Wednesday 28 March 2018

A Cat In Time

Cats can be moody and irritable just like us humans at times and this morning as I entered the kitchen to make my essential cup of morning tea the cat exited through the cat flap. I’ve not had the best few weeks myself with anxiety and perhaps the cat has picked up on that. It is not a quick fix for myself and I’m sure the cat and I will be in tandem again tomorrow.

Tomorrow in cat terms is the rustle of a food pouch and there your friend appears all purrs and smiles . Do cats smile , I do know that they smirk especially black cats as you can’t see their mouths.

Black cats are a rip in time as they look like a hole to another dimension perhaps that’s where they go and get the positive energy from. I am no cat professor but I think that’s a pretty sound theory not in the realms of the late great Stephan Hawking but somewhere on the scale maybe ?!

I can’t find my cat again today do I’m guessing he’s on a mission for positivity and I’m all up for that.

Tuesday 27 March 2018

Basil Oil with Tomato Risotto And Mozarella

I’ve not been feeling very well this week and I had a whole 24 hours without sleeping earlier in the week which was not fun but onwards and upwards .And although I am off with stress you've still got to eat and that's half the battle and I need to be my own hero . SO simplicity is the key in recovery your appetite and there is nothing more satisfying and simple that a lovely Risotto and also we have the teen at home for a week before he heads back for the summer term of his Archaeology degree.


1 tin of chopped tomatoes ( if you want you can use 500g of fresh tomatoes peeled deseeded and chopped )

1 red onion
3 cloves of garlic
some chilli if you want 
A bunch of fresh basil of teaspoons of dried Basil
125g Mozarella or sprinkle or a generous amount of Parmesan 
1 vegetable stock cube
15ml red wine vinegar or a glass of dry white wine
150g Aborio rice
pinch of sugar 
Optional Bay leaf which you could use at the start  for a few minutes just to infuse ( remember to take out ) 


Boil the kettle and dissolve one vegetable stock cube

Peel and dice a red onion finely

Peel and grate/chop a garlic finely

Fry the onion in a tablespoon of  olive oil for 2-3 mins until soft sprinkle in some salt

Next add the arborio rice and chopped garlic to the softened onion.

Mix well to make sure the rice is evenly coated in the onion and oil
Add the chopped tomatoes and stir continuously until the rice has absorbed most of the tomato 

Slowly add the stock a little at a time stirring all the time for around 20-25 minutes or till all the vegetable stock is absorbed 

Chop the all the  basil finely ( and yes that includes the stalks )
Or if you don't have fresh basil then you can use 2 teaspoons of dried basil
In a pestle and mortar grind the basil with a pinch of salt to form a paste then add 3-4 tbsp of olive oil this is then your basil oil.

You can either add the chillis to the risotto or perhaps make a chilli oil instead of the basil ( just to change the recipe up a bit )

If you don't have a pestle and mortar just use a sturdy cup or little bowl  ( a teeny tiny one )

Just before the Risotto is finally cooked stir in the red wine vinegar along with a pinch of sugar and then cook for a couple of minutes more.
Drain and pat dry the mozzarella then cut them in half.

Or sprinkle over the Parmesan 

Then drizzle over your oil of choice ( either bail or chilli ) 

Crack out the salt and pepper and enjoy 

On A Mission To Relax

I’m on a mission to relax I’ve just got to which is hard and you can imagine I might be anxious in writing this . I was lucky enough to win a lovely Spa in a box hamper and there are various items in the hamper which I’m working my way through. However I’m stumped with the fascination of bath bombs I thought I’d try the one I got in the spa in the box prize . I lobbed into the bath like a relaxation grenade ( good name I think ) and it was labelled hypobath so I thought yes yes it’s going to hyponise me with all matter of magic and colours but it just fizzed and fizzed and that was it.

And also the word could doesn’t mean you actually should when it comes to chocolate I said to my husband “ you could take the last bit of chocolate “ the word could in my mind implies he could but shouldn’t as it was mine.

Wednesday 21 March 2018

Tenpin Bowling Derby

I have all the grace of a giraffe trying to bowl but bowling is top family entertainment and I even had the bumpers off when I went bowling with my family. Myself and my family were kindly invited to the relaunch of the Tenpin bowling at Foresters Park Osmaston Park Derby.

Tenpin Derby has gone through a £270,000 refurbishment introducing new flat screens, arcade games and bowling machines. I love the fact that the flat screens were above the bowling lanes and showed the scores ( well when I eventually got on the score board that is ! ) Along with showing the scores the screens also show music videos. 

I effortlessly glided down the bowling alley or in the words of Mr T

“ Barns Wallis had nothing on you “

Mr T of course was referring to my bouncing bomb technique and it seemed to work ; yes I came last but getting on the scoreboard was victory enough for me.And I love that new bowling bowls have been brought and there’s no need to worry about dodgy bowling shoes as now you wear your own, just make sure you wear grippy shoes !

The bowling machines are more reliable so there’s less chance of breakdown.

There’s also laser quest to have a go with and this is immensely popular with everyone and I remember my son enjoying many a party running round doing this.Add into the mix of this mega family entertainment new pool tables,table tennis tables,and arcade games then you’ve a very family friendly trip out.And of course no trip to bowling is complete without a burger and fries reasonably priced.

Gloucester and Croome Park (National Trust ) an Ideal break for adults and families

The city of Gloucester welcomed myself any my husband this weekend gone and we thought it was the perfect place for me to recover from a throat/ear sinus infection while the penicillin did its work.
Any trip to Gloucester is not complete without a trip to the 11th century Gloucester Cathedral, resting place of King Edward II, also the home of the the  majestic Great East Window>The Cathedral is a popular film and television location having been used in such films as Harry Potter and television series such as Sherlock,Wolf Hall and Doctor Who a hugely popular film and television location. As you explore the magnificent fan-faulted cloisters you can imagine yourself in Harry Potter.At the historic Gloucester Docks which is only just a short walk and has been used in an Alice Wonderland film : Through the Looking Glass. The water front is an ideal place to relax with many bars and restaurants it is lovely to wander round the Gloucester Docks and Gloucester Quays. 

The Tailor of Gloucester Beatrix Potter Museum and Shop is located in the original building used by Beatrice Potter in her story The Tailor of Gloucester – a real-life mystery based on the city’s John Pritchard.
We also visited the remains of a secret wartime air base, now a visitor Centre, where thousands of people lived and worked in the 1940s and enjoy a visit to our new wartime museum. We love our walk through through a masterpiece in landscape design, which is 'Capability' Brown's very first. It has been painstakingly restored what was once lost and overgrown 18th century parkland and this valuable  work today. 

Find the beautiful Croome Court, the home of the Earls of Coventry, at the heart of the park, which has been patiently waiting for its revival. There is a beautiful walk around Croome and what ever the time of year it is a breathtaking property then we will revisit.

Wednesday 14 March 2018

Nuclear war ? No Problem We Are British And We Have Tea

I drink tea , I love tea and when I am not drinking tea I am thinking about tea and I even it times of adversity people have always though of tea . Threat of nuclear way well jolly make sure we have tea and a source of hot water it won't matter that you can't go outside for a million years just as long as us British have the tea we will be ok .

I love cats as well and I've written about cats and tea too , in fact I writing this now drinking tea . I’ve a habit of saying where and I want to go and I’ve a habit of if I want something I’ll get it 

“ Sod it if I want a cream tea I’ll jolly well have it “

Tea I love tea.

"Happiness is just a tea cup away "

Happiness Is Just A Tea Cup Away

Sometimes I just speak my mind but always with politeness ever so much politeness and I wonder because I choose to speak my mind if that perplexes people. People always have a concept of how you are how you should be how you should act. But if I have a cup of tea with a friend and cake then I really can be myself with no filters and that’s refreshing because people really do like me for who I am .

I had tea with a friend and I was brought coffee by mistake and I nearly just settled with it just to be polite.But I was encouraged to speak up speak out and go for my beloved cup of tea and I was jolly glad I did. If I don’t get my tea levels I do go feral as I have to keep my tea levels topped up.

“happiness is just a tea cup away “

Tea I love tea be it virtual and or real tea I just love tea .

Being myself is really important and I like that and you know what even the other day I treated myself to some new socks , I love socks as much as I like a cup of tea.

Cat Ownership

Cat ownership

Cat ownership it is a slippery slope I tell you well obviously you start with a cat or maybe 2 or perhaps a herd then you find yourself owning

1. A Cat blouse
2. Cat socks
3. Cat jumper
4. Cat mugs
5. Cat ornaments

And speak nothing of all the paraphallnallia  that comes with the cat bed, food, toys and more toys , I am frightened randomly when the cat dives towards the chair giving me a heart attack. Though I do suspect my cat is trying to kill me especially as it hides on the stairs I always have to make sure I turn the landing light on as it sides on the middle stair being helpful.

And you’re not really a cat owner unless you’ve apologised to your cat ...


You don’t know what you’ve done wrong but you know you’ve done something and nothing holds a grudge like a cat can.

That’s when your cat isn’t trying to star in it’s own art house noir film.


Friday 9 March 2018

Cats with Whisker Stress

Cats with Whisker stress it isn't a cat that is stressed with a certain brand of cat food but more a cat with sensitive whiskers 

I had noticed Jack dropping his food on the floor and far from being fickler picky  I thought that something else had to be going on and thats' when I came across whisker stress. Whisker stress means a cat could be sensitive to their whiskers touching the sides of their bowl.

Some common signs of this sensitivity are:
  • Scooping the food out of the bowl onto the floor
  • Taking a few bites and walking away and then coming back
  • Leaving the bottom or side layer of food in the bowl most of the time
A simple solution to reduce or eliminate whisker stress is to switch their food and water dishes to flatter, wider-style bowls.

And I know that I could just put down a saucer but Jack is an older cat and I believe our pets deserve to be treated with respect in their older years.

I tried ordering a bowl off Amazon but it wasn't what I wanted and for the money I just knew something better had to be out there , Jack didn't need fancy bowl personalisation I mean cats can't read can they although I am pretty sure they can when I try to give my middle class cat a cheaper brand of cat food.So after scouring the internet I came across the Oblik Lordly Puss bowl which is art in a cat bowl and as well as helping to relieve whisker stress it also aids with good posture and we all know good posture is part of good manners.

Yes the cat bowl his £12.95 and yes the delivery was £2.95 but I think my cat is worth it and it is a bowl that will last.

Thursday 8 March 2018

Having A Nemesis In Life

We’ve all had a nemesis(an arch enemy ) sometime in life not perhaps a master criminal nemesis like Moriarty but a nemesis in some shape of form. One nemesis I had at school who was always trying to keep one step ahead of me , when it was GCSE's literally strolled 45 minutes into an exam and aced their English Literature exam.

My cat Jack has a nemesis, we call him ‘ Sid Vicious ‘ he’s hard core , he wears a studded collar, he listens to mean deep heavy metal  music,he probably likes Coldplay but doesn’t admit it ( some has to ), What is the measure of a cat this is a question for another time but for now it is the nemesis of ‘Sid Vicious ‘

We are having issues going outside ~ the cat not me as Sid Vicious is a big mean bully with his  studded collar and Jack is scared of him .He can’t grow a pair as the vet took them away.I mean I’m going to have to go round and talk to Sids owners.

Jack needs to reclaim the fence.

Ps Sid is gorgeous to look at though but don’t tell Jack.

Jack likes to keep lookout especially for dogs so when he spots them he can go to the front door ask to go out ( despite having a cat flap ) and sit on the door mat ( stereotypical ) and be able to taunt the dog by just being out of their reach.It is the cat equivalent of sticking 2 fingers up at someone.

He’s a mean bruiser is ‘Sid Vicious ‘ all muscle and he goes 

“Meow Meow hiss Meow Hiss Meow growl “

He’s probably got knuckle dusters as well in his cat basket and watches film like “ Lock Stock and 2 smoking kittens “

I’m not saying we are fanning any flames at all with comments like :

“ oooooh there’s a pussy cat in your garden “

Or “ go get him “... 

This is from Jane Willis who blogs at Onions and Papers and her crafting and cooking posts are legendary.


Sammy and Charlie were very brave cats. Their nemesis was a regular visitor to our garden and we nicknamed him The Enemy. Sammy and Charlie would spend hours sitting at the window snarling threats at him and clattering their jaws in that aggressive way cats have.......just as long as there was a thick pane of glass in between them and him. But if The Enemy ventured into the garden while they were outside, you've never seen two cats rush to the cat flap and the safety of the window quite so fast! “

Jane loves cats as much as I and love her cards that she makes especially her cat cards which are often comical in nature, many thanks to Jane for writing this passage and her crafting cat links.

Tuesday 6 March 2018

Taking A Villa Holiday In St Barts


You can't help but think that after this really really cold snowy weather that rather than holidaying in Narnia for once you would like to holiday somewhere with a bit of guaranteed sunshine.I have been looking at sunshine holidays for this year as I am late in booking one, its usually myself that does the research and as a family we ultimately decide It is usually my first choice of idea ,though). I have a friend who is off to the Caribbean soon with her family and they are very excited about it. I just know I am going to have a twinge of jealously when she posts those enticing photos on social media.Now I have never been to the Caribbean but it is a travel destination I would really like to tick off my bucket list. I love travelling, and I am always wanted to do so I do think I have a rather nomadic soul.I could book a stop at a hotel which is all inclusive but there is another option which is to book a villaI could book a villa in St Barts for example.A villa is a good option whether there is a few of you or a big group there will be a villa or villas to suit your needs.

Now what can you do in St Barts?

Well asides from sipping the obligatory cocktail in St Barts there is a wealth of activities to choose from as being in the Caribbean it is the place for some serious me time.and chic French cuisine . St Barts has a  much tropical landscape of soaring mountains and isolated stretches of power soft sand sun soaked beaches there are around 22 beaches on the island and you can see all manner of marine life including turtles. St Barts has a dreamlike quality and a laid back tempo and all the beaches are accessible and free. The capital of the island is Gustavia ideal for for the designer shopping with well known designer names available and you can experience everything from fine dining gourmet restaurants to casual options. You literally can't get a bad meal  as they all serve fresh delicious food. 

You could take a boat trip around the island or learn to windsurf,surfing, kite surfing  or even scuba dive( this could be a good reason to finally learn to swim after all these years ) The water is turquoise and is instagram ready for you without the need for photo shop.St Barts is small ( eight square miles to be exact ) small but beautiful and you''ll feel that being there is very much a bespoke experience and one to savour every moment from.St Barts is a safe Caribbean holiday and that is why celebrities , rock stars and millionaires flock here but even if you aren't a millionaire you can still be part of the scene.

You’ll be aware that some of the Caribbean was devastated by Hurricane Irma , communities are pulling together to get back on their feet and that’s why they need people come and see the restoration of their beautiful islands.The community has made an impressive recovery since the hurricane and they can not wait to welcome you to their island and show you its natural splendour.

Living the Caribbean life is an easy lifestyle option and that is why so many people fall in love with the relaxed way of life, we are often so busy in our lives and don't give ourselves enough to relax rest and unwind.  I feel most relaxed just writing about the Caribbean and I can imagine the colours sights and sound and I feel ready to fly off there right now , I am sure work will not miss me.

St Barts Beach

Why not have a two centre Caribbean holiday and spent some time also in Jamaica ( which is great to take kids to)  is another place I would also like to visit some time in my life.

Disclosure this is a PR collaboration.

Monday 5 March 2018

The Tale Of A Little Lost Book

This is take of a little lost book that had lost its way unloved unread it was crying out to be loved. It’s not selfish to want attention to be be needed to be loved to be appreciated.

A book is a must needed self indulgence and it’s not a selfish indulgence either.

A library is a care home for books and I’m the custodian , now the care home is over run you might say but who am I to turn away residents?

It was a Christmas present from grandparents to someone ( Christmas 2017)

Now who is to say why this little book lost its way and was all lost and lonely in the charity shop.

This is a book that was asking for more inasmuch as it wanted a new owner and it found one in me.

Thursday 1 March 2018

Having A Second Childhood

I think I’m having a second childhood which isn’t that bad , as basically I’ve never grown up and why should I have to ? Many will say I’m notadulating today but that not my scene to say that. I think it’s good to have a sense of wonder still as that’s what you have in childhood.In childhood you’re wide eyed with wonder and I was always asking searching questions if my school report is to be believed.

Fab ice lolly it’s down there in ice cream folklore as giving you superpowers just the same as a big foot, if you’ve a cider lolly too then I’m putty in your hands.

Cake I loved cake as a child I mean who doesn’t love cake still even in a second childhood, which has to accompanied by a nice cup of tea. Tea always to have the word “nice “ before it , it’s written in the history of tea book.

Before your fancy watches that count your steps and helpfully tell you when to breathe there was the telling the time with the blowing of a Dandelion. And when you can’t find a Dandelion then of course you tell time by “ a freckle past a hair “

Curly Wurlys are the bees knees and excuse me I retreat from the weather crisis and getting excited that there’s going to be a Karate Kid series on Netflix.