Monday, 19 September 2016

A Victorian Weekend

Dear reader,  last weekend I sent Mr Him back in time.  Truth be told,  I'd been looking to do that with him for a while now.  However best laid plans and all that,  he  took us all with him!

You see, our town had a celebration of a Victorian nature.  We were celebrating the arrival of the train 175 years ago.  Now I know we are served by Southern and if you are in the UK you will know that we've been waiting for one ever since we are enduring a challenging timetable.  However let's not dally.

Miss 21, her automotive engineer,  Mr Him and I went to the park in town on  Saturday night for a nocturnal, al fresco and atmospheric viewing of the Railway Children.

We bundled in coats and in my case, picnic rug, took alcohol, fold up chairs  and picnic . The automotive engineer needed to stop off at Sainsbury and  Miss 21 fancied  a rest whilst we waited.  She asked us to stay with her as 'if you go on the automotive engineer might find me sitting here later with coins around my feet'.

We enjoyed the film and picnic followed by fireworks. 

The next day I went on a special diesel train that was brought down to run on the newly cleared but no longer used route to Ardingly.  It was a private shuttle which took me 20 mins into the country, as far as they've cleared the line. (Mr Him tipped the driver to leave me there but health and safety stepped in.) The ultimate plan is to bring steam trains from the Bluebell Railway into our station but there is clearly more work to be done.  It was a one off experience that I felt I had to do, (so had Mr Him when he passed on the tip.)

Mr Him, meanwhile watched a cavalry charge.  I met up with him later and we discovered the bar bus.

The town had a commemorative cake in the shape of a steam engine, which we watched the cutting of, and partook of.  Mr Him ate some of the funnel,  including rivets.

The Cake
Part of the funnel

Many people dug out their victorian clothes  (haven't I done a style blog recently on not throwing out clothing ).  Mr Him didn't as he hadn't kept his.

It's on weekends like this that only cost us the bar drink and a fiver for the train ride, that I don't mind paying council tax.  

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Dining with Ladies

It's been unseasonally hot in southern England. Sweltering in over 30c does not make one want to indulge in a pumpkin spiced latte nor cosy in front of a fire.  Instead we're dining alfresco and supping chilled icebucket wine. 

On Tuesday  I was a lady who dines as I  went out to eat after work with 7 female colleagues.  We went to Cotes and were lucky enough to get a large table outside.  We were street eaters a la  Paris or Rome, with candle ambiance, enhanced by vino, bare arms and girlish chatter (which males are fanciable in the office.) From sunset through to when we left at 9.30 the temperature was pleasantly balmy. In fact I remained sleeveless right through to getting off my train at my home station at almost 11. 

I ate roasted cod and vegetables, a bit of bread and oh, the chocolate pot dessert.  I sooo recommend that if you go to Cotes (please do.)  My diet was cast aside, after the cod and vegetables. 

Chocolate Pot topped with creme fraich

On Thursday I went to London to have lunch at a function hosted by a magazine.  I was honoured as I was personally invited by the magazine and was on the proprietor's table.  It was a lunch  for women in my profession, not that many of us.  I had been lined up for an interview and decided to do it on arrival prior to getting spinach in my teeth.  Good call I think.  I daren't look at the website to see it though. 

Again it was a sweltering day and we first had drinks outside on the roof garden.  I had dithered over which jacket to wear with my black dress and in the end was sleeveless the whole day.  I wasn't alone.  Unusual to be bare armed at a daytime function but it was 90 odd F.  We ate cured mackeral, chicken breast and vegetables followed by little cakes and coffee.  Perfect. 

I took photos along the way, remembering my youth in the financial district.  I recollect this the Lloyds building being built,

and this when it was the Natwest Tower and was targeted in the 1980's.  This area became a hard hat site after the event and I had to don one when to attend a meeting in a building opposite. 

Here is Leadenhall Market where I used to wander around a lot.  It was used in  the first Harry Potter film, Diagon Alley. 

The Thames looked busy. 

Less of the reminiscing.  In other news, Miss 21 is about to start an 18 month qualification in radiography.  Is anyone else worried about the idea of her playing with radiation and x-rays!  

I'm going to pop a few outfit pics on my other blog site if I can find some decent ones of what I wore for these events. 

Monday, 12 September 2016

Outings to please Me

Dear reader,  on Saturday my family vied for my attention. They each,  well Miss 21 and Mr Him, planned outings for me.  Miss 21 booked me onto her excursion for Saturday morning a few weeks ago. It was   an efficient operation. Mr decided on his excursion for me the evening before. 

On Saturday I was awoken, told to be ready for 8 am. Miss 21 went off to get petrol then in her words 'swing by to pick me up. ' I was told to look posh. 

With my large pearl earrings in ( to look posh)  and my breakfast in a tub (to eat) I dropped into her car.  The weather was pleasant.  I enjoyed being a passenger and we meandered along country lanes.

Where did she take me?  The dentist!  

An hour later found me in dentist chair being told I may need to have a tooth out!  Oh, and braces.  In the room was the dentist and me, and the nurse. Yes,  Miss 21.  Later, a while later, I  hopped off the chair and went for therapy.  Retail therapy.  I bought minced venison and 3 pairs of shoes.

 The latter were in a sale in Marks for  £9 a pair reduced from  £65! I just had to at that price and they are all gorgeous.  I also bought local tomatoes. 

Following the therapy I needed lunch and as I wasn't driving I offered myself a glass of wine.  It would have been rude to refuse.  I seemed to find myself in a knitting circle pub.  

As I drank I got the idea that I would take up knitting if it involved pub going.  

The more I drank the more convinced I was that an argyle would be coming Mr Him's way at Christmas.  After a second glass of wine I decided I could get used to this and easily build a routine around coming to the dentist on a Saturday morning.  I immediately paid and made my way to miss 21s practice to book myself more appointments.

The orthodontist was seeing a customer out.  He told her that if she had any discomfort she should have a glass of wine.  I immediately said, helpfully,  ' I've had two and I'm the nurses mum.'  I hoped that reassured the customer.

I was given an appointment for December.  'Haven't you got anything sooner' I asked, eagerly.  'I can take a day off work.'

Well, almost immediately  Miss 21 bundled me in her car and we made our way home by magic bean.

Could Mr Him better that? 

For my evening excursion he told me to wrap up in waterproofing. He put us on a train.  He spared no expense to take me out for a drink. He bought me two cans of gin and slimline tonic from Tesco Express.   He walked me along the seafront at Hastings in the pouring rain to see a laser show that never was.

 It was to commemorate the Norman invasion of 950 years ago, or the  beginning of Brexit. We saw a few strands of lasers beaming across to France and once I was completely soaked he put us back on a train and let me have one of the g&ts.

I love my family. 

Saturday, 10 September 2016

The Man

Dear reader,  I've worked at home for the last two days.  Nothing extraordinary about that given Southern trains and frequent strikes.  What was extraordinary was a 'brief' encounter and I had whilst on a Skype meeting call with the office. 

I looked up from my laptop and glanced out at my garden.  In it was a man!  I interrupted the call, shocking my colleagues by the arrival of the 'man.'

With a dash to the garden I found him lurking around my washing line.  Yes it had washing on it.  Yes it included undies.  Yes, my undies. 

'Hello', I said.
The man said, 'Can I ask you something personal '!!!!!

'Ummm,' I said glancing at my washing.

I remembered Mr Him's saucy experience with the ladies here... and wondered whether it was finally my turn. 

It turned out, though, aprons were not to be donned by the man and once I was brave enough to answer him,  I discovered that all he wanted was to know if I'd agreed to the water drains next door flowing through my garden, not into my garden.  I offered him an apron but he dashed away, quite quickly I might add, with nary a glance at the article. 

Wednesday, 7 September 2016


Dear reader,  on Saturday Mr Him and I traversed Sussex by Mutton taxi  (yes I was driving) to Littlehampton to see Mr Him's mother (MIL) and aunt.  Littlehampton is very much like a little Hamptons (in our dreams.)  I did a blog for you last year on our annual day out with MIL here

As for this trip, we met at a restaurant facing the mouth of the river Arun. The details of what I ate are here.  Let's leave the food side of it at that.  The least said the better given my diet situation.  

We had been sitting for not ten minutes before another family came and sat at the table next to us.  This charming lady immediately adopted MIL and it was reciprocated I might add.  MIL moved across the bench and sat with them.  It had something to do with bonding over wearing similar Next T shirts (same design different colour.) 

The family assured us she wasn't being a nuisance so we left her there,  until food arrived, and more wine arrived for MIL and her sister.  The family left after their main course.  'We're going to have dessert elsewhere,' they said.  Followed by a quick reassurance that they were joking. 

After lunch we took a look at the harbour.  MIL had an ice cream. I browsed the seaside shops.

Swans, even though its the mouth of the river.

MiL bought us a little wind chime which is now in our bathroom. 
We dropped them at her house in Mutton Taxi and then headed home. 
It was a pleasant day out. 

Sunday, 4 September 2016

A Culinary Surpise

Dear reader, this week Mr Him decided, unbeknownst to me, that he needed to prove himself to you on the cooking front.  He had a day off work and with the kitchen to himself prepared for me a culinary surprise that was Slimming World friendly.

I have below a video of the unveiling to myself and Miss 21.


Wednesday, 31 August 2016

There's a Hole in the Garden, Dear Anna

Mr Him was let loose at the weekend.  I decided I'd risk him doing some handyman things.  I mean it had to be easier then slicing beans!

I watched from a safe distance as he dug up some plants  that had failed to flower  (yes he did plant them in the first place but it's not his fault.  The soil is poor. ) 

The montebretia won't flower,  dear Anna,' he had said.

'Well dig it up, dear Him'.

'There's a hole in my garden now, dear Anna, '

'Fill it dear Him,'

'With what shall I fill it dear Anna.'

'With a pot dear Him, with a pot. '

'What goes in the pot dear Anna?'

'A Palm goes in the pot dear Him'.

'There's still a hole in the garden, dear Anna, dear Anna.'

'Fill it dear Him, fill it.'

'With what shall I fill it dear Anna dear Anna?'

'Some slate, dear Him, with some slate.'

'Jobs done dear Anna.'

'Thank goodness dear Him. Dear Him, the paints come off the porch, dear Him'.....