CORNWALL IS NOT CLOSED!

We are just over halfway through our annual  pilgrimage to our heavenly home from home – Penventinue Manor Farm, Fowey – and I feel like shouting to the world…well, the rest of the UK…”Cornwall is NOT closed!”

open

We have all seen the dramatic footage over the last few months of this beautiful part of the country being literally ripped apart by the storms. However, what hasn’t been covered as much by the media is the sheer force of determination of the Cornish people to repair and renew their damaged properties and businesses in time for the new season.

Just walking through town which, according to locals, “was not badly hit” compared to other areas, you can see the last bits of reparation being completed, lots of freshly painted white buildings and newly planted window boxes adding bright splashes of Spring colour. The many businesses, whether branches of larger chains like Joules, Seasalt and Boots or smaller independent businesses like Quay Bakery Ltd, Mrs Noahs Gifts, Bookends of Fowey  and The Lifebuoy Cafe have all burst into bloom, like the famous  Cornish hedges surrounding the town, and the welcome is as warm as ever.

So, please support Cornwall and the many other areas of the country hit by the storms by not assuming they are all washed out and come and visit! If you are worried, contact your chosen destination to check they are open, don’t just assume they are not. And if you can’t visit in person, try to support the many small businesses that sell on-line. Here are just a few of my personal favourites: Cornishbirdinthesticks, Lou Tonkin, Welbeck Tiles.

Let’s show these fabulous people that their determination, dedication and sheer hard work has been worth it, Cornwall is OPEN!!

Sun

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SUNNY SUNDAY

This morning started bright and breezy and I felt inspired to get out into the garden for the first time this year. In true Miriam style, I faffed around until the sun had returned to the comfort of his blanket of cloud but I was determined to make a start on the front bed.

Before

I am waiting for some wild flower seed tape from Simple Sowing (who I found out about from a letter from the RHS which included a 25% discount code!) and am hoping to turn last year’s attempt at a mini wild flower meadow into an actual mini wild flower meadow!

Friend or foe?Pretty much as soon as I started pulling up all the grass, dead wild flowers and…um…weeds, I found I was not alone! There were loads of both of these little creatures, along with the usual worms, snails, slugs, etc but were they friend or foe? I have a feeling that the brown one is a Leather Jackets but the colouring doesn’t seem to be right.  I posted the above photo on twitter to see if any of my gardening followers could advise and so far, only one reply to say both are foes (thanks Viv). However, as I am not so keen on bumping creatures off,  until I get some more confirmation of their friend or foe status, they shall get a reprieve!

I did, however, have a more welcome companion while I was attempting to clear the ground whilst not slicing any of the juicy worms in half, my neighbours cat.  Isn’t he a beauty?!

My gardening companion

In addition to my gorgeous feline companion, I  am very pleased to say there was another little creature who joined me. I noticed a little ladybird on one of the plants I pulled up and thought it was dead. However, I decided that a) his shell looked quite bright to belong to a dead ladybird and b) felt sad that this little creature was now laying in the mud, so I picked him up and carefully dropped him in the middle of the clump of grass that I had decided not to dig up – it would make a great home or, if he was dead, a peaceful resting place. How happy I was when, five minutes later, I spotted him checking out his new abode!

Ladybird RescueAfter about an hour of clearing and digging, interspersed with nice catch ups with a couple of my neighbours, I felt I had made a reasonable start to the gardening season.  I have left the big clump of grass, aka Ladybird Villas and some self seeded Red Valerian (I’ve been waiting for it to float over from my neighbour’s garden since we moved in in 2007!), aka Bee Central both of which I think will add to the wild/meadow effect I am hoping for.

AfterI didn’t do as much as I had planned when I looked out the window at the sunshine this morning but, as my rather achy, upper arms will confirm, I had done enough to feel pleased.

WHEN LOVE TURNS TO HATE!

Isn’t it strange how something that we once loved with practically every fibre of our being can become something that we loath with an equal amount of passion?

I hate my bed!

Our bed

When Mr F and I bought our first bed together, it was a momentous occasion! For years we had been sleeping on a bed frame that we had been given by my big sister who had, in turn, acquired it from our bigger sister. To compliment the ‘well loved’ bed frame, my biggest (and only) brother gave us his old orthopaedic mattress. All of this, at the time, had been a major step up from the airbed we had been sleeping on! So, when we finally had the money to buy a new bed frame, we were over the moon.

We purchased an up to date, wooden frame that fitted perfectly into our bedroom at the time (I think from Homebase, but I can’t remember now). We didn’t have spare cash at the time to upgrade our mattress but the fact that the bed frame did not have a bucket full of wood glue holding it together was thrilling!

Sometime later, following the birth of our eldest child and in anticipation of our youngest child, we moved to a larger house. Our bedroom felt huge, previously everything had fitted rather snugly, but this excitement was short lived. Our fabulous, new bed frame didn’t really work in it’s new location. It had been perfect in the old house but now it just…wasn’t! In an effort to improve on the situation, we splashed out and bought a fabulous new, extra deep, Slumberland mattress. It felt like floating on a cloud!

For a while, this extra comfort distracted us from the fact that our bed just didn’t work in our new bedroom. Sadly, this distraction has come to an end for me. I am sure my feelings towards my bed has some bearing on my frequent bouts of insomnia. Add to that the fact that we haven’t decorated our room since we moved in – our daughter’s room took priority, then a new kitchen, then a new bathroom, then our new baby boy’s room, then the sitting room and, most recently, the hall, stairs and landing – I was getting rather down about our boudoir.

However, things are on the up! After attending a lampshade making course run by the lovely Lynne Sharpe at Beautiful Things HQ, I created this wondrous shade to go in our bedroom.

Lampshade

I bought the fabric to make the shade from Hobbycraft and was super pleased to learn later that it is from the Love collection by Amy Butler! I loved the fabric so much, that I went back and bought some more…just because! Luckily, the ‘just because’ came in handy as I decided to make (with a little support from my crafting guru, Claire Mackaness from BTHQ) some bedside table lamps to match!

bedside table lamps

So, where does this leave us? Searching, that’s where! Searching for the perfect bed to lift my spirits and to transform our ‘room’ into a sanctuary of peace and slumber!

Well, I have searched and searched and have now fallen madly in love with this truly fabulous bed from the Storage Bed!

The Storage Bed custom design

Mechanisms

As you can see, this website allows you to design your own bed to suit all your needs. The photo above is the bed I have designed and includes the End Opening Mechanism. I have sent off for some free fabric samples and, once they arrive, I shall begin my campaign to convert Mr F to my way of thinking!

I hope it won’t be too long before my feelings towards my bed are completely reversed – wish me luck!

WHAT A DAY!

Yesterday, despite the grotty weather, started off on a high for me – I could eat again! I had just completed my first three day cleanse with Squeeze, which you will be able to read more about soon, and I felt fab! Instead of sitting on the edge of my bed feeling like an ancient, creaky, achy woman, I felt renewed, refreshed and relaxed.
I started the day with a hot water and lemon and a bowl of sliced banana with blueberries in one of my lovely, new Jamie at Home Rimple bowls. I just love the way it sits in my hand – not too heavy, not too big and the little ripples ensure the perfect grip. I know…it’s a bowl! However, it makes me happy.

Breakfast Love

After dropping the children off at school, I skipped off to town to do a few errands and while wandering around the Co-op in a blissful state, I heard the assistant request the owner of the car with my licence plate number to go to the help desk. On the negative side, a mature lady and her companion had shown that there are lots of horrible people in the world. On the positive side, two young girls had shown that there are still good people in the world.

So, what had happened? The two girls had heard a loud bang as they were getting into their car and turned to see that a car had reversed into my little purple car. The passenger, the afore mentioned mature lady, got out and inspected the damage and then promptly got back into the car and drove off! My poor Johnny Cab!

It might not look like much, but there are two cracks in the bumper which means a new bumper is required.

It might not look like much, but there are two cracks in the bumper which means a new bumper is required.

Needless to say, my lovely day went down hill rather fast. To add to it all, I only had twenty four hours to physically go into a police station to report the incident and to make an official statement. So, thanks to the Wickford Police Station being no more, I headed off to Billericay – in a hail storm – to be greeted by an initially very frosty lady on the desk who managed to make me feel like a criminal despite being the victim.

For your information, when reporting a similar crime, you will need to take both parts of your driving licence, your MOT certificate and your insurance documents. It really helps if you know this before travelling to the next town but worry not, if you don’t know or forget then the frosty lady will smile while she gives you a ticket requiring you to present said documents within seven days!

While the frosty lady was filling in the form, I looked out the window and my spirits lifted a little as I spied Cook! I promised myself that if I got out of the police station in time, I would pop in. I love Cook – such a brilliant concept.

So, it was with a renewed bounce that I left Billericay Police Station with a ticket in my pocket and my taste buds tingling with anticipation of the delights I was sure to find in store. I was met by a lovely lady (hooray, faith in humanity restored again) who welcomed me to the store, checked if I needed any help, told me about their Valentine’s offer and offered me a taster that sounded yummy but unfortunately had prawns in, so I couldn’t partake (fear not fellow veggies, they have a great range of vegetarian meals).

Fifteen minutes later I left with a bag full of yummy, yet slightly restrained delights for Mr F and I to enjoy for Valentine’s Dinner (my Squeeze cleanse was still at the front of my mind!) along with a some tasty treats for my lunches next week.

Cook bag stuffed full Cook Valentines Dinner Cook lunches

To add to my joy, the sun came out!

Sunshine at last

I nipped home to put my Cook goodies in the freezer and then rushed to my daughter’s school to fulfil my PTA duties and help supervise film night. I had good company during the film, Despicable Me 2, and it was really lovely at the end when lots of the littlies got up and boogied to Happy. I know it is a bit of a love it or hate it song, but I am definitely in the love camp! So, for your enjoyment, here it is

My day was nearly over but I had one last thing to do – a mission in the name of LOVE! Many of you have read about Mr F, my other half, but what you may not know is that I have a Craft-wife-to-be as well! As a symbol of my love and dedication to her and the craft, I tiptoed out in the cold and the dark to put up the latest mini yarn bomb in our street!

Birch Green Valentine Yarn Bomb 1

It doesn’t look that fab in the dark, so will try and get some photos of it in the sunshine. However, as an added treat for my love, I have added a bit of magic!

Birch Green Valentine Yarn Bomb 2

My day was finally over!

– UPDATE – UPDATE – UPDATE – UPDATE – UPDATE – UPDATE –

My wonderful Craft-wife-to-be has not only taken a photo in day light of my gift to her but she has returned the favour and added her own to it – isn’t it beautiful?!

Love