Good night,

After many years of blogging, I am calling it a day. Recently, many things in my life have changed and at some point in this year or next I will no longer be a Mrs.

It is time for me to move onto new adventures. There may be a blog again but I won’t be mrspao.

I’ve loved every second of blogging. My domain expires soon so I’ll be giving that up. Do catch me on Instagram or send me an email and keep in touch. You’ve all been great.


It was Jeanne’s birthday earlier in the month and I asked Louise what I should get her when I saw her back in November. Louise said we should surprise her so a plan came together. It was quite hard to keep a secret for 2 months but we managed it.

We rather enjoyed the subterfuge as we were hearing about Jeanne bring confused to why Louise was taking such a weird route to Gainesville. Little did she know we were both heading her way in the Cilantro. 🙂

It’s been lovely to spend time with them, Joyce and Michelle.

Joyce very kindly took us to see some alligators and bats flying out at dusk. Both such magical experiences.

I even made a new friend Lenny.

His mama Lola is a beautiful girl.

Lovely Charlie dog is so sweet too.

Dear Mum

I wish you were here today. You’d be a bit grumpy, I know, but your my mum and I miss you. You would be my number 1 fan, my harshest critic, my advocate. You’d throw yourself under a bus than see something bad happen to me. You put me ahead of yourself. Cared a lot. Loved me. Made me cry. Hurt me. Loved me more. I am never going to feel that connection I felt with you with anyone else. When you died, I felt that cut when you left the earth. I miss you so much.

We Built This Village

♫…on gingerbread…♫

♫…and vanilla cake…♫

♫…and marshmallows…♫

If you build it, they will eat it.

Claude was very interested in it but had to be banned or we might have had a catzilla moment.

Christmas Lights

It is a Christmas tradition to check out the light displays. So a little tour ensued. This is possibly my favourite. Last December I was in Oslo and was struck by the simplicity of white lights that were everywhere. This house reminded me of that simplicity. I found some new places to see. These are in the village of Ash a couple of miles from me. But this old favourite wins hands down !

Christmas knits

I was at the Good Yarn Stall in Spitalfields a couple of weeks after Bob and Louise visited and saw some beautiful alpaca merino silk mix yarn called Tundra from the Fibre Company and fell in love with the beautiful Taiga colorway. I though of making a scarf but changed my mind and made a Last-minute Cowl from Churchmouse Yarns and Teas. I quickly knit a moss stitch version with one skein.

I wanted to make my super friend Anna a gift and decided on attempting the broken rib. After some frantic knitting and unpicking on Christmas Eve, I finally finished it and got it on the blocking mats.

Anna’s wasn’t quite dry on Christmas morning so I had to hasten things by drying it on the radiator and seeing in ends moments before we were due to leave for lunch! Katerina tried to help by pulling out the blocking pins.

I left mine to dry naturally and came back to find Tamyra had claimed it for herself even though it was still wet!

Merry Christmas

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas. May your day be filled with lightness. Claude has enjoyed knocking balls off the tree. Luckily, we bought a non-glass set last year. He hasn’t dared try and get our treasured Lake Superior ornament but he’s mad keen on the balls and black cat. I’ve had quite a busy few months so it was nice to get a chance to do a few creative things yesterday. Much to Claude’s great joy.

Christmas Eve

Just a quick dash in to wish you a very Merry Christmas. Photos are from the customary Christmas eve visit to Leeds Castle. They certainly know how to dress a tree!

The Holly and the Ivy

One of my favourite Christmas activities is decorating my friend J’s house for Christmas with traditional holly and ivy. I have a couple of spots where I gather the holly and ivy from as I use holly with berries on which are dotted through the garlands. This year the usual holly bush was stripped bare of berries which caused me some consternation. Luckily I found a quiet source a day or so later. As I had some of both left, I set about making J an extra present of an wreath. The tutoring I had received from my lovely friend Anna came into mind and I am ever so pleased with the result. I was observed by the careful eyes of dear Tabby who knows that with Christmas come great hoards of children. She loves a quiet life so I expect she will be hiding away.

Yarny adventures

Earlier in the summer my local yarn shop friend Linda was asking for volunteers to help run her yarn shop when she went on holiday. Like a shot I said yes. After all, it isn’t every day that a knitter gets to spend a whole day in a yarn shop. Nevertheless I had an amazing time and volunteered to keep volunteering. So I came back this week and got to dress the Christmas tree. Knitted garlands are brilliant with pompoms for a knitter! While I was over there I saw this cute tree.

But nothing can beat a cute Claude.