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Sharon Bill Author & Music Tutor

New Academic Year

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The start of the academic year and the autumnal darker, colder nights causes many complaints. After all the moaning and groaning about being back to school I feel I should re-dress the balance. There's a fresh chill in the air in the morning and it's a fresh, new start to the school year. I love September! Read More…

Will You? It's a battle of the mind!

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The battle of the mind is the greatest battle we all face. In this article I suspect I'm preaching to myself! The original article had the title "Will You?" but I think I should rename it "Will I?" to keep things in perspective! Read More…

Time For Tea

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Whittard’s Tippy Assam tea makes a quirky brew but I felt it deserved a more elevated purpose. After a long evening in the kitchen, making food that needed to be made, I felt like rounding the proceedings off with a little experimental culinary frippery. By happy coincidence I concocted the most delicious tea loaf ever! Read More…

Make Do and Mend

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Make do and mend, rationing of supplies, ‘cutting one’s cloth’ - none of these fall into our vocabulary much these days. However, if I’m honest I wish they were. If truth be told I wish I lived in a world where we still needed to patch our knickers. Read More…

Damask Designs

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I've always had a thing for Damask, whether fabric, wallpaper or artwork in general. It reminds me of the William Morris designs that I love so much. I know it isn't considered trendy but it keeps on finding a place in my home.
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Christmas Baking

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The traditions of Christmas, baking Christmas cake, mince pies, buying presents and decorating the home are things that don't particularly move me. In reality, I think it's something that I do enjoy when the mood strikes but I balk at the pressure to conform, particularly when time and budget aren't conducive. The expectation to do certain things and failure to comply resulting in disapproval (real or imagined - there's little different in these matters I find) is what causes me a problem. However, once I've shaken off the shackles (which take some shaking, believe me) I find that I'm actually in the mood to indulge a little. I've never made a Christmas cake before and my mince pies have always left quite a bit to desire. However, now that I'm a member of the Women's Institute, help is at hand and already I'm thrilled with the results.
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Busy Bees

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The book 'Little Women' inspired me to create a "Busy Bees' group of our own. As wives, mums and homemakers there's always something to be busy with and it's nice to be busy together sometimes. In reality our little group is just a few friends who meet together with a light hearted, tongue-in-cheek approach to our evenings. We have corporate literature, membership badges and keep a log book of our meetings, which makes some interesting reading as we look back and verify it with our official bee stamper. The only requirement to join our group is that, whatever you do, you must be busy.

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Long to Reign Over Us

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Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth's 90th Birthday didn't go unnoticed at the WI or at home. I do love her and honour her attitude of tireless service.
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In the dog house!

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I fell in love with this roll end of wallpaper found stashed in the airing cupboard when my parents moved into their new house. I've been determined to make use of it somehow but it's not really the sort that is appropriate for many places in our home - and there was only a tiny bit left. It's taken me twelve months to find it the perfect position - in the dog house!
I love it so much! Read More…

The Bear Necessitites

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Jane Walker Florists, home of "haute couture" floral arrangements and gorgeous gifts, kindly offered a Facebook competition to win a bespoke Suki Bear - and I won! I'm afraid that I lowered the tone by concocting multiple cheesy poems to accompany my Facebook shares - but it did the trick and we have a new addition to our family. Read More…

Gingerbread House

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Bricklaying, pointing and gardening definitely need more practise. My first Youtube video shows me decorating a Gingerbread house.
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Jack of All Trades ...

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Jack of all trades, master of none: Trips to various National Trust stately homes really makes me question our 21st Century ideal that we can have it all (or DO it all!) Read More…

Fabulous Fresh Fast Food

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The ultimate fast food with absolutely zero food miles. From garden to plate in less than an hour - delicious!
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I Love My Kitchen!

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I love my kitchen! An authentic vintage design has grown from years of the 'Make Do and Mend' approach that I champion. The result is that I love my kitchen - and it shows!
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WI in the Twenty First Century

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Women's Institute Bronze winning Lemon Curd: My microwave recipe passed the test of the hallowed taste buds and shows that skimping on time doesn't have to mean skimping on quality.
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Productive Insomnia

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When is a bedroom not a bedroom? When it houses a Korg portable digital piano. Read More…

UFOs - UnFinishedObjects

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I've discovered that I'm not one of nature's knitters! I think I've had to knit every square about three times because of little mistakes and my inability to unpick strategically. I'd resolved not to begin anything new until all my unfinished craft projects were completed - and so I've finally finished it!
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Girl Get-Together in the Strawberry Patch

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I was pleased to have some help digging over the strawberry patch. The hens did a good job in helping to scratch out dead leaves and offshoots. It was so overrun with strawberry runners that I hardly knew where to start - at least that didn't leave much room for weeds! Read More…

I - hoe, I - hoe ...

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Free range hens have to earn their corn - by digging over the garden! I don't mind them helping themselves in the herb garden though as "A worker deserves his wages." Read More…

Careers' Portfolio

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Years ago I read an article which discussed the concept of a 'Careers' Portfolio'. It stated that more and more people were turning their backs on a single, all consuming career in favour of one, two or even three self employed occupations. Read More…

Oily Biker Bichon

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This little puppy managed to get oil all over his lovely white fur, Read More…

Arty Solutions to Jewellery Clutter

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Here's my solution to the problem of knotted necklace storage. Read More…

Make do and Mend

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One of the nicer domestic chores - I love mending clothes! Read More…