Monday, 20 July 2015


My recent shed building has given me a taste for woodworking as a change to dressmaking.  So, when Mum and Dad were here last week, I asked if Dad would give me a hand to make a wooden obelisk for the garden.
I searched the internet for garden obelisk plans and found one that looked reasonably simple - I wasn't about to start trying to cut mitres or anything fancy.
Anyway, we did it - I learnt the proper technique for sawing and drilling and we put it together, using this plan as a basis but adapting it to our own specs (see, I'm getting all the jargon)
And I didn't get my Dad to do it all either - he just advised and assisted - and posed
He did question whether I wanted it quite so tall, but it seemed a pity not to use the full length of the timber
I must admit, it does look a little bit big in the middle of the garden but I think when it's painted and in among the shrubs it'll be fine
Mum believes we must have been influenced by our recent trip to London, and has taken to referring to it as 'The Mini Shard'.
Anyway, it cost about a tenner in materials, and only took two drizzly days to finish - and to be honest, it wouldn't have taken that long if it wasn't such a long-winded process for my Dad and I to get down on our knees and back up again.  
I'd seen similar wooden obelisks on t'interweb for up to £100 quid, so I think it's a bargain.  It just needs to be painted and for Dad to do me a hand-turned finial (knob to you and me) for the top.

By Wednesday the  weather brightened up, so I had lots of outings with Mum and Dad - coffee with Gina for a sneaky non-weekend look at her Open Studios, visits and meals out with relatives, and on on Saturday to Art Van Go for their summer 'gathering'
Mum's not a textile artist but she was fascinated by watching the various artists demonstrating and seeing what a huge range of art materials are available.  
So, a lovely week all round - and this week has started well too - my niece called me this morning to say that they would like me to be godmother to baby Grace.  I can't tell you how proud, honoured and delighted I am to be asked.  Are WE gonna have some great times kiddo!
I'm only really mentioning it here so that I've got an excuse to post another cute baby picture.

Obelisk - The Tank (you wouldn't believe how many songs there are called Obelisk on itunes - this is one of the least worst)

Monday, 13 July 2015


She's arrived!  
My wonderful niece Sarah has just had the most beautiful baby girl.  
3 hours old
Grace Elizabeth Linda was born on 10th July - by coincidence, on Sarah's own birthday - what an amazing present!  Big BIG congratulations to Sarah and her husband Brendan.
I can't wait to go and see her and have a cuddle, especially as her Mum says she is 'adorably cuddleable'   (no, we're not sure if that's a real word either)
So, in addition to my great age, I am now a great aunt - and my parents are very proud Great grandparents for the first time.

I am hoping that I will still be fit enough when I'm about 74 or 75 to take her to her first gig - I took Sarah to see the Darkness at Wembley Arena in 2004 - no Westlife/Sugarbabes nonsense for us.

I just know how very delighted and proud and excited my sister Linda would have been at becoming a Nanny.
So, at risk of being sentimental, and just in case she does have Internet access where she is, this one's for you sis.

Grace - U2

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Swings and Roundabouts

If I have been rather quiet, it's because I've been busy 'celebrating' a horrendously big birthday.
Don't get me wrong, I've had a lovely time, it's just the number that is causing me problems.  I may have mentioned previously that I'm sure someone made a mistake with the date on my birth certificate, because I don't think I can possibly be that old.
Anyway, I spent the day (last Wednesday) at the last meeting of our Spectrum textile group.  It was meant to be our 'end of term' meeting, but unfortunately, three of the group decided to leave, and it just isn't feasible to keep it running with only 6 of us, so sadly we've had to call it a day.  On the plus side - and I do always like to find the plus - it'll leave more time for me and our mentor Gina to go to exhibitions and eat cake.  Talking of which, she made a fab chocolate birthday cake.  I forgot to take a picture, so I am just going to blatantly steal one from her blog
Tadah! (or 'ta-dah!' if you prefer, the hyphen is optional)
Then in the evening I had more cake when I went to a birthday 'sew-in' at The Creative Sanctuary the shop where I managed to convince them to take me on as a slightly more mature member of their Work Experience scheme. We stitched and chatted and ate more homemade cake, this time a delicious sponge with cream and strawberries at the centre of which was a massive firework shooting flames about 18 inches high.

On Thursday I went for a five mile walk with a friend, followed (naturally) by cake.  I did wonder how long one could exist on a solely cake-based diet, before developing scurvy, but I am reliably informed that if I have the odd lemon I should be fine.

On Friday I met my cousin and her husband at the Albion Pub in Islington.  
The venue was chosen as, according to the 1891 census, our Great Grandmother Alice was living and working there when she was 21. 
The pub looked good, and although it's obviously been renovated over the years, it still has lots of character and apparently the structure of the building hasn't changed much. (A bit like me!)
We went for lunch in the garden
No cake, but great fish and chips

So, am I coming to terms with my new decade?  Reluctantly I suppose. 
And like everything, it has certain benefits - I've applied for, and received my senior rail card, and yesterday I picked up a prescription and I didn't have to pay!  And only this morning I received a mailing about Saga holidays, AND a letter from the NHS offering me a medical testing kit (I won't be any more specific in case any of you are reading this over breakfast.)

So, I have to come to terms with the fact that I'll never headline at Glastonbury, I'll never learn to surf, and I'll never get invited to a Libertines aftershow party, but on the plus side, it'll cost me a third less to travel into London to gigs, and I get free drugs.

Swings and Roundabouts - Terrorvision