Wednesday, August 29

"i'll get over you, but it's going to take some time" courtesy of Gabrielle...

many years ago at the grand old age of seventeen i liked to dress in a very bohemian hippy style (some i am sure, would say i still do). when my meagre paycheck (life as a bar maid in a working man's pub) would allow me, i would head to the high street store Annoki (hope i got the spelling correct on that one). one such fine day while still living at home with my folks in the lovely city of Cambridge, i strode into Annoki with my doctor marten boots and thrift store postman's jacket on. waiting for me on the sale rail was a "stop me in my tracks" jacket with my name on it. it was perfect in every way except for the price tag. i still remember the mandarin collar, the color, the fit and best of all the wonderful embroidered pattern across the back. i didn't have a hope of affording it even on sale. i went home and later that night told my dad about it. he reached into his pocket and pulled out his wallet and gave me the money telling me to go back in the morning and purchase it, if it was that special to me...i got up early and headed to the store only to find that it had been sold at closing time the day before. it was the only one, they would have no others.

i still get a pang in my heart whenever i think of that jacket knowing it would have served me well and probably still be hanging in my wardrobe today...sadly dear readers i fear i will have the same pang every time i think of the yellow house in years to come. it is not my destiny to live in it, i can't see that now but that must be what it is. if i lived in the olden days i would tell you "i am in a wretched state of despair" take myself to bed, have my servants care for me and dote on my every 'sigh' and 'whimper' but it is not the olden days and so i tell you "i am totally gutted" as i lie on my bed staring up at my ceiling fan wishing with all my heart that it had turned out a different story..

so in the words of Gabrielle (and please forgive me my sadness and my tears over a yellow house) i leave you with pictures of my packed away empty studio that looks and feels just like my heart...

"i know that it's over
but i can't believe it's through

they say that time's a healer

and i'm better without you

it's gonna take time i know
but i'll get over you

look at my life
look at my heart
i have seen them fall apart
now i'm ready to rise again" ~ Tif

Tuesday, August 21

a damsel in distress...

dear Nigella,

i have been a fan of yours ever since you first appeared on Richard and Judy's morning show all those years ago. i liked your hair and your care free attitude to calories. later when you had your first TV cooking programme i liked you even more, i especially liked your house...i felt if i was ever to own a house like yours it would indeed help me with my cooking skills. i secretly envied your fridge/freezer contents that always seemed well stocked for late night raids, i also marvelled at the convenient camera crew that seemed to live with you day and night.

fast forward a few years and you are now residing on my kitchen shelf alongside Jamie, i hope this is not a problem for you as i think he is rather sweet and i liked the first home he decorated with Jools which was featured in Living Etc. however i am digressing...

my problem is, every now and then i forget that i can not cook and foolishly open your book up.
today was such a day, i promised my children that as i had sadly been neglecting them for the past few weeks due to a "nutty state of mind", i would bake them something delicious. i donned my dottie angel apron, tied my hair back (this is the first of my mistakes, obviously dear Nigella you do not tie your hair back to bake, i see that now) and wore my new red flats. i proceeded to announce to our #3 that i was making meringues, at which he wept a tear of joy. i choose meringues as i had four egg whites loitering in the fridge well past their best. i flipped through the pages and found it in the children's section. "ah ha" i said to myself, "if a child can do this then so can i" (my second mistake). you implied it was so easy that it really didn't even require a proper table of ingredients, just a bit of small talk and 'voila' you have meringues.

so i did the whisking to soft peaks, i added the sugar, sprinkled a bit at a time...twelve spoons of it!! i was very concerned by this, so i re-read it and proceeded...Nigella i must tell you, i use organic sugar so i don't feel so guilty about the amount i guzzle down a day in my cups of tea. twelve spoons was costing me serious money. so i sweated it out, first with the electric whisk and then by hand. and try as i may i did not manage to whip my ingredients into (and i quote)
"neat-nippled, small-bosomed shapes."

i have placed you back on the shelf next to Jamie for another day when i forget that i can't bake and take you down and make the same mistake again,

yours sincerely,
a fan with "nipple-less flat" meringues and four hungry children

thinking possibly the yellow house might make her into a better cook ~ Tif

Monday, August 20

i must be barking mad...

first i must be sure to thank you all for your lovely comments on the 'yellow house'...i really do enjoy reading all the things you have to say and i especially enjoy it when a reader "delurks"!!

and so a few days have passed since we last spoke, i am knee high in mayhem. it was somewhere between reading Violette Crumble's "moving" posts and inhaling too many fumes from the "adhesive sticker residue remover" required on our #4's windowpane that it occurred to me that we must all have our little tales of "moving madness"...and so dear readers i feel a competition coming on.

i have up for grabs a 'little number' that did not get packed away with the rest of my studio...

if you fancy a chance at winning this large cushion cover (i say cover because the cushion pad weighs a ton and isn't very good for mailing....) it measures 20" x 20" and is made of linen with appliqued frayed patches of bird fabric...

all you have to do is share your "moving horror" or "moving funny" or even "moving sad" story...the one i like the most will drawings out of the bowl this time, it is purely down to whose little 'tale of woe' that i like the most..

to get the old ball rolling we will have a little look at Tif's current "moving story" and as i like lists, let's do it that way...

1. Tif finds a "yellow house" that requires an awful lot of work to make it a home, but it has three acres, an outbuilding for a studio, room for chickens and a goat, plus an airstream.
2. Tif persuades her family that they have always wanted to live in a house just like this.
3. Tif then sets about packing up all her worldly possessions so it looks like they have never lived in their home for seven years.
4. Tif does this before she has even tried to buy the "yellow house" because she can only put an offer in if her house is ready to sell.
5. Tif now has most of her things piled high in her garage and is keeping her fingers and toes crossed that the offer she puts in tomorrow will be accepted.
6. Tif is now painting the inside of her current home, cleaning windows and carpets in the vain hope that someone will want to buy it very quickly.
7. Tif is not reading or listening to any information that tells her the housing market in America is crumbling.
8. Tif is barking mad.

see it's easy to have a ridiculous "moving story"...for all you readers not from the USA that are confused, in a nut shell, to sell my house it must be spic and span and have no personality and show no 'sign of life' before i can put it up for sale...that just seems to be the way here. (i believe the true madness of this tale is the fact that i am trying to buy a house that has not been done up to be sold, even though i have to...still confused, don't worry you are not alone). so if you could all keep your fingers and toes crossed for me in the next few days i would really appreciate it...and if things go well then all this 'boxing up our lives' over the past few weeks will be worth it...

looking forward to hearing your stories...let's leave this competition open until Mon 27th by which time i will either be weeping into my cup of tea and dragging boxes back in from the garage, or hopefully getting ready to list my house..

sharing photos of cleared out studio very soon ~ Tif

Wednesday, August 15

"where ever i lay my hat, that's my home"...courtesy of Mr Paul Young (cheesy, i know!)

please, forgive me dear readers for my extended leave of is quite unforgivable i know, but things in the real world sometimes take over and the cyber world doesn't get a look in...
we had a lovely trip away, considering the kids had been together for well over a month already. lots of outdoorsy stuff was done, mountain bike riding, waterfall swimming, trekking up hills and eating lots of saltwater taffy...oh yes, "where have you been all my life" saltwater taffy.

i dressed the part in my crocs and seafarer's hat...

we spied whales in the water (that's an incredible sight to see), while chewing the taffy...we canoed our little hearts out, apparently going down stream but with the wind against us it was an uphill one point i lay down in my canoe with our #2 and screamed "just leave me to die and be pecked by wild birds, i can't go on any more" only to realize that over the top of the river bank was a golf course with several golfers having a good old chuckle at our distress...i am quite sure if i had discovered the saltwater taffy before my canoe trip, it would have helped me greatly...

anyhow, enough of the small talk, let's get on with why my 'prolonged state of absence' has been so 'prolonged'..."oooh yes Tif, that's what we want to know and it better be good, 'cause quite frankly we are a little fed up with you"..."ok, ok, i know i have neglected you but i have good reason" and here it is...

the house that is calling out to me day and night saying "Tif, come live in me, love me and make me better again....put chickens in my back yard and park your airstream trailer at the side"

so there it is dear readers, i am hoping to embark on a new chapter in our lives...we have a long way to go (packing up that is, the house is actually only down the hill from where we are now!) and a lot of hurdles to jump over but if it is meant to be, then this little old house will be come our home...
in the coming weeks my posts on my little blog will be sparse (you are used to that by now) but i will try my best to tell you the tale of packing up seven years of stuff from this house, four kids, one man, six pets and a small home business, down sizing it all and hopefully moving into a new home. (did i mention it has an outbuilding with a studio, sigh).
of course, it isn't concrete yet and could all fall apart, (not the house, the purchase, tee hee) but i have to believe in it to make it happen...
so my house is starting to look a little like this, and the studio will be packed up next week, dottie angel will be put to one side until the spring, so i can work on the new/old house...

'keeping her fingers crossed' and 'with so much more to say, just needing time, which she is very short on these days' ~ Tif

i spy with my little eye something beginning with 'F'...