Sunday, 22 November 2009

Charity Shop Bonanza!

Another trawl in our local are the results:

A piano book for moi - I used to love this range when I was a child. 25 pence!!!

A 100% wool hat. Not sure whether I really like it or will wear it, but I can always make something and felt it.

Some books for Pixie - 25p each!

Innocent smoothie book, RRP £12.99 - we got it for TWENTY FIVE PENCE!!! There are some AMAZING recipes in here - all I need now is a juicer and I'll be a raw foodie convert!

A four-disc Classic FM box set - £4.00 (a bit pricey I thought, but then, you know, I think I'm used to such bargains, I'm turning into a right bloody miser!)

A Flik Flak watch for Pixie - we were getting her one of these for her birthday anyway, admittedly, a pinky one, but hey, for FIFTY PENCE!!!! ya can't complain! They retails at £22 upwards.

And some clothes for me - a top, skirt and lovely knitted cardi - all for £8.
And a silk scarf for my Mammy but I'd already given it to her by the time I was a-taking the piccies.
Well all of these bargains almost made me pee a little with excitement. Old Betty in the Hospice Shop thought I was most strange to be running amok all the clothes and books with a manic "Here's Johnny!" smile but I really didn't care.
In fact, I think someone should commission a new TV programme: "The Charity Shop Hop" starring, or course, me. And I'll show viewers how to rummage through the stuff that smells of old lady wee, to find the treasured pieces hidden under all the crap.
Next blog: how to bypass the horendously priced Egloo and make your own plastic hen house for little or nowt.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Jewellery for Mamauk

My website is STILL not finished. Surprise! So have added some more stock via here.

Reclaimed amethyst pendants, mounted on .925 sterling silver pins, two with rose quartz round stones, one with amethyst rounds. Strong sterling jump rings to add to a chain. £5 eco gift-boxed, plus postage.

Reclaimed carnelian stone pendant, with added jasper and Tiger's eye stone. Mounted on .925 sterling silver pin with strong sterling jump rings to add to a chain. £5 gift eco gift-boxed, plus postage.

Tiger's eye earrings, with glass rocaille beads mounted on soft .925 sterling hooks and pins. £4, eco gift-boxed, plus postage.

I also have the same size rounds in lapis lazuli.

Some Pandora-style beads too - gorgeous, .925 sterling silver lined in the colours below. £3 each, plus postage.

A huge variety of glass and crystal beads so feel free to request something individual if you have specific ideas


Thursday, 12 November 2009


On the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, back in 1918, a cease-fire to all hostilities was declared and World War I was ended.

For a long time, I think that although we remember with love and admiration all of the brave people who were part of the War - those who lived to tell the stories, and those who sacrificed their lives so that we may live freely today, it was so long ago.

However, with the appalling attrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan of late, it becomes much more real and present.

As a former soldier, I feel deeply for those who have experienced the pain and anguish of hearing their beloved son, daughter, husband or wife would be coming home on a Hercules in a coffin, rather than the display of proud celebration of them stepping off the plane in a cloud of glory.

Thinking back to the days when I was serving, and detachments deploying for their six-month stints in the field. It was Bosnia that was the hot-spot when I was in the Army, but in comparison to Iraq and The 'Ghan, it was pretty tame. It was called peacekeeping back then. Ha. I do remember though, people having to write their 'last letter' to their loved ones. Just in case.

We hardly ever watch the news, but we did catch the vivid and lasting video of the six soldiers' repatriation.

I hate that word. Repatriation.

Sickness filled my stomach as my mum's eyes filled with tears and said that could have been me. It wouldn't have been, as I was never on the front line, but you can almost understand the terror that these families are experiencing right now, preparing for their child's/husband's/son's funeral.

Pixie was asking "Why are the those men carrying the boxes from the aeroplane mummy? What's in the boxes?" We are always totally honest with our children, so I explained about the men that had been killed.

"Oh," she said. "That's so very sad mummy. You used to be a soldier mummy. Before you grew up and had me and my sister in your tummy." I love my girl.

And recent reports of how the troops are totally under-equipped. They bloody are. I remember being in HQ Squadron each morning, with the fax machine spilling out error reports from the REME boys saying that this, that and the other helicopter had faults and poor performance levels.

I was on board a Lynx helicopter from Catterick to my garrison at Wattisham and my God, it was shagged. The floor was in bits and the rotors sounded like a tractor. I made up my mind never to accept a 'lift' home from the Colonel again!

A few months later, I had left the Army and my squadron had deployed to Kosovo on peacekeeping duties. A Lynx helicopter downed in Gornji Vakuf through 'technical problems' and three of our guys died.

So we remember. We remember all of the dead. We wish they didn't die. We cringe with sickness every time another of our boys or girls loses their lives. We think of all those currently serving in the field right now. We pray for them and for peace.
And we will never forget.

The following poem is so poignant and I think, the core still applies to our serving soldiers today. For them.

In Flanders Fields by John McCrae, 1915

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.