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Hello June 

25 Jun

Hello Hello 

Despite my New Year best intentions my blogging has been slow. 

My poor blog has taken the brunt of lots of aspects of #HAFLife. 

So let’s have a catch up!


The beginning of February saw Mr S’s Father’s 70th birthday celebrations. 

Friday 13th was lucky for us as we got our fantastic Allotment Plot 11A and the clearing & planning started. #HAFLottie

At the end of the month we had my friends book themed baby shower. 


My friend had her gorgeous little baby boy, he is a total heartbreaker. I adore him. 

The Allotment saw lots of progress. We cleared all the weeds, redesigned the beds, built a fence, sorted all the rubbish and generally tidied the plot. 

It also saw the start of our growing trials and trepidations. The learning curve began. 

We struggled with space and light starting off our seedlings which resulted in leggy unsavalvageable plants which we had to replant. Along the way we have learnt lots of lessons for next year. 

It was the middle Nieces birthday so we had a little party day for her at ours as she loves the animals. R also planted 3 Giant Pumpkin Seeds 1 for her and each of her sisters. 


A Birthday month.. We have lots of family birthdays in April including my own.

For my own we had a lovely day out in Dedham & Flatford with The Dog in toe, having a wonderful Cream Tea at La Maison Talbooth with good enough weather to sit outside. 

Another April Birthday is my Great Aunt, she was 90 this year. We had a lovely family celebration and I turned my hand to some flower arranging. 


We saw May in with May Day Celebrations at Kentwell Hall enjoying traditional Tudor May Merry Making!! 

It also saw the first of our allotment Harvest! with the Rhubarb which we enjoyed not only stewed but in the marvelous discovery of ‘Rhubarb Champagne’.

The #HAFLottie started to get exciting too as the fruit bushes came to life and we started to plant our seedlings now little plug plants out. 

In more #HAFLife we had a spontaneous family date night at the drive in cinema at Alexandera Palace The Dog really was happy to be with us and he was very interested in the big people on the screen. 

Finally the Craft Room was painted and the process of reorganisation & clearing out has started.

For the second Bank Holiday my #postcircle #goose buddy aka the little grey girl knitter & blogger came to stay. It was Fab as always to catch up with her and we popped along to the Cambridge Beer Festival. 

On the Sunday we had a day “mucking about on the river” with my Brother, His Girlfriend & of course Our Bestest Boy! 

And to finish off the month Our Nieces popped over and we planted their Giant Pumpkin Plants; started off in March.


Mr S took a week off and we had an Ikea trip for *squeel* craft room furniture & organisation. Followed by 5 days away; 1 in The Lake District & 4 in Kirkcudbright, Scotland. 


The Sunshine and Showers have been miserable for me but GREAT for the garden & #HAF Lottie (minus the stupidly high winds). 

The #HAFLottie is really coming to life everything is now in with some successes and some less so, but we will see as time goes on. 

We have had spinach and strawberries this month, with the peas, gooseberries, redcurrant’s & blackcurrants not far behind. 

In 2 weeks we have had 6kg of Strawberries which is making us very popular with family. 


And some how we find ourselves at the end of June the longest day past and still no sign of the summer sun staying. 

I’ve not been crafting much although I’m really into my porcelain pottery at the moment. Im just finding my feet with it and can’t wait each week for my class. 


My time consuming passion this year has been the #HAFLottie which I look forward to sharing its seasonal progression. 

I’m still 4 weekly menu planning using my Filofax and we are now on the start of the Summer Menus. This has been one of the best changes, most time effective and money saving, I can’t recommend it enough. 

I haven’t been as active within the social media side of life but there is deffinatly lots of #HAFLife going on @HundredAcreFarm. 


I do miss catching up with you all! I mostly can be caught hanging around on Instagram these days; Serotiny_Haf So I hope to see you there… 

Let’s not leave it another 6 months. 



Mary Mary .. How Does Your Garden Grow

7 Jun

Mary, Mary, quite contrary
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockleshells
And pretty maids all in a row.


June and the sun are here!
All my good garden intentions were put on hold due to the cold then wet spring weather.
But in the mean time you will see in my previous post yet again the garden design has had a further change.

The garden is looking pretty unloved with its patchy grass due to the dogs toxic wee and the lack of planting since we dug the beds and mulched in the autumn.

The spring bulbs are over and all that remained for a long while were the ever resilient pansy’s.

Over the past couple of weeks though I’ve been patiently waiting for my alliums to come out.
The dog unfortunately had a mad happy hour of tearing round the garden which means less alliums than we did have.

But still a few survived and look!
The last week or so they have fully come out.



I love their round bulbous heads which balance on those thin steams its amazing how they managed it.


Our herbs are thriving but my clematis didn’t last. The Rose’s were doing really well till I went to photography them and realised in my one day of frivolity & absence yesterday one had wilted very badly. So I’m hoping with some TLC it can be revived.


Though the French Lavender is living you can see in the Rose picture it’s also not the happiest plant in our garden, this needs some research as to why Its looking ropey.

Over the next few weeks I intend to plant a few more herbs and build up the borders and hopefully slowly our garden will develop.
It’s a learning curve with the soil we have. Locally its sandy but due to where we live its also very poor so it’s going to take a good few autumns of mulching and attention to make it fully plant friendly.

So watch this space …

Yesterday after having my nails done, I met L for craft and coffee, well hot chocolate in my case.


And I finally managed to finish my sewn birdies.


I’ve ended up with a chain of 5; 3 cream floral and 2 pink floral.


I finished stuffing and sewing in the garden at L’s while she sewed her crochet top project together.
I haven’t been able to get a picture of L’s handy work but you can take a look and see her new crochet top developing on her Instagram account Lyndseyjane1. L always has lovely knitted & crochet projects on the go, she’s very talented.

Here is my finished article in situ.


Now I’m off to read my Mollie Makes & Homemaker magazine for inspiration for my next project.



3 Jun

As my Birthday present back in April Mr S booked us a trip to Dublin in Ireland, as Dublin is somewhere we both had never been and for various reasons wanted to go.

We had a Lovely time!
And the sun shone all weekend for us!
Mr S is the only person that can go to Ireland and get sunburn (that will be his Irish rooted super fair skin & red hair).

We enjoyed all the usual Dublin Highlights…

The Castle,


The Chester Beattie Museum,


The Open top bus tour,


The Kilmainham Gaol Museum,



The Guinness Storehouse,



And enjoyed various nights out, filled with meeting new people, good food, Irish music and of course Guinness.


We went to the oldest Pub in Dublin, The Brazen Head.
Well worth going as its slightly out of the way from the main area of Temple Bar (the renowned ‘social’ area in Dublin). Being out of the way also means it is minus the stag and hen party’s, but this by all means doesn’t make it quiet in fact it’s always busy, but worth the wait we found.

Another great place to eat is The Bank, it combines an amazing venue to eat in as well as gorgeous food!


The building used to be, you guessed it, an old bank so the decor is beautiful.



The food also was very nice indeed. I love the little touches; the chocolate that came with the coffee was a chocolate gold euro.


We also went to The Cake Cafe, now I have mixed feelings about this place. We searched this out, as it sounded right up my street but I was a little disappointed I’m sorry to say.

We did enjoyed our lunch,


And the presentation was very nice.
I could have stayed there all day trying their tea selection.


So don’t get me wrong the service was fine, the place it’s self though hard to find was impressive, but the cake wasn’t the best I’ve ever had it was just kinda average- sorry Cake Cafe.


But on another positive note this cafe had the most AMAZING toilet you have ever seen. The room is filled with an eclectic mix. Unfortunately I didn’t photograph it.

And the creativity extends out to the under cover eating area where the whole back wall is an array of mosaic’s. Very inventive using everything from puzzle pieces to bottle caps, baby’s old toys, computer parts anything and everything.


As my whim was to go to The Cake Cafe, I felt Mr S deserved a whim. While researching Dublin’s sights I found reviews for the Bald Barista, they are known for good coffee and Mr S is a coffee drinker. Mr S say’s they are right it’s not bad coffee and the cakes here looked fabulous with a great selection and gluten free as well. Unfortunately we didn’t try as we were saving ourselves for The Cake Cafe.

And that my lovelies is a summary of our time in Dublin.



Nice in NICE Part 2

2 Apr

Saturday – Sunday – Monday


The day was over cast but yet still mild compared to the UK, 14’c.
Mr S yet again headed to work.

(This is my leaflet collection from all my different travels over the years, I keep little maps and hand out guides in this box which is now full to over flowing)

I was in the mood for a more relaxed day so decided upon a tour bus of Nice leaving from the Promenade Des Anglais. I managed to get to the places I wanted on this tour, but at €23 it wasn’t the best tour bus I’ve ever been on. It starts off well but after Cimiez it’s pretty much an audio bus journey you don’t even catch a glimpse of the Russian church & housing etc they talk of or get told which is the bus stop closest on the audio. So if I was doing this again I would catch a normal bus to the further sights or walk if my legs weren’t so weary. Buses are very cheap.


I met a lovely English couple on the bus who told me all about their previous day in Cannes and how the train in their eyes was better than the bus and only slightly more expensive at €3.50 return and quicker; a bus being longer and costing €2 return.
We exchanged lots of different have you seen’s etc.

I had planned to have an easier day as I was aware the weather wasn’t going to be the best but also I had stupidly exhausted myself the previous day (silly body).


My first stop was Cimiez this part of the bus journey was interesting, viewing the suburbs of Nice and the architecture. My stop was the Musee Matisse.


For me this gave me a new appreciation of Matisse and his life, this kind of art doesn’t all appealed to me. But in saying this, viewing his works and realising just how he was a forthinker for art has greatly improved my liking of his work. Henri Matisse was born in 1869 and lived till 1954, aged 84, for me I never truly thought about when he was producing works that were so modern for there time.
Here are some of my favourites that I was allowed to photograph from the Museum.




While in the gift shop I treated myself to this beautiful child’s book.
About A Boy Called Issa in the Plains of Africa, by Antione Guillipoe.
I fell in love with the monochrome cut outs and gold sun.






After the museum I went back on the bus tour to the Promenade des Anglais and walked back to the hotel, as it was begining to drizzle and get chilly, I hadn’t taken a proper coat.


After a warm up and grabbing a coat I then jumped back on the bus and headed to the Musee d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain.
I will just add that most museums in Nice seem to be free which was a surprise.
I wandered around inspecting different modern artist these are a few that caught my eye before Mr S met me and we went for coffee.

Nissa Bella; Martial Rayess.

The Museum Hosts collections of Yves Klein’s work.

Jim Dine; Hard Hearts.

I hoped to do more museums on the Saturday but I was just to physically exhausted.

That evening we drove to Cannes to eat. I really wish I had the time to do Cannes too; but there is always a next time. In the little cobbled back streets we found a jazz restaurant and had a lovely night.


Sunday we were going to have a day out together touring the coast in the car but Mr S needed to work and it rained quiet heavily so I took the chance to catch up on resting I may have over done it for me in the past couple of days.
I watched French dubbed TV trying to understand it … Mr S has lived and worked in France this can speak Fluent French, I on the other hand took German at school & briefly at University, my French is shocking!! I am interested in if I can build upon my school girl linguistics as it has been a consideration moving to France but obviously a language barrier could be quiet isolating for me… And apart from this I read.
My body was grateful.

By the evening the weather had improved slightly. Mr S & I ate out at a restaurant on the Cours Saleya market square.
Defiantly one of the more interesting and lively places to eat ~ good people watching.


Monday was home time but first Mr S had to go to work.
I lazed about till 10.30 at the hotel
And planed to finish off my sightseeing and gift shopping.


I got my parents and the nieces chocolates and Mr S & I, Macaroons.
(I recommend searching out Patisseries and Chocolate shops out of the tourist centre of Nice they are much cheaper, have much better service and taste wonderful)



I then went to the market as on a Monday the Cours Saleya is turned into a flea and bric a brac market – I wish ! I had more luggage space ! I would have spent a fortune !


After taking in the wonderful Art Deco pieces and oddment stalls, I headed to purchase more gifts ~ Lundi Ferme ~ so needless to say no gifts, I had hoped to get some salts, spices and olive oil. Once again next time.


I treated myself to a final cinnamon ice cream ~ 90 flavours and I choose the same one.


Then had another lovely people watching lunch more leisurely this time as I was time killing waiting for Mr S to finish work.


Full and sleepy I thought it best to move on I walked north towards the Russian Cathedral.


Unfortunately I realised certain museums were closed but in my guide book it told me that the Cathedrale Orthodoxe Russe Saint Nicolas was open it was not but I did get to admire the outside.


Unexpectedly Mr S was finishing work around now (3.30pm) and we arranged to meet at the next stop on my agenda.



I walked the whole length of the Promenade des Anglais sun shining, it felt so good to have the sun on my face; people watching, little doggies, cyclists, runners, old & young.
(It’s longer than it looks on the map)
I passed groups of older men playing boules.


At the park we had a snack with the wild life. Mr S and I were missing our own clan.


Parc Floral Phoenix is €2 and you could easily spend along time here reading, having a picnic, looking at the hot houses, animals and visiting the near by Musee des Arts Asiatiques – Asian Art Museum. (We didn’t have time for this Museum this time)

There is one little cafe in the park which was pleasant and the lady serving was lovely, but I would recommend bringing a picnic especially if you are Sans Ble or Sans Gluten.






As the sunset we had to head to the airport to return the car, eat and catch our flight.

Bonsoir Nizza



Nice in NICE Part 1

1 Apr

Thursday – Friday

So after our little car fopar. We got to the airport in time for our flight ~ miracles of miracles.
All in all it was a pretty simple trip including picking up the hirer car and finding the hotel.

Our hotel; Hotel de la Fontaine, was basic but pleasant and the staff were all very helpful.
Situated in the New Town just off the Promenade des Anglais it was ideal situated really for Mr S going off in the mornings and me going sight seeing.


(Photo accredited to Trip Advisor: in our view the room was adequate in size it’s just normal European size, very purple, shower was excellent, staff lovely very helpful. Personally I would compare it to a Holiday Inn in room style other wise it’s a small local hotel /BB).

We arrived at 3ish and got settled, had a bite to eat in the warm sunshine so missed in the UK at the moment.

And had a stroll before dinner it was lovely to walk without being wrapped up in a hundred layers.


Friday Mr S went off early and I armed with my guide books planned my day. The weather was beautiful again, reaching 17’c.


I walked around all day until my feet were hurting.

Firstly I visited the Cours Saleya beautiful flower, fruit and vegetables Markets.




Every flower you can imagine and plentiful supplies of Mimosa the flower of Nice.




These markets are unmissable I must have had a wide eyed look of amazement as I walked around.
The colours and smells were fantastic and evoked so many happy senses.


I then went on to the fish market – I love fish! Such an amazing selection and where there was the hugest Herring Gulls I’ve ever seen! (And I grew up on the coast)



I wandered through the small shader old town hustle bustle.


More wonderment at the … Olive shops … Patisseries … Spice and herb shops…


This little store had spices, herbs, flavoured sugars more than you can imagine! And salt how many types of salt!?



From here I went onto the Colline du Chateau park, which centuries before was a medieval city.
90 steps up (or take the lift) is a peaceful park, I regretted not buying food at the market and taking it with me at this point.



Up here are amazing views over the old city and along the coast and on the other side over the Vieux Port.


I was getting hungry so thought about heading back to the market for lunch. I took a different way back passing the cemetery’s and the peaceful back streets, romantic tall buildings with shuttered windows and little gates leading into secret gardens.



I wandered down to Garibaldi Place and along Rue Segurane with shop after shop of Antiques dealers.

By now it was midday; I had read my guide book and I knew at midday a cannon is fired – my goodness I physically jumped and ducked, all very embarrassing good job the streets were empty ~ phew. I must have been standing under the darn thing!
This cannon originates from Sir Thomas Coventry who used it as a signal to ensure his forgetful wife return home to make his lunch.


Walking back towards the old town and market, passing more little shops. I was looking for Maison d’Adam et Eve House one of the oldest buildings in Nice with no luck.


However I did find Place Du Rossetti with the beautiful domed roofed church dedicated to the cities patron saint; Saint Reparate. (When peering from my 90 steps early I wondered what this pretty dome was, you can just make it out in this picture)


and what’s this 4 freezers of ice cream & sorbet
… Fenocchio Famed for 90 flavours of ice cream. This is a hard choice choosing which to have, do you try your favourite? or go for something daring like beer? (yuk I’m not a beer fan), one scoop to take in the flavour or multiple as I’m just greedy. I plumped for a scoop of cinnamon it was delicious.

I sat with my ice cream in the sunny square admiring the church and surrounding romantically aged yellow and orange buildings reading my magazine.
Most things shut in France for lunch 1-2pm and really I should have had a proper lunch but I couldn’t risk not finding the ice cream vendor again could I? so I just had a ice cream stop instead of lunch at this point.


After my sugar stop I continued strolling towards the market. I passed a smaller church which intrigued me. On the outside was a plain dark wood door inside was AMAZING; the church of Eglise Ste-Rita. The light streams in through the domed celling and highlights an exquisite decor in golds and blues. Beautiful baroque reliefs of saints. Crystal chandeliers & candles making it atmospherically peaceful. I didn’t take any pictures, I wasn’t sure I was allowed and etiquette to me says you don’t take pictures in church’s unless advised otherwise. But this is a picture from the churches website and gives you some idea of the ornateness.


2 hours later ~ hence the repetition of the term stroll lots of strolling and stopping to look ~ Lunch.

Yes this is bread not for me, but the salmon and salad was scrummy, how often in the UK does your salad look yellow green or freezer burnt where its been super chilled on its journey not here no sir’y! wonderfully fresh and green here and when in Rome or Nice do as they do a glass of vino with lunch don’t mind if I do. (Try explaining to the French you don’t really drink they look like you have just insulted their entire country- this mistake only made once).
I really can recommend Cafe Des Fleurs Brasserie on the Cours Saleya lovely food, reasonable prices, great service & atmosphere.


Now at this point I needed an afternoon nap, full and sitting very sleepy in the warm sun reading my magazine some more.

But I decided on one more little wander on my way back and what should I stumble upon Maison d’Adam et Eve.

Also in this area (I can’t tell you where I am at this point) Palais Lascaris a 17th century Genoese style mansion belonging to the counts Lascaris-Vintimille until the French Revolution with its renovated baroque interiors made for a pleasant unexpected find.
Unfortunately my phone was now to low to take photographs.

Completely shattered I headed back to the hotel for my snooze….
Before Mr S finished work and we went out for dinner.

… Part 2


28 Feb

Today is the last day of February wow where did that month go?

We had an early start dropping the dog of at day care for 7am and Mr S getting into work early. Leaving me to head over to L’s for what I thought was going to be a comfy sofa and ‘This Morning’ session with perhaps a bit of crochet before we headed into the city for 1pm.
But someone missed the 0 in 1.30 so her nail appointment was 10.30am not 1.30pm lucky I noticed.

So as planned I headed to L’s just for a short time, and kind kind Auntie L helped me with my confusion in ‘circling’ in crochet and my Flora Bunny so my bunny head has been started ~ oh and restarted ~ and finally started right!

So for 10.30am I headed into the city, I was early (unheard of for me- so to make myself late) so popped into Hobbycraft to pick up some black yarn and oddments which I will photograph tomorrow.

Today was chilly but sunny again and it was nice being in the city. We no longer live in the City Centre and sometimes I miss this but on the whole I don’t anymore I’ve done my time City living.
I took my normal route through the cemetery to get to Mill Road and it was quiet pleasant with the birds singing and a lovely Hawthorne tree flowering.



Nails suitably bright red again. I popped into Marks & Spencer’s for some milk and impulse buys ….



Yummy – I was torn between the marshmallows or sour. But I settled on marshmallows as I eat a whole greedy pack and the sour Colin’s make my mouth hurt after a pack and today I have a sore throat so didn’t think a sore mouth was a good idea too!

I also picked up some daffodils and hopefully their sunny yellow faces will cheer up the following grey days the weather says is due again.

Then home again home again quick a de quick!
Sweep round of the house doing the chores.
A refuel of tea.
Flowers in water.
Pack up the car with dog bed – food – change of evening clothes for us and off again.

So The dog retrieved and Mr S picked up from work early.
We headed to Mr S’s parents!

For tonight we all saw ‘Chas & Dave’
I will confess this was new to me this duo of Londoners.


I have heard of them but they were never something played in our house and I always presumed they were a comedy duo but no they are ‘singers’

It was a very joyful atmosphere and we had a good time – though I couldn’t understand most of the songs. It made me chuckle when they were singing about going to market and taking your bucket and spade; why would you take a bucket and spade to a market theses Londoners — then I realised no no —
Margate not Market !! They are taking the bucket and spade to Margate, now that makes more sense !!
And that I think sums up my evening. 🙂

The dog spent the evening being a very good boy at Mr S’s sisters and now we are all home once more and Im looking forward to Bed tonight.

So Sweet Dreams


Never be within doors when you can rightly be without ~ Charlotte Mason


A girl and her garden :)



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