Friday, 31 December 2010

Year's End

Last day of 2010, damp and drizzly but not cold. Time to christen the Hello Kitty mug given by Angelica in my form (other school presents included earrings, bracelets, a brooch, biscuits in a musical box tin, a selection of teas, chocs, bath things, a pink teddy and Lacoste Pink perfume - very spoiled!). Just right with a crumpet and marmite and a piece of Christmas cake!

See you next year!

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Tea and cake

As promised, here is the decorated version. Tastes lovely - quite strong as it has treacle and dark muscovado sugar and lots of rum!

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Happy Christmas!

Came home from Mass just before 1am, feeling very Christmassy, especially as there was a dear little baby all dressed up as Father Christmas (should have been dressed up as baby Jesus?) who didn't make a sound all through the service. Cold and still white, but icy and frosty rather than snowing.

                                           A Very Happy Christmas!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Still snow!!

Still lots of snow here; not so much in Christchurch when I went down to see Mummie yesterday, but enough for the chaps at the car dealership by the station to have some fun and build a friend!

                                           He is even wearing gloves!

The trees at Terminal 5 all were lit up when I came back to the bus station at Heathrow - how pretty!

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Deep and crisp and even ...

Snowing most of the day yesterday, looks lovely!

Went to a party at Suzanne's this afternoon, which was fun; mulled wine to warm us up, and good company.
Saw this sweet igloo on the way; a stylish Eskimo to have pink satin inside!

 Inspired by all the whiteness, I made these little flowers with a snowy theme. We do have school tomorrow, so I shall skate/ski to the station  nice and early.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

More snow!

Heavy snow this morning, covering everything in a beautiful white blanket. It's so quiet! I was a snow lady by the time I'd got back from the shop, and mine were the only footprints!  When it stops snowing I'll go out and take some more pics. No brave children out making snowmen yet - it's so cold!

More later!

Monday, 13 December 2010


Busy potting up chutney for Christmas, to give as a gift with a nice waxed cheese, wrapped up in florist's cellophane.

I sang in a beautiful concert on Saturday in Wimbledon; based around Benjamin Britten's Ceremony of Carols. I had two difficult solos which went well, and we were accompanied by a wonderful harpist, Keziah Thomas, who played three other pieces which were real showpieces for the harp. A lovely evening.

More snow forecast soon - maybe a white Christmas?!

Thursday, 2 December 2010


Snow!! Not as much as Wales or Scotland, but very pretty all the same.

The Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park looks so lovely from my classroom window, almost like a black and white photo today as the light was so white.

And the Peace Garden, eponymous! I took a stroll after school as we cancelled after school clubs. A white dog was playing in the snow - hope his owner didn't lose him!

               The white-on-white of the silver birches is really striking too.

Hope it lasts a little while longer, but clears up before Saturday, so I can go to Winchester.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Advent Sunday - more baking

Time to bake the Christmas cakes -  round ones this time, but with marzipan and fruit/nut top rather than icing. Much the same ingredients as the puddings, but no Guinness and some different fruit; apricots and glace cherries.
Patience, now. They will need 4 weeks of weekly feeding with rum before they are ready!

Very cold today, but with wonderful bright sunshine. Feels like midwinter aleady!

Here is the little Christmas cake  - the bigger one is still in the oven, 4 hours later! I'll show you them again when they are marzipanned and decorated.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Teddy Axtell goes to school

It was "Bring your teddy to school day" last Friday, so Teddy Axtell came to school with me, and was by far the most mature student.  He was kept busy in my classroom entertaining the children with his musical skills. We raised about £500 for Children in Need, which was a great effort.

                  Bravo, Teddy! Your musical skills were much appreciated!

Monday, 22 November 2010


I've been following the progress of this flower on my way to school, and it's still in full bloom in dull foggy November! A lovely splash of colour on a grey day.
Still, when there are no flowers, I can still wear one! Got into the swing of these corsages now and can knock one up in 20 mins without having to keep referring to the pattern. Ideal for the Tube as you can keep elbows tucked in!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Stir-up Sunday

I sang at Peter's church this morning for Mass as it was the feast of Christ the King. I always enjoy it, and we had a lovely shared lunch afterwards.

Stir up Sunday so time to make the Christmas puddings - the mixture made three this year! One for Mummie, one for us, and enough for one more. The kitchen smells lovely - spices, fruit and citrus.

                                                Before and after .........

  6 hours steaming and they will be ready to enjoy on Christmas Day!

Friday, 19 November 2010

More crochet.....

More tea and crafting yesterday; this time a crochet flower brooch, and in a colour other than pink for a change! We learnt single, double and treble crochet. I had a lovely evening, and was so pleased with my efforts; once I've sorted out my somewhat uneven tension I'll be able to make some more demanding things. Guess what I'll be putting in with Christmas gifts!


Friday, 12 November 2010

Granny squares

I had great fun at Tea and Crafting ( yesterday evening. I'd always wanted to learn how to make Granny squares, and Debbie had taught me some of the basic crochet stitches. I found it tricky at first but Jane is a great and patient teacher, and 8 willing pupils were soon hooking away. 

Now I can make these groovy matching tank-tops and tabard I found in a fab    knitting book!                                                                                                         

I'll show you the finished article when I've made a couple more rounds. I'm going again next week to make a flower brooch - really looking forward to that!

Monday, 8 November 2010

New Finds

On Saturday I had a lovely morning at the Royal School of Needlework in Hampton Court Palace as they were having a sale; found two of these haberdashers' cabinets (gave one to Sean as a cabinet for examples of his work) to house some of my huge collection of fabrics, these amazing wire spectacles (for a very short-sighted person!!) and scissors, including this dear little pair in a matching case. I also found some bundles of material which will be made into something soon. I had a wander around the formal gardens as they are open in the winter. It was a lovely crisp bright day - the complete opposite of today's wet and windy weather!

Friday, 5 November 2010

Remember, remember....

Wonderful smell of cordite in the air tonight. It's Diwali as well as Bonfire Night, so lots of fireworks. I love them! I remember we used to have indoor fireworks at home as well as going down to Stanpit Marshes to see the fantastic displays there - we loved the snake and the man smoking a cigar! We're having baked potatoes for dinner too, but the weather is quite mild at the moment; it doesn't feel very November-y yet. I have some sparklers to wave around and get into the spirit of things.

Breda gave me this wonderful box full of hundreds of buttons - they belonged to her mother, and some are the most beautiful Art Deco style. I'll have a great time picking out ones to use.

I've gone mad on buttons since I found this lovely necklace in my fave Chiswick charity shop, and have made a few for friends since.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Happy Hallowe'en!

Mini Harvest Festival; pumpkin, preserves and jam

In this season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, Sean brought home a lovely plump pumpkin from the farm. It became chutney, soup and risotto, and I needed to buy another for this year's Pumpkin Pie for Hallowe'en. I found a suitably large one and shared it with Mummie so she could make one too. Takes me right back to childhood. A beautiful marrow came from the farm, too and was similarly enjoyed as soup and stuffed with risotto.
Enjoyed the Day of the Dead celebration at Hackney City Farm today, where Sean and Ian were forging, demonstrating and teaching. Met up with Joanna, Matt and the girls, and had a lovely, albeit damp, afternoon.

 Hallowe'en Pumpkin Pie and the enormous marrow!


Saturday, 30 October 2010

More lavender and lace

I made some more lavender bags - one for Teresa, who kindly gave me the fabric, one for Aunty Bridget, and one for Helen's birthday next month. Love the smell!
Up to town today to various bead shops to get some findings for keyrings and bagtags, and was very restrained - only bought what was on the list plus a dear little screwdriver. I found a beading needle with a collapsible eye at last, so I can re-string Breda's pearls; a job which has been on the "To Do" list for a while.
In Chiswick (one of my favourite places to go shopping) I found another lovely bowl to add to my collection of dainty china. I do like to eat my pudding from something pretty. It's the one on the left. I found the daffodil one on a charity stall in Winchester, and the others in the marvellous Cancer Research charity shop in Hounslow.

Friday, 29 October 2010


I went down to Christchurch to visit Mummie yesterday, visited my favourite shops selling lovely things, and took in a new one, Pinks, in Bargates, selling everything for cross-stitch and embroidery. They teach classes as well. Opposite, is a lovely traditional haberdashery, Feather in the Breeze, selling all manner of buttons, ribbons and notions.  Lots of inspiration!
Other favourites are Lavender and Bay in Wick Lane, Cricklewood in the High St ( ( ) and Thomas and Lucia ( both in Bargates. Check out their websites if you can't get to the shop; well worth a visit if you are in the area.
We had lunch at the New Forest Perfumery, a proper old fashioned Tea Rooms, with its quaint wonky floors and beams, and then a stroll round the ancient lanes and alleys.

Flowers abound - even in the station's ironwork!

Then, before my journey home, to a Christmas Shopping Evening at Thomas and Lucia, browsing with a mince pie and glass of red. I found some wooden hearts on string, paper lanterns for tea-lights, two Christmas tree decorations (I treat the tree to something new every year) and a felt hanging heart, may make it to becoming gifts for friends, may stay with me.....

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Half term!

Enjoying a rest. I had to stay in yesterday as the front door was being painted so I made a lavender bag from lavender from Mummie's garden and fabric from Teresa. I'm sending it to Auntie Janet, who is recovering from a knee replacement operation. The whole house smells lovely - lavender essential oils pervading the air, giving a lovely calming atmosphere.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to my blog! I'm Geraldine, Music teacher / Gifted and Talented Co-ordinator / Senior Leader by day, and a violinist, singer, pianist and maker of things in my spare(!) time. Half term next week - looking forward to some R&R,  visiting my mother and making some Christmas presents.
I played in a fantastic concert last night at St Mary's church, Putney Bridge, with the Thorington Players conducted by David Cairns - Brahms Violin Concerto with a young soloist, Tim Wright, (look out for him in the future), Brahms Trio for horn, violin and piano, and Beethoven Symphony no.2. It was a charity concert, in aid of Newpin, which supports and helps young families.
Playing beautiful music in great company to an appreciative audience is one of the best things ever!
Just waiting for the Formula 1 Grand Prix from Korea to start - when and if it stops raining! Bright sunshine here.