Wednesday, 19 September 2018

The one with Ellie

This year, we holidayed with Ellie. Well, it would have been dreadfully rude, and rather dangerous, to have left her behind.

Back to St Ives, Cornwall. One of my favourite places in the world. Fact.

Back to the same holiday home as last year, great location, fairly child friendly. Although Katy did mention that this year their bedroom in the basement did feel like a prison camp with four of them. So we will book somewhere bigger, or two cottages, next year.

We were so fortunate with the weather this year. Glorious sunshine every day, therefore plenty of days, and evenings, on the beach. Actually, we all commented that one of our best evenings was the one where we sat on the beach playing ball games, eating pizza and drinking wine, until the sun disappeared.

Of course we visited nanny in the sky's bench.

We also visited an animal park with dinosaur trail and adventure playground. Embarrassed to admit that us adult got two of the questions wrong on the dinosaur trail, despite the answers being given, luckily we still received our prizes.

And they both picked glittery snakes with their holiday money (thank you Auntie Wendy).

I had a few spare moments to treasure hunt.

And we ate out a lot.

Plus I got to see this one. She lives a couple of hours away from our holiday home and we always meet up for big chats.

Is it possible that every year we love our holiday more?

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

When Paddington came to stay

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to go back to school?
I think there could be two categories here - those who feel repulsed at the thought of returning to that concrete building, and those who harp on about school days being the best days of their life.
Personally, I wouldn't mind returning. But it would have to be with all the knowledge I have now gained. Definitely, school would be fun if I wasn't so naive!
I also think I would be a completely different person if I was to be a pupil in today's world.
For example, I didn't used to have a competitive bone in my body. I hated sport because of this, and I kind of plodded away at subjects. Except art and English; I absolutely loved these lessons.
I still don't like sport. I'm sorry I can't get excited about kicking and throwing balls (except when England nearly qualified to the semi-finals at the World Cup 2018, although the wine may have helped the situation). However, nowadays, I do find myself being rather competitive at other such things. It's fair to say, I can't see the point in something unless I throw myself into it 100 percent.
At work I am so eager to please, and produce the best spreadsheets, that it's ridiculous. And I approach many things in this manner.
So, when my mum handed me the nursery school book, for Paddington's stay, I knew I would spend ages planning and plotting and organising. I was aiming to provide Tommy with the most marvellous day, with pictures to match.
“It doesn’t have to be anything big,” the nursery teacher informed my mum, “just as long as it incorporates something healthy.”
Hmm, something healthy?
Well, rather like a story board, I decided the day should begin at the beginning, with a healthy breakfast. Only Tommy refused to sit next to Paddington. There were tears from Tommy. Frustration from mummy. Peace making from daddy. It took a long time to take the first photograph. No the day didn't start exactly how I imagined.
Luckily improvements were made. We all spent a very pleasant morning at a local farm, strawberry picking. With a little competition to see who could pick the biggest. This was followed by browsing at the farm shop, for bread, cheese, berry juice, tomatoes and fruit, for our picnic.
I do love a picnic. Off we trotted to the local park, arms full with basket, blanket, football, and Paddington.
It was a lovely day, I was in my element taking photographs to capture the scenes.
And it all ended with reading Tommy and Paddington a bedtime story, about erm, Paddington.
Oh, and can I just say, our pages were mentioned and featured on the nursery school’s Facebook account. Apparently the team loved our photographs.
*Beams with pride.

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Current status

Current status: very excited and slightly panicked.
Or is it the other way round?
Quite frankly, I change my mind daily.
Because I've dangled my foot out of my comfort zone, again. And soon I shall be taking a running jump. Or so it seems.
Why do I do this to myself?
Maybe it's due to the fact, for most of my life, I seem to have opted for the safe route. Worried about failure, fear of the unknown, these things have frequently held me back.
Well now I am definitely making up for lost time!
Some days my head is literally buzzing with ideas for the future. I seem to be living by my new moto - nothing ventured is nothing gained. And I aint getting any younger.
I don't want regrets. Life can be short, I aim to grab every opportunity I can. And I hope one day I can rock myself silly on my rocking chair (that is how I imagine myself as an elderly person, with white hair and a rocking chair), and laugh at all my adventures and plans.
This includes my Scarlet Moss Vintage open day.
I have decided to branch out in the world of vintage. Therefore, in two months time, I shall be opening my house to friends and family and turning my home and garden into a vintage heaven. Or so I hope.
I'm treasure hunting big time. Invites have been circulated and I'm running polls on Facebook and Instagram to see which items people are longing for.
On a good day I imagine the open day as a roaring success - the house is filled with laughter and Ella Fitzgerald, the garden is over spilling with guests praising my selection of cakes. Not to mention the vintage. Oh everyone is in awe of my collection; friends are literally fighting over purchases and everyone loves Scarlet Moss.
On a bad day - the house is empty. It's just my mum and I staring at each other, baffled as to why no one has bothered. Or the pitiful two potential customers, just look in horror at my offerings and make a hasty retreat to somewhere else.
Imagination, you take me to the best and worst places.
As if that wasn't enough, I have now volunteered to run a stall at Animal Aid. This is a local event, at the cricket green across the road, the day after we return from our yearly vacation. It's a particularly worthy cause. I also hope for more exposure for Scarlet Moss Vintage.
Please join me in the sunshine and optimistic dance.
Expect pictures. Maybe no sales. But definitely pictures, that I can promise you.
Wish me luck.

I shall leave you with personal favourites from my Etsy shop, past and present.

Friday, 8 June 2018

Why do our eyeballs never fall out?

Nothing ever stays the same, does it? In fact, it would be true to say - one thing that never changes in life is that things often change!
I was thinking about this the other morning, as I was preparing for my trip to the hairdressers.
Mark and I were discussing Tommy's school arrangements. Eek, school, how very grown up! One day I am changing his nappies and pushing him around the village, the next I am planning his school uniform. Well, it seems like that. Time has flown by. Obviously there were quite a few moments in between, such as returning to work almost in tears, his first words, his first steps, his adventures at nursery.
It's another chapter of our lives that we are embracing. My manager has agreed to my appearance one day in the office, and four days working from home. I am over the moon with this new arrangement. On these four days I can walk Tommy to school and collect him. I will also be there to cook his dinner and bath him, before daddy returns home from work and reads his bedtime story.
I am so looking forward to a new routine. Currently, I am in the office three days a week, and one day I work from my parent's house, and one day I work from our home and my father in law visits and plays with Tommy. Together we all muddle along. It's not ideal, on the three days I'm in the office, Mark and Tommy wait for me at the train station after my two hour journey, and we arrive home at approximately 7pm. Yes this is a little late, especially for Tommy. I forever feel guilty for only spending an hour or so with him before bedtime.
This is why it's so important for me to be there for him during his next stage. To walk him to the school gates, meet his new friends, and be at home to listen to the stories of his day. And for him to retire to bed at a decent hour! Presently, he will do anything to avoid bedtime and stay awake, sometimes due to the fact he's had a long sleep at my mums, and sometimes (I suspect) just to hang out with me and play with his toys.
Absolutley this new routine is necessary and very much needed.
Thus, on the morning of my hairdressers appointment, as I waved bye to Tommy, I was reminded of a time we had to distract him when I left the house, for fear of him bursting into tears. Oh how much easier life is now.
I popped to the new M&S cash machine, the village has an M&S now, how very exciting and convenient. Although I've already spent far too much time and money on M&S products. I walked along our road, admiring the flowers blooming in cottage gardens and around the duck pond, and remembered the days I would push Tommy in his pram when I was on maternity leave. Now I push him on his bike and he chats away asking me such questions as, why do our eyeballs never fall out, and how heavy is a witches house? He has a very inquisitive mind and wild imagination!
I arrived at the salon bang on time, looking forward to catching up with my hairdresser, and the beautician who shares the premises. Again, my memory cast me back, this time to my first appointment over five years ago, when I felt positively lost without Tommy plus slightly exhilarated to be out on my own.
I was shown my seat, offered a latte, and then my hairdresser dropped the bombshell. The salon was soon to be turned into flats! No more walking along the road for my streaks and trim. No more escaping for idol chat and new look.
"Nothing stays the same," said my hairdresser after explaining her new predicament and freelance venture.
"Aint that the truth," said I.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

You stole my heart

The Cotswolds stole my heart a long time ago. It's also tugged at my mum's heart strings, she's often visited with my dad and her best friend (my dear God mother) Auntie Wendy. As my dad is now 84 years young, he's not confident driving long distance; Waitrose and the bakers are his limits these days. So Mark and I decided to step in.
On Christmas Day 2017, I placed a rhyme in the Christmas crackers, announcing we had booked them a little trip for Spring 2018.

First stop was Burford.

I can't resist an antique shop, mindful of Scarlet Moss Vintage.

Here's my mum, window shopping.

Here's my dad outside one of the charity shops.

Love all the higgledy-piggledy buildings.

Thank you Auntie Wendy for treating us to lunch. It was delicious, especially the chocolate cake.

Check in time at our home for the night, charming pub at Burton-on-the-water.

Our rooms were situated in the court yard.

Next it was a look around Burton-on-the-water, a picturesque village with a river flowing. Tommy thought the ducks with their bottoms in the air were hilarious.

More quaint shops.

The evening was spent at the pub we stayed at, lovely cosy place.

After our meal it was back to our rooms. Tommy played with his toys, Mark and I opened the wine and put the telly on. Bliss.

The next day, after a hearty breakfast in the pub, we visited Stow-on-the-wold, with vintage fair and tearoom. See you soon the Cotswolds, I hope.