Posts Tagged brighton

Like The Queen

DogwithCrown

Like the Queen, I had a big birthday in June and, also like the Queen, I managed to spread the celebrations throughout the whole of the month of June.  Unlike the Queen I at no point wore a tiara or lime green outfit and I didn’t turn 90 – but one day I just might.

Anyway, that’s my excuse for not blogging myself, not commenting on some of your blogs as much as I usually do and generally being out of cyber circulation.  In order to get myself back in the swing of things and start posting again on a vaguely regular basis, here is a brief whizz through some of the things I got up to.

I flew over to Bristol and met up with Mr. Tialys in the beautiful city of Bath , with its Roman baths and wonderful Georgian architecture, where we stayed for 3 days in a delightful ’boutique guest house’ called Dukes which is run by the most charming people and, if and when I am next in Bath, I will refuse to stay anywhere else.

Flowers & Champagne

A bouquet of flowers (from himself) and a bottle of something sparkly (from my friend) were waiting for us when we got into the room.

Here’s something I can cross off my bucket list.

Four Poster Bed Dukes Bath

The left hand pillow was not crumpled when we arrived but Mr. T. couldn’t resist flinging himself on to the bed when we arrived and I forgot to straighten it before the photo.  But you get the idea.

After a lovely weekend of eating good food, visiting the American Museum (mostly for the quilts but it was all interesting), admiring the city generally and avoiding the Euro 2016 matches being shown in almost every pub,  Mr. T returned to France to take over the dog wrangling from my friend who was house and dog sitting and I took the train up to London to spend some time with Mlle Tialys the elder who has just finished University and therefore not averse to hanging out with me for a bit.

We went to Camden Market and did five circuits of the street food market before we could decide what to eat but, on the actual day of my birthday we went to one of my favourite places (Brighton) and had fish and chips on Brighton Pier with a glass of sparkly.

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I couldn’t eat it all 😦

…. and I certainly couldn’t go on the helter-skelter afterwards.

Fish & Chips on the Pier

My daughter wore a dress she had made herself which had a foxy print and people kept complementing her on it so she was very pleased and encouraged to keep on with her sewing.

Fabrics From Ditto

We went to Ditto Fabrics (as I always do when I go to Brighton) and I was very restrained and bought three pieces of fabric with a specific purpose in mind.  The purple jersey on the left (obviously Liberty but not priced as such), will be a sleeveless skater dress for my other daughter.  The middle navy and white cotton will be the backing for a quilt I’ll be making for Mr. Tialys and the one on the right will be a skirt.  Does anybody recognise it from the penultimate episode of the Great British Sewing Bee?  When I bought it the assistant told me it would be on the show that week but I thought she’d got it confused with the African Wax Fabric section in a previous week – not because it is wax fabric but because of the pattern – but then it appeared.

We went to see a girly film –  Me Before You – because we knew nobody else would ever want to watch it with us – and had a weep, along with the rest of the (almost uniquely female) audience.

I then went to see my Mum and had dinner with an old friend who I’m hoping I can persuade to come over to France for a visit now that her son is off to University.  I’m talking to you Alyson!!  We didn’t get anybody to take a photo – I refuse to take selfies – but here is one of us both in Brussels from back in the day when we both worked for an airline and got ‘staff travel’ so could zip off to European cities for a day trip at weekends for next to nothing.

Me and Alyson

We looked everywhere for that bloody Manneken Pis – expecting it to be much bigger (these were the days before Google!) – and were mightily unimpressed when we found it.  I have no idea why we are both wearing cords and something resembling a hacking jacket but it probably made sense at the time.

On the Saturday morning of my flight home, I had booked myself into a Tilly and the Buttons workshop on Freestyle Machine Embroidery.  I have messed about with it a bit myself but wanted to learn from scratch and pick up some tips and I do love a workshop.

Free Motion Embroidery Course

 We were given a choice of two designs to work on – a pair of scissors or a cat – but I went off piste and did my own for which I had a good reason – to be revealed at a later date.  It was good fun and we had a lovely, enthusiastic teacher called Sophia Palmer of Jessalli.   I will definitely be playing around with this technique on some future projects but am also hoping it will be useful with my attempts at free motion quilting.

I flew back to France with a planeload of Welsh football supporters who were coming over for the Euro 2016 match against Russia – which was fun!

Then I had a birthday lunch with some friends here but the photos the waitress took of us are too terrible to be displayed in the public arena.  They were made worse by the fact that it was a hot, sunny day and we are all bathed in the blood-red light caused by the scarlet parasol shading the table so we look as if we are all having a hot flush at the same time – which could have happened actually but that’s beside the point.

The following Thursday I treated my friend and house-sitter to dinner at the amazingly beautiful l’Abbaye-Chateau de Camon and we were a little early so had our aperitif on the terrace in a bower of  lush greenery.

L'Abbaye Camon

Then, my birthday present from Mr. Tialys finally arrived home with him from the U.K.

Daisy Dog Sculpture

This is a sculpture by U.K. artist Christine Cummings which he had ordered back at the end of April in order for it to be ready for my birthday but, what with one thing and another, he didn’t actually receive it until a couple of weeks after my birthday so he wasn’t best pleased.  However, as I had used the fact as an excuse to keep on going with the celebrations until I had my present,  I wasn’t worried at all!   Isn’t he gorgeous?  If I could ever bring myself to buy a dog from a breeder  – this is the dog I would have.  As that isn’t going to happen, I will content myself with one that doesn’t dig up the garden, poop and bark at inappropriate moments as I already have three who fulfil that brief adequately enough.

My liking for these dogs goes back to when my daughters were tiny and I used to read this book to them.

Daisy Book

Which I still have – obviously! Along with most of the other books we read together.  Some things you just can’t part with.

The Queen at 90

Anyway, I might not have had as much pomp and ceremony as June’s other birthday girl but I enjoyed myself and, according to my mother who knows about these things,  managed to spread it out even longer than I usually do.  I can’t think what she means.

 

 

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Proud

Back in France after my week-long visit to the U.K., still in shock as I didn’t have to take a jacket – no, not even a cardie.  Baking in a heatwave, the Brits watched the tarmac melting, their children getting severe sunburn and old ladies getting stuck in deckchairs until, inevitably, it all got too much, there was a storm and the rain and wind returned.  Oh, and a new prince was born.

As predicted, I went to Brighton but didn’t have time to go on the pier this time so, instead, I bought some cards from a lovely photographer lady, Ruth Thomas, who was selling them in the market.  This one is my favourite and, although I sort of suspect the bright white light is a photography no, no, I like the way it seems to emanate from the old, destroyed Pier and shines through the deck chair canvas.deckchairsonBrightonPierThe rest of the photos are mine and, because I was on a budget airline and too mean to pay for a suitcase,  I only had room to take my teeny,  trusty old compact camera so, sorry for the dodgy quality.

I went to Liberty in Regent Street CIMG0315which is gorgeous inside and out

CIMG0318I couldn’t decide which fabric to buy so bought a bundle of coordinating tana lawn to make into a small, simple quilt – when I get a minute.

I went to an antiques fair and, as you do,  bought an enormous vintage butcher’s hanging scale which can weigh items up to 200 lbs and is itself so heavy I don’t know how I’m going to get it back to France – hence the lack of photographic evidence!   It has made its way as far as Mr. Tialys’ appartment as I thought he’d be able to bring it back in his cabin bag but he pointed out that Security might have a problem with the huge metal hook suspended beneath the scale.  Who knew?   Inexplicably, I also bought some vintage wooden crates which I have left at my parents’ house and is where they will probably stay until somebody decides to chop them up for kindling.  I do this kind of impractical shopping sometimes – I get carried away in the moment and, if Mr. Tialys is not there to talk sense, which he wasn’t on this occasion, I end up with all sorts of things and then have to  organise a courrier delivery.

I had arranged to meet my sister-in-law near London Bridge  for drinks and dinner but went early to indulge in a bit of culture.   I always find certain exhibits at the Tate Modern good for a laugh  and there is a lovely view across the Thames from one of the balconies where you can go for some respite from the innovations in art or, if you are so inclined, and many were, a quick ciggie.

CIMG0323I had a traditional English cream tea (Oh, how I miss real cream) in, bizarrely, a tea shop just off Carnaby Street where I took a break from spooning clotted cream and strawberry jam onto warm scones to surreptitiously snap this framed French magazine as I have some of these in my vintage shop and wanted to demonstrate how good they look framed up.

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What, I hear you ask, is the meaning of the title of this post.  Am I proud to be British, proud of that rather good photo of the Thames even though I only had my compact, or proud of my vintage finds?  Well yes, all of those things but mostly I am  proud of my Mum.   Now 80 herself , although for gawd’s sake don’t tell her I told you, she was nominated for a voluntary carers’ award for visiting a housebound elderly lady every week – almost without fail – for the past ten years .  She wasn’t going to attend the ceremony as she is far too shy and modest but, as I said I’d go with her, she agreed to go.  She received a framed certificate from the Lady Mayor and afterwards we had a traditional English tea (another one!!) in lovely gardens in the sunshine.

Mum's AwardMy caring Mum.

When I got home I had over 350 emails to sort out – who are all these people who have my email address? – and Madamoiselle Tialys the elder has truly caught the dressmaking bug and was waiting for some help finishing a skirt she had started so I haven’t actually finished anything myself for a couple of weeks.  Still, plenty of mother daughter bonding going on while she is home from university for the summer so I’m not complaining just explaining the lack of  ‘tadaa’ moments in this post.  Maybe next time.

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A Flying Visit

Off to the U.K. tomorrow for a quick visit.  It is Madamoiselle Tialys the younger’s birthday on Friday and she and Mr. T are off to a concert at the O2.  I am not going.  Here is one of the band’s album covers so guess why!

I will, of course be indulging in some retail therapy and visiting some friends.  On Saturday we will go to my favourite place – Brighton – and meet a good friend for lunch.  She lives there and I missed her last time I went so that is a priority.  Unlike rural France, the restaurants stay open outside of 12 – 2 at lunchtime so we are having a late lunch in order that I might forage in the Laines for a few hours first.  I am going to set off earlier than the other two who are not such avid shoppers as I am!  I think that’s a good plan.  My favourite restaurant in Brighton is ‘Terre à Terre’ which is a vegetarian restaurant but, even though I’m not a veggie, it is sooooo gorgeous I can forgo a meat fix.  The trouble is, the menu is so interesting – they describe all the ingredients of a dish so thoroughly and it all sounds so amazing – that it takes me half an hour just to decide what I want.

Might be a little cold for the pier at this time of year – maybe I’ll stick to the shopping and the eating.

A priority also, is to visit my parents – I will be staying with them for the first couple of days and my two sisters are coming over to see us which will be great as I don’t get to see them much especially my younger sister who lives in Wales.  I want it to be a little bit of a family party because my dad is going to start palliative chemotherapy the following week and, even though he isn’t saying anything, I know it must be a daunting prospect.

What about Madamoiselle Tialys the elder, I hear you ask.  Well, she is going to be looking after the house and the animals which I can hardly bear to think about really.  Her boyfriend will be moving in with her for the duration so, between them, I am sure everything will be fine.  I am taking her food shopping today so they won’t starve and will be typing a list later on which I will pin on the fridge starting with ‘Let the chickens out’ and ending with ‘Put the chickens away’.  There will be lots of other things in between and I’ve already stuck a note on the inside of the front door saying ‘Have you got your key?’

See you when I get back!

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New Shoes?

My Saturday Selection today is my new pair of shoes that I bought while I was on my little break in the U.K., because they are just so gorgeous.

This is a ‘sedate’ pair as befits a woman no longer in the first flush of youth but rather in the hot flush of later years!  The others in the shop had all sorts of  fabric decoration going on, perspex heels and cartoon rabbits on the soles which my daughter was in love with but, fortunately, she finds it difficult to walk in heels so she was sadly disappointed although she did have one of their bags instead. 

Some shops you just can’t walk away from – or at least not unless you’re wearing new shoes.

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