Feeling the heat

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Red sky at night, shepherds delight.
We are enjoying a very hot and pleasantly unusual heatwave here in England at the moment.  The weather has been unbroken sunshing for two weeks now and it is wonderful. It seems to be getting hotter and hotter and hotter.
Now, I know our weather is nothing compared to the heat in some of your countries but for us, it is sweltering!

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Little b is keeping cool with ice creams, homemade icepops and paddling pools. Lazy afternoons where we poddle around at home…. In the garden and in the house.

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Look at big tree, lapping up the azure sky above, swaying around gently and offering us all, chickens gratefully included, some much needed shade.

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My little friend has discovered my raspberries! I’ll be very lucky if any manage to make it into our kitchen this year….

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She eats them green and red! She’s  really not fussy!

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Reaching up high on her little tippy toes and teaching the chickens that these prickly bushes hide juicy treats!

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I wish I could capture the acrobatic antics that these little ladies do to jump up and reach the raspberries.

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There are handfuls all over the canes this year, and earlier than last year too.

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My roses are so beautiful and smell so invigorating that it seems such a shame when I dead head them to throw the beautiful petals away.  I have a plan!
I need six pints of petals, here is my first….

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I’m freezing them in bags until I have enough and then?
Rose petal wine!  I am hoping it will be a success and will keep you up to date!

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Excuse the neglected toenails here, but I have had an injury!
I dropped a sleeper on my foot and obviously was wearing totally inappropriate footwear. Ouch!

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Several frozen pea sessions later and a trip to a and e, I am pleased to say that it’s not broken. Oooo, it made my eyes water but it’s on the mend now.  It’s a good job it was a sleeper actually, as half an hour previous, I was moving all of these into place!

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You see, I have something I am extremely, extremely excited about…. My very own shed! Ooo I can’t wait to paint it and trail a rose up it and decorate it with bunting and hang a basket from it and….. Ok, you see how much I am excited about this. It is going to house my gardening tools, furniture projects and crafty bits and pieces. I need to buy some mouseproof boxes though first and I really need some shelves but Rome wasn’t built in a day was it.
Well, I’m going to research roses a little more now. I had a pruning lesson the other night from my dad but want to know a little more.

Take care my friends and have a sunshiney day, whatever the weather xxxxxxxxxxx

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1 year!

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Happy birthday to me! I have been writing about my comings and goings on windyhill for 1 year today!  my first post featured ginger bread from the lakes, and seeing as my parents have just got back from there and bought us some more, it seems the appropriate thing to do!

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And how things have changed in a year! My extremely talented and creative partner in crime has left his teaching career. He is like a bird that has just discovered that he has wings.  I am so extremely proud of him and am intrigued by watching his new opportunities evolve.
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I’ve been doing my hanging baskets and I have a little tip for you about watering them which makes things much easier.
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I’ve put them everywhere this year. On posts….
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On the dustbin cover….
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And along the fencing around little b’s garden….

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I’ve put some trailing nasturtiums in them all this year and can’t wait for the orange flowers to bloom.
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And this one has a tomato plant in the middle,
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And this one strawberries!
So…. Here is the tip. When you use a watering can and your basket is high up, it’s heavy and difficult. I don’t know about you, but I always end up covered in water. I saw my neighbour doing this and I had to share it as it is so simple!

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Wash out your milk carton well. One with a handle is ideal as it is much easier to lift up high.
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Make some holes in the top and there you have it! I’ve done this before so that b can water the flowers without getting an arm full of water. I don’t know why I haven’t thought of it before!
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I’ve made this little display for by my front door and it looks lovely next to my painted stool!
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And I’ve made pots to brighten up our back door area too!
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And it looks so much brighter than last year.
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And ive put lots of pots along my office!!
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And I am so pleased with the outside table since I’ve painted it and released it from the shackles of brown!
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And this pretty jug of plants sets it off nicely.
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These are my neighbours pots that I have to water at the moment. Mmmm…. Flower envy setting in!!! Aren’t they gorgeous.

And so after ive done watering all of these and the flowers in the garden and the veggies, and the seedlings in the greenhouse. it takes nearly an hour!
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Quiz time! Can anyone tell me what these are? They self set a couple of years ago and I have taken bits off of them and planted them around as I really like them!
And also,
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Anyone know what this bush is? Here is a close up of the flowers…
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Such lovely beauty all around at the minute. It’s so wonderful being outside and enjoying it all. I feel like I need my fix of outside time everyday, like a magnetic pull!
Nothing is as beautiful as this little blossom though…. Painting away again in her garden whilst I sit for a moment.

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And that’s what I love to look at the most xxxxxxxxx

Fragrant preservings!

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A little tip for you today my friends.
This rocket on the picture is a week old!
Look how fresh and crisp it is still.
I tried a little tip I read on the fountain of all knowledge, Pinterest.

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Get a clean jam jar (I’ve got plenty of those as I can’t seem to throw them away) and pop your salad leaves it. Pop in a few grains of rice at the bottom for good measure and screw the lid on.
Hey presto! No more soggy leaves!

Some pretties from my garden for you then….

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Remember earlier this year when my dad gave me lots of roses? They have bloomed gorgeously and make me smile and my heart sing when I look at them.

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And the smell! I feel like I can inhale it from my toes and it fills my whole body with heavenly scent.  It is the loveliest smell.

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I’m very grateful to have a nose that works to enjoy these moments and eyes that can appreciate such beauty.

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These are my new obsession. Aqualegia. M planted them last year but they didn’t bloom. In fact, I’m ashamed to say that I think I pulled some up thinking they were weeds.

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And these have a wonderful scent also.
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I’m still in love with lupins. They’ve thickened and doubled and offer our bees plenty of nourishment.
I’ve got 40 seedlings of them in the greenhouse to dot around for next year. I have discovered something about lupins… You know the natural soap shop ‘lush’ and the distinctive smell when you walk in…. I think I have identified it! When you take a good lung full in from the lupins, it is that very same smell!
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My elderflower trees are heaving this year and I wish this picture came with fragrance. The garden is filled with the heady smell of them.
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They are also doing a great job of hiding the unfinished shed that is being positioned beneath them.
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Now this may not look so impressive but it is something to be happy about. My dad uprooted his peoris and cut it all down to a mere stump. A far cry from it’s previous six foot glory. It was planted at my house and looked like it had not survived it’s ordeal. But look! Like a phoenix rising from the ashes ( quite literally as I threw a load of fire ash in the soil around it) it has come back! And looks very promising indeed.
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And lastly, my sweet little stocks that I have dotted around. Yummy smelling and so pretty.
Well, that is all for now…. We are off to playgroup.

Enjoy your crisp lettuce leaves and enjoy your day!

Lots of love xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

New ventures

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This is a lovely way to end a busy, busy day.
You see, I have something

to tell you!  I have a little business.

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Bella gardens! Beautiful gardens!
All those little seedlings that I have lovingly been nurturing have grown and bloomed and I have been sending them on to their new homes.
I’ve been doing some gardening for some sweet elderly ladies and today…. We were on the road!

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Here we are! Selling our pots and planters and lovely, cheery posies.

This is at a garden party at a local school.
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Here we are…. My lovely mum and I.  I was so grateful to have her there for her help, companionship and marketing expertise! Not to mention the shandy. Love you mum xx
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I bought this hat stand to display my baskets and guess what! I put them on at home…. Perfect…. Put them on at the venue and it was a hanging basket avalanche moment!
My poor old dad had only been roped into dropping my mum off…. An hour later and gallons of sweat, he was released from lumping and bumping all the plants up and down steps etc etc…. Sorry dad…. Love you! Xx
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There’s been so much preparation for all of this.  I have been shabbying furniture to display plants. Oh, I have a whole post on this Coming. I have been using a recipe I found on Pinterest for Annie Sloan style chalk paint and I have a new hobby!!!! This old cranky stool looks so much better in this chalky lilac.
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And look at my picture frames I have transformed from boring brown! These were 20pence each and buy one, get one free at our village charity shop! Excellent!
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I’ve also worked some magic on this old trolly, but I shall share that later, along with the recipe

Other things then….
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I still have two broody hens! Yikes! When this end? However, the other two are enjoying the extra room
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Climbing on things….
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And foraging around. Look at that purple flower…. It’s a type of sage and is so pretty. M grew it from seed last year.
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Little b and I have been exploring new places…. Here we are re-living the bear hunt book, yet again!
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She runs everywhere! And I have to keep up.
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We bash sticks and find….

Enormous, fallen trees!

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And have a good old look at all the creepie crawlies.

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And learn to dangle!
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Some pretties to finish with then….

I was lucky enough to catch this orange tip on my stocks.
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And this lovely female smooth newt.

Right, I’m going to watch the bats now whizzing around.
Take care lovelies,
Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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Catch up xxxx

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My gorgeous little girl is growing by the day. She is so bright and funny these days. 

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Here she is dressed in her big cousins hand-me-down, red-riding hood cloak.
It was bookstart bear week here you see, and you know how much we love the library….

And our local library had a visit from bookstart bear himself! Of course we went and little b was thrilled.
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And on the way home she looked like red-riding hood herself, running to her grandmothers house.
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We’ve had lots of lovely weather here so far.
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I know everyone seems to moan about the weather but I have a theory that when people are working hard in their offices and buildings, they simply just don’t notice the good weather.  I do feel very blessed to be with little b during the week and being able to make a picnic up at the drop of a hat and run to the great outdoors.
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We’ve been to our usual haunts and enjoyed watching the buds opening….
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Filling our lungs with oxygen whilst we explore.

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I love these blues and oranges together….

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Little b’s current fascination is with bees.
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It’s I good job really, as granny and grandads bird box has been adopted as home-sweet-home by a local swarm.
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The red current was swarming with them and seemed to vibrate with their busyness.
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We’ve been up trees,
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Grown our veggies,
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Had guinea-pig moments,
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Night time bonfires,
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Painted in the garden,
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Made tiered plant beds,
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Painted tables,
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Planted pots up,
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Painted the bird table,
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And the chicken house,
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Gone on adventures,
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Had yummy breakfasts,
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Made the outside pretty (er!)
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Learned some letters,
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Walked our usual walks,
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Sat under the newly christened ‘robin hood tree’
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Made daisy chains,
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Become very good at faces,
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Had evening cheeky visits to the pub,
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Played space rockets
And generally have been having a good time.

Life is as good as it has always been, if not better, here on windy hill and I hope yours is too!

Xxxxx

Chick chick chick chick chicken

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Well, my lovely, lovely, lovelies.
For the first time in two weeks I have sat down in the evening…. Not until 10pm  mind, but currently, I am sat!

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…. With a rather large ladybird tent at my feet!

What has been keeping me so busy? And ravaging my hands to ribbons?

Dig

Dig

Dig

Digging in the garden…. In wind, rain and shine, all for a special reason.

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My natural area is lovely, but thick with brambles and totally beyond use. But!!

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I have raked and dug, pulled roots and been scratched to death….

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And cleared a sizeable, triangular space for a specific season.

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And from my window, I can see more of the view now. Lovely.

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My lovely little neighbour has been keeping me company and….

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I’ve seen beautiful Sunsets and….

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Sunset rainbows.

But, why?  Well…. All this effort has been for a wonderful new chapter of life on windyhill…. For these little beauties….

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Ginger, a red warren hen….

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Sweety, a white Sussex star….

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And two speckledy’s…. Bunny and hop!

Mmmm…. Strange names, but thanks to b, this is what we are calling them.

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Aren’t they lovely!  They are all very young, only 20 weeks old. Barely been on the planet!

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And yet, their instincts show them a great deal of wisdom.

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We have inherited a coop and run and it sits lovely….

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And the hens all seem to look at home.

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Little b loves them! Especially ginger who lets us pick her up and stroke her…

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It’s only day 1 with our feathered friends, but it’s been a lovely day. I just hope I get some sleep and avoid dreaming nasty fox related dreams!

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And poor tinky!!!! Here she is, the other side of the little gate. She’s had her nose pressed underneath it all afternoon!

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We are in for some fun when they finally meet!

So, I am a total novice and have a lot to learn, but it’s going to be a lovely learning journey.

Night night xxxxxxxx

Catch up 2

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So much has been happening that I have so much to put to require a sequel!
I’m so sorry…. I will try to write at my usual frequency again.

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My two little ladies have become such good friends and it is so sweet to see. On a Wednesday, we like to spend the whole day at home. Of course, this happens more than just a Wednesday, but Wednesdays are struck off generally and nothing is booked on them. It is my cleaning up day (or hour really) we have a special breakfast rather than the usual porridge or Wheatabix and my little pal gets to indulge in some tv whilst I sort the downstairs out and then we spend the rest of the day playing.

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Baking… This time it was banana bread as little b has developed a repulsion of brown bananas.

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And gardening.

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Here she is, potting on my strawberry plants. She did a lovely job.

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Filling the pots up and then….

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Tucking their legs  under their soily duvets.

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And doing a grand job of watering.

Our Wednesdays are sacred. I have never felt inclined to over stimulate my little friend by running around the planet, here and there constantly to various baby and toddler activities. We do certain things now that she is of the age to learn about sharing and socialising but I have always felt that she should have time to relax in her own environments and explore everything at her own pace rather than rushing here and there.

Anyhow…. Back to the point….

Last Wednesday was not sacred. Nooo! It was awful!  You see, that awful thing called an oven was well beyond in need of a clean. It has been terrorising me for a while now. Catching my eye and threatening me with Smokey plumes when I cook. Oh dear. It had to be done.

Now…. Explicit content warning time!!!!!!

The next picture I am utterly ashamed of but took it for the sake of this post…..

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Aaaaaaaaaa!!!!!

Quick! Balance it out with something nice and your eyes will feel better….

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Flowers. Lovely….

I’m sorry but there we are, it was dreadful.  Now you know my take on cleaning products so I have been dreading this.

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I made a vinegar, bicarb and soap solution up and gave it so much elbow grease that my elbows are positively running on empty now. Unfortunately, it was fruitless. The oven was laughing a very dirty laugh in the face of my cleaner. It absolutely pains me to say that I waited til little b went to bed and reached for the oven spray.

What a horrible job. Awful. Urgh.
But it was done and….

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Gleaming again.

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Hurray! Must not leave it so long next time!

Now, I also set to work around our log burner and here are the tips….

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I found the easiest way of cleaning the glass…. Can you read what it says?

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I used nail varnish remover! Now, I wiped it all off after and you want to avoid lighting a fire immediately after you do this but I was cleaning mine up for it’s seasonal closure.

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It whipped through the grime in no time.

Now…. Tip 2….

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Baby oil!

Not only did it bring little bs blackboard back to life….

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But also….

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My slate tiles around the fireplace are gleaming and gave all their colour back.

It also made my oven shine again and was great at getting splodges off of the stove.

So there we have it…. Today is Wednesday and b and I are still snuggled up in my bed, her watching fireman Sam and me writing this at 8.30am. No grubby, horrible jobs planned for today, just the usual cleaning and pottering and a little prep work for operation exciting times next week.  I leave you with a picture of little b pretending to be in jail behind the fire guard whilst I was cleaning it.

Love and restful thoughts sent to you all

Xxxx Eve xxxx

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Catch up 1

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It’s been a beautiful day today. Now the easterly winds have left us, we are back to our usual milder but contrary climate.

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We’ve had a blanket picnic in the garden today and my Forsythea is finally blooming its sunny rays upon our hedgerow.

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Poor tinky.
She’s not allowed in b’s garden and little b obviously felt sorry for her.  I caught the pair of them in cahoots smuggling bread sticks through the fence!

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We popped in to see granny and granddad this morning and had a lovely sunshiney swing in their garden.

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And this afternoon, we took a cottage pie to aunty s next door as She’s had her hip done so after guarding her legs from a rather bonkers 2 year old, I took little b to one of my favourite spots in our village…. The graveyard at the top of the hill.  It was so picturesque with beautiful primroses scattered throughout the grass like a wonderful blanket of petals.

Everywhere you look….

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A sea of colour and a hive of activity for the bumblebees.

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I feel quite inspired to make tinkys garden like this, scattering spring bulbs throughout it.

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We’ve walked to the paddocks at the bottom of our garden….

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Fed our friendly neighbourhood ponies some carrots….

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This little Shetland is my favourite. Her name is Goldie.

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We’ve collected frogspawm out of our natural pond to observe…. It’s teaming with it in there!

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Little b was impressed to start with, but it soon wore off as we are still waiting for their metamorphosis to begin.

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Come on tadpoles! Sprout your little limbs for us!

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And we had a lovely, lazy morning in the garden in our Jim jams looking at ladybirds

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It’s been magnificent and spinetinglingly refreshing and recharging to be out and about in some sunshine.
Just a quick catchup this time…. Last night I was drowning under a sea of pansies but I have finally potted on my 2,000 plants! All will be revealed soon, and something extra, extra special is happening next week. I am so excited I could pop and I can’t wait to show you.

Catch up 2 coming soon with a couple of little handy tips I’ve found.

Lots of love and sunshiney vibes

Xxxxxxxx Eve xxxxxxxx