Having bit of a panic attack…

I start work tomorrow…..in a job where I have no idea what I’m doing….


So here’s the deal, I’m doing marketing and strategy for a building contractors. I can do the website, and the blog and probably the offline marketing will be ok.  But I have to get tenders in, and it’s my job to make sure the company keeps getting work in or 20 people are out of work.  No pressure then!

I keep telling myself that it’s only 2 days a week and it should be ok (hey I get to share an office with my best friend!) but it’s been months since I worked and then it was in a completly IT based job, with nobody to answer to….just my servers.

So I’m just a little nervous – wish me luck!  Oh and if you have any tips or know about marketing, have any good links to marketing sites, drop me a line.  I’ve read loads but I keep thinking that I need to be more prepared. Thanks x

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10k Race for Life – Ickworth Park

I am a very proud wife this morning.  Yesterday Paul ran the 10k (6.2 miles) run in aid of Cancer Research and raised about £250, the entire event raised £82,500 which was great. It was a hot day and the run which we thought would be a road run, turned out to be cross country one across the beautiful parkland of Ickworth Park, Bury St Edmunds.

Ickworth House
Ickworth House

He managed to do it in just over an hour, which is fantastic as he only really started training for it about 3 months ago.  Miss L had a great time and had even made a special ‘Go Daddy’ sign in his honour.

The runners all seemed to have a good time, but you could tell there was a lot of sadness in the air.  People had the reasons they were running on their backs.  Most people had things like ‘Grandma’ or ‘Grandad’ which is to be expected. But then there were people with photos of babies and toddlers which was just heartbreaking.

However whilst Paul was running Miss L and wandered about the gardens snapping photos, it really is a gorgeous place

Garden Entrance
Garden Entrance
Ickworth Gardens
Ickworth Gardens
Gorgeous old Urn
Gorgeous old Urn
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Anne of Green Gables

I’m 36 and I love L.M Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables there I’ve said it 🙂

I first read the story when I was about 9 and I have a sneaky suspicion my desire to live in Canada stems purely from Anne’s tales.  Paul wants to live in Vancouver (which I love too) but I keep looking at Prince Edward Island and Halifax, which makes no sense whatsoever. There isn’t any work for us there but I’m still drawn to it, no matter how much he tries to talk me out it.

But back to Anne, it’s interesting that the friends I’ve made as an adult when we’ve gotten around to talking about childhood favourite books, generally they turn out to be ‘Kindred Spirits’ and love Anne too.

In fact only two weeks ago I mailed my friend Patricia in Miami with the URL of the property below, with the the words ‘It’s in Avonlea!!!’ in the header, minutes later I had the reply of ‘OMG!!  Let’s buy it!!’- she was serious.

Avondale Home

Isn’t it just gorgeous?

So I was delighted to find out that Anne is being re-released by Puffin Classics with the artwork and introduction done by Lauren Child who created ‘Charlie and Lola’. We are huge ‘Charlie and Lola’ fans in this house and Miss L adores all of Miss Child’s books, so I look forward to getting her this version of Anne.

I’ve just added it to the Violet Posy Book Store so if you’ve never read it, or you want to read it to your children, check it out.

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Gwyneth Paltrow is launching her own lifestyle website called Goop.

I’m not her biggest fan, but I like her in interviews and she has an original style  We have children of similar ages and are both married to curly haired geeks.  However my husband is not a musical genius or a mutimillionare, which is where the similarities end!

I’ve just had a look and I adore the site, simple and beautiful.  The useability needs some work, but I’m guessing that’s because it’s only the holding page.  I don’t know why she launched with just one page – seems a bit odd.  I’ve signed up for the newsletter so I look forward to seeing more of what will be on the site.  I’ll add a link if it’s any good?

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Garden Planning for Spring 2009

I’ve had fun over the last few days choosing bulbs and seeds for spring 2009.  Here are my choices for the front garden

Beautiful Tulips
Beautiful Tulips

The great thing is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a good display, all of these were less than £12.  I’ve gone for pale narcissus, a blue crocus and pink and purple tulips.  My favourite though has to be the beautiful red and green Tulip ‘Rai’ (in the picture above it’s on the right hand side at the bottom).

Hollyhocks, Sweetpeas and Larkspur
Hollyhocks, Sweetpeas and Larkspur

The seeds were fun to get as Miss L wants to grow some for her playhouse garden.  I thought that these would be fun for her to grow.  The sweetpea is Cupani which is a beautiful deep purple and easy to grown, then she can gather her own posies next summer.

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Relaxed Lunch and Lost Puppies

I’m making the most of my last week of not working.  As I start next Wednesday, I thought that I’d have a relaxing lunch with Paul down by the river as he was working from home today.  It was such a lovely day I took a photo of the river, pretty isn’t it.

The Great Ouse

Then I took Betty for a walk over the fields behind my house and that’s where my relaxed day ended!

Fields behind my house

Just as I got back to my house, I saw a woman and a little boy with a puppy running after them.  The puppy had no collar or lead and was running into the road.  I was about to tell the woman off, when she asked for help.

It turns out the Staffordshire puppy had jumped out of some bushes several roads away and had followed them.  Her little boy was becoming quite distressed as he was scared of it, so could I help?  As we were in front of my house, I told her I’d take the puppy and call my vet as I could look after her until the owner was found.

So I called the vet, whilst Betty and the puppy ran around my garden like mad things and they asked me to bring her down to them as she had no collar.  Fortunately the puppy was micro-chipped and they are now looking after her until the owner can be contacted.  I hope they contact them tonight, as it must be so distressing to have lost such a sweet dog.  Also we’ve had some cases of Staffordshire Puppies being stolen in this area, so I hope the owner isn’t worrying that the puppy was taken.

However I’ve told the vets that if they can’t find the owner, or if she’s been dumped to call me….she was very pretty and sweet……and I’d rather keep her than have her put in a pound….shhhh don’t tell Paul! 🙂

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iPhone Applications for Busy Mothers

I *love* my iPhone, possibly a little too much!  I’ve had in the last 15 years just about every make there is, and until the iPhone came out I was a confirmed Nokia girl.

I’ve had my iPhone since the day they came out here in the UK, in fact I actually queued up for it (shh don’t tell anyone I’m that much of a geek!

But the phone is a godsend, apart from all the obvious thing like I can get my e-mail instantly, blog, take photos, read all my rss feeds on google reader, listen to my music etc,  most importantly I can keep Miss L entertained with it!

So is a list of the best free apps I’ve downloaded from Apple App Store for Miss L

Scribble – children can use their fingers to draw their own pictures or scribble on photos taken on the phone, it’s the best app if you have children (see above!).

Cube Lite – great block game

Seismometer – Pretend your in an earthquake and see what the seismometer does!

Tris – Tetris by another name

Bubbles – kids can play with and make their own bubbles

Hanoi – problem solving for older children

Puzzloop – fun puzzle game

And a couple for apps for Mummy’s

Stanza – Download books to your iphone

WordPress – great for mobile blogging.

Remote – control your iTunes on your laptop from your phone.

AirSharing – make your iPhone into a portable hard drive.

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More Link Love

As you can probably tell, it’s Saturday and I’m having a surfing day.  Miss L’s currently obsessed with Mythbusters and Paul’s engrossed in a game of Civ and Betty’s crashed out in the kitchen – so I’m free!! 🙂

So here is the round up of all the very cool articles and other things I’ve found today…

First and foremost CONGRATULATIONS to Jody & Chip and their beautiful family over at Nitty Gritty on the birth of their son Crew Tillman. They’ve been through so much and I wish them great joy with their new baby.

Children & Home

A new blog I’ve come across is Inchmark written by Brooke Reynolds who is the Senior Art Editor at Martha Stewart Living and Martha Stewart Kids. So you have an inkling of how good this blog is!  Her idea to put your children’s funny comments into a ‘quotes jar’ to keep is possibly one of the cutest inspired ideas I’ve ever seen.  I’m adding her to my Link list and popping her onto my Google Reader.

Simple Lovely has the most lovely Woodland Fairy birthday party for a little girl, I’m hiding this from Miss L as I might borrow the idea for her birthday next year.

The Old Painted Cottage has just put up the September ‘Cottage of the Month’ I love her site and I want my house to look like this cottage – it’s fabulous!


The Vintage Magpie, I love her site and look she has done a bunny called ‘Posy’….I don’t think I can talk Paul into a second wedding 😉

Pink and Polka Dot’s laziest slipcover tutoral had me at laziest and no iron (I don’t iron EVER!!).  It’s brillaintly simple even for novices like me and I’m going to try this method with re-covering my Chaise Longue.

I hope you enjoy these as much as I have.

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20 Little Things…

Melissa at Inspired Room has set a new challenge, so I had to join in :).

Here are the  20 things that inspire me in the autumn – I hope you share some of them too!

  1. Dahlia’s
  2. Open Fires
  3. Candles
  4. Snuggly Blankets
  5. Roast Dinners with family and friends
  6. The Apple Fair
  7. Bed Socks
  8. Pumpkin Pie
  9. Conkers
  10. Pumpkin Carving
  11. Apple Pie
  12. Harvest Festival
  13. Crisp sunny days
  14. Leaf collecting with my daughter
  15. Throwing windfall apples for Betty
  16. Researching what to plant now for spring
  17. Thinking about Christmas Gifts (I know it’s wrong!)
  18. Finding out what will be in the next Sid Dickens collection
  19. Patchwork Quilts
  20. Cath Kidston

Autumn has to be my favourite season, so I look forward to seeing what everyone else loves.

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The difference a day makes

As you can see below yesterday was not a good day for me, however today is a different story.  It started with all the lovely comments I got yesterday, it was so kind of people to think of me and drop me a line x

But this morning it was a beautiful autumnal day and Betty and I went for a walk.  We came across the beautiful field of sunflowers in the picture above.  I think the kindness, exercise, the scenery and cute dog put me back into my normal mood 🙂

Then the BEST thing happened.  My phone rang and it was my friend’s boss, he has a construction firm in town and….

He offered me a JOB!!!

Working 2 days a week doing all his marketing online and offline. It’s perfect (well except I know little about marketing so this weekend I’ll be giving myself a crash course reading everything I can find). But it’s 5 minutes from Miss L’s school, I can do whatever 2 days I like and I can work from home if I want!!  I’m thrilled 🙂

So it does prove that other people’s kindness really does make a difference, thank you all.


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Tagged – 7 Obscure things about me

Mom in High Heels (who I think has the best blog name ever!) has tagged me for 7 Obscure Things About Me Meme…….I’ve never been tagged before either so I’m all happy – thanks x 🙂

Okay don’t think I’m too weird!

1. I’m British and I hate tea – seriously it makes me feel sick!

2. When I was about 3 we lived in some flats that had been built on the site of Victorian mansion that had burnt down. Not long after we moved there I started playing with a little boy called Gervaise.  My family thought it was cute that I had an imaginary playmate, it got to the point my Dad would even lay a place for him at the table.  I recently on a whim looked up the 1881 Census for the house that was there before and there was a boy living there aged 6….. Gervaise!…..my Mum is now rather freaked out 🙂  I think it’s sweet he played with me, all I remember is lots of laughter.

3. I love travelling, and when I was young and single I used to try and take at least 5 holidays a year. I’m glad I did now, I met so many cool people!

4. I met two of my dearest friends on an X-Files ‘shipper Board about 12 years ago.  Although they are in the US and I’m in the UK we’ve been on holiday together many times, been to each other’s weddings, and had babies together and I love them both dearly 🙂

5.  I collect Sid Dickens tiles and have done since I lived briefly in Vancouver in 1997 – love ’em!

6.  I have what my husband calls ‘The Superpower’ which basically means I can be left with anyone for less than 5 minutes and in that time I’ve been told their deepest secrets and their entire life story!  For example on Tuesday I met an old man in the reception of the place I was having the job interview.  I was waiting with him for 10 minutes and in that time, I found out where he grew up, about his wife who cheated on him in 1969, about the lady he’s lived with since 1973 and his prostate issues!  It makes going on public transport next to impossible.

7.  I have ‘Christmas Colours’ – every year I have a theme colour and woe betide anyone who breaks the colour rule with their wrapping paper! Luckily all our friends and family indulge me.  Worryingly Miss L thinks this is a great idea and is in charge of setting the colour this year – I could end up with a pink tree 🙂

So I’m going to choose 7 people at Random from my comments too (sorry if any of you have been tagged before) and they are:


Bella@Bella Casa

Karla & Karrie

Linda@Restyled Home

Amy@Amy from Texas

Melissa @ The Inspired Room

laura @ the shorehouse

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One of those weeks

garybirnie.coms photostream on Flickr
Photo Credit:garybirnie.com's photostream on Flickr

I’ve not really posted this week as I’ve just had so much bad news and I didn’t really feel like, but maybe if I write about it I’ll get it out of my system?

So here’s the Good, Bad and Ugly of my week so far….

The Good (because I need to be positive!)

Miss L did brilliantly with her spellings this week and her reading is getting really good.  Also she’s being adorable and wonderful at the moment.

Paul, who putting up with my worries and concerns and gives me a cuddle when I need one.  Also he pursuaded me to put the heating on – having heat in the house is heavenly 🙂

And of course Betty who sits by the back gate and won’t move until I come back from shopping – love her!

The Bad

One of my best friends has been diagnosed with skin cancer.  It just breaks my heart, she’s 26 and the kindest hearted person I’ve ever met and has her whole life ahead of her. So hopefully when she’s had her surgery and whatever else they do, she’ll be free and clear of it!

My god-daughters son is still in the special care baby unit, and is still critical even after several weeks. I can’t imagine the stress she must be going though. My thoughts and love are with them x

One of my oldest friends works for AIG in the UK and I hope he manages to keep his job, he’s really worried about it as he doesn’t think that they’ll save the UK staff.

All of our savings, literally every penny is in HBOS and we don’t know whether to pull it out or leave it?  The government changes their story day to day, so I don’t trust them…but I don’t know what to do for the best?

I had the job interview from hell and it became very apparent that I need to work for myself but I don’t know what to do or even where to start.

The Ugly

One of the mothers at the school gate seems to be totally offended that we only have one child, and seems to take great delight at making catty comments on a daily basis about our ‘poor’ daughter. The latest was that isn’t it a shame we don’t have an older sibling for Miss L, so she’d have some second hand school uniform!

A few people generally elderly relatives have made the odd comment over the years, but nothing like this venom from an almost stranger, I was truly shocked.

To be honest I think that Miss L labour and the ensuing emergency surgery to get her out damaged me in someway as we’ve just never managed to get pregnant again.   As it’s been nearly 6 years, I’m guessing that we probably won’t. But it’s just never been an issue before and I’ve never had anyone be unkind about it.

So as you can see I’m feeling sorry for myself and my friends, and I just needed to vent – thanks for listening x

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Monday Link Love

I’m at home with Miss L today as she’s still got a cold and feeling very sorry for herself, so we’re drinking hot chocolate and snuggled under the gigantic blankey.
macinates photostream on Flickr
Photo Credit: macinate's photostream on Flickr

I was going to send her into school today, but they have swimming with no parent helpers and as she’s 5 and not terribly good at drying or dressing herself and it’s about 50 degrees here I decided to keep her home.  It didn’t seem worth getting her even sicker for a day at school.

Anyway as I’m stuck on the sofa warming her up and being tortured with ‘My Friends Tigger and Pooh’, i thought I’d post my favorite articles that I’ve come across recently.

Home and Decorating

For all us parents who have bedrooms which have become the dumping ground of the family, there is a brilliant article on The Inspired Room which explains how to de-clutter and let it become ‘your’ room again.

Apartment Therapy has a really beautiful article about small space living….in a garbage truck!  It has a better kitchen than I do 🙂

Halloween is nearly here and check out this cute post on the Nesting Place

Sadie Olive’s creative space……I want!

Children & Family

I just love Amanda Soule’s blog, it’s informative, aspirational and just downright pretty.  It’s as close as I’ll ever be to being an earth mother, her book is the only one on my bedside table. But I was pleased to see Amanda has just discovered the delights of The River Cottage Family Cookbook which is in the Violet Posy Book Store as it’s just the best family cookbook.  My friend Jenna bought it for me a couple of years back as it was released here back in 2005 and it’s fabulous!  Read Amanda’s thoughts on it here she loves it as much as me – yea!

Simple Mom has a good article for us control freak mothers who never let children help out with the housework whilst we moan about it….yes that would be me!  But Miss L is now in charge of folding the washing when it comes out of the dryer…of course it’s done in the ‘fashion way’ and not the ‘olden times’ way like I do it.  But it’s made her very happy to have some responsibility 🙂

So when your children get a certain age and we are reaching that point, how to reuse their baby furniture.  Ohdeedoh have a lovely piece about re-using a child’s chair


How adorable are these?  Alicia Paulson has the most lovely blog and I’m really looking forward to reading her book.   I’m just about to add it to my book shop 🙂

Matthew Mead, we don’t get his magazine here in the UK ::SOB::  but his website seems to have a lot of good ideas anyway – hurrah! Oh and he dedicated his Halloween Magazine to the lovely Linda at Restyled Home how cool is that?

I hope you enjoy all the articles x

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