Tag Archives: cats

Home again, home again…jiggidy jog

I was awake early on our last morning and took photos of the bees in the Homestead garden.

We ended a wonderfully relaxing week as we started, with breakfast at the Courtyard cafe in Lyme Regis (remembering to ask for just one vegetable fritter and one egg each).

A wander through the town to pick up some presents – and say goodbye to the cats of Lyme.

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A last walk along the sea front.

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An easy drive home and our cats seemed pleased to see us – despite having been spoiled rotten by Mark’s parents while we were away.

I think perhaps Mark didn’t want any more photos taken…

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Lovely Lyme Regis

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After having to cancel our week in Cornwall to celebrate my 50th birthday when our cat became ill and needed lots of urgent tests, we decided to have a late booking week in Dorset. We have stayed at Homestead before and love it’s clean, simple styling and its location; off the beaten path beside the river and just a few minutes’ walk in to the centre of Lyme Regis. Last week was the only unbooked week all Summer…it was meant to be.

It was good to be only an hour and a half from home too, so if Mark’s family (who stay in our house and look after the cats if we go away) had any problems with Rio the cat’s medication or if he took a turn for the worse, we could get home quickly. All went well and the cats didn’t seem to miss us at all…although Max did join in with our Face-Time catchups.

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We started the holiday, as we traditionally do, with a stroll along the sea front followed by fish and chips.

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We enjoyed a walk or two through Lyme every day.

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We made lots of feline friends in Lyme.

There were also culinary delights…great veggie breakfast in the beautiful garden at The Courtyard Cafe and in Beer, Dorset Nectar cider (you should try their Foxy Ginger cider…delicious!) and gelato from Baboo.

We spent the week wandering blissfully around gardens…I will take each in turn…


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Spring update

Last April Mark and I spent a week at Lyme Regis and I was inspired by the huge number of tulips we saw, so last Autumn I planted…lots. Really pleased with our garden this Spring.

The Kelsons had an expedition to the bottom of the garden to admire the tulips planted around the rhubarb.

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We have had lots of (expensive) cat dramas – with numerous (out of hours) trips to the vet hospital, a biopsy, Rio’s diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease, Max’s stomach bug and Rio is still having tests on his heart to see why he is breathing so fast. Fortunately, both cats are really well in themselves and certainly don’t appear ill.

The garden is still full of birds…despite the presence of the cats!

Popped over to Chepstow to see my mum and was very impressed with her beautiful garden!

Easter was highly floral, with lovely gifts from Rita next door and Easter decor at Demuths.

As my time at Demuths came to an end…well not really and end, as I will still be doing some small amounts of work with Rachel and the team…I got to spend time with friends; breakfast at Comptoir Libanais with Jo (out of shot) and a whole day with Jess – including both breakfast at Bill’s and tea at the Holborn.

My very lovely boss arranged for a leaving lunch…more of a feast actually…with all the team at Castle Farm Cafe. The sun shone, the food was amazing and the company was the best…and I even managed not to cry!

As if lunch was not enough, I was presented with leaving and 50th birthday gifts…including a beautiful glass sun-catcher made by Jo from Demuths and even a jar of hedgerow jelly from Jo at Castle Farm Cafe!

My other birthday present (in addition to money from my mum and my aunt) was a new zoom lens from Mark and his parents…it had to be tried out in our garden! We had hoped to go to Cornwall on my birthday and stay for a week, but changed our plans to run Rio back and forth to the vet hospital for tests.

Love the way you can catch people unaware with a zoom lens, but I don’t think Mark’s mum will thank me for this one of her chatting to our neighbour…I’ll make it nice and small…

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West Littleton Open Gardens

My boss kindly made me aware of an open gardens weekend this weekend at West Littleton, a tiny village near Marshfield…now the place we will be buying our next house, when we win the lottery.

A number of houses in the village open their gardens to raise money for the village church and it is a very pretty walk from the car park (field) to the first house.

We were really impressed with the first house (Cadwell Hill Barn) – lovely design; one of those gardens where you wander from ‘room’ to ‘room’.

Then on to the more open, but equally lovely gardens of Cadwell House.

..and then I lost my heart to The Croft…sigh…I would live in their shed if they would let me! First the formal garden…

Then the herbaceous border and the wild garden, alive with the sound of bees…

On through the village…could anywhere be more English?

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Through the pretty gate to West Farm…complete with lambs! (the pen looks terribly small, but they won’t be there for long). We could see ourselves living here – a walled garden is such a lovely thing and would be great for the cats. The trouble with all these lovely houses and gardens is that, even if we could afford them, their owners would never want to leave!

Then on to Home Farm, where we were greeted loudly and affectionately by a very beautiful three-legged cat.

Onwards through the village…

…to the Old Manor House (there will be music and teas there tomorrow).

On to Woodbine Cottage and the Old School House and along the road to Church Cottage, where the lovely owner talked about her garden…and the small cottage for sale next door…very tempting!!

Lastly we went back up in to the village to St James’s Grange – only here when we had almost finished walking around this last garden did the Heavens open. I think it was fate thinking of my waistline, as this was where the tea and cake was for sale, but no space left under cover.

These gardens are open again tomorrow – Sunday 12th June – from 2pm to 5pm, £5 for adults with concessions for seniors and children.


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The End. (of last year)

From September onwards life gets very busy. Craft markets and custom orders and a very busy time in my day job and my blog has been rather neglected… If my camera is to be believed I didn’t really do anything but work in November, but it has a few hints of life in December 2015.

In the run up to Christmas there was plenty of baking…

..and the gingerbread Bath Abbey I made for work was quite a hit. Our photographer Rob Wicks of EatPictures took this fantastic shot of in situ with the real abbey behind it.


In no time at all the Christmas cookery classes were over and Christmas was upon us. We decorated inside and out.


Mark drove over to St Arvans to pick up my mum while I cooked on Christmas morning – my first vegetarian Christmas lunch, with huge thanks to Lydia, Helen and Demuths for some fantastic recipes – my first ever raised pies were a big success. Mind you, I did have to cook turkey too for our lovely neighbour… Then Mark’s parents and brother came over to eat, play trivia games and look silly as elves!

Luckily there was enough dry weather to get outside and get some fresh air…at Westonbirt Arboretum…

…and Lacock Abbey…


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The ‘L’ word…

Today I abandoned my partner in crime Su to run a willow workshop in Alice Park and went for a very slow and gentle walk around Lacock Abbey (too much standing at my stall at Larkhall Festival on Saturday…). Yes, Lacock again…the ‘L’ word!

It is beautiful though…!

We started off by popping in to the field the other side of the ha-ha to get a sheep-eye view of Lacock Abbey.

Then in to the walled Botanical Garden…

On to the orchard…

Around the grounds…

Excited to see a pair of yellow wagtails…and of course the compulsory National Trust friendly robin…

…and one of the cats we often see, along with a new one…

Around the pond…

Then back to Alice Park to check on the willow weavers…and home for tea.

(Details of similar willow workshops – along with my textile workshops – at Grownups Playgroup)


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Every cloud…

A rainy day turns a very ordinary patch of garden on the edge of a city in to a little piece of Heaven…

As ever, Rio the cat felt he was not receiving enough attention and wanted in on the photo session…!

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