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Tuesday, 27 September 2011

My bubbly mother

Yesterday morning I had a frantic text from Mum who realised as she was leaving the house to drive to a new job, that I had walked off with her car and house keys the day before. We live about 100 miles apart. In the end she had found a spare set, but my name was mud.

I rang last night to grovel, head held low in shame.

"Well the morning hadn't exactly started well" she sighed. "When I got out of the shower I managed to accidentally put my Origins face wash through my curls instead of leave in conditioner. But it looked OK so I decided to go with the flow didn't bother to wash it out."

I had a vision that by lunchtime she might have started looking like this:

I've had a text today to say that it is 'a little crisp in places'. 

Rose x

Monday, 26 September 2011

Half marathon training

Last Sunday Mr Rose reallllly made me cross. 

As I've mentioned once or twice, I'm training for this weekend's Shine half marathon.  Last Sunday I got up knowing I had to walk 8 miles, had a balanced healthy breakfast with good mixture of slow releasing carbs, fruit and low fat protein.  I did some stretches.  Got into my snazzy trainers, running pants, strawberry sports bra - the whole works.  I packed a little sports rucksack with what any sportswoman would carry - neurofen and an oyster card in case it all got a bit too much.  I applied deodorant like it was going out of fashion and a light facial sun tan lotion (well I am in my 30s now and it was a sunny day).  Mr Rose fell out of bed, shoved a crumpet down his gob, pulled on his jeans and announced he was going to walk the first 20 mins with me. 

He hasn't done any of the training with me and hasn't done any excercise for ages.  As we strode off I was secretly amused that this poor deluded fellow thought he could keep up with a fully trained half marathon walker.  I proudly assumed he would look at me through admiringly as I impressed him with my speed and vigour. 

After about 20 mins he was enjoying himself so I decided to let him carry on with me for a bit longer. 
After 1 hour he was bounding about Hampstead Heath enthusiastically. 
After 1.5 hours I was suggesting we stop for lucozade
After 2 hours he was trying to get me to go faster and suggesting ways of extending the route.
At 2.5 hours he reluctantly said we could go home. 

Reader - he was wearing loafers

I guess he has more natural sporting ability than I.   I consoled myself with the thought that he would be exhausted and stiff once we got home and I would be able to make 'I told you so' remarks about how he pushed himself too far on his first walk in ages. 

About 4pm I remember going into our bedroom to get something and before I knew it, it was 6pm and I had conked out. 

As I got up and went to find Mr Rose, he glanced up from his newspaper and arched an eyebrow. 

"Well", he said "that was quite some snooze.  At one point I wondered into the bedroom with a view to shutting the window as the mad neighbour was using his power drill again and I didn't want it to wake you up.   And then I realised it wasn't the mad neighbour, but you snoring." 

Snoring Rose or power drill?
So embarrassing!
Rose x

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

A girl in pearls

My dear Nana Rose once said to me: 'Darling, if you can't afford diamonds then you must wear pearls - nothing lights up the face quite like them.' 

Ever since I've been a proper grown up (it hit me when I was about 24) I have worn pearls as much as I can.  Nana Rose was right - nothing looks quite as nice close to the skin, other than diamonds. 
My colleague Sunny introduced me to Claudia Bradbury - who designs lovely pearl necklaces, earrings and bracelets.  K Middy has even worn some of her designs, and as we all know, if it is good enough for K Middy…. 

Have a look on the website and a good nose around the 'sale' section  where you can pick up a bargain.  I think they would make lovely presents for a special occasion. 

Rose x

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

The power of music

Saturday afternoon I left home in bright sunshine with a spring in my step.  I had to be in Marylebone (6 miles away) in 2 hours and had decided to get in a little training walk (I'm sure I've mentioned before that I am doing a half marathon walk in less than 2 weeks! Eek).

I popped my ipod in and set off the 'Exercise' playlist I'd set up.  I had some advice from my friend Kate that she likes to run to the music of women she would like to look like and I thought this was a good strategy so I marched off to Beyonce, Britney, Katy Perry, Pussy Cat Dolls, Rhianna etc..

By the time I was about 2 miles in it had gone from bright sunshine to torrential rain.  Fortunately I had my brand new 'mac in a sac' with me to try out and I can report it does keep one mostly dry. 

By the time I was about 4 miles in I was near Regent's Park and SOAKING.  The phrase 'drowned rat' springs to mind.
I was starting to feel a little wobble in my bottom lip.  Pounding through NW1 on a Saturday afternoon dressed in daft running leggings, bright turquoise trainers and a soggy mac is not my idea of fun.  Even my knickers were damp.  And not in a good way.   I was feeling rather sorry for myself and just starting to plan my escape to the nearest bus route.
All of a sudden this song game on.   I am what I am by Gloria Gaynor.  Play it now (it really kicks in about 40 seconds in). 

It was like the equivalent of drinking a litre of lucozade or having a firework shoved up one's butt.  All of a sudden I was off!  Powering through the park, kicking the pigeons out of my way, scaring small children by singing to myself! 

I've since learned that it is a huge gay anthem.  This doesn't surprise me for a minute.  You should see what else is on my most played list on my ipod - Diana Ross, Celine, Barbara, Mariah, Whitney etc etc.  I have long suspected I am a middle aged gay man trapped in the body of 30 year old woman.  The effect this song had on my walking speed kind of confirms the theory.  But what the heck, I am what I ammmmmmmmm! 

Rose x

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Estate agents, brasso and make up tutorials

So today I've had not 1 but 2 plaintive requests as to why I haven't blogged for a little while.  Well dear readers it has been an extremely busy week filled with Brasso, popcorn, rugby balls, concealer, a pedometer and meatballs.  Intrigued?  Here is a little of what I've been up to.

Finally, after a very long time of faffing about Mr Rose is selling our flat and it has gone on the market this week.  We have been MANIC making it look spic and span.  He has taken to brassoing every bit of chrome or brass in the flat and is found with a duster feverishly in hand and a housewifery question on his lips when I walk through the front door. 

Recent examples have included 'Rose, do you think I should use white spirit to get rid of the white paint blob on the black paint on the front door?'..  'Rose, why does the plughole not shine when I've poured viakal on it for 45 mins?'… 'Rose, what do you think I should use to clean the lightswitches?' and other important questions.  So it is a good thing we have had a house guest for the last week or so - Cousin LL is having her bathroom re-done and therefore cannot stomach the idea of living in a house with no flushing loo (and who can blame her) so we have a resident expert in householding.  Obviously, she made sure the mattress protector had arrived before she did..


So to calm myself I've been popping my headphones in and watching on my iPhone the brilliant make up tutorials of Sali Hughes.  Now, I like to think that in a different life I might have been a make up artist.  I like to think that I know loads about make up and I have one of the biggest and best collections of anyone I know.  I like to think that I could do a passable makeover on most people and that really, no one would be better at doing my make up than me. I can recognise nail varnish by its brand at 20 paces and could write a dissertation on the best ways to make green eyes look greener (Clarins plum eyeliner, if you are wondering with a Revlon eyeshadow in rust).  So when Sali started doing the columns and videos I read them with interest but also a feeling that these columns were perhaps for the sort of girls that don’t already know that Laura Mercier makes the best tinted moisturiser in the world and that Bobbi Brown's lipstick in Nude is the best shade for flattering all skin tones. 

The columns are great and make brilliant reading - short and snappy - she takes a different subject each week like cleansing wipes, red lipstick or make up brushes.  But what is truly great is the video tutorial she does that goes with it.  She has a very calm manner, she never patronises and has loads of make up artist tips. I watched this one at about 2am last night when I was lying awake and Mr Rose was snoring away -  and even though today I look at worst half dead and at best ropey, I used her technique to cover my bags and dark circles and actually I think I look alright.  And I have long held the theory that if you look awake and sprightly then it helps you feel awake and sprightly. 

So get yourselves over to the Guardian website and check out all her videos.  For even the most smug make up fiends. 

You'll be glad you did.  Apart from the men reading this.  Sorry lads.  I feel a bit bad about luring you in with promise of a rugby related post.  Next time, boys. Next time. 

Rose x

Thursday, 8 September 2011

London Theatre - a guest blog

Today we have a guest blog from my pal Tracey who inspired me to start this blog in the first place.  She is a published writer, playwright and theatre reviewer and I asked her if she would give us all some tips on what is hot coming up this Autumn and Winter in London's theatres.  I've already booked for some of these but I think I may have to see a few more.  Now where did I put the credit card... 
Rose x

London has the most vibrant and exciting theatre scene in the world, and if you’re looking to see something on stage this season, there’s plenty to excite – whatever your tastes or budget.

Hamlet at the Young Vic
Michael Sheen might be best known for playing Tony Blair in the film The Queen, but he’s an accomplished stage actor and his Hamlet looks like being one of the hottest tickets of the year. The show runs from Oct 28-Jan 21 and is already selling fast, so get booking...

The National Theatre not only offers a great range of shows but also, thanks to its sponsorship deal with Travelex, a great range of prices – many shows can be snapped up for just over a tenner. A couple to watch out for this autumn are Collaborators by John Hodge, starring stage stalwart Simon Russell Beale, and Comedy of Errors, which features Lenny Henry returning to Shakespeare after earning his spurs in a surprisingly well-reviewed Othello. There is also an as-yet unnamed Mike Leigh play starting in October which is sure to sell out fast, so if you’re a fan, book now. (

Still on the National, if you missed them first time round there are a couple of great shows transferring to the West End. The riotously funny One Man, Two Guv’nors has won James Corden rave reviews – even from those who find his standard comedy persona a little hard to stomach – while ‘Billy Elliot with brushes’ story the Pitman Painters returns to London after a triumphant run in New York (and, less glamorously, its hometown Newcastle) and looks set to be the feel good show of the winter.  and

Another welcome return following an award-winning US run is Jerusalem. Featuring a career-best turn from Mark Rylance, Jez Butterworth’s play has scooped every award going and, having missed out first time round only to have every single person I know rave about how it was the best thing they’ve seen all year, I’m determined to get tickets this time...

Heavyweight writer Stephen Poliakoff returns to the stage with the world premiere of My City at the Almeida – as it’s his first new play for a decade, demand is high so there are already only a few tickets left, but this is sure to be a piece of landmark theatre so worth trying to get one if you can. The show stars Tracy Ullman and starts in October.

This is, of course, only a taster of the wonderful variety available at London’s theatres... to keep up to date with what is on and what is coming out, check out the review site and the news site

Monday, 5 September 2011

Annie, Mr Annie and a Mini Birthday Cake

Mr Rose and I had an EXHAUSTING weekend of making our flat look uncluttered and divine as it goes on the market today!  This is so exiting because we have been talking about it for the last 2 years and have finally got enough $$$ together to move on somewhere a bit bigger and with a garden. 

I think it is safe to say that Mr Rose and I are hoarders.  We must have chucked out over 100 pens.  I have never seen so many pens in my life.  I can't understand how the pen mountain built up so much.  Surely the most pens a couple need at any one time is about 10?  We also have over 10 egg cups.  Now bare in mind a boiled egg is not our egg of choice (Mr Rose likes a poached, I like scrambled - thank you for asking).  Why so many egg cups?  Who knows. 

I gave my extensive cosmetics collection an overhaul with much of it going in the garage or the bin. It is really interesting to see what I saved from storage as it must be the stuff I cannot live without.  The stuff that made the cut was No7 Protect and Perfect face creams, Clarins Body Lotion for night time and Niva Soft body lotion for the daytime. I wont be having a bath without Badedas and Herbal Essences shampoo reigns supreme. 

So after we had packed away chairs, a coffee table, a TV, a stereo, and 20 ikea bags filled with clothes, junk and the aforementioned cosmetics that didn't make the cut we scrubbed the flat from top to bottom.  In the evening my sister Annie and Mr Annie came round to check it over because my housewifery is not my best subject and we needed a fresh pair of eyes to tell us what else needed doing. 

Apart from a few small things (she looked at my kitchen skirting boards as if there was a Russian Spy hiding there) we passed with flying colours.   As it is Mr Annie's birthday today we had a celebratory cup of tea. 

Later on she sent this pic of the birthday cake she made for him which I think is just lovely

yum yum yum

As a bit of context, here is the new car they have just bought

zoom zoom zoom
Spot the difference! 

So happy birthday to Mr Annie - the little brother I never had.  We are all so happy to have you in Da Familia. 

Rose x