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Monday, 28 February 2011

Not a mouse...


Shall disturb this hallowed house:
I am sent with broom before,
To sweep the dust behind the door.


This is my studio after the family have departed AND
before I've dragged all my crafting paraphernalia out of its hidey hole in the cupboard.



This is the closet with attitude, stuffed to the rafters with treasures.
 The Masterchef photo's I want to get at, for the the cliff-hanger I left you with in an earlier blog, are at the very bottom, so with bum in the air I might be gone some time.



Heigh ho, heigh ho, heigh ho
For if you're feeling low
You positively can't go wrong
With a heigh, heigh ho

Heigh ho, heigh ho
To make your troubles go
Just keep on singing
all day long heigh ho!



Sunday, 27 February 2011

"I just don't know what to do for badness!"




That's what I always say when I'm bored.

The house seems strangely quiet, my studio is once again my own private domain.
The family have gone, I've done my duty.
But wait...

Life seems horribly dull with no kids to tut over...
'It wasn't like that in our day!'

Am I turning into a grumpy old woman I wonder?

Have a care - don't answer that!


This photograph cheers me up...


Behold! her bosom and half her side-
A sight to dream of, not to tell!





Sunday, 20 February 2011

Masterchef finalist 1992...

That's me!

With the new series having just started it set me thinking.
Is it really 19 years since I took part in this long running tv series?
I ought to say now...
there is no way I would have got as far as the final in the 'new look' Masterchef.


In the the magic cupboard in the studio, I have photo's of me on the programme.  As it is stuffed full, due to the visitors imminent arrival, luckily I couldn't reach them.  In luck?   The then and now pictures would be too awful to compare, well for me in any case!

I had great fun on the programme which I will tell you more about some other time.  I did get to the final, didn't win, didn't deserve to.  However my life took off, in so many ways you wouldn't believe.


More when I come back...
a busy week awaits.


Too de loo!




Saturday, 19 February 2011

I feel strangely excited...

I've no idea why?


Oh yes you have LL.
 I've got an action-packed week organised that's why!
Monday I'm having my hair cut,  I've decided to have a roughty-toughty been through a hedge backwards trim.  Not unlike my gardening idol Carol Klein crossed with the Duchess of Cornwall.  Who I haven't met, although I would have loved to!  










The bob I've got now is just soooo ageing.  Walking the dog in the misserly rain this morning I arrived home looking for all the world like I had pan scrub hair.  You know those silver metal jobbies that go rusty  and lose their shape at the first sign of work. Well, I know how that feels any road.


Tuesday I am going to the 'Threads of 
Feeling' exhibition at the Foundling Museum.  Then I am taking my son out to dinner.  Aaron is 40 in March, (alright I know I don't look old enough to have a son of that age I wish!) 
  He has no idea where we are going.  I plan to start off in the Hix champagne bar in Selfridges.  He'll think Oh no! Not shopping again.  I've got previous (that's an old coppers' expression Hubs taught me.) I will suggest we meet in Ladies lingerie.  He knows me too well, he won't be at all surprised by that!  There we will meet my lovely WSD (wicked step-daughter - she started it by calling me her WSM - so there - mer, mer, mer, Mer!) and her boyfriend.   Have a few glasses of Dandelion and Burdock then head off to...
not telling in case word gets back to you know who. 


Wednesday The family arrive from York. 
I'll be stuffing all my crafting goodies into the cupboard in my studio cos that's where our guests sleep (not the cupboard silly - the studio.)  They have got their own facilities and if I don't feel like it, I don't have to grant them an audience, just pull faces across the courtyard.  I'm making it all sound grand, that's just to impress you all ( well all three of you and the bloke with the dog).  


Being a HUGE party animal I will plan menus, cook my socks off and have great fun organising games and stuff.  As my daughter-in-law says I never knowingly under-cater.
Sharing food with friends and family is one of the many joys in life.


The winter room (our little snug upstairs) will be dusted.  Miss Haversham like, it goes against the grain; however we will need to see our cards in the gloom in order to cheat our grandchildren out of their pocket money.
The fire will be lit, and as usual after three minutes, windows will be flung open  
"Far too hot in here!" 
It all adds to the ambience.  Or in other words the alcoholic fug.


Saturday evening when they roar off down the hill, I will wave until their car lights dim into the distance.
Wandering back I will breathe a huge sigh of contentment overlaid with an even bigger groan of...
'Glad that's over!'

Friday, 18 February 2011

I strode down the high street with arms full of carrier bags...

looking for all the world like I'd be more at home, sat under a tree with a bottle of VP sherry in a brown paper bag.








Impervious to peoples' stares, I staggered into the car park, stuffed the booty in the back of my oh so trendy, scratch black Smart car (What makes you think I LOVE MY CAR?) and dived into Waitrose to do the weekly shop.
Tramps don't do a weekly shop I know, but I'm trying to paint a picture with words...
so bare (or is it bear?) with me. Okay?


Trolling round my bestest in the www supermarket I got in the way of a young woman.  I could see her in my periphery vision; as I negotiate my way through life in this manner why change tactics in a super-duper store.  Elephants in china shops springs to mind.  As I turned to apologise she said that she had watched me walking up the high street as she drove by and thought...
Wait for it...
how elegant I looked and that she loved my outfit.........
What?
Bag lady me, down and out, not even in London nor yet Paris.  I ask you!  What's the blooming world coming to?

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Simon used to call me Lady Docker, can't think why?



Answers on a postcard...




that or Hat.




Oooooh Matron!

I'd really no idea of what he was on about.

Really LL?  No idea?
Oh alright then, perhaps a little!

Although 'current Hubs'*, 
says I'm a force to be reckoned with.

(being the expression of the lovely Viv of
Hens Teeth - if your haven't visited her blog you must!)
It made me roar when I read that expression.

If I'm honest and I always am;  
regrettably I can see exactly where they were coming from.













Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Has anybody thought if Alan Bennett had...







a son it would have to be...


Nigel Slater.





I love them both, as Kenny Everett would say...
'in the best possible taste!'


Alan Bennett's prose leaves me weak at the knees.  The effortless words on the page seem to flow oh so smoothly, hitting the spot with barely a ripple.
His Yorkshire humour has me in thrall.  That all pervading air of grumpiness makes me smile.  
Visiting WSD in Camden, I lurked about, waiting on street corners hoping to catch a glimpse of him on his bicycle; raincoat flapping, looking for all the world like an ageing undergrad.
Why hasn't he been knighted?  Perhaps he told them where to put it - I do hope so.  Although I want the wider public to know his work and to appreciate him before he kicks the bucket.


Nigel has lots of the same qualities with the added bonus of loving food, a quality that I don't think can be applied to Alan Bennett.  
His recipe books have been a constant companion in my working life.  The Observer Food Monthly I always look forward to.  On Sunday his reference to coriander reminded me of the funny story I touched on in an earlier blog.
Every magazine seems to feature his recipes.  His lovely lived-in face is comfortingly at odds with other arch, botoxed-enhanced tv presenters.  Hand on heart would you entrust your time and money on the recipes of anyone that has poison injected into their visage?


***


The 'boys' youthful good looks...
Anything to do with neither of them having the worry of a wife I wonder?



Tuesday, 15 February 2011

A leaf of coriander clapped between...



finger and thumb, the 'Royal' personage demanded in imperious tones


"What is this?"


Standing my ground at the onslaught 

"Coriander."  
I replied, conveniently forgetting the Ma'am!


"We don't like it!"


With that, I realised all dishes from now on, were not to include this most flavoursome of herbs.


Weird the things that spring into your mind out of nowhere.


Looking back I realise I've been blessed with the life I've led...
the good, bad and sad.  


Hand on heart I've tried, 
yes, I've tried to relish every minute.  It hasn't always been easy.


Glass half full woman - that's me.




I've got the music, I've got the lights
You've got the figure full of delights
Lets get together the two of us




over a glass of champagne.













Monday, 14 February 2011

Lettice's birthday...


today she is thirteen years old.




She arrived from a dog pound in Wales in August 1998.




She was six months old, skin and bone and the most scared little dog you ever did see.
She had been beaten and kicked, everything spooked her; she wouldn't walk on a lead, children frightened the living daylights out of her.  She didn't know the meaning of toys, playing, having fun.  She has been my most faithful and devoted furry friend. 


She is now a normal happy bouncy dog, a little timid and shy, a trait she obviously gets from me!


She loves her toys and adores watching the television, politics were she growls if she doesn't approve of the message they are peddling. Formula One motor racing and the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall are particular favourites.  And of course wild life programmes.


When Simon was dying she kept me sane.  Together we nursed him at home until the final morning in August 2000 he died.  I lifted her up to his body for her to sniff, in order for her to know he was dead.  
From that day on she never looked for him - she knew.



Sunday, 13 February 2011

BIG PINK KNICKERS prey on my mind...

when oh when... 
is the day I decide to don mine?


You may laugh!  
Do I rush out and buy them now and stash them away in my bottom drawers?
You may laugh...
I can't sleep at night for worrying.
I saw some in a charity shop in our county town of Maidstone
You may laugh...
Yes, MAIDSTONE - County town? Never!
Not on your nelly...
shouldn't it be Royal Tunbridge Wells!
Trouble was I DIDN'T buy them,  I should have I know that now, but I DIDN'T.
They were in fragrant, mint condition, original wrappers, swing ticket price of half a crown.
Dusty I grant you, but then so would you be, to have survived in a bombed out Ladies Outfitters.
He who hesitates is lost.
I know, I know, I KNOW!
My big worry is, when I awake to a thunder-clap "TODAY'S THE DAY" I may have to resort to ebay.  Now don't get me wrong I love ebay.  However the thought of buying pink bloomers with miles on the clock isn't particularly inviting. 

Saturday, 12 February 2011

You know you're old when...

you pine the loss of your teddy bear.
I still get a lump in my throat when I think of his face squashed on one side where I hugged him so tight.  His broken green button eye.  The pen marks on his leg where I used him as a patient to operate on. 
Where oh where, did I lose him?
For the life of me I can't remember.  Was it when we renovated the chapel in Kent?  Did he get left in the Highlands after 5 years of living off the land.  On the farm near York?  God knows!  My worry is, he's deep, deep down in land-fill in some God forsaken place.  Will I as I'm just about to croak, be re-united with him?  I do hope so!


You know you're old when...
you start collecting soft toys.




You know you're old when...
  the producers of tv programmes have ne'er a care to the  sound volume of their programmes. 

You know you're old when...
 fellers don't walk into lamp-posts as you pass by.

You know you're old when...
 you get great satisfaction from a washing line full of clothes flapping in the breeze.

You know you're old when...
you watch Gardeners' World on telly on Friday night, instead of being out on the razz.

You know you're old when...
only the second fan letter you write in your entire life is to...
Alan Bennett.

You know you're old when...
offered a night-cap you think Ovaltine or Horlicks?

You know you're old when...
you start to wear knickers.


You know you're old when...
you don't have to go to the hairdressers for highlights,
God's done the job for you.

You know you're old when...
you look forward to curling up in bed with a good book.


You know you're old when...
the guy in the ticket office doesn't ask you if you have a student railcard.


You know you're old when...
you hate having your photograph taken!



















Friday, 11 February 2011

I get no kick from champagne...





Oh yes I do!




Yesterday, boy did I have a strop on.  


Thursdays are good days for me because I have a day at home, without any call to go anywhere.  No aqua, no sewing class, no shopping, no nothing!  I love it, just being.  I usually get holed up in my studio, ipod or radio 4 playing and I make stuff or at the very least try to.  The only cotton-picking thing I did, was make a little brooch (a long story, which I won't bore you with now).  Got that done and parcelled up ready to take to the post office after luncheon.  Next job to do was to finish off the hessian roman blind that I had hoped to complete in class on Tuesday.  We have a genie in this house, well it is over 300 years old (the house silly, not the genie). On second thoughts the spirit might have taken up residence when it was a new build.  Anyhow this little devil makes things disappear and I'm constantly looking for them.  I selected Rumer on my ipod and settled down to get the stab stitching done.  Two minutes in, I thought are these measurements right, cos I'd already been told off by teacher in class and was very, very afraid to get it wrong; especially as she's coming round next week for us to decide the final decision on the floor plan for our 
kitsch and stitch fair   'Boom - Boom!'





On my return from measuring the window in the office upstairs, I couldn't find the remote, Hubs helped me look, the blooming thing is still absent without leave.  My B.P. was rising, the day was slipping by without me getting a lot done.  
I went up to the village to post the little parcel and just had to check in 'Village Life' our fantabulous shop to check out whether the summer linen had arrived.  I have to get there early because all the larger sizes go fast - not that I'm LARGE you understand.  On my return from seeing Kate, Hubs is usually found cowering behind the sofa - can't think why?  This time he needn't have worried, my purse stayed firmly in my pocket together with Maltesers in one side and teacakes in t'other.  They just don't seem to make clothes large enough these days, it's probably the high cost of marquee weight linen.


After half a toasted teacake and tea, I'm at a definite, not very happy loose end... what to do next... I know...


ffff... felting






I had received a superb consignment of colours of the rainbow felt from The Felt Fairy which I decided to felt in the washing machine, following the instructions on Annie's blog. .  What a success that was...
the top four colours are beautifully shrunk and knobbly.  Shrinking that easy?  Pity they don't make washing machines woman size, not sure about the wrinkly effect though, I'm already managing that perfectly well on my own.




Next irritating thing was my new camera, don't get me wrong it's a lovely camera, however I DON'T DO INSTRUCTION BOOKS, 





especially those written for children - they're far too technical.  


Today a busy day, a work-out it's called housework, dog walking, aqua-aerobics, shopping, by which time it'll be time for a glass of whine and a bag of wotsits.


I've woken up this morning with...
wait for it...
a sodding spot...
where?
On my BLINKING eye!
Now I've had some spots in some places!  Never there though.
Look on the bright side LL, you have a perfect excuse to sport a dashing black eye patch just like Capt. Jack Sparrow....Aaaaaaaah...
Johnny Depp... my bossoms are busting from me corset at the thought!



Thursday, 10 February 2011

Boobs set to escape from me cozzie...





looking for all the world like bouys marking lobster pots. 
I wouldn't mind, but once their out they're the devil's own job to get back. 


Heidi, fellow bad girl and dieter on the back row of our aqua class is ALWAYS talking about  BLOOMING losing weight.




"Put the scales in the back of the cupboard, don't keep jumping on them every morning!"
says I, an old hand at this dieting lark.
She nodded sagely in agreement, well as sagely as you can, up to your neck in chlorinated water.  That was last Friday morning.


This morning I bobbed across to my studio in my nightie to retrieve my scales from their heidi-hole and guess what?


What a blooming 'waist' of time that pearl of wisdom was cos


I'VE PUT ON 2 POUNDS!







And another thing - what was the first thing she said to me today?





"I haven't lost any weight!"  


With my eyebrows shooting off the top of my head, she suddenly realised that she'd blown her cover. 



I didn't say a word...
Well you would'nt, would you, with your leg in the air?


Wednesday, 9 February 2011

With a chin like a cactus...

by the rays of the rising sun I sit and have a quiet pluck.

Of all the ravages of time, the one I resent the most, is the proliferation of prickles on me chin.  Armed with my shocking pink tweezers and magnifying mirror I go to war.
Which to tackle first - the black ones, lying in wait in the folds of my many and various chins?  Or the tough white little buggers with the evil attitude of hemp weathered too long at sea? 

After a party or social occasion, where you 'may have' been chatting to a lovely man, you catch a sight of, glinting evilly on your carefully made-up face,  an 'ORRIBLE 'AIR!

"And I thought he was gazing fascinatingly into my face with wonder"
Yes he was... however (that word again)...


he just couldn't take his eyes off the one and only thorn, in my otherwise immaculate armour.  

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

I'm like a fart in a colander...

looking for a hole to get out!


 Tonight after aqua aerobics I apologised to the teacher for mucking about.
"Linda you always mess around, you never do it properly!  And anyway in a sea of faces, yours is always smiling."
That folks, sums me up...
The founder member of 'The That'll Do School of Life'.
I've breezed through the years with a devil may care attitude.  All well and good when you're young, a blooming pain at 60 + and still acting like a daft tart. 












Sunday, 6 February 2011

With a 'beer gut the size of the National debt' ...



can anyone tell me why Jeremy Clarkson,
Richard Hammond - 'Come fly with me' - face of Elvington Aerodrome,
and  James May 'Leg Over' Lego Man
hold the big bods of the Beeb in a thrall? 

I'm fully aware that I would appear to some as a cross between 


Mary Whitehouse
and 
Digusted of 


Tunbridge Wells.

HOWEVER...
A couple of weeks ago I posted my thoughts on Top Gear,
after letting it run for a couple of days I got cold feet and thought LL
don't be controversial,  go back to your sewing, act your age and anyway blogging, like polite conversation shouldn't include Race, Religion or Politics.
I deleted it!

Never a shrinking violet me...
I thought stuff that, I'm going in... again...
I did feel slightly vindicated when the story of the above three loons opening their mouths and putting their size 12, 6 and 9 feet respectively therein.
Let it wash over you LL, don't rise to the bait;  don't let the fact the powers that be at the BBC are wasting OUR money on toss-pots like this.  
Be calm concentrate on your crochet.

TROUBLE IS I CAN'T... 
I HAVE REALLY, REALLY tried BUT I FRIGGING CAN'T.

If you need a more measured view on my feelings read Steve Coogan in today's Observer.  If you haven't bought it, read it on-line.


Friday, 4 February 2011

The cobbler mopped my tears with a shabby chamois...

I fell out of the shop with the promise of 
"I'll do what I can love, leave 'em with me"


Having left them NOTHING got done.  No surprise there!

I ought to tell you that these slippers hail from Turkey, they've been with me, woman and girl for eight long years. A day has never passed when they haven't been at the end of each of my sturdy legs.  Tell a lie, they have had to go for a little light bottom work.  This time though it looked as if they'd finally curled up their toes and gone to the great Turkish Delight in the sky.  I hawked them around Kent in the vain hope we could find a cure.  Now the trouble is NO ONE  takes me seriously (can't think why?)  I got fobbed off wherever I went. 
Bring in the big guns I thought, so Hubs went along to the places I hadn't been barred from. HE gets taken seriously (can't think why) and guess what, the snob decided he would have a try.  With great sucking in of breath through teeth, he declared it would cost a lot.  Now Hubs knows a good thing when he hears it, and the wherewithal to win undying adoration was just too good to pass up.  The job was a goodun.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

I don't want them to die I plaintively cried...

the three regular readers of my blog will know I'm a bit of a madam.
Stood in the snobs (old word for a cobbler) I gripped the counter with my grubby little paws looking for all the world like Mr Chad (if you're old you'll know who I mean).
I could feel my Violet Elizabeth gene about to break out.  Whether he could tell and didn't want a mess on the floor I'll never know.  Slipper Shod Mission Impossible was about to take off. 

Look, you'll have to wait for the sequel cos I'm just off out to meet my kitsch and stitch partner in crime.  I know it'll be difficult - just be PATIENT. 

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

It is getting so EXCITING...

Well more to the point - I"M getting so excited.

Why?

Because...

We have so many lovely crafts and kitsch collectors coming to our fair.

No bought-in 'craft' TAT...

Oh dear me...

NO!


A must for your diary...

Saturday 7 May 2011

The Vestry Hall - Cranbrook - Kent
10 am - 3 pm

Teas and luscious cakes served all day by 
Hospice in the Weald

Debs and I look forward to seeing you there.