Sunday, 14 February 2010

wishing you a blissful valentine's day

whether you are paired up or not, I hope you are blissfully happy this valentine's day, and know that you are loved

thanks to lovely lyn at everyday life for this award and making me smile! I want to pass it on to a few people who make me smile too, no strings attached this time...

Friday, 12 February 2010

catch it while you can

I don't usually listen to Radio 4's Woman's Hour, but I was alerted by a very good friend to their recent excellent programme devoted to women in the 1930s. Catch it while you can on BBC iplayer!

Also worth a look while you're over there, is the Women's History Timeline they've put together, it's a slideshow of photos with an audio commentary.

Monday, 8 February 2010


Did you know that girlguiding is 100 years old? I really like those traditional guiding activities, like knots, using a compass, semaphore, making triangular slings from your scarf, wearing a woggle, was all about duty, being independent, being useful, and I suppose, being good. Like living the life of an Enid Blyton character: adventure, with morals thrown in. Anyway all those things appeal to me.

Alas, a modern Brownie will probably only do those things if she does her 'brownie traditions' or 'brownie skills' badges. When I was doing prep for the 'traditions' badge, I found out what a 9/10 year-old little girl had to be able to do to get her First Class badge, the highest achievement before 'getting her wings' - going up to Guides;

* have one shilling in a the Savings bank (£2.15 in today's money)
* cook a simple dish
* know first aid bandaging
* know the history of a place and act as a guide to the place
* make a milk pudding
* carry a message of 12 words in her head and deliver it correctly
* knit a pair of socks
* fold clothes for mangling and clean boots

and if they get this far they will of course already be able to;

* lay and light a fire
* make a bed
* cut out and sew a union jack
* tie knots

I certainly can't do all of these! When I last saw her, my mum gave me all her old Guide badges, a significant gift.

I wish I could tell you what they are all for, especially the one with the anchor. I'll need to find a Guide Badge Handbook circa 1972. My own brownie badges are equally unintelligible, a mere symbol on dreary brown. Today's have undergone a radical makeover, and what they lose in gravity, they make up for in their ability to tell the world, unmistakably, what they are for.

My brownies are currently doing their Adventure 100 badge, to celebrate the centenary.

You basically choose from 100 assorted adventures to gain 100 points. We're having a Race Night for 10 points. Fun races; wind-up toy, three-legged, wheelbarrow, dress-up relay, potato and spoon, island hop, maze, word search and A-Z races. With 'brownie cocktails' - squash and lemonade mixed in a cocktail shaker with an umbrella and slice of lemon, and fancy hats, like Ladies Day at Ascot.

I've spent the weekend making the winners some medals, with fabric scraps, cardboard, an ink-jet printer, and a stapler. I'm quite proud of the results...

Saturday, 6 February 2010

An Award

I'm absolutely thrilled to have been given an award! It seems so unlikely that my insubstantial, irregular little blog is worth of this, thank you thank you One More Stitch for the honour! If you haven't discovered One More Stitch, she has a fascinating blog that records her historical recreations, the most eagerly awaited of which is 'The Garment' ~ featured in the Aubrey~Maturin novels ~ and her research into the 18th century era. Truly edifying stuff

I must list 7 random facts about myself, and then nominate 7 more beautiful blogs for this award.

1. I really like cooking, and would love to do a 'come dine with me' style competition with my friends, because I am a little bit competitive

2. I'm eagerly awaiting 'The Hobbit' to hit the cinemas, I daresay I'll see it more than once

3. I love a windswept, lonely, unspoilt beach, it's my dream to live near one, one day

4. For christmas I was given 'Tea at the Ritz' to be used this year, and I'm quite nervous about looking stylish enough for the occasion, I'll be much more comfortable ambling around the NMM

5. I've broken my sewing machine, it's been a couple of months and I haven't got around to taking it to the repair shop yet

6. I long for a subscription to Selvedge magazine, and occasionally hunt for back-copies on ebay

7. I'm hosting a Norway-themed eurovision party this year, with gradvalax, and can't wait

And here are 7 utterly beautiful blogs, do pay them a visit ~

1. The Dart and The Hem

2. Glass of Fashion

3. Meet Me At Rubys

4. Yarny Days

5. Diary of a Vintage Girl

6. Cargo Cult Craft

7. The Champagne Bohemian