Books · Cooking · Crafts · History · Jottings

Ten Years of Lists and Reviews – 2012

Here I am looking back for the third time at my last ten years of blogging, the year is 2012.

A big year, the London Olympics and the year sadly my nanny passed away. I think the latter has been the cause of some stuff in the years following and perhaps now as I look back and I can see some trigger points and some things I could have handled better. Life is certainly a learning curve.

I have learnt to accept that your blog changes as the years go past and the you change and what you read changes.

Back in 2012 I was still very much challenging myself with my reading, trying to broaden my horizons. In some ways successful in others not. I do not put so much pressure on myself now.

Of course there is still baking and this recipe for Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Guinness Cake is still being used now all these years later and remains a firm favourite within my family and also in the office. It seems to get better days after you gave cooked it providing it lasts that long.

The bacon and cheese straws here have not been remade – and I think they need to be!

I don’t think I have attempted Gingerbread men either since

There seems to be a theme here – starting and not carrying on!

As for the books that stand out – the first must go to the debut novel for Rachel Joyce – The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

Newly retired, Harold Fry receives a letter one morning from Queenie, a woman he used to work with; she has written to say that she is nearing the end of her life. After much soul searching Harold drafts a reply and goes out after his breakfast to post the letter. However he gets to the first post box and rather than post the letter he keeps on walking onto the next, suddenly he finds himself making an unlikely journey by walking from his home in Devon to Queenie in Berwick on Tweed.

Another book which I absolutely adored and realise I have never seen the film adaptation was The Light Between the Oceans – M.L. Stedman

We are transported to Australia in fact to the bottom of the world where you can see nothing but the sea and the sky, we are on Janus Rock where the Janus lighthouse stands, between the two oceans.

Tom is now lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock……

…….he meets another force of nature Isabel Graysmark who makes her mark just as the rocks do to the unfortunate ships that do not make it.

This is the only book published by this author, I wonder why?

Katie Fforde has published a plethora of books this was the first year that I read one and the love has continued ever since. My first one was Paradise Fields

Nel has a full life. Not only is she a mother to three children, growing up and away from her, she is struggling with her weight as all women at time do, she is passionate about the farmers markets which she has been paramount in getting off the ground in her small village, fundraising is another passion for the local children’s hospice. Plus walking her dogs and making fabulous shaped and themed cakes. Is there time for anything else? Is there time for romance?

And that year I ploughed through Living Dangerously, Going Dutch, A Perfect Proposal, Staying Away at Christmas. I have still not caught up on them all and despite reading at least one a year, Katie is still writing!

2012 saw the debut of what has become a staple of BBC Sunday night television – Call the Midwife. I read all three books before it even got as far as the box in the corner. I will find the reviews and re-share on here. How the programme has gone from strength to strength. It will no doubt have to come to an end as the role of Midwives changes in the community but for now – relish in the triumphs and the sad moments and if you ever get the chance go and read the books.

If you know me well enough you know that swimming is my thing – I am not fantastic, I am a breast stroke swimmer and have more endurance than speed but also swimming gives me head space. Time to digest, process and breathe through everything that has been going on. I am lucky enough to go to a place that has an indoor and outdoor pool and it was back in 2012 I thought I would try swimming before work. I made this lovely gift for the then cleaners who used to put my wet towel and costume through the wash for me. Sadly no longer at work, but I still dry my towel and costume every time I go swimming.

And if anything – I look more like this now than I did in 2012!

2012 was the year started lots of things and some of have carried on like the swimming and other things have perhaps had a bit of a hiatus or even just disappear completely. Jottings as this blog became more a jotter type blog than it did a book journey became a #hashtag before they really became a thing.

My jottings posts started in 2012 and had 9 posts which contained lots of bits and pieces of stuff I wanted to share with you all.; swimming, books, cooking, links, television, reading, World Book Night, articles in the paper, news snippets a complete jotter full of stuff! These ‘#jotter’ posts stopped in 2015 and as the blog has changed and moved on.

Other #hashtag posts started in 2012 were Acquisitions and Family Traditions and Book Club. All for one reason and another have not continued. The Book Club went on for a good couple of years, but as friendship groups morph and develop sometimes you start to realise who people are and that perhaps what is one of your loves is just a considered lip service to keep seeing certain friends and you end up being used.

I did discover Reading Day’s, book festivals and meeting authors which has certainly continued as the years have gone and perhaps now a bit more accessible thanks to social media.

But the first event was back in 2012 in Winchester, accessible by train for me and introduced me to another world! It is a while since I have been to one, but I think I would like to return to some very soon when I can simply share my love of reading as this is why I started the blog in the first place – the rest was simply a bonus!

So whilst much has come and gone on this blog something has stayed around and that is Six in Six

It is a select few people who come back every year and I am very glad that they do. I have no intention of giving this up, a once a year event seems to be manageable with a blog when you have lots of other things going on.

So that was 2012 in a swift(ish) post.

Looking back at 2011 I was thinking I might need to find some to find some Nicola Upson books, Persephone books, visit a library and remake Scotch Eggs! Now looking back at 2012, I need to add to gingerbread men to the baking list and perhaps carry on

What will be added to the list from looking back in 2013?

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Sunday Snippets and Stuff

It has been absolutely ages (July 2015)  since I posted about what I was doing as opposed to all the reading and reviewing that has been going on.

I have plenty I have wanted to share, but for one reason or another have not got round to sharing it. I want to say that will change, but I cannot promise. So I thought perhaps a little update would be good.

Watching – 2016 started off as a cracking year for drama on the telly box. I loved Silent Witness, Death in Paradise, War and Peace, Midsomer Murders, Vera. I was drawn right into Happy Valley and I am awaiting for The Night Manager to end, despite knowing what happens in the book. Grantchester is keeping me entertained and I do so enjoy this series of books if you have never got round to it. I am watching Dr Thorne and I have nothing to compare it to, as I have never read any Trollope but I am enjoying it all the same.

Reading  – slowly so it would seem to my Goodreads count. No doubt I will gain some momentum with bank holidays in the distance.

Knitting – Remember this


Well it has now turned into this (excuse poor quality photo)

IMG_0913 (1)
and even though in the photo, the ends are still hanging about I can assure you they have been sewn in and I am wearing it as I type.

It was my very first attempt at making something to wear. Most of my knitting, consists of scarves and toys, the odd pair of gloves and some socks.

Still Finishing – the socks, the cross stitch I had mentioned in November last year.  Though I did finish the Christmas Decoration I was making so 1 out of 3 is good – isn’t it?


Starting – After something big to knit, I needed something small to keep me occupied. You cannot get much smaller than a premature baby and so I am adding to the local maternity unit vast need for premature baby hats.

2 finished, 1 to make up and all 3 need buttons on.
2 finished, 1 to make up and all 3 need buttons on.

Eating – too much. The weight loss has gone, I now need to find the part of my brain that switches me off from comfort eating.

Solving  – The Mousetrap. I knew who the culprit was but it was the first time I had ever seen it on stage, more about that in another post. I promise, because I have written about it already!

Worrying – Trouble with having a pet, even if it is vicariously through your parents animal, is worrying when they are ill. Little Stanley has had Gastritis and was proper poorly, it is only in the last day or so he has perked up and his little personality is starting to shine once again.


So how are things with all of you?

Books · Cooking · Crafts · Cross Stitch · Jottings · Knitting · Witterings

Now where was I……..

Remember this list

  • have finished a piece of cross stitch, a book related one too, that has been on the go for a while.
  • I have started and finished a knitted hedgehog.
  • I have started another piece of cross stitch…..
Lizzie Kate Designs – using up all the threads I have acquired in the past years.
  • I am busy trying to finish a pair of socks…..
This is sock 2. Sock 1 just needs to be re-grafted as I did it wrong. I am nearly at the end of this one so perhaps a finish soon…….
  • I have completed a jigsaw which had been hanging around for over 2 years and is now complete, so I started another one…..
  • I am now starting to think about Christmas Presents, and ones that I could possible make……


  • I have been away to somewhere new and would love to tell you all about it….
  • I have watched the latest adaptation of An Inspector Calls on the television and I want to share my thoughts about it and the play which I reread before it started…..
  • Stanley is still delighting everyone and is now 17 26 weeks old, with teeth as sharp as razors and a personality to match!

This was the day he arrived:


This is him today:



  • I want to share some of my baking virtually of course……

So whilst I have not crossed anything else off my list, I have at least shown you some works in progress.

Which means I need to rethink my list:

  • Finish the socks
  • Complete another part of the cross stitch – it will eventually look like this I hope

  • Finish at least one Christmas Present and make it up from the pieces you can see from the photograph earlier on in this post
  • I have watched the latest adaptation of An Inspector Calls on the television and I want to share my thoughts about it and the play which I reread before it started…..
  • More of my jigsaw that I started needs to be done, this one cannot possibly take 3 years!
  • Baking pictures. Although I am debating this at the moment, due to having got on the scales and seen that whilst I managed to lose an impressive 5 and 1/2 stone in 2012. I have seriously failed to maintain this weight loss. I readily admit to myself that this is probably one of the reasons for the lack of momentum with many things in life at the moment, this blog included.

Trouble with crafting is you start other projects and therefore I picked up a free pattern, the needles and bought some wool and then……..


Whoops! Another thing for the list then

  • Finish the V neck cardigan.

Think that might be enough for the list for the time being.

You may or may not have noticed, but I have made no mention of books on this list. I probably should because whilst I am reading, I am not writing reviews. Not having enough time at the moment, work has turned busy as I have had to increase my workload and probably will be like this until I finish for Christmas on the 18th December. Also I refer back to my lack of momentum. But I am reading and enjoying it so please be patient. My only challenge will be to perhaps actually write a November Roundup post and see where that takes me.


Sour Cream and Blueberry Loaf


You know how it is, you have an urge to bake a cake.

I wanted to do something different, something with blueberries in (and not muffins) as I had a surfeit of them and whilst I do eat them nearly every day, it would be nice to do something else with them, rather than have them with my breakfast.

When in doubt head to Good Housekeeping and see what that throws up. (Not quite the right terminology!)

Well it came up with Sour Cream and Blueberry Loaf with a crumble topping.

Challenge One – I have never made crumble mix before, mainly because my mum is an expert at it.

Challenge Two – Was my cake tin going to leak as it did the other week whilst making the obligatory cake for my boss’ birthday.

Challenge Three – Were the blueberries going to sink

Challenge Four – Was it going to taste ok

Anyway, nothing ventured nothing gained and I was impressed with my first foray of crumble – though made the mistake of whizzing sugar and flour and butter together, rather than adding the sugar at the end. And the butter was not cold and hard enough as I have spreadable stuff to make it easier for creaming (and putting on toast!)

The tin does not leak – As you can see from the picture I used one of those ready-made cake tin linings and it was fine – of course it is not loaf shape but I was testing the tin.

Blueberries moved around sufficiently and burst in the cake.

It tasted scrummy and more than one slice was consumed when I took it to work, where people who never eat fruit had at least two slices. Apparently it would have been nice with cream or custard – there is no pleasing some people!

This is a recipe I will make again I think. You could certainly do it with or without the crumble topping. And next time I will take a picture of it cut – I just did not have chance.

And in case you want to have a go:

For the Loaf:


  • 50 ml vegetable oil, plus extra to grease
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 200 ml sour cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200 g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 175 g caster sugar
  • 125 g blueberries

For the Crumble Topping


  • 15 g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 40 g plain flour
  • 15 g demerara sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan) mark 4. Grease and line a 900g (2lb) loaf tin with baking parchment. First make crumble topping: in a medium bowl, rub butter into flour using your fingertips until it clumps together (the clumpier, the better!). Stir in sugar and set aside.
  2. In a large jug, mix eggs, sour cream, oil and vanilla until combined. In a separate large bowl, stir together flour and sugar. Add wet mixture to the dry bowl and stir until almost combined (a few lumps are a good thing in this recipe).
  3. Carefully fold in most of the blueberries and empty mixture into the prepared tin. Tap the base on a work surface to level, then scatter over the crumble topping and remaining berries.
  4. Bake for about 50min or until golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in tin for 10min then gently ease out of tin. Serve warm or at room temperature.

To see the full details of this recipe then click here which will take you to the Good Housekeeping website.

Books · Cooking · Crafts · Cross Stitch · Jottings · Knitting · Witterings

Changes and Challenges

The readers of this blog may have noticed a new theme – bear with me, you may notice different ones over the coming weeks. I have yet to decide on the one that I feel comfortable with. The reason for this sudden appearance change, is no more than I feel like getting the broom out and sweeping through everything. I feel like I have many things on the go and nothing being accomplished.

For my reading world – The challenges I set myself at the beginning of the year are bumping along nicely. I seem to be lacking in the Wodehouse department, but I am reading one currently. The 12 random reads is over half done and I think it is a good way of reminding yourself what you have on your bookshelf.

I have my Mary Stewart book to read for Mary Stewart Reading Week which starts Sunday 14 September. I have perhaps foolishly, put myself in a position to read and review a book in a week.

Going into October is the Margaret Kennedy Reading Week and I have bought a book ready to go for that.

Plus I have my Book Group book to read and the November book also ready to go. I have just bought the new Hercule Poirot and very excited to be reading that. Trouble is I am already reading a book – The Mysterious Affair at Castaway House and it has just got good. I know as readers we all say SO many books SO little time but oh gosh it’s true.

I set myself the challenge to review every book I read way back in 2007 and in the main other than some rereads of Enid Blyton, I have done just that. Lately I have struggled mainly because I read so much during August and I felt I was never going to get on top of it all (I did and I have) but because I felt the reviews were rather lacklustre. I am merely no doubt just suffering from a bit of self-doubt and can’t see the light out of this particular tunnel. I have made a change and now have a little notebook which I scribble down thoughts about a book once finished, as it sometimes is a while until I get to write the review. This notebook has been a godsend as it is full of all sorts now – as I think of things and I need to scribble them down.

I point your attention to a new page at the top of my blog – Author’s List of Works. This is certainly a new challenge and work in progress. Because I read so many books by the same author, I wanted to consolidate that information into one place and so you will see that I will list their works and also with links to my reviews. Three authors are up there so far, but this will increase as time goes on. Do tell me what you think?

So that is the reading, but there is also all the other things that I enjoy doing. I have too many projects on the go and I need to start finishing them. Trouble is I see something and I want to have a go at that… then something else pops up and so on.

  • I have some cross stitch I have not picked up in months (if not over a year) and it has not that much to do on it but yet it remains untouched.
  • There is a bookmarker which I enjoy making which has yet to be finished.
  • An ornament I made just needs its ribbon re-stitching on there.
  • There  are some knitted hearts that I need to do something with
  • Knitted juggling balls just need finishing off and bells attached
  • A purse needs finishing off and the crochet by my mum needs attaching
  • A pom pom explosion has happened and I have had a fanciful idea of making a rug… it has waned somewhat.

photo (37)

  • Then I saw some entralac knitting and wanted to have a go…..

photo (36)

  • But I am in the middle of knitting a cowboy

photo (35)

I think I need to finish some of these nearly finishes!

I need to treat it all as mini challenges. But I am sure as the nights draw in and there is more interesting things on the TV (well I can dream) I can concentrate on some of them.

Another challenge I am working on in the latter part of the year is to lose weight. It is not something that I ever if at all go on about on here, but I am trying and so far so good. Breaking away from a well known slimming group and going it alone with a group of friends, still following the same principles in two weeks has worked out quite well. Early stages and I want to get to the 6 week stage, as I know a lot of it is to do with habits and breaking them.

With the push for weight loss, comes the change I need in my exercise routine. I am stuck in a rut with it and whilst I enjoy it, I need to do something else as my body is becoming too used to it. So I have decided to change it around, and mix it up and as of this morning, puffed my way round a little circuit in the gym, something I have not done for ages and ages. I will push myself swimming and concentrate on not lifting my shoulders out the water and breathing correctly and not straining my neck.  So far so slowly, however I have noticed that my neck is not so strained but I keep holding my breath!

Sometimes we need to just shake everything up a bit and as you may have noticed I have not exactly set myself anything specific, just sorted of laid it all bare for me to see (and you if you have read this far). I wonder how I will feel in a few weeks time? In the meantime ….. ever onwards.


Books · Cooking · Crafts · Jottings · Knitting · Witterings


I could have done an A-Z of general stuff and chit chat before, but my head seems to be full of numbers at the moment and not just work related either.  So here are a few, numbers…

1 Mile – before number 2 came about I managed to shave just under a minute of my time. I had built up to it all week and I was very pleased with myself. I better say that I mean my swimming! 64 lengths is a mile.

2 Colds/cough in the space of 2 months. This is very unlike me. The latest one has left with me with a croaky voice, I sound worse than I actually feel. My sinuses were visible apparently and my ears blocked. Which made me grumpy because I was not well enough to go swimming.

3 Episodes of Jamaica Inn, I sat through them all, with the sound up, I did not get as far as the subtitles, it never occurred to me but I was disappointed with the BBC. I know this was such a long time ago now, but it still bugs me, because I really think this may have put people off reading her work.

1 weekend to go until we get another bank holiday. I really do think this country needs a couple more spread throughout the year, movable perhaps depending on when Easter falls. I cannot wait for a lie in or at least to get up and make a cup of tea and go back to bed with my book!

Apparently I am currently 2 books behind with my reading to aim for 100 this year. I am not overly worried as there is always going to be more time to read when the World Cup Football starts. I have also just finished writing 2 reviews and I have 2 more to do.

Take 3 Hollywood actors and just watch this – I love it .

finished shawl for my mum which I have been knitting and I have yet to blog about it. I promise I will do it soon.

2 knitted toys made. Another one started. I seem to be on a roll and it means I have not been picking so my weight is going down.

weeks since I baked anything. Although I have made some jelly sweets,but that does not count.

I have not done any stitching for ages which I must rectify. I have been out twice to dinner, both times to cracking restaurants. I spotted myself on the Antiques Roadshow. I am off out to another NT Live production. I have a 13th birthday party to attend, a picnic, a hen weekend, a colour run, a Summer Ball. I am booked to go to some events at the West Meon Literary Festival in July. Then further afield there is my sojourn to a spa in August, tickets to see Jeeves and Wooster at the theatre in November.

So much going on and do you know what – I am loving it! Life is too short and remembering the young Stephen Sutton who lost his battle with cancer this week, life is also precious and fragile. Enjoy every bit of it.


Anyone for Coffee?

I was in a baking mood again and lunch across at my friend and neighbours meant that if I baked I had an excuse and I would not eat it all myself!

Coffee and Walnut cake kept going round in my head, so it was that which I was going to make. I have made it many times, but wondered how it would work as a tray bake type of cake instead of a round sandwich type. Only one way to find out I suppose…..

It also gave me an excuse for using again my new Mary Berry Traybake tin, with markers for cutting which I bought from Lakeland last month. I have just realised I christened it with low fat chocolate brownies and I never even photographed them let alone write about them!

So using my 6 or everything method. (mentioned more in depth here) Obviously for the coffee element, I put a couple of teaspoons of decent coffee in a cup and poured a little boiling water on to make it liquid but obviously extremely strong and not meant to be drunk. I added this a bit at a time, until I felt that the mixture was the right colour, (there may have been a little bit of tasting). Then the walnuts, just broken up, scattered and folded in until I felt there was enough. As you can see no measuring with these things.

Then in the tray and in the oven and bake until skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool and then decorate.

I chose to stick to the buttercream icing and again added coffee in to taste. I used a different nozzle on my icing syringe this time and the end result was this…..

Coffee Cake Tray Bake

What would I do different – well the only thing is, I think make more of the mixture – 8 of everything instead of 6. There was not enough for a good even spread throughout the tin. And I need to practice ny icing a bit more, but this only about the 5th time of trying and I am not really trying to impress anyone, just enjoy the process.

The tin makes 12 and I know there are 9 in the picture but well you have to taste test – don’t you?

So what next, I am thinking perhaps some biscuits – so will look out a suitable recipe.



Carrot Cake

I try and vary my posts on here a bit and I am sure some of you know that I do like cake and baking. (The bathroom scales know this too!) So I thought I would share a recent bake.

It was my mum’s birthday recently and I was at rather a loss as to what to get, she has most things, and if she wants it, she invariably goes and buys it. PLus coming fairly soon after Christmas makes it even harder. She did want two things, some green sieves/colander from Lakeland and a lighthouse (of the decoration variety not the out at sea ones). I decided that as it was a weekend I would make a birthday cake.

I went with carrots as my prefered cake choice, because both of us have a glut of them. Mainly because if you buy a bag they last forever if you live on your own or even with just the two of you. We invariably end up sharing what we have bought, carrots, onions, parsnips etc.

Next was to find a recipe, I had a look in the books that I have but some of them were a bit ambitious and I was slightly put off so I turned to the internet. I came across many, involving sultanas, nuts etc but I wanted a simple carrot cake. I eventually found one thanks to Good Housekeeping Magazine’s website.

So armed with the right ingredients – I only had to buy some oil and cream cheese. I embarked on some Saturday morning baking. This is the result:

Carrot Cake

  • My sugar was a bit solid and I should have broken it up a bit more before I whisked the oil and then the eggs as there was still a few hard lumps when it went in the oven.
  • I was a good girl and weighed out how much of the mixture went in both cake tins so it was even
  • And I even swapped them around in the oven halfway through cooking for an even bake (get me!)
  • The cream cheese frosting was a bit messy. I should have creamed the butter a bit more before I then added the cream cheese and icing sugar. When I spread it out for the middle I could see lumps of butter in it.
  • Because of the butter (above) the piping did not go according to plan, hence why it looks rather messy.
  • However I put some orange extract in the frosting to give it a bit of a zing!

However, mothers do not expect perfection from their children do they?

The cake was moist, the frosting and filling just enough and was enjoyed by everyone. Slight panic ensued when she decided to share it out amongst her friends as it is alright when you cook for mum and dad they accept your baking foibles – others might not!

It was a success though and if I had been quick enough I would have taken a picture of it sliced! I am going to make it again that is for sure, as I have the other half of the oil to use up in the cupboard and there will always be plenty of carrots!

I am also off to poke about at what recipes there are on the Good Housekeeping site and see if anything else inspires me.


Simply Cake

Lemon Curd Cake

I have had lately an urge to bake and of course eat cake. Not good for the weight loss but good for the soul. And I need that at the moment. So wanting to do exactly that and try out my new icing syringe and use up some Lemon Curd I thought I would have a go at a Lemon Curd Sponge Cake. The result is above.

Now the simple bit, when upon showing my friend who asked where I had the recipe from I said it was from my head and it was easy. 6 of everything, 3 eggs and bake it. Oh was the reply. It was not until later on that actually I began to think that maybe she did not really know what I was on about and why I was a bit blase about it.

Then it occurred to me – this recipe has been handed down from my mum who quite clearly got it from her mum and so on back through the generations. It is a simple sponge cake recipe and can be adapted to have jam and cream for a Victoria Sponge variety, or add coffee and walnut for a difference or cocoa and chocolate. Alternatively you can make the same mixture and put them into muffin or cupcake cases and tins for individual cakes. A simple recipe that can be adapted into many different things, hence I think why I was slightly vague about it all.

The other thing that occurred to me was this recipe is not written down. Not in my recipe book, nor my mums, not my nans which we found when clearing out her house after she passed away. The recipe just exists. I felt quite sad that it did but also how wonderful that something has carried on through the generations and still not been written down. We must all have picked it up from simply watching and helping to bake.

But in case anyone wants to know it is (sorry it is old measurements or old money as my mum says) :

6oz Butter

6oz Caster Sugar

6oz Self Raising Flour

3 Eggs

Cream the butter and the sugar together.

Mix in the eggs and the flour (sieved if you can be bothered) a bit at a time until all the ingredients are mixed together.

Divide between two lined and greased sandwich tins

Cook until springy to touch and a skewer comes out clean.

Decorate as you want

Now to the buttercream – different recipes are around but simply butter and icing sugar with a splash of milk to stop the icing sugar clouding up and going everywhere! I use the taste test as opposed to the measuring but a basis is double the amount of sugar to the butter.  I have a syringe cake decorator that you can fill with the buttercream and decorate to your heart’s content as you can see I did.

I did put a few sploges of cream between the two cakes, but that was mainly filled with lemon curd.

It was yummy even if I do say so myself. I will be making it again (actually I did for a girlie weekend away) and I must be brave and try a different decorator.  I am fancying the coffee and walnut variety next.

Books · Cooking · Crafts · Cross Stitch · Jottings · Knitting · Witterings

Another A to Z….

A is for Antiques Roadshow. It is coming to The Royal Marines Museum in a couple of weeks and I am off with some mugs/cups that my late Nan had, which I chose to keep. I don’t think they are worth much, but I can always live in hope. Plus might see Fiona Bruce too. Though I won’t tell Elaine at Random Jottings, who is not overly keen on her tv presence!

B is for Bank Holidays – we have two in May. I do love a four-day week!

C is for Canasta. One particular friend has got the rest of us into playing this rather long but thoroughly enjoyable card game – it has become addictive. And nights and afternoon’s out are based around us playing a few hands. 

is for Diet.  The last time I did one of these posts, D was for diet then – it still is. So perhaps the next letter down should be glossed over?

E is for eating out. I have been once to The Fish Factory at Littlehampton with friends, last year. Recently I went with my parents, and it was just as good. They liked it to and the choice of fish is wonderful, the chips delicious, the cheesecake for pudding divine and the portions ENORMOUS!

F is for future things to look forward to. London trip to include Afternoon Tea at Fortnum & Masons. Another Spa break, weekend away with the girls on the Isle of Wight. Readers Day at Winchester. Portsmouth Bookfest.

G is for Rosie Goodwin. I have never read any of her books before and was sent her latest Home Front Girls to read. I loved it, and it reminded me very much of the novels and sagas of  Maureen Lee.

H is for habits. It takes three weeks to break one apparently. I need to break the going down the biscuit aisle and buying biscuits and eating them all habit. It might help with the diet Jo! It worked this week – only 2 weeks to go then.

I is for Inferno – Dan Brown’s Inferno to be precise. It seems to have rather a mixed bag of reviews, page turning but not going to set fire to the literary world! As I still have The Lost Symbol to read, I think I might refrain from buying this one!

J is for Maggie Joel I have been sent The Second-Last Woman in England to read and review and she will be featuring on my blog towards the end of June.

K is for knitting. I have done a few characters lately, and have pictures on my iPad which I have now put into a post. Look out for them coming soon.

L is for Lego. I am a huge fan and if I had the room, it would all be out and built as it was when I was a kid. Then we had the space and I had a whole town set out, complete with train track that went round the perimeter. But in the interim I do have a wonderful shop that I was bought a couple of years ago for Christmas. When I opened this huge box, the sheer pleasure on my face apparently upset my dad, he could see the child in me still! It is still made, it took  me a couple of days and despite the dust I love looking at it. I am coveting one of the new exclusives ‘Palace Cinema’ but in the interim, I spotted this book Brick City – a Lego lovers dream – I bought it because it was half price in WHSmiths but if I had the money, the space and the Lego bricks…..

To celebrate the Royal nuptials of Prince William and his bride, Kate Middleton, four Adult Fans of LEGO built a giant scale replica model of a wedding ceremony at Westminster Abbey

M is for Money back from the gas man. I overpaid the last 6 months and did not use as much gas. It has been cold, for a lot longer than normal. But I love cosying up on the sofa or under the duvet with an extra blanket or two – and knitting invariably keeps you warm and saves money it turns out too.

N is for Nexus the new computer system at work. Don’t you just love a new computer system with a wire that goes into the wall but is nowhere near the computer and trails right across the office and is fixed down with black masking tape! To resolve it I was allowed to buy a longer cable – I went for pink. So what – I work in an office full of men.

is for Offer.  Work this one out if you will – 1 x  500g tub of Cottage Cheese is £1.90. 1 x 250g tub of Cottage Cheese is £1.45. That in itself is rather a rip off – then add in the buy 2 of the 250g tubs for £2.50 So that is £2.50 for 500g or £1.90 for 500g. Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.

P is for Pointless. The tea time programme on BBC1 is entertaining and informative. Both Richard Osman and Alexander Armstrong make me laugh – and people really do not know stuff!

Q is for Quentin. Caroline Quentin and her National Parks TV programme. She has been in Scotland, Wales and in her final programme into the New Forest. Her delivery and enthusiasm for all she does is rather good and the humour underlying is subtle as well. I have only caught the odd one or two of her Cornwall shows but I hope she does more discovering Britain programmes soon. It is what makes our country so unique.

R is for Running. I have been sneaking in a few little and short runs. But I really think running is not for me. Shin splints, despite proper footwear leave me aching too much. I am not getting the adrenalin kick that I do from this as I do from  swimming, Body Pump, Zumba and even walking. I am a walker not a runner.

S is for Sunday Roasts. Whether it be Chicken, Beef, Pork or Gammon. (I don’t like lamb) you can’t beat a roast with all the trimmings, surprisingly even though I rarely cook one. I decamp to my parents every Sunday where one is probably 99% guaranteed. And amazingly all cooked the slimming way too – and you could not tell. Well perhaps the lack of crispy potatoes but apart from that.

T is for Transworld. One of the lovely publishing houses that send me books galore and the chance to read books I would have avoided in a bookshop.

U is for Uniform. New company (currently same job!) but now I have to wear a fetching black and white spotty scarf! Along with the white shirt and black skirt that I have been wearing for aeons!

V is for Vesta Churchill. A character in Brighton Belle by Sara Sheridan (review coming soon). A young black female in Fifties Britain. An interesting idea which the author I am sure will develop as the series goes along.

W is for Winter it is still with us.

X is for X back swimming costumes – the stringy variety – I hate you! Give me a proper back if you will and something that does not get tangled up and tries to garrote me half way through a swim. I have now disposed of all said garments. Mind you what can you do with swimming costumes when the lyrca has gone on them other than throw them in the bin?

Y is for Yes there are some things repeated on this list, compared to my last one back in March! Not intentional, but I have just gone back and looked – funny how certain stuff stays in your conscience.

Z is for Zips. If you watched the Great British Sewing Bee then you will know putting in a zip is a difficult yet clever thing. When you spot a knitting pattern that has one in, I tink it is best to avoid it!

Thanks for persevering to the end. It felt like lately that I had not really been here on the blog, despite the book reviews and so I wanted to rectify that. I am here and in the coming days, weeks, months; there will be some knitting posts, there will be some book reviews and I also have a couple of books to giveaway – so there will be that too. Do pop by whenever you can, I really do appreciate it.