Tuesday, March 13, 2018


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Sunday, March 11, 2018

Dear Baby

Dear Baby,

As I write, you're still safely tucked inside. We're hoping you'll stay put whilst I wait for Tom to get back tonight from visiting his dad who's been unwell.

I've started my maternity leave, and this week I've not really known what to do with myself. I'm sure when you're here, I'll be so busy and tired that this will seem like bliss. I've filled the days with baking for the freezer, cleaning, shopping and going for the full MOT of hairdresser, chiropractor, dentist, midwife, and pedicure. There's been some lunch and coffee dates too.

You're starting to make your way down, and that's led to some back ache. Given you've given me very little in the way of trouble throughout my pregnancy I'll take this in the last two weeks. Your movements have changed and are now great waves and ripples rather than kicks where you have less space.

We're mainly feeling quite calm and contented about your approach, which surprises us. We thought we'd be panicking! The crib and the car seat and the baby bits are ready. My mum, your granny bought a few things more when she and most of my immediate family visited this weekend. Cotton wool and bath thermometers and the like, all in the basket my granny, your great granny had put together for her when I was born.

Everyone is very excited about your arrival. You've pretty much been the topic of conversation all weekend. Wondering about what we will name you, when you'll arrive, who you'll look like. My brother-in-law, your Uncle Andy, had the sudden realisation he'd be Uncle Andy. :o) All your church grannies were asking about you today, and I was given daffodils as it was Mothering Sunday. A friend joked mine were in bud as I'm very nearly a mum. It was strange to sit there whilst the intercessory prayers were for expectant mothers.

Whilst we're not wishing the days away, I am looking forward to meeting you. I want you to know you're much hoped for, much prayed for and much wanted. It will be strange to go from a family of two to a family of three, but I'm looking forward to watching you grow up and learn about the world, and have adventures with us. I hope you grow up to be as kind, loving and helpful as your grannies and grandads, aunties and uncles.

All my love, your very nearly mum.


Monday, February 26, 2018

A finished kitchen?

Realised I'd never posted any pictures of our finished kitchen.

Here you go, minus a little prop under the corner of the massive wine rack.

Definitely worth it in the end. I like to sit and work in here, and it's great having space for friends to sit and chat whilst we cook.

There will be plenty of space for a highchair in here too!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Beautiful baby gifts

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Tiny Tarling is being spoiled by @lou.washington before they even arrive. Lou's an amazing textile artist, no? #felt #art #textiles #handmade

Monday, January 29, 2018

Blanket for my own baby - done!

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Irish shamrocks and Normandy lace to represent family connections and little leaves because I could not be doing with an acorn lace pattern that was different on every row of the chart! 😝 😂 #knitting #knittingformyownbaby #knowyourlimits

Sunday, January 14, 2018

And I made cinnamon chelsea buns this weekend.

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Baking is much more familiar territory. #winning #yum #baking

Super pleased with today's lunch.

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All cooked by me, and I rarely make a big dinner on my own as Tom is the chef in our house. Rolled lamb breast stuffed with spicy sausage meat, honey lemon and goats cheese carrots, turmeric and cumin roasties, snips, and garlic courgette and tomato. All out at the right time too! #yay #cooking #success

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Jumping on the #bestnine band wagon as we'll be party prepping tomorrow.

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2017- the year I embraced the selfie. 1. #Maternity fashion 2. #Boston baby 3. This year's #christmaswreath 4. Tom and I at #lulworthcove I think 5. My neatest flower arrangement ever 6. @uptowncurlsuk gives me a good hair day 7. More good hair and a gorgeous scarf from @catherine.p.j.harris 8. The dress I made for my goddaughter 9. Oh #christmastree

Friday, December 15, 2017

Baby blanket knitting progress.

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Border knitting is slow. Is it cheating if I start a cardi and hat set as palate cleanser when I get back before border two? #knitting #knittingformyownbaby #lace

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

NaBloPoMo 28

Feeling a bit better today. Worked on my emails from bed till noon, then got up and worked from the sofa until it was time to pick up Martin, who's staying with us for a few days. Still feel a bit wibbly, but no more throwing up which is good. Think I might have pulled a muscle under my ribs from retching as it hurts when I breath or move.

This evening, we've made dinner, done a bit of tidying up, and are currently watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Currently getting to the point where I want the kitchen to be done as the rest of the house is in disarray. Need to get some presents wrapped for Christmas as that will make things in the study look a bit neater too. Oh and do all the washing and putting of clothes away.

Monday, November 27, 2017

NaBloPoMo 27

Laid low with a stomach bug today. Threw up at 4am, 6am and 7am, been mainly sleeping or sitting on the sofa. Hoping it will clear up by the morning, feel as fragile as hell.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

NaBloPoMo 26

I got up earlier today to breakfast with Jess and the kiddies, then had second breakfast when the rest of the grown ups surfaced. Poor old Andy was suffering from an upset stomach, so I minded Lara whilst Jess was packing up. We had a lovely time singing and shaking rattles.

The AirBnB people had kindly said we could check out a bit later than the advertised time, so we were able to clean up at a more leisurely pace. We waved the Treharnes off first, finished our cleaning up and then the remaining four of us went off to do the Five Quays trail around Poole.

It was cold, crisp and bright again, so fast walking was in order to keep everything warm! The trail takes you around the five quays of Poole unsurprisingly, and takes in some other landmarks like the lifting bridge, the Two Sails bridge, the RNLI college, some of the old town, and amusingly, the shopping centre and the bus station.

I love a town trail like this, especially in a town you don't know. We did the Great Fire of London trail in the summer and discovered all kinds of things about London then!

A lunch stop was needed, and we had excellent roast dinners and pies at the Angel, which I thoroughly recommend. 

We finished up the trail about 4pm. We'd been in the pub for quite a while, so I think the advertised time of 1.5 hours would have been about right if you weren't stopping.

We said our goodbyes post trail, and on the way home, stopped for Christmas pudding ingredients. The very first thing I cooked in our new kitchen was my Great Auntie Peg's Christmas pudding, which made me happy. Tiles were looking good, still some snagging with the floor.

Whilst the pudding was cooking, we unpacked some more bits into the kitchen, unpacked from our trip, and I composed a ploughmans for supper. We ate it gloriously in front of the telly, before shopping for cutlery inserts online. What rock and roll lives we lead.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

NaBloPoMo 24 + 25 Bradshaw Widows

Another fail but for lovely reasons. A day off yesterday. Spent some time saying goodbye to the mother in law, and talking to kitchen fitters, the tiler and the roofer.

Then we went off to Bournemouth for the boys' Bradshaw planning weekend. You can read their blog about their previous journeys here. They've been going away for a weekend over the past few years to travel a specific bit of railway, and stop at the stops and compare them to Bradshaw's descriptions. They have a planning weekend to get the routes and accommodation sorted.

Due to our kitchen work, we've rented a house on the edges of Bournemouth, and they are planning in evenings. When we arrived on Friday, we went shopping for groceries, bought lots of exciting things, and then toddled off to see Paddington 2 at the cinema. It was a very heartwarming film, and I enjoyed it immensely. Tom and I also had a good mooch on the beach and through the Winter Gardens, grabbing food from the Christmas market stalls on the way past.

 Jess, Andy and the kids arrived about 3:20pm, and we played in the park for a bit, before going to the holiday house.The holiday house is an exciting mix of 60s house, 70s decor and modern rennovations.

We bimbled around playing with the kids, snacking and getting comfy until John and Adele arrived about 7pm. Then it was time for fish and chips, watching Yes Minister and chatting before bed.

 Today we breakfasted well, and drove into town for 11ish. We had a walk on the beach and the pier, lunched extremely well at ASK, then went to try our luck in the arcades. Ethan wanted to dig in the sand for a bit, so we left the Treharnes for a bit and walked down the beach in the other direction. It's been very bright and clear today, making for lovely views of the Isle of Wight.

 We're back home now , and after some tea and bara brith made by Adele, the boys are planning again, and the kids are having their tea. I've got my knitting and my Christmas cards to do.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

NaBloPoMo 23 sound

Very interested in this piece about emotional labour in Harper's Bazaar that Clemmie Telford shared on Instagram

I think Tom and I are slightly better at this than when we first got together due to having lots of conversations around household chores over the years about what we like and don't like to do. He does more cooking, DIY and gardening, I do more tidying, putting clothes away and house/life admin, like gift buying and sourcing quotes. We both occasionally do the washing or spot cleaning, and we jointly decided employing a cleaner was worth it for background everyday cleaning.

For example with the house projects, I've definitely done more towards the arranging of quotes, but once we've decided to employ someone, Tom tends to manage them on site.

I totally relate to the walking over the box in the middle of the room anecdote, and the only thing that can address that is to keep taking about it, and not to be afraid of being labelled a nag. If it matters to you, your partner should be able to find a compromise with you. It definitely comes to learning to talk and debate as a couple without resorting to childish 'well you never put the clothes away' type retorts. We're by no means perfect, but we actively try and practice talking well to each other.


After thinking about Mercy the other day, I enjoyed this poem when it flashed up on my Facebook feed.

Today was a go to a team meeting kind of day, and a spend four hours in traffic kind of day. I passed the time on the way home by putting on my Advent Spotify playlist, and singing my heart out.

This evening, the mother in law was visiting, and we went out for dinner at Kupp, the scandi restaurant in West Quay 3. Absolutely religious, slightly on the pricy side, want to go back for open sandwiches at lunch time.

Currently lying in bed listening to the very noisy BT work gang outside upgrading the link box. Don't think I'll be sleeping tonight.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

NaBloPoMo 21+ 22: mercy

First fail of the month, not doing too badly this year.

Was working from home yesterday trying to finish a presentation I was giving today, and we went to dine with Ian and Mel and Baby Eleanor. It was a pleasant bit odd sensation to be discussing mainly babies and pregnancy with such old dear friends.

I've been in London today. Very happy with my presentation, great team audience and response. London was looking fab in the late autumn light.

Off to the Three Tuns in Romsey tonight with Jo

A prompt to entertain you today: Mercy

I remember reading somewhere that:

"Justice is getting what you deserve, mercy is not getting what you do deserve, and grace is getting what you absolutely don't deserve" -Grace Falsani apparently.

I've definitely experienced mercy in my life, where mistakes have been overcome by the generosity or skill of others. And I believe in a merciful God who gives me a fresh start. I try and show mercy to others where I can though I'm sure I still fail.

Monday, November 20, 2017

NaBloPoMo 20

To work and back again, then straight to yoga, where I fell asleep like I always do. Bit of an achy lower stomach today.

Nothing to report about today really. Just a day. Here's a pic of my autumn socks instead.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

NaBloPoMo 19

Happy autumn socks day everyone! Tom and I have ritually given each other socks. Toadstool covered ones for him and dayglo argyle compression socks for me in a bid to beat pregnancy swollen feet. I have so enjoyed the pictures of my godchildren coming in showing off their socks from the fairy sock parents.

Very restful day with the parents, including a trip to B&Q to look at kitchen paint colours and a cinema trip. We want a share of cream and I am always amazed at how many versions of nothing coloured paint there are.

Sadly Paddington 2 was sold out, but mum and dad were happy to rewatch Murder on the Orient Express again. I very much enjoyed the film, especially the setting and costumes. I now want to take a trip on the Orient Express, without the murder, as I love the glamour, the magical interiors of the compartments and so on.

A little bit of tea at the parents and we were off home for an early night.

Here's some pics from yesterday.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

NaBloPoMo 18

Woke up today in a leisurely fashion and had breakfast and a good natter with my mum. When Dad came downstairs we sang happy birthday to him, and Tom appeared as he was opening his presents. I love my dad's childlike glee at birthdays. I'd come downstairs to find my mum icing my dad's cake. I'm very impressed by her tiny icing Scalectrix cars.

We'd bought Dad a new desk as he was turning the small bedroom into a study, and I'd also brought home some Tayto cheese and onion crisps and a bottle of Cidona fizzy apple drink from a recent work trip to Northern Ireland. They had to be a 6 pack of crisps and a small bottle of drink as I was travelling with hand luggage only, and was buying the drink after security, but Dad was suitably pleased with the taste of his childhood.

For the rest of the day, Tom helped Dad move furniture around and build new flat pack for the little study. Mum and I had a brief trip to Wicked so I could buy flooring trim for our kitchen, and then I did a bit of work and knitted whilst watching Gilmore Girls which was lovely and peaceful.

In the evening we went for a meal at the Three Horseshoes in Chapmanslade. The pub has been renovated extensively in the ten years since I last visited. We had some excellent food, and Tom and the French waiter had some good craic over wine choices. We wish cooked up a plan to see

Afterward, we came home to sing happy birthday over cake and candles, though we were too full to eat any. We drowsed in front of Strictly on catch up and now I'm in bed, trying to sleep and decide whether the baby is moving or I've got indigestion.

Oh and for good measure, here's a pic of 3 or 4 year old me decorating my parents living room when we first moved to Westbury. Always loved painting!