Saturday, 12 February 2011

Another Treasure Rediscovered

This little wonder is a piece that I have seen around my home all my life. Like most things that you see on a daily basis you become blind to their beauty or intrigue.

Its one solid piece of ivory carved into the shape of a shell, with a minute market scene further carved inside it. The tiny tools and the patience it must have taken I can only imagine. It was sent to us by my late Aunt while she was serving in the forces and stationed over in Singapore in the 60's, one of the many fascinating trinkets that we found ourselves in possession of.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Picture This

My friend and I went for a walk the other Sunday. I am rather fortunate that even though I am a mere 3 miles from my cities centre I have access to open fields, both a river and canal path, a public walkway and local meadows.

I really want to get myself a 'proper' camera as opposed to having to use my phone camera. I did have a rather good one not so long ago but thanks to it (unknown by me) being 'borrowed' by my daughter it got damaged and unusable.......hmmmm

But this spring I am going to get myself a little digital that I can take out and about with me and snap away at sights, views and images that catch my eye.....I like to share!

I actually don't have a huge objection to graffiti. What  does infuriate me is random destruction or the defacing of surfaces, stupid names scrawled, obscenities daubed in public places. But colourful 'artistry' I don't seriously have a problem with.

I rather liked the contrast between the beauty of the nature backdrop and the totally 'unnatural' visual on the brick bridge walls.
 The locks and despite the threat of heavy rain and the very chill temperatures that day you can see, if you look closely, a lone fisherman at the bottom of the lock steps very prepared for the wet to come.

I never understood the appeal of fishing when younger, how you could sit mindlessly for hours waiting for a bite.

Now I am older the 'mindlessly' seems far more appealing and the solitude a very welcome respite from the buzz and rush of every day life.

Yes.....well.....the Riverside version of the Globe....quite the thinking behind such a small structure, with the vague hint of amphitheatre style seating formed in the grass I am not quite sure. I wonder if it has ever been used for the purpose that it was built.

A lovely young horse decided to come and investigate us, so trusting and gentle. She had warm, sweet hay-fragranced breath that she snorted against my cheek.

I love horses, always a little fearful of them though, but she was wonderful and next time we go I am going to take some carrots and apple with me in case we see her again.

And finally the view from our footpath across the fields to the Humpback Bridge that has featured in earlier blogs of mine. How different it will all look in a few weeks when the bright new green foliage begins to show itself and the landscape changes to pre-summer lushness.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Picture the Past

Dad is slowly sorting through places in his home that were purely Mums domain....
Drawers and cupboards, shelves and storage places that Mum stashed all manner of, letters, numerous cards and memorabilia!

Most of the pictures I have seen over my childhood and teens, sat with Mum, rummaging and ruminating through all their history. I love photographs!

As a teenager the main amusement was giggling at various fashions and hair-do's! But as both my parents were born in the 1920's they grew into adults through some of the most stylish decades! When girls dressed up and men were smart.....

The one below is in the Summer of 1948, my parents as yet unmarried went away on holiday to Newquay in Cornwall under the watchful eye of other family members. My Mum would have been almost 22 and my handsome Daddy nearly 25.....

This is my Mum (on the right) and her twinny also later in 1948 at an airshow. I am not sure who they went with but the picture is rather wonderful.....

I would like to share some of the pictures we uncover with you and so will post them a few at a time

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Trees and Trinkets

I am not really looking forward to Christmas very much this year. Having lost my Mum only 8 weeks ago (though I have to admit that it feels so much longer ago) I know that this year will feel very strange for all of us. Even writing cards the other day had me in tears when I came to writing one for my Dad......just my Dad. I host Christmas lunch every year and have done for the last 18 years. This year I shall move round all the dining room furniture, seat us all in different positions from the 'traditional' seating plan, anything to try and soften the blow of Mum's place being empty. So Christmas isn't a time that I am relishing the idea of this year.

But my youngest daughter and I have decorated our home today with the Christmas trimmings, the tree is donned in its colour co-ordinated baubles, the fireplace decked with the festive swag and candles and the read-berried shrub by the side of my front door is festooned with a myriad of tiny fairy lights timed to perfection to come on at dusk.

This is an annual event, usually the second weekend of December, the rummaging and rustling in boxes from the loft patiently brought down by my husband and carefully returned empty until the beginning of January, when I am so very grateful to get rid of them and return to the normality and welcome sparseness of an uncluttered lounge!

My tree is decorated with a wonderful mixture of old favourites, ornate memories that are dangled with love each year and a selection of carefully selected pieces that reflect my current colour scheme. Oh I know I know, Christmas trees should be a jangle of colour and an odd mish-mash of colours and shapes, I admit it......I am a Christmas tree snob, always grateful when the classroom made offerings finally disintegrated or became too 'embarrassing' for my girls to want on the tree any longer. But I love decorating my tree and my youngest has always been the one who has enjoyed helping.

 Not every year, but many since they were small, I have bought my girls a bauble each and marked it with their name and the year of the particular Christmas. These have been used every year and I have told them that when they finally leave and have homes and trees of their own, they can have the decorations that are theirs, taking a little piece of their home and childhood with them. So as we have decorated this year we have smiled and looked at the names and years inscribed on  some of the ornaments and treasured the memories that some of them have conjured.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Tiny Twinnies

This wonderful picture is my Nana with her two darling twinnies
My Mum is on the left and my darling Auntie the other side
It was taken around 1930......presumably by my Grandpa

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Hymns of Old

While rummaging around my Dad came upon this tint pocket size hymn book.

There are some that feel to write on the pages of a book is tantamount to sacrilege but I find it rather wonderful that 105 years later I can discover that this battered little leather bound offering was an 'award' presented to my Grandmother by the Sunday School she attended.

It also amused both Dad and I to see scribbled in pencil (probably by one of her two sisters) the word 'suffragette' above her name and the scribe wrote "They did not know you I am sure"

Grinning, my Dad and I remembered that Nana was rather spirited and independent!

Sunday, 19 September 2010

The Conversion.......

 My Daddy and I were chatting the other day about unexpected and unwelcome knocks at the door! My Dad is hard of hearing, my Mum very frail, they are of an era where a knock at the door requires an urgent response and yet are unable to get to their callers quickly...

My Dad is of the same mind as me, that we have a key to get in, that close friends and neighbours don't make unexpected visits and that if the call is really that important they will call again another generally the gen is that the door rarely gets answered!
 So when I visited the other day I was surprised when my Dad had told me he had actually heard the doorbell and found Jehovahs Witnesses on the doorstep. They had offered him a pamphlet which he had politely declined and told he was not 'interested'.
As the ladies left by the steep driveway one of them stopped to admire the beautiful display of Begonias in the front garden. Dad had been more than happy to tell the lady all his gardening tips and details of the plants origins.
Grinning broadly he said to me "As she was leaving I even gave her a brochure. I think she's seen the light!"

I love my Dad's dry sense of humour!

Friday, 13 August 2010

Fish n Chips

The quintessential British supper and never more delicious than when eaten by the sea!
This was our fish'n'chip supper one evening when we were on our recent holiday. The boxes are handy but there really is nothing like when its properly wrapped in paper.....

I wanted to take it down onto the beach, drink wine from the bottle, sit on the sand and watch the sunset while munching mine, romantic and wondrous, indulgent and simple.....
It was the fantasy of being with a lover......

We compromised and sat on the grass above the beach.....and then went to the pub......

Fuck the world! One day i am going to do that AND on my own if I have to!!!!

Sunday, 8 August 2010

A Few of My Favourite Things......

Lavender and bumble bees...........

....such simple small pleasures, watching a bee buzz busily from stem to stem........
Unless you are watching it with my brother who insists we Google bees when we get home and establish which one of the 6 common bees (Mum would be most perturbed if she knew the bees in her garden were 'common'!) it was that we photographed.

You will sleep better now knowing that my model for the above shot was none other than a Bombus Terrestris!

Friday, 6 August 2010

Open Your Eyes And.......

...well ok, open your eyes, reach over the 3 feet to the window, pull up the blind and.........

That was the view from my bedroom window on my recent holiday to North Devon. I adore the sea, the smell of it, the constant movement and sound, I know I could never tire of watching the sea.

It felt a sad holiday. The last time we were there (in the very same apartment with my parents) was in happier times and we had dreams of moving down to the coast when we were older. Those dreams felt a little tattered around the edges and for me at least sort of hung in the sea breeze....

But the sight of the ocean at least brought calm and comfort each day whatever the weather.....

Sunday, 1 August 2010

If Only I'd Known Then......

I was laying in bed this morning considering you do!
And I was thinking of things that I wish I had known when I was younger, some things as a child, some things growing up, some things grown but younger.....

So I thought I would share some of them with you! I am sure you may share some of the same and may have some others you wish to add to the list!

  • That my Mum really did have my best interests and happiness at heart and wasn't 'trying to ruin my life!'

  • That I truly was gorgeous and amazing and I should have believed it while I truly was...

  • That it was possible to not only orgasm but to have multiple-orgasms!

  • That my days at school really were some of the best of my life

  • That one day I wouldn't be able to eat whatever I wanted without putting on a pound!

  • That sex doesn't mean he loves you. Hell! It doesn't even have to mean he likes you!

  • That looking at porn doesn't mean that you (or he) is being really is JUST porn

  • That my parents are  real people, with real hopes, dreams, disappointments and feelings

  • That one day people I loved wouldn't always be around and that I should learn and listen and love them while they were.

  • That getting married doesn't mean 'happy ever after'........ 

Saturday, 31 July 2010

The Humpback Bridge

This is the approach to The 'Humpback Bridge'

It has featured in my life since as far back as I can remember.
As a small child I used to be lifted up to see the canal below where ducks and swans reside.
As a teen it was the rendezvous point for friends and boys......
It has served as a shelter from heavy summer rain when caught out for a walk..
I have fished in its shadow with net and jam-jar for Sticklebacks and tadpoles

A lot further back it was the place my father and his friend first spoke to my mother and her twin sister, asking them out to a local dance. My dad had chosen the twin that didn't smoke....therefore my existence is due to a nicotine habit!

I went for a walk the other day, alone to clear my head and took some pictures......I love this one

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Snapshot MkII

Another snapshot from my holiday...the lovely fa├žade of one of the buildings encasing the old town square. Of course there are then the loud bars and hectic restaurants but I just loved this unlit frontage full of small traditional features

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Snapshots of My Holiday

I have just returned from my weeks girlie holiday in beautiful Portugal. I shall post pictures from my holiday album with wee snippets over the coming days....

This was our view from the beach top restaurant where we indulged in the daily lunch time ritual of seafood and wine. I would have never tired of this view.....

Saturday, 29 May 2010

A Public Service

by Carole Satyamurti

Because a bit of colour is a public service.

Because I am proud of my hands.

Because it will remind me I'm a woman.

Because I will look like a survivor.

Because I can admire them in traffic jams.

Because my daughter will say ugh.

Because my lover will be surprised. (?)

Because it is quicker than dyeing my hair.

Because it is a ten-minute moratorium.

Because it is reversible.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Lace and Loveliness

Yesterday I went to visit my parents and to give my Mum her weekly bath. Quite unusually my youngest decided to come with me. After bathtime we all sat around the kitchen table and Dad made a pot of tea, we all chatted and laughed and spent lovely time with each other.

Just before we left my youngest reminded me that last time we were down we had planned to see if my Mums wedding dress fitted her. Mum and Dad married back in August 1952, it was a double wedding with her twin sister and both had identical dresses made my Dad's youngest sister.

As you can see above, 58 years on it still looks old-fashionably beautiful and I truly have to admit (although I wouldnt wish married life on her for at least another 10 years!) it did make me go all mushy to see her looking so lovely!

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Ladybird, Ladybird Fly Away Home...

Not a great fan of wee creepy crawlies but I have to admit to adoring LadyBirds! On Thursday I was wallpapering a feature wall in my dining room and while wandering the garden for a well earned break between strips, I discovered these two shiny little beauties guarding the tender new shoots on my Spotted Laurel

Monday, 5 April 2010

Easter Treats

The Easter Bunny excelled himself this year and decided to colour my weekend with adorable little spring blooms and my favourite tipple, Sailor Jerry's Spiced Rum. I have enjoyed being a grown-up this Easter!

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Lasagne Recipe

I love this picture, as a cat owner it made me grin.

Fortunately there was no cat to remove when my youngest daughter decided to cook lasagne for us this week! Under my 'guidance' she produced a very scrumptios dish, all plates cleared, everyone approval given and hubby did the washing up! Result!

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Staying Dainty

While perusing all sorts of paraphenalia hoarded by my darling Daddy he presented me with a copy of a Canadian Home Journal dated September 1953. The reason he had it was because his twin cousins, then aged 15 years old featured on the front cover and it had been sent through the post to him by his Aunt.

There are a few articles in there that caught my eye and I may read sometime soon, but it was the adverts I found amusing and this particular one below astoundingly funny!!

I have typed the advert for you but had to include the whole advert picture LOL!

"A peck-on- the-cheek from a distant husband is a mighty poor substitute for the warmth a loving wife has a right to expect. But - do you have that right? Have you been really careful about personal daintiness lately? (Daintiness?? What??) It's a shame to let neglect spoil your married happiness...when effective help is available today, with "Lysol" in a simple douche. It couldn't be easier!

"Lysol" will not harm delicate tissues. this proved germicide, used in a douche, completely cleanses the vaginal canal - even in the presence of mucous matter. (Do they happen to mean lovely lady juices? Or God forbid ......semen!!) It kills germ life quickly, on contact. Yet "Lysol" is designed for freedom from caustic or irritant action when used in feminine hygiene.

You need never again be guilty of offending - even unknowingly. Remember that complete internal cleanliness is the way to counteract unpleasant odour. "Lysol" does this; helps keep you dainty!

Get "Lysol" today at your neighbourhood drug store."

I hope you're all paying attention ladies!! I would just hate anything to 'spoil your married happiness'! And from the look on his face she must have some extreme problem with her 'daintiness'.....

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

A Little Bag of Spring

I met my friends on Saturday for brunch, we dont do it often, maybe 2/3 times a year. We always promise to arrange it sooner, not leave it so long next time, make it more regular, but inevitable we leave it another 5 months or so!
My lovely friend always brings a tiny gift for us, the other 2 of us always forget. This brunches offering was a tin brown bag with a dear little primrose inside, it now resides on my kitchen windowsill! My little bag of spring!

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Icon and Flatirons

A recent visit to a showcase theatre in the centre of my city (where my youngest was taking part in a fashion show wearing the garment we had the panic over for her A level piece) found me standing in the queue, clutching my ticket and waiting to be allowed in.

As I looked back at the street behind me this building captured my imagination. I have lived in the city all my life and I know this wont have been the first time I have viewed it, but it reminded my of the The Flatiron Building, or Fuller Building as it was originally called, located in Manhattan. When it was completed back in 1902 it was one of the tallest buildings in New York.
The neighborhood around the building is called the Flatiron District after its signature building, which has become an iconic.

Of course this little building is only 3 storeys high but it made me smile as I looked back at our own little icon....

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Hope Springs Eternal

I adore daffodils. Their emergence from the cold damp winter earth heralds the start of warmer weather, of spring, of hope and new life. Their colours bright and smile-inducing against still grey days they beam their sunshine coloured faces at all who pass. I adore the daffodil.

So imagine my disappointment when my dear Mum told me today that in fact this year due to our colder than average temperatures there is a 'shortage' of daffodils in bloom for Mothers Day this weekend. And I suddenly noticed that it is the middle of march and as yet the glorious blooms have still yet to bud in their usual abundance on wide grass verges near our home! As yet I still havent had a vase full of bright hope on my kitchen windowsill! Oh hurry spring and warmer days and bring colour to my world!

"I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze"
Daffodils - William Wordsworth

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Messing About On The River

When I was a little girl my Dad made river craft, beautiful timber hulled boats that were his pride and joy. He had his own business with my Grandpa and my Uncle and he worked long hours at a skill he had a passion for, wood, creating things, perfection.

Later on the hulls were made from fibre glass and by the time I was in my teens he had all but stopped making the boats and merged into other glass fibre products and manufacturing.

I have happy memories of accompanying my Uncle, along with my brother and cousins, while he delivered the boats taking the route along the various local canal networks to meet their new owners. We helped open the locks and tied the boats the the moring posts for picnic lunches. We scrabbled about on deck without life jackets and harnesses (and we all survived!) and once safely at our destination we were packed into the old Bedford van that my Dad had driven to its arrival point and driven home.

My brother has recently joined a boat-lovers forum and has discovered that there amazingly are still a few of the timber hulled boats in existence, something my Dad is rather thrilled and astounded at, these boats are now around 40-50 years old!

The picture above is one of them, not quite as sleek and pristine as I remember them but still brought back many memories of simpler, childhood times.

Friday, 26 February 2010

Beetling About

Fabulous VW Beetle I parked next to yesterday! It is a company vehicle for a Pottery Painting Studio and Coffee Shop, its advertising at its best! What a 'jolly' car to tottle around in all day!

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Pretty As A Picture......

....from inside where it is warm and dry!

The view from my kitchen window the other morning....nothing amazing to those of you who are well versed with snowy winters, but I still love the way the gentle overnight snow caresses and coats every tiny branch and fond of the trees and foliage.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Root of All Evil

Another picture from my weekend away.

This tree root overhangs a narrow roadway that winds its way up past a pub, church and gold club and takes you onto the edge of the moors and to the home of a friend of mine.

Obviously the weather has eroded away the supporting ground and it is clear to see how the roots have wound their way through the rocks and it now stands precariously above the road. Of course it is only a matter of time till this gives way completely and the tree will tumble across the path........

Monday, 15 February 2010

Favourite Colour

When asked I have always uttered that my favourite colour is yellow, a wonderful colour of sun and sand and daffodils!
But when out and about and driving around the beautiful countryside I am struck by the divine shades of green that litter our land, a patchwork of fields and hedgerows and sweeping hills of various ascents depending on the particular part of the country.
One of my most enjoyed views is while lying on my sun-lounger in the garden looking up through the canopy of luminous lime leaves over hanging my patio making dappled shade for me to languish in on hot summer days.....
I think I may be drawn to green. I spotted this moss-laden wall while out walking at the weekend and just loved the moist green shades.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

The Odd Little Icicle

This is my beautiful daughter aged 4, appearing as an Icicle in her first ballet 'show'..... the only 'brown' icicle on the stage I might add (I never had any trouble spotting which dancing darling was mine!)

I have the picture myself somewhere, hidden among the thousands that you accumulate over their first few years on this earth, but I spotted this in a frame in one of the bedrooms at my Mums house, the proud Nana, so I snapped it with my phone camera (hence the 'not wonderful' quality)

She is so sweet and was so proud to be a proper ballet dancer, the picture has warmed my heart this weekend.....