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Sunday Sevens #155

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series showing your week outside the blog.

1. On the drive home from our girl’s weekend away in Cornwall, we stopped in this café in an old bus for coffee.

2. While we were away relaxing in a hot tub, Mother’s Day came and went. I opened my suitcase to find this card from No.3 Son – “Happy 27th Mother’s Day” referring to the age of his older sister. It took me a while to work that out! No idea why he’s written “Joe” on it, as that’s No.1 Son’s name – love it!

3. Meanwhile, back home, No.2 Son was back at school, but he had made me this lovely mug, painted both inside and out with nice things.

4. And underneath……!

5. A day out in Bath with my daughter for our birthday – but no photos as I left my ‘phone at home (again) and she STILL hasn’t sent me the photos she took. (If you’re reading this H-R, consider it a reminder!) This was taken the next day at our new favourite café. Yes, Tess is curled up in front of the wood burner as usual.

6. I finally found a pair of navy boots that I quite like so I bought them as they were half price and I love a bargain:)

7. We popped into The Trading Barn just outside Wincanton which supports local makers and traders.

8. I love Tamsin G’s work – check out her shop on Folksy.

9. Our Thursday Knit ‘n’ Natter includes this brave chap who was knitting socks. Check out the ones he’s wearing…..

10. ….I recognised them immediately as the Saxifrage pattern by Rachel Coopey that I have recently knitted in purple. How geeky is it to admit/know that?!

11. I haven’t had time to do much in the way of crafty stuff this past week ‘cos I’ve managed to stretch out the birthday celebrations for ten days, but I did get around to joining the first forty squares of this blanket.

21. Every maker’s dream – knitting books and knitted bits and bobs from my late grandmother were passed onto me to enjoy.

22. The Big Party!

23. I had not one, but TWO fantastic birthday cakes!

24. Far too many photos to share here, but here’s one with my sister who, at just eleven months older, is also 50!

25. Did you spot the necklace in the previous photo? This was from some yarn-mad girlfriends – they know me well and noticed all the love I’d given it on IG, so went and bought it for me! If you want your own (who wouldn’t), you can buy it here.

26. The morning after, we woke up to more snow.

27. There was nothing for it so, whilst waiting for the roads to clear enough for everyone to drive home, we walked to the pub with obligatory snowball fights en route.

28. Brother-in-law was targeted!

29. Refreshments and a warm up before walking home again.

30. No.3 Son curled up by the wood burner with Tess, still tired after such a late night.

31. This face was the result of a huge lick across the face from the new pub puppy.

The husband would quite like to get another dog as Tess is still missing Fifi’s company, but I’m not at all convinced, so watch this space….


Sunday Sevens #154

Linking up with Natalie at Threads & Bobbins for this week’s Sunday Sevens…

1. We awoke one morning to a digger scraping back the verge and making exiting our driveway a whole lot safer.

2. Tess went missing…..this is where we found her!

3. Cheeky little Chinese with No.3 Son.

4. Coffee and cake at Thyme After Time.

5. Just two hours after bringing home two new hens, one of them came into the house, hopped onto my lap and laid an egg!

6. Our second Air B’n’B room was finished, and we already have two bookings for it.

7. I finished off the Belaggio shawl and blocked it.

8. The second sock of this pair was cast on.

9. Back to Thyme After Thyme for lunch because…..

10. …..they do a Full English for dogs! With Tess having lost her appetite since losing Fifi, we thought we’d give it a go and she ate about half.

11. Thursday morning was Knit ‘n’ Natter at The Slipped Stitch in Sherborne.

12. Walking with Tess revealed that there are still pockets of snow resisting the thaw.

13. A pint at our local.

14. Friday saw the start of a girl’s weekend in Cornwall. Let’s just say it was nice weather for ducks:)

15. A log cabin in Deerpark Forest near Liskeard in Cornwall was our destination.

16. The next two photos pretty much sum up our weekend.

I’m lucky not to be nursing a hangover……


Sunday Sevens #153

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series showing your life outside of the blog in seven-or-so photos, as devised by Nat from Threads & Bobbins. There are no rules, so why not join in?

1. I picked up a friend from the village and took her out for coffee for a change, as we usually call in unannounced for coffee at hers any time we walk past her house – which is often. So often, in fact, that Tess sits down and refuses to walk by without going in for her biscuit!

2. I think the Poinsettia is past its best.

3. Hubby replaced it with the first daffodils of the season.

4. How to blunt your best dressmaking shears…..

5. As the temperature dropped well below zero with clear blue skies and ice everywhere, we went for a walk around Stourhead.

6. It doesn’t look cold, but my bum felt the after effects of sitting on this rock for a photo for twenty minutes!

We hunted down a nearby pub in which to thaw out and have lunch.

7. As the temperature plummeted to around -7C, we had a warning flurry of the white stuff. No.3 Son went outside in his pants to see how cold it was!

8. Cold enough to light a fire and block a shawl that has been finished for months and languishing at the bottom of my bag.

9. I cast on another shawl with yarn I bought at Unravel last week.

10. Only a few of us made it to knit ‘n’ natter as the forecast was bad for travel.

11. At the last minute, I decided to add navy to the shawl for a bit more interest. No, the biscuits weren’t gluten free so I just looked at them for two hours without touching.

School closed early at 1pm so I picked up No.3 and three of his friends whose mothers couldn’t leave work to collect them. They alternated playing board games with snowball fights – the perfect afternoon for four boys all under ten!

12. The next morning was a whiteout.

13. I waded through about eight inches of snow to let the hens out.

14. But they refused to leave their coop for the next couple of days.

15. Another snow day, so we made the most of it with a walk.

16. Snowball fights en route to the pub.

17. Pretty!

18. Although we get a dusting every year, a decent amount of snow is a once-in-five-year event which disappears as quickly as it comes, so we don’t have chance to get bored with it.

19. Tess was decidedly unimpressed with her first encounter with snow though.

20. She knows where we’re headed and just wants to get there and curl up in front of the wood burner.

21. Faggots, peas and mash warmed No.3 up nicely and Tess found out she likes faggots.

22. Pudding!


24. More snow overnight meant the long johns came out again.

25. I made some hot mash for the hens to entice them out to eat. They hated the snow underfoot, so we cleared a path to the food and they took turns to stand in the hot mash and warm their feet in it!

26. We’ve ALL got our long johns on underneath! This was on another walk to the pub in the next village (our village has a church but nothing else). You can just see the white gable end of the pub behind the church tower in the background.

27. Lunch by the wood burner again – we always seek the cosiest spot in any pub. Yes, No.3 had a mouthful of food at the time I pressed the shutter.

28. Tess’ favourite place to curl up and pretend for a moment that she doesn’t have to go back out in the snow in order to get home.

29. Our latest b&b guests cancelled due to the blocked roads, but hubby managed to dig the car out of the driveway and get to Morisson’s as some friends were coming for supper instead. He was met with empty bread shelves, which is bizarre considering their bakery is instore.

How was your week?


Sunday Sevens #152

Sunday Sevens is here again! A weekly blog series showing a glimpse of your life outside the blog in about seven photos. Linking up with Natalie at Threads & Bobbins

  1. We’ve enjoyed some cold-but-sunny days this week and have managed to get out with Tess a few times.


2. Thanks to the Air Scarf in my car, which blasts hot air from the head rest, it’s never too cold to have the lid down!


3. Oops, we ate lunch before I remembered to take a photo. It was delicious, trust me.


4. A day on my own, so I took myself out to knit in a café with a view.


5. One of the girls at school arrives in a pony and trap when the weather is nice.


6. No.2 Son went to Bath to watch them play rugby against Sale. Bath won by one point apparently, so it was a good match.


7. As the trip was organised by the school for the boarders, they had a ‘back stage’ experience to meet some of the players.


8. I took No.3 Son out for tea and cake one afternoon. No, he didn’t eat his supper afterwards.


9. Forgot to send these chocolates to No.1 Son’s girlfriend with her birthday card. I thought, if I take a photo of it, then that might stop Him eating it and denying all knowledge of its existence.


10. This student made a great skirt to wear to school.


11. I caked up two of my Unravel purchases from last Sunday….


12. ….cast on…..


13. ….and completed the first sock by Thursday!


14. Then I went back to cast on the second sock of a pair I started last week…


15. …and finished that, too.


16. All because I was dying to see what this skein would knit up like.


17. Freshly caked and ready to go!


18. This fab red sequinned fabric arrived from Minerva Crafts and will be a new dress for my birthday in a few weeks.


19. Finally, here’s a video snippet of No.3 Son in his dance class practising the Cha Cha with his lovely little partner. They’re only ten!


Sunday Sevens #151

Linking up with Natalie from Threads & Bobbins for this week’s Sunday Sevens.

1. We took The Boys for a walk while we had some glorious sunny days in half term last week. Mind you, we’ve had SO much rain that the ground was still waterlogged and ultra muddy, much to Tess’ disgust – she hates getting wet feet!


2. Unlike The Boys.


3. As usual, Tess gets as close as is humanly (or doggly?) possible to the woodburner in the tea room.


4. Pancake Day!


5. No.3 Son ate two homemade Tiramisus after his brother declared them “Horrible – too sickly!”


6. On the subject of food, I’ve been trying to take some appetising photographs of meals for the Air bnb website.

The family wasn’t complaining:)


7. We’re still a soppy pair when it comes to Valentine’s Day.


8. The rain came back with a vengeance, but that didn’t stop The Boys spending hours over the fields and in the river.


9. Craftwise, I finished and wrote up the pattern for these little beauties and will do a blog post soon.


10. These socks were blocked and given a pretty wrapping.


11. This sock came off the needles, the second one not yet on them.


12. This month’s project for Minerva Crafts.


13. Cushions were made for the other b and b room….


14. …as was a roman blind.


15. Went to Unravel on Sunday and had an amazing time.


16. Met some colourful characters…..


17. ….and came home with lots of lovely yarn.


18. I just had to buy one of these, too!



Sunday Sevens #150

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series showing seven-ish photos of your life outside of the blog. Linking up with Natalie at Threads & Bobbins.

1. A dog walk ended at our local pub again. This is becoming a case of same photo, different jumper!

2. A quick visit to the only charity shop in town unearthed this brilliant find – a whole basket of Liberty sticky tapes! I bought four rolls but will almost definitely go back for more…if there are any left.

3. A friend’s plea to rescue her from the boredom of being stuck at home due to a knee injury, resulted in a car drive to our new favourite café in Bruton.

4. Our newest student finished her sewing project bag. Looking at the fabric she’s chosen, it should be no surprise that she’s following the boy’s syllabus rather than the girl’s!

5. Popped my head around the corner into the living room and this sight melted my heart.

6. Craftwise, I’m well into the second sock of this pair.

7. Progress on the wedding blanket has been slow this week, but I now have thirty squares, half of which are already blocked and ready to join together. Duck Egg is such a calming colour to work with.

8. Opened the freezer door to find this…..

9. Luke Skywalker frozen from the knees up in an ice cube tray. Boys!

10. We opened our home to paying guests last week and had our first booking on Friday night! Here’s the link to our Air BnB.

11. They left a lovely review.

That’s it for this week, folks – how was your week?


Sunday Sevens #149

Linking up with Natalie at Threads & Bobbins for this week’s Sunday Sevens – a weekly blog series showing your life outside the blog.

1. We may have to keep up Dry January as it’s saving us a fortune in the pub – sparkling water, lime and soda and a huge portion of hand-cut chips to share came to the grand total of £3.90! Yes, I did ask her to double check, and she insisted that’s all it cost.

You’d be forgiven for mistaking this photo for an almost identical one in last week’s Sevens – this is our favourite spot in the pub.

2. On the days we haven’t managed to walk Tess, she can be found basking in the sunshine on the back of the sofa.

3. Another day, another walk, this time it was cold, but dry and sunny. We sat next to the pub fire and had lunch. Tess always gets as close as she dare.

4. Well, the menu doesn’t get any more typically British than that, does it?!

5. After the pub lunch, we walked on to ‘On The Brook’ café for coffee.

6. Tess took up her favourite spot by the woodburner again.

7. Craftwise, I’ve cast on a new pair of socks, which must mean……

8. ……I’ve finished the purple ones!

These have been an absolute joy to knit from start to almost-finish, after a little hiccup where I ran out of yarn and had to buy a whole new skein just to finish the toe. I love them and they’re my fourth pair – I plan to have only handknit socks in my drawer by the end of the year.

9. No sooner were they off the needles, than they were on my feet. We stayed at a friend’s house and Tess made herself at home in their dog’s basket. I had a massive hangover at the point this photo was taken – I woke up the next morning still fully dressed and the only thing that could make me smile was looking at my lovely socks:)

So much for continuing Dry January – I swear that not drinking for a month has lowered my tolerance, hence the hangover at a far lowel level of alcohol than usual!

10. I thought I had a stone in my boot, but when I emptied it back home I found this. Our friend’s granddaughter had posted the remote control in my boot when I wasn’t looking!

11. Hangover cure.

12. Finally, some exciting news – we’ve opened up one of our spare bedrooms to paying guests on Air BnB, which should help when we eventually move to Exmoor to a proper B&B.

Here’s the link if you fancy a nose: – Air BnB

Now, we’re just waiting for our first booking……


Sunday Sevens #148

This week’s Sunday Sevens comes from a Super Soggy Somerset…..

1. Reluctant to let a “drop” of rain keep us inside, we decided to go for a one hour walk. Note that I said ONE hour.

The footpaths were a little on the wet side.

2. Impassable in places unless you wore wellies. Luckily, we did.

3. Even the roads were flooded and still it rained. This photo was taken ONE hour in, by which time we were soaked through to the skin.

4. Snowdrops were emerging everywhere and looked so pretty covered in raindrops.

5. THREE AND A HALF hours later, we got back to the café from where we started. Yup, his internal sat nav appeared to have temporarily broken down and we got utterly lost. Even my knickers were wet through, so we hogged the woodburner and drank lots of coffee/hot chocolate while we warmed up. Can you see Tess curled up right in front of the fire? She wasn’t AT ALL impressed on the walk, so much so that she refused to go out the next day!

6. Back home, hubby immediately lit the fire and I put on my cosy pink handknit socks.

7. Talking of socks, this pair was finished and blocked. The yarn was a Stitching Santa gift from Bekki at The Dartmoor Yarn Company.

8. No.3 Son had claimed these before I’d even finished knitting them. Here he is wearing them, all (un)dressed in his PJs just before going to school for a Bedtime Story event.

His headmaster now wants a pair:)

9. You may have noticed in the last photo that No.3 Son has had a much needed haircut!

10. We walked to the pub one rare dry afternoon after Tess had deigned to step foot outside of the house again.

11. Burn’s Night was kept the traditional way with haggis, neeps and tatties with a whisky cream sauce.

12. Craftwise, I cast on my second sock.

13. A little beaded crochet was completed, too.

14. We met up with my Auntie (who lives in Spain) in Nottingham for the weekend, where we had been invited to a 50th birthday party. After a hard day’s shopping, we shared a tapas board in a bar nearby.

15. The birthday boy’s cake, complete with the Cornish flag and Cornish pasties to celebrate his origins.

16. That night was The Party….and this was the only photo taken with me in it, so I thought I’d better show you.

16. A happy end to the week as Fifi came home and took up her rightful place on the sofa next to Tess.

It’s nice having her back:)


Sunday Sevens #147

Linking up with Nat from Threads and Bobbins for this week’s Sunday Sevens.

1. A good start to the week with happy mail from Little French Meadow in the form of a skein of hand dyed merino sock yarn in a glorious shade of lavender.

2. A very good friend of ours took us out for lunch on Tuesday.

3. This was just my starter!

4. Hubby took a pic of the gent’s loo. Why isn’t there a Chippendale offering hand towels in the Ladies’?

5. Just as well this arrived that morning – a treadmill. It’s the only piece of equipment we used to enjoy at the gym so, not counting the initial purchase price, saves us £100 per month on gym fees!

6. Really impressed with “15 Minute Meals” cookbook by Jamie Oliver. This was a photo from the book that tempted me……..

7. …..and this is how it turned out. Absolutely delicious!

8. A new student’s make from her very first sewing lesson.

9. We had lunch in a pub in Bruton after a mid week walk, and the landlord told us about a new café that had just opened a short walk away through the woods.

10. That’s it, at the far left of the picture at the end of the farmyard.

11. We had coffee and cake – everything on the cake menu was gluten free so it would have been rude not to:)

12. A lovely wood burner was a welcome sight after a second chilly walk.

13. Tess is really missing Fifi and has been off her food since we lost her. She used to cuddle up to Fifi as close as she could.

14. Bad weather has meant lots of crafting time – I finished this ‘Saxifrage’ sock by Rachel Coopey, although I still have to make the other one.

15. I promised No.3 Son that I would knit his other sock first though, so I cast on immediately.

16. Granny square count is up to fourteen now, so I’m making good progress on the wedding blanket.

17. A sprinkling of White Stuff although sadly not snow, but hailstones.

We’ve just got in after a long walk in torrential rain and I’m looking forward to an evening alternating between sock knitting and granny square crocheting. Until next week……adieu!


Sunday Sevens #146

You may have noticed that I’ve had a break from Sunday Sevens, albeit entirely unintentional (Christmas, and all that), so here’s a heavily edited recap of things since the beginning of December.

1. We had another day trip on the Orient Express – a six hour journey through England and Wales during which we were served a seven course Christmas dinner. Wine pairings with every course was a nice extra that we hadn’t done before.

2. The friends that we went with.

3. The run up to Christmas was almost exhaustingly busy with something going on every day, including The Boy’s advent calendar in which they ‘do’ something Christmassy each day of advent. Here they are enjoying a car trip in their pyjamas to drive around looking at Christmas lights.

4. Together with one other resident, I cooked Christmas dinner for sixty villagers in the village hall.

5. No.3 Son sang a solo of my favourite carol “In The Bleak Mid Winter” before everyone sat down for dinner.

6. I managed to finish off this pair of socks for No.1 Son…..

7. ….and this cabled hat for his girlfriend’s mother.

8. After cooking lunch for my brother and his wife on Christmas Eve, we went to the carol service in our church. The Dogs drew loads of comments in their festive coats! Some friends joined us for supper afterwards and The Boys were excited to put their stockings out for Father Christmas for an early-ish night.

9. We went to church Christmas Day with The Boys and the service ended rather sombrely when the organist collapsed just before the last verse of the last carol. Being British, the congregation went on to sing unaccompanied and we all crept out silently as an ambulance was called.

A couple of family members short, Christmas dinner was a slightly quieter affair than usual – it seems I was lucky to get the ‘flu over and done with before Christmas. I didn’t feel lucky at the time, mind you!

10. Back up to full numbers on Boxing Day! Mr H-L is keeping the festive music going, in case you wondered what he was doing back there:)

11. We can ‘only’ seat 14 or 15 people comfortably around the dining table, so there was overspill into the kitchen end!

12. On the 27th, when we had a different set of guests, I invented a new solution to using up the leftovers – Christmas Dinner Pie! Literally all the remaining meat, stuffing and veg was made into a pie. It went down a treat with everyone.

13. Our last guests left on the 28th, which meant we had a couple of days to unwind before New Year’s Eve. ‘Unwinding’ in our house means PJs, games, festive films and Baileys:)

14. The Dogs were over the moon to have even more cuddle time than usual!

15. Unwinding for me also includes knitting/crochet – once I got the darning out of the way…..

16. I cast on and finished a single sock using the lovely yarn from my Stitching Santa parcel, which was immediately claimed by No.3 Son!

17. Before casting on the second sock, I cast on one for me using some Fyberspates yarn that I’ve had for a while and forgot about. After all that plain sock knitting, I was itching to do a pattern.

18. I even managed to nip up into the sewing room for a few hours and came down with this little project bag, perfect for small projects like socks. I may make some more for my online shop.

19. Just to make sure I don’t get bored (!), I started crocheting Granny squares in this Duck Egg DK. They’re going to be a blanket for a young couple that are getting married later this year.

20. Then the yarn orders started arriving…..I went on a bit of a spending spree with the money that had accumulated in my PayPal account.

21. All this sock yarn has a purpose – I want to make 2018 the year I wear only handknit socks. My New Year’s Resolution, I suppose.

Whilst I tend to knit playing socks using a self-striping yarn for other people, my own preference is for patterned socks using hand dyed yarn in luxury fibres. These are the three pairs I have knitted to date.

22. Progress on the pair currently on the needles, although I will have to knit No.2 Son’s other sock before the second one of this pair.

23. New Year’s Eve is spent with the same friends, only this was the first year we went to their house for the night, Just look at those incredible centrepieces!


25. We took No.2 Son back to school the following Sunday, which was hard having had him at home for three weeks.

26. With both boys back at school, Mr H-L and I went out for lunch one day. Fifi was treated to a bit of pork belly at the end.

27. On Saturday, Fifi’s heart began to race and her breathing became shallow. She was fine in herself and carried on as normal for most of the day and well into the evening. We took her to bed with us as normal but, at 1.50am yesterday morning, she stopped breathing.

28. Farewell, my faithful little companion – my heart is in pieces. Whatever will I do without you.