Hey Grace have a really great day, let your hair down, do something wild but make sure you blog and share it with us……………………
All the world is birthday cake, so take a piece, but not too much!!
Hey Grace have a really great day, let your hair down, do something wild but make sure you blog and share it with us……………………
All the world is birthday cake, so take a piece, but not too much!!
When you move from city to countryside, something happens. You change from city chic to country couture. Don’t fight it girls…it’s inevitable!
Vogue…………………………..to The Lady.
Eldest daughter has returned from Glastonbury, suntanned, hungry, exhausted, with hair like a bird’s nest but extremely happy. She rang me on Sunday at midnight and I thought she said “I’m with Stevie on a Honda” and I replied that that sounded a little dangerous however it later transpired that she said “I’m at Stevie Wonder”!! And she said he was the best……..so not Foals or Scissor Sisters or Florence and the Something or others but an artist from our era!!
Slightly worrying, when asked by a friend of mine, what she ate and apparently she lived on cereal bars, crisps and anything they found on the floor – YUK! Water was £5 a bottle. And the biggest revelation, according to her, was that it was the over 40′s that were completely off their faces!! So Grace maybe this could be added to your list of things to do that are slightly on the …
Need I say more? Thank you Southern Water.
We now appreciate you.
We are out of the World cup and as I watched our over paid and under achieving footballers grimacing, as they had to shake hands with the victorious Germans, I turned my thoughts and eyes to the Henley Regatta which starts this week. Now these young men are true athletes, tall, very fit, handsome and decked in lycra and most importantly just outside my window. So girls if you are feeling at a loose end now the national football team is on its way home and need some comforting then try and catch a glimpse of these rowers…..I think you will agree they are easy on the eye and could possibly lift you out of your gloom!! Ellie and Grace, when you come to lunch tomorrow I shall show you the allure of Henley and why living in the country does have its high points!!
Husband had bad attack of hay fever today – much dramatic wiping of eyes and nose-blowing as loud as a dreaded vuvuzela (which, thanks to Fabio’s overpaid, second-rate players, should soon be a distant memory). I opted for suffering in silence with my newly acquired heat rash, the only downside I experience when basking in this glorious sunshine. However, on this, the hottest day of the year, we return home to find we have no cold water. Southern Water’s very polite staff are optimistic that, once they have located the problem, all will be well. As the minutes tick by, and we try to live our very ordinary lives, we keep getting reminded how precious a commodity water is. The dishwasher is full of fishy paella-smeared cutlery and plates. We can’t have a shower as it will parboil us and what little hot water there is in the tank will run out soon. We’ve only …
While desperately waiting for Eldest to call from France the other day (which as you now know she did and she sounded very happy indeed!), I made it my “freaked out Mother’s” mission to clean out my mobile phone address book…there are far too many totally forgettable numbers in it. I wanted to delete, delete, delete and not because I don’t care about all the people I have ever met since 1992, but because Bob the carpet cleaner from Chelsea and Sophie from the Chanel store in South Kensington play no part in my new country life! Bob was a good sort, but he now lives too far away to clean our carpets and as for Sophie at Chanel…..well that’s fairly obvious. Haven’t we all moved on a little from spending a good part of our yearly wage on a lip-stick or a camisole? These days I am peacefully happy with a lip gloss fromModels …
Am desperate for a gripping drama on TV. Had enough of sport – even historic, record smashing tennis. Am feeling rather reckless actually. I have a thirst for adventure (nothing too dangerous like a 2 star hotel or anything) – perhaps a night under the desert stars in a really comfortable yurt with mint tea being poured (accurately) from a great height into an antique decorated glass. Or a harmless flirtation. A tiny tattoo on my inner thigh? Best not, might hurt. The most dangerous thing I do these days is eat too much Daim cake.
Hi Ellie – delighted that you are delighted that daughter is delighted. Phew, thank goodness she is OK. What’s worrying me now is you taking up smoking again (and chavvy menthol at that my girl!)…the massive glass of wine is fine of course. But smoking seven year old cigarettes – that must have been a real throat scorcher! As you may recall, husband and I were 20-a-day-ers a decade ago before we finally managed to give it up viaAllen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking book. So when we decided we’d smoke a joint a couple of years ago, we just couldn’t manage it because we were coughing so much: that non-event heralded the end of our wild days. Which makes me think husband and I need to do something wild again very soon – perhaps this weekend…
It was 8.30 a.m. and the Old Man was putting his walking shoes on whilst our dog was bouncing up and down in the front garden excited at the prospect of a walk when out of next door’s house charges the Ayatollah (a name affectionately given to her by her long suffering husband) and she screams at our dog for barking – quite extraordinary as he clearly hadn’t woken her up. She then told the Old Man that our dog had been barking when we went out for lunch the previous day, and his response was less than helpful to her but fairly realistic on the basis that there are more important things in life to get worked up about than a dog barking out of excitement. So that’s one less Christmas card we are going to receive!
I have got to the bottom of the ‘To Do’ list and realised that our handyman works …
My daughter called from France yesterday, she sounded very happy and extremely well and oh my golly, gollygosh I am so happy thatshe is happy, what a huge relief.
Making the decision to have a child is momentous.
It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.
Another day in paradise – a day spent trying to work out why the list of jobs I left in February for the handyman etc have not been done and in actual fact have got longer. There is a definite feeling of ‘manana’ this side of the Tamar which apparently is not so incongruous because many of the Cornish have Spanish blood since, after the failure of the Spanish Armada, many of the retreating ships were shipwrecked off the coast of Cornwall and the sailors made their home in the ‘toe of England’! It is definitely believable as, after this burst of good weather, there is many a Cornish man looking rather Mediterranean! However once you do get someone to do a job they couldn’t be more helpful, as was demonstrated by our Sky engineer who had to grapple with thorn bushes, jump down from high walls (not in his health and safety manual) and …
My friend Spence was distracted and sleep-deprived when I arrived at her house this morning. One of her golden retrievers had gone walkabout the day before and was still AWOL. We discussed various scenarios as we walked (and walked, and walked) (and whistled and whistled) and called out the dog’s name in high pitched squeals. Had she been stolen by gypsies? Joined a circus? What if she’d been run over (ghastly thought, let’s move along to another), got trapped in someone’s garden, or was dodging speeding cars on the A272? We tried to be positive and imagine her having endless fun munching on plump bunnies and slurping stagnant stream water.Anyhow when we finally returned to Spence’s house – hot, tired, dusty and well exercised – who was waiting, shamefaced, to greet us? Relief was almost immediately tempered by the slightly irritating thought that we would never actually know what that bitch had been up to!
Am in Cornwall and had weather that I have never experienced in the last 10 years that I have been coming here. Went, with old friends, by boat to St. Mawes and sat on the terrace of a hotel eating lunch with a breathtaking view and wondered if there was anywhere better to be in the world……….
Have left two daughters at home with their dog and so far have had about 10 calls asking questions about cooking though have to admit have phoned them equally as much as am missing them. I know they drive me to distraction, at times, but they also are the best daughters a mother could have – particularly when 250 miles away!! I worry about the house as the last two times we have left the girls at home there have been parties, once our neighbour phoned us in Tunisia to inform us that they were struggling to sleep, …
Funny old Father’s Day. Son completely forgot and so he had to speedily make a greetings card which he presented to his father with the ink still wet. Marginally better than his best friend who was staying with us, who phoned his father to wish him Happy Father’s Day and describe the T-shirt that he would have given him if he’d had enough money to buy it! After breakfast, drove to Chichester, hopped onto our boat and were happily on our way to Isle of Wight when we decided to divert into Hayling Island to get fuel. Lucky that, because we noticed hydraulic fluid spurting out of the engine which meant we had no steering… thank goodness we weren’t mid Solent when we discovered it. Anyhow, got a tow from an elegant yacht and all went swimmingly until he got the towrope caught around his propeller. He cut the rope and we were left to …
One of the first suppliers I contacted when we moved to our ancient old barn, was the pest controller. I was still a squeamish townie then and the idea of shivering rats, mice, birds and squirrels squeezing into tiny gaps in the walls in winter in order to get cosy gave me the heebiejeebies. In the six years we have been living out in the sticks, we have had very few rodents thanks to Deborah, our female ‘rat catcher’ (who is also a leading light of our local hunt). It is an annual expense I am very happy to fork out for. When my son was around 11 years old, he called out that he had found a dead mouse by the logstore and asked what he should do with it. “Oh chuck it in the fields for the foxes” I replied from the kitchen. He then casually strolled past the window, as he made …
Actually it was my monthly Book Club meeting so I didn’t avoid the World Cup, it was more that I was so happy to have an evening away from the noise of the drone of Bees i.e. the Vuvuzela and the Old Man watches every match. I am a supportive wife and am happy to watch England, matches in our group and any team who has some fit players but not every match…..
Our book club is made up of an eclectic group of ladies of various ages with a common factor that we all live on the banks of the River Thames. I tell you this because it is important that you understand the setting as it is not always books that we talk about. At the last meeting we discussed the love life of our lock keeper which has always been quite colourful but seemed to be reaching a peak however it appears that …
On hearing of my amazing new deal for my mobile the Old Man decided to go one better and phone the same service provider and discuss our two daughter’s contracts. He went through to Customer Care and told ‘Sean’ that he wanted the same deal so Sean put him on hold whilst he discussed this with his Manager. There was a prolonged wait and OM thought this might mean it was going to be a battle when Sean suddenly came back on the line and said that he would have to phone the OM back as his Manager was dealing with a crisis. Apparent the Manager’s girlfriend had rung to say there was a fire in their kitchen and the guinea pigs were trapped…………….life is so hilarious at times!!
I am so excited because, I took the advice of Grace, and read up about upgrading my mobile phone on Martin’s Money Tipsand when my current mobile phone contract was coming up for renewal I called the ‘Contracts Termination’ department of my service provider as, apparently, they are the only ones who have any authority to make any decisions regarding upgrades and new price plans. I told them I wanted to terminate my contract but was prepared to see what they could offer and after a bit of discussion they gave me over 50% off my present contract which means after 12 months I have virtually paid for an iPhone 4if I buy it direct from Applewhich means, if there are any problems, they will deal with them immediately and I do not have to go through my service provider. Finally if I had upgraded with my service provider to an iPhone 4 they would …
I’ve had a marvellous couple of days – very busy. You know the sort of thing – some times you get 101 things done with ease, then another day dawns and you can hardly bear to get out of bed let alone tackle your ‘to do’ list. I haven’t done anything earth shattering, but have been in a jolly mood, chatty and smiley to all and sundry. Anyhow, I’ve done something to my lower back.Had a remedial massage at lunchtime but the three Nurofen seem to be doing a better job than the masseuse.Must have overdone it at pilates yesterday or when I was tottering around in my (1.5″) heels this morning in preparation for Ascot tomorrow. However hard I try to walk elegantly in those heels, I still seem to look slightly tipsy. Anyhow, am also taking my RL pumps as there is a place to stash them in Bucks, so if I get …
Oh you are so right Gracie, this is a pic that I took a few weeks ago from a hilltop in Spa Town, I felt so blessed to be living in the countryside at that moment. It can be truly beautiful.
I read such a moving article in The Times magazine this Saturday, not the Sunday Times magazine, which as you know has been banished from our coffee tablebecause of the recentBUM cover shot!
The articlewas written by Melanie Reid and headed up Spinal Column. Melanie Reid is a Times columnist,who broke her back and neck falling from a horse in April of this year. She now writes for the magazine from her rehab centre and this is quite an extraordinary insight into the mind of someone going through the hell that she must be right now. Her column is a weekly one and makes fairly brutal reading but I for one will be reading it …
At the very real risk of sounding trite or appearing to say “look what you’re missing you townies”, I just wanted to say that the countryside is an uplifting place to be. I met three lovely friends up on the South Downs and we walked for a while with our six energetic dogs (apart from my husband’s labrador who always looks like he’s just smoked a large joint such is his laid back saunter), then stopped for a sandwich. (Actually we shared, as two of us completely forgot to take anything to eat). The view was stunning as well as far reaching – you could literally see for miles and miles (any Who fans reading?), the sun was beating down, the dogs were rolling in fox poo (that bit wasn’t quite as good as the rest of it). It didn’t cost us anything to have such a fab time (in particular, the two of us …
I am incandescent at how much sport one man can watch in one day. Yesterday the Old Man sat down at 12 noon for S. Korea v Greece in the World Cup followed quickly by England v. Australia playing rugby from Perth. He then flitted between S. Africa v. France playing rugby in Cape Town (as if there isn’t enough sport being played in S. Africa!) and Argentina v. Nigeria in the World Cup and then The Formula 1 qualifying laps from Canada; but at least there was no ball involved in this last sport so there was some variety. Finally he settled down deeper into the sofa, declaring he was very excited (you would have thought he was playing) to the warm-up discussions for the main event of the day England v. Australia…….and you know what happened there! So it’s not as if, after allowing him this totally indulgent day, he was happy, when …
If you are stuck for a good TV watch tonight (if anyone out there still has time to watch TV) I recently watchedLuther(link to all eps) on BBC iPlayer and cannot recommend it highly enough. This is an absolutelybrilliant psychologicaal, dark drama starring Idris Elba, who played the cult figure, Stringer Bell, in The Wire andto his music fans is known as Big Driis, not my cup of tea as a musician,but as an actor he is sublime!!!
Watch it if you can, all six episodes,on yourlaptop, in bed with a glass of Rose!! It’s mesmerising…and yes, so ishe!
Agree aboutthose damned vuvuzela horns serenading the 1-1 football match tonight (which, I hasten to add, my husband did not watch, but I had on the kitchen TV while I made:
Pappardelle with seared beef, anchovies and capers
Serves 4; preparation time: 20 min
This pasta is best served with some spicy dip such as tomato salsa. You can make it using 2 finely chopped tomatoes, an onion, a splash of red wine vinegar and some extra virgin rapeseed oil.
4 x 4,5 oz (125 g) fillet steaks
6 tbsp extra virgin rapeseed oil plus extra for the top of each serving
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 tsp freshly lemon thyme leaves
1 tbsp salt for the pasta
2 oz (50 g) can anchovy fillets, drained, chopped and roughly squashed
3 tsp Dijon mustard
6 tbsp capers, rinsed and patted dry
3.5 oz (100 g) pappardelle
Sprinkle the rapeseed oil, salt, thyme leaves and pepper over each …
Did you see the genius advertisement one minute after the England-USA game tonight by Carling Black label….a man on a camel in the desert comes to tell his friends (I think) the score of the game between England and USA, he says ” USA one, England one” GENIUS!!!! How many adverts must they have filmed with different scorelines and then on top of that someone, somewhere must have been told to press the button for the advert with the correct result to go to air! Fantastic…. one of the cleverest ads I’ve seen for years, so clever that I almost missed it, which is why I possibly may have the storyline wrong.
Say a little prayer for Rob Green. Sleep tight. Ellie xoxoxoxxo
I want totell youthe rules ofa new game that the kids made up in the car on the way to a smalllunch party today. Sadly, on ourarrivalthe hostess pointed outthat the children had not been invited, she hadthought they would be at school!? Where else didshe think we would have put our two under 10 year olds on a Saturday, apart from a foster home.Never mind, it’s all over now.
The fab newgame I speak ofworks like this: In alphabetical ordereach playerhas to think of a country name i.e Argentina..next player Brasil..next player Columbiaetc… and then compete against each otherto see who canmake their countrysound the yobbiest whilst loudlycheering the word, football style i.e IIIN_GER_LAAND!!! PAW-TEW-GAWL!!
This game isSOfunny to listen to and just as amusing to be a part of; as a participant it’s the ideal opportunity to shoutinthe loudest, most aggressivevoice possible without being told off and without causing offence!! I highly recommend …
who is naturally totally obsessed with the World Cup, though not so much that he wants me to turn up at school with my car bedecked with England flags, has this morning sent me a video clip of Wayne Rooney and James Corden; interestingly he sent it at a time when he was meant to be in lessons studying hard for exams which are looming. However I am prepared to forgive him as the clip is hilarious……see Coca-Cola advert. P.S. I have to admit that this evening at 7.30 p.m. I may just watch a bit of footie as husband and oldest son will be glued to the TV……and so it all begins when there is a constant background noise of ……just loud noise, no appropriate name springs to mind, however it is quite unique to football and though I agree with Ellie that cricket is dull, at least it is a quiet and tranquil …
Picked son up from school at midday – all AS exams finished now. He drove his new (Ferrari-style) Fiat Punto to Guildford – me in passenger seat giving him helpful tips (back seat driving). Not a bad driver apart from one near death experience at roundabout. After lunch he surprised me with a wonderful bunch of flowers that he had bought on impulse at a market stall. Then had his hair cut shorter, looks wonderful. He walked the dogs for me when we got home. He gave me an enormous hug. Then there was a smell. Very pervasive. Eyewateringly pungent. Went to his bedroom and…. the little bugger has only spraypainted his ceiling with this snappy little motif:
Well I think I might have nits girls!!! There’s a first time for everything!!I’m off to slather loads of conditioner on my scalp and then slide the teensy, weensy comb down my long, blonde, gorgeous locks until every yucky littleblighter has left the premises. This is how I have removed unwanted bugs from the childrens hair beforeand it really works, no need for expensive treatments, just the comb, the conditioner and afterwards smidgens ofTee Treeoil will keep them away. I have to just make sure that the builders won’t suddenly need to come intomy bathroom to disconnect water etc…or even have a sneaky poo, which I caught one ofthem doing the other day.He had climbed through a window to getto itwhilst I was out, however,traumatically for him, I came back 2 minutes after I left to get something that I had forgottenand the poor bloke was rightin the middle of it!!!!
Refereeing a rounders match …
Brazilian World Cup referee Carlos Simon and his assistants have been sweatily swotting up on English swear words…not Portuguese ones, Mexican ones, French ones or even Japanese ones (if they have any, the whole language sounds like a great big swear word to me!). The referees are not allowed to book a player for using bad language unless they have understood the word, i.e they are not allowed to assume that the word is a bad one just by it’s intonation!!! So what does this swotting up on cursing tell you about the general feeling toward the British camp in WC world already and even before the first ball has been kicked? Sadly it seems that, once again, we have shown ourselves to be the only nation with YOB written all over our common little faces. Thanks againWayne!Here you are, one of our ambassadors in RSA, and with all thoseGucci and Louis Vuittonsuitcases trailing behind …
Why are we the only country in the world whose fans turn up to support their national football team in fancy dress? Just seen Sky news footage of supporters, getting off plane in South Africa, and one was wearing 11th century Norman soldier costume and the first English game is not until Saturday.
P.S. weren’t the Normans French??
I love reading and I think I have a wide range of taste BUT it has just been announced that The Lacunaby Barbara Kingsolver has won the Orange Book prize and coincidentally I am in the middle of reading it. She wrote the Poisonwood Bible which many say was their favourite book and I enjoyed it but was not bowled over, it was a bit like walking through treacle, however I was determined to try again….The Lacuna is well-researched but the main character is dull, I am interested in the historical side (and I hope it is accurate) about the exile of Lev Trotsky to Mexico, a piece of history I know little about. I have to admit to being confused in the first 100 pages but I am battling on for the next 550 and I think I am starting to enjoy it though confusion keeps setting in – maybe that’s just my age. …
Am I the only woman who is watching Eastenders with her husband, dogs and a 12 bore shotgun on the coffee table? Ever the hunter, he has one eye on Phil Mitchell, the other on the rabbit nibbling our lupins… mind you, if I follow Annabel’s wifely advice, the old boy might want to nibble my lupins later.
A girlfriend and I decided to take the day off from our normal lives and visit a National Trust house and gardens and we choseBasildon Park, a house local to us and where some of Pride and Prejudice was filmed. So we went on a hunt for Darcy hoping that he would be leaping out of the lake but all we found was a lot of elderly and very charming National Trust volunteers who kept us engaged and amused with the history of the house. The final room was a 1950′s kitchen where they had staff cooking and it was allextremely authentic. On the table were some 1950′s magazines and a home economics book laid open at a page titled ‘A Good Wives Guide’. It had a sign saying “Do please read but do not scream!” We did read it and we howled with laughter…….it was explaining how a wife should be when her husband …
Girls I know that this is rather base, it was done for charity and I’m not exactlyshowing offa deepintellectual side but this video is so very, veryfunny, and if Katie Price canmake it, then I’m happy to say that it seems we may all have a hot chance ofinternational successtoo. Please take just 2 minutes to watch this hilariousclip of Katie Price and her estranged husband Peter Andre, singing the beautiful ” A Whole New World “. It will make you laugh so hard, in fact you might even fall off your chair,please try towatch it to the end as it just gets funnier and funnier.
Please don’t be sad Ellie. You have been through so much over the last few years, it’s unsurprising that you need to recover from it all. It’s exactly because you achieved so much in the past that you can be absolutely sure you can do it again in the future. Consider getting your teeth into something – however minor, to get you on a more positive track. A part time job perhaps, adult education, a book club, an energetic lover with a rock hard six pack? Oh poo! Just spilt my homemade skinny latte over my keybo4cd, th3 first of 2 essential cups that I have every morning… what will hoppe^ to m! c+))9mputer no@ I wonde$^??
People don’t care what you know, they just know when you care.
I thought this year was the one year that I had no children taking any public exams and what a relief, but Youngest Son is taking a Maths GCSE however, as it is only one, I am managing to feel totally chilled until today, when I rang a girlfriend and, as soon as she answered, I heard that ‘mother of child taking public exams’ voice. Her son’s GCSE’s were not going well and memories of those dreadful fears and anxieties came flooding back. Interestingly I never went through this anxiety when I was taking them some 35 + years ago and I even remember that on one particular day my best friend and I both thought we were sitting Geography and when we opened the paper we burst into laughter, were nearly chucked out of the exam room, because it was French!! They were O levels in our day and they came with less stress …
I also like Uniqlo but not for their jeans – 33″ length is three inches too short for me and I wish they did longer lengths in those coloured £14.99 gorgeousnesses (which, with the middle rise waist, do an excellent job of moderating muffins). However, what I do consider essential buying are the v neck cashmere sweaters (winter season) -am an apple shape so the longish length is perfect for me. They stock a fantastic range of colours including darknavy, my personal favourite as I absolutely live in jeans.
Would like, if I may, to praise my husband for losing almost a stone in weight last week purely by eating sensibly and smaller portions, cutting out snacks, and foregoing his beloved wine (except with the lobbie salad on the beach at the weekend). Looking at the rain lashing against the windows as I type, can hardly believe we were sunning ourselves on the Isle of …