Tuesday, 31 March 2015


One day down and a most enjoyable day it was too.  The weather wasn't too bad at all; we had a bit of sun and a bit of rain and quite a lot of breeze which kept it feeling colder than it really was but it wasn't a problem.  In the evening the rain pelted down but by then I was snug and warm indoors.

During a lazy start to the day (I really MUST get dressed straight away) I over cooked some butter beans which will now be used for soup, made some English muffins at 11p per muffin (great for breadline) which were totally delicious (the one I ate was anyway) and are now in the freezer, made some roast beef soup (see other blog as I will post about it on there at some point) and did some more quilting so A's baby quilt is almost finished.

OK, so maybe not so lazy after all.

After lunch (the soup) I headed out to Hobbycraft and  - er - stopped being frugal for a short time!
Then I went to Aldi and redeemed myself to some extent before going home to find that Beth had been and gorn!  Bless she, she had also been to her allotment and brought over some leeks, a little cabbage and some of her first picking of rhubarb.  How truly lovely!  Thank you, Beth, love you too!

So, on to today.  Second day.
Today I want to sort out one of my downstairs cupboards.  I have a whole load of school based stuff in it, stuff that I could actually take in and say 'who wants . . .?', thus clearing space for my sewing stuff.!
Breadline starts tomorrow and I will post about how those plans are going in a separate post so that I don't bore you all to tears
The weather doesn't look too promising after a wild and windy night, although the sun is shining right now, so I doubt I will want to go out although I might do a wee bit of gardening.  It is uncomfortably windy though so we will see.
I want to finish A's quilt and also another quilt that I have made for another friend who recently had a baby.
I want to stew the rhubarb.

I do so love the school holidays!  Time to do interesting and homey things.  Lovely.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Breadline: one day to go

 . . . so I start tomorrow.  I shall post about Breadline in separate messages where possible because I appreciate that not everyone is interested in my ramblings about this and you don't have to read if you don't want to < smile >.

SO . . . there are meals in the freezer and there are supplies in the shed.  Some things have been accounted for from the start and some things I will 'pay for' as I use them.

The things that I have already taken off the total for the month (£60) are veg oil, butter, jam and marmalade (home made), skimmed milk, chesse (grated and in the freezer), coffee (getting my priorities right here), oats, peanut butter and potatoes.
There might be more to add to this as time goes by.

Each loaf I make costs 13.5p (some ingredients have already been 'paid' for).  As I start a new loaf, that amount will be costed in.

Not long now.


Welcome to the first REAL day of the Easter break.  Weekend happens every week, after all.

Well, it was quite a wild and woolly day yesterday.  Sunshine interspersed with strong winds and very heavy rain.  A right mixture, in fact.

Beth came over but Alex decided to stay at home and revise.  We prepared for Breadline by making two main meals.  Beth put together a wonderful pot of lentil dhal and I concocted a pork mince thingy with veg, chopped tomatoes and so on.  I guess that's half the month sorted out for me when you take into account the roast beef that didn't get eaten because Al wasn't round that has now been frozen in single portions for other days.

I've soaking some butter beans and some chickpeas and will cook them in my pressure cooker today before potting them!  Both are gorgeous and making them from scratch is much more frugal.

I reckon we are more than prepared for the start of Breadline!

So what am I going to do on the first day of the holiday.  Well, I want to pop out to a certain retail park that has an Argos and a Hobbycraft and a comment on Facebook has made me NEED (definitely need) to have a go at making English muffins.  After that I will be more or less out of strong flour so must get some more from Lidl or Aldi.
And there's some sewing to get on with.  Lovely!

Have a grand day!

Sunday, 29 March 2015

A frugal idea: will it work?

I have some breakfast porridge left over.  Normally I'd throw it away but with my head full of Breadline, frugality, etc, and because I recently read several recipes about using left over porridge to make a sort of pancake, I though I would try this for either breakfast tomorrow or tea tonight.

What you do is just pat out the cold porridge on a very floured surface and cut out circles or (what I will do) mould lumps into thin patties.  Then fry them.  That's it really

So - if I fry them using some of the leftover bacon fat from yesterday and then top them with a poached or fried egg, that should make a scrummy and pretty frugal breakfast!
Alternatively, I could cook some bacon instead of the egg and have it on top of the pancakes with a drizzle of maple syrup and yogurt.

What do you think?  Have any of my gentle readers done anything like this?


Good morning, everyone!  Sadly, it is not a nice day at the moment with grey skies and wet stuff.  It's mild, which is good as the heating hasn't clicked on, and fingers crossed that it clears up because I have decided that just half an hour each day working in the garden over the Easter break will sort out the mess issue in two shakes of a ducks tail.  Quite an appropriate simile, as it's great weather for ducks out there right now!

I didn't get everything done that I planned yesterday because I was thoroughly idle and slept more than I was awake.  Maybe that's a slight exaggeration, but not very much so.  I knew I was worn out but not as much as that!  The good thing is that I slept wonderfully overnight and although I did wake at the usual 3:30 (spit), I went back to sleep again, proper sleep not dozing, and woke properly at 7:00 (today's time).  It felt brilliant.

I did get that last bit of takeaway sauce used up though.  I thawed out a chicken thigh, fried some bacon, onion, mixed peppers and mushroom with a bit of the bacon fat that came out of my breakfast bacon (wonderful flavour) before adding the sliced chicken.  When that was cooked I added the sauce and heated it up.  I had intended to have a salad and the coronation coleslaw I blogged about yesterday in Teacher's Recipes, but at the last moment I had the salady stuff first as a sort of starter and then had the chicken part afterwards.  It was jolly nice and I was pleased that absolutely none of the takeaway was wasted.

I've done a few bits and bobs already:  the dough is rising and the beef is slow cooking.  Now, here's a thing - I'm never too confident with roast beef.  None of us eat it 'pink' although, on the occasional times I have had pink beef it has mostly been delicious and only once downright unpleasant and that was probably the quality of the beef, not the cooking thereof.  The beef I'm cooking is from a joint hopefully labelled as 'roasting beef'.  It was long and it was cheap and Beth and I cut it into four pieces, two for her and two for me.  I am not at all confident that it would be good roasted the usual way so I'm slow roasting it on a bed of onion, carrot and celery with some stock.

And here's another thing.  I do have a slow cooker which I love but it is really extremely old, almost suitable for Flog It.  I'm talking about thirty plus years old.  I remember that the instruction book warned against forgetting to add water and about covering all the contents in liquid.  Lots of modern recipes talk about not adding liquid or just having a little in the bottom.  I'm just not sure whether I can do that.  It's a lovely old ceramic pot and I'd hate to crack it.
So I am being totally unfrugal and using the oven to slow cook.  Sorry!
The question is do I look for a modern slow cooker that I can slow roast in?  I think I possibly do, while I can still afford it.

Beth and Alex are over for dinner today (hence the beef joint) and Beth and I intend to finalise our plans for Breadline month and do some cooking.  Should be fun!

You know what I am NOT doing today?  I am not planning, marking, evaluating, assessing or report writing.  Many cheers!

Here's an addition to that list of things to do.  On a fine and sunny day I shall drive over to Hyde Hall.  I shall take a packed lunch with me because Breadline will have started, plus my camera, and I will have a wonderful time wandering around the gardens at my own pace enjoying the spring planting and the warm spring air.  Bliss.

And on that happy note I must stop and get breakfast ready.  Porridge today and, as I have some bananas that need using up, I will pop some slices in the cooked porridge.  Yum!

Saturday, 28 March 2015


Phew.  After a pretty hectic and not-terribly-easy day, the Easter Holiday has finally started.  I'm totally whacked but I still woke at half past stupid o'clock!  Once I've retired, perhaps, slowly, this will improve.  I'm all for an early start but not this early!  The clocks go forward overnight so maybe I will wake an hour 'later' tomorrow.

After a very busy day, yesterday evening was so good.  I've had my friends S and M staying for a few days and they bought in a take away Indian meal which was really delicious.  Then we watched the film about Alan Turing, The Imitation Game, which, despite quite a lot of historical inaccuracy (I gather), was absolutely brilliant and kept me awake all evening.  Thank you so much, lovely friends, for a super evening.

Normally on a Saturday morning my first act is to whack the bread on but not today as I still have the three loaves I made last weekend snuggling in the freezer.  I make little loaves in 1lb load tins as there's just me and I don't necessarily eat all that much bread during the week.  No point making some when I don't need to although I will probably do some for Beth tomorrow.

Today I plan to do not very much at all.  I shall watch Saturday Kitchen while tackling the huge pile of ironing that has built up in recent weeks and I will probably have a few snoozes along the way.  I might do some sewing, in fact I probably will.  After all, I have a quilt to finish.  And I might get into the garden, weather permitting - it was lovely weather yesterday.  Oh, and I have to finish next week's food plan!

Although there was no food left from the takeaway, there was some sauce left at the bottom of the containers so I spooned it all into one of my plastic pots (yes, all mixed up) and will use it later on with a chicken thigh, some veg and some extra spices.  Waste not . . . and there's just enough for one!

But for now I think another hot drink is in order.

Friday, 27 March 2015

What am I going to do this holiday?

The most important - even above number 1!  I will spend quality time with family.

And the rest . . .

1.  I am going to finish Annelie's quilt.  I was so mortified that I didn't have it ready to take to her baby shower after school but there was just no time so she had to make do with a photo and a promise!

2.  I am going to sort out the shed and the chest freezer.  Both are a disorganised mess and getting worse by the week.

3.  I am going to sort out my 'school' cupboards at home.  I have two large cupboards that are chock-a-block full of card, paper, files, old floppy disks (remember them) and other school paraphanalia that I'm really not going to need any more.  What I do need is shelf space downstairs for my sewing things.

4.  I am going to make at least two summer skirts using fabric I already have and a very simple, four piece pattern.  They will do me for years.

5.  (the inevitable one)  I am going to tidy up my bedroom (again!)

6.  I am going to make some baby dresses for a friend.  Again, I have the fabric and the pattern.  I just need the time and the energy.

7.  I will start 'Breadline' on the 1st and it will be ongoing.

8.  I'm going into look carefully at Approved Foods.  The 'come hithers' that pop into my mailbox do not appeal, being all junk food stuff, but behind that there might be some really frugal stuff - flour, pulses, etc.  I want to find out.

and finally, less interestingly . . .

9.  I will start the end of year reports (last ones, yay, something I WON'T miss)

10.  I will get my bay ready for the new term and start clearing the cupboards, thanking God that last summer I was so motivated to clear out decades of clutter.

One more - I will print this out and put it in a conspicuous place so I can tick off as I do!


Just today and the term will be over.  We're all dreadfully weary and in need of a good break.  OK, so there's classrooms mto sort out and prepare, there's reports to write, there' s a lot of school work to get done but the day can start later and we can relax and generally take life a lot easier.  That will be so good.

After getting permission to make it known more generally, I can make an announcement.  After dithering and umming and ahing all year, I have finally decided and I will be retiring at the end of the summer term.  Getting old, that's me!

I won't be completely leaving.  For a start, I very much hope to go on the supply list.  I might do some private coaching.  I am hoping to stay on the governing body in one form or another.  The school has been almost like a second home for a long time and I just can't totally cut all ties.

So that's today's news!

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Breadline: what I have in the freezer

Streaky bacon, reduced, 5p a rasher.  That means I can make a scrummy bacon sandwich (a great treat for me which takes me right back to childhood) for breakfast using three rashers and some home made bread for under 20p.  It's good to add to the list of breakfasts which tends to be rather small.  Not low calorie but, oh, so delicious!

Five packs of pork mince (each 525g) to make into burgers, meatballs, casseroles, curries, maybe even lasagne on a small scale, making my own pasta and turning some into lasagne and some into other kinds.

One pack of turkey breast mince and one of turkey thigh mince.  The breast mince was on special and  was very reduced.  I can't remember how much the thigh mince was but it was cheap and has such flavour.

24 organic or whatever chicken thighs, unfortunately boned and skinless, but they were less than 50p each so excellent value for that quality.

I also have four pieces of salmon, two lightly smoked, each 50p.

I don't think I will miss out on meat anyway, do you?

Just to say, this bounty will be shared with Beth, not for her as she is vegetarian, but for Alex who rather loves his meat.  Even so, I expect there will be some to carry over into May.

I have been slowly working my way through the Frugal Queen's blog, right from the fist entry I could find.  The list of things I have learned is endless but now and again a few things leap out at me.  Here are a couple - so very simple but they need thinking of.

When I have stale bread, I often zizz it into breadcrumbs and freeze them, but there's a limit to how many breadcrumbs a single lady needs so often the loaf ends get thrown away (how shameful is that?).  However, FQ suggests freezing the bread whole and then using it to make croutons for soup as and when.  As you know, I am a great soup fan so this is a brill idea.

The other idea is one I can't think why I haven't done already because I always have grated cheddar in the freezer, bought when there's a offer and used in cooking/baking.  I usually have some value hard Italian cheese in the fridge.  It has a long life but I don't use it loads so I often have a noggin of it  that starts offering hospitality to a  bit of mould and then I chuck it.  
No more!  The last little bit (and it was just a little bit, to be fair) has been scraped, trimmed and fine grated and now sits in the freezer alongside the cheddar!  It's not priced like the cheddar is because I forgot to check and also it is just a wee bit, but almost enough to use for my next lot of mini-quiches.

Look after the pennies . . .


Two to go!  Just two.

I'm a bit bleary eyed this morning as last night was a late one (for me) after the governors' meeting.  It was enjoyable - they've lightened up since the last time I did a stint, I think.

School was OK too.  I have caught up with the English and am, possibly, a bit ahead which is always nice.  They did two English lessons yesterday as I had an unexpected bit of time.  Well, not me, but my PPA cover.  My usual cover teacher is now on maternity leave and the lady who now does PPA is well known in the school and is lovely.  She was perfectly happy to do an English lesson with the children.

Today is a more conventional day than yesterday although I do have coordinator time after play and the afternoon will be taken up with a family assembly practice.  There will be space for both English and maths, which is great!

I need another coffee so I will keep this short and sweet today.  You'll get more than enough once the holiday starts!!

Wednesday, 25 March 2015


Definitely three cheers today for three more days to go!

We got those puppets finished yesterday afternoon.  They look - er - interesting!  The children had a fantastic time and it will be a shame to spoil their fun by insisting on an evaluation, but that's the Curriculum for you.  I'll squash that in tomorrow, somehow.

It's all a bit frantic with having to fit a lot of stuff into just five weeks so that we are up to date when the SATs are held.  We're doing an awful lot of English this week and maths is taking a battering!  However, today is Wednesday and because of Reading Revelry, violins, family assembly and PPA, there's not an awful lot of time for 'teaching'.  All good stuff though.

Yesterday's concert was brilliant.  It's great to showcase the talents of our children and, my goodness, there is such a lot of talent there.  It was mostly juniors, of course, with a few from my class and one tiny little lass from Foundation Stage who has such a sweet and true voice I can see her doing great things in the future.  She stole all our hearts.

It's a jolly chilly morning with a frost but the sun is up and the sky looks as if it will be clear,  Lovely.  I will appreciate the sun as it's going to be a very long day today.  After school it's staff meeting and then I will stay at school because at 6:30 it is governors meeting and I'm now the staff rep for a short time.  No peace for the wicked.

That being so, my lunch bag is laden.  Baked beans (half a tin), a slice of bread to toast in the staffroom and a wee pot of butter for lunch and then a keema curry for the time between staff meeting and governors meeting.  Also a muffin and an apple, time of consumption to be decided.
As the bread, the curry and the muffin are all home made, it's a good, frugal day's eating, taken all in.  I've just remembered it is a week until Beth and I start Breadline and I feel in a way there are going to be very few changes needed.  For me, 'breadline' is not a great title.  I don't buy expensive Costa (or other) coffee, I don't eat out except on rare occasions, I've stopped the takeaways except very occasionally and I eat very little 'junk'-type ready meals.  I'll do the month and see how it goes though - I could be very wrong!

On a brighter note, I concocted a salad dressing yesterday and have posted it on the other blog.  It's tasty!

Tuesday, 24 March 2015


. . . and four more days.

Yesterday it was rather cold with a hard frost: today seems much milder, thank goodness.  I refuse to turn on the heating for a few hours when any reasonable, sane person is still curled up in their cosy, warm bed!

We had a minor panic yesterday when the felt for the puppets didn't materialise (sorry!) but I ploughed into some English and not long after I started the felt arrived.  My wonderful LSAs and an equally lovely mummy helper set to and by playtime there were 29 sets of felt outlines ready to start stitching together.

That was interesting!  Some great efforts and some dogged persistence was shown by just about all the children.  Talk about courage in the face of adversity, shown by the adults as well as the children!
This afternoon they stick on the features.  Their puppets are based on a character from an alternative version of Little Red Riding Hood that they wrote last week so there's a huge variation!

The other big event of today is the concert.  Many decades ago I started a tradition of a summer concert to sort of showcase the musical talent in the school.  I managed it for many years and then, when I dropped the role of music coordinator, it was picked up someone else and so on.  It's a major thing for those children who would otherwise not get the opportunity to play or sing before an audience and I respect their courage very much.  I'm looking forward to it.

I hope your day is as interesting as mine promises to be.

Monday, 23 March 2015

A little extra!

Woo hoo.  I've just checked my Match and More card and I have vouchers for £20.  Fantasrtic!  This year I intend to save them all up and use them for Christmas shopping.  With Breadline and so on, I might not get as many more points as I would have done three or four years ago but, in the words of a rival store, 'Every little helps!'.


Five more days before the Easter break, that's all.  Three cheers; or maybe I mean five cheers!

Yesterday was pretty quiet.  I baked, I stitched, I managed to access the school network from the carpark and get the planning onto my laptop, I used the 20 'stickers' I have collected to buy a cleaver, something I didn't have and kind of wanted although not prepared to pay what they cost!  For those who don't know Morrisons, you get a little sticker for every £10 you spend and when you have 20, you can buy from a selection of knoves for a ridiculously small amount of money.  My birthday party spent resulted in enough stickers to use (plus what I already had, I hasten to add) so now I have a cleaver.  I will now be able to cut through chicken bones before making stock so that the goodness comes out!  Excellent!

I made some cranberry and spice muffins and some chocolate and banana muffins as well as my weekly bread and the house smelt gorgeous.  If there was any residual beer pong after the smash, it has gone now, thank goodness.

AND - do you remember that a short time ago I had heard that Morrisons was selling pork mince at £1 a pack (525g) and they weren't?  Well, yesterday they were so I got some.  Another good purchase for the Breadline challenge (and beyond).  Very pleased!

Has anybody been watching the painting competition on BBC1 on Sundays?  'The Big Painting Challenge'.  it hasn't 'spoken' as directly to me as Sewing Bee and Bake Off, but it's been most enjoyable, even if I haven't learnt much because I don't know enough or have enough art ability  to learn.  I really do enjoy these elimination competitions with nice, ordinary, non-celebrity, just-happen-to-be-good-at-it people enjoying their skills.

And now it is Monday.  Back to school for a glove puppet making day.  Should be great fun!

Sunday, 22 March 2015


It appears that yesterday was the first day of Spring.  I completely missed that one which is unlike me!   Not that you could tell by the weather which was windy and chilly and hovered between sun and rain for much of the day.

It was such a busy day.  I woke at stupid o'clock so set to and completed the last of the chores reasonably quickly before making tracks to a local party shop to get some nice balloons, Morrisons having failed me.  Unfortunately, it was a nice party shop and I bought more than I intended but never mind, the room did look nice).  Brother didn't take his filled balloon so it's now sitting in my living room looking rather silly!

The food was good.  The two lasagnes and the pasta bake (to accommodate various food issues/choices) were great and there wasn't as much left over as I feared.  Son took some of the gluten free pasta bake and there's one portion leftover for me (now in the freezer).  I portioned out the remains of the lasagne (which was truly delicious!) and now have three meals'-worth frozen.  Beth took the bit of vegetarian lasagne and the remains of the salad.  I do have rather a lot of fresh fruit left over but I will just build that in to my weekly plan which does need looking at anyway.  I wasn't sure how much leftover food I would need to make space for so it's all a bit vague - not good enough for attempts at frugality!

The one disaster was the beer.  Brother and Son both like beer so I got a selection of the good stuff - Old Speckled Hen, Bishop's Finger and several bottles of my own favourite, Two Hoots.
I was fairly dismayed when they both informed me they wouldn't be indulging and one of them said he never drank during the day time!  Well, all I can say is that it must have been his long lost twin brother who stayed here over Christmas, not him!  Ah, well, at least beer keeps!

There was a bit of a disaster after most folk had gone when SOMEone dropped a bottle of beer onto my hard. tiled kitchen floor.  Of course, it shattered into a million bits.  It took ages to clear up and I now have a VERY clean kitchen floor.

So today has to be Saturday.  The bread needs making and I shall be making another batch of Cass' easy and frugal muffins, this time with some cinnamon or allspice and some dried cranberries that really need using fairy quickly. I blogged about the muffin recipe here.

I also want to more or less finish the quilt I am making (first ever so bound to be laden with mistakes) and - silly me - I forgot to copy next week's planning from the server at school onto my laptop so I will have to pop down with the laptop and access the server from the car park - I gather this is a possibility!

Better get started with the dough then and I think breakfast will be a smoothie as I have yogurt to finish off as well as bananas, grapes, melon, etc!  Haven't had a smoothie for simply ages!  Have a good day!

Saturday, 21 March 2015


I finished yesterday's entry with 'but will the weather cooperate?' and the answer is ''no, it *^&;$£(***  well didn't!!'.   Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr . . .

It was such a shame, it was dull and cloudy all through the eclipse.  It got darker, but not particularly so as it was dull already and it certainly got colder but had it not been for live streaming, they would have seen nothing significant.  Then, to add insult to injury, the sun came out and it shone brightly for the rest of the day.  I dunno - the solar event of their lifetime and they missed it!

I remember the total eclipse of 1999.  I was on holiday, staying at Priestfield Grange, Old Brampon (in Willow Cottage) and I didn't go out that day, I stayed in.  It was awesome.  Such a shame my littlies didn't have  similar experience.
I still remember how the world hushed, everything went still, it cooled down and it was really rather spooky.  Awesome is the right word.

According to one cleric of some church or other, Armageddon has begun.  I can understand how, in the past, such unheralded, not understood, seemingly terrifying events aroused utter fear and terror in the hearts of onlookers and I shudder to think what acts of cruelty were perpetrated in order to appease such a deity as could cause the sun to go out. But nowadays . . . I doubt any deity would be quite so crude really.  I find the facts as we understand them now (which might be entirely incorrect in the light of future knowledge) far more awesome.

It's a busy day today.  I have eight for lunch.  Fortunately I have woken very early so have plenty of time.  The kettle has boiled and coffee is calling.  Better respond and then get going.

Friday, 20 March 2015


Well, another key point in the year is over and finished.

Do you find that your year is punctuated by key events?  I think that teachers, in particular, certainly do.
For us, the new year starts in September.  Not usually the 1st - we feel a bit diddled if we have to start on the 1st.
Then we plough our way through to the first set of consultation evenings either preceeded by or followed by the first 'levelling' (whatever that may be called in the future) of the school year.  Not long after that, half term shines a light.
Then there's the long slog to the sparkles of Christmas, the Infant Show, the panto, the carol service at our local church and the lovely 'Carols by Candlelight' on the last afternoon of the term.
Then the rest of the world catches up with us for their New Year!
After that there's the hope of Snowdays, the next lot of levelling, half term and the second pair of consultation evenings.
Then there's yesterday . . . the Infant Music Festival.

And wasn't it grand?  Five schools at a time, performing on several mornings or afternoons during the week.  One appropriate musical, this time 'The Litter Muncher' from those fanastic and creative people from Out Of The Ark. One brilliant pianist, one amazing conductor/director and loads and loads of excited, enthusiastic, motivated year 2 children.

I had a lovely morning.  As all the teachers were, I was immensely proud of 'our' children.  They shone, they sparkled, they were fantastic.  The show was so very good.

It's the first time I have been involved in the Infant Music Festival although I have more than done my share with the Junior Music Festival in the past when I was the music coordinator and led the school choir.   And now I appear to have been seconded onto the committee for next year's show.  As the song goes, 'I'm just a girl who can't say no!'

Today, of course, is the solar eclipse.  Another huge excitement and an excellent opportunity to talk about Not Looking Straight At The Sun and sundry other safety things.  It's going to be a very disrupted first half of the morning but it's the opportunity of their childhood as they will all be pretty grown up by the time the next one comes along.  We have the special glasses, we have the parental permissions, we have the interactive whiteboards to show how it is all going in between going out . . . and then they have to make a poster about not looking directly at the sun.

But will the weather cooperate?

Thursday, 19 March 2015


It's another 'different' day today.  The day of the Infant Music Festival has arrived and this morning half of Y2 is off to Christchurch to take part in a performance of the Litter Muncher, complete with percussion orchestra, junk percussion, song and dance!  All great fun and the children will take a lot away with them once it is all over.

I remember, in earlier days, I used to take the junior choir to the Junior Music Festival each year, having spent the previous four months or so learning what seemed to be impossibly difficult songs and training up my recorder players so that they didn't produce too many squeaks and shrieks on The Day.  In those days I had to organise transport myself, relying on lifts from parents, and it was a right nightmare at times.  Today, thank goodness, we are getting there by coach.

It's a shame we can't take the whole year but . . .
It was names out of a hat to be absolutely fair but there were some upset children all the same.  They're OK now and it helps that next week it is our family assembly and we are repeating the performance with the 'left behind' children playing the leading roles.

Yesterday was normal-ish with rehearsals, computing (which was great) and RE in the afternoon (PPA for us  Y2 teachers).  We're all getting tired quickly now and longing for the end of term.  Only seven days to do although, unlike the other two term ends, this one doesn't ease down gently.  At Christmas there's all the usual festivities to mark and punctuate the end of term and at the end of the year there are obvious slow downs but this one hits the wall at a run!

Talking of running, I'd better get going as there's quite a lot to do before we are ready to leave.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015


I must be transforming into someone else, an unknown stranger.  I got home yesterday and turned on the kettle as always but instead of making a coffee, I really fancied a cuppa tea.  Not only that, I had a second one.  I NEVER have two teas in a row.  What's more I really enjoyed them too.   Maybe it is old age rapidly overtaking!

Enough of that!  Yesterday was a nice, normal day with plenty to keep me occupied.  The rain cleared by playtime (phew) and the sun made a hazy appearance.  Not only that, it was reasonably mild too.

The afternoon was a bit frustrating.  I had planned to teach basic coding to the children using a program I hadn't tried but which was, I was assured, very easy so I aimed to go through it over the lunch break.  Unfortunately I had a meeting in the morning that went through lunchtime and by the time I had finished my lunch, etc, it was in-time.  When half the class had gone to swimming and the other half was engaging in meaningful play activities (really), I opened the program to try it out and within minutes I had them all clustered around me, deeply intent and offering suggestions.  When I told them they could all have a go on the laptops the next day (today) a happy sigh went round and I knew I was on to a winner!  So guess what we are doing today!

On Facebook I read that Morrisons had a special on pork mince.  Now I do like pork mince, it has good flavour and it mixes well with beef mince too.  So after school I pootled over but no, sadly there was no special offer.  It must have just been a local thing.  Ah, well.  I was very pleased that, in the spirit of Breadline, I walked out with an empty trolley instead of popping in a few unnecessary but nice things.  I must be improving.

I was spoilt for choice with telly last night.  First there were the three quizzes, Pointless, Two Tribes and Eggheads, followed by a programme about the top ten favourite British dinners and then a new programme about food (and life) through the decades.  Last night it was the 1950s and it was very entertaining, albeit a bit generalised in some ways.  I was a little girl in the 50s and things kept looking vaguely familiar and yes, we did have liver and I quite liked it, but then mum was, and is, a great cook.  I loved that the whole downstairs of the house, including the kitchen was in 50s style (no telly!) and the family had to dress in 50s clothes for much of the time.  I'm looking forward to the 60s next week.

Breakfast today is porridge with yogurt and dried fruit so I'd better get it on and made.  Happy day, gentle readers.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015


Early morning and it is chucking it down with rain - and I mean chucking!  I got caught out when I went to the shed to get today's supplies from the freezer.  Half way there and I realised that slippers and hair were taking a pounding but by that time I was committed and, as it's about, ooooh, 8 metres to back door to shed, I didn't go back for added protection.  The slippers have now dried out as has the hair.

Hope it clears before playtime.

Yesterday was an unsettling day.  Neither the children or I like changes to the timetable all that much and violins on a Monday is just plain WRONG!  Still, we survived, didn't we?  By the evening I was zonked and ended up in bed, fast asleep, before eight.

Today is, I think, normal - as normal as it gets in school, I mean.  Normal English, normal maths, normal phonics and normal swimming.  Normal meeting after school (a catch up from parents' evening) and so on.  It's just as well because the rest of the week is far from normal so I'm hoping today will ground us all.

As I prepared my school lunch and salad for dinner just now I was thinking about Breadline and why I was doing it.  I shall have to ponder that properly when I have more time - knowing why always helps if or when it gets tough.  As I was getting all philosophical I noticed that the stick of celery in the fridge was getting somewhat manky so, with Breadline thoughts in my mind I sorted out the inside from the remaining outside, the inside bits are back in the fridge and the outside bits have been 'peeled' (the strings removed), chopped, bagged and frozen (rain easing, slippers changed for shoes) with an estimated price on the bag.  That'll do nicely in casseroles, etc, when Beth and I start in a fortnight's time.

And now I must make breakfast!  And more coffee.  Have a good day and stay as dry as you can.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Breadline challenge

I'm a little further on with my planning.

After a chat to Beth we have agreed to share milk.  We will buy a four pint carton each week for £1.00.  She will have three pints and I will have one.  I'm glad because otherwise I would have to get skimmed and freeze some.  I much prefer semi skimmed and I gather that does not freeze so well.

I have some more easy and frugal recipes - tomato scones, muffins and an easy and speedy pizza base.  They've all been priced up and are manageable.

Beth and I will meet together before hand and make up a lot of bulk main course things, cost them out, portion them and freeze them.  It's something we had planned to do before we heard of this challenge and we already had plans for this starting in the summer holiday.  It's just been brought forward a bit.

Both Beth and I are happier when we plan ahead a bit so we will work well together on this, I hope.  She can take the lead in the vegetarian stuff and I will take the lead with the meat content.  I can see there will be a lot of chopped tomato!


Many thanks to Beth for a lovely day yesterday.  We played at patchwork stuff together and then she made a wonderful afternoon tea with sandwiches and pinwheels and crackers and lovely sweet things.  I got out my best china and it was fab.

Yesterday was an easier day than Saturday although still busy.  It was also wetter and much milder, thank goodness.  Saturday felt very cold all day.

And now it is back to school.  We have violins today, not Wednesday, and rehearsals for the Infant Music Festival on Thursday.  All go, isn't it?

Sunday, 15 March 2015


Well, it was all go yesterday.  I felt as if I was on the go almost all the time (although I wasn't really), I didn't get time for a snooze in the afternoon and I managed to stay awake in the evening.  My goodness, didn't I sleep well overnight though.

I made three loaves of bread (one for now and two in the freezer), six tomato scones (trying a frugal recipe I found and they were very nice so I have blogged the recipe - go and take a look), seven portions of turkey, apple and sage meatballs in a tomato and veg sauce (blogged this too), a flour and yogurt pizza base (because it intrigued me and used a bit of the meat sauce to top it - scrummy), a huge bowl of cheese sauce for the lasagne, pasta (a three egg amount) which I rolled out into lasagne and some very tasty meat sauce

Then I put things together to make a big lasagne, a small vegetarian lasagne and a pasta bake using gluten free pasta.  They are now all in the freezer and will come out Friday evening ready to be baked or re-heated on Saturday morning

Today I have already started off another three loaves, for Beth, and hard boiled an egg.  I have no idea what the latter is for, Beth asked me if I would because her eggs are all out of date and she needs one.

I've decided not to make the tear and share this time but just to go for garlic bread instead.  Lazy?  Maybe.

Not an awful lot to do for next week now.  By chance Friday is hair day (have you remembered, Beth) and I have ordered an extra clean from my lovely cleaning company so I won't have to worry about that either.

It's wet outside!  When I took the pasta dishes out to the freezer last night I was surprised to notice that it was drizzling very lightly and that must have carried on through the night.  It's not as chilly as it felt yesterday morning either.

Well, I had better get going.  I have bread to finish, a huge pile of washing to get through and some ironing to catch up on, not to mention school planning and preparation.  I don't have to prepare a 'proper' lunch today as it seems Beth is making a Mother's Day tea and has warned me that a big lunch would be a Very Bad Idea.  I shall just make some toast and pop jars on the table and have fruit for afters.  I'm tempted to make some banana muffins - maybe I will as they will freeze fine.

Borrowed from Google
So off I go . . .

Saturday, 14 March 2015


Getting home yesterday evening was just wonderful.  For all of us at school, Friday was a wearisome day after two long, long consultation evening days with all the accompanying tension.  I had done a little bit of a shop before coming home so I got that labelled and sorted (everything has the price on now in preparation for the Breadline Challenge which is about two weeks away now) and put away before I sank into my comfy chair with the laptop and went into a sort of daze for a while.  Early bed followed and this morning I am fine again.  A bit sniffly and a bit achey but nothing that's going to stop me doing anything at all!

That's just as well because I have a fairly full day.  I have to go out early and then I will be making bread, pasta for the lasagne, cheese sauce (in Thermione because that way it is an absolute doddle), a gluten free pasta bake, some tear and share bread, the lasagne itself, a vegetarian friendly lasagne and a recipe for turkey meatballs that I found and want to try.  I reckon I shall be using another chunk of last year's tomato harvest from the freezer which is good and there will probably be enough for me to make a wee lasagne for tonight's dinner too.

If I make the cheese sauce early, I can then mix the meatballs in Thermione and mop up residual bits of delicious sauce to add to the meatball flavour.  That's the idea anyway!

The nice thing about using your own home made pasta is that you can cut it exactly the right length instead of having to snip away at it in the style of a time cutter!  I never seem to be able to cut dried pasta properly: it always fragments into lots of shards which, while still usable, are rather irritating!

Unfortunately, after such an early night, I'm up well before the lark this morning.  I don't think I will get any more sleep this side of the work I have to do but this afternoon will likely see me snuggled under my fleece on the reclining chair having a bit of a shut-eye.  That would be nice anyway.

Have a lovely day, one and all.

Friday, 13 March 2015


Good morning and welcome to a chilly but not frosty morning here in lovely Essex!  I may not be 100% in health but goodness, I slept well once I nodded off last night after a most enjoyable, if slightly confusing, final of Sewing Bee.  I just wondered about the 'rightness' of the winner's dress being one that no-one in their right mind would wear, ever, to go anywhere.  Or maybe they would.  I just know I wouldn't.  The sewing was good though!

Yesterday was a long and weary day after two consultation evenings, but it ground to its end eventually.  Today is Comic Relief day so we can expect red noses, red merchandise, red everything really.  Oh, and hyper kids!  Just what one needs for some serious story writing and a science investigation.  Isn't life fun!

As already mentioned, this weekend is a cooking and baking weekend in preparateion for the next weekend.  I will be making a large lasagne, a vegetarian lasagne, a pasta bake with gluted free pasta (bought - I tried to make some and it was nasty, very, very nasty) and some tear and share bread.  I have chickened out and will be buying birthday cakes from the lovely JustJules and my other dessert will be a fruit platter plus some cheese and crackers.
Then I have to do some gift baking as well, but I'm saying nowt more about that!

I have to trundle down to a local party shop to get banners, balloons, etc, and there are various usual weekend routines.  It will be all go, won't it?  No peace for the foolish!

Ah well, that's life!  And can it ever be too hard with boiled eggs for breakfast?

Thursday, 12 March 2015


Phew.  The last consultation evenings for the school year are done and dusted now.  What with being ill and so on, it has all been more than a little bit hairy in recent weeks and it is a huge, enormous relief that it's all finished, thank goodness.

I'm so looking forward to the weekend, not because there's nothing to do but because there's loads and loads to do.  Next weekend is a family get together to celebrate a significant birthday - two, in fact - and this weekend is set aside to do as much of the baking and preparation as I can manage.  It's not a complicated menu and much of it can be made beforehand and stored in the freezer (how did we manage before freezers?).l  That's the weekend challenge!!!

Guess what I woke with this morning.  A cold.  Yes, a flippin' cold!  I suppose I was vulnerable after last week's virus.  Ah, well, colds are manageable, aren't they?

Have a great day and may your sun shine for you.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015


One over, one to go.  Consultation evening, that is.  Last night was fine, lots of nice comments, lots of happy people.  If tonight's is as good, I will be a very happy bunny indeed.

Wasn't yesterday lovely?  I was lucky enough to be on playground duty in the afternoon and it was wonderful.  Warm sun = happy children.  We - er - didnt realise how the time was flying until someone mentioned that we should have been in by then!  Sheer bliss.

I was jolly tired by the time I got home yesterday evening but the old (very old) brain was a buzzin' and it took ages to settle enough to get to sleep.  Never mind, only today and three more days before the weekend starts and I have cooking plans for this weekend.  Yay!

Today, being Wednesday, is PPA afternoon so there won't be too much fuss and bother at the end of the day when everything has to be ready by 3:30 and the first appointment.  That's always a very good thing.

Well, it is very chilly and frosty outside but I am hopoing it will warm up and be as glorious as yesterday was.  Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, 10 March 2015


And here we are, ready to go back to school again after an unheard of 10 days away.  It feels like going back after half term although it was nowhere near enjoyable as half term tends to be.  It will be lovely to see the children again though - I have missed them.

I've just been out to the shed for stuff from the freezer and it feels chilly although iPod assures me that it is actually an unchilly 6C.  I'm not sure I believe it today but it makes no difference really.

The conference yesterday was good.  Not good in a 'wow, wasn't he a funny speaker' type of way but good in a 'plenty to think about' sort of way.  At the least conference of this type we all attended, the speaker was hilarious and had us rolling in the aisles for much of the time but I can hardly remember anything he said.  I have a feeling that this time the impact will be much greater although it won't necessarily be comfortable.

The venue wasn't as good as last time though.  For a start there was inadequate parking so it took ages to get a place (on the grass, eventually).  I gather this was because there were three conferences booked.  Then the internet connection was so bad the speaker couldn't use his online resources until after lunch as the connection kept dropping.  As for lunch itself . . . well, there was plenty but it was bread, bread, pastry, pizza and bread again followed by cakes and tarts.  I was all carbed out, I can tell you.  Fortunately I managed to get an apple from the rather inadequate fruit platter which was a great relief after so much stodge.

As a result, when I got to the Hare in the evening for our monthly girls' time, I wasn't even a little bit tempted by their delicious chips or their smaller plate range!  Instead I had a bacon and blue cheese salad that also contained a mixture of leaves, grapes, caramelised walnuts (absolutely delicious) mixed peppers and their house dressing.  It was more than I usually pay there but so, so scrummy and I finished it off feeling satisfied but not bloated!  I wish they did a smaller plate version too.

Today is a lo-o-o-ong day.  There's so much to do, the results of missing a week, and it is the first consultation evening this evening so I won't be home until around nine o'clock.  I shall be glad when tomorrow is over, believe me!

Goodness, I need another coffee to recover and I reckon I will be on caffeine to keep me going before the end of the day.  Thank goodness tomorrow's is earlier, even if it is a rush to be ready straight after school.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Breadline challenge

Three weeks to go before it starts but I am well into planning now.  I'm dreadful like that: the planning is sometimes as much fun as the doing!

I've started recording the things that I will be buying in 'bulk' and using for the whole month.  What I've got so far is:
1 litre  veg oil
1 packet of butter (cut into four, one for each week and now in the freezer)
jam and marmalade - home made so hard to price but I am saying 60p which seems about right as they are fairly small jars
four pints of skimmed milk, shared into four, one for the first week and three in the freezer
550g Cathedral cheddar, finely grated and in the freezer (it was on special at Morrisons so I got it)
Kenco Millicano decaffeinated coffee (my 'nice' coffee), refill pack, on offer

I've also priced out a couple of my regular recipes, porridge and bread
The porridge will cost either 4p or 10p, depending on whether I use pineapple pieces or a spoonful of jam (the jam and the milk are already 'paid for')
Using my usual bread recipe, one little 1lb loaf will cost around 17p.

That's it so far although I do have a stash of tins, etc, in a box in the garage!

I will have to start planning main meals soon, using what I already have in the freezer, of course.


Here we are, a week later and it all feels rather like a not terribly nice dream now.  I'm so relieved to be feeling OK today.  A bit weary, a bit residual achey but nothing to worry about.  It's so nice to know that I shall be doing normal things today - well, as normal as a non-pupil day and an inter-school conference can ever be.

IPod tells me that it is pretty chilly outside so there is possibly a frost, not that I intend to investigate with wet hair and a towel wrapped around me!  It would be lovely if today was like much of yesterday - warm, bright and sunny.  At the last conference of this kind, two or three years ago, it was snowing all day!

I have nearly caught up with the paperwork after slogging at it for much of yesterday.  You would have thought that after a week off there would be no issues but the fact is I just couldn't get my brain around it until yesterday.  The ones I did were rubbish and had to be re-written.  Ho hum!

Of course, I don't need to be in school by 7:30 today although I do have to drive across or around town to get to the conference venue.  Luckily I know my roads after all this time and will use an around the outside route that totally avoids the town centre.  On the way I need to fill up with petrol, the first time since I bought the car, and the garage topped her up as part of the deal.  Shows how much driving I don't do, doesn't it?

Well, I'd better get going.  I have wet hair to dry, a few clothes to iron and just a little bit more work before leaving.
Have a lovely day, wherever you are and whatever you are doing.

Sunday, 8 March 2015


Good morning, everyone.  It is a beautiful sunny Sunday morning, lovely and light with a brilliant blue sky.  Really spring-like and very cheering.

Yesterday was the best day for a week.  I was able to drive a friend to the station without wondering if I ought to be behind the wheel, even with shocking awful traffic jams caused by a pile up on 'our' part of the A12 and the resulting diversion through Chelmsford.  There were police cars and ambulances all over the place, trying to get through the traffic.
Thinking of those who were obviously hurt.

Today is more work.  A pain but if I will go and be unwell for a week, what can I expect.  So I'd better stop wittering and get going, hadn't I?  The sooner I start, the sooner I will get finished!

It's so nice to feel better again.

Have a good day!

Saturday, 7 March 2015

The breadline challenge, to start at the beginning of April

My thoughts . . .


I will use a maximum of £2.00 per day on food and drink.  It doesn’t have to be exactly £2 per day. It can be more some days and less on others.  The ‘official’ amount is £2.10 so the 10p will count in lieu of salt, pepper, herbs and spices so I don’t need to fuss about them.  Therefore, over the full 30 days I intend to spend no more than £60 on food and drink.

I will continue to use meals from the freezer because they are still there and I have to use them up.  Main dishes £1, lunches (which tend to be home made soups 50p.  Vegetables on the side, etc, will be priced.  From now on I will price up everything I make to freeze and record that on the container.

I will take advantage of ‘free’ food, such as playtime fruit, staffroom coffee, etc, in term time.  After all - why not?

Some things will be priced out pro rata.  Others will be priced at purchase.  I will decide which to do, because it’s going to work for me, not for anyone else.  It may not be consistent but, one way or another, it will be accurate!  If stuff goes bad the cost will be included.

I WILL have coffee.  Decaf coffee.  Nice decaf coffee!  So there!  Fortunately I don’t do fancy coffee from places like Starbucks and Costa so that’s no problem.  I’m not fussed about tea but might buy some nice tea bags if I can and share them with Beth who is also doing the challenge with Alex (thanks, Beth and Alex).

The occasional meal out will not count.  After all, they really are just occasional, less than once a month.  I’ll avoid takeaways and go for fakeaways instead.

Plan, plan, plan!    And remember to plan!

I’m hoping that this will be a longer term thing, not just for a month but with some built in flexibility when needed.

I believe the official date for this year’s breadline challenge is the first week in November but I’m not totally sure.  Whenever it is, I will do the sponsored thing for that week.

My expectations are that . . . 
  • I will eat well and more healthily from produce that is fresh (or frozen/tinned) 
  • most meals will be cooked from scratch
  • I will plan 'simple' meals carefully but flexibly
  • there will be less waste
  • I will lose some weight (a side effect)
  • it will be reasonably achievable

Fingers crossed, eh?


Thank goodness.  Finally I am feeling on the up again.  The shivers have gone, the head and neck ache is only hinting and I feel more 'with it' altogether.  Excellent.

After a lovely sunny day yesterday, it felt like a mild night.  IPod tells me it is around 6C with the potential to go well into the teens during the day.  That sounds good.  Hopefully I can open the back door and get some fresh air flooding through without feeling cold.  That would be brilliant.

Apart from doing a bit of a shop, the rest of the day has to be spent doing work, sadly.  But it has to be done and there's a backlog.  Only three more weeks until the Easter holiday starts with it a terrifying thought.  I really didn't have time to be ill but was anyway!  Ho hum.

Have a great day, everyone, and enjoy the sun if you get some.

Friday, 6 March 2015


Good morning.  It seems to be quite a mild morning, comparatively speaking.  No frost and no chilliness.  There was a lot of sun yesterday, when I was in the right place to notice.

I shall be off again today after a day of dizziness and headache yesterday.  A whole week off is dreadful, but there you go.  I am really hoping that today is the day things really come together and improve.

There's not a lot to talk about really so I will keep this brief and wish you all a very good day.

Thursday, 5 March 2015


Well, I spoke too soon yesterday.

I got to school, started doing the necessary and,ooops, back came the aches, the headache and the generally wobbly feeling.  So I got sent home with orders to stay off today as well - they booked a supply for today there and then to make sure I behaved myself.

It's all a bit worrying because I'm getting more and more behind with the planning.  The curriculum content is fierce anyway but with this half term's work having to be squashed into five weeks as well, it's all pretty hairy.  I'm feeling a bit tearful about it all which, I suppose, is a sign that I'm not well!

Anyway, let's get back to normal.  It's cold and frosty outside again this morning with a 'red' sky that is supposed to indicate bad weather in the offing.  However, BBC doesn't agree so I guess we just have to wait and see.  The skies are beautifully clear at the moment anyway.

I wonder what's on daytime TV today!

Wednesday, 4 March 2015


Good morning, gentle readers.  It's chilly, clear and dry but seems to have been raining at some point.  IPod says it is just 1C out there which is brrrrrrrrrr so I suppose there might be a bit of frost.  However, the heating is on and it's cosy inside.

I can't say I'm 100% but well enough to go back to school again.  The aches are diminishing and apart from a little sinus ache, which will respond to meds, things are on the up and up.  No excuses.  The main problem is with feeling very lethargic and that will go as soon as the children come it, I am sure.

My friend did decide to come, thank goodness, although she kept at a bit of a distance!  We had a nice chat over a dinner consisting of jacket potato with tuna of cheese plus some salad followed by fruit yogurt and continued chatting into the evening.  She's now (hopefully) fast asleep in the guest room and should remain so for a while yet.

I've just bustled around (sure sign of feeling better, don't you think?) getting a few things prepared for the day.  My lunch of beans on toast is all packed and ready, the scrambled egg is raring to go, the coffee is made and the salmon for tonight is out of the freezer and will slowly defrost in the fridge during the day for a simple dinner of steamed salmon, chips and peas tonight.  Everything is ready for school apart from popping the laptop in the box and all I have to do is bath and dress.  Oh, no, there's one more thing - I need to empty the washing machine.

I think I will be glad to get back to school.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015


Sill not terribly well, still not going to work.  I do seem to be knocked sideways much more by these viruses nowadays: a side effect of getting older, I suspect.

I have no idea what the weather is like at the moment and I have no intention of looking to find out either.  I pootled outside yesterday and took a few photos which was stupid as it took me ages to warm up again.  I should know better at my age!

So yesterday was a nothing day.  Aches punctuated by sleeps that weren't terribly refreshing.  I did do one worthwhile thing and that was to try a recipe for a bean soup which was jolly nice and just what was needed so I have reproduced it over on Teacher's Recipes.  Please do take a look.

As for today - well, I don't know.  A friend is due to arrive this afternoon to stay for a few days but she might not want to come now.  I will have to wait and see.

I'm tired again now so might pop back to bed and see if I can sleep some more.  Have a good day and stay well!

Monday, 2 March 2015


Good morning, everyone.  It's a very pretty morning, all frosty and glittery in the weak sunshine.  No wonder I felt cold and needed the extra cover,.

Yesterday was an odd day.  It started off fine and I popped round to Beth's with some shopping as she has been quite poorly with flu.  When I got home I felt a bit odd (no, no way I caught anything from Beth, it was far too soon), cold and shivery and the throat was starting to hurt.  I had a sleep but didn't feel any better.  So I phoned in to say I won't be in school today and I'm glad I did as today has started off with the throat, the aches and a developing headache too.

That's about it really.  I might go back to bed soon and see if I can sleep the woes away!

Have a good day!

Sunday, 1 March 2015

The breadline challenge.

This one was new to me when I came across it a few weeks ago via someones blog.  I'm familiar with 'Live Below the Line', the incredibly tough challenge to eat for five days on just £1 a day.  This will be the third year I have done it (if I do it this year) and, as things have gone up, it will be even harder than it was last year.

Anyway - the Breadline challenge.  The rationale is explained here, on the Breadline site.  Without going into unnecessary detail, basically it is the challenge to eat for £2.10 a day (and raise money as you do so).

The next fund raiser is next November so a fair way into the future right now.  However, it caught my attention.  £2.10 is a heck of a lot more than the £1 of LBTL and, with my enjoyment of cooking and current efforts to be frugal anyway, I reckon I could live quite well on that, especially when taken over months rather than just one week.

So - I shall take on the challenge.  Starting some time in April I will do my best to feed myself for £2.10 a day, that's £58.80 for a four week month.  Then I will see how it all goes.  It won't be a fund raiser at the moment, just an experiment.

I'm working out rules as well as using My Supermarket to compare prices, etc.  All jolly good fun, mainly, I suppose, because I don't HAVE to.  I hope it doesn't sound offensive to say that I think I shall enjoy the challenge - I know I have it easy and with a kitchen full of gadgets and a pretty simple lifestyle it shouldn't be too hard.

I also still have two freezers full of food and I shall have to find a way of incorporating what is in there without too much hassle.  Too much hassle would be a sticking point so it has to work smoothly for me.

Anyway - I think I am going to give it a go and I think Beth is joining me.  And in the meanwhile, eating out of the freezer continues.

Apologies for the waffle.  Sometime being able to think out loud is very helpful.