Monday 24 December 2018

2018 - a full year!

Hello again - I trust that you have kept well in the intervening 12 months and life has treated you kindly.

My, oh my, what a busy year it has been for me : not too much in the making/baking/creating department as I am pretty much back to full time work (even if not full time pay....hmmm).  I have been taking photographs throughout the year and sharing some of them here.

A word of warning that these have managed to load themselves in complete disarray - so there is little, to no, sequencing attached to them.  At one point in the post winter arrives in the middle of summer!  Oh, well - you get the gist of the year all the same, I hope

Many thanks for your kind messages from last year and thank you to Priddy Priddy for posting today!

Merry Christmas one and all - I think that we need each other more than ever in this topsy-turvey world we live in

This part of the Christmas 'display' for this year - I know, I know....I promise a clear out next year...

And this morning (Christmas Eve) I have got the dining room table ready for breakfast tomorrow.

 I decided upon more of a Victorian 'theme' (sort of) this year - mainly because I found this wonderful huge tablecloth in a charity shop (for £6) - with the most delicious hand made hair pin lace border (and also falling in love with Dennis Servers' house....see later images...I know that is an even earlier century but I can only manage so much...)

A bit of ivy from the garden and that was about it

 The usual mix of stuff

 I am using my old cake rack as a tray for some delicate, wafer-thin Edwardian glasses this year

 A lovely Victorian fern jug - chipped, so only 50p at the you know where...

I splashed out on a wonderful wreath - smell is lovely too

I spent a weekend in London with my dear friend Bryony - here are some pictures of Burlington Aracde,  and later on Soho and the 'lights' appear

We painted the front room 

And the garden - well, that has been its usual joy for me.

Whenever  Monty says: 'jobs in the garden this weekend'  - I do them, so this year I sewed thalia seeds and they have been great (late Autumn colour - sorry pictures out of order - literally!)

Roses have been splendid  - James Galway below, I think

Maille made us some lovey soup and put our initials on it

The 'usual' brugmansia from Lidl

More roses from the garden

and dahlias from the car boot

Lots of colour and full, full, full

Collecting seeds ready for next year

Dom and I had a weekend in London and revisited some of our old haunts  from when we lived there

The delight that is Wilton's

And one of my favourite London markets - Columbia Road. Many years ago I would get up at the crack of dawn to get there nice and early

'Our' old bagel shop was still there and we had 'our' favourite bagels

Ah, the fantasticness of Mr Severs' house

Ruddy marvellous

Do visit if you possibly can

I loved it

More old buildings from around Spitalfields

Back home, I rearranged some stuff

Ah - this relates to the collecting of seeds previously mentioned

Autumn and I got my Wilco bulbs all planted up as usual

Hmm - I think that this is Autumn too

I know that this sounds awful but I bought a bag of old engraved knives at the car boot, for a pound and using them as plant markers (they are rusty so not really usable as knives)

And bought a glorious collection of Victorian brass stencils (for map making) - only one photo though!

I bought a lovely old wire hanging basket - in dire need of course - and found an old toilet cistern bracket to  hang it from!

Possibly my most favourite image of the whole year - a long story but I went to Leicester to visit Maille and popped in to see the 'virtual Philharmonic Orchestra'.  It was STUPENDOUS. 

Made all the better for all generations joining in

Lovely embroidery

Back to this Christmas again!

Oh, and wreath details

Our childhood home - I hadn't been born at this point

Old pewter and mistletoe 

Mmm - my weekend in London with Bryony again - what is going on!

Many years ago I was a nanny to the casting director of the National Theatre. I became the 'daughter' Gillian never had and we were the best of friends.  Sadly, Gillian died a few years ago but I have kept in touch with her sister and I went to visit her on my weekend away in London.  

She lives in quite a street!  

Across the road from where she lives...

These are the types of places I would never venture into

A different world

Back home we have finally put in a ceiling extractor - it has been a mammoth undertaking (you try holding this up on your back while Dom tries to screw the bloomin' thing in place)!


After many years I decided to sand down our table again. The day before I was in the charity shop and bought a roll of lovely William Morris wallpaper for 50p - I have used part of  that as the table runner here - what could be easier than to roll a bit of nice wallpaper out!

This years decorations - AGAIN!  What is going on

I am rather partial to an old miniature Christmas tree

oh, and some old cards

Earlier in the year I bought this doll because she looked so, 'wistful'. I think she was made by Lily Baitz in the early 1900 and is in incredible condition (£5 from a charity shop)

Sorry, she is sideways here

Back to shelf changes

This is spring

Yes - definitely Spring

I bought this wonderment...

What a great thing this is

Lots of opportunity for 'display work'

Oh and my old ladder too

A favourite cup (painted the garden chairs back to their green)

Spring bulbs

Getting ready for seed work last Spring

Late Spring snow


Making good use of toilet roll middles

Wilco bulbs came good

Seeds coming good too

Spring flowers

As with many, many places up and down the country there was a time to pause on November the 11th.

In my city the names of those soldiers who died in the First World War were placed at the end of the road and street where they had once lived.  That evening I walked along our road and paused outside each house to bow my head and say thank you.

Not a village, town or city went unaffected by the deaths from the World Wars and I think that there were some poignant services up and down the land to remember

Remembering my two great uncles

Sorry, this display features quite a bit

Dom's obelisk worked out well

Getting a little more full with each passing week

Seeds now seedlings

Under the shade of the overgrowth

Now this hanging basket has appeared again!

This must be the height of summer I think

As Ms Woolfe said - cram, cram,cram

A packet of foxglove seeds has to be the best value I think


This is the beauty that is Mottisfont

This IS my garden though - teeny, tiny but very, very full

Another easy to grow from seed plant


Bronte, fitting in quite nicely with the scenery

Quite a few visitors asked to take her photo - they were Americans I think and thought she was quite the part.

The beauty of the white garden

Back home....

Late summer

I found some wonderful old orchid pots

Bronte requested a visit to Red House - do go if you have the chance

How lucky are we to have such wonderments on our door step

Back home - gathering lavender to make some lavender bags

A final trip to Bath and the lovely fashion museum

How I love this embroidery

We dressed up

I did not fit these shoes

Ending with some pictures of the glorious Winchester Cathedral and their flower festival earlier this year

Pausing to give thanks to dear Jane for her wonderful stories

Oh, and I was in the background of this telly programme - ha ha, how we laughed

Merry Christmas and bless us everyone

PS: Bronte made a lino cut and then printed this lovely card for us

See you next year and all the best for the year ahead


La Cootard!