Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Six Sensational Days & Three Lovely Locations

It’s amazing what you can do when you drop your promise to curb your spending and embrace a promise to live life to the full.

We’d been planning a few trips away between now and the end of the year, but with less than a week until Kevin heads into hospital, we reckoned we should just squish the whole lot together.

So, we pooled our cash, packed our cases and set off.

First stop was Slaley Hall in Northumberland where Hobbs had a snuffle-tastic time in their grounds, ate handsomely from the sausage selection of the breakfast buffet and snored loudly at the end of each day; Kevin’s time in the pool and sauna was so extensive that he almost grew webbed feet and I couldn’t resist the lure of the spa and a quick snooze through one of their relaxing facials. Combined with cocktails on the couches after dinner and a few glasses of bubbly, it was the perfect trip.

Despite having to drop into work on the way back, I was still tingling and glowing from my spa treatment when we hit the Crieff Hydro a couple of days later. Another blissful episode of being indulged, pampered and fed to the point of bursting; kicking through the autumn leaves and pulling faces for the camera.

Our final destination was Gleneagles and the afternoon tea that our fabulous chum, Alan – or Uncle Mongoose as he’s known to Hobbs - had booked for us. Two hours and about a million calories later, we were heading for home; happy and relaxed in the knowledge that we’d done everything we could to put the worry of Kevin’s impending op to the back of our minds.

My two favourite lads having lunch in Hexham

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Broken Hearted

I realise that over the last few weeks my blog has been something of a bore, but my thoughts have been elsewhere.

Basically, they’ve been focused on Kevin and I, and what the future holds for us.

On the back of a horrible year of health worries and recuperation, we’d started planning how we were going to move on. We’d bought a little book each to write down all the things we were going to do in the next few years; the places we wanted to visit; the cars we wanted to drive; the careers we wanted to aim for; the indulgent but needless little treats we wanted to save for.

And then the rug got pulled from under our feet...

After several weeks of appointments with doctors and consultants, my incredibly fit and apparently healthy partner was told on Monday that his heart valve is failing, causing his heart to enlarge, and that surgery is his only option. We sat stunned as the surgeon reeled off the statistics, desperately hoping to hear some good news or to wake up from the nightmare we were having, but neither of those things happened.

We’re still stunned. Our little books containing all of our hopes and dreams have been put aside, as have my promises of restriction.

There are many things that are more important than money - living and loving and having fun - and while we have no intention of going completely crazy on our credit cards, we also have no intention of denying ourselves.

It could be weeks or months before Kevin joins me in the scary scar brigade, but until that time, we’ll be making the most of every single minute.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Seven Days of Sunshine

Scotland is a truly beautiful place when the clouds clear and for the last seven days we have been bathed in blissful sunshine; making Hobbs a very happy, little dog.

I realise that my recent rambling about the weather is making me sound like my mother. Also, I’m worried about scaring away the tourist trade and being sent hate mail by VisitScotland, so I promise to stop and will leave you instead with a little glimpse of how gorgeous this country can be.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

My Halo Slipped...

My five pounds a day rule has suffered a bit of a setback.

A couple of friends’ birthdays (one was the big four-oh so a decent bottle of bubbly was required) and an emergency food shop put paid to my smugness at having kept to my budget so well over the last couple of weeks.

Most people are not familiar with the ‘emergency food shop’. Most people realise long before we do that their fridge needs a top up, but as I keep all my nail varnishes in there - it stops them going gloopy - we’re usually too dazzled by their jewelled colours twinkling in the glow of the refrigerator light to see that nothing much else is on the shelves.

I would feel a bit guiltier over my inability to stick to my promise, but I doubt even Nigella Lawson could have conjured up something edible out of the one old lime and half-eaten jar of cornichons that were lurking in the back of the fridge - although if anyone has a recipe that proves me wrong, I’d love to see it.

I know I’ve fallen off the wagon but it was just a minor tumble, so I’ve put my wallet away again and clambered back on.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Hobbs In A Huff

Here is a picture of my rather unhappy and slightly soggy doggy.

The reason his fuzzy, little face seems so forlorn is that after months of dreary dog-walks in the drizzle and driving rain, he’s just found out that the Indian Summer he’d pinned his hopes on isn’t going to materialise.

So, for another year, it’s Bye-Bye to the bar-b-q that we so nearly managed to dust down and light up, and Ta-Ta to the tent that has remained locked in the loft along with its deck chair chums and picnic rug pals.

On the plus side, the flash new waterproofs (if you’re going to be wet, at least do it in style) which Kevin treated us to during our holiday will get plenty of use.

And with a birthday looming, Hobbs might just get a flash new waterproof of his own - that should put the wag back in his tail.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

We Love Lizzie!

Having been plunged into woe over my wobbly bits, I was overjoyed to see this picture.

The gorgeous girl in it is Lizzie Miller, a twenty year old model, who appeared airbrush-free in a recent American edition of Glamour.

In stark contrast to the usual computer enhanced images of perfection (that we all know can't be possible but still hope to attain), Lizzie and Glamour let us see the real deal.

The response to the shoot has been so positive that the magazine have announced more photos of Lizzie will appear in their November edition.

I now have two fashion fixes to look forward to in the weeks ahead and while I know the film of Vogue's September Issue will be all about skinny, I have a hunch that Glamour's November Issue will be all about natural.

I might even skip the salad today and celebrate my curves. Now, where did I hide that Toblerone?