A lifestyle blog from a forty-something mum

Showing posts with label Pimms. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pimms. Show all posts

Thursday, 16 March 2017

When I Am Old...


Vintage, Volkswagen BeetleWhen I am old I shall drink Pimms from the teapot decanted into a fine
bone china cup.

I shall live by the sea and trade five a day for several measures of gin.

And swim every morning in the cold grey blue sea and given up hope that my hair will be anything but a tangled mess of frizz for the rest of my days.


I shall decorate the house with rabbit wallpaper and fill it with books and empty bottles of wine.

And share my life with a pug called Limoncello Belle Pugly instead of children who have grown and scattered to far flung shores.

Cute pug lying down

I shall shop daily for tidbits and eat brunch with the dog before taking a catnap.

And take long haul flights many times each year to check that the children are thriving and enjoying their lives.

I shall invite old friends to stay and reminisce about our former lives.

And recall all of the previous roles I have had... wife, mother, crazy cat lady, mentor, scientist, bottle washer. Jack of all trades, master of none at all.

I shall pootle about in a vintage car and get intentionally lost down winding country lanes to see where they go.

And invite lonely people to stay for Christmas and New Year to feast on recipes only I know - washed down with lots of wine.

I shall choose my next holiday destination by sticking a pin in a globe with my eyes tightly shut.

And create cake recipes with gin and whisky and rum and wine.

I shall not write lists any more. Making each day its own unfurling adventure instead.

Looking back on my life, I will smile and know that wine was the only thing keeping me sane.

I have travelled, volunteered and made amends for past grievances and realised that my hormones were mostly to blame.


Copyright ©2017 Izzie Anderton




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Saturday, 2 July 2016

12 Simple Ideas For Making the Most of Summer

Aloha, Summer 2016I'm all for making the most of lazy days and spending time in the great outdoors during the summer months. As both daughters finish university, there are plans to spend as much time as possible with daughter, Olivia, while Sophia leaves to work in the US until September. I am hoping that this summer will be a fabulous one despite missing Sophia a lot.

According to George Gershwin... 'Summertime, and the livin is easy...' epitomises everything that summer should be. A time for kicking back and taking time out to enjoy simple pleasures and exploring the great British countryside.

Here's my essential checklist for summer 2016...

1. Download a playlist that's filled with fabulous summer memories and perfect for warm summer days...


Sunglasses, summer, playlist


2. Go for a really long walk and return home only after a leisurely lunch outside the pub...

Pub lunch, summer, outdoors


3. Make the most of sunny days and warmer weather to attend local sporting events...

Regatta, summer


4. Take an early morning walk and try to spot some wildlife...

Early morning, walks, wildlife


5. Take a trip to the beach and dip your toes in the sea (or maybe wade in a little further if you're feeling brave!).

Beach, paddle, toes


6. Make S'mores on the barbecue...

S'mores, barbecue, marshmallows

How to make...
  • Take 2 biscuits (digestives and cookies both work well) but I prefer Graham Crackers (which aren't easy to find in the UK).
  • Place a square of chocolate onto each of the biscuits (Hershey's is used traditionally, but any chocolate works well).
  • Skewer a marshmallow and hold it carefully over the flames of the barbecue while rotating so that it cooks evenly. This is cooked when golden-brown in colour.
  • Place the marshmallow on top of the chocolate without removing the skewer. 
  • Place the remaining chocolate and biscuit on top of the cooked marshmallow.
  • Press down slightly so that the hot marshmallow melts the chocolate and sticks the s'more together.
  • Remove the skewer and wait a few seconds before eating.  

7. Drink hot chocolate under the stars (and wrap up in a blanket when the temperature start to fall).

Hot chocolate, night sky


8. Make a daisy chain and give it to someone you love...

Daisies


9. Go strawberry picking and spend the rest of the day enjoying a bowl or two and maybe enjoy a jug of Pimms :o)

Strawberry picking


10. Spend time watching the clouds and make pictures out of the formations...

Cloud watching


11. Make a picnic and head off for a day filled with adventure. Why not make an alternative selection of sandwiches such as Peanut butter, banana and honey?


Picnic, adventure, outdoors

12. Enjoy those great summer book releases and read outside in the sunshine...

Book, summer, reading outside


Here's to making the most of summer and hoping that the great British weather is glorious in 2016.

Are there any more you'd add to the list?


Copyright ©2016 Izzie Anderton



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Friday, 24 June 2016

The Week That Was... 24th June 2016


Always remember to plan aheadI'm wondering if there's any such thing as a normal week in the Anderton house?

Here, it's more a case of define normal, move the goalposts several times and just run with it. I've decided that it's good to find humour in the ridiculous. I suspect it's the only thing keeping me sane.  
 
This was my week...

Monday
Monday evening provided a welcome reprieve from the rain and we ventured out for a walk and came home via the pub. There is something rather indulgent about sitting in a beer garden on a Monday night and drinking Pimms in the sun. Life's too short not to enjoy a glass of something on a Monday don't you think? Note to self: make the most of the great British weather whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Why  I don't send Mr A into town all that often
On Thursday Mr A went into town to run a couple of errands. As I arrived home late that evening, I asked about his day and it transpired that as there was a queue in the bank, he promptly turned around and left again and instead of picking up the couple of items I'd asked for, this is what he bought...

                                                   2 French lavender plants
                                                   A bag of compost
                                                   Some rechargeable batteries
                                                  A thoughtful gift for the love of his life...

Abandoned cat toys on a wooden floor

In case you were wondering, this is the love of his life and here they are curled up on the sofa...

Man and cat curled up on the sofa
 
The cat has never ever played with anything that's a conventional cat toy. She prefers getting hold of things she isn't meant to have and fixating on them for days. She will sulk if you take it off her and so we've mostly given up. She looked at her gift on the floor, shot Mr A a withering look and wandered off into the garden for several hours.

Daughters
Sophia arrived safely at Camp in Oregon and we managed to Skype on Sunday. The camp looks unspoilt, rustic and she is enjoying herself immensely. She won't be home until September. After last year's Camp America trip, followed by travelling around for 3 weeks, I am feeling more relaxed about her being away this time. If you love them, you have to let them go, right? Oregon is 8 hours behind the UK and I find thinking about what she might be up to at any given moment strangely comforting. I have no idea why this is.

Olivia, meanwhile has been on a work experience placement and arrives at home next week along with 3 year's worth of whatever it is they accumulate at university. 

Reading
I've recently finished reading To Be Continued by James Robertson. This will be reviewed at a later date on the blog, but was a thoroughly enjoyable, slightly surreal read. Thanks to Penguin for the advance copy.

The week ahead...
If I'm not around much over the next few days, it's because I'm in Cornwall collecting Olivia from university and will be staying for a few nights. Beloved daughter has already made plans and we're off to the local rum bar for cocktails and maybe the gin palace... as well as packing up all of her belongings ready for the move home.

Gin Palace in Falmouth


Have a fabulous weekend. See you when I get back x

Izzie

Copyright ©2016 Izzie Anderton


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Monday, 31 August 2015

The Week That Was - August 31st

It's been an amusing week in the Anderton house. I've loved having daughter, Olivia, home and have really enjoyed her company. I'm trying not to think about the girls leaving for their final year at university in the third week of September.

This was my week...
 
On the way to the supermarket on Monday, I spied my husband's old car and waved like an idiot at the person behind the wheel, before realising that it wasn't being driven by my husband. Apologies to the lovely lady I waved at - who obviously had no idea who I was. I can only blame my hormones for the momentary lapse.

I woke early on Tuesday morning, slap-bang in the middle of a hot flush and came downstairs dreaming up plans for Olivia and Sophia's 21st birthday party. I also chatted to a couple of people on Twitter who were similarly sleep deprived. It seems there are a lot of us around at 4am. Later that evening I fell asleep on the sofa at 9pm. How come I take my best naps in front of the TV?


After weeks of asking Olivia what she would like for her birthday, we went shopping on Wednesday morning. My instructions were simply, 'I've stuck a four hour ticket on the car, please find something.' Neither of my daughters is materialistic - which is good, except for when you have no idea what to buy them. Olivia came back with a small selection of gifts. Now all I need to do is find something for Sophia - she arrives home from the US on Saturday. As we haven't seen our youngest daughter since 20th June, I'm predicting lots of hugs, kisses and sleep after her long journey from LA to New York and from NY to Heathrow.

On Thursday, I asked Olivia if she thought a themed party would be a good idea. 'That's an excellent idea,' she said. 'We could have a Harry Potter party. You and Dad could come as Dobby and Kreacher.' She went on to pick characters for almost every member of the family, plus close friends and neighbours. Party plans are underway - sans theme, as I didn't want to upset our guests. So far I've bought balloons, cake candles, bunting and booked a delivery slot with Waitrose.

On Friday, my gorgeous nephew turned thirteen. How did that happen exactly? Thirteen years ago we were on holiday in Gran Canaria when he was born - seven weeks early, perfectly healthy and weighing only 3lb 3oz. It's hard to believe that he's almost as tall as I am, or that he's a teenager. Fortunately he still loves hugs, but I'm no longer allowed to mess with his hair :o(

My sister hosted a party for my nephew on Saturday and miraculously, the weather was kind. We drank a lot of Pimms in the garden and I taught my nephew a fun game involving clothes pegs. I have a suspicion that my sister isn't going to thank me for this. It was dark by the time we arrived home and I was rather taken with this view of moonlight filtering through clouds from my bedroom window.


On Sunday I made a batch of mini scones that resembled The Leaning Tower of Pisa. The plan was to freeze these ready for the party in a couple of weeks, but as they didn't turn out as planned, we ate them instead. I'm hopeful that batch number two will be more successful.
 
The Leaning Scones of Pisa

My favourite blog for this week comes from The 40 (ish) year old Domestic Goddess. I snorted with laughter as I read her post: Was my Mum really a Hairdresser?? My mum was also a hairdresser and I have a similar assortment of hideous snapshots hidden away in photo albums. To this day my mother wonders why I hardly ever visit the hairdressers.

Here's to another crazy week. Have fun whatever you're up to.

Copyright©2015 Izzie Anderton


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Monday, 5 January 2015

Longing for summer already


water lily, pond, summerThere is something about this time of year that's all a bit meh. The house is bare after being stripped of its festive decorations and everything looks a little jaded and in need of a revamp.

So I'm planning on putting the next couple of months to good use: clearing the clutter, working on new projects in the house and sifting through my wardrobe to make room for clothing that can be worn to keep cool when it's warmer outside.

I long to emerge from hibernation and nights curled up in front of the TV wearing pyjamas and toasty socks - to eagerly anticipate warmer evenings sipping Pimms outside the local pub. In the meantime I'll plan days out and plot a makeover for the garden to turn it from drab into blooming. I've tolerated winter until New Year and feel that it's outstayed its welcome as I've recovered from partying a little too hard and long to spend time outdoors.

If it's wrong to fantasise about booking a vacation, balmy days ahead and being able to leave the house without multiple layers of clothing - then I don't want to be right.

The days are longer already as winter solstice has been and gone, but with endless cold days of January, followed by lacklustre February and March which can be cruel, I'll write work plans for the coming year and stay focused in the hope that the temperature outdoors will have climbed significantly by the time I have mastered all of the above.

The house will unfurl from winter to reveal a more hospitable living space that's a little bit more gorgeous when it's warm outside.

In the meantime, I'll keep the heating on and listen to my summer playlist from 2014, featuring gorgeous tracks like this...

If I close my eyes, I can almost remember how it felt to be warm...



Is anyone else fantasising about summer too?

Until next time...

Copyright©2015 Izzie Anderton

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