Thursday, 12 October 2017


Good Morning to you,

Are you a casual shopper?

Do you enjoy wandering around the shops, for nothing in particular, but to see if there is anything which takes your fancy?

I have to tell you, my days of casual shopping are long gone.

When I was younger, I loved meeting up with my friends to shop.  I shopped with Phyllis and I shopped with Natasha and Danielle and still do when they come to visit, but nowadays I tend not to go to the town as much as I used to.

As I've grown older, I tend to make a note of the items I am running low on.  For instance, if I see that my favourite bottle of perfume is running low, then I write it down in my notepad. I then wait until a few more items have been added, before I take a trip into town.

.... and last Thursday afternoon, I checked my notebook,

and discovered, 

there were enough items on my list to warrant a visit to Newcastle.  I asked George if he fancied a trip into town the following day.  Although before he agreed, he did  check to make sure I was not buying him clothes. When I replied, absolutely not, only then did he agree to come with me.

Now you may be wondering about the 'absolutely not', it does sound rather harsh, but you will understand, when I tell you, that George is a dreadful clothes shopper. He loves wearing nice clothes, but he is an absolute nightmare when it comes to shopping for his clothes, and for someone who is so easy going it really doesn't make sense.  What I have come to realise is, when we were both working, George was super busy and really did not want to think about the clothes he wore, so I took on the role of buying George's clothes.  I would show George the clothes I had bought and he would happily put them on. Although having said that, I do remember on one occasion, I had bought George a pair of brown casual shoes, nothing fancy, just something casual to wear with his corduroy trousers.... yes he loves cords. Well, when I presented the shoes to George, he really did not like them, in fact I would go so far as to say George hated them. 

The offending shoes were relegated to the back of the wardrobe, never to see the light of day, for about 8 years.... honestly I kid you not, 8 years. They were brand new when we moved to Cyprus and they were in the same condition when we returned to England. So a couple of years ago, I decided it was time to do something about the shoes, they really needed to be moved from the back of the wardrobe.  I mentioned to George that I had found the said shoes and if he was not going to wear them, I would donate them to charity.  After all 8 years is a really long time to have a pair of shoes languishing unworn in the back of the wardrobe. George took the shoes and said 'Those are nice, I'll try them on'.  Well, you could have knocked me down with a feather, he really didn't remember them.  I held my tongue as George put on the shoes.  He walked around the room and said 'I like these, they are really comfortable' and so I couldn't help myself, I asked 'How about the colour?' I know, naughty wasn't I,  to which George replied, 'Actually they are nice, I think I'll wear them with my cords'.  Yes he really said that.  Now it could have gone either way, I could have mentioned the fact that George had made such a hullabaloo 8 years ago about the shoes and that was why they remained unworn, but I chose not to follow that tack, because  if I did, I think there would have been a few choice words spoken. So I decided to bite my tongue and say nothing,  so that peace and harmony could remain in the Bryson household.  Although I couldn't help myself, I had to vent my frustration somewhere, so I mentioned what had happened to the girls, who both laughed and said 'That's dad for you!' They then said, 'Don't feel down, you haven't lost your knack, remember, you really do know what dad likes to wear, even if it takes dad a few years to realise it.   So with a smile on my face I left it at that.

So Friday morning arrived and we hopped onto the bus and enjoyed a 30 minute journey into Newcastle. It is so much easier using the bus, rather than trying to find a parking space in town.  It makes the whole shopping experience, much more relaxing.

Our first stop was,

Kiehl's.  I love their products and this Turmeric and Cranberry Seed Masque sounds like it should be added to one of my dishes rather than to my face.  I love this product and I find after applying the masque, my skin looks much brighter afterwards.  I would say that, rather than rinsing off the masque, which contains seeds, I find it easier to use a wet flannel. I buy flannels from the Pound Store and wash them after each use.

The masque is put onto a cleansed skin, left to dry for 5-10 minutes, then water is added to the masque and you gently massage the face before finally removing the masque.

I know turmeric is very popular with ladies who live in India.  Natasha did once bring me a packet of  turmeric from India, especially for the face, but knowing how turmeric stains, I never had the courage to use it.  After all, walking around with a yellow tinge to the face is not a look I like.  However, I promise you, there will be no yellow tinge from this Kiehl's masque, it will leave you with a lovely glow.

We then headed to Holland and Barrett to buy,

some organic quinoa.  I use this quite a lot in my cooking as it is full of protein.  In 2015 we made a Quinoa salad and further back in 2014 we made Tabbouleh using quinoa.

I also bought some Vegan Yeast flakes, because I am trying to introduce more plant based food into our diet.  I was shocked to hear about the way a factory in Bromsgrove dealt with their chickens.  I won't go into detail, suffice it to say, I feel at the moment, a plant based diet is something I am becoming more and more interested in.

.... and now it's time for tea. I wonder, are you like me? Do you sometimes find, when your head is full of 'busy', it is hard to sleep at night. I was talking to Natasha about this, and she suggested trying Valerian tea, as she had read that it was a good aid to sleeping.  So an hour before I go to bed I drink a cup of Valerian tea, and do you know, it's working. What I would say, is, check with your doctor before taking this tea as I know some herbal remedies can interfere with prescribed medications.

It was then time to head over to Neal's Yard.

Are you confused, no it isn't someone's back garden. Neal's Yard is a company which sells ethically sourced products.  My sister in law, Gloria, recommended their products when I visited her a couple of weeks ago. I normally buy Molton Brown products, as I love their hand wash and hand lotion, but when I used the Geranium and Rose hand wash in Gloria's bathroom, I was smitten. I  decided to try the Citrus hand wash and hand lotion as I wanted to use them in my kitchen.  The hand lotion is light and rubs into the hands so easily and the combination of these 2 products are really lovely.

We then headed over to John Lewis where I chose some Christmas material for the 2 quilts I am making. I will not share the material at the moment but I will when I show you the progress I am making with the quilts.

We had thought to stay in town for a coffee, but we were both feeling a little tired, so we decided to head for home, but before we did, there was just one more shop I wanted to pop into. I was hoping to buy a pair of pyjamas for Sadie, my mother in law.

My goodness the buyers must have read my mind, because on a counter near to the entrance, I discovered these lovely flannelette pyjamas,  which I know Sadie will love. It's interesting, because both Sadie and Phyllis, my mother, love pink. Actually I have bought a pair for Phyllis as well.

So job done, we headed for home.  Well almost, as on the way to the bus top, George popped into the Dickman's Pie Shop, where he bought two pork pies.

.... so much for our plant based diet.

Before I leave you, I wanted to say, I am not paid to recommend these products to you.  They are products which I use in my own home and which I thought you would be interested to know about.  I also thought it would be fun to introduce 'Out and About With My Shopping Basket' every 4 weeks.  Sometimes I could share hats... I adore berets, or it could be a scarf or a piece of jewellery, sometimes clothes, maybe flowers, also food.... who knows.  It all depends on what I buy during the week and what I feel will interest you. Knowing me, it will be quite an eclectic mix of items.

So take care and I will catch up with you next Thursday.

As Always,

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