Thursday, 10 April 2008

Spring in our steps at last



It's been a great start to the Spring school holidays here. We've been lucky enough to meet up with lots of friends, begin the week with snowladies in the garden and end it with a day on the beach. How lovely it is to be back out in the garden again, to hear the girls laughing outside and to feel that the shorter days are behind us. Even my two lazy cats have been smitten. The other day we were all in the garden when one came charging out from the house and straight up the very, very tall ash tree at the back of the garden. For a cat who finds moving from one sofa to another requires the most supreme of efforts, this newfound energy came as quite a surprise to us all. What she hadn't realised was the height of the tree and that of course she needed to get down. Imagine the scene, little sister sobbing on the garden bench, me trying to stay calm sitting on top of the garden shed trying to "talk her down", two teenage girls flapping around and the cat crying. Eventually after much shrieking we decided to try the ladder. Needless to say it took us a good ten minutes to work out how to extend the ladder safely against the tree and when we had we turned round to see the cat sitting smugly next to me on top of the shed! Cats, who'd have 'em!



Yesterday afternoon both daughters were out and I decided to get on with things. I hate to say it but the rug, cupboard hanging or the dreaded hall painting weren't even tackled. I'd bought an old pair of steps from the junk shop a couple of days ago and couldn't wait to use them. They were covered in paint stains and had an old plastic seat cover that was ripped. so I gave them a lick of paint, some of my favourite old fabric and a flourish of ric rac. What do you think? I'm pleased with them and at long last I can reach the top of the bookshelves without climbing on the very wobbly computer chair.



A whole new world opened up for me. Books I hadn't seen in years and cobwebs too. This is such a lovely book. Written in 1952, it's a journey along the Southern coast of England exploring the towns, villages etc beside the English Channel. It has wonderful colour plates by Keith Baynes.



I love this one of Brighton pier



and this one of Dungeness, before the power station. It's a great book and has great stories of villages and towns from Devon to Kent.



It wasn't good enough to just look at the pictures though - today we drove along the coast and spent the day at Rottingdean.



I love this village, the quiet little pebbly beach, the mixture of old beautiful cottages and the grander houses in which people like Rudyard Kipling and the Pre-Raphaelite artist Edward Burne-Jones once lived (this is his house).



So a day on the beach, eating chips beside the sea and doughnuts from the bakers. Coming home with sun kissed and newly freckled faces - lovely.

45 comments:

Mrs. Decker said...

Oh! I'm so terribly jealous!!! May I be you for a day? It looks so lovely....I'll just have to dream. Love your blog.

Alison Boon said...

Sounds like the Spring holidays are just what everyone needed. It's our end of term one hols next week and everyone is looking forward to them. Ten week terms are a killer for students and teachers alike.

Pondside said...

What a pretty coastal village!
It sounds as though your holidays are off to a great start - I hope you have a wonderful time with your girls.

Heidi said...

You have the best vintage books Kim! These two you show are so lovely. I just got a 'new' vintage book in the post from England. It is a book by an author I heard about and I found her first book in good shape. I was so pleased with it. It is by Angela Brazil. Do you know that author?

I enjoyed having my first giggle of the morning with you and your DDs. I think your cat KNEW exactly what it was doing but decided to play a little game with all of you. :)

The old ladder came up great! I love it. I was just considering doing a similar thing to a wooden barstool. I brought it into my kitchen to check the height. I think I need Jos to take just a tad off the height before I mess with it since I want to make a padded sitting on it. It will be so high that noone could get onto it. LOL! So I picked up another project and recovered my old bolster pillows I found under the guest bed. I have just this weekend and then my mother arrives and all projects will be put on hold.

The beach sounds fun but those houses are amazing!

Hugs ~
Heidi (who's comments are getting so long, I need to just email them)

LOUISE @ HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS said...

I'd have a cat, if given half the chance! The weather has been lovely over the past few days, and even now the sun is doing its best to push itself through the clouds. Those books are great, I am definitely going to do a search for those on ebay, the illustrations are wonderful. I am Sussex born and bred, so I would know many of those scenes, and as coincidence would have it, my other half works at Dungeness over periods of the year. I am so glad you showed us these. The steps are lovely too, but not really tall enough to rescue the cat, although I think you were being given the runaround? Continue to have a lovely break with the girls, there is so much to do along the south coast, we are so lucky. x

OhSoVintage said...

You are becoming a very prolific blogger! I seem to have missed some of your wonderful posts, but have caught up now. I love your makeover on the steps. I have been looking for some for ages but all I find is ones that are too tall or quite new ones. Being only 5 foot I can empathise with standing on wobbly, unsafe chairs. What a lovely day out you had. I've never been to Rottingdean.
Ruth x

French Knots said...

Cats are indeed a law unto themselves! My friends cat climbed up onto the roof of her house ( no she doesn't live in a bungalow!) and did the same pitiful ' help me, save me!' act before going back in through the skylight.
The steps look great, very fresh and springlike!

Nonnie said...

The steps are really cute. Your day out at the beach sounds perfect. Hadn't realised it had been so warm this week. Too busy stuck in the office! What can be better than chips on the beach in the sun. Enjoy the rest of the holidays!

April said...

Oh, aren't you clever - I love those steps

April xx

Garden girl said...

Ooh, I can smell those chips from here! Nothing beats chips on the beach! Glad you've enjoyed such a lovely week.x

driftwood said...

what a lovely week!

julia said...

I want those steps! They look fabulous.
Reading your last post struck a chord with me, we have nearly all our cupboards up but not one of them is straight! In fact the bathroom one is held on by one screw and is leaning at a very precarious angle!
Julia x

Vanessa said...

Your new & improved steps look great! Your day at the beach looked great, and there nothing better than seaside fish & chips!

BeachysCapeCodCupboard said...

How lovely! With newly freckled faces, too! We had one beautiful day here yesterday, so hubby and I did outside work. Now it's back to clouds and rain, and even more snow and freezing temps this weekend. I can dream through your photos! And what a darling book that is! Happy Weekend, Kim!

Anonymous said...

Sounds perfect!
Carolyn
http://willowhouse.typepad.com

cd&m said...

What a lovely way to spend the Easter hols, and I don't think that I have ever seen a prettier set of steps.

Andylynne said...

Love the description of your day and the step chair is adorable. Thank you for sharing. You can get back to the rug tomorrow, or the next day or. No better not wait to long :)

Sea Angels said...

Hello Kim I have so enjoyed catching up on all of your posts. Can I just say a BIG thankyou for all the lovely messages you left me when I was poorly, you have been so very kind, it meant so very much. xx

I love those books and the photos of Rottingdean, what a fab day, the steps are so perfect, I just love everything you turn your hand to doing.
Hugs Lynn xx

She'sSewPretty said...

You are so lucky to live where there is so much history. The oldest home is our town is barely 100 years old. I would love to visit your area some day.

Isabelle said...

Oh, our holidays are now a distant dream!

How nice to see a picture of Rottingdean. It's such an awful name that I didn't imagine it to be so pretty.

Sophee-a Laroo Bijoux and Sheri too said...

Your blog has such delighful pictures! Nice to meet you.

Nostalgia at the Stone House said...

Lovely photos Kim - isn't it great to wake to some sunny mornings at last?
Niki

callmemadam said...

What a nice post: I love Rottingdean.
Heidi, Angela Brazil was one of the most prolific and influential writers of British school stories. I have all her books!

Simone said...

What a lovely day. I can't wait to go on long days out eating chips and donuts! Very stylish steps and beautiful colour plates in the books too!

andsewtosleep said...

Hi Kim
as always a really lovely post. Those steps are to die for. Hope you and yours are well
Mary x

dottycookie said...

We've not been to Rottingdean - one to add to the list of things to do at half term! This half of our termis going to be very long though ...

I have to have steps to safely reach everything in the kitchen - but mine aren't nearly as pretty as yours!

Katherines Dream said...

What a great book.
I spent many happy days as a child on Rottingdean beach...a lovely place, I would love to live in the village.
Cx

Clothcat said...

What fabulous vintage books! I so love the illustrations from the 1950's.

Linda said...

Sounds like you hae been have an eventful time lately. Love the step ladder that you painted it looks wonderful.
Cheers Linda

Cowboys & Custard said...

Sounds like a perfect day to me .. Sea air is so invigorating.
I would love to visit that part of the world.. it is not familiar to me at all but looks utterly charming.
I love the graphics of your book but most of all.. I admire your newly re-vamped steps the most.
Happy Hols Kim..

Love Michelexx

Jennie said...

Am still laughing at the cat, although am sure was not funny at the time. They are devils in disguise.
Gorgeous pictures.

meggie said...

Sigh! Another lovely post. All your pics are lovely, & the little step ladder is charming.

Brierley & Clover said...

Isn't it nice when you finally get around to a project that's been itching your eye (love that saying!) for ages? The steps look lovely and the vintage books...well, it goes without saying!

Jade x

Karen said...

What a lovely post all round!

Jackie M said...

Lovely photos as always Kim, it sounds as if you are all having a great time, especially the cat! Jackie Mx

Sal said...

My hubby is from a fishing/sailing background so I that I would search for the 'English Channel' book on ebay...I found it!
There is just one problem..now it has arrived I don't want to give it up ;-)

Thimbleanna said...

Oh Kim! You're so very lucky to have all those beautiful, quaint towns AND the sea just at your beck and call! Thank you for sharing your scenes with those of us who would so love to be there. And the cat? How funny! I hope you gave her a proper "time out" LOL!

Lynda said...

Sounds like a delightful weekend, Kim! I'm glad spring has found you at last. Your steps are lovely!
xo,
Lynda

OhSoVintage said...

That made me laugh about leaving your car at the car boot sale, Kim. I hope you don't mind I have mentioned it on my blog.
Ruth x

Cherry Menlove said...

Ooooohhhh, I love this country so much when I'm reminded of wonderful things like eating chips on the beach and the weather going from snow to sun in a week!

Lots of love
Cherry
http://talesfrompixiewood.typepad.com/weblog/

Pretty Practicals said...

What a great job that you've done with the steps, they look lovely! It's nice to get out in a bit of spring sunshine and sounds like you've had a super time.
I'm hoping that it is sunny here this week as I would love to get out and about for an hour or two.
Chat soon, Liz

Clare said...

Hi Kim, cats eh?! I love it when they suddenly have a mad moment and tear around the place! Your stool looks lovely by the way - and that book is a real delight!

My grandmother came from Rottingdean and we took my mum and dad for a holiday there some years ago, and had an interesting time tracking down long-gone relatives in the churchyard! Sadly, my dad passed away not long after the holiday but I know he enjoyed it and I have a lovely photo of him sat on the bench by the pond.

Sorry - I don't visit for ages, and then it's a really long one!!!!

Clare x

the homely year said...

Hi, what a gorgeous day out...the village looks lovely. Don't know the area, but it sounds really interesting. And love the steps!
Margaret and Noreen

Lavender hearts said...

Hi, I've only just discovered your blog! Rottingdean is pretty isn't it? I love Sussex, we moved back here from Surrey which just isn't quite quiet and pretty enough for my liking! :-)

Summer by the sea said...

I love all your eiderdowns - I have dragged the family out for three Sundays on the trot to a 'massive' car boot that keeps being advertised, but when we get there has been cancelled - its wearing a bit thin now and me thinks I may have to go on my own! - Look forward to reading more - Natalie x