Archive | September 2011

‘It’s Pimms O’Clock!’

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I shall begin by apologising for the delay in posting but one of the things I wanted to write about needed to be common knowledge first.  My blogs this week will be rather like buses; you wait ages and then two come at once!!

So I take you back to the start of September.  I don’t know about you but since my school days, I always feel that 1st September marks the official end of summer.  The evenings start to become darker and the cardigans begin to come out!  X factor has begun and the countdown to Christmas starts.

In order to make the most of the last of the good weather, my boyfriend and I decided to go to Broadstairs, Kent for the day, which was where we went for our very first date.  I love Broadstairs and it is often referred to as the ‘Jewel in Thanet’s Crown’.  Charles Dickens regularly visited there between 1837 and 1859 and wrote David Copperfield whilst staying there; it does inspire my writing imagination too.  Today Broadstairs still retains the vibe of the traditional British seaside resort minus the donkey rides.

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We began with a game of crazy golf, followed by fish and chips on the beach; it always tastes better by the sea even if you do get a sand garnish!  The first Fish and chip shop that opened in London was in 1860.   Railways played a big part in fish and chips becoming a staple of the working class diet as it linked cities to the coast and they also can be credited with the increased popularity of a holiday at the seaside.  We followed up with an ice cream, then on to the arcade with the great 2p machines.  I even dipped my toes in the sea but wasn’t brave enough for a swim!  Many were braving a swim though; perhaps apart from protecting their modesty, the Victorian swimwear which covered most of the body was made as a result of Britain’s inclement weather?  It was funny when my partner and I went to Egypt and our guide in Cairo was saying it gets quite cold in the winter, around 20 degrees and we said, in Britain if the mercury reaches 20 then we all have our shorts and flip flops on!

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We finished off with a Pimms in one of the local pubs.  Pimms was actually invented by the son of a man from Kent in 1823.  It is now a drink very much synonymous with the British summer, hence its popularity at events such as Wimbledon.

That evening we went to friends for dinner which was a most enjoyable end to the day.  I remember being sent to bed whilst my parents entertained friends at dinner parties and now I’m attending dinner parties; how time flies!  The food was restaurant standard which sets the bar high for when we invite them back.

During the week I treated myself to some star print palazzo trousers after realising that my other pair of plain black ones had been badly torn by my high heels.  At least now I can be on trend with the star print.  I spent many evenings browsing the internet for a perfect pair of shoes to wear as Godmother at my baby nieces christening at the end of the month.  My boyfriend looked over at my surfing and said ‘you really do love shoes, don’t you!’  Had it really taken him this long to notice???  Men, eh!  I couldn’t find what I was looking for but did find a gorgeous pair of shoes for my baby niece; after all, got to start them young!

Image Courtesy of Google Images

Image Courtesy of Google Images

That got me thinking about my first pair of shoes; little did my parents realise that they would be the start of a life long love affair.  I think I inherited the obsession from my maternal Grandma; when she died my Mum found enough shoes in her wardrobe to open a shop!  I’m only sad that she died when I was 7.  I think we would have been great friends.  My main memory of her is sitting for hours and drawing together and how she always gave us a small bottle of lemonade, some fun size sweets which were a new concept then and £1 pocket money.  My Mum says she always said if you couldn’t decide which dress to buy, she would say get both!  For my first birthday Mum says she bought me a dress from Bentalls which was £25 then.  She was always generous to a fault.  No wonder I live to shop, it’s in the genes.



I remember when Mum and I went to Bromley to get my first pair of welly boots and ended up on the wrong train on the way back!  I was so proud of those wellies!

Later once I started school I remember we all had the Clarks Magic Steps shoes, mine were patent burgundy.  You were no one unless you had them.  These had a key in the sole.  My friend actually tried to smash the key out.  They made you feel like the princess in the adverts.  Even now some of my most glam shoes make me feel like a princess.  The power a piece of footwear has!

Image Courtesy of Google Images

Image Courtesy of Google Images

This reminiscing called to mind some other fashion and footwear trends over the years.  There were jelly shoes, heeled jelly shoes, crocs and Ugg boots to name a few.  Does anyone else remember the Bon Bleu tracksuit?  I always wanted one but alas we can’t always have what we want.  It’s quite ironic really that on own clothes day at school, most kids wore the alternative uniform of the Bon Bleu tracksuit!

On a more serious note and the cause of the delay on this blog; a bombshell was dropped on me at work.  They are closing our department and I will be redundant at the end of November, unless a suitable alternative within the company can be found.  Guess this means I will have to seriously curtail the shopping habit!  The shoe collection will certainly suffer.  We had expected the day would come but I don’t think any of us thought it would be quite this soon.  They sent us home early and I literally felt sick with shock.  I’ve had chance to get used to the idea now though.  I’m doing my best to look at this positively, as an opportunity.  Perhaps this is the push I needed; after all, what I really want is to be a teacher and a writer.

I should also mention that the complaints to the shop where we got Rufus finally paid off and we got the Vets bills refunded as well as £30 of vouchers which I intend to treat Rufus with.  It does pay to complain!

I shall leave it there and consol myself with a drink; perhaps ‘it’s Pimms O’clock?!’

Baby Shower

From a wedding shower to a baby shower.  Last weekend my friends and I organised a belated baby shower for my brother’s girlfriend, to welcome my niece into the world.  This is generally seen as an American tradition, to which women only were invited, it was traditionally seen to be an opportunity to shower the mother with gifts, hence the name as well as sharing parenting tips.

The shower was fancy dress which I love.  I went as Alice in Wonderland whilst one of my friends went as the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland and one as Jessie from Toy Story.

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It was a lovely afternoon with a high tea and games.   I made some baby shower themed cupcakes which came out better than I could have hoped.


We played such games as guess the baby pictures which I won, don’t say baby, guess the M&Ms in a baby’s bottle (there were 197 in case you were wondering!), pin the dummy on the baby, and baby themed Pictionary amongst others.  The Pictionary was a great laugh, especially with my lack of drawing skills!

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We also tried some baby food.  I have been considering going on the baby food diet, popular with the likes of Jennifer Aniston and Cheryl Cole.  You can eat one healthy adult meal a day and up to 14 jars of baby food.  Now I have sampled it though, I’m not entirely sure that I could stomach it!  The best were the puddings but I’m thinking that eating 14 of those a day would probably defeat the whole diet idea!

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Sunday saw me being super domesticated.  I repaired some items of clothing, did washing and made a pavlova; the recipe on the calendar for August.  I also picked my first home grown tomatoes, small but very tasty.

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Bank holiday Monday was good weather for a change and my boyfriend and I went to a beer festival with his sister and her husband at their local pub.  I’m proud to say that I did sample quite a few of the beers despite not being a beer drinker.  They also had a live band called Boneyard Junction who were very good especially with their rendition of Paint it Black.



What better way to spend a bank holiday than drinking and listening to a band.  There was also a traditional village fete there and my boyfriend, after quite a few beers decided that he must win the guess the weight of the marrow competition.  He guessed 10lb 6oz and it was 10lb 4oz.  He was the closest and so we became proud owners of a very large marrow!!


Friday just gone I cooked a stuffed marrow.  I thought it was very tasty but my boyfriend wasn’t keen after all that.  At least the marrow wasn’t wasted though.  It only fitted in the oven at a diagonal as it was so large!  They do say marrows are good for losing weight although the filling may counteract this!

Last weekend saw the number of hits on my blog pass 1000!  Thank you to all my loyal readers; this feels like a real milestone.  I would also like to thank two of my friends who very kindly compared it to Carrie’s writing in Sex and the City, you know who you are; that was the greatest compliment anyone could pay me, being that I am slightly obsessed with that series.  Here’s to the next 1000 hits!