Local press

A very nice lady has just brought me in a few copies of a local glossy magazine that goes out to homes in the area. It would appear that we are featured in it, having been in the book and all. They have chosen to use the picture of me bending down, giving everyone a good look at my bosom. In the book this is a small photo, however they seem to have blown it up for the magazine. On the opposite page is a feature on another florist in a neighbouring town, who looks very sweet - I look like a strumpet.


I just can't help myself

My sweet Valentine

I have a new crush. His name is Valentine Warner, and he slips into my sitting room every Monday evening with a feast of autumnal delight. This week his boyish exuberance was aimed at pumpkins and beetroot. Unlike HFW, (who now only seems happy when ridiculing the inner city working class, by forcing them to rear pigs and poking fun at them when they cry at the slaughter house) or that Guy man on Channel 4, who is also rather dashing but held back by his co-presenter and her unfortunate speech impediment. Mr Warner is quite the thing, should I ever meet him, I fear I may behave in a most unladylike manner.


How to do wedding flowers

Step 1. Buy lovely flowers

Step 2. Arrange them in a nice manner

Step 3. Pour a large gin

For best results, do step 3 before step 2.

Clair de lune

The Singapore Grand Prix, raced by the light of the moon, and 1800 bulbs. With memories of a dull Valencia we were a little sceptical, but Mr Ecclestone we were rather impressed. Singapore, in a bid to be seen as more than just a stop over, or a purveyor of dendrobidum orchids, looked magnificent. Two safety cars brought out unexpected results, a win for Mr Alonso (helped enormously by a race engineer full of gumption) A deserved second for Mr Rosberg, and a third for Mr Hamilton.
It must be impossible to get life insurance for anyone listing Ferrari pit crew as their occupation, surely even the arrogant reds must now change their system. Watching them run the length of the pit lane to release the fuel hose from Mr Masa's car has to be the funniest thing i have seen in a very long time. The Hound also did a jig when Mr Raikkonen hit the wall - he is so unsportsman like.



This morning The Hound wounded himself in pursuit of a squirrel. He has spent the day showing off his grazes and moping around as though struck down by man flu. Currently reading this weeks OFM and watching RB's The restaurant on BBC2 he has decided a career in food might be a safer option. In an attempt to lift his mood, we ventured once more to The East. This time to meet a potato farmer, all muddy overalls, talk of Pipers and Romanos and offering bizarre beverages.


Fishnets and rosehips

Today has confirmed that it is time to open up the winter wardrobe, banish the flip flops, pull on the fishnets and slip into ballet pumps. O to have realised this before leaving the house. The table has also taken on an autumnal feel, rosehips and skimmia combine with hot pink roses and freesias. Soon we will be carving pumpkins, the gin will be usurped by mulled wine, and everywhere you go someone will try and foist a wretched mince pie on you. (the pastry/ filling ratio is just wrong) we really should get a wriggle on with deciding on Christmas schemes, could it be true that taupe is the new tartan?! The Hound, a little exhausted from sleeping all day has requested a supper of coffee and walnut cake.

Batman and Robin

The fearless roast chicken eating duo.


Miss Pickering and the case of the evil potato plant

This afternoon I pulled up what I thought to be a weed growing out from underneath the patio. It turned out to be attached to these potatoes. Remembering a scene from Brookside, I fear further devilment may be lurking - parsnips, turnips, even swede. The Hound and I are moving.

This week we have been mainly

Receiving very large parcels, and having a gallant customer help collapse the box

Loving vintage window vases

Experimenting with Kenyan roses

Eating marmite


Colour on a dull day

Turquoise is the new taupe, thanks to Jo for doing a marvellous painting job on the table and chairs, and for sacrificing a cardigan in the process.
Also for our new found farming audience - this morning I got stuck behind a Ford 8340.


Flower school opens

Roses, cabbages, larkspur, snowberry, herbs and garden foliage inspired our first group of ladies to become floral goddesses. I was seriously impressed with how well they all took to it. The class was held at the wonderful Tobie Norris, after making two arrangements we feasted on a wonderful lunch and drank wine. Such a splendid way to spend a Monday. Book now

That tart!

Not Lilo Lil, but one of a plum variety. The perfect breakfast en route to market at some ungodly hour this morning.


A record breaking drive

It wasn't quite the result we had hoped for, Mr Kovalainen failing to snatch the top spot, and Mr Hamilton making some rather disastrous tyre choices in qualifying, but oh gosh Mr Vettel - bravo! We do hope you made the right choice for next season....
The Other Miss Pickering and I ventured to Wolverhampton, for her first assessment on the road to becoming a personal trainer extraordinaire. She passed top of her class, and we are all very proud.
The Hound (deciding against a Sunday afternoon on the M6) paid a visit to The Object Of His Affections. Still a little sceptical of his bull in a china shop approach to life, by the end of the day she succame to his charms.


A wedding of sumptuousness

Silver bowls bursting with roses, delphiniums, love -in-a-mist, snapdragons, freesia and herbs, sat beneath candelabra. For an extra touch of romanticness fresh rose petals were scattered along the length of the oval table. A table layout never before seen in the history of the Lambert room. Mandi and Alan were keen to deck the church just as beautifully, and we did. Floral arches, windowsills, pedestals, vases and rather lovely pew ends, sadly not one of the photographs I took is any good. I can't decide which is the most irritating; completely forgetting to take the camera (an all too regular occurrence) or taking it and getting terrible photos.
The Hound has spent all day sulking as we didn't get to the farmers market today, he will doubtless be posting a photo of himself on Lurcher Link under the section home needed.
The soundtrack of the day has been provided by Mr John Mayer and the track "Say"


Sowing the seed or The tale of a true eccentric.

Yesterday The Hound and I made a voyage to the East. To a land devoid of hills, where vendors of bird seed and wondrous vegetables reside. We went to meet a great man who grows flowers in a small field filled with butterflies and bumble bees. By day he tends his flowers, but by night, glass of wine in hand, he dons a white shirt, ties bells to his knees and dances under the light of the moon.


Highs and lows

This weekend was a roller coaster, Saturday was just plain odd, Sunday was a fabulous race followed by meeting my beloved Marc and Keith at The George Hotel. A wonderful afternoon spent sitting outside in the rain drinking gin, discussing the lack of brown coloured roses in the UK market, Christmas trends, and weddings. How I wish we could do this every afternoon.
Sunday then took a nose dive, when the news that Mr Hamilton had been robbed of his victory came through. Then to top it all at 4.30 this morning, I feel down 2 flights of stairs. I now have a bruise the size of a continent on my bottom, I am waiting for my left ankle to turn blue, and a carpet burn on my arm, that merely adds to the one I got on the roasting tin the other day.
I just hope that my ankle isn't as bad as the awful "Shoes of death fall" of 2004. Never one for seeking medical advice, I have applied a neoprene support, and wedged it into knee high leather boots.


Not fair

This post was supposed to be a jubilant one. Tales of rain, skill, determination, and the sweet sweet scent of victory, instead it is one of outrage.
Mr Raikkonen clearly pushed Mr Hamilton into the chicane. Mr Hamilton then yielded his position, how he was then supposed to take advantage of the slipstream with so much illegal weaving by Mr Raikkonen - is anybody's guess. Mr Kovalainen also suffered at the hands of the over zealous FIA. The Hound is wondering why there seems to be one set of rules for red cars, and another for everyone else.


I want one

Yesterday was also a good day as Sally Page came to photograph us arranging flowers for one of her friend's stands. Sally is writing another book about using garden flowers and foliage in arrangements. Sarah Coward cut wonderful things form her garden, dahlias, sedum, pittosporum, copper beech, and flax leaves. With the addition of some hydrangea and roses, we made up two arrangements.
Sarah's work is quite simply wonderful, and you also couldn't meet a more friendly person. Her bronzes of horses, hounds and other animals are all limited editions of only 9. What caught my eye however was The Hound immortalised in solid silver. I appeal to everyone of my friends and members of immediate family - my birthday is just 3 months away, and falls quite close to Christmas!
Not content with admiring the art, I would also like one of these.

We also did some floral things

The trials of Burghley

Burghley Horse Trials has hit Stamford. Traffic chaos will ensue for 4 days, as the Range Rovers and horseboxes arrive, despite the fact in can take an hour to cross town - I love it. Yesterday we headed up to decorate some stands with floral arrangements. We also decorated the Country Living pavilion with bright arrangements to compliment this months issue. The show team are all lovely girls, and Guy is rather dashing.

More good news

This morning a lady rang offering me a free holiday to Cyprus or Crete in a 5 star resort hotel. All I had to do was write a testimonial saying how wonderful it was, and give them permission to use photos of myself, "my husband and up to 2 children" for advertising and marketing purposes. I politely declined her generous offer, I am not a fan of resort hotels, and I wasn't convinced that photos of myself and The Hound reclining by the pool would do anything to enhance their sales.


Good news!

According to several emails, I am the sole beneficiary of $6 million legacy. Apparently all I have to do is contact a Mr Wong in the Netherlands with all my personal and bank account details. Just think of all those shoes.
Other good news is that The Book arrived this morning! Even without the inclusion of The Hound, it makes for a jolly good read. Priced at £25 it should grace every coffee table, would be a welcome gift for birthdays, weddings, and bat mitvahs, or you could place it on your head and practice your deportment.
If you can't make it into the shop, we will happily post you a copy. U.K. P+P is £5. For the rest of the world, telephone us and we will pop to see Mr Sumner at the post office who will find the best and most cost effective way to get it to you.