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Showing posts from January, 2013

52 Weeks of Happy...16/52

The happiest people don't have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything.

Joining in with Jen at little birdie, here are a some of the moments which have brought me lots of happiness this week:

1. Blue skies and the smell of washing dried outside in the fresh air.

2. Coffee and a new magazine. More importantly, making the time to sit down and enjoy the coffee and magazine.

3. A bunch of daffodils to brighten up the hall table.

4. A magical walk home after a few hours of very heavy snow last Friday night. I took the above photos on my phone. A group of friends and I went out for a curry and when we couldn't get a taxi home we walked. It wasn't far, just under two miles, and I enjoyed it so much. I was wearing a warm coat and boots, and I had a tummy full of hot food so I was quite snug. (I did fall over once, but this is absolutely because I wasn't wearing my wellies, not because of any number of beers that may have consumed.) The snow had all gone by Mon…

Eleven Questions

"The Liebster Award is for bloggers with under 300 followers and the rules of the award is that the nominee must link back to whoever awarded them, write 11 random facts about themselves, answer the 11 questions from the award giver, and then nominate another 11 bloggers and make up 11 questions for them to answer. It's a great way for new and undiscovered bloggers to meet new people, get more followers and find some blogs that they want to follow."

A couple of weeks ago Emma at All Stitched Up and Suzie at The view from here very kindly nominated me for a Liebster award. Thank you ladies, you are very kind. 

So, here are my eleven random facts:

I am tall, 5' 11" to be exact, but only have size 6 feet.I have many, many Breton striped tops, but am still seeking that perfect one.I love tulips.I have lived in Leeds for 12 years but am most definitely a southerner at heart, and hope to move back there one day.I learnt the piano as a child. I gave up lessons when I was …


When you are looking for a recipe, where do you look first - inside a cookery book or on the internet? 
Last week I decided to have go at making some marmalade and did what I always do in these situations - I went through all my cookery books looking for recipes. I am often inspired by something I see online but it's my books I turn to for the nitty gritty. I gathered together the titles with references to marmalade then sat down with a cup of tea and read them all, trying to work out which would be best for a beginner. I could have just googled "marmalade" but then I would not have been able to touch and handle and open all those books with their pages of inspiration, with their splashes and spills reminding me of past cooking sessions. I don't have a tablet or netbook, my kitchen is very small and I'm a messy cook. For all these reasons, I prefer to cook with a book propped open next to me. If I spill something on it, I wipe it off, and I don't keep having t…


The Danes have a wonderful word which is hygge. The nearest English language translation is cosy but it does not really capture the many meanings of hygge. It is pronounced hoo-ga, I believe. It describes an atmosphere of warmth, cosiness and comfort and a feeling of peace and well being. It means relaxing and spending time with friends and family, eating and drinking, firelight and candlelight. It can be used as an adjective, verb or noun. I think it is a wonderful word, a word which captures all that I want to celebrate during winter.* Of course, it helps that I am captivated by so much Scandinavian design and culture (how is it possible that after all the hours of Danish crime dramas I've watched I am still not fluent in the language?) and it is at least oneword of the Danish language I will know when we visit Copenhagen in April. That, and tak (thank you).

We have been very cosy today. Last night we ate in an Indian restaurant and watched thick snow fall all through the evening…

Roast Beef On A Thursday Night

We saw a joint of beef in the shops this morning, half price. John, whose day off it was today, said "Shall we have a roast tonight?" I said "Err, ok then." And so we did.
John cooked the whole thing. He is never happier on his day off than when he's pottering in the kitchen. And I do love to see a man in an apron. The meal was a triumph. The meat was rare and tender, the potatoes were crispy, he made proper gravy from scratch, the Yorkshire Puddings rose so much they burst out of their tins. 
He'll be working all through this weekend so it was nice to be able to do this today. It elevated a cold, grey, slushy, mid-week afternoon into something special.

52 Weeks of Happy...15/52

The happiest people don't have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything.
Joining in with Jen at little birdie, here are a few of the things that have brought me happiness this week:

1. The school run. I never thought I'd say that! When I collect Angus at lunchtime I usually drive but as the roads have been bad this week we've been walking everywhere. Yesterday, instead of rushing there and back like I usually do, we walked really, really slowly and Angus sat on the sledge, then he pulled it along, then I pulled it along, and I admired the snow and the blue sky and we chatted and it was perfect. A lovely example of just being in the present moment.
2. Choosing rainbow yarn to make a rainbow baby blanket - my fingers are itching to start some crochet.
3. Blue skies always life my spirits and we haven't seen many these last few weeks. The contrast of the white snow and brown branches against the sky was beautiful.
4. The smell of banana bread baking in the…


Apologies if you've had enough of photos of snow. It's just still quite a novelty for me! Remember all that heavy snow that most of England had on Friday? Well, it fell on West Yorkshire last night.

This morning we woke up to six inches of fresh snow.

Bella's school was open so she, Angus and I walked there. It was totally silent and still, so different to a normal day. Just the occassional swishing sound of the odd driver trying to get along the slushy, slippery roads. 

When it was time to collect Angus from nursery John and I took the sledge. Next to Bella's school there is steep playing field that is perfect for sledging. Angus loved it.

I had quite a lot of fun too if I'm honest.

 Angus travelled home in style.

They closed Bella's school early and this afternoon that same hill was packed full with children, and the air was filled with the echoey sound of laughing and shrieking as they raced down the hill and dragged thier sledges back up again. There was somethin…

A Wintry Weekend Away

Just after Christmas we booked a weekend away in a little cottage in the Yorkshire Dales - a chance for us to have some of that lazy, cosy family time that everyone else seems to have between Christmas and New Year. Typically, heavy snow was forecast for that very same weekend. We dithered all week about whether we should go away or not. We checked the weather constantly. Each of John's weather apps on his phone gave a different forecast. We knew snow would come on Friday but when? Midday? Four pm? Would the roads be ok? Were we completely stupid to attempt to drive into the Dales (high up, hilly and cold) and what if we got stuck?* We are not an adventurous family.
But when the snow held off we decided to go. We received permission from Bella's school to collect her early and left in plenty of time to arrive before it got dark. Laden with bags, blankets, boots, a sledge, a shovel and a sack of grit for a journey which should only take one and a half hours, we set off. 
Of cours…

52 Weeks of Happy...14/52

The happiest people don't have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything.
Joining in with Jen at little birdie, here are a few of the things that have brought me happiness this week:
1. Snow! It's still an unusual enough occurrence here and, Southerner that I am, I get quite excited. We had a couple of inches on Monday and what's left has been frozen solid by days of hard frosts and sub-zero temperatures. More is promised over the weekend. The kids would love to build a snowman.
2. My ski-jacket. I bought this a few years ago when we had our first really cold winter. I have never skied in my life but when I put this on I am so thankful for it's warmth, especially when I'm trudging to and from school.
3. We've booked a holiday! Well, more like a short break. And one without kids, even better. 
4. I am thrilled to report that I've upgraded my tired old phone with it's useless camera for something a bit fancier. We've had lots of fun exp…

A Chunky Knit Cowl

I meant to say on Sunday, but was so tired and scatterbrained I totally forgot - I really did enjoy reading all your comments on how you banish the winter blues. So many good ideas and lots of common sense too; crafting, stocking up the freezer, reading seed catalogues (I loved that one!), bringing spring flowers into the house, fairy lights, adding plants and greenery, an early morning walk, patchwork, cosying up with books and films, drinking up the leftover Christmas Baileys, casseroles, puddings, hot chocolate, bowls of hyacinths, pre-spring cleaning, walks in the snow, a post-Christmas treat or indulgence like new perfume, bunches of daffodils and, finally, bird watching. Wow. I feel happier just thinking about all those things! And what I like is that none of those ideas is expensive or difficult, not like booking a sunny holiday or starting a crazy new diet and exercise regime, they are just simple ways to make the most of winter on the greyest of days.
Thanks also for your comm…


On Friday Angus came home from nursery with Adventure Ted, the nursery bear, and a little book for us to fill in with our own photos and descriptions of how we spent our weekend with said bear. I'm not sure what this says about me, but the first thing I did was look through the book and see how Ted had spent previous weekends and see what was expected (and i was hoping for a glimpse of the inside of some peoples houses too, if I'm honest). When Bella brought home Looby Doll last year, Looby's accompanying book was full of tales of outings to expensive theme parks and adventure playgrounds. But luckily Ted has simpler tastes, and previous weekend activities included swimming lessons, trips to the supermarket and the park, family get togethers and lots of playing. Phew.
By complete coincidence, we actually had plans this weekend. This is most unlike us - anyone who has read this blog for a while knows that our winter weekends consist mainly of hibernating in the house with so…