Monday, 27 August 2012

strawberry fields

Good Lord, it's been three long weeks since I last had the chance to write a post, mostly because our three-year old has decided that bedtime is, like, soooo last year. Seriously, the little beggar hasn't been going to sleep until gone 9pm every night, which doesn't leave much time for, well, anything. Bah.

A couple of weeks ago, we went off to Petersfield market to buy our fruit and veg (more on that later) and took the scenic route home, through the winding roads and little villages nearby. The kiddos were asleep in the back of the car, the sun poured through the windows, and the radio played quietly in the background. Bliss.

It's times like these that remind me that actually, living where we do is pretty good. We're half an hour from a  superbly clean, sandy beach in one direction, the countryside in another, and surrounded by little shops and markets all over. We're not quite up there with London, but we don't do badly down on the South Coast, and I really and truly couldn't imagine living anywhere else.

Aaaaanyway, as we headed back towards home, we passed a sign that told us a PYO farm was up ahead - never one to miss a food related opportunity, we lurched round the corner and up the hill. The sight that greeted us was spectacular - rolling hills for as far as the eye could see, flanked by an abundence of leafy trees and topped by the deepest blue sky.

Rolling hills and rows of fruit bushes.
Durleigh Marsh Farm, on the Hampshire/ Sussex border, is immense. Fact. The landscape itself is beeeyootiful, and the staff are really friendly and helpful, particularly with fruit picking novices like myself. We ended up with blueberries, strawberries and raspberries, and there was a small incident involving a spade and some rhubarb related confusion. Ahem. It was incredibly satisfying to watch our trugs slowly fill up, and to later on sit and munch our way through the haul - you can't get much fresher than 'picked that day' berries. Nom, nom, nom.

They also sold the most beautiful flowers and plants - check out those geraniums.

Strawberries, nom.
Well, if you insist.

Little blueberries for little hands.
It was so hot that I had to scrabble about in the car for something to cover up my bonce. Sunstroke is not a good look.....
Raspberries galore.
The other Scarecrow was wearing a GAP jumper. Enough to frighten anything away.


Wednesday, 8 August 2012

ship shape studio

I met Emily of Shipshape Studio a year or so ago on Twitter (the same way I've met tonnes of loverly peeps throughout my blogging time), and then bought a card from her at the Shalford Vintage Fair a few months later, waaaay back when she was working under the Handmade by Emily label. Since then, Shipshape Studio has been born, and now they've launched the online store as well. To celebrate, there's an online party that runs from 9am Thursday 9th August (yes, yes, I know it's tomorrow, but it does last for twelve hours...) until 9am the following day. Expect fun things aplenty - see you there!

Sunday, 5 August 2012

on plain packaging

When I was sixteen, I smoked my first cigarette. It was one of the most stupid decisions I have ever made (and believe me, there have been plenty), and I went on to smoke off and on for the following ten years. I tried quitting heaps of times, but somehow it always seemed easier to just give in - it wasn't until we were trying to have Benjamin that I actually managed it. There was suddenly something that was much more appealing to me than spending ridiculous amounts of money to stick dried up leaves in my mouth and set fire to them.

I wish I'd never started. Thinking about the amount of money I wasted, the impact I would have had on the environment and the detrimental effect to my own health (even if you quit, you're still at an increased risk of cancer and other smoking related diseases) does my absolute box in, and I just pray that neither of my two ever decide to 'dabble' like I did. Children and young adults are, let's face it, easily influenced, which is why I'm forcefully backing the Plain Packaging campaign, which aims to make cigarette and tobacco packets far less attractive to young people. If locked in place, regulations would mean that all brands are forced to use the same typeface, in the same colour and size - not only would the whole thing be far less eyecatching, but the health warnings could take up a whopping 75% of the pack front. It's hard to ignore the facts when they're staring you straight in the face....

Smoking facts for kids
Protect our children. Visit the Plain Packaging Campaign for more information and to pledge your support.
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