Friday, 16 May 2014


This week my life has been bathed in sunshine, following the shivery camping trip last weekend, I could always do with a heat wave and it is never too hot for me.

Sherlock and I now go for a run every morning. It is so much more fun going running with a dog and even better when the sun is shining, there is no - one else around and the world is beautifully peaceful.

He also did a rather good job at sunbathing on the ground I'd prepared for the runner beans. Maybe it's lucky for a black and white dog to lie on the earth before you plant up the area and I'm now assured a bumper crop.

Despite the glorious weather, Charlie was delighted to discover that his mud pie was still glupey, 24 hours after making it. There are times in your life that are so fabulous that you would like to stay there forever. I stood perfectly still and watched how wonderful life can be in the sunshine whilst Charlie mixed his mud pie, Josie read in the deck chair and Sherlock threw his teddy bear around.

Blue sky, green grass, dried mud path, a boy with his dog and no need for a fleece on the way to school, can life get any better?


Sunday, 11 May 2014

Camp Josie

Once in your life time you are the same age as the date you were born. I don't remember being 4 years old on the 4th but I hope that the memories of Camp Josie to celebrate being 11 on the 11th, will remain with Josie forever.
There's always more than one way to look at everything, but you'd be amazed how much Josie and two of her best friends enjoyed playing with a blanket in a field, eating charred food, getting soaked to the skin by torrential rain and barely sleeping as they shivered with only a thin piece of canvas to protect them from the gale force winds.

The girls drank homemade lemonade in Kilner jars, which worked just as well for Granola bowls, hot chocolate mugs and were decorated with Sharpie pens, filled with cake and sent home with our guests for new and exciting adventures. The whole party was very much sponsored by my Pinterest activities.

from the freezer paper printed flag (design credit to

to the mini Camp Josie beetroot chocolate fudge cake

and onto the knapsack style tidied bandana party bags

She just looks like she had a totally brilliant time.
And of course credit where credit's due...behind the scenes was my husband who was in charge all the technical aspects such as putting the tent up in the wind and being on the receiving end of over-stressed pre-party rantings from me.

I'd also like to thank my lovely assistant, Michelle, who took to sitting in deck chairs, drinking wine out of enamel mugs and staring out to sea, beautifully. Without her support in girl control, companion crocheting and general gossip, the whole affair would have been one evil mum vs three sugar fuelled young ladies.

Although it was a girls only camp, it was very sweet to catch brother and sister catching up before we went home and Josie sharing her adventures and stories. And if you know Josie well, or you've been camping with Josie, then yes, she did take her friends into the woods after dark and scare them to death with her frightening stories. Her Josiness just grows with every year and now there's 11 of them  packed into that tiny bundle of joy.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Bag making at the WI


Our Pink Ladies WI had it third meeting last night and as bag printing was voted as the most popular potential activity earlier this year, that's what we did. Although I was a bit of a reluctant president, ideas and creative solutions are one of my strengths and in my head the idea that we could combine doing something for a local charity and bag printing / making in the same event started to unravel, with numerous possibilities.

The best thing about our WI is that it is totally community based, by the people for the people and as a teacher it is a dream to inspire learning without the constraints of funding, drowning in paperwork and the forced engagement of the disengaged. Infact our fabulous treasurer and secretary are so brilliant, that I don't even have think about the spirit crushing implications of money. And what with our local business owner and director of Espression Art Cafe Vice President hosting the event, I'm pretty much free to get on with the designing, planning, organising and creativity: all my favourite things!

The lovely Zoe from Hi Kent joined us to tell us all about her wonderful idea of making bags to sell to raise the profile of Deaf Awareness Week 19th -25th May 2014. Everyone of our amazing guests and members printed a bag for her to take away. Zoe is going to create a window display of the bags in the Northgate shop, with the bag picture below at its centre.

I'm very pleased to say that it was a collaborative affair and involved consultation with the construction, design and printing team. Zoe still has to go away and make the bag up, but I don't think this is the first bag she's made.

This a selection of the bags we printed or made

And some that wouldn't fit on the washing line

And if that wasn't exciting enough, the very talented Karen, from Leonora's Kitchen came along to tell us about the food and wine tasting event that she is hosting for the Pink Ladies WI next month. She is offering an eclectic mix of Mediterranean and Asian food with wines or soft drinks as an accompaniment , we are even getting a compare for the evening. We hope to invite all the beautiful lady traders from the Palace Street area and spill out onto the pavement. If you fancy a fab evening out, on a mid summer's Eve in the heart of the city or maybe want to come along to see what kind of brilliant people actually go to the WI, this is your chance to try us out. Tickets are only £15, just get in touch if you want to come along.