Thursday, 30 November 2017

Limited Edition.......

Scene: The workroom.  I call Small Dog through from her cosy nest in the office.....

Small Dog: *yawning* Yess?  Whot do yue wont?
Me: Sit down SD.  I have something to tell you.
SD:*sits... expectantly*  
Me: I want to apologise for the things I said the other day... when you said you were retiring as Hedd of Markitten & Komewnikashun.
SD: *petulantly* Yess... wel ai doant thinc yue taik me seeryuslie enuf.
Me: *penitently* Absolutely SD.  I agree.  I'm very sorry.
SD: *sniffs* Okai.  *magnanimously* Ai fourgiv yue.
Me: And in commemoration of everything you've done in your very important role, I've been making something very special.
SD: *hopefully* Caik?
Me: No, not cake.  Something which expresses my love of you as a Proud and Noble Yorkshire Terrier.... in miniature.
SD: *suspiciously* A verie smoll caik?  In the shaip of a Yorkshier Terrior?
Me: *doggedly* No.  I already told you.  Not cake.
SD: *sighing*  Whott is it then?
Me: *brightly*  Tah Dah!!!!!!!

Me: *excitedly* Look!  Smallest Small Dog and Archimedes have helped... it's a little set of boxed toy blocks featuring vintage illustrations of the Proud & Noble Yorkshire Terrier.  That's you!
SD: *speechless* 

Me: Do you like them?
SD: Oh muurm..... thayr luvlie.  Ai kannot evin bileev yue wude do this fore me?  
Me: There's one more thing.... would you like to send a special photograph of you with each set, to your adoring fans?
SD: *importantly* Ho yess.... off korse.  Yue wil knead to brush mai hare... and maik shure yue gett mai besst syde.  Olthoe boath sydes ar kwite gude.  And flatturen lieten....  Ai kude sitt on a goaled kooshun.  Purhapps yue shude gett a profeshunal fotograffir in... 
Me: *sigh*

A limited edition of just 10 sets of these blocks is available HERE....

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Staffing problems.....

Scene: I'm in the workroom, struggling with a tricky bit of formatting for my book.  I gradually become aware that I'm being watched......

Small Dog: *hesitantly*  Errr..... muurm.  Ai knead to tokk to yue abowt sumthen impoartint.
Me*distractedly*  I'm a bit busy at the moment.  Do you know anything about kerning?
SD: *firmly* No mumm.  Kan yue stopp that a minutt.
Me: *sighing* OK SD.  What is it.
SD: *carefully*  Rite.  Yue kno how things ar chainjen neckst yeer.  Well... ai hav to tell yue that ai wil bea reetyrin from Towr Hows Dols.
Me: *unfazed* OK.  And that will make a difference how?
SD:  *vehemently*  MUUUUURRRRMMMM.  Ai am Hedd of Markitten and Komewnikashun.  Ai doant evin kno how yue wil koap withowt me!!!!
Me: *stoically*  I expect I'll manage.
SD: *dismissively* Hmmmmphh.  Wel.  Eniwai.  Ai kneed mai penshun fourkast.
Me: ???????  Pension forecast?  You're expecting me to pay you a pension?  When you retire?
SD: *emphatically*  Wel off korse!  Iff ai reetyr on mai barkday, whitsh as yue kno is April 4th, ai wil be 84 in hewman yeers.  AITTIE FORE!  Off korse ai eckspekt a penshun.
Me: *diplomatically* Hmmm....I can see where you're coming from SD, and yes, I am sure we will hold a special ceremony to commemorate your MANY years of sterling service and ....
SD: *interrupting* Ther is kno kneed to be sarkastick.
Me: No SD.  We will obviously want to mark the contribution you've made.  All those hours of napping in the office.  All those fatuous remarks about the quality of the biscuits during management meetings. All that harping on about the merits of 'Dog Eared Dolls'.....
SD: *irascibly*  Wel if thats yore atittewd ai mite as wel.....
Me:*placatingly*  Oh, I'm sorry SD. I was only pulling your leg.  You have been a valued member of the THD team and your input has always been *desperately searching for the right word*..... interesting.  I'm sure we'll have a whip round in the office and get you a retirement present...
SD: *perking up*  Pressint?  
Me:  Yes..... I believe it's traditional to give a retiring employee a clock.
SD:*witheringly* A klok.   A KLOK!  
Me: I'm joking SD.   Blimey, where's your sense of humour?
SD:*unconvinced* Veri funnie.  
Me: *conciliatory* OK.... as far as your pension's concerned.  How about we increase your walks, treats and strokings by 20%
SD:*suspiciously*  Twentie purrscent.  Iss thatt gude?  
Me: *reassuringly* Absolutely SD.  Plus you can have a new bed and blankie as your retirement present.
SD: *encouragingly* A nue blankie?  *hopefully* Kashmeer?
Me:  Don't overplay your paw SD. 


It's curtains........

In the words of Granny Weatherwax.... "I Aten't Dead".

Although there were times over the past month when I felt it might be a viable option.  However, a course of antibiotics, mega-strength steroids, a bronchial inhaler and enough over-the-counter cough syrup and lozenges to fell a horse later I'm finally back to what passes for normal.

Sadly however, almost 4 weeks of being poorly has seriously derailed my miniature Christmas ambitions and I've had to jettison several pages of 'To Do' lists, most notably working on the range of Christmas miniatures I had planned. 
So, later this week I will belatedly be updating the website with a small but select batch of festive minis.


In other news, while I was being Camille on the sofa for several weeks, PP got stuck in and re-decorated the main bedroom.  Long time readers of this nonsense blog may remember that three years ago we were on the cusp of doing it, and the reason why we have continually baulked at the job ever since.  

Well... no more.  The bedroom is now re-painted, and the problem of the behemoth wardrobe neatly solved by resorting to my original suggestion of painting around it.  

PP pooh-poohed this entirely sensible plan when I first mooted it several years ago, but I am used to having my sagacity ridiculed so I have patiently bided my time, confident that eventually, when all other options have been thoroughly explored and dismissed, my plan would be revisited and found to be brilliant.

And lo it has come to pass.

Of course, when we eventually move house we will either have to sell the wardrobe with it, so that it remains in situ, set fire to it, or break it up so that we can get to the back and quickly repaint the wall.  Either solution is fine by me as by that time we'll be long past caring what happens to it.

So, with the redecoration complete, we now have to decide on curtains, bedding, soft furnishings, prints etc.  A few months ago we bought two new bedside lamps in a lovely soft retro green and thought it would be a snip to find stuff with a hint of a similar colour.

Sadly no.  We don't want a whole load of green in there, just a few subtle pops of it... and it has to be the same green.  We've been tearing our hair out.  Especially with the curtains.

I've spend HOURS online trawling every sodding curtain in the multiverse and there are NONE with the same green.  Not even close.  So we decided to go for a neutral instead.  

The first pair, despite notionally being the right size, when hung at the windows turned out to be too narrow.  So we had to schlepp back to the store to change them for the next size up.
These were the right size but were distinctly underwhelming and didn't do anything at all for the relaxing ambience we're trying to create... back to the store AGAIN to return them.

Back to the drawing board and further trawling of the interweb finally revealed some jaunty stripey curtains which apparently, according to my laptop screen, contain EXACTLY THE RIGHT SHADE OF GREEN.  However, although they're the right width, they're way too long, plus they've got a pencil pleat heading tape and we want eyelets.

As I'm close to losing the will to live, we've decided to order them anyway.  I can easily adjust the length and use the excess to make cushions.  I can also change the pencil pleats to an eyelet tape, just not very easily.  It will probably be a complete nightmare bit of a faff but I've watched a few You Tube videos and have identified the relevant heading tape and eyelet ring sets so I'm tentatively reasonably confident I can do it. 

As a result, we're cautiously optimistic that the room will be completely finished before Christmas.

*who am I kidding....?*

And speaking of Christmas.... we've been holding auditions for the THD nativity play....

Monday, 6 November 2017

Lingering lurgy.....

It's now 8 days since the first cold symptoms heralded my descent into an intractable respiratory tract infection.

Today I have next to no voice at all, which some might say is A Good Thing.  I'm communicating using a mixture of mime and whispers, which Small Dog is finding unnecessarily amusing.  Predictably, she has tired of her nursemaid duties and is leaving me to own devices.

I've decamped into the sitting room with various reference books and notebooks and am spending the day working from the sofa. This is one of the main pitfalls of being self-employed and working from home.... work is inescapable.

Also no sick pay.


So.... as well as doing some of this...

...I've been trying to work out how to make something like this...

Of course to add to the challenge, that wig will have to fit a doll with a head just 10mm in diameter.

Fortunately, at weekends, creative people like nothing better than a sick, batshit crazy woman involving them in her lunatic plans, and after a flurry of emails and one very helpful phone call (thanks Malcolm!) I think I might be close to nailing down an impossibly tiny 18th century galleon to grace the wig of my Georgian lady toy doll.

Granted, when I explained that it needed to be so small there were almost certainly a few sharp intakes of breath, but it would appear that the seemingly impossible isn't.  There's still a ways to go but at least now I'm dealing with potential options rather the viability of the idea.

So yayy me!

Saturday, 4 November 2017

The Healen Porr

Scene: The sitting room.  I'm ensconced on the sofa, feet up, laptop on lap, flicking though 200 channels of rubbish on TV, trying to find an old film.

Small Dog comes strolling in, astounded to see me on the sofa at 10am  and without breaking stride, jumps up onto my legs and settles down.

Me: *testily* That's really not comfortable SD.  Could you sit on the cushions instead of my legs?
SD:*accusingly* Why did yue knott evin tel me yue wer in hear on the sewfa?
Me:*breathily* I'm poorly... feeling really rough.  So I'm doing some work in here.
SD*incredulously* Murrrm... WHOTT is rong with yure vois.  Yue sownd like a grouwly thing.
Me: *coughing* Thanks.  
SD: And WHOTT is that terribul smel?  Its maiken mai ies wottur.
Me: *croakily* It's a combination of Vick's Vapour Rub and Olbas Oil.  To help me breathe.
SD: *authoritatively* Fore gudeniss saik.... thair kno gude.  Yue knead bare grees.
Me: *warily*  Bear grease?  I don't think so.  
SD:*confidently* How due yue kno if yue doant evin trie itt?
Me*weakly* I don't like the sound of it.  Anyway, we haven't got any.  If it even exists. Which I seriously doubt.
SD: *warming to her theme*  Yue smeer it onto brouwn paippur then poot the paippur on yore chesst.
Me: *noncommittally*  Hmmmmm 
SD:*doggedly* Then yue eyron it.
Me: *disbelievingly* IRON it?!
SD:*firmly* Yess.  With a eyron.  On meedyum heet.  It mellts the bare greese intew yore chesst, and sew ayds rekuverie.
Me:*incredulously* Rubbish.  I don't know where you get these ideas.
SD: *huffily* Well if yue woant evin trie itt..... *mumbl, muttr*.... ai hav wun uthr sujestshun.
Me:*wearily* Yes...?
SD: *ingratiatingly* Yue kneed The Heelen Porr... nouw if yue just moov that lapptopp and lett me sitt on yore nee... then yue hav to stroak me.... thatts itt.  Keap doen it... it woant wurk if yue stopp.

A few minutes later.....
SD: Feeyew.... yure a bitt hott! Its maken me unkumftuble.
Me: *testily* You could MOVE you know!
SD: *airily* O no.  I hav to stai heer to giv yue The Healen Porr. 

Even later.....
SD: Aktewlie... ai mite move... yue ar veri hott and yue doant luke at orl well.
Me: *groggily*  I don't feel at all well.  I expect I look a bit like Camille in her death scene, draped over her fainting couch, looking all pale and wan.
SD:*placatingly*  Murrrm.... yue doant luke enithin liek a kammel.  Ai thinc yue musst be halloosinaten.  


SD: *pensively* Orlthoe.... yue do hav a bitt of a humph......


Friday, 3 November 2017


I've had a bit of a cold this week.  There's a lot of it about and my chances of escaping it were always slim.

Now, obviously, a common cold is nowhere near as bad as Man Flu, so I've struggled womanfully through this week, relying on copious amounts of cold remedies in the vain hope that I could head it off at the pass.  However I woke this morning sounding like a slowed down version of Lee Marvin singing Wandrin' Star, a sure sign that my common cold had migrated south and taken up residence in my chest and upper respiratory tract and I'm feeling proper poorly.

So today, I'm taking a sickie and lolling on the sofa watching old films on TV, while catching up with 'paperwork'... tidying up the website, formatting a few more chapters of my book, pratting about on Pinterest doing some important historical research

On standby I have a selection of medicaments......

... but what I REALLY need is some of this.

Proper ORIGINAL Lucozade
Anyone who was a child in the UK in the 1950s and 60s will remember feeling that we must have been really poorly to merit our mums having to go to the chemist specially to buy this outrageously expensive drink.

The 'Lucozade Experience' was an integral part of my childhood... brilliantly designed to appeal to all the senses.  

First there was that orange wrapper.  The challenge was to get it off all in one piece so that it could be used to look through, transforming already feverish imaginings into the stuff of nightmares.  It made a sound unlike any other type of cellophane and even tasted therapeutic.  If you've never, ever licked the Lucozade wrapper there is clearly something wrong with you and we can't be friends.

The glass bottle had little, tactile dimples, and the top, when unscrewed, released a healing hiss of gas and bubbles.

Poured into a glass, the bubbles raced around, chasing each other up to the surface where they popped with little 'phizz'.

I endowed Lucozade with magical powers, convinced that it would cure me of any ailment.  But only if I was in my pyjamas and dressing gown, on a little bed made up on the sofa. It also had to be accompanied by a soft-boiled egg, cut up in a cup with a little salt, and soggy, butter-soaked soldiers on the side.  

Left to go flat it tasted like a completely different drink.  Still good, but different.

The new upstart Lucozade just doesn't cut the mustard.  Now marketed as an 'energy' drink it comes in a can or plastic bottle.  No crinkly wrapper or tactile, dimpled glass.
It still fizzes and pops but it's definitely lost its lustre as a convalescent curative.  And don't even get me started on the bewildering array of different flavours. 

I mean... Brazilian Guava.  WTF?

I feel betrayed. It was absolutely perfect as it was and didn't need changing.  How on earth am I going to get better NOW?!

Also, this is the view from my corner of the sofa...