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Thursday, 16 November 2017

Missing Autumn

Autumn has always been my favourite time of year. The colours, the smell, the way the air feels and the change in the atmosphere. I like the way the autumn drizzle glistens in the yellow light from the street lamps, splashing rhythmically on the hard, grey pavements as I walk, the air cold and crisp round me. Autumn is the colours of the leaves, the way they crunch underfoot, and the way they create a multicoloured carpet on the ground.

Sadly this year I have missed most of autumn. On the 14th of September I had an operation on both my feet. I had a bilateral scarf osteotomy with lateral release. In other words they cut out bits of bones, removed my bunions, stuck pins in my feet and made them a little narrower.

I was very lucky to have a fabulous surgeon, a very unpretentious man who told me straight what operation I needed, the probable outcome, the recovery times and possible risks etc. I was also very lucky that the NHS had some clinics and operations at a local private hospital, the care given was fantastic. As well as being impressed with the surgeon’s manner, I also believe he is a brilliant surgeon as the pain was minimal, the scars are neat and the mobility in my feet is excellent.

Despite my family and friends being lovely and helpful, I found it incredibly hard not to be able to do things for myself after the operation. I am a very independent person and not happy being immobile and unable to do things. I missed walking incredibly and am grumpy when trapped at home. Don’t get me wrong, I love my flat, but I also love my freedom. The first time I walked outside alone, after nearly seven weeks, I could feel myself morphing into Mel Gibson in Braveheart. “They can take my bunions but they cannot take my FREEDOM!!!”

I had the first 10 days off work sick and then worked from home from another couple of weeks. I was only allowed to walk round my flat in the special medical shoes and had to sit with my feet up as much as possible. I had to use crutches in the flat too as the shoes did not make for good balance. To be honest the pain was not great and was definitely more comfortable than the constant pain I had been in with the bunions and osteoarthritis.

My family and friends helped by looking after me, doing the things that I couldn’t for the first few weeks, cooking, cleaning, shopping etc. I had lots of visits and messages from people and was very grateful to all my family and friends who helped me. I also realised which of my “friends” were not that fussed.  The 30 seconds that it takes to send a what’s app message, Facebook post or text, can make a difference when you are feeling down.

I went back to work after 3 and a half weeks but was lucky because my boss collected me and took me home every day and I didn’t have to walk much in the office due to the kindness of my colleagues.

My two trips to town in a wheelchair with one of my lovely friends, were hilarious, much laughter and messing about occurred. Though I was surprised at how much people can be rude, stare or just be generally unhelpful and obstructive. On the other hand, there were other people who were lovely. Apparently when in a wheelchair you should not say you are “going to get your crutch out”...... I meant crutches so I could walk!!!! J

Rationally the longest until I get back to normal is 6 months. At the moment I am walking short distances in boots that are 2 sizes too big. (Due to the swelling) and I have a slightly odd gait. Apart from that I am not in a lot of pain and I have lovely straight feet.

I know there is nothing to be done about the osteoarthritis, but the pressure has been taken off and I am only dealing with one problem. Having 50% of the problem removed has been amazing. I hope to be able to buy normal shoes or shop bought wide fit shoes instead of EEE extra wide fit shoes online. I will admit that, in desperation, I even considered buying shoes from Cosyfeet. I am 47 years old FFS!. I think that was the point at which I knew I had to beg for medical intervention.

Today is 9 weeks since my operation and my goal right now is to be able to get back in normal footwear and to walk as far as I like. I would like to be able to dance on New Year’s Eve, but I can’t see that happening realistically.

I will be honest, that the best thing about this amazing operation is that I can now drive. Now I haven’t tested this theory because I haven’t got a car, but my surgeon definitely said I would be able to drive after 8 weeks. Astonishing, because I couldn’t drive before the operation. J J J

"Want that one" 😃

A big thank you again to all my family and friends who have helped me, and continue to help me while I have been less mobile.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Beautiful Books

Anyone who knows me is aware that I love reading and I love books. I am not a reader of electronic books, I like proper books. The internet and electronic devices have many uses but reading a book is not, in my mind, one of these. I will do research online but reading fiction or reading a whole non-fiction book (rather than brief research) has to be done with an actual, physical book.

I read a lot of books but nothing warms my heart more than a book with a beautiful cover, a fabulous flyleaf or colour tipped pages.

I have been looking through my books recently and found that I have quite a lot of gorgeous looking books.

All the books mentioned here are ones that I have loved reading, I only keep ones I enjoy and will read again. 📙

Not only is The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho a brilliantly written book, this edition is beautiful on the outside too. This copy was a charity shop bargain, a hardcover smaller than a paperback and my favourite colour. The orange is clearer than it looks in the picture and the writing is very evocative of the style of the book. The art work on the front, back and the spine add to the overall beauty of the book. This particular edition is illustrated by Jim Tierney. 

I was very lucky to pop into Waterstones with a voucher at exactly the right time. This beautiful hardback edition of The Muse, by Jessie Burton, was not only on offer, but signed by the author. The artwork on the cover is stunning and the red patterned inside covers compliment the front cover beautifully. There is a lovely black and white design on the flyleaf and also Jessie Burton's signature. Even the bookmark that came with the book is the same design. The artwork is by Lisa Perrin.

The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern is one of my favourite books. There are many different copies out there and I have two. Both are beautifully illustrated by Vania Zouravliov. There is something enchanting about this story and also the illustrations. My first copy was the white copy with the red pages, but when I saw the black copy for ninety nine pence in a second-hand shop, I just had to buy it. I have seen some fabulous copies online but I do like my black and white copies. 

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street was not only a brilliant read but has a delightfully different cover; very evocative of steam punk design. The cover is beautiful but when you open it up the hole in the front reveals the watch (from the cover) overlaid on a beautifully drawn map. 

A Life in Frocks by Kelly Doust is charmingly illustrated by Zoe Sadokierski with a light and stylish feel. I love that there is so much going on yet it does not look cluttered. Every illustration is necessary whether it is on the front, back, spine or inside. If you take off the paper cover the book also has illustrations on the front and back covers.

Shopping for Vintage by Funmi Odulate, is full of fabulous artwork from Richard Merrit. From the bookmark that fits in the indentation on the front of the book, to the wonderful purple, flowery inside covers, this book is beautiful. Every page is jam packed with fabulous illustrations and information.

I have included The Grand Tour in this piece because it is, simply, a beautiful book. The author of this book, the late Harry Seidler, filled it with outstanding photographs of amazing architecture. This is a brilliant book to dip in and out of and the pictures are fabulous. 

The Goddess Guide, by Gisele Scanlon has a tactile, luxurious, flock cover and glossy, stylish pages, every page is full of well laid out, colourful, interesting pages full of information. Each page is like a fabulous journal of fashion. The design and illustrations are by the author, cover text design and photography are by Peter O'Dwyer and the rostrum photography is by Thomas Ball. 

Body and Soul by the late Anita Roddick, founder and champion of the Body Shop, has a simple but stylish hard cover and a splash of interesting picture on the inside cover. The content is mainly writing with inserts of pictures where needed. it may not be a full on artistic explosion, like some of the other books I have included, but the cover design has always appealed to me. 

The last two books are two more fashion related books but with quite simple covers. Sometimes simplicity can be quite beautiful.
The Fashion Book and Handbags are brilliant reference books, fabulously illustrated inside but with basic, bold covers. 
Fifty Dresses That Changed the World and Fifty Shoes That Changed the World, have very uncomplicated, elegant covers with gorgeous, simple silhouettes inside the covers. The books don't need to be overdressed to illustrate the marvellous information and pictures inside.

I do still love my vast collection of paperbacks and they have beauty in their own way, as do all books. The books I have included are though, quite beautiful.


Friday, 29 September 2017

Coming soon

Sometimes you can judge a book by it's cover and it's contents. 

Another part of my life......or is it?

What is he wearing this time?

and finally....... how I coped with 6 weeks on crutches.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Shin Kick Muay Thai..... “If you do not have authority, you can’t expect respect.”

Just off Walton Road in Woking there is a fabulous kick boxing gym which I discovered purely by chance. This friendly, family run, yet professional business is run by Jesse Saunders and his wife Liz. When I first went into Shin Kick to make enquires I met their 13 year old daughter who wowed me with her brilliant knowledge of the business and their little one who was clearly running the reception desk with a lovely big smile.

As well as being a former professional fighter, Jesse is a renowned referee and judge, a director at IBMTO (Independent Board of Muay Thai Officials), a BMTA Muay Thai instructor, a level 2 fitness instructor, a level 3 personal trainer and a qualified TRX instructor.

Liz Saunders is the lady running the entire business side of Shin Kick and she is also a massage therapist and a mummy too.

Jesse first got into Muay Thai through a Thai friend in Guildford when he was 14 and this sparked his love of the sport. He has been out to Thailand to train many times in the past.

Jesse Saunders
The gym has excellent facilities and runs classes for children and adults from beginners upwards. They also offer one–to-one private trainer sessions which can be tailored to your level of fitness.

Muay Thai is a combat sport which originates from Thailand, so essentially, Shin Kick is a fighting gym but you can learn self-discipline, self–defence, balance and co-ordination, get fit and learn a new sport. If you want to get in the ring you can, if you don’t want to you don’t have to.

Children attending the gym will be more self-confident and get fit; it is a much better option than sitting on the sofa watching TV and playing computer games. Also, belonging to a gym can make a child feel included and part of something good, which is especially necessary for a child who needs their self-esteem boosted. (Children can start from age 5)

Shin Kick is a gym where you can pay as you go and there are also membership options. Clearly membership will ensure you get off the sofa and go, always a good incentive. If you can’t commit to membership, then the pay per class is brilliant. If you are not sure whether Muay Thai is for you, you can ask for your first class for free.
  • Personal training sessions are £40 a session but can be bought in blocks of 5 with the 6th session free.
  • Adult classes are £12 per class or included free in membership from £70 a month.
  • Children's classes are £7 per class or included free in membership from £35 a month.

Classes can consist of pad work, technique work, clinching techniques, light sparring, body conditioning, abdominal work, burpees, sit ups and more.

There are also Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes taught at Shin Kick and they are good for self defence, cardio workout and general fitness. These are also taught from total beginners to the advanced fighters.

Since the gym first opened in 2007, Jesse has produced many English, British and European champions and top ranking fighters so if this is a path you are interested in, then Shin Kick is definitely a brilliant place to train.

When you first go to Muay Thai there is spare equipment you can borrow, however they also sell a fabulous range of clothing and equipment so you can treat yourself. Let’s be honest, we all want the correct kit and to look the part. Your normal shorts and t-shirt will be great, but once you get into the classes you need the right gear and you will want to buy the MDK branded clothes and equipment.J

The enthusiasm and camaraderie is evident at Shin Kick and there is a good spirit of helping each other with things like pad work and bag work. This is a good place for adults and children alike and you shouldn’t be put off because Muay Thai is a combat sport, there is absolutely no atmosphere of aggression in Shin Kick and you will definitely feel more confident after a few sessions.

For information on this fabulous gym please go to their website: or find them on Facebook at Shinkick Muay Thai
The gym address is: 86 Walton Road Woking, Surrey, GU21 5DW and their email contact is:  

Thank you to Shin Kick for providing the photos and for answering my endless questions.😊

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

No Wasted Years for Waisted

Last weekend I got to see my totally favourite band back together and playing a fabulous rocking set at Herofest 2017 in Farnborough.

Waisted have got back together with two of the original members, Paul Morehead (AKA my dad) on guitar and backing vocals, Dick Walker on bass and vocals and Graham 'Topper' Clay joining them on drums.

The gazebos were almost uprooted with the sound of Waisted playing their set at Herofest, a mini pub festival in Farnborough. They were not the first group on stage but their fabulous, professional set were the first act to get the audience dancing. Despite the incessant rain, Waisted had the audience dancing and braving the deluge. The rocking beat the fantastic tunes and the amazing guitar playing woke the crowd up and brought the event to life.

Paul and Dick have played together in bands since the 1960s, including Shades of Green, Sweet Life, previous line ups of Waisted, and also separately in other bands. Topper is also a seasoned performer with various bands. I won’t tell you their collective age because they will kill me J

The trio all play their instruments as if they have been playing them since the last century........hang on, they have been..... and it really shows. Their individual and collective knowledge and expertise made their set a cut above the rest while still entertaining the crowd without swagger and pretension.

Waisted covered versions of songs by Steve Miller, Small Faces, The Clash, Tom Robinson, Jeff Beck, Tina Turner, Jerry Lee Lewis and Robert Johnson. My favourite of the set was Whole Lotta Shakin by Jerry Lee Lewis, a fabulous way to end a brilliant set.

Now I may be biased but my Dad’s guitar solos are amazing; for an old bloke he is doing pretty damn well.J In fact these three talented musicians create a relaxed, enthusiastic atmosphere that anyone can enjoy. As with all the best musicians, there is the odd joke, the occasional flippant comment thrown into the crowd and a definite sense that they are there to have fun and perform because they love it. They are first class but they don’t talk themselves up because they don’t need to, the music speaks for itself and it speaks a language we all understand.

If you want to book Waisted for a gig then email them at

To see more on Waisted, including a video, and to keep a look out for their next gig, you can go to their Facebook site Waisted. ( see below)

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Coming soon on orangecoffee69:

 A review of the fabulous set by Waisted at Herofest.


Thursday, 27 July 2017

You Couldn't Make it Up.........

Introduction: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.

The Seven Disastrous Dates.

Last time we met I was telling you about that great guy, well he turned out not to be so great, but that’s a story for another time. That seven dwarves picture you put on your Instagram really made me laugh and made me think. Snow White may have had seven dwarves, but I have had 7 disastrous dates, or near dates. (Well I have had more than that but let’s not go there)

Let’s call them dribbly, grumpy, dopey, droopy, pervy, slimey and oddball.

Oddball was the one with the monosyllabic voice, I nearly died of boredom over a cup of coffee, and in fact I was almost hoping I would die because it would have put me out of my misery. I personally think he should hire himself out to insomniacs because I was that close to dozing off that I was pinching myself to stay awake. The only word he said with any inflection at all was AND. Unfortunately this meant he was changing the topic he was boring me about.

Dribbly was the tall, skinny one who dribbled while he ate. I was so glad we only went for a pub drink, because, quite frankly, watching him eat a packet of crisps put me off ever eating again. How can you slurp crisps? How can you dribble while you eat? How? Why? I need answers?

What can I say about grumpy? He was grumpy from the first time he asked me out, through his text messages and through two comedy films at the cinema. I thought the first one may have not been to his taste or that he was having a bad day, but no. Second date, comedy film again, stony stare, not so much a twitch of his lips and the rest of the room, including me, in fits of laughter.

Dopey, well he was not really dopey, so much as ignorant. Only his opinion counted, only his ideas were correct. To be honest most of what came out of his mouth was inane drivel. He did seem to have got a lot wrong in his life; he made stupid choices and always backed the wrong horse, so to speak. It would never have gotten past the first date because he was too busy telling me his pearls of wisdom to listen to a thing I had to say. If it’s one thing I hate, it is a know it all.

Well now we come to pervy. Thus named because, before we had actually got as far as a date, he had let me know that he wished me to walk on him while wearing boots!!! Well, I am sorry but I need a man who is a man, not a walkover (literally.) Real men do not want women walking on them. You can really go off a tune with a mental connection like that. I do not want to hear Nancy Sinatra’s “These boots are made for walking” ever again.

Slimey was a total creep, a weird, cringey guy who I have turned down a few times. His talk of what he wanted to do was way beyond what I would find acceptable and I am no prude. All I can say is that there are toilets for certain things thanks and the door is that way (metaphorically as we never went for that drink) As well as being a slimey weirdo, he had SMALL HANDS!!! Now you know all about my small hands phobia, we have discussed it many times and no, just NO!!!

Finally, what can I say about droopy? You guessed it hun; we had passed the dating stage when I found out that he was not just droopy but rather undersized in certain areas. To be honest, he had a stumpy pencil and did not know how to write with it. (I do like a good analogy.) Sadly he had talked the talk, constantly and promised me the world. Unfortunately it turned out that all he had to offer was, in relation to the world he promised, a corner of the car park. (No, not literally, I am far too old for that)

Any way my lovely, I will write again soon and I so hope that you haven’t pulled a muscle laughing. It could seriously only happen to me and now you know why I won’t go on that dating site you mentioned. If I can meet that many weirdos in real life...... how many could I meet online? The possibilities are endless.