Just being ME

Please say hello ... I love comments!


have a break, have a kitkat ...

Well as you can see, very soon I shall be coming up to my 100th birthday, so to celebrate I am taking a shortish blog break, as you can imagine being at such an age, it takes a lot more time to wade through the other necessities in life, ones which should take priority to blogging! I don't want to lose the friendship I have made with you all, so all I can say, in the immortal words of Arnie, I'll be back!

I have set a puzzler for you all, please see post below.

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let's play count the buttons ...

Whilst I take a break to rest these old bones, I would like you all to have a guess at how many buttons are in this jar, and then leave your estimation as a comment. Keep looking in, as when I return, for whoever has guessed the closest, will be the lucky winner of a gold tone diamonte handbag mirror, not old but very pretty. This task will stretch the old brain I know, so to help you along a little, I will say there are between 140 to 240. In the event of more than one person leaving the same winning estimation, I shall put all relevant names in a hat and pick one out.

Good luck!

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russian dolls ...

After trawling through lots of blogs I have noticed that many of you either own a set of Russian dolls, or have bought Russian doll related items. Also know as Matrioska (various spellings), these were given to me when I was young back in the 1970s, by a friend of the family. They are the real McCoy, (marked made in Russia) as one of the couple was a Latvian who joined the German army and who during World War Two became a Prisoner of War here in England. Like the majority of German POWs, for obvious reasons he didn't go back (thanks Steve for the information). I cannot get the exact provenance of the dolls, as both have sadly passed on.

As you can see the colour on the wood has faded, looks like I had them all lined up in direct sunlight, I didn't know any better at that age!

Have you got a cherished item that tells a story?


Michele from Cowboys & Custard fame, I have an award for you, not that your mantlepiece needs another one?

After reading your latest post, I think you need to belong to the same club as I do!

you either love it or loathe it ...

I loathe it! Marmite have a website dedicated to this very much loved and loathed, dark brown nectar, and have e-cards to send to all your Marmite loving mates. Or click on Marmart to see how devotees squeeze it on their toast, there are some budding Marmartists out there!

Will you be searching for an unusual Valentine's gift for that special person in your life, how about Marmite with a hint of champagne? 600,000 limited edition jars of 'Lovers Marmite' using the usual ingredients with 0.3% champagne added are going on sale ahead of February 14th. A special gold label has been produced which says 'I love you' and 'For my lovely Marmite lover'.

How much do you think that special person in your life is worth? Sainsburys will be selling it at £2.99 and Selfridges, a pound more at £3.99.

Now, if money is no object when it comes to that special person in your life, Selfridges have commissioned jewellery designer Theo Fennel to create just fifty pots of 'Lovers Marmite' with a sterling silver engraved lid, priced at £145!

Michelle from the USA has never clapped eyes on this brown yukky stuff, click on Marmite to see what the ingredients are? I guess it is very similar to Vegemite, although this fact comes from a very unreliable source!


cowboys but no custard ...

This post is for Michele at Cowboys & Custard, as she loves childhood nostalgia. I love this little pop up Tuck Book of Annie Get Your Gun, seen through the eyes of a child, adapted from the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Technicolour Production, published by Raphael Tuck & Sons Ltd. I was lucky enough to find this at a jumble sale many moons ago.

Recently I discovered Michele is expertly trained as a bookbinder, a strange coincidence that this binding is coming apart Michele!

The musical film in 1950, played Betty Hutton and Howard Keel in the starring roles. The screen play was by Sidney Sheldon based on the musical play, with music and lyrics by Irving Berlin.


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do you believe in fairies ...

I would like you to meet 'Amy in the pale pink dress' and 'Wine in the dark pink dress'. These two lovely fairies were made by my very talented sister-in-law Stella, and I was given these accompanied by other goodies for Christmas, along with the message that their hairdos reminded her and my niece of Amy Winehouse. Now you see where I got their names from!

There has been talk of fairies in two other blogs I have visited recently, first Lucy Bloom was blessed with the power of a thrift fairy, who has been hovering close to Marlborough in Wiltshire, and Shadows and Clouds who recently revisited a local haunt from her childhood, where she believed fairies may have been taking up residence. Do visit both of these blogs, who knows that special fairy dust might just settle over you?

I have always been captivated by fairies and I wonder when this fascination would have started. Maybe from my early years of having been visited by the tooth fairy, can't remember what she would have left, possible an old penny, thruppence or even sixpence?

by Cicely Mary Barker ... her first book Flower Fairies of the Spring was published in 1923 bringing her international acclaim, and her many beautifully illustrated books which followed have become classics with children and adults alike.

Click on Flower Fairies to visit the official website, for lots of fairy fun.

I recently discovered that Cicely Mary Barker first found inspiration for her Flower Fairies Journal whilst staying in Storrington in West Sussex, a village we know very well, as J and his family were brought up and still live there to this day. Click on Flower Fairy Journal for a more in-depth account.

by Ida Rentoul Outhwaite ... was the first children's book illustrator in Australia to have her work printed in lavish full-colour editions and to establish an international career. She was hailed as one of the most significant new illustrators in England post World War One. She wrote and illustrated more than sixty children's books, most of which were published by Angus & Robertson in Australia and A & C Black in the United Kingdom.

Ida's exquisite watercolours and fine pen and ink drawings have recently enjoyed a widespread revival of interest.


i couldn't believe what i was seeing ...

By strange coincidence, the other evening shortly after publishing my mini post, J was flicking through the channels and caught part of Top Gear, I stopped in my tracks as they were showing this item. Well I don't usually watch Top Gear but on this occasion I couldn't stop myself, I couldn't believe what I was seeing, and did I laugh!

Click on Rocket Mini to see this hilarious stunt. So glad I didn't have to take my driving test on the ski run at Lillehammer!


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a new smaller model ...

These are some practice shots from our Christmas present to ourselves, a more portable camera. The photo above shows one of the local fishing boats and Worthing pier in the background. We both use quite bulky cameras, J uses his for recording fish catches and of lake shots and I have J's cast off (pardon the pun) which I use for the blog, a good camera with a good lens, but we just needed something a little smaller, something less cumbersome to carry around with us on our travels, on foot and on our bikes.

I must say we are pleased with it, although I have to find time to study all the functions, gone are the days when you can just turn on the flash and press a button! It takes me ages to master anything new, and I am useless when it comes to instructions! It is a Panasonic Lumix with a Leica lens so it should take good quality pictures, we bought if off the internet from a reputable firm and saved £60 off of Currys and Jessops price, so well worth doing the homework first.

These enormous rocks are part of the new defence system which has gone up along many miles of the West Sussex coast. These should put an end to the high tide washing up shingle along the pathways and more importantly the roads.

This shot, taken late afternoon, is of the newly refurbished Dome Cinema in Worthing. Click on here for the history of the cinema. Before being refurbished it was known as the local flea pit, people would avoid it like the plague!


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mini skirts and mini cars ...

Beeswax has posted a photo of her with her gran and the new Mini her grandparents had just bought and as Kath so rightly said 'all the rage in the 1960s'. Seeing it had me hunting for this photo of me and my brother taken at Easter 1969, with my dad on the left and my uncle on the right (if you look closely in the background you can just see the roof of my uncle's VW Beetle, one of many he owned). Dad had a succession of Minis throughout my childhood, racing them in hill climbs and sprints across the country. Still to this day I don't know how my dad fitted in to a Mini, as a young man he was quite broad and tall, he does laugh about it now, there was certainly no extra room to manoevre, that's for sure! I am sure many of you have memories of Minis, I certainly have lots.

My first car was a red mini, the very one pictured above in a local newspaper advertisement for sale, must have been the best one on the forecourt at the time! My parents were by no means rich but they delivered their promise of a new (secondhand) car for both me and my brother for our eighteenth birthday presents on passing our driving tests, what an incentive, we both passed at seventeen. My first test didn't go too well, the examiner had to apply the emergency brake at a set of traffic lights. I only drew the short straw for the most notorious examiner at the test centre, I remember him frightening me to death at the time, it was as much as I could do to read out the number plate, let alone to be competently driving a car! I passed on my second test in this little car above.

Any driving test or Mini memories out there?


new year's honours ...

No OBEs, MBEs, CBEs or knighthoods, just this humble 'Friends Make The World Go Round' award, is being awarded to all friends who have paid a visit to my two blogs over the past couple of months. Please feel free to copy and paste it in to your own blog with pride.

Up until about six months ago I didn't truthfully know what a blog was, yes I had heard the word, but hadn't spared any time to investigate this unknown phenomenon. Then my sister-in-law put me on to her friend's blog, which I would occasionally pay a visit to, it was just idle curiosity really. I love gardening, and it wasn't until quite a few months later that I realised that to keep a blog was a really good means of recording what was happening in the garden, I had until then kept occasional typed up notes on my PC, but this was a great way of including photos as well.

So that was how it all started, I left my comments open and secretely hoped someone would find me, honestly not thinking anyone ever would, and when they did and I received my first comment, I couldn't believe that anyone had given little old me even a second of their time, I was so excited, and from then on just wanted to put more and more posts on.

... and the rest as they say, is history.