Here we are in sunny Pembrokeshire (yes, really!). We have been to St Brides Castle before but have previously stayed in a cottage rather than actually in the Castle, so this is a real treat. We have an apartment with a fantastic view across the bay, Dick and I have a four poster bed so are feeling quite regal.
Downstairs there is a magnificent sitting room, complete with a suit of armour, there is also the most wonderful snooker room, we had a game (of sorts) this afternoon before we went to the bar. I am writing this three gins later. So I do apogolise fro any errors.
We had an outing to Haverfordwest this morning, we saw the castle and museum and then somehow ended up in Oak Furnitureland where Dick and Humph saw a large chair and were unable to decide if it was a large chair or a small settee. I had seen that it was labelled as a "Loveseat" so was most amused when they sat in it together. Honestly, what a pair!
I put some new jewellery on the website before we left home, so it's still worth a look.
Dick and I have had membership of the National Trust for a few years now and, to be truthful, we really haven't made much use of it. I have been dropping the words "Oxburgh Hall" into the conversation at regular intervals, but to no avail. However, Dick had a job in Aylsham on Tuesday and suggested that we could go to Blickling. Well, it's not Oxburgh, but it'll do for me. We had a lovely day, my sister came along too & she treated us to lunch in the Buckinghamshire Arms for Dick's birthday ;present. It was excellent and it set us up for a good explore. Dick's favourite part seemed to be the "dressing up" areas. I don't know how many times I turned round to find that he was wearing a different hat. There were a group of ladies going round the house at the same time as us and it got quite uproarious.
If anyone knows what the copper item pictured is for I would be very grateful, the best idea we came up with is a plate warmer.
There are new silver items on the website, and I have been photographing new beaded necklaces which I have been making over the last week, I will put them on the website over the next few days.
We had a fantastic two days at Walsham le Willows Open Gardens at the weekend. Otto came with us, and he really seems to love it as he meets so many people and gets thoroughly spoilt. Luckily my stall was in a beautiful and very spacious old barn, so we didn't suffer in the heat, unlike some of the outdoor stallholders who looked a little jaded by the end of day two! For a joke Dick put his hat on Otto, and may have been a bit put out to see how good our boy looked in it. You might have thought that Otto would have just shrugged it off, but no, he wore it for quite a while. He's got style, that dog.
I am being remarkably busy this week making and sourcing stock to replenish the website - don't worry though, there is still plenty on the site, with more to come over the next few weeks. As well as making jewellery today I have been baking ready for guests who are coming tomorrow, so cheese scones, flapjacks and a sponge are well on their way. I really had intended to bake more for the freezer, but have run out of baking powder and margarine, so I have a fine excuse.
Just when you think you're safe...... Dick had been through a photo-bombing stage a couple of years ago and I honestly thought he'd grown out of it. I was wrong, I have to admit that it does make me laugh though.
We had a trip out to Norwich this morning, mainly so I could collect my new glasses, I had intended to include a photo of myself wearing them as Dick said that they make me look "grown up", but he is a bad photographer and somehow managed to make me look even more stupid than usual. Otto looks far better in specs than I do it seems. Still, we popped round the city and I managed to come home with some nice new things. We don't go often - can't afford to!!
This weekend - Sunday and Monday I will be at Walsham le Willows Open Gardens weekend, if you'd like to get an idea of the event have a look via this link www.walshamopengardens.org It is a great event in a beautiful village. As always, there is new stock on the website, but some of it has sold on the same day that I put it on, I will have more, so just bear with me as I need to get this weekend's event out of the way.
By now most of you will know that I'm very fond of my hens and really prefer to let them have their freedom and just come home to roost at night. Last Thursday Dick was out on the meadows with Otto when he heard a commotion on back meadow, he was close by and ran round the corner to see Hazel being carted of by a fox. There were feathers everywhere. Poor Dick was then faced with telling me the bad news. We decided that we would have to keep the hens in their run while we have foxes about, so they were all shut in.
On Friday afternoon I was upstairs making necklaces, when I heard a very excited shout "Mary, Mary - there's been a miracle!" Hazel was sitting outside the run waiting to be let in! Bless her little heart. She's missing her tail feathers so is looking a bit unusual, but I'm sure they'll grow back to their previous splendour. I'm happy to have her back, and will have to get used to keeping my flock in for the time being.
I've been making more greetings cards this morning - my sister (glass half empty) said that they would never sell, Dick (glass half full) said they would. Glass half full won, they do sell! So more stock was needed.
I will have a stall at The Bell at Wortwell over the weekend, they have their Beer and Cider Festival starting on Friday evening, all day on Saturday, and a Funday on Sunday afternoon. There will be food stalls and music too.
As always there is new stock on the website www.maryslittlegems.com
Humbug is the youngest member of our chicken family, sadly Humbug was the only successful hatching in his/her clutch, and mum (Pearl) has proved to be a less than doting mother, so the poor little thing (sex as yet unknown) was looking a bit lonely and is not really old enough to go in with the flock yet. Enter Dolly, a few weeks older and a lovely little girl who seems quite happy to live in a separate little coop & run with her half sibling. Bertha has become broody (again!), so yesterday evening Dick put her & her clutch of eggs in the coop with Dolly & Humbug, and the little ones happily went upstairs to bed & snuggled up to Bertha. It's all quite lovely really.
I have been very busy this week making new things for my upcoming events. This Saturday morning (12th August) I will be at Halesworth Produce Market, and the following weekend (18th, 19th & 20th August) I will have a stall at the Wortwell Bell Beer & Cider Festival. I will also be at the Walsham le Willows Open Gardens event on the 27th & 28th August.
It's not often you meet someone dressed like that in your front hall (better known in this house as Otto's room). We have been afflicted with a wasp nest near our bathroom window, it's actually in the roof but we can't get to it that way. The wasps get in through a small hole near the overflow pipe and their numbers had been increasing much more quickly than I can cope with (I'm allergic to stings and get a bit panicky when they're about}. I had thought that the best plan of action was to "get a man in", but Dick's idea was to buy a tub of wasp killer and do it himself. I was a bit sceptical. Anyway, Dick decided that Tuesday evening was the best time to tackle the invaders, just as it was getting dark. He wore whatever protective gear was about - gauntlets, Barbour jacket, straw hat(?), and my lightweight summery print scarf which is fairly see-through. The ladder was already in position, and he strode out - saying "just stand on the bottom rung". I was wearing normal summer clothing, thanks Dick. He got up there and liberally squirted the powder in, amazingly it seems to have worked, hardly any wasps about now.
As always there is new stock on the website - book marks, necklaces etc, so please have a look. I'm hoping to gradually improve the site and am getting help with optimisation to get it more widely seen, and have also embarked on an on-line IT course so that I have a better understanding of what's happening in the background. Not bad for a bumpkin!
I know it's unusual but Otto & the chickens are often to be seen walking round the meadows together, We trained Otto early on to leave them alone, necessary because dogs would normally see the chickens as a food item. He couldn't understand at first, but he now sees them as family and will happily accompany them on a bit of a stroll, and I love to see it. I just have to remember to shut the chickens up if we have a different dog visiting.
We've been fruit picking again - plums and blackcurrants, I like to get the picking done before there are too many wasps about. More jars for the jam shed! It's a good job I have friends who like a pot of home made.
I have put a goodly number of new items into the 'reduced to clear' section of the website, including Murano Glass pendants, Semi-Precious stone pendants and hand-crafted necklaces. I need to make room for new items - so you'll find some significant reductions.
Dick and I are often to be seen wandering our local area with Otto. We are usually dressed as yokels wearing old clothes and straw hats, we like to give the village a bit of extra "character". We had a great walk through St Nicholas this week, and (as is often the case) I stopped to take some photos. I gave Dick my hat to hold while I was busy & we then carried on with the walk. It was some minutes before I realised that I had no hat, luckily Dick was wearing two. I wonder if anyone else noticed. We must be getting quite a name for ourselves, and poor Otto must be permanently embarrassed!
I had a phone call on Tuesday morning from a lady desperately needing two matching sterling silver pendants featuring horses, she needed them for Saturday! I immediately got on the case, did some research and found them for her, ordered them in and she collected them this morning. How's that for service!!
I have been very busy making and buying this week, there are several new rings on the website, along with new pendants etc.
Many of our friends and neighbours will know that we had our local Flower and Produce Show last Saturday. We both had several entries, but the main competition as far as I was concerned was in the baking section - Dick entered the "Men only" shortbread competition and I entered the flapjack category. Well, Dick got 1st for the shortbread and I got 2nd for flapjack - whatever would my Mother have said!! He has tried very hard not to gloat......
When I was on my way through the dining room on the way to bed last night I was assailed by what I thought was a butterfly, it was really pretty & quite a good size. We had a good look, and of course I took a photo (I know I take too many!) After some research it turns 0ut that it was a Magpie Moth, just lovely.
I have been very busy with jewellery this week, there are lots of new magnetic bracelets on the website along with many other items.
If you're looking for somewhere to go on Saturday why not come along to Hattens Nursery in Metfield, they are holding their open day & will have lots of stalls (including www.maryslittlegems.com), along with a bar and entertainment. It's open from 12 until 8. Hope to see you there.
I've never considered myself to be an author, but I'm willing to give it a go. I'm 57 going on 30 (sadly I look 57). I work from home, so am very lucky..