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Katherine Walker, my mother-in-law, 1st June 1928 – 19th September 2019

September 18, 2020

One year on – this is Katherine.

Katherine arriving from Florida off her very fist air flight in 1951



Tortilla time!

September 8, 2020

Not having the brain power to focus on tech I am still not quite sure if those signing up on the new site get any message to say when there is a new post so I will continue to come back here to shout “I have a new post!”

Here it is!

Miss Hawkings Home for Distressed Gentle People – Part two.

August 5, 2020

Evgeni Ivanovich

Is this he, or is it not?

By popular request I humbly submit part two of the saga.  Where it will go you can choose…


So, I entered a short story competition…

August 4, 2020

Miss Hawkings Home for Distressed Gentle People.



Sign up, sign up…

July 19, 2020

With the help of a super tech whizz friend in France, Louise, Come Cook in France (check her website for super pro look and style plus major food porn  – you are warned) I have finally managed to get a sign up form onto my new website!  Tada …

No major new post yet, but there is a lovely recipe to use up the tomatoes that are in abundance right now – so get on over, sign up and let me know what you think! (please).

Note – please bear in mind it is still a work in progress, slowly slowly catchee monkey, or something.


Hokey Cokey

July 11, 2020

New post on new site… doing the hokey cokey to Boris’s tune, keeping sane, having a barbeque.  Rockin’ in the real world.  Have a read – any comments please leave them on the new site.

Might help if I add a link!

What next?

June 8, 2020

A new post on my new site – what next?


May 24, 2020

New post on new website!  I still haven’t worked out how to get sign ups… bear with 🙂

Click on the cake below.

New Website!!

May 14, 2020

Hello all my faithful readers – I am in the process of getting my new Betty Bites website up and running.  I haven’t quite worked out how to get people to sign up, and haven’t yet linked it to an email newsletter type set up.  One step at a time…  Until I figure it out I will alert you to a new post via the old site.

However, I have posted a couple of times and think maybe it’s time to let you see it, so, with out further ado, here she is 

and to tempt you to click here is picture of some borek, recipe for which on new website 🙂

Slow down, you move too fast…

February 14, 2020

Slowing down doesn’t mean stopping thinking, although you have to do that to begin with.  If you  can stop, and just sit, with yourself your mind will begin to free itself.  If you place yourself in a setting with others who are doing the same thing, with no pressure from anyone, your creative synapses begin to spark and snap, your thoughts come tumbling.  If you let it all come you will find it makes you want to do things, make things, talk, walk, eat and open your eyes to look further than the next text, instagram post, meal to be made or work deadline to be reached.  It will awake your curiosity and creativity.


The Slow Movement began in Italy with Carlo Petrini having a wonderfully Italian response to a fast food chain wanting to open a restaurant in Rome in 1986.  Slow Food was born and is a now a world wide organisation with spin offs everywhere with slow parenting, slow travel, even slow gaming. It’s about thinking about what you are doing at any given moment, and getting the most out of each of those moments, shaking off distractions and focussing.

Slowing down is hard for normal people, with normal lives.  It’s almost a badge of honour to get less than the required amount of sleep because of being too busy.  Technology is nipping at our heels all the time, the demands of work and family can be relentless and life just seems to get faster and fuller with information less than a second away from the tip of your finger and from so many sources it’s impossible to work out what is right, wrong, upside down or sideways.   It’s not good.  It’s not healthy.  We absolutely need to be more mindful of ourselves.  Slowing down is not woo woo stuff, its common sense (which contrary to popular belief is not as common as we think).

In order to remember who we are we need to go slow.  That way we can rediscover what is important, shed the unnecessary claims upon our lives and get bit Maire Kondo, only keeping what sparks joy.  Add to that what we are facing as a species on this planet the requirement to slow down is even more vital.   So where can we go to start the slow process?

Mention the word retreat and yoga springs to mind, lithe young woman doing impossible things with their bodies atop a mountain against Mediterranean sunset.  As a women whose litheness, if it was ever there, is a distant memory, when I was asked if I’d like to go on a slow retreat in the Forest of Dean I was a bit, weeeellll, not really sure it’s my thing.

But, as it turns out…  Firstly, no yoga.  Don’t get me wrong, I love yoga and do my own, weird, slightly stiff version at home, alone, sometimes, but me and yoga bunnies in the same room, nooo.  Secondly, this was just about just slowing down, having some time to recalibrate and re-find a creative spark.  Which at that point in my life was precisely what was needed, and what was delivered.

Inspired by Carl Honore’s ‘ In Praise of Slow’ Liz Lewitt created this retreat in her fabulous house, Mill End, in the Forest of Dean, which can be booked for any kind of get together, not just Slow Retreats, and can be self catering or catered by the fabulous Bordello Banquets, with added props for extra glamour and fun.

Eighteen women of all age groups, walks of life and backgrounds got together to try and slow down, to just be, for three days, with a focus on creativity and in this instance learning about raw food ‘cookery’.

The rooms at Mill End are absolutely top drawer, as Katherine Hepburn might have said, beautiful, stylish and each one unique.  They are warm and comfortable with gorgeous crisp white bed linen.

After being shown our rooms, acclimatising and adjusting, slightly nervously, to the fact that we had hours and hours stretching ahead of us in which to do absolutely nothing, if we chose that, or, as it turned out, we could do lots of things, very slowly.

There is a large hot tub and other spa facilities available at all times, and the setting is within minutes of beautiful country walks.  You can help yourself to tea, herbals and coffee any time.  All food was included and wine should you feel the urge (and several of us did, just a little bit) can bought in the village shop.

The raw food demo by the deliciously talented Deb of Deliciously Raw, was followed by dinner of raw food.  If you’d told me I’d enjoy that before this retreat I’d have laughed, quietly and respectfully, but with absolute surety that you’d be wrong.  I was wrong.  It was delicious, very satisfying and also extremely pretty.

There were pens, pencils and paper scattered around.  There were books on creativity, slowing down (lots of copies of Carl’s book!), food, fashion… endless creative inspiration.  There was a clay play table.  There was a wood burner for cosiness, there was space to hide away, space to gather.  For an added cost you could also book to have your angel cards read or some reiki, which is where it got a bit woo woo but it’s always good to open your mind to things that challenge your cynical core I find, and lots of us did and got a huge amount from it.

So we all slowed down.  And now we are feeling groovy*.

This article was written by Liz Haughton when she was a participant at the first Slow Retreat in November 2019. Together with Liz Lewitt Liz Haughton now runs the retreats and will be cooking gorgeous, organic food as part of the nourishing and nurturing experience of Slow Retreats.

*apologies for the Simon and Garfunkel ear worm