Thursday 28 February 2013

When your car decides for you...

Have you ever had your car decide things for you?
Well, as I was driving home from work today and approached a second-hand shop on the side of the road (the one where last summer I fell in love with the large tray that I used as a table top for example here), I thought to myself that I certainly do not need more things, no matter how lovely they might be, and I was therefore not going to stop...

Now, some of you may find what happened next hard to believe, but my car took me completely by surprise when it suddenly swerved to the left and turned in to mentioned shop. Just like that. And parked outside this large and eclectic second-hand shop, it would have been rather rude not to pop inside just for a minute or two... would it not?

Sorry about the grainy, un-sharp photos here - this window-less
room and my camera do not always see eye to eye...

And there it was. The Moroccan-looking wooden stand that my beloved tray had been missing. With paint peeling and just the right amount of scruffy patina, it called out to me in all its ragged glory: "Please, Miss, adopt me! We belong together!" Now, I may be a woman of principle, but I am not heartless. And when a fellow with a wooden leg - or eight as it were -  pleads with me in that fashion, who am I to reject him?

So, that is how my car made what turned out to be the best decision possible on this grey Wednesday, and my wooden fellow and I, I have a feeling we are going to live happily ever after!

Wishing you all a lovely Thursday, and may it bring you joy, 
car-encouraged or not!

Saturday 23 February 2013

Chilled dreams ...

For a week or so, twelve stunning long-stemmed roses have paraded their crimson charisma in the Swenglish kitchen, but as they hung their heads a little yesterday, looking tired and despondent, I thought I would try to encourage a little rosy encore performance from them before they become food for worms... 

Inspired - like so often - by blog friend and superb stylist, "flower magician" and photographer Minna Mercke Schmidt, I thought about the fantastic display she made recently for a Fairtrade Competition (organised to draw attention to Fairtrade products). Click here to see Minna's stunning display, which - not surprisingly - won the competition (Congrats, Minna!). For my little hessian pouch, however, I opted for a more "slumped" look, possibly reflecting how I feel this bitterly cold Saturday after a few hectic work weeks... 

Looking around the garden, I see that after the harsh winter, it is in dire need of some tender love and care, and perhaps, in places, more drastic cosmetic surgery... Hm, I wonder... Are gardens like many dogs - do they actually bear a striking resemblance to their owners? Well, plastic surgery is an unlikely contender to solve the appearance of this ragged thistle, but some sun-fuelled energy would not go amiss!

So that is what I dream of, this cold, cold February weekend: 
sun-stroked, rosy cheeks for garden and self!

... and speaking of garden...
Ladies and gentlemen... DRUM ROLL... 
I am so happy to present to you a fabulous new web shop for all of us 
who like to prettify our gardens in more ways than one.

My dear friend Charlotte Andersson (the Garden Flow blog), whose stunning garden I featured on my blog in several posts last summer (see Charlotte's Garden under Categories to the right, has just opened the Garden Flow Shop - a web shop which also has a show room in Sundsvall, Sweden, where Charlotte lives.

All the photos below are taken by Charlotte:

In true Charlotte fashion, the photos of the products are beautiful and the "goodies" include everything from hands-on planting tools and gardening clothes, to decorative items for your home and your garden, quirky vintage finds and do-it-yourself craft material (and much more).

Welcome to browse this inspiring new web shop - very soon Charlotte will also be able to ship outside of Sweden (I will let you know when) and then I think all of us will find it very hard to resist ordering a little spring inspiration from the Garden Flow Shop

Last, but not least, a huge hug to all of you lovely readers out there, who seem to still pop in to the Swenglish Home, despite the rare updates and my silence on your blogs. Roses and sunshine to you all!


Thursday 14 February 2013

A string of hearts to you...

Dear readers,

On this heart-focused day, I would like to send a string of hearts to all of you, my lovely readers!

The music heart bunting in the first photo I made recently by simply cutting out some hearts from old sheets of music and then sewing them together with my sewing machine. Easy peasy, instant craft!

The other photos in this post are all from past springs, but remind me of what I dream of at the moment...

Discovering snow drops on the side of the road, allowing myself to stop and 
admire their beauty and strength to grow even when nights are still cold...

With the early rays of spring-inspired sun, comes my desire to 
dig out my old pots and fill them with little petalled heads...

... perhaps create a little corner of decorative greens, 
welcoming spring and its energizing yet calming powers...

And the pansies, oh the lovely, lovely pansies. I may not know much about what this spring will hold, but I can almost promise that The Swenglish Home will house many a purple pot of pansy loveliness!

Wishing you a lovely weekend!
❤- greetings to you all!

Friday 1 February 2013

A brighter Friday...

On my way home from a nearby town today, 
I took a small detour via the lovely village of Holt...

Parking briefly near the old Glove Factory (now a lovely Art Centre and workshops), 
I was glad I did...

On one side of the road, I was greeted by an explosion of floral beauty (photos 1 and 2 above),
and on the other side this beautiful old red brick house serenaded me quietly.

Since living here in the UK, I have learned to recognize how the look of the houses changes according to the local stone in the area, and even though the area around Bath is indeed dominated by buildings in the gorgeous local sand-coloured Bath stone, you do not have to drive far south before you see red-brick buildings appear more frequently.

Even though the black pots on the steps of this building look like they are plastic, which may perhaps not be my favourite material, I love how the owners have placed one pot on each step. They almost look as if they are queueing for something fun... perhaps this is the local Night Club for plants...?! In that case it must be a very popular one, if you need to start queueing already at lunch time... Hm, perhaps not then. Maybe a Secret Green Society... only evergreens allowed?

And speaking of greens... Seeing the local farm shop (The Toll Shed in Holt) display their fresh produce on a table outside the entrance gave me spring vibes!

On the way home from Holt, I had to take a deep breath several times, as I drove through heavily flooded parts of the small country lanes, hoping they would not be too deep for my car. Here, just outside one of our neighbouring villages, the little pond was threatening to spill into the road too, but so far it just looks a little more like a lake than a modest pond, beautifully reflecting the cottages on the other side.

So, have you guessed the reason for the title of this post yet? Yes, the observant among you will have noticed a rare but oh-so-delicious light in some of the photos, as the sun, the stunning star in the sky with the power to warm our land and our souls, made an appearance today... and the world became a little bit brighter. Just like that. Oh, do come again, you lovely thing!

Wishing you a inside and out bright weekend!