Monday, 24 December 2012

Judy Garland sings Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas from the 1944 film Meet Me in St Louis

Have yourself a merry little christmas
Let your heart be light
Next year all our troubles will be
Out of sight
Have yourself a merry little christmas
Make the yule-tide gay
Next year all our troubles will be
Miles away
Once again as in olden days
Happy golden days of yore
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Will be near to us once more
Someday soon, we all will be together
If the fates allow
Until then, well have to muddle through somehow
So have yourself a merry little christmas now

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Extreme Shepherding - While Shepherds Watch Their Flocks

This YouTube video is of " Crazy shepherds fit their sheep with LED vests to create awesome designs on a hill. They recreate a game of Pong, fireworks, and the Mona Lisa." Certainly puts a different slant to

While shepherds watched
Their flocks by night
All seated on the ground
The angel of the Lord came down
And glory shone around
And glory shone around

Friday, 21 December 2012

Friday Vintage - Vintage Fairies

 A selection of vintage and vintage inspired fairies anyone of which I'd be happy to see on my Christmas Tree.

Starting with Betty and Violet 's exquisitely handmade clay fairy doll dressed in antique and vintage textiles, trims and beads with a beaded tiara for her hair and glass beaded wings. From £60 Betty and Violet

 Vintage 1950's fairy from Lucy Bloom

 Sam McKechnie fairy made from papier maché and antique French linen filled with lavender. Each fairy is hand-painted and dressed in vintage fabric ballgowns and adorned with antique and vintage flowers.£128 from The Magpie and the Wardrobe

Angel Hughes fairy, each year the Tobias and the Angel team make between 18 and 20 fairies using antique lace, silks, ribbons, beads, sequins and bows. You can move their arms and legs and they have a wand, a necklace and very good knickers! approx. 8 inches / 20,3 cm from £ 245 each Tobias and the Angel

Which would you choose?

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

British Birds and Their Nests -Ladybird Book Series 536

 Ladybird Books British Birds and Their Nests Ladybird Series 536 - First Edition


British Birds - nests - bird eggs - trees - hedges - Yellowhammer - Skylark - Wren - Robin - Blue Tit - Long-tailed Tit - Bullfinch - Linnet - Jay - Starling - Magpie - Blackbird - Song Thrush - Goldfinch - Willow Warbler - House Martin - Turtle Dove - Green Woodpecker - Pied Wagtail - Kingfisher - Brown Owl - Partridge - Moorhen - Black-headed Gull

"This, children, is a new book about British birds and their nests. All the birds are common ones, and Allen Seaby has given you lovely coloured pictures, to enable you to recognise each of the birds when you see them.

I have tried to tell you a little about each bird, so that you will know where and how they live; what the bird is when you see it, and you can only do that by watching and keeping your eyes open. So you want to look at these lovely pictures very closely, and then go out and see how many of the birds in this book you can find. You can try their nests as well, but if you do, do not take the eggs - just look at them.

Good Hunting"

 This copy complies with the following First Edition issue points for collectors : "Hardback book issued with dust-wrapper. Original price 2'6 Net. The title text on the dust-wrapper is white (later edition were in blue or black ink). Catalogue page at the rear of the book."

About Ladybird Series 536

Ladybird published 27 titles in series 536 between 1940 and 1980 inclusive. The first 14 titles were originally published with dust-wrapper and had the original price of 2'6 Net.

This was a hugely popular series as it explored the wonders of nature - each title has been reprinted numerous times throughout the years retaining the wonderful illustrations that accompanied the easy-to-read text

 Ladybird Books British Birds and Their Nests Ladybird Series 536 - First Edition

Author: Brian Vesey-Fitzgerald
Illustrator: Allen W Seaby
Publisher: Wills & Hepworth
First Published: 1953

 This is a Ladybird Tuesday Post hosted by Being Mrs C

Monday, 17 December 2012

Holy Innocents by Christina Rossetti - Weekly Poem

 With great sorrow because of Connecticut a poem about the Massacre of the Innocents

THEY scarcely waked before they slept,
They scarcely wept before they laughed;
They drank indeed death's bitter draught,
But all its bitterest dregs were kept
And drained by Mothers while they wept.

From:  The Poetical Works of Christina Georgina Rossetti

Image Source

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Weekend Read - Miss Happiness and Miss Flower by Rumer Godden

Whilst browsing charity shop books I came across a copy of Miss Happiness and Miss Flower Not a vintage copy unfortunately but I bought it anyway.I started reading it as soon as I got home and was instantly enchanted.It was magical and now I wish I had a Miss Happiness and Miss Flower of my very own.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Friday Flowers - Pheasant Feather Christmas Wreath

A Christmas wreath with a difference - pheasant tail feathers.
Maybe one for the huntin, shootin, fishin brigade?

Friday Vintage - Shabby Tea Party Flea Market

 Isn't this a great idea a blog Flea Market?

 I'm sure there are lots out there in "blog land" but today I came across Betty Jean's Flea Market on her blog Shabby Tea Party so thought I'd share.

 Betty Jean likes to "treasure hunt" garage sales, flea markets, estate sales, attics, basements and barns for vintage items and pieces that she can repaint, reupholster and repurpose some of those items end up on her blog for sale via her Flea Market, like this cake stand:

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Hoar Frost - 5 things

-5 and we have a winter wonderland of hoar frost. Yesterday was the first day this winter I was actually cold whilst mucking out the horses. It's going to be a long hard winter. Anyway facts about hoar frost:

Hoar frost is also called radiation frost or hoarfrost or pruina.
Hoar frost  forms on cold clear nights when heat losses into the open skies cause objects to become colder than the surrounding air.
Hoar frost is white ice crystals deposited on the ground or on objects such as the plum trees pictured above.
The word hoar  comes from the old english adjective for showing signs of old age.
 Hoar frost also occurs in man made environments eg. freezers and cold stores.

Update: Mrs Fox has published some glorious hoar frost photographs on her blog Mrs Fox's do go and take a look.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

WWW Wednesday - The Angel Who Pawned Her Harp, The Anatomy of Ghosts

I've just finished reading a vintage copy of Charles Terrot's The Angel Who Pawned Her Harp, it was my weekend read. A story about a beautiful girl who appears in a London pawnshop with a full-sized harp to pawn and what happens to the people whose lives she changes. It is completely and utterly charming and I highly recommend it.

The book was made into a black and white film in the 1950's which I'm hoping to see soon, in the meantime there are Youtube clips.

I'm currently reading The Anatomy of Ghosts; an inquiry into the distressing circumstances surrounding an alleged apparition lately recorded in Cambridge. Set Down for the Curious in the Form of a Novel by Andrew Taylor, 2011. (Tuesday Teaser here) Completely different to The Angel Who Pawned Her Harp it is equally enthralling in an entirely different way:

"The ghost of murdered Sylvia Whichcote has been sighted prowling the grounds by Frank Oldershaw, a disturbed fellow commoner. When his anxious mother employs John Holdsworth, author of The Anatomy of Ghosts - a stinging account of why ghosts are mere delusion - to investigate the sighting, the uneasy status quo at Jerusalem is rapidly torn apart.

Holdsworth grows to realise that the sinister Holy Ghost Club governs the privileged life at Jerusalem with a rigour far more effective than anything the Master, Dr Carbury, could muster. And when Holdsworth finds himself haunted - not only by the ghost of his dead wife, Maria, but also Elinor, the very-much-alive Master's wife - his fate is sealed. He must unravel the circumstances surrounding Sylvia's death ... or the hauntings will continue."

 I have quite a few books in my "to read" pile but I'm thinking I might read this next : The Tudor Secret by Christopher Gortner.

It has rather mixed reviews from good

" The Tudor Secret is a story of intrigue, swordfights, scandal, schemes, lies, mysterious murders, opulent palaces, dark fortresses, secret loves, evil dukes, beautiful princesses, brave knights, clever spies and intrepid heroes. When I was a child, I was obsessed with The Three Musketeers. I couldn't honestly say how many times I read it and it’s still one of my favourite novels. The Tudor Secret belongs to that genre; a true swashbuckling melodrama – unputdownable, wholly improbable and fantastically addictive." Gareth Russell

to bad

"I'm afraid this book did not live up to my expectations.
I found the content uninteresting and the time line of a few days ridiculous!
The book centres on a naive country bumpkin coming to to London for the first time and suddenly he's a top spy with the ability to fight off experienced soldiers and win the trust of a future queen and all within hours!"  GinaS

 I wonder what I'll make of it? 

This is a WWW Wednesdays hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Tuesday Teaser - The Anatomy of Ghosts by Andrew Taylor


"Indeed, he evinced a perfect lack of interest in the subject of ghosts. His method, you see, does not concern itself with such matters." The Anatomy of Ghosts; an inquiry into the distressing circumstances surrounding an alleged apparition lately recorded in Cambridge. Set Down for the Curious in the Form of a Novel by Andrew Taylor, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, 10 December 2012

Weekly Poem - Sea-Fever by John Masefield (1878-1967)

I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face and a grey dawn breaking.

I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown splume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.
by John Masefield (1878-1967)
Find out more about John Masefield, poet and author of the wonderful children's books The Midnight Folk and The Box of Delights by clicking here

Sunday, 9 December 2012

The Angel Who Pawned Her Harp - Weekend Film

The Angel Who Pawned Her Harp is a 1956 British black and white part-fantasy comedy film directed by Alan Bromly and starring Felix Aylmer as a second hand store owner, and Diane Cilento as the Angel. I've never seen it but having read the book by Charles Terrot I would very much like to, here is a scene via Youtube:

Christmas Tree's - Sweet Paul Style - Christmas Inspiration

A stack of vintage tins make a wonderful Christmas tree shape from Sweet Paul 
but if you prefer something a little more traditional how about this :

A vintage Christmas tree displayed in a large vintage jug.
Images Sweet Paul

Weekend Read - The Angel Who Pawned Her Harp by Charles Terrot

"On a certain Monday in May, business was very slack in Mr. Webman's second-hand store. Just before closing time, however, there came into the shop the most beautiful girl Len Burrows, the assistant had ever seen. Beside her stood a full-sized harp. Was she an angel? She looked like one and behaved like one, but here she was in Mr. Webman.s East End shop apparently trying to raise a loan, and on her harp of all things! Nor did she seem too scrupulous about how she came by the money. yet it was curious, as time went on, the effect she had on people, the way ahe brought out the best in them, the way in which, in the end, she showed them the way in which their happiness lay."

So far I'm completely completely and utterly charmed by Charles Terrot's The Angel Who Pawned Her Harp and now I've found out that there is a 1950's film of the book starring Diane Cilento which of course I'm now quite keen to see.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Christmas Inspirations - Mister Finch and Wild Acre Flowers

Other people's blogs are a constant source of inspiration a 5 minute blog hop and I'm longing to decorate a mantle shelf with old jars for tea light holders and toadstools like Mister Finch who says, "Lots of toadstools and candles in jars. Simple.... and to be honest looks really nice all year round!"

I also want to make a wreath like Belinda's,  Belinda likes her wreaths "quite skinny and sparse, slightly quirky and unexpected".  I can get an almost endless supply of hogweed seedheads and as I too love this wreath's  "snowy ice-queenishness" I'm going to try and give this a go.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

An old firewood rhyme - Weekly Poem

Beechwood fires burn bright and clear
If the logs are kept a year
Store your beech for Christmastide
With new holly laid beside
Chestnut's only good they say
If for years 'tis stayed away
Birch and firwood burn too fast
Blaze too bright and do not last
Flames from larch will shoot up high
Dangerously the sparks will fly
But ashwood green and ashwood brown
Are fit for a Queen with a golden crown.
Oaken logs, if dry and old
Keep away the winter's cold
Poplar gives a bitter smoke
Fills your eyes and makes you choke
Elmwood burns like churchyard mould
Even the very flames burn cold
Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread
So it is in Ireland said
Applewood will scent the room
Pearwood smells like a flower in bloom
But ashwood wet and ashwood dry
A king may warm his slippers by!

Very appropriate for the time of year don't you think? Keep warm!

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Beer Advent calendar - One for the men


Caught by the River has a beer correspondent, Ben McCormick, and Ben McCormick also has a blog of his own, Beer Advent Calendar. Every day in December leading up to Christmas Ben samples, and writes about a beer from his beer advent calendar, a crate of 24 beers. We're told that we can "Expect random anecdotes, the odd complaint and sometimes frankly absurd metaphors as Ben tackles the seemingly simple task of drinking a beer a day in the run up to Christmas."

If you'd like to join in, and of course it's not really just for the men, here's a list of the beers to be tasted:

Magic Hat #9
Brasserie Lefèbre Barbar Bok
Orval Trappist Ale
Mikeller The American Dream
Brooklyn Lager
Kernel Export Porter Cacao
Summer Wine Brewery Mokko Milk Stout
Redchurch Brewery Old Ford Export Stout
Kernel Imperial Brown Stout
To Ol Mochachino Messiah
De Dolle Brouwers Oerbier
Jupiler Bière Blonde
De Molen Geboren & Getogen
Sierra Nevada Imperial Red Ale
Lindemans Cuvée René
Brewfist Burocracy
Kernel B.A.D.S.C.C.A.NS. Galaxy IPA
Lovibonds 69IPA
Winsor & Eton Kohinoor IPA
Delerium Nocturnum
Ska Brewing Pinstripe Red Ale
Left Hand Brewing Milk Stout
Curious IPA
Dominion Hop Mountain Pale Ale

Ben has no idea which beer is behind each of the numbers so they aren't listed in any particular order. You can follow this unusual Advent, make comments etc over at Beer Advent Calendar.