Sunday, 30 April 2017

Sunday

Hello again, everyone.  End of the month!  Hasn't it gone quickly?
It's looking hopeful for a reasonably pleasant day today.  Yesterday was a mixture of warm sun and cool cloudiness and today looks like being more or less the same.  No complaints here.

We had a very 'profitable' time down the allotment yesterday (by that I mean we got loads done).  We've nearly cleared one patch of weeds and will then start on the next patch.  Beth got the membrane down, pegged down and partly covered with bark.  Today we are doing the rest of the bark covering (must remember to put the wheelbarrow in the car) and then trying to move some wood stuff that's in the way.  After that I expect to do yet more weeding - getting there, slowly!

(thank you, Google Images)
Some naughty weeds had dared show their heads on the bit I have cleared but the hoe soon dealt with them (temporarily anyway).
We'll soon be thinking of sowing and planting.  Exciting.

When I got home I was so shattered that I had a nice snooze after lunch while some washing was drying.  Yes, I know I said I had done it all but I'd forgotten a little heap on the kitchen floor.

I had to laugh at myself.  At the moment I am putting the seedlings out during the day and bringing them in at night.  Last night I woke up suddenly from a sound sleep, remembering that I hadn't brought them in so at around 1:00 I was fumbling my way outside to do so.  It didn't feel at all cold but I'd have been gutted if there was a sudden frost.  Fortunately, I went back to sleep very quickly: a clear conscience is a good thing to have.

The other thing I have on the seedling table is some sprouting spuds.  Last year we didn't dig up all the potatoes so when Beth dug over the patch, loads of them were beginning to sprout.  They are now replanted but I thought I would have a go at growing a few in bags at home, just for fun and to see.  I have some very strong rubble bags so I thought I'd use them.  I won't get many spuds, I am sure but then I don't need many, living on my own, do I?
(not my photo)
Today I already have my bread dough rising and I shall get lunch prepared and some seeds planted before trundling down to - guess where - the allotment, of course.  Then Beth's coming back for lunch and I will probably fall asleep again this afternoon.  I need to get some netting and a few other bits and bobs but there is no way I am going to any of the garden centres on a bank holiday weekend.  Tuesday or Wednesday will have to do for that!  Or online shopping, of course!

Well, I'd better be up and doing.  There's a few pots soaking in the sink and the bread might need attention before I go up, bath and get ready for the day ahead.  Wishing a lovely, peaceful day to all my readers.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Saturday

Good morning, everyone.  The sun is just starting to shine and it looks as if it will be quite a pleasant day which bodes well for the plans Beth and I have down the allotment later on this morning.  Yesterday was OK - cold and breezy and not always sunny but there was no rain and my sheets dried on the line beautifully.

I prefer white bedding - sheets, duvet cover and pillowcases and to see them, clean and shining white, blowing about on the line, is a heartwarming thing to me.  I know I've said this to the point of being tedious, but after so many decades of not having the time (or energy) to hang my washing out over the weekend, even if the weather permitted, it's a real pleasure, not a grind at all.

Mind you, I might feel differently if I'd had to wash it all by hand and wring out the excess moisture with a mangle.  I have fleeting memories of my mum using her mangle and very hard work it was too.  She would never let me anywhere near it in case my wandering little fingers got in the way but I was fascinated by the way it was dripping wet on one side and looked almost try on the other.

I'd hate to go back to those days, wouldn't you?

Apart from that yesterday, Beth came round to sew and I did a lot of group admin stuff on Facebook in between re-reading 'Anne of Ingleside' for the umpteenth time on my Kindle and dealing with another bank issue.

Actually, it wasn't that bad.  I did some early morning online purchases.  One went through fine, the next didn't, and I realised that the bank was querying it as it was the same sort of area that was fraudulent use a fortnight or so ago.  Sure enough, later on, the phone rang and it was the fraud dept again.

Now, I do have problems with that as I have it on record with the bank that I am hard of hearing and can't 'do' phone calls all that well.  It was lucky that Beth was there yesterday so, when I realised I wasn't going to hear it clearly enough, I handed it over to her and she did the necessary, pushing the appropriate buttons to assure them that, yes, they were genuine payments!

I have no problem with the actions they took - after all, they are protecting my money - but I do have big problems with the lack of reasonable adjustment.  If I had an iPhone or similar, I could verify the payments quickly, but I don't, I have an old and cheap one for phone calls and texts - oh, and rather inadequate photos.  Is there no other way, I wonder?  Something online, perhaps?

Changing the subject, today is an allotment day.  We haven't been down all week for various reasons so I'm expecting the first thing will be a good hoe of the weeds that have dared to show their faces since the rain.  I won't be taking the mower but I may need to pop down tomorrow to give the grass a haircut.  The main aim today is to clear more weeds and to get the ground under the other two fruit trees covered with membrane stuff ready for more bark chippings.

Apart from that, there won't be a lot else to do today.  I don't need to go shopping, there's no washing to do, the kitchen needs a tidy but that's a ten minute job.  I will make some bread after the allotment work, which will be satisfying, and it's Doctor Who this evening.

Oh - and I need to research simple fruit cages.  I don't know anything about them but it must be something I can put up and get down easily.
Wish me luck!



Friday, 28 April 2017

Friday

Yesterday, a friend said that they read my blog from time to time, especially when they are away so they get an accurate report of what the weather is like at home.  I had to laugh at that!  So I can report that there's no frost and the strawberries have survived!  In fact, despite the chilly weather, everything seems to be growing up/out/flowering - especially the strawberries!
We had rain on and off yesterday which has been very good for the parched soil and means I don't need to water the pots.  I'm not sure about today:  there are clouds but there are also breaks in them so it could go either way
I saw a photo posted by a friend on Facebook who lives in Switzerland earlier.  They've had snow overnight!

I did the ironing, all of it, and now have a more or less empty washing basket and a completely empty ironing basket.  A very satisfying feeling.  A shame about the kitchen but I will sort that out today.  I believe I have no reason to go out today, nothing scheduled in the diary, no school, no tuition, so I can get on with homey things like changing the sheets on my bed (with the necessary washing, drying and ironing) and sorting out the fridge which does rather need it after last weekend's family meal.  And the kitchen!

It's nearly the end of the month now so a finance update is on the list too.  I do like to keep on top of my spending and saving now retirement has landed.  Although I am fortunate to have been in a profession that has a reasonable pension, because I no longer go out and work for it, there's always that slightly 'odd' feeling about it all and I monitor things a lot more carefully than I ever did when I had a monthly salary.  I know that isn't really rational but there you go!  Anyway, I should have some to move over into savings.  I must pretend I can't use my debit card from time to time - it works wonders.

The other thing I shall do it look up some recipes for starters.  Instead of going to the Hare for our girls' night, we're coming here and I am providing a starter.  I have one idea - my tomato and lentil soup, but just a small portion, in a cup rather than a soup bowl, with croutons.  I shall look around via Google to see if I can find any more ideas - I have a week to decide, after all.

That's it really.  It should be another pleasant, gentle day, with lots of normal little things to keep me busy.  Contentment cannot be too highly rated - it is lovely and I am lucky.


Thursday, 27 April 2017

Thursday

Good morning!

Yesterday was somewhat of a hokey cokey day, especially with the washing.  Out-in-out-in . . . We had rain, we had hail, there was even a bit of snow mixed with the rain at one point.

Right now it is sunny and the sky is blue but - but - we've had quite a frost.  And who didn't cover the strawberries last night as she thought it was getting warmer?  AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!
They're covered now and fingers crossed.  They don't look as if they are damaged but there's not a lot I can do about it if they are, is there?  Not now.

For a lazy day, I got a fair bit done yesterday.  Three loads of washing, two of drying (intermittently) and one of ironing.  I shall give the last load a half an hour wash soon before making the most of the sunshine and pegging that out.  Then I shall iron the second load from yesterday before tackling the kitchen.

After that there were more birthday gifts (not great for the old weight loss but delicious, all the same) and I really enjoyed the tuition.  We're moving on fast now and it's so encouraging.

AND - my card finally arrived.  Nothing else yet, but I'm expecting some sort of explanation and if one isn't forthcoming or it isn't satisfactory, I shall be popping in a formal complaint.  On using my new card to check my bank account, I saw that the fraudulent payments have now been refunded - about time too!

I popped into Morrisons on the way back from tuition and, to my delight, saw that some of the bags of wonky spuds were King Edwards.  I love King Edwards potatoes so, of course, I bought a bag.  Jacket potatoes for tea and roasties on Sunday.  In fact, I shall prep some and freeze them so I have roasties available without any hassle!

There's a bit more planning to be done this morning and, looking at the carpet, I think I need to run my cleaner over it.  Then I'm off into school pm for Y2 reading.

I seem to either have a number of new readers or a few who are reading back over old posts.  Whichever it is, a warm welcome to you and please fee free to leave a comment.  Don't be put off if a tab opens to a dodgy place - just shut it down quick.  I have no idea why it does this, nothing whatsoever to do with me, very annoying and Blogger doesn't seem to care two hoots.  It doesn't always.

Well, the kettle has boiled so I'm off to make my first coffee of the day.  As I've been typing this, the frost has been melting fast.  Stay warm, have a lovely day and fingers crossed for the berries.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Wednesday

Good morning again.  It's still cold out there, made colder by a fairly brisk breeze.  I've taken advantage of the breeze to hang out the first lot of washing and my hands are so cold!  I gather rain is expected at some point and, for sure, it looks very gloomy.
Yesterday was gloriously sunny and warmed up considerably through the day which was welcome.  Even so, I put the blanket over the strawberries overnight.

School was fun, as was lunch with Beth.  It's nice to feel I have the best of both worlds, isn't it?

I'm expecting to stay in and potter for most of today, with two tuition sessions later on in the day.  I have to finish this week's planning this morning and then I will have some ironing, I expect, unless what's on the line gets soaked in some rain!  It's blowing madly about right now so should be good and fresh by the time it's all dry.

Given that I'm having downstairs and up the stairs to the landing redecorated at the start of May, I was thinking I ought to sort out the cupboards that I am going to need to empty, but I have remembered that I did that just before Christmas,  The shed needs a good clear out but it's too cold for that today.  I don't even have bread to make as the loaves I baked for the weekend didn't get totally used up and are still sitting in the freezer.Maybe I will just have a lazy day!  Actually, it is quite nice that things have slowed down somewhat since the weekend and Monday which were well busy one way and another.  Some 'me' time is always appreciated.

Well, I'd better stop now.  The coffee mug is empty and needs refilling.  I seem to have a lot more people reading this blog over the last few days so, to all of you, welcome and have a good day.  Stay warm!




Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Tuesday

Good morning, everyone.

Well, what a lovely day yesterday.  Nothing noisy or rumbustious but plenty of gentle happiness.

First of all, I went into town to sort out the debit card thingy.  Suffice it to say, there had been a cock up their end and I am not particularly impressed.  However,I will wait until I get the letter from the appropriate department before deciding whether to make a formal complaint or not.  Everything has been sorted now by a very pleasant and helpful lad - yes, he was a lad, couldn't have been much older than Alex - who was extremely obliging and sorted out some cash for me without any hassles.

So I went to John Lewis and bought the little clock which is now sitting in my handbag ready for use.  I haven't tried the alarm - there's no way it would be loud enough for me to hear without my hearing aids, but I didn't buy it as an alarm clock!
Also the car got filled up - it was getting rather low!

Then it was home to a coffee before Beth and Jane whisked me off to the Hare for a rather delicious and complete lunch.  I was piggy and had a small Caesar salad with chicken and a side of chips (I love their chips) and then I had a dessert too, which I don't usually.  Lots of chat and chuckles made it a really nice time.

Beth came home with me and we chatted over coffee and shortly after she had gone there was a knock at the door and there was one of my pupils with a big bunch of flowers and a lovely card.  I was rather overwhelmed and might have shed a few tears as I said thank you.  Wasn't that lovely?

I now have three vases of flowers brightening up the living room.  I do love getting flowers.

Evening was quiet but I was pleased to get a stack of ironing done.  Yes, I know, not really a birthday thing, but I do love an empty ironing basket and I have more washing/drying for today so wanted to get it all sorted.

Today is mostly quiet.  As well a s the aforementioned washing, etc, I want to get the tuition planning done and Beth will be round for lunch, after which I shall be doing my granny help thing with Foundation Stage.
I've already done my weekly sourdough feed and made my weekly things with the discard - crumpets this time rather than pikelets.  The kitchen is still pretty tidy after having Mum and Dad to stay over the weekend so there's not much to do in there, just emptying the bin really.

We had a frost this morning.  Just before the sun came up, there was nothing - I checked because of the strawberries.  As the sun rose, so did the frost - you could almost see it increasing.  I threw a fleece over the plants so they should be OK and it's nearly all gone now.  It was interesting to watch it.  Further north they have had snow but, judging by the clear blue skies here, it's going to stay away.  Good!

Finally, thank you very much for your birthday greetings yesterday, either in here or in Facebook.  Rosemary - what you said was lovely and really encouraging - many thanks.

Well, it's time for another coffee and then I must hang out the first lot of washing and then have my bath and get dressed.  Have a good day, one and all, and stay warm.




Monday, 24 April 2017

Monday

Welcome to April 24th.  Best day of my life - first day of my life, in fact!  :-)   I'm really glad I was born in the spring.  I love the spring; it is so full of colour and new life.  Actually, I love all the seasons for different reasons but - for now - I love spring best!

Yesterday was splendid.  After a pleasant morning pottering in the kitchen while Mum and Dad read and watched snooker, other family members turned up and we had a lovely family lunch together with a few pressies (for me) and lots of laughter.  Mum and Dad are now at home and I'm on my own for a short time but I'm being taken out for lunch and am so looking forward to that.

I'm finally getting better at judging amounts at these family meals.  Yesterday, after everyone had had their fill, there was just a little bit left, enough for my tea tonight but not to clog up the fridge for days.  Beth took some home with her for Alex, which was nice.

I shall be popping into town first thing.  I still haven't got my bank card and I know we've had a long Easter weekend but a fortnight is not particularly great and I want to get my hands on my money again. So, bank, here I come, proof of identity in hand, wanting to know when I can get my new card and if they can let me have some of my money!

If they do let me have some dosh, I am heading for John Lewis (again) as there's a little clock I want to get.  I saw it a few weeks ago and thought I would give it a ponder before shelling out.  It's a little travel clock that folds up into a sort of pocket watch size and I want it to keep in my bag for things like tuition, etc.  I don't have a wrist watch as they annoy me, so this will be so useful.

Lunch will be at the Hare.   I've looked at the online menu and I haven't a clue what to choose!  Very much looking forward to it though.

After that I will head off home for some R&R and to catch up on the telly I missed over the weekend.

It should be a good day, starting off with some nice coffee, I think.