TIME: moments in the dark

Over the past few weeks, as the night draws in and Josephine's bedtime arrives, I've found moments of quiet time between the chaos. After a warm, lavender-scented bath and a story, we snuggle on the sofa in the dark; this little rabbit casting a magical glow across the room.

Some nights I sort my thoughts: adding tasks to my (never-ending) to-do list, figuring out new projects, remembering the little things I want to tell Ben over dinner. Once Phiney's tucked up in bed, I climb the stairs and feel motivated and ready for action. Knitting needles start clicking, notepads get written in and The Boy and I make plans.

And then, on other nights, as Josephine begins to feed and her eyes start to shut, I let my head fall backwards and feel my eyes closing too. I give into the quiet and the darkness and I switch off my mind. I forget about things that should have been done today and must get done tomorrow. I relax.

This week, I've felt the same about this space. I've wanted to close my eyes and forget about the posts I've half written or the photos I plan on taking. Things are happening that have taken all my thoughts. I can't really blog about it yet, but it's difficult to write about anything else. So, until meetings have been held and discussions had, things may be a little sporadic round here. Expect plenty of posts labelled 'Random Bits and Bobs'...

ps. apologies for the secretive tone and intrigue. Don't get too excited - for us it's a big deal and the start of a whole new chapter, but I'm not sure how interested anyone else will be! I'd just rather make it all official before I start chatting about it here :)



On Saturday we headed to a little airfield on the edge of Dorset to see my Dad take to the skies in a vintage Tigermoth aeroplane; the 50th birthday present the whole family gave him last November. When we arrived we weren't surprised to see him decked out in full Battle of Britain pilot attire, complete with uniform, flying jacket, gloves, hat and pipe. That's my Dad for you.

Many moons ago I took Ben to meet my Dad for the first time, at the same airfield. He was given a similar gift for his 40th birthday and as we made our way there I prepared Ben once again about the man he was about to meet. About how it was very likely he'd be dressed as a World War II serviceman, would be likely to speak to him in a plummy English accent and would most definitely be pretending to smoke a pipe. I'm not sure how seriously Ben took me, but he soon realised that I was not exaggerating.

At our wedding two years ago my Dad, in his Father of the Bride speech, recalled the meeting. No joke, at that first encounter, when we were just 17, my Dad asked Ben what his prospects were and his intentions for his daughter. It's crazy to think that it was nearly 11 years ago...


MONTHLY PORTRAIT: eight months

Josephine's Monthly Portrait. Taken in her nursery on the 18th of every month. In this case as the autumn sun streamed through the window.

We thought last month was a crazy one, packed with new tricks and developments, but it seems to have been just as busy this month. The crawl is now perfected and there's no stopping Josephine as she scuttles from here to there at lightening speed. She's also pulling herself up and marches wherever she can when you're holding her hands. She's so steady on her feet I don't think it'll be long before our hands are no longer needed...

We've also started swimming lessons, which Phiney adores. And so do I. Seeing her joy as she gets into the pool is a pure delight, and her smiles as she emerges from being under the water only cement our thoughts on this little bird being one fearless adventurer.

As for the rest, there's been new words ('drink' being the most helpful!) and a real confidence developing. Josephine really is such a cool gal. The coolest. She smiles and chats to everyone she meets, happily explores her surroundings and gets up from falls and bumps without even a moan. Aspects of what we're sure will be Phiney's strong-willed, determined, happy, confident, loving and kind personality are shining through and it's a real honour to share my days with her. Plus those curls are coming through thick and fast now. Sigh! 

We love you tiny dancer. You fill our lives with the brightest of sunshine xxx



The days, and nights, have been busy round here of late. Since our visit to the Dorset coast two weeks ago, we've had day trips to Devon, swimming lessons, days with Nana and Granpy, lunch with Nanny, visits with nephews and fun with Auntie Dora. Once we got home from brunch with Grandpa on Saturday I declared only lazy days for the next week at least. Lucky that was the plan, as on Sunday morning Phiney decided to start the day at 4am. Not what I had planned. After Phiney enjoyed a very quick nap, Ben fetched her from her cot downstairs and snuggled her back in bed with us, where we proceeded to stay for another three hours. Just dozing, drinking tea and playing peepo under the covers.

Then early yesterday morning, Josephine woke up at 4.10am and decided, once again to stay up. There were tired tears at around 5.30am (from her and me) but she finally fell back to sleep sometime after 6 and didn't get up until 7.40am. With Ben at work, we didn't venture past the back garden and filled our day with book reading and cuddles and food and sleep.

Thankfully the amazing, wonderful, beautiful Josephine realised how much her Mama needed her sleep and decided to lie-in until 7am this morning, sleeping 12 hours straight. She's only done that a couple of times, but she always picks a night they're needed most to pull them out of the bag. I'm grateful for that.

Today Phiney also turns 8 months old. I haven't got round to taking her Monthly Portrait pictures yet but I will later. Or tomorrow. For now I'm happy to sit and watch Josephine play with the box of pegs while I demolish a very buttery croissant. Sometimes it's more important to rest and recover and savour the little things than it is to hoover and tidy and venture out the front door.  



Josephine gave me this beautifully dishevelled rose yesterday, after a trip into the garden at my grandparent's house. Carefully picked by Nana, Phiney looked so pleased with herself as she carefully bought it in and gave it to me. Although she quickly wanted it back and tried to eat it. It's now sitting pride of place on the mantelpiece - the first gift from my little bird. A true treasure.

Also, Tori has posted more of the photo shoot we had with her on her photography blog here. I'm more enamoured with those gorgeous captures every time I see them, and will treasure them always.



We spent our weekend by the sea, at a family wedding. Hands down, this little bird was the best dressed guest...
Dress from here and shoes from here, of course. So many people asked where they were from and thought they were beautiful. Which they are.
Photo taken on my iPhone - the only picture I took all weekend.


TODAY: favourite things

Today, right here and now, these are a few of my favourite things about Josephine. The girl that steals our hearts with her funny ways. Because I don't want to forget the little things.

I love that she thinks the hoover is a dog. I think it's because of the noise it makes when I'm using it. Every time she sees it she happily proclaims 'dog!' and pets the handle. Who knew a hoover could bring so much delight. 

I love that every time every single time, she eats cous cous she sneezes and it goes everywhere. Absolutely everywhere. And even more, I love that she then proceeds to pick up each tiny grain and eat it. No morsel wasted when it comes to food, just like her parents.

I love that when she hears the front door to our building shut she looks towards the door hoping it means Daddy's home. She adores her Papa and he adores her.

I love that at some point, most afternoons, you'll find Phiney and I lying on our bed, staring out of the window at the trees. Or having cuddles and kisses, or reading a book, or having a nap. I hope those quiet, simple times together happen for years to come.

I love the fact that when she was eating her dinner a couple of nights ago she farted then laughed. Then I laughed and she laughed some more. I can't help it people, farts are funny.

And I love this goofy face. Because how could you not.


SWIMMING: our little water baby

Tomorrow is a big day for Josephine. It's her first swimming lesson. Phiney has always been a water baby. Loved the bath from the moment she got in it, and is so confident splashing around in there now. We're hoping that this love will translate to the pool, which we're lucky enough to be sharing with our three friends and their babies in a rather lovely hotel on the outskirts of Bath. Just us and the teacher for an hour a week for the next seven weeks.

Tomorrow is also a big day for Mama and will be the first time I wear anything remotely resembling a swimming costume since I had Josephine. I bought this one specially (note the ruching around the tummy, cup support and always flattering black colour choice) as it screamed 'I only recently gave birth and am really not that keen in showing off my soft and stretch-marked tummy' in the shop, and so instantly grabbed my attention.

Actually I'm not really bothered about the stretchmarks. My tummy was pefectly smooth until I was in labour - really, Ben said he saw the marks pop out during one particularly full-on push! - and now they're a reminder of all the hard work I put in to get Josephine here. Plus Ben doesn't care at all and, since the removal of all bikinis (heck, I wasn't that bothered about them anyway) no-one but him will be seeing my tummy from now on.

We're all so excited about tomorrow, so I'll be sure to report back on how it goes. I'm hoping the teacher has an underwater camera (apparently most do) and we come away with a picture resembling Nirvana's Nevermind album cover...



Some pretty, new pieces have found their way into our home lately...

1. A lovely vintage tin and gorgeous paisley eiderdown courtesy of my sweet friend Laura. With baby number two on the way her nesting has kicked in and she's having a big clear out. Luckily for me.
2. The beautiful scarf Ben bought me from a little boutique when we were on holiday. I love him and I love presents.
3. An awesome find of a jumper that has been patiently hanging in my wardrobe for many months now, waiting for autumn. And now it's here...hoorah!
4. Another holiday purchase in the shape of a little woven bracelet. It reminds me of sweetcorn, which is always a good thing.
5. I love finding pretty postcards in art gallery gift shops...these were the only good thing about an otherwise disappointing trip to Tate St Ives.
6. My sister and I became addicted to visiting Cornwall Soap Box when we were on holiday. So many delicious smells, so little time. It's hard for me to resist the fragrance of Christmas though, so this candle was a must. I can't help but take off the lid and inhale!



Time passes so quickly when you have a baby. Weeks become months and that tiny helpless creature becomes a determined little bird who's on the move, all in the blink of an eye. These pictures will be cherished, always. Documenting a moment in our lives that is so special, so precious. Me, Ben and our firstborn child. So in love with eachother, enraptured by everything eachother do.

Tori is a very beautiful person, inside and out. And she takes very beautiful pictures. One Saturday morning in July she arrived at our little home and from the first moment started snapping, chatting and laughing, and we felt like we'd known her for years. Josephine instantly fell in love with her and over that day she took these wonderful pictures.

Thank you Tori for this, the loveliest of gifts. Our hearts are so happy.