Welcome Sidney

Here at the homestead things have not been good for the family as we’re struggling with a major bereavement, which explains slightly my erratic blogging and reviewing – I hope you all forgive me.

One positive is our new Maine Coon kitty Sidney, or hissing Sid as he’s apt to be called sometimes!  He was adopted from a local animal shelter, like all 3 of our cats.

He’s got a Habsburg chin, eh?!


Watch Out for Bennachie!

Just a quick reminder that you can buy the 2014 Bailies of Bennachie calendar.

Why I hear you ask?  Well, one of my brother’s photos of Bennachie has been included this year.  If memory serves correctly, it is the September picture.

You can find out more here.

Londinium Calling

It was so good to get back to London for a week!

I managed to see awesome members of family and fabulous friends to catch up and check out what they had been up to (my Aunt has taken to making awesome gemstone jewellery, which I’ll share some pictures of later as I bought some of her unique pieces).

Good people, good food – caught up with one of my fabulous fellow writers from Tuscany, AND I managed lots of revisits, sightseeing and shopping!

Places included –

  • National Gallery
  • National Portrait Gallery
  • Tate Britain
  • Westminster Abbey
  • Sir John Soane Museum
  • British Museum
  • Apsley House
  • St. Paul’s Cathedral
  • Hyde Park
  • Bloomsbury
  • City of London
  • Westminster

Here are a few highlights:

Apsley HouseApsley House

  St. Paul'sSt. Paul’s CathedralBMBritish Museum


Writing in Tuscany

Some of you probably already know that I made the decision to take a holiday to Italy this year after not going anywhere for 5 years.  Some of you may also know that I decided to go to Tuscany to take an amazing chance of being taught by Sharon Kendrick in the surrounds of an ancient Watermill in the mountains.

Yes, it is and was as amazing as it sounds, and I learned so, so much.  I also gained confidence and amazing friends in the group of women that I met while I was there.  There is no excuse now not to make the best use of the time and finish my writing and send it out there into the world.

All I can say now is take control of your dreams and make them happen any way that you can.

Here are some memories of my time there – next I will blog about my trip to London on the way home.

The garden at the Mill

The gardens of the mill were fantastic, we wrote out there most of the day, and I loved the roses – so gorgeous against the blue of the sky.

Writing paradisePart of the Mill view from the walled part of the garden.  The river is to the left, and there are several buildings that form a courtyard.

Walking down

Our midweek day off took us on a hike and to the beaches of the Cinque Terre.

Some Vintage Aquisitions

A lovely vintage marcasite leaf brooch:

Marcasite Leaf


A small circular china box (this was a gift, love the figures):

China box


A tiny shot glass featuring a place in Austria I know well – Innsbruck:

Innsbruck shot glass


A Fraser model of Crathes Castle, a little chipped but still looks lovely next to my tiny model of Cawdor Castle:

Crathes Castle model


Last, but not least – a new vintage silver plate purse/bag with ring to slip over your finger (I need a ball to go to so I can use this):

Silver bag


About a year’s worth here!  Hope you enjoy looking through them – and love to hear about other people’s finds.

Hands, Knees and er, Castles

A quick photo of a recent vintage acquisition – and I don’t really have much idea of the date of this one – not that old I suspect.

I have a bit of a hand fetish that you’ll see in my earlier post about some glass ones I have.  Eager to have more as you don’t see them that often, I bought this for the princely sum of 99p, chips and all.

Bonus is, someone obviously was forewarned of my fetishes, and it has a picture of Windsor Castle on it.  Nifty!

More finds soon.  I have some from last year I haven’t pictured yet.


2013-03-13 22.05.53

An Epic Easter Gift

I had to share this.  The Mum left me a gift while I was at the Castle all day with our Easter event visitors.  Apparently she made it just this afternoon!

Check out Mama Hen and her hatching chicks, there might be something else in there too…

By the way, she’s a bit fierce if you go near her nest.  You can’t say I didn’t warn you. 😉

Edwardian Evening Bag

I’ve been meaning to post this one for ages, as I saw it in a shop display, and The Mum bought it for me for Christmas!

It’s an electroplate silver Edwardian evening bag c1910, complete with original pale green lining and a lovely engraved design around the edges.

It is hinged at the bottom, and clips together at the top like a purse.  The chain makes it easy to loop around your finger to carry it – and to dance the night away I’d imagine.  If only…

This is my first vintage evening bag.  I would love to find some more.

Eleanor in St. Albans

I must thank Adrian for a) showing me the following photo and b) allowing me to post it here for your delectation.

Eleanor is feeling a bit neglected you know, and demanded something of a short update.

The following is an image of the plaque placed on the clock tower in St. Albans near where Eleanor’s cross used to stand.  I’m loving the flint in the tower by the way.

Eleanor’s cortège from Harby arrived at St. Albans on the 12 December 1290.  Unfortunately, none of this cross survives, the last accounts for it are from 1721, when the base was demolished to make way for a market cross, and then finally in 1810, when the cross was demolished.

Eleanor’s cortège moves on from St. Albans, to Waltham, where the lovely Waltham Cross (restored) still stands.  It’s a shame that it’s current location is in the middle of a modern shopping centre.  For those of you looking to see the original statues or sculptures of Eleanor, they have them at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

They also have a rather nice plaster cast of her tomb from Westminster Abbey, the original of which I’ve been able to visit with special permission.