Tag Archives: Random thoughts

Lockdown 2020

We are now into week ….. (fill in the blank) of lockdown.

When this all started,  hubby and I decided that we would spend the time wisely, perhaps start a new hobby, be creative in the kitchen, read books and get fit.

Eclairs hubby made – you put on pounds just looking at them!

It started out so well, hubby and I cooked up delights in the kitchen, chocolate eclairs, scones, quiche, chicken and bacon pie, strawberry gateaux, but soon it seemed like a lot of work and it duly fizzled out.

I decided to take up knitting it being a mixture of something that a nanny should do and it’s the latest trend to do, so I made myself a scarf.  Now this was more like it, so I decided to make a jumper, cue lots of cursing and sighing as the stitches got too tight and the wool knotted, so that was put aside.

The one thing that has been constant in this lockdown though is the virtual quiz. We play twice a week, on a Saturday night with friends and a Sunday night with the family. If nothing else, I feel my general knowledge has come on leaps and bounds and we have now also discovered bingo! A friend has set up a virtual bingo game every Friday night, we’ve done quite well so far, winning both times we have done it!

Another constant is Facetime, I feel like I speak more to my family and friends now than I did before all this happened. It’s especially good for the older members of the family, once you have talked them through how to switch the camera on, that is!

I have found a new hobby and it’s one I would never have thought of if some friends hadn’t told me about it, it’s watercolour painting. Some of my efforts are above. I find it quite relaxing and theraputic and so far, so good, I haven’t given up, (yet)!

Another thing that has helped to get me through this lockdown has been the humour, I love the quotes, etc., that I read about lockdown and I have highlighted them on my own Facebook pages, It’s Raining Cats and Blogs and Menopause Mayhem as these below:

All in all lockdown has had it’s ups and downs, not seeing my grandson is a definite down as he is at that age when he’s learning new things every day, but we hope that in the near future we will be able to visit, something that we took for granted not so many weeks ago.

Hopefully we’ll soon be moving to a new phase, one where we have a bit more freedom and one thing is for certain, I won’t be taking the simple things in life like going going out for a meal, going to the pictures or even food shoppoing for granted again!


Diets ….. why?

So, my diet has begun (again), but no, this time it’s serious, (again)… But there are a few questions that I do need to ask about diets…

Why is it the moment I decide to go on a diet I feel hungry?

Why does chocolate taste so good and celery tastes…. of nothing?

Why are my clothes getting smaller?

What makes celebrities think they know best about diets (and keep fit for that matter?)?

Why is it that when I’m hungry I get told to drink water?

Why can’t I substitute a glass of wine for a meal? It is grapes, after all….

And while we’re talking about diets, why are men so much better at it than women? My hubby just has to cut out his chocolate biscuits and his weight loss is dramatic.  Me, I just have to open the fridge and smell the cheese and I put on weight!!


The chocolates from Christmas have finally been eaten, I’ve thrown out the left over mince pies, there’s no more Pringles, crisps or peanuts in the larder, so now I feel safe to start my diet. It’s good to have a target to get to and mine is a holiday in May, which according to my Holiday Countdown App is 117 days away. It’s doable I know, but then I remember there’s Valentine’s Day, Pancake Day and Easter to get through….

Times when calories aren’t counted:

dietIf you eat your meal standing up.

If you eat off someone’s else’s plate.

If you eat alone.

Any food eaten at Christmas (courtesy of Santa!)


“I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number you get in a diamond. – Mae West




New Year Resolutions – Why did it start?

As a very different 2021 draws to a close, it has had its ups and downs, but we can only hope for a better 2022.  So, as we prepare to welcome 2022 and think about New Year’s Resolutions, I asked myself, “Where did the tradition of New Year’s Resolutions begin?”

The traditions of making New Year’s resolutions goes back over 4000 years to the ancient Babylonian festival of Akitu.  During this festival, they would plant crops, make promises to their gods and pay back their debts. The Babylonians believed that if they kept their promises to the gods, they would stay on the god’s good side and if not, they would not be in favour.


In 153 BC, the Roman Senate declared that January 1st would herald the start of the new year, January being named after their God, Janus, who had two faces, so he could look forwards and backwards at the same time, which symbolised looking back at the year and to the year ahead.

Julius Caesar made it official that the Romans would have to make promises to Janus about their behaviour for the next year.

During the Middle Ages, knights would renew their vows to chivalry and place thier hand on a live or roasted peacock, this was called, “The Peacock Vow.” A resolultion to uphold the values of knighthood.

The first recorded use of the phrase, “New Year’s Resolution,” appeared in a Boston newspaper in 1813.


Nowadays, New Year’s Resolutions are often health-driven following the excess drinking and eating of the Christmas period. The most popular being:

To lose weight
To exercise more
To eat more healthily
To quit smoking
To learn a new language/musical instrument
To volunteer with a charity

While over a third of the population make these resolutions every year, only 8% follow them through.

I expect that everyone’s expectation of 2021 is high and I have two major events I am looking forward to this year, one is the birth of my first granddaughter in February and the second is the publication of my first children’s book!  What are you looking forward to in 2021?

I’ll leave you with my favourite group, Abba’s aptly titled song, “Happy New Year,” and I would like to wish everyone who has read my blurbs and followed me on the various social media sites, a very Happy New Year!!

Clever names for businesses…


I was at Hampton Court Palace the other week to watch Tears for Fears (a very good concert by the way) and I noticed a trade stand selling wraps, the name of this company, Bohemiun Wrapsody, made me giggle and it got me wondering what other names for shops people have come up with…

The first one I found was a flower shop based in Milton Keynes called –

Back to the Fuchsia

You can visit their website.

Kudos to whoever thought of this name!

A company who specialises in quality bathrooms, wet rooms and tilings, what else could they call themselves but-

Bonny Tiler

They have a very professional website. 

There are quite a few companies around that use this name, some of which are spelt Bonnie, (the correct way for the singer), but I liked this one as they say on their website:

Bonny Tiler is a fun name for a company serious about making you smile!

How about a carpet cleaning business named:

Spruce Springclean

If you need your carpets cleaned, visit their website.

This carpet cleaning shop is based in Cornwall and was named the best business name in Britain.

A locksmith who is based in Portsmouth (near my home town) and is called:

Surelock Homes

For a secure home, visit their website.

A worthy runner up to the best named business in Britain, well done the man who thought of this!

The prize for the best wine bar name goes to (drum roll please):

Planet of the Grapes

planet of the grapes.PNG
For a tasty dinner and a glass of wine, visit their website. 

A clever name on so many levels, a wine bar, shop and restaurant in four different locations.

Honorable mentions should also go to:

The  kebab van named after Jason Donovan.
A fish and chip shop in Wales.
It does what it says on the sign!


Perhaps these businesses aren’t as silly as they seem, it has been proven that people remember quirky, unusual names more than they do the rather formal ones, so i guess the jokes on them…

Boxing clever?

Have you ever done it? Have you ever sat down to watch TV, get up the onscreen television guide and then begin the process of clicking down and down and down, going and going until you get to the rarely heard of channels towards the bottom of the list? You have probably uttered those words, “We have over 100 channels and there’s nothing to watch!!”

Now you are entering dangerous territory…. in desperation you go to Netflix, Now TV, All Four, Sky and start browsing through the box sets.   You see something that grabs your attention either because someone has told you about it: “So and so said this was really good and that I should give it a try,” or that you’ve seen advertised: “Watch the whole series now on catchup.”

You click on Series One, Episode One and here we go!!   “Actually that was quite good,” and then you see the words on screen, “Episode two is starting in 18 seconds, 17 seconds, 16 seconds,” “I’ve got time, I’ll just watch episode two.”

Several hours later…

“Oh my God, it’s 1am, I’m on episode five and I’ve got to get up early in the morning.” And there you have it, you are now doing what is defined in the English Oxford Living Dictionary as, “binge-watch” meaning: ‘to watch multiple episodes of (a television programme) in rapid succession, typical my means of DVDs or digital streaming.’

My first encounter with binge-watching was Game of Thrones. I watched episode one, loved it, got Phil, my hubby to watch episode one and then we were off. Two, three, four episodes a night, no problem.

Second was The Walking Dead. I watched the entire series by myself as it was about ‘zombies’ and I thought it wouldn’t be Phil’s cup of tea. So every time he was working late or had an evening meeting, I would watch a couple of episodes. One day Phil said that he wanted to watch a series and I suggested The Walking Dead, never thinking that he would be interested, but again, he watched the first episode and was hooked. I had to watch the entire series again, but that didn’t bother me.

These two were swiftly followed by House of Cards, Timeless and Prison Break.

Our latest venture into the boxed sets was The Punisher. Granted it is only two series long, but there are 13 episodes in each.

Jon Bernthal

This stars Jon Bernthal in the main role, he was also in The Walking Dead as Shane, but I have heard that Netflix has now decided to cancel the series.

And finally, the worst part of all, when you finish an entire series… “What am I doing to do now?   Wait for the new season? Watch ‘normal’ television and wait a week for the next episode?”  Nope, search for that next boxed set!!

Quote: “Netflix gives you 15 seconds between episodes to decide whether or not you’re doing anything with your life today.”

Does working from home, work?

Most mornings I walk my dog along the local high street, I go past the local supermarket, which is already busy with deliveries and customers purchasing their morning newspaper or their lunch for work.  Cyclists race past me, no doubt grateful if the sun has decided to shine that morning, cars roar past, hastily making their way to join the nearest traffic jam.  It’s at this time that I am grateful I am not joining them in the process called ‘commuting to work’.

I work from home.  Some may look at that sentence and think, “No, I could never do that,” some may look at it and say, “Wow, I’d love to do that.”  I have spent my whole working life in offices: some big, open plan and some not big enough to swing a cat in (though why anyone would bring a cat to work is beyond me!).

Most of the offices I have worked in have been good fun.  There’s been laughs, jokes and cream cakes, lots of cakes I might say,  but on the flip side there’s also been tears, arguments and lots of office politics.  What do I mean by office politics?  Well, let me give you a few examples: “I want the light on,” “I want the light off,” “I want the window open,” “I want the window shut,” “I want the air con at this temperature,” “I want it cooler/hotter,” “I want to tell you to shut the hell up.”  Okay, that last one was normally said in my head, but I am sure those of you who work in an office have experienced some of these office politics.

I have always wanted to work from home, but my idea was to sit in front of a computer and produce best selling novels one after the other.  (This has nearly come true, but that’s another story).

I think this sums up working from home pretty well

My actual day job is typing television scripts and interviews for TV shows and it’s very interesting, my general knowledge is coming on leaps and bounds.  I love the fact that I can plan my day around my work and a big bonus is that I’m always in when a parcel is delivered.

In-between jobs I can put out the washing, unload the dishwasher, sneak an episode of Ghost Adventures (have you seen Zak?) and get out something for tea.

So taking everything into consideration I think that working from home does work as long as you have self discipline and enjoy your own company!

Mind you, it is a bit annoying when it comes to clearing the table after dinner and everyone says they don’t have to do it because they’ve been at work and I’m volunteered as I’ve been home all day ….

Quote: “Everybody brings joy to this office, some when they enter and some when they leave.”


The Spider Hunt

Now I’m not usually scared of spiders – if I see one in the house I normally let it carry on with it’s daily business and we all live in domestic harmony.   But this spider was different…

The first time I saw it was one evening just as I was entering the bedroom – there it was big, black with hairy legs scurrying across the headboard of the bed. I let out a shriek, mainly because it was so unexpected. Phil, my husband, rushed into the bedroom asking what was the matter? “A huge, black spider just ran across the headboard” I explained and estimated the size with my hands. He looked at me disbelievingly, a spider THAT big, never. I nervously got into bed and had a restless night, dreaming of spiders running across me while I slept.

Every time I passed the bedroom the following day I would put my head in and see if I spied the spider – no, nothing until the evening when again going into the bedroom there it was, this time on the footboard of the bed, again scurrying (I like that word!) to safety underneath the bed.   Again I shrieked but Phil didn’t see it. “Perhaps you should keep quiet the next time you see it and it won’t run off” he suggested.  Another restless night with the combination of the spider situation and the hot weather (I couldn’t sleep on top of the duvet for fear of the spider running over me!)

Then Phil saw the spider and he had to agree it was pretty big. It ran under the bed and Phil pulled up the mattress to find it, but it had disappeared.   I went to my side of the bed and there it was, but again, it ran under the bed. I’d had enough by now and told Phil that I wouldn’t be coming to bed until it was found. So we waited and waited: nothing!   We were tired so the lamp was switched off and we tried to go to sleep.

About five minutes later Phil said “Shall I put the light back on and see if it is around?” As I was sweating under the duvet I agreed. He switched the lamp on and we both looked on our sides of the bed to see if it was around. “This is like one of those comedy horror films when they’re looking around for the spider and it’s above them on the headboard all the time” I joked. With that Phil looked at our headboard and there it was! Large as life and probably smiling menacingly at us.

Now I go back to the original paragraph where I state that I normally let the spiders carry on with their business, but I’m sorry not this one, it had caused me two restless nights and now it was just taunting us. Phil grabbed his weapon of choice, my flip flop and flattened it.   It fell onto the bed defeated.

After Phil had disposed of the body, we lay in bed happy in the knowledge that we were spider free.

“Perhaps that was the mummy spider and now the bigger, hairier, blacker daddy spider will come and look for her” said Phil just before we went to sleep.

Bugger, another restless night!

“That moment when you walk into a spider’s web and suddenly turn into a karate master.”