Saturday 26 March 2011

Trousers, Gardening and Magnolia.

What a glorious week it has been weatherwise, sod's law I was back at work and spent most of it buried in the bowels of the library. I did go to a local garden centre on my afternoon off and had a blissful time browsing about. I have also been outside most of today and am now soothing my aches in places I didn't know I had with a large glass of Pinot Grigio *BLISS*
The magnolia in my garden has burst into bloom.

This is not the magnolia in my garden, but the amazing ones in the garden at Worcester College in Oxford. Another thing that brightens my walk to work each day at the moment.
I did say there was a story behind the magnolia in my garden didn't I? My lovely neighbour Doug (84) told me that it was planted by the owner of this chemists shop in town who was the first person to live in this house when it was first built in the 1930's

It was a huge tree which had to be cut down before we moved in. Previous tenants had tried to put a swing in it and broken a big branch which let rot set in. Poor Doug was heartbroken to see such a glorious big tree cut down.
As you can see from the stump it must have been a pretty impressive tree. Anyway when we moved in we had many many MANY issues to sort out with the house due to the previous tenant. (Who I think I would still have to slap incessantly if I ever had the misfortune to meet her in the street, even now, 5 years down the line.) So the garden didn't get my attention for a while. By the time I started to tackle the jungle the magnolia had started to shot from the bottom of the trunk, as you can see from the above picture. I thought they were probably suckers and was going to cut them off but my Dad persuaded me to leave them. Wise man that he is, he thought they could be trained into a decent shrub with a load of TLC. So that is what I did, and 4 years down the line I was rewarded with half a dozen flowers. I don't know who was more thrilled Doug next door or me.

This year it's a sight to behold!   
It also smells delicious outside thanks to these bargainous, end of season hyacinths I got last year.

I garden by my Nan's philosophy 'never give up too soon on anything' and thought I'd risk buying them and they have most certainly rewarded me :-)

So to the trousers mentioned in the title. I bought the first pair for £2. They were too big but I loved the style and the button feature at the front.
As a rule I look like a sack of lard in wide legged trousers. Basically I don't have a waist, so I just look WIDE all the way down, but I have found a couple of pairs whose cut just seems to work for me and these are one of those pairs so something had to be done to make them fit! It was a damn fiddly job, even my Mother (a seamstress by trade) thought I was nuts but here are the results.

I'm not going to show you the inside of the waistband because it's not very pretty but who but me is going to see that? Of course I washed and ironed them before I started working on them DOH. Obviously they now need to be ironed again.

This is the other pair. I bought them for 99p on Ebay. When they arrived, to be blunt they smelt. Turns out they were labelled 'dry clean only' which the seller hadn't listed or I must confess, I wouldn't have bothered to buy them. However on checking the material (polyester/viscose) I decided to risk them on a cool wash and they came out absolutely fine and smelling fresh and lovely. Result! Haven't tried them on yet so they could be sack of lard trousers for all I know. We shall see.
I did pick up a lovely lace dress yesterday but it is cream. I think I shall see what the cut is like and if it fits well I may post a picture on here and get the concensus on colour. My skin tone doesn't do pastels/pale colours so if I love it I may try dyeing it. I'll let you know.


  1. oooh I do love seeing Magnolia and blossom! I'm in the same position there was so much to do inside the house - still is really but getting there - that I have abandoned outdoors but this year it's the garden. We have a moss covered lawn & no plants :o( So it's starting from scratch for me!

  2. Urgh moss, I have been raking and raking the stuff up. Seems to be a particularly bad year for it.

  3. I love the story behind your magnolia tree, no wonder your neighbour was so happy. Our lawn has suffered a moss attack too, so its now more moss than grass!

  4. I love the fact you know the story behind that glorious tree!

  5. You're so lucky to have a magnolia, particularly one with such history. Well done to you and your Dad for giving it a chance to reassert itself! Its wonderful to know a bit of history about the house you live in.

    Good job with the trousers - I reckon more than half the stuff labeled 'dry clean only' can be laundered - which half, though, eh?

  6. My garden is neglected at the moment. I need to work part time. Your trousers look fab. xx

  7. Oh I love magnolia, it's one of my favourites.

    Enjoyed rummaging through your blog and nosying round your kitchen. Love the flying ducks. I've got some modern aluminium type ones in our loo but they're not half as good as the originals.