Thursday, 18 June 2015


On Saturday I went for a day out with my friend to Cliveden. I used to live near here so have been before but it was quite a long time ago; pre-children in fact. I'd forgotten how lovely it is: beautiful gardens, a maze to explore, several handy cafes and the river Thames nearby. The weather wasn't brilliant, there was the odd bit of drizzle, but it picked up as the day progressed and we had a fantastic time. This was the only Saturday that I could make this month - the rest being taken up by Uni open days for E. It was by happy chance, therefore, that we happened to be there to see the Royal Barge, Gloriana, arrive as part of a river relay to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta. It felt rather fitting as the last time S and I met up was a few months ago in Salisbury, where we saw one of the original copies of the MC in the cathedral. Anyway, here are a few photos of our day out:
I feel as if we cheated rather in here - we did the trick where you keep one hand on the left hand side of the hedge as you enter the maze (or the right, I don't think it matters as long as you pick a side and stick to it) and it leads you safely through. Well it was nearing lunch time and we didn't want to get lost!
 We watched this rather tame heron catching fish in the water gardens:

 Saw wacky topiary in the long garden:
 ... and admired the rose garden. It was beautiful but there were so many buds that I think we were a week too early to see it in its full glory:

 Here she is - Gloriana - commissioned as a tribute to Elizabeth II to commemorate her Diamond Jubilee:
  We ended the day with tea in a little cafe and I bought a fuchsia to bring home as a memento:
It was such a lovely place to meet that I thought I might join the National Trust so we can meet up and visit other properties. I had hoped to be able to use Tesco vouchers but you can only use those to join English Heritage, so I think I'll just have to pay up. Well worth it though.

Other happies this week:
Enjoying E's Dorset ripple:
 Trying out a no knead bread recipe - it turns out there's a reason you have to knead dough; it was rather heavy!
 Finally realizing that I could hang my tea towel on the oven door rather than the radiator. I'm quite enjoying the little pop of colour. As they say, it's the little things!
My new candle:
Rhubarb and Ginger Jam using the recipe from the B&B owner. It is nice but I think I'd use a little less sugar next time.
My new Perle embroidery threads and a few buttons:
Finally, finishing my Winter primitive embroidery to go with the Spring one found in this post. Yes, I know I'm not exactly doing them in seasonal order! Also, the robin is a bit disproportionate but Hey Ho.
That's it for this week. After trying to find something to wear for L's graduation and seeing myself in the unforgiving glare and full length mirror of the changing rooms, I have decided to give the 5:2 diet a go! I've never had to lose weight before but the evidence of middle age spread was there for all to see. I'll let you know how it goes; at the moment it's not looking hopeful. I ate my porridge with WATER (not my usual milk and maple syrup) at 6:30 this morning - it's now 9:30 and I'm ravenous!
Enjoy the rest of the week.
Toodle Pip for now. xx


  1. Love your embroidery, it's so pretty. Cliveden looks like a wonderful place to visit, absolutely breathtaking views and such a fantastic garden. The NT are wonderful aren't they. Everything is so beautifully maintained. And how nice to have the Gloriana as well. Good luck with the diet. It always takes me a week or so to get into the swing of things. It takes me a while to work up the enthusiasm as well. I'm currently slightly off the diet wagon, need to hop back on, I'm hoping you'll inspire me. CJ xx

  2. I live close to Cliveden and it's one of my favourite places. How lucky for you to see the Gloriana too. There were more boats following on afterwards. We were at Bray, downstream from Cliveden and the rowers had disembarked at Maidenhead, so that was a disappointment! I managed to catch up with it the next day though, and it was being rowed then!

  3. Mmmmmmm, I rather like the sound of your jam, I am rather partial to rhubarb. Good luck with the diet. I decided that the 5:2 diet wasn't for me as I get very grumpy when my blood sugar drops!

  4. Reverse order! Diet - hope that it goes well for you! Embroidery - fantastic!!! I think that the robin is perfect as it is meant to be "primitive" so the sizes would be a mix of big and small! NT - yes, well worth it, but I am biased! Meeting your friend - fantastic! Glad you had a great time. Gloriana - wonderful!! How great that you got to see that going by in full fig! Gardens and roses - wonderful too! So beautiful! So many great things all round!! xx

  5. Porridge does wear off very suddenly! I have it for breakfast and I can set my watch by the sudden hunger pangs. A work colleague did the 5:2 and lost weight very successfully. She has kept it off by doing 6:1.
    Graduation outfits are scary. That will be me in a year's time. Hope you show us your outfit and photos of the great day!

  6. Best wishes on the graduation coming up!! How exciting is that!!! And your primitive winter piece up there is gorgeous! I absolutely love it and would really like to make one myself! And the garden visit up there is like a piece of heaven on earth I tell you! What a lovely outing to have with a friend! Oh and your jam is adorable with its fabric cover! Wishing you all good things this weekend friend! Nicole xo

  7. Cliveden looks a lovely place to visit, must put it on my list of places to go. Your Dorset ripple is looking good, looking forward to seeing your progress. Good luck with the weight loss journey. Xx

  8. What a lovely place to see, I did enjoy the topiary, I have a weakness for it! The heron is gorgeous too....
    Ah yes, the weight goes on easier as we get older....drat and darn it, good look losing a few pounds!
    You always have me wishing I could knit!xxx

  9. We joined the National Trust again this year and have enjoyed our visits so far. I love your photo of the Royal Barge and the fountain. Your ripple blanket is looking good and I love your sweet little embroidery. I think we've just bought the same worktops as you as well! Good luck with the weight loss - I've been losing weight lately am already feeling better for it, and it's a good time of year too with all these salads around :)
    Cathy x

  10. Ooh, I do love a NT property, especially in the summer. Your Winter naive embroidery is really lovely. I tried the 5:2 diet but hated always having to eat differently to the rest of the family and found that Slimming World worked really well for me. There's nothing more depressing than an unflattering changing room mirror though... x

  11. What a gorgeous place to visit, it looks stunning. I love your embroidery and your pretty ripple blanket too. A few of the women I work with have tried the 5:2 diet lately.
    Marianne x

  12. Looks like a lovely day out. We have national parks membership and it's wonderful. It allows us into so many lovely places... and also means you don't overthink before going to a place. Thanks for the maze trick. I never knew that!

  13. You've been busy! And what a pretty place to visit.