Friday, 27 March 2009


It's been the usual routine this morning. A walk into town to finish off the weekly shopping. I don't really enjoy food shopping, it's just a chore but there is always the added attraction of doing the circuit of the charity shops in anticipation of finding a treasure I didn't know I needed. None found today mind you. The town is a little depressing at the moment with lots of empty shops and only the very basic shops still thriving. No individuality left here at all. These cheery Tesco/Cath Kidston bags do make the shop a little more pleasurable though and are usually admired by the ladies on the checkouts in Waitrose. Poor Mr Funky. We don't have a Tesco in town, so he had to drive me to the nearest large store so that I could complete the collection! I dread to think how much they all cost. Still - I am helping the environment aren't I?

I was tempted and succumbed to this sweet little tin of Redbush Rooibos tea. This stuff seems to be breeding on the shelves. There are loads of different packages containing this South African tea. Is it because of the influence of Precious Ramotswe and the Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency? Or I have I only noticed it because watching it has become my Sunday evening replacement for niceness and decency since the end of Lark Rise to Candleford? Anyway, I'm intrigued and I'm going to give it a whirl. Naturally, I couldn't buy a cardboard packet - I couldn't resist the little tin (my one weakness). So now there's another tin to add to the ever growing collection in my tiny kitchen.

As I picked up the post I noticed a new Bridgewater catalogue in amongst the brown envelopes and general junk. Just the thing to browse with a cup of coffee. Not a lot of newness in there but as usual it's beautifully photographed and I don't need an excuse to share some Bridgewater loveliness with you.




and all round general loveliness.

Perhaps I should have used a mug like the picture above to display some of my daffs. Quite a bargain I think - three jugs filled for two pounds.

Anyway, I hope you all have a great weekend. Keep warm - it's going to be a cold one.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Mothering Sunday

A picture heavy post today. I hope you don't mind. I hope you all enjoyed Mothering Sunday. I was certainly treated to a wonderful day, spent in the company of my two favourite boys, Mr Funky and our gorgeous teenager, Josh. Both Mr Funky and Josh send me a card on Mother's Day.

And I also had two great presents, a decorative candle and a book I've been wanting to read since I saw it over at Sal's Snippets (thanks Sal).

Best of all, I was taken out for the day. It's that time of year when the National Trust begins to re-open its properties and it gives us the opportunity for some relaxing days out. Josh is at the age where he is beginning to find walking around old houses a bit boring, but he behaved really well. (No complaining about wanting to be on the Xbox, or wanting to go out with friends). So we packed a picnic and made our way into Warwickshire to Packwood House.

It was a bit difficult taking photographs as most of the house was covered in scaffolding due to roofing repairs but I do have these for you.

These sundials, unusually on the walls of the house look superb.

Packwood is also famous for its yew trees. They are said to represent the Sermon on the Mount.

And the rest of the garden doesn't look so bad either.

Not content with visiting one house, we visited two! Two miles down the road from Packwood is Baddesely Clinton, a moated mediaeval manor house, famous for its connection with the Catholic faith and its priests hiding holes. I wish I could show you the interiors of both of these houses but photography isn't allowed for perfectly understandable reasons.

Just about time to show you the garden before closing time I think.

And a quick visit to the church before we make our way back home.

Thanks Rob and Josh for such a wonderful day.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Caution Ducks Crossing

Sunday's weather was so mild and springlike I wouldn't settle and be content until I'd been for a walk along my favourite piece of towpath. I should really have washed, ironed, dug the garden but I really, really needed just to be in the fresh air away from the usual hum-drum stuff. By the time we'd collected Josh from his sleepover and and bought a voucher from the garden centre for Mom-in-law's present next Sunday the day had become a little dull. It didn't matter, it was warm and we could hear the birds singing and look at new greeness of Spring. What more could we need? I love this little walk along the canal. Josh gets annoyed with me 'not the same bit again?' I love its familiarity and its friendliness as walkers, cyclists, bargees and residents greet you with a cheery 'hello' as you walk on by. You can even do some shopping there if you wish at one of the canalside cottages.

I love to cross the towpath using this this tiny little bridge.

Here's a view from the top of the bridge to its left

and the view to the right.

Once over the bridge there's a little hamlet of cottages

next to fields.

I'd love to live here, tucked away in an almost secret little village.

It's on our way back to the bridge and the towpath that I notice this little sign, that's obviously been there some time.

It made us laugh, although we did keep a lookout for ducks on our way over the bridge. We did see plenty of ducks. All paired off now, with the odd noisy interruption of single males trying to steal a pretty girl from her mate.

Another few weeks and we'll be watching Mum leading her ducklings out and about as they play and discover their surroundings. We become distracted again and take a detour down a litle lane to the river

and up the hill to the fields with green shoots just peering through the red earth.

The church overlooks all of this from the hill, constant in the ever changing scenery.

Back on the canal and I love this sweet little hut. I imagine myself on a summer's day, sitting there on the porch watching the narrowboats chugging by. On winter walks, I imagine sitting inside, snuggled up with a heater, a hot drink and a good book.

Before I forget, we did see some of these as well.

Cheery, cosy, welcoming. When I win the lottery I'm going to buy one! However, it will have to be for weekends and holidays only. I have too much stuff to fit on one of these. Of course I would expect other bloggers to visit for afternoon tea and a bun.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Giveaway Result

Sorry ladies, but Johnny Depp was unavailable today to pull a name from the hat, or bowl in this case. So Mr Funky stepped in and performed the duty admirably. To be honest he was a lot cheaper than Johnny, although I'm not so sure that he looks quite as good in the pirate outfit as Johnny but you can't have everything can you.

The first name out of the hat (bowl) was Simone from Linden Grove. Congrats Simone, I'll be in touch via your blog for your details. I was quite overwhelmed by the number of people entering the draw and I'm just sorry I can't send you all something but thank you all for your kind comments. I know that I will have some new blogs to read and some new friends to meet from comments made on the last post. I shall look forward to catching up with everyone over the next couple of weeks.