Skip to content

Magical May

Once again I’m posting very late in fact it is almost the end of June – whoops! Time management is definitely not my forte.

As always the first Wednesday in the month was spent watching TV with my Mum while consuming a picky dinner on trays. We finished the latest series of Call the Midwife – about three months later than everyone else but never mind. It was a little sad coming to the end but it was the happiest of happy endings with wish fulfilment and everything. Of course there’s the Christmas special to look forward to too.

I took my sister’s puppy Millie for a walk in the park. Millie and I are very fond of each other. and we had a simple lovely time.


I’ve been struggling with terrible seasonal allergies to the extent that I’ve been attending a specialist clinic at the hospital. My GP saw my desperation and prescribed the magic bullets aka Steroids to make me feel better. They worked and my life suddenly improved.

I saw Carousel at the Coliseum with Mum and my sister. We took Mum as her Mother’s Day present. It was fabulous. Katherine Jenkins and Alfie Boe were simply superb and I confess to shedding a tear or two at the end.

I had an enjoyable dinner with K and H. 

There was a glorious walk in St James Park 


I also caught up on some good TV – Grantchester, Broadchurch and The Durrells.

There was an amazing moon. Sadly the photos didn’t begin to do it justice and there’s no point sharing it with you because I couldn’t catch the moment at all.

There’s been the simple joy of rereading LM Montgomery’s Anne. I’ve always loved entering her world. Anne reminds me that even when things are far from easy there is still happiness to be found if you look for it.

I walked in the park one evening. The light was fabulous.

Mum and I had a delicious breakfast at Dishoom. I love the pattern on the crockery.


I went to The Kensington Dolls House Festival. I bought this tiny book.


My Dad bought me a delicious Curry at the Star

I have new jeans. They fit and they flatter me and didn’t cost as much as I expected.

There was a lovely dinner at the Chinese Buffet with the grown ups in my family.

I’ve found a new author – she’s a Children’s author but Emma Carroll’s Letters from the Lighthouse is a work of genius.

I received a truly splendid parcel from S 

 There was an evening of perfect calm and peace.

Damien my lovely podiatrist sorted out my sore foot.

Mum made me these for my Dolls House aren’t they amazing? As a Chalet School fan it’s only right the dolls should have copies.

I met H in Oxford and saw the musical of Dodie Smith’s “I Capture the Castle”. It was amazing and I was absolutely captivated. Afterwards we wandered around Oxford and there was a Rainbow but I  fear the yellow crane is much more visible in the photo I tried to take.


Not so pleasingly our favourite restaurant was closed for a private function, however someone H knew recommended a little Italian in Jericho. It was well priced and delicious. Definitely a good find. We’ll be going there again.  

I had a glorious swim in an almost empty pool with water that was the perfect temperature with a proper hot shower afterwards its not often I get the whole combination at the local pool.

I met  R after work for the first time in ages. We sat in the park and put the world to rights.

My ceiling fan, every year as the summer begins to kick in I give thanks for the decision I made to install a ceiling fan in my bedroom I am sure it is the only reason I get some sleep once the temperature rises.

A peaceful lunch break in the park reading

Flowers in the park


Chatting and gossip with the usual suspects

For the first time since I had the first ankle surgery way back in January 2015 I managed a proper long drive. I went from London to Chesterfield and back again. I feel as if I have my freedom back!

The purpose of this epic trip was to meet H and spend the Bank Holiday weekend exploring. We were based in Chesterfield but on the first day we took ourselves to Hardwick Hall. I liked the sound of Bess of Hardwick but it takes some confidence to affix your initials to your new house for posterity. I loved the little owl statue in the gardens.


The following day was spent at Chatsworth. It was very grand and ostentatious and I clearly am getting old because I found myself thinking about the central heating bill and how draughty it would be. One of the State bedrooms had a bath in a cupboard. I was rather taken with that but I fear I don’t have enough space in my own bedroom to emulate it. As always I preferred the gardens. The Lupins were magnificent as were the Rhododendrons.  We were too early for the Peonies which was a pity I love Peonies. The plants were smothered in buds so I think they must be impressive. I wished my nieces and Millie dog could play in the cascade too. It was full of dogs and small children having a fabulous time.


I managed to fix my elderly Sat Nav – which was joyous. I forced it to update and then discovered the main problem was a faulty charging lead. All sorted for less than £3. This is good as I have every intention of driving far more and far further now that I know I can. Before they know it some people will find me on their doorstep.

Finally I’m typing this on a brand new PC. I hadn’t been able to blog on my old one for at least two years. It was just too slow. Then in the middle of May disaster struck and it would not turn on at all. It was too old to be worth repairing it so I have a new one and the speed amazes me.

Amazing April

It’s not May yet and I’m posting already. I feel I deserve some sort of fabulous award for this. I’ve had a really good month. Spring is well on the way and it may not have always been as warm as I might like but there’s been blue skies and sunshine bnearly everyday.

I began the month with a delicious dinner and a gossip at H’s in SE23.

Then I headed home to meet D who was coming to stay. There was more happy catching up.

I went to a Dolls House Fair with my Mum and bought a few more bits to liven up my tiny house.

I survived my annual performance review at work unscathed. I’m always afraid that this will be the year I get found out…

I was really nervous about having my hair done by a different hairdresser – mine is on maternity leave but B who was recommended by 3 of my friends gave me an ace cut and colour in time for my birthday.

My colleagues gave me some lovely birthday presents which were a complete surprise and very apt.

I had a picky tea and I watched Call the Midwife with my Mum.

I was very lucky and had lovely warm sunny weather for my birthday. I went to a Dolls House shop in Steyning in Sussex to buy a few bits for my house.

After lunch we went to Arundel for a rather nice afternoon tea. I admired the Castle and browsed a lovely second hand bookshop.

I enjoyed a wonderful Birthday dinner in a local Italian restaurant ending with this rather lovely pudding.

I had some truly amazing cards and parcels. There are compensations to being older than I ever intended to be…

A came to stay. I’ve not seen her for a year and it was so good to see her.

As it was a very big birthday I had a very big birthday party. It was truly amazing. We hired a cruiser that had been to Dunkirk and I celebrated my birthday with a cruise on the Thames with my family and friends. I was able to see so many of my friends. I loved it.

I had more than a fortnight off work which meant I had some peace, quiet and calm for rest, life admin and Spring cleaning. I also caught up on my reading.

I spent a Day in town with big niece visiting and photographing tourist attractions for something she was doing at school. 

I took big niece to her first ever evening performance. We saw the ENB’s My First Cinderella at the Peacock.

Big nieces had a sleepover at my house afterwards and the following morning we watched Swallows and Amazons in our PJs. Very lazy and a simple delight.

I played with smallest niece and Millie my sister’s puppy.

L came to stay and we had a delicious dinner at the Turkish restaurant.

I put up my Easter decorations. I always like an excuse for decorations.

Surprise belated birthday flowers from my friends.

On Easter Saturday I went to Greatstone with my friends K, S and L we wandered along the beach then went to the Pilot Inn at Dungeness for lunch. Then we went on to explore Rye. We had a lovely afternoon tea in a tea shop that was completely timeless. It was the kind of place the Girlsown heroines I love reading about might have patronised for afternoon tea or morning coffee.

We had a lovely Family Easter complete with the now traditional Easter Egg hunt. We’d even found Easter Eggs for dogs so my Millie could join in. I received some delightful eggs. My favourite was the one big niece made for me.


I had a lovely morning in Manor Park with smallest niece then played with Millie.

Very peaceful TV day with afternoon tea on a tray.

I’ve been taking advantage of the better weather to go for walks around the local park.


Apple blossom 


I had an unexpected delightful parcel from New Zealand.

I had a lovely walk along the Thames before work

Coffee, dinner and gossip with the girls.

My friend K’s cat also a Millie came to stay. I always enjoy Millie!s visits.

Some of my friends came over for homemade pizza. We had a good evening and I was able to catch up with someone I’ve not seen for ages.

Marvellous March

I meant to blog on the right day for once but it didn’t work out that way. On Friday afternoon I was getting on with my to do list and mopping up the week’s tasks before going home early because it was Friday and payday when I heard a voice that should have been 400 miles away. A colleague I like and respect who is on secondment in Scotland appeared and wanted to know who was coming out for drinks. I hastily revised my plans for housework, grocery shopping, blogging and an early night. After all the dust would still be there tomorrow. (Confession – it is still there). Instead I spent the evening in a Southbank watering hole with a lot of former colleagues. Je ne regrette rein.

In a way it sums up what makes me happy if you look at my entries there are definitely themes that include friends, delicious food, flowers, books, pets and kindness. March is no different except that spring is on its way and the increased warmth and light is an additional source of happiness. I thrive on light and warmth.

So here are the things that made me happy in March:
There was a lovely picky TV dinner Mum and I shared while watching Call the Midwife. I do love that programme.

E was in London for a meeting and we had lunch together afterwards.

Smallest niece baked me a special cake which she smothered in smarties and chocolate buttons. It was delicious and made with so much love.

I have a new to me mobile phone. There was an unfortunate incident with the old one involving the loss of a decades contacts. Now I’m recovering from this terrible trauma and have began the process of recovering all my contacts it’s quite nice to have a phone that actually works properly.

I had a belated Christmas gift from L and K in the form of posh afternoon tea. We all attended in ladylike garb, sipped tea, nibbled cake and gossiped freely. Such fun!

I treated myself to a bath in the middle of the day one Sunday. I’d forgotten how decadent it feels to soak in a tub full of hot water and scented oil at 2pm. Pure self indulgent bliss. I must remember to do it more often.

My Mum laid on a fabulous Sunday tea because an old friend from my primary school days was joining us. It was a strange blast from the past. It was nice to see her but we have little in common anymore which felt very peculiar.

I was brave enough to make three difficult phone calls. I dislike calling anyone I don’t know and I really hate it if I have to have an uncomfortable conversation but I did it and felt so much better when it was done.

I finally bought a new case for my Kindle as you can see it isn’t very sophisticated but it amuses me. I also bought a case for my new phone.

I bought an amaryllis bulb in the post Christmas sales. I thought for weeks it wasn’t going to do anything but then it burst into life and was spectacular. 

My sister’s Cav puppy Millie spent the whole weekend with me.

I took her for lunch with the K’s and she enjoyed playing with Mr C and he with her. Turns out puppies can ride on swingboats and in toy tractor trailers.

I had lunch with S and C. I don’t think about I’ve seen C for four years and it was so nice to see her again. We promised each other we won’t leave it another four years.

I visited the school where I am a governor and they have ducklings. I was instantly besotted and when I got to hold one that was it my day was made. They are so soft and fluffy but have surprisingly big cold feet.

I expended a little effort and revamped the pots in my front garden. I’ve achieved a big impact for minimal cash and effort which is most pleasing.

I also met M for coffee. M is an old uni friend and I’ve not seen him for ages either. It was lovely to catch up with him too.

Wandering in the park one lunchtime.

The Watermill Theatre’s Murder for Two. I went on the spur of the moment at the behest of my friend S. it was fab. I absolutely loved it.

L came to stay

I went to Oxford and lunched with H at Al Shami.

I saw some glorious tiles at the Ashmolean Museum.

We watched Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit at the Oxford Playhouse. I love Noel Coward and it was perfect Light frothy and very amusing.

My godfather’s Seventieth Birthday party

Magnolia trees I love magnolia blossom and this month has been full of them.

I looked to one side on my morning commute and there was a beautiful tabby cat basking in the sun on a window sill. It was gone in a flash as my train hurtled through the suburbs towards town but it was a lovely moment.

The calm composure of my colleagues as all hell broke loose around us. The 22nd of March was a dreadful day and we were too close for comfort but there was something infinitely reassuring in watching the contingency plans kick in and that they worked. We were sad but safe. Other people were not so lucky.

My new dolls house furniture. I’ve been carefully working on furnishing my little house.

A delicious dinner at K’s, congenial company and best of all (sorry K) Millie cat cuddles.

I had a completely free Saturday and decided to spend it in glorious lazy self indulgent solitude.  I’d not been feeling great but with unusual insight I realised that I wasn’t ill simply tired and that was something  I could do something about. I’d been reading in Marjorie Hillis’ eponymous book “Live Alone and Like It” and it has a section about how to plan a weekend day or a whole weekend entirely to oneself without feeling lonely or low. I planned with great care so I purchased a small packet of my favourite Rose and violet creams and a Lush bath melt for a truly sybaritic day. I began the day by making tea in my Granny’s teapot and eating a pain aux raisin for breakfast. I found the fab macaroons my sister had brought me from Paris for an afternoon treat. I’ve decided to try and plan in one every 4-6 weeks because it did me so much good. Although next time I will fine tune my planning and arrange a blow dry, manicure, massage or facial or perhaps a trip to the sauna and steam room to enhance the day.


It was Earth Hour that evening and I decided to mark it. I turned off every light in the house and the TV. I have a new respect for those who spent or still spend their lives without electricity because I couldn’t see to do anything.  Luckily I have a kindle so I could read although it did feel a bit like cheating.

Mother’s Day pizza at my parents. A chance to thank my mother, play with my nieces and cuddle Millie dog.

Ranunculus – aren’t they pretty. A £1.25 post Mother’s Day bargain.

I am loving the longer days. Light evenings suit me.

Lunch in Lincoln’s Inn Fields

Lunch with colleagues in Iberica.

Walking in St James Park.

S’s birthday party they gave us free cake.

The drinkies after work with old colleagues I mentioned at the beginning of this admittedly lengthy update.

Frozen February

Very belatedly it is time to write about February.

I went for a lovely walk in the park with E from book club one lunchtime. We had a lovely catch up.

There were Snowdrops in the park.

I met A for lunch which broke up a dull work day nicely.

A good visit to my grandmother. She wasn’t aware of who I was but we talked about her memory book and she was quite animated.

I cooked a roast dinner for K and H.

There was also a very productive visit to the chest clinic – sorry about the awful pun. It was follow up after the January episode and the consultant had several positive suggestions to improve my situation. He is sure I have had what the media is calling the 100 day cold.

My sister acquired a gorgeous puppy. This is Millie a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. In this photo she’s eight weeks old.

I received a splendid belated Christmas present from A.

There was more snow and I went to Hampton Court to see my friend H. To be honest it was too cold to enjoy the palace but we had a splendid catch up and delicious pizza.

My parents returned from Guadalupe and we went out for a jolly nice curry to welcome them home.

I had a lovely calm slow Sunday breakfast.

Unusually I had nothing planned for a Saturday and I spent a lovely peaceful day pottering around the house, running a few errands and curling up with a book and TV.

I batched cooked slow cooked lasagne.

On the advice of the chest consultant I have began swimming again and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

My reliable albeit elderly car passed its MOT first time – cause for celebration

I have a new battery for the aforementioned elderly car. It had been a bit temperamental of late and it turned out the battery was the one the manufacturer installed in 2004. It really didn’t owe me anything. Replacing it means it starts first time every time. 

I successfully negotiated with Sky and reduced the cost of my package from £46 to £28. This was most satisfactory.

Lovely Wahacca dinner with L

I thought my car might not meet the new emissions standards for London but I finally made myself face the problem and checked. It turned out the car meets Euro 4 standards and I have nothing to worry about.

My Mum’s Dolls House which was made for her by my Grandad has been beautifully restored by a family friend. I played with it as a child and I’m as thrilled as she is to see it restored to its former glory.

Leaving work in daylight – it may not seem much but it’s lovely to leave the office before the streetlights come on.

D the genius podiatrist sorted out my sore foot.

I bought these lovely rainbow tulips as a present to me.

I went to K’s for cocktails and saw R. There was also a good opportunity to make a fuss of Millie cat.

I went through my clothes. I threw away lots of old socks and tights that haven’t fitted properly since the swelling in my ankle went down. I have no idea why I kept them so long. However the grand sort out meant I found clothes I’d forgotten owning and I feel as if I have lots of new things,

My brother’s kebab birthday dinner – mine were made with halloumi and apple crumble which we all love.

There was delightful Snail mail from L.

I made fabulous pancakes for Shrove Tuesday. A couple of years ago I made the worst pancakes ever they puffed up like Yorkshire puddings in the pan. I still have no idea what I did wrong but I was convinced I couldn’t make pancakes but it turns out I can.

Jolly January

I haven’t posted for ages and it is about time I did. January seems a long time ago because it was. It was a very quiet month but at least this year it didn’t include major orthopaedic surgery. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to avoid hospital but we can’t have everything. So without further ado here are the things that gave me joy in January.

My flat always seems so much bigger, brighter and fresher when the Christmas decorations come down and I give the place a good clean. It’s compensation for the loss of the lights. I spent New Years Day and part of the 2nd restoring order and calm to my home.

I started the new year with a crisp new Vera Bradley laptop backpack to carry my work tablet around in. It may be a small thing but anything that brightens up the dark cold mornings helps.

I also found a section on the Vera Bradley website that explained how to wash the old ones and as my new washing machine has a cold cycle I tried it out and my faintly grubby bags and backpacks are sparking clean again.

There was a lovely dinner out with the girls to mark the new year.

We celebrated my sister’s birthday a week late with Chinese takeaway.

Mum and I watched the Christmas Call the Midwife and the last GBBO with a delicious picky dinner in front of the TV.

Unfortunately the bad cold I’d had on and off since November turned out to be pneumonia. It’s a very girlsownish illness to have but I don’t recommend it. It is about as much fun as you might expect it to be. I was actually signed off sick for longer than when I had surgery. On the bright side I received amazing and swift care in hospital when I realised I might be a little more ill than I thought. St Thomas’s £22m A&E refurbishment was worth every penny from my point of view. Happily antibiotics and steroids were effective and I went home the same day. I had pretty fabulous follow up care from my GP too.

I have had some lovely flowers to cheer the month. Ranunculus, Anemones, Hyacinths and Amaryllis.

There was snow and I was able to enjoy it in the best way watching it from inside a warm cosy flat.

K came to cheer my sick bed and cooked me a delicious dinner.

I bought my first bunch of daffodils of 2017.

I went to see Rent my belated Christmas gift from S. I absolute loved it. The staging and costumes were fab. The play itself was just incredible and a reminder of the bad old days when HIV was a death sentence. We’ve come so far.

I have Hamilton tickets for next year which is so exciting. 

D was in London and we arranged to meet for lunch and a catch up.

I found this super shop front in Percy St.

There was a Brick Lane Curry with K and H.

Cuddles with my smallest niece.

I’m much older than I planned on being later this year so I’m having a big party to celebrate. As part of this I ordered some very fancy invitations. I do like posh stationery.

Death in Paradise is back on TV. I do enjoy it. Crime Drama set in the warm sunny Caribbean to liven up January what’s not to like.

I watched The Halcyon too. WW2 is my favourite period in history although if I’m honest I’m not sure how long this drama will hold my attention.

D my fabulous podiatrist sorted out my sore foot.

I bought a Lumie alarm clock. I’m still reserving judgement on whether it makes it easier to get up. I think the gradual light helps. It’s not as if I’ve ever been a morning person.

I found reduced alostromeria in M&S I can hardly ever afford enough flowers to fill my late Great Aunt’s crystal rose bowl but these cost £1.77.

While working from home I took myself for a lunchtime walk in the Winter Gardens. They are only a 15 minute walk yet somehow I never go and they are so beautiful.

My parents treated me to a delicious dinner in a local Italian.

I took my car for its annual bath – actually it might have been longer than a year since I last took it to be cleaned. I don’t think it has ever been so clean. I’m surprised it didn’t fail to start from shock. With all the Christmas tree needles gone from the inside and the moss removed from the trim it became quite respectable. I may increase the schedule to six monthly washes. 

I found all these books I wanted to read in the Red Cross shop for £7.

Delights in December

Rather belatedly as I have had that hacking cough for what seems like forever and I’ve had a very severe case of self pity as a result. However here are the things that cheered the last month of 2016 for me.

I am always delighted when the Pullman is in Victoria Station in the mornings. I saw it three times in December because they run special trips. I’m even more delighted when they use a steam train but that is a very rare treat. I dream of one day  going on a trip myself but I’d need to save. You can often fly to New York for less. But it makes me think of Poirot and those lovely Mabel Esther Allan travelogues and the Chalet girls heading for Innsbruck.

December is the only time it is socially acceptable to eat chocolate before breakfast so I love my Advent calendar especially as it was a glorious German chocolate marzipan one. I’m clearly ageing though as I found I preferred my small treat after dinner rather than before breakfast. My smallest niece who happily rose ar 5:30am for her choccie would be disgusted with her Auntie.

I love visiting the Christmas market at Southbank it makes me feel properly festive. This year I went there three times to meet people and enjoyed the atmosphere.

Then there’s all the special Christmas reading. This year I saved Christmas books especially for December. There was the lovely PD James Christmas compilation which new. A Christmas cosy crime and the old favourites like Christmas with the Chrystals.

I had a splendid afternoon and evening wandering in Oxford with L. I adore the covered markets. The old fashioned fruit and veg stalls never fail to delight me.

Then we met H for cocktails and our annual dinner at El Shami. I have developed a taste for Singapore Sling cocktails.

Vladvent a one off special event held by another H. It involved the delights of pizza, gossip and a glorious Tarte Tatin. 

I took big niece to the Southbank Christmas market and let her choose a Christmas book in Foyles. This was obviously a serious business.

I attended my friend S’s choir Christmas Concert.

My parents returned from sunning themselves in Florida and we celebrated with a delicious family curry at the Star

Mum and I watched White Christmas, ate pizza and drank sparkling pink wine.

The American Christmas magazines my mother brought back filled me with joy. I do enjoy a North American lifestyle magazine.

I watched the KS1 nativity at the school where I’m a governor. It was an excellent performance and once again helped me to feel festive.

My Nanna was 93. We held a small celebration in her nursing home. She knew it was her birthday and was delighted with her cake. It was only a small thing but it is nice to see her happy.

I attended my Godparents annual Christmas Do and caught up with my cousins and their children.

My Book club met for Christmas at the Festival Hall, there was gossip, wine and the Christmas market.

I know many people despise the Office Christmas Party but ours was a low key Thai lunch and it was really quite enjoyable. The following day we all went to the staff restaurant for a more traditional Christmas lunch and concluded the week with drinks. 

There was a splendid coffee with the girls and plenty of moral support.

I held a Christmas At Home to entertain as many of my friends as I could. It was so nice to see them all.

I received a beautiful new Emma Bridgwater Labrador mug as a gift. It makes me happy everytime I drink my tea from it.

You may have guessed I like a Christmas decoration or two. So here are mine.

We have a family tradition to attend a Christmas concert at the Albert Hall. The Jingle Bells concert is far from highbrow its more like a big party with singing and it’s always such fun. People wear Christmas jumpers decorate their seat with lights and generally enjoy themselves. The atmosphere is amazing. Afterwards we headed off to the Spaghetti House for a lovely dinner.

I had a pre Christmas cut and colour which as always had a good effect on my mood and self esteem. A good hairdresser is frankly one of the best morale booster there is.

Then there was a truly delightful Christmas Party at Fan Girl Towers with L’s delicious Brandy Cake.

I was on leave and able to spend a day playing with small niece. We don’t get much 1-1 time and it was nice to be able to interact with her in peace.

My big niece came for a sleepover – we watched Eloise at Christmas and ate chip shop chips in front of the TV. For big niece this is a huge treat. The next day we headed off for her Christmas gift a trip to the Harry Potter Studios. We both had a glorious day. I enjoyed seeing it dressed for Christmas and she was fascinated.

My favourite house guest Millie cat came to stay for Christmas. We kept each other company particularly when I had a sofa day nursing my cold. She was a great comfort although if I was cynical I’d say she was attracted to my blanket and heat pack.

My parents, godparents and I went to Westminster Abbey for the service of lessons and carols. I always enjoy being in the Abbey I like knowing that people have worshiped there for generations. They were there long before I was born and will be there long after I’ve gone. It gets Christmas off to a good start. Afterwards I entertained everyone to supper.

 On Christmas Eve we enjoyed our new tradition of dinner at Ziyafet the Turkish restaurant. It was delicious and they kindly sent me home with a doggy bag of Turkish lamb for Millie. She loved it.

I was lucky enough to receive some lovely Christmas presents. Some of them were delightfully wrapped to which just added to their charm. We also still have stockings. It may be childish but I always enjoy emptying my stocking.

As always I enjoyed my Christmas dinner. As a vegetarian I have a splendid vegetarian Wellington with all the trimmings. 

There was Boxing Day dinner at my sister’s with the traditional delight of bubble and squeak, pickles and cold meet or in my case the rest of my Wellington. Afterwards we played ridiculous games.

My washing machine died. This was not pleasing in fact I was very distressed about it but it was ten years old and owed me nothing. I wasn’t at all keen on learning to use a new one but I was fortunate enough to buy a new washing machine in the sales and acquired a £550 washing machine for £229. Now I’ve got used to it I am compelled to acknowledge that the new machine is a good thing it is much more efficient and the laundry is so much cleaner. I suspect the old one hadn’t been working well for sometime.

I enjoyed the time between Christmas and new year it was a week of quiet peaceful time to read and watch TV.

My grandmother’s nursing home had reindeer visiting before Christmas and they sent us a photo. It was so nice to see her happy and engaged. Animals clearly still get through to her.

I had a glorious walk on a crisp frosty but still sunny late December morning

There was a beautiful journey through Kent and Sussex on a winter afternoon to see my Australian cousins. It was nice to catch up with them and see baby C whom I’d never met.

I was able to catch up on some life admin in preparation for 2017.

Farewell 2016

2016 has drawn to its close and I know many people are pleased to see the back of it. I’m refusing to label it the worst year ever or anything of the sort. It is just a date on the calendar. Things have happened which I might have preferred not to happen (Brexit for example) and for some of my friends the year has brought serious even life threatening illness which I wish they had been spared. There have been some truly heartbreaking world events but the year isn’t to blame for those things. Dare I say it in most cases people are to blame not an arbitrary date – it was ever thus. The other events were caused by that nebulous thing – bad luck which is always random and undeserved.

In the same way a year cannot really take the credit for the good things which have been many and are still there underneath it all. This year has brought weddings, new babies, new jobs, promotion – mine included and many other smaller delights.

Personally it has also given me slow steady improvement in my mobility because the major surgery I had eleven months ago has relieved my pain and restored function in my ankle in a way even the surgeon didn’t think was possible. I have a year of slow rehabilitation to go but even if I stop improving completely it has been life changing and life enhancing surgery. I’m grateful for the surgeon’s immense skill and the team of specialists who surrounded me to help me get me better – Thank you NHS. I’m glad that from somewhere I managed to find the courage and resources to face surgery a second time. I am also so very thankful to my family, friends and even colleagues who supported me through those first difficult weeks and months. I have my life back.