Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

I’ve just switched both our mortgage accounts online in less than 1/2 an hour without leaving my bed.
Better rates and a bit of extra cash in our pockets to make up for the new 12% tax on our home insurance!
The £22 monthly saving on the mortgage just covers the added cost onto our insurance.
I despise insurance and these hidden taxes as much as I love internet banking 😡
As a listed property owner we get 0(zero) assistance to maintain our countries heritage, but now we have to also pay more for tax on our home insurance – I think it’s a disgrace!
On the plus side, at least I’m not out of pocket for this year.

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Shame on you Amazon – all my efforts at saving our plant with reusable wraps and bags and….. then you mess it up by sending me a thimble in a box like this! To make it worse, I received another thimble In a similar sized box yesterday.

I can recycle it, but seriously we should be reducing use and therefore manufacturing – so irresponsible!

@amazon #wp #sewityourself #irresponsiblepackaging

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If, like me, you thought that ISP stood for Internet Service Provider, I am about to burst your techie bubble!

Following a rather unpleasant eating experience this week, it transpires that it also stands for ‘ice structuring protein’ which is an antifreeze gene present in the Arctic Pout fish.  It may therefore surprise you to discover that this is an additive put into some brands of ice-cream in order to prevent ice crystals forming and therefore making your ice-cream more smooth and less likely to crystallise if you leave it out of the freezer too long.

Most of the time I am quite forgiving of the often strange ingredients added to modern food in the name of progress, but when you are as allergic to fish and shellfish as I am and the ingredients do not list this, then I get really angry when part way through enjoying an otherwise lovely dessert I begin to have some rather unpleasant side effects – thumping headache, puffy eyes, sneezing, itchy throat and tongue, blisters in my nose to name a few.

Apparently this is listed on ingredients as ISP although I have searched all over the web to find this phantom list without success.  In fact, the only things I can find out about it make me rather nervous about eating ice-cream again <read here>; and Carte D’or is definitely NEVER going into our shopping basket again!

Three days later, I am still suffering the side effects and it seems that no matter how many of my anti-histamines I take I cannot quite throw this allergic reaction completely.  So I have some ‘clever’ scientist out there to thank for this and they will probably say that it is impossible because they have tested it – well, now you have tested it on ME!

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Someone very special in my life dropped me a text last week and said I must, must, must watch a new show on BBC at 9pm.  I was intrigued as she is not someone who watches much television or usually recommends programmes.  It was therefore with great anticipation that I watched this incredibly interesting BBC documentary which recreated the Netherfield ball from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (Pride and Prejudice; Having a Ball).  What a rare treat it was and I am so glad for the recommendation.  It was amazing how much it taught the makers and historians (and me) that they had not picked up from the pages of the novel.

As an avid reader of her works and a huge fan of all things Jane Austen, I was riveted by the dancing and costumes but very surprisingly, it was learning about the small details of the culture of the time that was most enjoyable.  Some of this has to do with the fact that our beautiful home also has an Assembly room that was built in around 1810 – just when this book was set.  I can now see our Assembly room bathed in moonlight and candlelight with dancing couples enjoying the music and entertainment.

It was extremely interesting and a rare insight into the life and times of the people who once frequented our home around 200 years ago – definitely worth a watch if you ever get the opportunity.


As we understand it currently, the large extension on the East (right) was built as an Assembly room with the downstairs being used for public events and the upstairs used for country dances – hence the many large windows and incredibly high ceilings with a large fireplace in the gable end as well as the back corner of the rooms.  Today this houses our lounge (currently under restoration) and upstairs is our super sized bedroom and my sewing room.

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This one is for anyone who loves pizza – actually even if you don’t love pizza you probably will after my latest find.

I am a faithful follower of Craftsy.com.  This is an absolutely brilliant online training facility where you can learn all sorts of new skills from baking to gardening and cooking to quilting.  I sign up for ALL the free lessons because I am a firm believer in accumulating as much knowledge as I can, in as many areas as I can before my time runs out.

My latest enrolment was very well received by the boys of the family – Perfect PIZZA making!  This is an amazing course with a wonderful instructor and having watched all the classes and sourced all the ingredients our son quickly got to work making our first batch of dough.  Sunday was for preparation and Monday the making.  Oh boy, what an incredible job he did!  The recipes proved to be brilliant and I can honestly say they were the best pizza’s I have ever tasted.  The dough was delightful and the toppings to-die for – all in all he gets 10/10 for effort and execution.

Craftsy and Peter Reinhart – a huge big thank you for providing such an amazing resource – and free too!  You guys are heroes.


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Having recently celebrated my big 50, I was very fortunate to have been given money towards an orchard for our as yet untouched garden.  I use the term ‘garden’ in the loosest sense of the word because presently it is just a piece of ground surrounding our house with random piles of Welsh slate roof tiles, dressed stone, unwanted timber for burning and a multitude of other building objects without a proper home but which I am loathe to dispose of in case they come in handy during our houses repair and restoration.  The rumours that I am a hoarder are vastly exaggerated and I will vehemently deny this at the same time as proclaiming how essential each item is for some project or other!  Moving swiftly on….

I researched, as usual, all the pros and cons of the varieties of fruit trees and suppliers and settled on a wonderful grower at Blackmoor nurseries.  They all arrived safely and are patiently waiting for us to plant them into their new pots on Saturday and then the fun can begin training them all onto espalier frames.  I am a rank beginner when it comes to gardening but even I can see a quality plant which has been grown, harvested, packed and despatched with extreme care; I can highly recommend them to anyone.  We plan to grow our trees on a long south-facing wall where they will not only look amazing but provide us with many years of crops for cooking, eating and hopefully a bit of country wine.


I wanted to say a HUGE BIG thank you to all my precious family and friends who contributed towards our Semicentennial orchard.  Each one of the trees will soon be sporting a little plaque with your name on it.

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