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End of the working week rituals

In the Dean household we are fortunate that both Mr D and I work from home most of the time. Friday is particularly special as neither of us has to commute home. Over the years we have developed a Friday ritual to slide gently into weekend mode.

1. A tasty curry is loaded into the oven and set to auto cook.

2. Tonic and fruit supplies are checked and amended as needed

3. Gin stocks are checked and loaded into the fridge

4. 4:55 – gin and tonic preparation begins. Beers loaded into the cool box.

5. 5pm on the dot… cheers

…. and so the weekend begins.

What’s your way of celebrating the end of the working week?

Happy Friday everyone

Cath (GnT in hand, weekend mode fully launched)

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Friday fun in the sun

How much fun is it being able to make a snap decision and take the day off? The weather is just too beautiful to watch it from the office window. It doesn’t happen that regularly in the UK that we can afford to pass up the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors. As the old saying goes “Make hay while the sun shines.”

I planned to sleep as long as I needed. Didn’t happen though. The cuckoo had other ideas.

Clearly, it is a master of long distance travel and to be commended on its endurance. I’m sure it has other talents, but time-keeping is not one of them. At around 5am it started to cuckoo. By 25 o’clock I thought it might stop to draw breath, but no. It was going for the world record for non-stop cuckooing! By 5:40am it decided to call it a day, by which time I was now wide awake.

Not willing to waste a lovely morning trying to get back to sleep I slipped into my running kit and headed out. Initially I was only going for a short run but the conditions were too good to resist, my legs felt great, and I kept going until I’d completed 5K.

Once home, the run data transferred from my Apple Watch app to my phone, and to my astonishment, I’d knocked off 2 minutes 30 secs off my previous best time! Go me! Time to celebrate with a post-run yoga session on the sun deck. It seemed only appropriate that part of my routine should be Sun Salutations. The only slight blot on the horizon was dog shaped. Molly was so eager to join in the fun. She has Downward Dog off to a fine art but is absolutely rubbish at Bridge, and Corpse pose. She’s also rubbish at letting me do these poses unmolested!

After much face-licking (the dog, not me) she gave in and let me carry on. With the sun well above the horizon, I was able to have breakfast outside while I planned the rest of my day.

My trip to the beauty therapist was excellent. She doesn’t just do my nails and waxing, we exchange news, and generally set the world to rights while having a seriously good laugh. By the time I was ready for home I was in the best mood I’ve been in all week. I think this is why these wonderful people are called therapists.

And now?

It’s mid-afternoon. I’m in the shade of a majestic weeping willow tree, with a big glass of minted water (soon to be Gin and Tonic), listening to Dark Side of the Moon while I write this post.

This is the best Friday I’ve had all year.

Wishing you all a chilled and fun weekend.

Cath xx

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Thoughtful Thursday… daydreaming


I have to say, some of the things that whizz through my mind while I am walking the pup, sometimes take me by surprise. It varies from the mundane “what am I going to cook tonight?” to the curious “I wonder how deep that puddle is. Will it reach the top of my wellies?”.

Today’s thought was along these lines –

“If I didn’t work, how would I fill my days?”

Surprise, surprise! I made a list once I got home and removed all the mud from the pup. Here are just a few of my ideas in no particular order.

  • Gardening
  • Writing
  • Cookery
  • Dog agility classes (might channel pup’s excess energies)
  • Running
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Cycling
  • Photography (this one came out of nowhere!)
  • Travel
  • Knitting and sewing

My ideal day would start with a few affirmations and a yoga session, before tucking into breakfast on the patio with hubby. Obviously, in my head, the weather is being kind for a change.

Then I’d spend the morning gardening, working up an appetite for lunch on the sun-deck (weather is still glorious). While lunch settles, I’d sit in my she-shed (I don’t have one in real life, but a girl can dream) and write blog posts and my book. Once the temperature  cooled enough, and lunch digested, I’d head off for a cycle ride or a run. Either of them would give me the opportunity to observe other gardens and their plants.

Once home again, following a stretch session and a shower, I’d join hubby on the deck for a civilised gin and tonic followed by cooking up something delicious and healthy.

At sunset we would head out to the hot tub to soak away the day’s exertions and chat before heading to bed.

I wonder how soon I can retire? I would love one of those days right now.

For all you lovely working readers, what would your ideal day look like? And for those of you already out of the rat race, how do you fill your days?

Wishing you all a fun-filled Thursday.

Cath xx


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#JusJoJan … Kitchen creativity

One of the benefits of being the host over Christmas was being able to play in my new kitchen. Having space to work in as well as great equipment spurred me on to trying a host of new recipes – well new to me!

Fuelled by fresh coffee, instead of my usual work-a-day instant variety, here are some of the things I tried –

  • hot-water crust pastry to make a pie with the Christmas feast left-overs
  • Sweet mincemeat pies (rum-soaked homemade filling)
  • Pizza dough to use up continental meat selection

I will definitely do all of them again. At least now I know how tricky hot-water pastry is… it’s bloomin’ hot to handle and extremely wobbly once you have rolled it out to the required thickness. To be honest, I think I’d substitute coffee for a stiff Gin and Tonic in order to handle this pastry! Too much coffee gave me the jitters. I needed a steadier hand to persuade the pastry into the pie mould!!

Inspired by the success of these new recipes, I am going to have a go at choux pastry and sourdough bread! I’ll let you know how it goes! Oh, and I won’t be coffee-fueled this time. I’m going to need a steady hand for piping.


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One-liner Wednesday and #JustJoJan… opting out!

NY Resolutions 2018

“None of this ‘new year, new me’ bollocks. Last year I was fabulous, and next year I will be fabulous!” – Patsy Stone, Absolutely Fabulous

As you can see, I did start to jot down a few worthy resolutions and then the above quote sprang to mind. I think I’ll follow Patsy’s advice. Many of these resolutions imply that I am not up to scratch, need fixing somehow. And some of them would set me up to fail (marathon running – really?).

As for dry January… how is a girl to survive menopause without a little drinky? I’m going for dry Ginuary. After all, it would be rude to not try out some of my Christmas presents!

As an alternative to resolutions, I am using my Daily Greatness Yoga Journal to help me set realistic personal goals in three-month, bite-sized chunks.

  • Book time in my diary to write and protect it from intrusions (especially the pup!)
  • Book surprise date nights one a month (My booking, my choice!)
  • Take my bicycle out for a spin (It hasn’t seen the light of day for a year!)
  • Prepare my greenhouse for the sowing season (I like growing veggies)
  • Daily yoga
  • Daily meditation

What resolutions/goals are you going for this year?

Here are the general rules to follow for Just Jot it January:1. Just Jot It January starts January 1st, but it’s never too late to join in! Here, we run on the honour system; the “jot it” part of JusJoJan means that anything you jot down, anywhere (it doesn’t have to be a post, it can even be a grocery list) counts as a “Jot.” If it makes it to your blog that day, great! If it waits a week to get from a sticky note to your screen, no problem!

2. I’ll post the daily prompts at 2am my time (GMT -5), every day except for Saturday’s Stream of Consciousness (SoCS) prompt–you’ll find that one on Friday morning at 9:30am. That daily post (i.e. this one) will be where you leave your link for others to find in the comment section. There will be a prompt for every day except Wednesday, when the prompt is simply my One-Liner Wednesday.

2a. Since today is Wednesday, I challenge you to make your JusJoJan post a one-liner. If you don’t care to, or if you’ve already written your post, no problem. Remember, with One-Liner Wednesday you can write anything – it’s only a prompt to write one line, not necessarily to keep to the same theme as mine. The rules that I’ve made for myself (but don’t always follow) for “One-Liner Wednesday” are:

(i) Make it one sentence.

(ii) Make it either funny or inspirational.

(iii) Use our unique tag #1linerWeds.

(iv) Enjoy yourself!

(v) Use our One-Liner Wednesday badge.

One Liner Wednesday

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Season’s greetings to all


Hello lovely readers. I am taking a break from technology over the Christmas period.

I will be celebrating with friends and family, feasting, playing with new toys (I am hopeful I have made it onto the Nice List), and generally relaxing as much as possible during Yuletide.

I wish you all a peaceful Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.

Cath xx

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One-liner Wednesday… I shall go to the ball.


“Life is not a fairytale. If you lose your shoe at midnight, you’re drunk!”

I have no intention of being careless with my footwear at this year’s office Christmas party, which is why my new dance shoes have ankle straps to secure the sparkly, glittering treasures to my feet.

I may turn into a pumpkin at the stroke of midnight, but I fully intend to go home with both shoes in my possession, irrespective of any alcohol on board!

Today’s one-liner Wednesday is brought to you by Linda G Hill