Tuesday, 31 December 2013


On the blog-front, 2013 hasn't been particularly successful. I have only managed to post a grand total of five times, which somewhat belies the year we have actually had. Whilst not all of these events made it onto these pages, 2013 will always be the year when:

  • We cycled through poppy-dotted cornfields in the Loire Valley
  • Wonderful friends visited from across the ocean
  • I learned to swim with my head under water
  • The boy turned 30 dressed in Lederhosen
  • I learned how to make a hand-tied bouquet and to ice a wedding cake
  • We had a snowy long-weekend in Paris
  • My Dad made me a rocking chair
  • I survived the hardest job I've ever done
  • We watched precious friends get married
  • I fell in love with the North Norfolk Coast
  • The boy got the job of his dreams
  • I helped deliver lots of lovely babies
  • My hometown flooded on Christmas Eve
  • Best of all, I got engaged to my boy by the banks of a dusky reservoir.  

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

It hardly seems a moment since last Christmas, but here we are. We have just come in from watching the International Space Station (Father Christmas) sweeping across the sky and are cosied-up in front of the fire, watching Carols from King's. All the presents are wrapped and under the tree and the goose has survived the unfortunately-timed fridge breakdown. There is a lot of flooding around our little town, so we might not make it to midnight mass, but we're going to try. My boy is with us for Christmas for the first time ever, which is just a little bit brilliant. 

There is a grey/parisian theme to my Christmas cards this year. This little guy posed for me beautifully on the edge of a frozen fountain in the Jardin des Tuileries and now he is wishing you the very merriest of Christmases and I am too!  

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Flip-flops and Sari Silk

It's a long time since I've blogged. Six months, to be precise. There are many reasons for this, but I won't go into them just now. Instead, I am going to share with you my joyous record of the wedding of two of our best friends. They tied the knot with a very tiny ceremony in Leeds Town Hall, but their handcrafted big day took place in a barn in Derbyshire, a few days later. The boy was a groomsman and I was a bridesmaid. I also had the task of co-making their wedding cake. They created the most beautiful fusion wedding, taking inspiration and traditions from both western and Hindu wedding ceremonies. The day was full of so much love that I thought I might burst. I still grin every time I think about it. As, I am told, do they. 

Sunday, 3 March 2013

January in Paris

I have been caught up in a love affair with Paris ever since I  first sat, awestruck in the sun-basked Jardin des Tuileries at the age of six. Since then, I have spent many a happy few days deepening my love for the city; including a gorgeous summer trip with my lovely sister in August. I am  therefore a very lucky girl as I managed to slip away with the Ginge for another four days, this time in January. As with all of our holidays, the main plan was to wander and absorb, to fill-up on delicious food, wine & coffee and to wallow in each others company. I have to say that we did this exceptionally well, even for us! Every morning we found a new little cafe serving strong espresso, crunchy french bread and fruity conserves to prepare us for days in the bitter cold and snow. Days were spent introducing the Ginge to my favourite parts of the city. Le Marais with its winding streets, quirky design shops and the majestic Place des Vosgues. Les Halles with its cobbled streets, tiny cafes and incredible food shops. We strolled along the Seine, with Juliette Greco playing in my head all the while. We revelled in the splendour of the Musee d'Orsay and I melted, as I do everytime into the beauty of Les Nympheas at L'Orangerie. We struck gold with dinners in simple, but stunning little restaurants and we got to ride on trains there and back. All in all, it was my kind of trip. Now I just have to persuade myself that it would be unreasonable to go back for a third time in twelve months. 

Monday, 28 January 2013

Birding on a Sunday Afternoon

Having spent all of last week trudging about under low, grey light, it was a delight to wake to clear blue skies, bright sunshine and most of the settled snow melted away. We kept our fingers crossed that it would last all day. And it did. We spent our afternoon at RSPB Old Moor nature reserve. The whole place was bathed in beautiful, golden light as the wind shook swathes of grass alongside the still partially frozen water. Bramblings, chaffinches and tree sparrows chattered in the hedgerows whilst teals, tufted ducks and widgeons paddled through the wetlands. Magic! 

Monday, 24 December 2012

Wishing you a...

Here is just one of the designs for my 2012 Christmas cards; a series of four entitled 'Green Christmas'. I am really thrilled with all of them, but I think this is my favourite. 

I just have one more day of work before I can go home to Wiltshire - hooray! It feels weird to be at work on Christmas Eve, but I intend to cheer myself (and hopefully everyone else) up by wearing a Christmas pudding jumper. 

Merry Christmas to all of you!
I hope you have a wonderful time full of joy and family! 

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

The Weary World Rejoices

There is one word that seems to keep cropping up when I snatch moments to write my blog these days and that is, simplicity. It helps me to rest after even the most complicated days at work and it seems to make room for everything else. It is homemade food and singing old carols. It is the smell of our Christmas tree and the hum of my sewing machine. It is the bite of frost on my cheek and seeing my breath in the air. It is countryside walks and cosy pubs. It is my family, my friends and the time I get to spend with them. In short, it is everything I love about Christmas. Last Saturday, as we pulled-up outside our house, this song started playing on the radio. The Ginge silenced the engine, I rested my head on his shoulder and we sat in the darkness, listening. It is a song we have sung together for many years with our choir and it has a very special place in my heart. Once it was over, we went into the warm and decorated our tree. Christmas began in our little house; simply and beautifully.