Saturday, 31 August 2013


"A portrait of my baby, once a week, every week, in 2013."
Watching the cars through the garden gate. "Juh vruuuu vruuuuuu" she says every time a car or motorbike goes past.

Joining in with Che and Fidel

Friday, 30 August 2013

Real life: timorous or bold?

Sometimes it feels like I'm neglecting this space. Never enough time. Popping up every so often with more baby photos or snaps of the garden but never really feeling like I spend time here. I want to be dedicating more time to it. Writing about what's in the news (like how terrifying I find it that Miley Cyrus and my daughter live in the same world), what's hard about motherhood (that'd be most things then), what's great about motherhood (that would also be most things!) what it's like to not be back at work when the rest of my mama peer group are all working. I've got all these posts I want to write, but this darn thing called 'real life' keeps getting in the way. And I find it irritating that I feel like I don't have enough blog time to write, but also that I don't get to visit all of you and see what's going on in your corner of the world wide web.

And then I remember. Duh. If I want to have things to blog about, to photograph, to share, I need to have that real life. Those experiences, those memories, those fun times.

So if I don't pop up in your blog feed for a while, it's because I'm busy running round the garden chasing a squealing toddler/feeding the ducks/watching the cars zoom past our house with a girl who seems to be very into anything with wheels/cooking with R, glass of wine in hand, putting the world to rights/pursuing new and exciting freelance ventures/picking blackberries and cooking jam and chutney until the wallpaper starts to peel from the walls of the kitchen (even more...!)/finally getting around to picking up that book I haven't touched for weeks.

On this day, a sad day for good words, I was struck by these words:

The way we are living,
timorous or bold,
will have been our life.

Seamus Heaney (1939-2013)

So here's to living boldly.

And if I get to share some of it in my little patch of the internet, even better.

I'd love to hear your thoughts. How do you get on striking a balance between real life you and blog you?

This Week: August#5

1. A Sunday trip to Dudmaston Hall. What a view to have from your house!
2. Dudmaston had plenty of grass to wander on.
3. Sunday evening saw us having tea with R's family. A mid-dinner walk with her cousins was very popular. (Even if her face doesn't convey that here!)
4. Desperate to watch Daddy empty the car boot, even though she's pyjamaed and it's well past her bedtime!
5. Yay, teddy pillow!
6. One of the popular activities of the week - fiddling with the pushchair straps, whilst burbling merrily to herself. She's had lots of trips out in the pushchair this week as Grandma came to stay. Woo!
7. Magical pink and blue sky this evening.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Early morning blooms

My mum has that knack of just throwing together some flowers and making them look lovely. The early morning sunshine made these look even lovelier. Hibiscus, Vitex agnus-castus, lavender and anenomes all in together. A good mix.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

The adventures of Teddy

Teddy puts up with a lot. 
He's a well-loved bear. 
Tightly cuddled every evening. 
Dragged round the floor. 
Thrown from the pushchair. 
Face down in the grass. 
Dressed, and undressed. 
Uncomplaining, he has his teeth brushed.
Shoved in the washing machine with the door rudely closed on his face. 

Good job he's got a kind furry heart.
(it's also a good job we've got a Teddy#2, should this one ever go wandering...!)

Sunday, 25 August 2013

The Garden Diaries: #6

This garden was made to be viewed in dusky half light. The colours of the flowers just glow and sing out.

Saturday, 24 August 2013


"A portrait of my baby, once a week, every week, in 2013."
Trying out her new shoes (first shoes!) in the garden. I think she likes them...!

Joining in with Che and Fidel

15 months

Dear my favourite girl,

This past month has flown by in a flash. I think I've spent most of it chasing after you as you toddle around. Yes, you're walking! Argh, eeek, and woo in equal measures.

At 15 months you are...

Up on your feet more and more. In the past few weeks you've made the change from just crawling when there was further to go, to walking all the time. You've figured out how to get to to your feet without having to pull yourself up too. You're well away. A shoe shopping trip was needed this week. You'll be running, skipping and jumping next, yeah?! Argh! 

Talking all the time. Reading books to yourself, singing twinkle twinkle (well, at least, I think that's what you're doing. You're doing the 'diamond' action, but I guess you could be singing Rihanna's 'Shine Bright Like a Diamond'. Let's hope not eh?), chatting about this dog you've just seen in the park. I can't understand most of what you say, but there are a few favourite words that crop up time and time again. Gonnnnnnne is most popular at the moment, swiftly followed by dada which now means Daddy, Mummy, Grandma, Grandad, Uncle E, Uncle S, a random man walking down the road, a picture of a baby in a magazine....you get the picture. I'm almost certain you said your first 'sentence' the other day too - Daddy left for work, so you said dada gonnnnnne. Definite genius. Schoooosch (shoes), eeeesch (keys) and schhhhhh (zip) all remain favourites, as does da for dog/cat/other furry creature, doowwwwwwwwnnn for when teddy gets hurled from the cot, and schwnnnnn for when you see the swings!

Screeching like a foghorn. This is one of you favourite things to do at the moment. I'm not so keen. If you're bored/wanting to get out of the pushchair/hungry/thirsty/wanting a snack/wanting that weird looking doll you've just seen on the shelf in the charity shop, you emit this eurhhhhhhhhhh noise. It's SO loud. People turn round to see where the megaphone is, while I'm trying to make a hasty exit from wherever we are to try and save people's eardrums. I think it's just because you can't verbalise what you're wanting, so you get frustrated. I'm going to dig out our baby signing book to see if that can help. 

Loving: having books read to you (you bring them to me and grin as I lift you onto my lap), growling when something is good, growling when you don't like/want something, clicking your tongue when we mention breakfast time/lunchtime/dinnertime, wearing hats (finally!) keys to jingle, cats and dogs, 'helping' me hang the washing out, playing with the pegs, teddy, twinkle twinkle, picture books, fiddling with the clip on your highchair, eyelashes, going on the swings (you actually squeal with excitement when you see them!).

Not liking: being made to have your nappy changed, not being able to play with the remote/my phone/the TV, being left on your own, being awake in the car.

Friday, 23 August 2013

This week: August#4

Another week that has felt like it's on fast forward. Every nap time and bedtime (hers, not mine unfortunately) I've raced to the computer to carry on writing. Still haven't quite found the balance. Would love to hear from any freelancers out there willing to share their secrets - is it just a case of working until silly o'clock in the evening to get everything done?!

I still managed to grab my camera a few times this week (and continue playing with my new lens!)

1. 'When we went to the park' by Shirley Hughes is one of her favourite books at the moment. I probably read it at least 5 times a day!
2. Self-styling. This girl loves a bib accessory.
3. Trying out her new shoes in the garden.
4. 'Mummy! Stop taking photos and read me this book!' - this is the other book I read many, many times a day! 'The Baby's Catalogue' by Janet and Allan Ahlberg.
5. Dinner times are never tidy with this one around. (Daddy was dancing after dinner...hence the laughing!)

Sunday, 18 August 2013

The Garden Diaries: #5

a much better shot of the bees loving the rockery plant that my gardening guru (aka Mum!) tells me is Teucrium marum, otherwise known as cat thyme / flowering mint - apt as I had mint flowers in my wedding bouquet, three years ago this week / anenomes are still going strong / the runner beans have gone wild while we were away last week / the wasps are loving the pears that dropped to the floor last week / feel like I should know what this plant is, but I don't / first tomato! Yes! / so happy these roses are still going strong. They smell so good.

Saturday, 17 August 2013


"A portrait of my baby, once a week, every week, in 2013."
Love this girl's hair. Crazy, swooping curls. The little fuzzy ones at the nape of her neck are my favourite.

Joining in with Che and Fidel

Friday, 16 August 2013

This Week: August #3

1. I love this photo. A moment of laughter in a week where we've had an unhappy girl a lot of the time. I'm blaming it all on teeth. It seems to be passing now though. Today has been full of sleepiness and snuggles, but she's been much merrier. Fingers crossed it continues.
2. I was a very lucky birthday girl last week and got a nifty fifty lens to play with. Hence random photos of the house as I experiment with it!
3. My grand plans to read at least two books whilst on holiday last week failed dismally. I'm loving The Dud Avocado though. Funny, smart, and beautifully jacketed. Lovely.
4. Wedding anniversary number three this week. Can't believe it's been three years already. I was treated to a lovely bunch of fleurs from the same florist we used to do our wedding flowers. I had dusky pink roses and herbs similar-ish to these.

From the lack of photos on my camera this week, it would appear it has been a pretty quiet, inconsequential week. Not so! Shelving, cupboards and wardrobe doors have been fitted, plus two more sash windows reconditioned. Lots of mess and wood dust everywhere, ugh! Plus, I've had some actual proper paid writing work which is very exciting and has been taking up every spare minute I've had. So busy times...just not so photogenic!