Thursday, 25 June 2015

My teenage writer self

I would guess that a large percentage of bloggers would love to be full time writers. I have always enjoyed writing. When I was in high school my best friend and I would write continuous stories, kind of like a series. These stories would be based in high school and or loosely based on ourselves, or who we would like to be anyway. They would be like an English version of 90210 before anyone had ever heard of it.
We would write a few pages, swap and read each others, then wrote some more. And so it would continue. These stories never seemed to have endings, we just carried on writing them and swapping, then maybe get bored and start a new one.
I wish I had kept these, but like all my journals I threw them away. Sad face.
I was obsessed with these stories, I couldn’t wait to read what my friend had written in hers and I would be lying if I told you there wasn’t a wee bit of competition between the two of us to come up with the best one.
We stopped after high school finished, or at least I did. Maybe I should ask her. Who knows she could be sitting on the new teen series. Just call me Mrs Aaron Spelling.
Obviously these stories would be written in nice note pads. I think Menzies was the store back then, or Woolworths probably. If there had been a Paperchase I dread to think how much pocket money I would have spent in there. (As an adult I do feel like it’s against my religion to walk past a Paperchase shop and not enter).
Were you a teenage writer?

Monday, 22 June 2015


Our friends had an Anniversary party this weekend and we went out in the home on wheels to stay over and watch a band in a barn. It’s great to have friends with places to camp out, also when they have no neighbours…
I’ve had a serious reading drought this year, but I just finished the book for my new book club and I really enjoyed it. I’ll tell you all about it after the meeting. Just in case anyone actually reads this that lives locally. (Ha!)
I’m becoming quite the gym clothing obsessive. I’m loving Fabletics clothing. The fabric is so comfy and the styles pretty cool too! I have way too many things on my wish list, but still no neon..
Mr is getting busy making metal objects with his new forge. Well mostly fire pokers. Everyone gets a fire poker for present's at the moment. Whether you have a fire or not. Luckily we have 4 fires including the one outside in the garden, so he has lots to practise on. I’m thinking curtain poles, door handles, ornate hooks…..
We’ve been watching the new series The Syndicate which is great. I recently joined a syndicate at work, having never been a big lottery ticket buyer, I was asked if I wanted to join. And then I couldn’t actually say no. Because what if I said no and they won!?
I’ve trying out lots of different yoga based classes at my gym. Who the hell knew your body could do that!?
We got a cat deterrent for the garden. Don’t get me wrong I like cats. But I do not like them digging up my pots and crapping in them. So it’s a water spray activated by movement. The cat gets squirted and my plants get a water so it’s a win win.
Yesterday I decided to go and have a lie down for the afternoon and had a phone call from work. I completely forgot I was supposed to be on shift. Oooooops.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Is it ok to join a second book club (in the hope they will actually read the book)

You may remember I joined a new book club with a small group of friends. I'd been thinking about it for a while and when a colleague said she would love to be in one I suggested we start one of our own. Several more colleagues jumped up and down with excitement and so it began. We've read (or not as the case may be) several books now and the last meeting made me want to smack several of them over the head with the damn book they never read. Don't get me wrong, I know this isn't school time. This is supposed to be fun, an enjoyable get together for people who share a love of reading, to eat cake, drink tea, gossip and talk about a book we all read. Except they don't. Read the book that is. Well two of us read it this time. Two out of 6. 
I also get that maybe everyone won't read the book. We all have lives, we're all working and have lots of other stuff going on. We're all friends who have known each other a while, so it's not that we don't have anything to chat about when we do get together. It's just that....well I think we could get together for a chat another time. This is book club. You know, the book club they all were excited about starting. 
I think it was when a member (no names mentioned) actually said could we NOT TALK ABOUT THE BOOK because she hadn't finished it. That was when I actually lost the will to live.
Am I being unreasonable here? Is that a normal thing to say at book club?
So we gossiped, ate cake, didn't talk about the book (which fyi was The Miniaturist and I hated it) and chose the next one. We now have two new book club members to the club, hopefully people that actually read, so things can only get better.
Well I now confess I joined another club. The coffee house I work in has started one and I thought I'd give it a go. I'll let you all know how that goes.
Are you in a book club? Ever thought of starting one?

In other news it's been brought to my attention that I shouldn't make my text centered. Really? Is that in a rule book I never read? Apparently it makes the readers eyes work too hard and they get bored and angry (really?) and click off. I don;t know how I feel about that. 

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

My new found love of Breakfast in the shape of Berries

I've never been much of a breakfast person, unless it's a day when the Mr and I search out a little local cafe for a full English. The most I would have would be a cup of tea (actually don't talk to me before I've got one in my hand) then It would get to mid morning and I would be desperate for a hit of something, so a slice of cake or toast and jam would be on the menu. Last winter I discovered porridge which I would top with honey or sugar.
Now I've decided to get healthy in my ....aherm... approaching middle age-ness... I've discovered the beauty of making sure I eat breakfast.
The above picture is my typical breakfast every day. I'm eating berries and really feeling the benefits.
Blueberries, which I have never been keen on, are my new friend. I've read that these little things are a good source of vitamin K. They also contain vitamin C, fibre, manganese and other antioxidants some nutritionists even believe that if you make only one change to your diet, it should be to add blueberries.
I've noticed that these are quite expensive little things, but I'm sucking it up and I think it's worth it.
Who can resist a strawberry? In season these can be fairly cheap, or you can often buy them from local farms making them tasty and cheap. Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamins C and K as well as providing a good dose of fibre, folic acid, manganese and potassium. And who can resist that lovely red colour?
I've started adding blackberries to my bowl, but just a few. Blackberries are another fruit I've never eaten as a berry. Blackberry pie? Yes please but never have I bought them off the shelf, Blackberries are low in calories, virtually fat free, high in fiber and rich in nutrients.
Then there's raspberries. Mr has always loved raspberries, and I've now learnt not to keep them in the fridge, they taste much better at room temperature. 
They are rich in B-complex group of vitamins and vitamin K. The berries contain very good amounts of vitamin B-6, niacin, riboflavin, and folic acid. These vitamins are function as co-factors and help body in the metabolism of carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Again these are high in antioxidants.
They contain a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, copper, iron and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Copper is required in the production of red blood cells.
I always spoon a dollop of yoghurt on the top of my berries, and no I don't go for the low fat variety. I just go for the one I like the taste of. Then I do like a bit of crunch in the shape of granola.
Eating a good bowl of these for breakfast definitely sets me up for the day, I find I don't have to snack before lunch like I used to. In fact to be honest I used to spend most of the day snacking and not enough eating proper balanced meals.
I'd be interested to know if you eat berries?

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Sunday Thoughts

Found this Here love this lady's style!


Thursday, 11 June 2015

Old photos

I love photos. I take a lot. Not just since I've been blogging, I've always enjoyed taking pictures. Nowadays I'm usually the designated 'taking pictures to document the evidence' person at parties, gatherings, because people know that I usually have my camera. 
I have been asked before if I ever really look at them again once I've put them on the computer. When I told that person that yes I look at my photos most days, I was met with an amazed stare. Which I found strange, isn't that why we take photos? To look at them again and remember?
I love looking at one photo and remembering lots of stories about that time in my life.
The photo above is taken in Cornwall in the year 2000. 
I think I was 28yrs old.
It was our first wedding anniversary and we had decided to rent a cottage. It was the year of the 'big fuel strike' in UK which meant that fuel stations were rationing how much fuel you could get to fill up on. 
In our little cottage we were oblivious to this chaos that was happening until we ventured out and noticed all the queues and realized people were 'panic buying' We decided to hell with it, if we were stuck in our cottage with no fuel to get home then ho hum. But the nice woman at the local filling station actually let us fill up my big tank (everyone was on a 10.00 restriction at that station and there was a huge queue  )but we had to wait until the queue went down so there wasn't a riot ha!
Our dog was called Baxter and we had him as a pup. He came everywhere with us, and loved going on adventures in the home on wheels. He also loved the water, sticks, yoghurt pots, and plastic bottles.
My heart broke when he died at 9 yrs old. 
Those boots I'm wearing were my first ever pair of proper walking boots and I have never ever found a pair that equals them for comfort.
Do you look at old photos often?

Monday, 8 June 2015

THe weekend I cut my festival teeth (The Red Rooster Music Festival)

This weekend I did something I've never done before. For all the music events I've been to over time (and there has been a lot) Never have I stayed at a real live music festival. Wild camping I can do. Camping in January in feet of snow? No problem. Festival life has never appealed though. I have a porta loo phobia, I would rather go for a wee in the woods. I don't want to hear the person snoring in the tent next to me. I don't want to have to walk a mile to the stage and then not be able to see the act.
Enter The Red Rooster Music Festival at Euston Estate. Just literally up the road. 
This is only the second year the festival has run. Advertised as a good-time weekend of Rhythm and Blues in the heart of Suffolk County. 
The fact that the camper van passes were available for 'Campers, Airstreams or indeed any vehicle you can sleep in' was a winner, we quickly booked in the home on wheels before anyone changed their minds.
As music festivals go this was a good one for festival novices like myself to go to. 
Once you are in the gate thats it, there is no separate gate to go through for the music stages which means no one is checking your bag for contraband and anything goes as regards to taking picnics and beverages to sit and watch the music with. 
Although no camp fires were allowed, there were several organized bonfires and fire pits dotted around for anyone to start and sit around, and this they did, way into the early hours playing their instruments and singing like a scout camp.

Everyone from the staff to the fellow festival goers were friendly. We had a steady stream of people come and talk to us and look over our home on wheels, (feeling pretty smug at this point esp as we had decided to take the chemical toilet which normally stays at home). Bliss.
The sun shone. The music was loud and decent and there were hammocks for those who didn't make it back to the tents.  

The food was more than your average burger and chips, I discovered Harry Bromptons alcoholic Iced Tea (extra shot of Gin? Yes please!) And I was the one that didn't get burnt in the sun. Now ask me why I'm wearing a cardigan on the hottest day) 
Cannot wait for next year.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Happy Mail Care Package

You all know by now I'm a huge fan of snail mail, when email first started becoming 'a thing' my friend and I tried it for a couple of weeks but quickly decided it wasn't for us. The feeling that comes when someone takes the time to write a letter on pretty note paper, or make up a little happy mail package and having that in your hands physically cannot be beaten by clicking on a symbol of an envelope and reading a screen. 
I have a friend that only lives an hour and a half drive away, but we have communicated by snail mail for about 23 years, since we left college. We meet up a few times a year but most of our relationship is through mail. 
Recently she's been having a stressful time, the essential oils are part of a range from Young Living which my sister is a distributer for. I have to say I used to be very skeptical about holistic therapies, but I've been completely converted and love these oils. For my friend in need I sent Stress away which I put a roller ball attachment on for easy application. Stress away contains unique stress-relieving combination of lime and vanilla essential oils. Stress Away also includes copaiba and lavender to reduce mental rigidity and restore equilibrium. It smells divine.
I also sent some Pan Away. Pan Away contains Wintergreen, which is often used for massage, and also contains helichrysum clove and peppermint. 
If you would like to know more about these oils or any other oils you can click on the button on the right hand side bar for Young Living and get in touch with her. Or have a look at her FB page.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

The Gym Diaries #2

I'm now in my third month of membership at my gym, and I have to confess I'm loving it. I have become one of those people with the annoying FB status telling you when I've been or when I'm going to do my squats/push ups and posting pictures of my gym feet as above. And do you know what? I love it. So I don't care if my friends get annoyed. Thats what the un friend button is for right?

I've tried a good portion of the studio classes now, favorites being Body Balance (a mixture of Yoga, Pilate and Ti chi) I'm now able to get my body into positions I never thought possible, but still have a long long way to go. One day I may be able to do that full back bend. For now I'm happy not to be falling flat on my face during divers pose..
Usually I will combine two classes back to back, so a stretch Body Balance then a work out like CX (core strength...I can actually do crunches now without hurting my neck which must mean I'm doing them correctly!) or Body Pump. Body Pump is the most motivating class there is, the sound track and choreography just makes you want to get it done. I'm still on the smallest weights for bench pressing (which kills me but maybe not so much) but I've added more weight for all the others and can now complete the lunge track with weight on my bar which is a huge achievement as I couldn't carry any weight when I started. Lunges are the devil. Oh and biceps curls. And overhead presses. Hmm.

We did have one epic fail, which was dance fit. Dance fit is not the Jane Fonda style aerobic fun class of yesteryear. Dance fit is like a room filled with Madonna's backing dancers at a Stadium concert. All layered neon dance school attire. And it's never a good idea to join this class on the last week of a 6 week run. You will fail. And bump into people. I stayed till the end though, that was the longest hour of my life. My gym buddy left after ten minutes but I was not giving in. I just smiled and had fun. And they didn't throw me out, even though they probably wanted to.

I'm now a confident grown up and go to some classes without my gym buddy. 
I have been going about 3-4 times a week for double classes and today we are going swimming. 
You may be wondering if it's all worth it, and yes I would say it definitely is. I feel healthier than I've felt for years. My body doesn't hurt like it did, I no longer wake up in pain in the middle of the night, I have more energy and feel less tired than I did before my gym journey.

You can read the first of my Gym Diaries post here.


Monday, 1 June 2015

Longing for Summer

I just cannot wait for summer to arrive. This is June and there have been days lately that I have to fight the urge to not light the wood burner. I don’t know what jacket to wear, I want to wear tights some days but think I might look like ‘the tight lady’. I just want summer to arrive so I know that I can wear a dress without tights and not be frozen or for it to blow up around my neck.
I want to get my bike out properly without having to check the weather forecast at the very last minute to see if I will get down poured on.
Of course summer means more adventures in the Home on Wheels, of which there is one coming up that I am more than a little excited about, a new adventure for us, to a new place with friends and music, and maybe time to sit and read that book club book that I’m behind on.
Winter is great, cosy nights in with a roaring fire and a crochet blanket, Spring is pretty with the colours in the gardens and the bluebells, but Summer, I’m now ready, so anytime you feel like it please grace me with your presence.