The Rest of My Life and Nutty Granola

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It only took me two days to finish The Rest of My Life by Sheryl Browne

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You can’t run away from commitment forever …

Adam Hamilton-Shaw has more reason than most to avoid commitment. Living on a houseboat in the Severn Valley, his dream is to sail into the sunset preferably with a woman waiting in every port. But lately, his life looks more like a road to destruction than an idyllic boat ride…

Would-be screenplay writer Sienna Meadows realises that everything about Adam spells trouble but she can’t ignore the feeling that there is more to him than just his bad reputation. Nor can she ignore the intense physical attraction that exists between them.

And it just so happens that Adam sees Sienna as the kind of woman he could commit to. But can he change his damaging behaviour or is the road to destruction a one-way street?

Well, I was gripped right at the beginning with this one….even though nobody likes infidelity, we all know so many people who have cheated or who have been cheated on….it’s almost just because we are only really human…but, can people change…and there is always a story behind the scenes should we want to take the time to find out….

Adam (in my head, Ian Somerhalder),  even though doing it all wrong, still has endearing qualities, the obvious ones aside…Sienna (obviously in my head this is me…because of the whole Ian and me fantasy) , a writer,  needs help to rewrite some of her less than steamy scenes and Adam is indeed her man….(I mean, who wouldn’t)…

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A shameless excuse to cast your eyes over Mr Somerhalder…..

The story takes us through communication problems, misunderstandings, near drownings,  broken hearts, assaults, alcohol misuse, family issues and much more…it is the very things our lives consist of…..the things we all seem to struggle to get right, after all, not one of us is perfect…..

I also have a little thing for Nate (oh it’s the Vampire Diaries thing all over again….without the Vampires….and any Diaries….) Sheryl can you continue this story with Nate as the main character….I think there is so much more in this character to explore….

I don’t usually read a book in two days but this was one of those stories that sits in your head and keeps you going back for more….when you really should be cooking or cleaning or sleeping…you just want to finish it…but when you do…you wish you hadn’t yet….

And now I am left with no books for a day or two until my next delivery….

Today was also a day for creating some Nutty Granola….like you do on a Sunday….

This was so easy, makes loads and tastes great….and you know exactly what’s in it….

I used about 340g of runny honey

300g crunchy peanut butter….I like Whole Earth Crunchy Peanut Butter, 454g

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750g rolled (porridge) oats

45g sultanas or currants

100g macadamia nuts

150g cashew nuts

60g mixed pumpkin and sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 170C/Fan 150/325F

Line two baking trays with baking paper.

In a saucepan gently heat the peanut butter and honey until melted together then pour it into a bowl with the oats and mix together until coated.

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You need to spread it thinner than this in your trays, I had to keep taking it out and mixing it so as not to burn the top bit and have no crunchy bits on the bottom….

Bake it for 12-16 minutes but keep checking it to see when it becomes golden….then let it cool….it gets crunchier as it cools….in this time you can scrape out the saucepan because it tastes like soft toffee…we all need a little treat now and again….

When cooled just stir in the rest of the ingredients…get creative there are so many different things you can put in there, what about chocolate chips and chopped dried apricots??  Then keep in an airtight container and try to not eat it all at once….it’s also great with ice cream and with yogurt….Easy peasy and so much better and cheaper than buying it already made in a box…..

And on that note, tired and granola stuffed we find ourselves at Sunday night again….

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cup of tea and bedtime for me…

Geri xxx

What Would Mary Berry Do?

So, today the UK went a little mad….and when this happens what do you do….read and escape for a short while….

I have just finished What Would Mary Berry Do? by Claire Sandy…and this surely was a book I didn’t want to finish because it was just so good.  I bought it for my sister for Christmas and she enjoyed it so much she has passed it on to me to read and I in turn must pass it on to my mum to read, the joys of a real paper copy…

Marie Dunwoody doesn’t want for much in life. She has a lovely husband, three wonderful children, and a business of her own. But her cupcakes are crap. Her meringues are runny and her biscuits rock-hard. She cannot bake for toffee. Or, for that matter, make toffee.

Marie can’t ignore the disappointed looks any more, or continue to be shamed by neighbour and nemesis, Lucy Gray. Lucy whips up perfect profiteroles with one hand, while ironing her bed sheets with the other. Marie’s had enough: this is the year it all changes. She vows to follow – to the letter – recipes from the Queen of Baking, and at all times ask, ‘What would Mary Berry do?’

Husband Robert has noticed that his boss takes crumb structure as seriously as budget cuts and with redundancies on the horizon, he too puts on a pinny. Twins Rose and Iris are happy to eat all the half-baked mistakes that come their way, but big brother Angus is more distant than usual, as if something is troubling him. And there is no one as nosey as a matching pair of nine-year-old girls . . .

Marie starts to realise that the wise words of Mary Berry can help her with more than just a Victoria Sponge. But can Robert save the wobbling soufflé that is his career? And is Lucy’s sweet demeanour hiding something secretly sour?

**This is a work of fiction, in no way endorsed by Mary Berry, and where neither Mary Berry herself nor her recipes feature.**

For me, so many Laugh Out Loud moments….so many familiar scenarios, so many familiar characters….aren’t we all really just Marie Dunwoody and everyone else is Lucy Gray… Even the best cooks have had to learn and the best behaved children become moody teenagers…The most ideal relationships have their moments when everyone else seems to be doing just fine….Haven’t we all dressed up in kinky underwear when we didn’t feel like it and then find the bedroom devoid of male company…what? You haven’t done that??

I love Marie, I love Lucy and I love the whole lot of them….now I did finish this book very late last night so might have to go back over the last few pages because I don’t recall finding out what Lynda will call her unborn baby….if it’s not in there I feel the need for a book number 2….

Now, even though I am not a Bake Off watcher I still enjoyed it…. I do wonder what Mary Berry would make of it….What Would Mary Berry Think??

So well written, now off to see what else Claire Sandy has created….

Finally onto The Rest of My Life by Sheryl Browne, I seem to have had this one on my pile for ages!!! Off to bed early to start this one tonight….I am sure Sheryl won’t disappoint…

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Just putting in my order for Real Food Projects: 30 Skills. 46 recipes. From scratch

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This looks pretty amazing….with how to churn your own butter and make your own no knead bread….how to make your own sausages and cordials from scratch…has to be worth a go…even though, as you are aware I have quite a few cook books already on the go…currently working through the Lucy Bee Cookbook…

Georgia and I went to our first yoga class yesterday evening…

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It was so good….we will be doing some tomorrow morning….and every morning and when we get bendy enough we will let you see us doing it….just getting the breathing right is quite amazing….being the worlds best shallow breather it’s just what I need…. Lots of practice ahead…and maybe new yoga clothes, we shall see….

Now to go and create something tasty with salmon!!

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Geri xxx



Cauliflower Pizza and Indoors Picnics

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As usual, Cornwall is getting the usual summer heavy rain downpours….this is nothing new to us here…so, unless you can get yourself a tent like this…

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….you are either playing in the puddles, dancing in the rain or having your very own adventure indoors, throw up that pop up tent and fling out the picnic blanket on your living room floor….win, win situation folks….

Perfect picnic food….the cauliflower base pizza, we finally tried it out….

The base was wetter than I had thought it would be so there was no rolling it out like a dough and I think I should have squished it a bit thinner to make it crispier with cooking but as I like pizza but it’s not my favourite food I actually preferred this…We had lots of chili spice in our base and no dried herbs and on the top we had tinned tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, olives, goats cheese, feta cheese and mushrooms.  We served it up with potato wedges baked in Lucy Bee Extra Virgin Fair Trade Organic Raw Coconut Oil 300ml
and salt…so tasty!!

If you want to have a go at the recipe yourself here you go – (we used ordinary plain flour as I had no buckwheat)

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE BASE

1 medium cauliflower, roughly chopped
2 eggs, lightly beaten
20g buckwheat flour
2 teaspoons mixed dried herbs
pinch Dukkah spiced seed mix
or dried chilli flakes
1 tablespoon lucy bee coconut oil, melted
himalayan salt
ground black pepper

FOR THE TOMATO SAUCE

1 tablespoon lucy bee coconut oil
3 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon mixed dried herbs
or 3 fresh thyme sprigs, (optional)

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a flat baking tray (a non-stick pizza baking tray is ideal) with baking parchment.
  2. Blitz the cauliflower in a food processor until it resembles rice grains. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the beaten eggs, buckwheat flour, herbs, spiced seed mix or chilli flakes, and some seasoning. Knead the mixture to a dough-like consistency.
  3. Roll out the dough evenly and thinly on the lined tray, making either one or two bases. A good technique is to spread out the dough, place cling film over the top and, using a rolling pin, roll out. Using a pastry brush, brush the melted coconut oil over each base. Bake in the oven for 25–30 minutes, until crispy.
  4. Meanwhile, to make the tomato sauce, melt the coconut oil in a saucepan, add the garlic and sauté until golden, then add the chopped tomatoes, lemon juice and herbs. Simmer for 20 minutes uncovered until the sauce almost resembles a paste, taking care as the sauce may stick to the pan.
  5. Spread the tomato sauce over the cooked bases and add your choice of toppings. If the toppings need cooking, cook in the oven for a further 15 minutes.

TOPPING SUGGESTIONS

  • Buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil Goat’s cheese and watercress , olives and crumbled feta Smoked salmon and rocket (add just before serving)

There are so many tasty recipes in this book, I have now moved on to a salmon recipe for later in the week…

                               Coconut Oil – Nature’s Perfect Ingredient

Affiliate link for more recipes above.

Now I have started this a little late after having to watch the first episode of season 7 of Pretty Little Liars….oooooh it was good!! So just a tiny bit of inspiration for indoors picnics for you before I drift off for bedtime reading….

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Shabby Chic Vintage Tent from Field Candy

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Beau & Elliot 27975 Filigree Lunch Bag – Blue

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Throw Pillow -Sofa Car Home Decor Gift Cotton Linen Square Pillows, 18 x 18 Inches, Flower

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Black Floral Print Pyjamas from Next

So, rain or shine….use your imagination….have some fun…

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Sleep tight…

Geri xx

Make An Entrance….

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I can recommend almost all of these….but, don’t spike the punch! I won’t deny once making the most wicked vodka and orange punch that had friends face down in the long grass in the garden with both shoes missing….you know who you are…if you actually remember it…but for this very “I did that once” reason, just don’t spike the punch….

As I have started with some gorgeous technicolour it would only be right and proper to continue with some artistic content…

I recently made a bracelet based around a poppy field clay centre piece and I really love it..

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You can still find this one in the Pink Cobwebs Etsy Shop.

But I am not here to blow my own trumpet (which delightfully links to the title picture), I am here to introduce you to the DitsyBlueBeads Shop

This is where I bought the centre piece for this bracelet.

All pieces you find here are made by a lady called Karen Trezise and are totally and utterly captivating.  She is indeed a very talented artist.

Karen says here latest collection of beads have been inspired by ‘The Secret Garden’ by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

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Covering themes of friendship, love and the healing powers of nature.  They are beautifully made, packaged so carefully and were delivered in super quick time.  I also have some of Karen’s roses which I haven’t yet used but eagerly awaiting a project.

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Everybody knows how much I love flowers and butterflies and such like but alongside these lovely items Karen makes Cottage Bracelets, these so remind me of Cornish coastal villages, complimented by the most beautiful beads….I am so in awe that I shall share the links directly to the Ditsy Blue website for you….please don’t purchase them all, I have this on my ever growing (actually far bigger than my budget) list…you know, that list we all have, but I am steadily working through it…one book and funky bead at a time….

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By The Sea Bracelet

Pebbles Cottage Bracelet

Rock Pool Cottage Bracelet

You will find Ditsy Blue on Facebook

On Twitter

On Pinterest

On Instagram

On Flickr

and on Folksy

Most certainly grab what you can quickly now because I have the feeling these items won’t be sitting on the shelf for long….

So, remember to make that grand entrance as you know you should, get yourself some quirky unusual and artistically magnificent pieces…..

I should move on to Whistle While You Work next, but as I have never really been able to whistle we might have to give that one a miss…

I can snore though,  off to bed to partake in some….

Geri xx



What to wish for on the first day of Summer

As it’s officially summer and today it has in fact rained all day for hours and hours and hours and we have been subject to the traditional Cornish mizzle sea mist,  today is a very good day to do a little window shopping and discover some new websites.  None of these links are affiliate links and I haven’t used all of them so should you feel inspired to purchase I would love to hear your buying experiences, good or bad….fingers crossed for good…..

For entertaining, now the weather is supposed to get better how about an update for your tired lights….The Garland – Gold Etched Metal Floral Ceiling Light Shade from Habitat

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Currently at half price in the sale just £10, it comes as a flat metal sheet with a continuous strand of metal that can be wrapped around a light bulb into any shape or form, giving you the chance to get creative.  Use different light bulb colours for warm effects.

I am already imagining that our garage is finished, we have decking and we are claiming back some garden from the building site….how about giving some lovely smells a try…

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Taking inspiration from Welsh Hill Farmers my favourite to try here is the lavender hand cream…I can almost smell it… No artificial smells or colourings here and not tested on animals…you can purchase these at Such And Such. Then go ahead and read all about the makings and beginnings of the Welsh Lavender Farm here.

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How to find them….”The turn for our farm is 4.5 miles south of Builth Wells off the B4520.
From Brecon, the turn is 13 miles north from the Cathedral off the B4520.
WATCH FOR THE BLACK FARMERS’ SIGN!
Our farm is 1.3 miles in.  The road is curvy and hilly and feels longer than 1.3 miles so persevere until you find the farm. There is a sundial on the front of our stone farmhouse.  The more adventurous may enjoy taking the back road from Builth Wells via Maesmynis.  We are 3.3 miles from the T junction at Hospital Road.”  A little bit far away for us down here in Cornwall, but a visit to a lavender farm is now on my list…that ever growing list of things to do and places to visit….I Googled,  it’s not a lavender farm but I found…

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Cheristow Lavender tearooms and gardens, pretty close in North Devon….camping facilities and beef farm….they obviously put the jam and cream the wrong way around, but this is going to be worth a day trip on the next North Devon visit…..

Are you decorating, complete wallpapering style decorating?? We have a hall way to decorate at some point, but this comes after the garden and after the lounge is cleared of all clutter….go for some summer vintage style cuteness with this Chinoiserie peony design reproduced from a fragment of hand-painted wallpaper from Canton, China, 1800–25.

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You will find a wide range of colours and designs at Graham & Brown this one currently at half price £10 a roll.

No shopping spree in the UK would be complete without a hot chocolate….our summers being not as hot mean yummy hot chocolate all year round….this is a potential winner and high up on my shopping list…

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You will find this one at the future kept a website run by Jeska & Dean Hearne who believe in buying less and buying better….a lifestyle we are struggling towards day by day in our battle against the clutter…quality over quantity…hot chocolate over anything else….

Light and airy bedrooms….try H & M

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Duvet cover set just £14.99, white walls and light weight curtains….all we need now is the sun!

When you are browsing new websites you will come across items from a different world….I found this pretty book…

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Wow, £1750.00 – that’s a whole different planet to mine right there….a new arrival at the Conran Shop someone tell me is that price for real??

Bringing it back down to my price range, some lilac porcelain latte bowls from Anthropologie

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£3.50 each and in a range of pretty colours.

Enough summer window shopping…..

Hopefully have pointed you in the direction of some new websites….

Geri xx

What have YOU always wanted to do?

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You know, I’m not entirely sure how I would answer if somebody started up a conversation in this way….I mean, how much time do you have to chat exactly??

I’ve always wanted to be super fit,  to make things, to paint things, take photographs, write, have a tidier house, the garden finished, decking and sun chairs, live somewhere sunny, be a great cook, a people helper, a ray of sunshine, make people laugh, make people feel happy,  have great fashion sense, have my own fashion sense, eat properly, drink more water, grow vegetables, cook those vegetables, the list goes on….and on….

Sometimes there are just too many things on that list, the overthinking begins and then absolutely nothing gets done and the years go by just thinking about it….

I finally made a start….Georgia and I are off to yoga next week….if poor Ethel hadn’t failed her MOT we might just have made it there this week…worry not, she just failed on a windscreen wiper and a back middle seat belt so she is going to be fit for another year, and there I was checking out her replacement….just in case….

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So, what to do if you aren’t sure what you want….I can’t tell you any better than Mel Robbins does…

Just click here for some guidance…..help you to decide what it is you really want!!

I have started by contacting a yoga class straight away and will be jotting things down here almost daily until you are bored with seeing it….

Regarding the house being tidier thing…I have a daily list, I have a weekly list and I am working through it…if cleaning the fridge seems like a huge task after a busy day working and then cooking tea and then sorting out the dishes etc etc etc….just clean one of the shelves and schedule the rest for tomorrow, but be sure to do one of them…it’s likely tomorrow you will only do one but by the end of the week, clean fridge!!!

Crossing things off that list, now that’s job satisfaction…the cats baskets have been cleaned, the microwave is clean….I must confess that Ethel should be cleaner and when she passes that MOT I promise to get the vacuum in there….

I have had to put the beads and jewellery away for a short while whilst I get through the massive task of decluttering and sorting….but, I have to put together an earring tutorial and a bookmark tutorial….tomorrow I will be bringing you this along with some of the sources I use for guidance and for purchasing the beads and findings I use….

Short and sweet but it’s late and I have some reading to do!  Decide what you want to do folks and take action on it, don’t spend too long planning, just do it….

                          Stop Saying You’re Fine: The No-Bs Guide to Getting What You Want

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Did I mention I should have been a fashion model…no? I guess there are limits….Check out  ASOS. for some crochet playsuits if you are embarking on some hot holidays….

I still have lots of summer jewellery in the Pink Cobwebs Etsy Shop

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And have a look at Kat below modelling a necklace I made….a saucy burlesque minx…

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You will find Kat’s Instagram pictures here…..

I said short and sweet and now everyone here has gone to bed already….I have the joy of rounding up cats and putting them out in their baskets…CLEAN baskets, yay!!!

Stop procrastinating, take action…

cheers and gone!

Geri xx

The Cosy Teashop in the Castle

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I have not been spending enough time reading….I confess, I have been blue lighting in the bedroom….yes, the dreaded phone….

So, once again the mobile phone is banished from the bedroom and the books are returning….I shall be checking Facebook once in the evenings because any more than that quite frankly eats up my time like nothing else….it’s that feeling of maybe missing something important…but what is more important than doing a little living,  trying things out, reading, meeting people, cooking, gardening, learning, chatting…..

The last book I read was The Cosy Teashop in the Castle
by Caroline Roberts

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“Can Ellie bake her way to a happy ever after?

When Ellie Hall lands her dream job running the little teashop in the beautiful but crumbling Claverham Castle, it’s the perfect escape from her humdrum job in the city. Life is definitely on the rise as Ellie replaces spreadsheets for scones, and continues her Nanna’s brilliant baking legacy.

When Lord Henry, the stick-in-the-mud owner, threatens to burst her baking bubble with his old-fashioned ways, Ellie wonders if she might have bitten off more than she can chew. But cupcake by cupcake she wins the locals over, including teashop stalwart, Doris, and Ellie’s showstopping bakes look set to go down in castle history!

Now all that’s missing in Ellie’s life is a slice of romance – can Joe, the brooding estate manager, be the one to put the cherry on the top of Ellie’s dream?”

This is one warm and fluffy story.  It ticks just about all of my happiness boxes…castle, cakes, bunting and pinkness on the cover, cosy teashop, interesting and mysterious man….. It feels gloriously a little National Trust, a little English Heritage with a Bake Off flavour….

The characters are endearing, a little eccentric and hot chocolate sweet with just the right amount of spice….

You get the added bonus of a cake recipe in this one which I will try and share at a later date….

Not everything goes to plan for Ellie and there is a little twist in the tale which I had figured out before it is revealed, but did not dampen my enjoyment of this tale….

It’s a perfect snuggle under the bedcovers or devour on the beach story, easy to read and a proper page turner…..I was not disappointed.

I must admit at this point, yes, I must reveal….that I sat with Caroline in English for many years and she was always the brightest in the class and annoyingly the most glamorous…but incredibly lovely with it….so I am so pleased to finally be reading some of her hard work….

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Be warned though by the time the next book comes out I will have cleared out my shed boxes and there are sixth form party pictures in there….(evil cackle)….

Talking of boxes….here they are….

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 You know when you move house and you sling everything into boxes and then they go into the shed never to be seen again….well, our sheds had to come down to make space for the new garage and now those boxes are in the lounge….yep, there is a room in there somewhere….luckily it’s more of a winter room.. but between now and Christmas this all has to be sorted through, sold, charity shopped, thrown away….just a tad worried about what might be living in the bottom of those boxes…but I shall tackle it with a rolling pin in one hand….

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So, things are busy, Ethel goes to most likely fail her MOT tomorrow, depending on transport, yoga classes start next week….I find touching my toes difficult these days so look forward to getting my flexibility back….aim, to do the splits again! I could once you know…. now I am off to read…phone staying securely in the kitchen…

Go get Caroline’s book if you like a good romantic story!

The Cosy Teashop in the Castle

Geri xx