Thursday 31 August 2017


Good morning, everyone.  It's quite a lot more pleasant this morning, albeit cold!  The heating has clicked on and I'm not turning it off again.  It will soon be time to dig out the warmer dressing gown and the old slippers for the times I wake early before the place has warmed up.

I feel civilised now.  Sharon has worked her usual magic on my hair and the haystack look has vanished again for a few weeks.  I feel a lot more relaxed after having my hair done and, after a very short sleep on Tuesday night, I slept like a log last night, although the dream I remember was most peculiar - all about a huge space rock on collision course with earth.  Weird.

Before the hair appointment, I popped down to the old lotty in the rain to pick, coming back with a few baby corns, a few portions of green beans, some runner beans, some cucumbers and a few tomatoes from my friend's polytunnel.
I didn't deal with it all yesterday so that's on this morning's list of Things To Do.  Look out, freezer, here it comes!

I also got two loads of washing done, although one was a very small load.  Some went on the drying rack and the 'unmentionables' went in the tumble dryer as I didn't want them on show when Sharon came.  Silly?  Yes, maybe, but there you go!

I've been in communication with Tefal about those lids.  They are OK in the oven up to about 160C for under one hour (fat lot of use that is when hob to oven often involves long, slow cooking), they are glad I like the pans but no, there are no plans to make lids that are really oven proof and no, they don't intend to make the lids on the range of pans that are oven proof available separately.  So there you go!

That being so, it's just as well that yesterday the two multi-pan lids I ordered arrived.  They are from ProCook and look just the ticket, fitting all three pans.  I also notice that they do a larger lid which might fit my frying pans; I will have to do some measuring!

Today I have a little list.  One item involves trekking down to Morrisons with Beth because we both need passport type photos and Morrisons has a Machine!  Neither of us likes having our photo taken but this is necessity - well, it is if I want a renewed passport and a bus pass, which I do.

The next loaf in the book is now proving so fingers are crossed.  Yesterday's effort was fine but I did miss the flavour and texture that a bit of sugar and some oil imparts.  Today's is made with milk, butter and golden syrup so should be a lot richer in flavour.  It's a 'sandwich' loaf and fingers are crossed.  It looks good so far and the 'window' test worked so the dough is good.

I've just remembered it is bin day so I need to get my skates on and get that sorted.  Then I have to prep the vegetables for freezing and there's some ironing that needs doing, so I will say 'au revoir' until tomorrow.  Have a great day.

Wednesday 30 August 2017

An extra bit

I forgot . . .

I've mentioned that I'm making a patchwork duvet cover.  Well, I have finished the patchwork bit and here it is.  I'm pleased.


I'm glad we had a pleasant, sunny, warm bank holiday weekend because yesterday afternoon it started chucking it down, then it stopped, then it started again and it is still wet this morning.  Solves the problem of 'do I water the allotment?', doesn't it, although I ought to go and pick at some point.

Remember I mentioned this bread book I found very much reduced.  Well, I've started working through, leaving the first recipe, which is soda bread, for when my friend (who can't have yeast) comes to stay, and going on to the second, a very basic cob   More or less the recipe I use but without the sugar and oil so just water, yeast, salt and water.  I'm always amazed that such very simple ingredients can produce something so tasty and mouthwatering.

It's just finishing off in the oven as I'm typing so by the end of this entry it should be out and I can take a photo.  The only problem is that it seems to be coming out a bit flat and that, I am sure, is down to my shaping.  You create the tension in the loaf by shaping and as I usually use a tin, I'm not great at it.  Much do better and I will work on it!

Apart from that, I have washing to do so the drying rack will be in service (and the tumble dryer for those things that don't mind the heat) and this afternoon the lovely Sharon is coming to do my hair, thank goodness.  I will look so much more civilised once that's done.  It cheers me up no end and makes me feel human again.

I'm very tired as the complications of life continue (as they do) and I am glad today is an easy day with lots of time to take things a bit easier.  A nice, fresh, crusty load should help that along considerably!
And here it is, hot and fresh out of the oven.  Not bad for before 8:00 am, eh?  But I will definitely work on my shaping technique and the slashes need to be deeper and much more even.

The next one in the book is 'soft-crust sandwich bread' and contains milk and golden syrup.  I'll give that a go tomorrow morning, I think, and Beth can take it for Alex and her to enjoy over the weekend.  After that it is a 'simple spelt loaf' and I have spelt flour so that's good.

Where would we be without bread, eh?  What's your favourite kind?

Tuesday 29 August 2017


As the tabloids used to say 'What a Scorcher'.  Wasn't it lovely yesterday?  Four loads washed, line dried, ironed AND put away.

It was a bit too hot to sit out in the sun in the afternoon but, later on, it was gorgeous.  Today is supposed to be the same but I gather it might change tomorrow.  A bit of rain would be good for the allotment/garden so no complaints either way.

There's a decidedly autumnal 'feel' to things now, despite the current heat.  In the early morning I can smell that slightly smoky mistiness that whispers of things a-changing.  Driving around a few days ago, I could see that leaves are changing colour: the fresh green has gone and yellowish tints are beginning to glow.

I love every season in its own way and Autumn, with its riot of colours and aromas is right up there.  I love the increasingly dark mornings and evenings, the sense of being enfolded within my four walls, keeping the dark away and then being enfolded in it.  I love waking in the dark and watching the effects of sunrise in the shapes and shadows seen from my small living room window while the big windows still have drawn curtains.

And, more prosaically, I now have a leaf vacuum, so keeping the garden leaf-clear will be considerably easier.

What's your favourite season and why?

Monday 28 August 2017


 . .  and, I gather, a Bank Holiday.  I always used to feel mildly diddled with these bank holidays that came inside the normal holidays.  Not that much though because, after all, normal holiday, you know - nice!

For once the weather is glorious.  It's sunny, warm, a lovely English summer morning.  Also a perfect drying day.

I don't do much on bank holidays, certainly nothing special.  It's not worth the hassle and braving the crowds and the traffic.  I can go out any time nowadays so it seems mean of me to make bank holidays any more crowded than they already are when some only have the long weekend and then it is beck to work.

What do you do on bank holidays?

Sunday 27 August 2017


The other day I went hunting for a walking stick.  Not for me, for someone else.  In my hunt, I went into one of those 'sell almost anything' shops, one I'd never been in before and found a 'reduced books' shelf.  Well, what's a girl to do?  Of  course I dived in and emerged with a book entitled 'Bake it better: bread'.

I've got loads of bread books but this one is based on bread and tips from Bake Off and was extremely good value.  That's my excuse.

A few busy days later, I have started reading it and, my goodness, it is a treasure chest of recipes.  Each one I have looked at so far I want to make and I can see it's going to be a 'make a new one each week' situation.  I can't do more as I don't get through enough bread to justify more.

But definitely a find in a thousand!

Unfortunately, while looking for the image above, I have discovered that there's a whole set of books based on Bake Off  themes.  Oh, deary, deary me.😊

Saturday 26 August 2017


Wasn't yesterday a beautiful day - warm and sunny but not uncomfortably hot most of the time.  A few more weeks of this would be great, please.  I got washing dried (three loads), I got grass mowed (allotment and home and it all looks so much better now) and it was just great.

The allotment harvest was amazing for very little work.  Loads of green beans (which are nearly over now), some baby corn (also nearly over), runner beans (still some to go) and courgettes (which seem to go on for ever and a day).  I also pulled three carrots from the meagre crop (a cat dug most of them up).
And this morning there are runner beans at home to pick and deal with.  Tell you what, we're not going to be short of runners over the winter months this year.

I was a bad girl yesterday though.  I only went an ordered a take away Chinese.  So much for frugality.  However, I so enjoyed it and I shall also enjoy the leftovers later on today and I don't care!  A treat now and again is a Very Good Thing.

This morning I read an email from a friend.  She's off on holiday and her allotment plot is producing tomatoes at a great rate.  Would I like to pick them while they're away (and some green ones for green tomato chutney, if I want).  Well, would I?  What do you think?  😀

I have another long list of things to do this morning, none of which will take all that much time, and the first is 'wash hair' so I'd better go and do it!

Friday 25 August 2017


Good morning folks.  It's nearly five but too dark to see the weather from where I'm sitting and I'm too lazy to get up and check!  The days are now noticeably shorter and the nights longer again, Autumn is well on her way in.

Yesterday ended up as a weary day after a rush around in the morning.  I didn't get very much done apart from keeping falling asleep really, but never mind, hopefully today will go better.

Fingers crossed!

Later addition:
Re the new saucepans, I googled for 'oven proof saucepan lid' and have bought a couple of multi-size ovenproof lids that should do the trick nicely - oven proof up to 230C
Image result for ProCook Universal Lid

Thursday 24 August 2017


Good morning, everyone.  I have no idea about the weather because it's the middle of the night and I can't sleep but it feels OK - mild but not baking and not too humid either.

Yesterday turned out OK too.  I did two loads of washing in the afternoon and both loads dried on the line which was great.  No ironing though as I was too tired (so why am I awake now?)

I like the new pans and the removable handle is neat.  The lids can't go in the oven which I think is silly and wasted opportunity and I have contacted Tefal to say so.  There are lids in the range that will go in the oven but you can't get them separately (yet).  Oh, well, as I said yesterday, foil will have to do.
They stack beautifully without handles to get in the way and the lids sit on top of each other so the take up surprisingly little room.  I will be sorting out and chucking my old, battered pans this morning to make way.

I've been looking at reclining chairs with a view to replacing mine.  The other day I moved it and underneath was a screw.  That's happened a few times lately and I expect that one of these days it will just stop reclining completely.  It's already becoming more awkward.  I know what I want and I went to the showroom to look at the fabrics where I was one that looked remarkably like the new covers on the suite.  I brought a swatch home but it wasn't the same.  To get something that's similar but different wouldn't work so I will take one of the arm covers and choose a fabric that tones.

There's choices, even within one chair.  I was interested in the riser recliners but decided against the riser function because
it's electric and has to be plugged in
it's extremely slow
it's much more expensive
and I don't need a riser chair
 . . . so it will be a recliner that works via handle or catch.

The one I have is very old.  It was given to me about ten years ago, after the extension was built, by my parents.  They had it at least fifteen years and it was reconditioned when they bought it.  It's earned its space, that's for sure, but the time has come to replace it, before it collapses under me.

I'm not really becoming a spendthrift.  This is all bought with the retirement lump sum and is quality of living stuff that will likely see me out.  Nice.

Added later:
Went back to bed and slept until 7:30 which is virtually unheard of!  And the sun is shining.   😊

Wednesday 23 August 2017


Belated Good Morning to you all.

I've been a bit of a spendthrift recently.  My saucepans are quite old and getting battered so I was looking around for some new ones when I saw this range.

Essentially, they are non-stick saucepans with removable handles so they can go into the oven from the hob.  They slot nicely inside each other (and I have some pan separators to avoid scratches.  They also do frying pans with the same removable handles and you can get extra handles . . .  The lids also lie flat and the only think I am not sure of is whether the lids go in the oven.  If not, it will have to be foil.

Anyway, I treated myself to three saucepans with lids and a handle plus another handle and I will give them a go and see.  Fingers crossed.

Tuesday 22 August 2017


There's little more annoying than starting off a big load of sheets in the washing machine and then it starts raining.   Grrrrrrrr!

(AKA first world problems)

Monday 21 August 2017


Morning, all.  Apologies for the silence but life is still a bit complicated.  I'll be back soon.  In the meanwhile, enjoy the silence!!!  😉

Saturday 19 August 2017


Good morning, everyone.  It's sunny outside but the puddles tell me that it's been raining.  Yesterday was the same;  in fact, we have two or three very sharp, stormy showers and I was thankful not to get caught out in them.

Yesterday was busy doing this, that and the other stuff.  Homey things that need to be done.

A bit of useless information - I have discovered that when you freeze green beans they don't stick together.  You really wanted to know that, didn't you?  😃

Have a good day and stay dry!

Friday 18 August 2017


It doesn't seem two years ago that I was rejoicing over grandson Alex's outstandingly good GCSEs but it was.
This is what I wrote.

"The biggest from yesterday is, of course, Al's GCSE results.  He did great.  He got all grades A* to C, no grades below that and he is set fair for 6th form and A levels.
The amazing thing is that this time three years ago he had done none of the national curriculum for most of the subjects he studied.  In fact, he went down a year when he started mainstream so that he could do a year's study before having to decide on his GCSEs. 
(This was because he was previously attending a special school with a Statement of SEN for autism)

The biggest worry was English.  It's a crucial one to get (alongside maths) and as he has a communication disorder (he was virtually non-verbal when he started school) it was never going to be easy.  He was predicted an E which then went up to a D.  A D would have been amazing.  They put him in for both English exams, the general one and Literature (which surprised us a bit but there you go . . .).and he not only got B for English, he also went and got C for literature.  Fantastic!"

Yesterday, two years later, it was A level results.  Same nerves, same worries only bigger because this time it wasn't entry to sixth form that was at stake, it was entry to university.
I should have known better than to waste a good worry on it.  Alex soared!  A* for mathematics, A for further mathematics and B for Chemistry.  UCAS had confirmed his place at university by email before he picked up the results so we knew he'd done pretty well.
So in just over a month's time, Alex will be off to study mathematics at the University of East Anglia.  The next big life-adventure will begin and things will change for us all.

Hasn't he done well?

The weather was pretty grim yesterday morning but had perked up by lunchtime so I managed to get my load of washing out on the line, dried and then ironed.  The ironing baskets are now empty.
I also dealt with  those green beans (five good sized packs in the freezer), the allotment runner beans (for Beth), a large yellow courgette (slice, open freeze and bag), my own tomatoes (passata) and tomatoes from Mum and Dad's which I peeled and bagged and they will be frozen whole later on.

So, what with one thing and another, it was a very busy day!

Today I am up very early after a restless night.  I'll go down to the allotment early and get that mowing done.  I just need to check exactly how early I can make it happen by checking on the allotment web site.  Then it is home for various other chores including making sure everywhere is tidy for the cleaners.  It's all go today!

Edited:  well, I WAS going to mow the grass but it's started chucking it down with rain.  

Thursday 17 August 2017

Extra comments

I've just read that you don't need to blanch green beans before freezing.  Three cheers!

And I have just tried an apple from the allotment tree.  Not totally ripe, OK, it's a bit early, but really delicious.

And finally - it was so dark because it was raining so the allotment grass will just have to stay long for today!


Good morning, everyone.  It's just started getting light, emphasising to me that Summer is drawing to a close and Autumn is getting ever nearer.  We're almost two months away from the longest day, after all.  I do love sitting here, watching it get lighter and lighter as blackness turns to shadows and silhouettes which gradually take on colour and the minutes creep by.

Yesterday was an incredibly busy day.  After a few days of not picking, there were thousands (OK, slight exaggeration there) of runner beans and tomatoes to pick as well as some sweet peas to fragrance the house.  I dealt with the runners by prepping and freezing most of them, keeping out one portion which I enjoyed for dinner.  I plan to deal with the tomatoes today.

Then I went to the allotment and oh, my goodness!  I came back with a huge bag of green beans, some cucumber, courgettes, a few apples, more runners and - at last - six baby corn cobs.  Yes, the corn is finally ready to harvest and how delicious they were!

After a week of neglect, the grass is knee high so I will be taking an early trip this morning with mower in tow!  The weeds, surprisingly enough, are not too bad, which is good.

I managed to get two loads of washing done and nearly all the contents of the ironing basket sorted too.  There's now just a couple of sheets to do!

Today is also jam packed with stuff.  House work (very necessary), dealing with all that garden and allotment produce (must look up how to freeze green beans - do they need blanching?) finishing off the ironing and going into town to Lakeland for various things for me and for a friend.

But first - coffee and then my hair needs washing!

Wednesday 16 August 2017


Good morning, everyone.  I know the weather is expected to bread but at the moment it is lovely and sunny.  Very cheering.

I can't go into details because it's not my story to tell, but life has suddenly got a bit (lot) more complicated so if I seem a bit 'out of it', that's why!

I shall be going home this morning which I'm looking forward to, being a right home-body at heart and am hoping that there will be plenty of runners and tomatoes to pick and enjoy.  I'm not looking forward to opening the fridge door as I left in a hurry so am quite expecting to be attacked by a mouldy monster when I do.  Luckily, I have plenty of disinfectant to hand!  😃

I went online yesterday and found, on Amazon, a source of cotton sheeting that I can use to line and back the duvet cover I am making.  I bought loads as I'm pretty sure I will be making a bed spread to match.  I have plenty of plain, white pillowcases so am resisting that temptation.  I have taken a few photos but left my camera at home!

Have a great day.

Tuesday 15 August 2017


I'll be back properly tomorrow or Thursday at the latest - just saying so readers don't worry.

Sunday 13 August 2017


. . . and it is living up to its name.  The sun is shining bravely (and it's chilly), the windows are open (yes, chilly) and everything is fresh!  Yesterday was lovely, hopefully today will be the same.

I made great progress with the patchwork for the quilt yesterday.  The squares are all made (it's a 3 x 5 so I made 15) and I've stitched them together vertically.  I just need to do the horizontal joining now.  It's fitted remarkably well with only a few glitches.  Mind you, I didn't do much else (apart from planning) so this afternoon is loaded with all the other stuff .

I took this part way through yesterday.  It looks reasonably random which is what I wanted and it gives you the general idea.  It will be a duvet cover so no quilting.

So - today is . . .
bit more sewing
early allotment (I can now I have a key) for mowing and picking
bread making
an hour of tuition (a one off, because of me being ill)
more sewing

So a busy day but I'm going to enjoy the early morning first.  A shame it's not quite warm enough to enjoy my coffee outside but never mind, I gather warmer weather is coming and then we will complain that it's too hot.

Saturday 12 August 2017


Good morning and welcome to the weekend.  The sun is trying to shine out there but it's still chilly so it's a dressing gown and slippers sort of morning again.
Yesterday was gorgeous - a sunny and breezy day, a two loads of washing on the line day.  I've caught up with the washing, something that has been sadly neglected for a week, and now I just have to catch up with the ironing as well.  Easier said than done.

I got going on my disappearing nine blocks and have made six that are 15" x 15" (more or less).  They take longer than one would expect what with the fitting and the ironing of seams but I'm in the swing of things now and should do the rest today.  I have loads of squares cut, far too many, so will probably end up making pillow cases to match as well!  Once I have sewn the blocks together I'll take a photos so you can see.  It's supposed to look random, I hope it does anyway, but there is a method to it.

Half way through the day, I took time out to go to Hobbycraft.  I got the thread I need to finish off the T shirts, some needles, a couple of marking pencils (I wanted tailor's chalk but there wasn't any - do they still do it, I wonder), some thinner pins for more delicate fabric and a couple of seam unpickers as we seem to have lost the one we had and it's a fairly essential bit of kit!  I then had a stroll around but nothing really called to me!

I carried on sewing through the evening but stopped after a while because of the lack of natural light.  I watched Only Connect and actually managed to get some of the connection, very rare for me!  I do like that programme: it is a mental challenge, unlike a lot of the more fancy ones with big prizes and screaming audiences to try to hide the fact that the actual questions are rubbish.

A couple of days ago my lovely neighbours had two of their trees trimmed right back - not the one between our two gardens but the ones the other side.  It's made a huge difference both to the amount of light in my house and garden but also to how much country view I have.  They will thicken up again and grow back over time and they do look a bit sad at present, but they should be fine next year and the extra light is appreciated.

Well, today is one of two I have 'blocked off' in my diary.  They are days for me to do my stuff in the middle of a busy time.  Of course, when I did that, I didn't realise that this last week was going to be a awash with cancellations but never mind.  I won't be doing anything special, just the usual things, but without anything else to worry about.

So, today is sewing, allotment (heaven only knows what condition I will find it in), my garden, ironing . . . oh, you get the idea, I am sure.  I wonder if I will get the patchwork blocks finished.  I must start looking for sheeting for the lining and the backing which will probably cost a fortune but never mind! Oh, and I have bread to make too.

I'd better get going then!

Friday 11 August 2017


Friday already!  This week has flashed by (or maybe I mean crashed by), what with being away and then being unwell.  Where have the days gone?  We're a third of the way through August already!

Good morning, all.  It's a slightly misty, rather chilly start to the day and I have spoilt myself by letting her heating click on.  I don't do that very often but I think I'm still feeling a bit cold from not eating much (if you know what I mean).  However, all's well now so I have planned a full day's meals, albeit smallish ones.

It was nice to spend the day with Beth here and also nice to have Alex here pm.  He took himself off to Norwich earlier on in the week for a 'fact finding' holiday, booked into a central hotel and explored buses to the university, things to see and do, etc.  For an autistic person it was remarkable - he's coming on in leaps and bounds in his independence and confidence.  He had a brilliant time one way and another.

When Beth got home there was something waiting for her.  This.
Woo hoo.
Well done, Beth!

Today is a day to myself.  I've finished cutting out the squares for the disappearing nine square duvet cover I want to make and I think I have enough to make a bedspread too.  They're not quilts, just machine patchwork, and there's no pattern as such apart from the nine block, it's just how it comes.  We shall see how it all works out!

Before I lose myself in sewing, I have a house to tidy before the cleaners arrive.  There's not a lot of mess but best to sort it before it gets too bad.

So I'd better get going!

Thursday 10 August 2017


Good morning!  It's quite dull outside but, thank goodness, the rain stopped overnight and things are drying up.  It's a while since we had a day's rain like that - great for the allotment and garden but maybe not so great for the fields of corn waiting to be harvested.  It was cold too, cold enough to turn on the heating come the evening, southern softie that I am!

Yesterday was a day of gradually feeling better as the day progressed, of tentatively eating and hoping it would stay put.  It did (not that I ate much) and I've had a superb night's sleep too

I've looked back and don't seem to have mentioned that I've paid off the rest of my holiday so it's definitely happening now.  A week staying in a little cottage in a village in the northern edge of the Chatsworth Estate with loads of interesting and lovely places nearby.  I do love that part of the world.
Now I am busy making a list of Things To Do.

Back to yesterday, as I was feeling weak and woolly, I brought down a load of T shirts that are too long and started the process of turning them up.  It's not a job that takes much thought of skill, just a bit of measuring, plenty of tacking, a machine with a stretch stitch and the right coloured cotton.  I was lucky in that I only need to get cotton for two colours - the rest all matched nicely with what I have and most of them are now upstairs again, waiting to be worn.  A job well done, I think, even if it did take me several hours.

Today Beth is over as we have some bags to make for someone.  I've cancelled tuition for the week - the 48 hour rule, you know, plus having seen children brought back to school as soon as their symptoms have gone, only to see them sent home again a few hours later, having spread their bugs far and wide, poor kids!

It still feels cold, or maybe that's just me, so I'm looking forward to a hot bath before getting dressed for the day.  But first, coffee!

Wednesday 9 August 2017


Well, that was a wasted day!  Feeling unwell isn't funny, especially the V&D type but things seem to have settled now and by the time I get round to eating a little something again, I should be fine.

The rain is tipping down, reflecting my mood quite well, but it feels warmer than yesterday, thank goodness.  I don;t expect to snuggle under my fleece in the summer!

I had a very pleasant weekend with my Mum and Dad.  We didn't do an awful lot, just a trip to the health food shop, but it was nice and companionable.  The journey home was good too.  No hold ups apart from at the usual places. Little Hadham and Bishops Stortford.  I did a bit of shopping when I got home which is good because I don't think I could cope today!

When I got back, the garden had obviously made the best of my absence and I picked loads of tomatoes and runner beans plus a few carrots (not to self - plant more carrots next year!).  I intended to deal with the runners yesterday but didn't, so that's on today's list together with catching up with the washing.  A shame about the rain but the tumble dryer will have to earn its keep for once.

Regular readers might possibly remember that a while ago I posted a photo of a mysterious plant that was coming up where I had planted a passion flower that never came to anything followed by two that a friend very kindly gave me which also never came to anything.  I concluded that it was just the wrong place or I was the wrong person and decided to let the hostas spread a bit.
It (the plant) didn't look like a passion plant - the leaves weren't right, for instance, and it was growing so slowly but I left it in situ because, you know, a plant . . .
So I was delighted to see, on Monday, that it has sent out another leaf and that leaf is very definitely a passion flower leaf.  See . . .
 . . . so it will be interesting to see what happens now!

And the hostas can stay too.  They've been lovely this year partly because I got the slug pellets down in time.

I shudder to think of what the allotment will look like but I'm not looking today and can't tomorrow so Friday will be weeding and harvesting, I guess, and maybe planting out some more leeks.

It's stopped raining so I've opened the windows and it is colder than I thought.  They will be closed again soon; I just wanted to get some fresh air in.

Because of the bug, I have cancelled most of my tuition this week - there are some things one should keep to oneself.  So I have an unexpected free day today and I may very well get out the sewing machine and work on a couple of projects I have on the go.  And sleep, probably, from time to time.   See you tomorrow.

Tuesday 8 August 2017


If it's not one thing, it's another, isn't it?  I've woken up this morning with a rather fierce tummy upset so this will be short!  Hopefully I will post a proper entry later on.

Monday 7 August 2017


Good morning, everyone.  Apologies for the silence.  I've been away for a few days, visiting family but things are back to normal now and I will be home shortly.
Back tomorrow!

Friday 4 August 2017


Good morning, everyone.  It looks as if it might be a pleasant enough day today - the clouds are high and there's a fresh breeze.  Not particularly warm yet, but you never know.  Yesterday was pleasant at time but the fairly stiff breeze made it uncomfortable to sit out which was a shame.  Fingers crossed for better weather to come.

Yesterday I made some dough and then wandered off to Aldi while the dough rose.  When I got back it was about time to knock it back and I added some chopped walnuts and mixed seeds before baking and it was absolutely delicious.  I posted about the recipe here.

The kitchen is in a reasonable state now (minor miracle) and ready for the cleaners.  The rest of the house is getting there; most of the mess is superficial and easily sorted.

After an early morning tuition, I have time to potter around, sorting things out, without breaking into too much of a sweat which is a situation I hope I will always appreciate after so many years of weekend rushing around.

In the garden, the runners are running, the tomatoes are blushing, I'm picking sweet peas and anemones - and on the allotment I suspect the courgettes are romping away too.  In a very small way, definitely the good life.

Before tuition, I want to start off another load so when I get back, it will be ready to knock back, etc.  It's going to be another nut and seed effort, for some friends.  I can see that I shall be making it fairly often.

Well, time is marching on and there's plenty to do so I'll wish you a happy and productive day and say goodbye for now.

Thursday 3 August 2017


It was lovely and sunny when I woke this morning and still bright when I arrived at Aldi to do some non-food shopping but, oh, dear, it's rapidly dulling off now and the wind is getting up.  Maybe we're due more rain after the shedload we had yesterday afternoon and evening.  I have the windows open, the paint pong is reducing and I'm keeping an eye on what's going on outside.  I had to rush the washing in yesterday and was glad I'd noticed.

Also I set to and dealt with the rhubarb.  It took ages but now I have ten pots of very delicious rhubarb jam and an equal amount just washed, chopped and frozen for another time.  Well worth the effort

Today I'm sorting out the kitchen yet again, then I have a load of ironing to do and a house to tidy for the cleaners tomorrow.

So I'd better get back to work again, hadn't I?

Wednesday 2 August 2017


Good morning, everyone.  It's cloudy but yesterday turned out very pleasant so fingers crossed for today as well.

I have a surprise visitor - grandson, Alex, came to dinner and is now still fast asleep upstairs.  So I had to buzz around quickly to increase the quantities of my dinner and to make up a bed.  Nice surprise though.

Before then I'd done quite a lot of my list with the rest carried over to today.

A short entry because there's plenty to do!  Back tomorrow.

Tuesday 1 August 2017


. . . and a pinch and a punch for the first of the month to all my readers.  :-)

After a comparatively chilly overnight (under the covers all night), it started sunny but is dulling over now.  However, the forecast isn't all that bad so fingers crossed as I have a whole stack of washing and drying to do.

In fact, it's a busy day all round.
Looking at my list I have to . . .
do the old finances, work out how much can go into savings and reconcile (is that the right word) the statement with my records
make bread
weed the front patch
do a bit of lesson planning
the aforementioned washing and drying
sort out the kitchen (it hasn't really recovered from Sunday yet)
deal with stacks of rhubarb
< sigh >

Yesterday, after a couple of tuitions (should've been three but there was illness), my lovely friend Julia came round for a chat and stayed for lunch.  Nothing special, just toast and jam, but it was home made bread and home made jam so tasty!
Then I met Beth at the allotment and, between ouches, we sorted out the rhubarb and dug up some more potatoes.  My hips were still achey from last week (just a bit - I can be a drama queen at times) and poor old Beth had a stiff neck, presumably from sleeping awkwardly.
The rhubarb will now be left to do its own thing until next year.
Just for once, there weren't many courgettes which was a relief.  There were, however, enough green beans for us both plus plenty of potatoes.

We needed a bin bag for the rhubarb so you can imagine how much there is.  Some will be too tough but there will be enough to make some jam plus some in the freezer for next winter.  Nice.

Then we finally got round to going to the allotment office and now I am official.  I have my own allotment key at long, long last!  Now I can go very early morning and let myself in.  Three cheers.

I'm planning to make a potato bake today with allotment veg and passata made last year.  It should taste really very good indeed.  So satisfying.

Well, I'd better get going if I am to stand any chance of making inroads into the list.  Wish me luck!