Monthly Archives: October 2020

Sir Sean Connery.

1930 – 2020

The original James Bond, Sir Sean Connery, passed away today in his sleep aged 90.  The first James Bond film I saw was “Diamonds are Forever” which I loved but there were lots of his films that I loved including “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”, “The Rock” and “The Hunt for Red October”.  However my most favourite film which DH and I went to see on our second date was “Highlander” which was set in the Scottish Highlands but Sir Sean played Don Juan Sanchez-Villalobos Ramirez but as always with a Scottish accent!  Loved this film especially as the film score was by Queen, my favourite band.  I still watch it now!

No matter how many actors play Bond they will always be compared to Mr Connery and although they all do bring something to the role, you always have your favourite and I do think he was the best.

Rest in peace Sir Sean.

Hugs & Love, Susie xx

Happy Hallowe’en!

Happy Hallowe’en!

Although, as with everything this year, Hallowe’en can only be celebrated at home with just the family, I am sure everyone will have a great Ghostly, Spooky time!

Everyone in our home is out and about today doing various things, so we are having a spooky dinner tonight and then settling down to watch a movie!  It is due to rain all day today and tomorrow here in Derbyshire, so it will definitely be indoor jobs!  We still have quite a bit to do outside but I am hoping that next weekend will be better weather and we can get them done and then the garden will be ready for Winter.  The driveway at the front will be done soon as well with new tarmac again in time before Winter starts.

I have not been at swimming for the past week and I have spent everyday and evening trying to catch up on things that I have put off for the past three months!  It has been so nice though!

Whatever you are up to today, please have fun and stay safe.

Spooky Hugs & Love,

Susie, DH, Eldest, Youngest, Girlfriend & Treacle xxxxx

Final Weekend Travels & Birthday!

We stayed at The Goring again in London which is a lovely small hotel and a favourite of her Majesty!  The staff are wonderful and make you feel very welcome and nothig is too much trouble. Our room was overlooking the garden at the back of the hotel.

The Mascot of the Hotel is the Goring Sheep, Ba Bar Ra, and these wonderful sheep are in the rooms.

They are special commissions for the Hotel!

As it was not busy we got to each breakfast in the conservatory every morning.

It was a lovely break even though it was only three days!!  We left mid morning and got home around 3.00pm.

We had a lovely meal last night with the Boys and Girlfriend for DH’s Birthday and lots of laughs.  Girlfriend had baked DH a wonderful cake.

It, too, was very yummy!

It is obviously Halloween on Saturday but everyone is being told not to go out trick or treating because of the situation but celebrate indoors, so for the first time in years we won’t have pumpkins outside or treats for the children.  We are going to have a fun supper though and have a night in watching a movie!!  It is due to be raining anyway!!!!  It is a very strange year!

Have a wonderful Friday and great weekend whatever you are up to and stay safe.

Hugs & Love, Susie xx

More Weekend Travels!

Warning: Picture heavy post!!!!!!!

The Saturday morning dawned cool and rainy. I have always wanted to visit the Charles Dickens museum so we booked in for the first tour of the day at 10.00am.

Mr & Mrs Charles Dickens front door!

We started in the basement which is where the main kitchen, the pantry and washroom were. There is another basement beneath it for storage which we didn’t get to go in. The rooms are all set up in the period of when the Dickens and their children lived there.

The back parlour of the kitchen where the servants would eat. The laundry which we today call the utility room!!!   The Dining Room where the Dickens entertained, mostly other writers of the age. Picture of Mr Pickwick from Pickwick Papers. China ware. The room next to the Dining Room was the sitting room where Mrs Dickens spent a lot of her time when her husband was away on lecture tours.

We then moved up the staircase again to the next floor where the Drawing Room is where the Dickens entertained their friends. Off this room was Mr Dickens Library with his desk which he wrote at most mornings.

Up the staircase to the Drawing Room where the Dickens entertained their friends. The family piano

The fireplace and chairs in the Drawing Room. The Doorway into Mr Dickens’ Library where he wrote at his desk most mornings.

The Library was quite small but had quite a few books and he would have been considered to have a well stocked library in those days as books were very expensive still.  The above picture is his desk where he wrote a lot of his books.

You move up the stair case again to the main bedrooms.

Dickens’ Dressing Room which was tiny and next door to their room.

There were further bedrooms on this floor and then you make your way up the final stair case to the attic rooms which were for the nursey and children’s rooms and the servants bedrooms.

The above pictrures from top to bottom: The Dickens family. The second picture; Dickens on the right with other writers of the day and finally Dickens with the family dog, Turk, who was a terror of the neighbourhood! Probably had some Airedale in him!!!!!

In one of the attic rooms was a display of unusual things from Dickens life including the bars of the Debtor’s prison that Dickens father was placed in when he could not pay his debts. This became a driving force for Dickens to make money and support his family when he began writing. The windows are actually from the original family home where Dickens was born.

Before Dickens became a famous writer he used to travel around giving lectures and this was the desk he took around with him to lecture from. He very much adopted the new innovations of the day, particulary photography and would have pictures taken and made up into calling cards to promote his lectures and eventually his books. In fact I am sure if he was born today he would have his own website/Twitter feed and would be embracing all forms of self promotion which he did in his time.

We really enjoyed the visit and have wanted to go for a while. My favourite book of Dickens is, of course, A Christmas Carol but I have read all of them.

We had some lunch and then went to the British Library, next door to St. Pancreas Railway Station and Kings Cross Railway Station, home of Platform 9 3/4!!!! At the British Library we saw the Book Treasures but unfortunately could not take pictures in there. It was very quiet but at least we got to see everything.

DH and I then went for a little retail therapy and to buy a few Christmas presents. We went to Fortnum & Mason, The Queen’s Grocers!!!! It was all dressed for Christmas!

We got back to the hotel about 4.30pm and had a cup of tea before getting ready to go out to the Restaurant for the evening. We had booked a table at 14 Hills, which is on the 14th floor of a new mixed use building of offices, shops, apartments and the restaurant. It was a lovely place and the food was great.

The entrance to the restaurant. Whilst waiting for the lift the ceiling above us was moving with pictures! The table and the view! There were trees and plants everywhere! DH and I both had the same starter, mushrooms on toast. He then had sea bass, mashed potatoes and leaks and I had chicken Kiev with seasonal vegetables. The view from the 14th Floor!

We had a lovely day but were tired by the end of it. Most of the day we had also been dodging the rain which was a shame. We got back to the hotel about 9.30pm as again everywhere was closing by 10.00pm It was very quiet everywhere especially with no theatres open as well!

Sorry for the delay in posting the other pictures from our trip, but it has been a very manic week, whenever is it not? However it has culminated in my standing down as the Covid Officer for the swimming club! I won’t go into all the details but a parent was not happy with decisions made by the club about the self isolation of the swimmers in the lane where a swimmer had tested positive for Covid and basically said I was wrong. However after the last three months of a lot of work and time spent doing this instead of other things I wanted to do, I felt it was time to pass it on! Hopefully and eventually it will mean I can get back to doing my quilting and a million other things I have put off!!!! Tomorrow I will show you the last of our pictures of the weekend.

Today is DH’s Birthday as well and we are having a family meal at home as we now live in an area which is classed as Tier 3 so no going out etc except for work/school/shopping. Mind you I prefer being at home anyway!!!

I hope you are having a thrilling Thursday.  I will show you more pictures of the past weekend tomorrow.

Hugs & Love, Susie xx

Weekend Travels.

DH and I had a lovely weekend away from it all in London. This was the trip which was cancelled from July when we should have been going to the Hampton Court flower show which they decided might happen in September but then cancelled it to next year (as with everything in this weird year!). As we had already paid for the hotel etc they said we could move it to whenever we liked and so we moved it to this weekend. We decided to drive down, as we normally go by train, but I did not fancy sitting on the train for almost three hours with a face mask on. In fact we actually got to London quicker than that as the traffic was light. London was not really that busy at all.

We got a slow start to Friday because of trying to tie up loose ends with the Swimming issues and DH had some work to finish so we did not get down to London until the afternoon but we got checked in and got ready to go out for the evening.

We were going to the Duchess Theatre on Friday evening to see the play “The Play That Goes Wrong”. Well it did go wrong, because of all the new cases of Covid they decided they could not open and have now pushed it back to end of November possibly! We had already booked dinner at Gilray’s Steakhouse & Bar for 5.00pm but decided not to change the booking, especially as all the restaurants now have to close by 10.00pm!

Here are some pictures of our Friday Evening:

We got back to our hotel by 8.00pm unpacked, had a cup of tea and that was it!!! We were exhausted after the last several weeks!!! Party animals we were not! I will show you tomorrow our Saturday which was very busy!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend whatever you were up to and have a great week.

Hugs & Love, Susie xx

Friends are Good for Your Health.

A 2012 article published in the Public Library of Science said that out of 148 studies on social relationships it was confirmed that strong positive, social relationships increased longevity and general health! That’s great! We all know that having friends helps no end in lots of situations, just a teeny-weeny bit difficult in the current climate when we are all having to stay away from each other!!!! Thank goodness for modern technology where we can all still see each other, even if it is through a computer screen!!!!

We have had our first major issue at swimming with one of them actually having a positive test! The rest of the lane have been told to self-isolate for fourteen days and I am hoping that ALL the paperwork we have done beforehand and on going has helped us get to this point and they will all be fine! The swimmer who has the positive test at present has no symptoms!

By the time you read this, DH and I will hopefully be in London! I did say that I am hiding there so no one can find me and perhaps I would hop a plane to somewhere where there are no people!!! The Galápagos Islands sounds nice at this time of year!!!!! Don’t worry I will be back Monday, or will I??????????? 🙂

Have a wonderful weekend you lovely lot.

Hugs & Love, Susie x

Susie’s Monthly Friday Book Club.

The weeks are flying by and despite trying to be organised I missed this month’s Book Club! Sorry! I have put a picture of Chatsworth House library dressed for Christmas as I think we could all do with a little cheer. In fact I got an email the other day from the bookshop I use which said that they were all dressed for Christmas and to please excuse how early it was but they had the same thoughts!!!! Loved it.

Anyway here is my book choice for October.

I have read quite a few of Alison Weir’s historical novels. She takes the character and then writes the book based upon historical facts but as a story which fleshes out the character as opposed to a book of just facts.

I have always loved this part of history and in particular Henry VIII’s six wives but most is written about his second wife, Anne Boleyn, rather than his first wife Katherine.

This book begins with Katherine’s arrival in England and her marriage to Henry’s brother, Arthur, who unfortunately does not live long past the wedding. As Henry becomes heir apparent he marries his brother’s widow and there begins their twenty four year marriage. Sadly, as was the case in this period of time, despite having six children only her daughter, Mary, survived, which was the cause of her eventual divorce from Henry in his pursuit of a male heir!

There is a lot more to Katherine than the sad figure which history consigned her to in the arrival of Anne and the replacement of Katherine by her. Especially at the end of her life when she sent a note to Henry still declaring her love for him despite everything he had done to her!

I loved this book and if you also enjoy it, then Alison has also written about all of Henry’s wives, the books below.

DH and I are off to London for the weekend today, the Boys are both at home looking after little Treacle for us. I will have pictures to show you next week. Have a wonderful weekend you lovely lot.

Hugs & Love, Susie xx

#TBT.

For #TBT today I wanted to show you some pictures of our visit to London during October school half term in 2005, which I cannot believe is fifteen years ago!!! Eldest was 10 and Youngest was 6! We had a lovely week and the weather was quite good for October!

I love looking back on these pictures and to see the fun we had as a family. DH and I are going to London tomorrow for the weekend. This is the trip that was cancelled from July, then September and now the end of October!!! With all the new restrictions we weren’t sure if it was going to happen, but so far and fingers crossed we are going!!! I will have pictures to show you next week!!!!

Hugs & Love, Susie xx

The Wednesday Wag.

I have been waiting for my clean quilt outer to be put back, but I really do like my basket without the outer!!! It is very comfy and warm. The weather has been really yuck over the last few days with lots of rain and very cool temperatures, just after I have had my Airecut of course. Mom says at least it is easier to dry me now with less fluff!!

I also have a new bed upstairs in Mom and Dad’s bedroom. My basket up there was slightly smaller than my one downstairs and although I have the same inner it is not as comfy, so Mom bought me a new one which has a memory foam inner.

I do like it, but Mom and Dad’s bed is better!!!! They are going away for the weekend this week, so I will get their bed all to myself!!!

We were hoping to have good weekend weather soon as Mom and Dad want to go on a longer walk, but so far the weather is not co-operating!!! After this weekend hopefully we will get at least one weekend of good weather before it gets worse. Mom thinks that this Winter is going to be horrendous, based upon how the rest of the year has been!!! I don’t mind if it is snow, just not the rain!!!

I do hope you are having a very Woofy Wednesday.

Treacle xx

Can You Imagine….?

Can you imagine the song writers now trying to write their hits in the current climate?

“Saturday Night at the Movies/The Drifters – Saturday night at the movies, Who cares what picture you see when you’re huggin’ with your baby in the last row in the balcony?” Now it would be “Saturday night at the movies, who cares what picture you see when you’re socially distanced with your baby, face masks for you and me”!!!!!!!!!!!

Or how about “Uptown Girl/Billy Joel – I’m gonna try for an uptown girl, She’s been living in her white bread world, As long as anyone with hot blood can, And now she’s looking for a downtown man That’s what I am” Now it would be “I’m gonna try for an Uptown Girl, She’s been living in her current Tier, As long as I’m in the same Tier, and now she’s looking for a downtown Tier That’s where I am”!!!!!!!

Or “Rockin Around the Christmas Tree/Brenda Lee – Rockin’ around the Christmas tree At the Christmas party hop Mistletoe hung where you can see Let the Christmas spirit ring Later we’ll have some pumpkin pie And we’ll do some caroling” Now it would be “Rockin Around the Christmas tree, only six at the Christmas party hop, Mistletoe hung where you can see, Let the Christmas spirit ring, later we’ll have some pumpkin pie And we’ll do some socially distanced caroling”!!!!!

It’s the same with our favourite novels can you imagine how they would be written today? How would Hercule Poirot manage to do his final reveal at the end of the book if only six people could be in the room at one time? Can you imagine George R.R. Martin having to deal with all his characters under the restrictions today? The books would be even longer!!!!!! Harry Potter not able to go to Hogwarts but doing his wand work over the computer and blowing it up!!!!!!!!

It’s also the same with our favourite movies. No way could you film the biggest scene for extras ever in a movie at the moment which was “Ghandi” his funeral which had 300,000 extras! Or “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy which had 20,000 extras in or “Around the World in Eighty Days” which had over 60,000 extras, spread out in 13 countries and 112 locations!!

Anyway I hope you have had a little giggle at the above but it does make you wonder…….!

Have a Terrific Tuesday.

Hugs & Love, Susie xx