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November 2014

Sneak peek at my parents bathroom remodel

Sneak peek at my parents bathroom remodel

by Clare Mansell

The remodel work may be finished at our house, but there’s always some sort of home improvement going on in our family!

This month it’s the turn of my parents who have ripped out their two en-suites and our restyling them to bring them a little more up-to-date. Work is still in progress, but I thought I’d show you a sneak peek.

Both my parents have their own en suite (something my mum says is the key to a happy marriage!) and they are quite compact at just 2 metres square. Among the changes both bathrooms are having their corner shower cubicles replaced with contemporary shower enclosures that you are walk-in rather than having a door.

They’ve also opted for dual head showers so you can choose between a rainfall shower (hair washing day) or conventional shower head (non hair-washing day!) My mum has scrapped the bathroom cabinet and chosen a vanity unit with a large drawer for storage. There’s also a tiled recess in the shower for storing bottles, something I wish we had done in our en-suite.

Tile choices can be a little restrictive when you don’t want to pay megabucks, but I really love the strip of glimmering mosaics which make a feature out of the shower wall. Work will be beginning on my dad’s bathroom next, he has chosen more masculine colours with a touch of sparkle (!) I’ll show you some more pictures of both when they are complete.

Linking up with #pocolo

This post contains a collaborative link, but content is my own.

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In our neighbourhood : Beautiful Bosham

In our neighbourhood : Beautiful Bosham

by Clare Mansell

I’m sure I’m not the only one who despaired at the weather forecast this weekend. We normally try and get out somewhere on at least one of the days, but this week the relentless rain defeated us. There was light at the end of the tunnel though (literally!) with sunshine forecast for today, so Theo and I decided to make the most of it by heading out to a little village near us, I also needed to get some photos for a university project I am working on at the moment which is centered around this spot.

Bosham was my home for 5 years and it’s somewhere I love to go back to. It’s full of history and character. It’s famous (among other things) for being the place where King Canute tried to hold back the tide and these days it’s daytrippers that get caught when the road around the creek floods twice a day.


One quirky little spot in the village are these two tiny cottages. There’s a great story about a nervous young man on a train from London in the 1950s confiding in a passenger that he was going to meet his future in-laws and he didn’t know what to wear for dinner “because they live in Bosham Castle” – I wish I’d seen his face when he arrived!

There are all sorts of lovely house names as you walk round including this one which is the house next door to the famous Anchor Bleu pub.

And the proportions of this front door always baffles people. It’s a normal size opening, but with a raised step in front to protect the house from high tides. As you step in the door you step down to the house floor which is lower.

As I walked round taking photos, Theo had a great time burning off all the energy he bottled up over the weekend. There’s a raised footpath round the creek called the Trippet which is particularly fun to scoot along at speed. His balance bike really has been the best thing we have ever bought him. He’ll go for miles on it without moaning.

This wooden building which stands on stilts in the creek is the old oyster shed. Bosham used to be a big centre for oyster farming until (legend has it) the Bishop of Chichester got food-poisoning from one and the already dwindling industry was killed off by bad publicity! These days the sailing club use it to store kit and run races.

Bosham is also famous for its swans. The birds here defy most logic. Swans don’t live in salt water and they are fiercely territorial. In Bosham however there are at least 50 swans living in a tidal creek. Apparently the sea has enough fresh water mixed in it at this point to keep them happy and they also cease to be territorial when there are too many rival birds to fight off!

After the weekend cooped up in the house it was great to get out in the fresh air for a couple of hours, although I do find the sun starts dipping in the sky all too soon at this time of year… Only another month till the shortest day!

Linking up with Country Kids and…

living arrows snowingindoors

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A week of autumn colour (the #capturingcolour project)

The #capturingcolour project over on Instagram has really been gathering pace over the last few weeks, largely due to the energetic support of the lovely Lucy at Capture By Lucy who has been roping people in from far and wide! For the last week our theme has been “leaves” and despite the lousy weather we’ve had some great photos tagged and Theo and I have found colour everywhere on our morning walks.

What’s great about the #capturingcolour project is the community that has sprung up around it. I love finding new people to follow and having a small window into people’s lives as well as the inspiration the images provide to see and photograph things in entirely new ways.

Here are some of my favourites from the last 6 days…

(1) mrsdarlingx (2) podcastdove (3) scrpbk1 (4) kelstars_7 (5) boysbehaviour (6) sunnymatilda (7) caroline_south (8) ilses_world (9) thiswaytothecircus

We’ve got some really great themes planned out for the next few weeks and Lucy, Kirsty and I will be announcing them at the start of each week. Of course you still have the rest of today and tomorrow to take part in leaves week and to give you a bit of a head start I thought I’d reveal what’s happening next week too…. See you over on Instagram, don’t forget to follow me too!

 Linking up with #PoCoLo

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In search of good dog walking wellies…

In search of good dog walking wellies…

by Clare Mansell
Over the past few weeks I have learned more than most people will in a lifetime about wellington boots. I have ordered pairs and sent them back, I have researched manufacturing practices and read countless online reviews and finally I have made a purchase. After all the false starts, dead ends and another-sodding-dog-walk-with-wet-feet, I decided I should share what I learned with you…

Urban dwellers or occasional wellie wearers are probably wondering what all the fuss is about, but my wellington boots are the most worn items of footwear in my wardrobe. I walk about 20 miles a week in them. That’s 500 miles just over the winter months, so I need decent boots.

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Starting golf at 3….

Starting golf at 3….

by Clare Mansell

First time on the golf course...

Last week I mentioned our plan to get Theo involved with our local sailing club and this week I’m posting about his first trip to the local golf course, which I realise makes us both sound like sport obsessed helicopter parents.

But we’re not! Both Jim and I were never particularly good at sport at school (or err… after!) but at a time when children are spending increasing amounts of their leisure time indoors we wanted to expose Theo from a young age to a couple of things that he may (or may not) want to pursue as he grows up. The key for both these sports is that you have to go out in the fresh air to enjoy them and that you can do them (at a certain point) on your own.

Apparently the sport of golf is going through a tough time at the moment because it has a image problem, but we are lucky having an excellent, very unstuffy club near us which has quite accessible pricing. So yesterday we decided to take Theo down for his first session and I’m pleased to say it was a success.

The driving range was deserted and the sun was shining. We each had a bay to ourselves and Theo happily hacked away with his minature irons. Wrong stance, wrong swing, wrong everything, but he was having fun! Then all three of us had a mini competition on the putting green and finally we asked about kids lessons.

Luckily for us on Saturday mornings they run a children’s academy for 3-6 year-olds so we’re going to give it a try. It’s too soon to say if he’ll enjoy it, but it would be lovely if one day I get to spend time being thrashed on the course by my precocious eight year-old son and if in the meantime we get to spend some time as a family hacking balls around then that’ll be great too…

Linking up with Living Arrows & Country Kids
 

living arrows

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