Friday, August 30, 2013


This coming weekend we're off to Oxford to meet my lovely brother and his fiancee for lunch.  This made me think back to another day spent in Oxford this year, so here we are doing a bit of time travelling again and leaping back to April when we spent a day there with James' parents.

Even though it's only a short hop away I've not spent more than a handful of hours in Oxford before but what a beautiful city.
It's dominated by all of the university buildings, even in the middle of the city centre.
And my what a splendid sight they are.
But make your way off the crowded main streets and there are wide open spaces and greenery to be enjoyed.
And maybe a little punting down the river.  It was a pretty cold day so I think these folks were brave to be on the river!
There are plenty of little side streets to explore.
But you always end up back at some magnificent and imposing college building.

Thought it would be funny to pose outside this doorway considering I can be pretty irrational most of the time!!
And here we are outside the famous Radcliffe Camera, you can read all about it here if you like
After all the mornings walking and exploring we had to finish our time in Oxford with a bit of a sweet treat to restore the energy levels .... mine came in the form of a banana split ....... I might have to try and search one of these out again on Saturday ;)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Birthday treats

Birthdays are wonderful things, the perfect excuse to ignore chores for a day and have a bit of fun I was really spoilt this year and got some fabulous gifts and was treated to a lovely meal out at my favourite restaurant.

James surprised me with a wonderful extremely decadent white chocolate covered birthday cake 
With the left over money from my Aunt's birthday cheque I treated myself to a couple of magazines and some lovely thrifting finds.  A Rick Stein cookbook, a cone of lovely yarn and a fabulous little highland cow cross stitch bookmark kit (the thrifting find cost me a grand total of £2.50)
As for the stack of birthday gifts from my wonder friends (I showed all the parcels wrapped up in their finery in 'my week in snapshots' the week before this) ......well they turned into this pile of wonderful treats.
Who says birthdays aren't any fun as you get older?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

My week in snapshots

Do you ever have that feeling that your bubble is due to burst soon? Despite the stresses and strains that my job is still causing I have been so happy and content these last few weeks, I'm wondering if there is something just round the corner that is going to rain on my parade.  Let's hope not :)

Every Sunday James bakes a yummy loaf of soda bread exactly like his Gran used to make (or near enough) which we smother in tasty jam.  We scoff and drink tea until we're stuffed.  I love Sundays.
James bought me a fabulous new phone for my birthday.  He knows how much I love taking photos and how annoyed I get on the occasions I manage to leave my house without my camera.  So wonderful man that he is bought me a new mobile phone with a fabulous camera, and has installed some whizzy photo apps for me too.  I had a day off work on Monday so here is a little photo collage of the day spent messing around with my new toy.
A quick photo from inside a local church.  It's literally opposite my flat and although I've lived there for 6 months I've never been to look around.  I might do a whole post about my wanderings in the church sometime.
Watching some local bird life
A much needed Friday afternoon chocolate injection at my desk
A new project on the needles.  This picture is in the photo collage but I just had to give this it's own mention.  This book was another birthday present.  I love that my fabulous man knows exactly which brand of weird floats my boat.
Finished off the week with a lovely meal out and a couple of cocktails at a new texmex place that's opened up down the road, sadly I wasn't able to ply James with enough cocktails to get him in that wrestling mask ;)
This weekend is a holiday weekend so three days off work.  Happy Days.  It's going to be another good week, with a trip to the movies, a picnic in the park, dog walking with friends and a lunch date with my brother and his lovely fiancee planned in.  So I'm thinking my bubble of content will remain in tact for the next wee while at least :)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A really cute find

So remember last week I said that I might go in search of a little birthday treat for myself? Well I found the perfect thing in a local second hand store.

I fell in love at first sight with this really cute little bench/footstool and thought it was a really good match for the dresser that I bought earlier this year.
What do you think?  It's found a new home tucked away under one of the living room windows.
As you can see in the top picture it has some really nice carved pattern details.  The doors on the dresser also have some detailing, they look as though they were meant for each other I think.
I really did splash out as the stool cost £20.  Which is pretty extravagant considering the budget I generally have to stick to these days, but my lovely Aunt sent me a few pounds for my birthday so I thought this would make the perfect gift to myself :)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Wildflower progress

The Wildflower cross stitch is starting to get there slowly but surely.  I'm over half way with it now.  A little more lettering and a couple more stems to add on the left side.  I generally tend to spend a couple of hours working on this of a Sunday afternoon while we're parked in front of the TV (we're making out way through all 10 seasons of the Stargate series at the moment, giant geeks that we are!) so hopefully a couple more weekends and I'll be showing you the finished piece.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

My week in snapshots

Have had a really lovely week this week. Barbecue with friends, a couple of meals out with my wonderful boyfriend, a night at the movies, a very manageable 4 day week at work and I celebrated my birthday yesterday.  I'm feeling on top of the world this week.

As has become habit here are a few snapshots from my week.

Lots of driving for work this week ... you know you're in the countryside when the vehicles are so huge they take up the whole road!
A day off work = time for a leisurely breakfast.  Ham and cheese omelette, yummy.
Sorting through the yarn box ready to start a new project.  If all goes well this will turn in to a present for a friend who is expecting a little bundle of joy at the end of the year.
An afternoon treat.  White tea and a naughty but nice chocolate cupcake
Birthday gifts from my friends at work.  An expected but wonderful surprise.
Hope you have all had a wonderful week, if you make it to the top of the world with me don't forget to give me a wave. X

Thursday, August 15, 2013


This is another one of those posts where I'm going to invite you to travel back in time with me.  We're going back to April again if you don't mind for another catch up post from the time we spend with James' parent when they came to visit.

On the Sunday they were here we decided to take a nice drive out for a lovely Sunday roast lunch.  I forgot to take a picture of the yummy food we ate but here is the pretty pub that we went to in the village of Avebury.
Avebury I've posted about many times before.  As you know I'm sure it's famous for its ancient stone circle.  So after we'd eaten we went for a stroll ...... the stones are very impressive so of course the cameras came out straight away.
It was pretty chilly the day we went so there weren't the usual crowds of people that you often find which was nice for us.
We were able to stroll among the stones in relative peace.
One of the many things I love about Avebury compared to Stonehenge is how close you can get to the stones themselves.
It's such a large site too, with many different angles and positions to view the landscape from.
We also had a quick visit to nearby Silbury Hill.
There are so many interesting ancient monuments to explore in Wiltshire, it's a lovely place to live.  I would have liked us to have been able to visit the West Kennet Long Barrow too, but James' Mum had a fall last year and managed to break her hip still in recovery when they visited wasn't able to walk too far.  Still that leaves us something to look forward to for next time :)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Recent thrifting finds

Haven't done a huge amount of second hand shopping the last couple of weeks but every now and then I found a few minutes to browse in a lunch break and have managed to find a few bits and pieces that I love.

A couple of crafty books that have been on my want list for a while.  These are both in really good condition tea cozies I paid £1, currently list on amazon for £7 and the gentle art of knitting was £2 and that is selling for £16 at the moment.  I love a good bargain!
I also picked up a couple of really nice box frames (I will empty them of current contents and fill them up with other things) and a couple of cute little embroideries.  I have plans to re-purpose the little cottage picture at some point.  These pictures and frames cost me £1 each.  To buy a box frame new from a shop is so expensive so definitely worth looking out for these in your local second had shops.
 One of my favourite finds (and actually I picked this one up a couple of months back just hadn't got round to posting about it) is this fabulous edition of Edgar Allan Poe Tales, with illustrations by Arthur Rackham.
Poe and Rackham, whats not to love about that combination.  I love this book. I paid about £5 for this book but that still seems like a bargain to me, Its a beautiful hardcover book and in excellent condition.  There is a version of this book (not exactly the same as mine) selling in the Waterstones book store for £50.
Finally a set of crocheted coasters.  The wall paper I've put up in my living room has green and pink colours in it so these look perfect on my dresser.
I have this coming Friday and next Monday booked off work so I'm hoping to include some thrift shopping in my plans so those days.  My birthday is next Saturday so it would be wrong to let that occasion pass without treating myself, wouldn't it?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

My week in snapshots

As predicted it was a bit of a weird week with James away in Poland, though thanks to the wonders of modern technology we still got to chat a little everyday over Facebook and such.

But I tried to keep myself busy and the week wasn't as bad as I thought, though I was still very happy to see him home safe and sound on Friday night.

Diana Dors (Looking rather wet in the rain.  This statue stands outside the local cinema, where I watched a couple of movies this week to occupy my evenings)
Finishing off the bookcase
Saturdays leftover salad + Sundays left over Gammon = One tasty lunch for work on Monday
Some crochet progress this week, here I'm getting ready for the next round
Happy to see the new and improved bookcase finished and ready for use in its new home in the living room
Dawn Chorus.  A line of pigeons as seen from my bedroom window one morning this week
Wanderings with my camera.  Trying to waste a bit of time one evening this urban scene appealed to me the most from the shots I took.

Saturday afternoon snoozing on the sofa (Love this)
Hope you've all had a good week.  I have a nice short 4 day week at work and a barbecue with some friends among other things to look forward to this week.