Monday, 31 December 2012

Ring out the old, Ring in the new.

Ok, so here, in no particular order I suppose, is the Chateau Long Dog wish list for 2013.  Please tell me it can't be any worse than 2012 or I may lack the will to go on.

1.  I didn't mean a whale through the roof Geordie, I was wishing for sales to go through the roof and with our low ceilings that shouldn't be too big an ask.  By the way, the new website was sneakily launched on Boxing Day (well I was bored) so click on the link and go and have a gander for yourselves.

2.  If anyone knows of a good dog whisperer with nothing much on at present I could do with his services.  How did I know that Tracey was going to take that the wrong way.  Mind you, the whole family's common as muck so it's only to be expected.

3.  To be offered a starring role in a new thriller called "The Cross Stitch Code" with Sir Sean Connery as the leading man.  He's not bad for 82!  I really do wish.
4.  For a good crop of cherries, the hairy ones just love them.
5.  To wake up one morning to find I'd sprouted hair like this over night.
6.  For an unknown benefactor to send me beautiful gifts through the post.

7.  That was very unkind of you Alice, the wish here is not for a good plastic surgeon but for people who share files or pirate copies of Long Dogs, and indeed all the other designers work, to suddenly look like this so that we can identify them and take action more easily.
8.  This is a good one.  It seems the Vicar of Dibley and I share similar fantasies, it's for Sean Bean to turn up on the door step one day looking for work as head gamekeeper on the Long Dog Estate.  How nice would that be.  Mary-Sue you do know who he is, look here's his photo .....

..... I wish he'd hurry up.
9.  We're starting to get serious now - Mouche, Geordie and I (there's no rats left now to join in), wish you all you wish yourselves and more for 2013.
10.  And finally, on a very personal note, I wish my daughter would get back in touch.
Must just add that sometimes wishes do come true - when I looked just now the hit counter has just topped 2000 and there are now 31 of you mad, delicious fools out there following all this old toffee.
But don't think it's time to rest on your laurels the insatiable need for followers and hits continues over into the new year and beyond.
Now go on, clear off.  Go and finish up the mince pies, write some thank you letters, tidy up the kitchen then follow this link and treat yourself to something for the stash.  I have to keep banging on about it, I've got two hairy critters to feed.  And, yes Camilla, the tiara does look a bit like yours and I left the tacking in deliberately just to see who spotted it! 

Saturday, 22 December 2012

If you go down to the woods today .....

..... you really are in for a "big" surprise.

Yes, it's that dastardly duo the rat catcher and his wife out hunting for truffles for their Reveillon (Christmas Eve) feast.  It's been so quiet since the SAS lads broke camp but sometimes that wood out the back gets busier than Piccadilly Circus on a Friday afternoon - especially when the moon is full but that's a tale for some other time.
As you can see, the Mayor has had the municipal snow machine out just in time to give St Flovier church a very light dusting of seasonal magic which is just about as exciting as it gets in this neck of the woods.  Oh no! I've just mentioned the "w" word again.  It's a new obsession taking a grip on me.  So swiftly on to to-day's advertising feature ......
This entire block of six apartments along with garages and caves situated in beautiful down town St Flo can be yours for the princely sum of 256,000 euros.  Yes, that really is the price so all you budding entrepreneurs smash open your piggy banks and get a wiggle on to avoid possible disappointment.  I hear the Arabs are interested.
And on a cultural note, here are some of the locals taking part in the annual Christmas Day pond leaping ritual when the Mayor and other civic dignitaries toss 2 euro pieces into the water for the villagers to dive for. 
As you can see, Mouche and Geordie have invited several of their chums over to join in the festivities so all that remains is for all of us here at Chateau Long Dog to wish the entire planet (perhaps even the Universe if they've got good broadband speeds) a very ...
And if you want to make an old woman very happy (you should be ashamed of yourselves) let's get that hit counter rocking!  The next target is 2000+ by 2013 - you can do it if you really want to.  Stop, I'm showing the first signs of "song lyric syndrome" now for which there is no known cure.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Just rattlin' around ....

.... which is not quite bored but not exactly doing anything constructive either, how nice is that?  No guests to prepare for so no frantic cleaning, bedmaking or food preparation - bliss!  So while you poor souls get daily more stressed with the whole festive season package I'm - just rattlin' around.

Here's where I sit just next to the window constantly on the lookout for bailiffs or itinerant wine salesmen from Bordeaux - I don't know which is worse, they're both pretty scary.  I've finished my mug of tea so I'd better show you what I've been fiddling with lately .....

Ever since I finished The Token (available from all good LNS etc - you should know the script by heart by now) I have become fixated with this particular motif - what's that the first sign of do you think?  Alice dear remarks like that just aren't very helpful, it's not Tourette's - ****.  Let's press on ....
Oh no! here it is again but in different colours.  I must keep an eye on this and just look at all those beads - what does it all mean?  You remember the mysterious package I gave you a peep of the other day, well here's what was inside .....
A patchwork I made way back when the world was young and I had all my own teeth.  Ah, happy days.  Now all I need to do is to work out how to back the thing which is not really something that I know anything about, I must have been bunking off for that lesson. MarySue ask me again later and I'll explain when I've got a bit more time.  You'd think her mother would have told her wouldn't you.
 I asked Camilla if she knew but she's no idea either because she's got flunkies who do all the boring bits, like backing things, for her.  I wonder whether I'd find anything under "Flunkies" in the Yellow Pages, I must have a look.
 Why am I showing you this?  Hope, it's my keyword for 2013 and just to make sure I don't forget I quickly dashed off a little aide memoire motif.  Perhaps this is the second sign of something unpleasant.  I must try not to panic.  Long Dog's are normally huge and here I am messing about with piddley little motifs.  Is there a doctor yet among my followers?
 Speaking of which, or should it be whom.  we're up to 30 strong now, almost enough to form a small crowd, or a choir, or an orderly queue. Bravo, but don't hold back.  The titled tiaras are multiplying too but I'm still waiting for the one with the Corgi logo - come and join us ma'am, we're much more fun than the Women's Institute.  The picture, by the bye, is of my festive mantle - time to give that other popular French blog a run for it's money - you do know the one I mean Sophie, don't be so obtuse.  It's not clever.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

All I said was that .....

I didn't think we'd really bother to do much else in the way of decorations this year, in the given circumstances, other than the one little ivy plant you've already seen when Geordie let out a low, keening lament from deep within his Celtic soul accompanied by Mouche with the descant.  They sounded like a set of bagpipes being crushed by a dumper truck.

Not wishing to hurt their doggie feelings any further I quickly capitulated (no they can't touch you for it Mary Sue, she's not really on this planet poor soul) and rushed off to see what the rats had left us to play with.  Not a lot but press on regardless.
First up the dresser - "and so it continued by day and by night".  Oh! no, I'm having carol flashbacks now.  I wonder if there's a medical term for it?  Criminally insane - now that really wasn't very helpful Alice, not to mention hurtful.  Let's press on.
Camilla particularly liked this idea and thought she might be able to adapt it slightly with Charles' ears in mind - I always thought she had a slightly malicious streak.  Just time to do a spot of cooking if I get a wiggle on.
What do you mean - what on earth is that?  Admittedly my baking is more Cordon Noire than Bleu but it smells delicious just ask the dogs who at this moment are forming a disorderly queue for a piece.  It's an apple, raspberry and cinnamon pastie sort of thing.  Pass the cream.
The Token (available from your LNS - there's just time to order your copy before Christmas) is now finished so I'll just have to find something else to do when it gets dark - I hope you didn't hear what Fergie just said.  (I thought I'd barred her from this blog, she must have hacked in again).
You don't think I'm taking this whole dog loving thing a bit far do you?  Now while I finish these off I want a bit more frenzy on this blog - more hits, more comments - cat got your tongues? (sorry Mouche I forgot that the "c" word gets you going) and more followers I'd really love to beat 30 before the holidays so see what you can do.  Regulo 10? - that can't be right.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Wheels on fire ....

I must stop singing that or I will begin to flashback to driving with my handbrake on again!  The reason for all this frivolity is - crash of cymbals, roll of drums, this way my new motor comes ... inevitably there were problems but on this occasion I'm not going to bore you with them as no blood was spilled and no-one's honour was called into question, although it did come close at one stage.

Please welcome if you will Chalky III - Citroen Berlingo van extraordinaire. (No more adverts today I promise).  I've always been a commercial vehicle sort of a girl, none of your fancy Jaguars or BMW's for me.  (I lied, that's another two ads I've just slipped in under the radar).  In fact in my youth I had some of my finer moments in the back of vans - sorry, too much information, what must you be thinking?

As you can see, we're going for the "make do and mend" style of decorations this year here at Chateau Long Dog - we'll make do with these for the moment and at some point I'll get round to mending the others.
Now for all you serious sewers who have to put up with my ramblings to get to the cross stitch bits here is my progress with the Token.  For some reason this photo has come out with a pale blue background but never mind. 
This one's all blue too - I must have hit a filter switch by mistake.  Where did I put the camera instruction booklet although I don't know why I bother 'cos it's all in French.  This next photo is for my big sister who worries that I'm not eating properly - last night's menu Guineafowl Surprise (I thought I'd defrosted a piece of chicken) with all the trimmings.
Now dear friends I must take my leave of you.  Camilla is waiting in her Land Rover and we're off for some serious road racing.  No Mary-Sue you can't come along for the ride, this is not for the faint-hearted - we even turned down The Stig!.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

A bee in my bonnet?

Nothing so tame my old darlings - a hornet in my hair (literally).  Happy new month by the way.

Last night they tumbled by the dozen down the kitchen chimney where they'd been having a kip and made straight for the only light in the house - got it in one (with the exception of Mary-Sue as usual) - my sewing lamp under which I just happened to be putting in a few more little stitches before bed.  Pandemonium ensued.  Mouche legged it, Geordie tried to eat them and I swatted them with a rolled up copy of Country Living (todays advertising feature) which just happened to be at hand.  This bodes badly for the morrow I thought and how right I was.

Whilst brewing up still half asleep and clad only in my jinkies (not a pretty sight first thing in the morning) my biggest storage jar full of rice, for no apparent reason, leapt lemming-like from the shelf pausing only to break on the worktop, slash me across the back of my hand and then in one giant parabola continue on down to the tiled floor where it shattered completely.  Damn, blast and **** I said to no one in particular.  Do you like my cross stitch shelf edgings by the way?  There will now be a short interlude while I staunch the flow of blood.

That's better, it's was a bit cold out there.  Just after elevensies I decided to pop down to St Flo to post off an order when I ran into an ambush.  Crazy Patrice, the Pairauderie mad cat, decided to leap out under my back wheels and the inevitable sickening thud ensued. Merde!  But fear not, he's OK, look at the message he posted for me on his blog last night ..... yes, he's bi-lingual, all the cats are round here.

And guess what?  After all that the post office was closed for some reason until Monday afternoon.  No wonder small businesses struggle.  I've decided for a change to leave you with a trailer for my next post so here it is .....

All to be revealed.  What do you think of my bedside table by the way - it's amazing what you can create with some bits of old angle iron from the shed.  And another thing - why has our hit counter slowed down?  You really must try and keep up you know,  Tisk, tisk.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Are you sitting comfortably?

then we'll begin.  Try to pay attention Geordie dear you might find this interesting - no I haven't been on a guided tour of the dog food factory again.

Yesterday my rendez vous with the mangle found me in Loches with time to kill and my trusty Pentax at the ready.  If you're hoping for sewing today you're out of luck but for those of you with more eclectic tastes (wider interests Mary-Sue) we'll press on.
Ah! the fairy tale citadel of Loches.  Think Joan of Arc, think Mary Queen of Scots, think George Sands - think what you like really, it was drizzling and definately taters.  (For my non-Cockney followers thats "taters (potatoes) in the mould = cold" - get it?  Oh well, never mind.)  I wonder how my Japanese friends cope with all this?

My visit coincided with market day - damn and blast - so parking was tricky as I don't much like reversing the van at the best of times.  What do you think of our tasteful decorations - we know how to celebrate here and no mistake.  Bet it looks even more naf at night.
This old dear, yes, the trendy one with the hat, looks like she's just spotted something unpleasant crawl out of the lettuces.  But there again she's French so she'll probably eat it if it has horns and a shell.  Ooh la la c'est formidable!
Talking of eating things, I'm away home now for a nice cup of tea and a cake.  Guess which one I chose - the biggest of course.
Looks like they're all packing up now any way and I don't blame them.  Thought for the day:  How many Maltesers can you get in your mouth in one go?  I was up to 8 when the phone rang and I nearly swallowed the lot in my haste to answer it.  Children under 12 remember to make sure you have a responsible adult with you if you wish to take up the challenge but, hang on a minute, what exactly are you precocious little brats doing reading my blog in the first place.  Whatever next - is nothing sacred.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

And did those feet?

Yes, I'm afraid they did all over the Axminster.  What's more there's another three possibly even worse than this one.

I only popped out this morning to post a couple of orders and pick up some vital supplies during which time my darling Good God decided to occupy himself in the persuit of his latest hobby - open cast mining.  Somebody pass the towel roll quick!

You're right Angela I haven't made any progress at all on The Token because I've been much too excited to sew.  Not only have we had 1340 hits now but like mushrooms you seem to multiply in the night while I sleep.  There are now 21 of you wonderful ladies, sorry Sebastian no offence intended, and I've left the best bit till last, we now have six titled tiaras!  They've been talking of nothing else at Harvey Nicks.  On a sad note however I had to bar young Sarah Ferguson  - it's for the best as I think she'd only be a bad influence on the rest of you , she's way too frivolous.


Goodness, I didn't mean to show you this.  It's a happy snap of some of those SAS lads I told you about the other day who are on manoeuvres in the woods behind my house.  My apologies, I'm quite red faced,  Cover yourself up boys I'll put the kettle on later.
"Pub" in France means all these wonderful brochures, especially this time of year, full of tempting goodies.  They get delivered by the factrice.  Why am I showing you all this? beause it's today's advertising feature.  See all those names - Super U, Leader Price, E Leclerc should be worth a few bonus points on my loyalty cards don't you think.
Tomorrow it's breast scan day so I shall be otherwise occupied but I'm sure you'll find something to do with yourselves in the meantime.

OK lads, you can come out now.  They've gone.  I thought I should never get rid of them.  Now then Tarquin what can I offer you .......

Monday, 26 November 2012

Thank you ma'am.

Yes Mary-Sue I'm speaking to Camilla so don't you go forgetting to curtsey now.  She's put the word out amongst her friends and another anonymous "titled tiara" has joined our gang of followers.  Exciting isn't it?  We're into double figures at last!

I'm currently working on this little beauty.  I find stitching at night in a bad light often produces some interesting results but it's not something I would widely recommend unless, like me, you like to live life on the edge.

This is really just another of my devious advertising tricks and today it's a triple whammee.  Giant blue scissors by some manufacturer in Finland of all places but we'll pass over that because most Fins can't understand what I'm on about half the time.  Beautiful thread from Gentle Art and our featured Long Dog Design is, of course, The Token - still currently available and a "must have" for that Christmas stocking or last minute impulse purchase.


 How can anyone work in this chaos?  Quite easily because when the desk gets too overcrowded things just fall on the floor and the problem solves itself.  This weekend our much-loved, friendly little blog reached another milestone.  Even as I slept the hit counter topped the 1000 mark.  But let's not rest here on our laurels I need you to keep notching up the hits and forcing friends to become followers if necessary because what would be nice is some kind of an award in 2013.  Camilla's up for it so why not you?

Alas the fridge door is now so full of magnets that it might fall from it's hinges at any moment so I've granted myself special planning permission to start colonising the bathroom towel rail.  If you're interested in getting this special photographic effect at home simply stand in your own light and click away.  The technical term for this is "amateur".

Here's a big chunk of grey love for you.  Originally I stood it on a piece of towel roll while the paint dried and now the two have become inseperable.  Who know's it may catch on. 
Let's end here with today's hot tip (gained from bitter experience):  Even if you have only half a load of washing don't be tempted to economise and top it up with a dog blanket.  I now have several "mohair" bra's and some very uncomfortable knickers.