Posted on September 28, 2010 in Life, the Universe and Everything by Jay19 Comments »

I’m sure you’ll all be devastated to learn that this will be a bit of a cut-down version of my usual ABC Wednesday post (*pause for cries of ‘Oh, shame!’ and pleas for me to write more*), but I’m lining them up to post automatically while we’re away. So anyway, here we are at the letter ‘K‘, and I have one of my favourite things for you!

You see, while this won’t come as any …


news to my friends and relations, I have rather a fondness for the sharp pointy things. I mean, of course, knives! And I’ve been finding them in the most unexpected places.


You might not be able to see it very well unless you click (and click again on the next page) to enlarge the picture, but this shop, which I found in the back streets of Venice, sold some very interesting knives, so I guess it’s fair to say that it’s a knife shop, of a sort. And as a bonus, you get a nice Kodak sign in the background – Venice being so photogenic and all, they like to sell you photographic stuff when they can. Not so much film these days, but photographic kit of all kinds.

Talking of which – remember this photographic shop in Venice?


I’m sure you do! Quite apart from the Kodak ads and cameras etc in the window, this one had something else to recommend it – the likeness of Johnny Depp!

But back to the knives. I found an interesting knife shop on Pier 39 in San Francisco. Here I am standing in front of it, with my khaki canvas bag.


I bought a neat little knife in this shop – a folding William Henry with a liner lock. A thing of beauty.


It’s also highly practical and I use it a lot, mostly to open packaging of various kinds. It’s incredibly sharp, but I’ve only kut myself on it a couple of times. Ouch! Mmm. Yes, ‘Ouch’ in more ways than one, huh? Sorry about that.

Then we found another knife shop, cunningly disguised as a tea room. Yes, indeed – well, it was a tea room, but they also sold souvenirs so we bought another lovely folding knife, bigger than the William Henry.


This knife, and came in a beautiful wooden presentation box, and it’s a perfectly functional fishing knife – not that I fish, because I consider it a cruel pastime. It’s OK if you eat what you catch, but I don’t.

Well, there you go. That’s all for this week – but don’t forget to take a short trek over to the ABC blog homepage for more links to check out!

I’m away from home for a while, so I’m hoping everything goes well here in Blogland. I’m going to try to get the Macro Mondays and the ABC Wednesdays to post automatically – though that didn’t work last time – in case I don’t get a reliable internet connection. Just in case, I’m going to add the picture link answers into the main post instead of making you wait till the next day, so mind you all behave yourselves, and no cheating!

So, to start, I have a delightful puzzle for you today. Take a look at this:


It’s pretty, isn’t it? I’m rather fond of it. Let me tell you, this is no ordinary object and not many people will have one. It’s actually quite old, and while it is now in the room where it was intended to be used, it does not now contain what it was intended to contain. Once, it was a useful object, now it is merely decorative.

It’s not the only one I have, but I don’t have as many as I should have, and the others are … somewhere else in the house. This is not something you’d take outside.

Have I confused you yet? Oh good! Tee hee.

But take heart. This week you get to see the answer straight away, remember? Take your best shot and leave your guess in the comments below, then go here to see if you were right.

I’ll do my best to pop in on Tuesday evening (Western Europe time) to answer any comments, but I can’t guarantee it!

Thanks for playing – and don’t forget to visit Lisa’s Blog to see what everyone else has for you!

Posted on September 22, 2010 in Johnny Depp, Life, the Universe and Everything by Jay30 Comments »


Mmmm!  Well, what did you expect?  Of course the first picture in a post for the letter ‘J‘ will have Johnny Depp in it!  This is a stand of greetings cards from our local Morriway’s supermarket which happened to catch my eye, and naturally, I had to grab a quick snap.  Can’t you just imagine it?

‘What would you like for your birthday, my dear?’

Johnny Depp, please!’

‘Oh, alright then, I’ll just pop down to Morriway’s and pick one up for you’

*Drifts off into pleasant daydream about tearing wrapping paper from suspiciously large package’

You lot still here?  Oh – yeah.  ABC Wednesday?  Sure.  I’ll … um … let’s see.  Shops and shopping was the theme, was it not?  And ‘J‘ is the letter.

Now.  I have a dear friend who some of you will remember:  Heathrow Jen.  Not only does her name begin with a ‘J‘, but she’s recently opened up a shop, which goes by the name of ‘Jeni’s Dollz


And guess who is featured on the front page?  Yes!  Johnny Depp!  You can pop over to the shop later and check it out, but for now, here is a screenshot – just because I can sneak in another glimpse or two of JD.  As you can see, these little Johnnys are not for sale, but some of us are lucky enough to have one or two of our own.  I know I treasure mine!


And do you see who else has one?  Yes, Johnny does!   If you want proof of that (and I can’t blame you) you’ll have to pop on over to Jen’s site, where a picture of the presentation will probably make you jealous.

Her site is well worth a visit because the dolls she makes are quite unique and handcrafted with love and great creative flair. She makes them from a mix of new and vintage components, including small pieces of jewellery, and they are in no way intended to be played with. Rather, they are decorative ‘boudoir’ dolls, and complete works of art in their own right.  They are individually numbered and come with a certificate of authenticity.


Heathrow Jen has a friend who rejoices in the name of Pinks, and Pinks makes dolls too.  Her dolls are also works of art and unique, but these ones are Japanese dolls, clothed with genuine pieces of vintage Japanese kimono silk.  They are quite lovely!


A few months back, HJ and Pinks took a stall at the Denham Village Fayre and kindly allowed me a little space too, for my jewellery.  Naturally, I took some pictures for posterity.  Here are some more of Pinky’s dolls – little Japanese ladies complete with their vintage kimono silk clothing.  Just so pretty, aren’t they?


And here are Jeni’s Dollz on the stall –


From the jelly-bean colours on the left to the scarlet Jezebels on the right, they all look ready for some high jinks, don’t they?   Heathrow Jen makes slightly naughty dolls.  Goths and grungy fairies and flappers, and all jades of the first degree!

Well, what would you expect from a friend of mine?

MacroMonday-PuzzleNo34Yoo hoo! I’m back!! I bet you’re all really glad about that, aren’t you? I mean, how else would you get your brains cudgelled on a weekly basis? Who else’s blog can make your brain leak out of your ears as you try vainly to figure out the answer?

Well, I dunno. Maybe not mine. Perhaps you’ll all look at this incredibly difficult neat little puzzle and know exactly what it is? I hope at least some of you do!

So, clues? Well, it’s bumpy. And it’s new – brand new. It hasn’t yet been used for its allotted purpose. And, by the way, it only has one purpose. It’s quite a specialised thing, but it does what it does remarkably well, and one of us actually really enjoys putting it to use – you see, we had one before and it lasted for years, but the little bumps had started to fall off. And that will never do!

Perhaps I should also tell you that while it smells a little bit of ‘newness’ right now, it will actually smell more after it’s been used a few times, but it’ll smell different.

Oh, and you get about five of those complicated little bumpy things to one-and-a-half inches/4 centimetres.

So come along, my loyal blogging friends, take your best shot! As usual, the answer will be posted tomorrow evening (UK time) in the form of a picture link, and meanwhile, if you want to see the picture a tad bigger, click and then click again on the next page.

For more (possibly more restful) Macro Monday offerings, do wander over to Lisa’s blog.

Well, well – didn’t you do well this week? Several of you guessed the exact object and its use, starting with Colleen, then came Shooting Parrots, Brinkbeestinenglish, Sistertex and Babs, then Camilla (Lillagul), Taffy’s Mum and Lisa from Lisa’s Chaos! Also I need to add Carletta and Janis because they got the general idea, too. Here’s the picture link with the answer, so you can all see for yourselves – and thanks for playing!