Monday, 9 July 2012


I feared for the lovely Thelma Madine taking on the crazy task of employing 10 gypsy girl apprentices, to pass on her sewing and business skills.  

Thelma is the nice lady, who designs and produces those magnificently over the top wedding and communion dresses for the well heeled among the travelling community.  

I won't for the moment argue the rights and wrongs of non-conformist lifestyles, but as an old feminist, I always wondered if the girls really were happy to forgo their education, and dedicate their lives to hair extensions, babies and their husbands.  Suggesting a career path for women in the travelling community was always going to  be sensitive subject.  That Thelma has found a diplomatic way through the door is sheer genius.

Its also great television, and much depends on her judgement when she chooses the candidates, but she's a canny old bird and I trust her.  

Thelma is one of those women, from a certain class and generation, who have a fierce work ethic and a determination to succeed.  She has achieved her own dreams, picked herself up, and carried on.  As she took the camera around her sumptious home, she hugged her blingy dining chair and said 'I like what they like', and her empathy with her clients became clear.  She made no secret of her marital past, leaving in her cute daughter's reference to 'daddy watching football all day', kids eh? Daddy redeemed himself, but then dropped poor Thelma in it again, but I won't repeat what he said because my hearing is not what it was.   

I  do wish Thelma well.  She got her artistic inspiration from the fabulous Gone With The Wind, and there's nowt wrong with that!  I think she was the bright one among us, who spotted the business potential of those fabulous costumes worn by Scarlett O'hara.  I am sure her keen eye for design picked up on the stunning haute couture green curtain outfit, possibly while ogling Rhett Butler at the same time.  I don't think many of us appreciated the qualities of dear Ashley, until later in life.     

Thelma has taken many chances through her life, and I sense she is taking a big one now.  Good luck to her, she is using her own money to take a chance on giving employment to a minority group.  Lets hope it catches on.  

I will return to Thelma and her gypsy girls, its gripping stuff, at this stage, who knows what talent may emerge.  I kind of like the idea of gypsy fashion on the catwalk.


  1. Hi Bell

    I watched this the other night and couldn't help laughing at one girl in particular, a very naughty girl and reminded me so much of myself lol, can't wait to see how it turns out.

    Had a long debate last night about the new Gordon Ramsey project of getting the cons to make a business with their cooking skills lol.

    I think it is a very debatable subject as there must be more than a few thinking it's a wonderful idea, bringing money in for the government, helping the prisoners gain a trade etc etc..on the other hand, is it just another money spinner for the fowl mouthed Ramsey, is he taking the piss out of the prisoners, what happens when the series has run it's course, will he just drop the prisoners or will they go on to do bigger and better things because of the fantastic opportunity he has given them, has Gordon done it help them or help himself?

    Not sure what to think, what do you think?????

    Amanda xxx

    1. LOL, I think Thelma is going to have trouble with that one!

      Not seen the Gordon Ramsey programme yet. I am never sure what to make of him, he's a bit manic. I wouldn't like to be in a hot kitchen with him with all those knives and saucepans. Still, it will be worth a watch, just to see if he gets a dig!

      To be fair though, I do think it is a good idea. It will give them an interest and in some cases, may change the course of their lives. It doesn't do anyone any good if prisoners go back out in the world to re-offend.

  2. Hi Cristobell. I have attempted to reply to two of your recent blog entries, but your software would not have it and would not let me leave a message. I am curious to see if this one will survive.
    On the CC board my posts also tend to suffer an ignominious fate, as they are referred to the resident censors for approval before being published - if, indeed, they are published at all. Most do not survive, but if they do, they are published hours after they were written and posted. It's frustrating, as it means that the witless comments of witless people appear to remain unanswered.

    1. Hi Hitch, always good to see you! Your posts have got through, I am just slow checking today. Others have had problems too, so I think there is a glitch.

      It is a shame on the CC board, I've had the same happen to me. I much prefer an unmoderated board, even with the trolls and clones. We used to have some lively debates on the old AOL boards, but unfortunately a handful of posters went totally insane and have ended up on the CC!

      Sometimes with these witless people, it would be more productive to stand and bang your head against a wall. The xenophobia over there borders on the hysterical!

      Your views are always welcome here Hitch.

  3. another good post bell , i read she had been in prison ,then decided to about turn her life ,she did well ,graceland