Marooned in the Modern World

In conjunction with my book "Swiss Family Suburban" this blog is from my diary; the diary of a wife and mum in a world where neither is valued highly. Beth Bill.

28th April 2011

Last night I shut the hens in quite late, as I'd been out and everybody else forgot. It was quite dark so I just popped the hatch down. I didn't sleep so well last night and I was up very early so I went to let the hens out to find that one of the Amber Links was already out ( I can't tell the difference between the whites now, it was either Constance of Emelia) - she must have been out all night! The only thing that I can think is that she flew into the enclosure that David had sectioned off to allow the grass to grow back but when dusk came she was too tired to fly back over to go to roost. They do get really slow at dusk - it's the only time we can get to dust the Fenton Blues as they are such a nervy breed. She seemed fine in herself but it was SO windy I'm surprised she wasn't dead from exposure. Apparently it isn't cold that can kill a hen but draught is a real issue. On closer inspection it does look like she has a little bit of frost bite as the back part of her comb is a bit blackened. I feel so terrible! I've put some vasoline on it and she seems fine. I guess we wont get any eggs from her for a couple of days.

20th March 2011

I really loved making (and using) the Christmas Flower Fairy table runner and I've really missed it since Christmas. It doesn't quite work though to use Christmas fabrics outside of December though, so I found some fabric to match the William Morris Blue Eggshell paint that I so love on the kitchen table and chairs and I made a breakfast style table runner for the kitchen. The most important feature, of course, is the wooden button. It's a shame you don't really see it when you sit down or tuck the chairs in. Nevertheless, I have the comfort of just knowing it's there - and it does win Em's approval, owing to her button fascination (which I totally endorse!)

15th April 2011

I've spent the last couple of months helping my friend, Mae, clear out her mum's house. Her mum died at the ripe old age of 90, but left about 90 years worth of stuff to sort out. Up until quite recently she had been very active in every way - always having parties and staging funny monologues, she also sang in more choirs than I've had hot dinners. As such there was an awful amount of stuff. However, as I hate to waste anything I picked up a few novelties which I couldn't bear to see skipped.

In the garage we found an ancient wooden ironing board which I couldn't bear to see trashed. To me it represented some interesting social history - so I painted it blue (William Morris Blue eggshell of course - to match the table and chairs) and then hung it on the wall. Every time I pass it now I think of all the little ladies that have completed stalwart ironing mounds. I'm thrilled and think it looks great!

I also rescued an old chest of drawers that was water stained and very scratched. David took the handles off for me and I painted it in Regency White eggshell paint and then distressed the edges. I think it looks very French antique. It now houses some gloves and scarves and the dog's lead. Waste not want not!