Thursday, 26 June 2008


Watching the likes of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Jamie Oliver a while back and their campaigns for chicken welfare prompted us to do what we had been talking about for ages, namely getting our own hens. We now enjoy scrumptious eggs from the most spolit hens in the world.

Contact and see the work that they are doing to re-home these poor creatures.
In reassessing our whole attitude to buying food, we came to the conclusion that we were spending far too much of our income in the mighty Tesco. Besides throwing food into the basket in gay abandon, I had got into the habit of buying shoes, stamps, clothes, household items, dvd's topping up my mobile..etc, etc. If asked, I would reply much the same as everyone else in the world it seems, that they are cheap, it is all under one roof and I am passing the door on my way home from work everyday and how convenient to be able to just pop in for a couple of bits now and again, (or every day if I am honest). Of course, I never just went in and bought the can of dog food or the loaf of bread. Generally, something else would catch my eye and that was it, I was hooked. Of course I am weak and feeble (as I am constantly being reminded by man person), but in all honesty, how many of you have succumbed to their cunning plan? Because it is almost foolproof isn't it? Go on be honest.

I must stop at this juncture and say that the Cath Kidson bags on my last post were allowed as they are Cath Kidson, they are gorgeous and I just had to have them! Tesco does have it's uses.

Just in case you missed them yesterday!

However, I digress... We have a greengrocers come butchery come bakers shop not too far from where I live. So, it is a bit out of my way, and with petrol being the price it is you might question the validity of what I am doing. But this is not necessarily about saving money, it is about the redistribution of wealth such as it is. Most of the produce is grown by local farmers, a chicken I bought last weekend had been running around a local farm the day before, and I stress the running around bit. The prices are comparable, and in some cases cheaper, so all in all, I feel like I am achieving what I set out to do, which is break the strangle hold that Tesco has on us as a family and enjoy locally grown food that actually has some sort of taste and texture to it.

I am not going to save the world and Tesco probably couldn't care less one way or tother..but my world is a little better for it and those strawberries were so scrumptious.

I am leaving you with a couple of snippets from Housekeeping Monthly dated 13 May 1955 for all you slovenly, lazy and drab house wives out there (more to follow in future blogs). The comments in the brackets are mine not theirs.

When your husband returns home from work, make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him. (Forget that you have been on your feet since 6am).

Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.(dont shriek like a banshee over the top of the Basil Brush Show or Dick and Dom).

Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you will be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people. (Don't forget the baby sick, jam, crayon, poo, paint etc).
Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift, and one of your duties is to provide it. (No baby talk allowed, train journey, not choo choo etc).

We all nearly died of laughter when this was read out in the office and we have vowed to be better wives in the where did I put that ribbon!

Dev X

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

That's what little girls are made of!

It is so hard being a parent sometimes and trying to do the right thing by your own kids is even harder. Let me explain...
I was often teased at school, I was the fat one at the back of the class, I was the last one to be chosen for the team when we did PE, even by my so called friends. I was the one never invited to the birthday party. I am not being maudlin, it was just the way it was and I put on a brave face and got on with it. I have tried to instill in my daughter that she must be kind to others and treat everyone as she would like to be treated. That is such a cliche, but it is something that I firmly believe in. Live, and let live, is my motto..another cliche I'm afraid. Where is all this leading????......... well..

I had a mother telephone me last night to say that her daughter is being bullied at school by someone in their class. Her little one has red hair and is being teased mercilously about it. She rang the parents of the child in question and spoke to the girl's father. He, in turn spoke to his daughter who said that yes, she had said and done some of the things she was accused of, but...and it is a BIG BUT, apparently it was my daughter that had made her do it! By now my heart is sinking into my boots. I know my own daughter and I know that she just isn't like that, but then don't all parents say that about their own children? The thing is that I just know in my heart that she wouldn't do something like that. She may not challenge the one doing the bullying or speak up for the victim which is a flaw in her character I admit. But we are talking 9 year old children here! So why all the fuss I hear you mutter, it is just a playground thing, but we have a little girl crying because she doesn't want to go to school and her mother trying to make it better for her.

I spoke to IM this morning and she is adamant that she has said nothing to this poor girl and I believe her. The thing about IM is that she hasn't learn't the art of cunning yet, if she has done something wrong, she will always own up. AAARGGH, I hear some of you say perhaps, but it is true. However, I also now have one very upset little girl who doesn't want to go to school either and I am trying to make it better for her too, trying to explain why her supposed friend would lie, because I am firmly of the opinion that, confronted by her father, that is exactly what she has done to save her own skin. When you think about it rationally, how many children would do just that if they were afraid of the implications of telling the truth.

So where do I go from here? Do I telephone the father, who is of the opinion that his daughter is protecting IM? Frankly, it is IM and the beautiful little red head who need the protection, but he is not going to believe that is he? I know from other parent's that their children have been on the receiving end of her spiteful ways in the past. What do I tell the Mother, how do I make her believe my daughter's version of events. I say that IM didn't do it and he has said the same of his. All she knows is that her little one is devestated and can't face going into the classroom. It's a dilemma..... it's life I hear you why, does it have to be so difficult!


On an entirely different track now, look at these little beauties. Cath Kidson, IN TESCO!! I know, unbloomin believable I hear you scream in delight! Spied them on the rack and thought from a distance that they looked rather nice. Like a moth to a flame. Discovered the Cath Kidson label and had to do a double take. They are made from recycled bottles, not sure how that works, but WHO CARES! Total yumminess. Had to buy both and at £3.50 each with some of the proceeds going to charity, yippppppppppeeeeeeeeee! But hush, keep it a secret between ourselves. Once those people on ebay find out, they will be alongside the Sainsbury Anya Hindmarch bag for 3 squillion pounds each. Read the blog about the Laura Ashley throw! (Lavenderhearts on my side bar).

Which one is my favourite? Mmm, let me see, I think I love the blue best, although the floral is equally as sweet, but then the blue is so........Oh I could just hold one in each hand and have done with it!


Monday, 23 June 2008

Roses, Roses

Have been feeling a bit tired and jaded lately, hence the absence of blogs. Sometimes life has a way of creeping up behind me and catching me unawares. Do any of you ever look at other people and assume that they have a much better life? I know that this is a silly way of looking at things, and I don't want this to be dreary post, but it is how I am feeling at the moment. Things have been a bit tough for a while now, but you have to keep going don't you...but it is so hard sometimes.

I am finding it hard to do any crafting at the moment, but I am reading through a pile of books which have been looking at me for ages now. A bit of escapism I suppose. Then there is the garden which is looking very lush at the moment with the sweet smell of the roses wafting on the breeze in the warm sunshine..a small thing to lighten the spirit.

These beautiful yellow spears are called Eremerus.

We are taking part in the open garden scheme this weekend. For my overseas readers, this means that a group of us get together and open our gardens for the public to come and have a look a around them. It is a way of making much needed funds for the church. We are not actually opening our garden this time, as man person is doing some hard landscaping and it is not safe for us never mind hoards of strangers. I am helping my next door neighbour with the teas and coffee. I have agreed to make some scones which is no mean feat I can assure you. Nothing I make ever looks like it does in the books! I won't have much time to look at other gardens, but will post some pictures for you all.

See, I am cheering up a little as I type this out. This certainly put a smile on my face when I won it on ebay. I love it and the glass candle holder thingy just makes it a little different and reflects the light when the candle is lit. Another simple pleasure. The little crocheted mat underneath was 10p at a jumble sale.

Sorry if this post has been a bit depressing, and maybe I have jumbled things up in a way that doesn't read very well. I just felt the need to write some of it down. Thanks for listening, even though you have no idea what I am talking about. Maybe one day I will be able to share it with you all a bit more. For now it is nice to know that you are out there.

Dev XX

p.s. I was awarded this by Sian and for which I am very grateful. It is nice to know that I am not boring you all senseless, at least I hope that I'm not. I believe that I have to pass it on, but that will be for another time, I am very sleepy now. Am looking after my Mum's dog and unfortunately he is a snorer so not getting my usual 8 hours. Only another 13 days till she is back....sigh...deep sigh!

Monday, 16 June 2008

Craft Club

I have decided to try and set up a craft club in the village where I live. Not many of my close friends share my enthusiasm for crafting, in fact most think that I am barking! Why would anyone want to spend all that time hand stitching a quilt? I couldn't be bothered with all that is a common phrase I hear mentioned. Well in all honesty, I think they are the ones with the problem. There is nothing so fullfilling as making something pretty for the house or even a present for someone and watching the joy as they open it, for I must say that most of my pals do appreciate what I make for them, even though they don't necessarily get why I do it!

I know that there is a wealth of talent amonst the ladies in the village, so an advert on the newsletter has drawn forth around 7 potential members. Whilst this is perhaps a small number we all have different skills that can be passed on to each other.

Initially, we are going to meet in someone's front room and see where it takes us. For me it is a chance to sit and craft without feeling guilty. A lot of the time I feel I should be doing something else like the ironing or cleaning the loo. Or there is the distraction of the phone, the man person, my little cherub etc. This will give us all the chance to sit and chat and do what we enjoy best.

For me, quilting is the thing that is getting me most excited at the moment. I love sourcing the material, playing around with the colours and deciding what goes where. I am not so keen on the cutting out, but once I get going it is such fun watching it all come together. I particularly love hand sewing the shapes together, which I find very theraputic, though I do confess to using a machine for the actual quilting part of it.

I am really excited about it all. We have our inaugural meeting in a couple of weeks time, so watch this space. All the quilts and crafts above were part of an exhibition that I went to a while ago, and it is what I hope to aspire to someday.
If anyone out there belongs to a craft group, I would love to hear from you with any thoughts or ideas on how to make ours a success.
Devina XX

Sunday, 15 June 2008

What's through the square window?

I have been tagged by the lovely Marja to reveal the view from my kitchen window. Well, not one to brag you understand, but I actually have three windows in my kitchen! So here for your delight are my views:
This is the south facing one.

This is the west facing one.

And this one is an internal one that looks into my garden room.

I can't remember the name of the red rose, but it flowers all summer long and the only fault it has is that there is no scent, which is a shame as it would perfume the whole room when the window was open.
I would like to pass this tag onto:
Enjoy what is left of the weekend. Dev X

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Home Again

Hi there or should I say Bon Dio? We got back from Portugal a couple of days ago and have been catching up with the washing and ironing ever since..back to earth with a bump I must say.

The villa we stayed in belongs to some friends of ours and is up for sale as it happens. There is no way on earth that we would be in a position to rent this type of property, so we are very grateful to S & B. It is absolutely fabulous and on the outskirts of a pretty seaside town called Alvor. The photos don't really do it justice, but these are some of the offical ones taken for the sale brochure. Look and be very envious...

Unfortunately, I slipped getting into the pool on day one..yep, it could only happen to me, I am the one with the invisible sign over my head saying Plonker! Not entirely convinced that I haven't broken my 4th toe, but I can move it albeit sowly, and I can limp around on it.

Took a lovely trip to a place called Lagos and in the fort on the beach found this beautiful Lady Chapel.

Another treat was a trip in a little fishing boat with the Ancient Mariner himself, he was a lovely old soul, nigh on toothless. He took us around the coastline in his tiny boat, into magical coves and past fantastic rock formations. The sea was the deepest azure blue that you can imagine, but being the Atlantic, was absolutely freezing and we didn't venture in for a swim!

All in all we had a fantastic time, the people are friendly, the scenery is beautiful and I would thoroughly recommend it as a holiday destination.

Bye for now Dev X