Little Loves

Little Loves

I’ve seen other bloggers write about their weekly “little loves”, and I have always found them charming (and sometimes inspirational) so here are some of mine:

Read

The Picture of Dorian Gray – we read this for our book group this month and, whilst I can’t say I loved it I will acknowledge why it was a classic. To enjoy this book at all you really do have to murder your inner feminist. Women do not come out of this book well. At all. But get past that (forgive Oscar Wilde, it was a book born from his homosexuality and the times he live in) and you are left with a complex narrative based on two key assumptions – that beauty masks evil and that a magical painting can take the ugliness of the evil Dorian perpetrates leaving him youthful and lovely. Even these are now thoroughly debunked. In an age of plastic surgery such giveaway marks could be wiped away for as long as the money lasts!

The “loves” I refer to here are the many ways in which Oscar Wilde draws your mind to acts Dorian Gray undertakes to bring other people down, to destroy them, to end their place in society. When I first read the book I was left with a clear image of him taking people into opium dens, getting them hooked, engaging women in prostitution themselves………… none of which is actually described! Just as a cartoonist can bring to mind a face, full of expression and humour with a single line, so Wilde leaves you thinking he has described something when in fact he never said a word about it.

Worth a read but remind yourself that he did not live in our age, our world. Be glad of his writing and that we have all moved forward.

Watched

My shameful indulgence, the Real Housewives of Anywhere. This time it was the end of the Sydney show, and I have watched the series between laced fingers. These women really don’t like each other, they lie, belittle each other, disrespect each other and heaven help anyone that calls them out on their bad behaviour! As with the epic New Jersey Housewives, this one had me on the edge of my seat with tension. I tell myself I am watching for the dresses and the scenery, but. No. Its the stress.And the feeling that my life is actually really nice and I love my friends.

Made

A group of friends come together every couple of months to experiment with food – new ingredients, new techniques, new approaches etc. My cooking skills are severely limited, so some of my challenges are everyday meals for the others! My new Little Love is Arancini. it is an Italian rice based thing where you take the leftovers of any dish, (bacon and mushrooms and peas work really well), mix them up with cooked risotto rice, roll into little balls, cover in breadcrumbs and fry.

(perfect “on-the-go” food)

YUM! 

 

Food

Fludyers Felixstowe

We went out for a midday lunch today and decided to go to the Fludyers in Felixstowe.

Fludyers Website

It is a really old inn right at the end of the promenade at the seafront. Before it was bought by the current owners and refit their website used to say “we are a stone’s throw from the sea, and sometimes not even that!” which I thought was lovely. There is a decking patio with several tables to sit and watch the sea. It is raised up above the cars so is nicer than some of the alternatives. We have sat there in the middle of winter, summer evenings, autumn sunsets, many a Sunday morning and watched the sea go by.

They have a promotion on during January that we thought not half bad. 2 courses for £20, 3 for £25 INCLUDING 2 glasses of wine!

I had the chicken and avocado salad for a starter (over £7) and then the slow roasted pork belly (over £17 on menu) so to save cash on the menu as well as getting  175 glasses of a decent (OK bottom of price list but still fine for lunch) wine. The Mister had sweet chilli chicken wings followed by a duck hotpot. Every single mouthful was a delight, and we were far too full for pudding, even it it would only be another fiver (nothing on the dessert menu was a fiver).

No evening meal either as we were both still full.

Not a bad choice At All!

 

I have not been paid for this review, but, you know, if you felt you HAD to……………

go to contact page!

 

(EDIT  23/01/2018

In fact it was such a good deal we are going again today for lunch!- Dawn)

Food

BBC Food and Farming Awards

Every year the BBC honours excellence in food and farming, and every year I try and take note of local winners so I might try and buy from them

Link to BBC website

Do please nominate if you can, these awards are excellent for giving attention to excellence, something that we can all appreciate!

Categories are:

Food producer

Drinks producer

Street food

Future food

Farming Heroes

Best shop / market

Best cook

Nominate!

Leisure

Choose Theatre

I love the theatre. I am part of an amdram group that put productions on a couple of times a year. Our next show will be the 100th show!

I used to do leading lady parts, but now I am consigned to the older, housekeeper, mature wifey, comic roles. Not that I mind, less to learn with all the fun of the rehearsals and productions. One of our cast even wrote us a play that we did last year, and it was really well received.

Chelpin Players

I usher at our local theatre, the Wolsey, and get to see all the shows for free!

Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich

The Mister and I also go and see several West Ends shows a year, although I also go with my daughter and other friends occasionally.

Here are some I have seen:

Would you recommend any?

Travel

Spending time with family

Something I have done in the past, and will do again, is to go away with my daughter for a long weekend somewhere in Europe. She is amazing at finding really good deals on flights and hotels. She loves a bit of luxury so we never go less that four stars, but she loves saving money so we only ever pay two star prices.

She has also inherited, from her dad, a love of being organised, so that all I have to do is turn up. She has tickets, itinerary, directions, instructions on how to use the local public transport systems and a few phrases. Nothing could be easier.

Also inherited from her dad is the ability to get up at first light to make the most of the day. I might chunter a bit about an early start, but it does mean we get to see things without half the tourist population in the way. So we saw the Little Mermaid statue at about half seven on a Sunday morning, but it was delightful to have her all to ourselves.

It is lovely spending time with her as a grown up, with her in charge.

Mother-daughter time is always precious, but these weekends are something else.

Where have you gone with your grown up kids?

Friendship, Interests, Leisure

Book Group

I joined a book group about six years ago. There are about a dozen women in it at any one time, and we each host every month (except august, when the group go to the Theatre in the Forest to wach the Red Rose Chain do some Shakespeare, and December, our Xmas meal.

 

We have tried various ways to choose a book:

Each host chooses their own

All picked from one Mann Booker list

Pick a genre out of a hat and choose from that

All picked from shortlisted prizewinners of literary prizes

All picked from a selection of lists, winners only

 

Generally we found it just better to let our Book Club Leader (a very organised lady called Sarah) make up a huge list from a mixture of the above and we pick from a hat – throwing back immediately any that we veto.

Whoever is hosting provides nibbles (cold cuts, cheese, breads etc) and drinks, and we spend about an hour discussing the book, led by questions from our host. We are not exclusively female, just no man has yet asked to join.

It is a great group, meeting every month and always open to having authors visit us (Ruth dugdall has already done so)

We were even featured in our local press:

Link to East Anglia Daily Times

 

book group

Travel

Chose a weekend away

One thing I really love to do is to have a couple of days away in European cities with the people I love most – The Mister, The Child or a mate. You can get really good deals in winter (January tourism! Yey! Not too hot, no crowds, no queues, staff are happy to see you and its is all a bit relaxed.)

Hubs’ birthday is in January so we have been away a lot. We went to Seville a couple of years ago – and in January the Oranges are out. I thought they looked amazing, just falling off the trees

seville6

but when I tried one it was sooooooo bitter! The only thing they are good for is marmalade, and luckily Seville Oranges are perfect for marmalade. It was beautiful at night too

We had the most lovely time. Palaces were gorgeous (and this one was used in a Star Wars film)

seville7

Interests

Welcome!

Hi and thanks for visiting.

I am Dawn, a fifty-plus ex-civil servant looking to enjoy every choice I make. I have started this blog to share choices I make and to tell you how much I enjoyed (or learned from!) those choices.  I decided quite some time ago not to make bad choices – no point is there? If something is not as good as I hoped it would be then at least I can learn from it.

So far some of the choices I have made have been about:

Books – I am in a book group and this has opened me up to lots of new authors, new ideas and some pretty cool discussions. So much so that I have actually started writing and will be published soon. Books are brilliant, and I will share with you some good choices to make.

Theatre – I am involved in local amdram and we do at least one, usually two productions a year. I love going to the theatre – from west end shows to local village hall events. I also love NT Live performances, and go to as many as I can make.

Cooking – I try and bake a bit (some pretty chaotic disasters!)

Eating out – a favourite, definitely.

Clothes and beauty – Making these choices can be super difficult, and as an older woman I need to be careful.

Being a mature woman in today’s world is all about making choices – lets hope the ones I make are those that make me happy.

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