Monday, 16 June 2014

A Place called Perfect.

Hi Everyone! Oh, it is so good to be back and free from the rigors of the OU and the constant thinking and worrying about studying. I have so much catching up to do, especially with my little ones. They have been so good but really it is not great to have a Mum so preoccupied with something other than themselves. They only have two more weeks left at school though so I am loving the few hours in the day that I can call my own. Catching up with friends, with exercise, DIY, baking, making and sweet sweet reading for pleasure.

Way back before Christmas, I was delighted to win an intriguing book from this interesting blog- Northern Irish based 'The Patchwork Quill'.  I was so touched to receive the book with a personalised note from the author with a polite request for a review for her website. Well, I am slightly shame-faced when I confesses that I have only just gotten around to reading it. A Place called Perfect by Kilkenny based, author, designer and illustrator Helena Duggan,  is an intriguing, sinister and clever book aimed at young readers 10+ but adults who love reading a wide genre selection will also love this magical world that Helena has created. Children will love the characters of Violet and Boy and emphasise with their struggles in this world of untrustworthy adults. I love the distinctive cover of this book and only wish that there was more of Helena's beautiful illustration inside. I will certainly pass this over to my kids when they are old enough.

I also want to share another perfect little place with you. Last month I had to travel to Newry for an Open University day school. I arrived in Newry in pouring rain, much too early for my appointment and feeling a little cold and miserable. I not familiar with the town and on this day, it looked very much like a town both in recovery thanks to the peace process but also one that has been hit by recession so I was charmed to stumble into My Aunt Jane's Tearoom. I sat down gratefully in the cosy and quirky vintage inspired interior, with a generous pot of tea and a beautiful fresh scone and had a lovely chat with Katrina, the friendly owner. Katrina is a wonderful host and is so passionate about her business, it is infectious. If you love fine loose tea, scrumptious coffee, crafty activities or quirky vintage finds be sure to check this shop out. Newry is also a fantastic base for exploring the majestic countryside of the Mourne mountains on one side and the Cooley mountains on the other.

Hi Katrina! (Sorry about the quality of the pics, they were shot on the phone camera.)

My own little place of perfection is looking rather forlorn and scruffy at the moment, we are diligently stripping off all our '80's wallpaper in preparation for some late summer renovations. That sure is one piece of vintage that I shall be relieved to put in the bin! Unfortunately we have revealed wall upon wall of dark red plaster so the interior is beginning to look more like a dank cave every day. On the bright side though my little fireplace has finally been installed, the seedlings are growing strong and the whole place smells of elderflower cordial and freshly baked bread. There is much to look forward to. I love June! What are you looking forward to this summer?