Welcome to The Good Life!


Hello and welcome to our little part of cyberspace! I'm Viki and live with my husband, best friend and personal chef Paul, and our beautiful daughter Matilda at the top of the Elham Valley! Our friends refer to us as Tom and Barbara, because we're basically trying to live The Good Life! We run a business called Valley Crafts UK selling our own handmade and handpainted thingymabobs on Etsy - www.valleycraftsuk.com

We are owned by numerous cats and have a random number of chickens - including some of our neighbour's birds which tend to pop by from time to time... Paul can mostly be found in his workshop creating wondrous things out of wood, like chicken arks and cat houses, or in the kitchen making delicious fudge and chutneys. I spend most of my time in the office/craft room where I knit, crochet, attempt to learn to sew, and paint traditional canalia (that's "roses and castles" style painting).

We grow our own veg, brew our own beers and wines, make chutney, eat free-range eggs from our own chickens and are a hybrid of country bumpkins and hippies with some boho chic thrown in for good measure..!

Bored? Lonely? Need Advice? Ask us Here!

Day 31: The Chicken Teapot

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Paul’s mum picked up this beaut from a charity shop for me - it’s huge! I am in love with this beast

+ Still enjoying work. This is a new experience for me…! (Not ‘working’; working for someone else and enjoying it…!)
+ Met some lovely people, had a productive day, missed the rain and got some free coffee!
+ Polite children and happy parents
+ Talked to Tilly on the phone on her way home – she…

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Tagged: 100HappyDayschicken teapotfree coffee!rainwork

Day 30: Family Time

+ I reached day 30! (Even though I keep.posting a day late!)
+ Not much to report today except a lovely day with Paul and Tilly, gluing, playing cars and enjoying a LOVELY bubble bath whilst Tilly and Paul popped out!

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Day 29: Yellow Cucumbers

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Yellow cucumbers from the garden!

+ Still don’t dread going in to work ;-)
+ It’s sunny!
+ Tilly got a beautiful card off grandad to congratulate her on her new treehouse home :-D She was very pleased about this because it had a frog on the front!
+ Paul and Tilly picked me up, which is always nice – lovely conversation on the way home about what we’ve all been up to
+ Pizza for dinner! Last time…

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Tagged: 100HappyDaysfamilysunshineworkingyellow cucumbers

Day 28: Mummy & Tilly PJ Day

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Someone was very happy about our carpet picnic breakfast…!

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Tilly was really content painting whilst I got some cooking done

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Time for some Play Doh!

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And we made tunnels - why wouldn’t that make anyone happy?!

+ We decided to have a PJ day today, and it began with carpet picnic breakfast and Babe!
+ I got some really nice meals made (bolognaise and chunky chilli beef) so we have some meals made up…

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Tagged: 100HappyDaysbolognaisecarschilli beef stewcookingfamilymum daughter daypaintingtunnels

Day 27

+ I still don’t dread going in to work, and met some really interesting people again today
+ I got to read my book on the bus home whikst drinking a really good cup of coffee :-)
+ The cats were suspiciously happy to see me when I arrived home…
+ I found some time to get some more writing done – it’s my new thing – and back to crochet in the evening
+ Planning christmas gifts! I know it’s early…

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Tagged: 100HappyDayspeople-watchingreadingworkwriting

Day 26: A Day with the Family

+ Today was really relaxing, and that makes a very happy change in this house!
+ I DON’T HAVE TO STUDY!
+ Spent the morning with Paul and Tilly, drawing and playing shops (like you do…)
+ Tilly and Paul popped to Lidl to get supplies whilst I pottered about at home – I got to potter about!
+ When they got back, Tilly had lunch in her treehouse whilst Paul mowed the lawn and I did some writing
+ I…

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Tagged: 100HappyDaysdrawingfamily timegardeningshoppingwriting

Day 25: The Secret Garden

+ I’ve found a really beautiful little garden to sit in before work, where I can observe the world getting ready for the day ahead, but feel really peaceful
+ I don’t dread going into work
+ I saw one of my old teachers who didn’t recognise me at all – this made me very happy!
+ It was sunny when I walked home and I had some time to read my book on the bus and get some writing done when I got home

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Tagged: 100HappyDayscoffeefamilysecret gardensex and the cityworkwriting

Day 24: Our Wedding Anniversary

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After 11 years of being together, we’re allowed to use affectionate in-jokes on our anniversary cards…!

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Tilly & I watched the rain and listened to the thunder - it was such a peaceful moment

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I love watching Tilly playing on her own - she’s got such an imagination!

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Flowers for our 4th :-)

+ Paul and I have been together for 11 years, and married for 4 of those, today. It hasn’t always been easy…

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Tagged: 100HappyDaysdreams for the futureHappy Daze...happy familiesholidaysmorning sunshinewedding anniversary

Day 23: Pancake Sunday

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As it was bad weather, we decided to cancel cake sunday and enjoy a pancake brunch instead!

+ PANCAKES!
+ We had a lovely family day, making cards with Tilly, and Paul had fun making wiggly worms with Play doh!
+ We got a lovely surprise visit from some friends who got us some yummy goodies for our wedding anniversary!
+ Heard from our friend in hospital who is staying so positive and doing really…

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Tagged: 100HappyDayscardsHappy Daze...pancakesplay dohrainy day funsurprises

Day 22: River Tours, Shopping and Wine!

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Arrived early for work so grabbed a coffee and sat by the river in the sunshine, listening to the river tours

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Tilly gad a lovely day out shopping with Nanny and Auntie Jo whilst we were at work!

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Looking groovy!

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…And a little ride on Rolley!

+ Had a lovely day at work whilst Tilly had some auntie and nanny time!
+ Sat by the river people-watching and sipping hot coffee, putting me in a fantastic…

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Tagged: 100HappyDayscoffeeriver toursshoppingsunshinewinework

Day 21

+ I had a really productive day at work and learned lots. I’m really proud of myself for learning so much in a short amount of time as I was really worried when I first started!
+ LOVE people watching – making coffee for people is more rewarding than it sounds! We get such a diverse group of people in – met a lovely gay couple who shared some carrot cake. They oozed more romance, love and…

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Tagged: 100HappyDayscoffee shopcomfortable silencesfamily lifeHappy Daze...work

Day 20: Mummy & Tilly Day

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Tilly made me chuckle when she started fixing her car (by banging it with a spanner…), and telling me that Daddy broke it..!

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Waiting for Paul to come home and Tilly got herself comfortable and started reading by herself

+ I had a lovely day with Tilly which included carpet picnics, lots of garden time, picking tomatoes, painting, drawing and puzzles! Oh and playing shops with her new shopping…

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Tagged: 100HappyDaysbook releasecarpet picnicsDraconicagarden timenew homespainting and drawingpuzzles

Day 19: A Family Day & a Show of Strength

+ I was woken up by a very sweet munchkin and my fab husband who had already made me a cup of coffee in my favourite mug!
+ We spent the morning together as a family – those moments are always precious
+ We visited a friend in hospital today whilst Tilly played with Lego at Grandma & Grandad’s. Our friend’s strength is so inspiring and he was in good spirits when we arrived. It was lovely to see…

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Tagged: 100HappyDayscatscoffeefamilyfriendsHappy Daze...Lego

Day 18: I Don’t Have to Study!

Day 18: I Don’t Have to Study!

+ Today was hard work as Tilly is currently experiencing ‘the terrible twos’. Despite that, I’ve realised being able to be here to help her deal with growing up and gaining her independence is much more rewarding than hours stuck in my office studying
+ Tilly fell asleep whilst I read her Aesop’s Fables – very cute!
+ That first mocha after Tilly went to bed, and that precious few moments of calm…

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Tagged: 100HappyDaysHappy Daze...no more study daysshopsterrible twostoddler time

Day 17: Day at the Museum

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This message from my sister meant a lot to me today

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This post was on Facebook and struck a chord

+ My first day at work was brilliant; the people are lovely, the place is amazing and I learnt so much interesting stuff – and how to make THE perfect coffee!
+ I had so many lovely messages sending thoughts and wishing me luck today – I really felt the positivity from everyone helped my day go…

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Tagged: 100HappyDaysadventuresfamilyfirst day at workfriendsHappy Daze...little victoriesnew beginnings