Friday 29 June 2018

A Couples Holiday In Sherwood Forest

A couples holiday what is that ? It’s the one where you go with kids ! Go on holiday without kids I hear you say ! Yes you can holiday without your children and you’ll cope just fine without them ( I’m talking about kids that are old enough to be left like 18 and over ) .It’s the break you go on before you go and collect them university and all there stuff which you swear fitted in the car when you left.

You’ll find yourself travelling more when you’ve not got your kids in tow and aren’t popping off to various sporting events.That is not to say that you don’t miss those wet , cloudy , freezing morning s on the side of a football/rugby pitch.This picture below is what a hidden disability(diabetes type 1 ) looks like relaxing in a  You can relax at in Sherwood  and do as little or as much as you want , you could hire bikes . 

Sherwood Forest is beat known for its ties to the legendary Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men.However ,while this may be the most popular tale of the woods, there is plenty of other myths and legends to explore.This are has been home to woodland since the end of the Ice age ,making it one of Britain's Ancient Forests and is till known as a Royal Forest.Today the area is known as the Sherwood Forest National Reserve today and covers 1,045 acres and fully surround the historic village of Edwinstowe. It is popular for it location near the Major Oak and St Marys church supposed wedding location of Robin Hood and Maid Marian.

Major Oak

Found near the village of Edwinstowe, The Major Oak is a famous English Oak Tree that according to legend, once housed Robin Hood and his followers ( the ultimate tree house ! ). Protecting them fro the elements and giving them somewhere to sleep.The tree is thought to weigh around 23 tons and has an impressive canopy of 92ft ( 38 metres ) and since the Victorian era has been supported by scaffolding.The tree is though to be between 800-100 years old so the Major Oak wasn't even a sapling around the time of Robin Hood.

Sherwood Forest is now a protected site and attracts almost one million tourists form all over the world and why not be made of this discovery of this beautiful treasure. You could stay in a cheap hotel near to Derby and Nottingham offering access to both Sherwood Forest and the Peak District.

This is collaboration post.

Thursday 28 June 2018

Family It Is How It is Written

I have been quiet but I like the quiet I am finding truth in my own thoughts again and I really do like it and the adventures I am having and the choices I am making and oh doesn't it sound like a AA Milne Winnie the Pooh story this.But that is just it I want the innocent life and yes I know it has the twists and turns but I want and need to be me again without the

"Are you better  ?" questions ( as that really really does my head in )

Well yes yes I am when I look how far I have come and where I was.

Adventures I love adventures and you don't have to go far for the most fantastical and wonderful adventures and we have been revisiting some of our National Trust haunts now the teen is back from university. He is unburned now by study and essays and is swinging back nicely into family living and joyfully the food bill has gone back up but that is the wonderful thing about families.To know you are altogether again and to know that you're family still for no matter how far apart you're you are still family.

Raising a family is like crafting with magic you throw everything into the cauldron and hope for the best and you parent to the best of your abilities , I don't think I have ever been the draconian parent . I once tried to stop my teen when he was very small from going to football for something minor he had done and he simply answered:

"How can you stop me doing something that I love  ?"

Damn kids being smart and having a mind of their own and gosh isn't this just the sort of fearless attitude we want them to have in life ( being polite of course )

We are a unit again and we all have are own tea mugs and I have mine very clearly marked as my mug is from Ryman and is "C is for Claire" there is no clearer message whose tea mug this is ! I do love my tea it is a true love of mine and I am so so passionate about my tea. I ‘d go total bananas if I can't have my tea and that reminds me now the teen is home we have run out of milk and I must go and fetch some.

And to help keep track of my blog posts and anything else relate to my blog I have a note book as writing down any ideas has to be done there and then. I love my blogging and it has brought me many wonderful opportunities for me and my family, I love notebooks they are so extremely tactile a sort of stationary cat if you will ( ps I love cats as well ) And I love this personalised notebook that comes from Ryman as well it is so so pretty and it is all mine.

And what notebook is complete without a personalised pen  from Ryman again with my name on it so there is no arguments to who the pen belongs , and there is nothing finer than the written word either from a much loved Grandad or the wise words of your then 16 year old teenager

So if you are on the look out for personalised gifts then may I suggest Ryman as I am ecstatic with the products they went me for review and with some special birthdays coming up I know where I will be looking.

Monday 25 June 2018

Jack Champion Hide and Seek Champion 2018

And life get back to normal with the cat well and truly better after it having a bad leg and costing £££ at the vets.And the teen returned from university complete with washing for 2 years (that could be a complete exaggeration)

“ I like to keep the vet in a style he’s accustomed to “

Which is suspiciously why I am always seeing the vet coming back from the shops with bottles of wine and of course what vert is not complete without a countryside shirt and tie ( plus trousers )

Jack however is still rubbish at hide and seek but we don’t tell him ..

“ I’m the hide and seek champion of the world 2018 “

 "And despite the challenge from my Nemesis I am the king cat of the world. "

There are many benefits to being a cat screams you're a CAT !

1. Your home is a parkour arena and YOU can sit and jump  where you like that includes the TV and laptop when the football is on.

2. Obviously us cats are exceptionally good at hide and seek and I believe the above picture captures my sheer brilliance.

3. You can plot a murder and everyone thinks you're "JUST so fluffy and cute "

4. Being a black cat if people are mean to you of course you have access to a witch.

5. I’m not really unlucky if I cross your path although I’d start to wonder why you haven’t won the lottery yet ( I tore up the ticket )

Saturday 23 June 2018

I Am Not An Anxiety Traffic Cone

I social media for me when I want and how I want , gosh in the year 2000 Google was just a mere what ever it was.Selfies didn’t exist and no one had the pressure of answering or sending emails.

I’m off with Anxiety you see the big A the one people still skirt around like you’re an “Anxiety Traffic Cone .Anxiety / Depression is a bit like roadworks you don’t know where it will be fixed . I’m winning on this but I know that my Anxiety roadworks will need constant maintenance.My Doctor just huuuuhuh and mmmmm at me so I think some way to go with that side of things!

I had a breakdown on the back of various factors 4 years ago and I’ve learnt from it and repaired myself.I think there are many important lesson s I’ve learnt in the art of self care.

1. It’s ok to not be ok and it’s ok to talk about it you’re not an Anxiety Traffic cone.

3. Don’t worry about being misunderstood everyone is ... and I was misunderstood 4 years ago leading to some right nasty stuff on the net. Friends will be there for you but it takes time to build the right ones.

4. Don’t worry what people think it’s ok to be you ~  don’t worry what 

5. Try and find yourself in a book again that’s one way to truly find yourself again

6. I punctuate my day with being rather than doing like just being with my cup of tea and not being a slave to people’s expectations.

7 Not needing flash things I’m perfectly happy with a cup tea family and cake oh and the cat and countryside. 

8 Faultless there’s no such thing ! Allow yourself failure and don’t beat yourself up when things go wrong.

9 Plan what you want as planning helps you structure and can help with how you feel, it could be tea and cake with a friend.

Things not to say to someone with Anxiety and depression and I’ve genuinely had this said to me “ if you were taking the tablets you’d be half way to getting better now.

Also people think you want to be left alone when you’ve got anxiety or depression and though sometimes this is true , please do approach people. Keep trying and trying they’ll let you know - just trying is enough for some. Don’t give up on us !

And neither is it a shame what has happened to us “ isn’t it a shame about xyz”

So I’m not an anxiety Traffic Cone !!

Wednesday 20 June 2018

Crafting Happiness And Habit

Anxiety doesn’t stop at a line and go ooooh I’ll not cross that it needs to but it doesn’t. Am I winning the war with anxiety I think so but I know really know what true friendship is now.

Friendship goes in and out of our lives for whatever reason, you can’t force a friendship it’s like a good cup of tea you see friendship.Once you’ve found your strength you stick with it and yes sometimes the friendship is over milked but mainly a balance is struck.

I’ve been off with anxiety since March and one thing after another has snowballed but that’s life ! unfortunately and what has crippled me is just as things were ironing out then boom it all blew up in my face.

From having to call 999 for my mother due to a bipolar episode to my husband suddenly having to go into hospital with diabetes. And I imploded and crumbled and to the friends who have seen me through this I thank you.I am no fool in thinking that everyone is going to feel a compassion or empathy for me  .It’s not what I really want but a little nod every so often or maybe an interaction then that’s ok.

I can take joy in the fact that people are having a good time and I can feel sadness when they’re not.I try to be there for people and not spread myself thin.

I have to take social cues I’m not good at knowing when to start and finish a conversation.People who really know me understand this and don’t run away from me during a conversation.I can’t be left hanging it’s got to be clear cut or I don’t know where I stand.

And this includes writing part of this blog post again ! as it was swallowed probably by a T - Rex or something!

I believe in genarosity of self and that’s not just thinking about yourself to ensure your own well being but being genorous in your actions to others.

I’m going to practise being more genouros from taking someone’s else’s shopping trolley back when I take my own to depositing loose change in charity tins.

Happiness and habit you have to allow yourself to be habit and find something that makes you do.Think of it as a hobby as happiness is not always intrinsically possibile .Hapiness for me is various activities or actions or sounds the list goes on and is really a stand alone blog post.One thing for me is photography that makes me happy and is influential to not only me but other people who appreciate it.

I this morning have started a new happiness habit crafting prompted by my husband “ you’ve not opened your crafting magazine “

So this morning I thought about unloading the dishwasher and decided that was not going to make me happy and instead went to do a spot of crafting.

Tuesday 19 June 2018

How I Am Winning The Battle on my Garden

My Garden isn't a Chelsea Flower show garden but then again what is nowadays and I don't have famous celebrities traipsing round my garden giving their views on it.The garden has been somewhat a bit of a lifeline for my husband and he has created two rockeries nothing amazing that in that you might think.But it was when he was doing the first rockery that he really thought he had a problem with his health he had been drinking loads of water , going to the toilet and other such signs associated with Diabetes.He battled through and it was on the Monday that he went to the doctors and Tuesday resulted in a stay in hospital and when he came out of hospital he recuperated by spending time in the garden.Gardens are marvellous for reoccupation and i love being in the garden it has been a hard slog to create a garden on a budget but you can do it and it helps if you have friends who perhaps have too many strawberry plants in their garden and they’re called Pam ! and they also give you a wild Garlic plant and give you a lift back from the hospital ( all for which I’m greatful for )

Mr T if he had his way would whip up the lawn and put down fake grass but no that is to something I want and so I am happy to do battle with the lawn and try and get it to look green , I know people get really fanatical over their lawns as it is this pride and joy.I have seen people cutting their lawns with nail scissors that is how extreme it gets.Why do I need the lawn well Love the green and seeing the birds hopping happily across my lawns fetching the worms out of it.

But when you’ve an an autoimmune disease which Diabetes type 1 you want gardening to be a pleasure and not a chore.And that’s where the latest range of cordless Ryobi tools come in so far we have the lawnmower, grass strimmer and pole pruner.And Mr T is out there like a man possessed mowing, strumming and pruning.

In order of the rockeries we have gone from this to this ...

All this from a random eBay purchase when I brought an old stone sink off  someone and ended up with a shed load of stone.I am random and I am a devil on EBay !

How Cats Cope With The World Cup

World Cup football and cats the World Cup is here again and the nation or most of it is glued to television s , laptop s and smart devices.Or they would be if cats weren’t cats being what a cat is and that’s smug with a “ who me attitude”!

Cats don’t give a flying penalty about the World Cup and therefore will demand more of your attention at this time , England about to score a penalty cat on your laptop or cat infract of your TV.Your cat is the only entertainment you need , go to get a drink or snack and then you will have  a cat back where you were sitting.Or the cat will graciously hug your toes while you are watching the game and you daren't celebrate as this will unleash an immediate ninja attack.

In the world of a cat what’s yours is theirs , theirs and oh theirs ! You will deviate your gaze from them as they judge you from the outside inside and the inside out.They know your soul and infact they’ll suck the soul right out your body.

There is no in between with a cat.

My mind also wanders in the World Cup and I go and do other stuff like housework ( Which deeply frightens me ) And I cant really name anyone in the England team anyway.You can’t hang onto forever to the high of 1966 which was well before my time anyway.

Cats don’t care for the World Cup and maybe I’m a cat ..

To the tune of Destiny’s child
Football on the telly 
I’m ready to give up 
But guess what
I’m a survivor (what?)
I'm not gon' give up (what?)
I'm not gon' stop (what?)
I'm gon' drink wine 🍷(what?)
I’m a survivor

Tuesday 12 June 2018

Just Blog For Yourself

Blog yourself don't listen always to the supposed blogging law that is spouted out at times.

That’s why I’m happy to blog as I do when I feel and say what I want and when I want it.Refreshing is it not to be yourself and to be lost in how you feel and how you want to blog.

I’m not a blogging anarchist that’s like a rock star throwing the television out the hotel room.And anyway you can’t as the window have those safety locks out.

Blogger ~ influencer who cares what the title is ~ blogger laureate for all I care.My blogging gives me a platform for how I feel and how I write is how I write.

And I’ve blogged twice in a day and if I want to blog more I will ! It can be as many words as I like or gasp no words.

As I love my photography it really is a passion of mine and I like nothing better than tootling out to take pictures.

I don't place myself above anyone else neither no I perceive myself to be the fountain of all blogging knowledge I know what I like to blog and I do it. Blog what you love and you'll find your fellow tribe or those hop share your passions in what you do and what you say and even will debate against you in a balanced manner.

Be yourself in all and everything that you do !

Why Travelodge Has Lost Me As A Customer

I think my travelodge staying days are well and truly over and hello Premier inn. We stopped at Ferry Bridge Pontefract (Ferrybridge) in May over the Bank holiday weekend for 2 nights.It is at a service station nothing flash just cheap and accessible for York where our son is at university.But the fun started when we got back and my husband got a parking ticket.And we couldn't understand it at all as we knew we hadn't broken any rules or regulations. 
You see when you stay at this sort of place you enter your car reg onto a computer within the Travelodge so you don't get a fine, SO you don't get a fine from the parking company ( as the parking is privately owned)
But something went wrong and my husband got a fine so much wrangling to get it sorted as your first response is to pay it so it goes away. But we didn't as I am tough as old boots when it comes to matters when I know we are in the right.
We thought it was all sorted and maybe we would have stopped there again despite this hassle we got an aolpogy and sorry from Travelodge it wasn't us it is CP plus parking blah blah.But if it a known problem then it should get sorted asap even if it means the Travelodge staff ring Cp plus with the reg !
But today my husband rand and we have another ( excuse my language ) another bloody fine to sort out.
I am trying to get a full refund of the stay now from Travel lodge and get this other fine squished.
I think have more chance of finding a pole dancing Dodo then get a refund from Travelodge
I know after wrangling the second fine will get squared again but it isn't on especially after Mr T  is out of hospital.I fell like I ma fighting in the trenches to get my money back for a stay that in the end turned out to be rubbish because of the parking fines.Customer service shouldn't be hard and it should be complicated you know we like companies that goes you know what "we are sorry we will try and endeavour that this doesn't happen again "

It as not as if I am demanding a silver service tea service from a butler every 5 minutes it is just a basic hotel stay and basic shouldn't mean you are entangled with other issues.Of course Travelodge has the right to reply but I am not getting anything other than stock evasive replies till now, I will update this blog post as and when I get anywhere.I feel as if I am not only fighting for me but for everyone in ensuring that customer service is exactly that a customer service !

Update the second fine has been squashed but Travelodge will not move on granting me a refund for the room.

I feel like I am fighting in the trenches to try and get my money back for a stay that turned out to be rubbish.Customer sevrice should be hard and it shouldn't be complicated and it is not as it we are demanding a butler tea service every 5 minutes while stopping with a budget hotel.I am not going to get all gun ho on my page as i have done that on my own personal one.But it's the little things that count and how a company deals with not only you but other people speaks volumes!

Sunday 10 June 2018

Mary Berry Cake And Me

Mary Berry keeps intruding upon my life she’s every where I go , she’s not stalking me or anything like that.But Mary Berry is intruding upon my life only as Mary Berry can ! You see a few weeks ago when my husband was taken into hospital I had to visit him by bus as I don’t drive.And on one solitary journey back from the hospital one afternoon an elderly gentleman happened upon the bus.

There in my life was inexplicably changed by Mary Berry in that very instance, how I hear you ask well it goes like this ..

“I’m going to write to Points of View about that Mary Berry , her hair is awful , don’t they have hairdressers at the BBC ?”

“I think Mary Berry’s hair is stuck in the 80’s!”

“Don’t get me started on that Claudia Winkleman !”

You see that’s how it all started with Mary Berry and me and I thought it had all gone quiet until Booom! I walked into a charity shop and there was Mary Berry, not Mary in the scribal flesh but the most bizzare and strange Mary Berry canvas also featuring Paul Hollywood.

Seems it is by someone called Jim’ll paint it and is a limited edition canvas ..

Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry in a tight loving embrace surrounded by an apocalyptic bake themed kitchen with exploding sponges and flaming Battenbergs - As requested by Jay Skinner
nb - the original request asked for Mel and Sue running for cover but I couldn't find a way of incorporating them without detracting from the overall romance of the picture”

So you see Mary Berry is enriching my life like a very good fruit cake !

I’m sending this to by friend who is buying it for her kitchen wall.

Wednesday 6 June 2018

Peppercorn Cream Cheese Steak Salad

Here at Toplis towers we are having to eat very sensibly especially with Mr T being diagnosed with diabetes.Mr T is taking very sensible lunches and the lunch he will be taking tomorrow is of course healthy.For our tea/dinner we had had steak but there was some left over so I thought of a quick recipe to use it with.


Left over thin steak 
Some raw tender stem broccoli 
30 g low fat cream cheese 
Teaspoon or more to suit your taste of peppercorns 


Cut the steak thinly 
Prepare your other salad 
Grind your peppercorns 
Mix the ground pepper corn with the cream cheese 

Mix this with the thinly cut steak

Mix everything together 

Tuesday 5 June 2018

New Tea Mug Day

I have a new tea mug ~ drum roll please maestro due to my other Emma Bridgewater mug apparently leaping out the dishwasher to its shattering doom.When my husband told me I half expected a chalk outline round the broken body of my poor poor mug. Or perhaps one of those murder tents and police forensics combing the scene with the suspect helping the police with their enquires.

I loved my previous dotty Emma Bridgewater mug it said Mrs so I knew it was mine , it’s a mug thing it’s personal.The amount of mugs is a whole blog post itself and probably the inability to relinquish those free glass ramekins you get with puddings.I hear the number of these glass ramekins is related to how middle class you are ( very much tongue in cheek )

I have given up long long long away the though of having matching mugs as you amble through life , getting mugs for birthdays , mugs for Christmas , mugs when you leave a job , mug when you start a job, blogging mug, mugs for best ,you name it you acquire mugs .Mugs after all are there to be used and never never abused like my poor mug was when it was killed in the prime of its life.

So I was over joyed to find this mug which is inspired by Venice and is made by Emma Bridgewater and only I am allowed to drink out of it and is NEVER to go inside the dishwater ( though I might rent )  and it is MINE MINE.