Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Birthday Dolls

It is my birthday today, so I thought I would share my birthday dolls. I met Linda Sue a couple of weekends ago and we visited the Foundling Museum. We had a bit of trouble finding the Foundling but finally did. Linda Sue gave me this amazing doll for my birthday. She is very old and beautifully shabby, and wears her face around her neck so that it looks like a neckerchief. 

 I have had a couple of goes at painting her as she is very tempting to paint. 

 Andy's sister Helen sent me this sweet doll for my birthday last year. She has been waiting for her bigger friend to arrive and they look as if they were made for each other!

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Wrabness and Mistley

At the end of the summer holidays we visited a couple of places in Essex. Wrabness was the first. I chose there because of the recommendation about the beach I read somewhere which said you could find bones. First we visited the community cafe. The lady in there told us how to get to the beach. We drove where directed and parked near the church. This little structure is in the middle of the churchyard. Not sure if it is the lychgate or not. A lychgate is a roofed entrance to a churchyard which used to be used for sheltering a coffin until the vicar arrived. 

We walked down quite a long track. In the distance we could see this intriguing house. It turns out to be an artwork by Grayson Perry.
It's called  'A House for Essex' 

Dilapidated greenhouse on the track. 
Beach houses. 

Next we went to Mistley, not far away. 
The Edme building dominates one end of the village. It is a malt products producer. You can smell the malt in the air.
Buildings have been converted into fancy looking dwellings. 
Mistley lies on the edge of the Stour estuary. There were loads of swans on the water and I think this must be a regular thing as there is a large ornamental swan in the middle of the village.
Another shipwreck.
Said swan. 
Small political doggy in the window. I am not sure what the campaign is about but it is to do with the maltings on the river side.
Some tastefully painted houses. 
Mistley Towers. They were part of a church but the middle part has gone. 

The best cup of tea I have ever had. All of the fancy glass teapots and timers were fun and the tea was delicious! I had Earl Grey.
The cafe is The Tea House at Mistley Quay. Right in the middle just to the left of the swan.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

To the North

Last weekend we went up to Northumberland to go to the Allen Valleys Folk Festival. It was fun and lovely to get away to fresh air. We saw a couple of bands on the Friday night, one of which was my favourite of the whole weekend. They are called Stick in the Wheel and are from London. Their songs are a mix of traditional and their own. There are two singers, one main and one harmonizing, a guitar, a drummer-hand drums and a violinist. The main singer and the other girl did a lot of chatting in between songs and were really funny. (Hard Times of Old England, Me n Becky)  Other than seeing the music, we ate lovely food, saw friends, wandered around in the woods and generally relaxed. Below are a few pictures from around Allendale where we were staying. 
Black Lion
Boarded Up
Bunk House
Cross Keys
Labor and Wait
Methodist Chapel Window
Mossy Roofs
Victoria House

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Sunflowers in the Park

This morning I met Kim from work and we went for coffee in her local park. I have been there before with our friends Devi and Jeremy, or else I would never have known it was there. It is called East Greenwich Pleasaunce and is indeed very pleasant. It has a sweet little cafe and lots of friendly dog walkers. It is hidden away in the middle of the streets with quite concealed entrances. It somethimes has a fair on the last Sunday of the month which is why we decided to meet up. That wasn't on today but coffee in the park was just as good! These two cheery sunflowers stood out and there are lots of huge and beautiful trees. It has a graveyard of naval and merchant sailors which is why we went with our friends before. 
 After coffee, Kim invited me round for more coffee and to meet her dog. He is, as you can see, a very handsome boy. He is called Bruiser and is very friendly and sweet. He has the most amazing chestnut coloured coat with lots of shades in it. I wanted to take photos of him so Kim bribed him with treats!
 He is wearing his sock here as he chews his paw and is making it sore. He soon whipped the sock off though!
 This is a drawing by Kim's grandson. He was in the nursery when I first started at my current school. He was always very good at drawing, really concentrating and looking closely and I loved his pictures. This one is amazing. There is real depth and composition in it and lots of detail.
 I went to buy ink this afternoon so have now printed out the pictures for Tiger's shelf. I had these three tiny frames as a present from a friend a couple of years ago and they are perfect.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Tiger's Shelf

Today I cleared the shelves behind the television with the intention of making a shelf for Tiger. I have her ashes in a beautiful little wooden casket and we wanted a special place to keep them. It might sound a small job clearing the shelves, but it took the whole day! I took three bags of DVDs, books and assorted nick knacks to the charity shop, unplugged the TV etc, moved the heavy naval trunk behind the TV, sorted the remaining books, DVDs and nick knacks and then put it all back. It now looks lovely over there and puts other areas to shame. Oh-I forgot to mention the dust, lots and lots of dust. All gone now. I now have far less stuff on there so hopefully it will be easier to clean. 

My other cats Connie and Boris are on there too. The only thing I couldn't do tonight was print photos of Tiger as I have run out of ink. I will put Lily and Cassie up there too to keep her company. There is a little bowl of catnip, a treat and a toy mouse.
 At the back are a couple of photo albums with cats now departed. The black and white photo is Andy's brother and sisters and their cat Pandy. Tiger's cards are there too. One from Chinmoyee, one from Linda Sue and one from the vets.
 Above are lots of heads, a couple of bulls, a baby and a pair of ducks. There are also some toy cars that were hidden away in a basket.
 I didn't get the time to sort the contents of this dolls house, so have turned it around so it looks neat. This also means I can stick my gold leaf 'Spinal Tap' quote up there.
 When I had finished, I spent a relaxing hour playing with my new Brusho set. I love Brusho, as the colours are so intense and you can get lots of different effects. It is like magic paint.

 I found this image of a London bus being held up by tea cups. It is from a book on pottery and is proving how strong the cups are. I love it!