Archive for September, 2009


Monday, September 7th, 2009


We moved here six years ago. In the meantime we’ve been slowly but surely changing the inside.


At the same time though, we seem to have made some people (people!), which slows the process. A lot. I defy anyone to construct red pepper and pea smiley faces on individual ramekinned cottage pies whilst simultaneously stencilling one’s arkitrave. I do neither.

This was the wall surface in our living room until a few days ago (those of a nervous disposition look away now).


Yes, it’s woodchip. What??? Six YEARS without removing it? Yes. What would Naomi Cleaver say?

This is our current wall surface.


Sweet mother of all the monkeys.

Which is worse? It’s hard to say.

Now if I were a Toast lady I would be unfazed by manky old distemper, bits of clunch and mouldy plasterboard barely held together with horsehair and glue. I would don my floaty hand-blocked silk pyjama bottoms and hand-spun, hand-knitted, hand-embroidered cashmere socks and pose beautifully with a vintage kitchen utensil. I sometimes wish I were a Toast lady.

As it is I need mindless distraction, if only from the bits of woodchip and smallscale rubble in my hair.


I also need chocolate.

Thank goodness our thrifted settee (£35 from a Suffolk junk shop) is a small island of pretty amongst the dust.


Cushions by Toast, their Oxford edging unpicked and stuffed with bargain pillow stuffing, Auricula tapestry cushion by Ehrman and two years (!) of stitching by Granny P, little felted poppy cushion by Emily (slightly ‘crafted’ by MissP2’s fluff-loving phase), cheaty pinking shear bunting by me, when I was pregnant with MissP1 in 2005, strapping and painting by Mr P. I sit here and pretend I can’t hear bits of the wall fall off.

By the end of the week we’ll have new plaster, and I’ll have my hair back.

Silver hare

Friday, September 4th, 2009

The hidden jewel I mentioned was a golden hare, made by Kit Williams and hidden somewhere in Britain in 1979. The clues to finding the treasure were beautifully illustrated by him in the book Masquerade. I had this book as a child. I wanted the golden hare - more than I wanted a Rubik’s cube or a Space hopper. I even wanted it more than these shoes. Despite poring over the book for hour upon hour I could never fathom the clues. Eventually the hare was found - cue the scandal.

The hare has so many mystical associations - fertility, deceit, creation. It is also thought to be one of the symbols and images that contributed to the Easter bunny. I learnt something today - male hares are called jacks and females, jills. Jack and Jill went up the hill.


This is another commission- not a mad March hare or a golden filligree version but a little leaping silver one, around 4 cm across with a teardrop-shaped freshwater pearl. I think he wants to jump up the stairs.


It almost makes me look forward to winter, when hares will be visible in the countryside again.


Friday, September 4th, 2009

The silver animal I’m making today has been entangled in the ancient folklore of almost every continent for millennia. It was coveted by millions and associated with intrigue and finally scandal when an exquisite gold and jewelled version was made and hidden in 1979. What is it? Answer to come later…if I can find my camera!