Sunday, 29 June 2014

Scavenger Hunt Part 1: The Day Out

It’s always fun to join in with Rinda’s Summer Scavenger Hunt!  I’ve written down this year’s list in a little notebook that I carry with me everywhere.  I have made a start on that list today, as we’ve been on a motorbike ride over to Rye, a historic town to the east.  Incidentally, it’s the first time I have been on the back (except for round the block) and it feels OK.  Just as well, as we are motorcycling up North next week!



Plenty of nice lampposts in Rye.  Got a feeling I might be taking a few lampposts, I know we have some pretty ones in Worthing with hanging baskets full of flowers at this time of year.



Sign in a language other than English

Rye is not so far from the channel port of Dover, so I was hoping for some signs in a language other than English.  Here’s one about the Norman Conquest of 1066 translated into French.  The ‘Mind Your Head’ sign has been translated into French and German.  We saw this sign as we were climbing the tower of St Mary’s Church.


Birds on a Wire

I am thinking that ‘Birds on a Wire’ could be difficult so how about A Bird on a Post?  This black-headed gull had it’s beady eyes on my sandwich!  Is this a cheat?


while it’s friends showed off on the pavement in front of us:


Rye is a very pretty historic town,full of really pretty old houses and cobbled streets. Here’s some more photos that are not part of the Scavenger Hunt.


I was fascinated by the front doors:


We climbed the tower on the church for wonderful views:


and were interested to see the preparations that were being made for the filming of ‘Mapp and Lucia’, a drama to be shown on BBC.  The author of the original books lived in Rye.


Hop over to Rinda’s blog for more info on the Scavenger Hunt.

Thursday, 26 June 2014


NO, I am not writing about football – despite the World Cup taking place in Brazil as I write.  To be honest, I am not really bothered about football,  Like most sports, I don’t want to sit through a full game, but like to know who wins (not England this time!).  We’ve had a glut of TV sport in this house, Isle of Man TT motorcycle races, Moto GP, football and now tennis at Wimbledon, then there’s the Commonwealth Games in a week or two! How about you, do you like watching sport on TV?

What I want to write about is my personal goals that I set for myself.  I joined a few years ago and regularly join in with the goal setting class each January.  This year, I included the kitchen remodel, and losing weight.  More on the kitchen remodel later, but today I want to tell you about my successful weight loss.

I joined Weightwatchers in January, and yesterday reached my goal weight after losing 26lb!  I have dieted on and off for years, going up and down about 1 to 1.5 stones (14-21lbs).  It is a long time since I have been this low weight- possibly before I had the children!  It feels really good!  Hope I can keep it off!

Here’s the before:

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And the after:


However, it is not all good news.  I started off in January losing 0.5lb – 1lb per week, then suddenly in March (about the time of my birthday) the weight started to fall off dramatically at 2-3lbs each week!  This coincided with feeling very thirsty and going to the toilet lots, especially at night.  I went to the doctors to get some blood tests done, and have just been diagnosed with diabetes!  I am going to see the diabetic nurse next week to go through everything and get medication if it is necessary.

So that does explain the rapid weight loss. I have to be honest, I can’t tell you that I lost weight by cutting down and not eating certain things (biscuits!).  I have been eating more or less normally.

I feel rather unlucky!  I haven’t been massively overweight, and I eat reasonably healthy, lots of fruit and veg, not lots of sugar, just a few biscuits here and there, and I generally avoid puddings.  And I exercise a lot.  Now we don’t have the dog to walk, I go to the gym 4 times per week.  It’s unfair!  I am guessing that there is a genetic component to Type 2 diabetes, as my Dad had it.  I have been doing some research – there are some nasty complications if the blood sugar levels are not controlled!  I hope I can control my levels well. 

I feel unhappy that I now have a medical condition that will always be there.  I am well and truly ‘in the healthcare system’ for the first time in my life (excluding pregnancies). However, there is a good nurse-led diabetic clinic at my local GP’s surgery.  There are lots of regular check ups eg, feet, blood pressure, cholesterol etc.  So I will be well looked after!  As many people have said it could be worse, so I am grateful for that.

So, the diabetes plus my new kitchen have given me renewed enthusiasm for healthy cooking.  Have you got a favourite website or maybe a Pinterest board where you go for new recipes?  Do let me know!

To end on a positive note,  here’s a happy photo of me in my latest me made dress, standing in front of my new border in the garden.  It’s the Staple Dress from April Rhodes, dead easy to make with only 5 pattern pieces!


Wednesday, 4 June 2014

My garden at the end of May

The new border is coming along!  I’ve planted a few more things that Mum has given me.  The weather has been warm and damp, and the slugs have been having a field day!  In particular, they have completely eaten the coreopsis and some cosmos seedlings I put out at the weekend.  I am using slug pellets, but must admit I don’t like using them, in case another animal (bird or frog) eats the dying slug.  YUK!  I hate slugs!

The large shrubs which have been kept when we cleared the border are a blue hibiscus and a philadelphus.

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The end of this border is looking very lush.  I do love a dark purple leaf amongst the green.  This is an elder.

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And on the other side, these red poppies are stealing the show!

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I am linking up with Helen at The Patient Gardener, for a month end look at our gardens.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Month in Numbers - May

It has been a very exciting month of May here at Pierce towers!   We are still in the middle of 1 kitchen renovation, but at least I can use the appliances now.  We have had a complete change of style and layout.  We are thrilled with itSmile

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Number of days without kitchen at all  - 12

Number of Men fitting kitchen   - 8

Number of new cupboards – 18

Number of drawers (including pan drawers) - 6

Number of days painting walls – 3

Number of litres of paint bought – 2


We had 2 fabulous nights out in London this month! 

We were treated to a lovely dinner at the Oxo tower on the South Bank by our friends from San Francisco, who had flown the 5,359 miles to London earlier that day!  Lovely views over St Paul’s cathedral and very nice food.

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The restaurant is on the 8th floor of the building (highly recommended if you are ever in London!)

The building was largely rebuilt in the art deco style in 1928/9

Refurbished in 1990s

78th tallest building in UK

49th tallest in London


Our 2nd trip to London was for a celebration for a business award that Maurice had won.  We had dinner in the private dining area at the top of the Gherkin!  It was fab-u-lous!!!!

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180m tall

360 degrees views across London from the top of the building

Private dining room and bar on 39th and 40th floors, ie the top!

Building is 10 years old

7,429 panes of glass equivalent to 5 football pitches


1 Birthday this month in our family, Mother-in law was 93!

For Me Made May, I only managed to wear Me Made clothes 6 times, (not including pyjamas, which I wore 7 times!

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I spent 15 days not crafting because of the kitchen renovation.  We had ‘kitchen in the dining room’ which is where I normally sew and scrapbook.

Finally, 1 new motorbike purchased:

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Notice that there is a bit of an orange theme, with motorbike and kitchen wall, and I even have my nails painted orange at the moment!


Engine capacity – 1050cc

cylinders – 3

Power – 113bhp

Weight – 198kg

I am looking forward to lots of rides out on it this summer.

I am linking up with Julie Kirk for Month in Numbers.  Do pop over and have a look at some of the others, that’s what I am going to do!