Monday, 18 February 2008

My Kingdom for a horse..............

It has been another glorious weekend here in the Cotswolds, the sun has been shining for days but it's still incredibly cold. I love it, this is my favourite weather.

Mum and I ventured to Stratford-on-Avon on Saturday for her 60th birthday treat. We bought her tickets for "Richard III" at the RSC Courtyard Theatre. It wasn't really Dad's cup of tea (ie. not involving a fishing rod) so I got to go with her - hee, hee! I was a bit unsure about watching a Shakespeare play having had no involvement with him since A Levels. I was a bit concerned that I may not understand it. I needn't have worried, it was fantastic! I'm well and truly hooked. It was the last of eight plays, a series called "The Histories". If you get a chance, get yourselves along there, it was a great experience, truly memorable. We spent the afternoon eating cakes, drinking tea and enjoying the atmosphere. It was lovely to spend time with Mum without any interruptions.

Sunday morning Mum had to go back up North, my sister is due to have her baby any day soon, I'm hoping she'll hang on until Wednesday when we'll be going to my parents for a few days.
Ian and I were supposed to tackle the basement rooms to clear them for the decorators, but after stamping around, shouting at the children and generally being bad tempered (me, that is) we decided "sod it" and went out to enjoy the sunshine instead. Before we went we all devoured the seafood platter Ian bought us as a treat. It was delicious and cost us a lot less than lunch out would have done. The remains are here for your delectation............attractive eh!

We came back and whilst Ian attempted to make some order out of the slum downstairs (before and after pics soon) I pretended to be busy upstairs. We put a bit of Neil Diamond on the ipod and had a good old dance in the kitchen. We (Ian not included) love a bit of Neil, particularly "Sweet Caroline" and some of Jack's dance moves have to be seen to be believed! My children will not dance in public but in the privacy of our kitchen they let rip. Jack must be the only eight year old who can identify Barry Manilow being played in a shop, what am I doing to them??

I'll finish with a couple of home shots again. Since I started the blog I notice things around the house a lot more than I used to. Helps me to ignore the general chaos which is around the place at the moment!

First, I love the colour of this soap and one of my car boot freebies, the saucer it sits on. After it's taken me ten minutes to turn the flipping shower off with the screwdriver (don't ask) it makes me smile to see a nice bit of our otherwise dilapidated bathroom..............

Kit's bedtime toys "put to bed" under the eiderdown on our bed. All around our house we find various creatures tucked in under blankets, tea towels, kitchen roll or whatever is to hand.......

My "granny grater" I bought in London from "Octopus". Isn't she cute? She cost me three times as much as my excellent and practical Ikea grater and she isn't half as efficient, but she's much better looking!.............

Have a great week if you're on half term or not. I'm getting a bit suspicious, my two have been together upstairs for an hour (hence the long post!) and it's ominously quiet! I'll probably go up and find Kit's been bound and gagged by her loving big bro'!

Thursday, 14 February 2008

I've been to London - didn't see the Queen though....

Good afternoon readers, here comes another weekend! Sorry for the lack of contact again, but life's been busy here. Mum has come to stay for the week so we've been out and about. The main reason behind her trip here was our trip to London last weekend. We went last Saturday, along with her sister, my aunt, to see "Shadowlands", the story of CS Lewis, at the Novello theatre. It was absolutely fantastic, at least as good as the film. By the end of the play the entire audience were in tears, it was so well acted, and very, very sad. We had a wander around Soho, ate lunch at "Wagamama's" noodle bar (delicious by the way) and just a little retail therapy. It was a lovely relaxing day.
Sunday morning, finances (or lack of) should have stopped me visiting the car boot but Andrea called to tell me how fantastic it was so what could a girl do?? Five minutes, no shower, no hair brushed and I was there. It was a beautiful morning and the car boot was massive, the goodies were never ending. I only stopped when I ran out of money (pretty quickly) but managed to scoop up some great bargains.
One stallholder had loads of linens including lovely old flannel pillowcases that I've been scouring the charity shops for, to no avail. I need them for a certain project I have in mind so needless to say I was in flannel heaven. I bought them all along with some lovely embroidered tablecloths and washed them the next day. The weather has been so lovely I even managed to dry them in the sun. Look at that lovely garden, do you think the National Garden Society would consider including me in their scheme??..........
Now they're all ironed and ready to go...............

I found another old basket and everything in it was free! I'd already bought a tea set from the man on the stall when he announced that he didn't want to take anything home so we could have whatever we wanted for nothing! No hesitation on my part, I filled a box with goodies.

Next I came upon this cute little picnic basket, which was filthy. Andrea could barely disguise her disgust at it but I think its lovely and it looks great now its been washed. Its even got the old paper plates with it, and I love the colours.

The sun shone through the whole weekend and our kitchen looks so lovely when the sun shines in, it seems to glow. I saw the poster on Kristy's blog and had to buy it for Ian for Chritmas, it's so apt for this household!

Finally I'll end with a shot of what my children get up to when I'm not looking. After running the bath for them last week there seemed to be a lot of laughter and shrieking coming from the bathroom. When I went up there was Jack in the bath still in his school uniform! I had to let Kit join him as he was so pleased with himself. Why he did it, who knows, but it certainly made bath time less boring!

Happy Valentine's day to all you romantics out there. Both children went off with a secret choccie loveheart in their lunchboxes today. They'll probably come home and tell me the chocolate was disgusting. Ian's come back from Manchester early, bearing gifts, after we agreed not to, but I'm not complaining. I've got a gorgeous "Benefit" set of toiletries and some lovely foodie bits from Harvey Nichols food hall including the "Pret a Manger" cook book - he knows the way to my heart!

Have a lovely day!.................

Monday, 4 February 2008

Good morning everyone. Hope you've all had a relaxing weekend. We've had a lovely weekend in the VH household. I was out Friday night at a friend's house for a lovely meal, and Ian and I went along to a neighbours to eat on Saturday. Needless to say, on Sunday energy levels were a bit low, I can't cope with two nights out on the trot, it's a sign of impending old age, I'm sure! Nevertheless Andrea and I managed to drag ourselves along to the local car boot early(ish) Sunday morning. We've been regulars for a while, but this is the first time we've managed to go this year. At first sight it looked pretty umpromising, it was absolutely freezing and compared to normal there were only about half the stalls. Looks can be deceiving, it turned out to be a very fruitful visit. Because the weather was so bad, and there weren't many people daft enough to brave it, the sellers were having a pretty thin time, so there were bargains to be had!
This lovely chocolate box with three layers of old buttons, and a sweet little tin jam packed with vintage needles.
A gorgeous fire screen which sits in front of our bedroom fireplace. This was a total bargain for a couple of pounds.

A beautiful little rose print which Kit immediately snaffled for her bedroom. It sits above her cute little rabbit picture from a charity shop. I love the fact that she and Jack love old tat as much as me!

I bought this tool kit a while ago from the car boot for a few pounds. Similar sell in childrens' catalogues for about £30. Jack loves it, he spends hours whittling away at a bit of wood which I remember doing as a child, although I didn't have the proper tools to do it.

We ended the weekend with a walk around Frampton-upon-Severn, one of our favourite places. As you can see on the picture Kit doesn't really understand the concept of walking, she prefers the carrying method, so Ian and I took it in turns to heft her around. Boy, was it cold, the wind was howling, I'm surprised Jack wasn't blown into the canal! There were certainly a few complaints coming from his direction, fortunately the wind carried them away!

This morning's plans have all gone out of the window because Jack seems to have the dreaded lurgy which is going around, so it's feet up, fire lit and snuggle in for the day (for him at least, suppose I'll have to tackle the dreaded ironing pile!)

Keep warm, see you all soon................