Sunday, 27 March 2011

taking advice from a tea bag

I love these teabags. So full of flavour, smell absolutely divine, and there's a little bit of advice on every label. Walk tall.

Ok, if you say so.

I've been not so much walking tall as dancing this weekend. My eldest nephew has just turned five (five!) and so, in the spirit of cheerful living, we danced, and ate Star Wars cake, and got prodded repeatedly by a "light saver".

And so it's probably time to share number 12 from my 100 gratitudes list:

12. small nephews, for having birthday parties and inviting aunties, who don't mind *too* much when they're jumped on

(but who might ache a tiny bit the next day).

An entire week of work beckons this week, punctuated by a little music, a little dancing, a little digging, and a whole load of looking forward to the next course installment.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

communing with a pickaxe

One of our living cheerfully assignments this week is to think about what makes us beautiful, inside and out, and to write about it and take a picture of ourselves.

I'm not entirely sure what I was thinking about when I took this picture! My wellies, mostly, which have somehow hardly made it into the picture at all. Mind you, this was the 71st picture, I believe, and by that point I was so carried away with the excitement of taking a picture of myself in the giant mirror and was concentrating so hard on not having a stupid expression (oops, didn't manage that one) that I'd forgotten that the whole point was my wellies in the first place.

Still, you get the impression. Today I'm beautiful because I'm strong enough to pull on my steel toe capped wellies and get out in the garden and wield a pickaxe.

I've spent the whole day communing with this pickaxe, which belongs to a friend, and this rather fabulous green enamel bucket, which belongs to ME, after Peter rescued it from a skip.

I took plenty of photos of piles of rubble and soil and stones that are now covering most of the garden path (the bits of path that I didn't attack with the pickaxe, that is). But they mostly just look like any old building site you'd care to imagine.

So instead, here's a couple of photos of the old stones that are lining the path I've just demolished. The idea was to free them up and use them to pave my new sitting-out-for-breakfast-area.

Rather beautiful, don't you think?

I've dug down 18 inches, and still haven't reached the bottom. This is going to be a longer job than I imagined...

Still, I'm hot and sticky, I've spent the day in the sunshine listening to the birds, feeling first strong, and then tired, and now achey. I've worked to change my world today (the garden part of it at least), and it feels good.

Cheerful living indeed.

scones in the sunshine

I'm having a lovely few days off, I tell you, and trying to full embrace the idea of living cheerfully. The sun's shining, and there's been scones and hot chocolate and tea, a ducks and trees and water. What more could you ask for?

And, while I'm at it, can I say how much I appreciate all your lovely comments that you leave here? It really is so heartwarmingly gorgeous when people say cheery things! I have no idea how to contact people who leave comments directly, so will often reply in the comments themselves - if anyone could enlighten me that would be great! (I'm sure it's really easy...)

Today's excitement involves a pickaxe, a pneumatic drill, my fabulous steel toe capped wellies (see, I KNEW I'd need them one day!), and a concrete path.

Also tea, coconut cake, and sewing.

I fully intend to eat my breakfast in the garden, in the sunshine, for the whole of the summer, and that involves work, now, and plenty of it. Photos to follow, although I can assure you they won't be beautiful ones just yet!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

the art of living cheerfully

Today is the start of me learning the art of living cheerfully, and I'm jumping up and down with cheeriness already!

I dressed in a ludicrously colourful outfit in honour of the occasion - red and black stripey tights, green skirt, blue velvet jacket, polka dot scarf...

... and then Peter found this silver lightbulb, and I caught sight of myself in my daft outfit in the lightbulb, and we laughed and took far too many photographs...

So... here's to living cheerfully, to multicoloured clothes, and silly photographs, and fine tea, and plum pancakes, and breakfast in bed, and reading in the sunshine...

Thursday, 17 March 2011

where did the time go?

Anyone care to enlighten me where the last week and a half went?? Goodness, the time really is just flying by at the minute!

Time for a sneaky little update on what I've been up to I think. This time last week you could have found me and my mother up here in the sky...

... looking out at the sun setting over the city on the London Eye. Then there was dinosaur-watching to be done, parakeet-spotting, eating and ambling around, and generally exhausting ourselves walking miles and miles in the sunshine.

Work has been rather pesky this week, taking up far too much space in my head, and causing me to not be my usual efficient self in the rest of my life.

Like the day I took the car to the garage, and got home to find I'd left the house key attached to the car keys - which were in the garage.

Nice excuse to spend the morning in my favourite little local cafe I say.

There's been lots of building and sawing and hoovering and moving things going on in the house too, and I came home the other day to find I had a new desk! It's still waiting to be filled with lovely things (as is that new cheery little shelf above it), but my little attic is shaping up nicely I'd say.

I've been doing a spot of palace creation myself this week too (a very little spot mind you!). This bookshelf is one Peter built to fit in a specific place in my old house, and it's been kind of hanging around a bit here. It didn't have a back, as it didn't need one in the other place, but the floors here are all wonky, and the walls aren't straight, and, well, I wanted a back on it.

What better than a 30p fabric remnant and a staple gun?

And just how good are staple guns for quick cheery projects?! Oh, ever so good!

Oh! And would you just look what's peeping its little head up on the living room windowsill! Beetroot! That means I'm going to have to get out and do something in the garden soon...

So, there you have it, a whistlestop tour of my week. The next few weeks are going to be fun, I'm signed up to a cheery little online course, the art of living cheerfully, which starts on Sunday. I'm so excited!

Sunday, 6 March 2011

sunday afternoon

I feel all rosy cheeked and worn out this afternoon, after a good long walk through the woods in the sunshine. It does do the spirit good to walk in the woods.

We also managed to squeeze in a quick tea-and-a-teacake picnic in the car on the way back. Not entirely sure how, as the woods aren't actually that far away, but there we are.

Just the right balance of cheery activity, sociableness and relaxation this weekend, I think. I'm nicely ready to face the week (and gosh, it's going to be a busy one!)

sunday morning

Ah, Sunday morning...

thinking I really need to sleep in the guest bed sometimes...

eating teacakes, pancakes, leftover crumble for breakfast...

reading Trubloff, the mouse who wanted to play the balalaika...

plotting a rescue of the reduced supermarket basil...

listening to this

What delights is your Sunday morning holding?