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Monday 23 January 2017

Bright Days Here in Devon, But Even Brighter Days In Ibiza!

Hello everyone.  Hope you're all keeping well and that you haven't been brought low by any of the Winter bugs that seem to be doing the rounds. 

As I write this, I find it hard to believe that it's the 23rd January already.  Usually I find this month to be a long one, but I'm pleasantly surprised to find that, this year, it seems to be zipping by!  I daren't speak too soon, but perhaps it's something to do with the fact that we are having some really beautiful, bright sunny days here in deepest Devon, which always raises the spirits. 

This is a lovely quote, don't you think, and so very true ....


Those of you who have been following this Blog for a few years, will know that we can get some really miserable Winters....mild,  with that dreary drizzle which means that I can't even see the fields next to the garden, because of the low mist. Give me this weather any day, when you can wrap up and get outside in the fresh air and blow those cobwebs away. 

My eldest daughter is having an adventure at the moment. Her and her husband have decided to take an adult gap year, and moved to Ibiza for a year at the beginning of this month. Good for them, I say! Their daughter is  at University in Madrid, so this was an ideal time to do something like this. They absolutely love the Island, having been there many, many times on holiday over the past years. 

Here are a couple of photos of Ibiza...



My daughter and her husband....


Alfred, their little French Bulldog, is also loving the life over there!


The good thing is that I shall soon be exploring Ibiza for myself, as I am going out there to visit them for ten days at the end of April. 

Did someone mention the sewing machine??!!  Can you believe that the bobbin is still causing me problems?? Anyway, I shall not let it beat me - you thought that I would have created something wonderful by now, didn't you?!  

Well, I will say cheerio for now. Do leave a comment if you have the time - otherwise I'll think that I'm talking to myself over here. Don't answer that! 

Sunday 15 January 2017

Memories... and how I'm going to be a little sewing fiend!!

For some strange reason, I suddenly thought, at the beginning of December, that I would learn to sew and use a sewing machine. Obviously I can sew on buttons, take up hems by hand, etc, but this was new territory for me. I had seen a machine in our local Supermarket, at an excellent price, so, being the little Aries That I am, I took the bull by the horns, and bought one.  Here is my new little friend ....


I should point out here, that I last used a sewing machine 56 years ago when I was at School.  That sewing teacher never liked me!! I still have nightmares about trying to thread the bobbin.  I suppose I never really had the need to sew, as my dear mum was a trained Tailoress, even going up to London for her training. I've often thought that this must have been quite daring for a young woman, travelling to the Capital from down here in Devon at that time, as we would be talking about the early 1920's. 

Mum made all my clothes until I was well into my 20's. I always loved the little outfits she made for me as a little girl, from little sun suits for the beach, shorts and t-shirts and pretty dresses. 




I can still remember a shocking pink little number - the suits were always fully lined - with a  straight skirt and jacket. I wore it with a navy blouse, and matching shoes, gloves and handbag. Can anyone else remember when we wore matching shoes, gloves and handbags?!  The following photo is not the deep pink suit I'm talking about, but you will get the picture !  Please excuse the hat - I was attending a friend's wedding 😳.


Anyway, all mum's clothes that she made were as beautifully finished on the inside as on the outside. I have so many childhood memories of going into Remnant/Fabric Shops with mum, and I can still remember the smell as we were surrounded by all these bales of colourful materials.  We would browse the materials, zips and buttons and I actually really enjoyed doing that. Then the Assistant would take the big rolls of material down from the shelves and unroll it onto a long wooden counter, with a tape measure running along it.  The material would then be cut off to the required length with a large pair of scissors.  As a little girl, I would take it all in, and be utterly entranced by the whole performance!  I still have mum's treasured tin of buttons of all shapes and sizes.  When my mum passed away, there were so many rolls of material in all the cupboards, many bought in the Sales.  I MISS YOU MUM ...


Then we fast forward to when my youngest daughter was a teenager.  She always wanted to get into fashion, and eventually took a Fashion & Textiles Degree at University, and so the sewing began in the family once again.  Actually, I always remember my dad's mum sewing as well.  Her husband was killed at a young age in the First World War, and so my Nan also became a Seamstress, in order to support her two young children. 

So, here we are back at the current time, on a rainy day last week, when my daughter came down to give me my first sewing lesson.  Lo and behold, that dreaded bobbin raised its ugly head again!  When I finally started sewing, I was actually pleased with the result and managed to sew all around the various shapes that my daughter had drawn for me, in a relatively neat fashion. 



As part of my Christmas present, my daughter brought me a very helpful book, so I'm hoping to perhaps start on a simple little project soon. 




Watch this space!!!  Hope to see you again soon.  

Wednesday 11 January 2017

January - Time for a little nurturing!

I'm always looking out for new quotes that I haven't seen before, quotes to inspire and encourage, and I came across this one recently. I think it will become one of my new favourites!


I like to think that most of us try to nurture others as we pass through life, but sometimes, you know, it's important to also remember to nurture ourselves.   Perhaps January is one of the best months for us to do this, as we await the return of the longer days.

At this time of the year, whenever the sun appears, or it's a bright day, forget the housework and the ironing - go outside, look around and appreciate the beauty of the day. If you're able to go for a walk, so much the better. 

If you're confined to the house on these darker days, play some of your favourite music whilst carrying out your chores and dance around the kitchen! Become that young, carefree girl you once were - the girl that is still inside you somewhere.  Sounds silly?  Try it, and I guarantee you'll end up with a smile on your face 😊. One of the songs that will always do it for me is "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor! 

Write down a list of things that make you happy and then try to do at least one of those things every day.  

My friend in Green Bay brought me a Blessing Bracelet as one of my Christmas presents and I really loved the idea behind it. I truly believe that if you take the time to count your blessings every day, then life does feel so much better. For me, a blessing can be a simple thing, such as finding a parking space in a crowded car park, meeting a friend unexpectedly when you're out and about. How many times do we say, it really is the simple things in life that can make us feel at our happiest. 



I find that if I take photos when I'm out and about, this makes you take more notice of things around you, and you might notice something special that you might otherwise have missed. Just sayin' ! 😊😉

Well, I seem to be rambling on a bit here, and I'm sure you have more important things to do - such as having a dance round that kitchen!  Go on .. be wild, and don't forget to crank up the volume!  Anyway, I'll finish off by saying .....remember to be kind to YOU. 

Wednesday 4 January 2017

Is That It Then?!

Hello my friends. Well, there you go... It's all over again for another year.  Christmas and New Year, that is, and here I am writing my first Blog Post of 2017.  I thought the following quote (yes, courtesy of again!) was as good as any to start the New Year with. 


To be honest, I'm glad all the chocolates and goodies have almost gone - otherwise I would be a very chubby Southhamsdarling! I'm fine if I don't buy all those treats,  but if they're in the house, I have no willpower at all.  I just keep stuffing my face, so it's a good job it only happens once a year!  


I'm pleased to have gone out for a coastal walk with my youngest daughter a few days ago.  It was a beautiful, sunny day, and the sea was so calm. I took a couple of photos to show you ....




With apologies to my Facebook friends, who will have already seen these photos.  I suppose that January is one of my most least favourite months, but I have noticed that the days are getting just that little bit lighter already by late afternoon, so that has to be a good thing. I'm quite happy with February, because that's when all the tiny shoots suddenly start poking up from the ground here  in the United Kingdom, and you get the feeling that the whole cycle in the garden is about to start all over again.

I feel grateful to be here at the start of another year, and I feel positive about the months ahead. I hope you feel the same - who knows what the year ahead might hold for us?!  See you again soon ❤️ 

I have put up a new Featured Post, entitled What Might Have Been, in which I showcase a few of my photographs. Perhaps you might like to pop over and have a look.  Just click on the link at the top of the right hand sidebar.