A GoodLife

The thing about growing up in the 70s

(Seen through the obligatory rose-tinted spectacles of course)

Was the amazing amount of high profile,  iconic,  creative types who were influencing culture – both high- and low- brow.

Building on the political,  social and cultural upheavals of the 60s, the 70s (if you could ignore the occasional ill-advised hair or clothing choice)  embedded that peculiarly British love of the weird,  the avant garde,  the misfit.

It embraced the iconoclastic,  the creative and the revolutionary.

So what icon of the 70s have I found to have made the most lasting impact on my life?

Was it Marc Bolan?

No,  definitely too glam

Was it the Sex Pistols?

Umm,  bit too spiky and aggressive.  Not enough languishing or wafting in a wraithe-like manner.   I definitely preferred the Goth movement that came in the 80s.

So what was my icon of the 70s?

Tom and Barbara Good,  from BBCs The Good Life.

I harbour dreams of smallholdings.

Of meals entirely made up of things Ive grown

Of children skipping happily down the lane in clothes I’ve made.

My reality?

When I asked oldest child why he didnt want me to knit him a,  really rather trendy,  beanie hat he said

“Because you’re a bit rubbish at knitting mum.   Thelast hat you did made me look like Yoda”

My yield of strawberries this year?

IMG_20150809_163759 IMG_20150809_165023  and these are alpine strawberries too,  so basically the size of grains of rice.

Six,  admittedly flourishing in a bushy,  leafy kind of way,  tomato plants and my crop to date is?


One measly tomato.

And it’s a cherry tomato,  so about the size of a 5p piece

Less Tom and Barbara Good.

More Margot Leadbetter.

But all is not lost.

I can work a kaftan and a g&t.

Ahem.  🙂



The weather forecast said to expect torrential rain yesterday.

So of course we had glorious sunshine.

Someone should develop a “random weather forecaster” web site.

I’m sure it would have the same accuracy rate as the Met Office.

But, I’m not complaining. 🙂

For yesterday we went to Hill Top, the home of Beatrix Potter.

It nestles in the tiny hamlet of Near Sawrey, near Hawkshead. The countryside around there is of the “gently rolling” rather than “dramatic and awe inspiring” type.

The house


is, apparently, just as it was when Beatrix lived there.

The rooms are small and dark, but cosy and welcoming.

The drawings, sketches and watercolours on display are breathtakingly good.

The gardens? Quintessentially English. Herbaceous, pretty


And look who we saw taking a rest on a tree trunk in the sunshine


He’s obviously been in Mr McGregors garden again as his little blue jacket was nowhere to be seen :-).


Finished the day with a woodland walk down to Windermere where we saw these girls


And managed to convince youngest child for a whole five minutes that these were rare, amphibious water cows.

Nearly as much fun as the time we convinced oldest child that he was going to a cheese farm to catch wild cheeses.


Fiction Friday

I’ve been ignoring it for weeks.

But today I finally succumbed.

I went into the garden.

And I didn’t immediately turn around and go straight back into the house again!

This is what awaited me


And this


And where did this come from?


It wasn’t there the last time I looked!

And after two hours solid gardening, can’t you see the difference?


Nope, me neither.


This Week I Have Mostly Been Reading


Well, it was ok. The tale of an ex-pat Singaporean woman who returns to the family fold, and business, after the breakdown of her marriage. The story was reasonably well told, well structured. But….But. It lacked something. The main character was not particularly likeable, so it was hard to care whether her journey of self discovery led anywhere. The descriptions of Singapore? Uninspiring. The descriptions of the art of soy sauce manufacture? Routine.

A bit of a missed opportunity.

Next Week I Shall Mostly Be Reading


A mysterious authors society, books that rewrite themselves and things that lurk in the woods.

Sounds promising.


I looked out of the window today.

I really wish I hadn’t.



You know what that means…

The whole garden has gone “thppppppttttt”

And that, my friends, is the sound of vegetation expanding exponentially (wow, my old English teacher would be proud 🙂 )


I am still trying the old “eyes tightly shut, fingers in ears, “la la la” I can’t see or hear you” trick

But it won’t be long.

It won’t be long before I have to go out there


In the immortal words of Swans

“In my garden….
Things grow in my garden”




Could it be?

Could it possibly be?

4, count them, FOUR whole days without rain?

It has been, gasp, positively warm.

There have been


And buzzy things

And flowers


And tweeting things

And flowers


And oh? Did I mention the flowers?

So many flowers that I had a spectacular run of fifteen sneezes on the trot yesterday as the first twitchings of hay fever tickled around my nose.

Hmmmm, Hope there’s no pranayama breathing in yoga this week. 🙂


Woke up to a very excited older child who was keen to show me this


Frost on his bathroom window.

And I realised that, with the seemingly universal use of central heating nowadays, I couldn’t remember the last time Jack Frost had been busy on our (or anyone else’s) windows.


You forget how beautiful it can be.

But I do vividly remember the horror of stepping out of bed on a cold winters morning when the only heating was the coal fire downstairs.