Saturday 22 February 2020

2020 so far...

As ever time seems to be galloping away from me and I have been meaning to do a blog post for about 6 weeks now, in fact I’m only doing it now because I have work to do and I’m procrastinating!
Christmas was lovely though I didn’t do any of the things I thought I would with my time off because come the 27th December I was struck with the lurgy that everyone seemed to have, and so spent most of the time feeling sorry for myself whilst drinking tea and either reading or sewing.
We took my Dad out to a local Indian restaurant on Christmas Eve for a family meal, there were 12 of us in all and I managed to impress with what I ate, clearly travelling to India for work is paying off and I actually can bear to eat something vaguely spicy these days! It was certainly too hot for others in our party.
Christmas day we had a blissful lazy morning Himself struck gold buying me a Snoopy mirror for my collection and the 1st five seasons of Quantum Leap on DVD. I used to absolutely love it when it was on tv and have been eyeing up the DVDs for years but they never seemed to go down in price. 

We met Mum at Dad’s care home in the afternoon but didn’t stay long as Dad was worn out from the previous night out, he was still getting over a chest infection so I think it was all a bit much.

We went back to Mum’s for a couple of days and got to meet the gorgeous Bobby. 
He is such a beautiful boy and so cuddly. Even though he had only had his leg amputated 5 days before he was charging around the house in his cone of shame and jumping up on your lap for cuddles. He doesn’t like closed doors so barged our bedroom door open each morning and jumped on me in bed for snuggles before breakfast.
 He is also an extremely vocal cat and Mum says he does like to sing the song of his people at all hours of the day and night which drives her nuts when she’s trying to sleep!
It’s not meowing or yowling but actual sort of chattering talking, think Charlie The Cat from those old infomercials of the late 70’s  early 80’s! (Youtube Charlie Says  )
January the 2nd I was back at work and we headed into silly season with over 200 more applications from potential students than we were expecting. 

So Himself and I decided to have a day out in London, Hampstead to be precise. Now the reason for this trip was down to an old music hall song! We were channel hoping and caught the end of an episode of The Good Old Days which was a TV show in the 1970’s where celebrity acts of the day, among other things, sang old Victorian music hall songs to an audience dressed in garish 1970’s versions of Victorian outfits.
 It always ended with everyone belting out a music hall classic called ‘Down At The Old Bull And Bush’. 
This lead Himself to google the song where he found a crazy version by The Muppets as well as the original by music hall artiste Florrie Forde. Whilst listening to both, we debated what the song was about which lead me to google it and find to my utter delight it was a REAL pub!! Not only that it was still open, no question we had to go! 

It turns out the pub is on the edge of Hampstead Heath and back in the day those from the East End of London used to go out for ‘a day in the countryside’ to Hampstead Heath and once they had filled their lungs with fresh air would retire to The Old Bull and Bush for a proper cockney knees up which is how the song evolved. 

Himself and I decided to do the same and on a damp, windy and very grey day tramped a huge circuit round Hampstead Heath with what felt like most of the population of London before retiring to the pub. 

It was gorgeous, oh how I wish it could be my local! It had a lovely atmosphere with a roaring log fire and a very decent bar. The food looked great too, though we didn’t eat. The only downside was it was very busy, we eventually got two seats at the bar where we drank beer and met Jeff the dog. 

I loved that the pub had kept it’s over the top etched glass bar even though it didn’t really fit with the more modern decor the pub now sports. 
It also had a huge range of ports which made me chuckle as a line from the song goes “come, come, come drink port wine with me.”

I also caught up with Soo and Jenny in January to exchange a mixture of birthday and Christmas presents, gossip and eat cake. Soo trawled various charity shops first where I bought this fabulous Chinese style jacket for £7, a little blue cardigan with white swallows on it, a pair of brown jeans and a straw bag. 
Jenny bought me this awesome book light which looks like a book when closed and them lights up when you open it.

The first weekend in February I did Lou Lou’s Vintage January Sale fair at Oxford Town hall with my friend Alex. I had bought us early bird tickets but there turned out to be much confusion when  we arrived as the website had the wrong time on it and the fair wasn’t even set up let alone open. The poor lady on the desk at the town hall was very harassed and as she couldn’t leave her desk so I offered to nip upstairs and find out what was going on. It turned out there was no early start and the early bird ticket just meant you could go in first from 12 noon, the girl upstairs at the cash desk for Lou Lou’s was very annoyed at the mix-up but did they bother to stick something on their Facebook page or Twitter to correct the error? er No! 
I came back down and explained to the lady there and Alex and I headed to the covered market for a delicious hot chocolate drunk sitting outside in the freezing cold, hence my rather strained smiling but freezing face!
I usually hate the stuff you buy in cafes as it’s way too sickly sweet for me but this place had an option for 90% dark chocolate one that was fab, (would you say that’s a lion on the top or a baboon?)  
By the time we got back to the town hall they had ended up having to call in their security guards to turn back all the pissed off punters expecting an early entry and try and get them to queue in an orderly fashion outside until it got to 12.
Anyway we finally got in and Alex found this gorgeous green coat literally on the first rail she looked at for the princely sum of £10.
 It got very very busy very quickly which I guess was great for the sellers but not so great for browsing especially as you inevitably get those people who barge in. I did manage to buy 3 bags, 2 dresses and a brooch before we decamped to get tea and cake. 

From the town hall we went down to Christchurch College and walked a circuit of Christchurch meadows. I fancied a cup of tea so asked if we should go and get a drink somewhere which somehow ended up with us ensconced by the open fire at The Lighthouse pub drinking large glasses of wine. I am going to miss Alex so much when she moves away from Oxford as is her plan for this year.

I have been to the cinema a few times, last post I mentioned going to see the new Star Wars film which I ended up doing 3 times before it closed. I loved it and it definitely benefited from  second viewing there was so much in it. We also went to see David Copperfield and enjoyed that too.
I haven’t really done the sales, I’m being more thoughtful about my spending habits and especially on clothes. I bought a lovely polka dot dress from Collectif for work and also nipped into Debenhams to get a birthday present and ended up buying a dress and a dark purple biker style pvc jacket in the tail end of their sale. I had to throw out my black (non leather) biker jacket last year as I had literally worn it until it fell to bits, I hope to get similar wear out of my new one.

Otherwise February has been about keeping out of the mad weather as much as possible. We did venture into Oxford last Saturday as one of the students I had helped Grace had invited me to a piano recital at Christchurch Cathedral where she was playing a piece by Liszt. By good chance the rain had stopped enough for us to get to the train station without being completely drenched and the trains were actually running. We had Dinner at Gino’s where I rather overdosed on cheese by having a cheese based starter and main! before battling through the elements to Christchurch college. It was a wonderful and intimate recital, mostly due to the weather putting people off I should imagine, in a beautiful setting. It also turned out another of our students was playing too so I stayed to chat to them both at the end. This meant by the time we left the storm was properly raging again outside and we got absolutely drowned going home. I guess at least when you are heading home the plus point is you can cast off your wet clothes and jump in a hot shower, we were both in bed with a book and a glass of wine within half an hour of stepping in the door!
I am so done with this endless rain and my heart breaks for all the poor people who have been flooded, having one soaked wall and a leaking window pales in comparison.  

I shall end with my frock and bag purchases. 

These two are from the Lou Lou's fair, a navy with white and yellow polka dots and a rather loud apple print!
The bags are lined up in bag quarantine right now. Any I buy go there first to be inspected, cleaned and mended if necessary. The orange one and two smaller black ones were from Lou Lou's fair, the straw one charity shopped with Soo and the other 3 are Ebay purchases.
The dinosaur was bought with some Christmas money, I just could not resist it! The toucan straw bag was from the New Look sale.

Until Anon, hopefully I won't leave it so long next time...


  1. Belated Happy New Year to you.

    How exciting to have visited the Old Bull and Bush! I'm quite envious. Even with the early bird mess-up, you still managed to find some beautiful things. The green bag is particularly nice.

    Hope the rain stops soon.

  2. How lovely to see your post pop up, Gisela! Bobby looks quite irrisistible. Poor boy, though. Glad he's found a loving home with your Mum. Great finds at Lou Lou’s Vintage and I am so glad I'm not the only one who keeps getting seduced by bags ;-) I've definitely run out of space to store them all. I need a book lamp like that, by the way. How fabulous is that! xxx

  3. Happy New Year! Bobby is gorgeous, it's amazing how resilient cats are. I know exactly the noise he makes, Stephen Squirrel is the same - he's 15 this year, I'm surprised we're both relatively sane!
    Lovely photo of you and some cracking finds, love the Debenhams dress and both the embroidered wood framed bag and toucan straw bag. xxx

  4. It's definitely a baboon!

    You have been busy - no wonder you don't have time to blog. What fabulous things you've been buying as well. What a shame about the vintage fair; it sounds like a right old cock up was made.

    I've been to pub on Hampstead Heath and I remember 'The Good Old Days' on the telly - we always groaned when it came on and switched it over!

    What a lovely cat Bobby looks and sounds; I didn't realise cats could be so affectionate. He is such a gorgeous colour as well. The fact he only has three legs sounds like it can only add to his charm!

  5. That dinosaur bag is so cool - you always have the best bags! Good that you were able to get some stuff from Lou Lou's, despite the confusion.

    Bobby looks like a little star - those chubby cheeks! I do love a chatty cat. My two don't talk overnight, but if I wake up in the night Pippin will wander over and demand some fuss before I go back to sleep again. If I try to ignore it, she'll pat my face.

    That pub sounds like good fun, a place with proper personality.