Thursday, September 27, 2007

Finished stole

Last year my friend David Hill asked me to make a stole for him for his entry into the Church. I had no idea how it should be made. After a lot of trial & a few errors I worked it out. Lined & interlined, all hand sewn, I was proud of it when it was finally done.This is my third one now and it does get easier. It's still a huge amount of work though; this one's taken me weeks. I took it to France with me and it was lovely to be making something with grape vines on it when I was surrounded by them. Let's hope she likes it.....

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Autumn wedding

We rang the bells for a wedding today at our favourite example of the Gothic perpendicular... Eye Church. The bride rolled up in this Landau pulled by 4 grey horse with ostrich plumes. Wow.Richard nearly lost it on the tenor bell as we were ringing. It weighs almost a ton & when all of the 8 bells are ringing, the frame starts to move around & bumps the bell off its stay. Yikes. When the bells are all going the whole tower moves too. Enough to make this little bell on the side of the wall start to rock & chime. It's a wild ride indeed at Eye. Here is our talented friend Jeremy ringing two bells at once. No mean feat. By the way there just happen to be three people in the choir who all have only one eye. Isn't that right Jeremy.
Here too is a picture of the 54 apples that we picked off the tree. It's a bumper year this year. Now I just have to get some time to make jelly.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Look what I found growing in my garden.....
The first cushions I've made for ages & ages. Thanks to my wonderful patrons Kate & David Hill who want to add to their cushion collection.

Sue Thomas gave me the brown kimono silk in the middle, the braids are from La Droguerie in Nantes and the gorgeous crushed velvet is from a mill in Bradford. They are backed with Irish linen & filled with feathers, nice to snuggle up with on a cool autumn evening.

Monday, September 17, 2007


On Sunday we went sailing on the Norfolk Broads .
"The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads is Britain's largest protected wetland and third largest inland waterway, with the status of a national park. It's also home to some of the rarest plants and animals in the UK." from the Broads Authority website.
We went with our friend David. I didn't tell him before we went, but my previous sailing experiences weren't good. Dad had a catamaran that he'd built from scratch & the few times Sue & I went out on it, we'd get yelled at & hit by the boom. Tense & unpleasant to say the least.

Yesterday couldn't have been more different. David let us both have a go at steering, the sun shone and we had home made sausage rolls & cupcakes made by his wife Rebecca.

It's weird but even now I feel like I'm still rolling.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

To be a Farmer's boy

We had a wonderful night last night at the Church Harvest supper. What we thought would be a pretty daggy affair turned into quite a spiritual event. They usually hold it in the Old School Hall opposite us here but not enough people bought tickets so they had it in the Church. There were only about 30 people and it was so nice to sit at a few tables with people we see every week but rarely get to really talk to. Richard took his guitar and we sang a bit. He sang a beautiful old old song his Father used to sing to him when he was little called "The Farmers Boy" and quietly at first but then louder & louder sang all the older people (which was pretty much everyone). The reserved English came out of their shells.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Mini Boog

Here for your pleasure is the latest photo of Zebedoodle or the Mini-Boog as he is also afectionately known.

Being incredibly patient while we shopped in Norwich a couple of days ago with Clarry & Margie pie pie.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Margie Pie Pie

Don't you just love it when your friends get on like a house on fire? First Sue Thomas wowed all my buddies. Then Kelly knocked 'em all flat, coming all the way from Boston without having met me before. Now along comes Margie & I'm left trailing along behind as they laugh uproariously at one another.
I can't be mad though as it's so wonderful to see it happening. In my dreams all my friends are together in one place, in one country at the same time.

We gave Margie the "Shopping In Primark" experience today. Even baby Zebedee liked it. With sunglasses for a pound how can you go wrong.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Nothing happens 'round here anyway...

No time to blog at all....and nothing very interesting ever happens round here anyway ....

Except .... Margaret Perversi is coming to visit next week, all the way from Tasmania.
Margie & I used to go to tap dancing school together in Melbourne or should I say the 'Ecole du Claquette' with our wacky teacher Isabel who had had a sandbag fall on her from a great height at the Princess theatre years ago . We also cooked almost every recipe in 'Mastering the Art of French cooking' when we lived next door to each other in Queens Rd, Melbourne near the Mermaids Cave brothel...she was married then to Ron Brooks, children's book illustrator extaordinaire, (Bunyip at Berkeley's creek.... John Brown, Rose and the Midnight Cat), now she is with a poet......yay how many of them do you know??

I have also been asked to make a cope. My personal patron David Hill has asked me if I would be so kind as to work out how much it might cost for a gold cope with red velvet orphries and gold thread embroidery on the hood. Yippee. Nice job. Here are a few photos of David in the cope he wore to a wedding that we sang & rang at last Saturday.

Here as well is the stole I'm making for a lovely friend of David's for her ordination in October, it was very nice to be embroidering grapes & vines when we were surrounded by them in La Fosse.
The motor is out of the boat too although there isn't any photo because Richard's phone has packed up. He pulled it out today with Henry the Gigantor from the marina, without mishap. Although there was a major oil spill in the back of the van. Not quite Exon Valdez proportions but close. At least the van won't go rusty.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Fairwell La Fosse

Well, we made it back to sunny Norfolk. After a long long drive back from France......
As we drove away from the ferry terminal in Newhaven in the UK, the traffic stopped & was bumper to bumper for miles & miles. 'Welcome back to Britain', where there are the same number of people as there are in France but half as much room.
On a lighter note....the staircase is finished!!!! Ta daaaa

Here is a picture of me looking like I've actually done some my beautiful new/old smocked linen blouse that we bought at a Brocante sale in Saumur. (Sometimes these pictures blow up if you click on them and sometimes they don't, for no apparent reason....give it a try)

We had such a nice time in La Fosse & people were so welcoming, we'll be back for more as soon as we can. On the day before we left, Liz's neighbour's came over in their fabulous wrap around French aprons & presented us with a bottle of wine, a bottle of home made cider vinegar & a jar of home made plum jam. It's amazing how humanity transcends language.

Here are some random photos of our last day when we went on a drive up the Loire to a place called Montsoreau. The Chateau there overlooks a quiet stretch of the River Loire, near the confluence of the Loire and Vienne rivers and at the base of a cliff. The river here is classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and is peaceful & beautiful. The Montsoreau chateau was done up incredibly tastefully. There were no four poster beds & Louis 14th chairs, only a beautiful light & sound display of beautifully made model boats sailing along on a bed of moiréd steel mesh. There was hardly anyone else there and the eerie sounds of terns & lapping water lulled you into a calm & meditative state.

After a sumptuous lunch of crepes...We went to Fontevraud where we saw this amazing building which looks like a princesses tower but is actually the kitchens of the Abbey there. We also discovered that Richard the lion heart's grave is at this very Abbey

We finally got to see the church that Liz had told us about near La Fosse that had wonderful topiary yew trees. Comical & tactile. A lovely summer's evening with hardly any noise & raked sandy paths.
The strange grumpy-cheese-crab-cake that we bought to see what it actually was. Why would you actually burn the outside of a cake.
So farewell to La Fosse and La belle France. Thankyou for a wonderful time.