Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Holiday Souvenir Giveaway

I have been meaning to do this ever since I returned from holiday but as you all know, time can run away with you!

While I was on holiday I was on the look out for the most retro-kitsch souvenir I could find to bring back for a giveaway & what could be better than a set of embroidered tea towels??
My family & newly made holiday friends were in hysterics, but I persevered for the sake of all you bloggers out there!

So, if you'd like your very own set of Portuguese tea towels do leave a comment & it would be fun to know what the most kitsch souvenir you have bought or have been given is!

I'll keep this open until Sunday evening.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

WI Flower Show 2009

A few weeks ago I was asked to help judge at the local Women's Institute Flower Show which is held at the village hall.
Those of you who attended the very first Vintage & Handmade Fair will recognise the setting!

I was assisting in the judging of the hand crafts, but there were all sorts of categories to enter - fruit & veg of course, jams, jellies & chutneys, flowers & plants, cakes & photography as well as classes for children.

I was rather naughty & only entered one class - cherry tomatoes, which received a respectable 3rd! Must do better next year & enter more!

I took lots of photos so I shall let them speak for themselves.

Next year it will be the 50th Flower Show so they are planning lots of special events & classes to celebrate.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Polka Dot Dream

So....have we all ordered one of these yet? A limited edition polka dot Aga designed by Emma almost makes me wish I didn't have an Aga already so I could buy one! I am drooling.....

I am very fond of mine though (well, I LOVE it really!) & I'm happy to report that she has been switched on again after her summer break & is happily humming away in the kitchen, cooking food, drying washing & keeping dogs warm.

Monday, 21 September 2009


Yesterday was a milestone for the Cottage nest as the first of our chicks stretched her wings & flew south to start her university course. We filled up the car with her necessities (which I must say was quite a lot!) & drove her to her temporary new home.
After unloading & unpacking we had to leave for the drive home again & as we left I felt as if we were abandoning her!

We want her to have a wonderful & exciting time & I'm trying to be brave but I will miss her so much....the nest is feeling a little emptier today than it has been for the last 19 years.

Good luck Sweetpea!

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Duck Or Chicken?

I thought I'd give you a little break from holiday photos .....don't want to be too much of a bore.
Look who I found having a little swim in our pond!
She is an escapee from the free range chicken farm next door - they have taken to coming through the hedge & visiting our garden. The pond has a lot of pond weed so it obviously held her up. This is how we acquired our beloved hen who we called Duck as we fished her out of the pond too, but she stayed on as they were going off for slaughter. She is still with us & must be about 5 or 6 years old now.

This one was rescued & sent back home uttering a few annoyed clucks!

Friday, 11 September 2009


I have mixed up the order in which we visted various places as we went to Cannes before Lisbon...oh well, here are the photos anyway!

Cannes was lovely - we had to transfer from the ship to the shore by tender boat & even the boat crew were super cool!

We happened upon this fabulous fruit, veg & flower market by wandering around the back streets instead of the main road where all the high end boutiques are located - I wish it was near me so I could shop there!

It was a Saturday & there was a fleamarket - I was really pleased until I saw the prices!!
Things like costume jewllery brooches that we'd pay £5.00 for were marked at 80 euros, so I contented myself with window shopping.

Of course there were many luxury boats & very glamorous people to be seen.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009


The next stop on our cruise was Lisbon - it was also one of my favourites which is why I couldn't limit myself to just a few photos!

The first photo is of a memorial to the famous explorers of Portugal - it amazes me that these men set off without knowing if or what they might find or if they'd ever make it home again.

I was interested to be told that the Spanish & the Portugese decided to divide the world in half so they could expore & colonise their half without encroaching on each other.....who asked the rest of the world if they wanted to be divided up?

We visited the Maritime museum where they had a display of the royal barges which are very sumptuous & decorated in gold.

Our next stop was a church which apparently was the only building to survive an earthquake which flattened the rest of Lisbon centuries ago.

A view towards the sea & over the city.

Of course no visit to Lisbon is complete without a visit to a pastry shop for a few of their famous custard tarts (this one's for you Michele!)

There were a number of street entertainers including this man with a tiny dog sitting on a box!

On departing we sailed under this huge suspension bridge - it has a road on top & railway line underneath - it is huge but as you can see we were pretty close to it underneath - I wondered if a ship with 15 decks would fit underneath but it did (just!).

Our final view of Lisbon as we sailed away.......

Monday, 7 September 2009

Livorno (Italy)

Cruise ships stop at Livorno in Italy as it is half an hour's drive from Pisa & one & a half hours from Florence.
As we had been to Florence last time we opted for a boat tour of the waterways of Livorno. It was an interesting perspective & we were able to see the old buildings, bridges & statues along the canals.

We then had a little time in the town itself & I couldn't believe how much litter & grafitti there were. Of course we found time for a delicious ice cream while we were there!

This is the view of the harbour wall & lighthouse as we sailed away (there is one opposite too).