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Monday, July 14, 2014

Local history

OK, is it really 3 months since my last blog?? That really is taking this whole "slow blogging" thing to new levels! This is one I have had in drafts for months & would really like to document so here goes.

There are some fabulously interesting buildings in this town & you never know where they are going to pop up. This is the local bookshop (I think WH Smith??). It was once the local Guild hall & as such has this magnificent fireplace & bas relief murals of Queen Elizabeth 1 & her ships. Just fascinating to a history buff like myself.

Beautiful stained glass, really interesting logos on the outside of the building & just cool all round in my books.

Been so busy working lately. Cafe is on a slow burn, bakery going gang busters, about to sign a lease for a shop in town soon & house also keeping me busy. All good, just wish it was all more profitable but hopefully the Summer will sort that issue.

I can report that I have some fabulous staff on board & am ready for the rush when it eventually comes. Have invested heavily (700 quid) in a terrific small freezer for the truck & have been offered the free use of a fridge & freezer in a garage up the road from the pitch. I know, how sweet is that?? All they want is free coffee when they get up to the beach. They also have a generator they are loaning me so I am stoked. So generous, I have met some lovely people here & it is fascinating how much people, strangers really, are genuinely wishing me/us the best of luck.

It is 1am here & I really need to go to sleep. I guess that the first coffee I have had in 20 years should not really have been had at 6pm. Idiot error!! LOL.

Still loving what I do & with whom it is done.

Lush x

Friday, April 04, 2014

Almost ready to dual!

Today was THE day. The day we travelled to the Home Office in Croydon to see if I could get approval to stay in the country.

We first visited the local shopping centre named "Whitgift Centre". We thought of a word that rhymed with Whit of which we were reminded. We stepped into a cafe that we suspect was a time/space portal back to the early 80's of my youth. The "Italian Salad" was priceless. Not sure actual Italians would serve coleslaw & carrot but hey, there were olives. I managed to shoot them across the room by insisting on attempting to spear them with my fork. Such misleading advertising. It took me ages to realise that the plastic yellow stuff was the "mozzarella cheese". Even the plates are 80's throwbacks. I can't recommend the cafe nor the centre let alone the suburb.

 When we first went into the Home Office we were impressed by the seeming efficiency of the system. Then we entered it. Well we didn't in fact. We sat waiting for our number to appear on the screen and waited and waited and waited. Well you get the idea. 

We were helped by a very friendly & determined "Greeter/Traffic mover". She was terrific & followed up for us until we were seen by someone & then made sure our number was kept moving. Apparently we were a "manual entry" which basically means that the guy on the registration counter, who kept insisting all was well, did not push the correct button & all was very far from well if we were expecting to get out of there anytime before Monday!!

It did make us laugh, we were remembering so many of the folks with whom we had worked & supervised in Australia in our 30 odd year careers in the public service. Fascinating how they are the same the world over. Fascinating & scary!! It could be a whole Mattel line, "office workers", collect the whole set!

Actually these new gardens were very nice & they will be even more lovely when they get released. They were on the way to & from the station. Very nice, no idea what the flowers are but lovely.
After sitting a long time & even managing to have a nap at the table I wandered back to the counter & can ecstatically report that I CAN STAY!!!
This is such a relief I can hardly say. Our lawyer had really made us start to panic. Not really what we had paid him for but anyhoo all done now. Once I have lived here the required 5 years I will be able to apply for dual citizenship.
I could not get back to the coast fast enough. Celebratory steak dinner & a relatively early night. Up early for weekend shifts on the seafront. Bliss!

Loving what I do, especially with whom & where it is done!

Lush x

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Birthday celebrations

So I can't let the month go without mentioning the birthday celebrations for my darling Prince. It was a quiet night of the Princes favourites. That is gluten free stuffed roast chicken! Salad & chocolate coated strawberries for afters.

Declared nom worthy!

Loving what I do. Can't imagine doing it without my Prince.

Lush x

Friday, March 21, 2014

Sussex Bread Company

So not one to do things sparingly, my partner & I have decided to go into business with 2 friends & open a gluten & wheat free bakery.
This is currently running out of our home kitchen but we have every intention of having premises soon. Well we were planning on it at around 12 to 18 months into the business.
We may be looking much much sooner than that. Like in week 10. We are in week 7. 
We have become very popular very quickly. It is like trying to ride an eel. (not that any of us would do that eeeww!!)

We are intending to offer a box scheme but in the mean time we have been selling at my cafe & did the town markets last weekend. We can barely keep up with demand.

We're gonna need a bigger oven!!! LOL It is a great "problem" to have.

Here is our first bread order heading out to Wales.

As you can tell from photos, we are a bit excited & proud. If you or anyone you know needs gluten free bread, pasta, cakes or biscuits, get in touch. SussexBreadCo 

We can sort you out :)

Loving what we do

Lush x

Off to Londinium!!

It's that time again, time to submit more paper so I can stay in this adopted country of mine. So that means more trips to the Big Smoke. More opportunities to have burgers for lunch.

If you ever get a chance to eat at Byron, I can heartily recommend them. This is this months special the "B Rex, Byronosaurus". Declared nom worthy by me.

I had the conversation with the cab driver that I have with sooooo many people here. It always goes the same way. Them: "Are you Australian?" Me: "Yes I am." Them: "Why are you living HERE?" Me: "I love the weather". Them: "You are crazy!"

While its true, I do love the weather & yes, I am a little crazy, it is a million other little things that I love about here. Small things can thrill me. In the train today, too warm to leave my gillet on, (and who doesn't love a gillet in this weather??) no problem, I will just hang it on the conveniently placed hook next to my seat with the conveniently included little hanging loop inside said gillet. Bliss!

Loving all the little things

Lush x

Friday, February 28, 2014

It's a quilting miracle!

Another finish, the second for the year. This is the quilt that I made for the nephew of The Prince. I started ages ago some months back & it is finally winging it's way to London today so the kid has it before he turns 5.

Scrappy back with the HST leftover from the Churn Dash blocks. Crowns on the label as a nod that "other birth" that happened last year. I fell in love with this backing fabric & bought it with no particular thought in mind. Perfect for the backing I think :)

Baby is English born, Swedish Mum, Australian Dad and I really tried to find fabrics that reflected his multi national heritage. The large red heart fabric in the border is Swedish, there are pears on the bottom left block (for the time of his birth), sail boats for Oz, snowflakes for Sweden & England, London buses, teapots & all things British in the border. The yellow border represents the sunshine of Australia. I am really pleased with the end result. 

Not the best shots in the world but all that was possible before The Prince had to dash off on the train. I really like the 2 coloured binding on this quilt. 
MUST. USE. ALL. THE. FABRICS! Still ended up with gingham scraps LOL.

This quilt took so long because it insisted on being 54 inches square. In the end I am glad though as it will see him through for many years to come. I hope he gets years of warmth & feels the love with which it was made.

Loving what I do

Lush x

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Oh my what a week!

So I started on the new seafront pitch last week & let me tell you, it is so different to last year that it is like chalk & cheese. Weekdays are a little slower but on the weekend especially Saturday, we were slammed!!

I am really looking forward to the Summer :)  I am really looking forward to catching back up on the finances side of life. The sad thing is that I now have no time to spare at all so no sewing being done here unless you count the frogging I am doing on some quilting that went horribly wrong. Mind you, the insomnia seems to have been instantly cured. Too damn tired not to sleep.

In the meantime, heres a picture from my office window. Not bad huh?

Loving what I do & especially where I get to do it.

Lush x

Monday, February 10, 2014

Day out in Chi Darling!!

Apparently the locals call Chichester, "Chi" as in Chai. Seems a little chi chi to me but we went along to see what was on offer. As we are not massive shoppers we were kind of expecting to be bored but I have to say there were more than enough really old buildings to keep us entertained for ages.

 This is the butter market hall. Who knew there needed to be a dedicated market hall just for butter?? This is my kind of town!!

 This is an amazing 11th century church. Crammed in cheek by jowl between a phone shop & a bakery cafe. It has been turned into a book shop. How modern.
 I bet St Olaf is rolling in his grave. But I guess it is good to see old buildings having life & not rotting into ruin.
 This was the Assembly Hall. Hysterical. Swallow your bonnet!!
This is a not very good detail shot of the amazing bank building. (one of many). This is built in the traditional flint stone style but with napped flint in the gaps. Very sharp! I wonder if it was done on purpose to keep the robbers out or if just done for design.
Here is a better picture after the link. Flintstone

Still didn't get to visit the fabric store. I have been to Chi twice now & still can't find the shop! Will need to do a detailed Google search next time. We will go back as we ran out of time to visit the cathedral & several other sights. A good day spent wandering marvelling at the architecture & a good lunch. 

Loving what we do

Lush x

Friday, February 07, 2014

A year in fabric

The last year has seen me tied to the desk doing more than my fair share of this & trying so very hard to get my cafe off the ground & running as a viable form of income. As income has been incredibly tight so has my disposable income had to be. I have allowed myself £20 of silly spending money a month.

Unsurprisingly, most of that has gone on fabric. I have had some rules though. I have mostly bought on sale, stuck to backgrounds & low volume moderns. Let's see how I did.

OK, yes I might have strayed from the path here but they were scrap bags!! I love scrap bags, means I don't have to pick just 1 or 2 fabrics :)

 I think those little foxes may be my favourite purchase for the year. So cute!

Loving the wee little ants in their maze.

So not a bad effort. Have also committed to using ALL the fabric I currently have on hand, even scraps, no matter how small.

May have taken the last rule a little too far.

Loving what I do

Lush x

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Belated Christmas 2013

We had a lovely run up to Christmas, weather was mild & the wind did not whip up until around the 3rd week. Mind you when it came, it came in spades! We seem to have begun a tradition in this house of having a fairly intense & urgent issue crop up on the day before Christmas Eve, last year it was waking to a yard full of poo & 2013 we ended up with water coming out of the lights in our bedroom ceiling. 
Interesting considering there is a whole other floor on top of our bedroom!! We lay there wondering just where in the hell that water was coming from & decided to decamp to the spare room to sleep the night. We did not want to wake with the ceiling on our heads.
Investigations revealed that the water was coming from several places, our room was leaking from the bay window into the ceiling cavity. My sewing room/study is leaking from the dormer part of the roof & there are a few more little spots here & there in the house. Our bedroom is fixed but the builder will be seeing to the rest of them all soon.
The Prince & I had a lovely couple of days baking & decorating a gingerbread house. Gluten free of course. There were of course the usual construction issues of a few cracks & the glazing was delayed but finally installed & looked fabulous as even Kevin McLeod knew it would.

Even Diego Pavlova thought the house looked tasty. The little people who lived in it were a bit worried :)

We had a lovely sunny day, breakfast in the bay window, walk along the beach then home to  a late lunch/early dinner of gluten free Beef Wellington. Quiet but very relaxing.

Loving what I do

Lush x