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If you read one thing this month…

6 Feb

Gone Girl Little Miss Married

…make sure it’s Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Amazing. A real page turner that I couldn’t put down. One of the recommendation quotes says it’s the book you’ll want everyone to read so you can discuss it with them, and I agree. So far, I’m not having much luck in finding anyone though so, have any of you read it and, if so, what did you think?!

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without…a Christmas jumper (and socks!)

25 Dec

I’m sad to say I’ve never had a Christmas jumper before so this year I was adamant that would treat myself! Here’s me in my chosen pullover – I love it!

Christmas jumper

And, finishing off the festive ensemble are these incredible socks from my lovely housemate J. Perfect!

Christmas socks

Putney WI rocks!

19 Jun

Have you heard of Rock Choir? It’s this amazing singing movement and craze that’s sweeping the nation.

The brain child of Caroline Redman Lusher, she claims to be able to take any group of people and instantly be able to make them sing in harmonious union – and it works! Last night was our monthly Putney WI meeting (at the fantastic Tried & True, 279 Upper Richmond Road – Guinness and chocolate cake to die for!) and we were lucky enough to have Caroline attend. After a short introduction to Rock Choir – truly inspirational: Caroline started teaching a group of school children, then their parents, and now, after a record deal and performances at the Hammersmith Apollo and Wembley in London, Rock Choir has over 17,000 members around the UK – Caroline got our 30-strong group up on their feet to sing Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, complete with choreographed dance moves.

Now I can’t sing to save my life – growing up I wasn’t allowed to be part of the school’s choir – but somehow Rock Choir is different. I was up there singing with the rest of them and, to my surprise having fun. I even thought perhaps this is something I could do more often! Everyone else seemed to enjoy themselves too and I’m pleased to say it was another successful meeting. The numbers are continuing to grow – we have paid up members! – and it’s already such a fantastic and interesting group of women, I’m excited to see who’ll join next.

July’s meeting is on 16th and will see us learning the art of cupcake decorating – cake and the WI, who can resist?

rockchoir.com

The WI meets again!

6 Jun

Now apologies! This meeting actually took place a couple of weeks ago but life seems to have been so frantic of late that I’m only just getting round to writing about it now. I’m sorry!

The third meeting of the Putney WI proved to be yet another success. Again, a healthy turn out and, now that the bank account is pretty much up-and-running, we were open to accept members! Hooray!

The speaker for the night was a lady called Sue Carless, who volunteers for The Shannon Trust, an inspirational organisation that helps people in prisons learn to read. She told us about the work the trust does, her role – instead of her being the teacher, she teachers in-mates to be mentors for each other – and she provided an eye-opening insight into prison life. She also flagged up an initiative at High Down Prison called The Clink. It’s a restaurant that’s open to the public and which is run (ie the food is prepared and served) by prisoners. I’ve added it to my list of places to go so watch this space – as soon as I’ve been, you’ll be the first to know.

shannontrust.org.uk and theclinkcharity.com

Happy Easter!

5 Apr

Home baking

Sultanas, white chocolate, and cinnamony goodness – the three main ingredients for my new favourite baked item: hot cross cookies. Last night saw me whip up a batch for the first time to take in as an Easter treat for my work mates, and to help raise money for the company’s charity, Breast Cancer Care. Of course, I had to taste test them before I took them in. One word for you…YUM!

 

Support the Putney WI!

27 Mar

Tonight marked the first meeting of the Putney WI and I am pleased to say it was a huge success. I was slightly apprehensive about how many (if any!) people would turn up but fortunately 10 lovely ladies came along and we had a fantastic time getting to know each other over coffee and cake, courtesy of Tried and True (a wonderful, independent cafe at 279 Upper Richmond Road that’s worth checking out). It’s a positive start to what I hope will become a successful and supportive monthly event, giving women in the Putney community an opportunity to network, make friends, and learn new skills.

So, if you, or anyone you know, are based in the area and want to get involved, please spread the word and come along! The next meeting will be held on 16th April at 7.30pm at Tried & True, 279 Upper Richmond Road, Putney.

 

Homemade beetroot cake

19 Feb

What better way to start a Sunday morning than with a spot of baking! Just made my first ever beetroot cake and, if I don’t say so myself,  it’s yum! Was a bit worried about staining my hands red and looking like an axe-murderer for work tomorrow but fortunately my fingers are only the slightest shade of pink. Mixed grated beetroot with chopped walnuts, mashed banana, flour, sugar, eggs, oil and mixed spices and have created a more-ish and, I like to think healthy-ish – must be one portion of veg, at least 😉 – tea loaf. Just had my first sampler with hot custard. Mmm!

My first funeral

28 Nov

It may come as a surprise to you to know that today was my first funeral. Yes, I’ve made it to the ripe age of 27 without ever having been to one.

G was a long-standing family friend. More closely associated with my mum and dad (my dad worked with her in the MOD) but important to me nonetheless. I remember many a summer evening when she was visiting other friends in the area and they’d all come round for a bottle (or two!) of wine in the garden. G also gave me a much-needed roof over my head when I first came to London and was on the search for a job, interning here there and everywhere on no salary. Her post-work debriefs with a G&T were my saviour!

But sadly, last week, G passed away from a long battle with cancer. It had spread to her oesophagus and there was nothing the surgeons could do. Her funeral was held at Chlitern Wooland Burial Park (woodlandburialparks.co.uk) and it was unlike anything I’d expected. I went with my mum and it was just the two of us from our family as my dad was still not feeling well enough to attend. It was a dry and sunny, but cold, day and when we arrived we were overwhelmed by how many people were there. The ceremony was incredibly intimate with personal readings from friends, family, colleagues and neighbours and it was held in the most beautiful glass fronted, ornately-carrved wood building, with floor to ceiling glass windows overlooking the woodland.

But, although it was moving and I did cry, it was a beautiful celebration of G’s life and achievements, and it made me realise what an incredible lady she was and how much more there was to her than I’d ever known. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt over the past few weeks is how precious people are and how much we must make the most of them while we can. One of G’s saying was ‘every one has a story tell if you have the patience to listen’, and I resolved to live my life by those words from now on, making the time to see people and learn about them and their interests.

After the ceremony G was buried amongst the trees and everyone had brought a flower from their garden to place on the coffin. It was a particularly poignant moment for me because not only had we lost a very special friend, but it was also a reminder of how close I’d come to losing my dad just weeks before. You just never know what’s going to be around the corner.