Hunk’s Trunks Sunk by Zebedee Helm

I first published this almost 2 years ago and it is still one of my very favourite ANTW posts

Hunk’s Trunks Sunk by Zebedee Helm

The problem of bikinis slipping off when enjoying a dive into water is not one that is exclusive to women. As a man it happens too, although it is often not a bikini but the male swimming costume (trunks) which come down and expose the white male rump and ding dong. Don’t think you can trick gravity by pulling the drawstring really tight before diving either, it just makes them harder to pull up again. For those of you who are interested in damage limitation and don’t want to frighten the children, the trick is to catch your trunks before they come entirely right off and then try to re-position them when you are still under the water. Of course this isn’t always possible and if you find yourself starting to drown then abandon the manoeuvre, it is not worth dying for. The thing of it is however, that when your trunks do shoot off you are reminded how much nicer it feels to swim without them in the first place.

I’ve just remembered that this is predominantly a fashion blog and so herewith is a description of the trunks that presently encumber my socks, pants and trunks drawer. Don’t worry this won’t take long I only have three pairs, or a pair of pairs and one more pair, whichever is clearer. Pair one (1) are green and baggy and floppy and I bought them in India for 1 Rupee (for those of you unfamiliar with the currency this is very cheap) Unfortunately they smell very strongly of stale sulphur. This is because I went into a hot sulphur spring in Italy and didn’t wash them out afterwards. People grimace if I swoosh past them wearing these ones, so they are for emergencies only now. Pair two are from a little known fashion boutique called Gap which is in Cheltenham. They are red shorts with white piping. Unfortunately the white piping is now incredibly filthy and grey. I don’t know how they got like this as they are only worn in water, which is what you clean things in, and yet they are dirty and it won’t scrub out, which is mysterious as well as annoying. These are my main pair. Pair three are Burberry ones which I bought ironically. They are very tight and not flattering at all, particularly when exiting the water, or lounging about. Also no one apart from me thinks they are funny, so they rarely get worn. To conclude this essay on the male trunks costume, I would recommend wherever possible to dispense with them entirely and if you are nice and thin, go for a skinny dip, and if you are large, a fatty dip.



Editor’s note : If you would like to know more about the wonderful world of Zebedee Helm then you must visit his website HERE. You can also purchase his fabulous cartoonsdrawings and paintings and read his brilliant blog.

One man’s junk

So here it is, my annual post from France where I go on and on about the beauty of Brocantes and the treasure to be found. I’ll try not to repeat myself too much but this year has been particularly good for bargains and finds. We’ve come away much earlier than we usually do, for one reason and another, and this has meant less crowds, fewer Anglais and remarkably different wares. The children spent the weekend being driven and dragged from village to village seeking out the interesting and unique to take back to Church Cottage. We managed a total of 6 flea markets over 2 days. My husband approaches each one with “I’ve got a good feeling about this” whereas I tend to judge each gathering on the first 2 stalls. If absolutely nothing even remotely catches my eye almost immediately, I switch off. Anything after that is a bonus but generally it’s just not meant to be.

We began our weekend in Sommieres which is our very favourite Vide Grenier. I have found some of my most treasured possessions in this tree covered square and this year was particularly good. Within 2 minutes of arriving I’d found a cut glass salt and pepper holder and a St Raphael small glass ice bucket which makes the perfect indoor plant pot and matches a glass jug we found last year. 4 Euros for both; I had a good feeling about this one. Next I found a painter’s ladder. It hardly fits in the car and I’m told it’s far too tall to go in either upstairs bedroom (as was my plan) but I love it and I will make sure it works, somewhere. I may even use it to stand on and paint something, who knows. Whilst I was busy bartering for my ladder Jay Jay picked up an large enamel cupboard with formica table top for 10 euros. No idea where he’s going to put that either but it’s very pretty and anything made of enamel and functional too, is worth every penny in our world.


My ladder...and a few of Sunday's finds

My ladder…and a few of Sunday’s finds


My find of the day was a Petit Larousse Illustre from 1934 for which I paid just 1 Euro. It is a beautiful edition, far better than the one I had at school and I have no doubt this will have me speaking fluent French, as well as knowing all kinds of out of date facts,  in no time at all. Every single page is illustrated, be it a thumbnail explanatory sketch or a full colour plate map. It is most certainly treasure and one day, when their fingers aren’t covered in something dirty or sticky, I’ll let the boys use it too. For now it will stay safely on a book shelf, cover side out.


Petit larousse cover



petit larousse map



petit larousse R page



There was much more on Sunday (baskets, fabrics, enamel pots, vintage bull fighting posters and an enormous Pneus sign) but I’ll save that for tomorrow’s post.


Absolutely Nothing To Laugh About

There are a few clues to recognising when I’ve perhaps spent too much time away from social interaction. The first is the feeling of genuine excitement when I realise I’ve managed to un-knowingly coincide cooking dinner with the beginning of The Archers. The second is just how much the back page of the local “Forest Edge News” makes me laugh. It lands in my postbox just once a month and is “The Newsletter Of The Forest Edge Benefice”. As well as all the news and goings on from the local parishes, the back page never fails to deliver, just below the crossword. Sometimes it’s a short joke with accompanying illustration and sometimes it’s a long and, quite often, hilarious story. This month was particularly good and has made me laugh so many times since – often whilst listening to The Archers – that I thought it good enough to share.

So here goes, I shall copy it word for word as it appears. And I apologise if you’ve heard it a million times before…
“Never Make This Email Mistake” from The Forest Edge News, June 2013
A Minneapolis couple decided to travel to Florida to thaw out during a particularly icy winter. The planned to stay at the same hotel where they spent their honeymoon 20 years earlier.
Because of work commitments, it was difficult to coordinate their travel schedules. So the husband left Minnesota and flew to Florida on Thursday, with his wife flying down the following day.
The husband checked in to the hotel. There was a computer in his room. He decided to send an email to his wife. However, he accidentally left out one letter in her email address and without realising his error, he sent the email.
Meanwhile, somewhere in Houston, a widow had just returned home from her husband’s funeral. He had been a Baptist minister who was called home to glory following a heart attack. The widow decided to check her email expecting messages from family and friends.
After reading the first message, she screamed and fainted. The widow’s son rushed in to the room and found his mother on the floor passed out. He looked at the computer which read :
To : My Loving Wife

Subject : I’ve Arrived
Date : March 2, 2009
I know you’re surprised to hear from me. They have computers here now and you’re allowed to send emails to your loved ones. I’ve just arrived and have been checked in. I’ve seen that everything has been prepared for your arrival tomorrow.
Looking forward to seeing you then!!!!
Hope your journey is as uneventful as mine was.
PS. Sure is freaking hot down here!!!!

Knocking Through, part III : A few of my favourite things

Just a few of my favourite views and nooks from the space on the other side of the wall


beams, bunting and a wagging finger

beams, bunting and a wagging finger






corners and stripes


favourite corner

jelly beans 






beautiful bed and painted pew

beautiful bed and painted pew


cow parsley

cow parsley




dining with a view

room with a pew