Sunday 31 January 2016


After  a bad Friday night and a long day, I slept like a log last night but woke naturally just before five which really isn't fair!  However, it is Sunday, I can go back to bed if the spirit moves, snooze in my chair or whatever . . .

I had a busy-ish day yesterday.  No, not really, I did a couple of things in the kitchen so it felt busy!

Firstly, I had a ginormous cauliflower that was yellow stickered last weekend so I really did need to use it up fairly soon.
The outside was more battered than this one but the inside was still as sound as anything!  Just goes to show these dates aren't really worth the ink they are printed with.
  I've read with interest about cauliflower 'rice' or 'couscous' so I thought I'd take the opportunity.  After googling it to check that it can be frozen (it can), I dissected the cauli, adding all the florets to Thermione and setting aside the stalks and the more tender leaves.  It was the work of a moment to zizz the florets down into a crumbly mass of tiny, grain-like bits which went into single portion pots and straight into the freezer.

I used the stalks with an onion, a carrot, some celery, a stock pot and some seasonings to make what turned out to be a very delicious soup (four portions) and I have blogged about it all on my other blog, Teacher's Recipes.

So that 60p cauliflower plus the added soup ingredients made 10 portions of eating stuff.  No complaints there!

A little while ago I had a really nice lunch at school - a chicken burger (really just a piece of chicken) in a brioche bun.  The bun was nice, for a commercial product and I thought I might like to make some, especially when I saw a pack of four for £1 - 25p for a roll always seems a bit of a rip off when you can make your own so much more cheaply.
Google led me to a likely looking Good Food recipe and yesterday I set to.  The results were absolutely scrummy, even though I didn't do the egg wash and sesame seed bit and at just under 6p per bun, frugal in the extreme.
I shall be googling about that too

They would look nicer with egg wash and sesame seeds but I didn't have any seeds.

Later on I sat and crocheted.  I've been making 'cat bum coasters' as our latest Kitty Stitches project.  Beth posted about the idea and we have nine orders for sets so my fingers have been very busy.  They're all more or less made now and I just need to sew in a few loose ends and iron them before we pack them up and send them off.

Today I shall be making bread for one of my customers and I am umming and ahing about what to make for dinner.  I think it will be a home made vegetable curry as Alex is not coming round today but Beth is.

So - food today:
B:  poached egg on a brioche bun
D:  vegetable curry, yogurt
T:  probably soup and fruit.

Lastly - I looked at the little front patch of garden and not only have I got snowdrops out, there's also a hyacinth and several mini daffodils in flower.  I need to take some photos of these ridiculously early birds!

Saturday 30 January 2016


I'm up early (for Saturday) after a rotten night.  It's weird because after three days of teaching I was totally zonked and thought I'd be tucked up and snoring by nine.
Rather like this . . .
I've got a cold and am aching but I think what did the damage is the diet coke - when you're mostly caffeine free, I guess three cans of diet coke is going to have an impact.  I never thought of that when I remembered that I had some left over from Christmas!  What an idiot!

Yesterday, however, was lovely.  I was really in the swing of things, I got all the work finished and most of it in their books and I even enjoyed the PE lesson (not my favourite subject) although I had forgotten the impact of 'hop, skip and jump around all the spaces in the room' on little bladders and there was a queue for the loo at one point.  Fortunately there are loos just off the hall and we didn't have any 'accidents'.

I think I shall miss it on Monday.

As for today - well, I shall go back to bed shortly, having taken some parawotsits for the coldy aches and a mug of coffee (decaf) to warm my insides.
When I do wake up it's the old weekend chores as last year - washing, etc, ironing, baking and so on.  The cleaners worked their usual magic yesterday so that's one thing I do not have to worry about!

Food today is simple and frugal
B:  (if I have any) porridge with pineapple
L:  home made soup, probably carrot and lentil, made in Thermione, of course
D:  jacket potato with tuna mayo and a salad of sorts (from what I already have)

And I have to start thinking of tomorrow's dinner.

Have a good day and I hope the weather hasn't created too much trouble for you.

Friday 29 January 2016


Good morning, gentle readers.  Yesterday morning was so chilly there was a frost.  Today seems a lot milder.  BBC weather tells be it's in double figures but I don't believe that: it doesn't feel that mild.

One more day to go and I am free again!  I know, silly me, but anyone whop says it must be easy teaching four year olds because they are so small needs their head examining - or a healthy dose of taking a reception class for a week or so.

Actually I have been enjoying it.  I felt I was getting into the swing of things yesterday and today is all sorted and organised, which is good.  I will enjoy Monday though.

This is short and sweet because the cleaners are coming today and I need to do a bit of clearing up.  Just like the olden days, in fact!

Have a lovely day.

Thursday 28 January 2016


Two down, one to to go.  I'm shattered.  It's frightening how quickly one can get used to an easier pace and less able to cope with the unrelenting pace and pressure that typifies teaching nowadays.  As the others trooped off to staff meeting, I went back into the bay to tidy and finish off, remembering that after the meeting, they would then all have to do the same thing.

Having said all that, it was a very nice day.  The fire engine thing was fantastic and the children were so, so excited.  The follow up work was all finished and in their books - sorry, their learning journals - by the time I was ready to go home.  And I was asleep in my chair by quarter to seven and asleep in bed well before nine.

Today is more of the same except that I have now got a better handle on the organisation of the day and have 'taken ownership' of it, as they say, making a few slight adaptations which, I hope, will make things flow better.  We only missed one playtime yesterday - fingers crossed for the same or better today.

B:  toast
L:  soup and fruit
D:  probably jacket potato with tuna and a salad.

Wednesday 27 January 2016


Good morning again.  I hope you all had a good day yesterday and an excellent night's sleep!

It's a bit wet out there - a lot wetter than yesterday turned out to be.  We'd been expecting howling gales, lashing rain and wet playtimes but it turned out to be reasonable.  A few raindrops, some gusty wind but nothing to stop the children from going out for their breaks, thank goodness.
Image result for english fire engine

Today I'm in school for the first of a three day block of supply with the littlest ones.  This morning is going to be exciting as we expect a fire engine and several firemen to turn up at 9:30 to talk to the children and show them all over their fire engine, etc.  I've checked the weather and there seems to be a little break in the rain about that time so fingers crossed, here's hoping.

Apart from that and the subsequent jiggling of other lessons, it's a normal day and I don't have to go to staff meeting - yay!

Food: quick and easy is the name of the game today
B:  porridge with pineapple and yogurt
L:  leftovers - vegetable crumble, fruit
D:  beans on toast, yogurt.

Tuesday 26 January 2016


Hello!  I gather we're going to get what's left of the storm that hit the USA over the weekend only a lot warmer (so no snow).  Guess that means indoor playtime today and there are dire warnings out and about.  My heart goers out to people living in those areas that are already waterlogged and really don't need any more precipitation, thank you.
Image result for rain in a puddle

After yesterdays bready hiccups, the rest of the day passed rather better.  The dough disaster bread actually wasn't so bad once it had cooled properly and I suspect the main issue (apart from little opportunity to rise) was that I didn't give it quite long enough halo-baking time.  It needs eating up but it will not be a pain to do so!

The oven bread was fine and a little flour concealed the less than smooth top.  It's not been delivered to those for whom I made it.

The second go at halo(pronounced hallo)-bread-making went much better.  It did rise and prove more quickly and baked OK although next time I will reduce the temperature a bit as the top was very brown.  It's now all sliced and in the freezer.
Even though slow risen and proved bread is better, what I produced was a whole lot nicer than shop bought, mass produced stuff.  Not boasting, home made just is.

After delivering the bread and finding out what I have to do today in school, I popped over to Morrisons and managed to pick up a few bargains and a Weight Watcher's Magazine (one has to try sometimes) so I was reading that in between interesting programmes in the evening.

Talking about programmes, there was a new Mary Berry prog, entitled Mary Berry's Foolproof Cooking.  Had to watch that, didn't I?  So I fell asleep just after the start of the celebrity antiques thing and woke up half way through her programme.  From my rather bleary eyed perspective, I thought it was OK although I wouldn't necessarily want to cook lobster, etc.  The roast veg tart looked delicious, as did the beef wellington.  I will watch it again next week and will try to catch up on what I missed.

Today is school day and there's plenty to do so I have meals all ready or easy, more or less.
B:  toast and marmite, apple
L:  vegetable pasta bake (all made and ready to pop into my lunch bag), fruit
D:  bacon, lettuce and tomato bap with coleslaw, yogurt

And finally - remember before Christmas, Beth and I (mostly Beth) were making a table runner and mats for a friend.  Well, we got the photos sorted at last and here's one of them.  We were really pleased.
Please excuse the quality of the photo!

Monday 25 January 2016


Hi de hi, gentle readers.  Apologies for being a bit later.  I rather slept in and then needed to get the bread on the make for my customers.  Since I started the bread it's been - er - interesting.

Today's dough proved (no pun intended) to be a lively little number, rising very quickly, so quickly that it was trying to escape from Thermione's bowl before I went back into the kitchen.

I love the way the measuring cup looks like a hat!
Once in the proper rising bowl, it came up really quickly.  I think it was due to a warm kitchen which is not usual at this time of the day.

It also proved speedily and the wee loaves were quickly ready to go in the oven.  Sadly, the dough has risen so fast that the tops of two of the loaves have gone rather rough and 'broken open'.  The rustic look, you know!

While all that was going on, I decided to test something I read about being able to rise dough in a halogen oven.  Now, I'm not a great believer in rushing the rising process as a longer, slower rise makes for a better flavour, which is why I stopped using my breadmaker, but it was an interesting idea so . . .

Made the dough - just a small amount, right for a 1lb loaf tin, placed it in a greased Pyrex (fortunately) bowl, covered it with cling film (less fortunately) and set it off on the thaw setting.  Except that it wasn't the thaw setting, it was the other side, about 230C.  So when I came back ten minutes later, the unrisen, unproven dough was well on the way to being baked while the cling film had concreted itself to the sides of the bowl.  Argh!!!

I decided to carry on . . .
Out it came, I got the bread out of the bowl and decided I may as well carry on and finish the cooking, so I did.  The loaf it made looked rather nice but the texture inside wasn't wonderful, as one would expect.  It had risen a bit, but not much, as one would expect.

Nicer on the outside than on the inside!
So right now I have four loaves a-baking, one doughy, solid loaf  and another little batch of dough sitting in a carefully set halogen oven, gently rising (I hope, fingers crossed).

And it's only just past ten o'clock.  Phew!

Today's food:
B:  a slice of rather doughy, warm bread.  Ah, well . . .
L:  Soup and more doughy bread.  Can't waste it.
D:  Leftovers from yesterday so a chickpea and vegetable mixture, assorted veg and a roastie (from the freezer), yogurt.

Sunday 24 January 2016


Oh, dear.  I didn't do an entry yesterday.  Really sorry about that, I just forgot.  I was a bit busy in the morning, what with getting to Aldi good and early, etc.  I'm fine, just hoping no-one was worried.
Behind me in the forgetful queue, Mr Forgetful!

As already mentioned, there was quite a lot to pack into yesterday.  I went to Aldi when it opened at eight which is a good time to go as it's not too packed.  I needed bread flour, washing liquid, washing machine stuff and other bits and bobs so it was worth going.  While I was there I invested in some of their butcher's sausages which are really quite nice and they are now nestling in the freezer in twos.

Once home, I did some housework to get the place looking a bit civilised and at around midday Jackie turned up and we went off the the Hare for lunch.  We both had brie and cranberry melts with added bacon and it was so very delicious.  Basically it was a glorified toastie with crisps and coleslaw on the side.  I wasn't too keen on the coleslaw but the rest disappeared!

Then we came back here and chatted endlessly over another coffee.  It was great fun.

After that I did a bit more work before watching some telly and going to bed.

Today, being Sunday, Beth is coming round for lunch.  I'm going to put together some sort of cheesy beany bake but haven't decided whether to base it on potato or pasta yet.  Apart from that it is bread making(I think I shall look for a recipe for burger baps and make some for the freezer) and getting stuff ready for next week as I'm teaching four days.

Today's food
B:  I have eggs that need using up so scrambled egg on toast
L:  Ditto vegetables so I'm making a beany bake of some kind, laden with veg, with sprouts and broccoli on the side.  Should be good.
T:  soup, fruit

Friday 22 January 2016


Good morning, everyone.  It's Friday again - they seem to come around so quickly nowadays.

It's going to be a quiet day - Sharon (hairdresser) is coming at ten thirty so Beth and I should look a little more civilised again for a while.  I'm hoping Beth stays for lunch afterwards.  Apart from that, there's nothing else planned.

It's probably just as well because the forecast is dire with heavy rain all morning and half way through the afternoon.  Given that I woke at stupid o'clock, I suspect that I will be under the fleece and a-snoozing by the time the rain ceases.

I made a delicious curried sweet potato and lentil soup for lunch yesterday which I think I will share over on the recipe blog.  The toasties were OK - well, delicious, really - although the outside wasn't as crisp as I would have liked.  I don't think I filled it enough so the top was too flat.  I did enjoy it though, it was scrummy.

B:  toast, fruit
L:  I think toasty again as Beth said she wanted some.
D:  The rest of the soup and maybe an Uncle Ben Thai curry thing.  Not my usual, I know, but a friend asked would I use it up so I am.   If the soup fills me up, I can have the curry tomorrow.

Thursday 21 January 2016


From Google Images
Good morning to all my lovely readers.  It's very cold and a bit misty out there right now which means everything is covered with frost which looks lovely.  The word is that it's going to get a bit warmer which probably means rain again - why on earth can't it snow when it's colder then?  Very frustrating.

I did my half day stint in school yesterday morning and thoroughly enjoyed myself.  I was especially pleased with the music lesson (music is one of my 'specialities') and I know the children were very pleased with the progress they have made over these last three weeks.  Even better, it was a no-marking morning.  Can't ask for better than that!

A couple of days ago I read on Diane's blog (Good Morning Early Readers) that she'd made some toasted sarnies.  I used to have a toastie maker and had a sudden urge to look around on Amazon and see what they're like nowadays with a view to maybe getting one.  I did and I didn't as they all looked pretty expensive and I just wasn't sure enough.

However, while getting a few bits and bobs in Morrisons, I noticed that they had one at £8.  Now, for such a cheap price it is going to be a very basic model: the plates aren't removable, making cleaning them more awkward, and they won't be deep fill (which is probably better for more frugal toasties anyway) but I bought one thinking that I will give it a go and if I use it a lot, then maybe I can justify getting a better one at some point in the future.  It's not too big and there's a corner of a cupboard where it will fit nicely.

I reckon the loaves I make in my square loaf tin will be just the right size, although there isn't time today so I am going to break my rule and buy some sliced bread, just because . . .
When I do make a loaf in the square tin (tomorrow?), I can slice it up and freeze the slices in twos.

I am also in school this morning but as a voluntary thing.  Next week I'm doing three days with the same class and I want to see what the class routines are, how phonics is taught, etc.  I suppose you could call it an observation but not a nasty one.   I shouldn't need to stay all morning, probably just until playtime.  Then I will be back in the afternoon but as a nanny-helper.

Someone asked me why I retired if I spend all this time in school.  It is quite different, doing what I do now.  There isn't the crushing pressure (I felt crushed anyway, although others probably didn't) in all sorts of areas of the job any more and I get to spend time with and teach the children which is what the job has always been about, for me.
I'm a lot happier now - which I never thought I would say, but it is true.  I think it is the best of both worlds.

B:  porridge with pineapple and yogurt
L:  home made soup (probably sweet potato and lentil), bread and butter, fruit
D:  It has to be toasted cheese and pickle sandwich with some salady bits on the side, doesn't it?

Now I need coffee . . .

Wednesday 20 January 2016


I was up early again this morning because it's a half day in school.  It's all go at the moment with something on every day this week.
It's still jolly cold and I had an earlier bath to warm myself up (very nice too).

Yesterday was fun.  I enjoyed the time I spent in school, first with Y1 and then with FS.  They are all growing and moving on so quickly now, you'd hardly believe they are the same children.  The worst bit was afternoon playground duty which was, frankly, freezing cold and we were glad to get back in again.
We needed these, I can tell you!
No outside duty today, thank goodness.  Just RE, music and PSHE with a slot in the library and a family assembly.  And then I can walk out at lunchtime and go home!  Nice one.

Food:  I haven't really worked it out properly but it will probably be
B: crumpets, fruit
L: cuppa soup of some kind, hot cross bun
D: something ready made (but home made) from the freezer.

Have a great day!

Tuesday 19 January 2016


Welcome to another very chilly morning with a heavy frost.  I have just been out to the shed and I was glad to get back indoors, I can tell you.  Brrrrrr . . .

I did my usual baking of bread yesterday and popped into school to deliver it.  I didn't stay to work, not yesterday, but drove over to Alex's school to pick him up as Beth had to wait in for a delivery (which didn't actually come until the evening!).

In the morning I had a very pleasant surprise.  Beth turned up (which is always the most pleasant thing anyway) but she brought with her a lovely big bouquet of flowers just for me for being Mum.  Aaaawwww.  They are gorgeous; thank you so much, Beth.  It really made my day.

Today is school day so that's going to take up all my time really.  Year 1 and then foundation stage.  I'm hoping there's not much marking.  :-)

It's really a leftovers day today.  Lunch and dinner are both out of the freezer and just need warming up.
B:  toast, apple
L:  Vegetable korma and rice - very small portion, orange
D:  leftover Chinese takeaway, yogurt and pineapple

Monday 18 January 2016


Good morning, everyone.  It's cold here, but dry.  No snow.

As I was driving home yesterday the snow gradually disappeared and less that halfway through the journey it was obvious that there had been very little or none.  It was a good journey, the roads were just about empty and there were no hold ups.
I was just lucky to be staying away and to see a bit of the pretty white stuff really.

It was nice to get home.  My parents' home is like a home from home for me but really there's nothing like your own cosy space, is there?  I slept really well last night too!

This morning it's back to normal.  The bread dough has just about risen and will need knocking back and shaping soon.  I have some washing to do and, as it is Monday, I will be popping into school to get some planning under my belt as well as taking in the bread for my two customers.

That's about it really.  Just normal stuff on a normal day.  Nice.

B:  toast and soft cheese, apple
L:  celery soup, bread and butter
D:  roast turkey, roast pots, broccoli, sprouts; yogurt and pineapple

Sunday 17 January 2016

Sunday again

I took some photos and have edited one to show you.  It's the house over the road.

Not a lot of snow but it looks pretty.


Another chilly good morning to you all.  Last night we had a little bit of snow here and, in fact, it is still snowing very lightly and gently.  I'm not sure whether there's been any at home though.  Have you had any?
No, it is absolutely nothing like this, but isn't this a lovely scene?
Yesterday was another pleasant day.  It was too cold to be going out anywhere so we stayed inside in the warm.  For most of the time, anyway.

I ended yesterday's blog by saying I was waiting for the call to breakfast.  I waited and waited, read the paper, waiting, then smelt toast and wandered into the kitchen to find mum and dad just finishing their breakfast.  They thought I was still asleep!

After breakfast I did one of the things I had come up for and that was to do an audit of the contents of their freezer.  I'm getting quite good at this and it's a lot more organised than mine, believe me!  Having done that I typed it all up so now they know.

I was very tired come the afternoon so had a good snooze.  Talk about being lazy!

I shall be heading off home today to meet up with my lovely house sitters (thank you to you both).  I can't imagine the weather will be bad enough to cause concern.

B:  toast and fruit
D:  roast turkey dinner (yum) - and yesterday's lunch was bacon sarnies.
T:  probably something egg based.  I shall have to see what there is in the fridge at home.

Saturday 16 January 2016


Just a quick one this morning ecause I shall be summoned to breakfast shortly!

It was nice yesterday.  Bitterly cold but very sunny and cheering (as long as one was inside in the warm).  Today looks like being more of the same really.  Mum and I intend to do an audit of what's in her freezer but the garage isn't too cold so it should be OK.

B:  toast and fruit
L:  No idea
D: fish, fried potatoes, peas and sweet corn.

Friday 15 January 2016


I'm still having a wonderful time doing nice, homey, relaxing things with my parents.  It's so nice to be able to stay for a bit longer.

Yesterday we rootled around in their freezer before deciding on meals and I took responsibility for cooking dinner last night.  I made so much we are having the same again tonight!  Ooops!
Borrowed from Google.
We went to Tesco and we went to Chapman's (best butcher in the country - no I haven't tried them all).  We came home, warmed up and had a lazy afternoon.  I made the savoury mince and mash for the cottage pie and then did very little.  I like meals that can be prepared beforehand!

It's too cold to go out anywhere in particular so we're staying inside most of the time.  Today I think we are going to the health food shop as I need another bag of dried cranberries (wonderful in muffins and porridge) and we're going to play with mum's new mixer!!!

That's it really.

B:  toast and fruit
L:  pea soup, bead, fruit
D:  cottage pie and assorted veg,
Plus snacks!

Thursday 14 January 2016


I keep thinking that it's Saturday.  That's because I'm away and all my life - most of my life anyway - the time to be away is the weekend!  But it's not Saturday, it's Thursday and a very chilly Thursday it is too.  It's too dark to see what the weather is like but I can tell it has been very wet!

Yesterday was a very pleasant day.  For a start it was sunny all day.  School in the morning was great and I was particularly pleased with my music lesson which tackled something they found extremely difficult last week and which they really got to grips with yesterday.  I love teaching music and it's great when they succeed like that.
No, it wasn't like this at all but this made me smile!
Then I popped home to check all was well for my lovely guests who are house sitting for me before packing and driving up here.

We went out for dinner and I'm afraid all my good intentions flew out of the window as I ordered the fish and chips.  However, I did have the smallest option and I did have a diet drink too so it could have been worse.

Today is, I hope, a slow and gentle day.  I know we are going to Tescos after breakfast - it's a nice big Tesco so I shall enjoy looking round.  After that mum and I are either sorting out her freezer or playing with her new toy - a food mixer thingy.  For decades (and I really do mean decades) she has had a Kenwood which has done her proud but it finally went the way of all mixers so she got a new one.  It's got all sorts of gadgets and functions and we're going to play!

I forgot to mention the other day - I meandered down to the garden shed and saw that a lot of my snowdrops are in flower.  They look very pretty but it's very early, even for snowdrops.  On the way over yesterday I saw daffodils out too and there are big fat buds on Mum's daffs in the garden.

I got a bit of a thrill yesterday.  On Facebook I got a mesage from someone (in reply to a totally unrelated matter) asking if I was the Joy who wrote the Diary of a Teacher blog.  Fame at last?  No, no way, but it was nice because she enjoys reading it.  Thanks very much for the lovely comment!

I'm sitting here in a very cosy and comfortable bed, laptop before me, coffee to the left, book to the right, no pressures to get up, get dressed, get started.  It's lovely!

Not rally sure but it will be toast and fruit for breakfast because it always is, possibly soup for lunch and I don't think even mum knows what she's going to cook for dinner tonight.

Have a lovely day, gentle readers, and whatever else you do, stay warm and cosy.

Wednesday 13 January 2016


Today is half-work day.  Teaching all morning, walking out come the afternoon!

Thankfully, my friends arrived safely yesterday and are now settled in the guest room.  I love having them here.  I'm off for a visit to my parents' this afternoon and they will be caring for my house until I get back!  It's a very reassuring feeling.

Yesterday went well.  Loved the teaching even though I was a bit zonked by the evening.  Today I teach my old class again so I'm looking forward to that very much.

Sorry this is short but there's quite a lot to do and I must start.  The planning is all ready but I need to sort out some washing and pack, etc, before getting to school at 7:30.

B:  Toast and marmite, apple
L:  soup, yogurt
D:  Going out somewhere . . .

Tuesday 12 January 2016


Work day.  School day.  Can't seem to wake up day.  Strange how that happens, isn't it?  After a bath and a hair wash I do feel more wide awake now, thank goodness.  I sorted out the planning yesterday so now I have some time to myself before entering the fray.

Although yesterday wasn't extremely cold according to the thermometer, it actually felt jolly chilly and I gather it will be colder today.  It's a shame I am on playground duty this afternoon but never mind, it will be fresh air and the classrooms can get quite stuffy at this time of year.
Not as cold as this, I hope.
That's about it for today.  Fingers crossed my friends are able to travel today.

B:  Toast and something
L:  Vegetable pie, fruit
D:  Lentil soup, bread and butter, yogurt

Monday 11 January 2016


A few days ago I watched a programme on playback which was about what people bought in 2015.  It was really interesting and I sat there thinking 'no, not me, didn't fall for that, etc, and, more than once, 'never heard of it!'  It was things like spiralisers, nutribullets, sex things (after the film 'fifty shades of grey'), etc.

One thing, however, had caught my eye and a few day before I had bought half of what I needed.  Don't laugh - it was an adult colouring book.  I've always loved colours.  Many a time I have stood transfixed in front of a display of yarn, fabric or cottons, just taking in the range of colour shades.

So I got the book and looked for colouring pencils.  I bought a few in Hobbycraft but then found a large collection on Amazon so ordered them.
They arrived yesterday so now there's no stopping me.  I've already done a bit more this morning.  It doesn't have to be perfect, just perfect for me!

Anyway - back to normal things.  Yesterday was nice.  I love it when Beth comes over.  We chat away, share ideas and generally have a good time.
The hybrid vegetable lasagne crumble was really very tasty indeed.  It didn't look 'healthy' but actually it was.  High in vegetables, low in fat.  I was concerned that the taste of the two processed cheese slices would be lost but actually they gave a real cheese hit to the middle.  And it made enough for three so guess what my dinner is today!

I shall do this again.

Today I have bread to make and I also intend popping into school, partly to deliver the bread and partly to get to grips with this week's planning.  Yes, I could sort of do it at home but the school laptops have the right software so it makes it all faster.  Shame I don't get paid for that, isn't it?  (smiling as I type)

I also have to do a bit of housework.  I was expecting friends to stay last week but that didn't come off.  This week I am expecting them again so fingers crossed.

Today's food:
B:  porridge with yogurt and pineapple and a splash of maple syrup
L:  home made soup, slice of bread, apple
D:  leftovers from yesterday, fruit

Sunday 10 January 2016


Hi, welcome to Sunday!  It feels quite mild but I bet it isn't really.  It always feels warmer when there's no wind, inside as well as out!  I need to open my bedroom window again as I'm waking up too hot.

Yesterday was a 'stay in' day.  I did the usual - a bit of work, a bit of telly watching and a lot of crocheting!  We have more orders for crocheted coasters which is nice for Kitty Stitches!

Today Beth is over for lunch so I have that to get sorted.  Apart from that and a little bit of planning to go over and prepare for, I'm free.  It feels nice.

The weather forecasts seem increasingly to be predicting snow for next week.  I wonder . . .

B: eggy bread, apple
D:  vegetable pie, roasties, peas, carrots, fruit*
T:  tomato scones with soft cheese and chutney.  Yogurt and pineapple

And now - coffee, of course!

* After a good trawl through the fridge, I changed this.  I'm still using the vegetable tomato-ey mix but it's layered with cheese slices and a few odd scraps of lasagne sheets I found and then it has a crumble topping.  All stuff that needed using up so fingers crossed!  I found sprouts so we'll have them instead of the peas.  And no roasties because of the lasagne and the topping.

Saturday 9 January 2016


Good morning, everyone.  I remembered this morning and am getting this written nice and early!  It feels a bit chilly although I haven't looked out yet and the BBC weather tells me that it is dry and quite a distance from freezing, unlike yesterday when we had a light frost.

We also had rain in the air for much of the day.  I don't mean proper showers, just drops falling now and again, making you think something was starting when, in fact, it wasn't.

After Hobbycraft, which was disappointing as they didn't have what I wanted and I was good and stuck to the list I came home and, after making an online order instead, spent much of the rest of the day crocheting.  Our new project for Kitty Stitches is making cat bum coasters.  They are cute and are proving very popular: we have several orders so I got going.

Today is the same as usual.  Bit of clearing up, bit of housework, bit of washing and ironing and then, duty done, some crochet.  It doesn't sound all that exciting, I know, but it suits me.  I'm still getting tired quickly so if necessary I can down the hook and snooze.

Today's food:
B:  porridge with pineapple and yogurt
L:  veg soup, apple
D:  tuna burgers, salad, coleslaw, fruit

Friday 8 January 2016


Sorry this is a bit late.  I'm afraid I forgot which sounds odd when I've written in the morning for years now, but I did.  It's cold out, but sunny and I am looking forward to a trip to Hobbycraft for a few necessary items - yes, really necessary.  Honest!

Earlier this morning I logged into Jack Monroe's site to grab a recipe for soda bread made with coconut milk.  It's extremely nice and I would recommend a visit.

That's about it really - must go and get ready and then sacrifice myself to the common good in Hobbycraft.

Oh - food:
B:  toast and peanut butter
L:  I have some old tomatoes to roast and I will either make soup or have them on toast.  Apple
D:  chicken peppercorn kiev, wedges, small salad.  Pear

Thursday 7 January 2016


Hello, gentle readers.  Welcome to a rather chilly morning here in lovely Essex.  No school this morning, I didn't HAVE to get up, so why did I wake at around four?  It must be one of those Murphy's Law thingies - when you have to wake early you can't and when you don't, you bounce out of bed full of the joys!  Occasionally I find it annoying, mostly it's just a shrug of the shoulders and lets get on with it!

Yesterday was lovely.  I had a good time teaching Y2 music and then I had my last year's class after play.  They hadn't been told it was me and a rather embarrassing cheer went up as I opened the door to let them in from play.  Nice though!
What was also nice was shutting up shop at 12:15, filling in my time sheet, clearing away and coming home!  No marking, which was lucky.

So what did I do in the afternoon?  Slept, that's what I did.  I'm glad I did because I was able to stay awake to watch 'Trust me, I'm a doctor'.  However I watched about fifteen minutes, switched off and went up.  Maybe I just wasn't that receptive yesterday but it seemed so dull.  I'll try it again this morning on iPlayer.

This morning I am staying in to get the house ready for guests.  This afternoon I will be nanny helping at school.  So quite a full day!

Food:  When I got home yesterday I was so tired that although I had got food out of the freezer, I didn't eat much.  I think I'm still a bit post-virus-y and last week really messed up my routines.  So today I have food to eat or chuck.
B:  Scrambled egg on toast, pear
L:  Chinese takeaway leftovers, satsuma
T:  Sweet potato and lentil soup, bread, yogurt and pineapple

Well, it is not past six so I think first coffee is in order, followed by second coffee and breakfast.  Better get started.  Enjoy your day and stay warm in this increasingly cold weather!

Wednesday 6 January 2016


Good morning again.  Time to wake up and get started - for me, anyway!

Yesterday - first day back at school - went well enough.  I ended up with no marking as the one piece of written work was marked by the teacher for assessment purposes.  The very littlies seem to have grown up a notch and are far more independent in lots of ways.

I was very tired though, come the evening.It's funny how you can cope with minor aches when things are busy but when you're tired . . .
Anyway, I had an early bath, to quote the late Mr Waring, and forced myself to stay awake until eight o'clock.  After than out went the light and I was out like the light too.  A lovely night's sleep!

Today is the first of four - no, three - mornings I am doing this month.  It was four but I am needed for supply on the last one so will be doing that instead.  Short and sweet but older children so there will be the dreaded marking to do!

Food:  Beans on toast and satsuma; home made soup and bread, apple; home cooked readymade from freezer (not quite sure what yet), yogurt and pineapple.

And now I must get ready for the day ahead.

Tuesday 5 January 2016


Hi - welcome to what feels like a mild morning but that might be because I woke a bit later this morning so the heating has worked its usual magic.  I read somewhere yesterday that things are predicted to get a lot colder next week but couldn't discover what 'lot' meant.  The way things have been going it could mean only just above freezing and still be a substantial drop, couldn't it?

Back to work today.  I went into school to drop off the bread and stayed for the rest of the day, sorting out all the planning until half term (hopefully).  I will only need one lot of planning right up to then, personally, but it will ease the way for whoever does it.  I was a bit shocked at how quickly I have forgotten.  I had to look up the planning of others to see what columns/info I needed.  It took forever but, phew, all done now.

So today is phonics, English, maths and then Foundation Stage with music.  All go!

Porridge with dried cherries; pasta bolognaise and fruit; beans on toast.  I swapped lunch and dinner because I suspect I will be too tired to do much this evening.

Monday 4 January 2016


At last the holidays are over and children everywhere are back to work this week, bless them, as are the adults who work with them.  I am due back in on Tuesday but will be going in today to find out what I am doing on Tuesday and Wednesday morning as well as delivering the bread.  Yes, that has restarted too!

Yesterday was the Day of the Big Wind.  No, I am not talking meteorologically, I am talking digestively!   Thankfully, my body has decided to start getting back to normal. aided by the first 'proper' eating for nearly a week.  I suppose it can't digest if there's nothing to digest.  As the day went on and things - er - released themselves, the cramps and aches more or less disappeared and I do feel a load better.  No meds, not even overnight either.  Woo hoo, what a relief.  Things are still rather uncomfortable but definitely improving.

Apart from all that, I found the motivation to sort out the remaining leftovers, some of which, sadly, ended up binned.  No-one wants ten day old custard, for example.  The veg all seems to be OK and the cheese is holding its own so I don't need to worry unduly about that.  I might even manage to hit Morrisons.

So today I start by getting my dough made and move on to the usual routine of coffee, kitchen, etc.  Today's food plans are:
B:  beans on toast, banana
L:  broccoli soup with a crumble of Stilton on top, apple
D:  spad bol (the bol bit is from the freezer), fruit

Saturday 2 January 2016


(apologies to people who have been looking for this.  I wrote it yesterday as I sometimes do and accidentally published instead of saving)

Welcome to a chilly Sunday morning.  Dressing gown and slippers, definitely, and I might spoil myself by turning up the heat a bit for a while.

Well, I thought I was better and I am feeling a bit better, really, but it's still not right.  Eating is definitely dodgy (which is why I feel cold, I bet) and I lack to motivation to get up and do much, miserable thing that I am.  So I'm starting to plan meals again - fingers crossed that it will help.

Yesterday I managed to make some porridge (now I am out of oats) and for lunch I made some Yorkshires (well it is milk and an egg, you see).  Didn't fancy much dinner but had some crackers with some soft cheese which settled comfortably.

Today I might even get dressed (for the first time in nearly a week - eeeeek)

Scrambled egg, maybe on toast (see how I feel), banana; small jacket potato with tuna and maybe a salad, satsuma; soup, a toasted tuna sarnie (must eat it up), apple.
That's a lot more than I have eaten since Tuesday so fingers crossed.

Not as much as this though!!!
The good side is that I must have lost some weight!  It will be the unfairest thing ever if I haven't!


Good morning, gentle readers.  It's a chilly but frost free morning here and I am umming and ahing about going back up to get the old dressing gown.  Did anywhere get snow yesterday?  I wish we could have just a little bit. especially after the Snowmageddon we were promised last October/November!  Real snow, not just five minutes in the middle of some cold rain, I mean.

I'm feeling more normal again today and am facing the fact that there's rather a load of stuff I have to do.  The kitchen has been totally neglected and, as a result, there's now stuff I have to throw out which is galling but inevitable.  I also have a bit of planning to do and some messaging with which to catch up.

However, I am treating the whole episode (which wasn't a tum upset in the usual sense, far from it) as an opportunity to get more balance in my eating.  I haven't eaten very much at all, unlike the days straight after Christmas, and must take it easy for some days to come, not that I feel like eating much anyway, which helps.  I don't want to go shopping so I will feed the bin,  make do with whatever I have and be frugal.

I need a coffee so I'd better get started.  Have a good day, one and all.

Friday 1 January 2016

Friday: Happy New Year

Good morning.  Welcome to a new day and, by chance, a new year.  2016.  I wonder how many times we will write and have to correct 2015 before it sticks.  Every year I have made the same mistake and the children have corrected me with laughter all round.  No children to help this year which is a new one for me.

Yesterday was another 'rest and recovery' day.  I'm slowly feeling better and today I must work towards eating properly.  Porridge for breakfast, soup for lunch and I will see how I feel after that.  It's better than nothing - I'm feeling the effects of 'nothing' in a giddy head and an uncomfortable inside.

On to brighter things - we have a frost outside.  It's only the second frost of the season, the other one being in November, if I remember correctly.  It would be nice to have several more, to kill off the weeds and break up the soil.  I haven't been out, not even to the shed, but when I was feeling unwell on Tuesday night I couldn't get warm so closed my window (I like to have one open just a little bit) but even so, last night felt chilly and it's a dressing gown and slippers morning this morning.

I had a quiet evening watching telly, reading a book and getting an early night.  Whether you did the same or partied the old year out and the new year in, I hope you had a good time.

Here's to the new year and may it be better than 2015 for us all.