Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Murder at Andi's

I try not to kill anything.

Spiders are caught with a mini vacuum cleaner and put safely outside, bees and butterflies are caught with a child's fishing net and again, put outside...


I don't like killing even them, but I do. So when I discovered we had a wasps' nest way up on the apex of the roof, I called in the experts and had them...


Within a few hours our roof was free of the horrid things. Cost me £50 but in the case of wasps I consider this money well spent.

Imagine my dismay when, the very next day, I discovered ANOTHER nest this time in the roof of the kitchen (a single-storey part of the house). We seem to be the vacation of choice in the wasp world. As this nest was in a more accessible part of the house (for humans as well as wasps), I was charged a discount rate of £40. That's £90 just to get rid of the Devil's invention. Grrrrrr!

And continuing the subject of killing:

This is my latest find:

I have been after this picture for a couple of years now and have never seen it for sale (well, the original Warhol has been on sale but my bank balance didn't stretch that far), so was delighted to find one for sale on Ebay.

I'm a big fan of Judy Garland (the Capitol years rather than the Mickey Rooney stuff) and this picture I think is just wonderful.

However, it wasn't until after I'd bought it that I found out this particular picture was part of a campaign to promote the wearing of fur. I am very much against wearing fur and it worried me for a while that I was displaying a picture that went against my beliefs. Then I decided that I'd bought the picture not for it's statement but because I think it's a great picture. So it's staying.

Another fur problem came along this week. I'm very lucky to have been cast as Myra Arundel in Noel Coward's Hay Fever. Myra is a gift of a character and is great fun to play, but because she's a rich socialite of the 1920's I'm going to be wearing a fur stole. Wearing fur was considered perfectly correct back then, as was smoking (which I'm also having to do). I was asked if I minded the fur and the cigarettes, but I believe my own prejudices shouldn't interfere with the character Coward created. If I want to play her I have to be prepared to take on all that she is. So for ten nights and a couple of dress rehearsals, I shall be draped in fur.

Goodness, it's a blood-bath here!


Saturday, 24 July 2010


My two began their summer holiday a week ago and on Wednesday we took a trip to Hatfield House. We're not too far from Hatfield but apart from a visit when I was younger, have never been.

Hatfield House is Jacobean built between 1607-1611 and has heavy associations with Queen Elizabeth I. It has been in the Cecil family for around 400 years and the family still lives there, so only part of the house is open to the public.

Painting of the house on the wall of the dining area.

Photography was not permitted inside the house, but I managed to sneak this pic through the window. The long driveway is not open to the general public, but can you imagine a cloaked rider galloping full pelt towards the house?

Inside the house we saw a pair of gloves and silk stockings owned by Elizabeth, the library which holds around 10.000 books, and the famous 'rainbow' portrait of Elizabeth:

Elizabeth spent much of her childhood in the 'house' (palace) that stood on the grounds previously. I have been told she was sent here by her father, Henry VIII, whenever he thought she was too outspoken. It was here that Elizabeth was told her sister, Mary, was dead and that she was now Queen.

Some of the gardens are laid out just as they were four hundred years ago:

The gardens were full of flowers but they were obviously suffering from the dry weather and didn't look their glorious best. This one looked quite spectacular:

And some of the trees so old and gnarled, they had to be propped up with sticks. I'm not sure what this tree is, but I managed to find some windfall seed pods which I'll plant to see what happens:

(view of the house without car park in foreground!)

(cool and shady, eh?)

Even the drains had a certain charm:

Of course there was a gift shop, but also a wonderful shop that sold, not only gifts but antiques too. Much time was spent browsing in this one, I can assure you!

Wednesday, 14 July 2010


I am delighted to have received two awards and although they have the same title, they both have different designs and a slight variation on their requirements.

Firstly, and I'm embarrassed to say quite a while ago, I received this award from Alina over at The Purple Caravan :

and then a short while ago I received this one from Barbara over at Moore Whimsies :

Alina's version of this award stated that I had to share nine things about myself whilst Barbara's required seven, so I'm cheating a little and giving you the nine and hope Barbara won't mind sharing as I think going on with sixteen things about myself is a tad self-indulgent. Here goes:

I say a mental 'thank you' to my supermarket trolley when I take it back to the 'pound'. Don't ask why, I'm just a very polite (eccentric) person I guess.

I love time travel stories.

Quentin Crisp and Atticus Finch are two people who have most shaped my philosophy on life.

I don't like walking through long grass.

I went up the aisle to 'The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba' because when I was small and stayed with my grandparents I would dress up in their old net curtains and my granddad would laugh and say 'Oh look, here comes the Queen of Sheba'. Draped in net and lace, I couldn't have walked up the aisle to anything else.

I still have my Barbie doll from 1967 and think she was the best Christmas present I ever received.

I would choose a good bonfire-cooked jacket potato with lashings of butter as my last meal.

I know someone who knows someone who's won an Oscar.

And lastly, I think my epitaph is likely to read 'She meant well'.

Thank you ladies for bestowing these awards on me.

Now, the other rule is that I'm supposed to pass this award on to 15/9 other blogs, and I have to admit I have difficulty in fulfilling this part of the agreement. Every single blog I follow is deserving, in my opinion, of these awards and I cannot choose. Also, I know that many of you no longer accept awards. With these things in mind, I am going to say that anyone who reads my blog and that knows I am a follower of theirs is invited to accept this award, because you all deserve it.

Thanks for dropping by.


Andi xx

Monday, 5 July 2010

Weekly Treasures

What a fantastic response I had to the Sonority Sisterhood post last week. It was so lovely to meet so many new sisters and pay a visit to all your blogs. Thank you all for leaving such lovely comments and I'm looking forward to our next get-together.

Now, once again I'm joining in with Rhoda at Southern Hospitality for her weekly Thrifty Treasures party.

I bought a few things at Sunday's car boot sale. One was a set of six heavy-duty wheels (another buyer told me they were wheels for shop cabinets). I have ambitions of building a pull-truck out of some old sheets of wood I have, to help transport bags of compost etc. around the garden. (I say 'ambitions' because...well, don't hold your breath.)

But you don't want to see those, do you? Oh, OK:

The star buy was this Singer sewing machine table, already painted and with a wonderful piece of wood on top:

It's not in working order of course and I got it for £20 which I was very pleased about:

I originally had plans of using it in the garden for plant display, but I can't possibly leave that wood to the elements so it's come indoors and into the 'breakfast room'.

The other treasure I picked up, and for a mere £2, was this pretty firescreen:

Beautiful embroidery but as you may be able to see, lots of water stains:

So I want to ask your advice on 1) getting the embroidery out of the screen (it looks like it's sealed in) and 2) how do I get the stains out? Or is that the reason such a treasure was so cheap? Any advice would be very much appreciated.

Have a great week,


Andi xx