Thursday, January 18, 2018

*creeps back into the room...*

Hello everyone!

I'm back again, sorry for the 7 month absence! 

All is ok at Bramble Cottage, still flying Europe's friendly skies, walking Milo the Wonder Dog, baking and finally being able to reset my password so that i can write my blog!  That is one of the reasons I've not  been writing but I just haven't really had the time.  Blogger is playing silly buggers and won't let me post from my iPad (only pictures) but will close down every 3 seconds when I start writing.

So, what have i been up to? Work, Pilates, work, making 49 Christmas puddings, 70 christmas cakes, 9 kilos of chocolate fudge, 8 kilos of sugared almond, 406 jars of jam, countless hampers and trying to keep everyone happy with their orders! ;0)  November was a busy month, loading up Melvin the Mini with boxes of festive goodies to post out to Customers.

I was off for 13 days before Christmas and had a lovely day at my Dads.  Back to work on Boxing day for a 7 day block....but I'm off for 2 weeks now as Dad is on holiday so I take leave to look after my Furface.  Talking of his Lordship, he is a happy boy.  We have our 'Gotcha' anniversary on the 17th of January.  I can't quite believe he has been in my life for 6 whole years,  he has come on in leaps and bounds and after nearly 6 years of dog training on a Monday night, he still goes AWOL on most walks.  But always comes back.  Eventually.  

Please excuse the weird look to my pictures this time.  I need to find a Mac genius to help me.  As mentioned above, i can post pictures via the iPad, but can't write content, the iPhone is useless and I'm struggling to even log in, so no complaining in the ranks about my lack of posting please, lol.  

I ditched the cellophane hampers this year and decided to go rustic.  Mainly due to the impossible task of posting things wrapped in cellophane.  I love these hessian sacks and they went down really well. 
So much so, that people are trying to order for this year already, but I'm being very strict and not taking orders until the 01st of October.   

Jam Towers -

Not forgetting our four legged friends I made mini sacks filled with home made dog treats

Mint and parsley dog treats - 

My back has been ok,  on and off, but i managed to knackered my shoulder when an over enthusiast Staffie jumped up to say hello.  After a week of an almost deformed shoulder which wouldn't sit right, I discovered a new Physiotherapist called Steve.  Or future husband Steve (FHS) as I have nicked named him.  He's married with children, but that is a minor issue.  He fixed my shoulder in a couple of sessions and then started working on my back.  I go every couple of weeks for a tweaking and its money well spent.  He recommended a 'diet' which is more of a life style change, involving no carbs or sugar.  I am a huge fan of bread, pasta, potatoes and all things carbohydrate, but i bought the book from Amazon and gave it a go.  I've lost 2 stone and 6 pounds in 3 months!

Click here for link

The diet isn't easy as its high fat everything, cheese, cheese and cheese, hideous amounts of eggs (mainly down to me not eating meat) and lots of avocados, but it works for me.  I did relent and ate my own body weight in roast potatoes on Christmas day.

With a suspected hernia, I went to the hospital to see a surgeon who informed me that it isn't a hernia, but an over developed ab muscle....Just the one.  The rest are crap.  He thinks that my back injury 11 years ago has resulted in just one of my six pack compensating for my lower back.  Just need to work on the other 5 muscles now.  There was something there and he thinks that I might have a hernia developing but if i continue with Pilates and my healthy lifestyle (?!) then it shouldn't be a problem.

I've wasted weeks of my time watching van life videos on youtube.  Just look up 'Van life tour' and you'll see what i mean.  People buying vans and converting them to live in full time.  I am stunned by what they manage to fit inside a van.  They usually have links to selling sites and sponsorship deals through the videos in order to help support themselves.  It got me thinking about my own blog as many have suggested I 'monetise' it (Awful Americanism).  I'm not a fan of the flashing links all over a blog and it puts me off reading them, but I am going to post a link to Cornerstone razors.  I discovered them 6 months ago and love them.  They post out 6 blades every 6 weeks and they cost the same as regular Gillette razors.

If you click on my link, you get £10 off your first order and I get £10 credit.  Cheeky, but what the hell, I love them.  Have a read through the site, it'll cost you £4 for 6 razors and then you can cancel.  Clicky

Onto sad news, I lost Agnes and Cornelia over the past couple of months.  Agnes was 10 and Cornelia 10 and a half, so they lived to a very good age.  I still have Bette and Doris and have found a local lady who breeds Marans with award winning dark brown eggs.  I'm not so bothered about the award bit, not at all actually, but I've always wanted to have chestnut brown egg layers.  They should be ready by Spring! So pictures will follow....

My Pilates instructor decided to close her studio, so I was 3 - 4 classes a week down (and considerably better off), but unhappy, achy and generally feeling down about my back; who would have thought that I actually missed exercise?  A new experience for me, I'll be wearing a sweat band and full body lycra next.
I've found a new pace that is local, (more expensive)! but i'm enjoying it.  Even though I only manage 2 classes a week, I'm trying really hard to do more at home and when away with work.  The yoga towel is back in my trolley bag and when i can, I have a little Pilates routine that I do in my hotel room.  Little and often seems to be the key to keeping my back in good condition.  Still haven't found a yoga teacher that doesn't "Ommmm", chant and wear kaftans, but I'm working on it.  A friend at work is now qualified (google Pushti Yoga) for her details  She is brilliant, but too far from me.  Hoping to do a night stop somewhere in Europe and she can take me through my paces.

The other big news, that has been a secret passion for many a year, is VW camper vans.  I've hankered after owning one for as long as I can remember and now my dream is coming close to reality.  As you know, I am often away from home with work and love nothing more than being here at Bramble Cottage with Furface.  I usually take one holiday a year to Portugal with Jase, but apart from that i'm a home boy, (no, not the baggy jeans type, but like being at home).....however, being able to jump in the camper and head to Devon, just me, the Terrier and the open road would be heaven.
I've recently found a local guy that deals with repairs etc on VW Camper vans and I met him today.  He says my budget is unrealistic but we are working on that! Hee hee.   I know the curtains and cushions will be stunning as that is my area of expertise, but the mechanics are another matter.  I know I have to be patient and wait for the right camper, but I can't help picking up odds and ends for it (and coming up with funky names for her), but as you know that is very me.

I'm signing off now, its time to feed and walk Milo.  When celebrating our anniversary,  he was slightly less excited that me, until I gave him a crispy pigs ear to celebrate.  I had kale crisps (low carb and disgusting).

 C x x 


  1. So glad all is good in your life. Can't wait to hear the tales of Ms VW, Furface and Christian!

  2. Good to see you back in blogland, Christian. Sorry about your hen losses but they obviously had a wonderful life with you, living to such great ages. Don't leave it too long till the next post, eh?!

  3. dear boys
    lovely surprise to see you are still 'with us' hahhaaaa
    Busy Christmas, hard work but I bet you loved it. Milo chief taster. Have you really lost 2 stone...why are you not shouting that from the roof tops. WELL DONE. the diet sounds horrible, but you have cracked it. talking of cracking, cant wait for the Marans to arrive.
    Keep well and warm Auntie Di xx


stop me being locked up for posting to myself.....