Wednesday, 16 April 2014


I didn't make it to the gym on Sunday - choosing instead to embark on a brisk 20 minute walk to the station to pick up my car with the sun high overhead. As I walked, I could feel my limbs unfurl with every stride. And I realised that I don't spend much time outside. Barely any time during the week - 30 minutes max if I'm honest. Which is why I gulp up the air subconsciously on the weekend.
I then spent a couple of hours in the garden removing the wheat grass field that had sprung up under the bird feeders. There's something quite satisfying about clearing a bed - preparing for new. This is our second Spring here. We're starting to get the measure of things. The apple trees and the bed beneath get dappled sun at best for a few hours each morning before being plunged into full shade. As a result, geranium, snowdrops, ferns, bluebells and hellebore do incredibly well. Traditional woodland ground cover - with the exception of the very keen Californian poppies which are slightly out of control, having been left to seed for goodness knows who long, and that awful sticky weed with teensy flowers. 

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Morning chorus

I've been waking to the dawn chorus of late - in part thanks to Miss P. It's a delight to listen to the different calls and chirrups as the world begins to wake. Our road is quiet with no through traffic, silence which amplifies the crescendo in the early hours. The cacophony of sound reminds me of my somewhat Swallows and Amazons childhood staying with my Grandparents on the bank of the Thames. The birds would swoop and call as they flew in and out of the roof directly above my room - somewhat magical when you're small. 

Being on the edge of woodland means that we get a brilliant mix of wildlife - deer, woodpeckers, owls, toads and our lovely little nuthatch. We've noticed that the great tits and blue tits are no longer flitting from feeder to feeder - nesting season has begun. 

Monday, 14 April 2014

Sunny days

Laundry dried crisp on the line, the gentle hum of bumble bees, dark choc ices.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

It's BBQ time

A little sizzle, a little smoke. Aubergine with a harissa/aubergine pesto* coating, sweetcorn and Giggly Pig Italian sausages
We mixed the cooked aubergine with a jar of chargrilled peppers and finished the plate off with a dash of Mr M Senior's piccalilli and pickled beetroot.
And obviously a glass or two of pink…

Hope you enjoyed the sun too!

*not a paid promotional post just linked for helpfulness. We've not really done ready made jars before but stumbled across this, the coriander and the wild garlic when I was playing housewife in the supermarket last week. We've only tried the aubergine so far - with chicken, broccoli, green beans and pasta, as a topping for oven baked haddock, and the bbq'd aubergine slices. There's a tiny amount left - might become a brushetta topping… And Giggly Pigs are just brilliant - been buying them for years - Welsh Dragon, Garlic and Chilli and Italian are our favourites.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Gym bunny H&M style

I've quietly been hitting the gym recently - my goal is two sessions a week. Whilst I've not seen the benefits yet, I've certainly felt them - I'm sleeping better, I've got more puff than normal and as blah as it sounds, I actually feel quite energised after each session. My goal is to be fit and ready to hit regular classes - a duff cruciate ligament (the kitten heel tragedy*) and grumbly shoulder (the towel rail ricochet revenge**) need to be happier before I make the leap but we're getting close. I have one brilliant outfit from Sweaty Betty - eye wateringly expensive but brilliant in terms of fit and sweats, and one other cobbled from stretchy cotton which isn't the greatest. I'd heard that H&M had launched a fitness range so was rather pleased to find that my local store had the range in stock. Gym tops start at 7.99 - and look rather like the new SB yoga bottoms. I also picked up some great gym leggings with some interesting lace sections, but more importantly have the locker key inner pocket which is a must have. I'm looking forward to giving them a whirl on the crazy cross-step-trainer thingummy.

*Did you know that the majority of ripped cruciate ligaments are apparently found in women in their late 20s/30s and are linked to heels? My ripped cruciate ligament was the result of aquaplaning in kitten heels outside Cannon Street station in 2005. It still grumbles and means that I struggle on an incline.

**My top tip? Don't put the laundry basket behind a door that you're used to opening which gently bounces it back so that the ball of the new towel rail recently attached to door connects with your shoulder at full force. Bruising for 8 weeks, inability to lift arm properly - 16 weeks and counting...

Tuesday, 8 April 2014


I see you. Clinique's shades of beige. I first saw them on Garance Dore's blog pre launch, and they really are lovely. Nice and easy to apply, it gives a delightful shine to your nails. I am a firm believer in letting your nails breathe naturally, so whilst I won't be wearing it constantly it is a quick and simple way to have grown up nails for those deep breath moments.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Porter part deux

Less fanfare, but still confidently promoting women and their achievements. I'm loving this new breed of publishing.