Mind Games

IMG_0712My mind likes to play tricks on me.

Take today. I’m standing in the kitchen chopping vegetables for tonight’s soup, cooking some onions for onion bread and crisps and wild mushroom noodles for my lunch*. All of a sudden, a word pops into my head, totally unbidden and with nothing whatsoever to do with anything I am doing, have done or plan to do.


Plotting and Scheming

to-doAs you may know, I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions. I can’t see the point in setting yourself up to fail by bundling all the things that you’ve neglected to do the previous year and hanging them off one date in the calendar, as if this will magically enable them to happen. Perhaps that is a little harsh, but if you want to do something, just get on with it at the appropriate time. For example, if you want to lose weight, choosing the coldest time of year, when you are most likely to need and want warming, comforting food, is really the worst timing. It’s probably best to make that resolution at the Spring Equinox and save yourself three months of misery.


Giggle All The Way

concert-2We’ve just got back from DD’s Christmas music concert. It was, as is increasingly the case, something of a giggle.  Not intentionally, I might add…it’s just that I can’t help myself and once I start giggling, it really is difficult to stop. Once, it was necessary to be armed with a sheaf of tissues because 4-year-olds herded into performing Christmas plays are so unbearably cute it makes you weep. Now I need them to dab the tears of laughter from my eyes. Don’t look at me like that, there were plenty of shoulders shaking in that hall, I’ll have you know.


Learning Experiences

1376523_10152021001275676_1545808737_nA couple of weeks ago, I spent the weekend in the company of some old school friends (not to mention various chickens, ferrets and cats) at one of our number’s rather gorgeous and very spacious Georgian/Victorian house. Well, with 3 acres, it’s more of an estate really and all of the vegetables we ate for dinner we’d picked fresh from the kitchen garden. If that weren’t enough to elicit envy admiration, her kitchen is bigger than my living room. I wanted to move in! (My DH kindly offered to parcel up and send the dog and Ebay the children).


Dog Days

stork_baby_boy_birth_yard_sign-r5820842d08c643b6a64fe3b0319641c5_fomuw_8byvr_512On the 6th of July our family grew by one member. He’s affectionate, playful, a bit smelly and surprisingly hairy. No, I haven’t had DS cloned, we’ve adopted a dawgie 🙂

He’s called Dexter*, he’s between 8-10 months old, so still a pup, a Pointer cross with probably some Doberman in him judging by the colouring and he’s completely and utterly lovely 🙂


Chasing One’s Tail

hell-04Sometimes, you get a day from hell. Sometimes, it’s a week and, if you’re really unfortunate, longer than that. Days when everything seems to go wrong, all your efforts are thwarted and frustrated, and every bit of good news is swamped by a relentless stream of guano until you think your head is going to explode.

My week from hell began last week a couple of weeks* ago on Monday when, whilst clearing space for DD’s new bed in her room, I was almost swept away by a massive (and I do mean massive) pile of sweet wrappers hidden in the corner. She had clearly been “posting” them there over a lengthy period (or at least I sincerely hope it was a lengthy period) in order to hide the evidence of her contraband. I’ll spare you a photo. Exhausted from lugging her new bed back and into the house, dismantling and carting out the old bed and tidying up (I must have easily done a hundred trips up and down the stairs. Hot, sticky and utterly dismayed by the wrapper spectacle, it was all I could do to stop my head exploding. The vacuum cleaner was less resilient and gave up in the face of it all by turning itself off and refusing to have anything to do with the business for an hour. Not a great start to the week, particularly in light of DD’s scant appreciation of my efforts, not to mention the persistent getting underfoot to “help” put the bed together. No work done.

*It’s been a hectic couple of weeks with one thing and another so this post took rather longer to get out than anticipated


Backing a Winner

Waddya mean those aren't horses?

Waddya mean those aren’t horses?

I used to be quite good at picking the winners in horse racing. My links to horses and racing go waaaay back to when I used to ride along with them, they being on the TV and me being on my rocking horse. I rode real horses from the age of 7 until teenager-dom made it a bit uncool. Then later, at my first job, I would watch the racing while waiting for the backups to finish on Saturday afternoon, deftly (and almost always correctly) marking the winners in whatever tabloid I found had been left behind in the office. I never put money on the races (betting shops were very much the preserve of grubby, tobacco stained giffers in dirty macs as far as I was concerned), the uncomfortable exception being when I braved the seediness to put a small bet on the Grand National…oh, and a trip to the racecourse. Of course, I never won if there was money at stake. Perhaps the money aspect clouded matters so that I just didn’t trust my instincts or perhaps I’m just not lucky that way. That said, I am pleased to report that I have definitely backed one winner: today is the 21st anniversary of DH and I getting together and it’s out 19th wedding anniversary next week 🙂


Brass Monkeys and Golden Balls

Wrest morningI have just returned from a weekend trading at the St George’s event at Wrest Park and I couldn’t have wished for a better start to the season. Wellies were left at home and there was this wonderful, shiny, golden ball thingy glowing hotly in the sky all weekend. I’m not sure what it was, (I certainly didn’t see such a thing last season), but I liked it a lot! It was mostly particularly welcome to thaw out from the overnight temperatures, which were minus lots. See the silver grass? That’s frost –>


Snowed On

It was with a mixture of excitement and trepidation that we set off to spend the coldest, snowiest Easter week for years in the Alps North Wales.

You can see my confusion…

Llanberis pass

Llanberis pass


Tudor Day

200px-Red_Rose_Badge_of_Lancaster.svgAs another Costume day at school dawns, you find me frantically putting finishing touches to the outfit and dressing the Tudor girl. Costume day has sometimes been a royal pain in the proverbial (particularly back in the days when you were only given about a week’s notice to frantically knock out a suitable period outfit), but on this occasion (and despite being very busy) I’ve loved it. Tudor is one of my favourite clothing periods (along with Medieval and Victorian) as it has such a variety of sumptuous loveliness and lots of interesting underpinnings and accessories. DD and I had lots of fun making and stuffing the bum roll and selecting pearls, trims and fabrics for the outfit. Sadly, I didn’t have time to make her a penner for her quill and ink, but we managed the rest of the outfit just about in time.


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