Tis Friday.

We recently joined the mailing list for Fashion Refound and here is their latest news for Belfast fashion week which is here at last.

“ReFound is a group of creative individuals, a collection of reclaimed furniture and an inspired ‘agent of change’… that’s me, Jill O’Neill, (Re)Founder.”


If fashion rocks your world, now it will rock your home!
For the first time, ReFound is hosting a bespoke show where Fashion meets Furniture!

‘FASHION REFOUND’ will see 9 up & coming and more established fashion designer/makers apply their fashion creativity to a home interior piece, exclusively for ReFound.
Part of Belfast Fashion Week’s calendar of exclusive events, fashion enthusiasts will be able to bag a one-off piece by your favourite local designer by attending the FASHION ReFound event on Wednesday 17th 7-9, through to Sat 3rd November.The Designers are…
Jude Cassidy Textiles, Katie Brown Textiles, Mary Murphy of Sioda Lingerie, Dave Henderson Fashion, Nor Lisa Fashion, Mary Callan Textiles, Larissa Watson of Goddess & Swift, Grainne Maher of Pluck & Devour, Sarah McAleer Jewellery

Based in Tanzania, they focus on the needs of orphaned and vulnerable children. http://kidzcaretanzania.org/

As it’s Friday we also wanted to give you a little something to get your teeth into over the weekend. We absolutely love a blog called Letters of Note. Do you know it? Do you love it?

It’s letters from various people, some recent and some not so recent. All beautifully written.

Here are a couple of our favourites:

The late-Chuck Jones — a true legend in the world of animation who, amongst countless other achievements, created characters such as Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner, and also directed what is widely considered to be one of the best cartoons ever made: What’s Opera, Doc? — credits his beloved “Uncle Lynn” with teaching him “everything [he] would need to know about animated cartoon writing” during his early years, going on to paint him as a hugely positive influence in his life in general and an “ideal uncle” whom he “worshipped.”

Uncle Lynn also knew how to write a beautiful letter. One day, soon after the sad death of Teddy, the Jones’s dear family dog, Uncle Lynn sent the following to young Chuck and his siblings.

Dear Peggy and Dorothy and Chuck and Dick,

I had a telephone call last night. “Is this Uncle Lynn?” someone asked.

“Why yes,” I said. “My name is Lynn Martin. Are you some unregistered nephew?”

“This is Teddy.” He sounded a little impatient with me. “Teddy Jones, Teddy Jones the resident dog of 115 Wadsworth Avenue, Ocean Park, California. I’m calling long distance.”

“Excuse me,” I said. “I really don’t mean to offend you, but I’ve never heard you talk before—just bark, or whine, or yell at the moon.”

“Look who’s talking,” Teddy sniffed, a really impatient sniff if ever I’ve heard one. “Look, Peggy and Dorothy and Chuck and Dick seem to be having a very rough time of it because they think I’m dead.” Hesitate. “Well, I suppose in a way I am.”

I will admit that hearing a dog admit that he was dead was a new experience for me, and not a totally expected one. “If you’re dead,” I asked, not being sure of just how you talk to a dead dog, “how come you’re calling me?” There was another irritated pause. Clearly he was getting very impatient with me.

“Because,” he said, in as carefully a controlled voice as I’ve ever heard from a dog. “Because when you are alive, even if the kids don’t knowexactly where you are, they know you’re someplace. So I just want them to know I may be sort of dead, but I’m still someplace.”

“Maybe I should tell them you’re in Dog Heaven, Teddy, Maybe to make ’em feel—”

“Oh, don’t be silly.” Teddy cleared his throat. “Look, where are you?”

“Oh, no, you don’t. We’re trying to find out where you are,” I barked.

“Hey, I didn’t know you could bark.” He sounded impressed with my command of the language.

“Wait just a minute,” I said. “You had to know where I am, or you couldn’t have called me on the telephone, right?”

“Boy, you know so little,” said Teddy. “I simply said I called you long distance. Who said anything about a telephone? They asked me if I knew where you were, and I said you were someplace else, besides 115 Wadsworth Avenue. So they dialled someplace else and here I am and here you are.”

“Can I call you back?” I asked dazedly. “Maybe that’ll give me a clue.”

“Be reasonable,” said Teddy. “How can you call me back when neither you nor I know where I am?”

“Oh, come on, give me a clue,” I begged desperately. “For instance, are there other dogs around there? I’ve got to tell the kids something.”

“Hold it,” said Teddy, apparently looking around. “I did see a pug/schnauzer with wings a minute ago. The wings could lift the schnauzer part of him off the ground, but the pug part just sort of dragged through the grass bumping into fireplugs.”


“Orchards of them, hundreds of ’em. Yellow, red, white, striped. Unfortunately, I don’t seem to have to pee anymore. I strain a lot, but all I get is air. Perfumed air,” he added proudly.

“Sounds like Dog Heaven to me,” I said. “Are there trees full of lamb chops and stuff like that?”

“You know,” Teddy sighed. “For a fair to upper-middle-class uncle, you do have some weird ideas. But the reason I called you was Peggy, Dorothy, Chuck, and Dick trust you and will believe anything you say, which in my opinion is carrying the word ‘gullible’ about as far as it will stretch. Anyway, gullible or not, they trust you, so I want you to tell them that I’m still their faithful, noble, old dog, and—except for the noble part—that I’m in a place where they can’t see me but I can see them, and I’ll always be around keeping an eye, an ear, and a nose on them. Tell them that just because they can’t see me doesn’t mean I’m not there. Point out to them that during the day you can’t see the latitudes and you can’t really see a star, but they’re both still there. So get a little poetic and ask them to think of me as ‘good-dog,’ the good old Teddy, the Dog Star from the horse latitudes, and not to worry, I’ll bark the britches off anybody or anything that bothers them. Just because I bit the dust doesn’t mean I can’t bite the devils.”

That’s what he said. I never did find out exactly where he was, but I did find out where he wasn’t—not ever very far from Peggy, Dorothy, Chuck and old Dick Jones.


Lynn Martin, Uncle at Large

Here’s another great one,  in 1964, following the retirement of his regular physician, 62-year-old novelistJohn Steinbeck was asked by his new doctor to complete a routine medical questionnaire for his records. Steinbeck did exactly that, and on reaching the last of its many pages, the Grapes of Wrath author discovered, and left blank, a small space reserved for “any other data you think may be of importance.” Instead, he wrote a letter.

New York

March 5, 1964

Dear Denny:

I have been filling out my mortal record called a medical passport. There it is—all down there—the past and the future just as plain as the varicosities on my mother’s legs and my father’s vascular difficulties. There is one thing pleasantly unconfusing about medicine. The direction and the end are fixed and the patient never works backward.

It does occur to me that clear as this picture is, there may be other matters, some taken for granted and others ignored intentionally or otherwise. What is the reason for having a doctor at all? It is a very recent conception. I suppose the present day reason from the patient’s point of view is to get through his life with as little pain and confusion as possible and out of it neatly and decently. But for the duration the doctor is supposed to listen to frustrations and to cater to various whims of the central nervous system. I am interested in the line in this thesis of disintegration which indicates that on request, you will keep me in sweet ignorance of what is happening to me. I know it is desired in many cases but I can’t understand it from my viewpoint.

What do I want in a doctor? Perhaps more than anything else—a friend with special knowledge. If you had never dived and I were with you, it would be my purpose to instruct you in the depths and dangers, of the pleasant and the malign. I guess I mean the same thing somewhat. We are so made that rascally, unsubtle flares may cause a meaningless panic whereas a secret treason may be nibbling away, unannounced or even pleasant as in the rapture of the deep. Two kinds of pain there are—or rather a number of kinds. I think especially of the teaching pain which counsels us not to hurt ourselves as opposed to the blast that signals slow or fast disintegration. Unskilled, we do not know the difference and, I am told, even the skilled lose their knowledge when the thing is in themselves. It seems to me that one would prepare oneself differently to meet these two approaches, if one knew.

Then there is the signal for the curtain. I think, since the end is the same, that the chief protagonist should have the right to judge his exit, if he can, taking into consideration his survivors who are after all, the only ones who matter.

Then there is the daily regimen and I have always considered this a fake in most people—the diet, the exercise, the pills, the rest, the elimination. It is probably true that careful following of learned instructions will prolong a usually worthless life, but it has been my observation that by the time the subject needs such advice, he is too firmly fixed in his habits to take it. Oh! he’ll do it for a while, but he soon slips back and that is probably a good thing. Pills he will take but little else unless terror should get to him, in which case, many men and women become voluntary invalids and soon find that they love it.

Of course I love to fool myself as well as the next person, but not to the point where I find it ridiculous. I am trying to give you a graph, Denny, so that you will know what you are dealing with.

I do not think of pain as a punishment and I will avoid it as much as I can. On the other hand, to use a common experience, I would rather have the quick and disappearing pain of the dentist’s chair than the drawn out misery of wearing-off novocaine. In most cases, I have been able to separate what hurts from fear of what might hurt.

In reporting effects I am reasonably honest. It is difficult to remember after any trouble has passed. Lastly, I do not find illness an eminence, and I do not understand how people can use it to draw attention to themselves since the attention they draw is nearly always reluctantly given and unpleasantly carried out.

I dislike helplessness in other people and in myself, and this is by far my greatest fear of illness.

Believe me, I would not go on in this vein, and never do, were it not for the nature of this communication.

I shall probably not change my habits very much unless incapacity forces it. I don’t think I am unique in this.

Now finally, I am not religious so that I have no apprehension of a hereafter, either a hope of reward or a fear of punishment. It is not a matter of belief. It is what I feel to be true from my experience, observation and simple tissue feeling.

Secondly—I have had a good span of life so that from now on in I should not feel short-changed.

Thirdly—I have lived very fully and vividly and there is no possibility of cosmic pique.

Fourthly—I have had far more than my share of the things men strive for—material things and honors and love.

Fifthly, my life has been singularly free of illness or accident. At any rate the wellness has far overbalanced the sicknesses.

Sixthly—I do not come to you as a sick man.

Oh! I know the heart syncopates and I have fainted twice in my life and a stretch of overindulgence blocked my gall bladder a couple of times, but all in all I am remarkably healthy. And I know that because my curiosity has in no way abated. And as I said before, I would rather live more fully and for a shorter time.

And now the last thing you should know. I love Elaine more than myself. Her well being and comfort and happiness are more important than my own. And I would go to any length to withhold from her any pain or sorrow that is not needful for her own enrichment.

I hope this is of some value to you. Now, we go on from there.


We hope you enjoyed those little ones.

happy weekend

handsome and pretty



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