Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Waaay Back Wednesday

My life is not particularly riveting at the moment and I haven't felt up to posting, so, when thinking about clearing the mantlepiece to 'Christmas-fy' it, I thought "let's scan my photo". 

 
Taken c1981 at a friends' flat on the seafront in Worthing.
(Yeah, I am in there somewhere!!).
 
It's fascinating to trawl thru' Facebook and the like to see what they are doing..."W", the lass in the centre in glasses, is the one person I have kept in touch with, a mother of 5 now!!
 
"N" made the Edwardian hat the POW wore on her trip to Canada, whilst working at Cosprop; "S" worked in the making wardrobe at Glyndebourne; "R" is no longer with us (RIP to the greatest bloke); "J" has more or less retired to the Isle of Wight, having been amazingly successful as a maker...The Roly Polys, David Bowie et al have worn garments made by him; "A", I believe was married to Ruby Wax at one time! (Tho' he wasn't actually a student, but the partner of one of us!).
picture from here, which has some really interesting info on the  Klondike dress
We were a mega-talented bunch, each of us proving that you can do a vocational  course and not have to do a degree course to be successful. So many ran their own businesses, as I did for some time, and still do; theatre set designers, product designers, costume and the like.
 
 
 came into my sightline.
 
I mean, 8 million quid....an hour!
I was almost frowned upon at school for being 'arty'; doing one year in 6th form, when I had very few lessons early in the week, but every thing 'art', (art, needlework, various dance classes etc),  all crammed into Friday and Saturday morning! Damned stupid that was! But see how much the likes of 'me' can contribute.
 
Hell, yeah!
 
Zxx

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Stir Up Sunday, er no, Mix It Monday

Oh my goodness; what a palaver!
 
 
Got Mr B to 'shake' the festive mix bag of fruit and nuts from Aldi for a mini version of Stir Up Sunday as I hadn't measured out the ingredients to make my Christmas cake yesterday.
 
 
It was a bit of a shame I hadn't checked my cupboards because come yesterday I only had about a third of the dried fruit that I needed!
Arrgh!

 
Had a look through my large recipe collection in the hope of finding something I could do to salvage what I had already measured out.
Step up a print-out from Kirstie & Phils' Chrimbo programme, which was along the lines of x amount of dried fruit of any type and so forth, so that I could get the wet/dry/fat mix OK.
A very large amount of cherries, the remains of the mixed peel, some old dried apricots and even older crystallised ginger and 'hey presto' enough mixture to make a cake!
 

 
This was the final piece of last years. It was the Marion Keyes recipe, which, although very nice, was much too sweet for me.
What's the betting that this years' cake is the best ever and I won't ever be able to replicate it???
 
Zxx

Monday, 10 November 2014

What I Bought (not a lot!) & What I Wore

Other than my favourite homemade meringue and coffee I managed to restrain myself and just bought this great collection of knitting needles and bits.
 
 
Those pretty green needles are exactly the right size for my sock knitting. Having decided the 'what'll hold a lot will hold a little' idea really doesn't work for knitting needles (the phrase of being poked in the eye with a big stick comes to mind!) I am sure am chuffed to have got these; and just as I go from knitting on 4 needles to 3 too. (Which, if you don't knit really means you need 5 or 4 needles ie. your knitting is spaced over however x needles but you actually need an extra one to knit with!!
 
 
I bought this wear-around-your-neck magnifying glass from Hobbycraft, when down in Plymouth, as even with/without my glasses I am finding it increasingly hard to see the stitches. I haven't used it yet but it has 2 LED lights as well, so should work a treat! I take embroidery away with me but couldn't even suss out what I'd done next to the pattern, so gave up on it!!
 

And this is what I wore.
 
My baby scorpion earrings were a gift from one of Mr Bs' work colleagues a couple of Christmases ago. Never worn them; they were just waiting for me to get the Gudren cardi I think.  The 'fur' stole was a sale buy from Dotty Ps from a while ago.
 
See, this 'if-you-don't-wear-it-for-a-year' rule really doesn't work. If you buy it cos you love it, wear it a bit, don't wear it for a long time then bring it out again, sometimes those 'bits' just really come together. These items weren't bought separately with the idea of wearing them together; but somehow my eye just alights on things that 'go'.
 
(And please ignore the 'walker', ironing board and other assorted paraphernalia in the background. Hastily shot photos in the one bit of space I could find!)
Zxx


Friday, 7 November 2014

Saturday Diary Date

Looking forward to this tomorrow.
One of Trevors' specials and on my doorstep more or less.
Lucky me!
I stopped halfway through writing this as the village pub was having a firework display that I had forgotten about, otherwise I'd have wandered down there.
 
 I think The Saints Rugby Club also had their display too, because I could also see a whole stack of rockets going off down the end of the road!
  A proper couple of displays literally viewable right from my front door.
Pretty darn good, I'd say!
 
Lucky me again!
 
Hope you all have a lucky weekend too!
Zxx

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Holiday On A Plate

So, a week in Plymouth, been and gone. As always, much too quickly! Especially when I didn't get down there earlier in the year when the railway line has disappeared into the sea overnight at Dawlish!
 
 
Better weather than had been forecasted meant that a couple of these were consumed at the café on The Hoe at the end of our road.
 
 
This cute little fella was a logo maybe, on the alarm box of the building next to the café.
 I do like a penguin!
 
 
Freshly cooked haddock at the other end of the road.
 Bloody lovely!
 
 
Mr West Hoe Fryer himself in the black T-shirt. Always calls out 'Hello Ballet' when we come in! Which this week was three times!!!

 
More fish, this time smoked mackerel and spring onion doorsteps at The Boathouse, down at The Barbican. 

 
OMG! I wore a skirt! By the steps at The Barbican, from whence The Mayflower set sail.
 
 
Christmas lunch in a sandwich box, at the café in Dunelm. Going there was 'my treat' for the last 2-3 years, until I found out they had opened a store at home. It's good, but not the same and old habits die hard.
 

 
Sorry about the picture quality of these shots from The Walrus; dark interiors and the flash just about kills the colour, but you'll get the gist!
 
This was a proper roast beef Sunday lunch. Mr B got double mashed swede as I really don't like it, but the rest of the meal was perfect.
 


 Liver and bacon for a teatime meal. Again, totally yummy.
 
The pub has new owners and I wish them well. They deserve it!


And they have the pinkest ladies loos I have ever seen!
 
Thank goodness I tend to walk quite a lot when I am in Plymouth...otherwise I think I would have to be rolled all the way home to Northampton!
Zxx


Friday, 31 October 2014

A Skeleton Is For Life, Not Just Halloween


A favourite bracelet that hasn't had an airing for a while and has never been photo'd for my blog.


 

 
A Butler & Wilson piece of art, in my book!
  
 
You can't beat a bit of 'skull-duggery', can you?!
 

Twisted in with my homemade bracelet.


 
Such a wild necklace by Kreepsville 666, (check out that coffin-shaped name tag!), bought from Rockers England in Manchester.
 
Have a ghoulishly lovely weekend!
Zxx

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

The Prettiest Boy In Da 'Hood

I'm stuffed full of catarrh and haven't been out of the house since Wednesday, when I had an osteopath appointment in Brum.
Sadly, the one other thing I bought back with me other than a big red folder for my Holiday Grand Plan, (thank you Tcakes for alerting me to this), was a stinking cold that has given me a big red nose!!
 
Yeah, I am feeling very sorry for myself!
 
So, I am treating myself to some eye candy!
the gorgeous Micheal Praed
Y'see, Robin in Nottingham was not the first Robin I had met!

Mr B had covered on the tour of Copacabana years back and when it came to Southampton, we had the opportunity to see the show together and we walked back to the railway station with Micheal, chatting away as tho' we'd been mates for life.
He was lovely and a gent. 
 
And, following on from the previous knitting post...how do you combine knitting with Robin Hood?
 
 
With vintage Robinoid needles, of course!

knobfast???????
 Lovely red plastic needles sadly a tad too big to knit my socks on.
 
again...knobfast????
But they look great don't they?

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Sock It To Me

In what alternative Universe was I in, when I thought buying this book, (a bargainous £3.99 from TK Maxx), and having a go at knitting Japanese stitch inspired socks?
Knitted Socks East and West by Judy Sumner
 I am knitting the socks on the cover, 'Fuji', specifically because they were designed to be worn when doing a pedicure.
 
One of the 2 things that I kept doing all the time I was at my lowest ebb, (very low for a very long time!), I painted my toenails. I may not have bathed for a week or washed my hair forever, but my toenails where always dapper.
(The other thing was keeping all 'the paperwork' in order...bills, bank statements etc, all filed and tickety-boo.)
 
 
But I just can't get the 'hang' of this at all. Even when I hit a 'respite row' of just knitting every stitch, it drives me nuts!
 
To start with there are 4 needles, then you go down to 3. I bought a new set for the size and thought "what'll hold a lot, will hold a little". Big mistake as Julia Roberts says in Pretty Woman. Big, big mistake. Too much needle length. But having said that, when using two shorty needles from my stash, I am forever losing stitches off one end or the other.
 
You can see how thin the needles are next to the pencil above.

 
Also, I can't see the stitches very well with my varifocal specs, so when they drop off I just watch the rows unravel before my very eyes!
There IS a stitch pattern, but I've got to the point of if there is the right amount of stitches on each needle at the end of a row I'm happy.
 
Regia Design Line Ombre Stripe 4 Ply - Frost Colour (04480)bought from deramores
But, it is very beautiful yarn.
Designed by my beloved Kaffe Fassett.
 I am wondering, as the yarn is so lovely, that I should bypass the stitch pattern and just knit it up
 in plain knitting.
 
What do you think? Any ideas, please.
Zxx
 


Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Goddess of Magic

As always, the Trafford Centre never ceases to amaze!
 
 
Life-size marble big cats, palm trees, dolphins, guttering pipe outlets shaped as eagles...bad taste/kitsch has never had it so good.
 
 
This was the view down to the Debenhams cafe!
 
 
I don't know when it was built, but they must work hard at the upkeep, as it doesn't look shabby anywhere, that I've seen.
 (Just checked...1998, but this water feature was only put in last year).
 
 
 The fantasy character of Circe, 'goddess of magic', and her water nymphs.
She is the guardian of the water of everlasting life.
 


 
I could've sat next to that fountain for hours.
 How does that spurt work?
It also has colours going through it which is not too clear close up; but you can just see it on the end blob of the jet of water. 
 
 
Me, doing my best 'goddess' impersonation!
My little bee ear-rings came from Laura Ashley. Aren't bees supposed to be lucky charms?

Monday, 6 October 2014

Lucky Girl

I may be a lucky girl because I now own a MAC x Brooke Shields eye palette that sold out across the world on the day of its' release.
 

But I even luckier to have a wonderful partner who limped down to Selfridges in his between shows break and bought the last on in the store for me!
source
That really is lucky!
 
 
Thank you Mr B

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

October Autumn Colour Palette

The Hanging Gardens of Pennyblossoms!
 
 
 
Love the way this Virginia Creeper changes colour at this time of year.


 
Mind you, when the leaves start falling off, it doesn't half make a mess!
 
 
Centre right there are three raspberry canes that are about 9 foot high...they didn't fruit this year, so, technically, they shouldn't be pruned. But if I leave them they'll probably be in the next door neighbours' garden. (Sure they won't mind, free fruit 'n' all!).
 
 
And to end, a tiny, lonely, home-grown freesia.
Smells amazing. 
Zxx

Friday, 26 September 2014

A Little Bit More Shopping

OMG 

Converse x Missoni
I don't jump on the designer bandwagon often, if ever, really...but I fell in love with the photos I had seen of these before I came away.
So, that was that. Or so I thought.
Happened to see them in Office in the Arndale in MCR and then again today at the Trafford Centre. They actually had my size in both the dap and the hi-top, which is what I plumped for. Super Autumnal colours with just a hint of glimmer.
 
 
Missoni was the first ever proper perfume that I bought when I started earning up in London, so it has a 'thing' with my past!
 
Happy weekend!
Zxx