Thursday, 28 August 2008

Mr.Grieves and the tree of happiness

Where we live ,on a little lane of 6 properties tucked between two houses and bordered by the park, it used to be orchards. The Worcestershire area is famed for its fruit, used mainly to make Cider.

When we first moved here there were several very old apple trees scattered between the gardens that unfortunately have since been cut down. Our old gnarled tree is one of only two that remain, full of mistletoe and loved by the blackbirds.

Ours will never be chopped down whilst I'm still living here!

Every year without fail, it produces hundreds of beautiful ,rosy tinted sweet apples. I've been told by a lady who's lived here for more than 40 years, that they are a 'James Grieve' variety, a Victorian apple first developed in Scotland.

My old truck is parked beneath the tree and every now and again you hear a thud of an apple dropping onto its roof....sounds like it's time to climb the tree then!!

hmmm...3 men in the house and guess who gets the job of chief apple collector...yep.. me!

why are the best ones always at the very top?
The neighbours must think I'm mad,balancing on top of an old truck,one leg in the tree, one on the roof, collecting apples with a basket and a camera! ..the hills ..the hills...I can see the hills! .....(well, one of them anyway!)

Five basket-loads later and we have only picked about a quarter of them...I'll leave lots for the birds and bugs. The rest of them get shared out amongst our neighbours.

...totally organic and not a mark on them!

oh goody,I think we shall be having apple crumble for tea.Yummy!..I had better get peeling and anyone?

Talking of trees...

Emily, and her amazing cakes blog called ''sugar & meringue'', has tagged me with her 'tree of happiness award'..thanks Emily, I could do with thinking about some happy stuff at the mo.. so here are the six things that make up my tree of happiness :

1.Chickens...I absolutely love chickens..we had a very long garden in the house I grew up in and they lived right at the bottom next to the vegetable patch. When I was little I used to carry them around and bring them in the house, dress them in dolls clothes and basically annoy the hell out of them! but I have been obsessed with poultry ever since and can bore the pants of anyone who needs any 'chicken info'!

(me and Dick-p)

2.My best buddy...known affectionately as Dick P. I don't know anyone who shares the exact same stupid sense of humor as me..or someone who uses the words 'poo' or 'pants' as much as me.I met her on the first day of art college and knew immediately that we would be friends forever, infact I think of her as my fourth sister now. We have had such a laugh in the last 20 odd years and I just wish we lived nearer to each other.

(photo borrowed from google)
3.The North...I really love Northumberland and Cumbria, such a beautiful,rugged place..featuring the two things on my 'have to live near' list..water and hills. I even love the unpredictable weather they get there..this leads me to my next happy thing..
(photo borrowed from google)

4. Geordies...I love this accent and every Geordie (a natve inhabitant of Newcastle-upon -Tyne) I've ever met has been so friendly. I once got marooned on a train with a whole bunch of Geordie red-coats coming back from their summer stint in a Cornish holiday about hilarious. Hah way man.

5.Books...I love reading about the Tudors, the last book I read was based on fact and charted the history of Lady Jane Grey..a sad and tragic tale, I couldn't put it down and was reading it in my pyjamas at 2 in the afternoon with tears running down my face! (silly tart!) I also love vintage children's books and 'housey' books...I would much rather be reading than watching TV.

(photo borrowed from google)

6.Cake...I would be a caketarian if I could..who ever decided that a simple mix of sugar,butter,eggs and flour would make the most delectable food of all time needs to be given the highest accolade of all time..well in the cake world anyway...Cake! I LOVE quite apt that this happiness tag came from a cake lady herself.

I've also been given this award recently from Segsa Carol and Deb..thanks you guys, you're so kind! I will pass it on at some point, it seems to be awards-a-gogo at the moment, so I will leave it for a bit if you don't mind ( I'm so lazy aren't I ..sorry!!)

Thursday, 21 August 2008


I meant to post this over a week ago ...before all the Basil business,he's much better and has the stitches out of his ankle on Friday, although he has been 'helping' the vet with taking them out slightly earlier than planned. When he's not trying to escape or paw any other cats (there are four other girlies to torment) or anyones leg that walks past,he spends his time lolling about on the bed looking cute (he's allowed out of his cage with supervision)..very cute indeed for an old chap of 13.He thanks you kindly for all your nice messages..

..even though he can't read 'human'...he knows that all the extra cuddles are lovely.x

So, anyway, what do you do when you have bills coming out of your ears..and you're bored of housework and gardening?
....why you spend pennies you haven't got on eBay of course! But I really did only spend pennies...honest!

This pretty tin arrived this week,
The 'stitching' is in fact painted on...

followed swiftly by this one...It says 'Take the home sweet home" along the sides with two blue birds at each end. I love pansies..even very battered and shabby looking ones!

Then this one arrived...Which matches rather nicely with the colours of these Russian dolls I think.

Aren't they lovely?
I know, I know..I'm very naughty..but how could I resist such lovely vintage finds? Especially when one of them was only 99p!

I love old tins and there are several around our house housing different things...sewing stuff, hairpins, buttons..some even have their original contents inside like these old Tala pastry cutters, although I dont think I'll be cutting any scones out with these rusty looking specimens! (actually they dont look that bad in this photo!)

These are Worcesterware tins,the small ones are very handy for hiding goodies of the chocolatey kind in!!

One of my all time favourite tins is this one... it's a Peek Freens biscuit tin, probably made in the 1950's.
I love the green..such a typical vintage shade, and the flowers are such jolly Spring colours, mind you, I can't say I've seen any butterflies buzzing around my crocuses in February! (that's artistic license for you!)

This one is an old Totnes thatched cottage shaped toffee tin..There's that scrummy vintage green again down the side..

This little silk-lined one houses an old medicine measure, it's a perfect fit!

the outside has been painted by hand, little flowers with a background colour of that old fashioned calamine pink.It still has the original label on the bottom from the Ladies work association.

I waited and waited for the right bread bin in this green at the right price to appear on eBay..I sold an old blue and white flour bin to a gentleman in Japan to pay for this one..then just like buses, along came another tin on my wish list..this time a Tala cake tin!

If I see something I like but the prices are too high for my budget, maybe something in a magazine or in a boutique style shop,I write it down in my little book, my 'wish list' of pretty things and then I keep an eye out until I see one at the right can take maybe only days..sometimes months and often even a year, but I get great satisfaction when I can cross it off the wish list and know it cost me a lot less! what is it they say..good things come to those that wait? (hmm..I wonder if that applies to life?!!)
Right, I must find the stinky boy G..he's avoiding me and it happens to be GCSE results day...(not a good sign) and then I'm off to catch up with some of your lovely seems like a few of my favourites have disappeared but I have found..or rather, have been found by, in a round-about-bloggers-kind of way, some lovely new ones to keep me up 'til the early hours..I must share them at some point and put them on my side bar!
Have a great week and wonderful sunny bank holiday(well we can hope can't we!)

Thursday, 14 August 2008

It never rains but pours down...(with a Basil update!)

hello..hello I am still here! I really do not know where the time has gone this month, I'm all of a dither with one thing and another, lots to sew,lots to say and no time for either! Thanks for all your messages and are all LOVELY !x
At some point I will get round to saying hello to everyone again old and new.
I have to ask..did you see Time warp wives on channel 4 last Friday?

Many moons ago in a galaxy far far away, I used to know Jo..the girlie in the picture above with the gorgeous figure who looks no different now to how she did back in the early 90's (apart from her hair was black back then) I do believe she now goes under the name Lola Lamour who sang at the 40s dance that Steph (Curlew country) recently went to..small world hey. Well these four girlies have had some seriously bad press and I'd just like to say, girls I totally get it.We've been there and children do change was like moses parting the waves when I used to pick the boys up from school or go shopping in all my 50's gear,people would stare in amazement and you certainly got ridiculed or mocked for it. I never would leave the house without my eyebrows pencilled in and red lipstick perfectly on. Our 1950's lifestyle gradually got diluted down as the boys got older and I would go back to it in a blink if I could, it was a fabulous time, just fabulous.Who's to say how anyone should live their lives? It's not hurting anyone is it? Goodness me.
Anyway, I havent gone to work today as we have had a bit of a darling, gorgeous ginger pussy cat, Basil was hit by a car this morning..he's alive..thank goodness.. but has a very badly injured leg and is at the Vets as I type waiting for a phone call.I just hope he will be ok, it looks like either his hip or his knee is damaged (I'm dreading the vet bill..they casually said, it shouldnt be any more than £300!!!!) my poor boy..he's such a gorgeous cat, if he was a human I would have married him ( sorry Pete!) please keep your fingers crossed as I think my heart would break if anything were to happen to you can see why I titled this post like I have, apart from the horrid wet weather we have been having of late, it seems to be one thing after another in this household..never raining but pouring... but I hope the sun is shining for you wherever you are!
Back soon with a shop update and hopefully lots of nice vintage, pretty or shabby things to talk about!
S x

a little update about Basil... he's home from the vets and has to spend 3 weeks in this cage, he had managed to drag himself home with a dislocated hip..poor thing and has stitches where his leg had been he got over the gate and through two catflaps I'll never know..but he's doing a lot of sleeping at the moment..I think it's going to be a long 3 weeks trying to keep him confined in here,a dog crate...!
Thank goodness we have an understanding vet..I certainly couldn't afford the £240 bill in one go!! TWO HUNDRED AND FOURTY POUNDS!!! eek! I nearly dropped dead on the spot!!
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