Thursday, 13 December 2012

Christmas is Coming

I love Christmas decorations and the first couple of years after moving in we made room for a large Christmas tree (approx 7 foot) to the left of the fireplace in the Kitchen. For quite a few years now we have been away over the festive period so haven't bothered with the hassle of one - seems extravagant to pay out for one and not be there to enjoy it.  So no tree again this year but we have got quite a few dinner parties so needed to do some decorating to give that festive feel.
A nice little welcome at the front door

I have gone for a touch of purple on the mantelpiece in to the lounge this year and have utilised the trees baubles in glass jars.  I collect mouse figures (will feature those another time) and my latest mouse purchase temporarily has pride of place on the mantle.

At the windows in the kitchen I have added some berry garlands and a pretty berry heart, simple but effective.   I hope to get this next picture again but with a snowy or at least thick frost background.

More baubles in a bowl on the dining table

M doesn't like me to go too mad in his study with the decs - so have kept it low key, although I did manage to catch him out with Ruddy our little cuddly reindeer, who I placed on the study armchair.  He is movement sensitive and starts shaking his arms and legs around with the greeting HO HO HO MERRY CHRISTMAS. I stepped forward to encourage Ruddy's little greeting the other day only to realise M had turned him off. He'll be back on for visitors this weekend!!  A few years back he was kidnapped at our family party, yep we were sent ransom instructions - so he is part of the family now.  I'll probably need to place him somewhere higher this weekend to ensure our canine visitors are not tempted.

The garland on the fireplaces in the study are so subtle you almost miss them!

Again the decs in the study window are my version of subtle!

More pictures after this weekends dinner weekend !


Sunday, 18 November 2012


November is my month in the year to look after the flowers at the high alter in our church. A few years back I used to work on a farm so getting greenery together for this was a doddle.  I no longer work on the farm and as you have seen we have a postage stamp of a garden and the pickings are therefore, small so I have to buy some bits, a small price to pay to be involved in village life.

with Sunday being remembrance day the display was OK - poppies are not real though, we drag them out from the cupboard year after year.

This month has also bought the departure of our dear friends and now ex neighbours D&G (that's not short for Dolce & Garbanna). They are heading off to a barn conversion in Norfolk and we have already set a date for visiting them in December.

They have promised to return regularly for the odd village event like the harvest supper or the odd quiz and we hope they will stay over with us when they do.
Our new neighbours are already friends from in the village, they are downsizing, so we are very happy, especially as they have said we can continue to use their drive as a parking overflow when we have visitors.

A few weeks back we took D&G to Andy Thorntons in Halifax. It`s a hugh old mill and reclamation yard and fascinating to look round.

The last time M and I were there we bought the four pots that we have out the front of the house and this time we were looking for a small type urn like thing or pot in a stone shade for in the middle of the box plants in the back garden - we were unsuccessful!

D&G were open to persuasion on anything that took their fancy for their new home, unfortunately, nothing grabbed either of us and we came away empty handed.  We had a leisurely lunch on the way back and can recommend a visit for a pleasant day out.

For many years the village has had a sewing group. We meet up for two hours every fortnight during the winter months with our sewing, knitting etc for a chin wag an a cup of tea.  According to locals this was originally started up many years ago with the farmers wife's and they could not spare the time to do this in the planting and harvesting months.  There is only one of us that is a farmers wife now, but we still stick to the winter months and every one of us look forward to the get together.  Seven of us took a coach trip last weekend to the Christmas craft show at the NEC.  We had a good time and enjoyed an early Christmas glass of bubbly on the coach but there were not enough sewing stalls for our liking so we plan to go to another in March, any excuse for another glass of bubbly!

We were due to meet up this week but we left our sewing behind and instead met in the pub for a meal to toast CHEERIO to D and again a good time was had by all.

We all wish you the very best in your new home D!



Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Family & Friends

We have a new member to the family and we paid him a visit this weekend. 

Meet Sami our great nephew born on 21st September, 2012. Our great niece, now 3 is a gorgeous wee thing and we gather she has taken to her new brother very well.  On first meeting him at the hospital she enquired "Is he real?"  and then on further investigation asked "Can we keep him?"  We bought presents and didn't want our great niece to feel left out so we bought her a present too.  Knowing how she loves to sing and dance we bought her a fluffy and glittery star shaped rug.

We (all us adults that is) thought it was great but our niece decided it was far more fun climbing into the wrapper - typical eh!!!

Thanks for the visit Carly - your children are totally gorgeous, we really enjoyed meeting Sami and look forward to watching him grow up!

We enjoyed the rest of our day with a trip to Stamford for lunch and a walk along the riverside. Stamford is such a lovely place and there is always something on.  My arty farty side got busy with the camera again!


Friday, 28 September 2012


What a week we have had!  Home to normality now though, with very tired feet and empty purses, but oh it was so very worth it.  We have walked and shopped our way around New York City and we didn't manage in 6 days to get around to ticking off all the shops and sites that we wanted to do.  This of course gives me the very best of excuses to return to this fantastic city.

Day one was Sunday, so we dressed in our Sunday best and joined a gospel church tour to take in a little Harlem culture.  This was the church that we visited and yep it was a gospel baptist service and we were encouraged to join in, which we did.  We managed to control ourselves even though we got the giggles at one point when we remembered Kenny Everett's big foam hands, thankfully it went unnoticed an we did not disgrace ourselves. 

We were shown some of the properties in the district, my favourite part as we got to experience some lovely architecture.

Most shopping streets in Harlem had police officers scattered along them and although it is comforting to see, you can't help but think about the problems that must arise in the area to warrant so many.  After the tour we were dropped back at time square and we headed straight for the attraction "Time Scare".  We had read about this before we left and were expecting to sit down for a meal and be spookilly entertained throughout.  Sadly, this was not the case, meals are served on the bar area and there is a walk through spooky area.  We didn't fancy this so left but got a very decent meal elsewhere.  
The last time I was in the city I stumbled across a pet shop that had the largest selection of doggy outfits and as mum has Jay the Chihuahua that stays with us, I knew she would have fun selecting a present for her. I swear on the last visit the shop was on Fifth Avenue, but we couldn't find it. But we did find one on Lexington and these are just two of the outfits on offer, neither of which returned home with us.

We took a rest on Fifth Avenue and visited the Zoo. Made me think of the animated film Madagascar and the song "I like to move it, move it" kept coming to mind.  Managed to get this animal free shot from inside the zoo looking out at the city. When we reached 59th  heading along Park Central South towards Columbus Circle, tiredness set in and the need for some refreshment. So we took a rickshaw ride through the park to the fountain and strolled through this lovely area, the ceiling under the bridge is gorgeous but we were unable to get pictures here as there was filming in action - not sure what for and there were no famous faces to be seen.  We took a slow amble to the boating lake where we had lunch, although we had to wait an hour for a table. A perfect excuse to relax with a glass of wine

The start of another day and it was forecast 'Heavy rain'.  So equipped with our brollies we headed off to the Museum of Art on 5th Avenue which took all morning to get round. Afternoon was spent shopping in Macy's and surrounding shops.

We passed the stunning Fifth Avenue Synagogue  and my arty farty urge within couldn't  resist snapping a picture of it's window!

Another day and yet more shopping - one can never get enough - although my feet would argue with that.  But first we headed to Grand Central Station - if you go to the clock at 12:30 on a Wednesday there is a free tour of the station by a local New Yorker.  Our tour guide was a very amusing and knoweledgable chap - we thoroughly enjoyed this, but it did mean that our shopping time was reduced.
We found the steps on the subways, in some cases very steep and would often step aside when we got to the top of them just to get our breath back.
Today was Bloomingdale's, Lexington Avenue and Madison avenue and at the end of the day we found time to nip over to Broadway for (you've guessed it) more shopping.

The next day we found ourselves up early again, so we headed down town to the financial district to take in the 9/11 memorial.  Although a sad memory for all involved and all that remember the shock of the event we were so pleasantly surprised with how beautifully laid out the site is.
After lunch we got some more shopping in, mainly visiting places we had already been to purchase the items that we originally ummed and arhhed about.
Our final day we managed to get every thing packed, (JUST!) grabbed a few more last minute purchases visited the Library (st here for a few minutes just to soak up the atmoshpere) and headed to the airport with our fingers crossed that we wouldn't incur excess baggage charges. We didn't!

There are so many shops on the list that we didn't get around to, the Tenement Museum was missed off too(although I had seen this last time I was there) and the one thing I would have loved to have seen, was Barbara Streisand, she was in town and performing on the Tuesday evening - not that I could ever afford tickets. 

There is so much to do in the city that never sleeps and M has already promised to take me back, not that he'll shop with me - he'll fish instead - that way we'll both be happy.

Some additional pictures taken on our trip.


Thursday, 13 September 2012


Oh what a beautiful morning this morning!

But then I'm just excited, skipping around like a child and enjoying every second of it!
You know it could have been pouring down this morning and I would still be upbeat.  I'm up extra early to beat the sunrise and snap this little picture, in fact I'm too early and will have to wait a while before I leave for work.   I want to get into work and turned around a little earlier today if possible as after work I head straight to my mothers for a glass of wine to celebrate the start of our holiday.  We fly off together tomorrow for a week of retail therapy in New York.  We hope to have a lot of fun, a few glasses of wine and plenty of purchases along the way.
We have both packed the minimal amount in our huge cases, with a case inside a case so that we have plenty of filling space for all our goodies.    MMMMM, I wonder what will follow us home?


Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Our part-time residents

Remember Pigeon?
Well after three weeks with us he has gained a name "Percy" - actually it was M that named him, I'm not the only softy around here.  Well the weather turned quite chilly today so Percy thought he would come in doors and made his way upstairs to the bathroom.  M caught him with ease and if I was present I would have snapped a picture or two of him close-up.   M phoned the number on Percy's tag, left a message for the owners to call back and was left holding Percy whilst he tried to find a box.  Couldn't find one so he popped round, Percy in hand to a neighbour in the village who has a Pigeon loft. Percy will remain there for the next couple of days before returning home in a box at the weekend.  Fingers crossed all will be OK for him.  
The garden will seam empty without him!


Monday, 10 September 2012

Favourite things.

It was just after we had moved in, whilst at a local auction with girlfriends when I spotted this this gem of a wardrobe. It was in a state and had a damp dirty odour to it's interior so I took pity on it and placed the only bid in the house for it.   Being unwanted, I got it for a bargain price but then I fretted all the way home that M would think I had wasted our money, admittedly only a small amount. 

As M was away on a fishing trip (he has quite a few of them) I didn't have to sneak the new purchase in (I do that sometimes - spending denial, I suppose) and I set about tidying it up so that he would see what a superb little bargain we had got. 

Firstly I stripped out the old torn mouldy and very pongy liner. Gave it a good polish, scrubbed and washed its inners and set about prettying it up.  After stripping out the liner the only thing I could do with the inside was either paint it or paper it. I opted for this pretty wallpaper. I couldn't do anything with the mirror but the age spots are fine, a bit like laughter lines, they add a little charm. It now sits in the spare bedroom and is a very pretty (odourless) addition to the room and best of all, M was sold on the little bargain I had snapped up.


Wednesday, 5 September 2012


Remember this picture?
Came home today to the this huge hole in the wall, in the exact same spot. 

M is cracking on with the job whilst our terrible summer is holding out.  If there are no further blogs, it will probably mean the house fell down overnight.  joking aside, M is almost completely across the back wall - he'll be very glad of winter and a well earned rest.


Monday, 3 September 2012


We dropped Woody back home this weekend and stayed overnight in Worthing to take in a trip to Connaught Theatre with our friends (Woody's Mum & Dad).  It was a great show, we saw "Misery" a play based on the book by Stephen King - it really was very good.

That night was a very late one as after the show we headed off home so that I could venture into Stamford early the next day with my friend Debbie, for our annual trip to the Burghley Horse trials at Burghley House.  Debbie and I had a good time, our tastes are very alike and we shopped until we dropped finishing the day off with a Pimms in the sunshine - Thanks Debbie!
Burghley is such a beautiful house and is also open to the public. We have taken many a friend here over the years and I couldn't resist snapping a few pictures to share.

Yes I'm a horse fan, but it wouldn't matter if I wasn't the shopping experience is great!

This is the front view of Burghley House

This is the side view of Burghley House
This is the very pretty gamekeepers cottage within the grounds of Burghley House