Monday 29 August 2011

TUSAL, stitching and an amazing story

It's TUSAL day and my jar is growing fast this year - I even saved my orts whilst in France and brought them home safe and sound. Here's my jar this time:

TUSAL 29th August
I have been doing a little more to Sampler au Bouquet SAL on Needlecraft Haven - not much but I am hoping for a few hours on it tonight.

Sampler au Bouquet
and so to my story;

Most people know life for me is at times a little tough; but I keep smiling and carry on :) This story is co-incidence really not a story, but it has surprised/pleased/amazed me, so I thought I'd share it :)

Les Miserables holds a very special place in my life; the music, the story, the characters and of course the superb actors who bring it all to life. Last year we were very lucky to see the 25th concert live from Leicester cinema and to see Les Mis on their 25th Anniversary tour. Like many fans I think Alfie Boe has captured Jean Valjean superbly and as a wedding anniversary treat my hubby took me to London for the weekend to see him, Matt Lucas and Hadley Fraser at Queen's Theatre.

Through Twitter I chat to the other cast members and some of the behind the scenes artists. I love finding out how things are going even though we're miles away. I stitched gifts for Alfie and Matt, bought flowers for Alexia (who plays Eponine) and before the show we popped round to the stage door to hand them in. To my knee quivering amazement Alfie was at the door so I gave him the gifts in person. He kindly passed on the flowers to Alexia who surprised me with a 'thank you' Tweet in the interval and I managed to say Hi at the Stage Door after the show.

This was the start of my Twitter experience; the cast were suddenly going made about Brown Bag Crisps which looked and sounded great. Unfortunately there are no suppliers near us so I couldn't try them for myself, but whilst on holiday in France (where I bought a copy of Les Miserables in french) Brown Bag Crisps tweeted me to say there was a new deli opening in Oakham, Rutland. I had to laugh as hubby and I had had a lovely weekend break there last September with me driving my new car (my first brand new one all for me). We fell in love with the area and have been back again. It is a special place for us and close enough to home for us to have a weekend away without lots of driving. You can imagine my surprise and smile when Brown Bag Crisps said it was Oakham.

So last Saturday hubby and I went on the train to Oakham - not in my car as we found out there was a beer fest on - hic hic. I emailed the new deli to say we were coming and to make sure they had some crisps. Leo (the manager) replied saying yes they had and sorry he wouldn't be there Saturday but hope we had a good day. It was his mum who was there and she guessed who we were. She thought it was a joke and couldn't believe we'd come by train for the crisps. Leo was actually in the States on hols - amazing. All because of Twitter and emails we were chatting away in the deli - purchasing crisps, cheese and olives. We enjoyed the beer fest and managed to get the train home safely :)

I have made many friends on Twitter; a brilliant welcoming vinyard in France being just one and I do follow many celebs including a few authors; Victoria Connelly and Nicola Cornick are two new authors to me (found through Twitter LOL) but I have been a fan of Joanne Harris for a number of years. Chocolat is my all time favourite book; and I've had many holidays in France, drinking red wine, nibbling chocolate whilst reading it again :) I found Joanne on Twitter through the Les Mis Twitters.

The end of my story happened this morning - Joanne Harris tweeted about needing a name for a cat in her latest book - she offered to 'follow' the person with the name she chose. I suggested Otter (the name of the Oakham deli) or Otto and she picked Otto. So now I have not only named a cat in a book but my favourite author is following me. Me who has a very ordinary life travelling 40 miles for a bag of crisps.

How can: liking Les Mis; following the cast; learning and wanting crisps; taking an hour's train ride to a deli; result in naming a cat in a famous author's latest novel :-> these things don't happen to me, I sort stuff out for everyone else - I'm still pinching myself hours later. Only remedy is to open a bottle of the lovely wine we bought from my Twitter friendly vineyard.

Phew what a long story - hope it's made you smile too. Here's a couple of orchid photos to finish my blog and a photo of my garden which is looking fab as DS, his GF and friend stripped and painted the deck and furniture whilst we were in France - great job :)

Philippa's orchid

My orchid

My garden

Thanks for popping by - off for that glass of vin now :)


  1. that's a great story Clare, what a remarkable chain of events. It seems that you are enjoying life at the moment, which is as it should be.

  2. Lovely, Clare. To begin with not many people would have thought to start with gifts for the cast, such a nice idea and I am sure it all started there! Have another glass if wine!

  3. Amazing story Clare -- the orchids are gorgeous !!!

  4. A lovely post to read Clare, the final part of your jigsaw will be when the new book comes out and you see Otto in print.

    It's nice to have some loveliness in your life, there is so much negativity around in the world at the moment

    Great orchids, mine need some TLC!

    {big hug}

  5. I love the Sampler au Bouquet, it's beautiful.

  6. what a fab story Clare - what a wonderful invention the internet and social networkings sites have proved to be - hope you enjoy reading about your "otto"!


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