My Blog List

Wednesday, 23 September 2009


A short shopping trip to Maplins for some electronics bits and pieces for the lamps  exposed this little wonder. Or is it? I bought the necessaries to go with it.
Tigger checked it all out. She thinks it is OK but she doesn't understand what "automatic" means. There will be no-one at home if it is automatically working, but she will be cosy, well fed and watered and have access to the great outdoors, which will allow her to finish off the vole dynasty in the alley! More than a night away and she will go to the cattery but an over-nighter causes her too much distress from the car travel.

First of all, buy an automatic pet feeder. I got mine at Maplins, half price at £20. I don't think I would have got one at full price!!! Anyway it will still take the equivalent of five nights at the cattery to pay for it and its batteries. Then read the instructions and programmed it to open and announce  "Tigger-Tig, Tiggy, Tig its din-dins." I'm still waiting for it to do that and see how she responds because it will only do it at 8 hour intervals and that won't happen till 11.07 pm and I'm usually well in bed by then.

Gosh it gets really exciting here at night!!!

Cheers Gillian

Sunday, 20 September 2009


Well, last night was the long awaited "Jake and Elwood" show at the Darlo Civic. The audience was  invited to join in. We had been lucky enough to pick up some great hats and faux raybans from a stall in the Brighton Lanes while we were visiting that way a couple of months ago. D had the advantage of owning a man's suit which was pretty near perfect for the occasion and I made do fairly well with a pair of black trousers and a not quite matching black jacket.

We practised a bit in the kitchen before we left. We both forgot the mantra..."Never take off the shades"! so we only look slightly the part here. Mind you, I think the actions are getting close to the Belushi cartwheel, well nearly, sort of.

Yes!!! after many rehearsals we started to get the look right and feel the part. That was the problem. Neither of us wanted to be Jake...the short fat one. Both of us claimed two much elevation to be Jake, "fat" was not an issue and Elwood was the younger one. Oh! so who cares.

Finding an old Ohio State Trooper car was tricky to say the least and D was not keen on having his car doors painted white and having a stick-on, mock, police decal. So instead of pulling up at the last minute, with smoking tyres and parking on the double yellow lines outside....we went early to the car park.

I like to go early. You get to park right across the road. You don't pay after 6pm. You don't have to worry about the weather and also...I sort of pictured a load of us "all dressed up" and getting out of our cars together and forming a long line of Blues Brothers as we headed across the road and up the sweeping stairs to the bar for a pre-show drink.. 

One car did stop us and the women said that they wished they had dressed up too!!!!!. The same people approached us for a photo and a chat at interval. Others smiled admiringly as we promenaded. BUT many more said that if it had been "Rocky Horror Show" they would have come in fish-nets, for sure. All the people who said that were men. What does that say?

Here's cheers to the other dozen who had a go at dressing up.

And here's the best dressed up of the evening.

And here's a small one.

It was a fantastic night. Jake and Elwood at will give you a chance to see if it is in your area if you care. It's a shortish show but so energetic that it must exhaust them. There is no support act and they spend all their time on stage. The audience also spends a large part of the show on their feet and singing along.

We were exhausted and exhilarated by it all and the only way to cope with that today was to go on a long walk. It was gorgeous weather and we walked 6 miles around Cockfield Fell  with many of the usual group. When we returned, it was to find that the window cleaner and his mate (a painter and decorator) had  eventually turned up and painted all the window sills, lintels, steps and bollards and the house looks lovely and fresh.

A great weekend!
Hope you have all had a good time too.
Cheers Gillian

Saturday, 19 September 2009


Because there is a growing quantity of goods bought at sales and auctions, the need has come to sell some on. Much of this will be done through another blogsite set up for that purpose so that Walled Garden does not degenerate into an ad site. Please check it out.  It will be a fairly comprehensive catalogue of goods for sale and will change frequently.

A prize of an exquisite pair of vintage lace bobbins will be awarded for the first correct definition of the word "Bimmler" which is used in the new blog description.
Entries to be sent to

We are off to the Jake and Elwood show at the Darlo Civic Theatre tonight and yes! dear readers, we have the hats and shades and WILL wear them. Pics to follow in the next post.

Cheers Gillian

Friday, 18 September 2009


Off to the Auctions again! Addisons at Barnard Castle is a firm favourite. Entertaining auctioneers, a fine tea-room with homemade cheese scones worthy of mention, and an ever-changing abundance of bright, shiny things.

This wonderful cornucopia of colourful, bright, shiny things is a pot of spangles at the ends of lace bobbins. I was lured into bidding for a trayful.

At home I spread them out to sort them. There were over fifty pairs of vintage bobbins, all in good condition and beautifully spangled with exquisitely carved and decorated spindles. These are the "ebony" ones. Some seem to be pairs with matching spangles and others are pairs with matching bobbins. Some have no partners.My favourite spangle is finished with this dear little glass duck, which is less than 2cm long and seems to be so astonished by his fate in life.

Many of the light coloured wooden ones are inscribed with mottoes and commemorations, presumably using pyrography, but they are so small it is hard to imagine how it could be done without setting flame to the fragile carving. Others are hand painted or decorated with transfers. This one commemorates the re-election of Margaret Thatcher on June 11th 1987. Others are less astounding but still fascinating. The darker wooden ones are carved, wired, hollowed and painted. The glass ones are hollow and filled with beads or contain mini sand-timers.

Such fun....but what to do with them all?
Thus the decision to resurrect Redumbrella. I shall start listing on ebay again and preparing to do "boot sales" and fairs. A folding table, a couple of folding chairs, a couple of folding bookcases and a big red umbrella and I shall take to the circuit. Even my wool crafts can have an airing and the lamps and the books and all those other things that I want to buy but then find I don't/can't keep. It helps to justify "going to auctions" as a hobby. The selling-on makes it a complete pastime.
I listened to someone at the last WI meeting who makes jams and preserves and sells them at local fairs and cafes. I still enjoy making jars of stuff out of almost anything but hearing her talk, I realised that I didn't want to do that again. I'm happy to give them away. I won first prize for my jam that night though, so I haven't lost the touch.
Cheers Gillian

Sunday, 13 September 2009


Lots of real work goes on chez Redumbrella, but you don't want to see pictures of scaffolding which is up on the roof so that the chimneys can be fixed. There are seven fireplaces in this house and so the chimneys are a serious business. Even though I only plan to use the lounge fireplace for the "living flame" gas fire and the snug fireplace for the wood burning stove, the others need to be preserved too. They are integral to the house and its design and reflect its coal mining/early railway era origins.

The plasterer has been to repair the top floor ceilings which were damaged during the big rains a couple of months ago and the decorator comes next week. The carpet and bathroom vinyl is measured for and quoted and accepted.

The designs are done for the yard. The Building Regulations application is in for a new sewer drain for the new toilet placement so that it can be dug, inspected and covered before the yard is paved in November and I spent a happy day yesterday driving to Scunthorpe to pick up a heated towel rail/radiator for the new bathroom which was an ebay bargain, even with the £22 for petrol.

But there is still time for hobbies. I started some more art classes last week but nothing worth showing yet. I'm really out of practice!

Knitting, I can still do with my eyes shut, so I got out the white lambswool from Tunisia. It seems to be about the same yarn size as the Rowan Kid Silk Haze (seen here on the right).

The Tunisian lambswool knitted up into this long cobweb scarf which I have knotted at the ends to give its structure more substance. This was two strands on 15mm needles. It was 30 stitches and is about 2.2metres long.
I have decided to combine it with the Kid Silk Haze to do another one. This time the yarns will alternate over a twelve row sequence to give a gradual stripe. One strand of yarn will change at a time. Here it is, only up to its first change.
In between knitting I love doing puzzles. Crosswords, sudokus and jigsaws mainly. Here is the latest Jigsaw. I often buy my puzzles from charity shops but a couple ago I got nearly to the end and realised that there was a vital picture part missing. I binned it and bought a lovely "Beatles" one from Past Times, reduced of course.
The other day I spotted this one in Wilkos where I had gone to buy something completely washing liquid probably. I like the vignette style because once you have got the edging separated, each little section can be done. The edge is done. Now do I do more scarf or more jigsaw?

Don't worry! I found that missing edge piece at the bottom right hand corner. Just after I took the pic, I spotted it lying on top of the pile in the box. What a good omen! Just a vignette or two tonight and then I will sleep really well.
Cheers Gillian