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

Friday 22 April 2022


Good morning, everyone.  After probably the nicest day of the year so fat yesterday, there's a bit of a change today.  It's cloudy and not that warm; Beeb says there will be sunshine but not a lot and the temperature will be a fair bit lower than yesterday.  Oh, well, can't have it all and they don't always get it right.

Yesterday was nice.  I got housework and ironing done before lunch with Chris.  We sat out in the garden behind Robyn's Nest and had a thoroughly good chat together.  We've decided it would be nice to do this once a month - not May though, as we're both rather busy later in the month.

Tuition went fine, as always.  Just two sessions to go now.

And that was about it.  I've slept well but still feel rather weary but apart from Slimming World this morning, there's not all that much happening.  I have to get the house ready for the cleaner and I might pop down to the allotment, cut back the raspberry canes as the new growth is now coming up and plan a course of action over the next two weeks which look to be a lot easier than that last two weeks have been.

Have a super day, everyone.  I hope you have more sun than here at the moment and that everything goes well for you

Thursday 21 April 2022

Thursday - lots of words, sorry!

Morning, one and all.  What a lovely day it is again!  The sun is shining, it's fresh but not chilly and it feels happy.

Yesterday was quite a day.  I set out early but met a fair old blockage half way from four way traffic lights and what seemed to be miles of queueing traffic.  If I'd known the route, I'd have hopped off on a country road but what I do know is that a lot of them just end up back on the same road again so I didn't try.  It added an extra half hour to my journey which was a but frustrating but - it happens!  Poor of John and Gina had a nightmare journey down on Monday - the lot, from roadworks, odd diversions and a road traffic accident which looked horrendous, caused huge tailbacks but no-one seemed to be hurt, thank goodness.
So I can hardly complain!

Bless them, they had done such a lot on Tuesday, including sorting out all Mum's old Guiding paperwork (files and files of it) and had got out all the remaining china, ornaments, etc. to be sorted into Scrap Store (John and Gina run a couple of Scrapstores in Scotland), Charity shop or chuck.  
So Gina and I started on that and, with a few heart searching moments, got it all done and dusted which was a great relief.  There was some nice stuff and the charity shop was really happy when they took it over in the afternoon.  The stuff for the Scrapstore was all well wrapped and in bags to take up on Saturday when they travel back home.

John went through all Dad's paperwork.  Most of it is just chuckable and is now in the paper box (and in Ann-next-door's paperbox to be collected this morning.  There was very little that needed keeping - most of it was really old stuff and I am once more determined to go though things on a regular basis and discard older papers.

We cleared the master bedroom, the office, the storage bench on the landing, the airing cupboard, some kitchen cupboards - all of these had already been started but there was more to go.

Gail (who cleans for us pending completion) found someone from Dad's church who is in need of furniture and might have picked it all up yesterday evening, including a couple of beds.  As mentioned before, Dave and Anna are taking some other pieces.

And we discussed bigger stuff, such as kitchen electricals, etc, over lunch.  It was all a bit discouraging as if felt like there was so, so much still to do or organise.

Then our house buyers turned up (planned).  All I can say is lucky, lucky us.  They were the nicest couple ever, really friendly, their little girl is so sweet, they absolutely love the house and want to make it their forever home and were so accommodating and helpful.  I will call them D and K as it's not fair to name them.

Basically, they will take anything we leave providing all the personal stuff is removed (clothes, photos, and so on).  They're leaving most of their kitchen stuff for their buyers so we don't have to do any disconnecting, removing, and so on as they want to keep it all, old as some of it is (and we pointed out all the 'oldness', we didn't hide anything).  They want all the bedroom furniture that Dave and Anna won't be taking, even including the beds, which we were amazed about - although, to be fair, they are good beds.  They want all curtains, carpets, shelving, the two recliner chairs . . . 
And, to my delight, as we went into the living room, the little girl headed straight for the small child's chair that has family history - I sat in it as a wee one, so did John and David plus Beth, Alex and my Dave and David's children on visits from the States.  It's just a painted wooden affair, very sweet and much loved but there are no small children in the family now.  So I said something like 'Do you like that chair - would you like to keep in in this house?' and she was so happy - as were John and me as we really didn't want to just chuck it.

They even said that if Dave and Anna's date for moving didn't quite work with their date, they would be happy to hold onto it until they could pick it up.  Now that's what I call accommodating in the extreme although I don't think it will be necessary.

In fact, basically, in a couple of hours we went from feeling pretty low and discouraged with how much still needed doing to feeling that actually we're almost there apart from little bits and pieces which I can do in day visits, pretty much.  We won't need a skip, we won't need house clearance people (thank goodness) and there won't be much more heavy work to do at all.  

The drive home and the evening were pretty emotional, as you can imagine.  Bitter sweet memories and my heart hurts again.   :-)

John and Gina are making a couple of trips to the tip this morning and then they will enjoy a day and a half of visits to John's favourite places around here.
He said they would be back shortly and I hope that it will be a time when they can continue to enjoy it as a holiday rather than having to work.

I seem to have gone on rather a lot, sorry.  But how lucky are we, eh?  Things really are falling into place.  I was too busy to think about photos but will take some on my next visit, just for memory's sake.

Today I have lunch with Chris (to celebrate birthdays) and then tuition after school (changed from Monday as it was bank holiday and I was still away in the morning).  So it should be really pleasant!
Wishing us all a really good day.  xx

Wednesday 20 April 2022


 Good morning.  It's just getting light so early days but yesterday wasn't a bad day weather wise.  It clouded over and was pretty dull for a while but then the sun emerged again.  Oddly, I felt quite chilly come the evening which could have been me or the weather . . .

 I did something I've been planning to do for quite a long time and that's arrange a trip to Castle Headingham (or should that be Headingham Castle?).  It's not open all the time and I've booked one of their Bluebell Walk days
It's a Norman keep, a bit north of Braintree so not the closest place in the world but not too unreasonable a journey either.   It's pretty much the same route as I look on Thursday and back yesterday but I am going to take the opportunity to work out the route through Braintree rather than round which should be quicker abs certainly less distance.  Braintree is one of these annoying places with one way systems in the centre which I have never been able to work out!  Maybe it's time to be a big girl and get it sorted.

I found I was missing a few things from my shop on Monday so I popped out to M&S and Aldi and topped up.  I stopped off at a nice little eating place in Writtle called Robyn's Nest, to book a table, as Chris and I are having lunch out tomorrow rather than our usual ten o'clock chat.  I'm looking forward to that.

I attacked the garden and dealt with this and that both front and back.  I can't say it's looking tidy, not with all the bulb die-back but it's a lot better and it was nice to see some summer things coming up now.  The clematis has a few flower buds and the strawberries have a few flowers.  Nice.

I'm off out early today as John and Gina are at Dad's for the week and I'm joining them today for some heavy lifting and more sorting out.  Also, the people buying the house are coming round and it will be nice to put faces to names.  I want to leave pretty early, between rush hour and milk run, if possible.  Breakfast and lunch are both prepped and in the fridge.  I just have to remember to take them with me!
I'm not sure how many more times I will do this journey now.  

Right, better get on.  Have a lovely day, everyone, and I hope the sun shines for you.  xx

Tuesday 19 April 2022


 Good morning, everyone.  First of all, I want to say a big thank you to everyone who has following me on my little jolly over this Easter weekend, and posted such nice comments.  It's very pleasant to have company!  

Yesterday remained fine all day.  The sunshine was quite hazy at times but it was warm and without a hint of anything wet.  The weather forecast round here indicates that it will be pretty much the same for the rest of the week, possibly not as warm but still nice and sunny.  I'll take that!

I ended up coming straight home yesterday.  I had dithered about a visit to Dobbies, the garden centre beloved of dear Diane (not that particular one, a local to her one) but I was all ready to go and the place wouldn't be open for a while so I just decided to come straight home and put it on the list for another time.

I've rarely known such an easy journey home as yesterday's.  I wondered about Bank Holiday traffic but there was hardly any until just outside Braintree where access to a roundabout was a bit slow but not stationary.  It was an absolute doddle.

Once home, I did the usual unpacking and putting a load of washing on (line dried and awaiting ironing today) before popping round the corner to Morrisons to get in some fresh and dairy stuff.  I'm all set up now.  
There was hardly any mail but my new getting-old driving licence has arrived and I note that I have to keep renewing it from now on.  Every three years!  I suppose that's only sensible really.  

I would love to be able to say I went out for a nice walk or otherwise used my time gainfully but, in truth, I sat down and went to sleep.  I always find that during a holiday the fourth day seems to be a tired day, a day to rest up a bit and not to push things.
I slept well all through the night too - and still feel a bit weary but I reckon that is just laziness!

On to today and I will be having a gentle start to the day before spending some time in the garden.  I swear the five or six dandelions that have DARED to flower were nowhere to be seen last Thursday and have just taken advantage of my absence.  Anyway, I need to do the annual white bell dig up as they show themselves (I wish I'd never planted them - like grape hyacinths, they are so invasive)and there's some tidying up, especially round the front where all sorts of interesting things are coming up.  I'm especially pleased with Mum's lilies of the valley.  She gave me some roots (or whatever they are) about ten years ago and for many years they stayed in a pot, flowering nicely but not spreading.  Then, one year, they pretty much doubles so I split the contents, put a quarter back in the pot and the other three quarters ended up in three clumps at the front.  This year, they have decided they like it there and I might have to split them again and maybe give some away.  There are certainly enough this year to pick a few little clumps for indoors.  It's one of my favourite flower scents and a heartwarming reminder of my lovely Mum who loved them so much.

So that's today - gardening, enjoying the sunshine, ironing and one more load of washing.  Enough to keep me happy and gainfully employed.  I hope your day is as pleasant.  xx

Finally - I'd like to wish Sue H a very Happy Birthday - I hope I've got the right day.  Have a wonderful; time, Sue, whatever you do.    xx

Monday 18 April 2022


 Morning, all.  I'll replace this with  a proper post once I've uploaded yesterday's photos - which won't be until I'm home again.

(a few hours later)

Morning again!  I'm home, first load of washing in the machine, a nice coffee to hand, having just uploaded yesterday's photos after the best and easiest journey home there ever was.  Hardly any traffic until I got to Braintree and even then it was all small traffic, not heavy lorries, etc.

Yesterday was Ickworth day - well, half day really.  It was literally a ten minute drive out on the one road to get there - so easy even I would have had problems getting lost!  As I was there nice and early, it wasn't too crowded although by the time I left early afternoon, it was pretty full and busy.

As the house didn't open until eleven, I had plenty of time to wander around and to think about the last time I was there with Mum, Dad and Jacqui, their lovely next door neighbour.  All three are now no longer with us and I shed a few tears in remembrance.

All round the back, there were bulbs, mostly6 daffs and the like, and you could see that three weeks ago they would have been absolutely stunning.  As it was, they were still rather lovely, with patches of later flowering narcissi that just shone.  The photos do not do them justice.

The famous rotunda from the bottom of the Italianate Garden.  I went inside, of course, and enjoyed a good look at the works of art and the silver collection (glad I didn't have the job of keeping that lot polished!) plus a couple of rooms set out as they would have been.
I strolled around the grounds a bit (not far) and looked inside the church which is no longer an active place of worship.  Here's some info about it as I didn't take any photos.

Thankfully, my ankle decided to play ball and, apart from a slight ache, gave no trouble.  Today it is fine.

So - I'm home, feeling more than a bit weary but very happy at having had a really pleasant time away.  The staff at the Premier Inn were lovely (although few in number), extremely friendly and attentive.  I will be giving them a special mention when I get the feedback form.  They made my stay extremely pleasant.

So now I have some unpacking to finish off, plenty of washing to do and I ought to pop round the corner to Morrisons to stock up on fresh stuff again which means making a shopping list.  So I'll stop rambling and get moving.  Back to normal again now for a few weeks.

Have a great day.  xx

Sunday 17 April 2022


 Morning, everyone.  I really have been very fortunate with the weather on this short break to Bury St Edmunds.  It's been so lovely; loads of sunshine but not uncomfortably hot, just enough to bring the ice cream vans out.

I'm so grateful to Sue C for mentioning her visit to West Stow Country Park in her blog because otherwise I might not have heard of it.  Just a short drive from Bury, it's a lovely place and full of interest.  The Anglo Saxon Village is fascinating, An archaeological site, it is now a recreation of the kind of dwellings the Anglo Saxons probably built and lived in, using archaeological finds as evidence and built using methods, designs,  tools and resources that would have been available at that time.

This idea - living in a pit with a roof down to the ground - is now thought to be incorrect.

Each dwelling was built to test a different idea - a series of experiments really - and inside was set out to represent different purposes.  This is the weaving house, for example

I spent ages wandering around, imagining . . .

Then I set off on the lake walk which segued into a bit of the Beowulf and Grendal walk.

Annoyingly, my ankle, always slightly dodgy, started playing up, although that didn't stop me from  doing anything.  It's a bit sore now but nothing a couple of tablets won't solve!!

When I got back, I popped back to the cathedral and it was not in use so I had a good nosey round there, found a postcard in the shop that showed how the old Abbey could have looked and then walked (hobbled??) up to Moyse's Hall Museum and had a good look round that too.  It's quite a 'black' museum but fascinating.  

Today I'm off to Ickworth house and gardens, a National Trust property quite close to Bury.  The gardens don't open until ten and the house at eleven so I can have a more leisurely breakfast before leaving.  I've been there before;  Mum and Dad took me ages ago so it will be nice to remember them at the same time.
Then it will be back to start packing so there's not too much to do tomorrow morning although I don't have to vacate my room until twelve so no rush.  I will want to leave earlier than that though.

I hope everyone is having a lovely Easter weekend, enjoying the fine weather (assuming you are having some) and doing nice things.  Happy Easter Sunday to you!  xx

Saturday 16 April 2022


Good morning, everyone.   As the saying goes, 'early to bed and early to rise' and I've been awake since three which is annoying but there you go.  It's now just after five, too early to look out and check the weather but Beeb says it is going to be another beautiful day.  Excellent!

What a lovely day I had yesterday.  The weather was gorgeous - warm but not uncomfortably hot - an  I had the best time just wandering around.

I couldn't do a couple of things.  Moyse Hall Museum was closed and both St Mary's church and the Cathedral had Good Friday meditation type stuff going on.  I'm sure I could have looked around but it didn't feel right so I didn't.

As I walked through the gardens, I looked through one of the gates to the road and was gobsmacked to see hundreds of people walking along - until I remembered the day and realised it was the Good Friday march of witnesses or whatever they call it here.  It was nice to see so many people, all clutching reed crosses and enjoying each others' company.

The Abbey gardens and ruins were so good.  The tourist office/shop was closed for the day but I found info boards and managed to find somewhere giving out info leaflets too so I was able to make sense of the ruins.  I took loads of photos so here's a few . . .

The west front, which had a central tower and octagonal towers each side.  I love that houses have been built into this feature so that they are an integral part of it.  
One of the octagonal towers, called Samson's Tower after Abbot Samson who built much of the Abbey Church (not personally, you understand!!)
Imagine living in a home like that.

His gravestone can be seen as one of a row of five abbots' resting places inside what was the Chapter House.  They were only discovered in 1903.

Just an example of the ruins which looks, to my uneducated eye like the start of a spiral staircase.  All the stonework from the Abbey was taken away after the Disillusionment in 1539 and what remains today is the rubble cores of the towers and walls.
It took a while wandering around, in and out (very little is out of bounds) to get a feel for the layout and what it all means.  Although there were a lot of people around, it felt very peaceful and I was glad I could just walk, stop, ponder, etc, as I wished. 

It was on this site that the barons met in 1214 and decided to do something about King John, who was 'not a good man, he had his little ways' (as AA Milne famously tells us)!  The following year he signed the Magna Carta.

After a very light lunch (Premier Inn breakfasts are very complete) of a diet coke and a bag of crisps in the Cathedral café, I hit the shops.  Yes, I bought that dress so now I have one nice, more dressy thing to wear at Five Lakes Potters at the beginning of June.  I got other bits and bobs too - a couple of pretty necklaces and some Neal's Yard hand cream and just enjoyed being part of a throng of very happy people enjoying the shops and the sunshine.  Despite things being closed/otherwise in use, there was plenty to do and when I got back I was glad to rest and relax in my room with a mug of coffee and my kindle.

Today, I'm off to West Stow Country Park, leaving quite early as the park opens at nine and the Anglo Saxon village opens at ten.  I'd like to be there before the crowds build up, if possible.  
Then, when I get back, I will try the churches again.

I don't think I'm going to want to go home on Monday!

Friday 15 April 2022


 Good morning, everyone!  Here I am, comfortable and cosy in my Premier Inn room, having enjoyed a good night's sleep which I'm happy about as I don't usually sleep so well first night in a different bed.  Say what you will about Premier Inns, their beds and pillows are top notch.

The drive up yesterday afternoon was pretty good.  There was more traffic that I had expected and a few hold-ups for traffic lights/road repairs but, thank goodness, no diversions and, apart from the already mentioned, no hold-ups.  I suppose the A12/A14 might be quicker but going up the A131/A134 is a very pretty route, going through villages and a couple of towns, Halstead and Sudbury.

To my dismay, when I got here I found they had given me exactly the same room as last time.  You won't remember but this room had a problem with a leak somewhere in the bathroom, obviously long standing, and the room smelled horrible.  The next day I complained and they moved me immediately.  However, they have fixed whatever the problem was, the smell has gone and it's all fine.  It's a typical PI room with the same furniture you find anywhere, plenty of space and a bath.  I do love a good baths!

After unpacking, I went for a stroll through the cemetery and along into town, doing some window shopping along the way.  There's quite a lot of what you might call 'arty' shops and in one I bought some room spray (just in case!!) which is lovely, obviously not commercially produced in large amounts and with a really good glass pump spray bottle what has a screw top so can be reused.  I like that very much.

I also spent some time in Seasalt, a favourite shop, and was sorely tempted by a lovely dress that reminded me of Laura Ashley in my younger days.

I've lifted this from their site!

I tried it on and the top fits beautifully - cross overs often don't but this works with what the fashion world would call 'outsize' and what the rest of us would call an normal sized chest!

I may very well go back and have another look today!

I stopped outside the 'Really Rather Good' coffee shop (I love that name) where I met the lovely Sue C last time I was here.  It was just pre pandemic and little did we know . . . 

, , ,  and took a couple of snaps, one of the old Abbey Gate . . .

. . . and one just to the right.

Today, after a leisurely start to the day over breakfast, I plan to explore the Abbey gardens, the ruins, the two churches - St Mary's and the Cathedral - and the shops.  In the afternoon, I'd like to visit the Moyse's Hall Museum.  I might have lunch in the Pilgrim's Kitchen which is linked to the Cathedral.  However, first of all, I'm going to visit the Cathedral shop to get some information about the churches and the old Abbey ruins which looks amazing.  They don't seem to have any info-boards on site which is a bit of a shame as there seems to be such a lot to see and I'd like to know what everything is.

I feel very idle, sitting up in bed, laptop on my knee, coffee to ones side, knowing there's no dishwasher to unload, no washing to do, not tidying or cleaning awaiting my attention, just a nice, lazy day, strolling around, enjoying myself.  Lovely!

You have a lovely day too - do you have any special Easter plans?  Take care and stay safe.  xx

Thursday 14 April 2022


Morning, everyone.  It's beautiful outside this morning.  It's sunny and mild and, when I went out the front to pop some stuff in the recycling which is being collected today, it was such a nice view past next door and over to the countryside that I dashed in, grabbed the camera and took a few photos.

Yesterday was lovely!

At around ten, I set out for the garden centre, topping up with petrol (ouch) and treating the car to an option 1 car wash (outside only) on the way.  I found some nice planted pots and bought one for Chris - it is her birthday today - and a coffee cake to take over there this morning.  Blow the diet!!

I hope she likes it.

Personal training was its usual, rigorous self and I enjoyed that too.  The hour goes so very quickly!  I always do some aerobic stuff on the bike and the cross trainer to get the heart up and the muscles warm before working on arm and upper body strength and then core and leg strength with another warm up in the middle.
A good stretch at the end and that's the hour over and done.
There's no circuits on Monday because of Bank Holiday and anyway I doubt I would be back in time to make it reasonable.  I can't go next Wednesday either because I have to be at Dad's house.  
I will miss it all.

Then it was a quick dash home and a quick dinner before leaving for the flower centre piece workshop.  I did enjoy it.  There were just three of us as two had to drop out, sadly, and I was well chuffed with what I came home with.  I'm definitely taking it with me - it's all in a sort of foam base so it should travel OK if I put it in a bin bag and pack it carefully in the car.

Not expert, I know, but I love it.  It was so 'grounding' to work on it and quite different from the Christmas Wreath workshop which was all artificial (except for the ring itself).  Last night was all natural plants except for the eggs.
We were talking about where Victoria and Hazel (whose company it is) could go with these workshops and I suggested how about one before the Jubilee weekend doing something in red, white and blue.  They liked that but, sadly, I am likely to be away on my next break.  Oh, well!  Can't do it all.

I'm pretty much all ready now.  There's just some bits and bobs to tidy up and some last minute things to pack - charging cables, hearing aid charging base, etc.  In a short while I will wash my hair, get dressed, finish the packing and then go over to Chris at ten, gift, card and cake in hand (although I might have to make two journeys!).
There's no point leaving much before two so there's bags of time.  It's nice not to feel rushed.

See you tomorrow at the other end.
Have a lovely day and I do hope your weather is as good as it promises to be here.  xx

Wednesday 13 April 2022


Good morning one and all.  It's a lovely, sunny, mild start to the day and I've had the windows wide open to catch the freshness.  I hope it lasts!

Yesterday was just a happy sort of day.  Lots of pottering around, organising stuff, managing stuff, etc.
I finally got round to applying for my new driving licence (you know - for when I am officially old in just over a week's time)  Yes, I have left it rather late but it was one of those things that I kept putting off, putting off, etc.  I wanted to do it online and it said I would need a photo (because my current licence is of the very old, paper only kind) and I was stressing about that.  I already had some passport style photos  and scanned one into my PC so I could attach it to the paperwork, took a deep breath and started.  Much to my annoyance, it said they could grab my photo and signature from my passport!!!  All that stressing for nothing.  Anyway, it's in the pipeline, it's been acknowledged, so I will be legal to drive on my birthday!
Honestly - the things I stress about!  So stupid really.  Do you have irrational stressy things?

I looked up places to visit and now have a nice little list to choose from.
They include one day 'doing' the area around the Premier Inn - the shops, the abbey, the other big church, Moyse Hall Museum, the abbey ruins and the gardens, etc.

Then there's:
West Stow Country Park and village
Anglesea Abbey
Bardwell windmill
So I won't be short of places to go to and most of them don't seem to be closed on Easter Sunday.  I definitely want to do West Stow and Ickworth so that's probably my three days sorted as each of those will be pretty much a day.  I have to check the opening times as they are bound to be busy over the holiday weekend and I will want to get there early.   I'll probably do the local stuff on Friday.
Let's hope the weather plays ball.

Any of my regular readers who live local - if you'd like to meet up for a coffee and chat in town, just shout.  Sue???

Today there's a bit more to do - I have personal training and I am off to a 'Make an Easter Arrangement' evening - like the wreath workshop I went to before Christmas, done by the same people.  I know I'm going away - I will take it with me!

This morning I want to pop to a nearby garden centre as tomorrow is my friend, Christine's birthday.  She loves her garden so I think a nice plant would be just the ticket.  I said I'd bring something tasty over to our chat tomorrow so I want to see what deliciousness they have in the shop.  

In between all of that, I will just make sure things are absolutely ready for my lovely house sitter and for departure.  Last week I was thinking 'do I really want a weekend break next week?' but this week I am so looking forward to it.

Have a super day, everyone.

Tuesday 12 April 2022


 Morning, everyone.  We have more sunshine and it is quite mild.  I think we had a bit of rain overnight but rain isn't forecast so fingers crossed.

I went out in the garden and took a few photos of stuff growing.

The flamenco apple - loads of blossom this year.
The mini-Braeburn just starting to come into blossom.
The hosta.
Raspberry canes
Strawberries are coming along nicely after a poor show last year.

And I still haven't got to the allotment and won't be able to start work this week.  I will go over and make a list - lists help such a lot when things seems overwhelming.

I ummed and ahed about going for a swim today but decided the time would be better spent getting totally ready for leaving on Thursday.  I don't want to leave a mess for the house sitter or the cleaner and I hate a last minute packing rush.  There's clothes to wash that I want to take with me too.
Yes, I'll do that.  

Have a great day, one and all.  All the best.  xx

Monday 11 April 2022


 Good morning, everyone.  it's not so sunny this morning but let's hope . . .

Yesterday was really nice.  I dashed around getting dinner organised and when Beth and Alex turned up we all enjoyed a jolly good delayed Mothering Sunday meal.  Although Beth is not feeling all that great, she has finally tested negative, thank goodness, and they stayed until she started to flake out.

I spent the rest of the planning meals, planning short break in Bury St Edmunds and generally chilling.

Today starts with tuition - the first of four left before it all stops.  Then I will do homey stuff until circuit training and after that I will be home for more homey stuff, planning, etc.

Will I miss tuition?  Well, in a way, yes, but in another way I'm looking forward to one less thing in the diary.  What I will miss is the student - they have been lovely all the way through, I've worked with them for five years and I do think I have made a difference.  That's what I went into teaching in the first place and it's nice to end with the same feeling.  I doubt I will take on any more although I won't chuck away all the books I have accumulated - just in case!  I'll put them upstairs with all my other books.
Do you have anything about which you have mixed feelings?

Well, it's nearly time to walk down the road so I'll see you tomorrow.  Have a lovely day, whatever your plans.

Sunday 10 April 2022


Good morning, all.  The sun is shining brightly as if it intends to hang around all day (like yesterday) and, while it is none too warm at the moment, it should warm up nicely.

The walk in the park yesterday was really lovely.  We med, as usual, in the car park, walked through Tower Gardens and Admirals Park to Centre Park and the coffee shop, had out coffees, etc, and then walked back round the lake.  I'm not sure how far the walk was but Mick said his step thingy said around 7,000 steps so it would be more for my little legs!  Hardly rigorous exercise at the pace we went but the walk, the company and the fresh and sunny air were all lovely!

I took a few photos on the phone.

You'd hardly know you were in the centre of town if it were not for the buildings and when the leaves are fully out, even they will not be visible.  Just the traffic noise . . .
The swan came over to investigate and swam quickly back to the island where, as we saw the other side, his mate was sitting, maybe on eggs - is it too early for that?  Anyway, he was definitely behaving very protectively.
We go fortnightly for these walks so we will see, I am sure.

The ducks had also pretty much paired off and the males were quite aggressive to each other while the females sat complacently and waited!  These two looked pretty cosy.  
At other times, we throw down bird food (which you can buy in the café) and they all call to each other 'food over here' or quacks to that effect.  Yesterday there was no such sharing!

Just a view.

And another view.

The gardens were lovely with so many things not coming up.  It's already a picture and it's going to remain so for some months.  Parts are very naturally managed . . . 

. . .  while other parts are very 'laid out'.

Such a pleasant morning for the price of a coffee!

Today, Beth and Alex are over for lunch so I will be busy in the kitchen getting organised.  I find a roast dinner is not more difficult than any other meal as long as one is organised.  If the veg is all prepped, the meat ready to pop in the oven and the gravy stock in the pan, there's not a lot else to do.  
We're having the pavlova that was supposed to be for Mothering Sunday but Beth was poorly.  I popped the base in the freezer (where it got in the way and was a nuisance!) so that's now our awaiting its headdress of cream and fruit.  Yummy!

Apart from that, I will be doing a bit more planning for my Bury break.  Great fun!

Do you have sunshine too?  I hope so - it is so cheering.  xx