Wednesday, March 30

FOUND!! Young Bruce. . .known as Ned!

After Bruce's episode of over-exuberant high jinks,
I decided to seek professional help (psychiatrist!!) with his training
as we were obviously not on the same wavelength.

Quickly assessing the deteriorating situation Kirsty set us
team building and bonding exercises reinforced with a
more positive approach to  schooling.
Overly protective about lameness recurring
I was being far too lenient with his workload!

Schooling has produced dramatic results as we've both
found better balance and co-ordination and as he
builds muscle tone in all the right places, Bruce has rediscovered
the most AMAZING, floating paces- something forgotten during
galloping and jumping of his 10 years hunting!

Determined to find out about his past, I set to work
tracing his early years in Ireland.
Registered with the Irish Sports Horse Society as
"Look Who's Talking"
(he obviously ALWAYS flapped his lips about!)
I tracked down and contacted
an earlier owner, who was overjoyed at receiving
info of a horse she parted with in 1999.

Hilary bought him when he was 4 to produce
as a show cob. He won many prizes at country shows,
was placed 3rd in his class at the prestigious Dublin Show
and subsequently sold to an English dealer.

She fondly remembers him "having a fantastic step
and being very light to the ground"
and enclosed the above photo taken when he was 5. . .
and his name was Ned!

Friday, March 25

been busy!

Preparations are getting into full swing for
and giving a refreshing facelift to some
items for sale has been really enjoyable
outside in the lovely sunny weather this week. . .

The gaudy gold of this 1960s cheval mirror
has been tempered with a fresh off-white,
rubbed back to reveal a shabby glimpse
of times past

I love the ornamental scrollwork, and I can just see
a DELICIOUS pair of shoes being displayed
on the drawer at the base!

This old travel trunk was covered in rather tired blue vellum
so I've turned it into a Map Chest with panels from
Vintage 1950s travel guides, lightly waxed
for added protection

it has brass capped corners and clasps, metal studs and
nautical rope for handles.
There's a useful lift-out tray inside which also got the map treatment!

This dinky little pine scrub-top table means
even the smallest kitchen gets the Farmhouse Look,
and best of all the legs un-bolt for ease of transport!

The legs and skirt have been painted and waxed,
the top simply sanded and left bare.
I've not removed the old ink stains and signs of pre-love-
we all know it's what makes these vintage pieces SO unique :)

I'd better get back to work now. . .

Tuesday, March 22

Bruce in the buff!

Sun shining. . .birds singing. . .breeze gently breezing. . .
cue Bruce's first day out in the field without wearing his
warm and waterproof rugs!

Mind you, come rain or shine "room service" still has to
transform his bedroom from this. . .

to this!

(which reminds me the sitting room floor
STILL needs vacuuming- maybe if Bruce lived indoors
housework might get done!)

Thursday, March 17


To say I'm ridiculously sentimental would be
a gross understatement.

Keeping family treasures and mementos is acceptable
but how do I justify an irrational penchant for
the mundane things unknown people have written?

Ordinary people. Ordinary things.
Shopping lists. Comments in the margin of completed recipes.
Thankyou notes. Diary entries. Postcards.
Inscriptions on the back of photographs.

So when I found this Guest House Visitors Book
at Shepton Fleamarket last year
I knew fate had placed us together-
true love across a crowded stall!

With leather-bound spine, faded board covers
stitched pages and and marbled fly leaf,
the front is simply inscribed
(my fingers linger over the gold blocked letters as I type!)
and the inner page is dated 1928

She ran a Guest House; People left a comment.
A moment in life captured forever

Some struggling with the inkiness of the pen
some neat no-nonsense comments, some expert calligraphy,
politeness, gushiness. . .

what was the significance of the leaf pressed
twixt two pages?

did "Anita" stay the weekend?
(and was she wearing her best gowns furs mantles and lingerie)?

Many visitors returned year after year on the same dates,
a testament to both extreme comfort and routine!

some lodged during the working week
and went "home" at weekends

but every comment praised comfort
kindness and attention to detail.

These were unsettled years leading to the start of WW2
and the Guest House finally shut it's doors
at the end of November 1940

did He get his call-up papers?
did She feel she couldn't manage alone,
lighting the fires. . .cooking breakfast
(how did Wartime rationing work away from home)?

The world had changed irrevicably since
those heady days of opening the front door
and opening The Book!

Part of me wants to know what happened next.

Part of me doesn't. . .

Tuesday, March 15

Sandie at Rag Rescue

one of my very first eBay customers was the lovely Sandie
 and although we've never actually met,
over the course of 10 years we've chit-chatted via email
before discovering eachothers blogs

Last year I bought a huge bundle of smocked dress panels
from the estate of a lady who made children's clothes
for Liberty of London in the 1950s

and who better to see the potential of these works-in-progress
than Sandie, who runs the most amazing on-line shop

Not only does Sandie sell a dazzling array of
re-cycled old fabrics and vintage embellishments,
she also felts

and used little smocked panels to make up the birds in
this wonderful picture for her grand daughter- 
more details and pictures are on Feltissimo

I just SO love it when something old
begins another life as something new!

Saturday, March 12

to most, it would appear to be. . .

to most, it would appear to be

just a shabby old wooden fence

fallen into a state beyond repair.

But to me, it's an invitation to imagine

all the grand carriages that would have have majestically swept

through ornamental gates to the house beyond. . .

Wednesday, March 9

Storecupboard Staples are a Girls Best Friend :)

On early morning autopilot making sandwiches/drinking tea/answering emails

Ted says it's Pancake Day, will you make some later?
yup no problem

On early evening autopilot trying to finish the too-many things I've started before curfew time/drinking tea/answering emails

Ted says ooh pancakes for tea isn't it
err. . .yup. . .no problem. . .if you cross your fingers when you lie it doesn't count ;o)

For a chuck-it-in-and-hope-for-the-best cook like me, I summoned Delia's batter recipe and I did TRY to follow it to the letter, honest!
No one told Martina we needed large eggs and she's still on wintertime mediums so I splashed in some extra milk.
Savoury pancakes would solve the what-to-make-for-supper dilemma so I added a sprinkle of chili flakes.
(Now I'm back on familiar territory hoping-for-the-best!)

Pancakes cooking on the electric ring, between flips time for a scout around the larder.
Oil into the wok, sliced broccoli florets, spring onions, punnet of mushrooms.
Half a tub of hummus, black olives, crumbled feta cheese.

Fill the middle of each pancake, fold the sides over and put in an ovenproof dish.
Pour half a jar of pasta sauce over the top, sprinkle with grated cheese
(I only had Edam so it was more a splat than a sprinkle!)

Served with avocado and watercress salad.

If I say so myself it was blimmin' lovely, with enough batter to have lime and icing sugar pancakes for pudding. . .yes, I admit it-
I forgot to get lemons and caster sugar doh!

Tuesday, March 8

a new career?

Just like the hippo
he so resembles
to roll in the mud. . .

which is fine. . .

because if he continues
to be
so naughty
out riding. . .

he can always start a new career. . .

as a male model :))

Saturday, March 5

eventually, the Giveaway Winner was picked. . .

I asked The Boys if they'd like to do the
Giveaway Prize Draw,
but they couldn't decide who would choose,
and who could actually read the winning name. . .

so I asked Henny but she said no, she'd done it before
and Martina had been so jealous she'd sulked for a week. . .

Kit said she was FAR too comfy to even bother
with the pieces of folded paper
(the look says it all). . .

and Bruce ate them (then wished he hadn't). . .

so. . .

I asked around for someone to

pick a winner. . .

(hmmm. . .)

and then decided best do it myself. . .

. . .the first name out of the hat (or saucepan, to be entirely correct)
to win the Birthday Giveaway prize. . .

is. . .

Ivy Black

please email me your address and the package will be on it's way :))

Thankyou so much to everyone who entered,
and for all the kind comments
left on the giveaway post xx
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