Friday, 28 March 2008

Oh, so poorly!

I have been in bed for most of the week feeling absolutely ghastly! I can't remember when I last felt this ill. All my plans for doing things in the house on my week off have had to be shelved and even today which was going to be a treat excursion to the Creative Stitch and Craft show at Olympia has to be abandoned!! Tomorrow is my birthday and plans for outings there will need to be postponed till another weekend!

I am now taking antibiotics for a chest infection so hopefully will feel better soon.

I'll be back with thoughts and photos hopefully very soon.

I hope you never get this 'lurgy'. Unfortunately daughter's 2 and 4 are both down with it!

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Happy Easter!

Here I am at 4.30am sitting in the living room feeling pretty unwell. It would appear I have a virus which includes a hacking cough, the chills, headache etc. With guests here, it really has been a case of mind over matter these last couple of days but last night I had to excuse myself and go and lie down on the bed. However I did manage to accomplish what I had planned! Roast chicken dinner for 9 with all the trimmings followed by a dessert called Danish Peasant Girl with a Veil which is basically stewed applies, amaretti biscuits crumbled and whipped cream.
My sadness was though that I didn't make it to church yesterday as usual. I was scheduled to do the reading and felt it was a privilege to be doing it on Easter Day but alas I could not speak without coughing so dearly beloved hubby had to do it instead.

Here is a photo of our Easter table! I had to go out in the snow (not much here compared to others) to get forsythia for the table and had made an egg cosie for each person and filled it with chocolate eggs.

Actually it doesn't look much on the photo but the yellow and white theme did actually look quite nice and there were little chicks dotted about too.

I also made an Easter cake. This was one of Nigella's from Nigella Bites with a chocolate ganache icing (double cream heated to just before boiling, then add broke good choice chocolate and mix, leave to cool then spread and allow for drippage!, very yummy).
I gather from the rest of the crew that this cake tasted good. By the time we got to teatime I couldn't eat anything as my tummy felt so full of cough mixture, lemsip and paracetmol!
I am really hoping that I feel better as the day goes on today. I feel pretty weak and am racked with coughing so hard. We were planning an excursion with the older folk to a garden centre but not sure I feel up to it. I need to work up the energy to provide the much anticipated breakfast (well much anticipated by daughter no.4 anyway!) of scrambled eggs and smoked salmon.
Hope you are all having a lovely weekend and are free from the ills and chills of the season.

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Raindrops on roses....

Think Sound of Music and Julie Andrews singing.....
(this is really a camelia in the front garden)
and whiskers on kittens
(and this was our beloved cat Alfie whom we miss)
Candlelight and fragrance- this one was grapefruit and clary sage
Add some Bach on the CD player and some newly crocheted egg cosies
and you have some of my favourite things, at least at the moment. Having felt really unwell for the last few days, I needed to do some serious self-care!
I was really hoping to get ahead of myself ready for company coming on Thursday - my mother-in-law who is 82 and a good friend of the family who is 69!! will be staying for 6 days but I haven't been able to do anything. Tomorrow it is off to work for three days far away leaving home at 6.30am and coming home around 8pm! Still, at least I feel better - not 100% but definitely better than I was so it is onwards and upwards...
Hope you have all had a good weekend.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Inspiration part 2

I found in our libary the book "Shabby Chic" by Rachel Ashwell, founder of the trend and it is delightful. This is a picture of her inspiration board - sorry the photo doesn't really do it justice but it is a combination of fabrics, sketches, ideas, embellishments etc as she began to rennovate her new house. I love the idea of an inspiration board and have already started collecting things to put on there - photos I love, fabrics, trimmings etc. Of course if you put 'inspiration boards' into google you will find a lot of other examples of things people have done which makes for very interesting and light reading, if like me, your head is tender and you are having to take life a bit easy!
Another inspiring image here from the book. A lovely dresser full of gorgeous china. Ahhhh..... one day....maybe!
And how about this lovely image from the current issue of Country Living magazine? Who wouldn't like to be ambling down a flower strewn lane like this right now?
Back in the real world I think it is time for another lemsip and then back to bed!!!


Here are a couple of shots of quilts I saw at the quilt show recently. There were one or two stunning ones but these were not allowed to be photographed and then I got so involved I forgot to get the camera out!

It's lovely to see others' work though and imagine all the time and effort that was put in. It's also interesting to see the different colour combinations people choose, some of which you think wouldn't really work but in fact do, amazingly well.

Not feeling so well.....

"Bella was ill and tucked up in bed
with pains in her tummy and pains in her head...."

So goes the little verses out of a delightful children's book I used to read to the girls and whose words often come back to me when I feel unwell. It is 4am and over the last two days I have had two very bad headaches, a variety of other ailments and now a cold has emerged and I am at the runny nose stage! Just cannot stay in bed a moment longer so thought I would get up and update here instead!
A visit to the doctor yesterday was quite timely although I had booked it over three weeks ago and now it appears a colonoscopy is the next thing plus a bone density scan!!! What joys to look forward to. However if we get progress on some of the ailments then that sure will be worth it.

So this week has been busy with a conference in London to run for around 50 people. I wasn't feeling great from the moment I woke up but it was mind over matter and just get on with it with the help of paracetemol etc. It went well, I think, and the joy for me is in organising something that helps others to get out of their situations and see things in a different perspective as well as the opportunity to talk with others.

I did also go to a quilt show at the weekend and perhaps we will have a separate post about that....

Friday, 7 March 2008

A treasure found

I found this darling cup and saucer with violets on it and the delightful crocheted mat/traycloth at a local charity shop. I was particularly glad to find the cup and saucer as I love violets. My mother's name was Violet and they were special to her too. The hyacinth beside it broke off and I had it in a vase together with some daffodils for a while.
So the weekend is almost here and tomorrow we are up early again dashing off to Heathrow to fetch my Canadian friend who is on her way back from Angola via England. We are hoping to go to a local quilt show tomorrow which will be fun. Hope you all have a great weekend and don't get too blown about with all the gales that are forecast.

A happy mother!

Look what I had for mother's day! It is a fabulous book with so many lovely projects, even crocheted letters of the alphabet which I have never seen before. I had a lovely day taking it quietly really (apart from ironing 15 shirts - don't ask!) and all four daughters cames for lunch and stayed for the afternoon. They cooked an amazing exotic fish pie with prawns, salmon, haddock and cod, purple sprouting broccoli and then for dessert daughter no.1 made a tiramisu based on a cooking programme she is currently editing for channel 5 with Carluccio. She did it all from her memory of the visuals and without any recipe! Then sure enough we did watch the old version of Little Women and it was lovely. It seem several worlds away though compared to society today but a wonderful little escape on a Sunday afternoon.

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Culitvating serenity!

So March is here already! As William Wordsworth said:

"It is the first mild day of March
Each minute sweeter than before...
There is a blessing in the air....

And from Simple Abundance, we read:
"March arrives, the last hurrah of winter and the first whisper of spring Slowly our spirits reawaken, along with the natural world, from a long winter's slumber. Branches that just days ago were bare, now blossom with new growth. Deep withiin we feel stirrings of hope."

I have been watching the forsythia at the bottom of our garden this week and seeing how it is gradually coming into flower.

I do love forsythia. It seems such a happy plant with its delicate bright yellow flowers and seems to pioneer the way for others.

It's been a busy week again and today has been good to stop for a while and potter and ponder.

Time for some serenity amidst the craziness of life. Time to concentrate on the moment, what is just happening right now and enjoy it - whether it be gazing at the forsythia, making rock buns or listening to The Most Peaceful Classical Album in the World - Ever! So often we are running about trying to do seven things all at the same time (and I am a great one for this) but in doing so we miss so much. We need to give ourselves permission more often to concentrate on one task at a time and to notice the things around us.

So tomorrow is Mothering Sunday and as I was pondering I was drawn to this delightful statue of a mother and daughter which someone gave me last year.
I have mixed feelings about tomorrow as I remember my own Mum who is no longer with us. However this statue evokes some of the feelings I remember about my own girls who are all coming tomorrow and indeed coming to make lunch! Those moments when you end up dancing and twirling around the living room or the kitchen to some music or some song you are singing together are precious indeed. I am a very blessed woman to have four very lovely daughters. We may just have to watch that old version of Little Women tomorrow!!!
Hope you have a lovely day tomorrow and try cultivating serenity soon. It will restore and reawaken your inspiration.....