Wednesday, 15 October 2014


  • Adventuring - finding my feet in my new job, planning a walk for a day off
  • Eating - too much Chinese takeaway, Lindt chocolates, cheese scones, last years homemade chutney
  • Drinking - tea, mocha, Luscombe hot ginger beer, Beechams hot blackcurrant
  • Reading - more Donna Leon, The Definitive History of the West Wing, my favourite blogs, employees handbook
  • Watching - Dr Who, too many YouTube music videos
  • Listening to - 181 Awesome 80's, those YouTube music videos, SmoothLounge
  • Laughing at - the me that had all her hair shaved off for charity!
  • Thinking About - lost little ones
  • Disliking - the snuffling and sneezing
  • Appreciating - when the rain stops
  • Loving -thoughtful friends, planning birthday/Christmas surprises

Thursday, 9 October 2014


  • Adventuring - into a new job - Goodbye Cath - Hello Seasalt
  • Eating - microwave meals, grapes, breakfast biscuits, chicken and leek bake
  • Drinking - tropicana, mocha's, squash and too much coke!
  • Reading - finished 'Full Circle' and now onto a Donna Leon
  • Watching - Downton Abbey, Dr Who, Voyager and Chasing Shadows
  • Listening to - 80's internet radio stations, internet Chill station, my iPhone on random
  • Thinking About - how to get to my minimalist wardrobe, what to do with the fabric swatches I have
  • Disliking - working three jobs at once, colleagues leaving (yes I know I am too!)
  • Appreciating - the good guys
  • Loving - my new handmade bag (yes I bought the one I showed you a picture of last week), being in the position to be able to buy said bag!

Wednesday, 1 October 2014


  • Adventuring - not so much doing as planning!!
  • Eating - salad, Indian takeaway, the Charcuterie, chocolate
  • Drinking - Glorious hot chocolate (again!), Crabbies
  • Reading - Michael Palin - Around the World in 80 Days, Pole to Pole and I've just started Full Circle
  • Watching - Downton Abbey, New Tricks, Dr Who, Voyager, and intending to catch up on Grand Designs
  • Listening to - 80's internet radio stations, internet Chill station, my iPhone on random
  • Thinking About - the future, writing
  • Disliking - the boxes I'm still living with (and the spider that's hiding between them!), awkward situations
  • Appreciating - access to clean water, electricity, books (Palin went through some really poor areas)
  • Laughing at - my complete inability to not buy books
  • Loving - the bag above (the shoes are gorgeous too), the nice clear area in the bedroom that I sorted out this afternoon

Wednesday, 24 September 2014


I've pinched this from Leslie at A Simple Life Afloat - although she says she can't can't take the credit!!  I'm going to try and make it a weekly thing - it will depend on how interesting my weeks turn out to be!!

  • Adventuring - wandering the graves at Higher Cemetery and wondering about the lives (and deaths) of those buried there.
  • Eating - too many microwave meals, Nākd bars
  • Drinking - Glorious hot chocolate
  • Reading - Penelope Lively as loaned by my landlords, catching up on my Feedly feed
  • Watching - Chasing Shadows, Downton Abbey, New Tricks, Dr Who (not bad for someone without a TV), Voyager, Emma Watson's speech
  • Listening to - Genesis - We Can't Dance (purchased just for Fading Lights), 80's internet radio stations, Michael Jackson - Invincible
  • Thinking About - if I'm going to get to The Ice Cream Shop on the Beach before they close for the season
  • Disliking - having to go to work on my day off, cold feet
  • Appreciating - fab landlords, good friends
  • Laughing at - one of the girls at work accidentally calling a colleague 'old' she meant 'senior' as the colleague is in a senior position!!
  • Loving - being sent pictures of my great niece

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Selling property... absolute hell!!! At least that has been my experience and it's not one I intend to repeat for a very long time (if ever).

I admit that my sale was made harder by the fact it was a part rent / part buy property which meant that the landlord had to be involved in the sale as well - just what is needed, another layer of bureaucracy!!

The estate agents and solicitors were both appalling (Ward & Partners and Quality Solicitors Martin Tolhurst if you want to avoid them!). In general I think the solicitor only actually did anything if I was nagging her. To be fair to the housing association the girls I dealt with in the resale department were lovely but it appears that no-one in the organisation talks to each other so I was getting crap from one department when another department knew the answer etc etc.

This was the third offer I had had on the flat and so I was understandably nervous of it all going tits up, hence my keeping very quiet about it! It took six and a half months from offer to completion and 28 months from first going on the market. And to think at the beginning I was thinking I might have to move in with M for a couple of months!!

Anyway, once we finally exchanged contracts it was all systems go with getting my stuff shifted etc. There was a window of opportunity for the boss to drive up but as the sale dragged on that soon passed. As you know I don't drive so I got a couple of quotes from removal companies which ranged from £600 to £1000 - yeah, I gasped too! This is when I was very glad of Facebook as up popped Mr Removal on one of the Exeter sites. I got in touch and was quoted a much more affordable price that would include them packing up what was left to be done (I'd packed up quite a bit on a visit home in March).  They were fab, doing the whole thing in a day, having no issue with me not being at the Kent end, and just being generally nice chaps!!

I had purchased a double hi-sleeper so that I would gain the floor space taken up by a bed and I just had to smile sweetly at my landlords to move the current bed out so that I could get the new bed put up before all my stuff arrived. That would also involve sleeping on the floor for a bit as the landlords bed was a king and the hi-sleeper a double and my mattress was still in Kent!!  

The above was bed for a week - a camping roll mat and my doubled over duvet!
All set to have a friend come over to help put it up when he went and busted his shoulder. Some may say madly I decided to put the bed together on my own!!

And there you have it - bed put together single handed, all the stuff moved out that I wasn't going to use and everything else in a pile in the corner. I kept the chest of drawers and bookcase, and obviously the built in wardrobe. The cardboard boxes held what had been taken out of the drawers under the bed, bedside table etc.

After the removal men had been it looked like this...

At this point in the proceedings there was a book case and two wall mountable display cabinets in the hall, another bookcase and desk in the landlords study, plus some of the kitchen and bathroom boxes in their relevant rooms as well!! I managed to get the stuff off my bed that night so I could have a proper nights sleep but that was about it!

Ten days later the two bookcases and desk are in my room. The display units are still in the hall as they will be heading to storage. The boxes that were in the kitchen have been unpacked and almost all of their contents found homes. There must be at least one other kitchen box somewhere under the bed though as there are definitely some things missing - like my toaster!

I have a walkway from the bedroom door to the window and I can get at the bed and a comfy chair. I took two bags of stuff to the charity shop this morning and have already got some more stuff to go. 

The 50+ scrapbooks are going to be gone through. I will photograph things that I would like to remember and I will give myself a set amount of space that I can fill with physical items.  I'm thinking one of these bus suitcases from Cath Kidston!!

There will be stuff going to storage but this will be space that I'm not paying for and I will be VERY strict with myself about what I really want to keep that I just don't have room for here.

I'm getting there albeit slowly.

I love Exeter, my landlords are fab and on a good day I love both my jobs (although they have their moments like any others!!).

So I start my 38th year on the planet with a negative bank balance, surrounded by boxes, but feeling like a huge weight has been lifted. Smiles all round!

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

New Toy

I am a member of the Morphy Richards trial panel (I'm not getting anything for doing this before you ask!!)

Every so often I'll get an email asking for opinions on a new appliance they are designing. The questions will often start with a few different pictures and cover such things as size, price, looks, what it does etc. 

On some occasions you'll be asked if you'd be willing to test an appliance at home and if you agree you may be chosen to do so. 

Well, a while back, a survey came round about a new slow cooker and as always I said yes to testing and one arrived on Monday!

Here it is in all it's glory being used for the first time. 

But what is so special about this one I hear you cry? - well I hope I do because I intend to tell you!

As well as being a funky red, having a digital timer and keep warm function, this ones secret is in the crockpot itself. Rather than a heavy ceramic pot this one is metal. That makes it an awful lot lighter but the main advantage is that you can use it straight on the hob (except induction). Slow cooking doesn't brown meat and many recipes therefore suggest you fry up meat and some veggies to start them off which means an extra dirty pan. (I'm not too bothered about browning my meat but there are many people that find it odd!) So with this one you can put the crock pot straight on the hob, brown your sausages, mince, chicken etc, add your other ingredients then put it directly into the slow cooker, set the timer and off you go. As an added bonus when the timer finishes it automatically goes into keep warm mode. 

So tonight's dinner is cooking (Caribbean chicken) with minimal washing up to worry about!

Let's hope it tastes as good as it smells!

Simply Being Mum has a habit of naming her slow cookers and I've decided I'd name this one Mokey!! Wonder if any of you can work out why (it's a bit convoluted!!)

Oh and at the end of the trial period you get to keep whatever it was you were testing!!

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Books - part 2

Started 10th July (ish!)

Peter Robinson - A Necessary End (detective story)
Oliver James - Affluenza (a study of the 'Affluenza' virus, it's effects and vaccines)
Ken Follett - A Place Called Freedom (story set in 18th century England)
Sylvia Nasar - A Beautiful Mind (Biography of mathematician John Nash)
Raymond E Feist - The Kings Buccaneer (Fantasy)
Tracy Chevalier - The Lady and the Unicorn (Historical romance)
Ken Follett - The Key to Rebecca (Spy thriller)
Ken Follett - Hammer of Eden (Terrorists running amok)
J. K. Rowling - The Casual Vacancy (small town goings on)
Kylie Chan - Earth to Hell (strange heavenly Chinese goings on!)
Kylie Chan - Hell to Heaven (more of the above!)
Kylie Chan - Heaven to Wudang (having now finished the second trilogy of these I discover there are more!!!)
Jennifer Worth - Call the Midwife (memoirs of an East End midwife)
A. M. Homes - This Book Will Save Your Life (story a man finding himself)
Dani Ripper - Promise You Won't Tell (chick lit, sort of!)
Mariam Kobras - The Distant Shore (kinda chick lit where not a lot happens. It's the first of a trilogy, I won't be bothering with the rest!)
Pseudonymous Bosch - The Name Of This Book Is Secret (kids adventure book!)
Long Time Coming - Edie Claire (romance and ghosts)
Ken Follett - World Without End (sequel to Pillars of the Earth, set a couple of hundred years later)
Mary Roach - Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers (think the subtitle kind of covers it!)
Raymond E Feist - Shadow of a Dark Queen (more fantasy, 1st book of the Serpent War Saga)
Raymond E Feist - Rise of a Merchant Prince (2nd book of the Serpent War Saga)
Raymond E Feist - Rage of a Demon King (3rd book of the Serpent War Saga)
Raymond E Feist - Shards of a Broken Crown (4th book of the Serpent War Saga)
Raymond E Feist - Krondor the Betrayal (1st book of the Riftwar Legacy)
Raymond E Feist - Krondor the Assassins (2nd book of the Riftwar Legacy)
Raymond E Feist - Krondor Tear of the Gods (3rd book of the Riftwar Legacy)
Raymond E Feist - Honoured Enemy (1st book Legends of the Riftwar)
Raymond E Feist - Murder in LaMut (2nd book Legends of the Riftwar)
Jimmy Perry - A Stupid Boy: The Autobiography of the Creator of Dad's Army (self explanatory really!!)
Raymond E Feist - Talon of the Silver Hawk (1st book Conclave of Shadows)
Raymond E Feist - King of Foxes (2nd book Conclave of Shadows)
Raymond E Feist - Exiles Return (3rd book Conclave of Shadows)
Raymond E Feist - Jimmy the Hand (3rd book Legends of the Riftwar)
Raymond E Feist - Flight of the Nighthawks (1st book Darkwar Saga)
Raymond E Feist - Into a Dark Realm (2nd book Darkwar Saga)
Raymond E Feist - Wrath of a Mad God (3rd book Darkwar Saga)
Paige Toon - Pictures of Lily (chick lit)
Dean Crawford - Immortal (a potentially plausible story of the secret of youth)

Only got 5 Feist books left to read before it'll be time to read the very very last one...