Monday, 5 September 2011

A book, utility china, a blog award and swapsies

We are just back from another trip to Norfolk.  This time it was just a weekend break and we took my stepson and Andrew's Mum.  We were lucky with the weather and spent most of the weekend sitting in the sunshine drinking G&Ts (juice for the stepson) and reading.  (MIL was in charge of pouring the drinks.  Her measures are much larger than mine - I spent both evenings slightly squiffy and zonked out by 10pm).  There was also a lot of basketball, football and volleyball, quite a bit of dog walking, some stone skimming and a smidge of bingo.  We had fun.  I was hoping to visit some pretty local villages but it just wasn't possible what with one thing and another.  Husband has promised we can both nip over for a weekend before the weather really turns.  Yipee!

I've got a few things to waffle on about but I'm in a bit of a hurry to get back to a book I started reading yesterday.  It's by Miss Read and is called 'The School at Thrush Green':

Man, I LOVE these books.  They are all slim little novels and the stories revolve around life in a Cotswold village.  They were written in the 1950s.  The stories are so simple and old-fashioned, nothing much happens, but the imagery is lovely and I adore the words that Miss Read uses.  Here's a snippet:

"The rumbustious January weather continued for the rest of the week, and the inhabitants of Lulling and Thrush Green were as tired of its buffeting as the rest of the Cotswold villages were.  But on Saturday morning the wind had dropped, and a wintry sun occasionally cast a gleam upon a thankful world.  Miss Watson and Miss Fogerty agreed that the weekly wash would benefit from a spell in the fresh air, and Agnes was busy pegging out petticoats, night-gowns and other garments when she was hailed by a well-known voice on the other side of the hedge.  It was her old friend Isobel, wife of Harold Shoosmith, who lived next door."

Ah!  Nice and simple, cosy, reading.  Lovely.

Thanks to everyone who commented on my last post about the wonkiness of the house.  I have decided to embrace the wonkiness *punches fist in air* and have set about decorating the dresser.  I won't do a proper 'big reveal' (!) of the dining room until it's properly finished but let me tell you that things are moving along nicely.  I've been hanging a few hearts, for starters...

My china collection continues to grow.  I picked up this little Meakin jug (with the blue tits) last week.  I found it on a vintage china stall.  I love it and find myself liking it even more every time I see it.  There were matching teacups and saucers and a slightly larger jug on the stall too.  So wish I'd bought them.

Oh, and the new fridge has been delivered!  It only arrived on Friday and I've already turned into a fridge Hitler. Every time the husband opens the fridge door I practically pounce on him to make sure that the item he is replacing has been put in exactly the right place with the label facing out.  He must find me trying at the best of times but I think this is going to finish him off if I don't get a grip.


Before I go there are a couple of things I wanted to mention.

Firstly, a huge thank you to a fellow bloddie, Louise, at Tea at Weasel's for giving me a 'Versatile Blogger' award.  I'm thrilled!

Louise is new to blogging but I can already tell that I'm going to enjoy dropping by her blogspot to catch up on her news.

I can't think of any interesting facts about myself so I thought I'd list seven things that I'm loving right now:

1.  Stocking up on Autumn/Winter clobber.  Knitted dresses, slouchy jumpers, knitted harems, leg-warmers and snoods have all been purchased, amongst other things.  Still on the hunt for the perfect pair of winter boots, though.

2.  Reading cookery books and drooling over the hearty stews and soups I'm going to make this year.

3.  Drawing the curtains and lighting the woodburners.

4.  Working on my giant granny square blanket.

5.  Booking a big family summer holiday next year to a house in the French countryside.

6.  Thinking about Christmas cake baking and decorating.

7.  Scouring the charity shops, eBay and vintage fairs for pretty china.

Another thing I'm loving is thinking about what I might make for Lynda's Handmade Christmas Decoration Swap!  

I haven't participated in a swap before so I'm really excited!   If you fancy joining in, pop over to Hookin' with LaaLaa and sign up here.  Go on, it'll be fun.

I think that's it from me.  Stories of two elderly schoolteachers await me.  




  1. Evening love,
    My mum passes all her Miss Read books to me but I haven't done much with them as my pile of books is already gargantuan.
    But I love her writing style and simplicity.
    I bet you'd love The Shell Seekers by Rosamund Pilcher.
    It's mine and my mum's favourite book. The writing is so wonderful, her descriptions are very soothing and calming and I tend to read any random page when stressed and it makes me better!!!
    Glad you had a lovely weekend. I need to get meself to bed, it's Evil Tuesday tomorrow and I need to start earlier. Poor Husband. He has two kids from 7.30am til 3pm and then drops them off to me and does a 8 hours shift in London afterwards. God I love that man. He is such a trooper. We had a lovely weekend together.
    We're planning a few nights in Chicago next Spring and I can't wait!!! Will have never been so far away from the children, it will be weird. I love hearing about your weekends away with Andrew.
    x x

  2. That was such a disjointed last couple of paragraphs! Sorry, rushing to type and none of it flows well. Oh dear.
    x x

  3. Sounds like you all had a lovely time.

    Love the birdie jug!! I am obsessed with vintage china and am rapidly running out of space to put it!!

    Sigh, I'd love a winter wardrobe like you describe, I am really, really hot-blooded (being a fatty) and so I rarely have to wrap up warm which means I miss out on all the lovely layers.

    Lol, at you and the fridge - you sound like the guy in "Sleeping With The Enemy"!!

    S x


  5. I just know I would adore these books, too. Am looking to add them to my wish list. Thanks for sharing! I am almost done with the Mitford series and have been looking for some similar reads. I think this shall fit the bill perfectly. Happy day to you!

  6. Sounds like a lovely weekend away... your MIL sounds like good fun, pouring the G&T's! Nothing wrong with a getting a bit squiffy occasionally..! Doesn't take much for me to feel the effects these day's!

    I adore all of your china, I'm a little jealous of your gorgeous growing collection. :-)

    Ashley xxx

  7. Arrh Nicki would you believe I had every copy of the Miss Read books AND I GAVE THEM AWAY ohhhhhh where was my sanity, I could kick myself, think I am going to have to order a few at a time, I so want to read them again.
    Love your 'Blue Tit' jug, I have a few lovely pieces in my cupboard must take photos of them and pop them on my blog. Gee I haven't been squiffy for a little while, I didn't fancy drinking whilst I was sick, however I was looking for one on Saturday night, but the cupboard was
    x Sandi

  8. hi Nicki,I have just starting the Miss Read books too,I m loving them! Cant wait to see the dresser reveal,Love the blue birds jugxxx

  9. Mmmmm - lots of lovely, cosy things to look at here. It really feels like autumn today with the leaves blowing everywhere as I was taking the kids to school this morning - am so with you on the wrapping up warm and looking for the elusive 'perfect winter boots'. Meakin is some kind of china-god - I've got lots of his stuff, but haven't found much of the yellow variety, so have quite serious jug envy (pfffttt - school girl snigger).
    The yarn I used for my summer hols blanket is Rico Creative Cotton from Cucumberpatch - at a rather bargainous £1.50 a ball - it's a bit splitty, but really amazingly good for the price (will def be using it again). Am planning to put full details re colours and quantities on my ta-dah post, but just let me know if you'd like the info before then!
    Emily x

  10. My Mum used to read Miss Read to me as a bedtime story, I can still remember being captivated by her lovely warm writing style, it always guaranteed a good nights' sleep!
    I love that jug with the bird motif, it's a beauty. x

  11. great jugs!
    Sorry - turned into Cleggy there for a moment (although he would always add something about lovely tits too...always takes it too far!)

    nice to see you over at mine - I've miseed my blogging friends of late.

    Lovely post BTW, I have to double up on the gin measures to cope with my MIL so sounds like you've got it right!

    Fee x

  12. hi, i am wanting to read miss books now i am a total book junkie have about 3 on the go plus kindle ahhh ,so looking forward to dresser reveal i am desparate for one so will drool over your for a while ,must go now watching man women wild on discovery more drooling this time over a man xxsarah

  13. Hello there :) Thanks for following my little blog.

    It sounds like you had a lovely weekend up in Norfolk. My hubby and I enjoy going up there as well, it is a lovely place to go exploring or just take it easy.

    I love the meakin jug with the blue tits on it, that you bought. It is just so sweet :) The colours of it, goes really well with your teacups.

    I have never read a 'Miss Read' Story before, I will have to keep my eye out for one to read :)

  14. Thank you for accepting the blogger award - so well deserved... I love your list of loves!
    I am very tempted to start collecting Utility china... so simple but just gorgeous!!... and those Miss Read books sound delightful to. I only ever read 'happy' things (I'm such a wimp)... I just hate sad stories so this looks right up my street - simple and cosy.
    Hope you're having a good week

    Louise xx

  15. Nice to see the peeks of the dresser. Your china is looking gorgeous and I love the little jugs. I love in laws that get you squiffy.
    Miss Read sounds very comforting. xx

  16. Hope things are ok. Sorry to hear you are having a rough week. Take refuge in your home comforts if you can. I always have t re read my fave books or I spend ages in the bath trying to relax!
    I am trying to get some teaching work sorted. I've forgotten a bit what the real world is like. It does get very hectic. xxx

  17. oo ive not heard of the miss read books before will have to have a look out for them in the charity shops!..
    you cant beat a good G&T, the hubby wont drink mine as he says my meausures are ridiculous but i just love a strong one!
    how lovely if you can get back to all the shops just you and your hubs, that way you'll be able to get a proper look at things.. i love mini breaks!!
    ha made me laugh about the new fridge and way things have to be put in.. that just sounds like me my understairs cupboard looks a bit like someone with ocd lives here..tins facing out at all times please!!..


  18. Hi,I have just found you and think your blog looks very interesting will read more later.I havent read any of the books you have but will look out for them,I love reading and have far to many books I just cannot part with them.Love Jill xx

  19. Thanks for stopping by my blog cos now I get to follow your sweet blog :)

    Bee happy x
    Have a delicious day!

  20. Hiya Nicki,
    Hope you have been enjoying the weekend. I thought I had commented on this post but then I remembered I'd read it on my phone and can't comment properly on Blackberry - no idea why I cant see the word verification part!!
    Just wanted to say I am loving your new utility additions, very sweet, and the list of things your loving. I am 'loving' some of them at the moment too :) x

  21. Those little books look so dinky and you're right about that extract from the book... Very beautifully written.
    My dad lives in Stroud near/in The Cotswolds... We visit often. Quaint little villages and shops. I have done a few blog posts actually about my trips - I hope u enjoy them.
    The beaded hanging hearts off your dresser are a lovely touch. :-)