Tuesday, 22 September 2009

It's auction time again

As summer draws to a close and the car booty season slowly grinds to a halt now is the time that I like to visit auction house general sales. Sometimes they are a load of old tut just like the booties but sometimes there are little treasures to be found. Last Friday we popped over to Tring Market Auctions for the viewing day of Saturday's sale ..... a bargain hunter's dream ... table upon table and box upon box of china, glass, brass, old, modern, treen, plastic, toys, books, prints and mirrors. I had a good mooch around and earmarked some lots that looked interesting and then came away to have a think about what to bid. The secret of buying at auction is to work out in your mind the maximum price that you are prepared to pay and STICK to it! It's so easy to get carried away when attending the auction in person but now there is a facility to leave online bids so I took advantage .... I left four bids on one lot of linens & textiles, one lot of collectors Christmas plates, one lot of mixed china and glass and two lovely prints. Leaving bids online left me free on Saturday to go to the car boot and do some shopping and then it was just a matter of a telephone call to see if I had been successful .... and I had. The box of linens was mine so all I had to do then was pop back to the auction to pay and collect. Here they are .... all freshly laundered and pressed ..... embroidered table covers, place mats, napkins, table runners, tray cloths, Viking rugs from Norway ... I find this strangely satisfying and will be keeping some for home use and re-cycling others. There will also be some put up for sale in my blogshop ... if anything catches your eye please let me know.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Memory Lane and a surprise in the park

Back in February this year I was a blogging virgin so to speak ..... whilst browsing through a copy of Country Living I spied an article on the Vintage & Handmade Fair which gave info on the blogs of the lovely ladies who organise the event. That was the start .... from there I found the Shabby Chic Cafe which is a fantastic forum frequented by some really talented ladies from all over the country and we all have crafting interests and family life in common. There was I deriding my girls for sitting on Facebook and now I find myself with another addiction and the laptop is never too far away from the sewing machine or knitting basket. One of the SCC ladies saw me mention Putteridgebury on my post about my son's wedding and commented that she knew it well from her childhood and from there things have snowballed. It turns out that although she now lives counties away her early schooldays were spent just up the road from me and indeed at the same primary school that my grand-daughter now attends .... what do they call that ??? Serendipity?? Anyhow I set about taking some pictures of the school and area for her together with a comparison on how it looked in days gone by. Some things hadn't changed much thankfully. Don't get me wrong change is a good thing and we have to move on but I hate things that have changed just for change's sake and that are not part of a natural evolution. Here are some of the photos:

In our local park there is a graffiti wall (with permission of LA) and it changes on a weekly basis ..... this week this appeared and it looks stunning in close up.

Lovely bib giveaway

Just found this new blog at Sew Scrumptious who is generously having a giveaway of one of her lovely handmade bibs. I know there are lots of us nannies out there with new babies and mums to be so why not take a visit.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

A very satisfying day .....

Today I received my first blog award from the lovely Caroline over at What's Happening at My House and I am chuffed to bits.

Now comes the tricky bit .... I have to list ten happy memories and when you get to my age it's hard to whittle them all down and sometimes remember everything ! Nevertheless I will have a go.

1. This wonderful couple were my paternal grandparents Norman and Lizzie Ellen Scowen ...... when I was a child they used to bundle us grandkids up and take us off most summer weekends to go camping on the east coast, usually Jaywick, Clacton or Lowestoft. These times are the most vivid memories from my childhood ..... carefree days of fishing, cockling, kite flying and building sandcastles on the beach. Grandma was a bit of a hard woman probably because she had to be during the war years when she was left on her own with six children. Grandad was a gem .... he was funny and I don't ever remember seeing him down in the dumps ..... he would be 100 years old now and they were married for 66 years when they both passed in 1996.
2. Beach Belle .... aged 4 ..... look at the lovely beach huts in the background.

3. Has to be during my High School days ..... my friend Karen and I went on a youth hostelling trip to Somerset ..... we told our parents porkies that it was an equal mix of boys and girls but it wasn't we were the only girls!! We had a great time and I only spilled the beans to my mum a couple of years ago. No photos of this sadly as it would have blown our cover.

4. Bridesmaid to my work friend Vicky when I was 18 .... of for the days BC (before children) .... note the 70s favourite velvet jacket worn by my then fiance and now husband

..... do you like my Purdey haircut .... cost me a fortune in Vidal Sassoon.

5. Another wedding ..... this time ours on 3rd November 1979

6. This has to be the births of my four lovelies in 1982, 1984, 1986 and 1988

7. Family holidays in Dorset when I was slim (sigh)

8. When my dad retired in 1998 he took us all to Portugal on holiday .... sixteen in total ..... my brother and sister and their families and all six of us ..... it was the first time we had all been away together and we still talk about it now. On our last family holiday together last year the empire had expanded to 24 of us .... this was to celebrate my 50th birthday and we rented a lovely old manor house in Charmouth, Dorset.

9. The births of my grandchildren in 2004, 2007 and 2009.

10. Last but not least my very latest memory ...... my son's wedding last weekend (see previous post)

Now I have to pass this on to a fellow blogger .... I have thought long and hard and have finally decided to give this award to Cathy at Menopausal Musing .... her blog is always a joy to read, it is a riot of colour, clever and oh so funny ...... she brightens my day with every post.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Just a quickie

For all you camper van fans here is a link to a competition to win one of the little beauties


Been a bit of a lazy blogger but have a good excuse ..

On Saturday we awoke to brilliant sunshine and just look at the blue sky. This was the setting for the wedding of my number two son .... Putteridge Bury House ..... a history of this lovely old building can be found here
Here is the happy couple

OOps no sorry that's Ellie's dolls ... her auntie Lala found the wedding suits in the Baby Born section of Toys R Us and we just had to have them for the big day.
This is the real happy couple

This is the before shot of a very nervous groom and best man ...... my boys (well they are still boys to me!)

The other happy couple in my life .... the grandchildren

The sun was so bright we had to improvise with Jack's headgear ..... I can't believe he is 7 weeks old today already
The princesses

My two lovely daughters and SIL

We moved onto the bride's home village for the reception .... everything ran like clockwork and we had a brilliant day. Her dad had secretly arranged for a firework display and we all lit chinese lanterns and watched them float into the night sky later in the evening.
I want to know now who turned summer off .... since Sunday evening it has been dull, damp and windy and here I sit at 7.15 pm and it's getting dark ..... I hate the dark nights and mornings and start to go into hibernation mode. I do however have a lovely new form of foot warmer in the shape of a little black bundle of furry mischief called Ruby .... a cocker spaniel .... we collected her on Sunday afternoon and she has made herself right at home already as you can see .... Molly has taken to her and has no choice in sharing her bed as the cheeky little madam just jumps in and gets comfy. She is booked for her first vaccinations tomorrow.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

It's oh so quiet ..... shhhh ...... shhhhh

In the words of Bjork ....... listen ..... can you hear anything ...... no nor can I (tee hee) ..... they are back at school !!!!

I was so excited I've been up since half five and had the house cleared before they arrived for the school run ..... I can think again and now must get my head around a good de-cluttering and finish some projects that are gathering dust in various corners of the house. This is one of them ..... I've been crocheting some flowers from this gorgeous book to make a replica bouquet for our friend who got married last month.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

A day of mixed feelings and a fond farewell

It's here at last ..... the final day of the summer holidays for my lot and an achievement for me as there has been so much going on at Lala Towers over the past six weeks. We started off in the first week with the arrival of our third grandchild Jack who made my day today with the biggest cheesiest grin ..... I was sticking my tongue out at him (try it yourself from around 5 weeks they will watch and copy you) and it felt wonderful!
We had a wonderful wedding to attend in early August and we're currently preparing ourselves for the wedding of number two son on 12th September. My Gok Banger Buster arrived today (not that I need it with my bazookas) and I'm all set now for the big day.
Week three was knee replacement week for husband and although it is healing well he is in a lot of pain and at times is being a right pain (in my butt). Doesn't look as though he'll be off his crutches in time for the wedding but we should be able to prop him up for the photos!
One of my minded children starts big school tomorrow and bless her she arrived this morning with this lovely bouquet and a box of cakes to share with the other children. She has been with me for two & half years and the change in her has been amazing ..... my gift to all the children who leave is an album of photos of their time with us for them to look back on as they grow. We will still see her again in school holidays but for the time being it was a fond farewell till the end of October.
I can sew, knit and crochet but I'm no flower arranger ..... when I undid the cellophane on the bouquet I was stunned to see three gorgeous cabbage stems ...... I've had ornamental cabbages in the garden but have never seen them in a flower arrangement and they look absolutely stunning. It looks like Kew Gardens round here at the moment with these and the other flowers we acquired on Monday at the Flower & Produce Show. I'd run out of vases so I had to use the jug from a wash set that I usually keep on top of the larder cupboard because I don't want the small people to break it. It is a lovely flow blue design called Tom Tit and has delightful little birds on it .... it was made by the Methven factory in Scotland in the 1890s and is quite rare.