30 January 2023

Haggis And A Victorian Fairy

On most Fridays throughout the year we have coffee mornings in the village hall to raise money for charities. Tea, coffee, delicious cakes and, now and again, scones and toasted teacakes are served. And lots of raffle prizes are to be won.

Last Friday I saw this jigsaw on the table and fell in love with it. A Victorian Fairy, her beautiful titian hair, porcelain skin, ruby red lips, the pretty butterflies in her hair, the reticule she is holding, and her fairy wings. The inscription on the side of the box reads

"Take the fair face of woman, and gently suspending,
 with butterflies, flowers, and jewels attending,
thus your fairy is made of most beautiful things"

Charles Ede by by Sophie Anderson (1823-1903).

As the numbers were being drawn I didn't think I would get it, then ...... the fourth number was mine!! I was happy.

Following on from that win I bought £5 of raffle tickets at the village Burns Night on Saturday, to no avail. Oh well, despite not winning the Scottish goodies hamper or the chocolates or any of the other lovely items it was a great night, haggis, mashed potato, mashed swede, cabbage and gravy, and clootie pudding and custard followed by lots of Cèilidh dancing.

∼ Be warm and well∼
    Polly x

23 January 2023

A Good Read

Six Wicked Reasons by Jo Spain tells the story of the death of Frazer Lattimer, narrated in part by his six children. I would have titled it Six Valid Reasons. The family is dysfunctional, made that way by the narcissistic and manipulative Frazer. One by one he systematically criticised, undermined and ridiculed his children, nothing was good enough for him. He was largely responsible for the death of their kind, gentle mother Kathleen.

In June 2008 twenty-one-year-old Adam Lattimer vanished, presumed dead. The strain of his disappearance broke his already fragile family.

Ten years later, with his mother deceased and siblings scattered across the globe, Adam turned up unannounced at the family home, followed by his reluctant siblings. But Adam's reappearance posed more questions than answers. The past is a tangled web of deceit, and, as tension builds somebody has planned murderous revenge for the events of ten years ago.

I enjoyed it but didn't work out who dunnit!

∼ Happy Reading∼ 

Polly x

16 January 2023

Lake View Bedroom

I bought Lake View house in July 2019, in the first blog I wrote about it I said  "I have grand designs for it, check back in about 4 years!!" And here we are just seven months away from that date and it's nowhere near finished! After doing the halls I sort of lost enthusiasm and eventually it was time for the talk - 'The longer I leave it the less likely I am to continue with it, so get your butt into gear and GET ON WITH IT'. I made a start on the bedroom and here it is.

The doors on the back wall lead to imaginary en-suite and walk in wardrobe - miniaturist's license :-)

The first job was to build a wall between the bedroom and hallway, which was easier than I thought it would be. The larger piece of wood was in my stash and only needed a small amout of sanding to make it fit, the other one I made with two thinner pieces of wood glued together with an aperture for the doorI then papered and painted the wall. I made a frame for the door which I secured with tiny pins, one through the top of the frame into the top of the door, and another through the threshold into the base of the door. I then gently put the door in place into the aperture with a painted wood frame surround, and gently slid the entire wall into place.

This is the first time I have made an opening door so I was very pleased with it.
The flooring is wood strips on a peel off backing, painted with a diluted coating
of white paint in the bedroom, for all other areas I left them natural.

The wardrobe and chest of drawers were bare wood sprayed white
I painted the small apertures on the wardrobe gold and varnished them

then decoupaged with this pretty bird and flower paper.
The areas to be covered were too small to accomodate the whole pattern
so I had to reduce the image and then see which parts fitted best.

I wanted to get all of the bird in but couldn't decide which one to choose,
but I didn't like the look of them split in half like this.

Then finally decided to just have the top half of each one
which also meant having the pretty larger peony in as well.

Both birds wouldn't fit into the area of the drawers, so I cut the main picture in half.
The bed came with a mattress and two pillows, I made the bedding and added 3 more pillows and the runner. The rug is from some material I've had in my stash for ages.

I made the pictures, books and photos, the flowers, vase and perfumes I bought online.
I've added a key hook, table and plant in the hall and plan to add some pictures and a mirror on the wall to the left. I'm not happy with the table though, I used the wrong varnish, it's too dark so I will either try to sand it all off or buy another one, or I might have a go at making one. 

Ground floor before
and after.

I'm currently working on the kitchen and keen to get on with it,
so hopefully it won't take too long!! 🤞

∼ Be warm and well∼
    Polly x

9 January 2023


And now we have January, surely the strongest contender for the dreariest, most depressing month of the year. Here in the UK it's cold, dark and damp. Wherever I walk Rufus we encounter mud and puddles. Some days the house lights are on all day because it's so dark.

However not wanting to sound like a complete whining misery there are lots of little comforts.

Snuggling up on the sofa under a cosy throw
Scented candles
Inviting friends round for a winter tea party with sanwiches and cake, tea or mulled wine.
Visits to garden centres. They're often quiet at this time of year so it's nice to meander around getting ideas for spring planting.
Soup with crusty bread
Hot chocolate drinks with marshmallows and cream
Cosy hats, gloves and scarves, warm feet inside boots
Walking into a warm cafe and my glasses steam up!

I have a new pair of prescription glasses and I'm thrilled with them. I've been putting off getting verifocals for a few years but these are brilliant. It was a slightly more expensive prescription but worth every penny, and I have never hesitated over spending money on glasses because I need them.

I've been enjoying some excellent TV programmes. 'Three Pines' starring the wonderful Alfred Molina as Chief Inspector Armand Gamache investigating a series of murders in the otherwise idyllic village of Three Pines in the eastern townships of Quebec. Running alongside these investigations Gamache is determined to solve the disappearance of a young indigenous woman. I'm looking forward to the next series coming out, hopefully this year.
I didn't realise I had missed the last series of 'The Detectorists', so I watched it all again, same with 'Ghosts', I love those shows.
I'm currently watching 'This Is Us' on Amazon. It's very good. 
And now I'm watching The Master's Snooker Tournament. I'm catching up on last night's match as I struggled to stay awake to watch it through to the end. I thought Hossein would win, he played very well. I did feel sorry for Mark Selby though, but that's the way it goes. There has to be winners and losers.

∼ Be warm and well∼
    Polly x

5 January 2023

A Good Read

Gallowstree Lane by Kate London
The novel opens with a fatally injured teenager, his life cut short in a single moment of rage in a tit for tat stabbing in Gallowstree Lane.
Detective Inspector Kieran Shaw is head of Operation Perseus - a covert police investigation into a powerful criminal network. For two years he's been painstakingly building evidence against the Eardsley Bluds, and now Shaw is about to make the arrests of his career. But then the brutal murder of a teenager threatens not only his case, but everyone with a connection to the boy who was killed on Gallowstree Lane. Shaw's priority is to protect his operation, an investigation into the killing can't be allowed to derail Perseus and let the master criminals go free.
But there's a witness to the murder, fifteen-year-old Ryan Kennedy. Already involved with the Bluds, Ryan has his own demons and his own ideas about what's important.
Shaw’s carefully crafted investigation is in danger of unravelling when loyalties collide and priorities clash, and then a chain of events is triggered that draws in Shaw's old adversary DI Sarah Collins which threatens everyone with a connection to Gallowstree Lane.

It's a compulsive, gripping read.

∼ Happy Reading∼ 

Polly x

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