31.10.08

Lost in translation

Can you tell I still can't find that wretched cable? The picture, courtesy of google images, is to illustrate our brush with Japan today. It is also one of my favourite films. This afternoon a lady came all the way from Tokyo to see the shop. (Actually she came to see her daughter in London first, but I like to think our little shop has reached stellar status in the land of Ikebana, karaoke, sushi and over the knee socks)
The very nice lady found us in The Book, which incidentally would make a marvellous Christmas gift. I got to use my new book signing pen which takes forever to dry. 5 minutes drying time a little dabbing, blowing and wafting saved my dedication from looking like one of those butterfly pictures they use to see if you are psychotic.

This much I know (part deux)

The shop is so cold I can barely type, and I have lost the cable that connects the camera - again.
I am wearing my new slinky, some may say slightly sexy thermal vest.
By Sunday night Mr Hamilton will be World Champion.
The Hound has eaten his weeks supply of pig's ears in one morning.
By 8.50 a.m. we had taken 3 peoples Christmas orders, wreaths, table centres, pedestals, my customers are much more organised than I am - again.
The first of our new stock arrived today, beautiful things, when I find the blasted cable I will show you.
My birthday is now just 6 weeks away, I wou ld like a horse.
Saluki's i.e. The Hound will always do as they please, and you can't do anything about it - this from a man who trained them for the Royal family in Abu Dhabi.
I have developed a thing for alice bands.
M&S have stocked up on their ready made mulled wine, it is far too sweet, but somehow I can't walk past it without popping a bottle in my basket, it was my downfall last year.
This week has been brought to you by Strange and Beautiful by Aqualung, Cheese and cucumber sandwiches, and white hyacinth.

30.10.08

This much I know

Warning! This post is a little reflective, in a hideous way. Normal service (tales of the eccentric, gin drinking, Hound owning, florist) will resume tomorrow.

Things don't always turn out the way you plan.
I am lucky to have a large extended family.
I have 4 younger siblings and will always be the motherly elder sister. I blame this on genes inherited from The Mother Hen.
The staff on the Neuro Critical Care unit at Addenbrookes are fabulous.
The coastlines will still be there to explore another day.
Don't keep things for best, wear your f*** me shoes and prettiest dresses everyday.

25.10.08

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu

We are off on our travels, the shop re-opens at 9a.m. on Friday 31st October. May your week be filled with joyous things and the odd gin.

24.10.08

Life is full of surprises.......

Making an arrangement without herbs, berries, chillis or anything remotely edible - this could be a first.
Discovering that before he took up residence here The Hound was rescued from the side of a road, and given a temporary home, and for that we thank you. Please note no actual pheasant was harmed in the making of this photograph, this is The Hound's favourite toy Percy, he is also partial to Samuel the Squirrel and a rabbit that goes by the name of Rodriguez.

Being asked to give a talk to my old school, apparently last year the Old Girl's who talked were deemed to be a bit high flying, and this year they are looking for someone who "just runs a shop in town" - gosh how can a girl turn down such a prestigious offer?

22.10.08

Have a break, have a.....


Well actually it is probably one of my least favourite confectionery items, but Caramac or Double Decker don't have a suitable slogan. I like them even less now the packaging is that new foil wrap that is actually plastic, heaven forbid you should put that in the grey recycling bin. A gentleman told me recently that this new wrapping is marvellous as it extends the shelf life of a KitKat by years, but then his bar of choice is a Boost bar (?!)
The point of all this is to let you know that we will be closed for a few days next week, reopening on Friday 31st October. Sans interruptions to contract flowers, should any solicitors, restaurants, hotels etc. be reading this - panic ye not.
We are off to be inspired by coastlines and spa towns, and the odd bright light.
To summarise
Closing on Saturday 25th of October at 5pm, and reopening on Friday 31st October at 9am.
Should you require flowers during this time - patience is a virtue, you can have them on Friday.

21.10.08

The cultural divide

Today a chap rang up to order some flowers for his wife's birthday.

"Can you put this on the message? How do I love thee? Let me count the ways..."

"A fan of the great Elizabeth Barrett-Browning?" says I interrupting.

"What? no, it's from that bagel advert" Says he

and this little hound went to market

Sometimes flowers appear magically in the shop, and on other occasions you have to get up in the middle of the night and get them yourself. Should this need arise in your day to day life - here are my top tips.
1. Wake The Hound, probably the hardest part of the day, it involves a lot of coaxing, ringing of the doorbell and shouting - Cesar Millan would be horrified. I would apply to Dog Borstal, but I think that involves some sort of sleeping in a tent.
2. Get dressed, Suitable warm and stylish clothing (I am starting a club, florists against puffed up bodywarmers) accessorised with smudged mascara and tousled hair, all very Peaches Geldof. Make sure you turn on the big light so that you can see that you have picked up the top with the coffee stain over the left bosom before leaving the house - and not in the harsh strip light of market.
3. Load up van and head off, realise just at the point of the no return that you have forgotten the list.
4. Drive like a banshee, park and have a nice cup of dishwater from the free vend machine.
5. Pile trolley high with flowers, ribbons, and some plants, bruise right forearm.
6. Load up van with said purchases, being careful not to let the trolley plough into the van parked next to you, juggle The Hound who swears he just saw a squirrel and would like to investigate, being sure to get your heel caught under the trolley and cursing.
7. Head back to the shop, moderate the temperature of the van for The Hound, heating on a little, passenger window open sporadically throughout the journey.
8. Get stuck in a very large traffic jam caused by police closing the road, perform a 3 point turn, and head along another road that is equally jammed.
9. Realise that the journey is now going to take 3 times as long as normal, and The Hound's morning promenade will be cut short. The Hound realises this too, and tramples on a tray of herbs as revenge.
11. Return to shop, realising that you have forgotten important things on the list, mainly String and Raffia. Apologises to anyone who buys a hand tied bouquet, it will tied up with expensive french ribbon.
12. Spend the rest of the day, adjusting pinny to hide coffee stain, realise you have left hairbrush and makeup bag behind, so the smoky eyed bedroom hair look will have to stay. This strumpet thing is a self fulfilling prophecy.
13. Smile knowingly at the ladies that come in saying they would love to own a flower shop.

Todays show has been brought to you by the letter K and the song I'm Trouble by Pink

19.10.08

Jekyll and Hyde

Seems to have been a theme of the weekend. Thankfully Mr Hamilton in direct contrast to last weekend performed a textbook race weekend. Pole postion, perfect start, fastest lap and the highest step on the podium. As cool as a cucumber, we only hope this will continue to Interlagos, and bring home the driver's championship.
An added bonus was watching Mr Raikkonen yielding his position to Mr Masa - oh how the mighty have fallen.

16.10.08

Thanks a bunch



This week the mailbag has been filled with thank you cards and photos of beautiful weddings. Soundtrack of the day has been provided by Goldfrapp, and topics of conversation have been Obama Vs. McCain, Clive Owen, the Hang Seng and bowler hats.
The Hound has spent much of the day on the phone to Ladbrokes trying to get the best odds ahead of tomorrows practice.

14.10.08

Let's have a heated debate......

Whatever happened to Mrs Merton?
This year in the garden at the shop we have managed to grow a few select vegetables, by few I mean one solitary aubergine, some tasteless tomatoes and some butternut squash. I blame the lack of the sun, and not my complete inability to remember to water anything. It is the same in my garden at home, although we have managed some amazingly delicious sweetcorn, courgettes, rocket, watercress and mizuna. The rest have suffered with neglect - weddings seem to take preference over watering. I can see my neighbours tutting and whispering "look at that.....and she's a florist" The Hound hangs his head in shame.

So, the question on everyone's lips is how do we cook this one prize specimen? Aubergine Parmigiana? Moussaka?, chargrilled and piled up high with slices of mozzarella and beef tomato? Or does anyone have a mystical recipe that will turn a rather small, sad looking aubergine into a gastronomic delight? Answers by carrier pigeon please.

Yesterday we also ran a flower class - turning more ladies into Floral Goddesses, equipping them with the skills to head into the garden and snip foliage to add to exquisite flowers from the shop. Once again I was impressed by their skill and enthusiasm. We have been asked by so many people to hold evening classes, and these are coming soon - Email us, or leave a comment and we will let you know when they start.

The Burghley Wedding Show - November 9th

We have been invited to exhibit at the first wedding show at Burghley. We have never done one before, but this one sounds rather civilised - champagne reception, canapes and a chance to have a good root around the house itself. The Hound and I have had endless discussions on what to take, we will naturally be doing our signature vintage style, but with a new twist, and having been inspired by all sorts of things this summer, expect some surprises as well.

Advance Tickets cost £3 available from us, or £4 on the day.

12.10.08

Dog-tired


The Hound is exhausted having spent the latter half of the week getting up in the middle of the night to watch pre-qualifying practice. He is wandering around muttering about circadian rhythms and melatonin.

All Hallows Eve



Soon small children will be donning cheap plastic masks from Woolies and demanding confectionery. Getting into the spirit of it all, Jo made the most spectacular window. The sunshine made it impossible to photograph, but trust me when is say it is marvellous, and rivals that of the O2 shop down the road - their window is currently displaying various shots of Daniel Craig in Bond mode.

Damn, blast and sugar plum fairies

Actually the house has been filled with slightly sterner expletives in no fewer that 6 languages. My dear Mr Hamilton, it was most unfair of you to mess up the start so spectacularly. It was made worse by the fact that your loyal fans had to rise at 4.30 am in order to watch you do it. Mr Masa (taking a leaf out of the book of The German-whose name we do not mention) took to illegally forcing you and Mr Bourdais off the track. In true FIA style, they rewarded him with an extra point. Oh the injustice.

8.10.08

This week we have been looking through the square window.

Inspired by Kelly to go all plum


Getting the most fabulous present ever

Still experimenting with the old taupe

Wearing pearl necklaces


1.10.08

Boot Camp

This morning my door bell rang, still asleep I stumbled to the door to be greeted by an energetic The Other Miss Pickering. I had slept through the alarm and forgotten it was the start of The Regime. Power walking this morning, The Hound came along, like an annoying teacher's pet with their hand up and a "pick me" attitude he was keen to show off and sprinted ahead. I was less speedy, still a little stiff from a kettle belling session earlier in the week, and struggling with my wardrobe choice. Most of my outdoor pursuits can be done in a wardrobe of woollen stockings, silk camisole, tweed jacket and a pheasant brooch, this morning I was a vision in grey marl. To avoid the "reject from a 1980's exercise video" look, I might have to invest in some of those new technology fabrics, and a pair of trainers that aren't covered in sequins.