Welcome to our blog.

….. Making pretty things
….. Simple living
….. Growing a family

Three children (17, 15, 13)*** 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.

Just a thought….

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


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Here I am

How does it grow?

Happy Wednesday! Mid way through half term already. Someone, please pass me the slow-down controls. I have so many items on my half-term list that I’m never going to fit it all in. I purposely kept the week quiet, as this holiday is only a quick respite before we, and it does feel like “we”, plunge head first back into the exam schedule. Eldest is officially on study leave now, which will take some getting used to. “Are you still here? Haven’t you got a school to go to? (I’m secretly looking forward to it)

Anyway a list of “-ing” is due. My projects take so long to grow that there is only one finished one to show.


I finished sewing my beetle blouse and wore it out this weekend. Very comfortable to wear. I do love this sewing pattern. Easy to make and easy to wear. What could be more perfect?>

I’ve moved on to my blue dress. It is cut out and I’ve started sewing it. I’m adding a little twist to this dress, which I’m slightly dancing on tiptoes about. It will make it just that bit more special and mine. Not that I have any events coming up soon to wear it, but it should work as an every day outfit.


Knitting is a slow old business, especially when each row you knit is unquestionably different. The repeat is 24 rows, so no chance of memorizing it. I’m constantly looking back and forth at the instructions. I’ve finished the back and am a gnat’s whisker away from casting off the left side. It isn’t the easiest to follow, but I’m loving this knit. It may disappear when I block the cardigan, but at the moment the leaves are standing proud from the surface. As if it is growing out of the knit. (photo at top)

(In case you are wondering – sponion is spring onion)


I’ve been gardening. One more of the raised beds is planted up with salad crops. The lettuce is doing well in the other bed, but apart from the odd radish, nothing else. They were old seeds, so I’m not surprised. I need to re-sow.

I’ve set up the bean poles for the runner beans and moved the hen run on to the area that will have peas, so she can clear it. We are down to one hen, at the moment. Georgina passed away at the respectable age of 8 years old. She laid the odd egg this year, but had clearly embraced her senior hen status. I’ll miss her as she was darn good at clearing an area of weeds. Hope to add a few more hens soon.

Greenhouse plants going in today. I bought a few different varieties, in pots, at our local garden centre yesterday, to add to the ones I sowed a while back. Also found a couple of aubergine plants. I haven’t grown any for so long. I love the way the flower looks like a gnarled hand holding purple petals. Anyway, youngest has been asking to make ratatouille – inspired by the film – so hopefully we’ll have enough aubergines, courgettes and tomatoes to give it a go. I hope he likes it.

Still bucking the trend, my potting shed and swinging bench have been repainted in a gorgeous, cheerful blue. Slightly different shade this time. Is it just me, or does the current garden furniture and paint fashion seem to be various shades of grey? No way would it work in our garden. The shed would disappear. We need colour. So blue it is!


I’ve been drinking a lot of herbal tea, straight from the garden. Mainly spearmint, fennel and lemon balm. I’m sure it has helped to ward off the feverish cold that the rest of the family have been going down with. One by one. I love this time of year, when the herb garden is bulging at the seam with all sorts of leaves to cook with and also add to tea.


Over the weekend, we went to the Bath Canine Society Championship show. We took Hero. He is too young to show yet and I’m not sure we ever will show him. It was more about meeting other dogs. Strangely, he seemed more drawn to the Irish Wolfhounds rather than his own breed.

(my hop cuttings have taken and are starting to climb!!)


Yesterday, I woke the children at 4:15 am. They’ve been asking me to do this for weeks. Seeing as there was no school, I didn’t mind. Give them their due, not one of them turned over and went back to sleep. Instead they stumbled outside in their dressing gowns and joined me to hear the dawn chorus and to watch the bats come in to roost. It is quite a sight. In the region of 60 to 80 bats. The bats swirl around, before finally going in. Almost like a swarm. It gives a better view of them, than the evening exiting, where they drop out of their hole and are gone in a flash. It lasted over three quarters of an hour. So many questions, which fortunately, I could answer. Memories made, it was time to go back to bed.

(Instagram clip of bats returning that I posted 2 years ago)

Right, I’m off to pot up some basil seedlings and plant another row of radishes.

Debs Random Writings


A good friend once told me, that you should never bake a cake if your heart wasn’t in it. Or was it baking bread? Maybe it was baking in general. She didn’t mean it as a metphor. No. As proof, she held up a flatish looking, culinary offering on a plate, for me to see. In her case, it was quite literal, but I do believe that it is true beyond baking too. Without love and intent, you may as well go home. (last part not meant literally)

This week, I have focussed on living life with intent.

Spring is a change of gear. One moment you’re snug in front of the fire by 6pm, having raised the drawbridge and called it a day.  Next you’re feverishly making the most of the lengthening days, pushing seeds into pots, clearing the winter garden debris and heading out for evening get togethers.

We’ve reached that stage. The rhythm of spring has kicked in again.

This week, I’ve tried to stop and be there. Making each movement count, even if it is only for a moment. Not just being swept along by it all.

Feeling the excitement at seeing the first cucumber seedling emerging from pots, even though I’ve seen it happen every year. It’s the first one!

Drinking peppermint tea sheltered under our oak tree. The branches are started to go as knobbly as a deerhound pup’s legs. It will be in leaf before I can blink.

The cricket season has begun this week, where I lose spend two evenings a week escorting the boy to each session. Knowing how much he loves playing and hanging out with his friends. (Incidently, cricket mums may not get as wet as football mums, but boy is it cold on some of those pitches in the evening.)

GCSE exams have started. Spending time listening to how each one went. Art is a whisker away from being done and dusted. She completed her german and french speaking exams this week. We now have a slight pause before the next batch of exams.

I’ve been sewing, but I can’t show you yet. The scuba fabric is lovely to work. I enjoyed every stitch of this project.  Makes me want to make more.

We took the pup to his first park run. To watch. He’s far too young to run. He soon grew used to people thundering past him. Other dogs. People stroking him. People ignoring him. Cars. The city. The smells. It was interesting to see it through his eyes. At 15 weeks, he is still a baby.

I do like the rhythm of spring, but it can feel like the same old, same old, due to the routine. Rushing past. Things sprout. Birds sing. I need to stop more often and take in the moment. Moving with intent.

Joining in with #wotw. Haven’t stopped by for a while, so waving to all the linkers.

So that was 2017

If 2017 was a suitcase, it would be a slightly battered, bulging, soft-sided type, covered in travel stickers. Despite folding everything up neatly inside, it would undoubtedly be dome shaped, as I tried my darndest to zip it up. Morphing from box to sphere, somewhere around May.

Creatively, it has probably been my best year for a while. I’ve sewn more dresses, knitted a few essentials and somehow conjured up amazing, creative and magical fun for family celebrations. I bought less and dug more into my stash of craft materials. I need to continue reducing my collection in 2018. I’m particularly proud of the recycled pieces I’ve made this year. Another theme I want to build on in the new year.

I’ve also enjoyed rediscovering my old Singer sewing machine. Although it’s slower to complete a project, it’s quiet and precise, and I can use it anywhere. I’ll admit, I do get a bit of a kick producing something on it. Machine finish, but hand powered.

It was also the year that we got out more regularly. Not always worth writing a blog post about, but it was happening, in the background. As a family, I think we are fitter for it all too. Another theme that will continue in 2018.

Oh, and the garden has produced so much wonderful food for us, over the year. Thinking back, I can’t wait to draw up plans for the new growing season and get seeds in compost again. We are still eating homegrown squashes, apples and a few other bits I managed to forget about freeze last year.

Looking back through the photos, I can see we packed a lot in. It’s a good platform to bounce off into 2018 and all the new opportunities that I can see on the horizon. On the whole, I think it was a good year, although I still miss my old hound and the adventures we had together.

I sat down yesterday and started to put plans on paper for the new year.  Something I’ve not done for years. I think 2018 could be interesting. Might need to upgrade the old soft sided suitcase with a trunk.

Thank you all for visiting this small corner of the internet. I am tickled pink that you drop by and read my ramblings. I love reading all your wonderful comments. The number of times that they have made my day, made me feel less alone in all the madness that life splatters us with on a regular basis, or opened my eyes to something new, I cannot begin to tell you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Each and every one of you.

All that is left to say is to wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous 2018, from all of us.

(mosaics from 2015 and 2016)


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.

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