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Saturday, 3 January 2015

Happy New Year and a look back at Weddings, France, 60 Minute Makeover, Local Walks and a load of other stuff

Happy New Year
Arundel Eccentrics

This is well worth a listen
and it's not too late.

I wandered around looking at the festive front doors in Arundel
 before the decorations all get dismantled,

This HAS to be my favourite.

The house belongs to a friend of mine, Becca.

The door was painted by another dear Arundel friend, Amy Fathers,
(who also worked on our tartan chests of drawers.)

ha ha great isn't it?

While I had the camera out and the 
walking boots on I had my walk.
Sunny, crisp and beautiful.

Mill Road Arundel

Before I dive headlong into 2015 I thought Id take a look back at
some of the high spots of 2014.

Wow that year went so fast.

Ours was busy, both business and personal.

Well, of course, the first big news last year for us,
was the birth of our beautiful grandchild.

I know I'm likely to be biased,
but she really is gorgeous hey?

We haven't managed to see her yet.

Thank goodness for Skype and email.
California is such a long way.

We hope it wont be too long before we can cuddle her.
The last time we met up with Jay and his lovely wife Krista
was two years ago for their wedding.

It was the most stylish wedding I have EVER attended.

Jay & Krista's Wedding.

Even the engagement photos were like something from a 
fashion shoot. They were absolutely beautiful.

These were all taken in Virginia.

The Wedding Day
  look like mafioso don't they?

The wedding was at Rosemont Manor in Virginia.
If you are in that part of the US and
 looking for a wedding venue...I'd say look no further.
Its stunning.

Jay was at Slindon College in Sussex with his best man John. 

my gorgeous husband

and my gorgeous son

Jay is a menswear designer and designed all his wedding gear

Us giving a speech

Mother and son dance

Father in law dances with the bride

I've watched this over and over...still makes me cry

Anyway, I digress.....where was I?

Oh yes..last year


Spent the most wonderful week in France with old friends.
We met at 18 when we trained as nurses in Brighton, Sussex in England.

Over the years we kept up by letter and phone and
then with the arrival of the internet its email, etc.

We've tried to meet up as often as we can gather everyone together,
and the five of us have had some great times over the years.

Paris, Nice, Annecy, Barcelona, Eastbourne......


I know, I know, it doesn't have quite the same ring about it,
but trust me we had wonderful times wherever we went.

Old friends, nothing quite like them is there?

Our chum Chrissie now has the most beautiful house in Bordeaux.
We all descended in June.
 Two from Annecy, one from Steyning, and me from Arundel.

 Days went by far too quickly, swimming in the pool,
 exploring, reading, visiting medieval towns and markets and brochantes.

We walked every morning.
The countryside was breathtaking.
Every walk beautiful.

camera in overdrive......

 The evenings passed in a haze of food,
 far too much wine and always, always, 
loud, uncontrollable, occasionally raucous,


In particular English country weddings.....

Our lovely neighbours were married and we helped with the flowers.

Well, lets be honest, my chum
Allie who used to be a florist,
actually did the flowers.

I was moral support, and as we were also required
to test the wedding wine, I was chief pourer.
Tee Hee.

The wedding was in the tiny hamlet of South Stoke, just outside Arundel.

the day was fun.....

Every Christmas they hold the most beautiful candlelight service in this tiny church.

The barn where the reception was held is just a few steps away from the church.

It had been decorated within an inch of its life...just stunning.
Much of it with a vintage edge.



I ran several furniture paint and decoration workshops this year.
Ive been so lucky with the people who come along.

 By the way this trio were HILARIOUS.
We laughed and chatted all day.

Only one major hiccup thus far.

One guy trying to copy my style, 
and he actually asked our 
neighbours, French Loft, at the antiques warehouses 
if he could rent a space from them.

When they asked him what he proposed selling,

"Painted furniture and decoupage" was the reply.
"But that's what our neighbour sells."
"I know. I've been on one of her workshops."

Needless to say they declined.

Anyway,I've had some delightful people and its
 been a pleasure to spend the day with them.

This year I had several mother and daughter bookings.

Mostly wanting to spend quality time with each other and learn a new skill at the same time.
Just before Christmas Tory and her daughter Polly.

Its always useful to take a before and after photo,
particularly if you are working on a battered piece of furniture.

You'll be amazed at the transformation.

We managed to cover several techniques.
Here's what they had to say in my visitors book,

"What a wonderful day Polly and I have had in your magical surroundings. We are thrilled with everything we have learned today and are taking home with us. I never imagined we could achieve so much in one day. Thank you both for a lovely lunch too. We will be back! I shall be looking at all my furniture with new eyes and ideas."

A pleasure having you guys.

( If you are interested in a full days workshop.
Do let me know.
All materials and lunch are included.
Just email me for dates.

Slimming World and Walks

Yes, this year, I decided enough is enough.
Porky just HAD to go.

Joined the new group of Slimming World
 in Arundel in the summer.

Bought myself a new pair
of walking boots and started
walking again.
Most days if I have enough time
 I walk about 4-5 miles.

Here was a nostalgic walk in October.

Up through Slindon and across the downs.

Slindon is a small village near Arundel.

Mostly the houses are owned by The National Trust.

It's  where my son Jay went to school.

Slindon College

It's also where when I was in the depths of gloom and divorce
I joined the pta to give myself something to keep me occupied.

We organised a huge and extremely posh summer ball.....

and I started dating the rather gorgeous PE teacher.....
Tee Hee

So you see, not only did my son get a pretty good education......

I got a new life

so Slindon means rather a lot to me.....

by the son was 13 at the time,
made me swear not to tell the other boys at school.

Isn't Slindon beautiful?

 The pumpkin house is well known.
It appears in magazines and on TV just before Halloween every year.

PS...we ended up getting married.

50th Birthday Party

I organised a birthday party for Nass
 for his 50th birthday.
Complete surprise.
Old friends travelled miles to be there.

Nass kept thinking he saw people in Arundel that day
 that resembled old school friends.
He thought he was going dippy.
Ha Ha 


I DID give a speech

Nass had his head in his hands 
but this was not due to emotion,
 rather that sick feeling of impend-ing doom.
“ What are you going to say?” he mouthed.

" Oh Nass it was nothing."

Birthday and Arundel Festival

The Fundraiser

Nass decided to take a well earned rest from his usual fund raising antics.
 His MS was making him tired.

Last year he cycled from London to Brighton. 56 miles
 Having never cycled before this was quite some feat.

Purchasing the bike two weeks before
 made it an even greater achievement.
Only going out for two five mile cycles beforehand
 made it nothing short of miraculous.
The year before he ran the Brighton Marathon.
Yikes what’s next?

He wanted to organise a dance and charity auction.
We sold 150 tickets, and had 52 auction lots.
 The rock n roll band Vintage were booked.

 Friends rallied round and the night before they chopped mountains
 of onions outside on our garden table. 
We had huge vats of meat chilli cooking in next door’s kitchen and veggie chilli in ours.
The evening at Arundel Football Club in July was a great success

The auction was hysterical with Nass as auctioneer. 

The first lot being a case of Viagra (which was a joke) 
the final lot an “Evening with Nass.” and
 in between everything from holidays in France to window cleaning.
Thanks to everyone who do-nated, attended and helped.
Almost £7,000 was raised.

A new chair for a local friend with MS was purchased. 
It means he can be lifted up into his car. Told us it’s changed his life.
 Before the chair, he hadn't left Arundel for over a year.

The Chestnut Tree Children’s Hospice and 
The Brain Tumour Charity both received hefty donations.
Next year? Nass says he’s doing a triathlon. 
Err He can’t swim by the way.
Me? I’m booking into therapy.

School friends

I'm so lucky.
I seem to have some wonderful friends.

Amazing as it is,
the schoolgirls still keep up after all these years.

We went to
The Blessed Sacrament Convent in Kemp Town in Brighton.
It's not there any more, but was a lovely small school.

There are five plus an honorary member
and we meet a few times a year.
Normally we take it in turns to cook dinner.
This year we started going out and about.

We had a great day in Hastings .
It's not somewhere I had been before.

A really typical English seaside town.
 They filmed on of my favourite TV series there.
Foyles War

It was bitter on that beach.

It was a little like stepping back in time.

The schoolgals came up trumps when
 we had arranged one such day out.
I had a large order to fulfill.

So instead of the planned trip...

They spent the day in my studio, painting and cutting and stickin'

We had a great day, with lots of hysterical laughter.
I gave them a decent lunch, so everyone was happy.

Thanks guys.....

60 Minute Makeover

I was invited to be in the TV programme Peter Andre’s 60 Minute Makeover.

My lovely mate Allie came along to help.
 Arriving nervously for filming, in a long residential street in Epsom Down,
 filled with crew and vans , we wondered what we had stepped into.

It was fun though. 
Mr. Andre was charming. 
As was the interior designer on the set,
 Martyn Lawrence Bullard.

He is English but lives in
 Gloria Swanson's old house in
the Hollywood Hills.

Martyn is a big name in the US where he has a similar show.
He remarked afterwards our upcycled corner
cupboard was
“ The Jewel in the Crown”
And if he gets the chance he would 
like to use one of our pieces in a “proper job.”

I know he was only being polite
but I did  read on his website, 
with great excitement, 
that his client list runs like
 a whose who of Hollywood royalty.
Elton John, Sharon Osborne
 and Christina Aguilera……

Our Antiques

Phew, so now I know why the year went so fast LOL
Business was brisk and we had some 
lovely items through the warehouse.

We also went on
The Hoarde
this year.

Its a large group of antique trade all on one site.
If you like antiques you'll love this.

The Hoarde

If you've enjoyed the post
please feel free to share.

Have a brilliant 
New Year

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