Thursday, 25 May 2017

One Thing To Do In Derby On a Rainy Day

If you're in Derby and it is raining which lets be honest about the weather lately is likely to happen. I live just outside Derby and I pop in when I need to and the other day I needed to pick something up from town . In Derby we've a number of museums and one of these is Pickford's House Museum of Georgian Life and Costume is in Derby, England. It is named after architect Joseph Pickford, who built it as his family home in 1770. It was opened as a museum in 1988. The building is Grade I listed. 

The museum is free which is a bonus in these economic times , the museum has an immeadiate afffect as soon as you work up to it and I love the Georgian era. I am never happier than when I am visiting a museum I have been enthralled with museums since childhood, I spent hours in them as a child . And I still spend hours in them it is somewhere I truly feel myself and I feel I truly belong, and it helps that the Derby museum house are ever so friendly and knowledgeable , as soon as you set foot in the museum they talk to you .


You can even use a 1930's bathroom , there is also an Edwardian bathroom you can use as well.


There is even a quaint Georgian garden which is really most exquisite for saying how close you are to the city centre it really is a little green oasis.

I just love this little undercroft underneath the house with the door leading inside it is what I love to think of as a secret door.


Sweet And Spicy Pork (Hong Shao Rou)

I had quite a few pork chops in the fridge and I was trying to figure out what do with them , Pork can be a tricky meat at the best of times . If you over cook it then it can taste like the soul of a shoe that's got a hole in the soul but get it right then it is like heaven in a raindrop.


Pork slices ( I used chops and sliced them up ) enough for around 4 people
A few sliced ginger pieces ( you can use already sliced ginger )
A red onion chopped
A red pepper chopped
Chilli flakes
1 teaspoon Chinese 5 Spice
2 Tablespoons rice winevinrgar
About 4 tablespoon of brown sugar
2 teaspoons of ginger


1. Cut the pork into strips or cubes depending on what type of pork you have, trim off the fat.

2. In A large work bring the water to boil.Add the ginger, onions ,chilli and pork, Bring back to the boil and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from the wok and pat dry on kitchen roll when cool enough to handle . Discard water and content from wok.

3. Add vegetable oil to a hot wok and add your pork pics . Stir fry till brown on all sides. Remove from the wok and drain on paper towel, set aside.

4.  To your wok add the brown sugar and cook over medium heat until the sugar melts and bubbles. Quickly add the hot water to the wok and stir to mix thoroughly. Add the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, Chinese Five Spice, ground ginger, red pepper , chilli lakes and the pork pieces back to the wok and stir. Stir to coat the pork. Cover and simmer on low for 35 minutes.

5. Remove lid and allow the sauce to cook and thicken for at least 10 minutes. Serve with either steamed rices or noodles. Top if you wish wish either chopped chives or spring onions.

Friday, 19 May 2017

A Cereal Mystery

I will be the first to admit that I never thought I would be writing a blog post about a humble bowl of cereal , well a bowl has to be humble doesn't it , they don't have grandiose ideas now do they ?. For years and years we have been buying our son the same type of cereal buying quite a few boxes at a time . We were very puzzled as to why he wouldn't try any other cereal we had asked him to but no no avail , I had visions of having to make emergency cereal runs when he goes to university later this year ~ oh my how would he cope ?

He's going to be away for 3 years of course we will let him home , oh my goodness did that mean filling the garage with his favourite cereal as well . But it appears I shouldn't have been panicking about any of this as he has simply for all these years just been eating the constant supply of the same cereal we were buying and the reason he hadn't been eating any other cereal was that the same cereal magically kept appearing . This is rather like the magic porridge pot but instead with cereal.

It is funny how things occur if only I had known years ago I could have avoided the various panic trips to the supermarket to make sure that the supplies of his ( what I thought was his favourite cereal )never ever did run out.

If tea runs out in this household then there will well and truly be a panic in this household as I love my tea and this in turn has been taken to the teen , of course I will be sending him to university with a box or 2 or tea bags . Every visit I will bring him tea bag and I think I can see where this is going to go there is going to be a teabag mountain some where in the UK.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Pasta Gammon Twice Baked

What do you do with a glut of pasta and Gammon well the answer is of course eat it ! But seriously it's how you go about it that's the first easy part.


Leftover Gammon

Leftover Pasta 

Left over pasta sauce / or can of tomato that has some residue in it 

A few tablespoons of plain flour 

Anything else you want to add , I added salad beans ( Barlotti beans etc )


In a oven proof dish place the salad beans etc.

Next add the chopped up Gammon.

Then add the pasta.

Then add some water to the left over sauce jar ( use a resealable container if you aren't using a jar )

Give the jar a good shake.

Then add a tablespoons of flour to the jar , give another good shake.

Pour the mixture over the pasta.

Place in the oven on 180c for about 20 minutes.

Take out sprinkle some cheese on it and leave in for a couple minutes more to allow the cheese to melt.

This is a perfect supper dish or a money saving dish for anyone !



Balancing The Scales Of Mental Health

Tipping the balance of mental health , tipping the balance of mental health can occur if the odds you feel are stacked against you . And you'd think that being told that my teaching assistant job being restructured that this would happen , I was only told yesterday and currently I am galloping through the various emotions of disbelief , tears , upset and anger . There is nothing to be done it is part of the modern way of things and budgets and restructuring are sadly a way and fact of life.

But though I am losing my job as teaching assistant and it's a job I have truly loved I have to get knuckle down and look for something else to make up the shortfall. I did walk to school today alright not 100 % but ok hoping it together that was until I reached near my school and then I got upset . I know I will continue to get upset but it will lessen and  at the moment I feel as I have no energy .

I don't feel the same as I did when I had my breakdown , yes it is a bit of a struggle to get motivated but I was only told the news yesterday about losing my job. I feel that documenting my feelings help me through it and will enable me to cope , I am stronger that I ever was even tough depression and anxiety will always be apart of me it is going to get control of me at this moment at time . I am keeping one step ahead and the difference is this time I have more a support network in place and I am very much sharing everything with colleagues even the cat , cats are very good listeners except when they turn their back on you and escape through the catflap.

I feel a bit lost which is rather like trying to tidy up after a toddler you never quite get it sorted , but eventually you do as they learn to tidy up for themselves .

But I will come through it , I will find my way again ...

Friday, 12 May 2017

Jack And His Cat Manifesto

I sit here before you to talk about my cat manifesto , I do believe it was leaked on line but there isn't anything in the cat manifesto that we can't achieve. You'll see form my photo that I am connecting with nature * ps not a mouse tail . Of course with the sad death of Rollie our party leader I have had to step into the political affray.

Did you know Abraham Lincoln loved cats and he kept 4 of them at the White House , perhaps there is a power crazy cat sitting on Donalds Trumps head ?

1. EU will someone left the door open so of course we will go out then come back in then go out again and so it goes on .

2. Nationalising cats after all there is power in those paws .

3. The right to knock random stuff off any surface.

4. What is yours is mine whether I need it or not ~ I own everything.

5. There is no word "NO "

6. Free tuition at the University of Cunning.

7.  I pledge more cardboard boxes .

8. I am not a pacifist I will launch weapons , claws , tails * sitting in front of the television.

9.  Smoked salmon in the bowl of every cat ~ no longer will you go hungry and have to put up with an empty bowl.

10 Naps 23 hours a day on a chair of your choice.

Of course I may backtrack on a policy promise here or there , you brought a whole case of the cat food I like ~

"I don't like it anymore "

You want a plant and a cat impossible "you cannot own both , the plant is going down unless you kill it first "

Popping to the loo ? then I need to come to and paw the door wide open * oh is there workmen in the house oh dear I am so sorry.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Creating Your Familiar Footsteps

Where my feet travel carries the memory of me where ever you go what ever we go ~ familiar  footsteps  , I'm loving walking and where ever I go I believe I leave an imprint a little piece of me that I'll keep returning to. And I know when my son goes to university it's really a copy of my own feet going further a field . We've all been to York as a family and I took myself up to Bettys tea rooms last year and a jolly meander round.

And I know when the teen goes to I feel that he is safe as he will be walking in familiar footsteps where we have all walked as a family ~ familiar footsteps.

And as we have been up and looked round York University to look at the archaeology course he will be be studying as well as the accommodation , I will safe in the knowledge that he will be treading familiar footsteps. Though when it is Freshers week ( looks at sky ) the familiar footsteps could have a little bit of a sway maybe.

It matters not the weather nor the season where you go , I go we go familiar footsteps is what carries me through where once a imprint in the mud stood I have the memory of you in our familiar footsteps.

The crunch of leaves makes me smile for knowing that familiar footsteps have been here to , no matter if you are near or far away I have memories of you .

Often I am in the wake of familiar footsteps as I am talking pictures or just pondering , I always capture my families familiar footsteps as we walk our memories.

You have to let them fly when they go to university you have set them up in their familar footsteps and to see them smile in their own confidence is something very special indeed.

You can create familiar footsteps all round the world like we did here in Washington DC it doesn't matter that I am not in the pictures as we we were all together in our family footsteps.

Amsterdam where I was made to walk blooming miles though I did protest a little at the time as Mr T does like to walk everywhere do gets to see everything it was creating our familiar footsteps.

So don't be sat reading this go get out there and create your own familiar footsteps especially as it is #nationalwalking month.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

National Walking Month Time To Get Out And Enjoy The Outdoors

You can walk anywhere and everywhere ( just so long as you're not trespassing !) I enjoy walking in all sorts of places be in from cities to countryside , you'd be surprised that walking in cities can be relaxing as often there are hidden green oasises.


May is National Walking Month. National Walking Month is a campaign to promote the benefits of walking and to get everyone walking, no matter what your level of fitness is.  Walking is simple and free and one of the easiest ways to be more active, lose weight and become healthy. And as we've a teenager going to university we will be saving money as parents as the teen will be stopping on campus and he'll will be walking everywhere to ! - bonus.


A 20 minute walk can boost your mood and as I suffer from depression and anxiety I truely believe in getting out there and exploring , I love being an intrepid explorer, I always view places as I'm the first person to ever set foot there. 

I love the challenge of my environment and varying where I walk from flat places to those with more of an incline as this is helpung increasing my stamina. You don't need fancy equipment to start walking just make sure your footwear is applicable for the surface/area you're going to be walking and decent socks ( especially if you're going to be strolling over hill and dale)


So once this month is over I urge you to keep walking and why not take your camera with you , this is something I love to do . You'll see this in particular from my Instagram I find it a wonderful visual prompt esoecially if I'm feeling down in the dumps.

Monday, 8 May 2017

What To Wear To A Wedding Reception

At the weekend I had the pleasure of attending my very good friends wedding reception and my friend looked beautiful , my friend had got married in Australia and then toured round in a camper van with her new husband and 2 children. She brought elements of her wedding / honeymoon to her reception in England not to mention the fact that she had a blessing in church the morning of her wedding reception.



It is always a conundrum as to what to wear to a wedding reception as you don't want obviously to ever upstage the bride but you want to be elegant and smart.


Comfortable shoes are a must and compliment your outfit , I can't do heels so flats are the natural choice .

Outfit wise I went for a dress that was an empire fit which fits my shape and doesn't make me feel self conscious. I think your meant when you model to place your hand your hip turn sideways and pout.

I in all honestly usually really hate pictures of myself and I think that's because of my size but thanks to this dress from J D Williams my confidence has grown.


The maxi summer dress I chose was a Joanna Hope print one at £55 and I know that I will wear this time and time again infract I have a rugby dinner that I will be wearing it to this week.I'm certainly going to being looking at more Maxi summer dresses and flat shoes. I love the fact that the dress is one of those that really doesn't need ironing well I don't iron unless I really have to , I will be able to pack the dress for Rome knowing that it won't be creased .The flat shoes I am wearing are so comfortable they are Hush Puppies Lexa Heather Bow Slip and are priced at £53.What I love about the shoes is obviously everything but in particular it as if I am walking on air thanks to memory foam within the shoe. 


Of course I will need more shoes for Rome and I will be sure to look in the Women's shoes section in JD Williams.

JD Williams kindly sent me the clothes but all thoughts and words are my own.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Using Charity Shops And Ebay To Decorate Your Home

I love charity shops and I love eBay , but I love charity shops more as I have a particular eye for antiques and collectables and what I purchase I use to decorate my home , one day when will just be a vase or ornament when there previously wasn't. It keeps Mr T very much on his toes as he never knows what is going to appear or disappear as sometimes I may tire of an item and then pass it on either through an auction site or charity , friends etc  whatever takes my whim really. An it is this unique approach to decorating my home that allows for some very unique ecleptic tastes.

If you are going to decorate your home with items with those from charity shops and auctions sites then I very much recommend going with what your love in life I have everything in my home from a Stormtrooper helmet to Royal Coronation memrobila .


I love shopping in charity shops and I have found some absolute treasures in them honestly I am amazed what people don't want but I love to give a item a home again. I have a fondness for tea cups and I have found some very elegant ones of late this is why when I go for tea out and about I love my tea to be served in vintage tea cups I love to feel as if I am in a different era.

You don't have to spend a lot of money in the decorating of your home literally I've spent pennies and when I've wheeled and dealed to get something else in this instance I've spent about £150 and that was on a very nice antique clock. But the clock is something I've saved up for as I'm never rash in purchases as it is object that I'm going to live with.


My advice is very much to buy what you like and love and in doing this you'll train your eye to spot objects when your out and about , of course that and watching antique programs . I do have to admit I've yet to go to an auction at auction house one day I'll go though probably much to the despair of Mr T.

I love charity shops that are particularly vintage in nature as I get totally absorbed by the adventure of discovering something wonderful .


This was a Kath Kidson ( retired ) money box I found recently .


I found a arty tile from an artist called Cesar Manrique in fact I've found 2  !



What about a vintage game !! 



Hummel and Royal Crown found in a charity shop , I think using a charity shop and eBay to furnish your home is a great way to indivually decorate your home and have an interesting hobby at the same time. 

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Autism As An Adult

I've never been one for labels never been one to think that I should go for it , thinking that it didn't matter ,thinking that I knew myself. But that's just the thing ,I didn't really know myself as there is something amiss and today I took the steps to find out for myself what I think I've known about myself from a young age .


Now growing up that wasn't something I was aware of.

I've always been unique or as I like to put it ahead of the game by for example wearing Christmas socks but I'm just ready in preparation.

Currently now this very minute I feel like I've just got on a merry go round .

After a good nights sleep I feel more inclined to stop the merry go round . 

A questionnaire from the doctor isn't a diagnosis it's purely the start of a journey.

My depression and anxiety remain an addition to this so you see but they're always  there but boxed up and sometimes they escape the box .

Monday, 1 May 2017

Big Lies Little Lies

Big lies little lies they're out there in plain sight and I experienced one of these first hand on Friday and it was shocking especially in this age of transparency. Now I love my tea and when I'm away in a hotel I know hand on hand I'm not going to get fresh milk unless it's a bells and whistles hotel but alas this wasn't the case . We were stopping at a functional hotel as we were picking up the teen from a concert life's weird like that one minute you're out clubbing then you are pulling your teenage up from a concert. Anyway the milk or rather the lack of real milk you know as I've mentioned , well at hotel you usually have the UHT milk that doesn't preport to be milk. That was till I saw this and I was shocked as it blooming well didn't taste like real milk it was a big lie though it was just little.


Self service checkouts well they aren't that at all really are they ?? It's all a big lie yet every time we are  snared in them like a fly in a Venus fly trap it will quicker the husband says ~ big lies little lies. You know you're practically going to be screaming at the self service checkout " there is nothing in the bagging area you useless piece of techninology " . You know the people who have used the self service checkout as they're the ines who are red in cheeks clutching their shopping .

Cleaning windows that's another lie as soon as you fight to get them as clean on the inside and out , I need to dust and vacuum it's a conspiracy that housework itscall a bi big lie. I'm just going to relax now and drink tea with real milk and don't even get me started on " tastes like butter "...



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