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Sunday, 23 July 2017

Coming soon on Orangecoffee69:

Coming soon on Orangecoffee69:

A series of pieces in the form of letters; you can decide if they are fact, fiction or a mix of the two? Some will be relationship related; others will be humorous incidents and, well, who knows what else.... we shall see. Below is the introduction as a taster.


You couldn’t make it up!

Sometimes stories are woven into the fabric of life and become almost true; Sometimes stories are true and become fiction. No one really knows where the line is drawn and no one needs to know. I will let you decide. A story is for telling, for enthralling, for entertaining, the origin is unimportant.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

How to stay cool on a hot summer night and other random tips.

Dummy disclaimers are in red but I hope common sense prevails and they are not needed. I take no responsibility for the stupidity of others.

The last few weeks has seen a large rise in temperature and some horribly hot nights. I do not do well with the heat and have been using fans and cold flannels to cool down.

Last week I had a brainwave. I filled a hot water bottle with a little ice and some water from the fridge.....I had made a cold water bottle.

To be honest it is logical and I have no idea why I hadn’t thought of it before. If you warm your bed with a hot water bottle then why not cool it with a cold water bottle?

This got me thinking about useful tips around the house so here goes.

1.  To get the most out of face cream, hand cream or anything else in a tube, cut it in half when it’s nearly empty and you can get to what is left inside. There is usually a lot of the product left that would otherwise get wasted. The top, which you have cut off, will usually fit over the tube to keep the contents from drying up. Do not do this with products that are prescribed, go off easily or are chemically. Be careful when cutting the tube, good scissors are needed.

2.  The lids from certain products make good containers. The lids from Sanctuary products are orange or clear and are fabulous little pots. I use some on my desk at work for paper clips, split pins etc and I use some in the bathroom for standing my electronic and normal toothbrush in. It is always a waste to throw away a useful item if it can be reused as something else. However, if I don’t have a use for something I do not keep it “in case” because that leads to clutter. Again, check the suitability of the lid you are using. If the product was toxic in any way or contained a lot of chemicals, do not re-use, just re-cycle.


3.  The container that cake cases come in is fabulous for slightly bigger desk pots and again, I use them at work. In a world of excess it is good to re use things rather than buy something else.

4.  I have a glass kitchen jar for cotton wool balls in the bathroom. It looks nice and is functional. This one was too tall for my kitchen so I re-purposed it for the bathroom. It matches the cotton bud container bought for the princely sum of £2. You could also use glass jars for decorative soaps, bath pearls, bath salts or bath puffs. Beware children (and men) and glass.

5.  A tip my mum told me years ago is to use normal furniture polish to remove sticky marks left behind by labels. It works, you usually have it in the cupboard and it is a lot cheaper than buying the products which are designed to remove sticky marks. Check on the bottle of polish for the kinds of surfaces you can use it on. If it is not listed then you are risking ruining the surface.

6.  For those hard to iron items of clothes, something you want to dry quickly or if you just run out of drying space... I have a solution. Take a radiator clothes airer and put it over the top of the door. You can then hang a couple of coat hangers with clothes on to dry. If a door is not strong be sensible and don’t put anything dripping wet on either.

Before anyone questions the use of the word “chemically”, as used in number 1, it is, in fact, a Sara word and is allowed.  😄

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Strangers with coffee

Tucked away in St Cuthbert’s Street in Wells (Somerset) is a fabulous cafe which offers wonderful coffee, fantastic food and an amazing level of service which you just don’t get in most cafes and coffee shops.

Ivan and Susan Hewitt who run Strangers with Coffee are a lovely couple who do everything from serving and making a range of excellent coffees (Ivan) to baking the cakes and cooking all the food from scratch (Susan.) They both clear tables and assist customers in any way they can and just show a dedication to their business that many people could learn from.

The menu boasts lots of lovely, local produce, including the bread from Burcott Mill (another local business.) As well as Ivan’s brilliant coffee, you can also get a variety of different tea, soft drinks, beer, lager and wine. Whether you want cake, breakfast or a hearty lunch, you can find it all at Strangers with Coffee. Susan’s homemade cakes are extremely popular and sell out fast and are the perfect accompaniment to Ivan’s barista skills. 

 Breakfast options include scrambled egg, boiled eggs, croque monsieur or madame, bacon sandwiches and many other tempting breakfast delights. All the food is sourced locally and cooked perfectly.

Lunch can be anything from a mouth watering sandwich or wrap (made when you order, no plastic wrapping here) to a delectable homemade frittata with mint glazed potatoes and fresh leaves. There are beautifully written blackboards with the day’s specials and they are happy to be flexible while making the dishes. (I was fussy and did not want a horseradish sauce and Susan was happy to leave that out.) This is the beauty of having food made from scratch. Alongside the fact that the food is not processed, it can also be made to the specification of the customer. (Within the bounds of reason and what is being offered, of course.) Sadly, in the chain cafes, there is not often that choice. Vegan and gluten free options are also catered for at Strangers with Coffee.

The unique and faultless decor helps to add a special ambience to this well hidden gem. The decor is interesting with a lot to look at but still managing to look clean and fresh. The artwork, coffee related memorabilia and uncluttered wooden chairs and tables allow for a relaxed, friendly atmosphere.  There is a small courtyard out the back with lovely seating and tables for capturing the sunny weather and if you wish to sit and people watch, there are high stools and tables in the window. Even the toilet, which is out the back through the courtyard, has a very nice seaside theme. It is hard to keep a public toilet looking nice, but this one is.

Attention is paid, not only to taste, but also to presentation. Ivan has perfected the latte art and Susan never brings out anything that does not look totally fabulous.  The way a pot of tea is presented,  with a teapot, cup and saucer and a little timer, is a lovely touch. 

If you are visiting Somerset, or live there, take time to pop into Wells and visit Ivan and Susan’s brilliant cafe. It is worth a visit and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. My son and his wife live near Wells and introduced me to “Ivan’s” and I always include a couple of trips to Ivan’s when I am visiting.


Tuesday, 30 May 2017

We did it!!!

On Friday the 19th of May 700 local women walked 8 miles, over 12K, for the Woking and Sam Beare Hospice.

The route took us from Woking Leisure Centre to the new Woking Hospice on Goldsworth Park and back to the Leisure centre in an 8 mile loop covering the streets of Woking, St.John’s, Horsell and round Goldsworth Lake. 

The atmosphere was fantastic and everyone came together in the Leisure Centre for a warm up, face painting and photographs. After a motivational speech the walkers went outside to the start line where a countdown and music saw us off on our way. With Hospice t-shirts, super hero capes and flashing bunny ears, the 700 strong, crowd of willing women made their way through the dimly lit streets past the guiding support of volunteers who lined the route, enthusiastically clapping and supporting the walkers.

A crocodile of flashing bunny ears was a sight to behold as passing cars tooted and shouted encouragement to the caped crusaders as they marched towards the half way point at the new Hospice building and a banana, water and toilet stop. 👯👯

The fisherman who went out night fishing on  Goldsworth Lake that night were certainly surprised by flashing bunny ears and chatting women as the walk progressed round the lake, I am sure the fish don’t see a sight like that often either.

On passing the Fox and Flowerpot on Goldsworth Park we were met with cheers of encouragement by the drinkers who were enjoying a quiet pint outside on a warm Friday night in May. We were very lucky with the weather as rain and storms had been forecast but held off while we walked.

Before we knew it we were back at the Leisure Centre where we received a warm welcome, a medal, a goody bag, coffee and snacks, all given out by yet more kind volunteers.

To be honest the goody bag was not great, I have been told it was better other years, but no one does it for that. My friends and I got told off by a marshal for crossing incorrectly, but we did not wait for the crossing and if you can’t misbehave as adults...... what is the point of being a grown up.😉

All in all we all raised money for a very worthy cause and every penny helps. The generosity of my friends and family means I have, to date, been able to raise just over £300. My donation page will be open for another couple of months and donations are still welcome. (Please see the link below)

The Hospice helps many people who are dying. It makes their final days or weeks more comfortable than if they were in hospital but it does mean they still have access to good medical help. This is such a valuable service to the community but it relies on donations and fundraising to keep it going. There are many ways to support them from cash donations, volunteering, donating or spending in their many charity shops or helping with fundraising. Their website is and you can get information you need about them there.

I would like to thank Carolyn and Lucy Kirk who I walked with, this is the third year they have done it and the first year I have and I would not have thought to do it if Carolyn hadn’t mentioned it.

I have got to say that with our layers of clothing and the t-shirt design.......practically a polo neck, we don't look quite the trio of top athletes we actually are. 😁 

I would recommend doing the  Midnight Walk. It is fun, good exercise and, most importantly, it raises money for a brilliant, local cause. When you see the crocodile of women walking through the dark with their bunny ears flashing in the dark, you get a real sense of pride to be part of this amazing group of women who don't mind dressing up and getting out there to raise money and awareness for the local hospice.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

That's Entertainment. ..... Gig review for Ghosts-Spirit of the Jam.

I went to a 3 band event at the Star in Guildford last night and was exceptionally privileged to see the first gig by a fantastic new group. Ghosts - the Spirit of the Jam. I went purposely because I was aware there was a Jam tribute band playing, but this Woking girl was blown away by the phenomenal set by these fabulous guys.

Lloyd Grey, the main singer (also on guitar) did Paul Weller proud with his amazing vocals and obvious passion for the music of this iconic band. He has the perfect vocal for the mod music which shaped a generation.

Sporting a cool mod shirt and the energy of a twenty year old, bass player and backing vocalist Peter Firmo was a true pro playing songs like Town Called Malice and Going Underground with effortless style.

Si Kominski on guitar and backing vocals and Pablo Paganotto on drums completed this fabulous, lively and passionate band. You could see how much the music meant to them as they covered songs like Eton Rifles, Ghosts and When You’re Young.

They sprinkled the performance with touches of humour and humility in regard to it being their first live performance together as Ghosts- Spirit of the Jam, but they came across as a band that have been performing these songs for years.

Si and Peter are also band mates in The Common Heroes (another brilliant band) and Si and Lloyd are ex band mates from a previous band. Their combined love of the music of the Jam has bought them together, not to copy the Jam but to bring their music to old Jam fans and introduce it to young audiences.

Peter Firmo has told me that they wanted to “capture the passion and energy that the Jam injected into their music.” I can assure them they did, big time. These four musicians, who, incidentally, do not have an archetypal mod look, put as much passion and energy into their set as the Jam themselves and this came through in their fabulous performance. I think the fact that they do not sport the hairstyles and clothes of the Jam in no way detracts from their amazing performance and, in a strange way, makes it better.

Ghosts are hoping to be gigging regularly and may pop up at a few festivals too. I shall be happy to advertise any up and coming gigs when I hear about them and will definitely be attending any in the area. This is a band which you must go and see.

Thank you to Peter Firmo for the band info.

Gig reviews.... where to find them.

Gig reviews.... where to find them.

My blog is rather eclectic, I write about things that interest me. One of the things I do like to write are reviews of pub gigs.
Listed below are the ones I have done so far. All you have to do is type the name of the post in the search bar and you will find it.

(1)            Our boy is back in town
 A review of the brilliant Jon-Paul Bradshaw.

(2)            Going back to our roots
 Another Jon-Paul Bradshaw gig.

(3)            London’s Calling
Yes, JP again.

(4)            Rock it Billy
 A review of the fabulous Billy 2 Mates

(5)            Should auld acquaintance be forgot
 JP’s New Year gig.

(6)            You got to rock and roll with it
Another Billy 2 Mates gig

(7)            That’s Entertainment
Ghosts –The Spirit of The Jam
Sadly I wasn’t writing a blog when I last saw my favourite live performer play (Dad). If we can get him to do a public gig (not all these private ones), he will get a review too.
Finally, I am hoping to write a review on a fabulous band I saw last night, so watch this space.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Midnight Walk 2017.... Sara's page for Woking Hospice on MyDonate

Midnight Walk 2017.... Sara's page for Woking Hospice on MyDonate

Midnight Walk for Woking Hospice

For the first time this year I am joining in with the many lovely local women who walk the 10 kilometre Midnight Walk to raise money for the Woking Hospice.

Woking Hospice is a very worthy charity that needs lots of money to run it. It is a vital part of any town to have a hospice where terminally ill people can spend their last weeks or days being cared for by professional, kind people in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. The people, who work in Woking Hospice, and the Hospices in other towns, are remarkable people who selflessly look after patients who are too ill to be at home but do not want to die in a hospital. They also look after relatives who have to deal with the fact that their loved ones are dying.

The link above the title at the top of the page will take you to my fundraising page. if you wish to donate any amount helps. Every £1 donated is worth it and, if you are a taxpayer, it is worth even more.

Thank you, in advance, to anyone who donates to this very worthy cause.