Recipe for success

A few days at home, a morning at work, a disturbed night, packing and we were on our way to Brighton! A detour to pick up the macaroons that on Wednesday were not ready, but. Thanks to colourfulbites for making the magic happen!
We had a good journey and a cuppa was shared whilst working on POA and shopping list!

We enjoyed the delights of the garden and we hit the road canhams for lamb, pasties and scotch eggs then Tesco for everything else. A stop at the florist at Hove station for a riot of gerbera and roses.

More prep and a wonderful pizza dinner was enjoyed. POA revisited for Saturday and more photos!

So it was 60 years to the day, up early, fantastic breakfast, but not until the food order was collected, and the French bread.
There had been a delivery which was a wonderful surprise – a signed card from Her Majesty!
Elaine decided that the pond had to be emptied and refilled. Jane and mum redid the meringue and it was all coming together: balloons, bunting,food and drink!
The first guests arrived, and then a steady stream followed. Fizz flowed, food was ready and a rolling stream of photos of family, weddings and music over 60 years.
We had photo booth fun, speeches, some more tearful than others. My Dad doesn't say much and he made such an effort to thank everyone – so touching.

Mum said a few words about the secret of their success: be friends, like each other love each other and make sure they don't snore!

It was a wonderful day and hopefully everyone enjoyed it as we did!

We were so tired but in a good way. Sixty years…….. raise your glasses to Celli and Andrew🍾🍾🍾🍾💕💕💕💕

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Keep right on to the end of the road……

Sunday arrived and we had beautiful weather for the Scottish relatives, friends and neighbours to celebrate the diamond anniversary.

Food, drink and chairs were in place. Guests arrived and laughter rang out. We spilled over into the garden and it was so good to see so many smiling faces.

I read a poem by Bob Marley, dad had bought a ring and we toasted the happy couple.

Tired but exhausted we went to bed, it was a delightful day!

Monday morning we said goodbye to Elaine and Jane and we had a relaxed day followed by dinner out.

An early start on Tuesday as we had to go to Eyemouth. Elaine had seen there was an ice cream and fish and chip shop named Giacopazzi's, which was the maiden name of our maternal grandmother, Valentina.
The journey was fine up to the point that we turned off on to the A1107. Not what I expected, we were high up, drop to the left, so I had to practice deep breathing and just put my foot down!

We met Kerry, who was so welcoming and offered great hospitality as well as her precious time. Some information was shared although little progress regarding any tenuous family link, but we will continue our research.

Next up Harrogate and another 3 hours in the car!
We briefly alighted at our accommodation and then on to Mama Doreen's Cupcake Emporium!

Our afternoon was exquisite, sumptuous treats galore with lashings of tea. For once I didn't partake in the Prosecco, of which I was thankful later!

We went back to the accommodation booked, and it took a walk across the rickety decking, down the loose slabs, holding onto the wobbly handrail. This didn't bode well. Mum's ankle had swollen and she struggled, and once inside the accommodation was reminiscent of student lodgings. Then a train passed, and, the last straw, we couldn't work the TV. The thought of having to kill 5-6 hours before bed as mum couldn't walk anywhere, required a decision to be made: so I did and we left to drive home.

We made good time and it was lovely to be in my own bed!

I had brought down with me Mum's and my Wedding dress – now over 60 years old. I didn't think Nina would try it on, but she did and wow! 👀👀

We are now gearing up for Saturday's celebration and I have even managed to go to work, get some hearing aids and visit our original next door neighbour!

💕💕💕🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉😴😴😴😴

Getting older…

Over the last few months, probably three years, I have struggled with fatigue, weight gain, changes in vision, and most recently tinnitus. 


I have had medication for high blood pressure for 18 years and for an under active thyroid for 7 years.


A few weeks ago I decided to make changes. A trip to the doctor means a blood test today-joy!


More frightening has been BP readings twice a day for a week. Erratic and too high. These have been given to the doctor  so with the blood test results should give a clearer picture.

Opticians and dentist yesterday and my eyes may be being effected by my medical conditions! Tishbapoo!


I have started to monitor what I’m eating and a conscious effort to walk more. This can’t be a fair weather change either. So far I’ve lost 6lbs, but a fairway still to go to feel comfortable. 

This getting older is a state of mind and I will do all I can to keep me healthy and to enjoy my life as I reach the grand age of 56! Although the morning aches and pains take longer to dissipate, I intend to grab what is ahead of me and enjoy to the fullest! Making small changes can make a big difference. ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•

Homeward bound

After a night in a warm room we were woken at 8:32 this morning. This left little time for showers etc and as it was miserable outside, we made our way to breakfast, which was again, very good! 

A meander through the streets of Bakewell meant buying cheese, beer and treats for home!

We returned to the hotel, packed and we were on our way.


The scenery we have seen on this trip has been so beautiful to behold, even in โ˜”๏ธ. There are so many more places to see, we have just skirted round and through them!


Our final stop just had to be a cake shop, Patisserie Valerie, at Cambridge services. One last hurrah for us both. Satiated, we carried on and Debbie dropped me off at home at 980 miles from when the journey began.

Joe was just leaving as we arrived, but a window tap and bibib attracted his attention to turn round. Hugs all round then Debbie left to get home too.

I unpacked, watered the garden and took some photos

This last week has been so good,so good,so good (sweet Caroline), I’ve been inclined …. to drink too much, eat far too much, and laugh (you can never laugh too much!).  I am blessed with great family and friends and I am lucky to have the opportunity to do things like this, and the means too.

Wonderful memories made and also a wanderlust to visit more of our beautiful ‘green and pleasant land’

Day 5 to North Berwick

Miles completed yesterday  over 140. After our comfortable stay at Ugiebrae in Seahouses, where nothing was too much trouble, we enjoyed our pre ordered breakfast. Poached eggs on toast and creamy mushrooms on brioche: another wonderful breakfast.

A stop at Bamburg Castle for a photo or two and we continued on our way

A couple of other stops but the weather began to close in!


We arrived in North Berwick in good time, enjoyed a cuppa then a light lunch of cheese, pate and crackers. 

A quick shower and titivate and we left for the station. We arrived in Edinburgh Waverley where a stiff walk up the Royal Mile to our meal destination. Over 30 Saracen fans were to break bread and enjoy the delights of middle eastern food: falafel, bone leaves,kebabs and flatbreads. All washed down with a variety of alcoholic imbibements. Dessert was Turkish delight and baklava, really sweet treats!

Cabs were summoned to take us to Murrayfield to watch the EPR Challenge Cup Final between Gloucester and Stade Francais. To be honest a lacklustre game with the French team winning 17-25. At least I saw Sergio Parisse score a try though! 


A good journey home on a dreech night, a cup of warm milk and some neurofen as I’m not feeling brilliant and hoping for a Saracen win tomorrow, especially as I have my new shirt to wear! 

Trauma, tea and treats

We woke early at our B and B, the gables, outside Lincoln and enjoyed a hearty breakfast after our 112 miles. 

On return to our room I found my phone to be no longer operative๐Ÿ˜ฑ

My mother in law, only asked on Sunday what I would do in such an eventuality and I said I’d be fine. To be fair the trauma only ensued in mild panic, with options discussed, one being to find an Apple Store in Harrogate. 

The drive to Harrogate was filled with scenery and music from Calvin Harris to The Osmonds ah the memories of our youth! 

Our first destination was to be Betty’s-has to be done! A queue for a cuppa? But not too long a wait, where we lunched very finely, followed by a fat rascal for Debbie and the macaroons for me! 

Next was the Apple Store, where an Apple reset was required, shopping a  distraction whilst the phone was resuscitated! Luke saved the day and the road trip for me!

An amble back to our hotel, with a spot of people watching along the way and some photo taking! 

Happily esconced in our room we delighted in some pampering: face and hair masks, FaceTime to my mum and then dressing for dinner. 


Debbie suggested the chateaubriand and as a virgin in that department, I gladly accepted her gastronomic experience.

What can I say, an inspired choice, delicious and probably a carlsberg moment for me! 

After a ‘rest’ we had lemon tart to follow-sublime! 

All washed down with fizzy rose! 


What a treat! The sun shone and we have travelled quite a distance. Seahouses has a lot to live up to! 

Taking the biscuit

After a night’s rest, we breakfasted, packed and were on our way. Yesterday we completed 86 miles and today’s destination was Lincoln(hence the biscuit reference!)

We stopped at the American Cemetery, rows and rows of marble crosses and stars for loss of life. Time to reflect, time to remember and just time to be. 

It started to rain so we headed inside and it was beautiful. 


We owe so much to those and although sombre it was worthwhile to visit.

Onwards to Lincoln, and a stop at Stamford. What a delightful town: full of quaint shops, bridges and some great photo opportunities. We live on a beautiful island!

Next up Lincoln and we enjoyed the many views of the cathedral as we tried to find somewhere to park . A walk up steep hill๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ,  a wonder round the cathedral. Just so beautiful, the stained glass, the ornate carvings and the feeling of serenity breathtaking.


Dinner was at cafe zoot, a recommendation, and didn’t disappoint. Liver parfait, Brie, lamb and beef suet pie was delicious. Creme brรปlรฉe was dessert and I washed mine down with prosecco.


The walk back down steep hill was eventful. Debbie laughed till she cried, I held on to walls,railings, anything. I have never been happier to see drainpipes! 

Now happily ensconced in our b&b we are tired but have had another great day! 

A surprise flying visit

After a disastrous mothers’ day flower fiasco, I decided on a brief trip to see my parents and also be with my mum on her birthday, so flights, buses and trains were duly booked. 


I left a gloriously warm and sunny England for a less warm Scotland, with a delayed flight all part of the experience. 

The surprise duly delivered, there was a quick run through the Monday’s many culinary treats. First off was lunch with a couple of relatives and very pleasant it was too, although a glimpse of life as an octegenarian was disturbing! Bins: the variety of them and the ยฃ25 fee-first world problems! And it didn’t stop there with politics next, so I steered conversation to holidays and more fun topics


Lunch was followed by tea, coffee and large cream scones- why? Because they were free? ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

Back home for a titivate then on to dinner at a favourite tapas restaurant in Broughty Ferry.

Scrumptious and plentiful where more cud chewing ensued, with the usual deprecation and laughter.๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿค—

A drive home, comfortably satiated and suitably hydrated after an early celebration for mum’s birthday, we settled down to watch the penultimate broadchurch episode. 

Birthday girl was up, cards opened and a lovely breakfast was consumed. Plan for the day was a bijou shopping trip to finishing touches( a girl can never have too many bags, scarves or assorted trinkets for body or home!) then lunch at the townhouse. 


Home and an impromptu visit from Mabel, more laughter then it was time for the station and begin the trip home. 

Hugs, kisses, expressions of thanks and the warm feeling of a memory made and knowledge that we will be together in 8 weeks.

Train to haymarket, then airlink bus to airport, effortlessly simple. Time to browse in duty free ( sorry kevin! ) then good flight arriving early and great to be back, with Kevin’s cheery smile to greet me. Cuddles from Nina and a catch up from the last couple of days. 


Short trip but sweet, I admit to being exhausted, but I am very fortunate to still have both my parents to share time with, however short it may be. Although with all we ate, it felt more like a week! 

Mother’s Day 2017

I’ve had such a lovely weekend….

Saturday was relaxing with a trip to Michaela’s followed by afternoon tea at Dandelion and Burdock in Stock. Since her career change in August, it has been so lovely to have weekend time with Georgina, and yesterday was no exception.


After the scrumptious fare, and as it was a beautiful day we decided to walk the 5 km home. Probably not the most sensible thing in stilettos but hey! 



Joe had already bought me a beautiful orchid on Friday, which will have pride of place in the bedroom, and as he was ided he had to buy non alcoholic Shiraz!


One of the things that really annoys my friend Debbie when we go away is my phone pinging, and I have promised to set it to DND when we go away in May, but it was great to hear the noise this morning and see a photo sent from AUstralia of Andrew and Lis at a friend’s wedding at St kilda. 


How fantastic to have been in their thoughts this weekend, although just being a part of their lives in any small way is so enjoyable. As they all make their way in life and tread different paths, I love to hear and see what they have done and share their excitement in what they hope to do.
Now for a glass of fizz or two to conclude the weekend.

Holiday….celebrate! ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•

After the surprise visit from Australia, we were fortunate to have booked the end of September/beginning of October to holiday with Viv and Don in Portugal. 

Perfect timing and with our Wedding Anniversary on the Sunday also a chance to celebrate.

We arrived on the Friday and were met at Faro airport. A whistle stop at the supermarket and we were out for lunch. 

Viv had put together an itinerary to optimise our time, to share their favourites old and new and even a trip to Seville. Here are a few photos of the week

There was laughter aplenty, moments of quiet reflection, good food, fantastic weather and of course, good company!

Holidays should refresh you and help you to face new and old challenges. I certainly  feel ready to square up to the challenges I know I will face up to Christmas and beyond, but feel calmer and raring to go!