Monday, 31 March 2008


The wedding was beautiful! In the end it went by in a flash. Wish we could do it all again.

One of the most impressive elements were the beautiful bouquets and buttonholes produced by the bridal party under the tutleage of chief bridesmaid Becca. Close ups on the bridal bouquet and one of the bridesmaids' posies:
We bought the flowers from the New Covent Garden Flower Market on the Friday morning then made them up into bouquets on the Saturday. The making was so much fun and made the flowers feel so personal. And they smelled amazing! It's a shame there aren't more opportunities in life for playing with lovely flowers!

Monday, 24 March 2008

Happy Belgian Easter

I hope you all had a lovely Easter weekend. These pictures are from my trip to Bruges last weekend (to buy booze for the wedding, which is now only 5 days away!). Obviously the Belgians are all about good Easter chocolate!

Bruges itself is best described as 'chocolate box' - very picturesque but also lived in (you can see a child's sandpit in the left-hand corner of this picture).

We visited Ypres and some of the WW1 sites as part of the weekend too - as you'd imagine, it was all incredibly poignant. This is Tyne Cot Cemetery.
And this is the Menin Gate in Ypres.

I didn't spot much of crafting interested except lots of impressive lace. A few things that did catch my eye, though: this great fabric used to cover a shop window undergoing a revamp (it's called 'Gourmandise' by Pierre Frey),
this lovely Pinocchio tape measure my Mum purchased;

and this excellent little storage chest.

What is it with European haberdasheries and lingerie in the same store? I've noticed that in France too - not very welcoming for any stray male crafters!

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Flowers from the Estate

I am disproportionately excited about these daffodils because they are the first blooms from the Rodway-Eady estate. Ok, so, the term 'estate' is a little grand for our garden but I'm aiming for big things. This was how the garden stood last November when I spent about 3 hours clearing a makeshift flowerbed (with only hand-tools, I hasten to add):

The extent of the plant growth over the rest of the garden gives you a feel of what I'm up against! We share our tiny urban garden with our neighbours on the ground floor - the sink which you can glimpse in the far left hand corner is theirs. Lovely. They only use the garden for hanging their washing and sitting outside to smoke in the summer. Given that they clearly have no designs on garden design (as it were), I feel more than entitled to plant whatever I like. I'm sticking to our side for the time being, though. At the moment this is the best view.

I've installed a compost bin at the end, under the tree, and have daffodils and irises in the flower patch (there should be crocuses too, but the squirrel has munched them down to nothing!). Nearest the camera is a planter with parsley, thyme and rosemary. As you can see, the major problem is the broken fence. The plan is to replace this once we get back from Hawaii at the end of next month, and to raise the bed so I can plant vegetables to see us through the summer. I have ordered some shade-loving plants to put in the built-up concrete bed at the back which will hopefully give the garden a little more shape. For now, I'm enjoying the amazing smell from the daffodils - so much stronger than any shop-bought ones. I feel positively green-fingered!

Kitten update

The kittens have been coming on in leaps and bounds (well, mostly wobbly crawls and whines at the moment!). Here they are on 24th February:

and again on 6th March:

Obviously, they're still doing much the same things - feeding and sleeping in a kitten pile, but they have got much bigger and have opened their eyes. They'll be bouncing out of that box in no time. We have reviewed the gender situation and discovered that my original readings were wrong - in fact there is one boy and three girls (my career as a veterinarian crashes and burns before it's even started!). In the picture above, the boy is second from the right - he is the darkest and biggest. Since discovering that it is a brother and three sisters, the names coming into consideration are, obviously, Branwell, Charlotte, Emily and Anne (after the Brontës), or Chekhov's three sisters, Olga, Masha and Irina (the brother is generally called Prozorov - more a dog name than a cat name, I feel!). My current vote is for the Brontës but we shall wait and see.

Pip is still rather wary of them but is happy that Agnes occasionally wants to come out of the box and play with him in the garden - they're only really kittens themselves (Agnes turned one yesterday and Pip's birthday will be on Good Friday). Here they are on Thursday evening, back to one of their favourite positions - lounging on the breakfast bar (with Pip merrily disregarding the presence of Mum's laptop):

I'm trying to picture the poor old breakfast bar when 6 cats want to get on it!