Welcome to my blog

This is my diary blog which I started when I retired from the Civil Service in April 2010. I like to include some of the things that I see and do with as many photographs as possible. Thank you for visiting my blog I hope you enjoyed it and will return to see what I have been doing. Or you could always join and be one of my followers.

If you would like to use one of my photographs then please ask me first, as they are all subject to copyright.

If you are interested in my crafts then I have added these to my crafting blog -


Friday, 31 December 2010

Happy New Year

It is New Years Eve and after a not particularly great Christmas I thought it was time to go out and blow the cobwebs away and think positively about 2011. 

I took myself out to Hampton Court, I didn't go into the Palace but had a wondered around the outside.  The Palace is quite lovely and so is the surrounding area and I must come back here when it is a little warmer.
There was one very funny looking tree near the Palace which seemed to have bundles of mistletoe all through it. 

It is also that time of year to have an ice rink and carousel in the grounds, but they are only here for a short period of time (I am pleased to say).

It was a very pleasant stroll around although it was very chilly and a nice way to spend some of New Years Eve. 

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

The most dangerous cake recipe in the world

I was given this recipe some years ago but it still a favourite of mine and I thought I share it with the rest of the world.   It is called the 5 minute chocolate mug cake.

First take one large coffee mug and add the following dry ingredients:-
4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa

mix well then add the following:-
one egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil

mix thoroughly and then add the following (optional) indgredients:-
3 tablespoons chocolate chips
small splash of vanilla extract

mix again.

Now place your mug in the microwave and cook for 2 minutes at 1000 watts.   (the original recipe stated cooking for 3 minutes but I think this is too long)
The cake will rise over the top of the mug, not be alarmed by this.

(I think I should have used a slightly larger coffee mug)

Allow to cool a little, tip out onto a place and EAT!  (this could serve 2 !!!)

And why is this the most dangerous cake recipe it the world?
because now you are only 5 minutes away from a chocolate cake at any time day or night.

Christmas present, but not for me

This is the present I got for my boyfriend.   Awhile ago Rob and I saw some framed underground maps in a shop in London and they were seriously expensive.   I bought this map on ebay for a very reasonable price, it is a 1957 map and I had it framed (thank you, Dragonfly of Cheam for helping me choose the mount and frame).   I think it looks fab and very masculine with the black mount and the black and silver frame.  

And glass both sides.
I sent this out to Rob today so hope he likes it.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Christmas Tree (and presents too)

I decided to get a Christmas Tree (at long last), not the biggest tree in the world and I also bought the decorations in purple, black and gold which I think makes a pleasant change from the usual green and red. 

And now the presents are around the tree so I am ready for Christmas Day.

Book - The Burning

Finished this book last week, interesting book about a serial murderer based in and around south London.  Plus there is another murder which looks like a copy cat and this has an interesting twist to the story. 

Saturday, 18 December 2010

The weather outside is...........a blizzard

Today we had a blizzard!   a serious amount of snow and freezing weather.   Fortunately I went out early and got back home before the worst came. 

And at it's worst I got Ted to hold the ruler to see how much snow had fallen on the windowsill outside.

       Nearly 8 inches!!!!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Book - Knots and Crosses

I finished reading this book when I was in Berlin, The book was free from Galaxy chocolate bars, they are giving away one million books if you can get the right code on the wrapper.

Knots and Crosses is the first of Ian Rankin's books about the police officer Rebus.  I must admit I did think of Ken Stott (who plays Rebus on the TV) when I was reading the book.   Really enjoyed this book and I think I may look out for the rest of the Rebus series.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Last swim of the year

Sunday was supposed to be my last swimming lesson of the year but because of the snow last week and school was closed there is another lesson next week (weather permitting).  On my way down to the class today, in Burgh Heath, on what was a sunny but frosty morning I took a couple photographs of the fields near the school.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Another reason to visit Berlin

Apart from the sightseeing, Christmas markets and the freezing cold weather there was another reason to visit Berlin and that was to meet Cindy.   Cindy and I have been writing to each other for nearly 40 years.  We met through a teenage magazine and have been corresponding ever since.  Cindy was from the USA, so it was interesting to see how different our lives were and still are.  It was great to meet Cindy and her husband Jim and they made Val and I very welcome.  I know that we will continue with our correspondence and hopefully meet again.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Berlin - Christmas decorations

Some of the Berlin Christmas decorations.........

Berlin - lamps and signs

As you know I cannot resist those street furniture photographs.

Berlin - Bears

We have had the Cow Parade and the Decorated Elephants but in Berlin they had Bears.   I don't know how many Bears they have but here are a few that I found.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Berlin - Chocolate

You cannot go to Berlin and not visit Fassbender & Rausch, the Worlds Largest Chocolate House.  Not only do they have an amazing array of sweets to buy but they have some amazing chocolate models.

Upstairs there is a cafe with scrummy chocolate cakes.

And it really was scrummy

Berlin - Old Town

On the Sunday we took a trip to the old town.  We took the bus near the TV ariel that dominates the Berlin skyline and walked around the old town, which had some interesting little shops and statutes etc.                                                             

Berlin - Holocaust Memorial

This is the Holocaust Memorial.
Interesting that the shadows look like railway tracks

Berlin - Checkpoint Charlie and the Wall

A visit to Berlin would not be right without seeing Checkpoint Charlie.   The last time I saw Checkpoint Charlie was in the early 1970's when you went through the checkpoint to visit East Berlin, at that time it was quite scary.   Now it is a tourist attraction along with the remains of the Wall.


Berlin - Brandenburg Gate and the bus tour

On the Saturday morning we walked to the Brandenburg Gate.

Near the Gate, is a Starbucks where you can join a walking tour and it was our intention to join the walking tour but it was sooooo cold (-10) that we decided try a hop on hop off bus as we thought it would be and warmer.  We joined the bus tour and we did hop off a couple of times but we did end up enjoying the tour twice - just to keep warm!

Here are some of the pictures from the bus.




And a Bridge