Saturday, February 27, 2010

Why Did We Worry?

Some of you will know that the latest addition to our family arrived a few weeks ago.

Before Jayden was born, we all wondered how Hollie would react to her new brother.

As the oldest grandchild and great grandchild in both families, Hollie is the apple of everyone's eye.

She really is a lovely little girl: she's well behaved (mostly!) funny and loving.

We all love her and she has become accustomed to our undivided attention.

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you will also know that she has wisdom beyond her years, and is also a bit of a "Story Teller." (I wonder where she gets that from?!)

I wrote and emailed this poem to her the day Jayden was born.

You are now a Big Sister

Now Jayden’s arrived. Just what does that mean?
He’ll be the most beautiful baby you’ve seen.
He’ll cry when he’s hungry, and he’ll when he’s not.
He’ll cry when he’s cold and he’ll cry when he’s hot.

He might need a cuddle when you want one too.
He might smell of sick or maybe of poo.
But one day quite soon he’ll kiss your sweet face.
But he won’t steal your sweets or sit in your place.

As Jayden gets bigger he will join in your games.
And you’ll show him his toys and teach him their names.
Jayden will have the best sister there’s been.
And he’ll be your Prince and you’ll be his Queen.

You’ll never believe that this tiny wee lad
With one squeeze on your fingers will make you feel glad!
This sweet baby boy who’s as light as a feather,
Will love you for always and ever and ever.

We needn't have worried.

She keeps touching and kissing him and saying, "Aaaaah, I love my baby brother."

She fetches clean nappies and baby wipes for him. She holds his bottle for him.

She is a great Little Mother!

I couldn't resist showing this beautiful pic. It brought a lump to my throat!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Anyone Who Had a Heart............

photograph courtesy of Lincolnshire Publishing

Do you know my Daddio is Famous?

(Well, he is round these parts!)

As the end of February fast approaches, I wanted to remind my dear bloggeroos that it is National Heart Month.

I don't know if you are familiar with the British Heart Foundation,
but they do a wonderful job.

When my Dad was 76 he had to have a Triple Bypass
operation on his heart.

Very scarey stuff!

Luckily all turned out well, but it was touch and go for a while.

When Dad had his 80th Birthday coming up in 2008, he decided that we would have a party.

Not just ANY party, the full works, a proper venue, finger buffet, and most importantly of all.................
a Disco.

We invited all the family - uncles, aunts, cousins, nephews and nieces. Also invited were my ex-husband and his wife, and my sister's ex- hubby and his girlfriend.

Exes are still classed as part of the family, which is nice.

Dad decided that if people wanted to give a present, he would ask for a donation from them instead.

He raised £693

The best part for him though was having his picture in the Lincolnshire Echo.

Daddio's name is Charles, so we decided that all the females in the family would wear a sash saying


but for copyright reasons this wasn't possible

so instead, we had

1st Angel (Mumsie)
2nd Angel (Me)
3rd Angel (My sister)

and so on........................

We hid in the back room and the DJ got Daddio up to the front and then played
"Here come the Girls" (the song from the Boots' advert) We all strolled in.

Who's the bossy one looking down the line, checking that everyone's standing up straight?

Errrrrrr...................that'll me then!

Here's the nine of us, Hollie wouldn't wear her sash!

Not a particularly good pic, but my Dad thought it was great.

Especially when we gave out a 10th sash to Janet, a family friend who Dad calls his girlfriend.

He had the first dance with Mumsie

Janet had to wait for her turn!

The evening was a success and we enjoyed it no end.

At such events, at the end of the evening,

we always have a family dance/ singalong

to Elvis Presley's "The Wonder of You"

Who's that gobby lass?
Errrrr.......that'll be me!

When we all went to usual Family lunch last Saturday - we had to take him up and book the venue again.

It's Mum and Dad's 60th wedding anniversary later this year.

It's my job to book the Disco, apparently.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Rain in Spain Stays Mainly on the Plain.......

Another story here about my lovely Mumsie. She's such a character, and she has a wicked sense of humour.

Sometimes she says things, not even realising they are funny.

Sometimes, just sometimes, she will say something so outrageous you just wish the ground would open up and swallow you!

Today's post relates to the way we speak, particularly accents.

There are quite a few variations across Lincolnshire. The accent for Lincoln City itself is very much like the Nottingham one.

Su Pollard (AKA Peggy Ollerenshaw) is from Nottingham.

I sound very much like that, but not quite so fast!

Both of my Grandfathers came from Yorkshire, Mum's dad from Bradford, Dad's dad from Leeds.

Dad's accent's definitely Lincoln, but Mum has a touch of Yorkshire even though she never lived there.

This is most noticeable by the things she says rather than what she says.

I went to the type of school that punished dropping H's in our speech, by giving out detention, during which we would have to write out 100 times

"I must not drop my aitches"

"I must not drop my aitches"

Although I was well behaved, and never in trouble for anything else, I dropped so many aitches that I had to borrow the Caretaker's broom to sweep them all up!

"Sorry, Miss. I've forgotten my 'omework."

So, there I would be, week after week, doing my lines.

Please Sir, can I 'ave some more?

I was a ghastly teenager, and decided that if I wasn't allowed to pronounce words incorrectly, no-one else in the family could.

I don't know where my bravery came from, but I started picking on my Mum in particular.

(Crikey, I was a plucky lass back then, I wouldn't dare do that now!)

Mumsie was having none of it, and did it all the more to annoy me.

I'd made a new friend, Julia who spoke very posh.

All of her family were posh - they even had a fridge!
(Well, it was posh in 1967!)

I was a Day Pupil but Julia was a Boarder as her Dad was a Bishop down south somewhere.

There had been a minor fire and two of the dormitories were water damaged.

So some of the boarders were billeted out to stay with us lesser mortals for a week.

Mumsie loves visitors, always has, so she said that Julia could stay at our house.

The day before Julia was coming to stay, Mumsie and I were making sandwiches.

I was buttering, Mumsie was filling and cutting them up.

She asked me to pass her a bread knife from the drawer.

"I think it might be a bit blunt. Dad used it when he couldn't find his hacksaw to shorten the budgie's perch" I said handing it to her

She tried to cut through the bread, "Bloody 'ell, you're not wrong, lass. You could ride bare-arsed to London on this one."

A terrible thought struck me, what if she says something like that when Julia's here?

"Muuuuuum..........?" I said

Mum answered, "I know what you're gonna say, the answer is - No I won't say that when Julia's here."

Phew!? Thank goodness for that.

The next day, Julia and I arrived at our house.

"Put your bags down girls and we'll have a nice cuppa tea and a piece of Hangel cake."

She meant Angel cake.

As she began to cut the cake, she looked at me, winked naughtily and said

"Oh dear! One curd ride bare-bottomed to Lurndon on this!"

P.S. I love the pic at the top of my post. It's Mumsie and Daddio with my granddaughter Evie. It was taken at my ex-husband's wedding last summer. What a lovely thing that he invited them. We always find room in our family for one more :O)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My Vintage Finds for my Shabby Chic Home

When I first decided to write this blog, my initial purpose was to share with fellow bloggers my vintage finds and craft exploits.

But, I got so wrapped up in my little stories about my friends and family and our acts of heroism and derring-do. (For 'heroism', read 'insanity'.) At some point, I obviously lost the plot - :O)

Don't worry, I will continue to blog about my family's escapades, but I do also want to join my crafty little bloggeroos in their activities too.

So today is going to be a sensible post. (Well as sensible as I can be anyway!)

This picture at the top of today's post is from an earlier foray way back last year and I included it in one of my first postings.

I'm a very lucky lady as I have the choice of 4 charity shops within a couple of miles.

All of these have generous parking outside too. This is in addition to 2 very large, year round Car Boot Sales, both within 15 miles.

(Maybe I should offer Short Breaks Treasure-Hunting Weekends for my dear Bloggeroos, and chuck in a bit of B&B!)

Everything in the picture above was from ONE Charity Shop., including the tablecloth and the little table at the bottom of the pic.

(The roll of kitchen cloths came from the £1 shop - very useful instead of felt for some of my creations.)

Most of you know that I love cake.

so I always seem to come home with some of these.......

I also found some lovely prints

and even a pair of candy striped sheets...................

There was also a doll's Moses Basket, not in the pics, oops!

And of my ebay find this week - this cute little planter/vase.......

I've put him away 'til Easter.

Over all the years I've been collecting, I've never found a piece I love more than this one.........

I bought her at one of the first Bootsales I went to in 1984.

She's about 6 inches tall and made in two parts so that when you give a little push to her skirt, she rocks.

Made in the 1950's, I think she probably had a partner originally as her lips are pursed ready to kiss.

Can you remember what your first Car Boot item treasure was?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

That's What it's All About!

This picture is a representation of me about to take a bath. Not a very true representation, granted.

For a start, there's no mascara on the floor where I dropped the old Maybelline when I nearly poked my eye out.

This happened 'cos I was startled when the timer buzzed to tell me it was time to remove the Immac off my legs.

I don't know who they test these products on, but it wasn't long enough for my legs.

I rinsed it off and it still looked like I'd knelt in a pile of Brillo pads and they'd stuck there!

Apart from the depilatory disaster I'd been getting along fine and had just been adding the final touches to my new Cheryl Cole look.

I was sure that today was the day that my utter gorgeousness would be spotted by an undercover L'Oreal talent scout during my tussle in Sainsbury's deli aisle with the old biddies looking for the reduced items.

(Okay, okay, I know I look more like Old King Cole than Cheryl Cole, but this is MY story, remember.)

Where was I?.............................. Oh yes, me getting into the bath................

Or NOT getting in the bath, as is sometimes the case.

I'll explain, the thing is I have health issues.

I'm not talking about the three little pink pills I take each day to keep the men in white coats from carting me off to the "Peaceful little secure place the other side of town."

This is another problem, it's called Fibromyalgia (FMS) and it affects my joints. (It also affects my thought processes, but you'd already guessed that one, right?)

I won't bore you with the details, particularly as many people with FMS are much more disabled with it than I am.

So...........back to my bathing habits.

The main problem for me is that on my worst days my joints become hypersensitive to temperature, so that when my skin is wet it feels much colder than it is and this causes discomfort.

I can also be a bit weak in the knees, making it difficult to get out of the bath.

(Not the same'weak in the knees' I feel when David Tennant pops round to clean out me gutters and trim me lawn.)

I really, really try not to let it beat me, although I'm not always successful! It sometimes needs a novel approach when dealing with practical matters.

I found the solution by way of a bath seat, not the mechanical type my Mumsie has, it's basically a board that sits across the top of the bath.

Oh, here we are, I've found a piccie!

So, I run the bath, get on the seat, and wash and dry myself a bit at a time so that the skin around my joints only stays wets for a few seconds.

I was having a particularly bad day and was just beginning my ritual. Hollie, my 4 year old granddaughter came into the bathroom.

So she sat on the toilet lid swinging her legs and watched me with great interest.

Now, this cute little girl is full of imagination, so can sometimes say things that, how can I put this ........well they're not exactly true.

So when she said, "We do that at Nursery," I murmured absent mindedly, "Oh do you?"

She jumped off the loo and said she was going downstairs to find her daddy.

I finished getting dressed and went downstairs.

"Mum, what were you doing?" asked Phil, my son

"I was having a bath," I replied

"Hollie said that you were doing the Hokey Cokey like they do at Nursery."

I raised my eyebrows.

"You must stop making up these stories, Hollie!" said Phil

Her little eyes filled up and she said,

"Nanny was doing the Hokey Cokey! She put her right leg in, her right leg out."

The reason I remembered this little story is because of this I saw on a tshirt today..........................

Thursday, February 18, 2010

When a BFF really means Forever!

My BFF (Best Friend Forever) is Carol. I have been round to her house today, and as usual, she made us a lovely lunch!

I truly cherish her friendship.

I have mentioned Carol in my blog before. You may remember a previous post regarding our old shared twin tub washing machine that we kept in our garden.

This was way back in the 70's when we had bought our first marital homes next door to each other.

We called the washer "Animal" as it was completely uncontrollable and left such puddles on the floor it had to be kept and used outside.

Carol and I have been best friends since we were 3 years old - that's over 50 years of friendship and laughter we have shared!

As children, we lived around the corner from each other and had met on the swings at the nearby playing field.

We would play together at least three times a week whilst her Mum and my Nanna had a good old gossip.

Imagine our excitement just before our fifth birthdays when we spotted each other across the hall at the "Putting your Name down for School Day."

We went to that School for 6 years.

Even though we had never been placed in the same class until our final year, we were friends all that time.

We ended up at different senior schools, but they were quite near each other, so we were still able to walk to and from school together.

Some people thought we were joined at the hip. Others assumed we were sisters!

We went on to share all the usual teenage problems - spots, first love and the like.
We were each other's Chief Bridesmaid and once married, lived next door to each other for a few years.

We've seen each other through.........
new love and broken hearts,
miscarriages and childbirth,
prosperity and adversity,
achievement and loss,
parenting and most recently grandparenting.

Through all the many other stages in our lives, I can't remember one serious disagreement.

Nowadays when we are together although we bemoan our ageing minds and bodies,
we giggle at the way we each wander off topic,
can't remember what we were saying,
and click our specs together in greeting!

Life's never about WHAT we have, but WHO we have, that makes our joy complete.
Don't you agree?

P.S. I've now included this pic of the pair of us. It was taken at Woburn Abbey in 1967 on a Children's Trip organised by our local Pub. Funny to see that Carol was taller than me in those days. We've always call this photo "Two Monkeys and Two Parrots."


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine Greetings for my Dear Bloggeroos!

Valentine Greetings to you all!

I've now returned from staying with my son and his family. What a lovely two weeks I've had and a great opportunity to get to know my new grandson, Jayden. It was my granddaughter's 4th birthday during my visit, and we had a party for her.

She received loads of presents. (Not surprising really when you consider that due to the family dynamics of remarriages and step-parents, there are 3 grandads, 3 grandmas and two sets of great grandparents!)
For a four year old, Hollie always comes up with such great ideas when problem solving...............................
A definite shortage of space for all of the toys she received.
"We should just go out and buy a bigger house to live in."

Good Luck with that one, Hollie!

One of my favourite songs is "My Funny Valentine." I can't sing, even after 20 singing lessons, I still manage to sound like a cat with its tail caught in the mangle.

So every year around 14th February, my dear sweet Liam, (God rest his soul), would take to wandering around with big wads of cotton wool in his ears, until he was sure that I'd done murdering such a lovely song, at least for the next 360 odd days.

He shoved in so much cotton wool that it would poke from his ears by at least 3 inches, thereby alerting the neighbours that it was getting near that time of the year when they should.......
a) Go out and buy their Beloved a valentine card and a box of Milk Tray
b) Stay indoors with all their windows and doors tightly closed as I was about to start my catterwauling. (?Spelling?)

There has been two valentine days since Liam died, and our local Sainsbury's have seen a dramatic drop in sales of Valentine cards and prezzies, (because the neighbourhood had not had reminders from us.) On the plus side though, there has been a dramatic rise in the sales of raw steaks (for Black Eyes) and arnica (for the bruises) Ouch!
I am now back at my own computer, and as soon as I have washed the last traces of playdoh from my hair and the baby dribble from my t-shirts, I will have time to catch up with your blogs and see what you've all been up to!
I would like to ask you all to remember in your prayers those who's beloved valentines are no longer with us.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Oh! You Beautiful Doll. More rescue dolls........

I may be away from my computer for a few days as I am having my hall, stairs and landing decorated. So, I'm putting some more of my rescue dollies on here for you to look at in the meantime.

Here's a beautiful British National Dolls "Dollie Walker". She is 20 inches tall and is wearing her original outfit. These gorgeous hand assisted walker dolls were sold in Marks and Spencers during the 1950's.


Below is a 13 inch Pedigree Doll. Poor little thing arrived at Dollytub Cottage without anything holding her together.

After a gentle clean, I restrung her joints.

I also made her a new wig, new eyelashes and teeth. I made her little outfit before she went to her new home via ebay.


This is a black Pedigree Baby Doll. She is 20 inches tall. I repaired her faux astrakhan wig, gave her a clean and made her a new outfit. She is also wearing a new pair of replacement shoes.

These dolls are very well loved and were also made with bent baby legs and also a hand assisted walker version.

This particular cutie now lives in Australia.

One of the most popular dolls I sell is this 7 inch Miss Rosebud Doll. I replaced her wig and made her a new outfit. I love her little basket from my stash of doll accessories that I've collected over the years. Her shoes are from an Amanda Jane outfit.


Last, but not least, here is a 10 inch Pedigree Doll. She has a beautiful dusky colour to her plastic. Her black wig is a replacement I made especially for her. Her dress may be original. She also had a pair of red shoes that I had forgotten to put on her before the pic was taken!

If you have enjoyed looking at these lovely dolls, scroll down to see more from my previous post.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

My 1950's British Hard Plastic Vintage Dolls

Something completely different today my dear bloggeroos!

I thought I would share some pictures of my ebay "Rescued Dollies."

This gorgeous little girl is a 10inch Pedigree Doll, she is the same age as me!
All of these little cuties were restored by me and then sold on ebay. I also made most of their little outfits.

So......if Mrs Willdee my old needlework teacher is reading this - you were WRONG! See I can sew neatly when I haven't got someone looking over my shoulder and shouting at me that I'm rubbish, so there!

This Topsy Doll is also 10inches tall. She is made from black composition and her plaited topknots are made from wool.
She is even older and was made in the 1940's


These are both 10inch Pedigree Baby Dolls.
The white doll was in a very sorry state when she arrived at Dollytub Cottage and I had to make her a new wig.

Here is a 12 inch "Smiley" Roddy Doll. I always have one of these in my bedroom, when I see her as soon as I wake up - I cannot resist smiling back. What a great start to my day!


I also rescue old bears too!

This is "Hobson" who when he came to me looked like he had been going to Weightwatchers as he had lost almost all of his sawdust filling. I soon sorted him out, here is is helping me in the garden before he went to Japan.
I've also helped some 1960's vinyl rubber dolls, I think these too are both Pedigrees.
Someone else knitted their clothes, so I made the golly face and the teddy out of felt to brighten up their jumpers.

.I have loads of other pics to show some other time.
All of the above dollies have now been adopted, but I do have dozens of others sitting in my workroom patiently waiting for my health to improve.
If any of my bloggeroos have a doll that they need identifying, I'd be happy to help.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Rose by any Other Name or How I ended up in a Mens' Prison for seven months

I wanted to write today about how the labels we use for ourselves and others can change peoples' perceptions.

I always wanted to be a Stay at Home Mum. Unfortunately, due to family circumstances, this wasn't an option, except when my boys were of pre-playgroup age.



You would not believe some of the jobs I did to earn an honest crust!


My checkered career included such delights as Shop Assistant, Car Valetter, and Childminding. Sometimes I had much more lucrative jobs such as working for Oriflame Skincare, (which in those days was sold by Party Plan,) and running my own business selling Ladies and Kids clothes.


I also discovered a hidden talent as a Promotions Girl, promoting anything from Double Glazing to various "New Improved" food products .


Yes! I was that Lady in Asda's, dressed like the "Little Dutch Girl" (complete with clogs,) who thrust her tasty treats under your nose whilst you were gathering up your comestibles in the Deli aisle.


Can you imagine what my C.V. (resume) looked like?


Now, we all like to "dress up" our job descriptions and exaggerate our talents, but I was having trouble how to include one of my jobs.


I don't even know if the job had a title as such, but the work entailed standing in a freezing cold barn in the middle of a Brussel Sprout Farm, trimming brussels from their stalks for that well known frozen food processors.


"Aye, Aye, Captain!


In the end, I decided that it might be better to leave it off the C.V. altogether.


That worked fine until I applied for a job at HMP Lincoln Prison. There was a post there as Prison Dental Nurse, my original "trade".


My Dental certificate was duly examined in detail, and they were completely happy that I had the necessary qualifications. Except for one small thing.............................


Under the columns for previous employment, (which were obviously full to bursting:o) There was a section on the application form that read......



"Oh, flippin' 'eck!", I thought, (or some similar expletive not suitable for you dear sweet sensitive Bloggereoos.)


I decided to leave it blank, and 'wing it' if necessary.


Of course, just my luck, they spotted my omission.


"So, Mrs Smith....Would you mind telling us what you were doing for the three months here?"


He was pointing to a big red ring on my application form looping around the timeframe concerned.


I don't know where the inspiration came from, and before I knew it, I'd blurted out...........



"I was working in Brussels"



YES, I did get the job, you've got to applaud my pluckiness!


As nerve wracking as that interview was, it pales into insignificance when for years afterwards I had to explain to prospective employers why I was at HMP Lincoln Prison for 7 months during the Summer of 1976!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Nearly a Cat-Astrophy or Run, Pussy, Run

My Dad breeds budgies as a hobby, so as you can imagine this gives out a strong invitation to all the feline community within about 5 miles of their garden.


Cats, being cats don't understand that as cute and fluffy as they are - they are not welcome in my parents' garden.
My Dad has always bred budgies, so it is second nature in our family that if we see a cat in the garden, we chase it off.
My sister's step grandchildren call her "Biddy". We don't remember how this nickname came about.
One of said step grandchildren is Millie, aged 7.
One day when Millie was watching some sparrows out of the window with her 'proper' Granny, a cat, seeing a lunch opportunity, jumped into her garden. "Oh no!" said Granny.
"Don't worry, Granny. I'll just go outside and Piss off the cat," Millie said.
"Where on earth did you learn language like that, young lady?" said Granny.
"Biddy says it, she does it all the time at her Dad's house," Millie explained.
Granny was absolutely appalled. Well, you would be, wouldn't you?
"You mustn't say it like that, you should say 'chase it' off. I'm going to have words with Biddy when I see her," Granny exploded.
"So," asked Millie, "Shall I go out and CHASE IT off?"
"Yes" Granny said, opening the back door for her.
Millie ran towards the bird table wafting her hands to scare off the cat. As she was doing it she was saying,...................................................................................................

."Psst, psst, psst!"