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I jumped the gun!

I didn't wait long enough for thefridayfive questions - ooops!

So the correct ones are under this cut as I got rambly....

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In other news It's very blustery today, but is threatening rain, so we will have to take advantage of the free Saturday electricity and tumble dry the laundry I think. My cold feels like it's finally on it's way out, and despite waking myself up coughing, I am feeling a lot better which is good.

I'm going to go and do some stained glass work as I need to get on with the project I'm doing and it's been frustrating not being able to do that.

Happy Saturday all!


Friday 5

There are no questions as yet on thefridayfive, so I have looked back in the archives and gone back to the first time in the archives there were questions on the 24th February which are here February 24th 2011.

  1. What is your favorite section of the newspaper? I don't look at newspapers anymore. This is partially as I never really have time to sit down each day and look through one. However in the dim distant past one of my jobs when I worked in Public Relations was to read all the papers to find references to the group of companies I worked for (yes, this was before the internets because I am ancient). This highlighted that all the newspapers have completely different 'take' on the same news story and I became very jaded about what was true and what wasn't (alt-facts today I suppose). We do have a local newspaper delivered each week which we ignore (see #4) or read online as I get a daily digest email sent to me.

  2. Sunday comics or weekday strips? Which comic is your favorite? I don't notice the comic strips. I can't remember which newspaper he appeared in, but I did used to like Garfied the cat. I have a feeling it was the Daily Mail when it still used to vaguely be a newspaper....

  3. Do you read your daily horoscope? Do you believe in it? I refuse to believe that 1/12th of the population would have the same advice, so - no.

  4. Does the paper become bird cage lining, do you recycle, or does it get thrown in the trash? We recycle all cardboard, paper and any newspaper (Mr Cee reads a free paper on the train each morning, mainly for the crosswords and sudoko) which is collected every two weeks.

  5. Where do you read the paper? At home, at work, or elsewhere? Umm....see answers above. If a newspaper comes up on Twitter or is linked to I might read an article. I tend to rely on the more immediate news websites now and read on my phone or iPad wherever I might be.

I wonder if the questions were influenced by the year they were published?

In other news - to join my sneezes and sniffles I have developed a fever over the last two days which means I have been alternatively hot or cold and overall very sleepy. I am really hoping that I feel a bit better tomorrow as I'm not very good at sitting around and I'm getting fidgety and impatient. I'm also annoyed that I didn't go to belly dancing OR Pilates as I felt too crappy.  At least I'm sleeping OK.

Tonight Mr Cee has been out and bought things we can pick at this evening (crusty bread, pate and other yummy things) so I'm quite looking forward to that.

Happy Friday all :)



Me today -

I've had a strange pain in my ear since the weekend (I'm assuming a mild infection which will go by itself in a few days), and I now have a snuffly cold. Boo! I am really hoping I haven't passed it on to kathyh as we had a really nice meet up at Ikea on Monday. There was much chatting, and a delicious lunch and we even managed to buy a few things we both needed which was excellent!

I'm also hoping I've not passed it on to anyone at my stained glass class yesterday.

I am fortunate that I had nothing on today so I have declared today a snuggle-on-the-sofa-and-watch-TV day. Which rapidly turned into get-sat-on-by-each-cat-until-I-threw-them-off (not literally!). Mr Cee was working at home so he has kept me topped up with water and tissues. Anyway, I hope it's just a mild head cold as I absolutely HAVE to go to belly dancing tomorrow evening as we are refining the dance for the show at the end of March.

Happy hump day all!


The Friday five..

The questions are up for thefridayfive so here are my answers under a cut:

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That was fun!

Belly dancing yesterday evening was quite challenging and last night I was really tired as I'd also been for a long walk with a friend during the day. I ended up sleeping in and having over 10 hours sleep - I must have needed it! I went to Pilates this morning, despite not really feeling like it, but I enjoyed it when I got there and I certainly think it's a good stretch for core and well used belly dancing muscles.

Tomorrow we are visiting Eldest Cee to celebrate his 26th birthday! We are taking him out to lunch and then he's requested a trip to the cinema to see John Wick 2. We haven't seen John Wick 1, so that's on the agenda for tonight as we found it was really cheap on Amazon Prime downloads. Youngest Cee is not coming with us as he's meeting a friend so he can enjoy having a day on his own.

Happy Friday all!

What am I reading Wednesday

The last time I did this meme was back on 11th January so I've read a few more books since then.  Under the cut to spare your flist.

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What I'm reading next:
Hidden Figures: The Untold Story of the African American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly. This has been made into a film starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe as the African American women who seem to have been written out of history as part of the mathematics team involved in NASA's early space programme.

I'm also impatiently waiting for The Something Girl (Frogmorton Farm Series Book 2) by Jodi Taylor as I have it on pre-order and it's not available until March.

In other news I was given an artist by curiouswombat to post an image on my Lj and I keep forgetting.  Here is William Henry Bartlett's The Neighbours which I rather like (clicky for bigger). It's quite badly damaged and has a lot of crazing, but I really like the composition.


Tales of angels and chairs - oh my....

Yesterday evening I met up with brutti_ma_buoni and daiseechain in London (not far from Trafalgar Square) and we attended an event about The Secret Journey of Doctor John Dee. Dee was born in 1527 and died over 80 years later having lived through several Kings and Queens of England. We were told the tale of his compilation of a book of angelic communications which he put together having worked with a self confessed spirit medium Edward Kelley (who may also have been a confidence trickster by all accounts as he also claimed to have a Philosophers Stone that could turn base metal to gold!). It was a fascinating story particularly when the book was lost and then rediscovered again - or at least parts of it were. There was also a folk singer who had written a couple of songs about Dee too.

The setting for this was LIBRARY which is a private members club and it was a really fascinating place. The decor was interesting with stained glass panels, gorgeous carved wood, lots and lots of bookshelves with books and interesting ceilings, floors and wall lights. We all coveted the rather odd chairs:
It was a good evening!

Today I have been to see a friend and we have caught up with many things and drunk far too much coffee.  To offset I have rather nice food to have this evening (and I have been bought chocolate which I have already eaten rather too much of) I walked to her house and back so I've managed to clock up four and a half miles which isn't too bad. This afternoon I have spend mostly cleaning and vacuuming up all the cat hair. Little furry beasts are shedding....

And it's been sunny today which always makes me feel full of energy!

Good things.

12th of February

It's monthlydiaryday day - cross posted, so apologies if you've seen this entry before.

The morning started early-ish for a Sunday as Zero one of our younger cats decided we had been in bed for too long at 7am and started scratching at our bedroom door (the cats are not allowed in the bedrooms at night but have the run of the house/garden). Mr Cee got up and fed them and then came back to bed and we dozed until about 8am when there was much thundering as the cats (fueled by food) ran up and down the hallway chasing each other.

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It's supposed to be much sunnier and warmer today which is good. I am so tired of dull cold days!

This evening I will be meeting up with brutti_ma_buoni and daiseechain to attend The Secret Journey with Doctor Dee at LIBRARY (which the owners describe as a hotel, restaurant, private members club and wellness hub). Should be fun as you can't usually get to see inside unless you attend an event or become a member :)

The Friday Five

This is going to be challenging as I'm not sure if I can answer these...

1) Do you try to see all the nominees for Best Picture each year before the Academy Awards show? Ummm - no. Most of the time I have no idea that there is an Academy Awards show until I see something on Twitter.  Mostly because it's a time difference thing for me and also I don't really care which film wins :)
2) How many of this year’s nine Best Picture nominees have you seen so far? I had to look them up (Arrival, Fences, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures, La La Land, Lion, Manchester by the Sea and Moonlight). Easy answer is none. I'm annoyed I missed Arrival but none of the others appeal to me particularly. I might watch them when they are on TV, but then again I might not.
3) Of those nominated films you’ve seen, which is your favorite? Umm....
4) Is your favorite the same as the film you think is actually the “best picture”? Umm... My favourite film this year has been Rogue One :)
5) Which film do you think will win Best Picture? Isn't everyone saying La La Land? I have no idea.

Well that was interesting.

Off to Pilates in a minute - I need to stretch out my spine after lots of belly dance moves I've not done before last night. Mr Cee is home after working for a straight 36 hours over the last day or so and so it's a nice relaxing Friday which will mean I have no idea what day it is all day.  It's dark and miserable again today - I hate days like that, I expect there will be a bit of TV catch up this afternoon.

Happy Friday all!



Looking for some positive things from this week...

  • OFSTED (school inspectors) visited our stained glass class on Tuesday and our teacher emailed us to say the inspection went well. This is good as it means the centre will receive the promised funding they need.

  • lilachigh collected her fish stained glass yesterday and we had a nice catch up chat which was good.

  • My belly dance troupe are booked to dance at another show at the end of March and our belly dance teacher has added some complex moves into the routine. Thank goodness she has videoed them and posted them in our little closed group on Facebook so I can watch and practice. Training tonight could be interesting!

  • The promised snow (which was only going to be a mere flurry according to all the weather forecasts) has not materialised. I imagine we might get a bit of sleet later, but nothing to worry about.

  • Mr Cee had to work most of last night (from home) which means he hasn't got a lot of sleep but is also means he is at home finishing the job today and will have tomorrow as a day off in lieu.

Good things :)


I had a lovely day yesterday with a friend from my glass making class who has moved further outside the London suburbs near to Battle (near Hastings). I went on the train because it was so easy with my train line taking me from my station to hers in around 45 minutes. She picked me up and we went for a brunch at a local garden centre (yummy!). Then back to hers to have a look around her lovely 16th century higgledy piggledy house which is really charming. I have to say some of the low ceilings would not suit me, but she and her husband are a lot shorter than we are! She has a lot of land with a paddock and stables and a generous sized garden.

We had lunch out in Battle which has a cute, quirky high street and some ancient pubs (we had lunch in one of them) and a wander around the shops. Then back to her house for a coffee before she took me back to the station for my journey home.

It was a lovely day.

Mr Cee picked me up from the station and then my day took a horrible turn for the worse as he had some awful news about one of our former neighbours who we know very well and is part of our social group.  He was at the gym on Sunday where unfortunately he suffered a heart attack and despite paramedics trying for 90 minutes to brings him back, he very sadly died.  He was 60. His wife used to come to belly dancing with me, and is now at the Pilates class I go to on Fridays and I can't even begin to think what she is going through. They had both taken early retirement for the past few years and I'm sure thought they had many more years together to look forward to.

Hug your loved ones - life is so precious.


The Friday 5 a little late...

The thefridayfive questions were a little late and missed by me as I was offline for quite a bit over Saturday cleaning all the things! Upside - my house is ridiculously shiny and clean and we had a nice evening with our new next door neighbours.

So I shall post today instead. These were originally posted by ariestess at The Friday Five for 3 February 2017


  1. How many pets have you had at one time? The most pets I have had at one time was when we had four fish and four cats. That was a while ago as we have lost two of the fish and at the moment we have two fancy goldfish and four cats.

  2. What is the strangest pet you have ever had? I don't think I've ever had a strange pet! Friends do seem to think it's odd that we don't name the fish, but I can't see the point. The two fish we have at the moment are nearly 9 years old, but they still don't have names ;)

  3. What is the coolest trick you have ever taught a pet? You really can't teach cats, but they do pick up tricks by themselves. Tiger (the oldest cat at 14) has a trick he's learned by himself which is to tap you with his paw if he wants a stroke and you aren't paying attention to him. It's something he's only just started to do over the past few months. Maybe we look at our phones too much....! All the cats know when it's near food time and often will sit and stare at us until we give in and fill their bowls.

  4. Real animals: What animal have you always wanted as a pet? I would like to own a horse and get back to riding, but I know how much time and effort they take to look after. The only way I would want to have one is if I lived on land where I didn't have to travel to keep it. That's unlikely in the South East suburbs of London.

  5. Imaginary animals: Describe the ideal pet, an animal that doesn't really exist. I would like a dog that didn't poop. I like the idea of a dog as a pet and taking long walks with it, but I wouldn't like to clean up poop on the walks :)

That was fun!  Mr Cee is making roast chicken for lunch which is starting to smell delicious. I think after yesterday's busy tidying and cleaning we will have a quiet afternoon in front of the TV :D


Thank all that is Holy for Lj and my friends feed!! You are all so sensible and on the whole you are avoiding the train wreck for which I will be forever grateful. I'd much rather read about what you have been up to anyway.

So - what have I been up to you ask? Not a great deal but I did manage to finish the fish that lilachigh asked me to make her. I think he looks good against a window - see?
She's not seen him in the flesh yet, and is happy with the photo - but I hope he likes him when she picks him up next week as well.

I went to Pilates again today. There were many core exercises which were challenging, especially as the evening before at belly dancing we had been isolating our rib cage and moving it left and right in time to music which meant I had well-worked muscles around my diaphragm and upper abdomen. My teacher knew that, but she was mean! Still - maybe one day I'll have abs that show ;)

The rest of the day I have been cleaning as we are having our new neighbours round for a drink tomorrow. I have an assortment of cheeses and will make some bread in the morning. I also made a Kashmiri butter chicken curry dish in my slow cooker for dinner tonight. It smells wonderful! I am enjoying some lemon vodka at the moment and there will be Indian beer later. I'm really hungry!

Happy Friday all!


I went to London today with a friend to see this exhibition at the V&A:

It was fascinating and very, very interesting. We spent nearly two hours walking around looking at all the exhibits and reading about the history. Under the cut as although there was a ban on photographs (so I didn't take any), I have hunted around the web to give you a flavour of what is there...

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We stopped off at the cafe in the V&A for a very delicious lunch and then wandered around the shop before coming home. It was a really interesting visit and well worth it if you can get there.

Book of days....

Prompts because I need to be prompted...

Book of Days
Outside my window: It is quite dark now, and it's been quite misty and dark for most of today. I can see a lot of birds roosting in the horse chestnut tree at the bottom of the garden. The tree is definitely popular with the wood pigeons. There have been a lot of birds in the garden. My favourite are a pair of robins who visit every day. They are so cute.

My thoughts... I've nearly finished the fish art piece I've been making in stained glass for lilachigh. I've only a small bit to complete and that will have to wait until Thursday but I think she'll be pleased with it.
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So that's the round up! :)

Sunday, Sunday....

I spent most of the morning on social media which was probably a mistake. So this post is about positive things...

  • I have a comfy space I posted about in my Friday meme and I took a photo of it today. It's my pine rocking chair where I sit and do my current cross stitch embroidery. The embroidery is not getting much attention at the moment but it's out of the way there and it's a reminder that I need to spend a little bit of time on it every day. I made the crochet throw over the back of the chair and I think it looks good there.

  • Lady has found a nice warm place to sit when the weather has been cold. This is where the TiVo sits and she likes sitting on top of it. Every now and again I have to keep clearing the cat hair out of the air vents!


  • I found a new cleaner and polish for my quartz worktops and spent part of this afternoon cleaning them to within an inch of their lives. They are super shiny and look great.

Postive things *nods*

*hugs to everyone*

Good stuff!

  • Mr Cee has been sorting out bills and we are rather surprised to find that we are only paying £10 a month for electricity at the moment. This is partially because we have a pot of money that the electricity company owe us from the last house, but it is also because this house is more efficient and we have free electricity on a Saturday between 9 and 5 (when I do all the washing and tumble drying and charge ALL the things). The solar panels are also probably helping. Cool!

  • I did not sleep well last night, but for some reason I have not really felt tired all day. I don't know why I didn't sleep well, but I suspect Tiger was yowling around the house which he does every now and again. I gave up at 2am and got up and read my book for a while before snoozing a bit on the sofabed in the spare room. Tonight I shall put my earplugs in and ignore him!

  • There will be Chinese food tonight in honour of Chinese New Year (a little early) - the year of the Rooster. We have one of those last name Coat of Arms plaques that someone bought us a long time ago.  There are cockerels on the shield (those who know me in RL may know why). :)

thefridayfive questions have not materialised, but slaymesoftly has been given some by someone else, so under the cut are my answers to those a day late.

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Ack - someone is letting off fireworks. Maybe they are celebrating Chinese New Year or it could be someone's birthday. The cats do not seem to be bothered.

Happy Saturday :)


thefridayfive haven't posted any questions yet - this maybe a time difference thing so I might have to answer the questions tomorrow.

Anyway - it's FRIIIIIDAY and today has been busy, so bullets:

  • This morning I went to a Pilates class run by my belly dancing teacher. I am determined to tone up my tum if I'm going to be showing it off dancing so I thought I'd give it a try. It was good but I didn't find it very challenging. At my belly dancing class our teacher adds half an hour of Pilates stretches at the end of the class which is fab. Yesterday we did a few different exercises I hadn't done before. One of my classmates came up afterwards and said she was astounded I could do the moves as her Pilates class had struggled with this particular stretch and had take a few weeks to master it. She could not believe how flexible I am. This was confirmed at the Pilates class this morning, I hadn't realised how flexible I am - but I've always been quite athletic and had flexible joints. It's not until I saw others around my age struggling that I was made aware of it! Which is good! I shall keep at the Pilates as I may find it improves my tone and as it's not difficult - I don't even break a sweat :)

  • I rushed home and grabbed a quick lunch with Mr Cee who has had today off to do more electrical installation work on my glass studio (still not finished - boo!). He then dropped me off at my hairdresser as I had an appointment while he went grocery shopping.  My hair is now FAB-U-LOUS DAHLINK.

  • On the way home we stopped off at my ex-neighbour's home to pick up some cat litter a friend of hers no longer needs and we were invited in for a quick coffee and some homemade cake (yum).

  • When we got home Mr Cee volunteered to make dinner (tomato and pepper pasta bake - yum) and I have been playing with the Sims 4 which is fun. We shall be having this delicious meal with wine later... :)

All good stuff!  Happy Friday folks!

Good stuff...

There's nothing like a freshly baked loaf of bread to make the house smell delicious....

It tasted rather good too - spinach and cheese loaf to use up some spinach. I tweaked the recipe and it was very difficult to wait until the loaf was cool enough to have a slice and make sure it was OK which indeed it is!

Mr Cee is on his way back home having gone to Milan yesterday for a meeting today. It was touch and go whether he would get there as there was fog delaying planes and the trains from the South East of London were all delayed because of a freight train derailment. Mr Cee was OK because he managed to avoid the lines affected to get to Gatwick, but Youngest Cee had a bit of a difficult journey home yesterday. He got here eventually because a train he caught stopped at our local station which it wouldn't normally do. There are still delays so I'm hoping he doesn't have a bad journey again tonight.

In other news I have been a veritable whirlwind today - I have been grocery shopping and collected a missed parcel for YC, then came home and got two loads of laundry washed and dried, washed and vacuumed all the floors, cleaned all the bathrooms, ironed all the shirts (boo!) AND made the loaf of bread all before noon. This afternoon I have finally watched the last few episodes of Poldark which I had recorded and just didn't get around to watching. I'm glad they are making another series - it's so beautifully shot.

So that was Wednesday!

Afternoon tea....

Yesterday we went to Mayfair with some friends to take advantage of a two for one Groupon offer for a champagne afternoon tea at The Athenaeum Hotel. It was a very sunny, but cold day (my favourite!) and so we strolled along Piccadilly to the Hotel rather than taking the tube.

I rather liked the lighting in the restaurant which was interesting. We did speculate whether they had managed to break a few of the lampshades and then try and make it look like it was on purpose by only putting them on every other bulb ;)

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Afterwards we cut through Green Park to get back to Charing Cross station along The Mall. There  were lots of production trailers for a film company parked up outside Lancaster House and Clarence House. Presumably they were going to be filming something in the area later that night. Certainly we saw a young lady ironing many white shirts through one of the windows...?!

We walked through Trafalgar Square and stopped off at the old Charing Cross hotel (now called the Amba Hotel, Charing Cross) to have a cocktail in there (I had a very delicious Kir Royale) before heading home on the train.

It was a fun afternoon!

Tomorrow Mr Cee has to travel to Milan for a couple of days. I'm hoping the fog that has meant lots of delays and cancellations at the London airports will have gone when he travels tomorrow lunch time!

Cheerful things...

  1. It's been sunny enough to put washing out on the line today and get it dry despite extremely thick frost and snow left in the garden since last week. My garden is a sun trap which is going to be very nice in the summer as I have a peach tree and a lemon tree which will like the sheltered wall they are going to be planted next to when the ground is warmer.

  2. I have had a very satisfying day sorting out the desk in our study/spare bedroom. Yesterday I rearranged the bookshelves in there, and it's amazing how moving a couple of items in a room can suddenly create more space. It was also good to reorganise the books themselves - I now have one unit with all the fiction books, and one unit with all the non-fiction and reference books.  It was good to get rid of some of the things that had been dumped in the desk when we moved and to sort out the tangle of wires where the computer etc had been plugged in. It's really nice in there now.

  3. Mr Cee has been out and bought the ingredients for an Italian anti pasti spread for this evenings meal. Yum yum yum!

Happy Saturday! :)

I nearly forgot!

It's Friday so time for the thefridayfive!

1. How do you like your coffee?
Black, no sugar.  Preferably not instant coffee. I like Kenco Smooth for my Tassimo at the moment.
2. How do you like your tea?
I don't often drink tea, but I like it not too strong and with only a little bit of milk. If I'm making it at home I like to drink tea without milk and add some lemon. On Sunday we are going with friends to a Champagne Afternoon tea in London. I hope they have Orange Pekoe tea on the menu as that's my favourite.
3. What's your favorite late night beverage?
I don't like to drink too late as I find these days my full bladder wakes me up. I do like liqueurs such as limoncello after a dinner with friends.
4. If you could only drink one thing for the next week, what would it be?
Water, cold.
5. If you were on vacation, what would be the first thing you'd drink to celebrate?
Wine or champagne.

Happy Friday! :)


It's Thursday

Good things:

  1. It's been really sunny today.  My little solar app tells me that our solar panels have generated 5.7 Kwh of electricity and we have exported 1.4 kWh to the grid. Not bad for a fairly short winters day. It's not exactly going to make us millions (yesterday we exported 0.8 kWh to the grid and earned £1.30) but it's an improvement after dark days. I'm interested to see what we'll generate/export in the summer!

  2. I tried a new app called freeprints a few days ago which lets you select photos (from several sources as well as the phone) and will print them and send them back to you and you only pay for the postage. I only selected a few to test the quality and the photos arrived today. They are very good! You can select a matt finish (which I prefer) for free and they have come out very well so I'll probably use it again. The photos come as 6"x4" as standard, but you can also have large prints for a small fee. The developers have another app called photobooks which also looks interesting as you can have a photobook which I might investigate. It's nice to have hard copies.

  3. Today I tried a new recipe for a rum cake to finish up the last of the citrus infused rum I made for Christmas. It's Youngest Cee's favourite and he's finally getting his appetite back after his nasty cold even though he's still coughing, so it'll be a nice treat for him. Boy oh boy you do NOT want to drive after eating it! There is not only rum in the cake, there is also a buttery glaze/drizzle containing rum which you pour over the cake after it's cooked. It's delicious! *hic*

  4. Belly dance class tonight! Yay!

Book of days...

Digging this one out again as it's a good set of prompts and the last time I did it was AGES ago!!

Book of Days

Outside my window: It's dark now, but we've actually seen some sunshine today which was very welcome after 4 very dull, dark days. I had to get my sunglasses out driving back from my glass class today!
My thoughts... I'm a bit bored at the moment to be honest. Mostly because what I want to do involves being outside in the garden and it's too cold/rainy at the moment.
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In other news - I know it's not very popular but I've rewatched all three of the latest Sherlock series and I rather enjoyed it. The last one included nods to the stories again and I do think that's clever. There were a few small things that annoyed me, and I think the best episode was the second one, but as a possible series end it was OK. I have a feeling we may not have any more Sherlock as BC and MF are so busy now, but it's been a good update/adaptation of the characters and overall I've enjoyed all the episodes we've had over the past 7 years even if some of them had to be watched more than once to unravel them.

New meme...

I have been stuck inside because of the weather. It is nice to be home with family and Mr Cee and I sat and watched some BluRay films and caught up with lots of TV we had recorded yesterday which was lovely. At least the rain has finally got rid of the snow.

However, it's the kind of weather where it is dull all day. It's been raining heavily all day today and the cats and I are tired of it. I have been playing with the younger ones with one of those laser pointer pens over the last two days and they have been having a lot of fun. This was prompted by Tippi's visit to the vet last week - she is the smallest cat and is as heavy now as her much larger brother and sister. She is almost round, so she needs exercise! She likes the game and waits for me to pick up the laser pointer. I moved it this morning without using it as a game and she was NOT happy. She doesn't 'talk' much, but she will meep her dismay if things don't go her way. Tiger, who has seen it all before, watches them and plays the elder statesman.

On Friday eurydice72 posted a new meme from thefridayfive which is an interesting comm. I have joined and the five questions for last Friday are under the cut. I shall try and keep future meme answers to Fridays.

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It's supposed to be very dull and miserable all next week - I am hoping for brief sunny intervals!

12th of the month!

Yesterday was the 12th, so my first entry for monthlydiaryday is under the cut....

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The snow has frozen over night so we still have quite a lot of it outside, and the roads are treacherous. Mr Cee is working at home today and was going to take Youngest Cee to the station for work (as he's feeling much better), but he couldn't get the car out of our steep driveway so YC had to walk.

Today has been really productive so far with all the carpets and rugs vacuumed, the kitchen cleaned and tidied, the breakfast out of the way all by 7.30am :)  I shall made some bread as I'm indoors and today feels like a good day to experiment with some new recipes. 



For me reading is always a pleasure.  I am not very good at keeping a list of what I read, however and the last time I did the 'What am I reading Wednesday' was here on 28th September last year!  However, as I managed to read over 50 books last year I might as well start afresh with a new list for this year.

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What I'm reading now:
The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking the CEO of The Happiness Resarch Institute in Copenhagen. Describing a very similar way of life to the one we experienced when we lived in Norway (where they have candles everywhere too) where Hygge is embraced with the word "utepils" which means sitting outside in the sun with a beer.  Usually topless if our experience is anything to go by!  It's fun, but if you followed all the recipes in the book you might end up rather fat! I am enjoying reading about the Danish designers though.

I'm also reading
The Queen's Conjuror: The Life and Magic of Dr. Dee: The Science and Magic of Dr.Dee (Science and Magic of Dr Dee) by Benjamin Wooley.  This is mostly because I've never really read much about him and I'm going to a lecture with daiseechain and brutti_ma_buoni, so I thought I'd read a bit of background :)

What am I reading next?
I have Agatha Christie on Screen by Mark Aldridge to read through, but it's more of a reference book, so I might not read it all in one go (it uses a teeny tiny type face too and as it's a proper book, I can't make it bigger!).  I also have Purfume A Century of Scents by Lizzie Ostrom whose scent workshops I've been to a few times. Looking forward to that.

In other news - Youngest Cee stayed home from work today as he couldn't breathe last night so he didn't sleep well with the heavy cold he has. As he's not been in his job for long he doesn't get full pay for sick days so his manager has suggested he should work at home tomorrow if he still doesn't feel well so that he gets paid a full day. It's nice they are looking after him.

Positive things for this post - reading and considerate employers. 


My stained glass class started up again today which was very welcome - everyone had Christmas break news which was fun. It took ages to get there in the car this morning with a horrendous amount of traffic on the road.

I have spent this afternoon reading a book about the Danish way to live well which can be summed up with the word "Hygge".  As our lovely Danish import Sandi Toksvig (currently hosting QI) describes it - it's sitting with friends with good food and almost always a warm fire, candles and alcohol of some description.

This paragraph in Meik Wiking's book ("The little book of HYGGE") has resonated with me though.  The author is talking about Denmark being rated as one of the happiest countries in the world (he is CEO for The Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen):

"Interestingly, there is wide support for the welfare state. The support stems from an awareness of the fact that he welfare model turns our collective wealth into well-being.  We are not paying taxes, we are investing in our society. We are purchasing quality of life. The key to understanding the high levels of well-being in Denmark is the welfare model's ability to reduce risk, uncertainty and anxiety among its citizens and to prevent extreme unhappiness."

Yes, it's simplistic, but looking at taxes as a way to make everything better for everyone? Love it. It says a lot for the collective state of mind in Scandinavian countries (we had very similar discussions with friends in Norway when we lived there).

I am going to aim to live my life more hyggeligt. I have already lit several candles and it's lovely and cosy in my house.

Happy Tuesday :)

It's Monday?

How did that happen? It's been a busy weekend which disappeared in a flash, not that I did much other than household chores.

There is a London tube strike so Mr Cee and Youngest Cee are working from home.  It's nice to have them here, especially as Youngest Cee has a dreadful cold/sore throat which came out over the weekend and I'm not sure he would have made it through a full day in the office anyway. It's a pretty dismal day as well so at least they have avoided the rain.

I saw this meme on theapink's journal, so I'm jumping in... (under the cut for 25 quick questions)

Meme-ageCollapse )

Positive things!
- Lemon poppy seed muffins are delicious and easy to make
- I subscribed to Gardeners World Magazine to help me with....
- planning a new garden. I have some shrubs arriving soon which were at a ridiculous price online as a 'collection' and I had a voucher so I bought 12 shrubs for less than a pound each.

It's Friday!

I've been so confused this week because we had the Bank Holiday on Monday and most of the week I've not actually known what day it was :)

However - it's been a good week.  I've been doing some wiring and decorating of my dolls house - under the cut for a couple of photos.

Dolls houseCollapse )

My second reason to be cheerful is that there is a London tube strike on Monday so both Mr Cee and Youngest Cee will be working from home.  This means I don't have to get up as I've been taking Youngest Cee to the station in the mornning as I'm a big softy and feel sorry for him when it's really cold and he's not really awake.....

Thirdly, today I have been mostly very lazy which is nice.  I have made honey and seed bread to have with a cauliflower, leek and pancetta cheesy gratin for dinner.  So while it was proving, getting knocked back and proving again (it's a lovely loaf but there's lots of waiting around!) I started watching 'Travellers' on Netflix.  Anyone else seen it? It's a really intriguing series and so far I've enjoyed the episodes I've seen.  Also tonight there will be wine.

Happy Friday all!

*icon snaggable if anyone wants it.

It's amazing....

....how the addition of a fairly small dresser has meant I have a LOT more space to store things.

Photo and list....Collapse )

So all in all it's been an incredibly satisfying day of sorting through things and freeing up other cupboards and rearranging items so they are easier to find.  Things like all the instruction booklets for the household items which are now in a much more sensible cupboard and will make accessing them so much easier.

In other news I enjoyed the latest Sherlock episode.  I know that's not the general opinion, but I think it's because I recognised so many 'nods' to the original stories which were very clever (in fact I had to rewatch is as I missed a couple and wanted to check), plus I like a twisty turny plot. Avoiding spoilers - the 'big' event also didn't surprise me as that's implied in the books too :)  Plus Thatcher being substituted for Napoleon was just hilarious....!

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