Happy Friday 07.07.17

Friday again already  – and what a lovely week it has been! Here are some of the highlights:

  1. I collected G and her friend from their first week of NCS last Friday, and was relieved to hear that they had had a fantastic time. They had got on so well with their group, which makes all the difference, so much so that G was missing them by the time we had got home! A good sign, I think!

2. I had a lovely evening out with friends from the village I used to live in on Friday night. It had been ages since I had seen most of them so it was good to get together and have a catch up over a nice meal.

3. B was home for the weekend, as well as G being home from NCS, so we had a lovely family time. It was more relaxed than usual, as B had an inset day on Monday so didn’t have to leave us on Sunday afternoon, as he usually does, which meant that we had a lovely family hot tub session on Sunday evening.

4. B also took the opportunity to make us a delicious cake while he was home – truly yummy!


5. For the first time in goodness knows how long, we had a really lovely, lazy Sunday morning. We had a late breakfast outside of pancakes, fruit compote and coffee, and then followed this with more coffee whilst sitting out in the garden, so didn’t get dressed until past midday. Bliss!


6. Once we had eventually got going on Sunday, we headed out for a lovely walk and drink in the sun at Barton Marina. It was such an unexpectedly beautiful day!


7. So Monday morning saw us departing for the north, to deliver G for her day and a half of sixth form induction at her new school. Thankfully, she had an absolutely lovely time, made some new friends,  got equipped with her new uniform and is now raring to go for September.

8. We then headed off to Harrogate, which we love but have not visited for an age. We had B with us for the first part of our time there, so we had a lovely lunch, again out in the sun, with him before he caught the train back to school.


9. D and I then had the luxury of the rest of the time to ourselves, so we happily pottered and ambled around Harrogate and the surrounding area. We stayed overnight at a lovely hotel – The White Hart Hotel in the gorgeous Montpellier area  – and had a fabulous (and huge!) meal and drinks there on Monday night. It was a truly lovely mini-break.

Harrogate Dan Harrogate Hotel Hotel2 Meal D Meal F Park Tree

10. D and I then enjoyed a great night out at the theatre in Nottingham last night to watch “The Play That Goes Wrong” which was absolutely hilarious. It is currently touring the UK so if you get a chance to see it, you really should – a great fun night out!

Anyway, that’s it from me for this week. I hope that everyone has had a lovely one. Happy weekend!

Happy Friday 30.06.17

Wow – that’s not just the end of another week but another month! Halfway through the year already, which is crazy. The last couple of weeks have been really busy, hence my lack of post last Friday, but all in a very good way. Here are some of the highlights:

  1. G finished her GCSE exams a couple of weeks ago, which coincided with B coming home, so we went out for a lovely meal to celebrate. Her attitude during the exam period was great – she worked hard but stayed pretty calm and relaxed, so we are very proud of her, so it was especially nice to go out all together to enjoy some proper downtime.

MealDF MealGB

2. We eventually got everything finished off in the garden just in time for the glorious summer weather – the patio was finished, and the furniture and hot tub arrived, so we spent just about the whole weekend outside enjoying it – with the odd glass of Pimms, of course!

Garden Pimms

3. G and I then headed over to Norfolk for a couple of days, which was such a treat. It was so lovely to have that time with her, again in the sun!


4. We mostly spent our days going to lovely places for drinks and reading on the beach – this is always one of my preferred things to do and I am thrilled that G now enjoys this too, as it combines two of my favourite things – books and beaches!


5. We then had to head home a little earlier than usual to ensure that my studio was ready to accept my first customer! I am so pleased with how it has turned out- it is exactly how I imagined it and suits my needs perfectly.


6. So last week saw me accepting my first Smarter Wags’ customers, all of whom were so lovely. It is so good to be working properly again, rather than just training. Exciting times!

7. We had a really lovely couple of days last weekend when one of my university friends came to stay. Although we stay in touch via email and telephone, it is always so nice to have a proper catch up in person – I’m just not sure where the time went!


8. We had a pretty relaxing weekend – to make time for all that talking that had to be done! The most we managed was a nice walk and drink at Calke Abbey on Saturday afternoon, then morning coffee at Mercia Marina on Sunday morning – my kind of weekend!

Cappuccino Marina

9. Talking of drinks, my new favourite is homemade iced coffee – I love it! It’s just a shame that the weather hasn’t exactly been suitable for iced drinks this week.

Iced coffee

10. So my final one for this week is G’s prom, which was held on Monday. I haven’t seen many proper photos yet, as she got ready with friends elsewhere and then went straight off to NCS for the rest of the week on Tuesday morning, so I’m looking forward to seeing them when she gets home tomorrow night, but she had a really lovely time and, from what I have seen, looked beautiful. And she even enjoyed the dancing – for the first time ever!

So we have a nice weekend ahead. B and G will both be home, which will be nice, then we are heading off to North Yorkshire at the start of next week for a quick overnight stay. Fingers crossed for an improvement in the weather!

Happy Friday 16.06.17

16th June – the day we have been waiting for, as today G finishes her GCSEs! The whole exam period has been remarkably stress-free though, it has to be said – she has just got on with it extremely well and with them being spread over a few weeks, has had plenty of time to revise in between each exam. But it is still very exciting- for her especially, of course, but also for all of us – that they are over! (Well, they will be by 10am!)

Anyway, here are a few more highlights of my week:

  1. We went to a great Robbie Williams tribute night on Saturday at Branston Golf and Country Club, which was a good night out – we had a nice three course meal, followed by the act, Dan Budd, who is a very good Robbie (and his Gary Barlow impression is uncanny!).Saturday2. We then spent a wonderful afternoon at my sister and brother-in-law’s house, celebrating the upcoming wedding of my niece with the most beautiful afternoon tea. The table was so pretty, with vintage China and roses from the garden, and the food was fabulous, especially the delicious array of cakes. It was a lovely afternoon, and a great way to celebrate.cake3. Over a lot of serious over-indulging at the afternoon tea, healthy eating had to resume this week – this has been my favourite breakfast of the week, which is a great start to the day – Greek yogurt with honey, homemade nutty cinnamon granola, coconut flakes and blueberries.Granola4. Tuesday evening saw me heading out for a meal and theatre trip with my lovely friends, Hettie and Lindsey. We had a very tasty Mexican meal, then watched “A Judgement in Stone”. We have seen such a huge range of productions at Derby Theatre – comedy, musicals, plays – both “home-grown” and nationally touring – and nothing has ever disappointed. However, this, despite being a Bill Kenwright production on a large national tour, came the closest. The first half was pretty good and we were sufficiently intrigued, but the actual denouement really was rather a let down, with the final lines in the play being quite ridiculous. This did not detract from it being a great night out though with the nicest friends.

5. I have decided that I need to get a rose for the garden, as I absolutely love them and seem to have come across some beautiful specimens this week, from my sister’s very impressive rose garden to ones growing and blooming wonderfully on the wall of the charity shop that I volunteer in, to the “doorway of dreams” that I spotted whilst out and about this week. Stunning.


Doorway6. Some simple everyday things have made me happy this week, such as the new nail varnish I bought last Friday – lovely mint colour – and my amazing peonies, which have graced the sitting room this week. Sadly they have now died, so hopefully I can buy more whilst out shopping today.

Nailvarnish Peonies
7. I am very excited to welcome my first customers into my new dog grooming studio next week – I have three Lhasa apsos booked in, so can’t wait to open my doors for business at last! (Hopefully, today really will be the workmen’s last day!)

8. Just in time for the end of exams and the promised hot, sunny weather, we eventually took delivery of our hot tub yesterday! It came early in the morning and so was ready to use later in the day (not soon enough for G’s liking, who kept checking the temperature at VERY regular intervals to see if it was ready!) but we had two sessions in it – G and I tried it out as soon as it (almost!) hit the right temperature, and then again when D came home – our first “double bubble” night – prosecco in the hot tub. I can recommend it!

9. We have been eating a very low sugar diet for quite a while now, and have found some really lovely recipe books over the past few months with great sugar-free recipes in – Fearne Cotton’s and Clean Eating Alice’s are particular favourites – but on Saturday, at our lovely little library, I found two of Davina McCall’s sugar-free cookbooks, which look fabulous, so I am looking forward to trying some of her recipes over the next few days.

10. Well, we are hoping for a really fantastic weekend! We have quite a few “chores” to do, which mainly involve cleaning and tidying everywhere after the builders leave, and getting my studio fully ready to open next week, but we are also going to make sure that we fit in some fun things. B comes home tonight, so we are going straight out for a meal to celebrate the end of G’s exams, then we are hoping that the forecast weather does arrive, so that we can spend lots of time outside, especially on our new garden furniture (once the screws arrive tomorrow – yesterday the furniture arrived but with no fastenings or instructions!) and in the hot tub. Lovely!!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Happy Friday 09.06.17

As you know, I love documenting the everyday little things here, as it really makes me  think about the week that has passed.  The time very often whizzes by and I forget to appreciate the tiny moments for what they are, so here are a few things that have made me smile this week:

  1. Sunny walks have been few and far between this week – what a washout it has been for the most part. However, the sun has been even more welcome when it has put in an appearance. Let’s hope we see more of it over the coming days and weeks.

Lottie2. After being aware of it for a while and then seeing a TV programme about it on Monday, we have eventually tried rooibos tea this week. It is supposed to be very good for digestion, amongst other things, so we thought that it was worth a try. We have so far sampled the original and the Earl Grey varieties, and are suitably impressed. It has a very different taste, but it is quite nice and very versatile – my favourite way to drink it is with lemon – delicious!

Rooibos3. My favourite meal of the week has to be this seabass with spicy chorizo and bean stew. There are so many amazing flavours involved – and it is good and healthy!

Seabass4. We had a lovely family night in on Saturday, to make the most of B’s last night at home before he went back to school on Sunday. We had a takeaway (in fact, we had two – a savoury and a sweet!), watched the final of Britain’s Got Talent (very disappointed with the winner though!!) and then all had a “sleepover” in the sitting room. Great night enjoyed by all!

5. Another hit on the food front this week was this halloumi salad with mango and fennel – light and refreshing and delicious.

Halloumi6. This week has seen me pushing ahead with the marketing activity for my dog grooming business. I have collected (and begun distributing) my flyers, collected the sign for our gatepost which I am hoping that D will put up this weekend, and have had adverts published in two local free magazines.

7. The rain has caused some delays to the work being done at home this week, but progress is now being made with the patio, which will hopefully be completed by the time that the hot tub arrives next week!

8. I have been interested to ready more about hygge for a while, so was really pleased to receive this book for my birthday a few weeks ago, and I have made a start on it in the past couple of days. So far, so good – I love everything about the hygge manifesto!

Hygge9. I bought some stargazer lilies when I was food shopping last weekend and they are now beginning to bloom beautifully. I absolutely love them, as I had them in my wedding bouquet, so I am enjoying seeing and smelling them whenever I go into the sitting room.

10. We have a lovely weekend ahead, which I am really looking forward to. Apart from the fact that G is nearing the end of her exams, which is relieving the pressure and the amount of time that she will have to spend revising, we are going out tomorrow evening to a Robbie Williams tribute night, which should be lots of fun, then we are heading out for a champagne afternoon tea on Sunday afternoon to celebrate my niece’s upcoming wedding, which is very exciting.

So, we have everything crossed for dry weather and sunshine, so that we can make the most of the weekend and work can progress on the patio over the next few days.

Have a great one!



Happy Friday 02.06.17

Well, where did this last week go? It has absolutely flown by, so here we are again, with a little round up of some highlights from the past seven days:

  1. More healthy new recipes have been tried and tested this week, and all of them have been great hits. Two of my favourites were the Breakfast Bread with homemade Raspberry Chia Jam, and then the Squash, Feta and Pomegranate Salad.BreadSalad

2. This has been a week with a strong focus on family time, with B being home from school. As we have been lucky enough to have some lovely weather, we have spent a lot of time (in-between revision sessions) in the garden – the impromptu obstacle course that G and B set up and did on Sunday was hilarious to watch!

3. This was followed later on Sunday with a fire pit, which we then decided to use to barbecue our evening meal on – unplanned barbecues are the best – and we love eating outside, so it was great.


4. Although Monday was a bank holiday, it was also the final day of my dog grooming course. The past four months have passed so quickly, but so enjoyably – I have loved doing the training, the group were great, and we couldn’t have asked for better trainers. It was an interesting last day – my most unsettled and aggressive dog to date (I still have the scratches and bruises to prove it) – but it was a good learning experience, and we then finished the day with a trip to the pub across the road, where our trainer had organised for some fizz to be waiting on ice for us, which was a lovely surprise. It will be very strange not going for more training next week!

5. Homemade Nutty Cinnamon Granola – the best! I have made a few different granolas over the years, but this new one is definitely my favourite, and is fabulous with Greek yogurt and fruit.



6. This has been a busy week, as my new building, which will be my dog grooming studio, is nearing completion, so D and I have been painting it inside. It is all looking good, so we are getting excited about the final bits being done now – the plumbing and electrical work will be completed over the next few days, the flooring will be fitted by the end of the weekend and my final delivery of equipment arrives today.


7. I have to say that I had been absolutely dreading this week – revision week! G is obviously very much in the swing of revision, being in the middle of her GCSEs now, but it is always a huge battle to get B to see the importance of revising for his exams, so I was expecting lots of stress and frustrations this week. However, on the whole, he has settled to it pretty well, and has done a lot more than in previous years, so it has been a very positive week.

8. My new shoes from Abbott Lyon – love them!



9. Last night saw me heading over to Oakham for a night out with a university friend. We had such a great night – a really good catch up, plus lots of delicious food and drinks – so I can’t wait to do it again in August!

10. It’s June! And the significance of that is that we can say that we are going on holiday NEXT MONTH!! To say I am excited about that is an understatement – St Lucia here we come (soon!).

So here’s to a lovely, sunny weekend (hopefully!). What are you up to?


Happy Friday 26.05.17

Well, shockingly, here is my first Happy Friday post of this year! It’s not that there has been a shortage of happy events, you understand, just that life seems to have been running away with me over the past few months, so it has been an issue of time – plus the fact that the camera stopped working on my phone, which left me without the ability to take photos of everyday moments of joy. But I’m back, so here goes:

  1. The first one this week has to be the weather! It is currently so beautiful – hot, sunny, blue skies, my favourite – and probably even more welcome after the ridiculous amount of rain that we received last week. As we know, we are all pretty obsessed with the weather in this country, but the variety that we experience really makes us appreciate the “good times”.
  2. Walk1This obviously makes for some very pleasant dog walks – so long as I get them out before it gets too hot! But few things beat walking in the sunshine.
  3. Dogs1It was my birthday 11 days ago, and D bought me lots of beautiful flowers, most of which are still going strong, so I am loving still seeing them around every day – the colours and fragrances are fabulous.
  4. FlowersSpeaking of flowers, I am a little obsessed with peonies, and we have some stunning deep pink ones growing in the garden. However, because they are situated at the far end, where we can’t see them very easily, I have picked some of the blooms this week and had them in the house instead, where I can appreciate them every day.Peony1 Peony2
  5. Much of the busyness of the past few weeks has been down to my dog grooming training that I have been doing for the past few months, as I was working up to taking my exams. However, with my written and practical (100% and 93% respectively) out of the way and only one more training session to go, I am getting very excited about embarking on this new career for real – once we get the building work completed! The photo below shows before and after images of Honey, as she was my practice for my practical exam last weekend (I can’t wait to get all of my equipment out of the garage where, as you can see, it is currently being stored, and into my studio).
  6. GroomingSo our summer holiday is now looming – only 59 days until we go to St Lucia – so a little bit of healthy eating is on the cards. It is much easier to eat healthily in this sunny weather though, I find. Here are two of my favourites from this week – porridge with apple, pecans and maple syrup, and a summer salad made from lovage from the garden, prosciutto, peaches and halloumi.
  7. Porridge SaladOf course, life is too short for missing out on all treats though, so we have been enjoying some new gin cocktail recipes recently. This one is proving very popular – gin, ginger ale, with a piece of homemade honeycomb in – amazing!
  8. GinSo it has not just been me taking exams recently – G is currently in the middle of her GCSEs. She is working incredibly hard, so I hope that she does well. Some of the exams seem to have been quite challenging but her spirits are high and she is certainly doing her best – we are so proud of her.
  9. We now have half term upon us, so B will be home tonight for the week, so we are looking forward to both of them revising hard during the day time (B has school exams as soon as he returns after the break) and then plenty of family time in the evenings.
  10. The final one for this week is the great night out that D and I had last night watching Rory Bremner’s Partly Political show at the theatre. He is a fantastic impressionist (his Donald Trump was THE BEST!) and so funny, as were the two performers on with him, comedian Fred Macaulay and impressionist Jan Raven, so it was a really good night.

So, hopefully it won’t be another almost 6 months until I write again – it’s good to be back!

Family Reunion Weekend

Things have been so busy around here lately that this space has been a little neglected – there have been plenty of ‘happy’ things occurring, but I just haven’t had time to write them down! However, I was determined to write a post this week – not the usual Happy Friday one, but a quick round up of our very special family reunion which took place last weekend.

One of my cousins on my father’s side has been working on the family tree for eight or nine years, and it was this that prompted our meeting. The weekend had been planned for months and we were so looking forward to it, not simply because we don’t often all get together, but because my sisters and I have two cousins who we had never met before at all! One aspect to point out about our tribe is that we are a family of pretty large age gaps – there are three gaps of over 14 years between siblings within the close family, which partly accounts for the fact that we haven’t all met – plus geographical differences, with one of my ‘unknown’ cousins living in the north of Scotland, whilst the other is based on the south coast of England.

It was decided that Cumbria would be the best place to meet, as it was pretty close to halfway between these extremes, and also happened to be where my father, his two brothers and parents lived for many years. The timing worked out perfectly for us, as G had an exeat on Friday, and B was also due to come home for the weekend, so we set off at lunchtime, picking B up on the way, arriving in Dalton-in-Furness at about 5.30pm. We immediately met up with one of my sisters and her husband, my cousin who had been working so hard on the family tree (he has gone back well into the 17th century, which is a huge achievement), his wife, and one of the cousins whom I had not previously met – he is the oldest of the cousins, whilst I am the youngest, so there is a 30 year age gap between us!


We were all staying in the same hotel, so we had a lovely meal together on the Friday evening – and started to sample some of the 35 gins on offer there!


We woke up to the most beautiful morning on Saturday – my favourite type of weather – thick frost, bright blue skies and glorious sunshine. This was perfect, as we had planned to climb up to the Hoad monument – or ‘the pepperpot’ as we affectionately used to call it, this being our marker to show that we were ‘almost there’ when we used to visit my grandmother when I was a child. The walk and the views from the top were stunning – we really were so fortunate to have such a beautiful day for it. We enjoyed a cup of tea and a biscuit at the top before heading back down to collect another of my sisters who was arriving by train.

hoadstart hoadstart2

hoad3 view1 view2 view3 teahoad1


My third sister, her husband, and also my other cousin and his wife from the south coast arrived, so we then had a good pore over the whole family tree. It is an amazing and fascinating piece of work, which is fantastic, but it also makes us want to find out more – the ‘whys’, if you will, as to our ancestors movements and decisions. We were also presented with a small part of the tree which showed our ‘direct’ relatives, which is very special – I can’t wait to get this framed and give it pride of place somewhere in our home. Following this, we all went on a walk around Dalton, seeking out houses that our parents and grandparents had lived in, which was so interesting.


By this time, it was beginning to get a little dark and cold, so we retreated back to the hotel, where we took over the lounge for a few hours, chatting, getting to know each other – and sampling more of the gin and wine! We then had another lovely evening meal and more drinks together, at which point it was decided that we should try to make this get-together an annual event, which would be fabulous – and I, apparently, have the task of organising the next one!


Sunday saw us all going our separate ways once more – we visited the Dickensian Christmas Market in Ulverston, which was absolutely lovely, then gradually headed back down the country, stopping off at D’s childhood home of Bolton-by-Bowland, and then to see some friends in Lancashire.

market market2

It really was such a special weekend. We can’t thank Phil enough for doing all the work on the family tree and then organising the reunion – it couldn’t have gone better. However, it also reinforced to me just how important family is. Of course, our little unit of four, and then my sisters and their families, are, and always have been, incredibly important to me. But meeting the cousins – one of whom we don’t see very often at all, the others, as I said, whom we had never met, really brought this home to me. Although we had not met, we got on so well, and found that we had so much in common, and I absolutely love the feeling that my ‘family’ has now been expanded.

As Michael J. Fox said – “Family is not an important thing, it’s everything.”

What an amazing experience – and roll on next year!



Happy Friday 11.11.16

Well, it’s been a while! The last few weeks have been so busy, with our Caribbean trip, half term breaks and then catching up with real life, that I haven’t had any time to post any updates here. So, better late than never, a little round up of the highlights of the past few weeks:

  1. Obviously, our trip to Grenada has to come first! G and I had an absolutely lovely time – to say the least! We spent most of our days lying by the pool reading, making the most of the 30 degree heat, with regular dips in the water. Unfortunately, the sea was too rough while we were there for us to be able to try out our new snorkels, but we had lots of fun on G’s birthday present inflatables – I have to say, the unicorn was incredibly comfortable and relaxing! We did take two trips out whilst there too, which were really fun – one a jeep safari and river tubing, then another into the capital for the market and a visit to the House of Chocolate.
grenada1 grenada2
grenada3 grenada4
2. G also had a fabulous 16th birthday while we were there. We woke up just before midnight and had a little midnight feast and some birthday cake to begin the celebrations – before quickly going back to sleep again! We then had our jeep safari and river tubing trip during the day, which was great fun. The festivities then continued when we returned to the hotel, with a surprise delivery of a  bottle of champagne and a beautifully decorated table for dinner, which was ended by the staff singing happy birthday and presenting her with a celebration pudding. I think that she had a pretty memorable 16th!
gbday3 gbday2 gbday1
3. Another highlight of our trip was meeting the lovely “Goats on the Road” – a Canadian couple, Nick and Dariece, whose blog and vlogs I have been following for about 18 months. They are digital nomads, spending their lives travelling to various countries around the world, funded by their blog income and different house/pet-sitting opportunities. They have spent 5 months of each of the past 3 years staying in Grenada, which is how I originally came across them, and I was really thrilled to spot them when we  went for our regular Sunday afternoon drink at The Aquarium Bar, just along the beach from our hotel. I had a quick chat with them and they were so lovely!
4. Although the week went very quickly, it was still nice to come back home to our ‘boys’ – D and B. And to find that autumn had well and truly arrived! I made the most of the natural seasonal findings to decorate the table beautifully for D’s birthday meal – and it’s still there two weeks later!
autumntable2 autumntable1
5. D and I had some beautiful autumn walks the weekend following our return. It really is such a gorgeous season, and it was lovely to get out in the fresh air and enjoy it.
autumnwalk2 autumnwalk1
6. Due to the fact that the children had different half term breaks, I then had a week with B at home after G had returned to school, which was so nice. We didn’t do an awful lot, but had a lovely time together, going for walks, playing games, watching films, etc.
7. Fortunately, Bonfire Night happened on B’s last night at home before returning to school, so we made the most of it by going to a great bonfire and firework display at Rolleston, before coming home for sparklers and some mini fireworks. Lots of fun!
8. A simple thing that has brought a lot of smiles to us this week has been our new ‘retro’ phone. We had intended to get one for so long, but I eventually got around to it on Friday and we love it – especially that old-fashioned ring!
9. I had a lovely surprise one morning earlier this week to wake up to find everything covered in frost! I absolutely love cold frosty mornings with blue sky and bright sunshine, so I made the most of it with an early morning dog walk – just beautiful.
10. My last one for this week is the lovely day that I had yesterday on our annual Christmas shopping day. We went up to Cheshire Oaks, and I managed to get some great presents, so I really feel that I have made a good start now – and had a great day!
Happy weekend everyone!

Happy Friday 14.10.16

Well, last week turned out to be a pretty quiet one, hence the lack of blog post – not a bad week, but just not too much happening, but there have been plenty of things to make me smile over the past few days, so here goes:

  1. The weather has definitely changed over the past week or so, and now feels truly autumnal. I have still been loving the bright sunny days, especially good for dog walks, but I’m also pretty happy that it’s got chillier, as it’s the perfect excuse to cook some delicious seasonal fare. The highlights have been the butternut squash soup with cheese and herb scones, and the pear and almond cake – yum!
food soup
2. To go along with this, we have lit the woodburner a few times now, and it’s lovely to make the sitting room all snug and cosy with it – I do love cold evenings when we’re tucked up warn inside in front of a fire – as does Honey!
3. I had a lovely afternoon out with D and G last Saturday at the fabulous Derby Theatre, watching a production of Sondheim’s ‘Sweeney Todd’. It was exciting, gruesome, totally captivating, and performed absolutely fantastically by the entire cast. A wonderful afternoon’s entertainment.
4. Sunday then saw us heading down the M1 to meet one of my university friends at Bletchley Park. It was a great location in which to meet and catch up with each other, but also a fascinating place to visit. We could have spent much longer there than we did (so will probably return at some point), but we did manage to see a lot, so I would definitely recommend it if you have even the slightest interest in British history during the Second World War.
5. I met up with a friend on Tuesday night for one of the great deals that is the ‘cinesupper’ at Quad in Derby. We had a lovely catch up of each other’s news over a meal, then watched ‘The Girl on the Train’, which was so good. There were a few moments when we both had to look away from the screen, but I was pleased that it was so well done, as I had loved the book when I read it.
6. A quick mention this week has to go to two of our dogs – Tilly and Honey – as they have been so, so cute with each other. Normally, Honey tries desperately to be friends with Tilly, who sadly doesn’t want to know and displays her ‘grumpy old woman’ side towards the poor little Honey, but this week they have been cuddling up together beautifully. It may not last, but it is nice to see in the meantime.
7. I was very pleased to get my first proofreading assignment back this week, and even more satisfied with the 84.4% mark that I got for it. Now at least I can make a start on Module 2 before we go away.
8. The past couple of weeks have seen us doing plenty of brainstorming, thinking and discussing plans for the house. We have considered all sorts, from moving to get slightly more space, to staying put and having a loft conversion done, to a full blown extension as well as the loft conversion. We have an architect drawing up plans as we speak, so we can then take it from there – exciting!
9. I had a great night yesterday when I went to see ‘Guys and Dolls’ at Lichfield’s Garrick Theatre. This has long been one of my favourite shows, since being one of the stagehands when it was performed at my school many moons ago, and I just love everything about it, so I was really looking forward to watching it again. And, as always, it certainly didn’t disappoint – fabulous performances again made it a great night out.
10. I will be AWOL again next week, I’m afraid, as I will be in the Caribbean from Monday onwards, just for a week. I am taking G away, back to our favourite hotel in Grenada, where she will celebrate her 16th birthday. Such a tough job being the chaperone! We are so excited, so I am sure that my next blog post will be full of gorgeous Caribbean holiday scenes!

Happy Friday 30.09.16



Well, how we got to the last day of September so quickly I’m really not too sure, but here we are! The weather has definitely felt more autumnal this week, which I am pretty happy about – much as I absolutely loved the long summer, I am definitely ready to embrace the boots and jumpers now required (well, for the next two weeks anyway, until G and I fly off to the Caribbean for our little holiday!).

Anyway, the highlights of the week:

  1. First this week has to be the gorgeous snowberries that I bought last Friday. I always buy fresh flowers when I do my weekly shopping on a Friday morning, so I opted for these beauties last week – they are so pretty and even G commented on how lovely they were when she first saw them
2. We had an absolutely lovely weekend away in Norfolk, starting with a coffee trip on Saturday morning to Stiffkey Stores. It is ridiculous that we have not been there before, but we will definitely be going again. It is a beautiful little place, with a great range of really unusual cards, books, gifts, homeware, etc., as well as making extremely good coffee and chocolate brownies! A great way to start the day.
ss3 tray ss2 ss1
3. We then did a lovely seven mile walk on Saturday afternoon, around Ringstead. The weather was really good for walking and it was perfect for the dogs, as the majority of the route was on tracks, so they could be off their leads. The sea views at one point were fabulous, but a highlight has to be that you can stop just over halfway through the walk at The Gin Trap for a gin and tonic – or any other beverage of your choice!
4. Sunday was another lovely day. We had a potter around Burnham Market, where we bought G a beautiful necklace for her birthday which is in three weeks time, then stopped off at Briarfields for a pre-lunch drink. We went there a few times during the summer and sat outside on the lovely decking area, but this time opted for the comfy and cosy area near the inglenook fireplace. The fire obviously wasn’t needed, but I can’t wait to go back when it is lit – although I think that it may be a very popular spot!
5. G and I had a trip to Ripon on Monday afternoon, as Ripon Grammar school is an option for her sixth form years. We had a great journey, and then were made very welcome at the school – we had a really interesting and useful talk with the headmaster, who was lovely, then were shown round the school and boarding house. We really loved it, and the academic potential there is great, but it is going to be a hard decision, as G loves her current school so much.
6. More progress has been made on sprucing up the bathroom this week. I have lost count of the number of hours that I have spent scrubbing the grout between the tiles in the shower area, as it was awful. However, I found some amazing spray online which I used this week – I literally sprayed it on, left it for half an hour, and all the grout is completely spotlessly white. Incredible! I have also painted the mirror, so now all that remains is for D to put up the new blind and towel hooks.
7. I have seem similar photos to mine below on social media this week, but it really was worth capturing just how incredibly beautiful the sky was on Tuesday evening. Definitely no filter needed!
8. I’m not sure what inspired me, but I decided to make some blackberry jam on Thursday. I haven’t made any jam for a while, but it is so easy, and I love these cute jars I found to put it in. It was pretty good on my toast this morning!
9. As I haven’t been able to do any more of my proofreading course this week, as I am waiting for my first assignment to be marked, I have made use of my free time to write the content for my website, so hopefully we can get that up and running soon.
10. The last one has to be the very, very naughty but extremely delicious cinnamon bun which I bought whilst shopping this morning and ate before writing this post. A Friday treat!
B comes home later today for the weekend, so it will be lovely to see him and catch up on what he has been up to for the past couple of weeks. G is “on duty” at her school open morning tomorrow, so we are going to pop along to see what she is up to, but other than that, we have very few plans – which is nice!
Have a great weekend, everyone!