Tuesday 23 February 2021


Some colourful recent activity and Racer back at Charlton House waiting for Andy to have his jab. 
All put together in a not very good video with the same music as the last one as it is the only tune I like in the video programme.

 I finished a pair of very bright socks recently, and didn't fancy making any more yet. I was thinking of making a pair with a Fair Isle pattern around the top, which led me to buying a book of 200 Fair Isle patterns, and now I am making a scarf by trying lots of them out. I like to draw out the pattern and write the instructions numerically, which is quite a soothing activity, though not strictly necessary as they are pictured well in the book. I like this kind of project as it is not boring and involves lots of fun colour experimentation. 

Here is Racer waiting for Andy. 
She took her camera too!

Friday 19 February 2021

Elephants and Giant Mushrooms

After a facebook post of Fresca's, with an animal book with an elephant, in which she requested to see my elephants, I went round the flat and took pictures of some (most) of my elephant collection. Maybe because they are associated with memory I can remember where most of them are from. 
This is one I made (better pictures, process and inspiration here) I saw a picture in a magazine of a metal elephant and really wanted it, so made one. I had been doing Arty Party which had taught me how to do papier mache animals. It took a while!
This wooden elephant was my Gran's, (my Dad's Mum's) and lives in a jumble of things and books in the wooden, glass fronted book case my Grandad made. It made me realise that I have not removed or tidied the things in there for a long time, possible the twenty years we have lived here. So that is on my list at some point.
This is a piece of an elephant I found in Essex on the estuary at the bottle beach. It is sad to be only a part.
Wooden bookend elephants from a nice lady on Greenwich market. She was moving and was selling lots of lovely things from her flat. I also bought a white on red polka dot enamel teapot from her.
They live on the bookshelf in the hall.
Also on the bookshelf is the little display shelf of wooden things. Both elephants on here are from Linda Sue from one of her marvellous parcels!
This is my printers tray of tiny things. I bought the tray in Leicester about 30 years ago. The two red elephants on here are from a strange second hand shop in Rochester, run by an old couple with few teeth. It is piled high with junk-actual junk, but you can occasionally find something good. I don't know how they keep going, and always expect that they will have shut each time I go. There is also a little Wade china elephant and a wooden painted Indian one, and I am not sure where they came from. 
I was with Linda Sue when I bought this old plastic elephant, but I can't remember where we were. It might have been Tunbridge Wells. 
Not sure where this one was from. It is made of heavy pottery. 
This one is a mystery too. My elephant memory is deserting me. Below is another wooden one but I bought it in Leicester and my brother made it new tusks. 
This one is extremely heavy. It looks old but I don't think it is. It is probably meant to have a Howdah attached. It was either a boot fair find or a charity shop in Welling. 
This one is called "The Little Wanted Elephant". I made it and said I didn't think anyone would want it, and Andy said he did so I gave it to him. It lives on the shelf with my Tiger cat memorial. 
This was from the boot fair and was very damp smelling, but that has faded now. It is completely solid. I think it must be stuffed with sawdust. 

 That is the end of the elephants. Now for the giant mushrooms. Not mine, but a very clever artist in China called 小芊枫 XiaoQianFengHer video was put before me by YouTube. This artist is amazing. The video is about 20 minutes long, and beautiful. She lives somewhere remote looking, and seems to have a lot of space at her disposal, which she needs for her project. It must have taken her weeks, but is all there to see, and makes me want to rush off and make just one mushroom, (as I don't have much room!) immediately. 

Thursday 18 February 2021

Girlettes and Covid Vaccine in a Historical Setting

The Girlettes have been a bit like me recently-not doing a lot and feeling tired. However, things are starting to improve as the light comes back, and we have plans. Not many plans, but a trip out somewhere once we are allowed.  I showed Racer her portrait on Fresca's blog and it made her feel famous. She is still happy with her current outfit, especially her woolly warm boots. 
Madeline is still in her map dress, and doesn't mind too much, though she says it is not very practical for any trips we make take soon. Behind her is my second macramé Christmas tree-the red tassels above are the bottom of the first one. It was from a kit that my sister bought me for Christmas, and was fun and quite quick to make. 
I was going to make pyjamas for all three, but I tried to make a pair for Minnie first and they were far too small. So she is wrapped in a little moss stitch blanket on the back of the settee, in between Paddington and the Womble. I may try making onesies instead, out of this cosy fleece fabric I have, but not yet. 
This morning I went for my Covid vaccination, and took Racer with me. She stayed in my bag as moral support but I forgot to take her out for pictures, so she is going to come out with me again tomorrow and see if I remember. I was amazed to be vaccinated so soon, as I was expecting more like the end of March, beginning of April. The doctor who injected me said they were ahead of the game in this area, which is good to know!
I saw this paw print on the way. I see loads in Camberwell, and always mean to take photos. They are the archaeological clues of the future! This is a particularly well defined one and you can even see the claws.
The appointment was at Charlton House, a Jacobean mansion built between 1607 and 1612. A lovely location to be jabbed! This building is on the edge of the gardens.
Here is the main house and the queue. It was all very well organised and all the people were very pleasant. It was strange to be among lots of adults but not be at work. There was a bit of banter and entertainment from the cheerful ladies who organised the part at the end where you wait for 15 minutes in case of a reaction. I also eaves dropped on a conversation between two men behind me but resisted the temptation to join in when they were talking about schools. I felt they did not quite have all their facts right but resisted anyway!
I took a few covert covid vaccine room photos. It is the library of the house. You can just see a soldier in the background. There were a few helping to vaccinate and organise. I think the other people are volunteers.

The ceiling has lovely plaster work.
My timer counting down my fifteen minutes. I have an achy arm the same as when I had the flu jab a while ago, but no other problems. In fact the flu jab arm was worse I think. I am relieved to have had the first one. It has been ok going to work but the possibility of getting the virus is always in the back of my mind so now I can worry less!


Tuesday 16 February 2021


Here is our little old cat Lily. She is still surviving, living on the bed with trips out to the sitting room, kitchen and back yard to eat some of the also surviving catnip plant, which she loves. I have just devised a step for her to get on and off the bed independently, using some cassocks rescued from the bin at the church hall where I work in the summer holidays, and a door mat. The mat gives her enough grip to be able to do the little jump required to reach the bed. She is so old-about 20 now, and takes four different medicines each day, mixed into a runny treat called Lick-e-Lix. She has Hyperthyroid disease so takes medication to control this. She is very thin, and her fur tends to get matted on the areas she doesn't clean much. It is difficult to remedy this as she has always hated being combed, and is very sensitive. I have tried all sorts of combs, but today came up with the idea of using a large plastic needle to tease out the ends of the clumpy bits. I cut off the worst of it first. It is like a fibre problem-her fur is felting together. My strategy was working for a while, but then I pulled a bit and she hissed at me. I will carry on trying though! She is totally deaf too, and when she wants us she does a big yowl. When we go to see what is wrong she does a little meow. One of the times she yowls is to let us know she has had a poo! We have a litter tray for her on a table at the end of the bed. One of her drugs is for her joints. She is quite stiff around the hips but can still move around quite fast when she has to, such as when she spots Cassie coming. Andy says the way she walks reminds him of Julie Walters in the two soups sketch. 
A while ago we came up with the idea of a heated blanket for her, as she feels the cold. It is the best thing ever, and she gets very put out if it is turned off. We put it inside a jumper or pillow case and she loves it. She also has her own scratching post which she has a little go on every day. We were worried about Oliver and her being together when we first got her, but a few lucky swipes and hisses at him when he got too close has given him the impression that she is not to be messed with. He also loves to sleep on the bed or on the drawers next to the window and possibly realises that he will not be allowed to do that if he is not nice to her. This may not be the case but it seems like it, and he was very happy when he was finally allowed to come into the bedroom, which was not for a long time after we had him. Cassie has her own domain in the kitchen-a cushion above the radiator where she spends a lot of her time, so it all works out quite well really! 

Tuesday 9 February 2021

Good Things

 This is from ages ago when I found the video making stuff on the computer. It has ready made everything and I just put some photos into it. Cats, beach, charity shop sea gull and tomatoes are included!