Friday, 22 June 2012

Honeymoon part deux...

After our 4 days on the farm we drove to Lyme Regis. This is THE cutest seaside town. We hired a cute cottage in town (called Lavender Cottage) that came with a beach hut on the sea front. The cottage was so cosy and comfortable and the beach hut so cute I wanted to squish it! 

We spent our days mostly eating, wandering the town, sitting on the beach, reading and visiting the most beautiful secondhand book shop. We had crab sandwiches and champagne in our beach hut, fish and chips on the beach and a delicious meal at the beautifully positioned Hix Oyster and Fish House. Another treat was the Mill Tea and Dining Room - there are only a handful of tables so booking is essential. The food and ambience in this place is superb. The Mill is also a great place just to visit, it has a bakery which makes the most incredible breads (my favourite was carrot and coriander) and delicious cheesecake (see pic below).

Our honeymoon was so relaxing and so what we needed after the stressful few months before the wedding and moving into our new home (8 weeks before the wedding!). It was particularly nice to spend it on home soil - we have vowed to have more holidays at home. There are too many beautiful places in the UK not to go visit. 

The book shop The Sanctuary is also a B&B, definitely will be going back and staying there.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

The garden is in bloom..

Having never owned a garden until last year when we moved in, it was very daunting when I first ventured out there with my pink gardening gloves. Particularly daunting as our soil is clay...actual clay. Just to get the fork into the ground burned my days colorie allowance. 

It took a lot of hard work and many trips to the osteo to get it looking the way it does today and I've only really sorted one bed. 

Things I have learned through my gardening adventures;
1. Ivy is a bitch. 
2. Snails are bitches. 
3. Slugs are worse bitches. 
4. Bindweed is vindictive. 
5. Clay soil makes me cry. 
6. Good gardening gloves are difficult to come by. 
7. Plants are expensive. 
8. Weeding NEVER ends. 
9. Roses are particularly difficult to look after. 
10. My husband has no interest in gardening. 
11. Chickens will ruin your flower beds if they get in. 

So, the garden looked pretty bleak last year and then it was covered in snow which was beautiful but the snow didn't last and soon it melted and the bleakness was on show once more. I got stuck in. 

I managed to rope in husband to turn the soil and get bags of compost in - it made a big difference. I spent a few hours online and compiled a list of plants and flowers that would do well in clay soil and then went to a few carboots to purchase. I got most of the ones on my list and went about putting them in the ground. Another two things I learned: 

12. You really need to understand the difference between annuals, perenials and shrubs etc to avoid a Nelly-know-all coming around and telling you that you have to move things around as it's 'all wrong'. 
13. That when things 'don't take' and die or get ill, it's very upsetting and it's hard not to take it personally. 

I was hell bent on having a rose garden because I used to love the smell of my grandmothers garden, full of roses. Members of family bought us different roses for the said garden. Let me tell you, the stress these roses have caused, the extreme emotions they have provoked is indescribable. Everything that could have gone wrong has gone wrong...mildew, blackspot, multicoloured aphids and chicken attacks. I am so ridiculously precious over them. But it's paid off as they are starting to bloom and it is THE most rewarding feeling. 

So anyway, as hard as it is and surprisingly emotionally charged it is, I am enjoying my new 

Friday, 15 June 2012

Mini Makeover

I bought a spice rack from a car boot for £1 with the intention of using it in the office for storing jars of buttons or in the new bathroom when it is done. I sanded it and then painted in with some leftover Farrow & Ball paint I had. The colour is Middleton Pink and the picture really doesn't do it justice, it is the prettiest of pinks!

It's currently sat on my desk waiting to be put to good use.

Honeymoon Part 1..

In keeping with our theme, we felt it only right to have a honeymoon in old Blighty. I had been wanting to try out the Featherdown Farm holidays for ages so decided the honeymoon was the opportunity. Because it was in September we missed the summer holiday so we had the farm practically to ourselves - I didn't have to elbow any children out of the way when it was petting the animals time.

We went to Billingsmoor Farm in Devon. Billingsmoor offered the 'with frills' option which is what we wanted. The frills were as well as your wood stove heated yurt like camp, you got a hot tub outside and your very own chicken coop with a couple of hens for your stay. This place is amazing and a year on I still think of it and smile. Even the most stressed of stressed people would find it hard not to relax here. 
We knew we would arrive after dark so we opted to have our stove lit for us, our hot tub fire started and for two jacket potatoes to be waiting in our tent for us. 

We arrived exhausted after a long drive and packing up the wedding stuff the day before and the emotional high we were on. It was dusk when we arrived, we were met by the lovely owners who put our suitcases in a wheel barrow and helped us push them across the farm to the most isolated and beautiful part of the farm. We could just make out our huge tent, and the candles flickering within. To call it a tent is a ridiculous unless you refer to it as the palace of all tents. Our little fire was roaring in the stove, the candelabras on the table lit, the hot tub outside steaming. It was amazing. 

We dropped our cases, sat at the table by the fire and by candlelight had our steaming hot potatoes covered in butter and cheese and then got into the hot tub with a glass of champagne. That nights sleep was one of the best I'd ever had, certainly on the lead up the wedding, I was massively sleep deprived.

The best thing about Billingsmoor is that you have a cold store in your 'tent palace', a real toilet, two bedrooms including a 'cubbie bed' and a fully equipped kitchen. There is a little farm shop on site where you can get local meat, veg, bread, wine and cheese. We pre-ordered a lot of food that we didn't really need to do as the shop was always stocked. The second night we had an amazing selection of local cheeses with a bottle of red which we enjoyed by candlelight.

Every morning we would have fresh eggs and bacon and a glass of the unpasteurised full fat milk straight from the cows that morning - delicious!

One of my favourite wedding pictures

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Fair weather booter...

So the weather has been so very pants for the last few weeks, that decent car-booting has been difficult. I've stuck to charity shop crawling and I've been on a couple of serious Ebay benders.

My latest addiction is vintage kids books. I loved books when I was young, particularly ones with bright colourful illustrations. I've started to collect the Garden Gang books by Jayne Fisher. Jayne Fisher was only 9 when she wrote the books. They are cute stories but the illustrations make you squeal with pleasure. I have 8 books so far. They are available on Ebay but I am quite a strict collector, I have set myself constraints. The books can only come from a charity shop or car boot and I must not pay more than a £1 a book. I love the challenge and the moment when you find one you haven't got is like a drug!! highly addictive. 

I only cheated once and that was because the incredibly rare annual to the series Meet the Garden Gang was on Ebay and it was in mint condition. This book is one of my most prized possessions. Just look at the amazing comic style illustrations...

Fame at last...

How happy are we????? Our wedding was featured on Rock n Roll bride AND then featured in the June/July issue of Wedding magazine. It's so nice to look at the amazing pictures Emma Case took and to see our very own mugs in a magazine. We have received such lovely comments from everyone and the comments on Rock n Roll bride were so lovely too. I would like to say another big thank you to everyone who helped us with the planning and pulling off such an amazing day.


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