Friday, 21 November 2014

Clown hound.

I was watching Air Bud the Disney film with the Golden Retriever that sold us on having a Golden and getting our Iz, what they don't tell you on the film is that Golden's are not as well trained as Buddy the dog in the film is, it takes a lot of work to get this stubborn loveable hound that well trained; they are however wonderful family dogs that love games and are very happy waggy tailed creatures that will raise a smile from 'almost' everyone that meets them - read my last post for more details on the odd person who can't raise a smile!
 Back when we had just our Suki, our lovely Heinz 57 variety mix mongrel from the rescue centre, Ricky our beautiful German Shepherd having passed away, my kids were younger then and we sat one rainy summer afternoon and watched Air Bud and the love affair for Golden Retrievers was born.
In the film, Buddy is a Clown hound for a mean clown and he meets a little boy that has lost his dad and between them they heal each other and find a new forever loving home.  Its a classic Disney tale designed to tug at the heart strings - it works we live with two mud wallowing waggy tailed Golden's now - and make you weep with tears of saddness then those of joy.....

...not a brilliant combination when you are at the torch, long hot flame stretching before you and melted glass on the rod waiting to become the arms and legs of the next creation.  But it did inspire my Clown hound.
You can find my glass creations in my Etsy shop waiting to be adopted.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

What a crock of ....


People fascinate me.  They amuse me.  They annoy me and they totally grate on my nerves like nails down a chalkboard.

Walking Iz and Defi this morning, the sun is struggling to show its face, but its a worthy cause, its not too wet, more damp after a lighter than light frost so the grass is dewy but the cobwebs on the hedge haven't got that sparkle, the birds are chirping loudly to each other and flying in clouds of feathers and noise, its an idyllic country walk through the orchards.  The apples lying on the ground rotten and mashed, their perfume rising through the dead leaves and still letting the passing thought of apple pie and cider give life to their otherwise decaying mass, so why, oh why, do some people find it nigh on impossible to smile?

I wear the classic dog walking attire, jeans that I wore the day before usually with a dried muddy dog paw of someone else's dog that has jumped up in greeting, wellington boots that have a dab of Gorilla glue down the back seam on the right boot; this dab looks like dried slug snot but it works and as long as I don't go wading in the swollen river Wye I will be ok to walk through the mud and leaves.  My jacket, rain mac - call it what you will - is covered in muddy splatters from the down pours of last week, I haven't bothered washing it, what's the point? its winter and it will be the same next week when the rains comes again, besides I am out of water proofing 'stuff'.  I do sport my lovely snuggly hand crocheted fingerless mittens and my old battered once purple now a faded spectrum of weak lilac and puce bag that holds my doggy poo bags, dog biscuits, two spare balls as Iz keeps losing them amongst the apples and with their lime green colour now replaced with a concoction of cow poo doggy saliva grass stain colouring they blend into the undergrowth too well and become lost for a few days - we do usually find them again, this morning we found the two we lost last week.....

So I am a catch, a sexy, dog walking female with red hair, blown into a wind swept style with rosy country cheeks and a smile - more walking wardrobe disaster, mud splattered and scowling at Defi rolling in a muddy puddle, BUT, I always smile and say good morning to few people I meet.

They came towards me in clean and almost new, so new I could see where the tags had been attached on their matching red jackets with blue trim, their waterproof trousers and very swanky walking boots, they even had those walking sticks that I covet each time I slip and fall on my arse in the mud but the husband tells me I will look old, like wellies with slug snot glue doesn't have the same effect?  Defi goes one side of the older couple and Iz walks the other side, both dogs shiny clean - I raise my eyes to the heavens and thank the Lord for his kindness this morning - and I smile at the smaller of the couple, the woman, whilst two golden tails wag slowly and up right past them. The scowl from the old hag as she flinched from; I am blaming the dogs here but I feel it was me in my ancient water proof jacket, once white now an off ivory mud stained colour with my dirty jeans and mad hair and the look she gave me would have floored Satan and put out the fires of damnation with their icy glare.

I mean, really.  Do people really expect to not see dogs on a river side walk, when they have walked past the cows in the field, the sheep in the field on the lanes?  When they have spied the dog poo in all its glory from the 70's styled white dried out look to the more modern, but none the less well known, fluffy white with mould mounds?  Are the manky tennis balls, discarded by faithful hounds chasing tails not a dead giveaway that dogs might actually be here amid the plethora of squirrels, badgers, foxes, hedgehogs, wild birds, birds of prey, farm animals and such like?

Would it have a devastating effect on her walk if she had smiled?  At least her matching husband acknowledged me although he failed to comment on my attire as he straightened the blue trim of this jacket.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Ooo's and aah's

I met a dog walker this morning, he is very eccentric with two lovely spaniels that are encouraged to be 'dogs' and allowed to jump up with wet and muddy paws, which I don't mind on a dog walk but these dogs always seem to find me on the day I have put on clean jeans!  So, this morning we meet and I manage to keep a distance far enough to avoid wet paws, when we discuss the weather: a great British past-time, being so warm and mild in mid October its a conundrum whether or not to wear a coat or heavier jumper, so I say I was 'umming and ahhhhhing this morning on this decision.  He replied with 'umming and ahhing just stay where they are and don't make decisions.'

How true that is.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Blackberries and mild days of Autumn.

....and as another week ends and we are a day nearer to the onset of Winter, we are still having very mild Autumn days and nights, last night reaching 18 degrees C still at around 8/9pm and did mean that Izabel panted her way through the early hours of this morning before either she, or I, nodded off to sleep in exhaustion.
I am still remembering Autumn, the berries and golden vines.
This bead is one of my favourites of the week, its a big bead with layers of glass, gold and silver leaf and lots and lots of hand pulled canes in which I can mix the colour to get what I want.

Its not always easy to mix glass colours as they don't mix like paint, blue and yellow don't always make green and red and white don't make pink, its a lengthy process of layering the glass and pulling into canes which can be used to 'paint' onto glass.  I am really enjoying this painting style of bead making it both relaxing and meditative and I have found that I prefer to work without the radio on so I can disappear into my own world for hours at a time.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

You have mail.

'Post on the side for you' said my husband this morning as I walked in the house to put down the dog leads after a very muddy walk, Defi had rolled in a stinky puddle so needed a shower off with the hose pipe outside 'its on the side' he said as he headed off out.
'Bother' I thought and looked at my stinky mud coloured Golden Retriever, his brown eyes looking at me wide and innocent 'you have to be showered first' I told him.
Hosed, towelled, kettle on - and I had a quick wee, there is something about coming back in the house after a dog walk that just makes you want to go!
I opened my parcel and the smile spread from one side of my rosy wind kissed cheeks to the other.
'Bless her cottons' I said out loud.

A few weeks ago a fellow bead maker and superb photographer, known henceforth as Tomcat (check out his blog its filled with amazing photos and he says he is an amateur!) contacted me to see if I would give his daughter a lesson in making beads, for her birthday.  I agreed and was delighted, we would meet, the family and me; its always fun to put faces to names and blogs I think.
So the Saturday came and the family arrived, Tomcat, Mrs Tomcat and Little Tomcat and we had a great afternoon in the studio, whilst Mr and Mrs Tomcat went out exploring around Hereford. 
They brought cake so both my kids thought they were just the best family in the world to visit and Saturday night was spent eating too many delicious flap jacks with chocolate topping and admiring the delicious looking doughnut shaped cake - it was a ring of cake, awesome! - that we couldn't fit in but managed to consume everything by the middle of the following week, there are no photos too much eating took place for stuff like that to happen!
We had tea, no cake we were not willing to share this house being bereft of cake makers my skills in the kitchen being limited to tea, coffee and occasional slices of and we talked and laughed and swopped stories and had a fabulous time.  Well I did just hope they did too.  Part of our chat was about 'girlie' duct tape.  I was agog.  You can get 'girlie' duct tape?  I was assured you could.
This morning in the post I received some 'girlie' duct tape of my own.
Owl's 'at for making me smile :)

 And I got a real letter, not an email, but a real hand written letter.
Thank you Tomcat and family, especially Little Tomcat.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Its Friday!

I don't have much to say tonight, which is something coming from me, other than the rain lashing down at the windows after a very mild October day, I am sat at the computer with a cup of tea, I really know how to rock a Friday night.
I just listed these head pins, the blue ones, in my Etsy shop but to be honest I just can't find the energy or the inclination to list anymore so I am calling it quits for the evening.  I might make myself some cheese on toast I have a fancy for that right now, and sit in front of the television for an hour before going off to bed to read my book, like I said, I know how to rock on a Friday night!
Blue icicle head pins now in the Etsy shop.

Head pin bouquet of lilac buds and leaves.

 A couple of buttons.

A two holed button.

Another head pin bouquet.

Have a fun Friday, it can't be more exciting than mine!!

Thursday, 16 October 2014

The Notebook.

I love notebooks, sketchbooks, doodle pads...paper.  And pens.  I have handwriting pens, fancy ink pens, pencils: these are my absolute favourite writing and drawing implement and coloured pencils, the artist ones.
 I have collected various books and pads over the years and kept most of them, some sadly have been lost or destroyed for various reasons, moving being one of them. 
I have kept a journal, or diary, for as long as I can remember, like the blog its been sporadic and usually documents times in my life when I have been down and depressed or some great moment that has been just wonderful and note worthy.

The top book, in the photo above,  that looks like stained glass is one of the oldest ones in my collection, full of life stories that date back to the early days of parenthood, the kids now being almost 21 and 19 so its almost an antique.

The purple one is my current one, although its one of many current ones, I have one by my bed, one in my hand bag, the little one that's open is the one that comes in the 'dog' bag with me on dog walks that I stop and write a word or thought in.

I haven't shown the very oldest one, I am slightly embarrassed by the dog eared corners and childish writing: it was a collection of poems I wrote when I was around 12, they make me smile now, some are pretty good too.
This file is my collection of typed and printed words and holds the beginning of my novel, a whole 20,000 words, minus 200 and something and as I am about half way through it should be a good book, at least in size.
As well as lined journals and notebooks I have a large collection of scrap paper and sketchbooks dotted about the place, its amazing really that I get away with it as I am forever moaning at the husband to tidy up his piles of 'stuff'.
See the rocking chair in the distant corner of the kitchen?  See the piles of dog toys? they get away with it too!

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Christmas swop.

I know, I know, Christmas is...counting on fingers... 71 days until the 'big' day, depending on where you are in the world of course, but still, 70 odd days to go.  I stumbled across this blog,  Creative Chaos and Kimberley is organizing a Christmas swop, sounds fun, take a 1 litre container and fill it with festive goodies to open on the day.  Why not? I thought and dashed straight over to sign up!

Fancy a go?  could be fun.  Click on the link and register Creative Chaos click this link

Just to let you know - sign ups close November 10th and parcels must be sent off by
December 10th at the latest.

Right off to read another blog I stumbled upon, my day is being fast consumed with blog reading.  Photos of the poncho will be forthcoming, right after my kids stop being mean to me about it, they don't know class when they see it, ok so its a little on the large side......

Monday, 13 October 2014

The Old Man Oak

According to the Tithe Map of 1840 there has been a woods along the river walk and orchard route that I take each day with Izabel and Defi, for many more years than what has passed between now and then.  The ancient woodlands have large old trees and ground growing woodland flowers such as wood anemone, wood millet, wood speedwell and goldilocks buttercup, all of which belong to an ancient woodlands.

My favourite tree of all these flora, and fauna that run above and below me; apparently there has been sightings of the rare Noble Chafer beetle, he who inhabits the ancient woodlands and lives as a recluse amongst beetles, leading a traditional beetling life, or so I have read, I am not sure if I have seen him out and about during our daily walks but, who knows maybe he is peeking out from behind the Old Man Oak, watching us walk past and listening as we tell our secrets to the Old Man himself.
Noble Chafer Beetle
So, my favourite of all these trees is the Old Man Oak, as I have named him, he that stands tall and proud opposite the orchard that have been growing apples in this area since the early 1800's with various agricultural experiments being tried and tested over time to produce the best apple for cider making that our rich and fertile soil can provide.
Each day I walk past the Old Man, and feel a great need to touch him, to feel grounded again, on days when my mind is swimming in ideas or turmoil, I rest my back against him and gaze through his old limbs above my head into the sky and whisper my hopes and fears whilst Iz and Defi sniff and snuffle maybe following the scent of the elusive Noble Chafer beetle.

I find great solace in the peace that surrounds the Old Man, his age is said to be around 300-350 years old, that's a lot of knowledge and wisdom he must have acquired, not to mention the moonlight trysts, he must have seen, of young lovers meeting near the vicarage which is just a short distance away, or going for a midnight stroll along the banks of the River Wye, on a hot and barmy night in the middle of summer.  The arguments of families, he must have heard, as they weave their way through the woodland on the old path that has seen many feet, the small children dragging theirs through the mud and dust at the horror of being dragged away from the modern world, their lust for electronics removing any desire for fresh air and scurrying squirrels.

The orchards in lines, as they have been for many years, bearing fruit to harvest,  stand, as youngsters, opposite the Old Man.  How many harvests has he seen?  The good and the bad? 
How many stories does he hear?  The secrets? whispers? dreams?  Does he listen to mine as he has done to those that have stood with their back to him for many years? 
How can one tree mean so much to so many people?  I hear from those that are like me, who find the Old Man Oak a 'real' person, the psychiatrist, shrink, friend, parent..... 

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Just beads and weird days.

Saturday's are odd days, they are neither a Friday; working day, nor a Sunday; resting, sort of as much as you can on a Sunday for a family that are not particularly religious or follow any family rituals of a Sunday nature.  Saturday's are weird.
I walked the dogs, then I came home, no one was here, I stood in the lane talking to people for about an hour, in my wellington boots, then the delivery man came and the postman, I was still in my wellington boots, then I came in, had a cup of tea and went to the studio shed whilst my husband returned home from a night shift and snored his way through the motor racing he had recorded, in the guise of catching up, meanwhile, Izabel snuggled and snoozed on the sofa, Gordy languished in his old cat tree, not the impressive tower in the hall but the more used small version now behind the sofa in the living room and Defi and I went to the shed and listened to the audio book from Terry Prachete, I am still unsure as to whether or not I like all of Prachett's books, I love the witches in his stories but the other characters just don't do it for me but listening is easier than reading them......

I was commissioned to make a Robin bead this week, I made a few and have offered them up for made to order in my Etsy shop, I love them, they are cute and colourful and well....Christmassy; don't shoot the messenger, it was a commission remember!

I have been making some very LONG focal beads, rather pleased with these two, the top one has been described, not by me, as romantic, I was thinking Victorian elegance when I was making it so I think that fits, the one below is my version of grape vines; I am wondering about my sculptural beads I rather like the more 'solid' versions too, maybe I should try sets like this style?  Who knows and next week is still a day away.

Its Saturday night and tonight I am going to finish this crochet poncho I have been working on for weeks, photos will follow in a day or two.  I have been looking at crochet lace and I really wanting to have a go, it looks so delicate and I am wanting to make some lace jewellery with the beads I have been making, so many ideas go round in my head at one time, the luck of the 'artiste' I suppose, but the down side being not enough hours in any one day!
Have a great Saturday evening and I will chat tomorrow, this Blogtoberfest and 31 days of writing challenge is keeping me blogging!!

Friday, 10 October 2014

That Friday feeling.

I woke up this morning, after a long wet and windy week to a beautiful sight, my little cat Gordy was curled up in the middle of the bed, between the husband and I, with Izabel, he had his head tucked under her fluffy tail and she was snoozing with her head over his back, they were as snug as a bug.  It was a lovely sight to see first thing.

The sun was out this morning, Autumn is keeping Winter at bay for a little longer, after the wet, cold and grey week its a welcome sight, which made this afternoon's funeral a bright affair.  The church is the beautiful one at Breinton where I live and dog walk past each and every day, a old Norman church that has been added too over the centuries, I believe the earliest date for there being a church on this site is around the 14th Century. 

 This is the side of the church and the entrance we used today, us dog walking friends, to the right of this picture is the site of the Motte and Bailey, a fantastic raised mound that towers above the orchard in which the church stands.

These photos are not from today, you could barely see the church today, the car park was full, the lanes around the church were full, it was standing room only and a beautiful service to celebrate the life of someone so young, I know on our row a few tears were shed, but it was lovely to come out into the sunshine and see late afternoon dog walkers go by and see life continuing on as it always has and always will.

Now, to cheer myself up and bring myself back to the world of 'me', I am off to photograph a few beads that I have made this week, and will be sharing photos tomorrow.

Thursday, 9 October 2014


The hardest part of writing this particular blog, was thinking of the beginning, which is odd as bereavement is about the end.
I was walking this morning, down in the orchard, we didn't visit the river bank due to the face whipping rain and ankle twisting mud, so instead I chose to wait for a break in the weather, which lasted as long as it took to reach the gate before the heavens once again opened, my dogs neither noticing nor caring that the sky was in need of a plumber to tighten the stop cock; so in the pouring rain, whilst they ran between the trees and checked out the hiding places of the squirrels, I pondered the question of bereavement, mainly because I will be at the beautiful Norman church that is on the edge of the orchard, that we pass everyday on our dog walk, and tomorrow around 2pm, I and some other dog walkers will join the family of Sarah, her last name neither known nor needed, but her dog is called Bea.
I first met Sarah a year or two ago and we were not great friends, more passing acquaintance's, meeting once in a while in the middle of a field of waving wheat or under a big oak tree in the orchard sheltering from the weather, we never had coffee nor discussed great topics of interest, we talked about our dogs and how she was.
Sarah had cancer.  Breast cancer. It was her second time around.  Her son, the youngest one was either a year above or a year below my daughter, I forget which, either way that makes him no more than 20 and no younger than 18, too young to lose your mum.  I believe she had two boys but I can't be sure.
Bea, is a Pointer, her white soft belly contrasting with her deep brown short fur that lies flat on her back.  Her eyes are deep brown and she was a nightmare to train, preferring a good chew on a leather shoe to a comfort blankie or teddy like Defi.
I last saw Sarah around August time, we were both in the field near the woods, a different walk to the river one.  It was a clear, blue skied, hot day, I was wearing jeans and a strappy top and Sarah was wearing a head scarf, brightly coloured, to cover her balding head from all the chemo treatment and a soft flowing white gauzy top that hid the fact she had had a breast removed.  She told me that she was having the other breast removed, she was quite fine with this, 'even's me up' she had said, as Bea, normally running wild through the waving wheat stood quietly and patiently at her side.
Bea is 2 or 3.
We passed the time for a few minutes, I wished her well in her treatment, she was very upbeat and talking about when it had all finished and how she had had to slow down for now and it was driving her nuts as she is normally a busy and well driven woman.  Defi found a big muddy puddle and wallowed, a cooling mud spa for hot paws.
Sarah had laughed at my grimace and Bea had stood.  Quietly and still.
I never saw Sarah again but I kept up with the news from other dog walkers, our passing of news and messages working better than the Post Office with a full compliment of staff.  I heard that Sarah was terminal.  The cancer had spread to her bones and her time was limited.
She died last Tuesday.  She was 50.
A few of us dog walking ladies are going to support the family and show that we will always remember Sarah, the tall laughing woman with a great sense of humour, and of course to say goodbye.
You never know whom you may meet in life, people come and go, walk past with their dogs and touch a moment in time that you will always share.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Wordless Wednesday.

Well, almost wordless anyway; headpins. 

These sold this afternoon but I will be making more!


Tuesday, 7 October 2014


I am recovering from a fantastic hangover from self inflicted indulgence of very cheap wine in the company of nice friends, its safe to say I have completely trashed my image of a wonderful lady like persona and am now not much more than a loyal lush.

I will be back tomorrow with more sordid to find the painkillers.....


Monday, 6 October 2014

Monday moment

I am out and about today so should have something to chat about tomorrow.   But for now a photo. I love these pods.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

The Trout Trainers

You know the type; the Sunday morning, dog trainers with their clean wellys and posh body warmers from a named and labelled brand.  They stand there in a circle with their over weight pooches talking amongst themselves about how dogs should behave and throwing dirty looks over to the rest of us walkers in scruffy clothes, our dogs running with each other, chasing balls, rolling in cow pats and wet grass, barking in delight and having a great time, their muscles lean and toned, whilst we, those in scruffs, laugh and walk, whistling and calling our much loved pets and generally enjoying the weather; whether it be sun shine or rain or deep snow with icicles hanging from branches and glowing from within whilst we walk in thick jumpers and hats, obviously on those days the Trout Trainers are not out and about, they only do fine weather.

Trout Trainers?

Well, they all look like they have been slapped in the face with a wet fish, their scowling faces set in a downward tilt from years of looking down their noses at us mear pet owners.

The group that frequents the river walk on a Sunday morning has become smaller, hopefully those other members realizing that you can't train an over weight puppy who only wants to run and jump and play not learn to sit at heel and have the joy of life replaced by some sour faced old hag telling him that life is about learning and all fun is cancelled.

There was a time I would put my dogs on leads to walk past, but now I don't, call me rebellious but I can't stand to see dogs, over weight and joyless; my dogs might not be the most obedient of the year but we have rules, I like them to play nicely, be friendly and have waggy tails, they know that the first rule of the house is make sure they get the best spot on the sofa before any one else, take up as much room on the bed and when 'she in charge' aka me, looks like she is going to blow a gasket because we are not listening, run to heel, sit, look up with butter wouldn't melt adoring brown eyes and the smallest tail tip wag will guarantee complete success in winning her over.

So I let mine run forward and join the over weight black Labrador puppy, he could only have been 12 months old, this morning.  Defi always does the introductions perfectly, I am very proud of his manners.  He goes as close as possible, without encroaching on space, and lies down, his tail swishing from side to side in the leaves, the Lab puppy, joyous in the fact another hound is there and offering to chase, bounds over, leaving the Trout Trainers scowling in disgust at his lack of obedience and their failure to lasso him with his lead in time, and within seconds the two dogs are charging round and round the group threatening to knock them all down, whilst I call over, friendly like, 'don't they love to play, shame he is a bit like a bull in a china shop'.  I like to throw that out there as it makes the Trout Trainers all band together in fear of getting their immaculate attire the slightest bit hairy or muddy, as I walk past with Iz trotting faithfully behind me, her smile wide on her face as her ball is between her teeth, her flowing coat and toned tummy belying  the fact she is now 8 years old and not the 3 or 4 year old she looks.  Sadly the quick charge with Defi and the puppy was short lived as they failed to get far enough away before the youngster was lasso'ed and fun was curtailed.  I call Defi and walk away knowing that the looks directed at my back from the Trout Trainers are shooting to kill, whilst the puppy, his tongue pink and panting looks at Defi's retreating tail with a smile on his little pudgy face.

But I get the last laugh.  I walk down the lanes with two happy, contented, walked, toned, well behaved Golden Retriever pet dogs, whilst they have to over take me in their cars with the dog that has figured out that you can defy the authorities and have a bit of fun!

You can train dogs that young, I certainly started training Iz as soon as she came to live with us at 8 weeks, all the other dogs as soon as they arrive (they have all been re-homes or rescues except for Iz) but you have to let the dog have fun first and burn off some energy, then they will sit, walk to heel and whatever else you ask them to do.  Fun and training together make happy, well adjusted, friendly dogs that have some manners at least.

Until next Sunday then.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Saturdays smile

I have had a lovely day with lovely people melting glass in the studio and having a chat just about life, experiences, youth.... not mine!... a wonderful day all told and so I am sharing a photo from a couple of weeks back.... I am sharing a smile.  Bit of a cop out for a blog post but I am supposed to be blogging each day for Blogtoberfest and can't back out on day 4!

Happy smiling Saturday.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Friday's Muse - Venice.

While I figure out the title of this blog I might as well start writing it!
A good glassy friend of mine Kat from Beads by Kat is also taking part in Blogtoberfest this year and is filling her blog with interviews with fellow artisans sending them (us as I am one ;) ) questions to answer, just for a bit of fun.  One of the questions is 'If you could choose a city break where would it be?'.  I hate cities, I hate crowds, noise, traffic, I prefer cow pats, muddy fields, stinking dogs, dribbly cats, the stink of lanolin from the sheep after the rain; I might not like  these smells but I prefer them to fuel fumes, air pollution, coughing commuters and a myraid of other city treats.  On top of that I don't like shopping, last night in Sainsbury's was my worst nightmare and this time I wasn't alone!
So, today, Kat has interviewed Jill from Kiln Fired Art another fellow friend and fantastic artist and Jill has answered that she would like to spend time in Venice on a city break.
Which begs the muse from me.
Is Venice a city?  or, is Venice an island?
Now I love Venice, I went when I was about 16 and loved it, the beautiful stained glass windows, the churches, the quaint - and expensive - cafes in St Marks Square, the side streets all narrow and intriguing, the artists glass blowing and lampworking in the windows as you walk by.
 I love the paintings of Canaletto, this one below taken from this website Travelling in Venice
Venice really hasn't changed since Canaletto's day to when I visited in the 1980's, or judging by the photographs my daughter took when she visited last year (2013) on a photography trip with college, although her views of Venice were through hung over eyes and her liking the modern gallery exhibits to a display at B&Q wasn't her finest moment, but it came close to the drunken walk around the canals by her tutor before the hotel would allow her to enter her room! So it seems Venice still attracts the artisans and accommodates their behaviour regardless of era.
But, this does bring me back to my original question.
City or Island?
I did meet my lovely dog walking friend down at the river this morning, he being a retired Sea Merchant Captain with stories of his travels from all over the globe, and his answer?
'who the *&*()*&)() cares anyway?'
Maybe he is right, Venice is beautiful, whether you think City break or Island retreat, although I would suggest drinking in the culture more than the wine!

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Throw back Thursday, the last cats and Gordy.

I am not going too far back, just enough to remember Megan who left us in December 2012 aged 23, the lost and mentally abused cat that came to live with us back in April 1994, she was never a cat to have a cuddle, always wary, but at least she knew she was safe with us and she had, I hope, a happy life.

Then remembering our Claude who left us back in September 2013 aged 22, he very nearly got longest living cat in this house but missed it by a whisker.  Arriving on our doorstep back in 1995/6 he was around 1 years old, a happy chap, an amazing killer of wildlife and he had a swagger that kept foxy loxy away.

To Gordy, who arrived here a few weeks after Claude had passed, our little man with brain damage who has become an internet star loved around the world for his funny ways and sticking out tongue - which is not apparent in this photo, one of the first I took when he came here so he was still a bit bewildered but found his paws with Iz and Defi.

Defi just saying hello on the first day, the tongue is now out and dribbling.

A year on, Gordy is the baby of the family, always into mischief when he is not snoring on his many beds or in his castle in the hallway, loved by millions but mostly by us and he each month he writes for Cat World Magazine...with a little help from me.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

31 days and Blogtoberfest

So this whole introduce yourself thing, odd I had to do that last night at my writing group, we had a wonderful chap come to talk, a retired actor and director of theatre productions as well as some television back in the days when TV was brand new.  He was a fabulous chap with twinkly blue eyes and a sense of humour.  I do love hearing stories so I was transfixed on his life, not more so when he told of doing 2am feeds with his son whilst on the phone to a writer and discussing plays, obviously earing brownie points from both parties and having a contented baby to boot, so, we had to introduce ourselves and I falter, as normal.

October; I have signed up to do the Blogtoberfest, organized by Shells in the Bush and also 31 Days and as soon as I figure out how to download and add buttons I will do that.  So, the first thing you learn about me is that I am computer daft! 

I make glass lampwork beads, those with bums and those with petals, a Jekyll and Hyde character in female form, I have a grown up side, flowers and a childlike side, bums and eyeballs.

Pink Lily flowers in glass.  SOLD.

Seal on the sea shore.  SOLD.

Guelder Rose and Lavender on

As well as glass, I have two dogs, Izabel and Defi my Golden Retrievers that are with me all day and help me look after my little cat with brain damage who is an internet star with his own column in Cat World Magazine every month.  Here he is with my daughter.

and my three amigos together... my daughter is a photography student currently studying her degree course and she let me have this photo below.

So that's me. 

I love to write, about what happens to Gordy and also everything and anything that pops into my head, I am finding my own style with the writing and enjoying the journey.

I live in Hereford, UK amongst rolling fields and moo-ing cows and watch pigs snuffling in the mud from my bedroom window, I share my home with my two grown up kids that I fear will just never leave, everyone tells me I will miss them when they have gone, its the 'gone' bit that they don't seem to want to do! and my husband, he that supports and loves me, even though I don't shop, or cook, in fact banned from both as I let woman kind down in those departments, thankfully he is excellent in both so we have food in the fridge and no one is starving.

There is a few people on the Blogtoberfest this year click on Shells in the Bush blog to find other participants, and for the 31 Days writing just search until I figure out the button thing!! 


Sunday, 28 September 2014

Misty mornings; cobwebs sparkling.

For someone that hates spiders, their skin crawling at the mere mention of the word and finger nails tingling, like nails being drawn across the blackboard at the thought one big hairy black eight legged monster might walk into view; I love cobwebs.
I woke up this morning to a really misty dawn, the view down the drive and onto the lane, the field beyond lost in the mists of time.

Behind me the old gateway into the back of the garden was decorated in fine silk fibres in delicate patterns, created by a true artist of the night.

The other side of the falling down gateway that the rambling honeysuckle, once scented with flowers of yellow now supporting last nights masterpieces.
The kayak kit left out and forgotten by my son when he cleaned out the shed and decided to air his kit on the line, now shrouded with webs off set by the dark background of the black helmet.

The bamboo, its swaying fronds waiting for sunshine under the layer of mist.