Back! And an update


Hello chickens! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? That short break turned into a slightly longer break, but now here I am once again, assignments handed in and all the other bits and pieces that had been keeping me busy are more or less sorted out.

So, what’s been going down round these parts while I’ve been away?

Well, firstly, the long-awaited move. We have, quite literally, been round the houses since I last mentioned all our grand plans for an escape to the country. After all that umming and ahhing about what to do, we decided to put our house on the market and take the leap, buy the dream house in the country and just give it a go and see how it worked out.

But… …no sooner had we accepted an offer on our house than a few changes in circumstances hit us all at the same time, which meant that, actually, it made infinitely more sense to stay in London for another couple of years and we would (hopefully!) be in a good situation to move in time for the littlest to start school in 2018, rather than the sproglet this September. The sprog himself, incidentally, also just got a school place at the absolutely brilliant primary at the end of our road and his nursery is already being amazing about helping make his transition there as easy as possible (he’s a bit shy, bless him), so we feel as if we’ve made the right decision.

So, rather than take the easy option and just stay where we are, we decided to give ourselves loads more work and buy a fixer upper round the corner from us for a bit of extra space, vast amounts of extra money, months spent renting a flat later this year while we do the work and, oh, you know, all the associated hassle of moving house and doing somewhere up. Honestly, it’s the sensible option really. Really.

So we’ve been in the throes of mortgage agreements and booking surveys and replying to solicitors accusations about “wood boring insect infestations” in our current house and all sorts of fun things like that.

In more enjoyable activities, the littlest turned two last week. We had a family trip to the transport museum on the day itself and a family party at the weekend, last Sunday, on what must have been the first truly hot day of the year. It was utter bliss, sitting outside, the sun beating down, the bees bumbling around the flower beds and listening to all the toddlers shrieking in delight at they played with the water table and took endless turns on the brand new slide.

My garden design course continues a(very speedy)pace with endless assignments and deadlines that I struggle to meet. Yesterday I gave a presentation on the incredible Jacques Wirtz, who is best known for his amazing cloud pruned hedges. Here’s a picture for you in case you’re into that sort of thing:

Jacques Wirtz's family garden
© Wirtz International

If you are, do look him up, his work is brilliant and has aspired me anew on the whole garden design career.

We’ve finally bought a couple more chickens to make up for the loss of darling Nero a few months back. So Blanco and Ginger have now been joined by Polka and Dot and the settling in period seems to be fine, so far…

Oh and finally, I’ve really been debating about whether to ever mention this here, but do you remember when I took a trip to Wiltshire last year to look for houses? One thing I didn’t say is that we were actually filming for a TV show, and, ahem, it was on TV last week. Yes, we were some of the hapless non-buyers in Escape to the Country. I have actually been dreading it coming onto TV, convinced that I would be portrayed as a terrible human being, but in fact, it was really fine. Yes, I seem to have a cut glass accent so strong that dogs surely wince when they hear me talking (something I genuinely wasn’t really aware of!) but other than that, I don’t think I came off as a massive douche. And the kids are adorable, of course, in their little spot at the beginning.

I’m not going to go as far as give you a direct link here (I’m a little too embarrassed for that), but if you are interested, we’re in series 16 and it’s the one where Jules Hudson goes to Wiltshire with a “young family”…

Apologies for the serious lack of photos in this post. I’ve really been on a break from everything: blogging, social media, even picking up my camera, so the past month has been completely undocumented. I have to say, it’s been refreshing not reaching for my phone or my camera the minute anything happens. The photo right up at the top is of the morello cherry tree in our front garden, which is stunning at this time of year, heaving with blossom.

Right, phew, that’s about it. Normal blogging service to resume from now on, with more focused and much shorter posts! I hope you’ve all been well in the past few weeks. Roll on summer, roll on more warm weather.