wishing you all a very happy new year

so we start yet another year – in fact another decade ….. I cannot believe that it was 20 years ago that we hit the millennium .  time has definitely just flown by.

fortunately the seasons all bring different memories and remind you of the emotions of life the freshness of spring, the joy of summer, the rich colour of autumn, the moodiness of winter – a happy new year to everyone.

I hope that this year brings a more united world, one with less violence, more caring and togetherness, one that makes us less selfish, more thoughtful to others;  I look forward to a bright future  – one that brings inspiration and peace to everyone and especially for our youth who need more positivity.
















as usual i have lots of new intentions which i know by next month will soon fade away.  my youngest daughter is half way through university and it nearly feels that my role as mother and carer is slowly being reduced….friends are leaving and babies are being born, but what i am thankful for is health, family and happiness;  sadly I have witnessed what dementia can do and its so sad, so doing all those mind stimulating things are something that I have stepped up on.

I have started to dance again, learned to paint, continued to play piano and made ceramics in the last year, but this coming year I vow to take life a little  slower, no more rushing or aiming to fill every day with too many commitments. and as usual here are a few things that i will be bearing in mind….

generosity of thought

kindness of heart

patience of mind

selflessness in spirit

loyalty and friendship

waste less and more up and recycling

and being a bit less critical with my kids and husband!

happy new year to you all and thank you for reading my blog, this is 10 years now, here’s to the next 10 years.


winter solstice

did you know that yesterday was the shortest day of the year, winter solstice – time to say goodbye to the woes of the year and look forward to the brightening of the longer days and the goodness of the future.  lets hope it doesn’t keep raining, I feel that since November it hasn’t stopped……


one year i managed to catch the full moon known as the ‘harvest moon’ – so called because it signals the time when corn, pumpkins, squash, beans and wild rice – the chief indian staples are ready for gathering.   here is the full moon on the padstow estuary – its the view from my friends’ house. its actually one of my favourite images in my book stolen glimpses.


have a cosy bonfire evening

the name Parliament Hill did not originate because of the houses of parliament, as they were not near here at all – legend states that Guy Fawkes planned to watch the destruction of Parliament from here in the gunpowder plot of 1605 – it was known as traitors hill.    probably a bit of a useless fact, but i do walk around london wondering how names of areas were derived.

Mersea Island

Orford is one of the prettiest villages en route to the cottage, with its Georgian houses, village square and church – its also a spot for sailing, bird watching and good food.  there is the famous  Pump St bakery and simple seafood at Butley Oysterage – which is real hearty food, quite similar to the style you get at St John restaurant.  I really recommend the doughnuts and Eccles cakes from Pump St.  there is also the hotel and restaurant  the Crown and Castle  that does a good set lunch on a Sunday – its more grown up from the other restaurants, but still a nice spot to visit. Orford also has a castle to explore too.

if you continue to travel towards the essex border you will find Manningtree, situated on the river Stour, with the village of Mistley a short walk away.  Mistley retains some of the grain mills by the quay – glorious victorian warehouses that tell stories of years gone by.  we had delicious lunch at Mistley Thorn – offering  a daily special menu that is very good value.  close by is the North House Gallery, set on the ground floor of a handsome georgian house, which has a beautiful curation of works, usually landscapes and in the back room wonderful letterpress machines used by the curator herself.   Mistley kitchen not only sells a selection of cookery utensils, but hosts a variety of cookery courses.  and less than 15 mins drive away is Flatford, the home of John Constable.

Just a bit further is Mersea Island with its great sea food restaurants;  as it was a Monday, there was only the west Mersea oyster bar open, which was good enough food with a lovely outside terrace onto the water – you can get the usual fish and chips, lobster, oysters and roasted fish.  it really is an industrious working harbour.  the other recommended restaurant is the Company Shed.

we also took a walk along Frinton on Sea with its spectacular 1930’s houses and long sandy beach and beach huts – very quiet and gentle, it was hard to believe that it was the middle of August.  however, I don’t think that there are any recommended restaurants in Frinton, but worth going to see the architecture.


moody month

moody month was built by women for women, its an app that gives the information with empathy and intuitiveness from a team of amazing experts from doctors, gynaecologists and endocrinologists, including the lovely Lola Ross, who I had the pleasure of photographing.    food and nutrition can play a big part in balancing your body and changing your moods.  read more about Lola in this months Whistles women blog.