Sunday, 9 March 2014

Here Comes the Sun.

It is impossible to describe just how much I LOVE Spring.
The sun is out and it feels wonderful. I spent most of the weekend outside firmly resisting doing anything much to the flowerbeds, it is just much too early.
The temptation when the sun shines and has some real warmth in it is to get stuck in, but by next week we could have thick frosts and cold winds and all those delicate plants you have exposed will be damaged, so the messy dead old growth is staying for now.

I did tidy the front garden which was an shameful mess and full of other peoples rubbish. I filled a whole carrier bag full with sweet wrappers, crisp packets and the like and it's only a tiny garden.
 As it happens the bag I conveniently found in the flowerbed so I thought I'd make use of it!  
Today I nipped down to the shops to get a new cold frame and doormat for by the back door. I then spent the rest of the afternoon pootling about outside, bliss. It was so lovely to get a whole line full of washing out too.

Other than that it's been a quiet week. We had a bit of drama when it seemed the boiler had conked out, thankfully anything gas based can only be fixed by a registered engineer. This meant the rental agency were able to send someone out the same day without having to go through the crazy fiasco of trying to get hold of the landlady in Italy, followed by her sending in her cousin, to decide when he finally bothers to show up that he can't fix the problem!
As it turned out it wasn't the boiler but the thermostat in the hall and the thermo-pump in the airing cupboard both breaking at the same time.
We went to see The Book Thief for orange wednesday. There were some seriously strange people seeing the film that night. One woman in particular caught my attention. She refused to let anyone else sit in the same row as her, spread herself out over 4 seats, and then spent half the film bringing containers of food out of her many bags and eating them quite noisily. She then gathered everything up and left! I swear she just came in to eat her dinner and not watch a film.

Anyway the film was brilliant and I highly recommend it.
It's about time the story of the average German got told too. Sometimes it feels like people think it was only the British who struggled and were bombed out of their homes, whilst the Germans sat back drinking champagne and giving evil laughs.
The average German struggled, starved and was bombed too, the vast majority didn't want the war at all, it's nice to see that story being told.

My Mum and Dad got married in the 60's and my Dad's family got sent anonymous hate mail when it was found out my Mother was German. Yet the true story was my Mum's family lived in a tiny village on the Dutch border, indeed half the family were Dutch.
The horrors and deprivation they suffered you cannot begin to imagine, yet as far as those haters were concerned, she was the enemy scum and should be strung up even 20 plus years after the war had ended. Nice.

Anyway on a happier note I did a little shopping last week!
A vintage style frock for 99p plus postage. I took a punt on it as the picture was really out of focus and I'm very glad I did, all it needs is a good wash and press.
A Hello Kitty shopping bag for a fiver. result.

Now anyone who has read my blog for any length of time knows I love boiled eggs and all things to do with them. I spotted a fab brooch made from an old wooden jigsaw piece on Etsy and ended up buying a couple of others too.
The egg, elephant and sailor boy came from the same seller, beautifully wrapped and in a little handmade purse.
The swallow came from another seller, took forever to arrive, wasn't as well made and when it did finally arrive, came with a somewhat patronising note.
Now if the seller had bothered to check at all I have been a seller and a buyer on Etsy since 2010. I really don't think I need to be told, among other things, that by buying through Etsy I was actually  'supporting handmade in England companies' and therefore  'you are helping creatives and individuals' I felt like I was being patted on the head as I read it, and you can imagine the kind of voice I heard saying the words as I read it!


  1. Dear Miss Magpie, I loved reading this post so very much. I didn't realise that the dead growth in the garden provided safety and cover to the new growth trying to burst through. There, I've learned something new about gardening today:). The Stylist and I are very keen to see The Book Thief, which I'm very pleased about as I like her to see how life was for others struggling through those difficult years. Dresden is the first German city I think of where innocents were burnt alive when the Allies bombed it to shite. Civilians on all sides are always the first to suffer and as the Dutch were occupied so early in the war, they were crushed for a very long time. Thank you for sharing your stories and I love your new brooches, especially that cute boiled egg! Ugh! Condescending do-gooders are everywhere! xoxoxox

  2. It's comforting to hear someone say good things about The Book Thief, I was somewhat worried when I read a review and discovered what had been changed from the actual book and couldn't figure out how it was really going to work.

  3. I too didn't know about not removing the dead growth! I am a novice gardener. I hacked away at the lavenders and then found out afterwards I've probably killed them. Oops! I would really love to see The Book Thief, as I enjoyed the book immensely, so I shall have to persuade a friend to join me for an Orange Wednesday soon! Oh dear to the patronising note.... P x

    1. End of August to September is the time to prune your lavender, gives it a chance to recover a bit before the winter.

  4. My daughter is reading The Book Thief, I'll have to borrow it after she's finished. Have to read the book before I see the film - it's the Law! One of my aunts was German too and married my uncle in the 1950s, they were also seen as a very controversial couple. Amazing how people lose sight of individual stories in the rush to condemn an entire nation.
    That frock looks lovely, and the brooches are sweet. Don't you just HATE being patronised?! Almost as irritating as people being noisy in the cinema! xxx
    Hasn't the sunshine been a treat? really feels like Spring.

  5. I loved The Book Thief but I have an aversion to watching films based on stuff I love. The Guardian slated it but I might give it a go on your recommendation.
    Your poor parents. Its ridiculous to think that kind of racism existed in our lifetimes, isn't it? I know that post war stuff made in Germany was stamped FOREIGN so people wouldn't boycott it.
    You're such a mine of info about gardening. You gave me wonderful tips last year which transformed my window boxes! xxx

    1. I haven't read the book so the film may be awful compared to it, as a rule film adaptations just don't work do they?

  6. Thanks for the heads up on the film, it sounds as if it will be right up my strasse. I haven't read the book either but generally love anything about the war. I am so ignorant about how Germans coped. I was in the garden all day yesterday, pruning roses and lavender...eeek. I didn't cut back my hydrangea tho, that has to wait until early May. Love your Kitty bag.

  7. How awful that your parents had to go through that. Some people are just horribly smallminded.

    Grr to the patronising Etsy seller. They'd be right off my 'Buy from' list!

  8. Cute brooch! The Book Thief is the next on my bedside table to read ... I always like to read the book first, before seeing the film.
    M x