'If you have a dog, you will most likely outlive it; to get a dog is to open yourself to profound joy and, prospectively, to equally profound sadness.' Marjorie Garber

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Daughter's Doodles

It is nearly a week since Daughter First-Born started at university and as you know, I recently gave her blogs a plug. Well she needs lots of reassurance at the moment, and I know you lovely people out in Blogland are very good at that! So please drop by and look at her beautiful flower photography. I know I'm biased but I do think she is rather good at it!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Introducing a New Blog!

Just a really quick post today to introduce my daughter's blogs!
She is off to Uni in less than a week to do a very sciencey degree but she is also very creative and loves photography, especially photographing flowers and animals, and she has decided to launch not one but two blogs. So do drop by her posts and take a look. I'm really rather proud of her!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Brenda's Second Chair

If you read this post, then you will remember that I was given two chairs for reupholstering. They once belonged to a lady called Brenda. The first chair, a 1940s utility chair was very successful, so I decided to rejuvenate the second smaller chair too.

I'm not sure of the age of this chair but I would guess it is probably a 1950s nursing or bedroom chair. It arrived with this fab retro stretch nylon loose cover on, which I rather like actually!

But underneath the roses, its true colours were not quite so fetching...

And even though Mowgli took to the chair in its original state, I decided a funky makeover was in order. After three months of intensive beauty treatment, it looks like this:

Much prettier, I think. In fact, far too nice for downstairs where pussy Mowgli and doggy Rosie can get their paws, (and claws) on it, so it now resides in my bedroom.

Poor one-eyed Ted sits guard, (Rosie ate his other eye), in case a certain black cat thinks its a scratching post.

I'm really pleased with the result. The fabric is a wonderful wavy ribbed velvet called 'Racine' by Designers Guild, which was an absolute steal on eBay! Beautiful to work with but not so easy to photograph because of the sheen. I think the last photo shows the design well but the colour is much richer.

I am now working on a matching pair of 1980s french style armchairs. They are quite a challenge. I'll tell you all about it soon.

Thank you too for all the lovely comments on my last post. It is lovely to hear from you and comforting to know that so many of you share my thoughts about our children moving on to pastures new. 

Friday, 9 September 2011

'Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness...'

I'm feeling in a reflective mood today, rediscovering my love of poetry and dwelling in the past...

So Summer has finally bid us farewell until next year. I feel as though she didn't really visit this year at all. She just dipped her slender bronzed toes into our climate every now and then, teased us with some fleeting rays of warmth and then ran away. Wasn't it dreary? Some of you out there in Blogland have had quite respectable Summers in other parts of the UK, but on the whole, my Summer has been wet and cold...

It's not that I don't like Autumn, far from it. I love the colours of golden leaves and the scrunch scrunch of fallen cobnuts under my feet. Wandering in the garden, gathering the orchard fruits in huge basketfuls, and this year, for the first time since I was at school, making jam from my own damsons. 

Yes, Autumn is a glorious season as nature prepares to snuggle up and build reserves for the coming Winter. But I don't just see Autumn as the end of Summer or the end of green trees and butterfly filled meadows. I see it is as the beginning of a new year in many ways.

Youngest daughter has gone back to school for her final year, full of expectation for the future and I am reluctantly counting the days until Eldest Daughter leaves for London and her new life at University. How I wish I could take the past nineteen years and bottle them, preserve them like my damsons. I would  keep the rosy scent of innocence and beauty as I snuggled my nose into my daughters's soft tresses to say 'goodnight' and mix it with the tears of joy and pride which rolled down my cheeks with every accomplished milestone and achievement over the years.  And when I was feeling down or lonely, I would open the bottle and breathe deeply, and I would be back in those days again...
Yes, that would be my ultimate dream. However, perhaps the future will have a sweeter scent. I'll hold my breath and see...

'It is small advantage for eyes to see
If the heart is blind.
The great world brims over with his glory,
yet he may only dwell
where a person chooses to give him entrance.'

Burnt Norton


Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind.
                                   But to what purpose
Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves
I do not know.
                                   Other echoes
Inhabit the garden. Shall we follow?
Quick, said the bird, find them, find them,
Round the corner. Through the first gate,
Into our first world, shall we follow
The deception of the thrush? Into our first world.
There they were, dignified, invisible,
Moving without pressure, over the dead leaves,
In the autumn heat, through the vibrant air,
And the bird called, in response to
The unheard music hidden in the shrubbery,
And the unseen eyebeam crossed, for the roses
Had the look of flowers that are looked at.
There they were as our guests, accepted and accepting.
So we moved, and they, in a formal pattern,
Along the empty alley, into the box circle,
To look down into the drained pool.
Dry the pool, dry concrete, brown edged,
And the pool was filled with water out of sunlight,
And the lotos rose, quietly, quietly,
The surface glittered out of heart of light,
And they were behind us, reflected in the pool.
Then a cloud passed, and the pool was empty.
Go, said the bird, for the leaves were full of children,
Hidden excitedly, containing laughter.
Go, go, go, said the bird: human kind
Cannot bear very much reality.
Time past and time future
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.

Excerpt from The Four Quartets, T S Eliot