Monday 31 July 2017

More bizarre random mail

So,  I'm about halfway through this mountain of mail from my youth and I found this which made me laugh out loud. Three crates of hand-written corresepndence came down from the attic a couple of weeks ago and I've been re-living my teens and early twenties ever since.

It simply reads ...

In absentia
All my love
The Beastmaster ....Grrrr

Dated 17th May 1983.

I have absolutely no idea who the Beastmaster is / was nor what they were absent from.

If you answer to this description , do get in touch !

Saturday 29 July 2017

I am planning ....

.... on swapping these ......

.... for these .......

There can't be any better incentive.

More Minted or Skinted

I coveted this Ted Baker bag when it came out however it's sold out now. You can still buy it on the black ( cat ) market aka Ebay but at £150 a go that's pricey for a novelty bag.

Good old New Look had this little pouch for £3. I could buy 50 of them and hand them out to all me friends instead . 
Yeah , so it's not as stylish but hey, it will have gone out of fashion by next week anyway.

I can't live the life I want to looking like this

That must seem shallow - all about looks . OK call me shallow. I know I should be wanting to lose weight for health reasons but if truth be known it's all about how I look and of course that dictates how I feel so it is a kind of health - mental health.

Just going through my wardrobe and ditching saggy, baggy, shapeless clothes that make me look like the middle aged frump I've become. Last time I lost weight - all seven stone of it 5 years ago, I went through a tarty stage where I went and bought leather jackets and all kinds of nonsense. I was strapped for cash then, not that I'm unstrapped now, but all the same - OMG am I going to spend a wedgeful of cash on great clothes when I lose this weight.

I promised myself that I would never buy another item of shapeless clothing from Evans ever ever ever again. I broke that promise back then but I'm sure as hell not going to break it this time.

Poor old charity shops - they're just about to receive a bagful of hideous strtch freindly clothes that shouldn't ever be allowed to see the light of day. Some of them are unworn. I was so disgusted with myself at the size lables on some of them when I got them home ( can't try them on in shops - the utimate humiliation ) that I couldn't face taking them back for a refund - I was so ashamed. They just got consigned to the back of my wardrobe.

So here are a few of the outfits I'll be sizing up in a few months time. Better start saving.

Last time I lost 7 stone on Lighter Life I bought myself a pair of incentive knickers. I was losing weight so fast that by the time I hauled them out of my knicker drawer they were already too big. Might just go buy some more today and hope the same thing happens.

Friday 28 July 2017

Ethereal Watercolours

Beautiful yet simple. I shall be trying this at the weekend. 

I took a photo of a painting I just saw in town and thought about trying to recreate it somehow. 

Kristina Werner has done all the hard work me and it won't be costing £995 which was the price tag on the painting . Thanks Kristina. 

Thursday 27 July 2017


I have taken it ... the plunge that is.

Started Slimming World last night. Mixed feelings. Initially excited but with certain mis-givings.

Positives first : Nice friendly group. Cheeful leader who looked an encouraging size 16. Nice church hall which took me back - it was eldest son's nursery. I had happy memories of watching him as a shepherd in his very first Nativity Play here back in 1997. The fact that he poked his toy stuffed lamb onto the end of a twig from the makeshift fire created by the teachers ( complete with red cellophane 'flames' ) and proceded to 'roast' it over the fire, as if it were a BBQ, did not deter me. At the time I was horrified but I can look back now and howl with laughter at his antics - a sign of things to come.

Not-So-Positives : Everyone looked quite skinny to me as if they had about 2 lbs to lose. The woman opposite me sat with a six box pile of something called Hi-Fi's - why do Slimming World then scoff on fake Bounty Bars ? Lots of Diet Coke drinking going on - a big NO NO in my life.

I've been here before - Weight Watchers ( same hall ), Lighter Life and everything in between. Our leader assures me this is different but I can't shrug off a feeling of cynicism that this is a business which relies on repeat offenders for an on-going income stream. There's no more calorie or point- counting, just different food groups which combine to make a suitably varied plateful and apparently I won't feel hungry.

Day one has started tentatively. Lessons learnt - Weetabix doesn't half suck up a load of milk and it looks like I may have to concede my cream in my coffee treat. No booze is going to be tricky but strangely, it's what I'm looking forward to most. I also have youngest son on board - he is a trouper - boy can he get fierce if he finds me with a bar of chocolate in my hand.

I'm not proud to admit that I'm weighing in at 18st 5lbs which is a total disgrace. Let's see what happens. I'm a sucker for a project though and once I get my teeth stuck in , I tend to go into evangelical overboard mode. Jo and Ruth - if you're reading this I need your help !

Monday 17 July 2017


I'm not sure I understand Slimming World. I've just logged on to their Pinterest board and up came 1001 pictures of the most disgustingly unappetising food imaginable. Does spelling 'sin' slightly differnetly as 'syn' change the concept of guilt ? I don't think so.

If you're aiming to eat healthily , why make something look like a Big Mac ? What's with all the cheese ? And why list all the bags of crisps you can eat ? I don't get it .

Yet having said all of that , I'm going along this Wednesday and signing up for a trial run of 6 sessions. If nothing else it will get me on the scales. I'm hoping I can sort my head out on all this eating business. That's where the real problem lies.

It's ironic that the meetings are held at the nursery my eldest son attended which is where all the weight thing started.

My reasons should be for health but I'm so shallow , it's all about the clothes. Can't wait to go shopping again.

Sunday 16 July 2017

Minted ... or skinted

I'd been looking for a decent set of banners stamps for cards . Didn't want to shell out $15 ( about £12 excluding postage ) for these ...

... so I was delighted to find these at The Works for a mere £2.

Sometimes you get what you pay for but not in this case. They are excellent quality and I bet they're even made in the same factory.

Absolutely delighted and all the more to spend on other craft supplies.

Saturday 15 July 2017

Holidays are just plain weird

I love and loathe them in equal measures. They morph over time. Just when you're used to the Isle of Wight bucket, spade and ice cream variety when your kids are young, you realise that sand between the toes is not going to cut the mustard when they reach thirteen. Having said that, my boys are generally happy with whatever we present them with although eldest finds a break from routine tricky to navigate.

And as for me, the planning, packing and covering of all potenial eventualities means I usualy arrive exhausted. The decision-making process that precedes every holiday - when , where and how - causes sleepless night before hand and at least a week to recover afterwards.

Then there are all those stupid things you have to do before you leave, from emptying the fridge (which is why we always find ourselves eating slightly dodgy, past the sell by dates items the night before we leave) , finding obliging cat-loving pet feeders , boil washing flip flops that have seen better days and locating that prohibitively expensive can of insect repellant that you took last year.
Painting toe nails would be a luxury and if I even dare attempt it, I usually end up smudging it everywhere as there's never enough time to leave it to dry properly.

Not only that but husband has usually arranged for some untimely and complicated buiding project on the house that entails leaving keys for builders, burglar-friendly ladders strewn across the front garden and the need to leave windows open for paint to dry. We might as well put up a sign that says " Help Yourself to Valuables in our Absence" . And talking of husband , he always considers holidays to be 'effortless' which is generaly because he hasn't spent months online reseraching, choosing and booking nor been involved in any way with currency, passports, re-chargers, bulging first-aid kits, packing, transport, feeding logistics or contingency plans. The first night usually finds him with a beer in hand declaring the whole process a success. A bit like Christmas really - the other halves only have to turn up.

Having said that what would we do without them ? Well, probably be a lot better off. But then they do give you that thinking time that you never get in the normal day to day humdrum of life and the odd laugh along the way. This year's came in the form of a 'scene' at the mini golf. Having engineered the entire week's entertainment, dining arrangements and general logistics of getting youngest son plus two friends, eldest plus girlfriend and other half to our destination, we found ourselves on the last day at a nearby adventure golf course ( a must have for any seaside holiday ) having played a round of 18 holes for youngest son's eighteenth birthday, which also involved my hiding behind a bush attempting to inflate  a giant surprise metallic '18' birthday balloon for the eighteenth hole . That day had already entailed birthday breakfast for eight , birthday presents, balloons, banners and birthday cake ( no small feat when you've had to pack and hide that lot ). The evening's entertainment had been planned too - a beautiful restaurant located in a stunning deer park - no detail left to chance as I'd had to book it weeks in advance due to its popularity. This just left one teensy detail unplanned - where to have lunch. Thought I'd leave that to husband. After dithering around for half an hour declaring my suggestion of afternoon tea unpopular and writing off the cafe at the Craft Barn next door , there followed much faffing at which I asked husband to just make a ( bloody ) decision. Youngest son came to the rescue with a phone app which offers suggestions on where to eat nearby. A five minute drive later we found ouselves on an industrial estate eating Thai Noodles from an unlikely looking shed in the car park. Could have been a disaster but  looking back, it was pretty hilarious.

And what did I learn from this whole experience ? Never leave anything to your husband, never forget that five hungry youngsters are an ugly sight to behold and thank god for mobile phones.