I picked up this little journal in Waterstones today and, positioning it conveniently by the side of my bed, I am determined to fill the pages with new and interesting words, entering one more each evening. The idea is that you describe the day just gone using a word you wouldn’t usually use, an unusual word synonymous to ones that we would use in everyday language.
For example – today, I made a delicious cottage pie. Instead of “delicious” I could use the word “ambrosial”. I made an ambrosial cottage pie. (Meaning especially delicious).
I’ve already learned a few words that I wasn’t aware existed. “Rip-snorting” being the first. It means excited, excellent and intense. It’s a great word but I’m not sure I’ll be able to subtly slip that one into conversation any time soon…
With expert knitter Grandma staying this weekend, I am taking full advantage and have dug out my balls of wool and needles to begin a blanket that I’ve been meaning to start for a while. When it’s finished, it will be a big stripy blanket that I’ll throw on my bed but I’m definitely going to be needing a few one-to-one knitting consultations with Grandma along the way. It may take me a while, but watch this space!
I took to the fens this afternoon for a long walk. I’d taken this route only a few weeks ago and was surprised to see the fields looking darker and lumpier than usual – they’d been harvested! In early September onion farmers begin ploughing their fields to surface these root vegetables before the cold weather causes them to rot.
Luckily for me, the farmers had missed a few and, amongst a pile of rotten onions, I found four completely unscathed so, tucking them in my (very clean) welly sock, I carried them home.
Does it get much fresher than this?
This weekend, I reached a significant rite of passage; my first baby shower!
My eldest sister E is just two weeks away from her due date but we managed to fit in one last celebration with bump in tow. My sister B and I were in charge, and invited close friends and family for a pub lunch at The Windmill, Somersham. It was such a lovely afternoon! The pub filled up with ladies nattering away, bouncing babies on knees and after lunch we cut slices of this delicious creation from Tom’s Cakes to enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee while E opened her beautifully wrapped parcels, filled with toys, blankets and tiny little baby-grows.
I didn’t sense a moment of silence – even as our sophisticated rabble of ladies, babies, prams and presents exited the pub everybody was chattering and laughing away – a true sign of a good party!
After celebrating the opening of the new Susie Watson Designs shop at the press evening in Cambridge last night, I was thrilled when my friend L decided to pop round today – the perfect excuse to use my new Susie Watson jam pot and have a chat over tea and scones.
This gorgeous little hand-painted pot with matching spoon is actually meant to be a salt pot- but I wanted to keep it out on my table. It is ideal for jam – the lid keeps any pesky flies off and you don’t need to wash the spoon each time you use it.
The shop is full of the soft hues that Susie has chosen for most of her home-ware designs – from handcrafted wooden dog beds to beautiful hand-painted candles – the shop oozes ‘country chic’ and she has thought of every tiny detail to create this look.
But when I began chatting to one of Susie’s team at the event last night, she opened my mind. She said that actually, Susie’s designs are incredibly versatile and can work well with many other styles. So, I decided that I would take this jam pot, that I had fallen a little bit in love with, and try it with my mis-match vintage china at home, and I’m very pleased that I did!
After much deliberation, I have decided that a dinner party with my best girl friends is how I’d like to celebrate turning 23. I love getting handmade invitations – with Facebook events and mobile phones, they are a rare thing – so, I made my own and have posted them (yes, remember the post box?) out to all my lovely friends. Admittedly, I had to message and text to get their addresses, but I hope they will enjoy finding a bit of colour among the pile of bills and junk mail.
I used a laminator, an entire pot of sequins, a piece of old-fashioned white A4 paper and a black felt tip…
What do you think?
I popped into Southport with my cousins today. Southport is one of the seaside towns I visit regularly when in Lancashire (my Grandma has her hair cut there and I go for a little explore).
We admired the seafront entertainment – elderly couples dancing in pairs to a cheery man singing 1950’s ballroom hits – before heading straight for a shopping arcade with beautiful, traditional wooden shop fronts. My favourite find was a shop called Vintage Home. It was crammed floor to ceiling with retro things for your home; crockery from Orla Kiely and Emma Bridgewater, one-off pieces of 1950’s furniture and old games and used books. I picked up this lovely enamel coffee pot to go with my ever-expanding Orla Kiely cup collection.
According to my cousins, a trip to Southport is not complete unless you’ve had a game of crazy golf, so we walked along the pier to a great little crazy golf course before following the bumpy coastal roads home.
Spending my days exploring the depths of the Lancashire countryside and my evenings knitting and enjoying long chats with my Grandma, I am settling into Lancashire living just nicely. Boarding with my Grandma for two weeks while on a feature-writing placement at a magazine here, the rolling countryside and slow pace of living make a refreshing change from the hustle and bustle of my placements in London.
I’ve been coming to Lancashire to visit family since I can remember and, while I love to revisit my old favourite spots, I’m curious to see where my feature research will take me and excited to discover more places in the area.
First on my list, Lytham; a seaside destination with character and a charming seventeenth century windmill which, set against the backdrop of the North West coastline, welcomes you into the town. I stumbled across the department store, Stringers; a very traditional, independent department store bringing the grandeur and sophistication of Harrods to the quaint seaside town of Lytham. I was pleased to pick up some tasteful games and badges for my sister’s baby shower, which is coming up at the end of September, before following the little lanes lined with overgrown hedgerow, back to my Grandma’s cottage.