Friday, 22 June 2007


Last night was the event that the whole blogland community has been waiting for, having been billed as the biggest gathering of Witches, Mice and PurpleCooers. I was honoured to be specially commissioned to report on the auspicious occasion of marking the Midsummer event and two month anniversary since the creation of the Purple Coo site by The Headmistress and Matron of the Skool. Every member of this substantial team pulled together to make this a night to remember. The organisation was executed to military precision which may have been helped by the input from several squaddies who have become rather close to this community..

When I first arrived at the venue I did encounter some resistence on the gate by the main entrance when I was towered overby a formidable woman of mammoth proportions, apparently known as Madame Grogonne. She proceeded to stop and interrogate everyone and appeared to take delight in ‘frisking’ everyone as they went past. She quite ruffled my Chicken Licken feathers.

Once I had convinced her of my reporters authenticity I witnessed two young ladies who were propped up by the wall. How they managed to get past the Madame I am not sure! Although it may have been that the one with a name labelaround her neck-‘Toady’, could have jumped the wall as she was crumpled up in a heap by the side of her drinking companion,Jaynebeth. The pair of them were working their way through the contents of a box containing several bottles. On closer investigation it appeared that this contained sloe gin, sloe pocine, bramble wine and elderflower champagne, a lethal combination which could explain their inebriated state. And I don't think this had been helped by Bodran's tree resin wine, a seemingly innocent but potent tincture. After spending rather more time than I perhaps should have I excused myself as Toady who had been drinking all day,started slurrily singing “Show me the way to go home...” .
I had to remind myself that I was invited to the venue on business, not pleasure but I fear my drink must have been spiked as the rest of the evening now seems to be rather a blur...

Of course as is always the highlight of any such occasion the clothes were the main focus of the evening. I can (just about) remember the attendees stepping off their broomsticks and bicycles onto the green carpet, stunningly manicured lawns, painstakingly tended by one Country Mousie, with help (or hindrance) from Tattie Weasel. Judging by some of the glittery and splangly numbers it was clear so see that everyone had gone to a huge effort for the extravaganza and the crowds simply gasped at the magnificance of some of the visions and creations...

The Headmistress was one of the first to arrive-it can only be said that it defies belief how anyone can get those warts to look so realistic...A stunning specimen.
It is hard to judge who the crowds favourite was; One of the most remarkable of the evening was Nanny Ogg, a woman of most generous proportions and a bulbous face who was dressed in black and looked every bit the star of the show.
However probably the one to steal the limelight from her was a nubile lady known only as ‘Faith’ who chose the ‘au naturel’ look and made a simple and fitting fashion statement most suitable for such an occasion.

The house was decorated with Purple fairy lights all over which Zoe had spent all day hanging and these twinkling purple hues set off to perfection, the backdrop of the dark grey austere building. As I entered the main building I was immediately ‘drawn’ to a door way on the left which was shrouded in mist. I popped my head around the door and blinked into a darkened room with a purpleswirling smoke billowing around. There, I was greeted by a stunning looking woman with silver hair and swathed in black velvet and chiffon-it was Mystic Crystal. Being a top investigative journalist it is usually my duty to be impartial and cynical about supernatural and fortune telling matters. However Mystic Crystal predicted that everyone would have a wonderful evening and suffer thick heads in the morning and I believe this was so likely to be accurate that I have no doubt as to her magical powers.

Entering the main hall I could hear the DJ-DJ ‘Jazzy’ Cait and her dulcit tones above the Rapping Nolan Sisters. When the MC Bucks Fizz started playing Suffolk Mum and Devonlife fair flew onto the dancefloor and started dancing round their handbags. ChrisH and JEP were already there with AnnaK and some of the others. They were quickly moved in on by a dancing cat. Yes, I said a ‘dancing cat’-a rather ‘cool’ looking dude called Dudley who could breakdance to Leo Sayer.

Sitting in a corner was the Country Craft Angel who was busy sitting like Cinderella most of the evening sewing up I’m a PurpleCoo Bag Lady Bags. In between though, she kept being dragged to do Karaoke by ‘Bill’ and they delighted everyone with their rendition of “You’re the one that I want..” and Country Craft Angel said she always wanted to be like Olivia Newton John.

Alternative activities had cleverly been organised bu SnailbeachShepherdess for those who preferred to be outdoors; there was a Purple Sheep Shearing Contest, although quite what her and Mountaineer were rubbing into the Australians...hem, hem...It seems it wasn’t the only ‘suspect goings on...I was told by Patsy, who was manning the Pimms tent not to go round the back of the tent as Blossom was showing a squaddie how to master ‘ painting by numbers’ and from where I was standing he looked enthralled.

And so to the spread. No, not centre spread, although after a few drinks, Faith was starting to pin her ribbons on anyone who was interested!

The food was a feast for the eyes...It could have stepped out of a BBC Good Food Magazine. The food had been toiled over and showed standards to shame Masterchef, such was the talent demonstrated by the PurpleCoo members.
There were the most wonderful Purple Ice Cream Sundaes by Muddy Boots which were flying off the tables. Presili Mags had made the most enormous Chocolate Cherry Trifle and had apparently had to improvise and make it in the paddling pool it was so large. Centre of the table was the most magnificent Smoked Salmon which was prepared by Bradan and looked exquisite. And a wonderful Syllabub from Fennie.
I was unable to resist a piece of Camilla’s Chocolate cake which was delicious, and washed down with her punch which I was told was non alcoholic, but again it was another drink which I fear was heavily spiked.

The alchol flowed freely, in fact rather too freely. The 700 bottles of Champagne that Elizabethd had so carefully organised to be shipped from France was tipped into the Coowarts pond and ladled out by the mugful into the mouths of the thirsty revellers.

As the evening drew to a close and all the food had disappeared from the plates and the pond was dry of Champagne the party revellers started to leave, probably before they were asked to help tidy up. Exmoor Jane was under the tables gathering empty boxes as she said they would come in very useful for the move.

And I was left with a sense of...of...belonging....yes, that’s why it was so good. I will leave it to another who can articulate better than me quite what this Community mean to each other. But suffice to say that I feel sure the Midsummer Parties will become a regular event at Coowarts....And I hope for one that I will be part of it all again next year...

So until next time, this is Chicken Licken, Top Reporter and Investigative Journalist signing off....and going to soak up this alcohol with some of Pondsides Pancakes and Maple Syrup...

Thursday, 14 June 2007


It seems a long time ago now that we were over on the ‘other side’ and I was vowing never to blog again because of the bad taste the whole experience with CL had left.

However here I am blogging my little heart out in My Orange Man Blog. And now I take another step in getting my life back on track by actually blogging something NEW (instead of re-gurgitated stuff) in my Diary of a Country Bumpkin Blog! You never know Chicken Licken may come out of retirement at some point. Maybe as the Orange Man Blog develops and I can put some issues to ‘rest, ’ the two will meet...

And it is all testament to Purple Coo and all those who are part of this wonderful, warm, funny compassionate site.. I am so glad to be part of it, and continue to marvel at how we have all touched each others lives in so many ways. Thank you all for your interest and support and giving me the confidence to continue...

Now, before I get all sentimental and carried away, there is work to be done!! As always I am task driven and highly motivated once I get an idea in my head. I can’t remember now how it all came about-I think Mousie started it when she ordered a bag for the Heiress and people saw what I created. In any event there was a suggestion that maybe I could come up with something ‘purple, ’... and so was born the Purple Coo Bag ideas. Before I knew it one thing led to another and my creative juices were flowing. The next idea was for carrier bag tidies and fun wording, “Old Bags,”; then I thought of cow fun fabric; someone asked about a ‘Shopper Bag’...

And so, having received lots of lovely comments and positive feedback we have a whole range of Purple Coo items, available to order. I am of course very grateful for any orders I receive, although it was never my intention to ‘exploit’ blogging for my little craft business. I was looking for a new direction with my business a few months ago and even considered changing my business name to Country Craft Angel, so I think some of the positive responses have helped me see which way I would like to go now. Because of my ill health I will never be business woman of the year-this is more like a hobby; something to keep my brain alive, my hands working and meeting nice people. My prices therefore here are ‘mates rates.’ I am covering my costs and making a bit of pin money and am just so pleased to have a nice project to do helping to advertise PURPLECOO as well as uniting everyone with merchandise and giving an even stronger sense of belonging....


-All items made from a thick, quality fun fabric with 'pile/texture' and fressian cow print.

Large Bag £10.50 each+£2.50 P&P
Standard Bag £7.50 each+ £2.50 P&P
Carrier Bag Tidy £3.95 each + £1.00 P&P
Door Stop (unfilled) £10.00 each+£1.50 P&P

Made from thick woven cotton purple gingham fabric. Lettering and letter plate are appliqued in felt by bondaweb and hand sewn finishing.

Large Bag £10.50 each+£2.50 P&P
Standard Bag £7.50 each+£2.50 P&P
Carrier Bag Tidy £3.95 each+ £1.00 P&P
Door Stop (unfilled) £10.00 each+£1.50 P&P


-Made from crushed velvet and lined with purple viscose lining and an organza ribbon drawstring.

Large Bag £11.50 each+£2.50 P&P
Standard Bag £8.50 each+£2.50 P&P


A heavy duty Canvas Shopper style Bag with long handles.

Cream coloured heighy weight canvas.
Lettering appliqued in purple canvas or felt (TBC)

SHOPPER (approx 43cm x38cm ) £5.50 each + £1.50 P&P



Large Bags measure approx 48cm x 60cm (Laundry Bag Size)
Standard Bags measure approx 35cm x 45cm (PE Kit/Gym Shoe Bag Size)
Door Stops measure approx 16cm x 14 cm.
Carrier Bag Tidy's measure approx 19cm x 45cm.

Please note Door Stops are supplied unfilled due to weight/high postage costs. Simply fill with approx 2-3kg of cheap rice +/or beans (not sand as this stains fabric)
All items are individually made and not mass produced. Therefore if you require any item to be personalised or wish for alternative wording, just advise when ordering.

All Items are all double stitched for added strength and are completely washable.

Please either leave a note in the comments box of this blog or E-mail me direct with details of which product (s) and choice of designs.

My business E-mail is:-

Because every item is individually made please allow me up to 21 days for orders to be completed and up to 28 days for busier times.

I will however always endeavour to meet any deadlines or special dates you may need your order for. Just let me know at ordering and I’ll do my best.

I also give my assurance to keep you updated on progress of customers order throughout. As soon as I can I will give an estimated date of completion.

Delivery will be by 1st class post.

For multiple purchases:-If you would like to order more than one item please calculate the postage weight charge of the heaviest item and then add an extra £1.00 per item. For example:-

If you wish to purchase a Standard Gingham Bag and a Gingham Door Stop,
The total for the order would be £17.50 (£7.50+£10.00)
p&p will be £ 3.50 (£2.50+1.00)
TOTAL TO PAY = £21.00

I can also send by Recorded Delivery for an additional 0.70p.

If you are unsure about p&p charges please feel free to e-mail me for a quote.

I am sure you will be completely happy with your purchase. However in the unlikely event that you are not completely satisfied I offer a full refund on goods returned and undamaged within 14 days of receipt.

PAYMENT- Either cheque, postal order or Paypal
Cheques/P.O should be made payable to:-DESPINA GIFTS
and please then send to:-

Debbie White

Phew! Ok my PurpleCoo friends, I think that just about covers everything!

I hope the above is clear and of course if anyone has any further questions please don't hesitate to contact me.

I thank you all in advance for your interest and assure you of my best attention

So until another day
Bye for now