Monday, 18 September 2017

ELM TREE


Once apon a time there was a beautiful Elm tree standing proud outside of my front window.
I have had the privilege of enjoying this tree for 52 years and know from old photos that it was over 100 years old.
I have watched blue tits nest in the holes of this tree for years and pigeons carefully snapping off the right size twigs for their nests .  I have watched the seeds falling like confetti and filling the gutters in the Spring and seen the faces in the bark of the trunk.
It withstood the Hurricane of 1987.


Sadly last week this tree had to be felled as it had contracted Dutch Elm Disease.
For those who are not familiar with this here is a brief synopsis.

The second epidemic of DED which arrived in the UK during the late 1960’s on infected elm logs from North America, had by 1979 killed 25 million mature elms
East Sussex has one of the country's largest populations of mature elms after controls were set up in 1973 to limit the spread of the disease
Unfortunately there is no cure and no way of saving infected trees,
The disease is transmitted by beetles which eat through infected bark and pass on the fungus. It then spreads further from tree to tree through their systems.

But the south coast populations were protected by their positioning between the English Channel and the South Downs.
Withered brown leaves are one of the first signs of Dutch elm disease 


The tree surgeons tried to save it by cutting out the infected parts but in the end it had to go.
I love trees and can't tell you how sad I am to see this tree cut down.
Apparently the council do not have enough money to replace it at the moment so we will just have to walk past the remaining stump ( this has been debarked to stop the spread ) and remember it as it used to be.
If you look closely you can see that the centre of the trunk is dark brown, in fact it had a large hole all the way up where the disease had taken hold.




Monday, 11 September 2017

LINING THE BASKET


I have a small basket that holds my sock knitting, just the right size for a ball of wool and all the bits and pieces.
The only trouble was that the wool kept on snagging on the rough inside of the basket.
So, this morning I decided to line it.


 I found a nice piece of cotton and set about doing this .

Easier said than done....
I had so much trouble getting the thread through the basket in places that I had to get pliars to pull the needle through.


I didn't give up though and it ended up looking like this.


Perfect, no more snags and I can get on finishing these socks for Tom.


There's nothing like a hand knitted pure wool sock to keep your feet warm in the winter.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

PIN CUSHION PROGRESS


I've been pondering what to do in the last 3 segments of my pincushion but a find at the car boot gave me the solution.




A very large cone of gold thread for the brilliant price of only £3.00




Here's what I did, filling in the in the diamonds with seed beads.







Now I just need to sew the whole thing together .

 

Sunday, 3 September 2017

YOU CAN TELL ITS GETTING CHILLY


No car boot today as the weather was not good.
It's been overcast and chilly all day and at least one feline knows what to do.


Burrow under a fleece and make sure you leave one leg out 
as an indication that this fleece is taken.
which one is it?


Princess, less than happy at being disturbed. lol

Thursday, 31 August 2017

LOST THE PLOT




For a couple of days now I have been struggling to see the computer screen clearly. 
I was getting a bit worried that my eyes had deteriorated suddenly.
This morning I went on to the computer and picked up the glasses and had a light bulb moment.

These glasses are just not right lets get the pair from the kitchen that are exactly the same prescription and compare.
yes, you got it....they were different.



So, the question is whose glasses are these?
I rang Penny (daughter) and they are not hers, they are not Tom's and Tom (Grandson) doesn't wear glasses.
I can only think that maybe I have picked them up in the cafe thinking they were mine.  So, someone out there is wondering where their glases are. lol
I think I'll take them up to the cafe in case they have been asked for lost glasses. 

Phew, is all I can say, I thought my eyes had gone on the blink, (no pun intended)  lol

AMENDED

I'm so embarrassed but have gone ahead with the post as I can't stop laughing.

The glasses are mine.
The last time I had new glasses I was given a new reading prescription and that's what these are.
I very rarely use them as they don't seem right.  I can't use them for the computer (obviously) but they are okay for close work upstairs.
Somehow they have come downstairs onto the desk and I have got them mixed up.

This would never have happened once upon a time, I think I'm losing my marbles. lol
Good job I didn't take them to the store and leave them there. lol

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

LAUNDRY

Peace reigns supreme once again here  but only for a short time as Tom has another wedding this weekend.
Thanks for all the comments and I'm sure Celeste probably didn't notice my appearance but I'll be prepared next time. lol

Today was the day for doing the laundry, not that we keep to any special day, just when we have enough to bother.  We take it to the local launderette and go next door to Smallbatch and have a coffee while it is washing.
This got me thinking about how times have changed since we were married in 1964.
We have never owned a washing machine and still don't to this day.
This may surprise most people as it is standard now to own one.
As we live in a Maisonette we have a flat underneath us and leaks etc would be a worry, also we would have to take out some kind of Insurance and that is against my beliefs. lol


Years ago in the sixties I had one of these for boiling my nappies and used to put it on the cooker top to boil them white.
Not quite on an open fire in the garden, lol
This was very effective and I hung out a lovely line of nappies on the line to dry, something you rarely see now.
 Other washing including bedding was done in the sink by hand.
I must have had muscles like popeye then as it was a hard job lifting that bucket full of water and nappies and wringing out sheets etc.
 I did have one concession though, a thing called a spinarinse, machine.


 Something like this one in the picture. You could add water to this to rinse the clothes and I thought I was quite modern with this.
There were five of us to wash for but I took it all in my stride and got on with it.
Not sure how some young Mums would cope now without disposable nappies.


Sunday, 27 August 2017

WHAT A WEEKEND


This weekend our Grandson came down to stay for a couple of days as he had a friends wedding to attend in Sussex.
We always love to see him as he lived with us for four years and we are very close., but as soon as he hits the kitchen it is chaos.  He plonks his bags down and I suppose because we are usually living  this quiet orderly life it seems like there is an elephant in the house. lol

On Saturday morning he got up and showered etc and was almost ready when he called down that Celeste would be here in 5 minutes as they were going to the wedding together.

Now.... I had to sleep in the bedroom with Tom (husband) as Tom (Grandson) had the spare room that I usually sleep in now  and so I didn't get the best nights sleep due to puffing billy in the bed opposite. aka, Tom poofing and snoring.
Therefore when Tom (Grandson) called this message down I was still in dissaray. No makeup, no earrings and wearing my old caftan with no time to do anything about it, and the fact that Celeste is to put it mildly, Glamorous put me in a bit of a panic. lol

I should explain that Celeste is  a singer who Tom discovered in Brighton and has been promoting for a couple of years and she was singing at the wedding.  (Tom works in the music industry looking for new talent and organising videos etc )

All was well in the end and once she entered my kitchen she fell in love with it and the jigsaw floor and I'm just hoping that she didn't notice dishevelled Nan. ha ha.

Here's the two of them ready for the off.
See what I mean about Glamorous....

I've spared you a photo of me in my caftan. lol



Friday, 25 August 2017

PIN CUSHION


I finally found out how to take a fairly decent picture of the black velvet pin cushion that I am making.
I left it for a while as there was no point in carrying on if I could not take photo's of it.
Anyway, here it is so far.


I hunted around for a circular item about the right size an ended up with a cd.  As you can see I have traced around this with tailors chalk.


Once in the hoop I hand stitched the circle and added some for the seam, making a tenplate out of cardboard for use again.


I've then divided this up into 6 sections and started to make my ribbon roses.
As you can see one lot is coloured and the other two are white.
This is because I make them all in white satin ribbon and then colour them in afterwards with these.



They are permanent markers and do not flow onto the background when applied.
I have not tried ordinary felt tips, no sure if they would bleed.


As you can see if you enlarge, this means that you can make the tips of the roses slightly darker and the leaves more lifelike than plain ribbon.


Now I have three lots of roses nearly finished, I have added a few pearls inbetween and have the stems to finish.

Now, I am stuck as to what to put in the other 3 spaces. 
This may take a bit of pondering...

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

THE DENTIST.


Today was check up day at the Dentist.

I don't know why but it's troubling to me now to visit the Dentist.  I used to not mind at all but again this age thing creeps in once more and I now dread it.
I've had a long run in with Dentists all of my life.  I think I was probably given good teeth to begin with but in the 50's dental practice wasn't like it is now.

First there was the School Dentist. For me this was a large German lady who scared the pants off me and ignored all my attention seeking methods like looking at her with a plea in my eye or making aaaaah noises.
 She would whirr around with the drill and it felt like she was going  through my jaw,  in those days injections were not plentiful like now.,

Then came the really nice Irish Dentist with a lovely soft lilt to his voice who thought it was a good idea to drill all of the fillings out and replace them each time I visited.
I was young in my 20's and a bit naive and did not twig that he was probably making a mint from all of these visits.

By the time I found a good Dentist the damage had been done but the new man put things right and gave me a couple of lovely Gold Crowns and a nice small denture with a couple of teeth on it made from titanium.



Here's my surgery today, not very busy as you can see.

The problem now is that when I had my crowns etc done in the 70's they cost me nothing.  
Today these procedures cost an arm and a leg and the small titanium denture can cost anything from £800 - £1,000.   Needles to say I'm hanging on to it for grim death as another is pretty much out of the question.

Anyway, all was fine today and another appointment has been booked for 6 months time. 
More tiny brushes were bought in order to preserve the gums and a big sigh of relief was heard all over Brighton. lol





Tuesday, 22 August 2017

I'VE GOT A WALL..


Over the years we've had our fair share of trauma's and family troubles and I have usually sailed through them all managing to keep cheerful and positive.
As I've got older I seem to have lost my stoic attitude and things trouble me that once would not have done so, probably because I now have more time to think.
Lately I have been quite upset by lots of things, mostly family things that I have no choice over but it upsets me and therefore it upsets Tom.
It's funny how a small thing can bring about a solution to a problem.
The other evening we were watching a programme and the actor mentioned putting a wall between them.





It was then that the solution hit me.




All I have to do is have an imaginary wall in my mind and throw all of the problems over the wall.
Every time I think of one I will remember that it is no longer with me but over this wall out of harms way.

Going to give it a good try, I'll let you know how I get on.
After all, A man's life is what his thoughts make of it, isn't it?

By the way, that's not me in front of that wall. LOL