Our oldest friends are in town - all the way from Australia. Anth met Bernard when he was 5 ..mmm that was 42 years ago...42 years ago!! That is a huuge number. Oh goodness we are getting old. Anyway, as a couple we have been friends with Bernard and Jeanette since before Anth and I were married. In fact it was them who had to lend Anthony the £30 for my engagement ring and were there when we bought it. They are New Zealanders who now live with their 3 beautiful daughters in Australia. It's been 7 years since we have last seen them and you probably heard the shrieks of delight when I threw my arms around them late yesterday afternoon. And this afternoon?...Well we went to Totnes and I managed to take a sneaky picture as both boys stood outside the girlie mecca of Gazebo trying to look as macho as possible..
The scene was set for my friend Lisa to come over, at long last, for our 'crochet session'. This is something we've tried to organise for sometime and I was really looking forward to it. The children laughed, well scoffed would be more accurate, at me as I decided to set up a little tea table which looking at it now, looks barely worth it! Why didn't I go the whole hog and arrange it with a cake stand and a vase of flowers - it looks quite ridiculous and (horror of horrors)...dull..a word that strikes fear into my heart! It really does make me smile when I think back to Lucy's reaction when I asked her if she would, at some point in the afternoon, take a photo of the scenario for the blog....as she looked up at me from her studies, her face incredulous.."What do you want me to do? Are you joking? Take a photo of you two with the tea things in front of you? No, you are crazy!"
So I took the photos myself but it wasn't long before our quiet, girlie afternoon was interrupted - just as I had made the tea. Did I tell you weeks ago that our fridge had broken? Well, Anth had arranged for our friendly 'odd-job' man to come and remove the old fridge freezer before the new one (which has just arrived today) could be installed. So, there was banging, sighing, requests for screwdrivers, light switches having to be removed, the very loud whizzing of an electric saw, (tiny kitchen = tiny space = cutting off a cm of work top = every little helps!) sawdust flying everywhere and cats running around covered in cobwebs as they found a way behind the kitchen cupboards due to the removal of the fridge/freezer. Lisa and I sat with all this commotion going on but dissolved into giggles when every now and then a now separated fridge or freezer would pass by!
And just look at the filthy state of it - I was horrified (though it was between cupboards for 15 years, I hasten to add!)
Now that wasn't the afternoon I had been expecting but did we manage to do much crochet? Well let's say that a repeat of the afternoon is necessary minus household appliances passing before our eyes!
It has been known, on occasion, that something has made me lost for words. It doesn't happen too often (unfortunately, says the family) but on Saturday lunchtime I was completely silent for all of 1 minute and then all everyone could hear was, "Wow! Oh how beautiful. Look at this...quick get my camera! How kind..sigh.."
The cause of all my excitement was a parcel all the way from Australia, sent by Brenda. Could anything be wrapped up for me so perfectly? I was blown away by the little card, never mind the gorgeous brooch, blue lace fabric and ric rac.
When I opened it I fell quiet again. The blue fabric had turned out to be an embroidery - there was a vintage book called 'All Because Of Posy', some Cath soaps, (CATH SOAPS!!) a beautiful vintage birthday card, some lovely buttons and yarn wrapped up in beautiful fabric. So lovely.
Brenda, I want you to know how much your kindness means to me. The thoughtful gifts are just wonderful. The words 'thank you' seem so small, but they are sincere and heartfelt.
And whilst I am thanking Brenda I also would like to thank everyone who has bought my lavender bags, again I'm speechless at the speed in which they went, though I still have 2 left if anyone is still interested.
You know there is rarely a day that passes without me feeling such gratitude for my blog-life and for all of you out there who take the time to read and leave comments or emails. I'm hoping to be able to respond to your comments more often now as I have had a fiddle with my Typepad settings. Please forgive me if I haven't ever acknowledged your lovely presence on my blog, and I'll do my best to change that. Oh , I wish there were more hours in the day, don't you?
We were a sad little family on Thursday night as we sat and ate our chips and looked out to sea. The day, I personally had been dreading since we first met you, had arrived, after all this time. You see, you were the most loved cat I've ever met. Even though you officially lived across the road you adopted us and we couldn't have been happier. You were our orange boy.
You touched all of our lives and most of our visitors' hearts too. Everyone who came to our home knew you and commented on your handsome looks and gentle ways. I read Lucy's old school books from when she was 6 and there you are.
I look at the photos of long past birthdays and family gatherings and you were there too. A quiet and loving presence in our home. Visiting children used to bring you gifts, which Sue (your real Mummy) used to receive with good grace on your behalf. You made your 10th birthday but we have known for, awhile now,that we would be saying goodbye to you soon. I'll miss hearing the local children calling your name. Your wonderful orange coat glinting in the sun. Returning home and finding you waiting for us on our doorstep. That loud, turbo purr. Oh, that purr..
This is a love letter to you to say thank you for all those years. Did you know how much we loved you, even though we finally got our 'own' 2 cats...?
I received a little packet in the mail this week, full of lovely surprises. It was from lovely Kathryn and I kept finding more as I delved in further! First was this wonderful 'I love Posy' card which is so full of detail you could stare at it for hours.
Then in a ribbon tied envelope came another beautiful card, with my favourite word on the front!
Lastly, a sweet little bag with a Cath Kidston notebook inside! The notebook has taken residence with all it's other brothers and sisters in my corner!
So that just leaves me to say thank you - which seems quite inadequate given the thought and time involved in the giving...but I mean it, I really do.
Take a moment to feast your eyes on such cleverness. Perfect crocheted posies and the sweetest label. Some people just have the 'knack' don't they? Jilly's blog is like looking at everything I have wanted to do but haven't gotten around to yet (which happens to be the story of my life!). It's the knitted flowers that I particularly admire as yes, I have bought the book but have yet to try any. Jilly has knitted all hers without the book! Thank you, Jilly, for sharing your cleverness! I love my posy!
Well, I got back from Salisbury late on Tuesday. I had a wonderful time doing nothing (but I did do some treasure hunting and will share that later this week). My mother is slowly recovering and being so lovingly cared for by Robin it makes me well up just thinking about it. He shows such consideration to her that it was a lesson for me, as Anth and I tend to get into the "who is the tiredest/whose done the most already today" attitude, rather than being selfless and caring for one another. Nothing was too much trouble for him. Rob, I was too choked to tell you this when I left but thank you for all you do and have done for Mum. It makes living away so much easier...
Since I have been back I had a terrible migraine so I have had to write off the last 3 days. I'm hoping when I wake tomorrow I wont have to take an injection and it has gone and I can do all that I planned to do in one day! Let's hope!
You must excuse an emotional post but I can't stop the tears from falling from my eyes as I look over these photographs that I took today. I have had a visit from my lovely friend Justine and her beautiful new son Joshua.
Isn't he just the best thing you've seen today? He very kindly put up with me clicking away and I must have taken nearly 150 pictures!
Justine was positively glowing with love for her beautiful boy and when I came to edit these pictures I was overwhelmed with emotion.
Yes, Jus, it is your time now, and I couldn't be more happier for you and Mike. I'm so happy that it is me taking photos of your precious son as you have done with all of mine.
You deserve this..Joshua is fortunate to have such a wonderful mother. Enjoy!
He has arrived! Baby Joshua is here! Our dearest friends,Mike and Justine, have had their baby last Sunday. So all painting and sanding (more about that later!) came to a halt and out came my sewing machine - even though I literally had no space to put it down! I made him a cushion 'Caroline Zoob' style which we gave him when Anth and I drove down to Plymouth on Wednesday evening to meet him and give his proud Mama a big kiss.
Isn't he beautiful...a true miracle.
Here is his cushion -- I did the front in gingham and the back in ticking and did the little boat on some linen which I edged in tiny rick-rack. I just love rick-rack! I'll leave you with a little peek at his tiny toes - could they be more perfect..I don't think so!
We're all still a little sad at the moment because we have lost our lovely, doggy ,friend Poppy. She was the dog that my children grew up with, who belonged to my dearest friend Fiona and her family. When Alice learnt to talk she named her Poppy-Dog and that was what she became known as. It seemed to suit her gentle, loving nature. Her eyes were the kindest brown eyes you had ever seen and she was always so pleased to see you. Recently age had caught up with her and she had lost the use of her back legs so poor Fiona and her family had to make the sad decision to end her suffering.
It was a sad day for us all and I know that even 2 weeks later Fiona still has a huge Poppy-Dog hole in her heart and soul. I wish I could take away the pain that she is going through but ultimately it was wonderful to have known Poppy-Dog and all our lives will be richer for loving her.
Last Saturday we drove to Okehampton, North Devon to see our dear friends, Mike & Justine. It was a particularly special visit because it was to be the first time that I had seen my lovely friend pregnant. You see she is 6 months pregnant with a very much longed for baby...a baby that we have prayed for for many years.
This picture fills my heart with such joy. As you can imagine I felt quite emotional - Justine has been my friend for nearly 18 years (how long?!) and has lived through all my pregnancies, births, childrens' birthdays, special family gatherings etc and now it is her turn -- and boy does she deserve it!
Whilst we were there we went for a walk around a charming village called Belstone on the edge of Dartmoor.
Alice was locked in the village stocks for awhile!
It was a lovely village but I found the bleakness of the moors quite sinister and I could imagine eerie goings on in the twilight hours as it was the perfect setting for the Hounds of the Baskervilles!