30 December 2008

Tagged - Top Ten Rules for Life ... and a PS

Thanks, Ruth, for tagging me. What a difficult task this is turning out to be. I'm sure I'll remember the most important one after I've listed 10 others!

So, in no particular order, here they are:
  1. Take the opportunity of a lifetime in the lifetime of the opportunity (Dad's maxim, which I'm sure I've mentioned endless times before)
  2. Look after no 1 (oh, if only I could) and take time out to think/plan/switch off
  3. Never play to win (then with luck you will)!
  4. Never mention the 'D'(iet) word
  5. Think positive/be optimistic/enjoy life. Don't be negative/pessimistic/miserable
  6. Never start a 5-minute job if you only have 5 minutes to spare (you know they always take at least half a day to complete!)
  7. Rise above it (whatever 'it' may be)
  8. Don't waste time worrying about what might happen (there'll be time enough to worry when it does)
  9. Always keep an eye on the cars ahead, not just the one you're following
  10. Remember it costs nothing to say 'please' and 'thank you'
Not as difficult as I thought. Nothing profound but maybe some food for thought.

This is my somewhat tongue-in-cheek analysis of them: no 1 worked; no 2 would be nice; no 3 - Mum always won games when I was a child by this method (still don't know how she managed it); diet? what diet?; I'm generally optimistic and like to think the best of people (until they let themselves down); I work best under pressure so no 6 is for you rather than me; I've risen above so many undercurrents I'll soon be walking on water; no 8 is true and it really is such a waste of time worrying, especially when you find 'it' doesn't happen and all the worrying was unnecessary; no 9 is just sensible; no 10 would make the world a much nicer place!

I wonder if these might do as my New Year's Resolutions. They should be easier to keep than the sort I normally make!

Update: I knew I'd think of another one!

  1. Resort to resources!

If it doesn't make sense, then I'll explain! Remember Bob-a-Job? Does it still happen? Well, one Bob-a-Job week in the late 1950s/early 60s a young Cub Scout knocked on our door. Mum gave him the job of cleaning our garage doors (wooden ones with panes of glass at the top). I think it was just a case of sweeping the dust off them rather than a full 'wash and brush up' (and payment was a 'bob' , slang for a shilling or, in today's market a mere 5p). Anyway, he was only a small chap, and when Mum went out to see how he was getting on he said that because he was too short to reach the top of the doors he had 'resorted to resources' and found something in the garage to stand on so that he could do the job properly. We've never forgotten this and from time to time when Mum or I have struggled to do something, one or other of us has said 'we'll just have to resort to resources' . So, the moral of the story is ... use whatever is available to you to get the job done; make the most of what life has given you; you can still do a good job, even if you haven't got what you think is the necessary tool for the purpose.

I realise I should have tagged others. I know you are all longing to do this one, so rather than name individuals I shall leave this open to anyone who'd like to give it a try. Just leave me a message so I can pop over and see what your rules for life are!

28 December 2008

Christmas is over ... time to tidy and plan for 2009

Dairy House was only closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, so I've already been 'back at work' for 2 days! I've rearranged a few things in my area of DH, and have draped this gorgeous patchwork over a hatstand. I can't imagine how long this would have taken to do as it is all handstitched and each square measures only three-quarters of an inch. Some of the original backing papers and tacking stitches are still in place. I have no idea when it was constructed, but the fabrics used date from mid-Victorian to Edwardian (and possibly a little later). The earliest are in the centre and the latest are around the edge, so perhaps it was a continuous task handed down from generation to generation. We shall never know.

I've started to tidy up the fabrics in readiness for a fresh, clean start to 2009. This pile is made up of predominantly red fabrics. They'll be switched around again yet, but for the time being they look slightly coordinated!

There are several metres of pink ticking in this pile. There are 3 different patterns here - one with poppies and 2 with roses. The glazed cotton at the bottom of the pile is unused and consists of 4 x 10ft lengths, perfect for curtains.

And finally, 2 small piles of black/pink/cream French toile and cretonne. This is just the start of the sorting and folding, and these piles are the tip of the iceberg!! There are still all the piles I didn't photograph, the bags of fabrics in my shed/studio, and more in the armoire in the spare bedroom.

Then there are the bundles of small colour-coordinated pieces tucked in the recently-acquired drawers, together with a bagful of pieces waiting to be grouped together to be added to those in the drawers.

Once the fabrics are organised I'll move on to the buttons and vintage sewing notions. At the moment they're piled into the drawers in no particular order, but at least they are now available for sale at DH rather than tucked away in boxes in my studio, not seeing the light of day from one Fair to the next. Once they're sorted I'll start on the vintage hankies, ribbons, cottons, threads, braid, traycloths, afternoon tea cloths, crochet-edged linen cloths, large damask cloths, linen/damask/huckaback towels, napkins, pyjama cases, pillowcases, bolster cases and sheets, before moving on to the eiderdowns, quilts and blankets.

In a spare moment I'll work on my New Year's Resolutions and possibly write some Christmas cards as I regret to say they just didn't get done when they should have been.

Update: Instead of writing cards I began to clear my desk last night! Eeeek! There are papers at the bottom of the pile dated August. Woops! But I also found these.

Now, how bizarre is this? Serendipity at work again. The crochet alphabet book surfaced just hours before we received a card from my old boss in Northampton. I left his employment in 1982 when I became a college lecturer. Every year, bar last year, I have sent him a Christmas card and this is the first one I've ever received!!!! Their second child was born when I was working for him, and I crocheted a shawl for the baby. Once she had arrived I incorporated her name (Victoria - no mean feat) and date of birth into the border (although I had to work out how to do it as I didn't have a book or charts then). Those were the days - a part-time 9.30-3.30 5-day week working. In those days I had time for friends and family, crocheting, knitting, sewing and endless other pastimes! I really must organise my time better in 2009. I feel I need to make contact with my old boss, so that will spur me on to write to all the other people in my address book who would normally hear from us at Christmas.

24 December 2008

Merry Christmas One and All ...

So this is Christmas ...

I'm home after a morning at DH and I'm pleased to say that, despite all, we've had a successful December. Two days at home now before we open again (... another day off would have been nice!!!) ...

Thank you all for your support during my first 9 months at the helm of Dairy House Antiques. It's been a steep learning curve, but one I'm so glad I have attempted. Thanks also to everyone who has supported Vintage to Victorian - both the blog and the website.

I'm now ready to wrap the prezzies (with a little festive spirit to help me along), decorate the 18" high Christmas tree (a real one with roots), and set the table ready for tomorrow. Mum and Gillie are coming to us. (Han and Rob are in Cornwall for the week and, by all accounts, having a wonderful time with a group of friends. It's the first time they've not whizzed from family to family and I'm so pleased they decided to be brave and have Christmas by the sea!) I then hope to prepare all the veggies - we do loads of different ones as Mum is vegetarian. I always do more than enough so that there is plenty for bubble & squeak on Boxing Day, and for a 'doggie bag' for Mum to take home. There is usually more left over than is eaten on Christmas Day, but that's how we like it. It's a tried and tested recipe for success. I've been doing it for 31 Christmases now and it seems to work!!

May you receive all you wish for, and give to others as you would like to be given. Have a wonderful time and no doubt we'll be catching up with one another again in a few days' time!

Happy Christmas!

20 December 2008

Late Opening and a Christmas Party

Disappointing numbers of late shoppers on Thursday evening, sadly, but the majority of our dealers came in for a get-together. One of our more artistic dealers filled old terracotta pots with greenery and baubles, and interspersed them with nightlights all along the front of the building. It looked lovely, but the photos didn't! Sorry! But this was the sight that greeted visitors ...

It all looked very jolly inside, the mulled wine heating on the woodburner wafted through the building. Mince pies abounded and one of our dealers, a former chef, brought in a wonderful curry with all the side dishes. We all sat round the woodburner chatting and eating until about 9.30. A lovely evening which gave everyone a chance to catch up without the thought of needing to be somewhere else as is usually the case!
We're only closing on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day. If last year is anything to go by, the Christmas hols can be quite a busy time for us. And if not, then perhaps I'll have time to write my Christmas cards!!!

16 December 2008

Giant Flea

Just a quick post to say thank you to all who made purchases at Shepton Giant Flea on Sunday. It was super to see so many bloggers and blog-followers. I didn't take my camera, so no photos I'm afraid.

There are no more Fairs for me now until 22 February, so I'll be concentrating on getting a lot more of my stock out of the shed/studio and into Dairy House (and maybe onto the website) - more chance of it selling if it's actually on view!!

Our late opening evening is all set for Thursday this week, although I stupidly printed off a load of flyers to distribute at Shepton and realised after I'd given out 20+ that I hadn't put the date on! More haste, less speed as the saying goes. There's also the 50+ that have gone out to some of the caf├ęs/coffee shops around Shaftesbury ... what a silly thing to do. I think that's blown my "Little Miss Efficiency" label right out of the window!!!! Still, if anyone really wants to come, the phone number and website ARE on the flyers!! Heyho ...

13 December 2008

Times Past, Floods and Giant Fleas ...

Another bizarre mixture!

I was emptying a box of photos lurking behind the sofa and found this one. Meet Rosie Meager ... she was the most human dog I've ever known. Click to enlarge - and see right to her soul through those eyes!

Hannah and I watched her birth in 1987 and after the required time Pauley brought her home - much to Han's surprise and excitement. Rosie lived to the ripe old age of 13½ when a stroke sadly ended her life. We were so lucky that Hannah had come over to see us that day and so we were all there together. Sorry - this isn't meant to be a tear-jerker. I just thought you might like to meet her.
At around 10.30 every evening Rosie would come and sit in front of us and wag her tail. "Put the kettle on, Rose" one of us would say, and she'd rush to the kitchen and sit at the spot where the kettle lived on the worktop, waiting for one of us to make a cuppa. She loved tea - water from the kettle, a spot of milk and a quick whizz round her bowl with a teabag! I'm sure that's what kept her coat so glossy. I would always have to take my turn (second) and Rosie and I would try and get in front of one another in the queue when Pauley made the tea. Thinking back now it was hilarious, but at the time I have to say I often got quite miffed that Rosie was given hers before I got mine!! If we had visitors she would grin like mad when they arrived, and her whole body would wag with her tail! The words "Grin, grin!" would set her off again. She was such a joy and we still miss her. But times move on, and much as Pauley would like another dog I doubt if we shall have one. Hannah and Rob have tried to persuade us several times that we should have another, but we're not convinced. Our lives are so different now.

So ... floods! Last week I showed you the amazing icicles in the hedgerow where the floods has splashed up onto the verge and frozen. Today East Somerset was on alert and there were suggestions that one shouldn't set off on a journey unless it was essential. I sat for half an hour on the A303 this morning en route to Dairy House, waiting to drive through this flood.

I'd passed so many waterlogged fields up to this point, but here the fields just couldn't take any more and the water came gushing through the gateway and the base of the hedge onto the road ...

down the hill to the dip, where it spread ... and spread ... into a pond! As it was a stretch of dual carriageway you can imagine the bedlam. Cars swapping from one lane to another, people getting irritated, and one of us just taking a few photos to blog about!!! I was 15 minutes late opening up. Hopefully we didn't lose any customers! Several customers later in the day told me they'd had to turn back on some of the country lanes and find alternative routes.

And finally ... it's the Giant Flea Market at Shepton Mallet (Bath & West Showground) tomorrow. I imagine the carpark will be waterlogged and that cars will be moved to hard ground. I wonder how many outdoor pitches there will be. If the rain in Shepton Mallet was anything like it was when Somerset was flooded earlier in the year, the showground could be awash. Not that I'm trying to put anyone off. Just make sure you wear your wellies! There will at least be 2 stalwarts there ... The Washerwoman and Vintage to Victorian. We'll be geared up, set up and ready to greet all the happy shoppers at 9.30 am!!!

Have a lovely Sunday whatever you decide to do. I guess we'll be seeing a few of you at the Flea!

09 December 2008

Dairy House Antiques - Christmas Open Evening

Dairy House Antiques
Station Road
Dorset SP7 9AN
01747 853317

Christmas Late Opening
Thursday 18 December

Open from 10.00 am until 8.00 pm

Normal opening
Mon–Sat 10.00–5.00
Sun 11.00–4.00
I appreciate that most of you live a million miles away from Dairy House, but should anyone be reading this who isn't on the other side of the world, then we would love to see you.
The obligatory mulled wine and nibbles will be available, and we should be looking a little bit festive by then! I'm hoping that as many dealers as possible will be on hand, so it will be an opportunity for customers old and new to meet them.
(Wrap up warm - it gets chilly on the upper floors!)

If you need further details please don't hesitate to email me: mail@dairyhouseantiques.co.uk

07 December 2008

A Day in the Life ... A Mixed Bag ... and My Soapbox

Just look at this! Yesterday when I set off along the A303 to Dairy House I drove through this mini flood. This morning we were greeted with this amazing sight (which didn't photograph particularly well from a moving vehicle). We had a thick frost overnight and the stretch of hedgerow beside the flooding was totally coated in ice. The traffic splashing the water up onto the verge and into the hedge in the freezing conditions created something I've never seen before and probably never will again. Do click on the photos as hopefully you'll be able to see the ice more clearly.

You'll see that beyond the standing water the verges are just mildly frost-covered in comparison. Unfortunately there was nowhere to pull in and we had a line of traffic behind us. I don't think they were particularly impressed that I'd slowed down to 35-40 mph on a stretch of road with a 50 limit. Pauley wound down the window and clicked as best he could. The photos are actually better than I expected, but not as good as I would have liked!

A couple of weeks ago I purchased this bank of 25 drawers from one of the other dealers. I'm in the process of labelling each drawer and filling them with packs of lace, fabric bundles, individual lace pieces, buttons, bonnets, beads, threads, braid etc. The grand plan is that I'll be able to finally clear the sitting room floor, partly empty the studio/shed and hopefully begin to know where everything is!! To this end I've just purchased its matching partner, and now have a total of 50 drawers to fill. Somehow I don't think it will take me too long!

In between customers and keeping warm by the woodburner I took a few photos of DH stock today. Three gorgeous Welsh wool blankets, recently acquired, each priced at £50 and all in excellent condition.

This gorgeous passementerie in gold and rich burgundy (camera flash distortion of colour)

and some similar in blue and gold

And have you ever seen anything so lovely as this? Probably, as it's not to everyone's taste, but this massive Victorian mahogany compactum wardrobe just oozes quality. The hanging robes are lined in fabric down to, and including, the bases. Incredible! The two centre doors open to reveal linen press drawers, with a 5-drawer chest below. I reckon it stands about 8ft high I just love it, and wish we still lived in a house large enough to accommodate it, but am probably relieved that we don't as I can't afford the £2,800 price tag this week!

And what about these baubles. You'll need a large tree from which to hang these as they are at least 6" in diameter. The second photo gives you a better idea of the proportions.

I love this room at DH. Sally has such flair and is also very lucky that she has the only room with 3 windows!

She finds some great items, predominantly French, and as you can imagine has a good following.

Pauley and I eventually left DH about 4.15 and as we drove towards Bath the sky was rapidly changing colour. Again traffic behind us meant I couldn't stop to take the photo I really wanted which is just to the left of what Pauley managed to take while I was driving.

I was going faster when he took this one. All I can say is that it did warrant a photo, even if this one isn't enough to convince you!!

And finally, this is where we parked the car when we arrived in Bath towards 5.30 this evening, for my second attempt to get through the doors of CK.

Before leaving Dairy House I telephoned the store to double check what time they closed, having been told when I phoned Head Office that they were closing at 7.00 pm this Sunday. Why was I not surprised when the person I spoke to this afternoon said they were closing at 6.00 pm? But that's not the best of it. I got to the door just after 5.30 to find boxes of rubbish outside, the door locked and the girls inside tidying up and hoovering.

I knocked (or rather hammered) on the glass door only to be told they were closed. Like a thing demented I said "Oh no you're not! I telephoned!" and gesticulated, pointed to my watch and waited for them to open up. The manageress opened the door, I announced that I'd driven for an hour to get there and wasn't going home without the item I'd come to buy. She asked what I wanted and that she'd get it for me ... but guess what ... OUT OF STOCK. NO SPOTTY GREEN SATCHEL BAGS AND NO SPOTTY RED BAGS (the two options Han had suggested she'd like). Not only was the Bath store out of stock, but there were none in the warehouse and they had no idea when they'd get any. Red rag ... bull ... etc etc ... not a pretty sight. I'm afraid I was on the attack and the poor girl was on the defensive, but things changed when I said I'd driven in especially on Friday morning (well over an hour) only to find them closed and that I was not impressed and would probably never set foot inside the store again. She was so apologetic and a long conversation ensued about the shortage of items and all sorts of other interesting subjects.

Finally I asked to check the opening times which I'd peered at on Friday, just to see whether I had totally lost the plot. Once again there were profuse apologies for the fact that the CK Head Office had sent out a ridiculous poster for the Christmas opening which did, as I was sure I had read, only show the times of opening for 3 days last week and 3 days this coming week, followed by all the days from next weekend up until Christmas. There was ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about the normal opening times for the other days. How utterly ludicrous is that. Apparently they have had endless phone calls asking if they're only open 3 days a week. Quite honestly, my view is that the company needs to look carefully at its marketing and PR. It's made a complete hash of things as far as the Bath store is concerned and has seemingly totally miscalculated with regard to stock control and anticipated sales.

After all the frustrations and mileage involved in trying to purchase Han's Christmas present it would seem that she will now be getting said bag sometime in 2009 if she's lucky. Perhaps they'll have restocked in time for her birthday in May. Meanwhile I have no idea what to get her for Christmas!! But I have to say, all credit to the lovely manageress at CK who was finally so understanding, helpful and generous. I'd love to say more, but can't really, but as I told her when we hugged, she has restored my faith in human nature, bless her!

So, the CK saga is over for the time being and we'll now look forward to the next excitement, whatever that may be.

For Ruth's benefit (she gets tired just reading my posts), tomorrow we have to go to the storage unit (only a mile away) to pay the rent and search for something lost; go to the woodburner shop (about 10 miles) to buy a clever fan thing which stands atop a woodburner and distributes the heat further into the room. I'm hoping this will spread the heat a little further at DH, which is currently VERY chilly indeed anywhere further than 6 feet away from the heat source. I also need to pack and weigh a couple of parcels and place an ad in the Blackmore Vale magazine to notify the Shaftesbury (and beyond) populous that we shall be holding a Pre-Christmas late shopping night (making sure I include the normal opening times of course) on Thursday 18 December. All welcome by the way, should you be anywhere nearby. We'll be open until 8.00 pm. When we've done all that we need to go to Sainsbury's (7 miles in the opposite direction) as the cupboard is bare. And then ... now that Pauley has emulsioned the sitting room wall we stripped in September after the woodburner was fitted ... we can empty the sideboard/dresser base of the excessive amount of heavy Denby Arabesque dinner service, shift the sideboard back into its proper place and refill it. There'll be some more tidying and reorganising of the sitting room to do after that, but it'll need to be done tomorrow as Hannah's coming for supper on Tuesday and we'll need to get to the dining table!!

On Tuesday, before thinking about cooking a meal in the evening, I need to empty the car (my mobile store), remove any remaining stock from the sitting room, sort the shed and begin to refill the car with goodies for Shepton Giant Flea next Sunday. Wednesday and Thursday should be relatively peaceful (2 days at DH), haircut Thursday evening and then on Friday I'll need to finish packing the car for the Flea and take Mum to collect her new specs. Now ... have I forgotten anything? Did someone mention Christmas? Not too sure when, but I'm hoping to write Christmas cards sometime before 25 December, get and decorate a tree for DH and ditto for home, get inspiration for Mum's prezzie (some hope) and generally get into Christmas mode.

Have a jolly week one and all. I'll pop over to see you for a little relaxation and maybe leave a comment if I have time!!
Update! Can you believe it? I'd forgotten that on Friday I'm also out for lunch. Pauley and I are lunching in the relatively new Bistro in Somerton with Liz (my DH ally) and her husband Edward. Our excuse (as if we needed one) is that we're calling it our 'office lunch'. We did the same last year (different venue) when we knew DH was going to happen, but it was still some way off. Any excuse!

05 December 2008

What a Day ...

I'm currently half-way through a hectic day off. I was up with the alarm and set off to Bath early to go to CKs to buy the bag which Hannah has requested for Christmas. I set off early so I could hopefully get to CKs before my 11.00 am dental appointment (the journey takes about 1¼ hours). So, after driving up and down a couple of times (for anyone not knowing Bath carparking, it's better that you stay in oblivion), I finally found a spot. I put all the change I had into the parking meter which I realised was more than was needed for 30 minutes but not enough for a whole hour. I'm sure they used to go up in 15-minute increments but, to cut a long story short, I put in 50p I needn't have done and still only had half-an-hour's parking time to do my CK shopping and beat the traffic warden. I raced round to the shop only to find it was closed although the sign on the door said open, with their Christmas opening times tucked way inside and not on the door - not good if you need new specs. Apparently they're only open 3 days a week for the first 2 weeks of December. How stupid is that? So I'm afraid I had 10 minutes' retail therapy in Hampstead Bazaar for me instead and will have to return to Bath sometime between now and Christmas (am I right in thinking it could be a wee bit touch-and-go as to whether anything bought from them on line will arrive in time for Christmas?). Aaaaargh!

WOOPS - I've just phoned CK and apparently they were open all day (But they certainly didn't open on time!!!!!!!!!!!) and they're supposedly open every day ... until late! So what did I read then? Was I that stressed? Must have been. Sorry CK if I doubted you - but you certainly were NOT open at 10.00 am even if you are staying open until 8.00 pm!

I then drove to the dentist - a circuitous route because of an accident in another part of Bath - and here I am one tooth lighter. Not wishing to leave Bath without visiting the best antiques/junk shop in town, I retraced my steps and popped in to Rolfey's - well known and frequented by several bloggers - and the place from where I practically furnished one of the houses we had in Bath 15 years ago. I'll photograph my purchase and show her off after the weekend.

I decided to make a detour on the way home as I just don't like the Somerton to Bath straightest route - and came home via Frome. I didn't have time to stop in the town because I called in at the wonderful farmshop which I used to shop at on a weekly basis when we lived in Dilton Marsh. They have expanded (again) - apparently a month ago - and it was fantastic to see the latest transformation. I hadn't been in for at least 12 months so it was a treat to see some old faces and have a quick catch-up.

I now have a 5-minute breather before taking Mum to the optician for an eye test and her first pair of spectacles!!!


Three hours on ... the eye test is done. Two pairs of specs are on order and we've also done Mum's food shop. The injection has worn off so my mouth's a bit sore now and I'm trying to decide what I can manage to eat (nothing since 7.30am Cornflakes) before I fade away (unlikely!).

Tomorrow will hopefully be a busy day at Dairy House. What with the CK fiasco and the lack of manners I was confronted with in Gillingham's Focus yesterday morning (for the second time), I'm beginning to wonder whether standards have lowered (I'm beginning to sound like my mother) or whether I've just become a grumpy old woman. Probably the latter!

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible!

04 December 2008

(Very) Chilly Day, Dairy House and a CL Photoshoot

No photos for this one, but was it as cold for you as it was for me over at Dairy House yesterday? I kept the woodburner going fairly well for most of the day, which was a good thing because the model for a Country Living photoshoot was able to change from one thin dress into another one in front of it.

CL were shooting for a spring issue barely 100 yards away from DH and, provided the right photos are used, you could well see some Vintage to Victorian eiderdowns, blankets and fabric, and a couple of DH ticking bolsters in the April magazine. And we're promised a mention in the credits.

I've definitely decided we'll have a late night opening on 18 December, and hopefully combine it with a get together of the dealers. I've done a few flyers which are dotted around DH in case any customers are free to pop in. I shall keep it low-key as it's a last-minute decision. Perhaps next year we'll organise something a bit better. However, I now have to decide where to put an ad, or whether to just distribute some flyers around Shaftesbury. I'll have a chat with a couple of the dealers who will be in on Saturday and we'll see what we come up with.

I took Mum to the late-night shopping evening in Somerton this evening. It poured with rain, but the lights looked just as good as they do in the photos in the last post. We had a giggle or two, so I'm glad we went.

I still can't get my head round the fact that Christmas Day is 3 weeks today. Heyho ...

01 December 2008

Christmas is Coming to Somerton ...

I've just been to the PO to send off some parcels and thought you might like to see Somerton in all its seasonal splendour.

Just before going out I looked through the window at saw the sunset reflected on the silver birch opposite. Magnificent, isn't it. Even Pauley passed comment!

I just need to pop next door to see Mum and then it'll be a seat in front of the woodburner for me this evening! Hope it's not too cold where you are. It's not very warm here!!

29 November 2008

Chilly ...

There I was merrily driving along to DH this morning, listening to Radio 4 as I always do, pleased that the fog had lifted, when suddenly at the highest point of the route (where I took wintery photos last year) there was frost nearly an inch thick and some amazing sights. I stopped and quickly took some photos. One is blurred, unfortunately, as it was a photo (how sad is this) of the first icicle I have seen for many years, hanging down from a twig.

A mile further, at a point a little closer to sea level, there was no sign of fog or frost. But what a biting wind. I'm so glad Liz brought a new load of logs over to DH today. We certainly needed them!
It would seem it's Christmas shopping time. We've had a busy day with everyone looking for, and thankfully finding, presents. Let's hope they do it all again tomorrow!!!

28 November 2008

Random Photos on my Camera This Week ...

Busy week this week with very little time to do anything other than be busy. However, I did manage to take a few photos along the way. A gorgeous morning sky greeted me when I drew back the curtains on Wednesday (or was it Tuesday)

Just a couple of my purchases from the Talent 4 Textiles in Ilminster - photos on Niki's and Lizzie's blogs - a 5ft gorgeous recovered red eiderdown which is a real heavyweight ...

and this pretty floral sprigged 4ft6in feather and down filled eiderdown - soft and cosy.

There were lots more purchases both at the Fair and elsewhere this week, but so far I haven't had a chance to unpack them all, although this petit-point bag in excellent condition is just one.

And when I finally got up after a bit of a lie-in this morning I was greeted by glorious sunshine and just had to pop outside and take a few photos of the jasmine growing against the front of the house, and the trees in the gardens of the houses opposite.

This silver birch is a welcome sight in any season. In the early autumn the starlings congregate in its branches several times a day. On a frosty night its twigs and branches glisten in the moonlight

And these wonderful red berries almost glow in the sunshine. They last for what seems like months before the blackbirds finally attack them!

One of the dealers at Dairy House has suggested we hold a Christmas Fair. I don't think we'll be able to do anything too dramatic in the short space of time available, but we are seriously contemplating having a late-night opening before Christmas. Mulled wine and mince pies of course, and some background Christmas carols perhaps. I hope we can organise it in time - bearing in mind advertising will have to be arranged, too. Might be fun!
Have a lovely weekend one and all. I shall be unloading a load of logs at DH tomorrow, following which I hope to saw up some lengths of 2" x 1" wood to make some shelving. When that's done I'll be heating up some soup on the woodburner and hopefully serving a shopful of customers as well!!!