Friday, 22 October 2010

Barking Cloth Mad

I'm EXCITED on a number of counts today.

Firstly I scored these magnificent bark cloth curtains in perfect nick from a charity shop.  mmmmmmmm drooooooool mmmmmmmmm.

I'm very pleased with them.  They cost me £4 plus I got a carrier bag of books for Little Ms J and P thrown in for free!  A bargain methinks.  The curtains actually fit a window in our house but I'm rather attached to the rather lovely patchwork sari curtains we have up at the moment (bought an age ago at the now defunct The Pier). 

I think I might use the bark cloth to re-cover a floor cushion of ours and make a bark cloth scarf that I saw on the internet recently (if only I could remember where).

Secondly, I've WON another giveaway. Yahooo!  Courtesy of Wendy of Cheap2Chic.  It came beautifully wrapped but in my haste to get at it I forgot to take a photo of the wrapping.  Thank you Wendy.

Thirdly, Nic of Woodbank Crafts has very kindly passed on an award to little old me:

Thank you so much Nic.  I now have to tell you a whole 7 things about myself.  I'll be brief:

1.  I am Holiday Queen.  Oh yes I am!  When I was little, the only holiday that I went on was for a week with the school when I was 11 to the Isle of Wight.  I didn't go on holiday again until I was 18 with a friend - to the USA (Charlotte, North Carolina) to visit my friend's relatives.  I've more than made up for it since then and all the money Mr J and P and I earn goes to fund our hols!

2.  Still on a holiday theme, wherever we go, we try and learn a little of the language of the country that we're visiting.  Consequently we know a teeny bit of lots of languages (I could once count to 10 in Arabic and Mr J and P was a dab hand at Bahasa [Indonesian]!!).  This makes for a confusing time I can tell you.  For instance, on a visit to Spain once we wanted to buy two stamps.  Mr J and P asked for due (Italian) timbres (French) por favor (well, at least he got that bit right).  The bloke behind the counter looked at us rather sadly and immediately said "Engleeesh?".  How did he guess!

3.  I've done yoga on a regular basis for years.  Love it!

4.  One of the luckiest things that ever happened to me was when backpacking in Thailand some years ago.  Mr J and P and I were travelling on a bus, each with our big rucksack and smaller "day bag".  We got off the bus just outside a small town and as the bus moved off I realised that I had left my day bag on it.  I ran after the bus waving and shouting at it to stop, but to no avail, and then watched helplessly as it disappeared from view.  Just at that moment, a young lad on a moped drew up beside me.  He could speak no word of English and despite what I said in point number 2 above, I could speak no Thai, but he gestured that I get on his moped and we sped off in hot pursuit of the bus.  Meanwhile, a rather bemused Mr J and P watched, as we hurtled off ,wondering if he'd ever see me again!

The Thai lad and me eventually overtook the bus, he flagged it down,  and I dashed on, retrieved the bag, then got back on the moped where I was delivered safely back to a still bemused Mr J and P.  How about that!

5.  I went to a Convent School for Girls (in fact, the very same one that the Blairs, as in Tony and Cherie, sent their daughter). 

6.  I am addicted to jam doughnuts.

7.  I like to collect things and over the years my collections have included:  ladybird books; Puffin paperbacks; any books, fiction or otherwise, on India; broken crockery collected from the beach; corks; salt and pepper sets; stamps; coffee pots; egg cups; jars etc etc.

I now hereby pass on this award to these 5 versatile bloggers:

The fabulous Alex at Odd Socks and Pretty Frocks

Lovely Lucy at Tete en L`air

Creative Emma at Sylvie's Garden

and the very versatile Alison at Hill and Vale and Fee from FeeBee

Well, hasta la vista babies (guess where I'm off to next week!).

Friday, 15 October 2010

Putting my foot in it (and then everywhere else)

Yesterday was rather a mixed day. 

I decided to spray my skip find - red.  Here is the "before" picture:

All well and good you'd think.  Not so, dear readers.  In between bouts of spraying, I spent much of my time wiping red footprints off the kitchen floor.  Note to self, must put down more newspaper when spraying (and must stop being so clumsy - I ruined two pairs of perfectly decent socks in the process). 

When I wasn't wiping down the kitchen floor, I was busy stepping in horse manure (thank you Mr J and P for that), walking it up the stairs and into virtually every room in the house and then wondering what the horrid smell was and then when I realised, scrubbing the stairs and mopping every room in the house - grrrrrrr.

Blimey, I was knackered after all that.  Anyway, enough of that do you want to see the hangity hang shelfy thingy in all its red glory?  Here it is:

Earlier in the week I discovered that I'd WON a giveway by the lovely Pene on Scrap my Mid Life Crisis.  Wanna see?

Lovely aren't they?  Thank you Pene so much.  Unfortunately, Little Miss J and P has comandeered both the love hearts and the doggie - boo hoo.

The rather wonderful Sarah at Modern Country Style has tagged me, so here, folks are my answers to the following questions:

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

A Postman.

What do you like most about where you live?

We're close to Epping Forest and not too far from London Town - so best of both worlds really.

If you could only rescue three things from your house what would they be?

I'm struggling with this one.  OK, the external hard drive with rather a lot of photos on it, my ipod touch and a photo of my mum and dad.

What's your favourite book?

Vikram Seth's A Suitable Boy.  At around 1400 pages, I felt very sad when I'd finished it - it was like I'd lost an old friend.  Excellent book.

What's your favourite room in your house?

Probably the bedroom - I love going to bed early and snuggling in my bed either reading my book or reading blogs on my ipod touch!  In fact, sometimes Mr J and P and I sit there side by side in bed playing with our devices (I bet you wondered what I was going to say then) - we' re soooo the modern couple!!

What's your favourite joke?

I never remember jokes - so I haven't got a favourite but this one's quite funny methinks:

What's the difference between a kangaroo and a kangaroot?  A kangaroo is a marsupial and a kangaroot is a Geordie stuck in a lift.
OR, if you don't know what a Geordie is (a person from the north east of England with a lovely accent):  What's yellow and hides in Afghanistan?  The Talibanana.

What would you most like to change about your house?

Well, it's the garden I would most like to change.  I'd prefer a much bigger one!

Do you believe in love at first sight?

I've never fallen in love at first sight but Mr J and P has - and it was with me!!!  So, yes, I believe it does happen!

OK folks, the rules say I have to tag 4 lovely peeps.  Here they are:

Angela at Bounty Huntress

Nic at Woodbank Crafts

Jo at Hesta Nesta

Twiggy at The World of TwiggyPeasticks

It's totally up to you guys if you want to take part (you don't have to if you don't want to) and you can make up your own questions to pass on.  I'm sticking with these questions as my brain has come to a complete stand still today........
Have a good weekend one and all.

Monday, 11 October 2010

A Tray Too Far

It's official, we have too many trays in our house.  They are stored on their side on the kitchen work top and occasionally come crashing down destroying everything in their wake (two bowls and the kitchen scales to date).  The last time this happened, earlier this week, Mr J and P grunted at me crossly - as if it was my fault we had too many trays - and I had to assure him that I would sort through the trays and clear out those excess to need.  So, 8 trays have become..........7.   Here are some of the more interesting ones:

Love the pattern on these:

Another orange, brown and yellow one - one of my favourite colour combos:

I love this one with its wickerwork surround and handles.  The tray surface is a lovely bright yellow, which unfortunately hasn't shown up well in this piccy, and has a pretty starburst pattern.

This tray belongs to Mr J and P which he bought back in the day when he collected royal paraphernelia (oh yes he did).  Tray   tres charmant n'est pas? (notice the subtle play on words):

Mr J and P's royal souvenir collection used to consist of postcards, magazines, jigsaw puzzles, books - you name it - he had a lot of it.  Which reminds me of the time he went to Oxfam to donate a Princess Margaret biography.  The lady in charge refused to accept it saying "Do you think anyone would ever want to read this?".  Poor Mr J and P scuttled off home rather red -faced, tail firmly between his legs.  That'll teach him to collect royal rubbish that no-one wants!    Aaah bless...

Monday, 4 October 2010

Music of the Moment: An Occasional Post

The Best of the Mamas and the Papas

I have a tendency (some uncharitable people say that I should put the word "annoying" in front of "tendency") to play certain albums and songs over and over again ad nauseum until even I have been known to get heartily sick of them. Anyway, at the moment I can't stop playing The Best of the Mamas and the Papas.

In fact, I've been playing it BC and AC - that's Before California and After California (see post here in case you haven't a clue what I'm going on about). Mr J and P says that this post should be entitled "Calfornia Droning" as it is just an excuse to go on about our trip to California - not true, dear readers.

Anyway, back to the Mamas and the Papas. The gorgeous harmonies, so rich and multi-layered, and Mama Cass' beautiful voice - aaaah lovely. I can't stop singing, very loudly, (another tendency of mine) to all my favourites: California Dreaming, Monday Monday, I Saw Her Again Last Night, Dedicated to the One I Love, Look Through My Window, 12.30 (Young Girls are Coming to the Canyon) etc etc.

Makes me want to don a kaftan and wave my arms in the air like I just don't care......

How 'bout this for a "fascinating" fact. Their first album If you Can Believe your Eyes and Ears originally had the cover below featuring the group in a bathroom sitting in a bath with a loo in the corner. Unfortunately, the album with this cover was pulled from stores after the toilet was declared "indecent"!! Yes. Really.

For some bathroom frolics, check out this video of the band with some groovy dancers gyrating in bathtubs (fully clothed I hasten to add) to the strains for California Dreaming. Classic.