Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Pin up

A while ago, whilst visiting the Ginge's parents, we stumbled upon a little brown paper bag packed to bursting with the badges and patches he earned whilst a scout. Being a sucker for nostalgia, I set out to find a way of using them in the house. Their sheer brightness and variety of colour reminded me, for some reason, of  butterflies displayed in cases. I have therefore been looking to buy a entomology display case for several months, with nothing more to show for myself than a few sharp intakes of breath and some silent gawping stares at the price of the things.  Apparently, taxidermy is an expensive hobby. The grand plan was to put every single badge in one big white case and maybe that will still happen one day, but for now we will have to settle with the smaller version. I found this 'memories case' in John Lewis of all places and apart from it's size, it is exactly what I was looking for. I therefore spent a very happy Sunday afternoon pinning in some of the Ginge's most poignant badges; the first ever Gang Show he took part in, a badge from Andorra where he would one day work as a ski instructor, the Natural History Museum (no explanation needed for geeks like us), a mountain (his most favourite place to be), the scout crest, the Sandringham gates which are just down the road from where he grew up, his 'Sixer' patch and one commemorating the 75th anniversary of the cubs. It's a lovely mix of childhood memories and the things that make him who he is. It's no great work of art and would mean very little to most people, but I am very pleased with it and I smile every time I walk past it. The Ginge loves it too, which is just as well. 

P.S. Thank you so much for all the lovely well-wishes. I am feeling much better this week; all the more so for your wonderful kindness. 

Thursday, 26 January 2012

A Bit of a Rest

Sorry that it has been all quiet on the western front for the past couple of weeks. I don't mind telling you that it has been a bit of a crazy time. The Ginge and I had planned lots of lovely things to do with our time off, following my exams and I was looking forward to telling you all about it. Unfortunately, our plans were slightly hampered when I managed to get myself taken to A&E having collapsed in the cinema. Nothing to worry about,  I am mostly annoyed that it happened during the brilliant 'The Artist' and relieved that it happened after I had finished my delicious peanut-butter ice cream and not before. It was weird being on the other side of healthcare though. I haven't been to hospital as a patient since I broke my arm, falling out of a bouncy-castle window at the age of nine. Being inside an ambulance, having blood taken and being a patient in a department in which I work all felt very unfamiliar to me, even though I know it all like the back of my hand. What was most incredible was how calm the Ginge managed to stay the whole night and how calm that kept me. It took me a good few days for the experience to sink-in fully and that is entirely because he made me feel so safe. How lucky his patients are to have him as their doctor and how lucky I am to have him as my boy. What happened, though unplanned, perhaps came just at the right time. It forced both of us to stop, rest and enjoy the simple joy of each other's company. My family came up too as they were of course concerned about me, but it turned out to be just the break they needed as well. I treated myself to a new haircut (I got my first proper fringe) and we even got on with some long-anticipated projects like sanding and re-painting an old cupboard for our bedroom. Mostly though, we just rested and re-prioritised, two things that were long overdue. No, I don't want it to happen again, but yes I am very grateful that it did. 

Friday, 13 January 2012

And the winner is . . .

It's time for celebrations all round at A Bushel & a Peck. I finished my exams today and, after yesterday's monster, felt that today went very well (phew)! I have also just drawn the winner of my giveaway, using the time-honoured method of pulling a name out of a hat. The winner is...da da da daaaa...Kellie from Dear Olive, a lovely blog I have now discovered with the most beautiful photographs! Thank you so much to all of you who entered and left such delightful comments - there were fifteen of you in total, all just as lovely as each other. As I said before, it has meant so much to me that you have shown an interest and been so darn gorgeous about it all, as per usual. I am very lucky indeed. I am wondering about selling sets of cards on Etsy, so if anybody is interested, do let me know. If Kellie could email me (naomicmeardon@gmail.com) with postage details, that would be ace! I'm off to celebrate my new found freedom, so I wish you all a wonderful weekend! Thank you again and lots of love to all. 

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Tea Break

Just a quick break from my revision to thank everybody who has entered my giveaway so far and to remind those of you who haven't to do so before 12.00 midday tomorrow. It is extremely cheering that you have all liked the pictures as I wasn't at all sure what to expect when I first posted them. So far, favourites include 'The Bench' (it is in my garden, in the summer house my Dad built from scratch and the blanket was crocheted by my great grandmother), 'The Car' (a Morris Minor parked at the last point reachable by car, before a short walk to a perfect field for a picnic, overlooking Tellisford Weir in Wiltshire) and 'Icecream' (this is my personal favourite and was taken down a back alley on my favourite road in Sharrow, Sheffield). Enter the giveaway here. I had my first exam this morning. It was hard. Fingers crossed tomorrow is better. Nothing like a homemade chocolate chip cookie and a browse through beautiful blogs to make everything seem better. 

Sunday, 8 January 2012

One Whole Year

This time last year, I started A Bushel & A Peck. I had been reading inspirational blogs like Wellies & Vogue and Junkaholique for some time and had toyed with the idea of making a go of it for myself, but had never quite plucked up the confidence to do so. In the end, it wasn't confidence. To be honest, it still isn't. In the end, it was fear that pushed me to blog. The fear of losing my creative, thoughtful side, of neglecting time spent doing things for myself. All the busy, stressful stuff was pushing that part of me into a dark corner, out of sight. So, I did it. I called myself 'A Bushel and A Peck' as a nod to the simpler side of life, which I have never experienced to greater extent than on a family holiday in New England, where they still use old fashioned measurements and it is still possible to buy a bushel and a peck of rosy red apples. I have been writing and photographing ever since and it has been wonderful. When I started this blog, it was primarily for me and partly a way to appease my poor friends who had heard hide nor hair of me for weeks. What I never expected was that people other than my nearest and dearest would find me, follow me or to be so plain lovely. I have been inspired, cheered-up, tickled-pink and teary-eyed because of so many people this year and I just want to say thank you. So, in true blog style, I will be doing a giveaway this week. 

I'll be perfectly frank with you, I am very nervous about this. I had some postcards printed of some of the photographs I have featured on A Bushel & A Peck, this year. I had a trial-run over Christmas by giving a set to some friends. They seemed to like them, though they probably have to. Anyway, I really want to do something to say thank you to my amazing followers, so I am giving away a double set (20 postcards). Here is how to enter:

1. You do not need to be an official follower - many people who read my blog are not and I want everybody to have a chance. 

2. To enter, simply comment on this post by saying which of the postcards images is your favourite. Only one entry per person. If you are unable to comment on blogger, email me on naomicmeardon@gmail.com.  

3. The giveaway will close at 12 midday on Friday 13th (unlucky for some, but maybe lucky for you). 

4. I will draw the winner as soon as I get home from my exam and will announce the result on my blog. 

5. The postcards will be sent over the weekend so that you recieve them early next week. They might still be in time for Christmas thank you letters. 

Good luck and thank you again for your wonderful support! 
I am so excited! 

Saturday, 7 January 2012

A Lovely Surprise

As you may know, I am currently in the midst of super-revision mode for my medical final exams next week. I am therefore pretty much up to my eyeballs in work, with little time for snippets of distraction in between. It's not terrible, but it's not fun either, so imagine my sheer delight when I found out that Caroline from Wandering Starrs has given me, well 'a bushel and a peck' an award! Thank you so much to Caroline, I truly feel so honoured that anybody reads my blog at all, nevermind that somebody thought it worth telling other people about in such a kind way! Do you know what's even better? I now get to pass the award on to other people.

The award should be given to a blog you enjoy and follow that has less than 100 followers.

1. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
2. Thank the giver and link back to them.
3. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know 
by leaving a comment on their blog.

So, without further ado, the blogs which I think deserve this award are: 

3. http://athomewithred.blogspot.com/ (Beautiful photography)
4. http://justkatieblog.blogspot.com/ (Just plain lovely)

Thank you again and whoopee! 

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

A Very Treacle & Ginge Christmas

Seeing as it is very nearly twelfth night and all of our decorations will soon be packed up and put away for next year, I think it's about time that I finish off the last of my Christmas posts. As you know, the Ginge had to work over the Christmas period, so we had our own little celebration on the 29th. We got all dressed up and laid the table all special-like. His lovely mum sent him home with some of their leftover turkey and cranberry sauce, which with a few of my family's special hedgehog potatoes (so named by me and my sister when we were little, now an absolute requirement for any Christmas meal) and some veg made a very tasty supper indeed! The Ginge gave me some beautiful sheepskin mittens and a replacement bottle of the perfume he first bought me two years ago. I gave him The Ginger Pig meat book, very fitting for a ginger pig who loves meat, and a beautiful Stanley thermos flask, complete with a plan for a day of walking in the Peaks. We also opened presents from each other's parents: a super-smart shirt and tie for the Ginge and   Lucy Worsley's book about the history of the home signed especially for me (I literally shouted WOW! AMAZING! for five minutes when I opened it). The whole evening left us feeling very smug; with our gifts both given and received, our scrumptious dinner and, above all, with each other. Added to the wonderful time I spent at home with my family and our brilliant New Year with friends, I can honestly say that this Christmas was the best ever. What a lucky Treacle! 

Monday, 2 January 2012


I know it's not really Christmas anymore, but I thought I'd share with you some of the highlights of the festive season. Laughing and crying at the beautiful wedding of Jay & Kimberley, Christmas peppermint and chocolate cupcake at Fancie, crisp strolls around my hometown: Bradford on Avon, singing folk carols in the pub with my Dad, Bath all dressed up for the season, the best sandwich in the world at Jika Jika, reminiscing over the memories invoked by our family tree decorations, dancing in the street with the Ginge to the music of Jazz-band elves, feeling ten years old again by making croissants from a can (finally they have brought these back to the UK), the perfect Christmas lunch (following a famous family incident, we have guinea fowl instead of turkey with 'hedgehog' potatoes, lots of veg and a big dollop of homemade bread sauce), Boxing Day Christmas with my second family, dressing up in my Christmas presents and feeling so pleased with myself that I actually managed (with difficulty) to have a nice photo taken. The Ginge and I had a separate Christmas, which I will post about separately (that will be the last, I promise). 

Happy New Year

What a year, eh? Is anyone else secretly glad it's over? For me, the past twelve months have mostly been defined by seemingly relentless work and the feeling of being pulled in several different, equally important directions at once. Don't get me wrong, I achieved a lot of stuff this year, perhaps more than in any other year of my life, but at times I really struggled to find time for the fun stuff, for me and for the important people in my life. Not good. I've never really got into making new year's resolutions, but maybe that's because I have never really wanted to make a change. 

Last night, the Ginge and I sat down and talked about all the stuff we loved about last year (moving-in together, skiing and playing beach cricket featured heavily) and the things we hated (mostly, being too busy). We came up with a list of our own resolutions, suggested some for each other and made a pact to help each other keep them. So, you guys are witness to this - I resolve to:

1.  Spend more time with my family
2.  Be braver and do myself justice  
3.  Go to the Lake District for my birthday
4.  Work hard to be ready to start work confidently in August
5.  Spend more time with/keeping in touch with true friends
6.  Finish more projects in the house e.g. paint my drawers
7.  Spend more time walking in the peaks 
8.  Go to the States in the summer 
9.  Join a ballet class
10. Do the washing up more often
11. Cycle to work more
12. Be 'me' and be proud of what I do(the Ginge's suggestion)

What did you do for New Year? What are your resolutions? We had a lovely evening with great friends, eating delicious food, playing games and counting down to midnight with Jools Holland. Just a couple of pictures for you: 2012 Shepherds Pie and Lexicon decorations, inspired by Cat. Happy New Year everybody.