27 December 2020

Advent Treats

A few posts ago I wrote about this advent box my daughter gave me.

24 little boxes full of lovely treats. I had only opened 4 at the time 

so here are all the gifts
2 flannels; pretty little heart shaped lavender soaps; hand cream; hand wash lotion; cuticle oil; three bars of lovely  smelling soap, four little tins of lip balm; a pretty shopping trolley coin

milk chocolate stirrers for adding to hot milk for a chocolate drink. I've used one and it was delicious, for the remaining one I'm going to get some squirty cream and mini marshmallows.

and lots of chocolates, which of course I have eaten :-)

∼ Stay warm and well ∼
Polly x

23 December 2020


Merry Christmas to ewe

Tower Gardens Westminster

Seasons Greetings

Happy Holiday

Many of us have had our holiday plans cancelled.
Thankfully, with the help of technology we will be able to see and talk to our loved ones
on Christmas day. 
However you're spending the holiday season I hope you will be happy and healthy.

💖  Stay warm and well 💖
Polly x

19 December 2020

Capricorn December 22nd - January 19th

Miss Claire Voyant's horoscope for Capricorn

Sharing your Capricorn birthday with Kate Middleton, Michelle Obama, Martin Luther King, Dolly Parton and a few million others.

A bit about the personality
The last earth sign of the zodiac, Capricorn is represented by the sea goat, a mythological creature with the body of a goat and tail of a fish. Accordingly, they are skilled at navigating both the material and emotional realms.  Capricorns are hard working and will never give up. Their inner fortitude motivates them to achieve their goals, never letting anything distract them from getting ahead, and they never let themselves off the hook. If the 12 signs were given that toddler test about eat the sweet now or wait and get two sweets... guess who'd be a winner? Right. Capricorn could sit there for years if they thought this was a battle of wills with a tangible reward. This single minded focus can come across as being cold and unemotional, and a little obsessive. If they do let themselves off their own lead, they have a tendency to go a teensy bit wild...
They can be overly serious, critical, melancholy, suspicious, sensitive and unforgiving. Never mock or undermine a Capricorn, they have zero tolerance when it comes to being made fun of, it's a sin that won't be forgotten and they will hunt the perpetrator down.
Capricorns are classy, elegant, charming and compassionate. They are pure souls with hearts of gold, genuine and loyal, and no matter what it may entail, you can rely on a Capricorn to be there whenever help is needed.

Capricorn's Prediction
You’re quick to volunteer when people need assistance, but for now stop before you pitch in, the last thing you need right now is another obligation. Give yourself a break, let someone else pick up the reins, there are plenty of other equally dedicated helpers who can step up.  With a lunar lift elevating your ninth house of travel and adventure, you could get a serious case of cabin fever. While you may not be able to board a plane to a tropical retreat center, you can find ways to explore new scenery. For some feel good moments grab a friend and take a day trip to another town; walk round a local park finishing with a delicious hot chocolate drink sitting on a park bench, if you live near the coast, put some warm clothes on, take a picnic and find a shelter or bandstand to sit in and enjoy it whilst people watching. Think of it as an investment in your single most valuable asset: your sanity!

Be safe and well ~
Polly x

17 December 2020

My Great Mince Pie Survey

Yes it's that time of year again, the one where I get to eat lots of mince pies in 
the name of market research :-)
I would like to add that I don't eat all of them, they are shared with my family!

Co-op only £1
Butter enriched pastry filled with spiced mincemeat and dusted with sugar.
Very nice tasty pastry, a tiny bit flaky but not crumbling to pieces. Nice tasty filling.

Tesco finest £1.75
 All butter pastry with cognac, brandy and port.
Absolutely delicious, tasty firm pastry with a lovely fruity boozy filling

Aldi £1.49
All butter classic mince pies with brandy and cognac.
Delicious, firm tasty pastry with a lovely fruity filling 

Co-op Irresistible £2
All butter pastry with a rich spiced fruit and brandy filling.
Pastry is a little bit crumbly but a very nice tasty pie.

Aldi 35p, yes that's correct just 35p reduced from 70p
Six deep filled mince pies. Shortcrust pastry with a mincemeat filling.
A basic mince pie, pastry is very flaky, but nevertheless a tasty pie.
For just under 6 pence each these were a bargain, but I did have bad indigestion later!

Morrisons £1.75
9 all butter pies with rich and fruity brandy-infused filling.
You can really taste the lovely butter pastry, nice filling. 

 Be warm and well  
Polly x

15 December 2020

The Cotswolds

Designated as an area of outstanding beauty The Cotswolds is the name given to a huge area of beautiful countryside running through five counties - Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire.

As well as 800 square miles of beautiful countryside it has vibrant market towns, impressive churches, vast manor houses and picturesque villages built with beautiful honey coloured Cotswold stone. 

We visited three towns on our day trip in October. First stop was Cirencester.

After a look around the market, cathedral 

shops and an antique market we had worked up an appetite for lunch. M and I are great fans of fish and chips. Lots of places had it on the menu but then we just happened on the Malt and Anchor fish restaurant, and I'm glad we did. We both chose cod and twice cooked chips with peas. I opted for the smaller serving which was adequate for my appetite. It was excellent, food, service and value - highly recommended. They also offer a take away service. If I lived in Cirencester I would be a regular visitor 😋

Our next visit was to Bibury 

We had plenty of time to wander around this pretty village
described by William Morris as 'The most beautiful village in England'

St Mary's, a fine Saxon Church

Arlington row cottages was originally built in the 14th century as a monastic wool store. In the 17th century it was converted into a row of weavers' cottages. The cottages are lived in by tenants although you can book a holiday in number 9

Our final destination was Burford with its famous
High Street sweeping downhill towards the River Windrush.

The High street also has some lovely historic shops and houses on both sides.

This shop has signage advertising Early English oak furniture and other interesting objects!

We ended our day at Huffkins tea room.
We wanted a cream tea but they had run out of cream so we had a scone, jam and a lovely cup of tea. 

∼ Stay warm and well ∼
Polly x

8 December 2020

A Good Read

The Ice Child by Camilla Läckberg 
January in the peaceful seaside resort of Fjällbacka. A semi-naked girl wanders through the woods in freezing cold weather. She stumbles into the road straight into the path of an oncoming car. The driver is unable to brake in time and the girl is killed. The post mortem reveals she has been subjected to unimaginably brutal horrific torture, and subsequent investigations reveal she went missing four months ago.
The police soon discover that three other girls are missing from nearby towns, but there are no fresh leads. When Patrik’s wife stumbles across a link to an old murder case, the detective is forced to see his investigation in a whole new light.
The story takes a while to progress, building a steady escalation of suspense. There are a lot of interconnected characters and some of them are very nasty, committing unspeakable atrocities.
It kept me guessing most of the time. I had figured out some historical facts but the ending was a complete ‘OMG I didn’t see that coming’.

∼ Happy Reading ∼
Polly x

4 December 2020

Today should be a happy day, it's the day I should be on a plane to Singapore en route to Australia to spend Christmas with my darling daughter. As I write this we would have taken off and be somewhere over the English Channel, waving goodbye to the rain! The excitement I should be feeling has evaporated and left me feeling sad, angry, and a bit down.

I'm not feeling bah humbug but I'm not feeling any Christmas spirit. Although to be honest I haven't felt that for a few years now. My daughters are grown up, my grandson is 17, I'm not religious any more so Christmas is no longer a special magical time. I will still have a nice time though, with daughter, grandson and SIL. Some delicious food, nice wine, good films and quizzes.

Look what my other darling daughter bought for me, an advent box

24 little boxes of  delight

day 1 was beautifully scented soaps, day 2 was hand cream 
day 3 was three caramel chocolates and today was two malteser reindeers.
What a gorgeous thoughtful gift.

Be warm and well~
Polly x

25 November 2020


Back in August my friend M and I visited Rye, a pretty town on the East Sussex coast

Rye has witnessed it all: invasions, smuggling, flooding, ghosts, shipwrecks and a few more invasions. Situated on the south coast of England, and where the English Channel is at its narrowest, Rye was often the first port of call for invaders approaching from north west Europe. The French regularly attacked or raided Rye, and occasionally the Spanish did. Some attacks were devastating. In 1377, a French assault resulted in the complete desolation of the town by fire. The bells from St Mary’s Church were also stolen, but the men of Rye and the neighbouring settlement of Winchelsea sought revenge and set sail for France. The retaliation was fruitful as they returned with the bells and an assortment of other goods that had been stolen on a previous French attack!
Smuggling was rife along all coasts, and Rye, with its narrow streets and dark headlands, was an ideal place for the storage of illegal booty. The smuggling industry began when Edward I introduced the customs system in the 13th Century. The response was to smuggle goods like wool, cloth, hides, gold and silver out of the country. Further restrictions made towards the 17th Century made smuggling much more lucrative as even commonly used products like candles or beer had new tariffs forced on them. 

In 1336 in recognition of Rye’s role in defence on the south coast, the town was made a Cinque Port. This meant it became one of a group of ports on the south coast which received privileges, including exemption from tax, in return for maintaining ships for defence, a scheme originally introduced by Edward the Confessor in the 11th Century.

The Ypres tower. The view of the bustling harbour (now farmland) and then out to sea would have been a distinct advantage. The building was thought to have been intended as part of a defensive castle that never materialised. Unlike the walls, the tower survived time and further attacks from the French.

Mermaid Street, one of the prettiest (and steepest) in the town.

Most of the houses are medieval, half-timbered houses,
one of which was once owned by writer Henry James.

These days the only invaders are tourists.

Be warm and well~
Polly x

19 November 2020

A Good Read

After Anna by Alex Lake

Five year old Anna disappears from outside her school, she has vanished, no one saw anything, the police are at a loss, her parents are beyond grief - their daughter is lost, perhaps dead, perhaps enslaved. One week after she was abducted, Anna returns home. She has no memory of where she has been,  and this, for her mother, is just the beginning of the nightmare.

The kidnapping takes up quite a bit of the beginning of the story. It’s written in the third person and we learn that Anna is going to be returned home unharmed. But why take her in the first place?

On the day of Anna’s disappearance her mother Julia was running late at work, her phone had no charge. But why did  the teachers at the fee paying school just let her wander off without checking that her mother was there to collect her? Julia is roasted by the press for being a bad mother. At the beginning of the story she seemed cold, referring to the breakdown of her marriage in an almost “oh well that’s that” matter of fact way. But as the story progressed we saw a warm person and a strong, loving mother.

In theory a missing child should unite parents but Julia’s weak husband offers no support and his domineering mother, Edna, never misses an opportunity to interfere and undermine Julia.

As Anna started to remember small details I picked up on one of them and started to figure it out.

It is an excellent chilling psychological thriller, well written with well crafted complex characters, a unique plot and plenty of suspense. My only criticism is I thought a small part of the ending was ridiculous.

∼ Happy Reading ∼

Polly x

16 November 2020

Sagittarius November 22 - December 21

Miss Claire Voyant's horoscope for Sagittarius

Sharing your Sagittarius birthday with Brad Pitt, Taylor Swift, Tina Turner, Bette Midler, Jeff Bridges and a few million others.

The Personality
Fueled by wanderlust, these archers can be found traversing all corners of the globe on thrill-seeking expeditions.
Sagittarians are optimistic, lovers of freedom, hilarious, fair-minded, honest and intellectual. They are spontaneous and fun, usually with lots of friends, and are perhaps the best conversationalists in the zodiac. Whilst they know a lot they don't know everything, and if they're not careful they can come across as pretentious or arrogant. Sagittarians get bored easily and move on, earning them the reputation for being the biggest commitment-phobes in the zodiac. If you want someone to stir the pot and then walk away, call a Sagittarius. 

Sagittarius prediction
Unprecedented events have made life difficult, stressful and frustrating. You might find it hard to relax, but with the sun in Scorpio and your twelfth house of rest and healing it's time to slow down and take care of yourself. Boost your immune system and treat yourself to some serious pampering. 
If you’ve had a hard time thinking clearly or making an important decision lately, take heart, everything will improve soon. There is real momentum rolling now, and things seem to be falling into place. Clear the decks, get ready for things to flow again.
Be safe and well ~
Polly x

14 November 2020


"Maybe we can dodge the showers" I said to Buster and Rufus
"Really" they replied, "we don't do rain".
It was very light rain and very mild, I wanted to get out for some exercise and fresh air.
We didn't get very far. After only about half an hour this happened.

They both stopped, refusing to move another step. Now and again Rufus does this even if the weather is good but he soon catches up, but Buster never stops, so when he did I knew it was mutiny. 

"What do you think Buster? I'm fed up with walking in this miserable rain, even if it is light rain"

"Me too" said Buster, "I want to go home".
We came home.

Be warm and well ~
Polly x

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