Tag Archives: wine

‘Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy.’ Benjamin Franklin.

Stories from my Sketchbook . . . 

Enough said really . . .


Posted by on December 7, 2018 in Uncategorized


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‘Where there’s tea there’s hope.’ Arthur Wing Pinero.

Stories from my Sketchbook . . .

As you might imagine, after being so ill last week I had a very, very quiet weekend.  I slept, took flu medication, sat gazing into space for long periods of time . . . and then slept some more.  And I drank tea. Pots and pots of tea . . .

These days I drink mostly green tea.  For years and years I drank ‘normal’ tea (that is black tea with milk) and wouldn’t have thought to drink anything else.  Both my parents being English, tea was a daily staple and a cure-all for everything.  (The British consume over 60 billion cups of tea per year.  That sounds a lot—around 900 cups a year for every man, woman and child in Great Britain—but when you break it down that’s only 2.465 cups each per day.  Pfffttt.  Easy peasy.  I can do that before leaving for work in the morning.)

I can’t remember now when I switched over to drinking green tea, although I probably made the switch because I became convinced green tea was going to be somehow better for me (anti-oxidants and all that jazz.  Or perhaps I just kept forgetting to buy milk to put in my regular tea . . . )  Whatever the reason, once I switched over I never went back to my ‘English Breakfast’which is a bit surprising because green tea is definitely an ‘acquired taste’ (my friend Pam says it is like drinking lawn clippings) and I remember I didn’t really like it all that much at first.

But perseverance is a wonderful thing and slowly I became accustomed to it and now am quite happy with my healthier choice.  (The same thing happened when I decided to switch from white wine to to red.  Red wine is also supposed to be a healthier option—and I was drinking far too much white.  My logic was sound.  I didn’t like red wine very much, therefore I was bound to drink less of it.  Right?  Well, that didn’t quite work out the way I thought it would, (there are some seriously nice reds out there) but, on the plus side, I am drinking a lot less white . . . )

Anyway, during one of those flu-medicated-gazing-into-space-tea-sipping moments last weekend I did stop to wonderhow much tea is too much? Seems I remembered (way way back in the fevered recesses of my mind) that I once read that drinking too much green tea can cause hallucinations?  Could that be right? Should I be worried?

Nah.  I decided I really didn’t have the energy to fret about it.  Any green-tea-inspired hallucination was going to have to duke it out with my industrial strength flu-medication . . .  and I would just sit back (cuppa in hand) and enjoy the show . . .


Posted by on June 27, 2017 in Uncategorized


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‘What contemptible scoundrel has stolen the cork to my lunch?’ W. Clement Stone.

Stories from my Sketchbook . . .

I may be showing my age here (ahem) but I do actually remember a time (once upon a dim, dark past) when a ‘liquid lunch’ meant somewhat more than a cup-a-soup or a protein shake . . .

Unfortunately these days (actually, thinking back, and from what I can recall, that should probably read ‘fortunately’) two glasses of wine at lunch time now and I start to feel an all-encompassing need to go lie down and have a bit of a nanna-nap . . .

Happily, I am on holiday at the moment and can do just that. 🙂

I hope you all have had  . . .  and are still having . . . . a lovely holiday break . . .



Posted by on December 27, 2016 in Uncategorized


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‘Blessed is the man, who having nothing to say, abstains from giving wordy evidence of the fact.’ George Eliot.

nothing to sayI have nothing to say this week.  How sad is that?  (Well, sad to me, possibly not to you . . . )  Seriously, I have been sitting here for almost a full week (although at the moment it seems much much longer) fingers poised over the keyboard, determined to start my next post and . . . nothing.  Nada.  Not a single idea.  (Well—not a single idea that I think anyone else might be interested in reading.  I have been tired and cranky all week but I didn’t really want to write tired and cranky things here—there is enough of that in the world already.)

So, rather than berate myself, I am just going to acknowledge the fact and give myself a break (you could probably use a rest from me anyway) but I thought it only polite to let you know that nothing would be forthcoming today—just is case you thought I was being rude and ignoring you all.  (You don’t really think I would do that . . . do you?)

I don’t even have any new ‘artistic insights’ to share with you (I haven’t done my art class homework this week either—sigh—head drops to chest) but, by way of compensation (although I am not sure that is the right word) here is a quick sketch I did last weekend, before the malaise descended.  I hope it will suffice until I can drag myself out of the mire.  (A slow weekend of chocolate, wine and cuddles with my girls will work wonders I am sure . . . )

See you all next week.  X

‘Word Count’ has just informed me that it has now taken 289 words to tell you I have nothing to say.
George Eliot must be turning in her grave . . . 



Posted by on August 26, 2016 in Uncategorized


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‘Who’s the bane of Santa’s life? The elf and safety officer.’ Catherine Tate.

snoopyfishingSo that’s it.  The office phone is on ‘Leave a Message’.  The Gone Fishin’  sign is on the door.  Work is over for another year.

I am now officially ‘on holiday’ until after the New Year.  Yay!

All around it’s been a good year at work, but a very busy one, and I know it’s going to take me a little time to wind down.  But I am really going to try.  I do have a list (I know, I know, me and my lists) of things I should do over the holiday break.  It runs something like this: catch up on my reading . . . and sleep . . . do some writing . . . and sleep . . . go to the movies (‘Star Wars’, here I come) . . . and sleep . . . play with the dogs . . . and sleep . . . eat too much . . . and sleep . . .

I may, or may not, get to everything on that list.

hobbitApart from the fact that this was the last week of work and things should have been slowing down but in fact seemed to be doing exactly the opposite, we did manage to finish the week off  in a really nice way with our staff Christmas Lunch. We are a little college so it was only a small group of lunchers (lunchees?) who got together—only 11 of us, but, as Gandalf said, Oh, they’re quite a merry gathering. Once you get used to them.”

A number of our team don’t work regularly out of the college premises (they train students at other venues) so in some cases people hadn’t seen each other since the last Christmas lunch, and the newer staff members hadn’t met some of the others at all, so it was a really good chance to catch up on everyone’s latest news, talk about holiday plans—and swap our latest doggie stories.

wine-glass-cheersOasis by the River had been warned of our impending arrival, but in spite of that they had set up a lovely table for us, all decked out in Christmassy fashion with little Christmas trees, tinsel, Christmas crackers, tiny gingerbread men—and a great many wine glasses on the table.  (Like I said—they knew we were coming).  No really—I am joking—we were all very well behaved (it was only lunch after all).  Having said that, we did manage to get a good number of those glasses filled up, and emptied, and filled up again in very short order . . .  In our defence—although we don’t technically need a defence as the Christmas rules do state ‘eat, drink and be merry’we had to have something to wash down the very yummy ‘traditional’ Christmas dinner of roast turkey, ham and all the trimmings that was laid out before us.

(There was so much food that I don’t think anyone completely finished their meal, and the leftovers were all passed along the table to me, wrapped up in serviettes and went straight into my handbag to take home for my girls. Courtesy of the college staff they will be getting some extra yummies with their dinner over the next couple of days. Christmas is for dogs too, you know.)  

dog crackerBut—and there is always a ‘but’—for all the lovely table, and the food, and the drinks, there was one thing really not quite right—the Christmas Crackers.  It turned out that the Christmas crackers supplied by the restaurant, although very pretty and Christmassy and sparkly—TOTALLY FAKE.  Shock.  Horror.  No bang, no pressie—no joke!  It could have spoiled the whole day (or at least it could have spoiled Joneen’s whole day).  Just as well then, that Santa (Steve in a Christmas baseball cap) had also seen to it that the Santa Sack was not only stuffed full of Secret Santa pressies, but also an abundance of (fully functioning) Christmas Crackers. Phew.

cracker2So the crackers were passed around, cracker-pulling-partners chosen and then the usual bangs, shrieks and scrabblings about on the table as we all went search of our hats, jokes and prizes (which, after the explosion, always seem to shoot across the table and vanish into the table decorations).

Once all suitably decked out in our paper crowns (having swapped them back and forth across the table so as to make sure each of us had one that complemented our outfit) we all took it in turns to read our jokes out, tried to guess the answers, and groaned loudly in the appropriate places. Joneen actually came up with some better answers (and when I say better, I mean more groan-worthy) than those that came with the jokes.  It could be a new career path for her should she ever decide to leave the adult education sector.

chefTowards the end of the meal, when we had finished our desserts and were on to the coffees (or just one last glass) the chef came out to tell us that there was a hail in Port Macquarie and the storm was heading our way.  We didn’t think he was trying to get rid of us but it was enough to start breaking the party up. This turned out to be a very good thing as the chef was later vindicated when we did, in fact, get hit by a humungous storm, complete with lashing rain, wind and bone rattling thunder. With luck, everyone was home and dry, or very near it, by the time the storm struck.

So, now we are all done and dusted for another year.  We have now all gone our separate ways for the holiday season and hopefully it will be a happy and safe time for everyone.

I am going to do my bit to help with the safety side of things.

balloon kitAfter I sign off here I am going to go and write a very stern letter to Santa about a certain person’s Secret Santa gift—a Balloon Animal Making Kit.  Why? you might ask.  Surely a fairly innoucous type of gift you might imagine.  And you might be right—in the hands of any other person.  Judging by her enthusiasm for, and her antics with, her new toy at the Christmas lunch, the local ‘elf and safety officer’ is going to need to know where to find her.

I really don’t know what Santa was thinking . . .


Posted by on December 19, 2015 in Uncategorized


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