Monday, 27 May 2013

The Ratcatcher rides again!

Make yourself a quick cuppa, grab a chockie biscuit and I'll explain.  I had just hit the "send" button on a long and rambling email extolling the virtues of a bucolic life when I heard an unfamiliar sound coming from the living room.  A sort of soft plop onto metal if that's not a contradiction in terms.
To my horror, and Geordie's I might add, the room steadily began to fill with irate bees.  First in their dozens, then in their scores and finally in their hundreds!  Shit and death, I thought.  It's an old French expression often used in such circumstances and means - shit and death!  They were falling down the chimney behind the woodburner and rapidly filling the room.

Without hesitation I grabbed my mobile (the land line's on the blink again but that's yet another story) and quickly called those two lovable super heroes - the Ratcatcher and his wife.  I think business must be slack because within seconds they arrived and set to.  Biohazard suits were the dress code for the day with integral respirators and rubber gloves taped onto the ends of the sleeves for good measure.

What my hero had failed to grasp, as he lobbed a cyanide bomb into the woodburner as his first line of attach at ground level, was that there are air vents leading off the chimney which filter into my office adjacent and up into the grenier above.  Within seconds the throng of bees was replaced by a deadly cloud of gas which sent us all reeling out into the garden, dogs and all, with his wife leading the way at an Olypmic-qualifying speed.

We regrouped under the walnut tree to talk tactics.  It was decided that an ascent of the north face of the Chateau would be the most efficacious move and so we broke out the seige engines and sallied forth.  This manoeuvre involved the lifting of several heavy, concrete roof tiles showering us onlookers below with large lumps of cement.  I don't even want to think why that was up there  as I'm sure the answer will be expensive

Copious amounts of more deadly chemicals were then pumped down the chimney and once the demon duo were satisfied there was nothing left breathing within a one hundred yard radius of the house they left after quickly relieving me of yet another hefty cheque made out in their favour.  It's becoming something of a habitof late I fear.

I've swept up the stiffs, I've flung open all the windows and I've finished both my cup of tea and my story.  I think I'm about to be sick again because that stuff really turns you up and my headache is developing nicely - I'm waiting for the flashing lights!  So please do excuse me if I dash off and I don't think I shall be able to bring myself to put in another stitch on this bee motif for a while until the nightmares subside and life returns to what passes for "normal" here at the Chateau.  Now "buzz" off all of you because I hate to be heard shouting Europe in public.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

It's showtime .......

.... not in a chorus girl/blue comedian sort of a way, although that might be fun, but in a "I'll show you mine, if you'll show me yours" behind the bike sheds sort of a way.  Do you remember Camilla, and such invaluable experience for later life I always think.

Someone had better kick off and as I was never known for being slow at coming forward (particularly behind the bike shed) I thought I'd show you my painting of Mouche and my childhood companions Faithful (on the right) and Faith's Daddy (on the left) all beautifully captured by artist Elle J Wilson of Almost An Angel 66 if you want to see more or her work.  It's worth a look.  Well you didn't think I was going to let you see what I'm sewing just now did you?  Tisk, tisk!
Here from the Land of Oz (see the flag), by the miracle of modern technology may I present St Senoch stitched by our very own little Louise (she's the Wizard's daughter you know although she doesn't make a big thing about it).  And never one to be put off by hard work she then went on to complete Opus Magnusson (below) which she keeps behind frosted glass doors when she isn't actually entertaining guests for fear it might fade if exposed overlong to the strong Australian sun.
Yes, it's true, way down under when they're not putting another raw prawn on their barbies or trying to pick huntsmen spiders out of their budgie smugglers (Speedo's to you Alice), some of them actually do find time to sew.  And because they're all marsupials there's never any problem as to where to put their threads, they simply tuck them in next to their joey (well how do you spell it?) and off they go - fair dinkum.
As no one else has actually sent me photos of their WIPs (always sounds a bit S&M that) or finished pieces, I had no alternative but to trawl the web to find out what you've been up to and who will finally own up to what I discovered.  The caption for this St Reatham above should be "Has anyone found page 3 of my chart yet?"
And who is the mysterious Choco in the middle of stitching Renaissance and more to the point will they get very cross because I've used their picture.  Let's hope not.  On the subject of apathy, the recruitment rate of followers has taken a nose dive recently.  Must I always be behind you cajoaling and threatening like the Crimplene Queen used to do.  I haven't told you about her have I?  That's best left for another day perhaps when I'm really desperate for something to write about.
What's this we have here.  Someone with a mind of their own obviously so it can't be one of Alice's creations.  A dear little pin keep and look how evenly spaced are all the pins.  That says a lot about a person don't you think when all their pins are equidistant like that?
I wonder if my old bike's still about somewhere and whatever was the name of that ginger-haired lad from Scotland who was in the year above mine.  He showed such promise, and made such promises - those were the days!

Saturday, 18 May 2013

All will be revealed - Part V: S is for Snake

.... and for SEXUALITY too!  There, I've said it, the secret's out and I bet that got your attention.  So put on some clothes, make yourself a cup of tea and, whilst we do our Kegel exercises together, I'll tell you more.

S is for Stallion
Size doesn't matter in this instance (not like in real life eh! Camilla?) but proportion most certainly does.  If your snake is the largest object on the page then I'm rather surprised you managed to tear yourself away from whatever it was you were doing to join us here because the bigger the snake the more importance you place on your love life.
S is for Shar Pei
And anyone who gave theirs stripes or the odd spot or two for good measure really does need to calm it down a notch lest they deplete their energy resources entirely.
S is for Service - please
Now we've established the ground rules the next question to ask is where have you put him?  In, on or nearby the house - what a good girl you are, no skeletons in your cupboard, everything above board and according to your vows.  Wrapped around the tree A&E fashion - sounds a bit racy but nothing remarkable there either, just a normal, loving relationship with good family values, the usual highs and lows and the odd bit of sparkle here and there to keep the flame alive.
S is for Sins of the Flesh
Anyone's snake found swimming in the river needs to beware however - office romances seldom have happy endings and it's only on Holby City that the junior nurse manages to cop off with the senior consultant.  The only exception here being a couple who not only work but play together too in which case - enjoy!  Thank goodness no one drew a winged serpent circling the sun this time because I really didn't want to go there again.  Once was enough believe me.
S is for Supple, it's also for Stuck!
Now what exactly is your snake up to because this is important.  And what is his tongue doing?  Sorry, but I have to ask because a long, hissey tongue is a sure sign of someone on the look out for another partner.  A snake laying stretched out is a sign of someone who is confident sexually and very laid back about their love life.
S is for Steeple, or Spire should you prefer.
A coiled snake with it's head erect is usually drawn by someone who likes to keep their personal life very private but who is certainly no prude and the snake with lots of bends and kinks points to a chequered and multi-partnered past.  Best not to delve too deeply here or indeed into the affairs of the lady from Baltimore with two snakes locked in a deadley embrace because her case doesn't come up in court until next month I believe.
S is for Silly Cat
The pictures today have all been chosen specially for dear Alice as she's still rather too innocent to join our advanced sewing circle and also because I don't want this blog closed down because it contains unsuitable "flashing" images.
S is for Skinny Dipping
So now that we've finally got to the "bottom" of it all what on earth will we find to talk about next week?  Trust me, I'll think of something but in the meantime I must see if I can revive my snake, he's been looking very droopey of late.  I wonder why?

Saturday, 11 May 2013

All will be revealed - Part IV: The River

Time to take to the water and whether your river "just keeps rolling along" or is a truly white water ride, let's hope it never suddenly dries up because in this context the river represents - your career!

Where does it flow?  Straight past your house - local work or even a live-in job.  Apart from everything else - a compartmentalised life where home and career don't even touch let alone overlap.  Does the sun shine directly above?  In which case prospects look rosy while an overshadowed, or incomplete sun close by means all is not certain at present.
Does it start small and gradually get wider - a job with prospects.  Bends show changes of employer or even direction.  The more bends, the more chequered the career.  Usually the wider the river the more significance you place on your work.  People following a creative occupation often add ducks, ripples or the occasional fish.  Thin, straight rivers could reveal a dead-end job and a distinct fork is almost certainly a major change of career - the further along the fork occurs then the later in life this arises.
If your tree in any way overhangs, or is rooted directly in the water then a family connection is likely - a family firm, working with a sibling or even following in someone elses footsteps.
In the unlikely instance that the river is flowing like a path from your front door this can mean one of three things - either you live in a boat house, you see your work as an escape from being trapped at home or, worse still, you've sprung a leak.  Do you need the number of a good plumber?
I've been saving the best till last because next week we'll be taking a look at your snakes.  You'll need to bring a flute, an Ali Baba basket and bike clips for the ride.  Be there if you dare because I won't be sparing anyone's blushes.
Who ever drew this I must say that your colleagues look a nice bunch of chaps, next time your team is having an away day don't forget to invite me along too but I don't think I will need my sewing!

Saturday, 4 May 2013

All wil be revealed - Part III: The Family Tree

The tree of life represents our roots, our family - where we came from, how we're all connected and how things stand between us and the other members of our clan.

As with the house and the sun, how simple or how complicated you draw your tree indicates the degree of importance you place on your family and how involved you all are with one another.

The positioning of your tree can also be very telling.  A tree next to, or even overshadowing your house, means close family ties and when the branches actually touch or partially cover the roof  signifies a measure of family involvement in your home life.  It could be something as simple as financial assistance for the purchase of your home, even an inherited property, however it could also point to unwanted family problems which threaten to cramp your style somehow finding their way into your private space.
Likewise should your tree partially cover the sun this is flagging up a family situation or a family member overshadowing your happiness or blocking the path you would like to follow.  A distant tree points to a family living miles, even continents, apart.  It can also tell of someone who has been cut off from their roots through a family feud, divorce, bereavement or even, occasionally, through adoption.
Hands up those of you who drew more than one tree.  Your family lives are almost certain to be complicated.  Maybe you have remarried and have children from each marriage, perhaps as a child you lived apart from your parents and so came to think of other people as your family or maybe your partner's family is equally as important to you as your own.
If you've drawn a forest, or even felled a couple of trees you are strongly advised to seek professional help soon as whatever is bugging you is way out of my league.
Incidentally, did any of you add birds - or squirrels?  I thought as much!  Almost certainly clandestine cross stitch designers wearing false beards and dark glasses have been having a sneeky peek at my blog - enjoy! 
Next week, my little guerrilla stitchers, we'll be wading in the water - bring wellies or a towel to dry your feet.  And NO - I don't have the pattern for a tree cosy!

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Let's go with the flow ......

The 1st May here in France is not only their national labour day but also "La Fete du Muguet" - lily-of-the-valley day.

It is a tradition on this day to offer a sprig of this flower, sometimes accompanied by a single rose bud, to friends and loved ones alike as a token of luck and prosperity for the year ahead.
Each year one of the estate workers wives leaves a little gift of flowers at the chateau gates which are always a pleasure to receive.  She's much too timid to knock!
So this year we've decided to join in and in true Long Dog style have come up with this little concoction which needs no water and will keep forever - or at least until the beads drop off .
Look - even the back has been stitched.  How's that for attention to detail.  So all it leaves now is for Mouche, Geordie and me to wish you all good health and good luck for the coming months or at least until your beads drop off.