Monday, 21 November 2011

Bella, Bunting and the Bucket List....

Thanks for all the Bella and Colin love on the last post. x

Bella actually belongs to George which means I get called 'Granny'....can't say I'm too chuffed about that! Colin is still as mad as ever, he flew right down the garden the other day, crash landing in a bush so it looks like I'll be getting the scissors out to clip his wing feathers again soon.
See, I told you he was a bit of a berk.
Bella (or 'The Belly' as she is known, typical Labrador- stomach on legs) is learning all the good habits from my lovely old black Labrador, Red, who is in turn learning a few naughty habits from his new little sister. You should here the racket Colin makes when they play together in the garden, who new Turkeys made such good referees?

Bella and Red
I quite like having another girl around, it means 'Granny' gets to buy pretty Cath Kidston flowery dog beds and leads and butterfly shaped pink dog toys!

Anyway,I'm trying my hardest to get into the Christmassy spirit thing.

It feels a bit weird to be thinking about Christmas just yet, I feel like this year has just flown by, the weather has got me out of sorts too, one minute it's mild and I'm wearing a t-shirt to garden in and the next it's blowing a gale..last year at this time we were deep in snow! I know it will creep up on me far too quickly, I'll be disorganised and probably skint as usual..especially as we have just had to have a new all singing all dancing economical combi boiler fitted...yikes (I'm sat here sweating cobs and now realise just how bad our old boiler was, I think I need to adjust something to make the house cooler! phewwww )

Recently I got sent some of this gorgeous Christmas Bunting from the DotComGiftShop 
If you dont know this website already, click the pink link you will discover a whole heap of kitsch and pretty loveliness at your fingertips...Christmas or otherwise. Now I can't wait to string them up. Jolly little houses and snow scenes, I think they have the same sort of look as a certain Mrs Kidston.
I'm going to get some kitsch flocked reindeer lights this year too as they are just my cup of tea..kitsch and 50s looking but without the dodgy vintage wiring!

I think a certain Bald bloke would like a cup of tea in this mug

and I'm so in love with this framed doggy print.

It was always my job to go to the post Office when I was younger to purchase the 13p dog licence when it used to be 'required by law'.

That'll definitely be on my wish list...pretty please Father Christmas!

Pete and I have been away 'oop north' again for our annual trip to Northumberland to see amazing fireworks, puppy worship (two of my sisters have puppies too) drink far to much frothy coffee and eat waaaay too much cake, oh and to tick something off my Bucket List.

I'm very lucky to have a great family, who mean everything to me.
I adore my 3 sisters and my little brother who I just don't see often enough.
My brother-in-law whom I've known since I was 4, ( he and my eldest sister were childhood sweethearts) treated me to something I've wanted to experience in a long time, an Opera.

OOOOOH posh stuff!! It was at the amazing Newcastle Theatre Grand , a beautiful Victorian place which has recently had a 5 million pound facelift (pity about the new chairs though, they had to be THE most uncomfortable chairs ever in the world..fidget, fidget, fidget)

I went to see Puccini's Madama Butterfly.
 photo: Google

Set in the 1940's, in the hills above Nagasaki, it was beautiful, very moving and you don't need to be fluent in Italian to understand the story of Lieutenant Pinkerton of the US Navy the and his 15 year old Geisha bride to be. The singing was incredible and the parts you recognised musically gave you goosebumps.
Wonderful stuff.
Big TICK of the list that one.
Of course when 'oop north', there is the obligatory shopping to do, especially in the Roman village of Corbridge which has Dickensian streets of stone houses and shops with Christmas windows that might even make old Scrooge smile. I spent some hard earned pennies in one of my most favourite shops.. RE
Giant paper snowflakes to hang in the big window in the dining room, architectural shop letters that will eventually light up and various other bits and bobs came home with us.

Inspired by a local coffee house, I'm going to make a cushion out of (yet another) tea towel, this time from a vintage French map of Britain.
If only you could smell these gorgeous French soaps!

Perfect colours for our 1930s bathroom.

They have some really great, quirky stuff there, far more than on the website.

Unfortunately,November also saw both my stinky boys loose their jobs, so we have been a bit pre-occupied here, I worry myself silly about things and if I'm not careful I get a bout of Shingles or the dreaded Migraines. This month its been the latter. Great.
December is lurking around the corner which as you know,is one of my less favoured months, already we have hospital visits lined up, (lifting heavy mowers into trucks does you no favours ladies!...get doing those pelvic floor exercises!!) and the dentist found something odd in bald blokes mouth which requires a biopsy.Scary stuff. Keep your fingers crossed for him pretty please...he's my rock. x

Cheerio for now x

Xxx's....for Lynn for her lovely Harry....

Friday, 14 October 2011


Red, Basil and Daisy are completely unimpressed by 'Colin', the crazy acting, odd looking, beeping, peeping, gobbling turkey (yay, I got one at last!!!) he sounds like a futuristic ray gun, "peeeawwwww peep!" until he hears a passing siren or a child crying or a screech of tyres, then he does his proper "gobble gobble" turkey noise.
Colin came from a teeny cottage tucked away in the Forest of Dean. A lovely little old couple kept them because they liked them along with lots of other creatures feathered and furry. I promised not to eat Colin and he came home sat on the back seat with me. We got some very funny looks when we stopped for petrol and he peeped out the window.
He looks like a miniature ostrich who's wearing their intestines as a neck warmer and he acts (endearingly) like a bit of a berk.

The ladies like him and he rather likes them.
However, Daisy has found the highest place in the house and gone on hunger strike and Basil is just plain horrified at the other new arrival at Shabby Towers.
They are completely unimpressed by the new 'thing'
Basil could win the X-factor with all the wailing that's going on.
Red, who at first couldn't even bear to look at the new 'thing', has finally come round to the idea...

and the humans at Shabby towers are all in totally besotted and in love....

.....with Bella.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

This week's messages on the fridge..

Fridge love...

mummy love....

Brotherly love...(er-hummm)
Keith Lemon love...

and I just plain love this...

Monday, 3 October 2011


Nothing much interesting has been happening round these parts, just the mundane everyday a lovely, lovely gardening customer of mine dying from that awful thing beginning with C... the cooker, boiler (again), tumble dryer and my precious, indispensable and expensive big boys Honda lawnmower packing up after 10 years service,(hence me selling practically my entire wardrobe from when I worked in a shop, on eBay to fund a new one) Dislocating my little finger by having a dog lead wrapped around it when a dog bolted, (corr that hurt!) oh and reversing my truck into the brick wall that stinky boy and bald bloke built and completely buggering it up so much so the whole thing has got to be re-laid....yep,you know, just everyday mundane things like that.....hmmm think I need reviving with more than a cup of tea!

Anyway moving swiftly on to pretty stuff...

One of the many things that I seem to hoard are Tea-towels.

I love tea-towels

Cheap,cheery tea-towels.
Vintage ones, seaside ones

and of course,Cath ones,

I like the fact you can pick one up for under a tenner and it will hang there looking cheery by the sink on the dullest of days.

When we have a proper kitchen (ie; a kitchen bigger than 5'x7') I hope to frame some of them for the wall. I've made cushions out of a couple and even a pillowcase, so that versatile rectangle of drying up cloth does have its uses.

Recently I was asked if I'd like a couple of freebie tea-towels in exchange for a mention...ooh yes pleeeease would I!!

I even got to choose so I picked a Greengate one

and a fab atomic fifties patterned one

which I've never seen the likes of before.
The red Greengate one will be used as a proper tea-towel and the gorgeous 50s abstract one will eventually be made into a cushion...(I think!)
They came from an online shop called 
 All tea-towels
(click the pink link if you'd like to take a peek yourself)
which I think is a fabulous idea..a shop selling nothing but tea towels in all different styles and best of all, postage to the UK is free and silly cheap to everywhere else (How many times have you seen the perfect thing online only to find the postage costs more than the one you want?)
These are some of my favourites from this fab online shop:
Tunnocks tea cakes! favourite kind ...and calorie free if you buy them this way!  

Arent they just great?
The 'easy as pie' one is particularly appropriate in this house, I can make boiling an egg a whole new experience...egg explosion anyone ?
There are all sorts of designs to find there from traditional to modern, birds, butterflies, chickens...gravy!.. all sorts.
Thankyou Al, for the fabulous freebie tea-towels and the link to yet another fab online shop which I shall put in my sidebar, I think its just a brilliant idea and no doubt I shall be back for more to add to my stash!
I'll hopefully be popping back again in October to introduce you to Colin, the new man in my cheerio for now.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011


A couple of weeks ago, Bald bloke and I went off on a jolly to Devon.
Sea and sand (and pebbles) ice creams and rubbish British weather...weh hey! You cant beat the feeling of toes in silky pink sand and the smell of good old vinegar and chips by the seaside.
Ooooh it was so nice spending more than the usual 48 hours a week with the bald bloke, no stinky boys and no cooking! (that, believe me was the biggest highlight as I loathe cooking to the point that I'd rather squeeze lemon juice in my eyes than rustle up a meal for 4)
We did have one very sunny day where we went up coast to the rather quaint Lyme Regis, Sidmouth and a place called Beer and on the rainy days we went to the pictures to see the Inbetweeners which, having a toilet sense of humour and being the owners of two teenage boys, we both found hilarious to the point of tears or mooched about the shops and pretty villages stopping to drink tea and eat cake in twee teashops.
Great stuff. Just wish we had a bit more of the old spondoolies to spend there though as we visited some wonderful antique centres and a museum full of vintage signs and motoring memorabilia that was about to close forever and be sold off.. I only bought a little vintage pot home with me from Devon as I loved the Celadon green colour and the cute little deer and rabbit.I did get my swimsuit though, a spotty red and white 50s style one from ForLuna, which made me more of a butternut squash shape than a baking potato but the 'walk of shame' was not only a quick scuttle from the changing room to the pool.. ohhhhhh nooooo siree, it involved slippery flights of stairs and glass doors that refused to open aswell as the forgotten towels and having to do a swim-suited 'mince' to reception to borrow a pound for the locker.
All in all, a hideous out of pool experience.
Hmm swimming is definitely not my thing..
(but at least I had a gorgeous swimsuit)

We came home to a weeks worth of cleaning and washing, the obligatory broken mug and thirsty chickens
but at least dog-fur covered house was still standing.
BOYS are pesky and stinky creatures I can tell you.

Last week I have had the oldies to stay from over the sea who I haven't seen for a year, it takes a while to get used to seeing your parents after that length of time as strangely you remember them best from your teenage years and still expect them to look like that.
Tomorrow I've got to think up free stuff to do with my bestest buddy.
I think a picnic is called for by the river. have certainly been a mad busy month!
Now I'm off to list stuff on eBay so that I have more than 89p in the bank for September!... cheerio x

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

At Last!

Finally, after many years of searching, many near misses on eBay and many hunts in antique or junk shops to no avail, I have found a pair of Avery sweet shop scales. Luckily they weren't fifty squillion miles away from home (nobody will post these as they weigh an absolute ton) and didn't cost the earth...infact they were quite a bargain and cheaper than my normal boring everyday scales...Yay!
Aren't they just fab? I spent Sunday afternoon dismantling them and cleaning 56 years of sweetie shop grime from them..and how do I know that it's 56 years? As the date of May 8th 1955 is stamped inside.
Now I've just got to fathom out how to get the needle back to zero. Maths was never my strong point!
Don't you just LoVe it when you can tick something off the wish list!

ps. Thankyou so much for your last lovely messages, it was so nice that I hadn't been forgotten and that you don't mind putting up with my waffly, erratic posts! x

Monday, 27 June 2011

Go on say it....

ABOUT BLOOMIN' TIME you old crow..I hear you shout. Yes, I know, I've been gone an absolute age but you know how it is some days, life comes charging by and sweeps you along at warp speed, (that, and the fact I lost yet another very old kitty which made me a bit sad and I'm not very good at doing anything else when I'm doing sad)
Thanks for the emails asking if I'm dead or alive. I think I'm somewhere inbetween so I'll make this one a big post about nothing in particular as no doubt I'll scoot off again, doing two highly knackering jobs with funny hours dependent on the weather makes you do that sometimes.

::Weird freaky stuff
Now you might think I'm two sandwiches short of a picnic when I tell you this, but this is how it happened so I'll just come right out and tell you.At the height of my feeling down and tearful and thinking that the whole world and it's wife hated me, I had a visitor.
I woke up with a start to find a lady stood by my bed. Just stood there looking at me. Needless to say when you wake up to find someone unexpectedly stood by your bed it freaks you out slightly.I freaked out big time and hid under the covers, waking Pete up with my absolute freaky-outy-ness. Maybe it was a dream, I dont know, but I do know that this strange perfect heart shaped mark appeared on my arm a few days later.
It usually takes a huge whack to bruise me and I haven't bumped into anything heart-shaped or been stung by a horse fly or anything like that. It was just there, not hurting or anything.It stayed for a week and vanished as quickly as it came.(It had faded a bit when we took this photo, believe me, it was a perfect heart!)
Weird and freaky indeed but strangely it did lift my mood, I feel ok again and feel like the world isn't against me, which is why I'm here blogging. Ok that really makes me sound like I'm barking mad, what a way to start a post!!

::The paper knickers saga

A couple of people have asked how George's nose is after his reconstructive surgery. It's very good thankyou and you can't see the join where they stitched it back together with a bit of his ear...very clever stuff.
It was a bit weird seeing him with a slightly different but very nice 'textbook' nose, no-one else could tell the difference from his pre-accident one but I could because I made it in the first place. Being the right wuss that I am, I must admit I shed a secret tear for the old nose.
We wont go too much into the saga of the surgical paper knickers he was asked to wear but eventually after such a blooming hooha and delaying the surgery he was allowed to wear his own boxer shorts. Vanity? My son? Naaaah.

::The Marmite chair
I bought a gold metal and nylon velvet 1950s chair for £6, took it home sprayed it red and am in the process of covering the seat. It spins round. I love it. Basil loves it too especially when it spins but then he's always been a bit odd..he also like to be hoovered with the vacuum nozzle. Did you spot him in the White Stuff catalogue in his spectacles? Fame has gawn to his head and he finally has his wish of posh princess sachet food..(well there's only two kitties left now so I think they are allowed)
Everyone else thinks this chair is vile. A bit like Marmite..which I can't stand and everyone else in this house loves. Urgh.

::The Rainy day lampshade

I spent ages hunting for a cheap large white linen drum shade for the £4 standard lamp base I renovated ages ago, only to end up covering it on a whim one rainy Sunday afternoon with some fabric I'd saved for a deckchair.
Mmmmm, 1950s painterly lushness how I adore thee..

::Things you thought you hated but have now decided you like
I grew up with things like this, 70s bubble glass and G-plan furniture.Funny how you can change your mind about stuff isn't it?

::Square balls.

Remember my round-but-take-forever-to-clip box balls? well they are now slowly becoming a hedge.
There's been a lot of changes in the garden, the extra cold winter we had killed off a lot of plants front and back so I took the opportunity to change a whole border in the front, taking out large shrubs and replacing with my favourite perennials, it's all still a work in progress but then that's how gardens should be, an ongoing thing.

The first year is always the crappiest as everything tends to be the same height.

I'm far better at doing other peoples gardens than I am my own, if I'm redoing a flower bed for someone, I've got a budget, a colour scheme and a soil type but when it comes to my own plot, well that's another thing altogether. I'm a bit like a kid in a sweet shop when I'm at the garden centre and buy the pretty stuff I love with no-where suitable to put it! oops!


It wasn't only our 21 year old cat Winnie, that died, I also lost several of my old ladies this year including lovely old Big Bessy so there are 3 new lovely young chickypoos joining the flock; Florence the Barred Orpington and a Black, feathery legged Cochin/Orpington hybrid who looks like she's got 70s disco flares on and a jacket of the most amazing beetle-black colours, she's called Fanny (after Pete's Granny incase you're wondering who was neither black nor had a pair of 70s disco flares but there you go) and a Lavender Orpington called Beryl. The Barred one is HUGE and still only a baby. They came from a fabulous farm near us that takes chickens in for boarding, they sell beautiful,friendly, healthy birds in immaculate pens (often occupied by an oblivious Bacon the Jack Russel too) a farmhouse looking like it's straight out of Country Living and to die for Shepherds huts, made on the premises to order. Needless to say, I rather like going the 5 minutes down the road for a chicky-fix. (there's a link HERE if you'd like a peek)


Pete HATES London. Only because he has to drive a 44 ton lorry through the hoards of traffic cutting him up at every opportunity and giving him more verbal abuse there than anywhere else he goes to in Great Britain. It makes him grumpy and it makes him sweat alot as there are hundreds of low bridges and narrow streets down there that his Sat Nav always seems to miss and if you come to one of those it means a lot of slow manoeuvrings, hooting, being sworn at and hassle all round.
I on the other hand have rather fond memories of our capital city.We used to live on the London /Essex border so trips to see that huge blue whale in the British museum and the Changing of the Guards were commonplace. I had my 5th birthday at London zoo when Chi-Chi the panda came over from china and it causes a heap of excitement, (poor old Chi-Chi is a stuffed exhibit in the aforementioned museum these days) then there was my 10th birthday at Madame Tussuads and feeding the pigeons in Trafalgar square.My first proper visit to London with Pete was to go to Johnsons on the Kings road for a pair of much hankered after biker boots, a visit to Flip for some 50s American bowling shirts and a milkshake at Eds Easy Diner.
Although I haven't been there for years, I do rather like London.

Don't think my other half will be too impressed with this though when he gets home...
I, on the other hand, love it. A kitschy 1950s London souvenir tablecloth.

I am trying to find a swimsuit with a retro look. Not an easy feat when you are shaped like a baking potato...this is the lush list so far:
Laura Ashley

For Luna

Cath Kidston
Ideally I would like to be able to just appear in the water without having to do 'The walk of shame' to the pool, but if you're going to look like a walrus, you may as well look like a walrus with style...

::Mollie Makes

Oooh this is the most fantastic magazine ever in the world, like, EVER. I've canceled my Country Living subscription and subscribed to this one instead.For the first time in months I've actually wanted to make stuff and this is what has inspired me.AND, you get to see in some of our favourite bloggers' gorgeous houses so it's not only making things. Go get it, you really do need it in your life.

So there you go, see..told you, nothing exciting, just some stuff to waffle on about but I thought I'd better show my face sooner rather than later.

Cheerio for now x
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