A lovely weekend of snowy walks, hearty stews, unexpected visits and films by the fire. Perfect.
A lovely weekend of snowy walks, hearty stews, unexpected visits and films by the fire. Perfect.
Posted in Life, the universe and everything..., tagged 2013, Bridget Jones, Croatia, cruise, dieting, East Cowes, Isle of Wight, Loch Lomond, sewing, St Malo, stars, sunrise, Vagina Monologues, Whippingham on January 16, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
Can I just begin Dear Reader with a teeney amount of smuggery in a Bridget Jones stylee:
Hair shirt: Still firmly in place
Alcohol taken since 1st January: None (I am more amazed than anyone else!)
Weight lost: 2 bags of sugar.
There has been nothing much to report from here on the chilly Isle. We have been slimming, not drinking and doing an inordinate amount of walking around the frosty and deserted streets of East Cowes in the late evening to up metabolism and shed the poundage. We have witnessed, on our night-time wanderings some spectacular star shows and there have been some wonderful early morning sunrises – see above for this morning’s. Life has pretty much progressed as normal except that I now sleep like the dead and feel alive in the mornings – hmm perhaps a salutary lesson. Tonight is the first night out since New Year’s eve and I’m already obsessing about the calorific content of Chinese food…..may just be the beansprouts then…
But there is much to look forward to once this month of self denial is over. A hen do on a mini cruise to St Malo which will be a booze fest (if the company is anything to go by and the talk of bar crawling and /or possible clubbing… ) followed by the wedding which will take place onboard a cruiser on Loch Lomond (am practising my och aye the noos already) over the May bank holiday (and will feature same hen party lovelies) and which sounds like a brilliant weekend. There will be theatricals to a small degree. I say small degree because by the end of last year I was very disillusioned with the attitude/divaishness of some which sucked the joy out of what is essentially a hobby and pretty much retired. There will be a one night only opportunity to see The Vagina Monologues (19th Feb for all you Islanders -a great evening of laughs and thought provoking stuff in aid of the Women’s Refuge here on the Island) and then I have been offered a part in a play in August by my good mate and super director Mr S. Have no idea what it is, just that it requires a ‘posh comedy bird’ – his words, not mine.
So a few things looking ahead (and maybe a clipper holiday around the islands of Croatia thrown in for good measure if I can sort it out) in the pot. And it’s always good to have something to look forward to isn’t it? After last year’s awfulness when I didn’t feel motivated to do anything much, there are plans to grow more veg, develop more of the garden and become a bit more self sufficient. I might even dust my sewing machine off….
Onwards and upwards Dear Reader. Onwards and upwards
Posted in Life, the universe and everything..., tagged beginning of term, christmas, Coq au Riesling, grandchildren, grandparents, Isle of Wight, nativity, new year, nigel slater, Rainbow, The Folly, Whippingham on January 6, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
Heavens to Betsy Dear Reader it’s been ages. I know that I bang on about the time flying by – but fly by it does. There don’t seem to be enough minutes or hours to string together to make any inroads into anything.
Since my last small amount of effort here we’ve had New Year’s Eve (a splendid night as always at the Folly amongst friends and family). A wonderful post Christmas Christmas dinner cooked by our lovely Norwegian friends which was made doubly better by the fact that I had no hand in it whatsoever (bear in mind that there has been NO Christmas dinner that I have not had a least a hand in for the last 25 years…) – they had gone to an enormous amount of effort and jolly good it was too with an eclectic guest list of Norwegians x 2, Paddys x 2, Spaniards x 1 and 2 Brits. We also had New Year’s Day with Mr and Mrs Folly including a spot of footie, a rather lovely Coq au Riesling and a good old amount of chat. And so I prepared for work on the 2nd until disaster struck.
I should tell you that whilst removing Amanda the turkey (if you don’t know the turkey rule – we always name it after someone who we don’t like / has done us down over the previous year and take great pleasure in roasting him / her) I managed to completely knacker my back. It could have had something to do with the fact that she weighed 18lbs and was flippin’ heavy or it could have just been the angle of liftage – whatever it was it bloody hurt (and still does). So having had the back from hell since Christmas day, I awoke on the 2nd with the most filthy of colds and absolutely no voice (much to the delight of the rest of the household). It felt as though I’d been run over at the very least and I had my first sick day EVER at this job!
I still sound like a particularly dodgy 0898 number (am rethinking career as we speak) but have been to work (cue much hilarity and ‘did someone say something’ jolly japes…)
So here we are at the beginning of the first week proper back at work. The Child has been redeposited at university so the nest is empty once more, the decorations are gone and the holiday season is behind us again until next time. Despite my ‘no New Year resolution’ mantra, the one thing I have wanted to do is lose some (considerable) weight so with that in mind I have had no alcohol since New Year’s Day (collective gasp from the crowd) and have been counting the calories. Actually, what with the back and the cold it’s not been too difficult but time will tell….
I leave you therefore with two small memories of Christmas – and random ones at that. The first is the Eldest Baby Girl playing Mary at the school nativity. She was very good (apart from bursting into tears at the end because ‘THAT angel touched my cradle Nanny and I TOLD her not to’). I did explain that angels can be a bit unreasonable that way sometimes! I also took her to the panto which she absolutely loved – getting her into the acting groove at an early age – well someone has to carry on the dynasty!!
The second is of Madam Rainbow. We’ve had her now for quite a while and she really is part of the family. She is the grumpiest most miserable baggage at times but when it comes to the arms of a man she is a real softy (bit like myself really). Silly old thing that she is.
And there I shall leave you. Work proper beckons tomorrow and there are more Excel spreadsheets to be created than you can shake a stick at. I shall keep you posted on my detox efforts (although I’m sure you’re not REMOTELY interested) and go firmly into 2013 feeling not physically brilliant but definitely mentally better than last year. Bring it on!
Posted in Life, the universe and everything..., tagged boating, grandchildren, grandparents, Isle of Wight, plastic greenhouses, Shanklin Bay, The Folly, The Krypton Factor, Whippingham on May 30, 2012 | 3 Comments »
Let me just begin Dear Reader with a cautionary tale. Should you find yourself ever ‘invited’ to assist with the erection of a plastic greenhouse in the boiling heat, with the assurance that it ‘will only take 10 minutes’, resist at all costs! It was so I found myself at the home of my friend Ms M on Sunday morning with the aforesaid assurances, losing pounds in sweat (which is perhaps no bad thing) as we toiled and struggled to put the bloody thing up. The offending article came with bugger all instructions, a billion parts and was the equivalent of the Krypton Factor of greenhouses. The air was beyond blue… Eventually, an hour and a half later and several pounds lighter I emerged from my plastic sauna and we repaired for a spot of lunch to look out across the sea.
Saturday night was spent with girlfriends watching the Eurovision. Now, I am not half as sad a muppet as the ACL who studies the form of the competition with an interest that borders on unhealthy but I do quite enjoy the occasional car crash song – Albania comes to mind this year and I do chortle at Mr Norton’s remarks. We had a fab bbq and a Pavlova of truly epic proportions (sadly no pictures) and we sat in replete appreciation throughout.
Also on the most social weekend ever’s agenda was dinner with the small people as TG has now gone and left us all for 6 months. They (and I am not being biased because they are my grandchildren – I would say really) are the best behaved children in the world and we had a lovely time eating too much, looking at boats and generally chit chatting. There were lots of hugs and some very wet kisses (from the baby boy – puhlease Dear Reader) and we repaired off to Mr and Mrs Folly’s for the remainder of the evening and what had been a really lovely weekend.
He is beyond cute!
Mutual admiration society?
So, I am faced with 6 months left to my own devices. In between work (and a new job therein), the ‘business’, rehearsals for Calendar Girls which kicked off last night, The Other Child’s baby due at the end of the Summer and The Child off to university, I don’t think I’ll be bored. I might be a bit lonely though, but it isn’t forever. I’m crossing off the days as we speak…
Posted in Life, the universe and everything..., tagged Barton Manor, bartonmanorholidaycottage, champagne, isle of wight. holidays on the Isle of Wight, lilac, pigs, Tapas, Whippingham, wisteria on May 11, 2012 | 2 Comments »
Well finally Dear Reader the rain has abated. I would like to say ‘has stopped’ but I fear that we are not out of the woods weatherwise just yet!
But there are Lilacs in the garden
And despite the heavy rain, they are full with flower and scent
Across the way in ‘the business’ bookings have been coming in apace (*mops brow*) and we’ve had loads of enquiries which might well turn in to bookings (*crosses fingers*) and so I therefore might sleep more soundly at night (*bank manager also mops brow*). We decided to accept pets (dogs seem to be popular but we are open to suggestion) and pretty much all the bookings so far have included a furry friend or two – so that seems to have been a good decision!
Not Roses round this door but a very lovely Wisteria which is making its way up the wall
All in all Dear Reader the karma seems to have improved immeasurably in comparison to the end of last year and the beginning of this year and for that I am glad. With the sunshine comes optimism and hope and at least for now, the dark times seem to be behind us. Times are a changin’ for all of my brood on the sunny Isle and that is perhaps no bad thing.
And so the weekend rolls around yet again. And what has been achieved in the week since I last wittered on here? I have learned to Tweet (with no great zip of pithy humour it must be admitted) and am enjoying the tweets of such luminaries as Stephen Fry and Caitlin Moran which make me laugh – and someone purporting to be the Queen (@Queen_UK) which is hysterical. I have cleared out no cupboards, charity shopped no clothes and hoovered no carpets AND the fridge is bare. I have however watched about 300 episodes of The Wire though which surely must make up for some of it….
And the weekend to come may include (in no particular order) tapas, champagne, piggies, tearooms and java. Watch this space Dear Reader and enjoy your weekend.
Well Dear Reader, at last a chance to draw breath and have a much deserved day off!!
The theatricals went brilliantly and we were heaped with much praise for ‘Cash on Delivery’ which was probably the most bonkers thing I have ever been in.
This was us in all of our 70s splendour
It was a farce so we had the obligatory undertaker, man dressed up as a woman and plenty of ‘being hit in the face by a door’ moments. It was a great show to do and apparently, according to pretty much everyone who came to see it, a riot to watch!
Apart from that and going to work in between times, I have done precisely nothing – haven’t had time really. TG is off for a trip away with the boys till Friday so I plan evenings of crap telly, long baths, a small glass of something and no snoring! Bliss!
On the house across the way front, we have already had two bookings – woo hoo!! My brother and his family stayed in it over the weekend and pronounced it most comfortable. Despite the pretty much incessant rain the field behind the house is a fabulous yellow and the SBG asked me if it had been painted – bless her!
There is a little breathing space now, until we begin rehearsals for Calendar Girls in about 3 weeks time. I need to lose a significant amount of blubber and am seriously considering liposuction as a last resort…..the diet begins tomorrow!!
Posted in Life, the universe and everything..., tagged barton manor holiday cottage, holiday lets, holidays, Isle of Wight, Whippingham, www.bartonmanorholidaycottage.co.uk, www.gavinprestphotography.com on April 12, 2012 | 3 Comments »
And so the holiday that was Easter passed in a whirlwind of curtain altering, light fixture fitting, mirror hanging and general doing. There was a brief interlude of table dancing at the Folly and a rather drunken Easter Sunday dinner and we were very grateful to the lovely Gavin and Michele who participated in all of the above!
Apart from his electrical and mirror hanging skills Gavin (as previously mentioned)is a rather good photographer and the below are the results of our mini photo shoot…
The dining room
The living room
The master bedroom
The second bedroom
The twin room
And the kitchen
We’ve tried to make it comfy and a little bit luxurious and we still have more cushions, curtains, pictures and bits and pieces of furniture to add. But we are open for business. Yikes!!!
Well Dear Reader. In amongst all the things that have been going on of late, TG and I have bought ourselves a business. And a business that is (literally) on our doorstep.
We live here
And we have just purchased here
Which we plan to run as a holiday let. We hope to be up and running by the beginning of April, so if a holiday on the sunny Isle sounds appealing let me know and I can let you have prices and things. The house sleeps five and more photos will follow when some decorating and furnishing have been completed. It’s a wonderful house in an historic setting and we are very excited about the whole project.
Exciting times Dear Reader. Exciting times!
…like driving along in the sunshine with the roof down and smelling the greenness of everything newly sprung. It makes you feel glad to be alive!