Friendship and food

Today I went shopping, not my favourite task but at least it wasn’t for clothes. I was buying a few leaving gifts for friends at work. I had Jen with me, my best buddy, probably the only person other than Phil I can be myself with. Since he died a couple of months ago she has been a great support. I can talk, whinge or just be quiet. She doesn’t mind because she ‘gets’ it, understands me and it works both ways.

In my quest for ‘the perfect gifts’ we ventured over to Liverpool, in the middle of a bomb scare (which was a faulty security tag) but the shop I wanted had closed down. Now I was stumped, so for half an hour we wandered and chatted and decided food was in order.

We made our way onto Bold street and just our luck, Bakchich, serving Lebanese street food had a table in the window, perfect for people watching, and bank holiday weekend in Liverpool meant we saw some interesting sights.


The food was devine, we had a meat and vegetarian mezze, we sat and chatted, munched and watched the world go by for over an hour. Never once did we feel rushed to order, eat or leave. IMG_3562 (2)

But finally we did and we had a plan of shops to visit and it was a success. Within an hour I had bought all the presents I had set out to get plus found a couple of new quirky shops, one shop, Mi Vida, I thought was a florist but turned out to have the most beautiful gifts at reasonable prices and they have a craft club, so I’ll be looking into that in the future. So now I have all the gifts and one more day to work then the hard work really begins….

The countdown begins …

Only 1 week left in work and it’s a strange feeling. I’ve been thinking about it a lot over the last few days. When the redundancy was first offered it was all about the decision and deadline, once that was over it was the wait to be confirmed then the three month notice began.

It feels like years ago not five months, but finally it’s here, the end. But it’s not.

Thinking about it over the weekend, I’m not as sad about leaving as I expected to be. I won’t miss the work, it has changed over the last couple of years and has become tedious and repetitive and where once I felt pride and satisfaction in my work now I feel numb to it. I do it, I do it well but I’ll do the same again tomorrow, there’s no satisfaction there anymore. It’s only the people that stops the tedium, most of them I will miss but with all the social media I’ll interact with them on a daily basis still, just in a different way.

When I left my last job, nearly 15 years ago, social media wasn’t the ‘thing’. it was all exchanging phone numbers and addresses, then arranging to meet up but quickly it died away with people’s job and lives getting in the way. Now though feels very different because I will still see these people everyday, maybe not in person but via social media and I can be in contact with anyone or everyone at any time.

This weekend proved a point as my phone has pinged with texts, whatsapp and facebook messages from the people ‘I’m leaving’ next week, I think this proves I’m not leaving just moving location. I’ll still be part of peoples lives and they mine, well until they hit the delete button on 1st June.

So I don’t feel as sad about going, I feel scared about what’s ahead but I know I’ve got a ton of people supporting me, both at home and online so it will be fine. My life will continue and you’ll all be along for the journey, as they say on x-factor.

Kitchen update !!

So, you might remember a few weeks ago the builders arrived, made lots of mess and then left again. Well then it was our turn to start work.

My mum, step-dad, Oscar and I got stuck in and for the last couple of weeks have been sanding, varnishing, painting, tiling and wallpapering.


The kitchen is 99% completed, and it looks amazing. It’s lovely to be in and is really turning into the ‘heart of the home’


The last part (the dining room area) will be finished soon, just waiting for the fireplace to be fitted so we can decorate that part and it’s all done.

Then we start on Oscar’s bedroom ….

Allotment update

Finally managed a few days at the allotment, it was a bit of a shock at first seeing how much the weeds and grass had grown, but a few hours of hard work paid off and soon it was looking better. Lots of burning happened again today and the wood/bramble cuttings from last year are now completely gone. Yippee …

On a positive note the bottom plot, 331, is almost completely cleared of brambles and has lots of gooseberry and blackcurrant bushes. Whilst the top half plot 332 is about three-quarters cleared, only the very back section is still seriously overgrown but it’ll have to wait until nearer winter as the priority is sorting the fencing, car area, compost space and keeping weeds down and (fingers crossed) rotavating it soon.

So much to do !



Light Night Liverpool 2016

Finally one of my favourite nights has arrived ! I love Light Night, I love museums,galleries and all the fun performances around the streets.We only managed to get a brochure the day before so didn’t have time to study it as we normally would, so a quick glance and marking a couple of things that popped out and off we went.

This year it was just three of us, myself, Oscar, and my mum. We arrived at Liverpool central station at 4.30pm and straight onto Bold street. We had already decided to head up towards the Hope street quarter and the cathedral.

Our first stop was at FACT where we saw a beautiful sensory exhibition featuring electronic music and bass with stunning visuals by Japanese artist Ryoichi Kurokawa. They also had a STAR LAB minecraft space and planets interactive game, which  Oscar enjoyed.

Next we walked up past the ‘bombed out church’ St Luke’s to LJMU Aldham Robarts library. There was a lot going on here, first Oscar had his head scanned by a 3D printer and transformed into a miniature. We made faces and played at the ‘selfie’ station. Then we had another head scan and played with morphing and the science behind forensic research. Then had a go at laser cutting patterns. An amazing experience, finished off with a drama performance by Physical Fest who ‘kidnapped’ my child as part of the act. He loved it.

Starting to get hungry we wandered on to Hope street but all the cafe/restaurants were busy,busy,busy. I’m glad they were, we found the most wonderful place to eat by accident. Hearing music we wandered into Blackburne house, an old school that is now a college and spa. In the basement they have a cafe, only open monday to friday but it serves the most amazing food. I had spanish chicken with herby couscous and marinated beetroot salad, my mum had nut roast with coleslaw and lentil salad. Oscar had eaten earlier so had a slice of victoria sponge (his favourite) which he declared the best ever. In the cafe they had a band playing Russian Jewish folk music which was beautiful, they were very talented musicians.

From here we started to head towards the cathedral but spotted the Light Night bus so hopped on and headed to the Baltic triangle.

This is a place we’ve never visited before due to it being a little further out of the centre, but I’m glad we made the effort. Here we started getting very creative with an art session, making things from everyday household objects cutting, sticking and glueing. Always fun. We watched an African band and one amazing drummer.

Now it was starting to get late, so we jumped back on the bus and made our way back to the cathedral. In the darkness we noticed some strange lights and shapes so decided to investigate. This was LIPA lab, a hatchery with an experimental Liver bird breeding programme, an interactive puppet, live performance and light show. Great fun. Around the corner was another lab with a working giant heart, operated by placing your finger inside a monitor and making it beat in time with your own pulse. Strange and fun. Here you could also ‘play’ with electricity to change the intensity and colour of the lights. This was one all the kids loved doing. Disco time.

As it was getting near to 11pm the decision was made to head for home, we were all weary but had smiles on our faces. It was a great fun evening. Family time, creative, fun and free. Lots more to see in the year and looking forward to Light Night 2017

All the events coming up in 2016


Trivia and silliness

This has been doing the rounds on Facebook and Instagram for a little while and I’ve been asked/nominated by a few people to take part. I thought it would be good on here as I can write once but share to many people in one go.

So the rules – every answer must start with the letter of your first name (simple as that)

  1. Name – Claire
  2. Animal – Cheetah
  3. Boys name – Clive
  4. Girls name – Clarabel
  5. Colour – Copper (our new kitchen colour)
  6. Movie – Cars or Carrie (the original)
  7. Something you wear – Clothes
  8. A drink – Coffee (of course)
  9. Food – Cassoulet, Chorizo or Chilli (I love spicy foods)
  10. Something in the bathroom – Cabinet
  11. Place – China (a place I will visit one day in honour of my lost soul-mate)
  12. Reason to be late – ‘Couldn’t be bothered’ (this is my sons favourite saying currently)
  13. Famous person – Clarice Cliff
  14. Plant – Calla lily
  15. Disney character – Cheshire Cat
  16. Comic book/superhero – Captain America
  17. Book – Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  18. Shakespeare character – Cordelia

It’s harder than it seems, why not have a go.