Sunday, 30 June 2013


This glorious weekend I mean, of course!
We have been very busy, cricket match on Friday evening, T20 and our team Notts won...... wahay!
Bus trip to Norfolk on Saturday and a car boot and antique fair at Wicksteed park on Sunday, culminating in a lovely picnic in the sunshine....what could be better.......well....

....No don't get me wrong we are very lucky DH and I to be so fit and able and this is in no way a poke at those less able than ourselves, but I have to say Saturday was an eye opener! It is a long time since we have been on a bus trip and when we saw the advert for a trip to the Bure Valley steam railway followed by a two hour cruise on the Norfolk broads we thought what fun. No driving for Mr WB and everything organised for us. It would be a lovely change.
So we arrived at the designated pick up point, our local bus station, on time to find not some swish modern coach, but a mini bus! hour later having driven round umpteen villages via what felt like cart tracks we eventually liaised with our proper coach to finally set off.. So a journey which we expected to take just over 2 hours actually took over 3!! Not such a good start.
At this point I should say that 'we' consisted of Mr WB about to be OAP proper, me OAP for nearly five years now and friend a young thing in her middle fifties.I should also state that we were by far the youngest on the bus!.....
We arrived at Aylsham, a pretty well kept station on the Bure Valley Steam railway with an hour to spare before our trip on the longest stretch of 15 inch guage railway in Norfolk. The plan was to get some lunch at the station cafe.

Well it is at this point that I will say I hope I never become this rude as I get older. Just getting off the bus was a performance with everyone determined to get out of their seats first and the first indication that their Ps and Qs had certainly not been a priority in their packing! Probably left behind along with their humour!
Once in the cafe we stood in the queue waiting to order our meals and were jostled and pushed by our fellow passengers. Hands pushed in front of your face to reach things out of cabinets, handbags thrust over shoulders regardless of the fact that they had almost knocked your glasses off. Even as you tried to order, the poor girl serving found it hard to hear what you were saying for people pushing forward and worse still actually arguing among themselves.
Eventually though we got on the train and traveled the 9 miles to Wroxham where we were to pick up the boat to cruise the broads. Great we thought, an upper deck, if we nip up quick we will most certainly avoid a repeat of the cafe episode. But no, I don't know how they managed it considering how unsteady some of them had been on their feet, but before you knew it we were again surrounded by senior citizens who thought it was perfectly OK to crowd round you, remove seats from your table even before you had actually sat down, talk over you and just be generally rude. Talk about Victor Meldrews!!
If I ever hear another 'older' person lament to me about young people's manners I will certainly tell them that it's time they set them a better example then!
OK rant over.....sorry!!
Now for the nice bit....and the cruise really was.....

The captain gave a very informative commentary, and the views were stunning.  I now have cottage with river frontage envy!! (Although when he told us the price tags of some of them, it did wain a bit).

This one has 'me' written all over it...sigh.....

We were even lucky enough to see one of the old Norfolk wherries. This was one of the sailing ones with the white sails as opposed to the working ones which had black sails, but she was still quite a sight.I believe there are now only about eight still in existence.

On Sunday we went off to Wicksteed Park in Northants.

There is now a regular car boot here on a Sunday morning. No goodies found today I'm afraid but I did find a little gem at the antique fair.....

Beautiful glass spice jars on a metal shelf by Tala. The green is perfect for my kitchen, although where I am going to hang it is another thing. But I couldn't leave it could I?

So we ended the day with a lovely picnic and a glass of wine and returned home feeling that summer had arrived at last.

I hope yours was good too and that we keep a bit of this weather for a while longer...

Now what shall we do about that bus trip we booked in September.................

Jenny xx

Thursday, 27 June 2013


Today as a bit of a change I am bringing you a guest post....Having touched on Children's parties previously and always looking for ideas for my grandsons, I think it is sometimes good to look at someone else's perspective. I hope for all you mums out there trying to organise something for your little prince or princess that there may be some advise here that can help...

Claire White is a mother of two from London. With five years experience in the events and entertainment industry where she helped organise large-scale corporate parties, she turned her attention to children’s party planning after having children. She now offers regular advice to parents on how they can throw the best parties for their children.

It’s My Party......
Nowadays children’s parties can represent big business. From party planners, extortionately expensive entertainers and elaborate excursions to ‘gift experiences’, games and goody bags, organising a child’s birthday party probably won’t be a small affair. 
Depending on the impending age of your toddler, chances are a longed-for theme is likely to change up to the eleventh hour, whereas older children are more likely to be more consistent with their party preferences. Whether princesses, pirates or a hoard of Harry Potters, it’s still possible to plan a party to please everyone within your particular budget. 
The question of venue
Choose a venue that’s appropriate for the number of children you’re expecting. Summer garden parties are ideal in obliging weather conditions. You can eliminate stress-inducing mess by containing the children outside where spills and stains are unlikely to create any lasting damage. Colourful bunting or fairy lights offer an enchanting alternative to indoor decor. Similarly, a spooky theme works wonders with outdoor decorations at dusk. 
Elaborate on a chosen theme with party food for kids that inspires imagination. Create ghoulish gourmet delights to satisfy blood-thirsty appetites or plan a princess party complete with pink cupcakes. Make your own centrepiece with a cake design which is firmly in-keeping with the chosen theme. 
If the weather is likely to be less than reliable, why not consider hiring a village hall or community centre for a couple of hours? Often inexpensive, most amenities have space for a small bouncy castle or alternative toys and entertainment. It could be a simple and effective way to make sure everyone has a good time when the weather forecast lets you down. 
The presence of an entertainer allows parents to concentrate on co-ordinating food preparation without the additional concern of keeping 20 toddlers entertained. From balloon modelling to magic shows, there is something to enthral and entertain everyone. If, however, this option is beyond your budget, you can always stick to traditional birthday party games, such as ‘pass the parcel’ and ‘musical statues’. Ensure that you enlist the help of grandparents or friends and other relatives to relieve a little of the party pressure.

A piñata makes a great contemporary alternative to traditional games. Similarly, simple, easy-to-apply face painting designs will add an element of interest to the proceedings. With music, food and a few friends, your pintsize party-goers are bound to have a ball.   

Thank you to Claire for some handy tips there, there are certainly one or two I will be noting down for future reference.

Jenny xx

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Hwyl Fawr i Cymru

OK that was Google translate helping there, I hope it is correct for 'Goodbye to Wales' as I would hate to offend anyone. But as I like to try to speak a phrase or two of their language where ever I visit, I could not let Wales go without a try!
The last leg of our Welsh adventure took us across the Elan valley to Aberystwyth via the Devils Bridge. Words really cannot do justice to the scenery here so I will let my pictures (for once) do the talking...

These stunning views changed dramatically at one point as we came upon these 19th century abandoned mines. I believe lead was mined here and in others close by copper.....

They have now been designated areas of particular archaeological interest and much of it is fenced off. But what you can see is a stark reminder of the conditions that men worked in to extract these precious metals.

Our journey continued on to The Devils Bridge. There is a pretty story about the 3 bridges which are built virtually on top of each other.You can read it here

Again the views were spectacular and even though there had been much less rain than usual leading up to our visit the water falls were magnificent...

 And then finally we arrived at Aberystwyth, what a wealth of lovely architecture....

And the natives were quite friendly (especially if you shared your fish and chips )...

 So with a beautiful view of the bay we said goodbye....for now....but we will be back....after all it is in my blood.....Stormy Johns from Pembroke I am sure you have been watching me discover your beautiful country, and perhaps you are smiling a little, though I have yet to venture that far south!

Hoping I didn't lose you all on the way, it was another marathon...

Jenny xx

Thursday, 20 June 2013


I am so excited that I have almost completed my samples and designs for my new wedding/christening/party outfits for all your little princesses.
Initially I will be offering the floral spot dresses in the green, chocolate brown and red colourways with contrasting flowers. Brown sash with red flowers on the brown and red sash with green flowers on the red. Though they can all be interchanged at the customers request.

I am also making some plain dupion silk and taffeta dresses in the same design in white, turquoise and candy pink.
They will be embroidered with daisies and butterflies on the top of the dress, and the matching shoes and headbands will have freestanding butterflies. I hope to be able to show you these next week. Just waiting for some habby supplies to finish them off!

My other new products are Baby bear boxes. These are for new babies, baby showers etc and contain a pair of first size shoes and a hanging bear to decorate a crib or pram. At present I have made them in just pink and blue, but I am open to suggestions.

There will also be a teddy garland consisting of five teddies on a ribbon, the same teddy but about half the size, to hang on a cot end or decorate a nursery. These new products will come in gift boxes so perfect as a new baby gift.

I have so enjoyed making these and couldn't resist letting you have a sneak peek.
I hope to have them for sale in the next couple of weeks, and they will hopefully be sold through the Fab Little Shop, which is a new Children's on line shop full of talented designer makers being launched any day now.

Well back to the machine, my head is now buzzing with new ideas and I haven't felt this motivated in ages.

I would certainly welcome any comments.

Jenny xx 

Sunday, 9 June 2013


Our journey continues.....
On our 'rest days' we decided to do the touristy thing and visit some of the nearby towns for a bit of sightseeing and possibly a bit of retail therapy. Two of these were Ludlow and Hereford. Not Wales I hear you shout. No I know, but they did sound interesting and were pretty close.
I have to say that for me Ludlow was my favourite. The architecture was quite stunning. I really love the whitewashed and timber buildings. In fact there are 5 grade 1 listed buildings in the town including Ludlow castle and the impressive Feathers Hotel, and over 500 listed buildings altogether including some fine medieval and Tudor examples.

The town plan remains much as it did when it was built around 900AD.
We spent a lovely afternoon here doing a little shopping and we even found a small antique emporium filled with all kinds of wonderful French furniture and linens, but alas the things I coveted most were too big to transport home, so regrettably and much to DH's relief  I had to leave them behind.
On the way back to base we came across another castle, Croft castle, now under the care of the National Trust, but the Croft family still reside in part of it. What a find. There is not a massive amount of the inside open to the public, but the gardens were lovely, especially the kitchen garden and the parkland.

For our second walk of the week we set off from Presteigne, about 3 miles from our base, on a circular route taking in part of the Radnor forest. A mere 8 miles this time and in beautiful sunshine. Its hard to put into words how amazing the views were but I hope my photos can give you a little taster.....

My final post will take you with us through the Élan valley to Aberystwyth via the Devils bridge.  I hope you can join me next time.......

Jenny xx