Bits of this and that

I spent most of the morning at the gym with friends. Three of us had opted out of the circuit and were there just for the coffee and chat.  I confess that this is always the temptation though, for the most part, we do participate in the exercise, but today we all had our reasons for not doing so – a possibly broken toe for one friend, bad back and strapped-up wrist for another, and stitches from minor surgery in my own case. I was disturbed to find that we have turned into the kind of older ladies who discuss our ailments;  is there any surer sign of ageing? At least we recognised the fact and actively sought to change the subject!

Following a cold start to the morning it is now warm and sunny and as I sit and type I find myself wishing that my garden benefited from the same kind of avian activity as did our holiday cottage. You would not believe the number and variety of birds in that garden. There were frequently six or eight small birds (robins, finches, tits and tree sparrows – until I looked it up in the bird book, I didn’t know that there was such a bird as distinct from an ordinary sparrow) around the feeders and this beautiful Great spotted woodpecker visited early every morning and several times throughout the day. I have never seen one at such close quarters. Quite possibly that sentence should have ended at ‘never seen one’ because I’m not at all certain that I have.

Great Spotted Woodpecker

I suppose with Backbarrow, our holiday village, being a much more rural area than home it is inevitable that there will be more to see but we live in hope, much as we have done for years with the nest box camera. You can read about it here:  A not-so-desirable residence .  The experience has prompted us to buy yet another bird feeder, this time to be fixed to the wall next to the kitchen window. As this is on the front of the house, we’re not sure of its suitability but time will tell. I’d love a woodpecker visitor.

On Monday evening I went to Slimming World and found that I had gained 2.5lb on holiday. It was fully expected and deserved but I get very fed up of the fact that I have no watch what I eat so carefully, but I suppose that’s the case for many of us. I got straight back onto plan and am hopeful that next Monday’s weigh-in will show an equivalent loss.  Right at this moment I have a ‘cooking urge’. Despite that urge leaning towards lemon drizzle cake, I really don’t want to make a cake – we still have half the rhubarb and ginger one from Sunday and there is an apple one in the freezer. I shall concentrate on something savory. One of my daughters-in-law has recently become vegan. I’ve been used to providing vegetarian meals for some years but now have to rethink. I’m going to have a trawl around the recipe blogs and see what I can find. All suggestions welcome.

I had the spookiest experience a couple of weeks ago and meant to write about it but forgot to. A Facebook friend, someone I have known since junior school and have seen occasionally through the years as our paths have crossed, had posted a photograph of her wedding twenty six years ago.  As I glanced at the picture, I was totally thrown by what I saw. I should say WHO I saw, for there in the corner of the picture, standing in the choir stalls, was my mother who died sixteen years ago. I knew, of course, that she was in the choir but I had not known that she had sung at this wedding and, not for one moment, had I expected to see her smiling out from a Facebook page! I’m not sure why but it really unsettled me all evening .

So, apart from the cooking, what’s planned for the rest of the day? I have a couple of drawers to tidy out and I must email a friend to suggest a few dates for lunch . Then I’ll make some ‘new home’ and ‘sympathy’ cards. I sell handmade cards through the gym (for charity) and I noticed this morning these sections are almost empty. I also have a couple of small bits of sewing to do (not my favourite job but needs must) and finally, I want to read this months Slimming Magazine so shall sit down later with a cup of coffee and NO slice of cake (silently chanting my current mantra of two and half pounds, two and a half pounds…).

I enjoy a day like this – nothing out of the ordinary, just spending time chatting to friends and ‘pottering’ at home.  Husband is pottering in the garden – i.e. fixing the new bird feeder to the wall. No work today which makes it extra nice!

I hope you’re having a good day too.


  1. Just reading this and I have to say, ‘I’m sorry it spooked you!’
    It’s just such a lovely photo of our wedding – with your mum smiling her ‘whole face smiling’ smile -and when my sister posted it I just shared it without even thinking about it! That’s the thing with social media – we never know who might share a photo of us nowadays. In some ways it’s quite fun – in others, a tad disturbing!


    • Please don’t apologise. Spooked is probably a bit strong. I was totally thrown when I saw it but it wasn’t in a bad way. You’re right -it was a whole face smile. X


  2. A lovely post, but that was certainly a spooky experience and I’d feel unsettled too by that, Eloise. But what a lovely bird photo – is this one of yours? We think we saw a green woodpecker in our garden a couple of weeks ago but it was so fleeting now we’re not sure whether or not our eyes deceived us!
    Yes, talking about medication and ailments and visits to the doctor’s or the hospital, that’s a sure ageing sign … I do it all the time, ha ha!
    Margaret P


    • My husband took the photo, Margaret. He is by far the better photographer in our family! I do hope it was a woodpecker in your garden – it might return if it’s in the area. It was fascinating to watch when he/she was feeding; all the smaller birds sat on higher branches waiting their turn. Pecking order in action!


  3. Sounds like a very nice day. I have been wanting to bake something like a sponge cake, but it is too hot to turn on the oven! I must try some microwave cake recipes! I’m sure that was a bit of a shock to see your mother in your friend’s photo!

    Thank you for visiting my blog and posting a comment. I enjoyed hearing from you.


    • Even though we are in the middle of summer, Bless, it isn’t all that hot here on most days. It has been quite overcast. We’re hoping for a hot August! Good to hear from you.


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