Monday 4 December 2023

Bjorn & Ian Knitting Chums

As I race to finish my Christmas knitting projects I spied this funny knitting friends spoof. Bloomin hilarious. I hope it tickles your funny bone too. Thank goodness for humour.

Sunday 3 December 2023

Adam Wide Christmas Forest

I managed to bag a ticket for this totally amazing event at Chatsworth House last Thursday. Adam gave an enthusiastic, passionate and revealing talk on his immense collection of Christmas Tree brooches of which he has around 8000. There is a part exhibition around 1500 of them along the Christmas route at Chatsworth until January, so look out for them in the north sketch if you are planning on going. The jewellery itself was swoon worthy and this from someone who doesn't really ever wear a brooch, well that is until now. Adam was an absolute bundle of joy and mirth and has led the most extraordinary life and still does. He has just arrived back in Blighty after living in Berlin, but he has done many great things world wide. He really has so many stories to tell I could have sat there all day listening to him. He was such a surprise and subsequently so was the talk. I feel inspired by the man and learnt a lot, of course I told him a few things too, he never knew that Monty Don had made jewellery before he moved onto gardening. I fear I may have started him on another acquisition trail.

Tuesday 28 November 2023

Warmth and Kindess Let's Have More Of It

This sweet advert warmed my heart and made me shed a tear at the same time, kind and thoughtful.

Tuesday 21 November 2023

Ah Me

From Douglas Henshall today, made me titter.

Move Over Nigella There's A New Goddess In Town

Goodness me I'm late to the Nancy Birtwhistle party. My excuse is that I don't watch 'Bake Off', apparently she won the competition many moons ago. I adore the woman, can't get enough. I'm following her on Facebook now and she's always popping up with thrifty and sustainable tips. She's written a few books too, one of which I have just returned to my local library. Over the weekend I googled her shortcrust pastry recipe, now I rarely make pastry, but I thought I would make some cocktail sausage rolls in advance for Christmas gatherings. She didn't let me down,and although I say so myself it was perfection. In other thrifty news I've just discovered that my local M&S sell off ripe bananas at a tiny 25p a bag. They were in a rather nice brown paper bag on the top of the banana stand, with no price on them, but two recipes on the bag to make use of the ripe bananas, banana bread and vegan cupcakes.
I tweaked the recipe slightly by adding walnuts and some vanilla essence. I think this domestic goddess lark is catching.

Thursday 16 November 2023

Christmas Prep

My thoughts have turned to organising our Christmas. We should have been away for the season but because of family illness we have postponed our trip to early February. The last few years we have both felt that Christmas had somewhat lost its sparkle, which is why we thought it would be fab to get away somewhere warm and lush. As this was not meant to be I'm really trying to plan an enjoyable and fun filled time. We have booked a local historic restaurant for Christmas Eve lunch, friends maybe joining us for that. I have booked a Winter concert being held in an ancient church,and the new Willy Wonka film, which looks hilarious. I have bought or made almost all of the presents, so I'm ahead there. Getting a Christmas pud that doesn't contain palm oil has been a bit of a trial, can you believe that the top five puds recommended by Good Housekeeping all have palm oil in them, it's such a shame. Anyway King Charles came up trumps with his Highgrove organic pudding, of course it would have been rude not to order some Port from him too. I admit to splashing out a bit and have a new rather interesting 'party' frock, the pattern of which is made up of tarot card images. It's a good job then that my traditionally made besom, ordered a while back has arrived today, just in case I need an accessory.

Sunday 12 November 2023

Oh Dear King Lear

The Mr and I have just returned from a much anticipated London trip. I booked tickets to the Kenneth Branagh production of King Lear at The Wyndham, a few months ago, and indeed had been on a waiting list to ensure I would know exactly when the tickets went on sale. Much excitement!! It was a two hour performance, with no interval, which I thought was strange, but in hindsight perhaps it was a tactic to prevent folk leaving early, surely not? Before the start I was queuing for the lavatory, like you do, and chatting to a nice woman behind me who told me the play had terrible reviews. I remember thinking that anything with dear Kenneth in and with tickets at an eye watering £300+ for two MUST be a tour de force. Oh oh how wrong could I be. Kenneth Branagh himself had a decent stab at the part, but oh my, the rest of the cast were SO wooden and delivered an overly shouty interpretation of the story. A cast of maybe 15 ran onto the stage and off again continuously at great pace, hither and thither shouting, fighting most times and banging large sticks on the stage. The costumes were a tragedy in themselves, an earthy muted palette with a stone age man meets women in linen vibe. It was impossible to discern who were the royal party and who were the surfs, coupled with some actors playing different roles it was a story line which I was unable to follow. The set was made up of the same palette as the costumes and didn't change throughout the performance, apart from a few images projected on to it. The overall visual effect was totally unstimulating, lacklustre and frankly boring. It felt like a school production. My advice is DO NOT GO.
By contrast The Frans Hals exhibtion at The National was completely beguiling. All portraits of course. The Mr and I wandered around the eight or so small galleries almost intoxicated with the skill and beauty of his work. A 17th century contemporary of Hals, Theodorus Schrevelius said that Hals works "reflected such power and life, that the painter seems to challenge nature with his brush". I couldn't agree more.

Saturday 11 November 2023

'Ghost Fans'- Lady Button's Letter to The 'Teetanic'

I adore the Ghosts tv series and I'm so sad it has ended. Still we do have a Christmas special in the offing. I stumbled across this excerpt from a live performance, it's superb.

Monday 6 November 2023

Early Christmas Cheer

My friend posted this and I thought it was so super cute I should too. For my chums across the pond Aldi is a British budget supermarket and their Christmas vegetable characters are full to the brim with Christmas spirit. Watch out for the trumpeting brussel sprouts.

Wednesday 1 November 2023

Girl Power or Coprolalia?

THIS POST DOES CONTAIN SOME TRULY BAD LANGUAGE, SO PLEASE DON'T CLICK ON THE TRAILER IF YOU THINK IT MIGHT OFFEND YOU. It tickled my funny bone, once I got over the 'shock' but I'm a big fan of Olivia Coleman and Jessie Buckley both. If you're not you might want to skip this post and wait for my more modest outpourings.

Saturday 28 October 2023

Beacons of Light

I do so love the glow of candles especially now the weather has turned it's driech face towards us for the foreseeable. For a long time I bought my candles from IKEA. I know the really expensive ones give off an amazing fragrance, but I don't think they are generally worth the expense. I'm mindful too of the ingredients used in candles, because some have nasties in them, I'm thinking of the really cheap ones here. I gave up on the IKEA ones last year as they didn't burn in an even manner and so were a bit wasteful. I have been buying my candles from Aldi ever since and I've been very pleased with them. At £3.99 a pop good value too. Then it suddenly dawned on me that I have a basket of tea lights languishing in our cellar. So in a bid to use up anything we don't want to take when we move house, I will be using them up, before I buy any more larger candles. I think that will save a goodly amount of money.
I've also been sorting out all the small bottles of toiletries that I have collected over the years from different trips away. You know the mini bottles of shampoo etc I have started using them up at home, again so we don't have to pack them up for the house move.

Bjorn & Ian Knitting Chums

As I race to finish my Christmas knitting projects I spied this funny knitting friends spoof. Bloomin hilarious. I hope it tickles your funn...