Wednesday, 6 December 2017

The day Scarlet Moss was born (sort of)

Way back in the bright, light, depth of Summer, I had an idea.
The garden was set to fete mode (again), and I was showcasing my stalls and rules to my guests.
"It's like a photography shoot, full of props and backdrops," my dear friend complimented. We then began talking about my passion for setting scenes.
Of course I had to capture the day's fete scenes on my camera, so I bossed Tommy about regrading positions. Thus the conversation progressed to photography, and my love of it.
In between dishing out popcorn and playing lucky dip, the conversation turned to things to photograph with the aim of earning money from.
My friend suggested there was money to be made in children's photography. I agree that parents will often pay a substantial fee for a special, lasting, memory of their loved ones. But I couldn't see myself getting too excited about patiently waiting for children to smile at the camera, and patiently listening to parent's criticising my approach and product.
It was then I realised I am not necessarily driven by money, it has to come from the heart. There has to be passion. I have to be passionate about something.
It was after hook a duck and ice-creams that I confessed to my dream of a vintage shop, buying and selling items, and setting up pictures to photograph.
Step forward etsy. I showed my friend my latest etsy find, a children's vintage deckchair, and then I proceeded to gush about the fabulous stuff I was buying via etsy.
"I'd love to open my own vintage shop one day," said I.
And then I came to the executive decision that I have to stop saying and thinking, one day.
What about today?
Three weeks later, or thereabouts, I opened Scarlet Moss Vintage.
So you see, dear readers, I have a perfectly good excuse as to why I have kept away for so long. I had to throw all my spare time, energy and enthusiasm into launching the shop.
I have bidded on ebay, browsed around vintage markets, picked up bargains in charity shops, and learnt a heap of stuff along the way. I have bought a logo, printed business cards, advertised on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Not to mention the many, many photographs. And I get to write about treasures that I love. It's everything I love all rolled into one.
Scarlet Moss Vintage is now two months old. She has made nineteen sales, boasts seven glowing reviews, has 273 followers on Instagram, 117 on Twitter and about 70 on Facebook.
Granted, it's still very early days and there is still a long way to go. But it's been the most glorious beginning.
For she is delightfully chaotic, a beautiful mess, loving her is a splendid adventure.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Farewell summer

I am perfectly aware we are in the midst of autumn.
Unfortunately, I simply have not had the time to officially finish summer on FPE.
I must apologise.
I do, however, have a reasonable excuse.
Because I am a little tease, and a story teller (so I like to believe), I shall continue my reasonable excuse in my next post.
I expect you are quivering with anticipation. Or something like that.

For now, I shall leave you with my memories of summer 2017.

A personal favourite and a promised tradition - strawberry picking at our local farm.

Another favourite of my own and now Tommy's too - picnics at the local park. Even when it threatened to rain/did rain.

When the rain proved too much, we definitely had an indoor picnic.

The sun always shines on the righteous, and at my auntie Helen's birthday barbie. A cracking excuse to all be together again.

I arranged another summer fete in our garden, this time for my dear friend Eve and my beautiful god daughter (who Tommy adores, by the way).

Tommy's vegetable patch at my parent's house is coming on leaps and bounds, with special thanks to Auntie Wendy and her thoughtful gardening gifts.

The roof came off Tommy's plastic car, so we have called it a convertible. Tommy loved the new name.

The biggest Spider-man fan in the world flirted with the idea of Superman, as you can see.

Oh and he also decided he liked posing for the camera. He usually tells me to go away/stop pointing the camera at me mummy.

I'm so happy - just look at those smiles.
Alas, the posing phase hasn't quite lasted.
But at least I have my smiley memories of summer 2017.
And I sincerely hope you had a blast, dear readers.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Then we all went down the pub

So I asked Mark if he wanted a party for his 40th.
He didn't want a party.
Well, perhaps I should explain here, we do not have a house big enough to accommodate such an occasion. And he didn't want me to book the local village hall. Nor did he want to do something which didn't involve Tommy.
Therefore, part two of Mark's 40th was spent at our local pub, with family and friends.
It was kind of a party.
Yes, I guess you could call it a summer afternoon party. With plenty of guests, a cold buffet, lashings of Prosecco, and a jolly good time by all.
It isn't often that both sides of your family, and all your friends, are together at exactly the same time, would you agree?
It was definitely a day to be treasured.
Even now, a few weeks later (okay, I'm a little behind), I often think about that day and just how great it was.

Everyone. We literally overtook the pub garden.

My fab family.

Mark and his mates.

Tommy and his mates.

Tommy and his girls.

My girls.

The kids.

When Tommy met Mia (my cousin's little girl).

My bestie and her son.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

You're never too old to play hide and seek

As is tradition in our little home; the night before Mark's birthday I blew balloons, hung bunting and banner, wrapped presents and generally made the lounge fit for a birthday.
And not just any old birthday, a 40th birthday. Mark's 40th to be precise.

Another birthday tradition - myself and Mark book the day off work and enjoy the day together with Tommy. This year Mark chose to spend the day in London. Which incidentally was Tommy's first journey on a train and his first trip to the capital city. (We combined special birthday and Tommy experience.)

Tommy absolutely loved his first train ride. More than the big old castle that is The Tower of London.

We spent a lovely afternoon at St Katherine's Dock. When Mark and I were courting we used to frequently visit.

Mark and I don't do birthday presents to each other, we do meals out. Here's where we ate and what we ate, in case you were wondering.

Then we watched the boats on the River Thames and walked along London Bridge.

Three days a week, twice a day, I walk past a funky bar and hotel in London and I am always curious of its contents. So we decided to enter location. Tommy loved it as it had lots of old toys and weird things to play with. And lots of different areas to play hide and seek! You're never too old to play hide and seek as far as I'm concerned.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Educating Nikki

The thing with working alongside academics is, it's easy to feel somewhat disillusioned towards your own life achievements.
For example, it's my responsibility to assist with publishing their books, including their back cover biographies. Therefore, I am continually reminded of the magnificent accomplishment of others.
I also have to constantly remind myself that these academics are not your average human beings.
They are the scientists, the inventors, the mathematicians of life.
They boast letters after their names, with an education to the highest standard.
They have previously published numerous books and journals.
They are the owners of successful companies, directors and chairmen of others.
They are very clever.
I know I should not compare myself to an academic. Yet I have often struggled with pondering over my own cover biography.
But what the heck, I thought I would go ahead and write it anyway. You know, just in case I should acquire one.
And here it is.

Nikki was educated at Gaynes school in Essex. Here her favourite subjects were English, Art, and Home Economics. Even if she felt her English teacher asked her too many question to coax her into class discussions, her Art teacher scared her when he shouted and asked people to count the bacteria on the wall, and her Home Economics teacher called her You With The Hair, which she never lived down from her peers.
She wasn't a role model by any standards; she wrote her name over her school badge and was given detention twice, once for writing on a desk, and once for laughing too much.
A lover of books she wore her librarian badge with pride. She also admitted she decided to become a librarian, with her friend, so they could sit in the library during rainy lunch breaks and eat cola bottles.
Nikki left school at the tender age of fifteen, after attending an interview at a local publishing house before her maths exam, whilst her mother waited outside in her blue and red Samba. She was told her qualifications were not significant if she was prepared to start at the bottom and earn a very basic salary. Unfortunately the company closed a year later, she was made redundant with the rest of her colleagues. Here followed a pattern; she was unlucky enough to be made redundant a further three times. She also worked for a pornographic publishers but she would rather not dwell on that.
Nikki's claims to fame are; her interview with a local newspaper for an article on Essex Girls (although she was very disappointed that they managed to mix up the details on the photographs of her and friend), appearing on the television show, This Morning, to discuss baldness (she has no idea why she gave a thumbs up and quoted, "Here's to baldness!" at the end of the discussion).
Her proudest achievements are; marrying a decent man (after a long record of love disasters), her son Tommy, and tracking down George Michael's house and waiting outside until he appeared and smiled at her. She will be eternally grateful she managed the last achievement before he sadly passed away.

So what do you think, does it work for you?
On second thoughts, don't answer that.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

The one where Katy was pregnant

I think this year's Cornwall holiday will be remembered as the one where Katy was pregnant, with the first girl in the T family for over 100 years. I kid you not.
Or it might be remembered as the year Will fell on the long toy truck, and suffered a black eye, bruising, and a dodgy neck. The poor lad spent the rest of the holiday with his neck at a strange angle.
It could also be the one where we all got pied with double cream in our faces, thanks to a very funny after dinner game.
Perhaps even the year we bought blue lobsters.
Or the year it rained a lot, but we still managed the beach every day. And we are proud of that.

This year's holiday home.

St Ives scenes, with Tommy and Will.

We spent a lot of time at the St Ives beaches.

We also enjoyed one morning at the farm and visited Mark's mum's memorial bench. Oh and played pie face.

We dined in our favourite restuarants.

Plus, I got to see my friend Sarah who lives a not too far away car journey. We had lunch together, then vacated to a splendid hotel for cocktails, and Tommy played in the soft play area. All in all, it was another fantastic year.