Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Pretty but Problematical

When I am Rich I will buy a snow machine so I’ll be able to add that magical Christmas sparkle to my garden if the real stuff fails to arrive on time.

But I’ll also buy a snowplough (a big, yellow one) so I’ll have no problem in getting out and about during our wonderful British winters!

Fortunately I’m only planning a short journey tomorrow to spend Christmas with family – but keeping fingers crossed for no more snow so I’ll be able to get back next week.

Merry Christmas!
Happy Holidays!

Best Wishes to Everyone for whatever celebrations you will be enjoying at this special time of year!

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

The Bright Side

It was only a cold, but it stopped me going out rainbow-hunting.

But it wasn’t all bad news. A rainbow came in to visit me!

(OK, it wasn’t a real rainbow, it was sunlight reflected off the edge of a mirror, but it still cheered me up!)

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

For the next 100 days ...

Busy, busy, rush, rush ...
Life has been so hectic lately I haven’t even had time to blog!
So why have I signed up to do ONE thing, ONCE a day, for ONE hundred days?
I suppose I’m hoping it will make me a better person!

If you want to join me take a look here – but you’ll have to be quick, it starts today!

I have pledged to give something every day. Off to a good start, I woke up to the first hard frost of the year so I put out some extra food for the birds. I think they appreciated it.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Free Gold!

leaf spirals
until …

Here’s treasure
in a child’s

Isn't it great that you don't have to be Rich to enjoy all this gold!

Saturday, 17 October 2009

It’s that time of year

It’s just an ordinary trip to the ordinary supermarket to get my ordinary weekly shopping.

The first thing I see is a big display of boxes of chocolates. I wonder why they’re on Special Offer. I soon find the answer.

I need a birthday card, but there’s very little choice. Three-quarters of the card racks are filled with Christmas cards.

Toothpaste? Shampoo? All the toiletries have been moved around to make space for gift packs.

The household goods aisle has been taken over by toys. There are fancy tins of biscuits, Christmas puddings, Christmas cakes …

One good thing – the Hot Cross Buns have disappeared. They’ve been replaced with Mince Pies.

It can only mean one thing. It’s October!

When I am Rich I will fund a Let’s Have A Real Christmas campaign.

The first two rules will be:
No Christmas Shopping before 1st December.
No Christmas decorations to appear anywhere before 24th December.

I’m not a Scrooge, but would anyone else like to join me in a loud ‘Bah! Humbug!’ ?

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

A Clean Sweep

‘Can we come over and see you this afternoon?’ they asked.
‘Of course!’ I answered.
Then I looked around. Aargh! The house was a mess. I rushed around, tidying, vacuuming, dusting …

Phew! I finished just as my visitors arrived.

When I am Rich I won’t have this problem. I’ll employ a cleaner.

But then I’ll have another problem. Old habits die hard so I’ll have to rush around, tidying, vacuuming, dusting … because I wouldn’t want the cleaner to see my messy house!

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Strictly for the birds

I was looking out at my real-life garden, and making plans for my dream garden, when I suddenly realised what was missing. I need one of these …

so all the birds I hope to attract will be able to drink and bathe in comfort.

In the meantime, this little chap doesn’t seem to mind too much having to make do with a plastic dish.

And others are always happy to share a puddle.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Not needed

Most of this blog is about things I don’t have, but Wipso has set me the challenge of compiling a list of things I do have – but don’t need.

It made me feel quite smug because, a few years ago, my husband and I downsized – drastically. We sold our house, sold or gave away nearly all its contents (couldn’t believe we had so much stuff) and put only our most prized personal possessions into storage while we took a gap year to go travelling. When we returned we bought a much smaller house and vowed to keep it clutter-free.

So I didn’t think I had anything I don’t need – until I started looking. Here’s the list:

A cold (not as bad as flu, but more than a sniffle and I hope it goes soon)
Grey hairs (why does nature advertise our age so obviously?)
Clothes that don’t fit me (but they might – one day)
Piles of old magazines
Last week’s Sunday paper (haven’t read it yet)
Dust (where does it all come from?)
An empty chocolate box (the chocolates were delicious and the box too pretty to throw away, but I haven’t found another use for it yet)
Too many bright ideas (well, I think they’re bright!)
All my rejected stories (waiting to be re-written and sent out again)
Egg cups
My old film camera (I might use it again – or keep it until it’s a valuable antique)
An odd sock (it would be terrible to throw it out and then discover its long-lost partner!)

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Artist at work!

I went to an art exhibition recently. Some wonderful paintings, but a bit pricey for me.
It got me thinking though …
I could do with some new pictures on my walls. If I can’t buy any perhaps I could paint some myself.
It’s worth a try. You never know, this could be the start of a whole new career!

Thursday, 6 August 2009

But does it taste any better?

I’ve just been reading about what is thought to be the world’s most expensive chocolate bar. Cadbury has wrapped one of its Wispa Gold bars in edible gold.

I suppose – if I was rich – I could easily afford the asking price of £961.48 (about US$1637). But for the same amount of money I could buy 1,748 Wispas in ordinary wrappers.

Or a year’s supply of my favourite organic, fair trade chocolate, and I'd still have some change in my pocket.

All that chocolate – or a little bit of gold?

No contest.

Sunday, 2 August 2009


Hooray for the British summer!
More rain = more rainbows = more pots of gold

... if only I could find them!

This is where the rainbow ended yesterday.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Party time!

The buddleia (see last post) has invited all its friends round.

Bees, butterflies, moths ...

So many visitors coming and going.

They're keeping me busy trying to identify and photograph them all.

Yes, Friko, I did get your message - thank you. I am a bit worried about where the roots are going so when it's finished flowering I think it will have to be evicted. Perhaps I'll be able to sprinkle the seeds somewhere more suitable. (You've got a big garden haven't you?)

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Welcome visitor

As I have limited space and grow most of my plants in containers I usually choose the smaller varieties – and gaze longingly at 50-foot trees. But luckily nature isn’t so easily restricted.

At the beginning of summer I noticed a small, green shoot growing out of what I thought was solid concrete outside my back door. I assumed it was some sort of weed but because I didn’t recognise the leaves I left it to see what it would become.

It grew

and grew

and grew …

I am now the proud owner of a beautiful purple buddleia!

The seed must have blown here from a magnificent specimen two gardens away. It only has two stems, and is half the height of its parent, but the scent is wonderful!

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Unwelcome visitors

One of the joys of a garden is the wildlife it attracts. I’m constantly surprised at the number and variety of creatures that find their way to my tiny plot, and the majority of them are very welcome.

But …

When I am Rich I will offer a large reward to the scientist who can explain:

a) Why, when my house is surrounded by hundreds of acres of delicious crops and miles of roadside verges filled with wild plants of all kinds, do clouds of aphids decide to set up home on my ONE miniature rose bush?

b) How do I persuade them they’d be much better off elsewhere?

I don’t like killing anything, but that little rose is very precious to me. So, I’m giving them fair warning. If they’re not gone by the time I count to ten it will be war – and soapy water.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Free Money

When I am Rich I won’t have to think twice about giving to charities. I’ll cheerfully donate millions to what I think are the most deserving causes. But while my funds are limited, I’ve discovered I can give a little money in return for a few minutes of my time – without even leaving my desk!
Many charities make money from their websites simply by asking people to click on them. The more visitors, the more they make from advertising revenue.
Here are my favourites:
The Hunger Site
In less than a minute I can click on six different buttons here, helping not only organizations that are working to eradicate world hunger, but also those involved in other issues including health, literacy, conservation and animal welfare. (The site also has a store selling all kinds of ethical and Fair Trade goods, which helps to raise more money).
Free Rice
It takes longer to donate here, but it’s fun – and educational. Choose a subject and answer questions. Each correct answer earns grains of rice which are distributed through the UN World Food Program.
I’m hoping the game on this site will improve my – what was it? – ah, yes, my memory. If not, I’ll still be helping someone else.
I’ve also started using EveryClick as my main search engine. Each search I do generates a little income for a UK charity. There are lots of other charity search engines, some covering different locations or types of charities. You can find more here.

Now I really must stop playing games and clicking buttons. I need to do some work, earn some money, and then I’ll be able to give even more to charity!

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Cuddly friends

I’ve had Little Ted for years – and he’s priceless. I wouldn’t part with him for anything.

So, as a reward for his long service as a faithful friend, confidant, sharer of my highs and lows, I’ve decided that when I am rich I will find him some companions of his own kind.

But there are so many gorgeous bears out there it’s hard to choose.

I must have this one called Bosley. And little Constanze is right at the top of my list.

Which one shall I give to Little Ted – and which do I keep for myself?

Friday, 5 June 2009


I know how I can get rich!
I'll patent my Upstairs Downstairs exercise plan (see previous post).
I can imagine it all now - the books, the videos, the TV show ...
And I mustn't forget the merchandise - t-shirts, headbands, comfy slippers ...
I'll be rich - and famous.
Phew! I'm quite worn out just thinking about it!

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Fitness Regime

When I am Rich keeping fit will be easy.

I will probably join one of those exclusive health clubs where I'll receive expert advice on how best to use their latest exercise machines, perhaps join a class or two, and relax after my workout with luxurious pampering sessions.

And for those days when I'm too busy (or can't be bothered) to go to the club I'll have a fully-equipped gym at home - and a personal trainer on call.

I've decided I need to start getting fitter now so I won't look completely out of place when I arrive at the club for my introductory tour.

Here's my exercise diary for today:

Got up early.
Breathing exercises (3 big yawns)
Warm-up stretching exercises (bending down to find slippers, reaching up to rub eyes, pulling on clothes)
Weight lifting (filling kettle for tea)
Mental workout (deciding to go for a brisk walk)
Walking upstairs - walking downstairs (forgot why I'd gone up)
Walking upstairs again (I remembered!)
Walking downstairs (no, gone again)
Walking up and down stairs several more times
Weight lifting (more tea)
Relaxation (stretched out on sofa)
Review and assessment (now I remember - I was going upstairs to fetch my shoes. Oh, well, not bad for the first day. I don't want to overdo it. Perhaps tomorrow ...)

Did you know that short-term memory loss is nature's way of ensuring middle-aged people get plenty of exercise?

Monday, 25 May 2009

Tea for two - or three, or more?

When I am Rich I will invite all my friends to join me for afternoon tea at The Ritz.

It's only £37 per person for the cheapest option. And, as I'm doing the inviting, I'll also pay for the travel to and from London with an overnight stay for those who live too far away to do the trip in one day.

Can I trust you all to turn up in the required formal dress? To be on the safe side perhaps I should provide outfits as well.

OK - it's a date!

But until then, you'll have to make do with tea at my place.

The china doesn't match ...

... the cake is home-made

... but there's as much tea as you can drink!


Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Adding to my collection

I do like rainbows - with or without pots of gold.

Here's the one I found last week.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

A Girl’s Best Friend?

I have to thank Mika of Photos Tricks for drawing my attention to this little gem.

A record price of 10.5 million Swiss francs (that’s US$9.5m or £6.2m) has been paid for a rare blue diamond at an auction in Geneva.

You can find out more about it here

It’s pretty and sparkly so perhaps I will put ‘blue diamond’ on my shopping list When I am Rich. Or a yellow one, or pink … Why not a whole rainbow of diamonds?

But what will I do with it? It’s not the kind of thing you can wear every day. Or leave lying around.

Along with the diamond I will have to

- buy a safe

- install a top-of-the-range burglar alarm

- hire a security guard to accompany me whenever I wear it

- pay a huge amount of money to insure it

- employ a therapist to help me deal with the stress of owning something so valuable

On second thoughts … it’s only a stone, and a very small stone at that.

And just think how many lives £6.2 million could transform.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Fluffy white cloud day

When I am rich I will spend a whole day (or week, or month …) just watching the clouds drift by.
But while I still need to earn some money I’ll have to make do with quick visits to The Cloud Appreciation Society
Have a look – and be amazed.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Walking Boots

When I am Rich I will enjoy more walking holidays. As well as revisiting some of my favourite walking places (Wales, the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and Cornwall are the first that come to mind) I would like to tackle some of Britain's long distance footpaths.

And then there's the rest of the world ... Where should I start? The Alps? The Andes?

Think I'm going to need some new walking boots, so I've put these Dalesway boots made by GreenVee on my Wants List. Strong, comfortable, traditional style but non-leather and made by a company that has adopted green ethical standards.

photo © GreenVee

I'll be able to stride out with a clear conscience!

The only drawback is the price (although I'm sure they're worth it). Never mind, while I'm saving up my pennies I think there's a good few miles left in these.

Can you recommend a favourite walk? I'll add it to my list.

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Neno's Award

What’s better than one award?
One award that two people want me to have!

Christine from Now What very kindly sent me Neno’s Award but I didn’t have time to put it on my blog straight away. When I checked my messages a few days later there was the award again – this time from MzzLily at Becoming an Author – My Journey. (Hope you found my message and that your comments box is now behaving itself MzzLily!)

So, what can I say but Thank You! Twice.

NENO'S AWARD The award is:

1) a dedication for those who love blogging and love to encourage friendships through blogging.
2) to seek the reasons why we all love blogging.

The aims of this award:

1)As a dedication for those who love blogging and love to encourage friendships through blogging.
2)To seek the reasons why we all love blogging.
3)Put the award in one post as soon as you receive it.
4)Don't forget to mention the person who gives you the award.5)Answer the award's question by writing the reason why you love blogging.
6)Tag and distribute the award to as many people as you like.
7)Don't forget to notify the award receivers and put their links in your post.

Why do I love blogging?
Because it’s an improvement on talking to myself.
Because getting these thoughts out of my head makes space for even more brilliant ideas.
Because it’s good writing practice.
Because I meet all sorts of interesting people I might not meet in real life.
Because it makes me feel connected.

I would like to pass on the award to the following blogs:

1) Friko at

I knew I was going to enjoy Friko’s blog as soon as I saw it. A colourful mix of gardening, poetry, present day life in Shropshire and reminiscences of life in Germany after WW II.

2) Viv’s secret at

I’ve only just discovered her, but Viv obviously has great taste. I like all the things she likes! Antiques, pretty stationery, inspiring photos … and I wish I’d written her Daily OM!

3) Jon at

Jon is a talented freelance writer and photographer. His blog includes glimpses of his work and home life, book reviews, writing tips and photos of his beloved Ireland that I think he should be selling to the Irish Tourist Board!

4) A Lighted Flame at

A new blog that deserves more visitors. One moment of gratitude can improve your whole day.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

They’re back!

When I am rich I will be able to fly to Africa whenever I please – and I will be very pleased.

I have never set foot on that vast continent. I’ve seen photos, watched documentaries, read traveller’s tales … and I’m impatient to experience some of those things for myself.

Now, Africa has come to me. The swallows are back!

Was the first one I saw an English swallow returning home from a holiday in the sun? Or an African swallow coming here to start 4 months of hard work raising 2, or perhaps 3, new families?
I like to think birds have no boundaries. They belong to the whole World.

I haven’t been able to get any photos of this year’s swallows, but here are some of last year’s visitors.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Noblesse Oblige Award

Oh, my goodness! An award! And I haven’t got an acceptance speech prepared …

SquirrelQueen at The Road To Here has very kindly given When I am Rich the Noblesse Oblige Award.

I only discovered SquirrelQueen about 6 weeks ago but I immediately became a fan. I enjoy her thought-provoking Thoughts For The Day, glimpses of her life, and her photos that have inspired me to put Alaska on my ‘must visit one day’ list.

Here is what the award is all about –

The recipient of this award is recognized for the following:

1) The Blogger manifests exemplary attitude, respecting the nuances that pervades amongst different cultures and beliefs.
2) The Blog contents inspire; strives to encourage and offers solutions.3) There is a clear purpose at the Blog; one that fosters a better understanding on Social, Political, Economic, the Arts, Culture and Sciences and Beliefs.4) The Blog is refreshing and creative.5) The Blogger promotes friendship and positive thinking.

The Blogger who receives this award will need to perform the following steps:

1) Create a Post with a mention and link to the person who presented the Noblesse Oblige Award.
2) The Award Conditions must be displayed at the Post.3) Write a short article about what the Blog has thus far achieved – preferably citing one or more older post to support.4) The Blogger must present the Noblesse Oblige Award in concurrence with the Award conditions.5) Blogger must display the Award at any location at the Blog.

What has When I am Rich achieved so far? Well, when I began with the first post about my Dream Garden I felt like a very, very small fish in the vast ocean of blogging. I didn’t know if anyone would ever find my blog let alone bother to read, leave comments and even follow it. But the response I have received in such a short time has certainly been encouraging. My blog is simply a list of my personal daydreams and I don’t take them too seriously but, in the words of John Lennon, it’s good to know I’m not the only one!

I am passing the Noblesse Oblige Award to:

1) Jean’s musings
Jean is a busy person! Her blog is a mixture of posts about her freelance writing career, home life and travels. I admire her talent for summing up her life in haiku.
2) FoodThirsty
Nicole gives us recipes, food facts, cookery tips and her own entertaining thoughts on all things edible and drinkable. Something to suit everyone’s taste.
3) Here It Goes
Mrssmith hasn’t been blogging long but her sense of humour shines through.
4) Career Changing in the Credit Crunch
Afternoon Tea Break is recording her experiences of giving up a secure career to start a new and more fulfilling way of life. And she’s hoping to help others who have the same dream.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

April showers

When I am rich I would like to live somewhere that has the perfect climate – for me.

Warm enough so I won't need a coat.
Not so hot that long walks are uncomfortable.
No rain when I want to be outside.
Gentle showers to keep my garden watered.
Blue, blue skies.
Plenty of wind for kite-flying.
Not enough wind to mess up my hair.
Early morning mist to add a touch of magic.
No fog.
Snow deep enough for tobogganing and making snowmen, but only if combined with sunshine.
No snow or ice on roads.
Brief sparkles of frost to admire from indoors.
A few clouds to add interest to sunrises and sunsets.

Until then, I’ll adapt to the weather – as usual.

What kind of weather do you like best?

Friday, 10 April 2009

Hot Cross Buns

Even when I am rich I will still only eat Hot Cross Buns on Good Friday.
I remember a time when I had no choice. They were only baked on this day.

Then supermarkets began selling them a few weeks before Easter, then immediately after Christmas, and now they're available all year round.

I love them, but I'm convinced that a large part of their deliciousness will be lost if you have them more than once a year.

Would you like one? Help yourself - before they're all gone!

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Pure gold

When I am Rich I will be able to fill my home with exotic flowers from faraway lands.

But look what I found today ...

for free!

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Another HairCut?

When I am rich I will go to the most expensive hairdressers in town.

‘Transform me!’ I will say to their award-winning stylist.

My hair will be cut, coloured, curled, straightened and subjected to all the latest techniques known to art and science. It will be arranged this way, and then that way …

But will I end up with a hairstyle I actually like? It hasn’t happened yet.

I dream of beautiful hair, but I dread visiting the hairdressers. I’ve had too many disastrous haircuts over the years.

I’ve just bought a copy of Another HairCut? edited by Marit Meredith. It’s a collection of poems and short stories all on the theme of – you’ve guessed it!

I sympathised with the schoolgirl named Bog Brush, smiled at the tale of the grandfather who achieved his boyhood ambition to be like Samson, and chuckled at the tangled relationships of a Barber Shop Quartet.

It cheered me up no end to discover I am not alone in my failed quest for the perfect hairdo. And, if you need another reason to get your own copy, Marit is donating all the proceeds from the book to The Children’s Chronic Arthritis Association.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Spending the kids' inheritance

When I am Rich, my daughter wants me to buy her a big house in the country, a mews house in Mayfair or Portobello - and a pony.

Hmm ....
Parents - is it a good idea to give your little darlings everything they want?

Children - will you be equally generous to your parents when you are rich?

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Starry Nights

When I am rich I will buy a powerful telescope and spend clear nights exploring the universe. Until then, it's amazing what you can see if you just remember to look up.

Any other stargazers out there?

Friday, 20 March 2009

Supermarket Friday

Friday is supermarket shopping day.

Every Friday I check my cupboards and fridge, plan menus, write a shopping list, drive to the supermarket, push the trolley up and down the aisles, look for bargains, compare prices, queue at the checkout, pack my bags, load them into the car, drive home, unload the car, unpack the bags, put things away in the cupboards and fridge ...

When I am rich I will be able to employ someone to take care of this chore.

But if I hadn't gone to the supermarket today I wouldn't have seen trees clouded with blossom and a bank of daffodils reflecting the sun. I wouldn't have heard an infectious giggle, or an old pop song that took me back to my disco days. I wouldn't have paused by the bakery counter just to enjoy the smell of fresh-baked bread. I wouldn't have smiled at the banter between one of the cashiers and his regular customers. I wouldn't have overheard an intriguing snippet of conversation that is now tucked away in my memory and might - one day - re-appear in a story.

So, although I complain, 'It's Friday again, I'll have to go shopping,' perhaps I will keep doing it - even when I am rich.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Rainbow morning

I haven't found a crock of gold yet, but this morning I got out of bed and stepped into a rainbow.

I had a feeling this was going to be a good day!

Wednesday, 11 March 2009


When I am rich will I have achieved all my goals? Or will more money fuel even bigger dreams? I only know that if you don't have a clear picture of your destination you'll never find your way there - or know when you've arrived.
Whether you have your whole life planned to the tiniest detail, or have no idea what you might want to do tomorrow, you'll find lots of inspiration and encouragement at

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Rich Lists

When I am Rich

Perhaps my name will appear on the Sunday Times Rich List

But if I want to compare my wealth with others I’d rather check the Global Rich List

Do you know how rich you are? Find out now.

You might be surprised.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

When I am Rich

I will plant a garden.

It will have:

- lawns with drifts of Spring bulbs
- old-fashioned cottage garden flowers
- a vegetable plot
- herbs
- apple trees (and pears, plums, damsons, cherries …)
- a wildflower meadow
- a beech wood
- an oak wood
- three silver birches at the end of a winding path
- a wooden seat built round the trunk of a cedar
- dandelions and daisies
- a maze
- wisteria
- a secret place
- a greenhouse, a potting shed
- a stream
- a pond (a lake would be better – with a waterfall!)
- statues
- a surprise around every corner
- aquilegias (because I love the name as much as the flowers)
- did I mention strawberries, a swing, and stinging nettles for the butterflies?

In the meantime …

… I’ve made a start.

Do you have a dream garden? I’d love to hear about it.