Happy 30th Birthday Tilly!

Today is the 30th birthday of one of my newest and best friends Miss Tilly Johnson. So first things first


I am so glad we have become friends over the last 12 months or so and I couldn’t wish you a happier and more wonderful day and 30th year to come. You’ve achieved so much since your big move to our side of the pennines and I am so glad I get to walk some of that path with you.

Love ya

Gill xxxx


Exciting Few Days

OK, so just a little diary entry today as over the last few days we have had some lovely and exciting news come our way.

Firstly my fab work friend told me she was expecting another baby… I couldn’t be more thrilled for her. I am not particularly a baby person myself, but oh to revel in the joy of someone else’s good news is, in itself joyous.

Also I went to my 3rd Viaduct Violets (Women’s Institute) meeting and we had SUCH a good night. There was a talk from the Mayoress of St Helens about the history of the WI, which was just inspiring.

Then we had a talk from a guy that owns his own chocolate shop in Tarpoley. He told us about the history of chocolate and demonstrated how to make chocolate hedgehogs!

At the WI today we watched these little guys get made. ??

A post shared by Lavender Lemonade (@lavlem) on

We had a brilliantly funny night and we even had a group photo taken!


Can you spot me?

But the most exciting news we have had is that our most lovely friend Miss Elizabeth Fox is coming to the UK in June/July for a holiday and *drum roll* is coming to see us!!! I honestly couldn’t be more thrilled. She is one of the nicest people I have ever met and as Alabama and Newton-le-Willows aren’t exactly around the corner from each other, we don’t get to see each other as often as we would like.

In fact, in the last 10 years or so, we have only seen her 3 times in person. The last time was in 2015 when she came as part of her France trip, we had a fab time:

Hurry up June!!

James & M in 2014

But to take it back to the start of the week, the first amazing thing that happened  was that one of our other American friends James turned 50 and so in the middle of an ordinary Monday afternoon M got to call his friend in Alabama and wish him a Happy Birthday. Isn’t technology wonderful.

So all in all it was an happy few days.

G x

Feeling a little better

Today is Wednesday and I think the foggy fog of illness has finally lifted. Both M and I have been poorly for the last few weeks and we are frankly sick of it! My intention was to actually go into work today, but when I woke up my body was doing this:

Which as you can see is gross. So I have spent the day resting and even had a lovely visit from my dad. Ace.

I always hate the first couple of months of the year, but thankfully things seem to be whizzing by and I noticed today that buds have appeared on the tree at the bottom of our garden – now that is a sign of lovely times ahead.

Also, I went to my second meeting of the WI* last night and we had such a lovely night. I went along with Tilly (who you can also find at Lavender Lemonade) and we were treated to a talk about the history of hairdressing by a local legend. Some parts of the talk were as daft as they were funny – but there was no doubt it was entertaining. The best bit by far, were the lovely ladies that attended. Everyone was so friendly and we such a giggle. Long may that continue.

Right then, I’ve a little more Downton Abbey to watch before M comes home from work and I will have to go and make sure I have got clean clothes ready for work!!

G x

* The Women’s Institute in Newton-le-Willows is actually called the Viaduct Violets. We meet the 3rd Tuesday in every month at St Patrick’s Social Club here:

Membership is £39 for the year or if you just want to come along and see what you think, a visitor membership is £4. You just have to be over 18 and female.

Lactose Intolerance – Week 3 Update

So, I blogged a couple of weeks ago, that I had recently discovered I was Lactose Intolerance, and I just wanted to let you know how it was going. The good news is, it’s going well.

The doctor told me to basically cut out all lactose  and then re-introduce certain things to see what I could or couldn’t tolerate. So I didn’t have any cow’s milk for 2 weeks and then last weekend, we went to Costa Coffee. I hadn’t had much to eat and so we decided to have a sandwich, which was a problem. EVERY sandwich, without fail had cheese on it and without an alternative, I decided to give one of them ago. I had a sausage sandwich with cheese on top with a cup of tea with skimmed milk.

On the ride home from Tesco I started to feel a little unwell and then within 30 minutes of getting home I was running to the loo. So what was the culprit?

  • The Cheese?
  • The Milk?
  • The Flapjack?

Oh didn’t I say, I had a flapjack too, which had dried fruit in it. Any of the 3 could have caused me to be poorly, I am tempted to avoid all in future to be safe.

But apart from the Costa incident, I have been free of any issues. I’ve basically stopped having all sorts of milk containing products and so far so good. I have also started trawling through different supermarkets for dairy free alternatives, concentrating initially on M&S and Tesco.

Faves so far

Marks & Spencer: Coconut Cream Dessert 

Amazing Flavour, like eating a frozen bounty bar (without the chocolate).

M&S Made without Dairy

Tesco: Lactose Free Milk 

These long life Lactose Free milk pods have allowed me to still enjoy a cafe at the weekend.










Actually so far the Arla Lactose Free milk is my favourite in tea. I’ve tried both Soy Milk (yuk) and Almond Milk (ok) in my brew, but the Lactose Free is the winner. Michael was very ver lovely and got me Oat Milk and Rice Milk from M&S to try, so I will give them a go over the weekend and let you know how I get on.

Finally,  I just wanted to say a huge thank you to Janine from ChouxChouxbedo for being to helpful and sending me lots of information and suggestions for alternatives as well as the lovely Jane, who is also LI and had a million suggestions and top tips! My favourite being that larger coffee shops that do Soy Lattes, don’t have LF milk out on their “milk & sugar” table, but apparently they will lob a bit of soy in your tea on request. Brilliant – pity it’s a bit minging!

I would LOVE  to hear if you guys have some tips or anything dairy or lactose free that you’ve discovered. Let me know in the comments, or you can email me via my contact page.


G x