Sunday, 7 May 2017


Greetings from France where I'm posting from my mobile, (phone and home!) for the first time....I almost feel like a roving reporter!

The French are at the polls today and business appeared to be brisk at the village mairie where the locals go to cast their vote.  After last week's TV debate, the opinion polls suggest Macron has it in the bag, but we know how wrong they can sometimes be!  We'll find out soon enough.

I left the UK last week with a chest infection and since my arrival here have been struck for the first time ever with conjunctivitis.  What a revolting thing that is!  To say that I'm not feeling (or looking) my best would be an understatement.  I've also just discovered that I'm out of gaz and as everything closes on a Sunday at midday, there'll be no hot water or cooking for me later.

I've friends joining me shortly for an apèro....who needs gas anyway?

Santé !

Friday, 28 April 2017

Five On Friday - A Very Ordinary Week

 It's FOF time and yet again I don't have much to say.  I am happy to report that Sandy, my foster cat has now left me for his 'fur'ever home and is doing well.  I'm missing having him around but I'm sure there'll be a new furry visitor soon enough.  Anyways with no exciting happenings to share I'm posting a brief synopsis of my week, head on over to Tricky's FAST blog to check out more FOF's.

Following a night shift that finished at 6am I struggled out of bed at 11 and one mug of tea later shot into town for some shopping.  Having entered the multi-storey car-park I was pissed off to find that they are now charging on a Sunday!  First stop was Poundland. 

 I'm off across the channel soon and scooped up a few items that'll be useful. 

The Coppertone sun tan cream was only 50p...wondering now why I didn't buy two!

These jeans I scored in a charity shop for £4 will be coming too.

 And I invested in some new cosmetics at Boots.  

I saw this two step mascara advertised in a magazine.  First you apply one end...a seemingly normal mascara, then use the other end which adds fibres to give mega (clumpy) lashes.  So far I like it, not cheap though at £10.99. 

Later on I finished this mini cat blanket...I'm finally starting to make serious inroads into my yarn stash!

 You can see below that I'm very lazy about my hair and only have some dark low-lights put in every few months....January 3rd was the last time!  However I've noticed the barnet is getting badger-like faster and faster....(quelle surprise, I am knocking on the door of fifty five) so it was off to Gorgeous, the local hairstylist, that I went.

 Making me gorgeous is a tall order these days, I didn't lose all my grey but they've made me more presentable for a while.

Jesus!...I look like Dumbo in these pics.


A pub lunch at The Red Lion with my octogenarian friend Pauline.  We were so busy yakking that I forgot to take a photo of the two of us. 

Was extremely busy!  In the morning I swung by my regular Knit and Natter group, where Gilly was celebrating a big birthday.  We had a whip round and bought her a clematis which bears her name, the label said  'good in all positions' which she declared was just like her!

  Next stop was my French lesson and later that evening my friend Jill came over for dinner.  As usual.. too pissed busy nattering to remember to take a snap!


Saw me occupied with packing for my forthcoming trip to France.

Politically, the French are going through turbulent times with a general election looming and  the two mainstream parties not in the running for the first time since the sixties. Here's Brit comedian Paul Taylor, a regular on French TV, sharing his thoughts on La Politique. 
(If you're offended by the F word, I suggest you give it a miss)

à bientot  (my computer is objecting to the circumflex!) et bon weekend!

Friday, 7 April 2017

Five On Friday - Not a Bad Week

It's been a while, but really there's not been much of interest to blog about. Truth be told there still isn't but let's face it, life isn't rock n roll most of the time.  Anyway, I thought I should pitch up and post something in case you all forget about me, so here's the good bits about my week thus far.  Don't worry it'll be a quick post so I don't bore the pants off you! 

In my last post I mentioned the cat I was fostering.  Poor Sandy is still with me as he had an adverse reaction to his thyroid medication and I had to rush him to the vet where he stayed for several days.  I'm happy to report that he is much improved now and I brought him 'home' on Tuesday.  I was delighted to see him settle back in after firstly having a good old sniff around his litter tray, it obviously passed muster as he promptly left a large deposit! 

Also this week I was pleased to finish my random coloured stash-busting blanket for the local hospice, which I delivered yesterday.  

On Wednesday I went shopping for a shalwar kameez, also known as a Punjabi suit, (so the proprietor of the shop informed me) and was chuffed to find one at half price that fits me like a glove. I've been invited to a colleague's Walima next month and Indian/Pakistani dress is de rigueur. Here's a sneak peek but I'll save the big reveal for when I'm wearing some slap!

Also purchased were these inexpensive earrings to accessorize the outfit.

Yesterday saw my weekly Knit & Natter group. Irritatingly, work interferes with my attendance but I like to go when I can.  This group of talented ladies are great company and the topics of conversation would shock you...oh yeah.  Amongst other things, R told us about the risqué words that her friend's daughter had had tattooed on her bum.  Even I gasped and nothing much shocks me. Here we all are stitching and bitching.

The final thing that put a smile on my face this week was learning that French political drama Spin was returning to UK TV screens next week. (Les hommes de l'ombre in French) I watched the first two series last year and was hooked.  Anyone else watched it?

  Spin Poster

Hope you've had a good week too.

Linking up with Tricky Wolf  (isn't it a fab name?) for Five On Friday

Monday, 6 March 2017

Signs of Spring

It actually stopped raining at the weekend long enough for me to clean the exterior of the conservatory, do a spot of garden tidying and hang out the washing.  Hoorah.

There's no doubt that Spring is almost upon us.  My Countryside Companion  informs me that this is the month when bats, dormice (sadly in declining numbers nowadays) and hedgehogs awaken from their winter sleep, toads and frogs spawn and spiders reappear...not in my house I hope! 

As the weather was mostly miserable at the weekend, it gave me a chance to knock up a card for this week's Less Is More challenge - Mainly Teal.

Items used: Cosmic Shimmer mica powders
Hobby Art sentiment
Floral stamps - freebie with magazine ??
Papers and gem from my stash

I've also been busy with crochet and my blanket is coming on nicely, which is just as well as I've a feeling I will be making a few more for feline friends.  Recently, after chatting to a colleague who fosters cats for Cats Protection I decided that I'd like to get involved and now several weeks later have my first ward, named Sandy.  He's an old boy of seventeen years and I'll be looking after him until he's adopted and moves on to his forever home.

Following the purchase of my mobile home in France last August I decided it wasn't sensible to get another cat as I'll be going out there on a regular basis. (Long time readers will remember Prudy, my beloved moggy who died almost two years ago)  But a house isn't the same without a cat and fostering seems a great way to help a charity, it's also personally rewarding and a perfect solution for me.  Luckily, Sandy is a gentle old boy and after three days of skirting around me and disappearing under the table every time I went near, he's decided that I'm not a bad sort and is now a regular fixture on my lap. Let's hope he finds a permanent new home soon.

Also linking up with
  Maggie at Normandy Life for Mosaic Monday
Crafty Addicts - Clean & Simple Anything Goes

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Back In The Game

After checking out Less Is More's current challenge this morning I scrolled back through my blog posts to discover it is no less than 14 months since I last entered.  Mojo was sadly lacking last year and although I did make a few cards, I think my mind was otherwise occupied, certainly in the latter part of the year, by all things French.  However, recently a friend of mine who co-leases a local gift shop asked if she could sell some of my cards there and this opportunity has re-awakened my creativity. 

I've made several cards similar to this for the gift shop, some with flowers and others with butterflies and I think this one fulfills the brief this week at LIM where the theme is Alphabet.  The butterfly was die-cut through several pages for a layered effect and the embossed words on the circular mat were distressed with an emery board.  I'm sure this idea was initially inspired by Pinterest or another website, so I'm not claiming the design was my own.

Butterfly die - Sissix
Scallop die - Spellbinders
Bazzill card stock
Cuttlebug embossing folder
Italian paperback book purchased at charity shop
Penny Black sentiment
All other items from my stash

I'm also linking up with
 Creative Inspirations - Anything Goes 
Stampin' Royalty - Dies

This renewed creative phase has also led to me picking up my crochet hook again.  I've been wondering what to do with the remainder of mum's yarn stash and after untangling a huge mess and rewinding into balls I decided to make another blanket for the local hospice where she died. 
 It's a crazy old colour scheme, but cheerful and as it's just a huge granny square there's no concentration required so I can crochet away while watching telly.

Prior to the blanket I whipped up a couple of face/dishcloths to stash bust some cotton yarn...honestly, it's in danger of taking over the sitting room!

Thanks to all of you who commiserated on my recent speeding offence.  I am pleased to report that I have got away with attending a Drivers Awareness Course instead of receiving a penalty, unfortunately it's in Dorset, as I live in Sussex but hey it's still better than three points on my licence.   

Hope the sun is shining wherever you are this weekend.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Five On Friday - Charity Shop Spends

The sun graced us with it's presence this week, albeit very briefly, so I took the opportunity to dash outside with my camera and draped my recent finds around the garden... it's still too dark inside for a decent photo shoot for my liking.  I've bought a few things recently, you can tell me what you think in the comments below!

 Boden shirt bought in Lewes, pricey county town of East Sussex.  I didn't try it on, although it's size 14 and I am generally a 10/12, Boden garments are usually on the small side so I took a gamble.  It is slightly too large but I can probably get away with it...or get it taken in. 

I bought this Next jacket because I liked the colour (more rasberry than the tomato of this pic!) and was fed up with looking like Drab Mary in my khaki parka.  I realize it looks boring in this photo, but once on it doesn't look too bad. I crocheted a flower brooch to add some interest, which I've forgotten to photograph. 
 I paid £4.99 but don't ask me where. 

 I stumbled across this silk Chinese robe (never worn, still with labels attached) in Dr. Barnado East Grinstead and thought it would be ideal to take to my holiday home in France.

I love the vibrant colour and embroidery and couldn't believe they were only asking £2.99.  As I was paying, the bloke behind the counter rolled his eyes and remarked ' I didn't price it!'

 I also found this French shirt in Dr. Barnado, again never worn.  The contrast fabric on the cuffs, collar and placket drew me to it, although Lord knows what I'll wear with it.  A bit of an impulse buy at £4.99!

Last up is this denim bag that I spotted just as I was leaving the Cancer Research shop, again in EG.  I've been after a denim bag for ages and although this was not really what I had in mind  it was in good condition and the right size.  Originally it had a label with the brand name on, which I thought was slightly mannish, (is it a man bag?) so I removed it and added a crocheted flower.  It's very roomy and holds camera, brolly, purse and woman stuff with ease.  I think I paid around a fiver.

As you can see, charity shop prices here in the south east are pricier than further north, but now and again there are still bargains to be had and I've the Scout and Guide jumble sale to look forward to next month...the excitement in my life just now, knows no bounds!
Found anything exciting in the chazzas yourself recently?   

Linking up with Amy for Five on Frday

Friday, 27 January 2017

Far from the Madding Crowd...

...in a county that bears villages named Piddlehinton, Shitterton and Scratchy Bottom, two old friends met for a long weekend and a very overdue catch up. 
 UK readers will know that it's Dorset I visited, more specifically the county town Dorchester, as it was a convenient spot to meet my friend V,  halfway between her home in Cornwall and mine in Sussex.

We stayed conveniently in the town centre and after non-stop chat over pizza and wine on our first night, we awoke eager to explore Dorchester.  First stop was a charity shop...(where else?) but we found nothing to tempt us and keen to get out of the Baltic like temperatures we headed for the museum.

 Dorset County Museum was established in 1845 to collect and preserve historic objects which were under threat of destruction by the building of the railways and until the late 1870's the artefacts were housed in ordinary dwellings.  At this time, collections had grown so large that it was decided to construct a purpose-designed building and the Dorchester museum opened in 1884.

 The galleried Victorian Hall displays paintings, sculpture, archaeological finds and many items of local historical interest, the floor covered at one time by these wonderful mosaics, bears only a few left in tact.

Of course, one cannot mention Dorchester without thinking of  the novelist and poet Thomas Hardy who was born, raised in and inspired by Dorset.  Hardy captured in fiction the everyday lives of common folk and the land they inhabited and in 1910 he was awarded the Order of Merit by King George V for services to literature.  

The front cover of a weekly publication which serialised Hardy's latest writings.

A replica of the Dorset Ooser which featured in 19th century local folk culture and was used to sometimes scare people for practical jokes.  However, it's main recorded purpose was to humiliate those who were deemed to have behaved in an immoral way!

After a couple of hours in the perishing cold museum we sought refuge in the nearest coffee shop and after a restorative flat white we headed back to the hotel and later enjoyed a pub meal and yet more wine and chat.

Sunday saw blue skies and after breakfast we headed to a well known market just across from our hotel.
On the way we passed through Brewery Square, a newly regenerated area where once the brewery Eldridge Pope was located.  The old brewery buildings are now being revamped into an arts facility, this redevelopment is still ongoing but the square with it's newly appointed fountains and sculpture is still a very attractive place to sit, eat and people-watch. 

We soon discovered that the 'market' was mainly a car boot sale but no matter, we enjoyed poking around the stalls and chatting to the stall holders.  It was bitterly cold again that day and buyers were fairly thin on the ground.

I bought a couple of The Observer's reference books from this seller for 50p each.  These seem to be quite collectable now, I've seen them in chazzas and junk shops for a fiver.

We had a brilliant, albeit very cold weekend in Dorchester and it was so lovely to see my friend again after five long years, the only thing to slightly marr it, was the arrival yesterday of a speeding ticket from the Dorset Police!  £100 fine and three points on my licence. Bugger.

Hope your luck this week has been better?