Friday, 10 July 2015

Another lunch, and the day itself

I have been having so much fun I forgot to post about my lunch a couple of weeks ago at a Turkish restaurant with my friend Lynne over at Greedy Piglet .  It is in a rather odd place, on the A12 dual carriageway at Capel St Mary which is about 5 minutes the other side of Ipswich.  It is in the building next to a petrol station and used to be a Little Chef, or some such.  Anyway, you would never know it.
Lynne and I have met a few times and talk on Twitter and Facebook but this was the first opportunity we have had to talk one to one for any length of time, which was grand. We both started with squid rings in batter and then had sort of flat bread type things, the names of which I have forgotten

I am so keen to get on with eating I keep forgetting to do the photo before I start!  After Lynne went home I went to the Capel Garden Centre which just happens to have a craft shop in it.  Yes I did.

So, onto the big day itself.  I cooked breakfast, scrambled eggs, bacon, mushroom and hash browns. Then later I went to have coffee with my cousin Tessa and her husband. They recently moved close by.  Then I went and had a wander round the shops in Woodbridge. Then I went home and got lunch - in my case, the rest of my breakfast, toast and marmalade..  I had a bit of a snooze in the afternoon and then, early evening me and him went to Black Tiles for a meal.  I had pear, walnut and stilton salad and he had spaghetti neopolitana (I think) which was a rich spaghetti with two red mullet fillets on top.  For pud I had chocolate truffle cake with orange sorbet and he had rhubarb and apple crumble.
We left the restaurant at about 7.15 and, by arrangement I texted our dear friends Heather and John and they hot footed it round to our house for coffee. and I am now the proud, very proud, owner of this
Heather took up quilting only a few years ago and I have seen quilts she has made for other people but she has been so busy of late that I was extra delighted to receive it.  Only problem is, it looks lovely on the settee (and I have already fallen asleep under it once,) but I need to change the cushion covers. so last night I spent too much time and maybe a little too much money, on fabric to patchwork some to match. Like I needed a new hobby to fill up my copious free time.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Birthday Holiday #1

A couple of weeks ago I found myself in the unusual situation of having almost nothing that "had" to be done.  So I decided to make good use of it and pretended I was on holiday.  This involved not watching what I ate and drank TOO closely and getting together with friends and generally trying not to fret about the things that I decided didn't have to be done.
On the Saturday I cut my hair, I took about three inches off and was pleased with the result, and then in the evening I dyed it sort of dark reddy pink.  I went to see my mum as usual. I also "went" to the opera.  BBC4 showed a film of the production of Peter Grimes that Aldeburgh music did on the beach last year so I settled down and watched it properly and it was fabulous.
On Monday it was a bank holiday so I went to a car boot sale early looking for books and DVDs that might keep my other half entertained.  I failed, but it was a nice day so I had an hour in the early sunshine. I'm sure I did something in the afternoon but I cant remember what it was for the moment! 

On Tuesday I went to Darsham Nurseries with two friends for lunch which was very good indeed.  I had rabbit ragout with soft polenta, followed by roast apricots with meringue and something else, I've forgotten.  However, our further plans were thwarted as we were going to go and have a look round the Yoxford Antiques Centre but discovered it was closed on Tuesdays. I do hope this isn't going to develop into a theme!  So we went to Framlingham instead and sat in luxury in The Crown with a nice cup of tea
Lazy day on Wednesday, then on Thursday my school friend came to visit and we went out....yes, you've guessed it, for lunch!  This time to the Farm Shop Cafe at Marlesford.  We both had asparagus salad followed by raspberry and chocolate roulade.  Then we went for a walk along the river wall at Woodbridge and talked and talked and talked.

On the Saturday I went to meet my new friend Tabitha

Then it was back to normal for a few days but on the Wednesday it was such a lovely day I decided I wanted to go to Stonham Barns and persuaded OH to come with me.  I belong to a group on Facebook for photos of Suffolk so I took the proper camera with me.

We took a picnic and I had a wander round the shops but resisted temptation and we caught two of the flying demos.
We've also "been to the movies" a few times.  Best seats in the house of course, thank you to the man who invented the DVD.  I will do a separate post about those.
Since then I have been back to normal (for a given definition of normal) but am now looking forward to some more excitement next fortnight or so!

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Another birthday day

It is a while since I've been to an auction.  The first time I bid for a house, that was about 30 years ago.  It wasn't for me, I had a client who wanted to buy it and they were too nervous to bid for it themselves, so, as their legal representative, they asked me to do it for them. I, of course, didn't admit that I had never done it before. (we were successful by the way)
Later, when I had a boyfriend who was into antiques and china and stuff I went to a lot of auctions. We sold at fairs and then had some places in antique centres.
Later still I had a go at buying a few bits for myself and to sell on ebay.  If I'd had a day job I would not have given it up!

So, today, I went to an auction with a friend who had never been to an auction before. She enjoyed it and she bid and won on something, so that pleased me.

I was going to bid on a few things but, like my friend, a lot of the things we had our respective eyes on started off way over the estimate.  We felt that this simply indicated what good taste we both had.  But I did get a Charles Horner brooch, which my mum said she would buy me for my special birthday.

Also, as there was a good gap in the middle of the things we wanted to see so we were able to go and get lunch at The Wild Strawberry Cafe

Thursday, 16 April 2015

A Hundred Birthday Days

It isn't my birthday until July but it's one of those with a 0 on the end so I had planned on having a big party.  But then stuff happened.  Stuff that has no place here because this blog is only about nice things, but some of you will know anyway and for those who don't it was only illness related, me, hubby and mum, so not really nasty stuff, but I just haven't felt like coming here for a while.
So, after the stuff, I decided that it was too much of a risk to have a do and then find I wasn't up to it when the time came.  Then I thought, "well, you never get to talk to everybody properly in a crowd so why not have lots of little get togethers, trips out etc" and that is what I decided to do.  So, from now to the end of July I shall be keeping a look out for days when the opportunity arises, and that's about a 100 days of possibilities.  Well, I say days, of course, they can't be full days as I have my carer duties to perform although they will, some of them at least, help me suss out some places for wheelchair friendliness.
So, today I went for lunch with a friend to  The Swan at Westerfield.  It is very comfortable and the menu is varied.  We both had Walnut and Gorgonzola Ravioli followed by Caramelised Lemon Tart with Lemon Sorbet and Raspberry Coulis.  Both were fab.  Generally I think it would be accessible but there is no disabled loo, which is a shame.
Then, my friend and I both having carefully checked opening times on the website, we went to Helmingham Hall  but it was closed.  Later checks revealed that the info on the Google site was wrong but the proper website was right.  Silly us.
So we got lost.  Literally.  On purpose. Well, sort of.  And we ended up at Easton Farm Park which has changed a lot since I was last there but was interesting, although much more oriented towards children now.  Then we got sort of lost again, but that didn't matter because the Suffolk countryside is very lovely and were home in time for tea!
P.S. I took a nice photo of a swan that I was going to put at the top of this post but Blogger seems to be having difficulty with that. Sorry!

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Realistic Resolutions

I suppose we'd better get the subject done and dusted.  Have you managed to keep to any of your New Year Resolutions so far?  Did you think about them properly before you made them?  What is the point of them anyway?  It seems to me that, like dieting, the advice is always "if at first you don't succeed....."  but there's also a little matter of the feasibility of you keeping to or continuing to try whatever it is you have resolved to do.  By all means decide to read the entire works of Shakespeare in a year if you really want to, but does it matter if you only manage a couple of the comedies?  By all means resolve to walk 25 miles a week but if you only manage 10, does that matter?  Maybe you would feel better about yourself if you only resolved to read one play or walk 5 miles and then managed more?
And be ready to fail and start again.  I was going to try and go for a walk at least 5 times a week and try to increase the distance and/or time as I went along and then my back gave way so I have been barely able to totter round the house for the last few days.  Am I downhearted. NOOOOO!  Pick myself up, dust myself off and start all over again!

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Always look on the bright side

Through the magic of Twitter I agreed to fill in a questionnaire about my experience of Fibromyalgia .  If you don't already know what that is, or would like confirmation, then click the link.
Reading the questions did, to begin with, make me feel a bit of a fraud, as has reading posts by other sufferers.  I know it is an impossible task to compare how one person feels to another but I did find myself wondering if I was making a bit of a fuss because I don't seem to be anything like as bad as other people.  Admittedly I have come to a point in my life where I no longer have any great dreams for the future and, for the most part, am pretty content with my lot and I can sympathise with those who feel that this condition is stopping them from living their lives the way they want to.
I gave up working when I was in my early 50s.  I had been in very stressful jobs and I was beginning to think that I couldn't go on. My husband is disabled and he was beginning to deteriorate and my mother, who at that time lived 45 minutes drive away, was also beginning to lose mobility.  We decided that we could manage if I gave up work, never having been ones for big holidays or the latest trends anyway and the feeling of relief when the day came was just amazing.
Gradually it wore off!
Now, I don't intend going into great detail about the various health difficulties that I had for the past 35 years or more (yes, I did say 35) leading to my diagnosis.  I will say, however, that when I looked up the symptoms afterwards, it explained SO many things.  That, in itself was a blessing.  I had a reason for all these "phantom" problems, i.e. symptoms that led to tests that were always negative and the fear that my GPs would mark me down as a hypochondriac.  I was able to rid myself of the feeling that I was just lazy when I needed to sleep in the afternoon.  I had some reassurance that I was not heading for a heart attack.  And, I was prescribed a mild anti-depressant which suddenly changed my whole outlook.  I even found I was no longer so afraid of wasps and the panic attacks stopped.  So, it led to an adjustment of what had always been a chemical imbalance which affected my moods.  I am so thankful to have found a GP who did not just look at me and say "Menopause. Next please"
As my husband has become less able I have not felt that I have been done out of things because I was happy not to have to go off on long trips or help redecorate the house and he has understood my situation probably a lot better than if he had been able bodied.  It means he is able to help me too which does a lot for his self esteem.
I have become more patient, more accepting, and it has strengthened my faith.  As a Methodist preacher, it has given me some interesting things to include in sermons which, through God's grace, have touched others.  It has made me more willing to let God use me in situations where before I would not have had the courage.
I am NOT saying I wouldn't rather be without it but I sure have learned that there's good to be found in everything, if you let yourself be open to it.