Sunday, 13 September 2009

What would Bess do?

This is Hardwick Hall.  It was built by Bess of Hardwick who was good mates with Elizabeth I.  MrCat and I went there this summer during our Peak District-Yorkshire Moors-Northumbrian Hills “sort of walking” holiday.


The cost of curtains alone would bankrupt a Duke

When I was a history undergrad, we heard a lot about Bess.  Any woman who was mentioned in lectures more than a couple of times and who was not a) an executed wife b) a decorative mistress or c) Elizabeth I, had to have something going for her.  The only people who did “stuff” back then were men.  Women doing “stuff” were a bit out of the ordinary, and Bess certainly did a lot of “stuff”. 

Bess was mentioned so frequently because she built Hardwick Hall, which had a lot of windows.  We had a guy who specialised in Architectural History, and apparantly the windows of Hardwick Hall say a zillion and one fascinating things if you’re interested in that sort of mullarkey.  Sadly, I did not attend his lectures.  He wore very odd suits which put me off so I chose a different course (Papists and Puritans in Elizabethan England, since you ask). 

Anyway, I say “sadly” because if I’d done his course I’d have gone on a trip to Paris to study Louis Quinze chairs.  It wasn’t the lack of chairs which bothered me, you understand, but the lack of moules marniere and steak frites.  The best I got was a video of “The Life and Times of Philip II of Spain” one afternoon in the history department.  Hey ho.

Bess married several times and was almost as rich as the Queen.  She probably invented the pre-nup and as a result, did rather well and held on to just about everything she gained despite her sex and the fact that she didn’t start ahead of the pack.

So, perhaps I should learn a lesson from Bess in the midst of my current woes.  No job?  Can’t afford your home?  What would Bess do?

Yes, that’s right.  I have to marry the Earl of Shrewsbury.  I can send him a proposal through

Sadly, I fear his political affiliations are likely to make this a somewhat rocky relationship.

But needs must.


This week I have been mostly proposing marriage to Tory Peers.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Five little monkeys jumping on my self esteem

It is a fact universally acknowledged that when a lime coloured feline is in a funk, then the whole world turns to pants. 

The post which follows is a self indulgent, self pitying rant.  Please don ear muffs and sturdy shades.

Here are some reasons not to be cheerful. 

  • I probably don’t have a job anymore, and there are no jobs out there. 
  • My house is for sale, but I don’t want to move. 
  • I am in debt up to my eyeballs – indeed, as I write this I’m waving my hand around ABOVE my eyeballs only you can’t see that. 
  • And I am so very tired of worrying about money and not sleeping properly, it has been going on for the past few years, and has aged me.  The foundation and powder is beginning to accumulate in the scowl lines around my eyes of a morning (I don’t have laughter lines).  When people look at me closely, they can see Maybelline products with alarming clarity.  They can probably even name the shade.  Hell, the label is PROBABLY ON MY FACE! 

But, as MrCat always says “what’s the worst that can happen?”.  And he’s right.  Let’s be resilient here.  Beans are cheap and nutritious and I am also really rather fond of Autumn.

So to cheer myself up this evening I decided to think seriously about updating my rather tired Etsy shop and adding something new to the product line.  Surely I can come up with something original but most importantly SIMPLE TO MAKE, which people want to buy?  We’ve had enough of bunnies and bears and samey looking dogs and cats.

And then I saw this.  Five little monkeys, jumping on the bed.



Frankly, I think this is a work of genius.  But, but…….



PS – if you click on the picture, you’ll go to her shop.  It’s very good. 
This week I have been mostly growling

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Headless on my Window Sill

Here is the progress I’ve made with three of the four creatures I am crocheting for Speechless, Mostly.

I now wonder if it was a bit cruel to place the heads of these monkeys directly opposite their dismembered limbs. They are giving their body parts slightly beseeching looks. There is genuine anguish on the face of the (ever so slightly bosseyed) pale lilac monkey as it realises that it won’t have a stripe on it’s sweater like the other two. The green monkey is turning away as he can’t look at the scene of carnage any longer. The brown monkey is simply appalled.

I think I ought to go downstairs right now and apologise.

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