Tuesday, 27 January 2009

5 Minutes Peace

Goodness we've been busy lately. My not so newish job is proving quite a huge challenge, which is great but exhausting and Woody is very busy too. So, we're reining back on all that domestic stuff and cramming our weekends with lots of lovely things we all enjoy.
The one just past was wonderful and everyday since I've sat back for just a few moments to remember some special, peaceful and relaxing moments I've really enjoyed, including:

  • Dear, dear, far-away friends to stay for a too-short, flying visit on Friday night. Mr F is Woody's greatest pal, was his best man and when his wife and I share notes we're convinced that they're two halves of the same person. We miss them and their two adorable little people so much now they live 300 miles away. Sharing a curry, favourite toys, lots of laughs and the latest news was bliss.

  • My little furry friend being slightly on the mend. Poor girl has been eating us out house and home but losing wieght like water. A bit of help from the vet has seen her calm down a little and rest and I think put a bit more weight back on. Fingers crossed.

  • The discovery of a new hairdresser in town! My visits to the shearer are few and far between, time is precious and this new little place has vintage chandeliers, white plasterwork mirrors and interiors magazines and not just trashy mags to while away the time. Oh and the haircut was the best I've had in ages too - hurrah!

  • A surprise Sunday lunch at a cosy country inn for for my cousin's birthday. Delicious food, lovely family time and a sunny afternoon.

  • Watching our little chaps dance and dance at their friend's birthday party. Hilarious and ever so heart-warming all at once.

  • Bubbles at bathtime - fun, fun, fun!

    Oh it was so, so nice. Sometimes our weekends fizzle out or end up fraught and a bit angsty which I loathe. This was a corker though and we've promised ourselves lots more.
    So back to normal this week but tonight I caught five minutes at my favourite winter spot, cosy in the kitchen at my old table with a cuppa, delightful white hyacinths and a chance to quickly flick through some pretty pictures.

It might be busy but it's not a bad life!

P.S. Thanks for all the lovely comments on my last post, especially those about my rug.

I picked it up at the Collector's Market from a favourite stall that sells all sorts of old junk where I occassionally find a bargain. I've been on the hunt for a rug similar to this for months and I almost shrieked with glee when I found it - then nearly fainted when the chap only asked for £2.50! Can't quite believe my luck.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Is it or isn't it?

Could this be a lemony version of this Cath Kidston print? I bought it a little while ago in a charity shop; one single duvet cover and a matching Oxford pillowcase.

The springy floral fabric is so cheery I thought it would be just the thing to brighten up our bedroom in those chilly, early weeks of spring that promise a lot but still feel like winter.

My plan is to open up the cover and join it to a huge candy striped sheet I've got to make a big duvet cover. The pillowcase will be just for me, on top of a pretty, vintage cotton pillowcase with a crochet lace trim. Woody's quite happy with plain white cotton thanks very much he says.
It's very well made but with no labels so I imagine it might be handmade. Bit of a mystery - very cheery though. A few more things have been cheering me up this week too.
Shoes that make me feel happy - rediscovered at the back of my wardrobe.
First spring flowers inside
A cheery new rug for my side of the bed

Lots to make me smile during a busy, hard week.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Spot the difference

Anyone who reads my blog will know that I do my best to shop as little in supermarkets as I can. Most of what fills our fridge, veg cupboard and fruit bowl comes from the amazing market in town that we're really lucky to have on the doorstep.
I love my weekly chats with the chaps at the greengrocers, who throw in the occasional freebie or offer tastings of seasonal fruits fresh off the stall. The butcher is a wonder, offering cooking tips and suggestions for recipes. I can get pretty much anything we need from polish to bird food and everything in between and just have to pop into the huge tin shed by the petrol station for tins, packets and the odd treat.
But the one thing I can't seem to strike lucky with are clothes and shoes, especially for the boys, and that's where the big orange supermarket close to work comes in very handy. The charity shops have some great finds but its a bit hit and miss so if I really need something I head there.
And look what I found!
Aren't these the most fantastic wellies! Now I confess to getting a bit seasick over some of the really gaudy festival wellies around (those skull ones really aren't my thing). Mum bought me a floral pair a couple of years ago but now they're leaking so a replacement needed to be found and spots were on my mind.
The search has been high low and numerous pairs rejected for being too expensive, too flashy, too childish, too grim etc, etc and then I chanced on these delicious pair. Milk chocolate brown with eau de nil spots (oh go on light turquoise!). Perfect. Spots make so very happy. They're nice and high too, just the thing for dam building and stream jumping with the boys. I am in love with them and find myself just popping into the hall to have a sneaky look at them.

Oh what joy, spots before the eyes and just waiting for a few puddles to splash in. Fanwellytastic.

P.S Thanks for the lovely get well wishes, they've cheered me up so much. I'm feeling lots better and went to see a lovely osteopath tonight who's getting me up and about again. You're all so kind and I really appreciate your thoughts. Much love Sx

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Not the best of starts

I'm in bed, with my back - which is sort of obvious really, but the back is actually the reason I'm in bed if you see what I mean. My back always been a reliable sort of back, no real twinges or tweaks, capable of hauling a hefty bag of compost or equally a small wriggling child about, no problem.
Until New Year's Eve.
Woken up by my biggest little man and, it being my turn for the early shift, I sat up but didn't really make it. I don't remember much about angles from school but somewhere in-between lying flat and 45 degrees, something went ping and I've been in agony ever since.

Today things got much worse. When I couldn't stand or sit without crying I was sent back to bed with provisions, some reading material and a bit of light mending to do. Thankfully the horse tranquillisers Woody purloined at the chemist are working wonders and an old-fashioned hot water bottle in the small of my back (for which I've managed to cobble together a cover from a favourite Cath Kidston remnant whilst marooned up here) is stopping any more yelping.
But I've got good company. I popped to town briefly yesterday and had a peek at the sales, in our little town that means WHSmith's and New Look really, which to be honest is about as much as I can handle. I much prefer the more civilised online sales, battling my way through the jumble sale of hot, city centre shops just makes me cross! And I do always seem to have more joy when I just drop into town, look what I got yesterday, these most fantastic Carol Klein books that I've had my eyes on for ages - £5 each!
We're on the waiting list for an allotment in the village so in the meantime I'll be reading up on what we can grow in our small garden and on the patio aside from courgettes and tomatoes that we grew last summer, (I really adore French Beans so hopefully she can tell me what to do!) They're beautifully photographed and the recipes in the cookbook are very straightforward, perfect for this rather unadventurous cook.
And do you like my new 'ganzie' (or cardi if you're not from round these parts), another £5 bargain which has made me even happier because I talked myself out of buying it a while ago and now it's mine for 1/4 of the price. Oh hurrah!

So it's not all bad news here at No.25. I'm tucked up, gazing at gardening books and visiting some of my favourite blogs. My sympathies go to anyone with a bad back out there, it's horrible. Sure mine will get better soon and I promise to look after it properly from now on, (thinking about it, maybe hauling about that goat-sized Christmas turkey, or wearing proper heels for the first time in six months to my mum's big birthday party, might have had something to do with it. Blimey I really am starting to show my age!)
Happy New Year and thank you for all the lovely New year wishes. Back soon, with less screeching I hope.