Author Archives: Nellie Pom Poms

About Nellie Pom Poms

Now at www.nelliepompoms.co.uk. wife, mother, solutioneer, sorcerer of superb finds, reads lots of books, likes words, complete foodie, makes up recipes, could do better! Now at www.nelliepompoms.co.uk

www.nelliepompoms.co.uk

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It’s all change!  I have recently started a website www.nelliepompoms.co.uk and am   s l o w l y   but surely moving the blogs from here across to there.  Huge thanks to Gabriella Buckingham who designed my original logo and Sarah at Studio Spence who has put it all together for me, if you’re looking for a website then do get in touch with Sarah, she’s very clever (and patient!).

The website has been an idea of mine for ages.  Drawing on my many adventures and journeys, shopping experiences and personal recommendations I have brought everything together and popped it all in one place.  It’s where you will find food and drink suggestions, recent book reviews, the Instagram feed, Twitter timelineNellie Pom Poms Facebook status updates, blog and shopping inspiration from some very lovely people and businesses like Common Farm Flowers, Myddfai, Bowlovers, More-Hall, Bodlon, 2 Little Boys, Hunter Gatherer and more!

So, this blog post is short and sweet (much like myself!), but I do hope you will bookmark www.nelliepompoms.co.uk, sign up to the blog on the website and tell your friends.

Coming up Roses by Rachael Lucas

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I truly loved Sealed With A Kiss by the utterly gorgeous Rachael Lucas and couldn’t wait to dive into the pages of her new book Coming up Roses. Rachael asked me if I would like to review her book so of course I said yes! 

Would be gardening expert Daisy can’t believe her luck when her parents announce they’re off on a midlife crisis   gap year, leaving her in charge of their gorgeous garden. 

From the minute I started reading I knew where Daisy was, I could hear her speak every word she said and see the garden and such is Rachael’s charming and believable description of everything I could well have been there myself!

Having just emerged from a horrible break-up, some peace and quiet is just what Daisy needs.  Only, village life turns out to be anything but ……..

Anyone who has ever lived in a village will appreciate this and anyone who yearns to live in a village will long even more for village life. 

With gardens bursting with life and the summer months stretching out in front of us I can wholeheartedly recommend Coming up Roses. 

Well done Rachael on yet another fabulous book which I know many will enjoy.  

 

Roasted Salad

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I had a delicious salad at a cafe recently and decided to recreate it at home as I so often do. 

So – armed with butternut squash, peppers, onion, garlic, sun dried tomatoes, feta cheese, pine nuts and salad I got down to work. 

– par boil the squash

– cut onions, peppers and garlic 

– strain the squash, mix with onions, pepper and garlic, drizzle in oil and slow bake for 30 minutes 

– prepare rest of salad, lay the table, cut the bread, pour the wine

– when your vegetables are cooked to perfection, spoon them onto the salad, add on the cubed feta, pine nuts and sundried tomatoes, drizzle with a stressing of your choice and serve

  
It was yum and we went back for more. Next time I make it I will add in some cous cous. 

Enjoy and share your recipes! 

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Something stirred me on to get my house in order recently and I’ve been busy going through storage boxes full of stuff I haven’t seen for months or maybe years.

Clothes that had been stored for a summer day, a thin day, a rainy day, a grow into day found their way to new homes via charity shops or friends. Shoes were sorted, anything that was worn down, shoddy and scruffy, grown out of or missing its opposite number was binned.

Seeing the boxes flattened and space appearing was the green light and inspiration for sorting out the clutter that has taken over the house. A lot of stuff was rubbish, broken, beyond economical repair, missing a bit or had no upcycling benefit so it was binned.  The rest is sitting in open topped boxes ready to be taken to a car boot. I don’t need 9 Moroccan tea lights, 7 tea pots, 11 jugs, 3 cake stands, countless buttons, 5 glass bottles. I just don’t need it anymore.

I didn’t stop at that, oh no I carried on.  Under the sink cupboard, bathroom shelves.  Then with a clear space I sat down and felt a sense of calm and a surge of strength.  The strength to admit that some friendships have wilted beyond recovery.

This week has been cathartic.  Clearing out boxes has helped me to clear my head.

Halen Môn – Anglesey salt

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We’ve just returned home after 3 days on Anglesey and I’ve done the washing, removed sand from pockets and put the salt away. Not just any salt! Halen Môn salt. THE salt of Anglesey!

On Thursday we nipped into Halen Môn to pick up some salt for gifts and of course me, and I could have bought plenty in their beautiful shop that is stocked with salt, salt products like Nom Nom chocolate (delicious I tell you), oils, vinegars, sauces, home wares and stationery and much more!

  
The shop is spacious, beautifully stocked, well presented and lovely staff to boot. A beautiful shop!  When I say it’s a beautiful shop I really mean it, so I’m going to award it a Nellington Pom Poms pom pom of excellence! 

  

Unidentified poisoning

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It seems ages ago now and thankfully Arthur is all recovered but I was looking through some old photos recently which prompted me to write about Arthur’s unidentified poisoning which gave us all a scare.

I can remember it all so vividly.  A dog is a man’s best friend and I can confirm that’s the case in our house!  He’s my shadow, he sits patiently when I’m cooking (who needs a hand held hoover when I have one that can catch a falling crumb before it hits the floor), he listens to the music I want to listen to and doesn’t complain, he doesn’t turn his nose up at ANY food and is a very cosy cushion when I flop on the sofa.

Back in January Mook had a paediatrician appointment on and was subsequently referred her for an MRI scan which was swiftly booked in for the next day. With her back at school I took the dog out whilst it was dry.

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Hmmmmmmmmmm. Hail!

Then the rain and hail stopped.  We had a lovely walk, passing the fields of cows on the way to the steam where Arthur retrieved some soggy sticks, killing them by throwing them in the air and then rolling on them, then a really muddy walk through the puddles (I did think of the Vicar of Dibley sketch on more than one occasion!) and trees before hitting the open road. Road walking isn’t my kind of fun so we cut up by the fields and trudged back home in a big loop.

Job done, massive long walk, quick cup of tea and off to school run feeling upbeat after exertions! Had a normal kind of evening and was then up early for Mook, who had the MRI scan and came home for a snooze.

When she woke up she shouted “Mum, Arthur’s behaving really oddly, he’s coughing and retching” oh great I’m not good with sick! Then more urgently “Mum, Arthur’s sicking up blood”. Panic. Panic. PANIC.  PANIC!!!!

Phoned the vets and spoke to the lovely receptionist (they’re all lovely but Angela just so happened to take the call) who said bring him in. Off we trotted with a blanket full of clots and a throat clearing dog. On arriving at the vets he climbed onto the scales and I clocked 40kg before being shepherded into the vet’s room. Explained about the coughing and blood (which was both visible and audible) and Ben said he would need an exploratory. Cue tears and pound sign.  Without further ado he had an emergency exploratory where they found cuts to his palatine artery poss caused by a retrieved stick which were cauterised and he came home rather sorry for himself.

The vet had told me to look out for black poo so I was ready and waiting for that, poor dog had swallowed so much blood his whole tummy must have been drawing in blood.  However the next morning he was peeing blood which sent me into a panic, so when I eventually got a sample (IKEA food bag in a small saucepan waved around under the dog when he looked poised to pee, incase you are wondering) in the late afternoon I went back to the vets and he was seen almost immediately.  Ben checked him over, saw that there was no bleeding from his mouth and said he would have to run some tests and suggested NBM.  I went home and lay on the sofa with my listless shadow who had no idea what was going on.

The vet phoned back to say that his blood results had come back and it was a coagulation problem, either an unidentified poisoning or a primary clotting problem. The vet suggested warfarin poisoning.  I cried.

It could have been anywhere but I’d been doing the same route for a few weeks passing farm fields and wooded areas where quite possibly some rat poison was put down, or a rat had made its way to somewhere and Arthur had inadvertently picked up some warfarin, or the rat had died in the stream where Arthur was happily dragging out sticks and killing them.  I won’t ever know.  It’s likely that the cut to his palatine artery was the entry point for the unidentified poison (poss warfarin). The vet ruled out E. coli as his white blood cells were ok. Copper poisoning is rare but when he has the next blood test in a week it can be looked at. He was on VitK for 10 days and wasn’t allowed to do anything that would cause a bruise or a bleed, so he sat on the sofa and caught up on trashy telly whilst I fussed around him.

Who knows where it all happened but a big hurrah to Kynoch Vets who dealt with a tearful owner, a bewildered family pet and the insurers.

I’m happy to report that 6 months later he is back to his normal self, he’s now 28kg and we have changed our route.

The Husky Trail – Plans

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Training is going well.  I did a 3 day Herbalife trial at the start of the year and lost weight which gave me the kickstart that I needed to change my eating habits and I have been walking loads.  We had a week skiing at Easter and the weather on the first day was freezing, made all the more so because I had taken the wrong salopettes, but it was good to be back in the bindings and spend time in the snow and blow away the cobwebs!  With the longer days I am going to be getting out on the bike more and adding in upper body strength exercises.  With 10 months to go I have a lot to do but I see it as a challenge within a challenge, I’m stepping right out of my comfort zone and pushing myself.  I can do it and I will do it, and when I return home afterwards I will have done it!

Having changed the date the original post is somewhat out of date so here’s a revamped version!  

If you’re new to the blog you won’t know that I have 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 last 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, WIFI, 4G!!! Ah ok it’s only a week but what a week it will be!  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.

You can sponsor me if you like.  I’d be really grateful!