Stormy Weather

My home is surrounded by trees. We live in a secluded oasis, not visible from the roads or fields.

This morning, Himself took all his chain saw gear out with him to work. He’s on the third week of Emergency Response/Rescue and when the weather is like this – they can spend all night clearing fallen trees.

I love the sound. It’s much like living by the sea.

Very relaxing :o)

Oh. And free wood for the burner makes up for 3 weeks of seeing each other for less than an hour each day.

AI = Altered Images

Altered Images were a Glasgow band from the ’80’s and their song Happy Birthday was a favourite of mine.

Day After Tomorrow is my late Mum’s birthday.

Next month BFF & I will reach an iconic birthday….though hers is exactly 3 weeks before me :o)

Yeah. She knows. Having been BFF’s since we were both 11, I may have mentioned it once or twice (!)

Bloody Scorpios. Tchss!

One day – when me and she reach 100 – we WILL celebrate like this. Because everyone’ll think we’re old and demented.

Yes :o)

Apropos of nothing – I HATE OCTOPUSSIES. Himself used to snorkel off the Rock of Gibraltar and catch the horrible things. Once he brought one home and put it in my freezer. The bastard sea creature squirted black ink everywhere. Calamari? I’d rather eat all four of my car’s tyres, thank you very much.

Oh and btw : Travis are Scottish too & poor wee Greta is still aLive&KicKinG arse.

Next band, next song anyone ?

The Misfits

No. Not the film with Marilyn Munroe, Eli Wallach and Clark Gable.

Me and BFF.

We were thrown together aged 11 at Qegs and are still BFFs.

2 and a half hours later on the phone we’ve covered the good, the bad and the ugly.

Misfits? Yup. Landed in rural Lincolnshire, daughters of a Royal Marine and an RAF pilot.

Bugger the bad and the ugly – we had so much fun on with the good.

For 3 years our class was relegated to porta-cabins. Outside of the main building. Why….?

Somewhere in the shit would be either me, Karen or Alex. Or worse – all of us. The dark, the blonde and the redhead.

Hey, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.

Way back then – fun was NOT #banned. Even the teachers found us quite entertaining. Perfect DETENTION fodder :o)

Write out 500 lines – Stupid is as stupid does.

The four pens sellotaped together worked every time :o)

Why? Why? Why? Mummy….!

I remember (vividly) the exact time that I had no answer for my children’s constant questioning.

Up to a certain age you have a perfectly valid and sane answer to their unending questions.

And THEN………

Comes THE question that blows your brain.

No. Not sex. It can be any question about anything that you are forced to answer with – I DON’T KNOW. If you are an honest, loving caring parent.

I remember VIVIDLY the day my eldest son said to me – “Mummy. Why can’t you answer my question? I thought you knew everything.”

Me. Being ME replied. “My lovely boy, some things are not answerable by me. YOU have to find your own answer.”

That’s why I went through years of distance from the grandparents for not having either of my boys “christened” in church.

Thankfully their father agreed with the total hypocrisy of it all (church christening with all the trimmings and BS) and let me let THEM choose their own faith.

They are both grown men now and I can still threaten to slap their bums. Even though they are much taller and wider than me :o)

It’s called RESPECT & DIGNITY & FREEDOM TO THINK INDEPENDENTLY.

And it makes for great, far-ranging, uncontrolled and immensely enlightening discussions!!!!!!

The video below is about teaching his son how to TELL TIME and the difference between Hour and Our.

Jeebuth. I love a person who loves words and how to dissect them :o)

P.S. I was told this morning that I have a mannerism for when I “angry” speak. I always preface with the word ERRRR.

As in Errr – not a hope in hell. Or Errr- Of course, my darling.

?

I STILL pick them up on words that have 2 T’s in but neither are enunciated.

THAT WORD HAS TWO T’s IN. PLEASE ENUNCIATE AT LEAST ONE OF THEM.

A Short History of the Comneni

John the Good and his brother Isaac were very close.

Isaac married Kata/Irene and they had three children Andronicus, John, Anna.

My very old family tree above used the Mainstream history dates for the birth and death of Andronicus I Comnenus but….the video below blows the birth date outta the wazoo.

According to N.C. Andronicus Comnenus was born in 1152 and crucified in 1185.

A bit of maths here? C’mon.

Today is my eldest son’s 33rd birthday. Which PROVES Venus Rose’s description of me as a dinosaur. I’m over 50 years old.

Aaaaarrrrgggghhhhhhhhh! Hateful.

:o)

Loving my haters more and more :o)

Divinely Feminine

OhMy. The girl has gone all pink and girly today

I’m making a divine pink, flowery, embroidered, ruffled, floaty wrap over dress out of some stunning Cotton Lawn.

Cotton Lawn is not as fine or sheer as muslin but it’s not far off.

After sewing with linen for so long, it feels like I’m stitching on cobwebs :o)

We are so hecking la-de-dah about fabrics today. They are as common as air and wind and rain and only really thought about when they are in short supply (?)

No-one likes frost-bite or sunburn. Hey ?

Why Does It Always Rain On Me?

Is it because I lied when I was 17?

Oh. The BIG UK day has been a bit of a wash-out :o(

AND – I left my washing on the line overnight!!!

Heyho. It’s been washed again.

At one point I went with the flow and opened the kitchen wide to smell and feel the rain. Glorious :o)

BTW: Love this band. Hi, Franny!

From Russia…With Love

I could’ve done it this lazy, packaged way but “I Did It MY Way.”

:o)

It gets tricky when 2 think that mushrooms are the food of the devil, 1 thinks peas are the devil’s food, 1 is in Vampire mode (awake from dusk til dawn) and another one of you is on Emergency Rescue again and won’t be home until about 9pm.

I’ve learned to juggle meals and timelines. And weirdos.

MY recipe – Irish beef, cut into thin strips and fried. One white onion (diced) one red pepper (diced) A HUGE dollop of Dijon Mustard (don’t lick the spoon clean afterwards…I’m still a bit red in the face but my sinuses are clear) beef stock, cornflour, smoked paprika, about half a ton of freshly ground pepper and a huge spoonful of Clotted Cream. All served with Basmati rice.

For he and me, I’ve added peas from yesterday. And not a mushroom in sight. Sadly.

So that’d be From Russia (via Lincolnshire) with love, yes?

Tablier Dress : Tove Jansson

I talked about Tove a while back. She was a writer and artist and is best known for The Moomins.

Excellently confortable ‘tablier’ style pull over dress, inspired by an painter’s apron which Tove Jansson (1914-2001,author of The Moomins, in Finland) wore in her portrait.
You can also make it without collar to have traditional ‘tablier’.
The large size pocket is also useful for any type of works.
The pattern for the sleeves also contains both of half length and three quarter length.

After a bit of to&fro via email with Japan, I have bought this paper pattern.

Yay. Sexy as eff.

Or perfectly practical for a person like me.

Only thing is : Japanese peeps are teeny tiny.

My eldest son left us when he was 17…for a three week stay in Japan. He and his mate were well over 6 feet tall and the photos are hilarious. TinyTinyTinyTinyHUGETinyTinyTinyHUGE. Both blonde and standing well above the crowds.

Oh. And I have to cut the EXTRA LARGE version. Which is slightly insulting to a person with body issues.

heyho :o)

The Welsh Viking & The Mad Clothing Historians

After a long and very painful journey – I have found MY soul tribe.

These women are amazing. ALL of them.

And the Welsh Viking is a fan of them and they are a fan of him and I’m a fan of them all.

Deep Breath. Feeling Giddy.

Ah Like Wha’ah Like an’ I Schneeze On Wha’ah Dinna.

?

Shrug.

What they all have in common is deep knowledge and a less than serious approach to it. AKA – they are fun to be around :o)

Tarragon/Dragon & The Myth of Artemis

Tarragon is a herb : Artemisia dracunculus.

Said to be the herb of Artemis the Huntress and also a cure for snake bite and rabies.

All I know about it is…I grow it. I use it with chicken.

Chicken Fricassee – with tarragon.

Chicken Pie – with tarragon. Today’s meal.

The first time I ever tasted chicken and tarragon together was via a sandwich in a cafe inside the Natural History Museum in London when my boys were toddlers and their mother was edu-ma-cating them!

HERBS……Will always and forever remind me of this programme :o)

The Colour Purple

We were having a discussion last weekend about childhood bedrooms. I’ve always let my boys decorate as and what they want…..EXCEPT when youngest wanted to paint his ceiling black. Then I got all forbidding and How Dare You!

My parents did this for us too. I painted my bedroom light purple. Had a dark purple bedspread and my Dad helped me paint all the furniture white.

I’m a TRUE Sag. The Good. The Bad. The F-ugly :o)

PURPLE RAIN?

Woven Air : The Ancient Fabric That No One Knows How To Make

As a young teenager, my favourite piece of clothing was a cheesecloth shirt. I wore it to death!

I have a few metres of striped cheesecloth now for shirt, dressmaking. Sigh.

I love cheesecloth. So 1970’s.

It’s also called Muslin and was once so finely woven that it was known as Garment of the Wind.

Dhaka Muslin.

Though Dhaka muslin vanished more than a century ago, there are still intact saris, tunics, scarves and dresses in museums today. Occasionally one will resurface at a high-end auction house such as Christie’s and Bonhams, and sell for thousands of pounds.

How about a revisit to the Emperor With No Clothes?

You’re Not Ugly : You’re Just Poor

LOL!

Ranting is good. And Karolina has a good rant here.

I’d add :

You’re Not Ugly, You’re Just Without a Mortarboard, A Piece of Paper Saying That You ARE Officially Educated/Expert, A Peasant, A Non-Conformist, A Ranty Ranter, A Housewife, A Friendless/Worthless/Drivelling POS, NOT WELCOME HERE.

Oh. I haven’t had such a good laugh as I’ve had today in yonks :o)

And I’ve spent 95% of today alone.

Go Figure.

Why is Cottagecore so Gay?

OOOPS!

I must’ve been “Gay” all my life and never knew it.

That’s a bummer.

I’ve done ALL that Rowan describes, all of my life.

OK. That’s me out of the wardrobe.

I AM OFFICIALLY A GAY FEMALE & SLIGHTLY QUEER TOO!

I’m also a huge Agatha Christie fan and she uses “GAY” to mean happy & “QUEER” to mean strange.

BTW : When I was 6 years old and we had to live with Nan for a while before moving to Scotland, I gathered all the fallen petals from her roses and squished them into a jar of water – to make rose water.

I made a jar full of stinky sludge :o)

For Tomorrow We Die…Dye.

Members of my Mother’s Norfolk family were called Dyer. Which is lovely. We obviously had some real live dyers as ancestors.

Two pieces of clothing are all but finished now and I want to dye them. One being calico and the other linen, a natural dye is needed but I’ve kinda, sorta cheated and bought a product rather than do it from scratch. It’s still all natural but comes in a plastic bottle….and as I’m impatient….needs must.

When my garden gets back into full swing over the coming months I will harvest plants for later dyeing adventures.

Oh. And I need to eat more avocados. Yum…love ’em. Except I rarely wear green – it reminds me too much of army uniforms. Oh. Hang on a minute :

BIG Beds & A Genius Brainwave

Aha! Problem solved by my leetle grey cell :o)

When eldest son hit 6ft 6ins tall and constantly complained about having backache every morning, his mother took pity on him.

Having a huge SuperKing Sized Bed (6ft wide and 6ft 6 ins long) she gifted it to him and reclaimed the old normal, Victorian bedstead double bed back. Ain’t she sweet!?

Being a lad and having no appreciate of the pure linen SuperKing bedclothes that I’d bought years ago, said son shoved them all in the airing cupboard.

PURE LINEN.

The pile above will soon (?) become some spiffy clothes for his mother.

Sometimes I amaze myself :o)

I Have A SECRET Love…Again!

Rachel is so like me in so many ways.

I’ve spent the whole of last week watching her complete madness on yt. She makes me feel soooooo NOT ALONE anymore :o)

Yep. She buys into the WWW stupids going on. But I can forgive her everything when I watch.

And she’s teaching me to be much less of a Perfect Penelope when it comes to sewing.

Even HIMSELF fell in love with her this morning.

OMG. Schwoon.

It’s the red hair.

ALWAYS the red hair!

The Difference IS Night & Day

I’ve been in the wrong place long enough to know…I’m in the right place now.

Good old Eddi Reader – my muse and mentor.

After so long in a place full of pure toxicity, ego, pride, negativity and truly nasty vibe peeps, everything has shifted for me. Woohooooo
!

I’m back with a childhood love and skill and the doors are all opening into light filled rooms with wonderful people who want nothing more than to help me. Such a beautiful release.

I tried EVERYTHING humanly possible to flip the script of a certain arena but the bulls were RAMPANT and completely closed off to my vibe. Heyho. You live. You LEARN.

Today is another day. Today is LIGHT & LOVE & FRIENDSHIP :o)

She Is Going Back in Time!

Having a modicum of dressmaking abilities, a house full of stuff that needs to be clutter-cleared i.e. Old Clothes and also having the tiniest budget – I’m going back to the past to make my own clothes.

Everything changes including lifestyle and body-shape. I no longer need tailored suits, evening wear, the latest fashionable fashion. Jeans just now look like instruments of torture.

Enter the Capsule Wardrobe.

There are basic basics that we all need. T-shirts, long sleeved or short, thick woolly jumpers and outer garments, something that’ll not shame you in front of the in-laws during the warmer days etc.

I know what I like, what feels comfortable, how my days are going to be, what colours are MINE, how I can get very cold in an instant, how I deplore being all creased and sweaty … and I’m not a huge fan of ironing.

Natural materials. Simple lines. One to wear, one to wash, one for spare.

The lovely girl below is going on a vintage cruise and needs a new, simple, light wardrobe to take with her.

Let’s pick up some tips and stop giving money to wear, wash and throwaway clothing companies, yeah?

The Spice Trade

The History of the Spice Trade is a fascinating subject.

I’m not “up” on all that but…

…I’m an almost life-long proponent of the health benefits of spices. And – quite by accident (?) – my entire upbringing has been filled with foreign foods. Mum made a wonderful curry, every third Saturday night for us. She was never frightened of using herbs and spices in meals.

Her secret bread sauce recipe, that I still use to this day, was always topped off with a good grating of nutmeg.

Plague masks were meant to be full of spices to stop the Plague doctors from being…plagued.

Tonight we are having HOT Chili Con Carne for tea. To blow away the cobwebs. Runny noses and teary eyes incoming :o)

Alum as a Mordant

Anyone who has ever tried natural dyeing knows that we need a mordant to fix the colour.

Alum is very good and natural. Some use vinegar or iron or gall or other such.

I may be the only person in the world who can sit and watch this all the way through in awe.

I saw much the same in Karachi – from a car. The colours are amaze-balls :o)

P.S. I’m not 100% certain but the white powder he throws in could be alum.

Bizarre Theory Afoot!

I’m teaching my self Eco-Printing on paper. The results are amazing and beautiful so – thought I – as I have some spare calico cotton left, how about seeing if it can be done on fabric.

Yes. It can.

Yay.

But I also saw something else here. Too bizarre NOT to share.

All the materials used have to be natural. Plants, paper, alum, fibres. And part of the process is the boiling in water for a while.

You then end up with a negative image on the cloth………..

Look. In my simple mind, this makes sense. Fact!

The Unbearable Heaviness of Being

The quote above belongs to ME now. As in, I’ve come to fully own it through experience.

And I WILL stand by it.

To be hated for what we ARE is so much better than the lie. In my opinion.

Something that I’ve never talked about fully is being psychic, or whatever label you want to call it. I prefer the old label – SEER.

Clairsentience is real.

It is also a road to hell when you blurt out unwanted truths…like me. All the time. Ooops.

Growing up with other family members who denied their “real” because they were too afraid to step away from Societal Norms might’ve made me swing the pendulum a bit too far the other way.

When you are having a wonderful conversation with someone and you suddenly, innocently blurt out – How many Children Have You Had? Things start to get very tricky. Very fast. That’s how I know about her appalling childhood.

It opened a wound deeply buried yet still raw and bleeding at the time.

She’s all but healed from it now that it’s no longer a dark secret. TRUTH.

I’d rather be hated or avoided than FAKE LOVED. Thank you :o)

Indian Feng Shui ?

Again – I am NOT an expert here. No qualifications on paper just an almost life-long interest in these subjects.

Feng shui – since my early 20’s.

Space Clearing – since my middle 20’s.

So that’s quite a time to research, on & off.

Today my home smells like an Indian Temple.

I’ve tried many different incenses but I always return to Nag Champa. Oud from Dubai is “the best” in my opinion but I no longer have contact with the Middle East now…and I don’t trust t’internet to sell me the real deal!!!

Say what y’all like about Amazon but I’ve used it since 2000 and will carry on doing so. The Nag Champa they sell there is real. If you buy the certificated stuff. A box with 12 boxes of 12-15 sticks only costs £9.

If they want to sponsor me……. :o)

On the Cusp of The Tempest : And No Birds Sing

I always know when we have a storm approaching. The many, many trees outside start going all bendy and floppy. The windows of the house start to rattle. And…

…No Birds Sing.

The Sedge has Withered From the Lake and No Birds Sing – Keats, methinks. La Belle Dame Sans Merci.

Anyways.

We had no wind and sunshine earlier on. The rabbits, squirrels, pheasants, birdies were all galivanting about loudly. Now – Nothing.

Animals know when to hunker down and they don’t even have a telly to watch the weather forecast on.

We may be in for a rough couple of days.

I Will NVR4GT Glencoe

Right at the beginning of Bruce’s video below is a perfect picture of the mountains I climbed aged 20.

See the narrow ridges along the tops? Some were only wide enough for two x size 5 feet in Army boots to walk. Around 10 inches across.

See the flanks? They were all dry, midsummer scree. We descended in less than a quarter of the time it took to get up there. Brutal Landscape.

But the views from the top are AWESOME :o)

BTW : I am Lady Glencoe IRL (along with zillions of others!!)

I bought this Highland title about 15 years ago for £100. Why? Because I now own about 1 square foot of the land and there is a tree growing there with my name on it. FACT

:o)

Tutoring to Pass Exams

True Truth.

One of my sister-in-laws moved from London to the Welsh Marches after the birth of her first child because there were Grammar Schools in that area.

Tetbury.

She went on to have a second child after her wedding and she had both of them TUTORED in the 11+ exam when they reached 10 years old.

TUTORED?

Me, my bros, my kids were all THROWN into the test papers with no prior knowledge of wtf was going to happen therein.

No idea.

But her husband did have a PHYSICS degree and became a not fully qualified accountant.

You can’t make this shit up!

BTW – QEGS is now an Academy.

Once Upon a Time — It produced peeps like me and the one below whose parents owned the local secondhand bookshop :o)

#TFAYCD

Ghosties & Ghoulies & Strange Energy Drainage

OK. I’ll admit. We both said the same thing about 5:30 am yesterday when the leccy went out for a seconds, came back – half power.

Oooooh. Spooky. The light in the kitchen had dimmed. The kettle was on half speed. Other light switches did not work.

Aaaaaaaargh. POLTERGHOOST!

We checked the electric boxy thing and nothing had tripped.

Yes. We HAVE A SCARY WARY POLTERGHOOST draining our energy!!

Seconds after he left for work, all the leccy went off again for a second or two and then back. Normals.

My family has a very strange sense of humour. Fact :o)

Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog)

Or – in my case – three girls in a boat (me, myself & I)

To Say Nothing of the Cat (Maud)

Let Your Boat of Life be Light.

I should’ve known better. But I got what I deserved…Eurythmics song.

Hey, peeps…You can’t be accusing me of not trying to take on the More Of Them Than Us.

Fact!

Failure is just a State of Mind. Failure is just a State of Mind. Failure is just a State of Mind.

David Essex : Teenage Crush Fess

Yes. I did…..and still do (?) have a bit of a crush on David Essex.

I’ve always known that he was of Gypsy (Irish Traveller) descent. He never made a secret of it. But – as he has grown older, he’s come to appreciate his heritage more and more. Like I have.

I know him best through War of the Worlds. He was the Artillery Man.

P.S. Somewhere in MY soul I have a Gypsy past. FACT!

BTW : New Age Travellers are not real TRAVELLERS. They are tax dodgers and drop-outs and tieves (Spelling meant) and pretenders who have NO connection to their past. They even reject their own families.

I’ve met both true Romany and the New Age ones.

HUGE difference.

Sorry. Got distracted and slightly confused by a Thunderchild. Did I see a KenBran here. Doing Dunkirk?

SMH.

Another Fellow Researcher : Static in the Attic

I too have followed SitA since (almost) the beginning.

But like everyone else that I ever followed and commented on – there was always an IT between us.

Jared and I know the Babe who spoilt everything with her lies and megalomania. It did break a good connection that I respected. I can’t even comment on his channel now.

I don’t agree with everything he posts and he doesn’t agree with me.

C’est la vie and que sera, que sera.

I appreciate his authenticity though. It shines through.

Noilly Prat & Sailing

F!RST time I went sailing in a dinghy was when I was 13. Story told. Mudflats etc

S£COND time was a proper sailing course in Gibraltar. I learned how to tack and miss that horizontal pole when it swung!!!

Shaken and not Stirred.

I HATE Vermouth. I HATE Martini. I’m not a huge fan of James Bond or Ian Fleming either.

I’m a great lover of olives though. Wherever traveller-in-crime and I travelled in Europe and the Middle East, I always had a whole bowl of olives to myself.

Result :o)

I have zero sophistication.

Faith, Hope & Clarity

So many childhood memories.

We once lived in a flat, my parents, me, one toddler brother and one baby brother and the grown ups knew exactly how to keep me quiet and occupied for hours. All it took was a scrapbook, some Victorian pictures, scissors and a glue stick. I’d be parked at the dining room table but always found that too confining so ended up on the floor surrounded by “stuff.”

:o)

I’ve gone back to this just recently with Sarica as my guide and mentor.

The Traveler’s Notebook is now being used as both a planner and a journal. I’ve thrown away the amazing Ryder Carroll system. Again – far too restrictive.

My journal has two sentences hand written on the cover. The one in the title above because this process is incredibly peaceful and meditative. The other is a quote from Hamlet…

WORDS, WORDS, WORDS.

Simple. Childlike and something that can be done as and when.

Here is Sarica.

Today I Noticed…

A pall of mist over our village.

My youngest son paying for a pre-Christmas, pre- Christmas shop with his own debit card…………….

I’m still feeling a bit whoozy about that :o)

The car needs a darn good clean. All that wet and windy and muddy weather.

Even with a highly organised bullet journal, with a 2021 AND a 2022 handwritten calendar, I still don’t know what day of the week it is. Wednesday? Monday?

Both my laptop and my tv are sending me the same old, same old youtube BS. With the same old, same old peeps. Saying the same old, same old crap. And repeating the same old, same words and emojis.

A bit of a same old, same day all around out there.

But NOT in my world :o)

I’ve discovered WASHI TAPE. Woooohooooooo! Above is my first haul.

I love, adore, scwhoon over the muted colours. Like those found in old frescos. They are usually called “blackened” or “greyed” colours because they contain certain amounts of black or grey to knock them back.

My entire house is painted with Farrow & Ball Colours. Not a brilliant white or a vibrant blue to be seen. It has neutral, muted, calming walls in whites and greens and lavenders – all of them “knocked back.”

The true colours come from the soft furnishings. My handmade quilts and Persian rugs and hand-knitted cushion covers.

I’ve even taught my son the value of this colour scheme. His rooms (still being decorated) are all muted blues and greys and greens and his bed will be topped by a mad Mother made -Kaffe Fassett material- quilt.

Just saying :o)

Vodka & PotPourri

I prefer moist potpourri. Just my preference.

Mine is housed in huge terracotta Victorian Butter dishes – where they’d hand whisk butter. They usually have yellow paint on the top.

Do what the lady below says and then when you need to refresh it all, spray with vodka and water, add more essential oils and microwave for a few seconds.

POW!

Like canopic jars full of herbs and spices – potpourri can last decades.