29 October 2012


D and I took 3 days off last week, we were home most of the time, just hanging out, catching up with each other, resting, getting a few jobs done and satisfying our cravings for good food. We basically spent 5 days, including the weekend, feasting! Far too busy gorging ourselves to take many pictures, just this one - a selection of tasty cheeses, olives, focaccia, butter and coffee. There were also a couple of roasts, and a whole lot of cake.

27 October 2012

mother nature - the artist

I mentioned here how much I love a pebble, a rock, a stone. I love to feel the surface, to hold them in my hands feeling the knobbles and bobbles, the dips and dents. I love to hold them against my face to press the cold stone against my cheek. I admire their colours, the muted tones that seep from their skin, I wonder what's inside, how they'd look to be smashed open revealing their core, might they sparkle and shine, I want to know, but I dare not smash that perfect exterior.

From this beach.

24 October 2012

One of the reasons we were so keen to visit Charleston here was the Rob Ryan exhibition being held there. D and I have been fans of Rob for years now, we've some of his prints from back when they were much, much cheaper. I was really keen to see his Staffordshire cats and dogs. I'd seen them online before but not in the flesh and they looked too beautiful to pass on. Indeed they were, often embellished with rich mirror-like gold they really are charming, all decorated in Rob's unique style and yet each pair so unique in themselves. Shame I couldn't do them justice in my photographs.

22 October 2012


Our weekend revolved around apples, odd shaped juicy nuggets of green and red. We've been busy making cider, you might have seen here on Istagram. We moved to our home, just over two years ago, not realising quite how many apple trees there were in the garden - 16 I think and amongst them many different varieties. We've no idea what they are, some sweet and fluffy, others crisp and sweet, and some edgy and tart. 2011 gave us a bumper crop not only did will fill our freezer but we managed three whole days of cider making - around 50 litres. So far this year it's just been the one day and we've probably enough apples left for half that again. It's a long slow process, and though we didn't make an early start we were still pressing on in the dark. Firstly there's lots of cleaning and sterilising of equipment, then we collect the apples using those that have fallen first before picking from the trees, wash, chop into chunks removing any bad and the core, pulp with an attachment on the drill, and press using a large fruit press into a bucket that takes an age to fill. Tonight we'll test the sugars then leave to ferment before bottling and storing till next year. I say we, but really it's D who's the master cider maker here, my department is collecting the apples, washing and chopping - the easy bit. 

If you're wondering what it's like, yes we have already dipped into last years brew and we love it, the taste and the way it makes us giggle of course! It's quite dry and really more like a wine than a store bought cider (nothing like a Bulmers or Strongbow).

18 October 2012



The main reason to head south last weekend was to visit this place, Charleston Farmhouse, home to Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant from 1916 - artists and members of the Bloomsbury set. The house where they lived and entertained their circle of intellectual, artist and writer friends. This heavily decorated house with barely a surface left untouched is truly inspirational, they themselves were inspired by Italian fresco paintings and post-impressionism. There is quite a collection of paintings to see, including works by Renoir, Sickert and Toulouse-Lautrec casually sprinkled around the house, but it's the murals and decorated surfaces that are truly marvelous, the colour palette so pretty and the little touches; ornaments, vessels, vases and collected objects placed throughout the house that I loved so much. A true artists home not just painting but pottery too, by Vanessa's son Quentin Bell, I loved the quirky colander style lampshades that hung in the rooms. We visited on a Sunday and each room had a knowledgeable attendant to fill us in on what was what and helpfully point things out that we might otherwise have missed. Photography wasn't permitted in the house itself hence lots of pictures of the gardens! You'll need to visit to see for yourselves what a marvel it is. Have a look at the website for a taster of what's inside. Just up the road in Berwick you'll also find a church where they painted murals on the walls, it looks just like any other typically English church until you step inside. Again no pictures but some of the pretty churchyard with the South Downs peeking through the hedgerow. 

17 October 2012

pockets full of pebbles

I love walking along a pebble beach, my eyes pretty much glued to the ground, looking for that perfect pebble. I always bring a few home with me, perfect in their own ways, smooth from the oceans kisses, little sculptures, no two exactly the same.

Also found some rather exotic looking blooms along the way. 

15 October 2012

south coast getaway

D and I managed a little getaway this past weekend, We escaped to the South Coast. We'd set our sights on visiting Charleston House and decided to base ourselves in Eastbourne. We drove down on Saturday and on arrival in Eastbourne headed straight for the Towner gallery, it had been recommended by a friend and a good recommendation it was. A modern art gallery small enough to look round in an afternoon, with an interesting photographic exhibition of folklore here in Britain as well as an exhibition exploring the Sussex landscape featuring some great works by, one of my favourite artists, Eric Ravilious, as well as a few Jon Piper's, some lovely woodcuts by Eric Slater and a breathtaking shot by Wolfgang Tillmans among others. We soaked up some sun on the terrace of the cafe refueling ourselves with coffee. We strolled briefly along the beach, said hello to Parkinson (remember Mr Blogg's Bridge?) and feasted on cakes in a cosy little cafe. We drove up to Beachy Head to take in the stunning panorama as the sun set. We checked into a nice little guesthouse and ate out in an Italian restaurant. All in all a pretty relaxing day and start to our little getaway.

14 October 2012

lately on instagram

Just thought I'd share a few of my recent favourites from instagram, sorry if you follow me over there and you've seen these already. There is something so satisfying about instagram; pictures in squares just look pretty don't you think? It's so quick to play along and it's fun and easy to find new friends and engage with them. Of course I still love it over here in blogworld, but it's just not quite so easy to keep up with. 

12 October 2012

our magical new home

Hello and welcome to our new home! Looks a bit like there has been a break-in with smashed furniture, but there hasn't, it just came that way. Bought this at the car boot last week and I'm totally smitten. It's a 1970's Stockholm dollhouse by Lundby. I haven't had much time to play yet, I want to give it a good clean and repair any of the broken furniture I can, and then I'll be on the look out for more furnishings, I'll be rooting through every box of toys at every car boot from now on! D wants to get the electric on and find us some little lights to plug into the many sockets, I can't wait! Funny thing is there's no kitchen - so we'll be living on take-outs, and well there isn't even a loo - but we've got a sauna so who cares about that! I'll share more photos soon. 

10 October 2012


Sometimes I do something in hurry, today I did just that. I quickly checked blogger to see if there were any comments waiting to be published, I was using my phone, in haste I tapped on publish but in haste my big fat finger hit delete! Message lost, gone forever. Lesson learned. 


I haven't bought cut flowers for a few weeks and I've been missing them. I tend to buy them from an old boy at the car boot sale, he sells flowers and potatoes that he's grown himself. He hasn't had any flowers the past few weeks, so I treated myself to these beautiful freesias in the supermarket. They were in such good condition, so fresh and the colour so strong I couldn't resist. Also couldn't resist this cyclamen, I've managed to keep two others quite successfully the past year so thought I'd add to the collection, plus this one fitted my polka dot pot perfectly. 

9 October 2012

roll up, roll up!

Saturday was our local steam up, we cycled along late in the afternoon to catch a glimpse of some of the action. Steam engines fill the streets, locals sell apple juice, charities run tombolas and raffles, folk stand around soaking up the atmosphere drinking a pint or two. Children hitch a ride with Bill and Ben on their tractor or head to the fair to try and win a goldfish, fly through the air on the swingboats and slide down the helterskelter. While the old boys (generally it has to be said) tinker with their engines, the air has that sooty scent and the old fashioned organs pump out some old fashioned tunes. It's simple, it's fun, it's a bit bizarre and I just love that old organ music. 

8 October 2012

w for winner!

Hello, Just to say I've drawn a winner for my giveaway. I wrote all the names on paper, folded and placed in a little pot, then with eyes shut tight picked a winner... and the winner is Alma - check out her blog here. Congratulations Alma, do please email me pooka[underscore]76[at]hotmail[dot]com with your address so I can post your prize all the way to Savannah Georgia! I do hope you like it.

5 October 2012

time to relax

Today I'm on holiday from work, I was was yesterday too. My work seems busier this year than last and last year busier than the year before, there is always lots to do and never time to take holiday. I still have many days left to take before the year is up, so I decided to just do it - take them and not worry about what needs to be done. I'm spending time at home, just doing the little things I want to get done and the things I enjoy. Yesterday I started by giving the house a good clean - it's easier to relax once that is done! Then I enjoyed a nice lunch, read some blogs and messed around on instagram, I spent time discovering how to use the app vsco cam, I like it, though it's quite slow to use perhaps because my phone is too full! I pottered in the garden with ducks for company. Today started with a walk. When I travel to work by train I always gaze out of the window wishing I could be walking in the countryside in the morning light, so that's exactly what I did today. Now back indoors with the cat for company, coffee and chocolate to keep me fueled. I'm going to start designing some Xmas cards (I know it's too early really, but otherwise it will end up too late and a rush). I also have a piano stall that I'd like to try and upholster, an apple crumble I'd like to bake, and nails I'd like to paint. Time flies fast when your having fun though...

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Don't forget less than a week left to enter my little giveaway. Find it here