Tuesday, 20 July 2021

Creating Your Own Oasis Of Reflection

I'll be honest it feels like the going to hell in a handcart at the moment , and the world is chaotic and oh my SO I am creating my own oasis of reflection . I realise oasis of reflection sounds like a gweneth Paltrow candle that would sell of a shed load of money but thankfully it isn't. You will know that I do like to be out and about and that has been hard in a and out of lockdowns but I have managed it where I can.I love a wandering and exploring and if that is couple with architecture , charity shop and a nice cup of tea then all the better.

Think of something you love and focus on that , so your ice cream could be your focus and  could take a picture of that .The idea behind it all is to focus on something that brings you joy. Now currently  I like visiting all churches and we are combining that with looking at the gravestones of my husbands relatives , though at some point we will get to my side. Getting outside is essential I believe as it allows you to have that oasis of reflection for when times getting a bit turbulent it is a little legacy to yourself I truly believe.

The other day I went to the Diddly Squat farm shop which is the farm shop of that there Jeremey Clarkson and yes the queues are long but if you know me I never do anything without other adventures being involved.Yes you might think Jeremy Clarkson is s bit of a plonker but the series on Amazon is funny and there are many a character on it including Gerald and Kaleb. Going on from Diddly squat farm shop we went onto to Chipping Norton and it is a quiseential beautiful Cotswold town that has free parking ! And I like nothing better than free , free is good it enables me to go spent that parking money in a local shop in the town thus putting money into the local economy.

Saturday, 17 July 2021

Picnic Up At Diddly Squat Farm

Yesterday myself and my husband went up to Diddly squat farm  and we did take our own picnic to eat after popping into the shop . You could buy food there but there’s no need as you can take your own and soak up the views . Of course you can buy from the shop snd put money into the local economy from shopping in the local area too .

There are toilets at Diddly squat farm but they aren’t disabled friendly as there’s quite a step up but least there’s toilets .My husband did get a t shirt and I got an empty milk bottle but everyone was going wild for the bee juice and milkshake s.And of course the really rude named candles!

A trip to the Diddly squat farm is not going to replace your weekly shop it is one half novelty and one half supporting farmers mixed with a a celebrity. I think the main thing is to explore the area of the Cotswolds we went on from Diddly Squat Farm to Chipping Norton which is a really quaint town with free parking .

Wednesday, 14 July 2021

Making Spare Cash In A Pandemic

 Making spare cash is never easy especially a pandemic but I have to say I have tried various different places over the years and always seem to come back to Ebay . I did try Etsy and Sphook but I honestly find Ebay the easiest place to sell as it is a quick upload and write of a description and boom you're all done. The trick is with Ebay to to list when they have special listing offers as that is when I tend to to plonk on all my stuff that I don't need any more.

Currently I am selling some stuff on behalf of my Father in law as he has now gone into a nursing home and every penny helps towards the items he needs in a nursing home.Sorting out a relatives items can be a very emotional thing to do and you might turn to a house clearance place if you've a small family.So the top tips for when clearing out a home are to divide everything into categories from vinyl to dvds. Now dvds on ebay don't tend to go for much and you might then have a go at Music Magpie but you're going to have to zap quite a few dvd to get to the £5 pound minimum they do also take other tech so you will have to weigh your options up against ebay.

If you're clearing out a property and find videos you might think go no one wants them anymore but it is worth look through what you've got for example I came across a "Song of the South " video and this a a now deleted video as it not seen as a acceptable in todays society but there are still collectors for such items. I have now put the "Song of the South "on Ebay so fingers crossed it makes cash for my Father in law.

Now the Pandemic restrictions have started to lift my husband bought himself a new camera off Ebay and so he has put his old camera on ebay to pay for this one .My husband loves his photography but during the restrictions that has been little opportunity on and off but hopefully now he can get out there will all guns blazing.

Sunday, 27 June 2021

Normanton On Soar

Normanton On Soar ( meaning Norwegian village on the Soar )is a delightful village . I was there with my husband looking at gravestones tracing his ancestors. And I was taken back what a pretty area it was with a whole hosts of walks to go on another time.

As we sat in the pub Plough Inn garden watching the swift’s dip and turn over the river , we also saw barges tootle by and what a grand life it looks waving to people and a much calmer pace of life . Also there was wild swimmers and a rower. Buzzard and a Heron flew by it was a lovely time even thought it was a tad grey . But that’s the trick to make the best of even a grey day .

The Plough inn has a great sized garden and a comprehensive well priced menu , I shared a Beef baguette and chips with my husband and there was the customary salad on the side .

An interesting feature of that village is the chain link ferry which is one of the last in the country.

Wednesday, 16 June 2021

How Are You Feeling A Year And A Bit on From The Start Of The Pandemic

 How I am feeling a year and a bit on from the Pandemic start ?

At the beforePandemic my world did crash down so very much as I had thrown myself into volunteering at a school and I was getting myself out and about . I did the socialising of people when I choose to and I was very much in control of my own life and then the Pandemic felled the playing field for us all.

I remember going shopping in advance of all the Cobra meeting s and then there was the toilet roll chaos , it all seemed so very feral and surreal. As I lugged tins of beans home I thought this will linger on and it has lingered on. I think now I am in a place of we are going to have to live with this virus and masks will be there always now though maybe through choice when the last bit of the restrictions are lifted.Life can be a bit of a pick and mix at times all bit it with a bit of a fluff attached to a sticky sweet , I try and remain positive but it can be tricky at times especially when life throws challenges at us .

Today I have popped into town for a mooch round the charity shops as I love and adore a vintage ramble and I don't half mind quirky stuff.It is a joy to be able to able round still seeing people is a novelty and there is still much leaping out the way as if you're doing the time warp ! 

So how are you feeling a year and a bit on from the start of the Pandemic ?

Sunday, 13 June 2021

Be More Bill

Be more Bill I say . Met an 88 year old gentleman on the bus the other today who is just getting out there and living and waking . Bill has lost virtually every friend ( he’s only got one left ) he’s even lost his wife . But Bill still has a smile.
Be more Bill

I decided to take myself on the bus to have a little wonder round Asbhourne which is in the Peak District and it is wonderful to live in such a beautiful county .The freedom that now comes with the roadmap to near normality is wonderful and of course I remain cautious .But I am so so happy to be out and about harmed with my feed and whatever bus or train I choose , I don't drive !

Time is my own now and that is a good thing and it is nice so nice to be able to meet people and the impression they leave will last a lifetime. And that little encounter with Bill has enabled me to tell you about that beautiful human encounter , human encounter however fleeting can be so important. Communication greases the wheel of life and communication does not always have to be verbal , as much as I like people ( at times ) I do also like to be able to get far far away from them.

Monday, 17 May 2021

Darley Abbey World UNESCO Heritage Site

There is nothing like a super wander in the sunshine on a Sunday especially round a UNESCO world heritage site of Darley Abbey that is up there with the Pyramid s and the Taj Mahal to name but a few.

And all this on my door step and how lucky am I and even more lucky for you that I’m sharing I’m my adventures. I like nothing more that adventure s and seeing the architecture and the marvels of the Industrial Age . While some pubs in the area have gone the way of the pandemic other building s have had new life breathed into them in the ways of bars and cafes. Darley Abbey is a vibrant area list in time with plenty of places to explore and river walks a plenty .

And though my hair has not seen any scissor action , I am pleased to have lost some 2 stone in weight and I have been working hard to do so.It was tough last year with all the restrictions which put the brakes on me going to the gym and then the stay at home order. But now with restrictions starting to lift I am going all out with bells and whistles to lose more and that is my smiley face which I have been praising hard on.

Friday, 30 April 2021

Beauty In The Ordinary Day

There’s beauty in the ordinary which in turn makes it extraordinary and I’m so very glad I see the world differently . It’s wonderful to be out and had have the joy of exploring again .

Wirksworth is a lovely gem of a place in the Derbyshire Dales and you’ll fall in love with all the nooks and crannies of the beckoning adventures of the streets, lanes and countryside on the fringes.

Thursday, 8 April 2021

April Is Full Of Freshness

April is full of freshness especially if you’re wearing a loose weave jumper and no month offers more hope than April.A garden is always a work in progress and my garden is no different , for the last few days I’ve pottered around in it .I sown seeds I’ve been given of which I’m very grateful. 

The previously rickety rockery is taking place after all these years , it needs some alpine grit or some such cover.

April offers still the dappled blossom on the trees as they make way for the leaves.

And there’s no greater inspiration than the great outdoor s and today I went along with my husband to the site of a old colliery.The colliery is called the New Lount colliery and there’s so much to see do definitely warrants another visit.

lorry weigh bridge

Wednesday, 7 April 2021

Why Oh Why Did People Ever Put Carpets In Their Bathrooms ?

 Hello out there !

Long time no blog so I thought I would drop a line or 2 and say I will be blogging more frequently ! I am going to aim for blogging once a day !

Today's thoughts are "Whoever thought bathrooms in bathrooms was ever a good idea ?"

 I have had someone come to put lino down in my ensuite and I have to admit it has taken years and for my sins a carpet has been in my ensuite.It was just one of those decorating and home furnishing jobs that we just got round to and yes we still don't have a light shade in the ensuite either and no I don't know why?

Lockdown has accelerated a few jobs and then at the same time slowed down others , I have got to go back and chase kitchen fitting quotes again .As now the old kitchen is now the bane of my life mocking me at every turn with its fake peeling wood effect covering , I think Stonehenge is newer than my kitchen though I would not be shocked if a bunch of Druids started worshipping in my kitchen as it would just be my luck that my kitchen was built on a sacrificial site probably to Marmite.

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

The Biggest Leap

The biggest leap is believing in yourself especially when you’ve been beset constantly with setbacks.For myself it has been everything from mental health to being harassed.A pandemic hasn’t helped I’ll be honest and add into the mix a returning university student who didn’t get their graduation or the last year of university experience it’s hard. 

Friends not seen and family nor hugged it’s been a long slog of a year and I’m picking up pieces of self. It starts with a cup of tea then telling the gardens it is pretty . The season Spring is one to embrace and the Tulips are starting to emerge even though one has snapped I’ll blame the cat. The blossom are tickling the trees and there is optimism in the breeze .Not a banana bread is in sight and I never did bake it nor did I watch Tiger King.

The cat I’m sure is happy and I’m happy to have the company of the cat even though it’s nicked the sofa having progressed from nicking my chair.

Monday, 29 March 2021

Sunshine Oh So Beautiful

Today I leapt out on the quest of a walk and I’m honoured to live near some lovely countryside.

But on my quest of a walk I encountered a wizard because all wizards are actually trapped in cat form nowadays.

And of course when you encounter a wizard they ask you three riddles before you can carry upon your quest.I think I might of got one of the questions wrong as the cat I mean wizard did try to climb up my leg vertically!

Saturday, 27 February 2021

I kept A Cactus Alive

 It started with a cactus or 3  from Tesco and I thought I can keep them alive , I can be the hero that these cacti’s deserve .And for a while we were a happy plant family staring out through the kitchen window season s com in grand going .But then as lockdown stretched on and on without me even baking banana bread .Also I bought an airplant that has a post box in it , it was lonely in the garden centre which more than likely saw me coming .

I went out to the garden centre again , I masked up and it wasn't busy . The garden is valuable to my mental health been staring at 4 walls for bloody months. And I did pick some other plants in the reduced section as I believe on giving objects that are now on their luck a chance in life.

Oh and I got a knobbly bobbly cactus it’s called Gorden 

“ Gordon’s alive “

So it is all go in the garden even though the weather at the weekend was very much Fools Spring , but still a start is a start and Spring is a very hopeful month I mind after the bleakness of Winter at times.At I think at this very moment in time with can all do with a little seed of hope to plant in our souls , and I have just noticed the first bloom on my tree as well and it makes my heart and soul so very glad.

Thursday, 18 February 2021

3 scraps craft challenge

I’m not sure if 3 things craft challenge is a thing but I thought I’d have a go .First was a scarp of lighthouse paper then it was a golden tassel lastly come coloured string.

I already had the white card blank . I stick the lighthouse paper at the top and in the white space I placed the tassel if it was a seed head blowing on the wind . Then I used the coloured string ad the stalk of the seed head .

Sunday, 14 February 2021

AURICCHIO Provolone Cheese Recipes


I love cheese I am quite the cheese fiend and I love recipes with cheese in and on ! and I think back fondly to my holidays in Italy which involved a lot of cheese dishes well when in Rome as the saying goes . I used some AURICCHIO Thin slices of mild Provolone cheese 100 g in a variety of ways and this month at Ocado the cheese is on offer 

Thin slices of mild Provolone cheese 100 g.
Thin slices of strong Provolone cheese 100 g.
Thin slices of smoked Provolone cheese 100 g.

These are all on offer to buy or any 3 for £6.00 from 17th Feb - 16th March. 


80 g of macaroni pasta per person ( to serve 4) 

500 ml milk 

2 tablespoons of plain flour 

Knob of butter 

Mustard teaspoon or 2 of 

4 slices Provolone cheese

80 g Cheddar cheese 

20 gParmasan

Knob of spread/butter


Preheat your oven to 1800 c

First cook the Marconi and then set aside 

Add the flour in a saucepan and add the spread/butter over a low heat

Stir to form a roux 

add a little of the milk and stir until smooth 

Keep adding the rest of the milk 

Whisk as necessary add in the cheese the Cheddar and the Parmesan 

Put the cooked macaroni in an oven proof dish then pour over the cheese sauce 

Cook for 30 minutes 

Makes some croutons and sprinkle over the top of the macaroni cheese add over the cheese slices and bake for a further 15 minutes 

You can switch up the taste of your crotons by perhaps as I did cooking them straight after cooking some bacon to impart some extra special flavour into them.

I also do like the occasional burger


500 g good quality mince 

1 small onion diced up

1 egg

seasoning to taste

salad items to taste


Mix the mince with the diced onion 

and bind with the egg

Divide the mince into 4 piles roughly about the size of a tennis ball

The flatten then to an acceptable width with the plan of your hand 

 Then cook on a grill for about 10 -15  minutes 

Picking up all your favourite authentic Italian food and drink has never been easier with the Ciao Gusto Italian Deli at Ocado.  

For the first time, a simple tab brings together over 30 of Italy’s most popular brands, so you can find exactly what you’re looking for – and discover new and exciting ingredients – in just one click. 

You’ll be familiar with many products, such as Riso Gallo, Filippo Berio, Giovanni Rana and Cirio who are joined by products less well known in the UK such as Valsoia dairy free ice cream, Auricchio cheeses and Negroni charcuterie – everything you’ll find at the Ciao Gusto Italian Deli has been specially selected for its reputation as an authentic Italian favourite.

Here’s a full list of the Italian brands you’ll discover at the Ciao Gusto Italian Deli:

Pasta - Barilla, Rana
Rice - Riso Gallo
Flours - Polenta Valsugana
Tomato and Vegetable Conserves - Cirio
Cheese and Dairy - Auricchio, Parmareggio 
Fish - Delicius, Medusa
Herbs and Spices – Cannamela
Tuna - Rio Mare
Cured Meats - Negroni
Soya and Rice products - Valsoia
Olive Oil - Filippo Berio
Vinegar - Ponti
Bakery - Colussi, Misura, 
Dried fruits – Noberasco
Jams - Santa Rosa
Coffee - Lavazza
Herbal Teas - Bonomelli
Water and Fruit Juices - San Benedetto, Santal 
Wine - Zonin, Santa Margherita 
Spirits - Vecchia Romagna
Cherries and Syrups - Fabbri