Monthly Archives: November 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to All in the US!

Although it is not a holiday here in the  UK we can always give Thanks for what we have and think of those less fortunate.

I hope everyone in the US has a wonderful day and stays safe with all the snow that is about.

Hugs, Susie & Treacle xx

DSC04141As you can see Treacle just can’t sleep with all the excitement of Thanksgiving and it nearly being Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (this is an ironic statement!!!!!)

Christmas Shopping in Full Swing!

I went to Nottingham yesterday to finish my Christmas shopping and the rest of Nottingham had the same idea!!!  It was heaving with bodies.  The Christmas lights were up and the decorations are all out and it looked very festive.  It was one of those days where it didn’t get light early so the lights stood out and then the weather cleared and it was a very cold, frosty, sunny day! I also got the last of my Christmas presents and three Birthday presents!!!  (it is really annoying all these people who have Birthdays near Christmas!!!)

DSC04134This was our garden this morning with the frost on it.

DSC04135Looking out at the front of our house across the valley, freezing fog!

DSC04137I also had another surprise in the post this morning, our first Christmas card! It is from DH’s cousin who we think may be spending Christmas in Australia where their daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren live, hence the card arriving early!

We had lunch with our good friends today, one of the Birthdays, and it was really nice break to the day.  I have another basket of ironing to do tonight and then catch up tomorrow of business work.  Friday evening I am going to get all the presents wrapped and at the weekend more baking, this time mince pies and Christmas cookies. Photos to follow.

Mercedes paid tribute to their driver with a mock-up of Hamilton in the shape of the company's logo

DH and I watched the final Grand Prix of the season and Lewis Hamilton did it!  World Champion for the second time.  Saw this picture in the paper and thought it was very clever.  We, through our business, supply Mercedes AMG but our parts are not on the race cars! 

At least today the weather made if feel Christmasy!  I hope everyone is having a Thrilling Tuesday.

Hugs, Susie x


Sunday Cook In!


Yes I have carried on cooking after yesterday!  I have wrapped the two cakes up in grease proof paper and aluminium foil and into tins and this morning have “fed” them with French brandy.

DSC04129A few have asked about cooking the cakes with paper and brown paper round it.  This is done to protect the cake from cooking unevenly as it has a long cooking time of four hours at 140°.  Above are the two papers ready for putting into and around the tin.  This is for the round cake and the bottom is cut to make it easier for the paper to go into the tin.

DSC04125All done and ready for the oven.

DSC04130Here are the Christmas puddings in their bowls waiting for their “hats”!

DSC04131 DSC04132Hats done and ready for eight hours of steaming!

DSC04133Finally DH and I got the Christmas cards written last night and they are all ready for posting, Scout posting, or hand delivering!  One benefit of my sewing machine table for storage!!!!

DH and Youngest are off to the 50m training pool this afternoon for two hours of swimming, so I can my ironing done then and hopefully tonight get my baby quilt, quilted!!!! Yeah.

Christmasy Hugs, Susie x

DSC04118You can’t quite see in this picture but Treacle has a new Tennis Ball!

Saturday Cook In Update!

Well our Christmas cake is made and now cooling.  I have made the mixture for the two smaller cakes and got the Christmas pudding mix done and it is now sat in its bowl overnight to ferment!!!

DSC04128The large cake cooling

DSC04123The next cake mixture divided into two

DSC04124 DSC04125In the cake tin and wrapped up ready to cook, these will be round cakes.

DSC04127The Christmas puddings mixture fermenting

DSC04126Covered up for the night, in a Christmas tea towel of course!

I am just about to start writing our Christmas cards with DH and Youngest is also doing his.  Eldest may get his done at some point …..!

Hugs, Susie x

PS Treacle’s asleep in her basket now as she has been banned from the kitchen, in case she has a sneaky taste of my cooling cake!!!!!!!!

The Saturday Cook In! The Story So Far ….


The story so far…  I have made the first Christmas Cake and it is now in the oven for four hours.

DSC04114Here is the mixture half done.  My Grandma taught me how to bake and although I have made millions of cakes I still hear her instructions when I am creaming the butter and sugar together and then adding the flour! 

DSC04116The other side of my kitchen and of course you have to watch a Christmas film while baking, “Home Alone”!!!!!!!  Actually Treacle and I are Home Alone at the moment as DH and the Boys are out getting hair cuts!!!!!

DSC04115I hate to say it but I am generally a messy cook!

DSC04119All the ingredients are in now

DSC04120In the tin

DSC04121And all wrapped like a Christmas present!  Now just the four hour wait!

I have put all the bowls into the dishwasher now and then I will prepare the mixture for the two smaller cakes and get them baking when this one is out.  Tonight it is Christmas card writing!!!!

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas…!

More pictures later!

DSC04122Guess who’s helping?

Hugs, Susie x



What I Want To Know Is Why?

As you all know I had a big Birthday this year and up until now, and because of the treatment I had for my breast cancer, since my first operation I have been experiencing night sweats (!) But after my Birthday it was like a switch was switched and I suddenly started getting hot all the time! 

In the supermarket I would be walking round and I would just starting sweating!  I wouldn’t get, as some of my friends described, a rising heat from their feet upwards, I would just break out in sweats and I mean sweats as in ran ten hard miles!!!!!!  Now I know this is all part of a woman’s life but what I don’t understand is the full blown periods I am having as well!!!!!  Come on, give me a break!!!!!! 

The other week when I was Christmas shopping in Nottingham, a job I love, I was in my favourite store, John Lewis, when it started.  I could feel my back just start and well I won’t give you the gruesome details but :

The ice bucket challenge has nothing on me! 

It is enough of a job in the morning deciding what to wear, now I have to consider where I am going and what it is going to be like when I get there, as to what I wear.  For instance are they going to have the heating going full blast?  You know what its like; some stores have the air conditioning on and sometimes it is the heating and going from cold outdoors to warm indoors, well that is just a recipe for disaster!

At least in this day and age we are lucky with our clothes, we can try and dress to accommodate these episodes but how did our Victorian sisters cope dressed the way they used to?

Beautiful clothes which I must say can hide various bits we don’t like about ourselves, but no wonder the ladies were always fainting!!!!!

And another thing, I have this hair and it keeps growing on my face!  Fortunately I am lucky as I am a blonde so my hair is fair but it is like a wire!!  So now I spend once a week with my tweezers in my hand making sure it does not grow too big!!!

Well I send this out in to the Cosmos:

Please let me get through this phase of my life, without too many of these episodes and let me come out the other side still sane!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I hope your Thursday is nice and cool!!!!

Hugs, Susie x

I Love Winter!

dsc00660.jpgYesterday in the Daily Telegraph there was an article entitled “Yes, You Can Always Be Happy”.  I always read these type of articles and then cherry pick any advice or help that they can give (or dismiss the whole thing!!!!) but the idea behind this is to keep a journal and at the end of each day write down three positive things that have happend that day.  Once done reflect (this is the most important part) on why they made you happy.  Well I thought this was a good idea as I have, in the past, dwelt on things which are not good or have not been good in the past.

In an old post I mentioned that I when I was young I always, for Christmas, had a new diary and journal and I started off in the New Year with all good intentions of writing every day and by the middle of February I had fallen by the wayside.  Now though with my blog I do find that I write something each day (mostly!!!!!)  and so this is the modern way of keeping a journal.  It is great fun to go back and read old posts and see what we have all been up to.  So today I am going to write down my three positive things about today which made me happy.

1) Playing Christmas music in my Jeep!  Yes I have already put in my Christmas’ CD’s and I am loving the Christmas music!

2) It is a sunny Winter’s day today and that made me happy.  I love Winter I really do and it would be nice to know that we would have some snow this year (although they are forecasting lots of rain for Britain again this Winter 🙁 ) I love that it gets dark early and you can close the curtains and put the lights on and feel all cosy inside. 

3) I am organised today, in my work and home and in my mind!  I like to be tidy and my Boys accuse me of being Monica from Friends, who was renowned for being extremely tidy and obsessive about cleaning, well they are right.  I hate it when things are in a mess, I have to be tidy.  I have just cleaned the fridge and freezer out and my next job is to clean the cooker, top and bottom ovens!!! But I am getting things done and ticked off one of my endless lists!!!!

So those are my happy thoughts today and they do make me happy.  Of course DH, The Boys and Treacle always make me happy.  As do the wonderful people who take time to comment on my posts.  There are a few ladies, who comment regularly, who I am getting to know through email and their comments and emails really do lift my heart.  You know who you are and I am sending big hugs to you all!

36 Days Left Until Christmas!

Yes only 36 days left and then it will be only a month to go!!!!  On Friday I will be getting the last of the Christmas Presents and then I need to get my wrapping done!!!! Oh my!  Also the Christmas cards are ready for writing too.

Another Kitchen picture – Love the decor

At the weekend we are only doing the normal things, nothing extra, so I am hoping to get lots done!

Hope your Tuesday is going well.

Hugs, Susie x

We’re Back!

DSC04109We actually got back last Thursday but then Friday was manic as I was trying to catch up with all my jobs, work and also get ready for the Small Pool Party for our swimming club.  65 children were attending between  7.00pm and 9.00pm for a magic show, food, disco and party bags!  They all had a great evening, we were all exhausted!!!!  They didn’t eat all the food and it was too good to waste so we took it down to our local fire station for the night shift and it was gratefully received.

DSC04107The above picture is Leith dock near Edinburgh where we had dinner on our first night away.  This is where the former Royal Yacht, Britannia, is moored. DH and I took the boys around it when it was first there and the area looks nothing like it did then with a massive re-generation taking place in the past few years.

DH had a meetings on the Wednesday morning so I had time to walk round Edinburgh and do some more Christmas shopping.  We then travelled over to Glasgow for another couple of meetings and spent the evening in Glasgow for dinner which was our wedding anniversary.

DSC04110Again we stayed by the River, this time The Clyde, famous for many years of shipbuilding.  Outside the hotel they have left one of the massive cranes which was once used for the shipbuilding.  A great piece of history.

DSC04111We left Glasgow after the meeting at lunch and headed home in lots of rain and high winds!  The Boys and Girlfriend had been fine although Treacle seemed extremely pleased to see us (!) but everything seemed okay!!!!  Over the weekend Youngest was at a swim meet for the two days but Saturday, although I had promised myself I would get lots done, I did nothing!!!!  I was so tired and the weather was not good so Treacle and I snuggled and watched films and drank lots of tea!!!!!

Sunday I got house jobs done and some work and got things ready for today.  Today I got work jobs done and have taken Youngest to school and piano lessons and I have a huge basket of ironing from last week to do.  The weather is getting dank and foggy and cold and miserable at the moment and even Treacle seems depressed!!!!!  Next weekend we are not doing anything extra so we can get things straight. 

I am busy now planning things for Christmas week and trying to get organised.  Hope everyone’s Monday is going well.

Hugs, Susie x

Is It Thursday?

I woke up this morning thinking it was the weekend!  Because we had a lovely evening last night and we usually do these things on a Friday or Saturday night, I was convinced it was the weekend!!!!!!

Bonfire Night went off well and Treacle spent the night barking at them and then rushing up to us as if to say “I have scared them off for you Mom”  She was fine.  Our own fireworks were not too noisy, although one did have a “scream” added to it which definitely cleared out your ears!!!!!!  It was also very cold and some neighbours had a bonfire so it took me back to when I was a little girl as we always had a bonfire and fireworks at my Grandparents house (they had a bigger garden)  Grandad always saved up the leaves to burn on Bonfire Night and it had the most wonderful smell!  Funny how smells take you back to your childhood!

Workers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium spent four weeks getting the pup healthy again

Just had to share this with you from today’s newspaper!  Isn’t she cute?  She is a five week old sea otter who washed up on a California beach and had been abandoned by her Mom!  She is busy recovering at the Monterey Bay Aquarium before she will be re-homed to the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.  She doesn’t have a name yet but I just loved her, she is so cute. 

A sea otter that was discovered all alone on a California beach when it was just 1 week old has been nursed back to health

Today has been another one of those days when I had planned to do lots of things and ended up doing none of them, but worked instead and I still have lots to do.  Including tidying my desk which looks like a bomb has hit it!!!  Hate a messy desk!

Tomorrow is Christmas shopping and so I will have to spend tomorrow evening sorting out all my other jobs on the list!!!!

Today is the Boys Godmother’s birthday so I also spent a couple of hours with her catching up which was great. 

What’s that, quilting?  Hmm will definitely try and get some of that done over the weekend.  DH has to be away Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week on business (Wednesday is our wedding anniversary) so he has suggested that I go with him and Eldest looks after Youngest and Treacle(!)  The only saving grace is Girlfriend will be here too (the only sensible one out of the three of them!!!!!)  It will be a lovely mini break and I can’t wait.  I will be sure to take pictures.

I hope your Thursdays are going well. 

Hugs, Susie x