Monday 24 April 2017

A room without a roof

Happiness comes in many forms.

Meeting up with these beauties brings me real joy - look at them!

Vix did a post about Our Day Out here.

New frocks that cost a fiver...

unexpected tulips in my garden...

borrowing my neighbour's gorgeous ginger fella...

 and seeing Nina's art work (she painted the foxes) in her school mural:

these things are happiness on a plate.

Oh look - more Nina. 
With Uncle Gary.
Two of my favourite people.

Lemon drizzle cakes (made by me)...

huevos rancheros for brunch (not made by me)...

and a Fanny that plays records.

These are Good Things, clearly.

 So is a visit to Chatsworth House... 

 especially when there are hats to try on...

with my gorgeous niece. 

Always good to have a weekend away - how about Stratford upon Avon?

Beautiful sunshine, blue skies, and this man...

Yes, there are lots of reasons to clap along, if you know what happiness is to you.

Hope everyone is well, I'll be popping by soon. 


Tuesday 7 March 2017

We move like the sea

There's nothing like a blast of sea air to blow away the cobwebs.

And a visit to Tynemouth means great company too.

My sister Sabena and her partner Gary; two of my very favourite people.

Jumping for joy on the beautiful Longsands beach. 
Some more successfully than others...

There is a market every weekend at Tynemouth metro station too, which Sabena and I browsed around...

while Gary took the kids to the match at St James' Park.

I am woefully out of practice at blogging, and feeling sadly adrift from my lovely community of bloggers whose support and company I value. Real Life has its distractions at present, but I'll have a good go at catching up with you all - I miss you. 

1970s hand made maxi dress - Mooch vintage shop
Boots - community fair

And it's hard to find a good spot in my new garden to take a decent photo!


Sunday 18 December 2016

Pleasant wonder is no loss of time

I'm not generally very good with change.
I like what I know, I like routine, I like the safety.
 But sometimes, a big old shake up is just the thing. 

 Before I moved, Nina asked both Simon and I whether we would be sad or lonely on the days when she, Claudia and Owen were at the other parent's house. We both replied with an amused but emphatic no!

I can't vouch for Simon, but for me, those days have a strangely unreal quality to them. Time opens up in front of me, space to be filled in any manner of my choosing. Of course work commitments continue, and all the usual chores still require attention, but there have been times when I have a day off, no particular plans, and I wake up without an alarm and lie for a minute in the dark, excited by the prospect of suiting myself, from start to finish of the day. I can't quite find the words to articulate how it feels - it's liberating, but slightly overwhelming, so much choice almost makes me anxious until I remind myself I don't have to cram a million things in, I'll have days like this on a regular basis now. 

It's... a bit trippy. 

1970s dress and cardigan - charity shopped 

Something I did on one such day was go for a walk in our local park and visit Meersbrook Hall, an 18th Century Grade II listed house. Since the 1950s, the hall has been home to council offices, but the Parks and Countryside department has now relocated and this year, the keys to the building were handed over to the Friends of Meersbrook Hall and local charity Heeley Development Trust. They plan to refurbish the house and develop it as a thriving community resource, remaining in public ownership. 

It was the first time I have ever set foot inside the Hall.

Nina's year group at school had an art exhibition on display, inspired by the work of John Ruskin.

Nina's picture. 

Walking home in the dimming light of late afternoon, the low cloud looked like mountains in the distance.
But as much as I am relishing some solitude, I am making the most of my social opportunities too...

well, it would have been rude to ignore this talented young man, don't you think?

My shop's Christmas do was a night out at a burlesque show. 

My feathers weren't quite as impressive - love those fans!

1950s cocktail dress - gift from Wayne at Mooch
Feather fascinator, bracelet and 1950s crystal necklace - charity shopped

With Heather, Mel and Jo - the most glamorous charity shop team ever!

And while we're on the subject of leggy birds in feathers - look at this beauty, spotted on the River Sheaf the other day. Watching him take off was a joy. 

Ruskin had it right - pleasant wonder is no loss of time.

Linking - for the first time in ages - to Patti's Visible Monday.


Sunday 4 December 2016


Anyone there?
Look, it's me.

I've moved house, and have braved my first photo session in my new garden.
The neighbours will soon get used to the curious sight of me flouncing about and posing in ridiculous frocks...

1970s Betty Barclay dress - Mooch vintage shop
Vintage Bally boots and 1960s pendant - my shop 

So what can I tell you about life at the moment?

It's good.
The period leading up to the move was difficult. I am not usually much of a crier, and have been known to despise those who weep at the drop of a hat (their hat, anyone's hat). But good lord, I have cried more than I thought was humanly possible in the last 6 months or so. There were points when emotional distress manifested itself so physically, I was simply floored by it. 
When I cleared out the Cupboard of Doom, that repository of a lifetime's clutter and so many memories, I had to keep stopping to sob and try and catch my breath. The jacket, full price and extravagant at the time, to which I treated myself after a relationship break-up; the Chinese parasol I had up in my room all through my university years and beyond, yellowed with cigarette smoke and a little ragged around the edges; the rug made by my dad as therapy when he recovered from a bout of rheumatic fever in his youth; the dress I bought when I visited my dearest friend Deborah in America 20 years ago.
Three tiny sleepsuits, the first items worn by Claudia, Owen and Nina when they were born.  

The Sex Shoes. 
Oh don't ask...
Dismantling a life; it's really fucking hard.
I packed it all away, and moved.
And now I am in the process of remaking.

I know things are only things... But they hold associations and memories, and I like to have them around me, displayed and cherished. 

 Your comments on my last post also triggered many tears. You can't know how much your kindness, concern and encouragement meant to me, thank you very, very much. 
The support of my friends has been both overwhelming and essential during this time of great change.
 So I am settling into a new rhythm. And finding I like it. 

The house is lovely, I feel comfortable, and the kids like it too.

I'm hoping that I'll get myself back into a blogging routine again, now that the sturm und drang of the last few months have abated. I've missed it, missed all of you.

And thanks again for your patience and support. You're fab!