Wednesday, 17 January 2018


Good morning, everyone.  Cold, isn't it?  A day for thick, warm, woolly socks and lots of layers, I reckon.  I'm afraid I came down (too early again) and whacked up the heating straight away.  No definite forecast of snow down here in the SE, just cold winds, but I gather they've had a lot further north with some disruption.

Yesterday was another lovely day.  I got all the planning done, I did a bit of shopping in Sainsbury's and found what I have been looking for for simply ages and that's a small, ovenproof dish with sides high enough to make a lasagne for just two.  I have other small dishes but they are only high enough for a one layer lasagne.  So I was very pleased about that.  I shall christen it with a vegetarian lasagne next Tuesday evening when Beth comes for dinner.

After working on mean, median, mode and range with a couple of my students I now have a little rhyme buzzing around in my head.  I guess most teachers will know it.

Hey diddle diddle, the Median's the middle
You add, then subtract, for the Mean
The Mode is the one that you see the most
And the Range is the difference between.
(sung to the tune of the nursery rhyme of the same title)

Clever, eh, but it's driving me bonkers - I just can't get it out of my head!

Being Tuesday and, as our new arrangements dictate, Beth was round after work for dinner and we had a jolly good chat about this and that over the meal before settling down to do the next stage of her quilting project together.  It was the sandwiching of the top, the batting and the back.  She is making a quilt for her double bed and here's what it looks like so far.

She did it round at mine because -
a) it's really a two person job when it's that big
b)  it's too big for her floor space at home
c)  her cats would enjoy sitting on it and generally getting in the way

We then pinned it all together, all over, with safety pins
The quilting will be light, just around each rectangle or square but before that there's some considerable tacking to be done
It's going to be absolutely lovely when it's done.  Isn't she clever!

Today is easy in the morning and busier in the afternoon.  I'm going to do the ironing while I watch the next two episodes of the River Cottage programmes, I have to sort out the daily one thing in my bedroom, I have to plan the tuition for later (I know what I'm going to do but I need to record those plans properly) and after I've finished the tuition, I have a 15 minute break and then I'm off into school for a governors' meeting which won't be too long, hopefully, as there's some good telly this evening.

So a nice, busy day with no time to get into any mischief.  It should be good.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018


Good morning, everyone.  A really early start for me today, so early that the dishwasher is still on and I can't empty it yet.  I might go back for another little snooze later on.  It's supposed to be turning a lot colder and more wintry today.  Well, we will see.

I got home safely yesterday after missing one turning on the new section of my route but, thankfully, I'd prepared for that and knew if I carried on there was another turning.  It wasn't a particularly nice drive: it was very wet with lots of spray from tyres.  Everyone seemed to be going carefully though, except for an idiot who overtook me as I was doing 30 in a village.  You do get some foolish driving at times.

It's always nice to be home and this time was no exception.  I got some washing in, unloaded the dishwasher and got stuck in to a nice hot cuppa coffee before watching the two 'Return to River Cottage' programmes for the day.  Must check the times for today.  One of yesterday's was the one when he sells his tomato produces at a local farmers' market under the name 'River Cottage Glutton'.  I have to say, his recipes looked absolutely delicious and I wonder if they are online.

Today looks like being more of the same; very little scheduled until late afternoon and then it's tuition x 2 followed by Beth coming round for dinner and a chat.  I need to do a little bit of shopping, washing and ironing (it's sheet changing day) and there's the ever-present planning but it should be a very pleasant day indeed.

I hope yours is as nice.

Monday, 15 January 2018


Good morning, everyone.  I'm sitting up in bed to type this on the laptop so I have no idea what the weather is like and can't be bothered to get out of bed to look but, according to the weather forecast, it's going to be wet, wet, wet!  I'm driving home from Mum and Dad's this morning so the windscreen wipers will get some good exercise.  Part of Bishop's Stortford is blocked (a new road to a housing development, I think) so I will be going another way Dad told me about ages ago that cuts off going through Bishop's Stortford.  Some of it is country lane which is pretty but perilous - no, not really but narrow, sharp bends and potholes.  We will see.

Yesterday was a quiet day, cold out and warm within.  I read and baked, knitted and chatted and generally had a good rest.  The ouchy gallstone subsided again and (or maybe because) I drank water instead of nibbling.  I'm a shocker at nibbling at my parents' home; they have such tasty stuff around and it does me no good whatsoever!  Their self control around food is obviously a lot better than mine!

Today is a quiet day until tuition happens so I shall put some time aside to watch the old River Cottage programmes on the Good Food channel.  I think it's now on to Return to River Cottage.  As I'm not that keen to make bunny burgers or attract eels into my artisan made basket trap using a road kill rabbit as bait, I can't say I learn very much but it's all very interesting and I love how he makes the most of everything.

Better go.  I have some packing to do, a bath to enjoy and a bedroom to tidy!  Home from home really.  Diane, if you read this, get well soon and the same to Tracey.
Have a lovely day, whatever the weather.

Sunday, 14 January 2018


Good morning, everyone.  I've overslept - for me I've overslept anyway.  It's past six o'clock - well past my usual waking time - and I've obviously been sleeping on my back with my mouth open as I have a sort throat and a yucky mouth.  It will go soon but urgh!

I tried the Tom Kerridge method for mince, that of roasting it on parchment on a baking sheet for about forty minutes and, yes, it makes quite a difference, a good difference and the bolognaise was absolutely delicious.  I know it takes extra power but maybe I can organise something like baking bread at the same time to use the oven space, because that method is now in my repertoire!

Today is a quiet day, hopefully a gentle day, a day when I can get on with reading The Forsyte Saga - re-reading it, I should say  and for you, whatever you need or want it to be.

Saturday, 13 January 2018


Good morning, everyone.  How are things?  We almost got some sun yesterday but not quite and it remained dull and a bit chilly all day.  Today is probably going to be more of the same.

Yesterday's scan went fine.  It was scheduled for 9:00 and by 9:05 I was on the 'couch' being gunged.  The results were not a surprise.  Yes, I have gallstones, one big one and probably some little ones as well.  He didn't try to hide the screen and was more than happy to explain, briefly, what the grainy images means.  The full results were available yesterday afternoon but I have an appointment near the beginning of February when the doctor will go over everything including what my options are.  Before then I must do some 'research' (i.e. Google it!).

More and more I can understand why people who can go private.  Quite apart from the free - stress free as well as in monetary terms - parking, the environment is smart, polite, friendly and comfortable and everyone is so nice.  OK, if I was a private patient, I guess I would already have those results and wold probably have a good idea of the possible courses of action, but I'm OK about waiting a bit over three weeks, it's no time at all.  I'm not in lots of pain, just uncomfortable from time to time and, while my paracetamol consumption has gone up,  it's only an inconvenience.  Convenience is a biggie for private patients, I expect.

So that's that for now!

I'm doing a spag bol today and I shall try that tip from Tom  Kerridge when he made the single layer lasagne in the first programme which was to roast the mince for forty minutes before adding it to the dish.  It is supposed to impart great flavour.  Someone I know has tried this and said that it really works so fingers crossed.

Well, I'd better get going as time is passing and there are things to do.  Have a great day, whatever you have planned, and stay warm.

Friday, 12 January 2018


Good morning, everyone.  BBC tells me it should be dull to start with and then brighten up a bit.  If so, that's better than yesterday when it was gloomy more or less all day.  I think I prefer cold to this boring nothingness!

I got a fair amount done yesterday, which was good.  The ironing is done but there's another small load waiting for me which I shall do first thing and get it out of the way.

This morning I have the ultrasound so it's off to the local hospital with an empty tum!  The bumph tells me it should only last for about ten to fifteen minutes and I suspect that I will want a bath when I get home to wash off that gel they use properly.  Then the day is mine.  There shouldn't be much hanging around but I'll take my kindle with me, just in case.  I'm reading The Forsyte Saga for the umpteenth time so there's plenty to read!

I can have coffee though - any non-milky drink, in fact, but coffee will do!

Thursday, 11 January 2018


Good morning, everyone!
I was wrong about yesterday - by mid morning the sun was out and it was all very cheerful.  I had a little walk out and it was lovely - not warm but not cold.  Fingers crossed for today.

I got all the shopping done, a bit of tidying up and clearing out and then enjoyed a rest with some magazines and the telly.  They're showing the first River Cottage programmes on the Food Channel and I missed them first time.  They're good.  A bit huntin', fishin' and shootin' but very interesting, goes right back to where the food starts and I have a bit of a soft spot for Hugh F-W.  He's certainly not a cheffy chef and there's no 'ponciness' about him.

I didn't get the Christmas tree down.  I couldn't.  I've had to be away for much of the post Christmas period so I reckon I haven't had my money's worth from it this year yet.  That's my excuse anyway!

Today I have, as always, housework and there's a pile of washing and ironing awaiting my attention.  It won't go away so I'd better look it straight in the eye and deal with it.  There's also a bit more planning to do and I'm trying to sort out just one bit of mess in my bedroom each day so that needs doing too.  I've been staring at a stack of sheet music - recorder music - some pretty expensive stuff but I'm never going to use it again.  Some of it is from when I was playing at a higher grade sort of standard so not all of it is stuff I can hand on to the school or anything.  I wonder if the charity shop might take it. 

Well, time is passing so I had better get going or I won't achieve much today.  Have a great day yourself and may the sun shine for you.