Monday, 29 September 2008

Cake, cake and .............erm more cake!

Last Friday morning found a bunch of mums with nowhere else they needed to be, eating cake and drinking coffee (how much coffee!!) in my kitchen. All in aid of Macmillan nurses. Ian suggested it may be a good idea to join in with the "biggest coffee morning" idea since we do spend an inordinate amount of time drinking the stuff elsewhere, and it was a great success. I did feel a bit strange making people pay to eat cake in my house, but I also ran a little raffle and we managed to raise over £100. I was thrilled when I opened the donations tin, and to all the friends who read this blog (not many, because I do keep it quite secret) can I say a big THANK YOU!

I was slightly worried that I may not have enough tea and coffee pots so one of the girls brought round the two beauties below, which needless to say nearly made me hyperventilate with joy, they so reminded me of the Featherdown Farm enamel ones. When I took them to school to give them back she said that as they had made me so (ridiculously) happy, and since they spent most of the time in her cupboard, that I could keep them. Forever. Hurrah!! It made my day.

After the arrival of the log man, Mr Coal arrived, so we could finally do this...........

Oh the bliss of an open fire, a cup of tea and autumn tv.....................I won't be leaving the house for a while!
Before I disappear again I must tell you that after many requests Andrea has bitten the bullet and opened a website here. Pay her a visit, she really has some fab stuff.
See you all soon....................

Monday, 22 September 2008

the log man cometh..............

Monday morning and the long awaited call from our log man came, he'd be here in half an hour to dump a full van load of firewood in our front garden. So starts two hours of wheelbarrowing said logs through the house and down the side into the cellar storage area, all in all a very satisfying job, knowing that the blazing fire season is now upon us..................

.................of course it helps when you have a big schoolgirl back after lunch to give a hand, and to sit on the doorstep sharing your sandwiches watching the world go by...............

Sunday, 21 September 2008

sunday morning................

..................and as last night's sky predicted the sun was blazing. Now, a good mother would have taken her offspring for a swim or to the park to enjoy the sunshine, but I'm not that selfless. No, I bribed my children with promises of old Beano copies and plastic tat and dragged them to the car boot, knowing it would be huge. It was! After nearly two hours the children were beginning to droop and I only had £2 left which I handily spent on a gorgeous rosebud duvet set on the way out. I hate running out of money only halfway round, I have to be dragged away whilst looking longingly at the stalls I haven't visited and imagining the treasures I may have missed - think I may have a small addiction problem here! Fortunately I'm normally with Andrea, my own personal banker who can sub me until Monday - problem solved!

So, what c**p have I added to this already bulging house? - here, have a look........... I'm not claiming that this writing is original but I couldn't pass up this table and chairs, forgetting momentarily that I'd already purchased 4 garden chairs only 2 weeks ago, I snapped up this little set. Possibly more shabby than at all chic, slightly wobbly and with only three chairs, thus guaranteeing a fight every time we sit at it, I think it was a good buy!

Something else we almost definitely did not need were cake plates, we are overrun with them, but c'mon £1.50, I couldn't resist! They'll be brought out this Friday morning for the Macmillan coffee morning so I can at least partly justify them.

They will be added to my ever expanding china collection, some of which is here......

...........lovely fruit bowls

................part of a dinner service favourite cake stand

.....................and Ians' parents wedding present dinner service which is so beautiful and is onlu used for very special occasions.

Finally let me show you this fab fabric I found at the car boot in summer, in the form of two curtains. I've unpicked them and it's an old Liberty print, now I have to bring myself to cut it up - gulp!

Have a lovely week all xx

Saturday, 20 September 2008

autumn days..................

Sorry for the absence again. Out broadband connection gave up the ghost for a whole week so I was computerless. Made me realise just how much time I spend on the thing because the house was spotless by the end of the week, but don't worry, it's all slipped back into general chaos now I'm back in cyberspace.

So, Saturday started as every other with a cuppa and toast in bed and a chance to read without my eyes closing after two pages. Passing breakfast duties to Ian on a Saturday morning is my little treat and I love that extra bit of time in bed all to myself, and look he even brought my my toast on one of his detested "dead peoples" plates!

The weather has been amazing today and this evening we were rewarded with this perfect sky and the promise of more sunshine tomorrow, yippeee!

I'm such an autumn and winter person, I can't wait for the nights to start drawing in. The coal and logs have been ordered and the fire is ready to be lit. I love the colours of the house in the early evening when all the lamps are on, it's so cosy. Summer is usually a bit of a disappointment in this country and autumn can quite often be surprisingly warm with lovely chilly nights so to me it's a winner all round.

Look what last weeks car boot produced, a fantastic (and working) anglepoise lamp in the most perfect pale blue for £1 and a lovely red tin for 30p - bargainous beauties!
Before I forget I must announce the winner of the "what to do with the green box" competition. Sarah aka miss sew 'n' sew, it's you. I like the idea of using one of my car boot goodies in order to buy yet more - genius!
I must also mention that I've been given awards and tagged by a few bloggers, unfortunately I've lost the bit of paper I wrote them all down on and now I can't remember you all. I'm so sorry, time seems to be running away with me, but I'm very grateful to you all. Thank-you xx

Thursday, 11 September 2008

and the weather today is...............

.....................ummmm mixed, as usual! Feeling buoyed up by enough sunshine for a park visit this afternoon I actually put my washing out to dry on the line. Needless to say it was a bad move. We now have monsoon rain (again) and I could swear the seagulls were laughing at my foolishness whilst I desperately yanked it all back off the line again.

Kitty has settled into school really well, in fact she leaves me without so much as a backward glance, desperate not to miss the morning story. Thank you for all your comments, it hasn't been as painful as I thought it might have been, it's just a weird feeling that I can't quite put my finger on.

Mornings off this week have necessitated not one but two cafe visits, I don't think my waistline can take it! I took two friends along to Anna's on Tuesday and we stuffed ourselves with the most delicious bacon sarnies, coffee and waffles. Having been shown the basics of crochet by a very kind friend over the summer holidays we're now trying to find a kindly soul to give us some tips over a few cuppas, and probably the odd bacon sarnie, at No.9.

In the brief periods of dry weather when I have ventured into the garden I noticed that one of my dahlia's is still doing me proud, and the lavender in my car boot bread bin smells delicious. Let me add that these are the only things looking good in my garden. No, the evidence is compelling, I'm not a natural gardener.

Let's finish with a little treasure, my tiny 50p green box from the last car boot haul. Question is, what can I do with it, suggestions please! A little goody bag will wing it's way to the most inventive!

Monday, 8 September 2008


I have a little confession to make. I am addicted to avocados. Can't get enough of them. I try to find ways to stuff as many as possible into my weekly meal plans. Kit shares my obsession, not so Jack who'd probably rather eat a fried slug. Flitting through "Nigella Express" for lunchtime inspiration I came across her bruschetta recipe with tomatoes and avocados (does it have a "e" when plural - who knows?) and it was totally delicious. Simple and set to become a lunchtime staple in the VH household, better than a ham sandwich any day.

Another favourite in this house, Henney's cider, even better when they're on offer in the supermarket. It's even turned Ian into a cider slurper.

Finally, another half price offer, and a particular favourite of mine, Cadbury's Caramel, straight from the freezer, guaranteed to pull out any loose fillings. I like a bit of Green & Black's after a meal but for pure comfort food it has to be good old Cadbury's for me, it's my Northern roots you know!
See you later in the week, I'm off to slurp and munch - ooer missus!

Sunday, 7 September 2008


So, what do you do when you no longer have childcare as your main occupation? Flit about town gaily, meet up for coffee, read the books you've never had time for? No, you clean. At least that's the plan.
I'm not a naturally tidy person, my house and life is haphazard, disorganised, cluttered and untidy. No more. I'm to become a domestic goddess extraordinaire. In order to fulfil this role I had to buy a new piece of enamelware, I know it's a shoe cleaning one but it was cheap and it does the job. I have visions of myself floating about the house with my dusters, polish and rubber gloves, people marvelling at my gleaming taps, dust free mantelpiece and polished floorboards. Hah, who am I kidding, all I've managed so far is to tidy the tea towel drawer. Can't fit the rest in between coffee drinking, cake munching and blogging. Only don't tell, or I might have to get a job - Ian is showing a worrying interest in the positions vacant board at Sanisbury's, and it's not because he's always wanted to operate a checkout!

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

she's gone.....................

With a little hesitation and a small smile she let go of my hand and her new school life began. A little bit of my heart went with her and I let the tears come only once I knew she couldn't see me. We enjoyed the last morning of our old life together eating sausage rolls, gingerbread biscuits and making fairy cakes. So begins the next chapter, exciting, daunting and for me just a little bit sad. How I'll miss her..................

This morning this little gem of a postcard popped through my letterbox from Andrea, just to let me know she was thinking about me, what better friend could I ask for? By the way Andrea, is that us three in the top left??
Thank you for all the fridge comments, I must also tell you that Andrea has a few sets of the glass, spotty lidded dishes left along with far too many gorgeous treasures. If you're interested please feel free to email her at By the way the mashed potato is STILL in the fridge!