Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Tailor for a Day.

I think I may have written before of the fact that we are a large family. Ok, that's maybe something of an understatement. We are a very large family with seven children, one grandchild, two cats, some hens, a duck, two guinea pigs & a baby rabbit - yes, new additions for heaven's sake (more about them another time) - and a variety of wildlife including a baby frog found by Isabella only yesterday. Yes, it makes me tired to think of it too. Tomorrow however is our fifth eldest son's school Leaver's Day (he is returning for A-Levels but this marks the end of compulsory education for him) and so this post is dedicated to you dear Elias x

Elias turned sixteen only this month. How did that ever happen? One minute he was a little chap peering out from behind his mother's legs at me with his huge eyes and something of a scowl, and now... well, it is a little gulp-making to say the least. Oh, did I also mention Elias is my step-son? No, well that's because it's a term we loathe in this house. They are all 'our' children and are lucky enough to have known each other, lived with each other and grown with each other for the bulk of their lives. They laugh and argue and cuddle up on the sofa to watch films together (and I'm talking about 22 year old Sam and 16 year old Elias here who will still have a mock scrap one minute only to be sprawled with each other, long legs perched in the most ungainly manner to watch some awful pile of corn in the form of a film the next!)

So, what has this to do with Leaver's Day and the tailoring of this rambling blog post's title? Much actually. You see, Elias likes to wear a suit. He is so like his Dad and the two of them went shopping for the perfect one. They found it and Elias paid with it with his own money saved for this very event - how proud does that make us! Just to up the proud-ometer (!) he also asked me to make him a waistcoat. What!! A sixteen year old wants his Ma to make him a handmade article? Yes, indeedy and above is the pattern he chose.

I have never made anything like this before so was a little nervous. I didn't want to let him down and I fear Elias is the type of guy who would wear it in its hideousness rather than make me feel bad - hmm, perhaps I rate myself too highly here! Anyhoo, we set off, chose a pattern, searched until we found the perfect fabric, lining, buttons and buckle...

and suddenly I had only one day in which to make it...ONE DAY!!! Time and work and 'other things' just didn't let me get to the waistcoat until I finally had to make myself shut myself away prepared to be up all night chained to my machine in order to get it done. No pressure then.

Obviously, the photos show that the task was done, tested on the man himself and photographed from every angle. I don't know who was more pleased: myself or Elias. It fitted perfectly (please don't grow between now and tomorrow!) and looked fantastic with his suit, a blood red and black tie and absolutely amazing with the beautiful engraved silver pocket watch I bought his Dad for Christmas (please bring it back safe & sound as we love it so!)

Have a fantastic time Elias and thank you for trusting me with such a special task. We love you x

(and please can you and your Dad stop ruining my pics with your daft poses!)

Bye for now x

P.S. a note for all who may fancy making a waistcoat: it was easy and quick. I started it at 12.30 pm and went to bed at 10.30pm with only the buttons left to do. Lining was a true pain to iron but really very simple. Have a go!

Thursday, 21 June 2012


No new photos to show today as the weather is so dire that I am uninspired to take my camera out and about. Still, the images I have here reflect a little of how I feel today: quiet...


occasionally bubbling with ideas and energy

often craving light and colour

sometimes craving desperately to be alone with the sea and the skies and the billowing breeze

and perhaps most of all I am feeling reflective.

If only there were some light outside my window I might just stop thinking about how I am feeling and do something instead!

How are you feeling today? xx

Friday, 15 June 2012

Hello Once More.

Ok, let's face it head on and discuss the weather. What, must we I hear you say? Well, of course I reply for I am a good Cornish girl and weather is very important to this tiny sea-edged county. Anyway, it is a bit hard to ignore in this 'balmy' summer month! Even the ladybirds have taken to hiding...

Not that the weather is any excuse for this naughty duck who thought if she tucked her head under a branch I wouldn't notice that she had escaped the duck pen once again. So funny as she slowly peeked out to see if I had gone and then stuck her head back in when she saw me standing there!

We have had moments of inundation where the hens and the aforesaid duck, Pecan, have provided more than enough eggs for our daily needs! Much baking required to bring it under control.


And as nature likes a contrast, we have had moments of somewhat less than inundation. Isabella's broad bean plants are flowering wonderfully but we have only just begun picking the smallest amounts. All the sweeter for the scarcity I think.


In all our veg garden has been doing really well, particularly when the dire weather is taken into account. The rain has suited the Florence fennel and as for this gorgeous Red Russian Kale - ah bliss. We are having it in so many guises and it looks so beautiful: stately and abundant with NO SLUG DAMAGE! Hurrah. Oh, and of course it tastes amazing.

On a completely different note, our very lovely, very funny and extremely beautiful Isabella had her sixth birthday and despite being quite poorly at the time, had a wonderful day full of chocolate cake and presents and love as all good birthdays should be.

So, as I finally wind to a rambling close after an absence of aeons I wave goodbye to the mauve blue of the forget-me-nots and bid you adieu until another day.

Keep dry and hidden away from all this bad weather and I'll see you soon I hope.

Take care, 
Pip xx