Sunday 26 August 2012

Pigs, Parrots and an Epic Shoe Fail.

It's the August Bank Holiday weekend and that can only mean one thing (other than a precious extra day off work!) Stonor Park craft fair.

Himself does not do craft fairs and disappeared off to Kent for a party. So I took myself off to stay with my parents and be fed to within a very inch of my existence by my Mother. Seriously my poor stomach, I don't think I will ever feel hungry again ever!

The craft fair was as huge and as good as ever. I spent some but not all of my pennies (every Friday I put £1 aside for Stonor and any I don't spend goes back into the fund for the next year)

You may recall last year I bought an iron warthog for my garden, Nephew Number One named him Pumba after the one in 'The Lion King'. Well it now seems that Pumba is actually a she not a he.

 I'm going to have to think of a new place in the garden to display Mama and babies :-)

How amazing are these giraffes? and no I didn't come home with one, it would take a hella lot of Friday one pounds to afford one of them!

I also fell in love with this bracelet. It's very kitsch which is very me, so I tried it on and refused to take it off! (I did pay for it)


Other than that I bought this bird and flower jug and ceramic hanging cat.

We had lunch and watched some of a 'birds of prey' display which was funnier than it was meant to be because the hawk took off and headed straight for the hog roast!

The show ground and indeed Stonor Park itself is in a dip in the Chiltern Hills so you can get some amazing skies as weather fronts move in and boy was one moving in. Inevitably It went from this dramatic sky

to torrential rain!     

None of us had coats so after half an hour of sheltering and no let up we decided to call it a day and head for the car. Much nicer to sit inside with a big mug of tea with welsh cakes and fresh strawberries whilst the storm raged thunder and lightening outside.

I got home to a package. A bag I won on Ebay for the princely sum of £3.73 including postage. I can't even remember how I came across it but I just loved it. I did have that panic after I won it that it was going to arrive and be hideous, you know beads, sequins etc and I'm sure some people here will think it is hideous but I like it.

I shall finish up with my epic shoe fail. I am looking for two things right now. A pair of black ballet type pumps for work and a new pair of black riding style boots after my beloved pair fell to bits on my feet, literally. *weeps*

I saw that Office had a sale on (you know where this is going don't you?) I went on the website to have a look, and I did find a pair of boots I liked, but sadly they were sold out. Instead I somehow ended up with these......

None of them are black, and none of them are boots but they did come in under £50 for all of them!

Hibiscus pattern Converse, cherries, anchors what's not to like?

Full price they would have cost me £186 (I love working out what I would have spent if I had paid full price) but I have still spent £50 that was meant to be for winter boots on frivolous shoes so that is a fail on my part.

Monday 20 August 2012

Use it or lose it - or how I spent my holiday.

I had annual leave to use up otherwise I would lose it, er I think not! So last week I was off work Huzzah! As ever I had half a million jobs lined up to do in and around the house and I did actually achieve slightly more of them than I expected too so that was a miracle for a start. 

First up was to spend my birthday money from my brother and sister in law on this little beauty. 

I have been wanting one for a while and this was a damn good deal. I took Himself with me so he could wheel it home through the streets (sadly not with me seated within waving regally). 

My sister in law who is terribly glamorous and doesn’t know one end of a trowel from the other was rather horrified by the purchase when the money could be spent on perfectly good clothes or make-up. My brother on the other hand has grown up with me and my love of gardening and rooting around in mud generally, so could not fail to see I was delighted with my purchase, especially as I made him get out of his car and come round the back of the house to see it in all it’s black and red wheely splendour!
I also bought some new sheers and cut the bottom hedge. Himself did offer to do it with the hedge trimmers we bought earlier in the year but as that would mean them plugged into an extension lead, plugged into an extension lead, all I had were visions of him acting out an episode of Casualty, so I declined and did it the old fashioned way! 

Monday I bravely decided to tidy under the bed and to have a good sort out of my books. This mostly consisted of me exclaiming in horror at the dust. Coughing, sneezing, wiping with a damp cloth and putting it all back again. I did sort some out for the charity shop (to go with the ones I was forced to clear when drama happened and the shelves of one of the bookcases collapsed few weeks ago.)

Tuesday I decided to take the bags of books to a charity shop before I could change my mind. 
I had a lovely morning browsing and bought a couple of lovely vintage items for my Etsy shop as well as this cute little bag for myself.

I also just had to have this Holland headscarf as my Grandfather was Dutch, it also turns out there had been dalliances with two Dutch doctors which resulted in two illegitimate babies in my mother’s side of the family. The excitement of genealogy! 

On that note it also turns out my Great Grandfather was a shoe designer, not a shoe maker but an actual shoe designer! How freaking awesome is that?? 

Anyway I digress.

I went to the real shops too as I had to exchange a dress my mother had bought and also find something to spend the rest of my birthday New Look voucher on. I had wanted a new pair of black jeans and had indeed found a pair of black jeans that looked ideal, but sadly it was not to be. I had bought the ones that said 32” inner leg but when I tried them on the were flapping around above my ankles in a less than flattering fashion. I took them off and measured them and it turns out they were only 29” I took them back and instead I got a rather fab skull print frock. 

                                                Seen here centre drying on the line.

In exchange for my Mother’s dress (because they would only exchange and not refund) I got the navy trousers next to it. The spotty dress on the other side was a previous sale bargain. I absolutely love the neckline but I'm really not sure the elasticated waist does much for me so I may hack it off and turn it into a top. 

I also went to Sainsbury’s for the ingredients to make some peanut butter bars which were dead easy to make and tasted Too Die For, probably had about ten thousand calories in each one.

Wednesday my parents came over and we went to a local garden centre where I bought soil to re-pot my patio plants. When we got home I basically bellowed at my Dad to stop as he started to unload it from the car and raced round the side of the house to fetch my lovely shiny new wheelbarrow. It got christened in more ways than one because no sooner where we in the house than the heaven’s opened with a monsoon like downpour which scuppered any gardening plans I might have had for the rest of the afternoon. I drank lots of tea instead.

Thursday the window cleaner came, which is the second time when I have been off work and in a state of night dress. I’m sure he thinks I sloth around the house all day in a baggy snoopy nightshirt.
I had to wait for him to go before I could get dressed and head into Oxford! 

I had a lovely couple of hours choosing and buying make-up and browsing the flea market. I bumped into someone I used to work with so we went for a coffee and a catch-up, well a tea in my case, before I headed to The Nosebag for yet more tea and cake with another old friend. Who happened to come with her daughter in tow, her gorgeous 20 year old daughter, who I can remember her being pregnant with, god I felt old!
It’s how I realise exactly how much time has passed, by the age of people’s children. 

I did get home to a parcel. 

I found this lovely crinoline on Ebay whilst looking for something completely unrelated. It spoke to me in a ‘buy me, you know you want to’ kind of a way so I did, and for the princely sum of £9 (including postage) it was mine.

Friday I finally got out in the garden and did my patio. 

Saturday was just too darn hot so I stayed firmly inside the house flopping about in a pathetic manner. I just can't do heat.

Sunday was the retirement party of my friend Liz. It was great fun and so good to catch up with lots of people I used to work with and haven't seen for about a year.

 I gave the new skull dress an outing and ended up with an unplanned quiff which I have decided I love. This of course means I will never ever be able to recreate it!

Thursday 16 August 2012

A Bletchley Park Anecdote.

I will be doing a proper full blog post shortly but I wanted to share this whilst I thought of it because I found it amusing.

My parents went on a pensioners coach trip to Bletchley Park a couple of weeks ago. They were taken on an organised tour with a guide who explained the history and various aspects of the work done there as they went round. He was deeply involved in explaining how one of the machines worked when one of the ladies in the party started to tut and in the end burst out with 'No, no you don't do it like that!'
The guide was apparently not at all impressed with being interrupted and started to say 'I think you will find madam that....' when she interrupted again 'No, you don't do it like that, you do it like this' and proceeded to demonstrate!

At which point her husband said 'How do you know how to do that' to which she snapped back
'because I used to work here, on these machines,and so I know that is not how you do it'
Her husband then exclaimed 'YOU used to work at Bletchley Park?'
to which she replied 'Yes I did'
He then said in outraged tones 'Well you never told me!'
to which she calmly replied 'No I never did'
He then said 'But I used to work here too!'

Turns out they both took their vow of secrecy very seriously!

Saturday 11 August 2012

Sleep all Day, Party all Night, Never Grow Old.

Before I start I did take my camera with me the other morning and it would appear the second figure in a hedge is indeed a swimmer!

People are Strange as Echo and the Bunnymen would say. Which leads me neatly on to today's post.

Last night was Lost Boys night! Oh Yes.

It could of all gone horribly wrong as not only was I on the phone to Vodafone for an age trying to sort out my new contract so we missed the earlier train. When we got to the station the next one was delayed, eek!!! AND Himself had forgotten the map to the venue (thankfully he remembered the tickets just as we were heading out of the door!?!)
Apparently I was just as at fault for forgetting the map as I was just as capable of picking it up off the table as him.
However as I didn't even know he had printed out a map let alone left it on the table I choose to disagree!
Anyway we finally got to Reading and found the venue no problem as we both had a general idea of where it was.
                                  The beautiful setting of Caversham Court Gardens. 

It was all very informal when we got in, so we went to the bar and bought a bottle of very reasonably priced and actually very good Pinot Grigio and chose some deckchairs.

The film wasn't due to start until 9pm so we just chilled and took in the beautiful setting as we were right next to the river. Over the other side of which there happened to be a funfair in full swing which was quite bizarre really when you think how heavily a funfair features in the film!

As dusk fell there were also little bats flitting about which was pretty awesome too.

It was a sold out event and sod's law meant we ended up sitting next to a group of 3 numbnecks who smoked continuously despite the No Smoking announcement and talked 19 to the dozen at the top of their particularly braying voices.

The film started and they continued to guffaw and bleat loudly on and on and on. Grrrr
In the end in my best stern librarian/barely contained psychotic killer voice I informed the one sitting next to me that I had actually paid to come and watch the film and NOT listen to him talk. They shut up for about 5 minutes and then started up again in loud stage whispers. Thankfully about a third of the way into the film they seemed to pick up on the fact that if they didn't either shut up or move they were about to get lynched by all around them and got up and left. So finally we got to settle back enjoy the rest of the film in peace.

What can I say? I loved it!

 At the end of the day it's not a great film by any means, and most of the people in it either can't really act or are hampered with terrible dialogue, but it's one of those films where these facts actually don't matter one little bit. The humour holds up well and despite the 80's fashions they still look painfully cool. I was one very happy bunny.

Oh and Himself made this for me....
Twilight schmilight!

Wednesday 8 August 2012

Hedge Madness!

This morning I nearly got run over.

I was heading to the station in my usual half awake state when my eye caught something over the roof of a parked van that made me jump out of my skin!
For a moment I thought it was a body flung in a hedge, I was so busy trying to get my poor morning addled brain to translate what my eyes were seeing I didn't see the car until it was pretty much upon me. Luckily I was able to leap out of the way and somewhat shaken continued on my way.

This is what I saw, apologies for the crap phone camera shot.

I couldn't see the horse at first because the van was in the way.

I'm assuming it is some manner of Olympic celebration?  At least this one makes sense!

The one that appeared in another hedge at the bottom of the road is just bizarre.....

 I *think* it's a swimmer? I might take my proper camera tomorrow and use the zoom to try and figure it out

Saturday 4 August 2012

Hints, Allegations and Things Left Unsaid.

I had the option of sitting/dancing around in a field today listening to various rock covers bands but instead I am limply slumped on the sofa feeling like an elephant has been sitting on my chest all night. Yeah that must be it and the elephant is responsible for the snoring also *ahem*
Thankfully I don't usually snore but this week I'm so damn bunged up I've been on fine form each night apparently, poor Himself, I'm mortified.

Last weekend I was out in the middle of the countryside - literally, at a wedding reception. Seriously even the taxi driver got lost trying to find the venue and he's a local!
One of my work colleagues Heather got married and the reception was at a gorgeous barn out in the fields, we arrived to English Country Dancing, there were geese and small girls in white dresses with cornflowers in their hair, it was like stepping into an episode of Larkrise to Candleford!

                             (Picture of the TV show not the actual wedding I was at)

I must add I did NOT join in with the dancing at that point. This is a woman who is so bad at dancing I was actually asked to leave my ballet class as a child, it was a small dance floor there would have been carnage. So I sat down with a lovely glass of white wine or two instead.

Look at all the lovely bunting that Heather made all by herself, by hand and not by machine! I understand it was a task that nearly broke her so tedious was it, but so worth it don't you think?

I did find myself on the dance floor later in the evening, there was a Brit Pop disco so it would have been rude not to. We also had a hilarious taxi ride back to our hotel with the groom's parents and aunt. The aunt had been celebrating more than a little shall we say, and somehow got wedged between her chair and the taxi door at one point and then exited the taxi by landing on her behind. God I bet she hurt the next day, head and arse!
I went with two other work colleagues so I had a single room booked at the hotel we stayed in. It turned out to be the room with disabled access and the first thing I did was set the alarm off, most embarrassing.
 In true sitcom fashion the girl from reception came in the re-set it and as she walked into the room the curtains fell down! She said 'Oh! the curtain has come down!'
I said 'So it has' she said 'Will this be a problem?'
me 'Err yes just slightly' (it was a ground floor room with the path up to the entrance running past the window in question.)
'I'll move you to another room then'. which meant I got to spend the night in a double room upstairs instead, so hurrah for broken curtains says I.
I wore a very lovely Pearl Lowe dress and don't have a single picture of me in it. Sorry.

Wednesday we went to see Batman.

On the whole I enjoyed it, though I did find it over long and I found I just couldn't warm to Bane as the villain if that makes sense. I loved Catwoman though and especially Robin, that was a very nice touch.
Saw the trailer for Judge Dredd, it didn't look good, I'm gutted. I used to read 2000AD avidly and was looking forward to a decent version of the film.

Thursday I went out to dinner with some friends in a little village pub just down the road from where I live. The Red Lion and Britwell cum Sotwell

There is also a donkey sanctuary in the village and it is so lovely to see fields full of donkeys, mules and asses. Just too cute, especially when there are babies.
                                                   (more interested in grass than people!)

The food was wonderful, I had cheese and herb fritters to start followed by the most delicious fish pie. I never get to make or eat it at home because Himself doesn't like fish or even the smell of it cooking. They also did this brilliant thing of half size puddings if you just want a taste of something sweet but couldn't fit a whole portion. I had a half meringue with fresh cream and fruit coulis.
I was blissfully but not uncomfortably full. All the meat and veg is locally sourced which I am all for, I shall definitely be going back.

Friday I knew I had nothing else on so I gave up battling and gave in to my cold which is why I am slumped here instead of doing other exciting things. I did have a root through my cds looking for some to put on my I-Pod and discovered the album that I'm listening to right now which gives this post it's title.

Collective Soul - Hints, Allegations and Things Left Unsaid.