17 January 2018

Does Appearance Matter?

I don't understand
how a woman
can leave the house
without fixing herself
up a little, if only out
of politeness.

And then, you never know,
maybe that's the day
she has a date with destiny.

And it's best to be
as pretty as possible 
for destiny.


Well there have been times when I have been most impolite and missed my date with destiny! 
Times when I have been busy with sewing/reading/dollshouse/bingeing on Netflix and then suddenly realised I need provisions. Not a scrap of make up on, messy hair and wearing casuals. Do I fix myself up, or say s✷d it, put on a hat and go? The latter always wins - I want to do the shopping and get back as quickly as possible. Never more so than at this time of year, and I must at this point admit to being seen in the supermarket wearing gardening or decorating gear - mon dieu!! 

I have three levels of appearance:
1. Going out to a bit of a do; a day out; a social event -  
full make up, styled hair, good clothes, perfume, polished nails.

2. Going out to a casual event ie: my bowls club, coffee morning in the village hall - 
tidy hair,  eyebrows on, mascara and lipstick, casual jeans and top, perfume, polished nails.

3. Staying in; picking up my grandson from school; a sudden visit to the supermarket - 
ok hair, no make up, casual clothes, no perfume, nail polish probably chipped.

When I was working I enjoyed looking good - dressing in nice clothes, wearing make up and 
styling my hair. But now in retirement, with only one regular commitment each week 
I favour comfort over dress up. I do however follow a daily routine of basic hair and skin care.


Does appearance matter?

When I do make an effort to put make up on, style my hair and dress up, I look in the mirror 
and I feel good about myself and I'm glad I made the effort. I feel confident and want to spend 
time socialising, and that confidence I feel about myself affects how others perceive me.
Whether we like it or not, and it might not even be a conscious act, but on meeting or seeing 
someone, in those first few seconds we register visual images and form impressions. 
Such immediate impressions can be wrong, but nevertheless they are important because 
others relate to us based on them.

I often joke and say that as a female over the age of 50 I am invisible, there is some truth in that, 
which is why making an effort in older age is even more important, important to get out there 
and say 
"Hi, I'm still here and I can still turn a head or two".

And you never know, that might just be the day when destiny is waiting :-)

~Be warm and well ~

Polly x 

13 January 2018


Lovely walk with the dogs this morning, the sky was blue instead of grey and the sun managed an appearance for a while which was a bonus. I did a slightly longer route, mainly for my benefit, I have been a bit lazy over the last couple of weeks. It's no secret to those who know me that I dislike January, I'm quite happy to hibernate indoors pottering around and eating too much!!

I read in the news that surgeon Simon Bramhall has been fined £10,000 and given a twelve month community order for branding his initials on the livers of two patients. The charge was assault by beating. Some people have been calling for him to be struck off. I'm not in that camp. Surgeons have ENORMOUS egos, they save lives, and I would be eternally grateful to the man if he saved my life, and if my liver was intact and functioning it wouldn’t really matter if his initials were on it. But is it ethically wrong to do such a thing to an unconscious patient? And what about respect, did he display a complete lack of it, was the patient just another notch on his scalpel?

My friend M and I had a lovely day out yesterday at Maldon, a lovely little town on the Blackwater estuary in Essex. Although it has a few of the standard High Street shops it is reminiscent of High Streets of a bygone era, with lots of unique shops and a glorious emporium where you can find loads of good stuff, some you've been looking for for ages and some you didn't even know you wanted! 
It also has a plethora of charity shops. M and I share a love of charity shops, so after a delicious fish and chips lunch we set off down one side of the high street and then back up the other side. Unusually for M she didn't find anything she liked. I bought this lovely necklace for only £4.95. 

Ordinarily we would wander around the many small alleyways and visit any markets that might be open, but it was a cold grim day so we went into M&S food hall, M bought a loaf of bread, I bought a scrumptious chocolate and hazelnut tart to have with a cup of tea later :-)

As I picked up the necklace after taking the photos it broke! it literally came away in my hand, luckily the beads fell on the table with just a few falling on the floor so I was able to find them all and I have bead making materials so I will be able to mend it, and thankfully I have the photos to put it back together intact. I had planned a day of sewing anyway, along with some reading and Netflix.

Enjoy your weekend.

~Be warm and well ~

Polly x 

11 January 2018

A Good Read

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick. What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane. 
Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that. What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour and bumble bee tights. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time. 
Thought provoking and extremely sad, I was sobbing out loud towards the end. An excellent story, Moyes is meticulous about the subject matter. 
Thoroughly enjoyed it. The film is good too, it stays true to the book.

8 January 2018

Have I Bitten Off More Than I Can Chew? Part II

When I left part I of this post I was doing a Scarlett O'hara from 'Gone With The Wind' -  

"Oh I can't think about this now 
I'll go crazy if I do
I'll think about it tomorrow
After all tomorrow is another day

Love that film

So let's recap, this is where I left off

trying to work out how many blocks
and how many squares in each block I would need to make the quilt larger. 
It wasn't going well, my brain just doesn't do maths!

I made templates which helped. 
But after all that exertion of the little grey cells I realised 


Well I walked away, had a cup of coffee and then went back to it


Using the material I had I put more strips around the edges, 
bought ¼ metre of material in a contrasting colour and pattern (top right of picture)
and put a wider border around it.

Adding a bit of contrast by putting a square block of colour in each corner.

The next job was to make binding for the edges using left over material. 
The length of the binding was about 2" short!
Thank goodness I don't throw scraps away until the project is finished. 

These 2 scraps of material came in very handy. 
By joining them lengthways it was just about wide enough.

I then sewed straight lines through the material and fleece,

 put a border around the edge

  and voila the finished lap quilt.

The backing is fleece instead of the traditional material with wadding inside. 
Fleece is warm and soft which helps sooth distressed children.
The lap quilts I make go to Project Linus

 I'm so pleased its finished, I'm ready to start the next one now! 

Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another
John Dewey
20th Oct 1859 - 1st June 1952

~Be warm and well ~

Polly x 

3 January 2018

Have I Bitten Off More Than I Can Chew?

One of my friends in the WI moved house recently. 
She didn't have room for her huge stash of craft items so she asked if I would like some material and wadding for making quilts for the Linus Project that our WI supports, oooh yes I thought and dived into the box and carrier bag like they were Aladdin's cave.

Me and my "Oh yes I like a challenge" 
I'm sure I 'm going to have a lot of fun designing patterns.
One good thing is that all the material is good quality cotton and all the same weight,
and a lot of it is already cut into strips or shapes.

I won't even attempt to make these though

and I'm not sure if I will be able to do anything with these single medium size blocks above.

I decided to start with these.
The large blocks in the middle and the 3 smaller ones had already been made,
so my first job was to make a fourth one.

I struggled with the star shapes but it looks ok. 
Now I had to decide how to fill the other gaps 

I made 4 more blocks for each corner 
and put some strips in-between the middle blocks to fill the gaps. 
The blocks aren't very good, I didn't want to do more star shapes so I did squares.
I'm not happy with the dimensions, but they will have to do. 
I then put some strips along the longer edges.

This is where it got tricky. 
To make it the same measurement as the other lap quilts I have made I need to add more blocks. 
I have to work out how many blocks and how many squares in each block, remembering to add enough for seams. The blanket isn't square and there are two different sizes of blocks. I've spent most of this morning trying to work out the best way to do it, I can only do very basic maths, my brain just isn't wired for it, I get confused by numbers, so right now I'm overwhelmed!! 

I feel like Scarlett in 'Gone With The Wind' when she says 
"Oh I can't think about this now 
I'll go crazy if I do
I'll think about it tomorrow
After all tomorrow is another day" 

That is one of my all time favourite films. 

To be continued!!...........

I need sustenance, time for lunch then a WI meeting this afternoon.

~Be warm and well ~

Polly x 

1 January 2018


Once the hangover has dissipated and we return to the routine of daily life some of us will be wondering what the year ahead has in store for us, and at the same time reflecting on the year that has just gone. Did you make any 2017 resolutions? If so did you keep them? Do you keep a check list of what you would like to achieve and tick it off when completed? I suspect the first entry on a lot of people’s list would be to lose some weight and get fit. I think memberships to gyms and slimming clubs quadruple in January then taper off in March. I won’t be doing either of those things but I will return to sensible eating instead of devouring every chocolate, cake or dessert I could get my hands on!! 
Do we set ourselves up for failure by attempting unrealistic goals? That’s not a criticism, we are creatures of habit, and no matter how hard we try we nearly always revert back to default mode. 
But if you think about it we achieve a lot just in our daily lives – jobs to go to, training for careers, homemakers, raising families, caring for loved ones, and even us retired folk achieve a lot with hobbies, voluntary work and days out.
There are about a dozen things I could put on a New Year’s resolution list but I’m not going to. I’m going to continue trying to keep fit and healthy and enjoy family, friends and life. 
If you do make some New Year resolutions and they fall by the wayside in a few months time, don’t beat yourself up, think about what you do achieve every day.

~Be warm and well ~

Polly x 

31 December 2017

Happy New Year

Best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year

Polly x 

24 December 2017


Merry Christmas  

Happy Holiday

Courtesy of http://www.powerpointhintergrund.com/

Seasons Greetings

Polly x 

22 December 2017

The Dogs' Diary

Santa and a Christmas Pud

Oh dear, we don't know what to say.
A few days ago Polly's daughter went shopping 
and came back with these

Santa and Christmas pud outfits


Just a bit of fun they said

HELP !!!

I won't forget this

Actually they are very well made and comfortable to wear.
We didn't make a fuss and kept them on for about half an hour, 
I think we would have kept them on for longer.
We think they are quite fetching, 
although we wouldn't want to be seen outside wearing them!!

We would like to wish you dear reader a Happy Christmas

Buster & Rufus

20 December 2017

Christmas Tree Festival

Every year a neighbouring village church holds a Christmas tree festival,
and groups from the area are invited to enter. 
There are a huge amount of entries and a huge amount of amazing ideas.

It doesn't have to be a traditional tree or indeed a tree at all, 
this display was a set of decorated shelves in the shape of a tree.

Disney Magic tree

Box Of Years

Santa got stuck up the chimney

The Winter Queen was stunning

Remembrance tree

Family tree

I liked the Shoe tree

my WI group's entry
one of our ladies wrote the words of the hymn on the ribbon which wound around the tree
The rest of us created the hills, the feet, clouds, sheep, bow of burning gold,
 arrows of desire, chariot of fire, sword, and my contribution - the dark satanic mills.

Cuttletrees was the winner voted for by the church committee.
It was a clever idea, a trio of trees made with forks and tiny lights threaded through them, 
it wouldn't have been my choice though, too severe and sterile for my liking.
The visiting public  then vote for their favourite.
I can't remember which one is was but it wasn't ours.

this was my favourite
The Spiral tree
it isn't shown in the best light though
it was a pretty spiral of greenery, cones, balls of string covered in fake snow, 
white and silver baubles and sparkly lights.

Treefold made out of folded paper was lovely.

The Library tree was clever
Covered with picture clues to book titles

I didn't win the raffle
but we did have a lovely time enjoying the trees and the craft fair nearby.

Hope you have enjoyed just a few of the Christmas Trees in the festival.

Polly x 
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