Tuesday, 21 February 2012

An ever expanding list (Part 1)

Get a haircut.
Have a new passport photograph taken.

Two more items to be added to my mental list 'Tasks not to be undertaken by my teenage sons without adult supervision'.

I sent them out the other morning with those instructions. I thought I was helping with their personal growth, giving them some responsibility, encouraging them to make decisions on their own. In hindsight I should have known better. Their downfall didn't lie in the absence of ability but rather their lack of vanity.

Haircuts have never been high on the list of priorities, in fact for the first couple of years they weren't even an issue. The boys newborn auburn fuzz gave way to gossamer. Hair as soft as silk, as fine as spun silver. It would glow in the sunlight, a luminous halo above their cherubic faces.
It also meant they looked bald for the first 10 months! 

When it did eventually begin to sprout and darken we discovered that No 1 son had been blessed with what has become affectionately known as the 'bedlam barnet' ( or 'Muppet mop' on occasion). Of course, in the age old tradition of good cop bad cop, that meant No 2 son has hair that usually behaves impeccably.

Initially, and somewhat nervously, I dealt with the few curls that crept over their ears or nestled messily at their napes (The first ones cut are tied with a ribbon and kept in a small box. What can I say? I'm a sentimentalist!) But their hair became longer, thicker and beyond my dubious skills. Was it time to let someone else loose on their locks?

Enter the man of the house. With clippers. He's cut his own hair (or what's left of it) for years and after a bit of wrangling over which guard was to be used I agreed he could take over. So for the next four years they were bi-annually shorn like sheep. It worked really well in the summer, preparing them for the anticipated heatwave (snort!), but meant that winter attire always had to include a natty line in hats. 

If it got too untidy to wait for the next clipper session I took them to the 'Gents Hairdressers'. They liked it so much their dad was given the heave- ho.( I think it might have had something to do with the lollipop the barber would give them on the way out) 

It's an unassuming little establishment, set in off the street almost hidden from view, easily missed if it weren't for the barbers pole.

Walking through the door is like taking a step back in time. Not to the dim and distant past, just a decade.... or four:o) The floor is covered in vinyl, the pattern of which has long since been worn and scrubbed away. Two large barbers chairs, all shiny chrome, cream enamel and burgundy faux leather, take pride of place in the middle of the room. Since the proprietor is also the sole employee only one of the chairs is used. It's artificial ageing is a distant memory, the dark red worn to bright cherry, polished by countless posteriors.  

To the right, under the window, is a wooden bench. There is no appointment book made up weeks in advance, here you simply walk in, take a seat, and wait your turn (be it for a haircut, a fishing permit or to drop off your pools coupon). 
It will be a quick, no nonsense cut of the short back and sides variety, and no paying over the odds for fancy products or verbal inanities.(The barber, being born and bred in Moffat, probably knows more about you than you do yourself so has no need to ask if you're going on holiday. In fact she could probably tell you where, when and for how long you're going, and what the in flight film will be! ) 
To pass the time while you wait there is a choice of reading material in the corner, a couple of daily tabloids, invariably turned to the sports section, and a pile of old Dandy annuals (the boys love them). 

Sometimes though, when 'bedlam barnet's' curls and ringlets act up, slightly more styling is required. That's when I make them an appointment with my hairdresser. Which is what I did. And made the mistake of letting them go themselves! 

Perhaps I wasn't clear enough. Maybe I should have written it down. When I said, 'a haircut' No 1 son must have heard 'a hair cut' because that's apparently what he got. I could detect no discernible difference when he arrived home. I just wonder how he decided which hair to sacrifice?  
As to No 2 son, well what can I say. He came home looking like a Paul Weller tribute act! ( I'm sorry if that offends, but lets be honest here, for all his musical talent that man has never had a decent 'do )

So its back to the hat box for a few days until I can arrange another appointment, and this time I'll be going with them!

As for the passport photographs. Well.........

Friday, 17 February 2012

Rescue and refurbish

I should be able to get back to crafting by the end of next week and I can honestly say, for the first time in ages, my fingers are twitching to get started. I have no idea yet what they want to get started on, they don't keep me that well informed. I just know if I don't make something soon I'm going to pop ( I don't do explode - too much mess to clean up afterwards)

In preparation I have been squirrelling away some finds from the charity shop. When you can't make, hoard! Many people bring in textiles that aren't fit for resale but can get sent for recycling. The shop receives a donation for each bag they send off. We often have to decant the bags brought in by the public into sturdier pre-printed bags we have for transporting to recycling depots.

It was during this task, sorting through grubby net curtains, frayed towels and pobbley brushed nylon sheets that I came across these.

I took them out , checked them over, but could find nothing wrong with them other than the fact that they were slightly dated and the donor obviously thought no one would want them. 

Ha! I fell in love with them on the spot. Which was quite strange actually since they are so 'not me'. But that's the thing, I think I was drawn to the vintage novelty of them, if that makes sense. So I rescued them, measured them, priced them and bought them.  

I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do with them, the only thing I am sure of is that they will no longer be curtains. ( I say that but judging by past experience they are likely to remain in their present state for some time to come)

I few days later I arrived to start my shift and found this little treasure at the till point.

Can you tell what it is yet?

Perhaps if I open it up....

...add the trays....

...and flip down the sides?

A slightly shabby but fully working butlers table!
Well I couldn't resist. It just had to come home with me. With a little bit of TLC,(I'm still not sure whether to sand it down and wax it or paint it in some trendy colour. Any ideas?),it will be perfect in my workroom. I'm a bit of an untidy crafter. I invariably have half started, or worse still half finished, projects strewn across my worktable, taking up valuable space. It makes it increasingly difficult to lay out patterns or cut out fabric. 

This butlers table will give me somewhere to put works in progress, keeping my large table free of mess ( well that's the plan anyway:o)), with the added advantage of trays I can bring in to the house with me of an evening should I feel the need to continue some crafty endeavour.

I can't wait!

Monday, 13 February 2012


There's a lot to be said for living at the top of a hill. Its quiet, there is little chance of flooding and the view is not obstructed by ariels and satellite dishes.

However, when a layer of ice covers every surface horizontal, vertical and all 90° in between....
 ....getting down off it can prove to be a bit problematic.
 A car won't manage, no matter how many wheels are driving, if it has nothing to grip on to! 
 A bicycle would just be folly ( although the boys seemed to manage it)....
.....and my walking boots didn't come equipped with crampons.
 How about a tea tray? I could pretend it was the skeleton....
 ...then again perhaps not. Maybe I'll just stay up here until it thaws.
 Now that seems like a plan I can work with :o)

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Winter visitors

I've been unable to craft or blog much recently ( or catch up on all my blog reading!) for one reason or another. I hope to get back to it all soon but in the meantime I thought I'd share these with you. One of the things I love about the snow is the evidence our garden visitors leave behind :o)

After we had all come inside Billy, one of our resident badgers came out for a stroll.

After a tour of the garden he climbed the 15 stairs up to the balcony...

...had a little wander about ( I always imagine him doing this while humming tunelessly to himself)... 

...then left to let another visitor have a go.

They decided to stay for breakfast...

...and seemed a bit embarrassed at being caught in the act.

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