dear diary ~ here at last

You will guess where I am with the photo – for new readers that is our little cottage in Scotland.

I thought we would never get here – breaking our journey in Carlisle overnight is good for my back but it sure lengthens out the journey and although the Premier Inn is cheap and comfortable there is no place like home with all your home comforts around you rather than packed in a bag in the boot of the car.

We stopped off at Penrith on the way to Carlisle – a lovely little market town with no end of independent shops – luckily it was window shopping only as it was closing time. We ordered 2 personal pizzas in the nearby Dominoes take away for our tea and ate them in the car outside the posh George Hotel in the town centre.

I also managed a turn around the local Booths supermarket… another favourite haunt (we don’t have one at home) and I discovered they stock those little tins of Batchelors creamed mushrooms that I cannot find anymore in Sainsbury’s. I had thought they may have been discontinued…so I am ecstatic (and mum will be too as she loves them also) – I picked up four cans to keep us going and will give a couple to mum. We had one of ours for tea on Saturday night with a baked potato. I picked up a couple of boxes of mixed grain Sharpham’s flakes, a bag of brown basmatti rice and some wholewheat lasagne sheets – all of which Sainsbury’s have stopped selling.

On Saturday morning after the mammoth breakfast at Premier Inn (though we only have the Continental), we had a good run down from the border and on arrival at the cottage on Saturday gave a huge sigh of relief to find everything OK.  Our caravan in the garden (that we are currently staying in) was still dry and no signs of damp.  The only disaster if you can call it that was that 2 pillows that had zipped pillow protectors with a waterproof backing had not fared well and had little signs of a green mould appearing presumably because the pillow was unable to breathe.  They have never been a problem before so I think maybe the weather here has been very wet and damp for a while.  I quickly bagged them up and will take them to the launderette in town for a good wash if we get chance.

It is as usual very peaceful here in the winter and today the sea is silvery and calm with the sun catching the underneath of the clouds lighting them up across the sky – you cannot help but relax and enjoy the beauty.  On the first morning (Sunday) we had a late start to the day and after a long slow breakfast I cleaned up the caravan while DH began cutting the grass – it grows all year round down here on the mull – albeit much slower in the winter – but it takes quite a while to get it all done when the grass is long as the cuttings bin fills up much too quickly.

I never got to do a post before we left home.  As usual our busyness took over – we had Master Freddie’s 4th Paw Patrol style birthday party to attend and my younger daughter came to stay with Little L and Sweetie, so there was a lot of bed changing and washing going on.  Master Freddie and his guests had a great time – 2 hours at the soft play centre down the road and a birthday tea and games afterwards at his house. 

DH and I prepared the food whilst the children went to the soft play. I do like a good old fashioned party with sandwiches, a cheese and pineapple hedgehog and jelly and ice cream with sprinkles of course.  The kids ate much more than we thought and being careful to avoid all those nasty colourings they didn’t become too hyper. 

The cake (courtesy of Sainsbury’s this year) was covered in blue fondant icing but we put a piece into each party bag for them to eat and become hyper at home!

This little fire engine was a gift from Little L and Sweetie – it is from Aldi and folds up into a book When opened out fully one side is a printed road – great to pay with little cars on and the other side is a printed fire engine that makes up into a box that you sit inside complete with steering wheel – how brilliant is that!

I had my friend’s birthday present to sort before we came away – we only exchange little presents and we both like to buy from shops who sell hand made goods that support other people in their livelihood, like Oxfam, so I chose a tiny hand woven basket from a local shop called Fair Trader and added a conditioning bar of Patchouli and Sandalwood wrapped in some pretty cotton fabric from my stash.

I had a session with the osteopath last week to work on my back and this time my neck – long sessions on the computer does not do anything for anyone’s posture and certainly not mine.  I often find myself slumping over the keyboard and in turn this has tightened my neck muscles and is now affecting my hearing.

I have brought quite a few books with me in case of bad weather – (I am currently reading through these 3 Persephone books that were a surprise Christmas gift from yours truly) and my knitting which is going to be for the new baby in May and which has been on pause for over a week.  It is plain and basic but as a beginner who knows very little it might still be a challenge!

I also packed my little notebook where I make lists and do my planning – I have a lot of planning to do in all areas of my life – finances, wellbeing, house maintenance and the big one – what to do with the cottage. At the moment we are like Team Love it and List it and cannot decide on the best course of action. You might think I would be on Team List it but no….I still want to love it.

Whilst we mull it over there is plenty to do in the garden – the snowdrops are in full bloom and the daffodils not far behind so it is a good time to get down to some serious pruning. Like these hydrangeas.

Better get going then instead of chatting on here. x

7 Replies to “dear diary ~ here at last”

  1. So glad you’ve made it up to your special place. I don’t envy your live it or list it decision to be made … I’m sure you will swing from one way to the other plenty of times before deciding why to do for sure. Good luck c


  2. Good to see you are in your happy place. Completely understand your quandary about the future of the cottage property. Wishing you all the best.


  3. Penrith is my closest town ;), I love all the independent shops, it is strange to hear you say that the George Hotel is posh! It might look it from the outside but it is very down to earth inside. I am glad to hear you made it to the cottage safely and that all is well there.

    The fire engine looks like fun, I love how it can change into many things to be played with.

    I enjoyed reading the Dorothy Whipple book.


  4. You can’t beat a Premier Inn can you, a super comfortable bed, a great shower and a lovely breakfast. Even the continental version is great and we always pocket a piece of fruit and a Pain au Chocolat to take with us as we don’t eat much at the table.

    Isn’t it great to go to a different supermarket and find some old favourites that have been unobtainable nearer to home. Maybe you should have bought more than four!!

    I LOVE the idea that you sent the little ones home with the blue iced cake … that is so sneaky, but pure bloody genius!!

    I think I would be on Team List It, but with the proviso that some of the money made from the sale is spent on a luxury caravan, on a lovely small site closer to home. But that’s me, and I know you will do what is right for you both when the decision is made


  5. A small thoughtful gift from a friend is always lovely.
    I’m glad birthday boy enjoyed his special day 🙂
    Knitting pattern looks great and I am sending lots of knitting good wishes to you.


  6. So pleased to hear you have made it back to the cottage. It must be so bitter-sweet whenever you visit. Hope you are soon able to come to a decision you are both happy with.


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