Category Archives: shopping

Arty crafty Pottering

I could get to like this arty crafty pottering thing. I finally began my Christmas shopping today. Yes, really! Armed with my trusty railcard I made my way down the line to the annual Arts and Crafts Fair at The Lightbox museum and gallery in Woking. It’s a gentle way to ease into the preparations without all the noise and hassle of the mainstream shops. This is the second year I’ve done this. An old schoolfriend has a stall there each year, selling cards and jewellery so it’s a brilliant opportunity to catch up with her and to enjoy some of the beautiful craftwork. As you can see from the video in the link, the place has only been open a few years, but from the look of it is fast becoming a place for all sorts of projects in the local community.

Last year I had to hurry back to a choir practice; this year I’d more time to potter round and explore the other centre exhibits as well. As well as a permanent local history exhibit, this time round, there was a display of Chinese ceramics, (I went round this one before I became too load up with shopping. Can you imagine the bill if my bags got caught in some priceless tea set!). Thankfully, none did, and I spent a very enjoyable couple of hours there, managing to buy a few bits and bobs for various people, including cards, (the one in the picture is one made by my friend). I even had time for tea and a sandwich in the cafe – accompanied by the mellow strains of the Bishop Brown School Steel Band.

Wound my way back down through the shopping centre to the station, by way of the British Heart Foundation shop, amongst others, where I was beguiled and tempted and finally fell to the temptations of a hooked rug kit – Nativity Scene – a snip at £3.99. A snip even without the latching tool, luckily we have a spare at home…somewhere. Whether I’ll get it made in time for Christmas itself is open to debate – maybe Christmas 2012 might be a more realistic guess. Especially as I’ve had my writing hand in a support bandage for the last couple of days. I’ve been having problems with achey wrist, arms and fingers lately. The most likely cause is lugging heavy weights around; my heavy case on retreat and overenthusiastic clutter clearing at home. Or could it be the dreaded RSI? Let’s hope not. Either way, I simply couldn’t resist the kit. The finished wall hanging will go beautifully with the patchwork camel I bought last weekend!

Home Counties Fashion

What the best dressed Mr M is wearing this Autumn

There’s been excitement in the house today as Mr M realised a long-held ambition – to have a kilt. Those of you who follow me on FB will realise that the topic has caused slight ‘disagreement’ twixt self, spouse (and my Scottish cousins) as to whether as a Sassenach, he’s actually entitled to wear the thing; especially as it’s me who has the Scottish connection, through my late mother’s family. His assertion that if it’s ok for the Duke of Edinburgh to sport one, it’s good enough for him has carried little weight up until now…However, he’s worn me down. After all, anybody who possesses the staying power to tramp through mud, heather, mist, parties of disgustingly smug German and Dutch hikers and hairy Highland cattle with me last Spring is entitled to some compensation. So here we are. What the best-dressed Octoberfest drinker is modelling this autumn: Mr M in his ‘Scottish heritage,’ (our family tartan ‘Gunn,’ motto-‘Either peace or War!’ is far too expensive to wear for a mere p***-up!)

And now, to slip into something more comfortable…

This one is for Cal and Japes.

Many moons ago, you’ll remember I blogged over in Greenpatches about a momenteous decision that the beloved and I needed to make. Would we or wouldn’t we? To green or not to green? It was a big step to take, one that would have repercussions not only on our own self-image but on the delicate psyches of our nearest and dearest. We thought about it. In my case – prayed about it. We sat at the feet of image consultant gurus. (Well, ok, for that read consulted the great god Google). And waited…in trust. And, our patience was rewarded. The GGG moved mightily in power, and well..might, offering us a way through our dilemma. To cut both a long story short and putting all my mixed metaphors into the proverbial nutshell: it came to pass that there was Greenbelt, and a big, green, foldy tent thingy; umpteen layers of bedding, a spare groundsheet, a kelly kettle with accompanying kindling, sundry layers of woolly thermal underlayers, three year’s worth of carefully amassed hiking gear, a fetching pair of floral ankle wellies, a stinking pair of walking boots, a socking great 60 litre backpack; the lot topped with a dainty garnish of chintzy bunting, oh, and myself. And nothing to carry it in.

Then it came to me. I hied myself to the GGA (no prizes for guessing this one) and behold! There it was; verily an answer to prayer: a ‘Festival Trolley.’

It did the job brilliantly. Mr M being A New Man is delighted and can be regularly seen with it and the dog in the shops and round the market. (Though not round the market with the trolley and the kilt). He’s convinced, converted, a Born Again Trolleyperson. Our neighbour remains to be convinced, however. Never mind, we’re biding our time…

Seasons of mists

I’ve just peeped out of the study window to see grey clouds; yesterday’s mists do seem to have cleared. I’m also pleased to note that Ms M’s flight has landed safely in New York. After massive delays at a fog-bound Heathrow, (think lunchtime flight) they eventually took off at 8.20 pm according to the site, and that was only because they’d been recheduled to land at Newark, not JFK. Not the best way to spend the first day of your holiday; poor Ms M. Eight hours all to yourself sans interruptions is one thing, she’d been really looking forward to that; however, this must have been beyond her wildest dreams.

The mists took us all by surprise yesterday. I was in a shop buying boots at the time. The assistants there did wonder for a minute if it was actually smoke they were seeing! Maybe it was all a screen, to disguise the presence in town of the numerous reporters,who, according to Ms M yesterday, are swarming round the place on account of a certain engagement having been announced in the area! Can’t say I noticed anybody myself, then again, maybe we’re not posh enough to have them venturing into our part of town!

Shock, horror, revelation

Hello, I’m Miffy and…wait for it…I’m harbouring an uncontrollable urge to acquire a wheeled shopper! Is there any hope for me? Pop over to my Greenpatches blog to find out more…if you dare. 😉

Other than that, the summer season is in full swing chez Miffy. Offspring One is sunning herself in Malta. Offspring Two and his mates have just set off* for La Belle France, and Mr M has launched himself back into his training programme. No big events this year, though plans are in the pipeline for a reprise of part of his 2006 TDF shadowing for 2011. And talking of pipes, the Miffy internal plumbing is again under investigation, though indications point to nothing serious; hopefully, it’s due to time of life. (Which might account for my weird urges above!). Could make for an interesting time at Greenbelt, though. I’ll need to steer clear of all those lovely, exotic food stalls. (Bah!)

* Armed with a pile of cheese and egg and watercress sandwiches to last them five days, I’ve just been informed. Again, this could be ‘interesting.’

Policemen are getting younger

Let’s face it – at my age, everybody is getting younger, even Dr Who. Yes, we’ve finally said goodbye to David Tennant (:() ages after the remainder of the televiewing public of course. All we have to do now is catch up with the Matt Smith episodes. Who, incidentally, hails from UEA, where Miffy Jnr is about to embark on his final year.

Earlier, the young chap at the health food shop introduces himself- turns out he was at school with our son. Gracious me, I feel so old!

Meanwhile, dreams…yes…well… My earlier worries that the good Doctor would filter through into my subconscious seem to have been unfounded. Unfortunately, sundry other bits and bobs have wormed their way in in his place. Sooo embarrassing! If this is the effect all my healthy eating is having on the system, I dread to think what’ll happen if I sucuumb to good old fat-ridden fish and chips or a curry. What did Jung eat, I wonder?

Highly flavoured gravy

Behold the Angel of the Lord, pine cone style. I got ever so slightly carried away the other day  during my tree painting session. As you can see, PC Angel has joined the shepherds – and a rather scarey looking sheep –  in the Miffy nativity scene.  Ms Miffy has vetoed my plea for biblical accuracy and the addition of sundry other angelic beings of a horticultural persuasion. Spoilsport.

At Newchurch the other night, I thoroughly embarrassed myself during ‘Gabriel’s Message.’ I’m used to it being sung by choir only, not congregation. Hence the inevitable ‘mistake’ during the first refrain. I didn’t do it on purpose, honest!

I  discovered that in some places when a service is billed as ‘Carols by Candlelight,’ it means just that. All the way through. None of this wuss like blowing them out after a couple of verses of ‘Once in Royal…’ Nursing your candle on its cardboard holder in one hand whilst balancing your songsheet in the other concentrates the mind wonderfully. And I never before realised just how long the Magnificat is when it’s sung and you are trying to perfom the delicate operation of twiddling your candle upwards to gain a little more length  without setting your neighbour on fire in the process!