Monday, 31 October 2011


I have a big cake tin full of fun-sized sweets and chocolate bars.  I carved three pumpkins and they form a spooky pathway up to the door.  I've been ready and listening out for the door since about 5pm.  

I have heard nothing.

Not a sausage.

The scariest thing to appear at my door today was the moustachioed gas man. 

I'm a bit disappointed. 

Happy Halloween.



Tuesday, 25 October 2011

'Wedged in a window' and other stories

It is so nice to finally have time to blog, although I admit that given my frame of mind over the past couple of weeks it's probably a good thing for everyone that I haven't had time.   I've been a right Moaning Minnie (as Mum would say).  If I was a cartoon, there would have been a little black raincloud above my head for the past two weeks.  Nothing has felt right.  We haven't been eating properly, I haven't kept on top of any household chores.   I haven't been baking or making.  We have spent our evenings eating chocolate and/or fast food, downing sherry and/or wine and watching a lot of TV, trying to ignore the smelly damp bombsite that has been our house.

It was only the dining room floor that needed work but it turned our little world upside down.  A particular low point, for me, was when we were forced to enter the house last Saturday by clambering through the living room window using a stepladder, carefully negotiating the three rosebushes below. (The dining room floor wasn't dry as quickly as expected and we couldn't use the front door).  I, having opted for what I considered to be the most ladylike way to climb into the window*, swiftly became wedged at an awkward angle.  One leg in, one leg out.  Like the hokey cokey but less fun and atop a step ladder.  Embarrassingly, I had to back my way out of the window and down the stepladder so that my stepson and husband could climb back out of the living room to help me get in.  It was like a real-life Professor Layton puzzle, though far less dignified given that we live on a main road.  Not my finest moment.  I dealt with it in a very British way, however, and managed a chirpy 'hello' and brisk little wave to the passing neighbour walking her dog.   She called a jolly 'hello' back and, in a similarly typical British fashion, did not mention the fact that I was wedged in the window, seemingly all alone.

Thankfully, the work is almost finished (just the edging and a threshold-thingy to fit) and our furniture delivery is imminent (maybe this week, I'm told).  Yay!

So things are slowly being put back in their proper place and I am looking forward to having a dining table again.  The room is much warmer now that it has a proper floor and I am pleased with the way it is taking shape.
Having to vacate the house for long periods of time has had its plus points, of course.  The dog has enjoyed a lot of walks through the village, for one thing.  I remembered to take my phone last weekend to get a few photos.  
We walk this way every single day and I like to pick out reference points where I can watch the seasons changing.

The horse often trots over to say hello, but then retreats when he realises that the poo bag we are invariably carrying definitely does not contain snacks.)

There have also been enforced shopping trips.  Ahem.  I have treated myself to a few new clothes.  This gorgeous oversized top from Topshop will look fab with my new leather leggings, some scary heels and messy hair.
I ♥ it. 
It's ever-so-slightly sheer but will be fine either with [attractive] flesh-coloured underwear or a black vest underneath.  (I can't tell you how cool I feel, owning a pair of leather leggings.  They are seriously amazing and I feel a bit Joan Jett in them.)

I've also bought loads of stuff from Joules.  Goodies for me, the husband, my niece and a little thank you present for my sis.  Three gorgeous dresses that I'm looking forward to wearing:

All of these are very flattering on, I'm so pleased with them.  They show off my legs (which are OK) and hide my cake-loving tummy.  Bonus.   They all look a treat with leggings, tights or skinny jeans.  I have also bought a sweater with ducks on, a floral shirt, the big chunky cardi in one of my previous posts and some amazing 'muck boots' which I'm beyond thrilled with.  I have to tell myself every single day that I am NOT jealous of my sister's job.  (I am.)

I have made a new make-up discovery, bought a few pieces of vintage china and stocked up on yarn to get me through the long cold (penniless, now) Autumn nights.   I'll save it all for another day because we're all off to Bedfordshire** now.




* There is not a ladylike way to climb through a window.
** A Bridget Jones term meaning 'bed'.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011


The saga of the dining room has almost reached its conclusion.  The relief!  

We did, indeed, go to stay at my MIL's for a week.  Such a good decision to scram from the crime scene.  The dust in the dining room and kitchen has been horrendous and it was such a smelly job too.  Now, the concrete has hardened nicely and the workmen are returning on Saturday to do the rest of the work.  It is anticipated that by Tuesday it will all be done and I can put the dresser back in there.  Yipee!!!!  Currently, my china is bubble-wrapped and kept in plastic storage boxes in the bathroom.  My kitchen paraphernalia is in the top room of the house, just laid out on the floor.  The furniture from the dining room is squashed into our, already very small, living room.  

But things are on the up!  

Just so pleased to be home and cosying up.  Everything is slowly but surely going back where it belongs.  We're expecting delivery of the remaining dining room furniture in a couple of weeks and I really can't wait.  

The weather has turned chilly here and I am so looking forward to lighting the fires and spending my evenings on guilt-free crochet, reading and Downton-Abbey-watching.  The little barn in our garden is all stocked up and we are ready to hibernate:

I'm also looking forward to cooking some proper old-fashioned, hearty meals.  I saw this book in a local (amazing) kitchen shop at the weekend and I can't get it out of my head:

The photo is taken from Amazon and, as you can see, it gives you a preview of the book if you fancy having look.  It is such a lovely read, loads of fab-looking recipes but it has that 'oooh' factor that makes you want to sit down with a cup of tea and devour it from cover to cover.  It has gone straight on my wish list.  As soon as I can fit back in my leather leggings (unexpected sojourn to MILs and a week of delicious homecooking has done wonders for morale but nothing for the waistline) I will be buying myself an enamel pie dish and cooking up a storm.

Hope that everyone is having a good week so far - have been checking in with a few blogs here and there but I'm looking forward to a proper catch up now.



Thursday, 6 October 2011

New clothes from Joules

I am beyond excited.  My sister started working for one of my favourite high street stores, Joules, last month.  She loves it there.  She is an accountant and works at head office rather than in an actual store but the perks they have at the office are fab!  One of my favourites is that she has access to the staff vegetable patch - how cool is that?!   My sis tells me that her colleagues are all lovely, friendly and (of course) fashionable.  I am so pleased for her.

Oh, what the heck, I'm pleased for me.  She gets a bit of a staff discount on the clothes.  WOO-HOO!!!  I've already got loads of Joules stuff in my wardrobe but I plan on trebling it.  I think sis has just become my new favourite shopping companion.

Here is one of the outfits I'm going to be purchasing for myself:

They have a sale on at the moment and I think this dress might be reduced.  Love it.  Love the cardigan, love the tights and love the beads.  Here's the link.  Whilst you're there you might want to have a look at the gorgeous welly boots (I got a fab pair of navy stars and stripes wellies there a couple of years ago).  Ooh, I just love their stuff.  

Hurrah for sisters.



PS What do you think of my blog's new look?  Thought I'd mix things up a bit around here.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Sulking in the Bedroom

We have discovered a serious case of damp in the dining room.  If I recount the full story I will crumple to the floor in a wailing heap so I'll keep it brief:  floor to be dug up, new granite fireplace to be 'prised off' [builder's words], 4 inches of concrete to be laid, approx 75 days for concrete to dry, must vacate premises for approx one week, all to be done urgentlyenormous expense, moving in with mother-in-law temporarily, told off a bit by boss for needing to take time off at short notice, entire contents of kitchen and dining room had to be removed, whole house a tip.  Phew!  Other than that, everything's great!

In order to remain sane and keep the tears of frustration at bay I'm sulking in the bedroom with my Kindle, crochet and laptop.  (And a large bottle of Jack hidden under my jumper.)

I lit a few candles...

Switched on the fairy lights... 

And am ooohing and ahhing over my new CK bedding:

♥♥♥  Loving how it looks with my WIP blanket and the dotty cushions. ♥♥♥ Thinking that I could make a blanket especially for the bedroom and perhaps a couple of cushion covers... 
♥♥ Dreaming and planning... ♥♥ Love it ♥♥

Florals are gradually taking over my house.  It's an invasion that I am happy about. 

Something else that keeps making me smile is this photograph from a family barbecue I went to at the weekend.  It was lovely to see my great-aunt and the cousins I haven't seen since my wedding last year.  I had to take a photo when my cousin's little boy sat on dad's knee for a cuddle:

He is 14 and was born with a very rare chromosomal abnormality.  He is pretty well unable to communicate verbally but does so with sign language, facial expressions and, of course, cuddles!  I love that they are both wearing checked shirts and I especially like the photo because my dad just isn't one for displaying affection!

I'm off to finish my book now - it's so good.  It's called The Midwife's Confession and is by Diane Chamberlain.  I'm loving it and can definitely recommend.  What shall I read next?   Any suggestions?