Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Where did you live when you were young....


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We were out last night with some friends talking about where we lived when we were all young (er) and It made me start looking at some old photos.
The pic above is in Cyprus, where we lived when my dad was stationed out there, I must have been about 6 here, with my sis, our uncle who would come over and stay, and a couple of friends.
I remember the sunshine, the pomegranate tree in the garden (the garden that was like a desert with not a not else apart from that tree in it), and I remember we went swimming. A lot. Either at the beach or this pool. Funny I can’t really remember this pool, but I remember all the beach’s we would go to.
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This is even older, taken when we lived in Malta. (Again we were posted over there) My Uncle with us again. I’m the cute one in white…
The only thing I really remember about Malta is the block of flats we lived in, which had a flat roof and the washing would be hung out up there, and going out on the boats to the Blue Grotto
Found this pic of the grotto on Google…
blue grotto
Can you imagine living near there??
It always amazes me when people tell me they’ve lived in one place all their lives. (Mr D was born in the town we live now) I could never imagine it.
These photos make me smile, and think there were definately some advantages to being an Army Bratt…
SmileX

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Just sittin…..


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Bank Holidays are great for me these days since my change of job a year ago I actually get to enjoy them like many normal people out there.
This weekend I looked after my sisters doggie whilst she went camping.
There were lots of walks, playing with bones, dipping feet in the sea (mine unexpectedly)
And then, there was a lot of sittin, just watchin and waitin….
we won't talk about the beer festival & Mr D's incapability to get out of bed before lunchtime today....
SmileX

Sunday, 26 May 2013

365 Questions, 5 Years, 1,825 Answers

 

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This came through my door the other day, I found it on Amazon & just had to get it.

A 5 year diary with a difference.

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On each page there is a question, and spaces for you to write the answer for 5 years. So when you come to that date this time next year, you can see how your answers differ.

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And because you are writing in the year, you can start the diary on any date.

Examples of questions….. Jot down a news story from today…..When was the last time you felt on top of the world?….What do you want to say when someone asks ’what do you do’?

Simple questions, sometimes fun, sometimes thought provoking, and with just the right amount of space to jot an answer down without having too much space for it to become a task.

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The book is a lovely size, you can carry it with you, & of course looks good on the bed side table, cos we all know that’s important.

I’ve seen other versions of this… One line a day, a one line journal

or, The happiness project, a one sentence journal..

I think I could see another little collection coming on…..

Do you have anything like this?

SmileX

Saturday, 25 May 2013

High Tea by Sandra Harper Book Review No 7!


high tea sandra harper
Magpie's Tearoom is a cozy haven in bustling L.A. -- a place for luncheons, baby showers, or simply hanging out. Its owner, British expat Margaret Moore, relishes tradition...but between a frustrated chef preoccupied with her neglectful producer girlfriend and the tearoom's waitstaff -- a talented but desperate TV star who hasn't acted since Detective Buck Love went off the air, and a twenty-something ingénue who'll do anything to get the part -- her grandmother's scones begin to feel irrelevant.
When the critic from Tea Talk announces she is crossing the pond to visit, Margaret attempts to marshal her staff. But, being of the thespian variety, they all want to be doing something else. Yet despite the high personal drama at hand, the customers still demand their perfectly steeped tea and cucumber sandwiches....
As Margaret battles pilot season and produce-coordinator malfunctions, she begins to lose her will to live...in L.A.
But can her L.A. neighborhood do without her tearoom? In this delightful debut novel with delicious recipes thrown in, Sandra Harper creates a hilarious world where Earl Grey and watercress make a meal, buttering the scones may get you scolded, and nobody does eggs anymore. Warm up the kettle and pull up a seat -- you don't want to miss High Tea!
I found this book on Amazon, you know where they give you recommendations based on your previous search’s. So I must have searched Afternoon tea. Ahem.
I wanted this book so bad and was so disappointed when it was out of stock, but a few weeks later I noticed it was available from another seller for the bargain price of 0.02p Yep you read that right. I don’t usually enter into this because usually the hiked up postage would make the book expensive but on this occasion the postage was under 3.00 making the book an absolute bargain.
This book looks and feels lovely. I have noticed before, when friends from across the pond have sent books to me, or when I have ordered books from the internet which are written by American authors that these books have a different feel to them. The paper is different which makes the book feel kind of floppy in your hand. Ok I know that sounds weird but you’ll notice next time, I bet.
So the book?  Disappointed.  The characters didn’t grab my attention really, their stories didn’t interest me and there wasn’t nearly enough description of the tea room for my liking.  I felt diddled. Almost like complaining to trade descriptions as I felt misled totally by the cover! I think this was originally written as a stage play which would make sense. I could have just read the back of the book (see text above)and would know all there was to know about it, there really was not much else.
I don’t think I’ve ever been looking forward to a book so much (Just look at that cover for goodness sake!) only to be reading it for reading sake in the end.
Sad smileX

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

I saw some Bluebells at last…

 

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Last weekend, adventures in  the home on wheels led us to a bluebell wood not too far away.  We got there just in time to see the last of the blue carpet.

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The weather was great, and apart from the midges that decided I was the tastiest thing on the menu, a good time was had by all…

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Even the smokey fire didn’t put them off that much.

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I feel quite pleased now that I have Bluebell photos on my blog, as lately I have definitely been lacking in that department compared to all the posts I’ve read. So, there, better late than never eh?

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We weren't as lonely as it looks on the above photo, we do actually have friends that come camping with us, honest….

SmileX

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Wilson Place Farm. Our Cottage (for a week)

 

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The Lake District is always a favourite destination for Mr D & I. We’ve been holidaying here for the best part of 18yrs.

This time we stayed in a cottage on a working farm, a first for us.

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By far the best equipped holiday cottage we have ever stayed in.

When we first came to The Lakes, the place we stayed was an old hunting lodge which had no electricity, and the water came in from the stream which ran down the side of the valley. It was great.

Nowadays, we are older, and we appreciate the dish washer and washing machine.

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We never stay anywhere which doesn't have an open fire.

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This field was often full of pregnant ewes, not sure where they are at this photo time….

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We cooked on the Aga every day and I loved it. The bottom oven perfect for slow cooking casserole to be ready after a long day walking.

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Having 2 living areas was quite a luxury too. But we didn’t fall out so this one was rarely used, apart from by Gypsy the springer when she thought she could get away with resting on the sofa..

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This was my favourite spot, where the sun came round at breakfast time.

It was indeed a lovely week spent with friends. I have of course, lots more photos  which I will show you another day.

SmileX

Saturday, 18 May 2013

The Boot Camp by Kate Harrison Book review No. 6

 

the boot camp kate harrison

Very rare for me, I bought this novel brand new. I had seen a video on Kate Harrison on you tube, and was totally sucked in by her life, so when I saw this on the shelf, I just had to buy it!

How far would YOU go to feel good about yourself?It's New Year and three desperate women begin the toughest week of their lives . . .

No booze, no carbs, no men, no excuses.

Steph invents puddings for a living - now the only part of her body she doesn't hate is her wrists. Will she prove to herself - and her ex - that she can change?

TV presenter Darcy is living the dream - yet haunted by nightmares of a single night where she made the wrong choice. Can she let go of the past?

Mum of three Vicki is under doctor's orders to lose weight - but it's not the only burden she's carrying.

Three women, seven days . . . and one last chance to change their lives for good.

Interestingly, Kate Harrison actually did go to boot camp to research this novel, now that is commitment!

I found the story very entertaining, you get to know the characters, their lives, & why they are there, …love them or hate them…and feel their pain as they try to change their lives for various reasons..and it’s very funny.

Although this is another chic lit novel, the story line is different to anything I have read before and the setting is totally new, which has to be a good thing as chic lit novels have a tendency to all blend into the next one.

I have read the Secret Shopper novels by Kate, and after reading this one, would definitely read more.

It didn’t make me want to go to Boot camp though….

SmileX

Thursday, 16 May 2013

That day summer came…

 

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Hard to believe listening to the blustery rain outside that just a couple of weekends ago the sun was shining on us. And on a Bank Holiday too.

Mr D & I took off on a bike ride with a group of friends on a 4 mile adventure (That makes it an 8 mile round trip… no wonder my legs hurt!)

There was of course a pub at the end, which is a necessity when it comes to adventuring with friends.

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We enjoyed the day, watching the world go by, (that’s Mr D looking all cool and stuff)

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It was such a lovely time, some of us just had to do cartwheels…

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Others sat and made daisy chains

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Days like this are just so few, we need to make more time for them.

Of course the sun helps too.

SmileX

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Lately…

 

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I’ve been drinking coffee as well as tea. From a glass.

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I’ve been thinking about having a clear out of books…and other stuffs. Just thinking.

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Been thinking also about getting out to do my garden pots. Then it rains…

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So I sit in front of the fire instead.

vintage radio

I’ve been feeding my habit….

What have you been up to?

SmileX

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

How much tea is too much?

 

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Spring cleaning my kitchen at the weekend led me to wonder if there is ever an amount of tea that would be considered too much to have in stock?

The tea is of course important, the other problem is all the tins are so pweeeeety these days, it’s a shame to throw them away, and you can always keep the posh tins and fill them with um…not so posh tea.

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Then there’s the question of bags or leaves, depending if you are making a pot or just a cup, well there is just so many options available you have to cover all eventualities don’t you?

I have a whole corner dedicated to it.

You?

SmileX

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Cupcakes at Carrington’s by Alexandra Brown Book Review No.5

cupcakes at carringtons by alexandra brown

 

Georgie Hart loves her job--running the luxury handbag concession at Carrington's Department store in the pretty seaside town of Mulberry Bay, and treating herself (once too often!) to a red velvet cupcake with buttercream icing in Carrington's café.

But Georgie is thrown into disarray when Carrington's is plunged into a recession-busting makeover, cueing the arrival of femme fatale Maxine, who wields the axe in her immaculately-manicured hands.

It spells a recipe for disaster for Georgie and soon she is fighting not only for her job, but also for the attentions of her gorgeous boss, James. And when hot newcomer Tom arrives, who may or may not be the best thing since sliced bread, Georgie must decide where her loyalties really lie...

Cupcakes in a department store. What’s not to love? This novel is apparently the first in a trilogy of stories set in Carrington's Department store in Mulberry-on-Sea. Having a fetish for all things cupcakey, (think I just made a new word) I have also been sucked in by the series on TV lately, Mr Selfridge, so this looked the perfect read for me.

I have to admit to feeling  slightly ‘had’ as there is a definite lack of the cupcakes throughout the novel, although there is a tea room in Carrington’s, it didn’t show itself nearly as much as I would have expected given the title!

Having said that, I wasn’t sorry I bought it, the book is full of characters who we will undoubtedly see more of in the next instalments, I read this very quickly and will definitely be looking out on the bookshelves for more. Who knows, maybe there will be more cake?!

SmileX