November 15, 2013

More than a little change

We have moved. From a little house to a big flat, from the countryside to the coast and from friends to the unknown.

It sort of happened all of a sudden. One thing led to another then I stuck my neck out and here we are in a rented flat. Not everyone is overjoyed or happy every day but we are loving the space we all have and liking exploring our new area and most of all seeing my Mum on a weekly basis without it being a palaver for either of us.

Here’s the view from our bedroom window.

Bedroom view

And this view from the balcony is the same thing I see from the kitchen window which is much better than what I used to see

Balcony View

We’re on the second floor which is the top floor here and it was a struggle getting all our stuff upstairs those first few days. We thought we’d never get to the point where we didn’t count each of the 26 steps but now we bound up them all without even thinking about them as a struggle.

We haven’t moved for 12 years and it’s been difficult sorting through our accumulated stuff then choosing and deciding and letting things go. I talked to myself very sternly and took bags of fabric to the recycling centre. We made numerous visits to the charity shop and the shoe bins at the Clarks shop.  I now have a much smaller stash of fabric to be upcycled and odd scraps that might be useful. Most of what I have kept fits into the built in cupboard in the hallway and I have the sewing machine right next to it so that keeps everything together a bit better than it used to be. What I need to do now is sew more!

September 9, 2013

A Little Change

You wait for something to change then everything changes at once.

J has got the GCSE grades he wanted and is off to sixth form college to do A-Levels. Miss Froo has lost more teeth and had another birthday celebrated with a cat and dog party. I had a cat-astrophe with the cake as it didn’t cook in the middle of the corner. I hired the tin from the fantastic Masons for only £1 a day. It was decorated by J under instructions from Miss Froo. Can you see why the letters on it are F, C and D?

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After a great amount of palaver, this one went out and almost didn’t fit in the car to take away to store

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and this one came in after fitting in the car remarkably easily despite being at least a foot longer than the brown one!

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It is quite bizarre how one piece of furniture can transform the room and what we do in it. Mr G can lie on this sofa, I can lie on it too and many, many children can sit on it all at once. We can’t stack up laundry on the arms or the back in quite the same way so we’ve been processing washing better than before. We’ve had to move the lamps around so the light in the room is a little different. The new sofa brightens up that side of the room and it is also very comfy to sit on. It’s a bit stained on the seat cushions and this tablecloth I ‘found’ in the fabric recycle bin at the dump just covers it well.

Our view of the sky from the kitchen changed a lot a few years back but we still saw this the other night, did you?


August 17, 2013

Indoors and outdoors

Is it just me or can you smell autumn in the air too?

There were no strawberries to pick locally for my mum’s birthday last weekend but we picked a few big juicy blackberries yesterday and they’ve been simmered and strained to make jelly today. There have been mornings and evenings where the wearing of wool has been required, the long grasses in the garden have spread their seed then died back and the nights are drawing in.

My morning reading habit has become an all day habit which is hindering domestic achievements and sewing.

So far in last fortnight I have read two Rebus novels, a Kathy Reichs, a Val McDiarmid, two Carole Shields (Larry’s Party and The Stone Diaries). Now I’ve started on The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. I have always had this thing about reading that I start and can’t stop. When I was around ten years old I started reading longer books and used to read til midnight which was later than my mum and dad went to bed. If I went for a sleep over at my cousin’s house we’d stay up all night reading and not really talking to each other!

We have been out and about some days to balance the indoorness of the reading habit. We went to Southampton in the week and found that there is a rhinoceros trail. As we walked through the parks we saw one, then another one then spotted another one across the road, then in shop windows and baby ones in the library.

Mr G saw something similar when he went to Liverpool a few years ago but those were creatures called lambananas.

Here are a few of the rhinos we saw


(That’s me with the wind in my hair and a look on my face like Nan used to have at times of deep thought or something! Carrying a modified Tiny Happy Bag and wearing a me-made wool cardi from One Day Autumn Sewing and brown linen New Look 6190)




Miss Froo is in her favourite mummy made tunic from  a Japanese sewing book Miss Amoo is in a tunic upcycled from a dress.



July 13, 2013

Getting Away

As the weather looked to stay hot all week, the girls and I went camping for a couple of nights at our favourite camping place, Burnbake, near Corfe Castle.

It was so good to get away from the domestic grind, work and suburbia. There is very little to do when you don’t have to tidy up floors or process laundry, wash up dishes or answer the phone or send emails or listen to drilling, banging and radios blaring. Three of our near neighbours are doing building work and it was starting to drive me a little bit mad.

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So, the tranquillity of a campsite far from a road was a welcome change. I did nothing and the girls played. Then I read a book and they played. Then we went on a mega walk to Studland Bay which was well worth the journey but ended up being our longest walk ever at just over 7 miles in all!

Here we are on the outward leg of the journey. Miss Froo wouldn’t wear a hat so she was using the ‘parasol’. This is the view from the top of a hill overlooking Poole harbour

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This is an amazing rock that was in our path. It’s called Agglestone Rock and it’s a local oddity as no-one really knows how it got there

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The beach was a very welcome sight but there was plenty of digging needing to be done. Whenever we go to a beach with J he always starts digging a hole and last year in Lyme Regis he dug one so deep that when he stood in it we couldn’t see him! The girls still have a way to go to beat that.

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I totally forgot to take my swimmers so ended up swimming in my me-made undies and a crepe Novita top that I was wearing. Both dried out well on the walk back! My me-made wardrobe served me well: I only took two tops, a vest, a skirt and a dress and they were just what the weather called for. Has it ever been so hot in July????


Now we are home again, the building work continues but I am refreshed. Another bonus of camping is that it re-sets my nocturnal clock back to a diurnal one and I’ve been getting up at 8.30 since we got back. It’s quite nice to sit in the garden reading at that time and the day is very long when I don’t start it at 11am! I’m reading Simon Jenkins’ A Short History of England which I’ve borrowed from J. It isn’t a light read, unlike the latest Rebus which I borrowed from El Famosisimo and finished in a day. It’s great to have boys who buy books that I want to read 🙂