Thursday, 23 December 2010

Merry Christmas One and All

Well, it's almost upon us. Good luck everyone. Hope the celebrations go fantastically well for you all.

Slight mishap yesterday whilst changing the sheets on the beds. You see, because I'm lazy that way, I usually throw the dirty linen down the stairwell. This keeps my hands free to carry the zillion and one cups and plates down from the kids' rooms. Two jobs for the price of one, see.

Unfortunately, this time I totally forgot that there was a beautifully decorated Christmas tree standing directly underneath the stairwell. I remembered just as the last thread of bed sheet left my fingers and began its decent.

Nothing smashed fortunately, but the carpet was strewn with baubles, pine needles and beads. The south-face of the tree has now been redecorated!

Yeah, right!

Andi xx

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Dressing Room and Giveaway

So quite innocently this morning, rushing out of the house on the school run, I grabbed the first hat available. On arrival home, I realised the hat was red and I was wearing a purple dress...

'When I'm an old woman I shall wear purple with a red hat that doesn't go...'

It's happened!

I also realised it might be time to show you the progress on my dressing room. The picture above was taken there - the full-length mirror will be hung on the door once the door has been painted (next year).

Here's the picture that appeared on my very first post over a year ago. The room was just a (junk) storage room:

This is what it looked like at the beginning of the renovations:

And here it is now:

It's such an advantage not having to get dressed in the dark in the mornings (I am first up - M still sleeping).

The boot storage could do with a curtain across perhaps:

I'm re-purposing charity shop candlesticks as hat stands:

This is my dressing table which is just the right size for the alcove:

The dressing table set I found in a charity shop for £10:

The brooch cushion I embroidered many years ago from a pattern in Una Stubbs' In Stitches, but I'd really like a tailor's dummy:

I had to get quite a small, high hanging chandelier because the loft-hatch is in the dressing room and head space was needed:

I still need a carpet and a few more finishing touches, but I'm very pleased to have my own dressing room. I wonder how long it will be before it's invaded and taken over by my daughter?


I'm sorry I didn't publish the result yesterday as promised. The winning name was pulled from the hat yesterday morning, but before I could post, I had some bad news from a friend and I really didn't have the heart to blog.

However, I'm now able to tell you that the winner of my giveaway is:


Congratulations Bellaboo. Your parcel is winging it's way to you as I write. I hope you receive it before Christmas and that the snow doesn't delay it.

Thanks everyone who entered. I really appreciate the visits you pay me and my little blog.




Sunday, 12 December 2010

Pictures at last

Blogger has decided to let my pictures through at last. These are the three pics I wanted to show you in my last post.

Two little dolls (brother and sister I think), I found in a charity shop for £2.50 the pair. They're dressed in homemade clothes and I think they're sweet:

In the same charity shop (and not so cheap) was this embroidered picture. It measures about 22"x18" and the work that has gone into it is amazing:

And finally, here is a picture of a few things that will be included in my giveaway:

I went to an antique fair this morning and found a few other bits to be added. All of you who left comments on my last post or leave comments on this post will have their name put in the hat (that might mean two comments = two entries, I haven't decided yet. What do you think?)

So glad to have the picture uploader working again.

Hope you all had a great weekend.




Friday, 10 December 2010

Mystery Giveaway

Thank you to everyone who took time to leave a message on my last post. I'm relieved to see I'm not the only one suffering from these Senior Moments. To all of you, I raise my glass and give you the toast 'may all your senior moments be few but funny'.

This is a very quick post to apologise for the delay in organising the promised giveaway in my last post. Delay has been caused by:

1. Christmas preparations

2. My camera playing up (or being borrowed)

And just when I find enough time to post, Blogger is not uploading any of my photos.

So how do you fancy a mystery giveaway?

It's a modest affair, but includes Christmas soap, gift tags, rubber stamp (snowflake), the felt terrier tree ornament from Wilkinsons. There's more but I don't want to spoil the surprise.

Just leave me a comment below and your name might just be the one to be pulled out the hat by my daughter next Tuesday morning. Short notice I know, but I want to get the parcel in the post asap.

Good luck, and spread the word.



Thursday, 25 November 2010

Senior Moments

I had a senior moment the other day. Not forgetting why I'd gone into a room, or where I'd put my car keys or anything as trivial as that, oh no. This one has caused a gunshot of laughter whenever I've told the tale. Hoping it will also bring a smile to your face (and may I also hope, a little sympathy?), I relate it here:

Sitting down to write out a birthday card for my ex sister-in-law, I realised I would need my glasses. I got up, found glasses, put them on and then continued writing the card, addressing the envelope and sealing it. Not until it was all done did I realise...I'd put my hat on instead of my glasses.

I've had just one other momentous moment in my life, but I my kids were small then and I blame early motherhood rather than age:

A light bulb had blown on the landing upstairs. I went all the way downstairs, collected a new light bulb and the stepladders and went all the way back up. I was standing under the light preparing to go up and it was that moment I realised I'd collected the ironing board instead of the ladder.

Please, please comfort me ladies by telling me I'm not alone in these 'brain on holiday' moments. If you've experienced anything similar, I would love to hear them.

Oh, by the way, I'm hoping to have a little giveaway on 1st December, so please come back then for a visit.

And HAPPY THANKSGIVING to you all in the USA!




Friday, 19 November 2010

Lovely Things

Right, let's get this blog dusted and up and running again.

I've been enjoying visiting all your blogs but don't seem to have been able to get on with my own, but a surprise happening this week has encouraged me to write...

The lovely Amy over at Blighty Boutique ( (my link gadget doesn't seem to be working) had a giveaway. There were two prizes but Amy found she had such a response that she decided to have an, unplanned, third prize. I was the lucky third prize winner. This is what arrived at my door last Tuesday...

Lots of goodies. Embroidery patterns for gnomes and fairies:

A beautiful retro Christmas card...

and inside....

A postcard advertising something I wouldn't pick off the shelf in the supermarket. I would suggest a new marketing name...

Thank you so much, Amy. It was a sweet package to brighten up my day. Please pay a visit to Amy's lovely, fun blog and start her on her way to 200 followers.

What else has happened? Oh, a trip to Dublin with best friend Tammy. We stayed at The Gresham Hotel where I had the best fillet steak EVER. Dublin is a lovely city and we must have walked miles, visiting all the charity shops we could find.

They have green post boxes in Dublin...

And Guiness toucans...

(I love toucans)

And some wonderful places to eat. This is where we had breakfast...

Yes, Butler's Chocolate Cafe. Wonderful.

The trip wasn't just on a whim. Some of you might remember I'm (just a tiny bit) a fan of Alan Rickman. He is in a play at the moment (John Gabriel Borkman by Ibsen) at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin with Lindsey Duncan and Fiona Shaw, and the opportunity to see him on stage was too much for me to resist (even though it involved a flight to Dublin).

The production was wonderful. I was very happy.

Oh, and then there was our own production of Hay Fever which was so much fun. Noel Coward's plays are such wonderful things to be involved in and I enjoyed every minute (even when my bracelet got caught on the sofa and I had to improvise until I'd got it free!)

Here is one of my costumes. The infamous fur I spoke about a few months ago (the rabbit would have been about 90 had it lived). All the costumes I wore were authentic 1920's and were gorgeous:

Lots of other things have been happening, but I think that's enough for one post.

Have a lovely weekend, everyone.



Thursday, 11 November 2010

Thomas Hooper
c. 1898-1916

Frederick Andrews

'For your tomorrows we gave our todays'

Both my grandfathers fought in and survived WW1 but both lost their younger only brothers - named above.

My son celebrated his eighteenth birthday on Tuesday. I can't and don't want to think how it would feel to wave him off to war.

This morning at 11.00 I remembered not only those who fought and fell (on both sides of the trenches - most of the 'enemy' didn't want to be there either), but also the mothers, wives, sisters and daughters who watched their loved ones go.


Friday, 1 October 2010


Goodbye Tony. Thanks for playing such a huge part in my adolescence. xx

Thursday, 12 August 2010

The Best Laid Plans...

I had this post all planned out for yesterday and then for some reason Blogger wouldn't upload my pics. Anyone else have the same problem?

Three different subjects in today's post as I haven't posted for a while. The first is for White Wednesday (yes, yes, I know it's Thursday - see above excuse) over at Kathleen's Faded Charm.

I am proud to announce that after five or six years and a season later than expected, my magnolia has finally flowered:

Just the one flower and I think the rain has battered it a little, but it's here and I'm not complaining. There's also one more bud about to burst open. Let's hope it's a sign of things to come next year.

Secondly, I'm contributing two pics for Barb's (Bella Vista) 'Show Us Your Roosters' party.

This chap was found in a charity shop. His head is on a long spring and I had to supply new legs using chopsticks...

The next guy was bought in a restaurant. The owners were selling them for charity and they're made from recycled plastic bags:

I think he looks a bit suspicious, but I assure you he's been well treated.

And finally, going way back to last year and my very first post ever:

Pal Eddie has returned and my walk-in wardrobe is being created as I type. Here's a pic from the first day's work:

OK, so we're not talking a Sarah Jessica Parker-sized wardrobe here, but it's going to be fun and will release some wardrobe space in our bedroom (M can have some clothes space now, bless).

More photos as the work progresses.

Have a happy week.

Andi xx

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Murder at Andi's

I try not to kill anything.

Spiders are caught with a mini vacuum cleaner and put safely outside, bees and butterflies are caught with a child's fishing net and again, put outside...


I don't like killing even them, but I do. So when I discovered we had a wasps' nest way up on the apex of the roof, I called in the experts and had them...


Within a few hours our roof was free of the horrid things. Cost me £50 but in the case of wasps I consider this money well spent.

Imagine my dismay when, the very next day, I discovered ANOTHER nest this time in the roof of the kitchen (a single-storey part of the house). We seem to be the vacation of choice in the wasp world. As this nest was in a more accessible part of the house (for humans as well as wasps), I was charged a discount rate of £40. That's £90 just to get rid of the Devil's invention. Grrrrrr!

And continuing the subject of killing:

This is my latest find:

I have been after this picture for a couple of years now and have never seen it for sale (well, the original Warhol has been on sale but my bank balance didn't stretch that far), so was delighted to find one for sale on Ebay.

I'm a big fan of Judy Garland (the Capitol years rather than the Mickey Rooney stuff) and this picture I think is just wonderful.

However, it wasn't until after I'd bought it that I found out this particular picture was part of a campaign to promote the wearing of fur. I am very much against wearing fur and it worried me for a while that I was displaying a picture that went against my beliefs. Then I decided that I'd bought the picture not for it's statement but because I think it's a great picture. So it's staying.

Another fur problem came along this week. I'm very lucky to have been cast as Myra Arundel in Noel Coward's Hay Fever. Myra is a gift of a character and is great fun to play, but because she's a rich socialite of the 1920's I'm going to be wearing a fur stole. Wearing fur was considered perfectly correct back then, as was smoking (which I'm also having to do). I was asked if I minded the fur and the cigarettes, but I believe my own prejudices shouldn't interfere with the character Coward created. If I want to play her I have to be prepared to take on all that she is. So for ten nights and a couple of dress rehearsals, I shall be draped in fur.

Goodness, it's a blood-bath here!


Saturday, 24 July 2010


My two began their summer holiday a week ago and on Wednesday we took a trip to Hatfield House. We're not too far from Hatfield but apart from a visit when I was younger, have never been.

Hatfield House is Jacobean built between 1607-1611 and has heavy associations with Queen Elizabeth I. It has been in the Cecil family for around 400 years and the family still lives there, so only part of the house is open to the public.

Painting of the house on the wall of the dining area.

Photography was not permitted inside the house, but I managed to sneak this pic through the window. The long driveway is not open to the general public, but can you imagine a cloaked rider galloping full pelt towards the house?

Inside the house we saw a pair of gloves and silk stockings owned by Elizabeth, the library which holds around 10.000 books, and the famous 'rainbow' portrait of Elizabeth:

Elizabeth spent much of her childhood in the 'house' (palace) that stood on the grounds previously. I have been told she was sent here by her father, Henry VIII, whenever he thought she was too outspoken. It was here that Elizabeth was told her sister, Mary, was dead and that she was now Queen.

Some of the gardens are laid out just as they were four hundred years ago:

The gardens were full of flowers but they were obviously suffering from the dry weather and didn't look their glorious best. This one looked quite spectacular:

And some of the trees so old and gnarled, they had to be propped up with sticks. I'm not sure what this tree is, but I managed to find some windfall seed pods which I'll plant to see what happens:

(view of the house without car park in foreground!)

(cool and shady, eh?)

Even the drains had a certain charm:

Of course there was a gift shop, but also a wonderful shop that sold, not only gifts but antiques too. Much time was spent browsing in this one, I can assure you!