Well Overdue Project

My best friend and I brought some material about five years ago (?) at a Patchwork and Quilting show in Birmingham and promptly forgot about it. Occasionally I’d come across it in my wardrobe smile and think ‘we should do something with this’, put it away again only to find it next time I had a clear out.

This summer Izzy decided she wanted to try her hand at making a cushion. So out came the material which had sat patiently for five years and a week or so later we had our cushions. 😀 Probably my third cushion but my first without Mums help so although it might not be a work of art I’m rather proud of it. I  just need somewhere to put it now.

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Anyone out there who’s brought something to do but has ended up shoving it to the back of a drawer then this year get it out and complete the project – you’ll feel better for doing something just for you.

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Suffolk Pink

Just an interesting fact for you all. You might be aware that stereotypically Suffolk houses are painted pink, well if you weren’t you are now 😀 Traditionally this pink colour was achieved by mixing chalk with pigs blood. A bit disgusting I know, but thankfully nowadays they are probably painted with Dulux (other brands are available 🙂 ). Still, it’s nice the stories and traditions still live on.

Orford bakery, taken in Suffolk 2012

Orford bakery, Suffolk 2012

Holiday Sounds

I may be a bit late (a couple of weeks in fact) with this one but it was written in time – I just forgot/didn’t have time to type it up and post it 😀 Click here for full challenge.

As I’m writing this I am on my summer holiday in Suffolk, east coast of England. Our cottage is situated right next to the quay in Orford and the sounds that reach us as we sit outside are exquisite. The footpath passes directly outside the cottage and it receives many admiring glances and remarks. Sometimes this makes me feel quite smug; other times it’s annoying, I don’t like feeling as though I’m in a fish tank.

Sitting outside facing the boats the most wonderful sounds are blown across the quay.

The happy laughter of children crabbing makes you smile and feel nostalgic for a time when there was nothing better than throwing a length of string in a river and waiting for the tell-tale tugging of a crab taking the bait.

Crabbing on the Quay

The clicking of sails on boats as the wind whips around tells you you’re by the coast, it wouldn’t be a holiday without the smell of salt on the air or sails slapping against the mainsail.

Nearer to my seat buzzing bees are making the most of the last of the lavender, their gentle melodies backed by seagulls calling out across the mud.

Dogs barking, waves lapping the shore, flags waving and cameras clicking all add to natures’ orchestra.

I don’t know whether it’s just me only seeing the positives as it’s my holiday and nothing should put a downer on it but everyone seems cheerful, enjoying the British weather. For those who don’t know, this means that even in the wind under a cloud carpeted sky British holiday makers are in shorts and t-shirts whereas those from warmer foreign countries wear coats and hats and look at us like we’re mad. 😀

All seaside towns are the same when you’re a tourist. You’re surrounded by fellow tourists all enjoying the cool sun, licking ice-creams even in the rain, walking awkwardly on pebbly beaches, several ‘awww’s’ are uttered as little girl toddles along the beach in a fairy princess dress with her miniature fishing net waving in front of her.

The stresses of real life float away on the sea breeze as you examine your stone collection and hum along with the gentle caress of holiday sounds.

Apparently I used to constantly collect stones as a small child – obviously some things never change 😀

Katie Fford: the perfect summer read

There’s nothing better than sitting in the garden, under the sun, with a good book. After a hectic week at work, or school, or perhaps both, a good read is necessary. However, more often than not the brain shuts down at the weekend, causing the complex meanings and motives behind a mystery drama or action thriller to simply pass you by, leaving the reader more confused and tired than ever.

Therefore, an alternative must be found. For me, every year I read a few of Katie Fford’s romance novels, books which have been described as “top-drawer romantic escapism” by You Magazine and “a funny, fresh and lively read” by Heat. Katie Fford has the ability to create, arguably ordinary, characters and still form a sense of intrigue so that the reader becomes hooked. So much so that one book can be finished in a day or two, or a few evenings if you’re busy. Using normal, recognisable characters increases the appeal as it is very easy to become convinced something similar could also change your life for the better. Perhaps a mysterious stranger, or an old flame.

Despite being able to pick out the ‘hero’ of the hour in most of the blurbs, as can be achieved with many gentle romances, Katie Fford writes to hold the reader in suspense as to when the heroine is going to come to her senses until the very end.

Brief Biography: “Katie Fford lives Gloucestershire with her husband and some of her three children. Recently her old hobbies of ironing and housework have given way to singing, Flamenco dancing and husky racing. She claims this keeps her fit.”

A quick over view of some of my favourites:

  1. Thyme Out: Perdita runs into her ex-husband in the most unlikely of places; a kitchen. When they were married neither of them could boil an egg (which was part of their problem), so how come Lucas is being groomed as the next celebrity chef? Life become even more complex when Kitty, her 87-year-old friend, has a stroke. Is Lucas really the villain, or is he the pillar Perdita needs to lean on?
  2. Wedding Season: Sarah is a very successful wedding planner, who doesn’t believe in love. Unfortunately, she finds herself organising two weddings, for the same day, in only two months time. Luckily, she has a small team of tried and trusted friends willing to help take the strain. Elsa, a shy dress designer, and Bron, a multi-talented hairdresser. All three women are rushed off their feet and don’t have much time to contemplate their own love lives. Or do they?
  3. Artistic Licence: Thea, tired of looking after a houseful of students, runs off to Ireland with Rory, a charming but feckless artist. The arrival of Molly, her bossy but well-meaning friend; Thea’s most annoying lodger, Petal; and her uncle Ben, a man who Thea swears she will never like brings reality into the beautiful, content land of Ireland.

Well worth a space in your suitcase.