Hi everyone

Many apologies I’m late as usual but this time I’ve got a very good excuse as I’ve posted not one but two blogs on My Other Blog and replied to the commenters. The first is all about those ‘gatherings’ at No10, with the second an update on the report from Sue Gray, which means I am saying not one word about our mendacious moronic leader on this blog – it’s all on there on the other blog, where it should be of course!  Btw, the last time I described Johnson using those words I lost 20 followers, but you all know what I feel about the man, and I think it’s an apt description, all things considering.

So setting aside our abysmal Prime Minister, what has the month been like for you?  I hope you’re all well and keeping warm if you live in the northern hemisphere. For me January was the month of the skirt and also the month of viruses, not Covid fortunately, as I tested myself thrice and all were negative. But not only did I have a 2-week cough I now have sinusitis, so I put this down to it being January! What with me still being not 100% my exercise campaign has hardly begun although I am doing some very gentle stretching with my PT for my 1-2-1 which I have started again. Consequently I have put back the pounds that I lost over the summer,  but am not particularly worried as I just have to re-start the exercises and walking that I do ordinarily throughout the week and they’ll come off again.

Just as an aside I’m not happy about the message from our government (not saying any more) that we don’t need to do anything now to mitigate the consequences of Covid as in, herd immunity here we come. So it’s no mask-wearing and back to work and school, and just act as though Covid doesn’t exist, actually the latter is essential.  But what does it cost to wear a mask? Nothing. However, I note that most shops and stores are asking people to continue wearing masks – yay!  And the majority of people I see around and about are still wearing masks in these shops and other indoor venues – double yay and three cheers for the common sense response of the British public! Personally I now wear a FFP2 mask for all forays into indoor places.

As for skirts – nearly all of my skirts got an airing as I put up 21 skirts on Instagram and phew, it was a bit of an effort as I was mid-cough for most of those 21 days! I’m taking a break from Instagram but might return to do a #hatchallenge at some point in the early Spring.

Here’s a reminder of a hat I wear a lot.

And another one.

And a cheerful red one!

So I can’t say I did much last month, but I kept myself really busy doing this and that. For instance I have a project that’s been bubbling away on the back burner that is coming to fruition soon which has taken up a lot of my time – you’ll hear about it at the end of February.

TV

We finished watching Foundation and The Morning Show, and like a commenter on an earlier blog I rather wondered why we’d watched these series – both were a bit glossy and shallow.  So we’ve cancelled our Apple subscription but will come back to it when there is more to watch. Btw Ted Lasso will be waiting for us as we only watched Series 1. It really is the sweetest and funniest series to watch, I highly recommend.

We took up a sub for NowTv and watched the amazing Landscapers, starring Olivia Coleman and David Thewlis, which is a highly original take on a true story of a couple who murder the wife’s parents and bury them in their garden. It’s a rather sad story made astonishingly watchable through shifting in a multi-textural way from reality to another reality and then to another. It’s very, very good, highly recommend.

We are also watching Yellowjackets, which is half in the disaster movie genre with a plane crash in the first episode and the surviving young female soccer team members doing their best to live for 22 months in the wilderness, and it’s half a psychological thriller set in the present day with the survivors being blackmailed for, one supposes, what happened during those 22 months. Not for the squeamish but it’s very watchable – we’re hooked!  Then there’s The White Lotus which is set in a rich person’s luxury hotel in Hawaii and naturally the rich people are all dysfunctional and things start to unravel – yes we’re hooked on that too!

We’ve begun to watch Trigger Point (ITVHub) which is a gripping series of a bomb-disposal team starring Vicky McClure who also starred in Line of Duty. Trigger Point has the same feel to it – it’s quite exciting but not particularly relaxing to watch!

Then a sober reminder of where populist politics and the reduction of our democratic processes leads is Storyville’s Final Account BBCiPlayer a documentary made by Luke Holland (who we came across when we lived in Ditchling). It is a hard watch as this is the story of the people still living who worked for the Third Reich. Holland is a very good interviewer and gains the trust of the interviewees so well that he gets some chilling statements from them. We are half way through watching it and feel it should be compulsory viewing for us all. Sadly Luke Holland died last year – it’s fitting end to his life as it is brilliant documentary but it’s sad as he was far too young to die.

Also on BBCiPlayer there is the wonderful David Attenborough and his totally glorious The Green Planet. He is so uplifting as is the programme. It’s astonishingly lovely to watch – you gasp at the beauty of the plants revealed in all their wonder. Another of his programmes was the one-off Attenborough’s Wonder of Song, where he chooses seven remarkable animal songs. Another gloriously beautiful and uplifting programme to watch – and gosh do we need that these days!

Finally, for two laugh out loud comedies I highly recommend, We are Lady Parts (Channel 4) which is a sitcom about an all women Muslim punk rock band – it’s hilarious and you also learn a lot about Muslim culture. It’s very, very good.  And we are also watching the third series of Brassic (NowTv) which is I think delightful. It follows the escapades of small-time crook Vinnie (Joe Gilgun) and his hapless friends. It’s a relief to laugh at this after watching a serious documentary or a dysfunctional detective series, which they all seem be these days!.

Films

Did I say that we watched No Time to Die (Amazon) on Christmas Day – it’s a 5* film as it was so enjoyable and fun to watch. Then towards the end of December we watched Don’t Look Up (Netflix), which is an end-of-the-world disaster starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence. It’s not brilliant but it is a workman-like depiction of how people, especially our leaders, shut their ears and eyes to any notion that a disaster is happening right here and now, which is why the film’s plot line of a comet heading our way has been seen as a parable of our times and akin to the blindness of our current politicians facing climate change. But as I said, not overly brilliant, so 3*s from me.

At the beginning of January we watched a simply dire film that isn’t worthy of any stars. I know I’ve got the kind of taste for films that a lot of you wouldn’t like but this? Sorry Tom (Hardy) your Venom 2 was simply not up to scratch. Consequently I decided we had to watch some quality films and we did.

First was the latest version of Little Women (Netflix), what a great cast with Meryl Streep, Laura Dern (Marmee), Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh, Emma Watson and the ubiquitous Timothy Chalamet, who just about got away with his depiction of Teddy. What an excellent film, so 4½* from me.

The next quality film was Being the Ricardos (Amazon) starring Nicole Kidman, which showed us one day in the life of Lucille Ball. I’m old enough to remember watching I Love Lucy at the time it went out – and I remember we loved it. The film centres around the fact that apparently Lucy once was a member of the Communist Party. Oops and oh dear – what a mountain out of a molehill was made out of that! Anyway it was a good and enjoyable film but as it wasn’t totally brilliant, I mean it’s a biopic, it gets 3*.

And then we watched The Joker (Amazon). Yes, finally, we decided to watch the film having avoided it for ages as we thought it might be depressing. Well, the film is not for everyone, but my word, Joaquin Phoenix is a brilliant actor, I was mesmerised the entire time I watched it so again 4 ½* from me.

And finally at the end of the month we watched Munich – The Edge of War (Netflix) starring Jeremy Irons, which was a look at how Chamberlain got his signed piece of paper from Hitler, the one that said there would be peace in our time and no war in Europe – sadly as we all know it wasn’t worth a jot. We thought it an Ok film but worth only 3*.

Books

It’s a bit of a mixed bag for books, but quite a large one as you’ll see!  I got lots of books for Christmas starting with the sumptuous The Flower Yard by Arthur Parkinson which is a just a glorious read about growing flowers in containers, highly recommend. I don’t know about you but I can get into a rut of cooking the same old, same old recipes so having seen this cookery book Pinch of Nom by Kate Allinson & Kay Featherstone at my son’s house and thinking aloud that it looked a great cookery book,  I got a copy from them for Christmas. And have I cooked anything from it yet?  No, I haven’t!

I also got a delightful reference book on fashion What Artists Wear, by Charlie Porter. Love this kind of book and it will stay on my shelves for ever. As will, the Bedside Companion for Gardeners which has a short piece on gardening to read every night – lovely. The one novel I got was rather disappointing. This was Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doer, the author of All the Light We Cannot See, which I adored. Well this one I found hard to get into, I read it to the end but I felt it wasn’t quite up to it, mainly because it charts several lives over hundreds of years, centuries even, but Cloud Atlas, which I did like, did it better. Sadly this might go to the charity shop.

Funnily enough I bought six books from the charity shop this month for a £1 each.  And loving only half those I thought that quite good idea – to try out books and see whether you want to keep them. Two went straight back after only reading a chapter or two, which is quite unusual for me. The first was A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggars, anyone read that, should I have kept going?  The second was Zadie Smith’s The Autograph Man, I just couldn’t get on with it, was I wrong? The third was The Carer by Deborah Moggah, it was sweet but a bit too light for me, so it went back but I did read it all and liked it.

Of the three charity shop books that I absolutely loved, the first may surprise you, it’s Diary of an MPs Wife by Sasha Swire and a more true blue Tory you could not find! Swire is the wife of Hugo Swire a friend of and Cabinet Minister in David Cameron’s government.  And yet it is absolutely hilarious and I adored reading it mainly because her comments are so irreverent and scathing of so many politicians including, I can tell you, our current leader, she sussed him out very early on. Some of the writing though is very pertinent to today, as she shows, to me anyway, how damaged are these public-school boys who have no idea how to behave with women. She’s talking here about David Cameron who’s behaviour to her she thinks funny and endearing, and she clearly fancies him (!) but really it’s all so adolescent and silly. It didn’t stay on my shelves though and back it went but it was a good read for £1.

And now for the two that I have kept. They’re both by Helen Dunmore and I defy anyone not to like her writing, her prose is so beautiful and multi-layered. The first one was Exposure which has echos of John Le Carre as we are in the time of cold war paranoia, and then again it’s a reprise of The Railway Children. That’s enough of the plot. I highly recommend and will keep it on my shelves as I read it with such eagerness and satisfaction, a truly great read. Also enjoying the sixth £1 book, Zennor in Darkness which is set in Cornwall and includes the tale of DH Lawrence’s stay in that part of the country.  I’ve just started reading it and it won’t disappoint.

That’s all for now, thanks so much for reading this long post.

If you want to read My Other Blog and those two posts mentioned in the first paragraph, you can access the blog via the icon on the side if reading on a PC, laptop or Mac and at the end if reading on a phone.

Take care and stay well, Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper

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29 thoughts on “The late (as usual) end-of-month review – January 2022

  • 3rd February 2022 at 11:48 am
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    hologram for the king was made into a movie with tom hanks. have you watched the responder on bbc?

    • 5th February 2022 at 3:21 pm
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      Thanks Sheila, I’ve looked the film up and I know Tom Hanks is wonderful but still not sure whether I’ll try it as just didn’t warm to the character. And as for The Responder it felt quite grim and too near real life for me, while Trigger Point was grim but in a different way! Mind you I think that it’s the best thing Martin Freeman has done for a long while – he is really good in it.

      Thanks again Sheila

  • 3rd February 2022 at 11:57 am
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    Hello Penny…I’m sorry to read of your lingering illness. It does put a crimp on things but I’m thankful it’s not more serious. Please do take care.
    My husband is finally out of the woods. Can you read my relief? He was hospitalized for eleven days prior to Christmas for a bacterial infection. (With his cardiac implants, it is extra dangerous.). He was allowed to come home before Christmas with home care that included daily IV infusions of antibiotics. Once his blood lab results were okay (January 20th), his at-home, IV antibiotics infusions ended. It was such a relief! Yet, his doctor thinks that having those daily infusions helped mitigate his concurrent CoVid symptoms. Thanking God. This past week has been almost “normal”. We even had company!
    Okay…I hopped over to The Other Blog. Though I’m across the pond, I was curious about your writings. My word! Your government activities are as dramatic as ours! The dangerous antics of the former U.S. president are unprecedented! And his rabid followers are frightening. The rampant misinformation, news media and social media coverage is constant. While I don’t want to bury my head in the sand, I did bury myself in the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and rewatched every film. My husband watched with me and, this time, I would pause the film and explain the intricacies of the plot. He actually enjoyed it! It was a much needed respite from our hospital-like environment and the craziness of the news.
    Penny, you are a real life, full-of-life woman and I so enjoy seeing and reading your expressions, observations, and creativity. I’m slowly getting back to that myself after quite a season of care-giving. I do realize that more is ahead but I’ll face that when it arrives. The miracle out of all this?!? I did not get CoVid. Still thanking God.

    • 5th February 2022 at 3:48 pm
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      Oh my word, you did not get Covid that is a miracle, and I’m so glad also that your husband is better. And yes the IV antibiotics must have helped. My cough and sinusitis was just a virus and we get over those things so it really wasn’t serious just annoying to be indoors and not 100%. Getting better, which is so good.

      And yes, our leader, who is similar to Trump but not quite, as Johnson has some very definite historical ideas about leadership and where the UK should be going, is at the same time quite dangerous. He’s also quite ideological really, and although that word is always pinned on the left, our right-wing Conservatives are just as ideological and they’re dangerous as more and more they put up legislation to remove our democratic rights. The astonishing thing is that while this right-wing Conservative government only benefits the wealthy, the poorer, more disadvantage areas vote them in. The media doesn’t help one bit and never really alerts the people to this. For instance, the energy prices are going up hugely and the government thinks that a loan that we all have to pay back over 5 years is the solution, meanwhile in France the government is taxing the energy companies and keeping the price rise down. There are very difficult months ahead for everyone but especially poorer people in the UK.

      We, the fed-up public, can’t do very much as the Conservatives have a big majority but Johnson could be removed by his fellow Members of Parliament – so it really is up to them. The trouble is, who will take over from him? If we get a more efficient, more effective and less-ramshackle right-wing leader, one that isn’t as silly as Johnson is, then we are in big trouble. However, one of your Presidents, Bush senior, I think, said ‘It’s the economy, stupid’ or something like that, and I just wonder how everyone will vote after the cost-of living hits everyone big-time.

      Thanks so much for your kind words Charlene, you take care too.

  • 3rd February 2022 at 12:05 pm
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    For sinusitis try this:
    3/4 mug tomato juice
    1 -2 teaspoons lemon juice
    1/2 – 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
    1-2 cloves of garlic, crushed.
    Mix everything together, heat and drink 2 mugs about 2 hours apart. Works every time.
    You can add a piece of grated or chopped ginger if you want added heat.

    • 5th February 2022 at 3:25 pm
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      Just wow, Pauline, wow! I have taken note of the recipe but fortunately the sinusitis has gone – I found a salt nasal spray helped a lot.

      But thanks – actually I did cook a curry or something spicy nearly every day 🤣

      Your recipe though must be amazing and work every time!

  • 3rd February 2022 at 12:46 pm
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    Thank you for all your posts Penny. This comes from a 66 year old who wants to be prepared for the future and make the most of the life.
    Your posts about a certain person are spot on. Why people should unfollow just because they disagree on one opinion is beyond me. The older I get the more I want to know why people think differently to me. Watched several antivax YouTubers – some rabid, some saying we all need to exercise and eat healthy?
    I am now taking note of your film, TV program and books reviews. Very helpful.
    We have just given up our Amazon Prime subscription as very few of the programs appeal. But I did pay extra(that really hurt) to watch Chernobyl. Glad we did it was excellent.

    • 3rd February 2022 at 3:03 pm
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      Dear Penny I am sorry that you lost some followers but I found your comments about our mendacious leader to be so relevant and I am delighted to find other like minded people who share my anger and frustration that he is hanging on thanks to the sycophants who are trying to curry favour and hang on to their jobs.
      Your views are refreshingly honest and evidence based and l wholeheartedly support you. Keep up the good work.

      • 5th February 2022 at 4:22 pm
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        It’s just all so astonishing and I find myself behaving more and more like the character Victor Meldrew. I mean you can’t, don’t, believe it but there it is – they were behaving disgracefully without any thought for us, the ordinary people following the rules, and indeed while ordinary members of the public were taken to court, prosecuted and heavily fined.

        It’s just disgraceful, so thanks so much for those kind words, Marie, which are much appreciated.

        • 6th February 2022 at 4:29 am
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          Firstly Penny , I do love your hats and you wear them beautifully.
          I did read your Other Blog posts which I find so interesting and know I can rely on you for an honest assessment on the sad state of affairs .
          Glad to hear you are now feeling better , hope the troublesome sinus is much improved.
          Enjoyed your monthly wrap up of your reading and viewing . I have a book possibly by the same author on Fashion and writers.
          Take care, enjoy wearing those hats.

          • 6th February 2022 at 8:37 am
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            Thank you so much Jill – funnily enough I don’t wear my wide brimmed hats as much during the winter as a woollie beanie is required in our cold and damp climate!

            Our leader is a mess to behold but it is entirely up to his fellow MPs if he remains or goes. The thing is who will take over?????

            The sinus is better – thanks

    • 5th February 2022 at 3:55 pm
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      Thank you Sue and I am so in agreement that we do have to listen and attempt to understand each other. For instance the reasons why people voted to leave the EU are so varied and quite complex, it does everyone a disservice to say it was all down to mis-information. We have to understand why.

      But I do wonder at the incompetence of our leaders and have often felt that I’ve got friends who could run things: campaigns, policy implementation and No 10 (!) better!

      Chernobyl was brilliant and my word so sobering a watch.

      Thanks Sue

  • 3rd February 2022 at 12:49 pm
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    But I have to d say that I’m very thankful to BJ for making it possible to visit the UK again!! Yeah, hopefully in a few weeks. I thought the Joker was a fantastic movie. It really got me. Have great rest of the week!

    • 5th February 2022 at 3:57 pm
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      Oh Nancy – how lovely that you can come over. Be careful though, cases are rising again because of the relaxation of everything.

      The Joker was good wasn’t it! Joaquin Phoenix – wow!

  • 3rd February 2022 at 1:15 pm
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    Great post as ever Penny. Helen Dunmore is one of my favourite authors and I keep meaning to get some of her poetry. In fact that’s something new that I could do this year, along with listening to much more classical music. Classic FM has already introduced me to two new pieces that I really love. Won’t say more as I know you are not a music lover. but going to live music is one of the things I have missed most during Covid. I much prefer watching films at the cinema than on TV and we generally find enough interesting programmes on the usual channels to keep us entertained. We’re enjoying the new afternoon drama Hope Street & looking forward to the promised new series of Shakespeare and Hathaway ( available on iplayer if you’ve not seen it – brilliant). very belatedly caught up with Happy Valley, really good. We watched one episode of Responder but it is just too dark for us & the Liverpool accents are very hard to understand. Apparently it depicts the reality of police work and if that’s true it’s a very disturbing one. Coming up the same time as the recent IOPC report makes a deeply concerning picture. How on earth do people like these get, and stay, employed in a public service?

    • 3rd February 2022 at 2:51 pm
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      So glad you’re feeling better Penny. Love reading your blogs and absolutely agree that Johnson has behaved appalling.
      I couldn’t agree more about Helen Dunmore’s books. I have them all and love them all, although Zennor in Darkness was my least favourite. I also love all Maggie O’Farrell’s books. I have a feeling you might have mentioned them before. Have you tried watching Hidden Assets just finished but is on iPlayer. It’s a joint Irish and Belgian production. It features detectives but for once there’s no naked female body on the slab. I thought it was good.
      For the past 7 months I have been having a very difficult time and tomorrow I have to move out of my beloved house and garden and will be on my own. I just wanted to say that your blogs have sustained me through this.

      • 5th February 2022 at 12:41 pm
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        Dear Jo, Have just read this and want you to know that I and I’m sure, Penny and all her readers are thinking of you. Chin up, girl, we’ve got your back. Zepherine x

      • 5th February 2022 at 3:15 pm
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        Hi Jo and I am so sorry to hear about your difficult time over the last few months. Sending you healing light and strength. Protect yourself and treat yourself with kindness. Also as a serial mover I know how stressful a move can be.

        And yes, I think we’ve spoken about Helen Dunmore before – she is an outstanding writer and I think in particular The Siege and The Betrayal are her best books and in those books she is right up there with the best of writers. I’ve read a little more of Zennor in Darkness and I think I know what you mean. Still, it was her first book.

        I haven’t watched Hidden Assets and will give it a go. Actually last night we watched 3 episodes of Reacher back-to-back (Netflix) and found it hugely enjoyable as it’s not too dysfunctional (although he’s an odd character, Reacher) and quite fun as a result, as it’s just a straightforward thriller.

        You take care now and here’s wishing you all the very very best x

    • 5th February 2022 at 4:15 pm
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      Helen Dunmore is a brilliant writer – it’s tragic she died so young. I think she’s my favourite author.

      I agree with you about The Responder. I really don’t like grim television series that are too near real life. And if that is a depiction of life in the police – oh dear…..

      And oh yes I get what you mean about seeing/hearing stuff in real life. I am aiming to go back to seeing films in a cinema quite soon.

      Thanks Lynda 😊

  • 4th February 2022 at 4:31 am
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    I’m so glad you’re on the mend, Penny! Your mendacious moronic leader is brilliant compared to the disaster we had! I’m so very scared and worried he’ll be back. I don’t know that my mental health can stand another four years of him and his misogyny. On to more pleasant things. We have watched a few episodes of The White Lotus. For a bit, it reminded me of Fantasy Island. I have to get back to it. We’ve been watching Downton Abbey as Nigel has never seen it. We are in the final series. I cannot wait to see the film about Lucille Ball. I will have to watch it at my daughter’s as we don’t have Amazon Prime. But, have you seen The Righteous Gemstones? What a hoot and yet not. It was such fun getting to see all of your skirts during the skirt challenge. I really think we need to do another come summer! I’m finding my reading has suffered…and I blame the pandemic for it. All of that stress and anxiety has led to decreased attention on my part. I find myself flitting from one thing to another…much like this comment!

    I do enjoy your blog and find my subscriber count goes up and then down. Ah, well. Life is too short to worry about that!

    Have a fabulous weekend! We will be shoveling out as we received several inches of snow…all of which are now drifting due to heavy winds!

    https://marshainthemiddle.com

    • 6th February 2022 at 3:25 pm
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      Hi Marsha and yes, thank you I am better, but what a January!

      We’ve watched the documentary Four Hours at The Capitol (I think it’s an HBO production). Oh my word, it was the most shocking thing I’ve watched for years. I’m not surprised Trump worries you, he’s a really awful person and so astonishing that he was elected in the first place. Well, fingers crossed and let’s hope the Democrats have a good candidate. Our Johnson isn’t quite as bad but the right-wing in our country is a subtle beast and things are going on e.g. about voting and the right to protest which are really encroaching on our democratic processes. And then there’s all their ordinary right-wing policies and their austerity that are stripping us away from the post-war public services that people from all walks of life will miss. We both live in challenging times!

      Thank you, I have had a good weekend which was topped by seeing our grandson of 14 months who I hadn’t seen for a month because of my January ills. Oh my, he’s really walking around and is no longer a baby!

      Take care with the snow – hope there’s just enough to make it pretty 😀

  • 4th February 2022 at 7:45 am
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    Ooh some goodies there, I will try Landscapers and We Are Lady Parts. Havent revisited Trigger Point since the 1st episode. I read the Sasha Swire book when it was serialised, quite an eye opener ! I imagine the same for any book about the govt’s last 2 years. You couldn’t make it up.

    I used to be always buying cookery books but I never make any of the recipes! I have pre ordered Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi’s new book about low carb cooking because being restrauteurs their recipes are excellent (I may even try one or two!).

    Re masks – had a day in the office and everyone was wearing them in communal areas. 90% seem to be wearing them on public transport in London, at least where I live. People have more commonsense than the govt.

    Have a good weekend xx

    • 5th February 2022 at 4:09 pm
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      How right you are, people do have more common-sense than the government! Honestly we’ve got so many cookery books but I don’t use them, or maybe and this is often the case, I use one recipe from each of these books!

      Sasha Swire’s book was so funny – but I thought I simply can’t have it on my bookshelves 🤣

  • 4th February 2022 at 5:11 pm
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    I hope you continue in good health as we head toward Spring. I love your January hats — they’re so “sassy” (as we say here in the U.S. South). My favorite is, of course, the red one.
    I’m traveling to England, Wales, Scotland in May. So excited . . . can’t wait!

    • 6th February 2022 at 8:39 am
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      Thank you so much Carol, but I don’t wear these large brimmed hats so much in our damp and cold winters – they’re too cold! I need my whole head covered with a woollie beanie!

      Yes, Spring is just around the corner – and how lovely that will be when it comes 😀

  • 4th February 2022 at 10:18 pm
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    Hello Penny. I am happy to hear you are feeling better. You look wonderful in hats. I think they kind of overwhelm me. I am giving myself a fashion challenge this month. it is to wear my jackets more often. I do not have that many but they kind of languish in the closet, I see how they upgrade an outfit, really finish a look . so that is my plan. I looked at your other blog and see that there is so much craziness on both sides of the Atlantic. I simply do not understand how anyone with any degree of intelligence, integrity or compassion can support the former president but so many do. and the denial of science , regarding the pandemic, climate change is mind boggling. the weather here seemed to be especially harsh this year, or perhaps it’s just my age. I did get to go to a wedding in Boston two weeks ago, which I think I mentioned. it was quite lovely, as weddings are. the bridegroom had been the ring bearer at my daughter’s wedding. today I went to an in person class at a yoga studio I practiced at regularly in the past. I have been struggling with trying to keep up my practice at home and decided to go back to the in person classes. I began with what was called a gentle class this morning and I thought it was a challenge. I do need to keep this up. with the weather as it has been I have been doing a fair amount of reading, both for the book clubs I belong to and on my own. the last two books I read which I really enjoyed were Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman, about troubled and socially challenged young woman and Red Bones, a Shetland series crime drama by Ann Cleeves. this author has become one of my standby authors, both the Jimmy Perez Shetland series and the Vera Stanhope series. This afternoon there is an icy rain so not going anywhere, making soup and roasting some vegetables. Keep well, keep up these posts and remember that the days are getting longer. Darby

    • 6th February 2022 at 3:42 pm
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      We both live in countries that are OK to live in (for the majority) but have worrying trends, yours is the Trump situation and for us we have had too much of Conservative policies (over 10 years now) that are stripping away the post-war public services and policies that have formed our view of ourselves that we have a safety net of health, education, housing and so on, for the whole population. This current leader is just abysmal and his attitude to leadership is so poor that at last even his own MPs are thinking do we want him. But he is a symptom of this erosion of this view of a kind and benevolent society and made much worse of course, by that referendum in 2016 and our consequent exit from the EU – that has caused so much damage. Gosh I’ll stop there or I shall get into a rant!

      Good for you to re-start the yoga in person. For the moment my 1-2-1 has gone back to being via Zoom as our cases are rising again and my PT has a vulnerable husband so she is trying to limit the number of her contacts. It is far better to do classes in person but we can’t quite yet, not with the way things are going here re: Omicron as the reduction in cases was obviously about human behaviour and all of us wearing masks. Bring on the Spring and Summer when we can all do things outside.

      Love the idea of you wearing your jackets – it’s the same with me I don’t wear mine as much as I should. Yes, I’ve read the Oliphant book and really enjoyed it too.

      You take care Darby – hope it’s not too cold in New York.

  • 5th February 2022 at 6:16 pm
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    I recently read both those Helen Dunmore books; thoroughly enjoyed them and passed them on to my cousin. I shall be looking into the ‘We are Lady Parts’ which sounds hilarious. Thank you for the recommendations. And yes, our PM is a mendacious twat and is not fit to hold the post he does.
    xxx

    • 6th February 2022 at 8:41 am
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      Helen Dunmore’s writing is sublime and We Are Lady Parts is indeed hilarious and good fun to watch.

      Oh yes, but who will come after him – Liz Truss 🙄

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