Smoked Fish and Wet Felt…

Hot and blowy today. We have been out walking the hound, visiting the charity shop (me), and drinking coffee at our favourite Cafe Bambino where we snaggled the leather sofas and immersed ourselves in the various foreign magazines supplied. The dog was not impressed because the local schools had the temerity to be using their field for sports day and she could not make full use of it – and then we tied her up outside the coffee shop which forced her to whine for the entire time. People, Bah!

She will be even more annoyed when she realises we are going out tonight and she is not.

My lovely husband is in the kitchen listening to Hancock’s Half Hour and making Smoked Fish, Broccoli and Tomato Pasta Salad to take with us this evening. I do love Tony Hancock.  The radio plays are inspired and the other characters so strong. The telly programmes are good to, I think the first one I saw was The Radio Ham in which Hancock is the only character seen. If you like British comedy and haven’t had the pleasure of Hancock yet, it’s worth looking out for.

I am going on a wet felting (as opposed to needle felting) craft course tomorrow evening. My friend Vicky is running it and it is about incorporating other fibres like silk,  into felt. Should be a really enjoyable and social evening as many of the people from our craft group will be there. Also it is being held at Cafe Bambino, which is a big space, and Caroline the lovely lady who owns Bambino is supplying food.

It has been a long time since I did any wet felting and I am hoping it will give me the impetus to make some shawls and scarves.

Tony Hancock. We have a giant poster of this in our hall.

Days of Pigs and Roses

…and I’m back

Spent the last couple of days visiting my Mum. Which is why I haven’t posted. No broadband connection you see, and as I have said before, dial up does my head in.

Got back on the train in time to have a coffee with my friend Evonne who calls in every Thursday after work. It was a lovely welcome home, as was being met at the station by Tude and then an over excited Polly who acts like she hasn’t seen me for years.

The roses in my garden have bloomed fragrantly and expansively in the 48 hours I have been away and the two tiny aubergines and a chilli that I planted by the back door have just completely disappeared.  It’s all happening…

It has been a year for canine losses – four dogs that I have known have died so far, two –  Bess and Sally in the last week. Very sad, good dogs all.

I’m not sure I could ever live without a dog but it is so hard when they get ill and die, especially when they have to be put down.  At least they have a fairly decent life span though, unlike the pet rats that I have had, that only live for a couple of years. I don’t think I will ever forget sobbing down the phone to the vet as my rat died on my lap. I don’t think the vet will either.

I would really like a miniature pig. I saw an article about them in today’s Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/nov/05/micro-pigs-pets-victoria-beckham They live for up to eighteen years and are seriously cute as well as being intelligent. Trouble is they are £700 – how can you spend so much money purchasing a companion animal when there are so many others desperately needing homes?

They are seriously cute though..

Taking Their Lives In Their Claws

We have some interesting creatures visiting our garden. They are around a lot more  now that Titch is no longer hanging about outside guarding the place. Not that she was a great guard dog, just a big old softie really. I once saw her lying at the top of the garden steps, when we were in the U.K., watching a couple of rats emerging from the garden next door to steal our birds bread. Titch stared at them intently, and I held my breath in anticipation of her erupting and chasing them out,  but she remained completely still. The rats hung around for a bit, then picked up their bread and ambled off.

The visitors we have at the moment are guinea fowl. They belong to a neighbour two houses up and were obviously well used to visiting our house before we moved in. Nether of us had seen this type of bird before so its been interesting.  They are quite noisy and most days, the male stands on his front fence and crows, he’s fun to watch. Unfortunately for them, Polly is not as passive as Titch and the other day she chased them. They flew up and the male landed on top of a cabbage tree, where he spent some time loudly scolding us.

Sneaky garden visitors
Sneaky garden visitors

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Remember The Glass Half Full

Back again and sorry for not posting yesterday. Was not in the mood really. You get days like that.

Many thanks to all of you that commented on the last post, we appreciate your good wishes. 🙂

Although it’s totally gorgeous outside today, little is getting done in our garden. This is because both T and I have colds. He is starting to come right, he thinks, after having over a week with it. Mine is just starting. I am hoping that my new smelly habit of eating a raw clove of garlic a day will help me get better sooner. Whatever – there has been a noticeable lack of vampires around here recently, and that’s got to be good.

I am SUPPOSED to be making felt necklaces. What I am ACTUALLY doing is sitting around in the sun, thumb up bum, reading books and generally feeling sorry for myself. My dog is dead, my head is stuffed with cold, and I can just feel the Mountain Of Things I Am Meant To Be Doing, slowly starting to tip towards me. Oh WOE!

Really, I am a sad git. All I have to do is bring myself back to where I am at the moment and realise that everything is actually fine and dandy. I am parked up on the sofa, with this piece of technical wizardry on my lap, writing to all you thousands five wonderful people out there in web land. I am sick, which is a fine excuse to do f-all, read lots of lovely books and generally have a jolly good rest. My dog may be dead, but she is not suffering anymore and we have had lots of good years with her. I have still got another rather cute hound, curled up on the sofa with me and if I was so inclined, I could get another, which I won’t, but I could.  The Mountain Of Things can be sorted into stuff/ projects I want to do, but which I can put off easily till I’m o.k. – and necessary evil stuff like house work, which can just go to hell.  So.  Sorted. I feel better now. 😉

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Vintage Weirdness for your delectation

Oh, The Horror!

Cheese hound report

Kind vet is supplying us with medication to try and stop Titch peeing inside. He still thinks that she may have cancer and says that the drugs might not work. We are going to give it a go anyway.  We know that she is possibly on her way out, and both of us feel a bit more calm about it. At least we will have more time with her.

and now for something completely different

If you are looking for something to brighten up your day a little, you couldn’t go far wrong than checking out a website whose subject just makes me go “I wish I’d thought of that”. Because we all have different taste in craft, and some people have A LOT STRANGER taste than you could possible imagine, I would like to introduce to you (if you haven’t already found this masterpiece already), Craftastrophe, http://craftastrophe.net/ a website devoted to some of the more INTERESTING craft offered for sale on line

This is a brooch
This is a brooch

This is from the listing:

A fun and whimsical broach that will add a unique flair to any outfit. Pannies Broaches are made from real fried eggs that are entirely encased in gloss to make them solid and wearable. They do not smell or leak or stain, don’t worry! The edges of the egg curl up, creating a sculptural and unexpected accessory.

What more could a girl want huh?

I also like this one:

It really is like something out of Alien
It really is like something out of Alien

And this one just made my day…

Yes my friends, its a dildo cozy - of the spagetti and meatball variety
Yes my friends, its a dildo cozy - of the spaghetti and meatball variety

Ah, The Start Of A New Week..

Cheese Hound Report

Titch is still ok – just ok though and not overly great yet. We will be keeping an eye on her for a while yet, but her illness may have turned out to be a really serious infection. And not something fatal. Yay!

The other little bugger Polly – has a death wish. She was followed home yesterday by a counsel worker who informed Mr T that Polly had been in the middle of the main road eating a dead rabbit. So it is back to being tied up again, whenever we have the outside door open. I had thought we might be able to start trusting her. HA!!

Other Stuff

Today could have been better if I wasn’t on day two of my hangover. Not that I seriously over indulged, but obviously indulged enough. It’s a bastard really, especially when my friend Sue can drink like a fish and be perfectly fine the next day. Many’s the morning when I’ve staggered out of my noisome pit (which is what any bed turns into when one has a real steamer going) and found her fresh as a daisy. It’s enough to make one spit dontcha know.

My hangover did not have anything to do with the home made cider by the way. Although it turned out to be yummy,  the alcohol level was certainly not anything near 10% yet. Will have to be patient and wait a while for that. In the meantime we will be brewing some more.

You can find the recipe for Speedy Cider here –

http://www.harvington.org.uk/hic/speedycider.html

Tip – After you have added the sugar and lemon, wait until you can no longer hear the mixture bubbling, at least a couple of days – we left it four. This is because when bottled it is very gassy and has a possibility of exploding. Ours has been stored out in the garage, just in case.

Saturday turned out to be a great for a brazier night. The gale force winds had dropped and we had a gorgeous day and evening, with a half moon riding high.  Ten of us sat around the fire and put the world to rights. Later in the evening I snaggled a bean bag armchair which turned out to be the perfect chair to sit by a brazier in, it kept my back and bum warm and was just the right height.

Topics discussed included

  • Tom Cruise and Peter Jackson spotted in Masterton (our biggest town), P.J. lives near here.
  • Scientology – the madness of it all
  • Pollution of our local rivers. (Oh yes, the myth of the clean green N.Z.)
  • Who is going to the Organic River Festival in Feb 2010 – me, hopefully!

Organic River Festival

I loved the Organic River Festival this year. After a rough start, in which, after telling every one I had NEARLY forgotten our tickets, Mr T and I arrived at the gates of the Festival (held in Levin, approx two hours away from our town) , to discover I HAD left them at home. The mocking was fairly merciless. Much fussing and fuming and negotiating with the official and we finally got in.   The lack of sleep on the first night camping just about put the kibosh on it for me as well, but I got over it, it’s amazing what six million coffees, a cooked breakfast and and the cheer of good friends can do.

I think the laid back, relaxed feel of the festival is the best aspect of it. It’s a very small gathering as festivals go and that helps – no hideously long queues for anything. Lots of like minded greenies gathered together, and the people watching is superb, with heaps of hippys and other alternative folk to peer at.

I also really love the food, great Hari Krishna vegetarian nosh as well as all the normal stuff with and organic bent. And the plum wine was superb.

On the last night the rain forced the organisers to close the main stage, so a few bands played in the large cook tent. Intimate that’s for sure, absolutely brilliant – I heard the best version of ‘Play That Funky Music’, possibly better than Wild Cherry’s original. Even more tickled when the band dedicated the song to the oldies amongst us, and I think they may have been including me.

Saturday night - early on
Saturday night - early on
Mike and Sue at WOMAD festival
Mike and Sue at WOMAD festival

I put this photo in because I missed out a picture of Mike in my last post – aren’t they a cool Aunty and Uncle to have?

a ‘make soup’ kind of day..

I actually felt better after making soup today – amazing. It had been a rather gloomy morning, unwell hound and another pissy little problem that has been niggling away at me for awhile now, contributing.

Titch was a bit perkier, maybe because of the antibiotic jab she had yesterday. The vet did not ring till 3pm with the test results, I was starting to wish that he wouldn’t. His good news was that her liver and kidneys are ok. Unfortunately that means that there is a good possibility that she has cancer. He has given her some more antibiotics, but I have to ring him on Friday to report her condition.

The vets name is Richard – and he’s a really good bloke. Actually seems to REALLY care,  as opposed to really care, if you know what I mean.

So – although I feel like I’ve done feck all today, I have done pretty well under the circumstances, witness –

  • baked two loaves of bread
  • made an orange cake
  • cooked huge pot of veg soup
  • made three necklaces
  • spoke to many and varied people on the phone, mainly re ill cheese hound

The cheese hound herself has kept me company while I made the necklaces, and is still wanting to get up on the window seat but needs a boost. We will miss her very much if she has to go. I am still hoping that she just ate some thing dastardly at the beach and the antibiotics will kill whatever it is and she will get better.

Obviously wasn’t quite all here today though as I managed to cook the orange cake without sugar.  I didn’t notice – even when I licked the spatula clean after pouring it into the pan, probably because the orange was so sweet.  Still is edible though – of course, LOL.

Here are a couple of the arty photos I took at the beach the other day..

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Picture 132

Picture 158

On A Frosty Morning..

The Cheese Hounds have different ways of dealing with a morning that is beautifully sunny but sparkling with frost. Titch assumes her favourite position on the window seat, muzzle on the sill, and has a wee snooze.. While Polly the Wild Child, prefers to air her parts on the sofa, in the sun.

I Could Hear Her Snoring
I Could Hear Her Snoring
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In Preparation For A Hard Days Laying Around