Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Easter at Freshwinds

I can't believe that Easter has been and gone.  Where is this year going?  It is flying by.  Me and James went away fro the Easter weekend.  Nothing fancy, just a weekend camping at our usual spot at Freshwinds campsite in Pett near Hastings.  If your close to the east coast and ever fancy a camping trip I cannot recommend this place enough.  It was our sixth time there, surely that says enough.

The first thing we did as soon as we had arrived was to pop along to the main farm and the garden.  I was pleased we did as we bumped into Jen & Steve and Jen's sister Paula.  I'm a big fan of Jen's blog and love being able to see all that is going on in the Freshwinds garden while we are not there, so it was lovely to have a little chat before we headed off to the camping field to set up our home for the next 2 days.

It was a very chilled weekend.  I spent a lot of time working on a cross stitch project and reading, it was very relaxing.  We spent Saturday morning helping Anne and her Dad out in the garden putting up a new poly-tunnel that they had recently bought.  Once that was done there was time for a quick cuppa before the cows and their calves were being let out of the barn and into the fields for the first time this year.  It was great fun being able to help with this, especially as I managed to miss it last year.

It is much a home away from home.  I love the farming way of life, the early mornings would be a struggle for me but I'm sure I'd get used to it.  So for now this is the closest I get to proper farming.  We will be back again in July, which will be here before we know it, the rate time is whizzing by at the moment.  So until then I shall just have to carry on reading Jen's blog to get my Freshwinds fix.

Love Gem x x x

Monday, 28 April 2014


I love all the different seasons, more so now that I can appreciate them all, one of the many joys of living in the countryside.  It's surprising how much more you notice the slightest of change.  I know I've already done a spring post this year but I just thought I'd share a few more photos with you of springtime in my little part of the world.

Blue skies and bright white blossom.

Mrs Honey Bee collecting pollen

Gladys & Margaret having a natter amongst the daffodils.

A beautiful evening with the apple blossom.

So delicate and pretty.

I hope you are enjoying spring as much as I am.

Love Gem x x x

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Pressing Apples - Making Cider

When we got back home from the Creative Stitches show, James and our friend Glenn were busy pressing apples in the garden.  We live on an old apple orchard and as it was such a bumper harvest last year they had struggled to sell all the apples, so we said we would take what was left off their hands before they all went to waste.

It looks as though we had timed it just right as we did have to throw quite a few of them, they were just too far gone, but the majority were fine and so into the scratter they went.

All hands were on deck.  Everyone had a go :).

Once the apples were cut up, they went into the press so we could collect the juice.

It was actually really good fun, I've never done anything like this before and thoroughly enjoyed it.  It was real hard work,and took all day to get through all the apples but I'd do it again.  In fact we will be doing it again this year, once the apples have been picked, we should get a lot more juice out of them this time.

A proper country lifestyle, I love it.

Love Gem x x x

Monday, 21 April 2014

Creative Stitches Show

The other week I ventured out to the Excel Centre in East London along with a friend to the Creative Stitches & Hobbycraft show.  I've not been to a craft show for quite a while, in an attempt to save money and use up my craft stash.  I was excited to get to this one to top up my craft supplies and hopefully get some bits for the wedding, I'd begun to get withdrawal symptoms from those large halls filled with crafting supplies.  It didn't disappoint.

The show was organised by ICHF I visited one of their shows a couple of years ago at Bluewater.  I've been really impressed with their shows.  They are on a smaller scale to the shows you get at Olympia or Alexandra Palace but you still get the same selection of stalls.  Because it is smaller you find that your not seeing the same things over and over again.

My favourite part of these events are the displays, in particular the knitted ones.  There have been a fair few in the past, a knitted village a knitted garden, well this time it was knitted story books, absolutely incredible.  I dread to think how many hours would have been put into creating all of this.  It is something I would love to be a part of in the future, definitely something to look into.

I was very restrained and didn't buy all that much, and what I did buy was what I had planned on getting and that is fabric to make some bunting for wedding decorations.

And I couldn't resist the pretty ribbon, it would have been rude not to have bought it.  I've bought from the Ribbon Box before, such beautiful ribbons.

So that should get my creative juices flowing for a little longer, well until the next craft show.

Love Gem x x x x

Monday, 7 April 2014

Parkinson's Awareness Week

Parkinson's Disease is something I've not really ever talked about here on the blog, but it is something that has had a big effect on my life.  My Grandad who sadly passed away 2 years ago suffered with Parkinson's for 26 years.  I'd never known him without it, which I find really sad because I know the Parkinson's changed him, I would have loved to of known him before this awful disease took a hold of his body.

As a child growing up I would spend a lot of time with him, especially during the school holidays.  I always remember being aware of the illness, the shakes were the most obvious thing.  He would shuffle about the house in a way that only Grandad could :)  His mobility was getting worse and soon enough even a simple thing such as walking up and down the stairs became impossible for him.  They had a stair lift installed which was great fun for us kids but must have felt so demoralising after years of being able to walk the stairs, to now suddenly not being able to.

As the years went on his mobility became worse still and his speech was becoming difficult to understand.  He would stutter and stammer, his words were slurred, it became frustrating for us not being able to understand what he was trying to say to us, I can't imagine how bad it must have been for him, especially knowing that it was only going to get worse. 

In the end he was bed bound, he had lost all use of his muscles, he couldn't even feed himself.  It was a dreadful thing to have to witness, it seemed so unfair.  He hadn't done anything to deserve this.  It wasn't just a strain for him, it was a strain for the whole family, especially my Nan.  We were loosing him.

But do you know what in those 25 years I never once heard him complain, boy did he have reason to, but he never did, he just got on with things as best as he could.

I wanted to show you this photo just so you can see exactly what Parkinson's did to my Grandad, this is no life for anyone.

I'm lucky to have lots of memories of time spent with him, even right up to his last Christmas which was less than a month before he passed away.  These memories are more than what some people get with their grandparents, so for that I am thankful.

You never really hear much about Parkinson's so I wanted to say my little piece about it during Parkinson's Awareness week.  Parkinson's UK is a brilliant charity providing support for those affected.  I know they were a great help to my grandparents and I'm sure are the same to many others out there.  If you want to find out more about the charity, the disease or how you could help check out their website here.  Just understanding more about the disease is a great step. 

Love Gem x x x

This is not in any way a sponsored post I just wanted to share my experience and spread awareness.  

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Splish, Splash, I was Taking A Bath

I have shown you around most rooms in my little home.  One room that hasn't been visited yet is the bathroom.  Well if I'm honest it is pretty much exactly the same as everyone else's bathroom, one thing I can say though is that is hasn't escaped my floral touches, oh no, hehee.

It is my least favourite room in the house, I just find it very bland.  There isn't a great deal that we are able to do with it, it's is quite plain, I don't do plain.

It is a very bright room, almost the whole of one wall is window, that is one thing I do like about it.  The rest is plain white tiles so it is a case of trying to add in more colour wherever possible.

The other thing that I like about our bathroom is old fashioned toilet cistern.  Not very glamorous I know but I had to show you.

I have tried matching the accessories with each other and also tried to bring in some colour with these too, off course they had to be floral.

The only room left to show you now is the kitchen, but we shall save that for another day.

~ Gem x