Monday, April 27, 2009

Oh to be in England now that April's HERE

As we wandered through an idyllic scene on Sunday these words came to mind.


Oh to be in England
Now that April's there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England - now!

And after April, when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!
Hark! where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops - at the bent spray's edge -
That's the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children's dower
- Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower
Robert Browning (1812 - 1889)
There has been a chaffinch in our apple tree boughs that wakes me up in the morning tapping on the glass. He has the sweetest song.
This is the scene at Wayland woods, a 15 minute drive from here. The air itself seems to have a bluish tinge. There are early purple orchids too.
We took my sister Suez here two years ago, when she came out to celebrate Ricardo's 60th birthday. By the way happy blog readers, it's his birthday tomorrow and I have a strawberry tart in my sites and sticky Thai garlic prawns for dinner.
In the mean time enjoy these pictures & see if you can get just the slightest hint of hyacinth from them.
Happy birthday my beautiful boy.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ricky Royale and the all stars

Well another fabulous night went down at Bridgham Church on Saturday.
It's a rare privilege to be able to perform with these guys.
Paul Fitzgerald on the left, Ricky Royale centre and Trevor Roland on the right.
Here's a dodgy video of rehearsal. Dave Thomas is in this too, special guest no1. The song he sang on the night "Shadow of doubt" by Gary Nicholson sent shivers down your spine.

Ooooooeeeeee nothing compares to the buzz you get when you're standing up there on stage and everyone in the audience is misty eyed.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Two lips

Last year Ricardo bought some tulip bulbs. We knew we had some Queen-of-the-night which are my favourites but we didn't know what else we had... look what came out. Aren't they amazing?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Across my desk

At the moment I am completely immersed in embroidery and couldn't be happier, except for my sore eyes and shoulders from sewing.
Another reason why I have sore eyes is that I haven't been able to stop reading this blog about embroidery. There is so much there with videos and detailed information. I discovered a link there to this blog about sewing with beetle wings.
So, I've been asked to replicate a banner for the Mother's Union at Swaffham Church and have been beavering away at it. Here are some pictures of where I've got to so far. I'm using the blue silk that I managed to get from Watts; the symbols are for Saints Peter & Paul, crossed keys and crossed swords.
Here's the old and the design.
The gold lettering starting to take shape.
Here's the banner as it was. Old & really faded. The blue is hardly even blue any more.
Another bit of inspiration is this amazing Chasuble our buddy Jeremy dropped off the other night. It seems the vicar had taken it off rather hurriedly & ripped it at the neck. It's completely salvagable but I need to find some matching red silk damask. Jeremy thought it was from the 1970's but we discovered a label inside from a French company that dates it somewhere in the late 1800's. The narrow fabric width helps date it back to when looms were much narrower. I love this kind of detective work. There are tiny sequins sewn on it to make parts of the embroidery sparkle.
The swirly pattern is all done in tiny chain stitches and I wish I'd seen these grapes when I did mine.
There are moonstones too.

Monday, April 06, 2009

William Fairbank Junior

When we got married we had the reception at our friend William's place down by the river at Bridgham a tiny village nearby, it was the most romantic spot. Hi Will. It's always exciting and somewhat magical going to Williams. Last Saturday was no exception. Will has been making a film about his Grandfather Georgic Hayes who spent some time in Russia taking supplies across Siberia in 1919. The story has taken on a slightly fictional air and now involves a Russian Apothecaries boat! Will and friends have been making the boat and we were to launch it as part of the film on Saturday. These were our instructions
• Men: Wear boots (wellies are fine), baggy trousers, a 2 m length of rope, and a Russian hat (if you have one). We will provide a Russian peasant’s poncho (the rope is the belt) and a Russian hat (if you do not have one)
• Women: Wear boots (Wellies are fine), Long dress. Russian 1919 peasant top or jacket. 2 m length of rope. Scarf around your head. (or a Russian hat)
• Everyone is very very poor.
• You may be covered in dust and your hair is dishevelled.

We had a ball. The hardest part was trying not to smile when the camera was on you. Here are some photos of the boat. Will's Polish friend Piotr Borzecki
has painted it so unbelievably beautifully.
Outside and in, it's like a fairground ride.
Here is the artist himself looking at his handiwork. Justifiably proud. Wouldn't you just love a romantic weekend on this vessel? Although I must tell you, the toilet is a small window that you stick your bum out...

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Lovely warm spring

Here are a few more pictures of us freezing our tits off in Southwold....some of us even in shorts. After fish & chips in the car and fun on the pier we headed out of town to a bit of a swamp really where we were lucky enough to hear a Bittern booming. The most bizarre sound, a bit like the low buzz from a bass guitar at a sound check.