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  1. One of the very lovely things about St George's Day every year (apart from making me proud to be English!) is that it's my gorgeous husband Steve's birthday also and this year I decided to treat him to a weekend away somewhere romantic and pretty. I was very luck to be looking for somewhere to go when I spotted a fab offer from for a break at The George in Hatherleigh, Devon, which is about an hour or so away from us, so booked it pretty quick.

    Weekend away at Hatherleigh - 2011 007

    We drove down through beautiful Devon countryside yesterday lunch time (after a quick shopping trip to Taunton for some funky Union Jack fabric I needed to make bunting!) in a temperature of 23degrees - how lovely was that in April - and arrived in Hatherleigh just after 2pm.

    Once we'd checked in we sat in the beer garden listening to a live band playing very laid-back reggae music and enjoying a cold glass of white wine & soda - very relaxing. I can't remember the last time we went for a drink at lunch-time, so it was gorgeous! We had a fantastic meal in the evening and a scrummy breakfast this morning. I would definitely recommend it to anyone. Apparently the original hotel was destroyed by a fire in 2008 and it has been rebuilt absolutely beautifully, as you can see from the photos. How decadent to have a roll-top bath in the bedroom!

    Weekend away at Hatherleigh - 2011 001Weekend away at Hatherleigh - 2011 002

    We spend this morning meandering the back roads and lanes of that part of Devon - visiting Chagford, North Bovey, Moretonhampstead & Okehampton at a very leisurely pace - stopping off to wander about looking at the stunning thatched cottages and Georgian properties in that part of the world. It would be lovely to up-sticks and settle somewhere like that! Dream on!

    I was glad to get home in one way though, as I was excited to make up some of the Union Jack fabric in to bunting to see what it came out like. I really like the results!!

    Union Jack waterproof bunting 001


  2. Wow! I can't believe it's a week since Ben's passing out parade! The time seems to have flown by. I had my first order from the website, part of which was a custom order, so that was really exciting and took me 3 days in total to make up; but I have to say I loved it! It made the whole thing seem real and also possible that I could change the way I work and do what I love rather than what I have been doing for the last 30 years (admin)!

    In the middle of making up all the bunting and cushions I also sold my first piece of vintage china from the site, which again gave me a real buzz - you never quite know what's going to sell and what isn't, so its great when someone else likes what you like!

    vintage china 050

    All of us seem to have had a busy week - Luke had an interview on Monday which he's waiting to hear about. Hopefully the job will come his way and he can get on with his life - he really hates being stuck at home unemployed. Its very soul-destroying.

    Steve is having a birthday tomorrow and we're off for a romantic break to Hatherleigh Manor in Devon, which we're both looking forward to. We do get away quite often, but usually to visit people or with other people, so it will be lovely to be just the two of us! We had a family barbecue today to celebrate his birthday with most of our children (soldier boy is in Cornwall with his girlfriend) and our beautiful twin granddaughters Maddie and Freya (aka Bella and the Moo). The weather stayed sunny for most of the day (apart from the half an hour when we wanted to eat lunch - we had to grab everything and carry it all indoors!) and we took the twins to the park afterwards to give mum and dad a rest. They are beautiful little girls but it does make us realise how hard it is when you're older - we were thoroughly exhausted by tea-time when they went home! (Mind you, they were as well and were in bed by 6.15pm).

    We rounded this perfect day off with a drive out to Alfoxton to watch the red deer. We were treated to the spectacle of about 70 of them basking in the local field in the evening sunlight - beautiful!

    red deer