I have had a busy old time of it since we broke up for the summer - boredom certainly hasn't been an issue - unlike many of my recently departed students, judging by the comments I see on FB! I am pretty good at occupying myself and have set myself lots of tasks this summer - no idea how they will all get done, but I shall try. News has come that our official adoption papers have now been cleared in this country, which is much sooner than we had anticipated - this is amazing, but also worrying in that we have a big trek in October which we are duty bound to fulfill and well, we haven't got anything yet - Traipsing around Ikea with your husband isn't the most fun a girl can have.... we have managed it once this holiday before he headed off to climb in Italy, but a second time in the space of a month might be pushing it! It is hard to picture what life will be like, I am excited but terrified in equal measure, I have some incredible friends who I know will guide me through everything from the nappy buying to the sleep deprivation, but even so, blimey, I am going to be a MUM!!!!
Speaking of Mums, mine very kindly treated me to a weekend away the moment I was released from college! We stayed in a hotel in Burnham beaches and were treated to some rather lovely luxury! We also indulged ourselves by visiting a whole pile of stately homes - Hampton Court (have got to do the evening salacious gossip tour this summer), Hughendon Mannor and Clivedon - this is where I am determined to have a spa day with said Mother, just as soon as I get an unexpected windfall!
Once home of Benjamin Disraeli and then home to the air ministry staff in World war 2 - it is worth it for the guided tours alone, yeah I know I sound middle aged, but really, they are brilliant!
The gardens are lovely and no, Mum didn't snap any poppy seed pods off for her own garden at all....
Shame scarecrows don't scare off the slugs........
I would love a monkey puzzle tree, but they seem to grow rather big!!
Now a very posh hotel
Hampton Court Palace - pad of Henry the 8th most famously, can you name all of his wives???
I can see a new bird image developing from this fine fella!
And then on to the decorating.....
My studio now needs to be the guest room too as the current one will need to house someone else.... This, I can tell you, was no mean feat - but with a great deal of hard labour (3 WHOLE DAYS), a trip to Ikea and a very kind brother it might have just been achieved.....
Before - well it actually wasn't this bad - you could see the floor, but I forgot to take a shot before I started clearing!
First storage unit..
Late night Come Dine With Me and a cat for company...
Guy, my little brother - a demon with the flat pack - looking smug!
Another smug boots - "oh well thank you very much for making me a new bed" Mine, all mine!
See - look how comfy it is!
Nearly there - 3rd trip to the dump about to happen!
Have started printing again now though, so it's all messy again!!
I have been making birds and lampshades - pics to come.
I have also painted the bathroom, but I think I have bored you enough with house stuff!!
I was also very sociable last week, I met up with my old agent for a catch up, I had lunch and did a spot of shopping with Caroline in Guidlford, had lunch with G and did a birthday lunch for Lynda, not to mention an Olympics opening Ceremony with the aerobic girls!
Caracoli - above Steamer Trading in Guidford - go and eat fab food on the roof terrace!
Up until this, this is only the second time I have managed to sit out on the deck this summer - I use the word summer very loosely, but we were lucky enough to have some amazing weather last week weren't we! I told have Ivan (Mr Bicknell) to go away more often, as it seems to be sunny when he isn't here!!!
Tabouleh and Pimms
Macaroons and other naughties for tea!
The next morning, whilst it was still sunny I had one of the idyllic moments - I was sitting, drinking tea, eating the only few strawberries that the slugs hadn't slimed their way through from the pots and trying to get my head around how to open an Etsy store (watch this space) when my neighbour started to play Summertime on his sax - he doesn't come down much, and I had no idea that he played - he is very good too - now it doesn't get much better than this does it?!
A couple of other nice things - I love this banner - I had to take a second look when I first saw it as I wasn't sure if we had a nice new shop in town or not - sadly not, but it's good isn't it!
This sunset was pretty special too - I don't often stop to take a pic of a sunset, but when I saw this on my way home from the gym I couldn't resist.
The sun also helped to dry the garden out and encouraged me to tackle the weeds - and pick some veggies, I am gutted that my broad beans failed miserably, although they do seem to be re-growing, so you never know! But I have lived off peas which seem to have flourished!
Runners on their way
And look, my first ever artichoke! Yay! It has only taken 3 years for this to happen!
The madness that is my flower garden!
And then it was the Olympics! Go team GB - Notthat it looks like it,but we do actually exercise together 2 or 3 times a week! Errr, no that is not pudding.....
It's a rubbish photo, but FYI Amina, Marianne and Juliet
Wasn't the ceremony brilliant?
Lots of medals yesterday meant that we rose to 10th on the medals table instead of 23rd! I have got my fingers crossed for Addlington and Daly...I hope you are enjoying the games too!