Monday, 29 December 2014

Christmas birds

I did enjoy my Christmas pheasant.

I watched him through the window as he strolled about in the winter sun and then joined his friends to feast on the sugar beet left behind after the field was harvested a couple of weeks ago.

The sparrows helped themselves to their usual snack of peanuts.

This little chap visits the garden most days, but seeing him on Christmas Day is always a bit special.

And my Christmas dinner? A very tasty cashew and mushroom roast with all the trimmings.

Monday, 8 December 2014

A present to give

It’s that time of year again, when you’re desperately trying to think what to buy for those ‘difficult’ friends and relatives. You know, the ones who’ve already got drawers full of socks they never wear, those who still haven’t used the perfume you sent three years ago, the people who say you really shouldn’t waste your money on them but who will take umbrage if you don’t …

Here’s an idea for a gift that will make the recipient feel good about themselves, won’t cost you a fortune in postage, and can be given again – and again.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Some rainbows are too big

So there I was, exploring Aladdin’s cave (otherwise known as my favourite art shop) and thinking that When I am Rich I’ll be able to buy the best quality paints, pastels, inks and pencils in every available colour and shade.

All those purples, violets, mauves and magentas!

But if I had all those colours what would I do with them?
I’d probably spend the whole day admiring them while I tried to decide which one to use first.

I think I’ll stick with my little paintbox for now.

It’s got all the colours I need for teasels and trees. 


Monday, 13 October 2014

Growing inspiration

One of the many pleasures of my recent trip toScotland was gathering some new ideas for the garden I plan to create when I am Rich.

I love the colour scheme of this barrel,

 and these tumbling  


and I really want
these trees!   
A clever way to give new life to an old boat.


And no garden would be complete without one of these,

and some of this,
and a smiley crocodile!

I think I’ll have to add a few more acres ... 

Monday, 29 September 2014


What makes me feel Rich? Waking up in the morning with a simple answer to a problem I’ve been struggling to solve for days. You can’t put a price on genius!

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Meet the help

When I am Rich, I might not have the time – or energy – to keep my lovely garden looking its best every day. I’ll need to employ some people to mow the lawns, trim the hedges, tidy the flower beds, sweep the paths and do all those other routine but essential jobs.

But training and supervising all those people will take me nearly as long as doing the work myself, so I’ll also need to hire a head gardener to take charge when I’m not around. (Of course I’ll still be the head, head gardener.)

So my garden will look wonderful, but then I’ll have to deal with all the paperwork involved with employing people. I think I’m going to need a bookkeeper, an accountant, a personnel manager and a health and safety officer to make sure nobody infringes the latest regulations … How much time and money is all that going to take?

Sometimes, a tiny garden seems the sensible option.

And here’s my one and only helper, quietly cleaning up all those difficult to get at nooks and crannies in return for a few tasty creepy crawlies.


Monday, 16 June 2014

Picnic perfection

When I am Rich, I’ll be able to invite my friends to a really posh picnic. Beneath a blue, summer sky we’ll travel in a convoy of open horse-drawn carriages to some idyllic beauty spot where my staff (under the skilled direction of the butler and chef) will have prepared the most delicious selection of food and drink.

It will be a feast for all the senses: pristine white tablecloths, fine porcelain and silver cutlery, arrangements of scented roses and orange blossom, champagne served in crystal goblets, dainty sandwiches, homemade lemonade, colourful salads, a small orchestra accompanied by blackbirds and skylarks, lots of pies and cakes, several types of tea, strawberries and cream, trifle, good conversation, laughter, fun and games …

and not a single drop of rain, a wasp or stinging nettle in sight!

But until then I’m happy to make do with


some simple food,

a free picnic table

 and a view like this.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Less is more

I needed a new belt to wear with jeans. My old one was frayed. No problem when it was hidden under layers of winter woollies but I’ve switched to lighter tops now.

The shop had dozens of belts on display, all different colours and styles, but it didn’t take me long to find one I liked.

Did I choose the most expensive one? Or the one with the trendy designer label?

No, this one is perfect because it put a big smile on my face. You can’t see it, but on the inside is printed a magic word - SMALL

It doesn’t take much to make me feel like a million dollars!

What little thing makes you feel Rich?

Friday, 9 May 2014

Free gifts!

Even when I am Rich I’ll still be pleased to occasionally get something for nothing.
 A few weeks ago, when I tidied my garden containers ready for what I hope will be a glorious display of summer flowers, I found a plant in one pot that I didn’t recognise. I assumed it was a ‘weed’ but decided to leave it there a little longer until I could identify it. And it turned out to be a forget-me-not!

(The photo doesn't do justice to the sky blue flowers)

I haven’t had any in the garden before, and there are none in my neighbour’s garden, so I’ve no idea where the seed came from. Perhaps it was a gift from a visiting bird. Anyway, it seems happy enough in its chosen home so it’s welcome to stay.

And I had another surprise when I won a book in a Goodreads giveaway. I’ve looked at the giveaways before but so many people enter them – especially for new books by popular authors – that I hadn’t bothered to put my name down for any. But something about this debut novel by Beth Thomas caught my eye, I applied for it, and now it’s sitting on my bookshelf.

I’m really looking forward to reading it.

Have you received any free gifts lately?

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Swanning about

I was thinking that, When I am Rich, it would be lovely if a swan decided to take up residence on the lake in my garden.

But cycling round the back lanes last week I came across a whole field of swans.


They were

and going,

and feasting on the lush, green grass.

My vision of a solitary swan seems rather boring now. And only one lake? I think my garden needs to be a little bit bigger!

Friday, 21 March 2014

Done and dusted

So as it’s officially spring now – and from my window I can see blue sky, sunshine and pink blossom – I suppose I ought to take a break from writing and get down to some serious spring cleaning.

Time to banish the gloom of winter (not to mention the dust and cobwebs).

Oh, how virtuous I’ll feel when I’ve cleaned my home from top to bottom! All that scrubbing, dusting, washing, polishing ….


 Well, I’ve made a start. Do you like my bright, new computer desktop?

Tuesday, 18 February 2014


How much would you be prepared to pay for a little piece of spring?

I feel very Rich because my house hasn’t been flooded, damaged by strong winds or swallowed by a sink hole during the seemingly endless storms we’ve been having all winter.

But I was thoroughly fed up with the gloomy weather, so when I was out shopping I treated myself to a bunch of flowers to brighten up my home. When I arrived back I saw that my little garden had come up with the same idea. Ahhh!

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Home, sweet home

When I am Rich, I’ll make sure there are plenty of safe and cosy nesting sites for all the birds I’m hoping to attract into my lovely, big garden. Although this pair seem to have already decided where they’re going to set up home.

Folklore tells us that birds choose their mates and begin nest building on St Valentine’s Day, but these wood pigeons took up residence in a neighbour’s apple tree several weeks ago. They might just be sheltering from all the wind and rain but the way they keep snuggling up together makes me think they’re making plans!