31 May 2012


More flowers from the garden. I'm working from home today so just had a little wander round outside with our new camera. I'm really enjoying it, I've been practising on my focusing for now - I'm getting the hang of it slowly. So much to play with it's just so exciting. But what's happened to the weather, it's turned windy, cold and grey. The forecast isn't looking good for the Jubilee weekend, I just hope it picks up. We've loads of stuff going on in the village Sunday and Monday, it would be such a shame if the weather put a dampener on things. I'm going to have a trial run later today of making coronation chicken - I've volunteered myself to make some sandwiches for the Jubilee lunch on Sunday. Since moving here we've hardly met anyone other than our direct neighbours - it's tricky without any little ones to make the introductions and as I spend most of my days either in London or tucked away indoors at the computer I'm not doing well at making friends locally so I'm hoping by getting involved with the spirit of things I might actually meet some people! 

30 May 2012

bursting open

I looked out this morning to see our first poppies had burst open, an ornamental and a wild variety. It seemed a perfect opportunity to practice using the new camera, we didn't have long I had a train to catch, but managed a couple of shots. Aren't they glorious flowers? The colours, the frills and those eyelashes! I love them and just wish they lasted longer, instead they get thrashed about by the torrential showers of rain we keep having - poor things. 

28 May 2012


Remember back here, how I wanted to buy a camera? Well finally we have - hooray. It's so exciting. We picked it up on Saturday, late in the day so haven't had that much time to play yet. We took a few hours yesterday driving about in the car, stopping here and there, exploring and taking some shots, enjoying the sunshine and having fun. Can't wait to get to know it better, to understand how everything works, and to share the things I want to share here - not hide them away because it's such a bad shot. 

24 May 2012

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Last night we went for pizza in the little town nearby, it's been a few weeks since I've been there and it was looking very pretty with bunting everywhere, all to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of our Queen - 60 years she's been on the throne, that's a long time. I certainly wouldn't fancy her job, standing in heels everyday meeting and greeting people. I was amazed how all the shops had special window displays, this one made me chuckle - it's just bizarre.

21 May 2012

our weekend

D had Saturday off. We visited a car boot sale, a stone merchant, and a garden centre or two. We pottered, gardened, ordered take away, relaxed and enjoyed. 

have you met herman?

Vic a friend at work, introduced me to Herman, she'd bought him in to work with her and left him on the window sill next to my desk, lid off and bubbling. Herman in a cake mix, the type of mix that has natural yeasts that ferment, rather like sour dough. Herman came with a sheet of instructions, I took him home with me that evening introduced him to D, transferred him to a large mixing bowl, stirred him, and covered him loosely with a tea towel. Herman spent the next 10 days with us, occasionally he was hungry and demanded feeding, other than that he was pretty easy going just needing a daily stir. Before baking Herman we divided him up into quarters and gave 3 portions away to friends, just like Vic had given me. We then fed him a massive meal, stirred well and baked. He turned out to be quite a big chap filling my largest cake tin. He's also delicious to eat, moist, fruity (with apples, raisins and spice) and incredibly filling. Nothing like a light airy sponge you might buy, this guy is the real deal when it comes to cake. Have you met him yet? From what I hear he's a well travelled chap who's been around a few years.

17 May 2012

then and now

You know how much I love spending time in the garden, pottering around with D. Weeding, planting, sowing seed, mowing, edging, pruning, making, just getting on with stuff - it's all just so enjoyable. Before moving here we lived in a tiny London flat, in the last year or so of living there we got the gardening bug. It started with a couple of pots in the communal courtyard and by the time we left it was a whole van load. We moved here, to a village in the countryside, to a house with a fairly big garden because we fancied the idea - the idea of pottering in the garden surrounded by nature. I love our garden more than I ever imagined I could. We spend most of our free time out there, it needed a lot of work. The pictures above show the garden we fell in love with - a big overgrown mess! Now a year and a half on it's looking so much better, we're learning as we go, doing things as we like, how we'd like. It's not perfect, and there are bits I haven't shown you, but below are some pictures of it now a year and a half on, after lots of hard work. We've still loads of ideas, a huge list of things we'd like to do, plants we'd like to grow, we just take it a day at a time. 

14 May 2012

a pretty glow

D and I have been spending a lot of time in the garden, it's really starting to take shape now and I can't wait to share some pictures with you. I want to do a before and after post, possibly with a bit of the in-between thrown in as well (it might just take me a bit of time to put that together). We've been in this house just over a year and a half now, the garden is big and was a complete mess when we moved in so we've been working hard to get it in order and looking a little more how we'd like. We've fallen in love with gardening and have lots of ideas that we hope to put in place over the next few years in order to make our little patch as good as we can get it. We work hard at it, often nearly forgetting to relax at all, more often than not we're still out there as the light begins to fade. So to help us relax a little better we've strung up these pretty lights. They are solar powered which is great, though I haven't quite got used to not having to turn them off when you come inside for the night!

12 May 2012

creative lunches

Yesterday I was working in London. I've decided I need to make a conscious effort to do more with my lunch breaks - to make the most of being in London. Otherwise I tend to sit at my desk not doing much at all. When we lived in London we would visit galleries most weekends - The Tate, The Hayward, The Whitechapel, The White Cube, The Barbican, The Royal Academy and more. We'd also visit the small ones, especially around where we lived which meant a lot of cool ones - little places with little names, names you forget but art that you don't. Now my life seems void of all that. I spent years soaking it all up like a sponge not full appreciating the luxury of my/our situation. Now we're living in a village and well it's lacking the culture that we'd come accustomed to. We've got Cambridge up the road now - some great galleries there no doubt, but it's finding the time. Our priorities have changed we need to work on our garden - something else we are passionate about and our main reason for moving in the first place. So I've decided to get out at lunch and do more - it's only an hour but an hour is quite a long time spent just looking, taking stuff in. 

Yesterday was the start, I popped along the road to the Courtauld Gallery to see Mondrian and Nicholson: In parallel. Before buying my ticket I asked if it was possible to see the whole exhibition in under an hour, the lady assured me it was and suggested I could probably get round the whole gallery - so I climbed to the top starting with Piet Mondrian and Ben Nicholson. I've been aware of Mondrian's work for a long time - since school I'd imagine, but Nicholson wasn't so familiar. What a thrill to discover him now, to admire his muted colour palette a sharp contrast to the black, white and primaries of Mondrian. Seeing their works together in a room really bought home to me just how incredible these artists were at that time - the 1930's, how unlike the celebrated artists of their day they were it's no wonder that they formed a strong friendship and influenced one another. I guess comparable in a small way to us bloggers now finding comfort and friendships with like minded souls. I really wanted to take some shots to share with you but the Courtauld with it's old fashioned grandeur intimidated me too much! Fortunately I bought a few postcards. The exhibition was just two rooms so I had a little time to spare to view some of the other rooms. I found myself engrossed in the minute brushstrokes of Seurat, gazing at Renoir's barmaid trying to read the expression on her face and imagine her world, and that of Lautrec's muse Avril there really is so much to see at the Coutauld including a self portrait of Van Gogh with bandaged ear, Gauguin's Nevermore with its wonderful colours and Dufy's Les Passants. I could have stayed all afternoon but lunch was over and work beckoned. I hope to return soon for another visit and recommend the gallery and exhibition wholeheartedly. Mondrian and Nicholson is on until the 20th May so if you haven't been and can go - go now!

11 May 2012

one hundred

This marks my 100th post. Back when I started this blog I had no idea how long it would last, I wasn't sure I'd manage 10 posts let along 100. Well I have, and I've enjoyed creating them all. I can't believe I've written so many words either, I'd kind of imagined I'd be more pictures and less words but sometimes I just seem to start typing! I would never have got this far if it wasn't for YOU reading, looking and clicking. Thank you! I'm so grateful to you for taking the time to look into my world, thank you to those who follow it's lovely watching my followers slowly accumulate, I didn't dream I'd have any back at the start, but I do, it's a lovely feeling to know that what I say and show is of interest. And to those who leave me comments you are simply the best, it really is the nicest thing to receive a comment, to engage in conversation, to share an interest and become friends. Thanks x

10 May 2012

in the post

When I arrived home yesterday there was post to open! You might have read before how much I love to receive post - and I don't mean bills! I love post from friends and family little packages of love. Well yesterday I was lucky enough to receive two packages, one a gift from my little niece and nephew in Australia (OK they're not technically 'my' niece and nephew, they are D's but it's the closest I'll get since I'm an unmarried only child). They are just so creative, check out this pretty card they've made (above). 

And a letter from my lovely friend Marf, decorated with flowers, oh Marf knows how much I love plants and flowers! She wondered if I knew what they were, I don't, but perhaps you do.

my little chair

Back in 1997, when I was still at University, Mum and I went along to a house auction - the contents of 'Meadow Croft' were up for sale. The brochure states that Meadow Croft was built in 1911 by the Hunt family and furnished by them prior to and just after the First World War. We viewed the lots and fell in love with a little chair, a comfy little chair, just the right size for a lady (sorry D it's too small for you). We sat patiently waiting for our lot, scribbling notes to each other to pass the time and then when lot 324 came up Mum set about bidding. We won of course, Mum was determined the little chair would be ours and it is. I've had it ever since, though a few years back when our flat became too full it was relegated to Mum and Dad's garage - till now that is. For my birthday this year my parents offered to pay for the little chair to be reupholstered. I've been looking for a suitable fabric that I love and we can live with ever since. Its tough finding a fabric that you love and that will work with what you have, something you think will last, something that won't date too quickly, that won't show any muddy footprints belonging to a certain Mr Mouse, that suits the chair. FInally I've made a selection and today the lady that's going to upholster the chair is coming to see if she thinks the samples I've found could work. 

The top fabric (Designers Guild - Boqueria Granite Cuttings) is our favourite and first choice, the middle (Sanderson - Rainforest) I love but wonder if it might be too overpowering and last (Sanderson - Bellflower) I really love the colours they're just what I had in mind, but I'm not sure it's right for the chair. I'll keep you posted once we make up our minds!

5 May 2012

round ours

I've spent Saturday morning pottering round and having a tidy while D's at work. Half my morning has involved going through the big piles of stuff that mound up on our sideboards, mostly paper - the stuff that comes through the door, magazines, newspapers, endless stuff! You think it looks interesting so it gets added to the pile to look through when we have time, but the time never seems to come along and the pile just grows and grows. Sound familiar? So after shoving most in the recycling and finding homes for the other bits it's finally looking clearer ready for the next accumulation. Now for the weekend... Enjoy yours!