a family weekend

  • January 20, 2013 11:34 pm

A fresh dump of snow had us sticking close to home this weekend. We trudged across fields, spotting robins and blackbirds against the bright white backdrop, built snowmen, baked cakes, knitted for small people and drank a lot of hot chocolate. I also napped a fair bit, and Anthony spent all weekend dressed in snowboarding gear, even when he was in the house.


making sense

  • January 17, 2013 8:26 pm


I’ve been attempting to bear in mind those small things that can lift my mood when the days get challenging. Lifting the senses. Colour, light, fragrance, music, and the occasional (or frequent) treat. Tiny and delicate as they are, these narcissi are currently filling my home with the most marvellous scent, and I catch sight of their cheery yellow each time I come down the stairs or glance in the mirror.

january days {before the snow}

  • January 15, 2013 9:55 am

now and then

  • January 4, 2013 8:44 pm

There have been loads of posts recently in the blogosphere about resolutions and hopes for the coming year, and it’s been pretty inspiring to read some of them. I’m afraid I’m always guilty of saying I want to do more of this and that, less of something else, and generally conquer the world whilst standing on my head. And I never do it.

We’ve had some ups and downs in 2012 and I’ve been inclined to look back on the year as having been ‘difficult’ and ‘sad’ and whatever other glass half empty adjectives spring to mind. But, when I go back over the photographs we’ve taken of all the good and happy times we’ve shared as a family, I realise that these are the moments that define us and give us strength. And I start to recognise that in fact, this last year has truly been a good one for us. We’ve been fortunate to have each other, our family and our  brilliant friends to support us and to make us laugh. A lot. And to have a warm, happy home in a beautiful part of the world.

My hopes for the coming year are modest, I hope… We have much to look forward to. Like a few others out there, I’ve been scribbling along with Susannah Conway’s Unravelling the Year Ahead to try to make some sense of my feelings and aspirations. And it’s felt pretty good to write everything down. But I’m really taking the pressure off myself this year.

So my hopes are, firstly, that can find the clarity every day to recognise the beauty in my life and to cherish and nurture it and the wonderful people in it. And, secondly, that I  make decisions with a sense of freedom and positivity.

2012, you have shown me many truths and taught me some important lessons. You’ve given me another year with my beautiful, growing family. You’ve led me on adventures to some favourite places and some exciting new ones. You’ve blessed me with some pretty amazing friends, old and new, and I’ve watched my little girl starting out at school and making friends of her own. I like her choices. You’ve fed us with produce from our own garden and allotment, and you’ve given us an abundant and happy home. You were pretty right on.

Violet in the snow on Brackley Lane with Grandma



Violet and Ant keeping score at cricket

Baby girl number two, due in April

Violet in the rhubarb patch

A walk in the mountains with Oskar in Vinje, Norway

Layla and Violet in the gardens at Ascott House in Wing

Bug hunting at RSPB Pulborough Brooks with Iris

View across the Tove Valley, Abthorpe

Feeling right on at Stowe Gardens

Achnahaird beach, Wester Ross


King of the Castle at Ashridge Estate

It's been an exhausting year


happy monday

  • December 17, 2012 9:57 am

We spent the weekend mostly huddled up together and cherishing one another, grateful. We stepped outside briefly to one of our favourite hangouts, Ashridge Estate and the scrumdidlyumptious Brownlow Cafe. Ant and I took it in turns with the camera.

We walked along an ancient path through the woods, where chestnut and beech trees arched over us and the forest floor is a carpet of orange and brown leaves and nutshells. There is something reassuring and life affirming in taking some time out to hug a few trees, wade through some knee-deep mud, and then scoff a load of cake.

something to smile about

  • October 25, 2012 5:45 pm

I’ve been having a very bumpy ride lately. I have deduced that chronic morning sickness must have an emotional impact after weeks and weeks of feeling barely able to move, let alone leave the house and have fun. So I confess that I have been feeling a little down in the dumps. It really got to me this past past week. But, by some miracle, my sickness ‘appears’  to have finally begun to subside and things are looking up. I’ve bought myself a few maternity clothes, which ought to help with wanting to go out and conquer the world, and this afternoon I had my 16 week check-up with my lovely midwife Alison, and heard my baby’s heart beating for the first time. What an amazing feeling! I couldn’t stop laughing for some reason.

What a lovely day it has been today, we also heard that some wonderful friends of ours have just had a baby boy, and I don’t mind telling you that he is a whopper! (But very handsome). I cannot wait to meet him.