Tiddley-Bits tea

Tiddley-Bits tea

Thursday, 28 January 2016

{quotable thursdays}

Right at this moment, things just feel a little messy. But I must remind myself that this is just part of life:

{beautifully written available from LovelyDayFleur}
My desk is a mess...trying to write far too many divergent articles, books, book chapters, course materials, conference papers...

& the house needs a clean, the dishes need putting in the dishwasher... but that is life! One lesson that I've learned is that if we don't recognise that life is messy, we'll never live it to the fullest, because we'll spend all day trying to be perfect rather than real.
Embrace messiness and let the creative writing juices flow!

Monday, 25 January 2016

{Afternoon Tea at Luton Hoo}

This past week my Mum celebrated a milestone birthday--70!
So we decided to celebrate in style, by having Afternoon Tea at Luton Hoo.
My mum is the fifth daughter of five girls, who in turn had five girls (of which I'm the fifth). She has sailed the seven seas, lived in numerous countries, raised 5 children, holds a Ham Radio operating license, a degree in Nursing, she can command a ship and a household with poise, gratitude, love & authority. She can paint a house, sew a wedding dress (or a few!) (as well as sails and curtains), and is a fantastic cook, gardener, sailor, true friend and companion and a wonderful mother. She is also married to the love of her life, my father, whom she met at 14, when he had just immigrated from India to Canada. She is now grandmother to 9 grandchildren!

I am so grateful to have had such a role model in my life--a woman of faith, courage, strength, intellect, and adventure. Here's to many more Mum!
On Tuesday night we celebrated with some prosecco at home and a dinner out at an Italian restaurant nearby (in a 500 year old building!):

On Wednesday we drove a scenic route through the Dunstable Downs to Luton Hoo. It was a bright but frosty day, which allowed us great views and even a walk in the formal gardens at Luton Hoo:
{at home before heading out for tea}

{Dunstable Downs}
{entering the gates of Luton Hoo!}

{exploring the gardens}

& then into Luton Hoo to gaze at the beautiful building:

& then sitting down for Afternoon Tea!

{afternoon tea lounge}

{sun setting on Luton Hoo's façade}

{sun setting on the Dunstable Downs}

A beautiful day to mark a beautiful woman!

Sunday, 24 January 2016


If you read my blog regularly, you'll know I'm obsessed with books and bookshelves. In a dream world I'd have a library in my house, but in my small little Victorian ex-worker's cottage called Chota House there isn't much room for a whole library. However, after getting inspiration from a lot of magazines and images on pinterest (boards 'on books and things' and 'fireplaces'), my father designed and executed some lovely built-ins for my living room.
With the floors done, this room is almost complete (just waiting for some picture rails) (...& eventually new curtains)!

The previous owners had used brown carpet everywhere, and filled the space with a lot of furniture, without creating any form of flow. I've tried to create a cozy space around the fireplace, with built-in bookshelves, a sofa, and a lovely French chair. It's the perfect place to curl up and read on cold winter's night!
{before (former owner's arrangement) & after!}

{BEFORE (former owners' arrangement)}



& just a few pics of the work in progress to underline how much work it indeed did take!
{initial carpet removal}

{prepping the floors}

{work in progress!}
{cabinets going in}

but now...it finally feels like home!:

stay tuned for more renos!


This week my piano arrived!!
You'll have recalled that I went piano shopping a few weeks ago, but it had to get tuned and delivered and on Tuesday it arrived.
It feels right at home here in Chota House and I can't stop playing it!
Pure Love!
{getting delivered!!}
{playing away!}

{Simla approves!}