October 06, 2010


Do you ever have weeks where you feel that you are rather like a long-jumper, flying through the air, feet not touching the ground, the days of the week skimming past below you as you try and maintain control before you hit the sand?

It has been a week like that with us.

Eldest son was 16 on Monday. Party was on Friday night and involved an evening out with mates and a sleepover at home with ten 15/16 year old boys camped out in our sittingroom. The room usually looks like this (Janet, please note white slip-covers, freshly washed!),

and I will leave to your imagination what it looked like after the ten of them, plus sleeping-bags, giant chocolate cake, multipacks of cola, crisps and a huge pillow-fight had taken its toll. Suffice it to say, I am still finding the odd feather and cola can!!

There was a lovely moment though, at about 11pm hearing far-off laughter and chatting getting closer and closer as they wended their way in the dark over the fields and along the river to our house. They got a huge thumbs up from us for having a fantastic time without any accident, injury or damage to their livers. Phew.

Sunday brought high tea with a dear friend and her lovely two kids. One was nursing a sore ear, which was story in itself and one I feel obliged to share. Scenario: 11 year old boy is given weekend homework of preparing a role-play for a Monday lesson illustrating some aspects of battle in the Middle Ages. Elder brother is more than willing to lend a helping hand, or hands, armed with kitchin utensils. Their mum, whilst praising ingenuity, bans spatulas etc for fear of blinding and the like. Their father then calls from the west coast of Ireland where he is having a surfing jolly with some friends. Mid conversation, dreadful, bloodcurdling screams, intimating real, rather than imagined pain is heard, phone call is aborted, and mum runs into the kitchen to find, to her utter bewilderment that raw spagetti has become the sword of choice and somehow, don't ask, but a fragment of durum wheat pasta has become lodged in ear canal of younger son.

Screaming, crying, heartfelt apologies and explanations are all thrown into the mix, (and it was completely accidental), as they hotfoot it to the nearest hospital. TWO INCHES of spagetti is removed by a doctor, who pronounces that the eardrum is well and truly perforated.

You couldn't make it up, could you? Poor George is recovering, Paddy is sheepish and hallelujah for ibroprufen!

Monday was filled with not just cleaning up the house, but frankly bringing it safely back to its moorings, like a swaying hot-air balloon, pulling on its ropes. And restocking the fridge and generally feeling slightly heroic in my domestic sphere, bringing order and calm to all about. And getting out into my damp and mushroomy, October-y smelling garden, to notice that wet dianthus leaves look like the diamante hairslides I so admired as a little girl, and actually still rather do for all their 1920s-style decadance,

Tuesday, I escaped to London and salivated over the best, most exquisite jewellery currently being created by contemporary jewellers in the UK, at the 2010 Goldsmiths' Fair in London. The Goldsmith's Hall could and should be a post in itself, but suffice it to say that it has stood on that very spot, opposite St Paul's Cathedral, since 1339 although little is known about that first building. The second was built in 1634-6 and required renovation and restoration after it was severely damaged in the Great Fire of London in 1666. It lasted for the best part of two centuries but was demolished in the 1820s, when the present Hall was built in the style of a classical urban palazzo. It is such a grand place, but they were very fierce about no cameras when I was there, so I will just guide you to the website if you are interested.

The jewellery and flatware were breathtaking, my eye was drawn particularly to the work of Sue LaneJames Newman and Ruth Tomlinson (although not the pieces on her first website picture, but love, love the others!). I could name so many more, but it was a wonderful experience to see so much talent, in an artform I love, under one roof. Fed the soul via the eyes!

So, it was good today to finish my arc across the week, and land with a happy thud on the sand. I hope your week is treating you well.


  1. I can't beleive you have four children and your house is so clean and organized. It's so nice you have free time for gardening and flowers. Why didn't you took a picture of living room after the party. :)

  2. Hi, thanks for visiting. I really should have taken an after photo, the house was just so full of kids and mayhem I didn't think of it!

  3. Well firstly Belinda, you DO NOT look old enough to have a son of 16! Secondly - I agree with the first comment - how on earth do you keep that scrumptious looking sitting room so clear of clutter with 4 children and still have time for gardening? I only have 3 children and a list as long my arm of things i'd like to get done including;
    1) Plant things in the garden
    1a) Learn to garden
    2) Buy some chickens
    3) Get a dog
    4) Work out whether number 2&3 are compatible...
    You make jewellery AND make trips to London too - fancy adding 'Life Coach' to your list of accomplishments - I am in awe! xx

  4. Thank you so much Mrs S, you have made my day. But oh dear, to 'fess up a moment, our siiting room usually looks like that WHEN I HAVE JUST TIDIED IT. Forgot to mention that last bit!! As often as not has children/dog/homework/games//MESS all thrown into the mix! Getting a hound is fabulous by the way, you never feel as though you have failed to exercise and sooo cute! Can recommend cocker spaniels.xxx

  5. Dear Belinda,
    It seems you had a busy week. Geben Sie Text
    We were now on the road every day. I hope tomorrow it will be quiet.
    Have a wonderful evening,

  6. Wow, what a week. I'd never thought before, but raw spaghetti is indeed quite a serious weapon!
    And I do think you're very brave, to allow a sleepover in such a beautiful sitting room.

  7. Oh my - you have a beautiful front room - and you let the boys sleep over? You are brave - I get the wobbles at just the one ten year old lad stopping for the night - the place you find popcorn....days later.

    Ouch - for your dear friends son...all I can say is boys - oh how we know them soooooo well!!

    take care,

    Nina xxxx

  8. Yvonne, I hope you managed some peaceful moments after all your travelling.

    Struggler and Nina, thanks so much for visiting, WELCOME! If we had the option of a teenage den somewhere else in the house believe me we'd use it!! But since it is the only big space I just try hard to focus on the fact that it's great they feel comfortable being here, and that we have washable sofa covers! Certainly stops me being too precious about the furniture!

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  10. I agree with whoever said that you are a brave woman indeed for letting those boys invade that beautiful space of yours! :-)

  11. Oh Belinda I am so happy you found my blog, as it has meant that I have also found yours!! What a beautiful room you have, and how brave to let those boys stay in there with their chocolate cakes!! I have really enjoyed reading through your blog posts, I like the way you write and am also very inspired by your business venture (that was something I would love to learn how to do, the floristry and the silversmithing!) I am off to visit the link you kindly sent to me in your comment (which was also very inspiring) just now, and I will come back and visit you very soon!

    Sending love
    Julia x x x

  12. Thanks for visiting Metscan, I am posting soon on a big clearout of clothes I am doing - I'd love any advice as you seem an expert on having a capsule wardrobe and I NEED HELP!

    Hi Anne, thanks for popping over, the boys were great though! One came over today to finally collect his sleeping bag!

    Julia, hello! A big,fat welcome to my blog! Thank you for your kind words. I am sure you will find Snapdragon's Garden inspiring.x

  13. What an amazing week! congratulations on your son turning 16 (and for him having so many of his friends over without mishap - you have raised him well!)He is at such a great age...turning from boy into man into someone you can really rely upon and have a deep and long lasting friendship with. People say "Oh...the teenage years..." and roll their eyes. Personally, I thought they were grand (when my 2 children were there) and it sounds like they are pretty good for you too (not perfect maybe, but hey, who is perfect?). I would have loved to come with you on your trip to London - any excuse at all to go to that fabulous city!
    Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving such a lovely comment. I am going to be following along with you and your very interesting life, if you don't mind!

  14. Ooh, look at your beam! What a beautiful room. I'm excited to hear that you're a silversmith. I'd love to see some of your work! Many thanks for your visit over at my place.

  15. Hi Ann and silverpebble, welcome to my blog and thanks so much for your lovely comments.x

  16. Belinda, thank you for finding me and taking the time to comment. Your words are honey to my heart today. I trusted God with telling my story (or a nutshell version of it anyway) and am so honored that He would refresh the hearts of new friends like you with my words.

    I cant wait to have a chance to know your world better here on your blog!

    Happy weekend!

  17. Thanks Linsey, and delighted you visited today!x

  18. What a beautiful room! I'm green with envy. And a gold star for parenting and bravery - ten teenage boys and white sofas, I am awestruck!