Thursday, 31 March 2011


Oops, I got sidetracked! I should be working... you know, finishing the orders and posting, but I have just lost nearly an hour messing about on this.

So much more fun than I thought it would be, but now I really am getting back to making some of these... (oh, look who's in the centre of it all. She gets in on everything, that one!).

Toodle Pip! x

Monday, 28 March 2011

Sailing Adventures.

The sun blazed on Saturday and we took the chance to take Mermaid, our lovely boat, out for the first time this year. We packed towels for the beach, food and drinks, and headed off up Penryn River from Ponsharden Quay.

Past tree lined shores and part hidden houses in search of a quiet beach for an hour or two's peace away from it all.

Elias and Dave steering us out into the harbour.

We rowed along choosing which particular cove we would stop at.

Eventually we stopped and moored up to a quay. Lucy and I headed straight for the sands while Isabella spent the entire time in the water, freezing though it was. Dave and Elias snorkled, but saw nothing more than a tiny fish or two. No river monsters today!

It was hot on the soft sands.

Mermaid's sail looks so pretty against the blue of the sea.

And here's another pretty girl. There was something so magical about pootling along until we found a beach. Just perfect.

The camera makes it look so hazy, but actually the haze was only far out to sea.

Finally we set off for home, most of the food eaten and a tide to catch.

The breeze was girlish and coy, so once more we abandoned sail and set to with the oars. Mermaid is quite a wide boat which means two can comfortably row with ease. we took it in turns as everyone loves rowing.

A few of the riverside houses for you to peruse: do you fancy a curved ended house overlooking the waters?

Or are one of these grandiose places more your style?

This thatched house had its own little harbour.

We drifted along with the water sparkling and a gentle breeze rustling the sail.

This beautiful boat was heading off to Mylor for the Oyster Celebration...yum.

There is something so pretty about the way red sails catch the light.

Isabella became transfixed by the water and almost fell asleep leaning over the side to gaze.

Such a perfect day.

How was yours? x

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Sleepy Time.

A short post today as yet again I have Isabella poorly with an ear infection. This seems to be something which a few of our children our prone to, my own hearing a little dull (to say the least) as a result apparently of childhood problems which have left them badly scarred. Funny what you find out about yourself when you are years older as I have little memory of having any problems other than a summer of throat infections.

So, another trip to the doctor, another day of working around a tired but otherwise ok soul - and that's just me! Oh those four hour stints of shrieking child in the dead of night when all your body cries out for is sleep and the ability to pour the next dose of medicine down the throat of said child in the hope, generally fairly vain, of easing her pain.

Take note: these night-time stints get harder to cope with the older you get. There you go - Pip's Tip for all those considering when to have children and I speak from the vast experience of having tried the ages 19, 23, 25, 34 and 42 to enable me to give a considered approach to the subject. Actually, I can honestly say each age has it's advantages and disadvantages, but today I am in sleepy mode, envious of the cat who is snuggled up on our quilt just to rub my nose in it...hah, perhaps I'll shove him outdoors just to make me feel better.

Still, the sun is shining, the first tulips are out and beautiful in their scarlet skirts, and things are fine really, better than fine now my little Isabella is over the worst. I might just curl up with her...just for a moment...snooze...

Have fun x

Monday, 21 March 2011

The Weekend.

Such a beautiful weekend with warm sun which turned to icy chill later on, a chill which suggested the campfire would be lit by Davey.

We had spent most of the weekend gardening and the smell of the fire was perfect as twilight spread its dusky glow over the garden. A new bed is now in place where previously a far too thin ribbon of ground has annoyed me everytime I saw it. We dug out masses of earth from the chicken run and spread it over this new patch and the woodland bed in the hope that this rich soil would help the rest of the impoverished garden.

The Merryweather damson is breaking into flower now and is the main feature of the woodland bed. This is a difficult patch as it is fairly shady and very dry thanks to the sandy Cornish soil which is lovely to dig as it is so light, but doesn't hold onto moisture. Hopefully the rich chicken poo soil will help!

Sunday was less sunny and by the afternoon was actually quite cold. We moved back into the kitchen where Dave and I sliced up Seville orange peel and finally got around to making our marmalade; aren't we lucky to have freezers to enable us to make things when we have time, not when seasons dictate? Having said that, I do prefer the feeling of following the seasons and at least it is not too late in the year as to make me feel I should be making chutney!

Isabella also 'helped' with the washing up...hmmm. Not sure that child ever wears anything other than pyjamas.

So, a productive weekend with all my favourite things: gardening, cooking

and a little bit of laughing to finish it all off.

Back to work now, but I can think of this to keep me warm in my chilly sewing room.

How was your weekend? x

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Tea, a Little Nag and Decisions Made.

Now the spring is showing herself so prettily I feel the need to slough off my winter coat, both literally and metaphorically. I no longer want to be bundled into endless heavy layers, prefering the feel of lighter, softer clothes when warmer days allow. Yesterday was hot in our little patch of Cornwall - and I do mean hot. I ventured out to find snippings of the new nettle leaves from the ever present patches in our garden and discovered the soft lilac-blue petals of pulmonaria.

Of course, me being me I also can see the beauty in the equally soft, fuzzy leaves of the nettles and focused my lens on those for good measure. Nettle tea is one of life's great pleasures to me (see how easily I am pleased!) and the anticipation of the first cup is a good one. It is an earthy, soupy beverage which is sustaining in a way herb teas don't seem to be and I can feel the benefits as I sip. It is cleansing and full of minerals, so very nourishing - what more could you ask?

Salads are also calling which led to a chat over the dinner table about sowing some seeds. Isabella, who loves gardening, was most excited whilst Lucy requested rocket and spinach would be added to the lettuces. The thought of homegrown spicy, peppery rocket back on the menu makes my mouth water, though we have to beat the children to it as they tend to graze on pretty much anything edible when outside. Chives, rocket, marjoram... it all disappears until the blackcurrants, redcurrants and tayberries take over for a while. It's not all healthy here though as the latest batch of banana and chocolate muffins prove.

Perfect for when we arrive home from the school run and a great way of using up over-ripe bananas. We buy these in for next to nothing, slice them into chunks and freeze them. This means they are perfect for adding straight from the freezer for cakes or ice cream, and we nearly always have a supply to hand for little cost.

And of course, we can also pinch Lucy's cupcake holder which I showed in my last post. This pretty and intricate papercut was a birthday gift from Diana who will be opening her own little online store sometime very soon.

Here you will be able to purchase a little bit of perfection in the shape of a notebook, maybe a gocco print or even if you are very lucky one of these gorgeous things, the whole range designed and crafted by Diana's talented hands - all it needs is for Diana to be nagged enough and it will happen! Oops, think I may have just lost a friend!!

On the topic of friends, I would like to thank all you lovely people who left such sweet comments or emailed about my last post - I have taken them all to heart and fully intend to continue being a little kinder to myself by not trying to stretch myself endlessly when really I want/need to concentrate my energies on things close to hand, accepting I have limited reserves as we all do. The focus from here is now firmly on giving more time to the children, Mr Davey and myself, and if anything is left to give at the end of that it will go on our little home and garden - in other words, our family. Oh, and of course my other love: my business. Hurrah! Gosh, I actually feel quite excited!

It is also quite exciting to note that the newts are back, though the picture is from last year as I was so cold from perching at the edge of the wildlife pond waiting for one to appear 'ready for his close up' that I gave up! But they are there and thus so is spring...enjoy x

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Never Enough...Probably!

Golly it has been a while since I have visited my little blog and I have missed it. As ever, it has been busy with a poorly Isabella yet again coming under the onslaught of a nasty bug. Yesterday I read Nina's post and recognised my own voice in her writing, my relief at the reprieve from illness in the house being short lived as yet more arrived to take the last lot's place.

It has made me think a lot about how frustrating life is sometimes. I am busy - very - with work and that is good; we try where we can to make the family side of life good too and I think we do pretty well with lots of games being played, meals shared and so on, all the normal things that go with being part of a family, but things which actually require much time spent to achieve nonetheless.

Add into the mix the fact that our children are people (though at times I wonder!) and therefore require nurturing and caring for, the need to give to each of them that most precious of commodities - time - so that they can talk about their feelings, worries, hopes.

And then there is being one half of a couple and all that goes with it: the sharing of laughs and cuddles and company; the listening when the other needs to talk; the being able to talk knowing the other will listen, truly listen. The loveliest of situations and again one that needs time to keep it working, to nurture it so that it remains the special relationship it has always been.

These things are surely what it is all about, this manic ride we call life? How easy it all is when the planets align in the right way, when health is good and work is managed within the natural time constraints of a large family (or indeed a small one if that is your lot). How hard it is when one element falls out of kilter and your nights are full of a child who had just recovered from a week-long illness and now is battling a painful ear infection that turns her into a screaming wreck, poor soul.

Still the orders are there, still the others need you, though thankfully they are all so brilliant with their little sister and just want to help her get better. Still I am aching and exhausted from the remnants of the flu-like bug of recent weeks which made me feel more ill than I can remember - I even took to my bed at some point for heaven's sake!

Now we are on the other side of it with Isabella ready to return to school tomorrow I am, as I said, left feeling how frustrating life can be. Despite all you do it seems it is never enough and there is always some area which you cannot do properly, someone who feels you are letting them down, though thankfully never the kids and that's what is really important. They come first don't they?  I am notoriously hard on myself and forever feel I could do more, but just now I feel I have done enough and that in itself feels good.

I see the pile of orders finished and ready to post and I can smile; I see the messy, falling-down-around-our-ears house with its tiny rooms and know it will be done one day when time and money allow, and I love it for all its faults because it is ours and full of love; I can think of our children and be proud knowing they all feel how much we love them and appreciate that we try, no matter what life throws up, to be there for them.

And as for the rest? Well, I am only human after all! A little uninterupted sleep has brought me back to myself and I am once more excited by life: spring is coming, the garden awaits and I am desperate to get out there, there are new games to play and a pretty boat to sail with fishing trips and camping ahead (groans quietly at that one). Commissions have popped up and I am so enjoying the designing of them.

And on that lengthy ramble which I am not sure actually had any point I shall leave you. Perhaps the point is this: don't be hard on yourself because you are probably doing the best you can and it is more than good enough!  (Plus there is always someone out there who will be hard on you whatever you do!).

P.S. Just so that you know how hard we make the children work:

Lucy making caramel cupcakes.
Tom cutting down six foot of holly.
Elias sanding down the boat.

P.P.S. Please note the pretty cupcake holder made by the lovely Diana for Lucy's birthday - more on this next post!