Posts Tagged puss in boots

Pole Dancing Cats

Mlle Tialys the Elder has been pole dancing.  Apparently it is a legitimate form of exercise.  When she was doing a class earlier in the year, close to her University on the South Coast, she did it in shorts and trainers (I think).  Now, she is doing an internship in London and when she rang to ask for details about a local class they said  ‘some of the ladies like to wear high heels’.  Do they now!  I was a little worried because even though I flung myself about in spandex à la Jane Fonda back in the day, there was never a pole in sight.  Unless you count the one holding up the pub sign where I usually ended up after class to down a swift lager and lime.  Anyway, we have communicated by text this morning and she appears to have escaped being kidnapped by shady characters and was designated as being worthy of the  ‘intermediate’ class.  Perhaps it’s best if she doesn’t get too advanced.

Anyway, when she first started this pole dancing lark, she made me laugh by telling me about hanging upside down on the pole and having to lower herself slowly to the ground and her thighs were making a loud squeaking, creaking noise against the pole as she descended which resounded around the room and that reminded me of this –

Forget all those other famous lines from classic films,  ‘Feed me –  if you dare’ has got to be my favourite.  Plus, how gorgeous is Antonio Banderas’ voice?

Talking of cats – which we sort of were – on one of my rummages recently I spotted this poster for an art exhibition.  It just gets into the ‘vintage’ category (or the American one at least), being over 20 years’ old, so I bought it for my shop but I then made the mistake of hanging it on my wall and now I just might have to keep it.

Vintage French Poster

A bit on the creepy side, I know but just look at that cat’s face.  He reminds me of my own long suffering black cat Salem.  Every summer he gets eaten by some sort of insect and his face, eyes and ears go all scabby and sore looking.  I put cream on which helps a bit but it happens every summer and, round about this time of year, it clears up and you’d never know he’d ever been affected.  It’s so bad that, if he wasn’t mine and I saw him wandering around, I would think he was a poor neglected creature with no home to go to.  As it is, if I see him and I’m in company, I just pretend not to know him which saves any embarrassment and wards off threats to report me to whatever passes for the R.S.P.C.A. around here.

Scabby CatSalem’s Summer Look -note the missing fur round eye, scabby nose and nibbled ear.

Of course, I also have a cat that looks like Shrek’s Puss in Boots

Who has also let himself go and is not ashamed to show it.

(He is alive in this photo by the way)

Back to sewing, knitting, crafting news next time but a change is as good as a rest to a blind horse as somebody who likes to mix up their proverbs might say and, anyway, I have too many projects on the go and nothing ready or worth photographing yet.

Yes, I know I should really have called this post ‘Pole Dancing And  Cats’ but that wouldn’t have sounded quite so intriguing so I sort of cheated.

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I Thought It Was Sunday

Vintage Image courtesy of the Graphics Fairy

Vintage Image courtesy of the Graphics Fairy

In France, unlike the U.K., they tend to have their public holidays on the day of the actual event that they are commemorating or celebrating.  Hence, the 1st of May is a ferié (or public holiday) on the actual 1st of May which, this year happens to be a Wednesday.  Of course, if this were the U.K., the 1st May would have become the 3rd May, which is a Friday this year, so that it could be tagged on to the weekend.  With me so far?

One cause for celebration is that on the 1st May in France, it is permitted to erect a stand (or indeed, just stand) by the side of the road and sell muguets (or lily of the valley) without having to pay tax on any proceeds.  This is the one and only day that this is ever allowed and you can’t stop at a bakery or pharmacy (everything else is closed, of course, this being rural France) without seeing somebody with little posies of lily of the valley for sale.

Apparently, this is all thanks to Charles IX of France who, on May 1, 1561, was given a lily of the valley as a lucky charm.  Thereafter, each year he offered a lily of the valley to the ladies of the court and it became a custom, at the beginning of the 20th century, to give a sprig of lily of the valley, a symbol of springtime, on May 1st.

I am confused because there was a vide grenier or flea market  today.  Usually they are on sundays (or occasionally saturdays) but today is wednesday and I went to one this morning and now I can’t get my head round the days of the week.  I will probably try to watch Antiques Roadshow tonight now after cooking a roast dinner.

Anyway, this doesn’t lead on at all nicely but I’m going to tell you anyway that I went on a guided tour of  Toulouse last week.  Well, a small part of it anyway.  Usually I just go to shop or to eat or to watch a film in VO (or version originale which translates, in my case, to ‘in English’) so I thought it might be interesting to hear about some of its long and interesting history.  I don’t usually like guided tours – I think the last one I went on was at school and we went to see Stonehenge which was so long ago I think it had only just been built.  Anyway, some friends were going on it and there was a promise of a good lunch afterwards so I signed up.  I won’t bore you with the details and history – and anyway I can’t remember most of it now which is another reason I don’t normally bother going on them – but I did take a couple of photos.

Les Minimes (4)

Love these gothic carvings which were originally inside this church but were one of the only features to survive some disaster or another (see, I told you I don’t retain) and were put on the outside of the church afterward.  Of course, being France, somebody has plonked an electricity box just to the top left of it (!) but never mind, I just love these little men.  And, to think Ikea is trying to get us to ‘say no to gnomes’.

Les Minimes (5)Inside the same medieval church, were some beautiful stained glass windows by a French artist Louis Gesta in the 19th century who had his atélier in Toulouse which was the “largest stained glass window-manufacturing firm in the world” at the time.   Despite this, and building a castle for himself in Toulouse, he ended his life in poverty having ‘overextedended’ himself according to my guide.

Les Minimes (13)The shameful sight of part of the castle that Gesta had built in Toulouse in the 19th century using reclaimed friezes, moldings and other decorations and materials from medieval buildings as well as the traditional Toulouse bricks.  At one time this was occupied by a language school and they wanted to buy it but the city of  Toulouse wouldn’t let them.  The city then proceeded to leave it to fall into ruin and eventually it was taken over by squatters who set fire to the inside and gutted it.  There were beautiful paintings and other artwork inside apparently.  It has now been boarded up and has a corrugated fence surrounding it and there is talk of knocking it down.  See, I do listen.

Les Minimes (2)Oops! Got distracted.

Les Minimes (10)Another gothic arch , another graffiti ‘artist’

Les Minimes (11)However, not everything makes it on to Ebay.

On the ‘making things’  front, I have received my dressmaking patterns, having been influenced and inspired by the Great British Sewing Bee and the fact that I ‘ran up’ a couple of skirts recently in super quick time, and now await the arrival of dressmaking fabric which somehow sounds much grander than craft fabric.  I love the term ‘ran up’.  Where did it come from?  Who first coined the phrase ‘I’m just off to run up a couple of skirts’ and were they misunderstood?  Sorry, just rambling there.  Anyway, I have decided that my love of Liberty tana lawn need not stop at the ears of bunnies and the linings of storage baskets or purses.  Indeed, I have a yen for a floaty, feminine summery blouse and so I have yet another excuse to indulge my Liberty obsession as my current stash doesn’t seem to have just the ‘right’ design for a blouse.

Meanwhile, I have been getting sticky again with some cartonnage and enlisted my friend Sandra for her embroidery skills as mine are non existent and it’s one of those crafts that don’t appeal to me – too fiddly – so I probably won’t bother to learn anything more complicated than a ‘tige’ which I believe translates as a stem stitch.

purpleheartbox (2)All sorts of fancy stitches going on there – I can’t be doing with it!

Anyway, it’s not Sunday, it’s Wednesday so I am off to do some more work and, just in case you are wondering whether I actually bought anything at the flea market this morning, I did.  This is one of my favourites –

DSC_0001or Puss in Boots.

DSC_0005This seems to be some sort of pop-up version of the Great British Sewing Bee.  Make a costume for a cat in less than one hour.  The tailor on the left seems to have lost part of his head so he won’t be back for another week!

DSC_0002Aaah, the nostalgia.  Not that I was a particularly gifted tot who could read French  but you know what I mean.

DSC_0004and, as in all the best fairy tales, it ends happily ever after – although I don’t know where the cat is at this point.  I hope he didn’t get run over by the coach.

Anyway, this seems to have been an, even more than usual, rambling and meandering post but, you know, I thought it was Sunday.

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