Friday, 24 October 2008

The Cowboys & Custard famille.. are off on their hols.. so I will probably be without an internet connection for the next week.. How will I survive!?

I hope you have a wonderful week.. kicking leaves.. lighting fires.. drinking cocoa and getting snuggly!

A Bientot mes amies!


Sunday, 19 October 2008

Mothballs to a flame....

This weekend has had a lovely gentle rhythm to it.. not the usual frenetic pace that we find ourselves in at the end of each week.. fitting in all the little chores and jobs that we couldn't fit in to the week..
This Saturday had a different feel about it altogether.
No small mountains of muddy rugby kit to wash nor school uniform, retrieved from the bedroom floor to be pieced together for Monday morning..
No chewed pencils and frazzled nerves .. trying to assist with homework projects..
No mad supermarket dash.. more of an amble down the aisles.. nodding to friends and stopping to chat and catch up on our respective lives.
The slower tempo has been most welcome and heralds the start of Master Custard's school hols..Hurrah!!!
We have however had a small hit list of jobs that could no longer be put off ..
Sorting out the accumulated mess in the laughingly called..'Spare Bedroom' a job that has been pressing on my mind for the last two years and might explain why there has been a dearth of house guests in our home. We could hardly invite them to sleep in cardboard city now could we!
So we sprang in to action after a fortifying bowl of porridge.. to rummage through the numerous boxes and bags that have bred in this messy room.
I had one of those rare cathartic moments when I felt.. 'Just chuck it'..if it hasn't been missed or thought of for the last two years then it can't be important'.. so we loaded the car and headed off for our local recycling depot to liberate ourselves of all the rubbish.. and left feeling at least 3 bin bags and several boxes lighter! I was for one incy wincy moment tempted to reach in to the clothes recycling bin to retrieve a pair of vintage textile curtains.. but then in that split second I came to my senses and remembering  that I couldn't sew and I was likely to be lynched by the attendants for pilfering.. I left empty handed.
Home again.. home again.. and next task was to sort out the linen cupboard that resembled the aftermath of a jumble sale..As I folded the piles of linen sheets, pillow cases and quilts.. there was the faint smell of mothballs.. This smell is instantly associated with the memory of the huge walnut wardrobe that was installed in my childhood bedroom, that I would climb inside and sit in the dark corner willing myself to enter Narnia. Alas it never happened.

The final job on my list was one that I have looked forward to all week.

We inherited a rather imposing fireplace in the living room and on removing the hideous gas fire we made do with a new fire surround and grate that have been propped up for the last two years.So it has been my wish ever since to reinstate our dysfunctional fireplace and to restore it to it's former glory..
With the threat of colder weather on the horizon we found a lovely local gentleman who came to restore the chimney breast and finally.. our elegant fireplace. We were told not to light a fire for at least a week whilst the bricks and cement had a chance to dry out. This wait has been agonising for me as each evening gets colder and Mr C has forbidden the central heating to be switched on. All part of the cursed economy drive!I could wait no longer and started the enjoyable ritual of building our first fire.. newspaper, kindling and smokeless coal. Then as the light faded outside.. I struck a match !
I have always found it immensely satisfying building a fire and then sitting back to warm the toes and cockles. One of life's greatest pleasures..
I was totally mesmerised by the dancing and flickering flames when Mr Custard entered the room exclaiming that it was "far too tropical in here".. and threw the windows open wide! Flaming nuisance!

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Technical glitch....

The gremlins are up to no good again !
I wanted you to all know that I have tried to respond to the fantastic comments that have been left for me on my last two posts and for some unknown reason.. way beyond my techy knowledge..I am unable to post a comment.
Sounds like one of those dodgy homework excuses we used to come up with.. o.k..well.. maybe just me then.. Sorry I can't hand my work in.. the cat ate it! Couldn't blame it on the stick insects could I??
Well.. t'is true.. I am having some problems with the hamster in his wheel... he needs to pedal faster and then maybe my internet will start to work properly again..
So for the interim.. please accept my apologies for not replying to your kind comments.. Hopefully normal service will be resumed soon.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Hip hip hooray.. one year old today!

You are cordially invited to join me in a cup of tea and a slice of slightly bigger than this one.. to celebrate the coming of age of my Cowboys & Custard Blog...
I can hardly believe that a year has flown by and I remember the trembling hand when writing my first post on the 15th October 2007..
Would anyone ever find me.. would anyone want to read the ramblings of this particular blog..
Well.. it seems you did..and it has been one hell of a journey.. I am having such a ball.. making some very dear and treasured friends..and learning and sharing through all your amusing, interesting and fascinating blogs..
Thank you for keeping me company.. now go and put the kettle on and I'll share out the cake!

Monday, 13 October 2008

To Heaven and back...

Wasn't this weekend just glorious.... golden .. mellow and SO warm.. as I discovered when I set out yesterday in black polo neck and jeans, boots and a woollen coat...
I realised my fashion faux pas as the mercury started to rise when the morning mist had burnt off...
I felt particularly.. overdressed but at the same time underdressed.. as I was visiting a very fashionable event and whilst waiting outside for Jayne to join me.. I was a little dismayed to see lots of 'bright young things' walking into the building wearing wonderfully colourful and eclectic outfits.. indian print tunics, with a swathe of pashmina and vivid tights and boots..
I felt most sombre in my monochrome attire..
Hey ho...
Jayne arrived and we entered the realms of another fact I felt as though I had arrived at the pearly gates themselves as my excitement and anticipation for this event has been mounting for days..
It was the Blind Lemon Vintage Fashion Fair in Clifton Bristol...
My first visit and one to be repeated as soon as possible!
I had a mission to fulfill and made fast tracks towards my goal.... The fabulous vintage stall belonging to a lovely lady called Leonore..
I had been briefed about the content of Leonore's stall and it sounded just like my cup of tea..
make that several cups and cakes too!
I knew that I would be unable to restrain the purse strings and started to fill a box with the most incredible collection of original 50's items.. plastic celluloid dolls, coloured hairslides on their original cards, sweet little books of transfers, metal scotty dog studs, plastic rabbit pram toys..

Leonore has the most wonderful collection of original items but what makes them so special.. is the packaging which is intact and in mint condition..
Such treasures!
oh.. I really was in my heaven rummaging amongst all this rare and exquisite merchandise.
I came away.. in fact I would have been dragged away by Jayne had I not run out of money..with my bag of exciting swag.. to then be greeted most warmly by dear Lizzie..who was also selling her fab vintage clothes and textiles at the event..
Sorry Lizzie that I didn't snap away at your lovely stall too.. I was a little overwhelmed with it all by the time we left and had to go and sit down and restore my sanity with a lovely cup of reviving coffee.. better than smelling salts!

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

The Last Picture Show...

It has been a while since I ventured out of doors.. or more specifically .. out of the back door into the garden. Catching a glimpse of blue through the window and hearing the weather man telling us good news of sun to all parts and warm temperatures.. I thought it was high time I took a look to see what had been happening in my garden whilst my back has been turned for the last few weeks.
A lot .. by the look of things..I discovered an extensive construction site had sprung up and new developments had strung themselves across the pathways and plants.. preventing me from wandering too far without being lassoed by the threads of these magnificent webs..I am not overly fond of eight legged beasties (actually that is a gross understatement.. I am a typical arachnophobic and will put on a wonderful cabaret if so much as a spider touches me or even looks at me) I gave them a wide berth and concentrated on looking for any remaining colour in the fading flower beds. I was not disappointed.. there are still some vibrant splashes of colour to be found and some fairly heroic efforts from some plants given that the night temperatures are beginning to nose-dive..These nasturtiums for instance are always reliably cheerful late in to the Autumn .. and probably one of my favourites for their ability to be unruly and clamber where they will with no respect for trespassing on the neighbours land.. They are such amazing value too.. I buy a packet every year and literally throw them around randomly.. and they never fail to put on a good show.. often coming back the next year to repeat the performance..This Cosmos plant has also soldiered on .. despite the deluge of summer...It continues to shout out with it's beautifully designed flowers and feathery foliage.
I love the acid green of this jasmine that reminds me of a Phoenix... rising out of the gloom of a dark corner in the garden.. lighting up the wall behind and providing some camouflage for the little bee house.. I wonder if anything has taken up residence for the winter tucked up snugly in it's pre-fab home.

The Penstemons that I planted this time last year have thrived and now fill the border. This one reminds me of rasberries and cream..
It is good to know that colour thrives outside whilst I am incarcerated in the gloom of my 'Bat Cave' I have started to call our kitchen.. I spend far too much time whiling away the hours in this room making and producing products for the Cowboys & Custard emporium..
There is a another world just outside the back door.. a world of colour and life that thrives.. I must remember to visit it more often!

Friday, 3 October 2008

Drowning by numbers...

The last week has been dominated somewhat by lots of mental arithmetic and the occasional use of a calculator..

Maths was never my forte at school.. in fact I think I achieved the pitiful grade of 43% in one of my exams... needless to say I failed spectacularly in my maths O' Level.. much to the disappointment of my father (sorry Pa) who was a whizz at mental dexterity and won a scholarship to Reading School with his prowess with numbers..
My strengths lay in other areas and the last few days my physical strength has been channelled in to making these greeting cards for a rash of orders that came in ..Lists have littered the table in the vain attempt to keep on top of the various orders for cards.. but I am seriously disillusioned when it comes to organisation.. as I thought I won the Brownie badge for 'Being good at simple tasks'... Not so... ! ( I actually never made the Brownies... didn't like the uniform).

I found myself tapping out endless sums on the calculator trying to get some idea of what I had made and what was yet to be made.. each time the calculator having the last laugh and coming up with a different figure ! AAAAARGGHH!
Losing my grip on the basic concepts of counting is yet another sign of my decline..
Today I was determined before the next round of calculations commence.. to say hello and let you know that I haven't run off to join the circus as one dear friend suspected yesterday.. tempting M.. but not yet!!! But if that strong-man comes knocking on the door .... I might have to leave the cards to sort themselves!
Before I sign off.. thank you dearly for all your kind and supportive comments re: my recent brush with fame.. The paparazzi are nowhere to be seen so maybe it was indeed as Andy Warhol predicted.. that my 15 minutes are up!
Have a fab weekend wherever you may be!