Chocolates or health balls, take your pick.

healthy snackI’m not too sure what to call these as they could be chocolates or they could be health balls.  I think it will depend on my needs when I eat one!

I found the recipe on the internet but I only took a screen shot so I don’t have the source but the recipe is here.

Health ball reccipeYou just put all the ingredients in a bowl after you have mashed the banana and the avocado.  Mix it all up and then roll into balls. They taste really nice and you can freeze them.  I just defrost a few so I can have one a day with my coffee.  No guilt feelings attached.

Is your wardrobe in crisis?

Wardrobe crisisWe were in Melbourne recently and when there I always visit the bookshops.  I have been fairly good this year in limiting my book buying and tend to use the library more frequently but I couldn’t pass up the chance to go to the bookshops and of course there were books I wanted to buy.

This particular book was one that I had listed in my notes of books I wanted to read.  I had seen a review for it in a catalogue for summer reading!  We are now heading into winter.

“Who makes your clothes?  This used to be an easy question to answer: it was the seamstress next door or the tailor on the high street – or you made them yourself.  Today we rarely know the origins of the clothes hanging in our closets. The local shoemaker, dressmaker and milliner are long gone, replaced by a globalised fashion industry worth $1.5 trillion a year.

In Wardrobe Crisis, fashion journalist, Clare Press explores the history and ethics behind what we wear.  Putting her insider status to good use, Press examines the entire fashion ecosystem from sweat shops to haute couture, unearthing the roots of today’s buy-and-discard culture.  She traces the origins of icons like Chanel, Dior and Hermès; charts the rise and fall of the department store; and follows the thread that led us from Marie Antoinette to Carrie Bradshaw.”

I loved this book.  It was a real revelation for me about what is involved in the fashion industry and made me realise that we are all indeed slaves to fashion though we may not realize it.

I learnt a great deal while reading this book and it is interesting to note that in the last few books I have read there has been mention of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring.  Her writings are still relevant in many aspects of our world today. If you haven’t read that book it is one you should read now.

If you are interested in fashion or how your clothes are produced then this is certainly a book worth reading.  As I said, I loved it.


The things you stumble upon when walking in Yorkshire. . . .Tuesday Travels

first pubI think there were more jolly cyclists than farmers.

As mentioned previously, during our stay in Yorkshire we did a considerable amount of walking and one of the joys was coming across the village pub.  This is one of the first pubs we visited during our five week stay in Yorkshire.  The pub is closed in this photo but when we visited it it was during the weekend and the pub was alive with patrons.  The menu served was excellent and there were several cyclists making use of this excellent facility.

The HighwaymanWe didn’t enter this pub on our walk we merely took a photo for our next door neighbour who has the surname Hutton.

Blacksmith's armsThe Blacksmith’s Arms was fairly close to where we were staying so we called in there a couple of times.  The food was excellent as was the friendly staff.

menuThis next pub is one that was closest to our stay but unfortunately for us it had been closed down.

The Bay HorseWe seemed to be able to pick when the pubs were closed rather than open on our walks.

We walked quite some distance to visit the next pub only to discover that it was closed until the weekend.

Half Moon InnIt had a reputation for excellent fare but unfortunately we were unable to verify that.  On our return to our accommodation we saw a glider making a landing in a nearby field.  I don’t think it was where they were meant to be landing but the made it safely.glider


The Stone Trough was close to the half way mark of a long walk we had done so we stopped for our beer and cider.  The drinks were not up to the usual standard and so we didn’t linger for lunch but returned to the Blacksmith’s Arms where we knew the food and drink was excellent.

Stone Trough pubThe Middleton Arms we visited on a Sunday.  The pub was open and very busy as there had been a christening at the local church followed by a celebration at the

The last pub we visited was on our final night in Yorkshire before heading to France for five weeks.

pub 2The Fox and Hounds, ( How many of those are there in the UK? ), provided an excellent venue to watch one of the matches of the Rugby World Cup.

This sounds as though we were constantly in pubs but we weren’t they just happened to be there when we went for walks.  Not all of our walks had a pub!



An eye opening autobiography

This particular non-fiction book was recommended to me by my older brother.  What an excellent recommendation.  It was a fantastic book.

OpenI had to wait for the book to come into the library as it was out on loan.  I made a reservation and had to wait a few weeks before it became available.  It was well worth the wait.

The book is one that keeps you enthralled from beginning to end. I liked the tennis player Andre Agassi before I read this book. He was the young brat, disliked by the press, when he first arrived on the tennis scene but by the time he retired he was the revered older statesman.  Agassi looks back on his life and on the decisions he made.  Simple, clear, truthful, it’s a confession about winning and losing, about finding yourself and about discovering when to change and how to continue despite everything that goes against you.

If you want a more detailed review you can find one here.

Without doubt, one of the best autobiographies of a sportsman I have ever read.

Tilley troubles

We recently visited Melbourne to watch a game of rugby.  That was the main reason for the trip but a secondary reason was to visited a particular shop T.W. Sands & Co that sells spare parts for Tilley lamps.

TilleyWe used to do quite a bit of camping when we were first married and also when our children were young.  The Tilley lamp provided excellent light at night and was certainly superior to the gas lamp we had.  Unfortunately over the years the lamp has fallen into disrepair and my husband has been on the hunt for spare parts so he could repair the lamp.

After much searching he eventually found a shop in Melbourne that keeps spare parts for all sorts of lamps.  He has visited the shop once before but because he didn’t have the model number of the lamp he was unable to get the parts he needed.  This time we went armed with the necessary information.  The website said that the shop opened at 9.00 but we had to wait for a few minutes as it didn’t open until 10.00 but once inside the parts were instantly produced much to the delight of my husband.

Now we are at home and my husband has set about repairing his much loved Tilley.

Tilley in bitsThe thing in the glass jar is the part that is used to light the lamp.  This part is soaked in methylated spirits and then set alight.  The tank at the left back is what houses the kerosene.

Now it is repaired and my husband is thrilled with the result.

Tilley 3

The Twa Corbies. . . .

I was pondering how we had to learn poetry when we were at school and it was still something that was happening in my first few years as a teacher.  Unfortunately, or some would say fortunately, poetry recital is no longer fashionable.  As I have said in previous posts it always used to surprise me how my dad was able to come up with a line of poetry for almost any occasion, be it something we saw or something that had happened.

It was when I noticed two crows feasting on some roadkill on a recent trip that made me think of a poem I had learnt at primary school.  I had thought that I had learnt it for Burns Day but when I checked out my Burns anthology I was surprised to discover that the poem wasn’t there.  After some searching on the web I discovered that the poem was by “who knows” in other words, Anonymous!  I loved the poem as a child so here it is for you to enjoy.  I learnt the version on the left.

You can also hear the poem sung. The heading says English but the comments after the video shows the strength of feeling between English and Scottish ownership!