Tag Archives: Bath

The Tale Of Two Cities, Bristol & Bath.

Padlocks Of Love, Rocking Dog

Padlocks Of Love

Rocking Dog did a Mother’s Day post with the button ready to press. Alas, she thought it too cynical, bitter and twisted to post!

So indeed the over- gravy’d pub carvery meals have been served, Pandora mother’s day jewels given, Groupon breaks booked and nasty garage forecourt flowers bought up….the pink florally, over commercialised day is thankfully over for another year. Phew, I bet you are glad that this is the concise version!

I did have a lovely weekend and was lucky enough to spend time in two cities, so this indeed is the tale of two cities. Bristol of course is the city I live in, but Bath is the city that I sometimes hanker to live in. A small Bath stone terrace with handkerchief sized garden would be simply perfect!

Both cities have much to offer and though Bath is cited as a World Heritage Georgian jewel of a city there is in fact more Georgian architecture in its Bristolian brother! Bristol has just been proudly named as the most desirable place in the country to live. Creativity, food, technology, jobs market, lifestyle all have contributed to this accolade.

My weekend started in Bath. What better way to start the day than with A Bertinet Almond Croissant filled with blackcurrants and cassis. So much for my low carb’ mission! We sat in the sun delighting in all that is Bertinet. Andyman is not a shopper so he left little Liv’ and I to haunt Top Shop before heading onto older and more crumbly Bath. The antique market as always had lovely things to peruse. I particularly loved the tarnished pots and white Victorian jelly moulds potted up with grape hyacinths, moss etc.. How much more lovely than garage forecourt flowers!

Walcot Street (and onwards) is my favourite shopping street in Bath with a variety of interesting and importantly, independent shops. Shannon with its Marimekko fabrics and Scandi loveliness, Katherine Fraser’s lovely loom and weaving, Mebyl with eccentric old finds and Pencil Tree with mid century furniture are all great to peruse. Graham & Green have also set up shop on Walcot Street. I loved their gilded gate but wish their staff had been a little more friendly and welcoming. Heading back into the city there was a great display of Aesop products – no pink florally packaging in sight! These Australian products are often showcased in trendy restaurant and hotel bathrooms and smell TRULY wonderful.

We ended our trip to Bath at Selvedge Fair held at the Assembly Rooms. Everything was wildly lovely but mostly prohibitively expensive.

On Sunday the Tale of Two Cities took me to the harbourside in Bristol. Blue skies, sun and the feeling of spring in the air had brought people to the water. It is this fragment of Bristol which makes me most proud of the city. However back in time it’s history was much darker, and the port was a place to drop cargo’s of sugar from the plantations of the West Indies. Bristol’s merchants prospered and got rich on the back of the slave trade. Much much later my father worked in a stone warehouse close to the docks. The derricks would offload huge sacks of brazil nuts, peanuts, grain and seed. As children I remember clambering over these hessian sacks and watching as warehousemen tried to keep the mice and rat population under control!

On Pero’s Bridge I noticed that there are evermore love token padlocks appearing. Paris, Venice and Florence have padlock habit bridges. Authorities turn a blind eye for a while, but then when bridge structures look as if they may suffer under the weight of so many heavy love tokens they are cut off and cleared. Pero’s bridge incidentally gets its name from Pero Jones (1753-1798). He was a 12 year old slave boy bought by John Pinney to work on his sugar plantation on the Caribbean Island of Nevis. In 1784 Pero accompanied the family to Bristol where he worked as a personal servant at The Georgian House for the rest of his life.

Buskers, food stalls, skateboarders, sailors, eateries, museums and art galleries ….the waterside was buzzing! Thankfully I didn’t witness too many over gravy’d luke warm carvery plates!

The tale of two very lovely cities.

Remember the Rocking Dog creative huddle this evening 7-9. Delicious cake, creativeness and chat. Donations into the teapot with a proportion going to Fine Cell Work, training and supporting prison inmates with sewing projects.

Dock History,Rocking Dog

Dock History

Sun Blessed Harbour,Rocking Dog

Sun Blessed Harbour

River Station Eats,Rocking Dog

River Station Eats

St. Nick's,Rocking Dog

St. Nick’s

Aged & Wonderful, Bath,Rocking Dog

Aged & Wonderful, Bath

Mother's Day Pots,Rocking Dog

Mother’s Day Pots

Lovely Smells,Rocking Dog

Lovely Smells

Wonderful Weaves,Rocking Dog

Wonderful Weaves

Beautiful Buns!,Rocking Dog

Beautiful Buns!

Illuminating Store,Rocking Dog

Illuminating Store

Gilded Gate,Rocking Dog

Gilded Gate

Terraced View,Rocking Dog

Terraced View

A Lost Rocking Dog Fortnight In Pictures.

The Rabbit, Rocking Dog & The Wardrobe, Rocking Dog

The Rabbit, Rocking Dog & The Wardrobe

Where have you been Rocking Dog? Chasing my tail, yes chasing my tail! Broken sleep has meant writing my blog has been difficult to contemplate. That doesn’t mean to say I haven’t been busy, I have managed to find some creative fuel! So this post is dedicated to the lost Rocking Dog fortnight.

Last week I took my 86 year old neighbour clothes shopping in Bath. I hope I have as much style and verve for life as Molly if I’m still around at 80 plus! In between octogenarian Gok styling, I managed to nip into “Anthropologie”. I left Molly downstairs with a VERY patient and friendly member of staff whilst I legged it upstairs for knobs. Sale knobs were quickly chosen, Bloomsbury inspired ones for my Bloomsbury inspired painted doors and whimsical porcelain rabbits for a wardrobe (more on that later!) We ended our trip in Waterstone’s. Molly was so happy…with her bags of clothes and books. Good job!

Another morning was spent with another friend in Tetbury. We made a beeline for “Domestic Science” where we drank coffee and ate cake before perusing four or five floors of vintage loveliness. If I ever win money Andyman can head to the car showroom (isn’t that what every man would do? excuse the stereotype) and I would head to Tetbury for antiques. I spied a particularly lovely set of Swedish chairs, but didn’t even bother to glance at the price tag!

Other vintage moments included chancing upon “Rag and Bone” in Bristol. This just could very well be my new favourite shop. I bought a lovely set of bobbly brass curtain rings for £10, whether they’ll be used for curtains or incorporated into Christmas decorations remains to be seen. After “Rag and Bone” Liv and I headed to River station for eats. The previous evening we had eaten the first mince pie of the season, a little Harrod’s number. Sorry and excuse my boastfulness I still think Rocking Dog’s mince pies win hands down! No Michael, no, it really isn’t time yet.

Talking of pies I made chicken pies in traditional enamel dishes for a night with friends. A retro 70’s dessert followed, Chestnut Turinois. The wood burner was stoked and we celebrated the start of autumn and enjoyed the joys of friendship and the circle of life.

The daily walks with Real Live Rocking Dog have been wonderful with blue skies and a plethora of wildlife. Deer, the heron, kingfishers, moorhens and ducks intermingle with the joy of observing leaves turning to rust and copper hues. Just as Real Live Rocking Dog begins to enjoy his warm woolly coat he is destined for the dog groomers later this morning. He’ll need a sleeker cooler coat ready for his road trip to Italy later this week.

Poor Andyman is getting rather perturbed by the amount of stuff destined for Umbria. I seem to think his car is like a Tardis. Of course unlike Dr Who’s iconic Tardis, our car is not deceptively spacious! Included in the haul are oak shelves and paint, together with the rabbit handles to make a wardrobe into a larder cupboard. Is this genius or madness, only time will tell!

This week I am expecting 300 jars to arrive. At some point these will need to be filled with delicious things. Is it too ambitious to pickle and preserve this week, somehow I think so. Perhaps I can bring back prized Capri lemons to marmalade, preserve and pickle. I am enjoying the brilliant book “The Land Where The Lemons Grow” by Helena Attlee. I always thought a lemon was simply a lemon…..but it is simply not.

In December I am momentarily coming out of Heaven’s Cake retirement and am rustling up a vintage wedding for a lovely couple. Stupendous cakes, vintage china, steaming mugs of cranberry zinger and of course the obligatory pots of tea. It will be perfectly lovely, especially if there is a dusting of snow.

One of the loveliest tasks over the last week or two has been to work on a quilt with my brave friend. She gallantly cross stitched and embroidered panels to insert into a play mat. It now resides across the pond with her new scrummy little grandson. So much strength, so much love, so much care to behold. x

So there it is a potted history of the last two weeks- well the nicer bits. A John Lewis member of staff and I fleetingly talked about tasks such as laundry, cleaning, shopping etc.. being so damned time consuming and yet so annoyingly unconstructive. It always feels feeble describing how you have spent a few hours just doing domestic dross! However I am not complaining, hallelujah for automatic washing machines, dish washers and cordless vacuum cleaners, yes absolutely blooming hallelujah!

Have a great week and hope there is not too much domestic dross to deal with in your household.

Bloomsbury Knobs, Rocking Dog

Bloomsbury Knobs

Bloomsbury Door, Rocking Dog

Bloomsbury Door

New Haunt, Rocking Dog

New Haunt

Bobbly Brass, Rocking Dog

Bobbly Brass

Lovely Lunch, Rocking Dog

Lovely Lunch

Mince Pie Tasting!,Rocking Dog

Mince Pie Tasting!

Prefer Mine!, Rocking Dog

Prefer Mine!

Chicken Pie, Rocking Dog

Chicken Pie

Autumnal Daily Walk, Rocking Dog

Autumnal Daily Walk

Creative Hub, Rocking Dog

Creative Hub

Domestic Science, Rocking Dog

Domestic Science

Jars To Fill, Rocking Dog

Jars To Fill

Wedding Food, Rocking Dog

Wedding Food

Stoking The Fire, Rocking Dog

Stoking The Fire

Sewing Something Special, Rocking Dog

Sewing Something Special

Escaping To Bath…..Bliss!

Bath Reflections, Rocking Dog

Bath Reflections

It was a day of escaping to Bath yesterday. I was keen to visit The Victoria Art Gallery to see “A Room of Their Own- Lost Bloomsbury Interiors 1914-30”

The exhibition recreates as far as possible several lost interior schemes by Roger Fry, Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. It reunites objects and paintings from both public and private collections, items which haven’t been seen together for fifty years.

I have loved all things Bloomsbury for three decades. It started in earnest when Laura Ashley launched their Bloomsbury collection of fabrics etc.. in 1987. The company had acquired the rights to a rare selection of Charleston House patterns. Grapes and Queen Mary are designs which stand out for me. In 2013 a range of the fabrics/wallpapers were relaunched in celebration of Laura Ashley’s 60th year. Since 1987 none of the houses we have lived in have been without Bloomsbury fabric somewhere in the mix.

In time I went to see Charleston, near Lewes and it is truly lovely. It is a real home with every surface painted and embellished by one or other of the inhabitants, or indeed guests just passing through.

The garden is equally beautiful and a book has just been published to celebrate its creative country charm.

The exhibition in Bath was bijoux but lovely. It has made me want to get my paintbrush out, and to pull out a stash of unused 1987 fabric. Watch this space! In a new house we once lived in, my brother in law kindly recreated the hermaphrodites which grace the studio at Charleston onto a bare wall. I’d love him to do a repeat performance!

After culture, I had a little bit of a mooch. I loved the reflections of the Georgian and not so Georgian buildings in the windows of Anthropologie. I stopped at The Whole Bagel for a.. bagel! Delicious, I couldn’t help but choose the filling I always select, Pear, brie, walnut and Parma ham.

I wandered down Walcot Street and it was alarming to witness the amount of empty shops. Rates are notoriously high in Bath. I bought ink and nib supplies at Meticulous Ink, such a lovely shop. Further on I headed to Owl in the Ivy, with its beautiful collection of old items to buy. However my heart was taken with the owners’ gorgeous Wire Haired Dachschund. Puppies are planned….,tempting, but I don’t think Real Live Rocking Dog would like a new puppy on his territory, he’s getting much too old and grumpy!

A reviving Americano and piece of Tunisian orange cake was enjoyed at an outside table at The Fine Cheese Company. It was great to watch the world go by, and to glance along to a building I love. The Corn Market building is so tall and narrow, it reaches to the sky with its elongated persona. However, that is not the whole story it extends behind a long, long way.

I loved taking time out in Bath, it was wonderful to get an aesthetic “fix”. I feel very inspired, but think the guilt of a mountainous ironing pile will make me abandon plans for Bloomsbury style painting for at least a little while.

Have a lovely weekend how ever you intend spending it. Love Rocking Dog x

Reaching To The Sky, Rocking Dog

Reaching To The Sky

Patriotic Door, Rocking Dog

Patriotic Door

How Much Is That Doggy?, Rocking Dog

How Much Is That Doggy?

Scrummy Bagel, Rocking Dog

Scrummy Bagel

Whole Bagel, Rocking Dog

Whole Bagel

Meticulous Ink Supplies, Rocking Dog

Meticulous Ink Supplies

Coffee & Cake, Rocking Dog

Coffee & Cake

Bloomsbury Style, Rocking Dog

Bloomsbury Style

Bloomsbury Grapes, Rocking Dog

Bloomsbury Grapes

The Cake Fairy Whizzes Up Some Bakes!

Frou'd Coconut & Lime Cake, Rocking Dog

Frou’d Coconut & Lime Cake

Friday, I had a little baking session at the kennel. Baking is an enjoyable pursuit especially when I had the pleasure of Bill Turnbull in my kitchen! Well, that isn’t strictly true, his voice was permeating out of the radio. He was standing in for Anne Marie Minhall on Classic FM Radio, and so I had four wonderful hours of Bill’s dulcet tones. Anyone who knows me will know that I have a real soft spot for Bill. It was a real JFK moment (i.e… everyone knows what they were doing when JFK was assassinated) and I remember where I was when my son broke the news to me that Bill was retiring from BBC “Breakfast”. I was in Bath and crying out “No, no!”. So although I couldn’t see lovely Bill, I enjoyed rolling, whisking, weighing, pouring whilst listening to relaxing music and the oh so familiar voice. It made me want to resurrect my Bill shrine (think signed photo of Bill, Kewpie doll, pink ostrich feathers, fairy lights). Yes, many of you by now will undoubtedly think I need some serious therapy. Incidently, if I saw Bill I would run a mile, a stalker I am not, a closet fan I am!

Anyway, enough of Bill it’s all about the bakes! I cooked up a Coconut & Lime Cake (thanks Delia), some Little Portuguese Tarts and Sloe Gin Rocky Road.

I couldn’t bring myself to resolutely follow Delia’s recipe. Pedantic she normally is, but for this recipe she tends to sling everything in and hopes for the best! I doubled the quantity of ingredients (2x tins) and used a Victoria Sandwich style creaming method. For the filling I whipped up cream, Marscarpone, lime zest and a little Rachel’s coconut Greek yogurt. Of course the cake fairy couldn’t resist a smidge of cake frouing! A little of the cream mixture, sprigs of mint, lime wedges and blueberries did the trick.

Little Portuguese tarts were easily made using ready rolled all butter puff pastry and homemade Creme Patisserie. To add some fairy sparkle the tarts were glazed with a little warmed apricot jam on escaping the oven.

Finally the Rocky Road. I used a Nigella recipe and replaced the brazil nuts with pistachio’s and glace cherries with sloes. The sloes have been immersed in gin for the last few months in the Rocking Dog kennel. For my Rocky Road I captured a generous sloe crop from their boozy bath and stoned them ( it’s easy to do this with your fingers, or if squeamish use a cherry stoner), The sloes were then stirred into the melted chocolate mix together with marshmallows, amaretti and the pistachios.

The fairy magic’d the cakes to their special destination and then waved her magic wand to simply make the sink full of washing up disappear! (If only!)

I think this weeks colossal baking session will be all together more frenetic and very sadly there is no more Bill. Anne-Marie please go away on holiday a bit more frequently!

I hope a good week beckons for one and all x

Little Portuguese Tarts, Rocking Dog

Little Portuguese Tarts

Sloe Gin Rocky Road Slab!, Rocking Dog

Sloe Gin Rocky Road Slab!

Fairy Label, Rocking Dog

Fairy Label

No More Sewing Procrastination!

Cotton Reel Chaos!, Rocking Dog

Cotton Reel Chaos!

After a hectic and noisy Burns’ Night and with the fleet of glasses tucked away, furniture reconfigured and copious bottle collection ashamedly left out for recycling, it’s now time to return to some serious sewing. There is to be no more procrastination, absolutely none!

Today, I will finally sew the Roman blind. Fabrics have been selected from the newly reformed Material Mountain. I have chosen a dog tooth gingham (Ikea) and have paired this with a heavily hand embroidered vintage border taken from a curtain bought for £20 in Bartlett Street Antiques Centre. The embroidery is exquisite and I hope Beloved Bernina will be able to cope with the thickness and density. The backing fabric is from a 100% cotton sheet purloined from my mother in laws linen cupboard.

I am using the printed instructions acquired whilst attending the Roman Blind making workshop at The Makery, Bath. I also have the little prototype blind to refer to, again this originated from the workshop. Fabrics have been duly carefully measured and cut in readiness for the sewing to begin.

Roman blinds are a really cost effective way of dressing a window. Curtains require much greater quantities of fabric to provide the necessary fullness, and, often involve expensive curtain poles and finials. A blind requires a simple wooden batten and dowelling rod, both inexpensively purchased at a timber merchant or DIY store.

With the blind sewn and hung it will be time to move on to making a seat cushion for a wonderful wooden Art Deco armchair. With lots of feathers to deal with…. it’s gonna get messy! The chair has spent too long feeling unloved, and with its bare springs it’s currently not a comfortable seating proposition! Photo’s of this project will follow in due course.

By the end of the week I want to have made some Christmas prototypes in preparation for a business pitch. In between all of this there is a Birthday cake to be made. Even that’s going to have a bit of a Christmas theme going on!

The prospect of some serious sewing is a good one.

 Material Mountain, Rocking Dog

Material Mountain

Blind Bible, Rocking Dog

Blind Bible

Makery Prototype, Rocking Dog

Makery Prototype

The Components, Rocking Dog

The Components

Yummy Border, Rocking Dog

Yummy Border

After The Blind, Christmas Returns!, Rocking Dog

After The Blind, Christmas Returns!

Bakery Tour Of Bath With Rocking Dog

Baked Dough, Rocking Dog

Baked Dough

Real Live Rocking Dog has needed to go into a veterinary hospital for some investigations, and the house is very quiet. As Dr Seuss would say “I Do not like it one little bit!” After saying a woeful goodbye to RLRD I dropped down into Bath and met my poor jet lagged boy.

We ate delicious pastries and sipped brain stoking coffee, saturated in wonderful late summer sunshine. If you are ever in Bath I can truly recommend the Bertinet Bakery. One branch can be found near the railway and bus stations with a tempting array of freshly baked pastries, Croque Monsieur, tarts etc..I really love the toasters on customer tables, so you can toast bread to your own delectable shade of brown. Various jams and marmalade can then be spread thickly (or thinly) whilst you watch the world go by.

We had a mooch around Bath and picked up a lovely salad box from Jamie’s Deli which we ate in the square by the very beautiful Abbey and Roman Baths. Again the sun graced us with its presence, together with some talented buskers. With so much sad news in the press I did feel very privileged and somewhat guilty to be enjoying such a happy time simply watching the world go by.

Lastly I picked up bread from another Bertinet Branch (alas no cafe), but good for coffee and pastry on the go.This branch can be found in one of the charming little shopping alleys (New Bond Street Place). We can enjoy our Bertinet sourdough for breakfast tomorrow but unfortunately no toaster on the table! I have vivid memories of my aunt in Newcastle having her toaster on the table and some china ducks flying up the wall.

Incidentally, Richard Bertinet also runs a cookery school close to The Circus and has a good online shop for all that is bread related. Andyman is a keen fan of the Bertinet baking bibles and bakes up a good loaf.

Heading back to the car I marvelled at the historic Pulteney Bridge. It was designed by Robert Adam and completed in 1774 for the princely sum of £11,000. It is one of only four bridges in the world to have shops built across its full span on both sides. The weir close to the bridge was used as the location for Javert’s suicide in the 2012 film Les Miserables.

My purchases were the bread, and purple calligraphy ink from Meticulous Ink. The Son and Sun were the most precious parts of the lovely day.

Real Live Rocking Dog, Rocking Dog

Real Live Rocking Dog

To Start The Day Well, Rocking Dog

To Start The Day Well

Bath's very Own Rialto, Rocking Dog

Bath’s very Own Rialto

Popped In For Bread, Rocking Dog

Popped In For Bread

Yummy Buns, Rocking Dog

Yummy Buns

DIY Dough Supplies, Rocking Dog

DIY Dough Supplies

Enticing Board, Rocking Dog

Enticing Board

Homage to Bertinet, Rocking Dog

Homage to Bertinet

Rocking Dogs Buns, Rocking Dog

Rocking Dogs Buns

Fine Cheese- Home & Away

Cheese At Home, Rocking Dog

Cheese At Home

I nipped into Bath for supplies of Calligraphy nibs at Meticulous Ink on Walcot Street yesterday. I couldn’t resist taking refuge from the rain and dipped into The Fine Cheese Company for coffee and a cheese plate. Delicious!

With the sun beckoning I left the cafe for the array of cheeses and delicious deli’ goodies next door. Black olives the size of small pebbles, biscuits, a slither of Wyfe of Bath and round of St Marcellin packaged, I took my leave.

I love Walcot Street it still retains an aura of scruffiness and realness. There are picture framers, charity shops, junk shops and cafe’s. Farrow & Ball, a wedding couturier (Jessica Charleston), Meticulous Ink and The Fine Cheese Company also sit comfortably on the street. The Saturday flea market also adds to the ambience of this long quirky street.

How appropriate to dig out a French plate at home with the Saint Marcellin goat. The twelve plates were found in a Normandy brocante over a decade ago. Each feature different French cheese varieties with ewe, cow and goat illustrations. My home cheese plate features my daughter Sorrel’s Jewelled Membrillo (quince paste)

The cheese wedding cake was one I put together for a friend in 2012. It fed the guests resplendently in between the evenings’ dancing and frivolity!

Pit Stop, Bath, Rocking Dog

Pit Stop, Bath

Fine Cheese Plate, Rocking Dog

Fine Cheese Plate

Enticing Sign, Rocking Dog

Enticing Sign

Appropriate Tableware, Rocking Dog

Appropriate Tableware

Cheese & ......, Rocking Dog

Cheese & ……

Cheesy Wedding Cake, Rocking Dog

Cheesy Wedding Cake

Rediscovering Calligraphy At The Makery

Meticulous Ink, Rocking Dog

Meticulous Ink

On Saturday I clocked in at “The Makery” for a calligraphy workshop with Athena of “Meticulous Ink”, Bath.

I’m a big fan of The Makery having previously been on a workshop to make Roman Blinds. I found that workshop to have been informative, fun and well paced. Most importantly it gave me the confidence to embark on making blinds for my lounge windows. I am now looking to make blinds for the kitchen with an as yet unchosen fabric. Apart from being given a concise instruction sheet I came away from the workshop having made a small blind which is great to refer back to. Finally when I had an issue with measurements for one of my blinds an e.mail to the workshop tutor resulted in a quick response with advice….so brilliant after care too! Finally after seventeen years my lounge had dressed windows, hallelujah!

Though taught italics at school and with reasonable handwriting, I wanted to learn some more swirly flourishes. In the longer term, when well practiced I would like to paint some linen banners. I therefore readily signed up for this 2 hour workshop to reacquaint myself with calligraphy. Through the jolly yellow door of “The Makery” I went, and formed part of a group of twelve budding calligraphers. We sat around one long table and were offered hot drinks by friendly Makery staff before embarking on the serious business of learning beautiful script. Athena patiently took us through upper and lower case letters of the alphabet. Once she felt we’d mastered the letter A, we’d then proceed to B and so forth. I was surprised how challenging I found it, perhaps I had bad calligraphy habits to undo. I’d certainly have won the prize for the most inky finger!

The lovely girl sat next to me, had come along to the session because she’d recently become engaged and wanted to write all her wedding invitations and envelopes. By the end of the session she realised she’d need to put in some serious practice to make that a reality. I hope she does, what could be more lovely than receiving something beautifully handwritten.

The more than two hours went very quickly, but very enjoyably. It really has made me want to re-look at my handwriting and get more flamboyant. We left the session with precious supplies of nib holder, nib, alphabet guide sheet, a wodge of calligraphy paper and some amazing Iron Gall calligraphers ink (all included in the cost of the workshop). Thank you Athena. PS you have the most glorious hair by the way!

A strange unexpected bi-product of this workshop is that I am able to better understand the script in the 1846 recipe book I am currently transcribing. Understanding proper formation of individual letters has been incredibly helpful. At the moment I am deciphering recipes for Suet College Puddings and Cream Pancakes.

Still on the theme of writing, I love the verse that my Great Uncle Walter penned on a postcard to my Grandmother Emily (his sister) on 11th September 1911

Why? has all the ink in the world gone dry
Are all the pens mislaid?
and
Pencils too- are there none to buy?
Is paper no longer made?
If you are not deep in this awful plight
Then why in the world
do you never write?

Makery Magic!, Rocking Dog

Makery Magic!

My First Blind, Rocking Dog

My First Blind

Practice Will Make Perfect!, Rocking Dog

Practice Will Make Perfect!