Thursday, July 20, 2017

Top Ten Thursday: Rude, Inappropriate, & Arrogant

We're finally in one place after several days of travelling - it's cold at the bottom of the world. Whilst battling jet lag it's time to sit down with a coffee and list the top ten things that people do that are rude, inappropriate, or arrogant - I don't think we've got enough time for all the things I could list. Here's the ten that I'm going to share.

1. Airline queues: this is one that we've experienced over the last few days and it always brings out the worst in people. We're all in the same departure gate, the plane is not going to leave without us, and yet what could be a nice orderly queue turns into a free for all with people pushing in line and basically being very annoying.

Bangkok Airport 
2. Cold Callers: Those calls that are people wanting to sell things, sort out your accident, claim back money from your bank, and basically infuriate us constantly. As a result there are certain times of the day that we don't answer our phone as we know it will be one of these calls.

3. We don't need to see that: don't you just love it (not!!) when you see people sitting like this and showing way too much of their anatomy off to the world. There should be trouser police who go around squirting ice cold water down these 'openings'.

4. Mobile phones at checkouts: it is so inappropriate and rude and probably stems from arrogance for people to think it's alright to be talking on their mobile whilst they are being served in a shop, usually totally ignoring the person behind the counter except to shove money at them.

5. Dogs outside shops: I know this is quite a common practice but I don't like it for two reasons. Firstly, the dog could be stolen, very easily, and that would be devastating. The other reason is that some people leave their dogs for ages and it really upsets me when you see a dog whining and barking for their owner to come back. I've seen dogs left outside shops in really hot weather and equally in really cold and wet weather and I find it really inappropriate, but hey, that's just me.

6. Bad car drivers: in particular, the really rude ones who cut you off and nearly cause a car accident. The ones who get in the wrong lane and then realise at the last minute, cutting across several lanes to get to their turn off. Thankfully I have a husband who had police driver training and we always make it home in one piece.

7. Littering: we live on a beautiful planet with so many wonderful places to visit and explore and yet people still insist on littering our world. It would be great if we all lived by the quote: Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures, kill nothing but time.

8. Excuse me: don't you just hate it when you're looking at something in a shop and someone else decides they want it and rather than saying excuse me they just push in front of you and get it. If I'm feeling cheeky then I might say excuse me (very sarcastically) to them, but usually I just huff and let them get away with it. I think the phrase 'excuse me' is an optional extra in some people's vocabulary's.

9. Train & Tube commuters: One thing that I really don't miss from London is travelling on the underground and the trains to work. People get in this head down mode where they can't see anyone else and they just rush forwards, not caring who they bump into - don't be going slow and get in the way of the commuter wave as it's not a good thing. I was in London for a couple of the underground strikes so for the first one I got the train to work, but getting onto the train was a very scary experience as it was so crowded on the platform that it took a few trains before I got near the doors, and then as I started to step on a man grabbed me and shoved me back so that he could get on. Commuting brings out the worst in people. 

Stock photo from
10. Phubbing: this is that really awful habit that some people have of ignoring who they're with in favour of their phone, so phone snubbing = phubbing. Sometimes when my beloved and I go out for a meal or even just for a coffee we'll see people at other tables who are all on their phones rather than interacting with each other. It looks particularly rude when it's in a restaurant, and hopefully none of the people we've seen have been on a date.

Do you agree with my list or have you got lots of other pet peeves that you consider rude, inappropriate, or arrogant? Before you go, pop over to Tamara's blog Part-time Working Hockey Mom and see what my fellow bloggers have come up with.

Until next time, be good, stay safe, and be nice to everyone you meet.

Pamela & Ken

Friday, July 14, 2017

Top Ten Thursday - To Do List

This weeks top ten is the things on our to do list - but which list to choose? I have many mental to do lists both personal and professional. I also have my 'if we won the lottery' list and the 'I'm living in a dreamland' list. There's also my list of things to do before I'm fifty, of which I'm fast running out of time for. Maybe I'll do a mixture of all of the above for you and show you just how strange I am (as if you didn't know).

1. Double the number of posts I write for the blog from last year - I want to prioritise time for writing and blogging is very much a part of this.

2. Do more art journaling as it relaxes me and often helps sort out thoughts and emotions.

3. Get serious about learning the tin whistle. I've learnt the Lord of the Rings theme tune but still need to improve my fingering technique.

4. Go through my clothes as they need sorting, and send some to charity.

5. Organise my craft supplies in the spare room and get more things out of their boxes.

6. Send some of my poetry to appropriate journals to see if I can get anything published.

7. Travel first class on the Trans Siberian Express from St Petersburg to Beijing, via Mongolia. This is our dream trip but definitely needs a win on the lottery first.

8. Find a good recipe for vegetarian sausage rolls and then make them. Sausage rolls were a favourite before giving up meat so need to develop something scrummy and much more nutritious to take their place.

9. Teach Bramble Jelly (our cocker spaniel) to balance on her back legs. This trick is a work in progress and I'm not sure who's going to give up first.

10. Find more romantic and quirky ways to show my beloved how wonderful he is.

Gorgeous man 💖

There you have it, my to do list. Before you go, pop over to Tamara's blog to see what my fellow bloggers have come up with in their top tens.

Until next time, be good, stay safe, and tick something off your to do list this week.

Pamela & Ken

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Top Ten Thursday - Quirky July Holidays

Today's top ten is about what we like or dislike about national holidays in July - slightly difficult as in the UK there aren't any major ones that I know about, so I've looked up all the quirky national or international days that people around the world recognise.

There are some really strange ones, for example July 15th is gummy worm day?? Very odd.

Here's my ten favourite that I've found.

1. I'm cheating slightly with the first one as it was actually last Friday which was June 30th. Ken heard on the radio that it was national cream tea day so off we headed to a cafe so that I could have a scone with jam and cream - well it would have been rude not to.

2. July 3rd is compliment your mirror day!! This is not as strange as it sounds, it's based on the belief that you should look at yourself in the mirror and give yourself a compliment.

3. July 21st is a day that all Australians should celebrate, and that is national lamington day. That wonderful sponge cake covered in chocolate and coconut which is named after a previous governor of Queensland. Guess what, I'll be in Australia on July 21st so will be able to indulge.

4. Here's one of the strangest days I came across - July 27th is take your houseplant for a walk day! I can see it now, hoards of people walking around the streets with their potted plants like a scene from the body snatchers.

5. National tattoo day falls on July 17th. Do you think there are loads of people around the world getting new tattoos to celebrate this one?

6. July 19th is national ice-cream day - this one I can take part in easily. I think my favourite icecream flavour is coconut, but love trying all the quirky ones that are around now. A shop near us does peanut butter and jelly icecream which is scrummy.

7. July 12th is simplicity day. I think that the busier we all get and the more technology that enters our lives then this day could be a reminder that we all need to stop and just be in the moment every now and then. Let our brains rest and enjoy a moment of peace.

8. Here's a day that Hindus must love, July 11th is cow appreciation day. Whenever I see cows in a truck going to market I want to liberate them and put them in my imaginary farm sanctuary.

9. July 28th we all have a perfect excuse to eat chocolate as it's milk chocolate day.

10. And finally, today, July 6th is international kissing day. Who are we to go against an important international day - there's nothing I like more than smooching with my beloved.

What strange days have you come across and do you celebrate them? Before you go, pop over to Tamara's blog Part-time Working Hockey Mom to see what my fellow bloggers have come up with.

Until next time, be good, stay safe, and take some time to enjoy some chocolate and ice-cream this week.

Pamela & Ken

P.S: Dates checked on

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Top Ten Thursday - my blogging journey

This week Tamara at Part Time Working-Hockey Mom is celebrating her blog's five year anniversary so this weeks top ten is all about our own blogging journey - our five year anniversary is in September.

1. Since I started the blog I've published 319 posts.

2. Considering I started the blog to share with family and friends in Australia, the top ten of countries our readers are from is quite interesting:

United States
United Kingdom

3. My long suffering husband has posed with lots of dodgy hats or wigs just for my amusement and to use in the blog - this wig that he put on at Cornbury music festival in 2014 was one of my favourites.

4. I'm not very good at planning my posts and often end up doing them at the last minute. It's a bit like when I used to leave school assignments until they were due - I think I write better with a bit of pressure.

5. I love writing but always worry that I'm not writing in a way that makes sense - looking back at my past posts I can tell when I was most worried about this as the posts sound a bit stilted. When I write like I think, the words flow much better.

6. When I'm writing I tend to think more of what my beloved will think of the post than anyone else. I have to walk a fine line as he lets me get away with quite a lot (see above photo) and I would never want to really embarrass him.

7. My phone is my essential assistant for the blog, as 99% of the pictures that feature in our posts are taken with my phone. So when I change phones every couple of years my first question is always about the quality of camera.

8. I love taking part in blog challenges as it makes me think more creatively and I love coming up with interesting things for different themes.

9. I've discovered so many great blogs since I started ours and it always intrigues me why people may have started their blog.

10. Blogging affects our lives in a lot of ways as whenever we go on holiday one of my first questions is whether or not there is WiFi. When we're enjoying days out I'll be wondering what sort of photos will be the most interesting in the post, and know that even if the day doesn't turn out how we wanted it can still make a great post.

I would love to have more time to spend on blogging but unfortunately we're yet to win the lottery. If you're reading this then I thank you for stopping by and I hope that you continue to visit and share in our (only slightly crazy) lives.

Before you go, pop over to Tamara's blog and see what my fellow bloggers have come up with - click here to visit.

Until next time, be good, stay safe, and thank you for being out there.

Pamela & Ken

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Coffee Chat: Summer to do list.

I love having a chat over coffee, so why don't you grab yourself a hot drink and we can get started. Rory, at Ink Interrupted has asked us what three things are on our summer to do list. 

I've never had a to do list for summer so this is an interesting question to answer - I'm used to having work to do lists rather than personal. The other thing that is different about this summer is that we will be having three weeks of winter whilst we're in Australia, so keeping warm could be one of my things to do. When I tell people here in Scotland that we're going to Australia for a holiday they instantly think that it's going to be lovely and warm - it's that stereotypical vision that people have of my homeland, sun, sand, and surf, forgetting that it's winter there now. We'll be wearing lots of layers.

Lots more exploring and days of fun is a definite! I would really like to do the walk we discovered when we went to the Ancient Woodland near Dufftown - my only problem would be that I had a little mishap a few weeks ago that injured my leg, so I might have to set my walking goals slightly lower this summer. (It wasn't anything exciting, clumsy me just fell as I was getting out of the shower).

I love street art so would really like to get over to Aberdeen, on the north east coast of Scotland, to explore the art that is there. I have a soft spot for Aberdeen as it's the city my Granddaddy lived in before he moved to Australia. I like walking around the city and imagining what his life was like when he lived there.

My biggest hope for the summer is that the Scottish Highlands don't have their warmest days whilst we're down under in the cold - that would be just our luck.

What are your plans for summer? Do you have certain things that you really want to do or are you just going to see where the spirit takes you. Before you go, pop over to Rory's blog and see what my fellow bloggers have come up with for their to do list - Click Here to Visit.

Until next time, be good, stay safe, and have a wonderful week.

Pamela & Ken

P.S: Coffee Chat is having a summer break but don't worry, coffee will still feature in a lot of my posts.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Flashback Friday: Budapest Food and Churches

We're still in Budapest (2014) and of course my beloved would find a car to admire. This is a Trabant which is a car manufactured in East Germany and my own personal car expert has said it's got a two stroke engine and is made of a cotton and resin product called duroplast. There are a lot of them in Budapest so Ken was in seventh heaven checking out the classic cars.

Me with shorter hair and the city behind me.

This is what the street signs looked like  - it's not an easy language to pronounce or understand.

A couple of the more political and historical statues that dot the city.

There are lots of markets in Budapest. This was a small one that we found and it had lots of interesting stalls including lots of chillies which are very popular. It was also where I snatched a scarf out from under the nose of another Australian. I'd been admiring a scarf from afar and as I headed towards it a fellow Aussie picked it up to admire it - when she put it down to look at another I quickly grabbed it and bought it before she knew what was happening.

This little lady was selling dolls near one of the churches we visited - she's got a beautiful face and smile.

This man was displaying this bird of prey - I felt really sorry for the bird as it was a really warm day and there were lots of tourists milling around.

On a high point on the Buda side of the city is the beautiful Matthias Church which was built in the mid 13th century under the orders of King Bela IV. During the Turkish occupation of Buda the church was turned into a mosque until the city was regained over 100 years later by Christian troops. It's a bit like the city itself, it has had many different cultures rule it.

The inside of the church is stunningly beautiful with patterns and paintings everywhere - it's definitely not plain like the inside of lots of Scottish churches.

We did an open top bus tour of the city as I always find that they are a really useful way of learning a lot about a place in a short space of time, and you can get on and off whenever you like. This is Heroes Square which has the tomb of the unknown soldier in the centre of it - the grave that represents all Hungarian solders killed in war who are unidentified or missing.

I've included this photo as I think it's actually a couple of hungarian words that most of us can read and understand (or is that just me).

At the end of the Vaci Utca, the main tourist street, there was a really great food court full of stalls cooking and selling all sorts of things. One thing there wasn't a shortage of was meat, so thank goodness this was in our pre vegetarian days!!

What we ended up having - it was nicer than it looks.

This man walked past with his dog in his bag - the dog looks a bit like an ewok in Star Wars.

This stall was selling giant pretzels, all with different flavoured coatings. I'd never had a pretzel this big so of course we had to buy one to share.

We went for one with chocolate sprinkles all over it.

In the middle of all the food stalls there was a little stage and we were entertained whilst we sat and ate our dinner. These two guys were really good and actually sang some of their songs in English.

One of the unusual foods that we discovered were chimney cakes, or Kürtoskalács. They are cooked on a spit over coals and then covered with a sweet sugar mix or nuts and they are scrummy.

As you can tell we like trying new foods when we're on holiday as it gives you a taste of the country you're visiting, and why go on holiday if you're just going to stick to familiar food.

One of the nights we were in Budapest we went to a classical recital in St Stephen's Basilica which is the grandest church in the city.

It's another thing that we like to do if we can, having been to concerts in churches in Croatia, Barcelona, and of course the UK. The architects of sacred buildings know what they're doing when it comes to acoustics and the sound is amazing. The inside of the Basilica is incredibly ornate with decorations everywhere.

On our way back to the hotel after the concert we stopped in a bar for a drink and we really liked this wall of clocks that catered to many different nationalities.

That's it for today and there is one Budapest flashback to go. Look out for it as it will feature me driving a car, which for those that know me is a very rare event.

Until next time, be good, stay safe, and this week try a food you've never tried before.

Pamela & Ken

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Top Ten Thursday: Tasting a Place?

This weeks top ten Thursday is all about those foods that when we eat them the taste transports us to another place. My list is going to be a mixture of places and people, as I think that food can remind us of people as well.

1. Egg and Bacon Pie. This is a recipe from my mum and it is so simple but so delicious and whenever I used to cook it just the smell alone would transport me home to the farm I grew up on. It would also remind me of how my brothers and I would fight over the left over pieces. It's purely puff pastry, bacon, eggs, and a little bit of seasoning. I made the one above for me and Ken hence the heart decorating it.

2. Chicken Shawarma. There was a man with a cart in the compound I lived on in Saudi Arabia who sold shawarmas garnished with chips (french fries, not crisps) and chilli sauce. I know, its sounds awful, but it was scrummy. Flat bread, a token bit of salad, chicken, chips, and sauce - just what you need after a long shift in the hospital. I know I'll never have this again but just the thought of it has me back there.

3. Pavlova. When I was little I didn't like this dessert and I'll never understand why as it's delicious, so this actually reminds me of being given jelly whilst everyone else indulged in pavlova. I'm not sure when I realised it was good but now I make it myself. (and I don't care what the Kiwis say, it's an Australian invention).

4. Marshmallows. These transport me back to youth group weekends at Hellyar Beach in Tasmania. We used to play a game called chubby bunny where you had to see how many marshmallows you could fit in your mouth whilst still being able to say chubby bunny. It will probably come as no surprise to some people that I won with a total of 19 marshmallows in my mouth.

5. Marmalade. Another thing that I didn't really like when I was young so I used to try and get just the juice on my knife rather than slices of peel. This reminds my of my nanna who made marmalade which my dad loved - the smell of the oranges cooking down was lovely.

6. Plum Pudding. I know it's not the most attractive looking thing, but I've never quite perfected how to get it out of the cloth it cooks in for four hours. This is my mum's recipe and all of us children know if mum had used a different recipe - this was the one we wanted. It's a taste of home and the only way to eat it is with loads of runny cream.

7. Waffles. The first time I ever had waffles was at Disneyland in California so now I always associate them with America. It was a waffle in the shape of Mickey Mouse's head, covered with strawberries and cream - yum.

8. Anzac Biscuits. These are a biscuit that originated in the First World War when Australian women wanted to send a biscuit to the troops that wouldn't spoil on the journey and were originally called Soldier's biscuits. In our family we called them Brian's biscuits as I think he (my brother) brought the recipe home from either school or Sunday school, so these biscuits make me think of him.

9. Instant Noodles. The smell alone reminds me of living in the nurses home whilst I was doing my nurse training, as we used to live on quick and simple foods.

10. Mint Slices. These are Australia to me. My favourite biscuits in the whole world and they don't sell them in the UK!! Everytime we go home for a holiday I always come back with several packets in our luggage and my lovely mum often includes a packet with our Christmas present.

Now I'm hungry, and realising that I've got a dreadful sweet tooth. I'm glad that only two meat dishes made it onto the list and no, it hasn't made me want to eat them again.

What are the foods that you associate with a place? Before you go, pop over to Tamara's blog and see what my fellow bloggers have come up with on their lists - Click Here To Visit.

Until next time, be good, stay safe, and enjoy one of your favourite foods this week.

Pamela & Ken