Thursday, 16 June 2016

Cinderella Syndrome

Cinderella Syndrome: that sinking feeling you have when you find the most gorgeous pair of shoes and the blighters don't fit.

Yes, I had to leave these platform beauties on the shelf last week. I crammed my size 6 hooves in these size 5 shoes and had to take a sharp reality check. Okay they 'fitted' (albeit after a significant amount of squeezing), but there was absolutely no way that I could comfortably wear them without ending up with blisters, corns and hammer toes.

Feast upon their lost beauty dear friends...

...I hope their new owner gets as much pleasure wearing them as I would have done *sob*.

But on a brighter note, I did end buying a 1970s Jeff Banks peasant-style blouse for £2.50. I could do with a few more buys like this please! As Husband wasn't around to take some photos, I've had to make do with a few selfies:

Its got the most amazing collar detail, with a cut-out button band neck that reminds me of a choker.

So what else did I buy on my charity shop travels? 

A modern cuff, which suits me fine as I like chunky, bold jewellery - accessorised below with a bespoke loom band bracelet courtesy of Haus of Monkeychild Designs... 

...and a Pyrex covered dish and enamel measuring jug.

The Pyrex dish must have been given away as a promotional item for Blue Band margarine back in the '70s. I can remember Mum using the original plastic containers with the same daisy pattern on them, to hold her cactus plants in. They were all aligned in a row on our porch shelf.

Its funny how the smallest thing can jog your memory.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Yonder Hills

The latest in surrealist headgear

Where did May go to? 

One of my favourite months passed by quicker than a rat up the proverbial drainpipe.

Work and home-life have been keeping me busy and although I kept meaning to blog I felt that I didn't have much to write about, so blogging activities were relegated to the 'pending' part of my brain.

But I'm back with a post about yesterday's trip to one of my favourite shopping destinations: Malvern Flea Market in the Three Counties Showground, nestled beneath the impressive Malvern Hills. 

Husband was on look-out for some garden chairs and having disregarded the modern ones available (.."too expensive, prefer something old"...) decided on hunting out some 'Lloyd Loom' ones instead. 

Monkeychild and Husband hot on the trail of 'old stuff'

After a quick recce of the Market he found three Loom chairs dating from the 1940s. Before resuming our browsing, we trooped back to  the car looking like a family of nutters, each carrying a chair over our heads; but as I said to Monkeychild, "Its better to be quirky than boring!".

Original label still intact!
What did I buy? Well not much to be honest. There was plenty of tempting stuff that I liked, but either the prices were too much for me (£45 for an old crate stamped with the 'Schweppes' logo? - I don't think so) or we don't have the room (1930s kitchen cupboard complete with glass panels etched with a landscape...sigh).

I even had to walk away from this old gas cooker. I like these. A lot.

I did think that one would look great in the summerhouse and would be practical too, once overhauled and running off a gas bottle. Husband was not impressed in the slightest.

Oh well, I did buy a 1970s 'Worcester Ware' tray...

 and a few 'Bestway' knitting patterns:

Not much really. However, I was outdone by Monkeychild who used her pocket money to buy some more bottles to add to her collection.

Back home after Malvern, we chilled out in the orchard with a few beers (ginger beer for Monkeychild) in our new old chairs and very comfy they are too.

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Nettles, Newts & Broken China


Don't let the above photo deceive you - it hasn't been all sunny days in my part of Blighty recently. This week we've had rain, hailstones and frost, so today's sun has made a very welcome change. Also, the cold snap has affected some of my species surveys too. They're supposed to be carried out in spring, but at optimal air temperatures. These colder days we've been having has meant that certain surveys for reptiles and great crested newts are on hold until the weather warms up. However, I did find some cresties during a recent survey...

...cute aren't they?

Whenever weather has permitted, I've been out in the orchard mowing the grass and also trying to get our raised border and seating area finished. Its changed quite a bit since I last blogged about it here and is no longer an untidy, overgrown pile of grot, but somewhere peaceful to sit out and catch the morning sun (not very often recently!).

Husband rebuilt sections of the former greenhouse foundations and I filled in some of the voids with fragments of broken pottery and china that I've collected over the years.

I've included blue and white transfer pottery that I dug up on a Victorian rubbish dump, half a toy china tea cup found in a stream and the base of a pottery beer bottle from a derelict cottage's rubbish dump. I've collected fragments like these since I was a kid and they still fascinate me, so it was a nice touch to be able to include these.

I'm aiming to plant the border in a cottage garden style and am currently growing some sweet-pea seedlings to plant against the rustic wigwam that I made from hazel and jute rope under Dad's supervision.

We were lucky with the bench. A neighbour gave it to us as it saved him from having to chop it up. Its paint was flaking off and the exposed wood rather rough, but after I gave it a sand down and a few coats of paint, its spruced up perfectly and is comfortable too. The elephant plant stand was rescued from Mum and Dad's old summerhouse before they moved last year. It makes an ideal stand for a mug of tea or beer bottle!

There are plenty of nettles in the orchard, which gave me the chance to make some nettle soup in the week. The cooking removes any sting, and the nettles combined with potato and carrots makes for a hearty, earthy tasting soup. Honestly, it does taste good! If you fancy having a go yourself, I can recommend the recipe on the River Cottage website. 

Bon appétit!

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