Thursday, 23 February 2017


 Just a quick hello as time flies when you're enjoying yourself and I haven't been here for a while now.... I have been visiting other bloggers but not had much time to post - been decorating a bit and busy with family, work and life in general......

I had a lovely day out in Brighton with my youngest brother this week.  We were pre celebrating both our birthdays and this little day out has become a tradition for are some pictures of the prettier side of town....

My brother pointed out the little black and white house with original windows, it was in a very nondescript side street and could easily have been missed, side by side with similar houses that had newer facades, some brightly painted and some very tatty with dusty grey curtains - this one stood out in all its simplicity like a tardist that had landed.

We ate at Leon fast food outlet right by the clocktower selling healthy (and quite a few vegetarian) meals and snacks.  I had sweet potato stew and my brother had the falafel lunchbox.  Their food is excellent - they also publish cook books available in their shops and online.  The decor is very ethnic, 70s and fun and it's one of the few places that you can help yourself to fresh cool water served in glass jugs!

the colourful falafel stand was closed, it's near the station but there's an even better place to buy falafel - Taj supermarket along the West end of the town have a take away counter and fill their breads with tahini, falafel and salad which is great to take to the beach for a picnic.

The beach was chilly so we stuck to The Lanes...

Khaki seems to be the trend in Brighton for both people and pets.  This owner was very pleased to scoop up his dog and pose for a picture of their matching camouflage jackets!

There are more modern vintage style shops appearing with a mixture of new and second hand clothes and jewellery.

A perfect end to a perfect day was this fabulous sunset which met me when I got off the train for the short walk home.

It's been a busy month, I hope in March to make time for some gardening and painting.  The woods are still very dormant although there are catkins nodding behind the fence.  We are expecting a strong storm over the UK today so I won't be venturing out!  Thank you for stopping by ......

Tuesday, 24 January 2017


First visit to the woods since before Christmas!

Isn't frost beautiful?  the ground around us was completely covered in this pretty pattern.

we walked across fields that looked like they were carpeted in icing sugar.

when we got home we made pizza :)

I finished my knitting (it's a hat!and will be worn by my friends little girl)

It was fun making this and I will knit again, I am lucky to have a friend to help me.  This was great for a first project although things went a bit wonky at times!

Here are some colourful snaps of the beautiful town of Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, where we spent Christmas.  We took the local bus from the resort and explored, I loved the houses and buildings painted in bright colours, it had a 70s feel.  There was a shopping centre further away but we preferred this part as it had lots of character.

Our hotel was very comfortable, with beautiful landscaped gardens, swimming pools and sandy beach with fish swimming around us every day.

we all had a wonderful, relaxing Christmas.

Back soon.

Monday, 2 January 2017


Happy New Year! did you know that we had a second suspended in space waiting to be claimed? And we did claim it.  It was to get our little planet back on track with our perception of time versus the solar system - well the solar system won - we had to add an extra second to the clock before midnight on 31/12/16 and I made sure that at one second to midnight a magic wish was made - secret of course.  Did you make a wish?

Permission of Google

An extra second has been added to 2016 on Dec 31. Summary: On December 31, 2016, a "leapsecond" will be added to the world's clocks at 23 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).(quoted from Science Daily)

Clock Torre dell'Orologio Venice (Wikemedia permissions)

Hearing about the extra second on the news made me think a lot about our perception of time and how our lives travel so fast  and furiously and we don't allow ourselves much time to ponder ... the meaning of life and so on .... I have been reading a superb book called The Hidden Life of Trees, by Peter Wohlleben in which I learned how trees communicate with each other (and us?) ... oh yes.. .. they are very much alive and their body clock ticks a lot more slowly than ours... makes you think? it does indeed... makes you wonder what all the other living things on this planet did with their extra 'second of time'.

This year I will post on my blog when the Seasons dictate, so if Mother Nature's mantle changes then I will do a little post and hopefully capture the essence of something I am seeing in Nature with the odd sketch or watercolour or photo maybe, who knows.

watercolour by me
I am giving my silk paints to a friend who has yet to discover the way ink seeps and swirls and mixes on silk and they will have a lot of fun doing that ... I want to learn to paint in more detail, to see how watercolour works and maybe to do other creative pursuits - if I have any success I will do the odd post here.

silk painting by me

During the past year I have been so inspired by Susan Branch - if you haven't seen her blog you really are in for a treat... her books have been wonderful but it's her daily ramblings I like the best.   She had a moment where she lost it and gave her political views and some of her followers lost it even more and left some mean responses  - but she's back in fluffy mode now, with her Beatrix Potter ornaments lined up and her lovely illustrations and recipes, stories of recent trip to the UK -which sort of makes you feel you haven't seen much of your own country (if you live in the UK like I do that is).  Her enthusiasm for life, homeliness and gentleness are very therapeutic.  Personally I need to read blogs like this, they keep me calm and gentle - if you know of any more like her, please let me know.

painting is what I need to be doing more of in 2017!

 I have also been inspired by your blogs - lots of bloggers out there create the most beautiful art, words and photography, if you click on my followers icons you will see all those clever people hidden away in their own little worlds, some with a whole army of their own followers; many of them in far flung places.  That's what I like about blogging and is why my door was left open just a crack last year - so I could still nip in and see all those wonderful creative, inspiring people.  So glad I didn't close it completely.

This year let's be time travellers - yes, every little pocket of spare time can be used to transport ourselves somewhere lovely using imagination.  Starting with that extra second the Universe let us snatch back at midnight end of 2016.

Saturday, 31 December 2016

New Year's Eve

There will be magic and sparkle this evening... New Year's Eve is full of anticipation, expectation and promise don't you think?  We look back over the year that has been before and appreciate the good things, acknowledge how we have got through the bad times and plan for the year ahead.

This was Christmas day in Mexico where we had a fabulous holiday --- the children at the resort let off hundreds of red and white balloons.  Father Christmas came in by parachute and then there was a spectacular thunderstorm, we went into the sea and swam with cornet fish and floated like starfish whilst watching lightening above - it was a wonderful day.

I was given a magic wand by a very special friend and neighbour - it's a wood fairy wand and unique, hand made for me by her father, the handle is hand carved and smoothed, glittery metal stem and sparkling star all shaped by gifted hands. .. a wand that is made specially for you is truly the best and most magical....

So with a sprinkle of fairy dust I am wishing everyone a Happy, Healthy, Safe New Year 2017 full of nice surprises, delightful treats and magic moments.  Thank you for following my blog, I will try to post seasonally in 2017 and will visit all of yours often.


Friday, 23 December 2016

Merry Christmas

wishing a very happy Christmas to all visitors to my blog. 


I am in Mexico, enjoying sunshine, swimming with beautiful fish and sunbathing under palm trees on a beautiful sandy beach. 


Don't forget to track santa at Norad from 1am UK time 24th December!
Back soon x

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Autumn Leaves

Happy Thanksgiving to American bloggers!

We have had some blustery, rainy days, torrential downpours, unexpected gusts of wind and a grey sky, I have ventured out a few times on errands but really want to be inside, warm and cosy... with a cup of tea - come and join me....

 A rainy day view of the woods from the kitchen window:  the leaves have turned the most wonderful golds and oranges, all the red berries on the rowan tree have been eaten by blackbirds, the squirrels have planted acorns all over the lawn.  We have  magpies, wrens, pigeons and blue tits. coal tits, robins and a tiny wren all visiting in the mornings for bread.

 The knitting project is still going but the pattern has gone astray, I decided to just keep on going regardless, as long as it looks like a hat when finished I will consider it a success!  

 I do love painting with these colours, I think it's my favourite time of the year.  There is so much colour around in the woods but walks have to be much earlier in the day as it now gets dark around 4.30pm. 

I made one more bottle of blackberry and elderberry syrup with the last of the frozen berries from the Summer pickings, then used up the discarded fruit in an apple crumble (one for us, one for a friend).  It was delicious with custard and just what we needed on a cold rainy evening yesterday.  What have you been doing to keep warm and cosy?

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

It is important to remember that we all have magic inside us, JK Rowling

What could be more magical than visiting this beautiful library at Halloween... I usually collect books I have requested from here rather than the nearest library to me because I love it so much, it's very old, just like something out of the set of Harry Potter, inside is even better than outside (although you aren't supposed to take pictures.  It's got a big old fashioned fireplace, a huge wooden dresser, an old oak chair carved with a lion on the back, polished wooden shelves, a low ceiling with wooden balcony.

My library book this week is this , just a nice little read to curl up with, it's a book about creating atmosphere, cosiness, homeliness - all that stuff rolled into this Danish word, Hygge.  Quite nice.

source: Amazon (or my library)

The world is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.  W.B. Yeats

Amber spends  a lot of time waiting for her senses to grow sharper.

image: Google Commons
these little mice are stuffed, they were in a taxidermy shop in The Lanes.   There was lots more interesting stuffed stuff(!) inside the shop but it was too dark to take pictures - although they gave permission - for example, a beautiful swan which they assured me had died of natural causes and not prematurely, not sure about the mice.

Here's another book I am dipping in and out of - sent by my penpal Nana Go-Go it's really different and the sweets have helped it along very nicely (thank you xxx) .  I have had other nice post lately, a letter from my penpal Pompom, there's nothing better than something in the post as long as it isn't a bill!  My turn to write back now - I love writing letters, it does take a bit of time and we have email, but a letter is just something so much better!

The woods have turned to Autumn.  I never got round to picking sloe berries - there didn't seem to be many - either people are all making sloe gin this year or the birds need them - maybe we have a hard Winter ahead, quite possibly methinks as holly berries are in abundance and all the rowan berries are being eaten by blackbirds at an alarming rate, squirrels have begun hoarding acorns and the mistle thrush, robins and blue tits no longer want bread but fatty seed balls in their feeder .   We did find lots of elderberry and blackberry though which is fermenting nicely into various alcoholic concoctions.

I have been walking more lately, the farmland above is part of a 15 mile round walk that takes in woods, fields and hedgerows - I'm not to keen on walking with cows though so took a detour on this one!

Other things I have been doing are

  • making fudge for a friend, such any easy thing to make and so well received as a little thank you pressy.... 
  • learning to knit (a hat), work in progress and early days but I do love the feel of the wool and the clickety click of the needles.
  • making wreath bases for Christmas door wreaths (they need to harden and dry out) which does not involve any great skill by the way, other than the ability to pull lengths of twine off trees and twist it into shape, they look boring now but when they are decorated with ivy and holly and festive bits and pieces will be much prettier.

It is only a few weeks since I was walking bare legged through the woods in sandals and now wellies are required.  The woods are full of the most fabulous colours - reds, rusts, yellows; early mornings are bathed in golden hues and evenings are now brought to a close with warmth from my chiminea (Freecycle some years ago, rusty but still going!).   Just the kind of colours that make me feel like getting my paints out.... back soon, thanks for stopping by.  Leave a comment if you have time, it's nice to know you passed this way......