Children’s books – Time Out list

It’s my daughter’s birthday next week and I’ve bought her some books.  I found these on this list published by Time Out.

Children’s books

I’ve had a quick look through them (they’re now wrapped) and I think they look pretty good.  One interesting one is the We Are All Born Free which is basically the Universal Declaration of Human Rights explained to children with pictures.  This is the sort of thing that an old boyfriend would have described as “right on” (not a compliment).  I’ll have to see whether she likes them.

Biker boots

I’ve been on the lookout for some biker boots – this was partly triggered by my husband who suggested that I needed a pair of ankle length boots.  Obviously, though, it was already triggered by me.  I do already have a pair of black ankle boots but these have a (small) heel and are a bit too smart for some outfits.

It was surprisingly difficult to find a pair that fit me.  I have peculiar feet.  They are short and wide – I once got measured for ski boots and the fitter said that I had feet that are a UK 4.5 length and 8 width (so basically square – I’m such a freak).  Plus I have really high arches.

I ordered this pair in John Lewis but couldn’t even get them on.  So back they went.  I liked the look of this pair in Jones but the sole is even lighter than it looks online (and looks a bit funny on black boots).  I really liked the look of this pair in All Saints but, although they have a zip, the strap around it meant I couldn’t get them on.

I also had a look in Office, Kurt Geiger, L K Bennett (lovely – but much too expensive) and Dune but had no luck.  Then I read this and ordered both of the pairs of boots the author recommended.  Both were too small so I sent both back and ordered the Niels in a UK size 8 – amazingly they fit.  A size 8 should be far too big for me but my old, slouchy UGGs also came up really small so perhaps UGG just make their shoes really small.

New biker boots

By the way, can I recommend The Circle?  It’s a really good film.

The Red Lion

On Sunday we went for lunch at the Red Lion.  This used to be a place where dogs could go absolutely anywhere but children had to stay outside but I think they’ve changed management and are now quite pro children.  We did sit outside though (turns out you really need to book) and it was pretty nice.  My children got to say hello to several dogs that were being walked and, at one point, an old horse called Albert who came up to our table in the hope of biscuits.  He was very round and stuck his tongue out (he had no front teeth, being over 25, which is ancient in horse years).  There’s something very comforting about having a horse breath out of his nostrils into your right ear (I am serious).

I had mushroom and blue cheese risotto and my husband had a steak pie.  My son had a burger and my daughter had fish and chips.

The specials board

Afterwards, we went for a walk around the churchyard at All Saints’, which is where Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s wife Emily is buried.

Emily Tennyson

Getting things round the house fixed

Last week, we had a carpenter in to sort out our well-worn house.  Loads of our window frames needed a bit of work.  This wouldn’t bother me all that much but my husband likes to get things fixed.

I think it is because the house I grew up in had almost completely rotten window frames (I could put my finger through the wood in my bedroom window).  I remember my Mum telling me that I must never put my head out of a sash window, lest the glass comes through the wood in the manner of a guillotine.  At the time I thought it was a law but other people have told me that they didn’t have the same rule in their houses.

We also got the floorboard that bent replaced

Children’s clothes for Autumn

Now that the children have gone back to school and nursery school, I’ve done a bit of a cull of their clothes.  There’s stuff that was super and worn all the time but is now too short and tight.  So off to Save the Children with those things.

Last winter, my daughter got a lot of wear out of a couple dungaree dresses that my friend M kindly passed on.  Because she wore a long sleeved top and tights or leggings underneath, they were warm enough but also fulfilled my daughter’s constant want to wear a dress, regardless of how utterly freezing it is outside.  Plus, unless it is really soiled, denim doesn’t have to washed every time it is worn.

On the left is a dungaree dress from Boden, on the right is a pinafore dress from a place in Brighton called Toby Tiger.  I’d never heard of them but my friend N mentioned them and they look like the sort of thing I really like.

Dungaree and pinafore dress

I ordered a bunch of pointelle tops from Boden, along with a (reduced) top from Toby Tiger.

The cream top is from Next, the one with the apple is from Toby Tiger, the rest are from Boden

I don’t usually look at JoJo Maman Bebe but the other day I noticed a little girl wearing one of their dresses so I bought one for my daughter.

Mulberry cord pinafore dress and stripy dress

I love this cardigan.

Frugi

My daughter’s leggings are getting a bit short so I’ve also got a few more in the next size up.  These were about £4 each from Next.

Next

My son actually had a quite a lot for Autumn already (plus he wears school uniform for most of the time).  I did get him these tops from Frugi.

Frugi

Last month a company I used to buy a few things from, LoveItLoveItLoveIt, closed down.  The lady who ran it said she hadn’t been enjoying it for a while and now is quite unwell so isn’t trading any more.

 

Yippee! It’s Autumn!

My son went back to school last week – my daughter goes back to preschool tomorrow.  It’s sunny but still chilly enough for me to be wearing a cardigan.  It’s Autumn!  My favourite month.  I love September.

My favourite month

My garden has been bumbling along, same as usual.  My husband has bought a chainsaw and has done a deliciously brutal hack of a load of shrubs in the bed outside the library.  I hope that this means that the hydrangeas end up being a bit happier – I think the spot has been too shady for the oak-leaved hydrangeas (the American ones, with flowers shaded a bit like the buddleia).

The flowers were finished much earlier than usual – I think this is because we had such a hot, dry April.  We gave the wildflower patch a brutal hack well before the end of August.

Wildflower patch

The plants left are the foxgloves that I grew from seed.  It should do the jasmine some good to have nothing in its way before the sun disappears.

Over the summer, we also got a couple of conifers taken out at the front.  They had terrible wind burn (that spot gets a lot of wind and sea spray).  In their place, we have put an arch and planted a couple of roses.  I can’t find a picture so will put one up a bit later.  The roses we planted are Malvern Hills by David Austin.  There were only a few climbers / ramblers that were okay for a coastal spot and the yellow roses should look pretty in that spot.