Reluctant Entertainer

It’s not that I don’t like my friends, I do a lot. In truth my main reason for moving is to have a bigger house so we can host gatherings, BBQs, and have friends and family to stay. I would LOVE that.

However this past Saturday when my lovely husband, tipsily suggests that the 9 people there, come to our house for a BBQ on the 1st August…well frankly I could have strangled him. Our house is a bomb site, there is stuff which I was going to put into storage *everywhere*. You can’t get into the dining room, the office is now piled to about my height and more importantly for 9 people to come to a BBQ, you actually have to have some garden furniture!  We have…a £5 leaf table I bought 20 year ago at a car boot, 2 chairs I got off a lady at work who’s mum died and couple of ancient Ikea fold down chairs. That is it!

The look of horror on my face must have been apparent as my friend’s lovely husband said ‘it doesn’t have to be fancy’…..ha ha…*SOB*…. how little he knows me!  I grew up with my parents throwing the most fabulous parties and dinners for their friends and family.  I’m not sure we’ve entertained for more than 5 people the whole time we’ve been married, we’ve never had the room.  But we have a large garden so it’s time I put my big girl pants on and actually entertain some people!

I had bit of a panic on Instagram and some of them came up with great ideas. Hay bales and picnic blankets were some of my favourites and I think I’ll do that for the kids. But my dodgy back can’t deal with sitting on the ground for hours, so we have ordered a proper grown up table and chairs from Argos. Something we should have done years ago, which I’m very excited about.

Then by some miracle Homebase who’ve I’ve worked with many times, asked me if I’d like to choose some outdoor entertaining bits! What great timing!

So I chose this rather fab gazebo (£19.99) as it’s 2.7m x 2.7m it will either do for the kids to sit under, or if it rains for Paul to BBQ under.
Picture from Homebase as it’s not stopped raining since I bought it.

This brillant Kilner Drinks Dispenser (£24.99) it’s like those ones you see on Pinterest!! So excited to make some cocktails for it!

And as the evenings are getting darker a little earlier I picked up two of these solar light jars (£7ish) they aren’t on their website anymore but they might still be instore?. They are great and really bright, they look like fireflies.

I’ve created a board of BBQ ideas on Pinterest which have some great drinks ideas, recipes and decorations. Wish me luck!

Follow Liz’s board BBQ Ideas on Pinterest.

**full disclosure Homebase gave me £60 to spend instore**

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On Saturday we did a day trip over to the village of Lavenham in Suffolk. It’s one those almost untouched English villages which is full of Tudor and Medieval buildings with just a few Victorian and Edwardian thrown in for good measure. It’s set in rolling farm land which at the moment has ripe corn in, so was just beautiful and glowing.


I could have wandered around for hours taking photos it’s so pretty, but strangely my family weren’t up for that. I was dragged to the quaint shops and then for a really delicious ice cream – hard life!


I love how the residents had planted their gardens, pots well pretty much anywhere you can put a plant to set off the buildings which are really colourful. Quite a lot of the houses were entirely white washed including the black beams. But I’m guessing that is probably more traditional than the look we associate with Tudor buildings.

The bright yellow building in the very top photo above is a museum but we got there too late to go round it. But what a spectacular looking building!

Hoping to go back again soon, I think there were some cream teas I missed out on.

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Summer Holidays are on the way

Oh my word! I’ve just realised Miss L breaks up from school Friday next. So I need some ideas of how to fill the following 8 weeks. So far I’ve come up with:

Decoupaching a chair like this (as spotted at our local Picture House cinema)


Learning Horse Riding
Trips to the North Norfolk Beaches
Rummaging in the local charity shops for project ideas.
Painting landscapes
Going to see Joss Wheldon’s ‘Much Ado about Nothing’ – yeah that one is for me!!
Despicable Me 2
Maybe a trip to London to see a Gallery or Museum – depending on train fair deals.
Would love to go back to Kentwell Hall and see the Tudors again.

What have you all go planned for the holidays? Have you got any great ideas for us to do? We would love to hear your plans!

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{July 2012}

Sorry for the lack of blogging recently, we’ve been hanging out at home and enjoying visiting with friends and family and not really doing too much.  But I have managed to take a few photos of our travels and days out. I’m really hoping the weather picks up this weekend so we can head to the beach for a few hours, it’ll be heavenly!

PS what do you think to the new look on the blog?  I’m still toying with making it a magazine layout, but I’m undecided. I’ll be interested to hear what you all think. ta! x

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Floral Gifts

Miss L broke up last week from school and she always likes to take a posy of flowers from our garden into her teachers every year (I send in wine, they’ve most certainly earnt it!).  Here are some of what we’ve taken in over the years  2008 2009 2010

This year was a little different the rain had rotted most of the roses and peonies on the bushes so there wasn’t as much to use as in previous years.  So Miss L added some Nasturtium’s that she’s been growing in her little raised bed – they have gone mad so it was good to use some up.  But I think they worked really well with the white and yellow roses she used for her teaching assistant’s present.

And then for her teacher’s flowers we went with what was left of the pink roses and peonies. It was so pretty and I put a bottle of pink Prosecco in with them.

Hopefully next year they’ll be less rain and I’ll have some more flowers to use *everything crossed*

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Saturday Market

Wow, it’s been a busy week here. Miss L has been back at school and we’ve been trying to get used to the school routine again.  And I went back to work,  I’ve been working on a pretty special blog all week, which I think is going to look pretty amazing when it’s done.

So today I treated myself to a trip to the Saturday Farmer’s market, they have the best produce and I could easily spend a fortune there.  I was walking down one of the rows when I caught the scent of strawberries. Now the ones in the supermarket have been terrible and out of season for weeks so I’d stopped buying them.  But the ones on the stall looked good and when I chatted with the gentleman on the stall he told me these were garden grown and were sadly the last of his season.  I snapped up two punnets, and one of them is gone already – they were just amazing!

They really were the last taste of summer – delicious!.


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This was the temperature when we got out of the school pool today. I’m still waiting for our threatened thunderstorm to start. It’s such a hot muggy evening I can’t wait for it to start so we can get some sleep. Hope its cooler where you are, night! x


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Burwash Manor Barns

The summer holidays are going on FOREVER this year, so I’m looking for places to go now rather than going to just the tried and tested. So today we headed out to Burwash Manor Barns in Barton South Cambridgeshire.  I’ve been meaning to go for maybe 5 years, but as it’s bit of a trek from mine I’d never gotten round to it.  But today we were bored and the weather is more like October so it was time to get out.

Burwash is a collection of boutique shops in some old farm barns, and they have a great choice of produce.  There is a fantastic foodie shop called ‘The Larder’

There is also a garden furniture shop full of the most gorgeous iron work furniture, kids clothes shop and toy shop, a decorating shop that stocks all sorts of heritage paint and papers and my favourite ‘Nest’ full of vintage home goodies. They have their own website here

We had some lunch at the tea rooms, which while the food was great, there were wasps *everywhere* which meant we were constantly swiping them and couldn’t really relax which was a shame, especially as the food and service were excellent.

Here are the goodies I bought in the Larder the porridge is milled locally and the dressing we had on a salad in the tea room and as it was so amazing I bought a bottle. The cookies of course speak for themselves,  I’m off to heat up some up now!.

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Paul’s now on holiday with us for a week, so on Friday we thought we’d pop up to Holt in Norfolk to do some shopping – they have the best boutiques! But we got there about midday and there wasn’t a parking place to be had for love nor money – mental note go about 9am!  So as it was pouring with rain we thought we’d drive a bit further North and see what was there.  We got to Sheringham and decided that a chip shop lunch was in order!  I’d not been to Sheringham before but it was a really lovely small town, and has retained lots of fisherman village charm.

We discovered that there is a steam train station in Sheringham, and that it runs to Holt.  So next time we’re going to park up in Sheringham and go to Holt in style, I can’t wait to go back.

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First Harvest

We planted these back in April/May and check out our first crop.

I wanted to leave them for Miss L to pick but Betty decided they were quite tasty, so I had to get in there quick.

But I think these will be a great after school snack today

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You know sometimes you see something and you’re so taken with it, it’s all you can think about.  I’ve had that for the last week.  I was reading Modish ( it’s great blog btw go and check it out!) when I spotted her…..I give you Constance.

How gorgeous?

I think Violet Posy Design needs an office and it needs to look just like this.  Sadly for me she’s not for sale, but she is for rent for photoshoots via Snailtrail

But if you like the idea of a retro holiday and you want to hire something beautiful Snailtrail rent and sell VW Campers such as Betty and her Friends as a former VW owner (‘Ruby’ the 1972 Beetle) I have still have bit of a soft spot for them.

Check out their Flickr Photostream here for lots of fantastic photos.

(all photos with the kind permission of Snailtrail)

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