Friday, 13 September 2019

Bonkers Wedding Gifts

I’ve researching my families ancestry and it’s fascinating it is throwing up all manner of strange and weird things.Amongest this is a a wedding gift to my Great Grandparents on my dads side.The bonkers wedding gift in 1897 was a tortoise and this is the very tortoise that I knew in my grandparents garden in Ramsgate Kent.Now I knew the tortoise as George which I think came from my Great Grandma s maiden name of George.It would seem that the tortoises real name was Billy and lived to the great old age of 120 dying in 2011.No one expects to find information about a tortoise on their family tree but there you have it, I do on mine !

George the tortoise



I expect in 1897 a tortoise was a very exotic gift and no one would dream of doing that nowadays as tortoises need quite specialist care.I have seen through searching on the internet that people have had tortoises as ring beaters I have no idea if George the tortoise was a ring bearer at a Victorian wedding.I have seen people in the news have cats and dogs as a ring bearer even a bird of prey but never would I have though of someone having a tortoise that is one slow walk towards the alter !

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Twice Baked Cornbeef Hash With Smashed Garlic Cheese Potato Crush

It’s a lazy day here and it’s a scramble in the cupboard s and the battle with a tin of Cornbeef .I still wish I didn’t have to battle in these modern times with a tin of Cornbeef!


Ingredients 

Tin of Cornbeef 

Smashed potatoes 

Garlic powder to suit 

Grated cheese 

Chopped carrot s

Peas 

A cup of stock


Method 


Smash up the Cornbeef add in peas and carrots 

Add in a cup of stock bake in oven for 20 minutes on 200 c

In the meantime cook some potatoes add in butter garlic and grated cheese .Mix with Cornbeef and whack back in oven for about 40 minutes on 200c





Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Halloween Activities to Do with the Whole Family

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Halloween Activities to Do with the Whole Family




Halloween is just around the corner. The celebration is a great opportunity to get kids and parents together to collaborate on spooky activities and creative projects. Over the years, hundreds of these activities have been devised, so you’ll have no shortage of inspiration when it comes to your household’s Halloween celebrations. Probably the best-known activity for kids at this time of year is trick-or-treating – but this is falling out of fashion, thanks to concerned parents and annoyed residents who don’t want to have to keep a massive bag of sweets by the door. So what are the alternatives?

Costumes

Halloween just wouldn’t be Halloween if we didn’t dress up for the occasion. Grown-up costumes tend to be increasingly grim and gory, and informed by villains from film and television. Kid’s costumes aren’t quite as grisly, but they’re still a great opportunity to dress up as a favourite character from the world of cinema (or literature). If you’re willing to pay for it, you might find a brilliant costume online, but it’s usually more fun to make your own. Older children can help out with the design and the ideas, and parents can pitch in with any sewing. 

Pumpkin-Carving

Here’s another chance to get creative with the most famous of all Halloween decorations: the carved pumpkin. You needn’t limit yourself to the traditional grinning face, here: modern jack-o-lanterns can carry just about any image or message you like – provided that you can carve it into the vegetable. If you get a few kids sitting side-by-side on a suitable bench, you can set up a neat little pumpkin production-line.

Other home-made Halloween decorations, like slime, stringy-cobwebs and fake blood, can be just as fun to make. Just make sure that you supervise your children’s efforts, as you don’t want them to come up with anything that will stain your walls or carpet.

Witch’s Cauldron

Particular mention should go to the witch’s cauldron, which makes a great centrepiece for Halloween parties. If you put another bowl inside the cauldron, you can fill it with an actual drink, and serve a grisly treat to all of your guests. As well as looking the part, this will let you teach the kids (and yourself) some basic chemistry. Just make sure you handle the dry ice yourself, as it can burn the skin if handled directly. Make sure you don’t put any in the drink directly, either, as you don’t want to swallow it!

Cooking

Why stop at your punch? If you want to involve the whole family, then get them to chip in by making some Halloween-inspired treats for the occasion. You can put all of that leftover pumpkin into a few dozen snack-sized pies, for a start. This approach will allow you to skip those mass-produced chocolates, and provide your kids with the skills they need to stay healthy when they need to fend for themselves. What better way to celebrate Halloween could there be?

The Problem With Tea And Cats

It’s been a bit wizard of Oz here with emotional whirlwinds all the place but I’m hoping to come down to Earth now .I think it’s going to take a while for me to settle down and get my sleep back on track not that my sleep pattern has ever been what you call normal.But you know something isn’t quite right when you wake up at 2 am thinking now where did I put that bottle of antibacterial cleaner .Do not fear I’ve not morphed into Mrs Hinch in my sleep.

I’ve cleaned some windows so now I can see clearly ( not song lyrics ) I’m trying out some stardrops white vinegar spray .Dont worry I didn’t clean the windows in my sleep , I actually did that this morning.Actually having some sleep does revitalise you and you take on a new zest for life.



I can now climb any mountains and my mountain is currently my knicker mountain.It is warts and all in this household and also it’s life meeting you full circle when your university son tells you to check his jeans pockets before you do the washing. I continue to issue parent instructions like eat friend and vegetables.

Cats cats cats what would we do without cats our lives would surely be a lot more dull.Here is Jack looking like I’ve just asked him for a massive bank loan.



Ooooh and doesn’t my new lamp match my cat oh so very well and it was a bargain for £6.95 from a charity shop ( the lamp and not the cat )

It’s now time for a cup of tea the only problem is that I just can’t seem to move thus is the problem of tea and cats!

Monday, 9 September 2019

Family Days Out In London

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Family Days Out in London
Planning a family day out in London? The capital is a fantastic place to visit with the kids because it is a city that is bursting at the seams with culture, history and entertainment so you are never short for options when planning a trip here. Here are a few of the best places to take the family which will provide for a fun, educational and memorable family experience.
Natural History Museum
The superb Natural History Museum is an absolute must-visit with kids as it provides a fascinating insight into the world’s natural history with some truly breathtaking exhibits. If the kids have a love of animals and anything nature related then they are sure to love this treasured museum which even allows them to come face-to-face with dinosaurs. The museum is free to enter and housed in a magnificent building in the pretty region of South Kensington. There is plenty to see and do in the area and it is easy to reach with a train from Watford Junction to Kensington Olympia.

The Science Museum
Right next door to the Natural History Museum is the equally impressive Science Museum which, fortunately, is also free. There are all kinds of incredible interactive exhibits here which ensures that this museum is as fun as it is educational and highly worth a visit.

Kensington Palace
While you are in the area it is also highly worth visiting Kensington Palace which is the beautiful palace and birthplace of Queen Victoria and home to royals for over 300 years. Now the official residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, you can spend time exploring the peaceful grounds and explore the Royal State apartments.





Royal Albert Hall
Also in the area is the legendary performance venue the Royal Albert Hall. This breathtaking Victorian era performance venue hosts all kinds of entertainment so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for what’s on during your trip - be warned, you may need to book in advance!

These are just a few ideas for what a trip to London with the family could involve. London is a special city and somewhere that can be an excellent destination for a trip with the kids because there is so much to see and do in terms of history, culture and entertainment. It is important that you plan your day ahead so that you can maximize time and see as much as possible for a truly special and memorable day for the entire family.

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Take A Kent Mini Break

It’s a long time since I’ve been back to Kent and going back is quite emotional as going over the Dartford Bridge. I just wanted to feet off to Broadstairs and see my Grandparents who are sadly no longer with us.

Stopping off first at a Premier Inn near Sevenoaks all this I add on a Friday afternoon on a Bank holiday weekend.But not to worry as we had our trusty Sat Nav to guide us on our way , I,ll never forget how once the Sat Nav guided us into a classic car rally.

First on our list was Quebec house in the village of Westerham 









And the super thing about Westerham is that you get three hours free parking which is enough time to visit Quebec House and have a wander and lunch in the town.We opted for a meal deal in Costa ~ who says Pom Bears are just for kids?!

Also Westerham has a quaint church with a 14 th century staircase what wouldn’t look out of place in Tomb raider!







Then after this it was into the home of Sir Winston Churchill at Chartwell  ( National Trust ) and it is a beautiful place but do ensure you book on line before setting of to visit as your given a timed ticket.













Sunday was Dover Castle and again I stress you must get there early as there is so much to see.I would head to the wartime tunnels first , you’ll have to queue there’s 2 of these tunnels to look at each with a brilliantly guided tour.





We hold both English Heritage membership and National Trust , Dover Castle is English Heritage and you will pay an additional charge if something special on like it was in the Sunday we went and that was jousting .The additional charge was only £3.50 each.





Thursday, 22 August 2019

I Need The Kindness Of Life

I can’t even to begin to describe the turmoil of the past year I have had running in the background of my life like a computer virus.Those who know me will know what I’ve been through and I am going through.To say I feel alone at times is an understatement but thank heavens for family and friends, tea and cats.

It’s true when they say “ Be Kind you never know what people are going through “

I’ve had the police in my house so many timed my neighbours are going to think I’ve buried my husband under the patio .The patio is wonky but this isn’t the reason why ... My humour saved me it is that line that saves me .I need kindness I need life to be kinder to me.

I need promises that are made to be not to be made of wet tissues, I am a fiercely loyal person and I’m not a rule breaker.

I’m here I’m still here I’m me.


And I keep plodding away and tinkering away with walking photography and tea and cats .

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Kinver Edge Rock Houses

The other day my husband and I went to Kinver Edge and the rock houses there and had a jolly good amble round as we like to do off a weekend and nothing says weekend more than a cup of tea at a National Trust Tea room does it .. but I didn't get a cream tea and so I will will duly hand my notice in to the Cream Tea society.At Kinver edge there are miles and miles of wildlife-rich heathland and woods to wander it is fairly gentle but you will find the appropriate walks if you want something more challenging.The rock houses are fascinating they are lovingly restored and the National trust house volunteers will happily talk with you about the families that lived there and some of the rock houses were occupied up until as recently as the 1960s .






Bletchley Park The Enigma You’ll Return To

We are always at Bletchley Park as it is really a firm family favourite as a visit and it’s super easy to get to.Uni son is studying archaeology up at York and he’s preparing his dissertation for next year on Bletchley Park.He is putting a jolly lot of hardworking into his study and is certainly earning the countless tins of beans we take up to him well I don't want him to starve.





There is much much to see and do here it’s a really accessible place though the huts might be a little narrow in places.Theres a guide you can take to help you navigate round the place as well as it giving you information about what took place at Bletchley Park.If you haven't seen The Imitation Game then that is a very good starting point to the important work that took here by all the ladies and gentlemen during the war.

There is plenty to do there for children and there is even a very good playground where they can let off steam , also you can eat there or bring your own sandwiches there are plenty of levelly places round Bletchley Park to have a picnic without tripping over people.There is of course the essential gift shop where you can buy everything from a pencil to a bottle of Gin what trip isn't complete without a bottle of Gin !

And encourage a love of history from an early and you never know where it will lead them.

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Sponge Bakwell Tart From Sponge

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There is nothing I like better than visiting National Trust properties with my husband , it is our escape and our relax from the complexities of life.







Now more often than it not we do take our own picnic with us sandwiches and such and there is nothing finer than a picnic afternoon tea it is the bees knees and you feel like the cat that got the cream.I was lucky enough to be sent cake I mean cake in the post what isn't there to love.Now I have sent my son a cake card before when he had his first birthday away from home ( sniff ) so I sent him a cake card.Spongecake kindly sent me a large Bakewell Tart cake which I did not eat all in one seating!.


Did you know you can freeze their cakes thus extending the joy cake and a cup of tea brings ,I say cake always always has to be served with a cup of tea there is no debate to this I am afraid coffee lovers !






A Bakewell Tart cake from Sponge for 8 people is £13.50 delivered while the same cake for 16 people will cost £22 pounds and there extra embellishments you can pay for is you so desire includes a cake topper, card etc and other gifts.












Thursday, 15 August 2019

The What Ifs Of A Woman

The what ifs of a woman and there are many trust me some of which I can type some of those you’ll find else where but not in my blog !The what ifs of today were what if I didn’t suddenly have nose hair making a bolt for freedom making me looking some sort of dictator or Blakey off the buses .Possibly some of what I’m saying you’ll have to google and good luck on that blackhole.

What if I had graceful hands ? would my life be any better other than hand modelling and trust me that’s a thing.I’ve always thought my fingers looked like left over sausages at the butchers.But we are who we are occasionally I do go for a facial at the local beauty college and they assure me I have nice skin .


But we don’t have our personalities on a label do we now on the back of our heads like washing instructions.

What if my hair didn’t look like I had been in a boxing match with a hedgehog , well it didn’t on Monday as I had it cut and blow dried but hairdressers are wizards and witches of hair.I did say to someone that my hair wouldn’t look like this again without help.I can’t click my fingers and have a team of hair stylists come rescue me.

What if my eyebrows didn’t look like a hairy caterpillar on a rave ? I sometimes do have them done but none of this permanently surprised look like a police mugshot.

What if I didn’t look like Mystic Meg every time I took a picture of myself ?



But you can take your what ifs and leave them at the door for I will run free and have fun in life just so long as I don’t trip over my nasal hair...

Friday, 9 August 2019

Secret York You Need to Visit

When I thought about writing about secret York I thought should I really share with you after all it is secret York in fact there is so much secret York that there is really to much to put all into one blog post.I truly and deeply love York from the Vikings to of course the well renown Betty tea rooms which is a sheer and necessary indulgence.My son is up at York university studying archaeology and when say we are in a pub with him having a meal we don't look twice at the Viking sitting next to us it it par for the course in York.Now we are always up in York and we are getting to know York very very well it is a delight to just wonder round just letting your feet take your whether you may wish.


One of the hidden places that is in York will surprise you and it's not what you expect it is English Heritage and no it's not a grand house or a ruined castle or fortification.It is in fact a Nuclear bunker








and it's not what you 'd think would be a tourist attraction but it is very interesting and well worth a visit.York is such a beautiful place you will will want to come back time and time again to this stunning city and should you want to escape York for a few days then Yorkshire is a stunning place with so much to offer.The magnificent York will still be waiting for you and will welcome you back with open arms the glow and warm of the stones is breathtaking.

Even within the centre of York you can step off the beaten track and be transformed into another world one that will bewitch and beguile you.I am talking about the Treasurers House in York that is practically next to the monumental York Minster and it’s a National Trust property.And the Treasurers House holds a secret within a secret which is that of the CafĂ©.






And even Bettys of York yes that must famous tea room in the world has its secret side from shop where you can step back and seems like your in some sort of Harry Potter cake shop to the Tea rooms both the one where anyone can go to ( and more than likely queue ) to the upstairs tea room where you must defiantly have to book.And the upstairs tea room is a whole new world of pure luxury and tea and cake decadence.

Collete Burgess who grew up in York and blogs at We’re going on an adventure at has some ideas for what to do in York 

“Growing up in York means that I often take the city for granted. I used to walk past the Minster every day and barely notice it.  Now that I've moved away I'm regularly struck by the beauty of this city and can totally see why it attracts so many visitors (even if they did used to drive me mad taking photos in the middle of the street and getting in my way when I was trying to go about my business!) 

There's literally so much to do in York - from climbing the city walls (this is really lovely walk and doesn't cost anything though isn't very pushchair friendly) to taking a horse and cart ride around the city centre (something I wanted to do my whole life and finally managed the week after Dave & I got married!)  

If the weather is nice you can't beat hiring a Little Red Boat and taking a ride down the River Ouse (you can go on bigger boats but it's not as much fun as driving the boat yourself!)  And, don't forget to try out a Ghost Walk (this is better done in the Autumn when the evenings are drawing in - it's not really as spooky when it's broad daylight!)  You'll laugh, jump and learn all sorts of random stuff about the history of York and its inhabitants!"

Karen from Minitravellers has some suggestions for 48 hours in York as does Leyla from Motherhood diaries as about how to spend 48 hours in York 

Thursday, 8 August 2019

Celebrate Trees Don’t Destroy Trees

Earlier it was just me the crows and the crickets as I  waltzed back from speech therapy.I spied the prettiest willow herb putting on the best fashion show I’ve ever seen.I forgot to salute a magpie so now I’m sorry the world is going to end.




And trees they’re wonderful aren’t they all majestic what their size but we mustn’t disrespect them and hurt them.








We don’t deserve trees if this is what mindless folk are going to do to them.Trees are the heroes/heroines we need and should be celebrated.



I love trees they’re the best and I wouldn’t ever want a world without trees.



Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Blogging From The Heart

I’m not a big blogger, I’m not a big influencer , I’m not a Nano influencer , I’m not a micro blogger.


I’m not instagram ready so free from the pressures of perfection yet I’m perfect in each and every way.


Blog to inspire and influence yourself and others from the heart.


But blog as you want to but I’ll tell you from experience it isn’t worth the headache from the pressure of trying to keep up and I blog as I wish and want to, very rarely there’s a sponsored post.Sometimes there’s a review post but 99 % of the time it’s little old me and my many many thoughts that pop into my head.There are cats in here , tea countryside and goodness knows what if it isn’t for you I’m not offended they’ll be something that is for you. 






This me this is what I like, I like observing and soaking in life’s moments like letting the sunshine dance upon my closed eyelids , thinking about which word I like for the day.I dislike giving opinions as I do find it quite hard to get my opinion across and I get all flustered but eventually I get there.Writing makes stuff easier you can say as little or as much as you like and it’s the bees knees and it’s magical.


I’m ready I’m here let’s do life.


I do have difficulties but hey ho I’m so very kind and I’ll do my very best for people .


Life is like a window you’ve got to look beyond what you initially see.


Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Charity Shops They Are Worth A Look

I’m always in charity shops either dropping off or buying various items , I certainly have a knack in finding the diamond in the rough.You would honestly be amazed at what I’ve found in charity shops from collectible china to Lacoste shoes.



Those there are my four pound Lacoste shoes not worn or maybe worn once  and taken off maybe as they squeak.But charity shops break joy heartfelt joy and I’m not just talking about the fact that I found Lacoste shoes that were only four pounds.

There was a elderly gentleman there with his daughter in the neighbouring cafe along with his little pet dog.And the daughter came into the charity shop to see if they had any blankets for sale.They didn’t have any for sale but they did have a dressing gown for sale which she could use as a blanket. It was one of two dressing gowns I’d previously donated.This made me very happy indeed as he could enjoy his cake and cup of tea in comfort.

Friday, 2 August 2019

Mini Break To Windsor and Osterley Park

On a whim we took ourselves to Osterley Park using some IHG points to stay at Holiday Inn Express Heathrow Terminal 5( Well we sorted it out a few days before but it was spur of the moment) I’ve funded though my plumber s holiday I’m sure through a new boiler and radiator work. Still instead of a long holiday I can invite people round and show them my new boiler and radiator work.





Holiday Inn Express terminal 5 is only a couple of miles from Windsor so we thought it would be ideal for our little mini break of a weekend as we are not having a main holiday this year ( joy of having a son studying at university ! ) Before we went to Windsor we went to Osterley Park which was about 12 miles from where we were stopping and it is a popular filming location having been used in a Batman film and Vanity Fair in fact it was being used for some feature film while we were visiting but we didn't see anyone famous.

Osterley Park is a neo classical house by Robert Adam with landscaped park and gardens.









Before you go to Windsor I would suggest downloading the parking app they have available.Having the parking app allows you to just pay for the time you use instead of guessing how long you’ll be.We parked at Romney lock car park and I challenge you to find a better view from a car park.





I would advise also to take your own food to Windsor and to also prebook your tickets and get there as early as possible as it really does get busy with tourists.




Thursday, 25 July 2019

Tommy Turner's Battle For Yorintown A Young Readers Book

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To place yourself back when you were young is not as hard as you think especially when it comes to reading books as they have the power to transport you both in time and age and this is what I love so much about books. This is what happened to myself when I was given the chance to review the book Battle for Yorintown by Tommy Turner , you do not need to worry when you read this book and you haven't read it for the start of the series and you think that you're not going to pick it up but you needn't worry if you read this book as the back story is filled in nicely as the story goes along.This book is ideal for those who are aged 8 to 12 or any age come to think about it.When you read this you're going to firmly strap yourself in for a wild ride as it is a fast pace book and you'll want to read it all in one go.

Nearly thirteen year Tommy is pulled into an adventure that he never expected on another planet where he has his hands full trying to save a planet where he had been before , not only has he got to save the planet but his friends as well he will face many grave dangers along the way.Tommy has to been the hero and pull everything together and this is a huge undertaking for one so young.


Within the book we see from the start the struggle between siblings where there is just a big enough age gap for it to be irksome to the older of the siblings!

"It's true Tommy Turner wanted another adventure , but he never expected to be headfirst into a bottle ! or to discover that, of all the creatures in the entire universe , only he can save an alien race from dying.He certainly didn't mean to time-travel with Uncle Harry and Digby to the great ancient Maya city of Pakatoka, where they must save themselves before they can find the pyramid with the secret chamber.But the fact is, when you're a tie traveller anything can happen ...."

A brilliant book for the summer holidays to lose yourself and have the best and most wonderful time of your life and leaving you yearning for more adventures ~ an inspiring and thoughtful read.

Book is written by Ali Seegar


Saturday, 20 July 2019

Ways My Cat Is Like A Politician

A cat promises much much like a politician it makes all the right noises and never directly answers the question.Just like Bush with “ read my lips no new taxes “ You think you’re going to get a great deal and then your flowerbeds are not just dug up once but twice.An apology may be given but there’s never any true sincerity.

And also when asked if  they’re absolutely not plotting again a politician will answer “ no “ and will do completely the opposite with bells and whistles on top.






Cats are completely self absorbed like many a politician and will literally feather their own nest much to the despair of the bird population.



A cat like a politician will grab the headlines in any way they can.




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