Saturday, 28 February 2015


Parsimonious moi? Today I spent most of the afternoon washing and unpicking our old bedroom curtains. I love the expensive Colefax and Fowler fabric but the design: Ticehurst, has been discontinued. There was sun damage to the edges of the fabric but I hope to salvage most of it and create new ones, extended with something complimentary ... watch this space! Now I have a new sewing machine I can't wait to get started on a variety of furnishing projects.


We walk up to open our gate for the hunt to come through, we hear the horns and catch a glimpse of the hounds but they've headed off in the other direction. It's the final meet of the season and very wet going for them I imagine. Everywhere has suddenly become very soggy.

Friday, 27 February 2015

Rose hips and leaves

A couple of weeks ago I cut down the old growth on the rose by our front door. I tried to leave it as long as possible because the hips were looking so good. In the end I put a bunch of them in a jug on my kitchen windowsill. I am now amazed to see how well they have sprouted with fresh green leaves and look extremely happy!

Thursday, 26 February 2015


It's windy but as I look out of the bedroom window I see the buzzards flying high. They like to hunt over our land and the fields opposite. I love to hear them call, to me it's a real sound of the wild.

Oh Joy

Never has a sight been so welcome. We've been waiting nearly two months to have our underground telephone line connected and the overground one made redundant. Now the job's been done and to our delight and relief it works, we were anxious as we'd laid our own cable and the trench had been backfilled. Just another wait now for the poles to be removed and then work that first began 15 months ago will be completed.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Tulip time

It's now the turn of tulips to grace our mantelpiece. These ones looked bright in the shop but are perfect here, even if I do have to move them every evening when we light the fire!

Nature table

Our poor furniture keeps moving around the house as we try and discover the very best location for it. Today I move a lovely demi lune table into the big bathroom .... and find it fits perfectly in front of the window, this is a beautiful and sunny spot and much too good to use only for bathing, now with a chair this makes an ideal place to sit and gaze at the view. Inspired by my time at the Chelsea Physic Garden I've potted up a big bowl of lily of the valley to put here. They are the flower of our wedding and should be out hopefully for our anniversary on the 1st May. Also on my nature table are amazing magnolia pods brought back from Italy and a stone hot water bottle stamped 'Bourne, Denby'. This factory was the start of what has become known just as Denby now and its local to us so it seems a nice thing to display. If you'd like to find out more about the Bourne - Denby history just click here.


Thanks to the kindness of a neighbour I was able to dig up a couple of clumps of snowdrops from under the hedge in her field and I've spread them artfully around our land. Now I can look outside and see just a few on the verge opposite and more clustered around our gate. Although there are several large spreading patches of snowdrops around the village there were absolutely none on our lane and so I'm delighted to have remedied that.

A pig's ear

I love working on this house as I've learnt so many new and interesting things. Our main staircase (if you can call it that when we have 4) has a banister rail that I have discovered today is called a 'pig's ear' rail due to the shape of its cross section! Whatever, it looks very nice now it's stripped and polished.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Trees in the Landscape

We are so lucky to have our open views here and this week the light has been shining on the trees as they start to soften into spring. The top picture was a morning one with a dark rainy sky heading our way and the bottom one was taken just as the sun began to set. Trees are amongst the things that I really love and we are exceptionally well placed to enjoy them. Earlier we'd heard the chain saw going and were pleased to see that a very dead elm was being removed from the hedge boundary of the field opposite.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Before and after

What a difference all  Dave's hard work has made and (September 2013 and February 2015) what you can't see is that the replaced floor is now lovely and warm, heated by our ground source supply. Hence why the two photos are such a long time apart (September 2013 and February 2015).

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Stargazing - the Venus/Mars conjunction

Despite lots of cloud forming which threatened to spoil the view we were able to clearly see Mars in position just behind Venus. It was good to be able to observe from indoors (from the big bathroom actually!) as the wind was bitter and we've had several snow flurries. The previous night we'd driven home around 1830 with the crescent moon in front of us.
Do not miss Venus and Mars on February 19, February 20 and February 21, as the slender waxing crescent moon returns to the evening sky, and moves up past two planets in the western twilight. Find an unobstructed horizon in the direction of sunset, and bring along binoculars, if you have them, to enhance the view. It’ll be Venus’ and Mars’ closest conjunction on our sky’s dome until October 5, 2017. It’ll be spectacular! Unforgettable.

Floors (again)

All done! Dave has finished work on the floor (toiling away until late) and although the house now smells, we are ready to move the furniture back in again! Hopefully it can stay put until our new sofas arrive in a few weeks.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Pancake Day

We all love pancakes and some members of the family, mentioning no names (!) have been known to have them for breakfast and again at supper time. Today we settle for just one sitting and they are delicious as ever, even if the first tester one is very small!

Monday, 16 February 2015


We finally decide on and order our sofas. Dave  notes that we've chosen the only one in the brochure with a heart drawn around it ahhhh ... and today the furniture is on the move again! It all has to go from one room to another ready for the floor cleaning and sealing (a very smelly job).

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Love is in the air

It's Valentine's Day for four as Tom and Clare decide to join us. I set a pretty table and include photo's of the participants. Unfortunately Tom has already featured in a Valentine's photo spread in the Nottingham Post (of which I was totally unaware) and he's had enough! If you click the link you'll see the similarity. I think it's a lovely picture of them both.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Spring flowers

I got these beautiful narcissi as an early valentines day gift and they have filled the house with the scent of spring. Our own bulbs are just starting to nudge their way up through the grass, so we have to take great care for the next couple of weeks, so we don't trample them.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Ten green bottles ..

Well twenty five actually! We are preparing to bottle our home made wine and my task is to get the bottles ready and then once Dave has filled them I will be responsible for labelling. For this purpose I have designed the following:

Wine making

Yes this is Dave using his drill as a key part of our wine making operations. In case you are wondering he is degassing the wine with a home made paddle attachment, driven by the drill motor, which should reduce the time he needs to spend on this process. Next stop bottling!

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Sofa shopping

We headed off to South Wales today to view sofas! Dave looks suitably excited by the outing - which it was suggested could double up as a (pre) valentine's day treat (for me!) Unfortunately it was as dismal weather-wise in 'the valleys' as it had been at home. Will we buy and if so which one (or four) ... watch this space.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

It must be love

Our male pheasant has spent a lot of time strutting around the farm in a state of great agitation, today for the first time this year I saw not one but two females in the garden. Hopefully 'happy days' lie ahead.

Sunday, 8 February 2015


Joe learns to point with lime mortar and is busy filling in gaps between the bricks in the barn. Unfortunately the gaps in the barn door are rather more significant! It's a miserable job as it's very cold with a chilling wind.

Potato time

We have bought 24 Nadine and 8 Winston potatoes this year as Nadine outperformed our other varieties here last year. The Winston are a first early and today I put them into a spare egg box to start to chit.

Bird study

This little bird was sitting on top of the newly shorn hedge this morning. It's been a frosty start and he was all fluffed up against the cold.


This morning despite the mist we have an unexpectedly frosty start with the grass completely brittle and white. Luckily nobody saw me nip outside with bare feet to take the photo!!

Saturday, 7 February 2015

A fantastic sky

We had a beautiful sunset tonight, made more special by the mist that started to drift about in the bottom of the village. As I watched the sky deepen the hare came into the garden for a leisurely stroll. Fortunately Dave came upstairs to shower off the grime of his day and so we were able to watch it together. Magical.

Craftsman at work

Need I say more!


Dave is continuing his epic work on our doors in what will become the guest living room. It has taken a long time to clean off all the old bitumen paint but in doing so we can now see the detailing of the butt and bead joint. He has also managed to clean the ironware and has primed it - I worry he seems to like this colour!!

Friday, 6 February 2015

Decorating decisions

We really need to order some sofas and so are faced with having to make interior design decisions which neither of us are very good at (especially as we normally make different choices), but we felt we'd hit the jackpot this time when after independently writing down our favourites we found, amazingly, that we had selected the same one ... now we just have to agree on a colour for the cover .....!

Thursday, 5 February 2015

St Blaise

Our church is named for St Peter and St Blaise and this evening we gathered there to celebrate St Blaise's day with a service that included the 'blessing of the throats'. The church was jolly cold despite the heaters and everyone was glad we had coffee to warm us before heading home. The moon and the stars were brilliant as I walked back up the hill. I could see so many constellations that I just stood there and tried to take in the enormity of what I could see.

Our hare

Dave says I have now taken enough photos of our hare but I could easily spend all day watching it. Today I ran upstairs to collect the washing and turn the computer on. Immediately my eye was drawn to movement in the Big Field. The hare heard me as I opened the window to take this picture and stayed quite still. Later he was so camouflaged in the grass that I wouldn't have spotted him. He's the small brown smudge in the bottom centre of the photograph.
More photos ... just because I think he's worth showing. I love the markings on his ears and as I watched first his little nose twitches like a rabbits as he nibbles the grass, then like a cat he began to carefully wash his fur.