Friday, 15 August 2014


I've not done a Friday Happy for a couple of weeks.

I am feeling a bit tired at the moment. It's my own fault enitrely. I'm reading far too late in the night, and going full whack during the day. I've decided to take it a bit easier over the weekend, and then ramp it up again next week. We are off to France on Thursday, so lots of packing, shopping and cleaning to be done before then. I also want to visit a couple of local places of interest. Places I've been meaning to go for a while. I wonder if I'm cramming as much as possible into my final weeks with Pops at home full time?

Anyway, bumper happies!! Joining in with the rather gorgeous Gillian, who I met earlier this month. What a babe. What treat to meet her and her lovely family. Next time (because there will be a next time), I'd like to chat over a few beers and set the world to rights with her. She's that kind of a gal! And she wore a rather lovely necklace. I notice these things, you see......


No sooner had I come home from Bestival, I was off again to Bristol. Probably not the best planning, but it was the only time I could go. And I miss my family a lot. We are a close knit bunch. It was the weekend of the annual balloon festival, and my sister's house is in the perfect place to watch them float by in the early morning. Olly was entranced by them. We went into central Bristol a few times, which is always great. There is a vibe to Bristol. It can be edgy sometimes, but it's a creative, vibrant hub, and I love it. Visiting Bristol has also sent me off into a spiral of thoughts and memories. I'm still trying to catch hold of them, and decipher what they mean.


The garden has been a mixed bag this summer. I have loved my sunflowers, thistles and Achillia. But the Dahlias are a poor show, and my greenhouse was infested with something that laid waste to everything. I did get some tomatoes and cucumbers, but in the end I admitted defeat. I have cleared it out, and given it a very good clean. Hopefully I will be able to start again with seed planting for Plot No 10. I am still picking blueberries, and the plums are ripening too. Everyone should have a blueberry plant. They are pretty and crop prolifically. Put it on your list, and go get yourself one next Spring.


I have bought three more cushions in an attempt to brighten up my horrid brown leather sofas. They were cheap as chips from IKEA and Asda. (Another reason for loving Bristol is the choice of retail options. I spent a couple of hours in John Lewis, just walking around with my mouth open..... but I digress). I have also bought a straw bag. I need another bag like a hole in the head, but it was in the sale. I love a sale. It gives me permission to treat myself - "Oh this? It was in the sale." I say that a lot to Marc. A sale justifies any purchase, however unnecessary, don't you think?


I have been a proper little book worm of late. I stay up far later than I should, lying on my tummy with the pillows scrunched underneath me just so. I pull my bedside table closer to the bed, so that the lamp can shine down onto the page. I finished 'A Homemade Life' last night. I read about it on Isabelle's post for The Year In Books, and it sounded like my cup of tea. I would recommend it. She is a blogger, who has written a memoir/recipie book. Poignant and sad in places, but ultimately uplifting. My late submission for Laura's series is in the pile too - 'The Shock Of The Fall' by Nathan Filer. I shall be taking it with me to France.


Last, but by no means least, Sam got his AS Level results!! He wrote them down on a piece of paper and passed them to me while I was on the telephone to a friend. I think that friend is now deaf. I can't begin to describe how proud I am of him. He has grown and changed so much this year. He has this amazing work ethic, both for his studies and his holiday job, and I have watched him with a quiet pride and great bursts of love. Yes he is a messy git, and I really wish he would get a hair cut. I hate that he has taken to eating pizza in his room late at night (I am woken by the waft of cheese and tomato regularly), and I hate his taste in music (I am a music Nazi, apparently). But, you know, sometimes all those years of pull your hair out parenting does feel worth it. This one of those times. And yes, I know that academic results aren't everything blah, blah, blah....but actually these are important to him and what he wants to do. So they are important to me.

That was the happy.

Right, I'm off for a date with my sister in law and a bottle of wine. Or two. See ya!

Leanne xx


  1. Well done Sam!!!! Brilliant exam results after what has I am sure been a lot of hard work and study!! Your Mum is very proud of you you know! xx

  2. You've had such a busy summer, Leanne. I'm glad you're cramming it in, it sounds like a lot of fun. And I understand cramming it in before Olly goes to school, it seems very reasonable to me. My daughter started school this week and while I've been surprisingly calm about it, it's been a little bumpy for her. It wasn't unexpected, but it's exhausting anyway. I hope you have a lovely time in France. I'm very happy for Sam, it sounds like he is doing really well. Take care and enjoy.

  3. Great results. Matt is awaiting GCSE's next week. I'm getting quite anxious, even if he isn't!
    Have a great weekend - and enjoy that wine! x

  4. Well done Sam!
    I have always fancied visiting Bristol and one day I will. Maybe on the way to Cornwall next year. I am glad your life is full of happies just now. Reading in bed is just such a treat, isn't it?. I powered my way through the Goldfinch last week, bleary eyed and dog tired but it was just nice to be immersed in a good story. I am tempted by most of the books in your pile. Have a great holiday in France. x

  5. I loved 'A Handmade Life' too, it is very honest. Well done to Sam, brilliant! X

  6. I'm glad you enjoyed A Homemade Life, Leanne. And I agree that it is ultimately an uplifting book - well said. I know exactly what you mean about reading too late and cramming too much into the day. Guilty as charged over here too. And your nightstand looks suspiciously like mine with that giant pile of books! Hope things don't get too hectic packing for your trip to France and that you have a great time over there xxx

  7. Ah, a lovely collection of happies :-) I like your bag and would have bought it too. Congrats to Sam on the results- lovely for him to have some recognition of all his hard work and confirmation he's on the right track. M was at uni in Bristol many moons ago and I like it even though I'm not a town person. Enjoy France honey xx

  8. Congratulations to Sam, really fantastic results. Glad you enjoyed your time in Bristol, I always find it very energising. That's a good pile of books by your bed, I'd like to read lots of them too. I've been on the lookout for something by Barbara Kingsolver since you recommended her. I hope you guys all have a really good weekend. CJ xx

  9. I am reading your blog in bed. And getting prodded to turn the light out. Sigh.
    Awesome result, well done that man. Have a great time in France x

  10. Congrats to Sam! I can almost see the smile on your face way over here in Canada. I hope you are able to catch up on your rest this weekend so you can go full steam ahead for the rest of the summer. I've worn myself out too due to lots of guests and not enough sleep, and my plan for the weekend is the same as yours - to take it easy. I've put A Homemade Life on my Amazon Wish List. Thanks for mentioning it.

  11. Many well deserved congrats to Sam and his parents for creating the environment for him to flourish.

  12. Wow great happies, well done to Sam I'm so impressed with any teenager that can get their head down to study with so much to tempt them otherwise. Have a fab time in France, and let's get together after term starts and everything calms down a bit x

  13. Hugest well done to Sam. And have the best time in France.

    1. Ps I hadn't realised you are from Bristol. My sister lived there for years - we grew up in Taunton and then Bath. West Country gals are the best ;)

  14. Lots of Lovely happies there. Great results too. I can't help but think about my own experience when getting my A level results. I cannot resist a trip to Ikea...all those thing you need!!

  15. Oh, I've just read this and am now grinning ear to ear like an idiot. Yes, beers and setting the world to rights, this I like the sound of!

    Yes, sales justify all purchases and yes you definitely needed another straw bag (I think I'm on maybe my fifth...?) and you can never be over-cushioned in my humble opinion. Huge congrats to Sam on his outstanding AS level results. xx