Monday, 29 April 2013

When the chips are down...

Well, there weren't actually any chips. They'd run out. They being Harry Ramsden's in Scarborough, but we'll get to that in a mo. A smashing Saturday in Whitby, busier than Whitby usually is because of Goth Weekend (everyone dressed up in an exciting array of costumes from Victorian Funeral Directors to Steampunk Time Explorers) despite the wind and occasional downpour, then on to Scarborough, for a reminisce of not only my childhood days away with grandparents, but those of my mother too, seeing the places she stayed in the late 50s and early 60s. The rain torrential, we jumped on board the cliff lift next to the Grand Hotel, a little faded these days in its grandeur, but still a recognisable landmark. Down on the seafront we dashed into the nearest café - the Harry Ramsden's, up the steps and sat in anticipation of hot food. Ok, so it was Harry's, we weren't expecting anything of Michelin star quality, of course not, but there are still standards. Unfortunately a party of under 8s from a rugby club arrived, all 20-odd of them, with one mother-type supervising, and numerous dad-types who appeared to think the place was a pub and sat down, sinking pint after pint, getting louder and louder. Guess where all the chips went. Somehow their order got filled first and we were left waiting and putting up with the increasingly obnoxious behaviour of the dad-types. After voicing complaints, we were offered 15% off the bill, which my friend agreed to while I harrumphed saying I'd have preferred 20%. Then the food did arrived and it was ok - it was fish and chips - and then the bill arrived - with 50% off!!! It was the best fish and chips ever!

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Tick tock...

I know one shouldn't really wish one's life away but isn't it Friday yet? After a dreadful start to the week with more technology woes (I really was starting to panic), no sense of achievement in anything since, stuff piling up at home because other things are taking priority (my kitchen resembles a launderette before anything's been run through the machine) and I'm so tired I almost fell asleep in a meeting, I still can't believe it's only Thursday. And in half an hour I have to dash out for another appointment. I might have to pick up a bottle of wine on the way home. And Maltesers.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Seaton's sittin' pretty

Sunday, in between the showers, I took a little trip to Seaton Delaval Hall. It's undergoing a lot of essential maintenance works and much is closed, but the main hall has re-opened and the gardens, despite the wet, were lovely. Of course, it's not so long ago, that the whole future of the hall was in doubt due to funding, but now it seems well on the road to becoming one of the region's finest National Trust properties. Well worth a look, especially once the works have been completed.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Testing times

After the Fabb Events meet last Saturday I've been sorely short of time to test and review any of the goody-bag products until this weekend where I've had a good go at a few of them. First up, the Elemis Bath and Shower Creme and the Macadamia Hair Mask, both smelling wonderful, the mask in particular reminding me of holidays in the Caribbean. 7 minutes later and my hair is soft as silk. The sachet contains enough for at least one further application - I'll try the oil mixed in next time as well. Today also saw me try out the Posh Polish from Beauty UK in Moonstone - one coat went on a little patchy, two coats much better and it's survived 3 lots of washing up completely chip free! Also on trial the Lush eyeliner - great colour for summer in an iridescent blue but unfortunately a little smudgy. Ah well, not everything can be perfect! A few products still to try but as next week looking a lot less hectic that this last one I may get round to them sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Wine? No, just a little Tonic

Clarins Tonic range. I can never decide exactly what it smells of, only that I love it. The body polisher is a thick but soft scrub which spreads well and even applied to damp skin, won't start dissolving until saturated under the shower. It rinses well to leave skin silky soft. It's my little treat for tonight instead of indulging in Wine Wednesday since tomorrow's an early start!

Tech terrors

I feel I've missed out. A couple of days without fully functioning technology and I'm a wreck. No way to check email or texts, or catch up on Twitter feeds or Facebook. Our lives are ruled by electronic gadgets, updating us of every detail of the lives of others, and them of ours. And then when it fails us, we could miss that one piece of terribly important life changing information. It's overload. Experts claim it can lead to a low self-esteem and feelings of low self-worth, constantly checking social media, measuring oneself against others. We did, not too long ago, manage quite nicely, to live without all of this. I'm going to try to switch off. Allocated time for the essentials of email replies etc and a full day a week with no tech at all. Except in an emergency.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Wind swept but interesting?

So, armed with an enormous bottle of Evian, a couple of paracetamol and the camera, I headed up the Northumberland coast. Yes it was warm, which after the past few weeks was a welcome change, but the wind meant lunch consisted of mouthfuls of sand whipped up from the beach (does sand have a nutritional content?). Stayed long enough for a decent walk, strenuous enough for me to justify the mid-afternoon cream tea at The Copper Kettle. Settling in back at home with the Sunday papers.

Late review but FABB all the same!

So, while all other NE bloggers were busy writing about the FABB Event in Newcastle yesterday, I unfortunately, had to scurry off early for a wedding do. This has left me feeling delicate to say the very least, and something not publishable to say the very most! I was also suffering lack of camera yesterday due to SOMEONE ELSE!!! having taken it away with them, but I'll not dwell on that, or the fact that I was left with the poxy excuse for a camera that resides within my Blackberry - so no pics of the event but... All were welcomed by Ray and Tor, who I must say did a stellar job of circulating, ensuring everyone was ok etc. I resisted the cakepops, stayed on the cola (good thing too!) and settled in to hear from Really nice to hear about a fun young business that's proving a success in these difficult times - just shows that if the product is good enough and the team behind it is committed then anything's possible. Moving on to Newcastle Fashion Week - Sandie spoke about the events and the fashion to support it - Tshirts from Fenwick, May 1st. One little downside to Fashion Week - I notice a lot of the events run into the evening which is great, but some, like the Royal Wedding, aren't. For those bloggers or indeed anyone else with daytime job/school/college/uni, we may not be able to just ditch and come along. Lovely goodie-bag to come away with, thanks Ray and Tor, looking forward to there being another local event soon.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Orion's Hat? It's a belt-er!

It was with a little hesitancy that I sat down to read 'Orion's Hat' by David W. Bryan. I'm always wary when people ask you to read stuff they've written; they're obviously hoping for positive feedback and I'd hate to not be able to give it. I needn't have worried. Despite the simplistic stage setting, and the fact that the play has so few 'real' parts, I enjoyed it immensely. It was one of those experiences where I could actually see the action being played out as I was reading it, using different voices in my head for the different characters, actually re-reading a section a second time with a different accent (in my head)! For me, the play translates as a look at the transient nature of life, seeking meaning and validation for one's own life and in relationships with others, and the consequences of the choices we make. Find it at

Monday, 8 April 2013

True Blue

RIP Margaret Thatcher. I'm pretty angry actually. Regardless of whether or not you agreed with her policies, she was nonetheless, a person, with a family and one of the most difficult jobs we could imagine. Some acquaintances of mine, have seen fit to splash banners about parties and celebrations on social media outlets Twitter and Facebook. I am ashamed to know these people. How would they feel if others were saying that about a member of their own family. Thatcher's reign may not conjure happy memories for many, but as any politician knows, you can't please everyone all the time. There will never be enough money in the public purse to provide the levels of service we would wish in all areas - that's just the way it is. No government, whether Tory or Labour has succeeded in getting it 'right'. Someone somewhere always loses. These 'acquaintances', who are borderline Communist, seem to forget, that even in the 'equal' regime of Communism, there's still always some fatcat at the top. So, I'll remember you fondly Maggie - yes, Poll Tax wasn't your finest moment, but you saw the country through some difficult times, helped make Britain strong again, and helped end the Cold War with Russia.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

What to do, to do

I love a list. In this age of iphones and Blackberries, ready to remind us of every aspect of our lives, a digital to-do list would be most people's first choice. A task can be listed as 'started' 'completed' etc, alarms set so as to ensure nothing is forgotten. Yet I still love the paper list. There's a great deal of satisfaction to be had from physically ticking or crossing things off a list; transferring things from one list to another as the paper becomes full or unreadable. I read once that lists should be arranged with a couple of easily achievable tasks at the beginning, the idea being that it gives the holder a positive 'spur on' for the rest of the day. Of course, that way one could find that one never gets around to the really difficult unpleasant tasks further down the list. It's about balance, and the expert list maker knows just how to balance the easy while ensuring the hard still get done. The other side of that is a couple of weeks ago, the Sunday Times Style mag had an article about procrastination, and how it wasn't necessarily a bad thing. Apparently, while we're putting off the important, our imaginations can run riot, leading us to think things we'd perhaps otherwise not. That flash of blinding inspiration that comes while I'm messing about with the easy, putting off the more difficult, mundane tasks - I've yet to have it, but I'm hoping.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013


I enjoyed my few days off, I even took an extra one (naughty), but now it's back to it. I did manage an hour of sublime peace with the camera this morning at the Derwent Walk. I saw few people, a couple of Granddads pushing strollers, no Grannies! And an odd cyclist, but apart from that - no-one. The frost was still lying, the moon still high in the sky and it was just lovely. Unfortunately an hour was all I had to spare, I've been tied to the desk since, with an afternoon of appointments to follow, but thinking about this morning will keep me smiling all day.