Around Here


Work Table


Tillie and Madge




Since we’ve been away from blogging for a bit, I thought I’d share a little update on what’s been going on around here in the last little while…

Things have been quiet. Nice quiet. Peaceful quite. The days are getting colder and shorter, but I don’t mind a bit. Nothing makes me happier than crisp mornings, mugs of hot tea and bundling up in layers and boots. I always seem to be more productive in the cooler months too. Reuben has been busy with work and I’m happily occupied with Dear Delilah orders. My work table is always such a mess. I give it a big tidy and within hours it’s a complete disaster again! Creative chaos.

We haven’t done any work on the house in a long time. We came to the realisation that superficial tasks like painting are a bit pointless when there are big structural jobs (like re-stumping and fixing the roof) that need doing. At this point we are considering extending our home loan and going to stay with my mum for a couple of months while we get some major work done to the place. I know it’ll be worth it in the end, but the upheaval and expense of serious renovations is really overwhelming! I think we will probably leave it all until we get back from our big trip in October. We’re using the vouchers we won to go to Europe for 6 weeks, leaving in September. It’s all booked now and we are so excited! We’re still pinching ourselves really. Winning Voices of 2013 was such an incredible privilege and this trip will be an absolute dream come true. We feel so ridiculously lucky.

Outside, we left planting our winter veggies until quite late this year. We were late ordering our seeds (from The Diggers Club) and they took longer to arrive than we expected, then when they finally did arrive we were a bit slow in actually getting them in the earth. Unfortunately the night Reuben transplanted the first of our seedlings into the garden we had a freak storm and quite a few of them were flattened by the crazy wind and rain. We’ve also been having a lot of trouble keeping naughty Clover (the dog, not the plant) out of the garden beds. She has squashed a few plants and eaten a couple more, so we’re not sure how productive our little patch will be this season.

Also in the garden, our tiny chicken flock has grown! A couple of weeks ago Evie and Beatrice were joined by Tilly and Madge (yes, they are all named after characters in The House of Eliott!) The new girls have settled in nicely. We’d really like to get a bigger coop for them all now…

And that’s about it really! Life around here. What’s been happening at your place lately?

Katie x



About Katie

Katie is a tea drinking, jewellery making, op-shopping daydreamer. Katie likes vintage dresses, Pictionary, doilies and colourful tights.


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20 Responses to “Around Here”

  1. Sarah @ Chantille Fleur May 31, 2014 at 9:35 pm #

    I hope you enjoy your trip – I’d love to travel over seas one day but will have to get over my fear of flying first I think 🙂 And come up with the courage to leave “my babies” (my two dogs) 🙂

    It can be frustrating when animals and weather kill plants – I hope you do manage to pull some through! We’ve just fence off a little bed as our Silkie chickens weren’t touching it and then in one day they tried to dig up our mini roses and they ate the chillie bush! Thankfully the chillie is recovering 🙂
    One of our veggie patches is full of basil and lettuce at the moment – all “volunteers”, which is what I call the self seeded plants. I’ve been transplanting the lettuce as it was growing right in the path and I’ll move some basil too but there’s so many I think I’m just going to have to feed some to the chickens!

    I hope you have a good weekend!
    Sarah xx

    • Katie
      Katie June 1, 2014 at 9:10 pm #

      I am a bit anxious about leaving our fur babies! I know they’ll be perfectly happy as they’ll be staying with my mum who they adore, but I’m really going to miss them. I wish we could sneak them into our bags, haha! I love that you call your self seeded plants “volunteers”. I might use that! xx

  2. Margaret June 1, 2014 at 8:27 am #

    So good to hear the orders are flowing in and keeping you busy, and that the fantastic trip is getting nearer… exciting for you both. You don’t need as much clothing as you think, talk to someone who has travelled a bit.

    How exciting to be getting some serious work done on the house, you will be able to just go ahead at your own pace from there. Please get the restumping done first, as it can impact on doors, windows, plaster repairs and paintwork, as well as affect the way the gutters empty rainwater.

    I hope all your little seedlings get a good start, there has been a bit of rain lately and that is allways very helpful for good growth.

    • Katie
      Katie June 1, 2014 at 9:15 pm #

      Yep, we are definitely doing the restumping first (though I am dreading it!) It will be such a relief to have that done. The rain has been so nice! xx

  3. Shell June 1, 2014 at 11:27 am #

    Nice to have a catch up 🙂 I’m loving the crispy mornings too, they make me feel more alive!

    I’m so excited to see more about your trip! Your win was well deserved, so I hope you get a lot out of your adventure. I’m going to agree with Margaret^ I’m a big proponent of travelling with only a carry on bag – even for 6 weeks!

    • Katie
      Katie June 1, 2014 at 9:20 pm #

      We were planning to pack light (as we’ll be doing a lot of getting on and of buses and stuff) so it’s to hear good we had the right idea. I think we’re just going to take a big backpack each. I can’t wait!! xx

      • Shell June 3, 2014 at 12:10 am #

        You only need to take one trip where you start harbouring unnatural homicidal feelings toward your suitcase before you jump on the packing light bandwagon 😉

        • Katie
          Katie June 3, 2014 at 12:14 am #

          Haha!! I will remember that! xx

  4. Meg June 1, 2014 at 8:49 pm #

    Thanks for the lovely update! Best wishes with the decision to work on the house . . . we extended our place and although it stretched the loan, the difference it has made to our home lives is unbelievable. I too am loving the cooler weather – we’ve been eating soup, have had the fire stoked over the past few days and when it’s not raining, the boys (almost 2 and almost 5) have been loving playing outside, getting wet and dirty and then hoping in the bath before tea! Your photos are gorgeous as always . . . thanks for sharing!

    • Katie
      Katie June 1, 2014 at 9:42 pm #

      Oh a fire, how lovely! I wish we had a wood stove. It wouldn’t be very practical to put one in here as we have natural gas for heating, but I would love one. It sounds like your boys have been having a great time! xx

  5. Gina June 2, 2014 at 6:09 am #

    Wonderful to have an update, Katie. We’re going into summer here in the US. I live in
    the central part of New York State in the Northeast (city of Syracuse) and we came out of a very cold winter. Many of us found damage to perennial plants and bushes. I lost a couple perennial herbs. On the other hand, other of my perennial plants look better than ever. Maybe some prefer a cold temperature over the winter. We had lots of snow and then spring rain so that might be a reason things are so big and green, too. I did a major overhaul of one garden in my backyard and am pleased with that after 20 years in my house. Just starting my veggie garden as I had to overhaul that, too. Peas, radishes and onions coming up. I have starter containers of cucumbers, salad greens, mustard greens and sunflowers. Crossing my fingers we’ll have a normal amount of rain this summer and few 90 degree days. The latter sure make the lettuce and spinach bolt to flower heads.

    Would love to hear about the farmers markets in your area as well as those of other of your readers!


    • Katie
      Katie June 2, 2014 at 9:53 pm #

      That’s a great idea! We have posted about our farmers market before, but not for a long time and probably not in great detail. I’ll definitely put something together! I hope you get your summer rain! 🙂

  6. Laurence June 2, 2014 at 6:10 pm #

    Hello Katie,
    I’m a big fan of your blog, I’m following you and Reuben from Switzerland! (Sorry for my english, we’re talking french here!). Are you coming to Switzerland on your trip in september? If you need a room and/or a guide let me now!

    • Katie
      Katie June 2, 2014 at 9:59 pm #

      Thanks so much Laurence, that is so kind of you! Unfortunately we aren’t going to make it to Switzerland this time. We really wanted to, but we couldn’t quite fit it in. I wish we had the time and money to come over for like 6 months and go EVERYWHERE! 🙂

  7. Kerri June 3, 2014 at 7:19 am #

    Aww, the chickens are cute! I think being stuck inside in the cold months make me productive because otherwise I get bored. In the summer month, there is just too much desire to go outside and I never get anything done haha.

    • Katie
      Katie June 3, 2014 at 4:35 pm #

      I don’t cope with the heat very well and summer here is EXTREMELY hot (like 40°C!) which makes its very hard to do anything much besides sitting in front of the air conditioning, eating popsicles! 🙂

  8. JessB June 3, 2014 at 3:24 pm #

    Katie, I just loved this update! I hadn’t realised that your chickens were named after House of Eliott characters – I just LOVED that show! I really, really loved it, and all my brothers and sisters can still hum the soundtrack, because I made the whole family watch it.

    In fact, I am just cleaning out my DVD’s and getting rid of some that are now no longer favorites, and I realised that I actually have the little known third season. Would you like the DVD? I’d be happy to post it to you guys, otherwise, it’s going up on eBay!

    And I’m excited that you’re travelling to Europe! I am too! I’m going over in about April, to spend a week each in Germany, London and Ireland. I am alternately delighted and completely freaked out, but in general I can’t wait. I would love to hear more about your plans and where you are going!

    • Katie
      Katie June 3, 2014 at 4:29 pm #

      I was obsessed with The House of Eliott too! I used to watch it with my mum and I looked forward to it all week. I still love it now! We actually have season 3 because Reuben bought me the boxed set a couple of birthdays ago, but thank you so much for the offer! That is very kind. I will definitely put a post together about where we are going in Europe as I’d love to get some suggestions of things to see and do from our lovely readers. I’m slightly overwhelmed by the idea of being on the other side of the world for 6 weeks and a bit anxious about leaving the fur babies, but really, REALLY excited! It’s going to be wonderful, your trip too! xx

      • JessB June 6, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

        I have decided that i am going to let Season 3 go because I can’t handle the cliff-hanger ending. It was all so up in the air, with Daniel’s offer to study in Paris, and Evie wanting to champion the couture line, and Bea and Jack and Miles happy to move into ready to wear… I don’t have the imagination to think up a happy ending for them all, so out it goes!

        I will be keeping an eye out for your Europe post, and incidentally, your latest post about what you ate over a whole day has inspired me to get my kitchen table cleaned up so that I can put a tablecloth down! At the moment it’s covered with stuff, and I love the look of yours so much I want to make it happen.

  9. tors June 18, 2014 at 2:45 am #

    Oh that’s too funny, fur babies can be such a pain in the garden – the wolf keeps sitting on everything I’m growing out the front.

    So exciting about your trip, I hope you take lots of pictures to share with us afterwards. Have you got a countdown calendar on the wall? I’d be crossing out all the days!

    I hear you about the roof, turns out mine needs to be completely replaced which is way beyond my means right now, adding to the mortgage is something I’m considering too. Keep us appraised how it goes with you, I’d be interested to hear about it.

    House of Eliott is something I used to watch with my Mum (we both sew), what great names for chickens! I’m vastly jealous you have chooks, I just don’t have the space.

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