Wednesday, 31 December 2014

2015 Predictions .....

I have cast the runes, thrown the dice, spread the Tarot and
crunched the numbers.
Still available from all good booksellers -
provided you speak German!

I have sat up far into the night clutching balls (crystal, of course
- whatever did you think I meant?)  I have drunk endless cups of rosie
in order to study the leaves and sundry bits of dunked biscuit at the
bottom for signs and portents, and have made countless trips
to the loo as a direct result of my endeavours.
"And to what end, woman?" I hear you cry.
To peer into the future, that's why, and to bring you
Do you like the new handwarmer I got for Christmas?
- Long Dog sales will increase by 100% due to new marketing methods
which will include subliminal advertising on the blog,
threatening text messages and a FB campaign of harassment.
- Cross stitching will finally become accepted by the Olympics committee
as a pukka sport along with crochet.  Prototype designs for sprint stitchers
are already on the drawing board and a couple of "marathon" projects
are in the final stages of production.  Anyone wishing to enter their
national trials for a place in the team should be quick about it once the
official announcement is made as selection will be strictly on a first
stitched, first framed basis.
- the consumption of Brussel sprouts will finally be banned within the EU
due to their undesirable side effects which scientists believe are
contributing to global warming.
Seen here relaxing after the Grand National at Aintree
- a racehorse will win the 2015 Grand National and a bloke in a racing car
will, once again, win all the major motor racing trophies of 2015.
No surprises there then!
They certainly didn't see that coming.
- lots of rain will fall in lots of places causing widespread flooding and
record temperatures in June and July will act as the catalyst for
"pop-up sewing bees" practically anywhere with air conditioning
and a place to park your bum.
- and finally, more of a threat than a prediction, there will be five
new Long Dog's released into the wild on or about:
24 January 2015
4 April 2015
20 June 2015
5 September 2015
14 November 2015
Gypsy Ju has spoken - you have been warned!

Monday, 29 December 2014

Life's little surprises

Every once in a while, and quite unbidden, something rather
nice happens.  It's not something that occurs daily or
even on a weekly basis because, if it were, then it would
become mundane and lose it's charm.
St Hippolyte's marriage in all it's glory
It's never something you could predict, certainly doesn't have to
be grandiose and the range of possibilities is vast and
limitless.  How exciting is that?
St Hipp converted to a wedding sampler
Just recently I was the recipient of a goodly dollop of the
aforementioned serendipidy in the shape and form of an
email (with attachments - oh goody!) from a
gentleman called Dan in Illinois.
32# evenweave linen and ghost front door - spooky!
I skipped hastily through the usual lavish praise of my outstanding
creations which is, I must admit, no more that I deserve, in order
to get to the heart of the matter.  Dan had send me photos
of his magnificent "ouvrages" as we called them in France,
and some of his crosstitching too.  Please don't snigger Jan,
there was nothing smutty intended (she said with an
innocent little "Who me?" smile).
Vicki Clayton silks from HDF
Dan has a lot of style and is not afraid to go where his
inclinations lead him.  Not a word Jan, you've already been
warned once.  He's taken trusty, staid old St Hipp and given it
a good kick in the pants for which his pennance has to be
three Hail Mary's and his reward a place in cross stitch heaven.
He's gone beyond minor personalisation and entered the
realms of big time reconstruction work.
Scaffolding at all four corners!
Estimated to have taken over 900 hours to complete
Good on you Dan, more power to your needle.
You can reposition this girl's motifs any time you like.
This actually took so long to complete that the names of
the couple's three children have also been added.
I wonder how many other gentleman stitchers (apart from Dan
and my darling little Kevin) there are out there beavering away in
their sheds whilst listening to their vinyl collections and
knocking back the odd glass or three of fine Burgundy.
Give me a shout if you can bear to put your stitching down
for five minutes.  I'd love to hear from you.

Saturday, 27 December 2014

How was it for you?

Did he fall asleep as usual leaving you with .....
...... all the dishes to do?  I thought as much.
Did these little rascals help to make your day go with a bang?
I thought they would.  
Pass the Febreze, or alternatively blame the dog!
Will you feel guilty if you don't turn this into nourishing, hearty soup?
I sort of guessed you would.
Sod it, life's too short - send out for a pizza!
Come on now, this is no time to feel sorry for yourself.
Have a quick shower, put on some lippy (optional for male
readers, transvestites and strict vegetarians) and prepare to party.
It all kicks in again in a few days time!
I can almost smell the anticipation, or was it those
damned sprouts again?

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Happy Christmas - may all your wildest dreams come true

May I take this opportunity to wish you all a very
happy Christmas and to thank you for your
support and friendship over the past twelve months.

Joseph, does my bum look big on this?
Little did I know this time last year that I would
be, not only dogless, but also living back in
England in a tiny, cosy little lock-up in Norfolk.
Perhaps it's just as well I didn't.  Some things
are better not known in advance.
Look after yourselves.
Be kind to one another, make the most of every
opportunity that comes your way, look out for others
less fortunate than yourself and don't forget
to tell your family how much you love them
and your friends how much they're valued.

However, it may not be a good idea during this season
of peace and goodwill to all men to tell the
woman at No 5 exactly what you do think of her,
no matter what the provocation, and especially
not after the third glass of vintage port
that the children brought you.

Long Dogs come in all shapes and sizes
Have a good one and don't forget -

But not this one!
Now where did I put those flashing antlers?
It's party time!

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Door 24 - Christmas Eve

I don't know why he's hanging about blocking up the doorway,
doesn't he know that tonight's his big night.
One long piss-up clambering over roofs
swigging down tots of booze and chomping on mince
pies bringing joy and delight to one and all.
Let's hope he doesn't cause the same problem on Mrs Jenkins roof
as he did last year.  The insurance still haven't paid up
as Santa damage is not considered to be an act of god.
That's better.  He seems to be getting his act together now.
That reminds me - did I order any sprouts?
Bit too late to worry now I suppose.
Even I don't work on 25th December (unless you
put in a really gigantic order in which case I might be tempted).
Stag Party (19 euros).  This one must have been made for the
occasion as they look a bit like reindeer if you glance quickly.
Go on - treat yourself after all the hard work you've been
doing.  You'd make an old lady very happy and you
might even be a little bit pleased yourself.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Door Twenty-Three

Give us a kiss - I won't tell if you dont.
There's nothing like a bit of Pagan stuff to get the festivities
going.  Don't forget to take off a berry for every
kiss used and if you want to make it through
to 2015 don't suck your fingers after you've done it!
As you can see, as it's my first Christmas at the Lock-Up
I don't want to alarm everyone with a vulgar display
of flashing lights and twinkling stars so I've gone
for something rather more discreet for a change.
After all - less is more.
in which case more is very pleasing.
Time is of the essence so how about panic buying
Rosemarkie to pop into a friend's stocking?
Only 6 euros each or five for 30 euros.
Whichever way you look at it, a cracking good deal.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Door Twenty-Two

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!
And so much still left to do. 
Those last minute pressies to buy for the woman at
work who always gives you something hideous,
your second cousin twice removed and as for
the dog - he just won't make his mind up what
he wants this year.
Oh no!  They've started those get-away for two
holiday adverts even earlier this year.
Usually they have the decency to wait until at least
New Year's Eve.
But it does look rather tempting I must admit.
Why not get her St Sylvestre.  Looks like a giant snowflake
and certainly not too expensive at 8 euros.
In fact, get one for your second cousin twice removed while you're at at.
I wonder if the dog would like one too?

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Door Twenty-One - entrance to the Winter Solstice!

Well he looks pleased to see us, although he looks to me
as if he might be feeling guilty about something.
I wonder what it could be?

He's such a trusting soul and so excited about
Christmas.  He said he let some men in a little
while ago who came in a big white van
and is now beginning to think he should have asked
for some sort of identification.
I think he may have been right.
Where are the pressies, what's happened to all
the furniture and carpet and, if I remember
correctly, there used to be a big screen television
on that wall at the back.
The sooner he melts the better - he's a liability!
How about Tobasco (18 euros) just the thing
for those cold, wet January evenings
which always seem to last until April at the earliest.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Door Twenty

Not much longer to go now thank goodness.
I can't maintain this level of excitement indefinately,
at my age it's not wise.
Well this all looks rather jolly, if a little bit fake.
Looks like one should have a little lady painted on it
and the other a little man.  Think I'll go for the one on
the left and hope for the best.
And what an excellent choice that turned out to be
although I can't help feeling poor old Sean is
looking a little bit the worst for wear in this photo.
Must be all the little tots of whisky he has to drink
as he goes around delivering the pressies.
He won't volunteer again, it's harder than it looks,
as the actress said to the bishop (or should that be
actor in Sean's case?)
Spirit of Vierlande (19 euros) is not for the fainthearted.
It takes a stitcher of courage and determination to tackle this
dangerous beauty.  Look the person stitching this one
lost the will to live halfway up the north face.
The mood can become so very changeable at that altitude.
You could always try it on and ask for it in
instalments to avoid putting too much strain on your
bank balance and indeed your sewing wrist.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Door Nineteen

P-pick a p-penguin.
He's the guy living at Number 4 with the blue door.
And, in his spare time he's also an agent for Jimmy Choo shoes.
Shoe of choice of the members of Peckham Trannies Anonymous
when they feel like doing some serious partying.
I'm just going to sit down quietly now and try to figure
out why the words "trannies" and "anonymous"
don't seem to sit well in the same sentence unless they
strut their stuff behind closed doors while Mr Penguin keeps
watch for the paparazzi looking for a good story down Peckham Rye.
It's lucky dip time, just send an email and order the first thing
that comes to mind.
Pawn 'n Claws (8 euros) that will do nicely and remember:
"None but cats and dogs may quarrel in my house."

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Door Eighteen

After all yesterday's excitement I thought we should make
ourselves scarce for a bit while the scandal dies down
and our cheeks become less pink.
And it doesn't come much quieter or more remote than this
isolated little croft hidden away at a secret location
on the Isle of Jura, Scotland.
Today we've got something to really "grouse" about from
the naked, see-through to the snow with a couple of
other stops thrown in for good measure. 
- do not fast forward.
Pour yourself a wee dram, snuggle up in front of the fire,
admire your decorations and whilst still in a
reckless, party mood order yourself a copy of
the ever lovely Mots d'Amour - only 9 euros
and ever so easy to do from your i-pad!

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Door Seventeen B (upstairs flat)

Knock twice, ask for Gloria and take a seat while
you wait.

If you can read what it says you are either:
a.  too close
b.  definately in for a surprise, or
c.  should be ashamed of yourself, does your mother know
where you are?
Bet you didn't know Gloria's brother would open
the door.  Made me jump I can tell you
and I thought I was immune to surprises.
How's your blood pressure Ginger?
Quickly, click on the link and buy yourself a copy of
Quakers Dozen for 9 euros and try and
pretend you came to the wrong address.
I just hope none of this makes the nationals.
Reputations have been ruined for less.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Door Sixteen

You will never guess in a million years
what lies behind this foreign facade.
Unless, of course, you've been cheating and have hacked into my
trusty laptop whilst I was engaged elsewhere.
Sounds like a euphamism (and probably an incorrectly
spelled one at that) to me.
Double trouble. 
A pair of darling greys waiting patiently
for a quick peck. 
I'll be with you in a minute but no tongues please,
you never know who may be looking.
Paradigm isn't really Lost at all.  That's just an ugly
rumour put about by my competitors.
Dig deep in your pockets, look down the sofa,
break open those piggy banks and buy yourself a
copy at the very reasonable price of 19 euros.
It's a classic and deserves a place in everyone's stash.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Door Fifteen

We're over half way through the advent countdown to
Christmas.  I wonder how many of you are still
with me?
What startled it?  Why all those thousands of Long Dog
stitchers who keep coming up and knocking
eager to see what excitement is hidden behind it's
bland exterior.
It's the Fortnum & Mason's wagon delivering hampers to one and
one (including HMTQ and many of the other royals who've
given the staff time off over the festivities and want to make
sure there's something to nibble at while they watch
Granny's speech on the box).
but I'm sure the design I'm working on right now
entitled 1001 Corgis might just sway it in my favour.
Continuing with the "royal" theme, todays must have is
Hare Apparent (or Charlie Boy as it's sometimes known
and not just because of the big ears.)
Very affordable at 9 euros apiece.
Put on your robes of state and form an orderly queue please.

Door Fourteen

Aren't they cute athough I do think their keeper might
have scrubbed them up a bit before he took the photo.
They've been trying to get through those doors for ages
because once they got a whiff of what lay behind
nothing would budge them.
If there's one thing guaranteed to drive a panda wild it's
a glass of bubbly.  Unfortunately they can't hold their drink
and tend to fall over in the middle of the road.
The "panda crossing" was named after their drunken antics.
Not many people know that - not even Michael Caine
('cos I just made it up)!
Today, for one day only, I can let you have a pdf of The Token
at the normal price of 9 Euros.
Hurry, offer closes at midnight GMT.