Month: September 2011



It doesn’t seem to matter that I have visited Scarborough dozens of times since my childhood trips to the town, the moment I drive along familiar streets and step out onto the beach front, I am transported back 35+ years.

I remember I saw my one and only flea circus in Peasholme Park on a twilight adventure around the tree walk. I ate my first hard-boiled egg encrusted with sand on the beach of the north bay and a few years later rotted my teeth with sugar dummies, an absolute favourite of mine.

I have been to Scarborough lots of times with Gav and wondered, after I’d told stories of my childhood antics to him,  if I was telling the same old stories again that I told him last time we visited. I bet I was.

As we wandered along the promenade of the beach at the north bay we watched the distant sea turn from grey to blue as the sun came out and for the rest of the day we were treated to calm still warm salty air. The beach huts have been added to and revamped since my childhood, I’m sure they never got such bright coates of paint then.

And the sight of the now disused and partially dismantled cable car was sad to see.

I rode on this in my teens. Now it’s just a relic of a more prosperous time in the towns history. 


I got to practice some photography though.

The memories good and bad were flooding through me and the brighter weather was so perfect that I tried to persuade him to do something rash and book into a hotel for the night just so we could wander along a beach in the sunset. I knew I wouldn’t have done it really and I also knew Gav wouldn’t do it either.

And I was right. He briefly mentioned the lack of a toothbrush and a change of underwear but really I knew it was the absence of his laptop that swayed his decision. Even the thought of it was out of character for me but the day was so perfect I was trying to hold onto it for as long as possible.

Instead after our wander towards Scalby Mills we went to the Harbour Bar and had wonderful ice creams and then went to our favourite garden center at Hunmanby and bought a few plants.

I love to revisit this place for a day in the quieter times and make new memories while remembering some old.


So much for persevering with Nancy Mitford.

I decided that I just needed a Vampire fix so picked up The Radleys. I had already watched the TV Book Club discuss the novel so knew not expect my usual Vampire tale. They described the book as more like a novel about a dysfunctional family with a bit of Vampire thrown in, well that’s what I took from their reviews and I have to agree with them. Stripped down to the bare bones it was a simple story of a family struggling through some revelations and hiding from their feelings along the way.

I didn’t love it and I didn’t hate it. It was just a book I read although a very well written one. But still I don’t like that. I want to feel passionate about books I read and the more I listen to and read reviews and take those recommendations and read the books in them the more I realise that I should just stick to what I like. I should stick to my comfort zone.  

On the other hand, if I’d done that I would never have read To Kill a Mocking Bird and I can safely say that I would have missed the most wonderful book ever.

Perhaps there is more to this than I’d like to admit. Perhaps there is in part a trade off. Step beyond the confines of your comfort zone and you may find an uninspiring handful of books that just aren’t you, but hidden in amongst them a real gem,  that you’ll wax lyrical about to anyone who’ll listen, one that will stay with you forever. Perhaps in order to love books as I’d like to think I do you actually to have to broaden your horizons.

I’ll stop there as I feel faint from all that profound thought.

A year ago today


A year ago today we got on a plane and had a 16 day adventure in the US.

A year ago today I was still a civil servant.

A year ago today we were dogless and still missing him so much.

A year ago today I would never have believed I’d ever work in a craft shop.

A year ago today I was half a stone lighter.

A year ago today I didn’t blog.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that a lot can change in a year.

Sometimes those changes are big but often they are small. And sometimes, it’s the little changes that make the most impact over time.

I have had the phrase ‘If you’d have told me a year ago….’ rumbling around in my head for weeks and I needed to get it out there. So there it is.

Out there.

In my head I’m singing…

the theme tune to Strictly Come Dancing.

Yay, it’s back. The line up has been revealed and I’m not moaning about them all, yet. I’m just looking forward to the first proper show, and their debut dance. Saturday nights are just brilliant two of my favourite programmes on at the same time. Doctor Who being the other one. NOT X Factor!

And Gav went shopping the other day and brought back a boot full of garden goodies.

Bulbs and things for winter pots. Yes, winter. Still in denial about that though.

Looking forward to doing some planting and then waiting fot the spring time show.

Cracker Dog Crazy

It is one of the funniest things he does. Almost every time we go out into the garden Buddy finds some toy, or stick, or rotting apple and proceeds to tare up and down the garden with it.

Up and down, up and down.

I’m convinced he’d do it till he fell over. Gav took these a couple of months ago. Bud has a little yellow duck clenched in his teeth. The duck was Lewis’s and Buddy found it hidden in the garden undergrowth. I like to think that Lewis nudged Buddy in the direction of that duck as if he was saying it was okay that Buddy played with it. But really I know that Lewis wasn’t that charitable and will be spinning at the thought of another dog, especially such a silly and daft one, has his old toy. The duck is currently residing on top of the pergola where it landed not long after these photos were taken. Gav’s aim is rubbish. Or perhaps it wasn’t Gav’s bad aim at all but someone from beyond the grave showing disapproval.

But I digress.

Gav was practicing with the camera and snapped a few of the crazy dog.

Here he comes……….


And again….

One more time?



What is a mazzle I hear you cry?

Would you believe a cross between a map and a jigsaw puzzle? Yes, I know it’s a bit odd but I bought it a walking/cycling out-doorsey type shop and gave it to Gav as a stocking filler last Christmas. It sat in the box until we went on our trip to Northumberland in March when he got all the pieces out and we realised the task at hand.

It was going to be a very hard puzzle to do indeed, in fact it was going to be rock hard! Pun intended…..

The scale was really small on the map itself making the features of the puzzle really tricky to see.  I got a headache everytime I tried to do any of it and I had to wear my glasses.

Gav got the edge and a bit of the thing done during the week we were away and carefully packed it up, breaking as few of the edges as possible, and brought it home. Where it has sat for the best part of 6 months.

Every now and then he would attack the jigsaw and a few more pieces would be added. Even my niece found it intriguing and like to help her Uncle Gav. Oh and Buddy too got in on the action too, although his method was to chew and pieces that had fallen on the floor. I guess his logic was it was one less piece for Gav to find.

And at last the flipping jigsaw is finished and I can have my dining room table back. Well it’s almost finished – apart from one piece…… I wonder where that went?

It just goes to show

I know nothing about my own mind. There I was committing myself to completing the Nancy Mitford then I went and bought a new Agatha. It happens occasionally. I tell myself I’ll do something then go and do the opposite – without even missing a beat, without even feeling guilty or thinking about the thing I said I’d do.  

There is an explanation for the purchase of the Agatha. Remember when I organised the Christie Collection on my new bookcase and decided I needed to complete the set, well I found the above book in a local charity shop and had to have it. As I’d never read this one, I didn’t read her short stories till recently, I started it right away and I finished it in record time. I love Miss Marple. You expect her to be cosy and comforting but really she’s as sharp as a tack and ruthless to her very core. That’s what makes her so great.

So that was a long winded way of saying – sixteen books down. Ten to go.

Book update

It’s been a while since I finished a book. I am only on book sixteen. That means I have ten to get through before then end of the year if I’m to get to my goal of 26 books read in a year.

I go though phases with reading just like every other part of life. And if I’m not hooked immediately by a book it sits about waiting for me to struggle on with it. Perhaps I should just admit that I like what I like and leave the literary novels and classics alone. I mean I never struggle with a Stephanie Plum or a Sookie Stackhouse or a Poirot or a Katie Fford. Perhaps I just like popular fiction. (and vampires – of course)

I’m just moaning though because I will not give in that easily. I like the fact that I’m trying to broaden my reading boundaries – which lets face it isn’t that hard since I’m so picky.

So I’ll carry on with number sixteen, which is the book in the picture above The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford, and then enjoy a good old romance with the latest Katie Fford.

And on a totally different subject but related the the photograph, the drink I was drinking was a non alcoholic cocktail of frozen strawberries elderflower cordial and appletiser and it was really delish. My BF found the recipe last time we were over for a BBQ and even Gav loved it.

Here’s to reading a good book and drinking a bit of fizz even if it’s non alcoholic.