Saturday, 26 May 2007

More Treasures

It's been a really busy week and I haven't had time to keep up with everyone, but I will endeavour to have a good read tonight. In the meantime thank you to those who commented on my last post, yes I am perfectly recovered, as for watching my op I do have a strong stomach - not alot can make me queasy thankfully.

No matter how busy I still find time for charity shops, these were my finds this week. The china brooches and necklace will be used for crafting, I won't copy but loved the photo frame that Niki showed recently. The little vase will be for WI 'flower of the month' and I couldn't resist the cross stitch hankies.

This adorable picture came from the Cats Protection League for £2! You can't tell here but it is really quite big.

A fortnight ago Ian took me to Worcester as a birthday treat i.e. an amble down the antique/junk shop street and lunch at a lovely little organic cafe. I did not spend all my birthday money but I did buy this - isn't it gorgeous?

The cloth I am using as a backcloth is my first ever cross stitch, done 21 years ago in my first year of marriage. Hubby being in the military was away alot in the first year, and I was a long way from home, so this kept my sanity. It has a heavy crocheted border too which I did during my lunch hours at work.

Now I was tidying up the garden, but the predicted Bank Holiday weather stopped me, I must get rid of the rubbish before a yellow patch appears on the lawn. I commented a couple of weeks ago that my Wisteria has never flowered - well it has now, a few feeble small blooms - lets hope it's better next year. Being rained off I shall try to spend some time this weekend clothing my rather naked ladies! Hope you are having an enjoyable/exciting/relaxing/content weekend, whichever is needed. I may hit the Ludlow Antique Fair tomorrow, or the Burgage Car Boot on Monday choices choices!

Saturday, 19 May 2007

I've been tagged

Gill tagged me the other day for 7 weird things about myself. I have had a hard think and these are all I can come up with!

1. I have hairy toes! Wow I can't believe I am telling this. Yes proper hairy they are - or should I say would be if I didn't attend to them. Ian calls them my hobbit feet!

2. Every weekday I travel down a windy NARROW country road and always meet at least one tractor and a great big school bus coming in t'other direction. And everytime I squeal like a loon.

3. I find it impossible I tell you to spy a magpie and not say 'good day to you Mr Magpie', it's something to do with old superstitions.

4. I like gardening, I think I am quite good at gardening, so why do I kill every houseplant that enters this home? Particularly bad when mother-in-law gives me so many!

5. I clog dance - nuf said.

6. I cry when I am angry, which totally gives off the wrong signals. When my ex-boss ripped me off I cried. He said "I am sorry that I have upset you" to which I replied "I am not upset - I am **%$*"** FURIOUS" (at which point he bolted for the door, and later that day I told the company what they could do with my job). This is connected to the final point

7. I had half a lung removed on the 25th May 2005. This was due to a really really rare tumour (10 per 60 million), and no folks, I have never smoked! Best bit is that the surgeon gave me a DVD of the op (taken from the inside of my chest cavity) which I sat and watched with a huge bowl of strawberries and cream.

To go with this post is one more little 'strange' thing. As I said previously I love gardening. Well our house is built on an old 'inhedge'. This was an enclosure where the drovers penned their flocks when halting overnight. Whenever I dig I always find bits and shards of clay pipes which I HAVE to collect, wash and save (don't ask me why?). I like to imagine the chaps in their rustic clothing, checking their stock before turning in for the night, perhaps breaking a pipe and throwing it to the ground, for me to pick up again a couple of hundred of years later.

Saturday, 12 May 2007

Precious Bane and Shropshire

Now I am not the most eloquent soul though I wish that I were because then I could fully express my love of Shropshire. This largest inland county has a quality to it all of its own, with plains, hills and valleys so beautiful it can make your heart crack. To the north is the Shropshire Plain with meres and vistas quite different to the south. My passion though is for South Shropshire. I was brought up here, my father was a true countryman who worked all his life in the woods and was only truly at home outside amongst nature. As a child I went with him and roamed about absorbing the spirit of the woods and valleys.

A woman who really knew how to write was Mary Webb, and she also had a great love of this area.

Her most famous work is 'Gone to Earth' which was made into a film in the early 50's with Jennifer Jones playing the lead role. It was filmed on location and my sister in law had many relatives who were extras. A few years ago they showed the film in Pontesbury Village Hall and she was amazed to see her now elderly (and in a few cases deceased) relatives from before she was born!

My favourite Mary Webb has to be 'Precious Bane'. Briefly it tells the story of Prue Sarn who has a hare lip and by country supersition is cursed and 'hare shotten'. If I can persuade one person to read this book then I will be delighted. It has the most beautiful ending of any book I have ever read and the narrative is in the old Shropshire dialect.

'Tabor on, owd nag!' says Kester, and we were going at a canter towards the blue and purple mountains. 'But no! I said. 'It mun be frommet, Kester. You mun marry a girl like a lily. See, I be hare-shotten!'

The hills were she set her masterpieces are my hills, Callow, Stiperstones, Linley, Rhadley, Corndon. Here they are.

Looking from the left is Bent Hill, Rhadley, Linley and Corndon.

Corndon from the Devils Chair, Stiperstones.

Bent Hill. The little blob (you can click and enlarge) on the left is a small circular wood, planted by my father to commemorate his employers wedding anniversery one year, it's called 'Clares Ring'. Dad passed away 11 years ago, his ashes were buried in the woods in the valley below, amongst his beloved oaks.

Me - walking down from the Devils Chair, deep in memories, shedding a tear for dad, not knowing Ian was taking my photo.

I live further south now, which is very very pretty and a gentler landscape, but my heart is here and always will be.

If anyone is interested here is a link to Mary Webb country.

Thursday, 10 May 2007

Red White & Blue

My gorgeous red hawthorn.....

White 'Jersey Cream' clematis........................

My Ceonothus, badly damaged by weight of snow this year but recovered well.

The lovely Gill at Lucy Locket has tagged me for 7 Weird things, I shall have to have a think about this as I am a very ordinary person. Gill I shall put my thinking cap on right now!

Last night I went to my first meeting of our WI. Now my daughters think I really am having a mid life crisis- clogging, blogging and now Jam and Jerusalem too. At the tender age of 44 I enjoy the more senior ladies calling me and my friend Cath 'the young ones' hee hee! We had a very enjoyable time with 'show and tell'. Believe me the standard of craft work there was excellent, from ceramics, lace, knitting, crochet, painting, quilting to smocking, baking and preserves. A judge came to give a very informative talk on show standards and now we are fired up for some competitions.

Every month there is 'a flower of the month' competition, whereby ladies bring a flower and there is a 1st, 2nd and 3rd gaining 3, 2 and 1 points respectively. At the end of the year the one with the most points gets a prize. (I came second last night with a sprig of the hawthorn pictured above)

This is a little postcard found in a little beyond help frame in - you guessed it - the Hospice Charity shop. I bought it for 20p, cleaned it up and put it in a new fram, it is so cute, you can't really tell unless you enlarge the photo, but it is printed to look like embroidery, very realistic at first glance.

Monday, 7 May 2007

Upton On Severn

Upton On Severn Folk Festival 2007. What a wonderful day we had. It kicked off with a grand procession through the town, about 40 or so 'sides' all dancing, huge crowds and an amazing atmosphere. Once we had all processed we ended up outside 'The Swan' pub on the banks of theRiver Severn. Here there was dancing all afternoon, each side vieing for a 'spot' with lots of good banter and fun.

I have put a few photos up, some of my favourites, I have just noticed that most of them have blackened faces, whereas most of the sides didn't - that must say something about me!??

These guys were really good fun, one or two of us ended up with black on our faces from having a kiss or two!

This lot were one of the best sides in my opinion, really good, colourful, musical - and funny.

And here we are - Don't we look good? and now you can see the trollen cords where they belong. I'm not going to tell you which one I am!

This is the first of what I hope to be many dance-outs for our side. It is all very english and perhaps just a little bit mad.

Thursday, 3 May 2007

I love my local hospice charity shop. I must spend a fiver in there every week. This was a steal at £2.00 don't you think? Already up on the wall in the sitting room.

This cactus is indestructable! I'm sure it's the one that flowered at Christmas and now again it is a show. I thought they were either Christmas or Easter cacti. I had the brainwave of putting it on one of my glass cake stands to show the flowers off, I just hope no one knocks it off.

Our next 'dance out' is at Upton On Severn next Sunday and I have one more cord to plait on my trollen. I have to admit it is getting tedious now. Due to the success of our Market Hall appearence we have a slot on local radio tomorrow. I won't get to hear it because I will be driving to work, but the sound effects should be good - lots of bells and stomping!

I've also recently finished a jumper for my eldest, it is lovely wool called 'Click', and being on huge needles it was very quick to do. However being really stretchy and holey it was a s**** to sew up so cannot face knitting another for daughter number two. She will have to have something else.

With the left over wool I am attempting to crochet a beanie for my daughter, but I haven't got a pattern so don't know where this will end!