, I really really want another player. I have 'discovered' a love of jazz and I must listen to it in the correct format. I also have a hankering to listen to the wireless in the comfort of my 'vintage' style drawing room. You know the one I spent a lifetime making the curtains for last year.

So I'm now on the hunt for a super stylish radiogram something like this one.

I know I will find one that's just right, I just have to keep looking. In the meantime I have made a few vinyl purchases, just to be ready, natch.

The man himself.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Today's Discovery


Oooh I'm thinking a successor to Miss. Simone.
Her album 'Sing to the Moon' is out March 4th.


One of the many pleasures of the internet is 'discovery'. You know how it is, you look for something that leads you somewhere else and then bingo a happy discovery. In this case the Aland Islands. Never come across them before, but when looking at my blog stats, low and behold someone from the islands regularly takes a squiz at my blog musings. How fab.

The peeps there are Swedish speaking but actually Finnish by nationality. I love that, they already sound like my kinda mixed up people.

Needless to say I'm now desperate to visit. One traveller writing for the Telegraph described their experience on the island as an Enid Blyton holiday, right up my strasse.

You can rent dear little cottages that have their own saunas and smoke houses, or stay somewhere really swanky like Havs Vidden.

These super sleek holiday houses are perched on the cliffs at the northern tip of the main island. There are over 6000 islands that make up the Aland (pronounced Awe-land) archipelago.

I so want to visit an archipelago.

image via

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Candlemas Day

Candlemas Bells or Snowdrops
Today is Candlemas day which marks Imbolc the pagan midwinter festival, halfway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox.
The Celts performed rituals to harness divine energy that would ensure a steady supply of food until harvest six months later.
Imbolc was also known as the festival of light and traditionally many fires would be lit to encourage the return of the sun and the wakening of the earth. I'll be lighting a candle this evening.

If Candlemas Day be fair
Bright Winter will have another fight
If Candlemas day brings cloud
Winter won't come again

Fitness Update

You may remember dear reader my new year plans for my health and fitness regime. I'm very pleased to say that after the first week when god help us, I put 1 lb on, I have now lost 3 lb. A mere drop in the flobbage ocean I know but every long journey etc...... I'm well on course to look like this come Summer. Don't chase me boys, I'm a married lady you know.

I'll keep you posted on future progress. But can't help wishing it was as easy to lose weight now as it was in the 1920s. Rub a dub dub.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Wool is Terribly Exciting

Well in this instance it is. Somerset House is collaborating with 'The Campaign for Wool', to mount a wonderful event called 'Wool House'.
The west wing of Somerset House will be transformed into a home made primarily of wool. 

The entrance will be styled like a grand country house with a hallway lined with Warholesque inspired sheep heads.
Donna Wilson and Kit Kemp have designed room sets and there will be tons of textiles, and even a crochet bear.

Crochetdermy Bear by Shauna Richardson.

The event is on between 13th-24th March and amazingly entrance is free.