Tuesday, 9 November 2010


And so here I am, another year, another gazillion wrinkles! But I must confess that getting older has its advantages, especially when your mum arrives to look after your Munchkin and your other half meets you at Paddington Railway Station, destination unknown.

An hour and a half and a short taxi ride later and I am at my destination, the rather glorious Bath Priory. This looks like the sort of place where one gets very spoiled. Great!

Things just get better when I find goodies in our room which have obviously been arranged in advance. Bliss. Time for a drink then before heading to the spa. Have I died and gone to heaven? I think I've forgotten how to do this sort of thing!

Ahhhh, a whole three days ahead of us in this glorious city of Bath. Despite decidedly grim weather, we are determined to make the most of it. Strolling through leafy parks...

...re-fuelling at The Pump Rooms...

...taking in the cultural sights. How can you not be impressed by the Royal Crescent...

...the not-so-cultural sights...

...for there is great shopping in Bath. The branch of Cath K in particular is beautifully laid out...

...how much is that outrageously beautiful furry in the window...

...and for crafty folk, we stumbled upon The Makery. But it was closed, of course.

Back at the Priory, we were indeed spoiled rotten; swimming in the pool, relaxing and having our stresses massaged away and how could we forget, wining and dining, for they take that very seriously here. This choccy pud was to-die-for and came at the end of an eight course taster menu. Eeek, diet starts tomorrrow...

And there were surprises galore. Goodness me, I had no idea that man of mine was so sneaky! In the best possible way of course. I spent most of Thursday morning packing, frantically tearing the house apart, trying to find my beloved gold shoes (they're better than they sound!) On Friday morning, I was whisked off in a taxi to an un-prepossessing house in the depths of Bath. This was a very strange, "out of body" experience for I had no idea what was going on but I did know I recognised the lady who answered the front door of the house. For the life of me, I just couldn't work out why!

Suddenly, well rather slowly actually, the grey matter started working, Mr HenHouse hands me my gold shoes and before I can have a rant at him for nicking my shoes, I realise that the lady at the front door, now joined by her partner, is no other than Ann, of Ann and Graeme, who we have seen lindy hopping at Burgh Island! Indeed they are the former national champions. Oh goodness me, we're here for a dancing lesson! Now where did I put those gold slippers?

After the exhilarating dance lesson, there are more surprises afoot that evening when I find myself at the Theatre Royal and before I know it, we are watching a performance of Noel Coward's play "Blithe Spirit", continuing the 1940's theme, as Mr HenHouse informs me.

The play was fab, with a wonderful small cast including the brilliant Alison Steadman and Hermione Norris and Robert Bathurst. The set was fantastic and Hermione stole the show in gorgeous vintage (vintage style?) dresses and suits.

Oh no, all too soon though, it's time to head home. As luck would have it, the blow is rather softened by finding my mum and the Munchkin with a roaring fire and a substantial pile of goodies which appear to be intended for me!

Indeed, I am a very lucky girl and am spoiled rotten by my other half and the Munchkin, who cutely bought me pressies and a card with his own money at the Vintage Bazaar! Mr HenHouse it seems, has been working his secret magic and lets me open a plain cardboard box last of all...

Hmm, I recognise that pink spotty tissue paper....

...crikey, could this be what I hope it is?

...Mr HenHouse has been shopping chez Ms Flower again and the lucky recipient is me!

I can't wait to get started with that lot! Well, wasn't I lucky? It was sooooo fantastic to get away just the two of us, something we haven't managed for 18 months, so kind of my mum to come and look after the Munchkin who of course, had a lovely time here at home. I was pretty much blown away by the effort my fabby Mr HH had gone to, quite how he manages to keep these things so secret, I don't know. He made my birthday weekend very special, indeed he is very special. Thanks also to those of you who took the time to wish me a Happy Birthday, it really meant a lot, you are so kind.

So now, I am struggling to get back to "normal" life, back to washing, cooking, shopping and working of course. Thank goodness that's not such a chore! To that end, I am slowly getting some goodies into my blogshop for sale (I hope to keep adding more). The dull weather is certainly not helping with the photos. You can find divine round embroidered and feedsack heart cushions, owls and a rather special Christmas quilt currently for sale.

But now dear readers, I must love you and leave you, as my sister arrives today; well it is Country Living Fair week, after all!


  1. How wonderful, Bath is an incredibly special place, so pleased you embraced all of it. As for the fabric, oh boy how lucky you are, enjoy! xox

  2. Oh wow! What a spoilt girl you are - and quite rightly so! What an awesome hubby you have. Could you bottle him so I can slip his sneakiness into my other half's whiskey of an evening? That way I might actually get some surprises!
    Looks like you had a
    fan-dabby-dosy time :)

  3. How very thoughtful & full of surprises Mr HH is!

  4. What a fab time you have had, and those fabrics...well I would have been really excited too, they are absolutely lovely. Enjoy your special moments! jennyx

  5. Wow, what a way to celebrate your birthday! What a wonderful, thoughful husband you have. A rare gem is Mr.HH :)
    Thank you for sharing! I Love your blog!

  6. You lucky, lucky girl! Could Mr. HH give my dh a few lessons? lol!

  7. Happy Birthday Mrs HH. You are indeed a lucky girl - what a fab birthday. Your blog makes me so homesick for the UK. Thanks for all the enjoyment it brings to me and many others. You are the best!

  8. Well, I guess belated birthday wishes are the order of the day!
    Oh that man of yours...he's a fabby chap, isn't he? What a glorious way to celebrate your birthday...I'm printing this post out and leaving it around for Mr B to read!!
    Can't wait to see what those fabrics turn in to!
    Z xx

  9. Well how very thoughtful Mr Hen is, he did exceptionally well, what on earth will he do next year?!
    T X

  10. You just bought back the memories I had in Bath and I was only there a few weeks ago. I went to all those shops and more.
    Glad you had a lovely and Happy Birthday
    Julie xxxxxxxxx

  11. Oh wow, a happy belated birthday, what a wonderful thoughtful family you have. Have a wonderful time at the CL fair and watch our for the Irish visitors, they are on the way over. Hugs, Margie.

  12. wow what a lucky girl you are with all those surprises, and what a wonderful man you have for organising it all! Hope you had a lovely birthday and look forward to seeing what you make with those new lovely fabrics!

  13. Aww, bless that wonderful man who is Mr HH! A late happy belated Birthday dear Hen!

  14. How spoiled were you.What an amazing husband thinking all that up.Lucky you.

  15. Lucky girl, Bath is my favourite city and what a wonderful birthday treat.
    I am off to the Country Living Fair tomorrow - can't wait - taking both my sons with me for a change. Have a lovely time when you two go. Karen X

  16. Oooohhh...you lucky thing, what a wonderful man you have and lots of lovely pressies too!!

    Sue xx

  17. What a great weekend. Glad you enjoyed it. I'm now longing for the Pump Rooms and one of the lovely cream teas - or lunch would do..
    Look forward to seeing what you make with the fabric.

  18. What a smashing man you have - can you lend him out I am sure that there are lots of ladies who would be only to pleased to borrow him for a few hours.
    Glad you had a good time, Bath is lovely my hubby took me there for a birthday treat one year also.

  19. Wow what a beautiful post my jaw hit the the floor from start to finish you lucky lucky lady what a beautiful surprise and what a wonderful man you have. I adore bath i went on a girly day trip at the start of the year and we hit the spar for the end of day treat and wow it was heaven. Beautiful memories you will keep for this special treat you shared. Love your fabric what will you use it for? Dee ;-)) x

  20. Wow, that sounds a good birthday - he's set a high bar for next year! Bath is the business, isn't it? Belated Happy Birthday!

  21. You lucky gal! What a weekend of treats! I was married just outside Bath & Mr W treated us to a night at that very same hotel! Have fun at the CL show. Lizzie x

  22. I think Mr HH should be running courses for men on how to 'do' their significant other's birthday! What a fab birthday, full of memorable treats. I especially love the idea of the dance lesson!

    Sending a belated happy birthday wish your way!

  23. Looks like you had an amazing time Hen - and the Hotel looks amazing!!! Oh!!!! and Happy Birthday!!!

    Kerry xxxx

  24. You certainly had a wonderful, romantic birthday trip. Yes, you are lucky but you always make sure Mr. Henhouse and the Munchkin have wonderful celebrations so you deserve to have a lovely time too. Well done Mr. H.
    Looking forward to seeing what you create with your scrumptious new material.
    Carol xx

  25. Woweeee Hen, what a lucky girl you are. Mr HH has scored major brownie points ;-)

    You deserve it though and I'm so glad you liked your fabrics. I had such fun choosing them for you.

  26. Martha in Kansas9 November 2010 at 21:09

    How sweet and what a wonderful surprise he planned! I think quite possibly he loves you! Happy birthday, a bit late, all the way from Kansas in the US.

  27. How lovely your birthday was, and how clever and sneaky MrHH has been, it must have been hard for the Munchkin not to tell what he had got you. I eagerly await the magic you create with those divine fabrics.

  28. Wow, what a wonderful time you both had. Mr HH is a star!!
    Bath looks lovely, I've never been, although its 'only up the road' from me, must put it on the list of places to visit.
    Enjoy the CL Fair!!
    Linda O xxx

  29. What a fabulous birthday you had. One to remember for the rest of your days. Something thoughtful like that is a priceless gift. You are one lucky lady. Best wishes and belated happy birthday greetings. Ann x

  30. What a cheery lovely post for a wet Wednesday!

    Love Bath - I went there last year for my summer hols! (lack of finance keepin that carbon footprint wholesome!)

    Think I'm a teensy bit in love with yr husb too :)

    All that AND fabric???

  31. Oh Hen! You are, indeed, a lucky girl! That sounds like the most wonderful trip. :) The goodies you've made are wonderful.

  32. oooh Hen, I meant to wish you birthday greetings on the 7th..so belated birthday wishes! looks like you had a fantastic time you lucky thing you! x

  33. Very happy belated birthday Hen.....
    Isn't Lindy hop the bestest dancing ever???

  34. Just stumbled onto your lovely blog! I've been wanting to visit a Cath Kidston store soon :)

    Have a great weekend!
    XO L

  35. Happy Birthday!
    Wow - where to start commenting on this oh-so-fabulous weekend of extravaganza? The thing that does it for me is the fabric - a man who goes out of his way to get you flowery fabrics is "la creme de la creme"!!
    Spoit rotten you are - you've officially made dozens of readers envious ;)

  36. Happy birthday!

    You lucky lady - wonderful treats. So nice to have a man who thinks of things himself and comes up with nice surprises. :-)

  37. I felt indulged just reading your post! :) It's almost too much to imagine! How wonderful for you.

    And then, when you showed photos of shops, I hoped, "maybe she'll show a shop I know" and then I truly WAS indulged: I love Cath Kidston!! Even though American postage is high, I really really want to get my mom-in-law a bag for Christmas. I'm also secretly hoping she got ME a bag when she went to London... ;)


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