There are puddles the size of duck ponds on our drive this morning, following almost 24 hours of torrential rain – apparently it was 25 degrees and sunny in Kinloss! I know I’m obsessed with the weather, but to be honest the garden needed the rain in spite of my best efforts to keep it watered. I think the British countryside did too after seeing beautiful views last week, as pictured above; read more to find out where I was!
How are you? Thanks so much for all your lovely comments on the last blog, and for telling me all about your birthday cakes – either ones you had made, or had been created for you. What an interesting mix of themes too! Susan Huskisson tweeted me a photograph of the Derby County cake she made for her husband’s birthday – a masterpiece!
And staying with cakes I, of course, had been set the task of creating one based on a marine/mermaid theme for Honey’s first birthday, which took me a couple of days. The final product looked like this…!
Lucy had given me the Little Mermaid to park on top of it and I wrote ‘For Honey’ and ‘1’ in icing on the top – the rest was left to my imagination – with a little help from Google images and Twinkle, who kindly tweeted a couple of pictures to me.
In my kitchen, along with an incredibly untidy ‘man drawer’, I have a drawer that I specifically use for baking ingredients and icing. Considering how little baking I do, it’s a relatively large drawer but crammed to the gills, so I decided to sort it out.
In it, to my shame, I found baking powder that was years out of date, gloopy glace cherries, marzipan that I could have used as a door stop, along with some sultanas that had a life of their own! Suffice to say, I have more space now and nothing with a shelf life under 12 months!
I loved making the coral, seaweed, fish and starfish for the cake, and chose to use light muscavado sugar as sand. I have to say, my KitchenAid does make the whole baking process a doddle when it comes to making sponges and buttercream icing.
I waited until it was cooler on Friday evening before I wrote on the cake, and was glad my hand was steady, as I had a fair bit to write! Colin stowed the cake in the boot for our journey to Lucy’s the following morning, and sadly the icing cracked across the top, but everyone kindly said it just looked like a wave!
The party took place at Honey’s baby sensory class, and the little ones had a marvellous time while we grown-ups busied ourselves eating and chatting!
Honey was an absolute star, but having been up at 6am, she fell asleep in her dad’s arms just as we were about to light the candle on the cake! She slept through the singing, the photographs and the rest of the party, but was in great form when we got home and it was time to open her presents.
I so enjoyed being with the family and spending time with the little ones. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, but I am finding that time just runs away from me. If I’ve thought it once, I thought it many times during that day, how hard it was to believe that a whole year had passed since my little treasure was born.
I know how incredibly lucky we are to have Honey in our lives, and am so glad that those of you who comment here and don’t have children or grandchildren can enjoy sharing my memories and photographs.
Here are just a few pictures of the day:
It’s been a bit of a social whirlwind these last few weeks, and I managed to squeeze in an impromptu visit to my friend Jo on a day that saw snow showers and then bright sunshine! We went for a walk on the North Downs near Guildford. What a view eh?!
I didn’t realise but this National Trail, which was opened in 1978, runs from Farnham to Dover and is 141 miles long! We did a six mile circuit which took in this incredible bluebell wood too, and were more than ready for a cup of tea and a bun when we got back to the car!
Although Sam wasn’t able to make Honey’s party, as his car broke down the night before, he had been to stay with us the previous weekend and very kindly mended the lawnmower.
When I say mended, he actually brought his entire welding kit and replaced the housing for the blades, which had rusted over the years. It’s working perfectly now, bless him.
While he was working on that, I was blasting the patio with my new Karcher Pressure Washer. What a fabulous piece of kit! It made short work of all the weeds in between the slabs and changed the colour of the stones from grey to beige – result! Colin then filled in all the gaps in the cement and now it looks perfect.
In fact, I was so impressed with the Karcher that I started on the garden furniture too – look at the difference on these oak chairs!
It’s been busy at work too and, unfortunately, I got in a muddle and missed my six month appointment at the hospital. It’s just a regular check, but we will need to discuss my ongoing treatment as I’ve been on tamoxifen for nearly five years now so we have to make a decision moving forwards. Luckily I can see my oncologist next Wednesday, so not long to wait.
In fact, it’s next week that I’ll be bringing you a fabulous Today’s Special Value from Philosophy! Taking into account your recent requests for an eau de toilette option in their fragrances, we have all three of your favourites boxed and each with a body scrub, a shower gel and this delicious body butter. Whether you choose Amazing or Pure Grace, they are both eminently feminine yet light and subtle. Falling in Love is slightly warmer and sensual – as one might expect! But all three of these collections will be available on Friday 20th May at an unmissable price.
That’s a week away, but I have two Diamonique shows before that and am thrilled to see the return of the 90cm bezel set necklace! I bought it for myself last August as it was the perfect length and I had wanted to buy it for Kathy Tayler for her birthday, but it was out of stock! I bought her something else instead, but having just given her the item number she’s on QCut now placing her order. We also have these beautiful earrings in a choice of Pink Mother of Pearl, White Mother of Pearl, or Abalone – perfect for summer weddings I feel!
With the Eurovision Song Contest to look forward to this weekend I will be beyond myself with excitement… but nowhere near as excited as I was when Colin told me that his song ‘I Know She’s Mine’ had reached No 1 in the UK Country Music Chart, and No 9 in the International Chart! So proud of my man and so happy that he wrote the song for me. Here it is, as promised, I very much hope you enjoy it – do let me know.
Take care, have a great weekend, and I’ll look forward to hearing from you when you have a moment.
Love Ali xx