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Wednesday, 27 May 2015


Hello everyone

Feeling incredibly guilty here, even more guilty than Jill is feeling - no blogging for absolutely ages.  Now, what excuse can I give?  Busy looking after foster kittens?  No, Jill isn't looking after them now, so my caring, helpfuness isn't needed.  Busy looking after my fellow house-cats?  No way!  They can take care of themselves.  I don't do 'looking after'.  Apart from the usual cat-like things that cats do, I have been busy just being me: beautiful!  It isn't hard work for me to be beautiful, but I do like to spend time on myself and despite Jill's saying my white sometimes looks grey, I don't believe her!  My black fur always shines and my white fur is always sparkling - nearly forgot my nose, which is always pretty pink.  Miss Perfect it is then.

Sorry, got off track there a bit.  Now, why haven't I blogged for ages and ages?  When you are small, or delicate as I like to think of myself, it can be difficult reaching a keyboard - I have asked for a smaller gadget, but as usual my request has fallen on deaf ears.  I have to wait until someone thinks 'oh, I wonder if Milly would like to write her diary' - yes, of course she would!  Every week I give a gentle reminder, a tap on the face, a delicate claw stuck in a knee, a live frog brought into the kitchen but sadly most weeks I get ignored - is that any way to treat a beautiful cat?

But as you can see, I am back!  My blog is alive and kicking and I am one happy black and white girl.  How did I manage it?  I brought in a slug that was stuck on my head!  As you can imagine, they gave in pretty quickly.

Have a good week everyone - slugs permitting, I will be back next week.


Friday, 22 May 2015


Hello everyone

I certainly did have a very lovely time at Chelsea on Wednesday.  The weather was very kind to us, but boy did I suffer the day afterwards!  Sore feet, aching back and arms as long as broom handles from carrying lots of goodies away with us.

The wonderful thing about Chelsea is that you get to see some weird and fabulous designs - some you think 'I wonder what was in their mind when they produced this design' as well as 'I wonder why the judges gave this a gold award' and sometimes 'I wonder why the judges didn't give this one an award'.  Who knows what goes on in their mind, but it is the usual and the unusual that makes Chelsea fantastic every year.

My plant purchases included some more lovely Heucheras, Fuchsias and some Clematis, which will be collected by my Chelsea-loving friend when she is on holiday in Norfolk next month.  Among my selection is this stunning very, very dark red/purple one (the picture does not do it justice because the real colour is much darker):

I also bought two other dark red ones and two creamy white ones (one produces double and single blooms).

I love sculpture in the garden (not that I have much) and these took my fancy - a little too big for my garden but, hey, perhaps I can reproduce them in pottery:

I love lilies, but we had to give up on them a few years ago when we discovered that they are highly toxic to cats.  If you are owned by a cat, you will know they love to put their paws and noses on things they shouldn't, so they had to go - the lilies that is, not our cats.  However, the perfume from these flowers is amazing and makes me want to find a way of growing them without hurting my cats.  I would grow them in the greenhouse but in the summer that is left open, so perhaps they are something to be admired at shows and garden centres.

There were plenty of places to stop for a cup of tea, but these next photographs are for a very special tea party:

Tea for two?  Or two hundred? 

Milk in first?  

My kind of cupcake

A Jammy Dodger the size of a table?  Plenty to share

After tea, how about some interesting vegetables - a basket of dark, nearly black, peas.  They looked lovely:

In the not so dim and distant past, I did an intensive garden design course.  I have always enjoyed gardening and did the RHS Certificate and Diploma courses at Merrist Wood.  Not much success with the exams, I didn't take them all and trying to fit the course and the exams in and around a full-time job proved tricky but I learnt so much about horticulture.  It seemed a natural progression to do a garden design course, and it was brilliant.  The highlight was a trip to the garden of John Brookes, and we were lucky enough to meet him.  He wasn't at Chelsea but my other favourite designer, Dan Pearson, was and it was great to see him back at Chelsea.  Having now seen my two garden design idols 'in the the flesh' is rather special.

I have been watching the Chelsea programmes on the television trying to see if my friend and I were in any of the shots - how vain is that!  We arrived just after 10.00 am and were 'thrown out' when they closed at 8.00 pm and we felt we had not seen everything that was in the show - never mind there's always next year.

Have a great gardening weekend everyone.


Tuesday, 19 May 2015


Hell everyone

Hard to believe we are rushing towards another Bank Holiday weekend.  Although I no longer 'go out to work' (I work from home) I still look forward to weekends, and Bank Holiday ones are just as welcome as they were when I was a wage-slave.  Hope the weather is good as we are holding a birthday BBQ for a friend of ours - nipping in and out between rain showers to do the cooking is never that much fun (but I do seem to be able to delegate this job to Richard).  But then isn't that what Bank Holidays are for?  Dodging the rain, hoping for sun and getting a mix of both?

Earlier this year, I held a Vintage Bazaar in the Merrow Village Hall.  Vintage events are becoming more and more popular, but there do not seem to be many taking place around this area.  With that in mind and with bags of enthusiasm, Fee Fraser of Thimble & Thrift, and I have begun a joint-venture to create events for vintage enthusiasts (both stallholders and customers) and our new venture is called Village Vintage.  A new venture is always full of excitement as well as 'oh goodness me, will it work'.  I hope so, we both have lots of skills and experience to bring to the pot, so if you are around for our first event (19 September 2015) or you are interested in having a stall, do get in touch.

My moving forward and catching-up has involved lots of changes in my life; not all good ones.  My sister was diagnosed earlier this year with Parkinson's Disease - she is a very lively, fit and active person so this has come as a blow to her and our family.  Not long after this 'news', a good friend had a stroke - a minor one, but still life-changing.  It is hard when you really do not know what tomorrow will bring; we can plan as much as possible, but the future is definitely not in our own hands.

Because of the changes around me and changes in my life, I had to make decisions to give some things up.  Sadly, I decided I had to give up fostering kittens for Cats Protection.  It was a very hard and difficult decision and I really do miss having them here, but it became harder and harder to fit in the viewings, vet trips, the support they needed, and it also often felt unfair to my own furry gang.  I still support the Woking Branch in ways that I can, but I do miss those kittens.  I also had to give up managing the accounts of a friend's church - again a hard decision, but necessary.

Now I think I am bang up-to-date with life in Christmas Pie-land.  I am off to Chelsea tomorrow - really looking forward to it.  I go every year with a good friend who like me loves to garden and it is the highlight of our gardening year.  I get to meet my favourite Heuchera people again, Plantagogo, and this year I also want to check out Euphorbias - lovely structural plants.

Have a good week everyone, and enjoy the Bank Holiday no matter what the weather does.


Friday, 8 May 2015


Hello everyone

May Bank Holiday and we have sunshine!  How lovely.  I know the UK is notorious for soggy Bank Holidays and that is why a sunny one is extra special.

We had several trees removed from our garden this week - I hate losing trees, but some of these were dangerous and had to go.  The incredible thing is how much lighter our garden is now that they have been removed and we lots more space too for planting.

I took part in a Wedding Fayre at the Frensham Pond Hotel on Sunday, 26 April.  I always enjoy these particular events; they are well organised and a lot of the exhibitors are regulars, so it is great to catch up with them.  It was also nice to get requests for wedding stationery quotes - makes the day extra special.

Other achievements this week have been the completion of my new event website: Surrey Bazaars.  This brings all of the bazaar events under one 'umbrella'.  I hope that the reputation of the bazaar events (hard won with lots of great work (still continuing) from stallholders and helpers) will be recognised as a brand for events that are home to excellent handmade work.

I am looking to 'recruit' helpers for my bazaar events - these are self-employed positions and involve variety of work.  You would be amazed how hard it is getting someone to do this - I have posted on Facebook, Twitter and Streetlife and have had two enquiries - having received the details, the two enquirers never bothered to come back to me.  Very surprised and disappointed at the lack of interest.

Yet again, I forgot my lovely blog!  I started writing this one over the recent Bank Holiday weekend.  time has done its usual annoying thing of rushing by too quickly.  Since then we have had a General Election with the usual shocks, disappointments and surprises.  Where I live it is known as a safe seat and sadly because of this we never even have the whiff of a candidate - would be nice if they could be bothered occasionally to come and see what life is like in the outer reaches of their constituency (or potential constituency).

Before I completely forget this particular post, think it is a good idea to sign off now - no doubt there will be another 'catching-up' post soon, so do come back.

Have a great weekend