Wednesday, 12 August 2015

July 2015 -


The month opened with my getting rid of the last of my 1/12ths by giving them to a splendid lady who is organising a terrific Dolls House show, locally.  She did her first one last year and, being a glutton for punishment, is doing it again.  I so admire the energy and enthusiam of some people for the things they enjoy.  She also organises a local club which meets once a month.  I am lucky if I can just crank myself up to actually doing something on my minis instead of just thinking about it.  I seem to be doing a lot of the latter lately and not all good.

So we toddled along into the month with friends and meals and bits of gardening and miniing until the 11th rolled round and we nipped off to Chatton for a week, in part to meet up with my daughter and husband.  

Chatton is near Alnwick in Northumberland and is a neck of the woods that we have been to before but like it enough to go back.  This is a huge recommendation from me as I am famed for my 'been there, done that' attitude.  I like to think of it as a virtue and describe it as a low boredom threshold.

I am also a twerp and have now just discovered I didn't take a photo of our splendid little cottage - actually not so little.  Small from the outside but a veritable Tardis when you went in.  

Never mind, I do have a photo of the place next door.  


The Percy Arms Hotel

The Percy Arms Hotel has a good food reputation and, on Sunday, we decided to give it a shot.  We had the most bizarre experience ever.  

We later discovered most people enter through a side door from the car park and when you do that the place possibly makes more sense.  Silly us, walking all the way from next door, we went in through the main door at the front of the hotel.  We landed in a mini lobby with a choice of three doors - feeling like Alice in Wonderland we opted for the one which said Dining Room - rather than the one signed for Ladies Toilet (!) and another which I think said Private....   We entered a small but perfectly formed dining room all beautifully laid up but totally empty.  A member of staff appeared from (probably) the kitchen and I said, "Is the restaurant open?"  Yes, she says and proceeds to head off back through the hall and through the Ladies door so we duly followed her ......  into a bar where we were then abandoned.  Three servers, three muddled conversations, such as "Do you want to eat?" and three tables later we were finally seated.

Two more servers and more muddled conversations followed just trying to order some food.  There was nothing suitable for our gluten free member on the menu (Sunday lunch), they had mashed potatoes and they didn't have mashed potatoes.... eventually we asked for an alternative menu - only to be told that couldn't be done because "chef is in today".  Yes, chef being in means you get a choice of three things, the inference being if he wasn't in (???) you could have more.

Things went downhill from there and we left.

Ken and I braved it again later in the week at which point it transpired we had been sitting in the bar which had a limited selection on Sunday and the restaurant was a whole other large room somewhere else.  The empty dining room we first went in is apparently for hotel guests' breakfasts.

Don't ya just love British service.  How any foreign tourist ever returns, having visited once, I have no idea.

The post script is Ken and I had a perfectly normal lunch, served in a perfectly normal way and the food was delicious.

S & S came to visit for a couple of days, so we did a bit of a drive here and there and found the nearest 'home-made' decent ice cream place - which is an absolute when we are together.

Ken and I spent the rest of the week driving around more than actually disembarking and visiting any where.  It appears you can't park in Northumberland in August.  Every beach was just heaving with people and traffic and full car parks. Indeed the day we ate at the Percy Arms we had been to Low Newton, Caister and Seahouses - all of which we gave up on, hence our early return to our little home in time for lunch.

Mid-week we bobbed over to visit S & S in Edinburgh which was nice - lovely to see them at home and we had a delightful day with my daughter (and a garden centre) and we stayed on to spend a couple of hours with her other half when he got home.  It was an hour and a half's drive from them to Chatton, but a very pleasant one on a summer evening.

The following day we visited Wallington.  A house we have been to a couple of times before but it offers the very best of gardens not to mention a room filled with dolls houses.  What more could I want.

the most beautiful hall

tiny part of the truly unique walled garden

a not-too big house

The doll's house collection is eighteen houses, with a huge centre piece house - the Hammond house which has 36 rooms, 1,500 pieces of furniture and 77 figures.  I had enough to go at for a while.

on end wing of the Hammond house on the right

The following day we visited Bamburgh castle....  mmmmm.... there was something a bit Hearst Castle about it.  It is another nineteenth century rich man's grand folly.  

It is odd to think it has incredibly expensive apartments in it - I know Miriam Stoppard had an apartment there.  I rest my case.  

I think you can also just stay there and then, amongst all that, is the endless stream of day trippers.  As to the place itself it is decidedly an over-egged pudding and, of course, you are not really seeing what you are led to believe you are seeing.  There is little or nothing 11th, 12th (etc) century - you are merely walking through a Victorian creation of someone's 'dream'.

The current Armstrong owner lives on a nearby farm.  Sensible man.

Having said that there is no denying it dominates the landscape in a dramatic way.  Try and get planning permission for that today!

How do we get to that empty beach?  Why is it empty?

a carpenter's rendition of the castle

The following day we returned to Bury stopping in at Houghton Hall on our way home for lunch and for me to 'do' the Dolls House Emporium shop......it is no more.  Hey ho, lunch was fine!

The rest of the month did its usual thing and took us off into August.













Monday, 27 July 2015

If you follow by email

I have just realised that if you 'Follow by email' rather than becoming a follower, you are probably reading the blog post which is embedded in the email.  You are actually getting a much poerer version of the real McCoy.  You need to click on the heading which acts as a link to the actual blog or you won't have access to photo albums or videos or a mass of other stuff. Not to mention that the blog just looks much better!  Obviously the choice is yours but do try clicking on the heading at least once and see if you prefer to read the blog as a fully formed entity rather than just in mail.


This discovery also answer queries from people who tell me they can't see the album link or can't leave comments and various other queries I have had over time and had never been able to resolve.  I hadn't realised they were following the blog from their email.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

June 2015 - even less to report

This month's post is a challenge - bit like school - write 500 words on what you did in the summer break......  uggghhh! nothing... apparently writing this 500 times is not acceptable.

So basically June came and went with nothing notable other than a trip to York and a visit from my daughter and her husband.  We try to see each other once a month and take turns-about, so last month we were in Edinburgh and this month they made a flying weekend visit to us.

Our York trip is certainly worth noting though as we had a lovely couple of days there.

I had got permission to take photographs in Fairfax House.   These photographic tours are all to do with the mini project I am working on.

I was surprised to realise I had never visited it as I am something of a 'Fairfax' fan.  I became fascinated with the family when reading Andrew Marvel's 'Upon Appleton House'.  I can only say I spent four years 'in love' with the metaphysical poets and it was always a tussle between Donne and Marvel for my affection.  If you are a child of the sixties I commend them to you, you will get the connection.

Circa 1650–52, Marvell served as tutor to the daughter of the Lord General Thomas Fairfax, who had recently relinquished command of the Parliamentary army to Cromwell. He lived during that time at Nun Appleton Hall, near York, where he continued to write poetry. One poem, "Upon Appleton House, To My Lord Fairfax", uses a description of the estate as a way of exploring Fairfax's and Marvell's own situation in a time of war and political change. wikepedia


Nun Appleton no longer exists but sitting snugly in York is the lovely Fairfax House.




It has an absolutely fascinating history and even spent its last inhabited years as a cinema!  The large yellow entrance to the left of the house is how you go in, but this was once the cinema entrance, so you need a moment to get the orientation right when you get to the proper main entrance hall.

It has the very best ceilings I have ever seen in a house - certainly a house of this size.  Fortunately through all its different uses, offices, dance school and the rest it has managed to keep much of the original house and has been restored sympathetically,

This is the (real life) size of the house I am working on so it gave me the very best feel for what I could and couldn't do with my project.  It was also a delight to be able to take photos of the tiny details as you can never find those on-line or in the guide books.  Who else would be interested in door knobs and hinges!

We had driven to York on a lovely sunny Saturday, parked in the car park about fifty feet from the house (!) and initially had the place to ourselves.  If you visit begin at the top of the house with the terrific video and then work your way down.

There was a concert being held there in the evening and we had considered going but reneged at the last moment and decided to visit Noel Terry's house for tea before retreating to our hotel on the edge of York.

the back of the house

I thought it lovely but a bit quirky.  Goddards is an Arts and Crafts style house which he had built in 1927, so rather towards the end of the period.  In a way it seems bordering on cliche but in the nicest possible way and you most definitely get the impression of it having been a glorious and truly loved family home.  

Lucky children to have been raised there.

Our tea had echoes of the same era, all white clothed and properly served.  Ken, of course, indulged in a chocolate orange cake.  I hope he made Mr Terry very proud.

The next day was one of my favourite Dolls House Shows.  I was booked to write it up for the magazine so expected to be there all day taking photos and nattering to folk as well as my own ferreting and shopping.  Instead of which when I crossed the threshold before the doors officially opened I was told someone was already there from DH&MS.  Clearly I wasn't thrilled I was double-booked, but as she had pipped me to it the gig was decidedly hers.  As it turned out this was a good thing.

I managed to finish my trawling the stand by lunchtime rather than the planned 4.30 pm so I gave Ken a ring to pick me up.

One thing he always does in York is go to a fabulous Sicilian ice Cream shop and he suggested we had lunch there - sly move on his part as he hadn't made it to an ice cream because I finished early.

So glad he did - here's another recommendation or you if you are in York.  Lovely food and lovely service.  Trinacria

So, with the sun still shining we trundled home - a happy me stuffed full of olives and sardine and a lap full of dolls house stuff - died and gone to heaven.


We did seem to get ourselves inveigled into local gardening stuff this month helping out with managing the Lotty and somehow being volunteered for some sweated labour in our local country park. The irony is, of course, I now pay a gardener because my own garden is beyond me and Ken would never do it as he hates it and there we both are fettling a large raised bed each in the park.


Also this month we began to auction of my 'ayjed' aunt's goods and chattels which we put in store almost two years ago when she moved into a care home. She has agreed that paying storage on twenty boxes of stuff that she will never have a home for is potty and they are best sold for her 'spends' and we save on storage costs. Win win.


Auctions are new to both of us. I suppose I have been to a couple in my life but for something specific - like a house! - so have never really taken an interest in them. I am now fascinated. Talk about hard work - I have no idea how they keep on top of thousands and thousands of items passing through their hands each week along with hundreds of buyer and sellers, but they do.


The company we are with uses the web in a massive way - publishing the catalogue so people can see the the stuff and then conducting the auctions live and visible for the selling. They have a general auction each week and a 'special' one every month or so. We stayed for a couple of hours at one of the general auctions and were astonished at the pittance they get for things which cost a lot originally and then at the complete opposite end of the spectrum they get silly money for stuff most of us wouldn't give house room to. Good job I am not in the business I wouldn't have a clue.


All rather exciting though.


As I said S & S came to close out our month with a lovely visit.


Two more months here and we are back in Naples. Someone is stealing my life.









Saturday, 25 July 2015

May 2015 - almost nothing to report



I did my usual flick through pages in the diary to remind me of events - especially as I am now three months on from this point when writing so not a chance of remembering May!  It showed a lovely time of gardening, minis, seeing friends and eating out and movies and pretty much that was it: none of it hardly worth recording inch by inch though it is good to be reminded how great my 'small' life is.

Finally by the 22nd there is a notation that we were off to Edinburgh for a week and all those happy sunny days came bouncing back.

22nd - drove up to Edinburgh stopping off in Hawick (pronounced Hoyk) in the strangest looking little Italian restaurant.  It is always a good sign when an Italian restaurant looks oddly dishevelled and is full of Italians - both staff and diners.  If you are ever travelling that way you won't miss it as it squats in a Georgian building which itself squats on the bridge over the river.  It is called Sergio's and, when checking it out retrospectively, comes tenth on Trip Advisor.  The other nine must be like dying and going to heaven as Sergio's delivered the best Italian food I have had in ages.  Kept getting flashbacks to our finding an off-the-beaten-track place we found in Florence many years ago.  Sergios was certainly the real McCoy.

Ultimately we two contented individuals arrived at our apartment/cottage which was brilliantly close to my daughter's home - ideal.  Bijou is most definitely the word to describe it and it was so named.  Any plans of having S and S round to dinner were quickly scuppered.  Lacking a dishwasher was the clincher - no cooking for us either!

In actuality it was a lovely little place and will suit us very well for future visits - beats being in a hotel room by a mile.

Sat 23rd - over to S & S's home to make a new garden.  The four of us worked like little Trojans on a very hot day but produced a large, fully planted four foot border into the corner of the lawn: patched in the remaining lawn cut out: made a gravelled utility area with boarded edges: tweaked pots on the patio and generally did a darn good job.  Well done us.

Sunday 24th - we spent half a day at my daughter's just tweaking tiny elements of the garden and had lunch with them but retreated back to the Bijou early afternoon for R & R.  Ken watched the Grand Prix and we had a fish and chip dinner from round the corner - life is good!

Monday 25th - I had got permission from the National Trust of Scotland to take photos in their splendid Georgian House and had a 9.15 am appointment so I could be there before it was open to the general public.  I had the most wonderful couple of hours going round the house in Charlotte Square and studying and recording every inch of it.  I have to say my dealings with Nat Trust Scotland were far and away a happier experience than those I have had with the English NT.  Such warm, helpful and efficient people.  Indeed weeks later when I was thanking my contact for their help and mentioned other places I had visited,  she immediately said just to get in touch any time if I knew I was going any where and she would give me permission to take photos or see things I was interested in.

We then went to real tourist land - The Royal Mile 


Royal Mile

- to visit the Museum of Childhood to take a look at their remarkable dolls houses.  It is an eclectic collection for sure and they seem to be unaware of what treasures they have.  Another friendly and welcoming place.  Free entry and can take photos!  Virtually unheard of on both counts.  It is always odd to see one's own childhood behind glass in a museum!  Are we really that old?


brilliant!

We had lunch at our favourite garden centre up there - Pentland Plants - so I could pick up an obelisk for my daughter's garden.  She and husband stopped by on their way home from work for a cuppa - end to a perfect day.  Be lovely if we lived round the corner from them.

Tuesday 26th - this day we were off to burgle S & S's house.  Let ourselves in while they were working to behave like the shoe-makers elves.  We watered the garden, added in their obelisk and repaired some curtains and collected up all the clobber we had taken up to do our work there.  My daughter sidled off work early so we spent some of the afternoon with her which was lovely.

Wednesday 27th - managed to spend the whole day with the 'kids' just 'doing stuff'.  It began with a planned trip to Newhailles - a large Georgian House - it was closed! NT!!  Plans scuppered we went off into the city and visited Gladstone's Land which was another one on my hit list.  I know someone who is making it in 1/12th!  It was kind of odd to be standing in a full scale version of something I have been watching appear.  Terrifically interesting place though so I can see why the lady concerned is interested in replicating it in The Tenement.  Nice bit of a quirk in our language.  It seems the phrase 'the land' actually refers to the building (the tenement) and the word 'tenement' actually means the land the lands stand on.


Gladstone's Land
There is also a very bizarre place to visit - a wild west street...


Image result for wild west edinburgh

It wasn't actually built as a tourist attraction.  It is just one man's notion of facing all the buildings in the street with 'cladding' to make it look like a street in the American West of the 1800's.  It is fading rapidly as it no longer is being cared for - visit soon if you are curious.

We managed to squeeze in some ice cream in a lovely place called Nardini's - check it out if you are in Edinburgh.  This didn't prohibit us having lunch shortly after at The Colliery and a large tea at my daughter's later.

Thursday 28th - S & S were back to work so Ken and I decided to entertain ourselves with another attempt at Newhailles.  I am so glad we did as it was a very unusual version of the by now expected Georgian House.  It has lived through its three hundred years with very little actually being done to it.  Indeed it has only been painted three times in its history.  This was my first encounter with the notion of preservation by the NT rather than restoration.  Their intention is that we see the house as a lived in entity with the changes that have been made since its inception still in place.  This made for an interesting tour of a very quirky and I can honestly use the word properly - unique - property.


The original building at Newhailles before the wings were added


S & S stopped in to the Bijou on their way home for a couple of hours to say goodbye in anticipation of our leaving the next morning - always sad to part even though we try to see them once a month when we are in the UK.

Friday 29th and we wended our way home from a lovely time visiting S, her husband, her home and the lovely city of Edinburgh.

So onwards to June ........... hope to get it written tomorrow..... stop by then if you want to read the next episode in an ordinary life.

(PS: should you ever want to see my garden or my minis, if you go to this link it will give you all my blog addresses:  All my blogs)

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

April 2015 - still smiling

I just reread the March Clavering to see where I left you and came away with the distinct feeling that it rightly felt depressed with a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel which is precisely what it was.  I was so miserable and couldn't wait to be home.

Way past the end of April and I am still smiling.  I just love being back.  For all its crumby, unpredictable, mixed weather and a world full of small spaces - tiny, bendy streets, too many people, small houses and its wretched customer service it is wonderful to be home.  It is decidedly where my heart is.

So, to April.....  The very first day of the month we were out sorting out new specs for each of us and decided to just stop by one of my favourite local eateries - Stones - for anyone in this area.  English food at last - joy.

Easter arrived on the 4th along with my daughter and her husband, what a lovely combination the only chocolate holiday of the year and my lovely girl.  We had a great four days together and I loved being able to cook an Easter lunch for us all on the Sunday.  The weather was kind(ish) and we managed a bit of a walk to the Burrs country park (just down the road from us).  It was my daughter's 'playground' in her youth and brought back memories for her (and me).  It is a place we don't use enough.  That said she and I were bemoaning how it had all been 'civilised' and turned into a proper country park whereas in 'our day' it was just the remnants of an old mill and stream - truly I do think that was nicer in all kinds of ways; this includes the fact that it would not have had a ton of people there as it did on Bank Holiday Monday, all using up 'our place'.


one of the sensory boxes and mowed grass

On the 9th Ken and I took off for the Lowry theatre to see Rebecca.  This was a book I first read when I was probably about twelve - I tended to read my six-year-older sister's and mother's books from my very early days.  Possibly because of that early introduction this is a book which has stayed with me in a way most books haven't.  The impact of that reading was also overlayed with a wonderful 1940 movie that was impeccably cast -

 - 
Laurence Olivier...
Joan Fontaine...
George Sanders...
Judith Anderson...



Heaven knows when I saw that for the first time, I commend it to you even now.

I did wonder with all that under my belt how they would ever be able to convey a story that constantly switched between house and beach on the stage.  I really needed to wonder about whether there would be songs in it and boards announcing 'six weeks later' and a comedy duo of butler and boy servant (who was actually a girl!)

This was a Kneehigh production and sadly I didn't know what that meant.  

Kneehigh are a UK based theatre company with a local, national and international profile. For over 30 years we have created vigorous, popular and challenging theatre and perform with the joyful anarchy that audiences have come to expect from this ground-breaking company.

Clearly I am now out of the theatre-going loop.  The reviews are generally outstanding so I am marching to a different drum.  We left at the interval.

Pre-show lunch was very good.

Did you spot we now 'do' matinees like true old folk.

The first couple of weeks of April I was frenetically busy selling off all my 1/48th purchases for half price - I daren't tell you the money I had already spent on them.  

Within a space of a year, I had sold off everything to do with 1/12ths even down to tools!  I kissed goodbye to a small fortune and a lot of treasured items.  Blithely I shopped and shopped for quarter scale while I had the chance at the various American shows and again spent another bomb.  I arrived back in the UK all ready to crack on with the new hobby and ......  eventually, I  had to give in and admit it just wasn't for me and I craved 1/12ths.  So there I was again selling off this lot and having to re-buy stuff I had previously let go of.

I wish I could say it was a lesson learned but I suspect in my case it probably isn't.



Dalton House
This is the new project (Dalton House)

On the 18th we tootled off to Leeds to one of my favourite dolls house shows - Pudsey, so another good day for me.

On an entirely other note I also managed to find a gardener this month who seems to be the ticket.  The previous two were not.  Number one didn't know a weed from a plant and progressively almost emptied the garden of not only plants but half the soil.  Number two got 'bored' with weeding and so lobbed my two-foot box hedge with gi-enormous electric hedging shears which chewed it up beautifully (looks to be recovering) and 'hard-pruned' my climbing roses in mid-August (don't look to be recovering) and more heartbreakingly and I mean that literally she 'pruned' my young Amalanchier (June Berry) tree which was just beginning to find its feet at about twelve feet high.  I now have a lollipop on a stick instead of a tree.

the shrunken tree

23rd and I was off to the only Langworthian reunion I manage out of the three held each year.  A bunch of retired teachers from Langworthy Road meet up for a meal and a natter.  As my best friend is one of them and chooses the location it is always a nice meal and a good natter.

29th and we were off to the Lowry again (with trepidation) to see Woman in Black - please God don't let someone turn this into a musical and comedy act.  They didn't.  It was an excellent production (slow start) and decidedly scary.  Well worth the trip.  Even better it was free courtesy of my little friend who volunteers at the theatre.  Such joy all round.  Huge thanks D.

The next day (30th) and out to lunch with The Seven (only we were six - one was poorly).  This is a core group of Ken's diving/skiing chums who have now become my friends too and it is always nice to get back together and reminisce.

So, we finished the month as I pretty much intend to go on with the rest of my life - eating and nattering to friends.....








Thursday, 30 April 2015

March 2015 - blink and its gone

Well, guess what, I am writing this on 30th April!  I realised April was ending and thought I would write up some notes ready for tomorrow or the next day.  I arrived in Clavering and discovered I hadn't written March.

I have no idea how two months can flit by so quickly.  It's not like I am doing screeds of exciting things but as soon as we get home my days are happily filled and I simply don't notice them go by.  A day lasts about four hours over here and about four days in Naples.  Time is relative?????

So here I go trying to remember March.

With a leave date of 21 March ahead of us we seemed to spend all our time working towards that.  Ridiculous really when we would have sold our souls for a three week break in the sun when we were working and it would have seemed to last for ages.  Actually living, not holidaying, in Naples three weeks is just a count down to leaving.  We have to remember to do this or that before we go and need to continually work out what meals to have to allow us to eat up the food we have in the cupboards and freezer. We consider every little purchase, not just food items,  to decide whether it can wait until we get back.   Leaving anything over the summer months it has the potential to have dessicated by the time we return..

The first thing I do when I sit down to write this journal is have a look at what photos I took that month.  They help to remind me of stuff and give me something visual to share - there is nothing for March 2015!  That must be a first.

No wonder the month came and went in oblivion - even my diary yields nothing.  I can, however, remember just how miserable and bombed out I was that month and how much I wanted to be home.

I did make a huge effort to go out on our (19th) wedding anniversary but only to the movies and dinner.  We have a very nice movie theatre that does a deal on dinner (yes the restaurant is part of the cinema) and a movie which I think is a great idea.  Dinner was OK and the movie did what it said on the tin - The Second best Marigold Hotel.  I am sure the writers appreciated the irony of the title within the story but I wonder if they really grasped the full potential of 'second best' in terms of the movie.  I watched it in a subverted way of admiring 'aged' talent acting their socks off and having a 'jolly good time' whilst filling their pension pots.  In that vein it was an interesting couple of hours.

We did quite a bit of last minute shopping as our regular haunt kept thrusting various vouchers at us.  On one occasion we went armed with two $20 coupons and two $5 Bealls' Bucks (works like money) which netted me a pair of shoes for pennies and Ken decent sunglasses for $1.70.  Also, incidentally, in Naples you can take back stuff you bought at full price a couple of weeks before the 'offers' and buy them them again with discount - try that in the UK.

Joyfully the 21st arrived and we were on our way home.  It didn't begin well as I managed to get in the car with a giant ant, so the first couple of miles were fraught.  Not as much fun as it sounds.

We did the duelling banjos route to Orlando complete with a Smokey Joes stop-off for Ken's ice cream.  Seriously scary now I have lived there a while; I have finally grasped Americans are not just English people with a different accent.  When you pass a shop with a hoarding that reads:

We buy guns and do computer repairs

....  you know you are not in Bury any more, Dorothy.

So at the crack of sparrows on the 22nd we arrived home in Manchester and my heart sang.

Here is an example of why I don't want to live in two homes ....

After being home a couple of days I set off to make a roast beef and Yorkshire pud dinner.  This is something I could do with my eyes closed and one hand tied behind my back.

It began with ....... Yorkshire pudding would not be possible, because we didn't have eggs - when do you not have eggs?  Answer: when you have just got home and forgot to order them.

OK - next - pretty close to leaving last year we had a new kitchen installed with all new appliances.  My oven needs a degree in space technology but I have mastered the basic turn it on to fan oven and set the temperature.  Downside - almost all new ovens comes with one (!!!) rack and it turned out mine was so specialised I couldn't get a second one not even from the manufacturer?????  So, for now, if the oven has to take meat and spuds and a mythical Yorkshire pudding I will need to use the all-singing all-dancing combined microwave and convection oven as well as the main oven.  I should have known when I succeeded in turning that on I must have got it wrong.  On it went to the required temperature and small joint placed lovingly inside.  Eventually the roast 'taters and parsnips went in t'oven - jobs a good 'un.  Retreat to office while it cooks.

Down to serve lunch at 1 pm to discover a rather nasty smelling warm joint in the convection oven and only the traces of some residual heat in there.  No, I can't tell you why.

OK toss very small warmed through beef into main oven on 200 degrees and give it half an hour - meanwhile the now ready to eat roast spuds, parsnips and steamed sprouts would have to sit there sadly awaiting the beef's arrival.  We are now 'looking forward to' an average pub Sunday lunch - hey ho - could have gone out for this.

Thirty minutes later return to the scene of the crime to discover I had managed to set the oven temperature but didn't turn on the oven - we now have a slightly warmer uncooked piece of beef with even more strange aroma.

End result - beef in bin and a plate full of sad vegetables and oxo 'gravy'.

You may say all this is more to do with being stupid rather than swapping residences but it is the tip of the iceberg of the endless litany of where is this, where's that, how does this work, where do we keep these, do we have a a particular something or other.......  peripatetic you can keep.

The last week of the month was a flurry of sorting out 'ayjed' aunt, cleaner, and a couple of nice meals out and in catching up with best chums.  The last day of the month I had my hair permed and became 'curly Sue'.

... am so happy to be home.

Friday, 6 March 2015

An aside....

.

Something which was sent to me today and describes to the letter what I perpetually suffer from.  I so wish I didn't.  A more precise version of 'count your blessings' and other homilies.  Trouble with me is I know how lucky I am and can easily begin the long list of good stuff in my life, BUT it will always be rapidly squished by the word 'but'..........

I reckon people are born with their happiness quotient built in and whatever happens to them in life doesn't change it.