Tuesday 31 August 2010

Almost a domestic goddess

I love to cook and I love to try new recipes. I love to taste other people's cooking and I love people to cook for me. I am a collector of cookery books, although I tend to have 'old favourites' that I go back to time and time again. I cannot resist a new cookery book, especially once it is half price in Waterstones ;-)
There is a new book coming out by Nigella Lawson which is being serialized in one of the Sunday supplements. I was browsing through it at the weekend and came across her version of Toad in the Hole. {I suspect this may be a British dish, so if anyone from overseas is horrified by the name, it has nothing to do with toads or frogs of any kind! It involves sausages!} As the weather on Bank Holiday Monday was horrible, cold and cloudy with outbreaks of showers, it seemed a perfect dinner. I dashed outside between raindrops and picked some runner beans from the garden and set to work. My husband is often taken out for meals by building contractors and various agencies that his company uses and frequently gets taken out to very posh places in London. Only last week he was taken to the Park Lane Hilton for lunch in their rooftop restaurant. Thank goodness someone else was paying the bill! But despite enjoying all that fancy food, he is the kind of man who absolutely loves traditional food. When I suggested Nigella's dish with heaps of creamy mashed potato, veggies off the garden and onion gravy, his eyes glazed over and he gave a contented sigh!
Now, I'm not Nigella's greatest fan. There's a bit too much finger licking and looking seductively under eyelashes while pouting for the camera (it may not do it for me, but my husband is entranced!) but I do like her recipes. The toad in the hole wasn't that much different to my normal recipe except that she de-skinned the sausages, halved them and flattened them into little burger shapes that she browned off before pouring over the batter. It made quite a difference, and is something that I will do again.
So tonight I am trying her 'My mother's praised chicken' recipe which sounds lovely and then there should be enough left overs for tomorrow for her 'Thai chicken noodle soup'. I like the idea of cooking one dish that makes two days worth of dinners! I'll let you know how it goes ...

A mammoth task

A couple of months ago, we had a letter from a company who was offering to completely re-insulate any house for £99. No matter what size or age of property. £99. Something to do with government grants or whatever. So our house is 25 years old now and the insulation is about 3" deep and clearly does not meet latest environmental standards. Before throwing the letter away, I asked my resident Building Surveyor if this was a good deal. For a 4 bedroomed detached house apparently it was a very good deal, and we signed up. This was months ago and the only slight fly in the ointment was that we have to get the loft in a reasonably tidy state for them to work round. The deadline for them doing the work is approaching ...
Now, our loft is full. And I mean - full. I am a hoarder. A compulsive hoarder and an untidy one at that. Up in our loft is every project our children ever did at school, there are clothes up there, books, toys, you name it. The Building Surveyor tried hard to suppress his glee at the NEED to clear the loft. He's been moaning about it for ages. Well, years really and here was a golden opportunity handed to him on a plate to make me get up there and {gulp} throw things away. It's been a gradual process and one I can only do when in the right frame of mind but there is light at the end of the tunnel and the loft joists are no longer groaning under the weight of precious mementos/junk.
At the weekend, I ventured up there again. And found a box with things in that we'd put up there after my parents died and we had to clear their house. Here's an example of crafty things teachers got 9 years olds to do in the late 1960s.

I can so clearly remember making this picture. My most favourite part of it was making the beaded skirts and jewellery. I remember the fun of choosing coloured beads, and threading them on in a pattern and adding them to the felt figures. How many beads do you reckon our poor teacher had to pick up off the floor? I remember my mum having this picture on the telephone table in the hall and when I was on the phone in my teenage years, I used to play with the beaded threads which probably explains why some of them are a little loose and droopy now!

I also came across a bag of brass pots and plates, so I've put a couple of them in the photo too. My childhood was at a time when children were encouraged to spend as much time out of doors as possible. If it wasn't raining, then so long as you were wrapped up warm, there was no reason why you shouldn't be out riding your bike or playing in the garden. No Nintendo or Playstation games in those days! Polishing that brass was a weekly job and a messy one at that. I'm not sure where mum and dad got it all from, but it was proudly displayed in the sitting room. Oh my goodness, there's an expression from the past, the 'sitting room'! We had a room which was kept for visitors or special occasions, and that was the sitting room. All the other time we would use the dining room as our lounge for watching TV and eating etc. In the summer holidays, woe betide me if I said I was bored or didn't want to play outside. 'Oh well, you can help me clean the brass then' would be the sentence that would have me fighting to put on my sandals and running out the back door. I hated that job. But sitting and cleaning those two little pots this morning has brought back some happy memories and maybe tidying out that loft and finding more treasures won't be as bad as I thought.

Sunday 29 August 2010

New Image

On Friday I had a text message from my daughter asking 'Should I dye my hair dark again, or have it cut short?'. I diplomatically dodged the question and said that whilst having dark hair suited her, last time she did it she got bored with it quickly, whereas it had been a while she she had a major hair-cut. Later that afternoon, I logged onto Facebook and saw that her profile mentioned short hair. A cold rush of fear swept over me, as I tried to work out whether this could somehow be my fault if she didn't like it. Then logic resumed and I figured that if she was publicising it on Facebook, then she must be happy. And indeed she was.

It's so nice and it makes her look quite different. But of course she now needs a whole new wardrobe of clothes to go with the new image. Like mother, like daughter.

On the knitting front, I am pleased to announce that baby Sophie's cardigan is now finished, although this now means I have to start tackling that mountain of ironing that has built up over the week :-(

Saturday 28 August 2010

Noses and Poses

I've had a couple of comments on my last post that I really ought to answer here.
My loss of sense of smell for a start. I had a normal sense of smell right up until the last 90s, then one winter I got a cold and it just didn't go away. Doctors were bemused by it, tried various remedies that didn't work. I always sounded as if I had a blocked up nose, was constantly blowing my nose and I couldn't smell a thing. After a few years it started to get on my nerves and asked to be referred to an ENT specialist. He discovered I had a deviated septum on one side and polyps in the sinuses of the other. I had an operation to shave off part of the bone and remove the polyps. At the time people told me how they knew someone who had this op and it didn't last long, within 5 years the polyps were back. About three weeks after the op I walked into my son's bedroom where he was eating Monster Munch and I could vaguely smell the pickled onion smell! Woohoo!!! Within a month, my smell was back, better than ever. But that was in 2001. For the last couple of years, the polyps have obviously returned as my sense of smell deteriorated and finally went again. I don't have the other symptoms of blocked sinus and problems with my nose, just can't smell. To be honest, I could go and have the op again, but it doesn't bother me that much now and I will live with it (or without it!) until I have other symptoms. Fortunately, it doesn't affect my sense of taste, at the moment that is still fine.
The debut dance at the Royal Albert Hall was probably less impressive than it sounds! I was part of the country dancing group at primary school and we entered for a national schools dance competition. We must have looked a sight. All different shapes and sizes, with the girls in white lace blouses with circular orange skirts with black rick-rack along the hems, boys in school shirts and shorts and black plimsolls. At this point my hair was still the ginger side of auburn so orange wasn't really my colour! We were also at the age where holding hands with a boy was not appealing, and to skip around a stage holding hands in public was cringe worthy. I went to a school reunion about 10 years ago and met my ex-dancing partner who I hadn't seen for about 30 years and one of the first things we talked about was 'remember when we danced at the Royal Albert Hall?'.
My daughter who featured in posts this week has had a major image change! She has, on a whim, had her hair cut short. Last time it was this short she was about 4. Be prepared, ladies, for a new layout very soon, she posed for a photo for me yesterday and this really needs to be recorded for posterity.

Friday 27 August 2010

Cherry on the Top!

The very lovely and talented Karen has given me this award. Karen is half of the team who organise Eclectic Keepsakes crops in Marks Tey, near Colchester. It is an absolutely brilliant way to spend one Saturday a month and I am so thrilled that she has chosen my blog as a recipient. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

So, without further ado, I need to check the rules to accepting the award and make sure I am following them.
1. Thank the person giving you the award. Check.

2. Place the award on blog.


3. List three things about yourself.

  • I am the messiest, disorganised person at home, yet at work my desk is perfectly tidy and I keep to a strict plan of jobs that need doing and in which order they need doing

  • I do not have a sense of smell

  • I once danced on stage at the Royal Albert Hall in London and although it is many, many years ago now, I still like to bring it up in conversation whenever I can


4. Post a photo that you love

This was taken on our last family holiday together in Cyprus. We were messing about one evening and trying to take a group shot by our son holding the camera in front of us. There were many attempts to get all four of us in, and only one shot that was successful! Check.
5. Tag five people to pass it onto to keep it going.

So, as far as I am aware the following people have not already received this award and I am now passing it onto Sian who has a fantastic style of writing and great sense of humour, Mel who is not afraid to suffer for the cause of her blog. Who else would lay on a pavement in the rain to get a photo just because Shimelle told her to, or take photos standing in line at the carvery or indeed, take a photo of the public toilet in Italy? Rinda who is a true artist in every sense of the word. She is not afraid to experiment, and is happy to share her vast amount of knowledge, Amy , who shares with us the humourous comments and experiences of her family and is sensibly noting them all for posterity in her layouts. How she manages to blog so frequently in the midst of her building work is a mystery to me! Last but not least to Robyn. Robyn's was one of the first blogs that I started following when I started scrapbooking. I feel as if I know her little family who live in Brooklyn. She manages to share good times and bad, is an amazing cook, how she is so slim and trim I do not understand when she is always sharing her baking photos with us.

Thanks again!

Wednesday 25 August 2010

Capturing the moment

I've been scrapbooking for a couple of years now and I have noticed that there are definitely trends and fashions that come and go. When I started there were buttons everywhere. All colours and shapes and sizes, but now they don't seem to be quite so evident. Butterflies have been popular for a little while now and also birds. But the thing I am loving that is appearing everywhere is bunting. It sparks off the imagination to happy times and celebrations, street parties, fetes and summer. While I am loving seeing what other people are doing with their bunting, I haven't actually put it onto any of my own pages. Well, clearly this was something that needed addressing! Before it went out of fashion and something else took its place.
As it was my daughter's birthday yesterday and she is the most fashionable person I know, it seemed appropriate to use a photo of her in a layout including bunting, a bird and a butterfly.
Update on the knitting - the presence of husband at the weekend meant that I wasn't able to give up hours to the project and then pretend I had been busy on other things for the rest of the day. But I have now finished the back and both fronts and am almost finished on the first sleeve. Baby Sophie, who is the person I am making it for, goes on her first holiday in 3 weeks time and I would like to have it finished for then (it gets chilly in the Algarve in the evenings!).

Tuesday 24 August 2010

Birthday Girl

My little girl is 24 years old today

Happy Birthday Princess!

Friday 20 August 2010

K1, slip 1, PSSO

Oh yes, the knitting needles are out! I've been thinking about doing some knitting for a while now and more and more people are doing 'wooly' things on their blogs so after I finished work yesterday I popped into town and went wool shopping. Back in the late 70s and early 80s knitting was so popular. I knitted so much stuff. For everyone (whether they wanted it or not!). Check this out for a work of art, I knitted this when I was first married and haven't dared to throw it away since, it was such a labour of love!

Ready for a close up?

So I considered my options - who would want my first offering? Almost 24 year old ultra trendy daughter - possibly not. Husband? Nope, I want my first project to be little and quickly finished to inspire me to do more, so a man sized sweater is not ticking any boxes. 20 year old uni student Son. Likely to do that whole eyebrow raising thing if I suggest anything hand made. So how convenient is it that my niece has her gorgeous little bundle of daughter. 3 months old. Two balls of super soft pale pink baby wool and a little cardigan pattern - that'll do nicely.

Act 2 Scene 1

Woman sits knitting in conservatory oblivious to the passing of time.
Outside, the sound of a car drawing up on the drive. A car door slams. Footsteps approach the front door.
A weary Building Surveyor opens the door, throws his keys in the dish on the hall table. Sighs loudly as he takes off his shoes and drops his briefcase to the floor. He opens the kitchen door expectantly.
The woman frantically hides the half finished back of a baby cardigan, wool and knitting needles under a cushion as she rushes into the kitchen.
Husband: I've had an awful day, what have you been up to?
Me: Oh you know, been really busy. Went into work this morning, then lots and lots of housework. Hoovering, cleaning bathroom, dusting, washing, ironing. I'm quite exhausted actually ....

Thursday 19 August 2010

Lights, camera, action

I think that if a school agrees to invite the television crew in to film A level students getting their results and putting it on national tv in the evening, they really ought to warn the members of staff coming into work at silly o'clock to help with getting the results envelopes ready so that they may be prepared.
Had I known that cameras would be in evidence I would
a) have washed my hair and blow dried it carefully instead of just dragging a brush through it
b) carefully applied makeup rather than just putting on a bit of lippy and brushing a bit of eyeshadow on
c) thought carefully about what I was going to wear instead of just opening the wardrobe and pulling out a hanger, thinking 'That'll do. I'll be home in 2 hours'

For a start, I wasn't home in 2 hours. I was only supposed to be putting certificates in envelopes and handing them over to someone else to give to students when they came in at 9.30. But one minute I was carrying a box of envelopes into the hall, chatting to the another willing volunteer and the head of 6th form as we put them down and sorted them into two piles, the next thing, we were standing there on our own, and a human tide of emotional 18 year olds were surging towards us. We felt like shouting out 'I'm only a secretary, get me out of here'! Funny how Senior Leadership have a knack of disappearing into thin air when they are most needed eh?
So if you live in the Anglia region and you happen to turn on the regional news on ITV at 6 o'clock, keep an eye out us. Although being only 5' 1" there's a good chance I will be totally obscured by towering 6th formers! 15 minutes of fame? I think not.
PS Good luck to anyone who has offspring awaiting results, hope all goes according to plan!

Wednesday 18 August 2010

Scenes of domesticity

Act 1 Scene 1
The sound of a car pulling up on driveway. Footsteps are heard walking towards front door. A key turns in the door. The door opens, a weary Building Surveyor walks in, closes the door, throws his keys into the dish on the hall table and puts his briefcase down with a sigh. Turns off his mobile phone and removes his shoes. He enters the kitchen - stage right:

Husband: So, what have you been doing with your day today?
Me: Well, nothing exciting, just sort of boring housework sort of stuff. Washing. Ironing. Cooking. Cleaning.
Whereas ... really I've spent the morning doing 2 more layouts from our holiday! Started on the first one this morning while having a cup of tea in bed watching breakfast TV

Then while tidying away the leftover bits back into the pizza box, I had an idea for another -

This is now the 5th page I've made out of the kit I got from Sarah's Cards and there is still plenty more papers and wotnots to make a few more. Value for money or what?!

Tuesday 17 August 2010

Crafty Princess

Princess' mum is away on holiday in the Canary Islands at the moment and a few days after she comes home it will be her 24th birthday. So while she is sunning herself in Tenerife, I thought it was safe to enlist the help of Princess to get her presents wrapped up.
Part of her present was spending money for her holiday, but you know us mums like to have a few surprises for our 'children' to open as well so I've been buying a few bits and bobs. There's so many pretty things in the shops at the moment and it's very easy to find lovely headbands and flowers to add to your hair or clothes. And there's always make up that needs to be replaced or new colours to try. She is a very pink and girly girl, so we've chosen pink and lilac for our colour scheme. We've hand made our tags and had fun writing clues on the back of them. I popped downstairs to make lunch and when I came back, about a dozen little rhinestone gems had disappeared from a pack I had left on my desk but Princess promises me she had nothing to do with it, however I don't remember using quite so many diamond bits on the labels.
So Princess has had another secret outing and I'm sure that her mum won't be looking at my blog while she's away so I'm confident we've got away with it.
Or maybe not - does anyone know a good way of getting glitter glue out of fur ......

Another day, a tidier blog

In her blog post today, Amy spoke of tidying up her blog and this felt like fate trying to tell me that it was something I needed to do too. A few weeks ago, the site I had downloaded my blog template from moved and it took out part of my design then yesterday I had been blog hopping and found a link on Sian's to a site dedicated to improving your blog. I took this as a sign that 3 things were telling me to change so .......
I thought about the things that I like on other people's blogs and the things I don't and one of the things I don't like is when a blog takes a long time to load. Whoever wrote the poem
'Patience is a virtue, keep it if you can. Found seldom in a woman - and never in a man' would have found that I was one of the women found in the 'seldom' category. So I guess the more 'stuff' you have on a blog, the longer it takes to load so some 'stuff' has gone! I've also deleted some of the blogs I used to check, as some hadn't updated for absolutely ages and taken out some of the blinkies I showed. I've enjoyed all the classes I have done, but probably don't need to advertise the fact that I did Journal Your Christmas in 2008. So I've left the most current ones only.
If only I could be so tidy in the rest of my life ;o)

Sunday 15 August 2010

Tourist information anyone?

In honour of our 30th wedding anniversary, the husband and I are going away for the weekend to Bath. It's a place that neither of us have been to and also a place that is supposed to be lovely. Jane Austen country? Anyhow, having left it until last minute, I actually managed to find a hotel for us that didn't cost an arm and a leg (and trust me, some of the hotels I looked at cost at least 2 arms and 2 legs) that is centrally located. But now, I am wondering if anyone out there either lives near there or has been there and can recommend places to see or nice restaurants or whatever.
If the weather is nice, there won't be a problem, we will wander around and find places of interest but bearing in mind how awful the weather has been the last couple of days and is forecast for the next week too, I need some 'wet weather' contingency plans! We aren't going for another 3 weeks so it has time to change but we all know, we can experience all four seasons in one day here in the UK!
Ideas anyone?

Saturday 14 August 2010

How could I forget?

I was quietly blog hopping yesterday when I suddenly remembered that I had signed up for another class which starts beginning of September! My friend Denise had recently done a class through Big Picture Scrapbooking and said she thought I would enjoy another online class they were running. This came at a time when the Shimelle class was coming to an end and the long weeks of summer holidays were calling to me to relax, de-stress and be creative.
Now I'm back from holiday with a box full of photos to make into an album, a box of Pink Paisley subscription kit to use up and the realisation that I have something else to look forward to. So I thought I would share! The class is hosted by May Flaum and the info is here. It's on the same lines as the Shimelle class of using up the stash you already have which is something that I need to work on!
In the meantime, I've done another page of my photos from Italy. I uploaded a batch to be printed by Photobox and they were here within 2 days and so reasonably priced! Today is the turn of our trip to Herculaneum. The mosaic was found intact in one of the houses and you can tell it was a household with money by the colours of the tiles. The blue is lapiz lazuli which was expensive and so to use it in a mosaic shows a monied household. The stone bottles in the photo were found in a shop selling wine. On the walls of the shop you could also see the paintings on the walls of the price list and the different types on sale. The world's first Majestic winestore maybe? The main picture is of one of the most undamaged street areas. Now I look at the photo of this page, the bit of lace ribbon on the bottom looks a bit random, that may need a little alteration/embellishment at some time in the future!

Thursday 12 August 2010

A Haiku for Rinda

Life giving sunshine
Warms the earth all through the day
Now is time to rest
{in response to Rinda's blog post here}


When we were first married, my husband was a keen photographer. And when I say keen, I mean bordering on the obsessive. He was more likely to leave me at home on a day out than he was to leave the camera behind. These were pre-digital days and he used to agonise over whether six 36 exposure films would be enough for a week's holiday. Despite me telling him they were civilised lands we were travelling to and he would be able to buy more if he should run out while we were abroad. He was a member of the local camera club and our weekends were spent going to scenic places that were full of photo opportunities.
Fast forward a few years, and two children later (and all the associated 'stuff' that children need for a day out) there was not room in the car for all the paraphernalia that he used to take out with him and neither they, nor I, had the patience to wait for him to set up the perfect picture. Although he still enjoys photography, and has a good camera, it is not with the same intensity that he used to have.
So now he finds it amusing that it is me who takes the camera everywhere, where handbags to use in the evening are bought on the decision as to whether or not there is room for a camera, glasses case and purse.
My little Panasonic Lumix point and shoot has a function on it where you can take panoramic shots. You take a photo, then when you take the next one, there is a shadow from the edge of the last shot showing so you can line it up perfectly. I've not used it before, but sitting on the terrace with a glass of Tia Maria after dinner one night, watching the sun setting over the Bay of Naples, with Vesuvius on the horizon, I decided the time was right. I could see my husband itching to get his hands on the camera and have a go himself, he was having to bite his lip in order to not give me advice. I thought the resulting photos were worthy of the next page from the Sarah's Cards Kit.

Wednesday 11 August 2010

She made me do it

A little while ago, my dear friend Denise twisted my arm and MADE me sign up for a subscription to Sarah's Cards. For a little under £20 a month I will get a wonderful pizza box filled with goodies, new paper collections and inspiration delivered to my door - which seems like a very good idea. My first box arrived just before I went away on holiday. I opened it, and reverently took out all the patterned paper, all the cardstock, all the stick-ons, all the little glass headed pins, the Japanese tape, the chipboard cut outs, the ribbon, the alphabets ... it was just like Mary Poppins' carpetbag - so much stuff in one smallish box. And then as normally happens to me in these cases, I was scared to use any of it. Needed to save it for something special. Didn't want to waste anything. I put it all away and just opened the lid of the box on a daily basis to just check on how lovely it all was.
Then at the weekend I had an email from Sarah's Cards to say the next box would be on it's way soon. What? I haven't even started on the first one yet! Oh blimey, at this rate I'm going to have a pile of pizza boxes in the house, overflowing with scrapping gorgeousness and a husband making comments like ' what exactly are you doing with all this?' 'are you ever going to use it?' and 'how much are you paying for this each month and not using it?' and then I'll have to blame Denise and say how she made me do it and it wasn't my idea etc etc
And then I thought 'you know what? It's just going to be easier to actually do something with some of the papers and then I'll gradually start using them up before the next box arrives'. So that is what I've done. Ladies - drum roll please - the first layout from the Sarah's Cards Subscription Box.


Monday 9 August 2010

Step back in time

And so I return to an Italian theme for my blog post! We only went on one organised tour while we were away, a half day trip to Herculanium. A town that was destroyed when Vesuvius erupted about 2000 years ago. The most famous ruins in that area are Pompeii which is a huge excavation project but Herculanium is much smaller and better preserved. Herculanium was buried by 20ft of boiling volcanic mud the day after the eruption but because the mud slid into the town rather than having rocks and gasses fall at force from the sky like happened at Pompeii the buildings are better preserved. The area is much smaller there and you can literally see the whole thing in a half day. My husband is the more historically minded of the two of us but I have to say that the visit here really touched me. I really got the feeling of how day to day life was in that area thousands of years ago. The cobbled streets are intact and you suddenly realise that 2000 years ago, people were going about their everyday business, walking on those same stones.

Nowadays, we know about volcanoes and the damage they can do. If one erupts, the people who live in that area are well aware of what is happening and what to do but back then, they would have had no idea what it was. They knew the whole town of Pompeii was destroyed, never dreaming that the following day a totally different type of destruction was on it's way.

The archaeologists there thought the whole population had deserted the place and escaped after the first day of eruption as, unlike in Pompeii where many bodies were found, no evidence of people were found in any of the buildings they excavated. But recently they dug out the next area of excavation which was the storage area for boats on what was originally the harbour and found skeletons of about 300 people. Obviously trying to escape by sea but the mud slide had slid into the ocean, causing a tsunami and when the force of the water came back to shore, it brought all the mud back with it and where Herculaneum was once at the water's edge, there was now 2km of mud added to the shore line and they were trapped.

And so ends the history lesson. Normal blog writing will resume tomorrow!

Another kind of wonderland

Well after posting photos of the Wonderland that is Italy, I guess it's time to share the mini book that we made at the crop on Saturday. The theme was Alice in Wonderland and Karen at Ecletic Keepsakes had prepared an amazing mini book for us to make.
I was a little concerned to find that I was expected to make a book out of a piece of card and 8 pages from an old book, held together with a bit of red twine but hey, what's the worst that could happen?!

Even someone with my poor maths skills could guess that 8 pages of old book, folded into half was going to give 32 individual pages, and suddenly I realised why we needed to bring 16 photos with us! The book is so crammed full of embellishments and pockets and tags and labels that it is not that easy to photograph but I've taken some pictures of a few of the pages.

Karen had brought with her some beautiful Alice in Wonderland stamps, lots of pretty edging cutters, two old manual typewriters for typing journalling ... 3 tables of equipment and ink pads etc and the kit itself was absolutely jam-packed full of papers, alphabets, ribbons, twine, roses - you name it, it was in there. Such brilliant value for money and a great way to spend the day after I got back from holiday. No chance for the post-holiday blues!

Sunday 8 August 2010


Well, as predicted we did end up going over to Capri on Monday. We caught the 10.20am hydrofoil and were on the island by 11am. We had a quick walk around the harbour area and then got on the funicular railway up to the main town on Capri. The shops up there are almost exclusively designer names. Gucci, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Dior .... nothing in the windows has a price on and I worked on the old saying 'if you have to ask the price, you probably can't afford it! We kept finding these little fibreglass Fiat 500s in random places, with little trees growing out the sunroof!

This was a view looking down at some seriously expensive yachts. How the other half lives eh? What a lovely life, just crusing around the Med stopping off at beautiful places like this. When I win the lottery.......... I shall drop anchor in the harbour and then be staying here, the Hotel Quisisana .....
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Saturday 7 August 2010

A room with a view

The view while we were having breakfast

The view when we were having dinner

As you can see, early morning and sunset were equally beautiful over the bay of Naples. We've had a beautiful week in Sorrento and I ought to warn you - there are many, many photos!
I haven't had chance to look at what everyone has been up to while I've been away, but that's on my 'to do' list for tomorrow. Because today, whilst most people would be unpacking and doing holiday washing on the day after they get home - I have been to an all day crop over at Ecletic Keepsakes, where we did a mini-book with an Alice in Wonderland theme. More will be revealed at a later date {when I've finished it!}

Monday 2 August 2010

Island hop

I strongly suspect that by the time this post publishes, I will have visited Capri . The boat over there leaves from Sorrento and takes just under an hour.
Although my husband hasn't been to this area before, I have. I used to work for a holiday company called OSL which sold villa and apartment holidays. It was here that I met my friend Denise, who married a friend of my husband's and we have now been friends for over 30 years! She is the person who introduced me to scrapbooking so has much to answer for! Part of my job at OSL involved going on 'Educational trips' to look round the properties that we were renting out and one of my educationals was to this area. We had a wonderful week touring around the Amalfi coast and ended up visiting Sorrento/Capri one day.
We were supposed to also be visiting some luxury villas up in the hills along narrow tortuous roads and the manager of the office there could not possibly let 'the English ladies' do such a journey on their own. He insisted that he drove us there personally. It was a bit hair raising, steep narrow roads with few passing places, hairpin bends, Italian drivers ...... so we were grateful for his offer. There were a few moments where we just closed our eyes and trusted him to get us there safely and it was good to get back to where we were staying that night. We went out for a meal with the other office staff in the evening and they asked how we got on with driving ourselves on those roads. When we told them that the manager had done the driving they were horrified. He had a heart condition and was not supposed to drive ......