Friday, 1 June 2018

Well, that was May ....

Can you believe that we're into June already? We're half way through 2018; where has the year gone? I'll stop now as I'm sounding very old! Well, white rabbit and all that. May was nice enough - E finished her uni exams before her friends, so she came home for a week which was lovely. She has now gone back to celebrate with the others and Hamish and I are missing her. I feel I should apologise in advance for what will be a rather photo heavy post. There are lots of things that I would like to remember, so do feel free to whizz through if you get bored!
R and I went to see the NT Live production of Macbeth. As seems to be the case these days, it was done 'with a twist' and set in a sort of post apocalyptic world. It was very good, but one of these days, someone is going to do something really radical and actually set it in Elizabethan times and period costume!
I met up with my friend, S, at the Botanical Gardens in Bristol. This place is a little gem, situated across The Downs and with its own little car park. We were escorted around the gardens by a very friendly cat and then, when we had taken our fill of the plants, the cafe did a very nice coffee and vegan brownie!

 We then walked into Clifton and had a yummy lunch at 'Thali:'
 Whilst browsing through the charity shops, I bought a £4 footstool. I've since had an Annie Sloan moment and it is now sporting rather fetching Old White legs. 
I am currently embroidering a new cover. It will take me a while, but should look rather colourful. I do like the green top, but I'm not really feeling the golfing motif! I am feeling rather frugal though - apart from the £4 stool, the material came from a car boot sale, the threads were from a charity shop and the paint was a left over tester pot.
Whilst I was in Bristol, the British Hen Welfare trust were having a re-homing day. When the hens are a year old, the farmers send them for slaughter and the BHWT save as many as they can find homes for. R rescued 2 which were in a rather sorry state. We always get our hens this way, and given a bit of TLC they are soon feathery and beautiful again. They had a rather exciting ride home in Bridget the Midget as I had our other car! One other problem was that as soon as we got them, we experienced a mini heatwave. It was lovely seeing them gazing up at the blue sky and spreading themselves out in the sun. Unfortunately, they had few feathers to protect them, so whilst I was inside with Hamish watching the Royal Wedding (glorious wasn't it?), R was outside rubbing Factor 50 into the chickens' bare butts! 

 Our local chilli festival. I bought some ancho chillis  and R bought some honey - not very vegan I know, but he got chatting with the bee keeper and then found it difficult to extricate himself without making a purchase! We're not that strict anyway.
 I trip to the garden centre with Bridget - we didn't think it through!
 The antiques fair at our local showground:
 A 'paint your own Delft pottery' workshop at our local museum. This was fun, but far harder than I had imagined. We drew our designs onto squares of paper, transferred them to the tiles with carbon paper and then practised using the brush on more paper - so far, so good. Unfortunately, as soon as the brush touched the unglazed tile, the surface sucked all the paint up and it was really difficult to control. I started off with much more detailed designs but ended up simplifying like mad! Here are my pre-fired tiles:
 A couple of years ago, E did a week's work experience at the Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth. Rather than drive back and forth twice a day, I decided that it was easier for me to just hang around the historic dockyard for the week. I developed my own little routine - drop E off, have my morning cup of tea in the boatyard cafe, thoroughly explore one aspect of the dockyard, have my packed lunch in the small porter's garden, do a little embroidery in said garden, have another little potter and another cup of tea and then collect E and come home. I LOVED every minute and R was insanely jealous. He had never been and was desperate to go, so using some Tesco vouchers, we visited again this month.
 Jelly fish spotted in the harbour:
 My special Porter's garden - it is quite secluded, quiet and sheltered from the sea breeze. It also sells plants, so for 50p I bought a tiny buddleia.
Whilst she was home, E took the 'Bob Ross Challenge'. For those of you who don't recognise the name, Bob Ross was an American painter who had a TV series called 'The Joy of Painting' which can be found on Netflix. He had the most soothing voice imaginable - so much so that his programme should be prescribed for insomniacs! E decided that she wanted to do one of his paintings, so a quick trip to the Works for a canvas and ........:

 Ta- Dah!
 I have just about recovered from having the living room floor covered in an old decorating sheet for most of a week, and am trying my best to ignore the oil paint on the sofa!
Rhubarb and ginger jam:
More kayaking, this time with E:

 Finally, E and I dropped in on Bath on our way back to Bristol. We had a 'treats day' - E chose some tea from Tea Too and an oil burner and some essential oil from the Body Shop, and I bought my treat at 'A Yarn Story'. I chose a skein of Hedgehog Fibres sock yarn in the Bollywood colourway and a copy of West Knits book number 3. We were very happy bunnies!
Well, that's all for May; I hope you had a good one. I'm just off for a swim and then, weather permitting, the gardening calls. Wishing you all a wonderful June.

Toodle pip for now. x


  1. What a thoroughly busy and productive and lovely May you've had! Can you believe that I've been to the Bristol Botannic? Shameful. And me a Bristolian too. And I have very fond memories of Bath; it's where Marc and I first met.
    Leanne xx

  2. Sounds like you've been having a great time. I've never been to the Bristol Botanical Gardens either, although I did back when they were in Clifton as I used to live there. Well, not in the botanical garden, you know what I mean. I do love to see hens perked up with a new life, well done you, it's a lovely thing to do. Your solo days in Portsmouth sound wonderful, I do crave alone time a lot. And I agree, the year has flown by so far, ridiculously fast. CJ xx

  3. I’m still laughing about the chickens having factor 50 applied. Lots going on during your May. Lots to love, the painting is fab, that footstool will be brilliant I’m sure and a day at the Mary Rose; wonderful. Before you know it it willl be summer and your daughter home for the holiday. Enjoy. B x

  4. Amazing painting! The jam looks delicious, rhubarb is one of my favourites. Love those Delft tiles too, you do seem to be able to find lots of interesting workshops to go to. xx

  5. A lovely busy post! You have been out and about! Oh....SO glad you rescued those poor chickens, the poor things, at least they will be spoilt now. Bless that man applying suncream!!!Do you have names for them???
    E's painting is just amazing, what a talent she has!
    I loved those glass sculpptures and fun to read of the friendly cat following you around. The pic of Bridget and those plants had me laughing out loud!xxx

  6. Hi there! Yes, I forgot to say their names. Meet Alice and Tessie who are both pinning nicely now, so hopefully the days of the Factor 50 massage are numbered! xx

  7. There is so much fun to be found in your posts. You keep busy!

  8. Wow! I am not sure what to mention. You have been having such a fun time! Love the art in the Botanical Gardens. Lunch looks good. But perhaps the best... love the idea of your hubbie rubbing suntan lotion onto the hens!!! Can we see your finished Delft tile?
    PS. Sorry about your sofa :(