Making Time For Mum…


Life seems to be flying by at an alarming rate of knots, so it’s very important to take every opportunity you can to spend time with elderly relatives. Despite the fact I hate going into the town centre – even more so right before Christmas – my mother was keen to meet up and take a wander around the shops, which is exactly what I’ve spent the day doing.

She’d announced on arrival that she wanted coffee and toasted teacakes in M&S when it got to lunchtime, so it was just as well I hadn’t made other plans. The weather was bitterly cold but that’s to be expected mid-December, but we’d both wrapped up warm… a bit too warm as it turns out when we eventually sat down to eat. Mum was then kind enough to loudly point out my rather rosy cheeks in case anyone in the cafe hadn’t spotted them yet.

Although she’s perfectly steady on her feet considering her advancing years, I couldn’t help grabbing hold of her near roads; guiding her like a wobbly toddler until safely across to the other side, much to her annoyance. However, I think she was glad of a sit-down when her bus finally arrived to take her back home.

In many ways today was nothing out of the ordinary, just a mother and daughter walking around town together for a few hours, but as the years go by I’m ever more aware that we need to cherish these moments while we still can…


Long Time, No See…


We’ve all done it; saying to an old friend ‘We must meet for a coffee soon’ and then it goes weeks, months or even years before you actually get around to it, but when you can both finally find a small gap in your hectic schedules it’s lovely to be able to finally catch up properly.

Texting, emailing and Facebook messaging are all well and good but there’s nothing quite like a face-to-face natter to help you to re-connect fully with old mates. Neither of us could actually recall how long it’d been since we last put the world to rights over a cuppa, but as the old saying goes it’s better late than never.

The venue was a local contemporary art gallery, so we combined our nattering with a look round the latest exhibition before heading off to the tea rooms for refreshments. Window seats ensured we had a lovely view of the garden as we discussed everything from holidays to hand gel, and before we knew it the afternoon had whizzed past in the blink of an eye.

In a busy world where we meet new people day in, day out, it’s very important to show how much you still value your old friendships.

Counting My Blessings…

karen waddy

I’ve enjoyed some quality time with my family this week and it’s been extremely rewarding. At the weekend I spent a whole afternoon with my gorgeous twin daughters; putting the world to rights and catching up on all their news over cups of hot, sweet tea and fancy biscuits; and today I’ve spent several hours with my elderly mother celebrating her birthday.

I met mum off the bus in the town centre and we had our usual browse in shop windows as we passed them en route to the local park. It’s mild for the time of year so we were able to perch ourselves on a bench overlooking lovely autumnal scenery while enjoying a good old natter about anything and everything. As the town hall clock struck twelve we sauntered towards a nearby cafe for coffee and baguettes, and once sustained off we went again for a further wander through the town until it was time for her to catch the bus back home.

I’m so lucky to have my mum still with me and even luckier to have produced such beautiful, intelligent and caring children. I really do feel extremely blessed…

Strawberries and Wine…


I’ve just attended my first annual staff picnic and in spite of concerns regarding the weather we were able to spend our lunchtime sitting on tartan blankets, surrounded by picnickers from all the other departments, munching on big, fat, juicy strawberries under blue skies beside the 18th century 4 star hotel on site. Even better, there was a chilled bottle of white wine involved.

Despite a rather persistent wasp, it was so nice to be out of the office and into the sunshine doing something so quintessentially British, although cramming fresh fruit down my neck like it’s going out of fashion during my dinner break might not have been such a good idea.  It’s also quite hard to focus on work in the afternoon when you feel ever so slightly tipsy. Thank heavens for strong coffee…


Special Delivery…


It was an old friend’s birthday today and I’d totally forgotten to send her a card in the post, so I decided to just pop round and put the card through her letterbox myself. I had no intention of disturbing them by knocking, but clearly they must’ve seen me coming along the street as the front door opened and her husband welcomed me and invited me in. Due to busy schedules over the past few years we’d only been managing to catch up in the supermarket aisles once in a blue moon, with the occasional text message in between, so it was great to actually sit down and have a proper natter over a coffee.

What was even more special was the fact that her daughter and brand new grandson were visiting, allowing granny and grandad to show off the latest addition to their family. It was hugs and congratulations all round while we somehow managed to cover all manner of topics; everything from hospitals to holidays; in the space of an hour. As we said our goodbyes on the doorstep we promised not to leave it so long before our next get-together, and I’ll certainly make a genuine effort to ensure it happens sooner rather than later.

Raspberry Éclairs…


When you’re juggling several jobs, feeling starved of a decent social life and the weather’s not been as ‘spring-like’ as you’d hoped, nothing cheers you up quite like having a good old natter with a couple of close friends; especially if it involves cakes. Today’s delicious treats were coffee topped profiteroles and raspberry éclairs, both filled with lashings of fresh cream. Afternoon tea does not involve calorie counting, and it never should.

We always manage to have a laugh and cover a wide variety of topics; everything from dead pigeons to farting in the bath. In fact, I doubt that there’s any subject we wouldn’t be able to discuss, and I find that very liberating. In a world of political correctness gone mad, it’s a relief to be able to ‘tell it how it is‘ knowing you won’t be judged. In fact, it feels so good that afternoon tea with friends should be available on prescription. It’d save the NHS millions.


Coffee and Cakes…


Less than 24 hours after my posh night out on the town, I was sober enough to pop round a friend’s place to admire her recently re-decorated home. Never knew I could be quite so jealous of someone else’s wallpaper! As caffeine seems a decent cure for a hangover it was an ideal scenario to put the world to rights over a coffee, while enjoying extremely yummy fresh cream cakes filled with raspberries, followed by flapjacks topped with toffee and marshmallows. Thank heavens for elasticated waistbands.

Seeing what a great job my mate’s done has now made me start thinking about new ideas and possible colour schemes for my own pied-a-terre. I don’t have a vast budget and will be limited by what I can achieve by myself, but I think that by next spring I’ll have managed to put together a few ideas and give the old place a bit of a re-vamp. There’s nothing like the idea of a new project on the horizon for firing up the creative juices. How exciting!