Betsy Bear ~ and she is definitely Kate's

The faithful old VAX ~ off to the tip !

Kate's Big Ted

Our old Nanny ~ on her afternoon off

Thank goodness Kate stopped me sending various sofa people to the Heart Shop ~ the big girl bear is definitely hers and she hopes she can have the Nanny eventually ~ I had forgotten quite how special the Nanny is ~ apart from her incredibly soft velvet dress, the broderie anglaise bloomers, cap and apron are all beautifully made, as she is herself ~ hands and feet and wonderful thick black hair in a neat bun on top of her head ~ as for the baby, her baby, well although scarcely 3" long, it too is beautifully made with minute stitching and wearing 3 layers of lace gowns ~ not daring to undress her, I bathed her in a bowl of soapy water and dried her on the Aga ~ I could so easily have sent both Nanny and infant to the charity shop ~ thank you Kate for shouting at me !

Good news ~ Will and Agi have booked David's cottage (no.4) for 5 nights over half term ~ that will be lovely ~ they all know I find having people staying here too much, overwhelming really ~ but this way is perfect ~ Kate and her family stayed at no.4 recently and said it is super ~ sorry to put them to this expense but I have offered to make a contribution to the rent (which was flatly refused).   May 27th-June 1st ~ great !

It is grey again today and chilly ~ yesterday I had the heating on most of the day ~ at this time of year !   Barbara came round and sorted out the problem I had managed to create online and earlier Chris came and sorted out several other muddles ~ they both say that now I'm so blind (and stupid) I should do nothing on the computer apart from email and my blog ~ I will try and keep to that.   Bev came in too and we popped her potatoes in the Aga ~ Aga baked potatoes are particularly good ~ Bev is almost certainly going to this cottage at Glaisdale when she leaves Clarks Yard ~ it is 10 miles up the valley but she's thinking of getting a little car ~ we'll miss her in the yard ~ she's been a good neighbour ~ with all her witches and witch craft,definitely WACKY !

 Later ~ and the sun has come out at last ~ Chris and Annie popped in yesterday just as Saul Black arrived to cut my toe nails ~ I'll phone them in a mo and see if they can come for coffee one morning next week ~ it sounds as if they are very happy in the flat they moved to on the WEst Side but not so likely to drop in as they were in the old days when they were along Church Street in Blackburns Yard ~ I miss them.

I remember the day I bought the VAX vacuum cleaner ~ the day I finally moved in here after two months in a holiday flat (at the builder's expense) ~  Tony Oakes had messed me about  and even when he completed the work (for which I had got an English Heritage grant)  he left the place in a right mess ~ the old Hoover I'd brought with me from Winchester was on its last legs ~ I still had some money from the sale of our North View terraced place in Winchester, and dashed along to the Co-op on the far end of Baxtergate and bought this state-of-the-art VAX for something like £30 ~ it was a God-send then, and has been much appreciated ever since , but when Diana used it in the kitchen last week there was an almighty explosion and all the fuses went ~ that was when my wonderful Coast Call carers rushed round and got everything working again ~ obviously the dear old VAX had had its day and Scaborough Refuse Dept came yesterday and took it off to the dump ~ sad to see it go after such a long and useful life ~ all-but thirty years !!   Well done, old thing ! 

In the first yearsI was in Whitby I went mad for silver teaspoons and scoured all the antique and junk shops ~ ODD ones I was looking for ~ nobody seemed to want them ~ sets were the thing ~ sets of six ~to my mind  sets are rather boring ~ I found all these odd ones, most of which cost only £1 or so because nobody wanted them ~ ODD spoons ~ no thank you !   Here they are all fresh washed and drying on the Aga ~ and here's a useful tip with silver ~ using them all the time they keep their sparkle but occassionally I put them in a pan with a scrunched up piece of kitchen foil and let them simmer for a few minutes after which they are shining bright and the foil is filthy !   I got this tip years ago from a program about some stately home and the butler explained that this is how he kept all the cutlery clean ~ I think he added a little salt to the brew but I don't often do that ~ I had a feeling the salt was damaging those spoons which were only silver plated !


and back on duty with her freshly washed cap and apron (and bloomers) and her baby in her arms

The freshly washed silver tea spoons all drying on the Aga