Saturday, 17 March 2018


One of the things that I've given thanks for this morning in my 'Little Book of Gratefulness' is my Saris bike rack.  It's so lovely to be able to drive around with the bike on the back of the car without the fear that the whole kit and caboodle is going to drop off any minute.  Here's Little Blue in a random country lane yesterday.  I was heading up to Bristol straight after my visits for a weekend of cycling with Red Mel so I'd  popped the bike carrier on first thing in the morning.

It's my weekend with Lou.   There's a notable absence on the back of the car of his bike.  That's because he's grown out of it.  He's shot up over the last year.  I decided to get him a new one for his birthday and give it to him a fortnight early.

In the scheme of 'want, need, wear,  bikes are a 'need' in my book.  Once we've parked up when we're away in the motorhome  they become our only means of transport.  For a teenager without motorised transport they're essential too.   But how was I going to surprise him with a new one to use for the weekend?

'How stupid am I!' I said, when he got into the car at the school.  'I forgot to bring your bike.'  It seemed like an unfeasibly massive oversight on my part but Lou bought it.  My reputation for being a bit dippy is legendary.  'We'll have to hire a 'Boris Bike' when you're in Bristol.    I told him.  'That's okay.' he said.  'My one's too small anyway.'

We pulled off the M5 into the car park of Halfords.  'I need some oil for the car.' I told him.  'You'll have to come with me and help carry it.  There's two heavy containers.'  A little debate ensued about why I needed to do my own servicing but I got away with it.   I showed the guy at the checkout my e-order number.  He directed me upstairs to the bike department.  'Why are we going up there?'  asked Lou.  'I've no idea.' I replied. 'Perhaps it's health and safety.'

'I'll carry one and you carry the other.' said Lou as we were waiting for our collection.  I couldn't believe that I was still pulling off such  a preposterous story.  At that moment this funky bike arrived out of the storeroom, ideal for a tall teenager.  'I think you've got the wrong thing mate.'  said Lou to the shop assistant.  'She ordered oil!'.

Friday, 16 March 2018

A Little Thought About the Cosmos

I know the astonishingly inspirational Stephen Hawking was an atheist. But do you think that the fact that he passed on Pi Day and Einstein's birthday might have convinced him otherwise?  I like to think that he was wrong on this one and now, free of his physical restraints, he is up there listening to all the lovely things that are being said about him.  RIP great man. 

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Bordeaux with my 'Boy' Friend

For way less than the price that it costs for my next rendez-vous in London with my chum Aril from Gnat Bottomed Towers I've booked a flight for an exciting minibreak in October.  Not alone this time, or with a teenager in tow but with.... a man.  Now before you get all excited let me say that it's only  Mr Metrosexual and not some previously undisclosed beau .  Since he retired he's been twiddling his thumbs. He's on his own a lot in the daytime while Ruff Stu runs his increasingly successful hairdressing salon.   So we've been talking about a little holiday together for some time.  The momentum has increased following the success of my bargain break to Malta and Portugal.

I've told Mr Metrosexual that he must camp it up and make it absolutely clear that he is my gay bestie rather than my partner.  Pink sequinned hotpants perhaps?.   Rather than trawling those dating websites again I've asked the universe to manifest me a boyfriend. If he turns up in the wine capital of the world I want it to be abundantly plain that the normally staid looking Mr Metrosexual and I are not an item.  We've been mistaken for a couple too many times before and I don't want to take chances.

We decided that we wanted to go somewhere that neither of us had been before and so I trawled Skyscanner for suitable destinations.   Porto, our first choice is out.  It's number one on Ruff Stu's wishlist   and he got stroppy when we suggested that we might be off  there without him.   So Bordeaux it is.    The Lonely Planet website describes it as one of France's most exciting, vibrant and dynamic cities.  It looks amazing.  There's contemporary art, river trips  and of course all that lovely vintage slurp!  I'll share the details of our chi-chi apartment later down the line once I've found one on AirBnB. 

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

That's Not a Monobrow!

Here's the highly sanitised version of Frida Kahlo in Barbie form.  Barely a nod to the monobrow, no lip hair and bleached skin.  It got me thinking.  In the highly unlikely event of Mattel making a Barbie doll of me would they ditch the grey hair and remodel me as a  straight up and down size 8 with unfeasibly skinny arms?  I would be very cross!

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

C12H22O11+ H2SO4 + 1/2 O2 ---> 11C+ CO2 + 12H2O + SO2

What a geeky title!  I thought that a good idea for a post might be sharing a totally impressive  experiment from my school days.  So I had a little think back to those times when, as a three science girl, I spent rather a lot of time in labs.  There was the Van der  Graaf generator trick where the entire physics class touched hands and passed on an electric shock, jumping and jiving as they did so.  That was a good one.  But this impressive chemical reaction kept popping to the forefront of my mind. 

It says here that this is a home experiment but I don't think so.   Even during my risk tolerant childhood of the seventies chemistry sets didn't contain anything anywhere near as exciting as concentrated sulphuric acid.   A teeny piece of magnesium ribbon, oh so pretty when it was set alight, was as dangerous as it got!

Monday, 12 March 2018

Sleepy Sunday

I had plans for my Sabbath, the day that I don't work on my fledging business or within the NHS.  I was going to go lots and lots of printing and go for a really long walk.  I woke and meditated for longer than I usually work on a weekday.  And when I eventually emerged from the boudoir I did get some printing done.  I've been working on those hares again and printed the background.  Sometimes my craft projects take years to come to fruition.

Then it was meant to be walk time but I felt so sleepy.  'Nap' I thought I heard a little voice say. Well, even if I didn't it was a good idea.  At times during the day I've dipped into my latest book.  It's a rare day that I don't venture outside when I'm well but this was one of them.

 I did some more sea themed pizza dish carving.  My jellyfish is coming on but is quite intricate so taking a time. 

Then I fancied some leisurely cooking.  The only time I like a regular green pepper is when I use it as a garnish for Bursa Kebabs.  Yum! 

A chef's tipple was called for.  The 2017 vintage sloe gin is a corker served on the rocks.  My tumblers were a  new-to-me bargain.  Three quid for six in a charity shop in Newquay.

A bake has been calling for a while.  Here's my lime and coconut cake, a Bake with Stork online recipe.  As I've said before my Stork vintage cookbook is a fave of mine.  I never use 'marg' though but replace it with the fat or oil of my choice, butter this time.

Looking back I've been quite busy.  Maybe Sunday wasn't quite so sleepy after all!

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Show (All) and Tell: Maltese Style

Here's a photo of a painting that I spotted in a gallery in Valletta during my Maltese travels back in December. I meant to show you all at the time but it went clean out of my mind.  Probably a good thing really as I find it faintly disturbing.  Naked Kenneth Williams anyone?!