Sunday, May 28, 2006

Iris's garden & lunch

Today we went to Iris's for lunch. (Hi Iris). She lives in a lovely thatched cottage quite near us.
She had gone to such trouble for us, her daughter Lucy & grandaughter Molly. We had the most spectacular lunch of home grown asparagus gratin, steamed baby new potatoes, garlic & sesame baked mushrooms & gala melon. For afters there was a peach pie with thick cream....WOW.
Molly had made place names for us all. It felt so special.
For some reason when we go to Iris's I end up getting helpless with laughter.Today it was some joke about how your wee smells when you eat asparagus, and why she lets some go in the bed!!!!! (Maybe you had to be there).
Iris has the most amazing garden you could ever wish are lots of photos of it...none of which really do it justice.
When we got married in July, 3 years ago she said I could come & pick any flowers I liked, so I had the most amazing bouquet of sweet peas & incredibly scented clary sage in the church (which Iris reckons smells like handsome men's underarms).
After lunch we went for a walk & spotted an amazing butterfly which Iris knew was called the cinnabar moth. An amazing colour against all the green grass in the meadow.
I think Iris is my heroine............

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Wash Lane

A couple of years ago, we used to live in the "Love shack" at Robyn & Robs. (An affectionate term for the caravan that Robyns Dad stays in every summer when he makes his way to the UK from South Africa). It was pretty spartan & damp but we loved it because Robyn & Rob were so nice.
They lived at the end of a muddy track that went down to the river Thet. In Spring & summer it was absolutely beautiful & we walked to the river almost every evening. Today we went down to the same river with Robyn. We didn't see the heron that usually lives there though. The tyre swing is opposite their house next to the most beautiful field of wheat. Green to the horizon.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Birthday fun with Ricky & Joey

Yay.. we went out on a big beautiful birthday fun day yesterday. It started with lunch at the Rose & Crown Hotel complete with blackcurrant sorbet, and honeycomb & raspberry meringue ice cream, and went on to one of Her Majesty's most beautiful properties, Sandringham . It was pouring with rain as you will see if you can view the video but nevertheless great fun. Here you can see the pleached Lime walk....with lovely little patches of grass & wildflowers left under the trees.

Here too are pictures of Richard in his gay TV presenter mode and me looking a lot like Little bo peep. The gardens were incredible with one of the biggest chestnut trees I've ever seen, in bloom. A huge planter filled with pale blue pansies. I guess if you're the Queen you just have to think of it & it's done. Plus having an army of gardeners and a property that's been there for a few hundred years.
There were even sheep with lambs to highten the Bo-Peep effect. The Rhodedendrons were amazing, in every colour imaginable. The wisteria smelled like heaven. There were 60 acres of this heaven in fact.
You weren't allowed to take photos inside the house but it was just as amazing as the gardens, with huge tapestries & silk wall paper from SUDBURY. Chinoiserie lamps to die for.

Big beautiful birthday day out

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Cushion of the week. Dah dah!!!!!

Once more we have a cushion of the week. (Now that my head has gone down).
It's for a gift shop in North Walsham in North Norfolk UK.
I'm calling it "Summer garden". What do you think? The applique leaves are in velvet & silk on a background of natural Belgian linen. If you want one you can get yourself one for a mere £35.00 (plus postage & packing) from me (yes that's the wholesale price).

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Why am I telling you about this fabulous property??

"Built in the 1740s for Sir William Harbord, Gunton Hall is an 18th century palace, the kind that the seriously rich built themselves near the Norfolk coast, in the middle of a large deer park, with a fishing lake and coverts for pheasant shooting.
The Harbord family had owned the estate since the 1670s, and there was an earlier house of which no trace remains.

The house & estate thrived in the 19th century, until one night in 1882 when the hall was completely gutted by fire. It then lay derelict for a century, before the shell was filled in with apartments. It is done really well - you would never know about the fire." (This is from the Norfolk churches site).
I'm telling you about this place because I went there yesterday to measure up for a whole lot of work, for the lovely owners. The octagonal bedroom is 4 times as big as our loungeroom, it has a ceiling painted with clouds in the sky, it must be 20 feet high. It used to be double this and be the ceiling of the huge kitchens. I am to make curtains & window seats & a hanging for the corona over the bed & a bedspread & everything. Hooray at last work has taken off.
Check out one of the owner's studio, overlooking
the 30 acre lake and the archway entrance.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Happy happy joy joy

Well it's not something that I usually blog about... maybe it's spring....... or maybe it's because I just finished a wonderful book............... or maybe it's because I'm ovulating.... or maybe it's the high you get after being so low after your Dad dies..
But... I guess I've just realised that I'm really, really happy.
I guess when I lived in St kilda in Melbourne with a cute cat and a callous & extremely unhappy flatmate, I thought that once you got to 42 & weren't happy, then maybe you couldn't expect that it would ever come. How wrong can you be. You can hate me if you wish but.. I have such a lovely life now, with an autoharp being fixed on the kitchen table & a music corner in the loungeroom and really good friends. I just found the cache of love notes that I keep from my Richard in the kitchen cupboard. The house is full of laughter & good cooking. There is 'bunting' being cut all over the floor.
I haven't really got a picture that encapsulates this.. but I do have a picture of the man who made it all possible.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Working with Heather

Today I worked with my buddy Heather at her sweet house in North Norfolk UK. It was the most beautiful spring day. We chatted & sewed & chatted & much so that I fucked up a curtain completely by taking my mind off the job at hand, while telling her some juicy gossip.
Her partner Pete is a sensational musician. He'd made her a recording of him playing piano that completely knocked my socks off. We've got to get him to join us in our next concert endevour.
Heather had bought him a set of books by Brian Rust he was so pleased, he came out the back where Heather & I were strolling in her beautiful cottage garden, to read us a paragraph that was particularly beautifully written, then said he was going back into the laundry to weep.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

At last....

And well you might say "at last". Here again for your perusal & (hopefully) enjoyment, is........(fanfare here) 'Cushion of the week'. A cheeky little number made for my friend Heather P's Step grand daughter. This is the 2nd of 2. This one being for the more "gothic" of the 2 girls.
Hope she likes it.
P.S. note the perfect matching of my footwear for this photograph, and the beautiful hand made brick wall that surrounds our courtyard.

Sunday, May 07, 2006


Well, it worked....although I think it sounded better than it tasted. Clarissa kept assuring me that she loved the fritters, but I thought they tasted like sweet fried flab really. The icecream was subtle but good & looked pretty with its lilac flowers floating through it. We played "Psychiatrist" after dinner which Clarissa & Joe were particularly good at...especially when Joe had to guess that we were a joint.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Dinner with Clarissa & Joe

I went to the Thetford Market this morning. Usually a pretty scary place to shop but worth it because they have a stall that sells great produce from Thailand & stuff. A Thai dinner was what I had in mind, but... what to make for sweets... mmmmmm, I thought maybe coconut icecream seeing as we'd been given a dozen eggs but when we were looking through the recipe books to find the recipe, Richard found a recipe for magnolia petal fritters.
Now I know it's not ethnically in keeping with the rest of the meal, (which is usually a bugbear of mine) but it just sounded so beautiful especially as they are perfectly in season at the moment, as is lilac...... so it's magnolia fritters with lilac icecream. Wow. Let's hope I can pull it off.
So far so good.

Friday, May 05, 2006

I miss this.......

London fabric adventures

Yesterday Clarissa & I went to London, to Goldhawk St, Shepherds bush to be precise. On a mad dash for fabric for our new venture "Buntings R Us". It was the most beautiful day. I think it got to 27 degrees, and all the tulips & wisteria & cherry blossom were out in the parks of London.
Clarissa bought miles of spotty, stripey, mad fabrics to make mini flags out of for our 'weddings- parties-anything' venture from the 'Job warehouse' of the UK. It was great to be in amongst such a mad conglomeration of people. At one stage there was a really tall german girl (here in the photo), next to a black girl with amazingly long braided hair, next to a short asian guy in a black fishnet vest & leather trousers, next to a woman in a burkah covered head to toe, talking on her mobile phone, all being served by these cheeky Indian guys behind the counter. There was every sort of fabric you can imagine & at one stage a pile of it started to fall on me. Saved by another dashing Indian bloke who kept muttering "be careful, be careful" like a mantra. I can imagine they often have disasterous cave ins. It was so good to be surrounded by people who could sew, I don't meet that many of them, we're a dying breed.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Winging my way back to spring

Hello happy blog readers.
I'm back in the "Old dart", the "Mother country", "Limey".
I've never had a flight that seemed longer. At Singapore Airport I felt the bottom of my right leg go numb & for the next 14 hours I was convinced I was about to keel over, just like my Dad from the blood clot that was surely circling my body. Hair raising & scary. Seems fine now though.
Here are some pics of my sister & me & her partner Adam, mucking about at Melbourne airport before I left.(So glad my trouser's matched the surroundings).

My darling Richard picked me up at Heathrow & we drove for 4 hours up to Norwich to see Geoff Muldaur sing & play his signature Martin guitar. I managed to sleep through almost every song & wake up to clap. Tired is an understatement. Why couldn't I have had that kind of tiredness on the plane, where you can't keep your eyes open for a second. Even so the concert was great, so glad we bought the CD. Can recommend him highly.

I came home to Spring in a big way, here are the tulips outside our front door.

We went to Church in the tiny village of Rushford where there was even more Spring happening. It's so absolutely beautiful here in Spring, my sis is coming to experience it next year. (Yay Thomsey).

My buddy Tim came to visit us.... a very expensive visit indeed, not such a great idea to travel on a Bank holiday weekend from France but we were so glad to see him.
On Monday bank holiday we went on the most English of adventures...a bellringing outing!!! To 6 Churces in Lincolnshire, on a bus with about 25 others. I rang in my first tower of 10 bells. Truly amazing to be doing this ancient thing in such ancient places. The isolated church here in Sempringham is where the last true Princess of Wales was brought to the previous abbey when she was 18 months old. Born in 1282 & kidnapped so she wouldn't be able to lead a revolt aginst the English crown, she lived here in the flat fen country of Lincolnshire never having seen her native land & never speaking her native tounge. She survived for 54 years. No happy ending here.
The church is so out of the way that there was no electricity & to climb up the tiny spiral staircase you had to go on all fours & hope you didn't bang into the person's bum ahead of you, when we reached the ringing chamber & strted to ring, the tower started to move, making the candleabra hanging above us rock gently. The graffiti was ancient too.
One of the other towers had the huge clock pendulum swinging back & forth in the middle of the ringing chamber.