Image Map

Friday 30 December 2022

OCULUS .....

Our grandson got Oculus for Christmas ..... OMG ..... it's brilliant ! You can experience everything that virtual reality has to offer !

First you have a tutorial ..... you have a practice at picking things up and using the hand pieces. You are standing in this amazing sci fi space and you begin by throwing paper airplanes, picking up objects etc.

Then you progress to dancing with the above robot, holding his hand and twirling him around and a bit of freestyle ! Someone should have videoed me ..... I'm sure I looked ridiculous !

BUT, the best part came next ..... I progressed to the roller coaster ! It's just like being on one {and I LOVE roller coasters}
It is so realistic ..... I was getting motion sickness { but in a good way } It really gets your adrenaline pumping ..... the speed, the turns, the height ..... it is SO much fun. 
..... and, topically, you enjoy the ride with Father Christmas !


On a sad note, as you probably know, Vivienne Westwood died yesterday.
I loved much of her style { not so much the bonkers pieces but that was her ..... she loved to shock }

RIP Dame Vivienne



Sunday 25 December 2022


Wishing all of my blogging friends the merriest of Christmases.

Whatever you are doing, have a great day, 

Eat, Drink and be Merry ,

Thank you all for your blogging friendship, your posts which have made me laugh, cry , enlightened me, touched me and have given me food for thought. 

I still think blogging is the best social media platform even though it is now thought a bit like it's had it's day ! 

Keep blogging ..... I'd miss you all so much if you weren't there, 

See you all in 2023

Lots of love




Wednesday 14 December 2022


So much snow arrived here and it's not really melting ! ..... but, it does look magical and pretty and so lovely to have at Christmas. 

Orangery and window are all done but there is so much more to do. 

Some of the flooring is down and the plastering is done but, electrics need to be finished, it all needs painting , still some carpentry to be done and we will have to wait until early February for the new kitchen but, we are getting there. It's lovely to get a full view of the garden. See all of the snow on the roof ?

It hasn't been too disruptive and, all of the different trade guys have been brilliant. 
I'll show you more when it starts to get prettier !!!!



Friday 14 October 2022


I think I was lulled into a false sense of security ! All was going swimmingly ..... not much dust and walls going up. Then came the moving of the boiler 😱 I don't know if this is of any interest but, hang on in there .... there are pretty pictures of the new Orangery { I'm calling it an Orangery as that is what the company who are building it are calling it !} at the end .....

It has been a major task ! .....

So many pipes to move but, they only have the gas pipes to deal with so they should be finished with that job today. 
The Company making ' The Orangery " sent me a video yesterday of it being built but it wouldn't upload. Maybe it's the mp4 format ..... I don't think it's too big.  I tried filming the video on my phone but that didn't work either so, I have taken some screen shots to show you. 

It still has to be painted but it's nearly finished. 

Didn't have anything to cook on last night so we had take away ..... it arrived stone cold ! We ate it though ! 

Will be back with the next chapter. 



Friday 7 October 2022

.......... and SO IT BEGINS ..........

We are now a week in to our building work. Our old conservatory was, in my opinion, rather nice and complimented our late Victorian house but, as most of you know, after over 30years, it had fallen into disrepair and was rotten and leaking { mostly due to the con man who built it !!! }
Still, we managed thirty years from it but, it is now time for it to go.

Here's the outside of the old conservatory .....

..... and here's the inside, empty of all furniture etc. .....


..... and here's what it looks like now 😱😱😱 !!!

We have had progress since the last photograph was taken and have foundations, some wall built and floor joists in. It's not been dusty at all but, that could all change when they knock down the wall on the left to open it all to the kitchen.

progress ..... with some of the wall built and floor joists.

It has to get ugly before it gets pretty !!!!!


all photos by me


Thursday 8 September 2022

THANK YOU MA'AM ..........

Queen Elizabeth 11 has been a constant throughout my life. I was two years old when she ascended the throne so, she has always been there. A constant presence and a woman who dedicated her life to the service of her country which she did with grace and humility for 70 years. She pledged herself to our service and she fulfilled that pledge. 
She understood the assignment.
RIP Queen Elizabeth 11 and God save the King. 



Monday 5 September 2022


We have had a Pieris plant in a terracotta planter { similar to the one above .....  I forgot to take a before photograph } and it has been in that pot for about 25 years ! I think my Dad bought it for us. Over the last few years it has not performed well . It used to produce hundreds of tiny, white bell-like flowers in the Spring but I think we had about three this year. As the builder will be starting in a week or so, & as it is
 standing next to the conservatory, I thought I should get it out of the pot and put it in the garden to see if it will do any better.  I also didn't want to break the pot as, a terracotta pot of that size would probably cost over £100 now. 
I am always full of great ideas that nearly always turn into major projects !!!
It took me two days to get that bloody Pieris out of that pot !!! It was stuck so fast it just wouldn't budge. Usually, when you dig around it, it will gradually start to wiggle a bit ...... I dug and dug and there wasn't the slightest movement. I went at it with a little hedge trimmer that I use to trim the yew topiary ..... still stuck fast ! Then I used a small saw ..... nothing. I gave up after that on Day one ..... I was knackered. After a couple of hours of sawing and digging on Day 2 , it finally started to wiggle a tiny bit and, after yanking and yanking ..........

..... it was released !!!!!
I have planted it in the garden but, after all the trauma it had to endure, it might not survive but, we shall see.
It was a Herculean task which required a great deal of energy and effort ..... I'm not sure why I bothered now as my arms ache { especially the one I broke } and, it probably won't survive but, at least I saved the pot !!! 



Saturday 20 August 2022

HAIR STORY ..........

Two posts in a week ..... that's something for me !

I've had long, straight hair pretty much all of my life Throughout my childhood, it was mostly in a ponytail, swishing backwards and forwards as I walked. It wasn't anything special ..... it was also mousey in colour ! By about the third form in Senior school, the pony tail was ditched as I was now a teenager of the 60's and wanted to look like Patti Boyd ! 
My hair remained that way as I left school, stayed the same in further education and then the big, outside world beckoned and I had to find a job ! 
Lucky me landed a job in Mount Street in Mayfair ..... one of the poshest streets in London. Paul McCartney and the like would buy their suits from Dougie Hayward and celebrities/MP's would all dine in Scotts restaurant. Residents bought their meat from Allens of Mayfair { which opened in 1830 .... sadly it closed in 2015 } and purchased their cigars from Sautters. 
My bosses were a husband and wife couple and, for my birthday, they paid for me to have my hair highlighted and cut at Michaeljohn ..... Michael & John met when they were hair stylists at Leonards { he who did the famous haircut for Twiggy } They attracted celebrities including Mick Jagger and even Princess Anne. I was only about 19 so it was pretty special to have my hair done there. I doubt Michael or John did my hair but it didn't matter ..... it was still amazing ! 
A few years later, London was even more swinging and, the place to have your hair done was Smile , Brompton Road, Knightsbridge. Smile was owned by Keith Wainwright and his two partners Lesley Russell and Paul Owen. Clients included Roy Wood, The Move, Cat Stevens, The Walker Brothers and Elton John. Keith worked with chemists  and hair technicians  to create unnatural hair colours which were later popularised by the British punk movement. So, my next birthday present was an appointment with Paul at Smile ! 
I worked in Mount Street for quite a few years and then went on to get married and have children. Highlights continued up until this day and I think I have been to most of the hairdressers in the surrounding area of my home !!! But, for the last fifteen years I have had the same guy highlight and cut my hair. During Covid, things went a bit wrong for him and he had to close his salon, but, during this past year, he came to our home and did our hair. Then, he started to work for a hairdresser quite a long way from us so I needed to find another hairdresser. A friend that I have known for many years has highlights and said her hairdresser was very good. I booked an appointment even though a mutual friend had made an appointment there but didn't even cross the threshold as she didn't like the look of it !!!!
WELL ..... I went yesterday ! I arrived dead on time ..... dusty, old plastic flowers sat on the reception desk and about seven old { I know I'm old but these ladies were OLD } sat having perms ..... they all had those tiny little rollers in, some were still having the rollers put in , some were sat under those old fashioned dryers. One lady was being helped by two other ladies to the wash basin. I did think how the mighty have fallen { joke } but, I didn't run away !!! I actually thought how brilliant it was that these ladies still wanted to look nice and have their hair done. 
The girl who did mine was Polish, young and very friendly. More and more old ladies arrived for perms ..... it was like a perm conveyor belt ..... I did think it would have made for a brilliant sit com or play ! 
Well ..... here is the result .....

I am SO pleased with it ..... she got rid of the brassiness and, I've been telling my last hairdresser it looked a bit ginger on the ends which he said was how my hair took the colour ..... she got rid of that. It's a bit darker around the front but she said she will add a little more blond next time. I think when you stay with the same hairdresser they get in a rut. It just goes to show that all the frills and frippery of a posh salon doesn't always mean it's better ..... oh, and the other thing was that it was about half the price .....



Wednesday 17 August 2022

DELUGE .....

I met some friends at the pub today for lunch  ..... a nice light salad, a small glass of wine and a girly chat .....

Around about 3.00p.m., the heavens opened and, what we have all been waiting for happened. It came down in stair rods and went on & on & on and is still going on and it's now 6.30 p.m.  

We pretty much had to wade through the car park to our cars ..... the water was up to our calves ..... my shoes are in the tumble drier as we speak !!! But, with the lovely, long awaited rain came devastation ..... 

My hydrangeas have been battered to within an inch of their lives !!! Hopefully, they will perk up when the sun comes out again !  

Oh, and we have now been told by Thames Water { our water supplier } that a hosepipe ban will begin on the 24th of August !!!!



Sunday 7 August 2022

CAT SITTING ..........

We are cat sitting at the moment .....

We are looking after our son/daughter-in-law/grandchildren's cat, Cloudy .....

They are on holiday in Switzerland at the moment and all the Cattery's were full. Apparently , it's hard to get into a cattery at the moment ! 

Because he doesn't live here, he's not allowed out so we are letting him have the run of the conservatory ..... considering it's going to be pulled down next month, he can please himself in there and, it's a far bigger space than the cages they get put in in a cattery. He seems very happy and I go and chat to him and play with him a few times a day and he seems pretty contented. He is a lovely cat ..... we have had cats over the years but, I don't think I want the responsibility anymore but, it's lovely to look after him for a while. 

He goes home today and we will miss him. 



Sunday 10 July 2022

PROJECT MANAGER !!! ..........

Sorry ..... it's been a while { slight understatement ! } ..........

My excuse ? I have taken on the role of Project Manager ! It is now getting close for the building works to start on our new conservatory. The builder should be starting in August  ..... SHOULD being the operative word ! The builder said he would be popping round last Wednesday ..... he rang and said he was caught up and would come on Thursday ..... I haven't seen or heard from him since ! I rang him ..... no answer, nothing, rien, nada, niente, nichts !!! Lets hope I hear from him next week  🤞

This is our present conservatory. It's over thirty years old ..... it's rotten and leaking and, if you've got a spare half an hour, I'll tell you why it's rotten and leaking. Thirty years ago we thought we would have a conservatory. Through a friend, we found this guy who , we thought, could interpret our ideas . He was a great admirer of William Morris and knew a lot about the period. I wanted it to look a bit Gothic and not look like the ' run of the mill ' type of conservatory and to blend into the rest of our late Victorian house. I showed him what I wanted like the gothic windows and he suggested a few things and we agreed that he should do it.  He got someone else to do the footings and the brickwork and they did a wonderful job. 

See that return between the conservatory and the kitchen wall ? That wall is going to be knocked down and opened up into the kitchen. That return is just a damp waste of space. It will become part of the conservatory.

This is the William Morris look a like !!!

The brickwork completed, he came back and, after paying him a third { which we thought was fair as he had to get materials etc. } he did the window  frame work 

This is what he did ..... and then, he buggered off for 18 months leaving the woodwork exposed to the elements ! We think he spent the third of the money that we gave him on his debts and then had to do another job to get the money for the materials for our job ! ..... and thats not the end of it. Now, thirty years ago it was the ' thing ' to have stripped pine in old houses so, I wanted the inside of the windows to be wood and the outside painted green. When he finally returned, he said to me, " wouldn't you prefer the green to be on the inside ' to which I replied " NO ". I didn't think any more of it until we realised after he was long gone, that he had obviously painted the wrong side of the windows so, he put them in the wrong way round which meant the glazing bars were on the outside and all of the rain and snow sat on them, which, after a few years rotted the wood ! There were lots of other things ..... cracked glass that he hid with beading to name but one !

AND THEN .....

he had the nerve to come back and demand more money as he didn't think he charged enough !!! Needless to say, he didn't get any ! 
But, considering all of this happened, it did last over thirty years { sort of ! } 

Fast forward thirty years and this is an artists impression of what our new conservatory will look like. As in all projects, nothing ever seems to run smoothly and, driving home from meeting a friend, I got a phone call from the Conservatory company. They said that this has never happened before {?} but, because of Covid and Brexit, our conservatory, which was due to be erected mid September, will have to be put back ..... they have had trouble getting supplies and joiners etc. I thought she was going to say it would be months but, at the moment, we are looking at October..... I could never be a property developer !!! 

So, therein lies the tale of our conservatory !
Oh, and , just to show you so you get an idea on the inside, here's a photograph and explanation ... ish ! 

In this photograph taken from our breakfast room, our kitchen is on the right and the conservatory is on the left. Those cupboards and wall behind them in the kitchen will be knocked through into the conservatory so that it will all be open. 
We will be having a new kitchen but thats another story !!!

Also, so sorry for not commenting much lately ..... being a project manager takes up a lot of time !



Thursday 5 May 2022

PICTURES & PLANES ..........

I went to the cinema yesterday ..... I like this cinema. It's an independent, three screen cinema for arthouse and mainstream films, plus theatre and ballet screenings, two screens like the one above and one where you feel like you are sitting in someones living room ! You can have food and coffee, there is art on the walls and big, squashy leather sofas to sit on { and, the cleanest, loveliest toilet facilities in all of Hertfordshire ! I was about to take a photograph of me in the full length mirror in the lovely toilets but, a surge of ladies came in and I chickened out ! } 

We went to see Downton Abbey, A New Era .....

Now, I am a lover of period series and films and have seen all of the Downton Abbey series a few times and know it inside out. I have always thought that Maggie Smith is the star of the show and has had the best lines and pretty much all of the other cast members played their parts very well. I then saw the first Downton film which I thought was good and worth seeing and, although I felt this new offering passed away a couple of hours quite pleasantly, I felt that Julian Fellows didn't have his heart in this one and that he was desperately squeezing the last few drops of life out of it. There were some laughs in it and lump in the throat moments, but it was a rip off of Singing in the Rain, the storylines were quite weak and someone { I won't spoil it for you by telling you who } gets the same illness as someone had in the last series ..... there are many, many other illnesses you could have chosen from Julian !!! ..... and, Lady Mary's husband isn't in it { played by Mathew Goode in the last film and series, I read that he was unavailable due to prior commitments and, it looked odd that he didn't come back for the important ending { I won't say what ... }
Having said all that it was worth seeing and the clothes and scenery were lovely !  ..... and, before the film we went to The Giggling Squid and had Pad Thai so, all in all, not too shabby for Jackie !  

..... and then, I was just out in the garden when, hearing a loud roar, we looked skywards, and saw a British Airways plane { which I think is Voyager } flanked by two RAF Tornado fighter planes which I have found out was carrying the Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida, ahead of his meeting with Boris. The two typhoon jets and the RAF Voyager Vespina, finished with a Union Jack painted tail, flew very, very low over our garden ! We often get the planes used in flypasts, flying over our house after they have done the flypast. Must be their route back to base !
Makes for a bit of excitement ! 
The weather here is lovely ..... warmer than Saint-Tropez, Ibiza and Crete ..... we haven't had much rain for ages ! Who says it's always raining in the UK ?


image ! :via me, images 2, 3 & 4 : via goole