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

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

We’ve been blogging since January 2010, about everyday happenings that bring us joy.

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Just a thought….

“A moment spent in wonder is worth a lifetime spent in awe.”


Thank you….

  • Angela Webster Happy tomatoes are sure to be much tastier, you will have to let us know. I often imagine the teachers at half term, skipping out... 24 May
  • Laurie I love the idea of happy tomatoes too! It almost seems a shame to eat them, but I would. Here in the US, schools are... 24 May
  • Anne I'd love to grow tomatoes, my Dad used to grow them on his allotment along with lettuce and we were never short of salad for... 24 May
  • Elaine Livingstone I know whjat you mean about time to concentrate for patterns, even then I still have to undo at times. We gave up growing fruit... 24 May
  • Enda Sheppard A flurry is right ... happy tomatoes, eh? Should be fun eating those! #WofW 24 May
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Flurry of activity

(Mary Rose in garden)

Ah, yes. The flurry of letters and notes from school, signalling that half term is upon us once again. Echoing the white blossom falling from the trees in the garden. I imagine teachers clearing their inboxes and crossing off their to-do lists, ready for school to break up this afternoon for the week. Passing paperwork and children back to us parents, before they beat a retreat themselves and head through the gates. I hope they have a good break.

This week, has been a series of flurries. Things done in short bursts. Nothing major. All quite simple.


Unsurprisingly, I’ve been out in the garden. Gradually getting plants in the ground. The earth is ready. If I can grab quarter of an hour, then I make progress. I’m growing tomatoes outside for the first time in years. The seed packet stated they were their “happiest” outside. I love the idea of happy tomatoes, don’t you? I’m sure they will be tastier too. Anyway, I’ve got the first batch in, with more to follow.

The sparrows like using my salad beds as a communal dust bath. I’d planted some seed tapes and I think, while the sparrows were bathing, one day, they must have spotted the white paper peeping out from the earth and become curious. One thing lead to another and they dug up a few lines. Not sure if I’ve lost all the seeds. I’ll add another row of the ones they unearthed, just in case.


I’ve finished the left side of my raspberry cardigan and am waiting for a few moments to do the lacey part of the right side. Undisturbed time, as I need to concentrate. Progress is being made, in short bursts.

I altered a charity shop tablecloth, to use outside. Something very satisfying about giving it fresh life. I sat outside and handstitched the edges, one lunch time. Hand sewing is definitely my happy time.


Last weekend was filled with flurries of activity. There was a spur of the moment swimming trip. My husband achieved a new personal best in his running. Cricket was played. Balls thrown for the hound. Long dog walks were had. This good weather is definitely encouraging more outside time. I even moved my office out into the garden for a few mornings, making the hound very happy. Time to slumber in the shade for him, as well as cajole me to play.

We headed down to Cheddar for strawberries and asparagus on Sunday. We didn’t have long, so only a short trip to the Levels afterwards. Strawberries disappeared very quickly.

We had a lovely, long walk, on Thursday with Hero, down to the village to vote in the European elections. Taking the scenic route gave him a good three mile walk, which isn’t always possible on a week day morning. He met so many dog friends. The cherry on the top as far as he is concerned. A perfect start of the morning for us too.


Busy baking too. Mainly for afternoon snacks to stave off the famished feeling when the children get in from school. Theirs, not mine. Along with fruit and cut up veg, I’ve given them chocolate muffins and scones. Also bread rolls with chocolate in the middle, which is an absolute favourite with them. I’d rather they filled up with these homemade goodies than something out of a packet. Prep takes no time and I can grab moments in the day to do it.

(zephirine drouhin in garden)

That’s our week. Flurries of activity, which got things done. I’m looking forward to having everyone home next week, with the added bonus of a bank holiday Monday. As far as I can see the weather is forecasted to be good. Probably more flurries of activity and progress then.

That wraps up the week. Joining in with Anne’s Word of the Week. Flurry seems to do it this week.


Raisie Bay


All about the tablecloth

Almost to the day, two years ago, I found a hand embroidered tablecloth in a local charity shop. The stitches were beautiful. Clusters of flowers, joined by ribbons and bows. I cannot imagine how long it took the stitcher to stitch the whole cloth. It looks like love has been poured into the piece. All those little, precise stitches sewn in colourful threads. It hadn’t faded either.

I could be over romanticizing it, of course. It has been known. The embroiderer might have hated it. Completing it under duress. Stabbing the linen with each stitch, but I don’t think so. Something made them finish it. The stitches are too good. I can’t believe they didn’t feel some joy while making it. That’s good enough for me. I’m going with the love.  Just look at those flowers. I’d be proud to make it.

Needless to say, I wasn’t going to allow it to languish on the charity shop shelf any longer. It needed to be used and admired.

So I brought it home. Washed it. Used it once. Then put it away in the cupboard and there it stayed.


Part of the problem was that I wanted to use it outside. Now we tend to use a parasol for the tables outside, to provide extra shade. Any cloth we use would need a hole slap bang in the middle, which my rescued table cloth did not have.

A couple of days ago, inspiration struck. I’d make a hole. Not a big light bulb moment, admittedly, but maybe I needed the two years to realise I wasn’t going to use the table cloth for anything else, and it wasn’t going to be used unless a hole was cut.

Deep breath. Scissors out. Snip.

To tidy the cut edges and stop it fraying, I encased them in bias binding. I had just enough off-white coloured binding for the straight edges. I used a dark red to go round the hole. I hand stitched most of it, as I wanted to keep it true to its original making style.

Diving into my ribbon drawer, I found two pieces of red gingham ribbon. Different widths, but I decided the smaller one would look good at the table cloth edge without overpowering the surrounding flowers and the wider one would work in the centre.
They don’t distract from the embroidered flowers.

Final touch was to make a cream tea and serve it outside today. (Scones, with jam and cream, and tea.) I think it was a bit of a surprise for the children when they got in from school. Fine china and cream teas is not an every day occurrence.  Never to miss out on a good thing, the children seemed to take the change of routine in their stride. Scones soon disappeared. Let’s hope they don’t expect this every day from now on.

I’m so glad I gave the table cloth a new lease of life. It should stay on more times out of ten, against the wind too. I don’t know the story behind the cloth and how it ended up in a charity shop, but I hope the person who made it would appreciate the care I’ve taken and the use it will now get.


Pootling – my Sunday photo

(Local drainage, called a rhyne – pronounced reen. Good place to spot kingfishers)

Pootling around the little lanes on the Somerset Levels, today. Honestly think I could do this all day. Every day.

Before heading home, we stopped at our favourite road side stall, picking up strawberries and asparagus. I made meringues to go with them, when we got home. Sprig of spearmint, a dollop of cream and a sprinkle of chocolate. Perfect.

Definitely a good ending to the weekend.


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