The Land Rover Owners Wife

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Pinecones for Christmas

Cleaned, baked and nearly ready for painting.

December is approaching at break neck speed and the annual Victorian Market will be upon us in a matter of weeks, so this morning I popped down to the greenhouse to retrieve the pinecones Middle Mudlet had collected a few weeks ago, in order that I could start preparing them ready for her to paint. Continue reading


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A Prince in Flight

Gently, gently catchee rider

It has been over two years since Eldest Mudlet made the heart-breaking decision to sell her beloved mare, Gypsy, the reasons for which are covered in ‘Princes for my Princess’, as is the arrival in to Mudlets’ life of Prince. Since then things haven’t been exactly plain sailing for my daughter, as she has battled continuing health issues and endured two surgeries but in all this she has found solace in her horse and what a horse he has turned out to be.

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Top of the Class Airfix/Hornby

A42509 Airfix Engineer – Combustion Engine model

More and more these days it seems to me that good Customer Service has become a thing of the past, consigned to the realms of  myths and legend, a nostalgic memory for those of us who remember when high streets were buzzing with small family run, old world shops, the terms ‘supermarket’ and ‘call centre’  hadn’t been invented yet and people actually spoke to each other, wrote letters by hand and were more likely to pop to the shops on a push bike than in a car.

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Back in the summer holidays ………

A moment for reflection

The summer holidays seem a long time ago now, as the temperatures take a decidedly downward turn, the sun sinks ever lower into the sky with each passing day and in the garden, plants start to give up the ghost, shrivelling and turning brown as the last of their fruits reach full maturity and, in the case of the pumpkins and winter squashes, start to develop their autumn colours and hardened skins. Yet it was only two weeks ago that the Mudlets’ schools opened their doors once again, at the start of yet another academic year and hordes of excited children arrived in the playgrounds, anxious to catch up with their particular set of friends, sharing news of holidays, outings and all manner of goings on.
So as the chill night air once again starts to envelope Mudville, I have decided that now is the time to share the summer happenings of our little family, to reminisce of warmer days and new experiences. Continue reading


And so it begins

We need it to start turning orange now

Wow! Where has this year gone? It only seems 5 minutes since I was planning what I was going to plant in the school garden, agreed to help in the local community garden and took the decision to back off from blogging for a while to allow my mojo to heal and rejuvenate. As for my own garden, it has had the year off to replenish the depleted nutrients which have resulted from several seasons of year on year growing and in spite of zealous digging in of fertilisers. My beds are currently buried under a generous layer of farmhouse manure and freshly mulched hedge clippings, ready for the autumn/winter weather and local population of worms to work their magic, breaking it down into the much needed, aforementioned nutrients. With any luck growing season 2018 is going to be a good one. Continue reading

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Halloween – shockingly quiet

Marshmallow spiders - my kind of arachnid

Marshmallow spiders – my kind of arachnid

By the time the younger Mudlets and I left the house to go trick or treating this Halloween, it had been dark for just over an hour and yet we had only had one set of callers. This was great news for the girls who were delighted at the prospect of loads of left over sweets, not to mention my marshmallow spiders but not so good for Mud, who wasn’t looking forward to the prospect of hoards of trick or treaters calling after we had left. Continue reading

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Tea for four

Not perfect but I was really happy with how well this cake turned out

Not perfect but I was really happy with how well this cake turned out

Little Mudlet turned 10 a short while ago and to celebrate this special birthday, I decided that not only did she need a more grown up style party and I would have to come up with a cake to match the venue. We settled on the idea of a pottery painting party for Little Mudlet, two of her friends and Middle Mudlet, at the local pottery studio/shop called “Live, Love and Create”, followed by a rather grown-up tea party at “Shipley’s Curiositeas”, a lovely little tea shop opposite the studio. I’ll cover the pottery and tea party in another post because THIS post is all about the cake ……….. Continue reading

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A chocolate eating, cycling smurfette

This was a complete surprise

This was a complete surprise

I don’t think I will ever forget the look on Little Mudlets’ face the day she watched her mum disappear into the bathroom only to see a Smurfette walk out 5 minutes later. She literally did a double take before her jaw dropped open and eyes widened to the size of dinner plates.

“What have you done to yourself?” she asked in a tone somewhere between absolute horror and fascinated disbelief. Then the ridiculousness of what she was seeing hit her and she dissolved into fits of giggles …… at least I think it was giggles – could have been hysteria.

I think I’ve mentioned once or twice before that I don’t do the girly girly stuff such as clothes shopping just because I want to and I don’t have handbags for every occasions with matching footwear, in fact make-up is rarely seen about my person and unless I’m going to be seen in public, even my unruly mop of thick, dark hair only gets a couple of passes with my brush most days (although I did ask for and get a hairdryer from Santa last year, so I’m not a completely lost cause). As for pampering my skin, that’s also something for which I rarely make time and only ever realise I need some more cleanser, cotton pads etc. when I finally get some time to do anything even vaguely resembling a beauty regime. So it was a really lovely surprise when Eldest Mudlet sent me a couple of Lush products for my birthday.

And so did Eldest Mudlet and her boyfriend

Eldest Mudlet and her boyfriend did good

Both items arrived in a cute little wooden treasure chest (chosen by the boyfriend). The green item is a bath bomb which has long since gone and left my skin feeling smooth and soft without leaving a slippery, hard to remove residue on the bath which, in my limited experience, is often the case with the usual, mainstream varieties of this sort of product. The bright blue item is a face mask called ‘Don’t look at me’.

I have to say this was the first time I’ve ever had to check the ‘use by’ date on a cosmetic or keep it in the fridge but Lush products are made from Natural ingredients which may go off and so the fridge was a necessity. Mind you this meant that the product was really cooling when I applied it and I really did look like Smurfette especially as I’d applied it to my neck as well. When I finally washed the product off, my skin felt wonderful and looked brighter than it has for a long time and I’d swear that my lines weren’t quite as noticeable. I’ve used it twice now and I still have at least another two applications worth left in the tub but with a use by date of around the 6th October, I’ll need to use it up pretty quickly and hope that Santa sends me some more.

Mud and the Mudlets did good

And so did Mud and the Mudlets.

You may also remember that a month or so ago I dropped some not very subtle hints to Middle Mudlet about what I would like to receive for my birthday, namely a brightly coloured waterproof cycling jacket to enable me to cycle during the autumn and winter. Well I am delighted to report that she took my hints on board and I am now the proud owner of a lovely bright yellow, waterproof, lightweight cycling jacket ….. and of course I haven’t been able to use it much because of the unseasonably warm September. Never mind, Autumn is now upon us and I am confident I will be able to get lots of use out of it now.

Yes ..... I have blurred the numbers. I don't need reminding of my age

Yes ….. I have blurred the numbers. I don’t need reminding of my age

I also received the 2016 Great British Bake Off cook book which may well become a collector’s item now that greed has resulted in the format being sold to Channel 4 – but let’s not dwell on that distasteful thought. Needless to say I have already scrutinised the recipes and have a list as long as …… well the book, if I’m honest ….. that I am looking forward to trying once the Rayburn is back on 24/7. Chocolates and a bottle of Baileys were also received and duly polished off but the most touching and heartfelt gift from the younger Mudlets was a birthday cake, bought as a sponge covered in plain white fondant icing and then lovingly decorated by them, with icing pens and sugar or rice paper decorations which they chose. Mud left them to it and I think that between them, they’ve done a wonderful job.


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Return to Wragby Maze

One of the three 9-hole putting greens

At the start of one of the three 9-hole putting greens

Back in May 2013, Mud and I took the girls on a surprise visit to Wragby Maze, an attraction about one and a half hours from us which both girls had been asking to visit for the best part of a year. We had a fantastic time that day, finding it great value for money, tremendous fun, with friendly welcoming staff. Our only regret was that we hadn’t brought a picnic with us and so as we left we promised the girls that we would go back with a picnic and make a real day of it. Unfortunately, since then, every time we have planned the return trip the weather has let us down and we have had to postpone the trip several times over the last three years …….. until this week when with the weather set to be nice and warm for the early part of the week, we seized the opportunity and Tuesday morning set out for the maze. Continue reading


Now you see it – the pond that is

What a difference 2 hours and a load of elbow grease makes

What a difference 2 hours and a load of elbow grease makes

Okay, let’s be honest, up to a week or so ago, as Summers go, the weather we’ve had so far this year has been…. well….. less than ideal. In fact if I’m totally honest, with the exception of most of the second week of Wimbledon, the lack of sunshine and warmth has been immensely depressing, frustrating and off-putting. Poor old Mud has been thoroughly cheesed off because since leaving his job three weeks ago, he hasn’t been able to get on with any of the jobs on Ciggy, Annie or the workshop that he had planned to do and has spent much of the last few weeks muttering about how he shouldn’t be at all surprised because this has been typical of his luck in recent years, in respect of the weather on his days off! Continue reading