Snowy stitchery and a meme

Today we woke to find that everything had turned to white. What a strange bleached light is cast through the curtains when it has snowed - a brightness that differs from that of a sunny day. After I'd swaddled the children in several layers of clothing they went and built a snowman in the garden with Mr Teacakes...I watched from the window...for while I like walks in the snow, I do not enjoy playing in the snow...and Mr Teacakes loves it with passion enough for two.

Back inside I made them mugs of hot chocolate to warm them - Dinosaur-boy's first hot drink. I saw him studying how Ian drank his coffee and then watched as he self-consciously positioned his own hands around his mug. What dear little dimpled knuckles he still has.

This afternoon Zebra-girl and I sat down to make something. I suggested something hand-stitched (guiltily, for I should have spent more time teaching her this before introducing the machine), but she only wished for a foot pedal and the whirr of a bobbin spinning around...eventually after some discussion we came up with a project that incorporated both. An embroidered matryoshka doll that she could then sew together on the machine.

Here she is stitched, stuffed, and then cuddled.

Last week, lovely Ginny tagged me for a meme...all about....yes, me...again! Perhaps it will make for dull reading (although I have loved reading the lists of others, so hopefully not), but I love this type of meme for it is reminiscent of Radio 4's Desert Island Discs, where one can spend completely self-indulgent amounts of time collating lists. It is a game that was often played around Sunday lunches with my parents as my sister and I grew up (and a game that I believe my father still plays alone sometimes as he shaves in the morning).

4 movies I'd watch again:
Dirty Dancing, for reasons too extensive to list.
Love and Sex (this really isn't rude...the title just makes it sound that way) - because it provided Mr Teacakes and me with 90 minutes spent howling with laughter and because the characters are so very likable.
Love Story...for the weepy awfulness of it and the loveliness of watching Ali MacGraw being so devastatingly beautiful...well, that's my memory of it from watching it nearly 10 years ago.
The Railway Children...because it is just as good now, as it was when I first watched it 24 years ago.

4 places I've lived:
Beare Green, Surrey
Melbourne, Australia
Portswood, Southampton - while at university
Islington, London

4 tv shows I watch:
I have to confess to only having watched television on a handful of occasions in the last six months. My favourite programme for its wonderful trashiness would be Hotel Babylon...but we have, quite shockingly, somehow missed most of this series...but Mr Teacakes has thankfully found that we can buy it from we will let the fun recommence as soon as we have a spare evening. I used to also watch Location...but at some point I stopped watching that too, possibly when the friend that I used to watch it with (via the telephone as she lives nearly an hour away) went on holiday for a couple of weeks, and we got out of the habit of it. If I watch television I prefer it to be in company...

4 places I've been:
Lake Louise, Canada - for a honeymoon of skiing and ice skating and returning to our room each afternoon to find chocolate dipped strawberries on our pillows.
Dorset - for lovely English holidays.
New York - for wonderful shopping with my sister and my Mama (Papa was there...but he skulked at a safe distance from the clothes shops).
Turkey - for my first holiday with Mr Teacakes, when I was 18.

4 people I email:
A great many wonderful bloggy friends
My sister, Laura - about all things, small and large.
My friend Mel - who regales me with amusing tales about her many offspring and can always be relied upon to reveal a chocolate tally as sinful as my own.
Ian at work...Ian when he's downstairs...or even Ian when he's sitting next to me...the latter I have found amuses him sufficiently to rouse him into tea-making activities.

4 things to eat:
Falafel with houmous and olives
Mushroom risotto
Duchy Originals Beetroot soup
Mr Teacakes homemade pizzas

4 places I'd rather be :
I love where I am right now: at home with my family.
In Canada with a dear friend visiting our oldest schoolfriend and her lovely baby.
In my sewing room (although this exists only in my imagination, but is quite the most dreamy of places).
Staying at my sisters flat, eating beetroot soup in our pyjamas by candle-light, drinking champagne, listening to music and looking through books together.

4 things to look forward to:
Going to the ballet with my sister and Zebra-girl - an annual summer tradition that my sister books months in advance.
Days spent with friends - too many lovelies to name just a few.
Playing marathon sessions of Boggle on holiday each evening with Mr Teacakes & his parents, over a bottle of wine, and entering into some enthusiastic debate over what constitutes an acceptable word.
The days when my mother visits.

4 people to tag:
Joanne, Helen, Alice C, and my father (who doesn't have a blog, but might enjoy thinking of answers).

This is a picture of our Silver Birch that I took from our bedroom window this evening, as all the snow had begun to melt. One of the things that I liked most about our house when we looked around it for the first time, is that it came with an enormous tree in the back garden...Mr Teacakes & I have never had a tree before, and even now I feel ridiculously excited each time I look at it. There is something that makes me so happy knowing that for the time that we live here it is ours...and that its lovely branches will sway over the goings-on of our garden.


  1. Good Grief I love Boggle!

    Thanks for the tag - that's the second one I have so I really ought to get around to it this week. I have such trouble thinking of answers too, and it's so true about the Desert Island Discs comparison. I can never choose my eight of those either...

  2. Lovely girly sewing! Glad that Canada features prominently in your favourites!!!

  3. Zebra girls sewing is just lovely. What a clever girl.

    Thanks for sharing a bit of your life with us - I noticed that you lived in Melbourne Australia for a while. Was that fun?

  4. How sweet are your children? That embroidery by zebra-girl is so beautifully stitched, and your comment about dinosaur-boy modelling his mug grasp on his daddy's made me smile! I love it when I catch my children observing the grown-ups like that!

    Thanks for the tagging. I enjoyed reading yours - the bit about the imagined sewing-room really struck a chord with me, as I spend so much time decorating and furnishing my imagined sewing space!

  5. I love Zebra Girl's doll, well done her!

    Your silver birch tree is beautiful.

    April xx

  6. Florence that was such a lovely blog - the dimpled knuckles, the tree (so beautiful) and the meme was great too. We have missed ALL of Hotel B this season and it is about the only trashy thing we watch!!! xx

  7. Oooooh your children are just gorgeous!! And I LOVE Hotel Babylon but we've only had the one season so far I think.

  8. Hello Florence, That was a lovely post and nice to find out more about you.
    I like those sort of tags, great fun and yes lots of lists to get it all right lol

    Your very lucky to have a beautiful tree, it's something we dream of.
    One day!


    Catherine x

  9. Hi Florence, I really enjoyed reading your meme, we have quite a lot in common! - I also enjoyed hearing about Dinosaur boys first hot drink - My sons recently started drinking tea when their grandparents came to stay - they look up to their Grandad, and it was cute to see them sat either side of him with their legs crossed, sipping their tea like 2 little old men, funnily enough once he had returned home, they didn't choose to drink tea by themselves - Natalie x
    P.S - Zebra girls sewing is lovely

  10. Hotel Babylon! I knew the weeks had been missing something!I'll have to download it too! We live in the middle of nowhere and B.C. (Before Celeste - our 11 month old) we'd stay in trashy/glam hotels just like Hotel Babylon - sigh. . .
    You have a lovely blog. It's made me want to write mine again - it is sadly neglected of late . . .

  11. Thank you for sharing - I am so with you on Love Story. A sniffle a minute.
    There will be a short delay in the picking up of the baton but I will think about it while I am away!

  12. what a lovely meme, and that sewing is fantastic, what a clever zebra.

  13. Your son's little dimpled knuckles are so cute. I love to see children sewing things as I believe it helps them learn any number of skills as well as enhancing their imagination and fostering their confidence. What a great idea for her to make her own little doll.

  14. you've put ideas in my head! Boggle (never played), movies to watch...and let's make falafels for dinner! and don't worry, I for one like to hear all about you :-)

  15. I wonder where Zebra Girl got her love of the sewing machine from???? She did a really good job of her doll. You will have to keep it for ever!


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