Wonderful Wednesday Sixty Six

Ok, we don’t really need to discuss the hiatus do we? It’s been nothing more sinister than life in all its beautiful, weird and wonderful glory but a huge thank you to each and every one of you who took the time to ask. It was so very much appreciated.

Shall we get on with the particularly superficially wonderful bits of the last week or so and see if it stimulates some of the linguistic athleticism I seem to have misplaced?

Yoga I re-discovered the joy of yoga during the hiatus. My name’s Michelle and I might be a yogaholic. Indoors, outdoors, on the water, anywhere and everywhere I can bend and stretch, I’m doing it. There’s something truly lovely about feeling your body strengthen and elongate and just become its best self. I may be a bit too into it – I hit a waiter in the stomach whilst flexing a newly acquired bicep. Not many regrets because I now have biceps and all the zen. If you can’t find a class near you try a bit of Yoga with Adrienne on The You Tube – I promise nothing bad ever happened as a result of yoga. Probably.

Red Shoes I do love love love a red bit of footwear and I’ve FINALLY found the perfect replacement for the much loved and overworked M&S pair, from New Look of all places. They haven’t been off my feet for the last fortnight. They’re spicing up every outfit I own and making me feel like a walking red dress emoji. I’ll take that.

Green Tea with Jasmine Specifically the Clipper version but M&S do a pretty good Jasmin Green too. It’s refreshing and soothing and a nice way to start or end the day. Before the onslaught of caffeine.

MDWAP It’s going to make every single happy list I make until the day it stops making me cry laughing. I cackled so hard at Ken Dewsbury’s Cellar that I fell off my shoes in the car park. If you’re still not on this bandwagon you really need to be – provided that appallingly written erotica being ripped to shreds by the authors’ son doesn’t offend you. And it might offend you, it’s dreadful!

Sunday Since both of my beautiful step daughters moved out (one to uni and one with a boy – SOB!) I’ve missed our Sunday family roasts. Deep deep joy at being able to roast up a whole chicken last week after which we conked out in front of Moana (yes, the choice of a 21 year old!) Any time spent with my favourite humans is not time wasted. Especially if it also involves The Rock in cartoon form. Singing. Be still my beating heart.

Earphones Because sometimes, when you’re in the office alone, the only option is to find an excellent Spotify playlist and have a one woman silent disco whilst the kettle boils. Yes, I’m that colleague. Sometimes I also lunge.

Sandy Bits The sea features in a lot of my best bits: in it, on it, beside it getting sand in my drawers. Any which way I can get it to be completely honest. There was a very brief window where I craved the rush and stimulation of big city living. Now though, now not a day goes by where my soul isn’t utterly grateful that I get to build a career I enjoy and am good at within sniffing distance of the big blue. Thanks universe.

Belly Laughing. Particularly with friends you’ve known for twenty *cough* years whilst you watch another of them marry their love. A whole day full of head back, tummy hurting cackle is good for anyone’s soul.

And that’s that. I make no apologies for the high level of perkiness, life is good and I have red shoes. How the devil are you?


Wonderful Wednesday Sixty Five

Wonderful Wednesday Sixty FiveI really haven’t been feeling this for the last couple of weeks. At all. But this morning I woke with the sun peeping around the edge of the curtains (it won’t last, don’t worry. Also, it brought yet more hay fever with it. HOW can I be unable to breathe through my nose whilst also being unable to stop it dripping?? WHAT IS THAT?!) and wanted to try to get back into this soul lifting little practice of capturing the tiny, delicious little nuggets of our Devonish life. So here goes:

Pete’s Car Face. ^^ That’s it, up there. ‘Nuff said.

MDWAP Vol Three. If you haven’t listened to My Dad Wrote a Porno yet then I’m not sure we can be friends any more. Unless you swear to me right now that you’ll give it a go? Promise? It makes me laugh tears when out on my morning dog walks. In other podcast news, Alice and Jenny have released episode(?)…cast(?) 2 of their Bookcast Club podcast, they chat through their loves and loathes of the book world and both have excellent taste so get yourself over there pronto – It’s a very lovely thing. Wonderful Wednesday Sixty FiveSunny Mornings. It’s rained incessantly since but the very first morning of our staycation we woke to beautifully clear skies and took el poochos up to the very top of that hill I love so very much and just sat. We basked in the sunshine, soaked up the silence and just…were. For a good hour. Husband and I rarely have time to just sit and be and after a RIDICULOUS May it was perfecto.

Starry Starry Night. Last week the old fella and I spent a night away in the North(Devon). The Highbullen Hotel was utterly lovely, the best bit being just how ridiculously rural it was. I like to get away for a bit of solitude now and again (hashtag introvert) but this was something else entirely. On the edge of the moor and with next to no noise or light pollution, the walk back to our room was a star gazing extravaganza. Looking at so very much of the vast night sky makes me feel tiny and insignificant and hopeful. And I like that. Actually, I LOVE that feeling.

Hacksaw Ridge. One of the most extraordinary stories I’ve heard(watched) in a long time, Hacksaw Ridge follows the story of Desmond Doss – a conscientious objector in WWII who found himself on the brutal front line in Japan. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone so I’ll just tell you that his story was UNBELIEVABLE and urge you to watch it. Some bits through splayed fingers, it can be a little brutal. I’ve spent every waking moment since watching it trying to be a better human being.    Wonderful Wednesday Sixty FiveStick Another Shrimp On. Cremated sausages, some cold Old Mout (the apple and lime is SO good!) and friends who bring their blonde bombshell pooches over to play all make for a pretty excellent Sunday night. We just managed to squeeze in a bit of al fresco before the rain came back too. Win.

Gravy. A good gravy is a soul quietening thing. I don’t want to brag but I did make perhaps the best gravy of my life last weekend. I should have saved some to go all over an obscene bowl of cheesy chips but I didn’t, that would have been MADNESS. So I’ll just keep it in my heart, 28/05/2017 – the day of the magnificent gravy.

And that’ll do I think, easing back in with a short but sweet list of loveliness. How are you doing??

Find more Wonderful Wednesday action with this fabulous bunch: SallyKate, Helen, JoCatEmma, Sam, Laura, LynseyKerriPeta Sarah, ElJasmin, Debbie and Katie  are all also full of the cheer. >> If you’re in the gang and I’ve missed you off, please please let me know! There are so many now I lose track! 


Wonderful Wednesday Sixty Three

wonderful Wednesday Sixty ThreeI missed last weeks’ dose of wonderful amidst the busiest of weeks. It doesn’t take that long to form a habit though and after sixty three weeks of Wonderful Wednesday my brain is now a finely tuned wonder seeking machine. Even when I don’t have the time to sit and get those things onto paper, I’m now much more adept at tuning into the lovely little moments that I want to hold on to. If you’re not already aboard that train, give it a go. It’s nice. Semi-patronising pep talk over.

I’ve had a bit more time this week so here are those best bits:

First Barbie Soz if the rest of the summer is diabolical, it’ll almost certainly be my fault for premature barbecuing in May. It was 100% worth it. We took a bit of time to whip up some classic sides – potato salad, coleslaw – and some less classic – beetroot and horseradish slaw, lemon dressed green beans – to accompany our Sunday afternoon bask in the sun. Aand we chucked some chocolate stuffed bananas on there for after because my husband’s the best.

Singin’ In The Sun I spent so much of last week in the car, it’s now full of the detritus of a busy life (i.e. every shoe I own and no fewer than four Starbucks empties). It’s not my all time favourite way to pass a few hours BUT Tuesday’s drive home into the sunset was spectacular, accompanied by a banging Spotify playlist and some top of the lungs shrieking along to Beyonce, Aretha and Adele. Solo car party is possibly The One.

wonderful Wednesday Sixty ThreeAl fresco Before the premature BBQ, I carved out some time on Sunday in which I ignored every single thing on my to do list and just sat in the sunshine with a book, a coffee and a spaniel. I’m trying to be a tiny bit more mindful about prioritising me over the unnecessary pressure I put on myself (and that you undoubtedly put on yourself) to be constantly ‘on’. Reading in the garden was it for this week.

Diplomas and Exams and Careers Oh My! On Friday I was officially able to drop the ‘trainee’ from my job title. There’s still a whole lot of learning to go but achieving a stand-alone qualification and no longer being a ‘trainee’ felt like a monumental milestone in this career change journey.

The ShedShed-nanigans In more unrelatable me news, I cleared out The Shed ready for a Summers’ worth of slow, serene Sundays. Oh the alliteration. Cobwebs cleared and pooch paraphernalia relegated back to the garage, she is ready for action.  There’s something a bit cathartic about having a good sort out. Especially when you get to reclaim the dream shed at the end of it.

Monty Bojangles Pistachio Truffles A box accidentally fell into my trolley when getting some feel better treats for someone else. Man ALIVE are they tasty. Secretly shovelling them into your face whilst waiting for the kettle to boil so you don’t have to share them tasty.

And that be that. Happy Wednesday to you, tell me your best bits.

SallyKate, Helen, JoCatEmma, Sam, Laura, LynseyKerriPeta Sarah, ElJasmin, Debbie, Katie  and Mimmi are all also full of the cheer. >> If you’re in the gang and I’ve missed you off, please please let me know! There are so many now I lose track! 


Wonderful Wednesday Sixty Two

Wonderful Wednesday Sixty Two Today’s been a long old one that started with a business breakfast at 7:30 a.m. – YOU try explaining the merits of passive investing before you’ve had your first coffee – and ending at precisely 7:30 p.m. when I’ve walked my current Cinnamon Trust charge and am nursing a bucket of Pinot Noir in the garage cinema with Idris Elba. That might be the greatest sentence I’ve ever written, it’s definitely top three.

First off, a whopping thank you for your kind words and patience, I feel like I might *almost* be back. And now, smush done, on with the Wonderful:

I Like Your Writing This morning I was networking my non-blog face when someone came over to tell me they recognised the name and wanted to say how much they liked my writing. Human beings aren’t all that great at building each other up. We just aren’t. And I don’t know why since the sheer joy that an unsolicited compliment elicits is such a lovely thing, especially when it’s unexpected and out of context. It really made my day. And made me more mindful about paying it forward. Go tell someone you like them, I guarantee it’ll make them smile.Wonderful Wednesday Sixty Two Throw Another Shrimp On As I got home tonight (Tuesday) and flung open the back door, a waft of smokey barbecue goodness hit my nostrils; someone somewhere nearby was cracking on with the first barbie of the season. It’s just one of those smells that evokes every summery feeling you need and I LOVE it.

What’s The Time…Mr Wolf. Every time I step outside the front door Pete dog creeps out after me as though I don’t know he’s there. When I turn around I just see his waggly little bum legging it back into the house. It’s become my new favourite game, can’t lie. My other favourite game is watching him try to bring me the slipper from the husband’s actual foot. SUCH a good boy. Wonderful Wednesday Sixty TwoSecret Bluebells In a bit of a sulk that I haven’t made it to the Holwell Lawn bluebells yet, I accidentally stumbled across a secret army of the things on one of my usual dog walks. Their cheery little blue bits make me happy and I’m a-ok with that. Bluebellaholics unite. Not here though, I’m not sharing.Wonderful Wednesday Sixty Two Beer Festivals There’s a pretty whopping annual one just one town over and I made my debut this year. Admittedly I *may* have consumed enough beer that I texted my mum for help but that didn’t take away from just how much fun it was hanging out with my best mate in the sunshine, sampling beer from across the land. You can read all about it over here, more on that little project coming soon.

Steak Date There once was a time when a marital treat would be something so very different. Now it involves a couple of steaks, an M&S Diane sauce and a cheeky Bordeaux enjoyed on a rainy bank holiday Monday. This week (tomorrow in fact) marks our TEN YEAR WEDDING ANNIVERSARY! And those little quite uninteresting bits of our marriage are what make me love it so.  There’s no-one in the world I would rather eat steak and binge watch Bake Off Creme de la Creme with. It does blow that we won’t be spending the actual day together, he’s away for work. BUT we will be going to distill our very own 10 year anniversary gin and how better to celebrate being stuck with each other forever than with gin? We like gin.

And that’ll probably do. How’s your week been?

Warning: this Idris Elba film is The Take and it is DIABOLICAL. But it also has Jon Snow in so make up your own minds. (Sadly not newsreader John Snow, he’s my not so secret weird crush)

SallyKate, Helen, JoCatEmma, Sam, Laura, LynseyKerriPeta Sarah, ElJasmin, Debbie, Katie  and Mimmi are all also full of the cheer. >> If you’re in the gang and I’ve missed you off, please please let me know! There are so many now I lose track! 


Wonderful Wednesday Sixty One

wonderful wednesday sixty oneFrantically scribbling this on a scrap of paper during my lunch break because I sort of a little bit completely forgot about it. I was too busy trying to eke every tiny moment of basking potential out of this midday hour. So frantically scribbling yes…whilst flopped in the garden and rocking a SULA situation. Don’t feel too bad for me.

This weekly bimble has been a particularly lovely one so shall we crack on? Caution: there was a lot of wine. And some gin.

The Perfect Cup of Tea Before we get to the gin shall we discuss the merits of the perfect cup of tea. Its particular qualities are hard to define but we all know what makes our own particular tea perfection. I’m not opening the can of universal tea perfection again, yeesh. BUT when you get a perfect colour and temperature FOR YOU, in the right mug and with the right biscuit accompaniment (milk chocolate hobnob  – I’m all about the controversy), it’s just….ach.

My Little Family We spent Easter Sunday evening huddled around the table, full of roast dinner, playing Articulate, drinking wine and properly belly laughing together. They are far too few and somewhat unconventional but that little family of mine are bloody brilliant, spaniels and step girls and all.

M&S Chocolate Orange Hot Cross Buns I salivate at the mere thought of them. They are just ridiculous. Get some. Put them all in your face at once.wonderful wednesday sixty oneSunshine and Wine I do not feel old enough to have friends of TWENTY TWO YEARS. No, stop it you. I really am.  A couple of them were home in the shire this weekend so we caught up over wine in the Spring sunshine with one hell of a view. The wine and the sunshine would have been enough. Sharing it with two people who know every little dark bit of your history – like the time before the braces and dun dun duuuuuuuun….The Perm-was all kinds of spectacular.

Bank Holiday Cliches I sat in a beer garden, went for an aimless walk, cleaned the kitchen cupboards, did a bit of gardening and ate my body weight in sweets and chocolate.  I think I ticked every cliché off the British Bank Holiday list and it was glorious.

Middle Aged Dogs, New Tricks It’s so nice to have time to kill with those fur faces and they are so excited when they learn something new. We now turn left AND right people. And Pete can knit you a snood if you ask him really nicely, payment in gravy bones and hotdog sausage please and thank you.wonderful wednesday sixty oneThe Gin I harped on about it a lot last week and I have a post coming up on it so I’ll just say that the Gin festival was ruddy bloody brilliant and leave it at that.

And that’s your lot, I’m off back to work. How’s your week?? Did you have a wonderful Easter?

SallyKate, Helen, JoCatEmma, Sam, Laura, LynseyKerriPeta Sarah, ElJasmin, Debbie, Katie  and Mimmi are all also full of the cheer. >> If you’re in the gang and I’ve missed you off, please please let me know! There are so many now I lose track! 

Let me know if you decide to join in, there’s a hashtag and everything #wonderfulwednesday