Monday, 19 April 2010

Into the Hop Gardens

Today we travelled down into deepest Kent to visit Aunty Win in Faversham. She had coffee and toasted teacakes waiting as she is certain that we will be starving after the 1 1/2 hour journey from Cambridge. Later we drove to The George at Newnham for lunch where I had some delicious fish and then we went back into Faversham and had a little poke around down by the quay.   Of course, it was a lovely day so everything looked at its best.  Can you imagine the  wonderful views from the top of this house? 
There was an interesting old building with lots of bric-a-brac booths selling all the things your mother threw out twenty years ago or more.  Please note the trendy knitted muffins !
I nearly bought a 1930's dolls pram for £40 but common sense prevailed .
These are the hop gardens near Win's house - hop GARDENS, you note, not fields.  Win was reminiscing about the days when whole families of  Londoners came out in charabancs to pick the hops and stayed in tents or huts - this was their summer holiday.  The  area  is now a housing estate.  The George, where we had lunch, has bunches of hops all over the ceiling and they smell lovely, very soporific.  A pillow filled with hops ensures a good night's sleep.  I looked in vain for the carpets of bluebells I remember from childhood but apparently we were two weeks too early!
We found some horsey friends
We were also too early for the apple blossom but the countryside did look lovely, fresh and green and full of blossom.  And I do like the Kentish houses with their pantiles and shipboarding (or is it clapboarding?) it is all very picturesque.   George did a few little jobs for Win before we set off for home about five o'clock.   We don't see her more than 4 or 5 times a year nowadays, but I speak to her on the telephone every Sunday morning at 8.30! She will be 90 in November, she keeps on reminding me !
Meanwhile, back in the real world, DD2 went to a Jazzercise conference last week and  is stuck in New Orleans - a victim of the volcanic ash.  I can think of worse places to be stuck! 

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Little red lily b-----s

This is one of my lovely crown imperials - they are so beautifully exotic amongst the very cottagey daffodils and primroses - and what a glorious colour. And THIS, Gina, is a LILY BEETLE or as it is known in this household, a little red lily b----r
It is like a ladybird only more elongated and without the spots, and this is the damage they do -

They also have rather nasty personal habits in laying their eggs - not nice at all and we score big Brownie points for killing them. (I could never become a Buddhist, I kill these and earwigs and wasps). Needless to say, this is now an ex-lily beetle.
We went to church this morning and asked some friends to come back for coffee but they said no, they were going out to lunch. So we came home to sit in the sunshine and look at the papers over our coffee before planning what to do in the garden. We had just decided to think about lunch when the telephone rang - it was Pauline our organist. Aren't you coming for lunch today? How awful, we had completely forgotten - are we losing our marbles? We leapt in the car (fortunately we were already brushed up in church clothes) and dashed to the next village where all our friends sat in the garden waiting for us. So we did not get any gardening done but had a lovely meal and lots of village gossip and got home at half past five!
On Friday evening we went to the preview of the Cambridge Drawing Society Exhibition - what talent! We saw our friends Rachel Haynes and Anthony & Sylvia Hopkinson and their lovely work. We were most impressed by the standard, there was quite a crowd there plus delicious nibbles and wine. We couldn't eat too much because we were going out to dinner but it all looked very scrummy. Although it is the Drawing society there were oils and acrylics and pastels and prints BUT no textile art! I talked to the Secretary about it and he said they were quite open to all sorts of media so I am thinking of trying to join - it is a challenge, isn't it?
I am slightly worried about my son-in-law as I think he must be going through a mid life crisis. He has a new hairstyle and has shaved off his moustache (which all makes him look much younger) AND he is talking of buying a motorbike !!! He says I can only ride pillion if I have all the leather gear - watch this space.... There is a precedent, because my father had a motorbike at one time and there is a wonderful photograph of my mother in 1932 wearing a leather coat and helmet, big gauntlet gloves and long boots and looking VERY glamorous. It is very tempting. Can I keep my vest on I wonder?

Saturday, 3 April 2010


Two blogs in two days - I am getting beside myself! I have never done the Pascal Candle before but have just been given responsibility for it so this is my first effort. Flowers from the garden.

The candle goes in tonight so I just hope they wont dislodge the flowers or turn it round - this is the best side!

Happy Easter everyone.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Exhibiting at The Tavern !

The big day arrived ! Yesterday was the preview of the MESCH exhibition at the new Tavern Gallery in Meldreth. It is the old Railway Tavern which David Chappell has turned into a really delightful and friendly art gallery. Sadly Vanda Campbell was not able to make the it, but the rest of us were there and an awful lot of lovely people who came to support us, including Mary Cozens-Walker and her daughter Kate and her granddaughter - we were very honoured that she found the time to come. The lovely Sandra came from London and stayed the night, despite the terrible state of the house - as not much work has been done in the past week! I am on a big promise to do some tidying up after Easter.
And guess what - I sold three pieces of work! I was delighted, it is so nice when other people like the work you have produced enough to BUY it - what a compliment is that! Gina Ferrari came, which was lovely of her because she is very busy at the moment, and George & Brenda from next door (George sold FIVE big paintings at the gallery last month and has been asked to go back next March - terrific) Lots of neighbours and friends and other artists and husbands and daughters so it was a really friendly atmosphere, with wine and nibbles to help the evening along.

This is the window hanging made by Liz Evans. I was absolutely exhausted when I got home - we were there from 5 until 9 so it was a long time to be standing in high heels.

Here is another view. Well, I wonder how it will go over the weekend? The Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and closed between 1 and 1.30 - also closed Mondays and Tuesdays. It is situated right near the railway station in Meldreth and the exhibition is on throughout April. In the meantime, I have the family here for Easter and am amazed again at the height of my grandsons (and their appetites). Where did those dear little baby boys go to?