23 March 2023

A Very Good Read

Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell

In the 1580’s a couple living in Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, had three children: Susanna, and twins Hamnet and Judith. The boy Hamnet died aged eleven. Four years or so later, the father wrote a play called Hamlet.

The story starts on a summer’s day in 1596. A young girl takes to her bed with a fever. Her twin brother, Hamnet, searches everywhere for help. Why is nobody at home?

Their mother Agnes, is over a mile away tending her garden where she grows medicinal herbs. Their father is working in London. Neither parent knows that one of their children will not survive the week.

This beautifully written novel, almost poetic in places, is inspired by the son of a famous playwright. The playwright is never mentioned by name, just referred to as husband, father, brother or son. It is a story of the bond between twins, and of a marriage pushed to the brink by grief.

It is also the story of a kestrel and its mistress; a flea that boards a ship in Alexandria; and a glovemaker’s son who flouts convention in pursuit of the woman he loves. Above all, it is the tender reimagining of a boy whose life has been all but forgotten, but whose name was given to one of the most celebrated plays ever written.

∼ Happy Reading∼ 

Polly x

19 March 2023

Mother's Day

 Happy Mother's Day 

to all the wonderful, loving, caring Mums

My daughter and I are being taken out to lunch to Cosy Club. My daughter took me there for my birthday a couple of years ago. It's a lovely place, a combination of art deco with a feel of Cuba. Last time we went they did a fabulous cherry bakewell cocktail, I hope it's still on the menu 😋 

My lovely daughter and son-in-law have bought me a Kindle.

∼ Be safe and well ∼
Polly x

17 March 2023

St Patrick's Day


Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Born in Wales somewhere around AD 385 Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. It's thought he was carried off by pirates and spent six years in slavery before escaping and training as a missionary.
The most famous story about Saint Patrick is him driving the snakes from Ireland. He died on 17th March in AD 461 and this day has since been commemorated as St. Patrick’s Day.

I often wonder how much fact is in such stories, and how much is elaborated for a good story as they get passed down through generations.

∼ Be warm and well∼
    Polly x

12 March 2023

Thoughts On A Chromebook

I see Rufus got his paws on the chromebook, telling everyone that I eat too much chocolate!

I've been using my chromebook for 5 months now, and, like many things in life it depends what you want to achieve. It's good for most things I want to do.
I can:
Edit and publish my blog posts
Buy items online
Play games online
Access Netflix and most TV stations
It's neat, compact and lightweight with a good size screen and a fast processor. 

There are a couple of negatives:
I create quite a few documents, Google documents aren't as easy to use as windows, sometimes it's very frustrating.
Once something is deleted it's gone, no changing your mind, it doesn't have a recycle bin.

Overall I'm happy with it, but if I buy a new one in the next few years I will buy a laptop.

∼ Be warm and well∼
    Polly x

7 March 2023

Rufus' Diary

Hello dear reader, Rufus here, I hope you are well. I don't have much news.


We've had some frosty mornings followed by beautiful sunny days.

We saw this on one of our walks, someone had put it on top of the fence.
Polly thinks it's a skull but she doesn't know what animal it was.

Pretty spring flowers are blooming, hopefully heralding some slightly warmer weather, and let me tell you dear reader it can't come soon enough, Polly is morose and lethargic, I recently heard her say all she wants to do is eat chocolate and watch Netflix!! She does go out with friends for lunch or coffee though, she's working on the dolls house, and she's made a start on tidying the garden. So she's making an effort to get off the sofa 😀

   Be warm and well     
Rufus 🐾

1 March 2023

St David's Day

Happy St David's Day

St David is the patron saint of Wales. He was born in the year 500, the grandson of Ceredig ap Cunedda, King of Ceredigion. According to legend, his mother St Non gave birth to him on a Pembrokeshire clifftop during a fierce storm. The spot is marked by the ruins of Non's Chapel, and a nearby holy well is said to have healing powers.

St David became a renowned preacher founding monastic settlements and churches in Wales, Brittany and southwest England – including, possibly, the abbey at Glastonbury. He reputedly made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, from which he brought back a stone that now sits in an altar at St David's Cathedral, built on the site of his original monastery.

St David died on the 1st March 589 and was buried at the site of St David's Cathedral, where his shrine was a popular place of pilgrimage throughout the Middle Ages. His last words to his followers came from a sermon he gave on the previous Sunday ‘Be joyful, keep the faith, and do the little things that you have heard and seen me do.’ The phrase ‘Gwnewch y pethau bychain mewn bywyd’ - ‘Do the little things in life’ - is still a well-known maxim in Wales.

   Be warm and well     
Polly x

27 February 2023

A Good Read

The Foundling by Stacey Halls

Founded in 1739 The Foundling Hospital in London was established to care for abandoned babies, mostly due to extreme poverty. A token and a number was given to the mother when she handed over her baby, which would then be presented when the mother was ready to claim the child. Many babies were near death and did not make it through their first year. The healthy ones often made it into the homes of the rich against the mothers wishes who were branded 'insane'. 

This story is about two women from very different backgrounds whose lives become entwined through one little girl.

Our very young protagonist Bess Bright is forced to part with her daughter the day after she was born. Bess knows it will take several years before she has enough money to retrieve Clara and give her a home. This hope gives her the strength to work and be patient.

Six years later Bess returns to reclaim her daughter, to be told that Clara was reclaimed by her the day after she put her into care  Bess is in turmoil as she sets about trying to find out who has taken her little girl - and why. When she questions the governors of the Foundling, they have no answers. Not one to give up though Bess goes back and is introduced to doctor Mead who says he will try to help her.

Less than a mile from Bess' lodgings in the city, in a quiet, gloomy townhouse on the edge of London, Alexandra, a young widow, has not left her house in a decade. Doctor Mead is a close friend of Alexandra, and, in an effort to help both women, he  persuades the widow to hire Bess as a nursemaid for her daughter.

The period setting is superb and the characterisation is excellent. The theme is heart-breaking and unforgiving. Life for the poor and vulnerable in 1700’s London was grim. You can feel the poverty, the cold, the slum dwellings, the despair.

∼ Be warm and well∼ 

Polly x

21 February 2023


Doors from India

I visited India in 2009
I like doors, these are from Delhi and Rajasthan

∼ Be warm and well ∼
  Polly x

12 February 2023

A Good Read

Case Histories by Kate Atkinson

Set in Cambridge, Case Histories is the first novel of the Jackson Brodie series. It follows private investigator Brodie, investigating three cold cases. Case 1: A little girl, Olivia goes missing from the family's garden. Thirty years later, two of her surviving sisters, each achingly lonely in her own way, reunite when their cruel and distant father dies. Going through their father’s belongings they discover Olivia’s favourite stuffed animal, which leaves them stunned and looking for answers.
Case 2: is about the unsolved murder of an 18-year-old young woman named Laura when a stranger walked into her office and killed her. Her father has spent years trying to find the killer.
The third case concerns a young family in which the wife was convicted of her husband’s brutal murder and their baby daughter Tanya was given to her paternal grandparents, but who as a teenager has disappeared.
The novel revolves around people who are related to these 3 cases.
There is also a fourth character, Binky Rain, a very old woman who has dozens of cats and who calls Jackson every time one of them goes missing. 

I enjoyed it and remembered all the characters!

∼ Happy Reading∼ 

Polly x

6 February 2023

A Panorama

Google photos created this lovely panorama from two photos I had taken.
I don't know how it happened, but I like it. I tried to create another in google photos on my chromebook but couldn't. After a while I realised I must have created it on my phone without realising I had pressed the panorama button!! Oh dear..... 

∼ Be warm and well∼
  Polly x

30 January 2023

Haggis And A Victorian Fairy

On most Fridays throughout the year we have coffee mornings in the village hall to raise money for charities. Tea, coffee, delicious cakes and, now and again, scones and toasted teacakes are served. And lots of raffle prizes are to be won.

Last Friday I saw this jigsaw on the table and fell in love with it. A Victorian Fairy, her beautiful titian hair, porcelain skin, ruby red lips, the pretty butterflies in her hair, the reticule she is holding, and her fairy wings. The inscription on the side of the box reads

"Take the fair face of woman, and gently suspending,
 with butterflies, flowers, and jewels attending,
thus your fairy is made of most beautiful things"

Charles Ede by by Sophie Anderson (1823-1903).

As the numbers were being drawn I didn't think I would get it, then ...... the fourth number was mine!! I was happy.

Following on from that win I bought £5 of raffle tickets at the village Burns Night on Saturday, to no avail. Oh well, despite not winning the Scottish goodies hamper or the chocolates or any of the other lovely items it was a great night, haggis, mashed potato, mashed swede, cabbage and gravy, and clootie pudding and custard followed by lots of Cèilidh dancing.

∼ Be warm and well∼
    Polly x

23 January 2023

A Good Read

Six Wicked Reasons by Jo Spain tells the story of the death of Frazer Lattimer, narrated in part by his six children. I would have titled it Six Valid Reasons. The family is dysfunctional, made that way by the narcissistic and manipulative Frazer. One by one he systematically criticised, undermined and ridiculed his children, nothing was good enough for him. He was largely responsible for the death of their kind, gentle mother Kathleen.

In June 2008 twenty-one-year-old Adam Lattimer vanished, presumed dead. The strain of his disappearance broke his already fragile family.

Ten years later, with his mother deceased and siblings scattered across the globe, Adam turned up unannounced at the family home, followed by his reluctant siblings. But Adam's reappearance posed more questions than answers. The past is a tangled web of deceit, and, as tension builds somebody has planned murderous revenge for the events of ten years ago.

I enjoyed it but didn't work out who dunnit!

∼ Happy Reading∼ 

Polly x

16 January 2023

Lake View Bedroom

I bought Lake View house in July 2019, in the first blog I wrote about it I said  "I have grand designs for it, check back in about 4 years!!" And here we are just seven months away from that date and it's nowhere near finished! After doing the halls I sort of lost enthusiasm and eventually it was time for the talk - 'The longer I leave it the less likely I am to continue with it, so get your butt into gear and GET ON WITH IT'. I made a start on the bedroom and here it is.

The doors on the back wall lead to an en-suite and a walk in wardrobe - miniaturist's license :-)

The first job was to build a wall between the bedroom and hallway, which was easier than I thought it would be. The larger piece of wood was in my stash and only needed a small amout of sanding to make it fit, the other one I made with two thinner pieces of wood glued together with an aperture for the doorI then papered and painted the wall. I made a frame for the door which I secured with tiny pins, one through the top of the frame into the top of the door, and another through the threshold into the base of the door. I then gently put the door in place into the aperture with a painted wood frame surround, and gently slid the entire wall into place.

This is the first time I have made an opening door so I was very pleased with it.
The flooring is wood strips on a peel off backing, painted with a diluted coating
of white paint in the bedroom, for all other areas I left them natural.

The wardrobe and chest of drawers were bare wood sprayed white
I painted the small apertures on the wardrobe gold and varnished them

then decoupaged with this pretty bird and flower paper.
The areas to be covered were too small to accomodate the whole pattern
so I had to reduce the image and then see which parts fitted best.

I wanted to get all of the bird in but couldn't decide which one to choose,
but I didn't like the look of them split in half like this.

Then finally decided to just have the top half of each one
which also meant having the pretty larger peony in as well.

Both birds wouldn't fit into the area of the drawers, so I cut the main picture in half.
The bed came with a mattress and two pillows, I made the bedding and added 3 more pillows and the runner. The rug is from some material I've had in my stash for ages.

I made the pictures, books and photos, the flowers, vase and perfumes I bought online.
I've added a key hook, table and plant in the hall and plan to add some pictures and a mirror on the wall to the left. I'm not happy with the table though, I used the wrong varnish, it's too dark so I will either try to sand it all off or buy another one, or I might have a go at making one. 

Ground floor before
and after.

I'm currently working on the kitchen and keen to get on with it,
so hopefully it won't take too long!! 🤞

∼ Be warm and well∼
    Polly x

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