Tuesday 31 March 2015

D Is For Dominance

D is for the dominance of the Berlin architecture.

And today I've walked 30,00 steps with my fit bit , I'm on a blogging jaunt ~ I mean holiday ( paid by my own fair hands) 

I've tea jitters.

And I've never walked so much in my life , today was Berlin zoo where we silent ages looking for a panda which sadly has popped its clogs to go to bamboo plantation in the sky.

So much walking !

My hair is styled by Worzel Gummidge , and I've been clinging to lampposts because of the wind

And it's snowed.

Psst it's Spring !

Saturday 28 March 2015

The Chicken Whisperer

The chicken whisperer can walk the walk and can talk the talk and has moves like a errmmmm chicken.

Exactly how does a chicken move ~ does it bop ? does it move ? Does it do the funky chicken ?

When the sun hits the sky at some point towards the end of the day it gets tired and let's off an almighty glow , this is the magic hour and untold wonders happen. As I walk out my husband and son having left for  rugby training then the time is mine , I'm on the clock to capture the essence of the magic. For the sky , air and clouds will never align the same way ever again , magic has to be sought , so go be a seeker.

And then in a Saturday morning I wander upon the next village.

This a lagoon that was once a gravel pit , I love how the ecological balance is restored.   I Arrive upon the calm countryside haven and within 5 minutes it culminates into a scene from the Wizard of Oz killing my umbrella of which has made me a tad unhappy.! 

Where do dead umbrellas go ?is there  an umbrella graveyard? 

I'll carrying on seeking.

Tuesday 24 March 2015

Dear Mrs Button

My Dearest Mrs Button

You lived near me and I used to see you around where I lived , you were the music teacher at my Middle School and you were the warmest most friendly teacher in the whole wide world and I adored my lessons with you.  You used to get the music books out and we could choose the songs I remember singing football crazy he; football mad , and we sang Beatles songs oh the songs.

"Penny Lane"

"When I am 64"

Then there was the choir and we had such fun singing to the old people at Christmas and then going caroling  for charity.

You didn't choose me for special choir and at the time I was gutted , but still I sang with the normal choir and it gave me normality . It gave me normality through the traumatic bullying , the list passed round polling to see if people like me, the name calling, the kicking the punching I endured. 

Coming to the school was my choice as I wanted a good education and one with a strong musical heart, it was hard as my name known with my mum being a dinner lady at lower school.

Singing harmonised my mind and soul.

I'll always remember what you said .

Never B #

always B  ( natural )

Always Be Happy

You see my happiness is my right and no one had /has the right to take it from me.

Life's an open door waiting for you to seek adventure.

Life's an open door waiting for you to seek adventure.

I've rescued the Fitbit  off my husband huurah then I lost it for 5 days last week , the fitbit and not the husband and I'm pretty sure it was scared without me. I'm sure I think of my fitbit as a person and that it judges me as it was sticking its tongue out at me. I've yet to figure out how to add people on fitbit but I'm sure I'll twig at some point , no scales for me yet but I'm avoiding cheese , I'm coping .

* does a Wallace and Gromit grin " cheese"

I'm pretty sure cheese is the dismal downfall of society , I'll put the eating of cheese to my dream the other day which was about Jeremy Clarkson sailing down the rapids in a reasonably priced dingy. 

So positive mindset in.

Cheese out.

I'm still trialling Creme eggs and they may have fallen into my virtual Ocado basket.

This week I'm not trapped by the negativity of twitter where I was on a hamster wheel of doom and my depression is a journey without medication , depression is losing its power over me. It's always be there and will continue to be there , the emotional baggage is mine but I don't choose to reclaim it from lost luggage.

Tea , Tea Tea and adventure.

Hark I hear my Fitbit calling to me .

For today 



10,009 steps 

Monday 23 March 2015

Popping Your Calke Abbey

I don't pop Calke for every house I see but hey big stately , I want to spend a little time with you.

Today I'm talking Calke Abbey which is a whisker and a jolly happy skip away from house , we actually were meant to be going to Hendon then men flu hit somewhat so plans changed . Our plans changed to RAF Cosford but I think the teen was trying got an Oscar and subsequently suggested Calke Abbey.

One slight problem we had let our membership slip * sorry squirrel Nutkins .

So that meant we had to get membership again , I know you can get deals on line and this will save you money but when my teenager suggests this then I'm sold . He starts A levels in September so time is precious now in which to teach him further life skills , I've yet to get him to cook at home ,nhs hool yes home no but he can open the fridge.

Back to Calke Abbey we were signed up by a lovely lady who explained how important it all was and the joy and gladness in her voice made me feel birth humbled and proud. Each property has its own uniqueness and the amount of activities that go on there will blow your mind , if you like a Downton Abbey then you'll make use of  National Trust membership.

Going to a National Trust propert can ease a world of troubles away for you making you realise there is light at the end of the tunnel.


Time has stood still for Calke Abbey in around the time 1890 

and it is a beguiling and wonderful place never eerie , Calke Abbey unleashed the adventurer that is hidden deep within us. Cake Abbey is a stunning Baroque mansion that continues to reveal the surprises and secrets that are there you just have to seek and look out. The National Trust have stabilised the tumble down nature of Calke Abbey as they wish to show it for the time capsule that it is and they do a admirable job as custodians of our past and of our future.

Friday 20 March 2015

Finding Your Spirit Animal

Spirit animals sounds rather new age but bear    bare with me,  I saw this in my local charity shop and thought this could be a spirit animal for someone , may I present to you rocking horse with a hat with accordion talents. I think this could apply to someone , I did have a toy accordion as a child ,a hat like that and played on the rocking horse in the shoe shop.

Though I really think perhaps I am most suited to a cat : I am both relaxed , active  , fickle on occasions , friendly , aloof on occasion . I don't however jump on the furniture, make a fuss till I get what I want , suddenly decided I don't like something and lie on the stairs.

Though I'm partial to this sort of behaviour duing the #SolarEclipse

And the cats meh and just like ....

Rollie guardian of the kettle and I do love my tea !!

We all get distracted tidying up! 

It's OK to admit when you are scared!

Sometimes you have to make a point of what you want !

Just as I look after myself I make sure that my cats needs are through pet insurance  , am I my cats spirit animal  ?

Disclosure I am being compensated for this sponsored post.

Wednesday 18 March 2015

The Green Green Grass Of Home

Green is the new gallery title and I'm glad I've been reminded of this after slugging through winter. It's been officially Spring for about 10 days give or take the shaking of a lambs tail.

Tuesday 17 March 2015

The Basket Company Review


You might have seen me mentioning my husbands pants in the context of him running out of them , well part of the problem was we have 2 laundry bins one for my son and myself and one for my husband. My husbands laundry basket or black hole as I called it didn't even have a laundry bag liner in it , it was very much an after thought in the laundry duties.

Phenomenal is what I call my new laundry basket from The Basket Company  and is priced at £35 when my husband saw it he said its smaller but I held my tongue and didn't quite Yoda at him "Judge me by my size do not" or something like that. The old adage is quite correct great things do come in small packages and this laundry basket is do pretty , you might think me bonkers for going all faint at the knees over a laundry basket but I love it. 

The old laundry hamper of doom

All now need and tidy , which is how we like it.

After the weekend I decided I'd had enough of domestic bliss ( think they were being sarcastic when they coined this phrase I'm sure if it) and I thought I needed to picnic . It's March true but you can picnic anytime you might need to wear a bobble hat but hey ho.

Let them eat cake

You can have your cake and eat it too , I must remember to take a flask of tea with me next time. Though a flask of tea doesn't quite taste the same as freshly made , perhaps I'll drag the butler with me next time to make me a cup of tea in a fine bone china cup.

OOOh look what I found.

Have a picnic basket , let us picnic in March

Have a small picnic basket then you can picnic any where ( good weather not included , if chance of showers bring your own brolly) The picnic basket for this size is £12 and I think it is good value of course you can use it for storage at home.

Disclosure : I was sent the Items from The Basket Company they however didn't send me cake and I do like cake.

Friday 13 March 2015

St Patrick's Day Delight With Ocado

I am very honoured to be part of the St Patricks day menu again with Ocado, I had such fun last year pushing my culinary skills I was more than up for it this year. The  object was to create a three course meal that is easily achievable for any one , so i had to rack my brains as I really wanted to surpass last years and what you  are dealing with such a wide range of fine Irish ingredients then you have got your work cut out. I finally narrow my choices down after much deliberation and I decide upon 


Fine Irish breakfast on soda bread toast


Mushrooms of your choosing , though Porcini will require 15 minutes of soaking beforehand. cut into quarters
Scrambled eggs
Irish Black pudding
Guinness stout


You can make the scrambled egg before hand and keep it warm whilst you cook the mushroom and sausage.

Heat some oil in a pan over a medium flame.

Put in your mushrooms and cook for 10 -15 minutes .

About half way through adding the slices of Irish Black pudding.

Splash in a small amount of Guinness Stout.

Serve over light fried Irish Soda bread

Irish Soda bread is the back bone of many a great Irish recipe and it is truly both a thoroughbred and the work horse of Irish foods.

Main Course

Rack of lamb with a whiskey and marmalade jus.


Rack of lamb enough for 4 people

Old time Irish Coarse Cut Marmalade
2 tablespoons of whiskey
springs of thyme
Organic Herb Co. Irish Garden Herb Oil. to drizzle
4 average Potatoes wash and dried.


Preheat the oven to 200 C adjust if a fan oven 

Prepare your potatoes ( this was my first time for hassle back potatoes. Cut into the potatoes as is you going to slice them up but don't let the knife go all the way through.

Place the potatoes in an oven proof dish.

Tease the potatoes out a little to insure that the oil and butter gets into the crevices.

Brush the potatoes with the oil and some melted butter.

After 30 minutes of baking brush the potatoes again with the fat.

Then cook for another 30 minutes  adjusting according to the size of your potatoes.

The lamb takes around 25 minutes or less is you want it medium.

Drizzle with the same oil and dress with sprigs of them and place in the oven after your potatoes have been cooking for the last 25 minutes or less.


Irish Apple cake with double cream

  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 5 teaspoons caster sugar
  • 375g self raising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 400 ml Buttermilk 

  • Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C/ Gas mark 4. Grease and flour a suitable bundt tin. Combine
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, cinnamon ,baking powder and  sugar. , beaten eggs, 
  3. Then add the buttermilk add about 400 ml ( add more if needs be)but pour slowly and stir make sure the mixture doesn't get to wet.
  4.  at this stage you can add any additional flavouring ( be careful not to over power)
  5.  Line the bundt tin with apple Pour 1/2 of the cake mixture into the prepared tin. Then pour the other half in the other side of the tin 
  6. Bake at 180 C / Gas 4 for 70 to 90 minutes.
After it has cooled you could pour some Ameretto over the cake and let it soak in.

Disclosure I was provided with a voucher to obtain the ingredients the recipes are my own.

Thursday 12 March 2015

Parent's Evening The Last Hurrah

Parent's evening the last hurrah.

Tired teachers waiting upon the eager parents and the no so eager children perhaps, you shuffle into a gall to see what I can only describe as a speed dating scene where you hot seat your way through the various subjects.

Subject after subject it was an A or an A* with a shocking C in French but we had be pre warned of that. I suppose there is a tinge of sadness as life rolls on but what really got me was I am more and more conscious of what I am saying a lot.

I am very big on handwriting where my son is concerned and this wasn't a problem it seems where my son is concerned as one teacher said "my handwriting is worse" then came the other questions "what could he be doing more, what revision books does he need, what websites could he be looking at " and at the end my son thought I had looked for the negative. And you know what I think he is right I have had a hellish 2 days lack of sleep, been ill, then my husband has developed a Dickensian cough , the cat doesn't like whiskers any more.

Wait there I go.



Positive time.

I need to be mindful of my outlook in how I speak as children are perceptive to how you speak at any age.

So tomorrow is a new day a new bright outlook pay it forward with a simple kindness as pay it forward doesn't have to be a tangible gift.

Wednesday 11 March 2015

How To Play Bin Jenga

How to play Bin Jenga .

It is the latest craze sweeping the nation and it is very simple to play., You don't require a lot to play it , but oh the fun you will have.

You will need

1. A Bin that is slowly building up with rubbish.

2. Be the last one to go to place rubbish in the bin and if it doesn't balance you win / though I reality you've lost.

See I told you the rules were so simple and you can be an instant winner!

Also in the same serious of games is put the toilet roll on the holder 

and out next year is the game put the toilet paper the right way.

If you need me I'll be emptying the bin.

Disclosure no family members were harmed in this blog post but there was a stiff talking to and no fracas was involved.