Saturday, 31 December 2011

There goes another one....

With the minutes ticking by and another year drawing to an end... what hopes do you have for the next one?
I do not wish to make rash resolutions that will fall by the wayside, like the many that have gone before.. but I would like to think that I will make better use of my time next year...starting with a good long walk on New Year's Day which may bring some inspiration as it did on January 1st 2007 when the idea for 'Cowboys & Custard' came to me on such a walk. Let's wait and see... Expect the unexpected!
Wishing a Happy New Year to you all and may it bring you happiness and new adventures!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Not even a mouse....

Well... not a whole one.
After deciding it was high time I started to inject some Christmas sparkle into this week, with time running out, I decorated the tree with a little help from the tabby terror who insisted on placing the decorations elsewhere.. ie.. on the ground!
With the tree finally decorated and remaining upright.. despite the attempts of Sir Edmund Hilary aka Pickles the cat... to climb it and usurp the Christmas fairy .. I stood back.. and began to feel ever so slightly Christmassy. I always think of one of my favourite films at this time of year.. The Grinch who Stole Christmas.. when his tiny heart starts to flicker and twitch into life.. so did my Christmas spirit after decorating the tree.

All that remains to be done is a date with the Sellotape and wrapping paper, some pressies to wrap, aided by a few glasses of Sloe gin.. home made of course. Kirstie would be proud!
Pickles has already placed his gift to us under the tree.. discovered this morning .. not gift wrapped but perfectly placed amongst the gifts already there. One half chewed mouse! Nice!
Not one I can take back after Christmas to exchange for a whole one!
On that rather gruesome note.. may I wish you all.. a truly happy and peaceful Christmas with lots of happy days to come in 2012.
See you on the other side!
Michele xx

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Ode to the Movember Moustache..

Today Mr Custard will ceremoniously shave off his moustache as promised to the children of his primary school. I must say that I have grown rather fond of this hairy creature growing upon his top lip and will lament the passing of this hirsute exercise.

In reverence to his participation in the Movember charity fund raising... he has written a poem...

Ode to the Moustache

The hair that blossoms on the lip,

Is rarely cool and never hip.

So shave it off and get a grip;

You know you look an utter drip.

It’s growing for a noble cause,

But do not linger for applause;

You’d look less daft in grandma’s drawers;

Some “L’Oreal tinted” Santa Clause!

So shave it off! Do it today!

Don’t defer it; don’t delay.

The execution must not stay;

The balder lip is the modern way.

November it is almost past;

Advent it is here at last.

No need to ponder or to fast;

Just have a shave - you look an ass!

Can you spot the difference between Jason King and Mr Custard?

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

A healthy distraction...

While the house matter continues to rumble on with no news as yet.. I have been finding a healthy distraction with gathering my stock for the next Vintage & Handmade Christmas Fair which is taking place this weekend at Chipping Sodbury Town Hall.

So if you have an hour or two to spare.. put on your skates...

Or saddle up your horse...

... and make your way to the lovely little Cotswold town of Chipping Sodbury to join the happy shoppers at the fair.. there are over 48 stalls offering a fabulous cornucopia of vintage goods.
We look forward to welcoming old friends and new.. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Prolonging the agony...

Hello all..

For those of you who so kindly crossed your digits for me last Friday.. Please please uncross them now before you do yourself some permanent damage! I am afraid to say that the agony continues and it will probably be another week before I know the outcome of all my prayers and wishes... and all of your wonderful goodwill.

For those of you who had an inkling as to what the good luck was needed for.. Yes .. indeed.. it involves a few thousand bricks, some doors and a lot of history... x 2. We are still desperately trying to sell our house in a market that is sitting still and waiting for the economic gloom to lift.. but last week we had a glimmer of hope and maybe.. just maybe.. we have found someone who loves our house as much as we have. Meanwhile.. my dream house sits in a village waiting patiently for the day we get an offer!

For now.. I will leave you with a picture of a house..Not THE house ... but one I would be very happy to live in!

Friday, 18 November 2011

Fingers Crossed for Friday ....

It's a fingers crossed day here today.. I'll tell you why later.

*** Thank you so much for all of your crossed digits today .. Unfortunately it is going to be a little while before I learn if your fingers and goodwill have worked their magic. Please uncross your fingers now before you all get cramp. I will keep you posted. Some things are worth waiting for !

Friday, 11 November 2011

Lest we Forget ...

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning,
We will remember them.


Remembering my maternal grandfather, Georges Henri Lobert, who died as a political prisoner in Camp Mittelbau- Dora 1945.

Lest we forget

Monday, 7 November 2011

Will it snow..?

These snowmen hope so!
Christmas has arrived early at Milly & Dottie's Emporium and the shelves are decked with all manner of glittery things .. so if you like to do your festive shopping early.. come along to the Christmas Grotto and see our lovely selection of vintage festive finery.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

No smoke without ...

Just lit the first fire of the season.. feeling toasty, cosy and just a little bit festive.
Happy Bonfire night..

Friday, 28 October 2011

We are off to the Fair....

Today is a list ticking day... lots to do and as usual leaving it all until the 11th hour..
Just to let you know I will be off to the Vintage Bazaar in Frome tomorrow with my usual family of furry friends and more.. Do come along.. It promises to be a fabulous fair !!!

Friday, 7 October 2011

Liberty & Co.

When I was a child, back in the swinging sixties, we lived not a million miles from the great metropolis that is the city of London. Each year my mother would take me on a pilgrimage to the mecca that was otherwise known as Hamleys.. which was always such a thrill and still holds vivid memories for me. Another of our haunts along Regent Street was the iconic store .. Liberty & Co.
' Liberty opened to the public on May 15th 1875, when the founder, Arthur Lasenby Liberty, purchased the lease on a half-shop in Regent Street to which he gave the grand name 'East India House'.

This beautiful store is still as faithful today to my memories from the 60's and has little changed. The 'Arts & Crafts' bones of the building have weathered well and catered for, thousands.. millions of visitors over the decades. A recent visit to the store was reassuring, in that the essence of the business has kept to it's ethos of showcasing eclectic design and craftsmanship from Britain and beyond.

I could never have dreamed as a child that one day my own creations would be on sale in my favourite store.. but I am delighted to say.. that Cowboys & Custard are now proud to supply Liberty & Co. with my greeting cards.

Thank you so much to all of you for your lovely supportive comments.. They are very much appreciated!

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Sunshine, Smiles and Shopping...

Despite the wilting temperatures the good folk of Chipping Sodbury and far beyond came out in their best summer frocks to visit the Vintage & Handmade Textile Fair yesterday..
A far cry from the - 10 degrees that we experienced at last year's Christmas fair.. but our loyal visitors are a hardy lot and it was lovely to welcome all our regular faces and many more new.. and above all some utterly gorgeous displays from our growing band of exhibitors.
It is always hard to keep one's pulse steady and blood pressure in check when all around is vintage finery at it's best.
This was taken in my usual flurry just minutes before the kick off..

Here I will let the pictures do the talking and say a huge thank you to all who made this a very enjoyable and successful day... including Sid and Little Blue who were begging me to take them home.. How could I not oblige!

Exquisite characters by Jenny Barnett

Bunnies in abundance..

Caroline Zoob's stylish display ..

Wool of many colours

Suzie Johnson's Funky Knits

Battersea Dogs Home meets Watership Down

There was so much more to see and it was a wonderful day, but don't worry if you missed it.. just like buses.. another one will be along on December 3rd.. same time same place!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit ...

I am sure you are well aware by now that I have a thing about rabbits... It all started a few years ago when I adopted the name 'Rabbit' by my beloved and from there on .. anything with long velvety ears and an air of rabbity-ness about it has won my affections..
Over the last year I have collected these fine and noble creatures in all guises and some have gone on to new pastures, which has been a painful wrench at times!
With the next Vintage & Handmade Textile Fair looming on the horizon I have been gathering a few items for the occasion... though not being a textile merchant nor needle-crafter I am sad to say .. these items are not strictly vintage textile orientated. They are however.. made of fabrics and are sure to win a few hearts... if not just mine!
The first long eared creatures that kick started my collection are Julie Arkell's deliciously eccentric characters with rabbity ears... (see above)

There are rabbits hopping around in Milly & Dottie's Emporium if you look in the nursery..

This beautiful vintage wooden pull toy was made by Gecevo in Germany.. love the graphics...

A Steiff classic 1950's 'Stassi' Bunny.. also hopping around in the nursery ...

Now Sold - Thank You

This little rabbit has a slightly psychotic look about her... too many carrots I fear!

This bunny was a real heart breaker and went off to a new home at The Vintage Bazaar earlier this year..

Two more little bunnykins that stole my heart...

A very special 50th Birthday present made by Edwina Bridgeman..

Yep... they're breeding like ....

A rabbit is not just for Christmas you know..

This one is here to stay!

Lastly this is my latest find.. Little Miss Boo who will be joining me at the fair..

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Biddestone Boules

Well that's that then... summer ended abruptly on Monday when the rain arrived along with the familiar Autumnal wind. I can't complain really.. the summer hols were just what they should be.. relaxing (at times) agenda free (not always) impulsive and above all a lot of fun.. the fun being provided mostly by the numerous attempts to sharpen our technique of the game Boules. Team Cowboys & Custard, met regularly over the month of August to try out the various pistes in our locality and get to grips with the game in time for the tournament. We played in all weathers.. not deterred by the driving rain or on the odd occasion, scorching sun. We were far more troubled by the hecklers and spectators that witnessed our clumsy interpretation of the sport of Petanque.. especially when some French tourists stood by and watched, managing to stifle their giggles and resisting the urge to show us how it should be done!

Four days before the tournament... we finally learned the rules which gave our game a whole new meaning! After one last pre-match practice .. we felt we were ready to face the opposition. and so we did.. on Saturday 3rd September in the oh so pretty village of Biddestone in Wiltshire.

It was a fabulous day... full of fun, laughter, friends and just a few glasses of vino!
We even managed to get to the quarter finals.. much to our total amazement. So.. we start the whole process all over again and have already booked some practice games, as the date for the Biddestone Boules Tournament for 2012 has been set and we wouldn't miss it for the world!
See highlights of the day in this wonderful pastiche of the tournament..

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Jumble Fever

Just nipping in to remind you that there is a rather special Jumble Sale taking part this Saturday. Not just any kind of jumble.. this is a real bargain basement for vintage finds and shouldn't be missed if you are partial to a good rummage or scrum!
Do come along if you are in the area.. and if you are not.. then please take to your wheels and put Rangeworthy George V Memorial Hall into your sat nav.. It is easy peasy to find and you will be greeted with a hall groaning with tables of every kind of vintage home-wares, fabrics, toys etc etc.. with tea and cake served by the faithful W.I. See you there hopefully..

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

On the Piste.... Again!!!

Bonjour tout les monde! You maybe forgiven for thinking that I am sitting on a tea chest whilst typing this.. Well a lot of things have happened since my last post.. some time ago (whoops!) but sorry to say that a house move is not one of them. Still sat here twiddling my thumbs and waiting for that elusive call to say.. someone would love to come and see your home! In the meantime life carries on and new pursuits have been practised... mainly that of the wonderful game of Boules.. or Petanque if you are particular about these things..

Having signed up, in a mad moment of impulse, for a Boules tournament to be held at the beginning of September .. I then had to gather a willing team of players from some eager but equally amateurish players. Bath is rather passionate about it's Boules tournaments and has held one here every summer for as many years as I can remember. Conveniently, there is a large Boules piste in one of the elegant squares in Bath. I have only ever been a spectator.. so to volunteer my non existent skills and experience of the game has been a sharp learning curve.. but an immensely enjoyable one at that!
A team was swiftly gathered under the name of Cowboys & Custard.. and every other day, weather permitting, we hone our skills (ha... hollow laughter ensues) on the local pistes as they are called.. with not a ski in sight!

To say that we are experts would be a long way from the truth.. but slowly and surely we are improving our technique.. i.e... keeping the balls on the piste rather than hurling them into oblivion!

Boules cannot be classified as a high impact sport.. but it is certainly a wonderful leisurely and sociable way to spend an hour or two.. followed by a spot of team bonding over a cup of tea and slice of cake or two... hardly a calorie burning exercise..

We still have three weeks to perfect our game and then we meet the big boys at the Biddestone Boules Tournament! A little nerve wracking as we will be playing some of the elite of the local Boules fraternity .. but it will be fun while it lasts. All that is left to do now .. is learn the rules!

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

In Limbo ..

(vintage game courtesy of Milly... thank you!)

I should explain that my prolonged absence from blogging has been due to a combination of reasons.. Where do I start? I could say that I have been rushed off my feet with a hectic social whirl or burning the midnight oil at the drawing board.. but that would be a lie. I could tell you that I have finally run away to join the circus (again) or the Foreign Legion (again) but that too would be far from the truth.. I will have to confess that I have been rather preoccupied with matters closer to home.. in fact my home itself has taken up my every waking hour and occupied my dreams too for the last month...

It has been many a year that we have dreamed about upping sticks and heading for a life of self sufficiency.. well.. growing a few veg and possibly keeping bees would be a good start. I have lived in Bath for 32 years now.. arriving as a wide eyed 20 year old with a new job in a new city .. a new start. This beautiful unique city has seen some of the best days of my life.. my son was born here, many friends have been made here.. numerous memories bounce off the walls as I walk through the Georgian streets. So it is not going to be an easy or painless wrench leaving all this behind.. but one day.. when the gods of the housing market dictate.. we hope to be swapping these views ..

For something more like these ..

Trading tarmac for leafy lanes ... and endless hills of green..

Thousands of chimney pots ...

For fields full of flowers ...

Pushing dust has become my raison d'etre and keeping everything tickety boo in a constant state of 'Red Alert' is just a little bit time consuming.. I can't get away with stuffing the mass of 'stuff' that we own into cupboards to hide it away from prying eyes.. as those same eyes will open cupboards to examine the storage space on offer! Keeping a very much lived- in and worked- in home.. is impossible to keep as a show home 24/7.. but one tries... and one is very trying.. according to my long suffering family.

Following the family around with a feather duster and hoover at the ready is beginning to grate on everyone's nerves .. even the poor tortoise is in danger of having her shell polished. So please forgive me if I am a little distracted.. I hope to have news one day, in the not too distant future, of our intended destination.. but until then.. Whose hidden the the Mr Sheen?!