Sunday, 28 June 2009

Getting to know you

The first day with a new student is always a bit challenging. Poor things, I do feel for them. Plonked in a strange country, usually not understanding much of the language and with Scary being a typical monosyllabic teenager. However, they seemed to be getting on reasonably well considering we lacked the usually chatty Mad One. (Scary on the right here.)

The Maze at Escot proved quite demanding. Those rotten buggers have gates that they change each time you go there! Yes, this is the middle but we are on a bridge only about 20 feet away!
We did make it to the centre, but only after following someone that looked like they knew where they were going!

The tyre swing came next, while I sat on a wonderfully rustic carved seat looking at the sky!

Another swing now. Come on Scary, put your back into it!

That's a bit better!

Spanish girl gets it right away!

I think we're going to get on well with this one. Despite her lack of English, she smiles, eats well and has impeccable manners.

Roll on tomorrow when I get my Baby back! Good excuse for a cake, don't you think?

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Country Living Frustration

I bought this rather inviting magazine this morning:

but I couldn't read it! I just had toooooo much to do.

We were due another student this evening and her room, and the entire house, was a complete mess!

So all day I've been moving, cleaning, polishing, hoovering and making beds. Now I get to sit down with it (and the remote control, by the way, which I don't get very often) but Mel Gibson is distracting me!

At the library yesterday I also picked up this:

but Scary says under no circumstances does she want knitted bra and panties! She is a spoilsport isn't she?

Thursday, 25 June 2009

My baby's all grown up!

I've had a day of mixed emotions. My youngest, the Mad One, is going on her Year 6 residential trip this weekend. She is SOOOOOOOO excited! A whole weekend with her friends, doing wonderful things like abseiling and getting covered in mud. (And just being away from parents!) I can't help but share her enthusiasm but deep in my heart I remember when Scary did this, that weekend was the turning point from child into young adult.

How can all those years have whizzed by so fast?

Scary, meanwhile, has died her hair black (instead of the blond, remember?), went out last weekend on the Saturday with one boy, stayed at her girlfriend's house overnight, and came back with a different boyfriend on the Sunday! Hmmmm.

Marathon Runner says I need to get a dog! No thanks, I say, I'll wait for some grandchildren. That usually shuts him up!

Monday, 22 June 2009

Teacups & Midsummer

Merry Midsummer (yes, I know I'm a bit late)!

Aren't they lovely?

These are the cups I use twice a week to make tea and coffee at the Senior Citizens Centre. My Nana used to have a set exactly like them and it feels somehow right that I am a temporary guardian of something so steeped in my own history. I know I am in the minority here! Marathon Runner tells me frequently how eccentric I am, forming attachments to the strangest items. (I think a very old fork and a geometry set feature high in this list.)

On the 'for sale' table there was a lovely assortment of three cups, four saucers and one plate just begging for a good home! Who could resist that?

Roses and coconut buns!

Doesn't it feel really decadent to have a design on the inside of the cup?

Talking of roses, I wish you could smell this one. It is Alec's Red, a hybrid tea.

Now Midsummer's Day is over, it's all downhill til Christmas!

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Do you really mean burlesque?

Let me introduce you to Henrietta.

Do you think she's cute? I got her at the Exeter Craft Fair on Saturday. I have several already from John Hilder in Seaton. Look at her lovely wings and tail and what do you call those things down her back?

It was a lovely day spent with my Mad Daughter, although she doesn't always share my enthusiasm for all things crafty. The trick is to keep feeding her!

Talking of feeding people, soon my friend and I have to make some refreshments for a play at School. We did it last year and all our cakes and bakes went down rather well so, guess what, we've been volunteered to do it again!

This show has been written by a teacher at the school, so we had no idea what it was about. Said teacher asks my friend very kindly if we could dress up and 'theme' our refreshments. Hmm, she says, what theme? Burlesque, he says. Off she trots, what's burlesque, she asks me? Hmm, says I, think it's a bit sort of can-can dancer. I'll go home and have a look on good 'ol Google.

My face must have been a picture when I looked at Google images. Oh I say, oooh really, have I got this right? It took me fifteen pages to find any ladies with a decent amount of clothes actually on! I don't think they make those tassles in size 36HH! Scary Daughter and Marathon Runner think it's hilarious. Having spoken to him again, I think we've come to the conclusion that what he really means is sort of Gothic Victorian. Damn, I was just getting the corset out!

So anyway, we've decided to go with a black and white theme for the refreshments, so I had a little practice tonight with some (ever so slightly out of date) black icing I found in the cupboard!

What do you think? Will this do?

Maybe I can get some black paper cases.

I still rather fancy that corset though ...

Friday, 12 June 2009

Time to look at the garden

Now the panic of The Fair is over (thank you cards and working out profit excepted), it's time to enjoy the garden (well the bits in between the weeds anyway)!

Not so many foxgloves this year, I fancy, although the seeding is left purely to nature! I did sew some seeds last year but a cat decided that the seed bed was it's toilet!
Don't you just love the sound of the bees when they are in the trumpet?

The clematis are doing well rambling through everything from my bay tree and a camelia to a New Dawn rose. (Oh and next door's garden, which they complained about! They had more flowers than me, humph!)

The poppies took a few years to really get going but are worth persevering with. I saw a lovely pink one called Patty's Plum the other day so that might be winging it's way into my garden for next year!

Yellow day lillies are so easy and smell so wonderful!

And I'm so pleased that the cutting of my mum's favourite shrub, this weigelia, has grown so well. Lots of things struggle with the heavy soil here; not the dandelions and bind weed of course!
Needless to say, I haven't shown you the weedy bits or the thousands of forget-me-nots that have gone to seed!
Taking Mad Daughter to Exeter tomorrow to go the Craft Festival, thanks to Sal's Snippets for reminding me! We also have to get her first B-R-A. Shhh don't tell anyone!

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Another unfinished project!

The other day when I was talking about all my other unfinished projects, I neglected to mention my Ripple Cushion:

This was directly inspired by Attic 24, and I've made it the right size but am not quite sure what to do with it now?!?

The colours are lovely and don't show up very well on any of the photos I have taken. Mental note - look at some tutorials about taking better photographs! The palest shade is a moss green, then a lovely purple and a dark grey. I chose the colours in a wool shop in St Ives when we were down there at Easter and I had gone away without taking anything creative to do! Oh how silly!

Scary daughter did moan a bit about me being the only one on the beach with a crochet hook!

See you soon.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Summer Fair

Yay, it's over and I didn't forget anything vital!

For the last two years, we have had abysmal weather, so this year we were really hoping it would be third time lucky! What a gamut of emotions through the week though, just looking at all the weather forecasts. First of all, it would be fine all week. Then 'they' decided rain was coming in on Saturday, then Friday night, and then, oh no you can't be serious, Friday! Stiflingly hot on Monday and Tuesday here, (we didn't really want the Fair to be boiling for our own sakes, setting it all up), cloudy and hot on Wednesday and Thursday, (please rain Thursday night and get it all over with!) Friday dawned cloudy but with only a 30% chance of light showers in the afternoon. Lots of prayers were being offered to various deities (and some threats too!) but thank whoever you like, rain IT DID NOT!

There are nine people on our PTA Committee but in reality, only four of us do any real work. I am not including the Treasurer in these, but in fairness to him, he does the Treasurer's job well, just nothing above and beyond that! He was rather press-ganged into it when we were desperate!

My main woe, I didn't get to finish my knitted pirate for the Treasure Hunt. There simply were not enough hours in the day. The knitting part is finished, just not the sewing up! However, the prize was still really neat and everyone seemed to like it.

Now, who wants a knitted pirate in need of a bit of 'haul together'?
You'd think setting aside a WHOLE WEEK to get ready for a Summer Fair would be enough wouldn't you? Well, I guess a fair amount of it was spent a) moaning about the heat, b) checking the Volunteer List wondering in desperation if all the spaces had been filled in (NO) and c) worrying if it was going to rain on Friday! But, even so, there was not a spare moment.

First of all, there was the 'gathering' of raffle prizes, which entailed much to-ing and frow-ing to businesses in the town and chasing letters. Some companies make it so easy (Woodlands and Honiton Show Association for example) and some seem to want their pound of flesh and four trips back to catch Ange, who's the only one that deals with that, before offering a very nearly out of date jar of pickle!

Then there was the sorting of the donations (aka, one or two good things and a load of crap):

into tombola prizes (sifting out the leaking/broken/out of date stuff):

and bric-a-brac:There was wrapping of lucky dip prizes to do: (this is about one hundredth of the total)

and plant sorting:

and soooooooo many other things I didn't have time to photograph!

Lunchtime looked like this:

and four nervous breakdowns later:-

George turned up to have his name guessed:

The Plant Stall was very competently manned:

Pink girls ably twirled their batons:

Boys (and some girls) looked really silly rolling around in big suits (I don't need the suit!):
Coconuts were splatted:Jigs and ballads were toe-tapped to:

and cakes were gobbled:

All in all, thank **** it's all over, and let's have a reject bun:

Monday, 1 June 2009

Too Busy to Blog

Hello Everybody

It's the PTA Summer Fair this Friday and at the moment I am surrounded by tombolas, treasure hunts and cream teas, so I haven't forgotten about you I promise!

See you next week!