I don't care how the weather vane points
When the weather vane points to gloomy
It's gotta be sunny to me...mainly because I have filled my home with spring joy.

It may well be day nine thousand and five of grey skies but I will not be beaten, I will revel in signs of spring..inside...until my son’s PE teacher forces me outside to try and throw and catch tennis balls with one’s back to the thrower. This is impossible by the way, do not attempt this age humiliating exercise in reactions. I watched the video where two terribly agile, young and handsome pe teachers demonstrated lightening reactions, leaping forward for the ball that their acute young hearing had immediately heard bounce and then springing into action like playful lions towards innocent bouncing antelopes.

I stood with my back to my son, I heard the tennis ball bounce behind me and felt the tennis ball hit my shoulder and roll past my still inert frame. Apparently I don’t have any reactions at all.

It appears that I must remain inside, in my own little world of spring, safe from the wintry skies and dangerous things that may well require lightening reactions to ensure safety.

Happy thwarted Thursday X

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That’s better! Hello pretty sky, hello glorious but cold sunshine but I promise swear I don’t mind!

I brilliantly camouflaged myself with my bright pink and green blanket and enjoyed a quiet cup of tea to the tune of the tractors beginning their seasonal journey this...argh! The games up! I can’t do it! This was Sunday guvnor, I’m sorry, it wasn’t hurting anyone, I just can’t stand the grey, the miserable grey, you gave me a glimpse of the good life and I am hooked! I need more!

Admittedly I did feel a total plonker in my colourful camouflage sipping delicately (the Saturday night zoom Sauv Blanc effect) whilst the farmer toiled the land. I tried to look thoughtful and contemplative, I suspect I achieved ‘hungover’, possibly even ‘still merry otherwise what is she doing out here at 7am in the freezing cold wrapped up like a rhubarb and custard sweet’.

More sunshine please, I promise to stop looking like a weirdo Wednesday X

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Spring blossoms and blooms...ok the winter Jasmine isn’t necessarily a spring bloom but this is its second attempt at flowering because all the rain and snow drowned it so I think it deserves a place in the line up.

The daffodils looked like they were about to break into a Wordsworth jive on Sunday but have sadly remained adamantly closed with the return of The Fog yesterday so we content ourselves with painted daffs in the background.

This must most definitely herald spring, this predicted snow that word on the lane has it will arrive next week will surely take one look at this planter of Spring Hope and do one.

Otherwise it is yet another reason for me to put off my first run of the year and given that we are in March and I have to be seen by real life people next week (at least the mask will cover the chins but even the duvet coat is struggling to cover the bottoms) I really have to stop “can’t go - it’s foggy...can’t go - it might rain...can’t go - I have maths...can’t go- the mice ate my trainers...).

Help me spring sunshine, I need you!

Happy actually where are my trainers Tuesday?! X

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Happy, happy 1st March!

Yesterday really truly felt like spring, so I am using a yesterday shot and ignoring today’s fog! Even the daffodils braved the sunshine to join the daring snowdrops. Even my son ventured outside for a whole entire two hours in the garden: it must be spring!!!!

We spent the day preparing the ground for glorious mixed hedging to allow us a degree of privacy- AT LEAST three dog walkers meandered past just in the morning. My directional skills and encouragement techniques excelled themselves- I don’t like to infringe on my husband’s manual labour, he likes to be at one with the earth, it’s an organic process ripping green wired fencing that has become entangled in years of tree roots and brambles. I knew he would just want an “ooh that looks wonderful “ and an “oh you are doing a fantastic job - just a few metres left” as I wafted past with my spring bulbs -I mainly carried them around and then put them back where they had been originally but I think they enjoyed the airing.

Here’s to a month of spring garden jobs and plenty of excellent encouragement.

Happy 1st March Monday! X

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Ohhhh the lovely sunshine!

Light up my home and let me see the...what is ...oh brilliant!...let me see the sneaky naughty wheely tiger bug peeking out with its vicious nasty bite your ankles wheels as the children scream in delight.

Oh yes! You remain skulking but I know you are there, ready to pounce in your push push games (small daughter pushes beloved older brother up hill and down dale (17th century meandering floorboards) whilst attempting to break all records known to mankind (4.53 seconds from top of hallway to bottom).

This is the hallway that persuaded the older brother that there might be equally brilliant houses to the one he was currently living in - the smallest sister had no idea, simply filled her nappy and forced her slightly embarrassed Mummy to change her on the entirely empty sitting room floor which made her Mummy wonder at the true marvel of a house constructed of enormous beams as she tried not to inhale or be embarrassed at the clearly you have fed your daughter far too many blueberries nappy.

When I asked this week’s cottage dweller if there was a fall in love moment , she told me no! She admitted that she cried for the first week, I remember doing exactly the same when we moved in, the project seemed so vast and these glorious beams seemed so filled with cobwebs!!

@victoria_at_thewhitecottage has created the most calming and serene home from a cottage that didn’t tick all the boxes but is now a truly beautiful and relaxing retreat, sometimes we need tigers and tears to make us see the potential!

Head to my website to read more about this beautiful white cottage (link in bio).

Happy serene sunny Sunday X

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#shabbyvintage #lovetohome #myhallway #shabbychicstyle #myhallaphoto #cottagestyledecor #underthefloralspell #cottagelife #storagebench #storyofmyhome #cottagelife #myfloraldays #countrycottagestyle #daysofsmallthings #thecottagejournal #hallwayinspo #hallwaydecor

It’s Springter!

Ok guys, this is great, so I am totally in the “yes we are spring go!” Loving the sunshine, the warmth, the bulbs, high five to all that.

Just erm..don’t know how to put this without breaking a few omelettes..frittatas..eggs...I am still quite cold!!! Sorry! So sorry! Cat amongst pigeons etc etc but actually cold, shivering...smiling with head tilted to sun but actually shivering.

No, totally get IT’S STILL FEBRUARY and actually, completely embracing that but just, you know, the meeja are saying ‘BALMY SPRING’ and I definitely don’t want to miss out just because I don’t believ...just because I obviously live in a microclimate that mainly involves February type weather.

So like I am totally involved in both seasons ok? Hedging bets, playing both..actually I don’t know any appropriate phrases, apologies. I have opted for winter blankets and candles with spring sunshine and florals and a ruddy good cup of tea.

Springter solved.

Happy feel the seasons Friday X

PS: @flowersandlifestylebymargot has thrown herself headlong into spring summer garden entertaining, head over to my blog (linkinbio) to read her brilliant tips for garden entertaining (as well as agapanthus and lily planting) X

#cottagestyle #cottageliving #cozycottage #cottagehome #cottage #cozyliving #cosyhome

I am now on serious bud watch. These branches could blossom at any time and I need to be there to capture the beauty and the majesty. My Victorian lady Botanist will not countenance failure.

Although after yesterday’s howling gales, I think I am pretty much over spring. You can keep your brilliant for drying clothes winds thanks, I am ready for summer!!!

I had forgotten about the battle with the washing line, standing at 90 degrees to hold the clothes in place and hoping you have pegged them on as you can’t actually see because you have a woolly jumper in your face (reinsert enormous joggers for this spring). I had forgotten about the dash to grab the line as the wind whips the pole away and all the washing ends up in the huge piles of worm poo mud. I had forgotten about the constant rain watch, judging whether it is a passing tiny cloud or a vengeful huge storm about to drench your almost dry clothes.

Yes, once I have finally captured this mysterious blossom of unknown origin and once and for all classified it, I shall move directly to summer thank you.

Happy please drop wind thank you Thursday x

I am outing spring. Well, it’s more of a midwife yelling “just one last push” than actually dragging spring out of the closet.

It’s slightly strong encouragement : bulbs peeking through from their mossy beds, wildflowers taking centre stage, another spring painting stolen *ahem* borrowed from @emma.perring to adorn my walls *ahem* sell.

A moss coloured jumper tossed carelessly over a chair - who needs jumpers any more ? It’s SPRING!! Initially I was muttering over the daily abandoned husband jumper but then I decided that this gave spring a very clear message:

Find your light love! You are on! Places please people! Action! Go SPRING! We are spring ready!

Happy when you are ready spring love Wednesday X

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It didn’t go dark until 6 o’clock last WHY was every single light blazing merrily away when we returned from our walk?!!!

Had burglers popped in and been forced to light up the rooms because they could see nothing of any value to steal? The television appears to have put itself out to pasture and very rarely works without a plug, unplug, start it up, hope, unplug, find missing button for the remote control and then give up and read.

The laptops should have retired years ago, we need to start them up a good hour before school starts, they need strong coffee and bagels before they can function and phones have been dropped so many times that they are simply laughable.

My son did receive the most glorious go pro camera for Christmas but sadly Father Christmas forgot to put in any instructions so it is a rather mysterious box of unknown joy, we think we have recorded wonders, but who knows!

Ah, perhaps it is Father Christmas, bringing the instruction leaflet? No? Just my children and their inability to switch off any lightswitch that they have ever touched. Ever.

Of course they deny these accusations, I think perhaps today I shall don the head camera and film them merrily lighting the halls , even if I can never actually show them the recording, at least I have hard evidence, surely someone in court must be able to work out how to play the footage?

Happy not very techy Tuesday! X

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Lunch outside madam?

Are you mentalistic??? The children were ditch diving in snow last week! How can one possibly lunch alfresco? Alfreezing more like it!

We ate outside.

It was bliss. No coats, slightly robin pooey covered chairs but warm, glorious sunshine with hot tea and warm(ish) crumpets. We watched a bee buzz past as we dug into honey from down the road that this wonderful heavenly creature probably contributed towards creating. What rural joy, what country idy....we choked on the enthusiastic gardener’s bonfire smoke.

I seem to remember a gorgeous lace covered table lunch approximately two years ago where the enthusiastic labourer piled up the bonfire to clear the winter debris and smoke out his alfresco family.

Yet how we laughed! How we coughed! How our eyes streamed as we determinedly munched our way through smoky cold crumpets. We have got the cushions out and we won’t be going back inside until the teapot is empty.

We may recreate this joy again today...or I might just sit here and hide away from home schooling, sipping tea and quoting Shakespeare, surely they must learn heaps from The Bard? He is schoolmaster, dramatist, linguist and tells really rude jokes, he can’t fail to instruct my young charges.

“Once more unto the breach dear friends! Once more!”

Happy melodramatic Monday! X

Hmmm...I know this LOOKS like there is an enormous ant behind the camera, antenna waving in front of the lens, but I assure you it is just me, no ant costume, just large poncho & gardening clogs.

Yesterday I was forced to throw my large woolly poncho over my greying, sagging nightie in much haste as there was a knock at the door & then the sound of the keys turning.

I had remained prone in bed (perhaps suffering a little from the vapours inducing Sauvignon Blanc), assuring myself that delivery drivers knock & go these days. But oh no! Not this one! My son answered the door assuming it was my husband returning from his run at which point I leapt out of bed like a flea from a rabid dog, grabbed my poncho & rocketed down the staircase (well, it was more of a lumber but my intention was speedy).

“Mummy there’s a man at the door who wants to know which is the right oil tank”...”well, yes, there are two” I cheerfully agreed with the oil delivery driver whilst attempting to keep my body behind the door “but one IS on its side & the other IS connected to the house, although I do freely admit that it looks a little abandoned & rusty”.

“Ok, just wanted to check” he said in a VERY cheerful manner with something of a massive grin covering his entire face. “Oh, by the way! You’ve left your keys in the door “ . Ordinarily I pull out my tinkling laugh & thank them, however I was a little put out that my ponchoed, sagging nightied appearance was causing so much mirth so I keenly retorted “YES! I know!!’ My husband has gone for a run!!!!” He looked a little non plussed but by then I had realised that the more I explain, the longer I am standing at my door clothed only in a poncho so I allowed him to amble off, grinning broadly whilst I attempted a door slam that showed my fury but didn’t bring the cracked plaster down on me.

For a trip to a cottage that isn’t rusting or crumbling, that has been clothed in the finest paints & most glorious stylish contemporary colours which harmonise beautifully with it’s old Somerset stone & create the perfect hygge cottage @leanneandthecottage then please head to my website (linkinbio).

Happy sartorial Sunday X

Hallo! This is an immaculate room! Is this...a child’s room? Can it be a boy child’s room? Nooo!!! Where is the midnight murderous Lego? Where are the spherical magnets that seemed like such a wonderful Christmas brain stretching present but in actual fact are like gun shot pellets scattered across the carpet and speaking of weapons: where is the bow and arrow that attaches itself to your leg, swings round and bangs you on the other shin???

@bedfolk I salute and adore you. Not only have you given me the best night’s sleep since university days (then it was nothing to do with the extraordinarily delicious linen bedding and more to do with’The Stumble Inn’ - our hilariously named campus pub) but you have made my son tidy his room!!!

“This is an unbelievably beautiful soft cotton quilt. It is made from from the finest quality cotton, it is designed to hug your bed and forgetting all the scrumptious softness: IT LOOKS BEAUTIFUL AND MAKES YOUR ROOM LOOK LIKE AN ACTUAL BEDROOM AND NOT A WEAPONS ARSENAL SO TIDY UP OR I WILL KEEP THIS BEAUTY FOR MYSELF!!!”

He tidied up, and he slept until 8.27am!!!!! (He has always been an early riser) Oh glory be!

Thank you wonderful Bedfolk - your bedding truly is the stuff of blissful dreams.

Use ECCOTTAGE10 for £10 off with a minimum spend of £99, treat yourself to blissful bedding xxxx

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Erm....this was meant to be The Snowdrop shot....I had perambulated the garden (the children are less enthusiastic about going on a walk now there is no ice to smash up) so whilst they played I attended to my spring bulbs ...well...I looked at them a bit.

The snowdrops were looking utterly charming (if a little depleted) around the water pump and I thought “oh, what a glorious ode to spring, how perfect, some brave little snowdrops pushing through the unkempt grass, yes, signs of spring cheer to smile us into the weekend “.

Then I got lost in the state of the roof and the amount of moss that the wretched pigeons are creating with their prolific pooing and from there focused far too much on centring the roof whilst mulling over ways to murder pigeons in a kindly, gentle fashion.

Essentially today is “mossy poo thatch” which isn’t half as romantic as spring snowdrops so apologies.

@flowersandlifestylebymargot ‘s new blog on my website today delves into the spring garden and mulching and cutting back and preparing pots, today I shall ignore the pigeon graffiti and focus on glorious garden spring preparations. Link in my bio.

Happy don’t feed the birds (well pesky pooey pigeons) Friday. X

#chimney #cottagegarden #thatch #springvibes #cottagelife #countryliving #englishhome #periodhome #oldhouselove #listedbuilding #cottage #cottagefarmhouse #countrycottagestyle  #countrystyle #charminghomes #englishcountrygarden #countrycottage #englishcountryliving #thatchedcottage #mycountryhome #oldhouse #happyhouse

I am like a rat out of the traps! it a dog maybe? Or a pony? I actually can’t remember what comes out of the traps quickly but there I am! Boom! As soon as the sunshine appears, I am out there, snapping away, no rain will confine me!!!

Admittedly this was two days ago as yesterday was very very grey and I was very, very busy responding to a million media messaages about the cottagecore article ( mates...and my Aunt but some of my friends work in media so it counts ok?).

I didn’t sound like a total mentalist - although my excellent summer lockdown locks were pretty special so on looks alone I am consigned to the olden days person bin but the article itself was lovely! I am basically now a total aficionado on cottagecore, although I noted my over use of fire, blankets, candles, rugs, eiderdowns, Aga... I suspect I may have been cold whilst answering the questions so I am possibly only an expert in cold cottagecore! Ah well, it’s lovely to be deemed knowledgeable about something, even if it’s just keeping warm in a draughty old cottage.

Happy olden day person but cottagecore cold wise Wednesday. X

Link to my wise words article in my stories x

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Wow! These guys really love Shrove Tuesday!!!

They are rocking their pancake celebrations!! What a treat! What fun!!! Fresh linen table cloth? Linen napkins? THE silver? Fresh orange juice? Mama’s precious Ibbi interiors jug that none shall touch?!!! And hang on! Is that fresh from down the road @olmstead_honey ? TWO jars of the heavenly stuff????

Yes, yes it is, it’s flipping delicious- thank you @thecrapactivist for the tip off. We are pancake a go go. Let’s pancake!!!!

Hang on again! Pause scene! Where are the pancakes? Well I am just about to...WHAT??????? WHERE ARE THE EGGS???? WHY ARE THERE ONLY TWO EGGS LEFT????? Oh husband mine, why do you insist on having your poached eggs EVERY Sunday?!!! It’s sooooo.....sooo olden day person (I coined this insult from the children, it has been freely bandied about and aimed directly at me a lot recently).

I know you enjoy a happy potter on a Sunday but 3 eggs???? You are not Mr Strong!!!!

Mr actually he is quite Strong shuffles off down the lane to collect some eggs from the neighbours, Mrs Strong feels guilty, he just enjoys a quiet listen to the cricket and a happy eggy breakfast on a Sunday after a stressful week but there must be eggs! The children cannot live on honey alone...although having sampled this incredible honey they are rather insistent that they can!

Happy hopefully pancake tossing Tuesday! X

Oh I nearly forgot! Super exciting breakingish news!!!! I will be in regional newspapers doing my bestest cottage look in an article about cottagecore today; I hope they don’t twist my words and make me into some sort of mentalist rural olden days person cottage dweller...

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Oh it was cold yesterday!!! I am DEFINITELY not complaining given the moody greys this morning, I knew I had to snap this yesterday whilst the sun shone but by golly I was barely able to hold the phone.

We spent a happy Valentine’s clearing out the cupboard under the stairs - who knew life would become so dreamy? Highlights included the Spirograph which I suspect is going to now dominate half term (it may well be that the children watch every single episode of The Simpsons whilst I creatively while away the day looping and gliding but at least it is getting some use...and a dead mouse.

I may be losing my sense of humour over the mice, I know we live in the countryside and I know our cottage essentially screams “Hi! Hi! Come on in! Oooh smell these chocolate brownies - yes!! They do have milk, dark AND white chocolate chips - take your pick! What would you like? Come in through the 85 MILLION mouse doorways” (Simon the asthmatic mouse man says they can fit through a hole the diameter of a biro - he even demonstrated with a biro just in case I was so modern that I had never heard of a biro).

I am considering buying one of those really modern thermally insulated tents, pitching it just outside the house, filling it with chocolate and recreating Cadbury’s world. Surely then they won’t want to squeeze through a biro to reach the children’s cheerio deposits? (it may smell of brownies but my goodness they don’t last long...I need to keep my mouse fighting skills up).

Happy no more mice please Monday X

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Love, romance, champagne, jewellery, Paris, Verona, chocolate...actually love is ..stood behind me, happily holding a torch to highlight the gorgeous lavender pillows that @sarahbecvardesign gorgeously gifted me!

“Why won’t the sun move??? Why can’t it land over here? On these beautiful embroidered lavender pillows??? I hate physics.”

My love patiently, quietly, wandered downstairs, unearthed the torch (hidden in one of my ‘throw everything in a cupboard and no one will ever know then never, ever return to the scene of the crime’ fits), he quietly, patiently, returned and held the torch whilst I grumbled about the sun, the floorboards, the doorway, the wall and the candles.

I suspect the beautiful scent of glorious heady lavender and the sweetest of designs, lulled my love into a happy hypnotic state, but I was very grateful for the practical intervention.

Next year I would rather like Paris and Verona and all that other stuff please.

If a much beleaguered husband isn’t your idea of romance then please head over to my website to fall, misty eyed, in love with the most dreamy romantic, roses over the door and sweetpeas that have flowered for over 200 years cottage. It’s a dreamy doozie @periwinklecottage - linkinbio.

Happy shift the sunshine Sunday. X

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Pretty, pretty, tiny snow. It is there, I promise swear, it’s just that the flakes have been a little shy over our way.

Apparently down the lane have barely experienced any snow - we square danced on ice navigating a two metre distance with a neighbour yesterday (our lane is rather narrow which makes my law abiding catholic guilt infused soul struggle hugely, I skirt and weave and slip and law observance seems to make stray walkers and neighbours happy at least... they are always smiling) and news just in: no snow down the lane.

I have to admit to a small glimmer of smirk- the down the laners get spring at least two weeks before us. I have spotted snowdrops, primroses, even the makings of daffodils. Usually this makes me very angry but today! Oh today!! Oh how I laughed in his face (well behind his back but it was almost to his face, I was just a bit frozen from standing in a ditch of snow for thirty minutes watching my children ‘ditch dive’ so the gesture was a little delayed).

Who needs signs of spring when you have four day old snow? Mwoah ha ha ha!!!

Happy smug Saturday X

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