A lifestyle blog from a forty-something mum

Showing posts with label Twitter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Twitter. Show all posts

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Musings on Eurovision 2016

Last week was all about Eurovision 2016 and I was fortunate enough to watch both semi-finals as well as the final on Saturday night. As always there was much tweeting after wine and I was delighted to see so many fellow bloggers joining in with the mayhem (you know who you are!). Even the cat joined in, adding her own unique point of view on the chaos that is... Eurovision.

The distinct lack of cheese and eccentricity was more than compensated for by presenters, Petra Mede and Måns Zelmerlöw. I wasn't fussed on several of the entries that made it through to the final, but could quite happily have watched the presenters all evening.

It was this absolute gem from the second semi-final that almost made me choke on my wine...
Caution: contains nudity.

My overall favourite song was Belgium as it reminded me of an early 1980s disco track and therefore perfect for Eurovision. Our boys, Joe and Jake came in at an unimpressive 24th place despite giving it their best shot.

I was slightly amused by the thought of the US seeing Eurovision live for the first time and kept wondering what they thought of it. Justin Timberlake performed during the interval and I wondered if the US crew were taking notes and will be invited to enter next year? If they join, I'm guessing the rest of us won't stand a chance as they will want to win.

Despite Australia being in the lead after votes from the professional juries, there was a surprise overall win by Ukraine once all the viewer votes were added. For the record, I have no idea how this happened.

As always, Eurovision was a slightly crazy way to spend a Saturday evening in May, but life's serious enough as it is and sometimes it's good to let your hair down and escape for a spot of harmless, hilarious fun. I can only imagine how many people in Stockholm woke with up with hangovers on Sunday morning.

Here's to Eurovision 2017 and tweeting after wine all over again.

Copyright ©2016 Izzie Anderton

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Tuesday, 10 May 2016

The Week That Was... 9th May 2016

Daisies, Blue SkyAfter another busy week, we were treated to some rare, but welcome warm weather at the weekend. I'm hoping that this is just the start of a fabulous summer ahead. It was lovely to see so many people out basking in the sunshine and taking the opportunity to explore the great British countryside. The evenings were heavy with the scent of last-minute barbecues and here, the first Pimms of the season was enjoyed in the garden. Today, the rain has returned with a vengeance. Here's hoping it won't be too long until the clouds disappear and we can get on with making the most of summer.

This was my week...

Sudeley Castle
As the weather was glorious, we chose to ignore the mountain of monotonous tasks requiring our attention last weekend and ventured out to visit Sudeley Castle in the Cotswolds instead.

Sudeley Castle, the Cotswolds

The castle was built in the 15th century, possibly on the site of a 12th century castle and is surrounded by ten beautifully laid-out gardens. The chapel, St Mary's, is the burial place of Queen Katherine Parr, sixth wife of King Henry VIII.

Queen Katherine Parr, Tomb, St Mary's, Sudeley

It's a fascinating place to visit and comes highly recommended.

The Promise of Happiness by Justin Cartwright. This was a gift from my daughter and looks promising so far. It's perceptive and features lots of amusing observations about a family in crisis. I can't wait to see how it ends.

Both daughters are working hard on dissertations and final pieces of work for university. Parcels filled with treats were dispatched recently - containing sweets from their favourite sweet shop in town, sachets of hot chocolate for windswept beach walks and cold evenings spent camping at a rowing event. Plus cookies and breakfast biscuity things perfect for pulling all-nighters in the library. Final letters from home featuring nonsensical news and motivational words were posted yesterday.

I can't begin to tell you how proud I am of my daughters.

How did the last 3 years at university go so quickly I wonder?

Holiday 2016
And finally, the holiday is booked... after much trawling through the internet last weekend in search of the perfect vacation for 3, (yes, you did read that correctly). Sophia's going to work for Camp America again this summer, so we offered to take Olivia along. It's been a while since we've taken a holiday with either daughter, but I'm looking forward to spending time with my eldest. We settled on a week in Sorrento at a hotel that's right in the centre of town.

Today, it's 63 days and counting. Not that I'm keeping tabs.

The Week Ahead...
I'm looking forward to Music Night on Friday and Eurovision on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. For Eurovision 2016, I'm hoping for lots of cheesy, eccentric entries and will probably be tweeting live throughout. I hope to see a few of you on Twitter on Saturday night. You know the rule about not tweeting after wine? Well this goes out of the window for Eurovision as I suspect that everyone's having a party on there.

It's amused me that the US will get to see Eurovision broadcast live for the first time this year. I can't wait to see what they make of it.

Well that's about it for this week. Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead whatever you're up to.

Copyright ©2016 Izzie Anderton
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Sunday, 17 April 2016

Let there be gin...

Happy, Smiles, Cartoon, FacesIt's been a quiet week in the Anderton house and I'm guessing it will pretty much stay that way until daughter, Sophia comes home again at the beginning of June.

I've agreed to cover extra hours at work during the next 2-3 months and also had to turn down a couple of offers of work. This last week has been all about getting organised for the weeks ahead and by Friday night I was fast asleep on the sofa by 9pm. I am enjoying both jobs so much that I don't want to have to choose between either of them.

This was my week...
The randomness of Twitter
Twitter in all its nonsensical brilliance made me smile on Tuesday. In one tweet a famous author and philosopher liked a tweet I'd posted about his latest book release, in the next I was tweeting a pug from across the pond. It's impossible to make these things happen, but when it does, I am reminded of just how much I love social media, (especially Twitter) and all its eccentricities.

Let there be cake, gin, chocolate and flowers
My gorgeous mother-in-law was 87 on Monday. As always her gifts included gin, tonic, flowers and chocolate. They are the only things she truly loves to receive. Hence, this is what I buy for her each and every year.

Let there be gin

On Saturday
We woke up to find it was snowing heavily; fortunately it didn't stick around for long! In the evening, we had guests over for dinner. For once I made the effort and cooked everything from scratch. I made teryaki salmon and rosemary pan-fried potatoes with broccoli and carrots for main course, followed by tiramisu and buttermilk cupcakes for dessert. I am one very messy cook. Fortunately there are no photos to prove this.

I haven't been shopping in ages. But I did order a new suitcase for daughter, Sophia this week in anticipation of her trip to the US in the summer. After much deliberation, we found one in her signature colour, red. I'm hoping this one will last longer than the one we bought last year which came back trashed!

At 7:10am on Monday, I received a call from my eldest daughter. She was working at a newspaper last week to get some journalism experience ahead of leaving university. There had been a thunderstorm on Sunday evening, this had caused a disruption to the power supply, as a result her alarm didn't go off the following morning and each of the clocks in the house read a different time. By some miracle she made the 7:50am train and arrived at work with minutes to spare. You can guess who rang her each morning for the rest of the week?! 

Favourite blog post
My favourite post for this week comes from Sarah over at Mum of Three World with her bittersweet post about children growing up and no longer wanting to spend time with their parents. I was reminded of the phase with my own children and can remember feeling like an unwanted toy. You can read Sarah's brilliant post here: School holidays are crap.

Motherhood, illustration

Well that's about it for this week. Have a great week whatever you're up to x

Copyright ©2016 Izzie Anderton

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Monday, 22 February 2016

Eurovision 2016 and why it's OK to tweet after wine

Mans Zelmerlow, Sweden, Winner, Eurovision 2015Utter the words Eurovision Song Contest and you'll hear a lot of different opinions. It's possibly the television equivalent of Marmite as people either seem to love, or loathe the contest in equal measure.

Amid the usual hype and party atmosphere, the Grand Final of Eurovision 2016 takes place at the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden on 14th May. It will be presented by Petra Mede and 2015 winner, Måns Zelmerlöw, and feature performances from 26 finalists who have made it through the semi-finals being held on 10th and 12th May.

Long overdue changes to the voting system should mean that it's less likely for any country to go home with the dreaded 'nul points.' In previous years, each country's public and jury votes have been added together and announced at the same time. From this year however, the jury votes will be announced first, with votes from viewers in all countries added and announced afterwards. It's hoped that this will create a nail-biting finale to the competition, as the winner will only be known right at the end.

The UK entry is yet to be decided. Six acts have been shortlisted for Eurovision: You Decide which is to be screened live on BBC Four on Friday 26th February. This is to be hosted by Mel Giedroyc and will feature performances from previous Eurovision winners, Måns Zelmerlöw and Katrina Leskenich from Katrina and the Waves.

I have to confess to being a huge Eurovision fan. It's the one and only night of the year where I break the first rule of tweeting and happily tweet after wine throughout the entire contest. There's often a party atmosphere on Twitter and it's fun to join in with like-minded Eurovision fanatics sharing increasingly hilarious thoughts as the night progresses.

This year I'm hoping for more cheesy entries after a fairly subdued batch last year. I'm also hopeful that the competition will be less about politics and more about celebrating Eurovision's reputation for quirkiness,  eccentricity and sense of humour.

Isn't that what Eurovision's meant to be?

I hope to see you on Twitter. #Eurovision2016

Copyright ©2016 Izzie Anderton

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Monday, 27 April 2015

Could It Be Magic?

Random tweets, Eurovision, Barry ManilowI blame Lara, aka Plucky for the hilarious events in the Anderton house a few weeks ago. It was a random tweet about Barry Manilow that started it...

Daughter Sophia, home for the Easter holidays caught me giggling at Twitter. This is not an unusual occurrence. My daughter does not get Twitter and suspects that her mother is secretly losing her marbles. How can random conversations of 140 characters (or less) cause so much hilarity? After explaining the Barry Manilow conversation, she said, 'Who is he anyway?' It turned out that my daughter had never heard of him. As I'd downed a couple of glasses of wine I offered to enlighten her, loaded YouTube and shared 'Copacabana.' It's best I don't elaborate on her response - it went something like this... 'Any chance you could turn that off?'

Undeterred and amused by her reaction I ignored her request and allowed 'Copacabana' to finish before playing 'Could It Be Magic.' Puzzled as to how I knew the lyrics to both songs, I found myself singing along with enthusiasm. I don't recall playing the tracks (ever) and concluded only, that I must have heard them on the radio (a lot) during my childhood. Obviously I was a lot younger back then and had the spare brain capacity to absorb such things. By the time I'd loaded 'Mandy,' my daughter had left the room muttering, 'Seriously Mum, grow up. This isn't funny.' I can only blame the wine.

The previous week she'd caught me tweeting during Eurovision's Greatest Hits on BBC1. Hosted by Graham Norton and Petra Mede, it celebrated 60 years of the infamous song contest and showcased memorable performers throughout its history. There was also a sing along, and Twitter was alive with witty observations as I reminisced with complete strangers and had a brilliant evening. Can't wait for Eurovision now - May 23rd if you're interested. I'll probably be tweeting again.

As my daughters are often listening to their iPods or flicking through the music channels, I wonder if the next generation is missing out on fabulous music from years gone by? During my childhood the music channels had yet to be invented - which is perhaps just as well as I'd have spent even more time parked in front of the TV pretending to do homework. We didn't even have Internet! To this day I listen to a varied playlist and conclude that it's only from listening to anything and everything that I've learnt to appreciate so much of it.

For anyone who feels the need to play 'Copacabana,' here's a link from YouTube:

And finally...

Congratulations to Barry Manilow on his wedding to partner, Garry Kief last year. Wishing you both a long and happy marriage.

Thank you to the awesome Plucky for the inspiration behind this post.

And apologies to my daughter and the neighbours for the singing.

Until next time...

 Copyright©2015 Izzie Anderton
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Sunday, 12 April 2015

Wine Tasting for Beginners...

Back in February I was lucky enough to win six bottles of Furlan Prosecco from Just Perfect Wines in association with Glass of Bubbly magazine.

I promised to share the wine with my daughters and managed to leave five bottles abandoned in the wine rack for a number of weeks while I eagerly awaited their return from university. For those of you who are astute, you'll have noticed I said five and not six - I may have consumed a bottle on my birthday and not felt bad about it. Life at home with grown-up daughters who are partial to the odd glass bottle of wine can be infuriating as it means that the wine rack is emptied in no time at all.

I'm not going to pretend that I know a lot about wine. During the past few years I've developed a preference for Prosecco over Champagne as I find it a cheaper and lighter alternative. I usually buy a bottle (or two) if there's anything to celebrate and it's interesting that sales of Prosecco have overtaken Champagne since 2013.

My only experience of actual wine tasting was a Twitter party with Mumsnet in association with Knackered Mother's Wine Club and a bottle of Picpoul de Pinet. Obviously breaking the first rule of Twitter, 'Don't Tweet after wine.' Somehow amidst the chaos I managed to find the only other Picpoul drinker and between us we came up with similar tasting notes - hints of lemon and rather delicious if memory serves.

Although I wasn't asked to write a post about my prize - I thought it would be a nice gesture as a) I absolutely love wine and b) isn't blogging all about sharing what you love?

I received two bottles of each of the following wines - which gave the three of us the perfect opportunity to celebrate over the Easter holidays.

The Furlan Winery
Founded in 1930 by Nonno Amado. Today, it's run by Nonno's grandchildren: Amedeo, Alberto and Moreno and is a modern and innovative winery producing a range of wines with a unique flavour and fine aroma.

1. Furlan Prosecco Conegliano Valdobbiadene D.O.C.G Superiore Millesimato Extra Dry - 2013 (11.5%)
Made from 85% Glera (Prosecco grape) and 15% Chardonnay, the Millesimato is pale straw in colour and is fresh and crisp with hints of green apple.

2. Furlan Conegliano Valdobbiane D.O.C.G Prosecco Frizzante Extra Dry - 2013 (11%)
Made from 100% Glera grapes, the Frizzante is aromatic and fruity with hints of green apple and scents of acacia blossom and wisteria.

3.Furlan Spumante Rosé - 2013 (12%)
Despite being made with 70% Glera, 27% Menzoni Bianco and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon (for colour), Prosecco is made from a white grape and current Italian law will not allow a Prosecco blend of the two colours of grape - hence this cannot technically be called Prosecco. Pale salmon pink with hints of fresh strawberries - this was my favourite out of the three.

Huge thanks to Just Perfect Wines and Glass of Bubbly for the fabulous prize. The wine carrier is going to come in useful to replenish the wine rack now that the girls have returned to uni.

Until next time...

Copyright©2015 Izzie Anderton
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Saturday, 27 December 2014

The Week According to Cats on Twitter

Cats, Twitter, Kitty, Week
I've mentioned previously on the blog that Mr A is besotted with our rescue cat, Kitty. She has her own Twitter account where she interacts with followers from all over the world. And in case you were wondering, this is what cats on Twitter get up to all week...

Welcome to Kitty Loaf Monday...where cats tweet selfies looking like loaves of bread.
For years I have been getting this wrong as I've been calling this her roast chicken pose...

Cats, Twitter, Week, Kitty, Kittyloaf Monday

This is closely followed by #tunatuesday with pictures featuring erm... cans of tuna and cats feasting on their favourite food. Here's a snap photoshopped for the cat's Twitter account...

Tuna Tuesday, Week, Cats, Twitter

Next it's #whiskerswednesday with umpteen pictures of cats' whiskers. We've been hoarding these for quite some time in the Anderton house, please tell me you do this too?

Whiskers Wednesday, Week, Cats, Twitter

Sadly, there's no designated cat day for Thursday, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time. Here's a pic of the cat snoozing in the garden...

cat, sleeping, garden

Instead of celebrating #followfriday the cats of Twitter celebrate #jellybellyfriday with yep, you guessed it lots of gorgeous photos of tummies...

Jelly Belly Friday, week, cats, Twitter

On Saturday you'll find the cats celebrating #caturday... and here was me thinking that every day was Caturday?! Here's one of my favourite snaps of Kitty wrapped in our her throw...

Caturday, week, cats, Twitter

There's also no hashtag for Sunday, but Mr A is attempting to launch #sofaloafersunday and to be fair this is what she does most days - here's a snap of Kitty and Mr A watching Furry Vengeance together. For those of you who haven't seen this film - you really should - it's fabulous.

Week, cats, Twitter, watching TV

So that's the lowdown on cats on Twitter. A place where cats from all around the world unite, compare notes about their owners and generally talk nonsense. Don't you just love it?!

Find Kitty on Twitter: @catostropic

Until next time...

Copyright©2014 Izzie Anderton

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Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Do You Suffer From FOMO?

FOMO, Fear of missing outDefinition: FOMO (an acronym) fear of missing out.

It's 6:30am and after foraging for a mug of tea and biscuits, the laptop is on. Before the rest of the family have surfaced, I've checked Twitter, blogging stats, comments, emails and caught up on the latest news headlines. Isn't this normal?

Mr A makes an appearance and seems unimpressed that I'm already online. "What happened to breakfast with my wife?" he asks. I log off reluctantly to share a meal with him, while plotting what I need to do online just as soon as he leaves for work.

After he's gone, I write a blog post, join a blog hop, add a few comments and reply to a stack of emails. I also check on Facebook updates; although FB is not where my addiction lies and I can take it or leave it.

Later, I click onto the Boden site to see if the petite maxi dress I'm currently coveting is back in stock. At 5' 3" it's the only way I'm getting away with that particular look this year and I could kick myself for not nabbing one earlier.

I also check out a website for an attraction we're planning to visit next weekend. We haven't been in ages and I need to check opening times. We're away from Saturday onwards for a few days and I have no idea if we'll have WiFi. The thought of this is making me hyperventilate ever so slightly. How will I cope for four whole days without it?

After lunch, I decide that it's a beautiful day and I  should go into town to stock up on essential supplies for our trip. As soon as I'm home, the laptop's back on for more updates. Next, I begrudgingly tackle the basket of ironing that's been sitting in the dining room for quite some time and cook dinner. As it's such a lovely evening, we take drinks and dessert into the garden and talk for a while.

It's 9pm and Mr A is watching something I can't abide on TV. I guess I could read in peace, but heck no. I have Pimms and feel the need to socialise. Back onto Twitter I go... It's Friday night and the mood on Twitter is a happy one. I chat to lots of people about the merits of what goes best with a jug of Pimms. My personal favourite is strawberries, wedges of lime and lots of ice. Later, I devour a bag of cheese puffs and feel the need to share this too; I suspect that might have been the alcohol. Twitter agrees that crispy snacks are the perfect accompaniment. It's also BritMums Live and I'm reading the Twitter feed and wishing I was there too. Isn't this the next best thing?

I spot an adorable photo of a koala being given water by a firefighter after a bush fire. It's the most compassionate picture I've spied all day and so this gets shared. And I'll always Retweet pleas for missing persons and pets in the hope that social media has the power to reunite them.

If I'm having trouble sleeping, Twitter is where I go to distract myself from worrying about lack of ZZZZs. There's always someone online somewhere around the world and this takes my mind off why I can't sleep. At 5am on Saturday morning, the inevitable happens: I'm wide awake, scheduling blog posts and checking in on Twitter.

If you feel the need to connect on Twitter, you can find me here: @IzzieAnderton
If I'm online, chances are I have Twitter/ Notifications open in the header tab. Why on earth would I want to miss out on the latest updates?

So are we all a little bit addicted to social media and all that the internet has to offer I wonder? I'm thinking only that I need to set myself a challenge and see if I can stay offline for a full twenty four hours.

I'd love to hear your thoughts...

Copyright©2014 Izzie Anderton
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Saturday, 21 June 2014

The Blog Spot

Carrie Landeryou, Time to be an AdultIntroducing the latest Blog Spot. An occasional feature where I get to interview fellow bloggers, find out so much more about their lives and share this with you lovely lot.

This week, my guest is the fabulous Carrie Landeryou who blogs over at Time to be an Adult. Her blog is a great site to visit if you like a little bit of everything and features posts about: travel, food, reviews, relationships, home-making and her quest to be a mum.

What’s the inspiration behind Time to be an adult? 
I started Time to be an Adult in the Spring of 2013. After living in shared houses for 5 years and having a series of short lived relationships I met Sion in August 2012 and knew quickly that this relationship would be different. I started Time to be an Adult in the Spring of 2013 just before we moved in together. I realised that I had never had to make a joint decision on what wardrobe to buy and knew there would be many other changes and events that would be fun to look back on. Since then we have had both positive and negative things happen to us – all of which I have written about.

When I grow up I want to be a…
Mum and coffee shop owner! I have a romanticised view on owning a sweet little village coffee shop after reading far too many romantic novels but it would be great to combine my accountant & business skills with my love of baking and make a career out of it.

What are your pet loves and hates?
I love the scent of lemons in any form, especially floating in a glass of gin & tonic. I love being outdoors, particularly by the sea as I grew up in Cornwall. I love leaving a clear desk at the end of the day. Pet hates are flying things like birds and moths, especially in enclosed spaces – Birdworld is my idea of hell!

The best book in the world is…
I love reading almost any genre of book. I just love words and the emotions that you get when you are absorbed in someone’s writing whether it’s a blog post, magazine article or novel. The book that means the most to me is a tatty edition of JM Barrie’s Peter Pan. It was given to my mum when she was born and is the only item of her’s that I have. I loved reading it as a child and looking at the pictures and can’t wait to read it to my own children.

Twitter or Facebook?
I much prefer Twitter now. It’s so much more informative than Facebook and there is much more interaction and friendliness. I’m still learning how to use hashtags and get involved in more chat to build relationships on Twitter, it’s such a useful tool when you have a blog – I just need to learn how!

What’s the best thing about summer?
Definitely being able to get outside and feel the sun on my face. I love being able to throw together a BBQ and now we have a garden that we can enjoy I think most meals will be eaten outdoors when we can.

Tell me one thing that most people don’t know about you…
Although I have worked in Accountancy for the last 15 years I actually trained as a nurse after my A-levels. I have a huge amount of respect for anyone in the health care sector, but the reality of the job was very removed from my idea as a 17 year old applying for positions.

What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?
After my Dad passed away in 2009 I wanted to do something in his memory. So a few years later I found myself on a plane to Peru to trek along the Inca Trail with my uncle. We walked for up to 9 hours a day, reaching an altitude of 4600m. I suffered with bad altitude sickness, but we managed to raise £5000 between us.  

What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?
I actually wrote a blog post about this which is still one of my most popular posts 
I think the main piece of advice I can give any 18 year old is to not follow the crowd. It might be easier, but you lose a little part of your uniqueness every time you do. It’s OK to have a different opinion and as you get older people will actually seek out those who are happy to speak up.

Champagne or cocktails?
Is it rude to say both?! Champagne always goes down well, although I’ll never say no to an apple martini!

What do you watch on TV when no one else is home?
Mostly US imports like Grey’s Anatomy, Hart of Dixie & Nashville. 

Chocolate: milk, dark, or white?
Always dark chocolate.

Huge thanks to Carrie for being my guest this week. If you'd like to appear on The Blog Spot, please feel free to get in touch. I love to learn more about my fellow bloggers, promise to ask lots of random questions and will also include a link back to your blog. You can find my email address by clicking on the Contact Me button at the top of the page. I look forward to hearing from you.

Until next time...
Copyright©2014 Izzie Anderton

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