Much of a muchness

Things that make you go 'hmm'…

Category Archives: Gardening

All about the weather really….

I’m sorry I haven’t been around much and I can’t see things improving over the next few weeks. #2 son is now home from university (he did very well – graduated with a 2.1 so we are well pleased with him!) This means increased laundry (he has SO many clothes, just washed 29 t-shirts) and as for food shopping – no matter how much I buy, we are constantly running out of supplies, he could eat for England.  He is very keen on cooking  and loves experimenting with new recipes – all good but he is not so good at the clearing up afterwards :-)

And the sun is shining and the garden is growing and it’s Wimbledon fortnight and next weekend it’s Glastonbury (cue the rain)…..OK, lame excuses I know but I’m doing my best – honest!

So, here you have edited highlights of my week.

The sun is shining and it’s Wimbledon – how bizarre! Roger Federer played Dominic Hrbaty yesterday,  an easy match for Roger with some very funny moments.

and a miracle shot from Dominic Hrbaty…

I’m going to Wimbledon on Friday so I hope the weather holds up and we get to see some good tennis. I have Centre Court tickets (although they are about as far back as you can get without actually sitting outside the court) but never mind. I shall see tennis, drink champagne and eat strawberries whatever.

Went for a walk on Sunday. The weather was fabulous and I passed through a field that had been seeded with wild flowers. It was very special, my photographs don’t really do it justice (you can enlarge it by clicking on it). Sort of makes up for the poppy disaster….

I took this one on my way home. I was driving along the coast road with the roof down, Coldplay blasting out on the radio and this view. Absolute bliss.

The Arum lilies in my garden are blooming and are quite stunning. I think I am starting to grow green fingers at last.

I have just finished reading the funniest book I have ever read. I cannot recommend this highly enough. This is it.

It’s a run through the last 2000 years of British history but it is is written in a wonderfully funny style. I was reading it on the train a week or so ago and I kept bursting out laughing. I caught the guy next to craning his neck trying to see what I was reading as I was giggling so much. I tell you, I learned more history reading this than I did in years of history lessons at school. I’ve been buying it for all my friends as I want everyone to read it. I bought three in a ‘3 for 2’ offer last week as gifts and the sales assistant said hesitantly ‘ You do know you have bought the same book three times – you don’t have to you know, you can buy 3 different books’. Der!

I’m off to Glastonbury on Saturday morning. I don’t know, Wimbledon on Friday, Glastonbury on Saturday and Sunday. No-one can accuse me of having a boring life. Of course, as the weather is very nice at the moment, I’m sure it will have changed by the weekend, this is an English summer after all, but hopefully it won’t be as bad as the first time I went!

This last photograph always amuses me. If you look closely, you can see the stall selling …… Glastonbury Spring Water. Erm, no thanks!

Apologies if I haven’t dropped round your blog for a while, I intend to try and have a catch up night tonight….see you later.

Please look away if you are of a nervous disposition….

I am not one of life’s natural green fingered, gardening types. Don’t get me wrong, I like having a nice garden, I just don’t particularly enjoy the process of getting it nice. I have a chap who is supposed to be my gardener but he is so busy at this time of year, the most he manages is keeping the lawn under control. Last year, I planted some Irises and some Arum Lilies on my river bank and the gardener strimmed them to death before I had time to mention I had planted them. Recently, I ventured out and planted some lily of the valley plants under my lime tree. Unfortunately, they went the same way as the lilies and irises….

The gardener also doesn’t plant out the pots and planters in the garden so once a year, I deck myself in old clothes and gardening gloves and spend a day planting marguerites, geraniums and lavender and getting very grubby. Have I mentioned I hate having dirty finger nails…

When I had finally finished, I had a shower and noticed that my knee was a bit itchy. This morning, I awoke and my knee was VERY itchy. Look away at this point if you are of a nervous disposition….

I have a huge blistery bite thingy on my knee which has been driving me insane with itchiness all day. I knew I wasn’t cut out for gardening…. A friend said it was probably a spider which had laid eggs under the skin and as we speak, hundreds of little spiderettes are hatching and growing….I think he knows I am a hypochondriac and was just teasing – wasn’t he?

I watched the Stella Artois tennis championships on TV this afternoon. ( to try and take my mind off the itching). Rafael Nadal was playing and he beat Jonas Bjorkman 6-2, 6-2 . He seems to have recovered after beating Roger Federer in the final of the French Open, and to have adapted to playing on grass (after the clay at Roland Garros), with no difficulty at all.

During a break in play they showed this little clip of Rafael Nadal exercising on court before the match. Watch it and weep…

This guy has muscles in places I don’t even have places!

You will have noticed that yet again, I have done no bookbinding. Well, the sun was shining, the tennis was on, I had a poorly knee….oh dear, and it can only get worse as the summer progresses…

This word is turning into a bit of a buzz word over here, isn’t it? Still, two posts in two days can’t be bad….

Things I have enjoyed….

I haven’t got a book to show you today. I’ve had a busy couple of days. I had some friends over for dinner on Friday night and as I am not one of life’s natural cooks, it took me most of the day to shop and then prepare the food. I made crab and scallop chowder with home made bread, followed by rack of lamb with a red wine and shallot sauce, green beans and asparagus, rosemary and garlic roast potatoes followed by coconut rice pudding with mango and lime and yummy cheese and biscuits. A feast – even if I do say so myself. For once it all turned out well (the rice pudding was slightly stodgy but still tasted nice).

I was woken at 8am on Saturday morning by a delivery man – marvellous. He was delivering a new TV so I cleared up the mess from the night before and then unpacked the TV and started to set it up. The connections were all very complicated involving a satellite receiver and a DVD player but I just unplugged the cables from the old TV and attached them to the new TV. I just couldn’t get the DVD player to talk to the TV and fiddled about for ages trying to tune the TV to pick up the signal. Finally I realised that I was missing a scart lead ( I vaguely remember one of the boys ‘borrowing it’) so the DVD player wasn’t even connected to anything. I ransacked the garage and finally found another one then the DVD player still wouldn’t work but eventually it dawned on me that the batteries in the remote control were flat – DOH!

I spent the afternoon smashing up my old garden table and chairs which had rotted beyond repair – surprisingly satisfying! Some friends had come round to help and they carted the bits away for me and by the time they had left, the day had gone, so no books again. So instead of a book, I am going to share with you, some of my recent ‘StumbleUpon’ finds.

First up is Clive Stevens who does amazing paper sculpture. This is one of my favourites.

All the work is for sale and he sells kits, books, greeting cards and calendars too. Fabulous stuff.

Next up is a photograph of the new coins which are going to be introduced in the UK over the next year.

“The new designs have been chosen via an open competition which was widely publicised in the national media in August 2005 and attracted 4,000 entries. The winning designer is 26-year-old Matthew Dent, originally from Bangor who now lives and works in London as a graphic designer. After exploring a number of different options, Matthew Dent finally developed the heraldic theme, taking the greatest heraldic device ever used on coinage – the Royal Arms.

As you can see in the image above, the Shield of the Royal Arms has been given a contemporary treatment and its whole has been cleverly split among all six denominations from the 1p to the 50p, with the £1 coin displaying the heraldic element in its entirety. This is the first time that a single design has been used across a range of United Kingdom coins.”

Aren’t they gorgeous? I love the way they form a compete design and I foresee hours of fun playing with them when they are finally released :-)

Next up is the work of Thomas Keeley, as featured on the website.

He creates surreal 3D objects which are both thought provoking and fun. Obviously, this book appealed to me, so inventive.

The last thing I want to share with you is a voice. The voice of Andrew Johnston to be precise. There is a TV program on Saturday nights here in the UK called ‘Britain’s Got Talent’. This young boy appeared on the show last week. Enjoy this and if you are not crying your eyes out by the end then you have a heart of stone.

Hope you are having a great weekend. I’m off to make a book…..

Feeling light headed…


This sweet little diary is a ready made text block from Paper Source. It only measures 6″ x 3″, so is pocket sized and was really fun to make. No groovy inside cover paper with these ready made books, but in this case the cream inside paper matches the cream dots on the orange cover paper so it looks OK.

I have just returned from the hairdressers and now look like Katie Holmes. Well, Katie Holmes’ big sister. Oh all right then , Katie Holmes’ mum. It’s actually rather nice, I think and certainly feels much lighter and less – well, droopy, I guess. Only problem with it I can see is that my neck feels chilly so I shall be wearing more scarves! So, new year, new hairdo. Let’s see if my new swotty reading glasses and my Katie Holmes’ hairdo can bring some luck my way!


The weather forecast in the UK is set to turn cold. I’m a bit concerned that all the flowers which ventured out into the unseasonal warmth last week, will be caught by frosts and icy blasts. Let’s hope not. We often have a nasty, cold February, so I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised by a cold snap but I have been lulled into a false sense of security and have taken the extra blanket off my bed. (I’m a sheets and blankets girl – no duvet for me!) I may have been a bit premature.

I was searching through some old photographs on my laptop, and I found a copy of what is possibly, my favourite photograph in the world. It’s by the Swiss Magnum photographer, René Burri. I don’t know what it is about this image but I could look at it for hours. It was taken in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1960. I saw a print of it in a gallery in London last year and fell in love with it and one day I hope to have a copy of it. In the meantime, I shall content myself with this small version on my laptop…if you click on this thumbnail you can see a larger version than my blog allows.


My number 1 son got a digital SLR camera for Christmas and is now deeply into photography. He wants to do a photography course so we are busy researching places he could go. Only problem I foresee is that I am fast running out of wall space. My art collection was boosted by the addition of all the lovely photographs my erstwhile photographer ex took and gave me (not husband ex but recently departed beloved boyfriend ex) which I still love and I have been taking photographs myself which might be worthy of framing, so if Number 1 son starts, we shall just have to move to a house with more wall space. Anyway, that’s a nice problem to have – a surplus of wonderful paintings and photography is not really a problem at all in my book.

Anyway, I’m off to admire my hair – I just hope it looks as good when I have to do it myself…..


Vote for me or I’ll……make another book!

I really like this book. The cover is a Japanese Silk bookcloth from Falkiners. It is a rich red with a grey slub, so classy! I also love the paper inside. I think I bought this one from Paper Source when I was in Los Angeles, it has been waiting for the perfect companion and I think this is it.

Dear Kim over at Laketrees nominated me in three categories of the Bloggers Choice awards the other day. I am almost embarrassed to tell you the categories but as I would like your votes I shall :-) Unfortunately, they spelled my URL incorrectly and in correcting the error, they deleted Kim’s vote for me, so I am feeling like Billy No-Mates with no votes (instead of Billy One-Mate with one vote!) :-(

So all I can say is ‘Vote for me! Yay!’ :-)

My site was nominated for Best Blog Design!My site was nominated for Best Photography Blog!
My site was nominated for Hottest Mommy Blogger!

I played tennis this morning at the local tennis club. I joined a ‘ladies’ morning’ and it is more of a fun, coaching session than my usual doubles game. It probably involved a lot more running around so I really feel like it will do me good on a lot of levels, I will meet some new people, get fit and improve my tennis – result! It was raining when we started to play but by the time we had finished, the sun had come out and it had turned into a really nice day.

When I got home, I wandered around my garden for the first time in ages and was surprised to see how many signs there were that spring is approaching. Well, that or that global warming has finally hit Dorset. Lots of flowers were out – and I’m sure that apart from the snowdrops, they are early. I took some photographs to show you.


I’m actually feeling quite cheery today for the first time in ages. Long may it continue!