It’s a big wide world out there …

Aberdeen rooftops in the sunshine

As regular readers know, I love my home. I love the cosy house, the garden and being with my little family and I need some pushing to get me out, even for an evening. We have had a few social events recently – a friend’s birthday party up in Scotland (good excuse to catch up with some old friends and wow people with our dancing) and our semi-regular visit to the village club for the quiz night. Don’t be too shocked but last week, we actually won! For a team called “Bottom Again” (as that’s our usual finishing point), we were pretty impressed. It was probably down to the music round, which was TV theme tunes and sounded like a musical romp through our weekly viewing – Antique’s Roadshow, Grand Designs, Countryfile … You get the picture. By the time we got to Gardener’s World I think we had lost any credibility with the two twenty-something young women who were on the team with us, but how else are we supposed to learn how to manage the garden? Monty Don – my hero! (Not to mention Nigel and Nell, the dogs, the real stars of the show).

I do have a couple of weeks away now anyway. This week, I am on my monthly pilgrimage to Aberdeen to go into the office. It’s a warm, sunny Autumn up here as well and it reminds me just how beautiful this city can be. The view from my bedroom window up here is a bit different from the fields at home (the one at the top of every blog page) but I’m sure you will agree no less impressive:

Rooftops view of granite buildings in the sunshine
View from my bedroom window in Aberdeen

Then, once I get back from Aberdeen, it’s down to Nottingham for the second week of my curtain-making course. I am so excited! I have been practising hard, matching patterns, finishing valances, creating another curtain sample and now I am ready to go and face Roman blinds and swags and tails. Last weekend, we went to Waltons Mill ( in Boroughbridge to buy what I needed. I was like a child in a sweet shop – I have never seen so much fabric in one place. They had a range of Roald Dahl fabrics that caught my attention (once a librarian …) and I was so tempted by the one covered in scary black spiders. In the end, though, I decided that probably wouldn’t be good to include in my portfolio, so I went for the Giant Peach fabric instead. So, this was my collection for next week – what do you think?

Collection of fabrics on a table
I can’t wait to transform these!

For now, though, I am looking forward to being back at home with D and the girls. He is in charge down there at the moment and it sounds like, with the weather wetter than here, he has two grumpy cats on his hands. “We want to go out” they keep telling him. Not that he is stopping them but they don’t like the rain. “Make it stop” they wail at the patio door, as if it must be his fault. In the end, they go upstairs to sulk. D has a particularly challenging jigsaw to do and for some reason, they both seem to think it makes a cosy place to sleep (Cats sleep anywhere, remember?) The Princess was particularly disgruntled at being moved the other day and poor D got bitten for his temerity. Not that she hurts – but she certainly makes her point. It’s amazing how quickly they forget the great outdoors once that fire is lit though, and I miss my evening snuggles in front of the TV with them all when I am not there.

So, as I will be away on my course next week, I won’t have a regular post for you. However, I am very excited to announce that I will be hosting my very first guest post instead. I will be leaving you all in the very capable hands of the lovely Nina Jervis ( who has been successfully pursuing her own New Simple Life and is dropping by to tell you all about it. I am sure she will keep you all entertained and I would ask you all to give her lots of support as she is fab at what she does. And by the time I am back the following week, I will be a nearly fully-fledged curtain and soft furnishings maker!


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