Friday, 30 November 2012

Another year older

Forty six. It's not so bad if you say it quickly and just keep walking. Or wash it down with a glass of wine.

It was a bad day, part of a bad week which has included food poisoning, a journey through floods, getting a house located 200 miles away ready for tenants to move in today, but by far the worst of all, on my birthday, the loss of a wonderful lady to cancer.

People have been so kind. I received lots of lovely birthday messages and last night I received a bouquet of beautiful flowers from the people most directly affected by the bereavement. That set me off again.

But I don't want this to be a really miserable post, so here is a video currently doing the rounds on facebook. This is a message of hope and inspiration and you cannot help but be moved by the beatific smile on the man's face towards the end of this film. It's as though the weight of the world has been taken off his shoulders.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Works of Art: Baba Yaga

This is the actual illustration I was trying to place when I was doing this post. I adore these book illustrations by Nathalie Partain from 1932.

Here is a more modern variation on the theme illustrated by Jessica Souhami. Love this one too.

Whilst reading her biography I noticed that her parents are descended from Russian Jews and here she is illustrating a Russian classic. It really interests me to see how we are shaped by elements from our own past and that of our forebears and how we sometimes consciously, sometimes unconsciously find ourselves going down a similar path.

My interior design taste most closely reflects that of my paternal grandmother. What about you? Any inherited traits or tastes? I'd love to hear your stories.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Axminster; blue, green and red

Some photos I took a while ago on a trip to Axminster. Not sure if the parish council will want to use them as tourism publicity shots, but there you go.

The ancient Vauxhall Viva was parked in front of us. I would have loved to have seen what the driver looked like. I always like to check out people driving interesting vehicles, to see if they match, like owners and their dogs. It pleases me inordinately if they do.

I like the font with its proper joined up handwriting. I can't help thinking of Viva Las Vegas. Which do you prefer the Elvis version or the ZZ Top?

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Hell or high water

Come hell or high water, I have to get to Somerset this weekend. But it turns out that there IS high water, and that, combined with gale force winds is making it all a bit hellish.

So, today's drive has been postponed and I am hoping against hope that I can get down there tomorrow, and most importantly, bail out again on Sunday.

Luck be a lady. Fingers crossed. Inshallah.

In the meantime, here is the most glorious giveaway.  This place is Jean de Florette meets Chocolat meets my dreams of rural French living. Je veux... Si tu veux aussi, go to the link and leave a comment.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Song for the day: Cilla Black

It's all very retrospective and nostalgic in our house at the moment. I've sorted through the old tapes, and am just working my way through the records. So whilst I am thinking about music, here's a song from my childhood.

My dad used to make up compilation tapes for us and this (below) was a great favourite. 

I remember singing it to my class at school, no accompaniment. Since I can't sing in tune and couldn't remember all the words when confronted by a sea of small bemused faces, it was a little bit excruciating. I just kept going round and round while my classmates put their heads down and their shoulders started to shake. God knows how many times I sang that chorus. The teacher had to stop me in the end. That single act should be the dictionary definition of 'merciful'.

It's been 36 years since that notable day. I am told that time heals, so no doubt the chagrin will fade eventually.


Monday, 19 November 2012

It's not my fault

Really. This is the house I went home to after my first few days in the world and this is how they dressed me.

So, you see, it's no surprise I turned out the way I did, with cuckoo clocks and cow bells and edelweiss and pictures of chalets everywhere.

Here's my latest dirndl, I got it in a charity shop in Bristol earlier on this year. The t-shirt was from a car boot, 50p, the vintage edelweiss bracelet came from ebay and the clogs were bought in Sweden on my holibobs earlier on this year. My first ever outfit post. I'm not a natural in front of the camera, but I'm learning to be brave as I get older.

Do any of the rest of you out there have any shots of you in a dirndl, either now or then? I'd love to see them, maybe start a gallery.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

My doll's house

The capodimonte flowers look OK don't they? It's a bit minimal, just sits on a shelf most of the time, but look, there's a teeny tiny surprise inside...
...the smallest cuckoo clock you ever did see! :)

Sunday, 11 November 2012

That was the week that was

Haven't been doing a lot. 

Roasted veg for tea tonight.

We were gifted a load of bricks through Realcycle. Four times as much as this. Enough to finish off the garden. I love gifting stuff, but on this occasion it felt lovely to get just what we needed.

Monday, 5 November 2012

In the words of the glorious Dusty Springfield...

...I just don't know what to do with myself.

On Saturday at tennis I tore a muscle in my calf. I was going for a volley shot at the net. I think we won the point but I can't be sure. Anyway, the result is that I am now indisposed. A weekend of sitting on my backside unable to move. Heaven for some, torture for me. I started a bit of sewing.

Today it's 9.30am and I'm already shedding tears at daytime TV; a survivor of the holocaust and a soldier who had his leg blown off. That certainly puts a torn muscle into perspective.

Friday, 2 November 2012


I can't believe I am still cutting summer flowers from the garden in November. 

But don't let that fool you, it is definitely the weather for winter warming food. Tonight we had butternut squash risotto. Plenty of sage and garlic, with parmesan grated on top. Yummy.

I've been looking at wood burning stoves for the kitchen/dining room. I like this image. We did a bit of hunting and think the one below might be it?
The man of the house bought me this jumper for my impending birthday. When I wear it, I imagine myself lounging around in a house like the one in this Shag painting

Image 1 copyright Holly Jolliffe
Image 2 copyright
Image 3 copyright Shag

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Did you get through it alive?

Halloween I mean.

One poor little individual didn't. Nightmare.
copyright Zen Art