A Flicker of A Sweet Memory

It’s funny what you remember when you miss someone.

My Nana passed away sometime ago, while I was still at university studying (fat lot of good that venture did, but that’s another story). My dad’s mum, my nana was a larger than life character. Mum of boys, larger drinker, lipstick wearer and experimental cook. I knew I got my attitiute for cooking from someone, and I’m so giving my nana some of the credit.

I can’t even tell you what made my mind wonder to her sausages and flying saucer eggs today, but I found myself laughing as I remember dinner times at her flat. It was a smokey affair, she chain smoked when she chatted but because she had the window open as she did it, of course it wasn’t that bad (we would cringe now). Anyway, I digress. She owned a George Forman Grilling Machine. Or, in her words “George Formby Grilling Machine” she loved the thing, and it got used a hell of a lot.

My brother and I were always fussy with what we ate at nanas house, mainly as the older she got the more interesting the combinations became and the more the food tasted like smoke. She was however, a fabulous cook in her hay day. We ended up having chip pan chips, homemade of course or pancakes, finished off with crisps, chocolate and yogurt. All healthy stuff! My dad was subjected to actual real dinner, and this particular night was rather spectacular. I remember her wafting through the living room with dad’s plate in hand before plonking it down on the table. On the blue and white crockery was a breakfast for dinner. A staple of her household and very much enjoyed.

On dad’s plate there was a fried egg (sunnyside up), tomato, beans, bacon and what looked like two burgers. My dad stabbed one the burgers and held it in the air asking what it was. My nana asked him what the hell he was playing at waving that sausage about. We were hysterical, well all apart from my nana who was completely confused about the laughing. Dad asked why it was so flat, so she demonstrated her Formby Grilling skills in the air at the table.

She’d only gone and put butchers style (the really chunky, fat kind) sausages in the grill and squashed it down until the machine cliped shut. She returned to the kitchen to put her own meal together.

In the meantime there was the fried egg. Same meal, same day. Dad struggled to cut the white of the fried egg so picked it up to see what was going on. Turns out this egg had been fried to with an inch of it’s edible life. It stayed perfectly flat as he picked it up. He starts making his idea of UFO noises as the yolk balances on it’s white plate like shelf with a slight yellow wobble. Again, both me and my brother fell about laughing while dad tried to put back on a straight face as nana came to the table with her own dinner.

I still remember the smell of her pressed powder, the shade of her lipstick, her choice in skirts and how she always wore a pinny over them. Her kindness and patience. Her spoiling us and caving to our every request for sweets as children. I remember having to watch the snooker when it was on because she loved it but then she’d let us watch the Simpsons over dinner time and let us sit of the sofa instead of at the table with our food. I miss her, her accidental funny anecdotes and the liverpudlian twang that still remained from her younger years in her voice. The raspy cough and the way she would order herself two halfs of larger instead of a pint just because it wasn’t lady like to order a pint (but it was okay to sit with two drinks).

I miss her – photo from my 18th birthday meal. A day of mixed emotions, I lost a dear friend that exact day.

What sweet memories do you hold of a missed love one? I’d love to hear a story or two.

Xoxo, L

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Netflix Top Picks

I am sharing with you my top (so far) picks from Netflix. A different kind of post for me, but I thought I need to keep up the positive and share a few things I’ve enjoyed and continue to enjoy. I am a binge watcher. I can’t help it, I’m either into it or I’m not. It’s an all or nothing kind of relationship, and that’s practically with everything.

1. The Big Bang Theory.

I am huge fan. Spurred on by man’s late dad’s love for it I guess. I watched it all, every single episode (and even paused for pee breaks). I love the relationship between Penny and Sheldon, it’s so real. They have the most amazing friendship group, one to be envious of for sure.

2. The Good Life.

I found it funny, it is pretty tedious in places. The main character is a little relatable, the whole wanting to better herself we can all adhere to on occasion (especially when you’re in that “I needed to change something” mode). I thought the first season was the best, the smart little twist is pretty good.

3. The Crown

A sucker for a royal drama. Matt Smith as Prince Philip is just genius. Even man got hooked on this one. Well written, costume work is amazing and it really makes you see a different side to the woman who rules the land.

4. The Alienist.

Twisted, dark and intricate. Adored each episode, with this said there were a few facts that I thought we’re useless towards the end of the first season. Can’t wait to find out where they go with this in the future. I don’t suppose it’s for the faint of heart, and a nervous disposition should probably leave the room for this one but it is so worth your time.

5. 13 Reasons Why.

Pure love for both seasons. Honest, brutal, truthful and such a talking point. Opening the dialogue of such a bunch poignant topics. Bullying, sexual assault, suicide. Each of which need to be discussed and respected and delt with. It isn’t a one fix fits all for any of these issues and it’s good that it’s been portrayed in this way. Watch this, it’s heart breaking and heart warming.

6. Gossip Girl

Dreamy, escapism. A tale of high society New Yorkers in all their finery and creating drama where ever possible. Loved the finale and finding out who GG actually is. Easy watching and indulgent for those ‘I want to live and write in New York City’ dreams.

7. The Vampire Diaries

Very long! Far too many seasons, but some of the story lines were good. I prefer the after Elena seasons. Loved the characters of Caroline and Damon. Again it was like a day dreamy escape for the most parts until Elena cried and pulled the same face for the majority of the episodes. I’m glad I watched it, and I keep meaning to start The Originals which is a spin off with a few of the characters from Vampire Diaries.

8. Shadow Hunters

All the magical day dreams combined. Vampires, werewolves, witches/warlocks and more. I like this one, it’s mega cheesy but anything from a magical realm is worth a watch in my opinion. Sucker for the magical. I’m afraid that I’m not a huge fan of the main characters, the sub characters however are more interesting which is the reason I’ve continued to watch. If you like any thing mystical, or if you’ve read the books (I haven’t) it’s worth a go.

As you can tell, I’m one for escapism. Fantasy and all things a little bit dreamy. It’s the perfect way to unwind and escape from reality especially when you’ve had one of those days.

What do you watch? What’s on your list? I’d love to know what’s on your watch list.

Xoxo, L.

In Hiding

I hid from the world today.

Anti-social side came out and I actually avoided going out doors. Uncharacteristic at the moment as I go out every day. I am, for sure, on a down day.

I’ve changed up my workouts which was an undoutable win. I was shuffling about on YouTube and found some amazing yoga and HITT workouts that made me sparkle (I don’t sweat, I sparkle). I’ll be picking this up again tomorrow as I really enjoyed it.

However, yoga sequences are kinda difficult when you’ve a child climbing on you. Having to watch a Yoga tutorial from downward facing dog with your media player up high so the baby can’t grab, then having to fend her off when your doing a warrior pose – believe me it’s a workout within a workout. I’m aching regardless, means it’s working though right!

Strange fact of the day, turmeric in porridge (almond Milk, not cow’s) mixed with a little cinnamon and soya yogurt actually tastes half decent. I’m not talking tons of the stuff, just a 1/4 teaspoon in 1/2 cup of oats. Pretty good, and yellow as aposed to any form of pink or purple porridge makes a refreshing change. Turmeric is a fab antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties too, so great to add in to your diet. Who doesn’t love an antioxidant.

I’m going to work on my mood, I really don’t relish the thought of being down.

Xoxo, L

Plateau

I’ve reached an empass. I’ve got to a point in my ‘kick the additional weight’ journey where my body is just like NOPE. The scales have barely moved this month and the fact that I’ve been well and truly on it is driving me nuts.

I’m drinking plenty of water on a daily basis, working out 5-7 days a week for between 30 and 60 mins not including any walking I do. I’m eating so well, all clean no processed foods, no additional sugar or salt. I don’t understand. So yeah, that’s where I am with that. Supper disappointed that my body is refusing to respond.

In a rebellion against my non-responsive body I’ve been looking up workout on Pinterest. This one move, particularly the picture to show it, made me laugh out. I think there might be something wrong with me because this tiny little picture, was to me, hilarious! I like how the woman is just like exactly the same with her ponytail is slightly skewed to one side, and she’s higher up in the little blank box she resides in. Like I said, pretty sure I should have found it that funny.

Delilah and I spent the day with my brother and Ems. We spent it walking in the sunshine, letting the girls splash in the water table and playing with the two huge dogue de bordeaux that live with Ollie and Ems. Here is a douge nose, a very lovely nose it is too.

Delilah took her hat off at every opportunity, and then threw it in the water and ate the grand total of 5 mouthful of dinner. Poor kid seems to have got my immunity for pollen. She was streaming, and of course the chemist wouldn’t sell anything to me as she is too young. So off to the doctors we go so they can prescribe something for my little lady bug.

Despite the hayfever, hopefully we will see more of this beautiful weather!

Xoxo, L

Conflicting Wedding Ideas; A Mental Mess

Delilah and I watched the royal wedding today. I am now sat trawling through websites of dream wedding venues in West Yorkshire. I must say, there are some rather beautiful ones.

Meghan, now the Dutchess of Sussex, looked stunning. The veil was impeccable and the tiara dazzled. Now the dress, it was beautiful and undeniably suited her but I can’t help but feel a little disappointed. I was half expecting a touch of Hollywood in the dress, and there was none. Now this ain’t a bad thing. Not in the slightest. Her beauty shone through as it should, and where there is beauty (and lets face it, the woman is flawless) simplicity should frame it. Which is exactly what our new Dutchess acheived with her simply and impeccably cut dress.

It means now that simple clean lines and minimum fuss will be the new challenge for bridal wear designers. She is, for sure an influencer so be prepared for the world’s brides to be to go simplicity all the way for the foreseeable future.

The newly weds looked blissfully happy, and I personal hope that they had the most amazing day. I truly hope they will be the happiest! Happy wedding day Harry and Meghan! Picture found online.

I’m excited to start planning my own wedding too now. I could say I’ve had dreams about my wedding day since I was a little girl, but that would be a BIG FAT LIE. I do adore wedding fashion, I could watch “say yes to the dress” on repeat. Weddings in general have never been at the forefront of my mind.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m excited to get married, but I’ve never been the girl to day dream about it, until now. Good God, I’d resigned myself to being a crazy cat lady a fair few years ago. After a couple of dating disasters, a life of solitude, talking to felines, writing and the occasional family outing (with those who still knew I existed) didn’t seem all that bad. ‘One last date’ changed it all, because I met man. It was a good job I did because that was me pretty much throwing in the towel, but any which way that ruled out the life of solitude. I still frequently talk to the cats, and just to clear things up, I only had two cats until man moved in and he wanted one too. Only problem with cat number three (commonly known as Dinah in our house) is that she dosent like anyone but me. She’s the most fierce little kitty and I often find her facing of with the dog, and when I say facing off I mean cornering him and attacking him. The dog is very much more of a pussy than she it. For me she is the sweetest, she twitters away and purrs wildly. Just for me.

Now my head is full of dress, venue and style ideas. I will keep my wedding mind vomit to myself because I really don’t know when we will be able to get married. I value owning a home more than a bit of paper saying that we’re shackled together for the rest of our living days. I will continue to make a mind mess of conflicting wedding ideas, venues, dresses, bridal parties, groomsmen attire, Delilah’s dress, music, food and cake choice. Pinterest is my crack as far as my whims are concerned. I’m pretty sure I need some rehab time.

Here’s to a beautiful weekend, to the blissfully happy couple and to tomorrow’s adventure.

Xoxo, L.

Sit Still

Have you ever tried to take a photograph of a nine month old child? Yes? How much of a workout is that?

Heads up, it’s a picture dump post…

I had the brilliant idea when walking back from the village. I bought Dela a bubble wand, sensory play and all that. Yeah I’m down with baby sensory. Love the stuff in fact. ‘Wouldn’t it be cute’ I thought ‘to get a picture of her with bubbles around when she’s looking up at them’.

Optimistic me.

We started in our dark and (currently) shabbily decorated living room. Dela didn’t have a huge reaction to the actual bubbles, she was more interested in the wand so kept crawling straight to me to grab it. And I’ll tell you for nowt (Yorkshire term) it’s really difficult to take a picture, blow bubbles and fend off a child with grabby hands. As you can see from this picture of the first batch (oh there were many), the backdrop is awful and the baby isn’t even paying attention to the glossy bubbles falling around her.

‘I know’ my inner monologue piped up again ‘let’s go in Dela’s room and try with a nice, bright backdrop’. Tucking the baby under arm and doing a light jog up the stairs (she finds this hilarious), pop her on the rug in her room and we are joined by the menagerie. Yep, all three cats and the demon dog followed. So we’re sat (all of us) in a white and pink room and I’m blowing bubbles and trying to keep the baby in one place and the dog and cats out of shot. And breath.

Ushered the dog back down the stairs. Cats revert to basking in the sun on the window sill. Dela wanted to be everywhere but where I plonked her. In a wise moment I though the standing fan would make a great bubble blower, I’d still have to hold the wand but it would do the blowing.

No. Just no.

The fan blew the bubbles in an upward frenzy and popped against the walls. Sigh. Still no nice photo.

Dogs pushed his nose through Dela’s bedroom door, cats sat hissing at him, Dela is chasing the cats round on her hands and knees. ‘Maybe an outfit change’ inner Lotty chimes into the chaos. The bubbles now lost in the mix.

I westle with the baby to change her outfit. For every item of clothing I took off her she made a dash for a cat. “DAT” she’s shouting them. “No Delilah sit still, let mummy just… urgh” she’s pinned India to the floor and started to ‘pat pat the cat’. I’m so pleased India is the softest kitty ever, I’m afraid any other cat would have swiped out for this treatment. Lucky, lucky Dela. I shuffle my backdrop as she’s distracted by the purry furry, grab her and set her down and start snapping.

As you can see it went really well!

She got adventurous and crawled between her wardrobe and cot, but then she got stuck so had a melt down. “Delilah will you sit still!” I felt like I was going to follow suit with the melt down front.

She gave me the run around, but apart from the ‘I got stuck’ melt down we were pretty happy. A fidget but happy all the same. Finally, finally I got a couple of okay shots. Some are a little hazy, but I liked them anyway and no bubbles in sight.

Im no photographer as you can very much see, but we got there in the end. The best bit was she crashed out for a nap as soon as I put her down. All that run around really helped.

Star cushion was from Next (last year). Rug from Ikea and Delilah’s all-in-one from George @ Asda.

Now I’m going to fall in a heap on the sofa and enjoy a glass of wine. Happy Friday Lovers.

Xoxo, L.

The Herb Don

Here we have a herby update! My original post and when I planted my little seeds was the 28th March. I’m not sure why my seeds are little in this instance. I think most seeds are. I’m no horticulturalist.

So first up, my tomatoes. These beauties look pretty strong and in dier need of re-potting now. A task for tomorrow morning I think. Dinah sneaking in the picture too.

Thyme. Now I’ve grown this, but I’ve never actual used fresh thyme (that I can recall) in any of the recipes I have ever made. So another task is to come up with or source a killer recipe that has thyme in it. It looks like a woody plant, the leaves are small and rounded but my seedlings are growing pretty good becauae I didn’t forget to water them. This for me is amazing!

My chives are not looking as impressive. They look all weedy and sparse. I watered these too, maybe I just didn’t put enough seeds in the cup. Again, I’m no gardener. Im just a woman trying to grow some god damn herbs.

My sweet favourite basil. Beautiful big green leaves. It’s flourishing, and I love it. I really can’t wait to use this one. Teacup basil, it’s the way forward I’m telling you.

Parsley, over used in my opinion cooks and chefs seem to throw it in just about anything to add some green. I don’t mind this one and it’s growing fairly well, but it’s probably not as full as what it should be. I have no idea, but here’s a picture because well this is a picture post!

So there you have it, an update on my herb teacups. Small and delicate. Edible? We will find out, and if there are no more posts you can assume I’ve been eaten by the dodgie looking chives.

My grandma gave me a plant today too. It’s an outdoor one thank goodness. At least that way if I kill it I don’t have to look at it so much. It is one of my favourites though.

My orchids are in bloom too. Maybe I’m better at this gardening thing than I initially thought. Just call me Don.

Love and flower power.

Xoxo, Don Lotty