Showing posts from May, 2012

Growing and Going

All those months trying to sell our previous house seem like a different age now. Home, in the end, is where the heart is, but as physical places go, this feels like somewhere to settle. We make bread and bake cakes, there’s homemade marmalade in the kitchen cupboards and we’re gradually sorting out the garden.

A year ago we discovered that seedlings don’t like to go in the ground too early here – the poor runner beans suffered especially in the cold, but now we’ve begun planting out in earnest. I was very excited this week (not sure what my younger self would say about that) to find trays of poor, thirsty, neglected bedding plants at B&Q for 10-50p per tray. We went a bit mad and spent three pounds on what should have been thirty-three pounds worth of plants; not all of them plants I’d normally choose, but we’ve rescued them and they’ll make a lovely splash of colour.

In other news. Tom and I are off to the Millennium Centre this Saturday for a big ol’ chunk of opera. Yes, it’s…


Hurray! With a lot of help from the bride-to-be, I’ve managed to find the makings of an outfit for my daughter’s wedding. 

 Basically the secret seems to be to try everything on, something I’m not very keen to do by myself but which was much more fun with Lily to help. 
 Along the way we rejected The Intestine Dress (a dusky pink shade which I love but which drains me of all colour, in a tube design which was probably meant for someone seven foot tall) several Frumps R Us numbers (just because you are the mother of the bride doesn’t mean that you’re ready to look as, only Milla could put it, like a sofa cover) and a couple of Trying Too Hard dresses (just because you can, doesn’t mean you should). In the end I bought a shift dress and jacket in a sea-green colour (which, by amazing coincidence, MiL tells me is just the colour she’s been looking at) that seems to hit the right note between mumsy at one end and mutton-dressed-as-lamb at the other. Now all I’ve got to do is find all the…

Staying In, Looking Forwards

So much for, ‘Oh, I’m never ill!’ I studied enough Greek Lit at school to know all about hubris, the sin of pride, but lately all that boasting to myself about my robust health has come back to bite me. The latest attempt to evict the bug squatting inside my sinuses has seen me leaving the GP with seven varieties of medication and less five phials of blood.
‘This may leave a slight bruise,’ says the kindly nurse, removing the syringe.   ‘Oh no, I never bruise,’ I assure her, opening my big mouth again. Sure enough, I wake up the next morning with an arm like an old banana; all black, purple and yellow. 
Tom and I go for a walk to the beach to blow the cobwebs away. On the way home, we attract lots of evil-looking flies, but it’s all right, because, as Dad and I always used to say to each other, confident that our rhesus negative blood repelled all blood-sucking insects, I never get bitten. Naturally, by the time I get in, my right thigh is sprouting a mini Mauna Loa with a gigantic c…

Through the Woods to the Sea

Bugs and bad weather have resulted in a certain amount of cabin fever here at Hotel H, but the lovely month of May has arrived so it's time to get out and about.  

We live in a secluded wooded valley that slopes down to the sea and late this afternoon when the rain had eased, we followed the path through the woods ...

A purple haze of violets...

... and bluebells

A waterfall cascading into the stream

One bridge I'm not crossing!

The path changes from mud to sand and suddenly there's the sea.

A strange creature on the beach.

Then it's time to watch the waves before heading home.