Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Lights Lights and More Lights

For the past 7 years Daniel and Marie Francoise  from Gaillac, display an ever growing christmas theme in  their garden with spectacular animation sets.  Well I have seen a few houses before where there were a few lights dotted here and there, a Santa climbing the wall and lights with reindeers, well this house takes the biscuit. Absolutely stunning displays that must have taken hours if not days to construct.
They had a sound system set up and were singing carols, sweets and treats were passed out to the kids, inviting people to have their photo taken with Santa and the children could run round the garden which they did and lots of oohs and ahhing were heard. Stevie and Poppy looked terrified at one point but not with the lights, but with everyone taking pictures, they got over it quickly enough and was a great finale to their day.

Hope you all have had a fabulous Christmas and I wish you a very happy and peaceful New Year.

Tant crie-t-on Noël qu'il vient

Monday, December 26, 2011

Dressing the Body ... Barcelona

You know when you have a notion to go and visit a place and then for some reason or another time just slips away and it doesn’t happen, well Barcelona has been on my list for several years and last week finally my DH and I got our act together and went. The transport system there is amazing and you can hop on and off the trams, metro and buses in almost any direction and providing you know what you want to feast your eyes on it takes just a few minutes to reach your chosen destination. Barcelona is filled to the brim with culture, science, entertainment, media you name it Barcelona seems to have it. One trip we made was to the “Museu Textil i d’Indumentaria” (Museum of Textiles & Fashion) a tribute to the influence of Spanish design on the fashion world. Situated in Palau Reial and holds a permanent exhibition on textiles through the ages from 16th century to present day.

The exhibition is arranged along a conceptual and graphic itinerary, a walk through with authentic dresses, which shows great examples of the outer appearance of the body and lets you see historical examples of the absurdity of being a slave to the body and fashion.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Goats Cheese & Walnut Quiche a Beggar and a Cup of Soup

A few weeks back my girlfriend made this amazing quiche and I have since made it 5 times now it is so easy and you can tweak it with changing the cheese and pastry. I have made it with both short crust and flaky  (Sorry I cheat here and buy it ready made) and well you can’t go wrong. So gather your bits and in 40 mins your dinner will be ready. Oh forgot to say this serves approx 4/6

Pastry of your choice to line a 30cm (12”) flan dish
250g of goats cheese or if you prefer brie
8 sundried tomatoes
75g walnuts or pecan nuts (bash them a little bit)
Tablespoon of chopped chives
4 eggs
20cl of crème fraiche ( sour cream)
Salt and pepper

Cut the brie or goats cheese into small pieces. Use absorbent paper to take off excess oil from the tomatoes and chop into smallish pieces. Line your dish with the pastry and prick the base with a fork. Now add your chopped cheese, tomatoes, the nuts and the chives. Add the cream to the eggs and whisk together and add a dash of salt and pepper and pour into flan, (where else would you pour it). Cook for 40 min on 220 0C (gas mark 6) and tada there you have it a fabulous quiche.

Today I received an email from a girlfriend and it cracked me up so much when I read it. I am going to let you read her exact words ( ok  I can't give you her name or she would kill me) but here it is. Too funny.

I'm just back from (my last) shopping trip in town in hurricane level winds where your own hair can cause permanent whip lash scarring and blinding, forehead numbing rain when I saw some poor sod begging in the street, so I doubled back on myself and popped into the Bakery, waited in a queue forever and eventually bought a cup of freshly made lentil soup and a buttered roll took it over and said ‘I don’t have money for you but here’s a lovely cup of hot soup and fresh buttered roll, the beggar turned out to be a woman who just took it and started to moan about the last woman who evidently told her off for asking for a cigarette, now I didn’t give her this food in order to make her fall over with gratitude but to just grab it without a bl***y word was in my opinion a tad impolite, so I said in a loud voice that some good hot food free of charge was a whole lot better the a damned fag and walked of mumbling under my breath ( you ungrateful old hag, hope it chokes you!) Now is that not a story full of Christmas cheer?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Page 25 Third Paragraph

I guess it was my last post that made me think of this idea which is to ask you to pick any book you like and go to page 5 paragraph three (approx) and add that to the ongoing story, well why not it's either that or go and  do something constructive! not a chance it's 18.30pm and I am doing no more and anyway it's playtime.! Ha well if it is anything like my last feeble attempt I managed to get a thunderous 4 comments ( oh to be so popular). So I am going right now to pick the first book that comes to hand and go for it. Be right back

The Black Marble by Joseph Wambaugh 1978 and a Memory

I have been given a few bags of books (love getting books, don't you?) and looking through them discovered a few that I had read and several new ones which is always good news. One book in particular jumped out at me, as I picked it up a memory shot into my head and lingered long enough to create a few chuckles and that day is still as clear now as it was then, yikes must be a good 20 years ago now.

Choose a deserted beach, my DH and I were in Agadir, Morocco where beaches seem to go on forever. Along with a simple packed lunch, a few cold beers and ready to settle in for the day  just soaking up the sun, relaxing with great company and a great book, in my case this was The Black Marble (Joseph Wambaugh). I had been itching to read this for ages but my DH got to it first and kept given me occasional snippets from it. Finally by mid-afternoon  he finished and handed it over, immediately I got comfortable (that was the days when I could lie and read on my stomach.) Page 25, I am engrossed and was reading the following passage. “Then he looked at Mavis, fifty-one years old going on sixty. Skin like sizzling pancake batter, two eye jobs already. Hair dyed the colour of puppy shit, with”..............
And then, I along with DH were drenched in a wave that took us both by total surprise along with our clothes, towels, and everything else that was lying around! The one thing the wave never got was my book as I refused to let it go even when the wave came for us a second time and by this stage it was turning back into a lump of wood. I ran up to a dry spot, placed the book on a stone and then spent the next 20 minutes collecting all our stuff which was floating willy nilly.
For the next two days I managed to read and finish my book by peeling off  each page, scraping of the sand  and keeping one eye on the waves.
I think I might just have to read it again, but a sandless one this time. If your looking for something funny and moving, caustic and sometimes savage, realistic and occasionaly tragic, all very skilfully woven into a novel that is as human as it is dramatic.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The God of Small Things 1997 - Arundhati Roy

The God of Small Things is the debut novel of Indian author Arundhati Roy. A story about the childhood experiences of fraternal twins whose lives are destroyed by the "Love Laws" that lay down "who should be loved, and how.  The book is a description of how the small things in life affect people's behavior and their lives.

The God of Small Things is Roy's first book, and took four years to write. The potential of the story was first recognized by Pankaj Mishra, an editor with HarperCollins, who sent it to three British publishers. Roy received half-a-million pounds in advances, and rights to the book were sold in 21 countries. While generally praised, the book did receive some criticism for its verbosity and controversial subject matter.

I bought a copy for a girlfriends birthday and she has just finished it and in her words.... I have enjoyed The God of Small Things. I stayed awake rather too late last night to finish it. Its one of those books you can’t quite define but you know are going to live on inside you. It was extraordinary and beautiful as well as awfully sad. In one of those moods now where I don’t really want to start to read anything else.

I felt exactly the same way as my girlfriend did after reading this, and if you  have read it I would love to hear your views on it.

Ps: Have started One Moment,One Morning by Sarah Rayner will let you know about it later

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Vintage Arcade Feature + $29 Giveaway

A packed to the rafter’s box of mixed goodies ranging from vintage to the unusual. Some of the bits-N-bobs included are - vintage buttons, a length of vintage French lace in smooth milky Late tone, a length of Ruby Red Organza ribbon and very unusual lattice rainbow ribbon, 2 pairs of pewter Ballet Shoe charms, a mini portrait of Marie Antoinette, one of Mary's handmade Fornasetti Fridge Magnets and a tourists $100.00 Las Vegas hologram gambling chip and lots more. Whoo Hoo what a collection!!

I am delighted to introduce you to Mary who opened her Vintage Arcade shop on Esty in March of this year, based in Ayr in Scotland  a town and port situated on the Firth of Clyde in south-west Scotland. Mary adores antique and vintage items and has over the years collected quite a few, with delightful finds from local auctions, house sales and salvage shops.  Her shop is a true delight and you really feel like you have just stepped in the past. She also has another shop called simply ScotlandUK where she creates fabulous Steampunk jewelry.

This giveaway is open worldwide and is simple to enter.

1. Please follow my blog so you can come back and see if you are the winner:)
2. Heart a favourite item from either of Mary's shops
3. Do you blog? feel free to share this (not mandatory )
4. Tweet this giveaway 
5. Mary on Twitter (She is just getting the hang of this)
6. Mary on Facebook

Any other share will be fabulous and do pop in again over the next couple of weeks, the more times you enter the better your chances:) Giveaway will end on the 14th Dec and best of luck to all entries and a huge thank you to Mary for her generosity.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Ok Where is it?

A friend of mine mentioned that she was having a lot of pain in her elbow, and we both agreed that it could be Tennis Elbow, last year I suffered for weeks with it till I got a tension bandage which I then wore for about 6 weeks till it healed itself.

My task therefore was simple, find the bandage and give to said friend. The cupboard with medical bits and bobs would be a good start. Opened the door and there was the box, fantastic I can give her this tomorrow opened the box and dam thing was empty grrr. So where is it then? I can tell you this much I have spent several hours now looking for this bandage and if I ever do find it I think I will shake it till it begs for mercy. (Yes I do know they don’t have any feelings it will just make me feel better).

Ok so now I know I have 35 drawers and 17 cupboards in my house and although I am still sore with the missing bandage it has remained well and truly missing. I have now cleared most of the drawers and cupboards out and filled 3 bin bags with the following, 3 pairs of broken glasses, video cassettes (do you remember them) odd gloves that are probably in cahoots with the bandage and I know that if I throw them out the other ones will appear!
Well I don’t care it's out of here along with broken elastic bands, dead batteries, dried up ink, recipes hastily written on scrap paper (I kept these just moved them to the recipe book, see I am learning already) what else, broken rubbers (erasers to my American friends been there got the t-shirt) 4 hose connectors three packs of 2004 seeds, a jigsaw with missing pieces (yes probably with the bandage and odd glove). Several uninteresting keys that don’t fit anything in my house, where I got them from beats me!
Handful of pre decimal coins, half burnt candles, did I really think that I was going to melt them all down one day! 2007 diary, screwdriver, relief cream (not quite the relief I am looking for today) Blistex if your really must know! purple ballon, a trolley token, a few buttons a tube of Schmuck -Kleber glue.

Feeling pleased as now I have tidy drawers again, but I wonder how long it will take to fill them back up again. Please tell me you have drawers the same as mine! Oh well she will have to go buy her own bandage, it was the thought that counts :) wasn't it:)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Dalton Ghetti Amazing Pencil Carvings

This morning the lovely Mercedes from DigitalCSEtsy tweeted me. I have not seen her for awhile as I think we are on different time zones, anyway I decided to see what she has been getting up to and checked her christmas blog and Zazzle and somehowI nded up on Pinterest!. I don't know now which one took me too where I found this amazing work from Dalton Ghetti.  The original blog post showing his work is by Narineh Mardirosian which she did last year. I might just never have seen Dalton's work had Mercedes not tweeted me when she did, thanks for that and for letting me find this........


Dalton began learning how to handle tools at the young age of 6 when at school in Brazil, he and the other students used either a razor blade or a pocket knife to sharpen their pencils for drawing and writing.
Also, his mother was a seamstress. When Dalton was 8 years old, she taught him how to use a sewing needle to help her with simple projects like hemming and sewing buttons. At the age of 9, his parents gave him a set of metal tools for children, which he used to make his own boxes, toys and go-carts. This is also the age when he began sculpting with knives, chisels and a hammer. Ever since, he has created many objects out of all kinds of materials.

At first, he carved large objects; but in 1986, as a challenge to himself and because of his interest in small living things, like plants (moss) and insects (spiders and ants), he decided to create the smallest possible carvings that he could see with his naked eyes. One day, he picked up a working pencil and started carving it.  You can read his full Biography here http://www.daltonmghetti.com/

http://www.daltonmghetti.com/memorial.asp This is Dalton's memorial to the 9-11 and I dare you read this and not get a lump in your throat. It took him 10 years to finish this project and I was deeply moved by his gesture of pure love.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

World Toilet Day

Well I never knew there was such a thing as World Toilet Day but Offbeat Earth says so and it's the 19th November, oh today in fact!. Just a few ideas for you if your looking for something  a tad different from the run of the mill! Check out the toilet house on their site. Surely their taking the.........
World Toilet Day is November 19. So in preparation for this holiday, Offbeat Earth welcomes you into the world of toilets. In this post they uncover the oddest toilets from around the globe, provide interesting facts, and even supply information about a toilet-shaped house! Yes, you read it right! Well call me boring but mine is a bog standard white wood!

Did you know?!? According to the San Diego Union, the odds are 1 in 10,000 (0.001%) that you will be injured by a toilet this year. Watch out! You should probably avoid this toilet, ouch

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Big Meet

Well last Friday ( hard to believe a week has already passed) I flew to Grenoble to meet Londi  from LondiCreations  before she heads of to New Zealand next month. We have known each other on line for almost 4 years and felt we had to meet at least once and Grenoble is a lot more accessable than NZ!

Seems very fitting that Londi just happened to be wearing an official Marshall Top (only amusing if you know that it happens to be my surname)
She took me to Domaine de Vizille which is now a museum, we strolled in the gardens and there is 10 hectares of it, beautifully maintained  and zillions of roses not out at this time of year but I can imagine how it will look, box hedges shaped into pyramids, even the pure white swans were very friendly especially if you had some bread in your hand, which I didn't but............
I suppose I could have taken this bread as an offering but as it was burnt to a crisp I thought they  might not appreciate it. Had Londi and I seen the smoke billowing out of her kitchen we might have managed to rescue it! Still she cooked a fabulous Spag Bol which happily did not burn.

The interior was breathtaking and it we must have spent a good 2 hours walking round, we were both exausted when we came out as there is so much to take in. Interior click on this link to see why we were blown away with this.
I was at the birth of this little beauty and watched Londi create it which was a real treat for me, she hand paints most of the embellishements and her attention to detail and colours as you can see are wonderful.

Thank you so much londi for your fabulous hospitality and friendship. I am so glad I came to see you.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Little Red Flowers 2006 Yuan Zhang

I thought this was a beautiful film about the perspective of children in an adult's world of regimen and conformity. And the main little man is adorable just look at these eyes. Loved every minute of it.  
Qiang is a four-year-old little rebel, possessed of a pair of luminous eyes and a precociously indomitable will. His father deposits him at a well-appointed residential kindergarten in post-1949 Beijing, since his parents are often away. Life at the kindergarten appears rich and colourful, made up of a variety of cheerfully sunny rituals and games meant to train these children to be good members of society. But it's not so easy for Qiang to adapt to this kind of carefully organized, minutely scrutinized collective life. A fierce individualist in miniature, he tries but fails to conform to the model his teachers enforce. Yet he still craves the reward that the other students win: the little red flowers awarded each day as tokens for good behaviour. But Qiang doesn't win any flowers: he can't yet dress himself, and doesn't play together with the other kids. He even dares... well you will have to find out for yourself :). Let me know what you thought of it if you have already seen it.

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