Monday, 18 May 2015

A Fabulous Night In....

A Fabulous Night in with Lindsey Kelk, Lucy Robinson and Lucy Holliday



My dear writer friend Vicki Bowles (author of My Unintended Buy here) posted a link to this event and as it was only £5 I thought why not?
So I booked my ticket and arranged to meet Vicki and another writer buddy Natalie Ross at London Bridge Underground Station.

The event was in the News Building and was held by Fabulous magazine (free with the Sun). The building was fantastic, but more about that later.
I left my house at 4pm for a first time drive alone to the O2. I am getting braver! I joined the M25 and sat in traffic for 20 minutes as there had been an accident right before the junction I needed.
I got to the O2 and parked with no problems. 
I walked to the North Greenwich Underground and went down the escalator to buy my ticket. I had rung my hubby just to reassure myself more than anything. I got to the ticket machines to find they had closed the booths down and you now had to use the automated ones. 
I looked at the prices and saw that a travel card for zones 1 to 4 was now about £12, so I opted for a return to London Bridge ( 4 stops down the line). It was £9.20. I asked one of the Underground staff if this was correct as I had travelled to Chancery Lane a few months ago and had paid less, but I was told yes it was correct.
So ticket in hand and trying to look like a seasoned traveller (with not much luck) I joined the rush and got on the tube. A man knocked into me and actually apologised. When we got on the train there was a seat and the same man asked me if I wanted to sit down! Unheard of usually on the tube. I politely declined as I wanted to stay by the exit. I hate having to battle through crowds to get off the tube.
I reached a very busy London Bridge and made my way through the crowds and found Vicki waiting outside Starbucks. Natalie then joined us and we followed the signs for the News Building. The signs took us into an arcade, but the way to the building was closed off. I knew which building we needed to get to and we could see it, but we set off in completely the wrong direction! Natalie then suggested we went up the escalator next to the magnificent Shard and we finally reached our destination.
We went in, but we were 30 minutes early. So we headed for All Bar One across the road for a glass of wine. Vicki bought a bottle (I was driving unfortunately so only had one glass). We sat down to find Lucy Robinson and her agent Lizzie Kremer were seated beside us! We all had a girl fan moment and chatted for a little while until Lucy & Lizzie had to leave. 
We stayed in the bar and had a chat and almost finished the wine.

We made our way over to the News Building and the doorman asked us what event we were here for. He directed us over to some ladies who ticked us off a list. They then directed us to another man who let us through the security gate. Next we had to go to another two men who checked our bags and then finally we got into a lift to Floor 14. The lift moved a little too quickly for my liking and did that "tummy jolt" thing at the top, which was not very pleasant. We got out of the lift and wow, the view that greeted us was amazing. What a fabulous place to work. A view from every window and light, airy offices.


River Thames

Walkie talkie Building

St Paul's Cathedral



 We were greeted by another lady and shown the bar with free wine! Bummer! There was also Baileys and water. I stuck to water. There was an independent book seller The Riverside Bookshop selling books from the three authors too for £5 so I bought the two new releases that I didn't have - Always the Bridesmaid by Lindsey Kelk and A Night in with Audrey Hepburn by Lucy Holliday. I had The Day we Disappeared by Lucy Robinson on my Nook already.








 We wandered through and found a seat behind the gorgeous Sara-Jade Virtue (Twitter handle) from Books and the City and waited for the 3 authors to appear on the stage. Unfortunately the bright evening sun (yes you read correctly sun in the city!) was blinding us. The blinds apparently were designed to come down automatically in the daytime, but this didn't work in the evening. Most of the audience therefore watched the authors through sunglasses or by holding a book up to shield their eyes.


From left: Lindsey Kelk, Lucy Robinson, Lucy HollidayLindsey Kelk Twitter   Lucy Robinson Twitter   Lucy Holliday Twitter


The questions put to the authors were by Clare Frost (Twitter Handle) and were excellent. We heard how Lindsey Kelk was once a bridesmaid and foiled a make up heist by the string quartet at her friends wedding. She also wore a bridesmaid dress for 5 days straight as a child! Lucy H had chosen her sister to be bridesmaid at her wedding and was told by her now heavily pregnant sister that she didn't feel comfortable, so had to get an emergency dress for her disgruntled friend to take over.
They were asked about writing techniques and Lucy H told us that she types out the reasons that she can't move on with the plot. She tried the coffee shop planning that her favourite author Sophie Kinsella favours and found herself full of coffee and getting fatter on the cakes!
Lucy R filled us in on a Channel 4 documentary made about her where they followed an actress portraying Lucy. She had been present at the auditions for this documentary and as she is quite sweary on her blog, one actress decided to swear throughout the audition. She didn't get the part, instead it went to a young Scottish actress - Lucy is not Scottish!

All 3 ladies were very entertaining and gave good tips on writing and more importantly that you should never give up. They have all suffered rejections through their careers and it was encouraging to hear this.

After checking our goody bags - yes goody bags! we went over to join the queue to get our books signed. We had quick chats with the authors who are all lovely ladies. Lucy Holliday liked my combination of a bunny scarf and fox t-shirt.


Signed by Lindsey Kelk

Signed by Lucy Holliday 


Back to the goody bags. They contained another book (yet to be published) called The Blue by Lucy Clarke, Jelly Grizzly Bear sweets, nail varnish, face cream samples, perfume sample and a copy of Fabulous magazine. No bad at all! 


Goody Bag Contents

After visiting the toilets (which were bigger than my house) and looking at the excellent wall of books (pictured below) we left the building in the dreaded lifts and started our journeys home. It was lovely to see Vicki and Natalie again and I hope we can meet again soon.




I rode the tube successfully again back to the O2 and then went back to the car. My phone had decided to freeze so I had to take the back off it and restart the thing. I hate sitting in the car alone in a car park so I locked all the doors! Finally the phone worked again (smart phone my arse!!) and I rang hubby to say I was leaving. I went to the barrier and the machine asked for my ticket, then it asked me to turn the ticket over, then it asked me to turn it over again, before opening the barrier without the ticket as it had read my registration number!
Finally I began my journey home. I arrived home safely and went straight to bed absolutely knackered.

I was tired and had to rest the following day, but it was a great night and I really enjoyed it.

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Lindsey Kelk Website and Twitter
Lucy Robinson Website and Twitter
Lucy Holliday Info and Twitter

Friday, 1 May 2015

Z is for Zzzzz

Z is for Zzzzz



Sleep is something I do quite well. In fact if there was an Olympic sport that involved sleep I would win a Gold medal easily. Saying that though there are some times when I can't get to sleep and I lay there with stupid thoughts going through my head. When this happens I usually try and read, but inevitably I get up and watch tv.
For my illness I take a lot of strong painkillers so they do tend to knock me out quite quickly. Sometimes though the pain keeps me awake which is pants quite frankly as then reading and TV is not an option, but hospital is. My Z blog is a day late, because I spent the day in hospital yesterday with pain.

So back to sleep. Sleep is something our bodies need. I often wonder who invented the first bed and how did our ancestors sleep. Did they always find shelter or did they sleep under the stars. 
From eight hours of sleep we only save 50 kcal of energy (about the same as a slice of toast) but if we don't sleep we become grumpy and we make mistakes. Tiredness or lack of sleep is said to have contributed to the Chernobyl disaster.
17 hours of sustained wakefulness leads to a decrease in performance which is the equivalent to a blood alcohol level of 0.05% which is the legal drink driving limit in the UK.

So what happens when we sleep? There are two main categories non-REM (which is further split into 4 more stages) and REM sleep.

Nom-REM Sleep 

Stage 1: Light Sleep
This is when we are half awake and half asleep. Muscle activity slows down and there may be muscle twitching. We can be easily awakened at this time.

Stage 2: True sleep
After 10 minutes of light sleep we enter stage 2 which lasts about 20 minutes. Our breathing pattern and heart rate begin to slow. 

Stage 3: Deep Sleep
The brain produces Delta Waves and breathing and heart rates are at their lowest.

Stage 4: Deep Sleep
During this stage there is rhythmic breathing and limited muscle activity. If we were to be awakened during deep sleep we would not adjust immediately and would be groggy and disorientated for several minutes after waking up. Some people experience night terrors or bed wetting during this stage.

REM Sleep

The first rapid eye movement (REM) period starts about 70 to 90 minutes after we fall asleep. Humans experience 3 to 5 REM episodes a night. We are not conscious, but the brain is extermely active often more so then when we are awake. This is when we dream. Our eyes dart around, our breathing and blood pressure rates rise, but our bodies are paralysed.
After REM sleep the whole process begins again.

Aw!!


How much sleep do we need? Jim Horne of Loughborough University's Sleep Research Centre has the simple answer "The amount of sleep we require is what we need not to be sleepy in the daytime!"
The average human sleeps for 7.75 hours a night.


Animals also need different amounts of sleep a day:

SpeciesAverage total sleep time per day
Python18 hrs
Tiger15.8 hrs
Cat12.1 hrs
Chimpanzee9.7 hrs
Sheep3.8 hrs
African elephant3.3 hrs
Giraffe1.9 hr


Information from the BBC Science Department

Randy Gardner went without sleep in 1965 for a record 11 days. Four days in he began to hallucinate. He then believed he was a famous football player. By the end of the 11 days Randy began functioning normally again and even beat another scientist at a game of pinball!


Melatonin levels in humans become regular in the third month after birth. Melatonin's primary function is to regulate day-night cycles. The highest levels of the chemical are found between midnight and 8am. The production of Melatonin decreases as a person ages. Elderly people are often found to wake earlier and go to sleep later. When children become teenagers the melatonin release occurs later in the day leading to later sleeping and waking times. So your bouncy 3 year old will eventually become a zombie so don't worry!!
Crazy 3 yr old


"Zombie" Teenager

Beds

Early beds were just piles of straw and have to have been used from the beginning of mankind. An important change would have been when humans began to raise their beds off the ground to avoid pests and dirt. Some beds were found in Scotland in a preserved village were dated between as 3200 BC and 2200 BC. They were raised boxes made of stone. 
The Egyptians had very high bedsteads which were ascended via steps. The elite of society would have had wooden beds gilded with gold.
Ancient Romans had several different types of bed for different activities, these were usually:

lectus cubicularis - Chamber bed for normal sleeping
lectus genialis - Marriage bed which was highly decorated and used for intercourse
lectus discubitorius - Table bed - they would lay on their left side and eat. There was usually 3 people to a bed with the highest ranking person in the middle
lecus lucubratorius - Study bed
lectus funebris - Funeral bed on which the dead were carried to the funeral pyre

Beds became bigger and more ornate through the centuries with wood becoming more commonly used. Decoration was added in the form of gilding and the use of curtains for warmth and privacy became more popular. The largest bed ever made is now housed in the V&A museum. It is called The Great Bed Of Ware. It was built in Hertfordshire, England by carpenter Jonas Fosbrooke in 1580 and housed in the White Hart Inn in Ware. The bed is an oak four poster and measures 3.38m long and 3.26m wide and can accommodate 4 couples! Many people that have used the bed have carved their names into the posts.


The Great Ware Bed

So as you lay down tonight you will know what will happen to your body as you sleep and the history of what you are sleeping on!!

Just bloody cute!!


Thank you so much for sticking with me through this A to Z Blogging Challenge. Apologies that some including this one have been late, but I have been a poorly girl so I have an excuse. I have enjoyed the challenge immensely and have had fun researching the various subjects.
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Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Y is for Your Support

Y is for Your Support


Since beginning my writing journey I have been overwhelmed by everyone's support. I have had my writing page and twitter page shared and lots of people have read my blogs, especially since I've been doing this A to Z blogging challenge.
The challenge has been quite difficult and sometimes because I've been tired I've had to cheat (like today) and upload 2 blogs, but I haven't missed a letter so I guess that's ok!

The person who supports me the most and has to listen to stories, blogs and poems over and over again is my hubby. Bless him he has to listen to so much crap and listen to me moaning because I can't find a way to continue with a piece of writing.

So to all of you who have supported me and continue to do so, those who have believed in me and not changed the subject when I've spoken about my writing and those who haven't unliked my page because they can't be arsed to read my mutterings please take a flower with my love!


X is for Xenophobic

X is for Xenophobia


Xenophobia "deep rooted, irrational hatred towards foreigners" (Oxford English Dictionary)Comes from the Greek word xenos meaning strange, foreigner and phobos meaning fear.


Xenophobia is quite a touchy subject at the moment to put it mildly. Xenophobia is the fear of anything perceived to be foreign or strange. It can manifest itself in many ways involving how people perceive an "outgroup". An outgroup is a social group that a person does not identify themselves as being part of for example a person's ingroup could be the Labour party and the outgroup could be the Conservative Party.
People can fear losing their identity, be suspicious of the outgroup's activities, show aggression and have a desire to eliminate it's presence.
This was shown in it's worst form by the Nazi Party and the Jews in the Second World War and also by other dictatorships the world over.  
The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (VDPA) is a human rights declaration adopted at the World Conference on Human Rights in 1993 in Vienna, Austria. They urge that "governments take immediate measures and develop strong policies to prevent and combat all forms and manifestations of xenophobia and racism".

There are two main forms of xenophobia. The first is fear and hatred towards a new or recent group who have come into an established society for example: immigrants, towards an established group who are not part of the larger ingroup or a group who has expanded by territorial conquest. This can lead to violence and hostilities, which in turn could lead to pogroms and genocide.
The second form is primarily cultural and the objects of the phobia may be for example foreign loan words in the national language. This type of xenophobia doesn't often lead to aggression, but political campaigns can result in cultural or linguistic purification.

What could cause someone to become xenophobic about an individual or group of people? A negative experience whether it be physical, emotional or economic with an individual or a few members of the outgroup in question could lead to the experience being over-generalized to all members of the outgroup. You could be conditioned by your parents, peers or propaganda to feel xenophobic about an outgroup.
We all see this in our everyday lives. I often hear the phrase "I'm not racist but...." which usually means that something racist is going to come out of that person's mouth. The other favourite phrase that people say is "They come over here taking our jobs!" Who are "they" and if there is a job that no one else has applied for are "they" taking that job?
Everybody can be a nasty person at some point in their day. If a white, British male yells at you in a car park are you going to become xenophobic about all white, British men you meet that day? If you are white and British yourself I doubt that, but I have seen people who I thought were nice individuals turn on a race of people just because one person from that group of people said something nasty to them. Where is the sense in that? Unfortunately though this type of behaviour is what leads to Xenophobia.


There are also a lot of groups around who disguise themselves under names with political meanings and even stand in elections. They call themselves patriotic and claim that they want England to be English. The thing is if you delve deep into their manifestos you will see lots of racist connotations and you only have to Goggle or YouTube some of these groups to see the hatred they show towards other ethnic groups. 


Personally I try to like everyone. The only reason I won't like someone is if they have done something to upset me or a loved one. If that person happens to be a foreigner or belongs to a religion different to mine I won't hate everybody of that nationality or religion just because of that individuals actions. It may seem simplistic, but really it's not.

I am the granddaughter of an Irish immigrant. I am Catholic (not practicing). If you are nice to me, I'll be nice to you whether you be British, foreign, Black, White, a Jew or a Muslim. 

Spread the love and make your own opinions based on your own experiences. Be brave, stand up and tell people if you think they are being xenophobic or racist.

Remember Edmund Burke's quote above, because it stands true just as much today as it ever did.



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Monday, 27 April 2015

W is for Wow

W is for Wow!






Today I went to Brands Hatch with my Hubby and Son to watch a FREE Formula 1 event. Yes you read that right FREE!! Hence the Wow on my status.

F1 is so elitist that it usually costs a small fortune to get anywhere near a F1 car, so when I saw that Brands Hatch was throwing open it's gates for free today we had to go along.
The reason was that Lotus F1 were filming there today. Hats off to Lotus F1 and Brands Hatch for allowing fans to see the cars in the pits and to watch them out on track.

We missed Romain Grosjean as he did the morning session, but we did see Pastor Maldonado on track and practicing pit stops as well as Jolyon Palmer. We saw this years car the E23 and an older Lotus the 72 E-5.

We sat in the Grandstand by the start/finish straight and had a fantastic view. The sound of the older car was tremendous. The newer car sounded good, but it didn't go through you like previous models did before all the changes.



So a lovely way to spend a Monday afternoon and we missed the rain too.


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Saturday, 25 April 2015

V is for VE Day

V is VE Day 
8th May 1945



Friday 8th May 2015 commemorates 70 years since we saw Victory in Europe putting an end to the Second World War in Europe. The war carried on in Japan however for another 3 months. There will be many events across the country celebrating this event the 70th anniversary of VE Day.

During the Battle of Berlin on the 30th April 1945 the Nazi Leader Adolf Hitler committed suicide. Germany's surrender was authorised by Reichprasident Karl Donitz and the Act of Military Surrender was signed in Reims France on 7th May 1945 and in Berlin on the 8th May 1945.

Daily Mirror Front Page


In the United Kingdom over one million people took to the streets to celebrate the end of the war in Europe. The Royal Family appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace with Prime Minister Winston Churchill to wave to the crowds assembled in the Mall.

From left: Princess Elizabeth, Queen Elizabeth, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, King George VI and Princess Margaret


However after the days of celebration were over people began to mourn their lost loved ones. The victory over Hitler was bitter sweet. Tough times still lay ahead and rationing in Britain didn't end until 1953.
In July 1945 Churchill was not voted in again during the General Election and Britain began a fresh start. VJ day that came in August 1945 was a more subdued affair. The United Kingdom had started to rebuild and move on.

To find VE Day 70 year celebrations please visit the official Government site here


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U is for Uniforms

Uniforms

How many uniforms do we wear through our lives? So far I have worn a primary school uniform, secondary school uniform, college uniform, nurses uniform, BP uniform, cleaners uniform and now a Morrison's uniform. Two of my uniforms have been a lovely shade of green. Who the hell chooses these uniforms?? 
In most cases the higher up the firm you go the less uniform you have to wear. Why is this? Is it to keep us minions in our places? I can't think of any other reason why my manager doesn't wear the same uniform as me to be honest.

School uniforms I think are a good idea. I personally think they should be stricter on styles. Money is tight for a lot of families and they can't afford the latest fashions so if the school's policy on uniform was stricter this would save a lot of money and a lot of heartache for parents. I don't agree with this new trend of having to buy items with the school logo and name emblazoned on them from specialist shops. One colour for each school in the area could be agreed on so parents could buy a blue blazer for school A and sew on the school logo badge. When I was at school our blazer was blue and you bought the badge and the tie and that was it! We didn't have to have special sports kits and special sweatshirts etc.
Wearing a uniform to school saves having to worry about fashion or if you have the latest correct style, plus it keeps your own clothes nice. Mind you there are so many non-uniform days for one cause or another kids probably wear their own clothes more than the uniform you have spent so much money on!


School Uniform Design


Nurses uniforms show the qualification of the nurse and obviously show patients who is a nurse and who isn't. You would hope too that the staff don't wear their uniforms outside so they stay hygienic. Doctors don't wear white coats any more though as they were thought to be unhygienic although some hospitals are reintroducing them as a shorter sleeve version to make hand washing easier. Most hospitals now have changed to wearing different coloured scrubs which always looks a bit Holby City to me! 


Out - Unhygienic

In - What Doctors wear now

Holby City - Must admit I love it!!
Uniforms can also be viewed as sexy. There is even a Uniform Dating Service! Having worn a nurses uniform and been covered in everything from sick to urine my uniform was anything but sexy, yet you can still buy a sexy little nurse uniform easily and it still a fantasy for some men. Ditto the French Maids uniform. Have you ever seen a French Maid? I think they probably look like most maids and not like the costume suggests. 

Typical Nurses Uniform

Fantasy Nurse

Typical Maid's Uniform

French Maid's Costume
What is it about uniform that we have the real and the fantasy? I can't leave the ladies out here so how about a fireman or mechanic (I quite like dirty overalls!)

Bristol's Firefighter's 

A fantasy Firefighter

Mechanic at work

Fantasy Mechanic


Even people who wear suits for work follow some kind of dress code. A lot of offices will not allow workers to wear jeans, yet trendy companies like Apple and Google encourage their employees to look casual.
I really don't know what I prefer to be honest. I know I want my Bank Manager to be in a suit and tie not jeans and a t-shirt. I want my hospital consultant to be in a suit or scrubs and not jeans and trainers. I don't mind someone working in a clothes store to be dressed in the clothes they are selling. I prefer people working on trains, buses and in supermarkets to be in a uniform so I can see who works there if I need help. Similarly I want to be able to spot a Police Officer if I need one. That's another thing, don't you think that the Police are looking more and more like Action Man? Where's the big helmet gone and the smart jacket? Or am I just getting old?

I guess uniforms will always be around. Even in futuristic films the people flying the space ships that take us to Mars are wearing air hostess type uniforms, so I guess they are here to stay.

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Thursday, 23 April 2015

T is for the Tufty Club

The Tufty Club




If you are of a certain age (like me) you will remember the Tufty Club. It was a road safety campaign which began in 1953. It featured clear and simple safety messages for children as part of The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents or ROSPA 
Tufty Fluffytail was created by the late Elsie Mills MBE along with characters Minnie Mole, naughty Willy Weasel, Mrs Owl the teacher and Policeman Badger who always rescued the children in the nick of time.
 In 1961 the Tufty Club was set up as a nationwide network of groups and at it's peak there were 24,500 groups registered across the UK. Tufty and his friends were updated in 1979 and again 1993 to keep up with the changing times.

History of The Tufty Club 

1962 - More than 60,000 children joined the Tufty Club which was expanded to admit older children.
1965 - Tufty Club was featured in a scene in Cyril Fletcher's Christmas pantomime.
1966 - There were now more than 2,000 Tufty Clubs.
1972 - Tufty Club membership passed two million.
1973 - The Transport and Road Research Laboratory reported favourably on the value of the Tufty Club which now had 10,000 affiliated clubs.
1979 - HRH Princess Michael of Kent became the first president of the Tufty Club.
1982 - The Tufty Club celebrated its 21st birthday with a national road show.
1984 - Comedian Ted Rogers invited Tufty to make his pantomime debut in Bournemouth to pass on road safety tips to his young audience.
1993 - Tufty was re-styled and modernised to bring him into the 1990s.
1994 - Tufty went on a nationwide tour of the country.
Information taken from ROSPA

I joined in 1977 at playschool. I was lucky enough to be sent to a Montessori playschool in a beautiful old house set in large grounds. I can remember having road safety practice using the driveway of the house with the teachers riding on our toy cars!
I wore my Tufty Club badge with pride and I still have it. It is now stuck to the inside of my kitchen cupboard and still makes me smile. I can remember one particular story where naughty Willy Weasel opened the car door while the car was moving and nearly fell out the car. I don't know why that stuck in my head, but when my son was younger and in the back of the car I always locked his door or made sure the child safety lock was on so he couldn't be a naughty Willy Weasel!

There were great books that accompanied the road safety campaign such as this one:


 and other teaching aids such as this jigsaw:


Of course there were other road safety campaigns like the Green Cross Code Man famously played by Dave Prowse of Darth Vader fame and later the Hedgehogs who gave their message to the tune of "King of the road" by Roger Miller.


Green Cross Code Man - Dave Prowse

The Green Cross Code - Hedgehog Campaign
Road safety is still such an important issue, especially with hundreds more cars, lorries, buses and motorbikes on the road. Cyclists are more prevalent too on modern roads and children should be taught from an early age to look out for cyclists when crossing roads (we have cyclists who race down our road and have been recorded at speeds of 36 mph) and to ride their own bicycles properly and safely too.
I often see parents dragging their children across roads, because they cannot be bothered to wait for the green man. Sometimes parents run across the roads too. This is very bad practice and children will remember this and do it whilst crossing on their own. 
So if you have little ones make sure they know the basic rules of the road.
 Stop. Look. Listen. 
Have a look at this Tufty Road Safety Campaign here and reminisce about quieter roads and remember Tufty's Kerb Drill!


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Wednesday, 22 April 2015

S is for Spring



 Spring



Spring a time of new growth and rebirth. How does Spring make you feel? I like the warmer days and being able to open windows and put washing out on the line!
I don't like the dilemma of deciding whether to turn off the heating for the rest of the year or putting it on just for 20 minutes in the morning to heat up the bathroom. We live in a cottage which has next to nothing in the way of insulation so we have blankets and extra heaters everywhere and we all own thermal underwear and socks! The bathroom is freezing as it is a dorma built later onto the 1790's timber frame. Plonking your derrière on a cold seat is bloody horrible, so the warmer weather is most welcome.

Yesterday we went for a walk to a Woodland Trust property nearby and saw our first bluebells of the year. There were also Wild Primroses growing and a Chiffchaff singing away in the treetops. There were also lambs and we ending up rescuing 6 lambs who had got themselves the other side of the fence because some idiot had left the gate to the field open. Remember the Countryside Code for the UK 


Chiffchaff

Bluebells


Spring Lambs

The gorgeous Cherry Blossom has all gone now leaving pink carpets on the streets and darker pink leaves behind. We have a lot of blossoming trees where we live and they look absolutely stunning when they are heavy with blossom. Another beautiful Spring tree is the Magnolia. I've always wanted one, but we have a concrete garden (in a cottage - how crap) and I don't know how well it would flower in a large pot.

Cherry Blossom

The daffodils and hyacinths are also dying off although I have some Winston Churchill variety that are all just flowering with double heads. I am leaving all the greenery on the daffodils until Monty Don on Gardeners World tells me it is OK to chop them back :-)

We have had some very warm weather in the South East of England. We went down to Seasalter last week and it was 25 degrees. People were dressed in shorts and t-shirts in April. What happened to April showers?
Yesterday at Tankerton beach it was so windy that my ears actually hurt from the cold and the temperature was only 12 degrees.

Why do British love to talk about the weather? I think it is because we don't get a gradual temperature rise. It goes from being cold to hot and then hot to cold again within days. Our sensitive skins can't cope with it!

So here's to BBQ's and evening walks along the beach, ice-creams and reading in the garden.

Welcome Spring!

Cute animals just for the hell of it!


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