Photographing Trees

I love trees, I have taken thousands of pictures of trees. Walking in woodland, proper deciduous woodland, gladdens my heart and allows my soul to breathe. When I drive through the ancient tree tunnels of Devon, Cornwall and Wales I can feel the magic all around me. Trees are why I will never stop believing in fairies ->Read More

Thinly Spread has moved home, please come with me!

 

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So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Good Bye!

Thinly Spread is off. Moving to pastures new. Going to tackle the troll and see if the grass really is greener on the other side. Yes, dear reader, I’M GOING SELF HOSTED!

It is a move I’ve been contemplating for a while and there has been surreptitious tinkering by the ever practical Mr Thinly Spread but he is prepared to tinker no more. He is pushing me towards that bridge, that troll and that green green grass ‘Stop Faffing around and just get on with it, tell them!’

A good friend losing her blog for no apparent reason has given me the final push, so here I am, telling you! You can see the shiny new Thinly Spread by clicking on the lovely little preview below

Old Thinly Spread will still be here for a while, picking up the stragglers, collecting the coffee cups, sweeping the floor but if you are a regular reader, subscriber or someone who has stumbled here for the first time and likes it, all my new stuff is going to be over there at my new place. There are comfy cushions, the kettle is on and I’ve made cakes – come on over!

If you have no idea what I’m on about because *gasp* you don’t blog and you are one of my readers who just enjoys what I write – thank you, it’s lovely to have you here! This Thinly Spread is hosted by WordPress which is beginning to limit what I am and am not allowed to do, New Thinly Spread is all mine, bought and paid for. You probably won’t notice any difference because all the words will still be coming out of my fingers just at a different address! Please come with me and let me know what you think about my new place!

www.thinlyspread.co.uk

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VOTE FOR ME – GO ON – PLEASE!

I’m rubbish at this sort of thing. I keep putting it off and shuffling my feet a bit. I’m typing this now with my chin and mouth hidden in my roll top jumper and my nose is wrinkled. The thing is I would REALLY like to be able to  put ‘award winning blog’ over there in my sidebar.

So, if you read my words and look at my pictures, if you thought the stuff I did with Save the Children last year or the stuff I’m doing now with World Vision was/is pretty good, if you’ve enjoyed reading about my family and our exploits or if you were inspired to cook a recipe or make something with your children after reading a post do you think you could give me your vote? I’d be everso grateful!

I’ve been shortlisted in two categories over at the Britmums Brilliance in Blogging Awards (Change and Outstanding) and I’m really chuffed! If you could click on the badge below and nip over there and vote for me in either/or/both that would be lovely. Thank you.

I was a finalist at last year’s MADs and I would like to be there again but WINNING (Oh God, my competitive streak is emerging now!) So, if you could find it in your heart to nip over there and find a category you think I might fit into that would be very lovely too.

That’s it I think. I can come out of  my jumper and iron out my frown lines. Thanks for reading!

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The Things They Say and Do – Easter Egg Hunts and Escargots!

This week I bring you one from the archives as it is seasonally appropriate and I want to write it down before it drifts off into the ether!

Every year we have a family Easter Egg Hunt on Easter Sunday. We have held them in the garden, in holiday cottages and on boats, we haven’t missed a year since our eldest was 2 and we’re pretty good at it. Pop over to Climbing Rainbows if you want a few of our top tips but in the meantime let me share one of the highlights.

A smaller Bonus Boy appeared a few days after our Easter Egg Hunt one year with a chocolate smile. He had located an undiscovered hoard and was very pleased with himself. We all laughed at the little tyke and he toddled off to look for more.

All was fine until Darling Girl shrieked like a scalded cat ‘NO! TAKE THAT OUT OF YOUR MOUTH!’

At such a young age he was unable to distinguish between prettily packaged mini eggs and an equally attractive slug in a shell…he had a mouthful of snail! We all shuddered, he of course, was unperturbed.

If yours have made you laugh, cry or scratch your head this week why not join in with the linky? Write a mini blog post recording a funny/clever/eye-opening sentence, word or sound that your child has made or something they have done and you want to keep a record of. Come back here and pop your blog link on the linky widgit (highlighted in red) below this blurb. Please link back to me in your post and go and visit other people’s posts for a giggle/sob/eureka moment. Most of all, use it as a weekly prompt to remind you to keep a record of these precious moments before they slip out of your mind and drift off forever.

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Going Behind The Scenes At The Chelsea Flower Show!

World Vision contacted me recently and asked if I would be interested in shadowing two garden designers as they prepare the first World Vision show garden for Chelsea. To do this I must, unfortunately, go behind the scenes and rummage about to bring you the full story. It will involve visiting nurseries and horticulturists, I will have to don a high visibility vest and steel toe capped boots, I will be forced to look at plants closely and follow their progress from tunnel to show. I am grinning broadly!

This is by way of an introductory post. I’d like you to meet the key players, the people and plants I am going to be spending a lot of time with over the next eight weeks. My role in all of this is to raise awareness of the work World Vision does and if you think that they are the people who send spectacles to developing countries then you are not alone! World Vision have a fantastic child sponsorship programme working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice in almost 100 countries worldwide. Sponsoring a child is like dropping a pebble into a pond as it enables World Vision to work to improve things for a whole community.

So, here is our first player. The garden. At its centre is a pool representing that ripple effect of sponsoring a child.

Award winning garden designers Sim Flemons and John Warland are now facing the daunting task of transforming this beautiful drawing from paper to plants. They won Gold at Hampton Court with last year’s World Vision Garden so the pressure is on as they tackle their first Chelsea Flower Show…they appear remarkably relaxed, especially since Sim’s wife is expecting their third baby in Chelsea week, which adds a bit of unpredictability and excitement to the proceedings!

I spent much of last week visiting nurseries where the plants for FlemonsWarland‘s design are being lovingly nurtured (I know, terrible hardship :-) ) I found out a lot about tree ferns from the man with the best name in horticulture, Dave Root of Kelways plants in Langport. This is a man who really loves his ferns and they are amazing things, growing about an inch a year – these beauties are about one hundred years old. Dave is growing plants for 11 Chelsea gardens as well as preparing for his own peony exhibit, he’s a man on a mission!

Also in the mix are Hillier’s Nurseries (yes, I had to go there too) who are storing more tree ferns and the box hedging and Hardy’s plants who are growing a large number of perennials for John and Sim. Both Hardys and Hilliers have a formidable Chelsea record and it was amazing to stroll through acres of tunnels and see horticulture at its finest.

It is a mammoth operation and I am so looking forward to seeing these little plants in all their glory in seven weeks time!

And to watching these fronds unfurl and cast their gorgeous shadows on this inspiring garden

Look, right in the middle, can you see the frond all curled up ready to go?!

Finally today I want to introduce you to one of the people we have in mind as we embark on this project. This is Ronald, he lives in Bolivia and he is sponsored by Sim and John. Sponsorship has had an incredible impact upon him and his community and I will be sharing his story with you shortly.

Picture courtesy of Jennalise Photography and World Vision

The work I have done over the last year, helping to raise awareness of developmental issues around the world, has inspired my family and has ignited a desire in us to do as much as we can to help. It seems only right that Thinly Spread (both blog and family) should sponsor a child. So, not only will I be writing about the progress of this garden, I will be writing about the progress of our sponsorship with World Vision. We are hoping to be able to sponsor a little boy who is the same age as our Bonus Boy and that you will be as interested as we are in seeing how we get along.

If you have any questions about World Vision’s Work or about how a show garden at Chelsea Flower Show is put together pop them in a comment and I will find a person to ask! I am intending to blog at least once a week in the run up to Chelsea about this project so do keep visiting for updates and please help spread the word!

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Extreme Close Up

I love getting up close to my subject when I’m taking pictures, particularly of plants and flowers. Over the next few weeks I am going to have plenty of opportunities to do this as I have been given the opportunity to go behind the scenes at Chelsea Flower show (more on this tomorrow!)

This week I have got up close and personal in my kitchen with this tulip. I love the delicacy of its colour topped off with those dangerous looking but oh so gentle spikes

This post was written for The Gallery at Sticky Fingers

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The Things They Say and Do – The Super Leg!

This week Bonus Boy has been very charming, he seems to have developed a politeness strain which has by-passed the rest of us. If he doesn’t hear what someone says he looks them straight in the eye and very gently enquires ‘I beg your pardon?’ I try very hard not to laugh, I don’t always succeed.

There has been more scootering but, on Wednesday, he told me he thought a walk to school would be better ‘I need to exercise my legs Mummy’

‘But scootering does exercise them darling!’

‘Only one of them, I’ll have one very strong leg and the other one will be useless!’

He has also been indulging in his two favourite things, Lego and Harry Potter and came up with this magnificent invention in which Voldermort (‘You mustn’t be afraid to say his name Mummy’) and all his ‘baddies’ can travel together. Genius, Potter doesn’t stand a chance.

He was rather pleased that we were all so impressed!

If yours have made you laugh, cry or scratch your head this week why not join in with the linky? Write a mini blog post recording a funny/clever/eye-opening sentence, word or sound that your child has made or something they have done and you want to keep a record of. Come back here and pop your blog link on the linky widgit (highlighted in red) below this blurb. Please link back to me in your post and go and visit other people’s posts for a giggle/sob/eureka moment. Most of all, use it as a weekly prompt to remind you to keep a record of these precious moments before they slip out of your mind and drift off forever.

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Filed under Children's Development