Saturday, 21 May 2022


 Good morning and Happy Saturday to us all.  After a very wet morning yesterday, the weather brightened up just in time for the cream tea so we were able to enjoy it sitting out in Lindsey's garden.  It looks rather promising at the moment so fingers are crossed for a really nice day.

As always, Slimming World group was really good and much less frantic than last week.  Jen now has someone else to help her with booking people in; I did give it a go but all those numbers (fees, money for hi fi bards, books, magazine, etc) are not great for someone who is mildly dyscalculic and I think I probably made more problems than I solved so I went back to weighing people instead.  I can do that and people seem to like me doing it so . . . good!  Anyway, Michelle volunteered and did a great job so now Jen can greet new members, etc.

Then I went home where I whisked around doing all sorts - packing, sorting, washing, ironing, getting the place ready for my friend who is having a house sitting holiday of her own and watching the rain, hoping it would clear up - which it did.

The cream tea was great - lots of sociable chatter and some yummy cakes although I could only manage a scone (rather large) with jam and cream and a coffee.  That filled me up and I wasn't the only one.  I just hope Lindsey can freeze what's left.

Today I'm up early so can start sorting out the fruit and veg which I am taking with me.  There's a bit of ironing, a bit of packing, a bed to make and so on and I'm due at Specsavers at nine to pick up my new aids, fingers crossed.  Then I will do a little shop before coming home to finish off and depart.  
So that's today.  See you the other end.  xx

Friday, 20 May 2022


 Morning, everyone.  Yesterday morning was dull and the afternoon was warm and sunny.  Today looks as if we're going to have some rain but it will clear up later on.  I hope so!

At the opticians yesterday, I paid an extra tenner for an eye health check - it seemed a sensible thing to do - and all's well.  The 'freckles' at the back are going nowhere - not that I expect them to but there's always a slight chance - so that's good.  Everything looked clear and in full working order and any developing cataracts are minimal and nothing to cause any concern at the moment.

Even in two years, the technology has moved on and several tests I expected, such as the peripheral vision one, were no longer done.  It was mostly a case of looking through a machine while it did all the hard work.  Only at the end did I have to do a bit of reading and answer questions about what was brighter/clearer, could I read the bottom line, etc.

The worst bit was choosing the frames - no, the worst bit was maybe paying for them although it really wasn't so bad once discounts, etc, had been applied.  I went for the buy one, get one free plus third pair half price as I couldn't choose between two frames.  One pair is sunglasses, of course.

And I'm booked to go back to collect in three weeks yesterday.

Then I went on to Beth's to have some kitten-cuddles and a good old gossip before I went home and got changed for the evening.

I went to see the Sound of Music performed by a local society.  One of the cast was the head teacher at the school I used to teach at so that was nice and, lo and behold, not only did I connect with an old colleague and her granddaughter but just along my row was a small group of current staff including two TAs who I have worked with.  It was so, so nice to see them all.
The show was good.  The singing and music generally was outstanding, the acting was - well, amateur - and the costumes and scenery were great.  A very good evening out!

Today, I will be out to Slimming World first thing, followed by general sorting out of things, washing, ironing, and so on.  No cleaners today - they have had to cancel because one of them has broken her leg, poor soul and the manager is chasing her tail trying to rearrange rotas and fit as many clients in as possible.  

And then - what a gadabout - I'm off to Lindsey's for a 'cream tea' fundraiser (Bring Your Own Chair) which I am very much looking forward to indeed.

Such a nice day!  I hope yours is too.  xx

Thursday, 19 May 2022


 Morning, everyone.  After a gorgeous day yesterday, we had some heavy rain and a storm overnight and it's still very gloomy this morning.  However, the forecast is for sunny intervals and a gentle breeze which sounds very pleasant.

Yesterday, I started off with an early shop.  I was going to do it today but I had the time yesterday so why not?  Then I pottered at home, doing this, that and the other until I left for personal training which went as well as it always does.  It's the last session in this block, I can't go next week, Lindsey isn't doing any sessions over half term week so it's a while before my next session and we discussed things to introduce and next steps for when the next block starts.

I was so very tired come the evening that I found myself falling asleep at the start of The Repair Shop so I took myself up to bed, fell asleep almost immediately and slept soundly until my usual waking time with just one short wakeful spell during the storm - not for long though.

Today, there's no chat with Chris as they are away.  I'm back off into town later on for a sight check (and choosing new glasses, I fully expect) and then this evening I'm off out to the local theatre to see one of our local operatic societies perform The Sound of Music.   It's always nice when you know the songs inside out, isn't it?  In between times, there's packing and so on.  Quite busy but nice busy.  And I have The Repair Shop and Sewing Bee to catch up on too.  Nice.

Have a lovely day, everyone.  Stay well.  xx

Edited to add a rather cute (and he knows it) photo of Guess Who.

Wednesday, 18 May 2022


 Morning, everyone!  After a gloriously warm and sunny day yesterday, it looks as if today is going to be much the same, fingers crossed.

Yesterday turned out to be a very exciting day, one way and another.

It started with Groove where I jumped!  OK, so that doesn't sound very exciting but, you see, what with my dodgy ankles anyway and the damage I did last year, jumping has been totally out of the equation.  I've been working to improve the springiness of my feet and ankles and yesterday I started seeing some positive results.  So that was great.
I will miss next week's session but Lindsey has given me the link to the video I helped to make (not in it, I was just there as part of a small 'class') so I can do it anywhere, using my laptop.

Then I went into town to the Specsavers audiology department.  To cut a long story short, I am getting some more hearing aids - one pair as my main aids because technology has moved on a long way since I got my current pair and they are almost out of warrantee and one pair because I want a back up pair that work on battery rather than relying on being able to recharge them each night - just in case I ever got stuck.  The audiology chap said, after I'd done the hearing tests, 'Your hearing is bad, isn't it?' (which I could have told him!) but the good news is that it hasn't got any worse since the last test last year.
The aids I am getting are great - they are louder, clearer and have loads of gizmos including . . . blue tooth connection.  That means that I can link them to my phone and the sound goes straight into my aids.  I haven't used the phone for so long as I just can't hear clearly enough and not I should be able to again - fantastic.  It's so limiting, not being able to use a phone.
I already have a loop connection to the telly but this will be clearer and no need for the loopy thing round my neck.  Also, I won't have to cut out background noise.
I pick them up on Saturday, just in time for my holiday.

The other pair are in the ear ones so they took a mould of inside my ear and the aids should be back in around three weeks.  They also have greatly improved technology/functionality.

What we won't mention is the bill because it's eye watering but this is quality of life and social interaction enhancement.  More investing in myself and my well being and, thanks to dear Dad, I can do it.

I was so excited afterwards that I HAD to spend some money in Primark and M&S - just jeans and some new summer socks.  To be fair, I did need the socks! 

Then I had a good long chat with Seth (one of the most useful people to have taught at primary school) about the garden room and various other home improvements including building a little en suite in the biggest bedroom (no problem, said Seth).  All extremely exciting!

So, all in all, a super day.

Today is calmer.  There's nothing much until personal training this afternoon but I'm going to start packing a bit and, as it's self catering, packing little pots of things like salt, oats, etc . . . things that I really don't want to buy a whole pack of.
And there's always the garden!
Have a really good day, everyone.  All the best.  xx

If you're interested in Little Pete updates, photos, etc, Beth has started a Facebook group you are welcome to go and look at.  Here's the link.

Tuesday, 17 May 2022


 Good morning, everyone.  The sun is shining brightly after a dull morning and sunny afternoon yesterday.  It looks set to stay around, fingers crossed.

Jeff turned up yesterday and worked his magic on those weeds.  It all looks so much better now - he's definitely one of the treasures in my life, he truly is.

Circuit training was great.  Some new things, a new war of organising the time - Lindsey really likes to ring the changes and we all enjoy the sessions very much indeed.

In the afternoon, I sat down at the PC and booked some things for next week.  I now have tickets for Sutton Hoo and the new Swords of the Kingdom exhibition that opens in a couple of days, I believe, Framingham Castle (been there several times but it is one of my favourite places and I hope to wander round the town and visit the nearby church as well, and to Saxtead Green Post Mill which I wanted to visit a long time ago but it is only open on Fridays and Saturdays, sadly.  It's no longer a working mill but it is in working order and the side says you can claim all over it and look around.

I'd also like to go back to Orford Castle and I've never been to Leiston Abbey and Aldborgh so, all in all, I'll have enough to do.

I'm also looking forward to my early morning walks on the sand, down to the harbour and back, along the pier, looking into the interesting little museums that were all closed last year because of Covid, and meandering up and down the High Street, enjoying all the little shops.

I had a good look on the Adnams site but I have already done the brewery and distillery tours and the 'make your own bottle of gin' thing looks interesting but is £95 which is far more than I would wish to pay!

Don't laugh, but not too far away, there is a Slimming World group which I am thinking seriously of going to one evening.  They're fun, really they are.

Today there's three main things. 
Firstly, there's Groove aerobics, then Seth is coming round to do a repair and discuss my plans for a garden room (he has his own building company) and later on I'm off into town for an appointment with the audiologist.

That's enough to keep me out of trouble!

Have a great day and I hope the sun shines on you . . . xx

Monday, 16 May 2022


 Good morning, everyone.  It looks a lot nicer this morning as the sun is trying to shine.  Very nice after a day of rain yesterday, although the garden looks happy enough.  It was supposed to feel humid yesterday but, for me, it just felt very, very cold, so cold that I turned up the heating and had the electric blanket on when I went to bed.  It took me ages to feel warm.

It was a very pleasant day yesterday.  Beth and Al came round and we enjoyed lunch together - Alex does enjoy a roast dinner!  We had a good old natter too and I got all the latest news of Little Pete who is doing really well.  The others are accepting him a bit more now - here's the latest photo I have with Ava letting him snuggle up to her.

I was so tired come the evening but, for some reason, slept very badly so today, I suspect, will be a series of cat naps.  Luckily, there's not much on today.  Jeff is coming early morning to attach the weeds for me and I have circuits later on but apart from that I can just potter.

Have a lovely day, everyone.  Take care, stay safe and be happy.  xx

Sunday, 15 May 2022


 Good morning, everyone.  It's a bit overcast this morning but might brighten up.  Yesterday was absolutely lovely, just like summer, all warm and sunny.  Beautiful.

I really didn't do very much yesterday.  Some cooking, some tidying, a bit of holiday planning . . . I popped round to Morrisons because I was nearly out of ice but, lo and behold, they were completely out!!  Never mind, it's a bit of a guilty pleasure anyway!  I'll get the ice bags out.

Today, Beth and Alex are round for Sunday lunch and I'm doing a roast chicken dinner so there's a bit of preparation for that.  Alex's birthday present has arrived here (a microwave - it's what he wanted!) so he can lift it into the car for me!

And that is that.  Nice and happy today.

What are your plans - do you do anything different over the weekends.  xx

Saturday, 14 May 2022


 Hello, everyone.  Happy Saturday to you all.  I can't believe how quickly the weeks are passing at the moment.

Yesterday was good.  
You could have knocked me down with a feather when the scales showed a loss at SW - a great relief but not something to take for granted, I think.  It was a good time with visitors and new members galore and lots of laughs.

Once home, I sorted stuff out at home, did some emailing to arrange a few bits and bobs and generally pottered.  I didn't go out in the end.

The evening was really lovely.  Dave and Anna are in the throes of setting up their now home and they filled me in on all sorts of interesting details.  They are obviously very happy with it all.  On Thursday they took a van up to Dad's and collected all the stuff they had laid claim to and now it's safely in their new home which fills me with joy.  I know Mum and Dad would be thrilled to know that some of their beloved furniture is still being put to good family use.

I took a few garden photos.

The strawberries are looking promising.

The ooh la la clematis has started flowering.

The flamenco apple ballerina tree is loaded - I will need to do some thinning after the June drop.

And even the new columnar braeburn looks promising.

The little plum and pear did not flower this year which is what I expected.  They should produce next year.

No photo of the fig - after it got frosted, all the little leaves shrivelled up and dropped off but, thankfully, it is now sending out more leaves.  My friend Chris has a much more mature one and the same thing happened to hers.

Today is a rest and recover day (Dave and Anna brought wine!) and I will start setting things out for my holiday packing in the spare room.  I also want to plan my meals for the week and generally get things organised.
What are you planning to do today?  xx

Friday, 13 May 2022


 Morning, everyone.  The sun is shining, there's a pleasant breeze and I have given my containers a bit of a watering, just to keep them happy.  It was pretty pleasant yesterday so fingers crossed it continues.

My chat with Chris was lovely but it's the last one for a while now as one or both of us can't make the next three weeks.  We will have loads to talk about when they resume in June (!!!), won't we?

After that and having had breakfast, I drove along to M&S to do just a very small shop, just fresh stuff, and noticed that the signs are all up for road closures.  In a fortnight it is the RideLondon peloton event . . .
. . . and, as they organisers have an 'arrangement' with Essex, there's going to be a fair bit of road disruption.  On the Friday, it's all around Maldon so doesn't affect us here but on Saturday and Sunday they are using a lot of the route that the Tour de France took several years ago and it will be right past the end of the cul de sac.  On Saturday, the roads are only closed from around 10-45 to 11-45 but on the Sunday they are closed pretty much all day.
I will have access in and out but, while the road is closed, there will be queues of traffic, I expect.

Then I got the leaflet drop done (for SW) so I can face Jen with a clear conscience this morning.

And finally, I finished the washing and got all the drying and ironing done so that was good.  I like an empty ironing basket!

Today starts with Slimming World and then I need to just make sure the house is fit for the cleaners to work their particular brand of magic.  I might take a drive out somewhere - I'll see how I feel.

This evening, Dave and Anna are round but there's no work involved as we're having a Chinese takeaway and I bought a lemon tart for a treat.
It'll be nice to see them and find out how the move is going.

Hoping the sun shines for you and you have a wonderful day.  xx

Thursday, 12 May 2022


 Good morning, everyone!  We have sunshine this morning, proper sunshine, not like yesterday when it faded into cloud and then rain by mid morning.  Fingers crossed

Yesterday looked busy on paper but it wasn't so bad really.  I got into town just after nine and went to Specsavers first where I made two appointments.  The first was for a sight test as it's been two years since the last one, I think I need a new prescription and anyway, they said every two years because of baby cataracts.
Then I spoke to the trainee audiologist and made a different appointment as I want to get new hearing aids and one of my current set needs to go off for repair as it keeps cutting out.
I was pleased to get both appointments sorted out, even though it means two visits into town next week.

Then I went to Nationwide where I needed to get a few things sorted out - and now I can access my accounts online - I've just checked.  That's good.

After all of that, I went to John Lewis to get a shiny new omelette pan, my old one being more than a bit manky.  I decided to go a bit upmarket so fingers crossed it will be worth it.  Then I did Lakeland but didn't get much there, being fine for poly bags, etc, after bringing some of Mum and Dad's stock home with me several months ago.

And then it was home where there was a parcel on the doorstep.  Hotter shoes.  Just in time for holiday, excellent.

Personal training was as good as it always is.  I so enjoy these sessions and, as I don't have a lot of personal motivation, they keep me moving and are helping to to get fitter no end.
Glasses, hearing aids, exercise classes - they're all about investing in myself and the quality of the rest of my life, aren't they?

Sewing Bee was good again although I was surprised to find how few has done shirring.  In my youth I made several sun dresses that basically were tubes, shirred at the top and with added straps.  Dead easy, not much fabric needed and, at one time, very much the thing.
And as for the elimination, justice was done!

Poor Little Pete had a traumatic experience.  He had A Flea.  Eeeek.
He's far too young for the conventional treatment so it had to be a bath, something that didn't go down at all well, as you can imagine.

Did you ever see anything so Dobby-like in your life?  "Mistress has given Dobby a bath!" 
Poor little chap!

And afterwards . . .  "How could you, Mum?"
Those eyes!!

Today starts with the usual coffee and chat with Chris - she's coming here this week so I've tidied the place up just a little bit.  After that, I need to do a little shop, mainly for fresh stuff plus a few bits because Dave and Anna are coming over for a meal (Chinese takeaway) tomorrow evening.
And in the afternoon, I am doing a leaflet drop.

As I did some washing yesterday, there's a little pile of ironing to deal with and there's a pile of whites that I will start off after I've finished this - they should line dry today.

So that's my day.  Nice and easy, not too much like hard work and plenty of time to chill too.  I've started my packing list and will probably add to that on and off through the next days.
Have a super day, everyone, and stay safe.  xx

Wednesday, 11 May 2022


 Morning, everyone!  I can see bits of blue sky but the forecast is for a cloudy day with the sun returning tomorrow.  Yesterday was intermittently drizzly until the afternoon when the sun came back.  

I really enjoyed Groove yesterday morning, even though my legs were aching before the end.  I do need to improve stamina and I am sure that will help.

Sharon turned up on time and now my head feels lighter and tidier again, thank goodness, and I am not peering through a fringe that goes down to my nose!

And, apart from housework, that was that!

Today I have to go into town first thing, to get a few things sorted, and I will probably have a little stroll around as well, seeing as I am there.

Then it is home, James, to sort out some washing/drying and I need to deal with a few kitchen drawers that are, frankly, an utter disgrace.

Finally, later in the afternoon, it's my hour of personal training so that is something to look forward to.

Also, to look forward to, it is Sewing Bee this evening.  So, actually, a really nice day and I'm looking forward to it.  I hope your day is as enjoyable too.  xx

I'll finish with another cute photo.  Until yesterday, Peter was approaching the other cats very carefully, getting a few snarls for his pains.  He has persisted (very politely - he has great feline social skills for such a little chap) and yesterday Beth found this.

Well done, Peter.

Tuesday, 10 May 2022


 Morning, all.  It's not so sunny this morning (yet) but the clouds look pretty high at the moment so fingers crossed.

As Bing Crosby sang in that old, old film 'A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's court' . . .

We're busy doin' nothin'
Workin' the whole day through
Tryin' to find lots of things not to do
We're busy goin' nowhere
Isn't it just a crime
We'd like to be unhappy, but
We never do have the time . . .

. . . and that's pretty much my life at the moment, except change 'unhappy' to 'guilty'.  No, it doesn't fit.  :0)

It's a good old life really.

Yesterday, I did my bit of shopping, enjoyed circuits with Lindsey and the group and then, later on, Dave popped round to say they had completed and the house is now theirs, would I like to go over with him and have a look round.  There was only one answer to that, wasn't there, so I spent a most enjoyable half hour or so looking round a house with bags of character and potential.  They've got a good one there, for sure.
It's an enviable position to be in - they didn't need to sell their house before buying so they can take their time moving in.
I fixed with Dave that they will probably come over again on Friday for a take away; they have to confirm this.

On Sunday, when I was round for Alex's birthday tea, I took some photos of cuteness so here's a few for you to oooh and ah over.  Little Pete really is adorable - those ears!


Today is another busy doing not-a-lot day.  It starts with Groove aerobics with Lindsey in a hall not so far away, moves on to a bit of housework before I have to wash my hair before Sharon turns up to work her magic on my mop of hair.

Then it's just stuff although I have told Dave and Anna when I am free all week in case then need any help - I think they'd like help moving all their books over and right upstairs to the attic conversion where there are some built in bookshelves.
And I must start thinking about what to take with me to Southwold too.

Have a great day, everyone.  Enjoy the sunshine, if you have it, and stay safe and well.  xx

Monday, 9 May 2022


 Good morning, everyone.  The sun is shining and it promises to be a really lovely day.  Bring it on!

Yesterday was a funny old day really.  Started well, took a dip and came back up again.  Yesterday, I wrote 'the other side (of Braintree - referring to the drive up) is simple . . . '   

I really should have known better.

The bit of the journey I wasn't looking forward to, getting through Braintree) turned out to be relatively simple, with the help of the sat nav.  The rest should have been a doddle but when I got to the roundabout to get onto the A 131, there was the dreaded 'Road Closed' sign.  Oh, poo, especially as I have no knowledge of country roads around there.  There was a diversion signposted so I took that but became more and more concerned as it took me (and lots of other traffic) onto the A120 and off towards Colchester, almost in the opposite direction!  I drove along for a while, the diversion signs petered out, the sat nav was doing its nut (and mine), telling to do U turns and I ended up turning back, stopping, looking closely at the map on the sat nav, remembering there were signposts to the castle from Halstead, resetting the SatNav, setting off down the A 120 again, ignoring a few turnings that looks very 'country' and finally turning off near Coggeshall from whence I was well directed to Halstead and from there to Hedingham.
I was only an hour late!!!!!

Once there though, things looked up.  I'll post some photos below.
Hedingham castle was built around 1140 and is very 'Norman' - austere, forbidding and dominating with few external frills and fancies although there is supposed to have been an inside well and there are also inside loos.  It's basically one room on four floors with a few off rooms (like the loo and a little chapel).

I won't go on about its history - there's info here.

The bluebells were, frankly, not worth seeing.  They were pretty much over, their blue had faded and the nettles were taking over.  However, the actual walk, which was quite short, was really lovely.  Called the 'Valley' or 'Forest' walk, it goes around the keep and is what was a pretty substantial moat.  
As the properly is privately owned, there's a very posh house to the side and the walk takes one through the garden with a very pretty lake at the bottom.  A splendid view from the bedrooms.

One actually accesses the keep via a Tudor bridge which goes over what was the moat.

The drive home was much better.  I just did a series of town hops - to Halstead, then to Coggeshall which got me onto the A 120.  After that, I knew where I was and the drive back through Braintree (I am so glad I did that way) was no problem.

Over the last few months I have hit three road closures on my way somewhere and each time the diversions have been absolutely rubbish, taking me miles out of the way and poorly signalled as well.  Yes, I'm having a grumble!  The A 131, for all it looks like a B road in places, is a main road taking lots of traffic up towards Bury and beyond.  You'd think they could manage to keep it a bit open with traffic lights, wouldn't you?

Enough whinging . . .  here's some photos.

View from the car park area.
Access via the Tudor bridge 
The fireplace in the Banqueting Hall - that chevron pattern is replicated all over the Keep
Internal view from the minstrels gallery.

The floors are all modern.  There was a bad fire in 1918.  The keep had been used as a signalling station for aircraft and the soldiers manning it were careless.  An awful lot of historically important furniture and all the ancient plastering was destroyed which is very sad.
External view from the gallery - that little splash of colour on the right is picnic tables with people enjoying the sunshine.
Walking along the moat valley
Nice bedroom view - lucky owners!
A sample of the bluebells!  Two weeks ago they would have been beautiful.

Apart from the drive there, I really enjoyed myself.  It was warm and sunny, not at all crowded, not commercialised and I will be going back again, perhaps earlier in Spring.

Today's plans involve a small shop (I am out of salad stuff which would never do!) and circuits at Lindsey's.  No tuition - which feels very odd!

I found this on Facebook and I offer it to all Yr sixes, everywhere, who are taking their KS2 SATs this week.  It says what I think.

Have a great day, everyone.  xx

Sunday, 8 May 2022


 Morning, everyone. How's things this May Sunday morning?  The sun is struggling to break through here but fingers are crossed and the forecast is promising.

Here's the latest cuteness photo.  I can't wait to see him again.

Yesterday turned out to be a weary day.  They are increasingly few and far between now, which is good, so I just went with the flow, rested (and slept) quite a lot and managed to get bits and bobs done between snores, very thankful that I could.

Today, I'm off to Castle Hedingham (I've been spelling it wrong, bad me) to see the bluebells.  I have no idea how crowded or otherwise it will be but fingers crossed.  I've negotiated my route through Braintree (I know this end and the other side is really simple) although coming back will have to take its chances.  It's always easier coming home anyway, isn't it?

I'll take a picnic with me and I hope it will pass a very pleasant two or three hours.

Once home again, I will gather a few things together and then pop round to Beth's for tea.  It's Alex's birthday today - happy birthday, Al - so it should be a pleasant family time.

And that's today.  Two very nice things.  How about you - what are your nice things today?  Have a great day and stay safe and well.  xx

Saturday, 7 May 2022


 Hello, everyone, and a happy Saturday to you!  After a gorgeous day yesterday, we had rain overnight (mush needed so no complaints) and it is still cloudy and damp.  Not cold though. more like a light dressing gown start to the day.

Weigh in was disappointing - a maintain.  I was temporarily quite sad inside but at least it wasn't a gain!  Then I did a bit of a shop for things needed in the evening before coming home, sorting the house out, washing sheets, etc, and cooking for the evening.

Dave and Anna came round and we had a good old chat over supper.  They're hoping to complete on Monday morning which is very exciting and I have promised help whenever I can and whenever they need it.  They are doing a gradual transfer of stuff as their current home is not yet on the market.

Today, once a certain fragility caused by a slight over indulgence yesterday has worn off, I have ironing, meal prep, holiday planning and ironing on the list and, to get me out, a leaflet drop down my road and the avenues that go off it (weather permitting).

I also need to deal with the plant my student gave me on Monday as a thank you.  It's a small but very healthy looking camellia bush - well, a twig really but it's already sending out side shoots.  I won't give it a huge pot to start with, just one big enough for now, with a view to potting it on in due course.

Have a great day, everyone, whatever the weather is like for you.  xx

Friday, 6 May 2022


Good morning to you all.  What's the weather like your way?  Here it is looking as if it will be a lovely sunny day and, after yesterday, should be nice and warm too.

The chat with Chris was lovely.  As always, we talked about all sorts of thing, family, the world, the universe and everything . . .

The extra exercise class Lindsey laid on so she could record the session was really good.  There were three of us, one of whom goes to the Tuesday class I have just joined - it was very nice to get to know her a little bit.

Then I drove on to Longacres, the garden centre that used to be Wyvale, and came out with a plant and a little dead heading gadget that will be very useful, I am sure.

It was the leaves that caught my attention - they're interesting.

Then I went home and pottered for the rest of the day.  Sadly, I didn't get much ironing done but I did watch Sewing Bee.  There's some extremely talented sewers this year and a few duffers.  I wouldn't have chosen the one who get eliminated, I think there was someone whose creations were poorer but I expect they will go soon too.

Today starts with Slimming World, then I go to Morrisons to pick up a few things for tonight before coming home to sort things out.  This afternoon, I am cooking and prepping for this evening because Dave and Anna are round for a meal.

The clump of bluebells beside my front door reminds me that on Sunday I am off to Castle Headingham to see the bluebells and generally have a pleasant time.  Must sort out my e-ticket!

It's still early (around 6:30) but the sun is shining quite brightly now so I'm looking forward to a lovely day with, hopefully, tome to sit out and enjoy the warmth.

Do you have any special plans for today?


Thursday, 5 May 2022


 Morning, everyone.  It was a funny old day yesterday - first rain, then sun, then rain again . . . all through the day.  Today looks better but time will tell!

I did my Sainsbury's shop as planned.  It was a bit ouch but that's how things are at the moment, isn't it?  I got all that sorted out, got on with housework stuff and then went off to Lindsey's for personal training.

And that was about it really.  It was Sewing Bee in the evening but I was really tired so I'll watch it today instead.

Today is Thursday so it's Chat With Chris Day.  After than, I'm changing quickly and then going back to Lindsey's.  She posted a message yesterday asking if anyone was interested in testing the new Grove aerobics playlist while she filmed it - she does a track to send to people if they have to miss a session and finds it better if she's actually leading a class rather than just performing to the camera; less of a performance and more real.  As it's just her being filmed, I jumped at the opportunity for a freebie.
Swimming can wait for another time.

Once that's done, I have plenty to do at home, including some tidying up and a stack of ironing while I watch Sewing Bee.  I won't be bored, that's a fact.

Here's the latest cuteness overload photo.

Have a lovely day and stay safe and well.  xx

Wednesday, 4 May 2022


 Morning, everyone.  We've had our rain at last, not during the day yesterday but overnight.  It doesn't appear to be actually raining at the moment but it is very dull and the clouds are low so I wouldn't be surprised to see more on the way.

It was all change yesterday morning.  I think I mentioned before that I was thinking of starting Lindsey's Tuesday morning Groove class and she offered me a try out for today that I couldn't take up because of my hair appointment.  Well, poor Sharon (hairdresser) had a fall yesterday (tripped over something) and damaged her hand so she needs to rest it.  She's rescheduled for next week so I Facebooked Lindsey and turned up at 9:15 for a session of energetic sort of dance type exercises, quite different to the circuits and the personal training.  It was fun and I've now put myself down for the next block that starts next week (fortunately).
Anyone who has known me longer term will find all this hilarious.  I am pretty amused myself - three formal exercise classes a week and belonging to a gym.  Crazy!!  I look upon it as an investment in myself, in my well being and longer term health.  After the injury last year, I'm not taking it for granted.

I drove down to one of the garden centres and came back with some twine, a lupin and four cheap, light, plastic pots.  They're just sitting outside right now - I'll deal with them later on today.

Apart from that, I had a quiet day indoors doing the usual daily/regular stuff

Today starts with a trip to Sainsbury's to get this, that and the other and ends with my personal training session with Lindsey.  It between is all the usual stuff plus starting to plan for Southwold.  Exciting!

Have a lovely day, inside or out, wet or dry, whatever your plans.  xx

Tuesday, 3 May 2022


Morning, everyone.  With Bank Holiday over, things get back to normal again, whatever 'normal' means.   The sun is hiding, there are some dark clouds above and it looks seriously like rain - just when I had a pile of washing.  Oh, well, I have an efficient fold up drying rack!

Apart from tuition, nothing else happened yesterday.  Nothing to mention, anyway.  When it is bank Holiday, I avoid going out and adding to any crowds.  I can do things at other times so I do.

Today, there's a bit more on.  At half past nine, Sharon comes round and by half past ten my hair will look half decent again.

After that, as long as it isn't too soaking wet, I plan to pop out to a garden centre to buy a few more containers and have a general stroll around.  At some point some housework and washing might get done - I do have sheets to change, for a start - and I am expecting a few parcels.  Really, just an ordinary day.

I would have gone swimming but after having my hair done all nicely, I won't.  Probably Thursday after the chat with Chris . . .

You'll get these for a while until the novelty wears off.  I apologise in advance.

Beth says:
" he has been fabulously socialised. He's so well mannered when approaching other cats, knows when to back off and doesn't have any fear of people whatsoever. Proper little snuggler. "
Bless him!

He is something nice to finish off the post with.
Have a great day, whatever the weather.  Take care, be safe and stay happy.  xx

Monday, 2 May 2022


 Morning, everyone.  The sun is hiding but it's quite bright and dry so here's hoping for a pleasant day!

Beth has brought the new kitten home.  He's very little, the 'runt' of the litter, but very mature, despite his small size, very social, uses the litter tray, eats like a miniature horse, plays, snuggles and pounces.  He is absolutely gorgeous.  At the moment his name is variable.  Peter, Little Pete, PJ (all after my Dad, Peter John) and all sorts of love-names.  I'm sure something will establish, given time.

Here's a few photos and, yes, he does look a bit younger than he really is, being the runt, but see how cute he is . . . just look at those dear little paddy paws!

I had a very pleasant couple of hours.

I'm just back from my last ever tuition session.  I feel an odd mixture of release and sadness and I'll probably miss it but it was time and it occurred naturally rather than many of the others when Lockdown stopped it.  It means I can go out on Monday afternoons now.

Happy Bank Holiday to everyone who has it.  Have a really good day, everyone.  xx

Sunday, 1 May 2022



Starting with a photo - the birthday flowers are still looking gorgeous.

Good morning, everyone.  It's a dull start but yesterday was absolutely lovely so here's hoping today copies it.

It was a very quiet day and I was rather weary so I rested up, slept several times and generally took things very easy.

Today, I was hoping that Beth and Alex would come round and even bought a chicken to roast but now they can't so into the freezer it goes!  I'm popping round there for a short time after lunch instead.
The other thing I have to do is prep for the Very Last Tuition Session tomorrow morning and to work out a suitably inspiring message to write in the card I have got for my student.  That'll take me quite a while, I suspect.  Tidying out all my tuition resources will most likely take a lot longer though so perhaps I will start that this evening!

Have a lovely Sunday, whatever your plans.  xx

Saturday, 30 April 2022


 Good morning, everyone.  We have real, proper sunshine this morning in a blue sky; what a good start to a Bank Holiday weekend, especially after yesterday when the sun finally came out just before it set which felt a real wasted effort of the sun's behalf!

I was so pleased with my loss at Slimming World yesterday (detail on t'other blog) and thoroughly enjoyed the meeting which was lots of fun.  We had a couple of new members and some are so close to target . . . I find that exciting (sad, I know).

I was delighted that Jen gave me a late birthday present - a window bird feeder and a set of three pairs of gardening gloves which are just what I needed.  So kind!

Once home, I pottered around doing this and that and the other, got the important paperwork sorted and back in the post to John, kept out of the cleaners' way (two of them this week) and generally had a gentle and easy day.

Today I want to get Val's gifts in.  There's some petunias, some mini petunias and a fuchsia and I'll probably put the last two together in a container and the other petunias in spaces in the flower bed.  I don't think they are trailing ones.

Just one other photo - the strawberries are starting to look promising.  Must get some netting up soon!

Apart from that, it's another lazy day.  Will I get up the motivation to go to the allotment?  Probably not as I'm having a bout of weariness this morning - aching and tired, and it depends when that passes really.  I have magazines to read, cross stitch to do, some meals to plan and telly to watch, not to mention the usual stuff so I won't be bored.

What are your plans for today.  Do you do anything special on bank holidays?

Friday, 29 April 2022


 Morning, everyone.  It looks rather more pleasant this morning and it doesn't feel quite so chilly either.  That's nice.

Yesterday's chat with Chris was very pleasant.  It's surprising how much natter one can exchange in an hour when one's mind is focused!!

Then Val arrived, bringing with her some bedding plants as a gift which was lovely.  I will get them in today.  On due time, we  set off for Writtle and Robyn's Nest where we enjoyed a thoroughly delicious lunch (and lots of chat) before wandering across the green to the church to have a nosey round.  They had some rather nice tea towels on sale, the picture being a painting of the church so we each bought one and made a donation (as you do).

Val stayed for a little bit longer before saying goodbye and I spent the rest of the day mopping up the residual ironing and other little tasks.

Today starts with Slimming World which I always look forward to.  It's lovely to see everyone and find out how things are going.  Then I have some bedding plants and a couple of lavender bushes to deal with.  The house is fairly cleaner-ready, which is nice.
The biggie is to get some paperwork sorted out though.  I really want to get that done and posted on/back.

Better get started.  Stay well, everyone, and have a lovely day.  xx

Thursday, 28 April 2022


 Good morning!  It's another very dull start to the day and it feels cold, just like yesterday.  Beeb says the sun might come out and I just hope they're right!

I got plenty done yesterday.  First of all it was into town to sort something out with a bank.  Not my bank, it was the local branch of the bank that is 'affiliated' with the Bank of Scotland where the executor account should have been set up last month but hasn't.  I won't bore you with details but I signed something that seemed to have got lost between here and Scotland, somehow.  John only discovered this two days ago as we don't actually need this yet, not until; deposits are paid, etc.
So I had a polite mutter (yes, I really was polite) to a bank person who brought out the manager who phoned the relevant bank in Scotland and, after twenty minutes or so, came out to say it should be all sorted now.  I hope so - John is checking today!

Then I meandered around town for a while but wasn't terribly tempted by anything much.

I've made a decision about the gym.  My trial membership for Greenwoods will run out soon but I have decided not to renew it.  Greenwoods is lovely but I really haven't used it as much as I thought I might and the main reason for that is distance.  It's pretty much half an hour there and another half an hour back, given normal traffic, and that was putting me off going, especially with petrol prices the way they are.
So later on I went into the Nuffield Gym in town (ten minutes in normal traffic) and renewed my membership there instead.  Quite a lot closer, quite a lot cheaper and more facilities but no 'treatments' (nails, etc) and no recliners and certainly no posh meals!  
I'm sad because Greenwoods is lovely but if I'm not using it . .  . that was the point of the trial, to see if I would.

Then I popped into Matalan - as you do - and got some PJs, a nightie, a sweat shirt so pink you will be able to see me coming a mile away, a bra, a T shirt and an overshirt.  Then I went along to Home Bargains to get a jar of red peppers and a jar of red jalapenos (such good value there) and some more all in one shampoo and conditioning bars which I find so good and you really can't argue about 99p, can you?  I doubt I will ever go back to bottles of shampoo and conditioner now.

In the evening I really enjoyed the first of the Sewing Bee programmes.  As Eileen said in her comment yesterday, there are some very engaging characters, a couple of more irritating ones and some extremely talented sewers.  It's going to be good!

Today is social day.  The usual chat with Chris (my house this time) and lunch out with Val (a belated birthday thing).  When I get home from that, I have executor related paperwork to sort out.  Plenty to do today too!

Wishing you the very best day possible.  Stay safe and well and be happy.  xx

Wednesday, 27 April 2022


 Morning, everyone.  How are you today?  After a gorgeous day yesterday, today has started off chilly and dull and it looks like rain.  Mind you, having said that, it will probably be lovely as my predictions are usually shockingly bad!  :-)

Yesterday was as planned, a sort of 'nothing' day.  I did some housework, caught up on a few telly programmes and chilled.  In the evening something made me happy; I got an invite to a wedding.  Most of my friends are either married or not in the least inclined to tie any knots so this was exciting.  It's not until October but it's in the diary so I don't accidentally double book.

Today I have to go into town first thing for several reasons, one of which includes a visit to the bank to sort something out.  Then it's home to tidy and clean because tomorrow is busy.  Later on, I'm off to Lindsey's for my hour of personal training.  I'm still a bit stiff from Monday so that should loosen me up nicely.
The evening is free which is just as well because Sewing Bee is back.  Three cheers!

Do you watch Sewing Bee?

Have a great day, whatever your plans.  xx

Tuesday, 26 April 2022


 Morning, everyone.  It's bright and sunny this morning with wall to wall blue skies, unlike yesterday which ended up hazy with even a bit of rain over lunchtime and the afternoon - nothing bad but I was at circuits and had left my washing - two loads of it - out on the line.  Fortunately, it came to nothing much.

After a morning spent sorting out a few cupboards, etc, circuits was great.  It's been nearly a fortnight since the last session with Lindsey and I wondered how it would go but no problems.  In fact, one of the tasks was jogging round the garden, something I would not have been able to do last year after injuring my calves and ankles - and it was absolutely fine, no problems.  Maybe I ought to rethink building a bit of jogging up and down and round the garden into my day now.
OK, so I'm a bit still right now but it's a good feeling, not an ouchy one.

Then it was on to the penultimate tuition session which went really well.  We talked about next week and decided I would look for something 'different' - Twinkl has what they call 'mysteries' where the student has to solve tasks to work out who dunnit.  That should do the trick.

I also did some ironing while the clothes were still a bit damp which makes it loads easier but you have it all hanging around airing afterwards - swings and roundabouts!  I was really pleased with how well my new dress washed.  It's cotton and I wondered if it would crease badly but it didn't, it just needed a light iron.  Excellent.

I got a card through the letterbox from a friend that made me smile a lot.

I'll go with that!

And another picture - the flowers from John and Gina have started opening out and are looking good although I need to rearrange them, I think.  It's on today's list!

So that was yesterday.

Today, being Tuesday, there's nothing official in the diary.  However, being Tuesday, there's lots of bits and bobs that need doing so I will be quite busy in a, unpressured way.  Just the sort of day I like, in fact, so no complaints from me!

Have a super day too.  Do you have any special plans?  xx

Monday, 25 April 2022


 Morning, everyone.  The first morning of my sixty tens and although it is too early for the sun, it looks promising.  Thank you so much again for all your lovely birthday wishes - so kind.

Yesterday was a very pleasant day.  A nice, relaxing, quiet morning and a lovely afternoon tea with Beth, Alex, Dave and Anna.  The food was great and I felt great wearing my new Seasalt dress and a necklace and bracelet that Beth and Alex gave me.  I meant to ask the waitress to take a family photo but forgot, silly me.  Oh, well, only ten years till the next one.  lol

I did take a few photos.

Little Channels is a converted barn with add ons and this is one end of it.

I started off with a campari and tonic, my top fave drink.
The food . . .
. . . and the other side.

There was another one too with more and Beth's vegetarian options on one side.

It was all delicious and so fresh.

This was all I could manage of the cakes.  Dave and Alex took what was left home in boxes Channels provided.  And yes, that is prosecco - and it was lovely!

The others had tea; I had coffee.  Very nice.

And now it's all back to normal for two weeks and then it is Al's birthday.

So, today is circuits and after school it's tuition.   Before then, I have a pile of washing and the related ironing and the kitchen could do with a bit of a clear out. Only two sessions left so I'm closing things down, finishing off and doing small scale things.
And sensible eating!!  I have to plan that for the next few days or it won't happen!

Have a lovely day; I hope everything goes well and that are happy and content.  xx

Sunday, 24 April 2022


Good morning, everyone.  What a lovely, sunny start to my special day.  The French window is open, the skies are clear blue and I will put out the egg chair later on for a nice sit out in the garden.

Yesterday was very pleasant.  I met up with David, Pam and Mick (just the four of us this week) and we had our usual lovely stroll along the river into town, had coffee, walked round the 'lake' and back again.  The whole thing takes about two hours (we walk very slowly!!) and is so pleasant.  I was given some flowers and a card which was very kind.  I haven't opened the card yet but I cut a few variegated leaves from the garden to go with the flowers.  Very pretty.

Then, when I got home after the walk/stroll, there on the doorstep was a box of Bloom and Wild flowers which turned out to be from John and Gina, bless them.  They are in a vase and recovering well from their journey.  I will take a photo once they have all opened.
This means a lot because the men in our family, taking their lead from my Dad, don't really 'do' 'special' presents (Mum did and so do Beth, Alex and I).  Dad was giving all the time anyway.  I dearly love getting flowers so this was such a joyous surprise and I was thrilled.

While I'm on the subject of  flowers, remember the Christmas poinsettias, the ones I doubted I would keep alive?  Well, one hit the compost bin, one is looking decidedly threadbare but still alive and this is the third one.

How?  Well, the only thing I am doing different is feeding them because I'm feeding all my other houseplants as I do them at the same time.   Maybe that's the way to go next Christmas?

I spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying the fine weather and doing mundane, houseworky stuff.  Nothing energetic and I did have quite a good snooze at one point.  :-)  Chris brought round a bag of birthday goodies, a lavender plant and a card.  The lavender in the garden that I thought was dead is now sending out growth so I need to find places for two plants, one I bought to replace it and the present.  Perhaps in a container?  That might be nice.

On to today!   I plan to do not a lot.  For a start, I'm not rushing to get bathed and dressed.  I've bought some posh fruit to make a nice fruit salad for breakfast and then I'm having nothing until afternoon tea.  Here's the menu - you can see I will not go hungry!!
It's the top one and Beth is having the vegetarian option, of course.
I wonder if they do doggy bags.

Beth and Alex are coming at around two for what she calls 'present time' which sounds most exciting.  Then she is driving me there and back.

I am so looking forward to today!

Thank you all very much for your birthday wishes in yesterday's comments.  They are so appreciated.  Have a wonderful day, stay safe and enjoy the sunshine (assuming you have some, of course).  xx 

Saturday, 23 April 2022


Good morning, everyone.  Another rather dull start to the day but it doesn't look like rain.  Mind you, me saying that makes it almost certain sure to rain at some point, such is my record on weather prediction!  

Not being funny and I know it's several weeks ago, but I wonder if I m still feeling a few after affects of the dreaded C.  I get very weary very quickly during the day.  Does anyone else find this?  Or am I being a bit of a snowflake?

Yesterday was such a day.  I was fine until after SW group and then it hit and I rested for the rest of the day, between tidying a few corners for the cleaners.  I really just couldn't face the allotment (that sounds pathetic but . . .) so I didn't go!

SW was a good meeting and I came away with fresh determination.  Yes, I have gained over the last few weeks but I have known, and expected, a fair bit more so it wasn't as depressing as it could have been.  At Jen's suggestion, I am keeping a diary for the week, just as you do for the first four weeks when you join and I can already feel it is helping quite a lot.

I've just popped out into the garden (bit chilly) to take a few photos.

Blossom from my new miniature Braeburn apple 'tree'.  Maybe it will bear some fruit this year - that would be very nice.
Faithful old geranium!  I dug out some of the roots but you can't tell, it's very vigorous!
The strawberries are looking promising
So are the autumn fruiting raspberries.
And this is weird.  I have never planted bluebells in the middle bed and I have never had any before but this year I have a couple coming up.  Have they reverted from some of the white bells I am trying to get rid of?  Does anyone know if it is a thing?

I have bluebells along my front strip but they are our native bluebells, which don't spread all that much.  The ones at the back look like the 'other' kind, the invasive, don't-encourage-them kind.
I'll give them a few days to open properly and then take a good look.  If they are not native, they have to go, sadly.  

Today, all being well, I will be going into town to meet up with others from the SW group for our fortnightly walk and chat.  I'm looking forward to that.  Then we will see how I feel.  Tomorrow is a big day for me and my 'children' are taking me out for afternoon tea so I want to be bright and breezy for that.  I don't feel nearly seventy and I don't think I look it either, but I have to accept that things are starting to - er - wear out!

Have a lovely day, whatever your plans and whatever the weather.  Take care, be safe and happy.  xx