Friday 28 October 2016

Friday, Friday!

picture of Burford, from google
Greetings from the Cotswolds.  Good Morning, how are you?

Have you been to Bibury?  It is very pretty.  Before moving to this house, we did try and buy a house there, but the vendor decided they didnt want to move house after all.  In hindsight they did us a favour.  The house was lovely, but we didnt really think about all the tourists or the cars.  I have since  seen lines of coaches, rumbling outside the house when I have passed it.  Not good. I would hate that.

I have had the luxury of being about to blog hop a lot in the last 2 weeks.  Here are a few new to me blogs and posts from some of my favourite blogs.

Have you seen Linda's Blog?  No?  Go see it {HERE}.

Although not a blog, I saw {THIS} on the BBC.  This is great news post Brexit vote.  We need more of this, more manufacturing.

{Manger}, I have loved this blog for a long time.  So many children and still has time to have such beautiful hair, mix this with her dress sense and ballet shoes I am sure to try some of her recipes.

With the renovations and the loss of my interior design mojo, I have turned to my old faithful read of {Young House Love} and my 2 new finds of  {The Jungalow}, who seems to love house plants as much as myself and {Sopo Cottage}, who renovate and decorate older homes.  They make them beautiful, go see for yourself.

How are you doing with the read a long?  I  only read another 30 or so pages yesterday.  I need to pick it up a bit to be on track, as I am thinking my first few days of the new job are going to long.

On purpose I chose A Christmas Carol, not only as it will be December, but it is also not a huge read, I think it is approximately 100 pages.  I realise many people will be busy and out and about, this coming month.  Plus, well, I just wanted to read it. **** This is in reply to the comment left by a person who didnt want the whole of their comment published.  I hope you read this explaination of the shortness of the book and not choosing another to bulk it out. ;) *****

Right, I am off to put Gardeners World on for Eric, he likes to watch it.

Have a fabulous weekend!  It looks as if it might be quite cold, just the type of weather to curl up with your book, a cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate.  Spoil yourself with a few biscuits.  I will have ginger nuts, my favourite!

Thursday 27 October 2016

Pea Soup

picture from google
Hello, how are you today?  Gosh, the fog was thick this morning wasnt it.  

I've moved everything from one end of the house, to the other upstairs bedroom to continue painting.  One last room to go and a second coat of paint on the hall.  It doesnt seem to have covered how I wanted it to.

Still reading North and South, I havent made much of a dent in it yet.  I think I am on page 60.  It is just picking up.  woo hoo

I am also researching a horse trailer or animal trailer.  Are you able to help me with this?  Do you have any advice?  When the farm was sold, it was sold lock, stock and barrel.  I have never had to buy a trailer.  What is the trailer for you ask?  Well I have lots of plants, trees and food storage that I would like to move seperately from the house contents.  What are your thoughts please?  I need some help.  

Moving on - some of the plants I will want to move

The grape vine is looking a bit bare now.  But still has some orange and red leaves on it.  It produces large black grapes, without seeds.

One of my blueberrie is changing colour also now.

Volunteer mint, growing like crazy.

The tops of 2 of my olive trees.

The acer in the front garden is a burgundy colour now.

The acer in the back garden is a frothy pink colour.  They are the same type of tree, I cant remember the name of it.  Strange that one is dark and one is light?

The front garden looks like this all over the grass.

Can you believe it!  Olives on one of my smallest plants.

They are tiny, but are changing colour.  Its only about the size of my little finger nail.

Oca, growing away happily.

And my smallest of all olive trees, which also produced fruit, all very tiny, some are like little dots!  Lol.  They grew though!  That is all that matters to me.  Who knows, when we move we may plant them in the ground!  Then for sure we would have to stay!  I cant leave my beloved olive trees behind.

What do you know about trailers?

P.S. I also hope to be like this lady when I am 82!

Wednesday 26 October 2016

Good Morning, Good Morning and Maybe Good Afternoon

These pictures have nothing to really do with todays post.  Its more 'Typing out loud', I'm afraid.  Today's post is more thinking.

These pictures are of Spetse,  in Greece.  Cars are banned from the town.  I kind of like that.

Water taxis bobbing about on the waterfront.  

The above picture is of the road back to Athens.  

I love a few places on the planet, Canada took my heart many years ago.  Even before Posh Boy, my childhood friend moved to England from Canada.  The love affair started there.  Its so clean, people are so friendly.  Its so easy to travel around.  Whats not to love?

New Zealand.  Land of the Hobbit.  Again another very clean place, easy to travel about and the people were super friendly.

France.  Oh, France, I fell in love with France on a school exchange in the suburbs of Paris.  The food, the clothes, the people.  I thought my penpals mother was the most chic person I had met in all my 12 years!  lol  It was an assault on the sense for 2 weeks France, indulged me, gave me some independence and with that came the idea that it could be somewhere I would like to live at some point.  It hasnt happened yet, but never say never right.  We nearly moved there when we were 24.  We even found the house, on the outskirts of Aubetterre sur Drone.  It had a round turret and was surrounded by sunflowers.  There was some complication with the family who were selling it.  The siblings could not agree, it was not meant to be.

Every year since we have been together, bar the last 2, we have been to Greece.  We have sailed around all the islands.  Just the 2 of us and a 33 foot yacht.  It is actually hard work when it is only 2 of you.  And although some people think it is posh or ritzy... it is nice you get to see lots of place and not from the land out to see, but vice versa.  The weather can some times be scary and pumping sea water to flush your own toilet can mean it is a little smelly in the head.  Radio checks with foreigners can be hit and miss, bilge pumping, exhaust checking, prop wraps, all things you have to be prepared for.  On the whole it is fab.

We have friends who live in Porto Heli (Porto Cheli), who most of the time we stay with when we finish the 2 weeks on the boat.  Gives us respite from wobbly legs.  Treat us to amazing food, from their amazing garden.  It has also crossed our mind to sell up and run off to the Greek sun.  The houses are extremely well priced there.

Lets do some star gazing - If you could live anywhere, where would you go?  And what type of house and garden would you want?  Go make a post on your own blog and leave me a comment so I know to visit.  I would be interested to know where you would go...

Monday 24 October 2016

Typing out loud

A bit of blue sky thinking has been happening here.  Another blow to my family, my cousin died last week.  Another funeral.  She buried her husband the week before.  He was 52, she was 48.  Him to cancer and although on her death certificate it will say she died of a heart attack, I think it should really say 'broken heart'.

Lifes to bloody short isnt it.  

We have been thinking and talking and have decided that we will move up our retirement plans to sooner.  Rather than in our 50's.  We need to speed this all up.  Mortgage free is the goal.  It maybe a really small property but we will be free.  Or should I say more free.

All very William Wallace, FRREeeeeeeeedooooommmmmmmmm!

What are your plans?  Are you running off into the sunset also?  lol  Join me in the craziness.  As the young'uns say YOLO.  You only live once!

Sunday 23 October 2016

The Read Along Book List 2016/2017

picture from google

Good Morning Read Along Friends!  Greetings from the slightly cold, very autumnal Cotswolds.  How are we all?  Get to the books I hear you say??!?  I have poured over Google, searched in depth. read lots of reviews.  And as I wanted to try and keep it to as many as I possibly could being free to download on to a kindle or PC/tablet.  

Rather than have a monthly, please vote, hello PLEASE vote, VOTE NOW, taking up a week.  I have chosen for you/us.  I hope you like them.  Read what you want of them, pick and choose when to join in.  As I know some of you would like to have the real book in your hand and feel the paper, turn those delicious pages and if old giving that wiff that only old books have, I have made the list for the year.  Everyone can then take their time to hunt the books out.  Myself, I am going to keep a list in my purse, then if I am in a charity shop or a second hand shop, I can look for any of these titles.  Yes, I have a kindle, but I still love to have the real book sitting in my hand.  There is nothing like it.

Ok, calm down here is the list. 

October 2016 - North and South, by Elizabeth Gaskell
November 2016 - A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens
December 2016, Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov
January 2017 - Mansfield Park, by Jane Austen
February 2017 - The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood
March 2017 - Middlemarch, by George Eliot
April 2017 - Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte
May 2017 - Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte
June 2017 - The Colour Purple, by Alice Walker 
July 2017 - Tess of the D'ubervilles, by Thomas Hardy
August 2017 - Passage to India, by E M Forster
September 2017 - Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott

Friday 21 October 2016

October 2016 Book Choice

Greetings from the Cotswolds.

I am pleased to announce that the book for October-November 2016 will be North and South, by Elizabeth Gaskell.  Whilst I slept, the book poll closed, this book had 7 votes.

This has worked out quite well time wise.  If we say we read from now and we all post or comment on someones blog (for people who dont have their own blog), on the 20/21 November. This will then make the next book finish before Christmas.  


I am off to Google, 3 more books.  I will publish my findings Sunday.  You will all then have plenty of time to reserve the books from the library, download them, buy them or borrow them (for when we are ready to read them).

And obviously I will also have to find the TV series of North and South.  You know, for research purposes.  It has absolutely nothing to do with 

Be sure to come back Sunday, I will publish the reading list for the next few books.  I will try and make it so they are free downloads if possible for Kindles.

Have a great weekend. 

Thursday 20 October 2016

Its the final countdown

There are 8 hours left to vote on the read along book for October.

*******Air guitar********

*****Head banging, hair swishing*****


(I am kind of excited about the books now!)

Wednesday 19 October 2016

Square Box

Did you used to watch {Willo the Wisp}?  I loved that cartoon!!!

Moving on to the present, I have been watching some good TV programmes that I cant wait to come back.

Firstly, I have really enjoyed {Victoria}.  I enjoy historical programmes, my favourites being {Lark Rise to Candleford} and {The House of Elliot}.  I liked the costumes and even if not completely accurate, I feel like I am getting a little bit of a history lesson.

Next up, I have been watching my autumn favourite, {Strictly Come Dancing}.  There are a few that are already fabulous.  I love all of the costumes and the glitz.  Lifes too short not to have a bit of glamour.

And finally, {My Kitchen Rules UK}.  I loved the Australian programme of this and now it has come to the UK.  Is it wrong of me to think that the Australians made food that looked better and is more likely what I would choose in a restaurant?  Dont shoot me, its true...

I am looking forward to the next installment of {Fortitude} in January!  Stanley Tucci was excellent in the last series.  Its a bit gory for me sometimes but I still seem to like it?

Of course there is also The Walking Dead.  Come on 24th October!  woo hoo

Have you been watching anything that you think I should?

Dont forget you still have another day to vote on the read a long book choice for October.  Voting buttons are on the top right side bar.  Vote, vote, VOTE!!!!!

Monday 17 October 2016

Read Along Book Vote

Hello, Not many ideas were forth coming for the book titles that we could read. I have therefore taken the liberty to consult the Grand Google and ask for some classics we could read. The books are



North & South

Mansfield Park

Please use the voting buttons at the top on the right side bar.  (can you believe I worked out how to add it? LOL)

Book Roulette

Greetings, hello...

Thinking about the read along, could anyone who would like to join in, please leave a comment with the name of a book and author. You can name any you would like us to read, or as many as you can think of.  I will then put up a post tomorrow, that we can vote on and decide the book.

Comment now!

woo hoo

Friday 14 October 2016

Blog List

I dont know who owns this picture, please contact me to add a credit.

Hello there.

I have changed a few things on the blog.  I did Google how to change a few things in blogger, but it looked like something from the Matrix.

You know it would look snazzy and you would get the Lady in Red, but alas, at present my brain wont allow it.  You will have to suffice with the below gif.  Now I know some people dislike Gifs, but every so often I like them.  

If you arent on my blog roll and think you should be or would like to be, leave me a comment, it is a work in progress.  My apologies if I have over looked you...  Messing around in the back of blogger is a recipe for disaster with me.

Go have a look!

Thursday 13 October 2016

Have a great weekend!

This weekend, have some hot chocolate, some waffles (use oat milk it adds something scrummy to the taste), some warmth from a blanket on the sofa.  Maybe a film.  Something nice and cozy.  Its getting chilly here.

And if you are a bit down, remember

Image result for the help you is smart gif

And every body hold back from mentally changing the IS to ARE.  Relax, let it go....

Most of all, keep your head up and your heart strong.

Have a good weekend!


p.s. I am going to tinker with the blog.  If it looks odd, my apologies.

Wednesday 12 October 2016

Read a long? - Book club?

Image result for book club gif

I would really like to start a book club.  Not one where I have to leave the house, but on here.  Would you like to read along?  Do some sort of link up.  

Say we read a book a month, or every 6 weeks.  You blog about it on your own blog and then link to all the other people who you know are reading along.  You then go to every other blog in the link and leave a comment on their post.

What do you think?  You dont have to dress up, you can turn up to write it when you want.  No one will talk over you.  You dont feel obliged to eat food you dont really like, or drink wine that isnt great.  You can sit in pajamas, drink what ever you like, eat a whole pack of biscuits, or waffles and write what you want about the book.

Are you up for it?

Maybe start with a classic and then next month read Dickens to finish before Christmas.

You can be from anywhere in the world (I will try and work out how to add the translate button to my blog).

What do you think?

Image result for book club gif

p.s. I have just added the translation button.  If you go to settings, then layout, there are labels 'add gadget', it comes up with options.  So you can add it where you want it, top, bottom, side bar.  Ahh if only everything in blogger was that easy...


I am suffering from a really sweet tooth at present.  I was caught by the builder yesterday. with a slice of fresh bread and enough honey on it for probably 3 sandwiches.  It was delicious.

Honey is really expensive to buy from the shops.  I am lucky enough that my BIL has 4 hives and he kindly gives me surplus stock!

I am trying to make it all last as long as possible.  lol  8 jars.  That will probably only last till the end of next week!  Yum

A call for a real {Father Ted}.   I miss TV programmes like Father Ted, {here} is a clip from one of my favourite episodes.

Tuesday 11 October 2016

Right Now

Woke up at 4am today.  No idea why.  I am back down to 4 hours sleep a night.  My eyes and brain feel like the above picture. 

Saw something about the Princess Diana Beany baby being worth £60k.  Scampered around the house to find my fortune, hidden in a box.  Made in Indonesia, not China.  I had what could have been a fortune in my mind for 20 minutes.  The excitement was giddy.  Then came the realisation that, nope, you still have to go to work.  Urgh

Pruned the roses in the front garden then realised I should have done it in February.  Whoops.

Waiting in for the builders to come back and take their tools and rubbish.  I think they have been using our house and garden to store stuff until they needed it.  Next payment has been requested, we requested they got rid of everything.  It has been there for 2 months.  Suddenly they are coming today, I wonder why? ;)

Main bathroom upstairs has been painted, Med blue.  I love it.  I think others will think it is too dark.  It needs something orange, like a vase or something to lift it.  I adore the mix of orange and blue.  Next week I will probably see something that I like and my colour choice will change.

Since the insulation has been done, even when 5 oC out side like this morning, the house sits at 17.5 oC indoors.  It was 13.5 to 14 oC in the winter last year.  Ok, it isnt the same time of year. But a 3.5 degree rise in temperature, I will take that and smile.  We still dont have flooring in the porch or hall/landing.  Therefore it should get a little warmer?  We can hope that it gets better again.

My lounge (lol my Aunt always says she hates that word, "its a SITTING ROOM"), looks like a florist or a rain forest.  Spider plants x 4, Japanese peace lillies x 2, weeping figs x 2 and yucca x 2.  Its like a Victorians house, although I dont have any ferns.  Maybe I need ferns?

All kind of boring and mundane things right now.


p.s. I think I am a little like Greg {Click Here}, in the film The Jane Austen Book Club.  Where he goes to the book shop and buys all of the Jane Austen books in one binding.  lol  I did just that, so they are all together.

Maybe I need another book club, one where I dont need to leave my house.  One where the people are all around the world and they just love to read.  Hmmmm let me ponder that...

Monday 10 October 2016

Eric is Bananaman!

*Extremely long post, get a drink.*

After last week with Scottish runs in the car, I then had to go to the other end of the country to Devon.  This time for 2 funerals.  This has made me extremely sad.  One 53 and one 64 and 4 months off of retirement.  My heart is really heavy at present.  Cancer has really strangled the life out of 2016.

I am therefore going to blog about something happy.

Way back in May, we went to the Blue Cross to ask them to pencil us in for a home visit, for us to adopt a pet(s).  We knew that we would need the work on the house to be finished before we could have them around, but we had no idea how far in advance we would have to have the home visit before we could take the new family member home with us.

After looking on line for a long time, I had noticed that older male cats seem to stay a long time at the shelter.  Many the faithful companion of an older person that has died.  I had therefore set my heart on having such a pet.

Amazingly, all of the cats that could be adopted, were reserved, or in the case of the kittens and Mamas were not ready to be homed.  The lady was ever so nice and told us to try another shelter in Gloucestershire.  I had a cracking headache, as I had got myself in a tizzy, because I get a bit tearful about shelter animals.  I was ready to go home then, as I had built myself up to having someone come and tell us if we and our house, were fit to have a pet.  I know it sounds crazy, but their approval was very high on my stress level at the time.

We sat in the car, I had a sigh of relief, when Posh Boy turns to me and says, "I want to go to the other shelter and register.  I want to do it today and get it over with".  With another sigh, I agreed.

When we got to this shelter, the noise was incredible, barking, barking, barking.  My heart dropped, whilst my head pounded.

At the reception desk, we asked about adoption and home visits.  The lady said there was paperwork to complete.  I started to fill the paperwork in, when we overheard someone in the back office discussing animals that were hard to rehome.  Of course, this made my hearing extra keen.  I know rude, of me.  The lady asked us, the normal questions. do you have children? do you have other pets? do you have a garden?.  No, no, yes.  A lady with a clip board came out and marked the wipe board with a blue and green marker.  I asked the Receptionist. what are the markers.  "They are the animals we are finding it hard to rehome.  They cant live with children or other animals".

Now as a normal person, my heart lept into my throat, one of those animals had to be for us.  

The receptionist, took us through the door and pointed out the cat area, the dog area and the small pets.  Posh Boy, asked her "where are the ones on the board?".  She gave a Mona Lisa smile and took us to the dog area.  I looked at Posh Boy, eyes wide, I hadnt thought about a dog.  We walked past a lot of dogs, VERY BIG dogs.  Huskies, some ones I dont know what they were, which you could have put a saddle on.  And then stopped in front of 4 kennels.  All small dogs, as we had ticked small animal on the form, me thinking cat.

Two lovely Patterdale Terriers rushed the fencing, barking and throwing themselves at the door.  One was baring its teeth.  The lady said they used to live together we would like them to go as a pair.  As we hadnt discussed a dog, I looked at Posh Boy for his lead.  "We would only take one dog", he said. 

We moved to the next door.  A Border Collie mixed with a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, pure muscle.  All I could think was, 'thats a dog that will never tire or be happy with the amount of walks it got'.  I shook my head.  

Next door, where was the dog?  I got down real low and in the far back corner was a flash of tanned coloured fur.  We called and tried to cox the dog to the door.  It came half way and dropped to the floor and was shaking.

A volunteer came over and opened the door and went straight in and then put the lead on the dog, who immediately perked up and trotted out.  And then we saw him.  Cute as a button.  Border Terrier, crossed with a Jack Russell.

Meet Eric.

We went to an enclosed paddock, the volunteer, was saying that he had 'Other Dog' aggression, meaning, he barked, threw himself around and generally did not like other dogs.  In the paddock, he stood there just shaking.  I ran about calling him to try and get him to follow, nothing.  I threw the ball, nothing.  He cowered in the corner.  My heart sank.  As soon as I had seen his little face, I knew he had to come home with us.  But could we have a dog that shook and then was aggressive with other dogs.  We said we had to think about it and that we would be back the next day.

We went back the next day, armed with treats, strong hearts, after much talking into the night.  Was a dog right for us?

When we got there, the Volunteer took us straight to his kennel.  He ran at the fence and whined to come out.  In the paddock he trotted after me and chased the ball when I ran with him.  

"We'll take him".

And the rest as they say is history.  The first few weeks were awful.  He barked crazily at the door bell, (still does, we are working on it).  He barked and pulled and whined to get to other dogs on walks.  He freaked out and cried if you left the room.  When out, he barked he would lunge at cyclists, or runners.  Anyone in lycra or high viz jackets.  Much of what I had read about on one of my favourite gardening blogs {HERE}.  Pretty much everything Judy from this blog barked at, so does Eric.

I am pleased to say that, Eric, is now able to be near other dogs.  Whilst on the lead he will still pull towards them and bark.  But his tail is wagging and he wants to play.  He every so often barks at cyclists, especially if he hasnt heard them approaching.  He growls at the TV if a dog comes on, be it the cartoon dogs on the Sky TV advert, Nigel the dog on Gardeners World, or the dreaded wild life programmes that may show a SQUIRREL.  Oh My Goodness, squirrels on the TV send him crazy, he cries and if they go off the screen either side he runs into the garden and bounces around like Pepe Le Pew looking for them.

He has also gained a kilo in weight and the Vet says he is spot on now.

What I will say, is Eric is a completely different dog, when not on the lead.  We went to Cornwall for some respite from the building works.  Oh yeah I forgot to say, 2 weeks after he arrived they took the roof off the house.  Remember I said he didnt like high viz, he also was scared of the builders and would hid and try and dig the floor out in the corner of the lounge.  After lots of treats, he was ok with the builders. In Cornwall we saw family, who are super confident and their dog very calm.  We went to a dog friendly beach and met up with them.  There was quite a bit of barking, the other dog just sat there and ignored him.  He finally calmed and my MIL leant over and unhooked his lead, he took off like a bat out of hell towards the sea, the other dog in hot pursuit.  I was SCARED TO DEATH.

Then they turned and ran back to us and sat down.  Nothing.  No aggression, no barking.  Nothing.  The angels sang, the sun came out, all was well in the world.

Here they are at MIL farm.

Who would have thought it?  I never thought that he would ever be able to do this.  (after a haircut...  Tidier)

Like Judy, Eric has had 3 other owners.  I now think that they all lived in a town, and his barking and lunging at other dogs, bikes, anything really that scared him, is the reason he was given to the shelter.  We are lucky to live surrounded by fields that we are allowed to walk in.  He loves it.

He is also the reason I didnt put up to many pictures of the renovation.  As he loved to photo bomb.

There you have it.  Something with a happy ending.

Welcome Eric, we love you!  Welcome Home!

Wednesday 5 October 2016

Books, books, books, everywhere books

After a whirlwind visit to Scotland, (to the Gartnavel General Hospital to be precise. parking was horrendous...), we have come home and really pushed to put the house back to as normal as it can be.

We still have boxes that havent been unpacked as they are books and we have to find homes for the bookshelves first.  A bit of a set back due to holes in carpet that look 'apparently' like a fault in the carpet itself.  It looks like some one has used a knife and cut a stab mark through them,  To me it looks like the fitters have accidentally cut through the carpet from the back and then pretended it hadnt happened.  This is in 3 rooms.  Not happy as I have to wait for them to take them away and send them back to the manufacturer and also fit the new ones that have been ordered.  *le sigh*.  First world problems.

Back to the books.  Arent the bookshelves stunning in the picture above?  Divine.  At somepoint we will have a house where I blow the budget and have a whole room of shelves for books and a single chair and lamp right in the middle of the room.  I can dream cant I...?

I am currently reading Tess of the D'ubervilles.  Poor Sorrow. 

What are you reading?  I would like something new to read that I havent already, but I am at a loss of what to read...  Please, nothing too violent, I dont like those ones.

Hope you are all well.

p.s. when we stopped in the services station as the drive was going on forever due to part of the M6 being shut, I went into a Costa coffee.  Oh my word!  £3.32 for a medium coffee, 2 hot drinks cost me £7.  That is $8.90 (US), €7.94 and $11.74 (CAD).  How can people afford to buy that every day?

Oh and there was a mattress in the verge.  How did that get there?  What went through those peoples minds?  Lets take our mattress for a ride on the motorway, look it wants to get out, here looks like a good place...