Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Summer Garden Dreaming

I dream of a garden. On a daily basis, as I walk to work, through streets stuffed with houses full of them, I catch myself wondering if the owners would let me borrow them for an afternoon. I doubt it.

Thankfully the National Trust's Wakehurst Place had plenty of them to quench my need. It gave me food for thought. What would I plant? Would I do the whole veg thing? I am not too sure I would. Herbs and plants are where my hearts at.

Roses. I would have lots and lots of roses. Great big, heavily laden bushes of them. That I would lazily walk up to and snip away at. I would take my bounty indoors, to the cool of my kitchen and arrange them in a hap-hazard type fashion. It would not matter, because they would look stunning in an old margarine tub. Thats the magic of roses.

In my massive, sprawling imaginary garden, I would have the odd kitchen or bathroom appliance over spilling with some kind of fauna. An old Belfast sink laden with lavender. A stone bath full of poppies and moon daises. Or an old wooden ladder, propped against a wall and holding potted herbs of the culinary variety upon it's rungs. But only the ones I actually like the taste of. The basics, like rosemary, thyme, sage and lemon balm. Oh, and spearmint. So I could make a cup of green-hued tea that tastes like chewing gum.

If I had the room, I might have a walled bit, so I could have climbers. Like wisteria and honeysuckle. Which, come summer, would be a live with bees. We all know how I do love them there bumblers.

And I might even have a gravel path. No, scrap that. I loathe gravel. It always gets inside my sandals. Like, right inside so that every step becomes a game of Russian Roulette of stone-non-stone-ouch-non-ouch. So I would go for stepping stones through the grass. Which would be covered in daisies and dandelions, clover and chamomile.

But, dear peoples, that is all but a dream. As I walk to work, these are the things that go through my head. Maybe one day I will have more space and be able to grow something other than marigolds, geraniums, the odd straggly rosemary and a slowly greying sage. 

Until then, I have other peoples vast gardens to wander through. To keep me wondering about what might be.

Thursday, 15 August 2013


After putting myself on yet another dress ban, I hit upon this 2 piece set. So. Not technically a dress. Right? Right? Yes -  that's how I convinced myself not to leave it behind in a lesser-visited charity shop.

That and the £4.99 price tag.

It is made from nice cool cotton, which has been a god send over the last few weeks. And even better than all of the above - someone at some point hand made it.

A score on all fronts.

And not a dress, right?

It is a glorious floral print on a black background and I love the fact that I can get 3 outfits from it. It has a nice gathered skirt with pockets.Oh how I love a dress 2 piece with pockets.

However, what I do not love is the sandals I chose to wear that day. My bejezzuhs, how they hurt my feets. They have been relegated to the charity shop pile. They can rip someone elses feet to shreds. Or perhaps they shall find the perfect owner who shall rave about them. I am clearly not that person. Evil shoes of hell.

Anyway -  where was I? Oh yes. My new-2-piece-most-certainly-not-a-dress purchase.

Over and out.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Sunday Readings - Antique Bible

Being into all things old, there is often the chance to start a new collection of something. Over the last year or so, I have begun to covet, search for and pick up old Bibles.

Now, although the words inside are not my faith, I cannot help but be drawn to them. It is not the teachings within that speak to me, but the thoughts of the former owners who did find solace nestled in the thin, word stuffed pages.

And if someone has written inside, well, then dear people, I have to take it home.

I find it sad that these bound and pre-loved beauties end up being discarded. I always get the feeling that they meant a whole world to someone at some point, and there they are at the car boot, on in the case of this one, at a charity shop for £1. How can an item that meant so much to someone be purchased for so little?

Who was Jane Howes and why was this presented to her? Good behaviour at the school stamped into the front? Top marks in her class? Was she a teacher as opposed to a student? These are all questions I find myself longing to know the answer to. I am sure I shall end up down the census-internet-search-possibly-writing-to-a-records-office rabbit hole at some point.

Something about this, as with a lot of old things, be they clothes, crockery or photographs, reach out to me and ask me to be their new custodian. I am only too happy to oblige.

If they just so happen to be an antique for 100 pence, then all the better.

I like the fact that, although they may not be read by me for the lessons within, they are no less cherished for it.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013


I have been on a kick of late to find more natural beauty products. After I made the decision to switch to Lily Lolo for my face, I wondered about my lips. Springing to my aid with something for me to try was Lotty Blue and one of the many products she stocks in her shop. 

The Handmade Soap Company is new to her virtual shelves and from this product alone, I am pretty pleased they are only a click away. I picked an Au Natural with Rosehip oil lip balm to review, along with some moustache wax for The Beard (review soon) . Perhaps not the most adventurous of things, a balm,  but boy am I glad I have it now. Made from natural ingredients and packaged in a nifty brushed silver tin, it has become a daily staple. 

Now -  I confess. I was not a fan of it at first. I am used to a balm either in a stick or a tin that is a little easier to apply. Because of the beeswax, this is a pretty solid balm that takes a while to get from tin to lip, But, once I developed a knack of lifting a little bit out on the top of my nail -  it was plain sailing. I have found that I do not need a lot of balm to give my lips a good dose of moisture, but equally, if I do go over board, it is not a greasy mess. I have found with some petroleum based balms that if you apply too much, it feels and acts a little like a lip gloss. Not so with this little beaut. Just nice, moisturised lips. And all from the humble bumble. 

The balm is un-coloured and scented -  but it does have a slight menthol-ness to it, which makes it a tad tingly, in a good way.   

The Handmade Soap Company Lip Balm is available here from LottyBlue -  with a further 20% off using discount code "landgirl1980" until 31st August across the store -  excluding sale items.

A lip-smacking 8/10 from me!


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