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I consume copious amounts of chocolate. Dark and the very dark kind. Not just on Valentines day, but everyday.  I wish I was a journalist, a chocolate one. I could travel to conferences, sample and write about it. My friend … Continue reading

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2018 is here


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It’s strange to see myself as a statistic on my blog. 2017 must have been a terrible year for I have not posted since July they say. That’s five months.  I did have a wander around the world though, it … Continue reading

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Book Review:The House at the End of Hope Street By Menna van Praag


    With her intriguingly beautiful name, Menna van Praag invited me in. She opened the door to The House at the End of Hope Street. “at night the house looks like a Victorian orphanage housing a hundred despairing souls, but … Continue reading

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Lavender Almond Dark Chocolate


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Here I am, many weeks have passed and I have not been fed creatively.  No time, no books, no reviews, not even a note to my favorite person – er, well, one of my favorite people. He must wonder where … Continue reading

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Winter Warmies…

I am definitely not one to adjust to Winter and I detest the cold bare feeling that creeps into my bones  when I step outside. I do however, love the rain because it is absolutely perfect for reading. Those of you with the coldest of Winters are allowed to laugh at my Northern Californian griping. Bear in mind though that I adore warm and sunny. Moving right along then… I am now preparing to hibernate, er, not like a bear, because I don’t hide away in my house; kids need to go to school, plenty of mum things to keep me on my toes etc.  I do have a list of some lovelies to keep me warm…

My favorite herbal tea in Black Cherry and books I will be reading...

I love Tracy Chevalier – I am currently reading ‘The Lady and The Unicorn. I also cannot wait to get into Patrick Rothfus’s ‘Name of the Wind.’ A good friend told me If I loved Harry Potter I am certain to love this book. I also have Sarah Dunnant’s ‘Sacred Hearts,’ Italy in the 14th century is right up my alley.  A.S. Byatt’s ‘ Possession‘ I hear is a literary classic. I also have David Liss’s ‘The Twelfth Enchantment‘ which is another brilliant literary mystery and the Russian Winter which was recommended as a wonderful piece of historical fiction. Do you sense my excitement?

Along with a cuppa and books, I must confess that I am utterly devoted to this particular brand of chocolate – in fact I am eating it non-stop. I feel it’s a healthier alternative to my usual milk variety, which I have not been able to eat in quite a while. This particular slab is made of a 60%  dark cocoa bean( it is branded with the fair trade logo – so you know you’re supporting cocoa bean farmers in Africa) with blissful bits of ginger and orange.  The tiny squares sort of sit on the palate, and once the chocolate has melted it imparts a subliminal mix of orange and ginger which are chewy but delicious.

I like to slip into some toasty socks, rub my very favorite Burt’s Bees coconut foot cream and then treat my Winter-dry hair and face to some wonderful organic Moroccan Argan oil. I do like  a lot of eco-friendly products. I try not to overload the body with chemicals, so I choose wisely. Argan oil is not cheap, but has some pretty good brands that are eco-certified. Burts Bees is lovely. I’ve used it on my babies and on myself forever.

And last but not least… I have some Winter warmies that I can’t wait to watch again and again – at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love Period drama. If you know me and my love of all things Austen or Bronte or Dickens.. then I have it on my list. Oh and I have a recent addition… ‘Downton Abbey’ – it is so fantastic. Who does not like Dame Maggie Smith? Cannot wait for season 2.

 Pride and Prejudice ( for like the millionth time) – yes! of course the Colin Firth version

Persuasion – Rupert Penry Jones as Captain Wentworth and Sally Hawkins as Anne Elliot are amazing…

Jane Eyre ( not the most recent one, but the one with Toby Stephens and Ruth Wilson – love them as Rochester and Jane)

David Copperfield ( with a very young Daniel Radcliffe and Maggie Smith)

Nicholas Nickelby ( must watch!)