Thursday, 25 October 2012

Where I will be tomorrow…

 

fortnum and mason afternoon tea

Tomorrow, I will be climbing aboard a National Express coach, & getting off  in London!

Why?

Well the above picture will give you a clue, & here’s another one..

fortnum and mason

Fortnum & Masons. Provider of fine foods to Royalty, will be the setting for afternoon tea, for myself & this lady..

ann margaret

The lovely Ann Margaret, of the  blog

Ann Margaret’s visions

whom I met a while ago in Blog Land. You know that wonderful place where friendships form?

When she told me that her husband and she were going to be staying in London I was so excited! I just had to think of somewhere perfect for our meeting!

After much thought…where to take someone with a love of all things tea?

You never know, we may even bump into some Royals doing their shopping…

queen

I’ll be sure to tell you all about it

SmileX

Saturday, 20 October 2012

My very own Kelly Moore bag.

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I’ve been blogging for a good couple of years now, and for at least one of those years I have been coveting other bloggers camera bags.

Having treated myself to a big girls camera last year, I knew I needed to keep it safe in a proper bag made for the purpose.

So I searched the internet. To say I was disappointed would be the blogging understatement of the decade. Camera bags are in general hideous. Camera bags in the UK are the most hideous of all.  They are ugly, impractical and scream ‘I’m carrying around a big expensive camera come and steal it.’ The few handmade ones which I did quite like were not waterproof. I ended up buying a cheap one because they were all so awful I thought I didn’t want to spend any more than 10.00 on any I had seen in the UK.

Then I found Kelly. Obviously I found her through blogs, & once I had been on the website and watched every single video (what a fabulous idea that is!) I decided that one of these bags was definitely what I needed. If you’ve never watched any of these videos I suggest you do. Kelly describes each style and shows you how you can fit your camera/lens/laptop/phone/change of clothes (yes you read that right) into each style bag.

I thought about having one shipped over from the US, but I didn’t want to get caught for the duty fee which can be hefty, & these bags are on the pricey side, so was a tad reluctant to buy un seen as it were.

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Knowing that we would be in NYC, I emailed the Kelly people and asked where I could buy one. Then there was no stopping me.

So what do I think of my Kelly Moore? Was it worth the 7 1/2 hour flight? Would they just be a fashion statement and really bad quality?

I looked at several styles in the shop, but settled on the Classic, because the size was right. Personally any bigger than this one would be far to big for my needs, although you know I’m going to have more accessories one day so watch this space…any smaller than the classic I wouldn’t be able to use as a handbag as well as a camera bag, which is one of the biggest plus of these bags.

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I used this bag as my only bag for walking around NYC. It was perfect for keeping my camera safe but I was also able to keep all my daily necessities in it. BIG bonus is how easy it is to get your camera out of the bag when you want to take a picture. The bag closes with magnetic snaps, which are really strong and yet really easy to open with one hand to grab your camera.

This style bag comes with a shoulder strap, so i wear it across the body, & it sits nicely at my bum. I love that there are lots of pockets on the outside for various items. Phone, purse, pen, lipstick, Filofax. Of course the inside Velcro compartments can be shifted about to fit your various camera parts.

I chose the colour Teal. It was between that and Grey, but I decided Grey was a bit safe. I did look at the purple one, but in the flesh it was pretty bright, & shiny.

So I’m quite pleased with my purchase. I can’t flippin wait to get out there and show the UK how a camera bag should look. (can anyone say…gap in the market!?)

GO AND SEE THEM FOR YOURSELF

What kind of camera bag do you have?

Please note…I have not received any payment for this review, of course if Kelly would like to send me over any other of her bags I would be more than willing to review them, for free. Of course I would need to keep the bag….s….. in order to test drive them properly..

SmileX

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Book review no. 22 Biting the Bullet, Married to the SAS

 

biting the bullet married to the SAS

When Jenny Simpson married she joined a unique band of women – the SAS wives – and entered a world of secrecy and danger that few outside it could begin to imagine.

'Biting the Bullet' reveals the rivalry and betrayal behind the bravado and camaraderie, the intense pressure that so often leads to domestic violence and marital break-up, a life that is at once exhausting and exhilarating.

It is also the story of a passionate and fiery relationship that survived against incredible odds, an enduring love affair that kept two people emotionally inseparable from the small-town world of Hereford to the jungles of Belize, the bleak mountain-tops of the Falklands and the deserts of Iraq.

This book review has been a long time coming, I finally got my hands on it after Mr D bought it from a second hand stall for 1.00.

Mr D read and enjoyed it, & it was then passed on to a friend of his. I was next in line.

First published in 1996, this is the story of the SAS from the other side of the marital fence.

The most famous book in recent times about the SAS I think was Bravo Two Zero, in 1993 where Andy Mc Nab tells the story of the SAS during the first gulf war in 1991. I think everyone I know has read that book, and there followed several other books by other members of the SAS telling their stories.

I had never heard of a book from the wives point of view until Mr D came home with this.

I found this book really interesting. It tell the story of a marriage surviving Jenny’s husbands deployment to The Falklands, Northern Ireland & Iraq. How they survived (but almost didn’t) the months of separation. The fear and uncertainty of whether her husband would come back, & if he did, whether he would be the same husband that had gone out there. It also tells tales of different missions, what life was like when you were given an extendable mirror to look underneath your car for bombs, & how Jenny took up an offer to go to The Killing House to see first hand what her husband was learning.

If you are at all interested in Military life, or actually, even if you are not, I would tell you to read this book as it really does make you realise what these people go through.

Being an Army Brat myself, this reminded me of sending those blue letters to my dad when he was away, and the pictures and pictures (& more pictures) of penguins that came home after he was in The Falklands. Seriously. You’ve seen one penguin, you’ve seen them all. That still makes us laugh.

This book is going to my sis, as I think she will like it. Get her away from those Elizabeth Chadwick novels for a while…

SmileX

Monday, 15 October 2012

It’s beginning to feel like Christmas..

 

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I’ve taken delivery of some rather lovely rustic country style Christmas goodies and It wouldn't;t be an exaggeration if I admitted to being slightly hyperventilating whilst trying to get the big boxes open.

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This heart is my absolute favourite, and I’ve kept one to sit on my mantle piece. The little LED lights are battery operated which are included in the price.

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These hanging hearts are rather sweet too, & there are leaping reindeer's and falling stars if you prefer..

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And then there's the range of cute signs for Santa

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These cranberry clay hearts are sure to bring a bit of Christmas to your home..mmmmm..

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So you don’t need to ask what I got up to all day Sunday. Listed all these on EBay whilst sat in front of the wood burner. It was tough going I tell ya, but you know you gotta do what you gotta do..

There are also lots of Vintage treasures over there, and I have just started to think about re stocking my Etsy shelves.

So grab a cup of tea, sit back in your favourite chair, and have a browse. (of course there will be special treatment for my bloggy friends.)

Lovely Treasure for You to Buy

Hope your weekend was just as productive!

SmileX

Thursday, 11 October 2012

It just couldn’t get any cosier at my house

 

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If you pay any attention to my ramblings you will know that I m a fire place fan.

I visit friends houses that are fire place less and wonder what they look at? Oh yes….the flipping great TV….

Our house has two working fire places, in the lounge & dining room. Also a teeny tiny one in our bedroom which is not used.

The two fire places were open, and this year Mr D & I decided to put a wood burning stove in the dining room.

We bought the stove at the beginning of the summer, because we had the change to buy it at a very special price, and there it has sat in the middle of the room…being used as a dumping ground for all manner of things…

fireplace

One day a few weeks ago this is what greeted me when I arrived home. Mr D had decided it was time.

empty fire place

The beautiful cast Victorian fire surround which had sat there for goodness knows how long was carefully taken out and the hole made bigger to accommodate the stove.

There was some dust.

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Mr D hopped up onto the roof of the house and fitted the flu liner thingummy which was needed, stuck a few tiles on the floor and there we have it. (I make it sound so easy ha!)

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We love our new fire place. The old fire place didn’t heat the room so well but this has heated the whole house much more than we could ever imagined.

I can’t stop putting wood on.

Our dining room is to become a functional room, and not just a passage way to the kitchen/back garden.

We even sat at the table and had tea last night.

Proper grown up style.

SmileX

Monday, 8 October 2012

How we were…in 2007

 

Bungay2007 The happy Family

I’ve been trawling though my computer files and putting the albums onto disk…it’s a slow job but worth the bother…so I thought I would share some favourites.

These pictures were in 2007 on my Birthday weekend. I would have been turning 35 here I think, if I’ve counted correctly.

Bungay2007 5

We had gone on a camping trip to a lovely site at Bungay. As you can see we took the jeep and the weather was perfect.

Baxter (our black lab) and Fern (friends Spaniel) had a great time.

Bungay2007 Baxter&Fern

They are both gone now to play sticks in doggie heaven. I still miss my little black waggy tail.

Bungay2007 Birthday Girl

I still have all the clothes I was wearing here, and still love them. The skirt and top were from White Stuff. Which, yes is expensive, but when you think I wear them still 5 yrs later it puts a new light on things. The flip flops I’m wearing were from New Look and surprisingly, I was still wearing them this past summer.

The blanket lives in the back of the car and is now losing the waterproof ness of the backing. Time to treat myself to a new one maybe.

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Our tent was the one with the balloons on, of course Smile

Hope you liked looking into my past! haha!!

SmileX

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Reminiscing….

 

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Seems like forever and a day ago we were living it up in NYC, have been looking at the pictures often & wanted to share some more.

This was taken in our new favourite coffee shop.

Just a little place down a street in Greenwich Village where they do cooking lessons in a funky kitchen, so decided to get a few chairs out for wandering tourists to have a rest.

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Smiley Happy People.

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This was Mr D’s new favourite grocery store right down the street from our hotel. Gourmet groceries of every variety. You could get lost in there.

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Rachel & I had a day shopping while the boys went to see the space shuttle. We went up 6 floors of menswear until we realised the women’s department isn’t on the next floor, it’s in a whole different section of the building. Macys  is indeed as big as they threaten. It was having a major face lift while we were there so slightly confusing, but still good. We sat in Starbucks which is conveniently placed up a level for people watching over a whole floor!

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The Ground Zero memorial is amazing. You go to the little shop on a side street to get your ticket. (Suggested donation 10 dollars each) Which has an allotted time for you to go. We wasted an hour in the extremely busy Irish pub near the memorial until our time. (FYI I am not usually a fan of things like ‘Irish pubs’ when you’re on holiday, (unless you are in Ireland of course) it’s a bit like going to Spain and finding the nearest greasy cafe to have an English Fry up. I mean. Stay at home.

The memorials themselves are finished but they are building a museum there which is yet to be completed. It’s very peaceful although there are a lot of people doing the same as you.

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I think I read the water falls 30 ft down?

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My favouritist (new word) place in NYC was the Greenwich Village/West Village area. On the last day we walked from our hotel in Chelsea, to East Village, and along Bleecker Street (fab) which takes you to the West Village.

For those not in the know the West Village area is where you will find the famous Magnolia Bakery from Sex & The City, and of course Carrie’s apartment.

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This area is beautiful. Along Bleecker street in this West Village area are some lovely individual (aka expensive) shops which even if you don’t want to spend dollars in, are well worth a look.

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Carrie sadly wasn’t in to make us tea, but we did put some change in the box at the bottom of the steps for the doggies. And we were quiet, like the sign asked us stalkers to be.

We spent all our money in NYC. But then if you come home with money you can’t have enjoyed yourself, that’s what I always thought..I will be doing a post about the goodies soon.

Hope you’ve all been well, I’ve not been to visit a lot of you this week. I will get on that soon. Be ready.

SmileX