9 ways to boost your blooms

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I kill plants. Even the most hardy of flora cannot survive in my custody. I’m currently trying to nurse an orchid back from the brink. It brought much needed colour to our hallway for less a month. It is now just a bare stick in a … [read more]

2016 is dead. Long live 2017

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2016: move along As we crawl towards 2017, full of slightly stale mince pies and leftover Christmas pudding, I wanted to take a brief look back at 2016, before putting it in a box marked ‘shite’ and trying to forget all about it. It’s been … [read more]

The ultimate hygge night in

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It is now deep winter. The days are short and the nights are long. Tonight, we will be hunkering down for a cheese fondue with our friends from Switzerland. The kids can watch a film, while we put the world to rights in the kitchen. … [read more]

Embracing the Christmas chaos

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Too soon? Not according to the retailers and advertising executives. The Halloween costumes are barely back in the wardrobe before the Christmas countdown begins these days. And this year I’m hosting 13 people on Christmas Day, so I do have to start thinking through my … [read more]

A night at the opera

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I receive invitations to all sorts of events, from book launches to gardening demonstrations. Most have limited appeal. It takes a lot to get me out of my comfortable home-working bubble. But, when you’re offered two tickets to the English National Opera (ENO) at The … [read more]

My happier birthday

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I was so over being 43 last week, what with the death of my beloved cat Hope. I brought her home on my 30th birthday and she lived to the ripe old age of 18. Here she is, in her prime. Birthdays are a time … [read more]

Christmas in July: the best bits

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I know what you’re thinking… it’s not Christmas, and it’s not July. I’ve just asked Siri and there are till 143 days to go, so why the hell am I writing about Christmas? Before I became a blogger I’d never heard of ‘Christmas in July’ … [read more]