Monthly Archives: January 2012

I’m in charge!

Relaxing in front of the fire (which is possibly the only thing I am in charge of) after a day with the animals.

This is my first day as the garden designing housesitter in deepest Shropshire.   And how gorgeous this lovely old farm house is.  But very little has happened in the way of garden design today!  But it is day 1.

My charges are 2 lovely donkeys, 3 terribly easy sheep, 5 completely chilled hens, two dogs with lovely natures….. and 13 cats….all with their own personalities.   Before you gasp not all the cats live in the house.   In fact just at the moment I’ve only got Willow and Dilly for company.  Although Mincey did follow me up to the shower…realised it was a bit wet and promptly took off again.

What a funny day though.  Just as the lady of the house was on her way out of the door to Australia for a lovely long holiday there at the door was a father and son who had come to see the house from Australia!  The father’s mum had lived here when she was a child about 40 years ago, so in they came and we showed them round.  They were just tickled pink by this lovely old house with its nooks and crannies, beams and low ceilings….and so am I to be honest.

Feeding time down here on the farm is going to have to be a much stricter affair than it was this afternoon though.   Everybody is after everybody else’s dinner.  I’ve never seen anything like it!   The dogs like the cat food….the hens like that too, the donkeys quite like the sheep food and the dogs like the hens’ afternoon tea.   So lesson learnt, doors will be closed and animals will be segregated!


My best pal for today has been faithful Dixter.  What a goodhearted dog he is.  Cheerful and happy but sticking with me as if to make sure I was OK.   And so biddable.  Possibly the most easy going animal I’ve ever come across.   And his constant companion Harry – who is an incredible 15 years old, but still dashing round following a trail in the woods amazingly. It’s a bit tricky to call him though – he’s quite deaf.  He’s fast asleep now though very sensibly, still chasing something in his dreams.  I might just join him.

So, tomorrow is another day, I might just look at that garden…….now where was that wine?

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Filed under Chickens, farm, house sitting, Uncategorized

Be my Vintage Valentine

I’m excited….I’ve started a new project and so far it’s going well.   This year I’ve taken over the organisation of the fairs at Rivers Meet Craft Cafe in Methley.   I attended a couple at the end of last year when they first started and so when I got the opportunity to organise them as well I jumped at it.

It’s a lovely place.   On the main Leeds Road in Methley it was an empty old pub which was looking very sad.  Bravely Joanne took it over – revamped it with her partner Richard and threw open the doors to a warm and welcoming cafe where one of the rooms has now become a craft workshop.   There’s a programme of events for would be crafters of all ages and abilities as well as a function room and  a small shop trading in locally made goods at the back.   And I know she has big plans for it to develop.

Of course there’s good coffee and home made cake too…..what more could you need.

To back to the fairs.   We worked out a programme which you can see on my events page and the first one is very soon.  It’s Sunday 12th February and its a Vintage Valentine’s Fair.   The stallholders are all booked – and they do some fabulous things.

  • Real vintage lovers Luna and Annies are coming over from Manchester.   Their love of vintage has helped them put together an eclectic mix of beautiful and elegant pieces of clothing, shoes, accessories and books.
  • We have reworked fabric pieces from Rhi-Stitched – Rhiannon has been over before and I know her work was really appreciated by visitors to the fair.
  • Lorelie Jewellery make vintage style jewellery from recycled paper – things like old takeaway menus, leaflets and other stuff that gets thrown away.  The transformation is amazing.
  • From Phil we have true antiques to add to the mix with some costume jewellery and vinyl.
  • Mary paints plant pots and garden accessories in a vintage style – should be something there I’ll like I’m sure.
  • On the Button is a new venture using vintage buttons to create jewelery
  • Chicken Shed Gifts has a mix of rustic gifts and home accessories
  • Beau Boutique will be bringing clothes and accessories dating from the 40’s to the 70’s as well as jewelery, vanity items, homewares and photo frames
  • Twisted Vintage will have a range of giftwares and needlecraft all in vintage style
  • Virtue to Victory will have handmade gifts and clothes, some made using vintage patterns
  • Wildheart gives us her Victorian Gothic inspired jewellery and accessories

We open at 10 am and I’m almost itching to see what everyone’s bringing.   If you’re a fan of vintage I think it’ll be a real treat.

The cafe will be open too – Joanne’s menus are full of good local food.   One of her aims is to keep food miles down and to support local food producers.   Added to that all the cakes are baked daily on the premises.

Where is it?  Easy to find on a main road, the web address is and here’s the map:

See you there……

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Filed under Craft Fairs, vintage