Sunday, September 23, 2012


So much has changed in a blog starting at Over the Hawthorn Hedge

Saturday, July 16, 2011


I finally talked Taylor into a haircut. He's been growing it for a year, and it was so long and floppy that one half of his face was totally covered and pure white, and the other side tanned and freckly. Frankly, he looked like an idiot!


After - he looks like a different child!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011


I know it's a bit sad, but a few weeks ago I decided to fulfil a life long dream of setting up a tropical aquarium. Having always kept coldwater fish I had no idea just how bloody complicated it was! Pete always said that they were too much hard work, and that I shouldn't get one, but I can do what I like now so took the plunge. I have to say he was right!
Now that it is set up and the water cycle is ok, it should be fine, but for a while there it was pretty confusing. You have to introduce bacteria into the water, which also has to be dechlorinated, and this can take weeks. The bacteria feed on the ammonia produced by the fish waste, and turn it into nitrates. The bacteria need ammonia to survive, and the only way to produce this is to have fish living in the dangerously toxic water, so it is a tricky time. You can do it slowly without fish, but I was lucky enough to have a dirty, yucky mini filter that had been running in my daughters tank, full of that lovely bacteria, so I popped that in there and the tank was ready within a week. I now have Guppies, Platies and Danios in there. In a week or so I can introduce some Corys and Tetras.

I also bought Isobel some new fancy goldfish for her small tank. This one looks just like Hitler, though one of my friends said he looked more like Freddie Mercury.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Thought I'd better do a huge June update, seeing as I haven't been able to do one for well over a month!

I went to a friends wedding right at the beggining of June. I met Molly online about 6 years ago, when she was pregnant with her daughter Betsy, and my Isobel was just a baby. We are part of a huge group on Facebook, where we all chat and generally cause mischief, so loads of us 'imaginary friends' went to her wedding.

Our friend Anna, in the red top, took the wedding photos, and Molly looked stunning!

I got to stay on Nick, the guy in one of the photos, house boat on the Thames. We all stayed over, drank far too much, and crawled to a local cafe for a fry up the next day. Staying on the boat was the highlight of the weekend, it was brilliant, and Nick was a great host. However, the sound of Coots screeching outside your window as they bob up and down on the water is not an attractive sound when you've drank your own bodyweight in vodka and had 3 hours sleep.

At the end of May, Isobel went to Sony in London with her friend jake, and they got to test a new super secret PS3 game, and got paid for it! Isobel decided to spend her hard earned pennies on some guinea pigs, so Pete and I gave her some more money towards it to buy a hutch, and now we have these cute little guys, Godwin & Arthur:

The weather has been a bit touch and go the rest of the month, so we've either been stuck indoors, or making a mad dash to the local park before it rains again, then a mad dash home when it does!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

7th Birthday

I'd promised Isobel that we'd take her to a local wildlife park/butterfly farm for her birthday months and months ago, but with the expense of the house move we'd been unable to book it, and when the time came it was fully booked, so I had to find something fast and plan a party at home in a week. Mad panics ensued and I called every animal encounters party in the south of the country, and somehow found one with a space on the Sunday afternoon.

The whole thing was brilliant, a seriously great idea for a kids birthday, worth every penny!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Nights out

I've been very lucky recently and have lots of fantastic nights out with my lovely friends, who have rallied round me and kept me busy. I went to the Lightbox nightclub in Vauxhall, London, for my friend Emma's birthday. It is a seriously beautiful venue, covered in millions of undulating coloured LED lights. It was very pretty!

Then a week later, with barely time in between to recover, I met up with friends I don't get to see very often, and some I've only known online, and went to Pacha and stayed in a hotel in London.

Both nights out were exactly what I needed to take my mind off everything, it's been a tough couple of months and it was lovely to forget it all and let my hair down.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

The Big Move

Well, that was stressful. I don't ever want to do that again. Eurgh!

The whole thing was so tiring though, and Kit didn't sleep the first two nights. He has refused to sleep in his cot(the one I wasted an hour rebuilding), so he's had a big transition of new house AND moving into a big boys bed. Think it was all a bit too much for him and he kept getting in bed with me, but we cracked it last night and he stayed in his room all night. :)

I've been doing really well emotionally, until Pete and I had a massive row yesterday whilst cleaning the old house, and ended up sobbing on each other, which sucked.

All in all the house is fabulous though, it feels more like home every day that passes, and looking out of those back windows out on that view makes it all worthwhile.

My room

Kit was up at 5am. Yikes!

Taylor's room

Bel & Kit's room

Friday, April 29, 2011


So, a lot has been happening here. I didn't want to post about this before in case it didn't happen. I started looking at houses in the town we were planning on moving to anyway, Taylor goes to school there and I work there, so it was always in 'the plan'. All the letting agents wanted ridiculous admin fees, and a friend suggested I look on Gumtree for a private listing. The first place I saw in the search, in fact the only house in that town that came up, looked good, so I started emailing back and forth with the landlords. I went to view the house about 3 weeks ago, but they wanted a deposit that I just didn't have, and I cried all the way home on my bike(which was fun), because I knew it was 'the house'. I called my Dad; and told him that we'd split up, and he wasn't interested at all. I was, and still am, so upset with him. I'm his only daughter, his only child, and he couldn't even lend me £1500. So, I spent the whole weekend crying about it, I was just distraught.

Without wanting to sound like a complete nutter, I dreamt of this house, and knew it was mine. For quite a few years as a child, between the ages of about 6 and 13, I had reoccurring dreams 2-3 times a year, and they always started in a garden that backed onto fields, with a river, and poplar and willow trees lining the banks. The dreams have cropped up a few times in my day to day adult life, but never as obviously as this. I had to find a way to live there.

I went into work the next day, secured a loan for half the money from a dodgy company, and my work promised to do me a wages advance for the rest, so I called the landlord and told them I wanted it. I then spent a week on edge waiting for the tenant checks to come back ok. It was the longest week of my life!
To cut a very long story short, I am now here, in my final days in this house, that has been my home for 11 years. There have been some problems with securing that last bit of money this week, and wonderful family and friends have helped me out, and now the deposit is paid. I am moving in a days time, to the house in my childhood dreams. I think the little girl I was in the dreams wasn't me, it was Isobel. I was seeing the garden through her eyes.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Eleven Years

Eleven years is a very long time. I don't think I'd noticed before. The years just seemed to rush by, one moulding into the next. Each year bringing with it such gradual changes that I barely noticed them. Life is a pretty fluid thing.

It's only now that Pete and I have decided to split up, and I'm reflecting on all the things we've done, and the places we've been, that eleven years seems like an eternity. We have seen so much, alone and with the children, in those eleven years, that it doesn't seem possible to carry on breathing and seeing the world without my best friend by my side.

I'm having to look back through old photos to help Taylor with his homework, he has to make a slide show of his life, and each photo is like a punch in the stomach. I just feel sick. That photo up there was taken about a month after we met. Sadly I don't think I'll ever be able to look at them and smile again. I just was never perfect enough.

The Invitation by Oriah

It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon...
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.
I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.

It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.
I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.
I want to know
if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.

By Oriah © Mountain Dreaming

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Kit is two!

Kit had his second birthday this weekend, and he was a mixture of crazy and charming as always! We didn't throw him a party as he doesn't really have any friends so didn't see the point. He was happy to just have some new toys I think.