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….. 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.

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Yarn Along – July

I can’t believe it’s July already. How did that happen? June seemed to disappear in a blink of an eye. Although, I have to admit, if I look out in the garden, it does look as if a month has passed. So much has grown.

First Wednesday of the month means that it’s time for the monthly update on my knitting project and book. I have made a bit of progress this month. Unbelievable considering how much time I’m spending in the garden and keeping the children on track with their studies. Not forgetting the small matter that I have a job too.

So, with no further ado, I’ll make this a speedy update.


I’ve finished the back of the blue jumper. It is knitting up faster than I thought it would, which bizarrely, is not how I intended this to work out. This project is all about the journey and not the finished product. Not that I’ll ignore it once it is finished. It’s more about mindless knitting. Something for me to knit at odd moments, when my brain needs a rest. I’m currently working my way up the front of the jumper and progressing quickly now that I’m passed the ribbing.

Working from the cone can be deceptive. It doesn’t seem to shrink, in the same way as a ball of wool. The combination of thin yarn and slowly unwinding makes it seem like a never-ending yarn cone.

Book (Affiliated links)

I’ve changed books. Last month, I had just started The Invention of Wings. It is a perfect pick up and read book, which fits in fine with my time at the moment. One night, I decided to read it before bedtime. Big mistake. I spent the rest of the night unable to sleep, going over what I had read. Pretty disturbing, to be honest. I have now banned the book to day time reading only. Instead in the evenings, I’m reading Oscar Wilde’s Complete plays. A bit lighter and safer before I go to sleep. Thank goodness.

That pretty much wraps it up. Ending with a poppy from the garden. I love the structure and the colours. I’m really struck by how this one looks as if someone fitted it out with badly set piano keys and a fancy pudding mould.

Joining in with Ginny’s Yarn Along. What’s everyone else reading and knitting?


I don’t know about you but I’ve found the last 105* weeks of lockdown not always relaxing (ok, understatement), so when a weekend comes up, where we can raise a glass or two, I’m more than ready for it.

*rough estimate, I’ve lost count

Last weekend was our 22nd wedding anniversary. A good excuse to break open my elderflower champagne. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure how to take the fact that Mr TTC had chilled a bottle of something shop bought and sparkly, as well. I’m presuming that he didn’t trust my homemade hooch. I’ve no idea why. Fortunately, Mr TTC is a wise man and he has learnt a few things over our 27 years together, so, after a bit of to-ing and fro-ing, he popped open the elderflower and poured it.

It was good. The floral really came through, but it was more potent than its 7.65 (yes, he had calculated it) might have suggested. A head spinner. I’m putting it down to the bubbles.

We also raised a glass to the summer Solstice and Father’s day. We missed heading to Stonehenge or Glastonbury to watch the sunrise. This year, as Stonehenge was shut, they streamed the sunrise. It was overcast.

To celebrate, we went for a walk at Westhay nature reserve, on the Somerset Levels. Caught sight of a Great White Egret with its enormous wings flapping and crooked neck. Also reed buntings.

Final veg plot has been dug and planted. When I announced this one lunch, there was a few rumbles and incredulous snorts. I don’t think they believed me. Apparently, they are waiting for me to find another space in the garden to dig. Anyway. It is the last one for this year. A cause for celebration.

If you follow me over on Instagram, you may have seen this picture already. This is Middle teen’s competition entry. She came second, which she is very pleased with. Another moment of celebration.

Other moments:

One of our evening walks, watching a young fawn run in big circles around its mother. Absolute joy.

Finding a robin, in the kitchen, sitting on the folded laundry on the Aga with a beak full of flying ants. It came back at least three more times. (Yes, we had another invasion of flying ants. Also tiny toads.)

Finally playing Qwirkle with Youngest. He’s pretty good at it too! We’ve reached the stage of being more strategic.

Eldest teen deciding, at last, what she wants to study at university. This is progress. I’m glad she took her time. Next step is to work out where.

We have more celebrations coming up, including our first lockdown birthday, in the coming week. Hopefully it should be a good one.

Joining in with Anne’s word of the week linky.


Word of the Week linky


The jackdaws have gone. They fledged when none of us were looking. We only became aware of their absence when four jackdaw couples started a rumpus on the roof. It was reminiscent of a scene outside a much sought after flat in a fashionable part of London, which has just been put on the market. Strategic shoulder barging and hopping/slidding forward to jump the queue on our tiles. Language that you would not believe. Outcompeting each other in an attempt to secure the des res.

As potential neighbours go, they were unlikely candidates.

Jackdaws are interesting birds. Those with the highest status are entitled to the best nesting spots. Jackdaw law. There is a hierarchy. New kids on the block stand no chance. Scenes outside potential nests can get quite tense. I have no idea what grade the spot in our roof was, but it obviously was attracting attention.

Mr TTC quickly and temporarily blocked the hole, before work. The old nest materials need removing and a proper repair applied.

The penthouse is most definitely off the market.

We had our own offspring fledge the nest this week. Albeit, temporarily. School opened its doors to year 10 (14 to 15 year olds). They split the year into four groups, and each group goes back for one day each week.

Middle teen’s day is Tuesday. She is in a class with five others. Social distancing and the awkwardness of not interacting with others for so long, made it a strange day for all of them. They stayed in the same classroom with teachers coming to them. Break times, they had to stay in their groups and she didn’t even see any of the other classes.

How mad must that feel? All the bustle and noise of the school, she is used to, is stripped away. With over a thousand other people conspicuous by their absence. Reminds me of a scene out of a sci fi movie. Post apocolypse. Maybe a tad dramatic, but boy, it must be different.

She says that she is OK with it.

Hopefully, the next five weeks will prove helpful. She seems to be in one of the higher groups, so fingers crossed they can cover enough to make a dent in the work missed.

I’m not sure if the appearance of a regular, weekly fixture on our calendar has inspired me, but I have upped my game in the routine department. My half hearted attempt to follow the Organized Mum Method, has meant that Tuesday has been clean sheet day for some time. The rest has become a bit more haphazard, to say the least.

This week, I’ve meal planned and we’ve rejigged it so everyone is responsible for cleaning their own bedroom before schoolwork on a Wednesday. (I know. It’s only taken me three months to figure this one out.)

I’ve also given them the responsibility for cooking one evening meal a week. One meal from scratch. So far, youngest has cooked cannelloni and middle teen made chicken and chorizo pasta. Tonight, is Eldest teen’s turn. I’m determined that, before they leave home, they should all have a portfolio of meals they know like the back of their hand and can produce with confidence, without the use of a recipe book.

That’s the plan, at any rate.

It really has taken the pressure off me.

Talking of calendars, we reached another milestone. Eldest’s last A level exam would have been on Monday. She would have been free. Imagine the joy. Probably disappearing with her friends to celebrate. Instead the day slipped past like all the others. A damp squid or soggy fireworks, spring reluctantly to mind. Next event will be the exam results day for the exams that never took place. Weird times.

Also this is the week, Youngest would have been in France…..

(I should point out that everyone seems to be coping well. In fact I can hear laughter, real belly laughs, coming from the other end of the house, as I write this post.)

At least the garden is behaving normally. This week’s rain has brought my plants and weeds on at a sterling pace. Everything is flourishing. That is a tiny pumpkin above, from one of my Hundredweight pumpkins. The blackcurrants are ripening and ready to pick.  I just need to persuade the woodpigeons to leave us some.

The weekend is now beckoning. So how has your week been? Did anyone else watch the Salisbury poisoning series? Wasn’t it good?

I’m joining in with Anne’s word of the week linky.

Word of the Week linky


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