Thursday, 22 August 2013

Exploring the country

I have lived in Brighton for 4 years and there has been a walk that I have been waiting to do since I first moved in - Cuckmere Haven.  I don't know why it's taken me quite so long to get there, but this weekend I finally did.  My cousin came down to stay and it gave me someone to go with.  

The Park Trail that we picked is a 3 mile round walk which takes you up a hill over the side of the valley, passed the gorgeous meandering river, over and through farmland, and up onto the cliff top looking across the sea and the Seven Sisters.

From the top of the cliff we could see for miles, and most definitely didn't get too near the edge - one gust of wind and we would have gone over!  There is a plethora of chalk that has gathered on the grass and visitors to the area write their names and symbols on the grass.  I liked this heart and arrow - simple but cute.

Not only is the area fascinating for the geography, but also the area is steeped in History. It was used by smugglers in the 16th and 17th Century but the history that is still very evident today is the defences from World War 2.  There are pill boxes and tank defences and you could really picture how it would have been.  The atmosphere was helped by the war planes heading over every 10 minutes to the Eastbourne Air show this weekend.

We headed down the hill into the valley and followed the river onto the beach.  It was brilliant how on one walk we could see so much.

In the end we took a detour off the Park Trail and did a 4.5 mile walk and will all our stopping and examining the plants, pill boxes and beach we took 2 hours and had a fabulous time.

We got back to the car just as the heavens opened and headed back to Brighton for the compulsory fish and chips!


Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Favourite things...

If you had to write a list of your favourite things, would you know what to put on there?  I don't think I would.  It takes me a while to remember as it's often the smallest, quite insignificant things that make me happy and think 'Ahhh this is the best'.  This week I have had 3 of those moments and I remember how good it feels and how these are some of my favourite things.

Less of the 'Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens', although that is one of my favourite films, this week is was more of 'Soft crispy bed covers and high count Egyptian cotton, brand new nail vanish and hot soup with cheese on.'

Sooooo pleased with my new bed linen from HomeSense (TK Maxx home department store) this week.  Reduced from £69.99 to £29.99! I've never bought expensive bed linen before so I love the idea that at HomeSense you can get designer, expensive bedlinen for the same price as Ikea ones.  New bed linen - Definitely a favourite thing!

Tinned tomato soup - already a favourite thing.  But add grated cheese, worcestershire sauce, croutons and pepper and a chunk of fresh bed.....EVEN BETTER!!!

Brand new nail vanish - FAVOURITE THING!  There is nothing gloopy or tacky about it.  It goes on so smoothly and straight. Amazing!!!!  Loving this Essie colour 'wikid', however I think it's still a bit too summery for such a dark colour.  I might have to shelve this colour for a month or so.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

When Friends Come To Stay...

{Sunday 18th August}

We have friends round to stay fairly often and I like to make them feel special and it would be nice to think that they enjoy coming to stay.  There is nothing I like better than going to stay in a nice hotel, so it would be nice to think that our friends have a sense of 'going away' when then come and stay with us.  I am a home bird and don't really like staying at other peoples houses so I think it's important to make people feel comfortable in your home.

I think it's the small things that make a difference.  Here are some things that I think make the atmosphere a little bit more special when someone comes to stay.

Above and below:  Light candles in fireplaces, on mantle pieces, in storm lanterns on landings, and in bathrooms.  It's nice to light scented candles but make sure the fragrances don't clash throughout the house.  Some smells can be really over powering to some people so be sure not to over do it.

Make your guests feel special.  Always tidy and clean their bedroom as much as possible and think about what bed linen you use.  Nice crisp bed linen always make someone want to snuggle up and have a good night sleep.  Dress the room with some fresh flowers and then think about the little touches.  It's always nice to leave a towel out and put out someone hotel slippers or socks for your guest.  Also remember they might not always have the same bed time as you so they might be awake for some time.  Leave them a magazine or set up a TV/DVD player with a selection of your favourite films.

Plan something fun to do with your guests.  Give your evening some focus.  If you are having a BBQ why not think about having a fire pit, or have some cards or garden games at the ready. You don't want to end up just a dwindling conversation or just watching the TV.

Make sure that tea and coffee are always made available and that you are offering at regular occasions.  Or if it is a guest who is staying for a few days make sure you let them know where the tea, coffee, milk and mugs are so they feel comfortable helping themselves.