These are a few of my favourite things….

A brilliant Way to Start the Year…….

“Make a list of all your favourite places, activities, people, food, clothes, shoes and things………

…..and make 2010 a year to enjoy them……..”

I read this in an advice column in a paper on New Years day.

So okay,

I forgot about making the list and just took the advice literally and went rummaging about in a number of secondhand book shops in Lewes.


I love bookshops, especially antiquarian ones, for the old tomes give an insight into people from long ago and what they got up to! (often very illuminating…)

Plus antique leather bound books are beautiful. The decorative bindings are in many cases a work of art.

In search of a particular Thomas Hardy I have not read, I happened upon a pretty little set, that was impossible to resist. If one is going to succumb to their favourite things, it may as well be to a whole set!


On opening up 'The Trumpet Major', I could not help but laugh. For the first line of the second paragraph jumped out at me…

“Anne was fair, very fair, in a poetical sense; but in complexion she was of that particular tint between blonde and brunette which is inconveniently left without a name.”

How horrified Anne would have been had she read this about herself. Indeed how horrified would any woman be who was described in such a manner…. Inconveniently unnamed..because it doesn't warrant boring, unimportant, uninteresting, unexciting, uninspired, dull…the list goes on. I think Anne would have had a thing or two to say to old Thomas Hardy for describing her in such a mundane way.

Going back to the opening paragraph of the book, however, we learn that this was…..

In the days of high waisted and muslin-gowned women, when the vast amount of soldiering going on in the country was a cause of much trembling to the sex, ….. there lived in a village two ladies of good report….”

So our dear Anne, who was of a particular tint that was so boring it remained unnamed was also ' all a tremble,' due to so many men about. Did she have any luck, is obviously the question to be asked?

Did she need a make over?

Were there such things as make overs in 1880 when this book was first published?

Or did her inward beauty shine through?

( I will let you know when I have read the book)

And so I must ask….

Do women, in 2010, tremble?

( I love that word tremble!)

I think they might!

My friend Ally and I certainly trembled to a certain degree when we happened upon Bill's cafe in the centre of Lewes.


What an amazingly inspirational place. Creativity overload. Whoever cooked up this place oozes originality, inventiveness, imagination, not to mention immense resourcefulness.

inside shop

The salads looked almost poetical such was their flounce…..

Each main dish a piece de resistance…

The desserts pure artistry…..

And the shop itself looked like a tapestry, woven with the textures of a french market, for flowers, fruit and vegetables flowed out of old wooden packing cases, baskets and buckets.

The place literally buzzed.

inside shop

So inspired were we from the visual stimulus surrounding us, that we both felt the urge to start working on something creative ourselves right there and then…..

I was thinking about dresses, Ally was discussing puddings.

Isn't it wonderful when another's creativity rubs off on you and gives you the spark that ignites the mind in a million ways! New concepts and ideas suddenly spring to mind.

So watch out…….

Come the summer, there may be a dress than resembles a three tiered gateau covered in wild berries, or maybe it will be a pavlova styled skirt with kiwis and passionfruit !

( But then again maybe not….)

p.s. If you now feel the need to check out Bill's for yourself, be warned, there is a very long queue of patient souls, their mouths watering, waiting to enter food heaven!

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