Happy New Year, 2012!

January 2, 2012

…..The Year of the London Olympics.
The Year of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Will you make it a year to remember?
I hope so!…..


A Special Day at Denbies

December 12, 2011

…..Saturday December 10th 2011…..

My Cousin Mark and his Girlfriend Katarina held their wedding at Denbies Wine Estate in Surrey.

It was a lovely cold frosty atmospheric December afternoon and a gathering of our extended family, most of whom we haven’t seen in four years. How nice to all be together again to celebrate a happy event.

The food was lovely, albeit lacking in meat!, and the wine certainly flowed. We were treated to a tour of the estate on a little train and a private wine tasting which was very fun.

The Bride and bridesmaids looked beautiful, and my cousin Mark and his Best Man, his Brother Peter both looked very dapper in their tails.

Anna-Bell had a lovely day at Kizzie’s cuddling up on the sofa with her and playing with Poppy.

We got back at 9pm after a fast frosty drive, and flopped in front of X Factor!

…..No doubt, my late Grandparents would have been looking down on us all at the event and smiling with pride at their lovely family……


Happy Thanksgiving!

November 24, 2011

…..Or more commonly known in this house as ‘Pumpkin Pie Day!…..

I had to rush around after school yesterday to get the items for our menu. This year it will just be a quiet version for Julian and I, oh, and Anna-Bell of course-she loves turkey.

I’m doing a Barefoot Contessa style menu, so our sides will be Parmsesan mashed potatoes, sprouts, red cabbage and carrot puree.

I am yet to decide whether I can get my act together to make the corn bread at 4pm after school, it will be ‘puff’ depending! And I think the Pumpkin Pie is getting missed out this year as it’s just the 2 of us, I’ll whip up a butterscotch dessert instead, but we are still celebrating as we have a lot to thank those Pilgrim Fathers for!

One of my friends, Sara has been FB-ing a daily Thank you in her ‘November of Thankfullness’, a brilliant idea. Another one of my friends, Patricia, uses her 365 photo to post a ‘Day of Gratitude’.

I think I should have  a year of gratitude-there is just so much to be thankful for. Family, Friends and in this time of recession, Financial Security. I might not have the best of health but I function with what I have got and I am eternally thankful for all the support and love I have received from such an incredible network of friends here.

I truly have the best partner and the best doggie daughter I could ever wish for: Yes, I am truly thankful this Thanksgiving.

…..So may your turkey be stuffed full and may your house smell delicious and may all your dreams and prayers be answered. Happy Thanksgiving….

Meeting Steve!

November 23, 2011

…..I feel so blessed, for yesterday, Tuesday 22nd November 2011, Steve came to our house!…..

There are friends we have and people we meet in life that for whatever reason fulfil a purpose and a need. I have been friends with Steve for many years, online, in the capacity of our blogs, finding out about his ability to cover the marathon distance on foot, the SARP group and of course, our asthma. Which Steve always cracks me up laughing by saying is ‘hardcore’. I haven’t met anybody with asthma as severe as mine, although dare I say it, he wins!! He shares my  zest for life, lives every moment with such passion and gratitude, makes so little fuss, and  basically gets outs there and grabs every opportunity to meet the world, which is precisely what he has done on his whirl wind trip to England. He shares my “I won’t be defeated mentality”  That is to coin his phrase, hardcore.

Well yesterday, we got to have a real live hug, in person, in the flesh, when we picked him up from our local tube station at Noon. We both had tears in our eyes. It was one of those special moments I just wanted to bottle it. Something that can’t really be beaten, and means more in my heart than words could ever express.

The best thing about the afternoon-seeing Steve WELL-knowing that the adrenaline and excitement of his trip had carried him safely along without respiratory hiccup-and getting to talk face to face with the one guy who really knows what my day to day is like. I love the fact that we laughed, lots!

But guess who wheezed?

Guess who was getting SOB and had to do a neb treatment?

Guess who got all huffy puffy when we went on a little excursion to see some local history?

Not Steve! Dear oh dear. I shall laugh about that too in the future. How my lungs decided they had to embarrass me!

And not only did Steve embrace us warmly in our home, he also brought along a little something for the doglet. Yes. Anna-Bell is now the proud owner of a tiny Kong teddy, which Steve got roped into playing tuggie tuggie with, incessantly. Yuppers. Love me, love my doglet, just as our dear Chihuahua friends, Mr and Mrs AG had done when they came out to visit us on their trip to the UK in June.

I truly am blessed. All these people who give up their precious vacation time just to say ‘hello’! And I was so grateful my J was home from work and joined in our chats-somewhat spilling the beans though about what a stubborn patient I can be, but also taking some photos for the both of us.

Yes we laughed, we really did. We shared kettle chips and nibbles and we discussed and we laughed more, which has to be the best therapy of all even if I did get a little chesty!

…..So that date will go down in my diary as one of the best and most special. Hopefully to be repeated some day, maybe in SFO. Who knows. Take care, Steve, thank you, and safe flight home…..

Monday= our Designated Delia Day!

November 22, 2011

…..In the good old tradition of Stir up Sunday, Happy Delia Day!….

Waitrose supermarket have declared that Stir up Sunday be renamed Delia Day due to her £10 Christmas cake box set flying off the shelves in such quantities.

Well, we were busy yesterday visiting with my Sister, so I am having a stir up Monday instead to make my Delia cake, here goes!

Step one: Pre Prep. I got all the ingredients to add to the box set ready!

Step two: Mixy mixy! In my lovely Kenwood Prospero (And then a manual lucky stir and a wish from J!)

Step three: Dollopped in the tin!

Step four: Bakey bakey at gas mk 1 (for four hours!)

Step five: Yum, it smells delicious!

…..The proof will be in the eating!…..

11:11:11-11th November 2011

November 11, 2011


A palindrome that will not be repeated for over a hundred years, when that date and time will hold all the 12s.

Having just watched the second series of Downton Abbey where we experienced a re-enactment of the years of the Great War, and the actual day of the Armistice, yes, The Nation remembers with pride.

…..And if you’re wearing your Poppy, you should try and put the leaf at 11am too…..

Bonfire Night/Guy Fawkes : November 5th

November 5, 2011

…..So tonight is November 5th. If your lungs are like mine, don’t breathe for a few days!…..

So who exactly was Guy Fawkes?

In 1605, thirteen young men planned to blow up
the Houses of Parliament. Their leader was 
Guy Fawkes, Britain’s most notorious traitor. 

On the very night that the Gunpowder Plot was foiled, on November 5th, 1605, bonfires were set alight to celebrate the safety of the King. Since then, November 5th has become known as Bonfire Night. The event is commemorated every year with fireworks and burning effigies of Guy Fawkes on a bonfire.


Personally, I loathe fireworks night. The noise, the cold, the damp, the smell of the gunpowder which lingers for days, and the mere fact that now we seem to have Fireworks Season rather than fireworks night. It all makes for a nasty time for those of us with bad lungs. Last night the weekend seemed to kick off with the first of the local displays. I mean, we’ve just suffered Armageddon aka Diwali, and Armageddon 2 aka Hallowe’en weekend, and now this :-/ I also have a panic stricken tiny doglet who is terrified of fireworks. The pair of us had to venture out into the great rocket filled unknown last night for her trips to the toilet-and every time, a rocket banged overhead and shot us both out of our skins. And every time I had to breathe in that musty damp smoky gunpowder, the air tainted with phosphorous and sulphur, I induced massive horrid coughing spasms. I gave up and passed the buck for Julian to take her out-plus, he being pack leader managed to coax a wee wee out of her!

I never really enjoyed fireworks as a kid. My memory is of being cold, tired and sitting on Daddy’s shoulders getting pins and needles in my feet! And now I’m a firework avoider with these lungs and a miniature doglet to protect.

Thankfully, Guy Fawkes failed and was hanged. I do however wonder what we are celebrating on November 5th? His hanging or his failure?

…..Whatever your take on tonight, just watch those lungs, and be safe…..