Reading Time: 4 minutes


As we come into our ‘prime’ we often have a bit more determination to fulfil our dreams, whether it be to visit that far off destination, run naked through the woods or learn a musical instrument.  Well, I am talking about the latter, and how fulfilling would it be to pick up a guitar and start strumming at a party or even among close family and friends.  How many times have you been mesmerised by the funky guy or girl who is able to do that, and has the talent and ability to write their own lyrics and their own songs.

More and more people are fulfilling their dreams, and even if you are not going to be the next winner of Britain’s Got Talent or the X Factor, (and stranger things have happened), it is guaranteed to be one of the most therapeutic things you could possibly do.

I can talk from experience, as I have recently achieved a life long ambition to learn guitar, after having found a teacher locally, a young funky guy himself, who resides on the outskirts of Beaconsfield.  He is a musician through and through, with waist long silky hair and an equally smooth voice, but with a sympathetic ear for my early stumbles on my favourite musical instrument, and after the first couple of months I am learning fast, and have just written my first song, which I am going to try out at my next social gathering.

It also came up as a result of a life coaching experience that I should give this as a present to myself after a lifetime of bringing up a family, caring for an ailing Mum and being a very committed wife and Mother.  But you don’t have to wait until the kids have flown the nest, this should be a gift as a recognition of your own self worth and courage as it takes that to even start to explore the options of living your dream or at least one of them.

It sounds crazy now, but my main fear was knowing how to tune the instrument – but with iphones and apps, this is the most simple aspect of learning to play.  So if your fear is holding you back from achieving one of your life goals, whatever that is, look at ways to overcome the obstacles and move forward.

My other reservation was that I am always ultra busy, as I run a demanding business, and wouldn’t have the time.  Another simple solution, I now get up half an hour earlier in the mornings and put aside that time to practise, and mission accomplished.

Hopefully this will have inspired you to weigh up the options of ticking off something on your bucket list whatever that may be, even if it takes a few months of procrastination, after all how bad can it be?  You may say, ‘well I have waited this long’, but my advice would be ‘there is no time like the present’ – and the present is definitely yours for the taking.

Check out this easy beginner guitar lesson and give it a try


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Reading Time: 4 minutes


The Queen in Alice in Wonderland also said ‘Sometimes I have believed in six impossible things before Breakfast time’.

Mark Twain famously said ‘eat a live frog before breakfast’ as that will be the worst thing that will happen to you for the rest of the day.  A little extreme perhaps, as we would expect from this notorious progressive, but it does illuminate something I have been observing for some time.

A recent study at Harvard University in the States concluded that high achievers complete a number of tasks before breakfast, because the morning brings new feelings of opportunity and achievement, and we are more likely to break through barriers with energy and optimism.

It is also true that the most successful leaders and entrepreneurs have always had one thing in common, they are reportedly early risers and do their most important (and perhaps most dreaded) tasks first thing, rather than delaying them for later in the day.

So I decided to put it to the test.  The first thing I would say, and perhaps it is not the best time of the year to say this, but an alcohol free ‘night before’ helps to give you the energy in the morning to tackle your tasks.

As a writer I understood this theory, as I always do my best work between 6am and 8am and it is downhill all the way after that.  I put it down to being an early riser and not being a ‘night bird’, but reading this report it does seem to work across the board.

As someone who is involved in a number of projects, and juggling a family with young kids, I tend to write everything down and prioritise as best I can, but as you know if you are in a similar position, this does not always pan out, with other more urgent factors rearing their head throughout the day.

So armed with this freshly confirmed revelation, I have put it to the test, and have been writing down three tasks to achieve as soon as I wake up in the morning, that are important or urgent, and that I can realistically achieve before breakfast.

Has this made a difference to my day?  Absolutely!  With key tasks being completed so early in the morning, it reshapes the day and affords you so much more space to achieve your goals so that it is a guaranteed win win all the way to Supper time.










Reading Time: 6 minutes


It was a real wakeup call when I was told several years ago that some kids don’t know where potatoes come from, because in my day it was babies – as I was convinced they were left behind a bush by the Stork!!

Seriously though, Jamie Oliver has improved children’s awareness of fresh food by his campaigns in schools, but there are still families who rely so heavily on frozen fries and convenience food through necessity, that they have missed a major trick which is less expensive, far more nutritious and psychologically sound – cooking together as a family.

We all know that time is not always on our side when both parents are working, or if you are a grandparent only seeing the family at weekends, but any time put aside to get everyone involved from the ages of five to ninety-five, will be incredibly beneficial.

I did it recently with my young grandkids – yes still can’t believe I am a grandmother – far too young, but here I am and making the most of it!

I hatched a plan with my daughter, who struggles to cook an array of meals with her three young children all under 8 with different tastes and demands, and her husband who is also quite particular about his food.

We decided to consult each member of the family and find out what they would like for a special lunch at Nanna’s.  The youngest said chocolate and the older twins wanted pizza and my son-in-law a vegetarian dish.

So we set out to incorporate all of the ‘tastes’ and opted for a vegetarian pizza full of health giving fresh vegetables followed by a fabulous dessert of fresh fruit and meringue with a chocolate topping.

I set up the kitchen with music themed to please everybody, from Thunderbirds to Peppa Pig & Taylor Swift to Michael Buble and then set out the vegetables and home grown tomatoes and herbs, the latter still in pots for the kids to see.

There was a good selection of salad and fruit to be chopped up, and the little one was given the task of setting out the table and folding up the napkins, as well as stirring the chocolate topping, under the watchful eye of Dad in case of too much ‘secret tasting’.

Once the vegetables had been chopped and whilst waiting for the meal to cook, the twins entertained us with their wooden spoon air guitars as we bopped around the kitchen.

The event went off without a hitch and I threw in some subliminal information about where and how long the ingredients had taken to grow, some of them in my own garden, and everyone was happy.  Plus it had given my daughter ‘food for thought’ of how to tackle meals times in future – with a bit of planning and lots of imagination.



  • 6 small mushrooms, halved
  • 1 small courgette, sliced
  • 1 small yellow pepper, sliced
  • 1 small red pepper, sliced
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons  dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 ready made 12″ pizza crust
  • 1 can pizza sauce
  • mozzarella cheese


  • In a large bowl, combine the mushrooms, courgette, peppers, onion, vinegar, water, 3 teaspoons oil and salt & pepper. Transfer to an oiled backing tin and grill on a medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until tender, turning once halfway through.
  • Brush crust with remaining oil, spread with pizza sauce. add the grilled vegetables and cheese. place in oven for 8-12 minutes at 180c or until edges are browned and cheese is melted.




  • large egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 12 oz choc chips


  • 1 can Evaporated Milk
  • 6 oz choc chips
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  • Fresh fruit or berries (blackberries, raspberries, peaches or strawberries etc)



Pre-heat oven to 150º c. Lightly grease a baking sheet.Beat egg whites, salt and cream of tartar in large mixer bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar; beat until sugar is dissolved. Gently fold in morsels. Spread meringue into ten 3-inch nests with deep wells about 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until meringues are dry and crisp. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.


Heat evaporated milk and bring to boiling in a thick bottomed saucepan.
Stir in choc chips,
Stir constantly, until mixture is slightly thickened and smooth.
Remove from heat; stir in sugar, vanilla extract and salt.
Drizzle meringues with Chocolate Sauce and fill with the fruit & serve.
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Reading Time: 3 minutes


Tweed has always been a rather classic addition to our wardrobe, and always remains in mode, merely by its established stance in British fashion for both men and women.

We used to joke that tweed and brogues were a united front for the traditionalists and the upper-class hunting set, because of its durable nature, and so tweed has always carried the air of sophistication and conformity.

I remember my Mother taking me to John Lewis in the early 90s and ‘forcing’ me to try on a ‘sensible’ tweed coat, which she purchased with great pride.  I wore it reluctantly for several years, when it came into its own when I went to work in the creative sector several years later, as more of an early ‘vintage’ piece due to its style which had come back into fashion – again!

In recent years tweed has been sown into avant-garde jewellery, as part of high end designer costumes combined with traditionalism.  So it is already crossing generations and gender by its sheer determination to remain in situ in our wardrobe.

We can hardly say that tweed is making a comeback as it never really goes away, but it certainly has an eminence on the catwalk as we edge toward Winter.

Here are some great Tweed buys for Winter

French Connection £195


Stella McCartney tweed jacket – £995


Kate Spade – £375


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Reading Time: 4 minutes


Your offspring or grandchild is off to University?  Surely not.  When did that happen?  They have only just started school!  But it is true, and they are leaving home – well at least for the time being, they are going to be independent, and feeding themselves.

Your greatest fear is that they will spend all of their precious student loan on takeaways, or not eat at all.  But the truth is you should give them more credit, and back it up with some really useful tips on food and cooking.

You could help by advising them to stock up with with the basics like pasta, rice, potatoes, vegetables and dried quinoa and plenty of tins of baked beans and tins of tuna.  Also a good idea to fill their freezer with vegetables, oven fries and pitta bread.

A quick lesson in the life span of meats and the ‘how to, or not’ of reheating food, without sounding too patronizing.  I remember my first student shared accommodation where we almost got food poisoning when one of the students reheated chicken from the day before.  I don’t mean to scare you, but it has to be said.

Encourage them to enjoy cooking meals to share with other students, as this will also earn them brownie points and help them to integrate.

Explain how easy it is to freeze food and give them some containers or freezer bags to make sure they have the option.

Theming the meals is also good and this can easily be done with the help of some tasty spice ingredients eg https://www.spicentice.com/ meal kits, which are both cost effective and healthy. Incidentally, this family run company started when their son was at University and they would send him home made spices to ensure he ate at all.  It worked, as he is now married with kids of his own.  See some of their quick and easy recipes, which could get your young adult through their entire time at University or College.

This will also encourage the ‘bonding’ experience of cultures and experimentation with food, as well as good old fashioned nutrition.

Try this new Spicentice Firecracker curry kit with recipe, and you can buy via the link below and get a discount with the discount code .

Guaranteed to awaken your senses, this dish is infused with spicy, zesty flavours that’ll transport you to the Far East and beyond!

Ingredients: Chilli, Coriander, Cumin, Onion, Fenugreek, Garlic, Ginger, Paprika, Turmeric, Cinnamon, Salt, Black Pepper, Cloves, Bay, Cardamom, Star Anise, Cinnamon, Fennel.

Did you know their Firecracker Curry kit is:

  • 100% Pure Herbs & Spice
  • Gluten Free Spices
  • Sugar Free
  • Slimming Club Friendly
  • Paleo Friendly
  • Suitable for Vegetarians & Vegans
  • Blended in the U.K.


check out the full range at https://www.spicentice.com/

use discount code GLOTIME20 at the checkout for 20% of orderes over £15
and you also get free delivery

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