Friday, 30 August 2013

Vivien Leigh Archive

A very exciting email popped into my inbox this morning from the V&A. They have acquired the Vivien Leigh archive and a revolving selection of items will be on show from Autumn 2013, can't wait.

Vivien  in George Cukor's pool,  Hollywood, 1960.  Image copyright V&A

Diary. Image copyright V&A.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

A Day at the Glynde Forge

The Mister and our boy Jack (really a man now at 24yrs if only I'd admit it) recently spent some male bonding time discovering the charms of our local-ish forge. As luck would have it I'm good friends with the blacksmith's wife, so they were only charged mates rates for this fun day out. Happily it is who you know after all.

They enjoyed a good full day, had lunch, made various useful items and came home very happy men, even though the Mister had a few blisters. Terry the blacksmith even sent me a fantastic hand made poker for our wood burning stove, he's nice like that.

Jack was totally in awe of Terry - "a real man Mum", impervious to the heat of the forge with arm muscles like Samson apparently.

Jack being supervised by Terry aka Samson

They had a truly splendid time, and  it was lovely to hear all the excitement of the day when they got home. Jack's usually up in Manchester where he is studying so it's always nice to have him home for a while, even if it does mean he has another bloomin tattoo every time he visits.

Mind you I quite like this one on the back of his calf.

Sunday, 25 August 2013


A few weeks ago when I asked the Mister to get up at the crack of dawn to help me at a boot fair I told him that it would "definitely be the last time". But actually I find I still have stuff that I need to let go, quite nice bits and bobs but not really beautiful or useful, to me anyway. So tomorrow morning will absolutely be the last time we will need to sell stuff at a booty. From now on I pledge to only buy what I need or can't live without. (Did you notice my crafty proviso there?)

Only this week I had thought that I was in 'need' of a trug to ferry our vegetables up from the greenhouse and veg beds, but on looking about me I discovered I had a perfectly good vintage basket that would do the trick. Pretty too eh?

So no need to waste money or clutter the house up with additional stuff. So much better to use what you have already, it's not exactly a hardship after all. And it does feel very good to be decluttering and stream lining things.

Once this last batch of clutter is gone I can crack on with repurposing my studio space and get on with the task of deciding how I'm going to make a living in the future, now that I have left my job of eight years. The stress and angst had finally reached an unacceptable level and working there was making me very unhappy and at times unwell. I'm changing tack and in the next few weeks will put a lot of thought and consideration into what my next steps will be.

I'm thinking physical space will help with some mental space.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Instagram Home

I thought I would share some pics a friend took the other morning at mine for her Instagram account. They really are a tad too big for my blog page but I wanted you to see them.

My vintage glass collection which is stored in a 1930s 'meat safe'.
My downstairs wc.
A dolly in the drawing room, she's way too tall to fit in the cupboard.
Twiggy and Jackie White in the kitchen.
Our breakfast in the garden.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Tooth Pain & Pocket Pain - A Perfect Marriage

So dear reader a week has passed since my deep filling was replaced. Do you remember the specialist said the tooth only needed a new filling? "Premature" to talk of root canal work he said. Guess what? This weekend it has been playing up merry hell.

I saw my dentist this morning and now the tooth in question has an infection and does need root canal work. How did that happen?

So adding on the £65.00 for the replacement filling it has cost me £157 so far to get a wrong diagnosis and to be in even more pain than before.

My dentist has said that the specialist should do the work and it will cost in the region of £660. No thrifty alternative I'm afraid. Although my dentist is a NHS dentist and theoretically he should be able to do the work he says the other guy has more expertise and more advanced equipment. How do dentists make you feel you have to take their advice or accept the dire consequences? The implication is if I don't go to the expert I will get a shoddy job done and then there will be more problems with my teeth. I did consider an extraction, the tooth is at the top right at the back, but I think I would regret that later on. Lots of horror stories about teeth shifting about if you remove their neighbour.

But actually lots of horror stories about root canal work and dentistry in general. And what with the pain an all my mind feels a little bit fuddled. I'm taking antibiotics (which I'm always loathe to do) and I've booked in for the first part of the treatment next week. I just hope I'm making the right decision.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Birthday Cake

A few girlfriends came round for lunch today including birthday girl Linda. We had a very healthy Salad Nicoise, followed by a chocolate and beetroot BIG cake. It was gorgeous.

I used a Lakeland recipe, the icing was too runny so if you make it don't add the double cream is my advice.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Birthday Treats

It was my chum Linda's birthday last Wednesday, and she had a fancy to take a picnic to Polesden Lacey.

The parents of our own dear Queen honeymooned here in 1923, which I thought was very humble and sweet, it would have been enormously private too. We had a smashing lunch sitting 'with' the royals on the lawns and enjoyed the day tremendously.

deck chair featuring the royal couple 1923
I do enjoy a country house to snoop about in to get that feeling of grandeur.

Anyway before we set off in the morning I presented her with her birthday treats. I really love it when you manage to find a real corker of a present for someone special. Consequently I sometimes buy presents way in advance of a birthday or Christmas, the trick then is as we all know remembering where we have squirrelled it away.

Her main present from me was the cutest vintage kitchen calendar, which I found at Milly and Dottie's Emporium. It still has the original shopping list pad and unused pencil and is a perpetual calender so should last forever.

Linda has two adorable cats called Bramble and Hetty, whom I imagine would have looked just like these two when they were kittencubs, as Linda would say.

She also loves Cherries and Marzipan so another winner.

And to complete the package a jolly good read.

She was chuffed to bits and so was I.

Monday, 12 August 2013

This & That & Bloomin Toothache

The Mister and I decided not to cram so much in this weekend. It felt really good just to potter and take care of lots of odds and ends that needed sorting out. Mountains of housework, the house needing a good blitz and the ironing, where does it all come from? Lots of jobs in the garden, all taken care of too. Just some logs needing chopping and some tidying up in the 'gubbins' area to do next weekend.

All through this heroic work I had toothache.

I don't normally suffer with matters of the molar kind, but boy this has been PERSISTENT. I visited the dentist on July 22nd, with some teeth sensitivity. He x-rayed my teeth and said he couldn't see a problem and advised me to call back if it got worse.

Of course it did. I eventually got an appointment but he still wasn't sure. Perhaps the back tooth was causing pain in the other tooth, maybe I needed root canal work or maybe the large filling needed replacing. He suggested I go and see a specialist. So last Friday the mister and I drove a 3 hour round trip to Tonbridge. The specialist said "the large filling needs replacing". Yippee a diagnosis I thought, the end to all my troubles is nigh. I called my dentist to make an appointment, "sorry nothing till next Friday". To coin a phrase, I couldn't believe it. I'd spent a smidge under £100 just to find out what was wrong and then I was told I couldn't be seen for another week. Misery. But today I called again to see if they had a cancellation and guess what? I have an appointment tomorrow. I have never looked forward so much to a dental visit.

I was so pleased I made some blackout curtains for the main bedroom.

Not that I'm expecting bombers you understand, it's just another job that's been on my list for a while. So now we're all up straight with all the chores done for a wee while, and after tomorrow I should be pain free as well. Marvellous.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Vintage Event

Not too many pictures of the event last week I'm afraid I've rather let the side down, not to mention Nilly who was looking forward to seeing a pictorial account. Sorry Nilly.

It was a delightful, busy and very enjoyable day. Lots of smashing folk to talk to, great feedback about my vintage wares and I managed to sell a few bits and pieces. The setting was perfect, right next to the cricket pitch in Firle village. Plenty of space for the stalls and plenty of space for everyone who came along to chill out and enjoy the day. I can't tell you how nice it was to see folk relaxing, playing with their children and generally having a good time. The mister even played some football, barefoot unfortunately, with a few friends who turned up unexpectedly.

The cricket pitch was directly behind my stall

I have been on a mission recently to declutter the house and to sell off as much of my vintage stock as possible. Things are going quite smoothly on that front and now I have resigned from the day job after eight long years I'm getting nearer to my goal. Slowly slowly catchy monkey.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

It's a Kinda Magic

That's what it feels like growing your own veg. Our first year of eating home grown herbs, salad  and veg feels like a little miracle.

Experimenting with new recipes and different ways of cooking has added a new dimension to our usual meal planning.

The three faces of beetroot. Doesn't look great in it's raw state but once turned in some olive oil and a little home grown Thyme is sensational. Of course at the moment it's courgette with just about everything but actually I'm not bored with them. The generosity of other bloggers sharing their recipes and tips is an absolute godsend for me and helps tremendously in keeping meals thrifty and delicious.

I have been very inspired by Sue and her approach to life. Simple pleasures and making the most of what you have and also freeing yourself up from the things you no longer need.

The last few strawberries from our freegled plants

Some sweet peas from the garden

We hope to build on what we have learnt this year and to grow even more next year.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Vintage Fair at Firle

If you're anywhere near Firle, East Sussex tomorrow pop along to the vintage fair.
It's a new venture for two local girls who live in this gorgeous little village.

Virginia Woolf was a Firle resident for a while and today it is home to a large number of artists and makers. And also a remarkably decent pub The Ram Inn, where I shall be dining tomorrow night with a few friends.

During the day I will be earning my supper selling my wares at very thrifty prices. I'm clearing my studio in readiness for it's forthcoming revamp which I'm very excited about, times they are a changing.

Fun Weekend Project

I saw this fab footstool on the Liberty blog today and immediately thought must add this to my list of projects. Not that I have the time to actually make it and don't really NEED it you understand, it's just really cool and I covet it.

Liberty often feature projects that promote the use of their gorgeous fabrics, natch.

But it occurred to me you could actually get the same effect by using splendid ties. You can raid your partner's wardrobe and they are dead cheap to pick up at jumbles.

No fussy cutting and pinning simply stitch them on. It'll do for me.