Monday, 30 May 2011

Now We Are One

Wow, has it really been a whole year since Baby Bird arrived and turned our lives upside down?!

It's been a year of ups, downs, trials and triumphs with him, but I wouldn't be without him. I get to bed of an evening and wonder what I used to do all day before he came into our lives. He's been a bit of a challenge recently as he's definitely showing his independence and has also cut his first two molars this week.

He's had a lovely birthday weekend - a little party with his baby friends on Saturday, a family jamboree at the in-laws yesterday and the birthday party of another baby friend today. He even had his birthday card read out on Milkshake! this morning.

Happy Birthday little man!

Thursday, 26 May 2011


As you know from previous posts, we spent our annual family holiday in Debyshire this year. One of our outing was to Chatsworth House, home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. Have to say, I've never got quite why the titles don't seem to match up with the geography - for example, Wilton House in Salisbury, Wiltshire is the home of the Earl of Pembroke, which is in Wales. Anyway, I digress.

The week we visited, Chatsworth was holding a 'Florabundance' event celebrating, in particular, tulips and other seasonal flowers. Hence lots of flower pictures. Some of the photos aren't too great (sorry) - the focus on the camera is a bit iffy.


Sunday, 22 May 2011

Here, There and Everywhere - Part 2

Mainly pictures for the main part of our week in the Peaks. I'm having a bit of a challenging time with Baby Bird at the moment, so I don't have a lot of energy!

We stayed in a cottage outside Buxton, which was not the nicest we've ever had - damp bathroom and spiders, plus BB didn't like the room he was in, meaning he ended up sharing our bed on a couple of nights.

I had a bit of a difficult time getting there too (seems to be a theme starting)! Everything was fine until the final leg of the journey. Long story, but after the driver asked some football fans to stop singing as it was disturbing other passengers and they gave her a bit of lip, she decided to stop the train and call the transport police to remove them. As the fans weren't strictly speaking doing anything wrong, the police couldn't do anything and the driver refused to take the train any further and it was cancelled, so we all got kicked off and had to wait for the next train. I did eventually get to the station an hour later than planned!

Anyway, here's a few photos of the holiday.

 Chatsworth House - I took loads of photos here, 
which I'm going to put in a separate post

 Bakewell again

Owl at The Chestnut Centre - a wildlife sanctuary
 Otters at The Chestnut Centre

 More otters!

 Ilam Park - the estate is open to the public, 
but the house is a youth hostel run by The National Trust

 The river at Ilam Park


 Dovedale again, through the car window

Leek - has the usual high street shops, but also 
some more interesting places to investigate.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Here, There and Everywhere - Part 1

Following Monday's post, here's a few words about 'what I did on my holidays'.

Firstly I made my way to Northumberland for a creative retreat with Creative Heart and Soul . Now,  I didn't arrive until nearly 11pm after a complete muck up with the trains. A top tip when using, double check the nearest station to your destination - I didn't realise there was also a village in North Yorkshire called Otterburn and of course, coming up from the South, the website gave me that one as being the nearest. So I got off the train apparently in the middle of nowhere, only to find that I was in fact, about a hundred miles south of where I needed to be. BIG thanks to Debbie and Kirsty for trying to sort me out! I managed to get a train back to Leeds, then on to Newcastle, where Dawn very kindly collected me after spending nearly an hour driving around the city centre, trying to find the station!

Anyway, once I did get there everyone was lovely and helpful. The room I stayed in was 'Bridie's room', I don't know if that was deliberate of Debbie, as one of my Guinea Pigs was called Bridie. The classes were great and I learned a lot of new crafting techniques both from the teachers and the other ladies on the retreat. Now I just need the time to practice them! We also had a photo session with Kirsty, who is very talented and actually managed to get some photos of me not looking like a muppet for a change.

We had a barbeque on the Saturday night and there was an advantage to being a veggie on this occasion - we got our sausages and burgers first, plus salads, jacket potatoes and veggie parcels. This certainly wasn't a weekend to be on a diet!

I didn't take any pictures at the retreat (wish I had), but I'll certainly share the finished projects with you over the next few weeks.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Back With a Bump

Hello all!

I'm now back from the retreat and a family holiday to the Peak District. The retreat was great (apart from the nightmare journey to get there) - I met some lovely people and started several projects that I'll show you as they're finished off. Our holiday was a bit of a mixed affair, but we did see some nice countryside and some interesting places.

I'll tell you more and share some photos when I find the camera!

Monday, 2 May 2011

Making Progress

If you remember my post from a couple of weeks back, you'll know that I've not been in a great state of mind recently. Things are now on the up again, at least emotionally anyway. A lot of my own confusion (I think) has been down to the cluttered, untidy and frankly grimy state of Birdy Towers.
I have to admit that I'm no domestic goddess and I can think of a thousand things I'd rather do than scrub the kitchen floor or fold laundry, but now I realise it's time to grow up and turn this house into a home. The great declutter began with a carful of tat treasure flogged at a boot sale. Ok, I did bring half of it home again, but I did get rid of quite a bit. A couple of hours on Saturday afternoon also saw another 5 bags filled for the charity shop. I've also been trying to get a regular cleaning routine going as well, although that's turning into Spring cleaning. As soon as you clean one thing, everything else looks worse!
I have an added incentive as the in-laws are coming to look after Baby Bird on Friday while I head off to the first Creative Heart and Soul retreat in Northumberland. 
I think I will give the old sage-burning a go when I finish the house off, if I can remember what to do. I used to be a practising Pagan, but now a brief nod to the seasons and a bit of gardening is about as close as I get!