poem for the day


Slowly, silently, now the moon
Walks the night in her silver shoon;
This way, and that, she peers, and sees
Silver fruit upon silver trees;
One by one the casements catch
Her beams beneath the silvery thatch;
Couched in his kennel, like a log,
With paws of silver sleeps the dog;
From their shadowy cote the white breasts peep
Of doves in a silver-feathered sleep;
A harvest mouse goes scampering by,
With silver claws, and silver eye;
And moveless fish in the water gleam,
By silver reeds in a silver stream.

walter de la mare

the poppy

nature produces the most beautiful of shades – colours that can never be imitated.  I have now printed a card of this oriental poppy in preparation for my pop up xmas sales, starting next weekend.  

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Following the trench warfare which took place in the poppy fields of Flanders, during the 1st World War, red poppies have become a symbol of remembrance of soldiers who have died during wartime.

Poppies have long been used as a symbol of both sleep and death: sleep because of the opium extracted from them, and death because of the common blood-red color of the red poppy in particular. In Greek and Roman myths, poppies were used as offerings to the dead.  Poppies used as emblems on tombstones symbolize eternal sleep. This symbolism was evoked in the children’s novel The wonderful wizard of oz, in which a magical poppy field threatened to make the protagonists to sleep forever. Oddly, the poppy field affected the film’s characters in the same order the cast members actually died.

doesnt this poppy remind you of the folds of a velvet dress?

dark chocolate

was lucky enough to try out the wonderful hand made chocolate nomkom chocolate, hand made in wales – SO DELICIOUS, especially the blackcurrant and apple crumble flavour.   from only loving white chocolate as a child, i now only like dark chocolate – apparently its a maturing of taste.  other beautiful chocolate shops in london, Rococo, Charbonnel and Walker, Paul A Young, too many to resist.  dark chocolate is really having its moment, low in sugar it really does boost your mood when you are low, so helps with your overall wellbeing.  I always have a bar in my handbag for those low energy moments in the day.

i love all berries, especially blackberries –  its funny how we can get them all year round now – makes you wonder how they are grown – low in calories, they are high in vitamin C and apparently their antioxidant compounds may ward off cancer, ageing, inflammation and neurological diseases!

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pop up xmas sale

Its that time of year for pop up sales, thinking about xmas and gifts; I will be taking part in the beautifully curated Collective sale by Ros Badger on sat November 17th and sun November 18th in Brixton and in Rosslyn Hill Chapel , Hampstead on December 1st, 10- 5.30pm.  . Please put in your diary and I hope to see you there. I will be selling all of my year’s work, botanical watercolours, hand painted postcards, hand printed black and white prints, lots of new cards and some other lovely one off treasures collected by myself.
It’s £3 entry but FREE if people pre register. so use this link https://www.badgersvelvetunderground.com/mailing-list/ and ADD Free Entry in Promotion Code & we will have a guest list/pre Register iPad on the door.

there are lots of lovely other artisans and crafts persons selling beautiful wares, so pop in and pick up a few xmas gifts.


always on the look out for interesting things to see and do to break the journey to suffolk, i have started to look more towards the suffolk/essex border. travelling home from the cottage.   the furthest beach point of Aldeburgh then leads to the villages along the estuary – Orford being one of the prettiest, with its Georgian houses, village square and church – its also a spot for sailing, bird watching and good food.  there is the famous  Pump St bakery and simple seafood at Butley Oysterage – which is real hearty food, quite similar to the style you get at St John restaurant.   there is also the hotel and restaurant  the Crown and Castle that looked interesting.  orford also has a castle to explore too.  today, i went to the annual ‘slow living’ fair, which is held in the local town hall – a lovely get together of local craftspersons selling gifts, flowers, local honey and pottery.  I particularly enjoyed meeting Esthea Evans, who was demonstrating the art of sashiko, which is using patchworks of fabric to repair holes in your clothes by using rows of tacking stitches;  some Indian embroidery also uses this technique.  Orford is about 40 mins drive from our cottage – i much prefer visiting and exploring the area out of season and driving through the beautiful woodlands in autumn brings glorious shades of colour.

if you continue to travel towards the essex border you will find Manningtree, situated on the river Stour, with the village of Mistley a short walk away.  Mistley retains some of the grain mills by the quay – glorious victorian warehouses that tell stories of years gone by.  we had delicious lunch at Mistley Thorn – offering  a daily special menu that is very good value.  close by is the North House Gallery, set on the ground floor of a handsome georgian house, which has a beautiful curation of works, usually landscapes and in the back room wonderful letterpress machines used by the curator herself.   Mistley kitchen not only sells a selection of cookery utensils, but hosts a variety of cookery courses.  and less than 15 mins drive away is Flatford, the home of John Constable and the setting of one of his famous paintings, the Hay Wain.  Sadly we chose a rainy day to visit ,but it was still a beautiful place to visit and i will definitely return again.  i noticed that there are lots of residential courses there too.

happy halloween

nobody really knows how halloween originated, but since the 19C , 31st october has acquired a reputation as a night on which witches, ghosts and fairies are especially active. in the year 835 AD the Roman Catholic Church made 1st November a church holiday to honour all the saints. although it was a joyous holiday it was also the eve of All Souls Day, so in Medieval times it became customary to pray for the dead on this date.

another name for All Saints Day is ‘All Hallows‘ (hallow is an archaic English word for ‘saint’). the festival began on All Hallows Eve, the last night of October.halloween comes from all hallow even, the eve(night before) All Hallows Day.  therefore halloween is the eve of all saints day.

its pumpkin season, so why not try and cook something different using pumpkin.  to be honest, i have only ever bought them for halloween, but this recipe looks so delicious, i am going to give it a go.

baked pumpkin

happy halloween – now that the kids are more grown up, i miss all the build up to making costumes……


poems for children

what a great app for your iphone or ipad – its poetry for children and allows you to read, listen to, record and share your favourite poems form a collection of more than 200 classics.  i am definitely going to put iF poemson our ipad.  reading children’s poems gently eases you into the world of poetry – soon you will be looking for more to read.


Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate:

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,

And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,

And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;

And every fair from fair sometime declines,

By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;

But thy eternal summer shall not fade

Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;

Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,

When in eternal lines to time thou growest:

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,

So long lives this and this gives life to thee.

William Shakespeare.