Our trip to London last Saturday started off in some disorder, missed the early train and it was pouring with rain after weeks of sunshine! However, the next train followed some thirty minutes later and the rain cleared up by late morning.
We did arrive at Portobello Road later than we had planned but fortunately before it was too crowded. Found most of the vintage lace sellers we have supported over many years no longer trading. We always found amazing bargains in the scratch boxes of one of the specialist lace outlets but sad to say this is no longer the case and the prices are extremely high for rather mediocre lace. The market has changed with a lot more 'crafts' and new items, disappointing really and we left quite early without finding anything really special although Megan did manage to find fine narrow lace at one of the antique markets at a rather premium price. Will have to start looking elsewhere to find the vintage items we use to accessorise our bears.
Walking down the street we discovered the 'All Saints' shop. Situated in a vast cavernous building the backdrop is the most incredible collection of vintage sewing machines I have ever seen!
How I would love one of these old machines, brings back memories of my early teens and making simple shift dresses on a Singer hand sewing machine. No zig-zag stitch for the seams or the luxury of an overlocker.
Then of course there is the Hummingbird Bakery specialising in delectable American style cup cakes very tempting but I did not stop to check prices, just a quick picture (Megan's reflection in the window).
We visited the bead/embroidery shop in Kentish Town, M & S in Kensington High Street ending up at Covent Garden in time for a lunch snack. As Bronwen has not spent much time in London we took a bus to Victoria so that she could view some of the beautiful buildings en route, much more pleasant than travelling in the overcrowded underground on a humid day! The entire Horse Guards Parade was closed with strong police presence for a motley collection of demonstrators, suppose this added interest to our journey We finally decided to call it a day as it was by this time mid afternoon, we had walked ourselves to a standstill and could just not face the longish hike to Buckingham Palace. This will have to be added to the list for our next visit. Oh the sad saga of old age, on my first and solo visit to London many years ago, I was just too terrified to take the underground (I was young and naive) I walked some ten miles (so confirmed by a friend) in one long day to view all the sites. Just do not have that kind of stamina any more.
On the home front, the squirrel is making good use of the wonderful food supply we are providing, the birds are visiting the restaurant in ever increasing numbers and we have viewed the hedgehog rushing across the garden in the dark of night, just visible in the lights from the house. If he is to become a permanent fixture in the garden we might have to provide him with a winter home for hibernation.
Our vegetable garden is thriving, we are harvesting lots of little tomatoes, long runner beans, broad beans and a few sad peas! The strawberries are producing lots of leaves and a few rather delicious strawberries. We have a very large tree in our garden full of small yellow fruit which I have discovered are called Mirabelle plums. We have picked a full basin and I will tomorrow have fun making some jam. Of course all the glass jars are carefully recycled and put in the special bin so I will have to 'borrow' the jars presently home to my tiny fibre joints.
I have a selection of completed bears sitting looking anxiously at me as they have still to be decorated or dressed and yes Hugglets is just around the corner. Pictures in the next blog hopefully.
The perils of living in the countryside, now that the canola and wheat has been harvested and we have seen the end of millions of itchy scratchy little thrips, we have an ever increasing number of flies in the house. Presumably these are from the smelly mucky stuff they are now ploughing into the fields.
The days are drawing in and it will soon be autumn. Cannot believe that it is only some eighteen months since we moved across the world with the cats. A friend who moved to Australia at about the same time has been in touch with Megan. Like us, her family has had many ups and downs and it is hard starting all over again.
Merlin is still having major problems with his skin. A visit to the vet and a cortisone injection/antibiotics seem to have had little reaction and I am now trying homeopathic drops which seem to be helping a little. To end a picture of Mischka looking very beautiful, just brushed and lying across the table in our workroom, totally oblivious to all the bits of paper, bear parts etc.
Lord of all he surveys, little beast ............
Austin has just celebrated his birthday and we had a rather belated get together today. Thrilled to be informed that I will become a grandmother next year but a new worry with his imminent departure to Afghanistan.
In the book of life, the answers aren't in the back. ~Charlie Brown