Friday, 22 November 2013

Simple pleasures

I have been a terrible blogger over the last few months, with absolutely no blog action, but I've been having a brilliant time! By simply pleasing myself and doing things I love to do, I have been... socialising, joining my local WI, joining the committee, designing their new website and new logo too, illustrating daily, making friends, walking with Merry, obsessing over Pinterest, making cakes, having the loveliest time with Mr Peene as always, resting lots (although it doesn't sound like it!) and most importantly, getting better and making plans. The WI has been amazing, and the new friendships I have made have been invaluable to me. It all sounds terribly uncool but ours is a fabulous group of lovelies, united in drinking wine and eating cake.
Merry on the Downs today - getting chilli!

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Mrs Leadbetter

My fabulous new toolbox that James had pinstriped for me.
A pottery toolbox never looked so lovely - Margot would be so proud.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

My family and other animals

We have been to France to visit my Mum and Dad in Normandy (a small
delay on pics due to a horrendous bout of the norovirus!). After 32 years
of visiting lovely France, we tried snails for the first time. I will try
anything and was so excited, but now I know why the French slather them
in garlic butter. However, in stark contrast...

...eating delicious Whelks at a Bulot festival. My absolute favourite 
and so different to snails.

Our Vide Grenier booty

Beautiful Carteret beach

La Petite Motte - My Mum and Dad's lovely home

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

A very happy birthday

Table set for Sunday lunch

My beautiful acorn bracelet from James

Wooden birthday house from Hus and Hem

A fabulous framed Gayle original destined for the gallery wall

Superb dachshund cake slice (right) from Beth. Spooky!
Today is my birthday, and that is plain brilliant. I'm having a restful sort of day, pottering about and watching Margaret Thatcher's funeral(!) and will shortly be enjoying a birthday cuppa with Nadine and super brilliant niece Lucienne, then later with my sister, Lizzie. On Sunday we were joined by friends Steve, Gemma, Beth, Gayle and Ivan for a celebratory lunch. The very best way to spend a Sunday. Many thanks to all for my lovely cards, messages, gifts and flowers, but especially to my husband, present giver extraordinaire, for my fabulous bangle. Thank you Mr. P, I love, love, love it! x

Lichtenstein at Tate Modern

Recent visit to Tate Modern for lovely Gemma's birthday

A sneeky pic inside the Lichtenstein exhibition

Drowning Girl, 1963

The ceiling at Waterloo

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Easter at Chez Peene

The annual egg tree
My simnel cake - Thank you Mary Berry

A hive of activity at the Peene dining table

A car crash of eggs ready for rolling (or smashing!). From left to right: 
The Easter Bunny, Eggy Potter + broom and snitch, An egg-lesiastical, 
Egg2-D2, The amazing Spider Egg, Princess 'Layer', C-3P-yoke, 
Professor M-egG-onagall, and H-egg-rid, by Rob, Tom, Mum, 
Jossie, Mat, James, Lizzie and me.

Easter Sunday was going to be a sedate and relaxed kind of affair with all my family over for afternoon tea. However, James and I thought a spot of egg decorating and consequent, egg rolling would be in order, as suggested by my lovely friend Beth, and fun and hilarity ensued.

Illustration Friday: Egg

This weeks sketch for Illustration Friday.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013


Thursday morning
Nice day for a white wedding?!! The spectacular view from my hotel 
window with snowy mountains in the far distance

The Waters Edge Hotel, a noah's ark of a place with the sea on the 
other side of that huge window
Beautiful formica snapped in a loo cubicle at Belfast International Airport
Merry exhausted after her weekend away with new dog sitter, Liz
At the weekend I flew to Ireland for my cousin Will and his lovely bride Claire's wedding. Unfortunately James couldn't make it so Mat, Nadine, Baby Lucienne, my Nana and I, all flew out together from Gatwick on Thursday morning for a weekend of eating, drinking and nuptials. The weather was quite biblical with snow thrashing down all around us, but despite the cold we all had a fabulous time. I'd never been to Ireland before and unfortunately I never left the hotel, apart from the small interruption of the actual "I do's." But I figured that with the fabulous views, hospitality, food and warmth, I could experience an excellent slice of what Ireland had to offer from the comfort of the hotel. A huge thank you to the wonderful Will and Claire - a thoroughly brilliant weekend was had by all.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

My busy life

A beautiful tiled floor in Jamie's Italian, Guildford
A new biscuit recipe attempted for afternoon tea at my brothers...
And a banana for lovely Lucienne who is new to solids
My first book for book group - a true baptism of fire
Who's been sleeping in my bed?! - Merry where she shouldn't be
It's been 2 whole weeks since I posted on the blog. I'm ashamed of myself, although I have made an allowance that in order to live a brilliant life you have to do brilliant things. In the last 2 weeks I have rushed off my feet living life and doing lots of stuff but nothing particularly brilliant, or so I thought. But reflecting on this I realise that as well as the mundane I've joined a book group, found a new dog sitter, made a new doggy friend for Merry and a new friend for me, tried out 3 new recipes, enjoyed a lovely Mother's day lunch, bought new shoes, and on Saturday we went out with the glorious Glendennings. All brilliant stuff.

Sunday, 3 March 2013


The winning ticket
Yesterday we enjoyed a great bingo night with our lovely neighbours, the Moon's, at our local community centre. It only took 15 minutes to explain the rules to everyone - how very Surrey. Unusually rock and roll for us, but absolutely hilarious and I did particularly well, see above. Overall winnings - a soap, a chocolate Freddo and an Airfix model. Bingo!

Thursday, 28 February 2013

New knit

Merry sporting her tres chic jumper, for cold days on the downs
I've started a new blanket for Merry, above, because her old one is falling apart. A simple knitting project, but I think she'll like it, and in a colour that won't show the dog hairs, too much anyway.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Only a month after we finished decorating(!) we finally got some pictures on the wall this weekend, spurred on by imminent lunch guests, the lovely Pyes.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Busy week

Birthday Marmaladoo
Snowdrops papped in a Pewley Way drive

And James got creative in Steamer Trading

It's been a very busy week. So busy, I missed pottery and Illustration Friday, but well worth all the cooking and cleaning for the great weekend spent with Becky and Paul. But last week between entertaining, the cinema, general house stuff, and a lovely Valentine's meal, I managed to take in the first whiffs of spring whilst walking with Merry. Unfortunately the snowdrops I snapped above whilst crouching in someones drive, looked like they'd already been got at by the slugs.

As well as this, my lovely friend Beth came over and we made birthday marmalade for my mum, with Saville oranges being in season and all over the supermarket. It was a perfect afternoon spent chatting and cutting up orange peel, and after six hours hard at it, we'd made 10 jars. We used a recipe found on Nigella's website, and although the method is slightly unusual, boiling the whole fruit first, the result was brilliant and the newly named Marmaladoo has been a huge success, in our house anyway.

As part of my brilliant year, I've made the list I promised to do a couple of weeks ago, and I'm marking off the successes, or failures, as they happen (see my blog, right). The list is laughably unambitious and lists stuff I've never got round to doing, but being totally achievable I might actually get them done. Pilates and now marmalade making - boxes ticked! But I couldn't find a tick on blogger, so a strikethrough will have to do.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Flippin' pancakes

James made the most delicious batch of pancakes yesterday for pancake day, with the best and only topping, lemon and sugar (see carnage above). Tasty!

Tuesday, 12 February 2013


We had a lovely weekend, and Sunday afternoon was spent at my sister's to celebrate my nephew Jossie and my Mum's birthday, with delicious cake and a spectacular game of Lego Pictionary. Outstanding results all round on the Lego front, with the star of the show being Rob and Mat's superb bunny above. Truly hilarious. Happy Birthday Joss and Mum xxxx.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Windy day

As demonstrated here by Merry's ears, it was very windy on the downs today, and freezing cold. Apparently meeting people is so easy when you've got a dog, but we've not found this and have made few friends on the downs (dog walking central in Guildford) and Merry's social skills get steadily worse. This year I'm determined to get more doggy friends for her, and hope the snappiness stops when pooches approach for a sniff.

I was thinking about this and the other things I want to do as part of my brilliant year - things I've always fancied doing but never actually done. So I'm devising a check list (I love a list) of things I want to achieve and checking them off on the blog. I'm listing the mostly achievable stuff for this year like making ice cream and revisiting yoga, but making another to do list for years to come such as seeing the northern lights and becoming the second Mrs Hugh Jackman - James won't mind loosing me to the Wolverine. I've asked, it's fine.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Work in progress

Yesterday's pottery class, with some of my half finished pots. I love pottery so much but it is such a drawn out process for an impatient person like me. Hopefully worth it - you never can tell though!

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Illustration friday

This week I found a great website called Illustration Friday. It suggests a new topic for illustrators each friday (hence the name) and invites you to upload your response, then all the submissions are exhibited on the site. A simply fantastic idea. This week's topic was 'Wings', and I submitted the above - a terrifying ride if ever there was!