Thursday, 29 March 2012

New Splendid Sponsors

Allo allo you lovely lot. You may have noticed of late that I have added some brand spanking new sponsors to the right hand side bar of my humble home page. It is tres rude of me to have not introduced you to them formally. 

So without further ado....

First up for your delectation is the new business venture of brilliant blogger Rosalilium.
If you don't follow her - you should. Her writing and content is a treat. As is her new on line vintage shop. Lots and lots for you to drool over. Something that is on my wish list is the delish Sky Blue Enamel Coffee Pot.

Second we have glass artwork wonder -  Bex by Design. You may be thinking that this sponsor is a little unrelated to a vintage inspired / history lover such as yourself. But she is the creator of the below, custom piece. 

Oh yes. She is handy with a bit of glass that one. Her work ranges from sandblasted tea-light holders to window features.

And lastly, but by no means leastly, we have Etsy seller Viola Rose Vintage Linens. Upcycling, in a crafty manner, vintage linens into pillow for your sofa and tote bags for your books. Not only that, she is also a whizz with a bit of felt. Check out her 1940's inspired floral brooches. Sch-woon!!

And there we have it. They are all a bit of alright ain't they! 

Welcome aboard!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

An Equinox Day of Yellow 'n' Green

Can it really be here? The end of March? Where the heck did the other months go? I don't think I even got to see Feb? It did happen, right?

You know I adore cold weather but, since we were robbed of a proper Winter, I feel like I have been in seasonal limbo.

For the past couple of weeks however, Spring has started to make herself known to us all. And it is not a half arsed attempt either. It is here in full blown colour and song. 

I for one am tres happy about this, for it has lifted my spirits and reminded me that life does continue, Spring will return and things do get better. Eventually.

The Beard is always reminding me of this -  but sometimes I forget and need a little Divine intervention to shout it a bit louder for me.

Anyway -  enough of me blathering. Spring is here and I am hurrahing it. 


We spent Spring Equinox walking around some beautiful 17th Century gardens (as you do) and soaking up the simplcity of things such as Daffodils and tree blossom.

The sky was incredibly blue and I regretted not fishing out my sunglasses. Before I know it, judging by how fast the last couple of months have been sucked into the past, it shall be Summer, so I had best find them soon. 

I am trying something new with my clothes at the moment - putting jumpers with dresses. I don't know why I have not done this before. Endless new outfits and no expense. I have seen many people I admire out there in the blogosphere do this of late. 

It lends itself perfectly to the seasonal change. And it means that I do not have to stuff my usual longer cardy up under my belt to stop it from trailing out under my jacket and ruining the whole look.


We went for a stroll down by the Thames. I have mentioned before my love of this river. All the things it has seen. It makes me a bit dizzy to think about it. Oh if only the banks could speak.

Something that was speaking to me was this tree. Well, more humming than speaking. Upon closer inspection, it was covered in Bees. 

Big, fat, hairy, happy Bees.

I have mentioned before, last Equinox as it happens, my love & connection to Bees. So, without a word, I walked straight towards the tree. On the bank of the Thames. Which was alive with stingy things. Much to the consternation of the bewildered Beard. 

I was a bit apprehensions at first, but they were seriously not interested in me, but the gloriously scented blossom. Their undersides were covered in yellow fuzz and they calmly wafted around my head.

To say I felt touched might seem a bit hey-man-right-on to some, but that's how I felt. 

And I feel all the better for it.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Let Sleeping Cat's Lie

I feel like I have been a resident in Crooks-Ville for a good long while now. I have been spending my days in sinus infection hell, eyes closed against the bright sun from the, I am sure, glorious Spring days that have been gracing the British Isles recently.

I can tell from the birdsong outside my window that warmer weather is soon on it's way. Yip!!

But until I am well again and can bear to open my eyes for more than 10 mins without a eye weeping attack (Oh. The glamour. It never stops) I shall mostly be spending time with Sleeping Cats.

No soft, squidgy place is safe from The Woo and The Moof.  

A disguarded robe of towelling proportions shall do quite nicely for a snooze. Of the spherical variety, natch. How do they do that?

Mr Memphis much rather prefers my pillow, which despite covering, I still have to de-fuzz on a nightly basis. It is either this routine or I run the risk of looking like Teen Wolf on account of said fuzz sticking to my night cream. 

There's that glamour again. 

See. It doesn't ever stop!

To get any photos of the pushkas in a resting state is a mission in itself. It involved holding my breath, creeping into the room in socks and making use of the zoom. Hurrah for the zoom!

And hurrah for my purrrrrrty-tats. They have kept me company and sane over the last few days.

Back to the land of the living tomorrow, for the fug is finally lifting. 

A thrice hurrah for modern medicine in tablet form!

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Munition Girls of The Great War

Whilst reading more books about The Great War than I dare to mention just yet, although the reviews are all nestled in my draft folder, I have been on a search for more information about the female role within such a historical time. 

There are books available solely about various roles - mostly nurses I have found -  and even a little bit about the Women's Land Army, which came into being in 1918, but very little exclusively about the munition workers. 

Not that I have found in any of my searches anywho's.

So, I turned to the mighty machine that is Twitter. There are many reasons why I love the Internet, the multi-faceted Tweeps being one of them. 

A quick question asked enabled me to connect with some much needed answers -  and it turns out that there aren't that many books out there. Sigh.

After adding the ones that I liked the look of to my Amazon wishlist for future, possible, purchases, I sat back and huffed. I needed to know more. And then the wonderful Mr Badger Writes  tweeted me with an offer I could not refuse.

He told me he had a book that I may find of interest. A book from 1916. A book written for the "Boy's at the Front". A book solely about the work of women in the factories back home.

And that he would lend it to me. Someone who he had never met. What an awesome gent.

Just the smell of the old book was enough to make me smile. I gave it a good read, and raising an eyebrow at some of the "don't worry boys, they will be back in their place upon your return and you can have your job back" connotations of the age (remember The Suffrage Movement was still in it's relative infancy), I really enjoyed it.

Something that has always struck me as ironic is, although the lads were away fighting and thinking of little else but home and the women in their lives -  chances are -  they were killed or maimed by ammunition made by them. 

Be they women from the Allies or the Enemy on either side - most munitions were made by women.

The work needed to be done, money needed to be earned, and the females of the populous answered the call. After UK conscription was introduced in 1916, women began to carry the load. By 1918 near on a million women were working in the factories.

Although not conveyed in the book lent to me, perhaps for reasons of moral  -  this book was going to the Front after all -  the hours were long and the occupation hazardous

Alongside the risk of explosion which could result at best with the loss of an arm and at worst with the loss of life itself, many women suffered long term health affects of such work.

From the physical fatigue to the chemical legacy, they bore the scars of their contribution. They lost hair, they lost teeth, in some cases their skin turned yellow and in others they lost all fertility. Some 400 women died as a direct result of over-exposure to TNT during those 2 years.

But the need to be "doing their bit" for the War effort, coupled with the monetary rewards, encouraged them to sign up for the role. 

One Corporal H.V Shawyer commented:

"I felt damned embarrassed when I walked into a pub ... one girl forestalled me saying, "You keep your money Corporal. This is on us", and with no more ado she … produced a roll of notes big enough to choke a cow. Many of the girls earned ten times my pay as a full Corporal"

It gave them a sense of independence and freedom of choice that was to continue, in varying degrees, once the War had ceased. The door was open and women began to push.

My quest continues for more information -  especially about the so-called "Canaries", a group of women from Scotland who, literally, turned canary yellow from the chemicals -  but this is a start.

The start of me learning more, realising more and piecing the bits together from my collective female history. 

A history that needs to be remembered.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Weekend Tea Ritual

I do not make resolutions for the new year. A lifetime of making and failing has left me sticking 2 fingers up to the whole concept.

Instead, this year, I have decided to change my routine a little. Instead of talking about it, I have actually been doing it. 

A revelation.

One of the things has been to make tea, upon a weekend, with our new/old whistling kettle. And it is a glorious thing. 

There is something very rushed about tea making in the week, and I like to take my weekend mornings a little slower than the average bear.

My tea of choice for the weekend is Earl Grey. 

Sometimes the leaves are already spherically bagged, sometimes they are free to roam around the tea pot.

I always use my 1930's thrifted mugs. Usually the only one that came with a saucer. Still, for £1 each -  I am not a whinging.

Once the whistler has whistled, the jigging contents is poured into the pot and left to work it's magic.

This little ritual, albeit incredibly simple, starts my weekend mornings. 

There is something about the whistle and the Early Grey that my brain has quickly associated with time that belongs to me and not the man. 


Have you had any new years revelations?


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