Tuesday 28 February 2017


. . . and there's a fair old nip in the air this morning.  No frost but I don't think it was far off one.  In fact, it got chillier and chillier through yesterday, which was a most unpleasant day with wind and rain.  I was doing supply and had to do a playground duty.  Brrrrr.

Actually, I really enjoyed the morning, bitty as it was, and Knitter Knatter and the afternoon nanny-helping was also great fun.  I was so tired though.  I got in, made and ate some toast and went to sleep for an hour!

Today I have to go out to buy a new printer, my old one finally giving up the ghost.  I shall go to Computer World as they usually have a good selection, and I shall be angelic and resist the impulse to go into Hobbycraft which is almost next door.  Yes, I will!

For the rest of the day I shall be doing homey things - drying and ironing clothes, making bread and some sewing.  Also planning for tuition, although I can't do much preparation until I've got a printer, so that comes first.

I'd better go then - it is half past nine and the milk rush will have dies down.  Washing in first and then off I go!

Have a good day.

Monday 27 February 2017


. . . and I have been up for ages with a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach after a restless night.  Why?  I have a morning of supply and don't know what the planning is, that's why.  It is stupid because I know the teacher will have left more than adequate planning for me and that I am more than capable of delivering what is required but . . . well, I wouldn't make much of a professional supply teacher, would I?  Maybe they harden to it after a while.

Anyway - it will be fun, I am sure, and I do love Y1.

In the end, Beth and Alex couldn't come round yesterday so I had a quiet and peaceful day on my own.  I did some baking and some soup making, making good use of Thermione, and then I sorted out the ironing basket which is now ready for the next load.  At some point the sun came out, which was cheering.

I managed to forget my minor worries after my early start by dealing with the sourdough and making a couple of crumpets with the discard.  They will be nice for breakfast tomorrow, I think, with peanut butter, maybe, or marmalade.

After the morning's supply, it is Knitter Knatter Club which will be great fun.  After that I shall be sorting out homework for FS and hearing some readers before coming home and collapsing in a huddle, I suspect.  However did I manage it day in, day out, for so many years?  I must be getting old.

Well, I do have to be outdoor ready earlier than usual so I had better bring this to a close and go up for my bath.  Have a great day, one and all.

Sunday 26 February 2017


I'm back to waking early today after yesterday's little lie-in.  It feels jolly cold but I think that is just me because it's not frosty or anywhere near frosty outside.I'm now looking forward to waking in daylight, coming down and throwing open the French windows to let in the lovely, fresh spring air.  Not long now.

As mentioned before, yesterday was good.

In the morning I picked Beth up and we drove out to Leonie's home where she gave ten of us thermo-addicts a demo of bread making.  I've been to one before but it wasn't a repeat, it was quite different and it finished with a soup and bread lunch that was infinitely superior to any I make with three soups and three types of bread plus a sweet bread for afters, all made in her thermomix and all absolutely delicious.  If I wasn't enthused about bread before, I would be now.

Bread is notoriously difficult to time and I was very impressed with the way she managed to get everything timetabled and done - several different breads, all at the same time.  I'd have got thoroughly muddled!
She gave me several ideas for things to make when we have a family do at the end of April as I want to do a sort of old fashioned bread, cheese and wine/beer buffet.  Now I can start planning my breads!
And to cap it all, she gave out goodies at the end - I had some granary bread.  Lovely and fresh.  When I got home, I use my new slicing thing and it was brilliant - worked perfectly to give me lovely, even slices which are now in the freezer, all except the nog-end which is on the menu for breakfast.

I dealt with some washing (too damp to hang it out) before finishing off sorting yesterday's leftovers.  Unfortunately (do I mean unfortunately? - really? - what a first world thing to say), my freezer is now bulging at the seams again.  Will I ever get it all down to manageable proportions?

Come the evening, I knitted and read, caught up with University Challenge, Mastermind and Only Connect on telly and daydreamed about bread making!

I thought I might have a go at something today but I will tell you about that if or when it works out properly!

The cold is still nibbling at my edges and every now and again I indulge in something to attach the aches and soreness.  It works a treat, softie that I am.  I'm thinking of my blogging friend, D, who really isn't well at the moment and hoping she feels a bit better this morning.

Today, Beth may or may not come over, so I will prepare some of my tomato and lentil soup and make some fancy bread which will do for one, two or three: if she doesn't come, it won't be wasted and if she does, so much the better.

So, with that in mind, I'd better go and get started.  I do like to have it all ready beforehand whenever possible.
But first - a second coffee!   Have a great day!

Saturday 25 February 2017


This is so late - really sorry.  I actually managed to sleep until 7:00 this morning which is a big lie in for me and then I fussed around for a while before realising I really needed to get going or I'd be late to pick Beth up.

Yesterday was a super day.  Because the cleaners were coming, it was no hassle to get the house ready for visitors and because they were bringing desserts and drinks, making the dinner was no hassle either.  We had a happy, laughter filled evening and all the food went down a treat with leftovers for today and a bit to freeze for future meals.  I like that very much!

Today I was at a bread demo thingy but I will rabbit on about that tomorrow morning.  Apart from that it's just housework, washing/ironing and generally being idle.  What a lucky life.

Friday 24 February 2017


Well, yesterday was quite a day, wasn't it?  Even round here the winds were pretty strong and I was nearly blown over - twice.  No personal damage though and it has all moderated.
We had some very strong showers too although the first one was the worst.  It happened just as the children were arriving for school and, despite the temperature being around ten degrees, there was a fair bit of snow mixed in with the rain.

Just as that moderated, I got an email asking if I could do a bit of emergency supply.  I couldn't do the morning but I did the afternoon (I was due to be in school anyway) which is how I know about the children getting soaked - loads of them were in PE kit with their clothes drying on all the radiators!

In the morning I managed to do my shopping.  I went to Sainsbury's for a change and I wished I hadn't.  They are doing some significant alterations to the car park, parking space was a bit limited and they had people directing the cars round.  I was lucky - someone drove out just ahead of me - but I could easily have gone round and round and more cars were entering than leaving!

I left school quickly (having OKed it with management) because I had tuition.  By the time that was over, I was pretty worn out.  I think I am out of practice after so many months with no supply!

Today looks like being easier.  For a start, Thermione comes home.  The cleaners are coming so I need to get the place tidy before they arrive which shouldn't take all that long.  The worst part is the sewing table and I won't be able to clear that, just tidy it.

Then I have a meal to prepare.  Instead of going to the Hare, this time the girls are coming here.  I'm doing the main, J and L are bringing desserts and Beth is bringing drinks (no wine as people will be driving).  I am doing a chicken and rice one pot with some side vegetables (probably roasted parsnips and broccoli, and Beth's vegetarian alternative will be chick peas and rice - more or less the same as the other but no meat.  I shall add some feta for extra flavour.

I think a second cup of coffee is calling me so I will go and sort that out.  I hope all my UK readers are safe after yesterday's extreme winds and that no damage has been done to property or possessions.

Thursday 23 February 2017


Cough, cough, splutter.  :-)

We're supposed to be getting some bad weather through the day today.  It doesn't seem to have arrived yet, but it does feel a bit colder and I am pampering myself by turning up the heating a little bit.

It was back to tuition after half term yesterday and jolly nice it was too.  What is also nice is to have 'outside' evidence that ones pupils are making progress; it is jolly encouraging, both for them and for me.

Today I had been planning the morning in and then off to school for Y2 reading followed by more tuition.  However, I have great news (great for me anyway) - Thermione is coming home tomorrow!  She's been repaired and all is well again.  I have missed my Thermomix, but not as much as I would have done because Beth kindly let me have my old one back again for the duration.  It would have been a big pain otherwise as I use her every day, usually several times.  Thanks, Beth - really appreciated.

As I have the girls round for a meal tomorrow evening, I have to go shopping and I may as well do it today so as to be in all day tomorrow.  It gives me a clear run for Thermione, for tidying the house - the bits that show, anyway - and prepping the meal.  They're bringing the desserts and drinks so all I have to do is the main (a one pot chicken and rice thing with side veg and a vegetarian chick pea equivalent) and some nibbles which will be cruditees and dips.  Nothing too arduous.

The coffee is waiting and I ought to be getting going, I think.  Have a good day and I hope the winds aren't too dangerous where you are.

Wednesday 22 February 2017


Good morning!  It's getting light and I'm noticing how much earlier dawn is now.  I suppose, thinking about it, we are a third of the way towards the longest day.  It's nice to see earlier light. even if all it shows is promise of a dull day.

Oh, dear, I was very materialistic yesterday.

First of all I went into town.  First stop was Lakeland where I got the misto I was 'needing' plus other stuff - shaped bread tins (semi planned purchase), roll tins (not planned but hugely reduced), an electric tin opener (planned purchase) and some icing bags.

Then I popped into John Lewis but wasn't tempted.  Yes, they have some lovely stuff but . . . well, a lot of expensive ju - er I mean unnecessary stuff.

After that I made the drive to Blake House Craft Centre where I ransacked the sale shop and found plenty of blue fabrics for the quilt I am planning to make and some fabric to make some summer skirts for myself.  I then meandered down to the yarn shop and enjoyed myself there too.

I'm not a particularly keen shopper in general terms but when it comes to cooking stuff and crafting stuff, I can stand up to the best.

Then I came home to be greeted by a parcel - the T shirts I ordered over the weekend.  I was very impressed with the speedy delivery.

And then, mid-afternoon, there was a ring at the door and lo and behold, it was the loaf slicer thingy I had ordered and which I wasn't expecting for several weeks.  So, of course, I had to start some dough off, didn't I?  It needed testing - as did the shaped bread tins!

While I was in the kitchen, I decided it was time to make another sourdough starter - not for sourdough bread but for sourdough crumpets.  You make them with the discard, you see.  So it's just as well I'm not going to be away for a while now.  It's bubbling away in the kitchen - yes, I cheated and used some yeast as well as the flour and water.  (apologies to any purists reading)

The bread was nice, the slicer worked extremely well, the fabrics are now washed, dried and ironed and today I will start cutting them into squares - that takes longer than you would think because you have to measure so carefully.

Unfortunately, the cold has landed.  Snuffles, sore throat, aching arms and shoulders - etc, etc, etc.  Oh, well, it's not so bad really and I can snuggle down and rest, if needed.

So - today is housework, crafting, planning a meal (I have the girls round on Friday and am doing the main course) and completing the planning for tonight's tuition.  I have no idea what to make for the meal so I will be consulting my cookery books!  I suspect the meat main will be a one pot chicken thing and the vegetarian will be macaroni cheese but we will see.

Tuesday 21 February 2017


Apologies for yesterday's non-appearance.  Everything's fine, but it was a busy day, breakfast was ready before I was and then I forgot I hadn't done it.

I spent the weekend with Mum and Dad and it was quiet and gentle (mostly).  On the way home yesterday I stopped off at Aldi in Bishop's Stortford and did a little bit of shopping for the week, although I hardly need anything in really.  Once home, I unpacked stuff and then went into school for Knitter Knatter and then reading with FS.  All jolly good fun and most enjoyable.

Today, I was expecting Beth over but she can't come now so I will take a drive out to And Sew On to collect more fabric for the quilt I am making.  You see, they have a whole shop for fabrics that they have reduced and, at a fiver a metre, that can't be sneezed at and is cheaper than the market even.

I will also go into the yarn shop as I want to get some super chunky stuff.  Some of the girls at Knitter Knatter are into using very chunky yarn and are knitting great lengths so I thought I'd show them how to make a bag by example.

Later on, it is one of my favourite programmes, Further Back in Time, so despite not seeing Beth, I think it will be a fun day.  The only fly in the ointment is this cold which is still trying to land - persistent things aren't they, colds!

Sunday 19 February 2017


Yesterday was a quiet day.  Reading, knitting, chatting and catching up on lost sleep.  Today looks like being similar.

I've finished the Maries and now I've started the Josephs!   Getting there.

Wasn't it mild yesterday?  Today looks like being the same - sunny and spring-like.  Bring it on!  I stepped outside after dark yesterday and thought I could almost have sat outside; there was absolutely no chill whatsoever.  It was lovely.

The cold still seems to be trying to land so fingers crossed that it flies away!

Have a good day, everyone.

Saturday 18 February 2017

Saturday . . .

. . . and all I can say is 'better late than never'!

It's a bit of a dull and gloomy day, mild and still.  I gather there's more mild weather heading towards us but maybe Scotland will get more of it.  It really is very nice being able to open the windows and breathe in the fresh air after so much chilly weather.  As for pegging out the washing, it's a pleasure!

I know I keep saying that yesterday was a good day and I apologise for being boring but, again, yesterday was a good day.  It was great to go out for a meal in the evening (and even better not to pay for it).  I waffled (mentally) between three menu choices but finally went for the chicken burger which really was jolly nice, as were the chips and the house slaw.  I managed to finish nearly all of it too.

A shame I had a bit of a broken night, not from indigestion but from aches and pains and when I woke this morning I realised the cold I managed to hold back a week ago was trying another offensive.  I'm under the influence of meds now and hoping that will convince it to go away!

Today is quiet.  I've not dropped off yet but what's the betting I will this afternoon?

A few days ago I said to Beth that I must get some more T shirts.  I am not a posh dresser and tend to survive in T shirts and skirts for the most part.  It's neat enough but the T shirts are getting extremely tatty after a number of years.  Yesterday I happened across a Cotton Trader catalogue and guess what - they had simple, ordinary T shirts in a variety of colours, not too expensive, so I've ordered some.  That should sort me out for another x number of years.

Better go.  It's nearly lunch time!  Enjoy your day, however you are spending it.

Friday 17 February 2017


Good morning.  Wasn't it a beautiful day yesterday?  Sunny and so very mild.  It doesn't look so promising outside yet today but it's mild and the snowdrops are flowering like crazy.

Yesterday was quite a productive day in that I got a number of things sorted out and I made some lemon marmalade.  Not from scratch, that would be too much like hard work, but I used a can of MaMade that someone gave me a while ago which is dead easy and tastes lovely!.  So I have jars to share with Mum and Dad, Beth and Jane and some left for myself.

In the end, Beth didn't come over, but I still made the tomato and lentil soup - one for yesterday, one for today and a portion for the freezer.  Lucky freezer!

I was a little bit naughty.  You see, I get quite frustrated when slicing my home made bread when it is very fresh - if you make bread you will know exactly what I mean.  I like to make, slice and freeze - when you live alone you don't necessarily get through enough bread, even a small loaf, before it goes stale.

So I looked around for some sort of slicer.  I looked at electric meat/bread slicers but no, too complicated.  I don't need another appliance that will fill the inside of a cupboard after the first few weeks  I looked at manual slicers but no - they all looked either fragile or not adaptable enough.  I wanted something that would do thin, medium or thick slices.  Then I found this . . .

. . . and ordered one.
I hope it's not a pup.

Today is going to be a nice day.  I have some housework and some ironing, then I can do some crafting and later on I am out for dinner.  Splendid!

Thursday 16 February 2017


Good morning.  It's a clear, starry early morning with a bright moon and no frost.  It was a pleasure walking out to the shed to put some things in the freezer, although I was glad I didn't have to stay out long.  I'm starting to look forward to the mornings when I can sit out, sipping my first coffee and enjoying the morning freshness.  The very warmest times tend to be June/July and I was always in a rush to get to school.  Last year it was lovely and anticipating this year is a pleasure.

Beth was round yesterday.  She came before lunch and then stayed all afternoon to craft.  I got on with the owls while she quilted the sides of a bag we are making to order.  It was all very pleasant indeed.

Later on I went off for tuition and it was a good time.  So good, we went on beyond the time, not realising.  That's the only tutoring I have this week as it's half term.

Then it was back home for dinner and a sleepy evening.  Nice.

Today Beth is over again and I shall make tomato and lentil soup for lunch.  I am umming and ahing about going into town this morning but I'm not totally sure whether I will or now.  There's some ironing to do so maybe it would be better to get that done first.  After all, neither will go away but one is better done sooner rather than later!

Thanks for the comments on Body Shop and Lush.  I am pretty sure we have a Lush in town and I might just take a peek and even treat myself at some point.  And use it too.
I don;t know if any of you read the blog 'The Frugal Family'; recently Cassie did an entry on 'Life's too short: use the good stuff' all about using your nice things and getting pleasure from them rather than tucking them away for a 'special time' that probably never comes along.  That resonated with me as I am prone to doing exactly the same thing and the number of times I have had to chuck something that has lost its fragrance, texture or whatever is absolutely daft.  What a waste!
Here's the article:  http://www.frugalfamily.co.uk/lifes-short-use-good-stuff/

Well, if I am going to get anything done, I'd better stop rambling on and get started.  I'll leave you with a couple of photos I took yesterday.

Thanks for reading and have a good day.

Wednesday 15 February 2017


Welcome to a very much warmer morning that we've had recently.  A mild evening yesterday too - I didn't even think of the hot water bottle and my toes were warm.  Very nice indeed.

Yesterday was great.  I popped into town, had a good reccy of the whole foods, f&v and meat stalls in the market and bought some chicken, some fenugreek, some bits of fabric and some polyester batting.  The fabric is in the washing machine at the moment to get any shrinking over and done with and one or two bits are so nice I think I might have to go back there next week to get some longer bits for summer skirts.
I had a parcel to post so got that done too.
Then I took a look in the Body Shop.  I used to love it in there and treated myself to some of their hair shampoo and conditioner which was not cheap but left my hair beautifully soft.  Sadly, it has changed a lot.  Gone are the refill facilities and they've got nothing now that I would particularly go for.  Very sad.  It doesn't even smell as nice any more.

Once home, I pottered around and then washed my hair so it would be wet when the wonderful Sharon came round.  An hour later I was neat and tidy again - it does feel good after a wash, cut and blow-dry!

Then I did more boring household stuff - washing, drying, ironing and so on.

Further Back in Time was really good again.  Somehow, they get a real atmosphere into the programme.  Last night it was the thirties and I was almost in tears when they listened to the broadcast announcing that war had been declared.  I am really looking forward to the next one which, I think, will be the last one, as the original series started in the 1950s.

Today, Beth is round for lunch and then Sharon is back to do Beth's hair.  Apart from that, I'm not sure how it's all going to play out.  More washing, etc, I know, and a kitchen tidy.  Oh, and I have some bread dough rising so that will make the house smell wonderful later on.

Have I ever said - I love this retired life!

Tuesday 14 February 2017


. . . and good morning.  It doesn't feel too chilly this morning and, checking BBC Weather, it's possibly going to hit a comparatively tropical 9C during the day  I'm glad; yesterday evening I felt very shivery when I went to bed so, for the first time, made use of a Christmas present from Alex which was a hot water bottle with an owl cover.  It was remarkably cosy and comfortable and I shall remember this for future chilly nights.  Thank you, Alex.

The sleepy theme continued yesterday.  I woke up at my usual sort of time, got up, did stuff such as starting off a wash, tidying the kitchen, etc, before going up for my bath.  Then I felt sleepy so snuggled back into bed and woke again at nearly eleven!  I don't think you could call it a lie in exactly but it must have been needed and it was certainly welcome.

After wake up no.2, I took the washing out of the machine and, to my delight, hung it out on the line.  It was sunny and breezy and altogether delightful so I though I'd make use of that.  They didn't properly dry, of course, but they freshened up and ironing them later was a doddle!

Today I have no chance of extra sleeps.  I have a little parcel to post and then I'm off to the market.  Once home again, I shall be waiting for Sharon to come and work her usual magic on my hair.  She's a very busy lady and this time she's doing my hair today and then coming back to do Beth's hair tomorrow.

This evening it is Further Back in Time for Dinner on the telly which I am thoroughly enjoying and looking forward to.  This week it is the thirties so it will end on a down note.

The kettle has boiled and coffee is calling so I will close this and wish you all a very good day, wherever you are and whatever you're doing.

Monday 13 February 2017


Good morning, everyone, and welcome to Monday!  It's still jolly cold but the air is dryer, the clouds are higher and we might even get some sun, you never know.

Yesterday was a much brighter day - no outside, that was miserably cold and damp but inside.  Beth came round to lunch and I made the macaroni cheese that we both love so much.  Then we got going on stuff we are making for others.  Two owl cushions and two bags.  We needed to check colours for the bags but now we have received confirmation, that's what I'm going to finish off today.  For the bags, we measured, discussed, drew out plans and finally cut out the fabric.  One is going to be quilted so I can make the quilt sandwich today and maybe even get the quilting done.

After tea I put on a DVD I hadn't watched before.  It was the second Independence Day film.  I enjoyed the first one and I also enjoyed this one - even though it was remarkably similar to the first film in too many ways.  It was escapist nonsense with a bit of a message and very undemanding!

Today, apart from sewing and planning, I shall knit and hope to finish off the Maries.  I might have some ironing this evening too.  It feels odd not to be going into school for Knitter Knatter and reading - I've definitely got a pattern going there, haven't I?

Just to remind anyone who is looking for my menu that at the moment I am posting them on another blog, My 30-30 Challenge.  If you're interested in frugal food, you might like to take a look.

Enjoy your day, whatever you are doing.

Sunday 12 February 2017


It's cold, wet, dull and unpleasant, but I'm feeling great!  

I slept a lot yesterday again.  I think I'm catching up on some bad nights last week somewhat, but I'm also sleeping well through the nights as well.  It's great!

What did I do yesterday?  Well, precious little really apart from social networking, sewing, knitting, sleeping and watching telly.  What a great life, eh?

Today Beth is over for lunch.  I've been to Morrisons and picked up some milk (and a few other bots as bobs, as you do), I've made some granola because what I have is almost used up and I shall sit and read the paper with coffee in hand in a short while.  

I feel absolutely no inclination to go out for anything.  I'm so lazy!

Have a great day yourself, whatever you are goig to do.

Saturday 11 February 2017


. . . and we have snow.  Not enough or of the right quality to make a even a snowball but nonetheless - snow!  I've turned the heating up!

Yesterday was a slow and lazy day.  The aches and the sore throat didn't develop into anything else, thank goodness, and I had a long afternoon sleep.  I may repeat that part today!
I made bread which turned out lovely and I made some tomato and lentil soup that also turned out really well.

Apart from that it was ordinary stuff all day.  The cleaners came and worked their usual magic so the house is now clean and fairly tidy - tidy for me, that is.

Today I have no real plans.  I might do some sewing or I might do some knitting and watch a DVD; I'll see how I feel.  And I didn't finish the tuition planning so that's very much on the cards for today.

But now - time for a second coffee.  Have a good day and stay warm.

Friday 10 February 2017


Hi, everyone.  It's damp and chilly and I'm going to whinge because I think I'm starting a cold.  Aches, sore throat and a headache.  It's half term so I suppose In ought to have expected it!

Grumble over.

Yesterday was a busy day.  Early morning shopping to get it done, then kitchen stuff and school in the afternoon, followed by tuition.  I have one session next week and the others have cancelled because of half term (I don't mind in the least bit).  Nevertheless, I shall plan the next sessions while the last ones are fresh in my memory - it's better that way.  Then all I have to do is look over them before hand and refresh my memory.

In Aldi, they had some fat quarters at a pack for £3.99 so I got some; they have been washed and are now drying on the rack as it is far too damp to dry them outside.  I rather like the patterns - most of them, anyway - and they will make nice bags, etc.   My 'ambition' is to have enough lovely, home made bags for all shopping needs!

After shopping I dropped in on Beth and borrowed her thermo, my old one, as she's not using it much and I was missing mine.  I've already used her several times and I'm just about to make some dough that can rise while I have my bath and get dressed.  I can't be too lazy this morning as the cleaners are round!

Later on I shall do my ironing and then get stuck into one of the Miss Read books that arrived yesterday and which I have never read.  Happy days - for me, not the name of the book!

SO, I'd better get going.  Have a lovely day and stay warm, if you possibly can.  It is bitter out there.

Thursday 9 February 2017


Good morning and sorry for the lateness.  I did an early morning shop and decided to leave this until I got back.  Of course, now I have loads to do so will have to cut this short, but I didn't want you to think I had forgotten you!

It's jolly cold and there are very fine snow pellets in the air.  I have no idea whether this is a sign of serious flakage to come or all we're going to get, but I'm glad I am indoors.

I really do have to get going so I will wish you a good day and send.

Wednesday 8 February 2017


Good morning, gentle readers, and welcome to Wednesday!
Yesterday started off very wet and broke into glorious sunshine later on.  Very cheering.  Today it's nothing really, just cold and dull.  Colder weather is supposed to be heading this way so we will see, won't we?

Today I am a bit bereft.  You might remember that some weeks ago the scales on my Thermomix stopped working but a bit of fiddling got the function back.  However, they have stopped working again and this time I have asked them to repair (it's still in guarantee/warranty/whatever it's called) so, this morning, it is being picked up.  However am I going to manage without my Thermione making life easy in the kitchen?  I have no idea how long it will take so Beth has very kindly said I can have the old Thermione 1 back again for a while (I gave it to her when the new one arrived).

Poor old Beth is still poorly.  This norovirus is a nasty piece of work, for sure.  She was going to come over today but has, quite rightly, cancelled.

On a brighter note - I overslept!  Yes, I did!  I didn't wake until after seven this morning and I went to bed before ten last night.  That's made up for the lack of sleep over Monday night and I do feel so much better for it.

Today I have the usual housework and planning to do and I shall get on with the Maries (is that the [plural for Mary?) for the nativity crib sets I am making.  I wonder what's on daytime telly.

If anyone is looking, I have started posting the daily menu on my new blog, My 30-30 Challenge, instead of here.  It won't interest my foody readers much, I think, but my frugal readers might like to take a look and, if so, here's the link:
I've now located the 'Follow' button so, if you want to, please do.  :-)

It's time for coffee and then I must go up and get dressed so I am ready when they come to kidnap Thermione.
Have a good day!

Tuesday 7 February 2017


Good morning.

If I had to go out today, I'd be feeling very grumbly about the cold and the rain but as I don't, I feel sorry for those of us who do!  Dashing to the freezer and back again earlier was enough for me.

Yesterday was quite different.  We had some lovely sunshine in the morning.  Yes, it was cold, but sun makes all the difference.  It was an OK drive back home from my parents', slow as there was a lot of farm vehicles about, but never stopping completely.  I stopped off at Aldis as planned and got bits and bobs that I needed.

Knitter Knatter continues to be fun.  They've all got the idea, more or less, although some are more proficient than others and they all live up to the name of the club with their chatter.

In the afternoon I heard readers, cleaned whiteboards, helped with zips, etc, and generally had a very good time.

Today Beth was going to come round but she's still suffering from the noro virus and feeing pretty poor, so she's not coming.  I therefore have a free day so have planned in some washing, drying (inside, sadly) and ironing, some sewing, some other housework, some cooking, some planning and, probably, some snoozing seeing as I was very late to bed but work up at just after four this morning.

That should keep me out of trouble, shouldn't it?

I'm tackling the shin of beef today, having found a 'sensible' looking recipe.  I shall be using tea instead of wine - it sounds daft but it works.  It's a long, slow recipe so the house should smell brilliant by the end of the day.

Well, it's nearly seven so I suppose I'd better get going.

Monday 6 February 2017


Ouch, ouch, ouch!
I'm using my laptop to type this, I've just shifted in bed and my calf has started cramping.  Ouch, ouch.
Hang on while I stretch it . . . .

Ah, that's better.  What a great start to the day!

Good morning, everyone.  Chilly, isn't it?  I'm up at my parents and driving home this morning so I'm glad there's no fog as there was yesterday.

It has been a nice weekend.  Very lazy apart from cooking the dinners to give Mum a break - it's fun when it's someone else's kitchen.  Yesterday I did a mince mixture for cottage pie and it was jolly tasty, though I say it myself.  As always there was plenty of veg in it and I always add lentils and oats for extra flavour and thickness.  As a reward, I have the leftovers to take home with me so I won't need to work too much this evening.  Great for the frugal challenge!

Yesterday morning, I had to go to the Tescos in Baldock as there was no mince in the freezer and, while I was there, I picked up a huge lump of shin of beef that had been reduced.  I was well pleased as shin is so flavoursome and melts in your mouth after long, slow cooking.  I shall be digging my slow cooker out when I get home and looking up recipes.

Apart from that I read and knitted and chatted and generally had a lovely day.

Oh - and finally convinced my dad that subtitles are a Good Thing.  He's quite deaf, like me - in fact I inherited the condition from him.  However, he has always maintained that subtitles are a waste of time while I find them extremely helpful.  I put them on for something I watched on Saturday afternoon and it turns out the only experience he'd had was subtitles for live broadcasts, like the news, and, yes, they aren't great.  It's quite different for previously recorded stuff.  I think he will now use them much more.

On the way back this morning, I shall stop off at Aldi's in Bishops Stortford.  I drive right past it and it will save me a journey across town later on.  Once home it's a case of unpacking, putting on some washing and then dashing out for KnitterKnatter club.  I shall then stay at school and do my granny helper thing before coming home to a quiet, telly packed evening.

I have only just realised that there's a new series of the Pottery Throwdown.  I loved that last year so I'll have to catch up on iPlayer.  There seem to be a number of interesting things starting on the telly for the new year, which is great!

Well, better go and get a few things sorted.  Have a great day.

Sunday 5 February 2017


Good morning.  It's supposed to be getting cold again out there but I am toasty warm and don't intend to open any doors/windows to find out.

After Friday night's lack of sleep, I managed to stay awake all day yesterday and finally crashed out at nine o'clock.  I've slept brilliantly well and feel much more with it today, thank goodness.  No recurrence of the cramps, etc, which is a relief as poor daughter is suffering noro-wise again.  I haven't seen her since last Sunday so it was most unlikely to be that but I'm glad it isn't.

What did I do yesterday?  Well, not a lot.  I did some knitting and the four shepherds are nearly finished now.  I did some meal planning and made a shopping list for tomorrow.  I cooked dinner.  I read magazines and I chatted a lot.
It was pleasant!

On naughty thing - I went online and bought some more Miss Read books, including a few I haven't read.  All second hand so I didn't spend a huge amount (that's my excuse anyway) and now I have to re-arrange the books on the book shelves so I can have them all together.

Today will be more or less like yesterday, apart from the book buying, I suspect.  Oh, the hardship!

Have a great day.

Saturday 4 February 2017


Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to another Saturday.  It's damp and chilly here but we don't appear to have had those strong winds they were predicting.

Yesterday had quite a busy start, what with housework and ironing, but ended up very pleasantly with friends and a meal out.  I had hunter's chicken with chips (yum) and the 'house coleslaw' and it was all very delicious; so delicious was it that I managed to finish every little bit which is unusual.  That may account for the fact that I've spend some of the night awake with tummy cramps and resulting you-know- what or it might have been the large amount of raw cabbage in the coleslaw or nothing at all, just one of those things!

Never mind, I'm feeling more or less OK now, so that's good.

If you look at my visitors counter you will notice that it's smashed through the 100,000 mark.  That's pretty surprising for a plain old blog that consists of general ramblings about a very ordinary life and I'm really chuffed.  Thank you all!

I have no idea what we're going to do today but I have knitting and three new food magazines to peruse so I won't be bored.  I love my quiet life!

Friday 3 February 2017


Sorry I'm a bit late this morning but it's not too late to say 'good morning' to you all.

I thought we were getting some high wind and, indeed, it did seem to be picking up yesterday but it's almost completely still now.  Maybe more is coming later.  If you've had w9ndy weather, I'm hoping you are safe and undamaged in any way.

Yesterday went well, as usual.  Before I dropped Al off at the station, we watched something that was shown over Christmas, I gather, and which she was able to access via iPlayer, I think because she downloaded it.  It was called 'Peter Pan goes Wrong' which seems to have been a West End show that is not starting to tour the country.  Well, it was hysterically funny and very, very clever in places.  If you get the chance to see it, please do.

Later on I did my time in school and then it was tuition.  After that I was incredibly lazy for the rest of the day.  I was gutted though - I was asked to do some supply with a 'favourite' class (I have several as any teacher will understand) but can't because I am otherwise engaged.  Oh, well!

Today it's ironing, housework and being taken out for a meal this evening.  Oh, the hardship!  :-)

I'd better get going so I will say 'goodbye'.  Have a lovely day!

Thursday 2 February 2017


Good morning, gentle readers.  It's a chilly early morning and, probably, damp just like yesterday although, to be fair, we had a hazy watery sun showing himself for around five minutes later yesterday afternoon before he decided it just wasn't worth it and left for more pleasant places!

Yesterday was a good day.

We went into town to the bank yesterday morning, me full of righteous indignation, to be greeted very politely bu a young lady who adopted all the soothing, calming strategies I have learnt over my  many years of SENCo-ing (or SENcoping, as I call it).  Yes, she quite understood why I wasn't happy, etc, etc, etc.

So, after waiting in a queue, I spoke to another very nice young lady who looked up all my details and couldn't explain why my payment had been turned down, there was nothing on my record, my card was fine . . .  perhaps a temporary blip in the system, etc.
OK - so home I went and tried again and, lo and behold, no problems.  So I have no idea what happened but at least it gave us some fresh air, albeit in the rain!

Later on I had my first tutoring session with my new pupil and we had a great time.  I'm going to enjoy this one!

Today I take my friend to the station after breakfast and then I have planning for this evening's tuition as a priority, followed by washing and ironing before I pop off into school to do my Y2 reading.

Today's food:
B:  porridge with sugar and yogurt, a pear
L:  pea soup (I have peas left over from dinner yesterday)
D:  savoury mince, rice, broccoli, yogurt

Coffee calleth and I must answer.  Have a good day, everyone!

Wednesday 1 February 2017


Good morning
A pinch and a punch
For the first of the month.

There - that's tradition sorted!

Yesterday was dull and wet all day and it looks as if today is going to be similar.  We had quite a lot of fine rain through the day, enough to stop us from wanting to go into town.  That means I have to go in today as the bank wouldn't allow a payment and I want to know why!  Also, because of that, they might have put a stop on my card, so I need to check that too.
I know they are looking after my money but it's a payment I have made before, from my account to another account of mine and they've done this before.  Very annoying.

So we both spent the day working in our own ways which sounds dull but it's a lot more interesting when there's someone to chat to from time to time.
I was gathering resources for my new pupil and my friend was writing reports!  So exciting!

Today we will have to pop into town, as mentioned above, but apart from that the agenda is clear.  It's a shame most good places to go to are not open at this time of year and my friend doesn't like gardens - even if it wasn't wet!

Never mind, we will have a good day anyway!  I hope you do too!