Monthly Archives: January 2018

January Memories Through The Years – The Cake Edition

January is my Birthday month. So I hereby dedicate this post to Cake!

January 1984. It’s my 1st Birthday and Hello 80’s perm! I’m told it snowed heavily on my 1st Birthday and no one could get to my party. More cake for me suckers!


My mum made most of my cakes when I was a child so I welcome you to “Cakes of the 80’s”

This was my 5th Birthday cake and is a fairground carousel.

My 6th Birthday and a clown cake. Also not to be missed, the custard cream biscuits to the right. Love a custard cream!

I’m not sure which Birthdays the next two cakes were for but here is the cake shaped like a Cat. I can’t remember if this was meant to be Garfield or my cat Rusty who was Ginger. The green cake is Slimer from Ghostbusters. I remember the teeth kept falling out!


On a more serious note we fast forward to 2015. Where we lived in Sheffield, was this colourful row of houses. They always used to make me smile, especially when overlooked by that blue sky! The second picture is the view from where we lived. Sheffield is so hilly there are lots of spectacular views to be had across the city.

Crookes, Sheffield

2016 saw our first January in the South and I managed to snap this gorgeous sunset picture.


January can be a long hard month for some people but I tend to enjoy it…but probably only because my Birthday is in it!

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Books I Read in 2017

I’ve known I wanted to make a post like this all year, hence why I started writing down the books I read. I’ve just never fully decided on how to post it. I didn’t know if I should make it a review of every book, a list of the books I’d enjoyed the most or just a list of books. I think I’ve finally decided on just highlighting the ones I’ve enjoyed the most. However, if any of the others pique your interest the titles and authors are there if you want to look them up.

  1. The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

The One Memory of Flora Banks

It probably goes without sayin that the main character of this book is Flora Banks. She has amnesia and can’t remember anything from one day to the next so she has all the important bits wrote down in a book. Then Flora kisses a boy and the next day she can remember it. However the boy disappears and the book follows Flora’s journey to find him and confirm that the kiss happened. There’s a real twist at the end of the book which I didn’t see coming at all. It’s a good book and definitely a real page turner.

2. The List by Joanna Bolouri
3. I Followed The Rules by Joanna Bolouri
4. The Lemon Tree Cafe Part One by Cathy Bramley
5. The Cosy Coffee Shop of Promises by Kellie Hailes
6. The Lemon Tree Cafe Part Two by Cathy Bramley
7. The Canal Boat Cafe by Cressida McLaughlin
8. The Lemon Tree Cafe Part Three by Cathy Bramley

9. The Light of the Fire Flies by Paul Pen

The Light of the Fireflies

I could not put this book down. This book is like no other I’ve read before. It’s about a family that live in a cellar and is centred around a young boy. He has no technology bar a TV and only has a thin strip of a window. He’s not allowed out of the cellar but he and his sister hatch a plan to escape. The escape part was so tense, my heart was hammering reading it.

10. The Lemon Tree Cafe Part Four by Cathy Bramley
11. Spectacles: A Memoir by Sue Perkins
12. You and Me, Always by Jill Mansell
13. The Marble Collector by Cecilia Ahern

The Marble Collector

This book is about Sabrina’s journey to discover who her Father really is. As the book progressed I had no idea about what would happen next or how I thought it might end. I quite liked that about the book as books can so often be predictable. Cecilia Ahern has a wonderful way of writing. I’ve read a lot of her books.

14. Butlins and The Story of the British Seaside by Kathryn Ferry
15. The Little Teashop of Lost and Found by Trisha Ashley
16. The Girl With No Name by Diney Costeloe

The Girl With No Name

I never thought I’d want to read a book set in the war. I always see those books and pass them by but something about this one made me want to read it. Lisa arrives from Germany after losing her family. She is adopted by a couple in London but is involved in an accident during the Blitz and wakes up with no memory of who she is or where she lives. The book follows how her life changes and how she finds her feet again.

17. Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay by Jill Mansell
18. The Canal Boat Cafe Christmas Part One by Cressida McLaughlin
19. The Canal Boat Cafe Christmas Part Two by Cressida McLaughlin
20. The Little Village Christmas by Sue Moorcroft
21. The Cosy Christmas Tea Shop by Caroline Roberts

If you’d like to read about books 9-12, they’re included in my What I Read This Summer post.

I’ve already finished my first book of 2018. I started it in 2017 but finished it on New Year’s Day so I’m counting it as a 2018 book.

Do you like to read?

What were your favourite books from last year?

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How Not To Start 2018 & An Unsuccessful Southsea parkrun

My plans for the end of 2017 and the start of 2018 were mostly centred around parkrun to be honest. I was going to run on the 30th December at Southsea parkrun followed by volunteering at Stokes Bay junior parkrun on 31st December followed by doing the infamous parkrun double on New Years Day. New Years Day is the only day you are allowed to run at two parkruns. My local parkrun had purposefully chosen to start at 10.30am to allow people a better chance of being able to “do the double”.

My plans started well, we (my husband and I) got to Southsea parkrun in plenty of time and did a half mile (ish) warm up.

The sunrise at Southsea beach

The sunrise at Southsea beach

As you can see Southsea parkrun is along the prom, just like at Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun. I quickly took a picture of the sunrise before gathering on the start line with 292 other parkrunners.

Southsea parkrun start line

As the RD declared we were off, my husband said goodbye and he’d meet me back at the finish (He’s quicker than me) and so off I trotted. I started strong and had hopes of being able to shave those pesky 16 seconds off my time to make my parkrun improvement time 14 minutes. The first mile went well. And then during mile two I don’t really know what happened, but I didn’t feel right. I passed my husband who asked if I was ok. I said Yes but thought I’d have to walk a bit more than normal. As I kept going I could barely run at all. I felt weak, my stomach and legs were cramping and the wind was full on. I had to walk the remainder. The walkers began to overtake me and I knew I must have slowed right down. For some reason I never thought to phone my husband and ask him to come and get me, although sensible, it wouldn’t have worked anyhow as I soon saw him walking back to me. Usually he waits at the finish line as I’m only 5-10 minutes behind him but I guess he must have realised something was wrong when I didn’t appear.

We walked back to the start and I got scanned by the barcode scanners. To be honest that bit feels a bit of a blur. Once home I got out of my kit and really felt bad. My feet were so painfully cold but my body was raging hot. I was sweating but absolutely freezing at the same time. I ran a hot bath but had to get out almost as soon as I’d got in as I was barely able to stay awake.

Then I slept. I slept all afternoon, all night and most of Sunday. When I woke up on Sunday I had a blinding headache. I managed to stay awake most of the afternoon then needed another snooze before the fireworks and Big Ben striking 12. My hopes of completing the double parkrun in the morning had slipped away by now.

So now I decided to come and write this post, to take a break away from social media as people upload their smiley happy New Years Day run pictures. Whilst I don’t begrudge them making a terrific start to 2018 I’m absolutely devastated my 2018 didn’t start the way I wanted it to.

I’d even printed off this shoe that Kerry had posted on Facebook.

1000 miles shoe

Each little square has a number in and you colour it in as you complete the miles. Of course I’m not going to try and complete 1000 miles in 2018, that’d be crazy as a beginner, but I was so looking forward to colouring in 6 of those squares this morning.

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