Monday 31 July 2023

Me on Monday

 That title should read 'me on a very wet miserable Monday!  The good old British summer seems to have deserted us in our corner of the country and the forecast for the next few days is more of the same.

So we are back to being a one dog family and Coco was much relieved to see Daisy's belongings being packed up and handed over!  She wasn't too much trouble but it was obvious that Coco was a bit stressed by her being here.  However, we all survived the week (that became ten days).  As we were loathe to leave the two of them here on their own we tended to go out individually last week so I don't have much to report!

I did escape to go to Zumba and then meet up for lunch with my author friend so it wasn't a complete stay at home week!

I bumped into my daughter's friend who had been evacuated from Rhodes due to the forest fires and it sounded dreadful.  They had to leave their hotel at short notice with no belongings, walk five miles to get a small boat to transfer them to a ferry to take them further along the coast.  Then two nights sleeping in a school before being accommodated in a hotel.  Bad enough for adults, but they had two children aged 4 and 7 with them, the eldest of which is autistic who panics when routines aren't followed.  What a nightmare.  It's just so sad to see the news footage, I'm not sure that the affected areas of Rhodes will get back to welcoming tourists for a year or more.

Once Daisy had been handed over we attended Max's 4th birthday party - it was lovely to see him and his friends having lots of fun.  Bouncy castle, sandwiches in the garden, games and cake - what more could you need?  Hard to believe he is off to school in a few weeks time, he must surely be the youngest in his year group.

We don't have too many plans this week due to the weather forecast. So I am hopeful for a bit of time working on this 

I didn't get any done last week as Daisy decided that a ball of wool looked like a good plaything so I just hid it all from sight so that little paws and claws didn't do any damage to my hard work!  

Have a good week!

Friday 28 July 2023

#WBOYC in July


OK, we have another short (in letters) month this month, but a few more things on the calendar


Just one night of dog-sitting Daisy was on the calendar and then she suddenly came into season which meant her dog-sitter could not have her to stay while our daughter and family went on holiday.  She loves Coco but the feeling isn't reciprocated, so its not been a relaxing time!


Unfit - back to Zumba I go after a long break.  I wasn't allowed to exercise for 4 weeks after my operation and then I went on holiday.  By then I'd run out of excuses so back I went!  But having such a long break meant I really enjoyed being able to get back.  You would think all the walking I did in Sicily would have kept me fit - but no!


Looking forward to lots of cake (and children) at Max's birthday party tomorrow - those four years has flown by!

Lunch with ex-work colleagues makes me realise how lucky I was to work with such lovely ladies and how good it is to keep in touch. Two get togethers this month - we all had much news to share!


Yes to all the gelato in Sicily, not to mention the fish, the cappuccino, Prosecco by the pool and the caprese salads!  We thoroughly enjoyed our week there and returned just before the heatwave hit that area.  Cefalu was a really interesting town.  The cathedral there is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

So let’s see how the month has looked so far, 1 Second Everyday!

Enough of me - click on the link and let's head over to the other side of the world and see how things are in the other Deb's World!

Wednesday 26 July 2023

What I’ve been reading in July

 I had lots of reading time this month while I was on holiday and have enjoyed a variety of styles.

Firstly the book which was chosen by our online book club - The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell.

Tallulah is a young, single mum who lives with her baby son with her mum, Kim.  One evening she goes out for the evening with the father of her baby, Zach, who is keen to get back together with Tallulah.  Late in the evening she texts her mum but when Kim wakes in the early hours she discovers that Tallulah has not returned home.  Friends of Tallulah tell Kim that Tallulah and Zach left the pub to go to a pool party at a house in the woods.  No one has seen them since.  

A year later the nearby school employs a new headteacher who moves into a cottage on the edge of the same woods with his girlfriend.  While wandering around her new home, Sophie finds a sign in the woods saying 'Dig here'. So begins the unravelling of the mystery behind Tallulah and Zach's disappearance.

This book has many twists and turns and several likely conclusions - I have to admit that I did not manage to guess the ending!

A very different book next, The Keeper of Stories by Sally Page.

Janice finds that being 'just a cleaner' means the people sometimes forget she is in their house and unwittingly reveal their life stories.  She starts to collect these random stories.  When she is asked to help Mrs B, the 90 year old mother of one of her clients, she discovers that you really cannot judge a book by its cover.  Mrs B encourages Janice to tell her own story, and it is one which reveals much that Janice has kept hidden over the years.

This was a nice easy read and I really enjoyed meeting the characters, especially Decius the dog!

So onto another One of the Girls by Lucy Clarke

Six women staying at a remote Greek villa, on a hen weekend celebrating the forthcoming wedding of Lexi and Ed.  Each chapter telling the story through the perspective of a different girl.  Some people know each other, some don't, some have known Lexi since school, and one is her future sister in law who knows none of the others.  One is loud and brash and would, I think, be a bit of a nightmare! Secrets are revealed, relationships start and end, and one person in the story will not be returning home.  

This was a great holiday read, I always enjoy reading a book set overseas in a holiday destination when I am away myself so if you are off on your travels (and even if you aren't!) this is a good book to take with you.

Finally One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid (who also wrote Daisy Jones and the Six)

Emma is enjoying a family dinner one evening with her fiancé Sam when she receives a phone call from her husband who she believed had died in a helicopter crash several years earlier.

Jesse had been her high school boyfriend and they had lived a life of adventure travelling the world before they married.  Just one day before their first wedding anniversary Jesse is on a helicopter that goes missing.  The bodies of the others on board are found along with the wreckage but as time goes on, it can only be assumed that Jesse had died too despite no body being found.  

It takes a long time for Emma to accept that he isn't coming back and she returns to her home town where she reunites with her friend Sam.  As she finally feels able to put her grief to one side their friendship turns into love and they get engaged.  Unbeknown to them, Jesse had survived and has been desperately trying to get back to civilisation.

Now Emma is in a dreadful dilemma.  Should she return to her husband or make a future with her fiance?  I really could not tell which way Emma would go - what an unenviable choice she has to make.  Ultimately I think she makes the right choice but it's a bit of a rollercoaster while she is making her decision!

One last book, Single by K L Slater 

Now, this book certainly kept my attention!
Following the death of Joel, Darcy finds herself as a single mum of two boys. On a trip out one afternoon, one of the boys has an asthma attack and whilst waiting for an ambulance, his life is saved by an off duty surgeon.  George is also a single parent whose wife has died after the birth of twins, one of whom died very shortly after her birth. After delivering him a thank you note, Darcy soon starts a relationship with him and after a whirlwind romance Darcy and her two sons move in with George and his daughter.

The grandparents of her sons are shocked by her actions and try to make her reconsider, threatening to obtain custody of their grandchildren. On a holiday break over Christmas a stranger lurking in the woods tries to abduct George’s daughter Romy. George has no alternative but to tell Darcy that someone has been stalking him and she now wonders if she has led her sons into a dangerous situation.

Boy are there some surprises in this book! So many secrets being kept by all and many truths turn out to be lies.  A good read, be prepared to reconsider your view on all the characters!

Monday 24 July 2023

Me on Monday

 This Monday's post comes with help from a small black miniature dachshund.  She is so used to her 'mummy' working from home on her computer, the minute she saw me at the keyboard she demanded to settle in on my lap.  She is now resting her head on my wrist as I type so this could be slow progress!

So we are half way through our unexpected house guest's stay and I suspect that Coco has a calendar hidden somewhere, ticking off the days until she goes home!  She isn't really any trouble except she is desperate to be friends with Coco and Coco just wants to be an 'only child'.  Weirdly, she doesn't like going for walks whereas Coco loves two long walks a day so she does get some space away from her!

Last week there was a fun meet up with some lovely ladies that I used to work with, a day with Olive and a return to Zumba so it was a nice sociable return from our holidays. It was so good to get back to dancing again, it's such a happy way to spend an hour.

We have been watching the BBC drama The Sixth Commandment which kept us both enthralled.  The fact that it is based on a true story makes it even more chilling.  Timothy Spall is absolutely brilliant and Anne Reid is, as you would expect, excellent in her role.  I haven't seen Eanna Hardwick in anything else but he was totally believable as the awful Ben, taking advantage of lonely, susceptible elderly people.  

This week sees us taking turns to go out as I'm not confident about leaving the two dogs on their own.  It's Max's 4th birthday on Tuesday and although we won't be seeing him then, we will be at his party on Saturday.  He caught Olive's sick bug yesterday so I really hope he's feeling better by tomorrow.  I'm meeting up for lunch with my author friend on Thursday after my Zumba class.  She is in the process of the final editing on her current book so no doubt we will be discussing likely storylines for the next one!

The weather has been awful since our return from Sicily, I can't believe that just over a week ago I was sweltering in the heat and desperate to find a bit of shade.  Thank goodness we are not there this week when the temperatures are predicted to be over 40c.  I'm hoping that our wet weather is just a blip and that the dry, warm weather will return after this week.  Note that I said 'warm' not blisteringly hot - there are some crazy weather conditions going on over in Europe.

Have a good week!

Monday 17 July 2023

Me on Monday

 I'm back!  What a lovely week we had in Sicily - we really had a lovely relaxing time. So this was me last Monday, let me share some photos

This is the Cathedral (Duomo) Don't be fooled by the apparently cloudy sky, it was still a very hot day as time went on!

So many pretty arches along the pathways in the centre of town

It's quite hilly there and lots of the steps in town had these beautiful coloured planters along the edge of them

One day we climbed the tower of the Duomo; this was a view of the cloisters from half way down - it was so much cooler down there in the shade!

We felt that we had earned a tasty treat after all that exercise, that lemon cake garnished with pistachios and redcurrant was absolutely delicious

A typical street in the centre of town

We soon discovered a favourite place for mid morning cappuccino and cannoli.  Before we went, I didn't think I liked cannoli, I always got in such a mess eating them.  Freshly cooked cannoli in Sicily is so delicious and has changed my opinion, this was my favourite, one end filled with pistachio paste and the other with creamed ricotta.

Sunset came quite early in Cefalu, about 8.30.  This was a view from a restaurant table near the harbour.

Have I whet your appetite for a trip to Sicily?  It was lovely there and we certainly increased our step counts wandering around the streets which almost justified the sweet treats we enjoyed mid mornings! It was very hot and according to the newspapers it will apparently be getting hotter in the next few weeks.  The temperatures were about 32 every day but according to my weather app, the 'feels like' temperature was around 39.  Fortunately our hotel had lots of shady areas to escape the heat around the pool and there was a lovely breeze if you went to the beach so it was not unbearable.

So this Monday finds me in post holiday mood and post holiday washing and ironing!  This week I will also be returning to Zumba - that's going to be a shock to the system but I have missed it and I also need to get back to a little more healthy eating.  I must also try to avoid visiting the Sicilian Deli that has opened in town ;-)

I will probably put off starting those post holiday jobs by checking in on the blog posts I have missed over the last week.  I am very good at procrastinating, especially where ironing is concerned.  

I also need to break the news to Coco that we have unexpectedly got to have a certain little black dachshund come and stay with us for a week while our daughter and her family go on holiday.  The little rascal has unexpectedly come into season and the dog minder who was going to have her won't take any dog in season. I can understand she doesn't want the responsibility.  Needless to say she is booked in for a little op as soon as they are back from holiday!

Monday 3 July 2023

Me on Monday

 So it is all about Coco this Monday and today you find me looking back over the big drama of last week.

The one where Coco started off in big trouble and ended up having lots of treats and cuddles.  It was Tuesday evening, Paul had come home from playing badminton and was about to go to the pub.  Coco had her supper and went out into the garden.  So far, so normal.  Paul was about to go out the door when I realised that Coco hadn't come back in so I called her and expected to see a little white fluffy face appear from the flower beds.  Nothing.  Looked down our side paths.  Nothing.  I said to Paul that Coco had 'disappeared' (never one to make an overstatement!) so he came out to look for her to no avail.  I went in to get a box of treats, thinking that if I shook them, she would hear it and come running.  Paul thought he could hear her whimpering somewhere.  Following the sound to the end of the garden he saw her behind the shed.  There is not room for a dog behind the shed, and there certainly isn't room for a human to get there either.  We tried enticing her out with the treats - she wasn't budging.  I managed to get my shoulder through the gap and grab hold of her collar to pull her towards me but she was not moving.  Our cries of 'come out of there - NOW' were to no avail.  Then in the depths of the gap I could see that she had been trapped by the stems of a plant that was growing behind there, she must have gone in, turned round to come out and wound it round her hind legs.  Paul and I managed to grab hold of some of the stems and wrench them out of the ground and the ones wrapped round her legs gradually loosened and out she finally came.  Needless to say we were all suffering from 'Post Traumatic Shed Syndrome'.  I had visions of having to call out the fire brigade! Needless to say the side of the shed (where she has never ventured before) now has quite an assault course of pots and trellis blocking it off.

Today is actually a big day for Coco too - her 12th birthday.  She's having a quiet day at home but will probably be having a few extra treats and a longer than usual walk to celebrate.

It's all about holiday preparation this week.  The packing list is done and I just have to make sure everything is washed and ironed - and for those things that only come out for holidays, try them on and make sure they still fit! We also have to sneak the suitcases down from the loft in secret so Coco doesn’t notice them.

Coco will be spending her week at my sister's house - yes she has a packing list too.  No doubt she is in for a week of extra attention - thankfully they don't have a shed so that is one thing that we don't have to worry about!