Sunday, 30 September 2007

Statues, fish and family...........

Hello everyone! Hope you've all had a fab weekend. Whilst I'm waiting for my dinner to cook I thought I'd quickly post about my weekend. We had a lovely time up in Preston, it was so good to see everybody again, the bump's coming along very well, my sister is in the blossoming phase of her pregnancy and looks great.

On Saturday we had a trip to Crosby to see Anthony Gormley's "Another Place" statues. Jack's teacher had lent him a book about the artist so we thought we'd grab the opportunity to visit. I can highly recommend a trip there. When we arrived the tide was in and the statues were nowhere to be seen. However after we'd picnicked (egg sandwiches and china teacups again - we love you Mum!) the tide was on it's way out and the statues started appearing above the water, it was an amazing sight, a bit surreal but very serene and calm at the same time. We had a long walk down the beach and got up close to a few, the children loved them, particularly the rather large appendages hanging from the front, they caused much amusement!

We came home laden with fresh salmon Dad had caught the day before and lots of goodies they'd brought back from an Isle of Man trip. On the way home we listened to our song of the moment "Chasing Cars" by "Snow Patrol", Jack goes totally wild as the music revs up, it's a brilliant song, to hear it go to lucylocket, it's on her duke box thingy.

The children have been packed off to bed with hot water bottles, the fire's lit and the wine's been poured. Here's to Sunday nights!..................

Thursday, 27 September 2007

C'mon baby light my fire...........

At last! The temperature dipped today so I could at last light the fire - yippee! I can't tell you how many pics I had to take to get a decent one, I need some serious camera training!
All I need now is a good bit of telly and I won't need to move for the evening! "What Not to Wear" is on but Lisa Butcher freaks me out slightly, don't know why, she's no doubt a lovely person!

Had a great day today, went shopping (sorry Ian) with Andrea at a local fashion & gift fair. There were some lovely stalls with handmade bits and pieces so we came home with a couple of choice items including this glorious ribbon.
We're off "up North" to see family this weekend, I think a trip to Liverpool is on the cards. Can't wait to see everybody again, it's hard living away from family, but at least we can't get sick of the sight of one another! My sister is unexpectedly expecting her third child in March so it'll be good to see how the bump is coming along. This household can't wait for the new arrival and it means I can have all the joy of a new baby without the poo and sleepless night! I'll be sewing like mad once the baby arrives, I've got so many ideas.
On the subject of sewing, can anyone recommend an easy skirt pattern for complete beginners? I'd like to have a go but I am totally useless when it comes to reading instructions of any kind, my brain goes into a sort of meltdown and gives up so I need a very simple one to start with. Any suggestions?
Hope you all have a great weekend, see you next week..............

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

The latest finds...........

As promised a peek at the goodies I got from the car boot this weekend..........

The cute little sewing machine on the left............

This sweet pyrex pan, perfect for mini casseroles for the children...........

This gorgeous eiderdown for only £5 which now lives on Jack's bed.................

This lovely old box, perfect for kindling - it's nearly time to get that fire going!

This chest of drawers was given to us by one of our lovely neighbours, she no longer wanted it and asked us if we wanted it, for nothing! We couldn't take it for nothing so we exchanged it for one of Ians' bikes and some red wine, a good deal I think!

Short post tonight, it's 9.30pm and my dinner is burning in the oven. See you all soon........

Monday, 24 September 2007

Dipping my toe in.............

Hello everybody and welcome to a new week. Hope you all had a good weekend. The sun shone here in the Cotswolds and it was a very eventful weekend.

Saturday was my first foray back into the world of work. Well, I say work but really it's a way of making a bit of extra cash doing something I love. Before I had Kitty a friend and I used to make and sell items at craft fairs and parties. I made the decision to stop when I had Kitty for various reasons, the main one being that I wanted to spend time with her whilst she was small and not have the pressure of deadlines for orders etc. Now she's started pre-school my good friend Andrea and I have decided to have another go together. She makes the most gorgeous handpainted boxes and furniture, which go brilliantly with the stuff that I make. As an gentle re-introduction into the world of "work" we decided to have a stall at the village fete that Andrea organised for the village she lives in.
That fete was on Saturday, and what a success it was! The whole day was absolutely fantastic, Andrea had put so much effort into it and it certainly paid off. There were stilt walkers, bouncy castles, giant y-fronts (yes, you heard correctly!), fantastic stalls and just a great atmosphere. What's more we sold lots of our stock and it really boosted our morale and gave us the impetus to get started again. So we've much more in the pipeline, I'll keep you informed!

Sunday morning Andrea and I went car booting as usual, and managed after a slightly disappointing start to find some fab bargains (more on that later in the week). After lunch Ian and the children and I went for a walk to a local village called Miserden, not the happiest name for a village, but a lovely place to visit. Needless to say I forgot the camera, but we had a great walk, collected conkers, acorns, feathers etc. to add to the massive pile we already have, and came home to lamb casserole and rhubarb crumble - just as well winter's coming and I can hide under my layers of clothing!

The run up to the fete has meant that housework has lapsed slightly but I've rooted through the photos to see what I can add because I know bloggers like pictures. I know I do anyway!

This is the living room, the place I can be found most evenings. It's funny but since we had the kitchen built we hardly ever go in here during the day. The kitchen turned out exactly as I wanted, it's become the hub of the house, everything goes on in there. It's where I sit with friends over tea and cakes (& wine and crisps!), where Jack does his homework, Kitty does her painting and Ian and I chat. There's been a lot of laughter shared around that table, and a few cross words! It's also always totally covered with paperwork, lego, crumbs, you name it, it's there! In fact, the kitchen is NEVER tidy, I've given up, life's too short to live in a show home!

The chair in the top left picture is one of a pair I bought from a junk shop years ago. I had them covered in bright Cath Kidston prints and I love them. When the upholsterer returned them he was somewhat perplexed by my choice of fabric but they're my favourites.

The playroom is behind the living room, this is where the children drag all their toys into the kitchen from, and I drag them all back into at night! The pale blue dresser is filled with just some of our favourite china, including a lovely coffee set we bought at a fair a few years ago. It also houses my tea and coffee pot collection on the top shelf, that I started collecting in my 20's.

The huge pine dresser has been dragged from house to house over the years giving many a poor removal man a hernia! When we first moved to the Cotswolds we had a first floor flat and Pickfords had to shove it across a balcony and into a first floor window because it wouldn't go through the door!

Time now to eat and enjoy "Nigella Express", yes I know some of you find her annoying but I can vouch that the squid recipe was flipping delicious. See you soon..........

Friday, 21 September 2007

I want to ride my bicycle...........

Look what arrived home for me on Tuesday! Ian spotted this in a bike recycling shop and bought it for me, what a star! It's an old Raleigh Cameo 5 gear bike in a gorgeous burgundy colour. In fact I'm sure I used to have a bike just like it when I was a teenager, back in the olden days, as Jack tells me! Now anyone who knows Ian and I know that we have what you may call a tempestuous relationship, ie. we're always arguing about things, probably because we're both incredibly strong willed and opinionated. However we never sulk and our arguments are usually shortlived, normally because Ian makes me laugh when I'm really, really cross and I can't be angry any longer.

When he does things like bring unexpected gifts home because he knows I'd like them, it makes me remember what I saw in him in the first place, (and no Ian, it wasn't the purple fleece that did it for me!) and what keeps us together. He makes me laugh, he makes me b***** cross, sometimes he makes me cry, but above all he cares about me and the children like no-one else.

It's been a really good week this week. Jack has really settled well into school. When he started school he was only just 4 and to me still a baby. It took a long time for him to feel happy there. He isn't what you would call a typical boys' boy, not really sporty or boisterous. He'd rather read or build lego models. His class has a majority of very boisterous boys so Jack couldn't find his place within it, and we had a lot of tears (from both of us). I've always believed in letting your child be what they want to be, so he never did after school activities (apart from needlework) because he didn't want to.

This year it all appears to be changing. He started drama, gardening club, chess and tennis and so far they've all been a success. I can't describe how happy it made me feel when he came out of drama beaming with delight because he'd enjoyed it so much. There really is nothing to beat the feeling inside when you know your child has finally found his place and is happy (for this week anyway). Long may it continue.

Now with a nod to my great blogging pal sophie I'm off for a cup of Yorkshire tea and a piece of victoria sponge. This weekend should prove to be interesting, I'll update you on Monday.

Have a great weekend everyone x

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

One good turn...............

Hi everybody, hope you've all had a good weekend. I'm hoping to get some time this week to catch up with all the latest in blogland. Where does all the time go? There just don't seem to be enough hours in the day to do everything and I can't cope with staying up after 10pm - one of the downsides to having small children!

I just had to share a story with you which once again restored my faith in humanity. Two weeks ago Ian did a 72 mile bike ride to raise money for Macmillan nurses. The day before he went I took Jack to the barbers where Ian has been going for years. Upon hearing what Ian was doing a man who I'd never met before turned and gave me £5 to donate, and then the barber told me that Jack's haircut was for free and to donate the cost to the charity. It's the little things like this that make you realise that the world isn't such a bad place and just how many decent people are out there - you lot being amongst the top of course!

Needless to say wonderdaddy completed the 72 miles no problem! How he does it I've no idea, the mere hint of a slight incline when I'm out on my bike and I'm feeling breathless!

We're well and truly back into the old school routine, Jack is enjoying being in juniors and tonight started drama after school. He really enjoyed it and is already looking forward to next weeks lesson.

On Sunday we decided to have a day of excitement and had a trip to London. We had an amazing day. We drove into Kensington in less than two hours and parked for free about 5 mins from the Natural History museum. What a place, the kids loved it, although I wouldn't recommend the food, unless you have a particular craving for cold pizza! We then drove to Buckingham Palace to show the children where the Queen lives. We could not believe how easy it was to get around London by car, and even better everything was free. The children saw all the landmarks and we got to drive around Notting Hill and fantasize about having squillions of pounds. After having a lovely supper in Windsor we came home tired but very happy, it was nice to visit but I couldn't cope with it full-time!

I love this time of year, the smell of the air and the chill in the mornings as we walk to school. I've ordered the logs, bought the kindling and I can't wait to light the fire. Everything about autumn makes me happy, I think I'm just a cold weather person, I love the long dark evenings, not having to shave my legs, wearing scarves and gloves and generally starting to hibernate!

Roll on October! I'll finish with my usual gratuitous house shot, some of the first things I ever collected, byeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

Monday, 10 September 2007


Here are the pics that should have been on the previous post, thank goodness it seems to be ok again (fingers crossed). I have no idea what I did to rectify apart from "cache" and "cookie" clearing - what?????


I seem to have lost my photo uploader on the new post page and cannot work out how to get it back. Has this happened to anyone out there and if so how did you resolve it? Any suugestions will be gratefully received since I'm about to chuck the b***** computer out of the window!

Saturday, 8 September 2007


How come I think of a million (ok,slight exaggeration!) interesting things to write about then promptly sit down and forget them all? I know, I know, write them down you shout, but really my mind should be able to contain at least two things at once without having to list them!

Anyway, the kids are tucked up and the night is no longer young because I've just whiled away a couple of hours catching up - how does that happen? After a pretty stressful day of haircuts, tantrums and Beano confiscations I'm back in Blogland and it feels good! I'll have to make do with pasta for tea because I forgot to take the tuna out of the freezer, but otherwise all's well.

I have a query, can someone explain Flickr to me? I was very pleased with myself when I managed to add it to the side of my blog but what do I do with it now? It's just sort of sitting there looking pretty but I'm too overwhelmed with all this technology to actually do anything with it. Do I have to or can I just leave it there and pretend it doesn't exist??!!

Last weekend was a cause for great celebration in this family. My mum turned 60 so we had a party here for her. Great excuse to bring out the bunting and all the old napkins, plates etc I've collected over the years. My uncle played the piano (finally someone's used it!) until the wee hours and a great time was had by all!

I just have to say "Happy Birthday" Mum. She really is the best mother we could wish for, if a little eccentric at times (she knows what we mean). I'll have to show her this post next time I visit. She's not a big fan of blogs, what with all her conspiracy theories. I blame the "Daily Mail" !

Finally I thought I'd finish with a gem from my seven year old :


"Yes Jack"

"You're not fat"

"Thank-you darling" Preening myself, waiting for the compliment which is sure to follow.

"You're stout!"


Tuesday, 4 September 2007

I'm nice, apparently!..........

Well I don't know what to say! Two (yes people, 2!) have nominated me for a "nice matters" award. I'm sure most people who know me would be gobsmacked that the word "nice" has been applied to me in any context, but I'm thrilled to receive it. Thank you so much to Rachel at milesawayinfrance and dottycookie for passing on to me.

The last award I received was in my last year at high school and was the prestigious "skiving off games" award - I kid you not! Many a happy hour was spent sitting on the toilet cistern in the changing rooms just so we didn't have to brave the all weather hockey pitch in temperatures of minus 10 wearing nothing but the shortest gym skirt!

The award was started by Bella Enchanted for the following reasons : "to those that are just nice people, good blog friends and those that inspire good feelings and inspiration! Those that care about others and are there to lend support or those that are just a positive influence in our blogging world"

I now have to nominate others who I think deserve such an award and we all know how difficult that is, but here goes, in no particular order ;

Clare at Elfie and Me who always spends the time to email responses to any comment left

Tracy at cupcakes at home who writes the most glorious blog about her big move "up North"

Louise at lulu lolly legs who makes the most gorgeous things and is lovely into the bargain

Sophie at Sophie Honeysuckle's English decor her blog is pure eye candy and doesn't make me at all envious!

Catherine at Molly cupcakes who leaves the loveliest comments and regales us with tales of her busy life

Kim at Ragged Roses who makes the most amazing things

Marie at Marie Chantal Handmade Skincare who has bravely started a new business but always makes time to leave words of encouragement for others

Suzie of Suzie Sews for her honesty and unbelievable maternal skills

There are so many more I could add.....................

I'll leave you with a little garden picture, a fab Verbena Bonariensis (think that's right!) I planted this summer. It's really come up trumps!