20 December 2013


The holidays are nearly here and Christmas is a few days away so it seems only right to wish you all a merry Christmas and happy New Year. We'll be back in the New Year with more 'going-ons' from The Manor House.

11 December 2013


Oh I love, love, love these simple Christmas trees - some might say plain but to me there is no fuss, no tinsel, no baubles, just tree...and very natural.

Photos found on my Pinterest Christmas boards

10 December 2013


The festive season is fast approaching and Christmas decorations are on my mind.

Just loving this tray of candles, trees made out of black card and walnuts. 

Great idea for a centre-piece on the table.
Photo with thanks to Abigail Ahern

6 December 2013


When we walk into the dining room, there is a smell of Christmas.

The aroma of spicy orange, cinnamon, cloves and cones.  It is coming from a wooden bowl on the table filled with Winter pot pourri.

5 December 2013


It's amazing what a difference a day can make...

Yesterday was a beautiful, sunny December day in contrast with today's strong winds, severe gales and UK weather warnings.

Leaves and trees in our garden, blowing side ways in the wind.

4 December 2013


The sun has been shining today and has cast a wonderful light over the main bathroom.  


 2 years ago, almost to the day, our bathroom looked like this.....

(above - before) The main bathroom when we moved in. Taken with my back to the window looking towards the hall. 

(above - before) Opposite view, taken with my back to the door into the hall, facing the window. 

(above - before) With carpet, wallpaper and radiator removed. We choose to keep the original airing cupboard that holds the water tank. The door into the hall is open into the bathroom.  This was sanded, repaired and repainted as well.

(above - before) New wooden window in place. Old tiles and bath removed.  Plumbing set out in position for new bath and toilet.

(above - before) Back wall and window surround newly plastered and waiting to dry.  The new tiles laid out on the floor.

 (above) The bathroom finished with bath re-positioned, shower installed and curtain added. We chose Timeless matt emulsion for the walls.

29 November 2013


They're up at last.........

the painted white picture frames......

and proudly hanging in the hall on the landing to the spare room!!!!

These were the frames back in April of this year, waiting patiently for a little restoration, small repair and a new lease of life .  Having bought two of them in France at a brocante and the other two from a souk in Marrakech, I had plans for new glass, paint and some thing to put in them.


(above) These are the frames laid out on newspaper on the dining room table. Matt white paint was used, the same as on the walls.  I felt this was important, so that the frames 'melt into the walls' making the image more prominent. The detail on the frames won't be missed by being in white.

What to put in the frames? - well that was easy. My children have hinted that we don't have any photos of them around the house, so the wall in the hall will become a gallery of photos of them over the years.  We will need to buy (or find) some more old frames to complete the whole wall but excited to follow it's progress.  

20 November 2013


It seems a bit 'after the event' (seeing we made them back in early October) but I promised this post a while ago and hate to break a promise, so here are our chutney and jam making endeavours.

Because we had so much wonderful fruit growing in the orchard this year, we needed an outlet for it.......
we decided both Spicy Apple Chutney and Victoria Plum Jam were the answer. 

(above) various spices and peeled apples

  (above) chopped garlic 

  (above) fresh lemons for the spicy chutney

(above)  large cooking pot, thermometer, Victoria plums and sugar

 (above) testing the jam to see if it's thick enough

 ( above) jam jars filled and grease proof paper added.


Labels and white lids added.  Stored in the pantry ready for eating.  

14 November 2013


There seems a recurring theme running through our house - white and natural.....  


5 November 2013


We have a little pottery man in our garden that I found at the bottom of the compost heap under years and years of rubble and soil.

This is him front on. I believe he must have been made many years ago by one of the four children who lived in our house previous to us. They are all grown-up now with children of their own. I think he was thrown away and has been covered for a very long time.

This is him from the side.  There is something lovely about him.  He has a chubby tummy, big ears, dark bushy eyebrows and very short arms!! Not the best looking of pottery pieces but I kind of like him in a nostalgic way.

He now sits on one of the posts near the raspberry bushes next to the compost bins where he was found.  Here he can see us come and go through the orchard. This is his view....

24 October 2013


The barn was used again at the weekend for another Charity Dog Walk.  Still raising funds for our son Alfie, who is hoping to leave for Nepal in January.  It was a great success, with very happy faces and excited dogs.

The barn was prepared with much sweeping of dust and leaves, table added with natural cotton very large painters dust sheet and some homemade wares provided by us.

With having such a bumper crop of plums and apples this year, we decided to make Victoria Plum Jam and Spicy Apple Chutney.  Jam jars were brought, labels designed, stuck on and lined up ready to be purchased.  (I will write about the makings of these soon).

(above) I love this table that was found in the barn and left by the previous owner.  It's very wobbly and rustic in the best possible way.  I've added some white paint here and there to clean it up a bit.  One day, I hope to find a place for it in the house.

Displayed above the jams and chutneys were bunches of herbs freshly picked from the vegetable garden. These include rosemary, sage, mint and marjoram.  I found an old more or less straight branch from the bonfire pile, added string either end and hung it onto two nails.  

On the opposite wall to where the food was, we hung Alfie's map that comes from his bedroom.  This was in case anybody didn't know where Nepal was!! 

If you would like to give a donation, please go to www.justgiving.com/alfie-flewitt. Thank you very much for your support.

8 October 2013


The arrival of Autumn has not only brought falling leaves, warmer tones and cooler weather but it's become the end for some of our growing vegetables.  Soon we will be able to pick the pumpkins and squash that were planted back in April. 

(above) a detail of fennel

(above) a detail of sage

 (above) thyme in pots that were left to us by the previous owner ... how lucky was that?

(above) you can just see the climbing runner beans on the support that Richard made from hazel nut tree clippings

(above) apples in the orchard.  We've had the best ever crop this year....something to do with lots of rain and sunshine. We're still picking them daily.  Apple chutney making is happening this week!

(above) fallen leaves from another apple tree in the orchard