Those cutey little gentlemen in black velvet.

We have one in residence.

He has obliterated my lawn.

We aren’t avid gardeners, and I suppose my ambivalence to actually dealing with him left our garden wide open to tunnel heaven – and as more and more hills of soil appeared all over the lawn, and spilled on to the path ways; I realised he wasn’t going to play fair and stick to the bottom of the garden.

Push something stinky down the tunnels I was told – so we tried parmesan cheese, they hate that apparently. Not this one!

So my sister said she had read that dog poo forced down in to the tunnels would work – but honestly I couldn’t face the idea that I had turds submerged all over the garden.

It is starting to become quite anti social – it’s the middle of winter, the ground is soggy and my dogs go padding around the lawn and are endlessly trailing mud back in to the house because the lawn is all but decimated.

My husband isn’t feeling the love

We have a mole hunter coming with traps this week.

I have read that Moles don’t hibernate, so since Xmas the mole hills have flattened and I was hopeful he had gone – I actually asked him to leave and so for the last month or so – he appeared to have done just that.

But the mole trapper said that we likely have a new mole – that the mole we had before Xmas has died, because he would expect new mole hills each day, so the lull in mole hill production only to have suddenly re started again, suggests to him a new resident has moved in.

He also suggests moles once established can be difficult to get rid of – if we trap this one, new ones could come along.

I have a feeling I am going to be burying those turds before long – to discourage another one!!!! Gross stuff.

and they are so very very cute

Feeling bad ūüė¶





Upcycling – a feel good activity :)

So despite the flu virus and a cough that won’t quit – I am back in the land of the living and have started to make good on my decision earlier this year to up cycle my house, room by room.

The starting point for this marathon upgrage, Room 1 is actually my daughter’s bedroom and was perhaps the easiest to accomplish – it is the only room that doesn’t require any painting. So it was simple ¬†case of making the small changes that would make the room look like it belonged to her finally, instead of it looking like she was squatting in her elder ¬†brother’s bedroom.

She inhabits her elder brother’s room who has now made the permanent move out of the nest. Her room was full of stuff he just couldn’t be bothered with – and there was nothing in there that stamped her personality anywhere.

So we sat and chatted – picked out new bedding and curtains, and we looked at colours she liked and checked out a few things she found interesting

and we changed stuff.


Lampshade kits – what a great idea? And so easy


Well this old drawer set was hidden away, and pretty much we thought we might just get rid of it – but it is a useful piece for odds and sods and there wasn’t anything physically wrong with it – and so I made up these ¬†revamped panels to match up with the lampshades – and suddenly a dull and lifeless piece became a little feature, and suddenly felt integral to the room- really easy upcycle.

So the cushions here were the original driver to the choice of fabric for the lampshades – these took some effort to make – they are much larger than they look in this photo and make what was a pretty dull and limp corner of the room, something just a bit different. Big and soft – these are actually lovely cushions.073

The Flu Jab

Last Monday I woke up with a hot heaviness across my chest, by lunchtime I was back in bed and I haven’t moved since.

Last Wednesday night, I thought I might gasp my last but somehow managed to hang in there and saw another sunrise.

A bit dramatic? Actually no. Nothing about last week happened for dramatic effect,  I just had to lay and endure what appeared to be unending pain and misery.

Today, over a week later, I weakly managed to get to the shower, wash my hair, put on clean clothes and sit upright on the sofa -it felt alien to be back in the lounge amongst people – the land of the living.

Me in particular, but my husband as well really has taken a hit this winter with various viruses. But this was a bad one.

My youngest son took a photo of me midway through my marathon of misery last week – I was horrified when I saw it – I look to have aged 20 years and again I’m not saying this for effect – I look awful. And today feeling so much better having had a shower , the person I saw looking back at me in the mirror might have felt better but she looked hollow eyed, sallow – like a dried out husk.

I was just pleased to feel normalish – what I looked like could be worried about later I decided.

BUT – I was brought up short by my sister. She has for the last 8 years, gone along for the autumn flu jab – and apart from minor sniffles – never had anything more serious since.

I on the other hand can guarantee myself a couple of doses of something miserable every year. But this one, this was a league above and beyond what is ‘normal’ and I feel scared that I could have to endure another such bout this century.

I felt my age.

I felt that getting better was going to be difficult this time

I didn’t feel resilient

I don’t know why I have always shied away from the flu vaccine. Stupidly I thought it was something only really old people needed, and we all know the gazillion strains for flu virus there is – why would this thing work?

But my sisters stats sat there as some sort of testimony and as I thought about it, I really am always texting her saying we are ill with some bug or other wheras she’s been bomb proof.

Whatever deep secret distrust I have harboured about the flu jab – no more.

I have reached my personal crisis point – I can’t face this again. Its too late for this season, all I can do is hope I have had my quota and wait for the sunshine

But come Sept this year – I am going to be first in the queue.


Giving….and meaning it.

Today I gave away £50.

Ok that’s not a huge sum, I realise that. But it is truly ¬£50 I don’t actually have spare. All January I have been hemming and hawing over spending ¬£60 on a much needed pair of curtains for my daughter’s bedroom and I have held off, trying to find the right time to part with the cash. So those curtains are now going to have to wait another month. That’s another month of indecision as to whether I have chosen the right pair!

I generally don’t give money to charity. I have in the past, I’m not mean and sometimes I am moved (usually children and animal charities who make me cry!) enough to give one off sums. But charities usually leave me feeling ‘off’. They are all so worthy, there are so many, and they would all bankrupt me to each get a pledge.

And I am angered at how much I see hived off by big charity administration – and I end up thinking – yes laudable, but I need my money. I don’t wallow in spare sadly!

I mentioned a few posts back that I was reading a book which I had asked for as a Christmas present – Matlock the Hare & The Riddle of Treffapuggle Path by Phil and Jacqui Lovesey – and I loved it.

I loved it so much, ¬†I gladly used a christmas Amazon voucher to purchase the next volume – Matlock the Hare and The Puzzle of the Tillian Wand – which I am reading now. These are good sized books it has to be said, and it is lovely to have proper illustrations – I haven’t read a grown up book with illustrations for as long as I can remember – and I love these illustrations, I really do.

I found the book series and the talented pair who write/draw them quite by chance on instagram – I am now an avid follower, Jacqui Lovesey’s illustrations are great and I have promised myself one of my own to hang in the house when I can afford it!

Jacqui works quite hard on social media – working to bring their combined talents to people’s attention and I can see that it is a hard road to hoe.

I see vacuous and frankly stupid instagrammers with thousands of followers – and then there are whole swathes ¬†of the truly talented, who work so hard to get their work seen. And it isn’t just traditional artists, but crafts people, small scale wonder workers – and I find myself really really irritated at how the world seems celebrity obsessed, and these people with vast sums of money at their disposal actually have limited talents at best who just seem to attract more and more for being ever more crass.

Matlock might not be everyone’s cup of tea. But there will be others, completely over shadowed and hidden from us, all desperately trying to get out there.

All January, the Lovesey’s have been campaigning on social media about a crowd funding project they are launching (have launched) today – to bring a new book of art work out in to the light. Funding is to publish the book.

Part of my new years resolution to myself has been to concentrate on the small, to do small things that bring me pleasure – I don’t want to have my life cluttered with junk – both physical (like my house I talk of) and mental ( stresses that make me feel ill). I am doing brilliantly at the minute surrounding myself with activities that feel good – and in turn I am feeling pretty good too.

One thing I have instigated in to my new ‘small pleasure mean a lot’ routine for myself, is to try and go to bed a bit earlier each night and read a small while ¬†– and the Lovesey’s books have been my companion each night since Christmas. I’m sleeping better, and each night ends nicely, calmly and with some ¬†happiness. It is amazing how much better I am since doing this.

When the crowd funding project was announced, I was curious – I checked out the Kickstarter site to see what it was all about. And I was impressed with how modest the amounts being asked for were. Amounts that in themselves I could see would be beyond most people just being able to produce without help, but small enough not to discourage people from offering a helping hand.

This morning the first thing I found myself doing was checking out their kickstarter page to see how they were doing, and in the back of my mind I think I already knew that I was intent in giving them something – I wanted to give. Not for the rewards – actually the Loveseys are incredibly generous, giving out little things to backers. But honestly, I wanted to give them something to help them achieve something lovely- bring a beautiful book to light, but also because in reading their books and enjoying them – I wanted to give something back.

Giving £50 is practically unheard of for me Рpart with £50 and have nothing tangible to show for it??? Really?

I feel really happy.