Sunday, 28 October 2012

Teapots For the Tea Party

Its virtual tea party day over at Mum's Simply Living blog.

 
I'm providing the teapots this year.

 
This is my favourite - my forget-me-not teapot (click to read more).  The maker's name is Kernewek and it was made in Cornwall.  I'm serving Assam tea from this.

 
My second favourite is the pink crinoline lady teapot (click to read more).  Made by Sadler it is just lovely!  I think I'll serve Lady Grey tea from this.

 
I got this teapot just recently.  Plain white, but with a little crown on it.  It was just from a supermarket, but I really like it.  If you fancy a cup of Ceylon tea, then choose this one.

 
Last, but not least, my everyday teapot, good old Betsy!  I've had her for years and she's served me well.  A lovely cup of down to earth Breakfast tea is what you'll get from her.

 
And since the days are getting mighty chilly, I'll just pop a tea cosy on to keep the pot warm!


Enjoy visiting the other participants in the virtual Autumn tea party.

Love, Liz

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Plenty of Pink Pom Poms

Rustled up another wee scarf in various shades/textures of pink yarn. 

 
I think that the little pink pom poms just finish it off nicely!

 
Snug and cosy for chilly autumn days.

 
Love, Liz

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Knit Your Own Superman ... (Jumper)

Isn't this so 80s!!!!!!!

 
 
Came across this Patons Superman knitting pattern book from the 80s.  The patterns are by Joy Gammon and they are absolutely wonderful!  Who wouldn't want to wear one of these - especially the young man about town!  The wee lad looks as if he likes his jumper, though.

 
 
At least Teddy looks good in his!

 
Picture knits are great for kids, but adults ...??????

 
Love, Liz
 
Welcome to my new followers!
I've just realised that some of the blogs I read regularly have disappeared from my reading list - have no idea why this has happened!  I will get round to catching up eventually.  Sorry!

Monday, 22 October 2012

Birdie Bowers - Greenock Hero


Yesterday at Greenock Cemetery, a lone piper played a lament in honour of local hero Henry 'Birdie' Bowers.  It was one of those shivers down the spine moments which I don't think I'll ever forget.

 
You might not have heard of Birdie Bowers, but he was part of Captain Robert Falcon Scott's ill-fated Terra Nova expedition to Antarctica in 1912.  He was only 29 when he died and was called 'Birdie' because of his prominent nose.  He was born in Greenock, on a house on the Esplanade and his family were from the town.  This is the family memorial in Greenock Cemetery where the ceremony was held yesterday.

 
Scott and his team were beaten to the South Pole by just a few days by the Norwegian, Amundsen.  On the way home, Scott and the four other men in his team died.  Edgar Evans was first to die, having been injured on the journey.  Lawrence Oates who, feeling that he might prevent the others from surviving, walked away from the tent saying "I am just going outside and may be some time".  I must have seen a film about that when I was young, because I've always remembered those words!  I think I remember crying too!  (It was probably the John Mills version!)

Image from Wikipedia.  Birdie Bowers is seated on the left.
Scott and the others, including Bowers, died in the tent, weak from exhaustion and lack of food.  Ironically they were only a few miles from safety.  Their frozen bodies were discovered many months later and they remain in Antarctica.  From the photo above, I think I wear more clothes going out to the shops in January.  What they are wearing doesn't look that warm!  What amazing people these early explorers were - brave or foolhardy - what do you think?

Sir Ranulph Fiennes
It was a moving ceremony yesterday.  The Scouts, and Sea Cadets were present as well as a member of Bower's family and the explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes.
It was interesting to find out about Greenock's remarable local hero - Birdie Bowers.


Love, Liz

Sunday, 21 October 2012

The Dreaded Tawse!

This is a sight to strike fear into the heart of any Scottish schoolgirl or boy of my generation.  Looks just like a piece of leather and officially called the tawse, but when I was in school we called it the belt or the strap and yes, you've probably guessed what it was used for ... punishment!!!!!!


I have to admit, gentle reader, that I did get the strap on a number of occasions in primary school - usually for talking in class. 


There was one teacher in my primary school who was especially feared.  She gave us spelling and arithmetic tests on Friday mornings and added up the scores.  We moved desks according to these scores - highest scores at the back and numpties lower scores at the front.  In those days we had single desks and sat in rows - all the better for the teacher to see what was going on.  Anyway, I digress, this teacher one morning decided to belt anyone who got less than five out of ten in the tests - there was a line of us waiting to be belted - brave boys at the front, snivelling lassies at the back.

In those days if you got the belt in class, it would be all round the playground at playtime, so of course you had to tell your Mum and Dad when you got home, otherwise a sneering sibling would tell, or they would hear about it elsewhere.  This usually resulted in a telling off at home too!!! 


In secondary school many teachers used the belt.  In my school, staff wore black gowns (no, not dresses, academic gowns) and some wore the belt over their shoulder, under their gown.  This was for two reasons - it was always handy in case of trouble either in class or the corridor and it was rumoured that it kept the belt warm and that made it more effective!  I'm really not sure if this is true.


Until I saw this in an exhibition it didn't occur to me that they were actually produced somewhere, but it would seem that Lochgelly in Fife was the place for producing the tawse.  This has brought back a few memories and I could go on for ages!  Did you get "the strap" at school?  (I'm going to assume that there are some folk out there old enough to remember those days!)


This Sunday's little voyage to far away places overseas takes us to Gibraltar and a lovely blog The Rock For Beginners by Bijou Sugar Socks.  Please go and visit - you'll enjoy your trip.

Love, Liz

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Heather, Poetry and Spitfires

When I'm rummaging in charity shops I'm always on the lookout for items that are either made locally or are about this part of Scotland.  So I was absolutely delighted at the weekend to come across this book.

 
Its called "This Heatherland" a book of verse by John Gillespie (local architect)and printed by the Greenock Telegraph, our local newspaper.  After a bit of research using google, I discovered that it dated from 1940/41 and the proceeds from sales went to Greenock's Spitfire Fund!  How amazing is that.


Seemingly during the war companies and individuals were encouraged to contribute towards local Spitfire Funds - raising money to buy more Spitfire aeroplanes for the war effort and the planes would be named after them.


Greenock managed to raise £7000 and a Spitfire was to be named after the town, but I couldn't find out if this actually happened.  A bit more research to do!

 
I'm so pleased that I found a local item, but also learned a few interesting facts about local history.  Have you ever found anything interesting from your home town?

 
By the way, the poetry in the book is all about Greenock, shipbuilding, the Clyde, Robert Burns, etc and is, shall we say, to put it gently ... of its time!

Why do charity shops keep putting sticky labels on things ... argh!!!!!!!
Love, Liz

I know I'm late again, but I'm joining Lakota's Ta Da! Tuesday over at Faith Hope & Charity Shopping.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Birds, India, Paint

I found this great little book in a charity shop yesterday.



A Pocket Book of British Birds - from the 1940s, I think.

 
Gorgeous plates of birds in muted colours.  Here are some of my favourites.

 
The book is in pretty bad condition, so I won't feel to bad about removing the plates and using them in other projects.

 
One of the things I love about blogging is that I can find out all about life in other countries without having to leave the sofa! 


One blog that I've started following is Bombay Jules  an expat who lives in India and writes marvellous posts about her life in Mumbai with wonderful photographs of the sights she sees.  Just last week Jules wrote about her fantastic adventures in a vintage Hindustan Ambassador car touring around part of India with Mr Jules.  So make yourself a cuppa and settle down to read all about it - you will enjoy it very much.

I also love blogging for inspiration.  So, for those of you who have purchased a few pieces of furniture meaning "to do something with them" (I have to plead guilty to this) - you should have a look at Emma Kate's blog - PaintedStyle.  You will be inspired to get the paintbrush out and give those old pieces a makeover.  Emma Kate also talks about her charity shop finds and lots of other things too!  Pop over and say hello.

Hope you enjoy visiting these blogs as much as I do.

Love, Liz

Friday, 12 October 2012

Supermarket Saturation!

I was rather puzzled earlier this year when this crossing appeared in Greenock - it leads to a piece of disused land! 


However just last week, the supermarket company, Aldi, have announced that they wish to build a supermarket - guess where - correct, just on that piece land.  What a strange co-incidence!
 
The site is just 100 yards or so away from a huge Tesco store (open 24 hours) and about 100 yards or so in the other direction, on a piece of empty land between two quiet tree-lined streets, Asda have drawn up plans to build a supermarket there. 

The road which would run past these is very congested at the moment as its the main road between Port Glasgow, Greenock and Gourock, so goodness only knows what will happen if both of them get permission to build!

Robertson Street, Greenock
Campbell Street, Greenock
Aside from Tesco, Greenock already has - Morrisons, Iceland, Farm Foods, Lidl while M&S and B&M also sell food.  How much can one community consume?!  Especially as we are always being informed that the population of Inverclyde is declining.

West Blackhall Street, Greenock
Meanwhile, in our town centre, West Blackhall Street has many vacant small shops, which gives it a run down appearance.  The Oak Mall also has about 10 empty units as well as two charity shops.  Ironically Aldi chose one of these empty units to "show off" their plans!

There is also this eyesore right beside the bus station - complete with loading bay and multi-storey car park.  The car park is rarely open, despite Greenock's disgraceful lack of town centre parking!


Many local people are glad to have "more choice" in the area.  But what about having the choice of a vibrant town centre full of individual and interesting shops?  That will bring more income to Inverclyde, not giant supermarkets.  As for tourists, I don't think too many of them will be interested in visiting supermarkets.


I realise that the two "new" supermarkets are still at the "consultation" phase of their proposals, but it seems a bit strange that one quiet, tree-lined street gets resurfaced recently, which, incidently, would be the street the delivery trucks would use should the plans go ahead.  Then there's the pedestrian crossing leading to a vacant piece of land.
But then, perhaps I'm just cynical!

Love, Liz

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Its Finished At Last!

Finally finished my fabric phone case.

 
It matches the cover I made for my net book using a tea towel and some gingham fabric.

 
Thought you might also like to see my little mouse pin cushion which I didn't make!  I have had this for years and years and I call her Missy Mouse.

 
I know its Wednesday, but I'm joining up with Ta Da! Tuesday over at Faith, Hope & Charity Shopping - come over and have a look!

Love, Liz

Monday, 8 October 2012

Gold and Green

Isn't it lovely when unexpected gifts come along?

 
I was given this four piece tea set last week by a friend who had been clearing out her mother's house.
 


It is vintage Leonard Street pottery - hadn't heard of it before - has anyone?

 
Beautiful gold pattern which is really bright.  Looks good with my other vintage green and gold cups and saucers which are Imperial Crown China and Grosvenor.

 
Seems like I've got a bit of a collection going on here!

Love, Liz