Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Words of wisdom?

Repeat after me - "Keep away from YouTube or you'll never get anything done!"
I came across the lovely Michelle the Merry and her myriad of homilies
on all things cross stitch whilst searching for Alex Campbell clips
earlier today and couldn't resist sharing with you her advice on the tricky
subject of "How I select big cross stitch patterms."
Sadly I'm still none the wiser on the size aspect but perhaps Camilla
can help us there.

However, in a nutshell, she would appear to advocate that if you don't like animals
then don't do designs with animals on them only do projects that appeal to you.
Wise words indeed.

And with those criteria firmly in mind, off you go my lovelies
and get stitching.

Me?  I'm going off into a quiet corner until this fit of the giggles has passed.
Thank you Michelle you've certainly made my day a little merrier.


Sunday, 27 April 2014

YouTube - whatever next!

It's amaxing what you come across on the internet sometimes and
I'm not referring to the porn sites either Camilla.

Take this morning for instance.
I'd woken up extra early so I thought I'd just do a bit of surfing.
I don't usually look at YouTube but for some reason
I did today and thought I'd tap in Long Dog Samplers for a laugh.
Who knows, I wondered, perhaps some of you have filmed your WIP
or video'd your finished results.  That would be nice.
Imagine my surprise when I found this!
Now how to make it go viral, that's the next question.

Friday, 25 April 2014

The wheel of fortune is turning again ....

...... things are in motion and my life is on the change once more.
From my favourite Crowley tarot deck.
I've just come back from a quick trip to France.
Chateau Long Dog is now officially up for sale,
the servants have been given notice and the peasants
who live on the estate will just have to wait and
see who becomes their new master.
The Long Dogmobile (van) is also at a local garage
awaiting a purchaser and my goods and chattels are
boxed up all ready to go.
Au revoir France - hello Blightey!
Felthorpe village sign
My official residence is now the tiny village (population 710 + 1)
of Felthorpe in the fair county of Norfolk.
The two women in the chaise drawn by a black horse
on the village sign are Anna Sewell
(of Black Beauty fame) and her mother Mary who originated from
here.  Church Farm to be precise, which was Anna's childhood home.
The broadband round here's pretty slow!

Castle Long Dog (the country seat of my son and his family) is where I too
now rest my head for the foreseeable future and is situated on the
far left in the picture above and believe me not much has changed
since it was taken at the turn of the century before last.
My e-mail address remains the same and I can still be reached at: never fear!

Ye olde village pub.

 We have no shops, occasional buses, parts of St Margaret's
Church date back to the 14th century (to be investigated later)
and a village pub imaginatively called "The Mariner's Arms".
Considering how far we are from the sea it would perhaps be
better named "The Legless Mariners"
Its karaoke night tonight - any last requests?

Two young residents of Felthorpe Kennels
And, I've left the best till last, I've just discovered that
the farmer down the road breeds
There is a god.


Friday, 18 April 2014

This joyful Eastertide ......

..... away with sin and sorrow etc etc.
It's the Easter long bunny.
Although on second thoughts I'll keep sin for the moment,
one never knows what the day might bring!  Eh Camilla?
Have a good one.
Let's hope it doesn't rain on your Easter parades but if it
does don't forget to cover your perishables immediately.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

What time is it?

It's 3 o'clock precisely!
And how pray tell do I know -
because the ice-cream van known affectionately
as "Mr Whippey" has just disappeared up the turning opposite
on two wheels as if he had the hounds of hell at his heels.
This would appear to be some sort of a daily ritual
almost invariably accompanied by a very tinny version
of The Yellow Rose of Texas played at full blast
on his tannoy system. 

Stop me and buy one.
I should also add that today it's freezing cold and
there's a strong "Norfolk" wind blowing, so called because
it can't be arsed to go around you and so goes straight
through you chilling the bones on its way.
Why have I started singing "I'm dreaming of a white Easter"?
Stop it at once Julia or you'll talk it up.

The kids round here are really cute.
Back to Mr Whippey - as no one in their right minds
would really fancy an 3pm ice cream cone on a daily
basis what is the blaggard up to?
Could this be a novel, and I might add rather sinister, new
method of drug running?  Are there hoards of ice-cream
addicts living over the road?  Or does he have a secret
bit off stuff tucked away in one of the bungalows who
just can't wait to get her hands on his raspberry mivvie?

Such fun!
Fear not - I'm on the case and will be watching
from my mirador for further excitng developments.

There's something for everyone with Mr Whippey.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

I'm going soft in my old age ......

My daughter in law, with whom I am currently staying,
is what dear Dame Edna would describe as,
"A darling little marsupial from Sydney."
and she's certainly teaching me a thing or two.
How do we tell him he's not allowed a needle to do his cross stitch.
I've never before come across the concept of having a "soft room"
in the house and so when the subject came up my
thoughts instantly turned to some kind of padded cell
complete with straight jacketed occupant.
But nothing, it seems, could be further from the truth.
There's a welcome at McDonalds
The term is sometimes used to describe a quiet room in a police station
where children can feel safe but poor Kenny in South Park appears
to have had no such luck as those scarey clown faces are
almost guaranteed to give him nightmares for a week.
Even the clocks are muted in a soft room.
What we're talking here is a room with highly sound absorptive
surfaces jammed full of soft, comfortable furnishings where
you can go to chill out away from the blazing heat down under.
No Alice certainly not the burning heat of a recurrent dose of thrush
but the intense heat of suburban Sydney. 
And once again Alice I don't mean Sydney the window cleaner who
went walkabout last year with your Aunty's pension book either.
Shame they had to cut the brown boy's nose off to get it into the space.
I want one, they sound cool and I'm already gathering ideas of
how mine could look.  The dog painting's greyt but that
big brown sofa looks a bit lumpy to me.  I need further inspiration.
A big softie for a soft room.
Consider me inspired!
Move over babe, I'm sure there's room for me on there too.
I don't seem to take up an awful lot of room these days.
Don't go far because there's more Ozziness on it's way. 
Hell let's make a season of it before someone
demands to know if that's a jolly jumbuck we've got in out tucker bags.
And g'day to everyone at The Crewel Gobelin while we're at it,
which we weren't!

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Camera back in action!

I felt rather redfaced when I discovered that I don't
actually need a cable to transfer all my happy snaps
onto my laptop.
I've often wondered what all those little slots around the edges
were for - and now I know!  Wizz out the memory card,
zap it in and away we go - instant pikkies.
No cock jokes please Camilla
I've been hopping around like a frog on a hotplate since I left
Chateau Long Dog in February.  I encountered the fat pheasant
at my secret HQ in Wiltshire.  He's probably been eaten
by now as one of my kinswomen is a crack shot.
No Alice dear - not that kind of crack, do try and pay attention.
It was jelly and fruit to follow - perfik!
What's more she can do things on her Rayburn that would make
even little Nigella blush to her very roots, and that takes some doing.
There seems to be a bit of a drug theme developing here what with
talk of crack, then Ms Lawson followed by "high" tea (see above)
all in the same sentence so let's move on shall we?
A pair of woolly jumpers
Goodbye little lambs, sleep tight because my current port of
call is Castle Long Dog in Norfolk just until Easter when on the third
day I shall rise again and move on somewhere else
- you'll just have to wait and see where.
Someone to watch over me.
This was the view from the battlements the other evening just after the
piper had played last post.
I was feeling a little low when I heard a voice in my head
(yes, I know, worrying isn't it?)
"Look out of the window" it said "I'm here to watch over you."
And there he was in the clouds - my guardian long dog.
How lucky am I?

Monday, 7 April 2014

The Stag Party

Let's just spring it on them this time, I thought.
No sneaky peeks, no tantilising teases,
no cunning foreplay. 
Let's just hoist the flag and see who salutes it!
249 x 421 stitches
19,00 euros
All rush at once!
Order in your droves!
Let's crash the system!
Make me proud - let's go viral!

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Euphamism begins at home!

I come from what you might call a "trappist" background.
Long Dog Tenaments, even though they backed onto the railway
and faced the 133 bus route to the Elephant & Castle,
were a haven of peace in a noisy world.

Looks quite different when the sun's out.
A place who's silence was never to be violated, even in
times of crisis, by bodily noises be they of the loud, galeforce
 variety or the gentle, zephyr-like waft of an angel passing by.
Trappists we were and that's what we did - trap it!
They were a silent order and so were we!
Farting was simply not to be tolerated within those hallowed walls.

Must be Monday again.
One bright summer's morning back in the day when the world was young,
my father and I found ourselves momentarily alone in the
east wing which ran behind the Anderson shelter and the coal shed.
The Crimplene Queen (mother) was otherwise engaged with some
welders who were on an emergency call out to rivet her
corsets back into shape after they had sprung a leak the previous
evening during a particularly animated game of charades.

Looks better when she puts her frock on.
Her "Wuthering Heights" proved to be a step too far and a
sight to behold both at one and the same time.
I only wish the camcorder had been invented then so
that I could share the whole sordid incident with you.
My father was sat quietly reading his copy of the Daily Telegraph
when he beckoned me over and pointed to the article he had
been thoughtfully studying, encouraging me to read it over his shoulder.
I thought at first that I was mistaken and scanned the page again -
Surrey all out for 67 runs, rail fares set to rise again this
summer, Queen Mother's horse does win double at Ascot -
nothing there he might mean.

Poised and ready for action.
Surely he didn't want me to read the piece entitled
"Foul Blows the Wind From France"
- the elephant on the page so to speak -
It was all about Le Petomane which was the stage name of the French
flatulist and Moulin Rouge entertainer Joseph Pujol.
He was famous for his remarkable control of his abdominal muscles
which enabled him to seemingly fart at will.
His rendition of the cannonade from the Battle of Austerlitz
was legendary.
But he did!  And then his shoulders began to rise and fall in silent,
controlled mirth, then he giggled, then we both guffawed.
We were laughing fit to fart at an article about the forbidden.
It was such a precious moment that we shared that day but then
he became serious again.  "Don't tell your mother pet" he said.
"She doesn't approve of that sort of behaviour." 
And didn't we both know it.

Hey, hey, we're the monkees ....
The queue for fresh air was always long on a Friday after compline.
We could hear that the corset welders were starting to pack up
downstairs now that their blow lamps had cooled down and
with a knowing wink Dad took himself off into the garden
"to get a breath of fresh air."
And we all knew what that meant.
Don't you just love a good euphorism?