So which do YOU prefer, red or blue?

Hello everyone! It’s very cold and wet here in Norfolk but I hope it’s much nicer where you are.

I think today is a rather good day for snuggling up in front of the fire and enjoying a good book, together with a hot cup of tea and my favourite cocoa dusted almonds. I always think that staring into the flames of an open fire conjures up all sorts of thoughts …

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I once knew a rather famous and very well regarded photographer who told me that you should always inject even the smallest amount of the colour red into everything, whether it be an outfit, a room or a garden setting for example, to bring everything else to life.

I was reminded of this having just read an interesting article about the psychology behind the colour red. It is apparently a very emotionally intense colour which can actually increase our respiration rate and raise our blood pressure.

And studies have shown that if a woman wears red, as opposed to any other colour, then men are more likely to be attracted to her. I read somewhere that scientists carried out an experiment where they had two almost identical looking women and dressed them in dresses of an identical style but one wore a red dress and the other wore a different colour and when asked to choose, without exception, all the men preferred the woman in the red dress.

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Obviously, it’s a rich warm colour and it can on occasions evoke heightened and powerful emotions such as seduction and passion – if you think of sexy lingerie for example then often the sauciest examples are red in colour or trimmed with red lace or feathers.

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Which in turn reminds me of the time many moons ago when, newly married, I bought this very frivolous and outrageously expensive black satin baby doll nightdress which was generously trimmed with black feathers. It sounds pretty hideous now but I promise you it was exquisitely beautiful at the time. I thought I looked the bees knees until I awoke the next morning to discover my nightdress was almost bald but the bed looked as though there had been a fight to the death between two blackbirds! Très embarrassant.

Thankfully, I have evolved over time and would never buy anything which involved feathers now as it is so cruel how the feathers are harvested in some cases.

Anyway, I digress, back to red. So we know it’s associated with love, with red roses being the traditional symbol of true love. And it’s also associated with anger, as in ‘seeing red’, as well as warning of danger. Obviously, much of this symbolism is entrenched in the past when the colour red first represented blood and fire.

Rather weirdly though, some scientific studies have shown that if someone prefers red over blue it may indicate they have a more hostile personality! Oops, that’s a bit awkward as I much prefer red to blue – so that must be a load of boll**ks then as anyone who knows me knows I’m not bl**dy hostile! And I’ll fight anyone who says I am.

So, which do YOU prefer? Red or blue?

Interesting, very interesting!

Elizabeth x

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoying nature … cheaper than therapy!

Hey, how YOU doin?

I’ve now entered my second month of writing my blog and exploring WordPress (which I am really enjoying) and it’s like a whole new world has opened up to me. A world where I am learning so many interesting things, reading so many fascinating blogs covering a multitude of subjects, and where I feel I have already made some real connections with others. So yes, it does feel as though a whole new whole has been revealed to me, one which I had no idea even existed. Brillo!

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And all of the above happened without me even leaving the comfort of my own desk – except to let my dogs (Mrs Temple-Savage and Philip) out for a wee – and at this time of year it’s just a bit too chilly for their liking so they are out and then back fairly quickly.

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Mrs Temple-Savage (aged nine) and Philip (aged five) aren’t related in any way but, as you can see, they are inseparable and Philip, on the left, can become quite distressed if he is away from her for even the shortest time (a visit to the vet for example). They do everything together and often sleep together in the above position where he is literally cuddling her.

Seeing how they communicate, and their genuine love and affection for one another, was yet another factor in me deciding to become a pesco-vegetarian (adding only seafood to a mainly plant based diet), not that I used to eat dogs of course, but this is just my personal preference and the conclusion I have reached.

Animals are way more intelligent and sentient than many people give them credit for and I pray that I will see all species granted vastly increased rights during my lifetime.

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My little companions and I, and our friends, have very much enjoyed our summer this year and although it was rather too hot at times we spent quite a lot of time in the garden especially in the early evenings.

Since we are living in a city we only have a small courtyard garden but it’s plenty big enough to enjoy and to entertain. All the trees and bushes are discreetly draped in fairy lights which sounds kitsch I know, but they look so pretty in the evening making it a really nice peaceful place to sit and relax and mull over the events of the day, or to catch up with friends.

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We have a brick built barbecue and a lovely little fire pit sitting on a pile of carefully broken slabs which my friend Alistair cleverly constructed in such a way that the occasional stray mouse can find sanctuary away from my two terriers, both of which have a very high prey instinct.

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Right in the centre of the above picture you can see what I think is a rather magnificent display of red hot pokers – these are of great sentimental value to me as they came, as small cuttings, from my fathers’ garden just after he passed away. The birdbath at the bottom of the garden on the right was made for me by my father many years ago and is therefore so precious to me.

These are all surrounded by Scottish pebbles chosen for two rather specific reasons. Firstly because my dogs occasionally charge around a bit and therefore I wanted pebbles specifically with soft round edges to protect their feet and, secondly because when it rains their natural colours shine through and they just look so beautiful on even the dullest of days.

And at the bottom of the garden is a beautiful lime tree which I planted as a sapling about ten years ago and this provides quite a lot of privacy from being overlooked. In front of this is a generous size garden table which I use to feed the birds and a grey squirrel who visits occasionally.

Having left nuts, seeds, bread, suet and fruit out for the last decade this table now attracts on a daily basis a family of sixteen pigeons, four ring-necked doves, miscellaneous robins and sparrows who also nest in the garden, and half a dozen great tits, as well as a male and female blackbird and two magpies who usually visit weekly.

Great tits naturally reside in woodland areas but they have apparently adapted to city living now in parks and gardens, and I live next door to a park so maybe they nest there and just visit my garden to enjoy a little banquet as I try to make the food as delicious and varied as possible to appeal to all tastes.

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I think these gorgeous little birds look quite exotic and I read that they are admired for their intelligence as well as their beauty, and are also known to problem solve and achieve success by intelligence rather than trial and error. It’s these tiny birds which used to take the tops off milk bottles to reach the cream in the days of delivered milk left on doorsteps. And they have also been known to use tools such as a pine needle for extracting larvae that’s hiding in the crevice of a tree.

We also have visits from a hedgehog or two, and even a fox sometimes – it’s amazing that there is just so much going on in my little city garden, day and night. Wonderful!

Please do feed and water the birds if you are able this winter – your kindness could be the difference between life and death for these little creatures and in turn will bring you much happiness.

Thankyou so much,

Elizabeth x

 

 

 

In the event of … whatever.

A decade or so ago, in my very early fifties and just before I became a proper grown up, my friend Christopher and I would occasionally, at the weekend, open a rather good bottle of delicious Tennessee whiskey which (according to the blurb) had apparently been filtered through sugar-maple charcoal and, as the evening progressed, we would often end up playing a survival game we called ‘In the event of …’

I’ll give you an example, one time we played ‘In the event of a Tsunami’ (yes, I realise it’s not the most PC thing to play but it makes a lot more sense after a couple of glasses of whiskey). This event involved Christopher fashioning a raft from a passing shed, which would be floating by at the exact moment it was required, lashed together with shredded bed sheets. He would then paddle furiously (using two soup ladles from the kitchen as oars) approximately two miles to the nearest Marks and Spencer Food Hall (which was fully submerged at this point), secure the raft to the top of a lamp post and then dive deep into the murky waters, smashing his way into the store and retrieving anything and everything made of chocolate and then paddle back with his ill gotten gains. How could he see where he was going, I hear you ask? Well, we had sealed his mobile phone inside a freezer bag so that he could use it as a torch. We weren’t just amateurs messing about you know, we took it very seriously and tried to prepare for every eventuality.

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What was my part in all this, whilst Christopher was risking life and limb? I was the brains of the operation of course!

On this particular occasion we considered this self imposed mission a complete success. Yay! So much so we poured another glass of whiskey to celebrate.

And then we played ‘In the event of a Zombie Apocalypse’ – this involved Christopher using shredded bed sheets once again, to swing between the rooftops to avoid the hordes of zombies on the ground, travelling for approximately two miles to the nearest Marks and Spencer Food Hall whereupon he would enter the building through a skylight on the roof and retrieve anything and everything made of chocolate. And some hand tied cinnamon sticks to stir our whiskey. My role was simply to defend our base in his absence.

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This mission was also considered a huge success. Yay! Another whiskey to celebrate? Cheers, don’t mind if I do. Hic.

Other scenarios included ‘In the event of an Ice Age’, ‘In the event of a vampire infestation’ and ‘In the event of an influx of killer clowns’ where, yes you’ve guessed it, Christopher blah blah blah … you get the drift.

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So what is the moral of this story? None, sorry. Just me daydreaming and taking a little trip down memory lane … and feeling just a tad smug in the knowledge that I’m pretty much prepared for all of the above should the worse case scenario kick in.

As long as Christopher is available of course 🙂

Over and out,

Elizabeth x

Is being bigger better?

Hello everyone, I hope you are all happy and well and that life is being kind to you. Also, may I just say a big thankyou to everyone who is following my blog, it is VERY much appreciated!

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Now, according to my friend Jefferson there has been a huge increase in the sales of plus size televisions recently – plus size generally being considered as 60″ and over. There has been a staggering 200% increase year on year apparently and these super sized screens are allegedly fast becoming the must have item.

Just ten years ago the most popular size sold was a mere 36″ – I myself have a 42″ tv which is approximately ten years old and which I still consider to be quite large and super luxurious and indulgent. In fact, I think I’d need a bigger sitting room if I wanted a bigger television.

Apparently, whenever there is a World Cup then television sales rise rather dramatically as people will be entertaining at home and hosting World Cup parties. Obviously I knew football fans gathered in pubs to worship together but private World Cup parties at home? I’ve been blissfully unaware of these until now and didn’t even know such a thing existed – and I’ve certainly never been invited to one. Thank goodness!

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In fact, I find the World Cup irritating at the best of time as it interferes with my favourite programme, Coronation Street, which I have watched since the very first episode (except for the year when I lived in India – they didn’t watch it there oddly enough).

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And yes, I am aware that I may be damaging my own street cred by admitting I am a devout Corrie fan but, for me, Coronation Street is like a much loved and well worn tatty old security blanket. I find the theme tune, and even the accents, soporific to such a degree that it’s like journeying back in time to when my mother would be preparing our evening meal over an open fire as my father cheerfully whittled on a stick.

Oh, hang on … rewind please, that must be someone else’s childhood memory as my mother certainly never ever cooked and neither did my father whittle to my knowledge.

Even so, there is something about Corrie which makes me feel secure somehow. Sad, but true.

So, will I be investing in one of these super size television sets?

No, absolutely not. I certainly don’t want Norris to be larger in life than me and neither do I want Rita’s enormous but carefully coiffured ginger wig cluttering up my sitting room – and it would clash horribly with my decor.

Have a fabulous day!

And thankyou again for taking the time to read this,

Elizabeth x

It’s no skin off my nose … or is it?

Hello everyone … I’ve just been itching to share these words of wisdom with you:

If it’s dry, moisturise it.

If it’s moist, dry it.

Congratulations, you are now a dermatologist!

Seriously though, scratch that. You probably already know that your skin is the largest organ you have (covering an area of two square metres on average) and that it obviously plays an imperative role in protecting your muscles, bones and internal organs from exterior infections and diseases, as well as playing an essential role in detecting, controlling and regulating your body temperature.

But not only is your skin the largest organ you have but it’s also one of the most complicated – maintaining health and, indeed, life itself. Complicated, and quite possibly problematic, given that there are over three thousand possible skin disorders currently in existence. And changes to your skin can naturally signal changes to your health.

Incidentally, yet another fascinating fact, your skin is thickest on your feet and thinnest on your eyelids. Yep, fairly obvious if you think about it.

But did you know that you shed approximately 30,000 – 40,000 dead skin cells every single minute? That’s millions of dead skin cells every day. And they obviously don’t all drop off at once – you are literally leaving a trail of dead skin everywhere you go.

In fact, the entire surface of your skin is replaced every month! How amazing is that! Except for the dust you cause along the way of course –  because the dust that collects on your furniture etc is mostly dead skin cells from you and any other passing human. And, incredible as this is, you will actually shed more than eight pounds of dead skin each and every year.

So, next time you watch a ray of light shining through a window into a room, and you can see all these tiny specks floating about in the air – that’s quite probably minute particles of you and your friends and family.

Personally I’m a bit OCDish at the best of times and so I definitely don’t want to be inhaling other people, not even the ones I love, so I think I’ll start wearing a mask indoors. And no, before you ask, I don’t think that’s at all odd!

Oh dear, now my mind is starting to run riot – what about in a nightclub, for example, where hundreds of random people are dancing energetically? They must be shedding shed loads of dead skin cells! Although to be honest, I’m unlikely to be found in a nightclub these days (having recently celebrated my 64th birthday) but if I were to go then I would most definitely wear a mask there!

OMG, and what about on public transport such as the tube? All those people scuffing against one another? I would definitely need a mask there.

Oh, you’re picturing a rather neat plain white surgical mask?

I’m not – I’m picturing something more like THIS little beauty which I think I could just about pass off as a fashion accessory …

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Very steampunk … and not as ridiculous as you might think when you are at home sitting on your sofa, mask free, but breathing in bits of your friends or relatives!

Definitely food for thought …

Elizabeth x

Taking life nice and sloe …

Hi everyone, it’s a gorgeously crisp sunny day today in sleepy old Norwich, Norfolk, here in the UK.

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Well, I say sleepy because I always think Norwich has that lovely olde worlde markety town feel about the place (for example pictured above is Elm Hill, in the centre of the city) but there’s actually loads going on and lots to look forward to before we see 2018 out with a bang.

The architecture in the old parts of the city is stunning, and much loved and very well preserved. It’s just like stepping back in time a few centuries in places.

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There’s always lots to do here, no matter what your preference – now, I’m not much of a drinker but, as my fabulously fit friends Siobhan and Kirk will tell you (who incidentally make a first class sloe gin), I am rather partial to the occasional glass of gin …

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… and I’ve just discovered that The Great British Gin Festival is coming to Norwich in a couple of days time on Saturday 20th October. Yay!

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My intentions are good but I probably won’t go as I have a zillion things to do at home and the weekend is a good time for me to catch up. But I’ve heard that it’s the thought that counts. Cheers everyone!

Living the dream baby 🙂

Elizabeth x

 

Good things come in small packages …

Hi everyone …

Today I thought I would write about a natural food product, which I feel is greatly underestimated, and the amazing benefits which can come from eating such a simple and inexpensive thing as sardines. Yes, sardines.

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I began to pay attention to them initially because I have an elderly Jack Russell dog who suffers from a grass pollen allergy every summer which makes her itch terribly and, following multiple visits to the vet and having tried almost everything else, I was advised that sardines are excellent for dogs with allergies and just a couple of small sardines twice a week could help, and thankfully they did. They have not stopped her scratching altogether, that would be miraculous, but her symptoms have definitely eased.

An added bonus is that sardines also encourage natural anti-inflammatory responses in the body, making them great for dogs with arthritis. And they provide a source of brain food  for growing puppies and senior dogs too.

They are excellent for their skin and coat, in fact both my dogs have sardines now and people often comment on how beautiful their coats are … which got me thinking.

Having never paid any attention to sardines myself I quickly discovered just how beneficial they are for humans too. For example, did you know that they are actually one of the least contaminated sources of fish, and are known to contain fewer toxins and metals than other fish, such as tuna.

I read that they are also rich in protein and a great source of healthy omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, phosphorus, selenium as well as vitamins B3, B12 and D. It’s selenium which helps neutralise free radicals and works to protect the organs from damage. And a regular intake of omega 3 fatty acids is good for the heart because it reduces cholesterol and blood pressure.

Also, insulin resistance is one of the major factors to look for in diabetes and I’ve read that, according to some studies, including sardines in your diet can reduce insulin resistance. How amazing is that!

I have them hot, on seeded brown bread and drizzled with fresh lemon juice, for breakfast at least once or twice a week now … and people often comment on how nice my coat is 🙂

Elizabeth x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make 100 billion in just 24 hours!

Hi everyone … hope you’re all ok and enjoying life.

Now, do check this bad boy fact out … did you know that there are more bacteria inside a human mouth than there are people in the world? Amazing!

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Apparently research has shown that the Average Joe normally has at least twenty billion bacteria in their mouth which reproduce every five hours and therefore, if you fail to brush your teeth and maintain good oral hygiene, this can rise to one hundred billion (more than the entire population of planet earth) within twenty four hours!

And scientists have to date identified over seven hundred different kinds of bacteria, most of which are harmless you will be pleased to know. And I’m assuming they must have named each one then? Or perhaps just numbered them.

I love all these facts and figures but I definitely don’t want to see pictures of any of these bacteria, and neither do I want to take on board anyone else’s bacteria so please do not ask me for a kiss as a refusal often offends 🙂

Hugs not kisses …

Elizabeth

 

 

Some people, honestly! (Not us though) …

Hello everyone …

OMG. I just cannot believe how sensitive some people are!

I’ll give you an example … I was recently engaged in a very private and confidential conversation with a close friend, which just happened to be taking place smack bang in the middle of Tesco’s (other supermarkets are available).

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Ok. I admit it, we were discussing a mutual casual acquaintance but I absolutely deny we were gossiping, although the late great novelist Joseph Conrad once wrote that gossip is what no one claims to like but everyone enjoys and I would have to agree with that.

And so, my friend was asking me about the latest antics of the aforementioned mutual casual acquaintance whom, for the purposes of this exercise and to conserve her anonymity, I shall call Viper Mouth. Not very politically correct, I know, but it’s an accurate description nonetheless as she is literally unkind to everyone.

I would normally go out of my way to be nice to someone, indeed anyone, who has any kind of disadvantage but this ghastly little woman is really horrible to absolutely everyone. I have unofficially diagnosed her as having small man syndrome which, incidentally, I have not come across before in a woman which explains the name.

Anyway, my friend and I were talking, still in Tesco’s, when I happened to mention that I had seen Viper Mouth earlier on that day, dressed like a hooker from the 1980’s when someone leapt out from behind the breakfast cereal aisle shouting “Like THIS you mean?”

Yep, you’ve guessed it … there she was, in all her shoulder padded glory, Viper Mouth herself in full attack mode! She then made a complete show of herself, and of us. Serves us right I suppose. Funny though, how it’s so wrong when Viper Mouth is nasty but yet it seemed quite innocent when we were.

Although in mitigation, ours was to a much lesser degree and completely without malice. Nothing more than a social commentary really …

Elizabeth x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All you need is love?

Hi everyone! Hope this finds you happy and well, and with lots of love in your life.

Today I thought I would touch on that very subject – love, the romantic kind, a complicated subject at the best of times in my experience.

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For little old cynical me, I think my best friend Lucy summed it up best when she said “They start off as your lover and then gradually morph into your opponent”.

But before that … you hopefully get to enjoy the honeymoon period, so called because it is the most blissful, some may say naive, time at the beginning of a brand new relationship. Enjoying each others company and getting to know one another better, with each partner still on their best behaviour to a degree, and keen to maintain a good impression, if their eventual aim is to enter a long term exclusive relationship and build a future together.

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I’ve read that this honeymoon period is a relatively brief era lasting up to approximately three months although that sounds like quite a long time to me. As a hypercritical Virgo, and having analysed his body language and even his micro expressions, I’m already finding fault after, say, three weeks?

And based on the assumption that men fall in love with what they see, and women fall in love with what they hear, it then becomes obvious how hard it is to keep the magic going. Because surely, after the honeymoon period, HE will be seeing her at her worst on occasions and SHE will often be multi-tasking on automatic pilot and not even listening to him.

Now throw into the mix some children, a mortgage, and all the other expenses that just the very act of living incurs and life can get REALLY tricky, and it’s difficult to keep that love burning as hot as ever. It takes a lot of patience, compromise and real true love to overcome all that life throws at you, and an enormous amount of effort and will power to stay together.

But hey, better the devil you know? Only you can decide.

Elizabeth x