Well hello! Gosh, it feels like I've been away for a longer than a week. Thank you for all your good wishes and bon voyage messages, we really did have the most wonderful holiday. We got back last night, hence the lateness of my usually regular Friday Happies post. It's especially nice to be sitting here when I should be mentally preparing for the week ahead, but instead looking back over the week we've just had, relishing the last dregs of holiday feeling.
So, in a bumper week of happy and carefree moments, when the biggest decisions to be made were where to go and what to eat, here are some that really stood out as extra specially good.
1. The house we rented. Look at it! It's like one of those perfectly symmetrical pictures of houses that children draw, with everything so evenly proportioned and well balanced.
Yes, I know, the house is just the base for the holiday, and we were out all day every day, but it charmed me. It had space for eight people to live alongside each other happily for a week, and comfy beds, and really nice bedding, and fantastic hot showers... It also had a sociable kitchen-dining room - here it is, below, on the day we arrived, all tidy - and, when the children were in bed, this is where us four adults would chat, pour drinks, cook and eat, listen to music and laugh a lot. Happy times.
2. Meeting Leanne and her son Olly at Godrevy Lighthouse. She is just as you'd imagine her to be; warm, funny, lovely, chatty and with a very dry sense of humour. It was so good to be able to meet her, given that we live so far apart, and I'm sorry that we didn't have longer to talk. Children, cliff edges and high winds make for a conversation of many broken sentences.
That was the only day we had bad weather, but it didn't stop us being awed by the West Cornwall coastline and enjoying some excellent rock pooling.
3. That cream tea I had at Kynance Cove. For a start, it is an exceptionally pretty beach - a tiny bay, accessible by foot, surrounded by cliffs and rocks and the bluest water you're likely to see in England.
It also has a rather lovely cafe and, after a day on the beach, we made a detour there for sustenance to give us energy for the long climb back up to the car park. A cream tea with a view. I was practically levitating.
4. We were wandering around Penzance, browsing the shops in a leisurely, touristy fashion, when we came across a tiny shop specialising in vintage mid-century Scandinavian homewares. (Yes, really!) It was amazing. Many things were well out of my price range but I spied this flask across the shop and my heartbeat sped up and I just sort of fell in love with it, with the bold colour and geometric pattern. The little label just said "Swedish Flask, £8". Sold.
5. I've been busy stitching all holiday. Just before we left, my Instagram friend Jennie Maizels - who is an incredibly talented artist and illustrator - had been sharing her holiday diary, recording her impressions of each day in a beautifully illustrated journal.
Now, I can't draw, but I love to sew, and it planted the seed of an idea for my own holiday diary. One motif or image a day, to be chosen at the end of the day and stitched in the evenings, which would create one large picture with thread.
I can't begin to tell you how much I loved doing this - the thinking and planning, the drawing, the choosing of colours and type of stitch...all pure pleasure for me. This pretty much hi-jacked any other projects or books or magazines I'd planned to do or read. I'll show you it in full when it's complete. I still have to finish some of the lettering. If you follow me on Instagram, you'll see that I shared each motif as I did them, and that dialogue and feedback was so much fun.
Someone suggested I let the children draw and stitch their own holiday memories too. A lovely idea, and one we started today. This is Bella's. I'm so proud of her! All her own drawing and sewing (look at her satin stitch!) and I'm only required to thread the needle. She hasn't really clicked with crochet or knitting but this kind of sewing has captured her imagination.
And this is Angus's picture memory. He drew it all but it became apparent quite quickly that he wasn't going to sew any of it. I thought I'd just go over the outline with back stitch but Angus had other ideas, directing me in a bossy fashion ("Make the lighthouse stripey, Mummy, stripey. And do seaweed on the rock. More seaweed.") He comes to check on my progress. It's a little bit intimidating, to be honest.
We'll finish our holiday stitching over the next few weeks and then frame them. I'll show you more later, I promise.
I'll put together a more coherent holiday post soon, just as soon as I've waded through all the photos I took and caught up on everything I'm behind on; washing, ironing, housework, blog reading, emails. I'm behind on a lot of things.