Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Slipping and a-Sliding

Last weekend, on my way back from London, I slipped on the water drenched platform of Paddington Station.  In fairness I was rushing - when they announce the platform number the trains are going to leave on, all hell normally lets loose as people make a mad dash to grab a seat.  There's no avoiding it really as the trains get so busy that if you don't join in you may have to stand for a long part of the journey which is no fun at all.  Anyway I went flying.  I managed to save my flask of tea but in doing so fell bang onto my knees.  My right knee is now all horrible swollen and bruised (no gym for me this week).  As I fell (slightly in slow motion) I didn't quite realise what I had done and it took me a split second to catch on, by this time a lovely (and v trendy looking) man had stopped his mad dash for a seat to help me up.  It must have been a bit of an impressive slide and fall as I'd left one of my shoes behind me a little way back on the platform.  This man helped me up and asked if I was alright, that's it, just that little simple thing but I felt such an overwhelming surge of gratitude to him for that little simple thing.  Thank you nameless stranger for your little act of kindness which took the edge of trauma off my fall.  I hope you found a seat on the train...

So here I am with a gammy leg, meanwhile back in London, N has caught some horrible temperatury-sore-throaty-cold type thing and is feeling awful.  What a couple!  

Monday, 26 January 2009


Look how pretty! These are little (well not so little) sugar cubes, all you need to make them is white granulated sugar, a little liquid food dye, a little bit of water and a mini heart cookie cutter.  I may have made mine a bit big but I have a sweet tooth!

A Poem

*Brassai - Kissing In The Cafe*

While we were in Bibury N read me a poem from one of the books in our cottage.  It is by John Betjeman and it is called In A Bath Teashop.  I love it.

In A Bath Teashop

"Let us not speak, for the love we bear one another -
Let us hold hands and look."
She such a very ordinary little woman;
He such a thumping crook;
But both for a moment, little lower than the angels
In the teashop's ingle-nook.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Beautiful Bibury

*The gate to our cottage*

Back at the beginning of January N and I celebrated our 7 year get-together-versary by going away for a weekend. Every year this weekend is our Christmas gift to each other. This year we decided to go to Bibury in the Cotswolds (mostly due to a fabulous offer at the hotel which meant that we had a suite, complete with outside hot tub, champagne, chocolates, strawberries, an orchid, dinner and breakfast! N.B going away for a weekend in January is a really good idea - everywhere has brilliant offers).

We arrived in Bibury on a cold clear afternoon after visiting the amazing candle-lit Wild Duck Inn in Ewen for a slap up pub lunch. N had driven to Wales the night before and many a fun car game was played on the journey across the border including my favourite: sing song x in the style of person y. We arrived at the hotel, full of warm delicious food, and were a little taken aback when we were directed back out of the hotel and along the street to our very own little cottage with an apple tree overhanging our hot tub! Inside my excitement continued to rise as we were shown into the lounge where the aforementioned bottle of champagne, chocolates and strawberries awaited us! Upstairs was the bedroom and huge bathroom complete with a rubber duck for the bath!!!

*The hot tub*
We had a pre-dinner dip in the hot tub and then went back inside to get ready for dinner, sipping away at the old champagne. Later that evening as we walked to the restaurant, soft snow flakes started to fall all around us and the next morning we awoke to a picture postcard snowy Cotswolds village:

*The bridge to the hotel*

*The hotel*

*Arlington Row Alms Houses*

It was so cold that on the way to breakfast we noticed that the hotel's fountain had completely frozen over:

Bibury is a beautiful little village and driving through the Cotswolds the following day we got to talking about holidaying and how our favourite trips of 2008 had actually taken place in the UK. There are so many lovely spots in our country and so many that I haven't seen. So after our trip to California in April we are going to make a concerted effort to pack up our camping gear and explore the UK!


Pre Christmas I got my knitting sticks out and made a few Christmas gifts - this hot water bottle cover was my favourite because it loooks a bit like a jumper. The pattern was from a book but I knitted and added a flower corsage (sewing a diamante button at the centre for a bit of sparkle) to stop it from being too plain. I took it to the wire a bit and was still knitting at midnight on Christmas Eve to finish it for the next day! Note to self: creative projects always take longer than you think they will - start earlier next time!

Why I haven't been blogging of late...

Aside from working a bit hard:

  • I have been curled up reading lots of lovely books with mugs of tea and welsh cakes and teisen lap
  • I have been going to the gym a lot (truly unheard of for me). I am now doing a pilates class, a body conditioning class and one gym sesh a week! Just as well really given all the tea and cake I am consuming. I have learnt that I can't skip or breathe.
  • I've caught up with friends, been on a lovely weekend away with N and have been planning our trip to California in April.

But now I am back, refreshed, renewed and ready to rejoin the great world of blog.

Friday, 2 January 2009

Goodbye 2008, Hello 2009

In 2008 ...
  • I discovered some amazing new places: St Lucia and St Kitts in the Caribbean, Mykonos and Simi in Greece, the lovely Turkish coastline, The Trossachs in Scotland and Ely in Cambridgeshire
Little Venice, Mykonos by me
  • N and I bought a tent and went on our first camping adventures: first at a friends hoe-down party on her farm in the Cotswolds, second in the garden of a friend's holiday cottage in Norfolk.  In true N style our tent has a lighting system and we took a blow up double mattress, sheets, duvet and pillows!!! Okay so it wasn't proper camping but now we have eased ourselves in gently we're going to properly rough it in 2009
  • I attended 4 weddings: I danced a ceilidh in stunning Stirling, Scotland, had a fabulous time at the wonderful wedding of one of my university flatmates in a castle by the sea in beautiful Dorset, watched my man be the best man at our friends nuptials in Ely, Cambridgeshire, and attended my cousin's wedding in beautiful Wales.  Whew!
  • Brilliantly my business has hit the ground running.  It has been somewhat of a gamble, In order to finance establishing iced I have had to leave London and N to return home to Wales.  I have had to work two jobs and have often found myself stopping work at 2.30 in the morning to go to bed for a few hours before having to get up and start the next job.  But this year has been amazing.  Hard work but amazing.  I have made so many wedding and celebration cakes, and despite the current financial crisis, orders are coming in.  Although I may have a few more dark circles under my eyes, I am loving absolutely every minute of achieving my dream. 
  • I have learnt how to: knit, ride a quad bike ... and of course, write a blog -  this blog.  I have loved writing it.  Thank you for reading my rambling mumblings and thank you so much for your comments.  
I am so looking forward to this year.  I have no resolutions but I am going to do my best to make the year count in every way.  As I write N is on his way to Wales as we are heading to the Cotswolds for our 'gettingtogetherversary' / Christmas present weekend away.  I can't wait!

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Happy New Year!!

Wishing you all a truly fabulous 2009!!!