Sunday, 29 January 2012


I had planned to continue with more theatrical tales, but as various Blogger hiccups have interrupted my thinking, and my latest post , which I have now returned to DRAFT , a short intermission will now be in force. Watch this space...

Friday, 27 January 2012

Not Quite Treading The Boards

"Come with me?"
"I'm no actor! I can't do that."
"Let's go and see what it's all about,  please? You might enjoy it..."

The Festival Theatre had  plans for a peripatetic production which would need some 200 people, mostly extras, amongst whom a few would have to sing folk songs and do country dances.
For my singing buddy, the very word 'theatre' sent her blood racing, and I had to admit the mention of folk music had got me interested....

So one early summer evening found us in a large marquee with a crowd of oddly assorted people lured by that same word. We learned that several well known playwrights had each been asked to write one scene of a play, based on true historical events around Chichester.

The extras would be responsible for their own seventeenth century style costumes, and the directors needed about 50 or so people to learn a country dance, and a smaller group to sing a mix of hymns and folk songs. They showed us patterns for the type of clothes we'd need, and I was hooked!

Before I knew it, I'd 'volunteered' for both the singing and dancing, and couldn't wait to start on our costumes...We had to invent characters for ourselves, too, for we were told it would help us to be 'believable' to the audience. Thus let me introduce... 

"My Lady Anne, sister of the Bishop, and her maidservant, Prudence." 

No prizes for guessing who I played!
Sepia Saturday's prompt has stirred up more memories. To be continued... 

WARNING!  between 11 p.m. last night and 6.46 a.m. this morning, I have a total of eight 'Anonymous' comment emails showing in my in box for this post. If you are trying to leave me a comment, I suggest you use your own blogname, then I might read it! At the moment, every anonymous comment will go straight to my junk folder. If you are a spammer- go away!

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Stage Struck

Or rather, back stage struck! For a couple of years, between 1986-88, I was heavily into costume making for various theatrical productions, one at Chichester Festival theatre, in which I took part, and the rest for Bosham Players' open air productions at West Dean.

I was given a budget of £200 to clothe the caste for As You Like It - almost everyone with several changes of costume to boot. The director chose to set it in the Edwardian era, so it was no mean task.

The Women's Institute in Chichester had a wonderful costume 'warehouse' at the time, and hired out articles for amateur theatricals, but I did design and sew many myself for this particular play.
My children and one of their friends spent an afternoon modelling some of the outfits for me, like so:-
And the most beautiful garment I hired was this vintage, crochet jacket which my daughter is wearing in this next photograph, together with a skirt and top made from our old, satin, bedroom curtains!
I seem to remember there were complimentary noises made about the entire production, which made all the hard work worth while, of course.

'Theatre' was the choice of subject at Sepia Saturday this week. And there's more theatricals HERE.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Sorry, Not Sepia!

But, here's a black and white version instead. It's Christmas 1968, and my small niece, in her dressing gown and sleep suit, is getting my Mum (her Granny) to sort out her doll and pram for her. Still in its box at the front of the picture is one of those 'magic' feeding bottles which appear to empty as the 'baby' gets fed. I imagine the photo was taken by my brother in the morning, for there's a carpet sweeper in evidence, and Mum is wearing a nylon overall that I'm sure would have been discarded if it had been later in the day.
Before I started looking through my collection for Sepia Saturday's request for doll related pictures, I didn't think I'd be able to find any, so thanks again to my Bro for supplying me with this one!

Monday, 16 January 2012


 N.B. If you choose 'Full Page' option for how you would like your comment box to be displayed, it seems that the annoying 'Reply' buttons disappear from your Blogpage...

Sunday, 15 January 2012

I Saw...

And so did everybody else this week, that Blogger has decided to add reply buttons for comments, willy-nilly. For some time, there has been an option given for this in the design features, but now our choice is removed.

It has long been my practice to have comment notifications sent to my email inbox, from where I've replied to those Blogpals who allow their email address to be shown, and who have thus become buddies as a result of our 'behind the scenes' communications.

I've experimented on my previous post, with replying 'on blog' as opposed to 'in email', but have decided to revert to my former way of communicating, mostly because using a reply button results in yards and yards of scrolling down the page to find the comment box!

I've decided to link this to Susannah's 'I Saw Sunday' as we've all experienced the same phenomenon this week, but maybe not with the same reaction...Can't wait to see!

Saturday, 14 January 2012

No Hats - Yet!

Sepia Saturday featured a hat extravaganza photo this week, which set me thinking of 'costumes'. My latest acquisitions, shown here, are heading for one, if not several, changes of costume before they are much older!

They were a totally unplanned purchase, which you can put down to my having reached my second childhood, I guess. Thanks to January Sales, they were almost half their original price, and I shall secrete then away (eventually) until smallest granddaughter has grown to the same size as them - which could take a few years!

But in the meantime, I intend to enjoy myself to the full, by making/acquiring/collecting alternative costumes for the Sam and Sally dolls I'd have loved to own when I was young.

The clothes they have now are trendy to look at, but poorly designed. The hoods are too small  to  pull up over their heads, and the Velcro fastenings at the back stick like glue to the doll's soft bodies when you undress or dress them. And why give dolls clothes that are difficult to take off and put on?

I was horrified, too, by the wire and plastic restrainers that held each doll in their box. Neck, torso, arms and legs were shackled with lethal looking bonds, that took me, an adult, a fair amount of effort to remove. No child could have coped. So, in the interest of preserving the original boxes to store the  'twins' safely, I have replaced plastic with good old fashioned string, which I can untie whenever I want to try on a new outfit for either of them! I shall have a lot of fun with these two, before they get handed over for good...

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

'Ready to take you on and on'

It's the early hours of the morning, and the clock face shows you the time I took the shot. On a ribbon attached to the tiny HMS, red nosed blob sailor you see on top of this Ikea cabinet, are printed the words you see in my title.
I suddenly thought how appropriate a phrase it was for all intrepid Bloggers everywhere...

But why am I taking pictures and writing posts at this godforsaken hour? A tickle cough, stuffy nose and voice box which emits sounds like a foghorn, has been plaguing me for the past two weeks, and the hours between three and five are when it plagues me most.

The germs have got into a routine of driving me downstairs at silly o'clock for a steam inhalation, a hot honey and lemon drink, and an interminable wait for the coughing to subside. So what's an old lady to do but BLOG IT, before going back to bed for stage two of a long night...

Monday, 9 January 2012

And For My Next Trick....

Here are the squares I mentioned in my previous post.  They sat and taunted me until I put them together, as a lap rug for one of my erstwhile singing pals. She is inordinately fond of all things black, so I chose the border to complement her addiction - and my bright colours- in the hope it would give a stained glass window effect.

 My shaggy carpet did it no favours, when I tried to lay the crochet down on top with no wrinkles, but it gives you the idea of the colours, and the fact that each square manages to be different, despite a limited range of yarn shades. Now I shall sit  back and wait for your verdict! LOL

Thursday, 5 January 2012

A Good Yarn?

Is worth its weight in gold...especially if it's this kind of yarn!
The urge to crochet comes upon me with a vengeance at times, to the exclusion of all else, and my pre-Christmas snowflakes whetted my appetite.

I knew I wanted to make a Napple Blanket for my newest grandchild, and, relatively quickly, I'd produced fifteen, eight inch squares to kick start the project. BUT...the sixteenth put a stop to everything. It was made up of the yarns in this photo, and once I saw the colour combination, that was it. Back to the drawing board, in a manner of speaking, to produce a further set of twenty squares, all the same. Tedious to do, but worth it once I finished this at midnight, last night!

 The downside of this escapade, is that I now have fifteen, brightly coloured squares tucked in a plastic bag, all clamouring at me to get stuck in, and make another throw. If I obey the summons, I could be away from Blogland for quite some time...

Sunday, 1 January 2012

It's Here!

Two Oh One Two !

I wish the best to you...
and you...
and you and you
and us and them -
it's "Happy New Year" time again!