Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Raindrops On Roses - January

These are a few of my favourite things.


Tea. Can you believe it? Rarely, throughout my life, have I enjoyed a cup of tea but I've really got a taste for it just lately. Nothing fancy here, just good old Yorkshire Tea for a Yorkshire lass. I've got a bit of a weakness for lovely mugs, this is one that Daniel bought me for Christmas, Wrendale by Royal Worcester - Good Hare Day.


Precious and Grace. This was another Christmas gift and the latest in the No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith. These stories, which are set in Botswana, are so charming with a gentle plot, they're so relaxing to read and I'm  thoroughly enjoying this one, I don't want it to end.


Craft House Magic. This is the latest podcast I've discovered and I've now caught up with all the episodes right from the beginning. Ellie's a wonderful host, she's always happy and welcoming and at the moment she's running a sock challenge which is lots of fun for anyone wanting to improve on their sock knitting skills.


My beautiful orchid. This was a gift from a friend and I've had it just over three years now. Contrary to what many people believe, orchids are very easy to look after. I water mine once a week and when the flowers fade, I just snip the flower stem at the base which encourages it to send up a new stem and then it starts to flower all over again. What could be simpler?


Cadbury Starbar. I used to love these when I was younger and then they seemed to disappear from the shelves, I don't know if they stopped making them or if they just stopped selling them in the places I shopped but they've reappeared and my love affair with them has been rekindled. Milk chocolate with peanuts and caramel, yum yum.

What favourites do you have this month? How about joining me and writing a post about them?

49 comments:

  1. I used to love Starbars, really sweet with just a little salty edge, yum!

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    1. I'd forgotten how much I liked them. Lovely for a little treat.

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  2. Great idea for a post :-)
    I'm a tea drinker, i do like coffee but prefer tea preferably Earl Grey, black, no sugar :-) Can you believe that i've never tried a star bar! I love everything in it too :-)

    I'm ashamed to say that i have had orchids in the past and when they have stopped flowering i have thrown them away because i really didn't know if they would come back again, now I know!
    I've only read one AMS book and i found there were too many people to keep track of, but i know that a couple of people at my book club have read a lot of his, perhaps i'll try them again sometime.
    The podcast is new to me so i'll have to check that out later :-)

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    1. I know lots of people who've thrown away orchids after they've flowered, they seem quite exotic plants, don't they, but they're really easy to look after actually. I've only read one other Alexander McCall Smith book other than those in the Ladies' Detective Agency series and I wasn't a fan of it, it's funny how we can enjoy some books and not others by the same author. I'm really enjoying the Craft House Magic podcasts, I hope you do too.

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  3. Hi Jo, I lost my 5 year old orchid this year and I haven't replaced it yet. I must do that. I love your Hare mug. My favourites this month are using up all the bits left over from Christmas, recycling the cards etc and enjoying the crisp sunny days.

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    1. I had a couple of other orchids but they were very old and past their best so they went to the big garden in the sky last year. I meant to keep my Christmas cards so that I could make them in to tags but I forgot all about my intentions in the hustle and bustle of what was happening after Christmas and they ended up in the recycling. Oh well, there's always next year.

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  4. Tea is wonderful. Just think how expensive it was at one time and how relatively cheap it is today. It's just a case of finding the right blend for the water in which you live. And there are so many blends, other than 'builder's tea' - Lapsang, Keemun, Green Gunpowder, to name but three. I like Earl Grey without milk for afternoons, and Indian for mornings. Coffee is great but nothing will replace, for me, a good cup of Rosie Lee!
    Your orchid looks gorgeous. Sorry I can't share your delight in those choccy bars, I don't like sweet Cadbury's candy (wasn't there some dispute some years ago whether, indeed, it could be called "chocolate" as it didn't have sufficient cocoa solids?) as it's too sweet and cloying. Give me a piece of dark, bitter chocolate by Lindt or Hotel Chocolat any day. Some I know recently bought themselves, as a treat, a Terry's Chocolate Orange and said how these had changed into a rather nasty sweet flavour when they used to be crisp, quite dark and orangey. What a pity the formulas have to change (no doubt to make manufacturing cheaper, or to comply with rules and regs as to what goes into these things.)
    Margaret P
    www.margaretpowling.com

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    1. I'm not a coffee drinker so until recently, it was very rare that I had a hot drink. Plain builder's tea is just fine for me at the moment, though there's lots of other blends to try at some point in the future as you say. I enjoy dark, bitter chocolate but I do like Cadbury's too.

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  5. PS I forgot to add my favourite things in January:
    1. That Christmas is done and dusted! I dread the hype which starts in September and continues for more than three months all for one day. Don't get me wrong: Christmas is nice when it comes, it's all that awful 'run up' that I detest.
    2. I love the lengthening days ... by the end of January the street lights don't come on until at least 5.20 pm.
    3. I love frosty mornings even though I feel for workers going to work in the severe cold, but my goodness, it makes the landscape look so pretty.
    4. I love making soup (and better still, eating it.)
    5. I love to see the new growth both in the garden and the countryside; our narcissi are well 'up' in their pots outside, ditto the tulips, and I've bought my first little bunch of daffodils in Waitrose and they are cheering up the kitchen with their bright star-like 'faces'.
    6. I love early morning sunshine pouring into our bedroom, it making patterns on the wall via the Venetian blind, and reflecting 'rainbows' from the prisms in our glass central light fitting.
    7. I enjoy making a start on Spring Cleaning! Yes, I do, I really do!
    8. I enjoy our sea front walks.
    9. And after our walks, I enjoy coffee in our 'local' which is actually a sea-front hotel where we can buy a pot of coffee for two, from which we have two cups each and they bring 4 lovely biscuits with the coffee, all for a little over a fiver, and there are comfy chairs and the papers to read.
    10. I love changing the ornaments on the mantelpiece - putting away now the copper lustre which I brought out in autumn and looking ahead to spring, with some white porcelain.
    January can be a lovely month!
    Margaret P

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    1. You've got a lot of favourites. I absolutely love Christmas and never in the past have I been glad that it's been over, but I was this year. I'm looking forward to it rolling round again though now so that we can make up for the stressful Christmas we had this time. I'm enjoying the lengthening days too, it seems to be all of a sudden that we get a little extra light at the end of the day, though I have to say that I haven't really noticed much of a difference on a morning yet. Coffee in your local sounds lovely.

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    2. Oh, I love Christmas Day when it happens, Jo! We have a great family, and I have always enjoyed Christmas, right from childhood, but it's all the awful hype I can't stand, the constant bombardment in the stores and on TV. I don't think a fraction of what people make or buy is really necessary, and if it was left to men there just wouldn't be a Christmas as we know it. I was in a long queue with my husband in a card shop - I mean a LONG queue - and he was the only male in the shop. It says it all.
      Margaret P

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    3. I love Christmas too. It's all about family for me and as Mick always has the time between Christmas and New Year off work, our celebrations last for much longer than a day. I know our Christmas would be just the same left up to Mick, he had to organise everything one year when I was out of action and he did a fabulous job.

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  6. That mug is lovely - so cute!
    I started to read The No1. Ladies series last year, I agree they're a gentle read, easy and entertaining. I'm looking forward to reading more this year.
    I thought orchids were hard to keep, I might just treat myself to one for the kitchen, it sounds simple enough :)
    I don't think I've ever had a Starbar, but they sound good.

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    1. I love my new mug, Daniel's good at choosing gifts he knows I'll like. I've read all the books in the No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, I'm particularly enjoying this one. I feel as though the characters are old friends now.

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  7. A warm and welcoming post, especially for this time of year.
    This is a good idea for a monthly post, and one I'll hopefully join in with next month. Flighty xx

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    1. There's always things which make me happy or that I enjoy so I thought it would be good to do a bit of a roundup post, I'm pleased to hear that you'll join in with a post of your own.

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  8. I love a good cup of tea myself and that mug is so cute, I have read all, the number one detective agency books and thoroughly enjoyed them. :) x

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    1. I have a bit of a weakness for mugs, even though I've never been a fan of hot drinks up to now. I've really enjoyed the No.1 Detective Agency books too, this latest offering is especially good.

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  9. Starbar! That takes me back. How many of the three are left?!

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    1. Ha ha, I only took the photo this morning so all three are still in the cupboard. Oooh, the restraint.

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  10. Ah, tea is a real good pick me up, though I did drink a lot of coffee whilst working, but limit that to one weak cup per day. I also love ginger/lemon tea & chamomile. I've never watched a podcast! Maybe I could indulge one day. Take care.

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    1. I did used to drink tea more when I worked, but still not often, I've never been able to get a taste for coffee though. Mick drinks coffee but not tea, though only on a morning. Podcasts seem to be the in thing at the moment, there's a good choice of knitting podcasts out there.

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  11. Glad you are enjoying your favourites! I like a straightforward cuppa too, I had a fancy one the other day and it had liquorice in it which I discovered I really don't like. PG tips or Tetley do it for me!

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    1. I love liquorice but not sure I'd enjoy it in tea. My mum and dad always buy PG Tips.

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  12. I love tea as well. We are not tea drinkers in the Philippines but I developed a taste for it some years ago and now I can't go a day without a few cups. Mine is English Breakfast or everyday tea, just milk, no sugar:)
    And I might be joining you with a post of my own favourite things this month soon! x

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    2. I've come across quite a few people from other non tea drinking countries who have developed a taste for it. It would be lovely to read a post of your favourite things, I shall look forward to that.

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  13. I love orchids and always have one in flower, I re potted mine last year, not ate star bars with a peanut allergy here, not something I can eat.

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    1. I've kept orchids for quite a few years now, though I rarely have other house plants, they're just so easy to look after. I love peanuts, well, nuts of any sort actually, I'd hate to have an allergy to them and this sort of allergy is so serious too.

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  14. I've never heard of a Starbar. Mind you, I'm good at not going down the sweetie aisle of the supermarket these days - way too much temptation down there for me! LOL I do enjoy a cup of tea. Either Scottish Blend of Tetley's for me. No milk or sugar, thanks! :o)

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    1. I think that's the secret really, isn't it, keeping away from temptation. The sweetie aisle in the supermarket is always filled with things I could fill my trolley with. My mum drinks her tea with a dash of milk, I don't know why she bothers really as it's just about black.

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  15. I love that mug! I'm not much of a tea drinker either, though that's all I drank when I was younger, now it's usually coffee.

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    1. I really love my mug too, Daniel chose the perfect design. It's funny how our tastes change over time, isn't it?

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  16. How strange that I have never ever heard of a Star bar. I'm afraid I just can't imagine liking a drink of tea but I am with you on the orchid

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    1. Starbars were around in my younger days and then they disappeared completely, they've obviously had a change of heart about them because they're back on the shelves again. Mick doesn't drink tea either but he enjoys a cup of coffee on a morning.

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  17. You can't beat a good cup of tea from a china mug!! Jx

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    1. I'm only just beginning to discover that.

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  18. I'm with you on a good cuppa in a nice mug, it cures whatever ails you and puts a smile on your face... perfection!
    Thanks for the link to the podcast, will have to have a listen.
    A couple of ladies at my Book Borrowers group enjoy his writing, not an author I have read much of, but I did watch the TV series and enjoyed that.
    I'm enjoying a nice cosy open fire in the evenings when DH gets in from work and a nice choccie treat finishing of the Christmas ones still left.

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    1. I think things always taste nicer in a nice cup or mug. I never saw the Ladies Detective Agency on TV, I'll have to see if I can catch up with it somewhere, I'd like to see how it translates to screen. A cosy open fire sounds wonderful, especially when you're huddled round it eating chocolate.

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  19. You can't beat a nice cup of tea ... and like you I enjoy Yorkshire Tea.Your mug looks nice too, there are some lovely designs available.

    I think I may just go and put the kettle on ...

    All the best Jan

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    1. There are some gorgeous mugs around, I must admit that I've got some lovely ones in my cupboard, I can't resist them when I see them.

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    2. Husband and I were given two lovely mugs for Christmas, Jo. They are white china and one has the legend Mr Right on it and the other has Mrs Always Right. Good, eh?
      Margaret P

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    3. I think they'd suit Mick and I to a T, or a tea, ha ha.

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  20. I don't think I ever tried a Starbar and due to allergies I can't now! Shame as they sound really nice (I do miss Cadbury's Twirl!).

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    1. That's a shame. I enjoy most of Cadbury's product range.

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  21. I love your Hare mug! Thank you so much for mentioning me! You have made some lovely things. Ellie x

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    1. I do too, I was thrilled when I opened it up on Christmas day. You're welcome, I'm looking forward to watching your next podcast now I'm all caught up.

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  22. Lovely things indeed! That is a beautiful mug and the orchid is exquisite!xxx

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    1. I love my new mug, Daniel chose well.

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