Archive for February, 2012

February 6, 2012


I got a parcel in the post today. A small parcel with a huge significance.

Inside it was this:

A bottle of glittery Deborah Lippman nail polish with a sachet of remover and a little card from Ruth at Minibreak Mummy. Ruth and I have never met. I know she has a great blog, is lovely and chatty on Twitter and that we share a very similar taste in books  from our friendship on Good Reads. I also know that her sister set up Beauty Box Swaps for people to exchange things that they’ve received in their beauty box (Glossy Box, for example) which is a great idea and one that I will probably be making use of myself soon!

After a weekend spent thinking about the future of my blog, the point of Twitter, and various other ‘how-the-hell-am-I-supposed-to-fit-it-all-in-and-what’s-the-point-anyway?’ type thoughts, this little bottle of nail polish has renewed my faith that there are genuinely kind and lovely people out there, people who are my friends, even though we may never have met. People who perform such acts of kindness, just because they can. People that I would never have met (virtually or in real life) if it weren’t for this blog and the associated Twitter account. It’s helped me to realise that the future of my blog is just this. To be a record of my ‘Margot-and-Barbara’ life, and the people and events within in. So I can write when I have something to say, not just to fit into a self-created schedule. Anything else, wherever it ends up, can be the cherry on the top. Thank you so much, Ruth for the polish and for making me realise all this.

And the polish? I love it.

February 3, 2012

Little Luxuries.

I’m saving up for holidays, paying off debts and trying to keep myself cheerful just by thinking of the sunshine and beaches to come. These long grey January days, with no sunshine in sight, can leave me pretty gloomy. I’ve been trying to come up with ways to cheer myself up, without spending a lot of money. All too often it feels as though you have to spend money to indulge yourself, but really time and effort are more important.

Some of my favourite little luxuries:

  • A walk in the woods, especially now the snowdrops are in bloom. Even when it’s cold, they lift the spirits.
  • A crisp new edition of a favourite magazine.
  • Spending some time on the sofa with a newly chosen novel from my local library.
  • A small posy of flowers. I’ve tidied up my bedside cabinet and bought a small bunch of pink tulips. Just looking at them every morning cheers me up.
  • A few, good quality chocolates – these ones are chocolate BAFTAs! I went into Hotel Chocolat for my usual treat of Florentines and got distracted by these. At the moment, I cannot bear to eat them. That feeling won’t last…
  • A bubble bath without interruptions. A bit of peace is a huge luxury when you have small children.
  • A proper face to face chat with a friend. Preferably with the addition of cake or wine.
  • Making time to watch good quality television programmes. My current favourites: Borgen, Stella and New Girl.
  • Giving myself a manicure or pedicure with a bright, cheerful polish.
  • A home spa using all the little samples I’ve been collecting – I’ll have even more of these now I’ve signed up to Glossy Box and I will enjoy taking time to use and review everything they send me.

What are your little luxuries? I’d love to compile a list of things to choose from when I’m feeling gloomy and in need of cheering up without spending a fortune…

February 1, 2012

Three Square Foot of Garden.

On Sunday we ventured to the allotment for a short while and spent the time creating a small raised bed for each of the kids to have as their own space. They’re roughly three foot square each, based on the amazing kitchen garden at RHS Harlow Carr which is one of my favourite places to draw inspiration from. I wanted the kids to both have a decent piece of the plot so that they can grow something of their own. It has to be said that one of the plots will probably just end up being used to drive toy tractors on, but Eve has already decided that she wants flowers, strawberries and carrots on hers!

Remembering my rules for allotment gardening with the kids meant that everyone had a lovely time, although Ben did get cold quite quickly so we came home after about an hour. I could have stayed out a lot longer, so I had to remind myself that allotment gardening is a marathon, not a sprint!