Sunday 23 October 2016


Croak, croak, splutter.  Yup, that's me this morning, bang in the middle of my cold and feeling absolutely disgusting.  I'm so glad I don't have to inflict it on anyone else by going out.

Yesterday was, obviously, a stay-indoors-and-feel-sorry-for-myself day.  I had intended to go into town but no way!

I did some stuff though - I made another not-minestrone soup and I also went all frugal and used some value plain flour to make six bread rolls.  I did this because someone had asked a question about using plain flour on Facebook so I did!

When I did Live Below The Line (both times), making bread with value flour was a real godsend.  Yesterday, those six rolls cost me just under 20p and they were delicious.  The texture isn't quite the same but they are good in their own way.
I'm very lucky as at the moment I have a source of good strong flour that costs less that value plain, so, even at the height of frugality, I could use strong flour, but it is a tip worth the knowing anyway.

For the soup, I simmered a whole lot of garden tomatoes in their own juices and zizzed them to a smoothness.  I then sauted some onion, carrot and potato, chopped, in a little oil, added the tomato juice, some sweet potato, some frozen peas and sweet corn with a chicken stock pot and some seasonings, garlic puree and mixed herbs and let the lot simmer until the vegetables were all soft.  Finally, I added some mixed pulses from the lot I soaked and cooked a few weeks ago - some I froze separately and some I mixed together.
It was absolutely gorgeous, a full meal with the pulses to give protein, loads of vegetables and, best of all, it made enough for three bowlsful.  The second portion I will have today and the third can go in the freezer for later on this week.  Delicious frugality!

After all that, I was zonked so decided to be kind to myself and rested and read for much of the rest of the day.

Today - well, I am not sure.  I could do nothing but will do some sewing, if I feel up to it.  I'm not going to push it though.  I don't have to get plans finished, marking done, resources found and adapted so I can take it easy.

If I do get into town tomorrow, I have a target.  My pillows and quilt are rather old and manky and I have promised myself some new ones.  When I strolled around our new John Lewis the other week, there were some lovely quilts, not cheap but so soft and cosy.  I looked around online but the trouble with that is that you cannot actually feel them so I think I will stick with what I found and liked.  I will look at their selection of pillows at the same time and I bet I will find what I like.

I'm quite pleased that, because this month has been a very frugal month with no unnecessary spending (so far!), even with the reduced amount I gave myself, I can afford this without going into savings or using some of November's money (which has now all arrived).  That feels good.

It's a bit weird with the money thing.  All my life I have had a salary that arrived in my account on or just before the 26th of each month (apart from Christmas when it arrived at the end of term, for some reason) so it was no great mental effort to think from the first to the first or each month with a sort of safety net, should something come in right at the end of the month.
Now I have three sources of income.  The teacher's pension arrives on the 23rd, the AVC arrives on the 12th and the state pension arrives every four weeks, just to confuse matters (however, it does mean that in one month a year I get two lots, just like the old family allowance!).
The only way my poor old, numerically challenged brain can cope with this is pretending that it is not there until the first of the following month, otherwise I'd never know where I was!
Maybe it sounds daft but it works for me and I feel totally in charge of it all, thank goodness, more so than when I was working when I really more or less just took it all for granted.

Goodness, I do seem to have waffled on, sorry.
Today's food:
B:  bacon and tomato on toast, apple
L:  That soup, although I may make a few mini-dumplings and cook them in the soup to turn it into a casserole thingy
D:  fish fingers, chips and fried tomatoes

Such a lot of tomatoes today but I still have loads from the garden!


  1. That reminds me of the first few years in teaching. We were paid on the 22nd of the month. In July it was a double payday as we received August and July together. No idea why; but it did make a challenge not to dip into August too soon. Hoping you will soon get over your cold lurgy. Jx

  2. Yes, I remember that too. It seemed to have to last for ever!
    J x

  3. Hope you feel better soon. I'm still suffering this odd cold and am all cattarraghy today.
    We used to get paid on Dec 17th and oh my lord it was a LONG time til the last working day in January!
    If you can wait for it - I swear the best time for bargainous quilts is just after Christmas.
    I bought my memory foam mattress topper half price
    My gorgeous goosefeather n down quilt from Debenhams half price after Xmas
    And the
    Fancy pure wool quilt for the daughter that adjusts its temperature to suit you half price after Christmas.