Monday, 30 June 2014

The silly season has come early this year ......

..... which means that there's very little happening
either in the big wide world or on Planet Long Dog
for that matter.
So I thought I'd share this picture
with you as it made me laugh!
Some hen night that turned out to be!

 The rather fetching headgear appears to be an essential part of the
costume but what she's going as I have absolutely no idea.
That reminds me, I must get something out of the freezer
for my lunch.
That's better - she seems to have let her hair down at last.

I thought the poor soul had lost a finger until I had a closer look -
good job it wasn't the other hand or this bride to be would
really be in trouble.  Now chop, chop and get some
clothes on my girl you've got a rehearsal at the church in just
under an hour and you don't want to keep everyone waiting.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Seeking asylum

I come at you today from deep within a pair of lace leggings.
It's bloody freezing, pouring with rain and the
local brass monkeys have run out of lagging.
Just another typical summer's day in dear old Blightey.
The Bethel Street Mental Hospital in Norwich was built
in 1725 at the behest of the Rev Samuel Chapman,
Rector of Thorpe for the habitation of poor lunatics
(of which there was no shortage - NFN)
but not for natural born fools and idiots.
Little was he to know that many years down the line
my dear friends the Laird of Vonnes and his good
lady Linda would be blatantly breaking his rules
of residency to the extent of inviting na'er do wells like
me round to dine.
We munched our way through a fine selection of the best that
M&S has to offer and I paused briefly to snap my swiftly disappearing
dish of strawberry and apple pie with custard by way of a momento
of the occasion.  Now to the good bit .....
Lady Linda has been tossing the floss on a new piece of
18# burgundy Aida - she's about to embark on a secret new
Long Dog project, unfortunately I would have to kill
you all should details accidentally leak out before the
the appointed time.
I can however show you my BFF's progress on Spirit of Vierland
which is pretty impressive considering she only began it a few
days ago on a scrap of old table cloth she happened to have handy.
She got nicked for speeding last week
- caught doing 100 stitches to the minute 1 over 2
in a built up area!  I like her style.
Enjoy your retirement yous two it's well deserved.
Damn and blast, now I shall have to design even faster
just to make sure she doesn't get bored and turn to mischief and rose!

Friday, 27 June 2014

Sticks and stones .......

..... may break my bones
But words will never hurt me!

You may have gathered by now that I like words.
especially ones that can be used for cussing.
Damn and blast being my favourites
although my repertoire is extensive, diverse
and very colourful on occasion.

Granny Satterthwaite - or SatNag as she'd probably be called today.
I was sitting idly minding my own business the other day
when I got to wondering about the origins of
some of my grannie's trusty oaths.
After all, you shouldn't really call a person something
that you can't spell or don't know the meaning of.
This could leave a girl looking extremely foolish indeed
if she got it wrong.

Always speak to the organ grinder!
He looks a bit like Jarvis come to think of it.
Where to start - old Ada had a putdown for every occasion.
She used to refer to Jarvis Trencher (a former swain,
although swine would have done equally as well) as a
"jackanapes" because he was unimportant and very cheeky.
It came originally from the 15th century when monkeys
imported from Italy as pets were called Jack of Naples.

My search engine came up with all sorts
for this one.  My face was nearly as red as his.

Cockscomb - now there's a good one, although never
be tempted to use just the first four letters on their own as
we don't want you going off "half cock" now do we?
Trouble lies in that direction.

The explanation is quite simple and a bit boring really
but I chose the word to add a dash of rudeness to
my writing.  Bad girl Julia, to the naughty step at once.
It means a jester's cap which was shaped like a
cockerel's comb - hence a silly person who crows a lot.
Often accompanied by "strutting" for greater emphasis.

And how about we round this off with arrogant popinjay?
An old-fashioned word for parrot.
It's what she used to call Mick Jagger in his first
flush of youth.  How times have changed -
now it's youth that seems to give him a flush.

Anyone else remember the old Marquee Club?
Shame on you Camilla, I did too!

Now get thee gone from my waking thoughts old biddy
(my urban slang dictionary says a biddy in the land
of Oz is a two for one McDonald's voucher -
they'll be giving them away next.  Blaggards!)

And you lot can sling your hooks too as
I have emails to answer and insults to toss.
They mix very well with a few bits of rocket
and a nice herby dressing if you're of a culinary bent.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014


And never called me mother!
Just like old Ellen Wood author of East Lynne from
whence the line originates.
Have you ever noticed how things just disappear
without so much as a by your leave
and it's virtually impossible to say, with any
certainty, when they actually went missing
or, indeed, when was the last time you saw them.
Take, for instance the good old bottle of Airwick
manufactured by Jeyes and guaranteed to kill
a horse fly at fifty paces or a horse for that matter
if the bottle was wide open and the obscene
green sponge wick was fully exposed.
Enough to prevent any small, impressionable young
life form from lingering in the loo any longer than
was physically necessary.  And wash your hands Julia
if you touched the bottle!
Or is it only things beginning with an "A" that are vanishing? 
Author, Airwick - how about Antimocasser?
Who didn't have an elderly aunt who's chair arms and settees
were smothered in the things in order to stop
uncle's hair pomade rubbing off onto the upholstery.
Why they even sold patterns for them
at the local haberdashers.  Some of the best
Long Dog motifs can trace their ancestry back
to such publications (see above).
Aspidistra, Gracie Fields used to cook the leaves
up for Sunday lunch instead of cabbage.
They came in jolly Majolica jardinieres and sat upon
crochet doilies - patterns for which were also
widely available at all good LNS's.
So that's what people did before television was invented!
Airmail letters from far away, exotic places sent by
lovers and penfriends,  relatives and rogues,
royalty and riff raff.
They were all written on lightweight blue paper,
arrived in special envelopes bearing the
appropriate stickers and stamps
and were all guaranteed to add a little spice to life
when they fluttered through the letter box on
a dull winter's day.
A pox on e-mails - someone send me an aerogramme please.
I am suffering severe withdrawal. 
And remember albums?  Sticking in our snaps on
wet Sunday afternoon's with special adhesive mounts
to avoid damaging the corners.
Poo to albums!  Store them on the cloud and be done!
Bet that singed her whiskers!
But one item who's loss will not be widely lamented
is the common, or garden, or novelty ashtray.
Our house used to be full to overflowing with them
and now not a single one remains
even in the guise of a pin tray.
All gone - Alas, Alack and Away.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Quiet in the studio!


Are there any film fans out there?
 If you're not then step away now as this
will not be of the slightest interest to you.
But for anyone left still paying attention,
who is drawn by the lure of the silver screen
 - this is for you!
Norwich has become the venue of choice for the filming of
not one but two major new Hollywood productions this week.
Over at the campus of the UEA (University of East Anglia)
at the Sainsbury's Centre for Visual Arts good old
Marvel Studios are getting stuck into Avengers: Age of Ultron.
It stars Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson and
Samuel L Jackson.  I have to confess that I've never heard
of any of them (didn't even know Robert's father
old Downey Senior) but there again I don't expect any of them
have ever heard of Julia E Line or Long Dog Samplers either
which makes us about even I would say.
Meanwhile over at the Cathedral the cloister is being transported back
to the 17th century for Tulip Fever based on a novel by
Deborah Moggach who also wrote The Best Exotic
Marigold Hotel.  It's a romance set in Amsterdam (much like
Norwich but with canals and legal dope) about an artist
who falls in love with the married lady he is painting.
There's something rather attractive about a man in a smock
with a badger bristle brush in his hand don't you think?
So good old Dame Judi Dench is in town for this one along with
co-star Christoph Waltz (above) and Holliday Grainger.
Judi plays the Abbess of St Ursula's.
Let's hope the wimple makes a comeback, they can look
rather fetching on women of a certain age.
Wonder if they've got a walk on part for me?
With a cushion up my jumper I could be a pregnant pause.
A few of the nuns had some very dirty habits indeed!
It's a wrap!

Friday, 20 June 2014

"Get you gone, you dwarf .......

You minimus of hindering knotgrass made,
You bead, you acorn!"

There's no better way to begin a blog post than with a splendid
Shakesperian insult and, coming as it does from A Midsummer
Night's Dream, it really couldn't be more appropriate if it tried!
Well met, acorns all!  Tis midsummer's day and time
to launch yet another new and plumptious Long Dog Samplers design
upon a clamouring, unwashed and eager public.
So cop an eyefull of this - beads!
(Can you see how I'm warming to my subject?)
"What is this marvel that doth mine eyes delight" cried old Jennifer from
the darkened corner where she crouched.
"Why old besom, tis called Dawn Chorus on account of all they burds
what do chirrup upon it." quoth I.
Meanwhile, back in the real world, it's a real little belter,
a great holiday stitch - that is unless you happen to be in the cold
down under, then t'will surely keep your knees warm as the
winter wynde doth blow.
It will set you back the princely sum of one million ducats
(that's 9 euros in modern parlance) and it measures
a tidy 293 x 126 stitches as the crow flies.
DMC, Gentle Art and hindering knotgrass conversions are provided
although landlines and standard networks may vary.
An artist's impression of the finished work
warts, wrinkles 'n all.
Don't delay
Just shout today ...
... tomorrow 'twill be yours!

This one's for you sweet Catherine,
for reasons best known to ourselves.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Happiness is ......

...... an e-mail.
"Well, she's easily pleased." I hear you cry.
Au contraire mes amies,
this was not just any old e-mail
it was a missive with - an attachment!
I think that's just about the right amount of suspense
built up so no need for a drum roll of this occasion.
Would you like to know what was attached?
Here goes ......
Julie W. (I cannot reveal her full identity for fear that
she will be head hunted by talent spotters from the
Aubusson Tapestry Factory in deepest France - they're quite ruthless)
very kindly sent me this photo of her handiwork.
Not content with slogging through Plight of Fancy for her
own consumption she then went on to create this
gorgeous little make-up bag for a friend using the
Florentine border as a template.
Greater love hath no woman than to wield her
needle for a copine (that's French for chum). 
If you want to know more about how to make a bag like this
then follow the link to Flossie Cupcakes blog
and you'll find everything and more than you need.
Bravo Julie, sticky jam doughnuts all round except
for Claire who's on a diet and mustn't inhale.
As for the rest of you - be inspired,
leave the rails and stitch something bizarre,
start a pin cushion group, mix your colours,
take a walk on the wild side.
But whatever you chose - send me your photo's,
I have column inches to fill!
PS  Happiness is also a warm Long Dog ....
.... you'll do nicely.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Fire drill

So, it's the middle of the bleedin' night
and yours truly is not only fast akip (sounds like
a new political party) but deeply involved
with a young Sean Bean playing the role of Mellors
the gamekeeper to Lady Chatterley.
No Alice dear, I wasn't taking the part of his labrador.
Bloody cheek!

Double barrelled
It was at that moment that I had what can only be
described as a "near death experience", the earth
(and my bowels I might add) nearly moved
 and not at the hands of the wicked SB either.
"Where would you like your daisies planted madam"
he said huskily.
- oh read the book if you don't know what I'm on about.

I must not eat beans at bed time!
The smoke alarm on the landing had gone off and,
had my ticker been in any way dicky, I think
it would have been curtains for Granny Long Dog.
Fortunately I'm made of sterner stuff than that
-remember the rats, the hornets, the night the chateau
roof nearly came off?

Women and long dog's first!
I didn't know whether to hastily dress for the occasion,
grab my laptop and a clean pair of knickers,
abandon ship, search for my muster station
or start the community singing with Abide With Me of course.

I think he's pleased to see me!!
In the end I decided to do none of the above,
after all there was no smell of smoke
and my bed didn't appear to be on fire so I drifted
back into the arms of Mellors for a little unfinished business.
Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, know what I mean!

Sunday, 15 June 2014

A walk on the wild side .....

Admittedly Chateau Long Dog is, as yet, unsold
for which read "I don't have the readies to buy something else"
but why let penury stand in the way of a good old nose
round someone else's gaff?
A decision, dear readers, which I and my trusty little marsupial
kinswoman are currently regretting at our leisure.
The plan was simple enough "Let's go and black our
noses at a couple of places to get some idea of
what's currently on the market here in Norfolk.
Would that it had looked like this!
Sound enough reasoning but unfortunately the first place
on our list of two had already been snapped up
and I wish to god we'd never agreed to view the second.
It wasn't an easy place to find even with satellite and when we
finally rocked up at the front door we were met
with a scene from Hoarders meets the Adam's family.
Get the picture?
The late lamented Mr Reed
We were just debating whether to turn tail and leg it when
the front door swung open and there stood a twitching,
heavily pierced man who made Lou Reed look cuddly.
But the worst thing was the living wall of pong
issuing from deep inside the building.
That and the dozen or so scrawny cats who were also
issuing from the building as fast as their scabby
little legs would carry them.
In we went - I was so glad I wasn't on my own -
both of us hoping that we wouldn't be offered anything
to drink and trying not to brush against furniture,
walls or the occupants for that matter for fear of
I kid you not.
First stop the downstairs cloakroom - I have the words
to describe it but would prefer not to on the grounds
that I have just eaten.  Let's just say that that's
where the litter trays were, the basin could well
have belonged to Quentin Crisp (didn't you see the film -
yeuk!) and thankfully something was stopping the door
from opening fully so we were spared a full frontal
encounter with - the john!
The kitchen was where the cats were fed although I don't think
anyone had washed up a dish this century yet and it's
2014 already.  Sink - don't go there, ditto worktops
if you can actually locate them under all the filth.

She's under there somewhere - look
that's her foot I think.
The piece de resistance was the living room. 
He even apologised for it being a bit untidy, there was
a distinct smell of illegal substances and joss sticks
burning all around.  But the thing which really freaked
us both out was when a disembodied female voice
began to speak to us from somewhere under all the stuff on
the sofa.  Run for it Scooby!

I can't wait to give the agent my feedback
- I shall be spelling it the old Anglo Saxon way with two F's.
Let's have a bit more of Lou - "Such a perfect day etc ..."

Friday, 13 June 2014

Allowed out for good behaviour ....

I've been out and about today,
strutting my stuff
and generally putting it about a bit.
And how good it felt.
I do actually have a long felt want but that's another story.
To continue .......
Skinny dipping not advisable.
Sorry to disappoint you Camilla but I didn't jet off to the Seychelles
for a quick pint of larger tops with Michael Caine
and neither have I taken up snorkeling at the local sub-aqua club.
One of these would set you back a tidy 200 knicker - iniquitous!
I have in fact been taking a leisurely stroll around our local garden centre
where you can buy anything from a small shark to some recycled
old iron turned into garden statuary complete
with handy integral storage for those damp summer days .....
,,,, talking of which, these jolly gurgling water features
were enough to send even those with the most iron clad of bladders
rushing off in search of the ladies room before their
trusty Tenna Lady liners were put to the ultimate, and very public, kegel test.
Better luck next time Gloria.
And, guess what, I even managed to find a few of these flowery dudes
dotted about amongst all the nick nacks and concrete thingeys.
These beauties were hidden behind a huge display of wellies shaped
like frogs, covered in spots, ones that glowed in the dark
and even a trip down memory lane - a plain black pair.
What will they think of next - some that actually keep your feet dry perhaps?
Today's  mystery plant was found skulking by the dustbins and looked,
to all intents and purposes, like a giant weed.
But then it's heady, unforgettable aroma hit me and I was transported back
again to the sixties where the beat was still going on
and I had a sneaky suspicion that the weed in question
was weed!  Care to join me for the ride, it will be like old times?

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Two steps forward, three steps back .....

I was just cramming the last delicious morsel of cheese and onion
pastie into my mouth, and a particularly delicious one it was too,
when the telephone in the soft room began to ring.
I didn't manage to get there in time despite an Olympic qualifying
dash up the hall which left me breathless and slightly light-headed
I might add.  However when it rang again moments later
 I did pick up the call and instantly wished I hadn't!

He was calling from his surgery in the Tardis.
No, it wasn't the rudie man wanting to know the colour of my
knickers, nor was it anyone attempting to flog me something.
It was - the doctor.
Damn and blast!  If it's not one thing then it's another and
apparently my cholesterol is now giving reason for concern.
Having already had a brief flirtation with statins during the course
of which I nearly lost all sensation in both my legs
I begged for clemency and the opportunity to control matters with
diet and exercise.   Aaargh! the very words are enough to induce panic.

Surely the jam must count as one of my five a day?
I decided not to proffer too many details regarding my current dietary
fads but have decided that perhaps it's not really too bright an
idea to exist solely on pies, sausages, Danish pastries,
cheese, full strength Greek yogurt and the occasional
giant slab or three of dairy milk chocolate which is currently
on special offer at Tesco's - a pox on their marketing manager!

Fuelled by fear and possibly my last pastie for some time to come
I set out on a walk - 15 minutes there, 15 minutes back for starters -
during the course of which the heavens opened,
 I was nearly mowed down by zealous binmen zigzagging
across the pavement in front of me and met a very charming
ginger cat whose name I know not and several bunnies
whose names I care not but I bet they would taste delicious
with a few herbs and a handful of tiny little carrots on the side.

Bright eyes burning like fire - sing along now.
All this talk of food is making me hungry
- fancy a radish anyone?

Monday, 9 June 2014

Move over bogeyman .....

                           .... I've just found something far more scarey -
                                  THE CUMMERBUND
- read on if you dare! 
                                    She sat upon her Dobie,--
                                         She heard the Nimmak hum,--
                                         When all at once a cry arose,--
                                        'The Cummerbund is come!'
                                                 In vain she fled: -- with open jaws
                                          The angry monster followed,
                                             And so, (before assistence came,)
                                                That Lady Fair was swallowed.

There are Cummerbunds at the bottom of my garden ......
They sought in vain for even a bone
      Respectfully to bury,--
They said, -- 'Hers was a dreadful fate!'
      (And Echo answered 'Very.')
They nailed her Dobie to the wall,
      Where last her form was seen,
And underneath they wrote these words,
      In yellow, blue, and green:--
Beware, ye Fair! Ye Fair, beware!
      Nor sit out late at night,--
Lest horrid Cummerbunds should come,
      And swallow you outright.

I'm not really sure where this train of thought came from,
I blame it on the medication, but good old Edward Lear's
fine words are enough to get small grandchildren
in from the garden pretty sharpish once the shadows
start to lengthen.  I can recommend it as bedtime
reading for any small person of a nervous disposition.
I'm 5'2" and believe me I no longer linger in the
raspberries after dark!

A cummerbund can also be an item of gent's clothing
of course, seen modelled here by a big butch
Glaswegian after five pints of heavy and a
deep fried Mars bar - I think we all can guess
what comes next and that's pretty scarey too
- a pukka Glasgow kiss! (Look it up if you don't know).
I think on this occasion I'll just settle for good old
Beck's with a jumper round his waist!
I'd be a fool not to.