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Category Archives: Whoops didn’t tag these puppies

Trotsky pigs

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Have you seen the Guardian ad where they retell the story of Three Little Pigs yet? I started watching it with Ramona this morning and a few seconds – and a few shocked jumps -in realised it was perhaps not too child friendly. (Not that the original is either, to be fair. What is with fairytales being truly traumatic?)

I loved this ad (watch it here.) I love that the Guardian are poking fun at themselves, and I love the main point of it – that context is everything. I need to hear it as a parent, and want others to hear it – hold fire on your judgements, there is always a background story to hear. To the sideways glances of mammas in the playground checking out Ramona’s FREEZING bare feet. She can’t wear shoes because she has broken her leg and she has pulled her socks off for the 46th time! And she broke her leg because….!!

Anyway, the Three Little Pigs story reminded me of how we do “This little piggy”. We do the Guardian reading version, mocking ourselves. But if anyone ever heard it they would certainly think we were a bit doolally…

This little piggy went to the Co-op
This little piggy stayed at the Commune
This little piggy ate falafel
and this little piggy had her equal share
And THIS little piggy went wee wee wee wee weeee all the way back to the yurt.

Do you free style any nursery rhymes?

(This is Ramona and her big cuzzy Hudson who is moving out of London tomorrow with his family. PEOPLE. I have 12 hours to work out a way to get them to stay. I feel like Mcaulay Culkin in Home Alone. I’ve got gaffa tape, some No More Nails, a rubber ring and some massive pots. Any ideas, call me)


You can stand under my parasol…

(it only smells a tiny little bit like old smoke.)

I have had a long term fondness for parasols – their whimsical print and fragility make me come over all Victorian escapist. I had a lovely ancient blue one when we first got married, but it was one of the first things to be crushed under the almighty clumsical power found in the union of two of the world’s most blundering people. When I found a similar one in a caramel colour and much larger for a mere £3 I snapped it up (and have already put a leeetle hole through it’s papery shell.)

And at a car boot sale in Kent I came across another, this time created with a hardy fabric, a jolly yellow hue and a burlesquey fringe. It was £5 and with that I got whole room full of old lady cigar smell thrown in for free.

My knowledgeable expertise (by knowledgeable expertise I mean google) tells me they are probably mid centuryish.
But you do tend to spot them quite commonly, and they go for a song on Ebay. I think it is because no one knows what to DO with them, least of all me. What do I DO with them?

They are like peacocks – fantastical and dazzling when they are open, but too bloody big to fit anywhere. When they are shut they are neat and tidy but look about as thrilling as a wooden spoon.

Although because they are so cheap I could start collecting them and then move into a house with a very tall ceiling and then hang them all upside down to create a kind of canopy of papery, fringey, oriental print dreaminess……..

I am sure you know of a way to display these beauts in the meantime? Anyone pinned any parasolled up rooms lately?

Linking up with a whole load of snazzy old treasure through Liz’s Magpie Monday and Apron Thrift Girl’s ThriftShare Monday (go check out her magnificant lamps.)


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Five amazing weeks in New Zealand introducing our delicious Ramona to our beautiful family and friends but still it is nice to be home. (Adjective central!)

Nice to eat a Welcome Home cake baked by our housemate.

Nice to not have to worry about the odd stealthy wee slipping out in a corner. (Ramona’s, for the most part.)

Nice to just “wake up and see what happens”;  to not have to make decisions about what to do, when, where, how, with whom. (Even though those whats, whos, hows and wheres were brilliant!)

Nice to see Ramona remembering her favourite spots; cupboards filled with precious crockery, wobbly stools to climb, corners to sit and do stealthy wees in.

Nice to ride on my bike to my favourite local haunts (of the charity shop variety) – and in a stroke of serendipity to find the EXACT toy that Ramona fell in love with at her Grandma’s house in NZ. Lush, eh. It is a sign of true love that I bought it for her, it not being vintage or wooden but being loud, massive and plastic. (Middle class? Me?!)

But mostly nice to come home and feel like this is home. That despite the lure of laidback, warm and stunning New Zealand, we are exactly where we are meant to be. For now, at least.

(This is a wicked embroidary number, eh? Found it at Melissa’s. *Adds to list of things to make one day.*)

Wild and windy empty shores


Ain’t no jumper like a seventies acrylic waistcoat

We have been in NZ for a lovely ten days now, although it is just our luck to arrive when it is tipping down so badly they have had to evacuate whole towns due to flooding. Poor timing on our part. BUT as ever, there is a silver lining – because lolling on the beach is out, a serious amount of lolling around charity shops is IN. Can I get a whoop whoop!

As we wander around these junk stores I often find myself wondering what people do when the clouds open up? In my opinion secondhand shopping is quite simply a wonderful, all round hobby, perfect in every way for those rainy days.

We are majorly limited by what we can actually buy as we have to lug it all back across the world but this hasn’t hampered our browsing. Amongst other things we have found some cool old toys for Ramona, a yoghurt maker (one of the things on my hope-for list) and some fabric. But today is really an ode to some of the retro style you can pick up here in NZ so easily.

UK charity shops often lack good vintage clothing- is it because vintage dealers nab them first and stock up their own shops with it? Or is it just harder to find amidst all the Primark tat? I very rarely find great retro clothing back home.

So here it has been a particular pleasure to rummage through these shelves and admire some nice Kiwi old skool. I left my FAVE cardi back in England (It was one of those “I will put this cardi here in this special place so that I DO NOT FORGET IT” moments) so have managed to pick up three cardi’s to take it’s place. Nothing beats a nice seventies acrylic cardi! All three of them made lovingly in NZ. Here we are squizzing at the cat in the next door neighbour’s garden- Ramona is utterly obsessed with them. You also get a good look at my finger toes in these shots. Your welcome.

Hand Knitted Lemon Yellow Cardi-  £3.99 from the Salvation Army in Lower Hutt

White Acrylic Waistcoat with Gold and Navy Trim- 25p from the Hospice shop in Levin

White Acrylic Cardi with Light Blue Patterned Stripe- £2.99 from Savemart in Levin

Ramona’s Green Checkered Dress- 25p from Hospice shop in Levin (they were having a beauty 50c sale)

Our first visit to the beach


Her name in sand