Sunday, 31 October 2010

ice cream parlour...


I was so excited to discover this authentic ice cream parlour, tucked away in one of Tenby's back streets, whilst on holiday in Wales. Opened in 1935 by Italian, Geo Fecci, it sells all kinds of ice cream based delights! We sampled a peach melba and banana split ~ somehow encouraging the boys to eat a sundae with fruit in it made the amount of ice cream, whipped cream and raspberry sauce acceptable!

Friday, 29 October 2010

step back in time...


to days before phones, TV and computers, could you do it? We ran away last week, to Bryn Eglur deep in the rural Welsh countryside, to a cottage that has been lovingly restored as a 'tyddyn' a traditional farmers cottage, abandoned in the 1960s and left to ruin. The cottage, furnished with Welsh antiques, even comes with its own black cat called appropriately 'Mrs Jones.'

It was wonderful to spend time together, with books and games of chess and dominoes to keep us entertained, away from the distractions of work, phones and computers. To cook and gather around the gorgeous red rayburn in the kitchen. The authenticity of the cottage, made you appreciate and understand the hardship of generations past, and to use the microwave and electric oven provided in the modern kitchen was almost cheating! There wasn't even a sofa, just traditional Welsh settles, much to the annoyance of one holiday maker when writing in the visitors book! There are however, plenty of chairs, even candlestick backed ones made by the owner after researching traditional styles.

The remoteness and lack of distractions, and maybe the knowledge that Dylan Thomas wrote 'Under Milk Wood' only a few miles away, made me wish I too was writing a novel, at least I did pick up my knitting needles again, after a long break!

I would really recommend a holiday here, I wish there were more places like Bryn Eglur, authentic and sympathetic both in restoration, furnishing and the environment. The only advice I have is take wellies for the wet Welsh weather!

You can book Bryn Eglur, from only £209* for a short break, with Under The Thatch.

*2010 prices

Saturday, 23 October 2010

a nip in the air...


late afternoon sunshine on one of the last warm days of the year, before the north easterly winds bring cold winds and wintery weather! It seems that everyone has the same idea as us, and goes outside to soak up the sunshine, just in case it's the last time they see it!

I love this time of year, the smell of woodsmoke, the nip in the air, pulling on thick winter tights, blowing on cold fingers as you haven't got into the glove wearing routine yet, runny noses and doses of echinacea, wearing thick chunky cardigans, cooking stew and dumplings!

Always at this time of year, as the nights draw in, I grow tired, and need to cuddle up on the sofa under a blanket with a hot cup of tea. I'm sorry if I am quiet, maybe as its harvest, and a time to reflect, I too feel the need for some solitude, to think about the year and be thankful for another year of growth!

I'll be back soon...

Sunday, 17 October 2010

sunny autumn weekends...


I have had a wonderful morning today, photographing a beautiful family, it was a perfect crisp clear autumn day, with sunshine, blue skies, falling leaves and conkers stuffed in pockets!

Yesterday, I took my new sx-70 out for a walk {I broke my last one!}, and took one precious pic from my second 'til last pack of film, it wasn't good enough to share with you, but holding an sx-70 again is just fantastic.

Now as the sun sets, the fire is lit, the husbands Newcastle brown ale stew is smelling delicious in the oven and as the evening draws in, I am going to bake these gorgeous autumn apple doughnuts.

and I can tick number 11 off 'the list', as I now own a pair of brogues, aren't they lovely?

How was your weekend?

Thursday, 14 October 2010

wedding photography...


I never thought I would shoot a wedding, the pressure to capture every single moment, the formality, finding out who everyone is and getting them all, the direction needed to take group shots, all seemed opposite to my natural unobtrusive style. Then Julia asked if I would photograph her wedding, she wanted natural shots and certainly didn't want a photographer taking charge of the day, so I said "Yes!"


So I took both film and digital photographs to capture the day, the film ones captured her 'vintage' style and beautiful home perfectly.


Whilst using my digital SLR with zoom lenses, helped capture little moments from a distance without being noticed! Which is always nice for more camera shy people!


I really enjoyed photographing the wedding, there are a few more pics over on my photography site if you fancy taking a look?

Monday, 11 October 2010

words to shoot by...


here's my latest submission to the words to shoot by project. Good news, you can take part too, Steph will select ten additional submissions in addition to us regular contributors! So get shooting, the next word is 'Orange' and your deadline to email Steph is 23rd October!

I have just found a pack of polaroid 600 film, so am dusting off the sx-70 and will be hitting those autumn woodlands in search of orangey tones over the next few weeks!

Sunday, 10 October 2010

getting closer to nature...


We visited Swift's Hill Nature Reserve today, a small hill top nature reserve with amazing views to Stroud and the River Severn beyond. We found fungi, juniper bushes, small purple scabious flowers and fossils in the quarry. We climbed the hill right to the top and then ran all the way down again! There were lots of different people at the reserve today, who were like us, enjoying the sunshine. Afterwards we stopped in at The Woolpack Inn for a pint as it's just on the other side of the valley from the nature reserve, it used to be Laurie Lee's local and features in his beautiful book 'Cider with Rosie'.

I have been really thinking about how the boys play and the freedom they have to explore, and am currently reading Forest Schools and Outdoor Learning in the Early Years by Sara Knight. It was great watching the boys run around today, like puppies released from a lead!

Saturday, 9 October 2010

holiday cottage owners take note...


I simply love the interiors of this Welsh holiday cottage, Blaen-y-Buarth, in Snowdonia. The use of Welsh slate in the sinks and walk in shower is just amazing! Holiday cottage owners take note, don't skimp on furnishings, holiday makers appreciate the use of locally sourced products such as Welsh woollen blankets and good quality fixtures, fittings and furniture. All too often a holiday home is in a stunning location, of gorgeous architecture and then decked out in all owners cast offs, horrible sofa's or even worse Ikea everywhere! (I have nothing against Ikea, I just don't wish to holiday in the pages of its catalogue!)

Simple, authentic, good quality interiors win every time! Even better - you can stay here too.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

postcards from...

photograph by postcards from

Spent today with lovely Leonie of 'postcards from', on a day trip to Bailey's Home and Garden {yes I have been AGAIN!}, where we disappointedly found the tabernacle tea shop closed, it only opens at weekends folks! We were amazingly restrained with our spending, although I can't stop thinking about a rather gorgeous metal vintage bathroom cabinet!

We found a pub nearby for lunch underneath the trees, and turn our faces towards the gorgeous autumn sun and lazily chat! Leonie is a friend, who I have met through blogging, well through the wonderful Susannah Conway, to be precise and although we only see each other a few times a year, we share HUNDREDS of emails, tweets and blog messages!

If you want to create the 'Bailey's' look, take a look at the Recycled Home and the Simple Home for inspiration.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

loving this homemade tent...


handmade by Catherine for her sons birthday, isn't it amazing? She chose some very gorgeous fabric and fringing from Deckchair Stripes. I love it, don't you?

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

today, I am searching for...


the perfect check shirt. The one above comes from Howies, although I can't decide whether I like big or little checks best? I love this autumn look, do you?

Monday, 4 October 2010

making conker cobwebs...


Yesterday, we made cobwebs with some of the conkers we found on Saturday. We chose a big conker, then carefully made holes and inserted the cocktail sticks, then wrapped the wool around the sticks to make a web. My seven year old made these easily and relished being allowed to use a tool to make holes in the conker!

Sunday, 3 October 2010

bird...


inspired by a recent trip to Bailey's, where there are chalk boards all over the place, I thought a bird would look nice on one of mine too! I only had very thick child's chalk to draw with, but I don't think it looks too bad?

Saturday, 2 October 2010

conkers...


today we gathered conkers, stuffing them into our pockets and bags. Choosing the biggest, the shiniest, the best. Tomorrow we will string them and play conkers.

4725 miles from me in Vancouver, Ella was doing exactly the same thing and posting the same picture!
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