Monday, 30 March 2015

Nothing To Report

Last Tuesday morning I woke up with a sore throat. 
By the end of the morning I felt so cold that when I went to work I was wearing three layers of clothing.
As the afternoon progressed a cough developed and my head was pounding by the time I left at 6.45pm.
Once home I went straight to bed.
And that is where I stayed, more or less, until Saturday morning.
On arriving home from school on Wednesday T came into my bedroom to ask how I was feeling.
He shone the light from his tablet towards me and declared ' you look infected' and left me in peace.

So I don't have much to report really and certainly there aren't any photos of me looking 'infected' from last week to share either.
Hurrah I hear you say!
Instead here is one from February of me and my Mr A next to the Gainsborough painting of the (slightly!) more famous Mr and Mrs Andrews. Although you can possibly see the attractive swelling on my right eye lid from some kind of allergic reaction I had for 4 weeks.
Picture of health me aren't I?! 
Here's hoping to catch up with Blogland over the coming week and hoping all is well with everyone else.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Lampshade Love

When at the car boot I paid £1.00 for a very tatty old lampshade G thought I had finally lost the plot.
What he didn't know is that I had a plan.
A plan which involved double sided tape, lengths of fabrics and a little bakers twine.
I found two projects on Pinterest, here and here, which really caught my eye and I wanted to try and make my own version.

I have slow progress with it over the course of a few weeks, doing a little at a time, but by twisting double sided tape around each part of the frame and then used one of S's old summer dresses to cover it today I completed the first part of the makeover.
The dress I used had panels made from 5 different patterns, white with pink polka dots, pink with a darker pink rose, white with a pink rose, a pink embrodiery anglaise and a green gingham.

I'm not intending to ever use it as a lamp/light shade, I wanted it be a means of being able to display photos, pretty fripperies and ephemera and maybe change the items to reflect the seasons. So now I need to decide how to finish it off.
I like the idea of wrapping ribbon around it, I was considering using a pink bakers twine, but I'm not sure this would work as well on my shade as the frame is a different shape. It may work better with lengths of twine or ribbon hanging down from the frame as in the second picture.
Decisions, decisions.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

And So To Bed...

March is the perfect time of year for buying new bedlinen.
Or so I read in one of the downloads I purchased from Brocante Home.
And who am I to argue.
Especially when I have coveted this pretty floral set from Ikea for the longest time.
It's the perfect mix of colours for our bedroom and I hope it'll give me the boost I need to get on and finish the update of the room we began and didn't finish.

Monday, 16 March 2015


Not only did G bring me breakfast in bed on Saturday morning but he also cooked breakfast for me on Sunday morning too.
We were up bright and early both days.
 We had planned a quick trip to town on Saturday as we needed to go to Ikea.
Would you believe we managed to come out of that store with only the things we went in to get.
That must be a first.
Sunday we planned to go to the car boot.
Our local one started up again last week after the winter break and proved successful even though there weren't many sellers.
This week there were so few sellers we didn't bother pulling into the field where it's held and instead went straight onto the second part of our Sunday plan.
This was meeting up in the cafe of a local garden centre with my sister and mum for us all to have a chat whilst enjoying coffee and cake.
I was lucky enough to receive two lovely cards from T and S, the things they had written inside made me cry.
As well as a beautiful bunch of flowers I was given a huge box of Maltesers, a miniature bottle of Tia Maria and a book containing all the Mary Poppins stories.
Last weekend G and I watched Saving Mr Banks and then spent another half an hour googling the life of P L Travers which in turn led us to finding a BBC documentary by Victoria Coren Mitchell on you tube about the author.

I always give my mum daffodils for Mother's Day, maybe my love of the flower comes from her. When I saw a link on Simone's blog for crocheted daffodils which were being sold to raise money for the Marie Curie charity I had to investigate and of course then purchase one for such a good cause.
A little piece of Spring on my winter coat.

After my breakfast of bacon and egg muffins I wasn't quite ready to eat a slice of cake but I did find I was able to manage a shortbread biscuit.
I just love shortbread.
But I've never made any, that is until last week when I made millionaire's shortbread. I cheated and used a tin of the caramel condensed milk which saved a bit of time and mine looked a bit more mis-shapen than the smooth and regular ones in the photo accompanying the recipe but they tasted pretty good.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

I Know What We'll Be Doing This Summer

A zebra trail around the City, that's what.
The local free paper was popped through our door a couple of evenings ago and inside was an article about the Zany Zebras.
They are going to be dotted around the City just like the Rhino Hunt in 2013.
Something free and fun for the summer hols, always a good combo.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Pink to Make Ken Wink

On this day in 1959 Barbie was launched at the International Toy Fair in New York.
She didn't feature in my childhood though.
I was a Sindy girl, not a Barbie Girl, cue annoying song by Aqua to begin playing in your head now.
I would play with my Sindys for hours, sometimes on my own and sometimes with my sisters.
Although I do remember going to our next door neighbours house and playing a game on the stairs with their son Terry who was a couple of years older than me. The game involved his Action Men kidnapping all my Sindy dolls.
I got them all back.
Whilst looking in my wardrobe today for something to wear in honour of the Priestess of Pink I remembered two pink items I loved wearing when I was 16.
I owned a pale pink knee length culotte skirt.
I have never been particularly confident about my legs and although this style of skirt wasn't the most flattering I still wore it because I liked the way it made me feel.
 I felt confident when I wore it.
I used to wear it with a white blouse which had a lace panel and on my feet I wore white moccasin shoes.
I can picture myself in that outfit so clearly.
The other item was a bright pink strapless dress, cinched in at the waist and then billowing out into a circular skirt.
And even though I may say so myself I looked pretty darn good in it too.
I also wanted to be a Pink Lady.
I wanted to be Marty, she of the impossibly tight pencil skirt and always sporting a scarf tied round her neck.
But back to the present day.
Or more precisely to the end of this evening's meal when we all tucked into a slice of this pink sponge made in Barbie's honour
I'll never get into a pencil skirt now.

And just in case you think he may be feeling left out this Friday is Ken day, the date he was launched in 1961.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

International Womens Day

I like reading books about the lives of women.
Strong women who have bucked the trend for the period of history they lived in.
Women who made their mark.
For Women's Day I thought I would share a couple of my favourites.
Everyone has heard of the Mitford sisters but I thought I would share two books about another two sets of equally interesting sisters from very different backgrounds.
First is Fortune's Daughters.
This is the story of three American sisters, Jennie, Clara and Leonie Jerome.
As well as the twists and turns their lives took as they met, fell in love and married (Jennie married Randolph Churchill and was the mother of Winston) the book also charts the life long strong bond of sisterhood between them.

Next is A Circle of Sisters about the four Victorian MacDonald sisters. The information on the back reads as follows.....

...... as wives and mothers they made a single family of the poet of the Empire, Rudyard Kipling, the Pre-Raphaelite painter Edward Burne-Jones, Edward Poynter, President of the Royal Academy and the Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin.
These four women

I read both of these a number of years ago and they have remained on my book shelves since then, I would not want to part with them. Not only because they are terrific reads but the first was a present from my dad. The front cover has the impression of his handwriting from where he wrote out the accompanying gift tag.

My last recommendation would be for Wedlock. This was a book club read which received high praise from every single member of our group, something which rarely happens. It is about a genuinely remarkable woman in Georgian Britain who married a man who abused and imprisoned her and how she finally escaped. I can guarantee without a shadow of a doubt you won't be disappointed if you do read it.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

The Green Fairy

Today is Absinthe Day.
This is one I will let pass on by without indulging. Partly due to the fact it's flavoured with aniseed (yuck) and partly due to it's reputation. Oh la la!
Instead I shall share this beautiful art nouveau painting by Henri Privat-Livemont. A present from my sister from a few years ago, originally she lived in the dining room but was moved to hang on the wall by our freezer when I redecorated. Gorgeous.

Edited to say... I found this on the Radio 4 Listen again service yesterday, well worth a listen Absinthe Makes the Art Grow Stronger.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

February Was

over in a flash.
I find February has a habit of galloping past and I know it's only a couple of days shorter than the other months of the year but it does make such a difference.
As soon as the page on the calendar turns over my mind and energy is given over to T and S's birthday on 23rd.
There are presents to buy and wrap and weekends are devoted to arranging and executing birthday treats.
Throw in half term week and all that can bring and the month is soon gobbled up.
That's not meant to sound like a moan because it's all (generally) good fun!
February was also cherry month.
I love cherries, not to eat, but to wear.
My sister gave me this fab cherry bag as part of my Christmas present.
It's lovely long strap makes it perfect for wearing across the body and it's many zips and compartments made it perfect for using when we went on our recent day out to London.

There were a couple of milder days when a big woolly winter scarf wasn't needed so I was able to wear my cherry scarf. It's one of my favourites bought long ago when I volunteered in a local charity shop.

The final item I made sure I wore was a pair of cherry earrings.

Talking of earrings, I made sure I wore my daffodils on Sunday for St David's day when March arrived

and as, hopefully, March will bring with it the start of Spring I decided it was time for one of my  favourite candle holders to be packed away again.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Dr Seuss Day

Today is Dr Seuss Day.
We are fans of Dr Seuss here.
S can do a mean impression of Thing 1 and Thing 2 when her hair is looking wild.
G used to read the books to T at bedtime when he was much younger.
As a family we've sat down and enjoyed Mike Myers in The Cat in the Hat movie on more than one occasion.
So for Dr Seuss day I cooked (green) ham and eggs for T, G and S.
I had a massive Yorkshire pudding with a generous portion of broccoli to cover the green part.