Author Archives: Angela Whitney

A sudden rush!

Winter wasn’t too cold, as winters go. Snow was thin on the ground but it was cold enough if you’re planning on gardening. I wanted to put fruit trees on the allotment, but as it wasn’t readily dug in the area that I wanted to put them in, I was resigned to leaving it for next year. However, I had a few days off from work and Hubbie agreed to help me.

This bit should probably not be read if you’re a horticulturalist – I purchased a load of bare root trees from a well know supermarket! Two each of Bramleys and Coxes apples, two Williams pears and two Victoria plums, along with gooseberry bushes and raspberries. It was a bitterly cold day and I admit to layering the thermals! We dug as quickly as we possibly could and in an afternoon, managed to plant all of the ‘sticks’. Time would tell if they will grow.

As I write this mid May, the final tree, a pear, has just come into bud – odd as the other pear was the first of all eight to grow leaves! I have one raspberry that remains defiant – I will leave it go and see what happens over the next year! I’ve also purchased additional raspberries, gooseberries and a blackcurrant bush from various shops that sell goods all at the same price – being all or a penny less than that gold coloured coin – you get the gist! They have all grown, but the proof is in the eating, so I guess we won’t know if they’re any good until the fruit has matured.


It was worth the wait!

During the summer of 2014 a letter arrived. It was a long awaited letter – 6 years to be precise, and we had almost given up hope. It was a letter from the Town Council informing us that there was an allotment available, should we want it?

We went to look at it…



Yes, it is entirely covered in Couch grass. However, it has a view over Mounts Bay and nestles on a little site that has it’s own little micro climate. In other words Hell meets Heaven!

We borrowed a petrol strimmer from my Dad and my Husband spent a couple of days cutting the grass. I then set to work and started to dig. The ground was a carpet of Couch quorns, under which a mat of thick roots lay almost a foot deep. I would go for a day once week and clear about a four foot square patch. It could have been incredibly daunting had I let it, but rather than focus on the enormity of the task of clearing this 13 by 7 metre patch, I told myself to be proud of what I had achieved that day and that after each visit the dug patch was bigger.

It is important to mention here that I have a degenerative hip condition, which could possibly have put paid to clearing the site at all. Indeed at the start, I was in a lot of pain. However, I was in a lot of pain everywhere! and I found over time that as my body got used to it and I strengthened my muscles, my hips became less of a problem at that time.

It is very daunting being a newbie on an allotment surrounded by others, who probably have years of experience. I needn’t have been though. The other allotment owners have been absolutely amazing in their encouragement and I am very grateful to them for making me feel so welcome :).

I finally had to give in to bad weather at the start of November. I had cleared about two thirds, which was far more than I had anticipated.



next….I next went back up there at the end of February when it was time to start planting fruit trees and bushes….

How it all started…

I’ve always been interested in DIY, but that was taken to a whole new level when we bought Pendower nearly 9 years ago!

The property was in dire need of complete renovation and we were naively completely undaunted!

We’ve carried out most of the work ourselves, taking several years and lots of blood, sweat and tears. As we’ve put rooms together, I’ve up-cycled some of our current furniture and added vintage pieces on a budget. This made me realise what really interests me and instilled a desire to one day have my own vintage business.




A new beginning…

I’d like to say a big Thank You! to all you lovely people who have read my previous blogs and the interest that Vintage Home Living has had since I set it up over 2 years ago. Shortly afterwards, I went to work for a new business that grew impressively, taking up more and more of my time, to a point where I had no spare time to follow my own dreams.

Last week I said goodbye to my colleagues and have taken the plunge to living my vintage dream!

My aims for this site have not changed over time and I will be updating it, adding the shop and sharing my news, views and stories!

Thank you for your continued support! x


At least one job finished!

Golly, it has been a very busy year at work and my blog has been sadly neglected, but I’ve given myself a nudge and promise to post more often in future!

Lots of things have been happening at the VHL house since my last post!

The old office has been turned into a lovely teen space for step-son and his old room is slowly evolving into a new craft room.

Hubbie kindly found all of my collected horde and stacked them up for me to see – unfortunately, there was no room to move, so I’m trying to sort those items I want to give attention to first. I look at each piece and have this urge to love it, but I can’t love it all at once! Once I’ve conquered the furniture mountain, I’ll keep you posted!

We decorated the hallway. well, I say decorated, we started on the hall and worked our way up to the landing as far as our bedroom, where the paint pot now sits…

IMG_1554In defence of our inability to finish the hall, I moved on to making a new front door curtain and window blind for the landing, while Simon moved on to the back garden as soon as the warm weather arrived. The mud pool will be no more….

IMG_1566I did, however, finally get round to finishing the utility room – it’s only taken 5 years… I had no excuse, the tiles and paint were under the sink!  The room has a lovely utilitarian feel and I’m really pleased with the outcome.



It’s very exciting!

Well, that was Christmas and New Year, done in a flash once again. Now the longing has started to welcome spring. This winter has definitely been the windiest I can remember, and although it’s reported to be the wettest, it hasn’t seemed to me like the monotonous pouring of some winters. However, I must concede that when it falls, oh boy! Bucketing it down has been the correct description. Our little back lawn that I was so proud of last summer currently resembles a swimming pool. Whilst I’d be happy to have a swimming pool, the outdoor mud version in our British weather not so appealing. We may have to rethink the back garden this year…..

When we renovated the house, I chose the back bedroom on the first floor for my office as it has an – albeit, distant view of St. Michaels Mount – in my view that’s enough! Now I say ‘my’ office, but Hubby had very definite designs on this space and it didn’t really suit my requirements.  The last couple of years have been spent working less at home and my desire to have more of a craft room has grown. My stepson jumped at the chance to have my old office as his bedroom, so we are in the process of freshening it up and turning it into a teen space.

This means that I will soon be turning my stepsons old bedroom on the top floor into a large craft space, where I can renovate small pieces of furniture, have my sewing machine permanently set up and an area for creating new ideas.  It’s very exciting!….


The Sofa Project…


When the weather started to turn Autumnal, I mustered up the enthusiasm to carry on with the sofa re-upholster, which has been an on-off project for the last year. It wasn’t so much that I didn’t want to finish it, just that everyday life got in the way and being such a novice meant that as soon as I got back into the swing of it, it was time to do something else! I decided therefore, that I would commit myself to it fully, on my days off, ignoring all but necessary housework and Mum jobs, with plenty of time to get it done before Christmas. Then a little brown letter plopped through the door ordering Jury service and its completion was suddenly a little urgent.

Well, it was the kick that I needed and after several days of holing myself up in the dining room with a favourite cd and a mug of coffee I emerged triumphant at my accomplishment and totally done with it!

This was my first sofa re-upholster and I’m self taught, so it’s not perfect, but I am really thrilled with the finish and would urge anyone to have a go. I completed the look with some cushions to match the curtains I made last year.


Whats happened to the 365 recipes?

As per todays blog post, it’s been a little busy in the VHL household, so the daily recipes unfortunately fell behind. Having looked at todays dish – Farina pudding, I realised that some are just so out of date, that I can’t imagine anyone wanting to try them! So I’ve decided to post less often, but more appropriate recipes that can be just as ‘easily’ made today. If you’ve any thoughts on this please feel free to message me on Twitter or email at

Thank you for taking the time to follow me x

Now that the weather is hot!


It’s been a while since I last posted a blog – its been a bit hectic in the VHL household. Local elections, redundancy and then (thankfully) a new job have rather taken precedent. As always there’ s something to be done, but it’s a lovely afternoon and nothing pressing, so I’m allowing myself the pleasure to write.

The hot (note: not warm – but hot!) weather has drawn me out of doors. The sofa renovation not quite yet complete, stands abandoned in the dining room while I turn my attention to the garden. Only a few months ago I was whining to my Husband about how awful I thought our little back garden was. Its only colour was the fading Camellia flowers, long wet grass and brown bare beds, but now the summer plants are in full glory and with the addition of a few annuals, I must concede that it’s looking quite lovely.

The gardens have been evolving slowly over the last couple of years. Mainly due to the fact that if we’ve had any dry weather, we’ve had to utilise it to carry out house or garden furniture maintenance. Of course, the purse strings are another factor. Whilst watching garden makeover programmes on the television, full of excitement and anticipation to practice the same, it soon turns to a little envy of the fact that those program makers spend a small fortune on their planting, whereas our budget is a little more restrained!

I try and pick up bargains like supermarket buys or post flowering shrubs and trees that are selling a little cheaper.

I’ve been trying to remember to take photographs, so that during the winter months I will remember where my perennials are and plan my summer planting around them, whilst there’s still plenty of summer bedding plants in the gardening stores. Unfortunately, this year, I waited until it was in full spread before plugging the gaps, but there wasn’t a lot to choose from, so the colouring is a little hap-hazzard!

I came home one day last week thrilled that I’d managed to pick up some bargain spring flowering shrubs to give the garden some early colour next year, only to realise that having already filled the spaces with some odd coloured verbena, I actually had nowhere to plant them!

Maybe I’ll go back to finishing the sofa….


April 24th – Spanish Cream

1 Cup = 1/2 US Pint = 0.42 UK pints 8.4 fl.oz = 237ml
1 Quart = 2 US Pints = 1.66 UK Pints = 33.2 fl.oz = 947ml
1 US tsp = 0.83 UK tsp
1 US tblsp = 0.83 UK tblsp
1 US Ib = 1.2 UK lb = 19.2 oz = 454g

1/3 of a box of gelatine
1/3 cup cold water
4 eggs, separated
1 pint milk
1/2 cup white sugar
3/4 cup boiling water
You will also need a double saucepan to boil the milk, called a farina boiler (or equivalent). More information on the original items can be found at

Place the gelatine in the cold water to soak.

Boil the milk in a double pan and add the egg yolks, beaten with the sugar until light.

Add the egg mixture to the milk, stirring continuously, and allow to cool.

Beat the egg whites to a stiff froth.

Add the hot water to the gelatine, stir to dissolve and strain. Add the egg whites.

Mix everything together and stir. Turn into a wetted mould.

When set, this should have settled into three layers.