One Stone Lost and a Moving House Update

Today I reached my one stone weight loss target with Slimming World.  To celebrate, I treated myself to some lovely Freya lingerie from The Lingerie Room in Hoole.  I’m learning to reward myself with gorgeous treats like this and not food!  I went to get measured for the new bra and guess what – no change!  I really thought I would have dropped a cup size, but no.


I really am very slow at losing weight, but I’m hoping that this slow steady approach will mean I can keep it off.  I’m seeing it as a gradual re-education and a new way of eating for life.

In other news, we have a buyer for our house and have had an offer accepted on a bungalow.  The new property is a bit of a renovation project, so I’m looking forward to having free rein with decoration.  It needs a new bathroom and kitchen as well as central heating.  We also plan to knock a wall down to make a bigger kitchen/diner. Yikes!  Suffice to say, we will be getting professionals in for this!

As I have compromised on location (I wanted to go home to Wales, he wanted to stay close to his dad), Steve has agreed that all décor decisions are mine and has promised not to interfere.  We’ll see!

Anyway, it’s early days for both sale and purchase.  Absolutely anything could happen, so we are keeping an open mind on the new property until we have absolute confirmation.  Luckily we are old enough and ugly enough not to get emotionally attached.

The next few weeks should prove to be eventful if nothing else.


Christmas With The Chester Ladies’ Choir



When you sing with a choir, Christmas starts early.  Very early.  In fact we started learning Christmas music in October, so it’s fair to say we are pretty consumed by the season of goodwill already, even though it’s still two weeks away.

This week there have been two Christmas concerts.  Our main event was at Wesley Church Chester where we showcased our seasonal repertoire which includes firm favourites White Christmas and Winter Wonderland as well as sacred pieces Pavanne For A Silent Night and Gaudete.

Our audience had to do their bit too, with a sing along of Saviour’s Day to end the night.

We had some amazing guests:  Dylan Cernyw on harp and local Chester singers Megan Lamour and John Henry.  If you have never heard a harp played professionally, then seek out one of Dylan’s performances.  I promise you will not be disappointed.

We raised £248 for Guide Dogs, a charity which is especially close to our hearts, as one of our choir members, Clare, will have her own guide dog in the new year.

Our second gig was at Chester’s St Mary’s Centre, where we were guests of Theatre In The Quarter, celebrating choral music with ‘Joy To The World’.  We shared the stage with some wonderful local choirs: Dee Sign Choir, Hoole Community Choir, Dragonsong and Hope Street Harmonies. The atmosphere was buzzing as Matt Baker hosted this fun evening which was a real treat for anyone who loves to hear a choir sing.

Of course, it’s not over yet!  Next week we are singing for a local charity and will also be at M&S Outlet Cheshire Oaks singing carols to raise money for Guide Dogs.

If you would like to be doing this next Christmas, then why not join us in January?  We meet at St Luke’s Huntington 7:30 to 9:30 Tuesday evenings.

Enjoy your Christmas, music lovers!





A Massage Blend For Overworked Muscles


I’ve upped my exercise level this month, incorporating running with synergy (a yoga/Pilates/martial arts blend) and Pilates. Consequently my muscles are feeling it a bit.  To combat this I’ve made up a massage oil based on a recipe from Valerie Ann Worwood’s The Fragrant Pharmacy.  I’ve tweaked it a bit to reduce the amount of ginger, as I have an irregular heartbeat and don’t want to exacerbate it.  The specific oil I’ve used is in brackets.

To one tablespoon of vegetable oil (I use sweet almond*) add:

5 drops of eucalyptus (Eucalyptus radiata)

5 drops of peppermint (Mentha piperata)

2 drops of ginger (Zingiber officianale)

Mix them in a small saucer and massage into to shoulders, arms and legs after a hot bath (or preferably get someone else to do it!).

*If you have a nut allergy you could replace this with grapeseed.

As with all essential oils, seek professional advice if you are pregnant, on any medication, or have a medical condition. Essential oils are not beauty products, they have powerful medicinal properties and should be used with care.  Also, don’t be tempted to add a few extra drops to the blend.  More does not equal better.

OK, lecture over!

The blend smells wonderfully medicinal – very important if you want your mind to be convinced it’s doing you good!!

If you are wondering where to buy essential oils, then I can recommend Base  Formula . I buy my carrier oil locally in Hoole, Chester from The Groves Medical Herbalist

Incidentally The Groves also stocks Neal’s Yard aromatherapy oils which are fabulous.

Does anyone else make their own aromatherapy blends?