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Tart Retreat in 2024

This post is solely about the retreat I am planning for May next year. It is only open to newsletter subscribers so if you are a blog subscriber only then pop over to the website home page and sign up for newsletters to be eligible.

I am repeating here the content sent as a recent newsletter, and there is a copy of the application form below (retreat-may-2024.docx) to download and complete, if you would like to participate.  It sets out the cost per attendee and the payment schedule. 

I may not be able to respond to individual enquiries between now and 20th September when applications close. I don't want it to be based on a 'first come first served' basis as not everyone has the access or inclination to be online every day. So all applications will be considered together, regardless of date received. 

If you are unable to save and complete the application form online, please print it off, fill it in and send me a photograph or scan of it. I cannot consider applications in any other style.

In the event that you need to cancel, fees will not be refundable unless I am able to find a suitable new participant to take your place.

OK, that's the serious stuff out of the way. I hope you love the idea of a few days' gentle stitching in lovely surroundings in early May and would like to join me at the farmhouse! 

click on the ‘Read More’ button to see the whole post!


I've been musing on my age. Not in a mournful way but choosing to embrace some of the changes the passing years bring.

changing leaves

In the last few weeks I've noted the early signs of the forthcoming season in the hedgerows and verges, and been drawing parallels. If I consider the cycle of life to equate to the four seasons then I am firmly in my autumn.


Summer takes me by surprise. Every day recently I have woken to the suggestion of, or actual, sunshine. It seems such a long time since the northern UK had this long a spell of warm weather. The many light hours are enriching and full of promise with early mornings and late evenings the loveliest.

Back to Lewis

The week before last was spent in the Outer Hebrides. We drove up to Ullapool, building in dog walking stops and a late picnic lunch at the edge of a forest. The crossing takes two and half hours across the stretch of water known as the Minch. It can be challenging around each equinox with high seas running but we travelled in reasonable comfort, thankfully.

Bruce considers the view

Cake is always a good idea

Yesterday I had a wee cooking session and one of the outcomes was Mozart Cake.

I don't know what the connection to the composer is - did he like coffee, chocolate and marmalade?

It's a recipe from my mother's pile of saved ones and I only ever remember it hand written so I've no notion of its origin. No notion, either, of what sparked the idea to bake it as it is years since I have, but I inevitably felt the need to tweak the recipe.

In case you are in want of a nice easy cake, I've attached a link below to a pdf where I give you the un-fiddled-with version and then what I did with it.

And I have just remembered that the original had an icing sugar/lemon juice icing, just to add to the fun.

Cake file attachment below


Berwick Beach Boy🐾🖤
Simple pleasures
Stitching one of my prints
Hearts and Bluebirds are continuing into Spring🤗 
A new batch is coming along nicely…
Ah, block prints, how do I love thee! 
Delicious delivery this morning which I shall admire for a while before cutting into…🤗
Sunday evening essentials:
and stitching
Also featuring multi-mended and dyed jeans
Only two thirds of a stripey sleeve left to knit.
Not so much a Wednesday windowsill as a bread bin but the kitchen is where the sun shines😊
Hellebores and snowdrops and pretty ceramic mini jugs by #coldinghampottery
Today’s visible output - two lush loaves. Nothing beats good (or even bad) home bakes🤗

Today’s invisible achievements were lots of phone calls and emails, fuelled by ☕️


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