Mum, Dad and I headed off to Anglesey, an island off the North Welsh coast, for a week recently. A thoughtfully equipped bungalow, nestling above a beautiful bay, gave us a cosy foundation and we had a grand week ‘sploring.

We were on the east coast of the island and the peace there is unique. Friends from North Wales came to visit and we also visited friends who live there (lucky souls). No SatNav in the car was a gift, because with much laughter and lots of ‘How about going left, or right?’ at different junctions, gave our ‘sploring a magical touch.

Dad got to rip it up on his scooter on various promenades and he went steam train riding with a buddy. Mum, a friend and I discovered a wonderful knitting shop in a tiny fishing village, where it’s possible we covered her takings for the day. We had ice creams, yummy meals and a memorable lunch by a lake in the middle of nowhere. Mum and I went beach combing, collecting treasures for my creations. Farms, bays, a lighthouse, little islands, estuaries full of yachts and boats and happy pausing places for coffee and hot chocolate were discovered along the way.

We had time together creating heart memories and that is the greatest gift. ❤ Our 'sploring added a different dimension to it all! ❤

Blooming marvellous….

It’s so peaceful here today, that even the ships and tug boats are sailing past silently.

There is much loving calmness in the walls of this house and the old cobbled pedestrian streets around us mirror that. Several conversations have flowed lately and we all agree that there is something special about being here. The local stories from when this old house was a care home, all speak of kind memories and thoughts.

My Mum has gifted me some great planters and they are filled with blue and pink hydrangeas and hardy plants that can survive the salt wind out there on the flat roof. I have tried various experiments with bird feeding and the latest one is an upturned iron Poppy holder that sits in one of the tubs. I found an old curved plate that serves as a bird bath and I can see all of this from the window where I sit and work. Thank you, my Mate ❤ Years ago I was learning German at school and came home to tell my Mum that she was Mater in German. This got shortened to Mate and has stuck over all these years.

It's like an Aladin's cave here and my landlady was having a sort out a few days ago. She warned me about possible noise, because her crew of Bob the Builder and Helpful Brother were shifting stuff upstairs to the floor above. We had a natter and I put in a bid for a lovely, long sofa in place of the two seater that was here. After some tender loving care it now looks at home and as I laid out on it at full stretch yesterday evening, I said 'Thank you' out loud.

This morning I woke up early with every intention of going out for a walk, but the sight of pelting rain put me off and I switched ideas. My little kitchen is quirky and I have an old Belling worktop oven with two solid plates on top. This has a mind of it's own and if I put the oven on then the left hand plate does not work, both plates on and the oven doesn't work. Over time he and I have made friends and I stood in the peace this morning to make a cake to flow 'sofa gratitude' downstairs.

My place is now filled with homely scents, with the rooftop plants soaking up the rain, as the working day starts. Feel the love ❤

The things that we love tell us what we are…Thomas Aquinas

A moment in France when the sky was filled with love

Recently I was asked what I really wanted for Christmas and my response was a heartfelt ‘Time with you’.

Life’s gifts: making delicious plans with a kindred spirit I recently spent time with flying 30,000 miles up in the sky; Bella as she waits by my feet wagging her tail asking me to throw her ball again…please; nattering to my Mum on the phone giggling and sharing; flowing loving conversations with clients held in my heart; watching the Autumn breeze in the trees; sharing rainbow colours from a sunrise; observing the happiness radiating from my heart daughter and her children on her special wedding day; asking a neighbour how she was and hearing her answer; preparing to move back home tomorrow; feeling all the loving connections on life’s web and celebrating expression through writing.

Lovingly gifted time and the cherished moments within. ❤

Spirit, character and the blessing of unconditional love….


Rain, rain, go away, come again another day. No? Oh well nevermind then, life carries on regardless.

On Monday I walked down the long and winding driveway between showers to meet my Mum and Dad in the country lane, so I could show them the way to my new little home. It is such a treat for us all to be able to get together and spend time like this. There has been so many years where we have lived thousands of miles apart, reliant in the early days on telex machines with ticker tape to keep in touch, right through to now when mobiles and emails link us.

Lately we have the joy of face to face visits.

They love my new home and we had a special time together. Mum tucked all sorts into my cupboards and a lovingly homemade Shepherd’s Pie was popped into my oven for us all to have lunch.

There have been many times when plans went upside down and they have had to invent new dance steps to unexpected songs being played out in their lives. That spirit and character from each of them has forged a bond that positively hums with energy and has given them the wisdom of ‘knowing’ the unspoken. New dances have been invented with love, grace, dignity and sheer hard work.

‘It’s like a retreat here’ said Dad finally after lunch. ‘Yes, it is’ I replied ‘that is exactly what it is. I can make a new life here Dad.’ We all smiled at each other. Then we headed off to sample the delights of the little medieval town that I am blessed to live near.

Mum and Dad ‘get’ why having the barn so near to my home matters to me.

‘Our’ farmer is a gentle soul and I often watch him leading the cows around here. He silently walks a few paces before them and they all drop into single file and follow him wherever he leads. I like him. As a backdrop to this week there has been much activity in the barn and it culminated with the equipment that was used being transported away today. You could feel the peace re-settle again. There were strangers in the mix during the working days and one is particular could be heard above the other men. There was anger in his voice and I picked it up instantly, as did the herd. I could ‘feel’ and hear him being rough and sharp with the animals in the barn and all week there has been a spiralling circle of distressed noises, smells and fear emanating from the hubbub.

As the sun was setting tonight, I walked out for a breath of fresh air. Down at the far gate I took pictures of the sunset and stood listening, in the cold evening air, to the kestrels on the hillside and the crows calling back from the trees. I heard a hoof on wood and looked up to see the herd going past my ‘usual’ gate and one was waiting there for me. I walked across to stand before a lovely gentle, about two years old, heifer. We stood together under the trees in the evening gloom and nattered for a while. I was asking her what on earth had happened to them all this week and she was snorting her replies. Her companions gathered around her for a little while, adding their comments. As they all started to move away she gave my hand a ‘raspy’ kiss with her tongue and with a dip of her head she headed off. A young steer, just behind her, stepped forward to rest his head on my outstretched hand, then he too walked off with his buddies. They have all stuck together and whatever they faced this week, they have retained their love, grace and dignity.

I love you Mum and Dad. ❤

Nurture and relaxing when life gives you a circus for a day…..


I am settled into my new assignment and the dear little cat I am caring for is lovely. She is blind and manages very well and her family had to leave before I got here on Saturday, so I was left instructions and her medication. Left to our own devices we have worked out what works well between us. If you lean down to stroke her it makes her jump because she can’t see your hand coming, so I very quickly learnt not to do that to her. We talk to each other, I have set-up my work on the table near her bed and ‘play things’, her food is nearby and she comes to me when she wants love. She climbs up so gently and lies across my chest with her head on my shoulder. She’s a lovely little soul.

Yesterday presented me with a circus for the day and it was challenging to navigate it. I ended the day self nurturing with my favourite dinner from the supermarket, a latte on special offer and a long cuddle with this lovely cat. All this, whilst I dealt with the third engineer of the day from the computer support company, as two of his colleagues had dropped the ball earlier. It was late in the afternoon, pouring with rain outside and I was worn out from the day’s events, the computer problems just being a side issue. I know as the computer engineer took my call that he could see what had happened and he was braced for me being upset. I went down the humour route instead and we ended up having a lovely chat as he fixed what he could remotely, whilst booking an engineer call for replacement parts. During this I sat here sipping a latte, with this dear little cat draped across my chest and shoulder purring away. The engineer in Bangalore was a delight and we had a meeting of minds on how to deal with things when the circus arrives. I gave his supervisor great feedback on how he handled things.

All this stirred love memories in my heart. I was brought up with nurture, it was always there. My Mum stood in her kitchen this Saturday as I dropped in to pick up my car. Amidst new fencing going up, a house viewing happening, Dad being uptight with all that was going on and me coming through the door, she dealt with it all in a very loving way. I was collected from the train station and then sent on my way with a packed lunch for my journey which included fruit sweets in a little twisted bag, fruit, sandwiches and handy wipes. All created with a smile whilst a circus swirled around her.

When I spent a few weeks with Mum and Dad so many little loving moments took me back to my childhood. I was invited to lick the bowl and spoon when Mum had finished baking. Mum curled my hair before I went out to hold work parties. There was a little rose on my pillow. Great reads were placed by my bedside. Huge fluffly bath towels were put out. Chocolate was bought for emergencies, tucked away in my drawer along with the words ‘Now you really don’t have to share this’ and favourite meals were lovingly made.

Loving nurture, it eases us through the days, lifting, flowing care and when the circus comes to town it comes into it’s own. Thank you Mum for lighting the way with such love.

Home comforts, re-kindled memories and love….

home comforts

Lavender sachets in the wardrobe,
Family pictures on the cabinet,
An angel card arriving from my brother,
Fluffy towels,
A pink rose on my pillow,
Mum gifting perfumes and jumpers,
A glass angel hanging in the window,
Thoughtful books placed by my bed,
Home cooking and the yummiest sandwiches,
A sparkly cushion, from my frilly friend, on the bed,
Laughter with my sister (her funniest comment: that she has socks older than the managers she deals with at work),

Then a ‘blast from the past’….

Dad (a precision engineer) calling out from his workshop ‘Can you get on the other end of this Nane?’
The other end being a very heavy boiler (with handles attached), that needed dropping into a new engine chassis (he makes steam engines),
We tried…
We called for help from over the road and Matt, with youthful muscles, came to the rescue,
We all lifted,
To me, to you….
It needed dropping into a precise position…
I looked up and recognised my Dad’s facial expression….something had been forgotten!
We all backed up,
The side plates were removed from the chassis,
We all lifted again,
To me, to you,
It dropped into place.

Many memories of standing at gutter edges, open drain covers and other unmentionables….phrases floating up like ‘Is it coming through yet?’ ‘Any movement?’ ‘Any sign?’…I have learnt a lot at his side.

Mum came back home this afternoon…’How have you got on? Cup of tea, piece of cake?’

Love. X

My surname changes from Baker to Thorne which evokes many happy memories and is just in time for the new year …

A new year is about to start, my book will soon be published, the venture into re-vamped furniture has a fresh energy all of it’s own and more importantly I am getting a real sense of who I am.

I have decided to leave behind my old married name as that chapter is now closed and so much has changed that when I look I hardly recognise myself back then. Emily is completely at ease with my decision and applauds my choice as I am taking my beloved Great Grandmother’s name.

Granny Thorne played an important part in my early childhood and we were very fortunate to have her around till I turned nineteen. Our family went out to Africa when I was twelve so I did not see her many times after that, but I have great memories of my earlier childhood and her home. If I close my eyes I can still smell her coal shed as we used to take chalk and play hopscotch on the paving stones outside. We could sit on the apple tree outside her bedroom window and play for hours in the back part of her garden where she grew vegetables and cane fruit. We made toffee and butterscotch in enamel dishes in her kitchen and I can still see the sugared almonds in the lace dish by her bedside. She used to make recipes from words taken from her bible and I have a bible she gave me on my christening day with her writing inside. Hours were spent makiing jam with Granny and my Mum, storing apples for the winter, crocheting, knitting, sewing and her embroidery skills were superb. We used to sit in the front room all the Grannies, my Mum, my sister and I as they passed their skills onto us. I know that when I pick up a needle now or sit before my Mum’s sewing machine Granny is right beside me helping me out when I get into a muddle.

When I was about eight Granny came to live with us for a while as she needed to recover from an illness and much to her chagrin she needed help. None of us wanted her to leave when she fully recovered as it was so good to have her there. My younger brother, a small toddler at the time, was refusing to eat and he used to tuck up with Granny and eat with her from her plate. She had a way with little ones and we all adored her. Each afternoon my sister and I used to return from school and Granny would say the fairies had been in the garden and left presents for us. We used to dash out and find the gifts (under the hydreanga bush was a favourite place) usually something like a packet of plastacine, a doll’s hair brush, a doll’s tea cup and saucer, a special little something that used to keep my sister and I playing happily till teatime. I catch the smell of blackcurrants cooking and I am right back by the Raeburn watching my Mum and Granny make up pots of blackcurrant jam. So many happy memories and thanks to my Great Granny I still believe in fairies and miracles.

I am the only one in the family to have inherited her strawberry blond hair and I can now say with much love and pride, Granny thank you for your name.