A few months ago I came across a lovely lady called Kathy on YouTube. She has a channel called MyDIY and publishes projects based around the things she mostly picks up in Dollar Stores.
Now to say I’m very jealous is an understatement. I cannot believe the quantity and quality of what she can get for just $. And don’t get me started on some of the creations she comes up with.
We have pound shops here in the UK. I do love having a good wander around them. They are great for branded toiletries, large dog poo bags(yep, we have a preference for them in our house!) and kitchen bits and pieces.
Since finding Kathy I have been more inspired to check out the pound stores around me. My recent video shows some of my recent finds :
But it doesn’t matter where I go or when, I never find the amazing things Kathy has from the Dollar Store.
It got me thinking. Why is there such a difference in products from the UK pound stores compared to the to USA dollar stores ? Is it our shopping habits? Are we not as creative? Can USA get better access to products than buyers in the UK? I really don’t know!
I used to be very creative. I always made my own cards for example. I even had one published in a crafting magazine a few years ago. It was for my dad and was based on a pair of denim overalls filled with tools. I have also made a few cakes for family and friends, but in the last few years time has been in short supply. With the right products, I am sure I could be inspired again to get my craft cupboard and drawers open once more.
Kathy comes back with signs, flowers, ribbons and so much more from her trips to the Dollar Store. She creates great wreaths, pool party decorations as well as ornaments such as the recent truck she make.
I appreciate that at Christmas, Halloween or Easter our pound stores do step up a bit, but day to day the products are not that inspiring in comparison. Don’t get me wrong, I have picked up the odd thing. I love my hanging flower pots from my recent purchase. It is incredible the gap in products.
It’s a question I may never get the answer to, so for the time being I am just going to have Dollar Store envy and keep watching Kathy.
On the flip side, I do wonder who makes the products at that price. Are they getting a fair wage? I do hope so. There could be an argument that without that work they would be able to feed their family, even if it isn’t much. It’s a tough one!
I’ve never been into a Dollar Store myself. If I ever return to America, I’m certainly going to make a visit! I may have to pay excess baggage home though and I could potentially get carried away!
If you don’t know what I mean, pop over to Kathy’s YouTube channel MYDIY and see, and of course don’t forget to subscribe to my channel Slimminginspirations4u.
Today is going to be a real blast from the past! It isn’t going to be the usual day you would
expect someone to want to do to celebrate their 50th, but for me it is
As I have said before, having a birthday which always fell during
our families 2-week summer holiday, meant that most birthdays just blended into
the holiday. Don’t get me wrong, my
parents made a fuss of me, but you know what it is like as a kid, once you hit
the beach the day itself isn’t important.
That was until one very special birthday.
We had driven to Ilfracombe and my parents suggested we walk
along the harbour. There moored up was a big boat! Well as a kid anything larger than a dinghy
is a big boat. Dad thought we should go
on board and have a look around! Little
did I know was that they had booked it as a surprise trip for me to visit Lundy
Now, this is where the story of that day is told over and
over and over again! I have always been
a bit of an independent madam! It is no surprise
then when offered help to board the ship I declined it, and the inevitable
happened. I fell in. To make it worse, I refused help on the way
back too and the same thing happened. On
the plus side, it has entertained my parents for many years.
When I was thinking about how I wanted to spend my birthday,
that birthday surprise always came to the forefront of my memories. I researched it and the boat still went, but
not from Ilfracombe on my actual birthday.
I really wanted to spend my birthday with my friends but
wasn’t sure either if they would be interested in going to Lundy. If you don’t know about it, it is a little island
off the shores of Devon. It is a nature
reserve run by the National Trust.
Puffins use it for their breeding grounds and seals and dolphins can
also be seen there.
There are only 28 people living on the Island, with just a
pub, church and shop in the way of facilities.
That said, there is something calming and magical about the place. Well for me anyway.
I was a bit disappointed that I couldn’t go to the Island on
my birthday. I did see though that a
boat left from Bideford the next day. Unfortunately,
it was due to leave at 8 am due to the tide.
Now, not being funny, but having to get up and be on a boat ready to
leave by 8 am the morning after your 50th was not a realistic
After further explorations, I found a lovely man – Colin –
from Lundy Charters who was based in Clovelly who could take us over to the Island
on the Saturday at a more leisurely time of 9.30 am! My amazing friends all agreed to come with
So, the morning came, and we all headed off to Clovelly. We were told to park in the Anglers car
park. As we get there, we soon realise it
is also the same day as a festival so there is absolutely no parking. If you haven’t been to Clovelly, it is built
on a very steep hill. The road down to
the harbour is a 25% hill! The road is
single track so there are wardens at the top, middle and bottom with radios ensuring
that traffic is only flowing one way at any given time.
After a lot of worry about where to park, we were advised to
park up in the main car park and get the land rover back down which was
shuttling people that day. Hubby
suggested rather than all 8 of use going back up to come down again, why don’t
the drivers just go up and us ladies stay at the bottom. A very good idea.
As I jump out of the car, I ask hubby if he would like me to
take his rucksack with me, which he did.
I head off to take in the activity of the harbour while hubby takes the car
back up the steep road to the main car park.
I’m stood chatting when it hits me! I have the car keys! My car is one that doesn’t need a key to
start it, but it does need to be in the car when it is being driven. In a blind panic I find the warden at the
bottom. I explain the situation to
him. I now have visions of my car broken
down halfway up the hill, no-one being able to go up or down! He kindly radios to his colleagues to see if
there is a problem. The land rover that
went up after him has arrived at the top. Thankfully the car somehow made it
without the keys!
I’m now panicking as to how is the car going to be locked? The warden kindly tells me to take the land
rover back up, lock the car then come back with the land rover. Roger the driver was so lovely.
The journey back down was with a group of pirates that were
performing that day in Clovelly. I hadn’t
even boarded the boat and the day had already been memorable!
Finally, I can relax, and I meet up with Colin to board his
boat. As I get on, I can’t help but say
the most ridiculous thing! ‘Ooh it
smells of fish’. This brings roars of laughter
from my friends. Why? Well it’s a fishing boat we are on!
The boat sets sail and we are taking longer than I remember the
journey to the Island to be. As we sail,
I take in the views. I do love the sea
so much. So many seabirds hunting for their
dinner. A seal passes us just long
enough to see him, but not enough for a photo.
I am desperate to see dolphins but sadly that isn’t to be.
Gradually the island comes into view just as a puffin flies
We land on the island and I already feel nostalgic. It is a long steep walk up to the main part
of the island where the only public toilets are. We have a stop to look at the shop. We only have a few hours so prioritise what
we want to do. One of my friends hasn’t
seen puffins up close before so we decided to head off to their nesting site.
After a short while, we find out that they have already left. Gutted and being short of time we head back
to the pub for a spot of lunch.
After lunch 6 of us head to the disused lighthouse to explore. 147 steps up give you a 360-degree views of
the island. It is very beautiful.
After heading back to meet the rest of the group it is
almost time to head back to the boat. We
decide to pop onto the beach first and dip our toes in the sea. Well it has been a long time since I got wet
here so it would be rude not to. At
least this time it is just my feet!
As I look amongst the rocks, I find some amazing sea creatures. A poor crab is rescued by a friend. It really has been another great day.
We walk back up to the jetty where the boat will come and
get us. As I look down it dawns on
me! When we arrived, the boat was level
with the jetty. Now the tide was out it
was about 10 feet lower! How on earth
were we going to get onto the boat!
Hubby points to a rusty ladder going down to the sea! Is he serious? Sadly, he is.
One of my friends is even more in a panic as she is wearing a dress!
As Colin arrives back with the boat, he confirms our
fears. We are going to have to climb
down that ladder and land on a bobbing boat!
Then walk around the edge to get into the main part of the boat! Oh boy.
I am the last to go on.
My body is shaking. I am willing
myself to stay calm and not to let go of the ladder! I slowly make my way down. Colin is there to steady me. I step off the ladder onto the boat. It was scary but I made it, completely dry! I was so happy!
All safely aboard we head back. The sea is no longer calm. As we hit the waves, we get soaked. Thankfully it is a warm day. I could move to somewhere less in the line of
fire (or waves), but suddenly I am that child again. I am having a great time.
After 1.5 hours we arrive back in Clovelly. My friends probably are not as enthusiastic about
the day as me, but they don’t show it.
They really have proven they are great friends today.
We walk back through Clovelly itself to the car park just as
the rain starts.
When back at our apartments it is a quick shower and change before heading down to the seafront for fish and chips. As we call for our friends in their apartment, I realise surprise number 2. Another fabulous birthday cake. This one has red shoes, a handbag and bottle of bubbly on it. So me! More bubbles flow. I really have been spoilt.
The sun is back out, so we sit on a bench eating our chips and
taking in the surroundings before heading back to the apartment.
We return to our apartment for more drinks, some of that
amazing birthday cake, and a game of Mr & Mrs. If you have never played this, you should. It is hilarious. My hubby and I always lose, as hubby is useless
at answering the questions, even after nearly 12 years together!
It is time to draw the day to a close! It was everything I hoped for and more.
Tomorrow we head home.
I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday weekend. I have my 6 friends and hubby to thank for
See the day here on my Youtube Channel: –
If you ever get a chance to visit the island you should.
The day has finally come!
I am now officially 50. I’m oddly
excited about today. Yesterday was a great
start to my celebrations. The day was
just as I had hoped with the glorious sunshine, sea views and great friends.
I’m up really early.
I’m like a little kid again. I can’t sleep with excitement. It isn’t like I’m waiting for my presents as
my hubby has already given me that. It
is just that I don’t want to waste a moment.
I look out of the patio windows from our bedroom and can see
the sea. It is lovely and calm. Outside I can her the seagulls. It is such a perfect day.
Hubby makes me a cup of tea and I sit on the balcony taking
in the views. It is really peaceful here. I’m soon ushered into the shower! Hubby and my friends are up to something!
As I walk back into the room, I notice they have now put up
a ‘Happy Birthday’ banner along with a ‘50’ birthday balloon and decoration. My friends hand me cards and presents. A trip to Kew Gardens. I have always wanted to go so I am so
My friends kick me out the kitchen while they cook me
breakfast. I’m such a control freak when
it comes to cooking so this is hard.
Mind you, my friend is too, so she certainly gives me a run for my
money! I don’t mind though as it is my
birthday. I am happy to be spoilt. It isn’t every day you turn 50!
After a delicious cooked breakfast, we decide on the day’s
agenda. It is another glorious day, so we don’t want to waste a moment of
it. We decide to go to Croyde Bay. I used to stay there as a kid with my parents
for our summer holiday. We would camp in
our big orange 3-bedroom tent. I
remember there was a children’s club on site which we used to go to. I absolutely loved it there. The camp site was just opposite the beach, so
we almost rolled out of our tent onto the beach. It never seemed to rain for the whole 2
It has all changed now. It looks all modern and probably a lot more
expensive than 50 years ago. We didn’t
go in this time as we had parked on the opposite side of the beach. The tide was out so there was a large expanse
of sand to enjoy.
The rocks were full of muscles. This is where I got my love for them
from. They are too small to eat now, but
one day there will be a massive crop. In
Dubrovnik, I ate them every day.
Lifeguards now patrol the beach. They look like they should be in
Baywatch. I don’t remember that in my childhood
either. The sea is now full of people
body boarding. In my day it was just dinghy’s. We had one which mum and dad would take us
out in every day. Mum would pack a
picnic of crusty bread with cheese or ham, and squash. I don’t remember if there was cake or crisps,
but I certainly remember the crusty bread!
We would sit amongst the sand dunes with our windbreaker. They were hot and the sand so light. I loved running up and down them. Now at 50 I’m more of a gentle stroller! Hubby and I had a lovely walk amongst the rocks
and across the beach. I was feeling so
nostalgic, but very happy.
We had brought my stepdaughters body board with us. I have to confess I had never done it
before. Oh well, there is a first time
for everything. While hubby watched the belongings,
I joined my friends in the sea! When you
first get in, it takes your breath away, but as soon as you get fully wet it
was actually nice and warm. Mind you, maybe
a strapless swimsuit was not the most appropriate swimwear to be wearing!
Ok, I am never going to win prizes for body boarding, but I
had a great time.
After a few hours we headed back to the car. In the carpark there was an icecream stall. Well it would be rude not to, wouldn’t it?
These were Judes icecreams. I have never
heard of them before, but they were amazing. I may keep my eye out for them again.
Our other friends were coming down that day to join us for
my birthday celebrations. We were not
sure what time they would arrive but decided to head back towards the apartment. If they were near, they could come and join
Yesterday when we were in Bideford, we found an old ship
that was now a bar. This seemed the perfect
place to go and have a drink on my birthday.
The weather had been great all day, so we sat on the deck enjoying the
We hadn’t heard from our friends so headed back to the apartment
anyway to shower and get ready for the evening.
Again, I was ushered into the shower.
They really are sneaky folks my hubby and friends!
As I came back into the room, I was greeted by a beautiful
chocolate cake with candles, and the obligatory ‘happy birthday’ song! They were really spoiling me. The cake had been made by the lady who looks
after my dogs for me and was absolutely amazing in looks and taste.
It was time for champagne!
Well it is my 50th you know!
My other friends are sadly held up on the M5. It is going to be touch and go if they make
it in time for dinner. I keep everything
Thankfully I get a message to say they are not far
away. It’s going to be tight for them to
get into their apartment, showered and changed, but they can just about do
it. As they arrive, I greet them with cold
beers and bubbles. It’s the least I can do.
In return they hand me champagne – well what else – and a present! A voucher
for me to choose an experience. I haven’t
had time to look at it yet, but I can’t wait to see what delights await me.
We all head off to the restaurant. We go ahead to secure the table and to take
the pressure off them a bit. We are
eating at Moran’s on the seafront. It is
the same place we had cocktails last night!
The food is delicious and the company great. This is just the birthday I wanted.
Check out my video of the day on my YouTube channel: –
We head back to the apartment for some more drinks before it
is time to draw the day to a close.
This has been an amazing birthday. Everything I had dreamed of. I have my friends and hubby to thank for
that. Tomorrow I am reliving another birthday
from years ago!
The celebrations started with a lovely meal out with my
hubby at a local restaurant – Baraset Barn.
The food there is amazing and the converted barn cosy, with a lovely
Thursday morning we were up early to head down to Devon to
really start the celebrations. We have
booked 2 apartments in Westwood Hoe for 8 of us. Hubby and I and 2 of our friends were
starting on Thursday with the rest on Friday.
The weather was absolutely beautiful. As we couldn’t get into our apartment until 4
pm we decided to detour to Bideford. A
quick stop off at Morrisons to get some supplies and lunch, we then headed to
the sea front to find somewhere to sit and eat our lunch. It was so beautiful. We then took a walk along the sea front. I say sea, but it is actually an estuary taking
you out to sea.
I recorded the day on my Youtube video here:
The apartment was ready a little earlier than expected so we
decided to go and check it out.
It was just off the seafront in Westward Ho. I had upgraded to the Premier Apartment at
Westbeach Resort. I wanted to wake up
looking at the ocean on my birthday, so this was the best way to guarantee
that. I am so glad I did. Our view was beautiful. We were looking right out across the sea.
The apartment itself was very modern. 2 bedrooms – 1 double – 1 twin, a nice bathroom
with bath and rainfall shower, plus a kitchen which was fitted with fridge, freezer,
oven and microwave. Even a proper coffee
I quickly unpacked. Our friends were on route, and after a long journey down, I promised to get a cold beer and G&T ready for them.
When they arrived, we sat on the balcony enjoying our
drinks. It was such a gorgeous day so we
decided to go and explore Westward Ho.
It only took us minutes to be on the seafront. There were plenty of restaurants, bars and shops
along the main promenade. It was very
clean and tidy, with a lawned area, childens play area and a large array of
planted borders. The tide was in, so you
couldn’t see the sandy beach sadly.
After a walk around we decided to have a drink in Morans, an
Asian restaurant that we had booked for the next night, for my actual
birthday. We sat outside drinking
cocktails and beer with prawn crackers!
Well it would be rude not to!
Next door was a great fish and chip shop! As we were at the seaside it was the obvious
place to go for dinner! A brass band was
setting up outside, so we sat on a bench eating our fish and chips listening to
the music. It was such a lovely evening.
We headed back to our apartment and sat on the balcony enjoying a few drinks. Slimline wine for me. It was a clear warm evening as we sat watching the sun set over the ocean. What a magical way to start my birthday celebrations.
Tomorrow is the big day!
Stay tuned to see what happened next. I will also be publishing the weekend on my
Youtube channel so don’t forget to subscribe to my channel.
1969 was a great year for many reasons in particular:
Richard Nixon became the 37th president of the USA.
The Beatles gave their last public performance.
Boeing 747 became the largest aircraft and made its first commercial flight.
Concorde took its first test flight.
Sir Wally Herbert reaches the North Pole and becomes the first man to cross the frozen surface of the Arctic Ocean.
Judy Garland died.
Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon.
The halfpenny ceased to be legal tender.
Monty Python’s Flying Circus aired on BBC One for the first time.
Lundy Island was given over to the National Trust.
Oh, and not forgetting another important event! At 2.15 pm on 2 August a baby girl weighing in
at 8.12lb came into the world! She was
longer than the average baby, but then she always like to be different!
Yes of course that girl was me. I cannot believe that I have been around now
for 50 years. It feels so old, but time
seems to have flown by. It isn’t until you
stop and look back on your life that the reality really hits you. If you have read my previous blogs, you
will know that I am actually ok about being 50.
I’m in a really good place in my life, and even though life throws me
curve balls, I know with my hubby, together we will get through it.
I’m celebrating the day with some of my closest
friends. We are off to Devon to relive probably
one of my only real memories of my birthday as a child. When I say I don’t remember any others, it isn’t
because I didn’t have a good childhood.
Far from it. I had 2 of the best
As my birthday falls in August, we were always on holiday,
so the day tended to blend into the holiday more. Mum always got me a cake with candles on and they
made a fuss of me, but could I tell you what else I did, then no. That was except for 1 very particular birthday.
We were in Devon and out to Ilfracombe for the day. There was a boat in the harbour, so Dad
suggested we go have a look around it.
What I didn’t know was that mum and dad had booked a trip to Lundy
Island as a surprise for my birthday.
That day has stayed with me forever.
Not least because my parents won’t let me forget it! Not because of the Island, or the treat. Oh no!
It is because as a very confident child, I wouldn’t allow anyone to help
me board the boat! Splash – I was in the
water! Yep that was me. Miss accident prone! As we didn’t have any spare clothes with me,
I just had to dry off. Thankfully it was
a warm day.
On the way back, when offered help, I declined again. I wasn’t going to fall in twice was I? Oh no of course I wasn’t!! Splash – yes in I
went again!! My parents love retelling
that story to whoever will hear it!
Along with a few more incidents such as my zip line experience, which I
won’t go into today, but still have the scars!
Despite that, I have such happy memories of that day. The excitement of being on a boat for the
first time. Seeing the birds and looking
around the Island was so special. It
seemed only right then that for my 50th I should go back and revisit
the Island. Plus with it being 50 years under
National Trust it seemed meant to be. I
refuse this time though to fall in, so if help is offered, I intend to take it.
Sadly, I couldn’t get a boat actually on my birthday, so we
are going the next day. I don’t mind
because the whole weekend is my birthday.
Well it isn’t everyday you turn 50 is it! I’m going to be milking it.
We have our own boat.
Not the normal ferry. I have been
liaising with Colin from Lundy Charters.
We are going from Clovelly this time, which is apparently closer than
from Ilfracombe. I am hoping to see
Puffins, seals and dolphins, so will have my camera at the ready. I’m just hoping the sea is calm after the night
before! We have a Thai Restaurant booked
and no doubt there will be lots of bubbles involved!
We are starting the celebrations off tonight with a meal
out. Just me and hubby. The question is, do I open his present and
card tonight or take it with me? I’ve
said I don’t know. I will have to decide
later, I think.
We then head to Westward Ho for 3 nights with friends. My babies are staying at home as they don’t
allow dogs on Lundy Island. I will miss
them dearly, but they will be well looked after.
I don’t know what else we will be doing over the next few
days. That is what makes it fun. Maybe fish and chips on the seafront. Our apartment overlooks the sea, so I’m
excited to be able to wake up on my birthday looking at the ocean. Hubby doesn’t know it yet, but I will be
expecting a cup of tea made of course by him, while I sit on the balcony admiring
There are 8 of us in total, so whatever we do, I know it
will be a good laugh.
Over the 50 years, I have learnt that if you have good
family and friends, everything else isn’t as important. I’m the happiest I have ever been. I don’t know what the future will bring. I’m living for today. What I do know is that I have some amazing
people around me. I feel the luckiest
person alive to have my hubby, my fabulous parents and family. I have some great friends. Every one of them is different, but that is what
makes them special.
I’m actually really excited about the weekend. I’m sad my parents won’t be there to spend it
with me, but I will call them on the day.
I never miss speaking to them on my birthday. They are amazing parents and love them
dearly. No doubt I will be calling them
a few times of the weekend. I know they
will be waiting to hear if I made it on the boat and back without falling
So, I am embracing 50.
I am thankfully for the memories I have already made, and looking
forward to the new ones I will make in the future.
My advice is, don’t worry about the little things. Treasure those that are close to you and live
life to the full. I’ve made mistakes over
the last 50 years, but I don’t regret them. If I hadn’t lived the life I had, I
wouldn’t be where I am today.
I absolutely love it when that big yellow thing in the sky appears. You can’t beat the feeling when you step outside and you don’t need your coat! Even at 5 am! For me though,it is also bittersweet!
Take this week. Whilst I am cheering on one hand that the weather has finally improved. That we can use our braai every night for dinner, sit outside until late at night drinking a nice cold glass of wine, or even just be able to keep the patio doors open so the dogscanrun in and out. On the other hand, it means the inevitable chaos that is our public transportsystem.
If you read my blogs regularly, you will know that I commute 3 hours a day for work. Most of that is by train. It is never a dull moment on the trains here in the UK. It is either too hot, too cold, too wet, too many leaves, not enough drivers, not enough carriages, the list goes on!
Twice this week I have had the journey from hell. I’m going to save the best until last!
So yesterday saw the second highest temperaturesrecorded in the UK. Our weather station at home recorded a maximum high of 36.3 degrees, so it was a hot one! The BBC news in the morning warned of the potential for chaos on the railways so we were prepared. Apparently as the track heats up it expands, which can cause the track to buckle! Now I get that, but what I don’t get is how countries with hot climates cope! Surely, we should have built our railways to cope with all types ofweather. Apparently not!
From around lunchtime, we are all checking our phones to see what is happening with our trains. When I come back from lunch, a colleague warns me to check my line. It is cancellations after cancellations. He has taken the wise decision to take some leave and go early. I decide to hold out!
As the afternoon continues it becomes evident that we are not going to be going home on our usual route tonight. After a quick check, I notice a train is due to leave another station going in the direction of my parents. It means leaving work 30 minutes earlier, but I feel we have no choice.
Hubby and I quickly walk to the other station. It is uphill and the heat is intense. We arrive with seconds to spare! We are so grateful for the staff who hand us both a bottle of water as we get to the station. The train should be 4 carriages but today only 2. We are like sardines. The heat is intense, and I can feel beads of sweat pouring down my face. I’d be embarrassed if it wasn’t for the fact that everyone else on the train is looking just like me! Obviously, I’m standing which makes it worse!
Thankfully thetrainjourney isn’t too long,only35 minutes. I am so happy to finally get off and get some fresh if not hot air! My dad is waiting for us. Thank heaven for dads! He is going to drive us home so we can collect hubby car, then drive back to our station to get my car! It is all very long winded, but when I look at my phone, I am relieved we took that decision. It’s 8 pm and so far, no train haveleft to go to our station.
It may have taken 3 hours to get home, but we are home!
Now, let me take you back a few daysearlierto the worst day ever in my commuting history!
Tuesday was another hot day. Not the hottest but still hot! I left work in preparation to get my train. There was no indication that there were any problems.
As I arrive at the station, I check the boards. My train is due in on Platform 4, so I head down to it. I am then told by a member of staff that it is now coming into Platform 7. I grumble and head off to platform 7. The train is already late, I’m hot and I just want to get home!
When I arrive at 7, I am told that the platform change was a mistake and it is still coming in on 4. I turn around and head back to 4. I’m then told it is coming in on platform 1! So,another trip up to 1. When I get to1I’m told no,I need to go to 3. By this time, I am not very happy to say the least. I get to 3 and am told its back on 1. Off I go again, to be told it is on 5. Oh,no, we think it’s 6. I arrive at 6 again to be told it isdefinitely comingin on platform 2a! I get to 2a as the announcer says platform 4, but thankfully says she is sorry that was a mistake it is coming in on 2a.
We are all waiting on 2a. It’s very crowded and hot. It is now almost an hour since I arrived for my train!
They then announce the train isactually waitingon platform 2b! We allhave toquickly try and get through the crowds to get to the other side of the platform. This is really testing me now!
As I get on, I grab the first available seat. I’m so grateful for it. The train fills up and I now have a man’s crotch in my face. Lovely! The train then sits there for half an hour whilethey try to find a driver! It is so hot, and I am extremely dehydrated by this point.
Finally, the train moves, and I head home. What should have been1.5 hourjourney home is now 3 hours! I’m hot, sweaty and tired. I have the most amazing hubby everthough. As I finally walked through the door,he handed me a lovely glass of Slimline Wine. Just what I needed. He had also prepared the food for the braai, so all I had to do was shower, sit in the garden with my wine and relax!
Now theysay,‘let the train take the strain’, but in my experience it is the train thatcourses the strain!
I’mdefinitely nota fan of public transport. I appreciate we need to try and use it to save the planet, but when you have days like this, you reallyhave toquestion if it is worth it!
Thankfully tomorrow is Saturday, and I do not intend to go near a train for the rest of the week! Have a good weekend!
This weekend, I finally found an excuse and the time to do some ‘non’ Slimming World baking. Its been a while and it reminded me so much of how much I miss it.
Theremustbe nothing better than the smell of freshly baked bread or cakes in your house. Since my hubby has stopped eating Carbs during the week, the opportunities for this have been dramatically reduced. I don’t eat cakes anyway and on Slimming World, the lovely baked white loaves I used to make would be a nono.
My stepdaughter was over this weekend, so I had the perfect excuse to bake. I had some lemons that needed to be used up, so a Lemon Drizzle Tray Bake it was. I went to my favourite baking book for cakes – Mary Berry Easy Cakes. I’ve had it for around 30 years. It is full of so many amazing recipes that don’t take long to throw together!
It is funny really when you think of my other favourite baker – Paul Hollywood. I loved them both individually. Infact,Mary Berry’scookbookwas purchased at a time I didn’t really know who she was. They both went on to great success working together.
I am not sure if it is the fact that I turn 50 next week, but I’m beginning to getreally nostalgic. In mygrandparent’sday and even during my childhood, you would make a lot more cakes than you would ever buy. Who remembers the good old Victoria sponge? We would even make our own sponge to use in the trifle.
When I was first married in the late80’s, every weekend I would make batches of cakes to keep us going through the week. Mybest everwas a chocolate cake for an Easter party I was hosting.
If people popped round, you always had something in to offer them with a cup of tea. Cakes weren’t the only thing I’d make – biscuits and sweets too. It is a bit sad to think that these days, it is a treat rather than the norm.
I know I blame my hubby and my eating habits for this, but the reality is, I just don’t have the same time as I used to. The 3 hour a day commute certainly eats into myweekdays. Walking the dogs and cooking meals from scratch every evening leaves me with only an hour a night to relax or catch up with any other jobs I need to do.
My blogs are written during my train journey. Multitasking is the only way I can get through the mountain of tasks I have each week.
As time is limited in the week, we tend to leave all our jobs for the weekend. That then means again that having the odd hour to spare is limited.
Hubby and I were talking recently about what our ideal future would be. We would bothloveto work together in a joint business venture. Doing something where you produce a dish, whether a savoury or sweet would be my ideal. Hubby said he would be the delivery man! It’s only a pipe dream, we both know that, but it’s funny how something I really enjoy features so little in my life!
That said you neverknow. If we won a million our idea maybecome real, and I do have an idea and a name ! So watchthisspace !
In themeantimeI’mgoing to keep cooking!
Maybe that is why I love my vlogging. It forces me to think of new recipes or make the effort to cook something that will help me on my own Slimming World journey, but also inspire others.
I’d like to say I am going to make sure I find the time to do more. I know the people I work with would welcome some home cooking. Sadly, I am not sure I would be able to stick to it. In the meantime, I’m going to embrace every opportunity I can to get into the kitchen. I have a great platform in myYoutubeChannel. I will ensure I keep motivated each week. Sodon’t forget to subscribe to my channel to see what delights I come up with.