Thursday 31 July 2014

Back Home

I love holidays. July, the midway point of the year and all the end of term madness leaves me strung out and desperate for a break, a rest for a while. But coming home is great. I love a little wander around the house, saying hello to all our things, enjoying the prints, paintings and pottery I've collected and the patterns and colour are always such a surprise after the plain walls of a holiday apartment. 
Before the bags are unpacked I'm out in the garden, dead heading and picking a posy for the house to welcome us home. Just one honeysuckle bloom in this little jug has filled the whole sitting room with the scent of summer.

I needed to do a food shop dash to stock us up with essentials after my first day back in the office and couldn't resist these rusty gladioli for less than £2. I haven't seen this shade before and I'm really enjoying the statuesque glamour they bring to the mantle piece. Like most homes our mantle piece is a place to display some special treasures. There's a photo of Woody and me at my sister's royal wedding street party a couple of years ago and a tiny, knitted cottage brooch I love too much to wear. I adore it but have forgotten where I ordered it from so if anyone recognises it please let me know!

The clock is nothing special and replaced a lovely old 1930s dark wooden one that I need to get repaired because it loses time so much. It perches on colourful copies of Tom Brown's School Days and The New Weekend Book I bought in a charity shop for their fantastic covers. The green candlesticks are Royal Doulton, picked up for pennies from the Collector's Market and always have red candles in at Christmas.
Woody is a fan of agate and we have polished stones in different shapes and colours, even some bookends and I really like this smooth, marbled ball. The jug on the right is Polish pottery and was a birthday present from my lovely sister and is one of my very favourite things. 

I grew up with a shelf of Observer books and loved to unwrap them and see their hidden colourful covers. My few of my favourites sit on the shelf here and remind me of my mum and dad and everything they've taught me about wildlife, the sea and the countryside. And there are always cards too, special ones I can't bear to take down that slowly rotate through the year.

And you can't quite see it behind the jug but there's a nursery portrait of our boys when they were tiny wearing fair isle tank tops they'll hate me for one day but their mummy will always love. xx

Tuesday 29 July 2014

La Dolce Vita

I've never been the best traveller. Too nervous, too worried about doing the wrong thing. Far too English. But this year I was brave and stuck with Woody's idea to go somewhere new. How glad I am.

In darkest January we stumbled across a feature in the paper about cheaper places in Europe for family holidays and saw an amazing picture of these cliff top townhouses and the most amazing beach at Tropea, Calabria in the most southern tip of Italy.
We stayed in a cosy attic apartment just out of town with wonderful views of the sea, the harbour and town itself, and spent our days swimming in crystal waters and our evenings wandering  magical, fairytale streets of hidden squares and alleyway restaurants.

Our money was exceptionally tight so we bought beautiful vegetables, delicious cheeses and fresh fish (squid one day) from the morning markets and had a feast every evening as the sun went down before walking back into town for an ice cream treat.

We met some lovely, lovely people and everywhere, so many friendly faces despite our terrible Italian.
We made precious memories this week the four of us together, laughing, relaxing (some squabbling inevitably!) that will last forever. One day I'm sure we will be back xx

Monday 7 July 2014

Vive le Tour!

We were there. We couldn't not be; not this house of cycling nuts. To see the Tour de France pass over the hills just an hour from home, across landscapes we know so well, of course we had to be there.

Everyone on the poetically named Cote de Bradfield yesterday was in such fabulous spirits. We met some lovely people, kind and generous people who gave out chalks to the kids to #maketheirmark on the road, a nice chap who shared his radio so we could all follow the race and some properly funny types who made the waiting all part of the brilliant experience.

Well done Yorkshire, well done to all the organisers,well done to everyone behind three brilliant days. Thanks ever so much. You made our summer xxx