Happy Birthday To Me……

Whoo…..hoo…it’s  my birthday today, and its a nine-ender.

You know, 29(I wish!), 39, 49, 59……

Research says that people approaching the last year of their 20’s,30’s,40’s,50’s were more likely to reflect on their lives and decide to make big changes such as running a marathon or have an affair.  Mind you I think if I was doing the former there is no way I’d have the energy for the latter!!

It seems that we ‘audit the meaningfulness of our lives as we approach a new decade in chronological age’ and are more motivated to take on big goals and challenges.

So, what about me?

Well I haven’t  reflected on my life or made any major life changing decisions – yet – give me a chance!!

I think my main priority as I enter my 7th decade is to just keep on trying to keep as fit and healthy as possible.

I’m going to try to take up Yoga (again!))  I seem to have a love/hate relationship with it.  I know its good for me, but I just find it really difficult.  Maybe I just have to find the right style of yoga for me.

girl in yoga pose


I want to keep running – stronger and faster.  I believe there are so many benefits of running, maybe there’s a marathon in me after all!!

Hands and Apple watch


There’s a good chance we’ll downsize, so that will be quite a big decision when it happens.  I’m not sure we’ll stay in this sleepy country village for ever – so a move nearer to London perhaps could be on the cards.


I really want to keep going with this blog.  I enjoy the writing side, but am not sure if I can put more of myself into it – as in selfies and pictures of our home.  That would be a real leap into the uncomfortable for me.  But you never know I might wake up one morning and just go for it!!

computer and tulips


So, its Happy Birthday to me!!  Who knows whats round the corner – I know we’ve just got to make the most of each day.

Have a lovely day,





Holiday packing……

I’ve had one of my brilliant ideas!!

Although I usually have this one the night before I go on holiday.  Why not keep my toiletries bag made up and ready to go?  Genius!! It would be one less thing to do and save the panic of looking for those all essential lotions and potions needed for a trip away.

So, in the name of blogging, research and looking ahead I decided to pack my toiletries bag so I’m prepared for the next time I can persuade Mr OGM to whisk me away.


The Essentials

Essential holiday items

Toothbrush, toothpaste and mouthwash natch.

Buff Puff, shaver and Deodorant

Liz Earle travel pack This contains mini face cleanser, muslin face cloth, face mask, toner and moisturiser.  All in a handy travel bag and enough for a week or two away.


The Hair

Holiday hair products

Mini sized Charles Worthington Take Away shampoo and conditioner. Violet shade shampoos enhance silver hair and take away any yellowing caused by sunshine and chlorinated swimming pools.

Sisley samples of their new hair product range.  Shampoo, conditioner, serum and hair oil.Its an ideal time to try new things when you’re on holiday. Mind you, I had to rob a bank to pay for the sun products, so was very happy to receive the free samples!


The Sun-care

Holiday sun-care

Sisley  sun care is the absolute Rolls Royce of sun care. Unfortunately it comes with a Rolls Royce price tag!!  But..it is good…so if you are able to, it’s really, really worth the money.

Soltan After Sun  I love the Soltan range of After Suns.  This one contains insect repellent and I use it all the time when I run as it’s light and easy to apply and gives a little protection from midges and insect.  They also do one containing ‘tan enhancer’.  This is fake tan by another name – DO NOT FORGET TO WASH YOUR HANDS AFTER USE!!


The Nails

Holiday nail care

I always take a mini nail varnish remover and nail varnishes way with me.

I hate chipped nail varnish, and find that even a salon manicure doesn’t last the whole holiday.

My colour of choice? Something like a taupie grey brown for my toenails and a baby pink for my finger nails.  I like Chanel polishes as they seem to last.


The Makeup

Holiday make up

Mac eyeliner – this is bullet proof, stays on all day and saves me having to wear mascara which even if it’s waterproof doesn’t seem to stay.

Bobbi Brown Illuminating Moisture Balm – this can be worn on its own or under a foundation or tinted moisturiser.  Does what it says on the tin and gives a lovely glow.

Laura Mercier  tinted moisturiser – I use this at the beginning of a holiday, just to give me a bit of colour.

Nars cosmetics – this is called ‘The Multiple’ it can be used as a blusher, highlighter, on your lips or eyes.  In fact anywhere.

So, that’s it,  all packed and ready to go……now where did I put my passport !

Hope you have a lovely day,








Hotel Hermitage, Antigua

“If you like Pina Colada……

Holding hands in the rain”……

Thanks to Jimmy Buffett this could have been the theme tune of our recent holiday to Antigua, booked the day before Hurricane Maria hit the Caribbean.

If your idea of holiday heaven is blue skies, lush green gardens, getaway from everyone rooms and food to tempt every palate……then Hotel Hermitage Bay is for you.



No pool aerobics, beach volleyball or jetskis……this isn’t the place for fun seekers .

Maybe early meditation followed by a yoga or pilates class is as energetic as it gets.

But if you’re happy in your own world – reading, sitting by the pool, strolling through the gardens (a guided tour can be arranged with the head gardener highlighting the kitchen garden) this might be the place for you.


lush garden Hotel hermitage Bat


For the first half our holiday, we stayed in a hillside suite – complete with outdoor shower (as anyone knows me will tell you I am not that girl, but it was quite lovely), private deck and plunge pool. Ideal for someone like myself who is quite happy not to speak to another person apart from Mr OGM for the first few days of my holiday.



The second half we stayed in a beach front suite. A more spacious room with a large deck a step away from the sandy cove and bright blue Caribbean sea.


beach cottage Hermitage Bay


A phrase often used in hotel reviews is that the staff couldn’t do enough for you.  This truly is an understatement where the Hotel Hermitage Bay is concerned.  From minute one, day one, they knew our names and seemed genuinely pleased to be part of the Hermitage Bay team. From finding a special table for dinner to an impromptu mini jump-up in the bar, we could not fault any member of staff. A trait of the Antiguan people is their wonderful sense of humour – and we felt the benefit of this ten fold.


Waiter at Hermitage Bay


I can’t recommend the Hotel Hermitage Bay highly enough.  It’s not for everyone – the other guests were mostly young American honeymooners and older Brits, many returning to the hotel a second or third time. I definitely hope to go back one day.


Have a lovely day,



Hotel Hermitage Bay



Tea And A Chat……

Isn’t it fun to catch up with an old friend over a pot (or two) of tea?

I don’t mean proper afternoon tea in a swanky London hotel, preferably with a glass (or two) of fizz – which is one of my absolute favourite things in the whole world to do……

But a chance meeting or an impromptu arrangement – made only a day or so before to meet up with an old friend to put the world to rights.

I recently met up with a friend who I hadn’t seen for quite a while, but whom I had kept up to date with through other mutual friends.  When she messaged to suggest meeting up I was more than happy, and so we did.

With people you have known for a long time, in this case almost 20 years,  it’s an easy way to spend a couple of hours. You know each other’s history and don’t have to spend time explaining small details of the every day.  You can quickly get down to the nitty gritty of family life, plans for the future and of course gossiping about mutual acquaintances.

Our chosen venue was akin to Fawlty Towers.  The staff could have certainly been there since the 1970’s. We are by no means hip young things, but we brought down the average age of the clientele by about 20 years! But with no time restraints it was fun to soak up the atmosphere, observe the other diners (eye opening – it would definitely not be my first choice of venue in the very unlikely event I was ever to plan a secret assignation) and drink copious amounts of tea and eat a mountain of sandwiches and cake.

It was good for the soul to laugh at the good bits, take a moment to think about  the not so good bits. And on the whole agree that we are both very fortunate in the health and happiness department.

And so soon enough our afternoon came to its natural conclusion.  Bills paid, umbrellas retrieved and big promises not to leave it so long till next time. A lovely way to spend a very wet and windy Wednesday afternoon.

Why not call an old friend, someone you haven’t seen in a while. I’m sure you won’t regret it.

Hope you have a lovely week,




Blue And White Haul……


In my attempt to make 2018 the year of de-cluttering and ‘less is more’, you can imagine my joy at unearthing this haul of blue and white Willow patterned china tucked away in the back of a cupboard.


blue and white china


It brought back memories of our first home together, bought almost 30 years ago before we got married and before our boys were born.


We bought it from an old couple who seemed very keen that we were to be married in the not too distant future if we were going to buy their house. I’m not sure in todays housing climate, you would even think to ask a prospective purchaser if their intentions were honourable!

However, we stretched ourselves, took on a HUGE (although tiny by todays standards) mortgage and took possession of our two up three down home of our dreams.

It really did have roses round the front door and cute cottage garden.  It also had no central heating or double glazing and a tiny bathroom situated next to the kitchen. Freezing doesn’t even begin to describe it.  Still, we were young and in love!!


Fast forward two years, and we transformed our little cottage into a fully fitted carpeted palace with three bedrooms, two bathrooms and all mod-cons.


Looking back, I have so many happy memories of our five years there.   We took great pride in updating and decorating our new home.  Mr Grey Monday eventually asked me to marry him, and both of our sons were born there.


Anyway, I digress……


blue and white china


Way before Farrow and Ball, we all seemed to just choose colours we liked, sometimes even painting rooms pure white.  Who would have thought a paint colour could possibly come without a prefix!

My kitchen – no brand name- was made of reclaimed pitch pine. Yes the yellowy orange one. At the window I had a festoon blind – remember them? – and, on one wall I proudly displayed my collection of blue and white plates. I thought I was the bees knees or at least Laura Ashley.


blue and white china


I know that none of this haul is worth anything at all, but I believe that most if not all of the china would have been given to me by my mum – who’s no longer with us. So now I have the dilemma of what to do with it now.  I’ve been using the cups and saucers for my afternoon tea, and as a purist fan of white bone china, it has been quite refreshing. I even found myself this afternoon looking on ebay for a blue and white willow patterned  tea-pot. The opposite act of a de-clutterer, I daren’t go down that path.


blue and white china


Whisper it…… perhaps I’ll just put it back in the cupboard and make that decision another time.


Have a lovely week,