19 August 2007

New Header and Shepton Giant Flea ...

Well, it's taken a while, but this morning I decided (keyboard still playing up and the word "decided" ended up as "deec" - something definitely wrong here) I should be brave and try to add my logo to the blog header. After all, if I can build a website I'm sure I can do that. It took me a few attempts but I got there in the end. Not sure whether I like it with this template, but I may revise the whole thing sometime ... as if I had nothing else to do!

It's time for the Giant Flea at Shepton again - next Sunday, Bank Holiday weekend. I've been experiencing Shepton withdrawals of late as the 3-day Fair which normally takes place in July was cancelled. I've been having a clear out, tidy up and de-clutter, and have decided that as well as my usual fabrics, linens, eiderdowns etc, I shall be taking numerous Hampstead Bazaar clothes which I no longer wear (if you've not heard of them, they're the long drapey clothes that Dame Judi Dench wears), and handbags ... and handbags ... I've moved on from being a compulsive handbag buyer/hoarder at last (I think) and some of my stash needs to go.

Yesterday was quite therapeutic as I cleared out the armoire and realised there was an awful lot of stock in there that was never going to sell hidden in our spare bedroom. So that will be going to Shepton. Numerous pairs of curtains, a couple of blankets, a couple of Durham quilts and some Laura Ashley fabric.

And I think it's probably a good thing Gillie's not coming to stay again until the middle of next month ... here's her bed!

Time to get on ... now I'm on a roll and full of enthusiasm (slight exaggeration maybe) I must get more sorting and de-cluttering done. As for tidying and organising ... that's for another day. I don't have my tidy hat on today I'm afraid. Some will tell you I don't have a tidy hat to put on! They'd probably be right! Must dash ... just remembered I've left the iron on ...

18 August 2007

Update on the One-Armed Bandit ...

Regular followers of V to V will know that mum fractured her arm (in two places) the evening before H's wedding at the beginning of May. You sent so many kind wishes that I thought you'd like to share the good news that the physio signed her off yesterday.

She has been able to tick all the boxes relating to things she wanted to be able to do - most importantly, gardening. Whilst using shears jars her arm too much, she can wield a pair of secateurs exceedingly well, and has planted a couple of trees and shrubs in between showers. Hoeing poses no problem at all, and is exercising the arm - so I'm told!!

It's certainly a relief to us all that she has regained so much use, and the fact that she can't yet get it up behind her back will, I'm sure, also be a thing of the past before too long. She's continuing to do the appropriate exercises with her usual determination.

We can now concentrate on the other matter in hand - her eyesight - which was, if we're being honest, the cause of the tumble in the first place. Opticians have been seen, doctor referred to and now we have to 'book and choose' an appointment at the hospital to see the eye specialist. But at least she has accepted there is a problem and we're en route to getting it sorted ... at last. Will keep you posted.

Thanks again!

I've just added a couple more items to the Shop and hope to add more over the weekend. I've had other 'important matters' to deal with over the last week or so, and haven't had an opportunity to add as much as I'd hoped to the website. But photos have been taken and it's just a case of getting the descriptions written. Here's a taster of what's coming soon.

15 August 2007

How Kind ...

... Please excuse me if you think I'm blowing my own trumpet. I probably am, but I was so thrilled to have an email from this lady today, enquiring about the embroidery threads. Heather had been given my name by one of my customers. Heather writes the Independent Needlework News "It's like CNN, but all needlework news, all the time!" and has written a wonderful post on the threads and kits that I'm selling, with links to my blog, my Shop, different 'pages' of the shop and my contact details. I was quite overwhelmed, and very grateful indeed. Who knows what business could come from her kindness. Heather, I thank you. And Susan, I thank you, too, for passing on the information. You are both so kind.

Update: I'd like to add the following, which Heather wrote to me earlier. I imagine it could be of interest to quite a few of you:

INN is my way of giving back to the needlework community. I want to be the place where stitchers, designers, shops, manufacturers, and distributors can get all their news in one place fairly quickly and then be able to sit down and stitch. With tips starting to come in, maybe I will also be able to stitch!

Lazy Saturday Afternoon ...

I was going to say "Two Post Tuesday" but realise it's Wednesday already! Where did Tuesday go then? This first post is all about finding a nice pub to meet some friends on Monday, and the next one will be an update on all those embroidery threads and kits I bought recently ...

So ... Lazy Saturday Afternoon (and other matters) ...

Some friends were due to travel from Ascott under Wychwood (post flooding) to Cornwall on Monday so we arranged to meet for lunch somewhere just off the M5 in the Bridgwater area. Not knowing the pubs (with garden for their dogs) in the area P and I decided that sunny Saturday was ideal to go exploring. We went here first, and decided it was rather nice. The menu looked good - something for everyone - and the garden was a joy; the photos in the link don't do it justice. Then we trundled off to the second one I'd picked from a Google search. More commercialised, and not what we wanted for a relaxed hour or two catching up with friends*.

*Actually, A and I met in 1966 (she was 15 and I was 16) at her cousin's 21st birthday party. Her aunt and uncle were friends of my parents. We got on so well, became penpals for a suitable number of years and rarely met, finally writing each year in our Christmas cards "let's hope we'll manage to meet up in 1970/80/90" etc etc. In 1990 I actually called on her en route the pretty way from Bath to Northampton. And that was it until 2000 just after my 50th birthday. We met in Marlborough for lunch - a suitable half-way point for us. It was unbelievable to realise that this was probably only the 5th or 6th time we had EVER met in all those years. Since then we've tried hard, and I posted about meeting her for lunch a couple of months ago in Lacock, our new half-way point. And now, TWICE in TWO MONTHS. Unbelievable. Even harder to comprehend is the fact that we have both been married 30 years and until Monday had never met each other's husband. We haven't met each other's children, either, know each other so well! So each hubby was meeting 2 unknown people for lunch!!!! And we all got on like a house on fire. We spent a good 2½ hours chatting about all sorts of things and finding that the men enjoyed similar things. A and I knew we'd all get on, but it was great to come home afterwards and for P to say what a lovely couple and what an enjoyable time. I'm hoping N thought the same!!!

Anyway, I digress ...

The second pub was adjacent to the M5 so very noisy, but also adjacent to a canal. So, after a humungous prawn baguette P and I had a short wander along the canal bank, and then meandered back through Sedgmoor and the Somerset Levels.

We had a lovely drive back through the Levels. It was a treat to take time out and pootle along at about 25 mph enjoying the scenery. Normally I'm behind the wheel trying to get from A to B in the shortest possible time. There were hardly any other cars on the roads we chose, so it was really relaxing.

Without realising it we had driven around the area where the The Battle of Sedgemoor took place. I have a brochure in front of me, so can tell you that this battle was fought in 1685 and was the last major battle on English soil. It was the climax of a rebellion led by the Duke of Monmouth attempting to overthrow James II. I was useless at history at schook, but remember writing about the Monmouth Rebellion. I had no idea what it was, of course, but now I do!

I got back home feeling as if I'd been on holiday. It was a treat not to be racing around. In fact I've had a reasonably relaxed few days, culminating in visiting Niki (Nostalgia), another friend briefly, and Liz (co-dealer at Dairy House) yesterday. Some travelling around, but no time restraints for a change.

Enjoy the photos!

11 August 2007

Changing World ...

One blog back to normal. One keyboard still not right. One spare keyboard not in the loft where we thought it MIGHT be, so I shall have to read through this carefully to make sure all the characters I've typed are actually displayed, instead of "read this" becoming "ris" which has happened a couple of times over the last 24 hours.

I've just visited French Knots and caught up with a couple of months of her life (I'd got way behind) (NB I typed 'behind' but only got 'be'. This is NOT GOOD) and when she mentioned her computer meltdown it made me thing just how much the world has changed in the last 20 or 30 years. I appreciate some of you don't go back that far, but bear with me ...

These days we feel isolated if our computer is down and we can't get our daily fix of blogs or emails; 20 years ago it was devastation if we lost our filofax. Our whole life (and more) was in that glorified diary, to the extent that newspaper articles were frequently written on the subject. Before that the only worry was if we didn't get to the phone quickly enough when it rang. There was no 1471 or message service so we'd have to wait until whoever it was telephoned again. And what if they didn't? We'd telephone everyone we thought it might have been (rarely was it any of them), and then spend the rest of the day wondering who or what we had missed. And just how long ago is it (really feeling my age now) when you only had to remember 3 digits if you were phoning someone in a village, and 5 digits for a town phone number. Of course, you had to dial 100 for the operator first if you weren't phoning from the same exchange. I've just googled for when STD codes were introduced and it would appear that I had reached the grand old age of 18 (which didn't make me an adult in those days!). Hmmm! There are still times when I only feel that age, but trust me just a few sneaky years have been added while I wasn't looking. It is indeed a changing world!

I've been a bit busy taking photos for the Shop and as a consequence have been a bit remiss on blog photos. But look at the black cloud hanging over the northern edge of Somerton at the beginning of the week! Thankfully it passed (but not without an good rumbling thunderstorm first).

And this morning there is a distinct air of autumn about the day. There's even a touch of mist. Not good in the middle of August! According to Tiscali we're going to have a lovely sunny day on Monday!
Hope the sun is shining on you this weekend!

09 August 2007

Improving ...

Thanks for your suggestions etc. I managed to post a query to the help desk eventually. Haven't had a response but they say you don't get one unless they need further information. However ... I can now get my blog on my screen ... eventually ... provided I wait a couple of minutes for it to arrive. The brown background arrives ... and I wait ... and wait ... and then the rest follows. But at least once it arrives it stays put and doesn't whizz off somewhere else as it was doing this morning. So with a little patience and the wind in the right direction, maybe, just maybe, by tomorrow normal service will be resumed ...

In the meantime, I have managed to pop over to your blogs this evening with no difficulty which is a relief. It was quite alarming to think I wouldn't be able to get my evening fix of all your news.

I'm seriously wondering if it has something to do with my keyboard, which seems to have acquired a mind of its own in the last 24 hours. I used to have a similar problem years ago and unplugging and reconnecting the keyboard seemed to do the trick. In those days the problem from time to time was that whatever key I pressed a backward slash would appear on the screen, so it's knickers were well and truly twisted. This is, of course, a different keyboard, and a different computer but the keyboard has had a lot of use. Once I find one that 'works' for me and allows me to type at the speed I want without tiring my fingers (can't stand the keyboards with spongy keys - much prefer 'clacky' keyboards that let my fingers fly) I use it for every computer upgrade until I have squeezed every ounce of life out of it. This refers more to the days of self-employment working from home, sitting at my computer all day every day for 16 years typing texts and manuscripts for legal publishers. Thank goodness I have since 'got a life' and now just use the keyboard and attached computer more for pleasure than for earning a crust!

Will keep you posted and might in the meantime have to buy a new keyboard ... although I think I might have a spare lurking somewhere. I was so pleased with this one when I bought it (only £6.99 from the local supermarket at the time) that I bought two!! I just hope the spare moved house with us last year ... I wonder where it could be ...

Something Peculiar is Happening ...

: ""

... to my blog, and to everyone else's. Each time I try to visit you I get a blank screen like a 'new post' screen with 'Edit Html' in the corner, as I have now. I'm hoping that this will end up as a post which you'll be able to read, but I have no idea. If you don't hear from me for a while and thought you should, you'll know it's because I can't access your posts. I wonder if I have a blog virus? Has anyone else had this problem? The tab which would normally indicate that I was on the Vintage to Victorian screen just says 'Blog This!' Great! This is what it says when I go to any of yours, too. Aaaaaaaargh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Can you see the colon, inverted commas and square with a red cross in at the top of this post? That is what I get on all your blogs. Eeek!


06 August 2007

Can you Believe It?

I've just seen on the local news that the cattle from Surrey with suspected foot and mouth have come to Frome in Somerset to be slaughtered. How ridiculous is that? Did I hear right? Must have done because they were filming at the cattle market which was empty today - and which is usually bustling.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but if there is to be no movement of cattle, as before, why are they being transported halfway across the country to die, when those that are healthy have to stay where they are?

My apologies if this upsets anyone, but I find this whole thing quite ridiculous. Surely it's asking for trouble. I feel for the poor farmers who are just getting back on their feet after the awful outbreak in 2002. It's only in the last 12 months or so that we've begun to see good large herds of cattle in our fields again. And for what? It makes you wonder, doesn't it. I don't usually get on my high horse, but there are times ...

Two in a Row ...

... I'm totally overwhelmed ... look what's happened now!

Dear Alison at Foxgloves has kindly nominated me for this new Award - which I have to admit to being rather chuffed about! (Chuffed - does one still say that, or am I showing my age?) It's nice to know that I offer up some 'nice matters' sometimes!

It's an "I'm not sure what it's going to do today" sort of day today - sun and blue sky, but grey clouds dotted around, quite a breeze (well, quite windy actually up here on this hill). But wasn't yesterday lovely? We met some friends at Clark's village in Street for coffee and our annual catch-up of news, cooled off in Sainsburys (what fun!) and then I did something I never do ... I lay on my new lounger (from Gillie - she gave us one each as a belated 30th WA prezzie - what a lovely friend she is ...) under the apple tree, with my book and a white wine spritzer ... and promptly fell asleep! Out for the count ... for about an hour. Wonderful!

After the initial muzzy head that you get when you fall asleep during the day had disappeared, I felt quite refreshed and decided that there IS more to life than humping boxes of stock in and out of the car all the time. I think I need to pace myself better. Watch this space ... if it ever happens it'll be a miracle!

So, thank you Alison for this great award. I need to think about who to pass it on to. Apparently I must choose 7 fellow bloggers. How difficult is that going to be, bearing in mind my internet favourites list has about 200 of you listed! I don't get to visit you all every day (obviously), but I do enjoy browsing through the list and either clicking at random, or systematically working through the list from time to time. Check at the bottom of this post to see who I nominate as I choose them ...

Have a jolly week ...

Edited already:

The first nominations for the Nice Matters Award are ...

Just one more to choose ...

05 August 2007

What a Lovely Surprise ...

... look what I got ...

A lovely prezzie from Horizon at Message in a Bottle. I feel quite humbled and really don't consider myself a worthy award winner, but if she insists, well who am I to argue!

It was such a surprise, and having never won anything other than a budgie in 1958 and a couple of raffle prizes in the late 1990s, this will probably stay up there in the list of "my greatest achievements"!

So, thank you. I shall indeed treasure this award, and endeavour to live up to its name!

And finally ... we had sky over the rooftop again this evening. The photo isn't brilliant - I realise I had the camera on the wrong setting - but the colours were lovely.

02 August 2007

Thank you ...

... all for your lovely comments about the website. I've had so many messages wishing me luck that it's been quite overwhelming.

I've sold a few items, which is so exciting! It's made it worth all the anxieties of whether I could do it or not ...

So, I'm going to sit down now and have a glass of red and do not very much this evening. It's been a busy few days, and I have a couple of busy ones ahead, so I'm going to grab a few hours now and relax ... if I can remember how!

01 August 2007

'Tis Done ...

That's it - I didn't quite make midnight, but 12.29 am and

Thank you again for all your encouragement, and I hope you'll enjoy visiting the Shop!

I'm sure there are a few things I've missed in the last mad dash, but I'll look at it again in the cold light of day and put right anything glaring!