Tuesday, 30 December 2014

The Post Christmas Post of 2014


mr and mrs
We are apparently in Twixmas, this time between Christmas and New Year, kind of like a no mans land where a lot of people don’t go to work or if they do they use this time as an excuse to just get the bare minimum done.
Working in healthcare, this isn’t quite how it is for me, although in some of my work I’m self employed and other work is on a relief basis I do have a bit of a say in what hours I do, on the other hand I’m not going to leave someone without help just because it’s Christmas. I worked on and off over the Christmas period, but today is my first of 3 whole days off, which I plan on enjoying.
Christmas morning Mr D and I visited my sister and her family. I wore my red coat which makes me feel like Little Red riding Hood even though it doesn't actually have a hood. I bought this from a charity shop in the summer and this is the first time It’s been worn.
christmas niece's
We saw the Niece’s (Nephew is all grown up and lives with his girlfriend now yikes)
me caz and mr
I’m often amazed at what a catch my husband is. Mr D is so photogenic, as proved in the above pic.
We  had Christmas dinner mid afternoon at home, just Mr D and I which is just how we like it.
I got lots of lovely presents from Santa, including a Ukulele which I have no idea how to play but which I have been dropping hints about ever since watching Imelda May at a gig not long ago. Maybe next Christmas there will be a V log of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
SmileX

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Sunday thoughts..

 

christmas

I think if I never ate another bean until next Christmas I would not be hungry.

Now where’s that tin of shortbread?

SmileX

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

A Merry Christmas to you


snow in trimely
I’m about to get ready to go out to our friends annual Christmas Eve open house, which I will leave at 10pm to head off to work, I just wanted to drop in and wish you all a wonderful Christmastime, full of love and laughter and all things sparkly.
This picture was taken a few years back when we went camping in the woods and woke up in Narnia. I want it to snow like that again.
I was going to tell you I’m having a little break from the blog posting for a few days, but I thought I would quite possibly make a liar out of my self, due to the fact I’m not sure I would be able to stay away.
This year has been a great blogging year for me, I’ve made some more amazing friends which makes me happy, even if Mr D tells me you’re not real, esp when he sees me posting a letter (‘they won’t get it they aren’t real’) I assume he’s joking, but actually maybe he isn’t. It’s ok sometimes I don’t listen to him.
SmileX

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Christmas Cookies


home made christmas
Every year I give a bit of home made yumminess to the wife and girls  of someone Mr D does a lot of work for. Usually I make buns, or a cake, last year I remember I bought cup cakes from a local lady as I had about a month last Christmas of being unwell, I hardly touched my Christmas dinner never mind donning the pinnie and making like a Stepford wife.  So this year I thought I would get back into it. Stepford wife-ness that is.
There’s nothing that says Christmas more than the smell of orange and ginger.
Cookie’s aren’t something I’ve had a lot of experience with but I just happened to be stalking reading This blog post by Olivia  and there it was, the recipe.
Easy peasy, I will definitely be making more.
So there you have it. It’s officially Christmas. The Christmas cookies were a success.
SmileX

Monday, 22 December 2014

A Most Desirable Marriage Hilary Boyd. Book review No.26!


a most deirable marriage hilary boyd
Lawrence and Jo have enjoyed a strong marriage, the envy of their friends. Even after thirty years they have lots to say to each other, many interests in common and, until recently, a good sex life.
But Lawrence seems wary and restless. Something’s wrong. Just how wrong, Jo is about to discover…
Can they use their years of history – all the things they’ve shared – to overcome a devastating betrayal?
I seem to be reading books about people not really knowing their partners. After 30 years of marriage the reason why Lawrence leaves Jo is quite a shocker, (I won’t spoil it for you) but not unbelievable, I know of marriages that have split up after many many years out of the blue like this one, but never for this reason although I am sure it happens often.
I felt bad for Jo, but at the same time I wanted her to smack Lawrence over the head with a wet fish…or something. She just lets him go without much of a fuss, which I can understand, I don’t think begging would achieve anything, but then again I wanted some kind of reaction.
A well as Jo’s marital problems we get to know the children Nikki and Cassie, who have relationship issues of their own.
This is an easy read, the first of Hilary Boyd’s novels I’ve come across but I would read more of hers, an interesting story which I couldn’t put down.
SmileX

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Christmas thoughts..


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Christmas has arrived in my house, the little plastic (green of course) tree I bought second hand a few years ago is still going strong, adorned with many Christmas fairy’s, and baubles, none of them really colour co ordinated or matching anything else, but I do love my eclectic mix of tree decorations. I love sitting next to my little tree, feeding the wood burner and listening to the radio (is it me or is there a larger than usual amount of Carols on the radio this year?)
I’ve pretty much finished my gift buying, but then I do gather things up throughout the year, I don’t really get it when people stress about gift buying. It’s the same date every year, you have plenty of time to get the stuff, you just choose not to for whatever reason.
I will be working on and off over Christmas, I’ll be at a sleep in Christmas Eve (it’s ok I’ve told Santa where I will be) then I’ll be visiting an elderly couple on my way home Christmas morning, but once I’m home I’m sure Mr will have my coffee and croissants waiting…… (?) Then I have a 7oclock start for a short shift Boxing day morning.
From Saturday right through to Christmas Eve I will be catching up with various groups and friends, meeting at local coffee shops, friends houses or pubs, and I love that part of the run up to the big day, in some cases I don’t see them very often, and it’s great to get together.
I haven't actually wrapped any present’s yet, in fact I don’t think I have any paper, (I remember one year when we were small my sister and I received present’s wrapped in newspaper, I could actually go for this look this year and start a new trend…the ‘vintage’ look is very ‘in’ after all!) I might do some baking, then again I might not, but I’m not going to stress about it, I don’t think I have anything to prove and the shops are open, we certainly won’t be starving.
Do you love Christmas?
SmileX

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Time to bust out the Fortnum & Mason Royal Blend.


Fortnum and Mason
Sometimes there is the need for a stronger blend. Monday morning was one of those times, it doesn't take much these days for me to need the benefits of a wee pick me up. Then it’s time to bust out the Fortnum and Mason Royal Blend. Even better when using the cute tea pot for one.
I was looking at caffeine free tea today, and just stood there thinking, so what’s the point in that!  I know that some people can’t have caffeine as it makes them ill, but I also know some people say it keeps them awake. I don’t think there is anything that keeps me awake. Once I’m snuggled up that’s it, short of my house falling into a sink hole, I’m asleep.
In a previous life, I worked in a convent (yes I did) and I often remember the old nuns would be wandering the corridors looking for a cup of tea (complete with caffeine) because they couldn’t sleep. If I ever do wake up in the middle of the night, even with my obsession with tea, it’s the last thing I would think of doing.
So the question of the day is, does caffeine keep you awake? Or does it make you ill?
SmileX

Monday, 15 December 2014

The bed I made. Lucie Whitehouse. Book review No. 25


The bed I made Lucie Whitehouse
One stifling night in a bar in Soho, Kate meets Richard - powerful, sensual Richard. Going home with him that night is reckless and exhilarating, their connection electric. Now, eighteen months later, Kate is fleeing London for an old coastguard's cottage on the Isle of Wight, determined to forget Richard for ever.
I bought this book on the back of enjoying one of Lucie’s other books, Before we met, which was the first read for my first book club meeting.
I have to say I didn’t enjoy it as much as Before we met. But I did enjoy it. I like the way Lucie writes, it’s a thriller but not too heavy, it’s chilling and page turning, very easy to read with romance thrown in. I did find it  to be a thriller with a chick lit feel to it. Not in a bad way.
Before we met was the first time I had read any of Lucie’s books, I do that, when I’ve read a book I enjoy, I seek out the authors other books.
The bed I made had a similar feel to Before we met, in that it makes me wonder how these women get to be with men that are not all completely as they seem at first. I know this happens in ‘real life’ but really? I’m going to start looking at Mr D if I read many more of these.
Also, if you I had an inkling that I would be followed by my unstable ex, I’m not sure that moving to a relatively remote place to live on my own would be my first plan of action. Maybe that’s just me?
SmileX
  

Friday, 12 December 2014

Reading Lamp


lamp
I’ve wanted one of these reading lamps for forever, and was saving up for a very expensive one in a local shop, when just by chance, I found this one in a charity shop.
I love it when that happens, so instead of paying over 100.00 I paid just 20.00.
Now my favourite reading corner is complete. I could just sit here for the entire winter season and then some. Why I may just do that.
On a different note am I the only person on the planet without their Christmas decs up yet? I’m feeling a bit left out and I’m going to have to do something about that this weekend.
SmileX

Monday, 8 December 2014

Where (and how) do you blog?


269
I use my laptop to create posts, I do this when the mood takes me. I would love to be able to create posts on my tablet but I just can’t get my head around that. I’m the most un-technical blogger ever. I really am just winging it. In my head I would like to do scheduled posts about a week in advance, or even have a few posts ‘in the bank’ ready to post when I feel the time is right. The reality is I have only ever had 2 or 3 posts scheduled ahead of time if I’m going to be away, but more often than not I don’t and regret it.
I do have a notepad (well I have about 478 but that’s another post) for jotting down ideas and thoughts, which I do refer to, but mostly I write my posts on a whim at the moment I think of them. I wonder if it’s really true that some bloggers have a whole calendar dedicated to their blogs, when I see the posts about organising their calendars, all pretty and lovely looking, with pretty sticky notes and reminders, I wonder if they really stick to that. Or if it’s all a fairy tale.
During the summer my laptop mostly lives in the upstairs office and I blog at my desk, but now that winter is kicking in, I’ve brought it down for the warm cosy days by the fire.
The only regular posts on my blog are my Sunday Thoughts, which I enjoy because I like to find interesting and fun quotes, and I’m not going to lie, I like the fact that they require minimum work and they are pretty popular with my readers. I’ve started to post a This Week post as a kind of what I’ve been up to but I don’t want to have that on a regular day as I don’t like to be committed.
Do you have a schedule/routine/pretty colourful blogging calendar?
SmileX

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Sunday thoughts..


christmas1
Black Friday (when was that an English ‘thing’? Suddenly we’re punching old people in the face to get to a 52inch TV that won’t even fit in the lounge) Cyber Monday, and now apparently tomorrow is ‘Manic Monday’.
There seems to be more days every year  given a title to make us part with our cash on stuff we don’t need .
Do yourself a favour and don’t. Your Great Aunt Mable can live without the 5 foot statue of a purple gorilla. Bargain or not.
SmileX

Saturday, 6 December 2014

This week.. my Tower of London Poppy came!


tower of london poppy
So pleased that at the beginning of the week my poppy came from The Tower of London, and even more pleased it was in one piece, well it was dismantled as it seems they took it out the ground and put it straight in a box, rusty stalk and all, but after hearing tales of poppy's arriving broken I breathed a sigh of relief.
It’s still sitting in the box and I’m torn between keeping it in the box and there fore safe, (as box’s go its very nice) or assembling it to display somewhere. Because what’s the point if no one can see it?
I was surprised how crudely made the poppy head is, it is complete with the finger marks of the person who made it. Kind of charming really.
Mr D was surprised, he didn’t know I had ordered one way back in August, just goes to show I can still keep a secret.
SmileX

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Ickworth Hall Inside The National Trust


009
Whilst browsing through my photo folders, like I do, it occurred to me that I never did take you inside Ickworth Hall. You remember our walk around the gardens in this post here. The gardens were glorious, and we have yet to visit again to see the places we didn’t get time to explore.
So here we are. The Library being my favourite room. Of course it was. Where I could sit and read one of the hundreds of books (well if they weren’t guarded over by a rather tall lady who seemed to have her beady eye on me and my camera) Maybe she could tell I was itching to touch everything?
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I was wondering if I just eased one of these volumes out would a secret passage way open up?
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The rope which was keeping me from sitting at the card table was so small and almost…well not there at all. I could quite easily have hopped across it and put my shawl over my shoulders…see it laying there across the back of the chair? I’m sure the nice lady with the beady eyes wouldn’t have noticed a thing.
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Maybe if I offered her a wee cup of tea….
The rest of the house was just as lovely, there was a desk for me to do my blogging from…
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Mr D certainly looked the part..there was a lot of looking upwards to do.
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There were a few windows to look through, just to see what was there..
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How much did I want to sit in that hole.? I could have struck quite the bloggers pose.
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Apparently the owners spent all their money on portraits and art. The bigger the better. It’s like me and tea cups.
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It’s a cold winter night here, time for bed. I’ll have my bath drawn at 8am. Make it hot.
SmileX

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Old Books


241
There’s something about finding an old battered book. I always think about where it’s been in it’s life, whose shelf it’s sat on, whose been flicking through the torn worn pages. Was it a present or did someone save up for it. The subject isn’t always important, if it just has that certain appeal.  Sometimes, if lucky, there’s a message inside the cover, or like this week, an old local postcard. I’m so pleased the charity shop I volunteer in has seen the light and is displaying these books to sell, and not putting them in recycling once they have gathered they are not valuable in the money sense of the word.
Sometimes, a book has to come home with me to sit on my shelf, especially if it has been sat there unwanted by customers, I can’t bear for it to be put on the van to go elsewhere.
Lately I was excited to hear a customer pick up a large old book (about what I haven’t a clue) and I heard her declare to her friend that she would buy this because ‘it’s a really lovely book and would look great on my shelf’. Her friend looked at her somewhat strangely. I did think to myself if that were my friends, they would have understood that I needed it.
Well, I could have just about kissed her. I didn’t. But I could have.
SmileX

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Sunday Thoughts..

 

party

The way I’m feeling after 2 nights on the razz and an early shift this morning, I’m hoping this is true.

SmileX

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Girl Online Zoe Sugg Book review 24A (the book review with a difference)


Girl Online
I haven't actually finished this book, hence the part  A (part B will be when I’m finished which judging by the easy read-ness of it, wont  be many hours away) in fact I just bought it today. This is where I admit when I got out of bed this morning I had no idea who Zoe Sugg is. I don’t watch V logs on you tube, I do however know that it’s becoming a big deal, V logging. Something I don’t think I will ever be doing, you’re safe. I’m not one of her 6 million subscribers (6 MILLION!) I however do browse the shelves in book shops, which is where I was today when this leaped off the shelf and into my arms.  Happens to me all the time.
So the back of the book goes like this:
I had no idea Girl Online would take off the way it has - I can't believe I now have 5432 followers, thanks so much! - and the thought of opening up to you all about this is terrifying, but here goes...
Penny has a secret.
Under the alias Girl Online, she blogs about school dramas, boys, her mad, whirlwind family - and the panic attacks she's suffered from lately. When things go from bad to worse, her family whisks her away to New York, where she meets the gorgeous, guitar-strumming Noah. Suddenly Penny is falling in love - and capturing every moment of it on her blog.
But Noah has a secret too. One that threatens to ruin Penny's cover - and her closest friendship – forever.
Of course I got home (with the book) and googled her. Now I feel like I’ve been living in a hole, apparently she’s a pretty big deal. If you’re under 25.  Which obviously you know I’m not, but you also know I’m not a book snob, so I’m interested to read it. Zoe started blogging in 2009 and is now V logging.  Beauty, fashion and life in general, has won various awards and now has this book published. Sounds like the dream life.
You can have a look at her blog here.
It’s a nice looking book, a small pretty hard back that looks nice on your shelf/table, and from the first chapter, seems like a likeable easy story, I think I’m going to enjoy it, I’ll be sure to let you know.
So, have you heard of her? Have you read any books written by bloggers?
XSmile

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

I am a master of my art


bedroom
The art of staying in bed that is. This morning I woke up feeling like someone had beat me over the head in my sleep. (I don’t think he did). So I drank the cup of tea Mr D had left on the side, wrapped myself up in my duvet again and then went back to sleep for another hour. The whole bed to myself.
I’ve always loved my bed, when I lived at home I would get home from college and sit in bed watching TV all night, all snuggly. There is not much better in the world than fresh clean sheets on the bed and no morning schedule to get up for.
It has been known for me to leave friends downstairs in my house whilst I go to bed. Just help yourself to tea, coffee, worldly goods and let yourselves out. I just can’t help it,  sometimes quite often I’m just not very sociable. When I want my bed, well, I go.
SmileX

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Sunday Thoughts


hunger games
Tonight it’s the local cinema to see the third instalment, and eat sweeties.
SmileX