Thursday 29 April 2010


Finally, after weeks and weeks of enquiring, when I called in at the cat shelter yesterday the lady in the shop said yes, they did have two furry, little creatures waiting for a cosy new home. Hurrah, hurrah! Although we still miss our old girls, the time feels right now to have some mowzers about the place again (as long as they don't actually go and bring any home!)

And so back to our house came this gorgeous little pair who despite many warnings, have settled in immediately and made themselves right at home.
So meet Bertie the tabby (I've been desperate to call a cat Bertie for years!) He's roughly 8 1/2 weeks old and bless him we are his third home already. He'd gone to live with another family but unfortunately their little baby developed an allergic reaction to his fur and he had to be returned. Luckily for us we're all cat-proof (scratches aside). He's extremely funny, loves a cuddle and looks as if butter wouldn't melt!
And here is beautiful Bella, a little younger and a very dainty lady. She is the timider of the two (hence not so many pictures yet) but believe me she can hold her own and the pair of them are pummelling each other to bits. They're strangers to each other so are battling things out a bit but I think peace is starting to break out and already they're curling up for naps and happy to eat together too.
It's fantastic to have animals in the house again (I don't really get affectionate about goldfish if I'm honest) and kittens are such amazing fun. Our little boys are thrilled and completely fascinated. Archie especially has really taken to looking after them, maybe because he's not the smallest for a change, and I keep finding him curled up next to their basket giving a bit of advice on taking a nap and drinking milk.
There's been much rooting around retrieving furry bodies from tight corners, hissing, wiping up, cooing and cuddling and for some it's all been a bit exhausting. What else can you say but ahhhhh. Happy days ahead.

Thursday 22 April 2010

Happiness Is ...

A sunny afternoon after the end of a busy day, washing blowing in the breeze and a lovely view over the field where the hares are running.
A nice cup of tea and a new magazine which after a while of finding quite disappointing is really beginning to make me smile agin (cool caravans - enough said!)
Sitting back and taking it all in.
And sharing adventues with two little boys ("Thunderbird 1 is going to take off from your magazine mummy") and memories of our family's favourite holiday haunt when I was a child (aaahhhh Dorest, clotted cream, thatched cottages, Maiden Castle, Punch&Judy, sea swimming, fish and chips right where this picture is taken and glorious sunny days).
Summer is icumen I feel.

Sunday 18 April 2010

Sunny Saturday

There's nothing better on a bright sunny morning than pottering about the collector's market if you ask me. I was up with the lark yesterday (oh why do children wake up earlier in the holidays!) and decided to make the most of it and head into town.

Once a month there's the added attraction of the Fine Foods Festival too and yesterday there was organic meat, local honey and herbs, handmade bread and fantastic cheeses to enjoy as well.
But my main focus were the stalls and although I have to admit things were a bit pricey I do love to just meander and chat to the dealers I know and admire the wonderful things on offer.
Plants were my main purchase; sweet williams for the border, bellis and marguerites for pots. I came home the fields way, up spindly lanes so that I could see one of my favourite views of the village.
The picture is a bit hazy but the sun was so bright yesterday it was hard to capture it. This is the back way into the old part of the village where a cluster of very ancient cottages huddle around the church and school.
And I spent the rest of the day in the garden, potting up and sowing seeds sent by the lovely Anna 
There are wonderful things including round courgettes, patio aubergines and some winter squashes. Just look at these pretty handmade seed packets in lovely Cath papers. Thanks so much Anna, you're ever so kind. Can't wait for them to get going so we can plant them up at the allotment.

Now I hope you're not expecting too much of our little plot! We've only got six of the twelve beds underway at the moment because we've spent most of the past few weekends covering the paths to try and hold back the weeds. So far we have first and second early potatoes in the ground, along with a few sprouts (eeuggh!)for Woody, early peas and broad beans.

(our neighbour's plot - oh to be this organised!)
The raspberry canes at the bottom of the plot have been cut back and the compost bins sorted out. It'll be all go from now on with carrots, parsnips, lettuce and radish on the list for this afternoon. Hope the sun is shining where you are. Have a lovely week.

Sunday 11 April 2010

A Little Bit of Thrifting Does Me Good

Thank you for all the very kind comments about my frocks post last week. It was great fun to find out about your favourite summery outfits and I do hope you've been able to get out and about in them this weekend in the fabulous weather we've been having. Yesterday was like mid-summer in the Moorlands, absolutely balmy. I tootled over to Ashbourne for lunch with a friend and we sat on our cardigans by the river chatting and catching up, wearing sandals, linen trousers and summery tops.

Today is cooler with a bit of a keen breeze but lovely and dry and blissful for April - the cruelest of months.
More work up at the allotment this morning and we're in much better shape than last year when we took it on. But more of that next time; I have much gardening news to share.
This week I've finally picked up a few treasures because I don't know about you but they've been thin on the ground around here. My favourite find is this dear basket from an antiques mill in town. Much more expensive than the others I've bought but it finishes off my little collection perfectly and was a bit of a treat for the hard work we've put into the comedy night Woody and I run together. It's finally taken off and is bringing us in a bit of money at long last, so he's had old vinyl and an old basket for me. It was absolutely filthy but I'm really pleased how it's cleaned up and I think it may be the perfect place to store all my embroidered tablecloths.
Elsewhere the charity shops have been very poor for pickings although I did find these sweet hollyhock plates the other day which were made at the Meakins pottery (where I think my Grandma may have worked once). They're just the right size for toast in the morning or a slice of cake in the afternoon when I sit on my garden bench and enjoy a cup of tea in this fabulous cup.
Even the daffodils count as thrifted this week. They popped up at the allotment and are such a delicate, pretty variety - maybe jonquil although I'm not sure. (Someone - so sorry I can't remembr who - asked me a while ago what the name of the little china posy is but I'm afraid it isn't marked and I picked up in a junk shop for 50p!
Oooh I do love the thrill of new pillowcases (I know, cheap date or what!) and finally I won a pair of Cath Kiston pastel flowers cases on ebay for less than a mortgage. Gosh they really are pretty, just the thing for spring.
And soon it will be summer again and I cannot wait to arrive at the little quay in this old Vernon Ward picture I also won on ebay (£5!). Last year Woody and I had a very special evening in Fowey, Cornwall and just as the light was fading we decided to jump on the little water taxi over to Polruan for pint in a cosy pub just around the corner from this view.
Going back across the water in darkness with lights twinkling on boats, in houses and on the far side of the estuary leading us home, is a trip I will always treasure. I'm so happy to have won this lovely old print to remind us of a special little adventure. Roll on July!

Saturday 3 April 2010

Dresses I Long to Wear

Now, you may already have deduced this fact but in case not, I really am not a fashionista.

I have never read Vogue, or Harpers for that matter, and boutiques and chain stores scare me a little. But don't get me wrong, I really do rather like clothes. My problem however is often budget (or lack of it) and whilst I might aspire to a lovely thing of two from Laura Ashley, Saltwater, Brora or Toast, what I often end up with is from the supermarket or charity shop!

As a busy, part-time working mum I have two uniforms; sensible trousers, tops and shoes for the office or skinny jeans (with plenty of stretch!), long boyfriend cardis and one of my array of floral tunic tops which I am rather partial to, at home.
But what I long to wear is a frock and feel properly ladylike for once. It seems though that these days I just don't attend the sort of social soirees where a dress is the required attire. Not that that stops the occassional purchase - oh no, and these are my three graces, three favourites I thought I might share.
Introducing Kirstie - my homage to Ms Allsop. Bought, at the bargain basement which was Ethel Austin, last summer and as yet unworn. When an invitation to a garden party or drinks do on a wooden yacht pops through the letter box, this will be the perfect thing.
Will I be going to a barbeque this summer (apparently it's going to be a scorcher - where have I heard that before?). I don't really do strappy numbers as a rule, (not with the sort of front I inherited from my grandmother if you know what I mean), but under a battered old denim jacket I'm hoping for a balmy, riverside evening, sipping something refreshing with my chap and wearing this.
And my favourite? My sort of "I Capture the Castle" frock which has been languising in the wardrobe for rather a while but may get an outing at a 40s dance we're off to in May.
But what about the shoes? Ah yes now that can be tricky as I only own about 5 things to wear on my feet and that includes wellies. These were from ebay and are the most perfect fit with the last frock.
And these were a birthday present from my lovely sis who knew I'd adore shoes the colour of blackberries - and I do.

What are you waiting to wear? I'd love to know.