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If not now, when?

Monday, 29 January 2018

2 Years + 2 Acts of Bravery

Hi my dearies, hope you are well.  I thought I was well, until I realised that I'd missed my second anniversary with you. Ooops.  This was MY FIRST TIME HERE..  Yes, I missed it by two days.

So I've been blogging for 2 years.  And 2 days.
It's been an amazing journey, to coin that over-used cliché. Or should I say it's been amazeballs?  Because I've picked up a few Americanisms along the way.  But what can I say, language is my jam - oh, and there's another!
 Many many MANY MANY times in the past two years I have thought to give up, to stop blogging. I'll tell you about that sometime.  But I'm still standin', as my mate Elton would say (yes, my mate, I met him in Stockholm BITD, such a nice guy)


To celebrate my 2 years and 2 days anniversary, I'd thought I'd go a bit out of my comfort zone with my garb of the day

With a white shirt!

White shirts don't suit my shape and my colouring.  But I had a whizzo idea of softening the blow with a jumper.  A leoprint jumper, bien sur. I chose one of the two white shirts I've attempted to make work for me in the past 10 years.  This one's a Next long version which I let show below the hem of my jumper.  It has tucks and seams going on so it frills a little at the bottom - I kinda liked that.
I added pearls and I think they bring a lady-look to what could be viewed as something a little on the edgier side of pensioner. 

What do you think my dearies?  Do you think I could be brave enough to show you me in this shirt without the woolly camo?  Maybe let you decide if I can do white shirts or not?

My 2nd act of bravery to mark this special 2+2 anniversary was my first choice of skirt.  Leather.  This skirt is coming up for 20 years old.  I've never worn it on the blog before because I stopped wearing it; I thought it looked too short on me.  And TP certainly agreed with that.  But today I manned up and wore it.  And y'know, TP said "Maybe it's not too short after all". 

And I think I've worked out why we both softened to this skirt today.   Opaques.  Gabor Pollyanna boots.

My view is a leather skirt needs the right backdrop, the right leggage.  And this was it.
What do you think, dear reader?  Can I get away with wearing this M&S so-soft leather skirt again?

But perhaps leoprint + leather was a step too far for this old bird.  So I then went for safety with a wool skirt, also old, also from M&S.

The extra length and little side kick pleat thing going on make it comfy. And it is an old faithful.

What do you think, sweeties?
Is a leather skirt a little "trying too hard"?  Maybe a little mutton dressed as lamb?
Is leather AND leoprint just laying things on a little too heavily?  A little too Bett-ish?
Is a longer wool skirt where I should be at, given my pensioner status?
Should I not be going for safety in my garb?  Every.  Single.  Time.  ?

And for those of you non-Brits who haven't got a clue what Bett-osh is, here's our Bett.

Bett Lynch was a barmaid in the Rovers Inn, a pub in a soap called Coronation Street.  She was your archetypical warm and friendly barmaid and became a national treasure.
She was also known for her leoprint style of dressing.  It's her legacy.
So I may be Lady Leoprint, but Bett is forever the Queen of Leoprint!

A la perchoine.

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Don't Dream, It's Over

Well peeps, I've said adieu to my dream.

I'd been wanting these Carvela berry beauties for so long.  They were my dream shoes.  

But though I adored them, after trying on these comfy booted heels a couple of times, I accepted that I wouldn't get much use out of them.  They're not the boots for the life I lead ... now.

They would have been perfect in my former life.  Oh I can just picture them, accompanying smart skirted suits and classic dresses.  They would be the dot over the i, as the Danes say.

These booties are just so simple, yet elegant.  And so comfy.  
Slide foot in ... and off you strut.

I loved the finish at the back, which made slipping on effortless.

But they had to go 😢, I just couldn't justify the expense given that as a pensioner, what there is of disposable income has to be spent wisely.
Of course, I had to have one last blast with them before they were sealed up ready for the return journey.  I tried them with a couple of skirts, just giving them one last chance.  But head ruled and my shoe dream was over and cosseted in tissue and cardboard they disappeared in a puff of Royal Mail smoke.

But no time for tears because Gabor Pollyanna fit my lifestyle and that's what I've kept.
They are a dream to wear.  Just the right amount of heel that my instep needs.  Great grip.  And they are leather, so I TP can keep them nicely polished.

Of course, getting to this purchase was arduous and I had to issue an apology along with the way !  I had to order 3 sizes, eventually ending a half size up from my regular size.  But I got there through dogged determination and with the help of John Lewis's super free delivery and returns.  Love that company.  

So when it comes to these berry booties beauties, my message to self is clear ...

... don't dream, it's over.

Now, dear reader, it's over to you ... 
Do you have any dream shoes in your sights right now?
And when it comes to buying footwear, is it your heart or your head that has the final decision?

A la perchoine.

Friday, 26 January 2018

Easy Peasey Chicken and Corn Bake

Something for the weekend, m'am?!
Well how about this simple dish?  I made this up recently and instantly fell in love with it.  It's a keeper!
This isn't science.  It's not baking, so the measurements and ingredients are quite relaxed.

Easy Peasey Chicken and Corn Bake

Apologies for the pic, we'd cleared our plates before I realised I hadn't taken a pic - here's what was left!

Serves 4 (plus leftovers as above!)


1 ready-cooked chicken (you will need all but the breasts which you can save for other uses).

Mixed frozen vegetables, enough to cover well the layer of chicken.  I used a mix of peas, broccoli, broad beans and green beans.  Chicken stock and seasoning, e.g. Aromat.

Topping: 1 416gr can creamed corn, approx.. quarter cup of mayonnaise, about half a pot of sour or double cream. Salt and pepper, tabasco, any chopped herbs to hand (coriander, parsey, tarragon etc).


1.       Take the meat off the chicken, keeping the breasts intact.  Reserve the breasts for usAe in chicken salads, etc.  Shred the remaining meat as you go and place in an overproof dish.

2.       Place the carcass and chicken skin in a saucepan, cover with water and place a lid on the pan Bring to the boil then simmer for 30 or so  minutes.

3.       Heat the oven to 200 c.

4.       Place a layer of mixed vegetables straight from freezer over the chicken.  Pour over about a quarter cup of seasoned chicken stock over the mix – this together with the ice from the vegetables will keep the chicken moist.  Save the remaining stock for soups etc.

5.       Place the chicken and vegetable mix in the oven.  Cook for 15 minutes.

6.       Whilst this is cooking, mix together a can of creamed corn, about  a quarter to half cup of mayonnaise (to your taste) and a few tablespoons of double or sour cream.  Season by adding salt and pepper and several good dashes of tabasco, according to preference.  Add any chopped herbs to hand.  Mix well.

7.       After 15 minutes of cooking, pour the corn mix to cover the vegetable layer.  Return to the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the surface of the corn mix is a light golden colour.

8.       Enjoy.

A la perchoine.

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Why British Bloggers Stay Indoors

Mad Dogs and Englishmen may go out in the midday sun, but British Bloggers stay indoors in winter.  I'll explain why.

 Right now I'm seeing lots of brave American, Canadian and Scandinavian bloggers out there in the crisp snow, photoshooting for the cause.  They may be freezing their designer socks off but they are dry and their hair tends not to be whipping around their cheeks in some kind of crazed combover.
Whereas we British Bloggers mostly stay indoors.  
We are putting together posts as best we can, with indoor shots, beauty posts, recipes and post reprises.  Yes, our temperatures are warmer, much warmer, relatively speaking.  But we have been coping for months with back to back storms, gales, torrential rains.  And we haven't been getting outdoors much.

On the occasional dry day we dash out there.  Outdoors.

We do what we can on the rain-sodden grass.

We dress up semi-snuggly, here in jeggings and my now-inseparable brown suede waistcoat mate.

The cashmere merino jumper is from Woolovers and has a useful multi-way neckline.  It's so simple, you just button up or down, depending on how snug you want to be.  Clever, huh?

Yes the latest round of storms are over bar the clearing of the smaller rocks and vraic (seaweed) debris brought over the sea walls.  The big rocks have been cleared away to make the roads passable.

The sea defences (simple planks of wood!) have been taken down.

And fortunately TP's car wasn't damaged by flying rocks, though it would have taken a bit of a beating if it hadn't been parked snugly at home during the storms.  Pity anyone who left theirs in the coastal car parks.

Whilst the storms are raging, maybe it's best we stay indoors.  And take scary selfies!

For as soon as we leave our shelter, THIS happens!

There is no place to hide

I thought I was pretty sheltered here.

But it appears that I wasn't.

Oh BTW, I'm pretty excited to tell you about my new accessory, shown here.  A takeaway coffee cup.
I've seen so many ladies on Pinterest accessorising with these babes and I had mug envy.  So I accepted a mug at the Waitrose checkout and instead of filling it with free coffee, I took it home for future use.  And the time was today.  I feel like I'm bang on trend now!

But I did get a froffycoffee in a proper cup.
The golf course is closed.   Still.  Goes without saying, really.  So on would-be golfday Monday we met up with fellow players in the golf club.  It was cosy indoors.  Think I'm starting to prefer this to actual golf!

But outside, it blew.

It blew my waistcoat inside out!

Think you're getting the picture now.  For we British Bloggers, it can be very difficult to find a day when the weather is better than this.  So these photos are as good as outdoor photos get.

Forlorn, I go home, all hope of getting even one decent shot now long gone.
Not even Mad Dogs and British Bloggers go out for photoshoots on our mostly windy midwinter days.

And that is why British Bloggers say indoors.

And why British Cats don't even bother to get out of bed!

A la perchoine.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Wine with The Neighbours

Burgundyberrywine.  The colour of my coated jeggings is perhaps
best described in this portmanteau, because I do believe that colour is in the eye of the beholder.
Plum, aubergine ... oh I could go on, but I will stop here because no matter what it's called, it's all shades of dark red and puce and it's going into so many of my outfits at the moment.
Looks like berry isn't just for Christmas. 
So when the neighbours down the end of the garden invited us for a neighbours' supper, I thought no further than berry coated jeans for my Saturday night out.  Out of the house, yes, but just a few yards down the track!  I don't think I walked off even one of the many tasty calories my dear neighbour put on my plate :-(.
The Outfit Bit

Yes. That colour jeggings, with a black tunic blouse.  I found a camisole in Peacocks for £4 last week and snapped it up as I saw immediately that it was the same colour as the jeggings and my gorgeous new berry knee boots. And bing-o, it was. This long cami is going to be so useful to column with the jeggings for putting together with cardis, and the occasional jacket if I'm feeling a bit more dressy.
Peacocks also have jeggings (not coated) in the same colour; yes, I was tempted but stopped myself for fear of going into berry overkill territory.  But they're really nice, if you fancy smearing a bit of berry on your legs.

I thought the pointy toed heels were perfect pitch for this night-out outfit, but practicality ruled the day night.  Yes, I only had to walk a few yards to my destination, but it was raining heavily, wind-ing even heavier, so as soon as I poked my nose out of the window I was inspired to swap for boots.

I'd worn the top and jeggings recently for another at-home supper at the home of friends.

Then,  I'd slipped a woolly jumper over the tunic that time, probably as I was at the tail end of sinusitis.
 I think the tunic on its own changes the outfit into something a bit more partyish. 
What do you think?
The Food Bit
I took no photos of the meal, respectful of the fact that it's post-Christmas and there may be a few serious dieters reading this.  But just want to say this.  When at our neighbours' drinks party before Christmas we'd talked about getting together a bit more frequently than once a year.  When our neighbour invited us for this supper the week before, I started rambling on about how it's the getting together that's important, and that I'd keep the food very simple when I host.  She totally agreed and said she was keeping her menu simple too.    She was doing a crab and prawn tian for starter, then a choice of sea bass or beef bourginon (or both!) for mains.  Pudding would be a citrus posset, lemon merengue pie and a fruit crumble.
Oh my!!!  That's simple?!!!! 
On the night itself she kept to a lighter touch.  Slightly.
The tian was delicious and I would have been happy to stop there.  But I didn't want to appear precious so I soldiered on.  For the cause, you understand.   
As we all chose to keep it light with just the fish for mains, she didn't serve the beef, but then did bring to the table a choice of cod or hake, both en papillote.  And she only served the posset, though the other two pudds were on the countertop if we fancied.  No, no, posset would be just lovely to round off the splendid meal, we all chimed.  So on to the table came the possets.  Lemon, lime, orange.  Yes, she'd made three types of posset!
And that, readers, is the act that I will be following!!!!
A la perchoine.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Light Touch 2018 - I Find A Waistcoat !!

Hi again, darlings, so glad you popped back again today.  You're a glutton for punishment!
Yesterday we talked about decluttering and Death Cleaning -  here's Part II of my  shaggy dog story.

Christmas came along and the bathroom tidy was put on hold, with me scratching my head over where to store towels and toiletries.  Fast forward to the first few days of this year.  Time to return the Christmas decs to the loft.  Yeah yeah, nothing to do with bathroom tidying, I hear ya!  But it does.  Read on ...

  I'd seen a blogger post of decs nicely stored in see through boxes.  
I had storage envy.

So out went the battered old cardboard boxes.  In came these beauts and things were looking good.  Apart from TP declaring that there was no floor space in the loft to store these beauts.  Thus early in January we found ourselves clearing a space in the overfilled loft.  A loft that has only existed for eight years, yet is filled to the gunwhales.
Obsolete luggage, lampshades ... you get the picture; charity shops and dump people don't know what's hit them!

Creating the space for the boxes also necessitated the clearance of a pile of wood we'd forgotten about, absolutely new wood which had been used to pack the kitchen we installed in 2010.   The dump man told us it just gets thrown on to landfill (a real shame), so we decided it would be perfect for shelves.  Shelves for the bathroom cupboards, declared TP. 

You see, the cupboards running under the eaves have no shelves.  So they have attracted the wrong sort of clutter.

Without prior notice TP decided to start on that little project last Saturday.
Of course, we first had to clear the bathroom cupboards of their, err, carefully curated items.
No nice way to put this bit, chaps.  Picture the bathroom floor covered wall-to-wall in old towels, curtains, cushions, yaddayadda, oh and toiletries, ca. 2010,  the year the cupboards were built.
I didn't take photos.  That upset me for all of two seconds, until TP responded with "Would you really like your readers to have seen the mess?!"
And he was right of course,   It was just toooo embarrassing.

I expect what I've learned at this point is that when you put stuff in a loft or a storage cupboard that isn't used frequently, things get forgotten.  Then they get so old (or out of date) that you don't want to use them by the time you do eventually become 
reunited with them. 

Fast forward to Friday just gone - almost all of the contents of the two cupboards have been dumped or taken to the GSPCA, save for a handful of cushion covers (and a few other choice pieces!), which I've laundered.  Shelves have been built.  Lighting has been installed.  Oh TP is a wonder DIY'er!
Storage boxes have been filled with towels, PJs and in-date spare toiletries.


It's all there bar the inside painting.

I am sooo excited.  It feels like storage cupboards have been magic-ed out of thin air, because they just weren't used properly previously, so it was like they didn't exist. But now that they are shelved and lit, they've identified themselves as what they are, very useful storage in a very small house!

And all because The Pout wanted to store her Christmas decs neatly in plastic boxes.

Now, I did promise you a shaggy dog story in Friday's post and I think you'll agree that this certainly is such a story.  Because at the end of this lonnnnng post, there is a link to the cinema outfit.  For, in amongst the mess in those eaves cupboards I found my few choice items, 3 suede skirts and a waistcoat.  So I threw them in the washing machine.  Yes, suede, thrown in a washing machine!  You see I had nothing to lose as they'd previously been wiped from my memory banks anyway and thus didn't exist.  And they've come out just fine.

And that is how I was able to wear a brown suede waistcoat to the cinema, peeps!

Decluttering is a First World problem.  I get that.  Declutterng this house has always been a "when I retire" sort of project.  But when I started to fear that someone might have to clear up MY mess, spurred on by seeing TP organising the total clearance of two houses (mentioned yesterday), well, the time is now and Death Cleaning has commenced.

And following my Light Touch 2018 approach, I'm dealing with one area of the house at a time, then moving on to the next on my list. It's light touch, little tweaks ...

So now I just have to ask you, what's your take on decluttering?
Is it not needed because you keep on top of things, ongoing?
Or do you have lightning speed purges?
And have you started thinking Death Cleaning ...?

A la perchoine.

Please note that the writer does not recommend washing suede and cannot be held liable in the event of laundry mishaps.  She washed hers because she had nothing to lose as the items would have otherwise been dumped.  Only chance washing suede if that's your situation too!