Monday, 27 December 2010

chicken sitting by the sea

Would you just look at that view!

I'd say that's worth the two and a half days we spent travelling, wouldn't you?

(yep, it really did take us two and a half days to get here. Enough time to get to the other side of the world and back!)

Well, we're not on the other side of the world, although it feels so far away from normal life here that we might as well be. We're actually in Orkney, just off the north coast of Scotland, 600 miles away from home, and house sitting for a friend. I'm seriously considering refusing to leave when she gets back.

We're also chicken sitting - a heavy responsibility for folk like us not used to looking after animals, and one we were a bit worried about.

But, it turns out, they mostly look after themselves, and don't need entertaining at all (did I really think they'd get bored??).

In fact, they're providing us with rather a lot of entertainment, with one escapee hen determined to hide in the most unlikely places, and a cockerel leading a breakaway faction of hens on little mini adventures to the furthest reaches of the garden. There he goes, with the hills of Hoy (the next island) in the background, and the sun lighting up his feathers.

I must say I'm enjoying the whole-lot-of-not-very-much that's going on here right now...

Friday, 24 December 2010

disappearing act

Oops, sorry about that, I didn't mean to disappear so unceremoniously without saying goodbye, but you know how things are at this time of year, events sometimes take over a little.

I'll be back in a couple of weeks with many festive photographs, plans for the new year, fingers crossed for a nearly-finished-phd, and no doubt a fair bit of wibbling over starting full time work (gosh, did I really agree to that??).

In the meantime, enjoy the snow if you have it, and I wish you all plenty of fun-filled festive frolics!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

breathing deep

Oooh, look at the sun on the snow. How sparkly and lovely. And a nice reminder of cheery things on a gloomy day.

I took this a couple of weeks ago, everything's rather muddy and wet round here now, not half as picturesque.

And it's not just the weather that's gloomy! I was pulled up short in the middle of the last of the Christmas shopping to be told the garage can't fix our car. Yep, that's right, we're driving 600 miles away in less than a week, and we have a car that won't go faster than 15 miles an hour. By my calculations, that means it's going to take us 40 hours to get there, which is quite a long time.

Might be quicker to dust off the bicycles!

Anyway, all is not quite lost, because the nice men at the garage sent me to a nice man at another garage, who said he would fix it before Monday. I dread to think how much it'll cost - especially since he now knows I'm rather desperate! Fingers crossed hey?

For now though, cards to be written, presents to be wrapped, tea to be drunk, and packing to be done - I'm off to London tomorrow!

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Christmassy preparations

It's nearly Christmas, are you excited yet? I am, I love Christmas. Although this year, I'm feeling rather not-in-control of the preparations. Today I've had a minor breakthrough, and actually found the Christmas tree. I thought we'd thrown it away, so last year we had a 'mystic branch' instead. Today it just turned up in the cellar, must have been hiding all along. Pesky thing.

I haven't got a picture, because I also discovered that the fairy lights don't work. Eek! (should I tell you I managed to get a small electric shock trying to *make* them work while they were plugged in? Perhaps not...). So our poor tree looks rather dismal in the dark. I'm very much looking forward to putting lights on it tomorrow, I do love a tree with sparkly lights.

I've also been enjoying the festive baking in the bakery up the road. These enigmatic 'shortpaste shapes' have been given woolly hats and scarfs for the festive season, and rather jolly they look too.

The Christmas cards are nearly made, although I haven't written any of them yet. I've got some presents, but not all of them. I'm all prepared for travelling though, and on the Christmas party front, well, two down, three to go, and I'm currently in the middle of one that only three people turned up to (and they've now gone home). I'm glad of the rest!

The other thing I'm enjoying at the minute is our advent calendar. Look at the little animal pictures! We found this in a charity shop a few years ago, and it gets pulled out each year. Behind the windows are little animals, going about their Christmas preparations. It's all most cheerful.

Anyway, so here I am, with lots of leftover biscuits, and a large tasty cake, and two bottles of mulled wine, and only the two of us to finish it all off. What a job! But someone has to do it, I suppose. The candles are lit, and I'm listening to carols, and sewing linings for the living room curtains. A lovely and peaceful way to round off the weekend before a hectic week.

I hope your festive preparations are going well!

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

for today...

Outside my window... the snow is slowly thawing, and freezing, and thawing and freezing. It's dark, and the air is cold.
I am thinking... about hot chocolate, and blankets, and just *how many* things I have left to do
I am thankful for... a roof over my head, and central heating, and hot water. Very thankful.
From the learning rooms... the pile of 'nearly done' phd chapters is growing. I'm aiming for a full, decent draft (again!) before Christmas. And I might just make it.
From the kitchen... pancakes. again. Much as I'd love to be making biscuits, and mince pies, and festive cakes, the focus is all on the phd. I'll appreciate it in the end, I'm sure.
I am wearing... more clothes than is reasonable in a centrally-heated house. And a scarf. And a blanket. And a hot water bottle.
I am creating... plans, and following them through, in a feat of organisation I don't think I've ever witnessed in myself before. I wonder if it will last?
I am going... nowhere right now, if I can help it. I don't *need* to be anywhere until Wednesday (and then I need to be in London, which is pretty far away right now given all this snow...) But until then, small, walking-distance, local journeys only, to the cafe, the charity shop, the library, the fields for some fresh air...
I am reading... chapter drafts, over and over and over, and encouraging words about writing, from people who know better than me
I am hoping... that the snow melts enough for us to be able to go on holiday. I'm not sure I can bear not having a holiday *again*. So please, clear roads, or at the very least, a functional rail network... please...
I am hearing... the central heating, and an occasional plunk as a bit of snow melts from the roof
Around the house... piles of things that should be somewhere else. Things are getting a little free-and-easy in the tidying up department this week... but that will have to change, we're having friends round for festivities at the weekend!
One of my favorite things... hot chocolate, and a hot water bottle, and a blanket, and a sofa (oops, that's four things)
A few plans for the rest of the week: writing, and reading and rewriting. Maybe a little dancing. Tea and cake. A trip to the dentist (possibly connected to the cake...). The last of the Christmas preparations. A small and festive gathering of friends.
Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Just to remind myself that the snow really is beautiful, and that there's exciting things waiting around the corner...

Join in with the simple woman's daybook here

Saturday, 4 December 2010


I popped out into the front garden yesterday to investigate the snow, and found this - a rose, entirely encased in ice. Absolutely beautiful, the photo doesn't do it justice at all. I was tempted to bring it in and put it in the freezer to save for the summer, is that silly?? I'm not sure what I'd do with it in the summer!

When I was out there, I noticed an ENORMOUS icicle hanging off the front of the house. Very excited, I dashed back inside to announce my find, only to be met with dismay - obviously an enormous icicle right there means a non-working gutter...

I waved a broom handle threateningly at it (couldn't *quite* reach!), and this morning when I popped out, it had fallen off - fortunately not *on* anybody...

Anyway, what with all this snow and ice, I've declared today Christmas Preparation day - so cards, presents, decorations, holiday plans, and general festivities. I was given 3 free mince pies earlier, so that started me off nicely!

Off to wrap up warm for the trek into town...

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

staying in

I opened the back door to put the rubbish out this afternoon, and was greeted by this. There's a bench under there somewhere! It usually looks like this...
So, much as I love the snow, I decided that today would be an 'inside day'... Plenty of PhD, plenty of tea, hot water bottles and scarves.

I am planning a little venture out in it later... but only once all my work for the day is done, so that when I can come back I can get straight into my pjs and snuggle up on the sofa. Not a day to be out if you don't have to!

(and I know those of you who regularly have far more snow than this are probably laughing at me now! But this is really quite unusual for us over here, so it's all rather a novelty!)

Fortunately I don't *have* to be anywhere until Tuesday, so hot chocolate and treats are the order of the day for the rest of the week I think! I'd love to be sewing first, but PhD is the priority (gosh, will I ever be able to stop saying that?? Soon!), so no sewing for the time being...

Maybe a little Christmas card crafting later though...

Monday, 29 November 2010

frolics in the snow

Well, you'll be pleased to know that I've nearly finished coughing and spluttering now, and about time too! Gosh, that took a while, sneezing and sniffing and generally spreading germs about the place.

Still, a nice excuse for some honey.

Things have turned a little wintry round here lately. I ventured to work on the train this morning feeling like an intrepid explorer, and was greeted with this charming scene as I arrived at the office.

Hmm. I was also greeted with a telephone call telling me I needn't come in if I hadn't already set off - 3 hours after I'd set off and 5 minutes before I arrived. But we won't talk about that!

Instead, let's talk about the sun coming out at lunchtime, and the little toddle I went on round the campus.

There, see? That's much more picturesque. Still rather nippy, but Very Pretty Indeed I'd say.

Almost worth all that messing about this morning, I'd say. Mind you, I'm pretty glad I'm working at home tomorrow...

Friday, 19 November 2010

cough, splutter

Well, here I am feeling all sorry for myself. Coughing and spluttering, and curling up on the sofa with a hot water bottle is just about all I've been able to manage for a couple of days. It's starting to get a little tedious - so I'm taking that as a sign that it's nearly over. Fingers crossed!

I took this picture a few weeks ago, when it was still sunny, and realised I hadn't shared it yet. I was standing in the kitchen, looking through to the living room. It's a view I like very much, a little glimpse into the overwhelming red-ness that is the living room, the light catching the guitar on the wall, the stack of old books (red, naturally). Today it's rather gloomy, and I can barely see anything at all in that dark little corner, so this is a nice reminder of what it's like in lighter times.


Outside my window... Grey drizzly foggy dampness - late autumn has well and truly set in here
I am thinking... about how sorry for myself I'm feeling - oh dear!
I am thankful for... not having to go anywhere until next Wednesday, hopefully I'll be well and truly better by then
From the learning rooms... er, learning anything is well and truly abandoned until this brain fog moves on
From the kitchen... hot chocolate, hot water bottles, weetabix, satsumas, and not much else
I am wearing... warm things - scarves, cardigans, and several blankets
I am creating... a trail of poorliness-induced destruction around the house - cast off blankets, half drunk cups of tea, books started then abandoned...
I am going... from bed to sofa and back again
I am reading... nothing at all
I am hoping... that I start feeling a little better soon
I am hearing... the hum of the central heating, Peter musically pottering in the kitchen
Around the house... nothing much is happening at all
A few plans for the rest of the week: I'm hoping I'll be well enough for the Women's Institute tomorrow! I've also got several PhD chapters to write, and Christmas to start thinking about...

Join in the simple woman's daybook here

Friday, 5 November 2010

Oh, the seaside!

Well, would you look at that! Just look at my feet, splishing and splashing in the sea! How utterly splendid, I must say, if a little on the chilly side. But you can't go to the seaside and not paddle, even if it is November. Socks off, I say!

Apparently, the done thing in Aberystwyth is to touch the bar at one end of the prom with your feet, then walk all the way to the other end and do the same thing there. We managed the first end, then got a little distracted by a castle, a lost child (who was fortunately found not long after), and a cake stall (a Women's Institute cake stall, no less! Just like the one we have here, but without the cafe).

Ooh, doesn't it just lift the spirits to see the sea? It certainly lifted mine, it's been a while since I've been to the seaside!

Anyway, a thoroughly marvellous weekend was had by all, despite some rather grim weather. No ice creams either, but plenty of good food and cheery putting the world to rights.

And on Sunday, an able up the road to another little beach, a rather blustery one, which was very beautiful nevertheless. Even more so as the sun was starting to set over the sea.

And would you just look at that sunset? This was taken from the window of the living room of the house we stayed in, looking out over the town and the sea. How jealous was I? Only a teeny, tiny little bit. Sadly our friends are moving out of this house in a couple of weeks, and it was all I could do not to jump right in and offer to take it on myself.

But my sensible side won out, unusually, and we came back to our own house, which is, after all, rather cheery in itself, although I haven't *quite* forgiven it for not giving me a view of the sun setting over the sea...

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

apologies for absence, and limes

Gosh I've been away for a while! Sooo sorry, it really wasn't intentional. In fact, I'm not even entirely sure what happened. Life kind of got in the way for a few days, and then a few more, and then we went to the seaside (the seaside!!), and now we're home and life's doing a jolly good job of getting in the way again.


So, much as I would love to show you all my gorgeous, sunshiney-seasidey photographs, and tell you about all the fun I had paddling in the sea, and running about on the sand, and seeing lovely friends, and family, and generally driving around the countryside ooohing and aahhhhing at the autumnal scenery, I'm going to save that for a day when I have the patience to sort through the hundreds of photographs I took.

Instead, today I want to talk about limes. Do you remember wayyyyy back when I bought all those limes? I've just realised I didn't tell you what happened!

Well, there's not much of a story. An impulse purchase, of an entire box of limes, for £1.85. What a bargain! I thought, not giving too much thought to what on earth I was going to do with an entire box of limes. Sixty one limes, to be precise. Goodness me!

I managed to give 13 of them away to unsuspecting friends, waxing lyrical about lime-filled G&Ts. Another 10 went to a harvest festival (I know I didn't *quite* harvest them myself). Twenty of them went into the biggest pan of lime marmalade I've ever seen, along with what felt like 14 bags of sugar. We then managed to give away two jars, but there's still five left. No photographs, but I think it'll be around for a while.

(and it's brown, not green, but it does taste rather marvellous)

Anyway, the other thing I did was whip up a quick lime drizzle cake, which I was *very* proud of.

Look at it there, all limey in the sunshine! Just an ordinary sponge cake (I never bother weighing ingredients, but if you want to it's just the weight of 2 eggs in self raising flour, margerine and sugar), cooked until done, then the drizzle poured on top.

I've never had much success with drizzle cakes, and it turns out I was rather underestimating the amount of sugar that goes into the drizzling. You might notice I've rather overestimated it in this cake. But it was so tasty, soooooo tasty, that I think I can be forgiven.

So, there's still 13 limes left, evidence of possibly the most daft, and most inspired, impulse purchase of recent years. Another cake might be in order, and several G&Ts. Any preferences?

Friday, 22 October 2010

part of something big...

This is a bit of an unusual post from me. Normally I stick to pictures of vegetables, sewing, and my dinner.

But today I'm going for something a bit different.

First of all, I must confess to hanging around on this here internet rather too much of late. Bad things can come of that - but mostly good things, depending on where you hang out. I've struck up some beautiful, long lasting, real life friendships through the internet, and so many positive, life changing things have happened as a result of them.

Today I want to tell you about something, and make a suggestion.

I want to tell you about a network I'm part of, a virtual network, on a virtual forum, which I first went on to to figure out how to save money on my van insurance. There I found lots of beautiful, wonderful people, sorting out their finances, and at the same time, supporting each other to change their lives.

One of those women is Elaine. For one reason and another, reasons that happen to lots of people every day, and through no fault of her own, Elaine found herself standing in the bank one day, threatened with repossession of her home, and left with only 71p and three nappies.

Through a couple of years of astonishing strength, she's pulled herself back from that edge, and on Monday she relaunched her own business, and took herself off benefits.

Many of us have followed her story, and been inspired by her positivity, strength, and can-do attitude. We cheered her on. She cheered us on. In fact, we all cheered each other on, so much so that a whirlpool of generosity, good feeling, and hope circled round all of us, til we found ourselves doing things we'd never dreamed we could, taking leaps of faith, and believing that we'd have a soft landing. We generally did.

We've commiserated each other through illness, job loss, crises of all kinds, and celebrated wildly as we've pulled through those crises, found new and better jobs, and got well again. Claire's beautiful jewelry-making business, which had been ticking along slowly for months, has suddenly skyrocketed after suggestions were made, offers of help accepted, and the positivity seeped through us all and out into the universe.

One chance comment made by a woman who works in a South African orphanage, about how a visitor to South Africa might like to bring a couple of old football shirts for the children she works with, bounced around this network of women - 'my son has an old shirt, would you like that?' 'my daughter's team are replacing their kit, could we send the old ones to you?' 'Wouldn't it be lovely if we could get the kit to you by Christmas!' 'Wouldn't it be lovely if we could *all* collect some kit?'

In fact, wouldn't it be lovely if we could collect 10,000 football shirts, ship them all to South Africa, and put 10,000 smiles on 10,000 faces for Christmas?

And so - Kits for Kids was born.

It's not something that would usually inspire me, I'm afraid, collecting football shirts. I have no interest in football whatsoever. I have more of an interest in helping orphans, of course, but I would have questioned whether the best way to do that was by sending football kits. However, what I *love* about this whole thing is the passion, the drive, the enthusiasm, the can-do attitude, the YES, we'd LOVE to help, what can we do? The bouncing around of ideas, the chance suggestions feeding into each other...

And so, here I am, slightly bizarrely, asking those of you in the UK if you have any old football shirts lying around the house that you'd like to donate. Or if you know anybody else who might do.

In the midst of all this energy and enthusiasm, someone else asked - how will we get all these shirts to South Africa by Christmas?

And I love the fact that instead of the idea falling flat at this giant hurdle, the mantle was instead taken up - 'I know someone who works for a shipping company', 'I'll ask the local football club for sponsorship'. Yet again - what can we DO?

Remember Elaine? She who started the whole thing in the first place? She's apparently the five times world mind mapping champion - did you even know there was such a thing? One aspect of her new business is teaching people how to learn effectively. Because isn't that really the key to everything in life - the ability to take in and retain information, to know how to find things out, to think creatively?

And she's selling copies of her two fabulous books - one for adults, one for students of all ages, both of which contain a wealth of techniques for learning effectively. £3 from the sale of each one will go towards the shipping costs for Kits for Kids. See, we're all helping each other.

So, if you've got some old football kit lying around, get in touch with me. We can only collect in the UK, I'm afraid. And if you'd love to take in all that information that whizzes past each day, to regain your enthusiasm for learning, and at the same time support a woman jumping headlong into the world of self employment, and pulling the rest of us along for the ride, then pop over to Elaine's site and have a look at her books.

Be part of something BIG.

The photographs here were taken at the Katha Day Centre in Katlahong. Katha Day Centre is a registered charity in South Africa, Charity Number 031-394 NPO

Sunday, 17 October 2010


A slightly gloomy week here, so I'm very much in need of a bit of colourful cheeriness. And colourful cheeriness I've had today! The sun's been shining, and there's plenty of gorgeously coloured leaves lying around. I've scoffed an entire box of strawberries today, we must be getting to the end of the season soon, these ones didn't have quite the flavour of last month's.

And oh! I haven't told you about the limes! But I might save that for a special lime flavoured post later in the week.

I've been pottering about in the garden in the sunshine this afternoon - would you believe my sweet peas are still flowering? I planted these a couple of years ago, nothing much happened last year, then this year I've had a few of these pink-and-white cheery little flowers. A few weeks ago they started producing pods, and I thought I'd seen the last of the flowers, but no! This week, they've started blooming all over again! So now there's a few of them in the kitchen along with the last of the roses (well, I keep saying 'the last of the roses', but they just won't stop flowering either! Not that I'm complaining mind you...).

And it's not just the flowers that are full of colour in the garden - look at that rainbow chard! I just couldn't capture the colour properly, such a rich, dark red, so beautiful with the light shining through it. I'm ashamed to say it's looking rather slug-munched (and would you look at all those weeds round the bottom! Oh dear!), so I've snapped a fair bit of it up to go in the freezer.

I must get out and do a rainbow-chard-themed photo session in the garden soon. I do love this stuff, all the little seeds look the same, and then you get such an array of colours! Of course, half of mine got eaten before it had much of a chance to get going, but I've still got some fine red ones, and a couple of smaller but no less cheery pink and yellow. Yes, I'll do that this week.

No pictures of the sewing project just yet, but it's progressing, if a little slowly! Perhaps I was rather too ambitious, I never was much good at following a pattern - but this one I just couldn't resist. You'll see what I mean when you see it (unless I abandon it as too much effort - which still isn't out of the question!).

Wednesday, 13 October 2010


I took this photo while walking in the local park early on Sunday evening. I do so love it there. The sunsets at this time of year are spectacular, and the view is incredible. I'm always ever so thankful that I live so close to somewhere so beautiful, and I try to walk there whenever I can, it's a lovely end to the day.

I was there on Sunday with a friend and her dog, just walking and chatting, and reminding myself of the need for balance. A nasty cold, lots of things to do, the looming end of PhD (again), and the lack of my little working space were all getting a little overwhelming. The kind of overwhelming that makes you stomp your feet and shout 'bah!' (try it, it makes things a little better!)

Yesterday our temporary guest moved on. I've so many mixed feelings around his stay. I'm ever so glad that we have the space, and the ability to help a friend in need, and he's such a lovely man he's a pleasure to have around. But I really didn't realise how much I relied on having my own space, and how much I missed just being able to pop up there and *sew*.

So today will be a day of balance. There's writing to be done, yes, and lots of it. But there's also a little bit of reclaiming my attic - I might even move a bit of furniture! Not that there's much furniture up there, or really anywhere to move it to, but we'll see. It might involve a bit of decluttering. It will certainly involve a bit of cleaning. I might even treat myself to some flowers, or I might pick rocket and fuschia from the garden.

I've got some time this evening too, so that might involve waving a duster around the house, and settling into the attic for some sewing. Sewing! Oh, how I've missed it. I don't even have anything in particular in mind, it's just so nice to sit and stare at those untidy (ahem) piles of fabric and start putting them together.

Watch this space and see what I end up with!

Friday, 8 October 2010

I didn't get to take many photos while I've been in London this week, what with dashing about, meeting friends, and training courses lasting most of the daylight hours. I did sneak in a walk along the canal though as the sun was setting, and most beautiful and refreshing it was too.

It's all about writing this week, writing, writing, writing, and since I've been chatting to a lovely friend who is also writing, and she's found it helpful to start the day writing on her blog, that's exactly what I'm going to do. Not that I've been up to anything half so exciting as she has to tell you about! So I'm sticking with a Simple Women's Daybook entry, because I'm enjoying those at the minute, and it's easier to answer questions than to come up with something new all by myself.

Outside my window... fog, would you believe! And drizzly rain. I can barely see the other side of the street. The whole place has a fabulously gloomy Dickensian air about it, a proper autumnal feel that makes me want to get all cosy in the house. I've got herbal tea, and candles, and soon I'll be heading towards the sofa and a blanket with the laptop I think.

I am thinking... about the writing I need to do, and how I have ten weeks left in which to finish this PhD. Again. Ten weeks! I'm actually trying *not* to think about that too much right now.

I am thankful for... a trip to London this week, an inspiring and interesting course, and a lovely 88 year old man who kept me entertained on the train home. Oh, and being back here in my own house, of course, very thankful for that.

From the learning rooms... lots of paper from the course, and two chapters waiting to be edited.

From the kitchen... plenty of cups of tea, and not much else so far today. Looking forward to some nice home cooked food tonight though after a couple of days of restaurant fare.

I am wearing... non matching stripey socks, a long black skirt, and my hand knitted cardigan! (really must sew on those new wooden buttons soon).

I am creating... WORDS.

I am going... to spend the day writing, and the evening at a party. How lovely.

I am reading... nothing in particular at the moment, must sort that out at the library tomorrow.

I am hoping... for a focused day of enthusiastic concentration.

I am hearing... the kettle boiling, and Peter singing a little song.

Around the house... a few candles, to lighten the gloom outside.

One of my favorite things... being cosy inside when it's cold outside.

A few plans for the rest of the week: writing, a little jaunt to a party tonight, a night *in* tomorrow, more writing, and perhaps even a couple of days at work.

More from the Simple Women's Daybook here

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Burnwood Glass

Well, I did promise a spot of creativity today!

And creativity there was indeed - although sadly not much of my own. But off I toddled after lunch with a coconut and lime cake from the Women's Institute (of course), across town, sewing bag in hand.

And we sat, and us girls sewed, and we ate cake, and drank tea, and chatted about this and that, and at the end of the afternoon I'm managed to cut the bottom off one skirt, and cut some green lace of another. Very productive! But I'm plotting a little flurry of bunting making soon, and might even be brave enough to try to sell some of it, so watch this space...

Meanwhile though, would you just look at that stripey fish! How stripey! How cheerily fish-like it looks! You see, the house that I went to is full of creativity already, and is the birthplace of these cheery stripey fish. All over the kitchen wall were fish! And robins! And spiders! With little top hats on! Oh, so cheery, winking and blinking in the sunshine, hanging looking sparkly and marvellous while they wait for new homes.

Well, I suspect that, while my Christmas presents this year may all be hand made, they might just not all be hand made by me... :) I have, in fact, completely fallen for these cheery little robins, and I'm hoping one of them might just sneak its way into my own Christmas stocking this year. Well, I know it will, because I'll be putting it there myself, just to make sure.

And if you fancy a little robin of your own, or as a special treat for a cheery person (or a miserable person, come to that - might cheer them up!), then hop on over to Burnwood Glass and have a nosey round. The solar flower fountain deserves a special mention in my opinion, as does the kaleidoscope, and there's even a little video to play with!

So not much in the way of creativity from me today, but I do hope these cheery little robins and fish make up for it. And now I really must get ready - I'm off for a little dance...

Photos thanks to Burnwood Glass.