How to become a Model …

… it was easier than I thought. No starving myself into a size 6 (HaHaHa – I wasn’t that even when I was 6!) ….  it was as easy as putting up my hand

The ladies of our WI were organising a fund-raising event in aid of the local Memory Café – more of which later. One of our members, with contacts within Debenhams, managed to get their agreement to come out to our village hall and bring a range of fashions to show. All they needed from us was the set up, the paying audience and at least half a dozen models. At this point, along with a few other members, I put my hand up – and that was it – committed.

Debenhams Fashion Show St. Dominick
Fashion show ‘special occasion wear’ finale (click to enlarge photo)

A number of weeks later and armed only with the knowledge of our dress-size (and that can be pretty vague can’t it?) and our height, the ladies from Debenhams arrived with over £5000 worth of clothes. They brought with them two bare-Minerals make-up artists who ‘did’ all our faces. (It was fun to hear later from two people that know me well, that they had a little argument as to whether I was actual me – or not, when I did my first promenade – no, I do not usually wear any make-up – can you pick me out?)  We were each given a set of clothes to model, a day-wear set, a Autumn / Winter Coat and a glamorous evening or special occasion outfit.

A swift ‘walk through’ with guidance on where to walk, where to stop and where to turn while the music blared out – and the audience were let in – and we were on! The audience giving each turn a lovely round of applause.  Two-thirds way through the 33 outfits the make up girls gave a twenty minute demonstration, giving us time to change into the glamorous gear.

It was a fun event which couldn’t have been done without the dedication of the Debenhams team, especially the personal shoppers who had made  all the selections which, amazingly since they had so little details to work with, not only fitted but on the whole suited the models! So huge thanks went to them.

The Debenhams team had to rush off at the end to get the goods back to the store and checked in, but the audience and the models (now back in civvies) enjoyed tea and choccy biscuits. What a fun way to raise over £400 for the Memory Café….

Memory Café? What is that?  .. it is a ‘club’ set up for people with memory difficulties and their carers, and indeed anyone of that generation who wishes to spend a bit of time reminiscing. The organisers bring memory stimulating games / quizzes / music / items etc and share lots of chat with the guests while having tea, coffee and cake, on every other Saturday afternoon. As someone who has family that attend I can vouch that it is a very worthwhile organisation that gives joy to our older citizens and values their memories. It also supports the carers, often older people themselves, of those that are struggling due to memory problems whether just getting absent minded or whether diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or vascular dementia.

So have you ever found yourself doing something unexpected by simply volunteering?

What was the strangest or best thing you ended up doing?

 Do share – you know I love to hear from you


Chucker or Hoarder?

I’m a Hoarder … my Husband is a Chucker.  Perhaps this is a good combination otherwise we’d not be able to move for ‘stuff which might be useful one day’

‘I’m sure I’ll find a use for all of these one day – even those orange tubes …’

To be honest he has a real job on his hands as we live in an extended family with my parents who are also Hoarders.

 No, we are not in the realms of obsessive compulsive hoarders here – but I can see where they are coming from 😉

 Of our sons at least two of them are ‘Chuckers’. #2 son helped me clear out a cupboard once. (One I had been trying to face up to sorting out for ages) He ruthlessly went through the cupboard pulling out boxes and tipping them out, holding up each item with the words ‘when did you last use this?’ If my answer was not within the last two years it went into the junk pile. Some things were only ‘allowed’ if they had been accessed within six-months as, to him, they seemed to be ‘real junk’.

Guess how long before I was looking for something ‘that I knew I had’ only to find it had been chucked? Yes – about a month! Long enough for me to not be sure whether it had gone on not – and actually have to look to check. Admittedly this didn’t take long as the cupboard was now pretty bare – but it still hurt that I had to go out and buy some when I used to own a supply before.

My Husband is having a great ‘chuck-out’ at the moment – only now he has discovered selling on ebay – as one person’s excess (or junk) is truly another person’s treasure. This is his idea of wonderful – he gets to ‘chuck’ stuff and make something for it!  So now he is encouraging me to do the same …

As I write this I am contemplating sorting out another hoard cupboard. Sons are nowhere around so I may be able to tackle this one in my own time …. however, I fear that I will just be rearranging the goods as I am almost sure that I will think that everything I look at is useful and will be wanted in the (near) future *sigh* and isn’t valuable enough to warrant an ebay ad but too ‘good’ to chuck ….*sigh*

Strangely enough, though I am a hoarder I also long for some kind of minimalist environment – where there are no surfaces for dust to land on – but where ornaments / unusual / antique / weird items I like / etc – are still viewable but are somehow inside airtight, self cleaning, glass display units … just like the ones I have created for the home of one of my characters in the new novel I am writing. 🙂

So are you a Chucker or a Hoarder?

Is there anything you have regretted throwing away?

Do share – you know I love to hear from you.


A sandy interlude ….

Hi all..  well I’ve had a ‘bit of a week’ not been on top form health wise and family life causing havoc… not to mention having to get the apples picked in for storage and apple juice pressing and various other ‘good-life’ things like making marmalade from Seville oranges I’d popped in the freezer last January (only because I ran out of time for making it back then lol)

Welcome to ‘my’ beach (looking left)
Welcome to ‘my’ beach (looking right)

So, to cheer myself up I’m posting a few of my ‘between the tides’ sand-sculpting photos from my second week’s stay in France this year.  The weather wasn’t perfect for taking a long time in the making but I still enjoyed myself and still garnered comments and conversation from passing French folk, promenading the beach and coming across this mad English woman.

My first – as is usual – was the mermaid… I always do at least one mermaid .. and the French do like a ‘sirène’.  The challenge is always to get a ‘good’ face!  This one .. not bad.. not brilliant.







The next time I hit the beach with a friend – a sand-sculpture newbie – who created an excellent relief version of a dolphin (very difficult to photograph as you just cannot get high enough above it to get the proportions right in the picture) And I had a go at a head of Medusa… yes those are supposed to be snakes for hair…DSCF7142DSCF7135 …click on any photo to see them better.

The next day I was back on my own again and the tide was coming in fast – I could see that it was going to reach the sand-sculptures before the end of the day. I found some lovely long lengths of bootlace seaweed (Chorda filum) – and decided to make my sculpture called ‘The Giant Has Gone Swimming’ whereby I remove sand in giant foot-print shapes and use it to build a pair of giant’s boots, complete with ‘seaweed’ laces.  I then took a picture to show that at the end of  day 3 all the sculptures were still there on the beach … just waiting for the tide to wipe the canvas clean.








The next day, sadly not as warm or sunny, I managed a swift ‘Giant’s Hand’ before being rained-off’ DSCF7159

Which didn’t stop me getting in the sea and body-boarding 🙂 Ah! Now I feel better.

What cheers you up?

Do you sand-sculpt when on the beach (or are you sane?)

Do share – you know I love to hear from you



Let’s go for a walk …

I haven’t taken you all for a walk in the Cornish Countryside for quite a while … so as I was out on just such a walk on Saturday and took a bunch of pictures I thought I’d share the walk with you today.

To be honest – you are going to miss out on the first bit… I hadn’t taken my camera out of the bag until we dropped down into the small town / large village of Gunnislake for a ‘pit-stop’ so that is where we will start. Gunnislake was at the heart of the Cornish Mining in the far South East of Cornwall in the 1800’s. On the side of the River Tamar and with (at that time) the first bridge across the river up from Plymouth Sound, it was a significant place anyway – the first point to cross over into Devon (other than by ferry-man) and the mines all around the area brought miners up from further down Cornwall as well as making miners out of locals.DSCF7216

This bit of history is ‘recognised’ by the statue of a miner sitting on a corner by the main road through the town as it plunges down to the river bridge. Here shown with one of the other walkers (trying to look like he belongs 🙂

DSCF7215DSCF7214Just to the right shows the typical street in this small town, with higgledy-piggledy terraced cottages.. and I couldn’t resist giving you a picture of their ever bizarre Pete and Di’s Bazaar – which always has an ‘eye-catching’ display, on the other side of the road.

Mr M plus Dog on the path
washed out stones along the way

From here we walked up the hill into Middle Dimson and from there dropped into a ‘hollow-way’ a path used by miners and labourers for a hundred odd years, almost completely covered over by trees and hedges, slightly sunken by the tread of many feet and the whoosh of rain water when it comes.

So much so that the ‘path’ underfoot looks more like a dry stream-bed than a path with so many tumbled rocks and stones, washed clear of the earth.

hart’s tongue fern
buckler fern

Perpetually shaded in summer it is the perfect location to find a multitude of ferns and mosses.

There was an abundance of liverworts along the places where water ran beside the track, but I didn’t photograph those I’m afraid.

At one point we stepped off the path to look at one of the abandoned mines that were the industrial workplaces back in the 1800’s.  Looking at the ruins surrounded by peaceful countryside, wrapped in trees and to the sound of the a tricking stream it is hard to conjure the sheer noise, smell and dirt of the bygone age in this area. DSCF7237DSCF7236

puff ball – burst : click to enlarge

Here you can see the remains of an engine house, where the great beam engine would pump up water to keep the mine ‘dry’  and the chimney, that took off the smoke from the boiler fire that ran the steam engine that moved the beam, is remarkably complete.

puff ball with hard ferns

Back on the path, and this being autumn the ground was scattered with seeds, beech mast, sweet chestnut (though with nothing in worth collecting in this year) acorns, berries from rowan and hawthorn and fungi – the most interesting of which were the puff-balls, small but burst open to allow the wind to suck out and scatter their spores

And that is where I’ll end this walk, mainly because my camera card was full (my main card having corrupted I’m using a small capacity one until I pick up another)

Have you been out to enjoy the Autumn scenery?

Where is your favourite walk?

You know I love to hear from you – just click ‘comment’ on the blog to add yours!



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