Monday, 25 February 2013

Cherry tree issues

What a liberty. What a flamin' cheek.

I decided to take the below dress back to the cherry tree shop (I blogged about it recently) which the dear little old lady behind the counter had kindly suggested I take home (WITHOUT paying for it) so I could try it on. Such faith, bless her.

I eventually realised that I wasn't a fragile French floaty-frocked kind of filly (the label is Parisian) so what was the point of keeping it if it wouldn't fit me for months unless I starved myself and exercised like Davina on speed.

The dear sweet old lady was behind the counter when I returned and I handed it over, and explained it wasn't the best fit. She replied (with a look of shock):

"I should imagine it wasn't! This dress is a size 12! You're not a size 12 are you? Definitely better to give it back as it won't fit you."

Like I said, what a liberty.

"Dear sweet old lady" will be named something else next time. Like Inconsiderate Batty OAP Who Speaks the Truth.

The most annoying thing is I've been on Lent for two weeks and actually feel bigger. Mind you, I've gorged on lentils and chickpeas and keeping making a gorgeous salad that my friend Macky told me about years ago and I don't think my fragile belly can cope (that's the only fragile thing about me).

So, what did I do after I was insulted in a packed cherry tree shop?

Did I go for a long walk and eat nothing but lettuce? Nope, the kids and I hit McDonald's - or Donald's House as the Prince calls it. I'd already promised it to them as it was an inset day and they were so excited as we don't go often.

Couldn't bring myself to order a beefburger though just in case. I've heard about the Ikea Meatballs and it's now becoming serious.

Anyway, it wasn't entirely wasted time in the cherry tree shop. I found Buckbeak, an amusing Harry Potter creature that is nurtured by Hagrid.  The Princess has never loved me more, apparently, for spotting it!

Buckbeak enjoying the scent of my daffs!

We saw the "real" Buckbeak at the Harry Potter studio and for those not in the know, he looks like this:

Brad Pitt he ain't...

It didn't have a price so Inconsiderate Batty OAP Who Speaks the Truth said I could have it for 50p. See, she's not all bad. She also lets me buy Ladybird books for half the price they should be when no one is looking.

Onto other things, I've been watching Embarrassing Bodies tonight. I've seen the remains of a willy that got ripped off in a car crash and varicose veins in  a lady's vulva. I can't cope with much more, it's worse than Jeremy Kyle. WHY do people do it?

Changing the subject, as I feel all queasy again at the thought of it,  how obsessed are you all with daffodils? I love their scent so much, I'm literally filling the house. It cheers me up when the weather is so bad and I love them for all their cheapness.

And finally, I have made my decision on my favourite blogs that have 300 or less followers. (Although can't see the number of followers on Annaboos House but I just love how she teaches the world to crochet so stuck her on anyway).

Ladies, please revert to my previous post on what you have to do, if you wish to accept the award. No worries if you can't be jiggered!

I love all the above blogs so do hope over if they are new to you and see them shake their thangs.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

A wizard half term!

Blogger is playing up. There's a weird white background and my kids look like giant swede heads. What's that all about?

"The Liebster Award is for bloggers with under 300 followers and the rules of the award is that the nominee must link back to whoever awarded them, write 11 random facts about themselves, answer the 11 questions from the award giver, and then nominate another 11 bloggers and make up 11 questions for them to answer. It's a great way for new and undiscovered bloggers to meet new people, get more followers and find some blogs that they want to follow." has awarded me a Liebster Blog Award.
Thank you muchly lovely Peas & Carrots, what a dear you are.....

So, she asked me the following questions:

1. What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you? I once went to a hen party and had to stand up and tell the 20 girls how I knew the bride-to-be. Suddenly someone piped up: "What's that hanging out of your trouser leg?" To my absolute horror, "yesterday's pants" had somehow got caught up in my garment and decided to roll out at the worst possible time. I was eight months pregnant and unable to bend down and whip the offending article away, someone had to walk over and pick my undercrackers up for me. They were size 18-20 maternity pants, faded black, frayed with a saggy gusset. Yet the ground didn't swallow me up. I had to suffer.....horribly.

2. What was your first job? News reporter on a weekly newspaper in Oxford. I interviewed Peter Andre, Jim Davison, I was shut in a room on location with Rufus Sewell, 60s sweetheart Adam Faith, Gina G, poets and authors. I went to gigs and the theatre on my own most nights (I was single when I started the job) and wrote restaurant reviews so often dined free. I hung around with boy bands in their dressing room and edited my own music column. Gosh it's so long ago now and seems like a different life.

3. Your favourite word? Scrumptious. And Drizzled. The latter really irks The Husband when I make dishes "drizzled with olive oil".

4. What do you hope to achieve this year? A stronger back and better health. I am quite literally always ill and I am sick of it (literally, ha!)

5. What are your hobbies? Shell collecting on the beach! And a little bit of crochet but then everyone says that these days. I shall stick to the shells.......

6. Your happiest memory? My grandmother scuttling down the road to see me every Thursday afternoon, armed with a bunch of bananas and coffee & walnut cake. She died three years ago and a tiny piece of me went with her. I try to remember the halcyon days of seeing her and wish so much she was still here. After my mum and sister, she was my best female friend.

7. Favourite song and why?  Salt 'n' Pepa's Push It. Been my fave song since I was 13. I am now 37. It's never dated.

8. One thing that makes you angry? Shallow people and boasters. Can't stick 'em!

9. Your favourite smell? A freshly cut rose

10.  One thing you couldn't live without? Green & Black's Butterscotch chocolate. Oh, and my family..... 

11.What was the last programme you watched on television? Wish You Were Here with Emily Lloyd. A wonderful film that is a fave of mine and the husband's. Some of it is filmed where I live and it's a special film for us, even if fairly depressing in parts.

So I now need to award other people with less than 300 followers. I shall think about this a while longer and write a new post with the chosen ones.

Oh heck, I've lost my voice today (told you I am always ill). We're all in good health for once but I can't speak and the Husband and Princess are loving it. And I am loathing it. It makes me realise just how much I shout, although that's not exactly good is it?!

This week we've been to Brighton and had fun on the pier, then spent a day on a glorious sandy beach, and then on Thursday we went to Warner Bros studio to see the making of Harry Potter.

Blogger has distorted all my pics! Swede heads galore!
My children are huge fans. My three-year-old knows all the characters and they always dress as Harry and Hermione, so you can imagine how much they loved it!

Taking himself very seriously

Cherry tree coat, vintage M&S

We gasped at Hogwarts:

It was like a fairytale castle. Immense details!

The kids wanted to dress up for the occasion   #cute

We rode on broomsticks, saw the flying car, the Princess had a duel with a Death Eater:

The Prince was scared of the Death Eater so a member of staff helped 'man him up':

We saw all the masks for the goblins:


Simon Cowell had put on some weight.....

We walked up Diagon Alley

We even stood outside Privet Drive. 

The Princess had a wand lesson

Fancy a Bertie Botts' sweet?


It's been a pretty good half term, although the kids have also driven me nuts at times, as standard.

The Prince was really poorly last week, with suspected gastric flu. It was awful. This week, he is back to normal and my parents sent him his fave film on DVD. 

The Prince actually calls himself "Scar" at home

Chilling out to watch it for the 3rd time already...

And I picked up this bargainous book for 30p from Scope. My mum had this book when I was little because I can remember being terrified of the dog on the front. Don't ask why.....  #slightlynuts

Settling with in my Cherry Tree vintage Delia
And so half term is nearly over. Although I've just discovered Monday is an inset day.


Sunday, 10 February 2013

A right mincer

So, who is eating mince then? Hmmmm?

And if not, what are your reasons? Are you scared horse meat is dangerous with the threat of "bute" present in the meat? Or is the mere thought of eating Mister Ed just a little too freaky for your taste buds? Or is it the principal of the matter? You paid for cow, you want cow.  You want Daisy over Dobbin any day, right?

Well, it's churning my insides right now if I'm honest. I'm toying with becoming a Fake Veggie (you know, those who eat fish.)  It's all a little too much to bear. I have mince in my freezer. It's high quality but I can't be sure I trust the labelling right now. It's frightfully offal really (actually joking aside, maybe it is).

Also, if we are guaranteed our mince IS cow and not horse, the thought of eating corneas and connective tissue is turning my palate right off.

I was a vegetarian when I first met the Husband and so was he. It was one of the first things we loved about each other. We were both veggies, we smoked fags, we loved indie music, we enjoyed snogging.

Now, 17 years on, we both eat meat (we've added crocodile, buffalo, kangaroo and zebra to the regular list of bacon butties etc), neither of us smoke and while he still navel gazes in true indie style, I have gone right back to my old roots and Bon Jovi makes an appearance more often than not.

So, I wanted to get that off my chest and chew the cud with you, so to speak.

Right, Cherry Tree lovers, I've had some success this week and it feeeeeeeels good.

This dress has been sitting in Scope for weeks.

I've wanted it for weeks but never get the chance to try stuff on and I was worried it wouldn't fit for various reasons (Cake Friday, my December mince pie and gin habit, my Quality Street habit and the fact my bad back and asthma/chest infection has meant I've done no exercise in weeks and weeks).

This week, I decided to buy it anyway. And the dear little old lady behind the counter said I could take it home WITHOUT paying for it and if it fitted, I could pay next week, or return it. Talk about trust!

Anyway I got it home and....of course it didn't fit. In fact, if I am honest, I am so pleased I didn't have time to try it on in the changing room as I would have got properly stuck. It took 15 minutes to get it off. I blame my boobs. My arms. My waist. The lot. Darn it.

I once got stuck in a cherry tree changing room in Berkshire for 25 minutes. I got stuck in a blouse that turned out to be hot pants. Please don't ask...I felt so thick at the time. It was horrendous - I was literally purple and sweating buckets by the end and a proper escapologist after that.

So anyway, the dress hanging up ready for me to decide whether to MAKE it fit (ie starve....I'm hopeless at this) or return it. It's a Parisian label and we all know those foxy French femmes are.....flipping fatless.

I've got until tomorrow to decide......ho hum.....I'd need to shed a good load I reckon for it to skim where I want it to.

Anyway, also this week, I managed to add to the Ladybird collection.

I was particularly excited when I saw this:

Sadly it was not the most sought after Cinderella ladybird book I am gagging for, though I still wanted this one and am thrilled.

10p. I kid you not!!!

Also was pleased to find this one! 

I had this one when I was little!

Just brilliant!
I also remember this one as a kid.
So retro it hurts

Off on a tangent, I found myself totally in my element when I spotted these beauties while on a day out with my next door neighbour.

The Prince has become obsessed with dressing up.

One for his 21st....
The Husband and I went out on Wednesday night and took part in the pub quiz. We didn't win but did OK. The three gins didn't help me though if I'm honest!

Like our team name?..........Geddit?
Next time we will be Rudolph Huckers...

I took the Prince out for lunch at a shabby chic cafe in town.

Making himself at home

So many pretty things in the cafe
Me and the girls enjoyed Cake Friday which Lisa kindly hosted.

I was proud mum again when the Princess performed in a show for her class assembly, in front of 450 people. I admire her more than she knows.

In other news, I'm distraught that a friend of mine, who is a BBC floor manager, had the pleasure of Jon Bon Jovi appearing on one of her shows in the past fortnight. And yet she...even SHE.....couldn't get close enough to tell him I would leave the Husband for him. That he literally just has to turn up at my house and whisk me (and the kids) off to New Jersey. The Husband is aware of this, and is cool about it. It's my rule. The same goes for Gemma Arterton and Rachel Weiss turning up to elope with him....I'd have to let it happen. Dems da rules.

Damn it, that man is always just slightly out of my clutches. I am aware of the gigs he is playing this year in the UK and I can't attend a single one. I've entered a competition (which I didn't win) to watch him and the boys perform at a radio station recently. I'm doing all I can. Freaky stalker fan I'm not, I assure you. I just want to snog him and marry him, is all.

Changing the subject, I've decided to do Lent this year for the first time ever. Let's see how long I last. Cake is my lifeline, this could be a tough 40 days.

When I do my freelance writing, I eat a lot of it. It keeps me going!

Had to take a self portrait this week for a new website a company is launching as I regularly write for them. I hated every single photo but settled for this. It was a bad hair day, I'd put too much coconut oil in it and was so tired man, it was unreal.

Not very office chic though am I? I don't do smart. I just can't make it happen.

Cherry tree dress, natch. £2 Matalan necklace. 5 years old.
Worn practically all the time.
They rejected the first photo I sent as my left shoulder was cropped out too much apparently. Think that was their polite way of saying I was too much of a munter!

Ah well, let's hope I survive Lent and fit into the Parisian dress. Then I can float around like a flitty floaty thing.

Happy Sunday (blowing a gale and grim here)

Monday, 4 February 2013

Following no more...

Quick question.

Have any of you successfully stopped following a blog? A blog I follow seems to have been highjacked and I want to stop following it.....

Tried asking Blogger but no success.

Cheerios medearos.


Friday, 1 February 2013

Me ol' China

So then, I got me the cake stand that I have been wanting since December 16th. A two-tier chintzy bit of fancy. Finally, china in my hand!

It was there, gleaming in the window of one of my fave (if somewhat nuts) cherry tree shops. I say "nuts" because it is run by two old dears who each own a mahoosive greyhound. They love nothing better than to sprawl all over the floor of the cherry tree shop and trip up customers, while licking their limbs.

The dogs I mean, not the old dears. They're 80 if they're a day. (The ladies I mean, not the dogs). Oh dear. I'm all discombobulated. I've had 4.5 hours sleep - bear with, darlings.

Anyway, the deal was that if the cake stand was STILL in the shop and no one else coughed up the ridiculous £12 asking price, I could have it for £6. Half price. I hate doing deals in cherry tree gaffs but I also hate being ripped off.

So here it is. Agatha. That's what I have called her. The Prince would have been called Agatha Rose, had he been a girl (or Elsie Violet). So the newest member of the cake stand clan gets the name instead.

Settling in.

Making friends with the others (god, I am so weird)

I swear I NEVER thought I would get so excited over this
 She's looking the part on my dresser. I can't wait to pile her with cakes! I've piled myself with cakes this week and keep having good intentions to do something about it, but you know what? I can't be jiggered.

Talking of cakes, I've been looking forward to Cake Friday all week. There's nothing finer than a good catch up and as much cake as you can handle on a Friday afternoon before the school run.

I made these vanilla cupcakes.

They were lush. Too lush. I am trying not to think about the globules of fat adhering to my thighs as I type...(I've also eaten a huge tube of Mini Eggs.)

This morning I went to the village cafe (no cake but loads of coffee) and put the world to rights with a friend from pre school. She 'fessed up that sometimes, just sometimes, she accidentally switches on Jeremy Kyle and watches the whole show while she does the ironing.

I think she thought I would disown her there and then. Truth is, I'm into my trashy car crash TV occasionally too. Jeremy Kyle, or JK Rowdy as I like to call him, brings a little guilty pleasure comfort into my home. In his own way, our JK is saying there is a far worse parent than me. Someone with a far bigger bottom. Someone with an even less desirable complexion. Someone who has definitely consumed more calories than they should and someone who really shouldn't be wearing a tracksuit (not that I would do the latter anyway but you get my drift).

So we laughed about that. Then went a little wistful when our children's P.E. teacher nipped in for a sandwich. He's rather handsome you see, and wears shorts in all weather. We tried not to look but we struggled. It was such a challenge.

The Princess is taking school very seriously and now knows her 25 times table (blimey, didn't do that in my day). She's so sweet at the mo, wearing perfume and writing amazing songs in her bedroom and trying to hide from the pesky little brother.

I was talking to the Prince the other day while I was washing up. About the Gruffalo and about how we should do some digging in the garden. I then sang him some nursery rhymes.

It was wasted on him.

Was it something I said?!

Oh roll on spring, I need to get walking, spend more time beside the sea. Spend more time admiring daffs in the glorious countryside we live in.

It's Feb! We survived the winter! Go give yourself a High Five!