Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Going home

I started this blog with all good intentions, but for me it just hasn't felt like home.

So I'm going back to my old blog. If you're a new reader thank you, and if you'd like to follow me I'd be delighted.

See you there :)

Monday, 4 February 2013

When nothing makes sense

The blogging community has had its ups and downs.

There have been times of conflict, and every so often it seems to be on the point of implosion. Thankfully those times pass and we carry on as before.

Then there are the good times when we come together as a real community to celebrate weddings, new babies, successes and achievements. The regular blogging conferences show how well bloggers get along in real life. Real friendships are forged and support networks are established.

But sadly, our community endures sad times too. Difficult times that don't seem to make any sense to any of us, and in December we had the awful news that Kerry from Multiple Mummy had passed away. Terrible, tragic news that makes no rhyme nor reason.

Then yesterday came the heartbreaking news that Jenny from Edspire had lost her beautiful 9 month old baby, Matilda Mae.

I've never met Jenny, but since hearing her news I haven't been able to get it out of my mind and I know I'm not alone.

There has been an outpouring of sympathy, love and support on twitter and Facebook and I hope in these dark days for Jenny, David and their family there is some comfort to be found there. Their grief is our grief and we cry with them.

I don't know how a parent carries on after the death of a child but I hope we can help them in some small way.


Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.

Mary Elizabeth Frye

Signs of spring

This week I've noticed some definite signs that spring is finally on the way. Bulbs are appearing in the garden, there are buds on the trees and and the weather has been mild enough to work in the garden for a few hours. 
Yesterday when I walked Tessie I noticed two adult ducks near the local pond which must mean it won't be too long before we see some ducklings. Hopefully they'll be as cute as last year's.

 I really dislike the short winter days so at this time of year I'm addicted to checking the UK's daylight hours. I like to check every couple of days to check that we really do get an extra 3-4 minutes of daylight every day. Just knowing that by the end of this month the sun will rise at 6.48am and set at 5.39pm makes it a bit easier to cope with these dark mornings.
It's the little things that give keep us going, don't you think?

Thursday, 31 January 2013

The battered garden

 I thought I'd have a look around the garden this morning. It's the first time I've been out for a good look around for a few weeks what with the snow, freezing cold and typical winter weather.

As you'd expect, the garden is looking a bit battered. There are gardening pots scattered everywhere after been being blown around from the potting table. I should have put them into the shed, but too late now. The main border looks messy and I need to get the pruning shears out soon before the sap starts to rise.

There's a faint whiff of spring in the air due to a few bulbs making an appearance above the soil.  There's tulips, daffs and some of the allium bulbs I planted in the autumn. I planted quite a few though, and can only see 3 so far. Fingers crossed.

Elsewhere there are a few signs of early colour. The hellebores are flowering, although some of the old growth needs tidying up a bit.
I'm still learning, so next autumn I'll tidy up a bit more before the winter arrives.

The Japanese quince, which was so beautiful last year, needs pruning right back. According to all the books, early spring is the best time to do it. It's very thorny so I'll have to be careful.

And finally, after my concern the other day that I saw very few birds in this garden (as opposed to our old one) I saw some birds feeding on the fat-balls the other day.

I think they were coal tits, but I'm not sure. Does anyone else know what they are?

Hopefully the weather will stay mild and I can get out and tidy up. There's plenty to do to keep me out of trouble anyway.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Getting my craft on: guest soaps

I've never been big into crafts, y'know making things and so on, but just recently I've been dabbling. A couple of homemade things for the house so far, but nothing too taxing you understand - I'm still a newbie to this sort of thing.

So when I stumbled upon these purdee ribbons in TKMaxx I knew I could do something with them. Although to be honest I spent the first few days just rearranging them into pleasing piles of colour of my desk before deciding I I should actually use them for something.

 I've got a few little craft projects in mind for the ribbons, but the first one was a nice simple one.

I'd been looking for some guest soaps - not exactly an essential, but the novelty of our new guest room hasn't worn off yet and I'm still adding finishing touches to it.  But after looking for something that a) looked nice, and b) didn't cost an arm and a leg (£3.99 for a guest soap in fancy packaging? I don't think so) I thought I could come up with an alternative.

I bought a pack of fairly basic but sweet smelling almond soap, and used some wrapping and tissue paper to wrap the soaps and make them look a bit more special. What do you think?

For this one I used plain brown paper and to make sure it looked good I actually ironed it first. Yes folks, I ironed a piece of paper! Just place the soap in the middle of a small piece of the paper, wrap like a parcel but without using sticky tape (I wanted it to be easy to open) and then place the ribbon underneath before wrapping around and tying in a bow to finish.

I had some other pieces of paper hanging around so used them too, and added a contrasting ribbon for each one. I think they look quite good and a hell of a lot cheaper than £3.99 a bar. In fact the cost was probably less than 50p for each finished soap.

I already have another project lined up for the ribbons, and I'll be showing you my efforts at making a faux roman blind very soon. Get me!