A lovely day out in Rye.

What a lovely day out us girls had in Rye, East Sussex. Cobbled streets, ancient buildings & great little shops, it's a town steeped in history with something interesting round every corner.  On one of the hottest days of the years we had a very long lunch & walked in the shade the entire time! 

Rye Castle, otherwise known as Ypres Tower & a couple of typical local buildings.  This was a great opportunity to try out my new Olympus PEN, as well as using my i-phone. Am very pleased with the latter, although the settings are a 'mare to work out in sunlight! But it's depth of field (bokeh) is awesome on the flower shots.

There were some interesting doors in Rye, ancient & not so ancient.........

And, of course, the day would not have been complete without an impromptu fashion shoot with the PEN! My bezza Dalia is a natural: both as a photographer & as a model! Not bad for ladies over 60 are we, and I got to wear my favourite Hoss Intropia summer dress in the UK, in August.....most unusual!

A great day out and if you've never visited Rye, make sure it's on your 'must visit' list.  You'll love it. I found some great props for photography in the local market so went home a very happy bunny, letting the train take the strain!

HOW TO BEAT THAT AFTERNOON SLUMP.

Siesta time!

Siesta time!

Do you need a lie down after lunch?  Wake up in the morning feel like you need another hours sleep?  Here are my top tips for more energy (originally written for Gransnet) to get you through your day without the dreaded slump.

SLEEP THIEVES

It's not just an age thing.  Apparently, two-thirds of us aren't getting the quality of sleep we need to keep us going.  But a few dietary and lifestyle changes can really help.  First though, make sure to see your doctor to rule out anaemia, thyroid conditions, diabetes, depression and any thing else that may be concerning you.

Check this list to see if any of these sleep robbers are affecting your sleep:

SLEEP APNOEA
SNORING OR A SNORING PARTNER
DEPRESSION
OVERACTIVE BLADDER
OLD MATTRESS
OVER HEATED ROOM
OVER LIGHT ROOM
PETS SLEEPING ON THE BED
ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT IN THE BEDROOM

A medical expert can help you with the first four on this list, but it’s certainly worth trying these simple solutions for the other sleep thieves: invest in a new, firm mattress, especially if you have a fidgeting pet or partner, use ear plugs if it's noisy, and wear an eye mask if light disturbs you.

Nowadays, electrical equipment is causing more problems than ever before.  Sitting in front of TV’s, lap tops & smart phones, we are bombarded with an electromagnetic frequency of around 100 to 160 Hz.  Our brainwaves vibrate at around 8 Hz.  That means our body is exposed to frequencies that vibrate twenty times faster than our brain waves resulting in a lack of concentration, nervousness and insomnia.  Turn them all off, including the wifi, at least an hour before bed time. 

A cup of coffee at 2.00 pm is supposed to be the optimum time for a more energetic brain!

A cup of coffee at 2.00 pm is supposed to be the optimum time for a more energetic brain!

CUT DOWN ON CAFFEINE & ALCOHOL

If you can, don't drink any caffeinated drinks much after 2:00 pm. Especially strong coffee, as it's the most active stimulant for the nervous system. Even sugar or late meals can disrupt your sleep. I once stayed awake till three in the morning because I had eaten dark chocolate in the evening!

Scientists know that a couple of glasses of wine send you off to sleep, but wine, especially red, also precipitates a burst of norepinephrine (a stress hormone) that causes you to be wide awake at 3.00 a.m! If wine has this effect on you, try and drink your vino early.

Once you've addressed poor sleeping habits, here are some top tips on how to have more energy during the day. 

You can't be full of energy if you're not completely hydrated.

You can't be full of energy if you're not completely hydrated.

WATER

We are made up of at least 70% water (not tea, soft drinks or coffee!).  Our cells, need a constant supply of it throughout the day, much like our plants & our pets! There’s no set amount you should drink as everyone varies in size and height but I have always advised clients to make sure to drink a small glass of water, every hour. You will be surprised how much difference it will make to your energy levels. 

One of my favourite walks to blow the cobwebs away. Peacehaven, near Brighton.

One of my favourite walks to blow the cobwebs away. Peacehaven, near Brighton.

EXERCISE

Getting regular exercise, preferably outside, helps boost energy levels. However tired I feel, just walking my dog to the park rejuvenates me better than any cup of coffee or sugary drink. If you like walking, try the 10k steps programme every day (it doesn’t have to be in one go).  It's not as hard as it sounds and you'll sleep like a log. There are 'phone apps that tell you how many steps you've taken that day and I have written more on this in the above link.

Go to work on an egg.

Go to work on an egg.

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT!

The biggest factor for having more energy is the fuel you are using for your body.  Try these suggestions and you'll be amazed at how much better you'll feel.

Foods that are high on the glycemic index, such as sports drinks, sugary snacks, and starchy carbs, such as white bread & pasta, can give you a “high” followed by a huge crash in energy levels.  Something as innocuous as mashed potato can release sugar into the blood stream almost as fast as sweets or chocolate. It's worth cutting out foods high on the glycemic index during the day to see how you feel.

Keep starchy carbs for the evening meal to help you sleep and try eating more protein at breakfast and lunch, especially eggs and oily fish instead of cereal and sandwiches. Snack on berries, seeds, nuts, and berries instead of sweets & chocolate and drink water, and/or veggie juices, instead of expensive energy drinks. After all, you never see a sluggish bird!

Chia seeds, flaxseeds & walnuts all give you more energy than candy & chocolate.

Chia seeds, flaxseeds & walnuts all give you more energy than candy & chocolate.

IT'S OK TO HAVE A SIESTA!

According to our circadian rhythms, that are many thousands of years old, there are two natural rhythms of sleep: between 10. 00 pm and midnight and between 1.30 and 2.00 in the afternoon. The Spanish obviously know a thing or two!  So don't beat yourself up if you still feel sleepy after following my suggestions. Listen to your body and if you need a lie-down go for it.  Listen to a podcast, a meditation or soothing music.  A twenty minute relax will do you as much good as a ten minute nap and neither will affect your night's sleep. 

Finally, there are two amazing supplements you can try that really help us older folk have more energy during the day. Don't take either of them in the evening and do check with an expert if you are on medication and have any worries. I add maca & spirulina, as well as a raw egg, seeds & nuts to my daily smoothie. 

Maca, the energy powder from Peru. And it's legal!

Maca, the energy powder from Peru. And it's legal!

MACA

Known as Peruvian ginseng, Maca is a sweet brown powder that is a healthy stimulant.  Grown high in the Andes, it’s been used for thousands of years in Peru for fertility, libido and energy. If you are mentally exhausted or physically tired it will help you feel more energetic, vitalised and full of zest for life. 

Spirulina, my favourite energy giving green powder.

Spirulina, my favourite energy giving green powder.

SPIRULINA

I have recently re-introduced this blue-green algae back into my daily smoothie and am astonished by the rise in my energy levels.  I used to need a lie down early afternoon but not anymore!

Spirulina is extremely high in protein & essential minerals and contains large amounts of gamma-linolenic: an important fatty acid that helps energy into every single cell in your body. 

Let me know how you get on trying any of these suggestions. I love to hear from you! 

Update on Suzi's Smoothie for fast days.

Here's a quick update on my last video & blog on how to make my daily health smoothie.  This is a great replacement for meals on fast days, if you're following the 5:2 diet, and will keep you going for hours. And it is full of huge health benefits.  If you're an intermittent faster, or want to be, I do it the easy way: a normal meal the night before by 7.00 pm latest, the smoothie as late as possible the next morning (around 11.00 a.m.) a very light low calorie snack such as a banana at tea time and then a normal meal in the evening at 7.00 pm.  That's 500 calories in 24 hours and you've done a 16 hour pure fast without even trying. Two days a week, too easy!

Here's how: 

Super smoothie ingredients for top skin & top health.  Great for a fast day too.

Super smoothie ingredients for top skin & top health.  Great for a fast day too.

A handful of Swiss chard, spinach & red, orange or yellow pepper & blueberries (forgot them for the video!) These fruit & veg, rich in anti-oxidants,  have been proven to help with weight loss and are the top foods for beautiful skin. 

A teaspoon of spirulina: great for energy, a teaspoon of cinnamon: sorts out blood sugar levels and can help with high cholesterol, a teaspoon of turmeric: all round natural anti-inflammatory & anti oxidant, and a teaspoon of chia seeds.  

The most important part of my smoothie - a tablespoon of extra virgin, raw coconut oil keeps me going for hours & helps with weight loss.

The most important part of my smoothie - a tablespoon of extra virgin, raw coconut oil keeps me going for hours & helps with weight loss.

A tablespoon of golden flaxseeds: a natural form of phytooestrogens & good for healthy bowels, a tablespoon of coconut oil: the healthy fat that helps you lose weight & will keep you full for hours, a tablespoon of goji berries: nicknamed the "happy" berry, they're packed full of anti-oxidants, and a tablespoon of a raw, protein powder. 

I then add a raw egg (be careful if you are elderly or pregnant or at all concerned etc.) and a big glug of kefir: great for the digestion & high in natural bacteria, vitamins & minerals. Too many benefits to mention! I am dairy intolerant but have had no problems with kefir as it's so similar to live yoghurt, which you could also use.

The most complete protein meal on the planet!

The most complete protein meal on the planet!

That little lot comes to no more than 350 calories (leaving 150 cals for a snack mid afternoon) and will keep you full for hours.  Let me know if you try it and how you get on. And please do share any other top tips you have for health & fasting.

Here's the video. Enjoy, and please give me the thumbs up & subscribe on You Tube, when you have time.. Thank you!

Edible insects. Is this our future? I've been trying cricket flour in a health bar.

I have never been squeamish about trying unusual foods.  I was eating snails in garlic butter (l'escargots) in France at the age of 4, strange child!  But when I came across a brand new protein, health bar, that was not only wheat-free, dairy-free, but made from cricket flour, I got really excited about it.

Crobar health bars made with cricket flour.

Crobar health bars made with cricket flour.

What could be better for the environment than getting into foods made from insects? After all, we're pretty adventurous when it comes to trying fried ants, crickets & other creepy crawlies in those night markets in countries like Thailand.  I even tried a bit of a fried tarantula in Cambodia! It tasted just like chicken.

Trying fried tarantula in Cambodia! 

Trying fried tarantula in Cambodia! 

The founder of Gathrfoods & Crobar, Christine Spliid, had her light bulb moment when she was also travelling around South East Asia and noticed how many people eat insects as part of their daily diet, not just in night markets. (By the way, we have a digestive enzyme in our guts which is specifically for breaking down insects, so we've obviously been eating them for thousands of years!)

Christine Spliid, the brains behind Crobar, a health bar made with cricket flour.

Christine Spliid, the brains behind Crobar, a health bar made with cricket flour.

Christine, a Danish thirty two year old runner with a passion for health, realised that a third of the worlds population eat insects and that we should all be thinking about eating them for environmental reasons. Farming insects is sustainable, ethical and takes up hardly any land or feed. In fact, for every pound of meat produced a cow needs over a thousand pounds of feed, compared to insects that require only around a hundred pounds of feed.  Huge difference.

She got to work introducing the health bar to the UK, adding healthful foods such as dates, cashews, goji berries, chia seeds and, of course, cricket flour, and the Crobar was born.  

What surprised Christine, and myself, is how many people in the UK, including vegetarians, are happy to add insects to their diet as an alternative source of protein.  I found the bars delicious so went out and about in Brighton to see how they went down with the locals.

CROBAR FACTS

ISN'T IT CRUEL?

The crickets are raised in a ‘free range’ indoor environment in Canada. They are given ample space to move through the ‘cricket condo’ set up and have access to feed and fresh water.

Once ready to harvest toward the end of their lifecycle (about 6 weeks), the crickets are cooled and then frozen which essentially mimics the natural process of hibernation (diapause) in nature.

WHAT DO THEY TASTE LIKE?

The feed of the crickets is really important to ensure a great flavour. Crobar use organic roasted cricket flour from crickets that have been fed a diet of organic nuts, seeds and fruits, so the flavour is reminiscent of hazelnuts and buckwheat.

ALLERGIES?

Crickets are arthopods, just like shrimps, and some people who are allergic to shrimps have also shown allergic reactions to insects. Until more studies are done, it is safest to not consume insects if you know you are allergic to shellfish/ crustaceans.

WHY CRICKETS?

Crickets in particular contain large levels of protein as well as vital micronutrients. It could be argued that they are also easier to introduce to people compared to insects with less attractive sounding names or associations. But crickets are just the starting point, there are more than 2000 edible insects available, so many other insects will be introduced once people have gotten used to the idea of eating insects.

WHY NOT USE WHEY PROTEIN?

Crickets are completely natural, whereas whey is the by- product of cheese making and industrially processed. Crickets also contain all essential amino acids, have an almost perfect omega 3 & 6 ratio, contain high levels of vitamin B12 as well as iron.

WHERE ARE THEY FARMED?

Crobar source the cricket flour from Entomofarms, a large and reputable cricket farmer in Canada. They are completely transparent regarding the farming and processing methods of their cricket flour, which they believe is extremely important when introducing people to a new protein source like insects. There is no question that quality and safety has to come first. The crickets are being fed an organic diet of vegetables and seeds, and are farmed and killed humanely.

So I hope that's put your mind at rest and you'll give them a try as a great alternative to the usual protein bars on sale. They are perfect as a healthy, wheat-free & dairy-free snack and as a high protein energy boost after working out.  Many experts & environmentalists think the planet will run out of meat one day, so let's get into eating insects! It could be the most sustainable superfood on the planet.

Let me know if you have eaten insects and how you feel about this growing, healthy trend.  I would love to hear your views and comments, as always. Meanwhile, I look forward to trying the cricket flour out at home and will keep you posted!

KEY LIME PIE IN A GLASS - AND IT'S HEALTHY, SLIMMING, WHEAT-FREE & DAIRY FREE!

Dairy-free key lime pie in a glass! So good for you, so delicious!

Dairy-free key lime pie in a glass! So good for you, so delicious!

OMG This Nutribullet recipe is soooo tasty, I cannot believe it's also good for you and will give your skin, body & brain a great, big beautiful boost.  And it's easy!  Ingredients below.  Put them into the Nutribullet or blender in that order, whizz up and drink: job done! 

2 Tablespoons of Spinach

2 Tablespoons of lime juice

1 frozen banana

1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla essence

1 date

1 Tablespoon of Coconut oil

1 1/2 US cups of Almond milk

HAVE A LOOK ROUND MY COTTAGE BY THE SEA

I love having a snoop around friends' houses.  So here's a little video showing you my home and all the things I have done to make it as stylish as I can on a budget.  Much like my fashion choices, I choose some real bargains but spend more money on 'accessories', like art and vases. It's been a work in progress converting a two up, two down into a bit of a Tardis with great sea views. It's taken six years but I am really happy in my home now!  Hope you like.

You can find more ideas on how I furnished The Garden Room and a great idea for hiding yourclothes on the links. 

Let me know your great interior ideas and see you soon.

Saffron: if you suffer from depression, this is the spice for you.

Spices: Chinese five spices, saffron and turmeric. 

Spices: Chinese five spices, saffron and turmeric. 

All spices are good for your health, they've been used for their medicinal properties for thousands of years.  My favourites are turmeric & cinnamon, which I add to my daily smoothie. But now there's a new kid is on the block, for me, that I couldn't wait to share.  What I didn't know, till very recently, is the amazing health benefits of saffron: probably the most expensive spice in the world! (It comes from a small purple crocus and the flower's stigmas have to be collected by hand - very labour intensive.)

Saffron,  possibly the most expensive spice in the world!

Saffron,  possibly the most expensive spice in the world!

Historically, saffron has been used as a traditional medicine by herbalists for reducing fevers, cramps and as an aphrodisiac!  More recently, research shows that saffron has also been found to have anti-carcinogenic properties, is a fantastic anti-oxidant, reduces inflammation in the body, and can improve eye health by slowing down macular degeneration. 

But most exciting of all, it's been proven in scientific studies, announced on Channel 4 programmeSuperfoods,  that 10-20 strands a day, or 30 milligrams, can raise serotonin levels enough to have an excellent effect on depression. (here's a link to one of the many papers on this)  In a 6 week trial in the UK, patients were found to have a very similar improvement in their mood as those on a prescribed anti-depression. So all great news. 

Apart from adding a few strands to your cooking, the easiest and most beneficial way of trying it out on yourself is by making a couple of glasses of saffron tea a day........

If you have any health conditions, or are pregnant, don't use a supplement form of this spice without checking with your doctor first.  A few strands of saffron in a cup of tea is very different from a pill manufactured in a laboratory, natural or other wise. And if you are on any medication or at all concerned, it's always wise to check with a health practioner before making any major dietary changes.

Saffron tea, lifts your mood better than an ordinary cup of tea.

Saffron tea, lifts your mood better than an ordinary cup of tea.

EASY SAFFRON TEA

3 to 4 strands of saffron
A little honey
Water

Put the saffron in a cup or glass with a little warm water and leave for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, pour boiling water over it and add a little honey to taste.

Saffron tea can taste a little bitter so add a teaspoon of honey to sweeten it. 

Saffron tea can taste a little bitter so add a teaspoon of honey to sweeten it. 

If you're travelling abroad this summer, especially Asia, Morocco and Turkey you will find it cheaper in the local spice markets than in stores in the West. But be careful of poor imitations.

As ever, please add any comments about this beautiful spice.  Have you tried it? Has it helped you or anyone you know? Meanwhile, I will be trying it out as soon as I have bought some more to see if it has any impact on my sex drive or mood!  I will report back.

See you soon,

HOW TO HAVE HEALTHY HAIR AT ANY AGE.

Originally, this post was about how to have healthy hair using nutrition and supplements.  However, since the start of 2016, I have been growing my red/orange colour out to go naturally and fashionably grey.  It's a very long & pricey process involving bleaching my hair to an inch of its life but I am glad to report that thanks to Olaplex, a good hairdresser, and my healthy diet, it has remained thick and healthy!

If you have a red or orange permanent tint, going grey involves going to the hairdresser every 3 months and a lot of bleaching.  But the transition is going very well and I should be grey by Xmas!

If you have a red or orange permanent tint, going grey involves going to the hairdresser every 3 months and a lot of bleaching.  But the transition is going very well and I should be grey by Xmas!

The good news is I have far fewer trips to the hair dresser to cover my roots and I think this in between stage is so much more flattering to my ageing skin tone. The bad news is that you need the patience of a saint and a hefty bank balance! But I should be there in a few months and it will all have been worthwhile in the end. Watch this space.  Meanwhile, here are my tips for having healthier hair.

Here I am with the great Trevor Sorbie in the days of bright red hair!

Here I am with the great Trevor Sorbie in the days of bright red hair!

Part of the reason my hair's so thick at Well Over Fifty (over 60 actually!) is my genes. I am half Bulgarian, and from what I've seen in my mother's country, they all seem to have thick hair, and strong nails & teeth. The foods I grew up eating, and still do, certainly helped as well. Think Mediterranean diet.  Also, because of it's thickness & unruliness, I have never washed my hair more than once a week! Most hairdressers have agreed with me over the years, less is more, and washing it less frequently can help keep your hair from thinning.

My orange phase.  It was great at the time.

My orange phase.  It was great at the time.

But the main reason women's hair thins as we get older is falling oestrogen levels. Dull, coarse & greying hair is the so-called natural process of ageing. Bummer! Oestrogen-rich foods are listed below. Another reason for thinning hair could be due to a sluggish thyroid, which needs iodine to help it function properly. (If you are on any medication for your thyroid, please check with your doctor first, before incorporating any of these suggestions into your diet) 

IODINE-RICH FOODS

Add kelp, or other sea vegetables to your meals or take in supplement form. Spirulina & wheatgrass are also the best for encouraging hair-growth as is nettle tea. In fact, one top tip I found is to use nettle teabags rubbed into your scalp to stimulate hair growth.  Nettles contain huge amounts of vitamin C, which helps hair growth, as well as natural silicone, which helps protect and strengthen the hair shaft. (Please let me know if you try this weird one and have any success!) A list of the best foods & supplements are below.

I had such success taking spirulina that my hair began growing too fast.  That's why I started wearing my trade mark head scarves.  They hide my roots so I don't have to get my colour/color done so often! 

Here are a few of my dietary suggestions & why.  Let me know how you get on, and good luck!

HAIR HELPERS. MY TOP TEN TIPS.

Vitamin C: all berries, oranges, lemons or a supplement Think orange, yellow & red fruit & veg.

Cucumber: rich in silicon & sulphur for strong skin, nails & hair

Nettle tea or fresh nettles from your garden!

Essential Fatty Acids: Omega 3 in the form of: flaxseed oil, flaxseeds (a natural form of plant oestrogens), oily fish such as salmon, or a fish oil supplement, & chia seeds.

Avocados & avocado oil: a power house of hair nutrients!

Argan oil: great for hair and skin because of the high Vitamin E content.

Green powders such as wheatgrass & spirulina.

Sea vegetables such as kelp & nori.

Green veg: such as kale, spinach & swiss chard: for all the essential minerals, such as calcium & magnesium.

Eggs: high in lecithin and all the amino acids needed to help your cells grow stronger.

And finally, there are many supplements around especially made for hair, skin & nails.  I am a big fan of Vitabiotics, because they are very well researched, so give one of theirs a go. 

Let me know if you're going naturally grey and how you are doing if you are.  Can't wait to show you my proper grey hair when it's ready!

BIKINI: TO WEAR OR NOT TO WEAR.......

It's finally bikini weather in the UK but us women of a certain age are not always happy in a two piece, and, apart from the occasional fab picture of a celebrity like Helen Mirren wearing one, it seems to be frowned upon in the press for women over 50 to be sporting a bikini.  Women in Brazil aren't like that, all ages are strutting their stuff on Ipanema Beach not giving a jot in the skimpiest of outfits!  And they look great!  But for the rest of us the thought of baring a midriff, let alone less than perfect thighs and upper arms, fills us with dread!  

No photoshop used. This is the first bikini I have bought in a decade. Big bottoms & great style.

No photoshop used. This is the first bikini I have bought in a decade. Big bottoms & great style.

However, I have updated this blog since last year and bought a fabulous bikini in Australia with nice big bottoms.  The top is so gorgeous it doubles up with khaki shorts for power walks along the beach in Byron Bay. No wonder my arms are ruined! Not sure I would wear it in the UK but certainly would in Europe as women there aren't so age conscious either. 

Here I am, in my mid-60s, sporting a bikini!  It's not been photo shopped so you can see my bingo wings and flab in all it's reality! Well blogs are supposed to be honest & sharing!

Here I am, in my mid-60s, sporting a bikini!  It's not been photo shopped so you can see my bingo wings and flab in all it's reality! Well blogs are supposed to be honest & sharing!

However if you don't want a two piece and, If you are like me and have short legs, a swimsuit doesn't cut it either.  I find them deeply unflattering, on my body.  But there is a great happy medium (thank you Mary Lambert For introducing me to them) that I am happy and confident wearing: the TANKINI!  A cross between a swimsuit and a bikini!  I love them. The top is often ruched so covers up a multitude of sins, and it can be worn with shorts or a skirt (great for minimal holiday packing), the bottoms aren't bikini brief and are cut more flatteringly than most swimsuits and best of all you can still brown your tum whilst lying down in the sun by just hoisting the top up!  (Safe hours only if you value your skin , avoid sunbathing between 11-3) Voila, a bikini and a swimsuit but more flattering!

My little green number above was bought from Boden years ago and is still my favourite. There are loads on-line, here's just one example of their many tankinis shown below. The red designer one was bought last year and was a bit pricier. It's by Profile, an American Brand, but it gets so many complements it was so worth it.  Loving the 50's retro straps on the tap.

Boden tankini

Boden tankini

There are tankinis all over the high street this year and you can get a great variety, really cheaply, from shops like  M & Co   The one below is just £16, and there are loads of great looking styles on-line or in the shop.

M & Co tankini

M & Co tankini

Finally, if you live near a pebbly beach, these sea shoes are a must! They're one of my best buys ever and there are loads of similar really cheap ones on-line. See below.

How cool are these Beco babies, and really cheap.  They would look great with a black or black and white tankini!

So you're now ready to hit that beach looking fabulous and feeling confident and comfortable.  I'm wearing my tankini and sea shoes today as it's a swimming/beach day and unusually hot for the UK. Have a great summer, see you soon!

Suzi x

I like your style - UK folk.

I love going out and about taking photos of anyone over 45 who is looking stylish, individual & just plain interesting.  So here are a few of the folk I've enjoyed photographing in London, Brighton & Chichester.  A couple of them are under 45 but wearing vintage, my favourite style.  But everyone else is over 45, over 50 and some are over 60!  What I love about them is that they all have their own individual style, wear lots of colour and aren't afraid of looking different or eccentric.

None of them look like mutton dressed as lamb, I'm sure you'll agree, and they certainly don't look old & drab.

Enjoy and please send me a photo if you'd like to be featured!

HOW TO SURVIVE A FESTIVAL AT ANY AGE

Dressed as a ladybug a few years ago at Latitude Festival.  Note the black thermal leggings & top!

Dressed as a ladybug a few years ago at Latitude Festival.  Note the black thermal leggings & top!

I love a Festival!  They're not everyone's cup of tea, but many thousands of us all over the world, including us oldies, obviously feel the same way as I do because we now have 900 festivals in the UK alone this year to chose from, despite our crazy climate.  For us baby boomers, who grew up dancing in a field, followed by crawling into a cold tent at night, it means getting back to our hippie roots for four hedonistic days & nights of utter freedom, in a kind of temporary bubble of happy, like-minded people being, doing and wearing whatever we like.... and I for one don't want to stop, not till I am dragging my zimmer frame through 3 inches of mud!

I like the whole camping, back to nature vibe as, for me, it just isn't the same going as a day visitor and then sitting in a traffic jam for hours trying to leave. However, at this age, I need more comfort than torture, and unless I am lucky enough to stay in a camper van these are my top tips on how to survive a a Festival without packing the kitchen sink and doing your back in carting all that stuff across miles of fields from the car!

Last year we went back to Latitude Festival, a big favourite of mine as it's a bit more grown up than many others, more oldies ageing disgracefully, and offers so much to do; from big name headliners to swimming in the lake or watching Ballet, there are simply not enough hours in the day!  But, most importantly, they have a Glamping field, this year run by Pink Moon.  There you can rent a ready erected tent complete with mattress and even a camping chair, pus the field has its own toilets, showers & a cafe.  And it doesn't cost much more than one night in a good hotel. Best bit of all is not having to grapple with a pop up tent, which will not pop down whatever you do, after four days of walking miles, dancing and late nights.  Worth every penny if you're 50+.  Any age, come to think of it!  

With accommodation sorted, I can now turn my thoughts to Festival Fashion and the essentials to make life a bit easier.

The one top tip I would pass on is to stick to a colour scheme to keep packing to a minimum and only take clothes you don't mind ruining|  This year, I'm going for khaki and orange (apparently orange is the new black, so I will be bang on trend!).  Khaki shorts & vest with a green and orange kimono and green wellies should do the trick during the day and whatever outfit I wear at night, I'll wear thermals underneath!   I am even taking my Parka, as it will keep me warm and it will work with everything else.  Toe nails and finger nails have been painted orange - tick!

Some of the Festival outfits I have worn in the past: Saturday night is dressing up night, but I am never without those thermals and a warm cardi and coat!

Comfort is also the name of the game when it comes to clothes, so I never take onesies or tight jeans.  Always loose clothes, not too long, and easy to lift up or pull down in the main toilets, which are never pleasant especially in the dark!  Sheepee urinals are gaining popularity at Festivals.  I love them 'cause they have far shorter queues, but you do have to pee like a bloke standing up so another reason to not wear tight pants! Practise at home if you've never used one.

For day time, if it's mud free, I wear very comfortable sandals for walking miles, because you do walk miles....and miles.. The Fit Flops above have probably walked round the world several times I have had them so long. I also wear a small back pack which will contain a sarong or old pashmina to lie on or to wear, a pac a mac, sunnies, sun cream, tissues, camera & water.   

When it comes to the bigger back pack, or suitcase, these are the other essentials to help make my life almost comfortable:

Packing essentials for me: 

A highlighter!: Latitude Festival has an enormous programme, It's good to sit every morning and highlight what we want to see that day or you end up missing the best act in the world because you're the wrong end of the site.

A comfortable small pillow. Along with my sleeping bag, these are not items the Glamping fields provide, unless you're in an expensive five star, fully furnished Yurt. Must try one one day.....maybe when I'm older!

A thermos flask that keeps water hot for 24 hours!  I will fill up at the cafe last thing at night so we can have coffee or tea bags first thing! This is a new buy this year and it works amazingly well. Very impressed.

Ear plugs, essential to block out the loud snoring from the next tent, let alone the music!

Minimal beauty routine in miniature sizes.  It's really difficult to find things at night even with a..........

Head torch & black out mask.  The mornings can be hideous too......the sun comes up, it gets boiling hot and you wake up needing to throw all your thermals off as soon as poss!  The mask helps for siestas and snoozes.

And, most important of all, Travel Johns!  The best thing ever for anyone who gets up in the night needing a pee. These are hygienic, non-smelly disposable urinals which turn solid once used so you can throw away in the morning!  Best thing since sliced bread.

A few other must haves for this year that I'm trying for the first time are; a tankini (see my blog on this great alternative to a swimsuit/bikini) to go swimming in the lovely lake and it doubles up as a top to go with my khaki shorts; wet wipes that remove make up & hopefully clean me....surely if they're good enough for your face they're good enough for other parts of your anatomy - energy bars for those middle of the night munchies, and of course I mustn't forget a hat....and my plethora of head scarves! 

 

 

 

 

 

If you're also going to a Festival, have a really great time & I hope my tips & the list below will help.  All that remains for me is to pack some Vitamin C and a positive attitude! I'll blog after Latitude, so see you then.

Suzi x

MY PACKING ESSENTIALS FOR A FESTIVAL.

Sleeping bag, water bottle, disposable urinal, small towel, thermos flask, coffee & tea bags, mug, minimal skin care & make up, sunscreen, hat, swimmies, comfy shoes, wellies, tissues, loo paper, party but comfy clothes, pacamac, Parka, thermals, portable camping seat, head torch, insect repellant,ear plugs, eye mask, hat, sox, gloves, energy bars, a highlighter, vitamin C, lip balm & plenty of cash.

MY THREE FAVOURITE SUMMER DRESSES.

I've had a video made called 'Suzi's Wardrobe'.  Click on the photo below. Thought you'd find it a bit of an insight into what I am about style-wise & how I hang on to some stuff for decades just updating the old with new accessories to get a vintage & retro look without spending much money.  Hope it inspires you!  

Also take a look at how I get into my 'wardrobe' right at the beginning of the video.  The sliding doors were driving me mad 'cause I always wanted something in another part of the cupboard. Slide open....slide shut.....slide open another door......slide shut! You know the sort of thing.  So my top tip to share with you is what I did.  I bought a roller blind for the entire length of the cupboard! It's easier, cost about a third of sliding doors and looks amazing. 

Photographs and details of the outfits follow on after the video.  Enjoy. And, as usual, would love to hear from you. Harriet Jackman shot and edited this video for me.  Clever girl!

So here are some of the outfits that Harriet Jackman filmed so beautifully, in still form.  Casual, dressy, & vintage. The first outfit is a very cheap dress that I found in a market in Brighton many years ago, made by Nomads.  It is one of my favourite summer dresses because it's got lining, so is a bit warmer, and I always get compliments when I wear it because of the colours.  It's one of my 'lucky' dresses & I wear it for casual days out when the weather's behaving.

This one was photographed for me by my cousin Becka Archer. Thank you. No one comes to this house and gets away with just lunch!

I've dressed this up with a bangle, bought from a market for £2, a vintage looking silk headscarf, found for a fiver in Montenegro, vintage sunglasses from Fabulous Fanny's in NYC, a beautiful cashmere cardi from Boden (they often have a sale on), and my sparkly, but very comfortable,FitFlop sandals. Matching toe nails were a happy co-incidence! 

The next dress is a wonderful vintage, original 50s dress that a dear friend gifted me. So there is little I can tell you about it except to say I love it and it looks great with a pop of colour, hence the little orange bag. I would wear this for a smarter, day time event, like a vintage fair or a tea party. Don't you just love those 50s buttons on the front? Again, the tinted specs, frames only, were found very reasonably at Fabulous Fanny's in NYC.  That was a lucky find.

And finally, my one purchase this summer: a smart, lined black and white dress for outings like Goodwood Races, where I was as warm as toast this year, because it's lined! The dress is byJames Lakeland & I bought in Indigo, in a sale!

 You know how much I love colour but black and white looks very classy for the odd summer event, especially dressed up with a hat. You can see the dressed up version on my post aboutThree Friday Nights at Goodwood.

This is the dressed down version:  vintage sunglasses, gifted to me years ago, a monochrome head scarf from the high street, a big silver bangle from, believe it or not, the shop at the National Portrait Gallery & my lovely little silver sneakers found at yet another market in Australia! Look whose photo bombing one of the shots.

So hope you enjoyed my three favourite dresses for summer: the cheap, the vintage & the designer.  As usual, I would love to hear what you're wearing during this very changeable summer and how you're coping with our four seasons in one day!

See you next time. 

BAKED SALMON & SALSA VERDE.

I try to eat Omega-3 rich, oily fish like salmon as often as possible.  Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid that supports every single cell in our bodies so eating oily fish at least 3-4 times a week will keep skin plumped and your brain, heart and joints healthy.  (There's more info plus a list of the best oily fish to eat in my post on how to have happy hormones

Here's one of my favourite, quick and easy, recipes for a non-meat day. Let me know if you like it!

Baked salmon, salsa verde, rocket/arugula and avocado.  A really easy, healthy non-meat meal.

Baked salmon, salsa verde, rocket/arugula and avocado.  A really easy, healthy non-meat meal.

The salmon bit is easy.  Pre-heat oven to: 400F, 200C & 180 for fan assisted ovens & 6 for gas.  Wipe the salmon steaks with kitchen towel, pop in a piece of foil with plenty of room for air to move around so it doesn't dry out, like a little tent. Pop onto each piece of salmon a slice of lemon, pepper, and pesto if you don't like the salsa verde recipe. After 15 to 20 minutes it should be cooked to perfection. Meanwhile you can get the salad ready & prepare the salsa verde.

Home made salsa verde. It's a sharp, tangy sauce that goes well with fish and meat.

Home made salsa verde. It's a sharp, tangy sauce that goes well with fish and meat.

INGREDIENTS FOR SALSA VERDE FOR TWO OR MORE.

One peeled clove of garlic, 2 tablespoons of capers, 3 gherkins, 3 anchovies, 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard, 4 tablespoons of olive oil, 1-2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, a small handful of flat-leaf parsley & one of basil, and seasoning.  You shouldn't need salt unless you hate anchovies. This recipe is also awesome with lamb, if you eat lamb. Just add fresh mint. 

I put all these ingredients into my mini electric blender and it turns out just right.  Many thanks toJamie Oliver for the recipe. 

If you want a really healthy & summery meal, add rocket/arugala and avocado and any other salad you like. Spinach would be good too. I have also taken to adding a little parmesan to a rocket or spinach salad. It's really tasty. There's another healthy recipe, using these nutritious greens for aCaesar salad here.

Love a bit of fresh parmesan over salad. Gives it a nice bite.  Try and get rennet-free if you're vegetarian or vegan.

Love a bit of fresh parmesan over salad. Gives it a nice bite.  Try and get rennet-free if you're vegetarian or vegan.

Hope you enjoy this light, healthy meal.  Your comments are always very welcome.

Summer fashion, for fairs, festivals & fun.

You probably know by now that I love a music festival, and any other summer outdoor event. I haven't booked my usual 5 day camping festival this year at Latitude, but I have been to a couple of day long festivals and, because we haven't had a real hot summer yet, what to wear has proved even more difficult than normal.

Here are a couple of ideas of what I would normally wear for a long day out going into evening......and what I actually ended up wearing because of the iffy weather.  I haven't gone to many places in the UK without packing leggings, if I am wearing a summer dress (rare this year!), a cardi & a parka! 

This is what I wanted to wear for the amazing BSTHyde Park festival with Massive Attackheadlining recently.  The top is at least a decade old, from Whistles, & the trousers were found inH&M in a sale last year for just £10!  They have a sale on now. These are the sort of clothes that are comfy, cool and a lovely clash of colour and print. And I don't mind getting mud on cheap or old clothes!

Photos by Harriet Jackman.

I dressed up the above party outfit with a retro scarf found in a market, vintage sunglasses, a 50s belt from Vivien of Holloway, and a bangle from a charity shop. Sadly, I haven't had a chance to wear this bright, summer look yet!

This is what I actually wore to Hyde Park, stopping off for a lovely long lunch at the Botanist in Sloane Square, London with my gorgeous god daughter Emma. I was meeting her new husband that day, so needed to make an impression and be ready for a muddy park!  So another vintage headscarf, tinted vintage specs, & retro shirt found in a market in Australia for £8 and new leggings (£95) from Hope Fashion. I was also wearing a vest under the shirt and my out of shot parka was very useful when the showers came & the temperature dropped! My shoes were the most expensive item from Lanvin, long story, but they were also the most comfortable while looking smart enough for Sloane Square!

Despite the short, sharp showers, it was a fantastic day and evening and, in the end, the clothes I chose were perfect to take me from lunch in a smart restaurant to a festival where bright, happy clothes are a bit of a must, as long as they're comfortable!

Lovely double rainbow at the BSTHydePark Festival after light rain.

Lovely double rainbow at the BSTHydePark Festival after light rain.

I would love to hear what you are wearing this summer to get round fluctuating temperatures and rain showers? Not easy trying to look like a fashionista in this weather is it?

Thinking out of the box - my latest space saving idea

I have always had this gorgeous retro, shabby chic cupboard in my spare room.  Now I have a new guest room, I have changed my 2nd bedroom into a dressing room.  The cupboard became just somewhere to hide things, like Christmas decorations! So I thought out of the box, and changed it into a shoe cupboard. Getting dressed has certainly got faster. Hope you like.

I bought all the items long before blogging days, so am afraid I haven't a clue where they all came from, other than I would have bought them in Brighton!

Let me know what other space saving tips you can pass on.  I always love to hear tips about de-cluttering, and storage solutions for the home.

A ten quid vintage skirt dressed up to brighten up a dull day!

You know by now how much I love up-cycling, digging around for vintage or retro pieces and generally just "dressing up!".

This is the ridiculously cheap skirt I found in Trash, Byron Bay.  I couldn't resist it because of the colours. Here's how I tarted it up with accessories so I could wear it for smart or casual. And here's the best bit - no one else will have one like it - which is why I am such a huge fan of searching out vintage pieces.

See below for details. Photos by Harriet Jackman.

Vintage sunglasses frames from Fabulous Fanny's in NYC. Big scarf tied round my head came fromElif Kose in Rottingdean and was in her sample bin! The vintage shirt was another bargain fromTrash in Byron Bay. The belt's from Vivien of Holloway for £15.  The cashmere cardigan from Bodenis my only big purchase (there are some great ones on sale now for £62.50) but it goes with everything so gets a lot of wear. The sandals are a couple of years old and came from FitFlop.  And finally, the bangle was found in a great vintage shop in Chichester for a couple of quid. I really must start making notes of where I go rummaging!

Total cost of my "new" outfit: well under £200 and everything mixes and matches with at least four other looks. I could have spent that on just the skirt!

Happy shopping, it needn't cost a fortune for a whole new look!

MY FIRST BLOGGERS CONFERENCE: BLOGTACULAR, LONDON 2016.

The entrance to the conference.  The venue chosen by Blogtacular for the conference was excellent: etc.venues near St. Paul's.

The entrance to the conference.  The venue chosen by Blogtacular for the conference was excellent: etc.venues near St. Paul's.

What a fantastic and worthwhile couple of days that was! I wasn't sure I would get much out of it as I am not a crafter & was probably the oldest woman there!  But quite the reverse. I met so many wonderful women, learned so much, ate great food and on Friday night, at West Elm, certainly drank more than enough wine........

The evening drinks was held at the beautiful modern furniture & accessories shop West Elm. 

The evening drinks was held at the beautiful modern furniture & accessories shop West Elm

Sadly, I didn't get many photos I was taking in so much & didn't even get my DSLR out!  But I did learn how to use Snapchat (see above) thanks to the lovely Lucy.   (My Snapchat handle is: Suzi G Alternative Ageing)  Lucy also stood in as hand model for our video editing workshop run by the brilliant film maker & photographers Xanthe Berkeley. (You can see my very short effort at the end of this blog)  Learning those two skills alone just thrilled me! Thank you both of you.

Apart from my personal highlights, it goes without saying that the whole Blogtacular conference: the speakers, the organisers, the workshops, the catering. and the friendly atmosphere made it a hugely informative and helpful event. I'm sure you all agree. 

Photos below supplied by Mollie Makes, thank you!

Most important of all were the wonderful bloggers I met over the two days.  I wish I had photographed more of you but at least you can see a few of the colourful outfits & hair that I snapped. Ladies, I Like Your Style!

But wasn't all work & blogging talk.  I did manage to re-connect with London by spending Friday afternoon and night there. 

I stayed at the Grange Hotel, St. Paul's for FREE thanks to all the points I've saved on my Amex. And because my room wasn't ready at 3.45, they upgraded me to an Executive Room!  Couldn't believe the view out of my window let alone the one from their roof terrace. 

I even managed to get in a quick photo walk of my own across the Millennium Bridge to Tate Modern.

Great view of the London skyline from the Millennium Bridge. How many landmarks can you name?

Great view of the London skyline from the Millennium Bridge. How many landmarks can you name?

I didn't have a lot of time before the party at West Elm, but managed to get to the 4th floor of Tate Modern and have a little look round. Loving that tree sculpture on the ground floor. 

 And, if you haven't seen it already, here's a very short Instagram video of the beautiful flowers provided by Grace and Bloom that we filmed for our edit course.

Blogtacular you were Spectacular.  Kat and Co. you so deserve this bouquet! Thank you.

HOW TO LOOK STYLISH & FABULOUS - ON A BUDGET.

My Pucci dress found at a vintage fair in Brighton.  So thrilled with my bargain of the year! The frames for my tinted spectacles were found in Fabulous Fanny's in NYC. Photography by A Beautiful Weirdo 

My Pucci dress found at a vintage fair in Brighton.  So thrilled with my bargain of the year! The frames for my tinted spectacles were found in Fabulous Fanny's in NYC. Photography by A Beautiful Weirdo 

Up-cycling is the name of my game! I find amazing pieces at vintage fairs, charity shops, clothes swaps and second hand shops. The dress I am wearing above is Pucci and I haggled it down to £90. That dress would have cost me many hundreds of pounds, possibly over a thousand, to buy retail and I really do feel like a million dollars wearing it to a special event.

Don't be afraid of colour - black is draining and ageing (especially near your face) - and wear what suits your shape and style. Cover the bits that make you feel less confident and you will feel and look absolutely fabulous.

HAIR

The first stage of letting my hair grow out to natural, on trend, grey hair! Photography by A Beautiful Weirdo.

The first stage of letting my hair grow out to natural, on trend, grey hair! Photography by A Beautiful Weirdo.

Your crowning glory is one of the few areas you should spend a bit of money on. After 30 years of dyeing my hair red or orange and trekking into the hairdresser every six weeks for root touch-ups, I have decided to go naturally and fashionably grey! That'll save a fortune.

However, a good cut and regular conditioning are essential, especially after 40, whether you dye your hair or have gone natural. Save money by finding a model evening at the best salons that will cost you nothing but your time. Look out for special offers and consider a mobile hairdresser who will come to your home. They don't have the overheads a local salon will have.

The sunglasses are from Trash in Byron Bay and the top from H & M. 

SHOES

Lovely comfy but quite stylish Ecco sandals. I can walk for miles in these! Photography by A Beautiful Weirdo.

Lovely comfy but quite stylish Ecco sandals. I can walk for miles in these! Photography by A Beautiful Weirdo.

The one area that you shouldn't scrimp on. An Italian friend of mine (you can see her in myGoodwood blog) came up with the best quote ever: "You should never buy cheap shoes or a cheap bed because you are either on one or the other!"  Comfort is essential for me but comfort & style rarely come cheap. But that doesn't mean you have to over spend.  I bought the most comfortable and fashionable ankle boots from Kurt Geiger - in the summer.  They were half price.  Shop around, online and in the stores, at sale time, and you'll find a bargain that's both comfortable and stylish. 

HEADWEAR

My sunnies were from Trash in Byron Bay and the turban is from Fullana. Photography by A Beautiful Weirdo. 

My sunnies were from Trash in Byron Bay and the turban is from Fullana. Photography by A Beautiful Weirdo. 

DRESS YOUR HAIR!

Turbans, headscarves and hats can all turn any old outfit lurking at the back of your wardrobe into a "wow" outfit.  And they're cheap as chips, especially if you look in markets, charity shops and on-line.  I have also found head scarves a real bonus for covering my roots while I am growing my hair back to natural, so they save money on root touch-ups as well!

BELTS

The black & white trousers, in the above photo, were bought in Bali years ago, the belt & sunnies were loaned by the photographer & stylist from A Beautiful Weirdo, & the little silver sneakers were found in a market in Australia.

In the above photo, my dress is ancient & bought from Boden, the belt is from Vivienne of Holloway, the leather jacket, also old, is from Zara & the sunglasses are from Trash in Byron Bay.  You can see more of this outfit in my bog on how to jazz up an old dress & love it again!

ADD A BELT

If you have an hour glass figure, try an elasticated 50s belt cinched at the waist. It can make such a difference to an old dress and add an accent of colour to your outfit. And they're really cheap, especially online.. Belts don't suit everyone, but experiment with them on different parts of your body. The silver one round my monochrome outfit above was added by Charlotte of A Beautiful Weirdo,. I would never have thought of that.

BAGS

Loving my Fred Perry bag.  So useful for travelling and looks really cool. Photography by A Beautiful Weirdo. 

Loving my Fred Perry bag.  So useful for travelling and looks really cool. Photography by A Beautiful Weirdo

I don't spend a lot on handbags.  I really don't see the point.  But the right one can really bring an outfit alive.  Major retailers like Debenhams & TK Maxx do great bags that don't cost an arm and a leg. You can also find amazing pre-worn designer bags on e-Bay and, again, by rooting around markets and fairs for vintage bags.

BANGLES & BOOTY

I love bangles to liven up an outfit. I found these over the years, cheap as chips, apart from the solid silver one. 

I love bangles to liven up an outfit. I found these over the years, cheap as chips, apart from the solid silver one. 

I like an arm full of bangles and hunting for cheap, unusual ones has become a bit of a passion of mine – especially whilst travelling. Look in antique shops, charity shops and market stalls for bakelite or resin. They often come in unusual colours, look better than plastic, and shouldn't cost you more than a couple of quid.

Chunky necklaces or earrings will also add that je ne sais quoi to your look, but not together! I have found some gorgeous and cheap ones on my travels.

The vibrant silk scarf was bought in Montenegro for a song. The vintage sunglasses are from Trash in Byron Bay & the necklace was loaned by my wonderful stylist & Photographer Charlotte, A Beautiful Weirdo. 

The vibrant silk scarf was bought in Montenegro for a song. The vintage sunglasses are from Trash in Byron Bay & the necklace was loaned by my wonderful stylist & Photographer Charlotte, A Beautiful Weirdo. 

SPECTACLES & SUNGLASSES

I dig around every vintage shop and fair I can find for interesting frames. I bought the pair of black vintage frames I am wearing with the Pucci dress in New York at Fabulous Fanny's.  They cost a third of the price they would have been at my local optician.  After I've found some awesome frames I then find the best deal I can to have prescription lenses fitted:  on-line, abroad, or even a local independent who you can bargain with! I got a £70 discount for having two pairs done at the same time. 

NAILS & MAKE UP

Pretty nails complete an interesting outfit. Loving this gellux green this summer. 

Pretty nails complete an interesting outfit. Loving this gellux green this summer. 

Good make up and nails finishes off that groomed look. Find a relative, or a local girl who works from home, to save money. And make-up wise: less is more!  Next time you need a new eyeliner, go to one of the major retailers and get a free make over. It will save you money in the long run and help you find the best look for your skin tone.

My final top tip is to have a brutal look in a full-length mirror before you go clothes shopping, declutter your clothes, or go out. If you look in the mirror and don't LOVE the way you look, then it's a 'no'. You need to feel like a million dollars in order to look it!

(This blog was originally published on Gransnet)

Let me know how you get on, I would love to hear about your bargains!

GOODWOOD RACES: FASHION, FOOD & FUN

Goodwood, the first night of the Three Friday Nights event: racing and raving. One of my favourite summer events. 

Goodwood, the first night of the Three Friday Nights event: racing and raving. One of my favourite summer events. 

Well, it was the coldest June week I can ever remember in the UK.  In fact, some weather expert said that one of the days last week was colder than Xmas day!  So we weren't taking any chances as the Three Friday Nights at Goodwood go on till 11.00 pm.  I had a new black & white dress, much thicker than normal, sorted out my black accessories, and took leggings, gloves & a light winter coat.  

We did well and weren't cold at all.  In fact, it was one our best nights there ever. Hope you like this post of our day/night out at the races.

Accessories for a black and white outfit.  Love a bangle or two!

Accessories for a black and white outfit.  Love a bangle or two!

My accessories are both very reasonable or very old! The vintage frames are from Fabulous Fanny's in NYC. The bag was from Paris decades ago, the metal bangle, believe it or not, was found in the National Portrait Gallery shop, the black one was found in a great pre-worn shop called Rehab, in Lewes & the fascinator is by Lizzie Lock. 

The vintage sunglasses below were gifted to me years ago.  They are still my favourites. 

I was so thrilled with my new, very warm, black and white dress from Indigo in Chichester. Designed by James Lakeland this is one that is going to run and run, just perfect for a UK summer with a little black cashmere cardi.  Sadly, I forgot to get my friend to take some photos of the back of the dress but you can just see a glimpse of it.  It's black, very sculptured and looks divine, from the back as well as the front.

However, once the sun went down, leggings were on, winter coat was on and I was very glad I wore my suede ankle boots (3 years old now!)  from Clarkes instead of summer open toe shoes! Warm as toast.

My life long buddy Dalia (we went to school together) looked as elegant as she always does, being Italian.  But she didn't hold back when it came to the chilly night either with her gorgeous, warm jacket.  Love the colours she's put together. Will find out where she bought her stuff if you are interested?

For a blogger, the fashion on show this year was very disappointing.  It was just too cold for much dressing up but I did manage to find a few - mostly youngsters who just don't seem to feel the cold.  Don't they look just gorgeous?

Loving the top hat below and the older couple wore the only colour I saw the entire evening!

One of our highlights at the Three Friday Nights, at Goodwood, is eating at Trigger, catered byRhubarb Food , it never fails to disappoint & we can keep our table to keep popping back for Prosecco and pudding in between the evening races.

The climax of these evenings is, of course, the music.  Old, conservative, young, or not, all take to the grass to enjoy the DJ set of the night.  We were lucky enough to see Sister Bliss, from Faithless, who was awesome with a capital A.  The best one yet from our three consecutive years of going. That kept us warm!

A brilliant night of raving and racing.  Not bad for two oldies!  We went home very happy, especially as we both won on a couple of races so didn't actually spend any money on that part of the evening.

And for those of you who are still ravers.  Here's a short video of the wonderful Sister Bliss.  See you soon.

HOW TO STAY HEALTHY ON HOLIDAY

Eating a warming stew in a very chilly Montengro!  Love eating locally when I can.

Eating a warming stew in a very chilly Montengro!  Love eating locally when I can.

Apart from a tan and gifts for our folk, there are two things most of us want to avoid bringing home after a holiday abroad: an upset stomach and excess baggage around the waist!

Whether you are going to India or Spain, there are a few things you can do to avoid both. These same tips may even help you to come back healthier & slimmer, whether you’re travelling for months or just a couple of weeks.

HOW TO AVOID TUMMY BUGS

From Salmonella to Campylobacter, the heat exacerbates any bacteria that may be lurking in your food. To stay safe here are a few tips.

Avoid buffets where the food may have been left out for hours in the heat.

Make sure that any meat you eat is cooked all the way through, especially at barbecues.

If eating cooked eggs, make sure that the white and yolk are solid.

Always wash your hands before eating.

Take antibacterial wipes with you – and use them!

Avoid dishes made with mayonnaise.

If you have a sensitive stomach, avoid unpasteurised milk, cheese and undercooked or raw meat, fish and shellfish.

Ask to dress your own salad rather than eating one that has been sitting the sweltering heat.

Don’t drink ice-cold drinks in a very hot country. Apart from the risk of bad water in the ice cubes, the freezing temperature of an ice-cold beer can cause problems for an over-heated stomach. This is something that all travel reps used to warn us about in the 70s.

If you are self-catering, be vigilant about food hygiene. It only takes someone to cut pieces of raw chicken and then use the same scissors to cut open a carton of orange juice for the whole family to go down with Campylobacter, one of the most virulent forms of food poisoning.

AND......IN LESS DEVELOPED COUNTRIES

For starters, drink only bottled water from a sealed container.

Avoid Western-style food, salads and uncooked vegetables. Even if you are in a reputable restaurant, you should still check to see if they have washed the fruit, salad or raw veg in bottled water. Often they have.

Bottled water, drink at room temperature to stop your tummy getting a shock in the heat.

Bottled water, drink at room temperature to stop your tummy getting a shock in the heat.

Don’t buy meals from street vendors.

Remember this rule: boil it, peel it or forget it!

Before you go travelling, support your good gut bacteria by taking a two-week course of a prebiotic and probiotic supplement, available at any health store. Continue whilst away.  If you don’t want to carry supplements around with you, prepare your gut for the invasion of foreign bacteria by eating “live” yoghurt, or kefir, every day. The Lactobacillus in the yoghurt helps to support friendly bacteria that will help fight any invading bugs.

To avoid the inevitable “I am on holiday, so, of course, I will get ill with a cold or flu”, sprinkle eucalyptus oil on a tissue and inhale occasionally on any flights you take. It is one of nature’s antiseptics and kills up to 70% of airborne germs. (Don't overdo it though, I once got told off on a flight because the scent had gone all round the air-con!)

HEALTHY OPTIONS

There is always a healthy option on the menu, wherever you go in the world. Many of my suggestions will also improve your health as well as helping you to avoid piling on the pounds. After all, you want to return bronzed, slim and full of energy!

Fabulous Australian breakfast.  Possibly the healthiest, yummiest breakfasts in the world!

Fabulous Australian breakfast.  Possibly the healthiest, yummiest breakfasts in the world!

HEALTHY BREAKFAST

Whether you are self-catering or eating in a hotel, it is very easy to buy Omega3 rich local seeds and un-salted nuts, such as walnuts and almonds, to add to your cereal. These also make good traveling snacks along with a banana or two.

Add plenty of locally grown, anti-oxidant rich fruits, such as oranges, mango, papaya and berries. These will help you to build up your immunity, while keeping the weight off. If you add seeds, nuts and fruits to a bowl of “live” yoghurt, you are looking after your health big time.

If you want the full fry up – you are on holiday after all – ask for grilled bacon instead of fried and boiled or poached eggs instead of fried. Add tomatoes and mushrooms and you’re set for the day.

HEALTHY LUNCH & DINNER

There is usually a baked or poached local fish dish on the menu, served with vegetables and rice or a nutritious salad.

Oily fish is great nutrition for your brain, heart, skin & joints.  Packed full of Omega 3 essential fatty acids, make it part of your healthy eating plan.

Oily fish is great nutrition for your brain, heart, skin & joints.  Packed full of Omega 3 essential fatty acids, make it part of your healthy eating plan.

You can also increase your intake of essential fatty acids on holiday by eating fish such as sardines and salmon. If you are lactose intolerant, you might be interested to know that a small portion of sardines contains more calcium than a whole pint of milk!

However, if you’re traveling to less developed countries, you might consider doing what I do when I go to India and stick to vegetarian meals.

I have never been ill after eating rice with dhal or other beans and pulses. I also eat salads, if I know the restaurant has washed the vegetables in pure water.

Think of the colours of the rainbow and try to increase your intake of orange, red and yellow fruit & veg as much as you can. Foods such as yellow peppers, avocado, carrots & tomatoes are packed full of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that is thought to reduce the risk of cancer, while improving eye health. Green leafy salads (washed well) will give you a big boost in minerals such as magnesium and calcium.

Think colours of the rainbow when it comes to a plate of healthy eating foods: tomatoes, rocket, avocado &carrots. Yum!

Think colours of the rainbow when it comes to a plate of healthy eating foods: tomatoes, rocket, avocado &carrots. Yum!

PUDDINGS & BOOZE

Sugars and starchy carbs are major factors when it comes to ageing, inflammatory conditions and weight gain. However, you're on holiday and deserve a break from any health regime you follow at home. If you want to stick to to it just pick the healthiest option you can find on the menu, some of the time but certainly not all of the time!

Local cheeses, made from goats or sheep’s milk, are always lower in fat than cows cheese or a bowl of ice-cream. And, while we’re on the subject of ice-cream, avoid buying it from a street vendor… my mother nearly died after eating one that she bought in Spain in the 60s.

When it comes to alcohol, I try and stick to the lower sugar options such as Cava, Prosecco, Champagne and Spritzers. If you like spirits, Campari, dry vermouth and tequila are all lower in sugar and calories than a beer or a pina colada!

Yum!  We all deserve puddings like this on holiday & we'll probably walk it off sightseeing.

Yum!  We all deserve puddings like this on holiday & we'll probably walk it off sightseeing.