Sunday, 24 August 2014


Yesterday evening I was asked 'what are you doing tomorrow?'

'I've got to work' I replied.

Yeah. That didn't happen.

After tea and toast in bed, I got up and decided that I'd nip into town - just a quick dash in and out, nothing major. A few hours later, I was still there, with shopping hat well and truly on.

The reason I went in was to find an alternative to a lippy I received in the latest Glossybox. It was Essence Longlasting (ha!) lipstick in Natural Beauty (07). The colour was fabulous (my natural lip colour, only better) but it had the staying power of butter on hot toast.

I'd decided that, if I could find a good colour match, I'd treat myself to a high end lipstick. It's a colour I'd get a lot of wear out of after all. I found a good match on the Clinique counter in Boots but the sales assistants were too busy chatting to take any notice of me. So I went to Debenhams instead, same thing happened there.

So, I decided to go back to Boots and try to find something from the self selection counters. I didn't linger long at the No7 counter as I had no interest in listening to the sales assistants talking about how they prefer to wash 'down there' - all I wanted was a nice lipstick, thank you very much.

So to the Max factor counter, blissfully free of snatch talk, I found a good match in the Colour Collections Lipstick in Rosewood (833). This was £6.99, a little more expensive than the Essence, which is £2.29 but not break-the-bank by any means. Typical though, that most people try to find cheaper dupes of more expensive products, and I do it the other way round.

This is where the day started to go wrong (or right, depending on how you look at it). I went into Superdrug to buy the Rimmel Stay Blushed liquid cheek tint in Sunkissed Cherry but also came away with B. Replenish Oil, Maybelline gel eyeliner, Eyelure lashes, NYC Smokin' eye palette and Rimmel transparent lip liner (I've been watching way too many beauty videos on You Tube recently).

I then took a diversion which ended with me bagging two sets of PJs. On my way back to the car park I decided to pop in to Waterstones to 'do some research' for a book I'm collaborating on. I spent ages happily flicking through books of my childhood - The Tiger Who Came To Tea, Room on the Broom, Mog, and Slinky Malinky. I wished that I could buy them all (I didn't, things didn't get that out of hand). In the end I came away with a Jane Austen 5 Year Journal. I fail at writing a full journal, but think I can manage a short sentence a day. I plan to start it on my birthday. Just because.

So, into TK Maxx which is en-route to the car park (if going up the escalator, through the shop, out the other side and down the stairs can be called en-route). I found a lovely clutch bag in red and blue - perfect for a wedding I'm going to in September. And, randomly, some strawberry flavour soft liquorice. I've eaten too much of it and now feel a teensy bit sick.

Out of TK Maxx and down the stairs, I found myself in New Look. One pretty top and a massive, soft, blanket/scarf later and I finally decide to go home... after I'd made a pitstop in Patisserie Valerie for a Cherry Frangipan Tart and a latte.

After a short nap and a late lunch, I decided that it was probably time to do some of that work I'd spoken about...

Did you have a lovely Sunday?


Monday, 18 August 2014

A Week of Eating Out

In early June Andy and I spent a week 'doing lunch'. As neither of us had the time for a holiday this year, it was our way of spending some time together and doing something a little different.

Day one didn't get off to the best start. The first pub we tried was closed, as was the second. Although we did find this amusing, by the time we reached no.3, The Bildeston Crown, we were both really hungry and very pleased to find it open!

My fish cake in chowder at The Bildeston Crown

Sitting outside we ordered our food, tried not to fill up on bread and chuckled at the other diners. We've done this since our second date, commenting on how happy / annoyed they seem to be in each others company, eavesdropping and making up back stories for them.

Posh fish'n'chips

I started with a fish cake in chowder and it was delicious! We both had Cod and Chips with crushed peas for our main which was equally good.

Norfolk quail breast, soft quail egg and asparagus and almond crust at Maison Bleue

Day two we went to Maison Bleue in Bury St Edmunds. It took us a while to find it but when we did I instantly loved the quiet subtle decor, the crisp white table clothes and heavy cutlery. Andy commented that the 'art appears to have bits of sack in it'. He's more of a John Constable kinda guy, but I liked it.

Salmon fillet with langoustine and cognac sauce and buttered salsify

I loved my food, especially the starter - Norfolk quail breast, soft quail egg and asparagus and almond crust. Sadly Andy couldn't identify most of his starter and didn't enjoy his main as it was overwhelmed with corriander - neither of us like it and it wasn't mentioned on the menu.

Coffee and petits fours

My main was salmon fillet with langoustine and cognac sauce and buttered salsify. The petits fours where lovely and the coffee divine but Andy was so unimpressed it's unlikely that we'll be returning, but I think it's definitely worth a visit.

On day three we ventured out to the coast. The Anchor at Walberswick is a lovely spot, sadly I was too much of a wimp it was too windy to sit outside but it's just as lovely inside. We both ordered steak, I had one small bite of mine and it was delicious, so flavoursome and cooked just the way I like it. Then I picked up the salt seller to add a little salt to my chips. I turned it the wrong way and emptied half of it onto my plate (so no photo). I wanted to cry.

I scrapped it off the best I could but it was still really salty, never have I drunk so much water with a meal! Shame. When the waitress came to take our plates, I explained what happened and she just gave me the oddest of looks. Andy said 'she thinks you're an idiot'. She was right of course but it did make me laugh.

Caramelized mackerel starter at the Fox & Goose

Day four was a real treat, we went to the Fox & Goose in Fressingfield. I love it there, the food is always amazing! The starter - caramelized mackerel with gooseberry and peppercorn relish, apple, radish and lemon balm salad.

The first glimpse of Andy on World of Joy!

Swiftly followed by cod fillet with runner beans, samphire (I love samphire), tomato confit, lobster sauce and sauté potatoes. Di-vine!

Sitting in the beer garden at The Buxhall Crown

On day five we went back to the pub we tried to go to on the first day - The Buxhall Crown. I had free range slow roasted pork belly, glazed with Crabbies ginger beer glaze, served with spring greens, croquette potatoes and a chunky apple sauce, followed by three scoops of ice cream - lavender, elderflower and beetroot ripple - all made in-house.

Homemade ice cream

I have to be honest I couldn't tell which was the lavender and which the elderflower but both were delicious. Before we ordered, Delia Smith came in and sat down, you can be pretty sure that if Delia Smith is eating somewhere, it's going to be good.

Can you imagine being the owner of a restaurant and having Delia Smith wander in with a rumbly tummy? The pressure!

That concluded our lunching, it felt very decadent and was a real treat to get some proper time together. An added bonus was that neither of us were hungry come supper time so I didn't have to cook for a week.

Any recommendations of where to eat in Suffolk?


Sunday, 10 August 2014

Birthday Wishlist

As my birthday approaches each year I start to think about what I'd like to do in the next 12 months. This isn't a birthday wishlist in the usual sense, but a list of 12 things I'd like to do before my next birthday. My thinking is that ticking off one thing a month won't be difficult... (I give you permission to all point and laugh a year from now when I fail).

I know that if I don't plan anything life will plod along whiz by and another year will be over in the blink of an eye.

So, I wish to...

1. De-clutter and get organised
This probably seems rather boring but it's time to unpack the last of our moving boxes (it's been over 3 years) and get everything organised. I think it would actually make me really happy to have this done and dusted.

2. Take a course and learn a new skill

3. Spend a night under the stars and watch the sun come up
I've done this before but I'd like to do it again before I'm really old and decrepit!

fabulous shoes need a fabulous occasion!

4. Find an excuse to wear these Kurt Geiger Mary Janes.

5. Go to Latitude 2015
I've never been to a large music festival and as Latitude isn't too far from me it's the perfect one to try.

one day this will be a king size quilt

6. Finish my patchwork quilt by March 2015
I started it on March 1st 2014 and I want to complete it within a year (unlike most of my unfinished projects)

every journey starts with a single step

7. Look forward to, instead of shudder at the thought of, a 5K run.

8. Decorate our bedroom to match the idea I have in my mind.
I'm thinking grey walls, dark wood floorboards, large rug, a picture shelf above the bed, printer's block letter initials, a comfy armchair in my corner (leather??), wardrobe doors!

9. Go to a live music gig
I haven't been to one in such a long time. I'd love to go to the O2 in early October to see Kylie. I've been a fan of hers (on and off admittedly) since her 'I Should Be So Lucky' days, none of my friends are huge fans sadly, but I think it would be a great show. Maybe I can persuade someone...

10. To have actually knitted something from my 'things I must knit one day' Pinterest board.
Perhaps once I've finished no.6 I'll get my sticks out again. With my current Hunger Games obsession I think the most likely pattern is this one... but I'm not going to say anything about the odds being ever in my favour. I'm not.

Zanzibar 2010

11. Leave the country
I haven't been out of the UK for a while - 4 years in fact - so it's about time I did it again.

12. Read at least 12 more books from my to-read pile

The thought that has just crossed my mind is the saying 'be careful what you wish for', this makes me smile, these wishes mean that there is an awful lot of work to be done and almost all of it falls at my feet. So I guess I better be getting on with it...


I have been compensated by The O2 for writing this post, but this is a genuine wishlist - all wishes, intentions and ideas of sleeping under the stars are entirely my own.

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