I am so overjoyed with happiness, that I must blog about the new addition to my family. We collected an adorable 9 week old male kitten from the Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare. My daughter named him "Kevin", which I think suits the young man just fine!
It was a few weeks ago, that I first visited Raystede, and was astounded by the beauty of the Animal centre. There is approximately 150 staff, 50 employed and the rest are voluntary. The grounds and facilities are very well cared, considering the vast size of the place. Raystede take in unwanted and abandoned animals, Dogs, cats, horses, goats, chipmunks, exotic birds, ducks to name but a few! The aim is that most will be homed into a caring environment, whilst some remain at Raysted for the rest of their days. The organisation is a charity, so they have to work extremely hard as I saw a sign that it needs approx £3000 a day to run!! A lot of people go to the centre for a day out, as there is a tea room, picnic area and bouncy castle for children, so i guess that helps a little towards the staffing, upkeep etc.
Anyhow on my first visit I left my contact details and was put on the waiting list for a kitten. I had a call this week that one was ready and would I like to see it, which I did immediately, although I could not take him home until I had been approved by a home visit! Thankfully the home visitor approved our suitability for young Kevin and he is quietly in his basket near me as I blog.
A quiet intro into our home as he has only known the centre, as he was born there. I actually could not believe the amount of pregnant cats which are left there, which is sad. However most they are extremely well cared for at the centre and most will be re-homed.
Kevin has a guarantee of lots of love and care, and I must go and give him a cuddle now. Only a little one though, because everything is very strange for him at the moment.
"How extraordinary that there should be such an unchanged spot in the world still," wrote Janie Bussy of the Charleston garden in 1947. After thirty years of Bloomsbury occupancy it was then in its maturity, a teeming mass of flowers. Today the summer borders still spill over with geraniums, delphiniums and poppies.
Since moving into our new house , I have restrained myself from rushing to the D.I.Y stores in order to not make rash decisions and with the intent to rest orate and decorate each room beautifully. The garden has proved another problem for me, due to the fact that the previous owner had lived in the house for a long time and in fact he inherited it from his parents, who were all skilled gardeners! I am a mere novice. I have spent the last few months looking and pondering at the amount of work to do , at the same time slightly apprehensive as to what to cut back and pull out. In my eyes it looks beautiful, I love the layout and it was not a streamline modern garden but more of the wild Victorian style. Everyday I see new flowers, so I am glad that I have held back but still slightly worried that I should be doing something apart from mowing the lawn.
I decided to take a visit to the beautiful Charleston farmhouse for some inspiration, the last time I went there, was over ten years ago. Charleston is set in the heart of the Sussex Downs near to the town of Lewes, it is the most important remaining example of Bloomsbury decorative art created by non other than the Bloomsbury group. The artists Vanessa Bell (sister of Virginia Woolf) and Duncan Grant, (the relationships of the individuals in the house is a bit complex to explain and not really necessary),Quentin Bell, many other creative individuals lived at the house also.(from 1912)
The group lived in the beautiful house for most of there lives and decorated every aspect of the house from painting the walls and furniture with stencils and detailed panels, screen printed fabric furnishings, pottery in the Bloomsbury style. throughout the house is examples of their beautiful artwork with influences of Picasso, Cezanne, Seuratto name a few.
The garden is an absolute joy, and indeed it has wild English garden feel, with vegetable plots and glorious carpets of colour from all the beautiful flowers. Nestled in between flowers and trees are examples of Quentin Bells sculptures and beautiful mosaics from scrap plates and pottery.
The property is thankfully owned by a trust , so it will continue to be preserved for more years to come. What amazes me is that the style of the house, interior and garden , in my eyes does not seem to date, each room appears as beautiful, not excentric or bizarre. So my visit to Charleston has greatly inspired me, and it has probably saved me a lot of money as I am thinking along the same lines to decorate my own house, it may take a long time but I am in no rush!
Regarding the garden, I luckily bumped into the gardener at Charleston and he advised me to leave my garden for one year, so I can see what is coming up when and where and gave me a few tips on which bulbs to buy. He also told me to go back with photos,(so I have no excuse not to go back)
All in all my visit was so inspiring, for house and garden ideas and I am desperate to start painting again once the children are back at school.
Each week I pop to the beautiful "re-vamped" local library ( so high tech , I have yet to work out how to use all of the new techno machines. I take out a DVD once a week , which is rented for the "whole" week, and cheaper than the video rental shop ( and I usually miss the handing in deadline and end up paying double!) I like to watch art house and world cinema and picked up the Film "Reprise", firstly I noticed it is Norwegian and then I scanned the review quotes. The Independent on Sunday " Trainspotting with Better Furniture"!. I am a fan of Scandinavian interior design and also one of my favourite films is Trainspotting, I remember seeing it when it came out in the 90's and loving the way the film was shot (quite original at the time.) So I grabbed the DVD, watched it this evening, and it has certainly got my creative juices flowing. So a very quick review, as I do not want to give to much away, If you love foreign films ( don't mind subtitles) this is a must.
Reprise (cert 15)
A touching, witty and sensitive film. It is beautifully shot, touching the fringes of mental illness. This film depicts the passion of youth and the unpredictable perils of fate , through the journey of friendship, love, madness and creativity.
Reprise has a awesome soundtrack, to give it a young buzz throughout with music from Blur, Joy Division and New Order. Also the interiors and furniture are fabulous and everyone in Norway wears black, gray and white! (Though I am sure that was down to the art/costume department , creating such a beautiful film :))
My eldest daughter celebrates her 11th birthday today! They grow up so quickly, but at 11 she is still my little girl. Her wish for today is a sleepover, thank goodness for the beautiful weather, as I have a tent erected in the garden-so they can make as much noise as they want (with in reason)! her second wish was for a chocolatey birthday cake, so I consulted my "500 Fabulous Cakes and Bakes" (by Ted Smart) book. She opted for the "best ever chocolate cake", which indeed is very chocolatey and I used about 18 eggs in the making (I only had little bantam eggs).The added embellishment of numerous bags of maltesers and 2 flakes, I think gives it that chocolaty edge! So we have renamed this cake "Chocowockyfantubulios" I only have about another 485 cakes in the book to try out.
Must go , have a barbeque on the go and cake to eat.
I went to the Lammas fayre in Eastbourne today ! Lammas comes from old English language , meaning "loaf mass." So it is similar to the harvest festival, a celebration of the earth,s bounty which traditionally was held at the time of the first corn crop. in Ireland it is known as Lughnassah, the name being derived from the Celtic sun god Lugh. It is one of the four Pagan Celtic Fire fire festivals which were adopted by the early catholic church, and have now been re-appropriated by the Modern Pagan movement. The aim of the fayre was to showcase local talented musicians, and dancers, groups of drummers, Morris dancers etc and raise money for the R.N.L.I. There was also a wonderful range of craft stalls with all things pagan and natural, so beautiful. Silly me forgot to take my camera! One of my friends was drumming and I so wish I had a photograph of her in her green jacket and evergreen accessories. Anyhow one of the craft stalls had these fabulous masks from Venice ( I cannot work out the link to Lammas) but they were fabulous, so I bought a few to embellish myself. I still think they look great plain as well.
I decided to take the children for a "Grand day out" to lovely Brighton, one of my most favorite places which is no longer a town , but a city! Firstly it is a fave, because it has fabulous shops, however my children do not class shopping as a fun day out. (If I go to Brighton I will start at one end of the main shopping areas until I reach the other (near Hove)- therefore I am better shopping on my own!) I also love the people in Brighton, why? - because you see "all sorts" , so in my book it is a great people watching town, from a fashion perspective, street fashion and new trends fashion- it,s the place to visit. generally the place has a vibe and sense of originality, trendy, fun and lots going on, I could go on and on....
Anyhow the visit was for my children , so where else, but the sea life centre first, which they are mesmerised by, followed by good old fish and chips on Brighton beach- in the baking sun. My children had lots of energy to run into the sea, with clothes on, as I looked on in horror of their soaking wet clothes at the same time feeling heavily sick and bloated. Why do us Brits eat such food in boiling hot weather? -utter madness. Though I am sure I will do it again. Just a traditional seaside thing!
I intend to get some work done for my etsy this weekend, but finding it quite hard with the summer holidays. So much I want to make and not enough hours in the day!