Sunday, 3 May 2015

Notes From A Bank Holiday Weekend

I've been watching the morning light and liking the stripes.


I am procrastinating over this wall. More is needed but I don't know what. I have frames but nothing suitable to go in them.


I'm working on a blanket for Bella's bed.


She requested rainbow and white zigzags, so that is what she's getting. I'm about a third of the way through.


Urban bluebells. How have I not noticed these before? I never saw any in Leeds. They're everywhere, along verges by main roads, in between pavements, hiding in with the nettles and litter in the most unlikely places. Something I wanted to do this spring was go for a walk in a wood full of bluebells and take lots of lovely photos, and I'd still like to do that (although I'm running out of time), but these unexpected roadside flowers delight me.


I over-baked a batch of jam doughnut muffins.


I wonder how long I can use the excuse that I am getting used to my new oven.


My mum treated me to a vintage coffee pot. It's bright daffodil yellow, a sturdy shape and has just the right amount of wear and tear while still being able to hold water. 


Angus is lining up his toy animals again.


He spends hours lying on the floor, carefully placing them in some kind of strange two-by-two Noah's Ark queue.


I think Rodda's packaging is so stylish. I hope they never change it. I also hope they bring out some nice merchandise, like tea towels or aprons. I'd love a Rodda's tea towel. 


We created a flower bed on the long, boring but also sunny back wall of the garden. That was hard work. Angus is telling me about all the worms he's put in his bucket here.


We made a bird feeder. John says it's too near the kitchen window and they wont feed from it. I hope he's wrong as Angus's homework is to document the bird activity on the feeder, and if it's too far away I wont be able to photograph or look up the birds. I can identify a pigeon and a robin and that's about it.


We had a monochrome walk around Chichester Harbour this afternoon. 

A flat white sky.


I hate those skies. They make me squint. Too bright without sunglasses, too dark with, they suck the colour out of everything.


Grey sea.


Beige reeds.


Thank goodness for all that green. It's just emerging now, lush and shiny and new.


This one is obsessed with badgers at the moment, both the toy one he's holding and real ones. They're learning about nocturnal animals at school. His birthday is coming up and he's asked for a badger t-shirt (I can't find one anywhere, naturally), books about badgers and a badger birthday cake. Help.


Gosh, bank holidays. They're exhausting, aren't they? Ours started early with a school training day on Friday. The morning was a blur of errands and shopping but we had a small celebratory lunch at my mum and dad's house as my Dad retired this week. He jokes that he's not so much retired as moved from paid to unpaid work, as my mum keeps referring to something called The List. Happy retirement Dad. The weather here has been cool, wet and windy, just absolutely typical for a May bank holiday weekend, and has kept us on our toes by not raining when it said it would and then raining when it said it wouldn't. Lots of pottering, gardening, DIY, family time, gin and tonics, fish and chips. Nothing exciting to see here, just lots of happy normal. 


57 comments:

Jennifer said...

I'm glad to see so much happy normal here, it makes me happy that you're happy. :) Love your new coffee pot, your mother has the eye just like you do. Congratulations to your dad!

Mac n' Janet said...

Try Amazon, any time I can't find something I end up finding it on Amazon.

JaBCreations said...

How about a garland to hang on the wall where those lovely pictures are? Love that green colour.

Lisa Wallace said...

Hi There,

Thanks for sharing your little snippets of everyday life. I have only just discovered your blog and love it!
All that colour on your walls is AMAZING!

Lxx

VeggieMummy said...

I'm with Mac n' Janet - when in doubt, try Amazon! Love the coffee pot - I've seen a few and love them but didn't think I would actually use one for making coffee; now I know what I could do with it! Ingenious bird feeder and Bella's blanket is coming along beautifully. Have a great Bank Holiday. xx

Ingrid Orens said...

For the badger T-shirt : just look up a cool drawing/picture/graphic on internet, and have it printed on a T -shirt ? Mostly every online photo-printing-service also provides printing on other stuff like t-shirts, canvas, mugs etc....
That rainbow blanket is going to be lovely !

Librarian said...

Happy normal is good! I like it.
Our weekend was completely wet except for Saturday night when we went to the next town for a music festival, a dozen or more bands playing in just as many pubs and bars dotted around town centre. You pay once and then can go as you please, listening to live music of many different styles. Stay where you like it, leave where you don't. It was much fun even though we only had one (badly mixed) drink that was overly expensive.

SaraJ said...

Sounds a good way to spend the weekend. Pottering around here, but I hibernated yesterday as it was so horrid, and played with some new water colour pigment paints for my cards. Your house seems to have so much light flooding in. :)
I used this company when I wanted a birthday cake which was a bit different - https://www.caketoppers.co.uk It was absolutely brilliant! Angus might like these too - http://shop.badgertrust.org.uk/en/products/soft-toys.aspx http://www.spreadshirt.co.uk/badger-baby-t-shirt-C4408A27672495?gclid=CjwKEAjwjpeqBRCDiKqliK2aiicSJAAgKD2FcmUpELuxWbMzSrMmQkIBOb7PtQzCRrg20KkdjnaSOBoCHb3w_wcB&ef_id=UfPLuwAAAFxu8Eho%3A20150504065242%3As
Have a great day. x

Jo@awholeplotoflove said...

Sounds like you've had a lovely if busy family weekend. I hope you find a t-shirt for you son & that your father has a long & happy retirement x

Home Slip said...

You must all go for a walk in a bluebell wood today, who knows you may even see evidence of badgers. Ebernoe Common, owned by Sussex Wildlife Trust, is one of our favourite places in Sussex for bluebells. You can park next to the church. Wear wellies as it will be squelchy underfoot. Afterwards Petworth Park is close by (and free except for car parking charges) and great for a runaround. Try the Natural History Museum online shop for badger toys. Have a lovely day Gillian.

CJ said...

Happy normal is a very fine thing. I always think that the flat grey days are what makes us so blown away by the beautiful blue skies. What's in the Rodda's tub isn't bad either, love it. I really must make scones again soon. Good luck with the bird feeder. Have you tried putting "Badger t-shirt" into Ebay? Here's one I found - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SAVE-THE-BADGER-WILDLIFE-RETRO-STYLE-PROTEST-KIDS-T-SHIRT-ALL-COLOURS-AND-SIZES-/230836749784?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&var=&hash=item35bef145d8 Enjoy the bank holiday Gillian. CJ xx

Lisa said...

I'll take happy normal any day of the week, it's the stuff of life.
I bet those muffins didn't last long and were wolfed down.
Angus looks taller, he is growing, good luck with the badger hunting!
Lisa x

Anonymous said...

The Wildlife Trust logo is a badger.They sell T-shirts with the badger logo on

Jo said...

Love the bird feeder what a great make, John might be right though, sorry! I am looking at that gorgeous wall and thinking hoops. I reckon you either need to have a constant line across the top of your frames or a group including some of your gorgeous embroidery hoops. I wish we lived by each other so I could pop over and have a conflab about it! Have a happy week. Jo x

driftwood said...

happy normal sounds lovely. we had the wettest bank holiday Sunday you could imagine yesterday. there were no flat white skies, we had Dark Grey........ but it was warm and cosy inside x

Louise said...

Sounds like a pretty good, normal weekend! I think your bird feeder will be fine, you'll just have to sit a little further back from it with the camera ready and try not to make sudden movements when the birds land! It might take a few days for them to discover this new food source and start visiting. You can get window feeders that sucker on to windows and plenty of birds come to the those so I don't think it's too close!

As for the badgers... that's tricky! I've been trying to think of badgery books but I'm struggling! I did think the wildlife trust might be good for a t shirt as their logo is a badger but so far I've only found one through Sussex WT. You could always find a suitable picture and have your own printed.

https://sussexwildlifetrust.teemill.co.uk/product/badger-childrens-t-shirt/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=sr_nr_n_1?fst=as%3Aoff&rh=n%3A266239%2Cn%3A291754%2Ck%3Abadger&keywords=badger&ie=UTF8&qid=1430728343&rnid=1025612

Good luck with badgers anyway!

Jacqui Galloway said...

I've been noticing the blubells too! Love the bird feeder. Hope you enjoy the rest of your holiday.
Jacqui x

Little Miss Know-it-all said...

Wind in the Willows - we walked along a tiny canal yesterday in the damp and just under a huge willow tree that overhangs it, there was a muskrat swimming along, diving occasionally in case our spaniel tried to jump him or the ducks got in his way… I felt I ought to look round for Mole and Badger, Toad lives in the pond next to our house ;) (although I expect Ratty was a water vole, really!)

Sopa Azul said...

Hi Gillian, I love the bird feeder. It's a great idea!!! Hugs :))

Annie Cholewa said...

Happy normal sounds soooo good, we seem to have been decidely lacking in normal here lately, and if I'm honest happy is a bit thin on the ground too.

Give them time and the birds will come to your feeder, but try standing outside looking in past it and make sure there is nothing too bright or reflective indoors that is in their eyeline and might deter them. We once had to move a bright yellow child's plastic apron from the hook on the inside of the kitchen door before the birds would use the feeder near the kitchen window.

Annie Cholewa said...

PS If you ever find a Rodda's teatowel please let me know!

Old Magnolia Tree said...

Oh my son loves his toy animals too. He has also started collecting the schleich dragons and Knights range. It always amazes me how he totally loses himself in his imagination. He will quite happily sit for hours playing out a little story in his head. If I Tell him that his dinner is ready he tells me that a certain animal or person would be in terrible danger if he left them right now. Brilliant.
Rosie xx

Mereknits said...

A beautiful post full of life and settling in to your new home and routine. Not that this helps but the University of Wisconsin are known as the Badgers. They sell all sort of Badger items.
Hugs,
Meredith

Jacqueline said...

A lovely post full of lovely things. The bird feeder is a great idea and your yellow jug is very eye catching.

Lynn Walsh said...

I'm Cornish so love the Rodda's! Life would be sadder without it ��

Leanne Paxton said...

Hey Gillian,
I love a bit of happy normal. I thought Rhodda's did do merchandise? I'm sure I saw a tea towel in town. I shall investigate for you asap. Have you thought about what you are going to plant in your new bed? I will have a new bed at the unused end of the garden next week. I am hoping to turn it into a Mediterranean type space complete with loungers. You know, for the two weeks of the year that I can lounge outside without getting a cold ;))
Leanne xx

Jan Doling said...

What a great bird feeder, I am sure the birds will come once they get used to it being there. You can buy badger sweatshirts and t-shirts from Stubbington Study Centre near Lee-on-the-Solent. It is a residential activity centre that schools use throughout the year but it might be worth looking on their website or giving them a call as I am sure they would sell you a garment. xx

Sol said...

Not on the high street for the badger top for kids. it comes in a jaunty stripe.

http://www.notonthehighstreet.com/sgtsmith/product/badger-t-shirt

Sorry I dont know how old Angus is so this maybe too small. I don have kids so I cant guess his age very well

Gracie Saylor said...

Happy Retirement to your Dad...I've found it to be just a different but good form of busy and there is always The List! I love seeing Angus's focus on critters and creatures, and Bella's pretty blanket growing beautifully, and the cheery yellow coffee pot your mom gave you. Wishing some sunshine for you, Gillian :) xx

Gracie Saylor said...

I posted some photos of some of the wildlife around our house across the pond that Angus might like to see...and I have a photo of a muskrat [related to a badger?] in our pond my son took I will try to post today.

Marion Ogden said...

I love happy normal and I can see you've had plenty of that this weekend. I love your yellow jug--what a lovely present from your mum! X

Penny said...

Happy normal is always good! My youngest son used to line up his toy cars, great long lines of them down the kitchen wall, it kept him happy for hours. They were sorted by colour, or shape, size, or type, depending in his mood X

Anonymous said...

Badger t-shirt - looks like for adult but maybe the size small would work?

http://www.scottishbadgers.org.uk/merchandise.asp

Anonymous said...

Happy normal is the best. Extraordinary wouldn't be the same if it was everyday. Love your photos (and your yellow jug). Sam x

Anonymous said...

Etsy kid badger teeshirt -

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/186821966/badger-original-wildlife-line-drawing?

Anonymous said...

This is a very cool hipster badger tee shirt - looks like only adult but a Dorset arts co-operative maybe they can help you out with a kids' size

https://compassioncollective.wordpress.com/portfolio/30/

Susan Smith said...

Your weather sounds a bit like ours today. Lovely post though and really like your green wall. Not sure I'd be brave enough, but you're still giving me lots of ideas. Can't wait to see how your garden come together too. I'm so looking forward to my new one. I've been having internet problems, so if I don't get to comment over the next few weeks, you know why and what with the move looming, I'm pretty busy with decluttering and packing too. Take care and I can see you're settling in well.

Liz J said...

We've been having a lot of changable weather here in Wales as well-never know whether it will pour down and the intermittent bright sunshine keeps making my head ache :-( Lovely photos as usual though-that blanket is looking beautiful! xx

❤Coco Rose❤ said...

I love happy normal! Your yellow jug is beautiful and I too love Roddas for its fab packaging. I'm a terrible sucker for lovely packaging. I love the animals laid out like a Noah's Ark queue. I just get cars like that with my youngest.

Have a wonderful rest of a week.

Vanessa x

Sarah said...

Those muffins look pretty good to me!
And I'm a sucker for a bit of enamel ware...I had to laugh, your dad's plight sounds very similar to my stepdad's story. My mum used to get tired of his getting under her feet so she bought a little notebook and filled it with tasks every day for him to complete. He's wander around the house in a pinny, looking anxiously into his book and then at his watch.
Have a great week.
S x

love those cupcakes said...

Love this kind of post, full of everyday happies that keep the world turning. Apart from your dad's retirement which is, of course, one of life's major milestones (and please tell him to jump right in, the water's lovely!).

KirstenLN said...

You make it sound lovely though! Print of Tulips and roses ("old" botanical prints) would look lovely on your green wall along with the rest. Or Danish designer Bo Bendixen's flower prints.

Love following you settling in in your new home! And I adore the little jars with the wooden lid on your first photo. Where are they from?

Gillian said...

I remember when my dad retired - almost 22 years ago! We had a little party for him. He's still going strong and has just recently decided he has actually 'retired' from gardening and any sort of heavy work. It takes ages to get used to a new oven! Cooking times can vary depending on the sort of day it is (humid/dry/cold/hot etc) and the exact consistency of what is being baked. Usually it makes very little difference but when the timing needs to be quite precise then it can make over-baking easy to do. That's my theory and I'm sticking to it! Bella's blanket is going to be gorgeous.

The Creative Academic said...

http://www.morgans-online.com/cornish-gifts/gifts/product/2049-rodda-s-scone-recipe-teatowel.html

What about this??
I quite like the apron too...xx

The Creative Academic said...

Such a great weekend. Those doughnut muffins look delicious. Ditto the cream tea!! Our bird feeder is very close to a window and we still have birds come to it so fingers crossed for yours! My problem is remembering to put more seed in!! If you find a good bird book let me know - I've only been using the RSPB bird identifier website for thing exotics such as a sparrow (!). Bizarrely there are no sparrows where my parents live (Essex!). Have a lovely week x

Gemma said...

such a lovely Bank Holiday weekend, thank you for sharing!x

Jane said...

Give me happy normal any day. Bella's blanket is lovely, I found my ripple blanket a very therapeutic make. I'm with you on the Rodda's packaging, there's a crochet blanket in those colours for sure! If I ever spot a tea towel I'll be sure to let you know. Have a great week.
Jane xx

Gillian said...

It has just popped into my head that I meant to comment about the bird feeder. Ours is close to our kitchen window and we get lots of birds feeding.

Gillian said...

Hello Kirsten! They are storage jars by Orla Kiely. http://www.orlakiely.com/uk/index.cfm They're quite widely available here in department stores and online. Her homewares (and clothes) are beautiful. x

Julia said...

The light in your kitchen is just amazing! It sounds like you had a lovely weekend. Bella's new blanket is coming along nicely... I love the colors you chose. And I also love your green wall. I can't wait to see what you plant in the new garden bed. And congratulations to your father!!

KirstenLN said...

Thanks! I've googled and can see that we actually get those in Denmark too.

Bronwyn said...

Great pics from a quiet little weekend. Sometimes it is nice to have those, isn't it? Our first long weekend of the spring/summer is next weekend. We are spending it camping in the US. Simple and outdoorsy - just what we need.

Anne Schueler said...

The white blanket with the colorful stripes looks really good. It makes it look very sophisticated. :)

Take care
Anne (Crochet Between Worlds)

Katie said...

happy normal and so much lovely colour, the flowers, the pictures, the beautiful blanket and of course the most fabulous of yellow jugs! glad you had such a cheery weekend, and the jam doughnut muffins look (and sound) wonderful! x

Alison said...

Badgers? Cool, that sounds like a good excuse to while the afternoon away on Pinterest xx

Anonymous said...

Lovely post. A reminder to live in the moment and the extraordinary beauty of everyday life.

Col | Hello Olive Designs said...

A badger birthday cake - good luck ;-) I absolutely love your yellow coffee pot. It's a stunner! x