Tuesday 30 May 2023

Me on a Tuesday

 What a difference a week makes!  This time last week I was rested after a lovely long weekend away but very anxious about having to have surgery on Thursday.

So here we are, 5 days post surgery and resting and recuperating as the doctor ordered.  There has been much reading time and also lots of crocheting

I've also started watching Annika on BBC iPlayer and Maryland on ITVX.  Both are good post-lunch 'sit on the sofa for an hour' programmes.  I'm pretty much in isolation as I have to avoid germs, it's a bit like being in lockdown all over again!  Strangely enough my nose isn't too sore, but my throat is. Guess I had a tube or two inserted as I also have a bruised lip.  Fortunately the weather has been nice so I have been able to waft around in summer maxi dresses to hide the 'gorgeous' dark green surgical socks that I have to wear for a week! 

So what does this week hold?  Not very much except for the aforementioned watching, reading and crafting!  Of course on Thursday I shall be able to start looking for my Summer Photo Hunt finds - even if I am still confined to the garden for another week. 

Hopefully you will be able to pop back on Friday when we have our first Friday of the month get together.  I know you'll understand if we have to sit far apart, I'll still be under 'no close mixing' rules! 


Saturday 27 May 2023

What I’ve been reading in May

This has been a bumper month for reading!

Another library book came home with me this month.  Transient Desires by Donna Leon.

Two badly injured American girls are found left on the paving outside of a hospital.  CCTV cameras only show that a boat pulled up by the entrance and two men drag the girls to the entrance then quickly abandon them to make their get away via the canal.  

This book is another of the Commissario Brunetti mysteries and in this book he finds himself dealing with a type of crime that he has never encountered before.  Why didn't the men stay with the girls until hospital staff arrive?  This can only mean that it was not an innocent accident and after identifying one of the men, it is obvious that there is more to this than meets the eye.  The uncle of the identified man is rumoured to be involved in more sinister crimes which are outside the normal jurisdiction of Brunetti. 

If I hadn't read others from this series, I don't think I would have considered reading more of the Brunetti books.  It was a cleverly thought out plot and I still enjoyed the aspects of Venetian living that the author includes but not, in my opinion, as good as the other two that I have read from this series.  The ending was somewhat abrupt and I didn't feel that there was a proper conclusion, unless this was the intention of the author to show that things aren't always cut and dried.

Our book club choice this month was The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E Reichert

Al is a works as a restaurant critic for a Milwaukee newspaper.  Well known for his somewhat scathing and honest reviews, he books a table at Luella's restaurant under his pen name A W Wodyski.  The owner of Luella's, Lou Johnson is having one of the worst days of her life.  Hoping to surprise her fiancee with a delicious breakfast of Coconut Cake, she unwittingly walks in on him in what seems to be a compromising position with an intern.  She returns to the restaurant where everything that can go wrong, does go wrong.  Unfortunately this is the evening that A W Wodyski is dining there.  He writes a brutal review which sends Lou's restaurant into a tailspin and very soon it seems that she will have no alternative but to close.

The day that the review is published, Al and Lou meet in a pub where Lou is drowning her sorrows.  They start talking and Al tells her that he is originally from England and thinking of moving on as he is not enamoured with Milwaukee.  Lou wants to prove to him that Milwaukee needs a second chance and she will show him the real heart of the city.  She shows him all her favourite places and he gradually falls in love not only with Milwaukee but Lou herself. From the start they decide not to talk about where they work or what they do and you wonder what will happen when Lou inevitably discovers that Al is the person responsible for the downfall of her business.  

There are no big surprises at the end of this book but it was a good read, the characters were good - except for Devlin - and it's made me want to visit Milwaukee for all the food festivals!

Next up was another library book - another of the Chief Inspector Gamache series of books.  Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny.

The book begins with Garmache receiving a letter asking him to go to an abandoned farmhouse just outside of Three Pines.  When he arrives, he discovers that a stranger has named him and two others executors of her will.  None of them are aware of knowing her and are puzzled as to how they were chosen.

Armand is also at this time suspended from the force and under investigation for the 
way in which a previous drug related crime was handled which has ended with very dangerous illegal drugs going missing.

The way in which the author combined the two storylines was cleverly done.  I hadn't read the book which details the situation regarding the missing drugs, but it wasn't too difficult to piece together what had happened.  I do enjoy the Three Pines series and it's good to know that there are still several that I haven't read yet.  Apparently this is the book that nearly didn't get written as the author had based the main character on her husband.  When he died it seemed too hard for her to continue writing stories but thankfully she has found the strength to maintain his presence through the character of Garmache.  

Next up is The Bedroom Window by KL Slater.  I first heard about this from Gail's blog and thought it sounded my kind of book.

The story revolves around Lottie, her husband Neil and son Arbie who move to Yorkshire to start a new life.  Lottie had to give up her job to become Neil's carer after an accident at work rendered him temporarily disabled.  Now he has recovered he leaps at the chance of a new job managing the estate at Seaspray.

All seems too good to be true until Lottie becomes suspicious of the couple who own Seaspray.  They say they have never had children but Lottie thinks that she has seen a shadowy character in the windows of the house in the evenings.  No one is ever allowed into the house. The previous occupants of the cottage left under suspicious circumstances and Lottie feels sure that they too believed that their employers were hiding something.

This was definitely a 'page turner' and cleverly merged Lottie's back story with current events.  There were definitely a few twists as the story reached its conclusion.  One of those books that made me want to keep reading just one chapter more!

The next book I downloaded was Thrown by Sara Cox. I enjoy her book review to programme so thought I would try her own book.

I wanted a nice light, easy read to take into hospital and this definitely fitted the bill.  I had a lot of reading time that day and I read nearly all of it by the time I was discharged! 

The story revolves around a group of neighbours who live in the same housing estate who don't really know each other very well.  A new pottery class held in the local community centre provides the perfect opportunity for them to try their hand at a new skill while forging new friendships.  Sara weaves interesting storylines for each character as some unlikely friendships evolve. A little predictable in places but an enjoyable read.

Thursday 25 May 2023

#WBOYC in May


Well, using my normal format of taking the initial letter from the spelling of the month means this could be a short post as we only have three letters!


Many a May Bank Holiday this year. We started the month with the normal May Day Bank Holiday, then just a few days later it was King Charles' Coronation

Medical appointments that ended up with hospital admissions and an operation.  Well, I didn't see that one coming - or did I?  I knew that the polyps in my nose were getting worse and I had hoped not to have to resort to surgery but ... I am going to be scheduling the posting of this in advance because on the day that it is supposed to go live is the day that my surgery is happening.


A weekend away - perfectly timed for keeping my mind occupied in the lead up to my op.  Southwold in Suffolk was our destination and a place that we love and know well.  Of course Coco came with us, every dog deserves a holiday too.


Yummy! Some lovely dinners and lunches out this month. Even a simple Greek salad and glass of wine at a local deli was delicious. 

My friend and I could easily have met for coffee at home, but there is something very nice about going out and relaxing over food and drink that someone else has prepared.

We had some lovely meals while away in Southwold - even simple fish and chips taste so much better when you are by the seaside!  Full marks though to the sticky toffee pudding at The Anchor in Walberswick which was the perfect end to a lovely Sunday lunch.

Yearning for June to be here, hopefully with a fully working nose! 

And now time for my 1 Second Everyday video roundup of the month so far.

Normally I would now pack you on your way across the world to Australia to visit the other Deb's World, but you don't have so far to go this month - she's visiting family here in the UK!   

Wednesday 24 May 2023

Me on a Wednesday

 A quick post today after a lovely weekend away in Southwold.  It's a place we love to visit and have stayed there a few times now.  It's a town which has retained its old fashioned personality and you immediately feel relaxed once you wander down to the promenade which borders the beach.  I do like a nice beach hut scene to photograph!

Early in the morning before the clouds lifted 

Mid morning, sun is out and skies are blue!

Plenty of places to eat and most places are dog friendly which makes for a nice relaxing holiday for us and Coco. We were so lucky with the weather, bright and dry although rather blustery along the beach - the wind on the East Coast is notoriously brisk. 

It was perfect timing for us to be away and relaxed as tomorrow I shall be admitted into a local hospital for surgery on my nose.  I've had it done before so unfortunately I know what's in store - but it needs to be done!  

I would like to draw your attention to this post over at Patio Postcards.  The annual Summer Scavenger Hunt will be starting on June 1st so dust off your camera/phone and get your thinking caps on for photos that fit the 14 categories.

I have my What's Been On Your Calendar post ready to go tomorrow (just need to remember to type the right date and time on the schedule!) and I now need to re-read my pre-admission instructions to check when my 'nil by mouth' time starts!

Monday 22 May 2023

Me on Monday

 Out of office reply ...

We'll be back soon!  Currently enjoying the last bit of our long weekend away 👫🐶

Monday 15 May 2023

Me on Monday

 This Monday finds me counting down the days to a weekend trip away.  Of course there are lists to be made and it appears that Coco may be taking more luggage than we are.  

It was quite a busy weekend which made the days go very quickly.  Starting with lunch out with a friend on Friday.  A delicious Greek salad at a local deli where everything is authentically from Greece - if only the weather had been nice enough to eat outside and pretend we were in Corfu, but torrential rain and a cold wind put paid to that!

On Saturday I had impetuously signed up for a Zumba masterclass that our instructor was hosting.  An hour and a half of dancing with 4 instructors.  Adri from Venezuala, Ramiro (the special guest instructor who is touring Europe) from Argentina, Laura from Spain and, not quite so exotic, Dave from Wales. I must admit that the last half hour did not see me being able to put as much energy into the routines as the first hour but I managed to stay the course - it was such good fun!  I'm so pleased I went.

In the evening we had a meal out with my sister and cousin and their husbands at an Indian restaurant that we have not tried before.  It was delicious, and lovely to catch up on all the family news.

Sunday we had our daughter and family here for lunch (no, their kitchen is still not operational!) so it really has been all about the food and drink around here.

I picked this photo up from my daughter’s IG feed. As you can see, Coco is gradually (begrudgingly?) accepting the fact that it seems like Daisy is really part of the extended family now!

So we start the week here awaiting a plumber as our shower mixer unit is leaking - not a good start eh?  We also really intend to get to a garden centre to buy a few plants for the pots - every time we plan to go the weather turns atrocious.  So let's hope this week becomes drier indoors and out!

Tuesday 9 May 2023

Me on Tuesday

 It was definitely a historic weekend here in the UK and I enjoyed seeing the historic occasion of a coronation.  Not to mention the comical antics of Prince Louis who always seems to steal the show in a balcony line up!

It feels as though it was a very busy long weekend (although every day is a weekend day when you are retired I suppose!) It started with a meal out with ex work friends on Friday, a garden party meal with friends on Saturday that was moved indoors when the clouds started to form, all the family here for lunch on Sunday and then a day of putting the house and garden back to normal yesterday.  It is lovely to see the grandchildren all playing together now they are that little bit older but it does mean that every toy we own seems to be brought out!

So yesterday felt like a good day to continue making a few more squares for my 'Tea with Granny' blanket.  I like that this is something that I can just pick up and put down, I'm half way through the squares now.  Why, oh why does Coco always assume that anything laid out on the floor is an invitation to lay down on it?

It's not long now until our weekend away in Southwold and so today we will be advance booking a couple of meals in dog friendly pubs.  As we've been there a few times before we have a few places in mind that we would like to go back to.  I've started looking at long range weather forecasts and it seems like we will be packing for all eventualities!

What does your week have in store?

Friday 5 May 2023

Let's sit and have a cup of coffee


Thank you for popping round and making time to have a cup of coffee with me.  Please do have a rock cake to go with it - it's an old family recipe that's all our family enjoy, tell me what you think!

So, we have a big weekend of celebration here in the UK, today is the calm before the storm.  Tomorrow will be the coronation of King Charles and there will be lots going on all over the country.  I shall be watching it at home in the morning and then we have been invited to friends in the afternoon for a celebration meal.  It will be nice to have someone else cooking as on Sunday we have our whole family coming for lunch.  Keep your fingers firmly crossed for me that the weather is nice enough to go out in the garden as four children aged 6, 4, 3 and 18 months need to get outside to run off some energy - not to mention the elderly Coco and puppy Daisy.  Daisy wanting to be Coco's best friend and Coco not having the patience to entertain a young pupster. 

We have no plans for Bank Holiday Monday although I think there is entertainment in the park in town which we may go and visit.

Do you have any family favourite dishes that I could include on Sunday?  Last time we had everyone here I did a big roast dinner and I think I'll take the easy way out this time and do a buffet 'pick and choose' lunch.  Cold meats, cheeses, breads, quiche and salads.  Something for all ages.  For a dessert I think I'm going to do a tried and tested pavlova.  Two layers of meringue sandwiched with Nutella and whipped cream, with cream on top and strawberries and blueberries.  Red, White and Blue.  Very patriotic eh?

By the time we next meet for coffee I may be looking a bit bruised and battered.  I am booked in for surgery on my nose at the end of May - no I'm not having a 'nose job' - I've suffered from nasal polyps for many years now and it's a pretty miserable condition.  I had them removed 20 years ago but they continue to grow back and they are at the point of being very uncomfortable not to mention affecting my breathing and quality of sleep.  I've put off the surgery as long as possible but my consultant said it really is essential to have it done.  Wish me luck!  And no laughing if I look like I've been in a fight!

Tuesday 2 May 2023

Me on Tuesday

 The countdown to the Coronation is on - the shops in town have all upped their game and there is a sea of red, white and blue wherever you go at the moment

There's been a teachers strike today which has meant additional childcare duties here. L & R have just gone home and before I sit and relax with a cup of tea I thought I would quickly come on here and say hello.

There is a lot going on this weekend, lots of free events in and around the town park, street parties and gatherings.  We are going to a friend's house with another couple on Saturday afternoon, then we have all the family coming here on Sunday, then there is a street party around the corner from us on Monday.  Another Bank Holiday weekend! 

But before all that I do hope you will pop back on Friday for a chat over a cup of coffee.  Hopefully I will have replenished my energy by then!