Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Working Our Way to 11 & 3/4

It was just my smallest boy and me today messing about in the woods. His big brother is a bit under the weather so stayed at home with his dad while he worked.

So before the rain came Archie and I headed to a lovely woodland opposite my childhood home and it brought back some brilliant memories. I was so pleased to see it's now a designated nature reserve and is really well looked after with a friends society too. There are a couple of lovely trails, a wetland area, bat boxes, heathland and some fabulous broadleaf trees including black poplars. I hadn't realised it used to be a tree nursery in Victorian times and there are still some great specimens. 

He just loves to run about this boy of mine and seeing him climb and clamber over everything was a joy. When I was little this was The Enchanted Wood for me and I think maybe now it is for him too, which feels lovely.

Archie's working his way through the National Trust's 50 Things To Do Before You're 11 & 3/4 list and really enjoying it. Lots of the things on there we've maybe already done but looking forward to doing again this summer. A kid with a list is a summer of fun I reckon. 

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Happy Easter


It's not Easter without fresh flowers in the house. I love to have a little posy by my bedside. In the summer there are endless bunches of heady sweet peas but spring needs something a bit more delicate. Narcissi, wallflowers and forget-me-nots are perfect.

And why not a few for the boy's cake too? A last couple of primroses, spirea "Bridal Wreath", violets and a few more forget-me-nots. A pretty, floral Easter x

Saturday, 19 April 2014

All of a Hurry

There's not a lot of artistry to my pictures this week; snapshots of fun times we've had as we whizz about are all I've had time to capture.

Last Sunday Woody and his best friend ran and finished their first ever marathon - the London Marathon. It was an epic and emotional day and I'm still overcome with pride. They raised thousands for the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust too, a cause very close to our hearts. 

So things have been a little busy and now here's Easter. I've had a couple of days at home catching up with my boys. They seem to be so busy too, what with school, new interests and their friends, so I've made sure too snatch some precious time back with them.

In the sunshine on Good Friday I helped Arch to plant his peas. He's rather a pea addict so we've gone for shoots and seedlings to maximise one of his favourite tastes.
Today's been much cloudier and very chilly. We were up at the cricket club at the top of the road just after breakfast watching him in his very first match. He loved it; now he thinks he's Flintoff.
Then later it was Barney time. He's been asking for ages to make a cake so I stood back today and he made a smashing lemon drizzle for tomorrow's Easter lunch with the family at mum and dad's. He did the lot with me hovering a little nervously, but he did brilliantly.

Tomorrow I'm looking forward to taking some time to stop, eat some cake and enjoy the holiday. Hope you're enjoying yours. Happy Easter x

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

A Week of Flowers

In Grandma's garden, on my run and on the patio they're here. 
A host of golden daffodils - at last! X

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Visiting the Past

As a little girl I lived in the past in my head. I wanted to live in a castle with a moat, use a longbow and ride in tournaments. Whenever we visited somewhere, usually with our mum and dad's trusty National Trust card, I was completely transported, off on an adventure in another world.

Little Moreton Hall isn't all that far from us but I've not been back for years and thought we'd take the boys for an explore. It really is astonishing and shouldn't still be standing up. There are sloping floors, wonky walls, twisty staircases and hidden hidey holes. I love it.

NT activities are brilliant for kids and our two spent absolutely ages writing stories with quills. Outside the knot garden and moat are great to explore and I think there'll be another visit with a picnic, on a warm sunny day, sometime soon.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Heralding Spring

I've always wanted to wear flowers in my hair, but never really had the chance. I was a bridesmaid in my 30s and a circlet headband wasn't quite the done thing.

So, discovering this beautiful idea from that I came across via Laura and Lou was a bit of a childhood dream come true. 

Making a spring or primavera crown is so easy and a chance to indulge in your feminine side if you like. In medieval times young women wore crowns of May blossom in their hair to mark the changing of the seasons and I really enjoyed marking that in a little way.

When the showers stopped today I for foraged in the garden for ivy, narcissi, primroses and primulas and spent a lovely time making and snapping. Now my teeny blooms are on the kitchen table to enjoy. Happy days x

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Shop Local - #theyearinbooks

It might be shrouded in fog today but my little town is still looking beautiful. 

It's battled hard through these tough times and doing great,thanks to some really positive people who live and work here and fight for it. (I'm at the cool hairdresser's this morning - I'm not cool at all but they're lovely - and how fab are these tables!) Now we've got more ace independent shops than you can shake a stick at, including what I think is the best bookshop in the world.

Although I've been hopeless about blogging about it, I've been joining in with Laura's marvellous project #theyearinbooks 

I don't get into town as often these days to physically choose a book in the shop, but they do have a great ordering service and I can collect when I pop in. If, rarely, they can't get what I want I came across this ace alternative to Amazon, recommended to me on twitter. 

Through Hive Books you can still get a great discount but also choose to support your local bookshop who get a donation from the sale. What a great idea! And of course your local bookshop pays tax too! I'll be buying all my online books this way. Maybe worth a look? 

(Please be aware this is a genuine post about my passion for supporting local shops and businesses. I've not been sponsored to say this x)