Welcome to our blog.

….. 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….

  • Catherine Lanser I'm happy it was a frog and not something worse! 18 Mar
  • Angela Webster What a shock for a Saturday morning ! Just glad you didn't sit on him without looking 😆 Sorry to hear you've been poorly, my... 18 Mar
  • Craft Mother I was relieved that I didn't need to clear up anything else! 18 Mar
  • Craft Mother The colours really suit her too. She's hoping for warmer weather soon to wear it. 18 Mar
  • Ali Duke I think I would have been quite shocked to find a frog on my toilet seat lol, at least you know how he's getting in.... 18 Mar
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Slice of Life

In the pipeline

(Hyacinths, in the garden, blowing in the wind)

It’s about 6:30 am. Saturday. No need to wake anyone up. Nothing in the pipeline today. Not sure if my husband is going to his park run, as he’s been under the weather, so I leave him undisturbed. I head downstairs. Quietly. They can all have a lie-in. It will do them good, I hope.

I head to the downstairs loo and shut the door. It’s half light outside. I’ve not switched on lights or opened curtains on the way downstairs, in an effort to let the house sleep on. I open the curtain now. I need some light. It dazzles me slightly and I semi-consciously re-adjust my eyes to the change. I lift the toilet lid.

What the heck! I mean. Seriously!

How could someone have left it like that? On the seat.

Great. My job to clean up. Who’d be a parent? I’ll need gloves. I bend down slightly to see what I’m dealing with and, at that point, I notice a slight movement.


Oh, good grief. It’s breathing. In fact, not only that. It’s looking at me. Straight at me. With two big, round eyes.

My own eyes are now adjusted. As is my mind. On the seat of the loo, previously snuggled up to the lip of the lid, before I lifted it, is a frog.

A frog.

On the loo seat.

I’ll admit. I did stand there for a minute, pondering my options. I half hoped someone else would come downstairs, just so they could act as my witness to the sight of a slumbering frog on our loo seat. No-one did. I decided to move it outside.

I think the frog sensed that I’d reached a decision, because at that very moment it turned round, jumped off the seat and into the pan. It knew where it was going. It shimmied down the sides and into the water and away. Away down the pipe. Never to be seen again.

I hope.

Well not by me. Not first thing. Not before my morning coffee.

(Just for the record, I like frogs and am very used to relocating them when they are found hopping around the house)

(Rhubarb in a pipe)


Pipelines have played quite a part this week. It’s felt a bit like we are living in a wind tunnel (or pipe) this week, with the force of the wind. It has been rattling and booming. It has never waivered.

I blamed the wind for giving me a cracking headache at the start of the week. Knocked me for six. Wobbly and feverish for 24 hours, which makes me think I was really probably fighting off a virus or something. Being a mother, I carried on, which was probably a bad move as, the rest of the family have had it, one by one, over the week. Most are back to normal now. The rest will live.

(primroses sheltering from the wind)

There is no stopping. Even for illness. There are times, when I wonder how I will adjust when they all leave home and I no longer manage the planning diaries for all the children. Noting down and planning ahead, so that they have everything and are in the right place. At the right time.

I think it will gradually creep up on me. I can already see our older two organising their time and planning, with the younger one biting at the bit to do more. Always something in the pipeline. Middle teen had a sleepover and cinema trip last weekend, where I just hovered and asked questions like parents do, but had nothing to organize.

Eldest teen had a UCAS event this week. She’s planning on taking a gap year before she heads off to university, so she’s just going through the motions this year. Doing her research, so she’s ready to pound on doors later, in earnest, once she knows her results.

She booked her ticket on line for the event. It was quite a form to fill in, for someone who’s not sure what she wants to study at the moment. All I had to do was pay for the transport.

She’s also been investigating and organising bank and saving accounts for herself. Planning in progress. I think she’ll have everything in place for her future adventures. No firm plans yet, but not a bad idea to lay the foundations now. I know the next two years will go so fast, but I’m glad she’s thinking ahead. She can plan and I’ll work on the slowing down of time.

Also in the pipeline is my quilt. I finished the sixteen blocks and am now deciding on the sashing and borders. I’m thinking of fuchsia pink in between. Toying with using a light green fabric as the border, I have in my stash, and a navy edging. I’ve pinned the blocks on an old throw and hung it up on the door of our shoe cupboard. Gives me the chance to move the blocks around and try different colours. I need to make up my mind soon, as shoes are beginning to pile up by the door. Afraid I might break the children’s habit of  putting shoes away, if I take too long. I spent time training them up, after all.

I’ve also almost finished knitting the front of my new jumper.

What else this week? We celebrated 30 years of the internet on Monday, by dredging up all the stories about life before and the early days. It entertained the children for approximately all the of the 0.03 seconds that they listened. We celebrated Pi day on Thursday with a shepherd’s pie. Any opportunity to celebrate.

So there is my week. Lots in the pipeline, and actually in the pipeline itself, in some cases. Not all my planning works out. Should have ordered more chocolate chips for cookies this week and ended up using chocolate beans instead. Not the worst mistake. Quite good really. Added colour.

Joining in with Anne’s word of the week. My word is pipeline. Pretty sure I’ve not used that one before.

How was your week? Anyone for a cookie?

Raisie Bay – Word of the Week



This week on the whole, has been good. OK, my car is still causing mechanics to scratch their heads in a less than pleasing way, but the rest of the week has made me smile.

We had our first 6th form parents evening for eldest. Only three teachers to see, compared to the usual 10 or 12 in previous years. Ten minute appointments instead of the five, so through in half an hour-ish. She seems to be doing well. Areas to work on, but she has coped admirably with the jump from GCSE to A levels in her usual confident style and I’m proud of her. It was also good to see where she spends her day.

She’s also pleased as she’s battled through the madness of online ticket buying and bought tickets for a concert she wants to go to in London. She missed out last time, so is bouncing now. Oh to be a teen! Not something I say often. I’ve had conversations this week with both my teens that make me happy at how they are navigating the world as teens. It is tough. They are encountering areas of life that as a parent, you just want to wrap them up from, but you can’t. It prepares them for the bigger world. I’m heartened that they are trusting their instincts, holding on to their judgement and learning the right time to say no. Plus they are talking to me about it all.

All three children have come home with good test scores, this week. Another reason to smile.

(pulmonaria aka lungwort)

I decluttered the house a bit more. We took toys and clothes down to our local Clic charity shop. Sad to see some of the well loved toys go, but they haven’t played with them for years. I think they were all pleased to think other children would have fun with them and money will hopefully be raised.

My patchwork quilt is coming on. I’ve only a few more blocks left to do, which hopefully I’ll finish over the weekend. Then it will be time to decide on the colour that goes in between the blocks. I love playing with colours.

Finally, my ultimate smile for the week, I finished knitting my cardigan. I’ve already written about it. After wearing it for a few days, I’m still ridiculously happy with it. Usually I’m reticent about wearing something I’ve just made. Especially knits. They have a tendency to make me feel, for the want of a better word, mumsy. This one I’ve worn every day and even to the parents evening. Unheard of! It is a winner. The hem seems to be falling into line, as I wear it, so fingers crossed I won’t need to alter it.

A good week, on the whole. The garden is breaking out into spring colours. As I type, I can see a small patch of grape hyacinths, pulmonaria and daffodils all huddled together through the window. Beautiful blend of pinks, yellows and blues, with a touch of purple. I’m awake each morning for the dawn chorus and to hear the newly returned geese complete their morning fly over. Spring is tantalising close.

Joining in Anne’s word of the week. My word is smile. Hope you’ve had a week that made you smile too.


Raisie Bay – Word of the Week



Happy St David’s day! I’m making welsh cakes later, to celebrate the day and my welsh roots. I’ll add fruit in one batch of cakes and chocolate chips in the other. It appeases one member of the family who wrinkles her face at the sight of dried fruit. Also, for the weekend, bara brith, which translates to spotty bread although welsh tea bread always seems a closer description, but each to their own. So long as it tastes good, I’m up for it.

I’ve finally opened my 16kg sack of bread flour this week. It’s been looking suitably rustic and country inspired, squeezed between my wicker baskets and hand cranked sewing machine, in the kitchen. I’ll be honest, I’ve been putting it off. I knew once I sliced into the sack, then I’m committed to baking bread on a nearly daily basis. 16kg is  a whole lot of flour.

This week, I’ve baked two loaves so far and they have come out as near to perfect as I can hope. The children have been digging in. They prefer it with butter. Every crumb is devoured. Even those pesty last corners of the crusts, that are usually left on the side of the plate as an unsaid offering to the bread Gods. All gone. Best part, they assure me.

I’m loving it too. I find our usual shop bought bread tastes bitter compared to my home baked offering. Even the packets of bread mixes have a taste, as if they contain something extra. I can vary the amount of salt I use too. Plus the fragrance of home baked bread is beyond words. Throw in the smell of a freshly brewed cup of coffee and, as sure as dragon eggs are eggs, I know I’m home.

On the sewing front, my Aldi fat quarter quilt is coming on a pace. I’ve managed to produce one square a day, although I missed yesterday. Still struggling with it being so pastel, but it does mean I’m concentrating on a plan to jazz it up. It’s not me yet. So seven blocks down. Just nine more to go.

In the lovely contrast that life has a habit of throwing in to give you hope, I’m still loving the vibrant colour of my current knit. Nearly finished. I have reached my least favourite part. Picking up stitches along the front edge. Blah! I’m trying a different technique this time and I’m hopeful. Seems easier this time.

Other news

We’ve been making the most of the good weather. My tumble dryer is feeling neglected with all the outdoor, line, clothes drying time I’ve managed. Unthinkable most Februarys. Hero and I have been outside more. It’s been so warm he’s been seeking out the shade. Wise hound.

The car is back in the garage again being fixed. Third time lucky, I hope. I’m missing the freedom of jumping in the car and escaping running errands. My wings are clipped and I’m feeling it. I shall be so glad to get it back.

Finally found a book I can lose myself in again. I’m reading How to Stop Time. I seem to have had a run of hard to read books recently. This one I’ve had to pull myself away from. It’s good.

Joining in with Anne’s word of the week. Missed last week, due to half term. A week to be in the moment and feel no need to write about it. Felt good. Anyway, back this week with my word “make”. Not that I don’t make something every week, but it was the best fit this time.

What’s your word?





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