Friday, 30 October 2015

Five On Friday

Happy Five On Friday Halloween!

Today there are five - mostly - Halloween things to share with you, but not in any kind of scary way.  Don't do scary in our house!  At any time of year.  Except for being scared of spiders (me) and overly gritty detective shows (hubby).


Thank you for the lovely comments about the new picture shelves, we are very pleased with them, glad you like them too!  Of course they are totally there for the pictures, ahem, but that doesn't mean that I can't do a little decorating does it!  Some pumpkin twinkle lights really add a lovely touch don't they....


Pumpkins galore.  Not as many as I have because I left the paper ones in the decorations box this year.  Oh, and I forgot to get a picture of the terracotta one in the garden.  Still, quite a few pumpkins around and about.  All ones that are least trying to smile.  I cannot have grumpy pumpkins.

See, they are all trying to smile!


We have a lot going on at work that I can reveal to you next week - very excited about it! - but I cannot tell you yet.  So Halloween has been a little lighter on the ground this year.  There is a trail of potions for the children to look for - jars of cold beans and the like! - and a few decorations.  I only snapped the witch trying to play the piano.


In the half light in the dining room at work, before the blinds were up, I managed to get a good spooky picture of the large mirror on the wall.  In the sunlight it looks like a fairly ordinary, albeit old and rather marked mirror.  The lines are from where the silvering was applied to the back to make it into a mirror many years ago.

In the half dark though it had some good reflections and you could see that it looked really kind of grey.  Officially we don't have any ghosts at work, but things have been seen and heard and I remember one lady insisting one day that this mirror was a picture because she could see a picture in it - not just the reflection!  I don't think that it is the Mirror of Erised though.


A totally gratuitous cactus shot!  I told you I would keep you updated on progress.  This was yesterday afternoon.  Isn't she looking beautiful.  Excuse the back end of the wooden wildebeest that jumped into the picture.

Thank you for all of your comments yesterday.  I knew that I wasn't thinking anything so bad, but as you know, I am a worrier and because of the situation....  Anyway, thank you, I am glad that we are on the same - apparently totally normal! - page.

That is it for Five On Friday today.  I hope that you all have a fun - and non scary and totally pleasant - Halloween tomorrow  or that you can successfully avoid it if you prefer as I know that it isn't for everyone.

I hope that you have a great rest of your weekend too.  If you have time, please pop by and read some other Five On Friday posts and let them know you have been by leaving a comment if you can.

Happy Friday!


p.s. I nearly forgot!  There is still time to join the Christmas Card Swap.  Thank you everyone who has joined so far.  If you are interested, click on the picture top right of the sidebar that says card swap and you can find out all the details.


Thank you - as always! - for joining in last week.  I look forward to reading your posts again this week too!  Remember, anyone is more than welcome to join in, read this bit below, go and visit the Five On Friday page and then write your own post and then come back here and link in!

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Wednesday, 28 October 2015


Do you ever feel that you are just in a really bad mood.  Like you want to be all yelling and shouting and having a go at someone?  No, probably not because you are normal, but that is how I feel today.

There is silly stuff going round in my head.  Most of which I will not bore you with, save this one little thing.

A quote from someone in a meeting (NOT me!).  "I'm not trying to be negative, just trying to see all the problems"  Really.  If that was your positive I would hate to see your negative!!!  Also I was got at today for not dressing up as a witch at work.  It isn't compulsory and there were many other non witches, but for some reason I was the person chosen to be pointedly pointed out......  Agghh!!

No, the issue is this, which I have to explain in a slightly roundabout way, so please, as Tilly* would say "bear with...".

I have to tell someone something which really isn't that horrid in my opinion.

That once the persons child reaches 21 next year, that really is it for gifts.  Under 21 is fine and will continue, but after that no.  Gifts stopped for me well before I was 16 so I have gone on a lot longer than that already.  Significant occasions like weddings are excluded from the no gifts of course and gifts will be bought for those occasions as and when they happen.

Relations with the person and their spouse are extremely difficult and likely to go off - on their end - like a truckload of fireworks if they even sense that they are somehow being "wronged" by me.  They have a lot to deal with and I know and accept that and if I was allowed to I would help, but I am not so I can't. 

That said, I don't think me giving advance warning of no more presents after this Christmas and the 21st birthday of their child next year should be the end of the world or add to their troubles in any way.

I am terrified though, based on previous horrendous experiences, that if I say, which I feel that I should do in order to give some advance warning, that this is your last Christmas and birthday gifts, it is very likely that all the circles of hell will break loose and come crashing down upon me faster than you can say Dante who.  Or bear with.

I started to vaguely mention it once before when relations were in an okish kind of place and it wasn't well received.  As I am apparently in the doghouse, once again, for not doing or not not doing or whatever it was I should or shouldn't have done because quite frankly I have no idea what it is that I did or didn't do, if I say it now, when I have apparently done something wrong (and, this is not a lie, their actual pet dog just died too!) then really, all the circles of hell will rain down on me.

If I leave it though then that isn't so nice either is it.  What do I do.  Just stop?  Send one child (well under 21) an envelope and not the other?

Oh, and at the moment the soon to be 21 and their younger sibling do send gifts to hubby and I, which are very kind, but not expected in any way, and I will, once again, make this absolutely clear, and will request, once again, that these gifts to us cease, because I really do not think it would be fair to send one way gifts to us.  Not because we are not grateful, I just don't think that it is right now and would really not be right if we stop.

This isn't someone that I can just ignore or not talk to, I do have to talk to them, at least at some points, even if they are in the middle of hating me.

Any advice?  Kind nice well meaning advice, I cannot take anyone being nasty right now!  Not that you would I am sure.

I know the answer, just rip off the plaster (band aid) and tell them, but oh gosh that doesn't make it any easier.

I guess that what I am hoping that you will say is that I am right, once you reach 21 I can stop with the gifts and then that will give me some confidence that I am not doing something awful and help me when I have to come out and say it.  Which I need to do.  Soon.

If I am being unfair though, do tell me.  Just nicely!

Thank you all!

That is why I am crabby.  I am stressed!  I am not going to yell or shout though.  Instead I just spent nigh on two hours writing and rewriting this.  I am going to press publish, but I might delete it in a moment!


* Tilly is a character from a sitcom called Miranda.  You have to have seen it to understand.  Sorry!

Sudbury Hall

Sudbury Hall is a magnificent building indeed with a great deal of incredible carved details in the ceilings, wall panels and other decorative details.  It is a joy to visit and so is the Museum of Childhood which is housed in some of the old stable buildings.  I will do a post about that another day.

Today though I wanted to share a few glimpses of Sudbury Hall with you.

The wonderful old brick fa├žade greets you immediately as you arrive.  It is so warm and welcoming.

Of course we had to pretend to ring for the butler!  What else would you do.

Many great details that I love to photograph.  This is a fire dog.  Not a real dog of course, just part of the grate that holds the logs for the fire.

You can see some of the amazing carved ceilings that there were.  The work really was incredible.  I don't think that I have ever seen ceilings like this anywhere else.

Of course I photograph more mundane things too that appeal to me!

Then I return to the more ornate details.

The stand above is called a dumb waiter and was used so that dishes could be bought into the dining room, put to one side and then the diners could help themselves.  No need for the butler or footman to hang around.

The kitchens were surprisingly small I thought.  But there were still interesting details such as the pressure cooker than you can see in the photo below.  The room guide and another visitor were discussing how terrifying they thought that pressure cookers were!

Isn't this library fabulous!!!  There is a project being undertaken at the moment to conserve all of the books and it is apparently being done by volunteers.  It must be fascinating work.  There are an awful lot of books to get through though!

There was an exhibition through various parts of the house of pieces of needlework that had been done taking their inspiration from the house.  I only photographed one of them because I couldn't get good shots of the others.  This piece is very interesting though.  You can read more about it below.

Our visit then came to an end and we excited at the rear of the house.  The gardens are small, but beautiful!

You can see that the rear of the house is just as imposing as the front is!

I hope that you are enjoying these posts, I will return to crafty things I promise, but right now I am mostly working on secret things that I cannot share and I really want to get these travel posts organised and shared with you otherwise you will not get to see them!

If you would like to any more information you can find out about the property here.


Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Eyam Hall

When visiting the village of Eyam in The Peak District in September I was surprised to find that there was also a National Trust property to visit.  Eyam Hall.

It is a very interesting place to visit that has only been passed to the National Trust's care fairly recently.

I thought that you might like a little - mainly photographic! - tour today.

This is the outside which is quite plain, but very pretty.  Inside there are many interesting details such as this interesting Arts and Crafts style fire surround.

The very large, but welcoming and homely entrance hall.


I loved the Dining Room best of all.  Incredible china, lots of portraits, wonderful silver and a beautifully laid table that you could just imagine sitting down to eat at.

These meat dish covers were incredible, so enormous.  Can you imagine the weight of the platter with a large joint of meat and then topped off with one of these covers!  I should think that you would need two people to carry it!

From the Dining Room we continued to the Kitchen, passing by some more lovely china and an array of mincers.....  Just what everyone needs?


Ugghh, Tripe!  If you don't know what this is, trust me, don't investigate, you really don't want to know!

The kitchen was also fascinating with so many interesting details to see.  A place of lots of hard work though and not a relaxing place to be as it might nowadays be.

Then we went upstairs.  Isn't this stair carpet incredible....  I don't actually think it is that old because I remember my parents moving to a house some 30 years ago and having something quite similar!  Because the house was lived in by the family until quite recently there are many more modern touches.  Apparently a lot of their furniture came from Ikea - they took it with them! - and there are modern bathrooms too.

There was a wonderful nursery with lots of wonderful toys including this incredible dolls house.

If you click on the picture above you can read more about these wonderful embroidery samples.  They are so beautiful, the work is incredible.

This is the master bedroom - rather too full of people to get many photos - but the bed was fascinating.  Again there were more modern touches with John Lewis - a department store - curtains hanging at the windows apparently.

I find these messages scratched into windows fascinating and I love to see them.  Perhaps one day I will leave one scratched into one of our houses windows.  Not sure what hubby would make of that....

So many incredible carved details all over the house.  I loved these parts of the staircase with the hearts carved into them.

One of the bedrooms was entirely lined with these very detailed tapestries.  It was incredible to see a whole room covered in them.

I adored this case of jewellery, there were many beautiful things, but the large emerald ring - below - really caught my eye.  I could just imagine wearing that!

We went down a different staircase with different carved details and out on our way to the garden.

Then we had a last look again at the front of the house and the incredible lead gutter pipes.  Can you imagine producing something like this nowadays for our homes.

While visiting the house I hadn't been able to get far enough away without lots of people to get a good photo, but as we were walking past again after our walk around the village I managed to take another photo through the gates.

It was a very interesting house to visit and I would thoroughly recommend it.  There is also a craft centre in the courtyard/stableyard area with some lovely shops making various handcrafted items.  This is also well worth a visit.  So if you are going to Eyam, do stop in and see the Hall.  You can find out more information here.

Hope you had a nice walk around today!