Cabin Fever

A full page spread from yesterdays London Metro…  it seems we all love cabins !


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January Cabin Envy

We are half way through painting the chalet black and with the weather being so wet and damp we are on hold but I have been finding images of black chalets and cabins to keep me excited about our finished walls. This cabin envy post was taken from 30 Black Houses That Make Us Want To Go To The Dark Side from Lonny Magazine.


Philip Ficks, Lonny


Forest House by Light Location



Terrace via Dans le Lakehouse


Backyard Garden via Nous Decor

Loving the lavender framed gravel path with wooden risers; the hanging lights; the decking against the black and just the idea of having your house on stilts.

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Stickers on labels


Let me deconstruct the above image; little orange stickers from the Paperchase sale lying on top of KitchenCraft labels and both on top of the oil cloth on the kitchen table which depicts oranges. I saw the stickers and immediately thought they would be ideal for jars of marmalade. Take a sticker and attach it to one of the labels before putting it on the jar. From my previous post you may have noted that there weren’t any labels on my jam jars so I’ve rectified that and here is the finished result.


I am really happy with them ( I know, it doesn’t take much) and I like the fact that, for the smaller jars, I don’t really need to write anything as the sticker says it all.

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I’ve been recording the chalet and cliff view over the last few weeks and despairing at the lack of any horizon to see, if you look below you will notice what I mean, absolutely no delineation between sky and land or water. Ah but, you say, there is a definite distinction between the brow of that hill and the sky and that’s true but, there should be another brow beyond that and a headland beyond that too. To illustrate what I mean, click here



It’s rather depressing to see this washed out colour all the time so I decided to think outside the box and play a game with myself. Try and work out what the colour of the sky, stroke horizon, stroke sea is in terms of trendy paint colours, you know the ones called Mouse Back and Elephant’s Breath etc and there must be someone somewhere who is looking for the right shade of washed out grey for their bedroom or kitchen or dining room etc. I thought the obvious was/is French Grey… isn’t it? but if you look at a French Grey close up it has far more green in it then blue. So what is this washed out colour? I took another photograph a couple of weeks ago when, hurrah, you could see the horizon, but the outlook was still very grey


I opened the image up on the computer and ran it over the Farrow and Ball paint colours and the closest (and at times identical) colour was… Skylight

Yes I know some of you will be saying ‘have you got a lot of time on your hands or what?’ and the truth is I haven’t, but I have now found a new form of procrastinating.

Oh and this weekend there was an amazing deep blue line all the way along the horizon and it was a perfect ‘cooks blue’


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Marmalade time

In the month when days are dark and damp and the lights are on in the middle of the day something happens that brightens everything up, seville oranges arrive in the shops.


When I boil these beauties up it just makes me feel sooooo much better as the smell of warm citrus fills the chalet and…


For the last few years I’ve also filled a jar with cut sevilles, sugar and vodka and left them in the back of the cupboard for eight or nine months. I then syphon off the liquid and bottle it, boil up the left over oranges and make another batch of vodka orange marmalade. Click here for last years orange vodka post

pots of marmalade

A jar of homemade marmalade is a lovely gift for chalet guests and I know not everyone likes the peel so if they leave it I just shrug and say ‘all the more for me’!

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The Stables Mount Edgecombe


We waited for a lull in the rain, that was lashing into the chalet, and the wind that was causing the palm to lilt at a 45 degree angle. Inevitably the weather ceased but we knew it wouldn’t be long before the next round of rain so we jumped into the car and headed down the back lane. Rivers of muddy water were already cascading along the verges; after nine weeks of rain the fields are saturated and there isn’t anywhere for the excess water to go but to run off the gullies made by the tractor tyres and head into the road. Instead of carrying along the back lane where the dips ahead would provide deeper flooding  we headed towards the main road at the next turning left thinking that would be the best bet. Even on the main road into Millbrook there were waterfalls of rain oozing out of the hedges and onto the road until it became a single file to steer clear of the build up on the sides of the road.

We were heading for Mount Edgecombe to use a Christmas gift at Earl’s Garden a complimentary therapy centre in the stable block within Edgecombe Park. We had decided to leave early because of the weather but, as many sane people had stayed indoors, we arrived in more than good time and had some minutes to kill. We headed for the stables that house not only a tea rooms but a shop that is an Aladdin’s cave for gifts.


A pot of decaf tea and gluten free brownie ( January detox!) was the perfect anecdote to the weather and we found lots of lovely things at the Upcycled Home Company including one or two gifts for chalet friends. Even with the weather as it was we weren’t the only people in the park, hardy walkers were also having a cuppa or late lunch and it made me feel a whole lot better…oh and the Thai foot massage was pretty good too!

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Hawaiian flavour at Christmas

A lovely pre Christmas surprise was seeing our oldest friend Vincent, who made the trip from Hawaii to England to spend the holiday with his family, his first port of call being further down into Cornwall, in Devoran, where his niece lives. We had a wondrous day in a lovely old cottage situated on the banks of  a creek and we walked in the sunlight…yes sunlight and had a brilliant Sunday lunch at the local pub. But I’m getting ahead of myself because before all that we opened the presents that Vincent had brought from Hawaii, yeh! Lion coffee is one of our favourites not just because it has fab packaging but because it has great flavour(s). The Maui is a new one to try but we are always in favour of some island hopping. (Please note decaffeinated, as we try to curb our caffeine intake at the start of the year, a practice that has gone on for many years).


The second pressie was this little board here below following the coffee theme which came from the Coffee Bean  in Manoa Oahu …( if you need to picture this Manoa was heavily featured in the George Clooney film The Descendants as the area he lived in and a film we watch when getting withdrawal symptoms from the islands).


Then to top all that we made the journey up to Warwick in the heart of Shakespeare country to receive another gift which also made the journey from Hawaii except this time with my sister, who unbeknownst to me snuck this into her luggage when we were over there on holiday together.


This is an apron from the Kalapawai market in Kailua Oahu, all the staff wear them behind the counter and I remarked how much I liked them never thinking that it would be acted upon. The market is a green wooden construction with a verandah (well I’m going to like it already aren’t I) and an outside area to the side that looks onto the road leading to the beach, actually that should read THE beach, because it is one of the most beautiful I have ever set foot on – yes I know, regular readers are aware of  this.


The apron is going to be a welcome chalet addition and with its three deep pockets especially good for barbecuing or, as they say in Hawaii, for a cook out so keep watching this space for evidence of barbecue usage!

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