All by Myself (and loving it)

Challenge No 38 – Have a Pamper Night

* Use Lush bath bomb
* Light a newly bought candle
* Use a face mask


A week before Christmas found me with a night to myself. This was going to be perfect for my pamper night. As well as enjoying my bath, it also meant I had the TVs controls. What a bonus.

A few weeks previously I had braved the lush shop (is that place ever quiet) and bought myself a bath bomb. I went for the sex bomb purely for the colour and smell. As I run the bath, the scent was lovely with a pretty pink colour.

Pretty pink bath water!
Pretty pink bath water!

I had bought some beautiful candle holders from Next intending to give them out for presents but I fell in love so kept them for myself. Using festive spice tealights, I lit the candle and “jumped” into the bath.

The bath was certainly a luxury. I normally hop into the shower. Once in, I noticed petal shapes in the water which felt lovely. I didn’t stay in too long as I had a date with Strictly. It was the final and although I hadn’t watched much of the series, I was excited to watch the final without any interruptions! I used a face mask I had but wasn’t over impressed with it and then dressed in my pjs. I settled down to enjoy my show with a ready made meal and a glass of water. I had appreciated that Danny was a favourite and had been from the first show. However I always loved Louise’s smile but when I saw Ore dance, I was convinced he would win.


Strictly Come Dancing has always been a favourite of mine and Kathryn’s but neither of us had watched a complete show this series. I was looking forward to it when I had found out Will Young was going to be one of the contestants but he pulled out of the show.

It was great to watch and enjoy the final on my own and I felt for all finalists because they were all great. I was overjoyed when Ore was crowned the champion.

With the TV controls in my hands, I now needed to find out how to use it! I don’t normally get possession of them. It didn’t take long to work out and I found the film I wanted to watch, Still Alice. A few weeks before I read the book and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is about Alice, a cognitive psychology professor, is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 50.

The book is a real tearjerker as the family and Alice come to terms with the diagnosis. It was the first book written by Lisa Genova and a fantastic read. I was looking forward to watching the film. Julianne Moore played a fantastic Alice. I had my reservations when I realised Kristen Stewart was playing the daughter. She isn’t my particular favourite actress and I never find her happy which wasn’t the character I had in my mind for Alice’s daughter. I did however warm to her as her acting was brilliant. Whilst I enjoyed the film, I did think that watching the film so soon as reading the book is not a good idea. I noticed all the differences between the book and the film. Normally I wouldn’t see a film until a few years after I have read the book but I was a little late in reading this one.

I did enjoy this challenge and will treat myself to this routine regularly. Might have to pay everyone to have another night out so I get the house to myself again!


Last Christmas

It’s Boxing Day and I hope everyone enjoyed a lovely Christmas. Mine was exactly how I like it; with my family.

I want to share some presents with you. One present I had for Christmas was a book/diary – One Line A Day, a five year memory book. Each page represents each day of the year but you have spaces for 5 different years. This means that over the years you can compare the similarities of your life. It is a bit like Facebook when it pops up reminding you of an event from last year!


I was so impressed with this and the family thought it was brilliant too. I was planning to start on January 1st but although the first page is that date, you can start any day you want. I decided to start last night as I had such a lovely day and I wanted to record it. This morning I was devastated about what entry I would be making today; the news that my secret love (not so secret anymore) has sadly died.

I am talking about George Michael. I can remember clearly the day I fell in love with him. I was out with Chris at the Cocked Hat when the video of  Wake Me Up came on the large TV screen. I don’t know whether it was the music, the voice or his shorts but I just could not take my eyes of him. That began my obsession for him.


Luckily, not in the same way although he would have had better success, Chris did enjoy George’s music and his talent so we both did go to see him perform. Our first concert was a Wham concert in Bournemouth. I was very gooey eyed at the age of 18! The next concert was the Faith tour at Earls Court. It was the day he had sung at the Nelson Mandela concert. As well as his own songs from Faith, he sung the old songs from Wham and a fantastic cover of Play that Funky Music. He did covers so well.

Our next concert was at Wembley arena for 25live tour. There were 4 of us and we sat in a row of 4 and despite George having a cold, it was fantastic. On our way out, I always remember a lady saying how there was a tick off her bucket list. I was so happy to have been at that concert and didn’t feel the need to go to another concert. Even when concert dates were announced for his Symphonica tour I didn’t rush to buy tickets although George singing with an orchestra would be brilliant.


Due to an illness, George was forced to postpone his tour. When I saw that one of the new dates would be our 25th wedding anniversary, I knew that we had to go. I know it’s not everybody’s perfect date for a special occasion but believe me, it was ours. We stayed in The Ruebens hotel and booked a taxi from there. The taxi driver was great and shared with us his memory of dressing up in shorts and going to a fancy dress as George. It always appears that you will always be able to talk about George with anyone.

This was another concert that didn’t disappoint and George’s voice was incredible. Forget all of George’s troubles, his voice was the reason I loved him. Close your eyes and you can just feel all that emotion and imagine he is singing just for you. We came away feeling very contented. We shared our anniversary with George because his music has been the soundtrack of our relationship.

George Michael attracted a lot of media attention. He wasn’t perfect but who is. Next year when I write in my diary, I will see my entry for today and see that my memory will be my pop idol died.

George, you were Amazing x

Jar of Pennies

In January this year, I saw a post on Facebook which suggested you put money away every day ,starting with 1p on 1st January and increasing by a penny a day, in a jar for a year and you would end up with £667.95. I thought that I would give this a go. The cynics out there would suggest that you could do this by simply putting £15 in a savings account each week but this is more fun.

I started in January and it became evident that the jar I first used was not going to be big enough so Jordan replaced it for me to quite a snazzy one.



Chris and I decided that the contents of the jar could be used as a deposit for the holiday. It was great to have a plan for it and then in September we decided to book a holiday for December. Although we needed to pay for it before the jar would be finished, I felt smug actually going into the bank with my money knowing that I had actually saved for this holiday daily.

It set me thinking that this could be a yearly tradition but I didn’t necessarily need to start the saving in January so restarted in October so hopefully can have another holiday the same time next year.


We went to Gran Canaria on 2 December for a week and it was fantastic. Getting away at the beginning of a busy season away from the cold is bliss even if it feels funny listening to I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas in temperatures of 23 degrees.


Dancing on the Ice

Well I didn’t actually finish my book I started in October for my challenge of reading a different genre each month until November although I did manage to read three other books in the month. I am also ashamed to say that I added 4 more books to my growing kindle library. I think I did get some bargains though!

The first book I read in October was one of Kathryn’s proper physical book. I decided to read Stolen by Lucy Christopher. It is a book about 16 year old Gemma who is kidnapped from Bangkok airport by Ty, a young, fit and gorgeous man who starts talking to her in the airport cafe.


The book is written in the form of a letter to Ty from Lucy. The storytelling is beautiful, and what is strange is I found myself liking Ty, who I really shouldn’t like. The descriptions of the scenery and events were so amazing that you could believe you were in the actual place and be living the experiences especially one of the first scenes with the camel!

There are some books which do not have the ending which is right for the story you have been told. This had exactly the right ending and I am so glad I read it.

For my different genre, I decided to read a bit of a horror story as it was October so I thought before I read that I would have a bit of a chick lit weekend. At this stage I was busy at work, busy preparing for my running challenge and had a cold so I looked through the books I had purchased last October. I had a book by Holly Martin there who is an author I do love. There is always romance there with a little bit of fairy tale which I do like. The book I read and managed to read in a day was The Guestbook.


One thing that always makes me talk about a book is when it is written in a different way. This book was different because it was about Willow House, a house rented out by Annie Butterworth. She leaves a guest book for all that stay to write in. The story is written by each guest so you share their experiences as well as Annie’s. Whilst I could never imagine anyone would write all their thoughts in a guest book, reading is an escapism and for a day I enjoyed putting my feet up and reading this.

My next choice was a book called Return to Bluebell Hill by Rebecca Pugh. When I buy a book, I read the description and a few reviews. I had bought the book in October 2015 so there must have been something that attracted me to it. The title was something that I would have liked. I can’t say that I hated the book but I found I couldn’t warm to the characters. A book should make you fall in love with the characters and also dislike them. I did not understand why I didn’t like one of the characters who clearly should have been a sweet likeable person. There was also quite a few flaws too. I don’t often abandon books so did read to the end thinking that one of the main topics of the book would be cleared up.  This did not happen.

My final part of reading of a book is to read some of the reviews again. I was delighted that the first review had all my concerns too. It was the first book by the author but as I have read many first books by different authors, I do not think it excuses the major flaws. I don’t think I will be rushing out to buy any of her future books.

It was now on to my challenge book for October. I went for another first book by an author – this time Stephen King’s Carrie. I had glimpsed the film recently and hadn’t watched it all the way through. Also I had never read a book by Stephen King and thought this would be great to read for Halloween. In the book there was a preface by the author which made me want to read the book straight away.


The book actually took me ages to read but in a weird way, I did enjoy it. I liked the way it was written, there were characters you liked and characters you didn’t and I could see the characters had been written as Stephen King had said in his preface. It is a horror story and not the usual type of book that I would read. However, I think I would read another by the same author.

As I did not finish the book to midway through November, I thought I would choose my next book for the challenge. I decided to go for an autobiography. I used to read a lot of these but hadn’t for some time. I had heard Damon Hill’s book being discussed on the radio and being a fan of F1, I thought I might read that one but decided to check out on some of the others first. I was attracted to Our Life on Ice by Torvill and Dean so bought that.

I always loved watching them skate and was very keen to read their story. I remember also watching a documentary where it seemed to highlight Christopher Dean as a bit of a tyrant, It was great to actually read about their achievements in their words and find out the truth. Whilst they shared their personal life with you, it was in a way which could have been anyone’s life – I had certainly been through some of their experiences with children too.

My favourite parts were how they explained how they got together the routines with the music and I was so fascinated with how the first part of Bolero was put together to accommodate the music length. This book was a great read and made me like them even more.

I will buy the Damon Hill because I would love to read that too.

December next and I must have a few Christmas books to read.