China Girl & Days at Home....

My good friend Natalie is off to Australia tomorrow to stay with my sister & family (she's Esther's best friend too!) and we're looking after her Shar Pei, China, while she's gone. What a gorgeous dog she is! She's 8 years old, and didn't have a happy start in life (can you believe that her ears were sewn shut when she was young? How cruel can people be, and how loving & forgiving dogs are!) but luckily she found her way to Natalie & now has a lovely life! As you can see, she's made herself at home. Alice wasn't very impressed to begin with. "WHO is this big dog, coming into MY house & cuddling up to MY mum" you could almost hear her say this morning! But China is so sweet & docile and doesn't seem to notice the fluffy, indignant terrier following her every move - and there's no aggression between them, so all should be well. I'll keep you posted!

While I was writing the list of my favourite things for my 101 Award last week, I kept looking over to this corner. I couldn't actually put it on my list then, it just didn't fit. But I have always adored this table (given to me by my Mum & Dad as it didn't fit into their house any more) since I was a little girl. It's a tavern table, 18th Century (my favourite period) and shows that it's been well-used & well loved through it's hundreds of years by it's knocks & chips (all of them made years & years ago). I love it's golden patina & the marks beer tankards have left on it's surface...and now it stand in a corner of our 18th Century home and holds some of my treasured books & photographs & is loved all over again!

I've been baking this weekend, this victoria sponge was for an order on Saturday morning (I LOVE victoria sponge! But never get to eat it...I just love the thought of it!)

And I'm making a wedding cake for friends this week, so here is the start of it.....

and I'll post the finished article when it's done! Just the bottom tier is fruitcake, the top two are sponge so I won't be making them until Thursday. And NO fancy bits, I just have to ice them with plain white fondant as it's a small wedding & the bride wants to put her own fresh flowers on top as decoration (phew!)

And finally.......I want the opinion of my gorgeous readers on the picture below!! It's the subject of much debate in this house, that'll make you laugh I'm sure. The picture is of Paul's new pyjama bottoms, given to him by Esther & Phil for Christmas. The print is a repeated one of a certain creature and I'd like your opinions on which creature that might be! We have very different views and I'm not going to give any clues as to my opinion on the subject. So, just for fun, let me know what you think! And I'll let you know the name of the print in my next post & see if you agree & tell you who thought what! Happy happy Monday, everyone xoxo


  1. Poor China, reading about her again made me cry (again) please give her and Alice a big cuddle from me :)

    I love your beautiful table and hearing about its colourful history. I am glad to see it is still being used and loved to this very day.

    I have to say that even though a fox killed one of our chickens, I am still a fan of the Fantastic Mr Fox. They are a part of our eco system and there is nothing else in nature that looks like a beautiful fox. However I do understand that culling is necessary in certain areas, but I do not believe in fox hunting. I believe that if a fox needs to be destroyed it should be done with humanity and efficency.

    By the way, I love the print of the fox, they look as though they are carved from wood :)

    Love Morwenna xoxo

  2. Golly crumpets I forgot to say that your sponge looks utterly scrumptious and I cannot wait to see the wedding cakes too :)
    Lots of love xoxo

  3. Oh, China is so sweet! And quite beautiful!! I'm sure she'll love her time at your house while her mom is traveling!

    Your cake...your cake...looks so heavenly!! I'd love a piece right now! I love to bake but hardly ever do so anymore except for company. With just the two of us, it's not so good for us to eat an entire cake by ourselves...

    And I have to agree with Morwenna - the print looks to me as of a beautiful fox!

    Thank you so much for your comment on my blog. You know, I used to say exactly the same about my creativity and then - suddenly - last March I decided to start painting, a first for me. So, you never know...

    Hugs, Silke

  4. China is adorable..what a sad start to her life....i do not understand how people can do that to an innocent, beautiful dog :-(

    sounds like she has a lovely life now..thank goodness....

    cute table...and is that orangette's book on there...i have it too....

    your cake is a beauty....i'd love a slice with some tea right now...POURING rain out here in California....finally

    more later, dear one,
    kary and buddy

  5. First of all...LOVE the table! And the cake!
    I am 90% sure those are foxes.
    Have a lovely time with China and Alice!
    xoxo Dawn

  6. Ok, first of all, WHAT IS WRONG with some people?? Sewed China's ears?? I can't believe anyone would do that. Thanks goodness she has a great home now.

    Love the table, stack of books, and the baking photos. Yum.

    Is it an owl or a fox??? I thought I saw a beak, but owl??? I adore foxes and owls, so I'd be happy with either.

    I am baking a cake for an upcoming writer's meeting at my home. Almost everyone attending has books in print. One woman has 35 children's books in print. Can you imagine being that prolific?

    Sending love, love, and a hug for Alice and China, (oh, and YOU)

    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

  7. Well, I can't see an owl, it's a fox for sure. I'm very glad that I wasn't around when you made that Victoria sponge, otherwise there wouldn't be any left and I would be 1kg heavier! It looks divine! The table looks lovely, very like one that my parents used to have with which we used to whiz marbles around and around on.
    Love love love

  8. Hi Rachel,

    I'm so sorry to hear about China's past- that is so sad. Of course, I'm sure that China has a lovely life now, thanks to your friend. I hope she and Alice have fun with the doggie sleepover:).

    Your cake looks so yummy!! You're making me very hungry, even though I just ate lunch:). And I love your little table. It's perfect.

    As for the pj's, I'd have to go with fox. I don't see any other creature in that design... looking forward to your answer:).

    After days of thinking about all happy thoughts, I have finally completed my Happy 101 and sent the award right back at you:).

    Have a good day!


  9. Thanks for stopping by..and I am glad you like the book. It really is adorable....

    it is really rainy and thunderstorms are kittys ran upstairs on the thunder...they are not used to it..but little Buddy just slept right through it all....

    p.s. i see foxes in those p.j.'s too cute

    more later, dear friend

    kary and buddy
    hugs to Alice and China


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