Two years!!!

At the end of our honeymoon I turned to my new husband and said, in slightly disbelieving-excitement “Do you realise we’ve been married for a whole week?!?

The ring goes on!!

This morning before he headed off for work, L and I looked at each other and said together “We’ve been married for two years!!!

So happy and oh yeah – the kiss was about to come! 😉

The time has gone so quickly it seems impossible that we’re celebrating our 2nd wedding anniversary already!

Isn’t the black-and-white with the one bit of colour wonderful?!

Being Mrs M, waking up next to L every morning and enjoying more hugs in one day then I used to get in a month is now so natural, so right that I find myself amazed that it’s only been two years!

It’s wierd the way passing time leaves you feeling that way.

We were both so glad that so many of our family, friends and church-family were there to celebrate our marriage with us!

Nana and I on my wedding day!

My sisters and I – love you!!

I love how happy we are! 🙂

I put the socks and converses on after we got to the park and saw a long-cherished dream realised!! 😀

It was so much fun taking these photos on the swings!!!

One of my hubby’s favourites!!! 😀

Oh yes, and after all this time, I finally have an album of most of my favourite wedding photos (um, 200 plus of them … ! 😛 ) and tomorrow am going to give my best friend R her completed chief-bridesmaid gift … let’s just say that I wasn’t the most organized bride in history … 😉

I’m nearly out of photo storage space on my blog and haven’t yet decided what to do about it (any tips?!) so used photos of our wedding that we’re already stored on here – complete with the captions I added March last year!

Happy 2nd anniversary L!! 🙂

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;  it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.Love never ends.

1 Corinthians 13 v 4-8

Summer!

I promise you I have not completely disappeared … I just took an unplanned break … doing some summer things …

… like sitting with my hubby drinking wine, chatting and enjoying the evening sun coming through our windows …

… witnessing glorious sunsets …

… eating lots of fresh asparagus (between you and me I think L might wake up one morning and find his wife has turned into a stalk of asparagus 😉 ) …

… reading books on the Cathedral Green …

… attending the lovely wedding of lovely friends …

… and taking photos of fresh, juicy, bright red tomatoes! Not really a must-do summer activity, but come on, the colour has got to make you smile, right?! 😉

What are you doing with your summer?

Perfect afternoon!

The last two days we have been enjoying the nicest weather we’ve had since about May – blue skies, fluffy clouds, just the right strength of sun, cool breeze … perfect!

So L and I took advantage of it this afternoon and went walking!

We walked down through town to The Quay.

You can hire canoes to go up the river, or bikes to take on the tow-path … or you can walk up the paths, like we did. But first we stopped at a little place called The Jolly Roger’s Tea Room to but some scrummy ice creams which we munched on as we walked! 🙂 I had maple, pecan and fudge in a waffle cone – you should try it sometime, it’s yummy! 😛

The river is beautiful, especially in this weather and I love having a piece of countryside so close to town!

Doubles Locks is a locally famous pub which is very popular as a walking and cycling destination. We sat under the magnificent cedar trees outside and enjoyed a chilled pint of beer/cider – ah!

There were lots of people there, enjoying the sun, the space and the good food and drink – it was nice and cheerful!

We had some fun messing around for a bit before starting off on the walk home …

We were quite tired by then and had sore feet by the time we got home again, but it was so worth it!! I haven’t enjoyed a Saturday afternoon so much in too long, and I got to spend it all with my lovely hubby! 😀

Diamond Jubilee Tea Party!

This weekend people have been celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee all over England!

There have been massive celebrations and events over the last four days and we were given an extra bank holiday today, in addition to the normal June holiday yesterday.

I love the Queen and admire her very much and I have loved seeing the way communities have come together to celebrate our nations’ Queen 60th year of reigning as our monarch!

There have been concerts, parades, street parties, picnics, village lunches, commemorative services and gun salutes galore!

For my celebrations, I chose a wonderfully English Tea Party!

When organising things like this, I tend to leap in with a ‘all or nothing’ attitude. I get obsessed with the details, think about little tweaks and improvements even when I’m meant to be concentrating on something else, research the shops and web every couple of days, plan, plan and re-plan.

I started thinking about the tea party in March. The invitations were in the post by the middle of April.

Sadly, this didn’t stop me from becoming overcome by life and convincing myself I had two weeks preparation left … when I actually had just one … 😛

However, with the help of the wonderful man who is my husband, and the un-ending assistance of my dear friend K, who was staying that weekend, we made it to this point:

I went for a high tea theme of savouries as well as cakes.

I just had to have the traditional cucumber sandwiches and threw in a childhood favourite of Marmite and cress – yum! I was rather pleased with the mini quiches, which is something I’ve wanted to have a go at for a long time.

This wonderful cake stand – complete with coloured dots! – was a wedding present from my friend A and her husband. Doesn’t it look splendid all loaded up with sweet treats?! I was quite pleases with the sponge fancies I made – I decorated them with card-making decorations! 😉

A made this scrummy chocolate cupcakes, which embraced the English Jubilee theme hook, line and sinker! Aren’t the decorations so cool?! I had a Big Ben!! 😀

One of my closest friends, R, baked scones and brought the essential clotted cream and jam to go with them. They were absolutely scrummy and the party would not have been complete without them!

I loved planning and setting up the details of napkins, tea cups and saucers, napkins, flowers, little decorations …

I snagged a beautiful vintage-style table-cloth from Ebay for a bargain price and dissected a wedding candle wreath to add some rose-like elegance to the setting.

All three of my sisters came, so plus my friends K, R, a and myself, we were a comfortable seven round our games-chest-come-coffee-table.

My final little thing was a favour bag, containing each girl’s favourite kind of chocolate – or as near to that as I could come! 😀

I’m so glad I threw my Jubilee Tea Party and hope that everyone who came had lots of fun!!

What did you English readers do to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee?!!

Surprise flowers!

I went out to get some wine and a pudding for date night.

I returned to find these sitting on my kitchen table!

Now what lovely man bought these for me?! 😉

I’ve heard it said that men are not good at picking the right flowers or the right engagement rings …

My hubby just so happens to be a massive exception to that legend!

This flower L thought I would especially like!

Who couldn’t love this beauty?! I love the interweaving of the petals, the shape and the light and shadow contrasts! Despite not being a “pink girl” I actually think the colour of this flower is magnificent!

I do love taking photos of my flowers and experimenting with my camera!

Now that’s what I call a brilliant start to the weekend!! 😀

Smoothies with my Sisters

I was very happy that my Mum came too, but I couldn’t resist using this tongue-twister of a title! 😉

We met in town this afternoon and went window shopping. My family lives in a little way away from town, so they generally have a few important things they’ve been storing up to do for a while … and I find myself, as someone who lives in the centre of town, as the guide! 🙂

The ultimate goal was a smoothie bar … it took us a while to end up there and N and T were keen to get their smoothies in their hands – I think I did quite a funny, even if not accurate, imitation of a smoothie calling to T’s tummy! 😛 I do love having fun with my sisters! 😀

Two of my three sisters have various food allergies, so a little smoothie bar is a great place where these can be easily and deliciously catered for – “I’ll have one of those and skip the yogurt”, “I’ll have this one but with apple instead of orange juice”. They were all yummy, but I think T’s choice of a Pineapple Passion was definitely the best!

N is one of those amazingly blessed people who can put on absolutely any hat (and I mean absolutely any!), no matter how hideous that hat, and look stunningly gorgeous in it! For many years the wedding hat sections of clothes stores has had an irresistable draw about it  … N always comes out tops, but it doesn’t stop the rest of us from trying on all the fancy hats too!! 😀 It’s a tradition of ours!

I thought that the raincoat was a particularly elegant part of the outfit, wouldn’t you say?! 😉

As I said, I love having fun with my sisters!

Thank you my dears!! 😀

Whiskey Tasting at NoBody Inn

Last Wednesday evening L, myself and five of our friends were at The NoBody Inn.

The NoBody Inn is a country pub and restaurant, filled with character and set in the small Devon village of Doddiscombsleigh.

The staff are very welcoming and make you feel like giving you the best service possible will make their day!

The mix of locals, regulars and first-time visitors lend a gentle buzz and friendly atmosphere to the charm of the old-word interior.

There is an extensive selection of beers, ales, wines and something they are more widely noted for – their whiskey collection.

They have amongst their collection a particularly rare single malt that will only be opened if you guarantee to buy at least a third of the bottle …

That expensive bottle wasn’t one of the whiskeys featured at the tasting evening!! 😉

The evening included a five coarse meal – and what a meal! I had been imagining five small, daintily sized portions – after all, there were going to be five of them! Each of these courses was a generous size and those of our group who consumed the whole lot went away from the table very well satisfied! 😉

The food was truly delicious and beautifully presented. I have a special fondness for food being served on slate plates, so I was a happy girl! 😉 The smoked salmon was smoked and grilled at the inn and was the best fish I’ve ever eaten! As with all of their menus, as much of the food as possible is sourced locally or from within Devon.

Oh yes, and have you noticed the cheese? Such good cheese! Yum!

 The seven of us sat at the far end of the table, which out to be a good thing, as we were definitely the youngest and noisiest group round the table! 😉

The whiskey tasting was led by Bill Hutcheson of Gordon & MacPhail specialists of Single Malt whiskeys.

We were led through the history, aroma and taste of seven whiskeys in total, so even with some of the glasses being cleared away between courses, there was a very impressive amount of glassware on the table by the end of the evening!

My personal favourites out of all the whiskeys was the 6th glass, which was a Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice Caol Ila 12 year old. This was one of two whiskeys served with the cheese course and no, of course my liking for this whiskey was not influced by having cheese with it! 😉

Our wonderfully generous and thoughtful friends not only gave us a an evening filled with laughter, the best whiskeys, delicious food, good company and lots of memories …

… they also booked us a room for the night at the NoBody Inn. It was wonderfully spacious and comfortable with lots of character.

There was an attention to details in the decorations that made it a lot more homely and welcoming then many other hotel rooms … the attention to detail didn’t end with dcor and a nightcap of sherry …

… but extended all the way to folding the bath towels into an elephant! 🙂

The NoBody Inn is an exceptional experience for lunch, supper and staying overnight.

The welcoming staff, delicious and local food, fine quality wines, ales and whiskeys and breathtaking surroundings inside and out make this country inn a visit to remember!

So do yourself a favour and next time you’re in Devon, have a meal at the NoBody Inn!

Garunteed satisfaction.