National UpCycling Week


I saw a competition on Gumtree so submitted my dresser just for the hell of it!

I’ve always wanted a painted dresser but like most of us, just don’t have a spare few hundred pounds to just go and buy one when there are priorities like food, electric and bills!

To cut a long story short last year I found a set of shelves (on Gumtree) that had been used as a bookcase in the child’s bedroom and bought those and shortly after I also bought a very beaten up chest of drawers. They fit perfectly together and looked like a dresser so I also bought a small pot of chalk paint and just went for it!

In total the whole project cost me less than £50 and I now have something unique with a story to tell. I’d never part with it!

Would love to hear if anyone has also upcycled something! It’s great to think we are making use of old objects that people may throw away and are giving them a new lease of life!

Carolyn xxx

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Moving: We are in!


We finally made it up North to South Yorkshire! Very happy but really shattered!

There are lots of boxes to unpack, beds to be assembled, decorating to be thought out, curtain poles & curtains to be purchased, handles to mend and not least a few more car loads of belongings from our old house in Nottingham to bring up (and a few days scrubbing our old home before we hand it back). BUT the main thing is we are IN!

Already, despite the worry now of being broke with all the expense of moving and paying double rent for a while, I can feel the fog lifting and feel much happier.

I’m sitting here at a desk in my bedroom, typing this, over looking some allotments and hills and appreciating how I can see some grass and trees and that there is a public footpath up that hill and for miles and miles through fields of wheat and this is making me smile.

Today I’ve baked a granary loaf with my new secondhand bread making machine I purchased the other day from someone on my street, unpacked several more boxes and given myself a computer desk with a view. Am so excited about finally having my own private desk with a view and intend to spend a lot of time here!

Well the lawn beckons! I’m not sure whether I’ll have time to create a victory garden this year but I do have some string beans in (from a friend at work) so at least it’s a start!

LOTS OF LOVE

C XXX


Kentish Pasties – Recipe No. 155


Reblogging one of my favourite wartime pastie recipes.

If I had time to bake and could find my cooking utensils (packed away because of the move next weekend) I would definitely cook these today and serve them cooled with a nice crisp salad and a pint of beer!

6 days until we move!

C xxx

The 1940's Experiment

kentishpasties1

In the WW2 recipe book ‘Good Eating’ published in the 1940s by the ‘Daily Telegraph’ and which included wartime recipes tried and tested by readers, I came across a recipe for ‘Kentish Pasties’.

This particular recipe, according to the reader, was for a popular pasty distributed by mobile canteens and pie stations at Sevenoaks Rural District during the war.

Using the ingredients in the recipe, I was able to make three huge pasties which could easily be cut in two, one half  for your dinner (served with veggies and gravy) and one half for your lunch the next day (although I am sure if you were working on the land a whole pasty for lunch would be appreciated)  I also added two teaspoons of Marmite and one chopped leek which added to the flavour as it was a little bland without.

Overall I found this very filling and tasty!

Kentish…

View original post 213 more words

June Update – At the Houses of Parliament and nearly time to move!


If there is one thing I am desperate for, it’s time.

At the moment I am staying 4 or 5 nights a week on an airbed (with no furniture and no WI-FI or TV) in our new rental house (just 2 miles from work). It is convenient, saves time and money and I’m so knackered that I’m in bed most nights for 8 pm! Every weekend is spent back in Nottingham frantically packing, cleaning and painting in preparation for our forthcoming house move. By June 30th all should be handed back over and our new home should have furniture in it although my dining table will have to live under my bed (once I’ve taken the legs off of course) as there is simply not enough room for it.

I’m hoping by the end of July everything will have settled down into some sort of normality and routine so I can once again focus on eating healthier (10 lbs on since the Marathon!) and start re-creating more wartime recipes. I’m seriously missing my stepping back in time (culinary of course) – it feels like part of who I am has gone missing.

In addition to getting back on track with recipes and weight loss I have exams to study for in December (Certificate in HR – Level 3) and an awful lot of catching up to do regarding that too! I’m still working on building a complete vintage recipe/event/shopping phone app (which will include every single wartime recipe I have recreated with photos) as well as a directory of all vintage tearooms in the UK, and vintage clothing shops, vintage events, vintage everything really….. it’s a huge undertaking and very time consuming but what I’ve learned in life is you have to put the effort in and be jolly patient and passionate about something and willing to persevere for anything to be remotely successful.

One exciting thing happened recently, I got to go to the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London on Election night for a lovely Summer Dinner! It was through work ( www.pmsdiecasting.co.uk ) and had a wonderful time! The buildings were absolutely stunning! What an experience!

Take care all, can’t wait to be back online properly and have time to take care of the blog again.

Lots of love

C xxxxxxxxx

London Marathon – April 2017.


I’m sitting here typing this with three semi-detached toe-nails, a hip that feels like I’m on the orthopedic surgeons waiting list, and muscles that feel like I’ve been given a right good kicking but I’m smiling broadly because yesterday I finished the Virgin Money London Marathon in just under 7 hrs and 30 mins knocking off 1 hr and 15 minutes off my first and previous marathon time.

I’m really proud of this achievement as a morbidly obese 255 lbs woman who doesn’t fit the stereotype of an “athlete” but I think right now I have every right to call myself that. An athlete is someone who is proficient in a sport or physical activity. As a morbidly obese athlete I am proficient in completing Marathons and you can’t take that away from me! Not today anyway!!!

Let me tell you the crowds at the London Marathon make the event. I have NEVER been so moved, had such good fun, given so many high fives to English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Christian, Muslim, Jew, Afro-Caribbean, Asian, Indian, Iranian spectators in my life. (sorry I have missed anyone out, am just giving you some visuals on the amazing crowds!). Kids were handing out sweets and along the way I ate bananas, orange slices, chocolate eggs, chews and anything else on offer that would keep me going as I walked and jogged non-stop! (apart from two pees).

The London Marathon has a cut off point of running it in a maximum of 8 hrs and 15 minutes, come in later than that you don’t get a medal and you don’t get a finishing time or a listing online. Although your race from the red start area (which includes all the charity runners) starts at 10 am it takes at least 30 minutes to even cross the starting line due to the tens of thousands of starters! The cut off time is 6:15 pm full stop. It was such a relief to cross the line at 5:58 pm!!!

Although I am now enjoying some naughty treats (I nearly burned up 10,000 calories yesterday!) my weight loss journey continues with much motivation tomorrow. I may not be doing any more long walks or vigorous exercise for a couple of weeks until everything stops hurting but am really going to concentrate on getting back to my vegetable based 1940s dishes and spend some time on updating the blog with recipes. So much has been put on the back burner to get myself fit enough to get the coveted “London Marathon Medal” that there has been little time for anything else.

I just wanted to say thank you to all the support you have given me and really hope I can start giving back very soon.

Just remember, never give up, persevere and have faith in yourself. Us ladies, we can do anything 🙂

C xxxxx

PS: How difficult it is to use a porta loo after the London Marathon – feel my pain!

My fundraising page is open until October 23rd. www.donatepoppy.uk I will be releasing my own wartime recipe app and a series of keepsake full colour recipe booklets and the sale of each raises £1 for the Royal British Legion.




Update – March 2017


Am so sorry for the lack of updates and posts on my blog. I try and keep my Instagram updated though as it’s quick but my life at the moment (like many of you I’m sure) doesn’t have enough hours in the day. Am always on catch up and never quite catching up enough!!!

I hope everyone is well! Spring is in the air and it’s bringing with it feelings of a new beginning and hope for the future. A lot has changed here. My eldest daughter now works with me so we both commute every day. She’s doing really well! My youngest daughter is about to sit her A level finals at college and has been accepted into Reading Uni to do her Bachelor of Arts (she wants to be an English teacher). I’m struggling with my training to do the London Marathon mostly with some hip pain and my ongoing Plantar Fascitis problem but will be training like crazy these next 4 weeks. My weight is slowly still moving downwards and after putting weight back on towards the end of 2016, am happy to say that since January 1st I’ve lost about 22 lbs and am currently at 260 lbs. Am starting to enjoy cycling on the exercise bike at the gym and do 20 km regularly, and now also use the rowing machine and do kettle bell exercises at home and a bit of boxing (mostly punching the sofa pillows!). I figure it’s all going to help!

Once Em’s final exams are over and the London Marathon is done and dusted then we will be heading further North to live in Rotherham which will mean we save 2.5 hrs a day commuting as well as nearly £250 a month in fuel! Sending lots of love and hope everyone is happy and healthy. I really miss doing my recipes and updating the blog right now, if I had the luxury of working part time I’d be busy on it!! LOL xxxxxx C

Feature on my blog in Waitrose Weekend!


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Waitrose have a FREE magazine/newspaper in store which is great because it has lots of recipes and food related articles in it every week.

This week until Wednesday, their weekly newspaper contains a double page spread on rationing during WW2, and my blog! I always like to do these things if asked as am passionate about getting back to basics and the promotion of food in its natural state rather than using processed foods for health and wellness. We all know how addictive processed foods and snacks are (am living proof of that!!!).

Anyway – it’s quite a good article with some factual information in it that you may like to read (I’ll try and take a high res photo later and upload it so you’ll be able to read it).

It was also great to re-create an ‘Apricot Mock Flan’ for the photoshoot and I’ll post the recipe for that including the photos I took later.

I’m just off to the gym right now for a couple of hours. See you on the flip side!

Lots of love

C xxxx