Monday 22 April 2024

Me on Monday 22 April

 What a lazy week I had last week! Having Daisy here meant we took it in turns to go out so we didn’t leave the two rascals home alone together. She takes her house protection duties very seriously and would bark at every noise she heard which would have annoyed Coco.

So I have to say that I shall be making up for it this week 😊

Although first thing on the calendar is a dentist appointment which regular readers will know is very low down on my list of how I like to spend my time! Fortunately I have a lunch date with my friend who is an author once that ordeal is over. Tuesday is haircut day and picking up my new prescription sunglasses. Hopefully that won’t jinx the weather and I will be able to get a lot of use out of them 😎

I have been able to crack on with my crochet which had taken a bit of a back seat and I have regained my enthusiasm for getting it done.  

We’ve been watching the Netflix version of Ripley.  Have you seen it? I was a bit hesitant as the book is one of my favourites and I also really enjoyed the Jude Law film version. This one is definitely different and the fact it is filmed entirely in black and white definitely increases the sense of menace. But I’m not sure I liked it as much as the original. Whilst I like Andrew Scott as an actor, he did not really feel right as a young American in his mid twenties and I really didn’t like the casting of Eliot Sumner as Freddy, maybe being the non-binary child of Sting helped secure the part! There was just no comparison to how the character was played by Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Have a good week!

Monday 15 April 2024

Me on Monday 15 April

 Happy Monday!  My intention to try and blog a little more frequently has been hampered by a small visitor who is here while her family are on holiday in Dubai.

Yes, Daisy the Daschund is back, and Coco is sulking.

Daisy may be small but is pretty needy.  Doesn't like being on her own and likes to spend as much time as she can sitting on your lap.  One of the by products of having a mum who works from home!

Paul’s been very busy tidying up in the garden. Last year I planted some new tulips to add a different colour and I am so thrilled with them

The orange tones make a nice change to the reds and yellows we already have.

So this week finds us trying to console Coco with the fact Daisy is here for the whole week! We’ll be staying close to home as I’m not sure it would be fair to leave them both home alone. Daisy takes house protection duties to another level and I think her yapping every time a car went past would drive Coco mad!

Today the weather is horrible, what a difference a day makes.  What a good job Paul got the tidying up done yesterday when it was t shirt and shorts weather! I thought we had a day to ourselves but just had a message from Jon to say it’s inset day for Max and were we busy this morning. We all know what that means! Lucky I did some baking yesterday as Max’s tummy always feels hungry as soon as he arrives 😉

Have a good week!

Monday 8 April 2024

Me on Monday 8 April

 I’ve been missing in action this week! After a lovely busy Easter weekend I woke at 5am Tuesday feeling distinctly unwell. I will spare you the details 😳 I spent the whole day in bed either shivering, sleeping or running a temperature. I even had a dramatic fainting episode when I tried to get out of bed to quickly! Happily it seemed to be a 48 hour thing and as the week progressed I gradually got better and needless to say, everyone kept their distance from me.  Luckily the weather has had some lovely spells of dry warm weather and it’s been lovely to wander around noticing everything waking up from the winter.


I am definitely hoping it is well and truly out of my system and luckily I am back to eating again as I am meeting a friend for coffee this morning. You know you are feeling better when the words ‘almond croissant’ don’t have you heading to the bathroom!

We are playing catch up with childcare this week as we couldn’t help last week and at the end of the week we have Daisy coming to stay while her family jet off to Dubai.  Don’t tell Coco.  

I didn't waste my time last week though, I am on a decluttering challenge!  I follow Dilly from Sort Your Life Out on Instagram (search for declutterdollies), and she is doing a 30 day April challenge over there.  You have one particular area of your house to tackle every day plus I am also throwing away an increasing number of things every day.  One on the 1st, 2 on the 2nd etc.  So by the end of the month I will have got rid of over 465 things!  They don't have to be big things, but every one thing helps.  I think by the end of it I may be resorting to very small items! So far I have a very tidy cutlery drawer, my baking tins are neat and tidy, my saucepans stacked neatly, appliances all clean and working, Tupperware boxes all have lids that fit, glasses shelf looking very tidy, and my baking ingredients all stored together in a neat and tidy manner!  I've been like a woman on a mission - do you ever feel like that?  Do you do a spring clean?  Please tell me I'm not the only person whose home has certain areas that accumulate clutter!

Saturday 30 March 2024

What's been on your calendar in March?


Now I may be biased, because March is my birthday month, but I think it may be one of my favourite months!  The days get longer, the sun rises earlier and sets later, splashes of colour appear in the garden tempting us with the thought that spring isn't too far away.  So, let's join in with Australian Deb Here and see what was on my calendar this month!


My birthday!  I know I already mentioned it but this birthday is a significant one - I am now eligible for my State Pension! Not to mention my free bus pass. After all those years of paying into the system I can now get something back 😃


Altering the clocks to move forward an hour always takes a little while to get used to.  It takes me a while to stop thinking what the time would really be if we weren't on British Summer Time!  


Rachel arranged tickets for us to have a girly night out to see a 'Lost in Music' concert at a theatre in a nearby town.  It was so much fun, we sang and we danced all night! All the 70s disco classics, I was still singing them when we got home.


Childcare increased this month when our son and his wife had a couple of days away.  I had wondered how it would go as we hadn't had both their children here for a sleepover before but it went surprisingly well. I certainly slept well the day after, oh to have the energy of 4 and 2 year olds!


Healthier eating resumed as I only had three meals out. However, with Easter at the end of the month I have to confess to probably consuming more chocolate than can be considered healthy!

Here I am enjoying my belated lunch with Jon. Tucking into the most delicious pasta dish, radiatorre pasta in a tomato, mascarpone and chilli sauce. Accompanied by a nice glass of vinho verde 😋 One to one time with your children when they are grown up is very special and I am so lucky to have time with both mine this month.

So just about time to share a brief roundup video, one second everyday

Tuesday 26 March 2024

What I've been reading in March

 The first book that I read this month was The Trial by Robert Rinder.

Rob Rinder is well known in the UK as Celebrity Judge Rinder and not necessarily someone you would expect to be a writer of fiction.  However, I fancied something a bit different and as the book was only 99p on kindle, what did I have to lose?

Heroic policeman Grant Cliveden suddenly collapses and dies whilst walking towards the courtroom at the Old Bailey. An autopsy confirms that he has been poisoned and with the whole country in shock, the guilty party needs to be found as soon as possible.  

Circumstantial evidence points to one likely candidate, Jimmy Knight who was seen with him earlier in the day.  Finding a convincing case for his defence will be hard especially as this will be trainee barrister Adam Green's first case and will be the case he is judged on to warrant him gaining tenancy after his training.    The more Adam investigates the case, the more people he finds who may have a wish to see Cliveden dead and the less he feels that Knight was the perpetrator.  

I was pleasantly surprised by this.  Not all tv celebrities are good authors but Robert's legal knowledge and background shines through the story and by the end of the book you definitely know that people are not always what they seem!


Next up was this month's choice for the online book club I belong to. How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

Tom Hazard may appear to be just an average man in his 40s but actually he has been alive many hundreds of years more than that.  He has been born with a condition, anagaria, and actually only ages one year every fifteen. He belongs to a group of fellow sufferers known as the Albatross Society, who help one another move on before their secret is discovered.  One thing he must not do is fall in love.  The one rule that Tom has broken.

We meet Tom in a job interview where he is applying to become a history teacher in a school.  For Tom was born in 1581 so can teach his students from first hand experience in so many historical moments in time.  But Tom is far from happy and desperately searching for his daughter who may still be alive if she has inherited this disorder.

The book goes back and forth through time and I have to be honest and say I didn't really enjoy it and I haven't finished it.  In fact when Rachel lent me a book her friend had lent her, I didn't hesitate to put the 'How to Stop Time' aside and start something new straight away. 


This book was a different thing altogether!  I picked it up and read solidly for two hours, I was engrossed from the first couple of pages.

Millie cannot believe her luck when she is offered the position of housemaid for Nina and Andrew Winchester and Nina's daughter Cecilia.  Recently released from prison and on parole she feels that her past will ensure that she never has the opportunity to better herself.  Throughout the story the author does not reveal why Millie has been in prison, all we know is that she really, really doesn't want to return there. It is only when she moves into their mansion that she realises that things are not as she thought they were.  Nina is clearly unstable, making a mess in the house overnight for Millie to clean up, telling lies about her daughter, and generally making Millie's life as difficult as possible.

Nina's mental health continues to decline as Millie and Andrew grow closer.  Right up to the point when Andrew tells Nina that he no longer loves her and she should leave.  Maybe life is about to become a whole lot easier and happier for Millie.  Maybe she is about to get the second chance for happiness that she thought was going to be elusive.  Or maybe there is a reason that Enzo the gardener takes her to one side and tells her she is in terrible danger.

This really is a page turner, a 'just one chapter more' book.  From the prologue you know that the story will end with the police asking questions about a body that has been found in the attic.  

I read this book in two days.  I kept thinking that there must be a twist coming and I thought I had an idea about what that may be.  Reader, I was wrong!  There is a sequel and I had to track it down.

The Housemaid's Secret by Freida McFadden

This book continues following Millie who has been helping women escape from abusive relationships with the help of Enzo.  However, Millie and Enzo have gone their separate ways and in order to fund her education in becoming a social worker she finds herself being offered a job working as part time housemaid for the very wealthy Douglas and Wendy Garrick.  

From the moment she meets Douglas he explains that his wife is very ill and should not be interrupted at all during the day if her bedroom door is closed.  The penthouse apartment is immaculate but Millie is suspicious by the lack of interaction with Wendy and the fact she can sometimes hear her crying in the bedroom.

After discovering blood on a nightgown in the laundry, Millie cannot help but knock on the bedroom door to insist on seeing for herself that Wendy is not being injured by her husband.  She is shocked by what she sees and helps Wendy hatch a plan to escape from the relationship.  All seems to have gone to plan until Millie realises that Douglas is a dangerous man to cross.

There is definitely no way I could guess how this book would end, all I can tell you is that the female characters all have a side to them that you are not expecting!  There is a third book in this series, it’s not available until later this summer otherwise I would been downloading it straight away!

Monday 25 March 2024

Me on Monday 24 March


Well we survived our weekend childcare but it’s left me feeling a little like this 

Out of all the cute cuddly toys that Max has, this bright blue sloth is the one he likes to take to bed!  I wonder if it's because it has lovely long arms and legs to cuddle you with?  Both children behaved very well, Olive asked 'where is mummy?' from time to time but considering she is only two she was 

happy to just know she was going to see her the following day.  Mummy and Daddy crammed a lot into their night and days away and they both said how lovely it was to have time together as a couple.

So Monday finds me recharged after a quiet Sunday and hopefully my delayed lunch with Jon will happen on Thursday - fingers crossed!  Of course the week ends with the start of Easter weekend not to mention bringing the clocks forward on Sunday.  We have been invited to Jon's for Easter Sunday lunch and I suspect there may be a few Easter eggs received by all the children.

The bright sunny weather at the weekend wickedly tricked me into thinking it was time to cast aside my winter wardrobe, only to discover while walking Coco that the sun was masking a powerful wind with a chilly bite to it.  But the good thing is that I went through my chest of drawers to rediscover warmer weather clothes and was ruthless in getting rid of a few things that have either not been worn for a year or so or which have really seen better days.  I was prompted by one of those photo memories that Facebook like to send you every day.  This one in particular was from eight years ago and I am wearing a new Boden t-shirt.  I then came across it in the drawer, eight years older, quite faded and a little out of shape (a bit like me 😉). I had received three new tops for my birthday so was determined to remove and recycle at least three old ones.  Mission accomplished, plus when the weather does get warmer I have a very neat and tidy drawer to go to.

Today we have someone coming to repoint our patio paving - by the time warmer weather returns properly we shall at least have a tidy and refreshed patio on which to enjoy al fresco lunches.  Then of course the big post winter garden tidy up begins, that should keep us busy!  

Monday 18 March 2024

Me on Monday 18 March

 So my first post as a pensioner!  I'm happy to report that it doesn't feel too bad so far - my friend Sally sent me a great card which said 'People our age are so much older than us' which summed it up so well.  

As often happens, things did not go completely to plan and I didn't get to have my lunch out with Jon as he was unwell.  Their family have all succumbed to a virus which gives you a high temperature for 24 hours and then three days of total tiredness, Max and Olive have been sleeping for over 12 hours every night!  So we have postponed as I don't really want to share their germs.

We went for cake and coffee at Rachel's which was lovely and she has passed a book onto me that a friend lent her. It is so good I read it for two hours without break while Paul watched the rugby last night so I am almost half way through!  I shall give a proper review on my book reading post at the end of the month - I just hope it continues to be as gripping for the rest of the book.  

I don't actually have too much planned for this week but need to pop out and find a couple of gifts to go with the children's Easter eggs.  I prefer to buy them a token small egg and a book or something rather than a huge chocolate egg-stravaganza 😉

I'll need to conserve my energy for a bumper batch of childcare at the weekend involving a sleep over with Max and Olive on Friday and an evening of babysitting on my own the following day.  Followed by a Sunday of doing very little I hope!

How's your week ahead looking?