I've just returned from a particularly entertaining lunch with my fabulously mad friend Janey. We somehow got onto the subject of problem neighbours, and through gritted teeth, she recounted a recent incident with her own 'neighbour from hell'....
It appears that it all started, (as most disputes do) because of a garden fence that Janey had constructed to create some extra privacy. "Well, I do like to indulge in a little nudy sunbathing from time to time" Janey exclaimed rather defensively. (and a little loudly, judging by the expression on the faces of our fellow diners). Warming to the subject and encouraged by her newly acquired audience, (and a few glasses of vino), she then went on to describe what happened between her and the neighbour 'post fence'...
Apparently, according to Janey, she arrived home to find herself confronted on the doorstep by, in her words, 'the harriden from next door'. From what I can gather, there was an exchange of words, (well more like wailing and gnashing of teeth), which went as follows ...
Harriden, red faced and blustering, "we need to talk"
Janey, maintaining a calm and polite presence, (she says), "Oh! Why's that?"
Harriden, by now borderline hysterical, and beyond furious, exclaims loudly, (and I can't quite believe she actually says this) "there's been an erection!!"
Janey, trying to keep a straight face, but failing spectacularly, replies with "congratulations, I'm sure they're few and far between in your house"...
Needless to say, that was pretty much the end of the altercation...
Happy Halloween all...On this most spooky of days I thought I'd share a recent scarey experience with you...
For a while now I've been of the opinion that I share my humble abode with a 'presence' and, after a number of unexplained incidents, which had me hiding behind the sofa, I decided to investigate. Scared witless, and with my trusty guardians, (my two dogs Brew and Moll and Bonbon the cat), in tow I did a search of the house. Before long I found something I hadn't noticed before, a rather sinister looking image in the form of a face carved into the stone of the fireplace....This, I thought, is not good, and after a bit of research on line I had a plan of action. The internet helpfully informed me that, in order to get rid of the offending image I had to arm myself with, some salt, (to sprinkle on it), the usual crucifix, and errr, holy water, (rather surprisingly, available to purchase on line)..
And so, there I was at the dead of night, (why on earth didn't I decide to do this during daytime?!!), alone, as my trusty companions had abandoned me in favour of a nap, about to embark on a spot of ghost busting.....After assembling my 'weapons', including my alternative, ( I couldn't bring myself to order any) 'home made' holy water which consisted of some herbs and plenty of oils, I prepared for my supernatural battle. (I'm starting to think 'The Exorcist' now!!!) Be afraid, be very afraid!!!
Fast forward an hour or so and, despite my heroic efforts, the aforementioned image is still clearly visible so, after some thought I decide on drastic action.. A few blows with a lump hammer, a lot of dust, and enough commotion to waken the living as well as the dead, and, hey presto sinister image gone!!!!
All enquiries for ghost busting bookings can be made via my agent!!!
One of life's true pleasures, in my opinion, is a lovely afternoon tea. Gorgeous sweetie morsels to enjoy with piping hot tea served in delicate china cups, what a treat!!! A good idea for a meet up with a friend of mine, I thought. A spot of shopping and tea somewhere nice.
So it was with aching feet, (shopping after all is a very physical business) and parched throats we sought out a suitable place to enjoy our 'tea break'. Unfortunately as it was busy and crowded we struggled to find somewhere suitable. After a while, and desperate, we decided on a coffee shop neither of us had tried before but it seemed nice enough so in we went. We ordered at the counter were given a card to identify us and sat down. What followed next had us in stitches. Some bright young thing, probably the owner, had devised an interesting alternative to table numbers.....Vegetable names!!! Yes really!! All we heard for the duration of our stay was..."Carrot, where's carrot?" and then a few minutes later, "broccoli"...followed by "Swede" And then it was out turn ... The waitress walked towards us, tray in hand and sporting a huge grin, "Turnip, Turnip? Ah Yes, there you are!"...
As you probably have read on previous blogs I'm having lots of fun trading old family photos with my cousin in Australia. We were inseparable as children and got up to all sorts of adventures. This was obviously well before the days of 'elf n safety' and included everything from tree house dwelling to the kidnap and ransom of younger siblings, (a certain young brother never did fully recover from being tied up and locked in a wardrobe)....
Anyway, one of our favourite activities, after seeing the film Mary Poppins was to attempt to fly. This, we thought, could be achieved by parachuting off the garage roof with my Dad's open golf umbrella. Needless to say this did not end well, and, much to our parents relief, we decided to turn to other less dangerous things. Having one day delved into the contents of my Mum's perfume boxes, I was convinced we could be the next Coco Chanel and start our own perfumery. How difficult could it be??!!! Firstly, obviously, we would need lots of rose petals, of the fragrant variety. And where would we get said petals? Well. That, to us was the easy bit. Dawn raids on all the neighbouring gardens. For some reason, as can be seen in the photo, we decided to dress up for the occasion. This of course seriously hampered our get away and it was only a matter of time before we were caught. I guess you could say red handed!!!
Back in the present, and smelling sweetly of traditionally made perfume, I'm enjoying this lovely late summer, early autumn sunshine. The garden is still in bloom and my dogs are enjoying their romps in the fields. Happy days!!!
September happens to be the birthday month of one of my oldest friends, and, as expected, she's planning a bit of a bash. Now, over the past few years she's had all sorts of ideas to celebrate the passing of time. We've had everything from the traditional 'girly' shopping trips and restaurant meals, (my sort of thing) to the rather scary 'scantily clad bloke' type of evening, (definitely not my sort of thing)...This year's event, I've just been informed will be a 'sleepover'...In response to my rather quizzical expression Janey went on to explain the finer details. This in effect boils down to a group of errr, middle aged women lounging around someone's house probably in pj's like a bunch of teenagers. "There'll be lots of drink, food, and a heated swimming pool" enthused Janey. Not in that order I'm thinking to myself, an unwelcome image of multiple drownings forming in my mind.. "Well it's very generous of whoever is providing all this" I replied. "Yes" she continued. "Sam has kindly offered her hospitality for the evening. Hubby's going to the pub or locking himself in his study or something, and we'll have the house to ourselves" Poor bloke, I only hope he doesn't make an unscheduled appearance and finish up in the pool with a load of pjama clad drunken women thinking he's the 'entertainment'!!!
Happy holidays everyone. Time to enjoy some relaxation and sunshine...Well, if you are fortunate enough to be in hot climes that is, for us poor souls here it's a more a case of rain dodging and layers. Seems the autumn wardrobe may be making an earlier than expected appearance...
On the subject of fashion. I'm planning madly for a forthcoming photo shoot which is taking place at the fabulous Cliveden House. Among the sets planned is swimwear at the very famous pool...How exciting!!!
To bring things back down to earth, I just had to share yet another humorous, if a little dangerous 'Dad moment'... In an effort to try and help him kick the smoking habit, especially as, following an eye operation he's under doctor's orders not to smoke, I bought him an electronic cigarette. What could possibly go wrong, I thought as he settled down to watch athletics on tv, with a cuppa.....Plenty, it turned out. I popped my head round the door to hear him muttering in frustration about something. "What's up?" I asked casually. "It's this cigarette", he said waving a lighter around, "I can't get it to light!".... Eeeeek!! By my calculations, we were about a minute away from being blown up!!! E cigarette now confiscated!!
Latest of my Kennett watch photos, below, which I must say I'm really enjoying being involved with.
It was only a couple of blogs ago that my Dad made it into print. This due, mainly to an unfortunate incident with a garden parasol. Well now it's my Mum's turn. I think I may have mentioned that my cousin in Australia is enthusiastically researching our family history. At the moment she is trying to place a couple of names that have cropped up, and, as Mum is now the only surviving member of the previous generation I decided to ask if she remembered them. Unfortunately, I didn't pick a particularly good moment to broach the subject as she had just returned from a 'girly' (average age 82) lunch. Clearly one or two Bacardi breezes had been consumed as this is how the conversation went....
Me.."Do you remember Pat and David Rowan?"
Mum.."Her son's often in the pub, he's workshy, never had a job."
Me..."Who are they?"
Mum..."He's his son"
Me..(totally bewildered) "how can that be, do you mean brother?...
Mum..."Errr Not sure"
Me..."Surely they would have the same surname, unless someone's remarried, maybe, possibly?!!"
Mum.."Yes, she did remarry. A factory owner I think"
Me.. (Thinking I may be getting somewhere) "So was he called Parkhead?"
Mum.."Can't remember, she was always just Pat to me"
Me...(even more bewildered) "Pat? Thought we were talking about Jane Parkhead?"
Mum... "Hmmm!" Let me think!!"
Me.. "Anyway, back to the David connection, perhaps you could ask Jane Parkhead?"
I am now getting the distinct impression that Mum's not really into this family history stuff.
Anyway, back to the present, and some new photo offerings..
After a particularly stormy weekend it's nice, at last to enjoy a spot of sunbathing. Doubly so as today is one of those rare days when I have reached the top of my 'to do list' and can lose myself in a good book on a sun lounger in the garden...,Bliss!!
Hope you like my latest photo offerings. A couple from the last selection of Kennett images.
Well firstly, I'm delighted to be working with Kennett, helping to promote their gorgeous range of gentlemens watches. I now have so many lovely watches to choose from that it takes longer to dress my arm each day than my entire body!! But then, a bit like shoes, you can never have too many watches can you??!!!
My Mum is a bit of a watch fanatic, she has row upon row of various styles all lined up in drawers, so I knew she'd be very excited to hear my news. I popped over to see her during the heat wave last week, for what I hoped would be a glass or two of wine and some nibbles on her patio whilst we caught up on all the news. Unfortunately it didn't quite work out like that. Dad, it soon transpired had been up to his usual tricks and indulged in a spot of 'Dad DIY'... unbeknown to us he had decided that the parasol needed some 'adjustment', just as a rogue gust of wind blew across the patio. The scene that greeted me, on arrival was an angry looking neighbour and Mum trying to explain how their parasol had somehow ended up on next door's roof. Oh, and guess who had to rescue it??!!
Hope you like my photo offerings this time....Of course I had to include a sample of watch shots, and couldn't resist the infamous parasol incident.
Well now that Summer's finally here and the sun lounger and tanning lotions are calling, I find myself rushed off my little tootsies. No time for sun bathing at the mo. Boo hoo!!!
I did make time, however for a spot of girly indulgence. Coffee and cakes with my lovely friend from Cornwall. Usually whenever she finds herself my way something crops up and we miss each other. but this time we managed a whole afternoon catching up, before she headed back to Newquay and her surfboard...Have to admire her there, I only tried surfing once and I nearly drowned...Not good on water skis either, seem to remember spending more time under rather than on the water. and constantly having to be fished out.
Finally made it into the garden yesterday, and after weeks of rain it was like a scene from 'The day of the triffids'.. Huge leafy things attacked me as I made my way along the dandelion infested pathway. But, undeterred, I bravely soldiered on, clippers in hand, and several hours and lots of stings, (I inadvertently disturbed a wasps nest) later, I finally got in under control...
After all that hard work, come 6pm, and with a warm sunny evening to look forward, It just had to be a large glass of something nice and dinner on my newly accessible terrace...
Thought I'd better 'scrub up' for the occasion!!...
Well what weather, just how much longer can it keep on raining!! This time last year I seem to remember was hot, hot, hot! The Aussies were over and it was all bbq's, drinks in the garden and meals al fresco. We all got sunburnt, wore shorts and strappy dresses, and had a fabulous time.. How totally different it is this year...Boo hoo!!
Need to cheer myself up, sharpish, and I think I know exactly what's needed ...
Enjoyed a lovely bank holiday weekend, lots of sunshine, although not quite warm enough for dancing barefoot round the maypole just yet!...Caught up with friends for lots of tea and cakes, long walks in the fields with my dogs, and of course, some retail therapy....Bliss!!!
Have to say, the last few weeks have been exceptionally sad for me. I lost my lovely little shar Pei, Olive, who I adopted from Battersea a few years ago. Once I got her home she went from timid little thing to full on diva in a matter of weeks. She ruled the roost with an iron paw and kept the other furry ones firmly in their place. Thankfully I still have Bonbon, my persian cat, (the matriarch), and Brewster and Molly, (aka, known as Dumb and Dumber), the Canines in the family, so I am fortunate there...
My photo selection this time just had to include an Olive shot, taken when she was in her prime...
On a cheerier note I'm looking forward to dinner at a brilliant local Indian restaurant with friends at the weekend, and some antique shopping....
I found myself very close to my childhood home the other day, and of course, couldn't resist taking a look at the house I grew up in. Not a great deal had changed at first glance, my Mum's prized rose bushes still appeared to be going strong and the lovely fruit trees were there too. Our neighbour's house still looked the same as well.. As a child I spent almost as much time there as I did at home. Mr and Mrs Hayes, as I always called them lived there along with Mrs H's two sisters, Rose and Mary, Rose was a very artistic person and Mary was at a senior level in banking, (very unusual for a woman in those times) Their home was filled with a fascinating array of antiques, family heirlooms and, most interesting of all, a piano. Now, I have to say that as a child I had no musical ability whatsoever, I couldn't sing nor could I play any musical instrument, but, undeterred Rose was determined that I could be taught. Twice a week during the school hols, she sat patiently while I tried desperately to master the art of piano playing. Eventually, as she finally began to tire of hearing me play chopsticks and fearing for the long term health of her beloved piano, she reluctantly gave up any hope of me ever becoming a world renouned concert pianist, and decided my talents might lie elsewhere, maybe in flower arranging or crocheting. Needless to say all these years later, my flower displays are pretty rubbish and I have never successfully managed to crochet anything...Poor Rose, she really did try her best!
Mr Hayes meanwhile excelled at horticulture, his gardens were the envy of the entire neighbourhood. Every spare moment was spent tending his plants, with spectacular results. My Dad, who's own gardening ability was confined to a weekly lawn mow, rather unkindly remarked that if he had to live with three women he'd spend all his time in the garden too. I vividly remember my Mum calling a family crisis meeting when we learned that a rare and valuable plant planted seven years previously by Mr H was about to flower for the first time in it's life. So rare was this that the local paper had been informed and a photographer was due to record this momentous event. As said plant was situated near our boundary, where our cat liked to sunbathe and dangerously close to my brother's goal posts, there was a real potential for disaster. Only solution, cat and brother grounded till after grand flowering.