Sunday 31 December 2023

Happy New Year.

A New Year, hope its all you want it to be..
Be Happy.


New Year Resolutions... Yes/No?

 I'm not making any new year resolutions but I am going to.....

Carrying on losing weight. (Trying)

Carry on learning Welsh. 

Reading books I like.

Clearing out stuff.

Walking regularly. 

Knitting socks.

Trying not to spend toooo much money on plants!

Generally the same as this past year, seems a bit boring, but no point saying I'll do something that I won't! What about you?

The Face Book reading group I belong to are doing a 24 Book Blast, where you choose 24 books that you own but haven't read and read them in 2024.. I do have books on my shelves I haven't read because I didn't like them, but I might try some this year. I bought them in Lock down and couldn't get into them, perhaps I could now?

But first I'm going to read the 4 books I bought from WOB, by Elizabeth Berg, the author I found this past year.

Durable Goods; The Pull of the Moon; The Story of Arthur Truluv; The Confession Club.. so I'm really looking forward to reading them. 

What about you? Resolutions?


Thursday 28 December 2023

A very special, rare present!

 I do love Christmas, and these days my lovely husband does everything to make it a lovely time for me. So different to my childhood. I didn't have many presents as a child, it was post war (WW2) and money was short.. so every thing was scarce..One year I remember Father Christmas bringing me a red doll's pram, with a china faced doll, she was beautifully dressed. I never noticed that her dresses were made of material like that of my own dresses. One of my Aunty's was a seamstress and made all my dresses and my dolls clothes too! I must have been 5 so 1947?

I loved that pram and the doll whose name was Maureen, don't know where I got that name from, as no TV and so probably heard it. I was happy to walk with my other Aunty to the town later that week, me pushing my pram.  We met one of her friends, who was housekeeper to the local Dr. She said, she had a special present for me and put it under my doll's cover with a .....'shhhh don't show till you get home!'

And this was it... an orange.. I'd never seen one before, during the war there were none.

I'm sure it was delicious and shared between us all, my gran and two Aunties.. what joy! I've always loved oranges.

Do any of you have similar memories?


Monday 25 December 2023

Brrr but all for charity.

The Christmas Day Charity swim!

And these always standing by in case they were needed.

There are usually about 400 people doing this every year.
And these too making sure everyone is safe.. all volunteers working every day 24/7 

          All amazing wonderful people who do  this every year.
                It was cold and very wet!




Hope everyone has  a wonderful day and that Santa's brought you loads of presents


Sunday 24 December 2023


 We've finished our advent jigsaw, it wasn't easy.. Dh did most of it after the first few days! I got fed up!

Each 42 pieces came in their own numbered box and the back of each piece is numbered too, 1008 pieces.

I did the 24th day this morning.
I don't know if we'd do another one, having it on our dining room table has meant lifting the board off for meals.
I expect we'll do a jigsaw after Christmas as a winter activity.

Dh is busy in the kitchen cooking the Jamie Oliver gravy, roasted veg, bashed chicken wings and herbs, he loves to faff around in the kitchen!
And if you wondering did we cut that huge pork pie and have some for breakfast today?? Of course we did, I had a small slice but still a bit much for me, so just having an oxo for my lunch! No Sunday dinner today we're having steak and salad this evening instead.
One more sleep!

Saturday 23 December 2023

Ready or not it will arrive!

So are you ready?? 

Why do we put ourselves under such pressure.. I've said to Dh, will it matter if we haven't vac-ed the lounge,  cleaned the windows, or swept up the leaves by the  front door? No, it won't and I won't be bothered if we don't get those things done, we will still have Christmas.

Today I went to have my hair done, and when we got back by the time we'd had a coffee and chatted, there was only time to whoosh the bathroom, eat our leek and potato soup, before it was time to drive to pick up our groceries. We had a 'click and collect' as we missed the 'window' to book a delivery.

Its really easy, as there's an area for it before you enter the car park, so we're usually in and out in no time, but today there was a queue... although we only had to wait about 10 mins. 

We checked through everything as we unpacked and Dh started to laugh. He likes to have pork pie for breakfast on Christmas day, odd?? Evidently its a 'thing' in W Midlands!

He had ordered a 440g one and they had substituted it for a 790g one!! So it will be enough for several breakfasts, lunches and teas! Really, I think he was rather pleased!

All else was fine and we had collected our duck from our home town butcher in the morning, so all's well and we'll be ready, even with windows that need cleaning!


Thursday 21 December 2023


 Storm Pia, doing its worst in my town.
And over the pier, poor Light House!

No need to tell you we stayed in!
We don't need to look out at the weather, altho' the front prom is about a mile from us, we can hear the sea at the beach just 10 mins walk away.
Also the gulls swoop around us when the sea is rough, squawking. such a noisy lot! 
A sure indication of a rough sea.

Wednesday 20 December 2023

What is old?

Its my birthday! I'm old,  but I never envisaged being this old when I was young, but as three of my friends have died in the last few years I am grateful and feel blessed I have got to the age I am.

When I was about 13 or 14 and in school, (it was an all girls boarding school) we had a new teacher start, called Miss Howells, she taught the science subjects and I was in her biology class. I loved her, she was fairly new in teaching and chatted to us, unlike the other teachers. We learned she was 28 and I thought wow that's old and no boyfriend!

Coming up to Valentines Day I decided to send her a Valentine Card. I sent it to a cousin living in the Midlands for her to post it from there. On the day,  we all asked Miss Howells, not had she had a card, but how many cards had she received?  she shyly said, that she had received one and blushed. I was so pleased that she was pleased... 

When I think back now, perhaps it was a bit cruel to send the card, but there was no malice in my action, I just thought a lot of her and admired her and loved her . When I left she signed my Autograph book, saying..'Keep learning and smiling' I kept that book for years and then over the years it disappeared, but I have always remembered her. I did well in Biology, but don't all children excel in subjects when they like the teacher?

I often met children I had taught, while I still lived in Essex and sad to say some of the names were forgotten, but the ones who bounced up to me smiling and obviously happy to see got my most beaming smile and the comment, 'And what are you doing these days?' (Note no name!)

The photograph is of the beautifully wrapped presents from my lovely husband.


Sunday 17 December 2023

Have you made your list?

 Are these really getting smaller?

It seems people who buy these every year say they are, and we did see a TV programme featuring tins of chocolates, that showed they are smaller. I can remember when pound jars of jam became 14 oz, so it has always been happening!

I am not a great chocolate eater. although when offered one I'll happily take one and eat it, but I can leave them. People on any kind of diet complain that chocolate is their downfall and that its very difficult to leave. Is it a drug, some people think it is??

I love crunchy vanilla fudge, Waitrose, Tesco and the Coop all sell it, all the same weight, but the Coop price is the cheapest! I've asked Santa for some, and other toys I would like.  I don't believe in 'thought transfer' and ask Dh outright.  I even tell him where to buy them! I actually give him a list of three things and ask for one item off the list! 

Have you made your list?


Saturday 16 December 2023

We're all lit up!

One of the things my Dh is good at is  getting all the Christmas lights up.
We are all lit up inside too.
I did say to him when he said he was going to put up the outside lights, BE CAREFUL!
There's no ambulances for hours, some Drs are on strike and hospitals are full, so no beds!
We can't be ill here, no Drs here at weekends and its hard enough to get one at any time!
But all went well and we're very Christmassy here, looks like the most lit up in our little cul se sac! If you click on the pic it enlarges. 
We also dressed our tree, and just a little sad moment when we put the little bells on the bottom branches, remembering that's what we did to warn us if Nell went to drink the water the tree stood in!

Hope you're all lit up too,

Friday 15 December 2023


 Chili chicken, prawn cocktail, crustless quiche, cheese and olive on a cocktail stick, weetabix and fruit cake, veg soup,  cheese and tomatoes on a wrap, grapes, strawberries, baby tomato, savory potato wedge, and a marmalade sandwich!!

Mad breakfast? Yes it was a taster session at slimming world this morning; the marmalade sandwich was my usual SW breakfast, which I take each week to the meeting. Picture is the  cheese and tomato on a wrap. 

I didn't eat a lot, just a taster of some of them, but not the chili chicken my tum has recently said... do not give me chili again!

It's a lovely morning, dry and  bright and I had a good loss, so winner all round.

Although we live in a sea side town,  on our drive home this is what we see. There are often sheep grazing there. This a FB photo of the field called the donkey field, they are the beach donkeys and the field in early summer months is a mass of yellow buttercups.

And on the hills we can see the wind turbines... lovely to see the blue skies.

Have you ever experienced a SW taster session?


Monday 11 December 2023

My new found author.

This author has really caught my love of reading. Simple stories written beautifully. If you can be in love with an author, I love this one.. her stories aren't exciting but so very engaging.  So far I've read, Talk Before Sleep, Say When,  Until the Real Thing Comes Along and this one, The Year of Pleasures. 
She is able to create a warmth and a wisdom about her characters that engages you from the very first sentence.  Women talking together as old friends do. A Year of Pleasures is about Betta, whose husband has died. She relied totally on him and not surprisingly is lost without him.
But against all advice she decides to sell their home and move somewhere else.  She doesn't have a plan, except to take back roads, so she can drive through little towns, just as her husband John suggested might be a good thing to do. She stops at one, looks around and decides it is the one for her.
Her year of pleasures are simple things, a warm bath, good food, the beauty of nature, music and art and the kindness of people. Her journey from grief to a new found happiness is an inspirational to anyone who has lost a great love and a great read.
Written so beautifully, I loved every word!

A new day! And found!

Doesn't the world look better when you've slept well and the sun is shining?
This is where we get our coffees when we walk along the front promenade, very nice coffee and cakes which we manage to resist, ........well most times! We call it the Pod!
While I feel tip top today, Dh says he has 'wosit!' You might wonder what that is, its?? Just not 100% he says! 
My middle son has just phoned, he's feeling really good, which is great to hear, as this time last year he was recovering from a triple bypass after a heart attack. All my children have inherited high cholesterol levels from their father; surprisingly not me, as I'm very over weight. 
Weight wise, I'm working on one last push at the SW plan before Christmas. So far so good after last weeks mince pies, we've decided to not buy anymore till nearer Christmas! 
Thank you for your response to my last post and I've found her blog, so many thanks again.
Have a happy day all.


Sunday 10 December 2023

OAP, Who are you?

Hello Bloggers. Isn't it sad when one of us stops blogging not because of illness or death, but just because blogging has lost its need or lack of enthusiasm. 
Like many, I sometimes feel my everyday happenings are not that interesting, but then the comments spur me on. And I love to read what other bloggers are doing, you're all so interesting!
Friday while blog hopping, I came across one that I really enjoyed reading, but I didn't make a note of it, so can't find it again.
I left a comment so I hope that person may be curious and follow my name, so I can follow you.
So who are you?
Your blog name was something to do with the initials OAP.
You live near to where I used to live in Billericay Essex, belong to the U3a like me and has a daughter who lives in Australia, who sent you flowers for Mother's Day, likes reading and posts about the books you've read, and likes walks.  Your name might be Poll?
I'd love if you got in touch.

Sending a smile to all my blogger friends.


Saturday 9 December 2023

A disappointment.

Thursday was our U3a Christmas dinner, we decided we'd go, although I were hesitant as we were trying so hard to keep to our SW food plan, but Dh thought we should to support the group.
We set off early, so we wouldn't be parked a long way from the entrance.... as  we left there were a few spots of rain.
It wasn't a long way. but to avoid the road with speed bumps every 50 yards, it takes a bit longer.  It was at the Hi-Tide Inn a very large venue, which is very busy in the summer, as it is right at the top of one of the longest sandy beaches, and also has different shows all through the year.
When we arrived there, the rain had worsened, and it was like sleet, slashing down, with gusting winds and spray from the sea hit us. We could have arrived by parachute the way our umbrella was behaving!
We arrived looking very wind blown, but so did everyone else!
The dinner was not great, in fact awful and although we were early arriving, we weren't able to sit beside people we knew.. so not a great time.
But we felt we'd done our best to support the group.. there were about 80 people there, seems a lot, but as the U3a has close on 400 members not a great number.. but perhaps they'd all been previous years and decided to give it a 'serve' we definitely will next year!
A bit of a damp squib and I lost a glove, a really nice one, so that was the last straw! Never again!!

Tuesday 5 December 2023

Dr Who in Porthcawl !!

This was so exciting because it was happening on our door step.
We didn't go to see where they actually were filming, but we could see the lighting and a helicopter was flying back and fro over our bungalow.
Porthcawl FB posted loads of pictures and we could see the huge cherry pickers with their flood lights from the top of our road. Spooky at night as the church was back lit by red lights.
It's not the first time there have been film crews on the beach near us, 'Keeping Faith' scenes were filmed here. And there's a plaque on the sandhills saying that the film 'Lawrence of Arabia' had scenes filmed there.
Who would have thought that could have happened here?
It seems there was a Dalek on Clevis Hill, very frightening! Glad I didn't see it. 
When my children were young, they wanted to watch Dr Who but as soon as the music started, they all grabbed a cushion and peeped from behind it, if I said I'd switch it off, they'd all be shouting Nooooooo!!
Were your children the same?

Sunday 3 December 2023

What a miserable day, but we were entertained...

It has rained off and on all day here, but looking at the UK weather chart. we got off fairly lightly. Areas up north have had snow, so I'll take the rain any day over snow. And we've been entertained by our visiting birds. (All pics are stock pics)

We have watched these birds visiting our bird feeders, 
Long Tail Tits, Coal Tits,
                                The Robin and Coal Tits.

We've also had Gold Finches and of course those cheeky Sparrows.

And we had to put the coconut on string as the Magpies were perching on the arm of the feeder and taking chunks out of it.

I know some people don't like magpies, but last year we watched a family with a brood of three. Noisy lot, but so funny, hopping on the lawn screeching to their parents, feed me. feed me!

And when it was raining we watch a couple sheltering under the over hang, perched on the arm of the sky dish of the big house behind us! Some times peeping around the 'dish'!

We love watching the birds, and we're pleased there are so many here as we didn't think we would.. but there is a lot of countryside around us.


Saturday 2 December 2023

Have you been Wham-ed yet?

We have had a lovely morning in our town.. The Community Choir were singing carols in harmonies, standing outside the town museum; a beautiful sound as we wandered past. We stopped and chatted to someone we know who was dressed as a Victorian Lady selling warn Welsh cakes.. we walked to our favourite coffee shop, and has a lovely coffee, no mince pie today, but we did have a SW choc biscuit.
A group of young people from the local Comprehensive were at the Band Stand singing their hearts out with Wham's probably greatest hit!
When we walked back it was all go in the museum, as FC had arrived and there was a queue of children waiting to see him, with the snow machine shooting it out over us all. 
A really lovely Christmassy town, money raised was for the museum which is maintained and run by volunteers.
Well done Porthcawl, you did us proud!


Friday 1 December 2023

Frightened by a gull.

 Our Fridays always start early because we have our SW meeting. I maintained, so not happy, but better than a gain, said my friend.  There were members there with dreadful coughs, so we left as  soon as we'd been weighed and drove into town.

We had a bit of a fright driving along and we both shouted out when a large gull flew into our windscreen. He flew off, so he was ok, but our hearts were racing!

I don't know if you've ever seen a gull up close but they are big birds and he did thump our windscreen. (no cracks fortunately)

Town was buzzing as the official lighting up is tomorrow, so cherry pickers in the main street.  We just went for a coffee and one of these!

And look what was happening on Sandy Beach and the temp was

 only 1°C and it felt like *** They must be mad swimming in these temps!

Dh really came into his own in our Singalong group in the afternoon. We were divided  up to each sing a part of the 12 Days of Christmas, he offered to do 'The Five Gold Rings' solo, and he did really well. Threw himself in the part, singing out and standing up flinging his arms wide! Whew I was really proud of him.

It was good fun, we sang some carols so we're now in the Christmas spirit, we really enjoyed the session. Do you sing?


Thursday 30 November 2023

Icy morning.

 Some days we don't do a lot, we pop out for coffee, come home and enjoy sitting and talking. But today we made real effort to cross off some items on our 'to do' list! Our groceries come Thursday mornings, so all the more reason to be up showered and dressed early-ish!

Dh was outside first thing...and now our number can be seen from the road.

We did sit to have our midmorning coffee and then did the next few things on our list. Me plant white daffs in this container.

Pop hyacinths in  pretty pot, had to dig around in the shed for it.
And Dh set up bird feeders where we can see from the lounge.

We can include fat balls now; but not when we had. Nell she picked up the dropped bits. which upset her tum, and we had to clear it up! I peeked in the little greenhouse and the pelargoniums are all good.

Our garden is looking very winter weary, but one penstemon was still flowering.

So a few little jobs done, doesn't seem a lot, but I swept the patio, Dh planted garlic in our little veg patch and we tidied the pots. So a good morning, but oh was it cold; the water in the bird bath was ice and so were my toes by the time I came in! But we're happy with our efforts. The kitchen and bathroom were also cleaned.(yes I donned my tiara!) and 'Sharkie' was pushed around the lounge; no dog to play games with now. She hated all vacs whether they were switched on or not! And love to play catch me dashing round the furniture with the vac !

So we're more or less ready for the weekend. And very importantly we discussed Christmas food, will we make Jamie Oliver's gravy with the roasted veg and chicken wings?? Its only us two, but yes probably!  'We're worth it' 
What about you?

Tuesday 28 November 2023

To walk or not to walk???

It's certainly colder and yesterday and today have been slow days. The garden tidying has been halted and porridge is back on the menu for breakfast. I do really like it but with sugar! Dh's grandson eats it regularly... plain!.. In weather like this, cold and 'misserly' rain all I want to do is stay in the warm, with my book and maybe a nibble or two, except I am staying strictly on the SW food plan, so sweets, crisps, biscuits are not on the plan.  I'm fed up of fruit and so its not easy, but I can make an orange last a long time. In the long ago days, when I was  young, I used to have an orange cut up with thick cream and demerara sugar and never put on an ounce. Well truth be told, I might have, but I never weighed, in fact I didn't even own a pair of scales.

My cousin has lost five stone since June and I've struggled to lose  one! Ok she's much younger than me and walks everywhere. So I need to walk more.  Yesterday we needed some more top soil and there were no suitable parking spaces outside Homebase, so we parked a considerable way away from it. But it was ok, I walked there and back and round and up and down the aisles of the store. The thought of new plants will spur me on to walk!

I'm thinking of getting one of these 'Walks' that are a virtual visual of different places,   Kirsten of  A Letter from Home is doing this and I think it would suit me as 2000 steps a day is about what I can do. I find walking on the treadmill really boring, so this would be ideal. Have you seen them advertised, what do you think?


Thursday 23 November 2023

A pleasant afternoon, but am I getting too old?

 I've spent a very pleasant hour in the garden; these cosmos were well past their finest! I'd left them because I couldn't decide what to put in the pot instead. Then I could picture tulips towering above Wall flowers.

I'd bought the bulbs a few weeks ago, but then we had days and days of rain. My days of gardening in the rain are gone. I did once dig over a veg plot in a storm, ducking in the shed when there was lightning! I must have been mad. No just young! 

I didn't buy the Wall flowers, why? Because I didn't have the picture in my head then. Of course when we went to buy some yesterday, there were none anywhere.. So I bought polyanthas instead.
And it looks very nice, can't wait for them to flower now. 

 And here are the bulbs I planted a few weeks ago.
They have start to shoot already, after all its only 29 days till the shortest day of the year, (22nd Dec.) and then we are down hill to Spring! 
I also pruned the grape vine and tied in the main branches on to the post.
All the dead growth of my Sea Holly was cut back;

and this Verbena Grandiflora Brampton, old growth, gone.
Two of my absolute favourites, especially the Verbena, it's so delicate.

Three roses lightly pruned, and a few weeds pulled
I'm pleased with what I did but I'm really feeling my age, I didn't find it as easy as I used to..
Dh weeded and feeded the grass, front and back, as it is very tumpy because of the big dandelions. So hope it will look a lot better next year. Truth be told, the garden is a lot bigger than we wanted, but we'll keep going and then find a gardener when it really is too much for us!
How is your garden growing?

Tuesday 21 November 2023

Do you binge?

 Usually on a Monday we have a 'Diane' morning.. ie cleaning, called that because our cleaner we had, while living in Suffolk was called Diane. We needed someone to help with the cleaning immediately after my arm/shoulder ops. I am sometimes reminded of her when I use my face cream every morning, because she used to screw the lids back on really tightly. I suppose that was because she had picked them up when she polished my dressing table. But on Monday morning we were waylaid with the need to find out how Helen was in The Archers.

The Archers, is no longer a radio programme of the 'Everyday Story of Country Folk,'  its a lot more, but we still like it and listen to it every day, except last week we missed a five episodes. The Archers Face Book group were discussing Helen's plight, so we had to listen to find out how she fared.

    Rob Titchener, Helen's ex for whom she went to prison, because she  stabbed him, has come back into their lives. Now dying of a brain tumour, he'd ask the local vicar to Baptize him. It divided the village and caused unpleasant memories to immerge for Helen and her family, as there's Jack, age seven, his son; the result when he raped Helen.

It was so good, still the evil sociopath, trying to manipulate Helen on his death bed, but she resisted, yeh!! Good on you Helen. We were almost cheering, daft or what.. I can get very invested in it and I cried buckets when John died; he was killed when his tractor over turned. (1988)

I've so much of my life involved in this programme, I started to really follow it in 1964 when I was a young married house wife. I just love it!!

Have you ever listened to it?