Tag Archives: game on

Stylish On A Shoestring

I noticed that for this week’s FANDANGO’S PROVOCATIVE QUESTION we are asked: What’s Your Style? So I am linking one of my older posts in which I answered Rory’s questions on style.

I have surprised myself by being able to answer all of the questions in Rory’s latest “Game-On” challenge.  Afterall, I have been shopping in charity shops since I was sixteen because as a volunteer, I did not have much spare cash for clothing.  I know nothing of what is supposed to be the fashion.  I just know what I like and what I think looks good.

Just in case you have not seen them before, these challenges are created by the marvellous A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip! and in his post below, he lists all of the rules and explains the challenge:


Daily Topic Subject – Fashionista!

Q1] How important is colour in your life?

In my life…oooh, well colour is gorgeous.  Goodness, imagine life without colour! Wouldn’t that be boring!

Q2] What is most favourite colour to wear?

Well, I like blues and greeny blues, teal I guess. Any colours at the cooler side of the rainbow.

I use navy as my base colour instead of black.  As I think black makes me look too pale and sickly.  I team various shades of blues and teals with either neutral items or tan leather or accessories.

I used to have something in every colour going, but ended up with too many clothes, most of which could not make a matching outfit.  I  have a very small wardrobe now, so I have a capsule wardrobe all based on my favourite colours.

Q3] Is there a colour that you wear that brings the best out in you and in others – in so far as compliments?

pink roseFrustratingly…people love me in pink.  It is because I am fair with golden hair and I turn pink very easily.  My rosy cheeks look amazing in a rosy pink top.  Not hot pink, not pale pink, but that rose kind of pink.

I always receive compliments whenever I wear that shade of pink.  So, I do have a bit of it in my wardrobe.  I have a couple of navy dresses with a bit of pink in the floral print and I team it with a little pink cardi.  It is something I would wear when I am feeling a bit low, as I know people will say I really suit that colour.

Q4] Are you a person who likes to overdress for the day or are you a follower of the credo, less is more?

In every day life, if I am out and about, meeting and greeting, socializing, and especially when I am wanting to look lovely for Goldfinch, I love wearing a dress, a beautiful dress, or a day-dress.  I just love feeling feminine.  Most of my dresses are knee-length or just below and they are “fit & flair” style as it suits me more than a straight cut dress.

If I am gardening or cleaning or decorating or digging trenches…or taking a dog for a walk, or jogging, or hiking up Cadair Idris, I am going to wear something appropriate for the occasion:

PQ5] What are five of your best items of clothing that you simply couldn’t be without? [and l don’t mean underwear/socks]

Oooooh…it depends on the season.

Now that the cold weather is ahead, I would not be without my 100% waterproof Gortex tan leather boots.  Someone gave me some money to go and buy some good winter boots because my old boots were springing leaks and I bought a pair in Clarks in the sale for about £70 and I love them.  three years later they are still in almost perfect condition despite how often I wear them in the wintertime.

Also in the winter I love my big thick navy coat.

My big woolly scarf which is navy and teal check.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is fdsgrrgrrf.pngI have a “go-to” dress when I am not sure what to wear.  It is a navy Phase Eight dress, and I love the shape.  It is “fit &  flare” and it is incredibly flattering and easy to team up with most items in my wardrobe. I found it in a charity shop and snapped it up and I love it.

In the summertime this year I realized how much I needed a pair of pretty, but solid sandals.  I found it really hard to find a pair I liked but then one day when I was desperate for more comfortable footwear I found a pair up in Manchester in “Office”.  I wrote all about them in this post:

Q6] Do you dress for the season, as in colour wise, or just throw on whatever is warm and practical?

I do dress for the weather.  I don’t really change my colours drastically…most of my clothes are blue or teal or navy.  I might wear more white in the summer.

PQ7] If you were going for an evening out and the dress code was ‘smart casual’ what is your ideal outfit and why?

If my friends tell me (and I often need their advice) that is more of a dressed-up jeans smart casual, I have some pretty tops and jackets that I can team up with jeans.

Left to my own interpretation, if I was told the dress code was smart casual…my first choice would probably be a dress, knowing me.  But a dress that was not too glamorous or opulent. A navy day-dress with a thin tan belt. I would probably wear it with smart but flat ballet pumps, which give a dress a more relaxed feel.

Q8] If you were having to attend an important meeting or appointment and the dress code was smart – what would your outfit be then?

If it was a business meeting or an interview…

…something more along these lines.

Q9] How many pairs of shoes do you own, and what is the breakdown [as in casual, smart, evening, leisure]

I feel rather embarrassed about this.  So recently, my sister Milly went up to my flat up in North London to retrieve some things that would be useful to me.  Only she brought back so much more than I expected, and for some reason she decided to bring my entire shoe collection.  Well, actually, I have a few pairs of footwear up at my parent’s home and at my sister’s homes.

The problem is…I am very good at finding bargains in charity shops after years of practice.  Most pairs of shoes I have bought for just £2 or £3.  I look after them because they are well-made shoes, and I have a friend who is a cobbler who has helped to keep my shoe collection looking polished!

I can’t face counting them, but I can tell it is at least fifty pairs (I should have a sort out and give some to charity shops, because I don’t need them all – especially not the stilettos!)

Q10] Do you have classic clothing, or classic items in your wardrobe that you have had for years and never go out of fashion if so name three?

I have a black pair of tailored trousers…

and a beige trench-coat…

and a pair of smart black heels…

that I guess could never really go out of fashion.

I feel like they are a kind of Audrey Hepburn look and can be worn by anyone of any age and make them look smart and stylish.

Q11] Are you into plain colours, wild colours or outlandish designs or a mixture and which do you favour more?

I don’t think I am into anything outlandish.  I think on the whole my dress sense is rather conservative.  I like to wear beautiful dresses, but on the whole I like to wear clothes that are modest, well-made, appropriate for the occasion. I don’t like to draw attention to myself, but I like to be well-presented and look as if I am making an effort.

PQ12] Do you have a favourite quote with regards fashion or design – if so what is it?


I don’t think about fashion. I don’t talk about fashion. 90% of what I own I bought in charity shops.  It is only good quality footwear and underwear that I am willing to buy new!

But I found one quote which isn’t completely laughable to me.

Q13]  Knee high socks, ankle socks, shin socks or no socks?

If I am playing hockey…knee high socks.

If I am jogging…little ankle socks.

What are shin socks?  I don’t know what they are…are they like socks with shin-pads sewn into them?  If so, they would be great for hockey.

If I am wearing sandals…no socks.  If there is one crime against style it is socks with sandals – aaaaaagh!!!!!

Q14] Can you see the connection between colour and music and if so does it influence your dress code for the day in any way?

I don’t think my mind is wired to see the connection between colour and music other than they both make life rather exquisitely wonderful!  I think they both sensational gifts that make life anything but boring.

I don’t think music influences my dress code.  I love colours, but for practical reasons (lack of space), I stick to my capsule wardrobe of blues and teals and tan leather.

PQ15] If you are going out somewhere special and want to listen to some music to put you in the mood whilst getting dressed up, what do you listen to? [Provide link please]

I don’t normally dress to music.  I might put on some music to get me in the mood for going out, depending on where I am going.  I am trying to think of a song about dressing up before going out to somewhere special…this is the tune in my head (probably because I used the word “sensational” in my previous answer):

Q16] How often do you buy new clothing for the season or the year?

If something I already own and is very useful is wearing out, beyond repair, I start to pop into charity shops to see if I can find something similar to replace it. I do pop into charity shops from time to time, always on the look out for a bargain.

Q17] Remember tie-dye from the 70’s was it a thing you followed, bought into or worse, how do you feel about it now?


Tie Dye, T-Shirts, Bright Colors, HippyWell, I don’t believe I ever wore anything tie-dye. But that is probably because I am a child of the eighties.  I think I would have liked it, I liked bright colours and wore all sorts of colours as a child.

I don’t think I would wear it now though…I don’t like to dress in an entire rainbow of colour, I think I would feel too conspicuous.

I don’t have any strong feelings about tie-dye. For those that can pull off wearing the entire rainbow – good for you!

Q18] What is the brightest coloured item of clothing you have in your wardrobes/drawers?

raspberry cardiI have a raspberry Laura Ashley light cardi.  It is pretty.

I wear it with a Laura Ashley skirt which is beige but has a rose print on it.

Everything else in my wardrobe is navy, teal, blue, or neutral colours.

Q19] What is the most expensive item of clothing that you have in your wardrobe? How often do you actually wear it?

Well…I think the item that was the most expensive originally is a Windsmoor winter coat which I found in a charity shop with the labels on and snapped up for £20.  I feel as if it is one of my best bargains.

I guess the most money I have personally spent was the £75 for the Clarks boots I mentioned earlier in this post.

PQ20] Are you deleting any questions, if so which ones?

Not this time.

Q21] Is being ‘fashionable’ important to you, or is being comfortably attired  more so?

floral dress 2floral dress 1.jpgI don’t feel as if I am “fashionable”. I am not really aware of what is in fashion at any time.

However, I think I have a style.  I wear what is appropriate for the occasion – so practical clothes when I am doing practical tasks, and then when I am not getting my hands dirty, I wear dresses.  I have always liked beautiful dresses, right from childhood.

I loved running round playing football, climbing trees and riding my bike in shorts and a T-shirt…but I also loved pretty dresses.  I explained how my sense of style developed in this post:

I also had issues about the uniform – well it was grey…as some school uniforms are. I said to Mrs Richardson “Yes, I know all the other children have to wear a uniform, but what I don’t understand is, why do I have to wear a uniform?”  I didn’t see myself as one of them, but that I was being forced against my will to be at this school. Well….whatever I said to the teachers, I was allowed to attend school throughout the infants and wear my choice of clothes rather than the uniform. What did I wear?  I had so many pretty little girl dresses that had been given to my mum by my dad’s customers and friends. Quite an impressive wardrobe. I remember some of them vividly.  Although I also loved wearing shorts and T-shirts at home, I was too proud to wear shorts for school, I did want to be smart.  It sometimes strikes me as odd that although I was such a tomboy in so many ways – I always loved my dresses.”

girl dress.jpg

I developed that sense of “style” as a little girl and it has ever left me.  Although I have had a life-time of “hand-me-downs” and charity shop clothes, I have always chosen items that I feel comfortable and confidant in.  Hardly anyone would have any idea that I don’t buy my clothes first-hand.  Stylish on a shoestring!



It’s A New Dawn, It’s A New Day….And I’m Feeling Good!

Who can possibly resist a list of questions like those in the latest “Game On” challenge from the delightful A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip!

Please take a look at his original post which explains the challenge and all of the rules:


Daily Topic Subject – The Art Of Feeling Good

Q1] How do you define ‘feeling good?’

smilersmiler 1Energized, happy, ready for life!

At peace with yourself and your conscience.   Able to look the world in the eye knowing you have nothing to hide, you bear no malice to anyone.

At peace with your past – You may have made mistakes, but you have learnt your lesson and will avoid repeating them.  Enjoying the present and full of hope regarding the future.

Content with what you have, grateful for your wonderful blessings and confidant things will get better.

Q2] Do you have someone human or animal that is always there for you, and how do you feel about them?

I think there are lots of people who are always there for me…I know many I could turn to. But many of them have struggled to know what to say and what to do about my difficult situation.

But I think the one person who is always just wonderfully pleasant to be with is my sister Milly.  She is very practical and has taken things in her stride without becoming overly stressed. Spending time with Milly and her husband and their gorgeous daughter is a joy.

Q3] What is something you have done recently that is thoughtful for someone else?

I find myself going the extra mile quite regularly whenever I clean for someone else. I am never content with the basic requirements.  I always do “unpaid overtime” because I can’t help myself.

This week I sorted out the food cupboards for a client and identified about a third of the products were years past their “USE-BY-DATE”.

It is so easy to put your heart into cleaning.  It brings so much satisfaction and feels like a way to show unselfish love and dignity to another human.  I love finding ways I can give them little “extras” in my cleaning.

Q4] What’s the best thing that has happened to you today?

Today…well, a lovely gift arrived.  Some perfume…So that is a very lovely thing that happened to me today.

The odd things was I tried it recently in a department store and liked it but decided I didn’t need it, so I would not buy it after all.  I was on my own when that happened. It had not mentioned it to anyone.  So it seemed so weird that this gorgeous person sent me that perfume as a gift.

I felt as if someone had been reading my thoughts.

PQ5] If you want to feel good, what type of music do you listen to? [Please provide link]

Oh dear..I like lots of music.  I guess at the moment, when I am happy it is often connected with Goldfinch and my love for him.  So it would probably be some kind of love song, but I like sixties tunes.  They often make me smile and dance more than any modern music.   The list of songs that make me feel good is endless.

Here is one of a thousand songs that make me feel good!

Q6] What has inspired you recently?

I saw an older woman (perhaps in her seventies) outside a busy London tube station. People were rushing past looking stressed.  She stood there calmly and serenely with the biggest warmest smile I have seen in ages.  Her smile caught my eye.  As I neared her she was holding out a thin magazine with the question on the front “Does God Care About You?”

I thought she was inspirational actually, but reading her magazine was also very inspirational and it made me feel like a I was being wrapped in a huge hug.  It kind of fortified my bones and made me feel I can face any sadness or hardship that come my way.

PQ7] Have you seen a feel good film recently, and if not recently please provide a link to a film that has inspired you?

I have not watched it recently, but “La Vita E Bella” (“Life Is Beautiful”) is a film that took me on quite an emotional journey.  It makes you smile, laugh and then there are tremendously sad parts!  But it is a film about a special father who tries to keep his family going through one of the most horrific atrocities to have marred the pages of human history.

If you have not seen it…it is hard to convey how it makes you feel.  Most of my friends start tearing up when they talk about how much they love this film.

Q8] When you are feeling down and you wish to treat yourself to motivate and encourage you, what do you do?

There are lots of ways I can cheer myself up.  I love ringing a friend or family member. Or even writing a letter to a friend (or a Goldfinch).

Or going for a walk in the nearby park (not too late mind).  I also like to bake, that is always very enjoyable and I think of who I can share my baking creations with.

There are times when unwanted memories have flooded my mind. Not so much the crime I fell victim to, more the stress I was under before than night.  Because I don’t feel the situation has been resolved yet, and I start to wonder if I will ever make it back to my career and home on the other side of London, I find at times discouragement creeping in.  I have to remind myself that “EVERYTHING IS OK”.  I am in a safe and comfortable little abode.  I have work that is local to me.  I have everything I need and more.

At times you have to think of your own mind like a garden.  It just takes a little effort to push the weedlike negative things out of your head and let the pretty flowerlike thoughts to flourish.

Q9] List five feel good things in your life right now?

Goldfinch – aaaaaaah!

My wonderful family.

Inspirational friends and experiences as a volunteer.

It takes me less than ten minutes to walk to work.

My snuggly pyjamas.

Q10] Has anyone done anything for you really special in the last month or so, that they did just for you and no expectation of anything back?

My little niece offered me some of her favourite snack (which is sweetcorn).  It reminded me so much of her mother Milly.

Q11] What made you laugh or smile today?

I had found an e-mail in my inbox from a lovely friend and former colleague who lives in Genoa, Italy.  She is one of those people who are a sheer delight to be around.  I miss her very much.

She has an incredible array of vegan creations on her site.  She is so talented!


PQ12] If you wanted to read something to make you feel good, where would you go to find it, and what would it be?

reading a letter.jpgThere is nothing like a letter from a friend (I don’t throw them away, I love looking over them later on).

Jane Austin books make me feel good.  They are light hearted on the whole and always have a happy ending.

I am enjoying reading the work of other bloggers.  One blogger I have found seems to cheer me up with her beautiful posts is Uzma:  https://ashellinmaking.wordpress.com/

Q13]  What’s your weather like today, and what is one good thing about it?

It has been dry.  It was a little chilly.  There was quite a strong breeze that howled through the windows I had left ajar.  One good thing about the weather…

…well because it has not rained this week, the woods are dry, so when you go for a walk you don’t get muddy – YET!  I keep wellington boots outside my front door because I am sure the rain will come and turn the forest floor into a quagmire!

Q14] Of all the seasons which one makes you feel totally great and why?

SUMMER….aaaaah!  Full of life, and sun and warmth.  I LIVE during the summer!

PQ15] What choices in the last twelve months have you made to improve your life and how’s that going for you?

I left a job, after realizing I was going to be running round trying to keep up with the work, while some of my colleagues were busy playing video games and sending text messages on their mobile phones.  The senior member of staff who was present was not going to do anything about it.  She did not want to be firm. So I left.  I felt it was time I moved on.  I love work, but it was time the others learnt to do their job properly.

It was one of those situations where I realized nothing was going to change. So I moved onto another job.

Q16] Who in your life has survived something difficult, and how do you feel when you think about the fact that they’re still here?

Hmm…I have many friends who have endured difficult challenges.

Three of my extended family were involved in serious accidents out in Africa.  Two separate incidents that occurred because of hazardous roads and dangerous drivers. One of my family had such severe head injuries she was in a coma for months and after regaining consciousness she had a very limited memory.  She didn’t recognize most of the family including her husband.  It has been a tremendous challenge for her, but she has gradually rebuilt her confidence and her abilities. I won’t go into too much detail, because it is still an ongoing challenge for her and I am not sure how comfortable she would be sharing all of her story.

But to say-the-least, she is an inspiration!  Especially after my own head injuries, seeing her patience and attitude to recovery has been a good example to me.

Q17] Have you recently imagined a worst-case scenario that didn’t actually happen?

AmbulanceErm…I had a pretty awful scenario take place that night in the park…but of course the amazing thing is I was still living despite my injuries.  I was found and very quickly transported to hospital and received excellent treatment.

Have I recently imagined a worst case scenario that did not actually happen?  Hmm…well, I guess when I left my job not sure when or if I would find another one, all sorts of possibilities went through my mind.  But my family and friends are very supportive so I didn’t worry excessively.  I just knew it was the right decision. I had been very patient.

Q18] What is your sweetest memory?

couples reunitingOh so many…too many to choose.

Last year Goldfinch went to Australia for five weeks over the holiday season. On Monday 8th January, I was waiting at Heathrow Airport for Goldfinch to appear when I had calculated his flight was due.  It felt like an eternity waiting for him and I started to think I had got it terribly wrong.

But then he appeared!  It was like a miracle!  He was there in front of me.  Next moment he was holding me and I was in paradise! I am never going to forget that moment.

Q19] If you could only keep five of your possessions which ones would you keep to ensure that you always felt good?

My hairbrush

My tootbrush

My iron / ironing board

My phone so I could ring one of my family or friends

My handbag because it has everything useful inside it.

PQ20] Are you deleting any questions, if so which ones?

No…I almost deleted question 21, but I decided to stick with it.

Q21] What do you wish for the epitaph on your gravestone to read?

What makes you think I am going to die?  We won’t worry about that one!

The most important thing to me is a few words to impart hope and courage to any of my loved ones who are not prepared for the death of one of our family.  I would want to some how ease the pain of grief. It would be so much comfort to my loved ones if it could say:





There you go Rory!  My attempt at “The Art Of Felling Good”


Adventuring We Will Go!

adventure photo.jpg

I think I have about an hour before I really ought to climb into bed and let my weary head rest up a bit.  I am going to use that hour to start a post with my answers to Game On – S2 Created by A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip!

Take a look at Rory’s original post for find out all the rules and see his original questions:


Are you ready for an adventure?  Well, if your bag is packed and you have your passport and boarding pass ready, I think we should embark on our journey along these fabulous questions!  I am not going to make this journey without you!

Q1] What is the last holiday you took?

Back in July, I spent two entire weeks visiting friends and family in the North of England and North Wales.  I tried to keep up with blogging and filled my posts with holiday spam!

All my holidays now are spent on visiting family.  I have not been on a “holiday” holiday for many years…I think it was Texas USA perhaps…but even that was not a holiday as such, though we had an amazing time out there.

Turkey…was the last time I went on a beach and relaxation orientated holiday…although we were bored after a day and went gallivanting every other day.  We went scuba-diving in Turkey which was pretty awesome!

Q2] What is your most favourite place in all of the world that you have seen?

Oooooh la la….how could you ask a question like that!

When I was in the north of Sweden our friends took us to see a frozen waterfall.  There were icicles all the way down.  It was one of the most exquisitely beautiful sights I have ever beheld!

Q3] Do you think travelling enriches your life, your learning, your wisdom or it’s just time off?

Oh yeah..of course I think travelling is enriching.  It often opens your eyes to looking at the world in a way you have never had the opportunity to do so before.

All teenagers should travel to Africa.  It would stop them complaining about not having the lastest phone or sneakers.

Q4] What is your favourite mode of transport?

That would have to be boat for me.

PQ5] In your opinion what is a great quote that symbolises adventuring and travelling?

I have never thought about quotes other than “LIFE IS ONE BIG ADVENTURE” but while I was researching quotes to see if any were familiar, I found this:

That’s quite an inspiring little ditty – is it not!

Q6] Since you have begun travelling have you noticed any change in who you have become as a person?

I think I can say yes to that.  Especially after visiting West Africa when I was about twenty-two.  This is going to sound really stupid, but as a teenager, I started to think our family were poor, and that we were missing out on so many things our school friends had.

I realized when I first left Europe that perhaps half of people on this planet do not have a flushing toilet.  Things that I have had my whole life and take for granted like a shower with warm water, electricity to boil the kettle, to toast a slice of bread or central heating, not to mention all the services the local council provides like refuse and recycling collection…there are literally millions upon millions of people who have never had those things and yet…from what we saw, many of them were happy, healthy and incredibly kind to us.

Life was so warm (literally, it was roasting hot!) colourful and people were so friendly and gregarious.  I picked up the journal I kept during my time in Ghana when I was at my parent’s home recently. I still plan to write some posts about our adventures out there and the very special people we met.

When my sister Mandy and I returned to England, we had a completely different outlook on the world than the one we had before we left.

PQ7] What is a great song to get you in the mood for adventuring? [provide link please]

Q8] When on holiday, travelling or adventuring – do you take books/kindle to read or simply rest on the knowledge that your time away is enough to provide all your stimulation anyway?

reading book on beach.jpgOoooh very rarely have I had chance to read when I have travelled.

It seems like a nice idea, lying on the beach and sunbathing and reading a book, but my holidays have usually been to visit friends abroad and they always arrange a jam-packed schedule of trips and excursions.

I think I took a book when I went to Turkey because my friends said they wanted a beach holiday to relax – but it didn’t end up that way!

Q9] Five best holidays you have had and list why?

Oh dear…

Ghana because we had the most incredible dive into African culture and art and music and food.  People made that holiday very very special (well, we did a lot of work out there, but we had chance to spend some days relaxing so I am going to count it as a holiday)

Sweden was spectacular and full of surprises – an adventure beyond all our expectations!

Romania was beautiful and so interesting.  We had so much fun out there and made some amazing friends.

Houston, Texas, USA  when we were staying with friends who lived there. We just happened to plan our first ever trip to the States when it happened to be “All-Stars” basketball weekend in Houston.  I mean “Hello! Welcome to America!”  I have to write a post about that trip one day…it was memorable – to say the least!

Belgium with Mandy, Milly and my mum – we bought so much chocolate.  Then when we came home we wrapped it all up into little parcels with ribbon to give to friends.  It was really nice to have a girly holiday with my sisters and my mum.

Q10] Do you have a favourite blog that deals with adventuring or travelling that you read before you go?

I have not been abroad since I started reading blogs.  I have been reading the posts of several travel bloggers regularly.  Their posts are often quite stunning and they put lots of ideas in my head about where I would like to travel to.

My Dusty Flip-Flops is my favourite travel blogger though!

Q11] Are you a soloist traveller or prefer company?

If I had to, I could travel on my own (as in the transport part of it) but what is the point of travelling without someone wonderful to share it with?

PQ12] What is the most significant lesson you have learned when adventuring?

Don’t forget your toothbrush!  Nah…

I think I would have to say that my travels have confirmed that the mod-cons of the western world do not make us happier.  I have often found that in lands where there was less in a material sense, people were so much happier and friendlier.  I am dying to tell you about a family from Liberia we met…I think I will save it for another post.

Q13]  When in a new location, what are the first five things you check or do to ensure your adventure/holiday is successful?

Ha ha – define successful!  The only thing we worry about is making sure we don’t forget which date our return flights are back because we are having so much fun.

In Africa – drink lots of water! (3-4 litres a day)

In Northern Sweden – don’t go outside without your hat! (in the winter of course)

In Spain –      Cereza =        Cerbeza = 

In USA – don’t eat for three weeks before you go, and don’t eat for six weeks after you go!

In Germany – rules are made for breaking! (Ooooh er – there is a post I need to publish to explain that.)

Q14] Are you a rigid planner for adventures, or just throw a few things into a bag and let the day take you wherever?

At one stage I think I would have been a planner, that was in my nature.  However, almost every holiday I have been on turned out to be an adventure because I let go of worrying and let others whisk us off to the most unbelievable places – way off the tourist route.

When we trust our friends and let them surprise we have been amazed at what they have arranged for us.

PQ15] In your opinion what do you think is needed to make an adventure/holiday really successful?

Friends or family abroad who know the area, and have the time to introduce you to the delights of life in that land. I would rather be in a sleeping bag on the floor of my friend’s living room than in an all-inclusive hotel.  Friends abroad make travel wonderful.

Q16] When adventuring do you have a traditional routine or just go with the flow?

I like trying things I have never tried before!

I go with the flow…some of the friends I have travelled with have a bit of a routine or holiday customs.  But I am happy to “go with the flow” so long as that means seeing new places, eating new foods, singing, dancing, fascinating culture or history or art, lively people, gorgeous scenery.

Q17] Are you totally relaxed when holidaying/adventuring as in let your hair completely down, or hang on to a sense of reticence?

During the day, I love anything outdoors, any opportunity for climbing, hiking, swimming, sailing, scuba diving or anything active is something I would grab.  I love feeling like a kiddo and availing myself of any energetic and unforgettable activities.

I have had a lot of fun when travelling…there is something about being “on holiday” that makes me even braver.  I have done a lot of singing and dancing when abroad and I certainly do have some tales to tell!

Or maybe I will tell them in future posts!

Q18] How important is adventuring/holidaying away to you?

travelerI have always loved opportunities to travel.  Of course I want to travel again in the future.  Right now, my desire to get back to my home on the other side of London is far greater than any desire to travel elsewhere.  I feel lost at the moment.  I hardly have the appetite for anything like adventure until I am feeling settled back at home.

You see it is a wonderful thing to travel knowing you have a home to return to.  I have a very sweet abode currently, but it is not MY HOME.  I need to be home before I have the appetite for travelling.

Q19] Are you completely and utterly true to your personality when ‘away’ or do you become someone else?

I don’t think I change as such.  But the playful side of me is allowed more fun and expression.  I seem to laugh a lot when I am abroad.  For years I have had a jam-packed schedule (don’t we all) where I am always thinking of the next task ahead and it is nice to be on holiday and not to worry about what my next job is.

For some reason I have always felt the need to be a bit of an “entertainer” with friends. When I am abroad on holiday I think I need very little encouragement to get the party going!  I like to see my friends enjoying themselves as much as I am!

PQ20] Are you deleting any questions, if so which ones?

Q4] Recently l read, and it’s not new about windowless aircraft which will be the future of air travel, what are your views on this?

Windowless planes???

Q21] You have been gifted a 42 day holiday of your dreams all expenses paid – where would you choose to go?

Six weeks!  Ask me this month…. I think I would say South America because I never have been and I would love to go!

Ask me in December and I would say Australia to see my wonderful Goldfinch!

Oozing Confidence!

Another of the challenges created by aguycalledbloke  aguycalledbloke

…and this week he has created another “Game On” challenge, as he explains in the post below:


This challenge is based on the theme: CONFIDENCE.

The Rules …

confidence.jpg1] Leave the Permanent Questions [PQ] always in place PLEASE.

2] Reblog should you so desire

3] If you do reblog, a ping back would always be welcomed so l don’t miss it.

4] This is a non tagger/non nomination game.

Daily Topic Subject – Confidence

Q1] What does confidence mean to you?

It is a mix between having no shame….and having a very solid foundation on which your life is built.

That may be solid values, a solid support network of family and friends, a real grasp on what is important.  Realizing that you cannot be easily swayed by popular opinion or propaganda, because you realize that lots of people don’t check their facts, they just get caught up in the current and have no idea about a lot of important things.

Things might go wrong, but you can recover because of the solid foundation you are built on.

Q2] What you do believe to be your main strengths?

Any strengths I have are all due to the hard work my parents and others put into me.  I am so grateful for them.

I am a fairly good communicator.

My memory seems fairly sharp.

I like to be helpful.

I am a great side-kick.  I love to support someone who is my superior.

I tend to be obedient.  If you give me a recipe…I will follow it precisely.  I like to be obedient.

If I say I will do something for you, I will – Mum and Dad set the example in reliability and faithfulness.

window cleanerMum and Dad have set a great example, which I try to follow, in humility (which I think is one of the most beautiful qualities) and industriousness.

I like to work hard and give my employer an honest day’s work.  I like to learn.  I am willing to go in and start from scratch and patiently learn a new skill.

Q3] What do you think are your weaknesses?

Do you really have time to read all of my weaknesses?

  • Ccheese boardheese (I am not great with dairy, but I love cheese!)
  • I tend to bottle things up emotionally.
  • I don’t like to be a burden to anyone, so sometimes try to handle things alone instead of crying for help.
  • My left ankle is weak…I have strained the ligaments in it many times.
  • The right side of my head, I still worry it looks odd after the injuries I received three years ago.
  • I am a bit of a technophobe.
  • I sometimes publish my posts without checking for spelling or grammar errors.
  • I am always forgetting umbrellas, I leave them on the bus, in restaurants, in my friends’ cars or hallways.
  • I am not very good at being creative or artistic.
  • I have always needed there to be someone who tells me “Well done!”  Without some kind of positive feedback, I get rather anxious that I might be doing things wrong.
Q4] Are you a risk taker?

Not when it comes to life…life is a phenomenal gift and I would not endanger life.  I am not the type to get frustrated about health and safety legislation.  If it saves one life, it is worth it.

What would I risk?  Erm…well, recently I gave in my notice to my former employer without having a job to go to.  Things worked out of course, but I was nervous!

PQ5] List 8 things that positively impact your confidence.

Does that count as my answer to that question?

Q6] Do you learn from your mistakes?

Is not the ability to learn from your mistakes a major advantage to life!

If you can’t learn from you mistakes, you are just going to keep getting hurt over and over.  I hope I have learnt from most of my mistakes.

PQ7] List 8 things that negatively impact your confidence..



Being the subject of unkind gossip.

The intense pain I have in my head at times.

People who are aggressive or get angry quickly.

Flashbacks to the crime I was victim of three years ago.

It is odd to see little children who know more about technology than I do.

I wish I was perfect for Goldfinch.  I love him so much, but I am not the woman of his dreams…or he would not be going back to Australia would he?

Q8] How are you when meeting new people for the first time?

Fine…good manners, politeness help everywhere.  Most people respond to a smile and kindness.

Show interest in other people – many people love to talk about themselves, so just be good at listening and asking questions to encourage them.

I do love people…although I have come across some absolute rotters…but you don’t know what someone is truly like until much later down the line.

Q9] If you had to address a and audience and deliver a five minute speech on a subject you were passionate about – could you do it?

I have done it hundreds of times.

Q10] What is your current attitude towards politics?

Neutral with regards to human politics.

However, I obey the law and pay my taxes.  I just don’t vote.

Q11] Would you describe yourself as a confident person?

I think you have to be to survive in London, especially if you are driving a car.

I used to be a lot more shy when I was younger.  But I have had so many wonderful experiences of overcoming my nerves and getting to know and work with new people over the years.  I am more confident now.

I don’t know how confidant I am, but I am not shy like I used to be.  I am much more relaxed.

PQ12] In reference to Question 9 – if you answered yes what would be your specialist subject for five minutes’? Discuss

Oh goodness…there is an awful lot I can talk about.  It all depends on the audience.  I would pick a very different theme and subject depending on who made up my audience.

If I could choose my audience, it would be a group of house-keepers and I would discuss the marvels of white vinegar.

Q13] How sure are you of your feelings and emotions – as in are you true to them?

I have lots of feelings and emotions…but I know they might be wrong at times, and if they could lead me to harm or cause me to hurt someone, I would do my utmost to suppress them.

I like to make decisions based on clear reason, but that also feel right.  When I need advice with a decision, I would turn to someone who is not overly sentimental, who can think logically.

Q14] How well do you cope with unexpected changes to your routines?

Happens all the time!  I try not to worry anymore.  Things happen.  If you are tied to a plan or a schedule and can’t cope with a disruption, stress can rise quickly.  I just try to keep focused on my end purpose or objective and accept that there may be many different ways to get things done.

PQ15] In reference to question 9 – and you answered no, but still had to be in front of the audience, what WOULD your confidence allow you do – explain.

I answered yes…

But in addition to giving a speech, I would be happy to offer a song too!

Perhaps even a dance, if my audience were paying to see me perform.

Q16] Is success important to you?

Define success!  Success to me involves things like:

successLearning to love, and being loved – humans thrive on love. (I am not talking about romantic love necessarily, though that is nice too!)

Being honest, being trustworthy, having integrity.

Doing what you can to look after your health.

Having satisfying work and a safe, clean home.

Q17] Do you set yourself goals and are you able to achieve them within your set target periods?

I used to set many goals.  I am sure having goals helped me to make good decisions.

Since I was the victim of a crime three years ago, I have had to adjust my expectations of myself somewhat and although I maintain my focus on my objective, I try to be more patient.  But I know where I am headed and I have to build up my strength to get home.

Q18] True or false – You are born with self-confidence?

I think that is false.  So much of what shapes our personality depends on the environment in which we grew up.  I was shy as a kiddo, I have developed confidence when I have seen how things worked out for people who my parents advised me were not making wise decisions.  Mum and Dad were right about almost everything!

Q19] Do you believe that you cannot be successful in life if you do not have self-confidence?

Erm…No, I think.

However, I think it is an element of self-confidence, no just wisdom, that helps you to reject the popular view of success – fame, wealth, physical perfection – and instead live your life with real purpose and meaning.

I will say this though…people might be secure and confidant about themselves for all the wrong reasons!!!  Goodness, I have come across some eeeed-yats…I don’t like to be unkind about people.  But I have seen people who have had everything money can buy but were total losers!  Not that they realized that – nope they seemed to think they were rahter wonderful.

PQ20] Are you deleting any questions, if so which ones?

I am not deleting any of these.

Q21] Do you believe people with self-confidence are all arrogant?

Hmm….arrogance is not nice.  However, I think it is healthy to have a reasonable amount of self-esteem based on knowing you are a good person.  I think you have to get the right balance.  If you a nervous wreck all the time you won’t be enjoying life to the full, and other people will not know what to do around you if you are falling to pieces all the time.

A good sense of humour goes a long way to being relaxed in your own skin.

It is almost like having a good conscience…you can hold your head up and look people in the eye, because you know that you would never intentionally hurt them or steal from them or in anyway be cruel. That is far more important than the clothes you wear or how large your bank account is.

Live your life as a giver…no need to be shy.  Just jeep giving others reasons for joy.




Everyone Likes A Good Mystery

mysteryHere we go with another challenge created by the one and only  aguycalledbloke

…and this one is another “Game On” challenge, as he explains in the post below:


Daily Topic Subject – Mystery

Q1] Were you or even now, are you afraid of the dark?

I really don’t believe I ever have been afraid of the dark.

school girl.jpgI do remember being very nervous whenever I came home from school though, once my mum started working in a local hospital. One of our neighbours, who was in her late teens, used to “baby-sit” us for an hour or two after school before one of my parents was home from work.  I hated returning to an empty house.

I had this odd ritual for many months…downstairs was mostly open plan, so it did not take long to check, but then I would walk up the stairs slowly shouting out “I know you are here.  I am giving you a chance to escape.  I am not afraid of you.  Do your worst.”  This might sound odd…and yes, it was odd, but one of our neighbours had threatened to kill me and my sisters. Why? Because my mum had called the police when he was violent towards his wife. When we were playing in the garden, he used to threaten us by peering through the gaps in the fence and claiming he was going to kill us.  I was afraid he would carry out his threat one day.  Scary man!!!

Q2] Have you had a mysterious experience when travelling?

Recently…my train back from Bath to London was cancelled.  In fact all of the trains that evening were cancelled except one.  When that one train arrived from Bristol, the first five carriages were packed and only a handful of people managed to squeeze onto the train. Then as the train moved away from the platform we saw five more carriages which were completely empty.  None of the station staff could explain why the empty carriages were not being used.

Within ten minutes the rail company had arranged for us to be driven by taxis to our destinations.

I shared a taxi with a unicorn (now I understand what a unicorn is Rory).

Q3] What do you class as a true mystery?


Q4] Why do birds suddenly appear every time Goldfinch is near?

Aaaah…just like me, they want to be close to him.

PQ5] What is your best song with regards mystery – provide link.

Q6] Where do missing socks go?

This is a mystery to me…

…especially now that I am living on my own.  There is nobody else here who could take my socks by mistake.  There must be a mystery place where my missing socks could be.  There may be a very basic simple explanation, but I have not been able to fathom it out yet.

PQ7] What is the best mystery film you have ever seen – provide link.

Mystery film…

Q8] Why did the snail cross the road?

Good question…for a discussion of this one, see my post below:

Q9] Okay a biggie here, but why did the chicken REALLY cross the road?

I no longer question what I might see one zealous chicken or a group of chickens doing after watching this film.  I respect them for doing whatever they might need to do to escape becoming part of a KFC family feast.  A chicken might not want to kowtow to the fast food chains, so be prepared for the unexpected.

chickensQ10] And what came first – the chicken or the egg?

I am not a betting person at all, but if you are, I would highly reccomend you put your money on the chicken of course.  Surely you knew that?

Would you like me to explain?  It is not a mystery, it is just common sense.

kinopoisk.ruQ11] You spot a boat full of people but there isn’t a single person on board. How is that possible?

Must have been a love boat…all were couples, not one of them was single.

Unless there is some other mysterious explanation…

PQ12] What is your most favourite quote concerning ‘mystery or mysterious?’

Well, I think this one is rather cute:

Q13] If a giant asteroid had not wiped out the dinosaurs, where would we be now as a species?

I think it is clear from these Jurassic movies that Hollywood spin out what would have happened.

It is clear that after all those millennia during the…what do they call it “pre-historic age” the cycles that are essential to life today had become well-established, the nitrogen cycle for example.  By the time humans were introduced to this planet, everything was good and ready for humans.

Q14] What would happen if everyone on the planet simply didn’t get up one morning and decided to stay in bed?

girl-dreaming-e1534675095100.jpgOh wouldn’t that be wonderful?  Are we talking about just one day?  I would definitely be game for that!

I guess it wouldn’t take long until the complaints started pouring in…once we wanted to leave bed and have a shower or something to eat and realized our whole infrastructure depends on people who are willing to get out of bed at some unearthly hour of the morning to make sure the western world has a constant supply of electricity and hot water.

PQ15] Using no more than 100 words what is your theory of “If you travelled back to the dawn of time in a car, drove for the day visiting all the sites [and survived] and travelled back to your current time – what WOULD you be returning to?

The “dawn of time”…to which point are we referring here?

Are we talking about when man first walked the earth?  Or when the earth was taking shape and the atmosphere clearing to an extent that light from the sun could penetrate earth’s atmosphere and vegetation start to grow?  Or the beginning of the universe?  Or before the material universe?

Anyway…is this a question because if time travel were possible, it would upset the “space time continuum”?  Someone might do something slightly differently that would drastically change the course of human history?…

I have a great answer for this…but unfortunately I have already exceeded 100 words…will have to save that one for another post!

Q16] What would happen if we only ever ate one single food type?

porriidgeThat would be boring!  I saw a video about that once.

Uh…life is jam packed full of incredible variety.  We could probably survive on one type of food, but instead it has been arranged that there is an incredibly rich diversity of food available.

This planet is teaming with variety…I am so glad!

Q17] Have you ever had anything mysterious happen to you that you simply couldn’t explain?

All sorts of things have happened to me that were unusual, but I can explain them.  Not sure what to tell you about.

There is one mystery I have wondered about for many years, I ask everyone who is German if they can help me out but so far nobody knows.  I cannot explain what happened, it was so odd.

  Some years ago I was in Monte Carlo.  I was visiting the palace and ended up straying from the group of tourists I was with and wandering into an area where I was presented with a glass of champagne.  Friendly old me started chatting with a couple of people around my age.  After a while, I decided to leave the group and go and find where my mum had disappeared to.

As I stepped out onto the pavement a few people who I believe were speaking German ran up to me and started babbling at me.  I could not understand them at all.  But they were taking photographs of me and all seemed rather excited.  The group of people who were gathering around me started to grow and cameras were all pointed at me.  To be honest I found it rather intimidating. Then I spotted my mum through the crowd laughing at me and looking as bewildered as I was.  I pushed my way through everyone to reach my mum and asked her if we could go somewhere less crowded.

I have no idea why scores of people were excited to see me and were taking photographs.  It was weird.  I have asked every German friend I have if I resemble any well known German celebrities.

Q18] Ok, say if we had no seasons at all – where would we be?

There are some locations on earth where the temperature stays pretty consistent all year round, so they don’t experience the seasons as many of us know them.

Northern Australia
The Phillipines
Costa Rica
The Indian subcontinent

Do you know…the science behind the seasons is pretty incredible:

earth tilt

Earth’s perfect tilt and spin: Earth’s tilt of about 23.4 degrees causes the annual cycle of seasons, moderates temperatures, and allows for a wide range of climate zones. “Our planet’s tilt axis seems to be ‘just right’”.

Also “just right” is the length of day and night, a result of earth’s spin. If the speed of rotation were substantially slower, the days would be longer and the side of the earth facing the sun would bake while the other side would freeze. Conversely, if the earth were to spin much faster, the days would be shorter, perhaps just a few hours long, and earth’s rapid spin would cause relentless gale-force winds and other harmful effects.

Then there is the moon…

Do you realize that the moon influences the seasons? The moon’s presence helps to regulate the earth’s obliquity, that is, the degree of tilt of its spin axis. This plays a vital role in producing conditions on Earth that can sustain life.  If there were no large natural satellite to stabilize our planet’s axial tilt, temperatures would soar and would likely make life on earth impossible. Some consider the Moon plays a key role acting as a potential climate regulator for the Earth.

Q19] What single word is spelled incorrectly in every single dictionary?


…this is the only word that is spelled incorrectly in every single dictionary.

PQ20] Are you deleting any questions, if so which ones?

2, 4, 6, 8

Q21] Okay, you have fallen off a 65 foot ladder and you didn’t get hurt! Why not?

window cleanerWell, 65 feet is a great height, and would hurt.  However, the question did not say specifically that I was at the top of the letter.  I could have fallen off the ladder when I was near the lower rungs.

I have seen my Dadda (one of the world’s best window-cleaners) fall from a ladder on a number of occasions…he lands like a cat!




via Zealous — Word of the Day Challenge




Life – What A Fabulous Theme!

I…like many other bloggers really enjoy the challenges created by aguycalledbloke  aguycalledbloke

…and this week he has created another “Game On” challenge, as he explains in the post below:


I really like the fabulous theme “LIFE” so I am going to grab the opportunity, while it is out there, to get involved in this challenge.

The Rules …

1] Leave the Permanent Questions [PQ] always in place please.

2] Reblog should you so desire

3] If you do reblog, a ping back would always be welcomed so l don’t miss it.

4] This is a non tagger/non nomination game.

Daily Topic Subject – Life

Q1] What do you value the most in your life today?

I have a treasure chest of extraordinary memories and extraordinary friends I have met while working as a volunteer.  I am so proud of the projects I have had the privilege to be part of and the incredible qualities and characters I have seen in the people I have met.

I love nothing better than opening up this treasure chest and sharing something wonderful with someone else.  Special…makes me feel richer than I could ever have imagined.

Q2] Have you ever set yourself any ‘life goals’ and achieved them, what were they?

When I was at high school, I knew I wanted to become a full-time volunteer.  I was able to become heavily involved in volunteering as soon as I began my study leave for my GCSEs.  I spent 20 hours each work working on an unpaid basis for local charities and 20 hours working for the Head Office of a major retail chain.  I learnt to live modestly.

constructionAfter ten years, I moved to the south of England to an area where it was expensive to live, and there was a desperate need for volunteers.  During my three years there, I was able to expand the amount of time I spent volunteering.

I was then invited to become a full-time international volunteer.  My dream came true at the age of 29!

Q3] Have you published any posts about people who have inspired your life?

Lots of posts about my parents, but these are some other sources of inspiration:

Q4] Have you made someone smile today?

sainsbury cashierMy sister, my landlady, my next door neighbour, the cashier in Sainsburys supermarket, a tourist who was lost and asked me for directions, the gardener who was clipping the hedge and Goldfinch.

How did I do it?  A mixture of smiling at them, doing something to help them and trying to be Little Miss Sunshine.

PQ5] Using no more than 100 words – if this was your last day on the planet what message would you leave to the world?

A message to the whole world???  Hmm…

I am going to sleep now.  The dream that has been comforting and inspiring me for most of my life is that of a human family completely at peace, no hatred, no greed, no racism,  nothing sinister or evil.  I hope I am remembered and that I wake up to find my dream has come true.  What a party we will have!  I look forward to getting to know all of you, my wonderful family of fellow humans.

Q6] If you could compile a recipe for a good life, what would you include?


PQ7] What is the best feel good film you have seen – please provide link.

I like feel good films…I have seen lots, but recently I saw this one when I stayed at my younger sister’s home:

Q8] How would you describe yourself in six words only?


I feel as if I only just left school, I am not sure what I am doing here in an adults body.  My brain tells me that I should be out climbing trees, playing football with the other kids in the street and going swimming.  But people turn to me for advice and expect me to help out with their problems.  I seem to be the one to play mum everywhere I work and everywhere I live.

I guess that’s because like the good kid, I am doing what my mumma and dadda have told me to.

Q9] What have you learned about life to date?

time life

Q10] What advice would you give a younger you of ten years ago?

When you feel your life has become a pea-souper…and you are lost in fog so thick that you can barely see your foot in front of you, without knowing how you became so lost and not knowing how to get out of this pickle – do not despair.

Look up – even in a thick fog you can see the stars.  Take the next step in front of you. Then take another small step. Someone can see exactly where you are, how you became lost in this fog, where you have been wandering and what you need to do to get out of the fog.

Q11] Is there somebody who changed the course of your life?  What did they say or do?

Isobella…who was seventy years older than me.

She was a full-time international volunteer for sixty years, mainly in African and Asian lands.  When she was a young woman her brother told her she was a fool.  He said she would end up dying all alone, with no family to care for her, without a home or any money.

What actually happened sixty years later?  As well as qualifying for both a British pension and a South African pension, there were people who Isobella had helped arguing about who wanted to take her into their home to care for her.  Many families loved Isobella and wanted to care for her when she was in her eighties and started to struggle with her health.

care assistantIsobella was cared for in a beautiful infirmary built by volunteers, by a brilliant team of volunteer nurses and carers who showed her tremendous love and attention right up to her last breath.  She was so loved!!!  There were 1,800 people at her funeral with hundreds of others who listened in to the service at other locations.

Isobella really lived. And she was really loved.

PQ12] What is your best “quote” concerning life?

Life Quote

Q13] What is top of your priority list in your life right now?

I want to go home…to my career and life as a full-time international volunteer.  But first, I need to get the all clear from my neurologist.

In the meantime…to make the most of every day, because despite everything that happened, life is an extraordinary gift and even when you are not exactly where you want to be, you should make the most of what you have and make sure you enjoy life.

Q14] What would be your ideal career or if you are doing that now, what is it?

Full time international volunteer!

PQ15] Provide a link to a piece of music that best sums up your emotion on life today.

I have been yodelling all day – I have no idea why!  But it feels good!

Q16] What are you truly passionate about?


Q17] What are three of your worst habits?
  • I bottle things up emotionally.clean dishes stacked neatly
  • I sometimes leave my breakfast dishes in the sink because my timing is bad in the morning.  I seem to need to go slowly in the morning until my painkillers stop my head aching.
  • I like fresh air, so I keep my windows ajar, then when I come home after a rainy day, my window ledge is soaking!
Q18] What are three of your best attributes?
  • I am willing to admit I am wrong and try again.
  • I will do everything I can to make peace with someone I think I have wronged.
  • I love to be obedient and disciplined.
Q19] What is the meaning of life in your eyes?

Live in harmony with the rest of creation, recognize that for there to be peace and order there have to be laws, love those laws.  Love life, love people, love this earth and it’s creatures.  Show appreciation for the precious gift of life.  I know not everyone believes in a Creator, but I do, so I would say glorify Him by living life in a way that makes Him proud of you and glad He has shared life with you.

PQ20] Are you deleting any questions, if so which ones?

3, 6, 11

Q21] What inspires you to be you?

little missOooooh – I am just a chip off the old block – so to speak!

Lessons from my wonderful parents and other family members have shaped me.

I just want to be someone who is a delight to my parents, my family and friends and my Creator.  Someone who adds joy to the life of others!

Learner at Love

%d bloggers like this: