Monday, 5 September 2016

At the grand old age of 44

August came and went. I turned 44 while I was absent from here. The reason for being absent, if I need one, is that life has been anything but.
August has been full on working, renovating, getting older, you know those life things that happen.
Mr took me to London for two days, where as you can see from this photo, I had a little lie down over the top of Tower Bridge. If you haven't been to this I would recommend buying a ticket and having a lie down yourself. Weird feeling.

We walked the river, up one way, down the other, stopping at nice places of the odd G&T. Well it was my Birthday.
We saw the show of one of my very favourite movies, Breakfast at Tiffany's which I really enjoyed even if the grumpy old women behind me did nothing but moan in the interval about it being not as good as the movie (the show is actually based on the book) and not being able to hear. (I thought there was those new wonderful inventions called HEARING AIDS. (Yes I shouted that in my head)

Other goings on in August have been.. I've read several books, been away in  the home on wheels for a weekend, dog sat for a week, looked after pigs chickens and generally felt like Felicity Kendal for 3 days, and then there has been work. A lot of that.
September looks much more civilised, which less work and more adventures which sounds pretty great to me, got to get the balance right after all.
I'm upping the gym visits this week, as the end of September will see me up those beautiful hills in The Lake District and I don't want to be holding everyone up!!
I imagine Blog land has been merrily hopping along without me, but I am back so I'll be seeing for myself how life is for everyone else.



Tuesday, 19 July 2016

KonMari The Life changing magic of tidying up, My journey

I can't even remember where I first heard about the book, I just remember reading it and thinking that it may well just change my life. Not to mislead you, I like stuff. I've never been a minimalist show home kind of girl, but having now lived in the same house for 22 years the stuff was kind of getting out of hand.
The book has some really good points, and then there's the stuff you just know would never happen. I do not walk in my front door and greet my house, I don't take my shoes off straight away, I only ever empty my handbag if I'm changing to another one (in the book you will learn that Marie empties her hand bag completely every night, putting everything away in it's place, and then re fills it the next day)
But I did get a lot out of the book. I have managed to condense my clothes down a lot, and my husband loves his t shirts folded in such a way that he can see them all at a glance.
So far I have tackled the under stairs cupboard, where I managed to persuade Mr D to get rid of a very heavy bin bag of jackets and boots that he previously clung on to but never wore. My wardrobe and Mr D's wardrobe has been organised and folded the KonMarie way, which released another bin bag for charity and one for rag, so last night I took a deep breath and KM'd my dressing table and top drawer.
Lately I've been a bit obsessed with the Boots App for collecting Advantage card points, my aim is to save them all to buy Christmas presents with, but as you can see it means I had a bit of a collection of products. After clearing out I have now given a soap bag full of products to my Niece and I have another small bag to give to a friend tomorrow. The products I've gotten rid of are either things I wouldn't use and have gotten free with other offers, or things I've tried and don't like/don't suit me. And actually mini mascaras are all well and good but I don't need 7 of them.
Even after giving these things away I shouldn't have to buy anymore for at least a couple of months, maybe even more.
I feel lighter, I have more space around me, I know where everything is, and what I have, I don't feel like I need to go and buy stuff don't need.
Have you read the book? I've passed mine on to a friend but I'm thinking of buying the second one 'Sparks Joy', who knows maybe one day I will be living in a show home (I hope not)


Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Death at the Lily Cafe Book Review

Back to the book reviews which I have missed even if you haven't, so here you go.
I received an ARC of this to my Kindle from the publisher and Netgalley in return for an honest review, so here goes.
I'm not going to lie, on searching on Netgalley for titles to request, I totally judged this book by it's cover. Because you all know I love a nice little tea room, or a book about a tea room, and if there's a picture of a tea room on the cover? Well you got me.
I didn't realise at the time that this is the second title in the Rosalie Hart series, but not having read the first one did not affect my enjoyment.
Rosalie is living her dream. And mine. Opening up a cosy café to serve the towns residents organic fare.
Then comes the mystery, when Doris Bird, Rosalie's friend, asks for help to help clear her little sister Lori of the first degree murder charge of her own husband.
I enjoyed this story, Rosalie and her friend her friend Glenn are likable as are most of the characters with the exception of  the sheriff.
Series based around the residents of small towns always appeal to me, getting to know the people, the friendships and what makes people tick, I always feel like I'm right there with them, having never read one with a mystery thrown in I did really enjoy snuggling under a blanket on a chilly summers evening reading this.
 Would I read a third novel? Yes I think I would.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Books are a Uniquely Portable Magic

So said Stephen King.
Except when you read as much as me and need to take them on many adventures.
I am never without a book. There is always one in my hand bag where ever I go. I read in between jobs, on tea and lunch breaks, on trains. I fact I would say the only place I never read is in on the toilet. That is definitely a man thing.
As you may know I am in the midst of a de-clutter and with this came the rather heart wrenching task of sorting out my book collection. I may be in the minority for book lovers here but I can tell you that although I was in the habit of keeping my books, I have never ever ever read a book more than once. No matter how much I love it I just don't really get the whole re reading thing.
So I had a cull.
I won't lie to you though, there is still a pile of TBR's on my desk. (And maybe one in the bedroom...aherm...)
Lets be honest, they take up a lot of space, these books, and so after a year of humming and harring and trying to decide if I would go to book lovers hell in a hand basket, I did it.
I bought a Kindle Paper white.
I've read several books on my kindle now and am in a position to tell you that I'm happy.
The advantages are, the paper white is nice and thin, taking up less space in my bag. I can take lots of books with me now on adventures and have more room for other Gin.
The paper white is back lit so I can read it in the dark without a light (great for nights around the camp fire) and also this is great for sunny days when you can't normally see the screen.
I don't think I will stop reading actual books, but this is definitely a good thing for the place I'm in right now.
Do you have a Kindle? If not can we still be friends?

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Life Lately

It just whizzes by when I'm not paying attention. Time that is. Minutes, hours, days, and then it's been weeks and months and I've neglected things I love. Like this place.
A lot is going on right now in my little corner of the world.
Work is exceptionally busy, and so is playtime. I have to work hard in order to be able to do the things I love, because lets be honest right here, some of the things I love involve cold hard cash.
Some life updates for you.
I got a Kindle Paper white. I dithered a lot, and then jumped right on over to the dark side. I do love it, I'm sorry. (Not sorry)
I just read Me Before You. I blubbed. A lot.
I am right in the middle of a bathroom renovation which is both a dream and a nightmare all rolled into one. I am trying not to stress about the mess, dust and general upheaval and I am being grateful we have a second downstairs toilet, even though it is a pain in the ass having to go all that way for a pee in the middle of the night. I am also making the most of my gym membership, with the lovely clean changing rooms and showers.
I went to Savoy London for afternoon tea for a friends birthday and the men came too. They didn't love it as much as us ladies of course but they came and took part which I was pretty surprised at.
My clearing out and de-cluttering is still on going. Now that the bathroom has been emptied I have been ruthless.
I found a bottle of red wine in the back of my wardrobe while emptying it and I'm wondering if this makes me some kind of alcoholic?
I am becoming addicted to collecting points. Boots is becoming a favourite shop now I have the app on my phone for extra point collecting. I am saving them for buying Christmas presents. Because at the time of writing there only 192 sleeps until Christmas. Just sayin.
I am beginning to hate cats. There are 13 houses on my street and about four hundred and ninety seven cats. And they all use my flower pots and the passage way at the side of my house as their toilet.
I am still loving the gym, and not just because of the clean showers, I am getting to grips with those planks.
I need to visit with my virtual friends and catch up on their lives, hopefully I will get that done tomorrow as this evening I have to go back out to do some work, and then I need to sleep.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Decluttering and learning to let go

                     I've never got the whole 'minimalist' vibe. I collect stuff. I like my things around me, pretty things, books, piles of magazines (which have been read but that I think I may want to look at again) I never do.
So I decided at the ripe old age of 43 that I need to declutter my life a bit. Having sorted through my wardrobe and got rid of 2 black bags of items I haven't worn in forever, I have tentatively started on my desk.
I've always been a fan of snail mail, starting when I was young and sending mail to my school friends after my family were 'posted' to a different area. Then came this blog and a whole new group of snail mail friends were made.
I came across a very pretty shoe box (joules I believe) full to the brim with snail mail.
I love snail mail. I love all the pretty stickers and washi tapes, the postcards (I used to do postcrossing) and I just can never bring myself to throw the letters away.
But you know there comes a point when you realise you just can't keep hold of it all. I mean, they become a bit of a fire hazzard after a while.
So I sat and re-read the lot. Each notecard, letter and even some little books people had sent to me. I remembered friends I'd lost contact with, which made me a bit sad, but life moves on.
Then I threw them all in the recycling. I'm not going to lie, it was hard. But I'm a bit relieved that i've done it. I have to be honest and admit to myself that it was the first time I had ever re read those letters, they just sat in that box all closed up for years.
I'm proud of myself that I let go.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Am I Still a Blogger?

I wonder if I still get to say 'I'm a Blogger' if I really haven't been here much in the last couple of months.
It's not like I haven't got anything to blog about, there has been many adventures, gigs, days out and  road trips. Are they real if they aren't documented?
I don't really know why, except that I've been busy, with work, and life, and time has just gone.
Put that next to the fact my computer doesn't seem to want me to blog, it fights me all the time and I'm saving up to replace it (maybe I shouldn't have typed that as now it's sure to rebel big time). My camera is also feeling the strain.
All my gadgets are getting old along with me.
Having this little blog for more years than I can remember this isn't the first time there's been a break in proceedings, and I normally get back on track which hopefully will happen again soon.
Things are looking up, spring is just around the corner which means the adventures in the home on wheels are about to start (better get it out of it's winter home and make it presentable) holidays have been booked for the later part of the year.
Hopefully as well as coming back here very soon I will get to visit my virtual friends too.
'See' you all soon!!

Thursday, 11 February 2016


What's been happening? You may or may not have noticed there hasn't been much blogging lately. This isn't a conscious decision, I have just been busy working, playing, colouring, reading...
The Mr and I have been getting through The Orphan Black series on Netflix. It  makes me want to binge watch, and also is laugh out loud funny in places.
Speaking typing of Netflix. I may or may not have also been binge watching 90210. I stumbled upon the remake and just have an urge to see what they did with it. I was an original Beverly Hills 90210 fan. (FYI I was team Dillon) and no, Mr is not watching that one with me. I'm really needing something else to watch though so any recommendations..
After eventually finishing the book in my last post, I'm onto a much better one. Strictly Between Us by Jane Fallen. I've read quite a few of her books and have enjoyed them all.
The book club happened again, I'll give that a separate post. I wasn't the only one to not like the latest book.
Tilly has been dusted off (my trusty bicycle) and I will be taking her out to go to work this afternoon. I have promised myself I will drive less to my local jobs and either walk or cycle. I'm still at the gym several times a week (probably 5 days) I still have an unhealthy obsession with these gym clothes and I still eat semi healthy although that's something I refuse to obsess about. I just had an oversized fondant fancy brought home by my mum from Bettys to prove it.
It's a lovely bright fresh day today on the east coast, perfect for me and Tilly to get out along the prom, how are things with you?


Tuesday, 26 January 2016

When a book lets you down..

I first became aware of the women of The Chocolate Lovers Club when the book was chosen for my book club read, you can read the post about it here.
We all enjoyed it, which was surprising as there are some readers in the club who would never ever pick up such a chic lit off the shelf. We had a good time discussing the characters of the book, and confessed if we could relate to them.
So when I saw this on the shelf at Christmas I suggested it for the next read, being a Christmas themed book and characters who were familiar to all of us, I thought it would be a nice easy read over the holiday period.
Well I just finished it and I can’t say I enjoyed it. It was a struggle.
The characters, those women we got to know before, they mostly annoyed the hell out of me. How can anyone e so gullible and honestly how can anyone eat SO much chocolate. I like chocolate, I have a sweet tooth, but I actually felt sick from reading about the quantities consumed by these women.
If it hadn’t been a book club read I don’t think I would have finished it. Life is too short to read rubbish books. I feel bad though, like I’m being mean to a friend, (actually I also feel like a friend has let me down if I’ve been looking forward to reading a book and then don’t enjoy it) but I don’t think I will be buying the next instalment. I think me and The Chocolate Lovers Club may be 'on a break'.

Do you finish books if you don’t enjoy them?

Monday, 11 January 2016

The Gym Diaries #4

Time for a  gym progress update?
8 months ago I realised I was in my 40's and was on the slippery slope to gaining weight, feeling unhealthy and generally not being at all happy how things were going with my health.
So I signed over my soul to David Lloyd. It was a decision that took me a couple of months to come to. Because I'm not going to lie, it is expensive.
However in this case I do believe I get what I pay for. The choice and times of classes are plentiful and as I work weird irregular hours this is great for me. I love the fact that whatever time I go to the gym the changing rooms are being cleaned. I love the fact there is a separate area in the changing rooms for parents with children (with special changing/cot facilities), and actually one area that says
 adult only.
The same goes for the café area. Whilst there is one large area for the parents to let the children run around in the soft play or plug in/watch TV (there is even a cinema room) there is another area separate to the main café with sliding doors that say adults only. This sort of thing to me is worth paying for.
So lets get down to the nitty gritty of it.
I try to go to as many classes as I can. It varies. Take this week. Today I did an hour of Body Pump. Tomorrow (Tues) I'm booked in for Body Balance. Wed I'm not booked in to any classes as I am busy but I may go swimming. Thurs I'm booked in for Body Balance and then Friday it's Body Pump again. I'm not planning to go at the weekend. I haven't done CX since my vertigo troubles,(lots of lying down in that) but as I feel that's getting pretty under control I may try that next week.
In the 8 months since I joined I've lost about 9/10 pound give or take. I don't weigh myself regularly as I don't think that's healthy and I don't want to obsess about the numbers. People tell me I look like I've lost a lot more weight than I actually have, and I do feel like that. My body has changed shape, and that is what I wanted. My hips, thighs and arse are smaller. Lets face it, that's a huge plus. My waist is a bit better but I am trying to get to grips with all the core exercises. 8 months ago I could not do 2 crunches without my back lifting off the floor. Now I can do the whole track (but it hurts!) I couldn't hold a plank position for longer than a few seconds without putting my knees on the floor and now I can even do that for the minute.
I feel healthier, and I have no regrets about joining up. I would recommend anyone to try joining a gym when a year ago I was one of those people that couldn't understand why you would pay for someone to shout at you in a room.
Do you go to a gym?

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Last years goals & plans... how did that go..

I was thinking about this year's goals ad plans, which led me to searching out last years post of the subject.
Lets see how that went shall we!
Health. This made me smile, as I was saying I wasn't sure about classes. Well I am now the queen of classes! I joined my local David Lloyd club back in March (probably took me 3 months to realise I needed the motivation of a class!) and I have to say it is the best thing I did and my biggest achievement of 2015. Separate Gym Diary post to come...
Music. Well I love my Ukulele which I have had for a year now. I have been attending the Ukulele group nights at the local coffee house once a month and this is where I admit I am not that great at it. My problem is my lack of practise in between, my brain does not remember the info from one club night to the next and I know that this would be different if I would just get the damn thing out of the bag at home. This year. Btw, did you see the great video we made? (have a look at it here!)
Home. Well, I think I do remember sorting out some stuff at the beginning of the year, but since Christmas the Mr and I have decided a lot more 'sorting' is required. I think it's that time when the decorations come down and I'm feeling like I need some organisation!
Blogging. Probably my biggest failure regarding my plans for my blog last year as I definitely fell off the end of the virtual world there for a few weeks (months?) I think I had bloggers block there for a while, and I have missed it. Hopefully I'm getting back on track.

What were your goals for 2015? How did that go?


Friday, 1 January 2016

A New Year

Well hello 2016.
I'm really excited for where this year will take me, I am excited for up coming adventures, not least the many in the home on wheels, we have some familiar, and not so familiar shows and festivals to visit, where nights turn into mornings, with friends who feel more like family.
I realise I haven't been to visit my little virtual space as much as usual the last month or so, but I have been really busy at work and also have just been enjoying life without blogging about it.
Which is good for a while, but it's definitely not something which will carry on. I do plan on getting back to regular blogging, and catching up with a virtual coffee with you all, I feel like my new years resolution should be to schedule more. It's easy to lose hours on the internet without actually achieving anything. I need a planner. Or a PA.
Christmas was fun, busy, quiet, all at the same time. My only full day/night off was Christmas day when we saw family in the morning and then came home for our usual quiet lunch and evening.
New years was spent dancing with friends in a local pub, and hurrah to having friends with a child old enough to be the taxi home.
Wishing everyone a fabulous year full of all the things you wish for