Thursday 30 November 2017


Good morning, everyone.  Another chilly, frosty morning but no snow, not here. 

Yesterday was busy but went well.  It shows how long it was since I had any sort of prescription.  I picked up my repeat prescription and discovered that I no longer have to pay for it - another perk of being over sixty!  It even said so on the form so I didn't have to provide proof.  It took me ages to get to the surgery for the prescription as there must have been some sort of accident: the roads were heaving with slow moving traffic and just before I got there a police car and ambulance screamed past.  However, by the time I'd got the meds from the nearby chemist, the roads were clear again. 

The chemist had changed too - it's hardly a shop now, just a prescription place.

Tuition went really well again.  I'd mugged up a bit about prime and composite numbers, not that there's much to mug up at this level anyway, and we learnt how to find them on a number square.  That was it really.   I'm sure there's a use for knowing prime numbers, there's got to be, but I can't see what it is.

On to today and I have a form to drop off.  I got a registration form from the Springfield hospital yesterday before my appointment there.  The covering letter changed the time from a convenient 9:30 to a less convenient later in the day, darn it!  There was a form to fill in with a SAE, except that the SAE was missing so, in order to explain, I've decided to take it there myself: the main reason I chose there was because it is close to home so it won't be a hassle.

Then there's the usual daily chores before tuition and after that I am being taken out to the Civic for a show, which is lovely and I'm very much looking forward to it.

So that's my day and I should enjoy it!

Wednesday 29 November 2017


Good morning!
It's dark, cold and cloudy.  No frost but it doesn't half feel nippy and my heating is working well.

Well, yesterday was a day of changes.
I started by popping off to Sainsbury's.  I had a list but decided to get any Christmas stuff I saw too, to save having to get it later.  I got sausages and bacon for the pigs in blankets, some vegetarian stuffing and . . . these -

- and very warm and cosy they are too.  I love sock-slippers

While I was in the shop the car was washed, waxed and polished.  I treat myself to this now and again and it always looks good afterwards.  The rest of the time the dust protects the paintwork!

Once home, I had a message from Beth to say she was poorly so wouldn't be coming over for dinner which was disappointing.  I'd already made half of the meal so that's heading for the freezer if I don't have it today.  I hope she's feeling a bit better today.

I put on some some bread (well, dough at this point), put the shopping away and settled down to do my planning.  It went very smoothly as I have the habit of making jottings on the planning sheet through the session so I know what needs working on next, clarifying or developing.

A bit later, along came my mathematical pupil and we had a great session, learning about long multiplication and division.  I love it when their eyes shine and they get all excited and when they said 'I don't want this lesson to end', I knew it was a hit!

Fortunately, I checked my emails before I left for the next session because my next pupil was unwell so the session was cancelled.  Never mind, these things happen, don't they?

So, several changes one way and another but it was a good day.  Today is housework and more planning plus a bit of ironing.  I shall make the pigs in blankets and get them into the freezer and the fridge could do with a tidy up.  I only have to go out twice - once to collect a prescription and once for tuition.

I'd better get going then!  Have a good day.

Tuesday 28 November 2017


Good morning, everyone.  Welcome to a very chilly Tuesday late-November morning.  No snow but, did you notice, in the reporting from Kensington Palace on the BBC news last night, there were a few flakes drifting down, which was a surprise.  It's definitely going to be a warm shoes and coat day today.

Again yesterday, after months of there not being an awful lot to watch on telly each evening, I was spoilt for choice yesterday and will have to use iPlayer (bless its cotton socks) to catch up on University Challenge and Nigella's latest.  I chose to watch the Paul Hollywood programme which was OK, not amazing but interesting enough, and then 'Would I Lie to You' which reduced me to tears of helpless mirth last night.  It was hysterically funny at times.

Have I Got More News For You is also on Mondays but too late for early-to-bed me so that's another one to catch up on.  I usually chuckle my way through that too:  it's very clever they way they cut through our serious absurdities, even though I'm not terribly keen on some of the language.  That's just me though!

Today, I think I will take an early trip to Sainsbury's.  I haven't been for ages and I'm starting to pick up little bits and bobs for Christmas now rather than getting it all at the last minute.  I definitely want to get the sausages and bacon to make the pigs in blankets which I can freeze in the tin I will use to roast them.  Anything to save time!

Over the weekend I got some gluten free stuffing mix as a basis for my stuffing, to which I will add more onion, more sage and some chopped up ham.  It then just needs thawing and baking in the oven on The Day.

Then I will need to do some tuition planning followed by the actual tuition.  That, combined with the usual housework, more or less takes me through the day.

So I will get my coffee and start on the first thing which is posting the daily messages in a few groups I help to admin on Facebook.

Have a warm day!

Monday 27 November 2017


Good morning, everyone.  I'm sorry this is so late.  For the first time in goodness knows how long, I didn't wake until nearly seven so I decided to wait until I was at home (I was staying with my parents) before writing.

Yesterday was a very good day, especially because for the first time since the beginning of the month I had neither pain nor discomfort - all day.  Excellent!

I'm home now after a good drive cross country with all the traffic lights being nice to me so there were no holdups in the usual places, Little Hadham and Bishop's Stortford, which is most unusual.  Now I'm home I have planning to do and unpacking, but the house is clean and as tidy as it's going to be right now, so there's no panic.

I hope you're having a good day too.

Sunday 26 November 2017


Good morning, everyone.  It's another cold morning here but not so cold as yesterday when there was a fine old frost making a lovely world even more lovely.  It stayed a bit parky all day too, despite the glorious sunshine.

I had a quiet day, punctuated once by popping out to Tesco.  I didn't mean to get much, just to stock up with my 0% fat things but I saw that they had 'Jamie Oliver's Christmas Cookbook' reduced from £26 to £10.  Now that's what I call a good reduction so, being a sucker for cookbooks and quite a fan of Mr Oliver (Essex lad made good, etc), somehow it jumped off the shelf into my trolley!  I've glanced through and it's going to be a good read.

Today is quiet again but that's good.  Life plods on, you know, and so do I!

Coffee time and then I'd better get going and see to things.  Goodness, it's nearly seven o'clock.  Have a great day and may you achieve all you hope to do today.

Saturday 25 November 2017


Good morning, everyone.  Brrr, it ain't 'alf cold round here but, being south of the country, no chance of snow which, I gather, is restricted to Scotland.

Yesterday I wasn't feeling great (gall bladder, of course) so was quite low but it's better this morning.  The thing is, I now worry about knowing whether I need to get help (medical help, I mean) and when it's going to pass on by after a while.  If it's just 'playing up a bit', uncomfortable/painful but will go after a while, than that's OK but if there's another inflammation, that's not going to go without intervention.  So, being a natural born worrier, I worry!
I've decided, rightly or wrongly, that if the discomfort doesn't fade after taking pain-killers, that's the time to consider 111 (or whatever) but really, how do you know?

Anyway - earlier in the week I got my referral letter through and I've never done it this way before.  Admittedly, I haven't troubled my local hospital all that much: the last time was that lump I had removed and then the essence was speed.  Before then it was childbirth!
In the letter, it didn't give me a time or date, it told me I could go online and select the venue from a choice of three, one being our local private hospital (which happens to be the nearest anyway).  Once I had done that, up came a list of available dates and times for me to choose from!  I couldn't believe it.

I could have chosen a date next week but on the discharge letter it said they would see me in three months (I presume that's what 3/12 means) so next week sounded a bit soon.  So I compromised with the middle of  December, which is about a month and a half.   By then I will know how well diet is controlling things and I'm keeping notes of pain, etc.  Right now, if surgery is an option, I think I will go for it, but we will see.
And, yes, I chose the private hospital (it is an NHS appointment) for two reasons - it's by far the nearest and parking is not only free, there's plenty of it, both in the grounds and around them too.

Today I have woken very early after a great night's sleep so I'll have plenty of chill out time.  The house is clean and reasonably tidy and the ironing basket is empty (cheers).  I have knitting and I have books.  What an idle life, eh?  Here's to it!

Friday 24 November 2017


A propos of yesterdays little rant . . . this says it all!
Good morning, everyone.  It's an early wake for me today but not to worry.  It means I can get going sooner and therefore get finished sooner which has to be a good thing.

Yesterday I had a worry.  For a few days now, the fridge hasn't closed properly.  I washed round the seal and pushed the shelves in properly and  it still didn't close.  Fool that I am, I never thought to check what was on the shelves until yesterday and when I did, lo and behold, the pack of leeks was just a few mms too long for the shelf it was on and was stopping the door from completely shutting.  I don't know why I didn't notice that sooner and felt very stupid but it was a great relief as I'd got to the point of dithering between getting someone to look at it or buying a new one.

It's turned chilly outside again and I gather that there's been snow in Scotland, according to a Scottish friend on Facebook.  We won't get any here but the chill will keep me snug and warm inside, I suspect, and very grateful for my heating.  I have to bustle around getting things in a fit state for the cleaners and that will keep me nice and warm anyway.

I'd better stop now and take a look in Facebook.  There's a number of groups I help to admin and I like to pay them an early visit.

Have a lovely day, everyone, and stay warm.

Thursday 23 November 2017


You know, I really don't get this 'Black Friday malarkey.  OK, so if there's something you know you need, you've priced it out and are waiting to see if there's a deal, then I can see the point, but how often does that happen?  The number of messages I've seen on Facebook this week that, in essence, say 'I've seen this and it says that it's £x cheaper so suddenly I discover that I HAVE to have it because I'm saving a fortune . . .
Does that make sense to you?  It doesn't to me.

After that mini rant, good morning, everyone.  I'm happy today because my teacher's pension is in today and I am NOT going to spend any of it on things that I suddenly discover I need.  😇

Yesterday the new recliner chair arrived and it is lovely.  Comfortable, easy to recline and after all that colour matching, it goes beautifully with everything else and doesn't seem to dominate the room like the old one did.  I'm so pleased.  At the moment it is right next to the radiator so that I get best benefit from the warmth and I was so comfortable yesterday evening.  It's definitely something I can go to sleep in!

I've decided I won't get rid of the old chair yet.  Christmas is coming up and I will have nine here for part of Christmas Day so it will provide a comfortable chair for one more guest.  I have quite a large living/dining room so it's in a corner by the stairs, not getting in anyone's way at the moment.

On Tuesday afternoon, after much thought, I wrote an email standing down from something local that I should never have got involved in to start with.  Not because there's anything wrong with it but because I was way out of my depth, unable to play any part and it was making me unhappy and worried.  I was thankful to receive an answer yesterday that said they completely understood and not to worry.  Such a relief.  I think sometimes you just have to throw up your hands and admit that you made a mistake, don't you?  For your own well-being.

On to today, another busy day with plenty to keep me out of trouble.  At the moment I have a large pot of butter beans cooking after soaking them for twenty four hours.  I have to remember to keep stirring them as I've found butter beans have a tendency to stick and singe if you don't.  Once they're done, they will go into the freezer to open freeze before bagging so I can take out what I need.  I will save the butter beany cooking liquid to use in soups as we are definitely entering soup season now.

Time to get going, I think.  I do hope all my readers are safe after what seems to have been a rough old twenty four hours, weather wise.  Take care.

Wednesday 22 November 2017


Morning, everyone.  How are things?  It's dark out there but nothing dramatic seems to be happening.  No rain, no frost, no wind, not even all that chilly.

I got a pleasant surprise when I checked by banking online.  The winter fuel payment had arrived and I only received notification of it on Monday!  I shall tuck it away, ready to use it when/if I have to pay extra on my heating bill at some point.

As expected, Sharon was round and now I feel much less tatty on top!  It wasn't looking all that bad as she does a good cut that continues to hold its shape, but it was a bit 'in the way' and it always feels great once she's worked her magic.

While she was round, Beth told me some good news.  It appears that Alex has been awarded one last 'prize' by his former school.  We don't know what it is for but assume it will be for endeavour, academic progress/achievement or something of that kind.  Isn't that great?

Today I have to get going pretty pronto as my new reclining chair is being delivered between half eight and half ten.  I haven't got rid of the old one yet as medical 'stuff' got in the way, but I have a large room so it can sit in a corner until I do.
Very exciting!

Tuesday 21 November 2017


Good morning, everyone. 

Yesterday was very busy but a lovely day.

The journey home was good.  A bit slow at times but rarely at a stop and there were no hassles.  As soon as I got home I set to making the dinner so that by the time Alex arrived it was all on and doing.  I had a lovely time chatting to him - he seems very happy at uni, is getting good grades and thoroughly enjoying his studies.  Dinner was nice but the roastie was a mistake.  The evening was uncomfortable and there's still some twinges now as I type.  A lesson learned, I think: mustn't get too complacent.

After seeing Alex off, I whizzed off for tuition and then relaxed for the evening (starting to feel sore, unfortunately) and, after weeks with very little I want to watch, found that there was actually a clash of programmes so thank goodness for iPlayer.

Did you watch the programme about the Queen and Prince Philip?  I enjoyed it in a very light sort of way but it was ridiculously superficial and 'reverential' and told us nothing.  I guess we are used to documentaries that are a little more informative and analytical nowadays and this was neither.

I got the annual letter yesterday, informing me of the winter fuel payment which I had forgotten about.  Very nice too and I look forward to it arriving in the next few weeks.  Another advantage of getting old(er).

Today is hair day - well, hair evening anyway.  Now that Beth has a job, we've had to change the time to evenings so the lovely Sharon will be arriving here at six, ready to work her usual magic.  Can't wait - I always feel better afterwards.

I'd better get going; it is past six o'clock and things won't do themselves.  Have a good day.  I gather it is going to get more chilly again through this week so stay warm and cosy.

Monday 20 November 2017


Yet another new week starts.  This year is racing along so quickly now that it's blink and you miss a week.  Yesterday was one of those days you wouldn't want to miss though - not warm but gloriously bright and sunny and very, very cheering.  Just a beautiful autumnal day with still enough leaves on the trees to provide rich, shining colour.  One of those day that totally contradicts the poet, Thomas Hood.

 No sun - no moon! 
No morn - no noon - 
No dawn - no dusk - no proper time of day. 
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease, 
No comfortable feel in any member - 
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees, 
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds! - 

I am looking forward to today.  I'm at my parents' right now but will be whizzing home because Alex is home from university and will be coming round for lunch.  I gather he lives on typical student fare so I will be boiling a ham and making a roast dinner - a bbq sauce, roasties, roast parsnips and, probably, broccoli or peas.  No dessert though - we both have to stay awake in the afternoon, after all.  And he will be taking what's left back with him too.  😃

Should be good!

Sunday 19 November 2017


Good morning, everyone.  Welcome to Sunday.

Doesn't it get dark quickly now?  Yesterday was a pretty gloomy day anyway after a beautifully sunny start that faded very quickly but by four we shut the curtains on the gloom. 
On days like that I can quite see why people want some glitter and shine to brighten things up and why decorations go up so early.

I wonder if today will be any brighter.  Hope so.

Saturday 18 November 2017


Good morning, everyone. It's turned jolly cold at the moment, hasn't it? No frost today as far as I can tell, but brrrrrrrrrrr, all the same.

Here are the happies I posted on fb yesterday.
In no particular order.
1. I continue to feel well and have only had occasional slight twinges, nothing to fuss over.
2. I got round to having my flu jab - the first one! I'd better not get flu now!
3. It's been fun hunting for fat free recipes. I've found some goodies.
4. I got an appointment with my GP quickly. :-)
5. Blood tests to check liver and kidney function came back - and there's no problems.
6. Life is getting back to normal again. I do like routine!
7. It was lovely to see some dear friends last Saturday and have a chat.
8. An empty ironing basket!
9. It's a gorgeously sunny day today.
10. Now Beth is working, I don't see much of her any more :-( , so it was great that she came over last Sunday afternoon and we had a really good chat.
. . . and two for luck
11. The Christmas turkey has been ordered.
12. Lovely flowers from friends. Thank you so much.

Re number 11, Kelly's of Danbury must be feeling the pinch like everyone else.  For the first times since I have been using then, they are charging for delivery (it's free if you pick it up from the gate).  I did um and aha and ponder but decided to treat myself so paid the fairly substantial amount they asked for delivery.  Maybe during the coming year I will pin down exactly where the farm is and do a collect next time.  It can't be all that far away but I've never seen signposts to it while driving around here.
Having ordered it feels nice though - the start of the Christmas routines!

Time for coffee.   Have a great day, everyone.

Friday 17 November 2017


Good morning, folks.  I'm a bit late this morning as I had an early morning appointment at the surgery and decided to leave this until afterwards.

I'm seeing more of that surgery waiting room than I have in the last ten years all put together!  Today was flu jab (the first one I've had) and the one-off pneumococcal vaccine that all over 65s are recommended to have.  I had the flu one but it appears that there's a shortage of the other and, as I don't fall into any of the target groups,  I didn't have it.  Try again in January!  I wasn't particularly sorry really.

On the off-chance that the blood test results were back (they were only done on Wednesday), I asked at reception and they were.  No further action needed.  I didn't think there would be but it's always nice to know.

I had a few twinges yesterday but they came to nothing and were certainly nothing like a fortnight ago so I'm not fussed.   I just hope I lose some weight as a result of all this 'being careful'.  I shall be cross if I don't!

Well, I have a bit of a busy day ahead of me so I'd better set going.  Have a splendid day and, Diane, I am so glad all went well.

Thursday 16 November 2017


Good morning!

Yesterday was a very ordinary, fairly dull day once the blood tests were done.  I set to and emptied the ironing basked but, inevitably, there is now more which I am determined to do this morning!  If I do, that will mean washing and ironing can be off my mind for a few days.

Apart from that, it really was a very 'nothing' day, just like the weather, and I think that today is going to be more or less the same really.  Hopefully, by the end of the day, I will have a tidy house ready for the cleaners tomorrow.  That's the aim, anyway.

I'm sending all best wishes to my blogging friend, Diane, who has an operation today.  Hoping it goes well and recovery is quick.

Have a good day and stay warm and dry!

Wednesday 15 November 2017


Hooray!  Yesterday I really enjoyed eating for the first time in a fortnight.  When I first got home from hospital, I didn't feel hungry and didn't want to eat all that much, but yesterday was fine.  And still no gallbladder discomfort although things did go somewhat Purple Ronnie in the morning.  Once that settled, I felt great.

Tuition continues.  I had two sessions yesterday and it does feel nice to get back to it.  It's been three weeks, you see - half term week, then the week I was unwell and admitted and then last week 'recovering'.

Dinner was nice yesterday.  I got the recipe out of one of my low fat cookbooks and basically it was chicken with a limey-mint marinade.  Very delicious and one to remember for another time.
Tonight I want to try a lasagne with a topping of cottage cheese/quark.  It might work, it might be a horror-monstrosity but I will give it a go and see.  Watch this space!

Today I set out early to go to Broomfield for some more blood tests.  That particular department opens at 7:00 and I got there at just after then so parking was a doddle.  Even at that time there was about 20 mins waiting - people wanting to get to work, I guess.
It's the first time I have tried to park there for a very long time.  Since the last time, they've had a big rebuilding project and it's all considerably better now and much, much easier.  Now I've found my way around a bit I won't be so anxious next time.

Having done my duty, medically speaking, I have come home to a pile of ironing that really HAS to be done.  I will need to use the steam iron and I just hope there's some decent rubbish on the telly!
I'd better get started, hadn't I?

Tuesday 14 November 2017


Good morning, everyone.

I'm feeling very cheerful this morning for lots of reasons.

Firstly, yesterday was another pain free day and I really do think things are settling again.  Of course, I am not taking any risks, only gradually reintroducing certain things and I know I will need to stay very low fat probably for evermore, but the poached egg I had for breakfast did no damage at all and neither did the little bit of low fat soft cheese that I slipped into the fish pie for dinner.

I got down to the surgery, got an appointment that meant it was more sensible to wait there and saw a very pleasant GP who sorted stuff out, made referrals. wants me to have more blood tests (to re-check kidney and liver function which sounds pretty sensible) and booked me in for a twelve-hour-strapped-to-a-blood-pressure-monitor-test thingy (it does have a proper name which I am sure Diane will know).  I've also booked in for the flu jab and another jab I ought to have had before and can now make appointments online - cheers!

I've had another great night's sleep.  I'm not waking with a backache like I was and I do wonder whether it was a sign that things were rumbling on underneath, ready to flare up.  I don't know but maybe, and it's nice to wake up without feeling stiff and a bit achy.

I resumed tuition and it was great to get back to it.

So lots of reasons for being cheerful.  Fingers crossed that today works out just as well. 

Monday 13 November 2017


Good morning and welcome to a new week.  It's jolly nippy out there although no frost as far as I can tell, not yet anyway,

Yesterday I finished searching through my three low/no fat cookery books and now have a whole selection of likely looking recipes to consider trying.  I eliminated all the ones that required me to get obscure ingredients (there were quite a lot) or expensive ingredients or too many ingredients or which  would take too long or which I just didn't fancy and I have marked the rest with bits of post-its.  There's plenty of variety there, for sure.

In the afternoon Beth came round and it was lovely chatting to her about stuff.  Now she is working, I see a whole lot less of her and I miss her quite a lot but she's loving her job, which is great.  Alex seems to have settled at uni too.

Today I shall be hammering on the door of the surgery.  It been so long since I needed an appointment that I totally forgot on Friday that if you don't phone at eight, you don't stand a chance unless you have registered for online booking, which I haven't - yet.  Well, with my hearing I have huge problems with phones so I shall go down, thanking my lucky stars that I am an early riser, so fingers crossed.  I'm nervous (I always was where medical GP stuff was concerned, no idea why) which isn't going to do my BP any good but, dear me, it has to be done so it's teeth gritting time.

Once I have recovered from that, I will sort out my tuition and then potter in the kitchen, I think.  My idea of using a bit of the dough to create a starter has worked in that it's produced a new loaf but I'm not sure I like the loaf!  It's come out a bit doughy and very heavy but perhaps it wasn't risen enough or baked long enough so I will persist a few more times and see.

I'd better stop now and get on with other stuff that always needs doing early morning.  Have a great day and stay warm.

Sunday 12 November 2017


Good morning, everyone.  At half past six, it is just starting to lighten up fractionally and it feels chilly.  No frost though!
I find I'm sleeping later at the moment.  Waking after six is becoming the norm rather than waking between four and five and I'm not complaining.  I have the day free so don't need to get started all that early.

Life is slowly resuming normality.  After two 'uncomfortable' days, yesterday was much nicer.  I take the last antibiotic this morning.  All being well, tuition resumes tomorrow so I have a bit of planning to do for the two I did a fortnight ago before being unwell.

I won't miss the antibiotics, I have to say.  They are huge, like tombstones.  I don't usually have problems swallowing tablets but need great swigs of water to wash it down and even then it feels 'stuck' for a while.  Having them intravenously in hospital was a gentle stroll in the park in comparison - in fact, a couple of nights I fell asleep while it was going in!  And while I'm on the subject, aren't canulas clever?  They don't hurt unless they get knocked and can be removed in the twinkling of an eye.  They didn't have them last time I was in hospital which, admittedly, was just under 40 years ago.

I had a visit yesterday from my friend Jackie and her mum and after a while Lesley turned up to on her way to the shops.  It was so nice to have people to chat to and we had a good old natter about all sort of stuff.  I'm afraid in the afternoon I went to sleep!

Today is another gentle day.  Some planning, some washing and some ironing and this afternoon Beth is popping over for a while which is nice.  I even have biscuits to offer her.  I bought a small packet of shortbread biscuits for my visitors yesterday and, for the first time in ever, have not even been tempted to go at them.  It fact, the thought makes me feel a bit yurgh.  Interesting!

Talking of feeling yurgh, I think I pinned down what started the discomfort(it was just discomfort, nothing more) on Thursday - some banana pancakes that I made a while ago and froze.  I'm afraid the rest has now gone in the bin which goes very much against the grain but needed doing.

Time for coffee, I think, so I will shut up and get going.  Have a good day!

Saturday 11 November 2017


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

We will remember them.

Friday 10 November 2017


Good morning.  It's all dark and gloomy here, of course, but everything is warm and cosy inside. 

Yesterday was an uncomfortable day.  I think breakfast disagreed with me and it just went downhill from there, livened by paracetamol now and again.  Didn't get a lot done, especially later on in the day.

Today I must do a bit of tidying because the cleaners are coming and I have a friend coming round tomorrow.  Apart from that I have no plans which means I can't fail, doesn't it.

Have a good day, one and all, whatever you do.

Thursday 9 November 2017


Good morning, everyone.  It's a dull start to the day here but maybe the sun will break through later.  That would be nice.

Yesterday, I went shopping but didn't get to the GPs.  Maybe today or, if not today, tomorrow will do.  I was a bit zonked when I got home but didn't have a sleep which I was pleased about.  While there, I invested in some low/no fat stuff.  Cottage cheese, yogurt, etc, that sort of stuff.  That, with my habit of slight stockpiling, means I'm well set up for a number of days now apart from milk.  They didn't have any small cartons of skimmed milk and I'd never get through the bigger ones.

I treated myself to some 0% fat Greek yogurt.  Yes, I know that is a contradiction in terms but it's nice and thick and behaves a bit like softly whipped cream.  I can use the last bits to make my own again which won't be thick, not made with skimmed milk, but never mind, I can let it drain for a while, maybe.

I've found several likely looking recipe and, with the link Rachel sent me - many thanks, I am sure I can concoct a tasty and varied diet that will work for me.

Today I have soaked chickpeas to cook and I'm going to try the sourdough starter I concocted from a bit of the previous dough in a loaf.  The main problem is that I don't know how much to use and none of the recipes say; it's all too if, but or maybe and it really does my head in!  Maybe it doesn't matter really, maybe it's the feel of the dough.  I'll give it a go again and see.

Apart from that, I really must sort out my messy house.  There's piles of bits and bobs everywhere and it is getting me down.  Maybe half an hour of fun, ten minutes of tidying, half an hour of fun, then . . .
We will see . . .

Have a good day!

Wednesday 8 November 2017


Good morning, everyone.  My system is much more socially inclined again this morning after a number of grumbles and protests yesterday!  Things are well on the way to what passes for normality in my home and today I am off to make an appt with a GP.  Given that I haven't been there for over a decade, they'll have brush the cobwebs off the records!

Then I hope to do a bit of food shopping.  I have a list which contains such delights as 'extra lean mince' and 'low fat cottage cheese'. I might not bother with some of the items and just do without.  I'm more impressed with the fruit and veg list as it's been nearly a fortnight and I'm out of basics like carrots.

Yesterday was lovely and easy but boring to write about so I won't.  I think that's how this week is going to be really - pleasant but boring!

And on that note, I shall sign off and make my first boring coffee of the day.   :-)

Tuesday 7 November 2017


This morning I got out of bed and burped.  Sat on the loo and burped.  Got up again and guess what . . .  Thankfully they are not the Purple Ronnie kind and aren't uncomfortable!

Morning, everyone.  It doesn't seem to be quite so cold this morning from this side of the glass - no frost.  I've still turned up the heating, being a self indulgent so and so and not really into self flagellation of any kind whatsoever now I am retired!

Yesterday I took a good look at my recipe book, the ones that had survived the cut earlier in the year, and found three.  One is pretty useless and will probably make a trip to the charity shop.  The other two are more promising.  One is a Readers Digest tome called Low Fat: No Fat and the other is the definitive Rosemary Conley Low Fat Cookbook.  Both seem sensible and adaptable after a quick flick through so I will give them closer attention.
(I love having something to read)

They look as if they will be of help although it's quite funny to read all the somewhat didactic advice in the intro and realise how much nutritional thinking has changed in the last twenty or thirty years.

Yesterday went OK with just one ouchy session.  I baked bread as I'm nearly out now and, on a whim, decided to go all Ma Ingalls and broke off a little bit of dough to make a starter for next time.  It'll probably not work but it's like making yogurt - I love the ongoing idea of making a new thing from an old thing so am giving it a go.

I managed the no fat cooking although there's an indefinable flavour and texture missing.  Oh, well, one can get used to anything and the carrot and lentil soup certainly was tasty and filling.

Another lazy day is planned today.  Two huge books to investigate and I really ought to resume knitting.  I've got all behind again . . .

Rachel - you really did go through the wars, didn't you!  Blimey!
I'm thankful it was eventually dealt with and that you are fine again now but it can't have been much fun for you.

Well, it's time to exercise my culinary skills with beans on toast (no butter) after which maybe it will all turn a bit more Purple Ronnie.  I'll be glad when my 'system' sorts itself out again!


Monday 6 November 2017


Good morning, everyone.  We have a frost!  Quite a heavy one, judging by the car roofs and bonnets.  What a change over the past week, eh?  The heating is on, the winter dressing gown is on and I need to get some more slippers as my old ones are rather past it now.

It's been an interesting week.  I started feeling quite poorly over Tuesday night last week, continued feeling rotten through Wednesday and finally, over Wednesday night/Thursday morning, gave in and dialled 111 for advice and the rest, as the saying goes, was history!

The 111 ended up with paramedics and a short drive to Broomfield hospital with severe chest and back pains (me, not them!).  I came home yesterday afternoon.

Thankfully, very thankfully, it wasn't heart, it was 'just' a misbehaving gallbladder and this was confirmed when various tests showed no heart issues: but blood pressure was sky high, cholesterol isn't great and I had some blood thinning injections because the blood they took kept clotting too fast (or something) so there are issues there too which need sorting. 
Blood tests and being poked in various places accompanied by me going 'ooooh, ouch' from time to time confirmed internal inflammation and I had intravenous antibiotics, now changed to oral ones because I'm home.
It's been all go!

Anyway, I'm home, hardly fit and well but an awful lot better than I was, with strict instructions to rest, to take the abs and blood pressure tablets and to get to know my GP asap!  I haven't troubled them very much over my lifetime so far so maybe there's some catching up to do.

Oh, it was wonderful to fall into my own bed again last night.  Those hospital beds are surprisingly comfortable and supportive but the non-fitted sheets slipped about an awful lot and the pillow cases kept sliding off the pillows!  Last night, on went the electric blanket and I drifted off in peace and quiet and darkness.  Bliss.

I know I have minimal experience of hospital but I have to say everyone was wonderful, starting with the caring and reassuring chap at the other end of the 111 line, continuing with the paramedics, moving into the A&E staff and then everyone, without exception, on the ward.  All lovely, all gentle and kind, all very, very efficient, caring and reassuring, making a bad experience a lot less traumatic.  There were some very poorly patients there and they were hard worked at times, but I never saw anything less than complete respect and dignity.  I can't praise them high enough.

On to today.  I've been told to take things very easy until I have finished the course of antibiotics.  Any excuse, eh?  So this week is go-slow week.  Everything is cancelled, the heating is on, the rubbish daytime telly will be scrutinised and I shall be researching food plans via Google.  Diane will know much more than I but I gather minimal fat and lots of plant based food is the way to go, even after I have had the offending organ removed.  Is that on the right track?  Well, I love a food challenge and don't mind a bit (only a bit, mind, last week was wa-a-a-y too much) of discomfort while I find out what's going to work (and not work) for me while losing some weight can only be a good thing, especially with an operation on the horizon.

Coffee, thank goodness, is fine.  Caffeine might even help (I read) so maybe I will need to re-think the decaff thing. 
Time for another one then!

Sunday 5 November 2017


Look at that gap in entries.  Really sorry for the silence.  I've had a bit of an unwelcomed adventure but am now back home, wobbly but recovering and by the time I've milked it all in next week's posts, you'll be sick to death of me, I am sure.

Just wanted to say, I'm OK.