Into the mix

I’ve been rather lax with my blog-reading and writing lately. The recent cheese post had been prepared for some time as an ’emergency’ post to be used at a time when needed and I was glad to have had it. I shall have think hard about what I write to re-stock my draft box now. The past couple of weeks have been filled with family stuff (I should be more creative here but ‘stuff’ is such a useful word to cover a multitude of situations) which has taken up a lot of mental resources if not physical. Today I have nothing prepared so this post will simply evolve as I write it and think of things to throw into the mix.

I got my hair cut yesterday – nothing drastic, just a few layers to give it a better shape. I hadn’t thought about it beforehand but daughter-in-law said I seemed a bit deflated and suggested it. Afterwards I definitely felt better and the recent wondering about whether to go short again (I know I’d regret it – I always do) disappeared. We also talked about adding a couple of slightly darker shades of blonde to the highlights for the autumn. I have three weeks to consider this as I’m booked in for the end of the month. The mood-enhancing powers of a hair-do should never be underestimated!

Autumn is definitely in mind now. Even a sunny day has a nip in the air. I put on a coat for my trip to Tesco this morning – an unlined, purple boiled wool one bought from Phase Eight a couple of years ago – ideal for today’s temperature. It’s one of those things that I don’t wear a lot because I like it too much to spoil it. Ridiculous isn’t it? When I first started blogging I wrote a post about ‘saving’ favourite things instead of getting pleasure from them. I said that I’d change and I really have tried but I’m still not great at it. I’m going to try harder and enjoy wearing more of my favourites this Autumn.  Another thing I did was to swap my black handbag for a purple one which goes well with the coat. Too often I use the black one because it’s easier than bothering to change over – well, this is going to change too! I have a number of bags (collected over several years) which I like very much and I’m going to make a greater effort to enjoy them.  And it’s time for a wardrobe audit too, I think (not getting rid of but rather re-considering clothing combinations) so that’s three Autumn resolutions!  I do love it when it’s time for winter layering as it always feels more stylish and I like wearing boots but I still wish the warm sunny days would return for a little longer because I like sandals too! Still, I have a holiday in the (potential) sunshine to look forward to in the not too distant future so no need to pack away the summer wardrobe just yet.

I noticed that the last banana lingering in the fruit bowl had gone a bit squishy so I bought some more and made a banana loaf. I like this particular version which appears in Jack Monroe’s A girl called Jack because it requires only 50g of sugar. I reduce this further by substituting a couple of tablespoons of Natvia plant sweetener. Compare it with Mary Berry’s recipe which calls for 175g!

I’ve volunteered to make two cakes for the end of September – a coffee one for the Macmillan coffee morning that will take place at the gym, and a birthday cake for my grandson’s second birthday. I’m thinking hedgehog  as I have a picture of a hedgehog(ish) like monster in my selection of children’s birthday cakes cut from a magazine c1981.  Leave off the tail and substitute chocolate matchmakers for the chocolate buttons and what have you got but a hedgehog(ish)- looking cake and let’s face it, a two year old is more interested in the chocolate than the aesthetics! I’ve not made one before so husband may well be enlisted to test a prototype.



And now, with a spare evening, I am going to catch up on my blog reading.





  1. I, too, am rather behind with my blog reading and writing! We’re now back in France and I seem to have more blogging time over here. Perhaps because I have no family here and fewer friends, although more long term visitors! I had my hair cut just before coming over and I had the ‘trauma’ of finding a new hairdresser, having had the previous one for about ten years. I decided to ‘go for it’ and change the length and style. I seem to be getting braver in my old age – 🤣. As for the result; the jury is still out! My harshest critics, my sons, haven’t seen it yet and it will have grown by the time they do. I enjoyed this post very much.


    • Thanks June, I’m very tied up at present with family stuff but I’m spending a couple of hours this afternoon catching up. I hope the sons like the new hair. you’ll have to change your blog photo!


  2. A freshen up of a few layers, and some colours, for our hair… I reckon that they make us feel great. I had my “colours” done a few years ago. How did I morph into a warm autumn from being a deep winter? Beyond ridiculous. And going from black which I love, to browns which I dislike? No way. A bit of a silly waste of money that colour thing was. And who can forget the immortal words of Twiggy: “black is the new black”


    • I so agree regarding having colours done. Apparently I should wear wishy-washy pale colours (not that they were described like that) – pale blue, pale lemon,, pale green – you get the picture. I hated the idea and stuck with what I liked and felt better in! I might accept navy and gunmetal as the new black but otherwise, I’m with Twiggy!!


  3. It sounds like you took some very positive and successful actions to cheer yourself up – good for you! A hair-do is definitely mood enhancing, every time.
    Your mention of hedgehog cake made me smile – do you watch ‘An extra slice’, ther weekly follow up from Bake Off? They have a regular slot for hedgehog cakes and I am sure your effort will resemble the ‘show cake’ far closer than the viewer’s efforts!


  4. Eloise, I hope the family “stuff” was all good and nothing bad. Your new hair cut sounds nice and I am glad it made you feel better. I used to have long hair until I started to lose it due to chemo. Then, my daughter cut it short and when even more hair dropped, we shaved it off. It is growing back, now, and I am so happy. 🙂 I don’t color my hair, but it’s still quite dark, considering I’m 62.

    I like your Autumn resolutions! I’ve been wanting to go through my closet, too – with an eye towards getting rid of some garments, now that I am not going to work.

    I hope you’ll post pictures of your hedgehog(ish) cake, when you make it!

    Hope your week goes well and everything will be fine with your family. Take care.


    • Glad to hear that your hair is recovering; I think hair loss after chemo must be very distressing on top of everything else. After I finished full time work I sold all my suits and business wear on eBay. Where I work now is very casual so I just dress pretty much the same as at home.


  5. Yes, I need to go through my winter wardrobe, not that there’s much there! I would like a new coat this winter, even two new coats (and why not, says she!) a long one and a shorter one. One for really cold days, and a shorter one for well, not quite such cold days. I think I know the boiled wool coat you mean from Phase Eight, I almost bought one, indeed, I tried two of them, but in the end, returned them. But I did like it and then thought, when would I wear it, it’s not lined, it’s more like a long cardigan, but it was very nice. I’m torn between branching out, getting away from my navy uniform, into mustard or dark green (both of which go with navy and black) or having navy or a neutral yet again. But I need a lot of winter things, boots and shoes, and new cords and jeans, and jumpers … oh dear!
    I like the sound of the low-level-sugar in the banana cake. The Paul Hollywood one I make has far too much sugar in it.
    My last hair colour wasn’t up to snuff, sadly. My highlights weren’t bleached sufficiently long enough before they were washed off and a consequence, even though I had a toner, is that they are now gingery, which is awful and looks like a cheap home effort, when I paid a king’s ransom (well, for me!) for it. I’m having it done again later this month although it’s not that long since I had it done, but I can’t stand the sight of it any longer. Even the purple shampoo and conditioner haven’t made any difference. I want it silver, not yellow.
    Margaret P


    • It’s hard to break away from our ‘core’ colours. They become so because we feel comfortable with them. I wear a lot of black and navy but add little splashes of other colours. What a shame about your hair colour. In my Autumn-sort-out, I tried a dress on this morning which I thought would be too tight but it was ok…what a nice feeling that was!
      If even Mr Worthington’s purple products aren’t solving the problem then it certainly sounds as if the bleach wasn’t left on long enough.


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