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Jane Brocket
Recent Activity
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Soon time to plant spring bulbs. I leave mine for a while yet while I daydream about being able to pick as many as these tulip-pickers in a 1966 window in Spalding by the always excellent Harry Harvey. My late mother-in-law took us to one of the very last flower/tulips... Continue reading
Posted Oct 8, 2018 at yarnstorm
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When I learned to make stained glass at West Dean with Sasha Ward (highly recommended) the one thing I was concerned about was cutting myself. I have a solid track record with glass and sharp knives, having cut off the end of one finger while slicing chicken breasts (it's a... Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2018 at yarnstorm
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The Egyptian House It's over twenty years now since we started having holidays in Landmark Trust properties. It began when we were living in Germany then Belgium and found it difficult to squeeze the five of us into grandparents' houses on visits to England (not mention having to apologise for... Continue reading
Posted Sep 24, 2018 at yarnstorm
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I adored the Carry On films when I was little. Their silliness, mild rudeness and pantomimic characters filled many a grey, rainy Sunday afternoon when my brother and I were growing up. I was reminded of how much enjoyment they provided when I saw that first Liz Fraser and now... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2018 at yarnstorm
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Dinan railway station 'Take your pleasure seriously', said Charles Eames. Well, I do. But not so seriously that I can't laugh at myself when I go in search of mosaics, murals, twentieth century lettering, railway architecture and cheer with delight and excitement when I find them all in one place.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2018 at yarnstorm
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When we first started spending time in France, I came across the word 'incontournable' seemingly everywhere. On menus, on posters, in reviews, on the covers of magazines. As it wasn't something I learned years ago, I had to look up this buzzword, and it turns out to mean uncircumventable, a... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2018 at yarnstorm
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I may have mentioned this before (jk, of course I have), but I do love the Maigret books by Georges Simenon. I started off in a completely disorganised, desultory way with an old green Penguin copy from a bookshop in Aldeburgh, then picked up more secondhand copies as and when... Continue reading
Posted Sep 3, 2018 at yarnstorm
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Large Piece of Turf Albrecht Dürer (1503) I have just finished reading a brilliant book. A real page-turner. Well written, pacy, gripping, packed with drama and plot twists, and full of literary and artistic allusions. And it's all about weeds. This is the first book by Richard Mabey that I've... Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2018 at yarnstorm
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breakfast Imagine going to a nursery or infant school which has funny, amusing stained glass windows which illustrate you, your friends, your games, your discoveries, your tumbles and mishaps, your daily life from breakfast to bed, in fact. I would have loved it. As it was, I was fascinated by... Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2018 at yarnstorm
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What goes around, comes around, as they say. And this has been so true of houseplants. I watched last year as they became one of the big trends on Instagram, featured in lifestyle and interiors shoots, were the subject of many a cool, hipster book, and appeared on everything from... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2018 at yarnstorm
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It's a quiet Sunday here and I've just been reading about the NPG's purchase of this brilliant portrait of Dylan Thomas by Augustus John (c1937/8). The eyes, nose, hair, lips are all fantastic, but it's the jumper, painted in a slapdash fashion, which really makes it special for me. I... Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2018 at yarnstorm
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I've just finished a vast amount of mopping. I actually quite like cleaning with a mop and a bucket whereas I really, really dislike hoovers which get stuck in doorways, make me sneeze, and hurt my ankles when the cable and plug go flying back in. But mopping is quite... Continue reading
Posted Aug 17, 2018 at yarnstorm
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Paul Newman I get around by bike these days. Not since I was 11 or 12 have I whizzed about and revelled in the practicality and sheer joy of speeding along on two wheels. I made a pathetic attempt to bike in Bristol at university, but as I am seriously... Continue reading
Posted Aug 14, 2018 at yarnstorm
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This has to be the most famous 'spiral of pebbles on a table' ever. I'd love to pick one up and see if it's numbered underneath so that the people who clean and conserve Kettle's Yard know exactly where to replace it; I have no doubt that people who have... Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2018 at yarnstorm
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Suitably hot and hectic colours for knitting, not wearing, during a heatwave. And I should know, because I've now knitted three pairs of socks in this Arne and Carlos yarn. The first was for Phoebe who declared them her favourite pair ever. They went with her to Spain where she... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2018 at yarnstorm
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Librairie de la Lune Brassaï (c1931-4) These days, we spend quite a bit of time in Le Havre (more of which another time). I am totally back in love with France after a cooling-off period following a less-than-brilliant time studying languages at university. I now realise that I may have... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2018 at yarnstorm
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Phoebe in the Cam My pink kitchen apart, there was one other thing I thought I'd miss enormously after the move to the new house, and that was swimming outdoors all year round in the the pool in Hampton (never mind the breakfasts afterwards). It was habit that was hard... Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2018 at yarnstorm
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We now live almost next door to an allotment site, which is one of the nicest possible things to have nearby. I still fantasise about having an allotment, and have put my name on the waiting list, but the fact that it takes about five years to get one doesn't... Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2018 at yarnstorm
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I have just seen two copies of my new book in Heffers. I took a photo and sent it to my nearest and dearest who came back with party popper emojis. Because, whether or not they realise the significance, this is a big thing for me. I fell in love... Continue reading
Posted Aug 2, 2018 at yarnstorm
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in my pots The new house is completely different to the old one. So different that some friends and family have been visibly shocked by the change: suburban to urban, 1929 to 2008, two floors to four, one set of stairs to three, separate rooms to open-plan living, detached to... Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2018 at yarnstorm
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I keep finding quilt/textile inspiration in stained glass. There's everything from clever, complicated and geometric to pale, simple and restful, from wild, colourful and abstract to richly patterned, floral and extravagant. This window is in the intensely atmospheric Halifax Minster which I visited recently. I'd never been to Halifax before,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2018 at yarnstorm
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Painting of the old house and garden painted by Tom when he was about 14, now hanging in the new house Quite a bit has happened since I last blogged sporadically, and lots since I blogged regularly. The biggest change was leaving the house near Windsor where we had lived... Continue reading
Posted Jul 27, 2018 at yarnstorm
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Surprise, surprise! I'm still making rock buns. That makes it about 33 years now, ever since we had a rock bun epiphany at a mobile cafe in RHS Wisley. Long before it became the all-selling, marketed-up-to-the eyeballs, multi-caféd entity it is now, there was a simple van near the entrance... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2018 at yarnstorm
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I'd wanted to make a big, bold, blowsy botanical quilt for ages, but it took a long time to get the fabrics/my act together. The catalyst was discovering the Snow Leopard range by the brilliant Philip Jacobs who has a huge archive of old floral designs from which he draws... Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2018 at yarnstorm
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Arne & Carlos socks Recently, I have missed blogging. I didn't miss it for quite a long time, and in fact I am surprised by the fact I think it might be nice to make a return. I miss taking photos on a camera rather than a phone, observing the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 24, 2018 at yarnstorm
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