Friday, 28 September 2012

Charmed I'm Sure.

It's been a while since I last blogged I've had that combination of being too damn busy and feeling like I had nothing to blog about.

Also I have finally found out that I do indeed have a table at a craft fair on the 13th October so I'm sewing like a woman possessed every evening to get enough stock together for my stall!
Sunday was perfect for that as it poured with rain all day which meant I felt justified to catch up on all my I-Player viewing (Bletchley Circle, Parade's End and The Wartime Farm) whilst stitching away.

Anyway I still don't really have anything to blog about, work's been slow, I've had a crick in my neck all week, I've had a fab night out with the girls drinking cocktails and talking new jobs and wedding plans before feeding our faces on lovely Italian food, and I've finally booked a doctor's appointment to get my knee looked at.
I forgot to add these pictures to my previous post. I was very good with my pennies in Bournemouth but I did buy these few things.
Some lovely stained glass birdies, I was actually at the till waiting to pay when I spotted this in the basket of the lady in front of me, no I didn't nick it! but I did ask her where she got it and then run back and get myself one. I love it.

These mad cats eyes were 50p each = result!

A lovely green gypsy top from a charity shop for £3 and a pair of Acorn and Will earrings from a craft shop.
I loved the earrings so much I went to their website and ended up treating myself to these

Anyway on to the title of this post!

Last week Liz at Shortbread and Ginger did a post about her charm bracelet here and as it happens I had come across my charm bracelet recently and the post reminded me of that fact. I have decided to follow Liz's lead and post about my bracelet.

 I got mine for my 7th birthday from my Mum and Dad with 7 charms on it. Every year after that my parents and or my Nan bought me a charm for either my birthday or Christmas until it was full.
The crab was for cancer my birth sign, the teapot needs no explaining! The little Mexican was found in the street by my mother long before I got my charm bracelet, for years she kept saying he should be added to it but every time it was ready to go in and get more charms added he always seemed to mysteriously disappear. Finally after about 20 years he was caught forever between a crab and a flower fairy!
A beer tankard and a beer pump for my love of real ale. The gypsy caravan was from a childhood love of them triggered by the book 'Charlie' by Joan G Robinson and the t.v series 'Kizzy'.
 An elephant, well what a surprise! The globe was from my brother when I was off backpacking. The penny goes in and out of the piggy's back, much like my finances in my bank account!
The cat was for good luck and the owl was when I passed my exams and the egg that opens to show a chick because my Mum loved it and knew I would too.
A boot because I LOVE boots and shoes.The bear was the first charm my Nan bought me and I have a lasting reminder of him from the time I fell out of the back door and put my hand out to save myself and his little legs and arms went straight into my palm as I landed, ouch!
Piglet because he was my favourite from Winnie the Pooh, which was my Dad's favourite book as a child. I love the little mouse and the penny farthing too.

The wishing well was one of the original 7 charms, another charm for good luck. The cat climbs in and out of the rubbish bin and is one of 4 cats on my bracelet.
Finally a bunny and a little kitten in a basket which my Mum bought me to represent my little real life cat Benjie (called Benjamin before we found out he was a she!) She was the runt of the litter and never grew any bigger than kitten sized. When we first got her she was so tiny she fitted in the palm of your hand which was why we couldn't tell which sex she was at first. For the first few weeks my Mum used to keep her in the pocket of her apron all day to keep her warm and I used to put her in a tiny wicker basket and carry her round the house.

Basically she chose me, I think she knew a soft touch when she saw it!

I was at my friend's house standing in the kitchen drinking a cup of tea before having a look at her cat's new kittens before they were re-homed. As I stood there this little thing stumbled across the kitchen floor and clawed it's way up my trouser leg, up my side, nestled into the crook of my arm and went to sleep.
As you can imagine she had won my over from the moment she first started to clamber up my jeans!

I rang my Mum and told her she would have to come and collect me because I had a kitten asleep in my arms and I wasn't going to put it down. I think what swung it with her was the fact my friend's Dad was going to drown in a bucket any kittens that were still left when he got home (he really was not a very nice man) My friend was frantically trying to find them all homes and Benjie was left unwanted.
My Mum arrived with the cat basket thinking Benjie was going to be a normal sized kitten, instead she was presented with this teeny tiny wizened monkeyfaced black scrap!
We booked a vet's appointment that same evening and found out he was she and that the wizened face was due to conjunctivitis.Sure enough after only 2 days her eyes cleared and opened properly and her little face became furry and cat like. He also said she was so tiny she would either die in the first few weeks or live to a great age. Luckily for us she did the second and she ruled our house like a tiny benevolent dictator for 17 years!
Everyone who met her loved her, even Himself who does not do cats was soon under her spell.

Anyway I digress this wasn't meant to become a cats tale! Does anyone else have a charm bracelet? I'd love to see it if so and hear the stories behind your charms.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Sun, Sand and Steam Trains.

I am back from my annual holiday in Bournemouth and it was BLISS.

 The weather was gorgeous, I ate my bodyweight in chips, I sampled a new ice cream flavour and went on a steam train for the first time in my life.
Thursday we just mooched and did the shops and ate dinner at the Harvester on the beach, it has great views so is always rampacked full of people. I am glad to report Himself did not find a beach chair to bring home with us when we left it this time!
Friday we were hoping to catch a boat from the pier in Bournemouth to Swanage to go on the steam train but it doesn't sail on Fridays so we caught the bus instead. As it turns out the bus goes on a ferry over Poole harbour, which was a pretty novel experience seeing as it was a double decker!
The views were fantastic from the top deck though. 

We arrived bought our train tickets and a bottle of pop (Himself) nipped to the toilet (Me, the excitement was getting to me clearly!) and jumped on the train to Corfe Castle. Going out we travelled in the standard class section.

Travelling back we managed to nab a seat in the first class car.

I was just itching for Poirot to appear! Isn't it lovely? I have about 5000 pictures but I will restrain myself from posting them all.

 I have been to Corfe Castle before but many years ago now, it's a very beautiful little village so we decided to wander around rather than pay £8.50 to look at the ruins.
I got very excited because there is a Enid Blyton shop, which as it turns out was tiny and had an alarmingly large amount of merchandise with gollys on it for such a small establishment. I bought a Famous Five badge.

 We ambled about and couldn't resist the children's playpark as it had proper old school play equipment. We were having a great time until the sky did this

So instead of getting wet we decided to do this

until it was time to catch the train back to Swanage.

I was in absolute heaven at the period detail at all the stations along the line. I would have quite happily have taken all the cases home with me!

                                                        First class view darling!

Back in Swanage we had an hour or so to amble around until it was time to catch the bus back. I had to resist the siren call of the charity shops because Himself was with me and he is allergic to them, but we did do a couple of 'souvenir' (ie; tat shops) the best where Himself got told of for mocking the display of resin meercats!

Back in Bournemouth we chilled at the beach with a cheeky bottle of wine and a huge bag of marshmallows.

                        At this point I had given up trying to sort the hair out, too damn windy.

Like we hadn't had enough excitement for the day we decided to walk to Boscombe and back.

Another fortifying drink watching the sun set over Bournemouth and chips from Harry Ramsden's and I was feeling no pain.

Saturday dawned hot, hot. HOT. I went to meet my friend Alison for our annual get together. This time we went to Boscombe and walked until the heat got the better of us. After a refreshing cold drink in a lovely little cliff top cafe (where somehow we both resisted the amazing looking cakes ) She drove us to Southbourne. It's another little seaside town with just one high street full of interesting little shops. We ate lunch in the Ludo Lounge and I am ashamed to say that even though I was 'oohing and ahhing ' over the decor we were so busy yapping I forgot to take any pictures!?!
I borrowed this one off the internets.

I desperately wanted to take home the luscious deco leather armchair at our table, I had to settle for stroking it lovingly instead. The walls are decorated with loads of mirros and glass light shades from various eras and we had a happy time chosing which ones we would steal if we could.

The food was lovely too by the way.

We then had a gentle stroll up and down the high street diving into every charity shop and any where else that took our fancy. I bought a cute green blouse for £3 and some Acorn and Will earrings. I fell in love with a pair of earrings in a craft shop that were little Fab lollys but they were a heartstopping price so I put them back!
Nearly bought Vix an awesome lurex catsuit but on closer inspection it was pretty battered with a lot of pulls so I put it back too.
After Alison dropped me back at the hotel it was time for a quick change and then we walked to Westbourne to meet a friend of Himself's and her husband in The Hogshead. They not only had Newcastle Brown but it was less that £3.50 a bottle so it would have been rude not too.
We had a lovely night, I think we finally got in at 1am, not good when you have to be up for breakfast at 8am!

Sunday we checked out of the hotel and walked to the East Overcliff as I wanted to see the memorial to FLT Jon Eggings, the Red Arrows pilot who lost his life bravely steering his crippled plane away from houses and people.
It is beautiful, like a stained glass window in sculptural form. It looks different from all sides.

We then went and sat in the park where I people watched to my hearts content until it was time to get the train home, and now I am back at work ....bah.



Sunday, 9 September 2012

An Elephant, A Dodo and a KIte.

Well it's been a while but whilst I have had things to blog about I haven't seemed to have had the urge.
 Been feeling a bit meh really, you know when you feel like you are coming down with something and then nothing happens? So you almost wish you would get sick to get it over with? That.
 In fact just to show you how 'meh' I have been feeling I went into town and couldn't even muster the energy to browse the charity shops!?!

I did sign up for a sewing machine class in November though, it's about time my new machine saw some action!

My before holiday diet crashed and burned last week when I went out for dinner with friends, I did resist having a starter but when one of the specials turned out to be baked lime cheesecake that was my feeble willpower out the window!
 I had just scarfed a huge plate of one of the best lasagnes I have eaten in years before it too.....ah well it was bloody delicious.

I went out the next night to meet friends at The Star pub in Oxford. I was slightly worried I wouldn't find it as it's been a few years since I was last there, and on all of those occasions my visit was either  in the middle or at the end of a very messy pub crawl!
I was only slightly late having been distracted by a sale in Aspire (one the most lovely shops in Oxford!), then a new charity shop that had a vintage section and then I overshoot by one street which meant I had to doubleback.

The two best things about The Star?

They serve Newcastle Brown and the door of one of the cubicles in the ladies has a cat flap in it!  I kid you not.

I had a bloody brilliant evening and stayed out much later than I intended so Himself was already in bed when I got home *cough*.

Other than that I have attacked the garden getting it ready for winter and made a half arsed attempt to tidy my clothes which are forming more and more piles on the spare bedroom floor instead of going in the cupboards or drawers they belong in. It's those 'hoarder next door' tendencies in me coming out again!

I have been browsing Ebay and I bought a couple of things. One an absolute dud, I can't believe a veteran like me fell for the old  'it has a couple of small pulls at the front which are not at all noticeable when the dress is worn' line. Of course the dress arrived looking like it had been dragged through a thorn bush and then clawed by a lion just for good measure once it was out on the other side!

However I did find the 'Elephant Lamp of Wonder' as I came to refer to it when I kept texting Himself to see if it had arrived yet! I even persuaded the engineers at work to PAT test him for me when he arrived as he is an antique lampstand that has been 'adapted to modern wiring'

FINALLY the day came when the box arrived. I was just too excited when I unpacked him, smelling all delicious of beeswax polish to find...... he has no plug.


Himself went out to Robert Dyas to purchase a plug and that's as far as it got. For a week now the Elephant Lamp of Wonder has sat with a plug, some pliers and some wire strippers next to him on the table. Ho hum.

Anyway! Behold!

Isn't he beautiful?

I also finally recieved my limited edition Polly figure from 'Pirates in an Adventure with Scientists' (when oh when is that coming out on DVD??) I only ordered it in June!

                                               She's not fat she's just big boned!

And for my last 'finally' of the week.
Today it was finally sunny and windy enough to try out the mini kite I bought Himself in Hampstead.

Here I have taken a leaf out of the lovely Vix's book and am wearing nightwear as day wear.

My top started it's life as a strawberry print nightie, as you can see on someone of my height it would have been a seriously indecent nightie!?! but as I loved the print and it was very cheap I bought it and wear it as a swing top instead.

We finally figured out how to get the kite to fly much to the disappointment of a couple of dogs who had been eyeing it up as it fluttered along the ground, hard luck poochies.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime.

On Thursday I rushed home from work (via the chip shop!) and out to the cinema with Himself to see a live streaming of the the National Theatre's production of 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime'.

I have never seen a theatre production live at the cinema before and I wasn't sure how I would feel about it but right from the start I was totally engrossed.

I have to confess I have never read the book, which has recently been voted as one of the nation's favourites. I have heard of it of course, I would have had to be living under a rock not too! So I did know it was written from the perspective of an autistic boy who finds his neighbour's dog dead.

Whilst I don't claim to be any kind of expert I do have experience of both Autism and Aspergers from a good friend's son, an ex-work colleague Ben and my brother's nephew. So I was able to relate more easily than Himself to Christopher the main character.

I raise my hat high to Luke Treadway who played Christopher, his performance was absolutely extraordinary, just mindblowingly good.

There was a little piece before the play began which explained it's background and how they came up with the ideas so we could experience how things feel to Christopher. They worked closely with an advisor who was herself autistic, and I have to say the moments where they had people rushing around the stage, and painfully loud jarring music until you almost can't bear it for another moment were particularly effective to show how autistic people can get completely overwhelmed because unlike us they cannot filter everything they see and hear.

Christopher loves Sherlock Holmes so he decides to investigate who killed Wellington the dog, instead what he uncovers sends his home life spiraling out of control. I won't give any more away than that.
You can absolutely understand the points where both his parents are driven to despair, and more terribly, to furious anger by Christopher's behaviour. You feel their agony when he is distressed and all they want to do is scoop him up and comfort him but they can't because he can not bear to be touched.
Quite simply this is a wonderful production with a top notch cast and I highly, highly recommend it.