The loveliest teapot​​

When I was in North Wales I just KNEW that I wanted out of Swindon. I’ve never been enamoured with the town but the people and my hobbies kept me there… but really, I wasn’t there. We always took the opportunity to head out somewhere, anywhere to get away from it as much as possible.  I just felt it was time to go, we weren’t happy, we weren’t motivated nor did we like the attitudes of most.

Casually browsing one day, I spotted this tea cosy in Betws-y-Coed last year where I’d parked up with my van for a few nights. I told myself it was for our “new” house where ever that would be when I finished course…

It began a goal, a token, a physical commitment that action needed to be taken. Upon my return to Swindon for months, it sat in a visible place on our table to quietly remind me of the need to get away from this place that made my miserable… I would know when I’d have found the right place when I could find a tea pot to accompany it…

Fast forward to now, to today, to a surprise of a tea pot from my other half for my birthday – a sunflower yellow one infact that has already been put to use!

What a beautiful thing!

It feels like we’ve finally “made it“. The commitment to leave so desperately has been accomplished. We’ve gone, we’re not going back! This feels better than a medal at the end of a race!

My little tea pot is just perfect.

Just Joanne



Happy 6th Birthday Bailey-Boy.

I can’t believe Bailey is 6 years old today! Those years have gone quickly and he’s done so much adventurous stuff in his little life with us – swimming in Lakes, body boarding in the sea, hiking up high mountains, scrambling with us, walking a 26.2mile marathon, running with us as we rode our bikes around the New Forest, wearing ridiculous outfits, car camping, wild camping… lots of camping! He’s just an adventurous pup!

He’s given us a lot of good memories and laughs  – chasing cats and foxes, being cold at camp and having to be wrap in multiple layers, being afraid of smoke, learning several tricks, his agility lessons where he’s not afraid of the A-frame or dog walk, capturing a young squirrel (but letting it go again), being obsessed with a tennis ball, picking up sticks and hiding in bushes so we have to throw them for him and eventually learning that it’s ok to approach other dogs! He’s always been a lovable companion who groans if you need to shift him when he’s laid on you, he’ll sneak on to bed if he can get away with it (otherwise he’ll sleep beneath it), he’ll wait patiently for a tennis ball, he’ll tolerate you putting clothing on him and best of all he’s adorable when he’s affectionate… he’s a dog that doesn’t quit when he’s outside and will find any sources of water he can just so he can have a swim!

Yes, every day we are blessed to have him and every day we look forward to seeing him again when we return home from work/where ever we’ve been. The house doesn’t feel right when he’s not here and he’s helped make this house a home – he truly is a fantastic dog!

Happy 6th Birthday to Bailey. Officially a ‘senior’ in dog years now. Here’s to another 6 + years of loving times, fond memories and having him creep onto the bed when he shouldn’t…


Just Joanne

Clutter and mementos.

As I looked around our living room today I noticed that over the past 5/6 years of living here we’ve accumulated a lot of stuff and it was making me feel very unsettled.

I’m not used to having a lot of books, trinkets, pictures etc. Before, I was keeping things minimal so they would fit into a car’s boot for easy transportation from place to place. I think when I moved in to Terry’s place years ago I didn’t have many clothes etc and certainly not as many books as I have now!

Over the years my ‘collection’ of items have grown and grown. I am one for sentimental items and keeping mementoes of our travels and adventures around the place…

On our living room side board we have a blue ornament piece and photo of us together from Serbia, a monkey toy from Hungary (Budapest Zoo), Eiffel Tower statue (with Chip and Dale) from Disneyland Paris, ornament plates from Iceland, Nepal, Paris and Switzerland, incense (and holder) plus postcard, photo frame, prayer wheel and calendar from Nepal and Day of the Dead mask I made and painted at work… (lots of board games inside the cupboard)

We also have a Scouting memento corner – medals from various events, gifts and certificates from Serbian Jamborees, gifts from young people, photos of my time in Girl Scout camp in Utah, Terry’s Medal of Merit medal, various woggles (some hand made) and necker’s/Scarfs. I even had a photo of my first dog, Pixie, on display whom I still miss today.

In Junior school we had afternoon activities and I spent ages creating a sewing piece about my family and home at the time. I forget how old I was but it was certainly created around the time Jurassic Park was shown. I don’t think many from our class completed their piece and I’m pleased I finished mine. It was only recently found last year in my mother’s belongings and now hangs on our wall.

I am a ‘boxer’ of items, more precisely themed items. So I have a box of navigation/hill walking items, a bag with climbing items in, a running bag, an art equipment box, a cables box, a sports clothing bag, a camping equipment bag… you see where this is going? Nothing worse than not being able to find what I want!

I love books, according to Goodreads I’ve read over 300 (I know the number is higher but can’t recall all that I’ve read and has discounted factual, travel books and language books) yet I find books are very cluttering. I like to read and pass them on for others to enjoy, so the majority in this picture belongs to Terry.

That leaves the drawers in the living room. There’s were a lot fuller this morning with an assortment of rubbish, out of date items, old usb pens, tamagotchis, loads of pens etc. It feels satisfying to remove all this and leave the useful items behind. Harmonica anyone?

The rest of our house is ’empty’ in comparison. Aside from camping equipment which takes up space in the spare room, the various backpacks and shoes under the stairs and the numerous cooking books in the kitchen there’s not a lot else about… (telling a porkie here!)

This short ‘sort’ I’ve done today ready for donating tomorrow as settled me a little bit but I’m feeling that I want to do more… I’m not used to having so much stuff- what’s been left behind is Terry’s stuff that isn’t mine to donate. I’ll be happy to start with an empty house again!

Not sure really why I’ve decided to show the world the contents of our living room, but there it is. Spring cleaning has come early this year, but it’s been nice to look back and recall happy memories from the items on display in our living room.

Just Joanne