Archive for Cheery Happy Smiles

Pottering in the garden

Posted in Food, Homemade, Journal, Nurturing Nature with tags , , on 30/03/2017 by Jen Healey

What follows is an unfinished post from 4 years ago, when I had a garden to potter about in.  Sure I could delete it, but I think I’ll post it instead… I just did.  For myself more than anything. Shows just how different my life is now.

4 years ago…

“Over the last couple of months I have discovered enjoyment in gardening, I know, how old am I?!  Previously I would not describe myself as having ‘green fingers’, in fact I would’ve gone so far as to say that I had ‘black fingers’, being the kiss of death for anything green.  Although, I have managed to not kill a cactus for over nine years, his name is Sweaty Bill and has survived my neglect.

I started with buying some vegetable propagator kits from a couple of 99p shops, some were even 3 kits for 99p, which I figured was a low risk investment.  If I got a couple of cucumbers I would have made my money back.  I also gratefully received some free plants from a couple of friends of mine and picked up the odd cheap plants that had been marked down for clearance.

Within a couple of days I had some cucumber seedlings popping up – I was genuinely amazed.  Not long after this they were potted up and flourishing, some ended up being donated as I had loads.  Likewise with the courgettes.  At that point my porch (substitute greenhouse) looked like this –


There is Sweaty in the corner with his new little friend.  Donated tomato and pepper plants down the right hand side, cucumbers on the left.  The lupin has been potted outside the front door and seems to be surviving, so far.





Below are donated plants, coriander and French beans.




Little, young plants which needed somewhere to spread out, so I had to start work on the garden.

These are the before pictures –




As you can see, lots to do!

Here are some donated mint plants, these are also ‘before’ pictures.


This is a 99p Chocolate Mint plant below, next to the lamp, which smells AMAZING!



I am very proud to say that my Beth and I enjoyed our first harvest on Tuesday, fresh French beans, they were delicious (for beans) and it was a strangely magic and satisfying experience.  I guess it is the little things that matter –


Admittedly, Beth only ate two, but that’s better than none.  I used the rest to top my ‘packet pasta’, which looks as ‘meh’ as it tasted, improved immeasurably by the addition of my beans – not that I’m bragging…”



…and there we have it.  So strange to look back, it feels like another life now.

It’s been a while…

Posted in Comedy Genius, Journal, Mental Morsels, Music, TV with tags , on 22/07/2013 by Jen Healey

I haven’t so much as checked my emails for a few weeks, let alone checked on the blogiverse.  I’m actually dreading opening my emails, as I fear it might take a huge chunk of time out of my life that I’ll never get back.  There have been two things that have motivated me to actually open my netbook tonight, one of which is my wish to organise myself to get to the ‘David Bowie Is’ exhibition at the V&A before it ends.  The other was watching Russell Howard’s Good News, which has inspired me to debase myself and share a funny animal video.  I know this is not something that my friends will expect from me, but hey it made me smile, which was much-needed this evening.  Check it out –

I know, childish, but I don’t care.  Life is too short to be so fucking serious all the time.  Share some smiles, it’s the best medicine.


Withnail & I

Posted in Comedy Genius, Films, Reviews with tags , , , , on 03/07/2013 by Jen Healey

Last Friday I went to Stratford Playhouse with the lovely Becky Lea, to see a late night showing of Withnail & I. It was an absolute tonic to the hectic hamster wheel that has been my schedule of late. We were not fortunate enough to be sitting in lucky seats, underneath which could be found a free dvd, but this did not detract from the experience. We did get a couple of free badges though, which were very cool.

Now, it is a completely iconic film, in my humble opinion. Which is why it saddens me that many people haven’t even heard of it. It is not because the actors are unknowns – Richard E. Grant, Paul McGann and Richard Griffiths – these are not obscure names, among others of course. An assumption about it I recently encountered was most disconcerting, that it is set in ‘Oliver Twist times’! Errr.. NO.

I believe that Becky is due to write a piece on Withnail & I soon, so I will leave it to her talent to write a review proper. Instead I will name-check her one more time today and include a link to a review she wrote on my beloved Labyrinth.
Enjoy – here.

Ok, I fibbed, I can’t resist adding a little preview from Withnail & I.



Bloody “Dexter” Cupcakes

Posted in Fledgling Foodie File, Food, Homemade, TV with tags , , , , , on 27/05/2013 by Jen Healey

Now these deserve a post all of their very own!


Yum!  They are from here – click.

Thanks A x

Happy Bank Holiday!


Thirty Seconds To Mars

Posted in Music, Reviews with tags , , , , on 24/05/2013 by Jen Healey

Not usually a band that I look up on YouTube, but after catching their latest vid on Scuzz, I thought I’d share –

Love this video!




Posted in Books, Films, Journal, Music, Reviews, TV with tags , , on 23/05/2013 by Jen Healey

As Marc Spitz coined the phrase ‘Bowie-ist’ (see my currently reading shelf ) I thought it would be a fitting title for today, following on from the last post, a much more pleasant ‘ist’ and a pretty accurate description of myself at the moment.  I am, of course, very much looking forward to watching/recording the programme on Bowie this coming Saturday (Five Years).  Not to mention the smile I have when I see the cover on the current Radio Times in all the shops.

aladdin sane

Happily, for me, he is everywhere at the moment – even in the copy of the Big Issue I bought last week and whilst I was doing a bit of shopping today (‘China Girl’ was playing in the supermarket – as I was leaving).  I’m not sure if the term Bowie-ist is meant to imply that those describing themselves as such are anoraks, as I am not.  Only owning a meagre two of his albums (so far!) and being a paltry 30 pages into the biography, does not an anorak make.  I am well aware of that.  I don’t even have his new album, unfortunately.

next day


Having said that, his songs do heavily feature on the soundtrack of my childhood, which did make ‘Hunky Dory’ difficult to listen to for years.  Whilst reading the Spitz book, I did read a part that has stuck with me.

The Inchworm“… became five-year-old David Jones’s favourite.  Simply, it made him feel safe and hopeful when his increasingly discomfiting family life and shyness filled him with guilt and wariness.  The record was never far from his gramophone.

” ‘Inchworm’ is my childhood,” Bowie said in 1993… “It wasn’t a happy one.  Not that it was brutal but mine were a certain type of British parent: quite cold emotionally and not many hugs.  I always craved attention cause of that.  ‘Inchworm’ gave me comfort and the person singing it sounded like he’d been hurt too and I’m into that, the artist singing away his pain.”

Amazing that we are all so different and yet the same, I feel that ‘Life on Mars’ is my childhood, in a similar (bittersweet) respect.  Not that I gained comfort from it, or would have been listening to it by choice as a child, but I remember it repeatedly from my childhood.  I still struggle with that song, as it tugs at something deep down, where I don’t want to go.  So I usually flick past that one (and ‘Changes’) onto ‘Starman’ then ‘Ziggy’ – yes I’m listening to a ‘best of’ CD.

On a more uplifting note, the film Labyrinth is also ‘my childhood’ – hurrah!

I found this on YouTube yesterday, and I know at least one person who (if they aren’t aware of its existence already) will enjoy it almost as much as I did –

God I love that film!

Did you see one of the choreographers?  Yes, that is Dr Beverley Crusher from Star Trek – The Next Generation!

Tenebrous today

Posted in Wonderful Words with tags , on 30/04/2013 by Jen Healey

Wonderful wordy nerdy time!!

  • Tenebrous:  1: shut off from the light: dark or murky  2: hard to understand: obscure  3: causing gloom
  • Captious:  1: marked by an often ill-natured inclination to stress faults and raise objections (we all know at least one person like that)  2: calculated to confuse, entrap, or entangle in argument (ditto)
  • Pleiad:  a group of usually seven illustrious or brilliant persons or things
  • Anent:  about or concerning
  • Bloviate:  to speak or write verbosely and windily
  • Deglutition:  the act or process of swallowing
  • Demagogue:  a leader who appeals to people’s emotions and prejudices in order to gain power
  • Ostensible:  1: intended for display : open to view  2: being such in appearance : plausible rather than demonstrably true or real
  • Mordacious:  (a personal favourite)  1: biting or given to biting  2: biting or sharp in manner or style : caustic
  • Pilgarlic:  (tee hee)  1a: a bald head  b: a bald-headed man  2: a man looked upon with humorous contempt or mock pity
  • Ubiquitous:  existing or being everywhere at the same time : constantly encountered : widespread
  • Cavil:  to raise trivial and frivolous objection
  • Velleity:  1: the lowest degree of volition  2: a slight wish or tendency : inclination
  • Sisyphean:  of, or relating to, or suggestive of the labours of Sisyphus (hahaha – I’m such a child!) ; specifically : requiring continual and often ineffective effort (we’re back to housework!)
  • Cozen:  1: to deceive, win over, or induce to do something by artful coaxing and wheedling or shrewd trickery  2: to gain by artful coaxing or tricky deception

Shall I stop there…?  Nope, not today, here’s some more –

  • Nocebo:  a harmless substance that when taken by a patient is associated with harmful effects due to negative expectations or the psychological condition of the patient (apparently) 
  • Lachrymose:  (ohhhhh, love that one!)  1: given to tears or weeping : tearful  2: tending to cause tears : mournful
  • Impeturbable:  1: marked by extreme calm, impassivity, and steadiness  2: serene
  • Fulgent:  dazzlingly bright : radiant
  • Obeisance:  1: a movement of the body made in token of respect or submission : bow  2: acknowledgement of another’s superiority or importance : homage
  • Rectitudinous:  (hahahahaha) 1: characterized by straightness or moral integrity  2: piously self-righteous
  • Crapulous:  (I’m sure I’ve blogged this one before, but I love it, and it is initially quite fitting that it follows the above word)  1: marked by intemperance especially in eating or drinking  2: sick from excessive indulgence in liquor
  • Torpor:  1: a state of mental and motor inactivity with partial or total insensibility  2: apathy or dullness

That was fun.



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