50 things I have learned as I turn 50

Next month I turn 50.  A whole half a century.  In a summer that saw Woodstock and moon landings yours truly arrived into the world in a hospital in Roehampton.   It was the summer that Bryan Adams would go on to sing about and as he was buying his first real six string in a five and dime, playing it til his fingers bled, my parents were working out

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Can we talk about death for a minute?

Sorry, I know that might be a bit of a downer and that nobody ever starts a conversation with “can we talk about death for a minute?” but can we, please? I am a huge champion of having a will.  Everyone should have a will, even if you think you don’t have a home or assets, you do have “stuff”.    It doesn’t have to be about expensive pieces of

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The gift of cheese

This post contains a review item The gift of cheese, to my mind, might just be one of life’s greatest gifts (unless you are vegan or lactose intolerant and then it might be a bit of a nightmare).  When stuck with what to buy those tricky to buy for people I always go down a foodie route.   One of my granny’s favourite ever present was a hamper full of

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Is your garden summer ready? — #AD

This post contains an item sent for review.   Summer has to be around the corner somewhere, doesn’t it?  It can’t keep on raining for much longer, surely.   I can’t believe that with the longest day next week we are still in a position where the big light has to go on before teatime and when I think I can get away with it the heating is going on.

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An open letter to Tanya Gold

Dear Tanya Well this is weird, I feel like I am writing to myself.  Maybe I should explain, or at least introduce myself.  This is an open letter to you, Tanya Gold, from me, a woman who shares the same first name as you but I fear that might be where the similarities end. I had the misfortune to read your latest piece in the Telegraph this week that sat

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The garden at Mottisfont

I have been to Mottisfont at least half a dozen times now and yet I have only been in the house once.  Why?  Well because no matter the season the gardens here are stunning, and I say that as somebody who’s own garden is an expanse of grass and weeds.   These top two pics are of the kitchen garden, just outside the walled garden and they are just coming

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Beano Time Travellers at Mottisfont

Mottisfont might be my favourite of all the National Trust properties, especially at this time of year.  If you haven’t been, then you really should because the walled garden, full of roses really is  stunning.  You can smell it before you even reach it and I have written about it here: Mottisfont’s Rose Garden but I wanted to let you know about an opportunity to win a day pass to

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Cotswold House Hotel — Review

We were invited as guests of the hotel for the purpose of this review   The Cotswold House Hotel and Spa is one of those hidden gem hotels.  You know the ones.  The ones you want to talk about but at the same time you don’t want too many people to know about it because you want to keep it a secret.   It also has one of the most

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Top tips for revision — AD

  For some students this time of year is about exams and the end of studying, it certainly is in this house.  For others it is about the beginning of a summer of study ahead of a new term, or maybe doing some important resits.   Either way some top tips for revision and summer studying might come in useful. Make a timetable Break the day up into half hour

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The Massage Company — Review

If you follow me online you will know that life has been kind of stressful recently.  Knowing that I was off to have a massage as a guest of The Massage Company in Camberley was pretty much all that got me through last week.    First of all I was intrigued as the massages I have had in the past have been in spas during a day out or during weekends

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Why nobody should be mean online

I read two things this week about why nobody should be mean online.  One was a pithy statement from Em Clarkson on Instagram who was responding to the “just don’t read the nasty comments” sentiment with “what would be better was if people didn’t leave the f*cking comments in the first place”.  So true. Then this morning I read this great article on Medium entitled “Why being mean online is

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Why selling a house is like Brexit

It has dawned on me over the past few months that selling a house is very much like Brexit.    First of all it takes forever.   Much longer than anybody either estimates or claims at the outset.   Of course nobody tells you it will take that long, that you will wonder if you should book things for weekends in the future.  If you can book a foreign holiday

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