One Saturday in May

We woke early last Saturday, rising from our beds before 6am to be greeted by a gorgeous day, buzzing with potential. Following a six hour sleep, my longest stretch in over a year, I felt wonderful. I’d done two loads of washing and put away the Tesco food delivery before 10am. Everyone felt happy and relaxed. I left Tiny Tin Girl with her daddy and took TTB out to the shops to buy shorts and bread and pansies. He’s been asking for pansies for a couple of weeks. He carefully selected the right ones: small, yellow, must have little faces. He skipped and chattered with glee at an outing with just mummy and no sister.

The children ate their lunches with no complaints and TTG went off for her nap, sleeping soundly for two whole hours in her cot. I put another load of washing in the machine, and then TTB and I popped out again for a sack of compost to plant out our pansies. TTG awoke not long after we returned and we all headed out to the park.

In the park the children delighted in the open space and ran about happily, picking daisies and dandelions and tumbling about on the grass. We walked through the meadow and under the beech trees with their new soft leaves dancing in the breeze.

TTB rode his scooter along the path and TTG shrieked and laughed at him. Both children overjoyed to have daddy in the park with them.

On the way out of the park we ran into our friend; we chatted and she said she was on her way up to Keelham Farm Shop for barbecue food. We waved goodbye and off she went. I looked at the time … 16:34 … “Andy … shall we go up to Keelham for tea?” At 16:34 I need to be part way through cooking for the children, not in the park, 20 minutes walk away!

We made our way through the rest of the park, TTB rolling about on the grass with his new rugby ball and every so often sitting on the end of the buggy for a ride. Every so often we’d stop to watch the rabbits that were nibbling the grass near the edges of the park, near the hedgerows, basking in the late afternoon sunshine. The trees had a halo of warm light around them and the air felt exciting.

Stopping now and again to point out hawthorn trees, electricity substations and other things that piqued the curiosity of TTB, we meandered up to Keelham and settled expectantly in the “Kitchen” for our food: steak and chips, roasted vegetable and hummus sandwich, chicken goujons and sweet potato wedges and a generous helping of macaroni cheese later, we left full and happy. Delighted with our choice to go and proud of our little ones, both in appetite and behaviour.

Back through the park and TTB wanted to scoot once more, this time from the top of the grassy hill, rolling down to the bottom. The sun was low in the sky and the grass was warm. I slipped off my shoes and walked ahead with TTG, enjoying the feel of the grass under my feet. Basking in the early evening sunshine, I felt as happy as can be. So light I could just float home. An unexpectedly wonderful day, full of good, simple pleasures: family, food, sunshine, laughter, outdoors. There is nothing I want more.














Happy Mugs

Washing up is never such a chore when you have lovely things to wash.

Recently, Make International contacted me to see if I wanted to review some of their products. Erm, yes! I had been eyeing up Jane Foster‘s pretty mugs for a while, I love her bright retro designs. I was given a Jane Foster rabbit a few years ago by a friend for my birthday and I was rather pleased to be offered the chance to have some of her mugs as well.

I picked three Jane Foster mugs and one Keith Brymer Jones mug – one of them is “for Tiny Tin Girl” but as she’s some way away from being allowed a proper mug I’ve claimed her lion one for my own as well. Originally I chose the lion one for TTB but when they arrived he declared that he wanted the cat one and not the lion one.

Exciting thought it was to receive the mugs I then got a bit stuck. How do you review a mug? I have no idea. So we just used them a lot. For our evening brew and TTB’s morning milk, weekend cuppas when we’re all together. And they’re really very lovely to drink from, the Jane Foster ones in particular. I like that they’re thin and fine and nice to hold. They’re a good size – big enough for a good cup of tea but not so big that TTB can’t handle it well.

(Keeping it real with genuine child generated mess here)

I think I prefer the style of the Jane Foster ones to the Keith Brymer Jones mug, which is a little bit thicker, but I LOVE the blue colour inside. It’s like a sunny sky!

Can you see the state of our dining room in these photos? We’ve started renovating this room now, which is predictably taking a loooong time as Andy has such limited weekend time, and we keep stealing him away from battening the ceiling to spend time with us. So we’re just living in what I’ve nicknamed the Slytherin Common Room. Grey walls with weird green patches and bits of damp around the edges where it needs tanking. Grey walls and a rubbish floor and literally just a table and our chairs. I’m choosing to ignore the appearance of the room and focusing on the smaller details which do make me happy: pretty mugs and tableware, and the simple pleasure of a good cup of tea.

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Make International sent me the mugs free of charge in exchange for me featuring them on my blog.