Funny At Fifty

Unfiltered thoughts on approaching 50... Laying myself bare and encouraging you to join me on this journey, With a Cup of tea of course!

Simplicity, AkA Minimalism & Why we need it in our lives

Living a Simple life  may not be to everyones taste, some may enjoy the fast pace of our era, the hectic lifestyle, with vasts amounts of Consumerism, the desire to have the latest Car, designer outfit, Shoes, handbags, huge House, expensive restaurants, flash holidays, I could go on and on and on....
PHEW! I'm exhausted now, need a cuppa to rest my mind!

I don't think I've ever been a high flyer wanting these things, well maybe a few, but was I simply trying to keep up with the fast pace, and joining in as I didn't know any different.
But Now I do know different, wether its my discovery since reading various Instagram posts, and looking at beautiful simplistic photos or my life change, I think deep down I've always wanted this simple life, I've always said, 'All I want is to be happy,' I've have come to realise objects, material possessions do not serve any purpose in creating this happiness.

Now for some people a certain amount of 'things' may bring happiness, but its about finding the true value of the said items, and not confusing them with instant gratification.  We have all been there, purchasing an item we thought we really desired, then once we have it, how quickly do we feel, almost disappointed that it hasn't had the desired effect. I believe it takes time to work this out.

I personally feel most relaxed and at peace when Im walking along the beach listening to the sound of the ocean.   I havn't got my house on the beach, but as far as I'm concerned we have our dream house by the river, and only a ten minute drive to the beach. 

 To achieve this we as a couple have to make some changes, I have recently watched a documentary on Netflix called Tiny Houses I have said over and over to Hubby, I could really live in a tiny house! You know what they say about ,what you wish for!

No it won't be as Tiny as those, but we are downsizing, so the decluttering, and Minimalising goes hand in hand. As I sell, donate, or simply get rid of a lot of stuff, I'm getting a sense of 'letting go', Freeing, and Simplicity. 

My Journey ..will it ever be completed, or is this lifestyle a constant journey?  Its Fabulous I actually said to hubby this morning,...
'wish I could sell everything and start again only choosing my essentials,'
 But I will simply have to be mindful, with what we have and keep what we actually use and brings value to our lives

I'm really excited about our next Life Journey, and where it will take us,  something I have learnt which I kinda knew but has become forefront in my awareness, is to be truly happy, it comes from within, we shouldn't use objects or possessions , or People, it's in us, its about finding your inner worth, peace and happy place!

And believe me once your there you will never look back!....have you found yours yet?
I would love to have a cuppa and a little talk with you....leave a comment and I'll reply...


TurtleBay Colchester Restaurant Review

I was invited to dine at the newly opened Turtlebay In Colchester, I'm a real 'Foodie', so I was a tad excited, especially as its Caribbean,  well It certainly didn't disappoint.

 Upon arrival we were greeted by a waiter who took us to our table, I had a fab view of the whole restaurant, with it authentic Caribbean bar area in the middle, with barstools, to watch the bar attendant shake your cocktails! And watch the world go by.

 Then alongside was an area with high tables and stools, if you want a light bite, maybe for lunch.  just behind the bar is the 'sparkly' area with lots of twinkly fairy lights, to create the perfect ambience.

With Rustic dark wood tables and low lighting it created a perfect Caribbean feel. I quickly became settled and started enjoying my surroundings...

 We were then presented with our Menus, which consisted of a food menu and a separate drinks menu.

 It was Happy hour (didn't plan that one honest!) so had the obligatory two for one cocktail, which being Caribbean had to be Rum based, we went for the
 Jumbled Julep - white rum, strawberry, mint and apple juice, which went down rather well, very refreshing with, i'd say a hint of Rum.

our Waiter was very knowledgable and chatty which I always love, he recommended his favourite dishes, for starters we went for

Jerk Pit Wings & Duck Rolls.....

when served they came in an authentic tin bowl, served with sour orange chutney, of course we had to share, and they were delicious, not too spicy or hot, just right for us. and just the right amount for a starter.

for Mains, well that was a tough one, I was torn between the Jerk Pit BBQ or the One Pots.  Well I'll simply have to go back again!😉
I decided on the Jerk BBQ And had the Jerk Chicken Breast, which was served with coconut rice 'n'peas,sour orange chutney,coconut shavings and Caribbean Slaw...

Hubby went for the Jerk Pit BBQ, Jerk Sirloin Steak, medium to well done, served with Caribbean Spinach, (which was amazing) spiced fries and sweet onion chutney, and a choice of Jerk sauce.
Apparently the steak was cooked to perfection, which is a huge praise coming from Hubby!

Now I'm a bit of a 'Pudding' fan so we just had to have one, even though we were both a bit full, but hey' theres always room for pud! the Pudding menu was shown.

For the Rum lovers out there theres a Whole side of different Rums and they are even graded for you, from Fabulous.. to Best...To Better...To Good. Phew I wouldn't be standing after that lot!

We decided on the Sticky Toffee Pudding for me, and the Rum and Raisin bread pudding both served with vanilla Ice cream..... well Yummy!

I tasted hubbys, well I had to.... it was delicious, so smooth and the consistency was simply perfect for bread and butter pud.

 My sticky toffee pudding with salted caramel sauce was melt in the mouth perfect.  we washed it down with a 'Mocktail' a passion fruit cooler, which was very refreshing.

Our Visit to TurtleBay was lovely, Its a family friendly restaurant with staff that are attentive, and know the menu, The ambience is lovely with soft lighting and low music.  Certainly an authentic Caribbean feel.  Yes we will be returning, hopefully soon, and a BIG Yes, I will be recommending to my Family, Friends and Clients.


My Life in a TeaCup

Turning 49 to me is a "365 days to 5 Oh" As you know I'm not looking forward to being 50, mainly because of my beautiful Mum, as I explained in my previous post she was diagnosed with /Early-onset_Alzheimer's_disease at 50, so Yes, it's a big deal for me!
That's the "Maybe" bit, then there's the wonderful Menopause, what a complete Joy!
NO it isn't , well not for me anyway, got to say it's really hard, and I am struggling with it, yes I joke about the Hot Flushes , how I would quite like to stand in a fridge most days, and have the urge to strip off when it would be a tad inappropriate, and maybe if that was it I could cope, easy right? Well no Nature decided to include the wonderful mood swings, that's the bit I struggle with.
Imagine going about your daily usual routine, then.....BANG!....
Your having a conversation and you simply SHOUT,SCREAM, SNAP, during this unusual behaviour imagine having an outer body experience and looking down on your , unrecognisable self,and thinking "What on earth is happening?"
Well there you have it that's exactly how it feels, welcome to the Menopause, and that's only two body changes.  So I've researched and spoken to people, but something I find really hard to understand is why we as a group are Not discussing it more, and supporting each other? Yes there are a few groups, but people seem to feel embarrassed, awkward talking about it, a bit like no one wants to discuss periods when we are young, why? We have moved forward with so many things and women have been having the Menopause forever right? But still no discussions. It does help honestly, simply to know that your friends are going through the same experiences, and when you are have a melt down your not the only one doing this.  More important is to talk to your family, who are living with this out of character person who's sudddenly become neurotic.  I could go on but don't want to scare the under 45's who may be approaching this lovely change .... maybe writing about it may help, let's talk talk talk it does work.

Something I'm learning whilst on my life journey is how important it is to be 'You' not a 'pretend' You.  Your Unique and yes you will make mistakes but those mistakes are what make you become the person you are today. 
Starting my Blog was quite scary, as I decided at the start to "lay myself bare " and talk about everything, to some it may seem slightly silly, as then your opening yourself up for criticism maybe, but for me at 49 it was important and a huge part as to why I started my blog. I want to share the real me, flaws and all!  Maybe even People closest will learn a bit about me?
Apart from being Funny, apparently!
And a massive Teapot... definitely can't stop my Tea addiction ,although I'm trying to explore the realms of herbal teas, so far quite enjoying Green Tea and Jasmine.
But at the end of the day it's gotta be good ole English (strong as you like) breakfast Tea.

I started writing this post in January, right at the very beginning, when i was feeling at my worst, I'm not embarrassed to admit I was really struggling, I spent most of New year in tears, and with a giant push from my Daughter, I nervously made a doctors appointment.  I suppose I was hoping for a miracle,   Well i'm sure ole 'Mr' upstairs was looking down on me and guiding me to take the plunge, so off we went, yes said daughter  escorted me to my GP, and this is where I think him upstairs came into play, I actually got an amazing doctor, who really knew her stuff.  I explained all of my fears, and worries about the HRT, and she told me that my fears were justified.  She then explained how we can try a small dose, and see how we go, she gave me choices, and actually listened. I explained my worries about turning 50, and worries about dementia.  She explained that research has shown that HrT can actually help memory, so after listening and contemplating, I decided to give this tiny pill a chance.  It seemed a no brainer really.

I was prescribed Femoston 10mg, so a small dose, for 2 weeks you take a tiny white pill which is the Oestradiol and then day 15 to 28 the tiny grey pill which is Dydrogesterone.
Well for the first two weeks, I'm not going to beat around the bush, I was totally ready to throw in the towel.. I was sick as a dog.... apparently you may get "Morning Sickness" how wonderful, I'd forgot how awful it was, I was totally 'inhuman' until about 2pm, then I had to look forward to the same again the following day, Tremendous! Not!, But once again Louise came to the rescue, and googled it, yes she did, and said it would only last a while, whilst my body was coming to terms with a dose of ......"Hello Mr Oestrogen, your back" And once again she was correct, it has subsided, and even though Im not that great at admitting I'm wrong, Yes now it's in black and white for Mr T to see.
Ive got to say these tiny white and grey pills are pretty amazing!, I'm slowly getting back to feeling like 'Me' again. I still get a few hot flushes in the night, and a tad tetchy, but I definitely think I'm going in the right direction.
If anyone is thinking, struggling with there menopausal symptoms, please talk, either to a friend, doctor, even me on social media, anyone, please don't suffer in silence, It isn't silly or unimportant, your mental health can suffer , YoU ARE IMPORTANT! so lets talk talk talk, Grab that Cuppa and a piece of cake because thats what I do best , together we can decide what action is the right one for you, you have options x💋
In the wise words of Pooh Bear....
Promise me your'll Always remember: Your braver than you believe,stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think !


That Special Time of Year....Christmas!

Seeing as its now early December you are all well aware its that special time again. Having just celebrated my Birthday, I wanted to wait till I posted anything about Christmas festivities, It's only fair you know, let us December Birthday people have our day Paleeeeeese!

So Now I'm ready Bring it on...

I am a 'Christmassy' kinda girl, So for me its Lists galore, and usually starting in about October with the present buying and card selecting, But as you all know being on my Minimalism Journey I've changed that this year, It's Slower, much Slower...
No lists till December . so I literally wrote my list on the 5th December.
And No christmas card sending, once again I will be donating to an animal sanctuary the amount I would have spent on buying the cards and postage to send them, Maybe some people will not understand this, but in reality will they really miss my card? If they are true friends they will understand and if they are people I rarely see I can send a message via numerous social media sites.

Now for me I just Love family traditions, we have a real christmas Tree so as a family go to choose one , this will be happening on Monday, we drive home with said Tree and then the Hot Chocolate with marshmallows of course is made, Christmas music playing, I decorate the tree, Yes I admit it I'm OcD, 'I' have to decorate the tree, sorry maybe its wrong but my personality trait screams 'You' must decorate so its just how you like it!

Mine is lots of twinkly lights, a few White and silver decorations and I'm afraid NO tinsel in sight. I love coming down stairs in the morning to the smell of a real tree, and lighting my Candles, this is How I like my christmas time evenings.

 Ive had a couple of christmas meals, well thats enough for a Homely kinda girl, I love the cold nights snuggly in front of a festive Movie, either Elf or a golden oldie White Christmas for me.

And as I've slowed down this year, I've realised I never really had to run around collecting gifts, and spend hours browsing, I've done it all online, and only purchased meaningful gifts. Obviously I can't divulge as santa has to decide if said gift recipients have been good this year! But I've been really mindful, and can relax and enjoy time spent with my family and friends.

We have finally got our tree..yay! We poodled along to a local garden centre and picked our perfect tree, now usually we get home and do the usual, chop a bit off the top, as it doesn't fit, But we had our sensible heads on this year and got Our Perfect size tree!

then home for the ....
Love our little traditions! after a break, well this is hard work you know !
Its finally up...

I'm loving my little Nordic house, and new white decorations from The White Company. For me its a few decs with lovely white Berry lights! Simply Perfect!

Don't get me wrong I have got guests over christmas and  there is a slight feeling of ...
"will I have enough food?"
"will they enjoy themselves"
But you know what, I'm telling myself they are coming to see us, and enjoy some quality time.
So If you are feeling the pressure this year, take a step back and try and be Mindful too.
Firstly look after number one, take time to relax, enjoy and do things that make you happy, maybe its a beach walk, park walk, or a pilates class, or simply a cuppa and a christmas movie.  All the things on your list will be accomplished as they always are each year. But if you did forget the brussel sprouts would it be the end of the world? No it wouldn't I promise.

Then when Christmas Day finally comes, well I'm usually the one peering over to Hubby and saying"Are you awake yet", then waking Louise (even though she's 25) and wanting to start our Christmas Day traditions, I rush downstairs to light our candles and pop on the christmas music,
 For us it starts with a cuppa, thats a given, whilst opening some pressies, then enjoying a delicious bucks fizz, Salmon and scrambled egg brekkie.
 I wouldn't change our little routine, It's these traditions that make it special and being able to enjoy precious Time with our loved ones, this is what we remember the most, and carry on each year, Not what we bought each other, simple things, that bring us the most happiness, and create the perfect Memories I really hope each and everyone of you have an amazing Calm relaxing Christmas and time spent with special people.


New York New Christmas Time!

It was 2008, My 40th birthday and I was a very lucky girl, as one of my dreams came true, I was given tickets by Hubby for a trip to the Big Apple, and to make it even more special it was at christmas time.  (one advantage of having a December Birthday)

I was overwhelmed by the excitement, Our trip was for five days, four nights, which was the perfect amount of time.  To start for our long flight we were lucky enough to upgrade to business class which was wonderful, so we stretched out and our adventure began.

When we arrived at JFK Airport, it was buzzing, so promptly found our iconic yellow cab, and started our journey to our lovely Hotel,The Bentley ,which was situated near the Queensborough_Bridge.

We wasted no time and once we had popped our luggage into our room we made our way to the bright lights of Time Square, Wow was I in for a shock, the buildings all seem so tall, when you glance upwards all you see are lights and buildings. we queued for our theatre tickets, and went to see our favourite show, Phantom of the Opera, it was beautiful, although we were sooooo tired, Im sure we both had a little snooze.  Once out we made our way back to our hotel to get some much needed rest for the start of the following day.

Day two we got ready....

Just a little story of my holiday packing. Paul before we left said to me, look I've got you some thermals for our trip, well if you had seen my face! 'What?' I declared, I won't need them.   MMMMM was I wrong, I was soooo grateful for them thermals , let me tell you, Cold, You havn't felt cold until your've experienced New York Cold, I'll have you know it was a mere -15, yes -15 my friends.  so I definatly got use of them thermals.

We made our way to our first American Diner, which became our regular, we are creature of habits i'm afraid, does anyone else do this? once we find a place we like we do tend to stick with it. Well after a huge stack of pancakes and lots of Tea, well they do tea but seem a tad shocked when we have milk with it mmmmm strange.
We began the walk of Fifth Avenue , well I hear you say whats on Fifth Avenue?
Have you seen Breakfast At Tiffany's? One of my Favourite Classic Films.  So I simply had to do An Audrey.....or Hollie Golightly and experience 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'  It was a tick off my list for sure, Tiffany's in New York is simply outstanding, with its opulence and fairy lights, especially at christmas time.  And of course I got into trouble, as always, its a 'thing' now, wherever we go we must take photos, well for some security reasons (if your casing the joint) you can't take photos at tiffany's, well this has never stopped me before, so with my little Blue tiffany bag in hand I ask Paul to flash away, but get rudely interrupted by a security guard.  Never mind, I still got the piccy!

After an exhausting shopping day of Macy's and smaller stores, we made our way to a little restaurant down a side street, it was owned by an Italian, who was extremely friendly, It seems that once people hear your English accent they swarm to you. Although for some reason wherever we go people seem to struggle with my dulcit tone, maybe its the London/Essex thing? But anyway, this guy was lovely, telling us all about his family history and how he ended up in New York. And the food well, as like everywhere we discovered its not for the feint hearted, no diets here! everything seems to come with a side of Fries and its large or large.

Day Three...

The next day we were booked for a surprise Helicopter ride over the Hudson River to see the Statue_of_Liberty but the weather was not on our side, so it was unfortunately cancelled.
So we grabbed this time to go to The Empire State Building, Wow it's so amazing, firstly just twirling around the doors as you enter to see the beautiful Christmas tree greeting you, and then pop into the lift to journey upwards.  Once arrived you walk out onto the terrace and........ Stunning!

The views from all aspects are simple you can see it was really cold for us, but still you can see for miles across New York City.

oooh the concentration...

We were told to ring later for a weather update for the following day, so lots of praying later we rang to be told we were on, Yay!  It was a bit scary gotta say, we popped on our headphones so we could hear the pilot, Paul we very excited, seeing as he's a bit of an Aviation geek. I was a bit apprehensive, And it was Very Loud! But well worth it the view was breathtaking and I think the best possible way to see Statue of Liberty.

Central Park .... well as you can see from the photos, it was snowing yet again, so we didn't get to see much of the park, we would of loved to walk around and see the Zoo, and walk around the gardens.  But instead we saw the park from a Horse and carriage, snuggled together with a warm blanket, not a bad way to travel, it was certainly romantic and even though we missed out on walking around central park, it really was quite spectacular.

If your a geeky Friends fan like Moi, you will understand my excitement to walk past the store mentioned in a particular Friends episode, potterybarn 67th-and-broadway they say the silly things get us going, well it sure did, And for you Friends fans its another tick off the list!

Day Four...

On our final day we done our last shop visits, and of course one more visit to Macy's , where people actually queue to look at the Christmas window displays, its simply Magical.

So if you are planning a visit to The Big Apple anytime soon, would I suggest Christmas Time?
Oh Yeah definitely, Such a wonderful, Magical time of year, and so authentic with the Snow, and twinkling lights, beautiful Christmas tree and Ice skating at the  Rockefeller centre,

 of course the must visit to Tiffany's and maybe breakfast?
Hope you enjoyed my post any questions if New York is on your 'to go to' list please simply ask.


The Princess Charlotte Pub Review!

I was lucky to be invited to a pre-opening of the Princess Charlotte Pub in Stanway Colchester last night.  We arrived at 6.30pm, and we were happy to venture inside, although its quite big, it felt really warm and welcoming, with its oak beams, and rustic feel it was really inviting.  We were greeted by some of the staff, And a big hello from the bar staff as we were led to our table, it was lovely to be seated by the window, where we could see the garden area.  Our waitress for the evening was introduced to us, and went onto explain the history of the McMullens brand, also how The Princess Charlotte is the only named pub in Britain, which was a lovely touch for me.

The menus were rather large, and full of delicious sounding dishes, from Chicken, Burgers, Steak, to Salads.  We asked for recommendations which we were given, so I opted for the 'yummmy' Duck wings, they were succulent and spicy,
Hubby and daughter went for the deep fried garlic mushrooms, which I also tasted they were lovely, tasty and plentiful. each dish was served with a small amount of salad. 

My main was the Sirloin Steak served with mushrooms, fried tomato ,Sweet potato chips and peas. Im afraid maybe to some I prefer my steak medium to well done, (I know some may find this terrible! Sorry!) I've got to say it was cooked to perfection!
Hubby went for the double bacon, cheese Burger  served with chips and salad.  It was definitely plentiful and apparently delicious.

Now we usually only manage two courses so were slightly full by dessert but when we saw the menu, of course....There's always room for pudding!

I opted for the sticky toffee pudding, and I was Not disappointed it was amazing, rich hot caramel toffee sauce, with a moist pudding, and simple perfect consistancy custard served in a little jug, along side the pudding.

Hubby went for the honey comb cheesecake, which was also as delicious.
The ice cream sundaes were a hit with Louise and Lewis...

When we had a little venture to the little girls room, It was lovely to see the history of McMullens brewery shown on the walls up the stairs in sepia photos...

Then in the little girls room loved the old fashioned toilets, the decor and original style toilets...
Beautifully designed and decorated, loved the rustic tables and shimmering chandelier.

As you cans see by my pictures we had a fab evening, I'll be recommending Princess Charlotte to my friends, family and clients. The environment, Ambiance, service and food was 100%. We will be coming back.

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