Wednesday, 28 September 2011

An Indian Summer!

Normal temperatures appear to be topsy turvy everywhere at the moment and the UK is no exception!  Starting at a 10 degree hike on temperatures normal for this time of year we are thoroughly enjoying an ‘Indian’ summer.

So, what is this term, Indian summer?  Here it is described as period of unseasonably dry, warm and calm weather which follows colder weather in late Autumn.

“The term Indian summer reached England in the 19th century, during the heyday of the British Raj in India. This lead to the mistaken belief that the term referred to the Indian subcontinent. In fact, the Indians in question were the Native Americans, and the term began use there in the late 18th century.  The English already had names for the phenomenon - St. Luke’s Summer, St. Martin’s Summer or All-Hallown Summer, but these have now all but disappeared and, like the rest of the world, the term Indian summer has been used in the UK for at least a century.

Why Indian? Well, no one knows but, as is commonplace when no one knows, many people have guessed. Here are a few of the more commonly repeated guesses:

  • When European settlers first came across the phenomenon in America it became known as the Indian's Summer.
  • The haziness of the Indian Summer weather was caused by prairie fires deliberately set by Native American tribes.
  • It was the period when First Nations/Native American peoples harvested their crops.
  • The phenomenon was more common in what were then North American Indian territories.
  • It relates to the marine shipping trade in the Indian Ocean (this is highly dubious as it is entirely remote from the early US citations).
  • It originated from raids on European settlements by Indian war parties, which usually ended in autumn.
  • In a parallel with other 'Indian' terms it implied a belief in Indian falsity and untrustworthiness and that an Indian summer was an ersatz copy of the real thing.”

“…” quoted from The Phrase Finder

Anyway, since I am staying with my husband at our bolt hole in Devon we were told about a small cove that would warrant a visit and it is called Blackpool Sands.  This is not to be confused with Blackpool in the north of England!

We have been told there are restaurant facilities and the crab salad is to die for!  Oh joy, food again!!!!

Some things we might see at the beach!

Sea Spray original watercolour by Yankeegirl


Mousepad – under the sea by Scottieacres


Almost there … an original painting by Heronkate


Aye there matey by VanFleetStreetDesign


Follow the Leader black and white print by BethPeardonProds


and cheekily … Under the Sea Caves by Onawhimsey


Check out further wonderful items from the BBEST team, ENJOY!!!


Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Trouble and Strife…

In the UK you can claim to be a real cockney if you were born within the sound of Bow Bells.

St Mary-le-Bow is the church of the ubiquitous ‘Cockney‘. imageIndeed to be an authentic cockney you must be born within the sound of ‘Bow Bells.’ The term ‘cockney, was originally applied to a small or misshapen egg, which was sometimes referred to as a cock's egg. The Oxford English Dictionary claims that the first use of the word as a reference to native Londoners was in 1521, when it was used by writer Whitinton. In 1617 John Minsheu wrote in his Ductor in Linguas that the word originated thus. 'A cockney or cockny, applied only to one born within the sound of Bow bell, that is in the City of London, a tearme coming first out of this tale. That a citizen's sonne riding with his father in the country, asked when he heard a horse neigh what the horse did; his father answered "neigh." Riding further he heard a cock crow, and said: "Does the cock neigh too?"' Whatever the origin of the term it was intended as a term of flattery for it was applied contemptuously by rural people to native Londoners who lived by their wits as opposed to by their muscle.”

Following on from that interesting fact Cockney folk used to have a language all of their own which was spoken in rhyme.  For instance, trouble and strife meant wife.  Apples and pears stood for stairs.

Rhyming slang phrases are derived from taking an expression which rhymes with a word and then using that expression instead of the word. For example the word "look" rhymes with "butcher's hook". In many cases the rhyming word is omitted - so you won't find too many Londoners having a "butcher's hook" at this site, but you might find a few having a "butcher's".

Cockney rhyming slang originated in the East End of London. Some slang expressions have escaped from London and are in popular use throughout the rest of Britain. For example "use your loaf" is an everyday phrase for the us in UK, but not too many people realise it is Cockney Rhyming Slang ("loaf of bread: head").

Further examples for your amusement and interest (the phrase is written first, with the word that is actually said aloud is on brackets and the translation comes last!)

Dickie dirt (dickie)= shirt
Almond rocks (almonds)= Socks
Whistle and flute( whistle)= suit
Jam Jar (Jam)= car
Mickey Mouse (Mickey)= house, can also be Cat and mouse
Dog and bone (Dog)=phone
Trouble and strife (trouble)= wife
China plate (china) = Mate/friend
Moby Dick (moby)= sick
Porky pie (porky/porkies)= lie
Ruby Murray (Ruby) Curry
Adam and Eve (Adam and Eve)= Believe
Cream crackered (crackered)= knackered/tired

That's just a few, so the next time someone uses any of these you might (just) be able to figure out what they're talking about!

Meanwhile, the main reason for this post was not to dwell on Cockney slang but try to move away from all the ‘trouble and strife’ in the world today!  Most recently the terrible fate of those poor young people in Norway who were killed by a deranged madman.  A sad reflection on today’s world when such acts can be perpetrated so easily.  Imagine, someone dresses up as a policeman, a member of the public we have all been taught to respect; a keeper of the peace, law and order!  Only to find this man dressed up as one and then going on a shooting rampage.

For this reason I thought I would post some ‘happy’ pictures of items made by the BBEST team.  Just for a few minutes take you mind of today’s sad world and browse some wonderful talent!

Garden Sunshine by Pocketcomfort

Highly collectible miniature altered art quilt *ACEO measures just 2.5" by 3.5”

Good Day Sunshine by MagdaleneKnits

“I need to laugh and when the sun is out
I've got something I can laugh about
I feel good in a special way
I'm in love and it's a sunny day
Good Day Sunshine”

Sunshine and Shadow flower by Zudagay

This summery flower focal features sculpted petals on a sturdy base and a button center

Fused Glass Night light by Chris1

A fun night light that will make you smile

Garden of Joy by JNoriginals

Just in time to brighten your day is this blossom brooch that will dress up your jacket or sweater, a hat and even a purse!

Hibiscus Flower by Sixsisters

It is a happy looking flower!

So, hopefully, by now you will have had your mind taken off any unpleasantness and had a bubble bath (bubble)= laugh!

Thursday, 30 June 2011

You’re late! You’re late!

I'm late, I'm late for
A very important date.
No time to say hello, good-bye,
I'm late, I'm late, I'm late
I'm late and when I wave,
I lose the time I save.
My fuzzy ears and whiskers
Took me too much time to shave.
I run and then I hop, hop, hop,
I wish that I could fly.
There's danger if I dare to
Stop and here's a reason why:
I'm over-due, I'm in a rabbit stew.
Can't even say good-bye,
hello, I'm late, I'm late, I'm late.

Courtesy of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

I guess the words Time Management should spring to mind but…. I say, better late than never! This post was supposed to have been posted yesterday, but hey ho!!!

At the moment, apart from the usual hectic day to day stuff, my dear daughter is very pregnant and due mid August.  However, since her regular visit with the midwife a couple of days ago she has learnt that due to the position of her baby she might have to have a C section in a couple of weeks.  So we now have frantic activity to get the last minute things in place for the exciting event.  At least we have been told that a boy is due but I think colours are still being kept to a neutral shade.

Knit Bunny Mugrug by Blazingneedles


Beautiful Aqua Blue and White blanket by Stitchesbyjulie4kids


Crocheted Baby Moccasins by MagdaleneKnits


Lavender Hearts baby bracelet by Meredithbead2


Baby Mint Poncho and hat by Bagsandmorebypam


Nesting doves by Sixsisters


Well, I could go on and on picking out some really cute baby items from the BBEST team.  That’s the trouble, you end up wanting to buy everything don’t you?

I think I have made you all ‘coo’ and ‘aaaaah’ enough.  Now it is just waiting for the announcement and the flurry of activity.  Then life changes for ever!  Can’t wait!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

I do, I will,

I am a few days premature but the frenzy is in full swing as we head towards Friday, 29 April 2011.  What is special about that particular Friday?  You might well ask!!!!  It is the day that we in the UK will celebrate a royal – NO! THE Royal wedding of the decade.  That of Prince William and Kate Middleton or Catherine as she will be known henceforward.

Unfortunately, my wedding invitation got lost in the post so I will not be going to London.  As a result, our company will not be providing the chair covers for the reception at Buckingham Palace!  Hurmppph!

The last royal wedding ceremony I sat through was just thirty years ago.  That was when Prince Charles and Diana were married at St Paul’s Cathedral. imageHere you can see them after the ceremony as they were about to reach their carriage which would take them to Buckingham Palace


In total contrast, at the time, I was living in Muscat, Oman in the Gulf. image

I had been invited along with several other likeminded people to join in the festivities by meeting up in the Intercontinental Hotel in Muscat,  in a specially laid out room which had a large TV monitor so that we could all follow the joyous occasion.


Intercontinental Hotel, Oman

At the appropriate time waiters came along with glasses filled to the brim with sparkling, fizzy champagne and canapés.  When the happy Royal couple came out on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to meet the populace, we all drank their good health.image

The wedding party appearing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace


This time we will be raising a glass or two of the bubbly stuff in celebration but, at our bolt hole.  Needless to say, our TV will be on all day so that not a minute is missed!  I so love a good wedding!!!  I even bought some delicious snacks for eating during the day and in the evening we will have a ‘surf and turf’ BBQ.  By the time I go to bed I shall be well and truly wedded out!!!

However, if you are a romantic, as I am, perhaps you may wish to follow this link although I am sure there will be ample footage wherever you may live.

Obviously, since we will not be at the wedding I will have to return their wedding present.  However, whilst deciding what to give I did come across some great ideas from the BBEST team.

Now and Forever Tasting Flutes by Glitznglass


Purity White Rose Earrings by Magdalene Jewels


White Cake Candle by AJScountrycottage


Victorian Bride earrings by Filigreegarden


Just a few of the amazing selection of items you can view when you look for the BBEST team on Etsy.

Meanwhile, please raise your glasses to our royal couple on their wedding day, Friday, 29 April 2011.  They have given us all a special holiday too so that we can celebrate in style!

Thursday, 17 March 2011

A touch of green!

17 March… yes, it is Paddy’s day.  Think green!!

So, here goes with all the green I can offer from the BBEST Team!

Queen Anne Lace Scarf by Bags and more by Pam


Twisted Gold and Green Flower Pendant by Zudagay


Moss in the snow brooch by Fantasy Creations1


Jasmine Green Tea by Get Lathered


Neighbourhood Girl by Sixsisters


Personalised Irish Shamrock Knit Blanket by Blazing Needles


Native American Beaded Earrings by JStinson


For each petal on the shamrock this brings a wish your way.  Good health, good luck and happiness for today and every day.


Friday, 21 January 2011

All that glitters is not ….. gold!

The original wording of this famous phrase was ‘all that glisters is not gold’ but over time we all adopted the word ‘glitters’ instead.

Shakespeare was the best known writer who made this phrase memorable in one of his plays entitled, Merchant of Venice.  This play was said to be have been written in 1596 and included the following words.

O hell! what have we here?
A carrion Death, within whose empty eye
There is a written scroll! I'll read the writing.
All that glitters is not gold;
Often have you heard that told:
Many a man his life hath sold
But my outside to behold:
Gilded tombs do worms enfold.
Had you been as wise as bold,
Young in limbs, in judgment old,
Your answer had not been inscroll'd:
Fare you well; your suit is cold.

This poem form the play is about Portia who is a beautiful, virtuous, wealthy woman who is being wooed by numerous suitors. She is not free to decide on her own whom she will marry because her late father stipulated in his will that she must marry the man who correctly picks the one casket (out of three) that contains her picture. One casket is gold, another is silver, and the third is made of lead. The Prince of Morocco is one in a long line of suitors who tries to win Portia's hand, and he decides that it would demean Portia to have her picture in anything other than a gold casket, and so he chooses that one. As he unlocks it, he is dismayed to find a picture, not of Portia but of Death, with a message written in its hollow eye: "All that glisters is not gold; / Often have you heard that told. / Many a man his life hath sold / But my outside to behold. / Gilded tombs do worms enfold." With a grieving heart the Prince takes hasty leave of Portia, who is happy to see him go, saying, "A gentle riddance."

Several other famous writers earlier than Shakespeare have been known for quoting this sentiment such as the French theologian, Alain de Lille in the thirteenth century, who wrote "Do not hold everything gold that shines like gold".  Others in time used similar wording but today we all speak and accept the word ‘glitters’ for ‘glisters’.

For those of you who are fans of the ‘Lord of the Rings’ series of books by J R R Tolkein, you may remember this poem:

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.

The phrase, ‘all that glisters/glitters is not gold’, simply means that just because something may look valuable, desirable or attractive, it does not mean that it will be worth having once you discover its true nature.

Personally, I love gold and diamonds and rubies and sapphires and and and!  Seriously, gold is an amazing metal whether it is shown as the real thing or pretend.  When I was married yellow gold was in favour whilst nowadays fashions and likes have changed and it is white gold that is favoured instead.

Take a look at the following items presented by my BBEST team mates.  They might not be real gold but don’t be deceived!  They are beautiful, as rich as gold, if not more so!

Heron’s Treasures 

imageLarge gold mirror from Italy… but is it really gold?

Chris1 or Designs by Christine

imageGold Dichroic Heart Pendant .. a truly striking piece.

Paper Patches from Sassa Lynne

imageMetallic Spray for Paper Arts, Gold … something to help create the illusion?

Nonnie62 or Stained Glass by Nonnie

imageGold Stained Glass Votive Candleholder .. the gold colouring gives us such a warm feeling.


imageRich Chocolate Copper and Gold embroidered beret.  See how the gold accent ‘lift's’ the design.

Stitches by Julie

imageSparkly Gold Fan Design Scarf .. the gold colouring creates a pretty and warm look.

J N Originals

imageGolden Meadow Crochet Thread Flower Brooch …. reminds me of fields of sunflowers

Have I whetted your appetite?  Why not search for more ‘gold’ or simply find some amazing talent in the BBEST team.  You never know, you might even find that pot of gold!


Friday, 3 December 2010

Snow, what is all the fuss about?

I thought I wOur driveould post a few pics of the snow we have been having.  It has snowed steadily for 3 days but today is the first day when it has been dry.  They do say there will be a slight thaw over the next couple of days.  This will be good for the grocery shops who are now depleted of stock.

A picture showing our drive!  It is there, honest!


Another view up our road.  The big white shape to the left is a snow covered bush.

  Loooking up the road

Best mode of transportThe roads have been wonderfully quiet!  Sledges are the preferred mode of transport for little ones especially as the snow turns to ice.

Anyone for a picnicDon’t think we will be using the picnic table and bench for a while!!!

Sale Corner!

Occasionally I will show items that are for sale from me direct which can be paid for using Paypal. Always check to see shipping charges which will need to be added to the item amount!

For regular prices check out my Etsy shop, as well as my sister shop on Etsy which also sells encaustic art

Some paintings can be bought directly from my website

Some samples of my present & past work to give you inspiration for that special gift!
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