Life with The Grey

My life with my husband, Tony, (or The Grey, as I call him) in Suffolk.

  • Stressed out

    To the brink and beyond..

    Arthur, aged 4, is enjoying St Ronan’s school (a stone’s throw from our Hawkhurst home in Kent) but is desperate to move in to a proper home where he can have all his toys. Hence his mother decided she would ask, even though we had expressly said we couldn’t, if we would sell and move out of our home at the beginning of October. This, dear reader, leaves us with two problems: 1.    We will be in Kusadasi at a Spa resort forgetting our cares (!) and enjoying a relaxing break at the same time as moving out of our home 2.    We will be homeless on our return. Now,…

  • What do you REALLY REALLY want?

    Have you decided you are going to lose weight and exercise more along with a few million others? Or perhaps you’re setting BIG goals for your business – after all it is a New Year so why not? There is something about the year changing that does make you think. It’s also that you have time to think over the festive break in between mince pies and playing out the ongoing family saga – either your own or Downton Abbey’s (much safer). Magazines like Woman and Home have lots of articles to inspire you and help you work out what you REALLY REALLY want. (Not to be a Spice girl.)…

  • Blue Jasmine – film review

    This weekend The Grey and I watched Blue Jasmine, the film written and directed by Woody Allen, for the second time and loved it even more. Cate Blanchett plays a New York socialite who falls from grace and turns to her adopted sister, Ginger, (played by Sally Hawkins who I’m a big fan of) who lives in a shabby San Francisco apartment and is a single mum with two young boys. Jasmine, as the Cate Blanchett figure decides to call herself, is deeply troubled and in denial about what has actually happened to her and is a dreadful judge of character alluding to men with social status rather than those…

  • Film review: Pride without a fall

    The Grey and I opted for the film Pride last weekend. Reviews were not raving but with a sterling cast and based on a true but very unlikely story, we thought it worth a punt. That and the fact that I managed to get us the best seats in the house – F1 and F2 – don’t tell anyone. When we got there the local car park was surprisingly empty and I began to wonder if we were in for a howler but the cafe of the Kino was pretty buzzy and it was the last film on Sunday starting after 8.30pm so we braced ourselves. It turned out to…

  • Macmillan Coffee Morning

    Big thanks to all who came to my Macmillan Coffee Morning on Friday 26th September which was part of the world’s biggest coffee morning to raise funds for this excellent charity. Many baked cakes and bough them along. I did some orange fairy cakes – very retro! and we also had carrot, chocolate, coffee, banana, bakewell tart and even more! Plenty to go round about five times! The Grey was in the kitchen making coffee for about four hours – my hero! Thanks also to those that donated the lovely prizes for the prize draw. The prizes went to: Kim Wheeler – Arbonne voucher for £35 donated by Sarah Gaddie…

  • Montpellier on a whim

    Montpellier is a fine, fashionable city, with a bohemian-style student quarter. We parked easily near the Arc de Triomphe and immediately spotted a shady café on a side street which we headed for. Everywhere I have been, I have been able to get ‘decaffeine’ and the French have been very friendly. Finding Our Way We then consulted the street map and walked down Rue de Foch which seemed to lead to a park which we remembered from last year’s visit. A little further and it was all beginning to look familiar. We even found the art gallery, the Musee Fabre, where we had previously enjoyed seeing the impressionist painter, Signac’s…

  • It’s all very French….

    Glasses of chilled Rosé: lots Mosquito bites: 3 Church bells: every half hour Surly French waiters: none surprisingly Mobile phone signal: rien! We are staying in the delightful French village of Nizas (pronounced Neee-zas) which is a few miles from the beautiful town of Pézènas (pronounced – oh you don’t care?) which is probably as close as to not being a tourist on holiday as you will get. Everyone here is French except us so it’s handy that we are both semi-fluent in conversational French which the locals seem to be enjoying especially when The Grey pipes up. The apartment we’re staying in is part of a big old French…

  • Summer in the Summer Room

    I suppose it’s a coincidence that I live in a house with a glass room on the back, at the same time as entering my ‘hot flush phase’. Not a happy coincidence, more of a sweaty disaster. It’s a beautiful room, once the conservatory, renamed by The Grey as the Summer Room, built in Georgian style to match the rest of this grade 2 listed home. Visitors nearly always let out a little ‘wow’ or ‘oooh’ when they first see it. The Grey and I have furnished it appropriately (for us, not the Georgians!) in quirky bits and pieces, some from that marvellous antique furniture and repro shop in Sandgate…

  • Looking For Hortense

    I love French films and the current offering, Looking for Hortense or Cherchez Hortense, is no exception. Kristin Scott Thomas is brilliant in the film. As an actor, she never seems to stop working!  As far as I can make out she’s been in 67 French and English speaking films including 3 films already this year! Jean-Pierre Bacri and Kristin Scott Thomas play a well-off Parisian couple with an adolescent son who provides a lot of the humour. Jean-Pierre is a professor of Chinese culture teaching a class for business executives preparing to work in China and Kristin plays an avant-garde theatre director. Their marriage is not in a good…

  • Achieved something great? Have a little gig!

    You know when you’ve done something great when you can’t help it – you have to do a little gig! Greg Wallace has a quick dance when he tastes a yummy pudding on Master Chef and The Grey dances around the house from October to December because he’s so happy that Strictly Come Dancing is on! For me there’s something about that moment, when you’ve achieved something great, something you’ve strived for. I remember when I past my driving test, I found myself singing all round my flat. It was the third attempt so it certainly didn’t come easily and the thought of being able to get around independently and…