Monday, 26 November 2007

A mellow weekend.

We have just had a lovely weekend which has left me feeling charged up and ready for the week ahead. It has been a busy time, but mostly with things that were enjoyable such as my photography lesson with Dave which resulted in me spending most of Saturday lurking in the hedges trying to capture shots of the ducks in a Bellamy meets Bailey fashion. I was supposed to be working but needed the practice; unfortunately I got carried away as I tend to do when aquiring a new skill and even Lucy became tired of posing for her Mummy. Ah well...

Dave had one of his many Here is Something I could Do moments and created doors for the kitchen cupboard complete with routed border, painted them and put gorgeous brushed chrome handles on which he picked up for an amazing £1.00 each (originally £6.00!). I am sooo pleased and he is going to do the other cupboard next weekend. He also...painted most of the woodwork in the kitchen, made a figgy pudding, took the little girls (as opposed to the older girls) out shopping to look at teddies (per Lucy's request!) and cooked the roast yesterday. What a star he is!

I did my bit (sounding a tad guilty eh) and cooked some meals, sewed, helped Lauren with her textile project before she went back to Uni after a brief visit, played cards and was soundly trounced by Lucy the Card Shark, and probably did lots of other things far too boring to mention! Lots of sitting round eating lovely meals, slurping wine and warming by the fire seemed to take place, although the not-so-saintly Dave had lobbed some of the logs at the badger who was winding the ducks up at the dead of night (yes, I know badgers are lovely, but when you've had one rip the living lights out of one of your hens you don't feel quite so giving). Don't think he'll be back in a hurry - the badger that is, not Dave!

I also picked the Black Prince marigolds above as I thought the frost would get them; hah, what was I thinking? This is South Cornwall and the frost never arrived, hence there are even more flowers out there today. Not a bad photo though I say so myself!

Have a good day xx

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Christmas thoughts.

The new Christmas forum has put me in a festive spirit, which is a little ironic as the house has been overtaken by all things Christmassy for some time now. Initially the various things I have made for orders were confined to the sewing room until such time as they were completed and ready for packaging but, one by insidious one, they have weedled their way into all corners of an already overflowing house. Finally I have photographed, sewn the last stitch or bead and sent these cheery items off to their new homes - all apart from the few that have become part of the family that is....

A quick peek into our bedroom reveals a calico stocking hanging on my dressing table, it's nonchalant manner suggesting it has always shared space with the other items gathered there. Above it hangs a Christmas fairy, the first one I made this year; she holds a garland of dried berries collected from our garden earlier this year and wears a wreath of beads in her hair, and every day I rescue her from Isabella who sneaks her away to cuddle her for a little while despite the fact that she is not a toy. Padded hearts hang over the kitchen fireplace, the calico panels proclaiming various lines from traditional carols and the scent of Frankincense and Myrrh mingling with the smells of a family roast or a hearty stew. Hmm, Christmas did indeed arrive very early this year at Poltisko Farm.

The thing is, I realised that by keeping one or two items, I can appease my need to nurture the favourites. Let me explain...this is a woman who, when checking all the children before she goes to bed (yes, I even peek in on the older ones) finds herself tucking up the dolls lying in the wooden cot as she can't bear to see them uncovered! Barking I know, but at least cut me some slack for honesty!!! Now, in the case of the things I make I can sometimes find it difficult to, er..let them go. For example, the Christmas fairy - "She can't be an angel Mummy. Who will look after the tree? She has to be a Christmas Fairy!" - with every stitch this little creature became more real, the calico gradually becoming her body and the embroidered stitches giving her eyes and a smiling mouth. From here I was desperate to clothe her and add some hair which I could braid. She looked sweet but I wanted more for her and so she held her garland which I carefully threaded with the berries and added a matching.....well, you get the picture!

And so she stays, the first of the fairies, to come out each year and join the old favourites - the wonderfully wonky snowman made by Tom 21 years ago (!) who will ALWAYS top the tree; the various stained-glass window pictures made from jewel coloured tissue paper; the felt mice the children and I made goodness knows how many years ago to look like carol singers which sit on the window sill surrounded by candles and geenery. I love them all and I love the fact that more is added each year - a calico stocking, a trio of hearts and a Christmas fairy as starters - while the rest wend there way to places anew to become part of another family's traditions.

Ah well, on with the next lot.

Have a lovely day everyone xx

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Half Term Holiday.

Oops! Should have turned it round!

The half term holiday has been a week later in Cornwall than anywhere else in the country from what I can work out. I have no idea why, but there it is. Here at Poltisko Farm it has been a mixed baggage of a week consisting of a medley of family, work and play with not a little exhaustion added to the pot - Isabella and clocks changing; need I say more? I can only ask yet again WHY? Why must we struggle to establish what seems to be popularly referred to as a 'sleep pattern' in very young children and babies only to have to re-negotiate the boundaries as the clocks leap forth and back with gay abandon? I tell you, I was having my own one-woman Hallowe'en without the aid of make-up here! Looked as though someone had cast a spell on me.... mix one bloodshot eye with the peaked visage of the seriously sleep-deprived and top the whole with the matted unkempt hair of a manic harridan and stir (by expecting her to think of FUN things to do!!!!). Yep, a vision to behold. To be fair to the dear child (restrained eh?) she was also suffering a belated reaction to MMR innoculations in readiness for the impending hour change, but all thoughts of the 'pattern' I had previously 'established' flew out the window along with my wits which I believe have been sighted in a mangled mess in the duck pond!

HAllowe'en itself was actually quite fun. I choose to forget all negative connotations when it gets to this time of year and just enjoy the chance for dressing up and partying. Matty (my sort-of daughter - we hate the term step-daughter as it's so formal) came to stay for the week and her boyfriend popped down too for a few nights making it a household of only eight this year. Smaller than usual but good enough for a party. Dave as ever rose to the occasion dressing up in gypsy fashion complete with eyeliner and dangling earring (!) while I put together a variety of outfits for the rest of the gang - ghosts, ghouls and Isabella in a fairy tutu I made for LAuren about 18 years ago. The usual games were played - penny in the flour, bite out of the apple and so on. Unfortunately the photos always resemble those dreadful shots of hostages on their knees as you can never see the apple itself. Great fun to play though and followed up by fortune telling sessions with Gypsy Dave in one room and Gypsy Pipany in another, glass in one hand and cards in the other. Hmm...

The rest of the holiday has, as I said, been fun although a haze of increasing tiredness has cloaked it all. Walks on the beach (bliss), games in the kitchen (lovely) and today a wonderful mellow walk through the carpet of golden-hued leaves in the woods with Dave, Sam, Isabella, Lucy and Elias - sanity returns. I suppose one good thing about getting up at five in the morning is that by nine I have done most of the housework, prepared the evening meal and even managed to bake a lemon cake and shortbread on Thursday, and made sloe gin and blackcurrant gin on Friday! Well, I was feeding the ducks and the air was still with a hint of chill; as I walked back down the path trying not to let the honking of the ducks drive me insane I noticed there were still sloes on our tree. Up I climmbed catching afore-mentioned nest of hair on spiky branches until I was so tangled that it took me about twenty minutes to free myself BUT I picked enough sloes for two bottles of the good stuff. I have to have something to look forward to!!!

Well, back to the sewing and the thought of a restful evening - fire lit and glowing beautifully, a lamb korma prepared yesterday now warming through in the stove and a film to be watched with the children; lovely.

See you all soon xx