Friday, 21 December 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

The tree has been decorated.

The presents have been wrapped.

The Christmas flowers are displayed.

Father Christmas, Rudloph and snowman cheese, and pudding and polka dot bowls have been bought.

Nothing left to do but dive into a capuchino and magazine at local coffee house.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Change (verb, used with object): to change one’s name, to change one’s opinion; to change the course of history

As my mother often tells me, “One thing you can rely on in this life, is that nothing stays the same.”
She has a point.
Oh mothers are wise creatures, are they not? Well, they’ve lived this life longer than us, they’ve experienced more than us, and so I’m inclined to agree with my mum on this one.
The world we live in is a changing place.
Not just the obvious things such as technology, and inflation. But circumstances, and therefore people can change.
I’m not saying people completely change, our traits and habits are hard to break. It’s circumstances which can alter our way of thinking, and so the changes commence.
Sometimes change can be positive.
Unfortunately, when unpleasant situations occur we feel let down by life and we try to protect ourselves. People can become cynical, perhaps less tolerant. And as a result, friends can become strangers.
I’m reaching another milestone next year. My 40’s are creeping up on me. They are rudely poking their way into my future horizon.
Some days I think it’s fine, bring ‘em on! For once in my life I’m content. I’m finally comfortable in my own skin. I’ve learnt by my mistakes and I’ve also learnt to really appreciate many wonderful things I may once have taken for granted.
Other days I think, oh no, am I ready for this?! Do I really want to celebrate the fact I’m older than my friends and husband? (I have a husband now dear readers, another unbelievably happy change.)
Also, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, becoming 40 equals I’m maybe half way, more or less, through my life!
Last week I was celebrating husband’s friend’s birthday, and I let slip to my audience the big four o is fast approaching.
“You can’t be that old! You don’t look that old!” I was told. Thanks. But then I immediately wished I hadn’t confessed as the vain part of me thought, perhaps now they will look closer at my face and realise, yes I do have a few lines, sneaky tell tale signs. And yes I may wear my hair in a long, young fashion, and I may wear what I like to consider ‘quirky’ clothes. But now will they silently think that I should dress in an appropriate manner, and is that style and hem line suitable for a nearly 40 year old?!
Oh bugger it, you’re as old as you feel. And I don’t feel old!
Yet am I ready for balloons and banners displaying my age, and cards mocking my birth date?
So I’m wondering if a party is really the way forward? Would it be safer for husband and I to visit one of those famous fine dining restaurants I’ve always wanted to sample, and a hotel I thought I could never afford?
There is another reason, dear readers.
My 30th was a completely different kettle of fish. What a strange expression. Fancy owning a silver, polished, kettle full of stinky little fish. Who is responsible for this catch phrase? It really doesn’t make sense. But I diverse.
On my 30th my friends were responsible for providing me with my best birthday ever. They’d listened and remembered that I’d admitted I’d never visited a health spa, but wouldn’t that be nice.
I did not actually know I was about to visit a health spa. They kept the location a secret. They bundled me in a car and during my journey pointed out pictures of me stuck on lampposts and traffic lights, with the words, “Happy 30th Nikki!” for all to see. I was touched. I was grinning and cheering. I was excited that I was the first friend to celebrate her 30th birthday.
We reached the health spa, where the thoughtful occasion fell into place, and my hotel room was decorated with balloons and banners. One friend had spent hours baking and adorning a cake, with a picture of myself and George Michael on the perfect icing. As you know by now, I’ve always been a huge George Michael fan, and how funny of my friends to remind me on my birthday cake!
We indulged in facials and massages and lazed around in white fluffy dressing gowns, when we weren’t splashing in the pool and sipping healthy drinks.
I was showered with gifts, we munched our way through a posh meal, and we stayed over night at the luxurious accommodation, merrily, giggling away, into the tiny hours. Or rather, we giggled away until one friend vomited red wine EVERYWHERE and operation clean up and sober up began. We did not wish to be charged for any damage, or for our friend to continue guzzling burgandy liquid at our peril.
But we all got on!
The girly gang, I used to call us. 6 solid friends who played important, poignant parts in all of our lives.
I thought we’d always be friends together.
We all did.
I would like to add here that I am still friends with every single one of the girls mentioned. Alas, the friendships ties which held us all together have been forever severed.
Circumstances have altered, and certain friends are no longer on speaking terms with each other. I’ve tried to be the peace maker, but you also have to respect other’s opinions and points of view.
We’ve all had our fair share of up’s and down’s. Some more than others. Between us we’ve suffered 3 marriage break downs and personal, private stuff which I won’t go into detail about, but it has changed the way we were.
Certain friends have moved miles away, geography has also changed the time we can spend in each other's company.
But one thing’s for sure, we’ve made incredible memories together. We’ve laughed and cried, and all the bits in between.
Life has nearly broken few of us. Health issues and family matters have chipped away and left a sour taste in a once sweet, innocent life.
I would truly love for the 6 of us to all be together again. Just the 6 of us. The original girly gang, all together, in the same room.
I am ever the romantic.
Imagine if we could all return to the health spa, raise a glass of champagne to this long and twisted road we've travelled on. The redundancies, death and debt we've faced, and let’s not forget the seven beautiful, precious, children which have been made along the way.
But it aint gonna happen.
Yep, things have really altered.
I’m grateful that they're all still a valuable part of my life, individually. This is a blessing that I’m thankful for.
So my next mile stone could be a safe, plush restaurant and swish hotel with husband.
Or maybe a party could still be on the cards?
The originals would all receive invites to the party, and could all be in the same room, and I hope, I’m sure, I know, it would all be amicable. We are all grown ups and we know how to behave. They’d now be other people to fill the room. Other friends I have met in the years that followed my 30th. Other friends they could mingle with, and it would not be so apparent that we are no longer the girly gang.
Sadly, as my mum often tells me, “One thing you can rely on in this life is that nothing stays the same.”
Sometimes this is a good thing.
Yet over times, I really wish it wasn’t true.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Fragment's of fragrances

Freshly baked bread on a frosty winter's day.
The aroma of morning coffee beans to stir your sleepy thoughts.
The gentle sea breeze accompanied with vanilla and chocolate ice cream, reminisce of a childhood holiday.
Just a few fragment's of fragrances to tantalise your senses.
How powerful various whiffs can be!
I was reminded of this one recent Saturday at The Hilton hotel with my mother.
Twenty something of us attended a create your own perfume experience, followed by afternoon tea in the library.
Paper sticks were circulated, our eager noses trying to guess the smells, their place in society, and why we are drawn to certain odors.
Citrus, for the fun loving, adventurous spirit. Sandlewood, for the sensual, calming people in this world. Just a couple of the not so secret ingredients I concocted for my own personal perfume.
It was great way to spend a Saturday. And for the naming cermony of my navy atomiser, Blessings, was the chosen one.
Blessings, the title of the top table at our wedding. The top table full to the brim with special people, confirming I am truly blessed in this crazy life.
The strawberry and blackberry tart afterwards, washed down with mint tea, smelt pretty good too!

Saturday, 10 November 2012

A slice of life (with Lemsip)

I've been feeling under the weather today.
My usual Saturday morning cheerfulness was clouded with aching limbs and a painful, tender, throat.
It was time for Lemsip, a hot water bottle, and watching Saturday Morning Kitchen under the duvet.

Despite feeling poorly, I have an over active brain, and as nice as it was to watch cookery programmes from the comfort of my bed, I had things to do and didn't want to waste the day.

Time to make a start on my Christmas cards.

I've written a list, and 43 cards need to be made. Soldier on!

Okay, I've made 15 and that's quite enough under the circumstances. My body was crying out for another Lemsip and a break. The sofa is calling me, and a browse through my new Afternoon Tea cookery book.
Hopefully I'll feel better tomorrow. I have a roast chicken dinner date with friend.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

The day I met George Michael

It was a typical Autumn day; blustery, leaves cascading from their trees, and a slight chill in the air.
I emerged from under my duvet; sleepy, feeling apprehensive, and a little bit excited.
Wiping the dreams from my eyes, I glanced at my sacred George Michael ticket.
The day had finally arrived!
George Michael was performing at Earls Court, London, and thanks to a fellow Twitter fan, I was privileged with inside knowledge of a public house literally opposite his postal address.
I'll be honest with you, I did not think for one tiny moment that I would actually be lucky enough to see his face appear from his dwellings.
I even felt a shade of guilt for interrupting his personal life with this private information.
But never the less, I found myself outside his grand house, with my friend, and I don't mind admitting, my hands were shaking.
Especially when George's driver looked at the twenty something crowd outside his gates and spoke.
"You'll have to clear a path for him. You can take pictures but you can't ask him for pictures with you."
I looked at my friend and silently screamed.
I remember thinking, is this really happening to me? Am I really outside George Michael's house, awaiting for him to appear, hands trembling and poised with my camera phone?
Someone pinch me.
Second thoughts, please don't, let me live this fantasy forever.
Next, something amazing happened.
I was the first person he saw.
(What did you expect dear readers, I'd pushed and politely shoved my way to the front, like my future depended on it.)
Our eyes met.
I remained unbelievably calm for someone who was living one of the greatest, anticipated, moments of their entire life.
And I said to him, "Hi George!"
In my humble frame of mind I could not think of anything interesting or ground breaking, or a conversation starter.
Merely, "Hi George!"
He looked at me and smiled.
He let me take his picture.
It was as if time stood still.
After twenty five years of watching this super star on the silver screen, in pop videos and in interviews, and on tour, I was feet away from him. In real life!
I could see the fake tan on his face.
The white veneers on his teeth.
The causal track suit he was wearing.
And that smile.
Just for me.
Until all the other fans jumped on the band wagon and he had to move!
For as long as I live, and breathe air in this wonderful world, I will never, ever, forget that typical autumn day.
The day I met George Michael.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012


It was the happiest day of my life.
On the 14th September 2012, at 3.30pm, I married my best friend, my soul mate, the one I have always wanted to find.
I've found him folks!
I did not stop grinning and giggling all day.
Here are some of my favourite moments.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Where troubles melt like lemon drops

The wedding planner was purchased.

The invitations were sent.

The garland bought for the table plan.

The name tags arrived.

The table names were chosen.

The thank you gifts are wrapped and boxed.

Now I just have to wait nine days until I've found my somewhere over the rainbow!
I'm getting married bloggers.
And I'm pretty excited.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Lace and pearls

I've been a busy bee making my hen do photo memory book. Would you like a peep inside at some of my favourite pages?


Here comes the sun.

Blessed in the life.

Sweet tooth.


Smiles and satin gloves

Pearly night.

Lovely lady.




Thank you.

It's a to be continued book. My next part will include my family hen meal, booked for this Saturday. I've made the party bags for the table.

Hand bags and shoes.

Waiting to be opened. We have games, chocolates, party poppers and champagne bubbles. I can't wait!