Sunday 31 January 2010

A Good Weekend

How's your's going so far? It's only lunchime on Sunday but ours is turning out to be a lovely one indeed. Maybe its that the wretched bug has finally got up and cleared off (thanks for all your kind, get well wishes; they did the trick!), perhaps its the glorious sunshine bathing us in light today (after more snow!) or most probably its that I'm doing nothing of enourmous consequence at all this weekend and I'm revelling in it.
(I finally weakend and bought these embroidered anenomes at the Flea Market)
Yesterday was my out and about day/busy, busy day. Off to town nice and early to pick up mountains of deliciously fresh fruit and veg from the greengrocer and some provisions from the butcher, the dairy and the fishmonger's stalls in the Butter Market.
While the boys spent a while in the library with daddy I sneaked half an hour's browsing around the Collector's Market and picked up some beautiful tins (which will need a bit of an assault with the Brasso) and pots of bulbs for the house.
(Thrited embroidered sofa back for £1)
In the afternoon B and I set to on the house (which for now he really enjoys doing so I'm milking it), aired rooms, changed beds and hoovered with a vengeance. Four hours later (!) it looks as smart as I can ever get it and, although it won't last long, I feel friends with our home for the moment.
And then last night Woody and I went out - on a date! He's been planning it for a while, something different for the two of us to enjoy, so the grandparents arrived after tea, we kissed two pyjamed chaps (with an evening of fun ahead of them) goodbye and headed off on our own to the flicks!
(Thrifted embroidered tablecloth £2)
We've worked out that its three years since we went to see a grown ups film (Ice Age 3 doesn't count). Attached to the univeristy in the city is the small but perfectly formed Film Theatre and we turned up last night at a rather civilised 7.30pm (when we occassionally go out its usually after bedtime so almost 8.30/9pm before we arrive anywhere), took our seats with a packed audience and watched the charming  An Education. It was just our sort of film; moving, heart rending and beautifully shot. And it was the most delicious thing to look at too; lovely interiors, glamorous locations and the most fabulous clothes.
On the way home we called in at one of the village pubs run by some friends and enjoyed a cosy hour or so having a giggle and indulging in a spot of people watching. It really was a very special evening, bless my Woody. Thank you.
So today has been ultra relaxing, a bit of pottering about with these new vintage finds (which are all very floral because I need flowers to keep me going until Spring), planning some food for later (a roast chicken and veg I think), doing the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch with the boys, looking forward to curling up to watch Lark Rise later and generally enjoying being at home.
(Vintage Sylvac awaiting pale lemon primroses and blue lungwort)
A fine weekend indeed, enjoy yours and  hope the sun keep shining.

Thursday 28 January 2010


There may not have been much posting going on lately and I've been spending rather too much time underneath this, (I blame a really horrible tummy bug that's been causing havoc for the offspring and me, plus this durgy weather which frankly is rather too much like hard work), but oh we have still managed to be busy here at No.25.
The list of plans for the year is being worked through with gusto. That's what happens with New Year plans in our house because we only put nice things to do on the list!
We are the proud but rather amazed owners of a new set of wheels, the first brand new ones we have ever owned! Gosh it's plush and very, very comfy but naggingly I now have yet another thing to try and keep clean and tidy. Oooh that sounds horridly ungrateful, I love it honestly.

Holidays are booked and thanks to my talented other half we will be travelling to the West Country not once, but twice over the summer to sample the delights of holiday cottages by the sea. My absolute favourite type of holiday; I can hardly wait. The Lakes, Port Isaac (again!) and the Jurassic Coast here we come.
But guess what I've been enquiring about? Sadly there are no furry friends looking for a new home quite just yet but after we return from the seaside we may be in luck. Do hope they'll like their thrifted mobile home and very cosy, vintagey new find (I daren't let on how many I have of these now!) - they'd better!

Sunday 17 January 2010

Slim Pickings

I don't know about you, but getting going in the New Year takes me an age. It's the 17th January and I'm nowhere near up to speed yet. Maybe all this snow and bitter weather has pushed me into hibernation mode; certainly feels like it. Now it's melted away perhaps I'll come too a little?

But it doesn't seem I'm alone, even the shops and businesses are the same. I called into town yesterday for a whizz around the Collector's Market and the charity shops in the hopes of turning up some vintage treasures. Sadly nothing doing. Hardly any stall holders (not surprising really) and closed or lowly stocked shelves. Perhaps the year really needs to get going yet?

So I had a cast about the house and realised there were a few treasures from last year that got a bit forgotten about in the rush into Christmas and here they are.

 ~ the perfect treasure to bring a hint of spring to our soon-to-be-decorated bathroom

~ A new, and possibly the  most beautiful, Sally Page Flower Shop book.

~ Lovely £2.50 children's picture blocks.

~ I know - another one of these!

~ a once smelly, but now rather sweet cushion for my chair/bedside table

~ and a proper look at my favourite thrifted embroidery, found for 50p a while ago.

Hope you're getting up to speed quicker than me!

Wednesday 6 January 2010

Winter Peace

For nearly three weeks now winter has held a tight grip on the Moorlands. There was just one day when the ground wasn't white but it most definitely is again. I love the snow. Its a total nuisance but there's nothing like the magic, beauty, fun and peacefulness that the snow brings. I was small in the late 70s and early 80s and have brilliant memories (and lots of photos so honestly I didn't imagine it) of waist deep snow, three foot long icicles, drifts up to the windows, building igloos and cresta runs and sledging to school.

Really I should be a lot more organised for it but apart from putting a spade in the boot and wearing an thermal vest (oh the glamour!) I'm a bit hopeless. The locks on my car actually froze while I was driving to work on Monday can you believe. But I've been at home since then. We've had a foot of snow and the village school is shut so I'm at home with my boys and working in the evenings.

So you can imagine its lots of fun (snowballing, snowman making and sledging) but not all that peaceful. But on Sunday morning I got a pass out and before breakfast I went for a walk - ALL ON MY OWN! I cannot remember the last time I walked on my own, (well unless you count shopping or walking to the office from the car park). We like to get out and about as a family a lot which I love but this was such a special treat. No arguing over which wellies are being worn, whether a hat has to be put on, endless hunts for gloves etc, etc.... I just went.

And it was beautiful. Fancy coming? Bitterly cold but absolutley still. Grab the woolies and we're off.

At the end of our road, this is the view you see towards a snowbound Bridge Cliff Farm and the neighbouring farm beyond. If you look closely you can just see the dairy herd in their winter yard.

Down the lane a bit, we pass the old railway workers cottages and cross over the little canal bridge where the barges are frozen into the water.

We've turned off the road now and walk along towpath a while and the river Churnet comes along with us on the left, the canal on the right. The light's amazing, so bright and crisp that the camera can't cope with it, and all the shadows are a curious shade of blue.

 Everything is frozen solid, ice droplets on skeletons of hogweed.

A little further on we follow the riverside path and walk across the water meadows that act as a flood plain between the river and the canal. There are a few people about, walkers like me, but there's hardly a sound. Occassionally I disturb a pheasant that flies up in a clattering panic. There is time to think today before gearing up for the world of work and routines that comes tomorrow. For today though I'm revelling in stillness, peace and calm in this wintery world.

The ponds and watery lagoons that are home to wintering geese, gulls and other waterfowl have frozen into skating rinks. I feel sorry for my feathered friends and wonder where they will find food and fresh water on these icy days. The day is waking up and I remember the birds who visit our garden and decide its time to head home and give them breakfast.

There's even more snow now and we're at home again today for more sledging and snowballing and plenty of hot chocolate to keep us cosy. These are special days, times to treasure. Peace and quiet.

Saturday 2 January 2010

Making Plans

This always happens with me. The decorations aren't even down yet and already I've got Spring on my brain. Not that I'm going to do anything very physical or practical about it though. Nope, this is the season for day dreaming and making plans. So my favourite gardening books are out, I've ordered the seed potatoes and had a good think about where I can set my hollyhock seeds off.

But the problem is that it doesn't stop there. Its not just the garden I'm making plans for. Oh dearie me no. You see the spirit of "out with the old and in with the new" tends to grab me quite severely and I can't sort of stop planning. I'm sure most of it will never get tackled but I do like that feeling of having a good old brain clear out and looking forward
Here's the list so far:
~ find out how cheaply we could get the bathroom retiled for
~ look for a new car before ours grinds to a complete halt
~ pay the balance for the summer holiday in Cornwall
~ talk to friends about a bit of a event idea I've been thinking over
~ ring the cats home to see if they've got any kittens!
~ decorate the living room and find some nice paper for our bedroom
~ turn the shed into a sort of summerhouse

I'm no good at resolutions, can't think of one I've stuck to yet but plans, ahhh now this is more me. I can make all sorts of plans, ambitions and wishes but because these aren't the sort of things that have to be stuck to, well there's none of that awful guilt if they don't all get ticked off.

My main plans for last year were to discover more of the footpaths around our parish and find a decent, ordinary cookbook to liven up mealtimes a bit. And we've actually ticked these off, because they're fun and interesting and not painful or punishing. Life's hectic and busy enough without making it harder if you ask me, especially in January when its all I can do to drag myself out from under the eiderdown.

So here's to plans and lots more fun for two thousand and ten. Although to be honest we're not getting anywhere very fast yet though. It looks like this again outside. We're snowed in and the village is properly cut off. It came out of nowhere, inside an hour.

Poor old Woody is battling his way home from town on foot after abandoning the car. Winter keeps tightening its grip it seems. Stay cosy and hope you're having a Happy, Happy New Year!