Monday 31 August 2015

Catching up

Is anyone still there? I do hope so, despite my extremely poor blogging form of late.
I've been spending a lot of time here...
and increased my hours to full-time for a week to cover my manager's leave. That was a challenge.

I've been wearing colours inspired by some street art which I pass every day on my walk to work.

Inevitably, there has been an ever-growing list of Jobs To Do waiting for me on my days off.

Uniform-buying, optician's appointments, some modicum of housework, that sort of thing. And trying to get out and about with the kids on the sunny days, while feeling pretty guilty that they have had a rubbish summer...
although Nina looks happy enough here.

Claudia got her first proper haircut at my hairdresser's...

and not to be outdone, Owen tried on a pink wig, which looked alarmingly good on him.

(Anyone else thinking Grayson Perry? He only needs a frock.)

I've found some bits and bobs in the shop, of course; a 1960s St Michael top and 1967 pattern...
and a 1964 edition of The Tempest, which I rescued from the book recycling box for the sake of the gorgeous cover illustration.  It's by Leo and Diane Dillon
1960s silk maxi skirt - gift from much-missed Krista
Fringed top, large ring and bangles - charity shopped
Necklace - gift from Gisela
Sandals - retail (sale)

1970s dress - vintage shop
Cropped cardigan and bangles - charity shopped
Sandals - retail (sale)
So that's me - a bit frazzled, enjoying work but finding it tricky to balance it with everything else in life that needs my attention, and hoping that the kids returning to school might help to establish a better routine. 
And finally, I must mention our local girl Jessica Ennis-Hill, who won a gold medal in the heptathlon at the World Athletics Championships in Beijing last week. 
 There was I, slumped on the sofa with a cup of tea, bemoaning my aching back and tired feet; and there was Jess, retaining a world title in a multi-discipline event just over a year after giving birth. If she can defend her Olympic title next year, she'll be only the third athlete in track and field to do so after becoming a mum.

Go Jess!

(Painting by Pete McKee.)

Now - what's been going on with you? I'm about to find out!


Monday 17 August 2015

Tyne and Tide

At the weekend, I headed off to the north east to visit my sister Sabena and her partner Gary. We were trying to work out the last time I was there on my own, it must have been before I had kids.
I love Newcastle, but I love these two even more!
As with so many cities which have a rich industrial heritage, there is impressive Georgian and Victorian architecture aplenty.
 Grey Street runs down to the Quayside in an elegant Georgian curve...

while the Central Arcade is an extravagently-tiled Edwardian hymn of praise to shopping.
A leisurely stroll by the Tyne in the sunshine was glorious.

We crossed the Millenium Bridge...
into Gateshead, to visit The Baltic art gallery.

The viewing platform offers fantastic views of the river and city...

as well as the kittiwakes which huddle along the side of the building.

Smiles all round!

Then on to have a nosey in the Sage, a live music venue on the Gateshead side of the Tyne.

On Sunday, we walked from Tynemouth to North Shields along the Tyne estuary.

The view behind us showed the Collingwood Monument and the two piers, marking the point where the estuary opens into the sea.

We saw a couple of people harvesting cockles on the mud flats.

Breakfast at Irvin's was delicious.

  We strolled back into Tynemouth through the newly-renovated Northumberland Park...

(yes, the greens really were that vibrant in the sun!)
before a browse around the market held at Tynemouth Metro station every weekend.
The Victorian ironwork and glass roof made it feel as though the market was taking place in a greenhouse, but it was good to see so many people enjoying the event, and the sun.

Tynemouth Longsands...

just beautiful.

And then it was time to go home.

I came back with a few finds from the market;
1970s Jean Allen shirtwaister dress
1970s floaty maxi
1960s handmade jacket
Two 1960-70s cotton day dresses
and also this 1960s dress. At a quid each, how could I leave them behind?

And the pendant is another 1960-70s stainless steel Lord Python piece, made in Sheffield by David Scott Walker. What were the chances of finding that in Tynemouth?

Or a swan brooch with the head of a diplodocus?

I'll be catching up with you soon, I promise.


Monday 10 August 2015


You know I love a floral print.

And purple, I love purple too.

Told you.

I found this little purple jacket on a £1 sale rail in a charity shop, and very useful it is too as an alternative to my denim jacket. 

Everything charity shopped, apart from Charlie - he was a freebie.

Jacket, top, vintage Austrian crystal necklace and bangles - charity shopped
1970s Debroyal maxi skirt - vintage fair
Sandals - retail (sale)

While I was visiting Patsy the other weekend, we visited Helmsley, a pretty North Yorkshire market town.

The imposing ruins of Helmsley castle.

 The walled gardens were a real treat.

Beautiful borders...

and fabulous blooms.

So much vibrant colour, I loved it.

And the best garden seat ever.

I could have stayed all afternoon.

You'll have to excuse me, I haven't got much to say at the moment. I think working all through the summer holidays is leaving my brain slightly doughy and my energy levels depleted.

 So I'll let this little Russian-made sweetheart wave goodbye for me! She's grateful because I rescued her from the charity shop bin.

I'll come and visit you all soon, I promise.