I will update you on my health in a few weeks in regards to scans etc. In the meantime, let me introduce “Postage Stamp Artistry”. I’ve starting creating artwork using postage stamps.
Here’s the profile from Etsy shop.
I’ve always been creative, had a passion for colour and loved all things vintage. I’ve always been fascinated by stamps and how they can travel the world, if only they could tell us their story. Every stamp has a history and shouldn’t just be thrown away but recycled to create additional memories. I’m using stamps from various decades. Original ink markings stamped by the postal service can be found on some of the stamps, which adds further character.
Postage Stamp Artistry brings every stamp/stamps back to life by creating wall art and other products. I like to design a visual piece of nostalgia that can be hung in both modern or character homes. All the products are designed by Postage Stamp Artistry and are handmade with love.
I’m also able to make custom or personalised pieces, therefore please send me a message request. Most pieces of art can be personalised with a word or a choice of words more relevant to you but there will be a word limit, which we can discuss.
I do intend to extend the range continuously so please favour ❤️ my shop in order to receive instant updates of new listings. I will welcome your reviews & photos of your purchases.
I’m currently just finishing the Statue of Liberty using USA stamps.
Today is Mother’s Day in the UK, therefore Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers out there. I’m unfortunately not a mother but I’m a Godmother and Aunt so I’m as good as a mother on another level. I got a beautiful card from my Goddaughter H for Mothers Day. Thank you H 💕
Considering I was living in Canada for years, I’m still tuned in to Mother’s Day being in May, I guess its hard to switch off. This year all mothers are in lockdown so I hope all children have been very creative. I’m sure more thought has to go into gifts and trying to make their day as special due to covid restrictions.
I’ve already spoke to my mother today and she is lavished with cards & gifts. She said she was going to have a relaxing day and have some chocolate.
To all those children who have lost their mother’s, I’m sure it’s a very hard day for you. Nevertheless, I’m confident that all your mothers are smiling as they’ve never been forgotten by their loved ones.
Can I include pets as my children, I’m sure there is a lot of people who do. My pets Lottie (dog) & Hamish (cat) have selfishly absorbed all the love today with cuddles and belly rubs.
I hope all new & old mothers have a wonderful day. Love to you all. 💗
My goal for 2020 was to read more than 46 books. If I could beat my previous target of 46 books or more, I was going to be happy. I achieved 66 books in total, therefore I superseded my target and averaged 1 book a week.
Here is my reading list: –
Girls in Tin Hats – Annie Murray
Villa of Secrets – Patricia Wilson
Hold on Hope – Jean Fullerton
Perhaps Tomorrow – Jean Fullerton
Sisters of Gold – Annie Murray
A Glimpse of Happiness – Jean Fullerton
I Owe You One – Sophie Kinsella
The Teashop Girls – Elaine Everest
No Cure for Love – Jean Fullerton
The Secret Midwife – Katy Weitz
The Volunteer – Jack Fairweather
Permanent Records – Edward Snowden
The House Across The Street – Lesley Pearse
Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas – Adam Kaye
The Whitechapel Girl – Gilda O’Neil
Christmas With The Teashop Girls – Elaine Everest
Finding Freedom – Carolyn Durand, Omid Scobie
Royal – Danielle Steel
The Orphan Twins – Lesley Eames
The Rag & Bone Girl – Maggie Ford
Going Hime to Liverpool – Kate Eastham
The Country Bride – Dilly Court
Liverpool Daughter – Katie Flynn
A Springtime Affair – Katie Fforde
The Light in Hidden Places – Sharon Cameron
Goodnight Sweetheart – Pam Weaver
Memories are Made of This – June Francis
Pack Up Your Troubles – Anne Bennet
How to Make it Happen – Maria Hatzistefanis
Official Secrets – Marcia Mitchell & Thomas Mitchell
A Daughter Ruin – Kitty Neale
A Village Scandal – Dilly Court
Many a Tear Has to Fall – June Francis
Mothering Sunday – Rosie Goodwin
It’s Now or Never – June Francis
Walking Back to Happiness – June Francis
The Spitfire Sisters – Margaret Dickinson
Love Letters in the Sand – June Francis
Shadows of the Past – June Francis
Her Father Name – Beezy March
How to be British – Tim Benson
The Jones Family Food Roster – Alison Jones
The Man Who Didn’t Call – Rosie Walsh
An Ophran Christmas – Katie Flynn
Diagnosis – Lisa Sanders
The Orphan Thief – Glynis Peters
Mind Over Clutter – Nicola Lewis
The Prison Doctor – Dr Amanda Brown
An Orphans War – Molly Green
A Strong Hand to Hold – Anne Bennett
Time To Say Goodbye – Rosie Goodwin
The Organised Writer – Anthony Johnston
The Christmas Wedding – Dilly Court
Rag and Bone Christmas – Dilly Court
For Better or Worse – June Francis
The Winters Promise – Rosie Goodwin
The Orphans of Halfpenny St – Cathy Sharp
A Daughter Duty – Maggie Hope
Do The Birds Still Sing in Hell – Horace Greasley
Dilly’s Sacrifice – Rosie Goodwin
Dilly’s Lass – Rosie Goodwin
Dilly’s Hope – Rosie Goodwin
The Mill Girl – Rosie Goodwin
Will You Take Me Home – Julie Tottman
The Convent – Maria Hargreaves
Home Front Girls – Rosie Goodwin
Here’s a reading Q&A
What is your favourite time of the day to read.
I tend to read when I go to bed. I can read everything from 10 pages to 100 in a night.
How many hours do you read a day.
I can read anything from 15mins to 2/3 hrs. It all depends how tired I am.
What is my favourite genre.
Historical fiction is my favourite, however I’m trying other genres.
Which author did you first get obsessed with.
I would say it was Lyn Andrews then Katie Flynn
Who are you currently obsessed with.
I would say Dilly Court and June Francis. To be fair my obsession is growing with many authors.
Can you read multiple books at one time.
Yes I can, nevertheless I think two is enough for me.
Which book/books was your favourite this year.
I did love “Rag n Bone Christmas” by Dilly Court. I also enjoyed “Will You Take Me Home” by Julie Tottman. This was a true story, which involved a Yorkie dog, therefore I brought the book for my goddaughter too as she’s a reader.
Who was your favourite author this year.
I would say June Francis because her characters in her books follow through her books, which I loved.
Which new authors did you try this year
I would say June Francis and Jean Fullerton were the most popular as I had read a few of their books.
Which book touched you this year.
It has to “The Convent” by Maria Hargreaves. The true story was about the horrific cruelty to children by a nun in a care home in Oldham, U.K.
How many books do you intend to read in 2021.
I’m not sure I’ll reach that target again but let’s see what happens.
Thank you to friends and family for your continuous support. I have a huge amount of respect for people that consistently care and support Mr Zebrakat and I. Honestly from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for everything. Especially all the people who sent cards, flowers, plants, mags, chocs & sweets, biscuits and messages.
The year started with a trip to County Cork, Ireland to celebrate Aunt P, 80th birthday with family. It was was such a heartwarming celebration. Aunt P knows how to provide a party, we had it all, fabulous food, good company and magnificent entertainment. She’s a very courageous lady, she had literally just finished treatment for breast cancer and we were hopping on a plane. Thank you Aunt P for a wonderful time.
To my relatives in Ireland it was wonderful catching up with you all. We will be back when it’s safe to fly again.
Covid 19 played havoc with special birthdays, weddings and new baby’s this year. I’m sure these celebrations were as special as they could be.
Hamish & Lottie
Hamish has been part of the family now for 2 years. Lottie & Hamish are very much in a routine with toilet breaks, feeding and sleeping. Your more than likely to find Lottie at my side and Hamish sleeping on my bed blanket. I’m sure my neighbours must laugh at Lottie and Hamish when they are running into the house together from the garden. It’s quiet comical watching them following each other like sheep. They are known to kiss and lick each other first thing in the morning.
Hamish still looks like a lion and is slightly larger in stature to Lottie. Lottie can hold her own too, if Hamish tries to grab her. Pets are obviously very therapeutic.
We are still tweaking our current residence. It’s certainly changing in appearance and no longer represents a typical terraced house floor plan. We started in the roof space and now we are on the ground floor, working from the front of the property to the rear. I’m waiting for a replacement front door, which has been delayed due to covid 19. It’s been on the order since October.
I wanted to show you a cupboard that I’d designed earlier in the year and finally put into its place. I needed the unit to fit on a plinth in my guest bedroom. It’s made out of scaffolding boards. Anyone who knows me will appreciate I love a little timber in my decor.
The cupboard consists of doors, drawers and shelves. Behind the doors is some hanging space and some additional shelving. Its perfect for guests and now considered a new heirloom.
I’ve already discussed my health in previous blogs. I’m glad treatment is over for now, I’m hoping my body gives me a little respite from medical appointments and health issues. I’m planning to continue as I do, live life and be happy.
Travel this year has been a bit of a washout, however I’ve still managed a few places. I was able to fly to Ireland earlier in the year, which was amazing. I’ve also visited Bath & York, both historical cities. Bath & York are full of beautiful architecture, fabulous restaurants and quaint shops. I would recommend both cities a visit, magnificent gems of the U.K.
Mr Zebrakat is working from home and on site as he works in the construction industry. It is nice having him around. On a positive note, covid had Mr Z at home when I was going through treatment. He unquestionably is happy he’s working and is one of the lucky ones still working.
Mr Z is undoubtedly been my tower of strength going through treatment and family hospitalisations etc. Thank you Mr Z for always being there as always as usual, what would I do without you.
Reading, I did about 66 books last year, so beat my previous years record. Watch out for my next blog for my annual list of books.
Covid has allowed me to frame up & hang some travel pictures etc. I’v also been filling up photo albums with old photos. I still have numerous to do but I’m getting there. I’ll then move on to filling up scrapbooks with memories and mementos.
Hopefully 2021 will no longer be a year of doom and gloom. We all need to be vaccinated and getting on with our lives. Love to you all 🤣
What a year, with covid-19, I don’t think anyone is ever going to forget 2020 in a hurry. Did you achieve something positive through lockdown? I did, I hung up some pictures, sorted out my photo albums and filled them with lovely memories. If we hadn’t gone into lockdown those empty photo albums would still be there, looking empty.
I consider myself one of the lucky ones this year, as my cancer treatment continued in London throughout lockdown etc. The hospital had experienced numerous cases of covid-19 patients and precautions were put into place for the safety of staff and patients. I was required to have a covid-19 test locally prior to travelling to London. A negative result was vital in order for treatment to continue. I would like to thank all those individuals who were involved with my treatment at the Royal Free Hospital, London. Thank you so much.
My mother had a tough year after being diagnosed with a secondary cancer. Her cancer treatment continued locally throughout lockdown/covid 19 with a few hospital stays. We both had finished our treatments within 2 days of each other. She is doing much better now but she’s not still 100% as yet. She’s a tough cookie. X
PRRT treatment – everyone has a different experience but we all have similar symptoms. The treatment procedure is not that bad, the only symptom you may experience during treatment, is nausea. The medical team will give you anti nausea meds prior to treatment. They can also control the flow of treatment so you don’t experience nausea. The more treatments I had, the worse post treatment symptoms got for me. What’s funny is, I can’t face pasta since the last treatment. The thought of pasta in any form still makes me gag. I’m not sure I will ever tolerate spaghetti bolognese again.
I’m so relieved that we have finished treatment for now. We are 9 weeks post treatment and my bloods are still not to normal levels. They won’t exactly be perfect due to the cancer, nevertheless they still need some improvement. My Oncologist is keeping an eye on them for me, I’m in good hands. My hair has thinned a lot since treatment but it will grow back I’m sure. During my treatment my hearing was affected and it’s certainly not a known side effect. Yet it can’t be dismissed either. I’m also experiencing dizziness but we don’t know, if there’s a connection to the hearing or if it something else that is going on. I’m starting to get terrible migraines again so I’m monitoring that for the Neurologist. That’s the problem with an illness, it can lead to other problems.
My daily quality of life, I would consider has definitely improved. At the end of the day there is no cure for my cancer, therefore I wanted a quality life whilst I was living, that’s not too much to ask
The latest results following results following my recent CT & MRI scans was that I am stable. Stable means no new growth of cancer in other areas. This is a little questionable for me, because I only found out that I have tumours on my lungs whilst going through treatment. In my eyes that new growth but in their eyes it’s tumours over a certain dimension. I’ve obtained all of my records as I don’t like being kept in the dark. This latest scan gave me the dimensions of the new tumours in the lungs so I can monitor the growth. Even though I’m consider as stable surely the lungs is a new site of cancer, I have cancer in the peritoneal, pelvic area and liver and a couple of other questionable areas. My Oncologist is going to send me for cancer (Ga68) scan in April. This may give me a true reflection of what is really going on, although my scans don’t always reveal everything. I personally don’t think it will be long before I have another op on my bowel. You heard here first lol.
My ultimate goal with treatment was to improve my daily quality of life and I do feel we achieved this. I’m so grateful for my new found freedom in lockdown lol. Thank you to my friends & family who have always supported me through my treatment.
Just one more thing, I was giving support to another patient going through the same treatment. I will call her SC, she was a wonderful lady and I had found another loyal friend experiencing this same cancer. I have a few more cancer friends and ladies, you know who you all are. X SC was suffering from a lot of pain and I personally don’t feel she was getting the support she needed. Clearly there was more going on, therefore I was devastated to learn from her husband that she had passed away. I do believe that I’m still here because I do my diligence and I’m very persistent. I would say to any patient of any illness, go with your gut, and fight for you health. Rest in peace SC you will certainly be missed by me. X
I made the trip to London for more scans back in Dec 19. Whilst we were there, we took a visit to Churchill’s War Rooms in Westminster, just around the corner from the Houses of Parliament. London is oozing so much history and the architecture is incredible.
There is a fee into this museum but it’s certainly worth a visit. The museum is open from 9 – 6pm daily. Check opening times before you travel just in case there’s lockdown restrictions.
Chiefs of Staff Meeting Room
The heads of army, airforce and navy would meet in this room to discuss the war efforts.
This was Winston Churchill radio address from the Cabinet War Rooms to the people of France on the 21st October 1940.
Every call taken by a Switchboard Operator was deemed as urgent at the Cabinet War Rooms.
Room 61 was Hastings Ismay’s. He was the Chief of Staff to Churchill. He was the link between Churchill and the heads of the three armed forces. A senior officer would have the luxury of carpet in their room.
The Camp Commandant was responsible for the day to day maintenance of the Cabinet War Rooms. The key rack with all its keys and labels.
The Map Room
The beating heart of the Cabinet War Rooms. The room was used for gathering intelligence to fight the war. During a shift there would be 5 officers. A duty officer, 3 officers from the armed forces and official from the Ministry of Home Security.
Map Room Supplies
A box of map pins sorted by colour ready to use.
Mrs Churchill’s Room
A little more of a luxury room with a dressing table and comfy armchair.
I would recommend a visit to the museum especially if your at the Houses of Parliament.
Towards the end of every year, I always look forward to a new diary. It’s the one thing that I do obsess about. The diary needs to work for me and I’m very particular on its layout.
Back in May 2016, I discussed about doing a bullet journal in Weekly Blog No 77 – Bullet Journal. Then in Feb 2017, Weekly Blog No 94 – Bullet Journal Update, I gave the pros and cons of bullet journalling.
I’m always trying to improve how I set up my diary. Last year I attempted to use technology on my iPhone. Mr Zebrakat and I share calendar, so we are able to be more efficient. Subsequently I still maintain a hardcopy diary.
A diary allows Mr Zebrakat and I to check each other’s availability. We certainly don’t have to call each other up to see if an appointment is ok. If there’s no entry on the calendar, it’s free to book. This works very well for us both, therefore we shall continue this proven method.
I still have a hard copy diary and I’m able to glance on the monthly spread to see what appointments etc I have. I haven’t mastered that on a phone as yet. I can’t always look either, as I could be taking a call on my phone. Having a hard copy allows me quick access whilst on the phone
In Weekly Blog No 4 – Monthly Planner, May 2014, I discussed using colour to hi light appointments etc and my planner/diary was looking like a sea of pink. I have maintained using colour, it allows me to scan a page quickly. Maybe I’m a little OCD as I’ve maintained using colour for different things. This year Ive used Washi tape, a method picked up from bullet journalling.
This week I sourced bullet journal stickers from rebelinkco on Etsy (link below) to organise me better. I will use the monthly spread for appointments all colour coordinated of course. Red for Royal Free Hosp, blue for GP and yellow for scans etc etc. as
Colour is an excellent method for me to scan quickly when I’m searching for something in my diary. I did relay on my monthly calendar a little too much this year and hardly used the remaining diary pages.
Birthdays and anniversaries etc will move to weekly spreads alongside bills, pets meds and ordering medication etc. I will therefore use my diary a little more. See the various stickers above. I shall continue to use technology, my diary and bullet journalling methods. Surely I can only be more efficient and organised than ever before, let’s see, I will give feedback towards the end of the year.
This visit was a couple of years ago before a medical appointment. We went to the Museum of London Docklands.
The museum occupies three of the five bays of No 1 Warehouse, West India Quay. A Grade 1 Listed Building, built with stock brick with Portland stone architectural features. The northern elevations of the warehouse are in a cheaper plum brick. Five storeys and attic with a semi basement below quay level. Triple span hipped slate roof.
Here’s some of the Museum exhibits. I’ve provided photo’s and a little info.
No 1 Warehouse
Carts would of be used to move cheese, casks, boxes and bales of tobacco.
Trade Expansion 1600 1800
The stone fragment dated 1619 craved with the coat of arms of the East India Company.
London, Sugar and Slavery
Anti-apprenticeship banner dated 1813 produced by campaigners opposing to the imposition of compulsory apprenticeship on those liberated from slavery.
City and River
Painted wherry seat back dated 1824 middle right hand side. This is awarded to the winner of the 6th Queenhithe Waterman’s race and includes a painted view of Southwarks Bridge.
A pub in one of the streets and alley in the vicinity of the docks and river Thames.
Warehouse of the World
Wine labelling bench dated 1900 – 1939 on the right hand side. The Port of London Authority offered merchants a range of services including wine and sport bottling and labelling.
Docklands at War
Casing of an unexploded German bomb that fell on Millwall dated 1939 – 1945. In 1941 the basement of Bullivant Wharf, Millwall, was in use as an air raid shelter.
Sainsbury’s Study Centre
Sainsbury is one of the nation’s oldest food retailer’s. Sainsbury’s started in London in 1869 thats over a 150 yrs old. That’s enormous achievement and succeed through recessions and pandemics.
The museum offers free admission, however you can make a donation. I would thoroughly recommend this museum, it’s truly amazing.
Last February, we went to Bath, Somerset for a weekend away prior to my cancer treatment. I’m truly embarrassed to say that I’ve never been to Bath. Although it has always been on my wish list of places to visit in the U.K.
I’m going to show you some photos in colour but the remaining photos in B & W as the weather was diabolical. The U.K. was experiencing Storm Ciara, so everywhere was very grey, windy and wet. Sorry about the rain droplets on the next photo but the weather was horrendous.
Bath is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world. The Royal Crescent is one of the most desirable addresses in Bath. One of the greatest pieces of Georgian architecture in the U.K. 30 houses built between 1767 -1775. Designed by Architect, John Wood. The Royal Crescent is 538ft long and each building is approximately 50ft high.
The Royal Crescent has been a filming location for the following tv & film appearances. I have listed a few
Bridgerton (2020) Netflix
The Many Lovers of Miss Jane Austen (2011)
The Duchess (2008)
Joseph Andrews (1977)
The Girl with a Pistol (1968)
The Wrong Box (1966)
Having a Wild Weekend (1965)
The Count of Monte Cristo (1964)
The Fighting Pimpernel (1950)
It is believed to be the very first crescent built anywhere in the world. I’ve seen one in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, which is also a spa town. The properties are believed to be regency style.
The Circus just around the corner from the Royal Crescent was also designed by Architect, John Wood. The Georgian Houses form a circle overlooking a green space and were built in 1754 – 1768.
We then went to 25 Gay Street, Bath, now known as The Jane Austen Centre. Jane born 1775 – 1817 was a UK Novelist, she was known more for the 6 novels as below:-
Sense and Sensibility – 1811 Pride and Prejudice – 1813 Mansfield Park – 1814 Emma – 1815 Northanger Abbey – 1818 Persuasion – 1818
Jane only lived at 25 Gay Street, Bath with her mother and sisters following her fathers death
Some of the exhibits at the The Jane Austen Centre.
The Ivy Restaurant is a popular and famous venue in London for celebrities and the media industry in London. The restaurant provides you with excellent food and 5 star service. Furthermore, we hadn’t ever been to The Ivy Collection Restaurants before, however Cambridge is on the radar for our next visit.
Bath Roman Baths
Put Bath are on your list of places to visit in the UK.
Another UK school dinner favorite, although I’m not a huge fan. I’m sure chocolate lovers will love this recipe, as no baking is required, especially if you purchase a ready made pastry case. I assume the name chocolate toothpaste comes from the consistently of the filling representing toothpaste.
Makes 1 Tart
20g instant hot chocolate powder
20g cocoa powder
230g dried milk powder
1 ready made pastry case
150ml warm water
Cream together 70g margarine and 150g sugar until smooth. (I used caster sugar as the granules are smaller)
Add 20g hot chocolate powder and 20g cocoa powder to the margarine/sugar mixture and cream together.
Mix 230g dried milk powder and 150ml warm water together in a separate bowl until smooth.
Blend both mixes together until smooth and thick .
Pour into a ready pastry case and put in the refrigerator until set.
I apologise for the messy edges to the pastry case, I wasn’t having the best of days. Enjoy