Monthly Archives: August 2012

#3 Cook a New Recipe Weekly

With friends arriving every other weekend for a screen viewing at my #2 Create a Home Cinema, the issue of feeding them has arisen. Which brings me to:

#3 Cook a New Recipe Weekly.

Now the logistics of preparing food while you’re simultaneously watching a movie created its own dilemma, until I discovered slow cookers and Sally Wise’s cook book, replete with superb slow cooker recipes. A marriage made in heaven.

I’m trying the Mediterranean Chicken for next week’s screening…

In the meantime, while internet shopping is all well and good (– no, it’s terrific actually -)  sometimes, when you don’t know what you don’t know, a spot of real-life retail therapy can work wonders. Wandering through Target the other day, I came upon a line of cushions that look just like regular cushions, but once unzipped, magically fold out into a blanket to snuggle into as you watch a movie.  They’ve proved to be a big hit with my friends, so here’s a photo.


Is it a cushion?

Or is it a quilt?   

No, it’s a quillow!

Clever, space saving and functional. Love them!

#2 Create a Home Cinema…continued

Some birthday presents really hit the spot, and my sister gave me a beauty this year for my new cinema. A subscription to a DVD club called Quickflix where you order your choice of films from a vast catalogue online and titles are delivered to your door as quickly as you can watch them with a reply-paid envelope for easy return. It’s brilliant and this business is so efficient it’s amazing. I’ve ordered several for delivery over the next few months and sent out invitations to my friends with descriptions of all the DVDs on order, asking them to rate their viewing preferences, ranging from:

1: No, never, I don’t want to see this film, even if you paid me

up to

5: Yes, desperate to view this one.

They’ve been emailing their choices back and it’s interesting to study them and work out how I’ll best accommodate all the permutations and combinations, bearing in mind Cinema X can only seat six at the moment.

Someone has rated The Terminator with a zero, even though I didn’t give them that option.

I think they’re trying to tell me something.

#2 Create a Home Cinema

The previous owners of my house ran a small business from the converted garage, which I’ve used as an office and storage space for the last few years.  But now I don’t need a big office, I’m able to create a room for a small home cinema.

#2: Create a Home Cinema

So I bought a magnificently large TV screen, did some basic sewing to create thick black curtains to hang behind the screen from ceiling to floor and, with the help of a good friend who’s very clever and had several days to spare, a truly amazing sound system’s been connected.

Add a few old posters of scenes from Casablanca which I’ve kept for years (is that not one of the best films ever?) plus comfortable couches and it now seats six easily. With a platform to elevate the back row it will eventually seat more. I like to think it has the atmosphere of an old-style cinema.


So my Home Cinema is up and running –  and even has a name.

While I toyed with calling it Cinema Paradiso (there’s another great film), a friend pointed out that as our town has a nine-cinema complex, perhaps it should be called Cinema Ten.

Also known as Cinema X…

Cinema sign

#1 Start a Blog

What bliss.

Having recently retired, I’m now in the wonderful position of having days that belong to me, waiting to be filled.  No work. Little responsibility.

But many people are asking what I’m going to do with all that time.

So this site is dedicated to trying out things that are fun, things that I haven’t normally had the time to do, or are a little outsidethesquare so to speak. The sorts of activities that in my former serious and responsible real life, I often forgot to explore.

It’s subtitled “101 Fun and Frivolous Things to Try in Retirement”, but it’s not a bucket list that I have to complete before I shuffle-off.  You won’t find über-adventurous activities like bungee jumping here. I was born with a risk-taking bypass. But trying out things I’ve never tried before might just turn out to be very liberating.

Although I’ve roughly divided my 101 ideas into ten major topics ranging from Creative Activities through to Self Improvement,  I’ll be trying them out whenever they crop up, so as you’ll see, there’ll be no particular order as the outsidethesquare stuff is rolled out.

It’s now obvious what my first adventure will be:

#1: Start a Blog

Wow! That wasn’t too difficult…