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Wednesday, 23 May 2012

The Gallery Picture Postcard

Tara's theme made me smile because I knew I had so many picture postcard moments. But now I am paralysed with choosing one or maybe just narrowing it down to half a dozen maybe? Will that be allowed. Top of my list, Bamburgh Beach circa 2006


Closely followed by this

And rounding of with this, taken by daughter, top photographer in the making on mothers day. One I will remember for a long time for being truly special.



Monday, 21 May 2012

Gold Medallists


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First past the post, that the aim of the game. The Olympics embraces the competitive spirit something that we seems to beating out of our children  in schools as we see Sports days diminish, stickers awarded for just taking part and being first second or third no longer being celebrated. I am not sure this really prepares youngsters for later in life where competition run strong in the big wide world.

However enough of my mini rant as the Royal Mail are certainly embracing competitive spirit and are setting their goals high with the introduction of not just a new sets of stamps which will make brilliant souvenirs but they have set the bar even higher. High enough for a champion high jumper even. Oh yes they are going to produce a stamp which will feature, wherever possible, photographs of the Team GB athlete or team in action from their gold medal winning final. This will be the first time any host country has used action shots for Gold Medal stamps and issued them next day, during the Games. This will also be a first for next day stamps from Royal MailThat sounds like quite a challenge to me. If TeamGB win as many gold or even more than the 19 they won in Beijing that will be an enormous feat for Royal Mail.  The self same stamp will be on sale the very next day. How do they do this? This is some challenge! Will the Royal mail win a special medal too for fast turnaround? Gold for exhausted for those picture editors, graphic designers, printers and drivers will swing into action, working around the clock to bring us a wee affordable piece of Olympic & Paraolympic memorabilia.

To make sure you get yours Gold Medal stamps will be on sale at 500 selected UK Post Offices by lunchtime the next day and on www.royalmail.com after each gold medal win by Team GB. They will then be distributed three times during the Games to a further 4,500 Post Offices nationwide .Many of the 500 selected Post Offices will, for the first time, open on Sundays during the Games. They re going out all guns here.

If you want to make sure you get your paws on the stamps you can register your interest here

Cmon TeamGB! Cmon Royal Mail!

Viral video by ebuzzing

Monday, 14 May 2012

Make do and mend



As the economic downturn continues along with perpetual weight loss there comes a time when you really do have to buy some clothes. The work wardrobe looks better on a clothes horse at the moment and if one more person asks where has my ass gone I might just shove it in their face. (If you had told me 10 years ago that  I would be eating for England to try and put weight on I would have laughed in their face; before you ask it's a stress diet, anxiety is great for tearing up the calories apparently.)

So we have a work wardrobe to sort, a wedding to go to and attendance of milestone birthday of mega celebratory proportions. So far I had saved- yes actually physically saved cold hard cash for this purpose, a staggering £60. This was not going to go far. In fact this could not even stretch to one frock, a trouser leg never mind accessories. Dilemma!

As a teenager you could always find me foraging in a charity shop. I even have a couple of items today tucked away in my wardrobe that I cant bear to give away. They don't make 'em like they used to. Fortunately I am blessed with the best charity shops on my door step. Where ladies that lunch ( and shop ) drop off their wares for souls like me to pounce on and treasure. But would they rise to occasion and provide me with what I needed? Or would they fail and leave me with that horrible empty unfulfilled shopping feeling? The working wardrobe was becoming the biggest problem. Having got 5 suits and only 1 that you could say fits this was my most urgent need. With this is mind I managed the following

1 dress by Reiss - £6.99! This will do for both wedding and work
1 shift dress by Florence & Fred £3.99 - love a good shift dress - work attire number 2
Brand new never worn bright orange linen skirt M&S £ 3.99 - I love it!
1 Nougat top long sleeve in caramel colour £4.99 -  Too good for work
1 skirt Autograph M&S - 3.99 - patterned and perfect for work summer wardrobe
1 Wonderwoman Tee - £3.99 - by this time I was feeling like wonder woman and was embracing frivolous shopping mode
A staggering £27.94!
I then did the purchase of a pair of new tees and a black cardi from M&S along with a much coveted green one £9.99 from H&M & I think I'm done. I love my charity shops and over the past couple of years have got some brilliant bargains and resisted temptation for  a Joseph cream skirt suit, LK Bennett dresses to name but a few.

As a self confessed shoeaholic I'd love to buy a new pair of work shoes and in fact did but took them back as they weren't quite right. A pair of nude suede wedges perfect for my Reiss dress were calling my name like the sirens they are. I have so far managed to resist but I may not be able to resist their pull any longer. I have to run a gauntlet of Moda in Pelle, Dune, Kurt Geiger and numerous boutique shops to get through town.  I must not buy, I must not buy.

The suits are on stand by waiting for my newly discovered lady that sews to take them in and I think I can hold my head up high again and my ass will be no longer hidden. My wedgie sandals so loved will have the elasticated bit where you fasten them, mended. A regular frequenter of moneysavingexpet.com helps me along and I've been savvy with some things and not so with others. I read the online stylist with envy as she describes things as being an affordable luxury and then reel beck in horror when I see the price such as a tee for £125! I have a good job but on single income and 2 teens there's not enough to go round and I'm not sure I would ever spend that on a tee and don't begrudge those that can. But please dont use the word affordable and three figures in the same sentence. Affordable is 2 for a tenner in this day and age. You'll be telling me people pay more than monkey for handbag next!

India Knight's "The Thrift Book " sits with pride on my shelf and many of  her ideas from porridge oats body scrubs, cheaper make up and holidays have been taken on board. Learning to sew is my next challenge and if successful I may even create my own label. Aiming high.



PS If I could I would have bought this from Mint Velvet for wedding but then would have needed shoes too. No change out of 200 quid there then




Monday, 7 May 2012

My 1970's

.. And then these blokes would dress up and paint their faces black with big white lips.."
My daughter looked astounded." you mean like "Hello Dave?"
Yes I mean like Hello Dave. - me
This was Saturday night entertainment? - her, incredulous
Nodding - me

I give you the black and white minstrel show.

This was the TV of my youth along with Abbott & Costello, Laurel & Hardy, numerous Ginger Rodgers and Fred Astaire movies, wrestling with Big Daddy, Mick McManus and latterly Giant Haystacks, not forgetting the Lone Ranger and a large amount of westerns too. When Saturday morning Swap Shop came on we were saved. but even better I think the TV was so horrendous that you felt compelled to turn it off and go do something less boring instead.
I can remember the utter joy of the Muppets and fear the music of News at Ten and Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected brought on me.The public announcements, the ads about not playing near water and boys falling off tractors in LUFC scarves & northern accents. Not forgetting the Green Cross Code ads. So yeah I know how to cross the road.

Holidays were always staycations and towelling t shirts seemed a necessity along with attractive headscarves (not.) Post holiday you would write to your new pen pal a few times until you got bored of writing and forgot what it was you had in common in the first place as opposed to wapping them straight onto facebook and then looking on their life from the sidelines thinking what on earth did I see in them?

Chilling seemed to involve climbing trees, riding on my bike, building dens, rushing out to the ice cream van or chipping in to buy loads of space dust. Homework was always done and you always did what you parents said. I'm beginning to feel nostalgic for a time where I also seemed to bored a lot too.

All of this was probably done whilst I was attired in a brown stripy tank top over a shirt with very long lapels and flared jeans and a bad haircut eating Spangles. And yes we did seem to spend a lot of time in photo booths then, you have instagram now!

The accompanying theme tune would have been 10cc or Carly Simon which if I remember rightly were faves of mums.


So 1970's - how was it for you?