Thursday, 27 May 2010

Thought you’d be pleased to hear…

The chocolate diet worked a treat.A pound and a half lost this week!!!!

God knows how.I had an Indian meal ( and not a slimmer's version),a roast beef dinner,Mc Donald's,bacon sarnies,pizza and lots of chocolate.Oh and I nearly forgot a BBQ with oodles of mini chocolate ├ęclairs for my pudding.

I feel I’m looking good and the bikini is fitting much better and is packed for Chicago.

What do you think?…………….

How to get adult children to move out

An old friend of mine is doing a Psychology PHD.Her thesis I believe is going to be on living with adult children still at home.

She asked if I would be one of her studies and wanted to interview me.

Now,I’m sure she choose me because we’ve known each other 23 years.The whole of our children's lives.She knows she will get the truth when I answer and that I wouldn’t answer what I thought was the right thing to say.

Our conversation and interview was all taped and she has to transcribe everything I said.She has just texted me to say that after only 12 minutes of me ,she already has 2461  words.Seeing the interview was about an hour.She maybe regretting her decision to use me.

As a “shy” person I can in fact talk for England.On a one to one there is no stopping me.Put me in a group and I’ll be silent!!!!

Her first question was what would I miss the most if my son left home-”money” was my answer. (He gives me housekeeping money monthly)

The next one was,what would I look forward to the most if he moved out-“a  tidy room” was my answer.

How shallow am I?

But really my children are so easy going and so independent in their own way,that I would not have any qualms of them leaving home.Tasmin has coped amazingly well at University far from home and with crappy housemates to live with.She has kept herself on a tight,self imposed,food budget.Ryan's spent over 6 months in Florida and we didn’t have a moments concern about him.In fact he had the time of his life.

My children have never been clingy.I never had that trembling moment at the school gates.They would run off without a backwards glance and I would be off as fast as my feet would take me to hit the shops.I found Anna's recent blog about her daughter going on a school trip puzzling.We would never have had any tears,just excitement for all of us.We’d all be looking forward to the rest from each other.

When any of us travel we NEVER give home a moments thought.We know we’ll all just be getting on with our lives.I once went to the States.Both of my children were staying (separately )at their best friends houses.I knew they would be having the time of their life's,but I was worried about our dog,Buzz.So I rang my Mum everyday to see if he was alright.Of course he too was having the time of his life.

So whether my children are so independent is because of our good parenting skills or that we were just cold,heartless parents is a matter for them to decide.

I can’t see either of my two leaving home anytime soon.They have their own bedrooms,ensuite bathrooms and even their own sitting room.Clothes washed  and ironed.Home cooked gourmet meals (and cupcakes galore.)What more could they ask for?…….

I couldn’t wait to leave home to get away from the noise,arguments and the feeling of living on top of each other.I first left home at 18 and owned a house by the time I was 20.I never had a moments regret and it was one of the best decisions I ever made.

So I don’t for a minute think my adult children live at home because they want to be still in the bosom of their family.They would be gone in a flash if they could buy a property to make their own.But its going to be hard with the house market prices as they are and living in such a lovely home……..

Oh and by the way a big congratulations to Tasmin who just received her first psychology exam result today- 74%.She has worked really hard and was worried she would fail.She still has a lot more results to wait for,but its a great start.

The secret to dieting…….


I had a free day today,but as my sciatica is still playing up and I find moving about very difficult I decided a day of shopping wouldn't be a good idea.So a day cooking would have to do.

It’s my weigh in today,but unfortunately it’s in the evening,so I am always heavier than I am in the morning.I have always just had my evening meal,as my Aga cools down after 7pm.So I don’t hold out much hope….

I have had an urge for chocolate for the last few days,nothing seems to cure it.I’ve had a Cadburys cream egg ,chocolate cornflakes every day, chocolate buttons and miscellaneous small bars of chocolate.

So I thought the only way to cure me of this ailment would be a batch of sickening cupcakes laden with chocolate!!!!

I must say it seems to have worked.

Because the almonds kept blocking the piping bag, I had to scoop it all out into a bowl.There was chocolate everywhere and the quickest way to clear it up was to lick it off.I now feel very chocolate sated and not one cupcake eaten…………Yet………

As I was standing up and the chocolate was melted,us ladies know the calories don’t count.I mean I was exercising wasn’t I??????

Then I got to work on a Rhubarb tarte tatin.

I don’t eat fruit ,so at least I won’t be tempted to eat that…

I’ll have to scrape the fruit off and smother the pastry in cream.Mmmmm

I dug out an old plate I haven’t used for years.In the centre of the stars are little mirrors.

I have a collection of Genevieve Lethu plates that I bought years ago when she had a shop in Knightsbridge and then I used to buy extra pieces in Madrid.

Imagine my surprise when I found she has just opened her first shop in The States and its in Chicago!


This is the hat box I keep my baking paraphernalia in

Yep, that's me…….

Tuesday, 25 May 2010


doing nothing,but enjoying the sunshine…….

The doorbell went today with a large box for ME?

Its my binder ready for my photographers class with Karen Russell.I hope I’ll be able to keep up with all the assignments as it lasts for 9 weeks.Starting as soon as I get back from my trip to Chicago.

Talking of Chicago I have been busy for the last few months trying to put together an itinery for us.This is what I have come up with…

That should keep us busy for the week.We met up for lunch to go over any loose ends for the holiday.Hilary was always asking WHAT I was taking.So for a laugh I decided to pack my case and take it with me to the venue.

As soon as Hilary got out the car she said”I hope you have a packing list?”

So I think it was with some surprise to her when I pulled out my suitcase all packed and ready to go.

So fingers crossed the Icelandic volcano doesn't erupt again.


My scraproom is now ready for the carpenter.Tomorrow he’s coming to finalise some details and he’ll start it this weekend.

I popped to Ikea to buy a unit I had seen.It fits scrapbooking albums perfectly.

It was lovely to move all my stash out of the full sun and heat of the conservatory.

Hopefully I will get my mojo back when everything is close to hand and organised.


We have spent the weekend enjoying the sunshine.

Hubby did a spot of bird spotting

Tasmin relaxed and did nothing much at all after a stressful few weeks of university exams.

Ryan topped his tan up and had some friends around for a BBQ


Charming Ryan!!!!

He says it like living with his own paparazzi.


We have no idea what he was doing with a scarf around his head!!!!!

Maybe he was trying to start a new trend?

Teddy begged from everyone for just a smidgen of roast beef.

Note that’s my plate above.(you can tell its mine as there are 3 green beans and one solitary piece of carrot)My diet isn’t going too well this week.I have a craving for chocolate and all bad things.I had crepes and Ben & Jerry's fudge brownie ice cream  for dessert last night.

If only I could lose my munchkins cheeks.Oh for definition!

What am I talking about,even when I was like a biafran my Dad still said I looked like one of the Wizard of Oz munchkins.Some people have big hips whereas I have a turkey neck and chubby cheeks.If only you could choose your parents and your genes.

I suppose it could have been worse he used to say my sister smelt of mulligatawny soup!!!!!

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Happy “belated” birthday

to ME…..

I struggled a bit during my Birthday yesterday.I was still feeling VERY queasy and my sciatica was giving me gyp.

But today I woke up feeling much better and at last I have an appetite.Although hopefully it won’t kick in too much.I have done so well for the last 3 weeks with my diet.I only wanted to lose half a stone before my trip to Chicago,so as I’ve lost in excess of 5 pounds already I don’t want the munchies to kick in…

I was intrigued to find out what 5 pounds looks likes in real terms. I tried some jars of my favourite curry sauces and then remembered someone I know had once blogged a picture of their weight lost in cookery books.

So here’s mine so far…….

Lets hope I can add a Jamie Oliver to the pile or even better a Nigella Lawson before I go away.

I LOVE funny Birthday cards and these, nearly,made me have to resort to a Tena lady.

My Sister gave me the Queen of frigging everything card.I think I may just have to frame it in my scraproom.

Well the end is in sight of my sciatica pain.I have been receiving intensive osteopathy and after each one the pain has lessened.Hubby has been giving me nightly back massages to help with my treatment.Which,when he keeps to the task in hand,have greatly helped.

I finally got to do some scrapping this weekend at Anna’s crop.We had as usual a lovely kit and this was my interpretation of her class.

I used a photo of me on my Birthday many,many years ago.The title is Happy Birthday in French as I was on a weekend break in Paris to celebrate my 18th.

I remember every single thing I am wearing,how much I paid and the exact shops I bought them in.

What I’ve got on cost almost £300 and that was 28 years ago!!!!!!!!

I only have the Mulberry bag now.I reluctantly threw the other bits away over the  years.

Boy,do I wish I still had those shoes and the denim jumpsuit.

I still love them.

I also completed a layout from some stash left over from an Ally Pally purchase.I was trying to make some use of these old APS size photos I didn't have room for in my new photo albums.

They were taken in 1998 of our apartment and its view in Spain.

I’m not too happy with this layout,as I still don’t have my scrapping head on yet.

I seem to have an ever expanding pile of layouts waiting for journaling.I hate writing on them as it feels like I’ve spoilt them.

Hang on…

whose trainers are those?No one has feet that big in our family?….

OMG there ANDY the plumbers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I suppose four weeks late is better than never???!!!!!!!!

God help us if we get a water leak…

Reminds me I had better check our house insurance to see if their is a clause about the time limit to get a plumber out.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

bloody plumbers……….

What is happening with the scrapbook room you may ask.Bloody nothing…..

Even the poor carpenter has rung me to ask if we have changed our mind as its taking so long.We have been ready for weeks.But have been waiting for a plumber to move a small radiator 140cm.

We were assured that the plumber would come one evening  weeks ago.So we stayed in waiting each night.But he never came…….

Then he never replied to countless texts and messages.Hubby even sent him a text during the volcano ash cloud to say it was now safe to start his engine,and when would he be over?But obviously the volcanic dust stopped the message getting through.

So out of desperation we contacted an old friends husband,who's a plumber.Could he help us out?Yes he said no problem he’d be over one night.Definitely before Saturday.

So while I was head down the toilet and hobbling around in my nightie,I kept waiting for the doorbell to ring.But it remained silent.Hubby then got the dreaded call.Sorry  he wouldn’t be able to make it after all!!!!!

So back we went to our original plumber.Yes he’d be there Saturday,DEFINETLY at 8am.

At 7.45am this morning Hubby woke from a deep, jet lagged sleep .Tumbled out of bed and grabbed his work clothes.I was still fast asleep,off in pain free land,when a demented wet dog sneaked past a sleepy husband to wake me with a karate kick to the stomach and a morning kiss.

So know the two of us have that morning sickly feeling.But at least we were awake ready for the plumber.

8am came and went and then the phone rang.Yep,it was the plumber!!!His phone does work after all???????

He’d had to go off to another job,he’d definitely be here after 2pm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for the warning mate,we’re so pleased to be up,nice and early……

Friday, 14 May 2010

Bluebell girls

Oh whoops wrong  picture

A while back I spent a day with 3 friends for a spot of bluebell photography.This was right near the start of my sciatica problems.I would have like to have got down on the ground to have taken some shoots but I would never have got back up.

We went to Moggerhanger park,in Bedfordshire

which is open free to the public to stroll around their beautiful woods.We bumped into the owner of the house who informed us he bought it some years ago for £1!!!!

I’m glad my Husband didn’t see it otherwise he would have bought it.And I’ve had enough of renovating and decorating to last me a lifetime.I haven’t told him yet but the house we were going to buy before our current one has just gone up for sale.Whatever you do don’t even attempt to buy it,this man is a born loser and won’t ever sell it.He has put it on the market three times and always withdraws it when it sells!

Hubby saw this one the other day that he’d like back in our old village.But I just said “NO,I AM NOT MOVING ! ”

Anyway,I digress, back to the bluebells.










We decided to check out the tea rooms.Me and Sandra plumped for the scones with lemon curd and clotted cream and Hilary and Ann had the same with fruit.We couldn’t stop laughing when we each received two TINY scones.

Mine had two pats of butter and theirs had low fat spread!!!!

The waitress obviously didn’t know I was doing Weight Watchers.

We wondered how such an old fashioned,out of the way place kept going.


So imagine our surprise that by the time we left every seat was taken in the restaurant/tea rooms.Hilary did point out though,that I was by far the youngest in there.At nearly 46 that is not such a great thing for the restaurant!!

Here’s a link to Sandra’s take of the day.

To make matters worse

Well I still can’t walk properly and I am in constant pain from my sciatica.If that wasn’t bad enough I had a friend show up with her baby.It turned out she’d smuggled him out of hospital where he is in isolation.She was bored from being in the same room with him,so thought it a great idea to bring him to me.She neglected to tell me, till she was here,that although he is in for one complaint he is also ill with sickness and diarrhoea.

Well,within 24 hours I was 5 pounds lighter.I was just like Maggie one of the characters from Little Britain's Judy and Maggie sketch.If your not familiar with them ,let me just say projectile.

What made it SO much worse was the pain from having to kneel on the floor with my sciatica.Plus I couldn’t keep down any of my painkillers.

I took a sleeping tablet last night and woke this morning feeling much better.I just have the sciatica pain to contend with.

Before I had become ill,I had a phone call from my Sister asking me to give her some advice on some doorknobs.The builder had took it upon himself to drill all the doors and doorframes for my sisters new house.But he omitted to ask where she wanted them.


What you can’t tell from this photo is that they are very hard to open ,Your knuckles touch the door frame.added to the fact that they looked like they were too high up.


So I agreed with her for once and the builder has had to change every door in the house!



My Sister should be moving in next month if all goes to plan.The house is looking lovely.

They had started to fit her new kitchen the day I was there.

My sister had wanted the same style of kitchen as mine.But I pointed out to her MANY times it would not look right in her modern style house.I suggested a kitchen I had seen in a John Lewis advertisement and one I’d seen at my kicken planners.But NO she wanted mine.

Around and around she went trying to find one that was right and guess what,when I turn up its the exact one I chose in the first place!!!When will she learn to listen to me.

Now,one thing you won’t know about my sister is that she can’t cook.She is the exact opposite of me in nearly everything.I was dark she was blond.I have skinny legs she has tree trunk calf's.

So quite what she intends to do with THREE ovens is mind boggling!

Maybe beans in one,chicken dippers in another and chips in the last one.I said to her We’ll have Christmas dinner around yours this year.To which she replied only if you cook it!!

Apparently she is going to have about 6 different contraptions for her sink.Again for someone who doesn’t wash up or clean it occurred to her that may be excessive .We laughed at this point as it suddenly dawned on Andrea what my Dad would have said if he knew she’s spent his money on 6 taps!!!He used to never even have hot water from his to save money.

Another thing we differ on is I don’t drink alcohol whereas Andrea defiantly does.So it was with some surprise for her that the planners had included a drinks chiller in her plan.But  they obviously could smell the fumes from her and thought it would get well used.

The island was put in yesterday along with a “bling “chandelier extractor. I can’t wait to see how she is going to keep that clean.

Oh sorry I mean I can’t wait to see how her Husband is going to keep that clean.

Details aren’t my sisters strong point.When she showed me her new spy hole.It suddenly occurred to her that she’s too short to see out of it.And she had told the builder where to put it!

I like my clothes ordered in colour and type of article.They are all ironed and even if I was blind folded I could pull out the exact outfit I wanted.Anal yes I know.But I am much better than I was .

When I was younger and living at home .My clothes were kept on numbered hangers.Everything was inventorised.Why you might ask?Well the above sister used to like to “borrow” my expensive designer outfits.This was my way of keeping track of what she’d pinched.

Andrea has always been of the persuasion .The more clothes you have the better.Why buy one expensive article when you could get 10 cheap ones!

Her current home is piled high with washing and ironing.But when you dare to open a drawer or her wardrobe those 10 items are stuffed in with another 1000.Creased beyond recognition.

So I can’t wait to see what this room is going to turn out like.

Its going to be a huge walk in wardrobe.All I can say is thank God I threw lots of her OLD clothes away years ago.She still moans that I made her do it.She had clothes going back to the 70’s.

The house  I am sure is going to be lovely and I can’t wait to see how she is going to keep it clean and tidy.(You have your work cut out for you Dave)


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