Welcome to our blog.

..... We make
..... We explore
..... We nuture

Three children *** Two dogs *** Two parents *** Country loving *** Cottage dwelling in the South-West of the UK. That's us!

We've been blogging since January 2010.

You can find me here

  • RSS Feed for Posts
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Flickr
  • Instagram

Craft Projects

Follow on Bloglovin

Just a thought….

"A moment spent in wonder is worth a lifetime spent in awe."



Thank you….

  • Louise Houghton Fantastic. I often am in a state of indecision regarding our black refuse bag. We always burn a lot in the winter in the Rayburn... 23 Apr
  • Kim Carberry Ahh! How lovely! It sounds like you have had a fab week. That church looks fantastic. Well done x #WotW 21 Apr
  • Anne How lovely that you have had time to re-charge. It sounds like you've had a lovely week. I love your daughters church, very creative. #wotw 21 Apr
  • The Reading Residence Your analogy about recharging is so true and I've never really thought of it like that before. Food for thought. I love looking round old... 21 Apr
  • Stephanie Robinson What a fabulous post - and a gorgeous quilt - and yes hindsight, it gets us every time but great advice in this post -... 20 Apr
  • Older »

Time to smile

"God has an inordinate fondness for stars and beetles."

- J B S Haldane

I’ve been featured by

daily life


Oh goodness! It’s Friday again. With the clocks changed to British Summer Time, it seems to have signalled “all-go” in our household. We reclaimed the garden over the weekend. Grass cut. Seeds in post. Flowering bulbs in pots moved to places that they will be seen. Even washing on the line. It feels good to be back out in the garden and making a difference.

Even found the snake’s head fritillary, which I planted last year.  It survived the winter and is in full flower. Ridiculously happy to see it. First time I’ve managed to preserve it from one year to the next. Suspect the secret is to totally ignore it and just be pleased to see it when it pops up again. I’m hoping it will be happy in its spot. Spreading and popping up each year, from now on. I love the shape and pattern of the flower.

The early part of the week was consumed by getting the Teen ready for her school trip to Italy. That’s right. We sent our first-born to Europe the day that Article 50 was triggered. It feels rebellious, but, of course, it is just coincidence. She is now swanning around Pompeii and climbing Vesuvius. Judging by her texts, she is loving it. It was strange thinking of her taking a plane trip that I have taken so many times.

I have been reliving my childhood. I used to live in the region when I has her age, so all the children have grown up with my tales of Napoli and the surrounding area. Telling her what it would be like, brought back so many memories. I could remember just how it felt to be there. I’m now even more determined that I will revisit and take all the family.

I can’t wait to hear how she got on and see her photos.

Down to earth again. My hexagon quilt, I made years ago, sprang a hole over the winter. Just one hexagon, but, my eye was forever being drawn to it. I knew I still had a few hexagons left over in the right fabric. A definite benefit to making something like this is that mending it is easier. Always the right materials around to blend in and hide the tear. So long as you can find them, of course.

This week I found the bag with all my spares and finally patched it. I love this quilt so much and there was something comforting about revisiting it again with a needle and thread.

A week that has flashed by. Full of revisits in one way or another.

Joining in with #wotw linky.

The Reading Residence

Sharing. Good idea.

Surreal, but at least the chairs are bigger

As a general rule, I quite like odd. Not so much the out-there, making-a-statement odd. More the quiet, and slightly out of the ordinary. Often thought provoking. Not conforming, but not shouting it in your face either. The type that could easily be overlooked, if you happen to be looking the wrong way.  That kind of odd. I squeeze a bit of it into my crafting, because it tickles me.

(This is a long post. I’d make a cup of something before you go much further. It’s a bit of a saga. Otherwise, just whizz down, looking at the photos. There are a couple of spring flowers to enjoy. It’s OK. I understand.)

(needle felted blackbird)

My week has been odd. In little ways. Happening around and to me, rather than of my own creation. Definite surreal moments.

Let me set the scene. There is a general rhythm to my weeks and days. Ensuring everything runs tickety-boo for the family. Left to my own devices, it would probably look different, but I have others to think about.

Then there was this week.

It started on Monday. I got up early and had the house organized, before everyone was up. I am a morning person. I count it as a success if I have the surfaces clear and all the machines (washing, dryer and dishwasher) on the go, before anyone appears for breakfast. Hopefully fitting in a cup of tea and a little crocheting. I’d be ready to sit down and work as soon as I got home from the school run. A good start…..I thought.

(Easter crochet cushion cover in progress. Experimenting with a touch of purple.)

As I headed back from school, I decided to take the route through the woods home. It would be muddy admittedly, but I could let the hound off and take a quiet walk home, listening to the birds. What could be better? I might even spot the bullfinches again.

Just as we reached the narrow, slippy part before the woodland path, we encountered a loose dog, that I’d not seen before. It was huge. A giant, fluffy, black dog heading towards us. Not what I was expecting. The ususal Westie or a Spaniel maybe, but not a fully grown Newfie. Looming out of the woods. Now that was something unreal.

It’s OK. I’m used to big dogs. We have big dogs and I grew up with Pyrenean Mountain dogs, so I wasn’t spooked. The problem was that this dog was on his own. I listened for shouting. I checked the path, expecting to see an owner running down, waving a lead. Surely a dog this size couldn’t be out alone. But he was. No collar either. Odd. At least he was a friendly soul.

(Very old photo of one of our Pyreneans with me. Not the dog in the woods.)

Cut a long story, a bit shorter, over an hour later, we were able to reunite the dog with its owner. Thanks to the help of a lot of passer-bys. It appears he is new to the area and likes to take himself for a walk. Unfortunately, this includes a section of road with a bend. Something tells me, it’s not the last time we’ll encounter this one.

The same day, I arranged to meet up with a friend for lunch. To catch up. She suggested the soup lunch at our local pre-school. Neither of us have children of that age, but heck, why not? It was fabulous to chat to her. It’s always too long between meeting up with her.

There was something, however, a tad surreal about talking career and business plans with her, while sitting on chairs only a few inches off the floor. With 3 and 4 year olds rushing around and serving plastic jaffa cakes (very realistic!) on plates to us and wanting to share their party plans. There was a moment when I had to explain to a three year old why it was probably better that I won the bottle of wine in the raffle, rather than him. Judging by his bottom lip, I’m not sure he was convinced.

There was yummy (real) soup as well, I hasten to add.

(flower inspired craft inspiration)

Wednesday, was orthodontist day for the Teen. Her braces were removed over Christmas and she now has a beautiful smile. This was a check up. The car ride over is usually tense, as she really doesn’t like going. Shame as we do drive through some beautiful countryside to get there, which should be a treat, but it isn’t. Instead we go over and over what may or may not happen in the appointment.

This time we were in there for about 4 minutes, if that. Usually it takes a lot longer, with lectures about teeth cleaning. Mouth pulled around. Bits of wire. Sharp tools. The clip of the wire cutters. Not this time. Quick look. Everything fine. She’s doing a good job wearing her retainer at night. That’s it. We found ourselves back out on the pavement within minutes. Smiling. Slightly unreal.

Once the Teen was delivered back to school, I got my head down and worked through the to-do list. It wasn’t until the evening news that I first heard about the awful attack in London. The rest of the country was already watching it unfold.

These kind of events always seem surreal. Life is going along as usual and then boom, it’s not. It changes. As if you’ve suddenly been jumped into a similar looking world, but it’s not your world. Disbelief and bewilderment. People in the right place, but at a bad time. Not going home that evening. Not following their planned day. Everyone praying that no-one they know is involved. Hearts and prayers to everyone.

Maybe I should worry most when something like this no longer feels surreal.

I’m writing this earlier, as I suspect Friday is going to be a humdinger of a day.  A school event, with a politically correct name (don’t ask, ….. but we are running up to Mother’s Day in the UK), and a catch up with another friend. Judging by my week, I suspect that both will end up being slightly surreal in some way and this post is long enough.

‘Least the chairs should be taller.

My word of the week: surreal


Joining in with #wotw and #PoCoLo linkies.

The Reading Residence


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Sharing. Good idea.


There have been cases when people lifted my photos and words, and used them without credit to me or asking permission first. Using them for their own commercial gain. I have now added a level of security to deter people from doing this. Apologies to people who do play nicely. If you would like to use any of my photos, please contact me.

Copyright notice:

All my words and photos are copyrighted to me. They cannot be used for commercial benefit by anyone else. If you would like to use any of them, then please ask me first and don't just take. Written permission only. Don't pass my words, photos or ideas off as your own. It's not nice.