Merry Christmas 

Yes, it’s almost Christmas – 3 days away and it’s just after 4am. I’m in my pj’s sitting downstairs in the Christmas-light filled lounge. 

There are some moments when I wish I was somewhere else. But Sidney, gracing the top of the tree this year, means I have a piece of you in my home. 

Every year I unpack Sidney, Emily, Suzie and dear old Uncle Frank and I read their stories and smile – they’re like family after all these years. 

We are so far apart and the distance widens…

Know that I think of you and wish you love and happiness. Always.  


Look at what I found!

So after seeing all the Spekboom in your new garden (Porticularia Afra – I love saying this name in my mind or out loud – it seems to stretch the mouth in a pleasant way…) I was intrigued to find it on a few UK garden websites. 

And then I ordered one. Well actually, I ordered two. One, I gave to Sinead – a little bit of Africa for her new home.

For me – it reminds me of you, and therefore, it feel like it links our two homes ever so slightly…

Don’t put it off…

I often think of my friends or family and wonder what they’re up to, or remember to tell them something.  Distance is nothing these days – all it takes is a text or a call. 

But my phone is out of reach, I’m in the middle of something and I can’t immediately do it,  and I forget.

I’m going to try and stop. Stop what I’m doing and say it immediately.  

Hi. How are you? Are you OK?  Was today a good day?  If I don’t ask, you may not have the time to tell me of your own volition.  

So here it is. I miss you and wish you were here. 

Well, not right this minute – I’ve got a cold and I’m bunged up and snotty. But I read an article I’d love to share and I watched an interview on the lost art of letter writing.  

I love letters.  I found some you wrote to me from Rhodes and they’re a wonderful glimpse into a life at a specific time.  

I’m going to try and keep up my letters to you. It’s a form of diary too I suppose. And it’s selfish too. Writing is important to me – and I’m hoping this helps me to feel closer to you and inspires my life further. Much love xx

It’s been too long…

since we last wrote. Years have flown by and places and people have changed. I have nieces and nephews and a new home.

And yet I’m still so far from you and miss you every day. 

The kiln is cooling down and I wish you were here to open it with me. 

These date back at least 20 years. I wonder if they’ve survived the firing? I found them carefully packaged in boxes full of memories. 

I know you don’t have time or head space to write at the moment,  but I’m going to try and keep it up – and when you can, drop me a line or two… Love always x

About looking forward, reading, creating…

This has been a year of settling in.
We’ve been here for over 4 years and after a three week holiday with you we came home and it didn’t feel like a home. So we decided to do something about it.

Originally this was a temporary base until we bought our own place. We made do and put up with a lot and it finally wasn’t working.


My 'new' antique hat box for the wool for my current project

So out with the old and not so old and in with the new and comfortable.
Pictures are on the walls, crockery has been replaced, a new sofa arrives this week, and our new bed is bloody marvellous! Its meant spending money on ‘things’ – but a little comfort and ‘homeliness’  has been worth it.

Its also been a year of reading good books from favourite authors I haven’t read in years


The top one will be on its way to you soon!


and re reading books I've loved.

With so many unfinished projects upstairs you’d think I would start on one of them… But no! That’s not my way at all.


I’m creating a blanket for ’67 Blankets for Madiba Day’ doing something for someone else and hoping it then gets me back to the pile upstairs…

And of course looking forward to Spring through the eyes of these two little fella’s.


While here, spring peaks out from behind a very mild, wet winter, I hope you’re enjoying the last of your summer heat! Bye for now…


Oh how I wish I was with you too!
A weekend of sun and bubbles and some catching up would be amazing.


In reality its grey and dark and cold and rather devoid of sisterly companionship.


So I forced myself to walk Phil back to work this afternoon. Grey… But still… And so muddy that I’ve had to change trousers – I really should have worn wellies.


And then I found some sun!



I have no cure for the blues. Just know that I’m here if you want to talk/vent and I’m always thinking of you and missing you too!

Save some bubbly for me!

The blues

So I decided what I need is probably just a girls night, or weekend away to cure my blues. Now I am stuck with the predicament – wish you were here to go tearing around some fun place and drinking to much champagne … Don’t want to make you sad! Just wish you were here!!

A very Merry Christmas

Dear Bonny Jean

I know it’s your turn for a post but I wanted to thank you for my lovely Christmas presents.


So many presents!

I love my little owl emery board and the herb scissors. I now understand why they couldn’t go in my hand luggage!


Made by Samantha Tavener

My Africa necklace made from a 1c ‘South African’ coin is so beautiful.
I haven’t taken it off since Christmas morning and it was my favourite gift.

Then I opened my big box from Phil and found this… And now I have 2 favourites!




Isn’t it beautiful? He made it for me and I absolutely love it. It’s also filled with my favourite chocolate which is quite hard to find here. I’m not sure how he kept it a secret!


Christmas morning walk around Ottery st Mary

I had a lovely few days away with Phil’s Family. We gave ‘traditional’ a slight miss this year and I made Beef Wellington which was huge and delicious.


We all chipped in and made a meal for each day so that Gill didn’t do it
all and we were very well fed!
‘Too well’ some said groaning, with no space for cheese and biscuits!


My beautiful fungus covered walking stick

I hope you had a lovely Christmas and can’t wait to hear all about it! Thank you again for spoiling us!
I miss you so much. T

In time for Christmas

Dearest Bonny Jean

I finished the wedding dress commission and couldn’t wait to share the photos with you!
The happy customer loved it all including some extra smaller bowls and the Christmas birds I made for her!


This wedding video clip she sent me is so special that I just had to share it with you again!

I miss you all so much! A two week visit just doesn’t do it. And November feels like ages ago now…


My lack of weather...

I wish I was with you in the summer sun and the afternoon thunderstorms – travelling the country to see family.
I hope you have a lovely Christmas and a very Happy New Year!
with all my love xx


Dearest Bonny Jean

All my life I have collected stones. As young girls at Hole in the Wall where Grandpa had a cottage we collected them for Mom.
They were round smooth stones to be painted and used as paperweights.


Then we started mining ‘precious’ stones for ourselves, keeping them in any empty glass jar we could lay our hands on. Pinks, creamy colours, and dusty reds. We spent hours of every school holiday in the stream on the farm digging.


That is also where I first found clay – though I can’t remember how I knew it was usable.
Perhaps Dad came along one day and found it or possibly Craig. Dad used to make clay oxen with it – something he learned to make as a child. I still have some he made.


I collect stones all the time. Weekends at Hole in the wall, holidays in Greece, our honeymoon in Natal, a few days in Dover when a friend swam the channel and recently a walk on the Devon moors. Also every time we visit Phil’s Mum and go anywhere near a pebbly beach.


They catch my eye, call to me and end up at home where Phil frowns


and in mock exasperation asks me where I’m going to put them all!

I just love looking at them. I pick them up and hold them – so solid in my hand. I fill ceramic boxes with special stones. The round grey Hole in the Wall stones I keep in my studio,sometimes using them. They remind me of places, faces… Memories that stretch from Childhood to this very moment.