Live, laugh, love with Linda 12



Linda has recently retired. She now has the time to embrace life, laugh a lot and do all that she loves. Discover what that looks like for her and let her adventures inspire you…



Today’s shoppers are becoming ever more sophisticated and nowhere more than when visiting a garden centre. Obviously plants are the main attraction, but nowadays, garden centres have had to evolve to suit the more discerning shopper. Cafes and restaurants entice the visitor to make more of a visit. It becomes an outing. I take my other half, as he is a keen gardener. Christmas is a great time to go. Trees and poinsettias have now been superseded by xmas arrangements with snow spray and baubles, decorations, foodie treats and gifts.

However, the Azure Garden Centre in Cramlington offers an extra xmas treat – a chance to see and pet a reindeer or two! This must be the ultimate attraction. They are so cute. I now look at the local centres and can opt for a range of tempting treats. Do I want ice cream, cake, cream teas … and now a reindeer visit?!


Family life always accumulates plenty of items, whether it is toys, books, clothes or collections. I am guilty of this. I amass books. Moving house is a great way of sorting through my belongings even if a little drastic. It is twelve years since I last moved house and had a major declutter. The removal men actually told me off – saying ‘read a book and pass it on! That really made me laugh! This was after lifting many boxes of my books from three full book cases. So this year, I have been decluttering. Hooray for Barters Books in Alnwick! Two recent trips have left me with £75 laying in my account to purchase books and bookshelves with only one layer of paperbacks not two! I have also decluttered clothes. After several hefty bags disappeared into charity shops, I am reduced to one wardrobe. My husband has reclaimed parts of his wardrobe he hasn’t used for years.
I always feel great after a tip visit, a charity shop drop off and a book clear out. Decorating rooms this year has been cleansing. As I emptied each room, I have been determined to clear stuff out. It is a great feeling to create space. I will never be a total minimalist but this year has seen me clear loads. I have had the time to do a good job. Next stop is the garage!


I love Red Mezze. Nestling on Leazes Park Road, it is a Turkish restaurant. I recently went with some vegetarian friends, who were delighted with the lunch menu of two starters and a main for a humble £7.45. The decor is colourful and the staff are very friendly, but it is all about the food for me. My choice was a runner bean in tomato sauce dish and a bulgar wheat dish, followed by chicken shish. Chicken chunks with salad and rice is a description that does not do this dish justice. It is fab food and also healthy. The decaff coffee is also a treat. I have always had a tasty meal there.

I try to live, laugh and love each day xxx


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *