Tag Archives: Little House On The Prairie

Soundtrack Of A Holiday

Brando Lives On! Florence,Rocking Dog

Brando Lives On! Florence

Having just arrived back from Umbria I still haven’t been able to rid myself of the soundtrack of the holiday! Do you find that there is always a tune that is playing whenever you jiggle radio stations, or step into bars or cafes? Often these songs are slightly annoying or indeed very annoying. In years to come you hear the tune again and it immediately transports you back to the holiday destination where you couldn’t help humming or singing it at full pelt. Our soundtrack this autumn in Umbria was somewhat embarrassedly Bruno Mars’s “Versace on the Floor”! Billy Swan’s “I Can Help” takes me to my teenage French exchange trip and to a cafe with a juke box. Newquay, “I’m In Mood For Dancing” by the Nolans, and my first holiday with Andyman in Umbria (1981) Barclay James Harvest’s album “Eyes of the Universe”. There were holidays with The Proclaimers “Lord, I Want To Be a Christian”, All Saints with “Never Ever” and The Bangles “Eternal Flame”etc.. I expect it will be a few days before I lose Versace from my head. Very hopefully I won’t lose the memory of our girls dancing around the Umbrian kitchen with baby Doug’in arms!

We found our Umbrian garden incredibly parched and somewhat resembling Little House on the Prairie. We have been reassured that our “grass” will somehow green up again. The poor Italians have had a scorchingly hot year and it has had a devastating effect on the crops. Vines hung heavy with fruit which I photographed last year tell a very different story this autumn. It has been difficult for the locals to irrigate crops and many wells have completely dried up. In our garden we are lucky to have some olives to pick when the start of November comes. There was leaf clearing to do and a pomegranate and fig tree to plant. Thankfully heavy rains came on our last day and watered those tender new trees. Alas with all the botanical tidying there was no hammock swinging, no sitting in my oak leaved reading nook and no star gazing. One day!

Wonderfully there were little toes in the pool, an inflatable avocado, some luxuriating, and serious lengths done in the cool of the pool.

There were vintage linens to launder and dry in the sun, a chimney to chat about for the woodburning stove, and lovely food to eat both at home and away.

Liv’ and I ventured to Florence and we all loved the lake (Trasimeno) especially the bonfire set up for a wedding. There were delicious custard filled Aragosta’s (lobster claws) to eat, thank you Michele, and refreshing Aperol Spritz’s to drink at Bar Gallo in Panicale. There is the small matter now of working off all that delicious Vongole and Scampi Gnocchi eaten at da Massimo’s! Why is Umbrian food just SO delicious?!

It really is lovely to be back to the green of England in September, with fresh inspiration for new projects.

Have a great week Rocking Dog x

PS Happy 30th Birthday to our boy Alex’. Have a wonderful time celebrating in France. At least there is no embarrassing cake today Alex! In a year gone by (16 years ago) I was seriously inspired by a trip to Amsterdam, in particular a visit to De Taart Van M’n Tante (My Aunt’s Tart). Many of their cakes were bold and risque. What possessed me to think it was appropriate to send a boxed cake with Alex on a geography school trip which was topped by a rubber gimp doll?! Sorry Alex.

Apartment In The Sky,Rocking Dog

Apartment In The Sky

Tiny Toes,Rocking Dog

Tiny Toes

On Dry Land,Rocking Dog

On Dry Land

Vintage Laundry,Rocking Dog

Vintage Laundry

There Will Be Oil!,Rocking Dog

There Will Be Oil!

Chimney Chat,Rocking Dog

Chimney Chat

Down At The Lake,Rocking Dog

Down At The Lake

Cake Break,Rocking Dog

Cake Break

Planting For The Future,Rocking Dog

Planting For The Future

The Quilt, Ready To Leave The Rocking Dog Kennel !

Coveted Cosy Cover, Rocking Dog

Coveted Cosy Cover

Yes finally, the very first quilt of 2016 is ready to leave the Rocking Dog kennel. Buttons sewn, edging attached and the quilt given its very own embroidered verse, this quilt will be hopefully soon adorning a bed in Plumstead.

I decided against adding the vintage braids, the quilt even by my eclectic standards was becoming too busy! How appropriate to be sewing the quilt with an episode of Little House On The Prairie! There was even a quilt hanging from a door in the Little House, not too disimilar from my folky number! When we did a holiday house exchange to Seattle we took a trip to Leavenworth, a town so totally unique and a MUST for lovers of Christmas. The town was struggling, and in 1962 the towns people came up with a cunning plan to reinvent itself as a Bavarian town. Christmas all the year round, and housing a Nutcracker Museum which boasts over 5,000 examples. It was all very surreal! Anyway, driving away from Leavenworth we drove through land which was so reminiscent of Little House on The Prairie. One day I would love to do a bit of an American road trip to better understand the hardships of those early pioneers driving from east to west. Until then, i’ll have to make do with Little House.. and The Waltons!

Back to the quilt, the hand embroidered verse came about after my daughter Sorrel was decrying the fact that she was going to have to seriously cull her books ready for a house move. Like me, she has amassed a sizeable collection of cookery tomes. I hope she won’t be too ruthless. I thought Flaubert’s quote summed up Sorrel’s love of books and penchant for pickles. I am sure Sorrel’s husband too will have to consider a cull of all his beloved cycling magazines, Incidently, he likes pickles too!

As expected I was a little over ambitious regarding how many little projects I was going to complete. Ticked off the list are the quilt and my velvet jacket to bling. So the lanterns to paint, and dog bed cover still to sew, await my attention… maybe this week.

I don’t know when the next wave of quilting bodgery will wash over me, but I think my sore fingers need a little rest from ALL those buttons!

Have an enjoyable week ahead. Love Rocking Dog x

Patchwork Stash, Rocking Dog

Patchwork Stash

Once Just Pieces, Rocking Dog

Once Just Pieces

Then It Was Sewn, Rocking Dog

Then It Was Sewn

Embroidered Quilt Quote For A Future Home, Rocking Dog

Embroidered Quilt Quote For A Future Home

Labelled & Somewhere To Go, Rocking Dog

Labelled & Somewhere To Go

Quilted Bale, Rocking Dog

Quilted Bale