Friday, 17 August 2018

One year of utter craziness & happiness

Hi :)

If I have done this right, this post should appear on Friday 17th August 2018 - one year after I married the most amazing man. We will be back in a field at the festival which we had most of our wedding at - we married in the gardens of the Hall next door.

I met S only a few months after I'd split with my ex. We hit it off straight away and and he soon was my morris dancing partner of choice. He was silly and made me smile. For many months we were just friends though the others in the side were already thinking it might be more.

It nearly wasn't - a proper date was arrange for the autumn - on a cold and wet Saturday - and we'd planned to head to Southwold!! Both of us were under the weather - he'd hurt his back and I was coming down with a chest infection!! Anyhow it wasn't a complete disaster and we still kept messaging. Another more successful few dates happened and it seemed to work. 

Fast forward to June 2016 and at the Medieval Fayre in Colchester Castle Park, S suggested a walk by the river and then handed me over a parcel. Inside was a box he'd decorated and inside that was a proposal and ring! I didn't see it easily as my eyes had clouded up with tears of joy.

Once I'd calmed down and said yes - we called both boys. Both were thrilled and very happy for us.

Fast forward through a year of planning and it was our wedding day. In the rose garden at Glemham Hall with a ceilidh reception on the FolkEast festival site. You really didn't think we'd be in traditional stuff did you ??

After all the nerves it was a perfect day - I was walked down the aisle by both boys and they handed me over to S with the words - 'she's all yours'!!

Here's us with the giants;

and then midway through the ceilidh - the giants changed completely - I'd just swapped my glittery shoes for my flowery Doc Marten boots!!

The boys camped the whole weekend - we had our own section of the field which was saved for family and friends. It meant everyone cooked for the boys - they never turn a meal down!!

I just need to show you one more thing - this hanging was made by friends & family and put together by a dear friend who co-ordinated the whole thing - its amazingly  gorgeous and we shall treasure it forever. It was the first thing that got put up when we moved to our little house;

Anyhow if this works - by the time you read this it will be midway through our anniversary day.

Both of us have been sneaking about sorting pressies and the festival have booked us a special treat - our fave band are headlining the main stage that night. So we shall be down the front - singing and dancing. Pretty sure there will be plenty of pictures of that weekend to follow too!!

See you soon - thanks for reading

xxx Vicki xxx

Monday, 13 August 2018

Happily still being green!


Funny how so much from my old life has seamlessly joined with my new life. I've always been a bit of a green/hippy/eco-friendly sort of a girl.

If you follow some of the labels in my sidebar you can see mention of recycling etc going back to the beginning of this blog - and before that to be honest. 

As a teenager I spent many a happy afternoon at a jumble sale with my friends - buying clothes which we'd alter to suit our tastes - making jeans skinny before the invention of lycra and turning old mans shirts into trendy collarless ones.

My first home certainly contained many old and upcycled things - a book case made from wine boxes - a Christmas gift in 1969 for my ex-husband. I delivered it back to him the other week when furniture came out of storage - whilst I loved it there is no room for it here so it needed to be back with its original owner.

This house is certainly full of recycle and upcycled things - along with those collected from charity shops, car boot sales and junk shops. Both S & I can't resist a good rummage through others peoples old junk - our little town contains 11 charity shops and we often do a full tour when we have the time.

The latest upcycling project - our old wooden bed into a garden bench!!

Made from about 95% recycled wood - the old bed and some pallets - only the front posts are from new wood!

It's almost built now - and partially painted - just need summer to return so we can get it finished!

Another project this week has been getting my bike roadworthy again. It spent 18 months in an outbuilding as we had no space at the flat. S has repaired the brakes and checked it all over. I have tidied the basket up - the wicker has got caught on stuff on many occasions and it was looking a bit sorry for itself - I decided to repair rather than replace;

I need to use my bike tomorrow - most days I can get to where I want on foot but I need to drop something off a couple of miles away. Am a bit apprehensive as the roads are busy here and my cycling skills a bit rusty!!

With the house we inherited two greenhouses (one full of tomatoes) and 3 raised veg beds - 2 of which were planted!! We have ended up with a glut of tomatoes and courgettes - time for inventive cooking!!

A rummage in the freezer for some mince and hey presto - the base for a lasagne!

We also inherited some squash plants - these were really quite tiny and seemed to struggle at first - however a bit of rain and some attentive watering and boom they grew like crazy. It was only after a veg gardening book was acquired on a recent charity shop trawl we discovered they like to climb!! Fortunately when the large bamboo plant was removed our friend saved the canes - more upcycling!! These now are supporting the ever growing squashes - come the autumn I will need some new recipes I think!!

Another step to becoming a proper blogger again is taking place as I type - my little camera is being charged!! Going to try to use this as well as my phone to get photos as it does take rather lovely pics.

Right I had best go and hunt down our camping gear - we are off to FolkEast later this week - to celebrate one year of being married!!!

See you soon with plenty of festival photos!

xxx Vicki xxx

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

2 have fun in Dorset


We are not long back from a fabulous mini break in Dorset - staying in a Shepherds Hut next to a steam railway line - just how Famous Five is that!!

We booked this trip in the cold and damp early part of the year - before we'd sold the flat and when we were caravan and tent less. (Our little caravan has retired to be a children's play hut - it was no longer fully road worthy & had some furry visitors living in there over the cold long winter).

We'd looked at cottages but nothing had really appealed - had almost given up when S showed me a picture and I immediately said 'Yes'.

This took me several attempts to get!! Those steam trains don't half move fast!! Outside was gorgeous - but inside even better. A cosy bed, plenty of storage, a little stove for cooking, a fridge for keeping tonic & cider cold and even a proper flushing loo!

One worry was whether it would be too hot at night but the windows allowed through breeze and we both slept so well - possibly aided by lots of walking and some Dorset beers & ciders!!

We left home early on the first day to make the most of our 4 days. We were on the beach at Studland by 10.30! and in the sea not long after we'd set up camp. Two things to note - Vicki's do not normally do the sea nor do they wear a bikini! However the water was calm, not to deep and very inviting - also I had found a perfect 50's style bikini which covered bits I am less keen on and actually flattered my curves!!

Just lovely to feel the sand between my toes.

We spent several hours on the beach - in the sea and then having a picnic and reading. 

We left early afternoon and headed to the campsite - unfortunately we chose to arrive when the campsite office was shut - so decided to head into Corfe Castle village for a wander and to get some essentials. S remembers visiting here as a small child and we went to find the pub his family used to visit - currently closed for a refurb - never mind there were plenty to choose from, we ended up at one in the shadow of Corfe Castle;

One pint of Dorset beer and one of Dorset cider - all accompanied by a one man pub singer who played a montage of popular tunes!

As we had been up since 4.30 we weren't late to bed!

Up early next day as the sun was peaking through the curtains. Time for coffee and bacon sandwiches;

We had planned to spent most of the day in Corfe at the castle and then a trip into Swanage on the steam train.

We found possibly the last parking space in Corfe and headed up the footpath to the Castle, stopping for a quick game of Pooh sticks;

So cool in the shade of the trees - quite a contrast as we walked up the castle mound;

W eventually made it up there - the views were stunning - even those of a trackside fire caused by a spark from the steam train!!

Seems this happens quite often and Dorset fire service have a cute little 4x4 which can scale the countryside to reach places the bigger engines can't!!

After all that excitement - time for a cream tea in the National Trust tea rooms;

and then a quick wander to catch the train - they were running again at this point.

You do get a lovely view from the train;

Even one of our hut as we passed the campsite!

Swanage is a fairly typical seaside town - lots of shops selling postcards, inflatables for the sea and all sort of holiday souvenirs. We opted for fish & chips on the seafront washed down with ginger beer (what else!).

Time then to head back with some more cider and watch the sun set;

Day 3 and up early for a similar breakfast to yesterday. Then time to get the chain ferry over to Poole and catch a ferry to Brownsea Island. I am not a boat fan but the water was dead calm and soon we were on our way;

Brownsea Island is gorgeous - I have wanted to visit for years but the boat fear has always stopped this.

We got a map and headed off on a long walk around the island - the views are amazing;

We did manage to see red squirrels but they were far too quick and no photos were managed.

My giants were both Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers so I wanted to visit the site of the first scout camp - 111 years ago;

I loved the huge collection of brightly coloured scout scarves from all over the world;

Time then to make our way back to quay for lunch before the return ferry;

You are always guaranteed a good pasty from a National Trust tea room!! This one was no exception - keeping it safe from the gulls was a bit tricky!!

Time for one last campsite dinner and then packing to do.

We spent a final morning on the beach on Monday morning before coming home.

It was a short but packed long weekend and we are already planning a longer trip next summer in our bell tent. We treated ourselves to one this year once we knew for certain we'd be moving and have space to store it;

Here it is at Ely Folk Festival last month - it has another festival to go to soon and camping trip is planned for the end of the holidays too! Next time I will get pics of the inside - we have this glamping lark sorted - a comfy bed, colourful rugs and a proper duvet all make camping great fun - oh and fairy lights too!!

See you soon

xxx Vicki xxx

Thursday, 2 August 2018

A Grand Day Out


When I first met S we created a mental list of places we'd like to visit and things we'd like to do - we have ticked a fair few off but one place we had never managed to visit together is Cambridge. Work or life had got in the way as well as numerous festivals, a wedding and lots of family stuff too.

Finally at the beginning of the week we went - its only an hours drive from where we live and the park & ride goes straight into the city centre and costs only £3 each - much easier and cheaper than city centre parking.

Kings College - it wasn't too busy when we walked past first thing - easy to take photos without 100's of tourists getting in the way.

The Corpus Clock is a very popular attraction - getting a photo without anyone walking past or getting run over by a bicycle is tricky - I survived!!

No trip to Cambridge would be complete without watching the punts on the Cam. We didn't go on this time - August is a month with several trips away and we were watching the pennies.

Now long term readers of this blog will know I have a thing for vintage style bicycles - my own one finally left its barn storage this week and will hopefully be road worthy again soon once we've had time to give it a thorough service and a few essentials like brakes are replaced!!

Cambridge of course is full of such bicycles - ridden by undergraduates and very clever looking people - all in a rush to get from A to B.

This purple one I would happily own myself - one of my favourite colours. Perhaps my own bike might get a respray!

As well as gorgeous bicycles there are of course 100's of lovely houses. 

and the ultimate picture for me - gorgeous house with a bicycle outside!!

After all of our walking - in total we walked 10 miles that day - it was time for a pit stop - drinks and a snack in Bills before making our way home.

Time for one last photo - me & him outside Kings College;

We are both lucky - we work in the same school as support staff so we have time off over the summer. I get the full 6 weeks whilst S uses a mixture of holiday and owed hours, meaning this year he is off all summer apart from 4 days!

We have plenty of other adventures planned - off to Dorset to stay in a shepherds hut near Corfe Castle, our first wedding anniversary back at Folkeast and a trip to Norfolk in our bell tent. There's lots we'd like to do to our cottage as well - walls to paint, pictures to hang and a garden to spend time in!!

Time now to say goodbye till the next time - there's a garden to water and gin that needs drinking!!

See you soon

xxx Vicki xxx

Thursday, 26 July 2018

The Big Move

Ok so another short blogging break wasn't planned but here I am. New chromebook to type on and a wonderful Google photo account which uploads straight from my phone.

Obviously there is a back story which many of you won't know so here is a quick run down. I fell out of love with blogging in 2013/2014. I had split up with the boys Dad and the boys & I moved to a gorgeous Victorian semi. We had 3 amazing years there so much happened - the boys grew into young men, finished school and both went to Uni. I met a really lovely man and we got married last August (more on that another day).

The Victorian house was sold in March 2017 as I was by then living with S in his flat in South West Suffolk. I had a full time job in the same school as him and all was wonderful. We married in August 2017 and after that decided we really did need more space for when both giants were home from Uni. Many of mine & the boys things were in storage as the flat was just not big enough.

We saw this little cottage on my birthday in March 2018 and put an offer in the next day. A tense few months passed before we got the keys on the last day in June. 

The cottage dates from 1880 and is quirky & colourful with the most gorgeous wildlife friendly garden. We have been here just 4 weeks but it already is our home. We moved the flat contents in one day and had it all unpacked by the end of the first weekend! The stored things came the beginning of the next week and we have worked like crazy to get them sorted and either unpacked, or sold or given to charity. Proudly only a tiny amount has gone to landfill - our local recycling centre really does have facilities for recycling everything!

Anyhow - less waffle more photos!!

 One of many stained glass windows.

 You know a house with a bat doorknocker is going to be fab!

 The kitchen is a favourite space - I have discovered my love of cooking again.

 The open shelves are wonderful - its great having our favourite things on display and at hand.

We have this little area at the bottom of the garden - a wisteria covered gazebo - its our favourite space to sit of an evening - glass of gin in hand. By day its pretty but at night it sparkles with 100's of solar fairy lights - a proper grotto. I must take a picture one evening!!

 Just another picture of the kitchen - our collection of vintage kitchenware is growing. I love that S totally understands my love of vintage and floral and I love his collection of more folk / pagan inspired things - and the 2 collections together work wonderfully.

It was wonderful to unpack treasures that had been stored for 18 months and put them out again. I culled quite a lot and only kept things which had really special meanings. I have quite a few of my childhood toys still and many of these are out on display - waiting for small visitors to come and use them. 70's Fisher Price toys were made to last - the camera was for my 5th or 6th birthday - and has been used by all my younger siblings, my boys and all my nieces and nephews.

The orange room is our front room which also doubles as a study and spare room! Hard to believe 2 weeks ago it was full of boxes - it had its first visitor this week. Small giant came to see the new house which was lovely.

We have Big giant here living with us whilst he has a break from things after 4 tough years at Uni. The final months were not easy - exam stress and losing both Great Grandma's in the space of a week.

Right I think that's enough for today. I promise I will be back soon - there is so much to share. 

See you soon

xxx Vicki xxx