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Showing posts from July, 2013

Sunshine, Soldiers and Big Ben

As you'll know we spent a week or so staying with my friend Abigail who lives in South London. Inconvenient for friendship, but very convenient for a day trip into the city. I asked Bella and Angus what they most wanted to do in London. Bella said, without a moment's hesitation, go to Buckingham Palace. Angus wanted to go on an underground train. That was it, nothing else. Because there were adults coming too we booked tickets for the London Eye - we didn't just want to ride public transport all day. 
We went to the palace first when little legs had the most energy for walking around. You know you're getting near royalty because everything gets very gold and shiny.

The weather all day was bright and blustery with clouds scudding overhead. The light was constantly changing. 
So many tourists. Do you ever look at all those strangers in your holiday photos and wonder who they are and where they travelled from? I do. It fascinates me. All those random people captured on camer…

Lavender Fields

We spent Saturday morning at a very beautiful lavender farm not far from Abigail's house, where we are currently staying.

It was a hot, sultry morning - in fact, we had thunder storms that afternoon and evening - and the scent of the flowers was heady and intense.

It's a very photogenic place. 

It's not large, you couldn't really spend more than a couple of hours there but it's time enough to wander up and down the fields and take lots of photos then retreat to the shady cafe and shop area.

They sell freshly cut lavender by the bunch (as well as every type of lavender-related gift you could imagine) and I bought one to dry out when I get back to Leeds. There is also a menu of lavender flavoured drinks, bread, shortbread and tea among other things. The ice cream is exceptional. Just lavender-y enough.

I became obsessed with trying to photograph a butterfly.

Difficult. They move to fast for me! These shots were the best I could manage.

After we'd sampled the wares and m…

52 Weeks of Happy...41/52

The happiest people don't have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything.
Joining in with the lovely Jen at little birdie, here are my happy moments from the last seven days. This week I am very thankful for the continuing warm weather and a welcome slowing down of the pace of life and some time
1. Time to get the paints out with Bella and Angus. 
2. Time to play with my god daughters.
3. Time to crochet - in the car, in a chair, under a tree - it doesn't matter. 
3. Time to wander arm in arm with John on a sunny day.
Wishing you all a very happy weekend.

Ebernoe Horn Fair

We spent today in the tiny West Sussex village of Ebernoe for their annual Horn Fair. It's a centuries old tradition involving cricket, a roast ram, a fun fair and hot air balloons, among other things. It was a bit like being in an episode of The Archers, which is about the highest compliment I can pay.

We are currently staying with my friend Abigail. Her family has strong links to the village and it's traditional for them to get together at the fair each year, otherwise I don't think I'd ever have known of it's existence but I'm so glad we went.

It is incredibly, deliciously English. It's the sort of thing that village communities do so well; cake stalls, loud speaker announcements, tea tents, beer tents. There is a funfair with enough bouncy castles, rides and sugar to keep most children entertained for hours.

When the cricket match breaks for lunch and tea, the grass is suddenly filled with people making a bee line for the tea tent, or running around if you…

A Garden Playhouse Makeover

We've had a small wooden playhouse in our back garden for the last three years. It was built by John and my Dad when Angus was about one year old and painted by John (under my strict instructions) with white paint and pale green trim. It started out well and was full of children every summer and much of the winter too. But as our collection of bikes, trikes, trolleys and scooters grew the playhouse shrank until it was no longer used for playing, just for storing toys. It looked like this:

So, inspired by a conversation with my friend Hannah (who has created an enviable playhouse for her four girls) and by this playhouse at Kate's blog Kate's Creative Space I set to work and it now looks like this:

I set myself a rule: spend as little money as possible. Everything (nearly) must be recycled or already owned. Oh, I do love a challenge! So on the outside the kids and I washed all the paint work and windows and gave it all a really good scrub. I mended the two broken perspex wind…