sEAsons, trEAsure

the nicest thing about the rain…

…is it stops eventually!  AA Milne

Daffodils

Don’t you just love the Pooh quotes – they always make me smile – the rain hasn’t stopped here all weekend – so no gardening possible for me –  I even had to go shopping in the rain this afternoon something I dislike doing on a Sunday but needs must.

I had a number of items to look for mainly for the caravan – a doormat, various sticky hooks for the keys and other items that require hanging and a small dish drainer.  You have to be quite creative in a caravan as space is tight.  I headed to Wilko’s as this often good hunting ground for such items and I wasn’t disappointed- though the dish drainer came from Sainsbury’s.

Then on to Boots as I had a few toiletries on the list – I use Liz Earle’s shampoo and conditioner – a bit pricey (for me) but I like the natural ingredients and it suits my hair and scalp.  I find you need very little to get a good lather so it goes a long way.  I took advantage of the double and triple points coupon I had been sent by post this week.

As it is Sunday my usual health food stores are closed so I had to go to Holland and Barrett for some Aloe Vera juice- to help my digestion (should have thought better of eating the sprouts we had with our meal on Friday – they tasted very odd and shortly after my digestion was, shall we say, a bit disturbed and a bit nauseous, and hasn’t fully recovered all weekend).  They had a half price offer on so I added in a tub of vegetarian gravy powder.

 

Finally, I popped into TK Max and found a small decorated box to keep my bits and pieces in on the bedside table and this unusual little white enamel pot with a stainless steel lid that I can keep cotton wool in at the caravan.

 

On my way to the till I spotted a lightweight duvet jacket with hood for my granddaughter.  It folds up into a really tiny package and I thought it is one of those handy items for the summer that you can squeeze into your handbag on a day out just in case of a shower or cool breeze.

 

With Easter in mind –  I picked up a cute little decorated box in Wilko’s for £1.50 and I will fill it with coloured paper straw and hide some little bite sized Lindt bunnies in there to give to my granddaughter.

 

Also in Wilko’s I spotted a rather nice glasses case which I need so my reading glasses don’t get damaged in my handbag.  My last one wore out ages ago and I have been without since.

So quite a fruitful shopping trip – although in terms of spending maybe I have spent a touch more than I intended – but they were all fairly low priced items and I did avoid stopping in Costa for a drink so saved a bit of money there.

The bowl of daffodils above arrived by post and were a surprise from my granddaughter for having her to stay overnight last weekend – (I think my daughter might have had a hand in this as even though my clever little 2 year old can work an iPad with no trouble I am not sure she has yet mastered internet shopping)!

Apologies for the quality of photographs it was quite dark in the house when I returned home after shopping and I am a bit short of time, but no doubt you get the gist!

Thank you for all the tips and hints about eBay in the comments.  It looks like I need to watch out for a few drawbacks.  I must say I am quite daunted by it all even though part of my job is to train people on our computer software programs and I maintain the software at work –  I am not a savvy online shopper.

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drEAming, general chit chat, mEAndering, out and about, rEArranging, simplifying, trEAsure

“I read a book one day and my whole life was changed”…

― Orhan Pamuk, The New Life

Yesterday I had a visit to Leeds to have some blood tests done at Jimmy’s.  I only have to go once a year now to check I’m still OK and I always tag along with my husband who works in Leeds as I dislike driving in the morning rush hour along the M62 – not that you can call it driving it is more like queuing.

He drops me off in a convenient spot and I walk up through the city centre to the Headrow to catch the bus to the hospital.  It is always a constant source of amusement to me that I get on and off at exactly the same bus stops for both journeys yet it costs me £2 to go to the hospital yet only a £1 to come back.

The difference must be it is all downhill coming back!

On the way to the bus I might just happen to call in at one or two of my favourite shops such as Paperchase and Neal’s Yard, even though I tell myself I shouldn’t because there is absolutely nothing that I need and wants are definitely out out out this year.

On the way home  – even better – a visit to Waterstones  – 3 floors of heaven.  I tell myself it is just to get a hot chocolate and a toasted sandwich at the in-store Costa but really I know the truth – it is to browse the endless shelves – collect together a tidy pile of books and then find a soft squidgy arm-chair to sink into and read until I feel I have over stayed my welcome or fear I may be locked in.

My intention was just to browse through the pile – definitely not to buy.   But amongst the Craft shelves of all places I discovered an interesting book called Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide to Simplifying your Life by Bea Johnson and just by reading the preface I knew I wanted to read more of this book.  I am sure some of you will have it on your bookshelves already.  I am hoping it will produce the momentum I need to get going again on my Simplifying.

Then just by chance I also came across The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo and I pulled this one off the shelf as I was curious to know what it is about this book that other bloggers like Sue over at Our New Life in the Country and Freda at Live Simply, Simply Live  and a few others are raving about.

I have tried and tested many ideas from other organising books over the years and even though they have good advice something always seems missing for me and I thought this might just be another one, but when I read her introduction something sparked.  I could identify with her initial interest in all things tidy at a young age and her obsession with home-style magazines.  Rather than play with my toys I would line them up as if in assembly at school – this might be bricks, or dolls or those little Wade porcelain figures – everything had to be in order for me even by age six.

The tidying has never been a problem it happens naturally – but keeping it tidy  – that is my sticking point and most of this is due to our busy lives.  I also have a knack of leaving my own tidying to go and help a sick or busy friend or relative do theirs.  I leave their house tidy and go home to my mess!  She continued to talk about how to keep the tidiness and she was suggesting it isn’t to do with lack of time.   Aha I thought this sounds like I might be on to something and I am now curious to discover if the answer to my problem lies within these pages.

So I confess…both books came home with me.

I justified this purchase by telling myself that I had earned a treat after all the overtime I have been doing lately and that this could be the change my life needs.

So if you don’t hear from me for a while you will know this time it is because I have my head in a book…or two.

mEAndering, out and about, trEAsure

Here, there and everywhere…

Well that was a longer break than I had expected did you wonder where I had gone…buried perhaps under a mound of shopping?

This is just a recap of my mums visit starting with…

Day 1 – Thursday

I met my mum off the train on Thursday after work at 4 o’clock and then we hit the town.  Unfortunately M&S had to close their doors early due to the effects of a power failure that afternoon.  Next door Boots who had a promotional evening event underway and had also been affected had managed to reboot one computer to allow customers to make a purchase.  After a little wander around the town we went into the Kingsgate shopping centre and ordered two Cheese and Tomato toasties from the restaurant in House of Fraser just to keep us well nourished for the rest of the evening.

It was the first late night shopping and pretty quiet so it was nice being able to look around without the crowds and we decide on a few little things suitable for granny to give to my two daughters at Christmas.  When the shutters came down at 8 o’clock we moved round to the ‘big’ Sainsburys more or less across the road but we took the car.  Here we piled the trolley with tins of biscuits (my mum buys a tin for everyone at Xmas!), a little food shopping and the bottle of Whiskey for my Scottish hubby.

All done there we drove home at about 9.30 and so ended Day 1.

Day 2 – Friday

I was reluctant to leave my bed this morning but needs must and Meadowhall was awaiting our presence.  We left home at about 10.30am arriving an hour later to trundle round and round the car park waiting for a space – the full sign was an overstatement.

After fuelling up with a hot chocolate we began at Debenhams and tramped along the mall visiting our favourite places along the way dodging the crowds who all seemed to be going in the opposite direction to us!  I bought a few basic clothes for work while I had the chance and mum checked out the warm winter coats, new pyjamas and boots – but not to wear all at once – although this new trend of wearing your pyjamas and onesies out in public during the day was evident everywhere and although I thought it quite strange part of me thinks how comfortable and cosy!

When hunger struck we lunched at M&S which was quite slow and unexciting but a shorter queue than some places.  By 6pm I felt I had stood in every queue going and my spine had fused together but Mum who is nearer to 90 than 80 (shhhhh I musn’t give her age away!)  was still going strong even after more than 6 hours solid shopping and still looked as fresh as a daisy.

On the way home we stopped off in Holmfirth and had tea at Compos Fish and Chip restaurant.  Mum had the pensioners special and me just chips and beans and a hot cup of tea.  I even debated whether or not I dare take my boots off under the table but don’t worry I resisted!

We then popped into my brothers for an hour for a catch up chat arriving home at about 8 pm just in time for Poirot.

My mum always likes me to log on to Facebook when she is down as she feels quite left out now that the rest of the family can message one another but she doesn’t have a computer.  So I tried to explain emailing and posting on Facebook to her and after a short tutorial she managed to send messages by both means to a startled family to prove she was still capable of learning something new in her old age!

And with a new achievement on board there endeth Day 2

Day 3 – Saturday

Up bright and early and after a hearty breakfast we set off with hubby as chief driver today into Derbyshire.  We had decided on Ashbourne stopping off in Tissington for lunch.  I haven’t been to Tissington for a while as it is always so crowded in the summer months and in fact parking is restricted to 2 hours.  Even though the weather was cooler it was nice to wander around without the crowds.

Tissington Village 2

Tissington Cafe

Tissington Hall

Tissington Hall is in the middle of the village and dates back to 1609 – it is a cute 2 story hall with a flat roof and large architectural chimneys giving it a rather unique silhouette against the overcast skyline.

We took the little alleyway path up to the Churchyard beyond the old metal gate.

Churchyard Tissington

St Mary’s Church dates back to Norman times and was probably built around 1100.

Tissington Church

Inside are many tributes to the Fitzherbert family and there is a beautiful richly coloured stain glass window beyond the alter.

Inside Tissington Church

We walked past some of the lovely cottages

Tissington Village

This one had an amusing sign in their garden

Weeds for sale

and eventually we came to a little old-fashioned Sweet shop.

Sweet Shop

Sweet Shop door

Inside was every sweet, chocolate and caramel imaginable – it took the three of us ages to make a selection.  I had chocolate covered raisins, my mum had chocolate covered Brazils (her favourite) and hubby chose a chocolate covered marzipan log.

Inside Sweet Shop

Ashbourne Nov 2013

Next stop Ashbourne a lovely little market town with a number of independent shops and the cutest department store I have ever been in called Bennetts – from the outside it looks like a tiny shop and inside it opens out into many different rooms over three quite creaky floors and a beautiful wooden staircase in an atrium.

Christmas Pudding Bauble

It was here that I spied this years Christmas tree ornament a cute Christmas Pudding glass bauble.  I like to dress my tree with a mixture of old and new baubles some go as far back as belonging to my grandma and every year I add a new one.

After afternoon tea at Dillons we fought our way through the crowds that had gathered around the square for the tree lighting and headed back to the car returning home via Stockport and Cheadle to pick up the other spotlight light fitting for our craft room.  Arriving home at about 8pm.

Getting progressively more tired now there endeth Day 3.

Day 4 – Sunday

Definitely dragging myself out of bed now to make my mum her early morning cup of tea in bed.  Living on her own this is a treat for her. After breakfast we drove up to Masham stopping at my daughters shop Birdhouse Interiors for a little more shopping.

Photo: It's Wednesday! New Wednesday window for you x

  The shop changes from one week to the next as the furniture on sale comes and goes.  The window now has a tempting Christmas display.

We lunched at Johnny Bagdads Cafe on the main square and eventually said our goodbyes and took mum home to Yarm.  We returned home and after the long drive back we just collapsed on the settee for the evening!!

We spent the following 5 days recovering and then headed up to Scotland for a week away – no phone – no TV and minimal shops!

 

Home again now  the Christmas preparations must begin if I am going to be ready on time – how is everyone else doing?

I have so much catching up to do with everyone’s news  – I feel like I have been away for ever and certainly missed everyone. x

drEAming, mEAndering, out and about, random thoughts, trEAsure

On your marks… get ready…shop

Ooops you’ve just caught me doing a little dusting and having a quick tidy round because my dear old (less of the old I hear her say) mum is coming to stay for a few days for the big Christmas shopping extravaganza.  Now as my frequent readers will know my mum could shop for England and she can certainly out shop me which wouldn’t be too difficult because I am not a natural shopper I would much prefer to be gardening or baking.  She likes to visit us in November so that we can shop together for some of her presents.

Huddersfield Train Station

Huddersfield train station

So tomorrow afternoon after work I will meet her off the train we will head for our local shopping centre Kingsgate open tomorrow for the first of the late night shopping events.  It is a small mall and the only department store is House of Fraser – quite posh really for Huddersfield – it used to be Beatties a southern chain I believe until they were taken over.

English: An entrance to the Kingsgate Shopping...

I much preferred Beatties it was a more independent store and you could buy anything from a toilet brush to knitting needles.  My eldest daughter worked there for a while on ‘Pen Island’  so named by her because she was marooned in a triangle of glass counters that held a wonderful selection of fountain pens.  She had to stand all day and could not leave her post until relief arrived.

The store always reminded me of the comedy show ‘Are you being served’ as the staff had to address each other as Miss so and so.    Sadly pen island is no more than a single stand banished to the lower ground floor of House of Fraser to make way for the extended designer handbag range.

English: Saturday afternoon in Meadowhall shop...Meadowhall

Anyway I digress (or even divulge as our IT guy at work has been known to say!).  On Friday we will venture further afield to the famous Meadowhall in Sheffield and end the day at Compos Fish and Chip restaurant in Holmfirth for a pensioners supper for mum and whatever vegetarian meal I can find on the menu for me.

Bakewell in Derbyshire - the Parish Church tak...

Bakewell

On Saturday we will have a run into Derbyshire – maybe Bakewell as it is a very Christmassy place and has lots of little independent and crafty shops to visit. Sunday we will make the treck back up North to take mum home and maybe call in at my daughters new shop on route so that granny can have a look round.

So do forgive me if I am quiet for a few days – I should be back next week – for now I am going to go to bed to recharge and see what tomorrow brings with the ‘Dawn Chorus’.  See you soon…

trEAsure

Resetting the bodyclock…

I am sitting here watching an all time favourite of the Good Life with Tom and Barbara – the one about the pigs.  I often fancied myself as Barbara living in her suburban home spending all day in the garden growing veg and tending her animals and doing it all whilst under the influence of that famous Peapod wine.  I especially liked their fun minimalist Christmas with newspaper hats and the knitted jumpers.

I spent most of the day being swept along by a hoard of Christmas shoppers in the Cheadle branch of John Lewis.  You can always tell the Cheadle branch by the number of Rolls Royces in the carpark!

I wasn’t Xmas shopping myself – just browsing –  and my reason for going was to check out the Lumie Bodyclock light as I am finding it extremely difficult to rouse myself on these dark wintry mornings.  I am not sure about you but each year as I get older it gets harder to wake up and get going.  The early morning traffic on the roads in the last week or two has been so bad I have found myself late for work so drastic action is called for – hence the light.

So to go back to the clock – we did buy one and having unwrapped it and read the instructions we are told that we can have sunset and sunrise which gently puts you to sleep and wakes you up, 5 different alarm sounds to choose from –  Big Ben or drums (I don’t think so) to birdsong or wind chimes (sounds better) or plain old beep (perhaps not).  So we will try out the birdsong although I suspect I might just sleep through it – I have never been aware of the birds chirping outside before.

Lumie Bodyclock

The Lumie Bodyclock Go 75

It also boasts a snooze feature – definitely a must in my case –  I am no lark and will put off that moment when my body has to be forced out of bed and into the shower. I always set my alarm 15 mins early so I can fit in 3 five-minute snoozes, a bit like the traffic light system wait, get ready…go.

Lumie Bodyclock

I will keep you posted on how well we do getting up in the mornings from now on…or not!

 

And continuing the cushion saga – in and amongst I bought two feather cushion pads as they did have the right size and decided I will, for now, reuse the knitted cushion covers from the cottage as I wasn’t inspired enough by the cushions on display in John Lewis either.

I did see the most beautiful soft woollen throw in muted colours just right for our bedroom but at £180 I had to leave it behind!

How did your Saturday go?  Have you started the Xmas shopping yet?