Friday, 30 November 2012

Weekend Read - Christmas Flutter emag


A free emag for you to read this weekend from the creative designer Amanda Herring of The Quilted Fish.  The 22 pages of Christmas and craft inspiration can be found, free of charge by clicking here
By the way Flutter is the newest fabric line from The Quilted Fish and Riley Blake Designs

Friday Vintage- Vintage & Handmade Fair

 This weekend sees the return of the orginal (and many say best) Vintage & Handmade Fair
where you'll find, amongst many other delightful things

 Vintage Christmas decorations from Donna Flower

 Felt pin cushions from Hen House

Handmade fairies from Nostalgia at No 1

Friday Flowers - Amy Merrick a Florist and Stylist in New York

Gorgeous aren't they?

This seasonal display is by AMY MERRICK a floral designer, writer and stylist based in New York City. Her writings on design, flower arranging and entrepreneurship have appeared in books, magazines and across the web. As a florist, she creates evocative tablescapes of flowers, foliage, fruits and branches. Her work as a stylist is botanically focused, and she has provided natural elements for magazine covers and national ad campaigns.

 Amy has worked with Ralph Lauren, Brides, The Today Show, Design Sponge, Nylon, Whole Living, BHLDN, Garden Design, Country Living, CNN and Kinfolk. She chronicles her experiences on her personal blog and teaches floral classes out of her Brooklyn studio.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Yummly - The world's largest recipe search site

Have you discovered Yummly?

Yummly operates a brilliant search filter so you can find recipes with or without certain ingredients, great for when you're trying to use up what's in the fridge. You can also search  different world cuisines, holiday recipes, courses, different diet types, allergies, nutrition, the time you have available to make something,  by taste eg. salty, sweet, spicy etc and you can even search by brands eg. I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!

If you haven't already discovered Yummily go and take a look but be warned you could come away seriously hungry!

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

The Story of our Churches and Cathedrals 1964 Ladybird Book

 The Story of our Churches and Cathedrals is a Ladybird Achievement Book first published in 1964, Series 601.

 This copy is a first edition it has beige boards with a blue pictorial and blue lettering on the front panel; blue lettering on the spine and endpaper maps on the dustcover. The original price was 2'6 Net.

 What is this book about?

Churches - Cathedrals - Religious Buildings - English Architecture

 "This book traces the development of our churches and cathedrals from Saxon times to the present day. With simple text and superb full colour illustrations it describes the many interesting and beautiful features of the various periods of architecture, and will add greatly to your understanding and pleasure."

 Contents: Stories in Stone; Saxon Churches; Saxon Towers; Norman Architecture; Norman Walls and Towers; Triforium and Clerestory; Norman Roofs Crypts and Windows; Early English Architecture; The Flying Buttress; Pillars and Cloisters; The Decorated Period; The Great Lantern of Ely; The Perpendicular Period; Large Windows and Fan Vaulting; Timber Roofs; Fonts Moulding and Gargoyles; Shrines and Tombs; English Renaissance; St Paul's Cathedral; Wren Churches; Eighteenth Century Chapels; The Gothic Revival; Coventry; and The Cathedral of Today.

Author: Richard Bowood
Illustrator: Robert Ayton
Publisher: Wills & Hepwroth
First publishd: 1964

About Series 601:  This series, the first to appear in the 1960s, was very popular for it’s well-written texts and superb colour illustrations, and added interest to the history of man's achievements, helping children grasp a greater understanding of our past, and how inventions of plastics, ships and railways have helped shape the world we live in today.
 If you like Ladybird Books you might also be interested in a previous post: Florence Nightingale Ladybird Book
This is a Ladybird Tuesday Post hosted by Being Mrs C  Mrs C is featuring Things to Make this week and is joined by Mrs Fox's who feature The Pottery Makers

Monday, 26 November 2012

Rainy Day Blues - or - The Mud Post

 It's been raining on and off for weeks now and I think that all of  those who spend the majority of their lives outside have probably had enough now. As much as I like the rain, and I do really like the rain, the end result is mud.
 Muddy paw prints in the house, poached paddocks and muddy horses. Pig pens that have completely turned to mud.

Oh well as least Hugo looks happy. I'm so glad I bought new wellies and that they haven't fallen to pieces yet and so very grateful that all we have to contend with is mud.

25 November 1929 floods Wonastow Road in Monmouth, Wales, UK. (Image via Wiki Commons)

Rain...Rain...Rain... - Weekly Poem

It's still raining so what else could the weekly poem be but Rain... Rain...Rain... by Indira Babbellapati

Rain on tinned roof
Rain on concrete
Rain soaking into sands
Rain on soft earth
Rain on metal road
Rain on windscreen

Rain falling into the sea
Rain in the river

Rain on flowers
Rain on leaves
Rain under trees
Rain on hills

Rain on my skin…

Each with its own unique raga
Reverberates across the sky
On to the earth…

 Indira Babbellapati

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Weekend Film - Black Narcissus

Both my maternal Grandmother and her Daughter-in-Law, my Aunt Viv, loved films about nuns and and the 1947 film adaption of Rummer Godden 's book Black Narcissus was one of their favourites. I watched it many times in their company, usually on a Sunday afternoon after a huge roast dinner.

It's a rather melodramatic, psychological drama, in glorious Technicolor, with emotional tensions running high in a convent of Anglican nuns living in a remote location in the Himalayas. Apparently it created quite a bit of controversy and censorship back in 1947 with some scenes being removed prior to the USA release so as not to offend the Catholic Legion of Decency.

 I've added the official trailer to this post but it would seem that you can actually watch the whole film on this Youtube video Black Narcissus

Black Narcissus released by The Rank Organisation, directed byMichael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, starring Deborah Kerr, Sabu, David Farrar, Flora Robson, Jean Simmons, Kathleen Byronm, Esmond Knight, Jenny Laird, Judith Furse, May Hallatt, Eddie Whaley, Jr., Shaun Noble.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Weekend Bake - Pork and Bramley Apple Bake

 Bramley apple & pork

 This  simple, one pan recipe has become a firm family favourite.

450g/1lb  potatoes
4 small  onions, sliced into wedges
2 tbsp olive oil
450g/1lb (approx 3) Bramley apples, cored and sliced into wedges
1 or 2 lean pork steaks each depending on your appetite for meat!
1 tbsp fresh sage leaves or 1 tsp dried sage


1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/Fan 180ºC/400ºF/ Gas Mark 6.
2. Parboil the potatoes
3. Place the potatoes, onion and oil in a large roasting tray or dish. Toss together and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bake for 15 minutes.
4. Remove from the oven, then stir in the Bramley slices and lay the pork steaks on top. Season and sprinkle over the sage and then return to the oven and bake for a further 20 minutes or until the pork is golden and the Bramleys and vegetables are tender.
3. Serve.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Vintage Friday - Closet & Botts

A lovely mix of vintage homeware and clothes at Closet & Botts first pop-up shop in St. Andrews Studio,Lewes, Sussex a couple of months ago.

Closet & Botts scour the flea markets of Europe hunting for over-looked treasures. They buy things that they think are beautiful, and bring them home to sell at markets, pop-up shops and their very own online shop which you can visit here: Closet & Botts.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Thanksgiving - 10 Things

1.Thanksgiving is celebrated each year on the fourth Thursday of November in the USA and on the second Monday of October in Canada

2.The first Thanksgiving was in 1621 when the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared a Harvest Festival feast.

 3.U.S. President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving Day a national holiday in 1863.

4. Canada's Thanksgiving established in 1879 was based on the USA's Thanksgiving but in 1957 it was decided to have the annual holiday in October due to Canada's colder weather conditions.

5.That first feast  included many different meats:
"Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, among other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed upon our governor, and upon the captain, and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.”   A Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth by Edward Winslow

6. There were no forks at the first Thanksgiving. The pilgrims didn’t use forks, they ate with spoons, knives, and their fingers.

7.That first Thanksgiving feast lasted 3 days.

8.Today's classic Thanksgiving menu is turkey, cranberries, root vegetables including sweet potato followed by pumpkin pie.

9.Television now plays an important part in Thanksgiving celebrations with many families watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and football (American) games on TV.

10.The "Turkey Pardon" is a Thanksgiving Tradition where the President of the USA officially pardons the National Thanksgiving Turkey who is then allowed to live out it's days on a farm rather than going to meat.

 Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Florence Nightingale Ladybird Book

 Mrs C of Being Mrs C today announced the start of Ladybird Tuesday where each Tuesday she plans to share one of the vintage Ladybird books from her collection and tell us a bit about it. It's a brilliant idea so I'd like to share one of our vintage Ladybird books in this post.

 Florence Nightingale is a Ladybird series 561 book. Series 561 was produced between 1940 and 1980 and was one of the more popular series. The first 23 titles of the series, 19 of which were produced with dust-wrappers, were all written by L Du Garde Peach and illustrated by John Kenney.

 Florence Nightingale was first published in 1959 by Wills & Hepworth, written by L Du Garde Peach and illustrated by John Kenney. It's an adventure from history which tells the true story of Florence Nightingale, The Lady with the Lamp.

"The nurses and hospitals of the whole world owe a great debt to Florence Nightingale, one of the greatest Englishwomen who ever lived.

Her name has always been associated with the Crimean War, but it was her patient work during a very long life which made our hospitals what they are today. This is her story."

 Author:L Du Garde Peach
Illustrator: John Kenney
Publisher: Wills & Hepworth
First Published: 1959

Monday, 19 November 2012

I believe nothing by Kathleen Raine - Weekly Poem

I believe nothing - what need
Surrounded as I am with marvels of what is,
This familiar room, books, shabby carpet on the floor,
Autumn yellow jasmine, chrysanthemums, my mother's flower,
Earth-scent of memories, daily miracles,
Yet media-people ask, "Is there a God?"
What does the word mean
To the fish in his ocean, birds
In his skies, and stars?
I only know that when I turn in sleep
Into the invisible, it seems
I am upheld by love, and what seems is
Inexplicable here and now of joy and sorrow,
This inexhaustible, untidy world -
I would not have it otherwise.
 Kathleen Raine

Find out more about Kathleen Raine here

Sunday, 18 November 2012

A Murmuration of Starlings

During the Autumn and winter months just before dusk you may be lucky enough to see one of the most amazing aerial displays in the UK - a murmuration of starlings

Murmuration from Islands & Rivers on Vimeo.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Weekend Read - The Musical Umbrella by Friedrich Feld

 Love the 1950's illustrations by Ferelith Eccles Williams in The Musical Umbrella by Friedrich Feld.

 "Mr Aldermar had spent ten years on his invention, a marvellous umbrella which made the sound of lovely chiming bells when he put it up. It looked quite ordinary, but it was the only musical umbrella in the world. Then, on the first day he went out with it, he lost it - and was plunged into the depths of despair, Thanks to Marin and Helen - and clever Brownie the dog - he gets it back in the end, after some very funny and surprising happenings."
The  original title was DER MUSIKALISCHE REGENSCHIRM, The Musical Umbrella was translated from the German by W. Kersley Holmes. This vintage copy is  from 1958  published by Blackie & Son Ltd, London and Glasgow.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Friday Flowers - Foxtail Lilly

This Friday's Friday Flowers could also be our Friday Vintage as Tracey Mathieson the owner of  the Foxtail Lilly shop in Oundle, Northamptonshire not only grows and sells the most divine flowers she also sells vintage in her shop, go and take a look at

Thursday, 15 November 2012

A Foggy November Day

 A blanket of fog has covered the land, obscuring the horses,

 dulling the sounds.

Who would know there was an orchard beyond the skeletal plant?

The water laden air brings it's own beauty as it clings to cobwebs that sparkle despite the lack of light.

A few wizened apples cling to the bare branches.

No sun - no moon!
No morn - no noon -
No dawn - no dusk - no proper time of day.
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member -
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds -


By Thomas Hood 1799- 1845

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Make your own recycled bird feeder

  Here are a couple of ideas for DIY bird feeders:

The tea cup and saucer bird feeder is made from recycled cups and saucers instructions here

and this stylish bird feeder is made from recycled bottles and wood, instructions here

Images: Shelterness

Monday, 12 November 2012

Weekly Poem - You Love the Roses - So Do I by George Eliot

If you step out into the November garden chances are you'll see a lonely rose bloom gallantly flowering against the odds which brings us nicely to our weekly poem:

You Love the Roses  ~ So Do I

You love the roses - so do I. I wish
The sky would rain down roses, as they rain
From off the shaken bush. Why will it not?
 Then all the valley would be pink and white
And soft to tread on. They would fall as light
As feathers, smelling sweet; and it would be
Like sleeping and like waking, all at once!

~George Eliot 

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Lest we forget - Remembrance Sunday

Anthem for Doomed Youth

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
       - Only the monstruous anger of the guns.
       Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
       Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs, -
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
       And bugles calling for them from sad shires.
What candles may be held to speed them all?
       Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of good-byes.
       The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.

      Wilfred Owen 1893-1918

And on this Armistice Day let's not forget the :

 Horses, Mules and Donkeys

Eight million horses and countless mules and donkeys died in the First World War. They were used to transport ammunition and supplies to the front and many died, not only from the horrors of shellfire but also in terrible weather and appalling conditions. Mules were found to have tremendous stamina in extreme climates and over the most difficult terrain, serving courageously in the freezing mud on the Western Front and later at Monte Cassino in World War II. Equally they toiled unflinchingly in the oppressive heat of Burma, Eritrea and Tunisia. There are many inspiring and often tragic stories of the great devotion and loyalty shown between horses, mules and donkeys and their masters during some of the bloodiest conflicts of the 20th century, as can be read in Jilly Cooper's moving book Animals in War, published by Corgi.

The dog's innate qualities of intelligence and devotion were valued and used by the forces in conflicts throughout the century. Among their many duties, these faithful animals ran messages, laid telegraph wires, detected mines, dug out bomb victims and acted as guard or patrol dogs. Many battled on despite horrific wounds and in terrifying circumstances to the limit of their endurance, showing indomitable courage and supreme loyalty to their handlers.

More than 100,000 pigeons served Britain in the First World War and 200,000 in World War II. They performed heroically and saved thousands of lives by carrying vital messages, sometimes over long distances, when other methods of communication were impossible. Flying at the rate of a mile a minute from the front line, from behind enemy lines or from ships or aeroplanes, these gallant birds would struggle on through all weathers, even when severely wounded and exhausted, in order to carry their vital messages home.

Other Animals

Elephants, camels, oxen, bullocks, cats, canaries, even glow worms — all these creatures, great and small, contributed their strength, their energy and their lives in times of war and conflict to the British, Commonwealth and Allied forces during the 20th century.

The Animals in War Memorial, Brook Lake, Park Lane, London is a lasting tribute to them all.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Weekend Read - After the Armistice Ball by Catriona McPherson

After the Armistice Ball ~ a v. appropriate read for this weekend
ISBN-10: 1845291301
ISBN-13: 978-1845291303
"To socialite Dandy Gilver a spot of amateur sleuthing seems like harmless fun. And what could be better than to try and track down the Duffy diamonds, stolen from a country house after the Armistice Ball? Before long though Dandy's innocent pastime is swept away by something much more serious. The untimely death of the lovely Cara Duffy in a seaside cottage is recorded as an accident, but Dandy, and Alec, Cara's fiance, feel sure the Duffy family is hiding a dark secret..."
(Taken from the Dandy Gilver website)
I'm not sure what I was more charmed by, the website or the book, or to be more precise Dandelion Dahlia Gilver herself. I really liked Dandy and Alec, I think in real life we could have been friends.
Do take a look at the website where you'll find extracts from the book and all sorts of useful information such as how to make tomato sandwiches and the care of linen.
Have to say that I agree with the Scotland on Sunday review, 'Society sleuth Dandy Gilver is the most engaging and ingenious crime-cracker I've met in ages'

Weekend Bake - Ham, Egg and Cheese Pie

Summer galette

This is a family favourite adapted from a Rose Prince recipe for a Summer Galette once published in the weekend Telegraph, it's delicious. This is how we make it:
Line a tart dish with ready made puff pastry, makee three plain omelettes then layer the omelettes in the dish with ham and cheese, added a puff pastry lid, with a hole to let the steam out, and bake on Gas mark 6 for about 30 minutes until golden brown.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Friday Vintage - Princess Phone

It's little, it's lovely, it lights

and it came in pink and blue.
Was the Princess phone the perfect girly accessory?

Friday Flowers - Nikki Tibbles Wild at Heart

If I had a real, bricks & mortar shop

I'd definetly sell hand tied posies

in gorgeous vintage containers

of all descriptions.

These fabulously styled and photographed flowers are from Nikki Tibbles

Wild at Heart

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Our Ferrets

Way back in July 2009 these three little ferret hobs came to live with us.
Their names are :
 and Sandy.
And they are quite, quite adorable, full of fun and mischief.