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Royal Ascot Ladies’ Day – The Fashions

So, our day started well – six of us met at Templecombe station, cracked open the champagne on the platform and caught the 9.45 to Reading for the first leg of our train journey to Ascot.

Two stops in (Tisbury) someone laughingly asked if we’d all got our tickets. Mr. H-L and I thought each other was joking when we both said “No”.

Oops.

This is us after alighting at Tisbury, ready to catch the next train back to Templecombe. Luckily, a friend had a house key and popped in to collect the tickets. She dropped them off at the ticket office for us to save time as we had got a lift to the station and had no means of getting home.


Having caught the next train, we were only an hour behind. Of course, all the food and champagne had gone on ahead with our friends, so we had to try and recreate the excitement with Pringles and Prosecco bought on the train.

We’d opted to travel First Class so it was no problem. We got chatting to a few other race-goers on the two and a half hour journey and two changes of train.


And at least we’d got our tickets!!


Safely in by 1pm, we had time for proper bubbly before the Royal Procession at 2 o’clock.


Bubbles were flowing like a river and everyone was having a great time, gearing up to the first race at 2.30.


We ambled over to the parade ring in time to watch the Royal Carriages arrive. Queenie looked radiant in cerise, although Prince Phillip was too ill to accompany her this year so Prince Andrew is sat next to her.


And then the action began!

We had our race card and picked this patriotic-looking bookie with which to place our bets.


We won some, we lost some. The viewing is great despite the thousands of people as the huge screen means you don’t miss a thing, which is otherwise possible despite the horses thundering past just a few yards away as the photo below illustrates.


On to the fashions of the day. Our party of six scrubbed up pretty well, I think.

These are two close friends who feature a lot on the blog.


Another friend who joined us for the first time this year.


Lovely Ruth from the USA was in England for just a week and her first day coincided with Royal Ascot, an event that was on her bucket list – AND she even got to see the Queen! She was one happy American!


And, of course, you’ve already seen pictures of The Mister and Me.


Dress codes are slightly less formal in the Queen Anne Enclosure, but there were plenty of gents still choosing top hat and tails.

Yes, that is a man touting Stella Artois by the pint in a barrel on his back.


Three piece suits seemed to be the most popular mens’ attire by far, and there were a surprising number of different looks.


How about this bright red one, scarlet right down to the matching shoes and trilby!


More variations on formal menswear, some good……



….and some not so good!



As for the ladies, hmmm.

A few got it very right and embraced the elegant, classy look that Ascot is famous for.






A lot more were almost there, but missed the fact that hemlines should ideally be knee length or lower.


Some girls thought bodycon Lycra was an appropriate choice!


But, unfortunately, there were far too many girls in their early twenties who just didn’t get it. I couldn’t bring myself to photograph them, but this press photo from Aintree races gives you the gist. More like “Barbie Goes To The Races”.


The hats were incredible as usual.



Although not my thing, fascinators were a very popular choice with many ladies. A massive hat wins every time for me:)

The six races were over all too soon, then it was off to do the traditional singing around the bandstand at 6pm.



Just time to nip into the shop before heading back to the train.


There was even a mobile seller with Cuban cigars.


The fifteen minute walk back to the station saw the majority of ladies in flip flops, hobbling after a day in ill-fitting-but-gorgeous shoes. Not me – I kept mine on all the way home!


First Class was full to bursting on the return journey, but we were fortunate enough to get seats on all three changes of train.

On this leg, the carriage was silent until The Mister pipes up at the top of his voice “SWEET CAR-O-LINE….!” And the rest of the carriage finished it with “…..Bah, bah, bah!” What followed was a spontaneous rendition of all the other songs that had just been sung around the bandstand that continued until the next change of train – great finish to a fabulous day!!


I’m already thinking about next year’s dress – we’re going to upgrade to fine dining so an even posher dress could be on the cards. 

Any suggestions gratefully received!


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Sunday Sevens #107

1. Woke up to another beautiful frosty morning – this is the view through the French doors from our bed.

2. We went to a Christening – the baby slept through being baptised and The Boys were given sparklers by the vicar!


3. The shawl has been sent to its new owner at last! I will do a short post on it in the next couple of weeks but, suffice to say, it was very well received, thankfully.


4. Mr H-L and I went to Clark’s Village to buy him a new piece of cabin luggage for his regular business trips to Amsterdam and, obviously, we had to have lunch whilst we were out.


5. Lunch was fabulous……..but not as amazing as my other purchases:)


6. A fun shot of one of my kids’ sewing classes – yes, we really do have that much fun!


7. Another Christmas commission was completed and sent across the pond to the USA.


8. I found time to help Mum with a commission that she was struggling to find the time to do – a personalised cushion for a baby girl. Definitely girly, but not too babyish, I think.


9. You can’t tell, but this is me having a G&T in our local pub. Fifi likes to sit on a coat on a stool and watch the world going by out of the window.


10. I had some leftover Stag’s head fabric from my Minerva Craft sponsored project and made a cute little hat and leggings for our granddaughter for Christmas. Can you tell that I’m a bit of a stickler for pattern placement?!



11. We went to stay with my brother for the weekend and missed the Remembrance service so watched it on TV instead. This is a photo of our local church in its Autumn dressing. I know – random.


Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series thought up by Nat at Threads & Bobbins, in which anyone can join. Visit her blog to find out more.


33 Comments

Sunday Sevens #101

Time for another Sunday Sevens as thought up by Nat at Threads & Bobbins – click here to find out more and how you can join in, too.

  1. The Boys both won their football matches quite convincingly this weekend. No.2 Son’s team won 9-0 and he scored a hat trick. No.3 Son’s team won 5-2.

2. I treated myself to this mug by Wrendale Designs – I love this particular range and I’m hoping this is the first in a collection that will fill the hooks on my newly renovated dresser. Might have to put them on my Christmas list though, as they’re a bit of a luxury at ten pounds each.

3. I have a few commissions already for Christmas and this is my favourite so far – four kids’ bobble hats. I’ve made a sample in cream complete with the fabulous pom pom, which I love. The commissioned hats will have faux fur bobbles though, as preferred by my client.

4. Sewing lessons are still going strong – this is one of my Thursday after school groups.

5. Looking ahead to this year’s #stitchingsanta, I have been collecting goodies as and when I see them and thought that one (or both) of these books would be good for the knitting one. Just one pound each in our local charity shop, I’m sorely tempted to keep them for myself…..

6. I also picked up this cute little pot which will be perfect for all those patés that I make.

7. Talking of cooking, this is a new favourite of my ever-hungry family – a sausage plait. Delicious hot or, even better, cold in lunch boxes to make a change from sandwiches.

8. Jam making began in earnest this week and I am so glad I invested in this gadget a few years ago. It’s a vegetable mill and takes the effort out of removing seeds from blackberries.

9. Batch one is labelled and in the store cupboard. This jar went to the chap who, very generously, put his surplus apples out on his wall for you to help yourself.

10. Friday evening promised to be one of the last opportunities to have a picnic, so 11 adults and 19 children met in the park for cricket and a picnic tea. I took a platter of paella, still piping hot from the oven. Yum!

11. No.3 Son finished his corduroy trousers in time for the Autumn chill which has just arrived.

12. I made a very successful batch of Yorkshire puddings. Sadly, they don’t always rise as well as this.

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13. Mr H-L has dropped two stones without really trying, annoying though that might sound. He now has two brand new suits costing £400 each which fall round his ankles at the slightest tug. What a waste!

14. We went to our dear friends’ house for a lamb roast on Saturday – what a great night that was!

15. I can’t finish without showing you their inventive solution to the toilet problem. With fifty guests and only one toilet, our host came up with this idea for a homemade urinal, situated around the side of the shed. A water bottle (the kind you get in offices) trimmed and attached to a pipe which led into a tray full of cat litter to soak up the liquid and any nasty smells – genius! There was even a privacy screen, battery powered light and alcohol handwash, too.


47 Comments

Sunday Sevens #74

In the West Country the weather was awful this week and both the Saturday and Sunday football matches were cancelled. The dogs refused to set foot outside the front door and No. 2 Son didn’t want to go to the stables either which meant we had a rare weekend with both of The Boys and Mr H-L at home. This gave us the opportunity to do indoor ‘stuff’ (which doesn’t include technology) and I didn’t even turn my computer on – a reasonable excuse for my Sunday Sevens being late!

Hop over to Threads & Bobbins to see what Sunday Sevens is all about and how you can join in if you want to.

  1. Daughter paid us a brief visit to collect her bobble hat, much needed in this weather.

bobble hat

2. Mr H-L and No.1 Son worked from home a couple of days this week and this is what I rustled up for them at lunchtime. No wonder they’d rather not go into the office!

champagne lunch

3. I spotted these beautiful crocuses (not ‘croci’ as it’s not derived from Latin!) on a dog walk at the beginning of the week before the dogs vetoed any further walks.crocuses

4. The dogs hate the wind and rain so much and this photo says it all really. Fifi climbed up onto the hearth and stared at us until Mr H-L obliged her by lighting the fire!Fire dog

5. I managed to finish this month’s project for the Minerva Craft Blogger Network -a fur gilet with gold Paisley lining. A full blog post will follow next week.fur gilet

6. I adapted the bobble hat pattern to make a beanie for No.1 Son in his requested colour, Olive Green. One row of cables was dispensed with so the hat was less pointed and more rounded like a beanie should be.green bobble hat

7. I was given this set of notebooks for Christmas, but they are so lovely I can’t bear to use them! They each feature a different vintage McCall’s pattern envelope on the front and back covers.sewing pattern notebooks

8. The inside pages are all different, too, some printed with paper pattern excerpts.pattern books inside

9. Yet another bobble hat was cast on, this time in navy blue for a birthday present for a good friend. Navy is NOT a great colour to knit with in the evening.

navy bobble hat WIP

10. How do you get from a skein of wool to a yarn cake?skein and cake

11. With a swift and yarn winder, of course! I treated myself to this quality wooden swift a couple of weeks ago to give Mr. H-L’s arms a break. swift

12. The yarn winder was a Christmas present and, between them, they make short work of a previously tedious job.yarn winder

13. I’m still managing to squeeze in a few rows here and there on the scarf to match my pink bobble hat which I made to match my Raspberry Pink boots:)cable scarf

pink boots

That’s all folks! Are you more productive in the Winter because of the enforced staying-in?


40 Comments

Sunday Sevens #73

Another Sunday, another Sunday Sevens, as dreamed up by Nat at Threads & Bobbins – click on the link to find out how you can join in.

  1. I ordered some more gorgeous wool by Juniper Moon Farm to make a matching scarf for the bobble hat I made myself last week.

Juniper moon farm yarn

2. It’s my own design so I’ll share the pattern if anyone’s interested.

pink cable scarf

3. More yarn arrived in the post, this time with two faux fur pom poms which are OK but nothing like as fabulous as the real fur ones from Toft. At just £2.95 for two though, they are good value compared to £8 each for the Toft ones.

Drops yarn

4. Brown bobble hat (as requested by my daughter) already finished!

fur pom pom bobble hat

5. Beanie well underway for No.1 Son in his choice of olive green.

green beanie

6. We had haggis for Burn’s night. It never looks particularly attractive but we love it the traditional way with neeps and tatties.

haggis

7. Saw lots of snowdrops in full bloom whilst walking the dogs.

snowdrops

8. Managed to grab this rubbish photo on my ‘phone of a kestrel that likes to perch on the shed roof. We get loads of birds of prey in the garden as we back onto open farmland – you should see the size of the buzzards!!

kestrel

9. My son’s not the only one with an eye for a bargain – I snapped up this pretty little cabinet in a charity shop for £30. It’s going to house some of my vintage china.

P1070239

10. The local parish magazine did an article on ‘entrepreneurs’ and invited me to put a piece together about my sewing school.

P1070241

11. The Boys have progressed to jumping. Freddy’s little pony thinks he’s a show jumper and clears the tiny jumps with a foot to spare!

Freddy jumping

12. Bertie’s larger pony doesn’t put in quite so much effort.

Bertie jumping

That’s it for this week – I’d better get in the shower now before the Tesco delivery arrives. No doubt there will be a knock on the door just as I get in…


62 Comments

Sunday Sevens #72

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series devised by Nat at Threads & Bobbins whereby you share seven photos of your week. It’s a great way to keep blogging when you don’t have enough for a full blog post and we all get to know a bit more about the person behind the blog. Simple!

  1. Earlier this week I finally had the surgery that had been cancelled on New Year’s Eve because they lost my notes. All went well and I even managed to cast on another bobble hat!

img_2950-1

2. This gorgeous bouquet arrived “on behalf of all your friends in North Cheriton” – how lovely?

img_2953-2

3. Home alone for lunch, this is my favourite way to use up ripe avocados.

img_2957-1

4. Three down, two to go……it seems that everyone now wants a pom pom hat!

img_2973-1

5. I WILL make time to transform this fabulous Alpaco/Silk laceweight yarn into a Summer cardigan in time for Spain in May.

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This is the pattern I’m using which you can download for free at Artesano.

Cardigan

6. Mr H-L and I went for a pub lunch in The Nog Inn, Wincanton. The dogs instantly curled up in front of the wood burner. I made Mr H-L put his lovely wool coat on the flagstones for them to lie on:)

inglenook

7. These camouflage trousers are a sample to show my eight year old boys what they will be making after they finish their back packs. Do you think flap pockets are a bit ambitious for a second-ever sewing project? That’s the great thing about kids – if you tell them they can do it, they believe you and just get on with it!

trousers

8. You haven’t seen one for a while, so here’s a typical lesson underway. There are usually four in each class, but sickness has claimed a few recently.

sewing lessons

9. Saturday morning and these two landed on the doormat! Time for a break.

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10. Brunch this morning. Don’t even think about mentioning the rights or wrongs of wine before midday. And who has heard the latest about black pudding being considered a superfood? Yay, recognition at last!

brunch


46 Comments

Sunday Sevens #71

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series started by Nat from Threads & Bobbins. Why not pop over and see how you can join in?

  1. Disaster – my hand knitted socks have a hole in them! My big toe is so much longer than any of the others that all my socks get thrown away eventually because they get holes in them. There’s no way I’m throwing these away a) because I made them b) because I invested a considerable amount of time in their creation c) because they are quite simply the most comfortable socks I have ever worn.

Guess I’ll have to buy a darning mushroom:(

socks

2. We had some late Christmas presents in the post all the way from America (thanks Robin!) – The Boys were thrilled as you can see from their expressions.

The Boys

3. This beautiful pheasant has decided it’s safer in our garden than in the fields beyond. I managed to snap it on my iPhone on full zoom, hence the poor quality.

pheasant

4. I’ve started another bobble hat for a cousin who saw it on Facebook and fancied a pink one.

Bobble hat

5. Mr H-L’s father died on Friday. He waited until we popped out for lunch and we got the call whilst we were eating pudding. We toasted his memory with a glass of his favourite whisky.

Holbrook

6. I’ve got a bit behind with my sewing so spent all weekend up in my sewing room trying to catch up. It’s good therapy, too.

sewing room

7. No, it’s not a dress, it’s the lining to my new green velvet coat!

lining

8. Mr H-L has been keeping me supplied with refreshments. Not sure that red wine, Pringles and sewing are a good combination…

refreshments

9. The hens decided that it was far nicer to be inside than wading around in acres of mud outside. They loathe the wind and rain and, if the door is left open for a millisecond, they’ll sneak in.

hens

10. The dogs detest aren’t that keen on sharing their food with the girls so, as soon as they see a hen in the house, they race to their bowls and down the lot as fast as they can.

Sometimes not fast enough.

Amber

Right, back to the sewing room for me – just the hem and buttonholes to do!