Sunday, 4 January 2009

Over the hills and far away

Happy New Year everybody!

Thankyou for your messages, I think we can officially say that I'm totally rubbish at replying to them..oops, sorry, I did try and reply to lots though, honest!Well, we are home from Northumberland and home to a New Year...Oh how I love that place,the sight of that wonderful range of hills in Cumbria that you have to drive through on the M6 to get there makes me feel in awre of this wonderful, diverse country and it's amazing landscape. We always play spot the highest (barmiest) sheep as we go whizzing past. I get the same feeling seeing those Cumbrian hills as when I come home and see ours. The sky was bright blue and they looked like crumpled velvet as the sun hit them. (these photos were taken on the way back home to Malvern)It was lovely being able to spend a few days with some of my family, walking round the pretty stone village of Corbridge, having the most delicious cream tea at the wonderfully nostalgic Watling coffee house where my niece works and visiting the fabulous shops again..particularly RE , where I spent some of my Christmas money from my dear lovely Grannie on a fab little vintage-style mirror, complete with shabby writing and speckled glass! I was very restrained in RE, anyone who has been there will know what wonderful quirky stuff you can find in there. Old flags,rusty letters,cake stands,vintage eiderdowns and gorgeous cushions, candles shaped like cabbages of all things (and very 'phallic' looking asparagus candle as my sister kindly pointed out..yes, it was us sniggering in the greenhouse part of the shop, a smutty sense of humour runs in our family I'm afraid) The rest of my Christmas money has found its way to America and I can't wait for the purchases to arrive from there..'utterly fab' doesn't even come close to what will be winging its way over at some point.(well, I couldn't spend it all on boring old bills and food could I..?) My sister was looking at the most gorgeous vintage haberdashery cabinet (she's a dressmaker/soft furnishings maker) last I heard it was a perfect fit for her sewing room so I hope that means she's going to buy jealous am I!!
She must have been bonkers having 18 of us to sleep but it was great fun, a few mad family days to forget about the impending court case and all our worries, worries that it seems a lot of us are sharing at the moment judging from the heartbreaking emails I received from some of you last month...and I thought we had a lot of problems..I do hope we all find a way out of our mess with jobs and the doom and gloom hanging over some of us at the moment. I guess we were one of the luckier ones in that Pete still has his job for now.

Coming home from our visit 'up north' we walked into the house and I can honestly say it was colder in than out. The blooming boiler had stopped completely whilst we were away and there were five shivering cats huddled up together on the sofa to keep warm..poor things.(well ok, 4 cats,Winnie is out of shot as she refuses to cuddle up with the other matter how cold it gets, snooty old thing!)
Two roaring coal fires and lots of cuddles later they finally warmed up, I think it has taken 3 days to heat up the house again, you could see your breath inside it was that chilly! It would have to be one of the coldest winters I can remember having in this house, when the boiler decides to well and truly go on the blink..if the hot water is running the heating goes off and showers are not my favourite pastime..if you were walking past our house at the time I apologise for the rather blue language and screams that sprung from the bathroom!
Today it was minus 7 and the pond was frozen over..for the first time in 9 years..not a temperature you want to experience really without heating!! I think I may know what poor old Tracy cupcakes was enduring too..chiiiiilllly.
We've got a new feathered lady who has come to live with us after a very nasty experience with Mr.Fox (talk about traumatised, poor thing) and lots of lovely and very unexpected Christmas goodies to show and tell, as well as a very late tag to do from Happy (loves Rosie) I've also been painting and had a move around on Christmas Eve..yes I know..Christmas Eve, 8pm and I decide to swap furniture about and wallpaper backs of cabinets..barmy. I was making cushions for Christmas presents on Christmas day believe it or not! disorganised ..who me??
So I shall pop back with some more pictures and posts hopefully later in the week.I have a lot of catching up to do with everyones blogs too.
Tomorrow I'm in court with the oldest stinky boy..this is the 'fisticuffs at school with a so-called friend' fight back in May which we never thought would get this far. I hate this part..hanging around in court for hours usually to be told its adjourned or someone hasn't turned up..Talk about wasting taxpayers of luck if they are wanting some money out of us, there's already an orderly queue!

Oh and by the way ..does anyone know a cheap way to ship eiderdowns (over 2kg) outside the EU? If so, I'd be ever so grateful if you could drop me a line..£79 is the cheapest I've found so far....£79!?! sounds ridiculous doesn't it?


  1. Oh, look at those lovely cats and fireplace!!!

    Wishing you all the best for the New Year... Chin up!!!!

  2. sounds like you had a lovely time up north!!! i love the lakes its so peaceful but loads to see and do as well!! hope the court date goes ok must be horrid having it hanging over you :-( the poor kitties - hope your all warm and cosy now - minus 6 here last night and yes your right i have never known it so cold either!!!
    look forward to more pictures!
    Lesley x

  3. Sairer:

    Glad your holidays went so well. How about trying to squeeze the eiderdown with one of those vacuum sealer thingys. If you can't do that what about sticking it in a bag and hoovering out all the air and making it as flat as possible. Does this make any sense? Sorry, just a thought.

    All the very best for the New Year!

    Knitty, Vintage and Rosy

  4. Your Christmas with family sounds great, looking forward to seeing your purchases! Its normally my trick to be finishing up the pressies on Christmas morning! I looked at buying eiderdowns in the UK and shipping them out here and like you couldn't find a shipping price to justify it! Thanks for you email, we are ok at the moment . . . fingers crossed - take care, keep warm, I'm off for a swim (joking!) Rachaelxo p.s good luck for court - what a load of crap!

  5. I have seen some of RE's goodies online and that mirror is lovely! Just the right amount of shabby and vintage! Hope you had a lovely Xmas and new years. xx

  6. Hello Sairer,
    Happy New Year to you and all yours. I went to uni in Newcastle and used to love the trip there/back from my parents in Chester, those wonderful mountains you see when you're near Carlisle.
    Love that photo of the kittys, but I spent ages trying to count 5 before I scrolled down to see there were only 4! Our cottage always takes days to heat up when we get there, it having been empty for a couple of weeks. We get the fire going and I bought an electric blanket, too!
    Look forward to seeing all your goodies. Best of luck with the court case.
    Hen x

  7. Aaaawww! Bless your cats; they look so sweet!!! x

  8. Fantastic hily pictures. LOVE that mirror - do you have a place in mind?
    Do you know anyone who runs a business using couriers- they might have a lower rate set up than the post office. Is the price you've found for surface mail? Good grief! What about someone emigrating to where the parcel is going and you could stow it away in their container - even better - you could probably get a cheap flight to most places in the world which would mean you could deliver in person - you just wouldn't be able to stay long as that's all you'd have in your suitcase! Does that help any? HAPPY NEW YEAR sweetie! t.xx

  9. Your holiday sounds like you had a wonderful nastalgic time-nothing better then that for soul food huh! The photos were great and those cats-adorable! Good luck with the court thing-Have a happy week!

  10. Love the mirror, I'd have been tempted by that too, can't wait to see what's coming from over the pond! Sad about your charity shops closing, I have to walk down a road with 6 of them when I come out of work - such a hardship - hee hee! Mind you, don't often strike lucky, but I live in hope!
    Can't help with the shipping I'm afraid, have you asked some of the blog ladies with online shops if they could suggest anything?
    Lucy x

  11. Sounds like we swapped. You went to the North West and we trecked off down to Malvern and Hereford. Your pictures are beautiful.
    Happy new year.

  12. I thought I was the only one having the joys of a boiler on the blink...after jumping into too many freezing cold showers I now test the water. I hate the way it just decides now and then to cut out. My nose always goes cold then I feel the radiators...and yep gone again! Just got to put up with it, it's way down the list at the moment. Good luck in court!!

    Jackie x

  13. Wishing you all the best for a happy and peaceful New Year...hope things improve in 2009.
    Margaret and Noreen

  14. I've got serious envy seeing that gorgeous mirror. we have needed a mirror in our bathroom and downstairs loo for ages now but of course are waiting to find the perfect item. Then of course, you find the perfect one when you are absolutely skint!!! Sods law!

    I hope your boiler is fixed now. That is no fun in this weather but you got a cute pic of your cats as a result!

    Hope 2009 is good for you and wishing all your troubles disappear in a puff of fairy dust.

  15. You sound so positive, i can tell just having the news about your hubbies job, has cheered you, thank god, thats its safe!

    Sorry about your boy......hope that its sorted quickly...eekk...boys!

    Love the pictures, the hills look amazing and the fireplace cosy.....also the cats lok all snug n cute!

  16. The mirror is charming and the shop sounds heavenly.

    Very glad to hear you are warm again, it is just so crazy cold! We are iced in at the moment as we live atop a hill, very glad of the heating indoors.

  17. Happy New Year to you and your family. So good to hear that you had a great Christmas and were able to buy a few pressies for yourself too, I think I'd go mad if I were lucky enough to visit RE and have some pennies to spend!!!!! Good luck with the court case, keep warm

  18. Lovely to feel the support out there, everyone is wonderful....

    Great minds think wardrobes were awful.....did a big clothing bag for swaps at my friends

  19. Happy New Year to you! Hope all goes well at court.

  20. LOL, you could have given us a wave as you drove past on the motorway! Sounds like you had a geat time up there and hope you all relaxed after your stressful times.

    Also hope you can get the boiler sorted soon; I like my fires but wouldn't like to rely on them full time. In this weather we need our boilers brrrrrrrrrrrr.

  21. Your sister is very brave having 18 of you to sleep! I'm glad you had a nice Christmas I pretend shop on the RE online shop it looks a fab place I'd love to visit the real shop, your mirror is wonderful.

  22. Hi there
    sounds like you had a lovely time with your family, I am so glad for you.
    Your pictures are lovely...that mirror is great, and that shop sounds like somewhere I would love to visit.
    Its sooo cold here in Ireland, I can imagine its the same or worse in UK.

    Take care and keep warm
    and all the best through this difficult time

  23. Now those views are so beautiful! So glad you had a wonderful christmas! I love the mirror and I'm excited too about whats coming from! Hope the news with your eldest is whet you want to here!! Poo to your boiler, the pic of your cats is brill, i bet they they were lovely and cosy snuggled up together!
    Claire xx

  24. Brrrrrr! Sounds perishing, hope you're still warm after cosying up.

    Loved those pictures of the fells. I booked a surprise night away in the Lakes next weekend as a late treat for Woody's birthday. But he's gone and got all sensible on me and says we should save the money. Of course he's completely right but I'll miss seeing those tremendous hills. Hmmppffh.

    Keep warm! Happy New Year.

  25. Fab pictures of the Fells, we live in the Yorkshire Dales, but the children travel 16 miles to the nearest school every day over in Cumbria, passing the Howgill Fells. Every time you see them, they take your breath away.

  26. I am way behind on all your news, as circumstances stopped me from blogging for a while. I hope 2009 holds better luck and good times for you all. x

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