Sunday, 3 July 2011

Restoring the spirits

The husband and I have had the weekend to ourselves for the first time in weeks.  We have barely spoken to each other, it has been bliss!  We've spent the whole weekend pottering around the house and sitting in the garden.  It has been very grown-up and civilised (apart from the fact that we may have had slightly more wine than is sensible in the midday sun...).

Our swing seat.: love.
All of our meals have been eaten out on the patio and we brought the radio out to listen to the tennis this afternoon whilst eating garlicky/lemony roast chicken with roast potatoes and salad, all washed down with cold white wine.  Then we had a little nap (yes, a nap!) before walking the dog.  The temperature has dropped a little now and it has been very dark outside for a while - I hope it rains.  In the summer I love to sit in our conservatory with the door open so that I can watch, listen to and smell the rain.  It's so refreshing and calming.  We went to the Maldives for our honeymoon last year and it was the start of the rainy season.  The weather, of course, was beautiful every day but there was a 30 minute shower [downpour] at around 5pm each day.  We had a water bungalow (a hut on stilts in the sea) with doors that opened right up onto our decking.  Every evening before supper, after a boiling hot day in the sun, we would sit coolly and quietly in our little air-conditioned hut with a G&T and watch the rain pelt into that turquoise sea.  It was breathtaking, romantic too, and the memory will stay with me forever. 


I've been doing a bit of tidying and bit of primping.  The living room especially is looking neat and clean:

It hardly ever looks this straight.  There is usually a smelly boy (husband, J or both) lolling on the sofa.  Cushions are thrown on the floor, feet are propped up on the footstool and drinks, crisp packets and magazines are dumped on every available surface.  I love that it's such a welcoming room and that we live in it properly but I do like to see it looking tidy so that I can waft around feeling like a domestic goddess.  

I am in no way a domestic goddess and this has been proven this week by the husband finally agreeing that we can have a cleaner.  I am beyond thrilled but there is a small part of me that feels a bit of a failure too.  We don't have children (apart from J staying once a fortnight) so I feel that I should have plenty of time to clean the house.  Loads of people manage it, after all.  The thing is, we both work full time, often finishing late, and after having walked the dog, eaten supper and cleared up in the evening there's not much time for anything else.  I want to spend my evenings at yoga classes, swimming, having saunas, painting my nails and crocheting, not cleaning!  I'd even, very occasionally, like to get to bed before 10pm.  Now that A has agreed for us to have a cleaner, I'm going to try very hard to use my spare time more effectively.  I've already booked two yoga classes this week and I might even go swimming on Tuesday.  Get me.  


I saw my sister, Sarah, on Friday night - we went to an old friend's wedding reception.  She wasn't going to come but I text-bullied her into it and was so glad I did, we had a fab time!  She hasn't been herself for a while now (she has, amongst other things, suffered from post-natal depression) but she is on the mend and on Friday night she was dazzling!  She had a sparkle again that she hasn't had for a long time - she was chatty, sociable and fun.  I think the world of my sis and I was getting quite worried about her.  We have always been great friends (apart from when we were very small and fought over toys) and spent loads of time together in our drinking/clubbing days.  Friday night was just like old times. I'm so happy that she's back to her old self.  

I found this card the other day when I was sorting through some old papers.  Sis made it for me when she was about 8 or 9 (I would have been 12/13).

Those are little pop-up pigs in the middle there, I used to collect pig paraphernalia.  Isn't it sweet!  Minimalist, yes, but lovely and one of my treasures. 

I am going to have a long shower now and settle down to an episode of Desperate Housewives before bed.  Oh and there's a bowl of strawberries and cream with my name on.




  1. your weekend sounds fantastic!
    And I like the sound of the lemony garlic chicken too!
    My sister also got married last year, and also had her honeymoon in the Maldives!!!
    Don't feel bad about getting a cleaner- best decision you will ever make!

  2. Beautiful garden, beautiful sitting room (can't believe it's so clean - can you come and do mine please??) and that card's made my eyes go a bit watery. Your weekend sounds idyllic.
    I LOVE yoga - it's the best thing ever for 'head space' - the only things I have in the boot of my car are my reusable Waitrose bags, a ground sheet (why?) and my yoga mat. Just the essentials then...
    How's the scarf looking? You can email me at unravelledblog at yahoo dot co dot uk if you're stuck on the edging (or for any other reason too!) Enjoy your strawbs
    Emily x

  3. Oh lush weekend, sweetie! Your food sounds salivating, I have a crush on your living room, and am tres jealous of you having a cleaner. I don't even have a dishwasher!!!
    I think it's fab though as you will be so freed up to do cool stuff.
    I am starting zumba next week and can't wait. You burn 1,000 cals an hour apparently. Which is perfect as I can eat 1,000 cals an hour!
    Have a fun evening
    Gem xx

  4. sounds a lush weekend , and a cleaner sounds like heaven even thou your living room looks perfect and cosy and enjoy your time to your self much more important then cleaning, yoga is great but at the moment i have chosen gym over yoga i need it more ha ha ,thankyou about the westie def what i want just have to wait for right time and thankyou for the comment on my crochet loving it, lucky for me where i have lessons she owns a yarn shop :)herman will be cooked in next few days ??

  5. I love your living room, I could easily curl up in a chair by the fire and crochet/knit/read/eat/drink to my hearts content. I love the feeling of a clean tidy home, doesn't last tho!
    Love how close you are to your sister.
    x Sandi

  6. It seems like you've had a wonderful weekend. You reminded me how fantastic the time spent with my wife can be. Thanks!

    London Cleaners

  7. The flowers in your garden are gorgeouuss!! Such a pretty basket that you've got them in, what a lovely idea. Your front room looks so cosy, I imagine it to be very nice in the winter when you could have the fire on and snuggle under a blanket. You'll have your very own one to enoy this coming winter! Hope your getting on okay with it..!?

    Sounds to me like you had the perfect weekend, it's so great when the weather is nice enough to eat outside in the garden. That's when it really begins to feel like summer..! The garlicky lemon chicken sounds very scrummy, I never used to love chicken all that much.. but in the last few weeks we've had roast chicken twice and it was scrumptious! :-)

    So glad you had such a great time with your sister at the wedding reception.

    Ashley xxx

  8. Hmmm, I love a weekend like that. Almost as much as I am loving the look of your front room,
    Nelly xxx
    P.s no such thing as too much wine in the sun

  9. I just realised I haven't answered your question re: Stylecraft. You can go to this site and look at the Stylecraft Special DK, it is acrylic and I don't normally like acrylic, I like natural yarns, however for a blanket on the couch when you don't have heaps to spend this is ideal. It is soft and squishy NOT hard or squeekie, it crochets up really easily, nice to work with and the colors are fantastic. Very cheap (I think) for 100g balls. I have found another one it is: the postage is a little cheaper for me and I had a 10% off voucher, it's the only reason I bought from there last time. Chris at Country Crafts is lovely, a package went missing and I told her I hadn't received it, she sent out another one, I was so happy that she believed me. Deramores have lovely cotton yarn in 100g balls, I ordered some, we don't have the vibrant colors here like you do over the pond.
    Hope this helps xx sandi

  10. Oh god where to start!! I thought I'd commented her already. I echo all the other girls who envy your lovely living room and weekend. It's all the stuff of dreams for me.

    I have a cleaner at the moment, I would have zero life if I had to clean this pile as well as peep it tidy, mind you I only have her for 4 hours a week and that barely gets half the place done so I do still clean quite a bit. But atl east I know all the bathrooms and kitchen floor gets done once a week!!!

    Just read Lovely Sandi's comment. I get all my stylecraft from Masons

    SUUUUPER quick service, cheap prices and I think they stock the whole range. They even do a bag of colours Attic24 used for one of her blankets recently.

    What I came on here to say originally is now I have finished Gem's skirt I have started your roll. With all 12 aluminium hooks and 6 soft touch ones it's gonna be a long beasty! I'm hoping you like the fabrics I'm using. Next week I have to do a 40th wedding anniversary 2 tiered cake but I'm optimistic that you'll have it in your hands in a couple of weeks!!


  11. I love your living room. It looks just like my kind of place. Just beautiful and cosy. I love your sofa and cushions. I am cushion mad.
    Your card from your sis is sweet. HOW CUTE. I hope she feels better. Depression can be so isoalting but she will appreciate you being there and getting out can help to bring her confidence back.
    I think a cleaner is a jolly good idea. After a full day's work, there isn't much time for that stuff. You can have more time for you.
    I am loving your blog, it is fab. x

  12. wow, your cottage looks like my ideal little home! It so cute and homely looking. Im just making my way through your blog (just found it!) and im hoping there are more posts about your little cottage...