Monday, 24 April 2017


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, 23 April 2017


Waking at half past two is ridiculous so thank goodness, after an hour of reading, I managed to drop off again.  One of these days I will manage to sleep through, I am sure.
It's dull outside but not, wet, unlike yesterday when it started drizzling which turned into proper rain before drying up for the sun.  Not enough rain for the garden, of course, but better than nothing.

After a leisurely morning, we went into town in the afternoon so I could show off John Lewis.  My card hasn't yet come and that's fortunate in a way because I was tempted by one or two things as we strolled round.

Once home, I finished off what turned out to be a simple dinner.  Lasagne that I had put together beforehand, garlic bread and a simple salad followed by cheese and crackers.

Today is a bit busier as I have more coming round for lunch.  I have boiled a gammon joint and with it I will provide salad, cheg, coleslaw and jacket potatoes.  Nothing too tricky hut all tasty and filling.  Then it is a selection of cheeses with crackers and grapes.  I am hoping there won't be too much left over.

I have to remember to put the seedlings outside during the day now.  The courgettes are starting to get a bit leggy straining to grow to the light and I don't want that.

I think all the tomato seeds have germinated.  That's the seeds I harvested from a tomato in a bag given to me by a friend who had grown them from seeds she harvested from a tomato she brought back from holiday.  It's not as complicated as it sounds  - honest!

I followed this method.
As I thought they might not all grow, I planted four per pot but they have all come up.  Fortunately, my dad will take some off my hands in swaps for the sungolds and montellos he's giving me.  Bartering is great!

Well, it is past six o'clock and I have a lot to do, so I will stop and get on with the morning's tasks.  Have a good day.

Saturday, 22 April 2017


Good morning, everyone.  It's just past half past five and it is getting light.  I love the dark winder mornings when the curtains are closed against the chill and the heating makes everything cosy and warm but I also love the lighter starts to the day when nature seems to get going so much earlier and it makes me feel energetic and sparky.

It's not warm, mind you, and is due to be colder.  I'm looking forward to those days when I can throw open the doors and sit out in the mild mornings and watch the brightness chase the dark away.

Yesterday was a busy day but I got loads done.  It's odd how days like that can seem so daunting before hand but, when you start and work steadily through your list, it can go so much more quickly than you expected.

So beds got made up, the kitchen was cleared and tidied, I made two white loaves and two rhubarb and ginger cakes,the tomato and lentil soup is all ready for today, the house is clean and relatively tidy and the shopping for the weekend is all done.
Mind you - remind me never to go shopping in Somerfield on a Friday morning again.  Talk about crowded!

Today should be an easy and pleasant day.  After lunch we're going into town so I can show off our new John Lewis, not to mention places like the White Company and Hotel Chocolat.  Then it's home again so I can get dinner sorted out - lasagne, salad and garlic bread.  Yum!

It's going to be a great day - I hope yours is too.

Friday, 21 April 2017


Good morning!  A bit cold, a bit dull outside but nowhere near a frost so my fingers are thoroughly crossed for the next few days!

I was sitting and thinking, earlier, about garden plans and realised that, between us, we have quite a lot harvesting, growing or planned.
In the allotment we have or will have rhubarb, potatoes, apples, pears, plums (frosts permitting), French beans, mange tout, spring onions, baby corn, squash, courgette and leeks (there will be more but we have to clear the ground and make more plans).  We're thinking of starting a small asparagus bed at some point too.
In my garden I have plenty of herbs and will have salad leaves, carrots, radishes, loads of tomatoes of various kinds (sungold, montello and the unidentified Italian ones),  courgette, strawberries, tayberries (first year of fruiting so very exciting) and blueberries (it's flowering now so I am hoping for a few, even though it is just the first year).  There's not going to be a lot of most things but it's all very exciting!

There's no time for the allotment today but yesterday we spent another couple of hours there.  Beth finished planting the potatoes while I carried on with the in-depth weed clearing.  I finished the hardest strip (it had been well impacted and not forked over for a few years as well as all the weeds) and started another strip that was much easier and should go a lot quicker.
Not a large area but enough for me and Beth!

Then it was home, James, for lunch and tuition prep plus bread making.  I was very tired come the evening!

Today is all bustle getting ready for my visitors.  Luckily it is the day the cleaners come so I don't have to worry about that side of things, I just have to make sure surfaces are clear, etc.
I've got my meal plans and my shopping list, I have more bread to make and a rhubarb loaf, I have beds to make up and so on.

First stop in a kitchen tidy so I'd better get started or I'll never get it all done.  Have a satisfying day, whatever you have planned.

Thursday, 20 April 2017


Ooops - I seem to have forgotten to post an entry yesterday.  Really sorry about that - no problems, just rather busy really.

It's cold out there but not icy, thank goodness.  It's too early to tell whether the sun will grace us with its presence but you never know!  I gather it's going to get colder next week with, maybe, some snow.  I shall dig out an old sheet to cover the strawberries and hope that will prevent any damage.   There are so many flowers, it would be very sad if they got frosted.

Pretty, aren't they?

Yesterday ended up a busy day.  I spent the morning at the allotment with Beth.  We're getting there now although there's still quite a lot of weeding to do, and Beth planted the first row of spuds - very cheering!
Then she came home with me and we had lunch, after which she got on with sewing and I got on with planning, etc.

After two tuition sessions, I was so tired but, despite that, didn't sleep wonderfully well and was awake by 3:00 which was annoying.
So I came down, did some messaging and made the savoury mince for the lasagne I am going to make at the weekend.  It's been simmering in Thermione for an hour and has just finished.  Very delicious it tastes too.

I shall go up and have my bath and get dressed after posting this and then I cam make an earlier start off to the allotment.  I mowed the grass yesterday so don't have to load the mower into the boot today, thank goodness.
Then it's home for bread making and another tuition session before getting the ironing done while watching evening TV.  Hopefully I will sleep a lot better tonight because I've got a busy weekend coming up.

Have a good day, whatever you plan to do.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017


A very early good morning to you all!  Half past three is daft but there you go - if you're awake, you're awake!
I suspect that a number of my ex-colleagues will be in the same boat around here, today being the start of the summer term with the drive towards the SATs, both statutory and optional.  Some areas still have the rest of the week as their Easter holiday, of course.

It was a damp start yesterday but turned into a most pleasant day with plenty of sunshine.  After a very leisurely breakfast with lots of chat over coffee, I set off home, expecting some hold ups as I'd seen on the news earlier that the M11 was bumper to bumper gridlocked from Bishop's Stortford to Harlow.  I wasn't using the M11 but expected that the route I always take would be affected by extra traffic.  However, by the time I set out, it (whatever 'it' was) must have cleared because actually it was a very good journey.  Plenty of traffic, sure, but no hold-ups apart from the usual traffic lights in places like Little Hadham and Bishop's Stortford itself.

I was going to pop into Aldi's at BS but, as I approached, I could see that the car park was chokka and cars were queuing both to get in and out so I drove on past and will go to our own Aldi at eight this morning, hopefully timing it between the rush hour and the milk run.  I have my little list all ready and want to take advantage of the cheap, Easter veg - what's left of them, anyway.

When I got home, I unpacked and bunged some washing in.  I was able to dry it on the line which was good.  I admired Beth's craft work from the weekend and then investigated the seed situation and was delighted to see that most of the seeds I planted last week (or was it the week before) are germinating, including the tomato seeds I salvaged from the undefined tomatoes from Italy that a friend gave me.  Excellent.  Outside, the radishes and the 'salad leaves' are coming up although the carrots still have to make their appearance.  The blueberry is still alive and looks happy and the other plants are all smiling!

Come the evening I struggled to keep awake until about nine o'clock before giving up and going up.

Today, as already mentioned, it is early morning shopping before doing my stint at the allotment (bet the rain has brought the weeds up) and then waiting in again in case my card comes.  If it does, it's off into town to sort out with the bank what needs a refund and what doesn't.  There's also another load of washing to go in and then hang out (I hope) and some subsequent ironing.

There are some programmes I want to watch this evening and I bet there's a clash!  That's always the way, isn't it?  Like buses, they all come at the same time after days and days of mostly rubbish!

Well, I may as well make use of this early morning time.  I have that pile of washing that could go in, my washing machine being on an outside wall; I have bread to make for the weekend (I have guests) and I need coffee.
Have a good day, whatever you're doing.  I'm off to get my first hit of the day!  😊

Monday, 17 April 2017


Well, it's too dark to see what's going on out there except that it's definitely been raining overnight for which I am duly grateful.  It should soften the allotment ground no end.  Muddy I can cope with!

I'm off home soon after a very pleasant weekend with my parents.  Nice and quiet and not an Easter egg in sight.  I brought with me a jar of my plum jam and some allotment rhubarb so we have enjoyed rhubarb and strawberry crumble with cream and, last night, good old-fashioned stewed rhubarb and custard which was absolutely delicious!  It makes me feel hungry just thinking about it!  Must look up more rhubarb recipes!

On the way home I will be stopping off at Aldi to see if they have any of their super-free veg left after the weekend.  Hope so - I don't need a lot but I am nearly out of carrots!

Once home, life gets back to normal.  I left the house tidy but, of course, there will be some washing to do and, as tuition starts again this week, some planning too.   Also, I want to have a tour of the  estate - oh, ok, the small patch I call my garden - to see what weeds the rain has brought up!

 Enough stuff to keep me out of trouble anyway.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Easter Sunday

Wishing you all a lovely, happy, restful day today with just the right amount of chocolate.

It's a bit gloomy out there and the weather forecast is more than a bit dire for a holiday weekend but there's not a lot we can do about that.

I have a very clever daughter.  A few days ago a friend asked did KittyStitches have any bags in stock as she needed one for a friend.  We didn't have any suitable ones so she came over to mine yesterday and knocked this up from what we have in the cupboard.  Well done!
I could do with one of those myself!

I watched the first in the new series of Doctor Who yesterday and thought it was very good.  Love the new companion and the snippets relating to past characters, etc.  I'm looking forward to the next one now.

I'm not sure what's happening today but I am sure it will be good, whatever it is!  And now it's coffee time.

Saturday, 15 April 2017


Good morning.  I'm awake very early (again) so am sitting up in bed, typing this on my laptop.  That probably means more typos that ever but never mind!  I think that, in a while, I will creep downstairs, make myself a coffee and bring it back up to enjoy in bed.  How's that for self indulgence, eh?

After a rush yesterday and a disappointment arriving by email, Beth and I spent a gentle morning de-weeding at the allotment.  I meant to mow the grass but left the battery for the mower on the charger so I couldn't.  Of course, it has rained overnight, so when I get back there to do it, it will be knee high again!

My beautiful redlove apple has forgiven me for moving it out of the garden and is laden with blossom.  It's a very beautiful little tree so I took some photos.  The biggest problem about the redlove is that it isn't self pollinating and that was a drawback in my garden.  In the allotment with apple trees all around it won't be an issue.

Oh, dear, just look at those weeds!  They're next on my list and, after the rain we're having, the ground should be easier to work.

All the fruit trees have had the ground underneath them cleared now (well done, Beth!).  The strip under the apple trees has been covered with membrane and then with bark chippings that are available for the allotment holders.  All we have to do is give the wheelbarrows some exercise!  Beth finished the ground under the pear and plum yesterday so next week, weather permitting, we will level that off and cover it in the same way.  That'll keep the weeds down and retain moisture in the soil as well as making a soft landing for fallen fruit.

She has also started digging up the potato patch.  We didn't dig up all of last year's spuds which have now started to sprout, so that's our seed potatoes for this year.  Excellent.

Once home again, I gave my own plants a good water, including the blueberry.  I shouldn't really as it is ericaceous, but I don't have a water butt so needs must.  I must follow up on something someone said about adding a touch of vinegar to the water.  How much, I wonder?  Do any of my readers know?  Anyway, at the moment, it looks happy enough, hasn't drooped at all or dropped any leaves.  There's about four 'sprays' of flowers so I should get one or two fruits, maybe more if I help it along with a soft brush!

My parents are spending time with me today.  I have no idea what we're doing, maybe not a lot, but that doesn't matter at all.  I'm also in the middle of reading Pride and Prejudice for the umpteenth time.  It's one of those books where I notice something new each time I read it and it's so amusing.

No time to be bored nowadays!

Well, better get that coffee and then I can carry on reading.  Have a lovely day, whatever you are doing, and I hope any rain doesn't get in your way.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Good Friday

Good morning, everyone.  A happy Good Friday to you.

It looks very dull and gloomy outside this morning and it seem we might have some rain overnight too.  Typical, isn't it - lovely weather earlier in the week and when the holiday starts the fine weather goes on holiday too.

Yesterday turned out to be on the busy side.  The card didn't come so now I'm on a shut down as far as spending is concerned!  Fortunately, so is my bank account so any more efforts to nick my hard earned pension have come to naught and one sum has already been refunded.
I do wish my card had come though.

I started by turning out the fridge and putting everything that needed dealing with on the side.  From a punnet of wizened old plums I made three pots of delicious plum and star anise jam which will go down a treat.

Then I went out into the garden and worked my way through my list.  I planted out the blueberry in ericaceous compost, I dug up the mini Japanese anemone plantlets and popped some in a couple of post for a friend.  I weeded and de-white-belled the middle bed before putting down slug pellets to protect the delphinium, the strawberries and also the hostas.  I went through the strawberries, moved a few and generally tried to tidy them up.  There's loads of runners going from plant to plant and, as they become dry and brittle, I must remove them.  The patch looks a mess - no careful planting in lines, I'm afraid.  There's loads of flowers now so I'm looking forward to a good crop.

 The blueberry . . .

. . . some potential strawberries . . .

. . . and a hopeful snail.  Shame about the slug pellets, Mr Snail, isn't it?

Then it was round the front where first I half washed the car - just water from the hose) before putting the new plants in the little bed at the front of the house.  I moved some bulbs and dealt with a few weeds that dared to show their faces.  The bluebells are now in flower and looking very pretty, the aquilegias are starting to flower and the crocosmia is growing well.

All that took quite a while so when I came in I had lunch before tackling the kitchen work.  Now I have:
three pots of jam as already mentioned
seven portions of leek and potato soup, frozen
a bag of cut cauliflower, frozen
a bag of broccoli bits for soup, frozen
sliced, blanched and frozen parsnips for roasting
chopped rhubarb stems, frozen
I won't need to go shopping for ages, will I?

As a result, I slept well and didn't wake until half past six.  That's a lie in for me.

Today is more allotment.  Mowing, then hoeing (gotta keep the weeds down in the bits we have cleared - they don't give up easily), then more clearing.  Great exercise!

I've just looked at the anemone cuttings and, while most are still flopped over, one has perked up and is looking very happy.  Brilliant - I only need one!   Mind you, the others are looking better than they did yesterday so you never know!

Have a good day, whatever you are doing and wherever you are going.

Thursday, 13 April 2017


Good morning, everyone.  A cold night overnight and this morning is still chilly but it's fine.  Mind you, some rain would be a good idea!  The ground is so, so dry.

Yesterday passed more or less as planned.  I now have a tidier kitchen again and the advantage of an early awakening is that by 8:30 yesterday morning I had two completed loaves making the house smell wonderful.  They're now sliced, bagged and in the freezer.

Well, I waited and waited but no post arrived at all yesterday.  I hope my card comes today otherwise, with bank holidays and other stuff, I shall be in a bit of a fix.  Fingers crossed.

Given that I'm having to stay in, I shall give the garden some time this morning.  I'm trying to get rid of some white bells but every year more come up - they're most invasive.  My little patch of bluebells, however, don't seem to want to spread at all.  I guess I just have to keep digging them up and being patient.
I also need to deal with the offspring from the Japanese anemone.  A friend would like some so I will dig it up and pot it up for her and cross my fingers.
I also really do need to get the blueberry potted out.
I think that gives me plenty to do.

Also there's some washing in the machine that needs hanging out, so I'd better get going.  I also need my first coffee of the day as I've just realised I've gone for over two hours without it!

Wednesday, 12 April 2017


Waking at 3:30 is the pits sometimes.  Since I started weeding the allotment, I'm so terribly tired come the evening that I'm in bed by eight and asleep soon after.  I get enough sleep, just not at the right time!

Oh, well, never mind.  Today is a quiet day with nothing planned until tuition.  Nothing external, that is.

Yesterday went well - loads of weeding in the morning and, in the afternoon, Beth and I worked together to get the arbour made.  All went well until the very last bit where one of the backing panels was too wide and needed sanding down.  Do I have sand paper?  Of course not.  So that rather halted proceedings, sadly.  It's usable, just not finished.  It'll be lovely though and, if it's warm enough, I might sit out there today with my book.

My hands are sore though - we didn't have an electric screwdriver so it was extremely hard work at times!

Today I have a kitchen to tide, clothes to wash, bread to make and tuition to plan.  Enough to keep me out of trouble without too much stress.  Quite nice, really.
I hope your day is good too.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017


Good morning, everyone.

It promises to be another simply gorgeous day today.  Bright sun and blue skies with a breeze.  Yesterday was just the same and working down the allotment was very pleasant indeed.  Not too hot, not too cold.  Just right.

The afternoon was more complicated as several things I had ordered arrived more or less at the same time.

Firstly, the arbour arrived.  It is semi flat packed and came on a pallet, wheeled to my front door.  The delivery chap just left it.  He refused to help me carry it in or to wheel it round to the back garden.  I was not best pleased.

Then, just as I was struggling with the first (and lightest) part, another delivery chap turned up, took one look at me and the boxes, asked 'Are you on your own, love?' and then carried the rest of the packs into the house for me, bless him.  I took in his delivery which wasn't even for me, it was for a neighbour who was out and set to cutting up the many bits of cardboard for the recycling bag.  Then another delivery, this time the last planter I have ordered.  And finally, a book!

I'm glad all my orders have come, but it did make for a busy afternoon!

Beth's coming here after allotment today and I am hoping she will help me put the arbour together.  It's a two person job, that's for sure.  By this evening, my garden should look different!

Today it is allotment, then, as mentioned, here to do some assembling.  Then, as I picked up the ericaceous soul yesterday, I'd like to get my blueberry planted on.

However, that might all change as yesterday there was a problem with fraudulent use of my debit card.  If my new card arrives today, I have to head back down to the bank to confirm which are my purchases and which are not.  It will more likely be tomorrow or Thursday, but I have to be ready to go.

What a day, eh?  Between allotment, deliveries and a long phone call with the fraud department (quite difficult because of my poor hearing), by evening I was shattered, went to bed just before eight and woke after four - so a great night's sleep!

Fingers crossed today is easier, eh?

Monday, 10 April 2017


Good morning.
Goodness, wasn't it hot yesterday!  I almost turned on the fan at one point but come the evening it cooled off nicely.

I had a lovely time pottering in the garden at a snail's pace and got quite a lot done.  Some of the new planters are now planted and others are prepared.

 Carrots one side, radishes the other.  I intend to sow extra rows later.

Salad leaves in this one, again sown at intervals.

This is for a climbing courgette.  No, I hadn't heard of this either but it was the only packet of yellow courgette seeds I could find in the shops.  Obviously a popular colour.

And a very pretty hebe.  Hopefully it will be happy and grow nice and big in time.

As for existing plants . . .

The tayberry that refused to die, still showing signs on not being happy but recovering well now.

The bush that thinks it's a tree, number two.  I Longer term readers will remember I had one in one of the beds and it decided to emulate Jack and the beanstalk so had to go.  I'm hoping being in a container will keep this one a bit more subdued and now I know it flowers on second year growth, I can be careful not to chop too much off.  I gather you can eat or jam the berries!

Every year I tell myself I need to pot on the lily of the valley and every year I forget.  It's such a pretty flower but such a short season.

And looky look what I spotted!  Strawberry flowers.  Wow!

Today I need to pop to B&Q early to get some ericaceous (have I spelled that right?) stuff.  I'm having a go at blueberries in two containers (because I read you get a better crop if you have two) and it's an acid loving plant.  I can deal with the soil, I can get the right plant food but watering will be a problem.  I read that you can add vinegar to the tap water to make it more suitable so I am following up on that one.  Do any of my readers know anything about this?

Then it's off to the allotment again.  There's a lot of work still to do before we can be in any way relaxed about it but I am determined that this year we will get it all under control.

After that it is home for a rest and to deal with the one blueberry I already have.  I have ordered the other and I do hope I've made the right choice.  You see, I fell for one that produced pink berries which are supposed to be delicious.  Here's a picture from Google images.

I just hope I haven't made a mistake here.

Well, I had better go and sort myself out or I will be late and that would never do!  Have a lovely day!

Sunday, 9 April 2017


Good morning, everyone.  Wasn't yesterday a beautiful day?  Warm and sunny after the early morning mist had burned off.

My sleep patterns were still a bit wonky and by 3:00 I was up and doing which was daft.  By 6:00 I was feeling sleepy again so I managed to get a bit more shut-eye.

As agreed with Beth, I went garden shopping, bought seeds and tools and generally enjoyed myself.  I met her at the allotment and we but in a good three hours or so of hard work before deciding enough was enough and parting company.

The bit with the two trees is now covered with plastic and bark chippings which should keep the weeds away and, if any do dare appear, we will use < whispers > weed killer.
We've also cleared more of the weeds from where we intend to grow stuff.  The plans are for mange tout, French beans, yellow courgettes, butternut squash (lovely) and, this year, some sweet peas to add colour.  Oh, and potatoes!
Not a huge variation, I know, but quite a lot if the growing space is still under cover and, with the apples, pears, plums and rhubarb, should give us quite a lot.

Once home, I drank rather a lot of water. I was so thirsty and realised that I hadn't sipped any of the water I took with me so was probably a bit dehydrated.  A lesson learned, I think.

I had several sleeps, read, watched a bit of telly and generally took life easy until an early bedtime as I reckoned if I was going to fall asleep at eight, it may as well be in bed!   Apart from a bit of waking at one, I slept right through until just before five - normal for me and a relief after two days of waking at stupid o'clock.  Not the sort of pattern I want to encourage really!.

Today is not an allotment day and I have planned to work through the list of things I want to get done in my own garden before sitting out with a drink and a good book.  In other words, a lazy day!

Have a good day too and I hope you enjoy any sunshine you may have.

Saturday, 8 April 2017


Still ouchy but the satisfaction over-rides the ouchiness.
Re the allotment trees - not a cherry as I said yesterday, it's a plum, a victoria plum which I am pleased about!  So that's two apples, a pear and a plum!  Nice!

Having cleared that up - good morning, everyone.

A good time was had down the allotment yesterday.  It's in a dreadful state so is going to take some time to get sorted but a mouthful at a time should get the whole thing eaten sooner or later.  We finished the first strip which is going to be covered with plastic for now and then covered with bark chippings (available at the allotment).
We got the grass mown at a lower setting - there's so many weeds in the grass we have to keep it mown regularly to stop them coming up so it's the first thing I do every time
I went back home because we needed a rake and there wasn't one.  I looked in the shed.  no rake.  I tried to look in the garage but guess where the key was.  In my handbag.  Where was my handbag?  At the allotment.  Doh!
The raking will be done today!

After the allotment it was home, James, to some delicious soup and a good rest.

Later on, I am setting off for B&Q because, when we got home, Beth and I made a list of the things we need over the next few months and I will be meeting her at the allotment with all those things bought (I hope!) later on this morning.

The little pear tree

The redlove apple tree

Proof!  This was knee high in weeds on Thursday morning!
After that it's a usual Saturday.  Bit of washing, drying and ironing, tidying up the kitchen and so on.  It's supposed to be pretty warm so I'm hoping it'll be warm enough to sit out in the garden for a while today and again tomorrow.  I gather it might get chilly again on Monday.

Friday, 7 April 2017


Ouch, ouch, ouch!
That's the effects of the allotment yesterday.  Not the usual aches in arms and legs but in my ankles.  I have very dodgy ankles and the surface of the allotment is very uneven so my ankles keep turning.   No damage, just ouch-stiffness.

Never mind, it was a well spent morning and we started the task of clearing the weeds that have shot up after mowing the grassy areas.  I had a few moments of worry when the mower wouldn't start but that was just me doing the wrong thing!

The four trees that we moved last year have all taken and are leafing up well.  The pear and the cherry are in blossom and the two apples are budding well.  One is my Aunty May redlove, the tree I bought with some of the money my dear Aunty May left me, so I would have been sad if that hadn't survived the move.
We have fingers crossed for some fruit this year.
This is a redlove apple tree - not ours, of course, one I found on Google.  It has the most beautiful deep pink blossom and the apples are pinky red throughout, not just the skins.  They are lovely.

Must remember to take my camera to the allotment today!

After mowing and pruning a little bit, we set to and started clearing some beds.  It takes time but, once done, it will just take regular hoeing to keep all those weeds down.

Once home, I brought in the washing that had been drying on the line and got it ironed AND put away!  I seem to be a reformed character in that respect.
Then I sat down with my Kindle and two hours later I woke up again.  You see, I was awake and up at three yesterday morning so a snooze was much needed.

Today I have a few things I need to get from Morrisons so will go in early.  Then it is back to the allotment again for more weeding and mowing the grass areas a bit shorter as I used the highest setting yesterday.

Then I am hoping for enough energy to do some more work in my garden.  I did make a list of all that needs doing, both front and back, yesterday so just need to work my way through it really.

So that's my day.  Nice and busy with no time to idle.

Thursday, 6 April 2017


Good morning.  It's yet another bright but not particularly warm morning - I know, I've been out moving soul from the boot to the back garden and granular salt into the garage.  The mower and strimmer are both now in the boot because . . . it's allotment morning!

Yesterday was nice.  Lots of gentle pottering and a tuition session.  It was a perfect drying day and I got all the whites dried and ironed too.

I've swallowed hard and ordered that arbour I was talking about last week.  I also have multiple planters and now need to acquire enough soil to fill them.  The trouble with getting bags of soil is that I can't lift most of them.  Even if I got help the shop end, I'd still have to move them from the boot and they're just too heavy, sadly!  So it's the smaller (more expensive) stuff for me.

I'm going to start with the two rectangular planters because it's time to get the carrots, salad leaves and radishes started.  It's also time to sow some tomato seeds although they will stay indoors for a while.

I'm really pleased that the tayberry that refused to die is still holding its own.  There's plenty of leaves that should lead to fruiting this year and there are two new shoots coming up that will be fruiting next year.  It's looking a bit ungainly at the moment but it is well and truly alive!  Three cheers.

You can see them clearly here.
Also the strawberries are looking extremely healthy and growing well.  It promises well for later on.

There's still over an hour before I need to set out for the allotment but I have some clothes to peg out and a breakfast to eat so I will say 'goodbye'.  Have a super day.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017


Good morning, all.  I've changed the photo at the top to the pansies I potted out the other day.  Once they take hold and start growing, then should look a picture all through the summer.  I love pansies!

Yesterday was amazing.
In the afternoon I drove into town to meet my friend Jackie off the bus.  We went into town to John Lewis and to Lakeland - it's always more fun wandering around with a friend.

In Lakeland I ended up with a new ironing board cover and some foil trays (both needed items) plus a small enamel pie dish which I definitely don't need but did want!  Then it was off to John Lewis where Jackie looked for a TV and found one she really liked.  I saw a little travelling clock which I was sorely tempted by but decided to think about it first, so I am!

In the evening we went to the Civic to watch 'The Verdict' starring Clive Mantle and Jack Shepherd and it was absolutely brilliant, top class drama, gripping, funny, spell-binding stuff, great music, fantastic scenery.  We both felt very fortunate to have been able to see it.  I've read some reviews and they are all great.  If you get the chance, it's well worth the slightly-more-than- usual ticket price.

Than I drove Jackie home and stayed at hers overnight.  I don't much like driving in the dark so was glad to take up her invite.  We shared some wine and had a great chat before I went up to bed and I had a splendid night's sleep too, so you can see why I enjoyed the day so much.

Today it is back to normality again.  I have one holiday tuition session which is this afternoon so I need to get the planning done and the resources made.
I also want to do some washing, some gardening and maybe a bit of housework, although the cleaners are coming on Friday so I won't do much.

Should be a good day!

Tuesday, 4 April 2017


Hello again!  It's one of those hokey cokey days with the sun - it's in and then out, in and out!

It was gloriously sunny most of yesterday but, even so, not all that warm.  I did a lot of gardening and things are looking much more hopeful now.  I shall do a bit more today too.
The ironing basket is now empty again, which is nice, and, just for once, I don;t have a load waiting to be washed.  I like being on top of that sort of thing.

Today is another lazy day until late afternoon when I'm meeting a friend in town to do a bit of shopping.  Should be fun!

This rather late and I have some brioche dough on the make so I'd better go and get on with it.

Monday, 3 April 2017


Good morning, everyone.  At the start of a new week is is fine but a bit chilly.  I've just filled some pots with soil and have come in to warm up my hands.  Just don't look at my nails, OK?

Yesterday was one of those gently busy days.  I made bread, made soup, did some washing and pegged it out on the line, did a little bit of gardening, etc.

Lovely bread that tasted delicious!

I then drove round to B&M, the reason being that the chopped tomatoes I used for the soup came from there and the quality was lovely so I went to get some more as I wasn't sure if they were on special or not.  I am now well stocked up with chopped tomatoes, probably enough to last me until my own tomatoes come in!  I also saw some very cheap table cloths and got a couple.  The hems are not good but I can re-hem them if, after washing them, I think they need it, so that's not an issue.

Beth came round a bit later than originally planned but that was OK.  We chatted about this, that and the other, especially her holiday.  She brought over a few goodies for me - some posh chocolate (which didn't last long), some pastry flour from Caudwell's Mill in the Peaks, a posh Chatsworth Farm Shop bag and a carved owl for an early birthday gift.  Lovely!
She had a lovely time and I'm looking forward to seeing the photos in due course.

Today is another stay at home day, unless I choose to go out.  I don't have to and probably won't.  There's more washing to deal with and hang out (those tablecloths) and a garden that is still calling out to me.  I also rather fancy cutting out some more squares for my quilt cover that is going to be made from random disappearing nine squares.

I think it's going to be a great day!

Sunday, 2 April 2017


Good morning!

Around here, once the early morning gloom had cleared and the mandatory few drops of drizzle had fallen (I saw them on the windscreen), out came the sun and the rest of the day was lovely.  Not as warm as I'd expected, but really pleasant.

After doing my Aldi shopping, I drove on to B&Q to get a few necessities including granular salt and a spray bottle.  I also fell for some trays of pansies - I do love pansies, they are so attractive

I had a mega chop at my herb and foliage bed.  I got rid of last year's growth (which I really should have done last autumn but never mind), I dug out some of the oregano that was threatening to take over, I pruned the rosemary (and need to do more today - it's very overgrown) and tidies up the mint pots.  There were surprisingly few weeds, which was nice.

Then I tackled the random pots and other stuff scattered around the garden.  The manky rainwater got poured over the dry beds (and they were very dry, poor plants), rubbish got chucked and so on and so forth.  There's more to do today and then I can get on with the more pleasant task of potting up the pansies into some planters and, maybe, into a hanging basket, if I can find a liner.  I shall also give the beds a good soaking and a sprinkle with the slow release fertiliser.  And I might also sow some carrots and radishes.   The other thing is that I have started tying up the bulb foliage.  It looks so messy once the flowers have gone but one has to leave them to die back so I have started tying them 'neatly' (comparatively neatly) in clumps.  They do look better!

Tomorrow, it is the front garden, as long as I can get to the bit that really needs it!

It's all go now spring has sprung.

After that I came in and had a snooze before making dinner and watching Fantastic Beasts which, I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed.

Apart from the garden today, I have the bread to make that I deferred from yesterday because there was more in the bread bin than I had realised and I am making some tomato and lentil soup because Beth is coming for lunch.  I'm so looking forward to seeing her photos and hearing about her holiday.

Well, it's time to check the dough and do a bit of kitchen tidying up so I will shut up now.  Fingers crossed for good weather for us all.

Saturday, 1 April 2017


Phew.  A busy week is over and today is a day just for me!  I thought it was going to be lovely and sunny today but it looks now as if it might not be so sunny.  Never mind, I have planned to potter in the garden, make some bread and generally have a great time.  The ironing basket is empty which is nice but I do have a load of whites to get done!

Yesterday was quiet, a great relief after the day before.  After dropping Al at school, I went to feed and sort out Beth's cats thinking 'last time, last time'.  Have I mentioned how much I hate cleaning their litter trays?  Well, I do.  Yuck!

After that it was home and within half an hour I was asleep.  I had another snooze in the afternoon and also slept well all night, so I guess I've caught up on Thursday's short night.  :-)

Today I am off to Aldi's at 8:00, then along to B&Q and Wyvale for various bits and pieces and then home for a me day!

Come the evening I shall watch my new DVD, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.  I have been very controlled and kept it in its box all week and now it is time.  People have said very good things about this film so I am looking forward to it.

Friday, 31 March 2017


Good morning, everyone.
What a day it was yesterday!  Non-stop from beginning to end, I got to bed just before midnight and at four this morning I was awake and raring to go!  I think a daytime sleep will be a good idea.

After dropping Al off and feeding the cats, I drover over to Billericay to pick up J and take her to the dentist.  Then we went to a local garden centre I have never visited.  I will go back - it's a very good one with loads of healthy plants and a very wide range of other garden things.  We decided to have lunch there and I had a favourite, brie, bacon and cranberry baguette.  It was delicious.  Then it was another round of the plants to pick up a few things we had spotted earlier.  I was very restrained but found a lilac geranium that should look very nice in my middle bed.

J had brought a book to read while I picked up Alex and then we had an early dinner before heading off for town to see the live stream of Madama Butterfly from the Royal Opera House.  It was a splendid performance, very 'tight' and dramatic and heartbreaking at the end.  Some excellent acting all round (unlike Idomineo last week) and, of course, the music was superb.

After that I drove J home and arrived home after eleven.

Today I have quite a lot of things to catch up on as well as that catch-up sleep that I know will be necessary at some point.  No peace for the wicked!  Have a lovely day and, if you have sunshine, enjoy it!

Thursday, 30 March 2017


For the first time this week, I am writing this when it is still dark.  I think I've got over the clocks changing!  I have no idea of the weather, having not looked out yet, but I gather the weekend is supposed to be glorious, my new planters have arrived (and were made up and ready) and I can feel a garden blitz coming on, especially if the sun shines.

They are lovely planters, a bit bigger than I expected so I need to stock up with soil as there's definitely not enough compost to cope.  I've been thinking of this year's vegetables, as most folk with a garden have, and I'm pondering on turning one of the planters over to a yellow courgette, if Dad can give me a seedling or if I can buy one.

The planters were a bit of a test really, to see if they 'went' in the garden.  They looked nice in the garden centre but you do need to see these things in situ.  Now I am satisfied, I think I might invest in a few more of different shape, for carrots and things like radishes and salad leaves.
If all that goes ahead, I will be growing runner beans, tomatoes, strawberries, courgettes, carrots, radishes and salad leaves.  Really not bad for a very small garden.

Yesterday was a very pleasant day.  After dropping Alex off at school and feeding the cats, I went shopping and treated myself to the DVD of Fantastic Beasts.  I was very restrained (had to be - lack of time) and didn't watch it yesterday, I won't have time to watch it today and tomorrow is looking a bit crowded, so I will save it for a weekend treat.

I cooked the casserole to dinner tonight and then went off to school to do my duty and to say my goodbyes to a member of staff who is leaving.  Very sad: she will be missed indeed.  The I picked Al up before getting ready to go out to school early evening for the show.

And it was brilliant.  It was the Y3/4 Easter show and they did a musical about David and Goliath.  I enjoyed it so much.  I taught all of Y4, one class as Y1s and the other class was my last ever class as Y2s.  One of the nice things about teaching the younger ones is that you get to know them early and see them work their way up through the school.  Two more years and one term and all 'my' classes will have left and gone on to secondaries.  I wonder if that will lessen the ties I feel with the school.

Well, today is a busy and enjoyable day (I hope) and there's lots to do, so I'd better stop rambling and get moving!

Wednesday, 29 March 2017


Good morning, everyone.  It's dull again, but mild and maybe it will turn out like yesterday when the sun broke through and it was rather pleasant.

Today (and tomorrow) are going to be extremely busy days so this will be a quick one.  As well as Al and the cats, I have a responsibility at school that I must fulfil, some shopping to do and a meal to make for tomorrow evening because there's no way I will be able to make it tomorrow.

Roll on the weekend when things calm down a bit!

Tuesday, 28 March 2017


Good morning, everyone.  It's dull and cloudy here but the mist is lifting, thank goodness, and the buds are breaking open all over the place.  Bee-yoo-tiful.

I set the alarm today after the clocks changed and the bad night I had and I'm glad I did because, for once, I slept right up to it.  It would never have done to sleep in and I have to take Al to school this week and also feed Beth's cats.  All that is done now so the morning is my own.

It's nice having Alex staying.  He's a lovely lad and very little trouble.  Having said that, he remembered yesterday that he had to pick up some meds which caused a bit of a panic until we worked out that I could pick him up over the lunch break so he can get to the chemist next to the surgery, where they will be waiting for him.

Just along from his school is a very nice garden centre so when I've dropped him off, that's where I will go for a pleasant look round.  I might even buy something nice, you never know.  I have got to get some large plastic pots anyway!  Lathcoats is over the road and I need some more milk so that's a perfect opportunity to pop in there too.  :-)  Al is having a driving lesson so won't be back at mine until five o'clock.

That's my day all planned out.  I just hope it all comes together well.  Yours too - have a good one!

Monday, 27 March 2017


Very sorry for the late post and good afternoon.

I've been away for the weekend and, unfortunately, last night wasn't a good night with painful tummy cramps that prevented me sleeping.  As a result I was up late and have not long arrived home.  Never mind - it's good to be home again and I can get an early night.

When I arrived home, there was an email telling me that my suite is being delivered back this afternoon (good news) and what I now have to pay (not such good news).
I'd already cancelled school as I have no wish to spread whatever it is I might have but had to contact them because I need to leave the house at some point to pick Alex up from school as he is staying with me this week.  Fortunately, they can deliver earlier.  I hope I like what they've done.  It's one thing to pick a swatch, quite another to see it large scale on furniture that you liked before (apart from the tattiness).

It's been a pleasant weekend.  There was the live link opera, as I mentioned, plus the garden centre visit and plenty of opportunity to sit, chat and snooze.  The weather has been beautiful and, despite a gloomy start, today has turned out to be gorgeous as well.

I hope you are all having a pleasant day.  Back tomorrow!

Sunday, 26 March 2017


Good morning, everyone.  Did you remember to put your clocks back last night?  We did here, although there's always something that catches one out, isn't there?

Yesterday, Mum and I went for a stroll around the local garden centre.  It is a beautifully organised place with pathways meandering around and various stopping points including bridges over a stream, a cascading set of ponds and a very sunny spot for garden furniture.  The purpose of going was for Mum to choose a plant for Mothering Sunday (which she did), but it's always good for a gentle walk around, without any specific reason.  I think I have found the garden furniture and planters I want too.  The company is called AFK and I love the style of their painted things.  I have ordered three planters in different colours (the three on the back row of the photo) because I think I want to get one of their 'abours' but am not sure of the colour.

I particularly liked the sage green but am not sure it would go with the green of my fence.  It doesn't matter with a planter but it would with a gazebo.  The blue is nice but no and the grey would be too dark.

If the green one goes, this would be what I would go for (the two planters are extra).  I like it because it is unfussy and uncluttered, it's comfortable (Mum and I spent a good 20 - 30 minutes sitting in one and chatting) and the simple lines won't be too much in my small garden.

It comes flat packed, as do the planters, so I would be calling on Beth for help to put it together.

After dragging ourselves away from the garden centre, we stopped off at the health food shop on the way home to get various bits and bobs for Dad and I grabbed another pack of the dried yeast I like to use which comes in a rectangular bag rather in sachets which I refuse to buy because they are way too expensive!

Late afternoon and evening was taken up with a trip to the opera.
No, not as posh as it sounds.  It was one of those live link showings that are a great way of making opera more accessible.
We went to see Idomineo.  The music, being Mozart, was glorious, of course, although operas are not my favourite genre of music and I don't really go for the operatic voice too much.  The story line, as with many operas, was just plain silly, and there were an awful lot of 'Oh, poor little me' type arias and some terribly ham acting, complete with Principle 'Boy' who was totally unconvincing as a heroic young prince who had two women head over heels in love with him, poor lady!
On the other hand, Idomineo himself and the baddy 'evil queen' were both gloriously effective!

And it didn't half go on!  Well over five hours of it (with intervals).  Thank goodness the seats were comfortable.

It was a good experience though and I will be going to another live link showing soon, this time Madama Butterfly by the Royal Opera which, hopefully, will be shorter.

I don't have any particular plan for today, just a nice, gentle, calm day with plenty of sunshine (fingers crossed).  I hope we all have a good one!

Saturday, 25 March 2017


Good morning.  It's an absolutely beautiful day today - clear blue skies and wall to wall sunshine, making me feel so happy and contented.

Yesterday was also very pleasant, despite being busy.  The bread was successful, as was the lemon curd and the four pots I made have now been distributed.  That's the main problem with lemon curd - it has a short life.  Three weeks max really.  So one pot for my parents, one for Beth, one for me and l who is staying with me next week and one for the lovely Sharon who was doing my hair and Beth's yesterday morning.

Later on I ate out with Mum and Dad and , after considerable dithering, had a 'Stinky Pete', a burger with bacon and stilton, onion relish and jalapenos.  I suppose the stinky bit is the stilton.  It came with fried and coleslaw and a brioche bun and it is delicious.  No, I couldn't finish it but I did make sure I finished the burger contents, if not the bun!

Today I will be off to a live link performance of Idomineo.  It's not an opera I know much about so I will need to do a bit of research!  Sung in the original Italian, so I can't even use the songs for clues as to the plot.  I know it's a bit complicated!

Hope you all have a super day and enjoy the sunshine.

Friday, 24 March 2017


Good morning, everyone.  Hope you are all well and happy.

Yesterday turned out pleasant after a dull, wet start.  So pleasant that I hung the washing out and when I got home from school it was dry and ready to bring in.

Yesterday was yet another pleasant day.  After some work at home, I did my bit at school and on the way out, bumped into an ex colleague who asked would I like to go and hear some year sixes singing as they were doing rather well.  Of course, I said yes, and when I walked into the classroom, they all cheered.  Wasn't that lovely?

Tuition went well again.  I won't be doing any next week as there's a school show and also I have commitments that would make it difficult, time-wise.  Then it is Easter!  Although they have been tired this week, I have noticed that all my students are coping better with  after school work towards the end of a busy term.  Good for them!

I got going early this morning.  I've made bread (which is now rising happily in the kitchen) and I'm about to make some lemon curd.  So I'd better get started . . .

Thursday, 23 March 2017


Good morning, everyone.  It's only half past five and already it is getting light.  Next week, we early wakers will notice such a difference!  It's also very wet out there: it must have been raining quite hard overnight at times.  It wasn't so bad yesterday so a bit of a change.

Apologies for yesterday.  The internet connection was down.  I knew it would be as I'd received notification about it but it was still frustrating, nonetheless.  I popped into town to get a few things and then went on to Aldi to get a few more things and when I got back it was still down.  I am far too dependent on it really but it does make life much fuller for me.

I had tuition which went well and then I was at a full governors' meeting which also went well.  I thought it was going to be a very long one but it wasn't, not at all, and it was interesting too.  I shall be sorry when I have to stand down (not for some years to come, I hope).

Today I already have a load of washing on, not that I think I will be able to dry it outside this morning but never mind.  I think I'm also going to make some lemon curd using my microwave recipe but in Thermione which makes it totally trouble free and 100% successful.  Some will be for Beth and some for my parents.

Then it's into school for Y2 and after that it is more tuition!

Should be a busy and satisfying day!

Tuesday, 21 March 2017


Ooops, it seems that yesterday was the first day of spring, not today.  Well, all I can say is it seems much more spring-like this morning: the sun is shining and the skies are blue!  Yesterday was miserable for most of the day with some very heavy rain at times but then it cleared late afternoon and we had the most beautiful sunset.

I enjoyed yesterday.  It was the last Knitter Knatter of this term as next week is the last week and I fear there was more knatter than knitter about it all.  It will continue next term as it has been a quiet but resounding success.  No-one has dropped out and they all knit away furiously as the chat (usually).  They've made little containers and one girl has made a long, chunky scarf.  They have learned how to cast on and off and some can purl as well as knit.

After several efforts and prototypes, I have nearly perfected my pattern for a Barbie jumper with raglan sleeves.  I say 'nearly' because the one I made yesterday is right in every detail except that it was a bit of a struggle to get it over the head.  However, that's easily sorted.  The problem is, you can't really tell until it's finished and sewn up!
Once I have the basic design right, I can start making variations!

Yesterday morning I took a deep breath, bit the bullet and opened my wardrobe doors.  Everything came out, everything was looked at, sorted, dealt with and now I have a much smaller but more usable collection of clothes.  It's not perfect, far from it, and I need to get rational with things more, but there's a huge difference.
Then, on the way to school, I put some of the discarded clothes into the Salvation Army recycling bin and there's an armful of stuff for the Hospice Shop which I will take down there this morning.  I was sad about some things but there were two questions to ask - will I ever wear this again and do I actually want to wear this again (which are not the same thing at all!)?

I am still avoiding the cupboard under the stairs but I must be bold and brave and do something about it.  It is such wasted space at the moment.  I need to apply the same principles - will I ever use this again and do I want to ever use this again?
Wish me luck!

Today Beth is over so that means plenty of chit chat.  I have planning to prepare so we will both be busy.  Later on I have ironing that I've been putting off for a few days.  Unfortunately, it doesn't vanish when I do that so I need to grit my teeth and get going!

I got an email yesterday from the decorator who made such a good job of my bedroom.  I had asked him to quote for the living room, up the stairs and the landing, which he did and gave me a date which wasn't convenient.  It's not been set for the beginning of July which gives me time to clear some decks of junk because everything will need to be got out and put in the middle of the room on my gopak tables so he can move the furniture.  All I can say is that it'll be worth it when it's done - and to start saving!

The kettle has boiled and it's time for coffee so I will stop rambling and get going.  Have a good day, wherever you are and whatever you are doing and love to my friends who are struggling right now.

Monday, 20 March 2017


The start of another new week and, officially (I think), the last day of winter!  So, of course, it is raining.  Not cold, just wet and dismal.

Mind you, yesterday turned out quite nice with sunshine at times and a refreshing breeze that persuaded me to open the French windows to air the house.

Beth came round and after lunch (jacket potato, etc, and very nice too) she got going with a bag she is making for someone and I got my knitting out.  We had a jolly good chat about this and that and the afternoon went quickly.  I spent the evening also knitting and watching things like DIY:SOS before snuggling up in bed with Scarlet Feather on my Kindle.

Today is a school day.  By that I mean Knitter Knatter, then Foundation Stage.  I've already done most of the meal prep for the day and hope to spend the morning continuing with a clothes sort out.  But first it is time for another coffee and than I must wash my hair before showing my face to anyone else.  It's getting a bit shaggy (hair, not face) but Sharon (hairdresser) is coming on Friday so that's good.

Well, better get going or nothing will be done.

Sunday, 19 March 2017


Oooops - just look at the time.  Really sorry this is so late.
I have been doing stuff though - baking bread, prepping lunch for me and Beth, knitting, sorting stuff out and - er - chatting on Facebook!

Yesterday was a pretty sleepy day.  I kept nodding off over my knitting and ended up not doing an awful lot.  I still slept like a log all night, thank goodness.

Today Beth and I will be crafting after lunch and later on I will carry on sorting out stuff!  That's about it really; not terribly exciting really.

I hope your day has more ooomph!

Saturday, 18 March 2017


Hello again!  There's been a bit of a change since yesterday.  It's now quite chilly, dull and with a bit of a breeze.  Interestingly, I have checked BBC weather and it's not cold - it just feels cold!  It looks as if rain is on its way but not according to the BBC - we will see, won't we?

To balance that, Spring has well and truly started to sprung and things are growing madly in my tiny patches of soil.  I've just been out to take a few photos (brrrr).

This is in the garden opposite but look at that fresh green!

The hyacinths are sending out a lovely aroma.  Such a shame it's not the weather to sit out and wallow in it.

The Japanese anemone is growing strongly.  It was a picture last year and  is sending out babies in all directions.  I shall have to be ruthless, I can see, but maybe I will replant one baby round the front where there's a bare patch.

The aquilegia always brings a splash of early colour.

I need to clear the dead leaves from the strawberry patch and then give it all a good feed.

Here's the front - the nice bit.  Just in front of this is where I will plant the anemone, I think, and I have some bulbs in pots to put there too.  MUST get round to it.

Also, in the next few weeks, it will be time to plant some seeds inside, for bringing on before planting out.  Runner beans and tomatoes, especially those Italian ones I salvaged from some tomatoes a friend gave me.  I'm going to grow tomatoes up against the fence again but I need to get some much larger pots for them.  I guess a trip to the garden centre is in order soon.

Enough garden rambling.
Yesterday was such a restful day: I stayed in all day apart from some time in the garden and when I went to put the chain on the front door last night, it was still on from the night before.  

Today is more homey stuff really.  Cleaning, tidying, creating, watching rubbish telly . . .
And very nice too.

Friday, 17 March 2017


Good morning, everyone.  It's Friday and, while not quite as sunny as recently, it's fresh and fine and bright outside.  I know the weather is due to change but, hopefully, there's time for another load of washing first!

Yesterday was lovely.  Restful, calm, peaceful and when I went into school everyone was bustling around, getting things ready for consultations with the parents, reminding me that although I loved talking with the parents, I did NOT love the rest of the package one little bit.  Another reminder of how lucky and happy I am now.

Once home, I managed to stay awake until a sensible bedtime, fell asleep over my kindle and, apart from a couple of trips down the landing, slept soundly all night, not waking until well after six this morning - which is a great lie-in for me.

Today I have kitchen stuff to get on with, some washing, drying and ironing and I need to rationalise my wardrobe which is chokka with things I am most unlikely to ever want to wear again.  The Sally Army recycling bin will be fed, I think.

So that's today.  I'd better get moving, seeing as it is half past nine and I'm not yet dressed.  Enjoy your day.

Thursday, 16 March 2017


Phew.  Life returns to its now normal sedentary pace.  The last three days have been fun.  Lots of children, lots of music, running up and down stairs, making coffee, etc, etc, etc, but it is over now apart from the post mortem, and we helpers were surprised and thrilled to be given some flowers as a think you.  So kind.
I now have a number of free days in the next week that I intend to keep free so I can catch up with my own bits and bobs.

I couldn't crash when I got in as I had to go out for tuition.  There's just one session this week as it is Termly Learning Conference week at school.  They used to be called 'Consultation Evenings' but the name and the style has now changed.

However, after that I crashed and, apart from making dinner, I stayed crashed.  It was lovely but a shame there wasn't all that much on the telly.  Never mind, I social networked, knitted, read and generally relaxed.

Unfortunately, I had some upsetting dreams overnight so it is just as well I'm at home this morning.  I can catch up on sleep if I want, although I would like to get out into the garden to do some clearing.  It's a fair old mess out there at the moment!  Then I'm in school pm.  I reckon by this evening I will be more than ready to sleep soundly!

Better get moving.  It's early but I like an early start and, anyway, I need another coffee.  Have a lovely day.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017


Just a quick one this morning as I need to leave earlier for the music festival - I was a bit later yesterday as I had forgotten how horrendous town can be first thing in the morning.

It's all going well; the organising adults all know what we're doing now and so there's a confidence that transmits itself to the children.

And I got the penguin music on and off at the right time, thank goodness!  It hasn't endeared me to iPhones though!

Got to go - have a good day and I'll be back tomorrow.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017


Good morning, everyone.  It's a dry, chilly morning out there and I am hoping for a fine day so I shall hang out my washing before I pop off to the music festival and keep my fingers crossed.

Yesterday was pretty hard work as we had a lot of chairs to move before the children arrived for the first of five performances of the festival 'cantata', Eddie the Penguin Saves the World, a lovely play with songs from those wonderful people at Out Of The Ark.  Once the children arrived, there was hardly time to draw breath before the workshop and then the performance started.  Today there are two performance and the same tomorrow.  We may get a free lunch or three out of it but, my word, we certainly earn them.

On arriving home, it struck me how big my living room is without the suite.  I have somewhere to sit as the old recliner isn't being recovered, it is not worth it, so that's OK.  It will be lovely to have it back again in a fortnight, as good as new and with repaired casters to make it all easy to push around again.  I bought it when Alex was a baby so the covers did get rather 'Alexed', as we called it, when he was a little one and it's been a long time in the planning and thinking, this re-covering.  For ages I thought I'd get a new suite because, after all, re-covering isn't a cheap option, but I like my suite, it's jolly comfortable and 'right' for me and there is nothing wrong with it apart from looking tatty on the outside.

When the suite is back and I have recovered (in a different sense) from the cost, I will start looking around for a new recliner and get it in a toning fabric.  I do have to replace that - it was Dad's for many years until it started showing signs of age.  He offered it to me on the understanding that it wouldn't last me very long and I accepted with gratitude.  I've had it for well over ten years and, yes, it's really showing signs of old age now and wouldn't be worth re-covering.

I'm really hoping that when all that's done, what I have, treated properly, will see me out.

Back to today - I shall be off into town for the festival and when I get home I guess I will flake out and have a lazy evening after getting the washing in off the line.  I do have to do some planning at some point as I have one of my two pupils on Wednesday.  The other will be at their Termly Learning Conference at school.

But for now it's time for a second coffee and to put the porridge on to cook.  Have a good day, everyone.

Monday, 13 March 2017


Good morning, gentle readers.  Things are what passes for normal again after a pleasant weekend spent with my parents.  Well - I say normal, but it's Infant Music Festival week so the first three days will be far from normal.  Nice, but not routine!
Also, in a short time, someone should be arriving to pick up my suite and whisk it off to be recovered.  That will be lovely - when I get it back.
But, whatever the week holds, it's nice to have been away and nice to be back again.

I had to hold off leaving on Friday as I had notification of a parcel being delivered.  Fortunately, it arrived in good time and I left while the cleaners were working their usual magic, meaning that I came back to a lovely, clean and tidy home.

Last night we went to a concert at the Broadway Theatre in Letchworth.  It was a selection of chamber music, some original and some arrangements with works ranging from Hummel, through Bach and Mozart to Faure and Holst and it really was most enjoyable.  Normally I would be coming home this morning but, because of the suite being picked up, I drove home after the concert and it was a very easy drive (apart from the fact that country runs are pitch black, of course!) so I wasn't too weary when I got home and had the energy to unpack and put on a batch of yogurt before sliding into bed (clean sheets - bliss) to get a really good night's sleep!

Today is busy, as already mentioned, but it should be lots of fun.

Well, I need to put some washing in, in hopes that the day will stay as lovely as it is at the moment and it will dry on the line while I do my musical duties.
So I'd better get on with it!  Have a lovely day!

Sunday, 12 March 2017


Good morning, everyone.  What a very pleasant weekend it has been so far.  I am with two of my favourite people, I have knitted, chatted, cooked, done a bit of shopping and generally had a great time.  It's a good life.

This is very quick as I have to get going but just to share a few more Barbie garments.  The top is a make up-as-you-knit one and the skirt is from a pattern found online.
Hopefully, someone will be very pleased.

Have a great day - see you tomorrow!

Friday, 10 March 2017


Good morning, everyone.

Yesterday was such a beautiful day.  Once the sun broke through, it was wall to wall all day and how lovely to be able to throw open the French windows and let the warm, fresh air come blowing through.  The washing dried beautifully and, at school, the children brought in the smell of sunshine after lunch.

The walk to school was delightful.  There's a grassy bank on one side and decades ago someone planted a whole lot of crocus and daffodil bulbs there which have spread and matured ever since and now make a wonderful spring display.

It was a busy day too.  Planning and prep in the morning plus a spot of jam making, teaching in the afternoon followed by tuition and then ironing in the evening.  Busy but satisfying.

I enjoyed the afternoon but it did confirm to me that I am a little ones' teacher.  I had that class in Y2 and they were lovely then and lovely yesterday but . . . just personal preference, I suspect.

Today the lovely cleaners are due to make their fortnightly visit so I do have to tidy up so they can do their job properly, especially my bedroom, which is beginning to look a bit battered again.  I have quite a list of things to sort out so that should keep me out of trouble.

I need some more coffee now and then I ought to get going.  Have a lovely day.