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 57: Gifts from Grandma

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Tilly woke up to a bag full of beautiful gifts from Grandma and Grandad’s holiday!

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…After a manic morning of gift opening, Tilly decided to put Poppy to bed…

+ Had another fab day with my munchkin – she is growing so fast I’m so lucky to be able to spend so much time with her
+ We read her new book (thank you grandma!), in which Tilly identified all of the numbers up to 5, and can now…

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Tagged: 100HappyDaysauntiegiftsgrandmaladies who lunchmummy diariesnanny

Day 56: Back to Work

+ It’s been a beautiful warm and sunny September day
+ I had a very busy day at work and hsd the most awesome lunch break in my usual spot, where I heard Felicity Kendall chatting to someone in the Marlowe through an open window! I was hoping she’d come out, but I’ll settle for an eavesdrop ;-)
+ After 8 hours of serving coffee and being on my feet, I walked almost 4 miles home. Feeling epic!
+…

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Tagged: 100HappyDaysback to workFelicity KendallHappy Daze...hugswalking

Day 55: Ladies at Lunch

+ Had a lovely lunch with the ladies and spent a nice afternoon with the munchkin…

Day 55: Ladies at Lunch

+ Had a lovely lunch with the ladies and spent a nice afternoon with the munchkin…

Tagged: 100HappyDaysHappy Daze...ladies who lunchmummy diaries

Day 54: My Sister’s Graduation!

Day 54: My Sister’s Graduation!

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I was honoured to be able to see my little sister graduate today! So proud of her and her great achievement

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My mum booked a restaurant called The Royal Oak at Stokenchurch, where we feasted on soms very tasty traditional Nepalese cuisine and had a giggle with the lovely owner!

+ Not only did my sister graduate, but she shared a stage with Olympic Gold Medallist Rower Katherine Grainger, who…

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Tagged: 100HappyDaysclass of 2014graduationnepalese foodolympic gold medalistswine

Day 53: Tilly & Mummy’s Day

Day 53: Tilly & Mummy’s Day

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A very happy morning with the munchkin

+ I survived my 5 day stint at work – day off today!
+ Had a lovely morning with the munchkin, eating breakfast together, reading books and practising writing
+ Had a visit from my sister to chat about plans for tomorrow when she graduates!
+ Soup
+ Tilly had her first omelette today – I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to do one, I think I try to…

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Tagged: 100HappyDaysfamily visitsHappy Daze...mummy diariesomelettes

Day 52: Paul’s at Home Holiday - Part 5

Day 52: Paul’s at Home Holiday – Part 5

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Daddy and Tilly’s last at home holiday selfie, with Tilly’s first proper bacon sarnie! (Which disappeared, by the way..!)

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Tilly’s “googly eyes” face…

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Tilly finally got the blue cake she was looking for and it was specially decorated just for her by the lady at the garden centre!

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Cheeeeeeese face!

+ Despite being advised not to go in to work, I did, and I was really glad I went in; everyone…

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Tagged: 100HappyDaysdaddy diariesHappy Daze...last day of holidaysparktime for schoolwillingwork

Day 51: Paul’s at Home Holiday - Part 4

Day 51: Paul’s at Home Holiday – Part 4

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Today Tilly learned how to use a knife and fork whilst she was cooking with daddy!

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Running around the garden with a chef’s hat on :-)

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Playing bubbles with daddy!

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+ Tilly and Paul had another lovely day today, playing bubbles in the garden, cooking in the kitchen, and generally causing mischief!
+ I had an interesting day at work and still enjoy my job!
+ Tilly was very pleased to have a picnic…

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Tagged: 100HappyDaysbubblesdaddy diariesHappy Daze...Nanny visits

Day 50: Paul’s at Home Holiday - Part 3

Day 50: Paul’s at Home Holiday – Part 3

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My sister sent me this awesome picture from her first flight now she has her wings with BA!

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Tilly and Paul went to see grandad - Tilly had fun on the lawnmower!

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Tilly visited Paul’s workplace today - he’s supposed to be on holiday so she took over….

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Enjoying banana bread at Great Grandad’s!

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Got home to find Paul had made me a BEAUTIFUL tofu pad Thai with asparagus and beansprouts - AMAZEBALLS!

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Tagged: 100HappyDaysgood deedsgrandad and caketofu pad thai

Day 49: Paul’s at Home Holiday - Part 2

Day 49: Paul’s at Home Holiday – Part 2

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Cushion Forts!

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Lunch at the garden centre with Daddy - Tilly’s chicken face!

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I *think* that’s a happy cake face…

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More tomatoes from the garden!

+ Paul and Tilly had a busy day which was lovely and really made me smile when we caught up after I finished work!
+ I’m still enjoying work and grateful that I have such a lovely team of colleagues around me
+ I had my 4 week appraisal and was told I’m…

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Tagged: 100HappyDayscakedaddy diariesgardeninghousework

Day 48: Paul’s at Home Holiday - Part 1

Day 48: Paul’s at Home Holiday – Part 1

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Tilly, Paul and Great Nanny Doff’s selfie!

+ Paul’s on holiday for 5 days!
+ The first thing Tilly did this morning was make “gravy cake” – sounds good to us..!
+ September sunshine
+ Paul and Tilly went to see his 96 year old nan who is doing very well – they even got a selfie! So glad Tilly gets to meet her great grandparents
+ A visit to the pet shop where they saw rabbits and tigers…

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Tagged: 100HappyDaysfoodNanny visitsseptember sunshinework

Day 47: Terrible Twos & “Tony”…

+ I survived the day! :-) + Had great fun crafting and reading with Tilly today…

Day 47: Terrible Twos & “Tony”…

+ I survived the day! :-) + Had great fun crafting and reading with Tilly today…

Tagged: 100HappyDaysimaginary friendspasta picturesterrible twosTony

Day 46: Seeing Positives During The Terrible Twos…

+ It’s been a difficult day today as the weather was unpredictable and indoor play was the day’s agenda, but we still had some lovely moments, and those are the ones I will try to keep in my mind!

Day 46: Seeing Positives During The Terrible Twos…

+ It’s been a difficult day today as the weather was unpredictable and indoor play was the day’s agenda, but we still had some lovely moments, and those are the ones I will try to keep in my mind!

Tagged: 100HappyDaysconversationssentencesslapstick humourterrible twostoddler independence

Day 45: A Visit from Auntie Jo

+ My sister came over early this morning – we don’t get to see each other much even though she’s finished uni, as she’s currently training with BA
+ Tilly was very pleased to see auntie Jo and we had a lovely day catching up, with a tasty lunch of fresh pasta and lots of cups of tea!
+ Made plans to do more things together in the future – including out for Mexican at a lovely local place, and a…

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Tagged: 100HappyDazeauntiescoffee & catch upsfresh pastasistersTony

Day 44: Daddy & Tilly Day

+ I had to work today but walking through town early on a Sunday morning is lovely – so quiet, and you notice things you normally wouldn’t
+ There was a beautiful autumnal breeze rolling in and the smells have changed from lush green to that scrummy autumn smell
+ Tilly and Paul came in to see me in the morning! I was really pleased :-) I made Tilly a chocolate milkshake and she munched on a cake…

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Tagged: 100HappyDaysautumn breezecoffee and cakeseptember airshoppingwork

Day 43: Nanny Day

+ I still don’t dread going in to work!
+ Tilly spent the day shopping with her nan and great nan, having roundabout rides and feeding Khan treats, which always makes her day!
+ Paul and I both had nice days at work
+ The sun was shining!
+ I sat in my favourite spot at lunchtime, by the river and the theatre, gathering my thoughts and looking forward to snuggly winter evenings
+ Realised my…

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Tagged: 100HappyDaysHappy Daze...nanniesshoppingsunshinework