Our boys.

Sometimes there are moments in life that are just so simple but just so perfect that you want to remember them forever and you squeeze your eyes tightly shut to try and capture it in your minds eye, just the way it is, forever.  And you wish so very hard that you had a camera to hand just at that moment, but you never have. My boys.  (1 of 1)And then sometimes you do.

Strand and Fleet Street.

Hubby and I decided to have a stroll along the Strand and Fleet Street to see what we could see, I had never taken that exit from Trafalgar Square so was quite giddy at the idea.strand 1 (1 of 1)I really enjoyed seeing some of the tiny houses and shops squeezed into tiny slots, looking like miniature dolls houses children had forgotten when they had carried on with another game.strand 19 (1 of 1)You can’t see the dimensions of these as clearly, but trust me everything dwarfs them. strand 2 (1 of 1)We walked past the Savoy, this time in daylight to see their iconic In and Out drive. strand 3 (1 of 1)Pretty architecture abounds. strand 4 (1 of 1)And when you walk past the end of roads you can just see the river Thames. strand 5 (1 of 1)A taste of the sheer magnitude of it all. strand 6 (1 of 1)Next we walk past Courtaulds – I hadn’t realised that this backed onto the Strand. strand 7 (1 of 1)A Routemaster – Hubby and I were so happy to see this, we both remember using the old style of buses with a bus conductor on board, so its always a pleasure to see one tootling around London. strand 8 (1 of 1)Royal Courts of Justice, so ornately Gothic, they look like they are made of icing sugar decorating an important cake. strand 9 (1 of 1)Twinings tea shop.  So excited to come across this little gem, the shop has been on the Strand since 1706.strand 10 (1 of 1)The shop is so narrow, I can almost touch the opposite shelves at the same time!  It is full to the brim of delicious teas and coffees. strand 11 (1 of 1)And they will gladly brew you up a cuppa so that you can sample any of the teas that your heart desires. Happily clutching our purchases of tea we press on, strand 12 (1 of 1)as we walked past Lloyds Bank, I casually glanced in and stopped dead in my tracks. This is the foyer. strand 13 (1 of 1)Isn’t it magnificent. strand 14 (1 of 1)And lest you forget, strand 15 (1 of 1)It is the law courts branch, such beautiful metal work. strand 16 (1 of 1)We came across the Temple Bar Memorial. strand 17 (1 of 1)Such powerful imagery.  I must go back and take some more photographs. strand 18 (1 of 1)We continue our journey down Fleet Street, with just the glimpse of iconic buildings in the distance. strand 20 (1 of 1)We stop at the end of Fleet Street and find somewhere for tea, a very long cup of tea and then when fully rested we trundle back up the hill, taking a quick pic of the Royal Courts of Justice from that side of the street.

We go home happy, so glad to have finally made it down the Strand and Fleet Street.


Wannabe Gastronomy – Vegan raw salad.

I’ve been wanting to purchase a spiralizor for some time and have eventually got around to it. Its at just this time of year that I want to gorge on fresh tasty salads and this piece of kit certainly makes things much, much easier.

This salad was just the blast of nutrients I was looking for combined with great flavours.vegan raw salad (1 of 1)Carrots, courgettes and onions allowed to mingle for a while in a homemade French dressing, (olive oil, white wine vinegar and dijon mustard) to tenderise the vegetables, then mixed with avocado, brazil nuts and blue poppy seeds for an extra hit of crunch and nutrition.

Birthday celebrations at London Zoo.

Hubby and I trotted off to London Zoo to celebrate his birthday doing what we like best, animal watching. It is the main reason I developed a friendship with him in that he had a couple of whippets and we would go dog walking together, he with Pippa and Suki and I with my families big black golden retriever, border collie cross called Luke.  In all the time we have been together I don’t think we have ever had a night without a furry heart beat for company, well apart from my first year in London on my own, which I eventually rectified.

We do love the Zoo, especially the penguins. They always seem so happy and in fine fettle.Zoo birthday May 2016 2 (1 of 1) Zoo birthday May 2016 3 (1 of 1) Zoo birthday May 2016 1 (1 of 1) Zoo birthday May 2016 4 (1 of 1)How could you not fall in love with these happy little fellows. Zoo birthday May 2016 5 (1 of 1)Next we saw the new edition to the zoo, the lazy lions.  They sleep for twenty hours a day apparently. Zoo birthday May 2016 6 (1 of 1)A quick snap of a tiger and then a wander around Zoo birthday May 2016 7 (1 of 1)to the gorillas, where one of them was outside, nibbling on a few branches.  It was the first time I have seen one outside, so that was  a real treat. Zoo birthday May 2016 8 (1 of 1) Zoo birthday May 2016 9 (1 of 1)A couple of snaps of us to remember our aged selves and then we wandered off into Camden for a late lunch, which was fabulous and the best Indian meal we have had in London.

The Birthday Boy.

Hubby and I had fully intended to celebrate his birthday by our usual trotting around London Zoo. It is one of our happy places and we always have a bit of a laugh and a good time, even when tired out from walking around all day. But at 3 o’clock in the morning as I heard the heavens open and the unscheduled rain come tumbling down I thought we might have to change plans.

It was still dreary and damp by breakfast time and the forecast looked pretty miserable. What to do? what to do?  We didn’t feel like traipsing around in the rain anywhere, when an idea surfaced, lets just go to Westfield, you can’t get bored in Westfield’s its 45 acres of shopping!

So we went and we trotted and had a favourite lunch at Yo Sushi. The boy had a lovely time and I’ve rescheduled the trip to London Zoo in my Erin Condren Life Planner with Birthday banners and balloons, hand stamped lions and giraffes carefully coloured in and lots of lovely brightly coloured washi tape, just to make a special fuss of him, I think he deserves it. IMG_1187

Normal service will be resumed, shortly.

Finally having spent a week back in London I feel able to come near my computer for more than a few minutes. The last six weeks have mostly been spent scrubbing accumulated dirt from three men in the Warwickshire home, which believe you and me was no easy task.  The tips of my fingers are still cracked and sore, such was their frequency that they met hot soapy water and the green scratchy thing..  But the cooker is now sparkling, the windows spotless and the house has been degunked and decluttered and furthermore I have laminated, ‘If its laminated, it’s law’, a simple and doable cleaning list for the boys to follow.  I can hear you laughing, I know its probably not going to be followed, but you never know and at least I can ram it down their throats when they don’t follow it.

I did manage to get out for a few mini adventures, some of which I have already posted about, some will come in the future. I caught up with a few people, not everyone, sadly that is the way it was this time.  As much as I wanted to trot around and see people I just had to roll my sleeves up and get on with it, and that nearly didn’t happen as my glands swelled up for two weeks and I was reduced to a moaning mess underneath a hand knitted blanket.

Toile and I are glad to be back in our London home, hubby has been pottering around in the greenhouse and the tomatoes and cucumbers are coming along a treat, the grass has been cut and the geraniums planted, and the home brew is not at all bad…

Looks like its going to be a great summer.

New Loves.

It is a fact that is known to me and my close family and friends is that I tend to mutate every two years or so.  Not for me is the tedium of learning a new skill and being content with that for ever and a day, no, no, no, that would be far to easy, me, I’m a bit of a magpie, picking up new ideas as I bob gently along in this weird old world.

I’d noticed the Erin Condren Life Planners on some of the blogs that I visit and just thought I would have a little look, as you do, only to find them at half price!  And then as I wasn’t feeling on top form for a couple of weeks – which goes some way to explain my absence – I laid around the house watching you tube videos about planning and watched that rabbit hole open up right before my very feet. And so it was that I made my own front page and found this winging its way to me.
2 - 1 (3)To say I have fallen deeply in love with it is I think an understatement. Of course I love my photography on the cover and my own little reminder to do what I love and do it often,  but its the simple act of planning and allowing hubby who is recently retired to get a firmer hold on what we could be doing that week. We are still in the weekend/holiday habit of sitting around drinking coffee wearing our dressing gowns and to be honest one of my most favoured perfect days is a day spent pottering around wearing pyjamas for the day.  While our gentile ways suit us very well in London, as the shops are open until 8 p.m. and we can wander into the centre in the afternoon and still have a full eight hours having fun before coming home, our lifestyle doesn’t lend itself so well to Warwickshire where the shops can be shutting up at 5.00 to 5.30 p.m.  We need to get up and get jobs done and get out and for that we need a plan.

And the other half of this coin, well you knew it wasn’t just about planning, I could have bought a note book for that, is the community, so many Facebook groups, all people customising and sharing the fun that is the Erin Condren way of life. Since I’ve started I bought a laminator and pens and punches, stamps and inks and of course lots of lovely stickers. But I’ve also joined a Bullet Journaling group, a pen pal group and a postcard pen pal group, I do love a postcard sent to me, it’s just so much fun.

Especially when you’ve not been feeling well and don’t feel like running around. You’ll be glad to know that I am in the recovery section of this process and normal viewing will return soon.

And just so as you can have a little peek, next week before the ink, I’m a white space girl. IMG_4807