Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Food and Flowers

Lately, on the home front there have been....

:: Shepherd's Pies that were equally enjoyed by the children, John and I, and my eighty eight year old Granddad.

:: blackberry and apple pies with pastry that sunk and shrunk but still tasted so good.

:: overflowing jam tarts

:: fresh batches of homemade chocolate granola

:: organised Sunday cooking, in the form of bulgar wheat salad for my work lunches during the week

:: Blondies, made by Bella - soft and chewy and as tasty as you would expect something that contains a full pack of butter and 250g white chocolate to be. 

:: frustrating unravelling of rows of crochet due to missing one stitch (I blame my distracted, rushed crochet while the kids are at their swimming lessons....)

:: the antidote - pleasing, soothing crochet in the form of a border for this blanket

:: grape hyacinths which grow abundantly in the front garden, picked and placed in a vase on my bedside table

:: thoughts that maybe I've had enough of the green wall and perhaps it's time for a change

:: thoughts that really our porch/lobby is a waste of time since all we do is store shoes in there, and wouldn't it be better if we just removed the internal door and window to make the whole hallway so much brighter and bigger.... (Me - yes, John - no)

That's what is going on around here at the moment; a lot of cooking, some flowers, a little crochet and always, always, thoughts and conversations about the house, and the next decorating project, and what we could do improve the space we have and make it work better for us. When I say conversations, I mean I talk a lot and wave pictures from Pinterest on my phone under John's nose, and he says things like "We can't afford it", "Gill, I don't think you realise what a massive job that would be", and "If we do that we'll have to replace the floor..."  Undeterred, I persevere. Is it the same in your home?

Talk of knocking down walls aside, it's not really feeling very spring-like here at the moment. In fact, it's pretty cold. John had to scrape ice off the car this morning and I needed gloves on my morning dog walk. I desperately need to spend some time in our poor garden. I was going to tackle it last weekend, I was, but it was really windy so I sat inside with coffee and a magazine instead.

 Thank you all so, so much for your lovely comments on Angus's bedroom. I'm really glad you like it too. I hope spring arrives soon for everyone.


  1. Yes, much the same here. One person with all the inspiration and ideas and one person seeing nothing but problems. Sigh. All that food has made me VERY PECKISH. Still doing the Lent thing. Very cruel to show me that blondie. CJ xx

  2. Same here too! I love your green wall with its floral pictures and I'd love a front porch too - to keep the shoes, coats and maybe a small log pile separate from the rest of the hall. Your food always looks delicious and could you ask Bella to save me one of those Blondies please?! xx

  3. Dear Gillian, your food and flowers look lovely, and the shepherd's pie made my mouth water in spite of it being pre-breakfast time for me (and I would not want shepherd's pie for breakfast!).
    I admire you for all the energy and creativity you keep putting into your surroundings. When I was finished with The Big Swap last year (swapping my bedroom with the living room and re-decorating both rooms), I was just glad it was done! I am very happy with how it has turned out but am not keen on repeating the hard work and messing up my order again anytime soon.
    As for spring - don't worry, it is already here, just taking a short break :-)

  4. Hey Gillian,
    I have cottage pie envy. I'm all for ideas. Marc is all for practicalities. Isn't it annoying when never the train shall meet? I've always liked your green wall. I admire confident colour choices. It's still cold here, by the way. The wind is nippy. No frost. Lots of rain. urgh.
    Leanne xx

  5. Great photos of what you've been up to. Thank you. The hall wall looks lovely with those pictures, but maybe a soft wallpaper. Just an idea from someone who hasn't even bothered decorating this house. Talking about gardens, with yours needing attention because of winter & mine from a hot summer. Top or bottom of the world, we all seem to have problems, but we've actually had our first good rain in months. Yay! Take care.

  6. Same here, months of persuading followed by me doing all the work and then when it all looks lovely you would swear it had all been his idea. Love your blog. ��

  7. Nooooooo you leave that green wall well alone. It is pantone colour of the year! I also think a row of crab stitch will completely finish off Angus' blanket. Other than those two pieces of worthy advice, have a good week!! Love Jo x

  8. Same here. Years not months of persuasion then when I organise for it to be done you would think it was his brainwave! These days I work on at least 5 years if I want him to do anything. Less if I lose my patience and present him with a fait accompli.
    Leave the porch alone - some of us without are really envious! It also keeps the wind and cold out. That green wall is gorgeous. I wish I had your eye for colour and design!

  9. My knitting mistakes always seem to happen when I'm trying to cram in a couple of rows while "playing" with my daughter. Sometimes it is best to just focus on one thing at a time. Looks like some good food at your place. I made a berry pie last week and made a flower pattern for the top dough - so much more fun to eat than just plain crust!

  10. Leave the wall, leave the front porch-it will soon be time for being outdoors and the urge to change things will pass!! Love the blanket-you are a supermum with everything you get done. Catriona

  11. oh wow! I adore your green wall :) x

  12. Okay, I know my opinion doesn't (and shouldn't!) count for much, but I think you should keep the green wall (it's very pretty and just different, which is so good), as well as the enclosed foyer. I really like that and I've never seen anything like it here, so it's cool to me. Also, I appreciate that you called it a "lobby" because I often call our foyer "the lobby," though I don't even know why I say that. It just comes out, for some reason. :)

  13. I love the grape hyacinths! I'm desperate to rearrange our home and make it work better for us right now. Is it spring?

  14. Yes, leave the green wall! I never understood why you picked pink for Angus's blanket but it worked! You have such an eye for color and your use of it inspires me! The red flower wallpaper, the deep gray wall! Wow, the lessons I learn from you!

  15. Sitting reading this at early morning swim training... and now hungry. Love the photographs this week

  16. A whole lot of deliciousness (they're my kind of jam tarts!) and floriferous-ness going on here, Gillian. One small, cautionary tale about walls: in our old house we knocked down most of the downstairs walls to create a lovely, light, open-plan living space. We ended up rebuilding the main one to divide the space up again which was costly and messy all round. It's good to be able to shut the door and hide the mess of shoes, coats, etc! But I understand your desire for progress and change – it's me and my middle child in our family who thrive on change, everyone else digs their heels in. Belated comment on Angus's room – what a lucky boy! It's a triumph. Sam x

  17. I am heading over to your house for leftovers, such yummy things you are tempting us with. I say yes to the wall, you will love the extra space.

  18. Oh yummy, all the food looks delicious and the flowers are so pretty. How frustrating that you have had to frog your cardigan, but Angus's blanket looks wonderful. I cannot wait to see it on his bed.

  19. All your food looks wonderful...would Bella share her recipe? The Blondies look like something that would go over very well at my house!

    1. Hi Elizabeth. They are from a Gordon Ramsay book, you can find the recipe here:
      Gillian x

  20. I think I'll paint the hall green, say I... no, says he, not until the ceiling has been fixed. (that's the ceiling that's been dripping for 2 years).
    I look at him, chew my lip and say
    I think I'll paint the kitchen blue.

  21. The pies look delicious, pies always look delicious! I think for me I'm both those people, I have the ideas but I also see all the problems and stop myself before I can start lately. I kind of wish I could just have the ideas and leave the practical side to someone else!

    S x

  22. adorei saber que nao estou só neste pensamento de reformas.

  23. Some great photos Gillian, and lots of delicious looking food. I'm constantly on the look for improvements at home, though it tends to take The Husband for anything to actually get done, so it all depends whether I suggest something at the same time as he is feeling productive! x


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