celebrations, crafts, crEAting, drEAming, fEAsting, general chit chat, sEAsons

starting with a fresh page…

I have hesitated and pondered about writing this blog post – it is not easy to begin again after my long ‘gap year’ last year, to say nothing of finding some time to sit and think of what to write.  I worry in case this is the only post I produce again this year and another unforseen crisis will suddenly strike and prevent me from having any time for blogging.   As you may well have guessed last year was not an easy one as we continued to try to sort out our flood damaged cottage with the insurers, keep up with the extra demands of work since the death of my colleague and progress the probate to a conclusion.

But…it was not all doom and gloom and the highlight of the year was my eldest daughters decision to get married in the July.  The wedding on 30th July was followed on the 31st with our Ruby Wedding anniversary and my granddaughters 2nd birthday on the 1st August – what a weekend of celebrations and cake spent with friends and family.


I spent every spare minute between January and July planning and organising the wedding, sewing miles and miles of bunting, making confetti, favours, invitations and doing alterations.  Believe me, 6 months is not very long to do everything you have to do to for a wedding especially as it took place in Scotland 250 miles away in my husband’s home town.  Having our cottage out of action did not help but my daughter felt she could not hang on any longer for it to be fixed so we went ahead and hired a farmhouse nearby for the week.

Wedding Flowers

We had the most wonderful day – glorious weather which was just as well as the reception was very much an outdoor wedding held at Castle Kennedy Gardens on the Castle Kennedy estate owned by Lord Stair.  It was here that my daughter’s Great granddad lived and worked as head gardener from the twenties to about 1960.  The wedding ceremony took place in the nearby Inch Church where her dad was baptised and her grandparents worshipped.  So a very special place for our family and what better place for a wedding.

The style of the wedding was a mix of formal and informal but very much home made with lots of summery flowers, peonies and roses in peaches and creams.  The bridesmaids wore floaty long coral dresses and the little one ivory.  The formal ceremony took place in church and a white Morris Minor took them on to the reception.  We had an old fahsioned Afternoon Tea on picnic tables before the sit down buffet of salads and cold meats for the evening meal in the marquee, then lots of dancing.

We made plenty of these signs to get people from their hotels to the church and reception…


and we made all the notices from free pieces of wood from the recycle bin outside the Ikea store in Leeds and painted them with blackboard paint…


We also made some of the flower arrangements ourselves…these hanging cones on the stone pillars at the entrance to the Church were made of chicken wire lined with Sphagnum moss

with a hidden jam jar of water inside to hold the flowers…


The bride and groom left the church to the sound of Scottish pipes…


We held a drinks reception in the beautiful walled garden by the old ruin castle.

castle kennedy

With plenty of bubbles being blown

Wedding Bubbles

We also made large cut out photo frames and dotted these around the grounds for guests to take selfies…


Then it was afternoon tea on the lawns by the old painted tea room…a casual affair on the picnic tables

Afternoon Tea



then the afternoon interlude when our guests could wander the grounds or sit and take in the view or play games…putting up the little princess castle proved more difficult than putting up the marquee…


but it proved to be a big hit with the kids…


and everyone amused themselves in the sunshine whilst the bridal party had all their pictures taken…


Then all too soon it was time for the sit down buffet in the marquee – we decorated this ourselves with bunting and paper lampshades and large vases of hydrangeas from our cottage garden…


We designed and made the table plans that complemented the invitations and mounted these on long sticks stuck into herb pots…


the favours we made were tiny biodegradable seed pots (10p for 30) with a packet of wild flower seeds in printed envelopes placed inside

and a packet of Scottish shortbread made by a friends mum…

on each table was a different poem or verse about love and marriage and flowers…




after the meal we had a lot of fun with the speeches…


and finally the ceilidh with music provided by the brilliant band the Veritable Ceilidh Club…


then everyone joined in the dancing and on such a warm evening we were able to spill outside  – it all looked very magical by night lit up with fairy lights and candles around the castle and large lanterns in the trees –  and not a midge in sight…how lucky were we?


Once the wedding day and celebrations were over it was straight back to dealing with the insurers over the flood damage and the probate project. In October we bought a caravan to put on site at the cottage – it is wonderful to have a base at last.  No more B&B’s and hotels… a place to call  home at last until we get our cottage sorted.l1040676

Just to leave you with a recent picture of my granddaughter – she has grown quite a bit over the past year and she is just a joy to us all.


So a very apprehensive blogger is looking forward to the coming year and hoping it will be a year where we actually see some results for all our hard work during the last few difficult years.

A belated Happy New Year to you all – I have a lot of catching up to do and I hope some of my old blogging friends are still out there.






18 thoughts on “starting with a fresh page…”

  1. Hi Viv, Delighted to hear from you! I’m sorry the progress on the cottage has been so slow. What a glorious wedding! I love the style but even more – everyone’s happy looks. Your grand is such a cutie! Hope you have a cozy winter. PS – we have proper ceilidhs in Nova Scotia, too!


  2. Sounds like a very busy year. I’m not surprised you didn’t have time to blog. Sometimes family takes precedence and I think you’ll find that most bloggers appreciate this. Good luck with getting your cottage repaired.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so pleased to hear that you have surfaced after what sounds like an horrendous year especially with all the paperwork that clogs everything these days.
    Your family wedding looks as though it was delightful and has supplied a lot of memories to cherish.
    wWth your caravan on site you have a bolt hole even if the cottage is not sorted and you will probably feel more in control.
    Don’t be apprehensive. I suppose most people choose blogs to follow that reflect so of their own ideas and interests So I’m sure most of us will just be delighted you are back. It felt like losing touch with an old friend despite the fact we’ve never met. Sue

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sue
      Lovely to hear from you. At the moment the caravan only has electricity laid on but on Monday we will get the water and gas connected – can’t wait to have more services it has been a bit like camping since November! Happy New Year – I am just catching up with everyones news little by little.


  4. So lovely to hear from you, Vivian. What a beautiful wedding!!! You are so creative. The photos are gorgeous – obviously everyone had a beautiful day. And happy 40th anniversary to you!

    If you blog annually or more frequently, don’t stress. When you do, you do. And we can all enjoy the window into your life.


  5. Viv, how wonderful to find your post in my feed this afternoon. What a beautiful wedding! Congratulations to your daughter and to her young man. May they live happily ever after, just like her parents. I’m so impressed with your thrift and style. Reusing wood from IKEA, garden flowers, jam jars and chicken wire and all that bunting. You are amazing. The setting is gorgeous! I love the colors, the clever party favors (pots with seeds!!!) and homemade shortbread. Just brilliant.

    I’m sorry to hear that both probate and the flood damage continue to drag on. What a great idea, though, bringing a trailer to the site. This will no doubt save you time and money and will allow you to spend more time on site.

    It’s terrific to have a post from you. Best of luck on the journey. Alys


    1. Hi Alys, Thank you for your comments and taking the time to stop by – I will be over to your blog soon to catch up – I feel a bit out of the loop and there is a lot of reading to do – we will be at the caravan tomorrow so no TV, no internet connection, or blogging and only spasmodic mobile – so it will be back to playing cards and listening to the radio for amusement or even reading a paper book! Hope you all well at yours. Viv x


      1. Cards and paper books sound good to me. You can hide from the news as well, which lately, feels like a good thing. Our personal lives hum along without any drama, but the US inauguration has me feeling lower than low. He takes the “oath” of office this Friday. I fear for what’s next. I look forward to your visits when time permits.


  6. I can’t tell you how delighted I was to see your post arrive on my feed!

    The wedding looks like it was a fabulous day, I am not a wedding person but all those little touches are just lovely. Sending you best wishes for this new year with more fun and less in the way of legal stress.


    1. Lovely to hear from you – I have been dibbing in and out of a few blogs but have so much catching up to do – so much has happened in a year in everyones life. we are going to caravan for a few days now to get the gas and water connected so will be without any technology for a few days but hope when I get back to carry on blogging. viv x


  7. Hello! Really delighted to see you here. I know exactly what you mean, I’ve teetered along, but always erratic. Even though I love Instagram I still can’t quite relinquish blogging and although I’m not reliably regular, I do still want to keep it alive. It still seems to me that there’s a role for blogging and I’m not ready to give up. So pleased that despite all the ups and downs you’re still here and however spasmodically, it’s a lovely treat to catch up with you.


    1. Thank you Simone – we enjoyed both our daughters home made weddings but that is us done now until the granddaughter! I am glad you have stopped by I have kept trying to leave comments on your site but it won’t let me post them. I have been following along recently and saw all those beautiful crafts you did. I will keep persevering trying to leave a comment on your site otherwise I will email you – Viv x


Before you go I would love to hear from you...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s