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

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Enhance your brain function …

Bonjour mes amis,

As you probably know, as we age it is essential to exercise the brain as well as the body as, contrary to popular belief, we continue to create new brain cells throughout our entire lives.

A healthy diet coupled with both physical and mental exercise is vital for our physical and mental well-being and can increase the blood flow to the brain helping to enhance brain function.

And research shows that mental exercise can stimulate the growth of new brain cells to improve cognitive health.

There are a zillion enjoyable ways to exercise your brain including games such as sudoku, crosswords etc and there are now lots of apps available to provide you with mental challenges each day, such as Lumosity (one of my favourites) which offers brain training created and engineered by scientists and game designers.

Personally, I love to do all of the above as well as memorising facts and figures … here, for example, is a very interesting quote from Dr Daniel Amen, author of ‘Healing the Hardware of the Soul’ and ‘Use Your Brain to Change Your Age’:

“Dried oregano has thirty times the brain healing antioxidant power of raw blueberries, forty-six times more than apples, and fifty-six times as much as strawberries, making it one of the most powerful brain cell protectors on the planet”.

I didn’t know this. Surely this should be common knowledge?

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I confess I am also absolutely addicted to the game of Plakoto, a form of Backgammon played in Greece, taught to me by my dear friend Pothos who downloaded it onto my phone for me so I can play anytime – and I play every single day. The object of the game is for each of the two players to bring all their pieces round to their own home board and then bear them off. The player who bears off all of his pieces first obviously wins the game.

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And fortunately, I’ve always enjoyed studying and learning which is why I have decided to take an online course in French to refresh my incredibly rusty French skills which I have not used in more than thirty years.

I’ve just enrolled for a twelve month course, and the lessons are each 15 – 30 minutes with a test at the end of each lesson, so I hope to be fluent by the end of the course. I’ve only taken three tests so far but am already enjoying it and actually find it quite relaxing at the end of a busy day.

So I would say that all of the above, which I have chosen to participate in, are really enjoyable for me and not a chore at all and perhaps that is the secret to establishing a good brain exercise regimen, to choose things which you love to do and will look forward to doing.

Find what works for you and enjoy, it will SO be worth it later on down the road.

Elizabeth x

 

 

 

Breaking the ice habit …

Hello everyone!

My friend Jefferson has been feeling a bit lethargic of late, and has felt for some time that he had a cold starting but it’s never amounted to anything more.

The strange thing is he is ‘addicted’ to ice and only ever drinks ice cold drinks, and LOTS of them, and never ever has warm or hot drinks.  Literally, without exception, every single drink he has is ice cold – that’s just been his personal preference.

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I know that the Chinese were the first to discover that drinking ice cold water, especially after a meal, is bad for your health as it can adversely affect the digestion process. It’s because the ice cold liquid constricts the digestive tract, making the digestive process more difficult and therefore the body then doesn’t get the proteins and nutrients needed for other organs to function properly.

So, by drinking ice cold drinks, the whole body is affected.

The optimum temperature for body enzymes to work best is 37 – 42 degrees Celsius and when you drink ice cold liquid the process of your body warming up the liquid requires a substantial amount of energy which was supposed to be allocated for processing proteins and nutrients, thereby aiding more effective digestion. As a result of this energy being diverted you also feel tired sooner.

Also, very cold liquid leads to solidified fat in the stomach which requires the body to use even more energy to break it down.

And ice cold drinks can also add unnecessary stress to both tissues and blood vessels which in turn hinders the functioning of the circulatory system.

Ultimately, over a period of time and certainly after a meal, drinking ice cold drinks can lead to multiple problems including indigestion, excess mucus production (hence Jefferson often feeling as though he has a cold starting) which in turn can weaken your immunity system.

Who knew?

Get well soon Jefferson!

Elizabeth x

 

Fascinating fact of the day …

Hello everyone!

Now here is a fascinating fact I have just discovered … and why I love dogs!

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I heard on TV (so I guess it must be true) that each person in the civilised world can expect to meet approximately 80,000 other people during their lifetime.

Wow! Eighty thousand people.

Mathematically, I’m in the last quarter of my lifetime (having just turned sixty-four and assuming my lifespan is eighty years) and so I have already met approximately 64,000 of them so far.

Out of those 64,000 people I have been in love with just 2.

And I truly love perhaps another 20 people.

And am inspired by just a few more than that.

But I think it’s a fairly safe bet that more than 63,000 of them have irritated me.

And I think it’s also safe to say that I have met more than 10,000 complete dickheads.

10,000 dickheads! Who knew there could be so many per person?

Elizabeth x

 

I didn’t know I wasn’t happily married …

Hello everyone and thankyou so much for dropping by …

Remember those regrets I was talking about yesterday? Well, this is one of them …

It’s very personal, and I may be over sharing here, but I am increasingly discovering that this blog writing process, which I am new to, is indeed extremely cathartic. Highly recommended!

When I was married my husband and I were fortunate enough to have our own plane, a Piper PA-32 Cherokee Six, and we each held a Private Pilots’ License.

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This particular light aircraft was considered a bit of a beast back in the day and still enjoys an excellent reputation today. It can carry 5-6 passengers with just one pilot. It’s nearly 28 feet long and has a wingspan of almost 33 feet and has a cruise speed of 168mph and a maximum speed of 174mph. It also has a range of 840 miles and I once flew ours from the UK to Sardinia with no problems at all.

I can honestly say that at the beginning of our marriage I was deliriously happy and (extra cheese anyone?) living on cloud nine.

During the first two years of that marriage however, we only spent two weekends at home, even though we both worked full time, and any free time at all was spent flying.

I am aware, as I write, how ungrateful I sound but I longed for a home life. Living on a farm I wanted to spend time with my dogs and horses, cook a traditional Sunday roast sometimes, socialise with friends and family and to simply enjoy my home.

Little did I know that storm clouds were gathering …

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And so it came to pass. My husband suffered a heart attack at the age of 39 and obviously was no longer allowed to fly solo. He owned and ran a large international business, smoked sixty cigarettes a day and was having an affair with his much younger secretary (rather predictably given how little free time he had with his feet actually on terra firma) and the ambitious little madam (subsequently his words, not mine) was making sure that this affair was becoming common knowledge – the perfect ingredients for a heart attack I would say.

Hence, at first a passion of mine, aviation gradually became a chore as from then onward I always had to go too – I had no choice because if I didn’t go then he couldn’t fly.

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My husband had literally keeled over right in front of me and I did all that I could to save him – now I’m not a doctor but I do think his chances of survival could have been dramatically reduced had I known about his extra-marital affair at that point but, luckily for him, I didn’t.

Shortly after that, with her meal ticket nestling safely in her belly, his secretary announced to the world that she was pregnant with his child and so the whole sordid truth could no longer be kept from me, despite the best efforts of my husband who amazingly had already purchased a house and car for her in an attempt to placate her and buy her silence.

I can still remember, oh so clearly as if it were yesterday, the day I arrived home from work and my husband was waiting for me, shuffling nervously and looking terribly pale. I remember it so vividly because it was the day my world fell apart.

He began with the words “I’m so sorry but I have something to tell you, before you hear it from someone else, and you’re not going to be very happy” – an understatement if ever there was one.

It was all so difficult to absorb. I was in complete shock at first as, although selfish at times, he was a loving and quite romantic husband. He often surprised me with extravagant gifts and flowers and was always affectionate towards me. I honestly thought we were still in love and I was left feeling as though I had never really known him. He was a fake, and that in turn meant that all my happy memories of our time together were fake too.

The irony was that I had once prayed so desperately for his heart to keep beating and now I just wanted it to stop.

In my mind I questioned everything. Was everything an act on his part? To stop me suspecting anything? Was this …? Was that …? Should I …? Could I …?

In the end, I felt so betrayed and broken that I just didn’t care enough any more to even try to look for answers. I just didn’t want to know. With his words still ringing in my ears as I left, still pleading “We can get through this together”, I was off. Because clearly that’s all they were, just words.

Another lesson learned, it was time to start a new chapter and I was determined to get off to a flying start …

There, see, I do feel better! I managed to recall and relay all of that without even the smallest tingle of pain. Partly, I suspect, because his life eventually turned to crap with a further unwanted pregnancy with a different little madam, bankruptcy and a stroke.

Karma.

My mother once told me that success is the best revenge and that you should never take revenge yourself as it will only be a fraction of what Karma will serve up to your wrongdoer. Ain’t that the truth!

Elizabeth x