Saturday, 24 September 2011

Spillers Farm

How sweet is this arch for a welcome?

While we were away for the wedding last weekend, we had the pleasure of spending two nights at Spillers farm.

In the summer months there is also a tea room here and I hope we can sample that on our return! (hopefully next year!)

The owners of the B&B were super friendly. They made us feel like we were visiting friends.
We were invited to explore the farm and introduce ourselves to the animals.

The pigs were so friendly! They breed the pigs and use the "offspring" for their own meat.

When exploring, you always need a tour guide.
The tour guide at Spillers farm was adorable.

Meet Merryck.
He was always up for a stroll around the lake, all he needs is someone willing to open the gates and he will show you around.

Unfortunately we didn't have time to take the boat for a spin, but Merryck highly recommended it, as you can see. He apparently likes to swim alongside.

Bridget and Keith (the owners) buy some orphaned lambs every year, they raise them and then use them for meat also. These sheep have such a happy life!

The farm and surrounding landscapes are just stunning.

The views were just beautiful.

Merryck was a little put out because we couldn't go any further. We had booked dinner in Lyme Regis, so we had to turn back.

Check me out! Check out how close I was to the chickens!!
We had to walk through them to get to the lake.

I had to dig deep for the courage people!
Very deep.
But Merryck cleared the way.
He was my hero.

And I was very grateful for the ah-may-zing eggs in the morning.

The breakfast room doubles as the tea room in the summer.

I loved the adorable china.

I loved EVERYTHING about the place!

Our views from our room were lovely.

And even the keys had my hero on them!

We would thoroughly recommend this B&B.
Even if only to visit Merryck and eat some of the delicious breakfast!
But you could also explore the surrounding area! It is beautiful.
(Just wait til you see the pics of Lyme Regis!)
I will never get over the fact that I was too ill to eat my yummy breakfast on Sunday.
Boo hoo.
I guess we will just have to go back again!

Friday, 23 September 2011

Warts and all.

I know, I know. I have a huge catch up to come. But this week has not been a week for blogging. I have been so wiped out from our weekend LAST week to even begin blogging about it THIS week.

I am almost done editing the photos but unfortunately, I am not yet done with the panic attacks. (more on that to come ;-) )

What's with the title? Well, after talking to my sister on my return from our weekend away, she told me that she wanted to hear the story before I cleaned it up beyond recognition, for the Hamster wheel.


Honestly, I don't do this. I swear. Everything I write about does actually happen. But, I can, sort of, see what she means. I mostly focus my posts on the positive of everything that we do. Who wants to sit day after day and write about all of the stress, mess and worries that we encounter? I don't.

I know that I don't do things perfectly every day and that things don't always turn out right. I know I get it wrong. A lot.
You can be guaranteed that there is mess, noise and chaos behind every post that makes it's way onto this here blog.
I do even write about those tough times. I do!

 I love to blog. I do it because I enjoy finding words and taking photos. Mostly I blog to look back on our years as a young family, but also to snuggle into that place, in my own head, where it is quiet and only for me. It's like reading a good book, you when you are so sucked in that it takes someone three attempts to get your attention. I love that and I get that from writing on my blog too. It's my me time, but it doesn't take me away from my favourite people.

I wont ever forget that I spent a lot of times being stressed out and tired. I feel overwhelmed often and I have to talk myself down from it. (who am I kidding, Murray always takes a crisis call from me when my sky is falling.) But I also know that it is easy to forget all of the fun and good moments in amongst the day to day, flat out running around the Hamster wheel of life. So I like to remember those moments, laugh as I look through the photos and enjoy it all over again when I look back at old posts, with Murray or the kids.

Anyway, back to the wedding. I am willing to be totally honest and to share my embarassment in full, But, I don't want to re hash all of these details on the official wedding post, as I will probably share that link with the bride and her family. She does not need reminding of the details. She was there. I think I sullied her day enough. Blush.

****Confession time.**** I got accidently drunk at the wedding. Not just a bit tipsy, like I usually would. But all out , morealcoholthanIhavedrunkforanentireyearallatonetime drunk. And some of it could possibly have been captured for an upcoming tv series. cringe.

 We travelled down to Dorset to attend the wedding of my childhood best friend. I was a little nervous, I only knew Murray and the bride, groom , her sister and her mum.
The venue of the wedding was River Cottage in Dorset, England. This is the setting of a popular cooking/lifestyle TV series. I was terrified I would make a fool of myself with My friend's other (much posher) friends, who are all well educated and know each other.
 I was convinced I would fall over on camera and ruin some great shots. My other big worry was that I would come across Hugh Fearnly-Whittingstall , the chef and presenter of the TV series, and feel like I knew him. I am a real kiss and hug type person so I was worried I would be introduced to him, forget that I was a complete stranger, and kiss him. I didn t, by the way. I managed to mortify myself 45 other ways instead.

It started out well, we arrived and joined in the champagne reception, the canapes were very tasty , but I was immediately wishing we had eaten lunch. We ate a huge cooked breakfast in the morning which made us too full to eat lunch. We arrived at 2.30pm  by the time my tummy was two glasses of bubbly down, it was already telling my head to begin spinning.

After the bubbly came the most amazing white wine I have ever tasted.
Enough said.
My glass was never empty.
Enough said.

The meal was amazing, of course. It went on for a long time though and I knew I was starting to become loud and annoying, like I always do when I am drunk. Murray says I wasn't too bad but I feel bad about it. The food was obviously the main event and it was spectacular, the cameras were on our table for a while but, thankfully, the girl I was sitting next to had consumed as much wine as myself. She accidently dropped some of it on the table while we were being filmed and I immediately dissolved into a fit of giggles and had to put my head into my handbag to muffle the guffawing. Therefore, I am sure they moved along quite quickly, this was not exactly what they are looking for for their upcoming series (I hope!!). If she has saved me from a drunken appearance on tv, I will be forever indebted to her!

As murray summed up - it was an all vegetarian menu accompanied by a free bar. You can take the girl out of Fife but you can't take Fife out of the girl. It was always going to end in disaster.

I did manage to kiss two of the other presenters/chefs and am also hoping against all hope that neither of these will appear on the show.

After the meal we danced two wonderful, scottish twirly dances and then I went out for some fresh air.  At about 11pm (I think) I hit the wall, I told murray I had to leave and so we did. After an hour or so waiting in the fresh air for our taxi, I felt a lot better. We returned to our B&B and I promptly fell asleep.

At 5am I woke up having a panic attack. An actual panic attack. I felt like I had made a complete fool of myself and probably embaressed my beautiful, wonderful friend on her very special day. This feeling happens to me whenever I have too much to drink. But this was worse than usual, I felt like I couldn't breathe. I never want to feel like this again.

It wasn't helped any by the fact that I found two glass things in my handbag from the table at the wedding.
 I am NOT a thief.
They were there as a joke. But still. I had to return those on Sunday morning, to the hotel where my friend was staying. Cringe.

Cap it all off with the fact that I was responsible for driving us the 500 or so miles home and I felt awful. I wasn't even sure we would make it home all in one go!

My hangover4 lasted well into Monday.

The only way for me to get past this horrible pahnic and guilt, is to continually go over every single detail again and again. I guess I need to confess it all out of my system or something. This is an attempt at a final purge.

Hopefully by next week I will actually be able to look at the photos of the wedding without cringing and hating myself. I may be able to watch the adverts for River cottage on TV without blushing furiously!

I will now go finish editing the photos and write up a post that is worthy of the beautiful  and very special day we had and my conscience will hopefully be somewhat healed.

And in the spirit of total honesty - in writing this post, I was almost late for picking up K from school.
Awesome. Just what I needed, more guilt.

So there it is, my life warts and all. My secrets are out. Do you still love me? Do I still even like myself? I guess I will find out for sure when the series airs in November. Cringe.

I guess it's not so bad, at least I'm not an axe wielding maniac.

Oh wait............................

I don't think I'll share my accounts with the lovely team at River Cottage.
I am sure they are still trying to work out a way of editing the loud, drunk, scottish girl wearing bright pink, from every single bit of footage they shot.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Cruise control.

Murray and I are currently on a little road trip.

It's not every day that your childhood best friend gets married and invites you to their wedding at River Cottage. The universe smiled even more upon us as it coincides almost to the day - of our ten year anniversary.

10 years. Wow. We have officially been a couple for a third of our lives!

We dont escape get away , on our own, very often at all. And really, we wouldn't have it any other way, the nest is hard to beat! But sometimes it is nice to head out on your own with no definite timings in mind, just meandering our way through the days. It's nice not to have to know "if we're there yet".

It's good that we get on so well, it has been a pretty long drive but it's been relaxing and even fun.

One topic of conversation that kept coming up was how this trip would never have happened 10 years ago.

For a start it couldn't have happened! I loved my little car of the time because it meant freedom for me. I had been without a car for a while and lived in a teeny tiny village that was quite cut off, so my little white car was my ticket to freedom for my boy and I. But it was far from a road worthy road trip worthy car. When we drove through puddles the water came through the floor, the window wipers hardly worked and well only half of the seats had covers on. But it got us around.

The car we have now is solid, I love our car and it feels so safe to me after the disasters of last year!

I was also not the most adventurous of drivers, I would not have considered driving on a motorway! Oh no. And to drive hundreds of miles on a road I have never seen? Forget it.

But Sean makes it possible.

Oh how I love our Sat Nav!

Another thing we wouldn't have had 10 years ago was a working radio in the car but also a

CD player! And two ipods crammed with music.
 If I could speak to my 20 year old self I would tell her how far she would go in the world. A CD player in the car for goodness sake!

And Mr Peat's favourite joke of the day

LeeAnn - there's a huge Q up ahead.......

 Unfortunately my knowledge of motorways hasn't really improved much and I seemed to annoy a lot of people. I learned many new aggressive driving styles and gestures along the way.
But those grumpy folks couldn't take any of my excitement away because our car has cruise control! Set that baby to 70 MPH and we were just cruising along. It's like one step away from the Jetson's, people!

Just living the dream.

10 years ago we knew were going to be together forever, But I'm not sure even we could have envisioned how "richly" our lives would have improved.
We both have a job that we love, we have our own roof over our heads, we have two beautiful, intelligent , loving and fun loving children.
Our home and lives are enriched by our love of each other and by the family and friends that surround us.

Here's to 10 years of togetherness and to just cruising along for another ten years.... and beyond. xx

Saturday, 10 September 2011


I apologise in advance, my head is spinning at the moment. This is a brain/thought splurge. Thoughts are fleeting through my mind, sometimes blog posts form in my mind and run like a mantra all day. But by the time we have bathed and bedded our girl, loaded the dishwasher and sometimes packed a lunch,  we settle down for the night, I open the blank page and ......... nothing. It's all gone.

I am tired. My days are so full at the moment. Starting at a very respectable 7am! eek! The challenge of getting K and Frase out by 8.40am is proving easier than I imagined! (we're not perfect, we were almost late once and I have had to drive twice. I may have yelled a couple of times.)  However if I stray a little and snuggle with K until even 7.15 then we lose the groove and it is rush city. But WE ARE DOING IT!

 I can be organised!

 I can have two (sometimes three) children out the door and walked to school. They even eat breakfast! ok That may seem like a crazy thing to celebrate and for K , little miss multiple breakfasts, it is a no brainer. But it is a revelation for Frase. He is not a fan of breakfast. I thought I had used all of the tricks in the book to get him to eat before he goes to school. But it seems I missed a glaringly obvious one. Yes , I have moved to the dark side. Bribery. No electrical items are allowed to be switched on until he is washed, dressed, has eaten breakfast, his bag and blazer are ready to roll, oh and he has to have clean teeth. Then he can watch a little tv or something before school.
I know just what you are thinking. wow. Mum of the year!! Where did  she learn to be so caring and fabulous!?
What? that's not what you were thinking. No me either, bribing your kid with TV is probably a very bad thing to do, but hey! He eats to start his day right and I can limit my early morning yelling, which would result in a day long guilt fest for me.

Once my cherubs are safely esconsed in their respective classes (sob!!) I collect a multitude of other peoples cherubs and care for them all day long instead.

It is busy and fun filled and I love it! I really really love it. In what other job can you spend the day tickling gorgeous little cheeks, baking muffins and rolling out playdough cookies and pies. I get paid for this people! It is pretty awesome.
It is also hard work! It can also smell pretty bad sometimes! And I am about to add 3 more cherubs to the mix. oy. And none of them are my cherub. I miss her so.

Today was a bit of an eye opener for me, we had our usual extra side job to do (which I am totally quitting but can't until I find a replacement! grr.) But instead of coming home early afternoon for some family time, K zipped off to a birthday party!! What's with that? When did she make other plans?

It made me realise how little time we have now, I have so much that HAS to be crammed into the four hours K has between school and bed. I don't get to spend much time with her. At least Frase gets some parent time after K goes to bed but she has to share me all the time.

Next week Murray and I are going to a wedding, far away. We will be away from Thursday until Sunday. We have been planning it for months, excited for so long. It is at River Cottage for goodness sake! In 10 years of being together we have had a handful of nights away and our two week honeymoon alone. I think we deserve a little time together! I know we do. But right now, in typical LeeAnn fashion, a little bit of sadness is creeping in. I will miss home and the crazy people who fill it! I know that K willmiss us and the routines of her normal days. She is a sensitive soul and needs me still. However, I must remember that it is only four days. 3 nights. We will come home again and pick up exactly where we left off. Because it is home.

Tomorrow we are staying home. A day of nothing. I have a little sewing to do but other than that no plans. I think we will play games and do puzzles, watch movies and eat together. We will be a family for one whole day this week. A whole day. One day. Only one day. I must just make more of an effort to be more present in the time that we do have.

So sorry for the brain dump. I wasn't feeling morose all day, I was doing fine this week actually until I was reading a blog tonight. The Mom who writes the blog posted a pic of her two girls playing happily in the daytime, in their pjs. At home. And it hurt. I cried, I know I was lucky enough to have roughly 5 years of those days , with each of my children! It is over now. Those carefree days are limited to weekends andholidays, not every days.  I can't believe I clearly can't accept!) that my Mum days of having little little children are gone. It seems so fleeting and so sad that it is over.

And now I am crying again, it's a good thing I cry all the time! Because now no one even bats an eyelid! I am lying next to Murray and he hasn't even realised! LOL. I think I will pop on a Christnmas film and get a good sleep, family day is tomorrow and I plan to be completely unplugged to everything other than my family. Night night for now x

ps - I love uploading pics from my camera, I come across all sorts ....

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Our sunny September Sunday

What a wonderful contrast to the rest of our week. That's the great thing about life, it just keeps on rolling.


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