Monthly Archives: April 2014

Working Windmill in Windy Wales (Pt II) All Grist to the Mill

George Orwell wasn’t a fan.
Of dying metaphors, that is, I’m not sure whether he was a fan of windmills or not.

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What’s not to like?

Windmills are wonderful. Literally.

It is an awesome thing to watch wind captured, to witness invisible swirls and draughts caught by, embraced by huge lumbering sails.
That great gigantic beehive coaxed into action by gusts of breeze and bluster.
Not just the wheat or barley adding grist, but the wind itself.
Without wind – grist grinds to a halt.

Which is what Orwell would have preferred:

‘Dying metaphors … a huge dump of worn-out metaphors which have lost all evocative power and are merely used because they save people the trouble of inventing phrases for themselves. Examples are: Ring the changes on, take up the cudgels for, toe the line, ride roughshod over, stand shoulder to shoulder with, play into the hands of, no axe to grind, grist to the mill…’

What dying metaphor would you add to his list?
Or have you invented your very own cliche?

My donation is not a metaphor, nor a cliche.
But it is the most overused/misused word in the history of words. And that is:

Absolutely.

Yes, absolutely. You’re absolutely right.
Absolutely no way. Absolutely perfect. Absolutely ridiculous.

Anyway. I absolutely must go. I’ve got grist to grind.

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April 30, 2014 · 7:18 am

The Sea (and Pedro the SeaDog)

The Sea (and Pedro the SeaDog)

The sea is a hungry dog,
Giant and grey.
He rolls on the beach all day.
With his clashing teeth and shaggy jaws
Hour upon hour he gnaws
The rumbling, tumbling stones,
And ‘Bones, bones, bones, bones! ‘
The giant sea-dog moans,
Licking his greasy paws.

And when the night wind roars
And the moon rocks in the stormy cloud,
He bounds to his feet and snuffs and sniffs,
Shaking his wet sides over the cliffs,
And howls and hollos long and loud.

But on quiet days in May or June,
When even the grasses on the dune
Play no more their reedy tune,
With his head between his paws
He lies on the sandy shores,
So quiet, so quiet, he scarcely snores.

James Reeves

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April 29, 2014 · 8:46 am

Another Shawl. You wait for hours, and then two come along at once…

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This stunning vintage cape is sprinkled with sequins and sparkles.

Seductive starfish scattered at random.

Starfish have no blood, and no brains, did you know that?

It’s very pretty, and perfect for weddings, or christenings, or festivals, or garden parties at the palace.

Poshpedlar loves parties at the palace.

Click on the cape and it can be yours!

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April 28, 2014 · 7:33 am

Kashmir Shawl sewn with Chinar Leaves

Kashmir Shawl sewn Chinar Leafs

This amazing Kashmir Shawl is huge.

It is pure wool. And it is beautifully embroidered.

With Chinar Leaves.

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The fire of the Chinar is reknowned in Kashmir.

Myths and legends abound in its branches, weave through its roots, whisper and waft to the tips of its twigs.

Platanus Orientalis. Flame orange, scarlet, crimson.

Read  this fascinating piece in The Free Press Kashmir here.

This is a very important tree. It symbolises so much for the Kashmiri nation.

And if you want to look fabulous, and feel warm, and wear wisdom.

Then Treat Yourself here.

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April 27, 2014 · 9:25 pm

Windy Wales Weekend with Windmills

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Forgive me, I haven’t been in touch for a while.

I’ve been abroad, over the border, across the water.

To Wales. For the Weekend.

Wow. Not a Washout. We enjoyed sunshine. Warm, dry, crinkly-eyed sunshine.

It’s worth writing about, because it’s the first time I’ve been to Welsh Wales for many years, having sworn never again – after two or three soggy, sodden, torrential, miserable visits in a row – would we venture into the land of Barabrith, Laverbread and Leeks.

We’ve all been there, flicking through the glossy Travel Section, pausing over some quaint Fisherman’s Cottage, or Shepherd’s Retreat. Or Drover’s Den.

What fun! Log burners, and Scrabble, and walks along the beach…

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The reality is the log burner spews out the cheap wet hunks of whatever, bought from the petrol station, and Scrabble ends in tears, too much cheating, too few vwls, and walks along the beach are tricky in Force 9 hail storms.

NO INTERNET. NO FOOTY ON SKY.

NO GARLIC/ROCKET or Organic Ice Cream. No Villa Maria.

Back to basics. But who wants basics? On holiday? Who wants to be wet, and cold and somewhere else?

So this weekend was a gamble. An outside chance. And it galloped home. I’m even thinking about booking again. But the possibility of four consecutive days of sunshine is remote.

Whoaaaa.

For the time being, I’ll look at my photos and smile – warmly – inwardly, and share two or three.

 

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So no bijouterie or beautiful bits and bobs today.

PoshPedlar’s been in Wales.

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Filed under Artisan, Community, Culture, English Countryside, Musings

Tea for Two and Two for Tea

Tea for Two and Two for Tea

Here we have a really charming Tea Cosy.

It’s beautifully hand embroidered in blue and white, with a rich navy velvet to the reverse.

To keep your little tea pot warm. Whilst your brew steeps.

How do you make your perfect cup of tea?

Warm the pot.
Pour hot water (not boiling, never boiling water), over the leaves.
Steep for 2 minutes if it’s red tea, up to 7 minutes if it’s green tea.
If you have milk:
Milk? How very dare you.
The milk goes in after and definitely not before.

And of course, if it’s loose leaf tea, which I certainly hope it is, because tea bags are just so infra dig, then once your cup is empty it’s time to read your leaves.
Tea leaf astrology.
Swirl the cup around, let the leaves settle, squint quite hard at the pattern remaining, and then using all your powers of imagination, turn the pattern into a shape you recognise.

Don’t pretend you haven’t done the same with clouds:

Dragons, Diamonds, Druids, Donkeys, Dentures, Dolphins, Doris Day.

All of life is there. In the bottom of your cup. Which must be Bone China – it goes without saying.

5 Comments

April 14, 2014 · 7:17 pm

The Co-operative – here for you for life

I met a lady from far away, whom, whilst showing me her wares, (a cardboard suitcase oozing vintage scarves) whispered I should visit a market in a Northern town.

Two scarves (one polka dot polyester, one lilac silk) and 47 miles later I park here:

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Hope Mill. Or rather Hope Mi.l, according to the sign on the fir green door, not so much dark and satanic as dank and sagging.

The smell was overwhelming, growing stronger as I paced towards the bustle of the Market Hall.

Fish and Chip Shops. Attacking from three different angles. Enough vinegar to pickle the whole town.

Stalls set out in a square grid. Anything from armless Action Men to rampant bronze lions. With a great deal of CD’s, chipped plates and Chinese fakery in between. But it was good. Interesting. Very busy, and shouty. Lots of activity; banter, buying, bartering. I bought. Earrings, cufflinks and two bulbs of smoked garlic. I put back a Losol jug. Which I now regret of course.

It began to rain. I asked a woman with dreadlocks and creamy cappuccino skin to suggest a decent cafe.

And did she:

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The Bear. Deli downstairs, eatery upstairs via a staircase Scarlett O’Hara wouldn’t sniff at. Was once The Co op, when once the Co op stood for Caring and Sharing. Unlike now. Help yourself why don’t you?

Pink lemonade in a silly ballon and celeriac soup in a bowl with basil and bread like this:

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They like their chow in this Northern town. And they’re happy to share it.  The ‘Incredible Edible’ project plants orchards and vegetables in unused spaces around the town. For everyone to partake. Cherry trees in the car park, and flocks of herbs along the canal.

What a marvellous idea. Prettify brown sites, rally a community, eat your greens.

Simple. Cooperative.

 

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April 12, 2014 · 9:21 am

Secrets of the Vatican Vintage Visionaries

Secrets of the Vatican Vintage Visionaries

1950’s Italian micro mosaic ear clips. Yellow roses.
Yellow roses for friendship.

Micro mosaic jewellery can trace its roots back to The Vatican.

The recipe for the minute tesserae, or enamel shards used to make this magnificent jewellery is a closely kept secret in the Holy See.

Centuries ago, in order to preserve the magnificent frescoes, which were sadly deteriorating due to the pervading damp, mosaic techniques were investigated in order to replace the artworks.

28,000 tesserae colours were developed to accurately replicate most of the Basilica paintings. By 1770, nearly all of them had been successfully copied in mosaic.

Even now, tourists visiting St. Peter’s are often oblivious that the artworks they’re viewing are mosaic and not painted.

Decades later, these skills were transferred to those making souvenirs for the noble elite on the Grand Tour. The vignettes were usually of classical subjects, temples, and doves being most popular.

Fast forward to the middle of the last century and micro mosaic jewellery was being produced as gifts for tourists.

You can buy these gorgeous Holy earrings here.

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April 11, 2014 · 6:24 pm

Cheshire Cherry Blossom

Cheshire Cherry Blossom

“Rather than turning over a new leaf, prune your tree so that new leaves continue to blossom.”

Photograph taken this morning at Denzell Gardens in Cheshire.
Click on the photo for an interesting read about North West England’s heritage.

Let me know if you recognise the species… some kind of Cherry?

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April 9, 2014 · 7:44 pm

What rhymes with amethyst?

What rhymes with amethyst?

Not a lot apparently.
Only rather alarming looking words ending in …cyst.
So it’s hardly surprising that there is little in the literary canon about the good old amethyst.
It just isn’t poetic enough.
Let’s try another approach. Take a look at the etymology.
Oh dear.
From the Greek ‘amethustos’ meaning ‘sober’, the amethyst will guard against drunkenness.
Here then, is a beautiful amethyst necklace for the lush in your life, a lush not fond of poetry.

Oh, and the Lady at The Telegraph, loves all things purple, especially the amethyst. It is the gem to buy in 2014.

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April 8, 2014 · 8:43 pm