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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.

WHEN YOU GET YOUR COFFEE BEFORE YOUR SON!!!


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  www.wsbhospices.co.uk 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. 
💋💋💋






Purple Sunglasses and Jackboots.

Purple Sunglasses and Jackboots.

I am currently losing weight so am regularly checking what fits and what doesn’t. I have given away and given to charity anything that is too big or doesn’t suit me anymore. I have a few pieces that are nearly the right size and the rest I can wear now.  Weather permitting of course. Saying that, I was out very recently wearing my purple sunglasses and my knee high, black leather boots (hence the title) because it was sunny but still cool enough to wear boots. A funny look but I don’t think the fashion police noticed. I have very eclectic taste in clothes so like what I like regardless.

I was trying jackets on when I took these pictures recently and also tried some combinations with dresses, tops and jackets. No one wants to see me prancing around in various outfits like a weeblesque dwarf let loose in a second hand clothes shop, so Bob the Mannequin has kindly stepped in. (Well, more of a drag than a step.)





This is my fabulous £2.99 scarf from Trespass. It was a bargain as it was reduced from £12. It’s warm, but not too thick and it’s a good length too. Don’t worry I always wear mine with clothes, unlike Bob who is obviously a bit of a tart?

The scarf goes very well with my denim jacket. This is my go to at weekends when it’s not really cold. Denim goes with so much so I can wear it with leggings, boots and a long top or throw over a casual dress.  

I do have a rather lovely orange H&M jacket that I could wear in 2014 but it is slightly too small right now. Again it goes well with the Trespass scarf and can be worn with jeans or a dress. (This jacket was a £4 charity shop bargain)

   

Another jacket that I can nearly squeeze into is a New Look, trench style rain coat in a navy and white spot. It is definitely worth losing weight to get back into and versatile over work or weekend wear. Also, I got a little flecked Mexx jacket in a clothes swap last year and it is also in my slim into section and will be fabulous for work. 



One dress I could get back into recently was my Mela Loves London dress. This is a summer dress but also works well with a black, long sleeved top and black tights worn underneath. The belt detail is different and cinches the waist in nicely for a flattering shape. I am lucky to have the navy blue, as pictured, the black and the navy blue in a different pattern. It can also be worn as a summer work dress without the long top and tights. I do love versatile clothes.



One of my current favourite long tops to wear with leggings is this blue/purple toned, Next top. I wear it over leggings with the aforementioned leather boots and my denim jacket. It is a good casual look and the top is a flattering shape. Again, this is one of my charity shop buys.




The next dress was a knock down bargain from Dorothy Perkins. I will probably save it for the winter with thick black tights and knee length boots. It has a sixties vibe which I really love and a black jacket would make it suitable for work. I love the pocket detail on this dress, it is the little touches that make an outfit.





On a recent trip to the charity shop I ended up with 2 bargains. A French Connection dress and a Ralph Lauren Jacket. I got the pair for under £10. Bob and I both decided to model this outfit, she totally rocks it....I need to drop a few more pounds.







Finally, my gorgeous new dresses from Asda. I am a classy bird and get my clothes in all the best places. These were £16 each and are just flattering and comfortable. They are work or going out dresses depending on my mood.




 I don't differentiate too much between what kind of clothes are for what kind of occasions, if it seems remotely suitable, I will wear it. Sometimes it won't seem suitable at all and I still wear it. I don't think the fashion police are heavily armed but I am sure the armchair fashion critics would have something to say. I believe you should wear what you like, what you feel comfortable in and what suits you.

Some people can pull off the sunglasses and boots look, some can't.☺









Monday, 10 April 2017

Blog update 10.04.2017


Apologies for the lack of posts recently, I promise to catch up soon.

Coming soon: “Purple Sunglasses and Jackboots”




Monday, 27 February 2017

You got to rock and roll with it.



I went to see the fabulously brilliant Billy 2 Mates on Saturday night. This amazing three piece band rocked O’Neill’s in Woking with their polished rock performance. The fantastic vocal, the fabulous guitars, infectious drums and the brilliant way the band interacted with the crowd, created a full on gig experience and proved that live music is alive and kicking.

The wonderfully enthusiastic trio, Billy, Vic and Daryl, have a fabulous rapport with each other and an ease of playing that can only be described as professional. Why they are not playing huge arenas is a mystery to me?

The dance floor was packed as the pub rocked to this totally awesome band. Their covers of Sex on Fire, Roll with It, Superstition, Park life, Somebody told me, Walk This Way and many more top songs kept everyone on their feet singing along and dancing into the early hours.

This energetic performance by a proper band playing their own instruments is a refreshing change to the boring, lacklustre, reality show wannabes we see on television these days. Billy 2 Mates take us back to the heart of good music, sung and played well with passion, energy and enthusiasm.







 For more information on Billy Irvine and where to find future dates for Billy Two Mates, go to:    www.billyirvine.com

Monday, 20 February 2017

Filofax uses.... Index/ Addresses/Websites

My large collection of Filofaxes have many uses, I tend to use them instead of notebooks. As all good Filofax collectors know, there is always a reason to use another planner, and if you haven’t got a reason, you will think of one.

The three I am going to highlight today are all ones I have mentioned in discussions on the Philofaxy site on Facebook. 

Firstly, I want to talk about my Filofax index. I use my gorgeous orange Metropol, compact, personal for this. I realised that as I have so many Filofaxes it is hard to remember where everything is. Having an index makes it so much quicker to look up things without pulling out lots of Filofaxes. Of course I do remember what most are used for but not all.

The first page has an index to show me where the different sections are. There are sections, 1-6 and each section has several headings, For example, section 1 includes addresses, blog, books and computer info.



Each numbered section has a different page for each heading. On each page I list any Filofaxes that have that subject and which Filofax they are in. For example, the address page lists my address Filofax and my websites Filofax.

(Both Filofaxes will be featured in this blog piece.)


This is such a quick and easy way to quickly access anything I have in a Filofax. This could also be used in the front of a Filofax which contains a lot of information. The simplest ways are often the best and an A-Z/numbered basic index is easy to devise or use. If you have a lot of information you can do sub-indexes or sub-headings to break the information down further. It’s also easy to add to or re-do a page where necessary. This incidentally, has always been one of the best features of the Filofax/ring planner system. I hate mistakes and crossing out on a written page and so can re-do a page whenever I want.
≈≈≈≈≈

Note the fabulous musical note button
One of the best uses for a Filofax, (apart from a diary, of course) is an address book. People change their address, phone number, email, etc, all the time. This makes for a very messy address book. With a Filofax you can take out the page and replace it leaving no crossing out or mistakes.



 I currently use my lilac, personal songbird as my address book.  It is a good size and has lots of card slots in the front for any business cards I have been given. I also have added a clear card pocket at the back for extra cards.



Obviously I don’t want to show actual addresses, but I use an ordinary A-Z system and list people by surname and businesses by the start of the business name.

≈≈≈≈≈

The last of my lovely Filofaxes to feature today, is my website Filofax. To be honest it needs updating because I am so bad at remembering to add every good website. This will be rectified soon as I am going to spend some time updating it.


For this I use the very lovely, burgundy Sketch in personal size. The dividers that came with it are fabulous autumnal colours and compliment the colour of the Sketch perfectly.


I currently only use the A-Z section but there is also a numbered section if I need it. I categorise types of website alphabetically, e.g. Filofaxes, music, books, fashion, etc. Having a good list of websites to hand is helpful. It is easy to forget the names of websites that you don’t use very often and it is good to go back to reliable sites.




I do have other Filofaxes/planners with different uses, and I will write about them all in due course. Below is a list of the Filofax related blog pieces I have done so far and where to find them. Incidentally, they have all been listed on Web finds previously.  

“Filofax”                                                          10th Nov 2014
“My Filofax diary set up”                                 11th Jan 2016
“My Filofax Collection.-Blog Filofax setup”      4th June 2016