Friday, 7 April 2017


Good Morning lovely people tis time for

Time to take a step back and look at the last 7 days, find the positive moments and the silver linings!

First up these flowers in my Mum's garden, they were a bud only a matter of days prior and now look at them - beautiful, it also meant another catch up with my Mum which is always a positive!

We had some cooler nights, which meant we could still have an evening fire.  I was sat reading my illustrated Harry Potter book, but it seemed too lovely to put a main light on! 

Said 16 year old was away on a weekend revision retreat (the joys I can hear you say), he wasn't actually geographically far away (although you might have thought differently when we were stuck at school for over one and a half hours waiting for his return), but it meant a weekend with hubby on my own, something that doesn't happen often.  As we've been so busy helping on the revision front, plus we haven't felt like venturing out for a fun day - when he is stuck in with his nose in a book, we thought we'd make the most of it and get some fresh air. 

So on Saturday morning we set off for one of my favourite places - Chatsworth and our first visit of the season!  It is about an hours drive over to Chatsworth from where we are, we've been members for about 3 years and it is honestly the best money that we spend each year (we are also English Heritage and National Trust members).  We get to visit the house whenever we like, we don't have to wait for timed entry at Christmas.  We get to enjoy the Beyond Limits sculptures in the Autumn, we get free tickets to the members garden party, free tickets to the International Horse Trials and free tickets to the Chatsworth Country Fayre and this year they are also having an RHS show and we will get reduced ticket prices if we venture to that too!

However, before we headed to the house, we had breakfast, which was lovely as always! 

Chatsworth always puts on something additional to the beautiful house for the visitors to enjoy as they wander around.  This year they have the most amazing fashion through the ages exhibition - simply breathtaking! 

Everything from Alexander McQueen dresses as in the photo below, to the coronation robes worn by the family and they don't mind you taking photos, provided you don't use the flash!

The whole house is filled with these amazing costume creations.  There are ball gowns from a fancy dress ball in 1897 to wedding dresses worn by the family and this continues through the tour of the house.  

As members of Chatsworth we were relieved because this means we can revisit over the summer to really get to enjoy the entire collection and read all the information that accompanies the items. 

This was hubby's favourite dress, known as the lovers

I adored this amazing hat! 

But the creme de la creme - had to be the portrait of the Duchess Georgiana, the dress in front was designed by Galliano and made by Dior. 

I also loved this book like dress as well, I imagine the pages flow when the dress is worn

Back out in the sunshine and I found a few fun photos to post on Instagram

We enjoyed the beautiful spring flowering bulbs

I still love this view of the maze, I always imagine coming across Alice and the Queen of Hearts when we get closer! 

And the evening sky on the way home was breathtaking!

So had we had enough culture for one weekend - of course not!  We headed up to Yorkshire Sculpture Park on the Sunday to get some better photos of the Tony Cragg exhibition and to get some fresh air!

This was my favourite piece (and hubbies)

A better up close shot of those dice that I mentioned the other week! 

The sun was lovely and we got little bits of blue sky!

And one of my favourite permanent sculptures

The Camellia house had a few blooms!

I still love the bendy wood! 

The chapel had a new exhibition!

And some people were still confused with this one - another permanent and another favourite! 

More Tony Cragg work outside!

This one reminds me of a tooth

The blue skies were much appreciated, apparently Bretton Hall that stands in the middle of YSP is being converted into a hotel, hubby was a little disappointed at first, but I can't think of a nicer place to stay for a weekend! 

More Tony Cragg up near the Bothy

And we found new art down by the lake - it is still being set up - but I love the faces! 

Said 16 year old eventually arrived back at school on Sunday afternoon and we headed home, he was utterly shattered, but as well as the revision he had managed, he'd also enjoyed a lasersoft type game, archery and high ropes - apparently he thinks he may have conquered his fear of heights!  He sent us a photo of his morning cuppa - black coffee - they had apparently run out of milk - now said 16 year old on caffeine really is a sight to behold, thankfully the effects had worn off by the time he arrived home!

Monday morning loomed and his first GCSE exam - art - 10 hours - 5 hours Monday and 5 hours Tuesday! 

He went prepared, canvases, Powertex, styrofoam head, bottom board, fabric, angelina fibres, embroidery thread, fabric cord, styrofoam egg, acrylic stamps, acrylic block, hinges, screws, screwdriver, hot glue gun, felt, silhouette, letters, ink, glue sticks, mirror foil fabric, needles, quilters grid, uv paint, glow in the dark paint, uv torch...

At lunchtime we got a message "way behind" on his plan!  This made for a nervous and anxious wait Monday afternoon.  Hubby thankfully picked him up and we had a happy child on our hands, not only had he managed to hinge and screw the item together - but he was ahead of plan! 

Tuesday therefore was a more positive day as he went in feeling he could achieve what he wanted to!  Needless to say it was still to the wire - I think he had about 15 minutes to play at the end - but the piece is exactly as he had expected it to turn out and he was really pleased with it! 

The piece is based on his dyslexia that wasn't diagnosed until he was 10.  The background are two mirrors, the left hand side for those that don't have dyslexia and the right hand side for those that do.  

He used smocking to distort the mirror foil fabric, free motion stitching on the statements on the right, as well as fabric pens.  The letters are stitch and slash and spell the word LEFT which he often mistook for FELT when he was younger, he has added UV paint to the L and F so that when you shine the UV torch on the letters the L and F become an F and L. 

In front of the final piece is the little Maquette that he made a few weeks ago, this was to give it some sense of scale!  Apparently his was the largest art piece created during the exam - why am I not surprised!! 

Now all he has to do is improve on his first and second pieces over the Easter holiday - no small feat as I honestly don't think he can add anything to the second piece, but apparently he has been told yellow flowers! 

The first piece though was his art doll and he intends on making a bigger and better one over the holidays, I've told him to crack on ASAP, so that he can get it out of the way and then it is just revision for the rest of the holiday!  I'm also considering making one whilst he is, as it is fun to have an arty day doing things together, we usually put a film on and put the world to rights!

The rest of the week has been work work and a bit more work, but then its year end so what was I actually expecting in all honesty!  I did enjoy a brew the other day though when I was working from home, using the cup my friend bought me a while ago - it is still one of my favourites!

I've also been somewhat melancholy and reserved (most unlike me), I have very few 'firsts' that happen these days in relation to my Dad, he passed away when he was only 40 years old and I was only 16 so that feels like a million years ago.  April is always a tough month because it is his anniversary, but I've found it really hard this week, because my Dad was gone when I sat my first GCSE exam, in fact I sat my first exam (which was French speaking exam), the day after his funeral.  So said 16 year old sitting his first GCSE exam this week has hit my quite hard, remembering where I was all those years ago, being grateful that I'm still here to support him as I know my Dad would have done.  So I've been teary and on the brink pretty much all week - like I said there aren't many 'firsts' that happen these days, but crikey when they do come along, they really affect me, not really a Rocking moment I suppose - so where is the silver lining in this one, well the fact that said 16 year old still has both of us, if that makes sense! 

On a happier note, I did manage to finish a mini book for a work colleague who is getting married this weekend, hubby made a box for it, but it didn't go according to plan when I started to paint it up and the colours didn't really work, so I wrapped the book in tissue paper,  tied with a ribbon and then popped it in a gift bag.  I shall however be using the box for something else! 

Said 16 year old has been enjoying the front garden when he has been revising - bless him

I had an appointment with my consultant last night, who has signed me off as I'm managing my fibroid pain at the moment, so nothing more to do on that front! 

We had a fire last night on the log burner, it was cool during the evening, me and hubby curled up reading and said 16 year old blatted things on Xbox at the other end of the room - wearing headphones!   This is how I envisaged the room being used and it works perfectly!  With an uber messy craft desk in the middle of it!  

And then you find me at Friday morning, said 16 year old still fast asleep, hubby at work and I'm sat typing this up in my PJ's with a hot steaming cup of Yorkshire tea! 

I hope you've had a great week, if you fancy joining in pop a post together, pop back and link up and I shall come and visit! 

Until next week TTFN


  1. Lol...I always have comments in my head as I read through your posts, but have forgotten them by the time I get through all the Oooows and aaaaaahs :D
    You must be so proud of your boy getting so stuck into his exams. Bet he will enjoy the clothing exhibits at Chatsworth too.:D XXX

  2. wow.. quite a week.. these anniversaries are always hard, no matter how long ago - and quite a poignant one this year! However, Chatsworth looks stunning (I MUST get there one day!) and I love the new exhibitions... beautiful..
    Have a great week... off to the craft show at ally pally in London tomorrow, cue happy face and empty pockets!

  3. Well, it sounds like you had a good week and a lovely weekend with your 'beloved'. I always love seeing photos of Chatsworth. I totally understand you love it. The clothes exhibition is fab. What beautiful things. And the garment with the 'lovers' is very unusual.
    Have a good week,
    With lots of smiles,
    I'm glad said 16 yr old is doing so well. His exam piece looks great. I didn't know he was dyslexic. My husband is dyslexic and he was never diagnosed (he is 70). But I have worked with dyslexic people long enough to know he is. It is a real problem for him to learn a foreign language, and I have been helping him with his reading for the last 25 years. It is only since we have a Kindle that he really enjoys reading books. I digress....
    The mini book is beautiful. I'm wanting to give the couple who's wedding I went to, the photos of their wedding as they did not have a photographer. I might do a mini book of sorts.

  4. A fabulous collection of photos Virginia. Said 16yr old is doing well with his creativity - hope all his exams pass without a hitch.
    Toni xx