Saturday, 13 March 2010

Mothers' Day

Since my mum is many things but not in any way girly or frivolous, Mothers' Day (as well as her birthday) tends to present a bit of a challenge where gifts are concerned. However expensive the cosmetic or cream, however beautiful the wrapping or cute the notion - and though she gives good thanks - I just know it will end up in dusty and unused in a drawer. So, shamelessly ripping off those with true creativity and skill, I've made Mum a sampler this Mothers' Day which was embroidered with love and care and as much skill as I could muster.

I hope that she will indulge me as mothers are meant to do - and she always has... Happy Mothers' Day.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Passive Aggressive Notes

What restraint. I wonder if the impact is lessened by the spelling mistake in the final para but clearly this is to split the proverbial hairs. I wish I could write something equally witty and elegant to the wild-eyed woman next door who complained that her two little darlings have been kept awake by my boyfriend Al's (acoustic) guitar-playing when the very same FERAL little bandits apparently spend their Saturday and Sunday mornings bouncing off my bedroom wall. Happily I understand they will soon be confined to the special unit of the local private school. Justice. Found via

Friday, 19 February 2010

Embroidery for the soul

I *love* this. Beautiful handmade embroidery samplers featuring Smiths' lyrics from Chez Sucre. Creating my own versions of these for family and friends, and (let's face it, most importantly) for myself is my new project. How it fits with 'Project Do-Not-Clutter-Up-Flat', I have yet to work out.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Holiday loveliness in Edinburgh

Gosh, this is exciting. What a world of possibility...and, an ideal place to express my as yet unsated enthusiasm (ok, slight smugness) for the holiday cottage in which we recently stayed in Edinburgh. I'm permanently on the look-out for lovely places to stay on the relatively small budget I have available after household expenses and all the other ill-thought through purchases I make on a monthly basis (honestly, I don't know where it goes...). Happily, I came across The Minnow House while looking for accommodation in Edinburgh on Alastair Sawday's reliable if irritatingly-pleased-with-itself (just me?) website.

Believe me, it is rare that I am pleasantly surprised and still rarer that I can disguise holiday-related disappointment (toys, pram...). But, but, but The Minnow House more than delivers on its promise of a centrally-located bolthole, carefully designed and beautifully finished. It's a pepper-pot annexe to a larger house (previously the home of a famous Scottish photographer), with a good size, comfy bedroom and shower-room downstairs and upstairs, via a spiral staircase, a triple-aspect living room with views towards both the Old and New Towns. The living room also incorporates a clever, well-appointed stowaway kitchen (including dishwasher, natch), telly and fully operational woodburning stove. OK, so my fire-making skills leave a little to be desired (frankly, we were lucky to survive the night) but the thought was there... And best of all, it has its very own private entrance off a path winding up Calton Hill, in between ivy-covered stone walls, behind a wrought-iron, Secret Garden gate that clunks more-than-satisfyingly behind you.

And even bestest of all *she pants*, it costs less to stay there than your average Travelodge. Basically, you should book it immediately (before everyone else catches on). I defy you not to love it. Deets here and here.

Mr Ned

I am sitting in bed, recently tonsil-less, and looking at things that make me feel less sore. This is one: Andrew Zuckerman's lovely short film about his NYC tailor, Mr Ned. It is about good honest work, humble work and work done with care and pride and respect. It is also about tradition, sharing a load, loyalty and family. And all in the space of 2 minutes. Now, dat's what I'm tawkin' about. *she says with appalling Bronx accent*