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?  

Monday 11 March 2024

Me on Monday 11 March

 Hello! Here we are on yet another Monday. 

When I left you on Friday I was nervous about the craft afternoon. I should not have worried, they were a lovely bunch of ladies and they were very complimentary about my crochet! It turned out I knew three of them, although I hadn’t seen them for about 20 years when our sons all played football together. So we had a lot of mutual friends and quite a few years of catching up to do. 

Friday evening at the Lost in Music concert was wonderful.  So much fun; I knew all the songs and remembered all the words so had a marvellous time singing along!

There was a lot of Earth, Wind and Fire, Gloria Gaynor, Diana Ross - all the classic disco sounds. There was a lot of dancing in the aisles 😊

Now in case you’re wondering about my daughter’s World Book Day costume, she did an amazing job. She ran into town and found a fleece hoody with teddy bear ears on the hood, and a pair of fleece leggings in the same colour greatly reduced in a sale. She popped into Poundland and found a red dog collar, tweaked the ears of the hoody into a more canine shape and used a brown eyeshadow to paint a patch over one eye. Apparently Rosie couldn’t believe her eyes when she came into class, not only was the secret reader her mum, but she was dressed as the dog in the story!

This is my birthday week, and on my birthday my son is taking me out to lunch. One to one time with your kids when they are grown up is precious and I’m so thrilled that he’s organised it. I feel very blessed.  So this is my last pre-state pension post - Doesn't that make me sound old?  I certainly don't feel like a pensioner so I'm convincing myself that you are only as old as you feel 😉

Friday 8 March 2024

Let’s sit and have a cup of coffee


Thought I would share a picture of the lovely coffee I had when we last went up to Cambridge, sadly my barista skills are not to this standard!

Just a quick post today as I have to leave for my crafting lunch in an hour.  I am ridiculously nervous about it, the sensible side of my brain is saying 'don't be silly, it's just a group of craft loving ladies getting together to share their interests' and the other side is saying 'but I only know one other person there and I have no idea how these things work, do we just sit there and knit/sew/crochet?  Will they be comparing work? etc etc'. I haven't even got together all the things I need to take with me.

So let me just share an amusing thing that happened to my daughter this morning.  Actually, I think everyone else is finding it more amusing than she is.  At the school that her children attend, the reception class finish each day with them all sitting on the mat and listening to a story.  Every now and again there will be a 'secret reader' who will be one of the children's parents.  The idea is to surprise everyone so it has to be kept secret.  My daughter put her name down to join in at the beginning of term and today is the day that was allocated to her.  She's chosen to read one of Rosie's favourite books 'Ruffles and the teeny tiny kittens' about a puppy who has four little kittens come to stay and how they upset his routine and want to play with his most favourite thing which he does not want to share.  

Now, yesterday was World Book Day, but at this school they have their 'non uniform' days on Fridays so the children have all dressed as their favourite book characters today.  As my daughter took Rosie to the door, all dressed up in her Isadora Moon costume, the teacher took her aside and whispered 'What will you be dressing up as?' What?  'All the teachers have dressed up too and I'm sure you'll want to join in'. 
What a panic.  Of course she hadn't realised that she would be expected to dress up, and she certainly doesn't have a dog or cat costume hanging around at home!  It will be interesting to see what she can pull together!  

Thanks for popping by!

Monday 4 March 2024

Me on Monday 4 March

 Welcome to the start of a new week.  I've got a nice relaxing day ahead of me, which is well needed as we had all the family here yesterday to celebrate a hundred years of birthdays, and here's a cake to prove it!

I had the same problem with those chocolate numbers that I used to have when using alphabet stickers on scrapbook pages, you never seem to have quite the right ones that you need and have to improvise - with an 'o' in place of a zero in this case!  It was a bit of an early celebration; my son's birthday is tomorrow and mine is a couple of weeks time. 

I'm trying something new on Friday.  A friend of mine is hosting a crafting lunch with a group of people she used to work with, kind of a 'knit and natter', and she has asked me if I'd like to join them.  I was so pleased to be invited but as it is getting closer I'm wondering if my crochet will be up to their standards of crafting!  I'm sure it will be fine.  

Then in the evening I am going to a concert of 70s music with my daughter.  I'm so looking forward to it but what a dilemma, what should I wear?  Ideas will be gratefully received!

Have a good week x 

Friday 1 March 2024

#WBOYC February 2024


It's a leap year so we get an extra day in February, although it's still the shortest month of the year.  What was on my calendar?  


Finally finishing my Wasgij jigsaw.  It is really hard to complete a jigsaw when you don't know what the picture is!  (Confession time, I did have to google the solution to get started but from then on I tried to do it without any further clues)


Easting and drinking, what a good job I didn't make any new year's resolutions to eat sensibly and healthily all the time!  Nine meals or lunches with friends.


Booked a vineyard tour.  Jon and Sophie bought us a voucher for a vineyard tour, wine tasting and sharing cheese board as our Christmas present so as soon as the 2024 dates were released I booked us in for a few months time.  I didn't even know we had a vineyard anywhere near us!  I will report back when we have been.


Resisting the urge to do my crocheting as quickly as possible (my usual way of working) so that I can properly enjoy the process of making my next blanket.


Unsubscribing from marketing emails.  You know how you get 10% off your first order if you subscribe to online companies?  Then they bombard you on almost a daily basis trying to entice you to buy things you really don't need.  So rather than have temptation filling up my inbox, every morning I am unsubscribing to each email I didn't really want to receive and boy has the amount of emails I am receiving reduced and now I only see special offers from companies I really want to buy from!


Ashamed of the state of my nails, honestly they have never been in such bad condition.  I haven't had a professional manicure for so long.  This was well overdue and I am now loving my nails and waving my hands around as much as possible so they get the attention they deserve! They even match the jumper I was wearing to the appointment.


Researching somewhere to go for a long weekend with Coco once the weather settles down and spring arrives.  We narrowed it down to the Kent coastline and now have a cottage booked for a few months time.


Yearning for a rest after half term childcare duties.  Either they are getting more energetic or I am getting older 😉

So that's it for another month.  Thanks to Deb at the other Deb's World for organising this round up and let's end on the 1 Second Everyday video of the month.