Monday, 31 December 2012

For some, a New Year starts with the overhanging threat of Resolutions, horrid things designed to induce guilt when the inevitable happens and you fail to lose weight or stop drinking or get fit or do the hundred-and-one other things we somehow think are a fitting way to begin afresh. I will be trying the following

  • each day eat good, home-made, thoughtful food, but maybe just a little less of it than before
  • eat less meat and more vegetables and raw foods
  • drink a glass of wine, especially in the company of my loved ones
  • enjoy the fact that we live among beautiful softly rounded hills which, if walked up and down, are better than any gym
  • do one small act of kindness a day
  • re-connect with friends I haven't seen or spoken to in a while
  • read more good books & poems and feel no pressure to read the best-sellers just because everyone else has
  • write more letters, especially ones of thanks and love
  • buy at least one painting or thing of beauty that will be cherished every time I see it
  • be thankful for what I have-my husband and boys, our friends, family, home, food on the table and warm fireside, curtains to close against the dark and cold, the thump of wagging tails and doggy breath
  • think more about what I say, especially before I criticise others 
I think if I achieve even a little of the above 2013 will be a good year! Happy New Year to you!

This lovely lady is by Jenny Meilihove and she pretty much sums me up!

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Yesterday passed in a whirlwind of excitement and gifts and discarded wrapping paper. And a considerable amount of time was spent in the kitchen too, where turkey and ham reigned supreme, along with Stilton and port and Christmas pudding and cake...
Today, thankfully, is calmer. The boys are playing with their new toys and we're relaxing by the fire, enjoying our gifts. I was lucky enough to receive a beautiful Angie Lewin print "Teabowl and Bracken" and a lovely bracelet from Helen Shere. For me, the best presents were home-made or hand-made, the ones which spoke of considered thought and careful preparation. At this busy time of year I especially appreciate the extra effort that it involves. Thank you for all the kindnesses we received!
Angie Lewin - Teabowl and Bracken
"Teabowl and Bracken" 
Just thought I'd show the handmade tiles around the cooker. They come from The Shop Floor Project and are just gorgeous!

Friday, 21 December 2012

Some images from around the house this Christmas...

Christmas Wreath- all fresh foliage, ivy and berries
The garden- brown and grey but still, in its own way, totally lovely
An early-opened Christmas present from a dear friend- thank you Rebecca- I LOVE these painted bunnies!
Unfinished Christmas cake- I make two for a lady in the village up the road. Hers are decorated with white stars and are waiting for their festive ribbon before being delivered.
Another lady, Rembrandt's wife, a gorgeous painting from Joan Hannon - a Moth artist

 The dining room stove
Decorations and dinner plates
My garden wren linocut/collage- the only handmade gifts made by me this Christmas but next year, hopefully, I will be more organised!
Happy Christmas everyone!

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Well Santa Baby you sure do cause a kerfuffle. Every year, without fail, I have a huff over the whole fiasco and swear blind that next year I will hand-make every, single gift. And every year, without fail, I do not. Every year I swear blind I will be organised. And every year I am not. Every year, without fail,  I swear blind I'll make mincemeat and the cake in November. And every year, without fail, I do not. But the tree is up, the house is decorated, the Santa letters have been sent, the cards have been posted, the cake is baking as I type scenting the house with the smell of Christmas and there's only a handful of presents still to buy... We are looking forward to the real meaning of Christmas- spending some time altogether in peace and harmony, snuggling on the sofa with books, movies and the fire for company.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Someone turned forty the other day. Someone doesn't mind this at all. Someone had a fantastic family day with children in Dublin city as well as dinner with close friends. Then someone enjoyed a grown up day in London with some of my favourite people. That someone was me.

We saw the amazing bronze exhibition here. Loved it.

We ate here. I managed to squeeze in fried squid, prawns, courgette & lemon, orecchiette with 'nduja, red onion and rocket, partridge with roast potatoes, espresso gelato...and wine.

Pollock's Pantomime Character Wrapping Paper
We shopped here and here (was so excited to finally visit this shop!) and finally here. It was all amazing and I can't wait to see what this decade brings!