Tiddley-Bits tea

Tiddley-Bits tea

Thursday, 26 November 2015

{quotable thursdays}

Hello blogland!
Lots has happened since I last wrote and I've just been a bit overwhelmed at work and at home.
Big news on the home front: my parents arrived last week and have already sanded all my floors!!!! Next comes the staining and varnish and then I'll have lovely beautiful old/new floors!
It's been a lot of dust and noise and mess, but my parents are experts and are amazing at putting everything back after a long working day!
so with that, here's a quote to remind us that in the end, all this work will be worth it!
{things take time!}
I've got lots of photos, but here are a few quick takes of before and afters: 
{my parents hard at work!}

{floors: before-with holes sealed up with putty etc...} 

{hard at work!}

{hard at work in my bedroom!}
{half sanded}

{looking beautiful!}
 more afters to come soon!

Thursday, 12 November 2015

{quotable thursdays}

This weekend I'm celebrating my birthday so today's quote reflects the fact that we usually become rather contemplative on our birthdays-looking back on the last year and wondering where the next one will lead; looking back at the last 20 years and wondering where the next 20 will lead. I have to admit, this year has been pretty eventful as I bought my first house!
{beautiful words from Twain}
If I've learned anything in the last 30+ years is that casting the bowlines and setting sail for a crossing requires planning, faith, & strength. It also takes a whole lot of work. I am living the life that I wanted, but it wasn't as easy to get here as I thought it would be. Atolls and reefs cropped up where I wasn't expecting them, storms sprung up in places where I thought the waters should have been calm, and I got stuck in doldrums when I thought I should have been catching the trades, but that's life. The greatest gift my parents gave me was to raise me aboard a ship, as it taught me how to navigate and be independent as well as rely on others when needed as you can't sail most ships single-handedly. 
The sea provided me with a metaphor on how to approach life: explore, dream, discover!
{Expo '88, Brisbane, Australia}
{Aboard Robertson II}

{a wild bird, aboard Pacific Swift}


Wednesday, 11 November 2015

{Flanders Fields}

{poppies at the Tower of London last year}
John McCrae, the cousin of my great Grandmother, Annie McCrae, wrote some very famous words, which are read out every year on this day. I am not an advocate of war, but I admit that I live peacefully due to the lives lost in battle. I am fortunate to hear birds singing in my garden rather than bombs, and when I do hear planes overhead it's people simply making their way from A to B rather than fighter jets dropping bombs on innocent people below. I am fortunate that when I travel it's my own choice, not because I am seeking asylum, away from war.
{my great grandparents, George Hills and Annie McRae}

My heart bleeds for all of those who don't know this peace, and I think we need to be reminded, especially on this day, that when we want to close our doors and borders to those who are seeking peace and a better life, it wasn't that long ago that we were doing the same... or that in the future, we might be relying on others to open their hearts and borders to help us seek a safer life.
So in the words of my ancestor, Major John McCrae:

{Flanders Fields}

Growing up I only knew that he was a relative of mine. Strangely, however, we seem to have a lot in common: John McCrae was born on 30 November 1872 (30 November is my sister Esther's birthday) and he taught at McGill University in Montreal, where I received my PhD. He also taught at the University of Vermont in Burlington, where I also worked (at a different institution) and he also spent time in England and France during the war.
Peace be with you,

Monday, 9 November 2015

{champagne--good for you!}

Have you heard the news? Apparently champagne combats Alzheimers & dementia!
Now there's something to celebrate:
{cheers again!}

Sunday, 8 November 2015

{Chota House}

Our family has a tradition of naming our houses. Ever since I was a child I was filled with tales of the houses that my Dad knew in India... There was Brancepeth in Simla (where my Granny was born & raised) and Arnside in Coonoor. Then my family immigrated to Canada and my grandparents named their house in Bird's Eye Cove, Swoon Bhavan, and finally Mamre Oaks in Victoria. My parents then took on this tradition and what followed was Edgefield in Oak Bay and Craigmont in Rockland (among others) and finally they reside today in Gaudeamus in Nova Scotia. Of course the boats we grew up on were all named so as a child this just seemed normal. Even though we have lived in many houses all over the world, my parents have taught me that each one is unique, and that you make it a home, no matter how long you might stay there. The joys of renovating are seeing the results and making a mark on a place in time.
{my grandparents at Brancepeth, Simla)

{outside the printing press, MIK, founded by my grandparents in Lahore in 1947, where they also had their house (photo taken by me in 2005 (my parents in the centre); my sister Esther furthest to the right)}

{me outside a haveli in 2005, close to where my father was born in Peshawar, Pakistan}

{Edgefield, in Oak Bay, Victoria, BC, Canada}

{Craigmont, the fantastic Arts & Crafts mansion designed my Samuel Maclure in Rockland, Victoria BC, Canada}

{my parents house near Coveyachts, the marina they founded in Maple Bay, BC-check out their lovely jaguar!)}

{while I grew up on boats, this was our house on land for all of my childhood: 'the Carnsew House'}

So it seems only right that I christen this little house with a name of its own...

My house was built in the 1890s as a worker's cottage, for the workers who served a sand pit at the bottom of the street. It is thus a simple abode; a fairly small dwelling with some interesting old features, such as fireplaces in every room, and although they seem rather grand today, they were pretty simple for the time it was built.
For those of you who follow my blog regularly you'll know that it's called tinza because it was the nickname given to me by my four older sisters. It derives from tiny. So I had thought to call my house 'tiny's cottage' but somehow this didn't seem right. I imagine Tiny's Cottage to be less urban and to be more cottagey with beams and inglenook fireplaces... I wanted to also speak to my family's roots in India and to reference the fact that my returning to my ancestor's home here in England came by a rather circuitous route...from British India to Canada and then back to England. Chota came to mind as it means small or tiny in hindi. I could have followed this with Bhawan (or Bhavan), which means home or house, but somehow this sounded too foreign. So Chota House seemed like a perfect fit. It's a tiny house but also Tiny's House.
{a little water colour I did of the house!}

so...Chota House it is!: my new home in Bedfordshire which is getting a makeover and feeling more & more like home by the minute! I just need to get a sign made & then it'll be official! My parents arrive in just over a week-it's the first time they'll see it in the flesh & I'm setting them to work: they'll refinish the floors and build some bookshelves and wardrobes etc...
can't wait!

Thursday, 5 November 2015

{quotable thursdays}

Happy Bonfire Night!
Hope you're staying cosy on this rainy November night--I think most events are taking place this weekend...
With a birthday coming up next week, I thought this quote was a good one:
I apologise for not posting as much as usual. It's just been non-stop: if it's not craziness with work then it's trying to get things done on the house! But in two weeks time my parents will be here and the floors will get redone and other major projects that I can't do on my own. So stay tuned for pics... and also just very much looking forward to spending time with them especially over Christmas!
{I'm having fun picking some paint colours for the doors and trim and bookshelves (Farrow & Ball)}

Here are a few pics from the week---we had a foggy few days!
{waiting for the train to work}

{market square in the mist}

{church in the fog}
 oh & have you been watching Downton? Can't believe this Sunday is the last episode-boohoo! What will the telly do without Downton? Speaking of Downton, there's a pig farm near me, which is a fantastic walk. A couple of weeks ago I went on a long walk and soaked it all in (glad I was wearing wellies or I would've soaked in all the mud too!) I feel so blessed to have this all on my doorstep and with walking distance of my house:

{chestnut season!!!}

A bientôt!