Christmas Flower Fairies by Cicely Mary Barker

When I was little, I loved the Flower Fairies by Cicely Mary Barker. I had a little book that was an alphabet drawn by her: one fairy for each letter and a little poem to go with it. I adored looking at the pictures and would spend hours copying the pictures of the beautiful little…

A Weekend Away in Durham

We’ve just spent three lovely days in the North East, in Durham; the city where Aidan and I went to university and met. A very long time ago now! Last year, we took the kids back there for a visit and had such a great time, we decided to go again this year.  We didn’t…

November is Here

The kids are ill and we are too… it’s just a recipe for a horrible couple of weeks. And, you know, we’re not even that bad in the grand scheme of things. We’ve all had a cold, which has meant Dexter being up every night for the last couple of weeks, coughing until he’s sicked up a…

October in the 1950s: Woman’s Own Magazines

It was like revisiting some old friends when I found these magazines out of the attic earlier this evening. It’s literally been years since I looked through any of them. I’d forgotten about the soft focus fashion, housewifely advice and gorgeous illustrations accompanying the obligatory romantic short stories. It seems a gentler, easier world than the…

‘In a Pumpkin Shell’ – Joan Walsh Anglund

We bought this book of ‘In a Pumpkin Shell’ a couple of years ago. I think it came from a charity shop in Southwold, but I’m not one hundred per cent sure… we’ve got that many books, and have bought so many of the years that I can’t keep track of them all. I really loved…

Where did the Summer Go?

Apparently, I blinked and it’s now October! And not even just October, a good week into it. How did that happen? One minute, I was dreading the summer (okay, maybe dread is a bit too strong a sentiment, but I was definitely apprehensive about it); the next, the summer has flown past in a Sardinian…

Camping, Seaside and Sunshine

We returned last Friday from our first proper holiday of the summer. And what a week we had! Finally, some proper sunshine to help us make the most of our week away. We went camping in Suffolk, at the Southwold Camping and Caravan Park. It’s not the most luxurious campsite around: the amenities are pretty basic…

Decorating Ideas from Golden Homes

Golden Homes was a DIY magazine published in the 1970s featuring articles on how to do relatively easy stuff; things like tiling the roof of your house, building extensions and constructing your own spiral staircase. I mean, anyone can do that, right? With the proper tools of course… I spotted a stash of these in a…

Summer, coming right up… 

We’re very nearly at our first official summer holidays… We just about managed half terms, muddled our way through half term and now it’s time for the biggie: six weeks of me and the kids. All the time. No afternoons of napping toddler while Corliss is at pre-school. That’s usually when I get my jobs…

Ladybird Picture Word Book

Last weekend, we had a look around the charity shops of Ashton-Under-Lyne. It’s one of our favourite towns for chazzer hunting as not only does it have lots of charity shops to look round but it also has a couple of fantastic veggie cafes to visit: the incomparable Lily’s Vegetarian Indian Cafe and a new one…

Retro Finds In New Mills

Last weekend we planned to go to Buxton and New Mills on Saturday, thinking that there wasn’t really much in New Mills to do. How wrong we were. We ended up spending the whole day there near enough. It’s a nice little town on the edge of the Peak District, a bit like Glossop really….