Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Tea for two

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a person in charge of a house will have an insatiable need to fill it.  Which is how I found myself being dragged into Leek (the Stoke on Trent home for all antiques) this week.

Being a civilised sort of shopping companion, I demanded tea and cake shortly after we'd arrived.  Given my ability to find tea and cake anytime anywhere, we quickly stumbled across Spout Coffee Shop on St Edward Street - and what a find!

To be honest, they had me at the tea - supplied by the wonderful Teapig Tea Company  I would happy live off their tea if my budget allowed *debates swapping in her car to pay for her growing Teapig habit* 

Sorry, lost me a bit there. Where were we?  Ahhh, yes... Here's the lovely Loulou from Spout - lady with the tea, coffee and cakes...

To call Spout a coffee shop feels a little off, because truth be told it's so much more.  It's like wandering into your favourite nan's living room knowing that you can curl up on the sofa with a cuppa and a book, because that's what it's there for. 

The shop is divided up into different rooms with an eclectic range of comfy seating, tables made from old doors, and even a chair or two you might recall from your school days.  Every wall has something new to look at, and includes some fantastic artwork.  Ok, I'm going to come right out and say it - I wanted to move in.

We took full advantage (read 'totally abused') the current offer for tea and home made cake for two for £5 and went for two carrot cake cupcakes (no sane person shares carrot cake).  We added a slice of toffee lemon drizzle cake to share, which some might say was greedy but I'm classing as restrained.  Check out the cute little milk bottle!  

If you're in the area and looking for a pit-stop, or a place to meet up with friends, your mother and baby group, or even house your knitting circle, then this is the place for you.  They're insanely kid and dog friendly, have free WIFI (count me in as a returning customer!) and serve food from 11am til 4pm. 

Check out their Facebook page

In fact, just go and visit.  I insist.  No really.  Go on.  I'll wait. 


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Jingle bells

Soooo..... if you're reading this from within the Staffordshire area (UK), then I may owe you an apology. 

It's possible that the sudden change from the gorgeous sunny weather of the last few days to the Narnia-like cold and wet of today is my fault.  This is what happens when you sing Christmas carols while you work and pray for it to be a little cooler.  So *shuffles feet and tries not to make eye contact* I'm very sorry...

On the bright side, 231 days till Christmas!  Yay!


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The one where I am not a Domestic Goddess

Today is mostly about digging the house out of the state I created over the Bank Holiday weekend.  Truth be told, I'm not entirely sure how this happens every time.  I had a friend staying this weekend, which meant I tidied as I went - but I swear, as soon as her car left the driveway, the house did its 'Fat Sam's' know, from Bugsy Malone...where the tables come down from the ceiling to avoid police don't?  Oh, ok... *moves swiftly on* 

The first round of washing is on - which in itself is rather brave as the hose is leaking again (it's the third hose - time to upgrade the job from DIY to HELPME).  The bins are out (how does one person, who recycles and everything, still regularly fill up a large kitchen bin?  Does rubbish breed? Should I be separating the boy and girl rubbish?), and even the windows have been thrown open - apparently to let some air in, suggesting my house is vacuum-packed...which it isn't....not really...

Of course, the house does suffer from being lived in by a crafter.  If you craft, or you live with one, then you'll know the signs - random knitting needles left laying around in case there's a knitting emergency; pins and needles waiting to be found by bare feet, a fine layer of felt dust lining all surfaces.  And then there's the crafting accessories - the cold cup of tea, the chocolate and the biscuits, three pairs of scissors (yes, I do need them all) and two tape measures (one looks like a panda...'nuff said).

In an effort to stay on top of this domesticity business, I have pretty baskets to put my projects in and those hessian bags for life are a God-send.  Everything goes into boxes, or neat piles around the place.  Even the stuff for charity has been carefully packed into two large and tidy bags.  But I can't quite escape the feeling that it's all waiting like a coiled spring, ready to ride forth and spread across the house at a moment's notice....

Monday, May 6, 2013


Well, hello. Jolly nice of you to stop by. Hobnob?

I'm Fi (or Nora if you prefer) and I own a little crafted gifts business called Nora’s Thoughts and Other Stories. I’m often found creating crafting mess about the place, but it’s ok because it’s for art…see?  I love to grow my own vegetables (well, plant them…forget them…and buy fully grown ones from Tescos), fuss animals (except insects or anything that bites), read books, and drink lots of tea with custard creams and chocolate chip cookies for dunking. And I love to write. More than I love to talk – which is a lot. 

So welcome to my little corner of t’interweb. I promise there will be little of common sense going on here – just tales from the life of a random crafter, sometimes stable hand and routine chocolate hunter.