Tuesday, 27 October 2009

A Room of One's Own

Eighty years ago, on October 24th 1929, this book by Virginia Woolf was published. This copy of "A Room of One's Own" is one of my most treasured possessions. Old and tatty, but incredibly hard to find, it has sat on our shelves for many years now and will continue to do so, I hope. for many more. I wonder if Virginia Woolf, all those years ago, had any idea that the book she was writing would become so iconic? Would mean so much to so many people. If you haven't read the book , you know the title and all that it implies.

Reading all our blogs we all want our own space, workspace don't we. I've seen beautiful studios and workrooms that I've drooled over. I'm still to possess a room of my very own in which to sit and think and do. I share my room with my family. In my mind I have my room planned out, decorated, redecorated and furnished.... But I do have my own space really, my own "room". Maybe not a physical room, but the opportunity to do what I want, which is what I think the book is all about, having the chance to gain the independence and space that I want, something that was so lacking for women all those years ago.

Last week I listened to this wonderful piece of radio. If you get the chance listen to it, it's good. Very good. I listened intently to the piece about Virginia Woolf's home at Monks House. You may know that I love this place. I've written about it here before. Caroline Zoob, the incredibly lucky and talented Caroline Zoob, lives above Monk's House and was interviewed for the programme. She talked of Virginia Woolf's rooms of her own - her beautiful work room in the garden.

A room that was built for her, beautiful in its simplicity. Removed from the house, sitting in the middle of their gorgeous garden, she would walk here to her work and write her books. Simple and undistracting, I just love it.

Interestingly enough the other room in which she worked was her bedroom which is also physically separated from the main house, having to be accessed via a separate doorway. This is another beautiful, calm room that is simple and without too many distractions.

I listened enthralled as Caroline Zoob talked of regularly changing the flowers in the summerhouse where Virginia Woolf once sat and wrote her books. Sometimes you listen to something or read something and feel utterly transported and for a few minutes last week that happened to me.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Pumpkins & parties...

My goodness it's been a bit grey round here the past week or so. No tantalising glimpses of sunshine and to make matters worse my youngest daughter, Little Sister, has gone off for a week on a school trip and we all miss her so.... I have visions of her gripping on to cliff faces, rope in hand and sheer terror on her face, the reality is, I hope, that she has spent the past week up all night giggling with her friends. Can't wailt till Friday to collect her. Poor thing, I sent her off looking like the Michelin Man buried under a mountain of waterproof clothing and fleecy hoodies! (she won't thank me I know).

Just over a week ago there was lots of sunshine. We took Big Sister and a group of teenage girls camping for her birthday (thanks to all of you for your lovely birthday wishes, she had a very, very special day). Back to the camping - We returned to our favourite campsite and had booked two yurts on different fields, allowing the girls some independance and us some space from the noise (in the event they were really good and quiet, or so I'm told).
The girls' yurt was beside a babbling brook,

complete with swinging hammock,

beautifully made double bed,
Welsh dresser and cooker.

Ours was the yurt we'd camped in before in the beautiful tree lined spot that looked even more glorious in the golden Autumnal sunshine.

So we spent the weekend climbing giant haystacks (there was a wrestler called that, wasn't there?),

eating, swinging from trees, trampling through the golden, crispy leaves, eating, breathing out, long, deep breaths, playing table tennis, eating, laughing, eating, enjoying each other's company and eating!

I know you may have seen many of these views before,

but the sunlight and the dappled October shade, together with the most beautiful coloured trees just begged me to take some more photos!

We really didn't know where to look first.

Hot air balloons flying above us and landing in the next field... Pumpkins dotted around the campsite...

beautiful sunflowers still in bloom.

Tunnels full of the most exquisite gourds,

squashes and pumpkins,

Strange, exotic shapes,

beautiful mouthwatering colours.

Just look at those blue crates and orange pumpkins together!

We bought a variety to bring home

and once we had recovered from a weekend of binge eating we enjoyed the delicious and varying tastes of them.

It took a week to rid the clothes of the smell of woodsmoke... and now a week later I somehow miss it. Especially when I look out of the window and see the distinct lack of colour all around.
However, there are good things to look forward to - my little rose will be home tomorrow, my two roses will then be on half term (hurrah!) and in our Emporium there are exciting things afoot... and we're not just talking gorgeous vintagey Christmassy festive goodness!

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Sweet Sixteen

"Can you smell bluebells?" "I can smell heaven."
If there was a scent to sum you up my darling 16 year old, this would be it. Happy, Happy Birthday to my very own Cassandra. The sweetest and loveliest of people. A true romantic with the kindest heart. Beautiful in every sense. As your best friend said, this is your year. Your year to shine. We love you so much and are so very proud of you, you gorgeous thing!

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Sloe, sloe, pick, pick, sloe ... and repeat

BONKERS! That's the only word I can find to express how the past two weeks have felt! Not very eloquent I know but it's the word that comes to mind. A fortnight of highs and lows. Days of chasing my tail, dizzy from dithering followed by days of complete inertia, overwhelmed by what I've had on my list of things to do.

I think if the past 14 days were a game of snakes and ladders I probably would still be on the number one square having travelled down a fair few ladders along the way!

Anyway, enough. I don't even know if anyone will be reading this post. It seems as if I've been away for such a long time and have not visited any blogs that I can't really expect anyone to still be interested in mine. So many apologies - must, must try harder...

What I thought I'd do now is just share a moment or two of calm that happened last weekend. Last weekend when it still felt like summer instead of the sudden full stop to the season which we are experiencing today. Just when I needed to get out away from the computer and sewing machine most, Little Miss Sewrecycled called me to come out and play.

Off we went up to the Downs for a day of fun, frolics and sloe picking. Yes, the prospect of a winter without sloe gin was beginning to play on our minds.

Beautiful day, beautiful scenery and beautiful company, Just the tonic I needed. How good it was to be out enjoying the world. However... it was not to be, just as we started picking them sloes in earnest the Lovely SewRecycled had a call from school saying her gorgeous little boy was poorly. Quick dash home followed.

Not content with our pickings we decided the following morning to repeat the walk this time with all our families. So eight of us trooped up to the Downs, picnics in hand and lazed and picked and ate and laughed and played and walked and walked and walked. I hope these photos reflect just how beautiful the day was.

A sense of calm and escape came to us all and we returned home refreshed, sun kissed and relaxed. Thanks Sewrecycleds for such a lovely day x

The other thing I wanted to mention was that Milly and Dottie have gone into the construction business! Yes, that's right, we've been building in The Emporium . Not content with all the rooms we already had, we added an extension. We are now proud owners of a Parlour. After weeks of wallpapering, painting and dithering. We own a parlour and have sent out our first newsletter. If you fancy having a nose, please do, there's a chance to WIN SOME GOODIES! (if you want a little hint with regards to the answer .... let me just say that Dottie and I are very, very partial to custard creams).

Right I'm back off to the sewing machine, I promise not to leave it so long till the next post and I really am very sorry to not have visited you all recently. See you in the parlour ....

PS A huge, huge thank you to Emma and Dottie for being such luverly, supportive, kind & funny friends. xxx