Sunday, 24 March 2019


This week I had a vase of hyacinth, anemone narcissus and tulip and had a quiet moment today to paint these with my watercolour pencils, which I was given for my birthday. There were 72 colours in the tin so no effort needed to mix or blend colours, plenty of choice.

Today my gym class was cancelled so instead hubby and I had a Spring walk into the woods by the windmill near here to see the wood anemones.  There were also signs of bluebells, just a couple here and there, and some wild violets too.

It was very warm today, I heard an owl whilst watching the sheep (owls shouldn't be calling during the day)... I would quite like to lie down in the field all day and just watch sheep but too much to do.....

I found wild violets and also a small area of white violet. They are so tiny and delicate it's hard to get a picture close up.  I can remember as a child my mother buying bunches of violets at this time of year, we never see them in the shops any more. You can't pick wild flowers here, so I didn't,of course :)

Up at Badger Kingdom there was no sign of life,but I found lots of beautiful wood anemones were open...I will come back to see the bluebells in a few weeks as their greens are coming up nicely.
We met horses on the route and families out walking their dogs, everyone is very friendly when they are out.  Some people told us the narrow,bumpy woodland path (no more than 10 feet wideat best with ditches on both sides) has been used recently for racing 4x4 cars and a horse narrowly missed being hit at high speed. This is upsetting locals as they want the lane to be closed to traffic; the byways were made years ago when there was little traffic other than horses and carts and well before the cars we drive these days had even been invented.

I  have been taking little moments lately to dabble with some watercolours ... as I work shifts I get some nice little chunks of time during the day when I can just settle down and do this, it's easy to get distracted with housework of course, so I am trying to make it a regular thing.  Don't you think it's important to have creative time?

So, this was a very relaxed weekend for us.  Sorry I don't have more to tell you.  It's been a really quiet time for us here.   how was your weekend?  Have you seen signs of the Seasons changing where you live?

Monday, 11 March 2019

Blogger Vintage Vix had a blogger Sunshine Award and invited her followers to join in, it looked like fun, you answer some questions and 'pass it on':  Her questions were as follows:

1. Five well-known women (alive or dead) you'd invite over for dinner (or just meet in the pub).
Jack Monroe (chef/cookery writer) to teach us all to make a delicious dinner on a budget

source: the Book Depository
Shappi Khorsandi Comediene, to keep us laughing (try and get her biography, it's worth a read)

Katie Piper to chat chat about her amazing work setting up the Katie Piper Foundation to help burns victims, she has so much vitality, you just don't see her own disfigurement as her inner beauty shines out.  She is a truly beautiful woman.

Dervla Murphy, lady who rode a bicycle around India solo, relying on local hospitality for food/board. She has travelled alone to many countries and written books about her adventures, hopefully she'd bring along some good old fashioned film projector reels of her trips for us to watch.

Source: Wikepedia

Finally, Egyptian Queen Cleopatra (who was a not an Egyptian herself, but a Macedonion Greek):  She was a philosopher, alchemist, made her own cosmetics.  It seems the Egyptians invented cosmetics (khol) so I think she could teach me a thing or two about how to look my best; we could chat too about her visitors from outer space.

Source: Commons Wikipedia

2.  The woman you would most like to swap places with for the day:

our Queen, Elizabeth 2nd, I would like to wear a crown for one day
and be able to hold a royal tea party, the guests would, of course, be everyone in Blogland.

3. Which female actor would you pick to play you in a film about your life?
Marilyn Monroe:  She could give unforgettable mystery and glamour to my character.

4. Is there a particular woman who influenced your style or inspired you somehow, and who is she?
Barbara Hulanicki, founder of Biba:  She made fashion affordable and accessible and individual.  I spent many happy days shopping in Kensington Biba  in my late teens ( during the 1970s).   I don't think we had much fashion until Biba exploded onto the scene. It was so new and trendy to be able to buy make up, fashion  jewellery and clothing in one place and to be encouraged to wear it in your own individual way (with the approval of the glamorous, very grown up and sophisticated sales girls!) it was cool to just 'be there' and you would hang around for ages to grab one of those velvet chairs in the window so you could be 'seen' and to leave with your iconic Biba carrier bag.

5. Whose wardrobe would you most like to steal?
Coco chanel, she made black and white look sophisticated and feminine 
and had such elegance and style:  red lipstick, Channel No. 5 perfume, perfection.  

'The best things in life are free,
the second best things in life are very, very expensive'
Coco Chanel

Want to join in? my questions remain the same:  you can leave your answers here if you don't have a blog, or post your own.

Images take via Google
where no copyright staement found; but if there is anything in this post which does have copyright, please notify me and it will immediately be removed.

Friday, 8 March 2019

Recent Stuff

Thank you to blogging friends for your birthday wishes for my 60th. I had some lovely pressies:

My long time blogging buddy Nana (Anne) sent me a lovely package with all sorts of goodies including a beeswax sandwich bag - I had been reading about them only the day before mine arrived, re-usable so very planet friendly as means cutting out cling film :)  There were lots of other goodies in her parcel including a really nice tea towel, silk covered handmade paper booklet, bee friendly flower seeds too, really prettily packaged and a lot of thought given to my personal likes.  Thank you Anne I am so chuffed with everything. 

Beach bag with amber for size reference

Another pressie was this beach bag, from Wyatt&jack made from recycled rubber dingies/lilo's/bouncy castles, it's strong and roomy and is a great way to recycle things that often end up discarded or, worse still, clogging up the sea.

My sons gave me an engraved gold bangle and lots of flowers and chocolates.  Thorougly spoilt!

Back from a week of sunbathing and relaxing in Cape Verde.  There was very little to do except read a good book and eat, sunbathe and repeat.

Me being 60

As it was my 60th, our holiday was my birthday pressie from hubby and the hotel very generously gave a complimentary room upgrade from standard to a huge apartment with own kitchen, lounge, big tellies, big bed and power showered bathroom, followed by a complimentary birthday cake and bottle of fizz on the big day.

Some pics below of some things I wore, mostly either old favourites, charity shopped or ebay.

I do regret the newly purchased £4 wasted Primark hat, it didn't last the week and had a nasty plastic thread round the brim, not very eco friendly, will now be looking out for a preloved sun hat that doesnt endanger sealife.

The day was spent with my toes in the sand watching enormous waves and kite surfers (the National Championships started in Cape Verde while we were there), the waves were as powerful as lorries and as high as houses at times so the red flag was up all the time, but nonetheless I enjoyed the beautiful beach.

70s band Tavares had connections with the island as their parents lived there. One of the band (far right with sunglasses) owns a small guest house in the centre of Santa Maria, Sal. 

My new on holiday motto

take nothing with you but memories
leave nothing behind but footprints

was not too hard to maintain, it's a very small island, no greenery/flora; their only product is fresh fish, all other food is imported by container ships weekly and what's inside is a surprise - that week they were lacking ibuprofen and paracetamol (luckily we had brought plenty).  The landscape is brown and dusty, the town is the same although the houses are painted in bright colours, the Portuguese influence, shich really lifted the spirits, we were hassled by keen Senegalese men selling trinkets and telling you they were the waiter at your hotel that morning and would like to now be your friend/excursion guide/taxi driver (which we dont mind, they are trying to earn a living).  The Cape Verdean people are friendly, laid back, their motto is 'no stress' and they live by it.

We got to sample the local brew, Grogue, made from sugar cane, 40% proof, tastes like white rum. The Islands have their own music called Morna, a bit Blues in style, it's a combo of Portuguese, Cuban and Creole in style.

I had the best time on the public beach watching some dogs jumping waves, I didn't know dogs did this.  They were having a lot of fun.

Not too many pics of the things I wore as most of the time was spent in swimwear and sarongs - I could have travelled a lot lighter (again!).

 Dok Haze Circus of Horrors, The Hawth, Crawley 2019

On our return there was a further birthday treat, a trip to see Circus of Horrors (a human circus of odd acts such as knife throwers, legless acrobat, sword swallower, contortionists, trapeze and much more ... I love this show and was lucky to get seats very close to the stage this year.  and even got a pic of me with Dok Haze himself!

Interested? links here:

Dok Haze

I'm off now to catch up on your blogs. Back soon.

Monday, 18 February 2019

Holiday Preparation

We are off in  a few days time to this beautiful beach ....
(sorry, did I tell you that already about a trillion times?)

Sal, Cape Verde

I have been sorting out what to take, the weather is sunny and warm so no need to wear too much...
and as I have an afternoon packing and nothing better to do I thought I would show you what's in the case....

My hat from Primark and sandals from Next are new.  I bargained for the string bag in a Vietnam market last year).  The blue Anohki block print sarong was an ebay win a few years back and a favourite; you can never have too many bikinis - four here.

6 kaftans that are great over swimwear but also good with cropped jeans.  The brown and gold one is my current favourite (last year's charity shopped brand new, labels on, Jaeger no less) I have shortened it this year as it was sort of wearing me, have also taken off the very heavy beaded closure to make it more lightweight.

Lightweight tops (with long sleeves to keep mosquitos away) and cropped jeans for evening

gold wedges, flip flops and swim shoes... and don't forget the sun lotion!

I am also taking my two trusty dresses from East which hubby gave me for birthdays over last few years, they are lovely and cool, no iron and light. Sadly East and their hand printed Anohki clothing range is now only available on EBay as they closed their business down last year.

Just in cases I have also popped in my anciently charity shopped Anohki block printed skirt - it goes anywhere and folds up to nothing (I have even worn it as a scarf!).

I probably have far too much stuff here and am trying to control myself but hey ho 20 kilo weight allowance, why not.   Still room for a few library books and sunglasses (oh and undies!).   Did I forget anything but the kitchen sink? 

Very different to my last trip (Vietnam) when I had minimal luggage and lived in shorts and tee shirt.
Back soon, ttfn.... (ta ta for now!)

Thursday, 14 February 2019

Valentines Day Memory

Happy Valentines day!

I remember when I was 12, opening my front door and seeing the footpath all the way to the gate covered in red rose petals.  I had an admirer! But I didnt want one.  I  walked along the edge of the path avoiding the petals with my nose up in the air, my admirer waiting at the gate

 I was so embarrassed, it was the 14 year old boy from up the road, the one who knew me better than I knew myself, sat on the garage roof with me chatting, always had time for me, even when his brothers were dismantling their motorbikes on the living room floor and calling him  to help, he would rather be hanging out with me  He was one of a family of 9 children that my brothers and I spent so much time with, we might as well all have lived in the same house!, we were all like brothers and sisters, our mother went to work and his mother looked after us all and vice versa.  Looking back it was such a kind and well intentioned gesture to a shy little girl but I was really angry with him for being 'soft' and told him so.

No,  we didn't marry, he turned out to be gay and lived happily ever after with someone special... and I married someone special that he would definitely have liked and approved of.  ....

speaking of whom my lovely hubby is taking me on holiday to Cape Verde in a few days  time as a special treat, it will be my 60th birthday... .  I had better start thinking about packing!

I painted some tulips on silk for you...

Friday, 1 February 2019

We have cake, victoria sponge, I made two.  Get yourself some tea and come and join me at the kitchen table.

I'm having a nice day at home experimenting with new silk paints that I have had for months but just  no spare time.   Some of the outliners dont stay well so need further experimenting,  but the inks are vibrant and the silver lumiere is striking.  Next thing is to make a mood board and find inspiration.  Think nature is the best place to look but its too cold to go out today.  The UK is experiencing some minus degrees and snow.  I hope you are all ok in other parts of the world? USA and Canada? thinking of you in those extreme weather conditions.


 it felt like a pink and green day today, i am wearing those colours as well as painting with them!  Do you live your day by colour?!

I forgot I had this scarf, it was an ebay win a few years ago for four pounds, labelled John Hanley of Ireland. Jumper is new, purchased with loyalty vouchers, along with my denim leggings I am very snug to brave the arctic freeze.   The only thing missing is snow; some parts of the UK have more than they want, whereas I have a light sprinkling and hope for more.

As you can see there was a lot of colour around here today, including my lunch (avocado feta salad with a fruit I wanted to try ... tamarillo, it was delicious, something like mango perhaps).

My library books this week are:

Holloway took about two minutes, it's  about hollow ways... paths through dense tree covered secret places, just my thing.  But the book doesn't really help you find any of these places very easily so I will keep an eye out for one of my own.  The other two books are full of interesting little facts to dip in and out of, ideal for my short attention span.

Hope you're  warm and safe, have plenty of tea and good books,  back soon.....

Friday, 11 January 2019

Painting, Grandma and reminiscing

Hello, you came along at the right moment, I just stopped for tea, flowers and a bit of painting.  These little miniature narcissus came home tightly shut and within days have sort of unravelled and opened up gracefully, giving out a beautiful perfume.   

Isn't nature clever - so many tiny little blooms all crammed on one stem.  I keep stopping to take a look, and a sniff, between sips of tea and nibbles on my shortbread biscuit.

.... the paintbrushes came out for a bit.
I wondered what would happen if I tried to paint without thinking about it too much, not allowing myself to correct outlines or go over any mistakes, just to keep painting and keep filling the page.  Well, you get a very spontaneous sort of untidy result, but I quite like it.    I was imagining a very untidy potting shed, bulbs that needed planting but had begun to sprout because they couldn't wait any longer to be potted, flowers in full bloom crowding each other out as they didn't care if they were picked and arranged or just fought for light and bloomed where they were.  It was fun.

This week I turned all my clothes out and checked for repairs, bagging up some things for charity recycling.

Very satisfying.  'A place for everything and everything in its place' as my grandma used to say and that brought me to thinking about her.... at moments like this I normally end my blog post and go off to reminisce in private, but I thought today I could tell you a little bit about her....

She was my paternal grandma, very tidy, made all her own dress patterns and clothes - did her best to teach me to sew although I had a short attention span.   For my 21st birthday I was given a sewing machine and my grandma's dressmakers dummy, still set to her exact body measurements.  Unfortunately it had seized up and wouldn't move out of those measurements so I either had to wait to grow into a replica of my 70 year old grandmother, or make it disappear, so it did.  She gardened an acre producing her own veggies and grew dhalias and hid their beauty in brown paper bags, then showed them at the annual flower show; was a very good painter and embroiderer of dainty flowers.  She never showed anyone her art as grandad was an artist and she wanted him to shine (maybe I should tell you about him another day, he designed pubs for Ushers brewery).

 Grandma had a pretty  kitchen painted palest green (which would be very trendy now), her breakfast plates all had pictures of things like chickens and quotes like 'make hay while the sun shines' and 'less haste, more speed'.  There was a a good old fashioned pantry full of her jams.  The house had lovely old wood floors, a sweeping bannister and beautiful indian rugs brought back from grandad's days serving in the British army in India.  The bathroom was  Grandma's only artistic claim to fame - she painted a mural of a mermaid and complete underwater world of sea creatures, shells and seaweed all around the walls, it was beautiful in there.

Anyhow, everything in its place here today....grandma would be pleased, her cuckoo clock would be saying it's 2pm and time for a little nap in her favourite arm chair, followed by a glass of weak orange squash and a cigarette.  I am doing the same, minus the cigarette and have finished my library book - this was a good one, I even skipped a few pages because I couldn't wait to know what happened next and then had to go back and read it properly - that kind of good one.  Really twisting and turning right to the end, which is a big surprise.

Some books are keepers though, I bought myself the next book as a treat -  because it is so full of inspiration which I am lacking right now.  It's by one of my favourite bloggers 5ftinf  I admire her creative photographic work and unique style so was ecstatic when I found she brought this book out; something a little different - not the usual 'how to' so much as a friendly 'why don't you' ....

Book by Philippa Stanton,
I'm off to do my sewing repairs and make a victoria sponge cake now (no kidding!).  Hope my ramblings and reminiscences haven't tired you too much.  Thanks for spending the afternoon with me...