Monday, 9 June 2014

So.......






A little absence....




I have needed it. I go through these little phases where I need to retreat into my own little world....spend a while lost in thought.....then I surface, and carry on.




I always feel like I need to do it. Collect my thoughts. Just slow the pace inside my head and concentrate on a few things at a time. Ponder.....reflect.....decide.....make plans. I do it best when I do it quietly, within myself. I didn't feel like being on here, being distracted. I didn't feel like crafting, my mojo up and left me. I felt like just being in the real world, doing the daily grind and thinking when I could.




My family are used to my little quirk. They recognise my need for being quiet for a bit.




But i'm back. I've re-surfaced and am picking up where I left off.

I was mesmerised by this rose. This is the bottom of it, the bit by the stalk. It just came away and I just loved how it looked. Very delicate, but oh so perfect.

Anyway.......

A change of banner.
I wanted bright.
Like coming out of a little hermit hibernation.
I feel like colour.





So, what has been going on? Well, whilst visiting family in Wales a few months back, we discovered a Wetlands centre. A really great place to visit. We had a great time......and realised that there are 9 wetlands centres dotted throughout the UK.

There are two closer to home, so, during the half term, we decided to check these out. They were brilliant. We went first to Arundel (a fab place to visit in itself). The day was cloudy and overcast, but perfect for three bears that run around and not get too hot. If you are interested in nature and wildlife then I really recommend a visit. Great for young children too. At times, it didn't seem like we were in the UK.


With this view I felt like I was in a far eastern country. The green this time of year is so vibrant and gorgeous.





It was a really fun day, and the bears never moaned once (which is a rarity these days if I dare to separate them from their gadgets).

After visiting the Wetlands, we walked around Arundel. We really wanted to visit the Castle. One of the most magnificently restored Castles I think we have (the oldest feature being the moat, built in 1068). It's never fallen into complete ruin (as so many others have), and every couple of hundred years after it's build, it's been maintained a little by whoever has owned it. I just love our British heritage. So deep rooted. I love to imagine what it must have been like almost a thousand years ago living in something like this. Probably awful i'm sure. It's hard to imagine a life without the creature comforts we have today. It's a real beauty though

However, time was not on our side. I wanted to visit when we could take our time, and preferably view it on a sunnier day, when the gardens would look at their most spectacular. The bears were a tad disappointed, but I knew they would appreciate not being rushed around it when the time came.



So, the Castle is being saved for another day. We just admired it from afar that day.

Not content with visiting just one Wetlands, we visited our most local one in London. Wow, we loved it so much. I thought it might be pushing it, two in a week, but, actually it was different enough for the Bears to be perfectly happy. The day was bright and warm too, and it's very child friendly as I have said. Ice creams, cold drinks and a few nibbles kept them very happy.






This Drake was so lovely. Just happy to sit whilst I stood next to him. I love ducks. I love their gentle faces and their gentle 'quack'. I also loved these succulents. They were on many of the hide roofs, and these are my favourite succulents. I adore their gentle greens and rosy pinks.


The Wetlands Centres have 2 parts to them. The wetlands and marshes, where you walk around and get to look in the hides, and see all the wildlife. You get to see a lot of nest building which is fantastic. The second main part is the bird section. You walk amongst many many species of birds.


I was fascinated by these little dudes. They waddled along the paths, then the babies would stop and sit and have a rest. The parents would stay either side of them for a few minutes keeping watch, then the parent at the front would make tracks and one by one the babies would stand up and follow. A few yards further on, and they would rest again. It was so sweet.



Beautiful board walks through the marshy grasses, and gorgeous flowers to attract the birds and the bees.



I really could have stayed there for days. The sun was shining, the scenery was vibrant, and you just wouldn't have thought you were in London.











In amongst all the wetlands visits, we took a trip to Brighton......which I loved. Although, I have to say, it made me realise I am NOT a big fan of Piers. Looking through the wooden decking to see the deep sea below scared me rather, and I found myself swaying a lot and muttering 'I really don't like this'. The Bears loved it, needless to say.







I was much happier to be exploring the rabbit warren of side streets in the town centre.


So, places discovered...places loved.....and places book marked to visit again.






Back at home, it's been nice to just slow the pace. 



I have done a fair amount of snuggling under my Happy Scrappy Blanket. It is fast becoming one of the most well used blankets in the house.






I have enjoyed bringing some colour inside.




I have loved being in the house, baking bits and pieces for the bears, sorting, tidying....and just being a homebody. 








I could lock myself up in a house for days at a time and feel content. It makes me realise I could quite happily be a recluse.





















The Bear's favourite, vanilla sponge with buttercream frosting. It never lasts long. The icing was pink because I was fed up with nerf blasters, lego, minecraft, stinky socks and PE kits. I needed feminine. Good job they don't care when it comes to food. Actually, the Bear's are very good with my feminine hit in the house to counteract the intense testosterone. Big Bear told me the other day that he loved our house. I asked him what he loved about it and he replied that it was cosy and comforting. I guess that's the biggest compliment, to have succeeded as a mother, in providing a warm, cosy environment for my Bears. Score! Although, I swear his view of cosy is my view of utter mess.


















My crafty efforts have taken a back seat. My projects have stalled somewhat. Just one thing finished......which I love......but I'll save that for another day.






I'm hoping my crafty mojo will come back soon. For now, i'll just go with the flow.

It's nice to dip my toes back in again though.


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Pop over here today if you fancy reading my Coffee Morning Interview.



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I hope you are all well.

Sorry for the heavy post.

Toodle pip for now.


xxx













79 comments:

  1. Lovely to be able to read a new blogpost from you again - and what a blogpost this is... such pretty photos !
    Enjoyed it from beginning to end !!

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  2. Good to see you again. Did you know you almost passed by my front door if you've been in Sussex? Brighton is great for visiting, but I love the fact I'm 10 miles or so outside, and see more green fields than anything else. Good to see you all had a great half term. Revision, revision and more revision here - which isn't much fun for son or mum! x

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    1. Ooooh you were close by! We took a very lovely scenic way home when we came to leave and the views were just GORGEOUS. I do love living in the south! Eeeeek, all the best with the revision! x

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  3. Never any need to apologise for the photo heavy post! It is lovely to see all that you have been up to. I totally understand what you mean about the retreating/hermit/recluse thing. I love to go out and visit people and places, but I am always so happy to come home and can easily spend days at a time home alone if the opportunity ever arises. I never feel lonely, I just enjoy the alone time and the time to think and do what I want to - or not - as the case may be. Lovely to hear from you though, and I really like your new header - very colourful and jolly indeed! xx

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    1. I could be very happy never seeing a living soul I think. I am always happy in my own company, but the rest of the family have itchy feet if they are in the house for more than an hour! x

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  4. Glad you are back after a nice break. We all need that once in a while! What was that fab looking cake pictured above with the dusting of cocoa?

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    1. It was Banoffee Pie! Totally calorific and totally yummy! x

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  5. Loved looking at all of your pictures! Makes me want to vacation there!! (I'm in Florida). Your kitchen is lovely; love all the colors with the white tiles. Your crochet is very inspiring to me...yours is one of the first blogs I discovered when I learned to crochet two years ago.

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    1. Thank you Lisa. Hopefully i'll have some more crochet to share soon! x

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  6. wetlands . . . gorgeous flowers . . . mother duck and her babes . . . the soft colors in your home . . . these are a few of my favorite things.

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  7. lovely post Vanessa!...your post are always a ray of sunshine..cheer my soul very much and very visually beautiful just like you!...i liked your 'coffee morning' interview. I got into blogging a very similar way just stumbled across a blog...then blog hopped. you look like you've been enjoying the sunshine but like me in devon you need your packamacks n wellies just in case~ been a funny old few days here big showers then scortcha sunshine. happy week lovely...xx

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    1. Yours is one of the first blogs I followed, and I have loved it from the first moment I set eyes upon it.......but you know that! I woke to sun so put on a sundress. By the time the morning school run happened it was cloudy and cool so I changed to jeans. I gardened and it got sunny and hot, so I changed again, now it's raining and cool! Funny old weather, but i'll take anything if there's a bit of blue sky and sun mixed in! xxx

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  8. Hello lovely V ..... welcome back, you were missed x
    What a beautiful post and those ducks are so adorable.
    I'm the same, I would VERY happily be locked up home for weeks at a time, I think I could way too easily become a recluse, I have to fight that urge!
    Happy new week
    love Jooles x x x

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  9. Such lovely photos - thanks for sharing. I've been a bit off blogging over recent weeks too - maybe it's the sunshine! I am snowed under with quilt orders though but can't get away from my lacey knitting in the evenings. The snaps of your newly updated kitchen are inspiring - so pretty. Super cake too, I bet that didn't last long. I can't even look at the photo for long without putting on a pound or two, I'm sure. I'm not eating cake, or anything else much at the moment in a bid to reduce my middle! It's very slow going :-(

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    1. I think we all have these little dips when we don't feel like being at the computer, perhaps it is weather related! I was very good and just had the teensiest of slices! It really didn't last long at all. Good job it was so quick to make! xxx

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  10. Welcome back lovely Vanessa, hope you had a good break and are enjoying this glorious bit of sunshine we finally have. We have missed your presence terribley, photos are as usual, a breath of fresh air.

    Can I pick your brains, been meaning to ask you this for a while. You know your 'Boy's Blanket', I really loved the blue colour you used, I know you mentioned somewhere that it was discontinued. Do you happen to remember what brand it was? I can not seem to find that shade?! or do you have any clue what is the closest shade to that one? Thank you xx

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    1. Ah Mami I can't remember what brand it was. It was an acrylic mix and not very expensive but I had a devil of a job trying to get a few more balls to finish the blanket. I think it must have been discontinued for a while. It was a mid petrol blue shade and it was really nice. I think it was called teal, although I would have said it was blue with the smallest smidgeon of turquoise. Stylecraft life dk do a similar colour called teal. I think mine was a tad bluer but it was close. I hope this helps a little! x

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    2. Thank you Vanessa, I have the teal one from SC, it is a little too green for my liking. I just love Blue hues, but as I always have to order everything online, they always end up looking different than when they arrives. I was just wondering, you know your Evening Star, Narnia blanket? you mentioned that you used a Rowan 4 ply yarn in Sage, is that the blue you used in your blanket? because I have that colour, and it is sage. I love the blue you used in your Narnia blanket, is your sage on the blue side or is it my eyes playing up? Thank you so much for your help darling. xx

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    3. No, the Rowan was a real greeny shade. It was definitely an acrylic mix wool, and one of the cheaper brands like stylecraft, but I just can't remember the brand. I know that their new shades after it were all blue and no hint of green at all in them. It annoyed me at the time that they didn't go on to something even similar. It is very frustrating buying online too, as it's so difficult to see the true shade on a computer screen. The all boys blanket shade was definitely smack in the middle between blue and teal, it really only had the smallest amount of green in it to make a shade or two different from blue. Definitely a petrol blue. I've never come across a shade in a shop like it since, otherwise I would have bought more, I loved it so. But if I ever come across a shade in a shop just like it, I'll let you know all it's details for future reference. x

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  11. Such a beautiful post! I always love your heavy posts:)) I will look at over again and again...
    Have a wonderful week...

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    1. Awe thank you, and have a wonderful week too lovely x

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  12. Good to see you back in Blogland Vanessa. So many beautiful pictures and I am so with you on Brighton Pier - that is exactly how I felt when I went on it, and then my other half decided to take our three girls on the roller coaster at the end of the pier and I swear as it dipped down for the final loop it actually looked as if they were going into the sea - its making go all funny just thinking about it again !
    Anyway, back on terra firma - drop by for a Pootle when you can, would be good to have you to visit,
    Kate x
    Kate x

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    1. Oh that rolle rcoaster was horrid. I didn't go on anything. Just standing on the deck was swaying enough for me! They had this awful thing right at the end, just a long metal rod with a cage at either end, and it swung round going really high. I swear it swooped over the edge. It was horrid! The older Bears were all blousy when they first saw it saying 'oh i'm going on that, how cool' but they were all talk and no trousers as when push came to shove they wimped out! Don't blame then, I would have passed out on it! x

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  13. What a treat this entry was! I loved seeing all your pictures and pretty things. I am a hermit most of the time too. I don't leave the house sometimes for a couple of weeks, and I'm perfectly happy with it. I don't have children at home anymore so I can do that easily if I can get hubby to run out for milk and bread occasionally. :)

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    1. It's funny isn't it. I know people who get fidgity if they are in a house for more than an hour and they cannot understand how I am happy to be in a confined space for great lengths at a time. It doesn't bother me in the slightest, and I am completely happy in my own company. I find it hard that they feel the need to be somewhere different several times a day! x

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  14. Beautiful pictures. I do so love your kitchen & accessories. I'm another homebody too - i'm happiest in my own company in my own house (my husband is the opposite, & likes to have people & noise around him!) Do you think there is some connection between crafting/baking/homemaking and being a recluse?

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    1. I think there must be a connection. I am quite happy to spend a whole day in one spot crafting and not feel the need to escape to somewhere different. Baking too, I think there is something about comfort mixed in with memories and all the smells that perhaps were associated with childhood too. I love spending time in my own little space called home. It's my own little sanctuary and I'm always so happy to be in it. x

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  15. Absolutely LURVE the new banner!! Happy happy happiness
    Nicky
    x

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  16. It seems a lot of us are the same! Quite happy with my own company a lot of the time - I have to force myself to mix sometimes :)
    I really like your pastel shades - so pretty!

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    1. Yes i'm really not a mixer either! So much happier in my own company! x

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  17. Beautiful photos, especially the duck! I know exactly what you mean about needing some quiet time. I like going out and seeing people and exploring places but coming back to a cosy home is just as nice too

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    1. Quiet time is definitely a restorative! x

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  18. Welcome back, Vanessa. So glad you've managed to have some 'me' time while you've been missing. The photos show a lovely half term, with lots of happy memories to store. The banner is gorgeous, too. I love all your mugs and knick knacks. Your kitchen is quite similar to mine, and I love spending time here, especially when I'm alone, as it's so peaceful and calming. Be careful not to overdo things and crash. Hugs, Chris x

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    1. I love time in the kitchen in the quiet! x

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  19. Glad to see you back - I had just rediscovered you when you took your break - but it's so fun to go back over your blog. I think blogging is popular among introverted, creative types - it allows for pressure free friendships, for one thing! A place to share and encourage, finding the kind of friends who wouldn't be offended at us preferring to be home most of the time- unfortunately most of us seem to live states or continents apart, for when we would like to get together, haha! I laugh with my husband that my only form of cabin fever is when everybody else is here, getting antsy, so he packs the kids up and takes them somewhere for me to have some alone time and them to work out some wiggles. He's super sweet that way! I do love your kitchen! What a perfect place. Your new banner is lovely and bright, too. I do wish I'd seen decorating like this back when I was a renter with white walls!! Beautiful!!

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    1. Hi Michelle, your husband sounds sweet to take the kids off your hands and give you quiet time! I think you are right about blogging being perfect for introverted creatives! It appears a lot of us are the same. I like that phrase - pressure free friendships! x

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  20. Lovely picture you're kitchen always makes me smile, love the mugs and utensils, Arundel is a lovely place to visit, I lost a turquoise bracelet at the wetlands trust there throwing food for the ducks it flew right of my wrist plop in the water, so there treasure in lake, good to see you back
    Clare xx

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    1. Oh no about the bracelet! For sure there is hidden treasure there now. I'll look hard next time i'm there, might see a duck with accessories! x

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  21. Hi Vanessa , so nice to see what you have been up to. You visited some wonderful places.
    I'm a homebody who is very happy in her own company....I love to come home, close the front door and hear silence when everybody is at work and school....it's so peaceful and then it's great to be home when the family return.
    Love your new banner too.
    Jacquie x

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    1. Oh i'm the same Jacquie, I love the quiet when i've come back from the school drop off! x

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  22. Such a wonderful thing for Big Bear to say....I've not doubt you've made a beautifully cosy and comforting home....but to have that thought and acknowledged by Big Bear is truly something you will treasure for all time.....just hold on tightly to that thought though when the stroppy, bad mouthed, can't do anything right teenage years kick in big time.....to carry you through -xXx-

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    1. Oh I shall! It was nice to hear, Big Bear seems to appreciate the homeliness and recognise it a lot which really is nice. I thought it was something you only really thought about when you were older looking back at your childhood! x

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  23. Welcome back, I've enjoyed this post so much, the bouts of adventure with your boys balanced with the quiet, reclusive spells indoors. The photos are remarkable - I'd happily stay home or days with those pretty kitchen accessories at my fingertips! Hope you're feeling restored, don't rush the mojo, it will be back, no doubt about it! Chrissie x

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    1. Yes Chrissie, it was nice to balance being out with being home. My mojo is coming back which is nice. I feel out of sorts when it leaves for a bit! x

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  24. What lovely places to visit. I am a homebody too. I love the quiet and could quite easily be a recluse. ;) Glad your back, as I do so enjoy your beautiful posts. Blessings, Valerie

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    1. Thank you Valerie for your kind words. Hoorah for homebodies! x

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    1. Thank you Jacqui, it's nice to be back! x

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  26. Welcome back fellow budding recluse.
    I can spend weeks just doing my own thing.
    I love all your photo's and especially the cake. I am Mum to 3 chaps and only ever got to make chocolate cake, whatever the occasion. Cubs, Scouts, school functions, family weddings. Now I don't make cake as I would have to eat it all ;0)
    Hugs

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    1. Oh I could happily eat a whole chocolate cake.....I have no self control! I always try hard to remind myself that I made cake for the bears and not myself! ha ha! x

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  27. Hi there, I always enjoy reading your posts, your photos are beautiful. The wetlands you visited in London, are they at Rainham Marshes? We have been there a few times as they are local, they are amazing. I agree with you about loving to be at home, I take my boys to school in the morning and collect them in the afternoon the time in between I love, calm and peaceful. I have`nt been farther than my garden for 3 weeks now, I injured my knee (tripping over my sons skateboard) and have had to keep off it to allow it to heal. Its been bliss, and I could definitely get used to this.

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    1. Hi Ayesha, The Wetlands were in Barnes. Such a super place i'd definitely recommend a visit if you are close by x

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  28. I love that wetlands area and yes, what's not to love about Brighton!

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    1. Oh yes, I definitely want to visit Brighton again! x

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  29. Fab to have you back again, I know what you mean about needing to retreat for a while, when I get like that the internet is the first thing to be shut down ..... I just need to be in the house pottering or in the garden pottering a bit more :-) Pottering is good for the soul :-)

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    1. Yes I think we all need time away from the computer to just live and breathe in the real world for a bit x

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  30. So many wonderful images. I know what you mean about needing to disappear sometimes. Life is full of ups and downs and summer is all about just enjoying being outdoors. xx

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    1. Yes Summer is truly about being outdoors! x

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  31. Welcome back Vanessa, I wondered if you were having a quiet time :-)
    I so enjoyed your post, your new banner etc. It won't be long and you'll be crafting again... we all need time out every so often.
    Tracey xxx

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    1. My crafting mojo is coming back which is nice. I don't like it when it disappears! x

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  32. I love your cosy and comforting house too, it's beautiful. I need quiet times too, and I know that I'd have no problem being on my own. Glad you enjoyed the two wetlands centres. We visit our local one (Slimbridge in Gloucestershire) regularly, it's a real favourite. There's always something different to see, and areas for running and letting off steam if need be. Every time I come here I feel a little bit more inspired to crochet a blanket. I'm almost there! CJ xx

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    1. I wish I had discovered the wetlands sooner really. All 3 I have been too are different and all great. The fact that the bears are happy to roam around and not moan says something in their favour! ha ha! Oh good going with the blanket! x

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  33. Brilliant banner and fabulous photos. You have a lovely, inspiring home and this reader is a little bit in awe. Thank you for sharing. Be kind to yourself and take your time. T

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  34. Beautifully written... And gorgeous pictures! Love your new banner (but I always like your banners a lot!)
    Thanks, have a great day! xhaafner

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  35. There isn't a single one of your posts that doesn't speak straight to my core...it's so strange but I start reading and after a while I begin to think:"I can't believe it but that is just how I am/feel/think." It's nice and comforting to think that there's others like me out there...x

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    1. Oh yes, it's so nice to think that there are others out there who are just like us and who 'get' us if others don't x

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  36. Beautiful long post darling Vanessa, so truly you. I love it. Beautiful images too and I am of course excited to see what's on the hook! Also: read and loved the interview. After reading all this, it almost feels like I've had a tea and chat with you. Almost :) xoxo

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  37. Yes it was a little on the 'heavy' side this one Maaike! I seem to be an 'all' or 'nothing' girl! ha ha! x

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  38. Your wetlands look a lot like the Great Swamp Wildlife Refuge which is practically in my back yard here in New Jersey. It's making hope it stops raining soon so I can drop by there with my camera! And I'm with you on the pink icing. I have two boys, and sometimes I just need a little femininity around me! Thanks again for doing the interview with me. It was a pleasure getting to know you better :-)

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  39. Wow, what a bumper post! I think blogging breaks are essential for staying fresh and enthusiastic, and you seem to have bounced back. We visited Arundel's Wetland Centre at Easter and had a brilliant day. Those ducklings! Massive cuteness. Your home is so lovely, all those pastel colours against the white background, so light and bright. Just gorgeous. x

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  40. I always love stopping by your blog - it looks so beautiful and your photography is gorgeous! How cute are the little ducklings. Loving your kitchen shelves as well - I could quite happily live amongst all those pastel colours. x

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