I know that I've had some very kind comments about my hair since my trusty hairdresser retired but the fact of the matter is that it's driving me mad. I keep chopping at the fringe with my craft scissors but to do something about the back is beyond my capabilities. So tomorrow I'm going into town to be sorted out. I went there yesterday and asked for some advice. "We'll get rid of the ponytail bit at the back," said the stylist. I explained that I am trying to grow my hair long but would like to be able to do so with a bit of style. Let's see what tomorrow will bring!
All the clothes that I'm wearing today are daughters' hand-me-downs, blouse, cardi and an ancient denim pinafore dress. It was the same story yesterday, a hand-me-down blouse from my friend, Janet,
who made the fabric and enamel brooch that is pinned to the collar.
It is unbelievably cold, with a wind that cuts to the bone if you so much as poke your head out of the door. I AM NOT GOING OUT. Today is definitely going to be an Invisible Monday for me.
I'm wearing fleecy lined footless tights, comfort dressing for slobs. The blouse is ancient. It belonged for our elder daughter in her teens.She is now in her forties. It is from Benetton, probably bought during a sale, so it represents rather good value for money considering the amount of wear that we've both had from it!
It's decorated with quirky little embroidered motifs.
The cut of the blouse is rather unusual, as though someone had lain on the floor and just been drawn around - flat pack.
On Saturday we trotted up the road to the opening party of The Pig. All the village had been invited. And guess what, all you Downton Abbey fans, so had the Earl of Grantham - and my, but he scrubs up well. 'Dapper' is the word for Hugh Bonneville! (No, I didn't intrude and take a photograph.)
The new hotel owners have a philosophy of growing much of their own food or sourcing it from within a twenty-five mile boundary. The evening got off to a good start with Nyetimber and rhubarb fizz.
Garden trays of 'Piggy Bits' did the rounds.
'Dress to party' was interpreted in many different ways. (I took Paula's advice and wore the black mohair top over my strapless dress.)
There were four hundred guests.
I couldn't decide whether or not to use the flash on my camera. Without it is murky but more accurate and atmospheric
and with the flash you can see what is going on but it looks flat and uninteresting. Which do you favour when you are in this sort of reduced lighting? (The music was great.)
Had to put my specs on, couldn't believe what I was seeing - living topiary!
But sometime after midnight it was good just to loll on a sofa with my lovely neighbour.
Then it was time to walk back down the road in the moonlight and tumble into bed.
Take a look at the enviable hotel veg garden over on share my garden.
We've received an invitation. It says, "DRESS TO PARTY." I'm following the good intentions of Janet at the Gardener's Cottage and planning to buy no new clothes this year so I intend to wear a faithful old lbd.
The days of wearing a strapless, sleeveless dress are over! The fabric is thin and I'll wear my petticoat slightly dropped.
I've got a black angora top that fits quite neatly with the dress. Is it too safe?
I've got a top that has a fair bit of glitter. It is a thicker wool, perhaps the two fabrics don't fit together very well?
But it does cover up my saggy arms. I could wear it rather loose.
YOUR ADVICE IS SOUGHT!
I've got a number of different necklace options. This one is rose quartz but I could do three strand pearls.
Last night it was the book group meeting. We always have supper, with contributions brought by the members. It invariably turns into a feast and a rowdy conversation. I said that I would make a pudding but was out of eggs. I walked down the road and bought some from a neighbour whose hens are laying well at the moment. Aren't they beautiful!
My lemon tree is being equally prolific so I decided to make
LEMON CHEESE TART.
Make a shortcrust pastry base with 4oz flour, 2oz fats.
Cream together 2oz butter with 4oz sugar until light and fluffy.
4oz cottage cheese,
rind and juice of a lemon,
beaten egg yolk. Mix together well.
Whisk the egg white until stiff and fold into the mixture.
Bake for about 30 minutes at 400 deg F, Gas mark 6. (The dark bits are where I failed to combine the egg white thoroughly into the mixture!)
We were discussing
It is a novella, straightforwardly written and therefore very accessible. Quite a relief after ploughing through Pamuk's, 'Snow' at the last meeting! All the group enjoyed it, but some far more than others. I felt somewhat burdened by the tone, set right at the onset, although two points of humour, well into the book, were delightful. I feel that this subject has been better handled by other authors.
It created a good discussion and a lovely evening. We got home in the early hours and today, thanks to rain and wind and very dull skies, I haven't ventured out.
On quiet Sundays such as this my father usually phoned from North Yorkshire for a catch-up of news.
Today is the anniversary of his death, fourteen years ago. At the age of ninety-one he was diagnosed with lung cancer and given three months to live. However he was determined to see in the new millennium and extended that time by eight months. We were described as 'two peas in a pod'. When he died I was distraught and thought that I had lost him completely. It isn't the case, he travels with me always.
I know that some of you are at the stage of life where elderly parents are causing concern and heartache, with difficult decisions having to be made. I wish to tell you that you never altogether loose those you love - but be sure to tell them while they are before you just how you feel.
Wee One with her Grandad
I still half wait for the phone to ring. When it did so this morning it was a friend that I'd been talking to a few hours earlier. We did what my father and I had always done and had a leisurely conversation, mulling over the night before and chatting about this and that. Thank you, Janet, it was great!
Flower Jane has started a new link up, a photo of how we were at different times in our life. My 'blast from the past' was taken in the field behind my parents' home. It's summer and the seventies and I'm wearing a cream calico Laura Ashley dress and, for the benefit of the photo a straw boater decorated with flowers. The swing is homemade, just rope with a wooden seat slung from an overhanging branch. I've always loved to swing, best of all in the sunshine with bare feet.