According to OxfordDictionaries.com, the definition of a matinée is:

An afternoon performance in a theatre or cinema

However, for me, it has two additional and totally different meanings.

The first has been used in my family since I was a child. It refers to the fact that my lovely Mum (funnily enough pictured with me in front of the Gielgud Theatre about to watch the matinée performance of Blythe Spirit staring the fabulous Angela Lansbury) used to sit down to watch the Sunday matinée after cooking us a yummy, if sometimes ‘interesting’, family lunch and five minutes into the film, would fall fast asleep! To add to our amusement, she would wake up five minutes before the end, give the newspaper she had been ‘reading’ a shake and ask what had happened! This happened with such regularity that, if we feel tired during the day, we say we could do with a matinée!

The second meaning is one that, I think, only I use. It is directly linked to the very same matinée films mentioned above. I have such fond memories of childhood Sunday lunches – the whole family together around the table, talking and laughing and critiquing Mum’s latest concoction. And these happy family get togethers were always followed by a matinée and, if we were lucky a box of Milk Tray or Dairy Milk chocolates. Sometimes it would be a glorious Technicolor musical, others a more serious black and white drama. Either way there were, more often than not, tears. Sometimes tears from laughing so much at a funny scene or one of us joining in, tunelessly, to one of the big numbers. Sometimes tears triggered by the moving, often war time based, story. Either way, most weekends I’d have a good old cry or, as I now call it, a matinée.

My life today, while in no way hard, is full of pressures and tensions that the little girl of my childhood could never have imagined. I often get to a point when I know that the best way to move forward is to have a big cry and just let it all go. There really isn’t anything like letting all your emotions flood out of you, the relief and release is truly cathartic. It won’t change the situation or the things I have to deal with but releasing all my emotions and tension helps to face my troubles head on, a stronger and more in control woman.

So, should you need a matinée, be it the need for a good film, a nap or a good cry just do it, you will feel better for it!


Squeeze box

Continuing on a theme from my facebook page, today I am very excited as I have finished my 3Day Juice Cleanse and have had some AMAZING results!

As those of you who know me are aware, I usually Squeeze to boost my rather rubbish, vegetarian diet. However this time, although my aim was the same, I decided to do a before and after weigh. Why? Well, due to a conflict between my intolerance to raw pineapple and the inclusion of it in one of the ingredients in one of my usual juices, the lovely Becky from Squeeze swapped it for one I had not had before – Slim Me Squeeze!

So…are you ready? I think you should probably sit down! I weighed myself on Monday morning (on the Wii) and then again this morning and I have lost…





I can hardly believe it myself and would have questioned it, if I hadn’t used the Wii! I have just been on holiday but I only put on 2lb over the two weeks (I don’t normally weigh myself so much but the last time I went on holiday abroad – aka ‘The Holiday From Hell’ – I got food poisoning and ended up loosing weight, so was curious about what would happen this time), so the weight loss isn’t down to my holiday indiscretions!

I would also suggest that it isn’t all water. I know that the Slim Me Squeeze had a selection of fruit and vegetables which promote water loss however I also have to drink lots of water while doing the cleanse in order to flush out the baddies, so guess I replace a lot of it.

I carry a lot of extra weight and so, on a slightly sad note, you can’t really see any difference at the moment but I can feel it already.  My back is less achy, my knees less creaky and my tummy feels squidgy rather than bloated and near popping! On top of all this, I am absolutely BUZZING!

I don’t have plans for a size 6 or 8 or size anything but I do want to feel fitter and healthier. The added bonus that meeting Becky and trying her fabulous juices and smoothies has given me is that I can do this in an all natural way.

Oh! I have one more thing to say…

…Squeeze Me Baby!

Squeeze me baby!

*Becky tells me that this is a record amount however you do tend to loose some weight when Squeezing.  Also, the Wii fit told me he was worried about my dramatic weight loss! So, I know this is a big amount to loose over a short period but it came by surprise and I am going back to, not my usual, but a healthier diet to try and continue to loose the weight in a steady manner and have told the Wii that I am aiming to loose roughly 2lb every two weeks and he seems happy with this!








Every so often I get overwhelmed with the amount of things that surround me. I feel them moving in closer, piling higher, suffocating me, almost burying me alive and I just want to shove it all in black bin bags and throw it all away.

Conversely, I often NEED to buy things, NEED to have them. I feel that I shall cease to exist if I don’t have a certain item be it a button, some fabric, something for the house, that perfect Christmas gift for the children. I just NEED it, regardless of practicality and finances.

I often wonder why? Why I have these feelings of suffocation and desperate need? I guess the need to have things goes back to my childhood and things I experienced while growing up.

I remember stories of how my maternal Grandmother gave all my Mum’s childhood belongings away, without asking, shortly after she married my Dad and the loss she felt as a result. And, even more devastating, of how my parents and siblings had to leave everything behind in Uganda when they had to escape from a military coup in the early seventies.

I also had first hand experience of losing belongings, firstly when our family had to move abroad for my father’s work and we had to be reduce the amount of things we had. And, then when my Dad and I found ourselves fleeing another military coup in Uganda in the mid eighties.

I can remember as clear as if it were this morning rather than nearly thirty years ago. My Dad sat me down and explained that he had heard the army would be opening the airports and that we were going to try and get a flight out.  He told me that if we didn’t manage to get a flight, that we would have to make a run for it and try and cross the boarder into Kenya. He said to pack a small bag, with only essentials.  So, of all my belongings, what did I take? The necessities like a pair of knickers and toothbrush, Ted (my teddy!) and my camera. It may seem odd to take a camera but I wasn’t sure if I would see my Mum and siblings again, so to ensure I would have something to hold onto, I took photos of all the family portraits in the house.

These experiences explain my fear of losing my belongings and, I think, my need to surround myself with things in order to feel safe and secure. However, I am confused as to why, despite my eleven year old self realising that things didn’t matter and that it is people who matter, why my adult self can’t seem to let the things go.

A life long, family friend decided a couple of years ago to try and reduce his belongings to 100 things.  I watched on with admiration as he sold or gave away his belongings and felt inspired by his feelings of freedom as he did so.  He did not get down to 100 items (questions like is a pair of socks one or two items did cause some difficulties) but I think the process helped to ease his situation. He tells me that he feels the process began as a reaction to his Mother’s death and the realisation that ‘stuff’ has little importance.

Again, I find myself back at the same conclusion as my eleven year old self – it’s people not things that matter. I also find myself back at the beginning of this post and considering packing all my stuff in bin bags and getting rid of them but I know that once I start the culling process, I will find myself reliving past memories that are attached to certain items and being unable to let go.

So, the point of this post? I have no idea other than I wanted to voice my confused feelings in the hope that I would come to some sensible conclusion or plan of action.  I have not.



This morning started bright and breezy and I felt inspired to get out into the garden for the first time this year. In true Miriam style, I faffed around until the sun had returned to the comfort of his blanket of cloud but I was determined to make a start on the front bed.


I am waiting for some wild flower seed tape from Simple Sowing (who I found out about from a letter from the RHS which included a 25% discount code!) and am hoping to turn last year’s attempt at a mini wild flower meadow into an actual mini wild flower meadow!

Friend or foe?Pretty much as soon as I started pulling up all the grass, dead wild flowers and…um…weeds, I found I was not alone! There were loads of both of these little creatures, along with the usual worms, snails, slugs, etc but were they friend or foe? I have a feeling that the brown one is a Leather Jackets but the colouring doesn’t seem to be right.  I posted the above photo on twitter to see if any of my gardening followers could advise and so far, only one reply to say both are foes (thanks Viv). However, as I am not so keen on bumping creatures off,  until I get some more confirmation of their friend or foe status, they shall get a reprieve!

I did, however, have a more welcome companion while I was attempting to clear the ground whilst not slicing any of the juicy worms in half, my neighbours cat.  Isn’t he a beauty?!

My gardening companion

In addition to my gorgeous feline companion, I  am very pleased to say there was another little creature who joined me. I noticed a little ladybird on one of the plants I pulled up and thought it was dead. However, I decided that a) his shell looked quite bright to belong to a dead ladybird and b) felt sad that this little creature was now laying in the mud, so I picked him up and carefully dropped him in the middle of the clump of grass that I had decided not to dig up – it would make a great home or, if he was dead, a peaceful resting place. How happy I was when, five minutes later, I spotted him checking out his new abode!

Ladybird RescueAfter about an hour of clearing and digging, interspersed with nice catch ups with a couple of my neighbours, I felt I had made a reasonable start to the gardening season.  I have left the big clump of grass, aka Ladybird Villas and some self seeded Red Valerian (I’ve been waiting for it to float over from my neighbour’s garden since we moved in in 2007!), aka Bee Central both of which I think will add to the wild/meadow effect I am hoping for.

AfterI didn’t do as much as I had planned when I looked out the window at the sunshine this morning but, as my rather achy, upper arms will confirm, I had done enough to feel pleased.


Isn’t it strange how something that we once loved with practically every fibre of our being can become something that we loath with an equal amount of passion?

I hate my bed!

Our bed

When Mr F and I bought our first bed together, it was a momentous occasion! For years we had been sleeping on a bed frame that we had been given by my big sister who had, in turn, acquired it from our bigger sister. To compliment the ‘well loved’ bed frame, my biggest (and only) brother gave us his old orthopaedic mattress. All of this, at the time, had been a major step up from the airbed we had been sleeping on! So, when we finally had the money to buy a new bed frame, we were over the moon.

We purchased an up to date, wooden frame that fitted perfectly into our bedroom at the time (I think from Homebase, but I can’t remember now). We didn’t have spare cash at the time to upgrade our mattress but the fact that the bed frame did not have a bucket full of wood glue holding it together was thrilling!

Sometime later, following the birth of our eldest child and in anticipation of our youngest child, we moved to a larger house. Our bedroom felt huge, previously everything had fitted rather snugly, but this excitement was short lived. Our fabulous, new bed frame didn’t really work in it’s new location. It had been perfect in the old house but now it just…wasn’t! In an effort to improve on the situation, we splashed out and bought a fabulous new, extra deep, Slumberland mattress. It felt like floating on a cloud!

For a while, this extra comfort distracted us from the fact that our bed just didn’t work in our new bedroom. Sadly, this distraction has come to an end for me. I am sure my feelings towards my bed has some bearing on my frequent bouts of insomnia. Add to that the fact that we haven’t decorated our room since we moved in – our daughter’s room took priority, then a new kitchen, then a new bathroom, then our new baby boy’s room, then the sitting room and, most recently, the hall, stairs and landing – I was getting rather down about our boudoir.

However, things are on the up! After attending a lampshade making course run by the lovely Lynne Sharpe at Beautiful Things HQ, I created this wondrous shade to go in our bedroom.


I bought the fabric to make the shade from Hobbycraft and was super pleased to learn later that it is from the Love collection by Amy Butler! I loved the fabric so much, that I went back and bought some more…just because! Luckily, the ‘just because’ came in handy as I decided to make (with a little support from my crafting guru, Claire Mackaness from BTHQ) some bedside table lamps to match!

bedside table lamps

So, where does this leave us? Searching, that’s where! Searching for the perfect bed to lift my spirits and to transform our ‘room’ into a sanctuary of peace and slumber!

Well, I have searched and searched and have now fallen madly in love with this truly fabulous bed from the Storage Bed!

The Storage Bed custom design


As you can see, this website allows you to design your own bed to suit all your needs. The photo above is the bed I have designed and includes the End Opening Mechanism. I have sent off for some free fabric samples and, once they arrive, I shall begin my campaign to convert Mr F to my way of thinking!

I hope it won’t be too long before my feelings towards my bed are completely reversed – wish me luck!