Archive for category Life in General
Earlier this week Wild Daffodil posted about some brown and purple iris in her garden and said they were ugly and looked like witchy flowers – even posing some in a cauldron. I said I had some a little like those and some fully brown ones and she said yuk – or something similar – so I said I’d show her a photo (or two).
So, in defence of oddly coloured Iris varieties, I present
If I ever change my mind though, I have the cauldron ready.
There’s nothing like spending a Sunday morning spying on the neighbours.
Of course, they’re mostly interested in the four legged and winged ones.
I hope your Sunday will be slightly more interesting.
Well, ‘cats’ actually but the alliteration didn’t work. No bats to see here although there will be plenty swooping about at night soon.
In between waiting to sew up the side seams of my jumpsuit (see last post) which, I must say, looks very good on the hanger and waiting for my silver rivets to arrive from Japan(!) so that I can show you the finished jeans which I think might actually fit me, I took my phone with me on our dog walk this morning. I keep meaning to take it with me as our garden is very steep and some can’t be seen from the house so I wonder how long I would be lying up there with a broken ankle or something with the dogs, taking advantage of my supine position, trying to eat me before anybody realised I was missing.
Anyway, here are some pretties.
Leon likes to come with us but cries if we go too far.
White lilac about to burst forth
Likewise one of our many Iris
Pretty apple blossom – though the apples are never up to much. A bit blurry but I do have two dogs on leads so not too bad really
We’ve only ever had one quince from this but there are lots of blooms this year so perhaps we’ll get more.
Our Judas Tree about to bloom
but even though the grey lichen looks pretty against the purple, sweet pea-like flowers,
I don’t think it bodes well for the tree.
Leon likes to have a little rest half way round.
There have been lots of piles of poo and holes dug around the place and after weeks of thinking the wild boar were coming further down the hill to dig up roots because of the very dry winter we’ve had, Mr. Tialys spotted this on the hillside at the top of our garden.
It’s a badger sett. Notice the pile of earth they’ve moved out and it looks like the doorway has a lintel across it which is formed by a rock they’ve obviously dug under.
I must take myself up there one mild evening with a book and sit and see if I can spot any . How exciting if I got to see one or even a family group.
I won’t take the dogs with me and the sett is the other side of the fence we’ve put up to keep the dogs in a smaller area so they shouldn’t be bothered by them.
Photo taken from the British Ecological Society here
Although, I’m a bit worried about my hedgehogs that usually snuffle around in the evenings a bit later on – I think they can become Badger food.
This is a bit closer to the entrance but I didn’t want to go too close in case I caused any stress.
There is an informative blog post on the subject here if you think you might have badgers living close to you.
See – I do go outside sometimes 😎
Well, I’ve been back from my visit to see Mlle. Tialys the Elder in the U.K. for a week now but, as usual with me, it takes a while to get back into what passes for any sort of routine in my life.
I was very lucky with the weather and I know this because people were in shorts, t-shirts and other summer clothing and frolicking on Bournemouth’s sandy beach while the ice cream vans were doing a great trade. England in February is not how I remember it but, being made soft by the warmer climes in S.W. France, I still had my coat on and, at times, a scarf despite it being the hottest February day ever (allegedly). When I got back to Toulouse last week the temperature was 25 degrees C and that’s not right either although it has dropped to ‘normal for the time of year’ here now and I believe the British tabloids are predicting an ‘icy blast’ for the U.K. which remains to be seen but I think they are even more obsessed than usual with the weather in a bid to write about anything other than Brexit.
I did the usual things – fish & chips, Dorset cream teas, curry, Sunday brunch, bizarrely flavoured hot cross buns from M & S and even popped into a Japanese restaurant for our last evening there which happened to be the birthday of Mlle. Tialys the Younger – lover of all things Japanese. I descended on the ubiquitous charity shops and had a lovely smoked haddock dish in a quayside pub (the smoked haddock here is over-dyed to the brightest orange you’ve ever seen and very expensive). I also had the best facial treatment I’ve ever had, using the voucher Mlle T. the Elder gave to me for Christmas, in the spa section of the original Lush shop in Poole. I was so relaxed I didn’t even feel the urge to shoot the seagulls keeping me awake at night until two days later.
We went to the Oceanarium right on the beach in Bournemouth which was good – especially their lovely sea turtle. ( NOTE; Re-reading this I realise it makes it sound like a restaurant 😱) We were lectured on the terrible problems of plastics in the ocean and the top ten single use plastic items found in the sea. As is usual with most such places now we were forced to walk through the gift shop before we could exit which was ironic considering it was filled with a lot of plastic goods, including balloons which were in their top ten villains chart. I feel a letter coming on.
I wore a dress I’d made but not blogged about. It’s another Lady Skater dress – one of my go to patterns. This was actually made for Mlle T. the Younger but due to the fabric being a very stable cotton jersey without a lot of widthways stretch, it didn’t fit her and I had to keep it instead. Shame. I did have enough fabric left to make her a t-shirt though which she will probably get much more wear out of. I don’t have as many winter dresses as summer dresses so it will come in useful.
The two person coat making workshop my friend Sandra and I are doing on Wednesday afternoons has been held up by her missing a couple of weeks due to illness and by me going off to England. However, I haven’t forgotten it and have done a few bits alone otherwise it won’t be ready for next Winter, let alone this one.
The sleeves are quite ‘snug’ but I’m not going to undo the top seam because the stitches just sink into that fabric and are hard to find, plus the fraying is horrendous if you fiddle about too much with it so I’ll just have to remember I can’t wear a thick jumper underneath which I don’t normally do with a coat anyway. I wouldn’t mind but my arms are anything but thick so I would recommend sewing that top arm seam at 1cm rather than 1.5cm if you’re using this pattern.
You can see the swing shape in this back view.
‘Just’ got the facings to go on those fronts and then the collar to do and the exterior is finished. Then comes the lining, which I’m scared of as it’s slippy and has to fit nicely inside and I’ve never lined a anything other than a skirt and a dress before. It’s starting to look like I actually might successfully make a coat!
So, I have been reading all of your blogs but that’s an update of some of my goings on – should be able to get back to normal now I’ve written a post.
Do you ever get the feeling you’ve been given a glimpse into your future?
* photo taken from a story in La Stampa – an Italian newspaper – concerning a decision by city officials in Rome to clamp down on the unregulated feeding of the city’s 200,000 stray cats by the gattara, mostly elderly women, who lovingly feed and tend to them. It looks to be an unpopular decision.
Remember a week or so ago when I was fretting that Mr. Tialys wouldn’t make it home because of various strikes and disruptions in the U.K. and France (but mostly in France).
I had run out of cut logs for the log burner, never used a chainsaw and not sure I want to start now.
I’d also got a Christmas tree outside but needed it bringing in and set up ready for decoration – it’s quite a big one.
Well, as you can see, he made it home but I was worried that, when he went back to the U.K., he would have difficulty getting back to France again because of the aforementioned strikes, demonstrations and general mayhem going on here at the moment.
Little did I think to worry about a drone (or drones) closing down Gatwick Airport for more than a day and causing travel chaos for thousands of people trying to get home to their families for Christmas.
There’s always something. Last year the French air traffic controllers were randomly on strike. Next year I’m going to insist he comes home a week early and stay here for the duration – I can’t stand the stress.
After rebooking himself and Mlle Tialys the Elder on a flight out of Heathrow (at vast expense) to make sure of arriving home in time for the festivities, including the now traditional dressing up of the dogs in festive manner, all is well,
Everybody’s here and we can relax.
I hope you are all able to be with the ones you want to be with this Christmas.
x x x
The other day a friend and I had a spot of lunch before mooching around a couple of junk shops.
Unlike the U.K., we are very ‘poor’ in charity shops (thrift/op stores) around here but we do have quite a large one within a half hour drive. There is so much stock that some of it ends up outside to be rained upon and this includes furniture, sewing machines and all sorts.
You could be forgiven for thinking this photograph was taken outside the junk shop but, in fact, it’s part of the terrace at the back of my house – the shutters are a clue. This, however, is the position this wardrobe door was found in – leaning up against an outside wall in all weathers – with the only damage being the veneer at the base starting to peel off a bit.
I’ve been looking for a full length mirror to put in my sewing room to help with fitting issues and I might not have thought of an old door separated from its wardrobe if my friend hadn’t suggested it.
Anyway, the door was purchased and (wo)manhandled by the two of us into my car – it was a tight squeeze .
I thought the wood veneer might look a bit ‘heavy’ in my workroom so decided to clean and lightly sand the surface …..
……… protect the lovely bevelled mirror with masking tape and whip out the chalk paint.
Here I include a word of warning to anyone over the age of about 40. Never actually look at yourself when bending over a mirror – gravity is not your friend.
I love this bevelling.
Not much distressing of the chalk paint was necessary as the wood stain shows through a bit anyway so I just rubbed a bit at the mouldings and brushed some soft wax over it all. I left the little lock cover on as it’s pretty and I’m not trying to hide the fact it was once a wardrobe door – it’s more interesting that way.
Not bad for 5 euros (about 6 US dollars)
Despite having this antique suitcase stuffed full of vintage linens that I must have a rummage through one of these days, we also went a bit mad in the linen department of the aforementioned junk shop.
I say ‘we’ but it was mostly ‘me’.
I find linens really hard to photograph which is probably why I still have a suitcase full of the stuff instead of having it in my online shop. Well, that and I’m not very knowledgeable about embroidery or different kinds of lace so the descriptions are a challenge for me too.
This piece is lovely and only has a general, slightly tea-stained look about it – no single stains. I know I have some readers who are vintage linen aficionados and wonder about the best and safest soak for an overall ‘freshen up’ for this piece. (You should be able to click on all the photos to enlarge them)
I got told off by Mr. Tialys for buying this next piece because it definitely has some staining which the thread, in particular, has absorbed. The work on it is so lovely though and the lace surround so pretty and there’s no other damage (more excuses ready if needed) that I had to buy it.
Obviously, the darker threads are stains although at first I thought the maker might have just run out of beige thread 🤔- but I also wonder why the light cream and the darker cream embroidered squares are placed in these positions – it seems a bit random. I don’t think I’ll be able to get the staining out of those threads – unless you know different – but wondered about deliberately ‘tea-staining’ the whole thing. Any thoughts from my knowledgeable readers much appreciated.
Changing the subject ever so slightly, I hear that mustard is big again this autumn which I hope is true or this –
will have been a waste of time.
Not that most people in the corner of rural France I live in would know or, still less, care but I do at least try to keep up appearances.
Just a quickie.
Can anybody identify this plant for me?
It’s got a very woody stem – part of which you can see poking up to the left of the flower head – and is currently around 50 inches tall (128cm). It’s still in its pot as we’re not sure where to put it until we know what it is and what conditions it likes.
That’s all for today – I’m off to my fainting couch to sit out the mid to high 30 degrees heat we’re having at the moment.
Have a good weekend!