Monthly Archives: March 2014

Sunday one liners ~ 23

Some people need sequins, others don’t.
~ Edith Head

One real Diamond taught me the most important lesson in life :
How to be a good person.



 My mother

I hope I lived up to her expectation.

Three Mammies

Three generations of mothers.

Granny, Mammy and a then seventeen year–old me!

And finally……

For Elly

 Courtesy of Facebook.

Easter Sunday 1979

Easter Sunday 1979

Easter Sunday 15th April 1979. Miss Elly had not yet started to walk. She moved crab-like across the floor faster than a Formula One Racing car using her right elbow and left knee.

The End is never the End ~ Part 3

Part 3

The rear elevation of the house was showing decay brought about by weathering and a badly damaged entrance door, but it was still secure and the giant semicircular fanlight seemed to escape. Had there been an attempted break in? Alice realised that she would not know if a burglary had occurred in recent months. She had found no inventory of the contents, and what she saw told her she had enough to fill a small museum on one floor alone, never mind the others.

Her head was beginning to buzz and Alice noticed the time: It was already mid afternoon and she had not eaten since her early breakfast. Chiding herself, she made coffee and took it with her packed lunch through to the Library. She chose to sit on a rather lazy-looking seat, half sofa, half arm-chair, by the fireplace. Relaxed by the warm coffee, she could imagine Sidney’s ancestors sitting in this very spot at twilight, telling tales to their children about days gone by.

She pictured a bright fire burning in the fireplace, with blazing logs adding a cheerful glow to the room as evening drew in. All around on every side of the room were well-filled book-cases, reaching almost up to the high beamed ceiling. A large study table sat proudly in the middle of the room. It was covered with books and papers, and close by an arm-chair, pushed back in such a way it gave the impression it had been used only a day before. Alice felt comfortable here and thought it could easily become a favourite place to relax. Over the fireplace hung a painting of an old monastery it was rather dull and not to Alice’s taste, it could be added to the list for removal and sale.

Suddenly the sound of a bell striking with a clear, sweet tone brought Alice back to the present moment. The sound was coming from the tower where the bell struck the hour, while the hands of the clock, small as they were, kept perfect time in their journey round the clock face. The clear ringing of the clock could be heard all over the house, and suddenly she remembered Sidney saying with a smile, on her first visit:

“Grandfather called it ‘the Convent Bell’!”

Some curious little items were scattered about on the table and open shelves, or in the drawers; many of them from far-off places. One was an inkstand on the study-table; It was made like the claw of an eagle – the three toes, tipped with silver, formed the stand, and a little socket in the leg, was to hold an inkstand. A Regency Spiral Library Ladder with built in cabinet stood by the bookcases to the left of the great fireplace and a green leather wing back armchair with very detailed brass studding sat to the side of the large deep Bay window. The C shaped window seat cushions were very badly faded and threadbare, eaten by many years of unfiltered sunshine.

The inventory of furniture was growing longer than a litany:

  • A George III turnover leaf tea table or side table with satinwood string inlay, two original Lion head handles, and brass escutcheon on a long shallow drawer with the whole piece terminating in original brass caps and castors.
  • A Beautiful Ladies writing desk with a brass gallery wonderful inlay and original brass handles and green leather tooled writing surface.
  • George III mahogany standing corner cupboard the dentil cut moulded cornice above a pair of glazed doors enclosing shelves, below twin panel cupboard doors enclosing a shelf raised on a plinth base.
  • Georgian 3 drawer drop leaf occasional table on a turn column and platform base.
  • A beautiful rich mahogany breakfast / dining table on centre pedestal with four out swept supports that terminated in brass caps and castors with seats for eight diners.
  • A lovely circular George 111 mahogany snap top table with piecrust edge and birdcage action.
  • Splendid French Victorian arm chairs with original tapestry covering.

They were very fond of ‘George’ smiled Alice as she added the items to her list, yet she had not discovered a George or Georgina on any of the old papers she had come across so far! These pieces were just for starters, and only a few items from one room, add the items from the library and multiply it by the large entrance hall and other rooms. The list might take a year to complete. Alice was beginning to realise she was out of her depth and would need the advice and help of professionals if she wanted to undertake this task properly. Suddenly, Alice realised she did want to begin a thorough and sensitive restoration programme of the house, overseen by experts in each field. This fascinating and beautiful building could combine the old with some new features, to provide an interesting and comfortable future for herself and Lovell.

At the thought of Lovell, she realised it was time to return to the Home house. It had been a long day, but she wanted to check the windows at the back of the building on the upper floor before securing the house for the night.

Running up stairs, she turned to the left and walked to the end of the corridor to check the rooms along the back wall of the house, the first was secure with no sign of water getting through. It was the same for the next three. Alice caught sight through a window of the outbuildings, they would certainly fulfil the needs of ‘recreational facilities’ as Morgan would say, but that was for another day, a long way down the line.

Two more bedrooms on this floor to check, the others up in the attics were smaller and could wait until next visit. As Alice moved across the last bedroom on this level she tripped, catching her foot on a floor board. In her hurry she had not noticed it, but she certainly felt the sting of the graze on the left side of her face. She got to her feet and checked the window, it was secure and dry. Turning to the reason for her fall the floorboard was now loose, her shoe had acted like a claw hammer. Alice decided to lift it altogether and place it over against the wall. As she did so, she noticed something in the gap, it was a box of some sort, she lifted it out for further examination. She wondered how long it had been there but decided to put it in her bag and open it at home when Dinner was over and she could relax for the evening. She returned to the ground floor, collected her things, locked up the house and turned her car for home.

Once through the door, Alice was met by Lovell and Crumbs, both excited to see her and vying for her attention. It took a full twenty minutes before they allowed her to make a start on dinner. Thankful for meals she had prepared in advance for the freezer, she sorted one and set it in the oven to thaw and reheat. It gave her time for a shower to clear the dust of the day from her body and allow her head to relax enough to enjoy the meal. Lovell eat well clearing her plate, then left the table for the evening round of soaps on TV.

As Alice stacked the dishwasher, the doorbell buzzed. It was Morgan. He often called unannounced to check that they were alright. He knew Alice was going to ‘Thudder house’ and wanted to know how she had got on. Alice made coffee and they carried it through to the den for a quiet chat while Lovell was busy. She told him about the back door and he agreed to take a look at it over the weekend.

He agreed with her that it would be wise to seek assistance from the experts before making changes to ‘Thudder house’. He told her about his day and the latest progress on the Workshop. He was about to leave, when he asked what happened to her face. Touching the graze she remembered the box!

Taking it from her bag, she noted it was quite old and inlayed with an intricate pattern in ivory. Alice opened it and they both gasped loudly.


Sitting on the deep black velvet lining were jewels that sparkled under the new deep set lights Morgan had installed around the room and above the chair where Alice now sat. There were diamonds, sapphires, aquamarines and an emerald, all set in beautiful pieces!

There had been no mention of any jewellery in Sidney’s will and the solicitors practice had been with the family for several generations, surely they would have mentioned ‘jewellery’ if they had known.

“I wonder if Sidney knew about these?” They both exclaimed in unison.

These stones might have lived under some old dark and dusty floor boards for many a long year, but Alice was not very happy about having them here in the Home house.
“Under the pillow with them for tonight” she thought. In the morning she would take them to a reputable jeweller in the city. They needed to be listed, checked over, cleaned and valued, before deciding what to do with them. She did not see herself parading about dripping in jewels as she went about her chores or while poking about in Thudder house as it was right now!

Thursday Special ~ Trust

There comes a time when a woman just has to trust her husband… for example…

A wife comes home late at night and quietly opens the door to her bedroom.
From under the blanket she sees four legs instead of two. She reaches for a baseball bat and starts hitting the blanket as hard as she can. Once she’s done, she goes to the kitchen to have a drink.

As she enters, she sees her husband there, reading a magazine. “Hi Darling”, he says, “Your parents have come to visit us, so l let them stay in our bedroom. Did you say hello?

I wonder if Ramana remembers sending this one?


The ‘E’s of life

My friend Padmini, posted this on Facebook the other day, I wanted to share it here with you.

‘E’ … is the most eminent letter of the alphabet.
Men or Women don’t exist without ‘E’.
House or Home can’t be made without ‘E’.
Bread or Butter can’t be found without ‘E’.

‘E’ is the beginning of Existence and the end of Trouble.
It’s not at all in War but twice in Peace.

It’s once in Hell but twice in Heaven’.

‘E’ represents Emotions.. hence all emotional relations like

Father, Mother, Brother, Sister have ‘E’ in them.

‘E’ also represents Effort, Energy.
Hence to be Better from Good,
two ‘E’s are added.

Without ‘E’, we would have no Love, Life, Wife or Hope

Without ‘E’ we cannot See, Hear, Smell, or Taste.

Just as Eye, Ear, Nose and Tongue are made of ‘E’.

SO Go with ‘E’ but without EGO.

Eeh by gum this ‘ere E is right for me!

I may never go out again!

Elly took me shopping when she was here at the weekend. We did a grocery run on Saturday and my fridge, freezer and store cupboards are now full to the gills & ready to face a siege. I love to pick my own food, so have not given in to shopping on-line. I still need to meet people face to face and talk. On-line shopping will be fine when I become a complete recluse!

One non food item I had on the list was slippers/indoor shoes. We took off after lunch yesterday and I found these:


My new slippers

My new slippers

Sketchers GOwalk™

They are so comfortable, each shoe in my size weighs 3.6 ounces. It is like walking on a layer of marshmallow or a soft sponge pavement!

The only pair in my size, yesterday were grey. Pity they did not have the Raspberry.

Looking online today I realised I need to save my pennies before next winter…..


Colours: Chocolate, Black or Chestnut.

Don’t tell Elly…… I almost forgot to take them off when I went to bed last night! 😉

My cozy toes

My cozy toes

Food Monday ~ Duck Soup

I am not talking about the 1933 Movie with the Marx Brothers: Groucho, Harpo, Chico & Zeppo. No way!

The tantalizing aroma in my kitchen right now is coming from the stock pot on the cooker. The carcass & leg bones from yesterdays duck, with an onion, celery and carrot are simmering since seven of the clock this morning.

It smells like a mighty stock in progress.

I carefully stripped the remains of the meat last night and they are for adding to the soup with the juice of an orange and a dash from a bottle 😉 at the final stage later today.


For Libby

I imagine your days are busy with the endless round of chores that go with young motherhood besides sorting, packing and deciding what to keep or discard before your move. One tip I suggest: Do not throw out all the ‘Fridge Artwork’!


Let me explain by showing you a special piece of Art.

Original Artwork

Original Artwork

Abstract Artwork – Click to enlarge

The work is unsigned, but dated. Look carefully at the top right corner.

Libby, do you recognise the hand that wrote that date?

The date: 11/3/83 was written by your father’s hand. Thirty one years ago this month.

I supplied the very high class art paper! Not entirely true, but close. Thirty one years ago, we had no PCs in our little world, Jack received reams of printed or typed paper in the mail twice or three times a week, all in relation to his work. The old sheets were scrapped when the next bundle arrived. What a waste.

I suggested keeping the paper and allowing Elly use the pages to draw, write or scribble on. It meant she had an endless supply. One day Elly presented me with a picture that really impressed me and it gave me an idea….

On our next visit to Dublin I had a bundle of spare sheets for Elly to play with. One day, seeing all of her cousins around her, I thought it might be interesting to see what artwork they would produce. I gave each child a sheet of paper to take home and draw a picture for me. I was not leaving you out, so I gave your dad the page.

The work above is you handiwork. Very delicate for a tiny toddler! The colours show better if you click to enlarge the image.

I played with the lines and circles of your piece. First I took tracings, eliminating some and keeping others. Then began the fun of layering the lines until I was happy with the result.

Next with your colours for inspiration, I delved into my craft box. Several pieces of sequin off-cut and coloured tulle were light enough for your touch. I layered them together, worked some free machine stitching before cutting away at the layers to show the different colours and textures. The ink spots from the type on the other side gave me the idea to add beads. And the swans-down & frayed threads were for the softness of a tiny hand.

My interpretation of your art,

Elly’s picture led to the whole idea in the first place. Click on the link to read the story of where that led.

Thursday Special ~ A, B, C, D, E, F,G, H, I, J, K

After being married for thirty years, a wife asked her husband to describe her.

He looked at her for a while…then said:

“You’re A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K.”

She asks….. “What does that mean?”

He said, “Adorable, Beautiful, Cute, Delightful, Elegant, Foxy, Gorgeous,

She smiled happily and said.. “Oh, that’s so lovely.. What about I, J, K?”

He said, “I’m Just Kidding!”

The swelling in his eye is going down and the doctor is fairly optimistic
about saving his testicles.


Another Frank special this week!

It is all my fault

“What is all your fault?” I hear you ask.

Spring is late. Very very late. 🙁


My Poinsettia is still in full bloom and happy.



That little nick in the leaf is there since Day one, which was for me 13th December 2013.



All I do is add a little warm water to the dish about once a week. I know some people dislike them, but this one smiles and add colour to my life on the endless dull dark days.

Cut flowers die after two days so I no longer buy them, and I put people off paying good money to buy cut flowers for me.