Saturday, January 31, 2015

Here I go again

This morning I acknowledged the inconvenient truth that I have put on an uncomfortable amount of weight over the holiday period, mainly because I have deserted my grain-free sugar-free ancestral diet principles to soak up copious amounts of seasonal tucker. Time for action before it all gets out of hand and five kilos becomes fifteen.

So I am back on Dr Mosley's 5 : 2 diet. It's a good diet and it works. The only downside is the two fast days and these are bearable with a bit of self-talking-to.

I'm on a fast day today. Not enjoying it.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Weather whinge

So it's come to this. It's 2 o'clock in the afternoon and I'm too wiped out to do anything except sit by the open ranchsliders watching a three year old episode of Graham Norton. (But Eddie Izzard is a guest, so it's time not wasted. RDJ and Jude Law are also on, what a treat.) But I digress.  The reason for this enervation (is that a word?) is the weather - the hottest summer in years. Day after day of hot, humid, windless sunny days and sleepless nights. No energy, I'm a blob. I'm sick of it! It's too hot! I want some rain! RAIN, do you hear me, weather gods!

Summer. I'm over it. Roll on autumn.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

That's just mean!

I've just been out into the garden to get a lemon for my vodka and tonic and someone has pinched all my lemons! The tree was loaded this morning. Now all that are left are the ones that are too high up to reach. Oh well, I know, very minor in the scheme of things but disappointing all the same. (The tree is just a few steps up the drive and very easy to reach from the road.)

If I had some of this, I wouldn't need lemons.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Gail pies Deirdre

"Ken, do something!" What Ken does, is to try not to laugh. Farewell Anne Kirkbride. She will be missed. I'm a lapsed Corrie fan, I haven't watched for years, but I always liked Deirdre of the outstanding neck tendons. 

Monday, January 19, 2015


I've had a rotten cold and cough recently and a kind friend gave me a bottle of Stone's Green Ginger Wine, urging me to drink it with lemon juice and hot water. Which I obediently did. Enthusiastically. It didn't help my cough but it was good! And oh, the nostalgia. I was immediately transported back more than three decades to my nursing days when after coming off duty a group of us would pool our funds to buy a half bottle of whisky and a bottle of Stone's ginger wine. Cheese on toast, ginger macs, and if we were lucky a few off-duty junior docs would join us. Those were the days!

An extraordinary man

I've always liked Scottish actor and entertainer Alan Cumming, and I read good reviews of his autobiography when it came out a few months ago, so when I saw it in the local library I picked it up. And wow. What a story, what a remarkable man. The abuse, psychological as well as physical, that he and his older brother suffered at the hands of their monstrous father is almost Dickensian, and yet he writes about it without a trace of self-pity and even a dash of humour.  Now I don't like Alan Cumming any more, I love him.
The uneasy relationship between Alan and his father is only part of the story though. Through the BBC programme "Who do you think you are" Alan discovers the grandfather he never knew, his mother's father, Tommy Darling. Tommy Darling was a war hero, brave, kind and respected, everything his father was not. The two strands are skilfully interwoven with understanding and clarity. This is a brave book.

The episode of "Who do you think you are" that triggered it all is on Youtube, and is well worth watching.

Saturday, December 20, 2014


Would you look at this face?

Who could resist this smile! Not me. It's Richard E. Grant of course. Lanky, witty, totally irresistible British actor.  I've been enjoying his series "Hotel Secrets". currently on television here in New Zealand. It's such a pleasure watching this clever and erudite man exploring the world of luxury hotels. I particularly enjoyed the episode set in Venice.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


I came across this wine the other day. A wine with my name on it! What could I do, I ask you. I had to buy a case of it. Fortunately, it's delicious.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Charming and delightful

I've just watched "Begin again", a modest and unpretentious little movie with a big feel good factor. Mark Ruffalo has always been a favourite of mine and here he epitomises rumpled charm. Plus he has great hair. Kiera Knightley is beautiful (and thin) as ever and thankfully goes for wholesome rather than glamorous, and even the obnoxious James Corden gives an endearing performance. The dialogue is sharp and witty and the music is great. I loved it!

I was given this lovely outdoor pottery bowl for the garden yesterday.  I like the way the glaze shimmers and shines.

This stunning red lily is blooming at the moment:

Another picture of the wild poppies in the herb garden, suffering somewhat from being blown to bits by the wind. That's the bee bath in the background.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


Unexpected poppies! I've just come back from a few days up north, and I always like to check on the garden when I've been away. These gorgeous self-seeded poppies have sprung up in the vegetable patch. What a beautiful splash of pink among the green.