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Sunday, 29 May 2011


I am sure many of you know this poem well, it was written in 1961 by Jenny Joseph and since then it has been, quote
" found in schoolbooks from Alaska to Singapore, the poem has been, stitched, stamped, quilted, set to music, printed on cards, written on cakes and made into films, quoted at conferences and funerals, used to cheer up sick friends". It was voted Britain's favourite poem by viewers of a BBC programme in 1996. In 1997 it was published in a book form, with lovely illustrations by Pythia Ashton-Jewell and it has been re-printed about 40 times since.
Quote: "Its declaration of defiance, so vividly and cleverly expressed, appeals to the rebel in all of us".

I was given this little book as a part of a present last week, by my  DD, for my 60+ birthday.


When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no butter.
I shall sit down on the payment when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit.
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But may be I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.


I would like to say, that I have been inspired to write this post by something I have read this week on Linda's blog, about her beautiful, bright jacket. Only in Linda's case it has nothing to do with age, but it got me thinking.
I have actually started to wear purple! No, I am not brave enough (yet) to wear a red hat with it, but give me time, the age is on my side!
I have come to realise that I love the age I am. I no longer feel the need to make a "good impression", or to "fit in".  I am who I am, I find myself more and more often saying aloud things I would keep to myself some 10 years ago. There are so many things I don't "have to do" any more, it is so liberating!
I am a member of the "grey lobby", which is growing in numbers. I know this is a headache for our government, how to look after us in our old age. But it also means that we have a voice which is getting stronger and it won't be ignored (hopefully not just because they want our vote).

So, hurrah for the purple and red!

The rebel in me is waking up!

Saturday, 21 May 2011

T for T

"T for T" stands for "Talent for Textiles" fair, held several times a year at various venues, organised by Elizabeth Baer. It is a sale of antique and vintage textiles, buttons and various haberdashery, bags, various decorative objects and so much more. Many of the items on sale come from markets in France, including some beautiful old linen. You can pick up some lovely fabrics here, but of course, like anywhere else, you could spend a lot of money on very little, say the least.
My favourite venue is the American Museum in Bath, where the fair will be held in September.

This week the fair ( the 57th) was taking place in the grounds of Glastonbury Rural Life Museum, in their recently restored 14th century Tithe Barn, with the dramatic backdrop of the legendary Glastonbury Tor.

It turned out to be a chilly day and the wind was blowing through the barn. I felt sorry for some of the stallholders near the doors.

After parking DH in the tea room ( believe me, he wasn't on his own there), I went to explore the wares.

I found some small pieces of lace on Niki's stall.

But the find of the day for me was this inexpensive piece of cotton fabric, nearly 1m sq. Although it has some small damage, there is enough fabric here to do something with.

As soon as I got home, I raided my stash to see what I could match up with my new find.

Decisions, decisions.
I can feel a quilt coming on!


Today I took some more pictures of the garden.

I like the way the poppies open up, from the what looks like a piece of crumbled tissue paper, to their full beauty.

The tree peony early in the morning,

and later in the day.

I wish you all a very good week!

Sunday, 15 May 2011

lazy weekend

First of all, thank you to all of you who have given me ideas what to make with the block no 5. I should had said that it is 11" square, so sadly a little too large for a pin cushion. I will of course let you know what I have done with it (if anything at all!).
Last week was very hectic for me and I was very glad when Friday evening arrived. All I was capable of was just to veg in the front of the TV.
As we had no special plans for the weekend, I promised myself to have a "lazy" one. And that is what I did, rather I didn't do very much at all. Bliss. The weather looked fantastic looking out of the window, dry and sunny, but outside it is very windy, with a cold north wind howling through the garden, so no pleasure in being out there.

So, besides stitching, what else is there to do on a day like this?

Baking! Rhubarb is in season, so lets make something with it.

 Rhubarb and Custard tart: 


served with juices from the cooked rhubarb and some fresh cream

I ventured outside just for long enough to check progress in the garden and to take some pictures.

I think this would make a good stitching subject.

We have had the best of the azaleas, but the poppies are just opening up and the peonies are not going to be far behind, so I hope this wind will stop soon.

The strawberries are doing very well, it will be something for the grandchildren to pick soon, if we'll get some more warm sunshine.

And some more irises:

I wish you all a very good week!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

when a quilt is a cushion

I thought I should try to reduce my stash of fabric, so some time ago I decided to make a quilt, using stash fabrics only.

So far so good.

By the time I was stitching the 5th block, I lost interest.
Another UFO?

Well, there never seem to be enough cushions. So 4 blocks became a cushion. It was also a good place to practice some embroidery stitches. 

I am yet to decide what to do with block no 5. Any ideas?

In the meantime, our weather has returned to normal for the season and we are at last having enough rain. We even had some large hailstones over the weekend. Everywhere is looking green and lush ( including the weeds! ).

I have taken a few more pictures in the garden.

This little fuchsia was pruned hard last autumn and was overwintering indoors. Now it just could not wait to produce a flower. A dancing fairy!


Friday, 6 May 2011

Barrington Court

As I am sitting here, writing my blog, I can hear a steady rain outside. It has been raining all evening now. At last, after weeks of warm and dry weather. In fact, it is official, this year's April was the warmest since 1892 (or something like that).
But earlier today was just another pleasant, warm, dry day, good time to take a day to go out and explore.
Barrington Court is probably my favourite National Trust property. I have been here a couple of time before. It is an easy, unpretentious place; popular, but not crowded.
When National Trust bought the Tudor manor house in 1907, it was just a derelict shell.
In 1920s it was leased to Sir Arthur Lyle (of Tate and Lyle) and over the next years the Lyle family restored the property. The house itself is now empty, but open to public. Without any furniture one can appreciate more the architecture of the building.

           This was the original entrance to the grounds, a gate with a beautiful ironwork.

Instead, you walk past an old apple orchard

through a small door in the wall

via small flower gardens, it's design inspired by Gertrude Jekyll

and then, round the corner, is the Court House, built in 1500, with what used to the stable block (now a shop and a restaurant), next to it

It was very bright for taking photographs today, but I hope you can get some feeling of the place from my pictures.

There is another reason to visit, if you like patchwork. Barrington Patchwork opened its shop in the grounds last summer. The shop is packed with fabrics, loads of Moda, Makower and others! Another "sweet shop" to explore!

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