Remember ...

If not now, when?

Sunday 31 January 2016

Who Would Have Thought ...

.. that something so beautiful and sustaining can result from just a little thought?

I have 4-5 orchids going on at any given time which fortunately are on differing flowering cycles, so whichever is flowering gets to go in the No. 1 spot, the kitchen window sill.  Sometimes several flower at once and that creates a magnificent display.  The added whammy is that these plants keep dishing out on the giving, several times a year, every year.
The lack of nurturing?  I water them only when I remember, read "rarely", and prune them back after the flowers die ... IF I remember. 
Such great mileage from my undemanding, robust and beautiful babies.

... that something so beautiful and sustaining could result from so little effort?

This simple but what I view as pretty display of colour comes from a miniscule amount of thought and effort.  So me!  A few bright pink hydrangea heads cut and brought in from the garden in autumn, plonked in an old junk shop jug with a bit of water - and then no more care, no more water. 
They quickly turned a beautiful mauve colour and didn't dry out like my previous attempts at drying hydrangeas had.  They show no sign of deteriorating.  They keep giving me super colour on often bleak winters' days.
Such great mileage from so little effort.

... that on just Day 3 in the Bloggerhood, my lack of thought and effort would turn on me?

I sinned. 
We went out for a meal with my longest-standing friend outside of family (it's our Golden Anniversary next year!) and her lovely hubby.  I should have some nice piccies taken in an atmospheric pub-grub location, the Rockie.  Piccies with my best mate.  Piccies of nice food. 
What I have is a pic taken just before we left the house, as I committed the Cardinal Blogger Sin and left the house sans camera.
If I am to take my new interest seriously, a camera should now be like a second skin to me, something NOT to leave home without. 
But I did.  Forgive me BlogSpot, for I have sinned.
Of course, I could have taken photos with my smartphone, but it is "entry level" (not my words but those of the salesman).  I should have taken a moment to think what might be behind his words.  However, I bought it on the spot, signed up for a two year contract and boy, have his words frustratingly resonated big time as I subsequently experienced his description first hand
- it takes truly AWFUL photos!. 
It is smart enough to take a phone call, but I think smartphones are supposed to do more than that.  That's what makes them "smart" and not just "phones".
Anyway, I digress. For what it's worth, here's my one shot of the lovely evening.
I am wearing a black Dotty P blousey tunic thing under a Peacock (yes, PEACOCK!) waterfall leather-look jacket, both AW14, over Next lift-and-sculpt jeans, AW13 and finished off with some Gabor black nubuck above-ankle heeled boots. also AW13. 
As I have mentioned before, I am a BIG fan of Gabor boots and these have taken a pounding as they too go equally well with jeans and trousers, skirts and dresses.  Yet no repairs required in three winters and my not-unsubstantial body weighing down on them daily, and they look like they are going to remain that way for many years to come. 
Gabor footwear ROCKS!

So what have I learned from these experiences? 
Sometimes you luck-out and get wonderful results from little effort. 
Sometimes you get just what it said on the tin.,
And sometimes you have to put in some effort and pack a bloomin' camera!

Wednesday 27 January 2016

My First Time!

Well, this is all a bit of an experiment.  I'm testing the site for the first time today after setting it up a year ago, you could say I don't charge into things too hastily. 
I'm working with a relatively new laptop and Windows 10 which is even more irritating than Go Compare adverts, so you will understand my frustration which hopefully excuses my probably pretty pathetic first attempt at a post.  I'll also have a bash at putting on some photos but they were taken with my little pocket Canon IXUS - if anyone out there knows how to get a better photo from it then I would really appreciate you time and guidance as they look as though they are taken with a Kodak Brownie.

I'll expand more on me and my intentions for the site once I've got over this gigantic First Time hurdle, but I can assure you that my intentions are honourable.  Here goes with my first go at pasting a photo:

Overnight stay at La Grande Mare Country Hotel and Golf Club.

Now that photo pasting malarkey seemed to work. Phew.  Photo hurdle.  Done.. 
Our comfortable room, which comes complete with a fully equipped kitchenette.

We don't give each other Christmas presents so I usually give us a little pamper treat after Christmas to perk us up during the gloomy month of January. My needy cat can cope with a night on his own, just about.

 Last Friday we overnighted at our golf club hotel.  It's just a five minute drive from home so it's no biggie if we forget anything.  But it feels like a weekend break to us!
The food is good and the service always friendly and professional. so we tend to use the restaurant quite a lot for lunches and the occasional dinner.  It's pretty much our favourite eating spot.

The room has a balcony which looks out over the very pretty golf course.

Ready to hit the restaurant.
I try to use much of my old clothes "stash" as I have so many from my corporate working life. I am also careful when spending on new clothes, being an OAP and, well, tight! 
The top is from Next AW15, the skirt from a Principles suit bought 16-17 years ago which I resurrected at Christmas (it's red, simples).  Good old M&S Opaque tights, several years old - they just don't give up, and some REALLY comfortable "snakeskin" heels from Clarks AW15, topped off with a chunky wood and so colourful necklace somebody gave me a few years ago, I can't remember who but I am so grateful. I wear it so much, summer and winter.  The colourful wooden spiral bangle was given to me by a friend bought on business trip to South Africa.  Again, thanks big-time this bangle gets worn throughout the year and goes with so much.
There!  That's the long and very detailed provenance of this simple outfit.

So, after a G&T in the bar, Tanqueray of course, on to the restaurant and my starter was a salad of  smoked salmon and Guernsey crab (the BEST crab in the Whole Wide World! Fact.).  So fresh tasting, that's good ingredients for you, prepped by a good chef.

Now on to a little bit of luxury.  Lobster served in a warm garlic butter sauce, new potatoes and salad with aioli to dip into.  Simply perfect!

The apple crumble and Le Hechet ice cream (also the BEST of its breed) must have been wolfed down before I could click the camera!  After our belly-buster we just about managed the few yards to the lounge, where an old comfy leather sofa invited me to sit back and enjoy a double espresso, perfect ending to a lovely meal and a lovely evening.

Next morning, the view from our balcony - a bit misty (it IS January, after all).

Looking towards the golf course. The course has a fair few tricky water shots to contend with, but it is so beautifully landscaped and is an uplifting course to play on.

Breakfast was superb  - no surprise.  Wonderful sausages and a pretty amazing tasting piece of bacon with the scrambled eggs on my plate.  The restaurant sources some really good local produce.  D had the kipper which I am told was, yup, superb!

Oops, taken into the early morning sun but just wanted to show you that I travelled light for the 5 minute trip!  Same skirt worn with a long-line Woolovers jumper (I am a BIG fan of Woolovers and you will see a fair few pieces shown over time).  A Tie Rack silk scarf, red/black/cream, bought about 20+ years ago, I just love it and its sister which I (thankfully) bought at the time in a putty/grey/black combo.  They are both so useful.  The knee boots are Gabor. Anna I think, bought 10 years+ ago, again I bought their sister in brown the following winter and again I am so glad I did.  I have worn them throughout each and every winter, alternating them, every day at work, then have worn them out of work evenings and weekends (they are truly comfortable and so versatile with a small heel).  I still wear them frequently now that I am retired. They are like a second skin to me.  And here's the biggie that justifies that loooonnnng build-up - I have NEVER had them repaired.  And they look like new.  Still. AND I have hardly ever polished them. Amazing boots.

LGM for an overnight stay, dinner and breakfast.  Highly recommended.
Buying 2 of really good things, also highly recommended.

There you have it.  My first attempt at using this site.  After all this work, I hope I can find the button to release this post.  I am so excited that I probably won't wait to spellcheck, so apologies in advance for typos.

p.s.   The cat was still talking to us when we got home on Saturday morning.