Guilty Pleasures

I’m having a bit of a rubbish time. These menopausal hot flushes are making me feel miserable. I’m taking the advice of people: loose clothing, no caffeine, avoid spicy foods, fan myself… But they keep coming and going and coming…

So, I have to cheer myself up somehow…

Retail therapy… They say that money can’t buy happiness. They say that materialistic things don’t matter. Well… The people who say these things, in this instance, are wrong.

When I say “retail therapy”, I’m not wasting money. Sometimes the “retail therapy” is merely “window shopping” and “adding to my Amazon wish list”. But other times, I’m spending money to make something in my life a bit easier, to complete a task or to make something more exciting. Recent purchases, respectively, have included a v-shaped pillow, a £2 screw driver set, and a £6 “vegetable sharpener” (to make vegetable spaghetti strands).

Chocolate… If I eat my five a day, I reward myself with chocolate. I have to go easy on the stuff, because I’m getting spotty (another menopause side effect?). My current selection includes mint Aero and a Smarties/Milky Bar thing. I also have Wispa’s in the freezer. I have to select the chocolate carefully, because, what I used to like I don’t appear to be liking much at the moment…

iPlayer and Netflix… This week I have watched the entire series 10 of The Big Bang Theory and caught up on episodes of Holby City and Casualty that I have missed while away/busy. I just have Doctor Foster to catch up on (two episodes I think). It cheers me up. It takes my mind off of things. It’s a happy distraction.

I don’t feel guilty about any of these pleasures, so are they really what we would consider to be a “guilty pleasure”? What are your “guilty pleasures”? Do they help cheer you up when you’re feeling a bit glum?


Favourite Harry Potter book and movie…

I’m currently re-reading the series but my favourite book and movie are actually the same: Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix.

Image result for harry potter and the order of the phoenix
An image stolen from Google Images – an Amazon link

It’s quite sad… No one believes Harry or Dumbledore. There is a secret organisation trying to defend the wizarding world because the authorities won’t believe that He is back. The children are being suppressed by Delores Umbridge, who tortures the students for information about what they’re up to (teaching themselves Defence Against the Dark Arts). The teachers have an awful superior (Delores Umbridge)… And then to top it off, Mr Weasley gets attacked and Harry’s only ‘relative’ (godfather) apart from the Dursley’s gets killed!! It really is quite a sad book. But I love both the book and the movie…

What are your favourite Harry Potter books and movies?

Two hours for a curry…

After my wonderful steam train ride on Thursday, my friend and I decided that we would go foraging for food. Our usual ‘go-to’ place was miles away and would then put us on a route that we didn’t want to take home. It’s a shame, because I did quite fancy trying their hot dogs, since I’ve gone off burgers lately.

My friend and I walked along the road and we stopped outside an Indian restaurant. Reading the menu stirred my appetite. We saw that they even had a meal deal. So, we went inside.

What we hadn’t realised is that had read the takeaway menu and that was cheaper (by 10%) than the eating in menu – I understand that. A 10% discount to take your food away is popular in a lot of places. But, I didn’t understand that the meal deal that I had gotten my hopes up for was not on offer just because I was eating in. So, we got up, apologised to the waiter, and left.

On walking back to the car, my friend and I were talking: why do they lure us in with one menu and then give us another menu? Why?

If a business is having to pay the overheads for their premises, I would have thought that they would want many customers filling their tables? Surely it would be beneficial to put a takeaway and a dining-in menu in the window? Why only put a takeaway menu in the window when people passing by are more likely to be eating in?

So, we went to another Indian restaurant – by now, our goal was to have a curry. It’s what we both wanted. But the second Indian restaurant was again displaying a takeaway menu in the window. To eat in, there was an extra 70p on rice dishes, and an extra £2 on curry dishes. So, we walked out – not having to apologise to anyone as there wasn’t anyone to greet us when we entered the (empty) restaurant.

We decided, eventually, that we would try a takeaway Indian restaurant in the village next to ours. We arrived, placed our orders (my meal, including a drink, was £10.15) and waited for over 40 minutes for our meals to be ready. We brought them back to my house and tucked in…

Two hours after first trying to get a curry, we had our curry. All the recommendations we had received about this particular takeaway weren’t lying – it was a really, really delicious curry. I’m so pleased that we waited for so long to get it!!

Friday 13th

Friday the 13th is considered an unlucky day because of the combination of the unlucky 13 and the unlucky Friday. Nearly 3/4 of UK adults say they suffered bad luck on a previous Friday 13th (according to a survey done by Travelodge). I think the superstition of Friday 13th makes people more watchful of what’s going on, so they notice the ‘bad luck’ more than on any other Friday or any other 13th day of the month. Fear of Friday 13th is known as paraskavedekatriaphobia. The 1907 publication of Thomas W. Lawson’s novel Friday the Thirteenth may have played a part in disseminating the superstition.

The number 13 has had an ‘unlucky’ association for a very long time. Judas (who betrayed Jesus) was the 13th guest to sit down at the last supper. Now it is considered unlucky for 13 people to dine together – the first to rise might suffer a serious misfortune! In Norse mythology, the 13th guest (Loki) at a dinner party of the gods caused the world to be plunged into darkness. Some people get only having 13 guests at the table, by putting a teddy bear at the table to make a 14th guest.

In Western countries, tall buildings are missing the 13th floor. One in four UK streets do not have a house numbered 13. Some airlines don’t have a row 13 in their planes. On Friday 13th, cost of budget flights falls.

Here are some ‘unlucky’ things that have happened on previous Friday 13th:

  • 13-10-1307 Philip IV of France arrested hundreds of the Knights Templar’s who were then tortured or executed.
  • 13-9-1940 Buckingham Palace was hit by 5 German bombs.
  • 13-10-1972 Chilean Air Force plane disappeared in the Andes. Three months later, 16 survivors turned up. They’d had to eat the dead passengers to survive.
  • 13-8-2010 lightning struck a 13-year-old boy on Friday 13th at 13:13.
  • 13-1-2012 Costa Concordia ran aground, killing 30 people.

It’s not all bad, though!

  • After Friday 13th is Saturday 14th – the weekend!
  • 13-6-1930 the first nudist colony was founded in the UK

Personally, I don’t believe in this nonsense. It’s just another Friday, and another 13th to me. 🙂


Weekly Photo Challenge: scale.


I’ve chosen this picture because it’s taken from the area in which I live. When I look up at the quarry I think “it’s not that high”. But, I start walking and actually, yes, it’s very high!

But, this is my response to many mountains around here. “They’re not that high!” I tell my friend. Then me makes me walk up them. I should just never make any comment instead of having to suffer so badly……………..

A bullet of yesterday

8am I was awake before the alarm but I still set it to snooze as I had a look at Facebook and read a few pages of my Viz annual. I kept an eager eye on the time because I had to brown the stewing steak and add an onion to my pot of vegetables which were waiting to be turned into a beef stew in the crock pot. After having some breakfast (buttered toast), I hot footed it upstairs to wash and dress so that I was out of the door by 9:30am.

10:30am was the time of my appointment. I parked at the park and ride and I was in the clinic for good time. However, I was kept waiting. There were patients before me who needed more time. I probably also took up more time than I was allotted, so I won’t complain. I finally got seen at gone 11:30. My only complaint was that I was sat under the television having to listen to Homes Under the Hammer and whatever drivel followed that. It could have been worse. It could have been Jeremy Kyle. Consultant was happy with what she saw, but that entailed me going onto do another mission…

12:45pm I was getting a bit anxious that I needed to be home for the afternoon, so quickly ditched my retail therapy plan and made a beeline for the pharmacy where I collected my single 150mg dose of Fluconazole for the thrush that the consultant has seen. I have to return tomorrow (or today because this blog post is being published tomorrow) to collect HRT patches. I also purchased some paracetamol as it’s clear that I really do still need them. While waiting for my prescription to be dispensed, I went across the road to the bakery and spent £2.70 on a current slice and a Cornish pasty. I then went home, ate my lunch and browsed Pinterest while I waited for the Avon lady to come with my new lipsticks, etc.

5:45pm I’m home and waiting for someone (else) to call in. During the afternoon, I have been to Lidl (I bought a birthday present), The Range (I bought some personal stationary for myself and browsed kitchen stuff) and to Tesco where I bought what I set out to buy – a ‘gate’ clothes airer for £7. I then called into see the Recycled Teens where we had a catch up of their weekend away and my week away.

6:30pm I have had my guest call round and leave. I have hoovered upstairs and dusted. I haven’t done any real housework in a few weeks and I live under a quarry. Things get dusty and Flossie is coming on the week of the 23rd of October. I don’t want her to be moaning about my “dust” and her asthma. I think it’s tea time now…

8pm It’s time to settle down on the sofa and watch TV. My dinner is eaten, my washing up is done and I have a French Fancy and a cup of tea waiting for me.


I might end up falling asleep on the sofa, or I might actually make it up the stairs.

It’s been quite a dull and unadventurous day, really, hasn’t it? Tomorrow (today) is even duller, with not a plan in sight…

Travels from last week

Last week I was having a wonderful time, travelling around on the west coast of Ireland. My friend and I hovered around in County Galway and County Mayo. While I couldn’t go on the adventures that he went on (up the mountains), I had some of my own adventures. In total, I have taken over 800 photos (average of 100 a day). I have gotten myself lost en route to meeting my friend after his walk; thankfully someone put me right and showed me on my map where I went wrong. I have seen some really, really beautiful beaches. I have encountered some really friendly people. And, I have some seen some extraordinarily bizarre driving!!

As we know, I do like to be beside the seaside, so I have been spoilt with the beauty of some of the beaches on the Irish Coast. I think my most favourite was at Claddaghduff – at low tide I was able to walk all the way across to Omey Island. They have signposts in the sand because people are able to drive their cars across to the island!

While travelling around County Galway and County Mayo, I have done a bit of the Wild Atlantic Way – my friend has done his best to accommodate my interests!! On this trip, I have done a bit of the Bay Coast section of the route. A lot of what I’ve seen has been done on wet days (which we used to travel on) and so my views have been of stormy seas!! But by following the route, it has made these travel days a bit more exciting that just driving along boring roads!

I have had a lovely week away and I would quite like to return to Ireland again – hopefully next time, I will be fit enough to climb some mountains!! This kind of travel experience has been a bit of an eye-opener in the sense that we haven’t really pre-booked anywhere and we have relied on hostels being fairly quiet this time of the year; this has been great because it has meant that if we haven’t liked somewhere, we have been able to move on without fighting for our money back. It has also meant that we have been able to alter our plans as the weather has changed or our agenda has changed. It’s certainly been a more laid-back approach to holidaying than I have experienced before!