White trainers????


, , , , ,

It was with some amazement that I read an article in the Daily Mail stating that white trainers are the new heels. Apparently if you want to be part of the ‘crowd’ you must wear your white trainers to the glitziest occasions. Actress Emma Thompson wore hers when she went to Buckingham Palace to receive her Damehood. White trainers to see the Queen – or rather Prince William? My jaw dropped. If I had been invited to Buckingham Palace, I would have spent weeks organising my outfit, I wouldn’t just have pulled on a pair of trainers.


Photo courtesy of EI News

Am I old fashioned? I know that I’m not a youngster anymore, but surely this trend of dressing down for every occasion is one that is not good. As a child, I remember putting on my best clothes on Sundays. When my husband and I started dating in the 80s, I would dress up for a date. Now everyone wears jeans whether to a restaurant or the theatre.

I long for a return to a time where everyone looks elegant; to a time where I don’t feel over-dressed just because I am in a dress; to a time when women exuded femininity.

I know many will disagree with me, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion and mine is – bring back elegance and glamour.




Christmas Shopping


, , ,

Covent Carden 2014 2.jpg

                                         This was taken a couple of years ago

Is it too early to write about Christmas shopping? I don’t know about you, but I love this time of year – the shops full of lights and sparkle. I’ve even more to buy for this year as my son is bringing his girlfriend to stay for Christmas, and we have invited her friend along as well to prevent her being on her own. So, I’m busy preparing Christmas sacks for them both so that they feel part of Christmas morning. I’ve not had to buy bits and pieces for girls before – only having a son – and I am loving it! In fact, I’m enjoying it too much. At this rate, my son and husband will be the ones feeling left out. I need to switch my shopping radar from girlie to masculine.

There is only one problem that I can forsee on the horizon – wrapping the gifts. I think this is going to take me hours!!!!!!!! Maybe I should start now.



Red High Heeled Boots.


, , ,

This was a little bit different for me. Two days ago I was the compere for a fashion show. Ever since giving up teaching, I have been working in the accounts office of a local department store, and was asked to front the fashion show.

Fashion shows not only allow a store to showcase their items, but most importantly, because the models are neither professionals, nor size zero but are the girls/women who work on the shop floor, it allows an audience to see the clothes as worn by real women like themselves. I was also allowed to dress up – my red high-heeled boots were gorgeous!

As a teacher, I might have become accustomed to standing before a class of 30 teenagers, but addressing a group of over 80 ladies was very different. They listened, they laughed in all of the right places and they even applauded. It was a great night.



Vegan Chocolate Cake


, , , ,

As those of you who have followed my blogs in the past will know, I love baking and experimenting. So, inspired by a recent edition of The Great British Bake Off, I decided to try baking a vegan chocolate cake.

Vegan means no dairy or eggs so the first challenge – finding substitutes for butter and eggs. I looked at many different recipes on the Net but eventually decided to opt for soya milk to which I added a tablespoon of cider vinegar. The rise would occur when the wet ingredients mixed with the dry – flour, sugar, cocoa powder and a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda. Who hasn’t used bicarbonate and vinegar to make mini eruptions before – magical. But in a cake????

The completed cake baked well, and once it was sandwiched with butter cream made with dairy free margarine and vegan chocolate, I was very pleased with the result.


The taste test. It wasn’t as light and fluffy as my usual bakes but the flavour was good. I don’t think I will be turning vegan, but I will certainly try making another vegan cake in the future. A Victoria sponge sandwiched with vegan butter cream and strawberries could be the next best thing. I’ll keep you posted.



, ,

This is a strange blog to write as I am very undecided about this whole topic.

Last week I attended my first Spiritualist evening. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but a lot of me was hoping for a message of some sort. We all want to believe, don’t we? The sceptical side of me thinks that maybe the mediums pick up things from us as we answer their questions. However, as this was a pay on the door event and the medium would have had no idea at all who was going to be in the audience, I felt that if there was a message, maybe it would be ‘proof’.

As it was – strange to say –  I was picked out of the audience first. A woman –  and by asking me if my mother was here or in spirit – the medium told me that it was my mother. She then went onto say that this person had difficulty swallowing and did that mean anything to me. It did. My mother’s cancer meant that she could take nothing by mouth and was fed directly into her stomach. How did she pick up on that fact? She told me that she was with her father, my grandfather. Then – and this is one thing that made no sense – she talked about my toes and problems with my toes. No idea about that one.

My father joined them and he wanted me to know that he was no longer dizzy. My late father used to suffer dizzy spells and was always going to the doctors to try to find a cause/cure. The medium then talked about pork chops and asked if that meant anything. No idea. My father ate everything and I couldn’t say that pork had any special significance. She then asked about another daughter. I am the only daughter although the friend that was with me wondered afterwards if this refered to my son’s girlfriend, but as they have not been dating a year – I’m inclined not to think so. He talked about my new shoes and to always wear my scarf to protect my throat. My weak spot is my throat, I am addicted to shoes and I am never without a scarf. Were these lucky guesses? She then said that November was significant. Dad’s birthday is in November. My father also wanted to thank me for always thinking of him.

There were some hits and some misses – or were the hits just lucky guesses? My mother’s inability to swallow – that was a very specific thing to mention. Dad’s dizzy spells – a lot of older people get dizzy, so was that a lucky guess? Shoes and scarves? Could be a lucky guess – lots of ladies like shoes. But, I wasn’t wearing a scarf that evening. Throats? Lots of people get sore throats in winter. November? Out of 12 months, she picked the correct one for me.

I can’t quite dismiss it as a ‘trick’, there was too much that meant something to me, but there were things that didn’t. So – I am very much undecided and will definitely go to another evening.


The Sunrise


, , , , ,



Finished this book this evening and am not sure about it, to be honest. I loved ‘The Island’ and ‘The Return’ and had hoped to fall in love with this one too. Unfortunately,  I just didn’t really feel anything for the characters this time; I didn’t care about them or what happened to them which was a pity as Victoria Hislop describes the tragedy of Cyprus and Famagusta superbly. As always, she writes about periods of history and places brilliantly – you cannot fault her research. I just wish that her characters had been more rounded.

This is only my opinion, and I urge you to read the novel yourself and make up your own mind.

The Coffee Club


, , ,

The following article has made me thing about my membership of the coffee club.

Everyday I used to drop into my local coffee shop for a coffee before work. It gave me time to spend a few minutes scribbling a few notes/pages of the next novel. The same faces would be there every morning and smiles turned into hellos turned into conversations turned into friendships. The Costa Club.

These days conversation often replaces quiet writing and I wouldn’t change it. After all isn’t the spoken word just as important as the written word?

The article comes from the BBC News website.


If you were lonely, would you talk to a stranger?

  • 15 October 2018

If you were lonely, would you go into a cafe and sit down for a chat with a complete stranger?

That’s the idea behind the “talking tables” initiative.

Sainsburys supermarket has designated some tables in its cafes as places where you can have a conversation with a stranger instead of sitting alone and feeling isolated.

It comes as the government launches its “loneliness strategy“.

But what’s really revealing is to hear what shopworkers see of the loneliness of their customers.

There are about 20 Sainsbury’s cafes piloting the “talking tables” idea, including the branch in Fulham, west London.

Edward Collet, who works on the welcome desk, sees people every day who come to the supermarket for company as much as for shopping.

He says some are bereaved husbands who relied on the social networking skills of their wives and are now trapped in “solitary lives”.


They don’t want to be “stigmatised” as lonely, he says, and might crave company, but don’t feel able to ask for it.

Edward says they come up to the information desk for a chat about shopping – or even call up the helpline.


He sees shoppers who will wait until they can be served by a particular check-out assistant, because they see them as friends and this is a moment when they can swap a few words.

It’s their chance for some human interaction.

There are also young mothers, cut off from the adult company of work, who, Edward says, can seem quite angry, which he puts down to their feelings of isolation.

‘People fade away without human company’

With so many public places closing, whether it’s post offices, libraries, churches or pubs, he says, the supermarket has become one of the last places people can still meet and feel safe.

He sees those at risk of chronic isolation – where people lose contact with the outside world and “basically die inside their houses”.