Thursday, 14 June 2012

A walk on the wild side

I really wanted to write this post yesterday, I have however promised myself that I should really get my jobs done before I do my blog and other things which I love. There is something about feeling at peace when the house is clean and most jobs are done, for me anyway.

So after I cleaned up from the boys, ate tea, answered some business emails and made the cushion cover I have been meaning to do all week it was time for bed.

Tonight however I am here at 7:40pm typing away, Kerri a mother I know has just collected the party bags I have made for her sons party next week, and I am here with a cup of tea, lovely

The last few days with my boys have been just great, I have been struggling with patience of late but at the moment I seem to have buckets of it, I think it may be more sleep and the dream of a new beginning in September

I took them for a walk after pre-school yesterday, Barry my husband and I found it on Sunday while looking for elder flowers (that's another story!) he said he has been there before on the shot he attends in the winter. Well it was so beautiful, the sun was shining and the boys were running around stamping on thistles, pretending the find treasure with their metal detectors made of sticks, while I listened to the birds and watched the trees move. A lovely moment I want to remember

We then decided to go into the woods, big mistake, huge. Very muddy.

On another note I have also started reading a new blog by a lady called Leigh. I read her posts again and again. Have a look x

Take care, Natalie xx

Monday, 11 June 2012


When I was 19 my parents moved away. They bought a lovely hotel and after a couple of years moved to a village. Not having my parents just around the corner is hard sometimes, I would love to just pop over for a cup of tea and a chat.

We do see them for longer periods though when we visit for the weekend. This weekend however they had my boys for the weekend. A was so excited and kept saying to me "we are going down to grandma's and papa's mum, but you and dad need to stay here" love him, I think he was looking forward to having my parents to himself!

Here are a few snaps of what my husband B and I got up to. It was lovely to be like a couple again, I think we really needed it.

Friday evening and after seeing a tweet from Hobbs House Bistro I booked a table. I had asparagus and egg to start, B had mackerel. For mains I had a beautiful lamb breast and B had venison with beetroot and fresh horseradish. It was all so well cooked. I got quite tipsy! Just as we were leaving a man who had been sitting opposite me came over. He said "Are you Nat?" I said I was and we had a chat, he said he had seen my tweet earlier. It turned out to be the managing director of Hobbs House, Trevor Herbert.

On Saturday B took me for a ride on his new motorbike to Wales. We stopped and watched a carnival and then had a gorgeous pub lunch. Just to sit, quite with my thoughts was heaven.

I photographed this flower in the pub garden, so beautiful. B thinks it is a Lilly.

On our way home we stopped at a great little craft centre. We watched a man make bronze pendants and I found some beautiful fabric which I think I am going to cover one of my cushions with

Sunday and after a lye in!!! we went on a craft trail. There are so many talented people in here. I bought the above strawberry flower pot from the Mosaic lady and am planning to go back to her and make a house sign for the cottage.

You essentially follow a map and go into peoples homes and gardens to see and buy their art, creations etc. We stopped for a sneaky cream tea. Patrick is a man who makes wooden spoons, his mother made all the cream teas, honestly the best we've ever had.

We visited a lovely old lady with the most amazing quilts. She does not hold classes but I think if I go to see her with a tin of home made biscuits she may help me start my first quilt, here's hoping.

So if you have children you should try and have some time away. Maybe a swap with other friends who have children. They can have your children for one day and vise verse. I recommend it 1000 times over

Take care, Natalie xx

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Wotton-Under-Edge Arts and Crafts trail

We've now been living here in Wotton (which is half way between Gloucester and Bristol,how lucky are we!) for 7 years.

We saved our pennies and bought a little old stone cottage. Mr Ford, or Flash as everyone calls him lived here since he was born and his parents before him. Both Mr and I felt a responsibility to the cottage to treat it with respect and take it back to what it really is.

When we moved in it had strawberry wall paper in with whinny kitchen, green 1970's carpet everywhere and a corner bath perfect for old folk but not a couple that wanted to make a family here.

We tackled the kitchen first and in between going away to get married we did all the washing up in the bath and cooked in the lounge! I remember walking in one day and the kitchen had a mud floor, the walls were stone and there was no ceiling. I like caves but really... not in my house!

One wedding with out little Asa bun in the oven and then little Jasper came along 17 months later we really needed to finish the house. Mr and I sat down one evening and decided we could spend the next 5 years renovating on weekends, evenings etc or just go for it for 3 months. Well I coped but only just. Crazy, crazy times. We now have a beautiful cottage with stone and white walls, 2 separate rooms for the boys and a small bedroom for us.

This place is truly the first place that felt like home since moving out from my parents when I was 19.

Tomorrow is the Wotton Art and Craft fair, a truly great walk around the town with some great artists. Come and see Belinda in Paper & Cotton.

Enjoy your Sundays everyone

Take care, Natalie xx

Thursday, 7 June 2012

A change is gonna come.....

A big change is happening soon in  my life. Since the age of 18 I have worked for The Royal Bank of Scotland Group (Now Direct Line Group)
I have had both of my maternity leaves there and went back to work 7 months after having both my boys. I have so many good memories of my life there and have made a few life long friends.

Alas everything changes and by September me and my city job will be no more.

My oldest boy Asa is starting school this year, a huge milestone in his and our lives. As a working mother this new finish time of 3pm put a "oh what do we do now?" spanner in the works

I have decided that I need, no actually must, change the way I run my life. My job is very full on and takes so much of my energy on the days I work. I work in a job share, so K work together to run our team. I work very late, sometimes not getting home till 11pm at night which as you can imagine getting up with my boys at 6am is some what draining to put it lightly.

It all came to a head a couple of months ago, I come home at 10:30pm, march straight upstairs where my husband is naked in a very bubbly bath and tell him that I can no longer cope working and running the house, being a mum to our boys, doing the food planning then shopping, cleaning, cooking etc etc etc. Tears running down my face he said to me "ok babe, we'll make it work"

So we'll have less money yes, but I will be happier and able to run my little business in a more dedicated way. Asa will be at school and Jasper will be at pre-school for 15 hours a week. Childcare will go down to £0 and I will have some time alone. ALONE for the first time in 4 and a half years!

I now hope I can do one job really well rather than many badly. Fingers and toes crossed I can

Take care, Natalie xx

Tuesday, 5 June 2012


A little late this week as we've been busy with the Jubilee celebrations, what a great weekend to be British and what a fabulous monarch we have

Here are my 9 of pride. To be honest I have had a bit of a tough week personally, there have been significant changes in my life over the last 6 months and things are getting back to normal now but I still have the rough day/week. I have read two blogs this week which have helped me massively.

1. My man Ace on our way up to pre-school. I am trying to get us to cycle/scoot now rather than taking the little red car
2. In the city working, such beautiful foxgloves.
3. 11pm at night coming home from work, it can't be right coming home that late.
4. picking the rhubarb with little Jasper, we called it "rhubarb umbrella!"
5. Admiring the beautiful embroidery and quilting in Wotton Under Edge where we live
6. We are so lucky to have a stream walk on the way home from school, just need to remember crocs!
7. My bargain of the week, a £2.50 lamp with my old lamp shade. By adding the button detail I am more than pleased with it
8. We have a fabulous shop in Wotton called Paper & Cotton. It is run by artist Belinda Downs. This is one of her prints of Wotton hill.
9. Reading to the boys on one of those special evenings where there are no fights between them and they are all snugly, heaven

I hope your week is full of love and understanding of others

Take care, Natalie xx

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