Monday 30 November 2015


Thank you to everyone who has sent me good wishes.  I think things are on the up now, the voice is increasingly better, the cough is 'breaking up' (which is disgusting but potentially easier!) and I also feel a bit better in myself too.

Suffice it to say, yesterday was a bit miserable at times but I had a lovely sleep after dinner (midday) and that helped a lot.  Later on I made the mistake of eating some nuts which set the cough off for a while but that was my own silly fault and I should have known better.

After lunch (and sleep) Eddie came round and now the new PC is up and running.  I have to get used to it now.  Windows 10 - eeeeek!  For a while I will still be able to access my old PC, just in case things get too much.

New (to me) technology terrifies me.  I am always afraid of making a mistake, breaking something, getting something wrong.  In reality that's unlikely but even so . . .  I have, despite this, managed to get my Chrome up and running but Outlook has defeated me so far although I know Eddie did something because I saw it on the screen!  I shall have to switch back to the old PC for that for now.

I have to say, it is wonderful to get an instant response from the PC rather than having to wait seconds while it realises I spoke to it!

As well as sorting that out, Eddie also helped to get the new Jacquie Lawson advent calendar on the laptop and the PC.  I am sad that this year I won't be sharing it with a class but that's life and I can still enjoy it myself.  Every year I have put her advent calendar on my school laptop and it has been part of the morning routine to open the next day and enjoy the bit of Christmas excitement that come with it.  For the last two years, once all the children got mailboxes on DB Primary, I have also sent them a daily email with an interactive seasonal card so that they can open it at home.  That was very popular!
At least I won't need to fiddle the date on the computer so we can look ahead at that happens after the end of term!  And that reminds me - there are a couple of new cards on her site.  Must go and see.
Jacquie Lawson's card sight is fantastic.  Yes, you have to subscribe, but the cards are wonderful and it has proved a very frugal option over the years.  Do go over there and take a look - play around with the cards, etc, which you can do without logging in.  The address is:
A scene from one of her Interactive Cards
Today:  well, I will go and do my bit for the parents' association this morning but not until the bread has baked and cooled.  Shows how much better I am feeling - yesterday I was on the verge of emailing and say I would bring it in on Tuesday.  I'm glad I didn't now!

OK, today's mission is to upload some photos from the camera into Photoshop which Eddie installed and checked for me.  Fingers crossed!
The other important job is to finish sorting out what is left of the turkey.  Yesterday I boiled up the carcass long and slow.  Right now the rather nice looking stock is straining into a bowl.  I shall reduce it down and then freeze it, I think, after using what I need for the rest of the turkey.

But first - the bread is rising well and I need coffee.

Today's food:
Breakfast: toast and marmalade.
Lunch: soup from the freezer
Dinner:  Turkey pasta, I think, in a creamy sauce as I have some left over from the weekend but not enough to freeze really.  Naughty but nice.

Sunday 29 November 2015


. . . because I haven't got one!
Ho hum!
(love the mug though!)

Yesterday was fab.  I busied myself getting things ready for the Christmas dinner, preparing everything in advance as much as sensibly possible.  I roasted the turkey crown in the morning (more about that later), made the gravy, prepared all the veg, and so on.  I went into the shed and dug around in the boxes of Christmas stuff to find some candles and a wee Christmas tree with lights that looked really nice in a corner of the dining area.  I am not a fan of getting Christmas stuff up beforehand but this was special circumstances!

OK, the turkey crown.  I have to say I was very impressed with it.  It was pretty cheap (£9.99 from Aldi).  Initially I got a small one but it was all wrapped up for the freezer and as I have never cooked a crown before I had no idea how much meat was on it so I went back and bought a medium one, knowing that the small one will do Alex and me at some point with leftovers for the rest of the week.

I didn't fancy it up much - I just topped it with bacon and added a splash of white wine to the roasting dish before tenting it in foil and popping it in the oven.  Dead easy.  OK, so it didn't have either the flavour or the texture of my beloved KellyBronze turkey and I didn't expect it to but it was very acceptable as a roast dinner.

There was LOADS of meat!  At the meal both my guests had good sized seconds so I can say five big portions were eaten, there were leftovers and I had only carved half of it.  Well, I say 'carved' but they weren't very tidy slices as the meat did fall apart somewhat.  I can't blame the turkey for that as I am never a good carver.

So ho! for turkey leftover recipes.  I have some leeks so I think I will have a go at Jamie's turkey and sweet leek pie, I shall make some potted meat, I shall freeze some in the stock that resulted and which I didn't need for gravy because I used stock from the freezer (and it was lovely) and Beth can have some for Alex.  Then I shall boil up the carcass for more stock.
So great, great value!

I've worked out a great way to reheat meat.  I'm sure this is not new but it is to me.  I always worry about reheated meat drying up but this works well.  All I do is get a length of kitchen parchment, lay the meat on that, add a little stock if appropriate and wrap it all up.  Then I over-wrap with foil, sealing all the edges.  Then I just bung it in the oven with whatever is cooking for about ten to fifteen minutes, depending on temperature.  The parchment and the foil together prevent any sticking or drying up.

The other thing I did which I have not done before was glaze the parsnips in maple syrup.  I looked it up and it seemed dead easy and didn't add to the workload so gave it a whirl and they were gorgeous.  I shall be doing that again on The Day itself.

Anyway, moving on, it was a lovely meal and a lovely day.  Sonja and Milli brought with them some mulled rose wine from good old M&S.  I heated it gently in Thermione with some slices of satsuma and it really was tasty.  Nice and spicy and not too sweet.  We finished the bottle!

Today I have a kitchen to sort.  It's not that bad as I do tend to clean and tidy as I go in situations like that but just needs a bit of a going over.  I need to start sorting out the unnecessary clutter before Christmas and this seems a good opportunity to deal with the kitchen!  I also have turkey leftovers to deal with so MUST re-read 'Love your leftovers' for more ideas.  Oh, the hardship!

Apart from that I will take things easy.  I need to not talk - yesterday was a chatty day, of course, once Sonja and Milli had arrived, and now I need to rest my voice if I am going to be fit for teaching on Tuesday!
I hope we all have a wonderful day, wherever we are and whatever we do.

Saturday 28 November 2015


Good morning, gentle readers.  Welcome to a chilly Saturday morning here in wonderful mid-Essex!  We had some strong winds and some rain overnight but the skies are now clear and full of stars.

Yesterday was a pleasant day.

First of all, I managed to get to Aldi early and, to my surprise, it was nearly empty.  I've never known Aldi nearly empty so I guess that's my go to time from now on - weekdays at 8:00.  I managed to get what I needed and back home again whereupon I sat down and went to sleep.  I'm not 100% and just a little shop wore me out.  I didn't get into school to help out with preparing for the Christmas Fair but I will go next week at some point and do my bit.

I got a nice surprise via an email - offer of a little bit more work for six weeks after Christmas.  Just half a day a week but it all adds up and I was glad to say yes.  Year 2 and year 3.  Perfick.

Later on I picked Alex up from school.  I was supposed to take him home but he didn't have his key so he came back to mine until Beth was able to pick him up.  It was nice to see him and hear how much he is now enjoying life at A levels!

And now it is Christmas Day - sort of.

The turkey crown is all ready and covered, to pop in the oven.  The sprouts are peeled.  The stuffing is made - just a packet stuffing and I added some dried cranberries and some walnuts for a bit of extra flavour and texture.  I just have to decide if I want to bake it or make patties and fry them.  The pigs in blankets are also made and ready to cook.  The chicken stock, saved from when we had a roast chicken as I am not sure how much stock one gets from a turkey crown, is heating so I can make the gravy early.  I just have to prepare the spuds and the parsnips for roasting.  The custard will be made in Thermione so that won't be a problem.  It is actually quite nice to have a run through before the Day itself and I am looking forward to having some leftovers for the next few days.

Then all I have to do is tidy up, grab a few decorations from the garage, wrap the pressies and lay the table.   Exciting!

The cold is still colding, the voice is still croaking and I am following Joan's excellent advice (thank you, Joan) and drinking plenty of liquids, interspersed with aspirin type stuff at intervals.  Hopefully I am building up an immunity for the rest of the year now.

So - today's food (as if you didn't know) will be
Brunch:  chicken sarnie (I accidentally defrosted some stock that had chicken slices in so they need eating up)
Dinner.  roast turkey, roast potatoes and parsnips, sprouts and peas, cranberry sauce, gravy, pigs in blankets and stuffing; mince pies and cream/custard (S and M didn't want Christmas pudding)

We're eating early - about 4:00 pm - and we are looking forward to then watching Pointless and Strictly which are favourites with us all.

Should be a great day!

Friday 27 November 2015


And carrying on from yesterday - it's still mutter, croak, mutter.  Frustratingly, I got asked to do supply cover for a colleague who, I suspect, has more or less the same thing and had to say (or croak) 'no, sorry.'  No way one can teach without a voice - not if it isn't your own class.  If anything, it is a bit worse than yesterday but, dear me, life goes on and, as yesterday, I'm not feeling significantly unwell, just a sore throat, so that's all to the good.

Yesterday I took life easy.  After my guests had gone I did a bit of clearing up and dithered about doing some shopping.  In the end I didn't so I need to get out early this morning and hope that this so-called 'Black Friday' isn't affecting Aldi at 8:00.  I suppose it is one way to clear the shelves of old stock!

I caught up on some sleep, thank goodness, and while I am up very early this morning, it's daytime (in my book), not night time and I've slept OK.

Today I shall get that shopping done and away and then I will be getting ready for tomorrow's Christmas dinner.  Turkey out, cranberry jelly to make, etc . . .   I do like to be well prepared so that things just roll.  It's a sort of rehearsal for the Big Day, not that I need one after all these years but you know what I mean!

I'm so looking forward to tomorrow.  It's a while since I saw Sonja and Milli and they are so lovely!

I expect today will be a very pleasant day and I hope yours is too!

Thursday 26 November 2015


So here I am, well before 4:00 am, croaking away (no voice to speak of) and wide awake.  Mutter, mutter, mutter!
Croak, croak!
We all got a bit of a shock yesterday when I opened my mouth to say 'good morning' to my guests and out came an excellent imitation of a frog.  No wonder I was having some vocal issues on Tuesday while teaching the children some songs for their show.  I haven't got the best voice in the world but it is good enough to voice lead when teaching a song and on Tuesday my voice just wasn't always reproducing the note my brain told it to sing.  Fortunately, at that age, the children are even less able to hold a true note than I was so I don't think I did too much harm.

So yesterday it came and went, went and came and this morning it's more went than yesterday so it is really lucky that there's no teaching until Tuesday, isn't it?
I feel fine apart from the old throat (and waking so early!).

However, it was a nice day yesterday.  We had a lovely crafty time with knitting, sewing, etc.  Son Dave came round for lunch and I made a leek and potato soup which turned out deliciously well.  It was cool but sunny and sun always brightens spirits, doesn't it?  I gather from the forecast that it's due to get much colder again over the weekend so I'm enjoying the milder weather while it's here.

I also made a batch of orange marmalade as I'm nearly out and want to share some with my guests.  I'm afraid that nowadays I cheat and use Ma Made (or the equivalent) rather than putting myself through the long, drawn out process.  It's still very delicious, albeit a little short on peel (must remember to save, prepare and freeze when I have an orange or lemon so I have peel to add) and, unless one pays the earth for very speciality stuff, it is far nicer than any shop bought marmalade.

Today is quite a busy day.  This morning we are hoping to get to Lakeland.  I have a few things I need and we always love looking around.  Then my guests leave and in the afternoon, voice permitting, I am off to school to do my Granny Helper bit.

As well as that I have to set to and get the sheets, etc, laundered as I have more guests at the weekend!

As for today's food, it is toast, etc, for breakfast.  There's a little bit of soup left over from yesterday for lunch and just enough dinner left over too.  So that will be mince crumble, roasties, sweet corn and roasted parsnips (I changed the plans a bit to match what I found in the fridge yesterday).

Well, I need another coffee and I have to stick some labels on some jars of home made deliciousness while the ketting is boiling!  And then it is back to bed to try to sleep a bit more.  Fingers crossed.

Wednesday 25 November 2015


A slightly belated 'good morning' to you all, gentle readers.  I didn't exactly sleep in.  Well, I did but there was a reasons.  I had a wakey spell in the night so came downstairs to be busy until tiredness should return - which it did!  When there's no school it is not a problem but when there it it becomes more of an issue.
However, as there is NO SCHOOL UNTIL NEXT TUESDAY (probably), sleeping in a bit just doesn't matter.

I say 'no school' but, in fact, there are a few things.  Firstly I shall be going in tomorrow as a 'granny helper' in Y2 and then on Friday I have offered to help FONS (the parents' association) to start to get things ready for the Christmas Fair.  Ditto next Monday.  However, they are not 'need to get up and into school early' things so it's quite different.

I really did enjoy yesterday.  Two hours with the year ones I have been teaching for most of the last three weeks and then the rest of the day with one of the foundation stage classes and, my word, haven't they come on!  They were almost a different class.  They now have their routines and structures established and it's all a whole lot easier.  Well done!

On to today and we are having a sort of 'craft' day.  Beth's coming over and getting on with her project.  I will be making more little gift bags.  I'm looking forward to it very much.  We might pop out at some point to visit Lakeland, depending on how it all goes.

Food today is toast, etc, for breakfast, leek and potato soup for lunch and for dinner I have retrieved some savoury mince from the freezer and will make a savoury crumble with roasties, carrots, peas and maybe some roast parsnips.  Cheese and crackers for dessert!

Well, must go.  The guests are emerging from the bedroom and breakfast is calling.  Have a good day!

Tuesday 24 November 2015


Good morning, gentle readers.  It's raining outside right now and it feels pretty chilly but I don't think it's freezing.  I'm hoping it all clears up before school starts because wet plays and lunchtimes are the pits for children and adults alike.

Yes, it's back to school today but for my contracted day, not supply.  Less responsibility for a start as I just do as I am told really.  When I get home, my guests (yes, more guests, yay!) will have arrived and made themselves at home.  We're going to have a Chinese takeaway for dinner so I'm looking forward to this evening!

It was fantastic to get back to swimming yesterday.  We didn't do a full hour and we took it easy because it was the first time for about a month.  Full time teaching doesn't allow for swims like that and when I wasn't teaching I was either ill or had guests.  I don't think either of us can go again this week so I'm glad we managed yesterday.

Then it was back to my house where Beth carried on working on a table runner that someone has commissioned while I did kitchen stuff.  A double batch of white bread, a batch of green tomato chutney and some sweet potato and lentil soup.  The bread was most cooperative and rose nicely, the chutney took as long as the bread and tasted rather good by the end which bodes well for a couple of months' time and the soup was scrummy so I am going to post the recipe despite the fact that I have posted a lot of similar recipes recently.  It's my blog, after all. < smiles >

As mentioned, today is school.  Year 1, then Foundation Stage.  I expect everyone will be rushing around in a panic as the Christmas Show (Infants) and the Carol Service (Juniors) are only a few weeks away and no-one will feel ready yet.  I know that because it's the same every year, has been from time immemorial and will continue to be so for evermore, amen!  You can't fit in a full teaching curriculum AND prepare for family assemblies, shows, etc, it is just not possible and yet every year committed and dedicated colleagues try to do the impossible, running themselves into the ground and, inevitably, failing.  I'm not missing that part of teaching one little bit!

I'm looking round the room and wishing it was all a bit neater.  However, with Beth in the middle of a project and with Christmas purchases in heaps, it isn't and won't be.  My guests won't mind!

However, time is getting short and I have just realised I haven't had my coffee yet so I will say goodbye and tank up!  I hope your day is good.

Monday 23 November 2015


I'm back!

For once I managed to oversleep.  Well, not really oversleep but it was past seven when I woke.  Fortunately I didn't have a lot to do before leaving for swimming at 8:15.

We're now home after a lovely gentle swim, the first for several weeks.  It did feel good to be back in the water, although we took it gently and didn't get too tired.

Yesterday went well too.  Alex thoroughly enjoyed his roast and there's enough left over for me for this evening.  That leg of pork on special was great value.  I slow roasted it and then zapped the rind on high whereupon it crackled beautifully.

The rest of today is full of things.  I have to make two batches of bread, the green tomato chutney (because I took the tomatoes out of the freezer yesterday) and soup for lunch.  Better get going then, hadn't I?


Slept in!
Going swimming.
Back later!

Sunday 22 November 2015


Borrowed from Google, thank you.
Brrrr.  It is a chilly morning with just a touch of frost on the roofs of the sheds, the first frost of the season, although nowhere near as heavy as in the photo!  However, it is snug and warm inside so no complaints.  The wind has died down so I wonder if I will get some outdoor drying done.  It's worth a go, I think, don't you, as the sky looks clear?

As I hoped, yesterday was nice and relaxing.  I made soup.  I roasted pork (and had some, hot, in fresh bread with a little sprinkling of salt - mmmmmmmmmmm).  I caught up with the ironing (cheers).  I made bread and generally had quite a lazy time.  I decided I didn't need to go shopping so I didn't.  When I do, it will be for milk and maybe fresh veg rather than anything else.

I enjoy Saturday telly at the moment.  It started off with Celebrity Pointless which I don't always enjoy as much as the daily version as they (the celebrities) can be very silly at times, almost as if the feel they NEED to show off.  However, last night's winners were Frances and Richard from Bake-Off and they came over very well.  Then it was Strictly and it seems to have bumped up a level: the dances were all really good and Peter Andre came last!  Will he be in the dance off though?

Then my old fave, Doctor Who.  Enjoyable, a little bit scary, very sad and kept me awake.  No spoilers here though.

Today is more of the same as my quiet retirement life clocks in again.  I do need to prepare the spare room for some more visitors but that won't take long.  I have promised Beth a baking of bread so that will be nice, I have ironing to put away and I need to do a little bit of tidying up/clearing out.  None of it will be very heavy.

Beth and Alex are coming to dinner so I will do a roast with the pork for me and Al and I have something vegetarian in the freezer for Beth.  While the pork was roasting yesterday I really wanted Yorkshires - it was the smell, you know - so I will do them with roast spuds, roast parsnips and carrots.  All very roasty but very delicious too and dead easy.  Then for dessert I will defrost some roasted spiced plums and just have them warm, maybe with custard or creme fraiche.

I think I will have a porky day as I really fancy a bacon sarnie for breakfast!  Then lunch will be the roast and I think tea will be more of the parsnip soup I made yesterday which was really good (recipe in t'other blog)

Now it is time for coffee and a quick trawl around the kitchen.  I might even throw a bit of clutter away today - I feel energetic!

Have a good one, gentle readers.  Hope you can stay warm.

Saturday 21 November 2015


Good morning, gentle readers.  I hope you are staying warm, wherever you live and whether the snow has come or not.  There's none here which is hardly surprising as we never get much.  It feels jolly cold though - two days ago the temperature was in the teens.  At the moment it must be around zero.  Brrrrr.

Well, it has been a lovely two days.  The reason why I didn't finish off the week at school was because I had a dear friend visiting and she went home again yesterday late afternoon.  We've chatted and stitched.  She's learnt how to use her little sewing machine, I've learnt how to make entrelac socks and, if the weather stays like this, when I have made them they will keep my tootsies nice and cosy!

Jen was most satisfying to cook for.  She loved my breads, she loved my jams and marmalade, she loved my soups (seconds all round) and she loved the dinner we had.  She can come again any time!  I've been posting what I've made on the other blog so please do pop over and take a look.  As I said over there, you can make a real quality soup for a fraction of what it would cost to buy it and it's much better tasting too.  When I start Breadline, my lunches will mostly be home made soups and bread.  Really delicious!

Today is going to be nice.  No shopping to do.  The house is clean and comparatively tidy.  I have washing and ironing and I suspect I won't be drying anything on the line today.  I will make bread, prepare the Christmas roasties for the freezer and today's soup will be parsnip soup. I have a leg of pork to roast for tomorrow's Sunday dinner.  I will maybe start making those socks, depending on what I have in the yarn cupboard.   And, of course, this evening it is Strictly and Doctor Who.

I feel very happy and relaxed right now

Friday 20 November 2015


Good morning, gentle readers.  I was up early today having had a great night's sleep.  It's cold out there but doesn't feel that bad because there's little or no wind which makes a big difference.
Much needed!
Yesterday didn't start all that well as I had a 'reaction' to something, goodness knows what, but it was hay fever with a vengeance - coughing, sneezing itchy eyes, throat, nose, pressure behind the eyes and so on.  However, as I do get hay fever I always have some anti sneezy stuff on hand so I popped a pill and gradually returned to normal again, feeling very thankful for my box of tissues.  I was a bit wiped out for the rest of the day though as Jen (my guest) will confirm.  Very rude of me to snooze while I have a guest but Jen feels more like family so it was OK!

Jen and I had a session with her little sewing machine and now she knows how to use it.  Beth came over and started on a rainbow table runner for a friend.  I made sweet potato and lentil soup which was really delicious (so the recipe in in t'other blog) and three loaves of bread.  So we have all been creative in our own way.  Today I hope to show Jen how to make a fabric gift bag and the soup will be butternut squash soup!

Dinner was rather nice.  I made a chicken pasta bake and it worked very well, so I will blog about that as well.  Dessert was an plum and apple with star anise crumble and that was also pretty yum!

I haven't posted about my food for a while - I rather got out of the habit, I think.
Breakfast:  probably bacon sarnie
L:unch:  roasted butternut soup and fresh bread
Dinner:  Yesterday's lefttovers:  chicken pasta, sweetcorn, plum and apple crumble.  And very nice too!

Thursday 19 November 2015


. . . because that's how it feels!
Good morning!

No school today.  Or tomorrow.  In fact, not until Tuesday and then I'm back to my original contracted PPA cover.  Five days off.  Woo hoo!  Beth and I can start swimming again.  I can sew and knit and get the house back into some sort of order before Christmas.  I can sleep properly again and wake later.

My lovely friend, J, is here for a couple of days.  We are going to have a crafty time.  She's bought her sewing machine with her and she's going to learn how to use it!  At the moment she is, I hope, sleeping sweetly in the guest bedroom.

Yesterday turned out to be a very pleasant day.  It was a 'teach all day' time - no assembly or library time to break things up a bit and no 'other' type of lessons (like Computing or Games) that take us out of the classroom.  We started with Reading Revelry, waltzed our way through a big write and phonics, then maths and so on.

Today, apart from the crafting, I shall make bread, make soup for lunch and generally enjoy being at home.  What more could I ask?

Enjoy your day too . . .

Wednesday 18 November 2015


Good morning, everyone.  I gather there were winds yesterday evening.  As I went to bed at eight and woke at four this morning I can't claim to have been much bothered by them.  It's too dark to see much but the fences seem to be OK and everything is in order at the front.  Hoping this is indeed so and that all my readers are also as fortunate.

It was a nice day yesterday.  I got an email from the teacher I have been replacing for three weeks and who will be back in harness again next week.  We managed to get all the planning done so I have sent it over to her.  Mixed feelings.  Glad and sad all at the same time.

So today is just an ordinary day at school but when I get home a dear friend is coming to stay for a couple of nights so that's something to look forward to very much.

So now I need to set to, sort out today's work and then do a bit of a tidy.  But first - coffee!

Slightly later update:  The fencing is all fine and, in fact, the garden is tidier than it has been for days because all the leaves have been blown into one corner.  As I am not working tomorrow, I might very well get round to bunging them all on the compost heap!  You never know!

Monday 16 November 2015


I was looking for a raimbow picture and loved this one!
Well, I survived!  I kept feeling better through the day which is always a great sign and although I was worn out by the evening it was a healthy worn out.  Less good is that a number of others seem to be going down with it now - same symptoms: extreme tiredness ('exhaustion' isn't an exaggeration), nasty headache and giddiness,  and a feeling of nausea.
In a selfish way it makes me feel better - it wasn't me just being a wuss and no longer having the stamina.

There was a magical moment yesterday. I was on afternoon playground duty when I noticed a rainbow.  Within half a minute about a third of the children had seen it, stopped playing and were just pointing.  It was one of those 'awe and wonder' moments that OFSTED used to go on about, not realising that if it was planned it wasn't 'awe and wonder'.

After writing about Breadline yesterday, I am feeling really enthusiastic about starting it again in the New Year and have lots of plans.  Having a higher amount to spend has opened some doors and I am actively searching out frugal, creative and interesting recipes as well as having some ideas of my own.

Still working today so it will be more of the usual.  In a way I am quite sorry that tomorrow will be my last day.  If I set aside the illness, it has been good.  I have had a lovely bunch of children to teach.  I've always loved year 1 and count myself very lucky to have been able to teach them for a short time.  It will be mixed feelings on Wednesday, for sure.

After school today I will be helping a bit with choir.  The teacher I am covering takes choir with another colleague.  It's very difficult to play piano and teach a second part so the other teacher asked me if I could help.  One of the songs is fine - I have played Walking in the Air' a number of time before and can fuzz harmonically on the slightly harder bits.  The other, 'When Children Rule the World', starts off wonderfully easily in C major but as soon as one relaxes it bumps up a semitone to D flat major which is the very devil to play.  Add to that a second vocal part and I understand why she asked me if I could help out a bit, even though I haven't touched the piano since July.  I've been practising and I just hope I don't let her down.  We have a wonderful choir that sings like an angel (or several angels) so there's a lot to live up to!

Well, better look at the planning and get things ready.  But first . . . coffee!


Borrowed from Google Images, with thanks.
. . . and back to work for three days after which I have a much welcomed visitor so won't be able to finish the week at school.

Regular readers might remember that a while ago I ate according to the 'Breadline Challenge' which meant that all my food and drink came to a maximum of £2.20 per day which, for simplicity's sake, I reduced to £2.00 with herbs and spices thrown in for free.  It was organised as a fund raiser by FreeCycle although I did it out of time, longer term and did not seek sponsors in any way.

I had a great time accounting for every penny, making, costing, freezing when necessary and making it all work for me although after a while I lost enthusiasm and it died a death.  Lessons learned did not though, I am glad to say.

The Breadline Challenge has come around again with a few changes, the most important of which is that they now say one is allowed to spend £2.86 a day, nearly £3.00 which is a huge increase and very telling about how food has increased in price.  It also contrasts significantly and sharply with Live Below The Line which, as far as I know, remains at £1.00 a day although I'm not sure that is achievable now in the way it was two years ago.

On the other hand, I'm not sure how challenging a bit over £20 a week or £85.80 for a thirty day month actually is.  I know I could eat well on that AND afford coffee!  Yes, I would need to look for the specials and the yellow stickers but I do that a fair bit now.  I use Aldi flour to make my own bread.  I look at the Savers/Value options before making decisions.  On Saturday I got a very decent looking leg of pork from Aldi that was one of their specials for the week and which would provide me with meat for several days, perhaps following some of Jack Monroe's recipes which appeared in the mirror last week.  A chicken would certainly do me several days finishing with a great stock for lunchtime home made (and therefore cheap)soups.  I can make a large loaf or two small loaves and a few rolls for a maximum of 35p.  I have home made jams and chutneys,

The FAQ document can be found here.  I can't follow it right now as I have three weeks of visitors (on and off) followed by a variety of Christmas based stuff but come the New Year I think I might follow it for a while, if only to get the eating back on track.  The challenge will be to provide myself with a varied and interesting diet that stops me from getting bored!

Moving on - yesterday was a day when I felt myself getting better and better.  I made the bread.  I made the chutney.  I ate too much but stayed awake for most of the day, ensuring a very good night's sleep.  Today, as I said, is back to school but I won't be doing the whole week and after that things should get back to normal.

It's still very mild outside but the word is out on Facebook (however reliable that is!) that it's going to get a whole lot colder by Friday and, possibly, some snow on low ground.  Not here thought, I bet!  It never does.

Time for coffee . . .

Sunday 15 November 2015


Found on Google.  Hope it works.

Good morning, gentle readers.  What nasty weather we have been having recently.  It's very gusty and squally here with rain on and off although it's not particularly cold, or wasn't last time I checked.  The garden is now flooded, not with water but with autumn leaves!

Yesterday was a bit of a washout.  I stayed in my chair, laptop on my knee but didn't get much done really.  It was probably not wise to go shopping but there you go, it is easy to be wise afterwards.  It was part tiredness, part lethargy, I think, as I am feeling better in myself.

There's not much else to say really.

Today I have to get things ready for school.  Three more days.  I need to deal with the pineapple, even if the results go straight into the freezer.  I need to make the bread for my customers.  Everything else can wait!

Have a good day.

Saturday 14 November 2015


Good morning.  Sorry it's a wee bit late but I needed to go shopping and wanted to get it sorted before the crowds gathered.  I popped down to Aldi and got most of what I wanted, then went into Morrisons to get what Aldi didn't have.

Most of the shopping could have waited, maybe, until tomorrow but I was desperate for flour.  I was almost totally out of plain, SR and even white and wholemeal bread flour.  That would never do, would it?  I'm well stocked up now.

I feel that I have spent an awful lot today but a lot of it is for Christmas including the now traditional snowman loo paper and kitchen towel.  Aldi had it in and I know it flies off the shelf like there's no tomorrow so I made sure I got my lot.  It may sound unfrugal but actually it is no more expensive than what I usually get, so no problem.
This is it - quite nice for the festive season, don't you think?
I'm just home now and I really ought to be putting it all away but my shoulders are aching and my head has gone a bit odd again so I shall have a sit down first.  Obviously I'm not really quite right yet, although I really am feeling a lot better, and it's just as well I'm not generously sharing whatever it is with Mum and Dad.  Fortunately I don't have to go out again apart from to the shed so I can take things easy.

Head permitting, I'm hoping to get the pineapple chutney made today.  It's a slow cooker recipe so just a case of chopping things up, bunging it all in and leaving it for a long time.  I can live with that.  I'm hoping for a few presents out of the results so it will be worth the effort.

Morrisons had King Edwards in and I think they are the very nicest for roasties so I bought two bags and will prepare and freeze most of them, again for Christmas.  I'm feeding ten this year so organisation is key if I am to see much of my guests.  Probably not today though, more likely tomorrow.  Then I want to have a go at roasting some of the peelings (which are very clean) because that's supposed to make scrummy nibbles!  Like these . . .

Well, I'd better stop rambling and get on with the necessary - but not until I've had a rest and a cuppa coffee.  Have a great day and wrap up warm if you need to go out.

Friday 13 November 2015


Well, here I am, staying in again today.  Yesterday was a bit miserable, one way and another.  I managed to sleep on and off which helped but wasn't feeling all that wonderful.
I suppose going to bed before seven on Wednesday evening was a bit of a hint that all was not well although I felt fine when I woke early morning yesterday.  One of those things, I guess.

I was going to be away over the weekend, staying at my parents and going to the Arcadians' show, a sort of cabaret affair with music from Rodgers and Hammerstein but they've not been at all well recently (my parents, not R and H!) and I don't wish to share any lurgies with them.  So a weekend indoors it shall be!

However, I saw something that cheered me up.  It is the custom now for all the 'big' names to produce a Christmas commercial that is a sort of blockbuster.  Some are good, some try too hard.  Yesterday I saw the new Sainsbury's one, starring Mog, and it's really lovely!  Well done, Judith Kerr, Mog and Sainsbury.  The best of the bunch for me!

A few days ago I made some broccoli soup from a head of broccoli that had started dying in my fridge.  It was perfect yesterday when I wasn't up to cooking - very tasty and comforting.  I also have some celery that needs dealing with so I think I will make more soup today using a similar system but with celery instead of broccoli.
I wrote up the recipe and, yesterday, posted about the broccoli soup on t'other blog and will do the same with today's effort, if it works and, indeed, if I get around to it!

Hope your day goes well for you, gentle readers, whatever you are doing.

Thursday 12 November 2015


Hyde Hall: 27-10-15

I can't believe it is Thursday already.  Incredible!  Where has the time flown?  Two days and it is the weekend again.

I gather the weather is due to get colder or, as someone said, more normal for the time of year.  I am quite looking forward to some frosts that zip up the air and turn the environment into a thing of beauty.  As for snow - bring it on!

School is going . . .  I'm getting old and slowing down.  Last night I went to bed before most of the children, probably.  Before seven.  A quick read and I was out like a light.  I can't say I slept soundly all night.  I did keep waking but only for short times and when I woke at three I felt fantastic!

I'm enjoying some hot coffee right now but, sadly, have gone back on the caffeinated variety.  I will have to sort that one out when the pressure stops!  At the moment I am committed for the rest of this week and Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week and then I have a visitor so a good reason to say 'no, sorry'.  The planning is all done and I will leave things for whoever takes the class so the guilt is minimal!

It will be lovely to get back to things I love doing.  I have a list!

I also want to start trying new recipes again.  I've been reading Jack Monroe's latest blog entry based on a set of articles they have had published and I shall have a go at some of them and maybe try the whole week once my queue of visitors has died down, although I will have to adapt as it will be feeding one, not four.
The link is here and makes interesting reading for those interested in workable frugality.

I'd better stop now.  I have planning to sort out, a home to tidy and more coffee to drink.  Have a good day and may the sun shine on you.

Edited:  Oh, dear, I did feel fine but now I am feeling sick and giddy and aching all over.  Not nice at all.  I am going back to bed after sending a message to school, I think.  Hoping it is just a one day thing.  :-(

Wednesday 11 November 2015


Hyde Hall 27-10-15.  A bit blurry but I love the feather patterns

Good morning, gentle readers.

Things are still ridiculously busy and it has brought back to me why I actually retired - or one of the motivations anyway.

I know teachers are 'known' for talking about workload but, believe me, it is justified.  As a supply teacher but having worked at the school before retirement I am in a difficult position.  I feel incredible pressure to create and deliver lessons where the children make 'exceptional (or do I mean 'outstanding') progress' all the time (I know . . . not possible but that's the current expectation) so am working for nearly double the time I am actually paid as a supply teacher.  I've just done a couple of hours of stuff, will and at school at 7:30 and will probably stay until after five with more work in the evening.

I suspect that if I were to be teaching at a 'strange' school I wouldn't feel that at all and would have little guilt at leaving certain things undone if I had worked the time and a bit more.

I'm looking forward to getting back to what has become my normal routine.  Swimming, pottering in the kitchen, etc.  I have two batches of chutney to make, plenty of sewing to be getting on with, a house that could do with a tidy-up and so on.

However, despite all of the above, I am loving the teaching, loving the children, loving being back with my old colleagues.  It's not all doom and gloom by a long way.  Let's face it, I do have the choice.  I'm choosing to take on this work on a week by week basis.  I could say 'no, sorry' but I'm not because, after all, there's nothing as good as the feeling when a child 'gets it' for the first time.  I thought I had lost the 'buzz' but I'm feeling it again at the moment.

This isn't a moan, it is a ponder.  All credit and admiration to all teacher who pour their heart and soul into their work and still come up smiling (much of the time), despite the inner anxieties and insecurities and despite knowing that they are having to work towards unachievable targets.

They are stars!!!

Tuesday 10 November 2015


Hyde Hall 27-10-15
Very tired and pushed for time so I will leave you with a lovely view of Hyde Hall to enjoy.

Back soon!

Monday 9 November 2015


Hyde Hall: 27-10-25

Good morning, everyone.  It's awful dark out there but seems dry enough and not too chilly either.  The air still smells of gunpowder from Saturday evening in particular when the whole area seemed to be exploding in a riot of sound and colour.

After a full week's work and a day in London yesterday, I was somewhat zonked yesterday to the extent that I cancelled Beth coming over.  However, I needed to get certain things done and I managed that.

I got some washing done but forgot to take it out in time to hang it on the line so it's been drying none too elegantly on the drying rack.

I made seven loaves of bread in two batches.  Some for me and some for my Monday customers.  I also made some soda bread, just one loaf, intending to freeze it for when my friend comes to stay but it was so delicious I am afraid half of it never saw the inside of the freezer.  Never mind, it is just so easy I will make loads more!

For nearly a fortnight now I have had green tomatoes sitting on a tray.  Some had started to turn but some were getting manky so I sorted out the bad ones and zizzed up the rest for chutney.  At the moment they are in the freezer and next week, when I am a retired lady of leisure again, I will set to and make that green tomato chutney and also some pineapple chutney with a couple of pineapples cheap from Aldi that are ripening at the moment.

And then I did the planning.  Oh, goodness, it was a bit of a nightmare really.  I've done the best I can and hopefully it will pass muster.  It is very different when it's not your own planning and also when the timetable has changed so dramatically from the previous year.  The main thing is that there are things to teach and work to do and the children will be occupied and, I sincerely hope, learning!

So today I start another week of work.  Really, I am looking forward to it and have been loving it but I am just out of practice really.

Hope you have a good day too!

Sunday 8 November 2015


Yesterday I said it was going to be a busy day and so it was.

We went into London to the Globe, to the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse to be accurate, to see 'Tallis'

After grabbing some cash from Morrisons (legally, I hasten to add), I picked up one friend, then another and we all drove to J's home and from there to the station at Billericay to get the train.  Our rail cards came in useful!
Travelling in a group is great fun and, as we all worked at the same school and go back a long way, there was plenty to catch up on.

Once in London it was a quick bus ride to St Paul's (they don't take money in London buses any more.  I didn't know that!) and then over the Millennium Bridge.  I've never walked over the Millennium Bridge before so it was all new to me.  Very impressive.

As I walked over, I was reminded of the scene in one of the Harry Potter films when the dementors attacked the bridge and destroyed it!  That's culture for you.

Anyway, once over M had to leave us for a while as she was stewarding so J, L and I popped into the Tate Modern which is next to the Globe.  The less I say about that the better, I think, being an old fashioned philistine.  I became more and more bewildered as I walked round and as for the explanations on plaques on the wall, some of them seemed - er - pretentious in the extreme!
Don't all shoot at once, OK?

After that little bit of fun it was back through the Globe and out the other side for lunch at a Turkish restaurant called Tas Pide.  I had never heard of pides before but it seems they are basically a form of pizza and very delicious they are too.  Worth eating there if you are in the area.

This is the one I had - not the exact one, but this kind.  With a glass of wine and followed by a coffee it was very satisfying and I must look up the recipe, if I can.  For appetiser there was some bread, a yogurty-minty, fennelly dip and some olives.  Mmmmmm.

So then it was back to the theatre where M again left us.  We went into the theatre and it was fascinating.  Built as a reproduction of a 16th century theatre, it is small, intimate and crowded.  The audience is so close to the stage you catch every murmur, every small facial expressions, every gesture.  The seating is - well, bench like with thin bench pads, no backs and precious little leg room.  It wouldn't suit a lot of people but that's how it was then.  Given the state of personal hygiene in them there days the place must have been humming!

I looked up some reviews and the following says it all.
This place is a hidden gem. It's a small and intimate venue within The Globe complex, but gives a breathtaking evening. The candlelight gives a very special atmosphere and even though the seating is cosy and a little numbing, I completely loved going!
I was amazed that the lighting was totally by candles - real candles!  Health and Safety must have had a field day with that and I bet the insurance costs a bomb!  It all created an amazing atmosphere and they were very much a crucial part of the staging, used brilliantly to create subtexts.

This photo gives you a fair idea of the seating.  We had great seats, bottom middle, third row back.  

I'll write about the play another day.  It was good!  If you can, go and see it.

Afterwards we remained on the bridge for a while, watching the sun go down and the lights come on.  It was quite stunning.

I can't say I enjoyed the drive back from J's as much as the drive to.  I will drive in the dark when I have to but it's not my favourite activity.  I know the way though, which made it easier and once we hit Chelmsford I was fine, of course.

I slept well last night!!!

Today is basically bread making and planning.  Just like the Good Old Days.  One more week and I can go back to my life of comparative leisure, swimming, civilised breakfasts, etc.

And I MUST take more trips into London.  I live so close and, while I am no fan of inner city living, it is a very impressive city with some great experiences.  With my Senior Railcard and, when I get round to it, my bus pass, there's no excuse.  There's plenty to see and do that doesn't cost much.  I want to go back to the Tate Modern and see if I can make a bit more sense of what's there, for example, and there are some great walks to take.

But for now my dodgy ankle is killing me so it's ho for paracetamol and time for another coffee.  Proper coffee this time, I think.

(I didn't take any of the above photos - thank you, Google and whoever did take them)

Saturday 7 November 2015


The pond at Hyde Hall: 27-10-15

Good morning, everyone.  It is Saturday!!!  Yay!  I have no idea about the weather but it can't be that cold because I need neither dressing gown nor slippers.

As I may have mentioned once or twice, I'm back to full time teaching for a short time and it has hit hard!  Bed before eight yesterday which means an early awakening today, just like the good old days.  I'm aching all over too - not feeling ill, just aching from unaccustomed activity, I think, including sitting on impossibly small chairs (and getting up from them)!!!

Yesterday was lovely though, especially the afternoon.  Both Y1 classes got together for a rehearsal.  The school is holding a 'Eurovision Song Contest' (with very little of the 'Euro' about it) on Monday and our song is Frere Jacques in two parts.  We had heard that the children will all be finishing the event off with a rousing rendition of Land of Hope and Glory so we thought we'd better teach it with a clip of the Last Night of the Proms on you tube - well, I was in my element and enjoyed it even more than the children who were waving pretend flags and bouncing up and down in response to the music.  A few littlies just sat utterly transfixed.  Musicians of the future, perhaps?

After that bit of fun it was Golden Time, being Friday afternoon, and K and I decided to create a 'freeflow'.  In other words, each bay had different activities out and the children 'free flowed'.  It is an easy environment to create because we are semi-open-plan.
The children loved it.  So did little boy who 'loves Mrs Clark' as he came in, sat down beside me and proceeded to beam at me silently for much of the session!
We have decided to do it again next week when we will have more time to organise different activities so that there's a good balance.

Today will be a busy day too, but different busy.  More about that another time.

Well, it is not just after half past four and I can feel the tiredness returning.  There's time for more sleep so I shall disappear upstairs again and see if I can catch some.

Have a super Saturday, gentle readers!  I know I will!

Friday 6 November 2015


The pumpkin patch at Hyde Hall: 27-10-15

How quickly had I forgotten the joy of waking on a Friday morning and thinking 'it's nearly the weekend'!  It all came back in force about fifteen minutes ago!

To add to that, there is also the joy of having a little laddie coming to you from the other class to show you some words he has written on his whiteboard that use the spelling rule you have just taught his phonic group involving split digraph e - AND using the correct terminology (and telling his teacher he loves Mrs Clark - aaaaahhhhhhhhh).  Or the delight of watching a little lass stumble her way through the pronunciation of 'exclamation mark', getting there eventually after several trips over her own tongue to both our satisfactions.

It was easier again yesterday.  I think we (the class and I - are going through a similar process to the one at the start of a new school year only in miniature.  The first few days are 'wait and see', the third day is 'where are the boundaries?' and yesterday was 'OK, now we know, we can settle).

I am hopeful that next week will go very well now that we have gone through the preliminaries together and I am absolutely sure that they will welcome their teacher back with open arms in due course.

There are plenty of indications that I'm back in full time teaching, albeit for a very  short time.  The house is a superficial mess (and the cleaners come today so I have to sort it out and quick), the washing has remained in the machine for several days and there's a funny pong coming from the fridge.  I think it is sprouts or it could be broccoli - anyway, that sort of pong.  Not nice!

One good thing is that the teacher for whom I am covering doesn't have a morning playground duty this half term.  However, to balance that, I have two and a half afternoon duties (two one week and three the next), one of which is mine on a Tuesday and the others being hers.

And now, having waffled on about things probably of little interest to you I will shut up and tidy the downstairs of the house ready for the cleaners.  I shall enjoy coming home this evening!

Thursday 5 November 2015


Hyde Hall: 27-10-15

Three down, two - er - seven to go!  Yes, I have accepted another week of supply teaching.  Same school, same class, much better for the children.  And it won't do the old budget any harm either!

Yesterday was quite tiring.  I've gone a bit soft, I think, since I retired - I should say 'retired' in inverted commas because one day a week on contract plus supply isn't totally retired, is it?

 I used to do this day after day, week afer week, term after term without blinking an eye most of the time.  Now two weeks is major!  But, you know, I am loving it so much.  It's with year one, where my heart has always been.  I enjoyed year 2, for sure, it was lovely and I was willing to do it but I always missed the younger children.  As I always knew, I am really a rather limited one-year teacher really.

I was thinking I ought to change the heading to this blog to 'Diary of an (ex)teacher' but I think I will wait because who knows what the future holds, eh?

So I am afraid I have no other news for you.  School has taken over my life again, albeit for a shorter time.  And it is brilliant!

However, I am missing the swimming.

Wednesday 4 November 2015


Hyde Hall 27-10-15

Two down, three to go.

I felt much brighter by the end of yesterday than I did on Monday at 3:30.  Partly it is because I am getting to know the children better.  Two hours once a week wasn't really all that conducive to remembering all their names but two consecutive days has really done the trick!  Partly it is because I'm rapidly getting into the swing of things again.  The curriculum may change, styles may change but how to teach doesn't really change.

You may have guessed by now that yesterday was a lovely day!  You may be right!

However, the icing on the Tuesday Cake came after school as I was checking my emails.

Alex, my quirky, clever, hardworking, character-packed, autistic grandson has been awarded not just one but two school prizes.  Those following this blog longer term will know that three years and a few months ago Al transferred from his wonderful special school to a mainstream school.  This year he passed all his GCSEs A* to C.

One prize is a year prize for academic progress.  I'm guessing maths but really it could be any subject he took because he'd done hardly any mainstream curriculum in most subjects before transfer.
The other has just blown me right out of the water.  It is a 'special prize for exceptional personal endeavour.

Wow!    Just - WOW!

Tuesday 3 November 2015


Well, I survived - just!  I was so tired in the evening though, that I fell asleep and missed the Hugh F-W programme on food waste that I had been looking forward to for ages.  Thank goodness for iPlayer - I can watch it at the weekend, can't I?

Apart from that, everything was OK and I now have the planning for the week.  I have to tweak a few things but it'll be OK and everyone was very helpful.  It felt strange after school though.  The senior management team met for a meeting and, as they all went into the meeting, I felt a most curious 'pang' as if I should be there too but had been excluded.  Silly me.  I doubt I could have stayed awake anyway but it was an odd feeling and I felt sad for a while afterwards!!!

This is short and sweet as I have to go over today's planning and get it all sorted.  I'll be back at full power after the week is over!

Coffee . . .

Monday 2 November 2015


This is a little earlier and a bit shorter than usual because I am back to work this week.  Yes, I have a five day stint with the same class all week which is very nice for me.  I say five days but it is really four days as I would be doing one day anyway.  I am just a little concerned about stamina.  I wasn't really winging it by the end of the summer term and I've got a bit lazy since then.  Fingers crossed.

Yesterday brightened up once the mist cleared and it turned out to be a gloriously sunny and mild day for the first of November.  As I had promised myself, I had another go at pastry for quiche and it was a lot better this time.  In fact, the whole meal was jolly tasty and I'm glad there are leftovers for lunch today.  With the leftover pastry I made more mince pies: Beth and I accounted for some at lunch time and the rest are in the freezer for another time.

Today - well, teaching, of course.  Hopefully nothing will be too difficult to prepare in a hurry.
It's misty again so I have hopes of another lovely day!  Fingers crossed.
Goodness knows what I will do this eveing.  Sleep, I expect!

And today's food?
Breakfast:  porridge and spiced plums
Lunch: quiche, salad and walnut bread, apple
Dinner: Steak, fried and peas.
Playtime fruit

For now I need coffee - caffeine today, I think!

Sunday 1 November 2015


Hyde Hall 27-10-15

Good morning, gentle readers.  It seems to be a fairly pleasant morning, a bit misty and with a real nip in the air but the sort of day that is likely to brighten into Autumn sunshine later on.

Yesterday was a day that didn't seem to know whether it wanted to turn into a gloriously sunny Autumnal day or not.  It was dry but quite dull at times and I was crossing fingers for the sun as someone I know got married.  You will be glad to know that the sun did emerge and by wedding time it was lovely.  I was so glad for her.

After my Hyde Hall lunch on Tuesday, I looked up some recipes for walnut bread and had a go.  It worked well, making a tasty loaf of bread that's going to be made time and time again, for sure.  Beth and I will have some for lunch to go with our quiche and the other loaf is now in the freezer, intended for use at Christmas!  It's so nice I have blogged about it in t'other place.

Yesterday, I did something I have never done before.  I went to read Thrifty Lesley's site and she was recommending in glowing terms a book she had just bought.  It's a River Cottage book called 'Love your Leftovers' by the great Hugh F-W and I'm afraid it called to me so irresistibly that not only did I buy one (I know, I said no more cookery books, but . . .), but (and this is what I've never done before) paid extra for delivery today.  See how dangerously I live!
It probably won't arrive until tomorrow now!
It was the words 'recipe templates that can be applied . . .' that really did it - that's just so me - and by the time I got to 'ingenious ideas for Christmas leftovers' I didn't stand a chance!  I hope it lives up to the hype.
I'll let you know and might even do a review!

I feel a bit unsettled this morning.  I * might * be working tomorrow but I don't know for sure.  That being so, I will do what I would normally do tomorrow (ie bread) this afternoon, just in case.  I'll make my own bread this morning.  I can do the ironing which I watch the Strictly results programme in the evening.

Lunch is quiche.  I know we had it last Monday but I want to get to grips with the process - create my own 'recipe template' if you like.  And while I am on this subject, many thanks to Diane who contacted a 'cooking guru' friend of hers for information about the milk/egg ratio thing.  The information he sent was very useful and I'm so grateful!

Today's food
Breakfast:  two slices of walnut bread and butter.  No, not what I had planned but there you go!
Lunch: quiche, salad, walnut bread.
Dinner:  Peppercorn chicken kiev (I know - processed - but they were reduced to 59p for two so what's a girl to say?), peas, carrots.

Have a lovely, restful day.  Sending many good wishes to those I know will not be having a restful day today - you know who you are.