The Salix, Small Hope Beach, Shanklin IOW

I’m not here to advertise but if I come across something or somewhere good then I’m happy to highlight it.

It’s a beautiful day on the Island, the sun is shining and its just a little warmer than it’s been recently. There are definite signs that spring is on its way….thank goodness!

The perfect day for a walk along the beach (with the added advantage that there aren’t many people around!)

Where to stop for lunch?

We remembered that one of the little cafes on the front had changed hands and the new people were looking to “do things a little differently”

New signage, some decking, new furniture, and a wood burner are just some of the improvements. Double glazed French windows lead onto the decking and the beach.

The food and coffee were lovely, the location and views sublime, a terrific addition to our beach.


Sitting on the decking in the sun with the sounds of the waves, it doesn’t get much better!



It’s going to be lovely to sit in front of the woodburner this coming winter and watch the waves crashing on the beach outside whilst wrapped in a complementary rug and drinking decent coffee! (not that I’m wishing for winter!)

Good luck ‘The Salix’ and here’s hoping you have a terrific season, we’ll certainly be back soon.




Book Bingo latest!

IMG_20160309_2331059_rewind_kindlephoto-1075917614Today I ‘got a line!’ on my book bingo card, and received my prize, a lovely Shanklin Community Library book mark. I’m actually getting quite excited about this book bingo malarkey. I took back my Dirk Bogarde autobiography which I’d bought from the library “for sale” shelf (not usually interested in autobiographies and the poor chap didn’t live the rather gilded life that I was expecting to read about) to qualify for a corner square and picked up a graphic novel (the only one in our little library) in order to be able to claim my “a book from the young adult/teenager section” square! I’ve never read a graphic novel before so I’m not quite sure what to expect…… but you never know I might like it!

Make your own Victorian House!

A couple of weeks ago a group of us went for a meal, one of our number suggested that we should all go back to his house to finish the evening off with a brandy.

On one of his shelves amongst lots of treasures I spotted something that I recognized but had forgotten all about, a faded paper model of a Victorian house. It was a model that I’d made with my Dad years and years ago (obviously not the  actual one we had made)

I think that Dad must have bought it as he particularly liked that sort of thing (pop-up books, paper engineering) and we spent a some very happy hours making the model which sat on a shelf in my bedroom for many years.

I had to have it again and so with the help of Amazon a copy of the book arrived today!

Make your own Victorian House by Rosemary Lowndes and Claude Kailer (all you need is a pair of scissors and glue) It looks as exciting as it did all those years ago and brings back happy memories, I’m itching to start making it again!






I’ll put photos on to show it finished!

Classical Ornament – C. Thierry (Dover Books 2016)


I love Dover Books and have loads of them. A visit to the Dover Bookshop on Earlham Street in Covent Garden was always a treat when I was at college and then working in London. It featured a design donated by Eduardo Paolozzi, a long time fan of the shop and the shop was a draw for artists and designers featuring everything from Japanese border patterns to Victorian medical illustrations. There were books on photography, architecture, graphic design, fashion and at the back a terrific children’s section including Paper Doll Cut Out Books (Why I have one of Joan Crawford is anyone’s guess – you can apparently get them for David Bowie and Adele now as well!)

The shop was a treasure trove of books, an image library specialising in largely royalty free illustrations and used by all sorts of designers from Paul Smith to Vivienne Westwood. Unfortunately with the area around Earlham Street moving from niche specialist shops to larger chains and free images being easily sourced online, after twenty seven years the shop had to close. Thankfully, Dover Books (an American company) are still available and as marvellous as ever. This book “Classical Ornament” by C.Thierry was originally compiled in the 1860s. It presents more than 70 illustrations of classical ornament, consisting of architectural elements from structures such as the Parthenon, the Acropolis, the Vatican Museum and other buildings. The book is aimed at a pretty niche market, students of architecture and the decorative arts, graphic artists, designers and historians. With only 70 or so precisely detailed renderings on 74 pages it is hardly exhaustive on the subject but is excellent and the images are of course, royalty free.


If classical ornament is your thing then Heck’s Pictorial Archive of Art and Architecture is worth looking out for, with over 2,200 illustrations it’s a veritable treasure trove and also printed by Dover Books.

Empire Style Design and Ornament, (again published by Dover Books) is a collection of designs for architectural ornaments manufactured by Joseph Beunat in 1813 and contains everything that pertains to the decoration of rooms, such as panels, overdoors, mirror friezes, wall friezes, pilasters, door posts etc, it’s another winner in my mind as is Decor Architectural (Les Editions du Carrousel).

This edition of Classical Ornament is published by Dover Books in 2016.  Many thanks to the publishers and Netgalley for letting me view this review copy.