Sunday, 27 September 2009

Perfect Weekend

I hate articles like this when I see them in the Weekend papers. There's no such thing as the perfect weekend. All the actress types that describe them in the Saturday telegraph sound very smug . Their typical weekends usually begin with brunch in some Notting Hill Moroccan eatery and end with an implausible dinner party accompanied by several bottle of fine claret, musican friends dropping by and a rustic Tuscan menu . Bah Humbug. My weekends usually begin and end with a squabble over homework or lost PE kit as I'm trying to assemble the boy's kit bags before school on the Monday morning . Throw in a defrost of the fridge, cleaning the toilets and a tottering pile of laundry to iron and you get the picture.

So , at the risk of sounding like one of the 'Smugs' , I think I've just had the perfect weekend, in fact I'm still having it.

Birthday celebrations on Friday found me and the boys up in town en route to Fortnum and Mason's. Ice cream sundaes for them , a mission to find the prefect fine tea for me ( have to drink it black now).

On to Forbidden Planet - boy heaven ( sadly also a mecca for the biggest bunch of geeks and weirdos I've ever encountered in one place ... grown men searcing for rare comic imports ? What's that all about ?). Anyway , they loved every minute and I have to say that by the end of our visit, I found myself feeling awestruck by the sheer volume of extraordinary merchandise.

Next stop, a new found favourite restaurant called Inamo in Wardour Street ( thanks for the recommendation Mary-Anne) . Hi tech tabletop touch screen ordering wizardry combined with possibly the best dish ever invented - cinnamon chicken accompanied by Korean chilli sauce and lime. It was rather lovely stepping out on to the street at 6pm to find it buzzing with the film business bright young things all having a drink in street cafes and bars to celebrate the start of the weekend. Reminded me of my own days in Television when I might find myself there having just been to see the rushes from a new documentary.

Wandering down into Chinatown we found the streets thronging with pretty red lanterns to celebrate their Harvest Festival. A quick trip round the Chinatown market for the £3 challenge. A firm favourite with the boys - we all draw names from a hat and set off to purchase a surprise gift for our chosen recipient. I am now the proud owner of a delightful wallet of delicate Chinese papercuts whist the boys are now sporting assorted bracelets, key fobs and mobile phone dangly things.

Homeward bound , an impossibly beautiful view of the London skyline on the train at sunset. Birthday cake awaiting me on the kitchen table ... not to eat ( for me) but for the unmissable ceremony of blowing out the candles.

Can it get any better ? YES. Saturday spent at Ally Pally's Great Big Stamp and Scrapbooking Show meeting up with friends for a few laughs , coffee and cake ( peppermint tea and my Lighter Life Peanut bar for me )  and 7 hours of non stop shopping opportunities. Heaven.

And here I am on Sunday morning with the sun splitting the trees, out in the garden harvesting the lavender and enjoying a freshly brewed pot of fresh coffee.

Seems like I have just joined the ranks of the "Smugs' but don't worry , I've still got the laundry and the sports kit squabble to look forward to this evening.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

3 more fabulous things that have happened this week ...

1. Friends have started to notice.
2. The pain in my knee has gone ... maybe I can do without an op after all
3. Walking upstairs is a doddle

Thursday, 17 September 2009

3 Good Things That Happened Today

I can count 4 actually but I'll save one for tomorrow ...

1. I've found a new way of being able to drink coffee without milk ... if you add one teaspoonful of the vanilla shake mix, close your eyes and hold your nose you can almost believe you're drinking it white .

2. I actually quite like the strawberry flavour shakes... and I didn't have to hold my nose.

3. Saving the best 'til last ... today I walked into the  ( ironically named ) Fat Face  (hitherto forbidden territory being over a size 18) in Farnham and bought a pair of jeans 2 sizes smaller than my normal size. Admittedly I had to lie flat on the bed back home to get them on (reminiscent of the teenage years only then it was a size 8)  but it was worth it and presumably in another month's time, I'll be going back for a size another 2 sizes smaller.

All in all a very good day.

New jeans lying on top of old jeans

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Embroidery Heaven

How gorgous is this ?

I bought this embroidery floss chest at an antique fair many many years ago . Don't think I paid an enormous sum for it , probably around a fiver. It's been sat in the back of a cupboard for a couple of decades and now it's come into it's own .

Perfect for storing all of my scrapbooking embroidery bit and pieces . What is the fascination with haberdashery ? Anywhere I've ever been in the world , I've always sought out these shops. A couple of buttons and a length or two of ribbon to add to my collection are enough to fill me with joy.

So , I've found the perfect storage , now all I have to do is get round to using it all.

Saturday, 12 September 2009


This has to be my favourite season. What's not to like about Autumn ? Mellow evenings, the warmth rather than blaring heat of the sun ,amber light, change in the air, cool misty mornings and colour everywhere . We're very lucky to have this park on our doorstep - feels more like the countryside than London.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Little Wonder...

... that obesity is a national epidemic.

Today I drove my children to school. On the way , I passed no fewer than 18 take-away shops, about a dozen billboards advertising food, 11 trucks with pictures of food on their sides, heard 6 ads on the radio concerning food and noticed 7 garages all of which had been turned into mini supermarkets.

I lost count on the way home and as I opened the front door , there on my doormat were 3 leaflets for pizza take-aways and another for an Indian restaurant. And that was all before 9am.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

My New Best Friends

say hello to my new best friends ...

Tabasco, Espresso and Black Pepper.

I don't think I've ever tried Tabasco before but because we're allowed it on Lighter Life I'm now becoming very familiar with it. It doesn't so much enhance or spice up the flavour of what you're eating, it actually obliterates it ... which, if you've ever tried Lighter Life's Tomato soup, you will appreciate, is a good thing. I have drawn the line at adding it to my Lighter Life porridge though.

Black coffee is also allowed and , not known for doing things by halves, I've opted for the double dose. It's small enough as it is , so having a double means 2 thimblefulls rather than one. Still , it gets me through a bad patch or rather floats me through it because by the time it's down the hatch, I'm usually as high as a kite.

And as for black pepper , well it's something to chew on - sad I know.

So if you see me floating towards you with tears in my eyes and steam coming out of the top of my head , you'll know I've just had a Tabasco spiced porridge with coarsely ground black pepper followed by a double espresso.

Sunday, 6 September 2009


Thought it was about time I shopped for new knickers. This is usually a perfunctory annual task - a quick pop to M&S for enough Bridget Jones style BIG pants to see me through another few months - top priority usually maximum stretch capacity.

This was quite a different experience.
First it had to be somewhere other than M&S , bless them but I won't be needing industrial sized undies any more so I can shop around for a change.
Secondly they had to be pink - no more fat black pants.
Thirdly - it would be nice if I could fit more than half a dozen pairs on the washing line at one time.

Job done, one pair of Elle McPherson frilly pink lacy things, 2 sizes smaller than my usual . Nice.

Oh yes ... and HKH stands for Halfway House Knickers . No point in opting for ludicrously small G strings .... yet.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Decision time

Apparently the average person has to make about 200 decisions a day about food.

I, on the other hand , only have to make one - do I stick at this Lighter Life or not ? Makes life simple doesn't it ?

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Lighte Life ... Lighter Me

Well blow me ... it actually works !

I am a staggering 10lbs lighter than I was last week - who'd have thought it ? Trousers feeling decidedly baggy, bra can now be fastened on a tighter setting. Maybe this madcap scheme actually works after all ?

Astonishingly I'm no longer hungry and have survived the following :

1.Being stuck behind a Lees of Scotland truck in a traffic jam on the M25. In case you're wondering who the hell Lees are - they make those wicked coconut chocolate snowballs. Was tempted to leap out of the car and jemmy open the back of the truck but didn't.

2. Husband's 50th birthday bash which began in the morning with me taking all the boys out for the Full Monty English Breakfast whilst I drank black tea.

3.My sister arriving on the doorstep with a bottle of wine and fish and chip supper.

There are many more but 3's enough to be going on with .. you get the picture. If I can survive those I can survive anything.