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Saturday, 29 September 2012

All sorts and still not about blogging!

Remember my Jack and the beanstalk hollyhock from here?  Well I cut it down yesterday as it was all but finished apart from these few blooms.  I have brought the stems of seedheads indoors and am waiting for them to dry out before saving some for myself, some for a neighbour who asked if she might have some and some for a gift for a friend.

 I have this little packet ready for the seeds - see it even says hollyhock on it!  Recognise the lining tissue Annie?

 Here it is fastened.  Speaking of seeds I haven't forgotten my giveaway - I realised that I had made the closing date rather a long time ahead but thought I'd better not change it!  If you haven't entered and want to do so you have until Sunday 30th which, in case like me you never know what the date is, is tomorrow - winner will be announced on Monday.

I have also been beavering away on this little needlecase for the same friend I do hope she'll like it.

I am off to France next month to stay with a French friend - for whom the gifts are being made.  Not not on the bus although I did wonder about getting the train which would have involved a coach to Hammersmith, underground to St Pancras, Eurostar to Paris, metro across Paris to Gare d'Austerlitz and a train to Limoges and would have taken 13 hours!!  As I am only going for 3 nights I decided against that idea and will instead fly from Southampton.  I don't have that much stamina especially as when I arrive I will spend most of my time having to think in French as my friend speaks no English so I would be exhausted!  I am going to stay with the friend who introduced me to the patchwork group which is holding the exhibition I mentioned here.  Months ago I had said I'd like to see it - thinking my entry might be on view too and my friend invited me to stay with her if indeed I went.  Well I had forgotten all about it since my idea for a patchwork inspired by Glastonbury legends never got off the ground and Mr M has been so poorly and so on but on my return from my trip to Swanage a letter was waiting for me asking which days I was coming!  I thought I must go having promised and anyway I would love to see my friend so it's all booked now and I have been busy making some little gifts for my friend to take with me.

Topic 2

I have been sorting through my summer things ready to put away all those I know I shan't wear any more this year and I realise just how many of them I haven't actually worn this summer nor for some years now.  When I was on my bus pass jaunt I found it really liberating to have so little with me to choose from.  No dithering about whether to wear this or that just what was clean.  I find it true what they say that we wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time and with me it might be an even lower percentage of things that gets worn.  I plan to cut down on what I have in my wardrobe so that there will in future be no more less of that dithering and changing from one thing to another!  Less is sometimes more and a few items I really enjoy wearing will be so much better than a cupboard full of stuff I don't.  Charity shops here I come!

Topic 3 - TEA!

One of my followers left a comment on my recent post saying that my adventures reminded her of a grown up Winnie the Pooh and always with a cup of tea at the end.  We entered into a little e-mail correspondence when I wrote:

Thanks for your lovely comments on my posts I had to smile when you said my jaunts reminded you of a grown up Winnie the Pooh with always a cup of tea at the end.  I hadn't realised just how often I mention the cups of tea - but I do don't I?  Of course we Brits survive on tea and cannot imagine life without the stuff; it is the cure for all ills here, or at least for people of my generation though I think youngsters now often prefer coffee.  If someone dies, if you lose your job, if you break your leg or are feeling sick, if you are tired or have just come back to the house after a jaunt or..... put the kettle on and make a cup of tea!!  I don't know if it is the tea itself or the fact that it gives the maker something to do, when there is nothing that will make a difference really, that helps. 

and Joy replied in words so much better than I could have written:

I think it's the whole ritual of making tea.  You don't have to focus on what you're doing - it just happens  - putting on the kettle, warming pot, choosing favorite tea, the cups, it all just comes together without much thought.  This allows you to really concentrate on the problem or happiness at hand.  Your brain has a chance to sort things out so that when you're ready to sit down and have your tea, slowly drinking the warm liquid, you can say what needs to be said or at least get your two cents worth into a good conversation.  Drinking something cold doesn't allow for that pause you get when you carefully drink hot tea. 

This made me think more about tea.  The ritual of making a cup of tea varies from the full blown warming the pot sort of tea to a quick teabag in a mug.  There are tea bags and loose tea, different blends of tea according to time of day or personal preference, there are myriad different styles of teapots and cups and saucers as well as mugs not to mention tea cosies, trays with or without traycloths and so on and so forth.  To take it with milk or lemon or just plain black.  To add sugar or not and if so plain granulated spooned in or dainty lumps using a tongs,  What to serve with it - dainty afternoon tea snadwiches with the crusts cut off, sponge cake or scones or just a HobNob or ginger nut to dunk?  How do you drink yours and when I wonder. My day starts with a cuppa taken in bed and usually made by Mr M using leaf tea and served in my Tigger mug given to me by my daughter many years ago.  Tiggers silly smiling face gets my day off to a good start.  During the day I take several mugs of tea usually made with a tea bag in the mug but if I fancy a proper sit down I will make myself a pot of real loose leaf tea (my preference is for Assam) and serve it in a fine china cup and saucer.  I take mine with milk no sugar although when I lived in France I learned to drink it black when visiting French friends.

Well the sun is shining this morning so I had better stop waffling on about this and that and go and get on with my day - hope the sun is shining where you are too and that you will have a good weekend.


  1. Love the little needle case Jane. Enjoy your visit to France.

  2. The needle case and the seed packet are lovely ideas. Your friends will love them. There's something about the way you meander through a blog post Jane that is captivating. I just have to keep on reading.....

  3. Hi Jane - if the patchwork expo is near me I would love to go, but you don't mention the venue...


  4. Love the little needlecase Jane! :)
    I hope you have a wonderful time in France (I know I would always be up for a trip to France)!!!
    I like my tea black with no sugar, just as it comes from the pot and it always comes from the pot made with loose tea!
    happy weekend,
    Vivienne x

  5. I used to have Hollyhocks in that shade, aren't they gorgeous? I like your seed packet too; as I do the needlecase, very well executed.

    I do like to read your posts and wonder why I can't write even half as well?

  6. Well you really have lots on the go at the moment don't you? And you sound full of vim and vigour since your little jaunt to Swanage. It seems to have been just what the doctor ordered!
    Love the needle case but then crazy patch is a specialty of your isn't it?
    I think you are very clever speaking French. Though I hated doing languages at school ( I did French and German !!)I would love to speak them now. I have fun trying but I think my French is sort of Pigin- French.I'll have to start practising again as we are hoping for a French holiday next year.
    Enjoy your little break. Hope Mr M is feeling better.

  7. Enjoy your trip to France and come back back and tell us all about it!
    Love the needlecase.

  8. Have a good time in France. I sometimes went to local quilt shows in Brittany and it is taken very seriously indeed.
    I drink my tea so pale that you can see through it, and only Lapsang, please!

  9. I hope you have a wonderful time in France, quite challenging to be thinking and speaking in French.
    Tea making is a lovely ritual. I love putting the tea leaves in the pot and the sound of boiling water being poured on them. Simple pleasures.
    Anne xx

  10. A wonderful assortment of topics in this post. Love the thoughts on making and drinking tea.

    Have a wonderful time in France, and how lucky your friend is to receive you sweet handmade gifts.

  11. topic one- beautiful case and seed packet
    topic 2- less is best!
    topic 3- thanks to the brits and prob china originally!
    enjoy the sun and france!

  12. Stunning gifts. So personal. I particularly like what you did with the seed packet. With regard to tea: I can never get enough!

  13. I really like your needlecase. The fabric is very beautiful. I think that your friend will treasure it always. A handmade gift comes from the heart.

  14. I do recognise the lining ... that little packet is perfect Jane.

    And I think your musings on tea are spot on, and apply to my chamomile tea habit too :D

  15. What a lovely needle case. Assam is my choice too. Have a great weekend.


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