09 June 2014

The best way to find me ...

As it seems unlikely that I shall make the anticipated return to blogging with regular updates (bearing in mind my last was 5 months ago!), I thought I should let you know that good old Facebook got me, and I have a Vintage to Victorian page there. Do please visit, as I comment on all the Fairs I attend, and am about to start offering items for sale, too. I'm always happy to post items, provided they are postable of course!

I do hope you'll keep in touch. There are so many of you that I miss through not blogging. It would be lovely to 'see' you again!

Here is the link www.facebook.com/vintagetovictorian

I hope 2014 has been a good year for you so far, and that you all have a lovely summer.

Sue x

15 January 2014

Eight Months On ...

Unbelievably I seem to have ignored my blog for 8 months, and my last post told you that I was coming back to blogging. I doubt if there's anyone out there following now, but if you are there "Hello! And Happy New Year!"

Life was somewhat hectic last year as I began feeling my feet in the 'days after Dairy House' and before I knew it December and Christmas were on us. Home life continues in much the same way and all the house and garden plans I had are still plans rather than reality; but 2014 is hopefully the year to set the wheels in motion! Florence the Granddaughter is now three and a half and has been at pre-school since September. She spends a lot of time on the farm and her animal husbandry skills are already well-formed, frequently surprising her mummy and daddy with knowledge gleaned from 'Grampy'.

Vintage to Victorian is back on the Fairs circuit and this weekend will see me (possibly freezing) at Shepton Mallet 3-day Antiques Fair. If anyone is visiting, my regular spot is in Mendip 2 Hall. I veered away from linen and lace for a short while, concentrating on leather luggage and suchlike, but soon found that on buying trips I was making a beeline for anything textile-related, thus the breakaway was short-lived. So my stock-in-trade is what it always was - linen, lace, haberdashery, French and English vintage or antique textiles, Welsh blankets, eiderdowns and quilts, millinery flowers, mannequins, boxes, buttons and so on.

It would be good to get back to blogging and catch up with you all so fingers crossed ...

In the meantime, here's the list so far of the Fairs I have booked for 2014, which is far more than I realised! I need to relearn how to add them to the sidebar but with a little perseverance I'll hopefully manage it!




Hope to see you again soon x



20 May 2013

Don't Hold Your Breath ...

Don't hold your breath, but I may soon be back to blogging!

It's been far too long, but soon I should have more free time and be able to bring you all up to date with what's been going on since January 2012! Suffice to say that 2012 was a good year in general, but I made a life-changing decision in December and have now sold Dairy House Antiques. Many of you will already know this, but some of you 'far flung followers' may not. Two of the DH dealers, Trixie Hewlett of The Vintage Bothy blog and Debbie Jeffery are the new owners and took over the reins on 1 March 2013.

Paul has been in hospital several times since December 2012 and has, today, been discharged after a 6½-week stint in Yeovil Hospital. All is well but it's been a bit of a rollercoaster since his first stay just before Christmas. Onward and upward now, hopefully.

Now I no longer have the responsibilities of the day-to-day running of Dairy House (although I do still have a unit there) I have rejoined the Fairs circuit. I am signed up for a year of Shepton Mallet Antiques Fairs at the Bath & West Showground, some of the Vintage Bazaar events and similarly the Vintage & Handmade Fairs. I have also taken a unit at the Antiques Bazaar in Crewkerne. It's so long since I blogged that I've forgotten how to set up links, but no doubt I'll sort that out in due course.

I shall be spending more time at home, although that doesn't seem to have happened yet, taming our wayward garden that has had very little attention in the 5 years that I was involved with Dairy House, and hopefully spending more time with Hannah and Florence. It was Florence's birthday last week. Where the last 3 years have gone I have no idea but gone they have, and she has now started pre-school.

I hope to be back again soon with photos and more news but in the meantime if any of you are still following this almost defunct blog I thank you and trust you are all fighting fit and enjoying life!

Sue x

09 January 2012

2012 - May it be a good year ...

So, here we are! 2012 ... about time too, as I'd had enough of 2011 ...

Thank you all so much for your continued good wishes and maybe I'll manage to post more from now on. I have every intention of making 2012 a good year, and so far so good!

Paul has made such good progress and has put on all the weight he lost, thanks to his nightly 2.5 litres of nutrition circulating through his bloodstream via a Hickman line. What seemed such a daunting prospect back in August has turned into the norm, although I know he would love to be able to have a night off from being hooked up! Mind you, it could be a case of 'Be Careful What You Wish For' as that was the case at the beginning of December when a high temperature meant 5 days in Yeovil Hospital with no TPN while the line was tested for infection. Thankfully it turned out to be a dose of flu, but this will be the case every time his temperature goes above 38 degrees. However, we like to think we've moved on from that and he is looking better than he has looked for a very long time. His next follow-up at St Mark's Hospital is on 26 January. It'll be interesting to see what they have to say.

Dairy House Antiques continues to thrive, and Woo is now a firm fixture, keeping everyone on their toes and doing a brilliant job keeping me under control. My stress levels are improving by the day, and all seems set fair for the sort of year I'd like it to be ... not that there's any complacency. As December showed, anything can happen and plans may need to change without warning. But we can cope with that. It's become a way of life.I am, however, now able to spend more time at Dairy House. At the moment most days are covered, so I'm able to come and go without being tied to the desk. I was there on 4 separate occasions last week, which was something I questioned whether I'd ever be able to do again.

Despite all the despondency, doom and gloom, we had our best year yet, and 2011 brought us lots more new regular customers. Hopefully that trend will continue this year! On 20 November, at the end of National Antiques Week, we held a 'Christmas Market' at Dairy House, which turned out to be very successful for everyone involved. We held a raffle and offered mulled wine and mince pies to our visitors, and I'm delighted to say that we raised £255 for St Mark's Hospital Foundation.

Christmas came and went uneventfully, thank goodness. We spent Christmas Eve with Hannah, Rob and Florence the Granddaughter. There was plenty of laughter and present opening, although Paul's afternoon snooze meant he missed out on the hilarity of Flo's antics. She is almost 20 months old now and is a comedian just like her mother. I'm such a proud Gran (what Grandmother isn't!!!!). 



Last year I bought a French dolls bed, armoire and dressing table from Linda Clift at the Honiton Textile Fair. As Han and Rob had bought Florence a doll it seemed the ideal time to make the bedding and give it to her for Christmas. I was thrilled to find a Scheurer fabric in my stash which matched the colours of the 'bedroom suite' perfectly, and this became an eiderdown of sorts. I made a mattress and covered it with the tiny check cotton gingham that had been used as long runners on the tables at Han and Rob's wedding. A pillow and Irish linen pillowcase, a French linen sheet and a Welsh blanket completed the ensemble, On the back of the armoire is the name of the recipient and the date when I imagine a proud father or grandfather made it: Noel 1944. As Paul pointed out, it was made the year he was born!!



Mum and Gillie came to us on Christmas Day and that was the end of our festivities. I'm afraid I ignored anything decorative this year other than putting up our cards. Can you imagine - no tree! That was quite horrid, but just one thing too many to cope with. We spent the next week or so doing next to nothing, generally restoring the batteries and looking forward to a better year.

In a couple of weeks' time it'll be Mum's 91st birthday, followed at the end of March by our 35th Wedding Anniversary - where did that time go, then? Our grand plan, subject to change of course, is to have the window in our sitting room, which is quite wide, replaced with a single door and opening windows. It looks out onto the back garden and would make the room so much nicer. We're so lucky in so many ways. We don't really 'need' anything, and don't do much in the way of holidays as you know. Organising any while Paul's on TPN, whilst not an insurmountable problem, isn't anything we're particularly desperate to do, so the door to the garden seems like a good idea, and is something I've wanted to do ever since we moved here.

Next on the calendar willl be the Dairy House Annual Textile and Costume Day on Sunday 15 April, and with that in mind I'm hoping, with Woo's help, to have a grand sort out of my shed/studio. I have had so little time over the last 9 months to concentrate on all things textiley, so am looking forward to the rummage and finding out exactly what stock is there, forgotten and forlorn!!


Our other Dairy House plan is to hold an 'Outdoor Living ... Indoor Life' event at the beginning of July to kick off the summer season before the schools break up. We hope that these 2 newest events will become regulars on the Dairy House calendar in the same way that the Vintage Textiles & Costume Day has established itself.

Finally, my other grand plan (with moveable goalposts) for 2012 is to get back to sewing and being creative. When I look back at some of the creative projects I've worked on over the last (ssshhhh!!!!) 45+ years, I realise that the last 10 have been virtually 'make'-free, and that's something that needs to be rectified. I had such fun making the bedding for Florence's doll's bed and realise how much I've missed sewing, in particular. Far too silly when I look at the piles of vintage fabric and haberdashery I am storing and/or selling.

Onward and upward, yet again ...

I hope to be back here soon, maybe with some show-and-tell ... who knows!

Meanwhile a very Happy and Prosperous 2012 to you All.

Sue x

25 August 2011

Countdown ... He's Coming Home ...

Thank you all for the wonderful messages and emails, texts, Tweets, FB comments, blog comments, phone calls, face-to-face contact and general loveliness over the last 19 weeks. You'll never know just how much you've all kept me going whilst Pauley's been in hospital.

And finally, on Tuesday, he's coming home ... after 20 weeks (bar 2 days). That's almost FIVE MONTHS!  After the awful 13 weeks in Yeovil Hospital he moved to St Mark's Hospital in Harrow on 13 July and began to improve from day one. Having lost so much weight he weighed just under 8 stone, he is now, thankfully almost at his target weight of 10st 7lbs. This is due to the nutrition mentioned in the last post, which will continue once Pauley gets home. He will be 'hooked up' to it every night for 12 hours for as long as it takes. It may be for life, or it may just be for a few months, or somewhere inbetween. Only time will tell us the answer to that one.

A fridge is being delivered tomorrow for the nutrition bags to be stored (they're delivered in weekly or fortnightly quantities), together with all the other required apparatus. Then on Tuesday the first batch will be delivered before Pauley arrives home. He should arrive early-mid afternoon and initially a nurse will come in every evening and morning until we're both proficient at the sterile connecting and disconnecting of the line for the bags. Once we pass that test she'll come once a week as I understand it.

Life is going to be very different both initially, while Pauley gets used to the outside world once again and I get used to having someone else in the house after all that time on my own(!!), and also long-term once we adjust to the (albeit minimal) constraints. He eats and drinks normally, but very little nutrition is actually absorbed, but there are a number of no-go foods and drinks. Low fibre, high fat, plenty of salt; full-fat milk, nothing fizzy. So, definitely no beans of any sort, no broccoli stalks, no potato or fruit skins for starters!


But we have ... LIFE ... and for that I am exceedingly grateful ... and having had time to take stock over the last few months I think we both realise that life is for living, not for racing from pillar to post, chasing tails and worrying that we're not achieving, but for enjoying each other's company and taking time to smell the roses ...

Sue x

20 July 2011

Light at the end of the tunnel ...

Thank you all for the lovely messages we've received over the last few weeks. This post is once again about Pauley's progress as I don't seem to be doing anything at the moment other than concentrating on his state of health.

However, we do actually have some progress at last. You may recall in my last post I said that Paul was on the waiting list for St Mark's Hospital in London or Torbay Hospital. Imagine my surprise when he called me at 7.45 last Wednesday morning to say he was off to London. I thought he was joking ... after 12 weeks in Yeovil it seemed as if nothing would ever happen. I leapt out of bed when he said he was going that morning and could I take in some clothes as the ambulance was booked for 11 o'clock.

So, there he is, in the Lennard-Jones IF Unit at St Mark's within Northwick Park Hospital in Harrow - a teaching hospital of mega proportions - and I went up from Saturday to Monday to visit. Within the 'campus' are bedrooms with own bathrooms which can be rented on a daily basis by visitors, so I was able to stay for a couple of nights in comfort without having to travel off the hospital site which made things less stressful. They have a shared kitchen and sitting room so I was able to make cups of tea and could have cooked a meal if I hadn't been fed well enough in the restaurant and Costa on-site. Patients are encouraged to be up, dressed and away from their beds wherever possible, as long as they return at appointed times for whatever procedures are required. We were able to go out for a drive round, sadly no walking about as the rains came down! We stopped off at Tescos for Pauley to buy lots of cream and otherwise stodgy cakes. So unfair that he has to eat these to try to build up the fat in his body again, when I dare not look at one!

The plan is that they will carry out scans, tests, assessments, mapping, measurements etc over the next few weeks to ascertain how best for Pauley to be treated for, basically, the rest of his life.The doctors have explained various options although it is too soon to know exactly what the outcome will be. However, we have already come to a joint decision on what we think will be best for us if one of two options is necessary, and he is now in their hands for them to determine what, how, why and when. They have a target time for his discharge of the end of August/beginning of September, hence the heading of this post. Obviously this is not cast in stone, but it's good to know that they have a target. Once discharged they are suggesting that we might be supported by Bournemouth Hospital which, as yet, I know nothing about.

Everyone at Dairy House has been so helpful, and the shop has been manned by a number of dealers over the last 13 weeks. None of us envisaged such a long haul when I phoned in one day to say Pauley had been rushed to hospital. I am, however, planning to be at Dairy House on Saturday morning, and then go on to see him, provided the tickly throat I have today doesn't turn into something that ought to keep away from hospitals.


Everything has its lighter side though, despite all the anxiety. Those of you who know Pauley will know that his haircuts are not particularly frequent and his style is in a 60s timewarp, cared for lovingly with Brylcream (I know, I can hardly say the word!!!!). Anyway, it grew to such a length whilst he was in Yeovil that he wouldn't have looked out of place living in a cardboard box, but wouldn't make use of the hospital hairdresser. There's a hairdresser's shop within the hospital complex at St Mark's and he had a haircut within 24 hours of his arrival. He didn't tell me and I can't believe I didn't notice immediately when I walked into the ward on Saturday. He had asked for a trim. Silly boy! He was attacked with clippers and ended up looking like a convict (with no disrespect to any convicts out there). The length varied from half to three-quarters of an inch all over, instead of the dated side parting and six inch top length of the last 40 years. It was shorter than when he joined the RAF as a Boy Entrance in 1959!!! Personally I like it, but would like it more if they'd removed the 10 weeks of grey beard as well! I've wanted him to 'start again' with his hair for years and he's always refused. But I won in the end, and didn't have to do a thing!!!!


A long post, sorry! I hope some of you have managed to stay to the end. It helps to write it down.


Thank you all once again, and hopefully I'll soon be able to tell you that Pauley's on his way home ...


Sue x



23 June 2011

Long, long winding road .... Updated

It seems a lifetime ago that I said I was going to begin blogging again in earnest. The intention was there but since 21 April my life has been turned upside down, my brain has gone into meltdown and I have concentrated all my energies on hospital visiting and willing Pauley to get better.

Nine weeks on he is still in hospital after an emergency operation which removed a large section of twisted bowel. This has resulted in a stoma and unfortunately a condition known as short bowel syndrome. Recovery is slow and the hospital's hope is that eventually he will be transferred to either St Mark's Hospital in London or Torbay, both of which support home TPN (total parenteral nutrition - see previous link) should this be found to be necessary.

The highlight of these nine weeks is that Pauley is being allowed home for a few hours tomorrow (provided BP, temperature etc etc are OK), just for a change of scene (not with a view to imminent discharge). He is so looking forward to it, but is still quite weak so I hope it won't be too tiring for him. I know I shall be on tenterhooks and very anxious, but I'm sure all will be well, even if I am totally exhausted afterwards.

My time at Dairy House has been very limited as you can imagine, but the dealers have been incredibly kind and the shop has continued to function with no disruption to customers. Obviously I have had to cancel any Fairs I had hoped to participate in, and other than a few free hours here and there I envisage a similar outlook for some time to come.

I'm still hoping to get back to blogging soon but at the moment, as I'm sure you can imagine, I haven't got anything very interesting to say ... other than the fact that Florence is now 13 months, has finally decided to crawl but would far rather be up on her feet.

I'll end this post with grateful thanks to some lovely friends, Bloggers, Facebook and Twitter friends and one lovely Mummy-of-four (she knows who she is) who has helped me, through late night texts and messages, far more than I ever imagined possible.

Updated Friday 24th - Pauley was able to come home for 3 hours! A wander round the house, lunch and back soon after 2 o'clock made such a difference to him (and to me). It was a treat to see a smiling face and proper clothes instead of jimjams! We made sure we were back on time so no black marks so that hopefully we'll be able to do it again before too long.

Thank you all x