Part two - a happy ending.

The building work is finished in time for the holiday.

To recap, the space as it was before

and after, as it is now

I love it, as you make your way towards it there is a powerfully evocative smell of new wood.   The fact that it has been a wet and cold couple of weeks and yet it was still finished on time, is something of a building trade miracle.

Thank you for stopping by in 2012, and taking time to leave your thoughts and comments, it is much appreciated.  Wishing you and yours a very merry Christmas.  

I feel so foolish

...I've completely ignored the end of the (Mayan) world.
What if the Mayans were right?

I've got a nearly complete office, 
a freezer full of food,
video I still haven't transferred to imovie,
an unfinished book,
an enormous uneaten bar of chocolate
and a 2013 calender I just wrote all of next years birthdays on.

Just in case, tonight I'm gonna party like it's 1989.

The Office Part 1

Day 1 - The Space

Despite having a large Lime tree with a preservation order next to the proposed site of the new office, progress has rocked on.  We needed to use special pad foundations (that rest on the surface) and don't damage or disturb the roots of the tree.  The building work is being supervised by an arboreal consultant to ensure the builders do their job without damaging the tree. I'm not kidding.  So the tree is fenced off and boards have been put down to stop soil compaction.  
Then, and only then could work commence.

Day 2 - The foundations and footings are complete

Day 3 -The walls go up

 Despite the ferocious cold, by the end of the day the roof was on, but by then the light was so low I couldn't capture it in a photo. 

To be continued.

The Joys Of Working From Home

This morning I planted a beech hedge before work!

We needed to plant a hedge due to moving a shed on a boundary, it had left a big gap.  The beech whips will establish their roots over winter.  I look forward to seeing the new leaves in the spring. 

We have other changes going on in the garden over the next month.  A garden office will be built under our large Lime tree.  Does anyone else work from home?  Do you find it liberating or distracting?

What A Shame

On (No) Women Bishops

What an opportunity missed

What a chance they had

What a shame

October in pictures

I love the colours that dominate this month, the sheer amount of orange which seems to be everywhere at the moment is compensating for the diminishing light and warmth outside.  The car picture was taken at the RAC club, I don't believe it's the car in the Bond movie but a replica. Speaking of which, if you are thinking of going to see Skyfall, do. It will leave you shaken and stirred, even Mr Bond showed emotion.  The only time when I have been in a cinema and the film has had a round of applause at the end.

Walking On Sunshine

My achilles is on the mend!  I can walk again,  properly walk.  Walk through woodlands, by rivers and across fields.  I have so missed the fresh air and the smell of the seasons, whether it's the dry scent of summer or the smell of wet leaves and decay.

This week I have been on my first long walk for 7 months.  It was bliss.  I forgot my camera, but made do with my phone.  At the beginning of the walk we passed this hedge, at the bottom of somebody's garden. What a master stroke the boots are.

My (well groomed) friend spotted a slow worm on our path, it did move exceedingly slowly.

It was such a bright Autumn morning.  Towards the end of the walk we had to climb one last hill; charmingly nicknamed Heart Attack Hill, it was a big push.  But the feeling of having earned a sandwich and a slice of cake was fantastic.

It was a circular route, so we ended up back in the village where we started; Hambledon in the Chilterns.  It was being used as a film set that day.  A regular occurrence, it has appeared in The Vicar Of Dibley, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Nanny McPhee and North and South amongst others. 

It's a very picturesque village, nestled in rolling green hills.  I hope it's not ruining the romance by sharing this shot of a 'snowy' cottage.  I asked the crew what they were filming; something called Endeavor, a spin off from Inspector Morse.

This month I Read

This month I read The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. It's a short book, but an intense one.  The story of Esther in 1950's America teetering on the precipice of adulthood, but overwhelmed by life.  Fighting a battle; her desires and expectations vs societies expectations of a woman in that era.  The characters and situations are minutely observed, and beautifully written.  The analogy of a bell jar for depression, the lowering of the jar bringing on the deadening of the senses;  sight, sound, smell and joy.  Plath's own battle is written here, it feels overwhelming just reading it.  The feeling of being cut off from those around you, but watching as they carry on as normal, or their own version of normal.  The book made me want to read all about Sylvia Plath.  To understand her early life, her marriage to Ted Hughes, her literary successes, her children, Hughes then leaving her and Plath's final battle to the death.  Her own tragic ending is at odds with the more hopeful ending she wrote for Esther. The Bell Jar is a beautiful piece of writing. Have you read any good books lately?

*The photo above was taken in Rome, lovely window isn't it?

Some Flowers For You

For my birthday last week, a dear friend too far away sent me this autumnal display.  

Aren't these scarlett pom pom Dahlias beautiful? And bonus, bought from a car boot for the grand sum of £1, they lasted a whole week. Not an earwig in sight.

These geraniums are Italian, and don't they look it in their lovely terracotta trough?

These were wild flowers in the olympic park.  I heard they dead headed everything after the olympics, to rejuvenate them in time for the para olympics. I hope it worked.

and this shot is of the 'hot' bed at Cliveden.  They have deep, sloping, hot and cool coloured beds, either side of a large expanse of manicured lawn, in front of the house.

That's the end of my flowers for this year.

Feel Good Tuesday

This morning I put the kettle on, made my first cup of tea and turned on the computer.

My first email was something to melt the hardest of hearts, it was in response to a copy of Pride and Prejudice in my Etsy shop.  It read; "This is the girl I'm dating's favourite book.  She was born in 1989 and her birthday is coming up.  Can you confirm that it was published in 1989?  Also, do you have any idea what the shipping time would be the the New York area?" What a lucky girl.

Romance, a Brit winning the US Open and the successful end to an unforgettable, sporting summer. What greater feel good factors could there be?

*The above photo was taken this summer at Waddesdon Manor

A Roman Holiday

We managed to tear ourselves away from London between the olympics and the para olympics for a train trip to Italy.  We took the train from St Pancras to Zurich, then on to Milan through the Alps where we passed opaque glacial green lakes, trimmed with picturesque wooden chalets.  Next stop was Rome.  We visited the ancient sights and ate lots of gelati. Our last leg took us up into the hills where we enjoyed the sun and devoured a ton of fiction. 
  It has been the most amazing, memorable summer living so near London.  I hope you enjoyed yours, happy September.

Beautiful Booty

This morning, bright and early my good friend Wicksy picked me up and we set off to our favourite car boot.  It was such a lovely morning, with so much to see, I got quite snap happy.

Each pitch is so varied, you never know what you will find.

and I love the home spun feel to some, these dahlias sung like a floral choir

There were many strange collections, watches, cameras, scissors..

haberdashery (love that word!)

and the people - interesting old guys that are regulars who meet for a chat

This beautifully attired gentleman has the most enormous moustache 

 Booty was found, and will be in BeauBazaar when I have had the chance to photograph it, and load it up. Thank you for stopping by.

Do You Like..

The new look?  Do you like this shot of Paul Newman?  I do. 

Have a good weekend.

I Love A Good Wedding

Last week we celebrated the wedding of my sister in law and her partner.  Miraculously, the day was dry and the sun shone all day on the happy couple.

The colour theme of the wedding was lavender.

There were 2 bridesmaids, one was my daughter (below, teasing her brother)

The younger bridesmaid, playing peek a boo.

After, there was dancing.

It was perfection.

Fifty Shades of Grey!

Earlier in the year, whilst reading a blog I saw this image in a piece about decks.  I loved the image, and as I have a very small deck thought I might be able to do something like it.

Whilst thinking, I saw this image too, serendipity I thought...

So, out I went and found myself a chair...

Sorry the picture quality is not good, I could only take it through the window, for obvious reasons.

You have to laugh.


Bells of Foxglove, ghostly white
glowing in the morning light 

Strike A Pose


He rocks!  Probably literally.

  So, I have decided to try yoga.  Being out of action due to injury is not good.  Positive preventative action is required. After all, if you don't use it you lose it.  

Perhaps I will never be able to sit on the banks of the Ganges, with my knees behind my ears, but I'll be fending off decrepitude.

To be serene, bendy and in charge of my life in manner of... Well, I can't think of anyone that fits that exact model right now, but maybe I don't need a role model for this, maybe I'll be my own role model.

If you don't hear from me, it's not because it's all gone horribly wrong, oh no.    It will be because it has gone so well. I will have been recruited by a top yoga guru and whisked off to an ashram to demonstrate to others the secret of my success. But after studying the above photo further I note 2 things that concern me. Firstly, it looks a bit grey on the banks of the Ganges.   A bit like here, there's no sun.  I need sun after enduring what has been thrown at us here in the UK lately.  Secondly, I am concerned about the kit he's wearing.  Are these the kind of undies a yoga guru is expected to wear whilst displaying ones prowess?  They look quite brief. I may need to stock up on some sturdy pants. 

*I cannot find who to credit this image to.  I know how annoying this can be for image owners, so if anyone knows I will be happy to correct the omission.

Rain Stops Play

Sadly rain stopped play this weekend, and our street party was postponed.  We're having a jubilympics party in July instead. Bloody weather. So some photos evoking sunnier times to make me feel better.

Something I need to try and remember...

Happy and Glorious?

We are knee deep in preparations for our Diamond Jubilee street party this weekend - fingers crossed the bunting ordered online arrives and that the weather stays dry.  I have lived in this road for nearly 10 years and it's the first street party. It started when I was reminiscing with my friend and neighbour about memories of the Silver Jubilee, we decided we wanted to do something our kids would remember too.   There will be food, drink, games, royal quizzes and a Great British Bake off, all to be judged by the senior members of the neighbourhood.   Everyone was invited, so the couple who let their dog poo in peoples gardens will be attending, as will the grumpy man who rants at the neighbourhood children for having the temerity to sledge past his house every time it snows and the warring neighbours with boundary disputes will be there too.   In short,  all the ingredients for a Great British Punch Up!

Despite this, it's starting to feel very exciting, and I hope it will feel more like a community afterwards.  A nice warm glow is what we all need when the suns gone in and the news is so awful.  So we shall enjoy our overdose of red white and blue but, like Easter, we wont forget what it's really about - Pimms, cheers!

Have a great Jubilee weekend whatever you are doing.

Blogger does not allow me to reply to comments at the moment, so please accept this as a thank you for your lovely notes on the garden.

My Own Personal Chelsea Garden

There's no big name sponsors, celebs or Alan Titchmarsh roaming in the undergrowth, but I do have Cow Parsley!  It's blooming at the end of our garden, giving the swing and it's shady spot a fairy tale feel.  The Columbines agree with me, nodding their bonnets in the gentle breeze and the Forget Me Nots add the most beautiful shade of sky blue to the burgeoning pallet of colour.

Now I am waiting for the white Foxgloves I grew from seed last spring, to come into flower.  I grew them to illuminate the shade and light up the green.  But until then I am enjoying the show.