Friday, November 5, 2010

Any chance of a good natter?

Hello friends. This is my first full post since my mum's death, and I hope you're not expecting anything deep and meaningful from me today - I'm just longing for a good old natter about anything and everything. Will you join me?
November Country Living, which I eschewed whenever I saw it on Scottish shelves, knowing that my own copy of it was waiting for me at home, is what I'd love a good chat about. It's such a lovely mag - let me know what gets you thinking!
First of all, I've spotted this fantastic canvas shopper which turns out to be designed expecially for the Museum of Rural Life in Reading. I don't think you know that I met Ben when we were both at Reading University, so this on-campus museum was the scene of one of our first dates. Romantic? It seems so to me!
Skipping a few pages, here's a treeehouse dweller.
This wonderful recycled pendant of mine was made by a (similarly easy-on-the-eye) treehouse resident. His treehouse is on a collective farm, on the outskirts of Edinburgh! His stall was full of jewellery made from 'found' items - china, shells, butterfly wings etc. It was also surrounded by women... Was it his jewellery or his angelic blonde curls?
Ah, interesting. Kate Humble is looking good in a French brand of outdoor wear. Sadly, the only Aigle products I ever owned were some super-looking garden slippers, which fell apart after just one year. I'm pretty sure that was a blip on an otherwise great product-range, though.
Country in the City is fun. It always reminds me of my brother in law, who is a wannabe bee keeper and waiting-list allotment gardener in Soho. My sister is less keen, but she did join him on a fungi foray like the one described here.
Yum, swoon, drool.
Ah, plans, plans... yes, I want to make some button jewellery for Christmas this year... Which blogger was it who posted instructions for a simple button crochet necklace last month, does anyone know?
Anyone remember my 'Country Living' autumn photoshoot from last year? I like this year's too - we've got one of those soil-sieves! And looking at the way the lovely Raja graced some of last year's photos, I need to tell you that that she's doing really well on her medication and looking like an elegant hound again, instead of a miserable stray. Such a relief. I'll tell you more about her illness when I'm feeling strong some time...
So, is anyone going to pen them a poem? Go on... I bet there are some bloggers out there who could write a great one! Ah, wool, Cumbrian shepherdess, tweed clothes. We lived in the Lakes when we first got married, and I was training at Charlotte Mason College of Education, Ambleside. Sadly, I can't wear wool next to my skin. (How's that for a non sequitur?)But I did own the most fantastic BIBA tweed jacket when I was in my late teens. I think I must have sent it back to the charity shop when it stopped doing up around me...Ooh, I think I've already seen these fantastic fair trade socks in my favourite online store, Ethical Superstore. Anyone who wanted to buy me a new Christmas present could just go and click randomly in their web catalogue - I think I would be happy with anything!
OK, Living with Wildlife. While we were away in Scotland and the pets were living with kind colleagues and neighbours, the mice took over our sideboard. That's one living with wildlife that we stopped pretty sharpish when we got back... But this was an example I would happily live with! They were nesting on the balcony of our gite this summer. We don't have them here, but we do have bats roosting in our roof. Very pleasing.
Oh, very lovely. But sadly for me, written by Christopher Somerville, with whom for some reason my Inner English Teacher just doesn't get on. It's unfair, I know, as he obviously writes about a million times better than I do, but he's just too self-consciously lyrical for me.
My favourite writer is fast becoming Ros Byam Shaw, who penned the superb text for Perfect English Cottage. It's got to the point where I'll buy a magazine if I see she's written for it - or at least I did with Period Living when I was in Scotland, and I wasn't disappointed.
A Thriving Country Town. We are just too close to Toulouse to really thrive, but we are pretty good compared to a lot of British towns, in terms of still having all the basic traders on the High Street. I've been following Niki's Nostalgia shop with great interest, including all her links to 'Turn Back Time: The High Street' programme. Have any of you been watching it? What do you think? We have no UK TV here...
Ah-ha, someone else who likes decorating with autumn colours...
Too lovely.
This one looks interesting. And very well written, too. Love the sentence: 'The house sits in the middle of an informal garden, parts of which have clambered up its walls, as snug as a red brick chicken in a nest of greenery'. Hang on - it's by... Ros Byam Shaw! Well there you go...
And I could very likely do that with our oriental rugs, too...
Drawing to a close...Getting to the cookery pages with some very-Flossie one pot recipes from Clarissa Dickson Wright. I'm going to try this one.There we go! I'll finish off the rest of the magazine with some Bacon and Eggs in a Mug!And they were very good, too.
Thanks so much for putting up with my natter. Please do natter back, on anything here that took your fancy!


marigold jam said...

Hello Floss - good to see you back again. Hope that you are beginning to get to grips with life again now - I well remember how it was for me in the months (nay even years) after my Mum died but the sad times do get fewer and more spaced out. I didn't have that copy of CL but it certainly looks interesting - their photography is so good isn't it and always inspires. Must get to the library where they have CL along with Good Housekeeping so I don't buy them as I can go and read them for free! Anyway enough of my waffling - just wanted to say welcome back!


Carol said...

Hi Floss, good to see you today. Bacon and eggs in a mug - now that really is a first - is it a French thing?
I have my Country Living magazine but seem to have been too busy to actually open it. I will make amends later today now you have shown us some of its lovely contents.
The High Street programme was wonderful, entertaining and educational. Right from the beginning you could see Niki's shop popping up as a beautiful background. The baker really struggled (should have listened to his "artisan" wife more!) I hadn't realised that bread was bulked up with rice, sawdust etc and even whitened with alum! The blacksmith was so emotional about it all, lovely chap. Can't wait for the Edwardian period next week, should be a bit more glamorous.
The blue necklace is lovely, even more so knowing it has been upcycled.
A very grey day here but brightened by all the lovely autumn colour.
Have a good weekend, Floss.
Carol xx

Sherri B. said...

Floss, how good it is to see that you are feeling up to a post. Many times I have thought of you and sent up a prayer that you and your family might find some peace in this time of loss.

Your photos are lovely and you know how I think that your Country Living is far superior to our U.S. one.

What good news that your Raja is so much better.

Take care of yourself and you will remain in my thoughs and prayers.

summerfete said...

Hi Floss been thinking about you!
What a lovely lovely post, I think I shall go back and have another read.

Aside from all the great eye candy, I'm loving your tablecloth, its lush.

Really nice to natter!


Sarah said...

Hi Floss
Great to see you back again. I have got CL mag, but yet to read it. There's certainly a lot of great eye candy by the looks of it. I might actually put Clarissa's book on my ever growing Christmas list, as 1 pot cooking is right up my street. Bacon and egg in a cup is a must this weekend!
Take Care.

Anonymous said...

Hello my dear, it is lovely to have you back.I am still trying very hard not to buy magazines (although with Christmas approaching this may prove to be increasingly difficult), so thanks for sharing your copy. xx

Brenda Leyland said...

This was a delightful 'natter' to browse through!

And we are glad to see you're up for it. I learned when my own dad moved to heaven a few years ago that healing often comes in the simple, familiar things we pick up and do again.

You've give me ideas of people and magazines to go hunt for.... hope I'll find them here in Canada.


Lola Nova said...

I do love a good natter!
Oh, I would love some oriental rugs, and a stay in a tree house. I too am unable to wear wool next to my skin, such a shame but, I find quite a few people have this same aversion. What a lovely sunny day it looks to be (in your photo shoot). We have been having wonderful fall weather this week, allowing for park visits after school and kicking up the golden and russet leaves as we walk.

I am so glad to hear that Raja is doing well, that is such good news! It is so nice to see your post this morning, take good care.

Heidi said...

Sweet Pea, It's so good to hear from you again...I have been thinking about you! what a lovely post to drool over! Wow how come your lovely magazines over there are so much better than ours.

Jane and Chris said...

Hi Floss, and welcome back we've missed you.
Our autumn colours have all gone now;today it is snowing (!!) but at least not settling.
I too cannot wear wool next to my skin (nasty rash appears) so giving up wool when I became vegan was certainly no hardship!
Hmm Oriental rugs; I am not keen when they look new, but when they begin to show wear and tear is when I love them. The one we have in our family room is beginning to get some very worn patches....just how I like them.
Jane x

Nana Go-Go said...

Glad you`re back and feeling like blogging again. Can imagine how it`s been for you and hope you get your strength back very soon.
Aigle`s highly overpriced if you ask me - one of our local shops sells it - this is `horsey` country! - and I`m astounded at the prices - though I wouldn`t say no to one of their fitted,padded jackets! Maybe in the sale?
Great to hear from you, Floss. Have a good weekend.

Sue at Dollytub Cottage said...

Hi Floss, I have been away and only just read about your sad loss. I originally started blogging following the death of my partner, so I know how truly therapeutic it can be. My thoughts are with you. This is a beautiful post today and the pics are lovely! SueXX

Serenata said...

Hi Floss,
So good to see you ready for a natter, and what a lovely natter it was as well. I really enjoyed looking through the magazine with you. I haven't got this one. I have still been trying to resist the magazine racks...not doing too badly really, although looks like I missed out on a good one with this issue!

I have just received a lovely magazine from Australia so I will have to do a bit of a picture page spread when I have the time.

Glad to hear your lovely dog is on the mend as well. Our little dog is so much better as well after his escapade with pancreatitis which is such a relief.

It is our movie and takeaway night tonight, so DS1 has gone to get us chicken and chips and then we will watch a DVD afterwards.

Unfortunately we haven't been able to watch that Going back in time series not having a TV, but it looks really interesting and I too have been enjoying reading Nicki's accounts.

Hope you have a good weekend {{hugs}} Lorraine

Marianne said...

Hi Floss,
Sorry to hear about your Mum (big hug).
Love Country Living - its my bible for all things to do with home and garden. I have tried being unfaithful with other magazines, but always come back to CL. Just presses all the right buttons for me. I've got editions going back years, but have to make myself have a cull every time I move house, or they might just take over completely.

Elizabethd said...

So good to see you back, and if we were nearer I'd be running down the road to chat Country Living with you.
I have that edition too, lots to read in it. Not too sure about the bacon and egg in a mug though.
Loved the tweeds.
Take care of yourself now you are back.

VintageVicki said...


CL is one of the only mag subscriptions I have - the autumn/winter ones are always full of lovely pictures :)

Thought of you this afternoon when I was out with Dawn - quite a selection of floral enamelwear - we both said 'Oh Floss would like that'!!

The Step Back in Time on the high street thing is good - love that sort of social history programme.

Maria said...

Good to see you back Floss. The article about the Cumbrian shepherdess made me laugh, do you really think she really dresses like that, bit drafty me thinks !

Angela said...

Hi Floss
Good to hear from you. Very impressed with your comprehensive review of CL. I hope someone reminds us of where the crochet button bracelet blog is!
I love it when I can find a personal link to a magazine article - a place I have been, or a craftsperson I have met etc.
You remain in our thoughts - bereavement is a long road to travel, and there are unexpected bumpy bits on the road
blessings on you, Ben and the boys x

Sarah said...

Welcome back my darling Floss!! We have so missed you and been thinking of you daily. I have a pretty card sitting here lacking your address, please can you remedy this for me? I know it's somewhere but if you could see this place you'd understand!!

Wow what a loaded post we have here. Love the mag pictures but what I love most is your table cloth. I need that table cloth! Is it hand embroidered? It's the prettiest I've seen. I'm sure you enjoy using it. Lots of love to you all xxxxxxx

Flossie and Tom said...

Hi Floss
Lovely to hear from you again.
I've got the country living mag but it was great to enjoy it again through your eyes XXX

Kit said...

Hi Floss! So good to see you again. And I loved sharing your magazine with you. Your magazine is soooo different than the one I get here in the US. Made me feel all warm and fuzzy. Hugs, Kit

harmony and rosie said...

Great to have you back again. I love CL and this month's is a particularly good one I think but I don't really have time for a natter, I'm looking at a huge pile of washing up and have run out of excuses now. Take care xox

Ticking stripes said...

Hi Floss, do look after yourself. You have enough going on without needing to be deep and meaningful for us! However if the lovely treehouse man would like to be deep and meaningful then could somebody send him over please?

Rebecca S. said...

Well, it all seems comfy and cosy, colourful and inspiring to a creative person like yourself. So, it seems the ticket for today! Welcome back.

Betty said...

Hello Floss, so glad to see you pottering and finding your feet whilst adjusting to the loss of your dear mum. Glad Raja is on the mend. I haven't got a lot of chat in me, as I have nasty shingles at present and am trying to keep going to work and being a mum without giving up and creeping off to bed until it goes away! Small treats help so I will look forward to a copy of CL and a leafy autumnal walk in the woods this weekend. Your tabletop is pretty, the pumpkin is a beautiful colour, all chocolatey. What a romantic meeting for you and hubby (ours was less so, both working in a nightclub in piccadilly as barmaid/bouncer, you werent allowed to have relationships 30 years ago in that sort of work, so it was very exciting meeting secretly before work and then pretending we didn't know each other!). Betty x

Jan said...

Floss, it is so good to see you back again and what better way to have a natter than with CL Magazine. I do hope you will feel much stronger as time goes on but meanwhile your friends and young family will be a great support to you. xx

Lululiz said...

Gor blimey, no need to buy the magazine, lol, I think you have shown just about everything worthwhile, lolol! It is a lovely issue actually, I get mine on subscription, Xmas pressie from MIL, and she just asked me whether I wanted it renewed for next year....... heck, yes!!! Does nattering include wingeing and whining as well, lol? I just got the December issue through the post, and I thought, great, a really lovely thick issue.......... errrmm, not so, it was crammed full of junk mail, honestly, the pile of junk was thicker than the magazine! Very disappointing. Rant over, lol, but I will probably post about it. Because it did annoy me. Am I turning into a miserable old witch, lol? You know, you really shouldn't ask me to natter, lol, I could go on for hours......... better, not, you'd get a headache. Look after yourself xx

April Cottage Ramblings said...

Hi Floss,
Good to see you back and blogging with avengence. I hve just come back from Holiday (4;30 am this morning) and couldn't wait to catch up with everyones blogs. I really issed it while I was away. I took the same copy of country living with me and although we were borderline for overweight luggage coming home insisted on bringing back my copy of country living. A good publication this month and well reviewed. best wishes Jayne x

A Bun Can Dance said...

Hi Floss,
It's great to have you back and in such tip top form, too. I'm thinking of you and sending lots of warm hugs your way.
As for your trip through the magazine - well, what is there here NOT to like? I adore Autumn magazines, and photos showing autumnal colours - aah! I think you may need to treat yourself to the shopping tote bag, eh?
Yes, we've enjoyed 'Turn Back Time' not least because of Shepton being just down the road. It was a great first episode and lovely to see lots of scenes showing Niki's shop in the background!
Have a good week ahead - it must be good to be back in your usual routines :-)
Take care
Denise x

TheMadHouse said...

Hello dear friend, please tell me more about eggs and bacon in a cup, it sounds just up Mini's street. I am glad to see you back, I hope that you and the family are OK. I am looking forward to spending Advent with you and yours again this year hopefully.

It is 11 years since my dad died this week and I have been thinking and praying for you and your family

Princess and the Pea said...

So good to have you back Floss. What a lovely idea to have a natter! Blogging is so one sided (especially if you aren't sure if anyone is listening!) so it's nice to be a bit more interactive.

I loved that Noel page - very skandinavian Christmas! I love those colours. I think I might decorate my house like that this year. I really liked the paper chain draped around the walls as well.

I had a go at doing some Christmas shopping this weekend but didn't come back with anything. The shops are rubbish this year. I think i'llbe doing a lot of Internet shopping. I've got both parent in laws birthdays coming up as well in the next month. Nightmare! How is your shopping going? What are you buying. Are you shopping in Toulouse?

Anyway, any time you want a chat, just drop me an email.


Carol said...

Hi Floss, I have just read back through your recent posts, so sorry, you are such a sweet lady, your Mum must have been so very proud of you. A sqeezey hug is sent through the airwaves to you.
I am pleased you feel like a natter, just what is needed sometimes. I did not renew my sub's to Country Living and am missing my monthy treat, but now I have seen your post it is ok.
Much love to you and your family,
Carol xxx

April Cottage Ramblings said...

Hi Floss,
Just incase you re interested. There is a great feature in the country living magasine covering a wool mill in Launceston Cornwall (which you no doubt read). I have been on their site today. They have some great wools. a visual tour of their mill and free knitting patterns so I thought I would pass on the link


Pink Feather Paradise said...

Hi Floss, Sorry to hear your news, big hugs to you. I do so love a cuppa and a browse through the magazines... I do sometimes giggle at the unreal staged pictures...all so uncluttered and un lived in ... I dare say there are a few households that look like that 24/7 but mine surely isn't one of them... lol

with children, pets and adults upturning, dumping and abandoning shoes, bags and all manner of "stuff!" its never tidy for long! lol

I think so long as you don't take them too literally you'll come away still feeling a useful bead in the necklace of mankind entwining the world.... nah... this writing lark is not for me! lol ...

Thank you for sharing your copy... I may have to dig mine out and read the article you mentioned...

big hugs Alex

Purrfect Haven said...

I loved your post (and have been thinking of you at this time XX). I hadn't known till now that you went to Reading Uni, where I myself went. There are many things I relate to as I learn and about you through your posting. I love the Country Living mag - my all time favourite mag so 'fullsome'. Take care dear. Helen x