Friday, 28 May 2010

Happy Hols...

Large sigh... end of another week..

A clutch of G.C.S.E's behind us..

Time to relax in the garden .. or take the dog for a walk..

If we had one!

Maybe it's time to tackle the jungle ..
Or I could just spend the week languishing in the sun and catching up with some reading ..

(Tell us about your favourite read in Milly & Dottie's Jolly Good Read competition..see our blog)

There is a Vintage Market to attend first..

Click on image for more details

So whatever your weekend and half term hols , holds for you.. hope it is a lot of fun!

Monday, 24 May 2010

Lazy Hazy Crazy days of Summer..

Well the mercury certainly popped this weekend...
Sitting on our terrace.. cooking.. not only ourselves but a fishy BBQ feast.. I looked up at the blue blue skies and said .. 'This is just like the Med" ... pause .. "without the sea of course" ... pause .. "and the inflated prices".. Better than the Med.. on our doorstep !

Our lunch was also much appreciated by Mr Pickles.. Never one to miss an opportunity..

It was a perfect weekend.. with just the right mix of attractions and distractions..
Promising ourselves we would return to Hanham Court gardens, last visited in April, we couldn't have chosen a better day.. The house was dripping with this magnificent Wisteria.. not seen on our previous visit ..

I wouldn't relish the thought of pruning this!

Hanham gardens are a sublime mix of formal borders ...

With beautiful blousy Peonies ..

Sitting alongside an idyllic meadow of wild flowers ...

April 2010 Taken on our previous visit

I am not sure which I love the most.. they both blend so well and sit so comfortably together..

Fountains ...
To ferns ...

Cow Parsley ...

To caravans..

.... and a shy retiring Mr Custard..

Today promises to be another sizzler.. and I will do my best to soak some of it up.. before Metcheck's prediction of cooler, cloudier weather arrives tomorrow.. Boooooo!

I do hope you all had a jolly weekend xx

Friday, 21 May 2010


The garden is the perfect place to lose oneself, to bury your worries and woes, to sit and be at peace under the canopy of trees, with the melodious choir of songbirds, to stop and reflect and restore..

To talk to the frogs...

To smell the flowers ..

To say goodbye to another day ..

To welcome another dawn and a new start...

Monday, 17 May 2010

Zzzzzzzz ....

Lazy like Monday morning....

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Swallows & Amazon ..

Stepping out on my way to the post office today.. I was suddenly aware of swooping squadron of swallows.. shrieking with exuberance. Ahh.. I thought.. surely summer is on the way. I like to think that these courageous birds have arrived from their epic journeys from Africa.. to a warm welcome here in old Blighty.. but this year they were met by icy winds and a rather frosty reception. Poor little feathered friends.. they are always a joy to see and I love to watch their aeronautical displays from our lofty lounge window.. they fly so close and at such speed towards our house.. gathering tiny insects as they go.. and seeming to have much fun in their pursuits.. I half expect one to fly inside our house ..but their sophisticated power steering prevents any crashes or wrong turns.
With each passing day, the lure of the garden is growing stronger.. with the plants really going in to overdrive now to make up for lost time.. and though there is colour on my garden canvas.. there is usually much more at this time of year..

I always think of May as being the 'Proms' month in the garden.. full of pomp and circumstance .. but this year the plants have been reluctant to put on their usual show.. and who can blame them.. with night frosts and chilling winds still around....

All we need is a few days of warm forgiving sun..and the garden will start shouting at the top of it's voice and each plant will jostle and vie for attention.
Something else has been doing that recently.. the pile of books beside my bed. When I was a child I had a voracious appetite for books.. cutting my literary teeth (probably quite literally) on my first beloved books.. such as the Ant and Bee Books by Angela Banner... classics in their own right and still loved by me many years on.

Next I progressed to the Famous Five books by you know who.. and couldn't wait to finish one adventure before starting on the next. But of course back then in my acres of youth.. I had all the time in the world to disappear in to a good book.. Now I flirt with the idea of reading more than the act of.. but this does not spoil my appetite for certain authors.. and one of my favourites is Maggie O' Farrell.. Her first book 'After You'd Gone' had me smitten from the first page and each subsequent novel of hers has me pestering the lasses at Waterstone's for the publishing dates.. So we are back to those 'Famous Five' days again... hungry for the next book.

It was good old Amazon that delivered her latest tome to me The Hand That First Held Mine'. This sits underneath 'Eat Pray Love' by Elizabeth Gilbert's delicious account of her travels and complicated love life..

The crowning glory on top of the pile is a dear little book called 'In Praise of Friendship' given to me by a very dear friend indeed..and not just a friend but my partner in business too..

So three guesses who that might be..??

We are now the proud owners of our own blog..... ' Milly & Dottie' ... where you will be able to follow our adventures, daily musings and general chit chat over the garden fence.. We hope you will come and join us and get to know these two whimsical characters better.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010


My home resembles a florists...

Buckets of flowers arrived last week..

It felt like a Birthday should be celebrated..

But not a candle or cake in sight..

Just an abundance of beautiful fragrant blooms..

.. and a few cables and a camera ..

All will be revealed one day ...

Sunday, 2 May 2010

The Darling Buds of May....

It may be raining.. it may be grey.. but yesterday was a fabulous day!
I will never make a poet.. but I would like to wax lyrical about the fourth Vintage & Handmade Fair... which passed in the usual frenzy of packing cars at the crack of dawn, long drives for many, hurried assemblage of displays and then the meeting and greeting of all the friendly folk who came from far and wide..
I can only speak for myself.. but I had a thoroughly wonderful day.. and judging by the sea of smiles across the room.. I think others did too!
The ladies who come and sell their fine wares at the V & H.. always put on an exquisite display and this one was no exception...

If you came to the fair looking for something..'different'... this was the place to be.. so much vintage finery under one roof.. from deckchairs to Damask, lace to lingerie, china to chalk ware, books to bonnets, gnomes to home sweet homes, soap to silks .. we had it all!

Clare's elegant hats...

Elaine's Kitsch and Curious Mix

Donna's handsome haberdashery ..

Jayne's eclectic ensemble...

Unfortunately these photos of mine do not do justice to the fantastic merchandise on offer.. in my rush to take photos before the crowds descended.. I had forgotten to change the setting on my camera so you will have to squint and imagine the rest.. though I am sure there will be many other photos from the day over here..

Daniella's pastel pretties..

Amanda's bright and beautiful bazaar..

Lizzie's lovely linens.. and more..

Emma's gorgeous gardenalia ..

Kathy's pearls and pretties..

Jane's classy cases and more..

Claires very clever creations ...

Sal's super sunny display..

Sue's sumptuous stall..

Nicky's fabulous furry friends ...

Niki's finest linens and lace..

Lucy's amazing array..

Viv's natty needlework ..

Christine's cracking collection...

Leonore's amazing emporium..

Hen's floral fayre..

Helen's covetable collection ..

Lastly my own vintage corner..

Sincere apologies to those few who I did not capture on film..

We are so fortunate to have some loyal visitors who's faces have become familiar to us .. a host of lovely bloggers and to new folk who travelled from afar to visit.. like the charming Italian couple from Verona, Susannah and her husband Renzo (?) who came to meet me.. Please forgive my disgraceful lack of Italian.. but if you are reading this.. your visit made my day ! It was so lovely to meet you both .. Molto Grazie!

A special thanks to Wendy from Ticking Stripes who presented me with a sweet little cowboy themed gift.. I was so touched by your generosity and quite speechless!
Josie-Mary... thank you to you for your 'Bambi' obsession and giving my Bambi bookends a good home amongst your growing collection!

Thank you too, to the new ladies Vintage Inspiration, Louise Taylor Bowen, Emma Bond, Priscilla Jones, Helen Roskell .. who's contributions to the fair were very much appreciated..
Thank you to our wonderful menfolk... who's muscle power and general background support is always gratefully received... and lastly to our Magnificent Three.. Tamzin, Jack and Georgia who worked tirelessly throughout the day to provide endless cups of tea and cake to all the parched visitors and stallholders.. Your medals are in the post!

Lastly..thanks to my sterling partner Jayne .. high five!

Not wishing to gush.. I will leave it at that.. and let others give you their account of the day..
I am staying relatively horizontal today.. and planning my next table display for November 28th 2010 !
Have a lovely Bank Holiday Weekend.. word has it the sun is going to shine tomorrow.. hurrah!