Wednesday, 31 March 2010

cut outs

When I was a young girl I spent HOURS and HOURS playing games with what was known in our home as cut outs.
Old magazine and clothing catalogues of my mums would be trawled through and cut up. My aunt used to bring us old Simplicity and Style pattern books from the shop she worked in and me and my sisters would cut out hundreds of the 'models' and play fashion parades giving a running commentary on the clothes as they were paraded up and down the 'catwalk'. Or beauty contests where we would make up names and jobs and hobbies for each contestant.
Also making collages on with a specific theme. I remember I did one for school on the 5 senses, all lips and eyes and hands.
Gluing, cutting and sticking.
Hours of fun and happy memories.

I still enjoy cutting out pictures. Sometimes they have been useful for projects that the children have had to go at school. Sometimes they get pasted in my inspiration book. Mostly though they have just accumulated into a big fat pile.
On Monday I was feeling a bit bleurgh. Rubbish weather and a few other issues that combined to a make me a bit low. As I was doing the housework I noticed the box under the bed where all my cutouts are kept and decided to have a rummage.

Oh I'm so glad I did. It was very soothing. Out came the glue and a small piece of cardboard and I spent a very happy hour absorbed in choosing a selection of pictures and words.

It's sat on my mantlepiece in the dining room and everytime I have come into the room and seen the dotty, stripey, hearty, holly loveliness of it all it has made me smile.

Sunday, 28 March 2010


A few weeks ago G's mum rang and asked if he and T would take part in a sponsored relay swim to help raise money for a Parkinson's charity. It was being orgainsed by the co-ordinator of her local carer's support group. Of course they said, but unfortunately I have developed a cold in the last couple of days and yesterday G woke up with a sore throat and so was concerned I may have passed the lurgy onto him. With a very exciting event to look forward to today, COME ON YOU REDS, he didn't want to take the chance and feel yucky today. So we watched on and cheered very loudly as T took is place in the team, which consisted of 7 others, all adults! They swam for 55 minutes and completed 113 lengths between them.
So proud of our T for taking part.

The event was held at a private girls school in Salisbury. I nipped out about halfway through T's swim as I needed some fresh air, it was getting a bit hot and stuffy for me, and I snapped a couple of things that caught my eye.

The entrance looked very attractive

Love the old windows

This tree in the grounds was planted in 1991 by Diana, Princess of Wales.

And I found out, just as I wandering back to the pool, that the building you can see through the trees in the background is the arts block and in there they were hosting an art and textile exhibition. Unfortunately there was no time for a nose round.
Once back in town we stopped off at South Western House. It's now been converted into apartments but in a previous life it was a hotel. I have always loved it, but never been inside, until now.
The city was holding a free event to celebrate The Lost Hour ,what with the clocks springing forward. We had to book tickets for The Last Voyage and the plan had been to sample more of what was on offer but due to colds and tiredness it didn't pan out that way.

We turned up at 7pm to be shown into the bar next door where we were chatted to by a tipsy young woman. She looked very elegant perched on a bar stool, sipping gin from her tall stemmed glass and wearing navy blue 50's style cocktail dress. She gosspied about being part of the entourage staying there with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. I think she may have been portraying Vivien Leigh because of few remarks she made, how very glamourous! Then it was on to a room upstairs for a briefing from an American solider who told us that in the next room Roosevelt and Churchill were sat making plans for Operation Overlord. WWe had to show our passes, which we were given at the door, to indicate we had security clearnace to be there!
Finally back down in the reception was a very dapper looking gentleman impeccably attired in his evening suit who had stayed in the hotel before sailing off the next day on the Titanic. He told us how he had chatted with Captain Smith, the Astors, Mr Andrews and Mr Ismay and then he relayed the sights and sounds he had heard the night the unsinkable ship sunk.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

coats and gloves

I became quite optimistic about the weather after our lovely sunny Sunday.
But today we are back to the grey and wet.
Maybe I should keep these mittens I bought from Saturday's table top sale to hand rather than packing them away to await the wintery months.
They have never been worn. Isn't the heart pattern sweet.

Confession time. Nothing too dreadful though.
I own two coats I have never worn.
Why haven't I worn them?
Because when I bought them both, from different charity shops, they each had a button missing.
And they have sat in the wardrobe waiting for me to get organised enough to buy suitable new ones.
I finally sorted that issue out on Saturday afternoon.
The red coat, owned 3 years, is having the plain brown buttons replaced by much prettier ones.
And the floral coat, owned 20 months, is having the fabric covered ones replaced by equally floral pretties.

Now all I have to do is get them sewn on.
Maybe that'll be a job for this evening. Once S is in bed and G and T have gone out to watch the footie.
Or maybe I'll take a leaf out of Malcolm's book and get snuggly with the duvet.
Just how contentedly asleep does he look?!

Sunday, 21 March 2010

happy sunday

Seeing the sun today has made me look forward even more to when the outside looks like the illustrations in S's school book.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Check up

Melvin had his check up at the vets today and I'm pleased and mightily relieved to be able to say that all is well.
Long may it continue to be so.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Last night's meal

This isn't how the meal looked when I cooked it last night, it's a photo from the cookbook!
During my stint at the charity shop last week I found a vegetarian cookbook filled with recipes devised for young babies and small children with another section for older children and family meals. As I'm always trying to make sure I get lots of fruit and veg into the family diet I was thrilled to find this book and have earmarked lots of new things to try.
Last night was the turn of this vegetable and cheesy polenta bake. G, T and S returned more or less clean plates and G took the leftovers into work today for lunch. Result!

If you fancy giving it a go...
Pour 4oz instant polenta onto 17floz boiling water, stirring all the time. Cook until thick and smooth. Take off the heat. Stir in 3oz grated cheese and season with black pepper. Pour into a shallow rectangular dish and leave to cool and set.
In a saucepan heat a lttle oil and fry and onion, garlic, red pepper and a cubed butternut squash. Fry for a few minutes then add 14oz can chopped tomaotes and quarter pint of vegetable stock and a dash of Italian seasoning. Cover and simmer for 15 mins. Transfer to an ovenproof dish.
The recipe then suggests using cookie cutters in different shapes such as sun, moon, hearts to cut out the cooked polenta and arrange on top of the veg mix. Top the polenta with more grated cheese and bake for 15 minutes. I served this with green beans. Enjoy!

Monday, 15 March 2010

Mother's Day

My Mother's day started at 7am when I was woken up by this dressing gown clad twosome bringing me lovely gifts.

A pair of slippers, a pair of socks, a bottle of wine, bag of Minstrels and a bag of Maltesers. Oh yum! Thank you Mr G for your wise chocolate selecting instincts.
We had breakfast of juice and pain au chocolat, a favourite at our home for any special occasion!
As I was going into town to watch a movie, more on that in a mo, we all popped in together and had a quick wander around the bedroom furniture section of IKEA. This was a first for G as although the store has been open for just over a year he has never been.
After a mooch round G and the children headed off in search of the nearest Staples and I went off to the Civic Centre lecture room to watch this.
It was just as interesting and entertaining as I hoped it would be. I really enjoyed the section on the Biba shop.
I am not at all artistic and greatly admire anyone who has such a talent. I enjoy looking at beautiful things and am very thankful there are people out there who share their creations with the world whether it be by paintings, sculpture, music, photography or fashion design.

One of my purchases from the Saturday table top sale was this plain black mac from La Redoute at a bargain price of 40p. The sunglasses I bought in Primark along with the other 2 pairs I'm holding! I didn't intend to buy anything I just cut through the store on the way to get the bus and well you know how it is????!!!
Look at that concentration, just how difficult is it to take a photo. I look so severe!

A far more prettier picture now! This was another purchase from the table top sale. A pink tweedy rose now sat pinned to the front of my coat. Mine for 50p.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Yee hah!

Perfect buy for a pink, sparkle mad 5 year old.
And those red and green bags in the background?
My buys from the table top sale today!

Monday, 8 March 2010


Things that have made me smile today.

A terracotta tub of spring colour in the front garden.

Spotting the heart shaped buttons on S's new (to her) school dress as I was ironing it ready yo hang in the wardrobe to await the warmer days to come.

These 2 little fellows who followed me around the house today.

Giving the furniture a quick dust over and glimpsing my new heart from Lydia's giveaway.

Eating one of these very moist chocolate and cranberry brownies. I urge you to bake them soon!

And last, but by no means least, reading all your kind words on my current family situation.
They have given me lots to think about and consider.
I really can't express how much I've appreciated receiving such thoughtful messges from my lovely blogfriends.
Thank you.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

what a mess

Thank you for all the good wishes and messages concerning Melvin.
He had a check up at the vets yesterday and has another appointment next week too to check on his progress. He's going to have to eat a special type of cat food for the rest of his life to help lower the risk of another occurence.
He has been so affectionate since he came home, lots of bedtime snuggles and tummy tickles.

Monday, 1 March 2010


A day of worry.

I took Melvin to the vets this morning.

I found out about an hour ago he's ok.

He has feline cystitis. Apparently his bladder was very badly swollen and his urethra full of crystals causing a blockage.

He's going to be at the vets at least until tomorrow, maybe Wednesday.

He'll be on a special diet for the rest of his life but he should be ok.

He and Malcolm have only been here a few weeks but they mean a lot to us already.