Monday 25 February 2008

thank yous

The house is quiet for the first time in a week. The girls are back at school and M is at work. It has been a good week and we have all benefitted from having time together without always having one eye on the clock, homework, oven, washing machine, school uniform situation. So they have gone back to school a little sad that the holiday is over and I am here thinking about just how easy it is for us to get caught up in the whirlwind of school, work, timetables and alarm clocks and slip into taking each other for granted. I am as guilty of it as they are. When tired and frazzled they argue and fight and when I'm feeling the same I forget to notice the sound of them singing and squealing around the house or those days when. having caught up on their sleep, they take delight in each other's company and go out of their way to make me laugh.
What was really good about this holiday was that I was able to spend a day alone with each of my daughters. They had sleepovers at various friends, so while one was off I took full advantage of spending time with the other. What a difference it made to have one child to focus on, to talk to and listen to. With Big Sister I shopped, of course, had lunch and had the inevitable fashion parade at home when all the new clothes were modelled and her choice of DVD in the evening. She told me that she'd had a really good day and I really enjoyed having a chance to talk to her, albeit amongst the clothes rails in TopShop. But best of all, according to her, was this little green dress she bought (it's her Cassandra dress, from THAT book).

Little Sister and I spent our day in Lewes. We met M for lunch and wandered down to the children's bookshop to stock up. We came home to chocolate cake and a DVD. It was a quiet but very special day, just the two of us and nobody vying for attention, lovely.

M and I have been together for twenty years and I have only recently discovered that I have been living with the Master of the Double bluff! I don't know how many times he has fooled me into believing that he hasn't bought me a present and then surprised me.

Meet Miss Blossom! She arrived yesterday morning, Sunday morning M had popped out to get a newspaper, I was still in my pyjamas and a man knocks on the door with Miss Blossom in his arms, "for you" he says. I fell in love with Miss Blossom a few months ago in a local antique shop, having wanted a mannequin for years. She was just too expensive. On Saturday I popped into the shop as I noticed it was closing down but even with the discount she was out of my reach. I did spot a large old apple crate to keep my cookery books in, but as I had my arms full of food shopping M agreed to go back later in the day to collect the crate. When he came back I asked if Miss Blossom was still there and he said she was but the last thing we needed was a tailor's dummy. I thought no more of it and took him at his word, until .... Thank you M again not just for the present but the surprise and for reminding me just how much you do listen..

Why Miss Blossom? She is of course the mannequin that shares a room with Cassandra and Rose, in "I Capture the Castle". And I'm happy to say that, like the one in the book, mine has a very "noble bust" perhaps not the words my youngest used this morning when she stared in amazement at her ample chest! Until yesterday my only experience of a Miss Blossom was a very formidable PE teacher at school whose strictness belied her very pretty name, so it's nice to have closure on that!!! I'm now on the hunt for a pretty 30s tea dress for Miss Blossom so if you know of any going cheap (haha) let me know - oh the fun we'll be having ...

Time now to thank some people - the wonderful Louise passed this award on to me last week. Thanks Louise!! Hope you're all feeling better too, Louise has just spent her holiday looking after four poorly children, so if anyone deserves an award it's her.

Thanks too to Jennifer for sending me all these goodies. I was lucky enough to win a giveaway a couple of weeks ago on her blog and received this wonderful parcel last week. The cup and saucer have been following me from room to room, they are so pretty I can't decide where to put them, definitely not in the kitchen cupboard.

I'm off to do some sewing now. I did find an afternoon last week to make up this little cushion from some vintage fabric I found at the car boot. I think the cat has got her eye on it, she's just lapping up the last of the morning sun before nestling in.


Tracy said...

Lovely cushion--that fabric is wonderful! Such a sweet glad you had a string of lovely days with the girls home and outings. Happy week ahead! ((HUGS))

Garden Girl said...

What a great post- sounds like you have had a lovely few days! The time spent with your daughters sounds great- can't decide which day I prefer but a combination of shopping and chocolate and DVD's sounds good to me. I love Miss Blossom too,isn't your chap a goodun?! and your daughters green dress is

Cowboys and Custard Mercantile said...

Hello Kim
This post is very special... it had me in tears.. moved by the love and thoughtfulness of your M.. the special time shared with your daughters ...and it made me laugh.. Miss Blossom and the ample bosom!... as ever your photos are sublime and are so evocative and appealing..
Lovely words.. lovely sentiments.. just lovely all round.

Cape Cod Washashore said...

I LOVE Miss Bosom! OOPS! Miss Blossom! heehee What fun it will be to dress her!

I sent three children off to school today (the youngest is not school age yet). There are supposed to be at least 12 children at my daughter's bus stop - this morning there were only 5... hmmmm =O

Heidi said...

Oh, I think you are right about the cat eyeing that cushion! It looks like she is thinking of ways to get it flat and comfy for a catnap. :) I love that fabric. I want to start on some fabric shopping bags to give to a few online friends who are coming to stay with me for a week in May.

Good to hear you enjoyed your week's break. It just started here this week and I am enjoying the silence of the school next to our house. It is very peaceful here today. It is great that you took time with each of your daughter's individually while they had their school break. That is so important.

I still have to read the book I Capture the Castle. It is in my stack of books to be read. I started a new one today that I hope will be very good. It is on my blog with a funny 'Chicken Tale' if you want to stop by and read about my weekend... You were on my mind this weekend and time will show you why. Sounds secretive doesn't it?

Hope your Monday turns out to be a perfect start to your week.

Hugs ~

Nonnie said...

Sounds like you had a really lovely week. My best friend Becky works in the children's bookshop in Lewes! I wonder if she was there the day you were in? She doesn't work every day. Love Miss Blossom! Oh, and the gorgeous new cushion.

Shirl said...

What lovely photos and Miss Blossom looks right at home!

Thanks for dropping by my blog and I'm looking forward to receiving the heart I ordered from your Etsy shop .... :0)

Emma Herian said...

Hi Kim
You lucky lucky lady! Miss Blossom is blooming lovely! M is a one in a million, he comes across as similar to my JP, I bet they would get on. We had a week of Lewes, seeing friends we don't usually and one day with my eldest on his own. It is a special time and like you, I feel that its easy to forget those chirrups of delight!
Ar you available Fri for that really belated coffee?
Spk soon Emx

Suzie Sews At DOTTY RED said...

What a great post. You sound like you had such a good half term and as for Miss Blossom...Lucky Lucky you...I think you have a real sweetie in that partner of yours.

Samantha said...

Sounds like you had a good week.

Well done M!


cd&m said...

I love "capture the castle" you are so lucky to have your very own Miss Blossom. Wonderful to spend time alone with each of the children as well, it's something that we all relish here. Don't get me wrong it's great all being together but sometimes it's nice just to be one to one.

Just Original said...

It sounds like you have fantastic kids and husband! The mannaquin is lovely and your daughters dress is very grown up & girly.

ShabbyInTheCity said...

Awww what a sweet husband! Great gift and surprise. I've got to read that book as now I am curious!

Sandra Evertson said...

Those daffodils are so lovely they don't even look real!
Sandra Evertson

meggie said...

Lovely to read of the time spent enjoying your girls. Those times will live on in their memories.
Lovely pics as usual, too.
The cushion is lovely.

Pretty Practicals said...

Gorgeous Miss Blossom ~ how lovely that after 20 years M still listens and cares enough to bring you surprises. Hold on to your great memories of the days out with your girls, once they have left home the days together get less frequent and more costly as time goes on!

dottycookie said...

Such a lovely post, Kim. I love spending time individually with my two; it's easier to do with the little one as we have every Thursday and Friday together, but we try to make time for Big Sis and me to get out too.

And what a thoughtful husband! Lucky you!

Louise said...

You really have got some lovely things Kim, I love the cushion you have made from the carboot find, just goes to show what you can do if you are handy. I daresay we shall see more creations from you, made with the help of Miss Blossom, really thoughtful of your husband to surprise you with her, you must have wondered what an earth was coming up your garden path, and to get the apple crate as well, I would have liked that. x

~~♥ Mamma Millan ♥~~ said...

Hello, Sweden here!! What a lovely blogg you svit!!So nice things!

Thanks for the visit!!

God Evning Millan

tess said...

sounds like you had a perfect week!

Thimbleanna said...

Oh Kim, it sounds like you've had such a lovely time with your girls -- you're so very lucky to have daughters. And a keeper of a hubby too -- Miss Blossom is fab -- I've been thinking lately that I'd like a Miss Blossom too!

Rowan said...

What a lovely spring-like feel to this post, I'm glad you enjoyed your half-term so much. Your visit to the British Museum sounded like a wonderful day out, I love it there too. I must try and go to Persephone Books next time I'm in London, I've already got several of their publications and would love to visit the shop.

French Knots said...

What a lovely week you've had, it's so good to slow down and savour the day.
Love Miss B, she's wonderful and what a thoughtful surprise.

Greentwinsmummy said...

I adore I Capture the Castle,I read it for the first time a few years ago & it had a tremedous effect on me :o)at the time we had very little money indeed & I was filled with enthuasiasm for makingliving on as little as we had as enjoyable as I could if that makes sense, after readng that book!

Your house always looks so serene & beautiful :o) make me rather eeeek at the dust & chaos here most days :oS

Your DDs dress is gorgeous too!
x x x x

Linda said...

Hi Kim,
Isn't it wonderful just to spend time catching up with one of your children at a time. I recently went away for a week with my almost 13 year old for football, we had a wonderful time and he felt comfortable telling me things that he couldn't when his brothers are around, they just grow up to fast.
What a wonderful surprise from your husband it must feel very nice to know that he does listen.
Cheers Linda

Sweet Cottage Dreams said...

What a sweet post. Miss Blossom is perfect and I would love to find one just like her. Infact, I bought an old cloth hat form awhile back that would be great with Miss Blossom.

How are you going to use Miss Blossom? I see some ladies pin vintage pins or hang necklaces from then. She is lucky to be at your house.


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what I love the most ... those gorgeous daffys in the blue & white pitcher or Miss Blossom! What a wonderful surprise from your husband! I'll look forward to seeing what you dress her in. Thanks so much for your comments on my blog, Kim ... you can't imagine how much I appreciated them. Have a wonderful week! ~ Lynda xo

Anonymous said...

We, too, spent a lovely afternoon in Lewes last week. Its such a nice town. I love the flea market and Flint at Home. Gorgeous building. Pity we didnt bump into you as we had Macy with us!

Thank you for introducing me to Persephone Books. I now have the catalogue to peruse, and there was an article in the paper at the weekend about Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day being made into a film.

Niki Fretwell said...

I echo all of the other comments here Kim, this really is a special post.
I'm glad that you had some quality time with your daughters - I can empathise with that. And I'm also glad that Miss Blossom has come to live with you - she looks so at home, with the pretty Hydrangea wreath behind her - I should think that your husband is a keeper! ;-))

Love the old Sanderson fabric that you have used for the cushion -
Enjoy the rest of your week,
Niki x

Jasminé said...

Love the vintage cushion, its gorgeous..and the cat!

Anonymous said...

What gorgeous things you've shown us on our post. ..I love that cushion. Sounds like you had some lovely days out. And what a super and unexpected present.
Margaret and Noreen

Betty said...

Oh, what a sweet hubby to buy you your very own Miss Blossom! I think it is wonderful to spend a "day" with each child. I need to do that soon.

Shirl said...

Hi Kim, just popping by to say a big thank you for my heart. It's lovely and will look great hanging from my bedroom curtain rail. Thank you for the postcard too, a lovely extra gift .... :0)

Lucy Bloom said...

Hi Kim, sounds like you had a perfect half-term break, and how fantastic that hubbie got you Miss Blossom, she's very covetable! Love the colours in your cushion.
Lucy x

Carol said...

Miss Blossom is going to look lovely.
You Daff's in the cornishware jug are so them.
Your a very lucky to have a man like M.
Carol x

Anonymous said...


the tattered nest said...

wow. I had to look twice at the picture of your kitty! it looks exactly like mine! have a great weekend!

Denise Kiggan said...

You are such a lucky girl. How special to be surprised like that!