Thursday, 15 July 2010

A testing time (with added expletives)

Hello again, I guess you all get by now that I nearly peed my pants when I won that caravan then?(totally irrelevant silly cat photo of Basil in his 3D specs)

Blimey I'm getting more and more rubbish at this blogging lark these days and I wont even get started on my message skills..(lovespangle the reply to your eiderdown query is underneath your message on that 5 million eiderdowns post, I couldn't reply to you any other way!) oh and hello to all these new people that have suddenly found me on here! Also, I'm so sorry to the lady who sent me an email about the underground map cushions, I appear to have lost it somehow but they are teatowels I bought from an online London gift shop for a couple of quid..Google should help with finding those, if not Rockett St George has a rather fabulous underground map ready made one..(ooh I love that website)(photo borrowed from google)
Harry has the green one and it's really,really lovely (if a weeny bit expensive)

Right, it has been one of 'those' months..yep I knew it was too good to be true..I did say though didn't I? really I'm a size 10 underneath's just the layers of thick skin I seem to have developed that makes me the mahoosive size I really am.Harry's naughty ginger bunny got taken by a fox one evening.Poor old Eddie, he was a nice bunny and we had had him for quite some years. I used to stroke his nose every morning which I really miss doing.It makes me sad to think of it as he was so friendly he would have no doubt gone up to the fox to say hello. The Fox has been snooping about since so we are extra vigilant in case he fancies a chicken dinner.Apparently the stinky boys need to 'mark' our territory to deter them..ewww!
Recently, quite out the blue and for no apparent reason,my debit card kept being declined,not funny when you have a weeks shopping bagged up in your trolley at the supermarket or you need petrol and your husband works away all week. Turned out some w*nker had cloned it and was swanning around using my name spending my hard earned spondoolies on wallpaper (£249 worth) and various other extravagant items all over the world totalling over £800. Luckily my bank had spotted it before I had and recognised that my identity had been stolen and I didn't lose any money.They blocked all the fraudulent activity as well as mine.Now we are getting strange phone calls instead from foreign sounding people that put the phone down when you start questioning them.ARRRGH.They obviously still have some of our details like our phone number and my kids names who they keep asking for.I wish they would just bugger off and leave us alone.
To top that thrilling week off I had to go in for a hideously painful biopsy which hurt so much this time it made me cry, the nurses thought I was going to pass out as I think I went rather pale afterwards.Harry and his girlfriend came with me to the hospital, just incase I couldn't drive home. He made me cringe with embarrassment as he asked in a very loud voice in the waiting area 'Mum have you just had a Chlamydia test?' I think that was the only 'girl thing' he could think of at the time!! Erm, no Harry I haven't!
It's times like these that I really miss Pete being around.Sometimes only a nice big man-hug will do to make things seem better. Teenage boys look at you as if your demented if you ask for a hug and tell you to 'stop being such a girl'. They just loiter a bit longer than usual to see if you're ok and make cups of tea. Tea solves everything in 'girlie world' (then they leave all the washing up for you)

Then...yes, there is more.. both the truck and Pete's car failed their MOT's within a week of each truck which is normally fine, needed £500 worth of bodywork doing which the nice chap kindly let me pay for in installments, Pete's piece of sh*t Peugeot which is 12 years younger than my pickup truck has failed each year, it rattles and smokes and this time was the last straw. It really has been an sh*tty awful car and you wouldn't think it to look at as he kept it immaculate. So for our 13th wedding anniversary after doing lots of sums and umming and ahhing we did something rather scary, we bought a new car. A little pearly white sporty looking new car with less than 4000 miles on the clock and £35 a year road tax. I'm not really a fan of new cars but I'm quite taken with this one.It looks quite cheeky. Hopefully it's a reliable one. I'm especially impressed on how far you can go with just £10 of petrol! I dont think the boys were too impressed though. I was told it was 'ok, but a bit gay'. Strange how that word has changed meanings over the decades from meaning 'pretty or pleasant' in my parents generation to 'rubbish' in my childrens' via homosexuality in mine, a lady I used to garden for used to tell me I had a 'gay face' I was never quite sure how I should have reacted to that but seeing as she was well into her 80s I took it as a compliment! Anyway, I'm sure though I can live with the fact that my new car is a bit 'gay' even though it's probably very politically incorrect to say so.(no offence meant and I do tell them it's inappropriate to use that word for that meaning before you all hunt me down with dogs and pointy sticks)

The two stinky boys had some sad news too, when one of their young buddies was killed in a very tragic motorbike accident.If you live in Worcester or Malvern you may have read about it in the papers. I think it is every mothers nightmare to lose a child so suddenly.Pete and I have both lost best friends at a young age and it was sad to see them feeling the same way we did all those years ago.(another irrelevant Basil photo)

Last night I felt really unsettled, Wednesday evenings always seem to be horrid, we both seem to get 'middle week syndrome' but this one was particularly bad as I was tearful, irritable and comfort eating like it was my last day on Earth, I hadn't a clue why but I didn't go to sleep until after 3am but was woken up with a phone call early in the morning. Pete had had his lorry trailer broken into and some of the contents stolen, he woke up at 2am to find a Van pulled up along side and a gang armed with knives,slashing the side to get at the pallets of..wait for juice... inside. Stupidly he tried to get out of the cab to see what was going on, all bleary eyed and half a sleep after 15 hours of driving from one end of the country to the other.The gang saw him and tried to get at him in his cab, luckily they didn't as they would have wanted to make sure he couldn't get to the panic button they are fitted with and gawd knows what they would have done to him..six armed men against one. Scary stuff. The worse thing is that it's a sackable offence if your lorry is broken into, they have to get to a proper truck stop before they run out of driving time and the one he got to was full up so he was turned away. He's worried sick, so I hope Mr. Stobart understands his predicament. I guess you become tuned in to each other after 20 years and maybe that was why I felt like I did..who knows.Poor old Pete.
I'll be glad when he gets home on Friday.It's been a very long week indeed..

So, anyway, would you like to see inside 'Florence' vintage caravan?
There is quite a bit of painting to be done, some rewiring, a new floor, the glass replaced on the toilet window and all the soft furnishings, so it won't be even attempted for ages, we've got a whole list of other jobs to do first..(namely finishing that summerhouse, which Pete has now dismantled, leveled the base and put back together again..yay!)
There were all sorts of bits and bobs in it, loads of brand new cushions which all didn't match and weren't to our taste, infact everything you see in these 'before' photos came with her..

needless to say,lots went to the charity shop and the poo stained porta-loo (urgh) went to the skip. After a clean and a clear out she looked just a weeny bit better..for now

The cute yellow frosted glasses were lying in the drawers, I think they are called 'sherbert' glasses or something.

She even had the original 1960s awning in a cupboard, as well as these odd bits and bobs;

A full first aid case, a working retro clock and a box of robin starch from the 1960s.The Bush radio was unfortunately well beyond repair.
There were also some strange framed modern prints of spacemen landing on the moon, so I'm guessing 'Our Flo' must be as old as me!
The recent paint job is really ropey, someone has practically troweled the varnish and paint on inside and out, we will just sand down and paint the inside all white to start with with add some nice little lights and some pretty floral curtains or maybe some gingham curtains or even some retro curtains! I can't decide.
I'd also rather like some bright coloured Formica worktops and a checkered floor. Still, I mustn't complain, It's just a few little jobs and for what we paid for her, she's pretty much ok otherwise.

I'm trying to wean myself off Cath Kidston at the moment, I loved it when it was something new and quirky back in the early 90s but now it seems like the world and his wife owns a bit, it all seems to have become a bit cheesy and mass produced.
That little original 1950s fabric washbag in the photo below is one such design that was tweaked and re-introduced by Miss K 40 years later.
Currently I'm going cold turkey, but it isn't working very well as I bought that scouty looking campfire/caravan badge blanket recently especially for Florence. Oops.As proof of why you should never throw anything out, I've found I'm drawn again to the things I liked 20+ years ago, 1950s things again and it was funny that I was only thinking how I'd like to hang an old swimming costume on a vintage Butlins coat hanger in the bathroom..I have some serious bathingsuit love at the moment...these two are recent finds to add to my old collection

and I was also thinking how I'd like to get some of my 1950s fabrics out the loft to sew some more funky atomic cushions when the most fabulous magazine fell onto my doormat with just such articles..
I'm absolutely loving Homes & Antiques magazine at the mo, I've been buying it for quite a few years and it just gets better and better each month (they are the fourth people to have asked me to do a housey feature thing but the house is really too unfinished at the moment..but how flattering is that?!!)Righty oh , I best go..especially after such an eventful bunch of tales I've left you with.. blimey what a misery guts I must sound but I'm quite a cheery person in real life -honest!
Hope you all at least have a good month!!x


  1. Sorry to hear about all your bad news. Hope everything is ok now. I am so envious of your caravan. I would love to have the opportunity to revamp one but unfortunately neither myself nor my husband fancy the idea of towing a caravan, and we have no space for one at home. I look forward to seeing your progress though. Good luck!

  2. Just loved reading your "real life" blog this morning(NZ time) and laughing along with the funny bits and feeling real bad for you over the traumatic bits. I too loved CK from down here but also starting to wonder if its all gone a little too far. Love your cat pics. I have a fluffy baby called Annie and man I love that cat.

  3. Loving your new caravan & your post today.
    Sorry to hear about your hubbys lorry, hope Mr S understands.
    My mum lives near Felixstowe and said that it happens quite a lot there. Looking forward to hearing more about your caravan and the make over. Such a bargain.
    Glad I found your blog.
    Luv Sophie xxx

  4. Oh, Sairer, I just left you a lovely long comment but blogger is very iffy today and it's evaporated. I don't know if this will get through but, I'll come back later and try again. It's really great to hear from you, though!!!


  5. so sorry to hear of all the crap stuff that has seem to get more than your fair share. i love your caravan and if you like that kind of thing would love to send you a crochet cushion cover of the vintage variety if that kind of thing delights you....if not no prob,

  6. blimey what a bad deal fate has dished out to you after the good luck of winning your own cool caravan lets hope all is evened out now and life starts getting back to normal
    i can't wait to see its make over

  7. Oh my goodness,poor you!You have had your fair share of troubles recently.
    Love all your plans for your caravan..very exciting!Yes,I love the H and A mag too and all the 50's revival.I can remember my Mum wearing swimming costumes like those!
    Hope lots of good things in store for you now..fingers crossed!

    Bellaboo :0)

  8. That's quite a string of bad luck you've had there. Hope everything turns out OK.
    The caravan project sounds very exciting. xx

  9. Sounds like an eventful few weeks, hope things get better for you! Absolutely love your caravan, it holds so much potential and if your blog is anything to go by, I'm sure it's going to look beautiful! Helen

  10. Wow, what a time of it you have been having. I hope that Hubby and job are all okay. Things have a habit of happening all at once to test us! I hope things can calm down a bit for you soon. Loving 'Florence', she looks a complete delight! Will look forward to seeing more! he he! Hope you have a bright sunshiney day today! Hugs Vanessa xxxx

  11. I love that caravan and can't wait to see how you transform it into lovliness! I seem to keep seeing vintage caravans, I'm hoping it's a sign that one will magically appear in my garden!

  12. I was crying with laughter at your 'gay car' comments! And you'll be pleased to know that your vintage caravan is cool. There is a big feature in the Guardian about how retro caravans are all the rage. I told my husband about them at the weekend, he thinks I've gone insane but what does he know?!

  13. What a time you've all had. I can't wait to follow the caravans progress, it will be hard work, I bet, but worth it.

  14. good god woman. I think I may need a lie down after reading that lot. So pleased you are still smiling though.
    Love love love the caravan, it's going to be fabulous when it's finished! but do you really need that AND a summerhouse? do you want me to take the caravan off your hands...??! just let me know, is no trouble!
    Hope al works out ok with Pete xx

  15. Sounds like you had an eventful time with hospitals, robberies, Mr Fox and everything else.

    I've weaned myself off ck too, rather disappointed in the shop service, lots of tacky expensive stuff etc. Still love her fabrics though.

    Love the caravan. Bet you can't wait to 'play' with it. :-)

  16. What a shame about all your bad luck...poor rabbit...that happened to us too...and how horrible for your husband! the caravan is a treasure though....really good deal there! Just remember...after a spell of bad luck there is surely an upswing...

  17. OMG hun I cant believe how much has happened since I last saw you - and it was only about 10 days ago!!!!! Glad to hear Petes ok - made me think of the night him and Charlie chased those kids away at the old house ;-) at least we can smile about that now!! School hols start sat so Kate and I will be able to pop round for cups of tea in the garden without having to rush off (will bring biccies too hehe). Loads of love to you all, Mrs Woo xxxx

  18. After all that bad stuff it's good that you are able to be so positive, and find inspiration enough to make plans for your lovely caravan. I look forward to seeing how it comes along - I have no doubt it will be 'cool' (rather than 'gay'!)

  19. A belated hello. I have finely got back into blogging and just has to see how you were getting on... Sorry to hear the the bad fortune you have had of late, but love the caravan. I can just imaging what it will looks like after an injection of your creativity, can't wait for future photo's. Oh and on the Cath Kidston note, I feel exactly the same. After reading that she has sold a large share of the company and only retains creative input, I was concerned that the magic may go. Anyway keep up the great work. I may get around to writing a new post soon lol.


  20. Just catching up with some favourite blogs - can't believe what a tough time you've been having (and all at once!) ... anyway, hats off to you for retaining a sense of humour, you deserve a medal!

    Loving the caravan & can't wait to see what you have in store for it!

    Willow x

  21. p.s. yes, the red mite are a pain! I've had an eglu for 5 yrs now, with no red mite probs, so have opted for another one to replace the wooden house (which has gone on the bonfire!) I was staggered to see just how many mites there were in every crevice of the old house!

    Willow x

  22. Jeez - a hard time you have had!
    I love the cat in the specs photo. I really miss having a cat (renting at the mo, so no good) and it cheers me up no end to see cool cat pics.
    I hope you get some cheering up too.


  23. Bit of a bugger about the card, do you use your card in the petrol station? We use cash now because when we lived in Surrey nearly everyone in our town had their card cloned from this one garage - even our MP! I didn't because I didnt use that petrol station. Since then I will only use my card for independents or if I do I use credit card as more protected. Unfortunately my mum (who used to work for the police) says it's so rife now best off buying petrol with cash.

    I know your pain re peugeots. I had a 3 year old peugeot and it was absolute shite, i had the shocks done, the cylinder kept misfiring (n the M25!), the idnicator and lights went. Now I only ever buy Japanese or German. We bought a brilliant little Suzuki, cheap as chips but a great little car!

    I hope things pick up for you soon and fingers and toes crossed Pete's job is ok. xxx

  24. ooh, just spotted the CK bit. I'm the same, I'm going for more classical florals now or more contempory. I'm a bit bored with the pretty florals now. :-)

  25. I didn't know you'd posted again Sairer. my list thingy didn't show you up - must yell at it in a technical way.

    Thanks for filling us in as it doesn't sound moany at all, just life being life and sometimes too real. Terrible loss of a young friend and thank god Pete didn't get out of his cab - made me feel ill reading thinking that was what he did next. Also very sad about your friendly rabbit.

    Laughed at cat in specs shot. The girls wear theirs a lot especially to give them invisible super spy powers, I have to pretend I haven't seen them.

    Robin starch made me happy and the tin. My dad had a boat yard and all the holiday 70's boats were filled with that sort of stuff aswell as mozzy cream which stunk.

    I've rambled, but then it's good to have you back again.


  26. Sorry for all your tribulations.I hope Pete is okay after his ordeal.I'm so sorry about your sweet little rabbit and I so agree with you A)Cath Kidston since she sold out has become overly common and I get a rush of blood on entering her shops but actually buy nothing and B)Yes Homes and Antiques is the best.I love, love it and always want to put off reading it as the disappointment when Ive finished it and have to wait a whole month for the next one is almost too much to bear.(Not that Im being melodramatic or anything)have you read The Lady since Rachel Johnson took over?It's really good Check out my recent post.Anyway great to hear your news.Take care Anne x

  27. I am so sorry to hear your bad news - why does it all come at once when your feeling really low. That always happens to us!! The caravan looks fabulous, you have done a great job and I am loving that badge blanket.
    Jo xx

  28. I think Basil looks very smart in his 3D glasses!
    I have a picture of Salem wearing my son Max's swimming google's lol.
    So pleased you got a caravan, and wow what a different you have made to it, It looks fab.
    Hope you have loads of fun in it..
    Em xxx

  29. oooo just found your lovely blog its just gorgeous looking forward to reading more x

  30. My doughter is looking to buy an old swimsuit on the net!
    Where can she buy it??
    I love your blog,
    Am happy to find it!

  31. Its so fab to find another person who loves the 1950's as much as me ;-) I love the blog and would love to follow you but i can't seem to find your follow button? ;-)


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