Remember ...

If not now, when?

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Keeping Dry in Summer

Hi maties, how's it going?
Here it's been all sorts of things.

Difficult today.  Because it involved ongoing health problems with hubby and cat.  All at the same time and all resolved, thankfully, and nothing too serious. but trips to vet and A&E were involved.  And stuff to deal with back home after.

Exciting yesterday.  Because I was on a Boxing 100K high.

We went out for a bite to eat to celebrate my 100K views milestone.

Theory.  I was going to wear a dress and enjoy the 10 minute walk to the restaurant.  So summery. 
Reality.  Following on from our recent thunderbolts and lightening (very, very frightening, Gallileo!) I wore jeans and we took the car because it was pelting it down by the time we were due to leave home.

So, instead of some slip of a dress, I wore my M&S 501s, Next top, The White Company taupe cardi and Jones wedges, this being the brown version of the wedges I showed you a week or so ago.

The wedges are example of when, back in the day, if I liked something, I bought it in another colour too.  BUT, not a frivolous waste of pennies it turns out, because now in retirement I am a paradigm of investment dressing (!), for I am enjoying the fruits of my investment, in shoes, cardis and so much more.

Today's "so much more" being handbags. 
A matchy-matchy brown leather Gianni Conti bag, to be precise, from my Working Girl days. I adore it.  And OMG, I have just googled them and they are still making lovely bags, all these years later.
   But I made a point of showing you my GC today as a evidence that I am wearing handbags again, now that I have found that they can do sooo much more than carry filofax, business papers, make up, spare tights etc.  They can carry practical stuff, like pensioner cardis and scarves. paint tins, cat food, fish and bone fertiliser, the sort of stuff which fits better with my life today. 
However, my life yesterday was nothing more than going out for a bite to eat and carrying a camera, phone, purse (wallet),  retractable hairbrush and lipsalve.  I am pleased to report that only the first of those items was used!

The deal was that I'd "let" The Photographer take me out to dinner if he dropped me by the door and he alone would walk from the car park in the deluge.  For I was not fully dressed for the weather and was he not the one with the vision to throw a rain jacket in the back of the car?

Call that a deal?  How did I get away with that?  But it worked as here I am, bone dry.
Cheers !!!

A la perchoine

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Time to Celebrate!

I wrote my first post on this blog 18 months ago.
I told just three family members and two friends of its existence.  That was my starting base
At precisely 14.45 on 20.07.17 (sounds like I'm announcing a birth!) my page views tipped into 6 figures.  Yes, I stayed glued to my screen as I watched the figure move from 99,999 to 100,000.  To say I was excited and humbled is an understatement.
So I cracked open the champagne!

I am overwhelmed when I realise that so many ladies (and a few gentlemen) have found the time and the inclination to read me, and to keep coming back.

I love to receive your comments, that is one of the most satisfying aspects of blogging.  A blog can be a very lonely place and to receive comments thrills me down to my marrow!

Readers and fellow bloggers are such kind and helpful people, and so generous of their time.

I'll write soon about why I started the blog and what I get from it.
But I just wanted to share my exciting news with you and say
Thank you sooooooooooo much
for popping in!

A la perchoine

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

What is This Life ...?

Well, disaster, darlings!
We had a thunderstorm and a lightning strike directly overhead.   A thunderous single crack lasting no more than a few seconds.
 I happened to be sitting in the room where the wifi router is located.  I saw a flash of light in the room, for just a second.  I fear I may have been Frankensteined!
No surprise that I discovered later that we had no broadband connection on any devices.

So we've had a few days of trying to sort things out.
After many helpline conversations and fault finding missions, I picked up a new router today but we're still not there, it's not functioning and the hotline A Team are now on the case.   I'm typing this on Kindle as weirdly the router log-in has managed to piggyback off someone's WiFi in the hood onto this device. It's the only device that's functioning which means I'm on slow one-finger typing.  What a palaver!

Has this happened to you?
How did you cope?  Did you carry on regardless or run around like a frustrated headless chicken?!

The house benefited from my off-line status. With no keyboard twiddling to be had, I took to cleaning and organising the house.  That pleased The Photographer and, surprisingly, me too!

I hope it'll be business as usual for me soon.
But anyway, me and my one finger are here, so let's move on.  

Earlier in the week,  I enjoyed two school sports days spread over the one day.
I count my blessings that I am such a lucky granny to be able to participate in my little treasures' special days.

I felt inspired to take a selfie for you half way through the day.

And to show you the lawns on which sports day is held.

I am on cloud nine when I get to go this type of event.  I get a little over-excited and am close to tears of happiness.  
So emotional.

All the children did wonderfully and were so happy, enthusiastic and energetic.  What an amazing experience.

The school kiddies were lucky enough to have their special event on a glorious day.
It was hot, I doubt they noticed ... but grannies do!
So when Son and DIL invited me round for a refreshing Jacuzzi whilst they and The Photographer watched the first of the new series of Game of Thrones (I don't follow it), I jumped!

 I quickly slipped on a long Primani maxi.

This is its first outing this year.  It was excited too!

Under the maxi I wore my black tankini from Bravissimo, ready for some bubble action!

What a pleasure it was to soak my body in that bubbling Jacuzzi, looking up at the beautiful summer evening sky.  Watching the smokey wisps of cloud drift by, listening to the chatter of evensong, then letting my mind drift away as the sun itself began to drift behind the trees.  And to add to my pleasure, a hunky Samoyed was watching over me as he lay on the nearby sunbed.

What bliss.

What is this life if, full of care
We have not time to soak and stare.

With apologies posthumously to W H Davies for tweaking his words ever so slightly to make his poem Jacuzzi-friendly.

A perfect day, from start to finish.

Have you been lucky enough to tag along to any sports days this summer?

Now, dear reader, something special is happening in Pout World. I'm getting close to 100,000 reads.
Yes, I'm more than a little excited!
I'm displaying the number in the top right hand corner of my page to mark the event.  If you just happen to be the one who tips it into six figures, I'd be thrilled if you let me know in the comments box that it was you who crossed that magical threshold!

A la perchoine

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Yellow and Cacti Flowers

My house is a mess!
The building work continues and the men clean up after themselves, but the house feels dusty and messy and a bit Work in Progress.

So I've turned my back temporarily on the house and am giving all my focus to the garden.

This past week I've been painting wood panels in the pergola and sprucing up all the wooden and metal garden furniture.  Hence my rather embarrassing number of visits to B&Q for paint, the insatiable old furniture is drinking up any paint I splodge on it.

Dress code for painting garden furniture?  V. old and battered jeans and a long sleeved t shirt.   And even fully covered up, I've managed to have paint  seep through both garments on to the skin underneath!  Messy, huh?

So it was with arms outstretched that I greeted the entry in my diary on Thursday, which simply said "night out with the girls".

It was so nice to shower after that day's work (painting garden table and chairs), slap on some slap, and throw on a pretty frock.
Isn't it wonderful how just throwing on a simple dress can change your day.  Your mood.  From garden toiler to summertime fun seeker?!!!

Next floral linen dress, 2-3 years old.  Doesn't yellow make you feel so fresh in summer?

Our rendezvous was the Rockie, which I've featured many times before so I won't bore you with the internal and external shots and pics of my yummy food, for you have far better things to do with your time on a beautiful day.  The evening was sunny and hot.  We had fun,  eating tapas by open doors overlooking the sea, drinking a crisp, beautifully chilled Sauvignon Blanc and chatting.  Boy can we chat when we catch up!

It was such a lovely feel, that feel somehow being "human" again in dress, comfy shoes, doing something for a few hours that didn't involve a dust sheet and paint pots!
And they call this retirement?!!

Yes, I'm spending much time out of the house and in the garden.  Which is fine when the sun is shining.

 Recently I had a "duh" moment, which is rather embarrassing for someone who thrives on analysis, process, ergonomics, time and motion ...
I moved closer to the garden hose all potted plants that require daily watering, like tomatoes and peppers, that sort of stuff.  And I moved all plants which require infrequent watering the fartherest away from the garden hose's limits.
It has made watering so much easier.  Why oh why did I not think to do this years ago?!

Not only is my daily watering routine so much easier, but the plants seem to love their new spots.
The cacti are loving banishment into the wilderness, shoved in an afterthought sort of corner of the garden.
They all seem to be flowering.  For the first time!

This cactus got eaten by some creature last year.  As you know, I don't give up on most things, including plants.  So although it looked awful, I felt it was alive and deserved a place in the garden.
A few days ago I noticed a weird growth coming from it.  Next day, a beautiful white flower appeared!

So proud of my desert survivors!

By mid afternoon today, I splodged on my last bit of paint on our garden furniture for this summer.  I finished my last brushstroke on the metal table and chair and walked away from the garden.
I ceremoniously tore off my battered jeans and t shirt, threw them on a heap in the utility room and walked away, and suggested that the equally hard working Photographer do the same when he'd finished his last steamer chair.  It felt good.

So good, that I'm off to celebrate with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.  Sitting out on the patio.  Admiring all my freshly painted garden furniture.
I hope you're enjoying a lovely Saturday.  Maybe enjoying looking on some of your efforts in the garden.   Maybe enjoying a glass of wine or bubbly.
Wishing you a happy rest of weekend.

A la perchoine.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Black in Summer - The Photographer's Choice

Another less than blindingly hot day, so I've leapt in with another of my Slouchy Casual steals.
Slouchy Casual seems to work for cooler summer days when I have nothing more than a few errands lined up for the day, a.k.a. a date, Photographer style!
I want some cover, an extra layer and an easy casual style.

Here's my attempt and here's what I was stealing.  Oh how I long for that chunky plait!
The outfit I was stealing is very simple but I was rather keen to try it.  OK, I shouldn't really need a blueprint to put this together, but then that's why I am on this blog.  Because I need help.

Do you "steal"?  Is this something you would steal or wear?  And do you go out in public "slouching" your cardi, i.e. off the shoulder ?  Please comment below because I'd love to know!

All in black.  Per Una skinnies, Peacocks long cami and necklace, M&S cardi, Jones wedges.  And for my blogging trickery, I chose a  Next sunhat for it was a no-make-up/lazy hair day.

The Photographer made me laugh.  Something about me making slime.  Couldn't stop giggling.

Have you come across Slime?  Going back to my childhood courtesy of the GKs, I've joined in the search for the ultimate slime recipe.  If you have grandchildren, you may have come across it.  Apparently, it's a big thing and there are so many YouTube posts about making the perfect slime, which is a gooey mixture that well, sort of slimes off your hand.
My store cupboard was sadly lacking in vital ingredients, so I was given a shopping list.

I went looking for cornflour, apparently the vital ingredient in slime making.  I spotted a young boy, about 12 years old, looking bewildered by the flour aisle.  I helpfully asked him what he was looking for.  "Cornflour", was his replied.  I excitedly replied "Me too, are you making slime as well?"  "No, I'm making shortbread" was his answer.  Talk about role reversal.

But back to the outfits.
Although not heatwave standard, it was around 20c and I felt the winter cardi above would be too warm for the day.

So I tried a loose Next crepe de chine style shirt and let's be brave,  a lesser hat.  Nah.  Didn't like it.
And aw heck, subterfuge be gone - let's get rid of the hat trickery.

This is a comfy go-to.   My v. old M&S stripey cardi.  And no hat!

The black column is the perfect foundation for a play around with  layers.

Still lots of giggling going on.  TP does make me laugh.

Just a mention of shopping in heels here.  I am so enjoying upping my shopping attire because I am adoring clacking around the aisles in heels.  I feel so sassy.  One's walk changes in heels. 
I will not tell you how I described my style to TP, but I did liken myself to something "high class ..." and the rest was rather naughty!

I experimented with bags, starting with my little pink leather Tula then moving on to a larger Tula ivory leather bag.  With room to carry paint tins!
Oh how my life has changed.  When I was working, I was rather fond of Tula bags.  This big summer bag was often a substitute for my heavier briefcases.   I used to schlap around with this ivory bag stuffed with paperwork in files or my black leather portfolio, pens and calculator, postits, notepads and then only in my last few years, a heavy laptop - this was BITD before iPads and iPhones.  Can you imagine that now?!!  Modern Day Working Girl doesn't know she's born!
Over the years, I amassed quite a collection of Tulas which, of course, I hardly ever use in retirement.  I use pockets generally.  But now realising that they make great paint carriers, all that could change!

Anyway, back to the outfit, again!  Gawd, don't I ramble?!
As The Photographer was taking me out (B&Q and Waitrose, plus ca change eh?!), I told him he could choose which outfit I would wear for our "date".  More giggles, as I knew what the answer would be as I was asking the question.  It is always the last outfit, the one I am wearing, as we will then leave the house without further faff and delay.  And the response? "The one you're wearing".

Do you seek your partner's advice on outfits?
Is the response honest, political or diplomatic?

So out I went, wearing The One I Was Wearing, but no hat. Instead I chose my trusty The Fly sunglasses which manage to hide most of my not-made-up face.  The hair I could live with.

Do you use the hat and big sunglasses trick on a dress-down day?
Or perhaps you never leave the house without coiffed hair and full make up?  
I used to be that girl. 
But so much has changed in retirement, like daring to show my naked face publicly.

Out on our date, shopping in smart attire (and hiding naked face), I bought some pretty coloured garden furniture paint in B&Q.  I think you will like it. Pics soon.  I'm going off to slap on paint when I finish this post.  Which is probably why I'm rambling and this post is turning out to be much longer than intended.  Procrastination, blogger-style.

Now, I gave you a pic of me on a B&Q date the other day.  So, you need a Waitrose shot to complete the set.

(Don't fret that you can't open these, it's just hair flying in the breeze and not worth the effort of a YouTube load - I'll save that for my Ultimate Slime Recipe!)

After two attempts to take a pic (not a film) outside the shop with the Waitrose name showing as proof of visit, using the phone in strong sunlight which blinded the screen, I was finally successful inside the supermarket, where I show you evidence that I was in Waitrose.  Perhaps akin to a hostage shot with the current newspaper, eh?  Or in audit/compliance-speke,  if it ain't evidenced, it ain't done.

Maybe I just felt the need to prove that The Photographer does really take me "out".

A la perchoine.