Saturday, 29 August 2009
I rifled through all my bits-and-bobs till I found what seemed to be pleasing together, very much like a small quilt I made recently, but less fiddle-faddle on it so that it's a bit more practical. Added a few compulsory french knots and a button or two, chopped up a thrifted zip to get it about the right length and decided on a ticking lining.
Wednesday, 26 August 2009
Barbara Hulanicki, the founder of the shop, had some really innovative trading ideas, but, sadly, her business acumen was wanting and Biba had to turn to financial backers to continue - the iconic Biba brand was rather lost in the process. But at the time it clearly made a deep impression on me and I must have realised it was something big, new and special enough to squirrel-away my own souvenirs of the experience. Anyone else got memories of Biba?
Sunday, 23 August 2009
No, the mayhem to which I refer is the unexpected and unwarranted intrusion on a genteel cream tea, being taken under sunny English skies in our orchard at the bottom of the garden. Vintage cloth was laid, lovely old family china found in the back of the cupboard, silver spoons polished up and home-made scones piled on lace doily.
this is by no means her only misdemeanour, so it's a bloomin' good job she laid her first egg yesterday ....
Thursday, 20 August 2009
In one of the Scotch fir plantations there was a rookery where thousands of birds squawked and squabbled over choosing the best nest sites at the tops of the tall trees. Rooks are cheeky birds and in spring, at nesting time, to enhance their own nests they will steal branches and twigs from a neighbour whose attention has momentarily been distracted. The reaction of the victim of this crime accounted in part for the strident, cawing cacophony that echoed through the woods.
In autumn and winter every morning as soon as it was daylight they would set off in a seemingly endless trail, strung out like racehorses at the end of a long steeplechase with the stragglers and late-risers trying hopelessly to catch up with the leaders. They were off on a foray, searching for food in local farmers’ stubble fields. There they would spend the whole day strutting around with their hands behind their backs leisurely feeding on grubs and worms and insects and gleaning, like Ruth and her mother-in-law, grain left over from the harvest. In the frosty air of late afternoon they would form up in the same endless stream and return to the rookery where they would circle clockwise in a massive flock. Round and round they would go like currants in a huge Christmas pudding being stirred by a wooden spoon. Their chatter was incessant and in the gloaming of a still autumn evening could be heard for long distances. I’m sure they were discussing with their neighbours the rumours and the gossip of the day. When the light began to fade, gradually they would settle down for the night and the raucous noise would slowly decrease and die away until all was silence.
There were plump wood pigeons in the beech trees cooing to each other with their unmistakable rhythm. Coo Coooo Coo-coo, Coo Coooo Coo-Coo. Interminably. When disturbed they took off in a great flurry making a sound like loud applause from an enthusiastic concert-goer until they had gained flying speed and were safely airborne. Sparrow and kestrel hawks patrolled overhead and circled in the convection currents. They found rich pickings of field mice and voles, young rabbits and small birds in the dead grass and among the ferns by day. Owls patrolled the same feeding grounds by night. Plovers performed their lively aerobatics over the marshy ground and curlews joined them wading in the shallow water to share the worms, grubs and other tasty morsels. The lingering, haunting, trilling cry of the curlew or whaup could be heard the length of the valley all summer long. There were white-breasted dippers in the burn genuflecting as they searched for choice morsels beneath the surface of the water and wagtails bobbing on the protruding stones while they fed on larvae and grubs. Starlings came by the flockload and house sparrows twittered on Auchenglen’s roof guttering. When they graced us with their presence during late Spring and the Summer months swallows swooped and soared with streamlined precision in search of airborne insects to feed their young tucked safely away in mud nests up in the eaves. As the light began to fade in the autumn evenings, pipistrel bats fluttered between the buildings as they hoovered up the midges, moths and flies that should have gone to bed sooner. Cock pheasants and partridges, woodcock and snipe could be heard calling to their mates and staking out their territory in the woods and on the moorland above the valley sides. In the still of the night foxes could be heard barking and owls communicating in a series of short and long hoots. As a special treat, if one were really, really lucky, occasionally, just occasionally, one might see a small family of roe deer crossing from one side of the valley to the other."
Tuesday, 18 August 2009
If you've got ten minutes to fill, I'm sure you would really enjoy making one of these little flowers - you might want to try using more colourful paper than I did and have a vase-full of blowsy blooms on your work table. Oh go on, have a go!
Thursday, 13 August 2009
Saturday, 8 August 2009
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine
There sleeps Titania .....
What are you doing this weekend? Enjoy yourselves, whatever it is!
Friday, 7 August 2009
The (torrential) rain yesterday has left everything a bit drippy and puddles have gathered in anything up-turned.
Thursday, 6 August 2009
Tuesday, 4 August 2009
The calendar is filling up with weekend activities and commitments going into September and October and I'm busy making things for Christmas, so the year seems to be whizzing by.