Tag Archives: London

Rocking Dog Let Loose In London!

Veritable Vegetables By Rachel Nettles, Rocking Dog

Veritable Vegetables By Rachel Nettles

Rocking Dog took a trip to The Big Smoke for Country Living’s Build-A-Business Day. The trip also provided the opportunity to catch up with my girls, and to revel in the joys of Liberty. A stroll down the entire length of the Kings Road followed. My intention was to eventually get to the V&A to see the Undressed-A brief history of underwear exhibition. However, my love of rediscovering all the wonderful items on sale at Liberty rendered time too short to do culture. What a Philistine I am! Filming was going on in the store, with the TV crew shooting “The Apprentice”. That duly explained the sinister convoy of black people carriers outside. I received some of the best customer service ever from Clare in the china department. Thank you Clare you were so helpful.

Along the Kings Road I was stopped in my tracks by a window display under construction. I needed to find out more about the truly beautiful vegetables and flowers that littered a little section of Anthropologie. They were the amazing free motion embroidery work of Rachel Nettles who is the temporary artist in residence. Her work perfectly complements the advent of the up and coming Chelsea Flower Show. Absolutely delicious and covetable items and an amazingly personable woman.

Back on the street other shops are also beginning to show signs of Flower Show fever and there are frenzied bits of frou’ing going on.

Wednesday dawned with a walk to Hackney station, a misty stroll took me on pathways bordered with swathes of cow parsley and neatly stacked gravestones. The commute into the heart of the Metropolis was a baptism of fire. I find it difficult to contemplate how Londoners cope day in, day out with the misery of overpacked tubes and trains. I salute you!

The Build-A-Business Day was held at the Good Housekeeping Cookery School in Soho, and it proved to be a really interesting day. Apart from some inspirational speakers including Emma Bridgewater and Sophie Conran, it was lovely to meet other creative bod’s who were already running businesses or looking to set up businesses. There was good information provided on business planning, submitting press releases and the importance of social media. An opportunity was given for those who wished to pitch their products, so out came my stockings and advent calendars! A delicious lunch together with goody bag completed a very enjoyable and thought provoking day. The CL team were great, very approachable and friendly. Once this wedding is over I am going to have a serious talk with myself, and try to decide how to go about putting Rocking Dog firmly on the map!

On the way to Paddington I couldn’t help myself from making a beeline to a stall in Soho selling material and trims. I bought some gorgeous vintage braids, a plan for them I have not, but a gorgeous addition to Material Mountain.

It was so lovely to be indulgent with time for myself, and I even had the courage to ask for an eyeliner masterclass in MAC. Adele eat your heart out!

Planet wedding really starts gathering pace, and today i’ll perhaps finish THE coat! Other tasks await me on copious lists.

PS Many thanks to Liberty, Designer’s Guild and Osborne and Little for being so receptive in my request for fabric swatches for a special project.

Liberty Flowers, Rocking Dog

Liberty Flowers

The Apprentice Cars, Rocking Dog

The Apprentice Cars

Anthropologie Window, Rocking Dog

Anthropologie Window

More Rachel Nettles, Rocking Dog

More Rachel Nettles

Ready For Chelsea, Rocking Dog

Ready For Chelsea

Iconic Landmark, Rocking Dog

Iconic Landmark

Hackney Walk, Rocking Dog

Hackney Walk

Feeling Inspired, Rocking Dog

Feeling Inspired

Vintage Braid Buys, Rocking Dog

Vintage Braid Buys

Rocking Dog’s Lots Of This & That!

Morning Pick Me Up Bags, Rocking Dog

Morning Pick Me Up Bags

Life has been busy with lots of this and that for Rocking Dog. With less than three weeks to go now before The Boy’s Big Day the sewing machine has been whirring away frantically. Soon Beloved Bernina will lie silent when needle and thread is swapped for the heat of the kitchen. Please tell me why I agreed to cook for 120 guests at my own sons wedding! Not one of my better job offers, and i’m not even on the minimum wage! I have been busy telling friends with adult children to encourage their offspring to simply elope!

One of yesterdays projects was to sew some covers for plump feather cushions. Thankfully not 120, just a generous pile for little ones. I made the covers out of Ikea tea towels and added a Petersham ribbon bow. Less than £1.40 to make they’ll hopefully be used as cushions for outside chairs when the wedding is all but a memory. Other wedding projects have included picking out pretty logs from the wood pile… don’t ask!

It was also time to make the first and largest tier of the wedding cake. The house is thus smelling very Christmassy…no Michael you really can’t come out yet! Nigella’s Easy Action Christmas Cake was chosen, lots of fruit, chestnut puree, spices and huge lugs of dark rum. It was stirred well and lots of wishes made before being poured into a lined tin and encased in brown paper. As my Mum taught me, it was also sat in the oven on a wad of newspaper. How I love the smell of cake and baked news print. Also in the kitchen I finally pickled that 2kg bag of shallots whilst watching a documentary on escapes from Alcatraz. Bathed in balsamic vinegar and a myriad of whole spices the onions will accompany cheese. They won’t be for the faint hearted or any guest looking for lurve!

My life is a series of lists and at times it has been good to escape into the garden. It is an absolute picture of flowering weeds. I keep telling the garden I will give it some attention in less than a month, until then i’ll enjoy its natural wildness. Real Live Rocking Dog loves the garden, but boy is he tired after a trip to London at the weekend. Tubes, trains, dodging crowds he’s pleased to get back to the boring old Rocking Dog kennel and the flowering weeds.

In between all of this and that there have been gifts to make and deliver, and lovely friends to love and support. They really are in my thoughts so very much of the time.

Granola To Bake, Rocking Dog

Granola To Bake

It's In The Bag!, Rocking Dog

It’s In The Bag!

Friendship, Rocking Dog

Friendship

Cake To Bake, Rocking Dog

Cake To Bake

Wishes Stirred In !, Rocking Dog

Wishes Stirred In !

Tea Towel Cushions, Rocking Dog

Tea Towel Cushions

Wonderful Weeds!, Rocking Dog

Wonderful Weeds!

Pretty Logs, Rocking Dog

Pretty Logs

Dog Tired!, Rocking Dog

Dog Tired!

Hand Delivered To The New Home Owners- Yippee!

Heirloom Quilt For New Home, Rocking Dog

Heirloom Quilt For New Home

“A house is made of walls and beams; a home is built with love and dreams” William Arthur Ward

On Wednesday evening I found myself travelling London-bound by train with Andyman and Real Live Rocking Dog. For Andyman a Thursday meeting beckoned, and for me a visit to my two lovely girls and to my sister’s family. We took the recently finished Rocking Dog quilt and Moet to celebrate a “new” house for Sorrel & Pete. London house buying has been an arduous and frustrating year long process for them, and I am so pleased they persevered.

Before the embarkation, there was the small matter of picking wild garlic. I went out on a spying mission along the Frome on Tuesday and found clumps ready to pluck. I made the decision to pick the crop early on Wednesday morning. Wednesday dawned, and with it the realisation that there had been VERY heavy rain overnight. The path was now in places under a foot of water, and hopes of picking the wild garlic were very precariously waterlogged! Not wanting to arrive in London without a crop for recipe testing I persevered on slightly less soggy terra firma. I hope Abel and Cole appreciate the efforts us sub-contracted foragers go to for providing test ingredients!

Today started with a dog walk and coffee and cinnamon buns in Hej Coffee, Bermondsey Square. Lovely to find a place that welcomes dogs through their door, serves great coffee, delicious cake and in a calm creative environment. Real Live Rocking Dog and Dougie Scott thank Hej for the Bonio’s! Real Live Rocking Dog enjoys walking (and eating!) in new places and seems to take the train and Tube very much in his stride. He’s a well travelled boy!

A quick view of the new property in Plumstead followed. Lots to do, but plenty of potential. An exciting but somewhat daunting phase for the couple. There are so many lovely things to go into the little house, but remember Sorrel that “The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it”! Ralph Waldo Emerson. Sorry Liv’, I didn’t quite get the time to see your Hackney pad. Hope there’ll be another opportunity soon. I’ll come and have a cuppa around the kitchen table and enjoy 4x over girly banter!

The remainder of the day was spent somewhat ashamedly at Westfield, Stratford with both girls. Culture will have to wait for another day! Lots of trying on, but not a lot of buying. We all especially liked Cos.

Back home now in this somewhat quieter backwater the Magnolia in the garden really is trying to send out its showy blooms. The brook has receded and I hope that today’s dog walk will be somewhat less watery, especially since it transpires I have very leaky boots!

Have a wonderful weekend and I sincerely hope that the sun shines for you!

London-Bound, Rocking Dog

London-Bound

Yippee!!!, Rocking Dog

Yippee!!!

Sentimental Embroidery, Rocking Dog

Sentimental Embroidery

Leaky Boots, Rocking Dog

Leaky Boots

Well Travelled Boy!, Rocking Dog

Well Travelled Boy!

Magnolia 2015, Rocking Dog

Magnolia 2015