Thursday, 26 April 2012

Cherry tree time

Before I begin, do you remember Doll Gate: the mad freaky scary doll I found in the road last week, the one that got run over by several cars and I saved her life?

And I was going to give her an amazing makeover with a brand new look?

Well, I didn't. Rita (my name of choice for her) is still lying with broken limbs on the book shelf, looking weird. I will do it one day I promise. But listen, Doll Gate continues. Look what I found in a different road a couple of days ago...

Oh, and if you are freaked by dolls, look away now.

Chucky eat your heart out

What a peculiar town this is.....

This actually scared me. Big time.

 Dolls, broken. In a road. Wearing Victorian garb. What the eff......


 I thought I would sneak another blog post in as have just this evening landed myself a fab freelance job for the next week but it is mahoosive and time will be of the essence. Nothing else will get done. No housework, very little cooking, the laundry will pile up and I will probably not get to the beach.

I will be burning midnight oil and morning oil and patchouli oil and any old oil to meet this tight deadline but I need the money as hate sponging off the Husband when I run out. Therefore I thought I ought to write tonight while I still have spare time and share my offerings from the Scope charity shop which I only found yesterday - despite the fact it is a mere six minute walk from my gaff.

I went in and nearly spontaneously combusted with the excitement of it. Loads of books, knick knacks, great children's toys and clothes. Friendly staff. Nice jewellery. And quite cheap. 25p for a book!

It had been recommended by a woman I met in the library on Monday. I've clocked her in the park a few times as liked the look of her (yikes, that makes me sound tres shallow).

Anyway, she told me about her obsessions for all things cherry tree. And she happens to be the president of the W.I. which she told me to come along to. They call themselves Rage Against The (Sewing) Machine! Love it!

Apparently there is one in Leeds called Buns 'n' Roses, which I think is the best name ever for a W.I. group. What with going to that and the book club whenever I can, things are hotting up.  Plus I've been invited for a weekend in London in October with a different group of mums - a theatre, hotel, dinner type affair but I shall see how many pennies I can gather before then before I commit.

Anyway look at my treasure trove from the cherry tree. Less than £2 was spent in total. Less than a G&T and less than a pack of fags. This is definitely my habit of choice (cherry tree shopping I mean, not smoking).

I am thrilled with the Prince's Gisela Graham passport holder which will be perfect for our summer holiday this year and I also needed The Princess and the Pea Ladybird book desperately.

Oh I used to love this page!

Missing the Autumn story but 25p each is still a bargain!

My favourite illustration in the Winter Story

This always makes me feel warm and happy when I turn to this page

So comforting and cosy

Hasn't the weather been dreadful?! This was the view when the Husband, the Prince and I had coffee at our fave cafe yesterday morning.

It was wild and stormy. Waves were smashing and crashing.

Loving the chocolate milkshake

The weather perked up today so the kids drew and played in the garden and then ate al fresco. Lush! No clearing up, let the birds and evil limping fox eat it. The evil limping fox was on my neighbour's trampoline this week. Whatever next? Badgers on roller skates?

Doing her homework while shooing away her pesky brother

PS We all know I called charity shops "cherry tree" shops, but I thought I would let all you cherry tree fans know that you can rent your own actual real cherry tree. That's right, at you can rent a tree for a year and enjoy it in every season. See it in full blossom in the spring and then you can go along to the orchard in East Sussex in harvest time (July) and pick your own. It costs £42.50 for a year and your tree will produce around 10kg of fruit. Now that really is a treasure from the cherry tree...

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Hello Dolly

I bought this book from a cherry tree shop this week and had a total flashback of reading it when I was eight-years-old at my first school.

It was one of my favourite books, along with The Shrinking of Treehorn (which I also am the proud owner of; quite possibly one of the weirdest, most wonderful children's stories). My old teacher Mrs Alvarez (god rest her soul, for she passed away several years back) read it to us with great gusto.

I find Mrs Lather's Laundry a gorgeous read, the illustrations are attractive and the fact I picked this up for 10p makes me a very happy peep. The kids keep asking me to read it to them at bedtime.

I keep spotting new cherry tree shops that I haven't discovered before. But now the Prince (who is well aware that his mother would like to spend a good few moments browsing every single section) has decided to cry loudly and shriek at the top of his voice so that I leave the building immediately. Sometimes I call his bluff and ignore it, but the high pitched, ear piercing yelps make everyone in the shop look at him with a shudder.

So I am leaving empty handed more often than not. It's painful. Perhaps I should rename my blog Sod All from the Cherry Tree - until he starts pre-school anyway! But I shall not give up, it's not in my nature.

Speaking of the Prince, I was sorting out the washing the other morning and realised he had gone very quiet so I went to check on him. And found him like this:

HOW can anyone go into a deep sleep like this?! Maybe it's because I possess a well-padded chest which would get in the way from curling up in this manner, that I can't fathom it.

He's been hilarious this week:

Oh, and we found out the that Princess got into arguably the best school in the area and the Prince got into the preschool of choice too, both only a short walk away which will be bliss in the autumn.

And we found a broken dolly in the road which I think bothered me more than the kids. We brought her home and are hoping to fix her in some way. Although I can't sew (at all, can barely thread a needle), so it will be a challenge for me. I couldn't leave her there. I've named her Rita. The kids hate the name.

Like the doll from Toy Story

She spooks me a little

Her best Blair Witch Project impression
It's not the first time we've come across a freaky doll...

Spot the fake

This was a random gift from an old neighbour.
The Prince was already crying by the way, the nun doll just didn't help matters
The nun doll ended up in a cherry tree shop the following day, I hasten to add. Wonder how much she was sold for and whether anyone actually did buy her....

 And on that note, I ought to go and get ready. It's 10am, no one is dressed and I have chores coming out of my ears.

See you later, dolls.


Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Wi lambin' (we hope you like lambin' too...)

Wi lambin' Wi lambin', Wi lambin',  Wi lambin'...

OK, sorry, it's too early for my Bob Marley-ness but I really do love lambing. It's the time of year that fills me with joy. Possibly because I was pregnant with the Princess in the spring of 2003 and I remember how I felt, it all felt new, there was new life, I felt sick as a dog (not so good). But I couldn't go lambing when pregnant. No siree.

Last weekend we found a sweet farm on the South Downs and spent Saturday afternoon....well. cuddling lambs really.

Just don't think of mint sauce

Looking a bit sheepish there (sorry...)

"baa-ger off and leave me in peace"

Wool you come here for a snuggle please (sorry again)

Ewe can lean on me ( oh dear)

 I keep bleating, just keep bleating love (I'll get me coat)

Tractor ride to see the tiny newborn lambs

Now on the cherry tree front, I realise I have forgotten to introduce you to Theresa. She was a sad and sorry character we spotted on the shelf of the Link Romania shop when we first moved here. She was £1 and she was naked. We noticed her, but we didn't buy her.

My dad thinks she looks like Rebekah Brooks...he has a point
Every time we went back into the cherry tree shop, she was still there. Looking desperate.

I was urged to buy her. Someone in my family wanted her very much indeed. So I caved in (sucker) and handed over a pound coin for some naked saggy doll who looks like a cross between a Cabbage Patch Kid and a Troll.

But she quickly became part of our family. She now wears this most of the time and is much happier in our cosy home.

And guess who wanted her more than anything? Yes he loves his trains and his diggers and his Lego, but he WANTED Theresa and he named her.

Please smile for the camera with Theresa...

I will give you an Easter egg if you do...
 He now sleeps with her every night. Theresa, the Prince and Noo Noo.

We had a gorgeous Sunday spent at home. We are digging out space for a vegetable patch and the husband and I felt like Tom and Barbara  from The Good Life. Which is kind of ironic as the whole world tells me I look like Margo.

Early evening arrived and the husband bathed the kids while I went on a 45 minute walk. I simply had to see the sea and the sun set. It is so peaceful being on the beach at that time, hearing nothing but the gentle lapping of waves.

And yesterday morning after the school run, I walked again to see the pier. Everything sparkles on days like this and I feel blessed to be part of it.

But not today. Today is bloody awful. There seems very little to do today which is driving me and the Prince mad. Normally on  a Tuesday we go to Jo Jingles, down by the sea, but there is no parking and I decided not to faff around getting wet. So we are stuck indoors. The Prince is watching Ratatouille on DVD and building Lego houses and I am blogging and doing some work and trying to ignore all the chores that need doing.

I HATE rainy days with a passion. But there is something rather nice about cosying up indoors, however let me tell you I am DREADING the school run this afternoon.........we have no rain cover for the pushchair and the husband will have the car for work today. And it's a 20 minute walk (with a possible long wait at the level crossing).Gulp!

Friday, 13 April 2012

Catching up

I have been busy since my last blog post. Doing what, I hear 100 of you cry...doing what?

It hasn't involved housework, or crochet (although I have made a little progress on my first proper granny blanket, which I will blog about another time), or my freelance job.

It's my new obsession. I am truly addicted....

Kite surfing. Oh, I'm not doing it myself (Christ, I've seen myself in a wetsuit before and it ain't pretty - and that was before kids...)

It's just that I've never seen anyone do it before and it's incredible to watch. Look, I'm from Somerset. I do cider and tractors, not throwing myself 40ft in the air on a surfboard like some ocean fanatic at Bondi. My idea of sport as a teenager from the west country was snogging on haystacks. This kind of sport is way more extreme so I now go down to the beach most days and watch the dudes in action (OK and the fact they are pretty gorgeous too makes it more of an attraction.)

Look at this for heaven's sake:

I heard the Princess tell the husband: "Daddy, guess what, Mummy and I were watching the kite surfers again today and Mummy was talking to one of them for AGES and he was ever so handsome in his wetsuit."


Anyway, so that's where I am been and everything has suffered as a result, except my kids, they love the beach life. But my cherry tree purchases are pathetic as a result. The weather is too fine to shop (although I saw a gorgeous old Singer sewing machine -with a turning handle- for £40 but had to walk away). Plus I can't sew and I don't have the time to learn right now so it wouldn't have been a wise purchase.

I did, however, buy this top for the Prince from the British Heart Foundation for £1.50. He loves it and looks quite dapper in it I think.
Tie AND braces, how swish

Defiant and sticking his belly out to rebel

We have had a very busy but wonderful Easter. My inlaws came to stay the first week, from Yorkshire. We took them to Brighton and they loved The Lanes, we lay in deckchairs on the pier and fell asleep after scoffing Easter biscuits, we had fish and chips on the beach, we hung out at my favourite cafe (which I've been to three times this week and really need to wean myself off) and ate and drank way too much as always.

Treasures from the cherry tree (did you see what I did there?)

An Easter biscuit? Oh go on then...

The Princess and Grandma

That is the husband's Converse and yes he was dozing

And yes that is ANOTHER Easter biscuit...
Then they went home and on Good Friday we went home to my parents in Somerset. It was my mum's birthday.

My sister took them out for lunch and we turned up and joined them for tea and cake in the local farm shop before all going back to theirs for the weekend. It was so lovely. I cherish my times with my family, the children love going home to Somerset and as always it went way too quickly.

I visited my grandparents' grave again, now that the headstone has been erected, and it was peaceful. They are nestled between daffodils and under a shady tree in the churchyard where I married the husband ten years ago, and my parents married 39 years ago. I find it comforting to visit them whenever I go home,  although it always feels very raw each time.

Playing in the grounds of where we married in 2002
and yes that is a cherry tree dress you spy!

My parents babysat on Saturday night so the husband and I went out for drinks and  he had the kids during the day so my mum and sis and I could spend the day shopping together. We pottered around a beautiful town near Bath, we stopped at a vintage fair, had afternoon tea, looked at the gorgeous little shops and I realised how much I miss them both when we aren't all together. My dad calls us The Coven. Hmmm!

Easter in Somerset:

I really love this pic of the Princess and "Ganny"

Picture courtesy of the Princess!

Simply not playing ball....
A lone dandelion crying out to be freed in the sky (which I missed!!!)

Then it all got silly. As always.

Here Prince, taste this lemon.....


Good night John Boy

The husband and the Prince and I steered clear for the photo!
It was so lovely to all get together - there was too much food, my mum is a true domestic goddess and always has been. She cooks and bakes everything from scratch and makes the most amazing carrot cake ever.

Here are two pictures that would have been lush if the Princess had managed to open her eyes! I gave up after two attempts as got impatient. After all, there were wind surfers to check out. But I love the way the wind is whipping her hair back and forth, so to speak.

Oh and on a final note the husband and the six other Superheroes raised more than  £2,500 for the Brittle Bone Society when they ran the Reading Half Marathon. Thank you so very much for the kind donations, it meant a great deal.

The husband is the Superhero Kick Ass, the green one!

I am very proud! Think they loved all the attention they got too.

Off lambing tomorrow if the weather holds. And Debs, if you are reading this, CAN you see me in the bath???!!! ;-)