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September 2014

Cable & Cotton, I think I love you…


What is it about string lights that makes us love them so?

When I was sent to work in the Falkland Islands for six months with only two bags of luggage, one of the essential items I squeezed in was a set of string lights and given how dull my mess room was, I’m so pleased I did.

Cable & Cotton recently sent me a length of their mojito coloured (flavoured?) lights for my study. Teal, lime and neutral shades which arrive as individual balls so you can string them how you want. I’m an idiot to a strung them completely the wrong way first time and then lasted a day before I had to restring them with all the colours in order.

The lights come in colour sets for indecisive people like me, but you can pick your own too from the 46 different colours they sell. So you could choose them to match a room’s colour scheme or a quilt (yes fellow quilters, I’m way ahead of you on this one) or a season (I need Christmas ones!!) Or you could just choose one of every colour you like. They do lengths of 20, 35 & 50

I’ve strung mine up round a picture frame. Theo keeps coming in, turning them off and telling me “It’s not dark Mummy.” Now I have to explain that rule applies to every single light in the house except these lights. Because these lights are special.

Cable & Cotton lights
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En-suite bathroom tour

En-suite bathroom tour

by Clare Mansell

A few weeks ago I gave you a tour of our main family bathroom and now it’s the turn of our en-suite

This bathroom is quite different from the other one. We spent nearly twice as much on fixtures and fittings and we opted for a simple modern look.

We chose a modern free standing bath and an opening (as opposed to sliding or bi-fold) glass shower door with a dual head system giving he option of rainfall or (for non hair washing days!) a regular shower head.

One of the biggest decisions was about tiling the shower. We originally planned to use glass tiles (which are uber expensive) but found these ceramic ones in a similar shade at Topps Tiles for a fraction of the price. The rest of the bathroom then fitted around the teal and white colour scheme

One of our indulgences was to have a heated LED shaving mirror which turns on and off by passing your hand underneath it. We also have underfloor heating (tested, but yet to be used) which amazingly we won in a facebook competition!

The bathroom still isn’t really finished. We need a blind for the window and a few extra bits to make it a little more interesting. Although I intended it to be more of a grown ups bathroom, it’s rather put in the shade by it’s brighter cousin across the landing.


Tiles –  Topps Tiles
Underfloor heating – Fit My Wood Floor
Mosaic frame – moo.com
Bin – BHS
Basin mixer tap – similar available from clickbasin.co.uk
Bath mat – John Lewis
Mirror – illuminatedmirrors.co.uk

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Living Arrows : 39/52
ISO 640, 35mm, f/8/0, 1/800

This week’s Living Arrows photo was taken yesterday at a cafe we visited for breakfast. There was a rather cool upcycled sofa made out of an old boat in one corner of the patio area and as I was taking a photo of it for future reference, a couple of ladies seated opposite suggested I put Theo on it for a picture.

He was is usual relaxed self about being plonked on a seat in front of two strangers and as soon as I got the camera out he turned the smile on. Sometimes I worry that he is learning to perform in front of the camera, but to be entirely fair, he actually probably has less photos taken of him than a lot of kids. It’s just mine are taken with a large conspicuous SLR and not a mobile phone!

living arrows

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South-coast breakfasts : Drift In Cafe

Although summer seems to have vanished in the blink of an eye this year, we have had the wonderful unexpected bonus of an unseasonably warm September (24c as I write!) So this morning we headed to East Wittering for a wander along the beach and a chance to try a new breakfast venue.


The Drift-In Cafe was originally recommended nearly a year ago, by Louise from the Clandestine Cake Club but it’s taken us this long to find a time to try it out. The Drift-In is situated in the middle of East Wittering’s main shopping area, a place that is full of surprises with a mix of shops, that vary from Tesco and the Co-Op to an independent sweet shop and a quirky antiques place.


We got there at about 10am and were able to grab a parking space right outside. Inside the shop and cafe is like a rabbit warren with retail disolving into restaurant and back again. There’s also an ice-cream parlour taking up the front section of one of the three shop fronts. Dogs are allowed in the cafe, but we headed for a cute little courtyard area at the back for our breakfast.


The Drift-In specialises in pancakes, smoothies and milkshakes. There was no bog-standard Full English on the menu but a couple of quirky variations on it involving pancakes. Jim tried the vegetarian option, while Theo and I shared a banana and nutella pancake and a toasted bacon, cheese and tomato sandwich. For drinks we had a capuccino, hot chocolate and pineapple and mango smoothie. Everything was fantastic, but the toasted sandwich was particularly good and I could quite happily work my way through their entire smoothie menu too, preferably without having to share them with a small boy!

The staff were the kind of chilled easy-going and long-limbed young adults you’d expect to find in a place like this. Nothing was a hassle and everything arrived on time. The Trip Advisor reviews seem to suggest this place never puts a foot wrong so we’ll be back to try other things on the menu at a later date.

Drift-In Cafe. 11 Shore Rd, East Wittering, Chichester PO20 8DY  


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1 – Somerset by Alice Temperley Animal Print Scarf. £49 / 2 – Somerset by Alice Temperley Sequin Detail Jumper. £17.25 / 3 John Lewis Wave Bangles, Pack of 5. £15 / 4 – Somserset by Alice Temperley Melbury Leather Calf Boots. £165 / 5 – Somerset by Alice Temperley Qualigate Leather Across Body Bag – £150

John Lewis have just released their Autumn fashion magazine and they’ve invited me to share my favourite 5 items with you. I’ve recently started moving my summer clothes out of the wardrobe and into the loft and digging out last year’s winter clothes. It’s a process I go through twice a year, yet I’m always filled with misplaced optimism about what the boxes contain!

At this time of year I need a good pair of boots (I’m a country girl at heart) a leather bag and clothes which are warm yet stylish. As you may have noticed in putting this list together I’ve discovered I’m a bit of a fan of the Alice Temperley range this season, which isn’t as terrifyingly expensive as I thought it might be.

The John Lewis Autumn Fashion Magazine is free to download via the App Store or Google Play

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