Monday, June 13, 2011


Monday means cleaning day. I am getting more like my mum than I ever thought I would.

Cleaning routine always the same but when I searched the cupboard for bicarb of soda to clean my pots and taps I realised I might actually be turning into her. This was my mum's favoured cleaning agent, way before it become the "green option". So this is a case of your mother always being right! Maybe I should have listened a little harder to what she was telling me!

My pots and taps were shining. All it took was a little bicarb if soda mixed with a squeeze of lemon juice. I worked it into the pots wiped off and buffed up with a cloth.. Hey presto my taps were gleaming, stains had magically disappeared from pots.

This is the way to go. Also great for getting stains off cups. I drink tea without milk which leave my cups with horrible brown stains, again the bicarb removes them easily and safely without the need for chemicals.

Seems strange that for years this was the way people cleaned and then we came up with all sorts of expensive and dangerous chemicals, Why? Because it was faster, or easier? I don't know, but I know in this case I'm going back to the old way of cleaning. It is also great for getting smells out of the fridge. Just put an open box in the fridge and it will absorb all nasty smells.

So no longer is the bicarbonate of soda a staple of the baking shelf, it now also sits under the sink ready to shine up my pots and pans.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Telephone Therapy

Let me begin by saying today is Wednesday 8th June. The importance of the day, not so much the date, will become clear as you read this blog.

I look forward to regular phone calls with my aunt in Scotland. She is my mother's sister, and as sadly I no longer have my mum I feel this connection is very important. This is by no means a duty call, we have always been close, and I really enjoy our chats. We can discuss everything from the weather, cooking, exchange family gossip and even talk of what happens when we get too old to look after ourselves, which is hopefully a long long way off. It is good to have someone who shares views, and opinions and when I have a good old moan she listens, sympathises and then we move on. It is a bit like unconditional friendship.

These calls are really a form of therapy, and I think if more of us had someone to chat and open up to less of us would actually need a real therapist. Sadly people today don't take the time to sit down and just chat about everything going on in their lives. Maybe because of the fear of being thought weak, of not being able to cope or of just being a moaner, or they feel they just don't have the time.

Make the time...... It needs a special person to be fulfill the perfect conditions of these chats and I am so grateful to have someone who fulfills the roll for me. It is a two way street and we are always there for each other. We laugh together, cry together, sympathise and make no demands on each other. I think it is almost a perfect recipe for friendship.

However as we are all busy, my aunt being no exception, We have to carefully schedule the calls. Mondays are out, she visits her son, Tuesday she meets friends for coffee, but afternoon are okay, except every second one when the library van turns up. Thursday is her day for the hairdresser. So as you can see I am often confused as to the best time to call. And we do find a few weeks can go by with messages being left on answer machines. But eventually we always connect.

So today, I was geared up to the call. I made my coffee and sat down for or chat. In my mind I was thinking it was late enough for her to be home from the hairdressers, lunch should be over and there was still time before the library van turned up.

I dialled the number and my luck was in. I started by saying I was lucky to get in between hair and books. She seemed bewildered and said hair was Thursday library Tuesday, and that today was Wednesday! We laughed at my perfect mistiming as I was indeed between two appointments, just I had thought it was Thursday and had mixed up her library day.

This prompted a conversation of our memories failing as we get older but I think it was purely a mistake and that her schedule is so full have trouble keeping up with it. And I'm sticking to that!!

I hope I am as busy and fulfilled when I am her age in another 25 years or so.

My philosophy is age is a state of mind and I have so many friends who prove me so right.

So I will continue with these calls, share a coffee as we chat, because you never know when the day will come when this luxury is taken away.

So if you have someone special like this in your life make time for them, cherish whatever time you share with them and never make demands or criticize, special friendships are few and far between and should be treated well.

I hope you are as lucky as I am and have someone who puts no pressure on you to be nothing other than what you are, and accepts you for, or even inspite of it.

Go on make a call, make someone happy.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Just spent 5 days in Bologna, Italy. 5 wonderful days I may add.

Apart from the wonderful food and shopping what hit me was just how at how fashionable a city it was. Women and men were beautifully dressed. The clothes were so well cut and worn with ease. I know this wasn't everyone, but mostly from what I could see.

As I sat people watching from a pavement cafe, I marvelled at the ease with which the women wore the clothes. Ballet flats were definitely the order of the day. Elegant, but also so very sensible in a city of cobbled streets and marbled walkways. They were worn with everything, and looked so good. I came back planning to invest in a few pairs. I have one pair to my name at the moment but I so need more.

Also scarves were worn with everything from summer shifts to jeans and sweaters. How did they manage to look cool in 30c heat wearing jeans and scarves. I guess looking good takes a lot of practice.

I had the feeling that high fashion was not the main look, but a classic look that worked for everyone. It was the ease with which the clothes were worn that amazed me. I so envied the confidence they seemed to have. Even young teenage guys were well put together, not something you can say here!

I know I am speaking generally, and from a general point of view what I saw were women who seemed to really care what they look like, who think about how they put their look together and pull off an effortless easy way of dressing. I was so impressed.

As I walk around my local High Street it is almost an exception to see someone who makes me look twice at their appearance. Why are we so bad at good fashion? Or are we? I think in certain areas of the country it's better, but not on the scale I saw in Italy.

So come on ladies, take a real look in the mirror, forget high fashion and find comfortable but smart elegant clothes that you are proud to wear. I think that is the secret to the effortless elegance I saw over there. Not saying I will pull this off every day, or even at all, but I know I will be trying.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


I am about to embark upon a week long holiday with my older daughter and family. There will be a 17 year old, Robbie, a 2 year old, Archie, and my baby granddaughter Daisy May, the newest edition to the clan.

I'm looking forward, probably optimistically, to a week of family fun. Dinners around the table, fun in the pool, games in the evening, snuggling up with books and magazine and with snuggling into babies in my bed.

In reality I'm sure it will be a week of total chaos, but oh so much fun. More bouncing than snuggling in the bed! Everyone helping out with meals, even Archie likes to join in there. There will no doubt be 2 year old tantrums, and teething troubles with the baby. A moody teenager? Maybe a few golf games with granddad will drag him away from computers and games.

But one thing for sure is we will all be together and enjoy it. Living 400miles away I don't see enough of them. I want to give mum a break and do a bit of spoiling for the week. Little treats and lots of hugs and cuddles, even for the 17 year old, although he does protest a little! What more could you want?

I may need a few days to put my life back together on my return, but I will have spent time getting to know the children, marvelling at how quickly they grow up, and of course what gaga, yes that's what they call me, wouldn't gloat over how smart and clever her grandchildren are, LOL.

So packing done excitement growing, and a long drive ahead, but at the end of it a week of family fun.

But just before we all meet up, a scheduled, and very welcome stop with my younger daughter and her husband, for a night in Glasgow. An altogether more grown up meeting. Some great shopping in the day and a delicious Tapas Bar, Cafe Andaluz, booked for the evening. An ideal way to start the holiday.

I love how as the girls have grown, so too has our relationships. Two very different children, both with very different lives, but thankfully both happily married and happy with their lives. I am happiest when I know they are happy. I know they have to work hard and things don't always go according to plans, but they find their way and deal with what life throws at them.

So here's to a great week. It would be nice if the sun could shine for us.

Monday, January 24, 2011


Is spending time putting my herbs and spices into alphabetic order life's way of telling me to "get one"? Or is it the sign of a tidy, if slightly anal mind? Whatever the answer I am a happier person this afternoon knowing one more thing is in order. Nothing wrong in that I say.

Tomorrow, who knows, but the linen cupboard could use a tidy up.

Life in the fast lane........

Monday, August 9, 2010


36 years ago today I said "I DO" 36 years on I'm so happy I did. Where did the years go?

They went into building a marriage, bringing two wonderful daughters into the world and over the years helping them grow into the wonderful women they are today. Over the last few years I have seen both of them married, I have 2 son in laws who are perfect for my girls, couldn't have picked better myself and 2 amazing grandsons, a teenager and toddler who bring so much joy to our lives. And looking forward to new baby later in the year.

We've travelled, had the fortune to be able to live in other countries for periods of time. We've built a network of wonderful friends all over the world.

The best thing about all of this? I did it with my best friend.

Let's hope there are more wonderful years ahead.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


As I find myself cleaning the shower with a toothbrush trying to get into all those small awkward areas, I ponder the thought, I'm I mad, do I have too much time on my hands or more likely have I turned into my mother?

After a few minutes I decide all of these statements are probably true to a certain degree, but the real truth of the matter is that a man designed this shower unit! A man who never in his life will have to keep it clean. Surely no woman would design something which was so difficult to maintain.

Again and again I am amazed that there are appliances which defy the cleaning tactic of a cloth or humble sponge, corners where dirt lingers in defiance of any spray, despite what the ads claim. The slime lies there defying all my best efforts. This is when my trusty toothbrush comes into it's own.

But the question remains as to why this is necessary. I tell myself before I buy anything new I will check the cleanability of the item, but again and again I fail to spot the danger area. I am seduced by the shiny surface, and all the switches and buttons! Yes soon I will find myself once again reaching for the toothbrush tucked in the corner of my basket of cleaning materials and cursing the day I bought it.

My daughters mock my determination to get into all the nooks and crannies. They say anything that requires such effort is just not worth having. Their day will come. They will be on thee knees struggling with the defiant corner, or trying to get under the switches on the hob when they find themselves reaching for a toothbrush! I will smile and say "I told you so"

Please note no toothbrush is harmed during my cleaning fits, and they never again are used for their original purpose.Just in case anyone was wondering.

Happy Spring Cleaning.