Thursday, 23 April 2015

Old Things, New Eyes

When I was growing up we just accepted that we had a castle in our village and it was a place to go and explore, play, ride bikes and generally cause havoc! Of course we learned at school of its origins and the people that built it and lived there but it seems now that none of us really saw it as anything particularly special. It was just that big stone place that had good bike ramps!

Well this weekend we had some friends come to see us from Yorkshire. We sat down for weeks deciding where we would take them and what we would do and not once can I remember mentioning we should take them to the castle! It wasn't until I gave them all a lift to a local marina for dinner that I realised how unusual our local landmark was. As I drove into the marina the view opened up to a lovely sunny castle sitting just over the water. Their two boys were agog at this magnificent sight. "Wow!!!" I got coming from the back of the car, "Look at the castle!" It was then I realised how lucky we are to have this so close to us and yet we take it for granted. We decided that we had to show everyone round it before they went home, just so they could see it in its full glory. So on Sunday we got up early and drove down there. Portchester castle sits overlooking Portsmouth across the water and dates back to Saxon times. According to the articles in the castle museum it has evolved over the years to form what we see now, having being added to by the Romans. It's in really good condition considering its age and also houses the local church St Mary's, where most Portchester residents decide to get married. All local children have attended some kind of occasion at the castle, even if it was only the Christmas carol service that we were forced to go to at school. Memories of sitting freezing cold in the church go through my mind each and every time I see it! We decided as it had been years since we had climbed to the top of the keep, that we would all go in and have a look. I can remember only going up there once as a child with my dad and uncle and cousins. All I could remember was a very steep and narrow spiral staircase. I'm not great with spiral staircases, they make me dizzy and feel like I'm going to fall over! Luckily they have added wooden stairs going from floor to floor in the actual keep itself, but just as I remembered it was spiral for the last twenty or so steps, scary! The view from the top sees Gosport to the south, Portsdown Hill to the north, Portsmouth to the east and Portchester to the west. It's an astounding view. Once we had descended and walked back the car, I had realised the importance of this building and how fascinating it is for non locals to see. I guess it pays to see things through other peoples eyes once in a while to get a fresh perspective on life.

For more information on Portchester Castle visit the English Heritage website HERE

Friday, 10 April 2015

Works In Progress

I have decided that it's been such a long time since posting anything I've made, that I would share my works in progress to hopefully inspire myself to finish them!

Firstly there is the dress I started making on my dressmaking course. It needs the collar attaching and hemming. This dress is from a 1967 pattern which I got at a vintage fair. The material is crepe suiting in a lovely dark sea green/blue. I'm going to adjust the sleeves to 3/4 length as it gives it a more modern look. I had a bit of a disaster with the zip, so I will need to fashion a new zip pull out of something. Any suggestions welcome!

My flamingo material was originally earmarked for making the Ruby dress from Love Sewing magazine. Unfortunately due to the width of the fabric and the way the pattern runs horizontal, it would have been impossible to cut the skirt part of the pattern without changing it. As a result I have decided to make a half circle skirt from the book Gertie Does Vintage Casual. The pieces are cut and ready to stick together and zip fitted.

I promised my mum i'd make her some bunting for her new summer house at the end of last summer. Due to being a busy mum, I haven't even started it yet! I have a lovely selection for fat quarters purchased for the task and bias binding all ready to go, so I'm going to have to get cutting some triangles! I love the look of bunting when it's finished but it's such a monotonous task, especially when we are looking at nearly 4 metres.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

No Tax Disk!

Ok so my car tax came up for renewel this month and after the annual heart attack over the cost, it occurred to me that the tax disk I'm taking out will be the last I ever have to display! Don't get me wrong being able to complete the arduous task every 12 months from the comfort of my own home is great but at least I had a piece of paper to show for the £230 I'd spent! I'm not sure it sits well with me that no one will be able to tell if it's been paid for unless they are driving a police ANPR car! Oh well, I guess I'll have more room for stickers!!