Saturday, 24 December 2011


So I'm in Marks and Spencer's at 7am this morning

collecting my turkey.

I'd forgotten to bring the coin for my trolley.

I'm standing in the queue to pay

and realise I'm cradling the turkey in my arms

and swaying as though rocking a baby off to sleep.

Old habits die hard!


(I have to say, I'm quite pleased with my dining room mantle this year)

(Fireplace - £20 - car boot sale. Mirror - £15 - Cancer Research)

Christmas blessings,

Andi xx

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Christmas in London

On Thursday I had to take daughter up to London for the school carol concert which is held each year in London at St. Martin's in the Field:

There has been a place of worship on this site since pagan times. The present church being built in 1722.

It was named after St. Martin who is said to have taken pity on a near-naked beggar, cut his own cloak in two and given half to the beggar. Christ appeared to Martin in a dream that night as the beggar and thanked him for his kindness. Martin converted to Christianity the next day.

Today St. Martin's is known, amongst other things, for its Christmas Appeal, raising money (some £500,000) for the homeless.

The church stands on one of the corners of Trafalgar Square so, as parents were not allowed inside the church for the carol service, I took a walk around the Square:

The well-known 'empty plinth' at the moment has a giant ship-in-a-bottle standing on it:

I also popped into the National Portrait Gallery where I saw, in particular, fantastic portraits of Judi Dench and Fiona Shaw (best known for her portrayal of Aunt Petunia in the Harry Potter films).

An enjoyable day.


Andi xx

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Frankly My Dear...

I DO give a damn that I can't remember which blog owns this photo:

I know I made a note at the time which blog I'd seen it on. Do you think I can find that note? I've spent the best part of this morning looking through all your blogs trying to trace the post, without luck.

If this is your pic, I make my apologies for using it without your permission and hope very much that you don't mind. And PLEASE let me know who you are so I can give a link back to your post.

Anyway, I was really taken with the sign but I believe the price was something like £130.


Ever since I've been on the lookout for Lexicon games in the charity shops so that I could try and make my own.

I had one game already. I found another at a car boot for 50p. That should do it, I thought.

Guess what?

Two vital letters were missing from the car boot purchase. I needed another.

After weeks of searching, one mysteriously turned up in my dresser drawer. I strongly suspect my mum snuck it there, but she denies it was her.

Anyway, at long last I was able to go ahead with the project and completed it this weekend:

Buying a frame that was six foot wide was going to cost some, so I bought a piece of MDF and asked the nice man in B&Q to cut it length ways for me. The frame is painted onto the MDF with acrylic paint and the background with leftover Farrow and Ball New White.

Cost: £8.55

I'm very pleased.


Andi xx

Friday, 18 November 2011

Farewell Sugar

I've never been good at saying goodbye to cars.

Back in the 60's my dad had a black Austin 40

it was the second car he ever owned.

( Attribution: Redsimon at en.wikipedia)

One morning he drove me to school, which was unusual because we normally walked.

At the school gates he told me:

'Say goodbye to the car because you won't be seeing it again.'

I was so upset

and ever since have had trouble saying goodbye to cars.

Yesterday I had to say goodbye to Sugar, my PT Cruiser:

I love her for her retro look

and for a long time couldn't bring myself to play my Tom Waits cds while I drove her

we stuck to Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday

(until the cd player got a grain of dirt in it and scratched the cds).

So what if my son's friends told me she looked like a hearse

I loved her.

Sadly, she became an old lady and began behaving and sounding very sick.

Yesterday I took her for our last drive together

and left her at the dealers

all the while muttering to myself,

'It's just a car, a machine. It doesn't have feelings. It is NOT upset that you're abandoning her.'

Here is the little upstart that has taken her place


A Fiat 500.

She's nippy, more maneuverable and has a cd player that works.

It's going to take me a while to adapt

(who ever heard of an automatic that rolled backwards on inclines?)

but I'm sure we're going to become good friends.

(and I don't think she'll mind Tom Waits!)


Andi xx

Friday, 11 November 2011

When you go home

Tell them of us and say

For your tomorrow

We gave our today.


Andi xx

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Mushrooms/Toadstools whatever

The lawn had its last cut of the year yesterday

(I hope)

and with it went the mushrooms

or toadstools

I don't know the difference.

I don't plan on eating them

so I'm not sure it matters.

I just wish I could have those

pretty fairytale mushrooms instead.

You know, the red ones with white spots?

Guess I'll just have to make them instead.


Andi xx

Monday, 7 November 2011

For Pooh Fans

On the weekends I take Elsie for a walk in a park near to us which has a section called 'The Hundred Acre Woods'. This is a fantastic place where you can find Pooh's house:

and even post him a letter

The inside of the house has a table, chair and honey pot. Unfortunately the photos of this didn't come out because it was too dark.

Another unfortunate was that my memory card filled up, so there are no photos of Eeyore's Gloomy Place or the bridge where you can play Pooh Sticks. However, these are the pics I DID manage to take:

(and where Elsie nearly pulled me face first into that puddle)

(there is a tall, white pole in the ground just here)

Can you imagine the delight for any young Pooh fans visiting this place?


Andi xx

Saturday, 29 October 2011


Happy Halloween weekend everyone.

Along with having loads of fun with my photos over at this site:


I thought I'd take the opportunity this mystical weekend to tell you about the ghost I believe is in our house, because you never truly know what lies behind closed doors.

Our house is over a hundred years old and I know at least one person has gasped their last breath here. Who knows how many others?

The house was originally owned by a Welshman who had a career in the stock exchange and was later knighted. It's his ghost I believe is in our house.

Come in and I'll tell you about it...

We first moved here when my daughter was one year old. In the first few months, at bedtime, I would carry her up the stairs and held her so that her face was looking over my shoulder.

She would point behind and say 'Man; man' as though someone was following us up the stairs.

Quite often, mostly where the kitchen would have been, I smell cigars. I love the smell of cigars but no one in our family smokes.

(okay I admit to becoming quite fond of herbal cigarettes during our production of Hay Fever but it only lasted for two weeks

and I ALWAYS smoked them outside and...yeah well.)

Then when she was three there was an evening when she came to the door of my study where I was writing and said 'I want a cuddle.'

'Okay then,' I said, opening my arms.

'I can't,' she replied. 'The man is in the way.'

'What man?'

'The man on the floor.'

At the time giving my daughter a cuddle was more important than any prostrate ghost, so I kicked the unseen heap out of the way and daughter came straight over to me.

I've often heard a voice say 'Hello?' when I've been alone in the house and I also think our ghost may be a bit of a randy old devil, because once when I was cleaning my teeth I felt a hand grab my bum. I screamed and turned, but I was alone.

OoohErrr, Missus.

Now that's the only evidence I have that we have a ghost and it may not sound much, but when you actually experience it, it's pretty hair-raising.

Also on this Halloween weekend we have a macabre incident:

Two of my Guatemalan worry dolls have been savaged, decapitated and mangled.

As yet we have no evidence as to who perpetrated this heinous crime, but we do have a suspect:

Looking into my crystal ball my dears, I can see you're all destined to have a wonderful weekend.


Samhain blessings,

Andi xx

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Penultimate Car Boot

I am astounded to realise I've only been to two car boot sales this year. I can only think it's because of the arrival of a certain little puppy. Yesterday I went to our local car boot (with Elsie) and spent the grand total of £3.

(I used to complain privately about people who brought their dogs to car boot sales. Now I'm one of them!)

This card of mop buttons was 50p. I wasn't cheeky enough to ask for a discount because of the broken one.

The finger dressing and the tablets for aching legs were for my whimsical medicine cabinet in the downstairs loo. I just pick up these old bottles and things when I see them. They cost 50p for the two. The Elasto tablets for aching legs make me smile.

Four drawers from sewing machine tables cost £2.

The reason I bought these is because quite a while ago another blogger did a post about sewing machine table drawers and I CAN'T REMEMBER WHO IT WAS. All I remember is liking what she'd done, whether it was decorating them or putting them to some clever use.

Do any of you know who I'm talking about? Because if I don't find out, I've a feeling I'll be stuck with four redundant drawers.

Next week is the last car boot of the season, which I will try to go to. Perhaps I'll leave Elsie behind as she does hinder my search somewhat - although she does get lots of admirers.


Andi xx

Friday, 14 October 2011

Keys and a Haircut

I saw a key box in a charity shop.

It wasn't the box that attracted me it was the old keys that decorated the front.

Someone had sewn the keys onto some fabric. The fabric was stained and not a pretty sight, so I took the keys off.

While I decide how best to display them, I thought you might like to see them:

Obviously one is to a clock, but the others are quite delicate. I imagine they were used for cabinets or boxes as they would snap if used for anything as tough as a door lock.

On a completely different subject, Elsie had her first bath and haircut on Tuesday.

I couldn't believe underneath that mop was a Welsh Terrier.

It's probably just my imagination but she seems better behaved now all the fur has gone (apart from chewing Dad's slipper, of course).


Andi xx

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Back From Hols

We've just returned from a two week break in Cornwall and Somerset (to a house of chaos - but that's another story). One of our day's out included a trip to Dunster Castle. On the way, I spotted a salvage yard, and miracle upon miracle, M agreed to stop.

As I know a lot of us here enjoy a good salvage yard, I thought I'd share some pics (with minimum commentary):

This fearsome beast greeted us at the entrance:

Old suitcases are popular at the moment:

A butcher's block:

complete with broken label:

Beautiful old stoves to keep you warm...

And a water pump for your bathing:

Milk churns are always fun (and a family joke)

A beautiful old lantern frame

My Nan had one of these in her porch:

but she didn't have a kangaroo

For some unknown reason I really wanted this signpost, but with all our luggage it wouldn't have got in the car:

giant clock hands

and just for fun...

Did I buy? Yes. I bought a large black cast iron saucepan to use in the garden. I forgot to take a pic. Maybe when I've planted it up.

A very enjoyable trip which doesn't happen often enough for me.


Andi xx