Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Oh 'eck!

What have I beeeeen and gawn and done now? Only signed myself for my very first swap, kindly organised by Helen from Eeeek! We had a choice of Hallowe'en or Autumn as a theme; I've chosen Autumn, and if I take today's weather as a starting point, it's going to be a wet and soggy kind of autumnal swap!
Any suggestions of what I can send to my swap partner Tracy at Mad About Bags, will be very gratefully received!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Going to the Chapel...

This past weekend hubby and I had a delightful (and child-free) time down in Dorset, attending the wedding of our very good friends R&G (of Lazyhill fame.)

We left DC at home with Grandma and Grandad on Saturday morning and headed down to our new house in Somerset where we dropped off a car-load of 'stuff' (mostly tools from hubby's allotment, which he has now given up in preparation for having a huuuuge veg plot at the bottom of the garden), got ourselves all togged up and then made the 40min drive to Abbotsbury for the wedding. As usual, we were running slightly late and it didn't help that we also got stuck behind a horsebox on the coast road between Bridport and Abbotsbury, so we arrived in a bit of a fluster, parked up and hurried through the village. As we passed the bride and groom's house so R dashed to the door to wave to us in all her finery and assure us that we had a few minutes to climb up the hill to St Catherine's chapel before she would be on her way.

So we hurried and puffed and panted and sweated our way up to the chapel and, fortunately, had a few moments to compose ourselves outside and take advantage of the cooling sea breeze. The floor of the chapel had been scattered with lavender and rosemary which smelt absolutely wonderful, and the scent was released all the more as we milled around awaiting the grand entrance of the bride. The majority of the service was then performed in the chapel before we wound our way back down the hill and through the village to the church where the 'legal' part of the ceremony was carried out.

Afterwards, it was a mere hop, skip and jump through the churchyard and over to the Abbey House for champagne, Pimms and canapes in the garden before going indoors for dinner. This turned out to be a great opportunity for me to catch up with former work colleagues, some of whom I hadn't seen for about ten years.
After dinner we enjoyed a 'cheesecake' instead of the usual wedding cake, accompanied by special wedding chutney handmande by hubby, using apples from our back garden.

All in all, a fabulous day. And, at the end of it, hubby & I merely had to wobble our way upstairs as we were lucky enough to be staying in one of the Abbey House's lovely rooms. And even luckier than that, we were staying for TWO nights! Which meant we had a lovely lie in the following morning before a great breakfast and then some time spent in the garden enjoying the sun; we also had a little jaunt into Bridport before returning to the sun-drenched garden of the Abbey House for afternoon tea and a spot of reading. Bliss.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

It's Like a Little, Teeny Weeny Bit of an Obsession

Feast your eyes on my book shelves. I say 'mine' because these are mine and mine alone; hubby has shelves of his own in the alcove on the other side of the chimney breast. The shelf at the very top, with the clock, contains the books I have recently read (all of the others are in boxes in my Mum's garage); the other shelves contain my unread books. 131 of them. In 2009, according to the sidebar on this blog, I read 18 books; so far this year I've read 13. 131 divided by 18 is 7.277777777...., which means I have over seven years' worth of books to read. Should be enough for anyone, shouldn't it? For the time being, or let's say seven or so years, at least.

So, explain to me then this obsession I have with buying/swapping/getting hold of by whatever means possible (as long as it's legal) more books/reading matter? This week alone I:

bought these three in the Oxfam Book Shop (and the buying of the two by Rebecca Tope will necessitate buying yet another as I will need the first book in the series before I can read these two, of course...)
received this one via a swap on (highly recommended if you are obesessed with books but don't mind swapping the odd one here and there)
bought this one on eBay
and bought this one in Smiths
Is there any hope for me?

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Housey Housey!

We finally completed on the house in Somerset on Friday and hot-footed it down there on Saturday, after cramming the car with all manner of 'stuff'. Perfect timing as it meant we avoided the majority of the Reading Festival and its attendant madness.

We picked up the keys from the estate agent in Crewkerne at about 12.30pm and hurried straight to the house. We were excited, we were nervous, we were having 'wobbles' over whether we had done the right thing, we were relieved that the sale had finally gone through, all these feelings and more, but isn't that what most people feel when they buy a new house?
We spent the weekend 'camping' in our new home, with the minimum of furniture: garden table and chairs, inflatable mattress, microwave & kettle, toys and travel cot for DC, but we had a lovely time. The weather was great, which helped a lot as it meant we were able to really enjoy the fabulous garden.

We discovered we have five apple trees (possibly more, as they are a little overgrown) and picked two large trug/cratefuls to bring back for hubby to make chutney from (we don't know what variety they are but they're not Bramleys, so not sure if we can make pies, crumbles, etc); there are also a LOT of raspberry canes (sadly, all the fruit was shrivelled) and some rhubarb crowns, which made hubby very excited.

We made the most of the village tea room for a lovely lunch, popped into the general store to say 'hello' and then took DC to investigate the lovely park (with fabulous views over the hills) wherehe had lots of fun on the slide. Later on we paid a visit to a house in the village which had been the subject of some extensive renovation work by the architect we are interested in working with on our house; we really liked what he had done, which was a relief!

Saturday evening, once DC had gone off to bed, hubby drove to Crewkerne to pick up a curry from what will be our local Indian restaurant. It was good, not quite in the league of our favourite Indian in Henley, but we'll survive!

Sunday brought more glorious weather and we headed to Bridport for the start of a day out. DC did a marvellous job of falling asleep just as we got there which gave hubby and I the chance to go for a coffee and read our books - bliss. Then we had a wander round the town before heading to the monthly Vintage Market, which was fab! I'm so pleased that our visit managed to (accidentally) coincide with it. We ended up buying an old wall-mounted clock (sorry, forgot to take a photo) which was a house-warming present to ourselves.

Then it was time to head to Abbotsbury to visit our lovely friends R&G at their recently-opened gallery Lazyhill. Just a couple of days earlier I was sooooooo pleased and excited to hear that they had sold the first of my hand-stitched cards, in fact not just one, but two on the same day (and another has sold since)!!! Hooray for all those people with such great taste who choose to visit their wonderful shop and then choose to buy my cards!

We had a lovely afternoon with them, "helping" in the shop, doing some furniture moving, drinking coffee, eating cake, being licked by Martha the dog, and strolling round the village. Below is a snap of the chapel at which R&G will be getting married in less than two weeks - how wonderful is that?! On Monday morning the architect came round to have a look at the house, hear about our hopes and dreams for its future, and to make some suggestions of his own. Hopefully, one day in the not too distant future we'll be transforming this house into a wonderful home. In the meantime, hear are a few snaps to give you an idea of what it looks like at the moment: rear viewkitchenutility roombedroom 1, with wonderful washing facilities and great wardrobe...bedroom 2, with an even better range of wardrobes