Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Quick blog update....... added search bar

There are now two ways that you can look through the various posts on Orangecoffee69.

1.   Firstly there is a blog archive down the side on my blog.
2.   Secondly I have just added a search bar at the top.

You can put anything into the search bar and it will pull up any posts with connections. For example Filofax, books, food, music.


Here's one I baked earlier

Here’s One I Baked Earlier (Recipe 1 Victoria Sponge Cake)

Victoria sponge cake is a classic and easy cake. It is good as it is or as a base for more intricate birthday cakes. If you want to start baking this is an ideal cake to make.
The step by step pictures are at the bottom of the page.

1.     First pre-heat the oven to 150 ( electric fan oven)
2.    Wipe the 7 inch cake tins with butter and dust with flour.

3.    Weigh out the following ingredients into separate bowls:
·         6 ounces of golden castor sugar (sieved) I use golden castor sugar which I have       stored with vanilla pods for an extra vanilla flavour
·         6 ounces of olive spread ( or butter if you prefer)
·         3 or 4 drops of vanilla essence
·         6 ounces of white self-raising flour ( sieved)
·         3 whole eggs ( medium), beaten
·         1 teaspoon of baking powder
·         Milk to mix

4.    Put the butter, sugar and vanilla essence in a bowl and beat until light and fluffy using an electric whisk.

5.    Add the flour, baking powder and eggs and mix again. If the mixture seems a little dry then add some milk and mix again.

6.    Fill both cake tins so they are level.

7.    Bake for approximately 20 minutes, checking half way through. Times will vary depending on the oven.

8.    When the cakes are golden brown take out and test with a knife. If the knife comes out clean then the cake is done.

9.    Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the tins.
10. Run a flat knife round the cake in the tin to loosen then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

11. When the cake is cool put jam on one cake and place the other on top.
12. Dust the top with icing sugar and enjoy.


Sunday, 6 December 2015

Our boy is back in town...... gig review of Jon-Paul Bradshaw's latest Woking gig.

 Jon-Paul Bradshaw had the Mayford Arms in Woking rocking last Friday night with his amazing Teenage Kicks gig. A fantastic mixture of The Jam, Madness, The Clash, UB40, The Specials, Squeeze and many more songs which took us right back to our teenage years.

Some of us at the gig were lucky enough to go to school with Jon-Paul and are very happy that he is back living and performing in the UK after 25 years as a singing sensation in Mallorca. Their loss is definitely our gain as JP evoked memories of the 80’s with charisma, flair and his own personal style.

Jon-Paul has a faultless voice that lends itself to many styles but his Woking accent brings an extra edge to the songs that shaped our youth. The charisma and professionalism in this perfectly polished performance was sprinkled with JP’s very own cheeky style of humour which added that extra sparkle to an evening of music, memories, dancing and laughter.

The enthusiastic energy of this fantastic show had the audience on their feet dancing all night. Sitting down was not an option with the infectious beat and flawless performance which Jon-Paul delivered on Friday night. If you had two working legs then getting on the dance floor and boogieing the night away was a must.

This very talented man does other shows too and will be performing at The Mayford Arms in Woking again on the 18th of December. The show that night is Blues Brothers versus the Commitments and this will, no doubt have us on our feet once again.

When you go home with a voice hoarse from singing along and in pain from dancing then you know you have had a fantastic night. (not sure I will attempt pogoing to the Clash again, but I can’t promise)

For more information on Jon-Paul Bradshaw, his huge range of songs and his amazing shows, you can go www.jpbradshaw.com.

Blog news 06.12.2015

Good morning lovely people.

I thought it was a good time to let you know of a few things I am hoping to add to the blog in the very near future.

Firstly, I am hoping to review a fantastic gig I went to the other night. I am just waiting or the performer to give his permission.

Secondly I will be adding some anecdotes to the blog. These will be short, hopefully funny pieces. They may be running under the heading of "Dear Diary" but this has yet to be decided.

It has been mentioned that as I have a love of cooking, baking, etc, that I should put some recipes on here so I will be doing this shortly.

Lastly, at the end of December I shall hopefully be introducing you to Bob the mannequin........ Watch this space J

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Incorrect Pluralisation.........Don't Tell The Grammar Hulk.

There seems to be a trend lately to put an unnecessary s on the end of words, which in their plural form, do not need one. The words in question are being misused so often that they seem to be becoming part of the English language.  We need to preserve the language properly rather than agreeing with the mistakes and integrating them into our language.
I am all for new words if they are useful and relevant. However, if the words “bae” or “boo” are used to describe a romantic partner then the miscreant who is using the word should be taken out and made to grovel apologetically in a public place for such a heinous crime against the English language.
The first word that is given a wrongly placed s is fruit. We have a piece of fruit, a bowl of fruit, some fruit, lots of fruit but we never, under any circumstances have fruits. The plural of fruit is fruit. No s should darken the end of this word.
The next word, which is maimed with an evil and unnecessary letter s, is cereal. Again we can have a bowl of cereal, some cereal, a cereal bar but NEVER cereals. There is no s! Again, the plural of cereal is cereal.
My next contender for incorrectly pluralised word of the year is sport. We play sport, we watch sport, and there are many different kinds of sport to watch on television or participate in. That does not mean, however, that the word sports can be used. The plural of sport is sport.
My final example of victims of the extra s is the word Lego. Children and adults enjoy playing with Lego bricks or they are playing with Lego. They may have many Lego sets but they do not have Legos. The plural of Lego is Lego or even Lego bricks.

My abhorrence at the misuse of the letter s has grown over the last two or three years. The more I hear these wrongly spelt and pronounced words, the angrier I get. I am like the Incredible Hulk of the grammar world wanting to rip the heads off the people who recklessly add the letter s to any words they choose. Next time you find yourself adding an s to a word stop and think whether it should really be there, you wouldn't want the grammar hulk to find out.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

My bad luck. Taken from the future autobiography entitled "You Couldn't Make It Up"

Luck, do not talk to me about luck. I was, without a shadow of a doubt, the unluckiest child ever. I was so unlucky that I think someone must have impaled a single magpie to my pram when I was tiny!

From the jam in the doughnut to the GDH fire, my childhood was laced with disappointment.

Ironically the only time I actually remember feeling disappointed was as a very small child. I was outside Robinsons with my Granny and my sister and my Granny had given my sister a bar of chocolate and told me I could not have one in case it made me sick. I have no knowledge that chocolate ever has or ever will make me sick. (We don’t talk about the gallstones exorcist incident because that is unique)  I remember a distinct feeling of disappointment on this day.

My parents tell me that whenever they bought something identical for myself and my sister, I always got the faulty one.  When we both had identical Barbie ballerinas mine was the one, on opening the box, that was broken.   When we had bubbles from the newsagent, mine was half empty. When the whole family had doughnuts once, mine had no jam. I remember these three incidents but not any feelings other than, ah well. (I would have though “shit happens” but I don’t think the phrase was invented then)   I think my parent felt a whole lot worse than  me.

I know there were other times this happened but cannot remember details. My Mum has told me that she even went as far as allocating a toy to me and a toy to my sister and then swapping to see what happened. You guessed right...... mine was the faulty one!

The biggest piece of bad luck was the Britain’s farm incident.   I wanted a Britain’s farm yard for my birthday and my animals needed an upgrade from a cardboard box farm. It was not the expensive toy of the year but it was what I wanted. GDH, the local toyshop didn’t have one but happily ordered one to arrive in time for my birthday. Sadly it did not arrive in time for my birthday at the end of November but did look hopeful for Christmas. My Dad tells me that he received a card to say the long awaited, highly desired Britain’s farm base had arrived. Fanfare please, I was actually going to get the farm for Christmas!
My Dad was going into town on the Saturday to collect my present from GDH, however, on the Friday night GDH caught fire and was gutted. My farm was probably a puddle of plastic on the floor, no longer the amazing toy I was anticipating.
I have no recollection of any feelings of disappointment and would have enjoyed what I got anyway. I was never a materialistic child and was always happy making a cardboard box farm base/ dolls house or whatever I wanted.( I once made a dolls house camper van by tying dolls house bunk beds to a small Fisher Price van. ) I obviously realised that having my head swayed by luxuries like the Britain’s farm was totally unimportant in the grand scheme of things.

On my 21st birthday one of my presents from my parents was the Britain’s farm base. My son (and later my daughter) played happily with it with the assistance of Mummy.

I would like to say that my luck has improved, and in some ways it has, but I know that the spectre of disappointment is always lurking nearby waiting to pounce.


Sunday, 9 August 2015

Dresses.......... a girl's best friend

Dresses....... a girl's best friend

The beauty of a dress is that you have one base from which to work your outfit. Whether it is patterned or plain, one colour or more, it will be a central part of what you wear and can be dressed up or down depending on your mood and what you are doing.
A fun and flowery dress can be dressed up with a smart jacket and heels or dressed down with a soft cardigan and flats. If you change to delicate sandals and a floaty wrap the outfit will take you into evening.
On the other hand a smart work dress can be worn with a jacket for business or dressed down with strappy heels and chunky jewellery for going out.

A well fitting dress gives you confidence. You can walk into a room and own it as you know you look amazing.  

My favourite shape of dress is a fitted mock wrap dress. They are perfect for my figure and hide a lot of sins

Wearing nice clothes makes you feel good; it makes you feel feminine and more confident in your physical appearance.  I am the first to admit that a good dress can make an amazing difference.
Dresses are my favourite item of clothing and teamed with the right accessories, a simple dress can be a brilliant statement piece.  A dress can be a splash of colour teamed with black tights, shoes or boots and a little cardigan or jacket. (my standard for work). I have an hour glass figure and find that the right dress can accentuate in all the right places.

Short dresses of the right style can be teamed with leggings and this makes them far more accessible for people who may be conscious of their legs. (Definitely me). Jumper dresses with leggings and a pair of nice boots is always nice for autumn and winter when you need more layers but don’t want to ditch the dresses.  Putting a long sleeved top under a dress with short sleeves can also make them far more versatile. I find a plain, black long sleeved top and a pair of black leggings and boots can really add mileage to your favourite dresses through the winter. Floaty dresses, however, should be kept for summer and jumper dresses for winter unless you are particularly inclined to be either hot or cold all year round.

The picture at the top of the page is a selection of my dresses. They don't photo that well on hangers so I have added some pics here of me in some of them. (apologies in advance for the model)

There are a lot of blogs devoted entirely to dresses and fashion in general and I love to do an on-line search and sit and read through them. Some are relevant to me  and some are not but it is very interesting to see other people's points of view and it is a good way to get ideas for outfits and styles.

Billie and Blossom at Dorothy Perkins has been a source of some of favourite dresses and more recently Mela Loves London at New Look, Next and House of Fraser.

 One of my favourite dresses is orange and purple and was £20 at  Camden Market. I have had loads of use out of it and it seems to have grown and shrunk with me :-) The shrug was a charity shop buy and matches perfectly.

 I could spend hours just adding pictures of my favourite dresses but that could get a little boring for everyone so I shall go and look at some fantastic dress blogs like A Million Dresses, and see what everyone else is wearing.  :-)

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Blog news 28.06.2015

Just a quick post to explain that I am back!!!

Personal commitments and moving house have kept me very busy the last few months but I will be back writing about various things very soon.

Very happy to have downsized to a gorgeous little one bedroom flat and I will be writing about that and a few other interesting things. ( well, I hope they are interesting anyway.)

Bye for now


Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Second hand, not second rate.

I have come to the conclusion that I love clothes but hate shopping. Well, I have always known I hate shopping apart from buying books, stationery and, weirdly, charity shop shopping. There is no pressure with charity shop shopping because if they have not got something in your size then you don’t get it, if they do not have it in a colour you like, you don’t buy it. There are no expectations and no disappointment.

These days the charity shops are mainly run by one professional manager and a group of volunteer staff. The products are usually clean and smell fine. (I still always wash things as soon as I get them home)

One woman’s rubbish/ bad buy/ wrong size purchase is sometimes exactly what you are looking for. For example, the colour orange was in a lot last year and is still going strong. Not all women can wear it but will have bought it because it is “on trend”. When they realise it looks hideous they will donate it to the charity shop. I am very lucky and can wear orange and have found some lovely pieces this year. ( I cannot wear yellow, beige or cerise pink so have learned to avoid it. Luckily for me there are many women who are slaves to fashion.)

Weight loss or gain is another reason that nice pieces of clothes end up in the charity shops. We have all had that post diet clear out or that sudden realisation that all the clothes we were keeping “in case” will never fit and we have donated to the charity shop of our choice. It is not uncommon to find pieces with labels still attached which have clearly never been worn. (I tend to avoid the items which have been well loved). The average things I buy in the charity shops do not look second hand but can be exactly what I am looking for.

We all, from time to time, buy something we are not sure about, wear it once or maybe twice then never wear it again. These items are also ones that end up on the rails of the local hospice shop, or Oxfam or one of the many other deserving causes. Yet again, one person’s very bad purchase can end up as a well worn favourite for someone else.

Bags are something I buy from charity shops but I have had a couple of dodgy handles so need to be more careful. Filofaxes are the first thing I look for in a new charity shop and I have found some brilliant ones. I always like looking at any other stationery and, of course books.  There is a fantastic Woking hospice charity shop in Horsell in Woking where you can buy three paperbacks for £5. Every time you spend £5 you get your card stamped and when you have spent a total of £50 you get £5 off. This is a great way to buy books and so much cheaper than some of the other charity bookshops. Their hard backs and non-fiction books are individually, but very reasonably priced.

I think the days of smelly, tatty goods being sold in dingy, musty charity shops is, to a large degree, over. There will always be the odd one that thinks piling dirty old things into a small, mismanaged space, is the way to go but a majority of the charity shops are now well stocked with an interesting array of well organised products and very good displays.

There is a Phyllis Tuckwell charity shop in Quarry Street in Guildford which has better window displays in their small window than some of the large department stores with their visual merchandisers manage to produce. They either pick a theme, like Christmas, winter, Easter etc or a single colour for their display. Sometimes they have chosen pieces that go together and create their own theme like an African theme they had recently. This included ornaments, jewellery and animal print clothes as well as other pieces which matched together to make a well considered window display.

I know there are sometimes people who are snobby about buying second hand items and they are the people who miss out on amazing bargains which you can find while giving to deserving causes. There used to be a stigma about buying used items but I think the huge, worldwide Vintage market has helped raise the profile of all kind s of second hand purchasing.  (Charity shops, car boot sales, Ebay, etc)

Finally I have included a picture of all the orange pieces I have bought in charity shops recently.  (all orange, just different shades) The jacket was only £7 and is brilliant condition. The scarf was, in fact from my sister but she bought it in a charity shop anyway. The most expensive piece is the jacket at £7 and the cheapest is the patterned top at £4. 

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Find a penny....

Find a penny, pick it up and all day long..........you have a penny!
I know, I know, I am far too cynical, but you would be too if you had to use the train to commute to and from work every day. Five days of anticipation, not knowing if the the wrong kind of weather is likely to jeopardise you getting to work  or if the train will be late because they just cannot be bothered to arrive on time. Admittedly that is not an excuse that you usually hear announced by the various voices that represent South West Trains over the ultra efficient tannoy system. I say ultra efficient but, as they only make announcements as the fast train thunders through the station like a deranged beast, it is hard to tell. 
I do think the most annoying, and probably most unintelligent announcement they make is “delayed due to awaiting a train crew at Portsmouth”. That is the tannoy announcement which is guaranteed to make the passengers blood boil. They may as well say “You will all be late for work today because Mr. Lay Zee Sod of Portsmouth cannot get his act together and arrive at work on time”. The train company management team do not seem to appreciate that this is not a good way to impress a crowd of tired, overworked people whom, quite frankly, are precariously near live rails, slippery steps, hot oil slick coffee and various other items they carry with them. (Don’t get me started on that subject) If a murder was to take place at a station would anyone be surprised? Would anyone be blamed? To be honest, would anyone care?
As for telling me how many coaches there are......... I seriously don’t care!  There is no reason I wish to know this. If you have to be at a certain place in the train then you ask the leg dragging, dribbling, overweight, put upon man wandering on the platform wearing his snazzy SWT uniform and hoping his day ends quickly. You may get the correct information but he will try his best with the total lack of resources at his disposal.
Cancelling trains is probably the most frustrating thing that SWT can do. It is never a good time to cancel a train but seven am when I need to get to work is most definitely the wrong time. This week we had a seven am battle to get on a train which goes to the next town which is, incidentally, seven miles away. So the signals had stopped working again and no one knew what to do about it, when they will be working again or how hundreds of commuters, who rely on the trains to get to work, will actually arrive at their destinations. I presume that SWT do not think the passengers travel with them because they want to, they travel with them because they have to or because it the lesser of several evils.
Firstly the brain boxes at Woking station decided to lay on ONE taxi that takes five passengers. With the heavy traffic in Guildford and the usual gridlock situation that occurs there, this would take more hours than I care to calculate just to get a fraction of the people to work. The next announcement was that a train had pulled in on platform two and the Guildford line had re-opened. A huge amount of people then surged up the stairs and over to platform two like a herd of wildebeest fleeing from a pack of hungry lions. After a ten minute wait on the train we were then informed that we had been misinformed in regard to the train and had to disembark and make our way back to platform five for our possible transport to work. The herd were up and running again in the vague hope that they may actually find a seat on a train that was truly planning on going to their chosen or necessary destination.
The aforementioned scenario is a normal part of train travel and everyday life and I should be used to it; however, I will still complain about it, I will still joke about it and I will still write about it.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

My first 2 quotes of 2015

Both the following quotes make me laugh. They are both fashion related in a round about way.

"He looked like he had dressed in the dark after a scarecrows orgy." This is by the hilarious author Stephen Clarke and sums up a few people I see on my journey to work.

"You can't go shopping in a red plastic vest if you have a belly like a space hopper". A very accurate quote by the writer and presenter Jermy Clarkson. If only this was a law, it would prevent the hilarious, yet scary mistakes that are often made when people get dressed.