Tuesday, 30 June 2015


It's another gorgeous early morning, fresh and bright with a clear sky and just a very slight breeze in the air.  The windows are open and the house is freshening up.
Today is supposed to be lovely, tomorrow too hot and Thursday has storms and heavy rain predicted.  Well, we shall see!

I can't believe how fast the tomatoes are growing.  Every other day I have to stake them up a bit more.  Fingers crossed for warm, dry weather and no blight!  Which reminds me - must give them their morning drink!

Yesterday was a good day.  Plenty of things happening, it was great to see the children again, work went well . . . just a nice, normal day!  And the reports came back so that's nearly finished (for the last time and it won't be something I miss).
Today should be more of the same, fingers crossed, touch wood, etc!

When I got home I was so tired I could hardly think.  A, my visitor this week, took over and made a delicious and light meal of egg mayo on crispbread.  It was truly lovely to have someone to spoil me when I was so tired!

How do your 'nice, normal days' go, gentle readers?

Breadline: 30-6-15

Breakfast:  fried tomatoes on toast
Lunch:  Tuna mayo with carrot batons, melon
Dinner:  steamed salmon, new potatoes, re-heated veg

I swear I will get the salmon dinner made!  Yesterday I had forgotten to get it out of the freezer and was too tired to bother so Al made some nice egg mayo for us both.  I really was desperately tired!
Today we will.  The salmon is out of the freezer and in the fridge and the new potatoes are cooked.  We might have them cold this evening - we will see how hot the day has been!

Monday, 29 June 2015


The sun is shining as I type and fresh air is streaming in through the open door.  There are a few wisps of cloud in the sky but nothing worth worrying about.  It's going to be a lovely day, I gather, getting hotter as the week progresses.  Not so good for me but I know many like it that way.

Yesterday was sleepy - for me it was, anyway.  There were four of us for lunch and I did sausage patties (or vegetarian sausages) with roast potatoes, roasted parsnips and sweet potatoes, carrots and broccoli and Yorkshire puds!  On the side were slow fried red onions, mustard and gravy.  It was very tasty and I wondered if there would be any left over for today.  Fortunately, there was!  I kept wanting to nod off through the afternoon which started off very wet and ended up dry and sunny.  I was glad of the rain - no need to water the garden.

Today is a normal day at school.  I hope it will be normal anyway!  But first - breakfast!  I have a scrummy melon platter (posh term for some sliced melon on a plate) that needs to be eaten and then I reckon another coffee will be just the ticket.  And while that's going on I shall look through my planning.

Here's to a lovely day for us all.

Breadline: 29-6-15

Breakfast:  Scrambled egg and melon slices (not together)
Lunch:  Tuna sandwich, oat biscuit, fruit (more melon, probably)
Dinner:  Steamed salmon, new potatoes, broccoli and other veg from yesterday (what I'd planned for Saturday, more or less, but didn't have!)

The tuna is left over from yesterday, the salmon is in the freezer right now and, as said, the veg is already cooked and just needs heating up.

Sunday, 28 June 2015


Good morning to all my readers.  I'm sitting downstairs, all the windows are open to cool the place and it has been raining.  The forecast is for another glorious day so I'm making the most of the cool while I can.

I have a friend upstairs, fast asleep (I hope), who is here for nearly a week.  Shame about work really, isn't it?

Yesterday was a very quiet day.  I was so tired that I kept nodding off and between snoozes the hay fever was not great, despite meds.  At the moment I feel as if someone is attacking my brain with sandpaper - sort of gritty and rough and irritated.

Maybe I need another coffee  :-)

Breadline 28-6-15

Breakfast:  Scrambled egg on toast, fruit
Dinner:  Sausages, yorkshire pud, new potatoes, roasted parsnips, broccoli, carrots
Tea:  Tuna mayo sarnies, yogurt

I have loads of melon right now.  They had some reduced in Morrisons and then, yesterday, they had water melon.  I love watermelon so it was no choice!  The huge ones were very dear but the smaller ones were more realistically priced.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Garden photos.

Nothing special, just snaps!

The pinks are in a pot and I must get them into the bed.  I don't want them to die back right now though as they are so very pretty.   Decisions.

The crocosmias are sending up flowers now.  Won't be long before they are ablaze!  I had a whole lot out as they came up this year and the bed looks a lot better for it too.

The lily come up year after year after year with no particular encouragement from me.  I can't see it from the house but it is close to where I put the garden chair when I sit out.  I have no idea where the pansy came from originally but it has flowered for over a year now!  No complaints there.

These are the two fuchsias I got cheap from Morrisons.  When I planted them, all the buds dropped as did my heart but they are now growing again, loot very healthy and should be in full flower before long.  They are half hardy so I am hoping . . .

Nice for a bit of height in a garden without trees.

Finally - all the tomatoes have their first trusses and are growing rapidly.  Must start feeding them soon and I am starting to dream of picking and eating them warm from the summer sun.

The runner beans aren't doing so well.  They have been attached by something and I have sprayed them and am hoping.  Maybe I  should plant some more somewhere, just in case.  What do you think?

Breadline 27-6-15

It's back.  I've missed the planning but not the detailed penny counting.  However, I learnt a lot from the experience and know I can do it again, if necessary.

Fo the next little while I won't give sums but I will continue to eat out of the freezer and cook as much as possible from fresh.  I know it is the best way and need to get the weight thingy under control again anyway.

So - yesterday
Breakfast:  nothing
Lunch:  crackers - and they stayed down, yay!
Dinner:  baked chicken wrapped in bacon, salad veg.  Strawberries from the garden.  And I was fine - phew.

Breakfast:  toast and marmite, fruit
Lunch:  cheese, water biscuits, chutney, fruit
Dinner:  steamed salmon, new pots, broccoli, yogurt

I am making soda bread and oaty biscuits as I have a friend coming.

Friday, 26 June 2015


Good morning, gentle readers.  Wasn't it lovely yesterday?  It looks as if summer has finally arrived at long, long last.  Fingers crossed that today is pleasant too.

When I woke yesterday morning I was feeling really rough.  Aching all over and sick.  And then I was, so I texted to let them know.  I wasn't well all morning but by lunchtime things were rather better, thank goodness, so in the afternoon I turned all frugal again.  I have planned the week's eating and I dealt with some nice young parsnips that I had found at half price in Morrisons the day before.  What I did was I topped, tailed and peeled, cut into roasting bits and steamed them for a short time in my microwave steamer.  Then they cooled on an oven tray dredged with flour, had more flour sprinked over and then they were open frozen.  Now they will be used for roasted veg as and when.

Today I am feeling much better, phew.

I planned my meals for the week too and will post them in a separate message.  Have a good day.


Yesterday evening I was in need of some stress free relaxation.  A random Facebook thingy prompted me to look for some a cappella music and stirred memories for me.

Many. many years ago, when I was at Spring Harvest one year (Skegness, I seem to remember) in the Big Top, there was a 'slot' by an a cappella group called 'Glad'.

Well, it knocked our socks off.  They had a standing ovation which, I gather, was the first ever standing ovation at Spring Harvest.  They were a great act, so well received that the next night they gave what amounted to a concert and the tent was absolutely crowded.  Well, I say a tent but it seated thousands.  I queued early and got a great view.

I bought their CD but have lost it or lent it out since, but after indulging in You Tube last night, I think I must search Amazon.

If it is your kind of thing here are some links.




And while I am on the subject . . .
Does anyone remember the incomparable Swingle Singers?
And so utterly beautiful . . .

Were any of you at Spring Harvest the year Glad entered the Big Top and blew the roof off?
Hoping all the links work . . .

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Thursday (evening)

So sorry, lovely readers, for the silence but this morning I was shattered beyond belief and also worried about Infant Sports Day which was this afternoon.  Not worried for any specific reason but one always wonders if one has forgotten something and will end up looking a right fool with egg on ones face.  It's the same for the Christmas Show and any other like thing.

I hadn't, of course, and it all went swimmingly with some lovely sportsmanship showing from the children, bless them.  My colleagues were wonderful.  It was nice to go out with a bang and - to any parents who might possibly be reading this - thank you for the encouraging clap you gave me at the end.  You were lovely!

Of course, now I am totally worn out again so might not post an entry tomorrow morning.  I could hold this entry back but why?

Three weeks and one day to go.  There are secrets going on.  I wander into sight and conversations stop.  Envelopes are hurriedly hidden from sight.  Bless.  They can't, however, have a 'secret' party - with three of us, that's just unrealistic.  We all know about the party.

Yes, there are three of us retiring.  Between us we account for around a hundred years of contact with the school.  I started as a mummy helper in 1985 and I finish this year in 2015 so that's 40 years straight off,
(edited to say - see how tired I am - even my basic maths fails me this evening) although not all paid, of course!  We three are practically historical artifacts.  In fact, considering the changes that have gone on, there's no doubt about it!  My contact with the school started before many of the parents were born and even before the National Curriculum came into being.  Incredible.

Might see you tomorrow, might not.  Sleep well!

Wednesday, 24 June 2015


I noticed something really exciting yesterday.  Some of my tomato plants have flowers.  Cute little mini trusses that should turn into nice big ones!  This year I have been very frugal and not indulged in grafted plants that cost the earth (although they have always paid for themselves).  I have been even more frugal and wangled six plants out of my dad!  They're all very healthy and seem to be growing fast at the moment so here's hoping.

The strawberries have been great this year, despite the cold weather.  I only have a small number of plants but the fruit has been wonderful.  I have decided to devote the rest of my very small veg bed to rooting the runners that are already being thrown out in hopes of an even better crop next year.

I shall be helping Beth with her allotment once I have the time, so I will be able to share in the produce there.  That means I can go a bit less frugal with my own bed.

I remember that in the house I used to live just before my divorce, we had a wonderful asparagus bed and I enjoyed the results of that for a few years.  Imagine my dismay when I heard that 'they' built an extension over the bed.  So sad.  Maybe - one day . . . you never know.
Borrowed from Google.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015


Good morning, everyone.  It's stupid o'clock here but I have stuff to do and am hoping my brain is awake enough to do it! yesterday

After a lovely sunny day it didn't half rain late afternoon which meant I didn't need to water the garden.  It rained very hard so everything got a good soaking.

Apart from that, yesterday was just a normal day with no major ups and downs so there's nothing unusual to report.  Normal is pleasant but doesn't make for an interesting entry!

Anyway, as mentioned above, I have stuff to do so must sign off and get going!  Have a great day.

Monday, 22 June 2015


OK, so it's coming up to the end of the month and I need to make a decision.  I don't want to go back to the really rigid approach that was stopping me from using things in the freezer because they were either not costed or they were too 'expensive' (silly really, seeing as I had already paid for them, but . . .)

So I have to find a middle way.

I want to keep reporting on things as the accountability really helped but the costing out was a real pain when life was so busy.

I think I will post about what I eat but not about cost.  You will be able to judge from the content whether I'm being wasteful or not.  And so will I!  Posting kept me on the straight and narrow.

Comments welcome.


Next door's climbing rose.  It is a picture at the moment!

Herbs and things.

Good morning, everyone!  I'm a bit slow on the uptake and it has only just clicked that yesterday was the longest day, the summer solstice and the nights start drawing in now (supposedly).  I've just opened the French windows and closed them again in a hurry because it feels too chilly.  So much for summer warmth!

Thank you for all the kind wishes yesterday.  I'm fine apart from a sore and stiff wrist which will be OK in a few days' time.  Typing is a bit of a pain but only a bit!

Yesterday was a nothing sort of day, just work, work, work, enlivened by facebook chats with Beth.  We have a Cunning Plan which I will tell you about in due time.
It was nice and sunny for some of the time and, as I gazed out of the window, I noticed that there was an awful lot of dandelion seeds drifting into the garden and landing all over the place.  I suppose that means extra weeding in a few weeks.  Those dandelions are so prolific!

The perimeter of the garden should look much better again in a few weeks.  I have a half wall-half wooden fence thingy and the fence is in quite a bad way.  Seth came over on Saturday to look at it all and see what needs doing and I'm hoping he can starts soon.  Luckily it is just two sides as the third side belongs to my neighbours!

It was lovely to see so many people reading this blog yesterday.  Please do feel free to leave a brief message: just a hello and an introduction would be lovely, if you haven't replied before or if you have just started reading!  Welcome!

Now I must do some more work.  I'm hoping most of you are sleeping sweetly still.  When you wake, have a wonderful day.

Sunday, 21 June 2015


What a dismal day it was yesterday, to be sure.  The early sun vanished fairly quickly although it remained dry until after the beginning of the June Fair.  I was on the gate so we sat in the drizzle getting not terribly wet until just before the Infant dance (organised by yours truly, the KS coordinator).

I was so mortified.  As the dance started I realised that a Y2 didn't have a partner so I whizzed over to him to be his partner.  Just sixteen beats before the end of the dance, I slipped on the damp grass and went a right cropper in front of what felt like thousands of parents, most of whom were filming!  I landed on my bum and one wrist.  The bum is well padded and OK but the wrist is now rather sore.  But the biggest hurt is to my self esteem!!!

The daft thing is I was so careful to ensure that the children had suitable shoes for dancing but had smooth soled sandals on myself as I had not expected to dance.

As it's the last June fair dance I will choreograph, I think I can properly say I went out with a bang.  Shame it was me on the floor, that's all!  I wonder if it registered on the Richter Scale!

I had intended to spend rather a lot at my last June Fair as a member of staff staff but ended up going home early.  I did buy some raffle tickets so who knows and I had bought some rather nice looking flowers before the gates opened - two pretty pink trailing geraniums (one dark and one light) and a tray of dianthus.  They are now in their pots in their probably forever place and I will see how I think they look over the next few days before planting them properly.  The middle bed is now complete for the year and, with any luck, most of what is planted will come up again year after year.  I like beds like that!  My mum said that once I retired my garden would be a show place.  It won't, I don't know enough, but it should look quite pretty all the same.  All I want is for it to be a pleasant place in which to sit out.

So now it is Sunday and it's a full day of work as I was zonked yesterday and snuggled cosily under my owly fleece for the rest of the day, feeling ridiculously sorry for myself!  Well, things were sore!
The rain stayed around and drizzled heavily which gave the beds a pretty good soaking, thank goodness, before clearing up at some point in the early evening - no idea when because I was asleep - when the sun shone again.  A heavy shower can be worse than useless as most of it runs away but a steady heavy drizzle works a treat!

Now it is dull and damp again.  There's been more rain by the looks of things and there could be more to come.  No complaints from me as the plants are all looking so much happier this morning after a long, gentle drink.  There's even some flower buds on the tomato plants.

Have a wonderful day, rain or shine.  Mine is work filled - how about you?

Saturday, 20 June 2015


It's another bright, sunny morning here, although the forecast is not good for later on.  That's a shame because it is our June Fair today and it looks as if we will have drizzly rain.  All very sad because people work so hard to get the show on the road.

Yesterday was nice.  Quite a lot of sun and fairly warm but not too hot.  I'm afraid I was in bed before eight yet again and I slept the clock round too.

It's a very full weekend so I will say no more except to wish you all well for today.  What are you doing?  Anything exciting or interesting?

Friday, 19 June 2015


Oh, dear, I have been shockingly neglectful this week, haven't I?  The fact it, this time of year is always a busy one and, combined with the old hay fever that has hit hard this year, it's a bit knocking-out-ish.  Things will get better eventually!

The garden is flourishing on just a bit of watering and some weeding.  I've had several strawberry desserts, used some of the herbs and am urging the runner beans on.  Of the eight I planted, one has been nibbled to death but the other seven are fine and seven plants is enough and to spare for one person.   And talking of runners, the strawberries have started sending them out.  Maybe I can be a bit more organised with them this year and make better use of their generosity.

The middle bed is looking a lot better since I cleared the bulb leftovers.  That's the trouble with bulbs - you are supposed to leave them to die back but they look so very messy.  Anyway, they have been cut back now.  The Phlox candystripe is looking very sad though. Maybe it needs moving, maybe it needs a chop back.  It certainly can't stay looking like that anyway!

I have a heuchera in the foliage bed (a mix of herbs and other) that is totally overshadowed by other plants so I intend to move it to the middle bed where it can shine in all its glory.  It's a lovely plant and wasted where it is.  It is not 100% happy either as it remains small and doesn't flower all that much.
This is the type, picture borrowed from Google

Anyway, that's enough garden rambling.  I need to get on with some work.  Have a good day and enjoy this lovely weather.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015


Good morning!  It's lovely and sunny out there this morning, promising a glorious day to come.  Yesterday was OK but rather dull at times.  When the sun came out halfway through afternoon play it made such a difference to the temperature.  Suddenly it was hot!

Finally, at long, long last, I managed to get the quilt to my friend when she popped into school to share her little laddie with us for a short time.  Thankfully, she loved it.  A lot!  Phew.  A lot of people who saw it said I could make a fortune with quilts like that and where was my web site?  Ha!!! I'm just relieved that she liked it.
She said he probably wasn't going to be allowed anywhere near it, it was far too good to be sicked and poo-ed over and she might mount it on the wall.  Nice.

Today, being Wednesday, is full of this, that and the other although rather muddled and different.  For a start, we have swapped PPA so that we are having it in the morning this week.  Then it is violin exams so the children will be popping in and out like yoyos.  And then after school we have e-safety training which teachers have to have every year now.

When I get home there will be a treat.  There are a number of strawberries ready for picking and I have a pot of cream that was on special (just 9p) so strawberries and cream is on the menu.  Delicious!

The runner beans are coming up a treat but it will be weeks before there are any to harvest.  This year I have planted some that don't need pollinating which sounds a great idea.

Better go and get ready.  Time flies!

Tuesday, 16 June 2015


Good morning, everyone.  Apologies for yesterday which was an incredibly busy day with little time for thoughtful (or otherwide) blog entries.  Today is also somewhat busy so this will be brief.

Just to say things are going OK and everyone seems to be well.  It's all go but I can see light at the end of the tunnel, thank goodness.

I hope you are all well and thriving too.

Sunday, 14 June 2015


Good morning, gentle readers, and welcome to a chilly, dull Essex morning. Just about the same as yesterday really although overnight seemed a bit muggy and hot at times.

Yesterday was a bit boring really, apart from the bread making.  As I said, it's a long time since I used fresh yeast for my breadmaking and I'd forgotten how lovely it is to work with.  Beautiful dough, good rising and proving and the results were delicious.  The rest of the yeast is now in little containers, in the freezer.  When wondering how to pack it for freezing, I remembered I have little pots that I bought to take mayo, etc, to school.  I had to buy in bulk (which I did) and have loads and loads of them.  They are just the right size to hold half a pack of yeast which is what I need for one batch of dough.

I always make my usual dough with 500g of flour because that's just right for either two little loaves and some rolls or one square loaf and two rolls.  If I want more, I add another 100g flour but that won;t make any difference to the amount of yeast, it being a very flexible thing!

I must be honest, before too many people think admiring things, and admit that Thermione does the hard work for me.  Start off the yeast, pour everything in the bowl, set for ten minutes on the knead function and Bob's your uncle!  When I am retired and have more time, I probably will sometimes do it all by hand but not at the moment.

I also need (or maybe it should be 'want') to expand the range of bread I make.  Bogstandard wholemeal or white, soda bread, flat bread and, just recently, white/half and half sourdough bread is all I make.  It's all very delicious but there's a world of bread out there that I haven't even thought of with recipes freely available in the internet.

Talking of sourdough bread, I have been looking around for something that gives proportions of starter to flour and water so I can chuck in however much starter I want to use and work out the rest.  There didn't seem to be anything out there so I took one recipe, found a bit of mathematical help on Google, turned on my trusty calculator (something like 75p in Morrisons) and now I have some proportions - 100% starter, 100 and something % flour and so on . . .  I appreciate that sourdough starter varies from time to time and it's never going to be an exact science, but it is helpful to have a flexible measurement starting point.
This is where I find mathematics very useful indeed!

Fingers crossed for today's bake!

Saturday, 13 June 2015


Good morning and welcome to a dull, breezy, damp Saturday morning.  According to the forecast, we should have had storms to enliven our evening/night but, apart from a few rumbles, nothing major made its presence felt.  Or rather, I should say that I heard nothing else.  Once the old hearing aids are out at night, I think I need a nuclear explosion to wake me.  I've totally slept through enough interesting weather to know that!

Yesterday was hot and humid, especially in the afternoon.  At least the sun stayed out: lunchtime was rather dull and gloomy and I thought the rain was arriving but it cheered up again.  It did make for an uncomfortable day though.  As soon as I got home I had a bath which helped a lot.  I had to wash my hair anyway because the lovely Sharon arrived to do Beth's and my hair.  That also made me feel much more human again!

Before setting off for home I popped over to Morrison's for a few bits and bobs (yes, I bought more than I should have bought) and, to my delight, saw that Morrison's is selling fresh yeast in little cubes.  One cube seems to do 1 K of flour so that's neat!  They're in packs of four so I will need to freeze them (after partitioning them into halves to wrap in parchment).  I know from past experience that thawed yeast goes all runny so I must remember to unwrap it while frozen and pop it into the container I will use to activate it.
OK, so it will make my bread more expensive.  Four cubes for 50p, each cube will do two bakings for me, that means the yeast is about 6p per 500g loaf.  I think Breadline can absorb that!

At present there are two loaves in the oven, made with the yeast.  One is a large flat loaf and the other is a wee cottage loaf made with the left over dough.  The dough had a lovely feel, look and smell and it rose and proved a real treat.  It's so long since I used fresh yeast that I am ridiculously excited!

In the Golden Olden Days, when the children were little, we lived between Forest Hill and Sydenham.  Along Dartmouth Road there opened a 'health food shop' called, if I recall correctly, Provender.  It was small but brilliant.  Bins of dry foods of all kinds that you could scoop into bags so you could have as much or as little as you wanted, a machine that made peanut butter to order, a wide range of herbs and spices for that time  . . . and fresh yeast!  I used that shop often, it was brilliant, uncommercial, great value and the lady who ran it was lovely!  I missed it for a long time after we moved.  I wonder if it is still there - I must google.  Hang on . . .  no, sadly, it isn't there any more.  I suppose it is hardly surprising - it was a very long time ago.

Anyway - fresh yeast - yay!

I'd better stop here because the bread is smelling rather good and needs checking and also I have a day of wall to wall work and MUST get started.  And I need another coffee!

Have an enjoyable day.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Breadline: 12-6-15

I have no idea where I am with the finances so I will just try to be 'careful', post my menus, and start off again properly at a convenient moment.  To be honest, it might seem a bit of a pain at times but I am rather lost without it!
I have a load of little pullet eggs at the moment so meals will be egg high.

Breakfast:  Scrambled eggs, fruit salad with yogurt
Lunch:  hard boiled eggs, apple, satsuma
Dinner:  bolognaise pasta bake (from freezer) with salad


Good morning, everyone.  Wasn't it a glorious day yesterday.  It was here, for sure.  Warm and sunny with a gorgeously blue sky but with enough of a breeze to keep it pleasant.  A perfect day for our mini sports down at Melbourne Stadium.

The morning was a bit of a rush but we all had an early lunch and by half twelve we were walking down through the woods to the stadium which is about ten minutes' walk away carrying flags and water bottles.  After the opening 'ceremony', the children set to in teams, doing a variety of games activities against the clock while the Lord Mayor and not just one but TWO Olympic torches came round to chat and encourage.  It was fun and we all had a whale of a time.

Once back at school again it was a real rush to get the children out to their parents and we didn't really manage it, I'm afraid.  This morning will be something of a muddle at first as we sort out shoes and uniform that was left behind but never mind!

It was just a shame that my foot started playing up again and by the end I was hobbling and it some pain.  Never mind, I now have my support bandage on and it's all a lot better again.

Today is a typical Friday apart from the fact that it is our family assembly.  We're ready.  The children have been responsible for most of it with just a little guidance from me.  It's the first time I have let them take quite so much responsibility and I think they've done very well indeed.  I hope the parents agree.

After such glorious weather and a night that wasn't too hot, today is predicted to be rather less pleasant.  This is what it says on the BBC weather page:

Isolated severe thunderstorms are likely to develop overnight Thursday into Friday bringing the risk of torrential downpours through Friday. These will be succeeded by a band of more widespread heavy rain and occasional thunderstorms, moving gradually north later on Friday and into Saturday, affecting much of the highlighted region into Saturday morning before becoming lighter.The public should be aware that there is a chance of some very localised significant disruption, mainly from surface water flooding. Lightning and hail could also cause some impacts.

On looking out of the window, there is a very strange light in the sky that can only be described as pink right now as the sun rises.  Oh, well, some heavy rain would do the garden a world of good.  I've been watering the younger plants in the beds but the ground is very dry indeed.  I think I will water them this morning, just in case, though.

I'd better get going.  There's a lot to do and little time to do it.  First of all though - coffee!

Thursday, 11 June 2015


Phew.  That's my last ever performance management over and done. As expected, it was a very bitter-sweet experience.  I was fighting tears most of the way through and it was all decidedly wobbly.  It is all very 'not-sure' at the moment.  However, comments were lovely, the paperwork is to be proud of and, of course, there will be no more targets.  I won't miss them!

I am comforted by the thought that I will not be saying a complete goodbye to the school I love so much.  I will be on their supply list and I know I will be used because a) I am just round the corner, b) they won't have to pay agency fees as well as supply costs and c) I can do half days, no hassle!  I have made sundry promises about coming in to help, especially with the younger children with a few issues which is rather taking me back to where it all started after I moved from London and offered to help at the village school my children were then attending.  I was given some children who were not making expected progress to work with and it worked out very well.  The head gave me a fantastic reference and it all went from there.

As I am not doing Breadline for a few weeks I popped over to Morrisons and consoled myself with some strawberries, some blueberries and half a melon (reduced!!!). It cheered me up no end, superficial soul that I am, as I do love summer fruits!  I was also pleased to get some yellow stickered parsnips which I will blanche and freeze for roasting some time in the future.  You can't take the Scrooge out of the girl, can you?
So it is fruit salad and home made yogurt for breakfast today.  What could be better?  Yum!
(edited later to say it was wonderful!)

I haven't mentioned much about the garden recently.  I'm cutting down on tomatoes this year and the six I have in the veg bed were given to me by my dad.  The runner beans are just breaking through and the strawberries are starting to ripen.  I am looking forward to sharing allotment responsibilities with Beth and sharing the produce too, when I have more time.  At the bottom of the garden a 'bramble' blackberry has broken through from outside.  At present I am encouraging it although it is very thorny: if it produces next year I will be very glad but if not, it will come out and be ruthlessly suppressed.  The herb bed is looking very healthy right now and I need to start harvesting some of the chives, oregano and mint.
It will be wonderful to spend about half an hour on the garden each day.  It is small but I can do much more with it.

Today is going to be fun.  V and I are taking the Y2 children down to our local sports stadium for 'Mini-Sports'.  We need to be there for 12:45 which means a short morning, an early lunch and a longer afternoon but it should be fantastic fun.  I remember when I took my Y4 class there for something similar.  That's a long time ago now.

Well, better got on.  Reports have to be written and planning has to be looked over not to mention a kitchen that urgently needs some attention.  Life goes on.  Have a good day, gentle readers!

Wednesday, 10 June 2015


Good morning, everyone.  Life is calmer again and sleep is better even though Monday night was warmer and I turned the fan on.  It was chillier yesterday and overnight it was a snuggle-under-the-cover night again.  When I popped into the garden yesterday evening the heating popped on.  In June!!!  I closed the door pretty quickly once I realised, believe me.

Today is the interesting day, further enlivened by a performance management review, my last!  Friday will be the last time I have a class in Family Assembly.  Next week will be the last time I am on kitchen and dishwasher duty.  And so it goes on.

I'd better go on too.  There's lots to do and little time to do it.  Have a great day!

Tuesday, 9 June 2015


So sorry about yesterday, gentle readers.  Without going into any detail, after a weekend of not sleeping all that much I just didn't have the energy.  I resorted to one of those sugar and caffeine loaded 'energy drinks' at lunchtime which fired up my brain enough to manage the afternoon but which caused a crash later on.  Fortunately I was home by then so no problems.

Oddly, we had another power cut just after five.  Some of us in the cul de sac checked that it was not just one house and my lovely next door neighbour contacted her husband who checked online (we couldn't, of course) and he let her know they said power back on at eight thirty.  She also checked that I was OK for food, etc, which was very nice of her.  Thanks, J.
It's strange to have two cuts so close together when we haven't had any for years and years.

It was a dull evening so to make the most of the natural light I decided to sit out in the garden with a book and my fleece which was actually very nice, despite the lack of sun, until it started spitting with rain!  Fortunately the power came on earlier than expected so I spent the evening vegging in front of the telly before having a very early night and a great sleep.

 I do wish I didn't get so stressed out about stuff . . .

Today is, I think (hope) an ordinary day.

I've decided to ease off on Breadline while things are so fraught in other ways.  It will be back but right now I need to ease off on unnecessary pressures.

Monday, 8 June 2015


Sorry for the silence.  Things are a bit heavy right not - just temporary and I will be back!
(Is that a promise or a threat, I wonder?)

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Breadline 7-6-15

Already spent:  £10.78
Still to spend:  £48-25
Days to go:  25

Today's plans
Breakfast:  Oat pancake (egg 10p), strawberry (garden), banana (paid), yogurt (paid), maple syrup (10p)
Lunch:  Ham (42p), salad (paid)  mayo (6p), satsuma 10p) apple (11p)
Dinner:  mushroom omelette (eggs 40p, rest paid)

Total:  £1.29

You may gather I gave lots of eggs to eat!!!


As hoped, yesterday was beautiful.  Not too hot, breezy, wall to wall sunshine - a true English summer day.  Overnight wasn't warm: it was a snuggle under the quilt night - just the kind I love so much. No need for extra covers but no feeling sweaty either.  Couldn't have been better!

Through the day I interspersed work with popping out to do bits in the garden.  I planted out some bits and bobs including tomatoes and a couple of fuchsias that were going cheap in Morrisons a couple of weeks ago.  The foliage bed always looks nice but now the flower bed and the veg bed look a lot better too.  However there's a lot of clutter in the corners so that's the next job - to get that all cleared up and away.

I had a strange experience in the evening.  I had fallen asleep in my chair when I was woken by a hammering at the door.  It took me a while to realise what was happening (as you do when you are only half awake) and when I opened the door there was a nurse outside on the phone to someone and looking worried.   When she saw me she said 'It's OK, she's here' and looked relieved.
Turns out she was a Care Nurse, her job being to visit patients just out of hospital to check they are OK and if anything is needed.  Great idea.  However, seeing that I am NOT just out of hospital, oops, not so good!
She had my name and address down correctly but  it must have been all of ten years ago when I last went in to hospital to have a lump removed and it was hardly an 'are you OK, can you manage' type of situation even so.  I guess their records had got muddled but am concerned for the person it possibly should have been.

After that excitement I meandered up to bed and was asleep within minutes!

Today is more of the same, I guess.  Work, work and more work but, hopefully, no unexpected visitors.  The weather looks hopeful, once again.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Breadline 6-6-16

It's been pretty hectic round here so this is a bit late.  Sorry.

Already spent: £8.20
Still to spend: £51.80
Days to go: 26

Today's food:
Breakfast:  Old ryvitas with soft cheese.  Soft cheese is paid for and the ryvita was so old and stale I'm not paying for it!  Yes - that old!  Shocking.
Lunch:  Jack's peanut butter bread (paid) with soft cheese (paid)
Dinner:  spanish omelette with eggs (40p), potato (paid), mushrooms (paid), tomatoes (paid), onion (paid) and cheese (paid).  Yes, honestly, all paid.  Apple (13p), banana (paid)

Total:  53p


No power suppy problems overnight, thank goodness.  So sorry about not appearing much yesterday but with everything out yesterday morning it wasn't possible.  The power went off at some point before one thirty (I know because I woke to go to the loo then), came back on very briefly at around 7:20, then again a few minutes later but neither time did it stay on.  I went to school hoping and it was OK at school, thank goodness.  It would be hard to teach as planned without power as so much now depends on ICT things to support the teaching.  Not a bad think of itself but it makes us vulnerable to failures.  However, I gather we are on the same 'system' as Morrisons over the road which makes it very unlikely that power will go.

Thursday was an OK day.  The weather was glorious - not too hot and not too cold, not too windy and not too still.  A perfect summer's day, in fact.
Yesterday was less pleasant.  Therre was some storming early morning and it was hot and terribly humid all day.  Not nice for us or for the children.  This morning is much nicer.  It's cooler again and the sun is shining brightly so fingers crossed for a great day!  However, everything else was fine.

Look what I found yesterday after school.

Yes, I ate it and it was gorgeous.  There's a couple more nearly ready too!

This weekend is wall to wall work, sadly.  I hope yours is easier!  :-)

Friday, 5 June 2015


We had a power cut overnight and it was still off this morning so, sorry, no bloggy stuff.  I'm at school now but there's no time to create anything.

I'll be back!  :-)

Thursday, 4 June 2015


I can't believe how quickly this week is going!  Thursday already!  I wish time would slow down.

The weather has really calmed down again.  It's very still and last night felt a lot warmer.  No need for an extra cover and it was almost too warm under the quilt a few times.  The forecast for today is good but there's a weather warning out for tomorrow - storms, I gather.  I guess that means sweaty humidity.  Ah, well . . .

I'm off to a moderation meeting at the end of school.  My first ever (and last too) so it will be interesting and, hopefully, helpful.  Then on Monday there's our internal moderation meeting.  I think I have all the sheets ready but, again, it is my first experience of it all.

In the meanwhile, I'd better go over the planning and get myself ready.

Breadline 4-6-15

Spent so far:  £4.20
Still to spend:  £55.80
Days to go: 27

Today's menu
Breakfast:  scrambled egg (30p) on toast (paid), apple 13p
Lunch:  Beef in beer (left over from last night, paid), rice (24p), fruit (paid)
Dinner:  Pork and chickpea chilli (50p), yogurt (paid)

Today's spend:  £1.17
The rice is so expensive because it is microwave rice - it needs to be used!

Wednesday, 3 June 2015


It was another very blowy day yesterday and, I expect, over most of the country.  There's still a fair bit of wind even now but it is reducing in strength.  There wasn't much rain, however, thank goodness, because our Foundation Stage was off on its trip to Tropical Wings!  By evening the sun was out and it was rather lovely.

From where I am sitting I can see that the sun if rising as it is shining on a roof top.  Maybe it will be a lovely day today.  I do hope so.  I think we all need some sunshine to cheer us up.

Yesterday was quite tiring.  The children were affected by the wind, as they so often are, and it was a long day with meetings after school as well.

Today is the 'different' day.  No library but we do have violins and then it is PPA in the afternoon.  It's all go today, one way or another!

So I'd better get going then!

Breadline 3-6-15

Spent so far: £1.94
Left to spend:  £58.06
Days to go: 28

Today's food plan:
Breakfast:  granola (2p), pineapple (6p) and yogurt (paid), satsuma (10p)
Lunch:  beans (12p)  (no beans in the cupboard!!  How did that happen!?)  Marmite (paid) on toast (paid), grated cheese (paid), not-cross bun (10p)
Dinner:  beef casserole (65p), rice (25p), apple (13p)

Total:  £1.31

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Breadline 2-6-15

Spent so far:  99p
Still to spend: £59.01
Days to go: 29

Today's food
Breakfast:  Peanut butter on toast (just the thing for a cold, wet, windy day and all paid for too)
Lunch:  Soup (15p), flapjack (5p), apple (11p)
Dinner:  Moroccan pork (50p), pasta (4p), satsuma (10p)

Total:  95p

(Very pleased that there's a lot of things left over from last month.)


Good morning, gentle readers.
It's jolly windy here and the rain has just started.   I've just been round closing the winows because the heating keeps clicking on!  Not what one expects at the beginning of June, is it?  Brrrrr.
What's it like your way?

Yesterday was OK.  A bit of a rush when I got to school and I had to pop home because I forgot some books (doh!) but we got there eventually.  My lovely LSAs worked through a pile of stuff I needed them to do and it was lovely to see the children again.
I came home with a pile of marking.  It's a bottomless pit - you clear one lot only to see it stacking up again.

Looking outside, I think my outside maths lesson on measuring in metres is going to have to be deferred.  I can't see them coping with books, recording and metre sticks in this wind, can you?  It will drive them crazy.  Luckily, there's another lesson this week that I can substitute without too much hassle.  All the other lessons are indoors so they will be fine.

I do love the wind though.  I love watching the trees blowing and tossing and, even more, I love watching waves in a high wind.  There's no chance of seeing the sea today but there's plenty of trees around here including one next door that enhances the bottom of my garden and which is playing tag with the wind most energetically at the moment.

Well, better go - there's stuff to be done.  Stay warm, dry and safe today!

Monday, 1 June 2015


Heigh ho, heigh ho, it's back to work I go.

Shame about that really.  The sun is trying to shine and I could do with going back to bed for a bit more sleep but it ain't going to happen, not today!

Have a lovely day, one and all.

Breadline 1-6-15

Spent so far:  £0
Still to spend:  £60
Days to go: 30

Today's menu:
Breakfast:  banana smoothie (paid), apple (11p)
Lunch:  Hummus (14p), carrot sticks (paid), muffin (6p)
Dinner:  chicken kiev (58p), side salad (paid), satsuma (10p)

Spent today:  £0.99

And so we start again!