Monday, 15 January 2018

Visible Monday - RED HAT

The poet Jenny Joseph died last week so it is most appropriate that I wear a red hat for Visible Monday to celebrate her work.
'Warning' was her most popular poem, written in 1961. The opening lines are,
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.'

She didn't, in fact, like to wear the colour purple. "I can't stand purple. It doesn't suit me." She was also irritated by the success of this poem and the attention given to it over her later work which she considered more worthwhile. The poem was the inspiration for the founding of the Red Hat Society in America for women over fifty who want to meet up for fun.
With the proceeds from 'Warning' Jenny Joseph bought a cottage in the charming little town of Minchinhampton in Gloucestershire, which we visit in our book group. Here she wrote, 'Led by the Nose' a book inspired by the perfume of the flowers in her cottage garden. The popularity of 'Warning' gave her the opportunity to travel around the world giving lectures and recitals. "The old woman has been a very good passport," she said, but, "I must admit to finding her a bit of a bore."
Jenny Joseph, poet.  7.5.1932 - 8.01.2018

A friend sent the poem to me many years ago because I've always liked to wear purple. Many of my Visible Monday outfits testify to this. The red hat is more of a dressed-up beret. It's cosy and comfy and rather silly, just the thing to cram on when the weather is grim. After all the winter feasting my face resembles nothing so much as a clootie dumpling. (A Scottish recipe, a fruit pudding that's boiled in a cloth into a rather lumpen sphere.)
I'm joining Patti who hosts Visible Monday, where women from all around the world show the clothes that make them feel visible and have fun whether wearing a red hat or not!

Saturday, 16 December 2017

The American Museum at Christmas

We went to the American Museum in Bath today. The rooms have been decorated for Christmas in styles appropriate to the various periods. The entrance hall was filled with this tree covered with  golden ornaments and fringing.

It was the first of many lovely decorations.
A wreath with corn dollies.

This little tree was decorated with white paper quill-work. Very skilful!
And these small paper fir trees are a good idea to copy.

We went into the tavern where a small 'Puritan' posed obligingly in front of the fire.
(When we first came here in the 1960's the fire was real and gingerbread was made and sold to the visitors. Health and Safety have since put a stop to all that fun!)
Cooking utensils
and a rack of clay pipes hanging by the fire.

Light levels are low throughout all the building in order to preserve the fittings. 
This parlour is one of my favourite rooms.

The white paper chain is another simple idea to copy. I made chains with coloured paper as a child but now I think that all-white looks nicer.

Don't the iced cakes look good.

This little room is delightful.

It first started my interest in stencilling, patchwork and crochet! (And the garden, now closed for the winter, was where I fell in love with the idea of growing a herb garden.)

A doll's bed, echoing that of the child.
There's a grandfather clock in a corner of the room whose inner workings are made entirely of wood.
It's time to leave,
the museum is now closing for the winter.

Monday, 30 October 2017


Our friends' band was playing at a street market event on Sunday and we went along as rent-a -crowd. The forecast had been for very cold weather but at first the sun shone and kept us warm. The market was set among the former farm buildings of a medieval farmhouse. The church bells gave some stiff competition to the band that preceded ours!

There was a halloween flavour to the event
with lots of unhealthy-looking food to tempt the children.
Chocolate skull, anyone?

The children were suitably dressed.
Count Dracula?
A hungry elf tucking into a pie.
This little devil
had a wonderful time

dancing to the band.

When the sun went in we felt chilled to the bone!