Monday, 31 May 2010

Bank Holiday Weekends

porlock wier

Poor neglected blog. I have been busy of late. Work is taking up more and more of my time and, of the time off that I have, we have been spending most of it outside. Last week I learnt how to make a stone oven on the beach to cook sausages. This weekend we went back to the beach at sunset to make a fire, sitting round it watching it roar and flicker in the wind as the light faded out of the sky. Just before it was completely dark we buried the fire. The surround stones were beautifully warm and I used one as a hot water bottle as we walked back to where we had left the car.

Last weekend I went to London for little sister's 23rd birthday. I wore my Jimmy Choo sandals and realised I hadn't worn high heels, dressed up to go out or danced to a DJ since we left London. We spent the rest of the weekend lying in the park in the sun, proper 'Clapham-ites' with our blonde hair, upmarket cider, iced lattes from Starbucks and a sofa throw to lie on.


I returned to Somerset on the Sunday afternoon after complety forgetting that the buses probably didn't return very late on Sundays and leaving the car at work. It was still hot when I arrived back in the west country at 7pm.

This weekend, we had friends down from London and we were joined by more on Saturday afternoon. I watched Sex and the City* and drank cider and lay on the beach and ate fish and chips, prawns and moules. We listened to a local band play Pink Floyd and Led Zepp covers as the sun went down over the sea and drank tea and ate peanut butter cupcakes without icing. Today we sat on a freezing beach in the sunshine whilst the boys skimmed stones and I conducted more polls for Cate** amongst our friends. The kind of country weekend we always talked about having when we lived in London but could never afford to rent somewhere to host one. Turns out there are lots of upsides to our new life.

And then, tomorrow, we start househunting all over again.

*review to follow later this week. Follow me on twitter to see my earlier immediate thoughts.
**no specific slang name was the general experience.

(photos by me)

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Of weekends.


I can hardly believe it but we have been living in Exmoor for 4 months next week. Our visitors are starting to make their second and third visits. Despite having to work yesterday morning we made the most of the weekends sunshine and lay on the beach, out of the wind, wrapped up in cardigans and blankets yesterday afternoon followed by barbecuing fish and then butterflied leg of lamb for supper, with local asparagus we bought from a farm, in the garden. Barbecue over, we removed the grill, added some wood and toasted marshmallows and roasted parcels of bananas and chocolate and drank wine until it got so cold we had to retreat inside, smelling of festivals.

This afternoon, after a lazy breakfast and a quick sojourn to the owl and falconry centre for my sister-in-law to take some photos of an owl for a project, our visitors departed and the rain came sweeping in from sea. I made fruit scones and blackberry goo (compote/jam like substance) from last year's cornish blackberries and a pot of tea and we retired to a picnic on our bed, to watch Shameless, and 90210, and Desperate Housewives. The evening sun has now appeared and the birds are all singing again, post rain. Husband is cooking supper and I am starting to feel relaxed again.


Afternoon Tea, by me (both contents and photo)

Friday, 14 May 2010

Baby, Picture This

The beautiful and talented Baby, Picture This held a giveaway on her blog last week to celebrate the launch of her Etsy shop. Somehow, it was my name that she picked from her glass of names and in doing so made a week of pmt and work stresses including appraisals and not having a moment to do anything, let alone blog, seem just that little bit lovelier.

Seriously, you have to have a look at her etsy shop. It is full of beautiful photos and postcards.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

6 May 2010

If you follow my tweets this will sound hypocritical in the extreme but, if you are in two minds about voting, please vote. It is so incredibly important to exercise your right to vote. We are very lucky to live in a democracy (I know it often doesn't feel like it when things aren't going right but it could be so much worse) and in a country where we have the right to vote, the right to choose who we vote for and the right to choose what we write and what we say about our choices.

I still can't actually make up my mind which party I will place my X against because policies on all sides bother me. It is, to a large degree, immaterial here. I live in a Tory safe seat (so safe our local Conservative MP couldn't actually be arsed to turn up to several of the hustings). Hunting is a huge part of the way of life and of people's livelihoods on Exmoor and until such a day that other parties re-embrace the Hunt, this seat will be Tory. That said, I am sure people vote on other issues too, hunting just seems to be the one people talk about.

I know who I won't be voting for; 3 out of my 7 options I never even considered (BNP, UKIP, Independent). I voted Green in the last election and can't bring myself to support David Cameron as he grows increasing smug. I have never considered my self a true Labour supporter and some of the Lib Dem policies make me anxious, although, I'll be honest, I probably don't know a huge amount of depth of any of the policies of any of the parties. But, does the average voter either?

Still, whatever decision I come to between now and tomorrow when I head for the Village Hall to cast my vote, I know I will having my say in our country. Make sure you don't miss out on the same opportunity.

{Someone who does good diagrams should do a poll in how us blogging ladies vote. Do we all vote the same way? I should think the answer is no, but I would be interested to hear (if you don't consider it private information. And, as I am sure I needn't add, be nice if people don't agree with you.)

Monday, 3 May 2010

Vintage in Somerset

I found a vintage shop in Somerset! I thought I was destined to return forever to London but today I found somewhere to while away some happy hours looking for bargains. Shikasuki will forever be my favourite but my discovery of Heartfelt made life a little happier today.

Review at Somerset Bound. Photos of the Ferragamo skirt I found to follow...

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Alternative healing

This is certain to be a topic which will be divisive but recently I have begun to research and consider alternative healing. I have had two reflexology sessions and one massage and have investigated crystal healing. Several times I have been into my local crystal shop and been drawn to a specific crystal. On looking up the crystal in the book in the shop I have discovered that it is 'known' to have healing properties to help a specific problem that I have been dealing with.

This morning we went to Dunster for lunch and I popped into the shop. I looked at all the jewellery and was drawn to smoky quartz. Smoky quartz is quite a brown stone and not one that I have particularly considered before. I spoke to the lady in the shop, who is not someone I have met before and she told me that smoky quartz was excellent for removing stress, negativity and negative energy and for being a grounding stone. Given the week that I have just had, that sounded so spot on that I bought the earrings. I wouldn't have done if I hadn't liked them a lot as well, but I thought it was at least worth considering the theory that healing can be achieved through crystals. After all, if it reduces stress levels and removes anger, it's got to be worth it, regardless of how psychosomatic it is, perhaps.

The last time I went in, I was particularly drawn to a stone which lists 'solving legal problems' as one of it's properties. I had gone in the shop looking for a pair of earrings to wear during my new job, where, on a daily basis I solve legal problems.

I would be interested to know if anyone else has had any experience with crystals and their properties. I can't decide if there is something in it, whether I am just a sucker for pretty jewellery or whether it even matters.