The One including 'Elephant's Child' Meme - well I had a go

Dear reader, I have a colleague.  I have many but this colleague works for me.  She doesn't have much opportunity for business visits and outings but last week an excellent invitation arrived in my inbox.  I whizzed it to her with an instruction to go to London and attend a seminar and mingle over a buffet lunch. 

Petra was excited. She Googled the location, she filled in the on-line registration, she persuaded her husband to escort her to the office door in case she got lost.  She was organised.  She was going to smash that seminar. 

The day arrived and she dressed in business finery for her grand city banking adventure .  She was royal in her attire and had a spring in her step.
I then got a call.  'Anna,  can you look at the invite, they aren't expecting me! ' I stifled a choke. No, oh no!

I looked.  It was the next day!  Ooops.  We all laughed.  

An hour and a half later she was sitting at her desk in the office. A little red.   Meanwhile I got a call from our banker saying 'you know Petra turned up a day early.'  I said 'yes, she doesn't get out much. '

Today she attended second time around, apparently teased quite a bit at by the bank staff.  She held her head high. We have respect for our Petra, but I won't be sending her on an airplane any time soon.

NZ Salts, Turkish Towels and a Country Fair

Last Saturday I took myself out to enjoy field and farm daylife.  The Young on line shopping genius did think of coming along but sent a text to say 'I don't think I'm going to pay £18 to get into a field. I'll meet you for coffee later but until then I'll go walk around a different field.....for free.'

I could see her point.

The field that I went to and paid £18 to enter contained the South of England show.  This time there was not a llama in sight.  Sheep though!

And a Pimms (of course.)

Some crafty bits too. 

Horses and riders in the practice paddock before the eventing.

A royal rocking horse, really? 

I purchased a pack of spices, mixed with woodsmoked New Zealand salts  and a bulb of woodsmoked garlic  (Mr Him made a sausage and bean casserole with some last night. Delicious.  His recipe tinned tomatoes, baked beans, a smattering of manuka wood smoked New Zealand salts and  spices, one clove of woodsmoked garlic, sausages.)  

These spices are available from

However, what really caught my attention, dear reader, was a fantastical money saving, space saving concept for a global fashionista such as I. What a phenomenal idea! A scarf you can dry yourself on after a shower, a beach wrap you can dine off as a tablecloth.  A truly multifunctional item and it was for me, twice, in grey and light chestnut.  I might even go on line and order a third.  Great for vacations. I'm already seeing myself  using it as a scarf on the plane, (why pack it,)  then wafting around the pool with said item as a sarong and later as a towel after emerging from the pool.   I'm fancying a lime one to add to my collection. 

This brand I found at the show is Foutala ( and available on line. 

Googling fouta I found that a fouta is a  Turkish towel. In the middle East they were also used by men as loincloths as they 'relax at home.'  I think I need to up my order, Mr Him is bound to want one for his armchair relaxation at home.  In fact I am now thinking of those Christmas presents for couples.  I'm sure my brother and sister-in-law would find a scarf come loincloth that they could share useful.  Then there's the step-sons....

A Party Game for Horrible People

Last Friday night dear reader, we had friends over for the evening.  It was balmy,  very balmy and Mr Him was surrounded by the 3 A's. Anna, Antony and Andy. He didn't let that spoil his fun and told us to call him a Adipstick for the night, along the lines of 'I'm A dipstick,' when he forgot to pour himself a drink. We obliged. 

Adipstick and Antony drove off in search of good old English fish and chips. Having hunted and foraged for food they  returned and we all settled in the kitchen with the patio door open to let in the sounds of a summer evening, such as the gentle whoosh of petals closing on the daisies and the gentle drone of mosquito wings. 

Then we adjourned to the patio to watch the dusk settle around us, not to mention the bats that fluttered over our heads.  The wine flowed, mostly in Adipstick's direction, the candles were lit and an ambiance was created. 

A game of Cards against Humanity was played and had us laughing in a bad taste sick sort of manner. This game is not for the faint of heart, be warned.  It belongs to Andy and Antony I feel obliged to explain.

Evening flights of holiday makers cast across the night sky to Gatwick. Antony advised us this is a Thompson flight from somewhere exotic like Magaluf. 

How did he know!  He had an app for that! (Flightradar 24). I immediately downloaded said app and can see it giving me hours seconds of fun in the summer as I sit in the garden. 

Old by the BBQ

Saturday last saw us experience a first and at the same time I met Old. We were introduced, Old and I, by being invited and attending my daughter's accommodation for food. It was in the form of a bbq. Such an invitation wrapped me in Old. 

I made a Greek salad and Mr Him made a potato salad to take with us.  It was a chilly evening and I became inspired to wear an old vintage denim jacket that I had handed down to the Young Online Shopping Genius.  As she had never worn it I upcycled it from her wardrobe. She is not the only clothing genius!

We decided that we wouldn't drive as we were both liable to drink. The Automotive Engineer pseudo son in law gave us a lift, separately. There's no back seat in his mini.  On arrival the evening started promisingly.  Clearly our reputation goes before us.

Friends of theirs were there also.  My daughter and the Autimotive Engineer needed help looking after the elderly I understand. 

Help took the form of touching the bbq to see if it was hot! 

Creating a strange 4 legged creature for us. Why we would need this I don't know!

The young men then made themselve useful staring at a bag of charcoal.

Then the food emerged and was cooked by woman unusually. 

We ate, we drank, we hudddled Old by the fire and then we walked home trying to exert youth and  hoping we could lose Old on the way.  

I awoke with a mighty hangover the next day and found I'd taken Old to bed.  He snored.

Pictorial Ramble

Dear Reader, I promised you a photographic blog today.  I will not be spoiling your trip with words, instead I will introduce you to what you will see.  Ahead of you is a pictorial view of our walk last Sunday.  This is a spot near us in Sussex.  Look out for the Victorian architecture of the viaduct and  far distant view through the many arches.  Glance upon the gentleman talking to Mr Him about his (the gentleman's) ancient yet modern photographic equipment. Spot the romantic couple, the epitome of England, as they find a peaceful spot for a picnic. All of these things we were lucky to happen upon by chance as we explored our local countryside.  

Now join us on our circular ramble then meet me in the garden for a cider.

Save the blog date

Dear reader,  my next blog will be a pictorial vision dedicated to countryside lubbers.

Save the blog date in your diary. It will be  tomorrow. Probably. Might be the next day,  if I'm tired. 

Mascara and the Corporate Jet

Today I had an important work meeting with an external party, from New York, no less.  She was to be accompanied by her colleague from London.  Being Friday it's dress down day in my office which presented me with a problem.  After fretting overnight I chose black trousers and a grey tunic. This tunic turned out to be a dress.  Not a good look on me.  I whipped those items off hurriedly and pulled on indigo jeans and navy jersey tunic in smart. On went pearls. Off came pearls, too much. On went little understated necklace. Too little.  A quick swish of a navy and white satin scarf and I declared myself perfect.  Little did I know! 

It was a muggy day but wet. I debated coat, no coat, yes coat, which coat?  I debated footwear. I chose.  I was now in the zone.  I could make decisions today.  Not necessarily good ones it would turn out.  I was hot by the time I got to the station.  Leather coat and ankle boots were too much for 18 degrees.  

Then disaster of disasters, dear reader,  I'd forgotten my mascara!  In my mirror I could see my eyelashes coated with powdery eye shadow residue, in cream.  I had very few  no options and none of them involved acquiring mascara.  I was due to meet important people at 9 am in Cafe Rouge, ironic when it was mascara I was missing and not blusher.  I pondered as to whether, in the interest of full disclosure,  I should go in  declaring it was dress-down lashes day.  Should I  face this cream elephant in CafĂ© Rouge head on?  Difficult decision.

I decided instead to be flagrant in my use of sunglasses and power lips. I wouldn't be able to see important New York personage who flew to UK to see me but did that matter.  Her seeing me was what mattered, clearly.  

I donned my sunglasses and slouched warily to the bistro cafe hoping I could pull this off.  I was glad to see them sitting outside, which meant  my plan was a go. I could keep on said sunnies. 

We chatted for a while on things of import and I introduced esteemed personage  to a 'flat white' coffee. I asked if she was flying out from Gatwick or Heathrow that afternoon.  Her London colleague at this point said 'she flew in on the corporate jet so neither. '

'Corporate jet, ' I spluttered, whipping off my glasses,  'to see me!' Silently my brain added,  'and I don't even have ruddy mascara on.'  Quickly and  as a  distraction from my now revealed lashes  I pointed out that my outfit came from New York, being a Renee original. This was lost on the corporate breeze as she pulled out her phone.  We drooled as one over her pictures of the' corporate jet' in the hangar. I did not show her pictures of my tube of mascara. 

PS if at this point you are concerned about corporate decadence do not worry. The jet was heading to the UK so her firm cancelled airline bookings for any staff doing the same journey so to save money rather than send the jet empty. It was her once in a lifetime opportunity. 

Making of Rhubarb Gin

How I made Rhubarb Gin and Mr Him does a BBQ See he's still being sensible. Maybe I should pour the gin down him! No. That would be a...