scribbles tagged ‘Englishness’

Sylvac bunny 990

Sunday, January 24th, 2016 | tags: , , ,  |

Untitled What can you tell me about these two Sylvac bunnies?

They appear to be the same shape, very similar moulds. The markings on the base are similar to other bunnies that I have and look authentic.

The colours are slightly different, the glaze appears slightly different.

The most notable difference is the pattern of the fur. One bunny has regular lines, the other has a more twisty layout of fur. Look at the outside of the ears…

Are they both Sylvac from different production periods?


Sylvac bunny 990
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Antiques theme park

Saturday, April 25th, 2015 | tags: , , ,  |

You know those permanent, indoor, antiques markets dotted around English cities and towns? They have them in the USA. The riverside city of Stillwater is full of them. It looks like whole families make day trips to Stillwater to browse through the many antiques markets. I thoroughly enjoyed looking at the archaeology of different decades. The wood burners and red glassware were particularly beautiful.

Red glassware

Red glassware set and stained glass window


Wood burner, fender, vases and oil lamps


Stuff on shelves


Furniture and paintings

The British version of antiques roadshow is broadcast on the local Public (free) TV

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rococo hedgerow

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013 | tags: , , , ,  |

Rococo hedgerow

rococo hedgerow
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Education act

Saturday, February 2nd, 2013 | tags: , , ,  |

The Education Act of 1895 made schooling free for all children. Hoorah!

Several schools near the Wendy House were built around this time. The nearest one is where I go to vote, on the Wokingham road. The Alfred Sutton primary school.

Alfred Sutton ran “Sutton and Sons” which was the world’s largest seed firms at the time. Alfred donated 20% of his substantial income to charitable causes. One of these causes was funding the creation of local schools.

Alfred Sutton Primary School opened as the “Wokingham Road School ” with just over 100 children attending the first day in 1902, it was renamed after Alfred Sutton in 1920 when there were 528 children attending – 50 in a class. The red brick building is not just functional, it really seems to celebrate children and education.

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take time to smell the flowers

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011 | tags: , , ,  |

heart of a roseOnce upon a time, during an annual job performance review my manager suggested that I should be a little less efficient because it was making other staff feel bad.

I wasn’t living in the USA at the time. Quaint British ways.

I am now more adept at ensuring that I have work time allocated to allow me to be seen to be inefficient.

Lets think of it as my

  • ‘unfit for purpose’ time
  • extra tea-time breaks
  • fermenting good ideas while going completely off-topic time
  • employer funded socialisation time
  • creative teamworking
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rinse and repeat

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011 | tags: , , ,  |

Oh my god, my head hurts! What a good night. Shazzer, John and Ally know how to have fun! I remember sitting on the floor in the kitchen but I can’t remember why! Must have been a good night!

Pinot Noir,  on BarSuch a good night, it’s going to take all Sunday to recover.  I’m going to have a lovely lie-in, stay in bed all morning while my head clears. Texting Shazzer, John and Ally to find out if they’re as wrecked as I feel and to find out what happened!

No! Shazzer, there’s no wine left! We drank all 8 bottles. Shazzer you’re SO crazy! NO! I’m not having a glass of wine with a fry-up,  I’m not making cupcakes with wine flavoured frosting! We drank all the wine REMEMBER! ‘Cos I don’t! LOL. But the bottles are empty! Shazzer’s such a scream! John’s so cute and he’s got some REALLY cute single friends. Ally’s gonna get John’s cute single friends along for next Saturday. Another great weekend coming up!

I WAS sat on the kitchen floor! I missed my chair, John pulled it out as I sat down, that’s so funny! I should loose weight, I’ve got large thighs, wine goes straight to my hips. You should see my bruises, I’ll facebook them, my arse is well purple, blue and yellow! Looks like the chair tried to beat the fat off my thights!  The bruises hurt nearly as much as my head,





222 word post where I try to write in a different, familiar voice. Thanks to Scarlet for suggesting how I go about choosing a voice
rinse and repeat
1 vote rating 5

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Sylvac doggies?

Sunday, January 16th, 2011 | tags: ,  |

Since January 2007 the post I scribbled in 2005 on Sylvac bunnies has been seen by 906 people across 1237 visits to the wendy house. Only 5 other scribbles have more visitors. Unlike the top 5 scribbles all the traffic for the Sylvac Bunny scribble comes from search engines rather than referal links. It’s popular because of its content alone rather than the popularity of the people that link to it.

Sometimes the visitors leave comments asking me questions that I am unable to answer. Its wonderful to see other visitors then drop by and answer those questions. People send me photographs of their bunnies, and one person sent me photographs of his 2 Doggies.

Can anyone here answer Gerald’s questions about his doggies? Gerald writes:

This Turquoise Dog …say 7 1/4″ or 7 1/2″ High is a puzzle and i have not been able to pin down …if Price Company or Sylvac or who made it. this would be fun to find out!

Sylvac dog Sylvac dog

Here are pictures of Gerald’s doggies, click on the photograph to see a larger version hosted on flickr.

Sylvac dog

Looking at the Denman’s auction site, where verified Sylvac doggies are photographed for sale, we can see that Sylvac produced a broad range of designs and colours.

his Turquoise Dog …say 7 1/4″ or 7 1/2″ High is a puzzle and i have not been able to pin down …if Price Company or Sylvac or who made it. this would be fun to find out.

Sylvac doggie credentials

My one Sylvac doggie is approximately the same size with a couple of damaged legs, a less glossy glaze and very clear model number and manfuacturers stamp on the base. Sylvac doggie

On the day I looked at Denman’s auction site my doggie was on the lists but Gerald’s model was not… …what does it mean? Can you help us?

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hide your bum

Thursday, October 7th, 2010 | tags: , , ,  |

Lord Hutton’s use of the English language when interviewed on radio 4 this morning was most entertaining. I won’t provide English translations unless requested because the actual meanings were a tad more dull than

  • race for the bottom
  • push problems under the cup


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nearby seaside

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010 | tags: , , ,  |

why I love England #14:  nearby seaside

when you live on a small Island, small like Britain, everywhere is near the sea. The furthest place from the sea in Birtian is only 70 mile away. Sea birds, like these guls in Tiverton, can be seen all over the Island. English people on the island grow up with the seaside only a day trip away.

I love day trips to the seaside.

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cooperate with the internet

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010 | tags: , ,  |

copy-pasted from an email:

Sorry for the inconvenience, but the internet will be gong down at 16.20pm for just 2minutes. Thank you for your cooperation

People are so polite here, it’s darn-right cute.  I thought you should know about this because the email was only sent to the building I was in and with the internet being down you might want to find something else to play with for 2 minutes.  Hope this helps, thankjs,  LOVE you!


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too hot to be fabulously british

Saturday, June 12th, 2010 | tags: , , , , ,  |

spotty dog: Nice jacket, Jack Wills?
wendy: yes, when I got back from the US I felt an overwhelming need to wear something fabulously british, this looked like a boating jacket
spotty dog: but you haven’t worn it since we arrived
wendy: its too hot in Italy, I’ll be fabulously British when we get back home


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Birds custard

Friday, February 26th, 2010 | tags: , ,  |

Birds Instant Custard

why I love England #13:   Birds custard

It’s here , its   now and it’s not just for the birds.    In the US I  made my custard from egg yolks, caster sugar, cream, vanilla  and cornflour according to Delia Smith.   This involved time, skill and concentrtion. In the UK I get instant gratification from birds.


Birds custard
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Monday, December 21st, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

Poets for Oxfam

John Hegley  delivering St. Georges day

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sub post-office

Thursday, November 26th, 2009 | tags: , ,  |

Village shop and sub-post officeWhy I love England #12: sub post offices

Nettlebed village shop and sub post office.

Mixed messages of care.

sub post-office
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leafy roadways

Saturday, September 26th, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

Road across DartmoorWhy I love England #11: leafy roadways

Driving down many of the roads in rural England is like driving through a tunnel,   the trees on either side meet above you.   On sunny days dappled light dances on the road.   Beautiful

leafy roadways
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Anglo Saxon is not European – Shock!

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009 | tags: ,  |

European or Anglo Saxon?   Mutually exclusive groups?

A European Union  funded research project called investigating Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) describes the companies that participated in their research as being either:

  • North European
  • South European
  • Anglo Saxon

(e.g. table 18 page 49  in Final Report)

Do you think they included some USA registered US English speaking  companies and labeled them Anglo Saxon?  

How would they classify a company with its Headquarters in the Netherlands that uses Anglo Saxon English as its main business language,   North, South or Anglo Saxon?  

How did they label  any companies registered in Northern Germany  –  pure Saxon? or did they exclude them?

Does ‘Eastness’ and ‘Westness’ not make a difference?   Given the radical differences of the social philosophy influenceing Western and Eastern European countries I would have suspected differences in their attitudes, behaviours and sesitivity to ladybird stings.

Time for another cup of tea.

This is an example of the type of thing that keeps me entertained and (un)productive during a normal working day.   What works for you?

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We came. We Swooped. We are camping.

Friday, August 28th, 2009 | tags: ,  |

We came. We Swooped. We are camping. is the slogan on the bottom of Robin Parr’s  ‘climate camp’ blog post.    This Bank Holiday weekend there is a climate change protest in London.   It’s a very British form of protest.   Camping.    It’s a protest against capitalism.   From their site:

the Climate Exchange is the system’s European stock market – must be exposed for the dangerous global financial game which it is. Carbon trading has not and will not reduce emissions. It simply makes corporations richer and allows governments to put on a charade that they are doing something about climate change.

A blog post on the Guardian cites the ‘Whitechapel Anarchist Group’ as complaining about the event,   not because the cause is inappropriate but because the the protesters are inappropriate:

many of the protesters at the camp are middle class students and graduates who are about as revolutionary as the Scouts

I love that this form of protesting, camping-out, enables anyone to participate,   because everyone should have a voice.   With as many as 1 in 6 households    in Britian not containing anyone who is ‘working’,   there are plenty of people excluded by the capitalist system.

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angst on a ukelele

Monday, August 10th, 2009 | tags: , ,  |

Angst in penguin suits,   with plummy accents,   on plucky ukeleles, by post-teenagers.   Despite all the apprarant innapropriateness,  it seems to work quite well.  

The Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain sing Smells like Teen Spirit

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the heavens opened

Sunday, July 26th, 2009 | tags: , ,  |

why I love England #12:generous heavens

When the heavens open we are blessed with the peaceful hypnotic sound of rain

on the Wendy House roof

on a  summer evening

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birdsong addicts

Friday, June 26th, 2009 | tags: , ,  |

why I love England #11:   birdsong

Sound engineers play birdsong on a dis-used radio channel.   The channel became very popular.    People were OUTRAGED when the birdsong  channel was closed down.   I am SO lucky because I can just open a window or door and hear the little blighters bickering away.     Jolly good show

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daily flirting

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009 | tags: ,  |

Hair lying knottily on the pillowYoung Male Colleague (YMC):   morning luv

Wendy: morning luv (reflecting,   while trying not to choke or laugh at what feels like an innappropriately over-affectionate term  to me, but might not be)

WMC: You’ve got bed hair

I move my hand to my hair to ruffle it some more, emphasize the effect.    Before my hand reaches my head:

YMC: No, don’t, it looks good

The UK chaps do like to use conversational styles (flirting?)  that were not normally used,with me,  in the NW US.   A lot of flirting,   its not ‘serious’ though,   it appears to be dished out fairly evenly within a heterosexual framework.

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Popular conversational topics #4: favourite roads

Saturday, June 20th, 2009 | tags: , , , , ,  |

person 1: what’s your favourite road?

Wendy: A68

person 2: yeah,   that’s got some nice (demonstrates bends and hillocks with his hands while making excellent sound effects)

person 3: what about the road that goes down to Cornwall?

person 4: Yeah,   the A30

The conversation continues in this vien.   I feel that I’ve found home.   Next time I may mention buses,   what do you think?

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Tuesday, May 26th, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

hint of rainbowwhy I love England #10:   conkers

A wealth of green leafy blooming conker trees in the spring showers and sunshine hail the arrival of competitive conker activities where naughty cheater might resort to soaking said conkers in vinegar or hardening them by  cooking them in the oven.   One-ers,   two-ers,   and more,   champion conkers paraded and gawped-at performing in play grounds,   fields and gardens.   The sound of conker on conker is as English as leather on willow.

Goodness,   its one of the legacies of the empire.

It’s more than rather cute

It’s rather fun.

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below par

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009 | tags: , , , , , ,  |

Tea Coseys for saleThere is a branding, marketing, styling opportunity in the tea-cosey market which is woefully or wonderfully underdeveloped depending on your perspective.   This collection didn’t prompt me to part with £5.37

My main tea-cosey was hand-made by my talented sister-in-law.    My name is sewn on the inside incase a moment of scattiness leads to my  losing  it (the tea cosey).   It fits on my head as snug as a custom-made hat.   That kind of personal tailoring does take some beating and these shop displayed tea coseys just aren’t up to par.

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old and new

Saturday, May 2nd, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

flat caps, sticks and cardigansTwo slim elderly gentleman rest their walking sticks  as they wait to cross the road in downtown London.   Flat caps keep their heads warm,   cardigans sensibly cover their torsos in the cool spring sunshine.   The modern office block in the background reflects the sun and current fashion.

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Sunday, April 26th, 2009 | tags: , ,  |

why I love England #9:   rambling

Florence graffittiNot the conversational rambling often illustrated with flippancy.

The type of rambling that is darn near to hiking,   but not quite.   Britain even has a charity organisation dedicated to this passtime,   the official rambling assoication.   They will be celebrating National walking day on May 30th,

How excellent is that?  !

700 times excellent at an absolute  minimum, really!

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Thursday, March 26th, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

why I love England #8:   flippancy

Liberal indulgance in flippancy.   Often there is no apparant  effort to dress-up,   or dress-down, conversations to be anything other than a wee bit of mutual indulgence in minor entertainment.   No nonsense nonsense.   In my experience flippancy is more common, valued,  in England than in  the NW US

Mary:   Wendy?   that’s easy,   we don’t have any Wendy’s here.

Wendy:   Oh, (signifying surprise that I’ll be the first and only Wendy here) I’ll be your first Wendy!

Gill:   everyone is called Gill or Mary…   …I don’t know why….

Wendy:   Even the Simons and Geoffs?

Simon:   What?

Geoff:   Leave me out of this.

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Monday, March 2nd, 2009 | tags: , , , ,  |

I remember the early 1980’s

  • the recession.
  • living off root vegetables, tea, and hope that unemployment would reduce.  
  • Being mistaken for a ho when walking home alone…. …any time of day.
  • Mortgages requiring a 10% minimum deposit and being a maximum of 3x your annual income in a job you’d demonstrated committment for  at least a year.

Everthing considered,   I thought The Beat put it quite politely.   An understatement.   I cried everytime Thatcher was re-elected.   It was personal.

The (English) Beat sang ‘Stand down Margaret’

(Warning:   contains Sax)

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Thursday, February 26th, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

why I love England #7: surreality

Man On Bus (MOB): It’s all foreign to you innit?!

Wendy:   Yur, t’is!

MOB: Just shut one eye and whistle (smiles and winks as he disembarks the bus)

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mumbling adolescents

Monday, February 16th, 2009 | tags: , ,  |


As a teenager, for empathetic reasons  I had a soft spot for lanky skinny people with pale complections, outrageously large quiffs, and an inability to clearly articulate.   People like me!

In 1981 Edward Tenpole,   or ‘Teddy’ as I liked to call him,    twitched and loudly mumbled in a video that could have been inspired by the fabulous sets and costumes of Monty Python and the Holy Grail.   I could loudly mumble along with this little ditty without even knowing what the lyrics were.   Excellent.

Tenpole Tudor sang ‘the swords of a thousand men’

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