Sunday, 29 August 2010

A Novice in The Garden...

Those of you who are used to living in the countryside, or at least familiar with growing your own fruit and vegetables will no doubt be accustomed to the sight of your own produce making its' way from the branch to the table. But for those of you who, like me, are still quite shocked beyond belief that asparagus doesn't grow pre-tipped and can still get a thrill from using things grown in "MY OWN GARDEN!" - it never ceases to amaze me how wonderful it feels to utilise truly organic and fresh home grown fruits, vegetables and herbs.

Recently, I've been picking apples from the garden to make pies and applesauce - I hope to branch out into chutney and relish soon, and of course the leaves from the rosemary bush are a constant addition to family meals - whatever the recipe. I also have bay leaves, mint, sweet basil, thyme, oregano and rhubarb. Next year, together with my previously mentioned strawberries, I hope to see my newly planted blueberries, although the grapes will take a few more seasons. Here's a picture of my apples and the very unsophisticated and rustic looking apple pie that they turned into.

And this is the just cut rosemary scattered onto our Sunday roast amid a drizzle of honey and a sprinkling of sea salt. Now, admittedly, the pig wasn't ours - that would be a step too far considering I've only just traded in my Manolo's for Hunter Wellies. Not beyond the realms of fantasy however, since my wonderful eighty-something-year-old neighbour Ron, who presents me with a home grown vegetable 'care box' several times a week ("those poor undernourished city folk") is an ex-butcher. He proudly claims that until recently, people would drag their road kill to his door (deer, pheasant and the like - nothing sinister!) to 'sort out' for the larder - "Waste not want not" being his life's philosophy. Despite not having yet made the first rung on the 'ladder of small holdings', I'm all for self sufficiency. After all, that's country living for you. However, call me (home reared) chicken, but I think I'll be sticking to the meat counter at Waitrose for a while yet...

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

A Very Special Area...

I've always envied the sort of organised and 'sophisticated' woman who owns a proper 'dressing table'. Over the years I have collected dozens of magazine cuttings, poured over numerous fashion magazines and lusted over a multitude of women in film and television who were lucky enough to lay claim to a fully fledged 'vanity area'. So, high on my list of priorities when we moved to our new home was that I would finally be able to have my very own 'high maintainance' area in the form of a dressing table. The classical proportions of my new bedroom were crying out for a proper 'grown up' area for me to place my lotions, and potions and trinkets - many having been left unused or packed away awaiting emancipation for this very reason.

So when I came accross an Edwardian gem on e-bay, that I purchased for £40, it was the beginning of a grand 'love affair'. I can't tell you how much time I now spend rearranging the items on top.

Inspired by absolutely BEAUTIFUL shops/blogs such as Frou Frou Fashionista, the drawers are lined in pink acid free tissue paper, and contain my posh lingerie - laid out like a shop - what fun!
It's (supposed to be) a child free zone, although with 6 year old twin daughters this is an ongoing (as in losing) battle!

It may not be as cosmopolitan and funky as Carrie Bradshaw's...

Or as drippingly glamourous as Georgina Chapman's...

It's a bit scuffed, and scratched, and in fact cost less than most of the products that are carefully placed on top of it!
But it's my very own, special area..

And I love it!

Monday, 23 August 2010

My First Award!

Oh My Goodness - what excitement today! Today, I am the proud recipient of a 'Versatile Blog Award'! Being so new to the world of Blogging, and being currently taken up with three children under the age of 10, and a seemingly ENDLESS school holiday, I must confess that I've been rather absent from my computer.

Although the Summer holidays are always crazily fun, I have been having Blog withdrawal symptoms and have been itching to get back to my quiet contemplative moments where I can share my ideas and thoughts as well as read the wonderful journals from so many creative people and fellow Bloggers. The whole process is so enjoyable, so imagine my delight and suprise when I found that the fabulous Nicola from the inspiring September Cottage and September Kitchen had recommended me for this award! Thank you SO much Nicola - it's huge praise indeed particularly from someone whose own blogs are so exquisitely crafted and beautiful to look at and read - I am chuffed to bits!

As a condition of the award, I have to give seven likes or dislikes, so here are my answers...

1) I LOVE peonies - my absolute FAVOURITE flower.
2) I LOVE a house not to look too 'perfect'. Overstuffed chairs, lots of cushions, painted furniture, love worn antiques (or e-bay finds) are totally my thing.
3) As a result of 'LOVE' number 2 - I LOVE the British company Cabbages & Roses - I would happily buy up the whole shop!
4) I LOVE checks and stripes - particularly in faded pinks, reds and sage greens - in fact I think that I'm addicted.
5) I LOVE hardback books on interiors in particular - but interiors, fashion, historical biographies, art, photography - whatever - I love them all. (sadly, this extends to magazines, which means I have piles of them gathered around the house!)
6) I LOVE my new life in the Norfolk countryside.
7) I DISLIKE spiders - intensely - alas, not the most compatible thing when one moves to the Norfolk countryside!

Have a great day.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Discarded Treasures!

Heaven is a Saturday morning local market, with time spent rummaging through the various odds, ends and curiosities. Discovering the many unloved, discarded - and yet often quite beautiful - treasures is a guilty pleasure that my family thankfully put up with come rain or shine! On one of my regular trips to the market town of Swaffham, I found these delightful glass 'fancies'.

My husband calls my rummaging trips 'junking' but polished up and placed in the right location - even he admits that they have a certain beauty!

And the children are happy when they are rewarded for their never ending patience!
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