Wednesday, 31 August 2011

All About ... Me (3)

What's the last movie you watched? Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Which do you prefer - summer or winter? If I have to choose between these two I'd opt for summer but my favourite season is spring.

Which do you prefer - hugs or kisses? Both!

What is your favourite dessert? This is too difficult ... apple pie, ice cream, lemon meringue pie, fresh fruit salad ... the list goes on!

What is on your mouse pad?  I don't use a mouse pad any more.  The last one had a picture of Pooh Bear on it.

What did you watch on TV last night? We didn't watch much TV as Julie came round to cut our hair.  We did watch 'Eggheads', the 'News' and 'Cops With Cameras'.

What is your favourite sound? Babies and toddlers laughing.

Which do you prefer - The Rolling Sones or The Beatles? The Beatles, although I like a lot of the Stones music as well.

What is the furthest you've been from home? Igls, near Innsbruck in Austria. I went on a school skiing holiday.

Do you have a special talent?  I used to be able to write equally as well with both hands but haven't practised for years so my left hand writing isn't quite as good now.  I also play lots of instruments - brass, clarinet, saxophone, flute and oboe to name a few.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

All About ... Me (2)

What was the last thing you ate? a chicken sandwich.

If you were a crayon, what colour would you be? Red - my favourite colour.

What is your favourite smell? I lost my sense of smell about 12 years ago so this is difficult to answer as I find it hard to recall smells.  I can just about remember the smell of roses and of freshly cut grass so I'll say those.

Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? my friend, Julie

Do you have any pets? No

Favourite sports to watch?  I'm not really a sporty person but I sometimes watch the Grand Prix and the cricket with Ced.

What colour is your hair? Brown with lots (too much) of grey.

What colour are your eyes?  Blue, grey, green, hazel ...I have really strange eyes and they keep changing colour.

Do you wear contact lenses?  I used to but now rely on my trusty specs.

Do you prefer scary movies or happy endings? Definitely happy endings.

Photo Scavenger Hunt - August 2011

Well I was a 'last-minute-Annie' as usual but I've managed to get all the photos.  Many thanks to Kathy over at Postcards from the PP for setting the list.

bizarre
this is Pumpkin's Tower, one of the
Millenium projects in town

boat
this pub sign is the best I could do

bread
part of a very yummy cottage loaf

fabric
some of the scraps left over when I made the
Technicolour Dreamcoat for a performance of Joseph

festival or funfair
a sign for the Church Music Festival
in a nearby village

fountain
the fountains in the duck pond in the park

market
the entrance to the market hall in town

mountains
definitely no mountains locally so I borrowed
some books from the library

picnic
didn't manage to see anyone having a picnic when
I was out and about so I bought these,
photographed them and then ate them!

ancient
the entrance to Farleigh Castle, last
inhabited in the 14th century

sport
bit of a cheat - cricket on the TV

street food
thanks again to my neighbour, here's
another photo of her ice cream van

Monday, 29 August 2011

All about ... Me (1)

I was sent this meme via email but thought I'd share my answers here.  I've split the meme into 3 posts because it is so long.

Were you named after anyone?  I have the same name as my auntie (Mum's sister) but Mum always said that she chose my name because it was one of her favourites and not to name me after her sister.

Are you an only child? No.  I have two older brothers and a twin sister.  I'm the youngest by 15 minutes and no, we're not identical.

Do you like your handwriting? Yes. When I was 10 years old I won two prizes for my handwriting in national competitions.

If you were another person, would you be friends with you? Yes, probably.

Would you bungee jump? No, never.

What is your favourite cereal? I don't often eat cereal as I can't have milk, but occasionally I use soya milk and then I like either cornflakes or fruit and fibre.

Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? It's ages since I had lace-ups or buckles on my shoes so I can't really remember. Probably not!

Do you think you are strong?  Depends.  Physical - not particulary.  Emotional - stronger than I think.

What is your favourite ice cream? Rum and raisin.

What is the first think you notice about people? Their smile and whether the smile is reflected in their eyes.

What is the least favourite thing about yourself? Procrastination.

Who do you miss the most?  My Mum. I still think about her every day.

Project 365 - week 6

036/365: Spent some time taking photos in the park.

























037/365:  Went to Edington Music Festival.

038/365: Staverton Marina

039/365: Met with Suzy for lunch and a chat.

040/365: Kelsey, Julie and Lauren visited with a gift from Hong Kong.

041/365: A not very good photo of the flowers I bought to cheer up the living room.

042/365: Took Bean shopping to buy the stationery he needs for senior school.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Slim Down Sunday 4




Goal: To change my lifestyle and in doing so, lose weight and increase fitness.

Pounds lost: I don't know - I'm not weighing myself but the tape measure shows a slight reduction in size.

How it's gone this week: I haven't felt too well all week so I've not really made much of an effort - nothing to do with the change in eating habit but related to an ongoing health problem.  I'm sticking to smaller meal portions but the lack of exercise is still an issue.  We have had more fresh vegetables and fruit and I've cut out the between meal snacks.

Plan for this week:  Try to maintain a sensible balance between calories in and calories out and get more exercise/be more active.


To see how others are getting on, or to join in yourself, visit Slim Down Sunday at this site.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook - 27th August 2011

FOR TODAY - Saturday, 27th August 2011, 17:00pm

Outside my window... a blue sky, a gentle breeze. It's a beautiful summer's day.

I am thinking... that I'm stressed, a sure sign being that my mind is working overtime - full of jumbled thoughts that I can't sort out.

I am thankful... for time with Ced.

I am learning ... still learning scales and the trickier passages in the exam music.

In the kitchen... there is plenty of fresh food for the holiday weekend - chicken, vegetables, fruit, bread.

I am wearing... t shirt and skirt.

I am creating... worksheets for my new pupils.

I am going... to do nothing for the rest of the day except read, drink and eat! I've been out food shopping and have also taken Bean to buy the stationery he needs for senior school. 

I am wondering... whether we will get the back garden finished this year.

I am reading... still 'The Distant Hours' by Kate Morton.  I haven't had much time to read this week which is a shame because it's a very good book.

I am hoping... that my camera lasts until I can afford the new one.  Fingers crossed!

I am looking forward to... my last week of holiday.  I start teaching again on the 7th.

I am hearing... the murmer of the TV.  Ced is watching a Bond film, I think it is 'Thunderball'.

Around the house... it's still tidy!  I'm managing to stay on top of things.

I am pondering... what else needs to be done to sort out the house - new kitchen, new bathroom, fitted wardrobes in main bedroom, garage to be cleared and painted and back garden to be finished.  Which to do first?

One of my favorite things...  laughing so much that it hurts ... and then laughing some more.

A few plans for the rest of the week: a card making workshop run by Teri on Wednesday, clothes shopping on Thursday and a haircut on Tuesday.

Here is a thought I am sharing ...
photo taken from Google images

















If you'd like to see other daybooks, or take part yourself, please visit this site.

Friday, 26 August 2011

3 in 30 Challenge - August 2011, week 4

Here's the update on my August goals:

Goal 1 - Personal
Aim to go for a short walk, maybe 10 minutes, every day regardless of the weather. 10 minutes isn't enough in the long term but I think it is a realistic starting target. I know this is going to be hard and I will make all sorts of excuses to avoid it but I am massively overweight and need to get started on some exercise. The only valid excuses for not doing this are if I have a migraine/illness or if I can't leave my partner (who has Motor Neurone Disease) but those days should be few and far between.
Week 1 update: Pretty much failed at this one. I've only managed one 15 minute walk this week.
Week 2 update: I started off well and managed two days doing a 15 - 20 minute walk each time but I didn't manage to keep it going - ill health, my partner and urgent problems needed my focus and time.
Week 3 update: I've abandoned the plan to go for a walk and am using the stairs as a means of exercise. I haven't specifically done this as an exercise but have definitely been up and down stairs much more frequently as I sort out each room in the house.
Week 4 update: I only managed one exercise session this week so although this goal hasn't been a complete failure it hasn't been a complete success either.

Goal 2 - Professional
Decide which non-principal instrumental exam to take next and make a start on the practice. Aim for 30 minutes practice on at least 3 days (for starters) each week.
Week 1 update: Have narrowed it down to either the flute or the clarinet but am starting to favour the flute. I still have to decide which grade to go for.
Week 2 update: This was going well until one of the pads came loose and I've had to put my flute in for repair.
Week 3 update: The flute is still away so I have been working on the aural tests, listening to different versions of 2 of the pieces and generally getting to know the music.
Week 4 update: I haven't decided which session to take the exam but I'm now committed and am working towards it so this goal can be counted as a success.

Goal 3 - Home
The big clean! The whole house needs doing but I feel overwhelmed by the task ahead of me even as I'm typing, so for starters I'll get the hoovering and dusting done and sort out the books and clothes to send off to the charity shop.
Week 1 update: This has been the most successful of my goals. Have sent one bag of clothes to the charity shop and have 3 bags of books ready to go. I changed my mind about doing the hoovering and dusting because the decluttering and tidying needs to happen first so I've made a list (I love lists!) of all the things that need to be done and am slowly working my way through it. So far today I have managed to tick 5 tasks as completed.
Week 2 update: As with last week, this has been the most successful goal. I'm still on the decluttering and have sent 9 bags of clothes, coat hangars and books to the charity shop. I'm trying the 'Just Do It' approach (I read this on someones blog but now can't find it to give credit - if it's you, please contact me and I'll edit this post) so I'm keeping things up together as I go along rather than letting things get out of hand. This is working well and is helping me to feel much more positive about things.
Week 3 update: This stage of the decluttering is pretty much done for now. I'm currently sorting and finding places for the stuff we plan to keep.
Week 4 update: There is still lots to do but I'm really pleased with what I've achieved this month so am counting this goal as a success.

Now to think of 3 new goals for September. 

Linked up to the 3in30 Challenge

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Slim Down Sunday 3




Goal: To change my lifestyle and in doing so, lose weight and increase fitness.

Pounds lost: I don't know - I'm not weighing myself.

How it's gone this week: I've managed to be more active but there is still room for improvement and I haven't been focussing on a regular exercise period.  I now know that I am drinking enough every day but don't always manage the 5-a-day fruit and/or vegetables so I would like to eventually correct that.  Estimating the calories in and out of my current lifestyle is an ongoing task. At the start of the week I managed to cut out all snacks, no problem, but in the last couple of days I've slipped into my old habits.  And it is a habit - I wasn't hungry but i ate the biscuits anyway!!

Plan for this week:

As last week really -

  • aim for a 15 minute exercise every day.
  • estimate the number of calories in my current food choices and the number of calories used during and average day and identify where changes are needed.
  • try to include the 5-a-day fruit and vegetable in my diet.
  • eat smaller portions and cut out the majority of snacks
  • make sure I drink enough
  • generally be more active.
To see how others are getting on, or to join in yourself, visit Slim Down Sunday at this site.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Project 365 - week 5

029/365: Relaxing with the Puzzler magazine.




















030/365: When I was tidying up I found some of the goodies to include in the Christmas shoeboxes.




















031/365: Started reading this book. Enjoying is so far.


032/365: Went to Farleigh Castle to do some photographs but arrived too early and couldn't get in.

























033/365: Laura and the kids came round for a MacDonalds meal.



















034/365: Colin came round to sort out the photos of Ced's airguns.


035/365: Look! A blue sky - can't remember the last time I saw a blue sky out of the window - it's been so grey lately.

The Simple Woman's Daybook - 20 August 2011

FOR TODAY - Saturday, 20th August 2011, 17:25pm

Outside my window... a blue sky.

I am thinking... about how and when I'm going to defrost the freezer.  I need to ask family and friends to make room for some of the food in their freezers for a couple of days so I can get on with it.

I am thankful... for my friends - that they know that my priority is here with Ced and they understand and are still there for me.

I am learning ... still learning scales and the trickier passages in the exam music. 

In the kitchen... there are pork chops, potatoes and vegetables for our evening meal.

I am wearing... t shirt and skirt.

I am creating... photographs. I've rediscovered my love of photography.

I am going... to  have a soak in the bath and then prepare the evening meal.

I am wondering... the same as last week - about a new camera, how I can save the money and how long it will take me.

I am reading... 'The Distant Hours' by Kate Morton.

I am hoping... that we can get together with Julie and the girls to celebrate Rheanna's 21st and Kelsey's 18th.

I am looking forward to... lunch with Suzy, postponed from last week because I double booked myself!

I am hearing... again as last week - the cricket commentary on the TV.

Around the house... it is definitely tidier.  Every room, except the conservatory, is tidied and just needs to be hoovered and dusted, etc.

I am pondering... nothing in particular.

One of my favorite things... sunflowers.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Lunch with Suzy on Wednesday, a photography session around town (depending on the weather), doctors appointment.

Here is a picture I am sharing ...

today's blue sky
















If you'd like to see other daybooks, or take part yourself, please visit this site.

Friday, 19 August 2011

3 in 30 Challenge - August 2011, week 3

Here's an update of my August goals:

Goal 1 - Personal
Aim to go for a short walk, maybe 10 minutes, every day regardless of the weather. 10 minutes isn't enough in the long term but I think it is a realistic starting target. I know this is going to be hard and I will make all sorts of excuses to avoid it but I am massively overweight and need to get started on some exercise. The only valid excuses for not doing this are if I have a migraine/illness or if I can't leave my partner (who has Motor Neurone Disease) but those days should be few and far between.
Week 1 update: Pretty much failed at this one. I've only managed one 15 minute walk this week.
Week 2 update: I started off well and managed two days doing a 15 - 20 minute walk each time but I didn't manage to keep it going - ill health, my partner and urgent problems needed my focus and time.
Week 3 update: I've abandoned the plan to go for a walk and am using the stairs as a means of exercise.  I haven't specifically done this as an exercise but have definitely been up and down stairs much more frequently as I sort out each room in the house.

Goal 2 - Professional
Decide which non-principal instrumental exam to take next and make a start on the practice. Aim for 30 minutes practice on at least 3 days (for starters) each week.
Week 1 update: Have narrowed it down to either the flute or the clarinet but am starting to favour the flute. I still have to decide which grade to go for.
Week 2 update: This was going well until one of the pads came loose and I've had to put my flute in for repair.
Week 3 update: The flute is still away so I have been working on the aural tests, listening to different versions of 2 of the pieces and generally getting to know the music.

Goal 3 - Home
The big clean! The whole house needs doing but I feel overwhelmed by the task ahead of me even as I'm typing, so for starters I'll get the hoovering and dusting done and sort out the books and clothes to send off to the charity shop.
Week 1 update: This has been the most successful of my goals. Have sent one bag of clothes to the charity shop and have 3 bags of books ready to go. I changed my mind about doing the hoovering and dusting because the decluttering and tidying needs to happen first so I've made a list (I love lists!) of all the things that need to be done and am slowly working my way through it. So far today I have managed to tick 5 tasks as completed.
Week 2 update: As with last week, this has been the most successful goal. I'm still on the decluttering and have sent 9 bags of clothes, coat hangars and books to the charity shop. I'm trying the 'Just Do It' approach (I read this on someones blog but now can't find it to give credit - if it's you, please contact me and I'll edit this post) so I'm keeping things up together as I go along rather than letting things get out of hand. This is working well and is helping me to feel much more positive about things.
Week 3 update: This stage of the decluttering is pretty much done for now.  I'm currently sorting and finding places for the stuff we plan to keep.

Linked up to the 3in30 Challenge

Family Time

Yesterday was a very grey day, raining constantly and definitely a drop in temperature.  The highlight of the day for us was a visit from my niece Laura and her children.  They came bearing a meal from MacDonalds - the children's favourite choice and something which we now do every school holiday.

The family nicknames are too closely related to their proper names so we had a chat about the need for online names.  After some discussion, and gently pulling them back from the realms of fantasy, they have chosen 'Tinkerbell' (girl child) and 'Tweenie' (boy child).

Tinkerbell and Tweenie




















They were still excited about their recent family holiday with Grandma and Grumpy and various aunties, uncles and cousins.  We heard about the jellyfish incident and how they were saved by their big cousin, Bean! And how the crab caught Tweenie's toe and Bean carried him to Grumpy to remove said crab from the toe!  They went swimming in the sea [it must have been freezing!], built sandcastles, went for walks, had ice creams. 

We also got to hear how they spent the holiday money we gave them.  They bought the charms for their crocs (sorry can't remember the proper name for the charms)




Tweenie also bought a ball and Tinkerbell a fox soft toy.  The smurfs were part of their Happy Meal.


A good time was had by all.

Oh - I forgot to take a photo of Laura ..... sorry, hope I'm forgiven!!

Follower No. 9


Photo showing Flowers
welcome to ... Ellie
at Ellie's place in the world

Look What I've Got!


Fiona from Raindrops and Daisies has nominated my blog as a recipient of the 'Liebster Blog' award.  I love Fiona's blog - it's a 'must read' for me and I love hearing what she's been up to and seeing her beautiful photographs.  A big thank you to her for this award, her thoughtfulness and kind words are very much appreciated.
 
The Liebster Award is meant to connect us even more and spotlight new bloggers who have less than 200 followers. Every  blogging award usually is accompanied by a set of rules and this award is no different ... it has five rules.
  1. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
  2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
  3. Post the award on your blog.
  4. Bask in the love from the most supportive people on the internet - other writers.
  5. And best of all - have fun and spread the karma!
So my 5 nominees are:
 and two crafting/card making bloggers who include interesting snippets of their daily life
I hope you will visit these blogs and show them your support.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Follower No 8.

welcome ... to Lyn 
I do know her, hence the wine!

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Project 365 - week 4

022/365: Relaxing with a mug of coffee and a book.  Unfortunately not a particularly good book - I've given up with it for the time being.



















023/365: The oximeter was couriered from Bristol General Hospital for Ced to use overnight.



















024/365: Found a virus on my laptop, so over to Colin to get it fixed.
























025/365: Finished my summer reading project.



















026/365: Kelsey's 18th birthday.  I can't believe it - where did all that time go?



















027/365: Met Wriggle for the first time.  She's absolutely beautiful.
























028/365: Watching the cricket - 3rd Test against India. England won by an innings and 242 runs!!

Slim Down Sunday - week 2

 
Goal: to change my life style and in doing so, lose weight and increase fitness.
 
Pounds lost: I don't know - I'm not weighing myself. 
 
How it's gone this week: I have managed to reduce the meal portions and have cut out most snacks without feeling hungry. However, we have been having 'pot-luck' meals (as I'm trying to empty the freezer so that it can be defrosted) so it hasn't been a normal week in terms of meals.  Also this has been a week full of problems so I only managed 2 walks but being realistic I need to address the exercise within the home (walking up and down stairs x 5 for starters).  

Plan for this week:
  • aim for a 15 minutes exercise every day.
  • estimate the number of calories in my current food choices and identify where changes are needed.
  • try to include the 5-a-day fruit and vegetable in my diet.
  • eat smaller portions and cut out the majority of snacks. 
  • generally be more active.

To see how others are getting on, or to join in yourself, visit Slim Down Sunday at this site.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook - 13 August 2011

FOR TODAY - Saturday, 13th August 2011, 11:30am

Outside my window... it is trying to rain. 

I am thinking... about how to make best use of the rest of my holiday - another 3 weeks.

I am thankful... for this time away from work and the opportunity to get back in control of things.

I am learning ... scales, scales and more scales. I hate learning scales.  I know them, can play them on the piano, struggle on the wind instruments and fail miserably on the brass instruments.  Why?

In the kitchen... there are the ingredients for Spaghetti Bolognaise.

I am wearing... t shirt and skirt.

I am creating... nothing, but I am looking through quilting books and trying to decide whether I can make a quilt.


I am going... to exercise my brain.  I've been out shopping and I treated myself to the September issue of Puzzler so I'm going to curl up on the sofa with a coffee and work my way through some crossword puzzles.

I am wondering... if I can afford a new camera, and if I can justify the expense.

I am reading... An Expert in Murder by Nicola Upson. The fact that I am still reading this after a whole week shows that the book hasn't grabbed my interest at all - I can usually read a book of this size in 2 or 3 days.

I am hoping... that I can get out to respray the garden this week.  I need it to stay fine for at least 4 hours after spraying.


I am looking forward to... going to a craft club on Wednesday.  I can't usually get to this as I teach on a Wednesday morning but luckily it is still running during the school holidays.

I am hearing... the cricket commentary on the TV.  Ced is watching the 3rd Test against India. 

Around the house... it is starting to look better.  The decluttering is starting to be noticable, particularly upstairs.

I am pondering... when to go clothes shopping and what to buy.  I need some more outfits that will be suitable for work.

One of my favorite things... spending time with family and friends.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Lunch with Suzy on Thursday, craft club on Wednesday, shopping and housework.

Here is a picture I am sharing ...

View from the White Horse at Westbury, Wilts


 

















If you'd like to see other daybooks, or take part yourself, please visit this site.

Friday, 12 August 2011

A Bad Week Gets Better

It hasn't been a good week!

I've felt under the weather and have found everything a struggle.  Ced missed an important hospital appointment because the patient transport failed to turn up.  Then I found a virus on my laptop and it was away with a friend for two days being fixed.  And to cap it all, my flute had to be sent away for repair and won't be back until next week at the earliest.

But today ...

... I met my my new great-niece for the first time and I had a lovely cuddle from her big sister.  Things can't get any better than that.  My nephew and his wife are happy for me to post photos of the girls on this blog but we have agreed to only use their family nicknames, so here they are ... Ragbag and her baby sister, Wriggle.

Ragbag and Ced

Wriggle




3 in 30 Challenge - August 2011, week 2

Here's an update of my August goals:

Goal 1 - Personal
Aim to go for a short walk, maybe 10 minutes, every day regardless of the weather. 10 minutes isn't enough in the long term but I think it is a realistic starting target. I know this is going to be hard and I will make all sorts of excuses to avoid it but I am massively overweight and need to get started on some exercise. The only valid excuses for not doing this are if I have a migraine/illness or if I can't leave my partner (who has Motor Neurone Disease) but those days should be few and far between.
Week 1 update: Pretty much failed at this one. I've only managed one 15 minute walk this week.
Week 2 update: I started off well and managed two days doing a 15 - 20 minute walk each time but I didn't manage to keep it going - ill health, my partner and urgent problems needed my focus and time.   

Goal 2 - Professional
Decide which non-principal instrumental exam to take next and make a start on the practice. Aim for 30 minutes practice on at least 3 days (for starters) each week.
Week 1 update: Have narrowed it down to either the flute or the clarinet but am starting to favour the flute. I still have to decide which grade to go for.
Week 2 update: This was going well until one of the pads came loose and I've had to put my flute in for repair.

Goal 3 - Home
The big clean! The whole house needs doing but I feel overwhelmed by the task ahead of me even as I'm typing, so for starters I'll get the hoovering and dusting done and sort out the books and clothes to send off to the charity shop.
Week 1 update: This has been the most successful of my goals. Have sent one bag of clothes to the charity shop and have 3 bags of books ready to go. I changed my mind about doing the hoovering and dusting because the decluttering and tidying needs to happen first so I've made a list (I love lists!) of all the things that need to be done and am slowly working my way through it. So far today I have managed to tick 5 tasks as completed.
Week 2 update: As with last week, this has been the most successful goal.  I'm still on the decluttering and have sent 9 bags of clothes, coat hangars and books to the charity shop. I'm trying the 'Just Do It' approach (I read this on someones blog but now can't find it to give credit - if it's you, please contact me and I'll edit this post) so I'm keeping things up together as I go along rather than letting things get out of hand.  This is working well and is helping me to feel much more positive about things.

Linked up to the 3in30 Challenge

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

7th Follower

... to Rebecca

All About ... Food

I saw this food meme over on Karen's blog - The Fruit of Her Hands and thought I'd join in.

What's the last thing you ate? Chicken pie, potatoes and peas.

What's your favourite cheese? Cheddar - it's the only cheese I like!  I don't have it very often or in large quantities as I am allergic to dairy products.

What's your favourite fish? It's difficult to only choose one - I'll say cod.

What's your favourite fruit? Again it's difficult to only choose one - bananas.

When, if ever, did you start liking olives?  Never.  Yuck.

When, if ever, did you start liking shellfish? I can't remember a time when I didn't like shellfish.

What was the best thing your parent/s used to make?  My mum was a brilliant cook so it is almost impossible to choose the best.  I loved her roast dinners, especially the gravy.  Also her bread pudding and her 'cut and come again' fruit cake.

What's the native speciality of your home town?  There isn't one.  It used to be the home of Ushers Brewery and of Bowyers (meat products).

What's your comfort food? Mashed potato.

What's your favourite type of chocolate?  I'm not supposed to eat milk chocolate (it's a trigger for the migraines) but I do from time to time, especially the white milk chocolate.  I can eat dark chocolate but it isn't really my favourite.

How do you like your steak?  I don't eat steak - I'm allergic to beef.

How do you like your burger?  I very rarely eat burgers as I have to have chicken burgers and I've never really found one that I like.

How do you like your eggs?  Soft boiled with toast soldiers.  Also fried, poached, scrambled, omelette and any other way you can cook eggs.

How do you like your potatoes? Mashed, roasted or baked in the jacket.  I really like potato however it is cooked.

How do you take your coffee? Black with sugar

How do you take your tea?  I don't!  Disgusting stuff.

What's your favourite mug?  I always use the mug I had for my last birthday or Christmas gift.  I'm currently using the one Julie gave me which has a fairy scene on it.

What's your cookie of choice? Digestives.

What's your ideal breakfast?  Wholemeal toast with marmalade. 

What's your ideal sandwich? Wholemeal bread, cold cooked chicken, shedded lettuce, salt and pepper.

What's your ideal pizza (topping and base)?  I'm not really that fond of pizza and the cheese isn't good for me, but I do have it occasionally.  I usually have thin base topped with cheese, mushroom, ham and onion.

What's your ideal pie (sweet or savoury)? Sweet is apple pie and savoury is chicken pie.

What's your ideal salad? Iceberg lettuce, cucumber, beetroot, carrot, spring onions, cherry tomatoes, ham, cheese, hard boiled egg and jacket potato.

What food do you always like to have in the fridge? Eggs.

What food do you always like to have in the freezer? Minced lamb and chicken breasts/legs.

What food do you always like to have in the cupboard?  Pasta.

What spices can you not live without? Salt and pepper.

What sauces can you not live without? I don't have a particular favourite. I suppose, if I have to say something it will be a basic curry sauce.

Where do you buy most of your food? Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury.

How often do you go food shopping.  I shop online and have it delivered once a month and then buy fresh veg, bread, milk etc. as needed throughout the month.

What's the most you've spent on a single food item? I don't know.

What's the most expensive piece of kitchen equipment you own? The cooker. 

What's the last piece of equipment you bought for your kitchen?  Some oven gloves and a wooden spoon.

What piece of kitchen equipment could you not live without?  The potato peeler.

How many times a week/month do you cook from raw ingredients?  At least once a week but sometimes more often. 

What's the last thing you cooked from raw ingredients?  Chilli.

What's your favourite thing to make for yourself? Shepherds pie.

What meats have you eaten besides cow, pig, chicken and turkey?  Lamb, rabbit, duck, goose and venison.  Lamb is the only one I eat regularly but I have tried all the others in my list.

What's the last time you ate something that had fallen on the floor? I don't remember.

What's the last time you ate something you'd picked in the wild?  It would have been blackberries but I can't remember when.

Place the following cuisines in order of preference (greatest to least) - Italian, sushi, Chinese, French, Indian, Thai: Indian, Thai, Chinese, French, Italian, sushi.

Place the following flavours in order of preference (greatest to least) - garlic, ginger, basil, aniseed, lime: ginger, lime, aniseed, garlic, basil.

Place the following fruits in order of preference (greatest to least) - cherry, apple, orange, pineapple, watermelon: pineapple, cherry, orange, apple, watermelon.

Bread and spread: wholemeal bread, marmite.

What's your fast food restaurant of choice, and what do you usually order? My favourite is KFC but there isn't one in town.   I usually have a chicken kebab from one of the places in town.

What are three of the best dining-out experiences you've had?  I can't say that I particularly remember any meal for the actual food.  For me, it is always the company that makes the experience memorable.

Favourite cookbook/s? I don't have a favourite.  My latest purchase was the 'Hairy Biker's Family Cookbook - Mother Know's Best', bought because we really enjoyed the TV series.

Got any favourite food blogs? No.

What's the next thing you'll eat? evening meal - soup and sandwich, but I haven't actually decided yet.

Hungry, anyone? Post a link to your blog if you play along.