Monday, 5 April 2010

Easter? Pah!

I don't like Easter much.  Sure, the chocolate's nice but it's always overpriced at this time of the year, and since I'm a Trophy Wife and don't 'work', the long weekend break doesn't really mean much.  But it still manages to feel like four days in a row of wet Sundays in the 1970s when you were a teenager and NOTHING EVER HAPPENED.  Somehow, though, there's still this expectation that a fuss has to be made, or families have to meet up, or  you have to go out somewhere.  I suppose it might have been different if my reproductive system had had any intention of co-operating and had managed to push out live kids rather than dead embryos, then I would probably have got right into the whole Easter Egg Hunt and decorating eggs malarkey, but when it's just the two of us, frankly, what's the point?

Yes, I have removed my giant hat of smug and replaced it with the cloche of curmudgeon.

It was also our 14th wedding anniversary yesterday, and I had, in my head, before it arrived, the germ of a blog posting about our wedding in Las Vegas (as I'm trying to persuade sas to run away there to tie the knot).  There'd be pictures including an entire coachload of oriental (possibly Malaysian or Thai) tourists who arrived as we were having photos taken and whom we invited to join us for a couple of pictures.  But I changed my mind.  Perhaps next year.

Of possible more interest to you (or possibly not), my valiant readers, is the fact that a couple of weeks ago, due to enormous arses having constantly been plonked in it now for around 15 years, one of the springs in our biggest sofa gave up the ghost, went 'PER-TWANG' and shot the spiky end through the bottom.  There then followed days of debate about what to do.  TLH was leaning towards getting a new one, but I was loathe to spend the money on that when it could be spent on much more interesting and fun ventures such as holidays abroad or, at the very least, more wine.  It had been an expensive sofa at the time so we decided to at least try and have a look to see if we could do any kind of repair ourselves, or if it would have to go to an upholsterer or, indeed, have to be replaced.  We also don't really like the colour of them anymore.  Terracotta was a very popular colour back in the mid-90s but it just looks dated now.  I chuck throws over them.  In the picture below you can see in the bottom left corner the edge of the smaller sofa which has a dark brown throw over it.  I put lavender ones on in summer.  God, this is scintillating stuff....

So, yesterday, TLH tipped it on its back and began to remove the underneath bit (click on all the pictures to make them bigger):

Once again, as you can see, I couldn't be arsed to tidy up just for the sake of the pictures.  The eagle-eyed among you may spot a lone Lindt Golden Bunny on my table (the one on the right with the floral stash bag of wool on the floor in front of it). This is my one recognition of it being Easter - I sent TLH out to get Easter Eggs last Saturday and he came back with Golden Bunnies. I rather like the little golden bell on the collar around its neck, but girl cat Pepper likes it even more.  Anyway, I digress.

When we could see underneath better, this is what we saw:

These long springs are called Serpentine springs and you can see where one has just snapped through metal fatigue (from enormous arses).  We did some research online and it seems you can replace them but it looks like you have to deconstruct the sofa to get to the frame where they're bolted on.  Bugger.

TLH went away and pondered a bit, had a rummage through his manly detritus in the garage and found a couple of angle-thingies that he bolted to the spring to hold it together.  Success - TLH really is The Lord of the Darn Settee! Although we'll see how long it lasts.

In other news, I'm very pleased with a fibula that I was commissioned to make for the lovely Completely Alienne.  Fibulae, as I mentioned in a post back in February, are an Ancient Roman design that directly led to our safety pin.  Ms Alienne wanted one with darkish green beads but I didn't have anything that exactly fit requirements, but I did have some really rather lovely Fluorite beads that would work.  I love Fluorite:

  (pic from Shutterstock -

It combines all my favourite colours in one stone - green to purple with shades of pink, lavender and blue in there too.

I found three large, smooth, barrel-shaped beads that would work, a purply one, a greeny one and one to go in the middle that had both colours in it.  I then added clear Swarovski Crystals in between the beads but found that when I then bent the wire up to make the catch, the pressure caused the crystals to flake so that was no good.  But I wanted something clear and light catching, and remembered I had a stash of very beautiful Ice Quartz tumbled chips that were quite large and had holes that were big enough to take the wire, so I added those instead and it worked a treat.  Made the catch, then did the curves and the swirl at the end.  I wanted to add a suitable dangle but the Fluorite beads were too big, and the swarovski crystals I had weren't the right colour.  A small stack of the Ice Quartz chips might have worked but my eye fell on the star-shaped swarovski crystals that I use to hang below my Crescent Moon suncatchers, which were perfect.  So I wired up a bail for one, put a jumpring through the middle of the swirl and attached the two with a small length of sterling silver chain.  Lovely.

I took some photos to send to Ms Alienne to ensure it was what she was after:

I took the second one to show Ms Alienne the size of the finished brooch.  Please avert your gaze from the enormous matronly bosom shelf and focus on the lovely, lovely, brooch. I think it works really well.  If you want one of your own, just drop me a mail or visit my jewellery website.

Finally, there may be some readers out there who wiled away great tracts of their misspent youth attending gigs at Guildford Civic Hall, and who no longer live in the area.  After years of wrangling by Guildford Borough Council, a couple of years ago the old Civic Hall was demolished and it's now being replaced with another venue (I think they're including a hotel in there as well).  I was in the area last week so took a couple of photos to show TLH and wondered if you might like to see progress.  They're not that exciting, it just more of an historical record really:

The Civic always used to be on the gig circuit for all those great bands in the 70s and 80s.  I can't recall how many bands I've seen there but it includes (from early days when I was very young) Mud, Kursaal Flyers, Bauhaus, Echo and the Bunnymen, The Vapors, The Jam, Lena Lovich, The Buzzcocks, The Damned, The Cramps, The Police (who were the support act to The Cramps!), Toyah, Penetration - I'm sure there were many others.  At one time it seemed there was a band on there I wanted to see every week, but then they stopped coming and then it eventually closed.  Shame, really.

Anyway, this has been a sort of rambling, pointless post, just a bit of catch up really.

Hope you've all enjoyed your Easter more than I have!!!


Anonymous said...

I don't bother much with Easter either, though I do appreciate the 4 days off. I didn't even get as far as a Lindt bunny (lovely though they are) this year, I settled for loads of hot cross buns instead.

The repair looks a lot stronger than the original spring, so it will probably last longer than the sofa!

I know you have already seen the thank you I posted already - but thank you again. It was interesting to find out how you made it.

That is quite a band list - I have seen a few of them, though not in Guildford. I kept all my tickets but cannot remember where I put them. They are probably in one of the boxes in the eaves that I haven't unpacked yet; well .... I have only been here 15 years.

Mrs Jones said...

Ms Alienne - I find it interesting to see how things are made and sometimes wonder if my customers are too - most of them don't realise what goes into creating something - so I just figured I'd talk about this one in a bit more detail. Bands - I'm sure I saw many more than that but just cannot remember, and I think I must've chucked out the ticket stubs in one of my many moves since those days. Oh well.

Anonymous said...

I, on the other hand, spent much of my Easter reading your entire blog from start to present. I DO like your frosty landscapes and your bridges and kilns. I lived in Godalming when I was tiny and because of my grandparents spent much of the 1970s/80s around Haslemere/Guildford/Chichester although I now live in London. Your blog makes me feel quite nostalgic. Via Belgian Waffle I remember reading your near-death experience some while back.
Funnily enough, I also spent time last year in BP.
Do keep it up. I will very much be a regular now.

Mrs Jones said...

Anonymous - hello! Thank you for your kind comments. My posting is a bit erratic, I must admit, but I only try to post when I have something to say (unless I'm feeling particularly verbose.....) so I hope I don't let you down!

Kella said...

Cool repair job and beautiful jewellery.

Our Easter is a little more involved as I have the girls and they had an enjoyable day.

Anonymous said...

Love the brooch. Must save up for one of my very own. Shiny.
Am also very impressed by TLH. He is extremely handy.

And watched WHO. I will not divulge the whys and wherefores. Merely that we do not approve of the new titles. Jason is horrified by the green screwdriver, but otherwise very cool and we all approve of fish custard.

Ali said...

Love the jewelry and looks like the repair job will work a treat. I didn't think anyone repaired stuff anymore. I thought we had become a throw away society, so that's nice to see!!
Like you the 4 days of over Easter was like any other weekend to me as I don't work. Maybe next year it will be different and we will have a little (ok well apprx 7 year old) Junior to share it with. Will probably be knackered but it will be worth it!!

mountainear said...

Very, very impressed by the sofa restoration maestro. I think I would have seen a new-sofa-opportunity but understand the lure of Abroad and Wine. Anywhere with sunshine I think.

Mrs Jones said...

Kella, Katy, Ali & Mountainear - TLH's ego is swelling to gigantic proportions with all the compliments to his manly repairing skills. I could dash them with a few revelations but I'll forego that just this once.

Katy - I actually missed the opening titles but am not convinced about the title music.

Ali - I was going to ask how the search for a suitable young boy was going - takes time, I suppose, but you'll get there.

Sally, the MADs said...

Firstly, I am terribly impressed with the husband's manly detritus - most inventive!

Second, sorry to barge in on your comments, but I wanted you let you know you've been nominated for a MAD Award - specifically the Most Inspirational Blogger and Best Photography categories.

You can find out more information about prizes at and also download a badge if you want to encourage your readers to support you. Congrats and good luck!


Mrs Jones said...

Sally - Blimey! And thanks, but mostly, blimey!

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Mrs Jones said...

Ah, Imelda, Imelda - my first Spam commenter. Everyone's wise to your game these days so I hope you get absolutely no visitors whatsoever, but I shall leave your comment here to mark the time when the criminals finally decided my paltry little blog was getting enough readers to warrant their attention. But yours will be the only one.

Anonymous said...

Easter - I don't pay any attention to the reasons why. I just love chocolate, love hot cross buns, love holidays ;-)

Also - looks a damn solid repair, well done.

I really like the brooch - will have to get one when I get there and have earned some money.

Mrs Jones said...

Ms Cheese - yes, I agree, the differing foodstuffs are absolutely the only reason to partake in these ridiculous 'religious' events. The repair is standing up well to the enormous arses, so far anyway. The brooch - little secret, it's stupidly inexpensive and I should charge more but, for friends......