Sunday, 28 February 2021


My lovely friends Lucy and Steve gave me this mirror for my birthday ..... how wonderful was that !!!! There is a little story about it that I thought I would relate ! About 35 years ago, I saw this mirror in an antique shop in Hertford ..... I loved it because it had the art nouveau copper inserts which would go well in our house as we have lots of original art nouveau fireplaces. Slightly ' off piste ' to give you a bit of background, our house was built by a theatrical costumier, wig maker and hairdresser named Walter Waller in 1890. 

He lived in Paradise House which was beautiful and way out of our league. He was obviously into building property and built three houses, one of which is ours ..... The Laurels, The Briars and The Ivies. Obviously artistic, he had a flair for interiors. I was told by our local historian that, when building a house in the late Victorian/early Edwardian era, you  just popped to the local fireplace shop and chose your fireplaces .... well, he really chose well in our house { well, I think so } .....

..... anyway, I digress, back to the mirror ..... where was I ? .... Oh yes, I saw this overmantle mirror so, measured it, went home and checked it would fit and thought that I would go back and get it a couple of days later only , when I went back, the mirror had gone. A few weeks later we went to see our friends Lucy and Steve and, low and behold, the mirror I coveted was hanging on her wall !!!! Her Mum lived in Hertford and had bought it for her ...... fast forward thirty odd years and they gave it to me. I told them that I would cherish it ..... I was obviously meant to have it ..... eventually. 



Monday, 1 February 2021

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME ..... & it's a big one !!! ..........

It's February 1st and it's my birthday !

..... my 70th !!

..... a milestone & I'm very happy to have made it !

Because of   ' you know what '  đŸ˜· , there won't be a big party or family celebrations but there will be presents, cards, good food and drink and much FaceTime .


{ Do you think that I have a very long neck ? !!!!! }



Friday, 1 January 2021

A NEW YEAR BEGINS ..........

Happy New Year everyone. Thank you all so much for all of your support throughout 2020 ..... here's to a wonderful 2021 for us all.



Friday, 25 December 2020


Wishing all of my blogging friends the Merriest Christmas that you can have under the circumstances and here's to lots more blogging friendship in 2021.
Thank you for all of your kind, funny and supportive comments ..... even though I haven't met most of you, I think of you as friends and hope we can share another year of the same in 2021.

Sending love to you all for a very merry Christmas and a  happy and healthy New Year.



Tuesday, 22 December 2020

DECK THE HALLS ..........

Christmas in tier 4 !!!
Not Christmas as we know it but, I have no reason to complain as I am far better off than many ...... if I feel a bit down then all I have to do is think of all of the workers in the NHS { our daughter and boyfriend included }, all of the frontline workers and those in hospitality, those who are worried where the next penny is coming from and how to pay their mortgage, pay bills and buy food etc and those worried about their jobs ! 
Maybe we are on our own this Christmas but, we are so lucky to be living in an age of technology so that we can see our family, if only on a computer. 

Wishing all of my blogging buddies as merry a Christmas that you can have and here's to a brilliant 2021.


all photos via me


Saturday, 5 December 2020

BACK to the FUTURE .....

This will look a bit strange what with snow falling on my blog and Christmas just around the corner but .....


I've entered these photographs into the David Austin competition on my Instagram account  ... distressing_the_laurels ... into the categories Best Rose Bloom and Best Rose Climbing up an Arch/Pillar/Pergola ! There are zillions of entries so I don't stand a chance but it was fun to do. The photographs that win will go into the 2021 David Austin Roses UK Handbook.
It was something to do as, I cannot believe how organised I am for Christmas ! I have written our cards, bought all of our Christmas presents and even wrapped half of them ! All that's left to do is wrap the other half of the presents, dress the Christmas tree, do the other decorations and cook Christmas dinner !!  
Hope my photographs bring back memories of the Summer months of blue skies and warm sunshine. 
I think my ' Jackie ' has gone missing again and, Blogger won't let me Preview ! Arghhhhhhh !
 all photographs via me

Sunday, 22 November 2020

.......... AND SO IT BEGINS

You will be pleased to know { or not ! } that I have started my Christmas preparations, even though we are not sure what sort of Christmas we are going to have. We usually go and choose our Christmas tree every year but, this year I have ordered one from Croft and Cole ..... fresh cut and delivered to my door in mid December.

I have also started buying presents. I have quite a lot to buy ..... our children, their partners, grandchildren, sister, brothers -in-law, neices, nephews, the neices and nephews children, cousins, cousins children etc. etc
Christmas has always been a wonderful time for our family. As a child, our parents made it so magical even though we weren't rolling in money. We always had a real tree and, I can remember my mum dragging it back from the shops ! We would all be part of decorating it ..... often with a few arguments ! That moment when the lights were turned on for the first time was fairylike and so magical. Then there would be a trip up to London to see Father Christmas and Uncle Holly at Selfridges ..... do you remember Uncle Holly ? ..... and, eating hot chestnuts bought from the man on Oxford Street and having a knickerbokerglory at Lyons Corner House and, if we were lucky, seeing a show at The London Palladium.
Apart from his day job, my Dad played in a band at weekends. He used to take an empty gin and whiskey bottle with him and, when people offered to buy him a drink, would gradually fill the bottles up, ready for Christmas !!!!! ..... and then there was Christmas itself. Going to bed on Christmas Eve and leaving a flat pillow case at the end of the bed to wake up on Christmas morning to see that pillow case overflowing with things and bulging at the sides ..... nothing was very expensive but they were all amazing to us. Board games, books, paints and paintbrushes for me, gold chocolate coins, a chocolate tool kit that tasted soapy but who cared .... eating chocolate at 6.00 a.m was brilliant. And then, after breakfast, our aunts and uncles and cousins would come round and there would be more presents .....  a leather netball, Jacko roller skates, more games, something from an old aunt that was a bit boring ..... we would open that one first !! 
The above photograph, taken in the mid 1950's,  is my Dad being Father Christmas at his works Christmas party !!! That's me on the end on the right with the red face, wearing my delightful bolero, knitted by my Mum ! My sister is on the left, also wearing her delightful bolero ! The Father Christmas outfit leaves a lot to be desired ! Looked as if it had been well-used and pretty moth-eaten but, we didn't care. I think we knew it was our Dad and were told not to say anything ! Our Dad loved to take photographs. We have hundreds of those tiny black and white ones when we were on holiday but, there aren't any of Christmas. There are some movies but I can't find any stills ! Maybe he was too busy, playing in the band and getting his bottles filled up or drinking too much of the gin on Christmas Day ?!! { actually, he looks as if he's had a couple of gins in the photo .... he looks a bit dishevelled !! }
I hope that we made the same memories for our children and that our grandchildren find it all just as magical. 
Well, there are just a few memories of my Christmasses .... what are your special Christmas memories ?

image 1: via vogue portugal, image 2: via pinterest, image 3: via me