London, baking and no yeast

Me on the London Eye showing how bad I am at taking a selfie. No pouts here…oh no sirree!

I cannot believe that I wrote a whole post the other day and totally forgot to mention that me and the kids had been down to London the other weekend. We went down to celebrate two birthdays: my darling daughter’s and my lovely friend Raymond’s. It was a great weekend – exhausting, but worth it. We arrived on the Friday night and met Raymond and others at a restaurant in Greenwich for dinner. The next day me and the kids met another friend, Richard, for lunch in Ping Pong in Soho (after sitting for several hours atop a tourist bus…it was a good tour, but too long). Then the four of us went to Madame Tussaud’s (the girl’s choice, I wouldn’t have bothered). It was alright, the kids enjoyed it, but I wouldn’t go back.

Here’s me taking a break with Han…he’s not much of a conversationalist!

Anyway, after all that we got back to our hotel about 6pm exhausted. We had a hour to chill out and get ready before heading to a pub in Blackheath (gorgeous place btw) for Raymond’s party. It was an excellent party and I would like to thank Raymond and  George for inviting me and the kids and for buying us dinner and for the party. I had a ball. Drank way too much wine and was dancing and singing all night! Thank you both.

On the Sunday, we had a quick shot on the London Eye (well it wasn’t quick cos we had to queue for an hour before we got on it and it’s very slow), which was good in the sense it was a lovely day and you could see for miles across the city. It’s worth doing once. It didn’t open til 11am so after the ride, we got a taxi up to Euston station to get our train back.

Sigh. Apparently there had been a derailment on the west coast line somewhere near Carlisle so our train back to Glasgow wasn’t running properly. We were advised to go to King’s Cross where we would get a train back to Glasgow. This proved to be false and we ended up on a train to Edinburgh. Then it was a two hour trip back home. We were knackered, but so glad to see our dogs who were staying with a friend who is a dog walker. She very kindly dropped them off for us. I really missed them.

It was a whirlwind of a weekend, but really good. Thoroughly enjoyed it…apart from the odd whinging from the kids that is!

Gratuitous shot of Casper with his doggy.

So I have decided to try and do a month of no buying things I don’t need. This will be horrendous for me because I have a bit of a book buying addiction (mainly with the help of Amazon). However, I have hundreds of books (literally) and I really don’t need any more. So, here’s my pledge to not buy anything I don’t need until April at the earliest. And I will not buy anything I don’t need by trying to persuade the sensible part of me that I really do need it…I don’t! That is what I will be asking myself: do you really need it? No, then put it back!

I will also try to stick tightly to a meal plan. I meal plan every week but you are lucky if I stick to half of what’s written. It’s just that I get to the day a certain meal is lined up for then decide I fancy something else. Not for this month. Nope, I will stick to it. Started tonight…made pizza for dinner. However, I didn’t have any yeast and I cannot find a shop in this area that has any yeast left. Every teensy bit of yeast has been snapped up by folk wanting to make bread because there was no bread in the shops over the last few days because of the snow. A small, annoyed part of me wonders how many of them actually made bread and how many of them just took the yeast just in case and have no intention of ever using it. I have a bread maker and I do make bread, so was a little put out (‘toys out the pram’ put out) when I was unable to buy yeast. Anyway, I made the pizza with a soda bread base…it doesn’t work that well as a base for pizza. Just letting you know. First cooking disaster of the year. Sigh.

Over the last few days I also made a massive pot of lentil soup (love it!) and banana muffin cake (I couldn’t find the muffin tins…the place is still in chaos as the extension is still not completely finished…so I made it as a cake), which the boy ate most of!

Right, I am going to end this here. I still have to iron school uniforms for tomorrow cos the kids are back at school! Yippee! Til next time.

Dawn xxx

 

Cracking fingers, cringing and other pet hates

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So I was sitting on the train the other day and there was this girl sitting across from me. She was in her early 20s – I think – and sat for about a quarter of the journey – probably about ten minutes – cracking her fingers.

I hate that.

I hate it for two reasons: the sound sets my teeth on edge and I hate that folk who do it are probably damaging their fingers. Why would anyone do that to themselves? Why do they think it’s okay to do it in public. It’s a horrible habit.

Anyway, I won’t be sitting across from her again. I kept throwing her dirty looks in the hope she would stop, but she seemed oblivious.

My other pet hates on the train are people listening to music via earphones and having it up too loud so that all the rest of the carriage can hear is the bass and a tinny sound. The other one is folk talking loudly on their mobiles like the young guy yesterday who was a bit of a Yah. I think the entire train heard all about his exploits in his oh-so-full-of-himself voice.

There, that’s it. Over. That’s my moan for today. Well at least the cracking fingers (shudder) has given me my photo theme for this post…fingers.

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So how’s your week been? Hope it’s been good. I’ve been really busy as usual working, cooking, swimming and looking after the family. We did go and see Star Wars last week and I thought it was a great film for action, but the story was too like previous films, the baddie wasn’t evil enough and what’s with the Han Solo thing??? I won’t spoil it for you, but let’s just say the film ends sadly, so sadly that my daughter sobbed all the way home. The thing that happened involved one of her fave characters. She’s a huge fan. She was inconsolable. If you’ve seen the film you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Still enjoying the swimming and losing weight. I lost 5 pounds last week and it was a lot easier than I thought. Giving up coca cola and wine helped (still off them!) and cutting out snacking also helped. I’ve also reduced portion sizes and, quite honestly, I don’t know how I managed to eat so much before. I was brought up to clear my plate, so I’m still struggling with stopping when I’m full. However, the chub is coming off and that’s the main thing. Hope I can keep it up! Anyway, one of the things that has helped me is The Body Coach Joe Wicks’ Lean in 15 book…really nice recipes in it and Joe is just so enthusiastic, his belief in good food and exercise is infectious.

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Currently reading: The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott. I work in PR so it’s always good to keep up with how things are moving in Marketing and PR. This is great book if you want to find out more about social media and viral marketing. Okay having been published in 2010, it’s way out-0f-date but there’s still a lot of good advice in it. Am thoroughly enjoying it. Next book in the pile is Danny Baker’s Going to Sea in a Sieve which my work mate Alan leant me. Looking forward to it. It’s the first part of his biography about his life working as a journalist on the NME. It’s supposed to be a really good read.

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Am about to start back writing. I’ve been procrastinating again, plus I haven’t had a lot of time (to be fair to myself). All this swimming and working doesn’t leave a lot of time (or energy) to get back to it. However, this weekend is looking pretty clear (yippee!) so I will just have to get on with it!!

Right am off. Got food shopping to do before I collect the kids from school.

Til next time!

Dawn xxxx