Monday, 29 December 2008


I have been tagged by Overdue to list my top ten rules for life. I am finding this quite difficult and am not sure if I will make it past number five but here goes.

1. My number one rule and maxim would definitely be 'Do as you would be done by'. If everyone treated others as they would wish to be treated themselves then the world would be a vastly different place.

2. Never buy clothes that are too big for you - you will grow into them.

3. Buy the one item that you really want, not two at each half the price. It's taken me a long while to learn this but 'Quality remains long after the price is forgotten'.

4. Learn to say no. Be assertive. (This does become easier with age!)

5. If you're not enjoying a book, give up; you don't have to finish it. Life is too short to be reading rubbish when one considers how many brilliant books there are to be read.

6. Have dreams. Aim to realise them. 'Tis better to have tried and failed than failed to try'.

7. 'Don't be sad that it's over, be glad that it happened'.

8. When trying on clothes if it doesn't grab you as soon as you look in the mirror, if you have to think about whether it suits you or not don't buy it.

9. Always keep the receipt in case you do!

10. And lastly, take my advice. I'm not using it!

According to the rules I now have to tag some other people to list their top ten rules for life so I choose

Confirming my love of eiderdowns I leave you with a photo of my screen saver collage.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Merry Christmas

I have just watched 'Carols from Kings' which was beautiful, as always. Now I am definitely in the Christmas spirit and wish all of you and very merry and peaceful Christmas. Here is a photo of our tree, rather late in being put up, and some daphne picked from the garden this morning - the scent is gorgeous.

Friday, 19 December 2008

The builders are here!

This evening I have been going through all my photos on the computer and deleting a lot of them. I thought I would share a few of my favourites with you.

This step is outside a shop near here, one that has been well patronised by the look of it.

A very old tree trunk.

Original and authentic crackle glaze.

The builders have been here for 3 days and, so far, it has been completely stress free! The back of the house has gone and I have a perfectly useable half a kitchen with everything I could need except for the dishwasher. This is what the house looked like before ...

and this is how it looks this morning!

Hopefully it won't be too long before I can show a photo of the end result with the pitched roof with velux windows and glass doors all along the back.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Being Creative

I saw a lovely lampshade in an interiors shop recently and thought, 'I could make that' so I did. I'm really pleased with the result and plan to make more in other materials. I covered a small lampshade I already had with white muslin, then made a 'skirt' in the same material.

I much prefer hand sewing; I find it very calming and therapeutic whereas sewing with a machine can have the opposite effect! I have turned part of the upstairs loft room into a sewing area. This is the view this morning from the window where I sit. In the distance can be seen the Isle of Wight and you can just about make out a trawler and the search and rescue helicopter.

I can thoroughly recommend the film 'The Changeling'. It was amazing especially as it is a true story. Tonight I am going out with my reader's group for our Christmas dinner. Let's hope I feel a bit more Christmassy after this as I don't feel at all in the festive spirit yet! It just seems strange to be thinking about buying a Christmas tree when I am still picking roses from the garden today.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

I'm Back!

I had not intended to be absent from my blogging for so long. I've tried to keep in touch with as many bloggers as I could, reading your posts if not always leaving a comment. In my last post I said I was taking an autumn break but the weather is decidedly wintry now looking at the frost on this rose in our garden this morning.

A great deal of painting was been done in these last months and we are in the midst of decorating our other living room. I have been preparing the walls for some Laura Ashley wallpaper I bought recently and we have ordered a gas fire for this room. The builders start work on the back of the house next week knocking the kitchen, dining room and sunroom into one room. This will have a pitched roof and windows and doors all along the back of the house. Not a good time to be having a kitchen ripped out but I am assured I will be able to cook Christmas lunch (lucky me!). This is the kitchen we are replacing.

This was once someone's pride and joy but it has to go! What isn't obvious in the photo is the bright green textured walls! Not quite as bad as some of the houses featured here though!!!!

Tomorrow night I am going to see 'The Changeling'. Has anyone else seen it yet? I've also just finished reading Margaret Forster's 'Diary of an Ordinary Woman' Do read it if you get the opportunity, I couldn't put it down.

Have a good week.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Autumn Break

I have been seriously neglecting my blog and have such a lot of catching up on reading my favourite blogs too. Life is just so busy lately, I've decided to take a little break (apart from the one I seem to have just taken!) and will return later in the autumn.

I haven't really had time to do much to the house lately either. The website is very busy and I am selling a lot of linens so there is plenty of washing and ironing going on in this house recently. We are in the midst of getting quotes for building work - we want to knock three rooms into one to make a huge living kitchen and open all the back up to glass doors. It will be lovely when it's done but before that is all the upheaval and dust etc. etc.
We celebrated our pearl wedding anniversary last month and I had this lovely American 19th century framed baby's cap instead of pearls.

I just love it, the detail in the stitching is just amazing. We bought it at Goodwood Antiques Fair and it turned out that the lady from whom we bought it is the same person we bought these shoes from a couple of years ago, such a coincidence. She has a lovely antique shop in Petworth.

See you again later in the year. xx

Friday, 8 August 2008

Before & After

We have now more or less finished the transformation of the lounge. There are still a few minor things to do but I am very pleased with the result.



As you can see we have used the fire surround that my friend had had stored in her garden for the last seven years, it is so beautifully sun bleached.

We recently stayed with my cousin Jane who has the prettiest cottage right on the edge of the river in York. Look what I brought home with me!

Jane had bought this dressmaker's dummy made by the French Bust Co. Ltd. many years ago before they became so popular and had decided to give it to me. I have wanted an old mannequin for ages and just love this one. I haven't dressed her yet but have decided to call her Loveday!

It is just over a year since my aunt died and we visited her grave nearby and took some photos of other graves.

No visit to York would be complete without a photo of the Minster.

Changing the subject completely, I was really annoyed with what I consider to be stupidity on our Borough Council's part this week. Where we previously lived we were supplied with three large canvas bags in which to deposit our garden rubbish which was collected every fortnight and the bags were re-used. We now live two miles away in another borough where I had to travel several miles in order to buy green plastic sacks at £1.50 each. When they had been emptied I couldn't find the sacks so I rang the council who informed me that the whole sack is removed and discarded but it's ok because they are biodegradable!! I am going to write to the council to ask how long it takes for these sacks to 'biodegrade', how much it costs to actually manufacture these sacks and, because most people refuse to buy them how much petrol it must have cost the lorry to collect my two sacks. This is nearly as ridiculous as Southampton council who had paid a company to manufacture small plastic purses (beautifully made) and were giving them out free in the shopping centre for people to deposit their cigarette ends in!! Sheer lunacy! Has the world gone mad or am I just getting older?

Moaning over, have a lovely weekend and I hope it doesn't rain wherever you are.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Swan Lake

Do watch this video clip, the second part (Swan Lake) is absolutely amazing!

Monday, 28 July 2008

Ladies toilet

The weekend before last we went to Stamford in Lincolnshire. When we arrived we had coffee at the George, an old coaching inn - what a lovely place.

The reason for this post is to show you the Ladies!! Having visited the loo I had to get my camera and take some photos. This must be one of the poshest Ladies in the UK (unless you know otherwise.....) These murals are wonderful. The curtain to the window is then painted exactly the same on the mural. You may not be able to read the make of hairdrier but it says 'Da Vinci' on the side!

I'm wondering whether to have something like this when we decorate the bathroom!!!!!!!!

Monday, 7 July 2008

Eiderdowns and a Rain Hopper!

I have been buying rather a lot of eiderdowns lately to keep for myself displayed along the top of the cupboards in our bedroom. The one on the left is the first I ever bought and the other two are recent acquisitions.

I cheated on the decorating in this bedroom by painting over the wallpaper but it actually looks ok. The artexed ceiling still has to be skimmed (just visible in the photo with fan shapes!!) and I haven't painted the floorboards yet.

Next month we celebrate our pearl wedding anniversary (30 years). The picture on the mirror is one I made several years ago from an anniversary card hubby had given me as I thought it was so lovely. When I showed him he asked 'That's lovely, who gave you that?!! And I thought it had been carefully chosen for these words!

Because hands are meant to be held

Because lips are meant to be kissed

Because words are meant to be spoken

Because tears are meant to be wiped away

Because dreams are meant to be realized

Because love is meant to be nurtured

Because life is meant to be shared -

Because we are meant to be together.
I have spent the last week painting over the wallpaper on the stairs, hall and landing. After the wall coming off with the paper in the lounge I didn't dare risk that happening again. It was all a shade of dark green which has taken 5 coats of white paint to cover!

The next photo will either have a reaction of 'That's awful!' or 'Ingenious!'. I think I like it, hubby does; I think I can safely say it's different. We couldn't find any wall lights we liked for the stairs and landing so hubby decided to polish up an old rain hopper and attach it to the wall over a light fitting and voila!!

What do you think? Now be honest!

Tuesday, 1 July 2008


We had originally intended going to the architectual salvage fair at Knebworth on Sunday but woke up too late and felt disinclined to drive all that way so settled for a bit of beachcombing instead (a lot cheaper!).

Several years ago I saw some pigs made out of driftwood at 'The Eden Project' and came home and asked hubby to make me one. Here it is
He also made a heron which acted as a scarecrow for the real one who kept stealing our fish but this didn't survive the recent removal. Wonder what our latest haul will turn out to be....
We also like finding stones with holes all the way through. These are known as 'hag stones' or 'holy stones' in Dorset and 'fairy stones', 'eye stones' or 'witch stones' in other parts of the UK. In bygone days people used to hang these over their doorways to ward off evil spirits. Farmers used to tie them around their horses necks as they believed witches used to tie knots in their manes, use this as stirrups and ride their horses during the night. This practice was known as being 'hag-rod' (I suppose this is where the term haggard comes from).
I leave you with a few roses picked from the garden. Have a lovely week.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy

I really don't have time to post as often as I would like and I feel really guilty about not commenting on people's blogs every time I read them. Life is very busy on the domestic scene what with all the decorating and trying to keep the garden tamed. We have been really busy on the website too so I'm afraid blogging is taking rather a back seat. I did contemplate taking a rest for a while (from blogging!!) but have decided to try to keep going.

The decoration in one of the living rooms is still on going and I keep changing my mind about the colour scheme and 'look' that I want. I now have almost as many Farrow & Ball matchpots as Homebase and could probably have paid a decorator with what I have spent on them! I don't have an 'After' photo yet but here are the 'Before' and 'In between' images.


When I stripped the wallpaper off the old plaster fell off too so we had to call back the plasterer who had skimmed over the artexed ceilings to come back to do the walls. He asked me to remove any loose plaster in preparation. It turned out that most of it was so I was up to the early hours pulling off chunks of wall with my wallpaper stripper (hubby managed to be away!)

This is now as far as we have got but I hope to be posting photos of the finished room very soon though the colour palette may change several times before I do!

A friend who lives just 5 minutes away has had this fire surround in her garden ever since she moved there seven years ago. She was more than willing for us to take it away as I just love its sun bleached and shabby look. We won't be using it in this room but it will definitely be used elsewhere.
Changing the subject completely I thought I would post a photo of this little workbox I did a makeover on this week. It would look great in our bedroom but I have put it on the website instead.