Murphy Richards Soupmaker

IMG_0913I was given one for Christmas and decided to try it out with some leftover vegetables yesterday.  You can get similar results with a saucepan and hand whisk but I found the end result so much more tasty in the soup maker.  Maybe it retains all the vitamins?  The dried herbs totally melted.






Getting on the Wagon

Well, I haven’t managed to get off the alcoholic merry-go-round as yet but I have cut the vodka down to one a night.  Maybe today will be the day I skip it altogether.  Having said that, I am thirsty and fancy something with ice.  Must look at the non-alcoholic gin available on Amazon.  Only thing is I don’t drink gin.  I prefer vodka.

I have been sipping water with apple vinegar cider all day as it’s supposed to be good for the liver, but I didn’t buy the mother yet (that’s an essential ingredient I am told, also available from Amazon).

The Alcohol Saga – Cutting Down

Well, how did I do last night?


Not very well I am afraid. I normally have two glasses of a measured vodka and cranberry juice most evenings, followed by a glass or two of white wine with dinner. I did cut the vodka down to just one glass, so I guess that is a start. I am working my way towards having alcohol free days.


I haven’t been so stressed out today, so am hoping to cut down a bit further. Maybe I should switch to red wine as I cannot drink more than a glass without expecting a headache the next morning. I don’t suffer from headaches, so know the red wine is responsible and have a glass possibly 4 times a year with a spaghetti bolognese in a restaurant.

It’s That Time of the Year to think About Cutting Down on Alcohol

Every year I ignore January and carry on drinking but in a more moderate way than over the festive period.


Today I peeped at the book by Clare Pooley entitled The Sober Diaries. It seems the only way for regular drinkers to reduce their intake, is to give up altogether as the temptation of wine o’clock will take over on a stressful day, even after months of not drinking.

Soup for winter days

Those of us over 60 need to eat nutritious food so home made soup filled the bill today as it is only 2 degrees centigrade outside.



Chopped onion

Chopped butternut squash

Chopped sweet potato

Chopped white potato

A touch of chilli (I used lazy chilli in a jar I keep in the fridge) – optional

A stock cube, chicken or vegetable


Boil the onion in a stock cube.  Add the white potato cubed.  Microwave the butternut squash and sweet potato for 4 minutes.  Add them to the stock.  Season with salt and black pepper.  Add a touch of chilli if you like

Heard of the Redhatters?

I joined the London one recently and after a lovely meet at a coffee shop in Oxford Street, I got my name badge and London Redhatters cards.  It has what are known as Chapters in over 30 countries.  Women from all walks of life meet to explore new interests, have fun and meet new friends.

Ladies over 50 are required to wear purple clothing with a red hat.  Those under 50 wear a pink hat with lavender clothing.  On our birthday month, we can wear the colours in reverse, e.g. purple hats with red clothing (I wish it was my birthday month every month.)  Hats remain on when dining out, but it is polite to remove them in the theatre or cinema.

Trips are organised to art galleries, museums, stately homes, parks and gardens, as well as train rides to the country or seaside; even a cruise.

Last week I went to my first outing to a London Art Gallery, followed by lunch in St. Paul’s Cathedral.

The official Red Hat Society day is April 25th.

Women who wish to join the society can do so by going to the Red Hat Society website to sign up as a Queen or Member.


This is the poem written by Jenny Joseph an English poet:-


When I am an old woman I shall wear purple

With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.

And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves

And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter

I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired

And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells

And run my stick along the public railings

And make up for the sobriety of my youth.

I shall go out in my slippers in the rain

And pick flowers in other people’s gardens

And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat

And eat three pounds of sausages at a go

Or only bread and pickle for a week

And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry

And pay our rent and not swear in the street

And set a good example for the children.

We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?

So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised

When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.




Travel in your Sixties. Comfort is important. Fun too!

We used to have a home in Albir for about 20 years, living in it for 8 years.  We decided to revisit Albir to reminisce and chose the Albir Playa Hotel and Spa.  We went for bed and breakfast as we wanted to visit favourite restaurants in the area.  The breakfast was excellent with plenty of choice and a decent orange juice.  As our flight home was in the evening, we asked for a late check out, but being a Saturday the hotel was full but the reception staff offered us use of the spa to change etc.  We didn’t use it, as we didn’t want to keep opening our cases to change clothes, so we didn’t get to see the spa.  Hopefully next time.  If we go again, we would ask for a sunnier balcony even if it overlooks Lidl.  We did try lunch on our departure day and we had no complaints really. There was plenty of choice and a Spanish family asked for the show cooking to appear.  We speak reasonable Spanish so would do the same. Had to buy a bottle of wine as they don’t do wine by the glass.  I couldn’t finish it on my own and my husband was driving.  In the evenings we like to have a cold drink late at night, before sleep and I rang down to ask for ice as Lidl was closed.  I was surprised to be quoted 25 euros for a bucket of ice.  Needless to say we found some somewhere else.

The room was fine and the fridge useful.  Didn’t mind paying for the safe as it was better than not having one available.

The pool area was very nice and there were plenty of sunbeds in May.  Could have done with a few more umbrellas.  The pool bar was handy and offered food too.  We didn’t try the food as we were busy going to Altea, Albir and Benidorm…we hired a car which we parked in the street next to the hotel free of charge.  Sunday was difficult to find a space with the new Sunday market nearby.

The hotel bar was nice and they do a mean Negroni.