ūüćā Inger ūüćā

Inger …..who falls down into the underworld for pulling the wings off insects .. and other unkindly acts … captured by the Marsh Wife who embroiders lies, and strings together all the idle words which fall to the ground, to make mischief of them. ~ the girl who trod on a loaf ~ Hans Christian Anderson ~ she’s not all bad in the end ……

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Hettie Brown & the Red Boots… a story.

Hettie Brown had wild chestnut hair that had a whole mind of its own,  the only way of taming it was to capture it securely under her hat.


Her face was covered in freckles, and Grammy  said that if you were to join up every little freckle on that dear Pixie face, you would see a map of the whole universe. Hettie Brown was not sure if this was true, as she had never, to this day, tried it.

She lived in a little Romani wagon, down a small lane near Mr Diggery‚Äôs farm. ¬†In Springtime If you walked on from the Romani Wagon and past Old Diggery’s place, if you looked up, and not at your feet, as some have a habit of doing, ¬†you would happen upon, spread before you like woven gold, the most beautiful buttercup meadow.¬† If you were to sit quietly amongst the buttercups for a while, you may even hear the old cuckoo.


Hettie Brown was a child of the Earth and the Trees and the Sky, she was as near to a wild thing as a girl could be, whilst always remembering to say her pleases and thank you’s, and being quite polite, like her Grammy had taught her.

As Grammy said ‚Äėnobody likes folks who are rude, and who don‚Äôt mind their manners‚Äô.


Grammy was old, in all her life with all the people she had ever seen, hettie brown could not recall ever having met anyone as old and wise as Grammy. She had white hair, hair that had once, it is said, been just the colour of the sky, as the sun is going to bed and sinking down low into its bed. The most beautiful wild auburn hair.


The red boots arrived in a thunder storm…

Hettie Brown had not known she had needed red boots until she owned them, she had not realised how important a pair of red boots would be.

The red boots arrived tucked under Grammy‚Äôs arm……

Grammy sat next to the little pot stove to dry, the thunder crashed outside.  And as Grammy helped her into the Red Boots Hettie Brown could tell they were the kind of boots that had had a good life, but yet also had a lot of living left to do, if only they were to find the right feet to do that living with.

Once upon her feet, after each boot button had been threaded in turn, not with black boot laces, but scarlet ribbon, wearing two pairs of think woollen socks, as the boots were a little too big, ‚Äėthat ell be room to grow‚Äô said Grammy. Hettie Brown could not help herself but to look at her feet.

Grammy said the boots had been her very own when she was a girl, just as now they belonged to Hettie and it was her job to look after them, as a good pair of boots, she said, were pretty hard to come by, especially red ones.


Grammy told Hettie Brown that her own  Pa had  found the boots a long, long time ago when she was just a girl.

Outside the rain fell and the thunder crashed and ¬†the little pot stove spluttered and hissed every time the rain came down the chimney pot of the old Vardo. ¬†Inside it was warm and cosy, ¬†Grammys eyes got that far away look that they sometimes have, she said how she had watched as¬†Pa¬†pulled out ¬†the boots from his knapsack, telling her then as he fastened the ruby red ribbons around every boot button in turn….

‚ÄėWell my little pixie, if ever there were two things in life I could be sure of , one is that today is your lucky day for sure, and two, if ever a pair of feet were meant for a pair of red boots like these, then yours are those feet‚Äô

Grammy smiled at those memories then she smiled at Hettie Brown and she said

“So if you happen to be a child of the Earth and the Trees and the Sky, and if you happen to one day be given the most beautiful pair of red boots that you ever did see, well¬†¬†you wear them with pride, and you tell your story‚Ķ.. For¬†it is said little Pixie, ¬†that you ¬†can tell an awful lot about a person by looking at their boots”


The End xx




The Day the Circus came to Town …….

Little Circus Wagon, home to Old Grey the Circus Elephant, who dreams of one day going back to his real home, where his memory takes him at the end of each Big Top show….For as you know Elephants never, ever forget ……


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Old Grey & his Circus Wagon

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The Little Romani Vardo & Old Grey’s Circus Wagon, the day the Circus came to Town….

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The End

Life through a lens…

Im eagerly awaiting the return of 4 rolls of film, there’s this great place in Bristol that I send them off to¬†photographique¬†. ¬†They even develop the 120 mm which not too many places do these days.

I bought myself a new camera recently, well I say new it’s a new to me reconditioned Pentax K1000. ¬†It’s a dream to use, and learn with, as it has a light meter so you don’t have to get too hung up on exposures & shutter speeds ect, but learn as you go. I’ve been scouring the second hand shops for photography books and have a nice little collection now. Its all beginning to sink in and I am loving the process. Shooting with ¬†film is a whole new kettle of fish, it’s teaching me patience, something which doesn’t always come naturally to me, I can be a bit gung ho. ¬†With film you are very aware that each shot is costing you money and another exposure, so you need to focus very much on what you are about to do, you only get one shot at it, unlike digital, where you can take 100 shots of the same thing, if you so wish.

I love my new camera so much, it feels weighty and good in my hands it has a pleasing click to its shutter and I’m smitten. ¬†I’ve been posting my analog shots over on instagram @theangelwithonewing I like to see them all in one place and to meet other photographers.

The next few photographs were taken on the Kodak Retinette, it’s now got a stuck shutter, which i’m not too sure what to do about… but these are my favourites….



Bath town centre


Canopy of umbrellas in Catherine Street Bath


Dusk in the garden


Old derelict house in Wincanton


Bath Flea Market


Bath Flea Market


Self Portrait

Heart or Head?

I made another Romani Caravan she’s a little Bow Top Vardo. ¬†If I’m quite honest I feel shes my best work to date (I hope that doesn’t sound too conceited, its purely on a personal note) which has given me a slight dilemma. ¬†I love her so very much, right down to the Roses on her little tin roof. ¬† Its very tricky when you have a situation when your heart rules your head, I listed her in my little shop, then took her out again…..I don’t want her to sell, as I love her, but I do want her to sell as I want to be a successful artist …should I listen to my heart or my head?… this may go on for days even months!! Is it the curse of every Artist & Maker I am wondering? ¬†Keep or sell … and so the pendulum swings …. eternal. ¬†Any how she looks quite lovely on my front room window sill with the sun coming in, I’m looking at her now and wishing I could shrink and just retreat under that old tin roof a while.


Myrtle the Romani Caravan

I had a hair cut on Tuesday, It’s quite a bit shorter, and I love it, my head feels light, I hadn’t realised how much my hair was making my head heavy, so now it is light and airy and It ¬†somehow seems that I can fit so many new and interesting thoughts in my old noggin! ¬†I like also how the bits of grey are showing much more , it looks pretty I think. ¬†On Wednesday next week I’m getting my eyes tested so will be having new glasses, I’m really looking forward to that, its long overdue. ¬†I’ve been feeling for a while that a bit of an mot was in order, I was beginning to feel old and tired, so new specs and a new barnett are just what the was needed.


mug shot

I thought I might make myself something new to wear, but I just can make up my mind on pattern or fabric!  Id like a Merchant and Mills dress shirt in White I think, still pondering that one.  Im liking the transition into Autumn, thinking about wearing my boots again, and layers.

I’m forcing myself not to think too far ahead, it’s one of my pitfalls always being one step ahead of myself, I’m trying to slow it down a bit and just enjoy the time right here right now, ¬†not easy breaking the habit of a lifetime. ¬†For now, today at least, all I’m pondering is a new homemade frock and finishing my little knitted elves lights.


Elves lights ~ The Icelandicknitter.com

I have about 5 more flowers and leaves to knit and felt.

Trying to write here more regularly… ive gone of instagram abit…dont tell anyone!!


hettie brown xx





Here is the little bow top Romani Vardo once belonging to the amazing Double act of Clifton & Miss Daisy. She is called Pépin. Miss Daisy worked in the circus as a trapeze artist.  After the curtain went down on the last act of each day Miss Daisy would retire to Pépin her little Romani Wagon, sit on the little wooden steps and watch the moon slowly rise, from many different towns across Europe.

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The story of great Aunt Daisy, on my Dads side of the family.

The details of her life are quite sketchy, but what is know is that she was a part of a travelling show, with Clifton.  She was either  a tightrope walker, or trapeze artist.



Daisy & Clifton travelled Europe entertaining and performing.  As the Second World War broke out they were in Germany.

Hitlers campaign not only targeted Jews but also travellers & showmen & women. There is no trace of them after this time & it is believed that they were sent to consentration camps.





August is not my favourite month, maybe it’s the way the heat hangs in the air, so hot and sticky and cloying, there is nothing subtle about August it’s all singing all dancing, it’s brazen and garish, if ¬†August were a person she’d be Hyacinth Bucket! ¬†or All show and no knickers, as my nan used to say! ¬† So, it is with a happy heart that I turn the page on the calendar and see September and all the promise she brings. ¬†September, the swan’s song of summer, bringing with her the stirrings of change, in each leaf that drifts down from the trees.


I haven’t written here properly for so long, maybe I didn’t feel the need. ¬†This year has been so far mostly about nurturing my rather beaten pride, and do you know? ¬†I think I’m getting there. ¬†Confidence, once it’s been knocked is a tricky customer to win back, as although on the exterior you may look fine and dandy, deep down there’s a whole lot of stuff going on that needs mending.

It’s been a lovely summer and I’ve learnt a fair few things about myself, probably the most important thing being that, to be a happy person I need to spend time outside, I need to grow stuff and garden. ¬†I think I lost that somewhere down the line, it got mislaid along with all the other piles of to- do’s….. how important it is for me to grow things. ¬†I was thinking only yesterday about my Grandad, he had an allotment in South Ealing and when we went to visit he’d go and dig up dinner and bake a cake, such simple things but they were the best things.

My youngest has now left school and this is the first summer I haven’t had the back to school rush of buying school uniform and sorting stuff out, we’ve had an empty nest much of the summer as she ¬†is a socialite my daughter and has made the most of the sunshine before she starts work. ¬†On the one hand its amazing to watch them both grown and thriving in this crazy world and on the other I have felt nostalgic for small hands in mine, grubby faces and the general chaos of motherhood with young children. ¬†I think however I have turned a corner, it’s time to stop looking back and start looking forward and maybe a time for being a little selfish too.


So many changes.

I hope to start writing again? but I’m not making any promises, I figure if the words are there I’ll sit here and type them… so here’s to September and the hint of the new things that she carries with her on the Autumn breeze…..

hettie brown x


‚ú® The Gipsy Moth ‚ú®

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Inspiration from a recent trip to London, where we took a boat trip down the River Thames, it was a beautiful summers day and as we stepped of at Greenwich a lady was playing the fiddle.

I threw 50p in her opened fiddle case, and we wandered on past the the huge sail boat the Cutty Sark, and there just behind the beautiful carousel was the

The Gipsy Moth pub, where we sat and enjoyed a lovely cool pint of cider.

An little insight into how my noggin ticks…maybe?

yesterday the Gipsy Moth was created.


Garden update Part 2 Mostly June


Catching up on the garden posts, its been a busy time, spent outdoors.  Progress has been huge, and all our hard work has been so worth it.



June 1st top ~ May 1st bottom pic


June 1st


June the Delphiniums flowered


Under the Apple tree in June


May and the Sweet Pea Bedstead


June and the Sweet pea bedstead


June Delphiniums and foxgloves


And the Lupins…..

And then the rain fell and the winds blew, for about two weeks solid ….the delphiniums, foxgloves and lupins suffered big time from the british weather…

But all was not lost…. to be continued