Tagged: family

Spring must be sprunging …


Spring must be here or hereabouts as my hay fever has started. We went out yesterday to get herbs from our local garden centre, it was bitter and they had lots of mother’s day style things but nothing in the way of herbs not even the hardier shrubbier ones so we went further out of town to a large garden centre which is part of a national chain and we did find some.

On the way there I noticed what my mum always call the green smoke, that whispy hardly perceivable bud burst, was starting on the hawthorns which make up quite a large part of our hedgerows and field boundaries.  Even if we get a cold snap now it will only stall the impending season; we have turned the corner, spring is within touching distance.

So i’m very pleased to say that the next lot of compost is on its way.  Maybe not quite enough to fill both beds but certainly enough to fill the first and partially fill the second. My potatoes are going in the far end of the second bed and they haven’t even arrived yet so no panic there.  I will be growing a variety called Red Duke of York which I’ve grown before.  I don’t see the purpose in growing all purpose potatoes in my limited space so I’m going for a nice red skinned first early which we will use as a salad potato.  It’s land cress, lettuce and rocket next and red onions, which again have not yet arrived.  A red theme is emerging, n’est-ce pas?  Not anything to do with me being a red head I can assure you but, I believe them to be a bit more slug and snail resistant.  Don’t say that too loudly because I haven’t actually seen any in the new garden, shhhh!  It may be an old wives tale; it’s certainly this old wife’s tale.

On that happy spring filled note I will wish you all a happy Saint David’s Day and be on my way.

Bony fingers

bony fingers


In the dim and distant days of my childhood, when readymeals were new-fangled Americanisms and you had to wait for the television to warm up before watching it, there was a song played by Terry Wogan with monotonous regularity that went something like this “Work your fingers to the bone, what do you get? Bony Fingers!”

I’ve woken up with this in my head this morning and I’m sure it has to do with the fact that I’m currently sewing a set of patio suite covers for a client which are going fine but I’m hating.  It’s not really my bag.

I have a gorgeous bed runner I’m currently working on in Deb Strain’s Spa using a Missouri Star big star technique.  My hands, my fingers, are itching to get back into it but I have to finish this set of covers by the weekend.

I also have 3 layer cakes in Harvest Moon sitting waiting to be turned into a “Hannah & Richard quilt” – this is to go with “Hannah’s quilt” that she already has but is for a single bed.  Hannah is moving to Bristol tomorrow and I hope that they will both be very, very happy.  He is a lovely man and makes her happy.

You would think that I would just get on with the blasted set of covers but it’s a bit like going back to the woven mat I had to do in needlework at school.  I wasn’t allowed to move on to the next thing until I had finished it but I hated it – it took me 9 months to finish in the end, it was a double sided six inch circular mat of woven wool and it took me a whole school year to finish.  I really can go slow with things when I don’t like them. Bleugh.

Repost: The Origin of the She Weevil

Reposted from my old blog which is all down the side there somewhere but  not all in very easily accessible format.  Reposted for thescroobiouspip, who asked, and if I may say  has some explaining to do in the name department!!!  Anyway, this old blog has been going on and off for quite a long time now so if you have a spare decade feel free to peruse.

Originally posted February (perhaps 19th) 2005 shortly before John had his first stroke. I am a marginally less bossy blogger than I was then, it appears.

The origins of the She Weevil
SheWeevil, she-weevil, or sheweevil: all variations of She Weevil which in itself, in case you haven’t realised, is a direct reference to the She-devil. If you are unfamiliar with the fantastical works of Ms. Fay Weldon then blogger off to the library and get familiarised. Alternatively go to work on an egg.

The Life and Loves of a She-Devil was adapted for television by the BBC in 1986 and I missed it for reasons that will become apparent further on in (read! You blog exploders, read!). During this discourse I am completely discounting the American cinema adaptation with Meryl Streep and Roseanne Barr.

During the summer of 1986 at the age of 17-and-a-lot I had the ___ fortune (fill in the blank yourself) to join the Women’s Royal Naval Service. Don’t get me wrong, it was something I really wanted to do at the time but for various reasons they weren’t right for me and I certainly wasn’t right for them. I joined up on 9 June 1986 and spent the first five weeks of naval life banned from watching the television like all the other girls I joined up with. From HMS Raleigh I went up to HMS Dryad to do my Radar training. I bloggered about quite a bit and had to re-sit my final exam. Once I’d passed I was sent to work in the Cunningham Tactical Trainer. All of this time, through the summer and on into the autumn I watched virtually no TV.

After awhile I realised that I was being called She-devil by one of the hookies over in Cook Building. I didn’t know what or who he was referring me to but it didn’t sound good. When I found out I was even less impressed. I suppose with the benefit of hindsight I see where he was coming from but to me at 17 Julie T Wallace did not conform to the stereotype. At 6’2” with short red hair and flashing green eyes, neither did I but maybe I wanted to more than I knew.

Anyway. Now I’m thirty-six. When I started writing sheweevil I was thirty-five, I’ve had three children and am more Julie T Wallace than she is herself. I sometimes scare myself and often scare men. They don’t like the fact I look down on them – physically at least. I sometimes feel like a giantess and people’s children point and I get mistaken for men. Which is odd really as I certainly am more than ample in the boob department. They generally can’t believe a woman can be the size I am.

Okay now I sound like the incredible hulk. I’m not green, just a bit browned off. In my head, where I am self-deprecating in a dry and mostly humorous way, I’m a bit she-devilish but not quite, I am more me than that; more she-weevilish.

Are you getting it yet?

Phoenix January Launch

As well as making lots of lovely things I am happy to be an independent trader for Phoenix Trading and I sell their beautiful cards, gift wrap, stationery and gifts   , sometimes with my own stuff and sometimes on there own.

There are five new product launches a year with the biggest being in January and before Christmas.  If you missed the beautiful Christmas stock why not have a gander at the lovely new and wonderful existing ranges over on my trading site – delivery is free and you can pay by paypal, cheque or cash in person.

Are you in or near Plymouth? Why not book me for a party or fundraising event?  Leave me a message here or on my trading site.

Email me your name and address with the subject line Phoenix to fimacmorris@aol.com to be entered into my January Launch Draw for a chance to win a £10 Phoenix Voucher and a small handmade gift.

There are some lovely cards and accessories suitable for your Valentine or anyone else in need of some love and our blank Chocolate Bar card just needs the addition of the words “love you more than chocolate” to be the highest compliment anyone can pay.  In our house we normally say dust because we have so much of it.


I normally like to show you something finished for Handmade Monday but due to a TMD (a Thread Miscalculation Disaster) on Friday I couldn’t finish quilting the top of Ruby although, as you can see, significant progress has been made.  The thread is now on its way from Cottonpatch.

I haven’t quilted this by hand, I’ve used my new toy: a free motion embroidery foot for my Singer 1507NT.  I haven’t followed the usual rules about not going over the lines and perhaps it looks a little messy to some but I’m pleased with the overall appearance and the back looks as good as the front.

What I did finish was the quilt label – I wish my photography was up to snuff but you can just about make out my name.  The date I suppose is somewhat premature but it has to be finished by 2 February (as does Oops a Daisy) as I have a Craft Fayre on 3 February.

I have finished a couple of other things in the last week as well – and they will be adorning my stall too; they are all available for sale in my etsy shop as will my Phoenix Trading cards.  Let’s pray for some good luck and some good sales – the washing machine died over the weekend and this morning we found a puncture on the car!!!


It is the coldest day of the Winter so far – I woke up cold and thought the heating had failed to come on – it was on just not making much impact on the frosty morning – wherever you are keep warm and enjoy the sunshine and if you want something to warm the heart go and visit the talented crafters over at Handmade Monday 49.


 When you grow up with this as your local beach, why would you want to go anywhere else?

I suppose that I was spoiled as a child by the beautiful beaches I grew up within walking distance of.  As a consequence and perhaps because I don’t really “know” the place I have lived for the last 17 years, I have neglected the surrounding beaches and my children’s enjoyment of them. 

For many of the reasons sited in the posts below, we won’t be away this summer and so a stroll to the beach above is not an option – we are making the most of being at home and doing days out instead.

Last Sunday was our first local foray to a beach and we chose the beach at Wembury.  It was an overcast day and I hoped this meant that the beach wouldn’t be too full.  It was busy but not bursting.  The beach is a small cove with a National Trust carpark (£4 for a Sunday – not sure if this is different at other times) a gift shop, cafe and toilets.  There are rock pools to explore and the Mew Stone ( a conical island) sits just off shore.  There’s some sand at high tide and the beach is shallowly sloping into the sea.  There doesn’t seem to be any lifeguard cover here – perhaps someone can correct me if I’m wrong.

There also seemed to be quite a few dogs on the beach.  Not sure of the rules for beaches in Devon but for most beaches in Cornwall this is a no-no between Easter and 31 October.  Perhaps I’m a fascist but I don’t think the beach on a hot summer’s day is the place for a dog, anyway, they were there.

Lachlantheboy had a great time and the cove is small enough to feel like you can keep your eye on anyone who might need it (errant kids or even husbands).

Tuesday saw us at Bigbury on Sea, across the sand bar from the Burgh Island hotel, we went with family and with three members of the party having had strokes, the flat beach was good but the access to the beach is quite steep either by steps or a steep slope.  Parking here is in the municipal car-park (South Hams) and is £6.95 for the day.  Again there are toilets, gift shop and cafe and across at the foot of Burgh Island is the Pilchard Inn which looks lovely but went untried given our newly abstemious ways.  There is a cheaper car park on the way down to the beach (£3 for the day) but this was too far for us to walk.  The beach is beautiful white sand and does have RNLI lifeguard cover, at least in the summer.

Beach adventures wil continue I hope, but this week we will be off to try out Tinside Lido for the first time.  Coming soon – perfect picnics

The times they are a changing

 Like the weather, with the imminent onset of the Summer holidays, I’m aware that times are once again changing. 

It’s been just under a year since Arty daughter came back to live with us for some rest and recouperation.  She obviously hasn’t had any, as that seems to be in short supply here but to mark here annivesary with us she’s leaving.  This is not sad or door slamming, though; she has cleverly got herself accepted (again) to the Art School she should have gone to in the first place in the beautiful city of Bath.

It has been quite lovely to see her re-emerge from the little, tight, emotional cocoon she was in when she arrived to this beautiful, pixie cropped butterfly she has become.  And she doesn’t even smell of pasties.

So the Artist and myself will be back to just having Lachlantheboy in the house – perhaps it will feel strange for a bit or perhaps we’ll breathe a temporary sigh of relief as we get used to having just a little bit more space in the house.  Whatever happens I know that I will be looking forward to Christmas when we are all back together again.

I suppose in the New Year, Surrealo Son (perhaps I should just call him Hembo here like the rest of the world) will start thinking about his future in earnest; where will that take him?

The answer, my friend, is probably blowing around in the wind somewhere.

I know that Lachlantheboy will miss them dreadfully; he always does but I’m proud that, despite my dad’s concerns (he, too, was much younger than his siblings) they all remain close and obviously fond of each other.  A reason to believe I may have been on the right track all along.