Friday, 31 October 2008

Ghouls, giggles and general mayhem!

The Aga was not feeling quite itself this morning! A spooky addition to my tea-towel collection sent from our American friends in time for Halloween...along with some of these very curious but very yummy things!
Oh we love Halloween and we miss our friends so very much!! Undaunted, we decided to keep up all the traditions we enjoyed with them in years before. Cookies were baked,
Pumpkin faces were drawn, pondered over and adapted before being cut (mummy wields the knife!),Place cards were decorated,
Pumpkins were found glowing in curious places,
The stage was set!
Witches and ghouls began to arrive and this cute little devil was so happy when finally the mayhem began!
We played musical ghouls, pin the tail on the rat,We had a hysterical time with lots of loo paper playing the 'mummy game' (don't ask!),
and the little ones had a lovely daring time thinking up an ingredients list for the 'Witches Cauldron' (think 'Granny's shopping basket'); "In my cauldron to make my spell I put....". Bat's blood, bogies and boy's smelly socks were amongst my faves!
After a trip out into the crisp dark autumn night for Trick or Treating at our lovely neighbour's, we came home to a supper of curly worms in bat's blood.
The beautiful boy had a lovely time full of new memories for a happy halloween.
And then we phoned across the Atlantic;
"Trick or Treat! Trick or Treat! Give us something good to eat!"
Just the way they taught us!Happy Halloween everyone! t.x

Monday, 27 October 2008

Fossil Detectives

Has anyone seen this great Open University programme? The beautiful boy gets to stay up to watch it for a special treat from time to time... I know, I know, we live dangerously here in Norfolk!
Anyway. We promised that we would go fossilling (is there such a word?) and fossilling we did go!
We raided my old art equipment for suitably archaeology looking tools and we scrambled over rocks at the base of these beautiful cliffs.
We had absolutely no idea what on earth we were looking for. A complete dinosaur skeleton might be nice? A species previously unknown to modern science would be a bonus. Actually we found lots of possible little bits and bobs.You can see something... can't you? Well, never mind! We had huge fun looking...Thank goodness we had a warm stove to come home to!!
...and we're still looking!Hope everyone's having a happy half term! t.xx

Something sad, something glad

It is officially Autumn here in the UK! And with Autumn comes cosy afternoons in front of the stove. Jigsaw puzzles have been collected all year and this one was especially exciting!
I suppose 5 pieces isn't so bad, but it's always a bit sad when you can't quite complete the picture. I wonder where they went? Under a sofa 50 years ago I expect!
But we still have plenty of reasons to be glad! Lots more puzzles to do, lots of leaves to kick around
But best of everything, when we come home, the Aga is finally back on and we can boil a kettle on the hob, keep our toast warm with melty butter and dry out all those wet socks and muddy trousers!
Hurrah for Autumn!
Hope you all have a lovely week. t.xx
Thank-you to everyone who asked about my pink 'keep calm'. I had been looking for one for ages and gave up, scanned a red one, adapted it to just the right shade of kitschen pink and had them printed myself! Where there's a will.....t.x

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Seaside signs

Oh I just love these signs. So cheerful and all my favourite colours!
Who needs computer generated graphics when you can have jolly signs full of wonky lines and sparkly stars?
Not difficult to guess where we've been.
Loving the autumn sunshine and ignoring the cold easterly wind, just one last ice-cream along the promenade before winter.
Some candy floss and a hot donut
Then off around the coast to Wells for hot chocolate with Baileys and giant pancakes on board here!
YUM!
We've got plans for Halloween but we are missing our American friends this year. I have my own wonky sign over the stove to keep them close every day!
Now, does anyone know if it's half past 11pm, half past midnight or Half past 1am. I have absolutely no idea when summertime ends!
t.xx

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Sleepy Smiles

Those of you with Google reader might have seen this already but I had problems getting the video to load! Being such a techie phobic, my solution was to delete the post and try again another day - 9 times out of ten that actually works!! Hurrah!!
This was the beautiful boy's impromtu rehearsal for school's Harvest Festival. The picture quality is not great as the sun was not up yet! We have to start the day very early in this household! But I thought I'd do as the poem says....
video

I'm just passing this beautiful smile around the world!
Happy Harvest everyone.
t.x

Saturday, 18 October 2008

In love with Moo!

It is not often I get excited about customer service. Most often I am known to be grumbling about the total lack of it. Bewailing the fact that in a sea of choice there is often not one company with whom I would willlingly choose to spend my money! But I have found one!
Moo.com I love you!! Great products, great prices, great service! A hat-trick!
Oh I'm very excited!! They have a print technology that allows you to have as many images as you have copies of something. So if you order 100 cards - you can have 100 images! How cool is that! On Wednesday I placed my orders on line - it was all terribly simple (I had pre-cropped and sized my images in iPhoto). I then had 2 hours to prevaricate and faff about and generally arrive back at my original choices before they become unchangeable!
I received an 'order acknowledgment' and then an 'order dispatched' email. Nothing else. No junk. No 'buy more buy more'. Just emails to tell me what I wanted to know. On FRIDAY! Yes FRIDAY! My beautiful, gorgeous, crispy perfect postcards arrived, in a neat little folder and with a natty index print.
On SATURDAY!! the Moo mini text cards arrived (these little cards are for my gorgeous hubby). Oh aren't they just edible?! All snug in their own little recycled plastic box.
Both packages arrived by First Class post with a pre-paid returns label in case of any problems.
Now that's what I call service. I'm already plotting all sorts of exciting print runs for Christmas prezzies! Oh I'm very very excited! Thought I'd share it with you too! t.x

Friday, 17 October 2008

"I beg your pardon...

... I never promised you a gnome garden...".
Ok, so that's not the proper word in the song, but it fits well!
Hubby is distressed. Hubby hates gnomes. I, on the other hand, adore gnomes and have conspired to pass this love on to the beautiful boy.
My favourite books as a child were about fairytale lands where people were little and wore red hats, and the plantlife was always oversized - daisy trees, mushroom picnic canopies, conker shell houses.
This book was my absolute favourite.What child could resist those tiny hidden doorways and all the jolly folk in pointy red caps, smoking pipes and sloshing tankards of beer .... yes really!
I so very desperately wanted to find hidden doors and tunnels in our gardens. I spent long hours looking. And when I couldn't find them I would build them myself. At my granny's garden I was allowed to arrange all her gnomes into my very own little fairyland, always around the sunken sink 'pond'. I would cut flowers and poke them into the lawn for a forest, gather all her wonderfully kitsch garden ornaments and spend hours just imagining myself small enough to become a part of the landscape I had created.
I have often told the beautiful boy about these miniature worlds. We even visited our nearest model village, a tiny example of Bekonskot, the model village I remember visiting when I was a child.
And now he has created this...
We have a gnome garden!
To encourage his artistry I took him on a detour after school one afternoon to Gnome Crossing. It is a long way down a dead-end track, not far from Strumpshaw Fen and where the mainline railway crosses the road.
One of those wonderfully English Eccentric places, full of individuality and devil-take-fashionable-opinion- this-is-my-home attitude which I so admire!
Many of the gnomes and ornaments have been repainted in garish colours to keep them cheerful. My gran also used to do this - once a year lining up her little folk along the back path for a quick refurb.
The beautiful boy was completely awestruck, both by the world of wonderment before him, and the fact that it was possible to walk across a mainline railway without any obvious way of knowing if a train were coming - there were lights and bells but really the only clear sign was when the express train whoosed you just a metre the other side of a flimsy gate!
This wise old owl was a great favourite of course.
And I love the use of old car wheels and tyres to create a display - makes you smile that people pretend recycling is a new idea!
So, newly inspired, our gnome garden has developed into something more! A veritable living community of woodlanders in their timber yard...
and in the undergrowth of weeds, small communities can be spied!
It has become so much an agony to long-suffering hubby that the beautiful boy and I are planning a relocation to a newly developed quiet corner of our garden, where they will have their own secret little space in a horseshoe of box hedging. Who knows, we might even build a little wooden door when the hedge is sufficiently grown!
I have not yet offered these little folk to the growing gnome village. They are the remaining few of my granny's tiny pot gnomes.
These are the little folk who populated the gardens of my childhood dreams and after seeing divine cakes at the Vintage Magpie, I think these tiny chaps can stay in the kitschen for a little while!
These two are bigger and I am keen to preserve what is left of the original colouring.
Did you ever see two more kindly and benign faces?
What's not to love?
t.x

The trouble with the Royal Mail....

Have you ever had a moan about the post? Have you complained about vanishing letters or torn and bashed parcels? Well, this morning I cycled to a nearby post box which is a few miles from home but on the main road.
It should get collected earlier than the one at the top of our lane so it was worth the trip.
I cycled past beautiful views, watched deer and a kestrel, but I think I have discovered a fundamental issue with our postal service....
... because this is all I found!
Someone, somewhere has a very big dent in their front bumper and that's the trouble with the Royal Mail where we live!
The beautiful boy is checking the box every night on the way home from school in case anyone actually tries to post a letter! I just hope the box is replaced, they sometimes let them quietly vanish! t.x