Sunday, 18 May 2014

April - the best bits!

I can't believe that my blog has pretty much become monthly...
must try harder!
So, in no particular order, here are all the happy parts of April:

Geordie Boy had a birthday and moved into double digits declaring himself an official pre-teen. We really struggled to think of a present (as the youngest of three boys with similar interests they just seem to have enough stuff) so went for a day of (home made) vouchers. He had one an hour for 10 hours. We were in Devon on holiday so it made for a fun day!

It worked a treat - he really enjoyed the day and so did we. The vouchers ranged from 'call a McDonalds tea at any time in the next year' to 'plan the ultimate sleepover'. 

He chose Island Bar in Salcombe for his birthday tea - a date we shared with Cuckoo and her family. 
As an extra treat he was allowed to stay in his (new) onsie all day (with crocs and socks, the boy has no shame) 
and the highlight was being able to sign the graffiti ceiling...
We all love Devon and for the last few years have met up with Cuckoo in Salcombe. This year Cleggy had some consultancy work in Cockington, near Torquay, so we had a week there first with my little sister and her family. (yep all four boys laughed every time someone said COCKington!!)
The holiday house was a million miles away from our normal choice - from the outside it looked like a 70's primary school building!

weirdest swiveling front door ever...
Inside was great - it felt like being in a Mad Men set. The best bit was the lounge, with huge glass doors opening on to a large sun trap patio with wonderful views. 
And better than that - we had 7 days of 
glorious sunshine to enjoy it.
It was the perfect place for an early afternoon glass of something sparkling, and a little knit.
It was also the perfect garden for an Easter egg hunt
Not sure where The Teen was...probably in bed!
 One of the nicest things about staying so close to Cockington Village was the walks from the front door. I hadn't realised that it was one of the most photographed places in England - full of pretty thatched cottages and little tea shops.

Cockington Court itself also had wonderful walks, some towards the big house (where you can have a cream tea) and others through the water meadows down to the sea. 
This didn't end well.....
The Teen making sure he didn't enjoy himself!!

At the back of the house is a great play area and a craft centre with about 20 artists and craft makers working and selling their wares. My absolute favourite was Angel Bill - I could have chatted to Kate for hours and LOVED her makes.

Here's a link to her website if you want to see more of her work - it's gorgeous.

When we weren't hanging around the court we visited some more places on the coast. We had a lovely day on Goodrington Sands - featuring ball games, sand castles, a picnic, some crochet, beach huts AND a steam train...what's not to love??
Wilf NOT liking sand between his toes!
We also visited Brixham - a really pretty town
Simply Fish - brilliant fish and chips
Torquay was also lovely - and very English!

 We had breakfast at Meadfoot Beach cafe with the best view
And cream tea at Angels Tearoom in Babbacombe
It's been a couple of years since we've had a holiday together - precious times.
After a lovely week we traveled down to Salcombe - and had three fun packed days with our pals before they went back for school.
 Cuckoo and I snuck off for a visit to Susie Watson's 
new shop in town
 ...and our (traditional) cup of tea and cake in Bibi & Macs
 We made our own cream tea...(yep, vats of cornish clotted cream!!)
 ...and TB introduced me to the delights of an espresso Martini cocktail...on a Sunday afternoon. Yesss!!! 
(how have I not tasted this nectar before now??)

 Kingsbridge in the sun
After they left we visited some of our favourite places - including South Milton Beach with it's wonderful cafe
Cleggy found this tiny dancer in a rock pool!
GB is always the one who gets buried!!
time for a little crochet in the sunshine...
I bloody love this cafe
All in all it was a great holiday..and plenty of time to get my head around my new skill....
Cleggy bought me some lessons with Jo (french knots) as part of my Christmas present. I really enjoy the time spent in her lovely workshop and am loving knitting. Obviously there were some throw it on the floor in frustration moments, but mostly I've enjoyed the learning.
 Cuckoo taught me how to purl whilst in Devon, which meant I could start this scarf - yippeee.
 Here's my first finished scarfet - with a little crochet heart...
 my first coffee cozy...
 and my current project - a hat in lovely Noro yarn 
(handy for summer!)
I still find time for my first love, crochet - which now feels reassuringly easy in comparison to the knitting! I made a few more doilies and have almost enough for my table runner plans...
 and finished a cheery yellow shawl (and wrist warmers) 
I started on holiday
One of my pals turned 40 this month and held a very tasteful tea party - she asked me to take some photos of the day and it was a pleasure to. Especially since the florist had done a wonderful job of filling all the vintage china with gorgeousness

birthday girl
love this photo
We also had a weekend away with Cleggy's family (it's been non stop fun in April!)
We stayed on a working farm in the lakes - half way between where we all live.

The cottage was perfect for two and a half families - a big open plan living area, plenty of bedrooms and bathrooms and a farm we could explore...and incredibly friendly farmer and family willing to show us the delights of lambing season.

Cleggy and I had been glued to 'Lambing Live' on tv the week before (for about the fourth year runnung)  and there was literally nothing I didn't know about lambing by the time we visited. I was like Kate Humble on acid - and found it difficult to tear myself away from the lambing pens just in case I missed anything!

The hours I put in paid off - and we managed to watch a live birth literally in front of our eyes. The farmer got out the way so I could record it on my phone. He also said if there was another sheep needing help while we were there I could get in and help birth it with my own fair which point I actually jumped up and down in excitement (and may have done a small wee)
As it turned out I wasn't needed (!) but I had seen enough to make it a very special weekend.

Back at home the pansies have been replaced with red geraniums (I do like a tradition!) and the wisteria has failed to flower (another tradition!) but still gives the porch a grotto like feel!
 I took a trip to the Rode Hall farmers market with my Mum and sister - definitey worth a trip. 
Cleggy was very envious but appeased with the gift of speciality tea, raspberry vodka, some delicious macarons and a scotch egg! 
(who wouldn't be?!)
 Love these Bluebell woods...
 We also picked up some treats at a couple of car boot sales
total spend £6.00
All in all it's been a busy few weeks - with plenty of time to smell the daisies. 
I'm feeling very grateful for such happy days...
fee x