The writing of a girl who likes heavy metal and dolls houses, making things and charity shopping

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to one and all! 

Here are a couple of pictures taken on my favourite night of the year, Christmas Eve. Carol singing at my local pub. Ancient, type written, beer stained song sheets complete with spelling mistakes, and in some cases completely different lyrics!

As you can see, some of us get really into it.... and some of us turn to drink.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Where for art thou earrings?

It's Christmas Eve and I can not find my Jesus earrings. What a travesty.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Unfinished Business

There were a few things I wanted to finish before Christmas.

I wanted to finish the decorations I started to make an age ago.
I wanted to finish decorating so we could move the mattress out the lounge.
I wanted to finish my book so I could start my new on Christmas day.
I wanted everything to be super organised and tidy, so I would feel super organised and tidy.

I haven't finished any of these things. I'm working 24hr shifts this week, spending most of my 24hrs off recovering. I think part of the problem has been that I was sub consciously psyching myself up for a long holiday when I've actually just got Christmas day and Boxing day off. Part of me is feeling a bit sorry for myself (but trying not to!) because both my mum and boyfriend are off work for a few weeks.

Attempts to finish stringing up some glittery stars have been temporarily abandoned after stabbing my finger with a darning needle and then spilling my drink.

Anyway, less of the negative. I have achieved something! Boyfriend and I collected holly and ivy from here to make a garland. Andy's niece, who's four, was desperate to come with us to meet Holly Bush, thinking her to be a real person! Garland looks very good, hanging by the front door.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Christmas Fair Victorian Style

Every year Warwick has a Victorian Christmas fair, think hot chestnuts, mulled wine, a steam powered carousel and other remnants of a bygone era.
After watching Santa and a bunch of freezing looking children dressed up as Victorian waifs parade though the market square we went in search of food. Not much on the vegetarian front, but did find the best chocolate brownies ever from the 'Sweet As' bakery in Leamington. Local crafts people demonstrated their skills and produce, the blacksmith was particularly kind by supplying me with a tonne of tissue as I was embarrassingly having a massive nose bleed at the side of the street!

The best part of the night for me was a ghost walk down Smith Street. Meeting at East Gate we were escourted by a man in a black top hat and a wonky eye as he told us tales of the macabre.... Just the ticket for a girl such as my self, I'm looking forward to sharing the stories some time soon!

I can't believe this was way back in November, and that Christmas is now only a few days away. For the first time that I can remember I haven't made it to the German Market in Birmingham, thinking I had ages and then suddenly having none. Here's to better organisation in 2011!

Monday, 20 December 2010

Christmas at my favourite cafe

There are going to be rather a lot of Christmassy posts this week. Andys laptop is fixed! A lot has happened since October when it died, Bonfire night, various fairs and the collecting of much charity shop loot have all fallen by the by. So I'm going to catch up with some Chrismassy things I've been doing.

A couple of weeks ago my friend Rhiannon (aka the mighty Rhannip) and I took the day off work and went Christmas shopping in Warwick instead. It was freezing cold so our lunch was a lot earlier than planned. We went to Wylies Tearooms, my favouritist cafe! It's a very small tearoom tucked into a side street, with an old sliding door and a little 'emporium' at the entrance crammed full of old fashioned goodies- sweets, biscuits, preserves, chutneys and the like. Like stepping back in time, carols were playing as we ate.   

Isn't it lovely? There were other customers too, they just happened to leave when we went in, all of them. Sheer coincidence.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

A night time adventure and a ghostly aparition

Andy thinks the best thing thing about snow is how quiet everything becomes. Walking through the town yesterday there were very few cars and not that many people, it was all very peaceful. Considering Warwick is usually rammed full of cars and the busy market each Saturday, this was quite a novelty. We enjoyed it so very much we went out again, this time at night. This is what we saw;

We walked up towards West gate and then round the back of the castle. Cutting through the walled garden leading up to the church Andy made me a snow angel, with very little legs. 

Skipping through to the graveyard I took this picture and things became a little creepy. Aaaarrrggghhhh....

 We saw this and this...

We decided the most sensible thing would be to run away, and run away we did.

Out of breath and giggling we stopped by the Zetland Arms and decided to take a picture:
 This proved to be a very strange thing to the girl standing in the pub doorway, she called out to enquire;

"Why are you taking a photo of the church?"

Sighing, I answered,

"Why my dear girl, a voice from above told me to do so and believing it to be God or some other higher being I thought it wise to obey, lest I be struck down by a bolt of lightning or dammed to the fiery pits of hell. It has nothing to do with the fine architecture of the tower, having being rebuilt in 1700s and the ascetic of the view in the snow. Now go inside unless the cold should shrink your tiny brain any further."

And with that we went home to get warm again.

P.S. Should anyone like to make their own ghost pictures, get your minion to lie on the floor blowing hot breath upwards whilst you snap away at a suitably spooky location.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Confound you snow!

No steam train and Santa for us today, no family meal in the Cotswolds.

Instead, lots of walking around Warwick in the snow, a few drinks in the pub and now holing up inside with the fire on, amaretto, cake and a DVD. So, perhaps less "confound you snow" because you are very pretty, and more check with me before your next appearance and I'll let you know if it's convenient.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Christmas Swap!

I got a parcel on Monday! This was very exciting because although we get a lot of parcels at our house they are very rarely for me, or even my mum. Having the 'benefit' of a porch that does not lock (somehow, quite shockingly, the key was lost) means that we get to look after a lot of packages for our neighbours. So, Peter, our postman was very pleased to present me with a parcel of my very own! Eeeek!

It's taken me an age to write about this because I've had a mammoth work schedule this week, working 45 hours and 3 nights. But without further ado....

Lisa-Marie organised a super Christmas swap which I really enjoyed taking part in! My swap partner was her sister Hazel, who I realised I have a few things in common with, these are:
  • Both of our gentlemen friends being called Andy, who'd have thought it?!
  • An appreciation of vampirey, dark fantasy type things. Very good. 
  • Favourite colours- purple, red and black, (I am also partial to green and several bright shades- I blame this upon many years being spent as a goth, it's some sort of side effect).
  • Doc Martens! Hazel wears them to tramp around in the snow in Scotland, I wear them because my boyfriend hates them.
See? So alike we're almost twins!

Anyway, Hazel sent me a bundle of goodies in a shiny gold box! I can't load up any photos at the moment, (something to do with never having a camera lead/ any type of technological knowhow). I took photos on my phone at each stage of unwrap! Inside my Christmas box was an 'ickle Christmas card, a Christmas teddy to join the Christmas crew, a beautiful hand sewn decoration in red and white and some rocky road, "nom nom nom."

I absolutely loved the hearted shape decoration and chocolately goodness, and it made me smile because some of our gifts were similiar in a way.... great minds think alike! The decorations are at my boyfriends house at the moment, but will have to come home with me for Christmas day.

Thankyou Hazel for my pressies! I love them! My night shift was so much more enjoyable with Rocky Road to munch on! And thanks to Lisa-Marie for organising it all! Hope you both have a very Happy Christmas! x

Thursday, 16 December 2010

I did not have the right disco shoes

I had a rather lovely day at work today, I went to a Christmas party! Unfortunately, I was told that my disco shoes were not up to scratch. They were below par. I must buy new disco shoes.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Murder in the garden

There have been several casualties in Hatton village of late. The first victim being one of four hens, we shall call her Margo. Margo was a kind, if slightly stupid hen and an exceptional layer. She prided herself on her regular egg production, striving to produce a daily egg even in the bitterest of weather. Margo was last seen pecking the ground by the back gate around 4pm last Monday afternoon. Frantic searching failed to unearth any leads to her sudden disappearance. Indeed, it was not several days later that her remains were discovered. At this time the authorities suspected this to be a vicious one off attack. No one could have predicted the grisly outcome of the following days. Margo was sorely missed by her remaining sisters; Prit-stick, Spatula and Tomisina, and we pray for her soul and safe passing.

The next fatality proved especially challenging for those attending the scene. Marmalade, a young robin known for his caddish, fly-by-night character, had taken shelter in the green house after one too many. Squeezing through the panes of glass he was soon to meet a sticky end. Unbeknownst to Marmalade, a trap had been laid in said greenhouse. Upon setting foot on the floor Marmalade was glued to the spot, no amount of struggling could release him, his feathers bound with the glue intended for a local pack of rats. Valiant rescue attempts were executed, at one point it looked as though Marmalade would pull through. Google provided the methodology to with which he was freed, until that moment Hatton residences were unaware that vegetable oil should be applied to glued together feathers. Unfortunately Marmalade passed away in the early hours, we take comfort in the fact that he died in warm surroundings perched aside a radiator.

The last attack may attest for distressing reading. Whilst still in mourning for their beloved lost sister Margo; Prit-stick, Spatular and Tomisina had become shadows of their former selves. It was with much encouragement that they had begun to venture further afield from the hen house as they once had in happier times. Tragedy stuck on Thursday 9th December, all three surviving sisters were brutally murdered in the garden shortly after nightfall. Police now fear a serial killer may be at work and urge all feathered residents to be vigilant. A recent tip off suggests that the culprit may be masquerading as a door to door sales man, witnesses describe the suspect as being orangey- brown in colour, with pointy ears and cunning demeanor. Once again Police are urging residents to remain alert, and to insist on seeing identification before admitting anyone unknown into their home.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Christmas with the Aliens

Last night I watched a Christmas play called "Christmas with the Aliens". It tells the story of three martians who are stranded on Earth after crash landing. The aliens meet a class of children who are about to preform their Christmas play and invite them along to explain the meaning of Christmas.

It was a real privilege to watch as the children preforming it attend a special school and many of them face huge challenges every day. The amount of effort the children took to communicate or move part of their bodies to take part was really inspiring. There was singing, dancing, jokes and laughter, and not a dry eye in the audience. It was really moving to watch and we all went home very proud and full of Christmas cheer.

Friday, 3 December 2010

An Invaluable Guide to Nightmarish Hair

Ever since my hair was first long enough to tangle, that's exactly what it has done. As a child there were many tears shed as it was brushed. My mum might deny it, but I'm sure it was she who told me it was the fairies that tangled it up as I slept. I can remember lying in bed (about the age of five) begging the fairies not to tie it in knots, being sure that the next morning my hair would be silky smooth. Oh the disappointment. My pleas fell on deaf ears.

I had my hair cut today. I used to hate going to the hairdressers, perhaps in the same way some people hate the dentist. Appointments were avoided, dreaded and then endured. Since then things have progressed, but are still not completely stress free as my hair has retained it's magical ability to tangle like there's no tomorrow.

I couldn't get an appointment with my usual hairdresser but knew another at the same salon (familiarity is important when you are a recovering phobic). It was all going well until the young trendy going-to-be-a hairdresser washed my hair, which, was of course the beginning of the whole process. Hair washed Vicky came over, to which trendy boy said "I'll leave this to you then..." I did not fail to miss the raising of the eyebrows or the smirking at my mane of tangles, I was after all, trendy boy, sitting in front of an 8 foot mirror. 

So, for all other hairdressers in training I have created this guide.

The Invaluable Guide for Hairdressers Presented with Nightmare Hair

Above all else you must remember that those cursed with nightmarish hair have not done so by choice. They have not sought out unruly, spider web like tresses to test your hairdressing skills and challenge your patience. It is also likely that they feel self conscience about their hair and it's bad behaviour. As a professional is it your duty to take all the tangles and knots in your stride, no snidey comments or raising of eyebrows here please. You must strive to put your customer at ease, no matter how snarled and matted the hair may be, remain a serene blank canvas projecting an air of confidence, no tangles can get passed you, you've seen it all before and it's all completely normal.

The following points were devised by a veteran survivor of nightmarish hair. They have been developed over decades of bravely enduring knots, snags and tangles and should be applied to every customer with compassion and empathy.  

Stage one-
Hair must be brushed. Choose a wide toothed comb as your tool and begin by teasing hair apart with fingers. Do not attack it, clients do not want to hear their hair being ripped apart, and unless requested bald patches are best left for later life. 

Stage Two-
Washing hair. Conditioner is the key here, as is technique. Water needs to be flowing downwards. Yes, it sounds obvious but some hairdressers seem keen on a swirly washing method, resulting in a swirly tangled mess of hair. A generous amount of conditioner should be applied, with hair then combed through before rinsing. After rinsing, gently comb again.

Stage three-
Drying hair. For the love of God, avoid rubbing hair with a towel to dry. To do so is tantamount to backcombing and setting with superglue. Gently wrap hair in a towel and press gently.

Stage Four-
Remain calm when unwrapping hair to find it has knotted into a ball. Spray liberally with leave in conditioner and begin the process of teasing hair apart as per stage one.

The end.

That, trendy boy is how to manage unruly tangly hair.

Hair trauma aside, the reason for my visit was because I am going to see the Scissor Sisters tonight. Yes, it's completely different to what I usually listen to, but I am expecting great things! I'm half way through sorting out my outfit, at the moment I'm wearing thermal ski leggings, knee high pirate socks, an old petticoat from Portabello Road underneath a 1970s red polyester french skirt, a vest top, my fluffy gray dressing gown and my mums black boots, because that's how cold it is, and that's how cool I am.

Can't find my Scissor Sisters cds so have settled on Rancid, similar, no?

Monday, 22 November 2010

Blenheim Palace and a broken car

I had a good weekend. Went to Blenheim Palace with my mum and had a lovely day. There was a craft fair, a couple of dollhouses to gaze upon, and plenty of Christmas trees. It was a great day despite the fact we broke down on the way home and had to sit in the freezing cold on a dark, desolate road for an hour waiting to be rescued. It was still a wonderful day after I dropped my new gloves down the toilet, and it wasn't blighted by the fact it took us 3 hours to get home. A sure sign of a splendid outing!

I'm also feeling happy because I got tickets to the Isle of Wight festival with no bother, and to top it off... today I got a much needed item for free out of a skip.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Vergissmeinnicht- Keith Douglas

Three weeks gone and the combatants gone
returning over the nightmare ground
we found the place again, and found
the soldier sprawling in the sun.

The frowning barrel of his gun
overshadowing. As we came on
that day, he hit my tank with one
like the entry of a demon.

Look. Here in the gunpit spoil
the dishonoured picture of his girl
who has put: Steffi. Vergissmeinnicht.
in a copybook gothic script.

We see him almost with content,
abased, and seeming to have paid
and mocked at by his own equipment
that's hard and good when he's decayed.

But she would weep to see today
how on his skin the swart flies move;
the dust upon the paper eye
and the burst stomach like a cave.

For here the lover and killer are mingled
who had one body and one heart.
And death who had the soldier singled
has done the lover mortal hurt.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Dear Mr Bon Jovi

Dear Mr Bongiovi,

I am a super huge fan of yours. I've loved you for a long time. I loved you when you looked like this:
 and this:
and even when you looked like this:
And I learnt how to spell your name properly.

I even forgave you for making me watch Ally McBeal, Sex and the City and that film Moonlight and Valentino, because you insisted on being in them and I love you.

So I need favour from you. When I come to see you in Hyde Park next year, please can you play all your old songs? And can you write another really excellent album, because to be brutally honest it's gone a bit wrong since These Days hasn't it?

That's all I'm asking for. Not much, considering the effort I put in being a super fan. I'm sure you must be very busy writing your new should've-come-after-these-days album so I'll say bye for now,

Much love

Rebecca xxx

P.S. You can play 'It's My Life' and 'One Wild Night.'

P.P.S. My boyfriends coming with me to London, so I won't be able to meet up just this time. I'm very truly sorry.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Hats off to you!

It's taken quite some time to post about the birthday soiree. After a lot of thought and some pilfering off Rhiannons' facebook page, here are some pictures! As you can gather milliners in Warwick did a rip roaring trade in the lead up to the party. Also present was a ushanka (Russian fur hat), a visor, a bright orange turban, a selection of top hats, a couple of witches hats and several woolen numbers....

Of course, everyone was desperate to win the prize for the best bonnet. That title went to my good friend Karen. She'd nobly stayed up to the early hours making her hat and had told me it involved cereal packets.  Understandably, I was expecting more Blue Peter, less film set. Can you guess which one it is? The smiley person holding a bottle of bubbly might be a slight giveaway...    

Wedding sweatshirts
How very rude!
And the winner is! 

Monday, 8 November 2010

Ellie and Ross' Wedding

My cousin got married in the Summer and is now expecting a sprogling with her husband Ross. Yay!!!!

They got wed at Wroxall Abbey, which was extra special cos Ellie went to school there when she was a young'un. Here's them on the big day, looking very happy indeed! That's Ellie' Grandma reaching up to tip confetti on Ross.

I got waylayed with finishing their wedding gift, but it is finally ready to give! I couldn't get it just right in the frame so took it to a clever man at Box Trees Farm (it's a craft centre and a farm, cows are no use when it comes to picture framing) who made it look super! I hope they like it even if it is over three months late, oops!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

The mission

This is my first draft of the plan to stop recklessly chucking money down the drain and make the most of what I already have:
Food "nom nom nom"
I'm going to make like a Victorian on pancake day and use everything up! This is going well so far, I have a massive amount of soup in the fridge and last night instead of going to bed early like normal tired people do I decided to make date squares. Ours aren't square, and they're quite crumbly but they taste good!
Make-up and toiletries
Using it all up and only replacing necessities. I started doing this in the summer after realising I had about 100 different bottles of things that all do pretty much the same thing. I also buy the things I use often in bulk when they're on offer. I'm now down to one conditioner, but have a bottle of almond oil that works really well so all is well.
Really I should say I don't need any clothes at all. But I am hesitating... I've made a real effort to only buy stuff if I really love it when I try it on, not just get it cos it'll do. For the time being I'm going to say, I don't need any: coats, hats or bags. I do really need a belt, so that's allowed.
I love books, looking at them, choosing them, buying them and reading them. Lots of my books are second hand, and I've got so many there's a pile I haven't read yet! No more books until I've read the ones I've got! I'm already thinking maybe a particular book might wing it's way to me for Christmas, oh well, Santa and his giving ways cannot be stopped.
Planning journeys better, walking more (especially to work) and using free parking spaces. Saving money, the environment and forcing me to exercise.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Working and worriment

Our work rota changes this week because the lovely Melanie left at the weekend. This means we are starting sleeping nights, which in turn means I am worrying. I'm worrying because it's a lot of responsibility, what if something goes wrong? What if I trip over and start crashing into things when I get up to do my checks and wake everyone up? What if I don't wake up and miss the checks completely? What if I get so worried I don't sleep at all and appear like a useless zombie the next morning? What if, what if? Aaaaaarrrrgggghhhhh! I need to stop thinking.
Another thing that's bugging is my endless list. The list that has every single job that needs doing on it. It includes everything from stripping walls to finishing courses. Every now and again I get stressed that the list is not completed immediately and it gives me a headache. So I'm going to ignore the list.
I've also been thinking a lot about my spending habits and have concluded that I am a squanderbird of late. At times I have been very restrained with my cash, two jobs and a reluctance to buy anything costing more than 50p. This has gone right out the window of late, fuelled mainly by holidays I couldn't afford and a job change meaning I didn't get paid for a couple of months. So, I need to change my ways! I will form a plan, (it may involve a list, but not of the hideous endless job kind) and post it here to keep me on track!

P.S. I can spend frivolously on Saturday because mr squire and I are going to a vintage fair. I may make a decision when I see the goods at said fair as to the level of spending. I might take a packed lunch for us to make up for shopping expenditure.