bits and pieces

I think this is a cup of coffee sort of post, the kind I like writing best. So go and find one, and then come back. I’ll be here, waiting.

It’s been a weird sort of week. Got my editing notes back for the next book, and once I get home from holiday in a fortnight I’ll be settling down to shape the initial sketchy idea of a first draft I sent Caroline, my editor, into something more book-shaped. But it’s hard – you’re waiting and waiting for a response, and when it comes, it’s a weird sort of anti-climax. Even though I knew there was work to do, seeing the metaphorical red pen on my homework left me feeling a bit fed up (until Caroline pointed out that was completely normal, and that I should go on holiday and *then* think about the book).

desk buddha

But you can’t stay down for long when you’ve Feng Shui’d your house to within an inch of its life, which we have. It’s been decluttered (again) and we’ve moved some bits around and hired a skip and cleared out the garage and the cellar. I was chatting about our decluttering mission with my friend Wendy from Daisies and Pie today. I’m a huge believer in getting rid of stuff. People were amazed when I admitted recently that we’ve given away almost all our books, too. But the house is super-clear and lovely, and it makes more room for my Emma Bridgewater mug habit.
Er, I mean for the chi to travel through.

If you’re interested in reading more, Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui is a brilliant start. I read it and it made me really think about the stuff I had in the house, and why (books from my degree in 1993, for example…)


And while I was cleaning up I realised I’ve turned into my mother. When I was growing up, there was a Buddha in every room, and I realised the other day our house is exactly the same. There’s lovely peaceful sitting room Buddha, who sits by the fireplace and fills the room with calm.

happy buddha

and there’s kitchen windowsill Happy Buddha, who is there for a reason – he’s in the money part of our house, so he stands there with a jade plant and some other magical money-attracting things and some butterflies (more good luck, feng shui-wise).


And and and. The garden is looking gorgeous. After last summer when I was stuck with a broken leg, not able to do anything, it’s been so lovely to get out and potter – and the weather has been so kind, too.


hydrangea head geranium    hydrangea2 hydrangeas rufford hall

thrift2 lavender


And when I’ve not been pottering, I’ve been working behind the scenes on something new. If you want to sign up to hear more, pop over to my new site (don’t worry, this one isn’t going anywhere!) or just fill in your email here and you’ll be first to hear when it all goes live later this summer.


and if you’re wondering what it’s all about, here’s a tiny little sneak preview…


And here’s my thought for the weekend.

Tonight’s happiness was brought to you by a couple of logs burning on the chiminea whilst I sat under a tree in the pouring rain reading a book

. Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 17.49.05 swaksignedcopies

I still have a few copies of Sealed with a Kiss available – if you’d like to buy a personalised, signed copy from me, just click on the link!

And don’t forget you can find me on Instagram for sneaky behind the scenes photos of daily life, and come and chat on my Facebook page or twitter too.

Brilliant blog posts on



  1. I’m fully embracing the decluttering – books included! Love the Buddhas and the feng shui – I’m going to Buddha & feng shui the new house the second I get in 🙂 ( wherever it may be) :-))) garden looking beautiful too lovely!!

  2. Love reading posts like this

  3. Can you come to my house and feng shui it for me? 😉
    I’ve started my collection of Buddha’s now too, just the one so far, and my little Ganesh who sits guarding my shiny new desk.
    I’ll tag you in a pic of them both on fb. <3

  4. Lovely garden images, especially the hydrangea. I am always decluttering – I think I am allergic to clutter! I don’t know too much about feng sui, but might do some research ….

  5. Great post. #HDYGG

  6. What a lovely post. I love your hydrangeas – and I love that little Emma Bridgewater mug! I’ve got a little collection of those, my favourite is my Giffords Circus one. Actually, I have two different ones from Giffords, but one is now a handle-free pen holder…

  7. A good declutter is always good – I always find it helps declutter me mentally too. Loving the look of your garden, hydrangeas are a fave of mine at the moment 🙂
    The new site sounds great!
    Thanks for joining in x

  8. I feel like I am always decluttering! Your hydrangeas are beautiful, they remind me of growing up as my mum has those in her garden.

  9. I did as you said, made the coffee and then came back to your post. Then I nodded along reading it… then I got to the bit about still having the books from your degree and I guiltily thought about mine which I’ve kept through every clear out because I love them but don’t actually read them. I always had a half arsed thought that they’d be useful and/or for the children. I will try and get rid of them (note the try), maybe I’ll read them first…

  10. Stunning stills, constantly try to declutter the house but my kids haven’t grasped the basics of Feng Shui

  11. Everyday I try to declutter my everyday more things keep appearing downstairs! It’s only going to get worse when the school holidays start.

  12. I’m trying to declutter, but the kids aren’t helping. I just don’t know where to begin or have the time. Love your pictures and reading about what you are doing. Hugs xx

  13. Your garden looks very beautiful indeed. And you can’t have enough Buddhas, in my view!