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. 💗
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 🤣
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.
I can’t believe we’ve had Lottie for 10 years. I can still remember the day we got her. If you didn’t know already, she’s my little Canadian. We drove towards the USA border in whiteout conditions. The snow that day was very heavy and visibility was poor. We met the sellers in a Tim Hortons (Coffee Shop) car park and exchanged money for our wee bundle of fluff.
She was a tiny little thing and the rut of the litter. I didn’t care as her advertisement photos were just adorable. She got the name of Lottie from me as I loved the name. She was the cutest thing ever, her legs were so small the actual stairs were bigger than her. She was toilet trained to go to a pee mat, which was a blessing when she arrived.
She’s never been any trouble, ok she does get excited when people come in. I think that’s normal for most dogs and she yaps again when people stand up to leave. I think that little habit came from when she was a puppy. People would love to pick her up as soon as they came in and again when they left because she was so cute.
She’s been by side everyday and still to till this day she is all over me. Mr Zebrakat will spoil her with treats, yet she favours me. She is wise too, I know when the cancer is being naughty again as Lottie will sit on the spot. She loves snuggles and when I sleep, she will sleep too. Here’s some facts about Lottie
She still only weights about 4lbs
Her favourite drink is water
She loves a walk
She has no interest in toys
She loves cheese and ice cream
She paws you for belly rubs
She loves snow and the sun
She hates rain
She’s doesn’t have a go at the postman
She’s smaller than Hamish the cat
She’s been my most loyal pet to date. I would be lost without her. Happy Birthday Lottie!!! Thank you for 10 years of snuggles and happiness. ❤️
I don’t know if anyone has read the book “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne. The author is huge believer in visualisation boards. Basically having a board with pictures of your dreams, therefore your dreams go out to the universe and they become reality.
When I was looking for artwork for my hall, I decided to do travel visualisation boards with words and not pictures. There is an extended list of places/locations that I want to visit or revisit with Mr Zebrakat. I did 2 visualisation boards of destinations, nevertheless dreams can come true.
There is a few destinations that I may have visited with/without Mr Zebrakat. For this reason, I’ve added them to the board for a revisit, for instance New York. We visited December 2005 and we were fortunate enough to see the dropping of the ball on NYE. It was a beautiful place to visit at Christmas time and all the festive decorations were stunning. I remember the weather being freezing cold, which I had never experienced cold like it before. Mr Zebrakat has never been to Dublin, I have done it many times. I really want go with him, to be a tourist and for him to experience my irish culture. Canada, we lived there for god sake but we never got to the west coast. Both of us want to visit Vancouver and I’m sure we will slot back into Canadian life there.
The list was inspired by us both but I want to continue travelling after my cancer treatment/covid-19
Let’s see how well I do within the next 12 months. I will write a blog this time next year and let you all know. X
I did an Ancestry DNA test a couple of years ago and I was 100% Munster Ireland. I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never made soda bread until recently, yet I’ve eaten it all my life.
My grandma was a fantastic baker and she would make a currant soda bread too. I have fond memories of her baking. She would get out the homemade blackcurrant jam, irish butter and a freshly made soda bread.
All my aunts are fabulous bakers, yet my mum is not a baker. She’s an excellent cook but she’s more than likely to bring out a nice cake from the cupboard to have with your cup of tea.
The photo above was my first soda bread. Therefore I would like to share the recipe I used. Serves 4 – 6 people
450g / 1 lb Plain flour
1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1 tsp Salt
400ml/14 fl oz Buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 220’c/425’f/Gas Mark 7.
Sift the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a mixing bowl.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in most of the buttermilk. Mix well together using your hands. The dough should be very soft but not too wet. If necessary, add the remaining buttermilk.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead lightly. Shape into a 20 cm/ 8 inch round tin.
Place the bread on a greased baking tray, cut a cross in the top and bake in the preheated oven for 20 -30 minutes. When done it should sound hollow if tapped on the base. Eat whole warm, soda bread is always best eaten on the day it is made.
Please share your recipe with me? Is your ingredients different?
This weekend we had our 10 year old niece (M) over for a sleepover. She’s a beautiful girl with impeccable manners. She is always dancing and singing. She has a comedian type personality with multiple one liners. She’s guaranteed to make you smile and everyone laugh.
We took (M) to Sywell Aviation Museum, a place of local interest . (M) recently had done a history project of WW2, therefore she would see some artefacts mentioned in her project.
Sywell Aviation Museum is in a nissan hut and is full of wartime artefacts. The entry fee is free and so is car parking. You’re able to make a donation at entry. The museum is managed by a majority of unpaid volunteers who have served in the armed forces.
The nissan huts were originally POW camp huts from Snape Farm, Derbyshire and used to form the museum. The artefacts are British, American & German. Here is some photos of artefacts, I didn’t take photos of everything, nevertheless it gives you an idea.
I understand the aerodrome was used during the wartime as a training ground and for doing repairs to aircrafts.
As I was recovering from surgery last year on a special birthday. My husband took me to London this year to be a tourist for a couple of days.
We experienced some amazing food, indulged in breakfast at Harrods, saw the Thriller Show and visited a couple of museums. We have spent so much time in London on medical visits and never participate in tourist delights.
Hamish is a year old this month. Its hard to believe my ginger tom has been with us nearly a year. He’s so content with us and Lottie. He loves to hide behind walls or furniture to jump out on Lottie and then the big paw comes out. There is other times when they are kissing each other. The photo above, I found him in my hand basin, he’s never done that before. The photo below is the love they feel for each other.
I lost an Aunt this month who was going to be 90 later in the year. She was an amazing woman, who had an interesting life. She was born In Ireland but spent most of her life in the U.K. She was 1 of 8 siblings and had 5 children in her family.
It was her time to leave us and to be reunited with her closest sister Auntie N. I’m sure they had a lot to discuss over a nice cup tea and a slice of cake. RIP Auntie M.
The house renovations are starting to take shape. We provided a beautiful sized bathroom. Created a walk in wardrobe for our clothes etc. Additional storage for books etc in the hall.
The photo is only a small section of the wardrobe, it’s actually 4m long. I designed the wardrobe and Mr Zebrakat & my brother built it.
We are currently snagging the loft room(Office), 2 bedrooms and the bathroom on the first floor before making big changes on the ground floor. We have achieve a lot already, ripping the house up to its bear bones. Let 2020 make the ground floor spectacular.
This was a fantastic month because I met fellow cancer friends K & H and their husbands. We decided to meet centrally due to my problems, therefore we met in Stratford Upon Avon, Warwickshire.
It was an exceptional weekend with excellent food and good company. We intend to do something again this year but H and I are currently having PRRT treatment. I will blog and update over the next couple of days.
Ciao a tutti
We were in Rome this month for the first time in our lives. OMG everyone should go. You have everything in this city, weather, food, architecture and history.
We were going to surprise our American friends who are like family. They are two very amazing people with big hearts. We gelled with each other as soon as we met. The surprise was priceless and a memory we will remember for ever.
This was the month of hospital appointments and visits. Pain was revealing itself in various locations of body. My spine was even getting in on the act but I will blog about that separately.
We went into Kettering, Northants one day and found this amazing restaurant that serves great food. The building interior is so amazing with the perfect ambience. It’s very laid back and has a mixed demographic.
Lottie become 9 years old, it’s hard to believe to be honest. She’s more clingy than ever. I also feel she knows when tumours are having the time of their life inside my body. She tends to sit on the exact spot. She’s such an intelligent dog and I can’t fault her. She’s honestly helped me through my illness.
As I’ve been struggling with symptoms, I’ve decided to go vegan. I do have an allergy to cows milk anyway so 70% of the time I been having alternative dairy products anyway. Mr Zebrakat & I both started together then someone said to watch Game Changers on Netflix. Although I had made the decision to become vegan prior to the programme. The programme definitely opens up your mind.
However being vegan definitely makes me avoid cows milk in products. I feel we have both benefited from the change of diet. Not only does it have an impact on our health, we feel we are contributing to animals and the environment.
There is so many supermarkets doing vegan or plant based food to substitute meat/fish products. Restaurants nowadays are providing vegan menus with fabulous choices. I personally don’t miss meat etc and feel that I’m making a small contribution to animals and the environment including my health.
This month we went to a stunning wedding in Cheshire. J the bride is the daughter of my best friend. I have known J since she was a small child and she’s grown into a beautiful woman & caring mother. We never expected to go to her wedding and we feel completely honoured to be invited. It was a stunning day and a wedding never to be forgot. J married the handsome R, her soulmate and I’m sure they will be happy forever. Congratulations to you both ❤️
Following a recent scan and some tests results, My Net Consultant telephones me and informs me that I’m about to embark on PRRT treatment in February 2020. I will blog about this separately.
Last weekend, Mr Zebrakat and I took a short drive for some lunch. The Biltz Tea Room & Jazz Lounge had been on my radar for a while, therefore I was very curious what the building interior was going to be like.
The Blitz Tea Room is a family run business. The venue is located adjacent to the Kettering Public Library. The name of the venue, obviously gives you a little clue of the theme of tea room. Hence, I was expecting to see some 1940’s memorabilia, dark wood furniture and classic wartime crockery.
Here’s a couple of photos of the venue.
This photo is pointed to the ceiling to try and capture the sky, the planes hanging down and flags etc.
The menu was a ration book with a choice of sandwiches, omelettes and panini’s etc. A vast choice drinks in specialty teas. I took a photo of a page from the menu, which references Vera Lynn and Churchill both 1940s icons.
Mr Zebrakat chose a pot of speciality tea. He was given a special timer, which determines the strength of tea you like. The longer the timer, the stronger the tea. The milk was served in an old fashioned milk bottle. It’s a miniature size of the original size of a milk bottle. This particular size bottle was given to us as children in primary/elementary school. The sugar was served in cubes a wartime ration.
We both chose different sandwiches, which was served with salad & crisps served on cute flowery china.
We then indulged in fruit scone each served with raspberry jam and clotted cream.
Some of the venues memorabilia on the walls and display cabinets.
Although the food was wonderful, it was quite pricey. I would recommend you go and experience it yourself. There was a couple of parties there, clearly celebrating special occasions which is unique.
Yesterday we celebrated our wedding anniversary. Another year has passed, yet it only seems 5 minutes ago we got married. It was such a perfect day we celebrated with family and friends.
We’ve done so much in our married life, I hope there is room for more adventures to come. Mr Zebrakat told me last night, wouldn’t it have been good, if I had taken you back to our honeymoon destinations. He said he was going to hand me flight tickets to Miami and then on to the Bahamas. I would have been shocked but it wouldn’t be the first time he had surprised me with a trip. I just remember the heat in Miami this time of the year was unbelievable temperatures. How I would kill right now for a blue sea, an ocean breeze and sand in my flip flops.
Instead my sister in law invigorated me with coffee aroma and sweet bakes. Basically speciality coffees, plain scones with butter and jam preserve. The last couple of days especially Tuesday, I was so ill, I feel like I’m starting to get a bowel blockage again as I have the typical symptoms. Them dam pesky tumours won’t leave me alone, they are always wanting a nibble of my fine dining.
Mr Zebrakat gave me a beautiful bouquet in our wedding theme colours and took me to a local Italian restaurant. We both started with drinks as neither of us wanted a starter. Our main course choice was the same.
Beef Involtini Stuffed with Parma Ham, Pine Nuts & Basil in a Rich Tomato Sauce with Linguine & Garlic Buttered Green Beans
And for dessert, the top plate is Rhubarb and Custard Semifreddo with Poached Rhubarb and Pistachio Cream
The bottom plate dessert is Elderflower Infused Panna Cotta with Raspberries & White Chocolate Crumble and Peach Syrup.
The meal was excellent. A very quaint restaurant in the town and even though it was a Wednesday night the restaurant was fully booked and they had to turn people away.
Mr Zebrakat thank you, thank you for absolutely everything you do for me. You are an amazing individual with the kindest heart and I couldn’t wish for a more dedicated husband. Happy Anniversary ❤️ Now leave me alone to continue dreaming about blue seas……..