Category Archives: Manchester

On an adventure to BlogOn X

I’m planning on writing more this year, getting a shorter URL and I’ve got plenty of ideas for blog topics. More photos of flowers too. This weekend I’m off to a blogging conference run by the team at BlogOn (https//BlogOnuk.com) – it’s only down the road at Hotel Football, in Old Trafford, in Manchester – about three miles from my house. I’d seen bloggers taking about how well run, and useful, the conferences are, so I signed up. I wanted to learn some new skills, update my knowledge, especially about Pinterest, and maybe talk about collaborations. I’m very much looking forward to meeting some other bloggers face to face, that I know via Twitter and other social media. It’s always good to spend time with people who do a similar role to you, and have some fun.

If you’re coming to the conference come and say hello 🙂 I’m hoping I’m not a fish out of water.

We’ve been asked to write a bit about ourselves and link up… So here goes…

  • Share a recent photo of yourself

I’m Bec, I live in Monton in Eccles, which is in Salford in Lancashire. Monton is on the West of Greater Manchester, about six miles from the city centre; it’s leafy round here, with Worsley Woods, a couple of golf courses and the Bridgewater Canal is at the end of our street – we’ve got a good cafes, bars and restaurants around here and a growing number of street art bees.

I blog about flowers, gardening, wellbeing and our adventures out and about, usually in the Great Outdoors . I’m a Southerner originally, born in Berkshire. I’ve lived here for 20 years, visiting since 1989, so I’ve seen lots of changes around Manchester.

I’m definitely in my spiritual home among the friendly Northerners. Also, I know the correct words to use to order a bread role in any part of Greater Manchester. In Eccles its a barm 😉 I eat my chips with gravy, but never mushy peas (Devil’s work).

This is the first picture of me I’ve ever put on the blog. I feel like I should tell you I’m wearing a White Stuff dress, with Razzle Dazzle Irregular Choice shoes – Outfit of the Day and all that 😉 The photo was taken just before I headed out to my Hen Do afternoon tea last September.

  • What’s your favourite pizza topping?

Olives, anchovies, prosciutto, tomato, mozzarella on a super thin crust.

  • You can have dinner with any three guests dead or alive- who do you choose and why?

I could easily pick three gardeners, three historians, three chefs, three novelists, three adventures, three musicians, three scientists, the list could go on. But, I’ll confine myself to a group who’d have so much to discuss and share – Nigel Slater, Mary Beard and Charles Darwin.

  • Up to now what would you consider being your biggest life achievement?

I’ve raised alot of money for charities to research Motor Neurone Disease (because My Chap’s brother died aged 49 in 2017 from MND) and cancer (because lung cancer took my Dad 18 years ago when he was 70). In my day job, I’ve helped academics win millions in funding for research with patients in the NHS – just about any topic or disease you can think of. I’m proud I help people make a difference – and make the world a better place.

  • If you woke up tomorrow as a character from any Disney film or book who would you be and why?

I watched most of the classic Disney Films as a kid in the 1970s, Sleeping Beauty, 101 Dalmatians, Snow White, Lady and the Tramp, etc. My favourite is Jungle Book – I love the songs. I’ve never seen Bambi though.

However, since Disney bought the Star Wars franchise, I’m taking Leia at any age, as my character…

I was 11 in 1977 when Star Wars came out and I’d never seen a woman as the lead, a hero, in charge – it affected me deeply. The film was massive in the playground; I think I saw it three or four times that year. I was, and still am, a massive Star Wars and sci-fi geek. Wish I’d kept the light sabre though. In the recent films Leia, as a General, is only a decade or so older than me, so I hope I have her compassion, determination and wit.

Yoda and Pansies in the Spring Sunshine

    I have a special love for Yoda; he has appeared so many times in the blog he has his own Tag.

    • What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

    Stretch! Wiggle my toes and fingers. I have osteoarthritis in my fingers, toes and in my back, so I often wake up very stiff.

    • If you won the lottery what would be the very first thing you would buy and why?

    A round the world airline ticket for My Chap and I, to visit friends and family, watch some tennis, go to some gigs and walk on beaches. Then we’d come back to Manchester, pay off and do up our house and garden. We’d stay here, as we love Manchester, but we’d also love a house by the sea.

    • What is your favourite quote from a movie?

    ‘Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future’. Yoda

    • If you were a superhero what would your super power be?

    Time travel – not only because I love history – but it would mean I could visit people in a instant.

    • What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

    When I was a teenager, My Dad used to talk about ‘Things a Girl Should Know’, most were practical like how to open champagne, how to shake hands firmly, tie bow ties properly, change a tyre etc. He taught me to cook too, but that’s a whole other story.
    He told me to be true to myself, be kind, help people, when you can and say No to things you really don’t want to do.

    And to trust your gut.

    • Which emoji do you use the most?

    I’m absolutely bobbins at doing emojis, so I can only use three (typing the characters too) – 🙂 😉 😦

    • If you could go back in time and tell yourself anything what would it be?

    My Granny Dolly who was a country woman, a working class suffragette, dog breader, judge at Cruft and a terrible cook, said to use moisturiser every day. Her skin was amazing, even in her 80s, and I’m afraid I didnt take this advice. I realised the error when I turned 40 and have mostly remembered the moisturiser since then.

    • What do you currently have set as the wallpaper on your phone?

    This is the bay at Flinders, on the Mornington Peninsula, just south of Melbourne. My Australian family live here some of the time. Flinders is a village, with a General Store, one pub and a few coffee shops – it’s a peaceful, sleepy and relaxed place. I love it there.

    • If you could do anything in the world as a legitimate job what would you do?

    Be a guide around one of the great gardens, photographing people, places and plants – sharing and tweeting too.

    • Where is your favourite place in the world?

    I don’t have one favourite place – I guess mine is more about what places make me feel – a state of mind. Contentment, peace, relaxed but it would definitely have beautiful flowers.

    And now to see if I can add the link button without a laptop. It broke on Monday so I’m using the tablet at the moment (TMI probably). Oops I chopped my head of on the link box.

    Do have a look at the BlogOn X – linky for more blog and bloggers 🙂 I’ve found some new ones to follow.

    Any thing I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments.

    But, in the meantime, remember Life isn’t a dress rehearsal.

    Carpe Diem

    Love Bec xx

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    In a Vase on Monday: Create your own sunshine

    ‘Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine’ Anthony D’Angelo – American Educator

    The weather has been a bit chilly and windy here in Salford, so for today’s vase I picked the brightest colours I could find in the garden – lots of different kinds of dwarf daffodils, including a solitary frilly one. Most of the Daffodils came from a mixed bag of bulbs from my local garden centre Bents. I added some bright yellow primrose, which opens as orange, and a frond of blue scilla. I matched them with an aqua glass vase, which I bought at the Eden Centre a few years ago – it’s made from reclaimed glass, has a metal hanger, handy for wedging stems against. The vase is really a tealight holder – it’s appeared before In a Vase on Monday, with daffodils but I didn’t realise that until I looked it up on the blog. There’s rain drops on the Primula and one of the Daffodils has been munched – oh well that’s Nature for you.

    I probably sound like a broken record, but the weather has been very backwards and forwards in April in Salford. It’s been even more changeable than usual for April, – and not many April showers either. There was the brief hot, sunny 70degrees for a few days mid week, which ‘might’ have been our Summer/Spring. It was rather wasted as I was at work, but it did give me a chance to take some photos around Oxford Road. Doesn’t it look awesome and I love the living wall on the side of the Physics building. I wish there were more of these, and more Cherry trees around campus.

    Manchester and Salford look stunning at the moment with the many ornamental blossoms – I counted over 50 trees on the way home in so many shades of pink and white, on my 6 mile commute (and two miles in motorway in deep concrete cuttings). I must take some photos of the local ones around Monton – there’s four mature cherry trees on our Green, which definitely isn’t big enough for a cricket match.

    As usual I’m linking up with Cathy from Rambling in the Garden; she has a beautiful collection of many shades of white, with streaks of green when you look closely. Like many things, if you look closely you see more. A good reminder for life generally – and doing this helps me be mindful too. I’m expecting to have Tulips in my Vase on Bank Holiday Monday, there are many coming though.

    Blurt Foundation #blurtselfcareathon April

    This finished today -Monday 30 April 2018. It’s been a reflective day for me.

    I’ve enjoyed the challenge of finding photos to represent the topics – sometimes it was very thought provoking, other times the photo and description were straightforward – some photos I had already and some I took especially for the prompt. I made a couple of collages too.

    I’d definitely do another of these prompts again. Have you seen anything suitable? Would you have a go? Let me know in the comments.

    *****

    Instagram: @becinmonton
    Twitter: @becinmonton

    Follow the Instagram hashtag – #blurtselfcareathon

    *****

    Thank you to The Blurt Foundation for all they do to help people like me – I’d have been a mess if I hadn’t found them. I’ve written about them a few times on the blog.

    Follow Blurt Foundation on Instagram @theblurtfoundation
    Follow the Instagram hashtag – #blurtselfcareathon

    Follow Blurt Foundation on Twitter @BlurtAlerts

    More resources and help for depression and anxiety at: www.blurtitout.org

    The Blurt Foundation’s CEO Jayne Hardy knows so much about self care, she wrote a book about it :-). It’s available from bookshops Self Care Project

    Follow Jayne on Instagram @jaynehardy_ and twitter @JayneHardy_

    *****

    I can see my neighbour’s stunning cherry blossom from my front door. Isn’t it gorgeous? It lifts my mood.

    In the meantime enjoy National Gardening Week – hope you can get outside to enjoy some gardens, flowers and plants… or just a walk in the sunshine or doing something you love. It’s due to be a sunny Bank Holiday weekend so we’ll be making the most of it.

    I’ll be taking notice of the small things too – #mindfulness. I’ve tapped into more of my inner sunshine despite being ridiculously busy.

    We go to Australia in less than two weeks to see our awesome relatives so we will definitely see some genuine sunshine (inner sunshine too).

    Carpe Diem,

    Love Bec xx xx xx

    In a Vase on Monday – three flowers, birthdays (some third), Hope and Kindness

    ‘Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. and the third is to be kind’ Henry James (1843-1916) American Author

    It’s been difficult times here recently; A few weeks ago, it would have been my wonderful brother’s 50th birthday, and the following day marked 18 years since my awesome Dad passed from cancer. Everyone who ever met either my brother or our Dad, would remember them, especially if they’d cooked for them. They touched people all around the world and are forever in my heart. My awesome sister in law and nieces, and his many friends, had a lovely celebration to remember my Brother in Australia. I can’t express how proud I am of them all, and how much love I have for them all – strong women. My Chap and I have been down to see My Mum too, and helped her buy more pots for her garden, and plant new birthday roses and fuchsias, for remembrance. It’s been SO tough for her too. It’s been SO tough for all of us.

    There’s been some positives though, had some interesting news at work. I’m well into the swing of daily walks #onehouroutside, mindfulness and, at least, weekly yoga. We’ve been making plans too. I’ve been walking around Monton and Worsley with My Chap – it’s always lovely to watch the plants springing into action. I wrote about one of my favourite circular walks a couple of months ago:

    Spring is coming 🙂 I was excited to see my first snowdrops, a dwarf Iris and crocus buds too. This was despite having two snow showers last Tuesday, it was minus 5 on Wed and more snow overnight on Sunday here in Manchester. The violas are still flowering from my last vase, and a few dwarf purple and yellow ones have appeared too, as well as crocus buds and daffodil spikes coming up. I wrote about violas, self care and there’s no such thing as Blue Monday in my last vase.

    This week, I picked a snowdrop, a dwarf Iris and added them to some red Cotoneaster berries and leaves (possibly amoenus?) and put it in a small earthenware vase about 4 inches high, that I bought about 30 years ago in Scotland while at University. It has no label and I don’t remember where exactly I bought it. I am sure this was my first vase purchase – though I’ve only rarely put flowers in it over the years. It has never appeared on in In a Vase on Monday before, but I’m sure you’ll see it again 🙂

    Snowdrops represent Hope – this seems appropriate this week – Hope for the future

    DSC_1433

    12 February 2018 – Iris, Snowdrop and Cotoneaster

    I picked the cook books to represent where we live (Manchester), where my Brother lived (Melbourne), and a Rick Stein book (one of my Dad’s favourite chefs). All of us love fish, and time spent by the sea. The Mrs Beaton book was my gran’s (Dad’s mum – who was an excellent cook) but I think she must have had more than one copy as there are no notes or recipes scribbled in it. The red and white striped notebook my Dad gave to me, when I went to university in the mid 1980’s, with some useful recipes like boulognese, how to boil rice, and baking cakes. It’s very precious to me. My Brother Matt gave us the Melbourne cookbook and we’d given him, and his family in Australia, The Manchester Cookbook.

    Cooking food represents our love for our family and friends.

    All of us love fish and time spent by the sea.

    dsc_1421-1421901077.jpg

    12 February 2018 – dwarf Iris, Snowdrop and Cotoneaster in a blue and green earthen wear vase. With some of our favourite cookbooks

    Do have a look at Rambling in the Garden where Cathy hosts In A Vase on a Monday – where gardening bloggers from around the world add links to their vases. Always beautiful, interesting or unusual – including plenty of southern hemisphere bloggers who brighten my days in the depths of Winter. This week Cathy has a Japanese Ikibana style black vase with a white Hyacinth.

    Be Kind – #savouringJanuary2018
    I’ve been reminded again this week of the need to #bekind to myself and do my favourite selfcare activities for me. The cold weather has been tough on my arthritic joints – painful and I’ve been wrapped up with thermal socks on and lots of layers – but moving helps especially something like sewing, crochet or knitting.

    I’ve made a green heart for the Women’s Institute #showthelove campaign to raise awareness of impact of climate change – show the love make a heart to wear and share-on-valentines-day. I made a small lavender filled house too 🙂

    cotton house heart and candle.jpg

    12 February 2018 – house filled with lavender, green heart for #showthelove and a candle because I love the scents.

    There’s something incredibly relaxing about sewing, handling the soft material – creating something – this is a lavender filled ‘house’ I made. I need small, achievable projects like this and hearts. Sewing helps my #wellbeing and concentrating on the stitching ’empties’ your head so to speak. Yoga does this too.

    I finished my instagram challenge – #savouringJanuary2018 – You can follow me on Instagram – @becinmonton

    I lit many candles too – Hygge in our House 🙂

    Happy 3rd Birthday to Cottonopolis WI – www.cottonopoliswi.com/
    We dressed up in 1920s gear, learnt the Charleston, ate cake, picked our bursary winners and had alot of fun as usual.

    • Have a look at our facebook page for the photos of our third birthday party 🙂
    • Join us if you’re local – 1st Tuesday of the month, 730pm, George Leigh Street, Ancoats, Manchester

    Adventures around Manchester in the last month – Good food and good memories 🙂

    My Chap and I decided to go for a meal at one of the place’s we’d taken my brother when he’d visited -Mr Thomas’s Chop House in Manchester. This venerable tiled green and white Mancunian institution was opened in 1870, serves classic British food, has an excellent selection of Lancashire real ales and an extensive wine list.

    For starter, I had Tom’s cornbeef hash, with pickled red cabbage and poached egg. There is nothing in the world quite like this hash – it is awesome and so good I forgot to take any photos – oops 😉 Followed by steak and kidney pudding. My Chap had scallops and the hash for main course – we had no room for pudding.

    We had a wonderful lunch, drank a glass of a very good red and then headed off to Manchester Art Gallery, another place we’d taken my Brother. Always great art to see, including Valette’s impressionist paintings of Manchester (he was Lowry’s tutor) as well as many Pre-raphaelite paintings, Victorian high art and regularly changing exhibitions.

    The next day, Sunday (my Dad’s ‘anniversary’), My Chap cooked a 10/10 Sunday roast in commemoration of Jay. My Dad was famous for his roast dinners and mine and my brother’s pals would scrap over who could get an invite.

    I’ve written a few times about the men in my life and how much they loved cooking including:

    Happy memories

    I know for certain that we never lose the people we love, even to death.They continue to participate in every act, thought and decision we make.Their love leaves an indelible imprint in our memories. We find comfort in knowing that our lives have been enriched by having shared their love. Leo Buscaglia (1924-1998) Professor University of Southern California and motivational speaker

    I’ll be remembering darling My Dad, Uncle Fred, Steve and most of all my wonderful Brother Matt and I’ll continue to raise a glass of quality red, especially if My Chap and I are by the sea.

    dsc_1419192481519.jpg

    12 February 2018 – wedding gift wine glasses and Châteauneuf-du-Pape – lovely

    It’s the third birthday of my blog today – Much has stayed the same and much has changed in that time… a bit like me….

    Here’s my first few blog posts and the first appearance of ‘In A vase on Monday’ 🙂

    plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

    I’m reminding myself to #bekind (to myself as well).

    And on that note, I’m off to blow out some candles and head to bed 🙂

    Carpe Diem,

    love

    Bec xxx xxx

    In a Vase on New Year’s Day – dogs, woods and walks 

    ‘It’s never too late in life to have a genuine adventure’ Robert Kurson, author (1963– )

    Happy New Year everyone, may your 2018 be happy and healthy.  We’ve been down south to visit my Mum, and only got back to Salford for Hogmanay, so I decided to pick plants from both gardens. I cut some Cornus (dogwood) from my mother’s garden which has bright red stems and variated leaves, and when I got home, I cut some Hypericum from my front garden.  My garden is very wet and blown about, but there are crocus and narcissi poking though the soil, and the hellebore are flowering so they will probably get their chance next week in a vase.

    This was one of the first vases My Chap bought me; it has appeared a few times in In a Vase on Monday as has the Hypericum,  in flower though ;-).  There’s a few shoots poking through too, so that seems appropriate for a new year too…

    Please have a look at Cathy’s vase this week, over at Rambling in the Garden who hosts IAVOM, as well as contributions from gardeners around the world.

    My Mother’s Garden – frosty December 2017

    I’ve written a few times about my mother‘s garden, she’s lived in the house since it was built in the 1970s – there’s many happy memories of food, paying games and relaxing in the garden with the family. My mum is the gardener in the family, my Dad mostly dug holes for plants, mowed the lawn and grew herbs. I get my love of gardening from my Mum.

    The soil is clay so that’s why much grows in pots and a North facing garden just like ours in Salford. There’s usually a great many fuchsias in pots on the terrace – as usual they’re living in the garage over the winter (there’s a window). My Mum has a gardener to do the heavy work, and pruning now, as she’s been retired along time.  My Chap and I do get roped in when we are visiting though.

    2 January 2018 – frosty Berkshire garden (including Dogwood)

    2017 into 2018

    We had a very quiet Hogmanay, it’s been a very tough year with loss, health troubles, especially my osteoarthritis, but I’m on the mend now and am much more myself. But 2017 was the Best of Times too. I married the love of my life 🙂

    Continue reading

    Happiness – one week & five things that helped #3

    The weather took a major turn for the worse this week (12-19 May 2017) – it’s hurled down for most of the week, the garden certainly needed it – everything was really parched. But, all the rain meant I didn’t get into the garden much, let alone anywhere else. I’ve also been feeling very tired, and arthritis pain is high.  However, I’m continuning to note down activities, people and things that make me happy or I’m grateful for.

    As ever, major thanks to Suzy from www.fromthefringe.co.uk who hosts this weekly gratitude link up.  I think she’ll recognise the lighthouse, as she lives around the corner from me 🙂 Also to Emma from www.misspond.co.uk who inspired me to blog and also writes regular posts on Happiness.  Thank you ladies. One of the things, I love about blogging is meeting (usually virtual) new friends, finding a community and developing a network of people all around the world. I’ve been very grateful for them all these last couple of years.

    Here are five things that helped bring me happiness this week:

    1. Hen Do arrangements 

    Officially, according to tradition (recent tradition, mind you), I shouldn’t be organising my own hen do – but I am.  It’s because I have friends from various parts of my life work, locals, friends from uni, women’s institute and friends I met for random reasons over the last 30 years. My two UK bridesmaids have a lot on in their lives at the moment. One lives in London and is doing a Masters. The other is local to me in Lancashire, but she has a very hectic family life, busy life and her own 25th wedding anniversary do to arrange.   I thought I’d get the ball rolling so I asked everyone what they might want to do… So I’ve done a survey – I want to give people a chance to get to know each other, potter around Manchester, and also have some fun.  No dressing up, no tackiness, no clubbing (I’m too nackered). I am quite sure an Afternoon Tea will be involved 🙂

    2. A visit to Salford Angels Women’s Institute 

    I’ve been a member of Cottonopolis WI (since it started in January 2015), we meet in Ancoats, just north of Manchester city centre, on the first Wednesday of the month (7.30pm). Do come along if you’re a local. There’s always cake 🙂

    I’ve written a few times about WI means to me; the fun, camping, adventures and excellent meetings and speakers – it’s most definitely not jam and Jerusalem – it’s been a campaigning organisation since its inception in 1915, lobbying for equal pay, The WI were founding members of both the ‘fair trade’ and ‘Keep Britain Tidy’.

    One of the great things about all the new WI’s around Great Manchester is we do lots of joint activities and people attend other WI meetings – so I know ladies all over the city.  So on Thursday I went off to see the Salford Angels and had a lovely evening, with plenty of cake.

    3. A walk around our neighbourhood – Monton in Salford

    My Chap and I went for a walk around the neighbourhood after we’d had our tea. It’s something we do often in the summer evenings. We have a good look at all the flowers and plants in front gardens, noticing plants for our garden.  It was lovely to chat about this and that, nothing complicated or heavy, just a good chat and a laugh or two.

    We are lucky to live in Monton, in Salford. It’s very green place, the Bridgewater Canal is at the end of my street, Worsley Woods are a mile, or so away, and there’s a couple of golf courses (not that we play – but there are many footpaths).  There’s even a parkrun at the end of our street.

    It has a lighthouse that’s 30 miles from the North Sea (it’s really a garden shed) – just another reason why Monton is a bit quirky.

    Red and white lighthouse, with two canal barges by the Bridgewater Canal

    19 May 2017 – the lighthouse by the Bridgewater Canal, at Monton, Salford -30 miles from the sea!

    4. Lunch with my pal C

    I had a great time catching up with my good pal, hearing all her news and discussing my news – it really lifted my spirits. She’s a good listener. I’ve known C for over 12 years, we shared an office at work. She’s an IT geek and I’m not 🙂 Our birthdays are a couple of days apart, we usually go out to celebrate our birthdays, involving cocktails. Annual trips to Manchester Christmas markets, days out to Dunham Massey. Shes part of the Cottonopolis WI posse too – and obviously, she and her husband will be at our wedding in September.

    5. My Gardening magazines arrived

    If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know I love our garden and gardening.  Ive been a bit lax about take part in In a Vase on Monday recently, but I’ve got my eye on some margarites for next week. Bloggers get involved from all around the world. Their beautiful flowers lift my mood when I’m feeling low. This link hosted by Cathy at:

    This week my Gardeners’ World and Royal Horticultural Society Magazine arrived. I’ve spent quite a bit of time looking through deciding what we might plant, or if money and space were available. The Gardeners’  World is very accessible for beginner gardeners like me, the RHS one helps with plant pests, plants that might suit our shady, north facing soggy back garden – and Latin plant names too.

    We’ve been to RHS Tatton Park garden show most years (we are going again this year), but I only got around to joining RHS last year.  I can’t tell you how excited I am that the 5th RHS garden Bridgewater will be a mile or so from our house up the canal (hence it’s name). It’s great for Salford in so many ways, not least employment and training. Watch this space, as it develops – work has started, it opens in 2019 – the plants need time to grow 🙂

    What have you been grateful for this week?

    Carpe Diem

    Love Bec xxx

    This weekly gratitude post covers:

    • Week 3 – Friday 12 May – Thursday 19 May 2017

    Happiness – one week and five things that helped #2

    It’s been glorious weather for most of the week here in Manchester, I’ve managed to get out in the garden every day, even if it was just to water things.  It’s been bone dry and both our waterbutts are empty.  I could, of course, show you a picture of plants in my garden, as that always makes me happy.  Likewise, My Chap lights up my life :-). But, this would be a bit of a cop out for a weekly gratitude post, so I think I’ll feature them on special occasions only.

    I was inspired to write a weekly gratitude post by:

    • Suzy – www.fromthefringe.co.uk – she had a new nephew arrive this week how exciting 🙂 – her latest post on five things happiness is here

    1. Choosing music for our wedding  

    Four CDs and a note book with a green and gold dotty cover

    12 May 2017 – choosing music for our digital playlist – plenty of indie classics 

    We aren’t having a DJ at our wedding, instead we are going to have a digital playlist. We spent a happy Saturday night in listening to tunes old and new – and thank goodness for digital download sites.  We’re going to have lots of different playlists for different parts of the day. They’ll definitely going to reflect our somewhat ‘eclectic’ music tastes.  Lots of indie classics too.

    2. Lost a stone 

    Blue one stone slimming world award and book

    12 May 2017 – slimming world one stone award and book

    Given everything that’s been happening since Christmas, I’m really pleased to have managed to lose some weight, without going nuts on a silly diet.  I’m fortunate to go to supportive groups and have a great consultant who’s a really good cook. Ive got no number in my mind, just to fit into smaller jeans, help my arthritis pain and not look frumpy in my wedding dress. Onwards and downwards 🙂

    3. Rock and Roll Bride magazine arrived 

    Rock and roll bride magazines - blue haired and pink haired ladies

    12 May 2017 – Rock and Roll Bride magazines

    As I mentioned before ours is a very unconventional wedding, I was a bit lost looking for inspiration in the wedding magazines – all stick thin, 20-somethings with huge flouncy, sparkly, strapless, ivory flocks – and everything very expensive. None of it was what My Chap and I wanted for our day.  We had very clear ideas about what we wanted, and what we didn’t, but didn’t know how to find suppliers apart from trawling the Internet…

    Then I spied a magazine front with a lady in a gold dress and her husband in tweed – both with plenty of tattoos – so I found Rock and Roll Bride www.rocknrollbride.com/ – a blog, and the ‘most’ supportive Facebook group – lovely, helpful and kind people.  Diversity at its best 🙂

    So I would say Have the wedding you and your partner want 🙂 Although, it’s a lot easier when you’re paying for everything yourselves 🙂

    4. A barbecue at a friend’s house 

    Fire pit made from a washing machine

    17 May 2017 – fire pit made from a washing machine drum

    My Chap and I went to a lovely barbecue/house warming at friends we know from mountain biking and running. My Chap ran man v mountain with the chap last year and has mountain biked with them all over the Lake District, Pennines and Peak District. Ive eaten alot of cake and gone on plenty of walks in beautiful locations.  We caught up with lots of friends which was lovely.  The host M is a very handy, he made the firepit from an old washing machine drum.

    5. New shoes – my first ever Irregular Choice 

    Irregular Choice shoe box

    17 May 2017 – my first ever pair of Irregular Choice shoes – for my wedding

    I’ve bought my first ever pair of Irregular Choice shoes – no sneaky peeks as they’re for my wedding outfit. They are absolutely beautiful and so comfortable.  I don’t really do heels either so these are perfect. My Chap loves them and encouraged me to buy another pair for ‘going out’ 🙂 This could be an expensive passtime.

    How has your week been? And what have you been grateful for?

    Carpe Diem

    Love Bec xxx

    This post covers week Friday 5th May to Thursday 11th May – next week I’m hoping to be more prompt with posting – Thank you, as ever, to Suzy for hosting the link up – www.fromthefringe.co.uk