Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Japanese Fashion

I have just had a wonderful day in London with the lovely Sandra - we went to the Barbican to see 'Future Beauty - 30 years of Japanese Fashion'   It was Fab-yew-lusssss.

We had an opportunity to natter and catch up and of course  a delicious lunch as well.  There was a graduation ceremony going on for Kings College students and there was good old Ede & Ravenscroft of Cambridge (and London  and Oxford)  est. 1689 or thereabouts, hiring out all the robes!

Some of the Japanese clothes were seriously wierd and I cannot honestly say that I could see myself walking down Kings Parade in anything on show, but it was all interesting - especially the Issey Miyake origami clothes.   I wish I could have taken a photograph of those - the dresses all packed down into flat 2'  folded squares.   Some very clever digital photography showed how they morphed into garments.

Photography not strictly allowed and I had just sneaked this picture when my batteries ran out so that was poetic justice!  Anyway, a most interesting and exciting show and you have until the 6th February to see it.  There was one dress made from TWENTY layers of fabric!  Paper and plastic dresses and a wonderful theatre coat completely covered in polystyrene beads.  Many thanks, Gina, for pointing me in the direction of this exhibition !
Off now to the Church Womens Group AGM - my life is one long round of pleasure.  It is Burns Night - should I wear my Angus sash?

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Nearly through January!

I have just finished knitting two scarves in Can-Can - a very curious yarn which I bought at the K & S show.  It said 'instructions inside the band' but they were as much use as a chocolate fireguard and if it had not been for a very useful clip on You Tube I would never have worked out how to use it.
But with only 7 stitches to a row it grew very quickly and I got two scarves out of  each ball.  I know that Margaret Starr has made some and will be selling them at Scotsdales Craft Fair next weekend.  George and I went to Scotsdales on Friday - he wanted to buy an axe for splitting logs as he had broken the old one.  We looked good at the checkout - me still sporting a black eye from the biopsy on my cheek and him hefting an axe.  I was surprised they sold it to him, we must have looked like a domestic violence event waiting to happen.

That evening we had a flower demonstration by Nick Grounds to raise money for our forthcoming flower festival.  He did some spectacular arrangements and was very amusing.  But oh, how irritated I got during the evening looking at those dreadful curtains.  (It wasn't held in OUR village hall, but in Meldreth I am pleased to say!)  We had lots of lovely nibbles and hot punch and hopefully raised lots to buy the flowers.  

It has been a miserable week but I ventured out into the garden one day and saw the thatchers at work in the cottage at the end of our garden.  What a job on a damp, cold day!  I am so pleased it is being done because it has been swathed in blue plastic for the last year and will look splendid when it is finished.  What craftsmen they are!  And the dear little cottage looks just like a teacosy.  When I went out into the garden I saw that spring is indeed on the way -
the aconites are through and so are the hellebores, very late this year.  To church this morning and George and I both reading - I warned the vicar that each time I read this year I want to use the King James version - it is such beautiful language.  But when I looked at  my piece from Isiah this morning it was virtually double dutch so I reluctantly read the modern version.  What a shame! Then we went out to lunch with friends and she had cooked (wait for it) roast lamb, roast potatoes, carrots and parsnips, sprouts, peas, cauliflower in white sauce followed by B & B P (bread and butter pudding made with brioche not bread, yummy)  Well, after all that effort it would have been very rude not to eat  heartily, wouldn't it?  So now I feel stuffed and uncomfortable and guilty.
No Zen tonight !!  Boo hoo.

Sunday, 16 January 2011


Glory be,  blue sky and I was able to put some towels on the line - what bliss.  In such simple things is happiness found!  Of course, my mother would have frowned upon putting washing out on a Sunday - but then she also said 'the better the day, the better the deed'  !  She had a saying for everything and a superstition for everything.     I had hoped to get one of our many squirrels cavorting in the trees, but they are too quick for me.
I have been finishing off my homework.  Well, Jeremy's homework  to be precise  - which we worked on at Christmas.  He had to find an old person and talk to them about the Second World War!   We spent quite a long time with me reminiscing and him taking notes, but today I had an urgent call for a couple more photographs for his presentation.  I found a picture of my father William Angus

in his desert uniform with the skull and crossbones cap badge - he was in the 17th/21st Lancers.  I also dug out his dress medals (my brother has the real ones) ooops, sideways on I fear.  It gave me the
opportunity to look into the medals and it was really interesting.     The Defence Medal second from the bottom has a ribbon with a flame centre, enclosed in green borders with a black line.  Evidently King George VI (and I was particularly interested as I have just seen the marvellous film The King's Speech) chose the colours of all the ribbons himself.  This represented the flames which came to attack England's green and pleasant land and the black line depicts the blackout.  The Africa Star with the 1st Army bar has a buff background  for the desert sand with Navy, red (army) and airforce blue stripe.  The Italy star has the colours of the Italian flag.  The overseas service medal has equal stripes for navy, army and airforce.  I really enjoyed doing my research !
Then for good measure I sent Jeremy greatgreatuncle Frederick William Angus in his Gordon Highlanders uniform.  I can quite clearly remember his son coming to visit us in his highland uniform and being terribly impressed.   As a child I was perpetually dressed in kilts and tam o'shanters!
George's father was in the Irish Guards but he died when George was only 9 years old and all their belongings were lost so he doesn't have a single photographs of himself before the age of 14.  Isn't that sad?
So I am hoping that we get good marks !  I did wonder when we were watching the film on Friday how many other people in the cinema could actually remember listening to the final speech ?  I was only four but the memory is vivid because of my parents' reaction.
Hey ho.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Twelfth night

I like being in church at night.  I love the Midnight Mass service.  There is something very mediaeval about being in church with the candles inside and the darkness outside.
I have just come back from the Epiphany service  - the one service in the year where we use frankincense - and taken down the last of the decorations.    The angels go in an old Clarks shoe box from one of the daughters - it is  marked 29/11d !  The angel on top of the tree is called 'wide eyed and legless' because she is.  The dizzy blonde with the pink feather skirt is a relic of the 60's when I had a very trendy silver tree with all pink baubles and a pink angel.
Then there are all the decorations which have come from travels abroad - President Clinton's cat Socks (or was it President Bush?),  a shell from the Florida Keys, two from Russia, Niagara Falls, Prague and so on.  I took the Christmas tree down yesterday and started the long process of packing them all away in boxes and then into the enormous hide case which used to belong to George's father.

These are my delusions of grandeur decorations - all gold and glitter and OTT.   Alongside these is my collection of Harrods dated baubles - all in their Limited Edition boxes.  One day maybe I shall sell them on eBay !
This one we bought in New Orleans on the Natchez Mississippi steam boat.....

Here are a couple given to me by a bellringing lacemaking friend , a little church from Niagara and

a key from my 21st birthday!  Am I mad? and then a little angel  made ingeniously from beads threaded
onto safety pins by my Dutch on-in-law's mother !    Now all that is left are the three kings...

 and they only arrived tonight so they can stay a few days longer.  Actually, the vicar told me this evening that they could stay until Candlemass, but I cannot have them around for that  length of time!   They'll get dusty!

Each year I unpack all the decorations greeting them as old friends  and then a couple of weeks later pack them all away again in their tissue paper and back into their boxes.    Each year I say I am not buying any more and each year I do and somehow I find room for them on the tree.  I also  have another suitcase full of baubles from my mother's tree - how can I throw them away?

I am a sight!  I have a lovely black eye and it wasn't George hitting me although goodness knows I give him enough provocation with my piles of   fabrics, threads and unread newspaper articles!   I have been to hospital to have a small slice cut out of my cheek so they can do a biopsy.  I had to have TWO local anaesthetics as the first one didn't work so I am swollen and bruised with a couple of bloody stitches.   That was two days ago and it has got to the stage where it is itching like mad but I cannot have the stitches out until Monday.  Some people are very polite and pretend it isn't there and others assume I have fallen over!  Drunk again.