** All images courtesy of Wikimedia except of course my gingerbreads!

Ooooh, this is a great week for the Book of Lists, this week as we get to talk about one of my favourite subjects….yes, food! The Duchesse wants to know what kind of food we enjoy cooking, and of course, eating!

In our house, Mr Grump is chief chef although I can cook when needed and sometimes I might actually make some cakes or gingerbreads (usually when Miss Hap wants them for school cake day or something)!

The kind of food I seem to enjoy the most is normally the most unhealthy, calorific dishes, which I am sure is no surprise. Still, here is my list.

  • A full English breakfast
  • A roast dinner
  • Party food
  • Barbecues
  • Steak and kidney pudding

I could go on and on…but my tummy is rumbling now!

Photography 101: Bliss and Captions

Mum's Birthday
Some of my (rather large) family!

Today for Photography 101, we are to post a photo of ‘bliss.’ This could be anything that brings us joy and happiness. Also, the task is to caption the photo.

This was quite easy for me actually as this photo captures several elements that are important to make in making me happy.

Firstly, being with family; yes we get on each other’s nerves at times and we have our quarrels, but we also have a great laugh as well, and some wonderful times together.

Food.Whenever there is food around, I am happy! Especially if it is a BBQ.

Fine weather. Now I love a bit of sunshine and sitting outside on a warm summer’s evening. I am a bit fussy though in that if it is too hot, I will moan (there is no pleasing some people, I know)!

The only thing missing from this picture is the beach. I do love swimming in the sea, and lazing about on the sand feasting on a picnic!


Well Here it is!


I am very thrilled and delighted to show you my beautiful, shiny new book! Chris at The Story Reading Ape has done an absolutely brilliant job of designing the perfect cover for it too.  He was so helpful and accommodating to me, despite my inexperience in these matters and problems with my e-mail!

At the moment, it is available at CreateSpace, and is now available on Kindle and Amazon.

As I mentioned in my earlier post, I had been encouraged to publish a collection of my poems, and now I have finally done it! I do love to rhyme things and this book is pretty much a compilation of some of my favourites! I have even included some of the raunchier ones to add a little extra spice!





#SoCS… on Sunday!

I missed Linda’s Stream of Consciousness yesterday, but I thought I would sneak it in today and hope I don’t get told off! Anway, today we are to start with a contraction, and get a few brownie points if we end with one as well,  so here goes.

I’ve just come back from a night away with Mr Grump. It was our first night away together since we got married six years ago. My Mum stayed over at our house to look after Miss Hap and Roxy and Grump and I set off around 10 am  to get to our final destination of Ham, Sandwich!

The weather was wet and grey but it didn’t dampen our spirits. We stopped off in Hythe and had a massive brunch which would set us up for a while, and poked around in some of the pretty boutique shops they have there.

Next stop was Deal but we passed Dover Castle on the way. It looks pretty imposing on top of the hill but I still didn’t manage to do it justice in my photos!


In Deal we found some more lovely shops and the first one I went in I found a lovely dress which I had to have! In the last shop we went to, it looked more like a little house. Once we finally managed to locate the doorway, we walked into an Aladdin’s cave. There were sparkly jewels in the shape of skulls and Lizards, wonderful long, satiny dresses with lacy panels, the coolest men’s shirts I have ever seen with all kinds of patterns on them,  guitars, musical notes, Union Jacks, bright colours and multicoloured buttons. The owner of this shop was a little man with a beanie hat on that was sat behind a counter almost buried by yet more goodies, sequinned hats. floaty scarves, that were draped all around. We had shown an interest in the coats that were there but there was so much stuff, I didn’t know where to look., with He told us that he had a downstairs too and pointed to a small spiral banister-less stairway that led downwards. We gingerly made our way down just as another couple came into the shop.

There were racks of dresses and shirts down there too jam-packed into every crevice which left about 2 meters left to walk on. This was a bit awkward when the couple and shop owner came down as the male half of the couple was about 6ft tall and pretty wide! WE kind of danced around each other and Grump and I decided to go back upstairs which of course I managed to fall up! We checked out the coats again and the owner told us he was knocking off some money as it was his ‘winter stock.’

He picked out a brightly coloured coat for me which I already had my eye on and gestured for me to try it on. Of course, as I put my arms out to get them into the coat I whacked the mannequin he had nearby, displaying a gaudy had and some necklaces. He looked a bit askance when I apologised again for being clumsy, but the coat was a perfect fit! I loved it! To me, it was like Joseph’s technicoloured Dreamcoat with the bright colours.

The Coat
This is me modelling the coat to show Mum when we got home. Sorry it’s the back, but I have got my eyes closed in the front shot!

As you can tell, I bought the coat. We went to the hotel and settled in and ate yet more food. I tried to go for the healthy option but there was none, so I didn’t! Look at the size of Mr Grump’s steak here, it was an inch and a half thick!


We had a lovely day and had a huge breakfast this morning before we left. In fact, we had so much to eat the last couple of days that my poor tummy is protesting! In fact, we cancelled the carvery we were going to have today as much as I might want it, my body certainly doesn’t!



Live to Eat

Cup Cakes

I thought I would have a go at the ‘Daily Prompt’ today, which I like to do sometimes. Today the question is live to eat or eat to live? Also how far would we travel for the best meal of our lives?

The first part of this is easy for me, absolutely without a doubt, I live to eat! I am sure that nobody is at all surprised by that revelation. The thing is, I was brought up by a mother who was an excellent cook, as was her mother, and my dad’s mother too! My sisters are also brilliant cooks, in fact, one trained as a chef, as did my husband, even I can cook (although I rarely need to) Not only was I spoiled by having good, wholesome food as I grew up, it was frowned upon to leave anything on your plate.

All my family have ‘healthy’ appetites! Sitting around the table for our meals when growing up was the norm for us, and it was filled with talking, laughing, shouting and arguing, the bickering and banter of family life. Mum would go mad if anyone was late for meals, they were almost set in stone, breakfast being the most flexible, but other than that, lunch at 1 pm and dinner or ‘tea’ as we called it about 5.30pm. She relented a bit when microwaves became commonplace and she could reheat a meal for some latecomer. Mind you, she was terrified of the microwave, approaching it with caution and at arm’s length!

It’s funny, but whenever any of my family put on a meal, buffet or BBQ, you know there is going to be plenty of food, as we are all used to catering for large numbers, coming from such a huge family!

Now, one thing I do enjoy is a good meal. Food is not just fuel for the body, it is supposed to be a pleasurable and sensual experience. Well, at least in my book! It is very often the very heart of family life too when you think about it. When there is a birthday, or Valentine’ s day or Christmas or other holiday occasions, there is usually a meal or some sort of food associated with it as a form of celebration.

We have a pub that does a great carvery and it is lovely going there with some of the family in the summer  whiling the hours away sitting out in the garden after a great meal, chatting and laughing.

When it comes to how far I would travel for the best meal of my life, I am not sure. I have simple tastes and it is more the company and the occasion than the meal itself. I am lucky enough to have not only enough food to eat, but to have it beautifully cooked too!