It has felt like a full and fantastic week, with school show performances, ballet , birthday parties, swimming and end of year assemblies, water fights and farewells. It has been a real pleasure to see the talents and joy they have in so many areas of their lives. These are the moments that make life sparkle.

Continue Reading


Big group hug for nanny and grandad after a lovely weekend with sunshine and treats! The girls love visiting with family so much, especially as they do not live close by. It always flies by so quickly!

Continue Reading


After a week of ups and downs (bring on the summer holidays!), a welcome day at home with some sunshine and blue skies, good old fashioned reading, scooting, playing and making.

Continue Reading

Do you like aubergines?

I have tried many recipes with aubergines…they look yummy, they smell delicious, but I’ve always thought this would be really nice without the aubergines – not a great success. So no surprises, I wouldn’t go out and buy an aubergine, however the magical roulette of the fruit and veg box happened to land on the world of the aubergine and I ended up with two shiny, black aubergines.

I really don’t like waste, so I cracked open my cookbooks in search of a recipe to top all recipes for an amazing aubergine feast (I’ve never typed the word aubergine so much in my life!). Madeleine Shaw you came up with a winner (as pictured above), resulting in an aubergine feast I truly adored…with a spicy tomato sauce, herby quinoa and a crunchy, nutty topping. 

Aubergines, next time you make an unexpected appearance, I’m ready for you!

Continue Reading

June highlights 

I have been limited this month by the ability to venture far, but from my often seated position, these are a few things I have enjoyed during June:

  • I signed up for an online photography course called Bloom and Grow, designed and run by the instagrammer Me & Orla. It was a challenging but eye opening course, with lots of opportunities for exploring creativity. I think I only touched the tip of the iceberg with it all, but luckily I still get to explore and play around with my photography using the tips and advice in the course!
  • Enjoying the beautiful sunshine that we had (and still get snippets of) throughout the month.
  • I read an excellent book called The Dry by Jane Harper, I was hooked all the way through!
  • D had her first ballet exam! It was so lovely to see how excited she was, not one bit of nerves.
  • I definitely want to have a go at baking these, when I’m feeling up to it, they look delicious!
  • This article made me think, which I like, actually it’s ok to just be me and not standing out is ok. I loved the quotes at the end of the article. My favourite was: ‘The people who matter will never think you’re forgettable, but others might.’
  • Made some homemade coleslaw, which is so much easier than finding a dairy free version in the supermarket, using this recipe as a guide, but added spring onions instead.
  • Now my 6 months of free Apple Music has ran out, I’m going old school and listening to the songs I have in my music library. It’s been great to hear some songs I haven’t listened to for a long time, including the Buena Vista Social Club…always makes me feel like I’m on holiday and Lewis and Leigh..beautiful words and harmonies.
  • Returning to work, full steam ahead on the first week back, realising my brain hadn’t lost its ability to function…always a relief!
Continue Reading

A library like this!

This is the stuff of dreams for our family of bookworms. Every time we see a stunning library in the beautiful National Trust properties we have a snoot around, there’s lots of ooooo’s and aaaahhhh’s ‘we’d love a room full of books like this!’. It may be a bit of wishful thinking, but we still get that magical feeling going to our local library.

As a child, I absolutely loved visiting the library. A whole building full to the brim with books, the thwump of the date stamp and bleep of the scanner, back in the day when there were lots of warnings of ‘sshhhhh! Whisper!’ The only challenge was choosing which books to take home.

I loved this feature on Woman’s Hour this week, hosted by the author and illustrator Shirley Hughes, all about libraries and how different people use them. It made me realise the huge impact they have in communities and the diverse uses and services they offer. I recalled all of the times I have used them to entertain the children with story and music time, reading challenges in the school holidays, meeting some creepy crawlies, craft sessions, audio books for long car journeys and, of course, the bog standard selection of books to take home.

I still get a wonderful feeling walking into a building full of books, offering an escape to another world … how about you?

Continue Reading