Monthly Archives: November 2014

Reading the labels

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Everyone has a funny story and my #bacongate story is one that continues to tickle friends. It’s like a case of mistaken identity crossed with poor communication that highlights good customer service!

I decided to do bacon for breakfast (nothing strange about that as the girls often have cooked breakfast) and so looked in the fridge. There was a packet of Tesco bacon (other brands are available) and so I thought that the 16 rashers would do for everyone, 3 for each and 1 spare. I opened the bacon and attempted to lay out the 16 rashers only to find there were 8. How are 8 rashers going to be enough for 5 and with no arguments?

Feeling slightly aggrieved I tweeted Tesco saying “looks like someone can’t count”. Tesco are very good at responding and said “sorry to hear about that, send us your postcode and local store details and we will look into it”, so I did by DM. Then they asked if I had the receipt and wanted my address. By this time Big Welsh had appeared and I told him how hungry everyone would be as despite saying 16 rashers there were only 8.

Oh great.

He looked at me in that way, you know that way and said that it was a 2 pack of 8 each and the other pack had been used earlier in the week. Oh I felt stupid and instantly sent a DM to Tesco to say something like “really stupid of me, it’s been explained to me that it’s my mistake”, they swiftly replied saying that it’s no worry and glad that the mystery had been solved. I liked them for that but because I had been openly vocal I felt I should apologise on Twitter to avoid any widespread bacon disenchantment. So I apologised on Twitter and thought that would be the end of it.

It would have been the end of it had it not been for my Twitter friend (and now real life friend) let’s call him @Pitcombe who had watched the conversation unfold. Well he laughed and tweeted me, bringing Tesco back into the conversation, so I apologised again! Phew. All ok.

Well it was OK until I tweeted recently that I was going to be doing bacon. I didn’t think anyone would remember. I didn’t count on @Pitcombe. He tweeted me and said that he hoped it wasn’t #bacongate which prompted Twitter questions. So I duly set about repeating the story and gathered more comments from Tweeters, most of whom are also real life friends.

Then it went quiet.

Until Tesco replied saying “sorry to hear you’re not happy we will look into it for you”, so I had to apologise (again) and explain (again) it was totally my mistake and it was all resolved. Phew. At which point everyone started laughing (again).

Anyway, I’ve learnt my lesson now and won’t offer bacon for breakfast within a week of eating bacon, I’ll continue to buy bacon from a butcher so I’ll know how many rashers there are, in the event of Big Welsh on shopping duty (makes it sound like we have a rota, as if) I’ll read all the labels properly and seek clarification from an adult and finally I’ll warn @Pitcombe I might do bacon and therefore he will offer good advice. With all of those triggers and alarms it won’t happen again. But it’s a funny story!

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Coffee Morning at Oka

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I make no bones about my love of coffee and the gorgeousness that is OKA Direct. I’ve been drinking coffee for years and have been a loyal OKA customer for ages.

Mugs!  I love those mugs!

Mugs! I love those mugs!

Last Friday I held a Coffee Morning at the Sunninghill shop in aid of HeadSmart and The Brain Tumour Charity.  It was an honour and privilege as it is one of my favourite shops, full of stunning interiors from around the world, and we drank coffee out of my favourite mugs.  Shoppers and visitors were able to appreciate the surroundings whilst hearing about the work of the The Brain Tumour Charity and understand more about the HeadSmart campaign from my friend, HeadSmart champion and bereaved mother Sacha Langton-Gilks.

Here's Sacha

Here’s Sacha (and mugs!)

The weather was rather off-putting so not as many people attended as I would have hoped but we still had a great time and raised £150 for HeadSmart and The Brain Tumour Charity and those that did come along who had not actually been into an OKA shop were happy admiring the gorgeous furniture and interiors.  If you have never been they are shops of beauty and wonderment and you will need everything, or is that just me?

Visitors taking it all in

Visitors taking it all in

We also held a raffle with some lovely prizes – thank you to everyone who donated!

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I certainly enjoyed myself and I have got lots of inspiration for my house (when the builders leave!).

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Green is a very popular colour in my house and as much as I try and tame my green habit it never works, those green throws are on my list and the lamps, oh the lamps!

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My dog is way too large for this dog bed but it looks so cute and cosy!

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I love acorns and oak leaves (unless the latter blow into the house), so I particularly liked the napkins, they’re on my list!

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I have square room envy!  I love this wreath and cushions.

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After drawing the raffle I announced I would be doing the Husky Challenge which I have blogged about here!  I’ve never done a challenge like this before so it’s a challenge within a challenge!

Thank you to everyone who came along, thanks to those who shared the flyer (I was delighted with it – look it’s got my mugs and everything!) and thanks to everyone who bought a raffle ticket.

I’d like to end by saying a VERY VERY BIG THANK YOU OKA FOR EVERYTHING!

Hello Husky

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I’ve surprised myself and everyone around me!

You see I am lazy. Not lazy as in “doesn’t do anything lazy” as I do lots, or lazy as in “lazy morning lie in idling away the day lazy”, oh no this lazy I refer to is “lazy at doing something that’s a little bit different, that will challenge me and is so far out of my comfort zone lazy”. And by crikey am I going to do something that’s more than a little bit off the beaten track and oh so challenging. I’m going to do something so different for me that people laugh when I tell them, then when they’ve scooped themselves off the floor (because being lazy I’m certainly not going to help them) they are full of questions and interest and envy, and above all admiration and support.

You see I’m a short, fat, dumpy gym avoider, I favour warmth over cold, I prefer a cosy bed to camping, my dog of choice is not a husky it’s a labrador, I’m very comfortable thank you very much hurtling around the country in my Mini so the prospect of getting from one place to another is with consideration of warmth, comfort and ease it’s certainly not on the back of a sledge, being pulled by huskies and then stopping to pitch a tent. In the snowy Arctic circle. In Norway & Sweden. In April. I’m going on a husky adventure!

No. None of those things have crossed my mind. Much! It’s actually all I’ve been thinking of since I read up about it on The Brain Tumour Charity website. I spoke to a few people and they all said DO IT!

So why am I doing it? Well earlier this year Charch a school friend died from a brain tumour, a friend told me her brother died from a brain tumour, at Charch’s memorial I met a friend of hers whose daughter had died, shortly after Charch’s memorial I met a friend of another friend whose son had died 2 years previously from a brain tumour, a friend’s husband is recovering after a brain tumour operation, someone I recently met told me she’d had a brain tumour in her youth, a Twitter friend’s son has had a brain tumour and since announcing this challenge an author friend told me her late husband had died from a brain tumour. These are people I know and there are many other people whose lives have been affected by brain tumours. I read about brain tumours in the news on a regular basis and hear all too often about late diagnosis in children.

Why huskies, camping, cold? Why???  Away from my creature comforts, my family, 3G!!! Ah ok it’s only a week but what a week it will be! I’ll be in Norway where Charch taught and the challenge ends on 10 April which is a year to the day that I last saw her as she died the next day so I couldn’t not do it.

I’m doing it because it looks good fun, it’s going to be challenge to get fit and husky ready, I’m not a natural camper, as a skier I’m used to the snow and the cold but I’ve always retreated to a warm bar or chalet after.

In short it’s a bonkers idea but for a very good cause. I’ll be fundraising for The Brain Tumour Charity and in doing so will be raising awareness of the HeadSmart campaign and I’m doing it for Charch, Georgie, Sacha, Georgina, Sue, Lizzie and everyone whose lives have been devastated by brain tumours.

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Lists and things to do

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I love a good list. I have loads of little lists all over the place and I strive to tick them off when they’re done. Who doesn’t?

There’s a noticeboard in the kitchen that literally groans under reminders and vouchers and stuff, every so often I break away from lists and go through them. One morning I found a heap of invitations that hadn’t made it to the diary (of which I have 2), vouchers that expire soon which aren’t of interest, vouchers that have expired which I could kick myself over not using, notes from the children, bits cut out of newspapers and magazines, chewed up bits of paper with contact details on and photos. They’ve all got to go somewhere!

Finding a pen that actually works is a mission in the kitchen – where do they all go? Why doesn’t anyone put them back in the pen tin? Actually where is the pen tin?

At last I’m armed with a pen and things get scribbled onto the Dodopad that hangs in the kitchen and my diary book that moves around the house! Sorted. Phone numbers etc get put into the address book and numbers get stored in my phone. Those out of date vouchers get put in recycling, might be used vouchers get put in a pile and vouchers I have no intention of using also get recycled. Nearly sorted!

Photos get put into a tin that holds photos that have found their way from albums and things. How I miss those little envelopes that photos are in when they’ve been developed, well apart from the over developed ones with out of focus photos and views of thumbs!

After that the kitchen is looking better and I look at my kitchen list which looks like this:-

– Sort cupboards
– Cutlery drawer
– Service oven
– Clean oven
– Defrost freezer
– Order dog food
– Order fridge door shelves
– Mend drawer
– Order new door
– Service boiler
– Menu plan (one day everyone will eat everything and not fuss over mushrooms, olives, cheese)
– Taps
– Skirting board
and then the last one which has been on every list since we first saw the house in 2000
– knock down wall, extension

Sometimes there’s something on the list that gets moved. Unlike the wall.

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Following on from my earlier post, these words just tumbled out in memory of my grandfather Captain Hugh Preston Wattis of the South Staffordshire Regiment

The photos and the diaries
All hold a life so dear
The telegram brought dreadful news
No wife should ever hear

Stiff upper lip and carry on
Is how it’s meant to be
Behind closed doors emotional
So no one else can see

So carry on with head held high
Life might not be the same
But tell the tales of your younger years
To those who share his name

More Spirit of Christmas

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Nipped up to Spirit of Christmas again today to catch up with friends and visit more stands of loveliness!  As before it’s a visual post and I make no apologies for tempting you or leading you astray!!

These retro merino long or short sleeved jerseys are ideal for both cyclists and skiers!   www.juracycleclothing.co.uk

These retro merino long or short sleeved jerseys are ideal for both cyclists and skiers!
http://www.juracycleclothing.co.uk

http://www.jonnyssister.co.uk

Jonny’s Sister made letter bunting for me years ago, it took real strength not to get big letters for the girls’ rooms! http://www.jonnyssister.co.uk

Gorgeously cute!

Gorgeously cute!

Had a delicious hand massage at Connockhttp://www.connocklondon.co.uk

Had a delicious hand massage at Connock http://www.connocklondon.co.uk

Pollyfields.  Seriously the most amazing scent holding pot pourri from http://www.pollyfields.co.uk

Pollyfields. Seriously the most amazing scent holding pot pourri http://www.pollyfields.co.uk

Elf top, fabulous!  www.fauxrealtees.com

Elf top, fabulous!
http://www.fauxrealtees.com

Wall Hangings and other lovely items from Box Brownie Trading www.boxbrownietrading.co.uk

Wall Hangings and other lovely items from Box Brownie Trading
http://www.boxbrownietrading.co.uk

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“Always” from Box Brownie Trading
http://www.boxbrownietrading.co.uk

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Angel’s Face Tutus

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Angel’s Face Tutus. Cool that’s what! http://www.angels-face.co.uk

Interchangeable belts

Interchangeable belts – just a few clasps http://www.zapita.co.uk

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Interchangeable belts – just a few colours http://www.zapita.co.uk

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Socks of gorgeousness http://www.blueblancmange.co.uk

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Loungewear at its best! Not only these fabulous lounge pants but also cushion covers, socks, hats, tops http://www.blueblancmange.co.uk

I'm a sucker for a mug!  http://www.aurina.co.uk

I’m a sucker for a mug!
http://www.aurina.co.uk

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Beautiful cushions, blankets, hot water bottles http://www.chilcottuk.com

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Oh look a labrador and lavender, 2 of my favourites! http://www.chilcottuk.com

This is THE MOST MOREISH thing ever I did taste!  Blushing Beetroot www.lucysdressings.co.uk/shop/blushing-beetroot/

This is THE MOST MOREISH thing ever I did taste! Blushing Beetroot. Can’t wait to cook roast beef, Yorkshire puds, some kind of potato dish and a big bowl of greens to serve up with this! http://www.lucysdressings.co.uk/shop/blushing-beetroot/

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Great looking hairbrushes, looking forward to trying out the girls’ gift http://www.gnot.co.uk

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The packaging is certainly a treat! http://www.gnot.co.uk

Traditionally styled, hand knitted clothing and accessories www.hambroandmiller.co.uk

Traditionally styled, hand knitted clothing and accessories
http://www.hambroandmiller.co.uk

Big thanks must go to Sally Swannell for looking after my bags and agreeing that I very much needed to buy those pink brogues from Its Got Soul!  Thanks also to Alice at Wingfield Digby for the use of her phone charger, being without a phone would have been a disaster!

Spirit of Christmas Finds – Day 1

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I visited Spirit of Christmas at Olympia yesterday which was lovely, tiring but very lovely.  It was great to see so many friends and people that live in my phone all in one place, it was helpful to be able to put a face to the name and see their wares in the flesh.  Temptation!!  There were of course, as you would expect from an event as large as Spirit, lots of amazing and interesting stands that might appeal to you and whet your appetite!  Instead of a wordy blog here’s a few photos with links to share with you.

Sally Swannell C14 www.sallyswannell.co.uk

Sally Swannell C14 http://www.sallyswannell.co.uk I love everything! The snow globes are stunning!

Stand C17 www.elizawray.co.uk

Stand C17
http://www.elizawray.co.uk Everything is lovely

www.thelabradorcompany.co.uk Stand E1

Oh look labradors http://www.thelabradorcompany.co.uk
Stand E1

Stand C87 www.whinberryandantler.com

Mugs and other lovely things, I do love mugs Stand C87
http://www.whinberryandantler.com

Stand C88 www.itsgotsoul.co.uk

Stand C88
http://www.itsgotsoul.co.uk I had to try these on. I tried to walk away with them, so comfortable!

Stand C101 www.illuminatedcanvas.co.uk

Stand C101
http://www.illuminatedcanvas.co.uk These are just fabulous. I would like one that says “Kitchen Open” (big fat hint)

Stand G48 www.rawXclusive.co.uk

Stand G48
http://www.rawXclusive.co.uk Dogs and mugs! I have a few dotty friends (and their owners)

Stand J31 www.millstonemill.com

Stand J31
http://www.millstonemill.com For that hard to buy for person!

Stand A51 www.jardins-animes.co.uk

Stand A51
http://www.jardins-animes.co.uk Genius! Fill a wreath with what you like.

Stand E2 www.pollyfields.co.uk

Stand E2
http://www.pollyfields.co.uk These smell gorgeous and the scent lasts for ages, I’ve bought them as gifts before. I’ve not got room for a large display but will get a bag for a bowl by the front door.

Stand J78 www.lunalighting.co.uk

Stand J78
http://www.lunalighting.co.uk Cute and simple.

The Labrador Company www.thelabradorcompany.co.uk

oh look labradors! The Labrador Company
http://www.thelabradorcompany.co.u

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Gordon Castle Scotland Stand FD84 http://www.gordoncastlescotland.com I love the onion marmalade and the whisky cider, shortbread, oatcakes, candles and the Gin! The Gin!!!

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Mandoux Stand G91 http://www.mandoux.co.uk Gorgeously soft mini hot water bottles

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L & S Interiors Stand G93 http://www.lsinteriorstore.co.uk Wanted it all!

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Heywood Hill Stand B44 http://www.heywoodhill.com Book subscription by post

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The zebra!!! Stevenson Brothers E19 http://www.stevensonbros.com

Of course there were many more!  Many many more!  This is just a little sample!